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CIA Director Tenet Expects Tough Questions from Senate Panel - 2003-07-16


The head of the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to face tough questions before a Senate panel Wednesday concerning faulty intelligence about Iraq's weapons program. That intelligence was cited by President Bush as he made the case for war in Iraq earlier this year.

CIA Director George Tenet will appear before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Lawmakers are seeking assurances about the quality of U.S. intelligence after Mr. Tenet last week took responsibility for a discredited statement in President Bush's State of the Union address in January. The statement said Iraq had sought uranium from Africa.

Congressional Democrats have seized on the matter as a political issue. "It is a disgrace that the case for war seems to have been based on shoddy intelligence, hyped intelligence, and even false intelligence," says Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Republicans argue it was an unfortunate mistake, but maintain the President had a strong case for war.

"The world is a better place having Saddam Hussein and his regime no longer in power," says Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.

Although the President has blamed the CIA for the statement on African uranium, he has expressed confidence in Director Tenet.

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