August 12, 2005
Dear Mr. Swanson:
Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify going to war. I agree with you that we need a thorough, effective and objective investigation of the intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.
As a Senator and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I was presented information that led me to believe that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and the means to use them. Bush Administration officials also said that Iraq had links to terrorism and was developing nuclear weapons. This has been called into question in light of what UN inspectors and U.S. forces have found - and not found - on the ground in Iraq.
The American people have a right to know whether intelligence on Iraq was valid, or whether it was skewed, selected, or exaggerated. That's why I insisted on a thorough investigation by the Intelligence Committee.
The Committee agreed, on a bipartisan basis, on an inquiry to examine:
- the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi WMD, ties to terrorist groups, and Saddam Hussein's threat to stability and security in the region; - the objectivity, reasonableness, independence and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community; and - whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives.
The Intelligence Committee has already examined a huge volume of documents and held numerous hearings. You may have seen the press reports about testimony from Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and Dr. David Kay, who heads the Iraq Survey Group looking for weapons of mass destruction. The Committee's Chairman has also committed to holding open hearings and issuing a public report of our findings.
But I'm not sure this inquiry will go far enough. That's why I'm prepared to support legislation to create an independent commission to investigate intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.
You can count on me to do all I can to get to the truth about the information used to justify going to war in Iraq. The American people have a right to know.
Barbara A. Mikulski United States Senator
P.S. If I can be of any further assistance in the future, please visit my website at http://mikulski.senate.gov  or call my Washington office at 202-224-4654.