Canadian intelligence assessments of Iraq prior to U.S.-led 2003 invasion were on the mark: report

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Canada\u0027s assessments of U.S. policy, Iraq\u0027s weapons capabilities, regional implications of an invasion and resulting instability proved to be generally on the mark

“Canada’s intelligence assessments on Iraq in 2002 and 2003 subsequently turned out to be largely correct, while the analysis of most other countries on key Iraq issues — as far as is publicly known — was flawed,” concludes the paper, recently published in the journal Intelligence and National Security.

Barnes also drew on documents released by key federal agencies over the years — though much classified material remains under wraps — as well as interviews with 11 managers and analysts from the intelligence community who were involved in the assessments.He found that Canada’s assessments of U.S. policy on Iraq, Baghdad’s weapons capabilities, the regional implications of an invasion and the subsequent internal instability of Iraq proved to be generally on the mark.

The question of whether Baghdad was rebuilding its WMD capabilities since the departure of United Nations inspectors in 1998 got to the heart of the U.S. administration’s claims that Iraq was a growing threat to the world, the paper says. Analysts in Ottawa were well aware of the disagreements taking place in the other Five Eyes countries over Iraq’s purported WMDs, as well as the pressure put on analysts in those countries by senior officials to come up with specific conclusions to support the policy line, Barnes says.

“This is likely a reflection of the discomfort of CSIS managers and analysts at being out of step with the U.S. intelligence community on a critical issue which might compromise their close operational links.” In early March 2003, Defence published “Iraq: No Smoke, No Gun,” which deemed it unlikely that WMDs would be found.

In his memoirs, Chretien says he told then-U.S. President George W. Bush in September 2002: “I have to tell you, I’ve been reading all my briefings about the weapons of mass destruction and I’m not convinced. I think the evidence is very shaky.”

 

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National Post admitting 17 years after the fact that it was wrong and Chretien was right. Have you told ConradMBlack?

Probably the last time we see intelligence and a picture of a liberal_party PM for quite a while I think.

Just need to get that confidence up about 17yrs sooner.

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