October 30, 2003
The CIA is the Latest Wing of the Administration Accused of Withholding Documents

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee demanded Wednesday that CIA Director George Tenet turn over documents concerning prewar intelligence assessments about Iraq by week's end.

The letter turns up the heat of the committee's investigation into prewar spy data and how it was communicated to administration officials. The two senators had been feuding over the scope of the committee probe, but their cooperation signals that the CIA is facing tougher congressional scrutiny as the number of casualties in Iraq continues to rise.

The senators' letter was in response to a letter from Tenet dated Friday in which the CIA director called on the committee to conduct an investigation that was as "complete and thoughtful as possible." Tenet was reacting to a Washington Post article reporting that the committee's investigation was nearly completed and would portray the CIA's work before the war as flawed.

Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who are overseeing an investigation into the accuracy of U.S. intelligence about Iraq and its weapons potential, said some committee requests for data "have gone unanswered since July."

In blunt and angry terms, they also reminded Tenet of his promise to explain inconsistencies in intelligence reports about alleged efforts by Iraq to purchase uranium "yellowcake" from Niger, an accusation that has since been discounted.

"Despite repeated attempts by our staff to obtain your response, none has been provided," Roberts and Rockefeller wrote. They insisted that all documents be turned over and all remaining interviews with intelligence officials be scheduled by noon EST Friday.

Posted by tstubbs at October 30, 2003 07:10 AM | Trackback
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