Thursday, April 27, 2006

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman rebuffs attempts to interview Administration officials in pre-war Iraq probe

WASHINGTON – The Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has denied Democratic attempts to interview Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former CIA Director George Tenet and two former senior aides to erstwhile Secretary of State Colin Powell, RAW STORY has learned.

Intelligence Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sought to interview Rice, Tenet and Powell's aides as part of a Senate inquiry into whether public statements by Administration officials about Iraq were corroborated by intelligence information. Recent reports – including one last Sunday from a former CIA chief in Europe – suggest that the Bush Administration was warned that Iraq did not have substantive weapons of mass destruction.

Rockefeller expressed his desire to interview roughly twenty Administration officials in a private letter to Sen. Roberts in January, though the names of the officials cited in the letter were not made public until today. In addition to Rice and Tenet, Rockefeller sought access to Lawrence Wilkerson, formerly Powell's chief of staff, and Richard Armitage, formerly Deputy Secretary of State.


Senate Intelligence Committee Staff Director Bill Duhnke, top aide to Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), said there was no need to interview Powell's former aides, saying the intelligence behind Powell's speech was already known.

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