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New York Times: CIA Held Back Intelligence on Iraqi Weapons
VOA News
06 Jul 2004, 14:09 UTC

A U.S. newspaper is reporting that relatives of Iraqi scientists told the Central Intelligence Agency before the war that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had abandoned efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The New York Times Tuesday says the CIA failed to deliver those statements to President Bush as he publicly warned that Baghdad was pursuing banned weapons.

The report says the failure was uncovered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which will issue its first report this week on the handling of pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

The Times says some CIA officials have played down the information from the families, saying the statements were not convincing or definitive.

But the newspaper says the Senate report is expected to contain a "scathing" indictment of the CIA and its leaders for failing to recognize the significance of the information.

President Bush said Tuesday he is looking forward to reading the report.