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President Bush's contention that America went to war with Iraq to rid Saddam Hussein of hidden biological and chemical weapons "could be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time," the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee warned Friday.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County), has sent a letter along with Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., the Intelligence Committee chairman, to CIA Director George Tenet asking him to explain what intelligence led spy agencies to believe Iraq had stocks of the banned weapons or that al Qaeda operated on Iraqi territory.
"U.S. credibility is at stake," Harman told the Chronicle editorial board on Friday. "Especially if there is an interest in another military adventure, we need the facts."
The congresswoman, who said she still believed chemical or biological weapons would be found, said intelligence briefings about weapons of mass destruction she received in the committee were a major reason she had voted for last October's war resolution. "If it's there, we better find it because whoever buried it can dig it up," she said.
"They had a lot of time to hide it or move it through porous borders to other countries," she said of Hussein's officials.
Harman and Goss requested that Tenet report to them by July 1. For now, she said, the CIA director, who doesn't have authority over the multitude of other agencies that collect intelligence, is doing a good job.
"I would rate him highly," she said, as a director who restored CIA morale when he took over under former President Bill Clinton.
Quote: The congresswoman, who said she still believed chemical or biological weapons would be found, said intelligence briefings about weapons of mass destruction she received in the committee were a major reason she had voted for last October's war resolution.
Quote: "They had a lot of time to hide it or move it through porous borders to other countries," she said of Hussein's officials.
-------------------- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers
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