Ex-Spies: CIA Workers Outraged

raymond mcgovern CBS

Before the bombs fell on Baghdad, there were analysts inside the American intelligence community who were troubled by the U.S. case for war, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta.

Raymond McGovern, a former CIA analyst and supervisor, says, "Never before in my 40 years of experience in this town has intelligence been used in so cynical and so orchestrated a way."

McGovern is one of several retired intelligence analysts who say they are speaking out for those who can't inside the CIA.

"The Agency analysts that we are in touch with are disheartened, dispirited, angry," he says. "They are outraged."

In other developments in the growing controversy over the intelligence presented to the public to justify the war in Iraq:

  • A British weapons expert apparently killed himself, sending the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair deeper into crisis. David Kelly had been put uncomfortably in the spotlight as British officials have been trying to find someone to blame for accusations they hyped intelligence about Iraq's weapons threat. Polls show the British public is losing faith in Blair with a majority feeling they were misled about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, reports CBS News Correspondent Richard Roth.

  • U.S. intelligence and senior administration officials admit there has been little new evidence about Iraq's weapons program in the five years since U.N. inspectors left Iraq, the New York Times reports.

  • White House officials said Friday that President Bush and his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, did not entirely read the most authoritative prewar assessment of U.S. intelligence on Iraq, missing a State Department claim that an allegation Bush would later use in his State of the Union address was "highly dubious," the Washington Post reports.

  • Even as the Bush administration concluded Iraq was reviving its nuclear weapons program, key signs — such as scientific data of weapons work and evidence of research by Iraq's nuclear experts — were missing, several former intelligence officials tell the Associated Press.

    McGovern says many in the intelligence community feel they're taking the heat for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for the uproar over the president's State of the Union speech -- despite warnings from intelligence officials to some in the administration that the case against Saddam Hussein's weapons programs was far from air-tight.

    Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense, says, "They were like lawyers trying to convince a jury. So they took bits and pieces of evidence to present the best case."

    Korb, a former Reagan administration official, says while the president was presenting a case that appeared crystal clear, intelligence experts saw a picture that was much more murky.

    This is not the first time the United States has gone to war based on facts that later turned out to be questionable. Almost 40 years ago, President Johnson pointed to unconfirmed reports of attacks on American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin to convince the congress to widen the war in Vietnam."

    "There's a little inscription in the marble emblazoned at the entrance of CIA headquarters that says 'You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free'," says McGovern.

    For some intelligence veterans, the fear is the truth and the reputations of the people who must find the truth have become casualties of this war.
    • Lauren Johnston

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