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Monday, April 10, 2006

Key judgments?

Posted by: Hammer / 7:54 AM

Senior Administration official to the press:

What we also concluded -- what you see there, it says "Annex A." When I said the page that I just read from was page 25 of the NIE. This is page -- the Annex A is page 84 of the NIE. And it says, "Iraq's attempts to acquire aluminum tubes." This is where, in the Annex is where footnotes are provided. And this is where the State Department provided the aluminum explanation. But we thought it important to also include it here because, at the very end of that explanation it raises the Africa issue, as you can see in the very final sentence there before you.

So the caveats were there for the press from the beginning. Whether these were "key judgments" or not is puzzling. The Senior Administration Official plainly said yes in 2003:

What you have here today is the key judgments from the National Intelligence Estimate. The National Intelligence Estimate is the work product of about six intelligence agencies that pulled together all the information -- this is a particular one with regards to the weapons of mass destruction program of Saddam Hussein, as you see. It is titled "Iraq's Continuing Programs For Weapons of Mass Destruction." And in this document it is the key judgments they have made about the WMD program. Also included in that, in the back that I will talk about is the specific sections of the uranium acquisition.

The FAS has "key judgments" right at the top of their version of the declassified NIE. The New York Times reports that some of Libby's claims were not, in fact, 'key judgments'.


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