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Bush May Back Independent Probe of Prewar Intelligence, say Reports - 2004-02-01

President Bush is reportedly considering an independent probe into intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which was used to justify last year's U.S.-led invasion.

There has been no official word from the White House, but news sources cite congressional sources who say an announcement by Mr. Bush supporting an independent commission is "imminent."

The Bush administration has been under increasing pressure by for an independent probe of prewar intelligence.

Last week, the former chief U.S. weapons expert in Iraq, David Kay, said he believed pre-war intelligence on Iraq's banned weapons was "almost all wrong."

He added that he did not believe that any stockpiles of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons will be found there.

White House officials have been saying that an independent commission should wait until a more wide-ranging search for banned weapons in Iraq is completed. They also say the Central Intelligence Agency has already opened its own inquiry, indicating that such a probe should be sufficient.

The developments come one year after Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations Security Council that U.S. intelligence on Iraq's banned weapons were "facts" and not "assertions."