Report will examine prewar-intelligence role and WMD appraisals

Were questionable motives behind some of the intelligence?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate intelligence committee will issue a report today, two years in the making, on prewar intelligence that played a role in the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.
The 400-page study to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will examine how the intelligence community used information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, an anti-Saddam Hussein group that had financial backing from the United States.
It will also compare prewar assessments of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program with what was discovered about that program after the war.
Remarkable timing
The report, expected to reiterate the overestimation of the threat posed by Iraq's WMD program and the questionable reliance of intelligence agencies on INC leader Ahmed Chalabi, comes out in the same week that President Bush is emphasizing the importance of the Iraq campaign to the war on terror.
Republican members of the intelligence committee declined to comment on the report Thursday, but Democrats, who have been pushing for its release, said it backed up their argument that Bush's case for war in Iraq was misleading.
The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the report reveals that "the administration pursued a deceptive strategy abusing intelligence reporting that the intelligence community had already warned was uncorroborated, unreliable and in some critical circumstances fabricated."
Ulterior motives?
Democrats have argued that Chalabi, in his campaign to topple Saddam, fed U.S. intelligence agencies information that exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq's WMD capabilities. Republicans have countered that Chalabi's influence was limited.
The panel issued Phase I of the report, identifying failures in intelligence-gathering, in July 2004.
Democrats, dissatisfied with the scope of that study, pushed for a second study that would delve into how senior policymakers used intelligence to steer the country toward war.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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