The Original American Malcontent

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dear Mr. McAuley:
Thank you for writing me about the "Downing
Street" memo, which recently surfaced in Great Britain.
The document was written by British national security
aide Matthew Rycroft based on notes he took during a
July 2002 meeting of Mr. Blair and his advisers,
including Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain's MI-6
intelligence service who had recently met with Bush
administration officials.
Please know that the Senate vote on the resolution
to authorize the use of force in Iraq was difficult and
consequential based on hours of intelligence briefings
from Administration and intelligence officials, as well as
the classified and unclassified versions of an important
National Intelligence Estimate that comprehensively
assessed Iraq's WMD program. It was based on trust that
this intelligence was the best our Nation's intelligence
services could offer, untainted by bias, and fairly
presented. In this case it was not.
The bottom line is that Iraq did not possess
nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in 2003 when
the war began. Saddam Hussein did not have an active
nuclear, chemical or biological weapons program.
Considering the statements that were being made by the
Administration, and the intelligence that was presented to
Congress which said otherwise, this is quite disturbing
and points once again to failures in the analysis,
collection and use of intelligence.
In order to address these intelligence failures,
Congress passed the Intelligence Reform bill, which I
voted for. This law will make consequential changes to
the structure and organization of the 15 agencies which
make up our intelligence capabilities. As a member of the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I will be sure to
continue to monitor this issue closely.
Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will
continue to keep me informed of your views and
concerns. If you should have any further questions or
comments, please do not hesitate to call my Washington,
D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at
http://feinstein.senate.gov.

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