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Bush Vows to Reform US Intelligence


President Bush says he will make changes to U.S. intelligence services following a critical report by a presidential commission that says American intelligence officers know little about threats from many of the world's most dangerous nations.

The bipartisan commission appointed by President Bush says U.S. intelligence agencies were "dead wrong" in almost all of their pre-war judgments about Iraqi chemical and biological weapons.

President Bush used that information to make his case for war, telling Americans before the 2003 invasion that they faced a grave and growing threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, none of those weapons has been found.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush said his administration is working to fix what went wrong.

"The commission's report delivers a sharp critique of the way intelligence has been collected and analyzed against some of the most difficult intelligence targets, like Iraq," the president said. "To win the war on terror, we will correct what needs to be fixed, and build on what the commission calls solid intelligence successes."

Among those successes, the president says, is Libya's decision to give up its weapons of mass destruction and the breaking-up of the illicit nuclear trading network run by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

But it is the intelligence failures about Iraq that brought about the commission, and was the main focus of its work.

Those failures were an issue in last year's presidential campaign, with opposition Democrats accusing the Bush administration of politicizing intelligence reports to justify the Iraqi invasion.

The commission found no evidence of political interference, and says the failures were largely a result of the inability to collect good information and make clear, which conclusions were based on good information and, which were based on assumptions.

The commission's unanimous report says U.S. intelligence services today still know what it calls "disturbingly little" about the weapons programs, and even less about the intentions of some of America's most dangerous adversaries.

It says the intelligence community has not been agile or innovative enough to provide the information the nation needs, and is calling for a truly integrated, far more imaginative, intelligence service, willing to take risks.

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