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US Senate to Release Report on Pre-Iraq War Intelligence - 2004-07-08

The U.S. Senate is expected to release a report Friday blaming the Central Intelligence Agency for faulty intelligence used to justify the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The bipartisan report, prepared by the Senate Intelligence Committee, is harshly critical of the intelligence agency's performance in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

"The report is full of omissions, errors, inconsistencies, failures on the part of the CIA, and appropriately so," said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and a member of the committee.

The 400-page report is a public version of the classified document completed by the Intelligence Committee last month. The report is expected to increase congressional calls for reform of intelligence agencies.

The chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said last week the report "begs for changes within the intelligence community."

The report does not address the issue of how the Bush administration used the intelligence to make the case for war. That will be the focus of another phase of the panel's inquiry.

Democrats say the administration manipulated intelligence assessments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and Iraq's alleged ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network to win support for the war.

The report's release comes as CIA Director George Tenet is preparing to leave the agency Saturday. Deputy Director John McLaughlin is to succeed Mr. Tenet, until a permanent successor is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Tenet announced his resignation last month, citing personal reasons.