Declassified: Bush Ignored Intelligence Agency Predictions of Iraq Disaster

Brian Zick

Jonathan Landay for McClatchy reports: U.S. intelligence agencies warned the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq that ousting Saddam Hussein would create a "significant risk" of sectarian strife, encourage al-Qaida attacks and open the way for Iranian interference.The Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday released declassified prewar intelligence reports and summaries of others that cautioned that establishing democracy in Iraq would be "long, difficult and probably turbulent" and said that while most Iraqis would welcome elections, the country's ethnic and religious leaders would be unwilling to share power. Republicans, naturally, want to ignore the fact that the intel correctly predicted the appalling tragedy: Republicans disputed the documents' value and said their release "exaggerates the significance" of prewar intelligence assessments because they were based more on expert analysis than on hard intelligence. Because "expert analysis" which proves exactly right always "exaggerates the significance" of analytic expertise.

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