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2004-02-04

Bush Accused of Undermining Iraq WMD Inquiry From the Beginning

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President George Bush this week confirmed an outside investigation into intelligence failures on Iraq. But the promise of an independent, bipartisan commission came under immediate attack, with critics accusing the White House of trying to undermine the inquiry from the start. We speak with one of those critics: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

Last week’s admission by David Kay–the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq–that he had found no concrete evidence of any Iraqi nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs has backed many members of the Bush administration into a corner.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told the Washington Post this week that he does not know whether he would have recommended an invasion of Iraq if he had been told it had no stockpiles of banned weapons.

Powell is widely perceived to have placed his credibility on the line last Feb. 5 when he appeared before the United Nations Security Council and offered a forceful and detailed description of the U.S. case that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In that appearance, Powell told the council: "What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."

President George Bush this week confirmed an outside investigation into intelligence failures on Iraq. But the promise of an independent, bipartisan commission came under immediate attack, with critics accusing the White House of trying to undermine the inquiry from the start.

One of those critics joins us on the phone: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic congresswoman from Texas.

  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic congresswoman from Texas.

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