, WASHINGTON: The CIA has begun a series of classified retrospective reports rectifying prewar assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs that turned out to be wrong, a US intelligence official said Tuesday.
The second and latest report in the series is entitled “Iraq: No Large-Scale Chemical Warfare Efforts Since Early 1990s,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Future reports will deal with Iraq's biological and nuclear program. The first in the series dealt with its missile programs.
“What this is, correctly, is part of a retrospective series to ensure that the intelligence community's record on Iraq's weapons program are correct and reflect the most current evaluation of those programs,” the official said.
“It's an effort to reevaluate past assessments and reporting in light of new information,” the official added.
The report was “not a senior level document meant to go to the president or anything like that. It is an analytic product from the DI” (directorate of intelligence), the official said.
The reports reflect the work of the Iraq Survey Group which concluded in a report September 30 that Iraq had no active chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs at the time of the US invasion.
Pre-war intelligence estimates that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was reconstituting its nuclear program were used by administration officials to justify the US invasion.
But Charles Duelfer, the leader of the US search for the weapons, concluded that Iraq got rid of its biological and chemical weapons in 1991 after the Gulf War. Its nuclear capabilities, far from being reconstituted, were in a state of decay, he found.