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Text of Tenet's speech at Georgetown February 5, 2004

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  • Adam Pode
    I have come here today to talk to you-and to the American people- about something important to our nation and central to our future: how the United States
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6, 2004
      I have come here today to talk to you-and to the American people-
      about something important to our nation and central to our future:
      how the United States intelligence community evaluated Iraq's weapons
      of mass destruction programs over the past decade, leading to a
      National Intelligence Estimate in October of 2002. I want to tell you
      about our information and how we reached our judgments.


      I will tell you what I think-honestly and directly.


      There are several reasons to do this. Because the American people
      deserve to know. Because intelligence has never been more important
      to the security of our country.


      As a nation, we have over the past seven years been rebuilding our
      intelligence-with powerful capabilities-that many thought we would no
      longer need after the end of the Cold War. We have been rebuilding
      our Clandestine Service, our satellite and other technical
      collection, our analytic depth and expertise. Both here and around
      the world, the men and women of American intelligence are performing
      courageously-often brilliantly-to support our military, to stop
      terrorism, and to break up networks of proliferation.

      The risks are always high. Success and perfect outcomes never
      guaranteed. But there is one unassailable fact-we will always call it
      as we see it. Our professional ethic demands no less.

      To understand a difficult topic like Iraq takes patience and care.
      Unfortunately, you rarely hear a patient, careful- or thoughtful-
      discussion of intelligence these days. But these times demand it.
      Because the alternative-politicized, haphazard evaluation, without
      the benefit of time and facts-may well result in an intelligence
      community that is damaged, and a country that is more at risk.



      Before talking about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, I want to
      set the stage with a few words about intelligence collection and
      analysis-how they actually happen in the real world. This context is
      completely missing from the current public debate. By definition,
      intelligence deals with the unclear, the unknown, the deliberately
      hidden. What the enemies of the United States hope to deny, we work
      to reveal.


      The question being asked about Iraq in the starkest of terms is: were
      we "right" or were we "wrong." In the intelligence business, you are
      almost never completely wrong or completely right. That applies in
      full to the question of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. And,
      like many of the toughest intelligence challenges, when the facts on
      Iraq are all in, we will be neither completely right nor completely
      wrong. As intelligence professionals, we go where the information
      takes us. We fear no fact or finding, whether it bears us out or not.
      Because we work for high goals-the protection of the American people-
      we must be judged by high standards.


      Let's turn to Iraq.



      Much of the current controversy centers on our prewar intelligence on
      Iraq, summarized in the National Intelligence Estimate of October
      2002.

      National estimates are publications where the intelligence community
      as a whole seeks to sum up what we know about a subject, what we do
      not know, what we suspect may be happening, and where we differ on
      key issues. This estimate asked if Iraq had chemical, biological, and
      nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. We concluded that in
      some of these categories, Iraq had weapons. And that in others-where
      it did not have them-it was trying to develop them. Let me be clear:
      analysts differed on several important aspects of these programs and
      those debates were spelled out in the estimate. They never said there
      was an "imminent" threat. Rather, they painted an objective
      assessment for our policymakers of a brutal dictator who was
      continuing his efforts to deceive and build programs that might
      constantly surprise us and threaten our interests. No one told us
      what to say or how to say it.


      How did we reach our conclusions? We had three streams of information-
      none perfect, but each important.


      First: Iraq's history. Everyone knew that Iraq had chemical and
      biological weapons in the 1980s and 1990s. Saddam Hussein used
      chemical weapons against Iran and his own people on at least 10
      different occasions. He launched missiles against Iran, Saudi Arabia,
      and Israel. And we couldn't forget that in the early 1990s, we saw
      that Iraq was just a few years way from a nuclear weapon-this was no
      theoretical program. It turned out that we and the other intelligence
      services of the world had significantly underestimated his progress.
      And, finally, we could not forget that Iraq lied repeatedly about its
      unconventional weapons.

      So, to conclude before the war that Saddam had no interest in
      rebuilding his WMD programs, we would have had to ignore his long and
      brutal history of using them. Our second stream of information was
      that the United Nations could not-and Saddam would not-account for
      all the weapons the Iraqis had: tons of chemical weapons precursors,
      hundreds of artillery shells and bombs filled with chemical or
      biological agents. We did not take this data at face value. We did
      take it seriously. We worked with the inspectors, giving them leads,
      helping them fight Saddam's deception strategy of "cheat and
      retreat." Over eight years of inspections, Saddam's deceptions-and
      the increasingly restrictive rules of engagement UN inspectors were
      forced to negotiate with the regime-undermined efforts to disarm him.

      To conclude before the war that Saddam had destroyed his existing
      weapons, we would have had to ignore what the United Nations and
      allied intelligence said they could not verify.


      The third stream of information came after the UN inspectors left
      Iraq in 1998. We gathered intelligence through human agents,
      satellite photos, and communications intercepts. Other foreign
      intelligence services were clearly focused on Iraq and assisted in
      the effort. In intercepts of conversations and other transactions, we
      heard Iraqis seeking to hide prohibited items, worrying about their
      cover stories, and trying to procure items Iraq was not permitted to
      have.

      Satellite photos showed a pattern of activity designed to conceal
      movement of material from places where chemical weapons had been
      stored in the past. We also saw reconstruction of dual purpose
      facilities previously used to make biological agents or chemical
      precursors. And human sources told us of efforts to acquire and hide
      materials used in the production of such weapons. And to come to
      conclusions before the war other than those we reached, we would have
      had to ignore all the intelligence gathered from multiple sources
      after 1998.

      Did these strands of information weave into a perfect picture-could
      they answer every question? No-far from it. But, taken together, this
      information provided a solid basis on which to estimate whether Iraq
      did or did not have weapons of mass destruction and the means to
      deliver them. It is important to underline the word estimate. Because
      not everything we analyze can be known to a standard of absolute
      proof.


      Now, what exactly was in the October Estimate? Why did we say it? And
      what does the postwar evidence thus far show? Before we start, let me
      be direct about an important fact-as we meet here today-the Iraq
      Survey Group is continuing its important search for weapons, people,
      and data. And despite some public statements, we are nowhere near 85%
      finished. The men and women who work in that dangerous environment
      are adamant about that fact. Any call I make today is necessarily
      provisional. Why? Because we need more time and we need more data.


      So, what did our estimate say?


      Let's start with missile and other delivery systems for WMD. Our
      community said with high confidence that Saddam was continuing and
      expanding his missile programs contrary to UN resolutions. He had
      missiles and other systems with ranges in excess of UN restrictions
      and was seeking missiles with even longer ranges. What do we know
      today? Since the war, we have found an aggressive Iraqi missile
      program concealed from the international community.


      In fact David Kay said just last fall that the Iraq Survey
      Group "discovered sufficient evidence to date to conclude that the
      Iraqi regime was committed to delivery system improvements that would
      have, if [Operation Iraqi Freedom] had not occurred, dramatically
      breached UN restrictions placed on Iraq after the 1991 Gulf war." We
      have also found that Iraq had plans and advanced design work for
      liquid propellant missiles with ranges up to 1000 km - activity that
      Iraq did not report to the UN and which could have placed large
      portions of the Middle East in jeopardy. We have confirmed that Iraq
      had new work underway on prohibited solid propellant missiles that
      were also concealed from the UN.

      Significantly, the Iraq Survey Group has also confirmed prewar
      intelligence that Iraq was in secret negotiations with North Korea to
      obtain some of its most dangerous missile technology. My provisional
      bottom line today: On missiles, we were generally on target. Let me
      turn to unmanned aerial vehicles. The estimate said that Iraq had
      been developing an unmanned aerial vehicle, probably intended to
      deliver biological warfare agents. Baghdad's existing unmanned aerial
      vehicles could threaten its neighbors, US forces in the Persian Gulf,
      and-if a small unmanned aerial vehicle was brought close to our
      shores -- the United States itself.




      What do we know today? The Iraq Survey Group found that two separate
      groups in Iraq were working on a number of unmanned aerial vehicle
      designs that were hidden from the UN until Iraq's declaration of
      December 2002. Now we know that important design elements were never
      fully declared. The question of intent-especially regarding the
      smaller unmanned aerial vehicles-is still out there. But we should
      remember that the Iraqis flight-tested an aerial Biological Weapon
      spray system intended for a large unmanned aerial vehicle. A senior
      Iraqi official has now admitted that their two large unmanned aerial
      vehicles-one developed in the early 90s and the other under
      development in late 2000-were intended for delivery of biological
      weapons.


      My provisional bottom line today: We detected the development of
      prohibited and undeclared unmanned aerial vehicles. But the jury is
      still out on whether Iraq intended to use its newer, smaller unmanned
      aerial vehicles to deliver biological weapons. Let me turn to the
      nuclear issue. In the estimate, all agencies agreed that Saddam
      wanted nuclear weapons. Most were convinced that he still had a
      program and if he obtained fissile material he could have a weapon
      within a year. But we detected no such acquisition.

      We made two judgments that get overlooked these days-We said Saddam
      did not have a nuclear weapon and, probably would have been unable to
      make one until 2007 to 2009. Most agencies believed that Saddam had
      begun to reconstitute his nuclear program, but they disagreed on a
      number of issues such as which procurement activities were designed
      to support his nuclear program. But let me be clear, where there were
      differences, the estimate laid out the disputes clearly.

      So what do we know today? David Kay told us last fall that ".the
      testimony we have obtained from Iraqi scientists and senior
      government officials should clear up any doubts about whether Saddam
      still wanted to obtain nuclear weapons." Keep in mind that no
      intelligence agency thought that Iraq's efforts had progressed to the
      point of building an enrichment facility or making fissile material.
      We said that such activities were a few years away. Therefore it is
      not surprising that the Iraq Survey Group has not yet found evidence
      of uranium enrichment activities.

      Regarding prohibited aluminum tubes - a debate laid out extensively
      in the estimate and one that experts still argue over -- were they
      for uranium enrichment or conventional weapons? We have additional
      data to collect and more sources to question. Moreover, none of the
      tubes found in Iraq so far match the high specification tubes Baghdad
      sought and may have never received in the amounts needed. Our
      aggressive interdiction efforts may have prevented Iraq from
      receiving all but a few of these prohibited items.


      My provisional bottom line today: Saddam did not have a nuclear
      weapon. He still wanted one and Iraq intended to reconstitute a
      nuclear program at some point. But we have not yet found clear
      evidence that the dual-use items Iraq sought were for nuclear
      reconstitution. We do not know if any reconstitution efforts had
      begun but we may have overestimated the progress Saddam was making.

      Let me turn to biological weapons.

      The Estimate said that Baghdad had them, and that all key aspects of
      an offensive program-research and development, production, and
      weaponization-were still active, and most elements were larger, and
      more advanced than before the first Gulf war. We believed that Iraq
      had lethal Biological Weapon agents, including anthrax, which it
      could quickly produce and weaponize for delivery by bombs, missiles,
      aerial sprayers, and covert operatives. But we said we had no
      specific information on the types or quantities of weapons, agent, or
      stockpiles at Baghdad's disposal.


      What do we know today? Last fall, the Iraq Survey Group uncovered
      ( "significant information-including research and development of
      biological weapons -applicable organisms, the involvement of the
      Iraqi Intelligence Service in possible biological weapons activities,
      and deliberate concealment activities. All of this suggests Iraq
      after 1996 further compartmentalized its program and focused on
      maintaining smaller, covert capabilities that could be activated
      quickly to surge the production of Biological Weapon agents." The
      Iraq Survey Group found a network of laboratories and safehouses
      controlled by Iraqi intelligence and security services that contained
      equipment for chemical and biological research and a prison
      laboratory complex possibly used in human testing for Biological
      Weapon agents, that were not declared to the UN.


      It also appears that Iraq had the infrastructure and talent to resume
      production-but we have yet to find that it actually did so, nor have
      we found weapons. Until we get to the bottom of the role played by
      the Iraqi security services-which were operating covert labs-we will
      not know the full extent of the program. Let me also talk about the
      trailers discovered in Iraq last summer. We initially concluded that
      they resembled trailers described by a human source for mobile
      biological warfare agent production today. There is no consensus
      within our community over whether the trailers were for that use or
      if they were used for the production of hydrogen. Everyone agrees
      they are not ideally configured for either process, but could be made
      to work in either mode.

      To give you some idea of the contrasting evidence we wrestle with,
      some of the Iraqis involved in making the trailers were told they
      were intended to produce hydrogen for artillery units. But an Iraqi
      artillery officer says they never used these types of systems and
      that the hydrogen for artillery units came in canisters from a fixed
      production facility. We are trying to get to the bottom of this
      story. And I must tell you that we are finding discrepancies in some
      claims made by human sources about mobile biological weapons
      production before the war. Because we lack direct access to the most
      important sources on this question, we have as yet been unable to
      resolve the differences.


      My provisional bottom line today: Iraq intended to develop Biological
      Weapons. Clearly, research and development work was underway that
      would have permitted a rapid shift to agent production if seed stocks
      were available. But we do not know if production took place - and
      just as clearly-we have not yet found biological weapons. Before I
      leave the biological weapons story, an important fact you must
      remember. For years the UN searched unsuccessfully for Saddam's
      biological weapons program. His son-in-law, Husayn Kamil, who
      controlled the hidden program defected, and only then was the world
      able to confirm that Iraq indeed had an active and dangerous
      biological weapons program. Indeed, history matters in dealing with
      these complicated problems. While many of us want instant answers,
      this search for biological weapons in Iraq will take time and
      patience.


      Let me now turn to chemical weapons. We said in the estimate with
      high confidence that Iraq had them. We also believed, though with
      less certainty, that Saddam had stocked at least 100 metric tons of
      agent. That may sound like a lot, but it would fit in a few dorm
      rooms on this campus.

      Initially, the community was skeptical about whether Iraq had
      restarted chemical weapons agent production. Sources had reported
      that Iraq had begun renewed production, and imagery and intercepts
      gave us additional concerns. But only when analysts saw what they
      believed to be satellite photos of shipments of materials from
      ammunition sites did they believe that Iraq was again producing
      Chemical Weapon agents. What do we know now? The work done so far
      shows a story similar to that of his biological weapons program.
      Saddam had rebuilt a dual-use industry. David Kay reported that
      Saddam and his son Uday wanted to know how long it would take for
      Iraq to produce chemical weapons.

      However, while sources indicate Iraq may have conducted some
      experiments related to developing chemical weapons, no physical
      evidence has yet been uncovered. We need more time. My provisional
      bottom line today: Saddam had the intent and the capability to
      quickly convert civilian industry to chemical weapons production.

      However, we have not yet found the weapons we expected.

      I've now given you my provisional bottom lines. But it is important
      to remember that Estimates are not written in a vacuum. Let me tell
      you some of what was going on in the fall of 2002. Several sensitive
      reports crossed my desk from two sources characterized by our foreign
      partners as "established and reliable."


      The first, from a source who had direct access to Saddam and his
      inner circle said: Iraq was not in possession of a nuclear weapon.
      However, Iraq was aggressively and covertly developing such a weapon.
      Saddam had recently called together his Nuclear Weapons Committee
      irate that Iraq did not yet have a weapon because money was no object
      and they possessed the scientific know how. The Committee members
      assured Saddam that once the fissile material was in hand, a bomb
      could be ready in just 18-24 months. The return of UN inspectors
      would cause minimal disruption because, according to the source, Iraq
      was expert at denial and deception.


      The same source said Iraq was stockpiling chemical weapons and that
      equipment to produce insecticides, under the oil-for-food program,
      had been diverted to covert chemical weapons production.


      The source said that Iraq's weapons of "last resort" were "mobile
      launchers armed with chemical weapons which would be fired at enemy
      forces and Israel." Iraqi scientists were "dabbling" with biological
      weapons, with limited success, But the quantities were not sufficient
      to constitute a real weapons program. A stream of reporting from a
      different sensitive source with access to senior Iraqi officials said
      he believed: production of chemical and biological weapons was taking
      place, that biological agents were easy to produce and to hide, and
      prohibited chemicals were also being produced at dual-use facilities.
      This source stated that a senior Iraqi official in Saddam's inner
      circle believed, as a result of the UN inspections, Iraq knew the
      inspectors' weak points and how to take advantage of them. The source
      said there was an elaborate plan to deceive inspectors and ensure
      prohibited items would never be found.


      Now, did this information make a difference in my thinking? You bet
      it did. As this and other information came across my desk, it
      solidified and reinforced the judgments we had reached and my own
      view of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and I conveyed this view
      to our nation's leaders.


      Could I have ignored or dismissed such reports at the time?
      Absolutely not. Continuing the Search


      Now, I am sure you are asking: Why haven't we found the weapons? I
      have told you the search must continue and it will be difficult.


      As David Kay reminded us, the Iraqis systematically destroyed and
      looted forensic evidence before, during and after the war. We have
      been faced with the organized destruction of documentary and computer
      evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies
      suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts is one of
      deliberate rather than random acts. Iraqis who have volunteered
      information to us are still being intimidated and attacked.


      Remember finding things in Iraq is very tough. After the first Gulf
      War, the U.S. Army blew up chemical weapons without knowing it. They
      were mixed in with conventional weapons in Iraqi ammo dumps. My new
      Special Advisor, Charles Duelfer, will soon be in Iraq to join Major
      General Keith Dayton - commander of the Iraq Survey Group - to
      continue our effort to learn the truth. And, when the truth emerges,
      we will report it to the American public - no matter what. REVIEWING
      OUR WORK


      As Director of Central Intelligence, I have an important
      responsibility. I have a responsibility to evaluate our performance --
      both our operational work and our analytical tradecraft. So what do
      I think about all of this?


      Based on an assessment of the data we collected over the past 10
      years, it would have been difficult for analysts to come to any
      different conclusions than the ones reached in October of 2002.


      However, in our business that is not good enough. We must constantly
      review the quality of our work. For example, the National
      Intelligence Council is reviewing the estimate line-by-line. Six
      months ago we also commissioned an internal review to examine the
      tradecraft of our work on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. And,
      through this effort we are finding ways to improve our processes.

      For example, we recently discovered that relevant analysts in the
      community missed a notice that identified a source we had cited as
      providing information that, in some cases was unreliable, and in
      other cases was fabricated. We have acknowledged this mistake.

      In addition to these internal reviews, I asked Dick Kerr, a former
      Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, and a team of retired senior
      analysts to evaluate the estimate.

      Among the questions that we as a Community must ultimately reflect on
      are: Did the history of our work, Saddam's deception and denial, his
      lack of compliance with the international community, and all that we
      know about this regime cause us to minimize, or ignore, alternative
      scenarios? Did the fact that we missed how close Saddam came to
      acquiring a nuclear weapon in the early 1990s cause us to over-
      estimate his nuclear or other programs in 2002? Did we carefully
      consider the absence of information flowing from a repressive and
      intimidating regime, and would it have made any difference in our
      bottom line judgments? Did we clearly tell policy makers what we
      knew, what we didn't know, what was not clear, and identify the gaps
      in our knowledge?

      We are in the process of evaluating just such questions - and while
      others will express views on the questions sooner, we ourselves must
      come to our own bottom lines. I will say that our judgments were not
      single threaded. UN inspections served as a baseline and we had
      multiple strands of reporting from signals, imagery, and human
      intelligence. After the UN inspectors left Iraq in 1998, we made an
      aggressive effort to penetrate Iraq. Our record was mixed.


      While we had voluminous reporting, the major judgments reached were
      based on a narrower band of data. This is not unusual. There was, by
      necessity, a strong reliance on technical data, which to be sure was
      very valuable, particularly in the imagery of military and key dual
      use facilities, on missile and unmanned aerial vehicle developments--
      and in particular on the efforts of Iraqi front companies to falsify
      and deny us the ultimate destination and use of dual use equipment.
      We did not have enough of our own human intelligence. We did not
      ourselves penetrate the inner sanctum - our agents were on the
      periphery of WMD activities, providing some useful information. We
      had access to émigrés and defectors with more direct access to WMD
      programs and we had a steady stream of reporting with access to the
      Iraqi leadership come to us from a trusted foreign partner. Other
      partners provided important information. What we did not collect
      ourselves, we evaluated as carefully as we could. Still, the lack of
      direct access to some of these sources created some risk - such is
      the nature of our business. To be sure, we had difficulty penetrating
      the Iraqi regime with human sources, but a blanket indictment of our
      human intelligence around the world is simply wrong. We have spent
      the last seven years rebuilding our clandestine service.

      As Director of Central Intelligence, this has been my highest
      priority. When I came to the CIA in the mid-90s our graduating class
      of case officers was unbelievably low. Now, after years of rebuilding
      our training programs and putting our best efforts to recruit the
      most talented men and women, we are graduating more clandestine
      officers than at any time in CIA's history. It will take an
      additional five years to finish the job of rebuilding our clandestine
      service, but the results so far have been obvious: A CIA spy led us
      to Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the mastermind of Al Qa'ida's September
      11th attacks. Al Qa'ida's operational chief in the Persian Gulf,
      Nashiri the man who planned an executed the bombing of the USS COLE -
      was located and arrested based on our human reporting. Human sources
      were critical to the capture of Hambali, the chief terrorist in South
      Asia. His organization killed hundreds of people when they bombed a
      nightclub in Bali. So when you hear pundits say that we have no human
      intelligence capability . they don't know what they are talking
      about.







      It's important that I address these misstatements because the
      American people must know just how reliable American intelligence is
      on the threats that confront our nation.


      Let's talk about Libya where a sitting regime has volunteered to
      dismantle its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs. This was an
      intelligence success. Why? Because American and British intelligence
      officers understood the Libyan programs.


      Only through intelligence did we know each of the major programs
      Libya had going. Only through intelligence did we know when Libya
      started its first nuclear weapon program, and then put it on the
      backburner for years.


      Only through intelligence did we know when the nuclear program took
      off again. We knew because we had penetrated Libya's foreign supplier
      network.


      And through intelligence last fall when Libya was to receive a supply
      of centrifuge parts-we worked with foreign partners to locate and
      stop the shipment.


      Intelligence also knew that Libya was working with North Korea to get
      longer-range ballistic missiles. And we learned all of this through
      the powerful combination of technical intelligence, careful and
      painstaking analytic work, operational daring, and, yes, the classic
      kind of human intelligence that people have led you to believe that
      we no longer have. This was critical when the Libyans approached
      British and US intelligence about dismantling their chemical,
      biological and nuclear weapons programs. They came to the British and
      American intelligence because they knew we could keep the
      negotiations secret.


      And in repeated talks, when CIA officers were the only official
      Americans in Libya, we and our British colleagues made clear just how
      much insight we had into their WMD and missile programs. When they
      said they would show us their SCUD-B's, we said fine but we want to
      examine your longer range SCUD-Cs.


      It was only when we convinced them we knew Libya's nuclear program
      was a weapons program, that they showed us their weapon design.


      As should be clear to you, Intelligence was the key that opened the
      door to Libya's clandestine programs. Let me briefly mention Iran. I
      cannot go into detail. I want to assure you that recent Iranian
      admissions about their nuclear programs validate our intelligence
      assessments. It is flat wrong to say that we were "surprised" by
      reports from the Iranian opposition last year. And on North Korea, it
      was patient analysis of difficult-to-obtain information that allowed
      our diplomats to confront the North Korean regime about their pursuit
      of a different route to a nuclear weapon that violated international
      agreements.


      One final spy story:


      Last year in my annual World Wide Threat testimony before Congress in
      open session, I talked about the emerging threat from private
      proliferators, especially nuclear brokers. I was cryptic about this
      in public, but I can tell you now that I was talking about A.Q. Khan.
      His network was shaving years off the nuclear weapons development
      timelines of several states including Libya. Now, as you know from
      the news coming out of Pakistan, Khan and his network have been dealt
      a crushing blow, with several of his senior officers in custody.
      Malaysian authorities have shut down one of the network's largest
      plants. His network is now answering to the world for years of
      nuclear profiteering. What did intelligence have to do with this?
      First, we discovered the extent of Khan's hidden network. We tagged
      the proliferators. We detected the network stretching from Pakistan
      to Europe to the Middle East to Asia offering its wares to countries
      like North Korea and Iran.


      Working with our British colleagues we pieced together the picture of
      the network, revealing its subsidiaries, scientists, front companies,
      agents, finances, and manufacturing plants on three continents.


      Our spies penetrated the network through a series of daring
      operations over several years. Through this unrelenting effort we
      confirmed the network was delivering such things as illicit uranium
      enrichment centrifuges.


      And as you heard me say on the Libya case, we stopped deliveries of
      prohibited material. I welcome the President's Commission looking
      into proliferation. We have a record and a story to tell and we want
      to tell it to those willing to listen.





      I came here today to discuss our prewar estimate on Iraq and how we
      have followed Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction
      programs for well over ten years. It is absolutely essential to do so
      openly and honestly.


      I have argued for patience as we continue to learn the truth. We are
      no where near the end of our work in Iraq, we need more time. I have
      told you where we are and where our performance can be improved.


      Our analysts at the end of the day have a duty to inform and warn.
      They did so honestly and with integrity when making judgments about
      the dangers posed by Saddam Hussein. Simply assessing stacks of
      reports does not speak to the wisdom experienced analysts brought to
      bear on a difficult and deceptive subject.


      But as all these reviews are underway, we must take care. We cannot
      afford an environment to develop where analysts are afraid to make a
      call. Where judgments are held back because analysts fear they will
      be wrong. Their work and these judgments make vital contributions to
      our nation's security. I came here today also to tell the American
      people that they must know that they are served by dedicated,
      courageous professionals.


      It is evident on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.


      It is evident by their work against proliferators.


      And it is evident by the fact that well over two thirds of al-
      Qa'ida's leaders can no longer hurt the American people.


      We are a community that some thought would not be needed at the end
      of the Cold War.


      We have systematically been rebuilding all of our disciplines with a
      focused strategy and care.


      Our strategy for the future is based on achieving capabilities that
      will provide the kind of intelligence the country deserves. The
      President has ensured that this will be the case.


      We constantly learn and improve.


      And at no time, will we allow our integrity or our willingness to
      make the tough calls be compromised.
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