According to the Washington Post, it turns out that a fact-finding mission determined that these trailers weren't the biological warfare labs Bush had thought they were. Oops.
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.This hadn't been reported until now - almost a full three years later, and well, Scotty "I hate my job" McClellan was forced, yet again, to shovel more bullshit for the Bush administration today:
The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.
Q: So, insofar as in May there was a 122-page report filed by DIA that said that these trailers were not bio-weapons, but it was -- or bio-weapons labs, and then we heard from the Vice President and Colin Powell after that period suggesting that they still were -- that information hadn't --Bush made an announcement two days after this report came out saying the contrary. There were no WMDs in those trailers, and yet the administration sat on this information - stamped it "secret" and shelved it away for THREE YEARS, while continuing to feed the post-9/11 hordes of fear-addled Americans this lie that Saddam faced an imminent threat to the US.
MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, intelligence is -- when an assessment is made, it looks at a lot of different intelligence and it takes time to vet that intelligence, go through it, debate it, discuss it with the intelligence community, look at all the different intelligence coming in, whether it's human intelligence or signals intelligence or open-source intelligence. And they pull that all together and the intelligence community makes the assessment. The White House is not the intelligence-gathering agency. And the assessment that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is the arm of the Pentagon, made initially was that those -- in this report that was released on May 28, 2003, was that the labs that were found were for producing biological weapons. And that assessment remained in place for quite some time, as you just pointed out.
Now, I will point out that the reporting I saw this morning was simply reckless and it was irresponsible. The lead in The Washington Post left the impression for the reader that the President was saying something he knew at the time not to be true. That is absolutely false and it is irresponsible, and I don't know how The Washington Post can defend something so irresponsible.
Another example of manipulating intelligence? Oh no. It's just the media being shit disturbers again.
Earth to the Bush Administration: That's what they're supposed to be doing.
(Thanks to BYO for the heads up.)