T Drumheller on U.S. Iran Intel, Part II

In this post, I wrote that, according to Tyler Drumheller, “the Bush administration diverted intel resources from Iran’s nuclear program to Iraq’s nuclear program in February 2001” (my words).

This comment from Robert Kelley (used with his permission) actually caused me to re-examine Drumheller’s words:

February 18, 2020 at 8:48 amInformation provided to IAEA in 2001 on Iraq was largely recycled from 1991. If they diverted resources to Iraq no wonder they got Iran wrong! US information in the 2002 inspections was very thin and usually wrong. They were getting it from Judy Miller.

I considered correcting that post, but I’m not sure it’s wrong, though it may be ambiguous. Here’s what he said:

In the late Clinton administration, in the middle ’90s, there was a large push on Iraq. Then in the late ’90s, as they became more concerned about the nuclear proliferation in Iran, there was a movement of resources from Iraq to Iran. I was in the field then, so I saw that. It was seen as [compared to] Iraq, with the inspectors and with the sanctions and all, that Iran presented a much more dangerous threat than Iraq. Right after the Bush administration came in in February of 2001, we got the word to start gearing up on Iraq, start gearing up [intelligence] collection on Iraq, resources back to Iraq, that these guys were focused on Iraq.

Drumheller did not specify the aspects of Iraq about which the IC began/increased its collection efforts. So maybe the IC wanted extra bodies to focus on non-WMD Iraq issues.

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