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White House Releases Pre-War Intelligence Documents


The Bush administration has released documents that say Saddam Hussein was attempting to reconstruct a nuclear weapons program last year.

Mounting a campaign to counter criticism that flawed intelligence information was used to justify war with Iraq, the White House made public excerpts of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

The report says that Baghdad, "If left unchecked… probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."

It also cites unsubstantiated reports Iraq was trying to buy uranium from three African countries: Niger, Somalia and "possibly" Congo.

The White House released the report to show allegations that Iraq sought uranium from Africa were obtained months before President Bush cited them in his State of the Union address.

U.S. officials have subsequently challenged the allegations, which were based at least in part on forged documents, and said the information should not have been included in Mr. Bush's speech.

A senior administration official says the president's advisors will redouble efforts in the future to make sure questionable information is not included in presidential speeches.

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