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Commission finds massive failure on WMD intelligence; recommends reforms

[JURIST] A presidential commission on Thursday said US intelligence agencies know "disturbingly little" about threats posed by the nation's most dangerous adversaries, and the commission recommended more than 70 changes that President Bush can make to improve intelligence. The WMD Presidential Commission [official website] appointed [executive order] by President Bush to determine why US spy agencies mistakenly concluded that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction released its findings in a report, in which it said American agencies were "dead wrong" about Iraq. It outlined 74 recommendations that President Bush can implement without legislative action by Congress to improve changes made by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 [text]. The Commission urged Bush to give broad powers to John Negroponte [Wikipedia profile], the new director of national intelligence [White House background briefing on position; Congressional Research Service paper [PDF]]. The report found Negroponte will need these powers to effectively combat challenges to his authority from the CIA [official website], Department of Defense and others in the nation's fifteen spy agencies. The Commission also said the FBI [official website] should combine its counterterrorism and counterintelligence resources into one office. The report indicates the Bush administration did not manipulate intelligence used in launching the 2003 Iraq war, instead blaming bad intelligence. The Commission also found that spy agencies did not distort the evidence in presenting the case for war in Iraq. The public version of the report does not contain much detail on intelligence capabilities in Iran and North Korea to avoid disclosing America's current intelligence. Read the WMD Commission report [text]. AP has more.

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