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C.I.A. Needs to Learn Arabic, House Committee Leader Says

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that prewar American intelligence about Iraq had been hampered by significant shortcomings, including what he called the C.I.A.’s unsatisfactory response to Congressional directives to improve its foreign language capacity. The chairman, Representative Porter Goss of Florida, has been a prominent champion of the intelligence agencies, so his criticisms were particularly notable. They went beyond those that he and his Democratic counterpart, Representative Jane Harman of California, made in late September in a private letter to George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and they opened a new chapter in the debate over who or what was responsible for intelligence failures regarding Iraq. “Our capabilities were not what they should have been,” Mr. Goss said in an hourlong interview. He said there had been “way too many gaps” in American intelligence gathering, including information about Iraq’s conventional military power and any illicit weapons programs. Full Story

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