RealNews

Panel Holds Hearings on U.S. Intelligence

President Bush’s commission investigating the quality of U.S. intelligence concluded its first two days of closed-door hearings yesterday after taking testimony from more than 20 current and former intelligence officials who discussed programs to produce weapons of mass destruction in prewar Iraq and in other countries. This week’s sessions, which included the informal questioning of witnesses, were the first of what are planned to be similar monthly meetings as the nine-member panel explores not just the intelligence failures of the past but also how best to meet the threats of the future. Bush established the panel in February at the height of criticism over the failure to find Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which had been publicly declared by the administration as the main reason for removing the Iraqi dictator from power. The panel is scheduled to submit its report and recommendations next March. The Senate and House intelligence committees will produce their reports this year on the intelligence failures associated with the Iraqi weapons program. Full Story

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