CIA May Be Hindering Iraq Inspections

The CIA is withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein’s arsenal and “sabotaging” UN weapons inspectors, according to congressional sources.

The London-based Independent reports that Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and number of senior Democrats in the Senate have charged CIA director George Tenet with lying to a Senate panel about the level of cooperation between the intelligence agency and the UN inspectors. The allegations were sparked by Tenet’s testimony Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, during which the CIA director testified that the agency had turned over to UN inspectors all the information on probable weapons locations in Iraq. Later the same day, testifying before a different panel, Tenet admitted there were a “handful” of locations the CIA may not have told the inspectors about.

Levin cited classified letters he had obtained from the agency that detailed information on “a large number of sites of significant value” that the agency had not shared with the UN. CIA officials told Levin they would pass the information on in the coming days, but the Michigan senator remains convinced that Tenet and the agency see the inspections as fruitless and have decided to do what they can to undermine them.

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