POLITICS
06/23/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Buried In A Senate Report, New Revelations About Pre-War Deception

A previously undisclosed CIA report written in the summer of 2002 questioned the "credibility" and "truthfulness" of an Al Qaeda detainee who became a key source for the Bush administration's claims about links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

The statements of the detainee--a captured terrorist operative named Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi--were the principal basis for President Bush's contention in a major pre-Iraq War speech that Saddam's regime had "trained Al Qaeda members in bombmaking and poisons and deadly gases." The speech was delivered in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, just as Congress was taking up the White House-backed resolution authorizing the president to invade Iraq.

But two months before Bush's dramatic assertion, the CIA had raised serious doubts about whether al-Libi might be inventing some of what he was telling his interrogators, according to a 171-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on pre-war intelligence released last week.
"Questions persist about [al-Libi's] forthrightness and truthfulness," the CIA wrote in the still-classified Aug. 7, 2002, report, which was circulated throughout the U.S. intelligence community. "In some instances, however, he seems to have fabricated information."

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