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Bush orders probe into Iraq intelligence

February 03, 2004 00:03 IST

United States President George W Bush on Monday announced an investigation into pre-war charges that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"I am putting together an independent, bipartisan commission to analyse where we stand, what we can do better as we fight this war against terror," he told reporters as he met with his Cabinet at the White House.

Bush said that he wanted to hear directly from former chief US weapons hunter David Kay, who has said that stockpiles of unconventional arms did not exist on the eve of the US-led March invasion, before creating the panel.

Kay has blamed intelligence failures, not political leaders, for the much-publicised accusations that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons and sought nuclear arms -- the core of Bush's case for war.

After retiring from the Iraq Survey Group, which scoured Iraq for evidence of banned weapons after Baghdad fell in April 2003, Kay called publicly for an independent investigation into the gaps between pre-war accusations and post-war findings.

"It is not only important for the nation, but it is important for our credibility as a global power in our relation with allies as we move forward," he told the Fox News Sunday programme.


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