The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, is expected to
face tough questioning from Democrats Tuesday when he appears before the Senate
Intelligence Committee. It will be Mr. Tenet's first appearance before Congress
since former U.S. weapons inspector David Kay blamed faulty intelligence for
the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
On the eve of Mr. Tenet's testimony, a key Democrat on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, renewed accusations that the CIA
Director misled Congress about Iraq's weapons before the United States went
Mr. Levin said that in response to his repeated requests, the CIA last month
declassified the number of top suspect weapons sites given to the United Nations.
He said the information showed that 21 of the 105 high and medium priority suspect
sites on the CIA list were not shared with UN inspectors.
A spokesman for the CIA told the Washington Post newspaper that the agency "shared
the best and most likely information" with the United Nations. But he could
not explain why the 21 sites were not shared with UN inspectors before the
Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Levin suggested that had Mr. Tenet
acknowledged a year ago that not all known weapons sites had been shared with
the United Nations, it would have "put an obstacle in the path of the administration's
move to end U.N. inspections and proceed to war."
"The CIA did not share all of the top suspect WMD [weapons of mass destruction]
sites in Iraq that Director Tenet said twice publicly before the war, that
it had shared with U.N. inspectors," he said. "It is more evidence of the shaping
of intelligence to fit the administration's policy objectives."
Democrats have accused the administration of manipulating intelligence on
Iraq's weapons to make the case for war.
But former U.S. weapons inspector David Kay, in testimony to Congress last
month, said intelligence analysts were never under political pressure to support
going to war. He blamed faulty intelligence for the failure to find weapons
of mass destruction. Mr. Levin renewed Democrats' calls for an independent
commission appointed by Congress to examine pre-war intelligence, saying the
panel established by President Bush cannot be objective.
"What is badly needed, and what is lacking so far, is candor about how we
were so far off in the assessments of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass
destruction," he said.
Mr. Tenet will be joined at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing by
the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller.