Secrecy News

Iraq Intelligence Reports Are Overclassified, Senators Say

Two partially declassified reports issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that were critical of pre-war intelligence on Iraq remain significantly overclassified, according to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who said he would seek further disclosure.

Furthermore, portions of the two Intelligence Committee reports that were withheld conceal “certain highly offensive activities” and “deeply disturbing information,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

“I am very troubled that some information in these reports has been classified even though its release would have no impact on national security,” Sen. Wyden said.

“I am particularly concerned it appears that information may have been classified to shield individuals from accountability,” he said in a September 8 news release.

“Portions of the report which the intelligence community leaders have determined to keep from public view provide some of the most damaging evidence of this administration’s falsehoods and distortions,” said Senator Levin in a September 8 floor statement.

“What remains classified, and therefore covered up, includes deeply disturbing information,” he said.

“Much of the information redacted from the public report does not jeopardize any intelligence source or method but serves effectively to cover up certain highly offensive activities.”

“Even the partially released picture is plenty bleak, about the administration’s use of falsehoods and distortions to build public support for the war. But the public is entitled to the full picture. Unless this report is further declassified, they won’t get it,” Sen. Levin said.

Senator Wyden announced that he would ask the Public Interest Declassification Board, an advisory board originally created by statute in 2000, to review the two reports and to render a judgment as to whether they were properly declassified.

This would be the first time that a Member of Congress has tasked the Board to perform such a declassification oversight function.

The two Senate Intelligence Committee reports, released last week in redacted form, are:

“The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress” (211 pages, 9 MB PDF file).

“Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments” (151 pages, 7 MB PDF file).

0 thoughts on “Iraq Intelligence Reports Are Overclassified, Senators Say

  1. Of course it’s not “offensive” to Wyden or Levin that their report doesn’t address Ayman al Zawahiri’s trip to Baghdad in 1998 or that the 9-11 commission found that IRAQ, not al-Qaeda initiated most of the meetings between the two sides (in stark contrast to the new report, which is for some asinine reason, based on the testimony of Saddam Hussein and his cronies), Levin and Wyden also aren’t all that concerned that only about 10% of the postwar documents have been analyzed.

    Levin and Wyden certainly don’t think it’s worth looking at the 40-plus members of al-Qaeda and Saddam’s regime, both at large and in custody, who claimed links between the two sides, deserve to be addressed by their commission, wouldn’t fit their premise.

    All that postwar cooperation between Zarqawi, al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Saddam loyalists, Levin and Wyden have no interest in seeing how when that cooperation began, that might crush their faulty premise as well.

    Worried about “classified” documents my ass, those two are worried about getting Democrats back in power.

  2. It seems laws were created for the sheer strategy of excluding the review of information, as the “W” Bush administration pushed for “friends” to head major posts in Washington after his election.
    Likewise, we have a similar strategy that Jeb Bush has embarked on since he became Governor of Florida. At the heels of a Bellsouth cramming complaint, one of Jeb’s “children” from Miami, the Human Relations Board controlled all whistleblower complaints of State department employees and employees of big business. The confidentiality law was strengthened to exclude the review of lawsuits and challenges even AFTER the complaint is closed. Even the Ethics Commission has been packed with lobbyists, who, during Charlie Crist’s Elections AND Ethics commission complaints, found people who donated to his campaign voting he was NOT GUILTY of primative basic violations. This man is the Republican selection for Governor now.
    It is distressing that, the now Atty General Crist, did not challenge a newspaper reporter threatened to be removed from a Florida Statutes 286 Sunshine Law meeting with a police officer. The department and subject matter, you ask? Well, Dept of State Cook’s meeting about the Florida voting machine problems!
    Bill Cotterell, Talahassee Democrat, waited for a challenge of the Statutes from Crist. Crist’s reply? “they shouldn’t have called the police.” Comforting, but Cook’s children work for Jeb’s old boss, St Joe’s group-Codina, also on the Bellsouth board..
    It seems an avoidance of paper trails for the bush brothers is the result of his Father’s loss to Bill Clinton. So much for the Constitution, State and Federal. Bless the work of those of us who “know” what is really going on in the “War against Truth.”

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