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5/28/2004

Greg Thielmann

Greg Thielmann was "director of the Strategic Proliferation and Military Affairs Office at the US State Department until his retirement last year."

"[T]he credibility of the intelligence community has taken a real hit because of the way the information has been used by senior officials." [PBS 6/13/02]

"One analyst, Greg Thielmann, told Correspondent Scott Pelley last fall that key evidence cited by the administration was misrepresented to the public.
Thielmann should know. He had been in charge of analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat for Powell's own intelligence bureau.

“I had a couple of initial reactions. Then I had a more mature reaction,” says Thielmann, commenting on Powell's presentation to the United Nations last February.

“I think my conclusion now is that it's probably one of the low points in his long, distinguished service to the nation."[CBS News 2/4/04]

"Our conclusion was that Saddam would certainly not provide weapons of mass destruction or WMD knowledge to al Qaeda because they were mortal enemies," said Greg Thielmann, who worked at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research on weapons intelligence until last fall. "Saddam would have seen al Qaeda as a threat, and al Qaeda would have opposed Saddam as the kind of secular government they hated."[National Journal 8/8/03]

A recently retired State Department intelligence analyst directly involved in assessing the Iraqi threat, Greg Thielmann, flatly told NEWSWEEK that inside the government, "there is a lot of sorrow and anger at the way intelligence was misused. You get a strong impression that the administration didn't think the public would be enthusiastic about the idea of war if you attached all those qualifiers." [Newsweek 6/4/03]

Thielmann also tells Pelley that he believes the decision to go to war was made first and then the intelligence was interpreted to fit that conclusion. “…The main problem was that the senior administration officials have what I call faith-based intelligence,” says Thielmann.

“They knew what they wanted the intelligence to show. They were really blind and deaf to any kind of countervailing information the intelligence community would produce. I would assign some blame to the intelligence community and most of the blame to the senior administration officials.”[CBS News 10/15/03]

 

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