Report: U.S. intelligence assessment says data given by Iraqi defectors was not valuable
An internal assessment by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has reached the conclusion that most of the information provided by Iraqi defectors who were made available by the Iraqi National Congress (INC) was of "little or no value", the New York Times reported, citing federal officials.
Moreover, in its Monday edition, the paper said that several Iraqi defectors introduced to U.S. intelligence agents by the exile organization and its leader, Ahmad Chalabi, "invented or exaggerated their credentials as people with direct knowledge of the Iraqi government and its suspected unconventional weapons program", the officials added.
The arrangement, paid for with taxpayer money supplied to the exile group, consisted of extensive debriefing of at least half a dozen defectors by defense intelligence agents in Europe and at a base in the Iraqi city of Irbil in late 2002 and early 2003, the officials said.
However, according to the newspaper, a review early this year by the defense agency concluded that no more than one-third of the information was "potentially useful", and efforts to explore those leads since have generally failed to pan out, the officials further stated.
Intelligence provided by the defectors that could not be substantiated included information about Iraq's suspected program for weapons of mass destruction as well as other information about the Iraqi government, the officials said.
They added they would not speculate on whether the defectors had knowingly provided false data and, if so, what their motivation might have been. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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