American people need to know what prompted information on weapons What others say

Posted: Monday, February 02, 2004

David Kay brought credibility to the task of leading the search for evidence of illegal weapons programs in Iraq. His acknowledged expertise, along with his reputation for candor, earned respect even from many who wondered whether the Bush administration would allow Kay and his team to do their jobs without political interference. Now Kay has stepped down as the CIA's chief weapons inspector after months of tedious work, and he has bolstered his credibility with a detailed and evenhanded review of what he found and failed to find in Iraq. ...

At the same time, Kay defended the Bush administration against charges that it purposely fabricated the threat posed by Iraq. Instead, Kay says he thinks the shortcomings of the CIA and other intelligence agencies particularly their failure to develop on-the-ground intelligence inside Iraq prevented Washington from learning that Saddam Hussein's supposed

weapons programs had become a fanciful facade. ...

Barring a surprising discovery by the small crew of weapons inspectors still in Iraq, the Bush administration should support a thorough and honest review to determine why its prewar claims were so wildly off base. Did the White House undercut our intelligence services, or did our intelligence services mislead the White House? The American people deserve to know what

went wrong and those who caused that intelligence failure deserve to be held accountable. St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times - Jan. 27

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