Denial and Deception: Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes and the Case for War

by Feb 12, 2006Foreign Policy0 comments

One of the principal claims propagated by government officials in making the case for war against Iraq was the threat of Saddam Hussein acquiring a nuclear weapon. The image of a “mushroom cloud” was repeatedly invoked by officials, frightening Americans who didn’t know any better into thinking that Saddam was either on the verge of […]

One of the principal claims propagated by government officials in making the case for war against Iraq was the threat of Saddam Hussein acquiring a nuclear weapon. The image of a “mushroom cloud” was repeatedly invoked by officials, frightening Americans who didn’t know any better into thinking that Saddam was either on the verge of developing a nuke or, worse, that he already had the bomb, and, furthermore, that he was capable, ready and willing to use it against the United States.

In support of this claim, Bush administration officials cited Iraq’s attempted purchase of thousands of aluminum tubes which, they claimed, were intended for use in centrifuges required to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon. This was the key piece of “evidence” cited by the government in support of their assertions about Iraq’s nuclear intentions.

The government has now been publicly acknowledged what was well known months prior to the invasion of Iraq: that the tubes were not intended for use in a nuclear program, but were intended for a conventional rocket program. The CIA’s Iraq Survey Group (ISG), for example, finally admitted in its final report that “Iraqi interest in aluminum tubes appears to have come from efforts to produce 81-mm rockets, rather than a nuclear end use.”[1]

In order to explain why the administration’s claims about Iraq were demonstrated to have been so entirely erroneous, the notion of a widespread “intelligence failure” has been propagated. This theory is built upon the assumption that it is only with hindsight that we can know that claims made by the Bush administration were false. This, however, is incorrect, an apparent attempt to revise the history of the events that led up to the war.

A simple analysis comparing the administration’s claims about Iraq with the facts known at the time reveals serious flaws in the “intelligence failure” hypothesis. Such an analysis reveals that not only was there was no credible evidence supporting the administrations claims, but there was enough information available publicly to easily demonstrate well before the invasion commenced that this was so. A simple examination of the facts reveals that the claims made by the Bush administration varied from deceptive and misleading to outright fabrications and lies. What follows is an extensive chronological review of what information was known and when and by whom it was known.

The Dispute Within the Intelligence Community

The issue of the aluminum tubes did not become public until September, 2002, but it was a matter that had been hotly debated within the intelligence community before it began to be debated publicly. A review of the internal dispute is important to understand the context before examining the Bush administration’s public claims about the tubes. Much of this information has been declassified through the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, which will be drawn upon extensively in this section.

The first CIA assessment of the aluminum tubes was published on April 10, 2001. It stated that the tubes “have little use other than for a uranium enrichment program.” No explanation for how this conclusion was arrived at was provided. However, the report did acknowledge that “using aluminum tubes in a centrifuge effort would be inefficient and a step backward from the specialty steel machines Iraq was poised to mass produce at the onset of the Gulf War.”

The next day, the Department of Energy published their own analysis, providing a far more detailed explanation of their conclusions:

Based on the reported specifications, the tubes could be used to manufacture gas centrifuge rotor cylinders for uranium enrichment. However, our analysis indicates that the specified tube diameter, which is half that of the centrifuge machine Iraq successfully tested in 1990, is only marginally large enough for practical centrifuge applications, and other specifications are not consistent with a gas centrifuge end use. Moreover, the quantity being sought suggests preparations for large scale production of centrifuge machines, for which we have not seen related procurement efforts – and the tubes’ specifications suggest a centrifuge design quite different from any Iraq is known to have. Thus, we assess that this procurement activity more likely supports a different application…. While the gas centrifuge application cannot be ruled out, we assess that the procurement activity more likely supports a different application, such as conventional ordnance production. For example, the tube specifications and quantity appear to be generally consistent with their use as launch tubes for man-held anti-armor rockets or as tactical rocket casings. Also, the manner in which the procurement is being handled (multiple procurement agents, quotes obtained from multiple suppliers in diverse locations, and price haggling) seems to better match our expectations for a conventional Iraqi military buy than a major purchase for a clandestine weapons-of-mass destruction program.

The DOE, after further research, published another report on May 9 that explained another possible use for the tubes, noting that “Iraq has purchased similar aluminum tubes previously to manufacture chambers (tubes) for a multiple rocket launcher.”

The CIA responded on June 14 with a report that claimed the tubes “are suitable for uranium enrichment gas centrifuge rotors and, while less likely, could be used as rocket bodies for multiple rocket launchers.” Once again, the CIA, unlike the DOE, failed to explain the rationale for their argument.[2]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first became alerted to the tubes issue in the summer of 2001. The IAEA immediately recognized that Iraq had previously used tubes with identical dimensions in a conventional rocket program. There was extensive documentation about the procurement of those tubes.

A CIA analyst from the Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) known simply as “Joe” was largely responsible for creating and propagating the argument that the tubes were intended for a centrifuge program. In July, he traveled to Vienna in order to convince IAEA experts of his position. He argued that after cutting the tubes and machining down the thickness, they could be used in a centrifuge, suggesting that they would then have the same mass as rotors in a Zippe centrifuge design. The IAEA experts pointed out a number of flaws in his analysis, such as that he had failed to calculate the mass of end caps and other components of such a design.[3]

Another report was issued on July 2 that claimed, “The tubes are constructed from high strength aluminum (7075-T6) and are manufactured to the tight tolerances necessary for gas centrifuges. The dimensions of the tubes match those of a publicly available gas centrifuge design from the 1950s, known as the Zippe centrifuge.” The report concluded that “the specifications for the tubes far exceed any known conventional weapons application, including rocket motor casings for 81-mm multiple rocket launchers.”

Nine additional intelligence reports were produced in the next year discussing Iraq’s aluminum tubes. According to the Senate Committee report, “None of these assessments provided any additional information to support the CIA’s analysis…” Furthermore, “Most of the assessments were disseminated in limited channels, only to high-level policymakers and were not available to intelligence analysts from other agencies.” When asked by the Senate Committee why this was so, the CIA replied that they were written as responses to specific questions and intended for the President.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) produced a report on August 2, 2001 that embraced the CIA assessment, saying “DIA analysts found the CIA WINPAC presentation to be very compelling.” This was apparently based on acceptance of the CIA’s false claim that the tubes were a “match” to those used in the Zippe centrifuge.

On August 17, the DOE released an extensive analysis of the tubes, once again noting that Iraq had previously used tubes with “the same specifications” to manufacture rockets. The tubes, DOE argued, were not well suited for a centrifuge and the aluminum used “provides performance roughly half that of the materials Iraq previously pursued.” In other words, Iraq, if it were indeed intending these tubes for use in a centrifuge, would be taking a step backwards, as the CIA had already acknowledged. Furthermore, the diameter of the tubes was smaller than any known centrifuge and “too thick for favorable use as rotor tubes, exceeding the nominal 1-mm thickness of known aluminum rotor tubes by more than a factor of three.” In other words, as the Senate Committee later noted, “The dimensions of the tubes seized do not ‘match’ the dimensions of any of Zippe’s centrifuge designs.” Moreover, according to the DOE, the anodized surface “is not consistent with a gas centrifuge application.” While possible, a gas centrifuge application was “unlikely” and “a rocket production application is the more likely end use for these tubes.”

In November, another DIA assessment was published, arguing that “Although alternative uses for the tubes are possible, such as rocket motor cases or rocket launch tubes, the specifications are consistent with earlier Iraqi gas centrifuge rotor designs.” But as the DOE had pointed out, and as the CIA had conceded early on, using aluminum tubes was not “consistent with earlier Iraqi gas centrifuge rotor designs” but an “inefficient step backward”. The DIA nonetheless claimed that the tubes would make “poor choices for rocket motor bodies.” Apparently, no explanation was given for why they believed this was so, while the DOE, on the other hand, in arguing their case, had pointed out that Iraq had already used similar tubes in a known rocket program.

The DOE noted once again in December that “The wall thickness [of the tubes] is three times greater than that for metal rotor designs used in high-speed centrifuges”, including the Zippe design. Their assessment also pointed out the inefficiency of any centrifuge built using the tubes Iraq had attempted to acquire, and estimated that Iraq would need 12,000-16,000 centrifuges to produce enough highly enriched uranium for one weapon per year (25 kg). “In short,” the DOE reported, “we judge it unlikely that anyone could deploy an enrichment facility capable of producing weapons significant quantities of HEU based on these tubes.” One analyst later expressed that it was his view that if Iraq truly intended these tubes for use in a centrifuge, then “we should just give them the tubes.”

On August 1, 2002 the CIA published its first assessment explaining its rationale for its claims about the tubes. Among the reasons the CIA believed the tubes were intended for a centrifuge program what it claimed were high tolerances, high cost, and secrecy in procurement.

The next month the DIA acknowledged that “Alternative uses for the tubes, such as rocket motor cases or launch tubes, are possible.” But their assessment once again asserted that “this is less likely because the specifications are consistent with late-1980s Iraqi gas centrifuge rotor designs.”

The CIA also published another assessment in September, repeating as evidence for an intended centrifuge application the claims of Iraqi secrecy in procurement, high coast, tight tolerances, the anodized coating, and that the tubes “matched” known centrifuge specifications. It also concluded that in was unlikely the tubes were intended for a rocket program. Apparently, no rationale for why this was considered “unlikely” was given as the agency continued to ignore the analyses of the nation’s top experts at the DOE, as well as the IAEA.[4]

The Debate Goes Public

The story of the tubes broke publicly on Sunday, September 8, 2002, when The New York Times published a story giving the administration’s view that the aluminum tubes “were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.” The U.S. couldn’t wait “until analysts have found hard evidence that Mr. Hussein has acquired a nuclear weapon. The first sign of a ‘smoking gun,’ they argue, may be a mushroom cloud.” While the report acknowledged that “A key issue is whether the items Iraq tried to buy are uniquely designed for centrifuge use or could have other applications”, it added that “Senior administration officials insist that the dimensions, specifications and numbers of the tubes Iraq sought to buy show that they were intended for the nuclear program.” Aside from merely hinting that the tubes “could have other applications” no alternative views were divulged.[5] David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a former investigator of Iraq’s nuclear program with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and a key figure in the tubes debate, later observed, “The leak to the New York Times appeared to have been timed, or was at least used, by the Bush Administration to help build its case that Iraq was close to getting nuclear weapons.”[6]

That day the New York Times article was published, senior administration officials, including Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice, made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows to bolster the case that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the U.S.[7]

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Dick Cheney said that intelligence showed that Saddam Hussein “has reconstituted his nuclear program to develop a nuclear weapon”, and that “he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs…. Specifically aluminum tubes.” He made reference to the leak to Times, saying, “I don’t want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it’s now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire…the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge.” According to Cheney, “we do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.” When asked to confirm that Iraq did not then have a nuclear weapon, Cheney responded “I can’t say that.” In other words, Cheney implied that Iraq may have already obtained a nuclear weapon.[8]

Condoleezza Rice went on CNN and stated “We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon. We do know that there have been shipments going…into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes…that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.” She added that “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”[9]

On September 12, President Bush spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, saying “Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.”[10]

The day of Bush’s UN speech, the State Department released a report entitled “A Decade of Deception and Defiance” which stated that “Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes which officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.”[11]

Judith Miller of The New York Times had attempted unsuccessfully to contact David Albright for comment for the September 8 article. After the story appeared, Albright contacted her and “alerted her to the internal expert criticism of the administration’s public claims”.[12] On the 13th, the Times ran another story that finally acknowledged that another view of the aluminum tubes existed, but which still embraced the administration’s claims:

Senior officials acknowledged yesterday that there have been debates among intelligence experts about Iraq’s intentions in trying to buy such tubes, but added that the dominant view in the administration was that the tubes were intended for use in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium. George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, has been adamant that tubes recently intercepted en route to Iraq were intended for use in a nuclear program, officials said. They also said it was the intelligence agencies’ unanimous view that the type of tubes that Iraq has been seeking are used to make such centrifuges.

Needless to say, the claim of a “unanimous view” was false. The article noted that according to some officials, “some experts had questioned whether Iraq might not be seeking the tubes for other purposes, specifically, to build multiple-launch rocket systems”, but added that “other, more senior, officials, insisted last night that this was a minority view among intelligence experts and that the C.I.A. had wide support, particularly among the government’s top technical experts and nuclear scientists.” The Times cited an “administration official” as saying “that he best technical experts and nuclear scientists at laboratories like Oak Ridge supported the C.I.A. assessment.”[13] Of course, this, too, was another fabrication, parroted willingly by Miller, who gave no indication that she attempted to contact the DOE for comment to confirm the claim from the administration. As Albright later observed, “the article was heavily slanted to the CIA’s position, and the views of the other side were trivialized.” The false statement regarding the nation’s top experts “made their way into the story despite several discussions that I had with Miller on the day before the story appeared—some well into the night. In the end, nobody was quoted questioning the CIA’s position, as I would have expected.”[14]

On September 19, The Washington Post reported on page A18 that this “key piece of evidence in the Bush administration’s case against Iraq is being challenged in a report by independent experts” from ISIS. The Post had obtained a draft of the report by David Albright. The article reiterated that the administration had acknowledged “differing opinions” about the tubes, but quoted an intelligence official as saying, “But the majority view, held by senior officials here, is that they were most likely intended for gas centrifuges.” Several Energy Department officials were contacted by the Post, but “declined to comment.”[15]

But, in stark contrast to the claims of the senior officials cited in the Post, Albright’s report, released publicly on September 23, stated, “In fact, the intelligence community is deeply divided about the purpose of the tubing, with a significant number of experts knowledgeable about gas centrifuges dissenting from the CIA view…. ISIS has learned that U.S. nuclear experts who dissent from the Administration’s position are expected to remain silent.”[16] In a later report, he wrote, “In talking to a number of government experts after the article in the New York Times, I was surprised by their nervousness to discuss this case. One said that the President has said what he has said, end of story.” Another expert “said that people in the administration can ‘release whatever they like, and they expect us to be silent.'”[17] The New York Times later reported that on September 13, the day the second article on the tubes was published, “the Energy Department sent a directive forbidding employees from discussing the subject with reporters.”[18]

Though marginalized, Albright’s report gave the public the first detailed analysis of the tubes issue, and enough to seriously call into question the claims that had been made by the administration. He noted that the tubes could possibly be used in an inefficient centrifuge, but that they would have to be modified significantly in order to do so. He also observed that United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspectors had seen thousands of similar aluminum tubes in Iraq previously, for use in a rocket program.[19]

The British government released a dossier the next day acknowledging, with regard to the aluminum, that “there is no definitive intelligence that it is destined for a nuclear programme.”[20] This admission stood in remarkable contrast with the public claims of the Bush administration, such as Rice’s statement that the tubes were “only really suited for nuclear weapons programs”. Yet, despite this admission from the British government and the leaking of the nature of the debate within the intelligence community to the public, the Bush administration continued to maintain its disingenuous claims about the tubes.

The National Intelligence Estimate

In October, the CIA released an unclassified version of its National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), saying that the aluminum tubes “could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use, but some believe that these tubes are probably intended for conventional weapons programs.”[21] It is unclear who was meant by “most intelligence specialists”, but apparently the majority of the nation’s top experts on centrifuges didn’t qualify.

By contrast, the classified version of the NIE admitted much more. It noted that the Department of Energy (DOE), responsible for uranium enrichment in the U.S., “assesses that the tubes probably are not part of” a nuclear weapons program. The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) also disagreed with the CIA assessment:

In INR’s view Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes is central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors. INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose. INR considers it far more likely that the tubes are intended for another purpose, most likely the production of artillery rockets. The very large quantities being sought, the way the tubes were tested by the Iraqis, and the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts are among the factors, in addition to the DOE assessment, that lead INR to conclude that the tubes are not intended for use in Iraq’s nuclear weapon program.[22]

The NIE listed several factors which the CIA claimed were indications that the tubes were for a centrifuge program. It claimed that Saddam Hussein had a “personal interest” in the tubes. The single source for this claim was a “[foreign] government service”. There was no corroborating evidence to support this claim, and, even if true, as the Senate Committee pointed out, while it would suggest a high priority, it would “not necessarily suggest that the high priority was Iraq’s nuclear program.”

The CIA argued that “The composition, dimensions, and extremely tight manufacturing tolerances of the tubes far exceed the requirements for non nuclear applications but make them suitable for use as rotors in gas centrifuges.” This was false on its face. This argument was made despite the fact that all intelligence agencies agreed that the tubes would require modification before they could be used in a centrifuge. It was made despite the fact that the specifications of the tubes were, as the DOE had observed, inconsistent with a centrifuge application without such modification. It was made despite the fact that the CIA had acknowledged that tubes with “similar dimensions” intended for a rocket program “were discovered during IAEA inspections”. As the Senate Committee later noted, this argument was made despite information “indicating that the composition and dimensions of the Iraqi tubes were consistent with rockets manufactured in several countries, and, in fact, match exactly the tubes Iraq had imported years earlier for use in its rocket program which it had declared to the UN.” The IAEA had confirmed that the Iraqis were attempting to reverse engineer an Italian rocket, the Medusa, which used the same material, 7075-T6 aluminum, with the same dimensions as the tubes in question.

The NIE contained an assessment from the Army National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) saying that “tubes with specifications – materials and tolerances – like those seized…are highly unlikely to be intended for rocket motor cases.” But the NGIC later told the Senate Committee in a written response that “lightweight rockets, such as those originally developed for air-to-ground systems, typically use 7075-T6 aluminum for the motor casing because of its strength and weight” and that “it is not unusual to use the aluminum alloy specified by Iraq for casings of unguided rockets.”[23] The apparent explanation for this inconsistency, if we are not to assume that the NGIC analyst was simply lying, is that the CIA was controlling information within the intelligence community in an effort to stifle dissent. It did not share DOE views with other agencies, but propagated its own assessments and false claims. According to David Albright, one expert he spoke with said “that he did not believe the CIA analysts presented NGIC with complete information about this case.”[24] The NGIC analyst responsible for the assessment given in the NIE confirmed to the Senate Committee that he had not read any DOE products.

In a similar example, the DOD later confirmed that it was the CIA that had provided them with the information to make their assessment. One engineer had noted the similarity between Iraq’s tubes and the Italian rocket system and claimed to have recommended the CIA get more information about that system, but the CIA inexplicably refused, saying it was not an option. Another engineer thought the CIA was coming to them for an objective assessment, but it became clear to him that they “had an agenda” and were trying “to bias us, to encourage us to come up with [the] answer” that agreed with their own assessment.

A DOD rocket design engineer later explained that their assessment of the tubes was that they were “perfectly usable as rocket motor tubes, but were excessively tightly toleranced for the application.” But he also noted that engineers that “don’t have 40 years of rocket manufacture [experience] like we have” would “tend to err on the conservative side.” Another engineer agreed that “If you were starting from scratch, you would tend to go for a straighter, more tightly-toleranced product.” The IAEA confirmed this explanation, and the DOE also observed that this was common practice for inexperienced engineers trying to reverse engineer equipment. Furthermore, the DOE explained that the tubes used in the U.S. Mark-66 rocket had tolerances that exceeded those requested by the Iraqis, rendering the point moot.

The CIA claimed in the NIE that the Iraqis were willing to pay a very high price for the tubes at U.S. $17.50 per tube. While one intelligence report did give this figure, most reports showed that Iraq had negotiated a lower price for the tubes. Furthermore, “If inflation is taken into account, Iraq would be paying less today than in the 1980s for the same tubes.” A DOE analyst contacted a U.S. aluminum tube manufacturer and was quoted a higher price than the CIA claimed Iraq was willing to pay, even without requesting specific tolerances that would increase the cost. And while the NIE claimed that the aluminum “is considerably more expensive than other more readily available materials” and that “materials or tubes meeting conventional rocket requirements could be acquired at much lower prices”, DOD design engineers responsible for U.S. rocket systems later told the Senate Committee that this was “not correct at all”. On the contrary, high-strength aluminum is “around the world the material of choice for low cost rocket systems” and “one of the cheapest materials to make rocket motor cases.”

The CIA claimed in the NIE that Iraq had attempted to “conceal” its procurement of the tubes in a manner “consistent with Iraq’s prewar nuclear procurement strategy”. But, as noted previously, the INR disagreed, observing “the atypical lack of attention to operational security in the procurement efforts”.[25] David Albright noted that facsimiles were sent to foreign companies with the specifications, and they even tried to use internet websites to seek bidders to do the job.[26] Furthermore, the DOE noted that the tubes were proscribed for Iraq even if intended for use in a rocket program, rendering any effort to conceal their procurement a moot point.

The NIE stated that Iraq’s procurements efforts had shown “unusual persistence in seeking numerous foreign sources for the tubes” while at the same time acknowledging, in contradiction to the previous point, that this often meant “breaking with Iraq’s traditionally cautious approach to potential vendors”. In other words, Iraq had not tried very hard to “conceal” its procurement efforts, which was inconsistent with earlier efforts. No effort was made to explain this contradiction from one argument to the next. Moreover, the CIA failed to provide any intelligence that would support its claim that Iraq’s “persistence” was “unusual”. Another factor was that if Iraq had intended to use the tubes in a nuclear program, it would have been necessary to also acquire other parts, but “no intelligence reporting showed that Iraq was trying to acquire the thousands of other components needed for a centrifuge.”

The NIE claimed that Iraq had successfully spun a tube at 60,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), indicating that it was “suitable as a centrifuge rotor”. The CIA had also conducted its own tests on the tubes. While four of the five tests had failed, the CIA claimed that in one of the tests, a tube was spun at 90,000 rpm for two hours. The CIA later corrected itself, admitting that 31 separate tests had been performed with only one successful attempt that lasted not for two hours, but for 65 minutes. Contrary to the NIE’s number of “60,000”, the DOE explained that the tubes would operate at 90,000 rpm in a centrifuge. According to the Senate Committee, DOE analysts, contrary to the conclusions drawn by the CIA, said that the tests demonstrated “that the Iraqi tubes deformed at stresses considerably lower than expected.” To be used in a centrifuge, the tubes “would have to run at 90,000 rpm constantly, all day, every day for years to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon, not a few hours.” One DOE analysts explained that “Running your car up to 6,500 rpm briefly does not prove that you can run your car at 6,500 rpm cross country.” In an analysis of the CIA spin tests, the DOE wrote that the test results actually “would have precluded their use in a centrifuge.”

When later asked why the CIA had not consulted with the DOE at the time they ran their tests, Joe responded, “Because we funded it. It was our testing. We were trying to prove some things that we wanted to prove with the testing. It wasn’t a joint effort.” In other words, the DOE wasn’t consulted because the CIA was admittedly looking for only one conclusion—the conclusion that supported the claim that Iraq was trying to produce a nuclear weapon.

The NIE claimed that “The dimensions of the tubes seized…are similar to those used in the Zippe and Beams-type gas centrifuge.” But the tubes did not match either design. The NIE included a chart comparing known Iraqi centrifuge designs with the Zippe and Beams specifications, but did not compare the more recently procured tubes with the tubes used in Iraq’s rocket program, which matched perfectly. Moreover, as the Senate Committee observed, “none of the specifications of the tubes seized…match or are consistent with previous Iraqi centrifuge designs.”[27]

The NIE was heavily slanted toward the CIA’s false claims. More accurate information contradicting those claims was either marginalized or ignored altogether. Typically, in the case of such a debate, the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC) would make a judgment before publishing an NIE.[28] According to The New York Times, “some department officials say the C.I.A. opposed calling in Jaeic to mediate the tubes fight.” The CIA denied that this was so. JAEIC reportedly did hold a session in August, and two further meetings were scheduled. But they never happened.[29] The CIA replied to proposals to have JAEIC intervene by saying that it was “not ready to discuss its position.”[30]

By October, when the NIE was produced, the views of the Energy and State departments had not yet been disclosed to the public. While it had been publicly acknowledged that there was a debate on the tubes, it was falsely characterized to the press by administration officials as a few dissenters against a majority of expert opinion that the tubes were for a centrifuge program. Indications suggesting otherwise, however, were expressed in the media on rare occasions. In one example, it was reported that:

Several senior administration and intelligence officials, all of whom spoke only on the condition of anonymity, charged that the decision to publicize one analysis of the aluminum tubes and ignore the contrary one is typical of the way the administration has been handling intelligence about Iraq. The White House and the Pentagon, these officials said, are pressuring intelligence analysts to highlight information that supports Bush’s Iraq policy and suppress information and analysis that might undercut congressional, public or international support for war. [31]

On October 7, President Bush spoke in Cincinnati, Ohio, to outline the “threat” from Iraq. In his remarks, he claimed, “The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.” Included amongst the “evidence” was the claim that “Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.” He added, “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”[32]

Once again, an uninformed public would be left without so much as a hint that Iraq might have another use for the tubes, or that the U.S. agency with the most expertise on centrifuges did not believe the tubes were intended for the purpose Bush claimed. Rather, an uniformed public was left with the impression that the tubes were directly suited for use in a centrifuge, despite the fact that even according to the CIA’s view, they would need significant modification before being suitable for such a purpose.

The Return of the Inspectors

When United Nations inspectors returned to Iraq, they thoroughly investigated the aluminum tubes. In December, chief inspector Hans Blix reported that “Iraq has also provided information on a short-range rocket that is manufactured using 81 mm aluminum tubes”, something which was “not a new disclosure”. Blix had little else to say, except that the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) had “drawn no conclusions” and was still investigating.[33]

Then in January, 2003, Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), briefed the Security Council that Iraq had explained the attempts to acquire aluminum tubes “in connection with a programme aimed at reverse engineering 81-millimetre rockets.” In order to verify the Iraqi explanation, the IAEA had conducted an extensive investigation. While El Baradei, like Hans Blix, left the matter open, he added that “the specifications of the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq…appear to be consistent with reverse engineering of rockets. While it would be possible to modify such tubes for the manufacture of centrifuges, they are not directly suitable for it.”[34]

El Baradei’s analysis of the tubes was reported on page A10 of The New York Times, which observed that “The primary rational for going to war with Iraq rests on fears that Baghdad is striving to develop a nuclear weapon” and quoted Gary Samore of the International Institute of Strategic Studies as saying that “Iraq’s attempts to buy aluminum tubes ‘was the key piece of evidence to support the assessment that Iraq was pursuing or trying to revive its gas centrifuge program.'” The article also revealed that “some officials in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Energy Department have questioned this analysis, saying that the tubes might be intended to make rockets.”[35]

That month the CIA again dispatched Joe to Vienna to challenge the IAEA’s assessment. Although the DOE had prepared comments on the briefing, including corrections, they were rejected by the CIA. Joe once again failed to persuade the IAEA of his analysis.[36]

Again on January 27, El Baradei briefed the Security Council that IAEA inspectors had conducted an extensive investigation, concluding that “it appears that the aluminum tubes would be consistent with the purpose stated by Iraq and, unless modified, would not be suitable for manufacturing centrifuges”. He furthermore stated that “we have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons programme since the elimination of the programme in the 1990s”.[37]

The IAEA report accompanying his briefing stated that the agency had confirmed “the existence of a programme for producing 81-millimetre rockets” and that “the specifications of the aluminum tubes recently sought by Iraq appear to be consistent with reverse engineering of rockets. While it would be possible to modify such tubes for the manufacture of centrifuges, they are not directly suitable for such use.”[38]

None of the information reported publicly by the IAEA investigation prevented President Bush from maintaining the false claims in his State of the Union Address on January 29 that Saddam Hussein “has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production” and that “Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.”[39]

Powell’s Performance

Neither did it stop Secretary of State Colin Powell from making similarly deceptive or false claims during his presentation to the Security Council on February 5th. “Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb,” Powell claimed. “He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes…” While acknowledging that there “are differences of opinion” about the tubes, Powell claimed that “Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in centrifuges used to enrich uranium.” [40]

But, as already noted, this was false. David Albright later observed that “The vast majority of gas centrifuge experts in this country and abroad who are knowledgeable about this case reject the CIA’s case and do not believe that the tubes are specifically designed for gas centrifuges.” Powell did not mention that the top U.S. experts at the Department of Energy, as well as his own State Department’s intelligence branch, as we have seen, believed that the tubes were “poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges”, but were “most likely” for use in “the production of artillery rockets.” As Albright also noted, “This dissent is significant because the DOE has virtually the only expertise on gas centrifuges and nuclear weapons programs in the United States government.”[41] Despite the CIA’s best efforts to convince the top U.S. experts, as well as the IAEA, of its analysis, “virtually all of the gas centrifuge experts in the United States and abroad who evaluated this case rejected the CIA’s case and did not believe that the tubes were destined for gas centrifuges.”[42] According to the Senate Committee, “DOE officials, including the Director of the Oak Ridge Field Intelligence Element, told Committee staff that the vast majority of scientists and nuclear experts at the DOE and the National Labs did not agree with the CIA’s analysis.[43]

Powell attempted to discredit those top U.S. experts, as well as the IAEA, by saying, “Other experts, and the Iraqis themselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.” Houston G. Wood, founder of the Oak Ridge centrifuge physics department, widely considered to be among the most pre-eminent experts in his field, later commented that Powell’s remark “was a personal slam at everybody in DOE.”[44]

Powell said that “all the experts who have analyzed the tubes in our possession agree that they can be adapted for centrifuge use.” But, as one DOE analyst later explained to the Senate Committee, you could also “turn your new Yugo into a Cadillac”.[45] Houston G. Wood later explained that “it would have been extremely difficult to make these tubes into centrifuges. It stretches the imagination to come up with a way. I do not know any real centrifuge experts that feel differently.”[46] As Albright put it, all experts agreed the tubes could be so used “after modification”, but they also agreed such tubes would make “a poor quality gas centrifuge”. Furthermore, “Some of the characteristics of the tubes are compatible with a centrifuge use, but all of the characteristics fit a use in a rocket that Iraq was producing indigenously.”[47] Moreover, it was known in the intelligence community that Iraq had attempted to reverse-engineer the Italian-made Medusa 81 rocket, which matched the specifications of Iraq’s tubes.[48]

Powell claimed that “these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that far exceeds U.S. requirements for comparable rockets.” But his own department’s intelligence agency had sent him a memo identifying this claim as a key concern, and that, “In fact, the most comparable US system is a tactical rocket—the US Mark 66 air-launched 70mm rocket—that uses the same, high-grade (7075-T6) aluminum, and that has specifications with similar tolerances.”[49]

He commented that there was “a progression to higher and higher levels of specification, including, in the last batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth inner and outer surfaces”, and asked why they would “go to all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be blown into shrapnel when it went off?” [50] But, as Albright observed, “There are no industrial centrifuges in the world that use anodized rotors…. However, anodization is a common practice in military and commercial equipment to protect against weather and the environment.” [51] The NGIC told the Senate Committee that anodizing “provides components of military weapons systems with maximum corrosion resistance.” According to the IAEA, Iraq had lost thousands of tubes from its rocket program due to corrosion, so it was only natural that they would make an effort to better protect the new tubes they were attempting to procure.[52]

Moreover, even according to the CIA’s analysis, the tubes would require significant modification before they would be suitable for use in a centrifuge, which would eliminate the anodized coating anyhow.[53] As the Senate Committee later observed, “any machining Iraq had to perform to change the wall thickness of the tubes would also change the interior surface of the tubes, making a request for a smooth finish unnecessary if the tubes were intended to be used in a thin walled centrifuge.”[54] The anodized coating, therefore, was evidence against their use in a centrifuge, by Powell’s own logic (he could just as easily have asked, “Why would the Iraqis go to all that trouble for a coating that, if it was for a centrifuge, would soon be eliminated when it was modified?”) No amount of evidence contradicting the administration position, much of it by then public information, could stop Powell from attempting to deceive the American people and the world.

Mohammed El Baradei refuted Powell’s claims about the tubes again in March, saying that “Extensive field investigation and document analysis have failed to uncover any evidence that Iraq intended to use these 81mm tubes for any project other than the reverse engineering of rockets. The Iraqi decision-making process with regard to the design of these rockets was well documented…. Tolerances were adjusted…as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the project and improve operational efficiency…. Based on available evidence, the IAEA team has concluded that Iraq’s efforts to import these aluminum tubes were not likely to have been related to the manufacture of centrifuges and, moreover, that it was highly unlikely that Iraq could have achieved the considerable re-design needed to use them in a revived centrifuge programme.”[55]

David Albright also wrote another report on the tubes refuting Powell’s claims (referenced above). By now, enough information to fully discredit the administrations claims was publicly available. Strong evidence supporting Iraq’s claims about its intended use for the tubes was publicly available. According to the British government, the IAEA, and the top U.S. experts in the field, there was no evidence that the tubes were intended for a centrifuge program. Still, U.S. government officials refused to acknowledge any information which refuted their by now patently false claims.

War and Aftermath

On March 19, the U.S. invaded Iraq, arguing that the UN inspectors had had enough time to investigate. The fact that there was no credible evidence (i.e., “no smoking gun”) that Iraq had WMD was characterized as proof that Saddam Hussein was hiding them. In no small irony, months afterward, when it became apparent that no WMD were going to be found in Iraq, a talking point was developed that U.S. teams should be given more time to investigate before any conclusions were drawn—a luxury, needless to say, not afforded to the UN inspection teams.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in January, 2004, when asked whether the aluminum tubes had been intended for a centrifuge program, David Kay, former head of the ISG, the CIA team that had searched for WMD in Iraq, answered that “it’s important that the investigation continue.” While acknowledging that “it’s more than probable that those tubes were intended for use in a conventional missile program”, he nonetheless asserted that “it’s an open question”.[56]

More than two years after her statement that the tubes “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs”, Condoleezza Rice still claimed that the tubes could be used for that purpose. “As I understand it,” she ironically claimed, “people are still debating this.” David Albright told The Washington Post that Rice “was grasping at straws” to claim there was still a debate. “I think she is being disingenuous, and just departing from any effort to find the truth.” [57]

She was being more than disingenuous when she originally claimed that the tubes were for a nuclear weapons program. In fact, The New York Times reported, almost a year before her September 8, 2002 statement, “Ms. Rice’s staff had been told that the government’s foremost nuclear experts seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear weapons… The experts, at the Energy Department, believed the tubes were likely intended for small artillery rockets.”[58] When confronted with this in an interview, she acknowledged it, saying, “I knew that there was a dispute in the intelligence community about these tubes.” Her explanation for having lied was that “you cannot, if you are a policy-maker, simply sit and second-guess this or that piece of intelligence.” [59]

George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, feigned ignorance, telling the Senate Committee “that he was not aware that there were dissenting opinions” on the tubes until the NIE was drafted, “despite the fact that intelligence agencies had been fervently debating the issue since the spring of 2001.”[60] Needless to say, this denial is simply not plausible.

On July 9, 2004, the Senate Select Committee published its report on pre-war intelligence. The report concluded that “the judgment in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, was not supported by the intelligence” and, furthermore, that “the information available to the Intelligence Community indicated that these tubes were intended to be used for an Iraqi conventional rocket program and not a nuclear program.”[61]

The corollary is obvious. There was no “intelligence failure”. A true intelligence failure would entail a failure on the part of the intelligence community to gather proper evidence. That was not the case here. The top experts who had examined the tubes, both in the U.S. and abroad, agreed that they were most likely intended for a rocket program. A true intelligence failure would entail an accidental failure on the part of the intelligence community to properly disseminate information both to other agencies and to policy-makers. That was not the case here. Rather, there was a deliberate effort to ensure that information contradicting the CIA view was not shared with other agencies or policy-makers. This was a counter-intelligence success, in accordance with the official U.S. policy of “regime change” in Iraq.

As for the policy-makers, it has been claimed that they did not deliberately deceive the American people, that they were honestly duped by the false information they received from the intelligence community. There are several glaring problems with this explanation. First, it ignores the fact that contradicting information, despite the CIA’s best efforts, was not buried deep in the bowels of the intelligence community, but was widely available for anyone interested in knowing. In fact, it would take a deliberate effort to look the other way for any policy-makers to not have known the full extent and nature of the debate within the intelligence community, to not have been aware of the volumes of facts and information that contradicted their claims. Second, it ignores the fact that, despite resistance, contradicting information was eventually made available to the public. Months before the invasion of Iraq commenced, there was enough information on the tubes available publicly to easily refute the administration’s lies and distortions.

A host of other false theories surrounds the myth of “intelligence failure”, such as the myth that it is only with “hindsight” that we can know that the “evidence” cited by the administration in making its case for war was misleading or false. Such hypotheses are propagated in an effort to revise history. Like policy-makers in the Bush administration, both the media and the public are largely guilty of looking the other way in the face of a wealth of information that doesn’t consort with their pre-conceived notions. As a result, a frighteningly large part of the nation subscribed to a preposterous conspiracy theory regarding the phantom “threat” from Iraq. There are many lessons to be learned from the Iraq war. Perhaps most important among the lessons that should be drawn is the recognition that facts matter, that truth must be considered neither irrelevant nor inconvenient.


[1] “Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD”, CIA, September 30, 2004

 

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/

[2] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[3] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[4] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[5] Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller, “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts”, The New York Times, September 8, 2002

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/08/international/middleeast/

08IRAQ.html?ex=1139202000&en=ff78c79d6b3319b4&ei=5070

[6] David Albright, “Aluminum Tubing Is an Indicator of an Iraqi Gas Centrifuge Program: But Is the Tubing Specifically for Centrifuges?”, Institute for Science and International Security, September 23, 2002

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/aluminumtubes.html

[7] Bob Woodward, “Plan of Attack” (Simon & Schuster, New York 2004) p. 179

[8] Interview with Dick Cheney, NBC Meet the Press, September 8, 2002

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/meet.htm

[9] Interview with Condoleezza Rice, CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, September 8, 2002

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0209/08/le.00.html

[10] Remarks by the President in Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 12, 2002

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html

[11] “A Decade of Deception and Defiance”, U.S. State Department, September 12, 2002

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912.html

[12] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[13] Judith Miller and Michael R. Gordon, “White House Lists Iraq Steps to Build Banned Weapons”, The New York Times, September 13, 2002

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/13/international/middleeast/

13ARMS.html?ei=5070&en=a251df0f69504277&ex=1139202000&pagewanted=print&position=top

[14] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[15] Joby Warrick, “Evidence on Iraq Challenged”, The Washington Post, September 19, 2002; Page A18

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A36348-2002Sep18?language=printer

[16] David Albright, “Aluminum Tubing Is an Indicator of an Iraqi Gas Centrifuge Program: But Is the Tubing Specifically for Centrifuges?”, Institute for Science and International Security, September 23, 2002

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/aluminumtubes.html

[17] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[18] David Barstow, William J. Broad, and Jeff Gerth, “How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelligence”, The New York Times, October 3, 2004

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D10F73B5C0C708CDDA90994DC404482

[19] David Albright, “Aluminum Tubing Is an Indicator of an Iraqi Gas Centrifuge Program: But Is the Tubing Specifically for Centrifuges?”, Institute for Science and International Security, September 23, 2002

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/aluminumtubes.html

[20] Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: The assessment of the British Government, September 24, 2002
http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page271.asp

[21] “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs”, CIA, October, 2002

http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd/Iraq_Oct_2002.htm

[22] Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, CIA National Intelligence Estimate, October 2002

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB129/

[23] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[24] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[25] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.yirmeyahureview.com/archive/iraq/senate_report_wmd.htm#1.%20Aluminum%20Tubes

[26] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[27] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.yirmeyahureview.com/archive/iraq/senate_report_wmd.htm#1.%20Aluminum%20Tubes

[28] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[29] David Barstow, William J. Broad, and Jeff Gerth, “How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelligence”, The New York Times, October 3, 2004

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D10F73B5C0C708CDDA90994DC404482

[30] Dafna Linzer and Barton Gellman, “Doubts on Weapons Were Dismissed”, The Washington Post, April 1, 2005; Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17211-2005Mar31.html

[31] Jonathan S. Landay, “CIA report reveals analysts’ split over extent of Iraqi nuclear threat”, Knight Ridder Newspapers, October 4, 2002

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/special_packages/iraq/intelligence/

11922671.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

[32] President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat: Remarks by the President on Iraq, The White House, October 7, 2002
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

[33] Hans Blix Briefing to the Security Council, December 19, 2002
http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/pages/security_council_briefings.asp

[34] Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei Briefing to the Security Council, January 8, 2003

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n002.shtml

[35] Michael R. Gordon, “Agency Challenges Evidence Against Iraq Cited by Bush”, The New York Times, January 10, 2003; Page A10

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/10/international/middleeast/

10ALUM.html?ex=1139115600&en=a953fa6af97e77f3&ei=5070

[36] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[37] Dr. Mohammed El Baradei Briefing to the UN Security Council, January 27, 2003
http://www.un.org/News/dh/iraq/elbaradei27jan03.htm

[38] IAEA Update Report for the Security Council Pursuant to Resolution 1441, January 27, 2003

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB80/

[39] President’s State of the Union Address, The White House, January 29, 2003
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html

[40] U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council, February 5, 2003
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html

[41] David Albright, “The CIA’s Aluminum Tubs’ Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?”, Institute for Science and International Security, March 10, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/al_tubes.html

[42] David Albright, “Iraq’s Aluminum Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction” Institute for Strategic and International Studies, December 5, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/IraqAluminumTubes12-5-03.pdf

[43] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 9, 2004

http://www.yirmeyahureview.com/archive/iraq/senate_report_wmd.htm#1.%20Aluminum%20Tubes

[44] Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, “Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence”, The Washington Post, August 10, 2003, Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9?language=printer

[45] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[46] Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, “Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence”, The Washington Post, August 10, 2003, Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9?language=printer

[47] David Albright, “The CIA’s Aluminum Tubs’ Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?”, Institute for Science and International Security, March 10, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/al_tubes.html

[48] Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, “Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence”, The Washington Post, August 10, 2003, Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9?language=printer

[49] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[50] U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council, February 5, 2003
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html

[51] David Albright, “The CIA’s Aluminum Tubes’ Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?”, Institute for Science and International Security, March 10, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/al_tubes.html

[52] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[53] David Albright, “The CIA’s Aluminum Tubes’ Assessment: Is the Nuclear Case Going Down the Tubes?”, Institute for Science and International Security, March 10, 2003

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/al_tubes.html

[54] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[55] Mohammed El Baradei Briefing to the UN Security Council, March 7, 2003

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2831553.stm

[56] Dr David Kay’s Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Senate, January 28, 2004
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KAY401A.html

[57] Glenn Kessler, “Rice: Iraqi Nuclear Plans Unclear”, The Washington Post, October 4, 2004; Page A18

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3716-2004Oct3.html

[58] David Barstow, William J. Broad, and Jeff Gerth, “How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelligence”, The New York Times, October 3, 2004

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D10F73B5C0C708CDDA90994DC404482

[59] Interview with Condoleezza Rice, Fox News Sunday, October 10, 2004

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,134977,00.html

[60] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

[61] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 2004

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/iraq.html

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

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