Senators Question CIA Cooperation
Differences between last week's report
on prewar failures and what was given lawmakers arise.
By Greg Miller
Times Staff Writer
April 9, 2005
— The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the CIA to account for significant gaps in information that the agency
provided to the panel as part of its investigation last year into prewar intelligence failures on Iraq, congressional officials
Committee officials said they had compiled a list of apparent discrepancies between material that was
provided to Congress and disclosures contained in a report on U.S. intelligence gathering released last week by a presidential
Lawmakers were said to be particularly concerned that the committee had not been told about warnings relayed
to senior CIA officials before the war that an Iraqi defector code-named "Curveball" was unreliable. The defector, the principal
source for prewar U.S. claims that Iraq had mobile biological weapons laboratories, has since been discredited.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) raised the issue with senior intelligence officials this week, a senior
aide to the senator said. CIA Director Porter J. Goss appeared before the committee in closed session Thursday.
lawmakers have publicly expressed frustration that new details are surfacing nine months after the committee finished its
own probe of intelligence on Iraq.
"That's the type of information we would have expected to get in our inquiry," said
the aide to Roberts. "We're interested to know: Did [CIA officials] ignore us, not understand us or deliberately keep things
from us? We don't want agencies to think they can play cute" with requests for information.
The aide said the CIA had
been quick to acknowledge the problem and promise an explanation.
A senior aide to Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV
(D-W. Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, said the senator was also concerned by the discrepancies.
scrutiny comes as the CIA has launched an internal examination of why disagreements over Curveball's reliability were not
reported to Congress and did not lead to a rejection of his claims.
Goss "has asked the agency to look into this issue
to determine what happened so we're able to take steps to ensure nothing like it happens again," said CIA spokeswoman Jennifer
Millerwise. Goss was sworn in as agency director in September, two months after the Senate committee issued its report.
Intelligence Committee aides pointed to several key discrepancies. Among them was the disclosure in the report from the so-called
weapons of mass destruction commission that a senior CIA official had met with a foreign intelligence official who said Curveball
was crazy and possibly a fabricator.
That former CIA official — Tyler Drumheller, then head of the agency's European
division — told the commission he had passed that warning on to other high-ranking officials including then-CIA Director
George J. Tenet.
Tenet said he did not recall receiving that warning.
In an interview with the Los Angeles
Times last week, Drumheller said that "everyone in the chain of command knew" and that there was "lots of documentation" to
show suspicions about Curveball were widely disseminated.
The senior Republican aide to the intelligence committee
said the panel would pursue any such documents. The committee also plans to examine statements that two CIA analysts made
to the WMD commission indicating they had been punished and pushed out of their jobs after the Iraq war for urging the agency
to admit that its intelligence was flawed.