News Briefings

DoD News Briefing

Thursday, February 11, 1999 - 1:30 p.m.
Presenter: Captain Mike Doubleday, DASD (PA)


Q: Mike, there was a report last night that the DIA conducted its own highly classified review of the bombing of Khartoum. The Pentagon last night said there was no such report. Was there a review? Whether there was a report or not, was there a review?

A: All I can tell you is that the DIA has conducted no such review, they have no such analysis, and they have no report.

Q: So the agency that is normally in charge of selecting targets, and of reviewing strikes on targets and the aftereffects, had no such review of this target.

A: All I can tell you is there was no report, and there has been no review that would correspond to what was referred to in that news report last night.

Q: Wait a minute. So the DIA did not assemble a group of experts to assess the aftermath of that strike? Is that what you are saying?

A: What I am saying is that the report that was characterized last night on ABC -- [that] there is no such report, there has been no such analysis done by the DIA.

Q: The piece on ABC never said there was a report. They said there was a highly classified review. So what you are saying is there was no group of experts assembled by DIA to review the bombing damage at Khartoum, is that correct?

A: I am not trying to play word games with you. I am saying no report, no analysis done by the DIA on this subject.

Q: No group of experts was hired by DIA to go over the aftermath of the bombing, is that correct? Or is that not something that you can respond to?

A: No report, no analysis done by the DIA on this subject.

Q: CIA? Did they...

A: I would refer you to the CIA for what they may have done.

Q: Did any analysts or experts working for the Defense Intelligence Agency participate in any review conducted by the intelligence community's Non-Proliferation Center?

A: I am not aware of anything that resulted in a DIA report of a DIA analysis on this subject.

Q: To just follow up though, again, to point out that the DIA has the stated role and mission of providing military intelligence to targets and helping select the weapons used by the military to attack targets. Would it not be extraordinarily unusual and almost rather incredible for the agency that has that role and mission to make no assessment of the work that it did? Or is it your sense that the DIA played absolutely no role in this military strike?

A: Excuse me. I am not going to expand this thing to what role the DIA played in the strike. What I am saying is they did not do the report or analysis that was referred to in the news report last night.

Q: Just to be clear, are you saying that no such analysis or review took place, or are you saying that whatever analysis or review took place didn't support the conclusion in the ABC report?

A: First of all, I think it's been said before that we feel that the pharmaceutical plant was a legitimate target during that strike.

That said, I am not going to talk about the roles that various parts of the building played in planning the strike. I'm simply pointing out that there was no report and no analysis done on that subject by the DIA.

Q: Would you concede that there is at least a variety of opinion on whether or not... on how conclusive the evidence was of a link to chemical weapons production that was the basis for the bombing of that plant?

A: My guess is that you could probably find as many opinions as you can find people in this building on that subject. But that doesn't mean there is a report or analysis that has been done by an agency.

Q: Not to beat a dead horse Mike, but you will not directly answer the question whether or not DIA assembled a group of experts to assess the damage on this bombing. That is a question that you will not directly answer, is that correct?

A: I am going to say what I have said now six or seven times, and that is no report, no analysis done by the DIA on this subject. And I am not playing word games with you.

Q: If you're not playing word games then how come if we ask a yes or no question we get some sort of an essay response? If you're not playing games with us, and Jack is asking a yes or no question about whether or not a panel of experts is... It's yes or no. It's not no review, no...

A: I think my answer stands fully, [and is] exactly what I mean on this subject.