President Bush has announced a bipartisan commission to investigate U.S. intelligence
failures, specifically regarding intelligence prior to the Iraq war on weapons
of mass destruction.
With an executive order, President Bush created the independent panel, which
includes both Democrats and Republicans. He said it is "to look at American
intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass
The announcement comes just days after the former chief U.S. weapons inspector
in Iraq concluded Baghdad probably did not have large stockpiles of nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons, which the Bush administration used as its main
justification for going to war.
The panel's investigation will go beyond Iraq to examine possible intelligence
gaps involving other countries that U.S. officials say have been working to
obtain weapons of mass destruction, or where terrorists have found haven. The
president calls proliferation of such weapons the most serious threat to world
"It will review our intelligence programs on countries such as North Korea
and Iran," he said. "It will examine our intelligence on threats posed by Libya
and Afghanistan before recent changes in those countries."
Former Democratic Senator Charles Robb and retired federal judge Laurence
Silberman will head the panel, which will have until March of next year to
complete its work and issue recommendations.