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Sources: Spying report to decry CIA over Iraq

By wire services
Published March 29, 2005

WASHINGTON - The final report of a presidential commission studying American intelligence failures regarding illicit weapons includes a searing critique of how the CIA and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein's political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapon stockpiles, the New York Times reported, quoting unnamed officials who have seen the report's executive summary.

The report also proposes broad changes in the sharing of information among intelligence agencies that go well beyond the legislation passed by Congress late last year creating a director of national intelligence. Those recommendations are likely to figure prominently in the confirmation hearings of John Negroponte, whom the president has nominated to be national intelligence director. Those hearings are scheduled to begin April 12.

The report particularly singles out the Central Intelligence Agency under its former director, George Tenet, but also includes criticism of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, two of the largest intelligence agencies.

President Bush is expected to receive the report formally on Thursday morning, White House officials said.

Israeli lawmakers back Gaza pullout

JERUSALEM - Israel's Parliament on Monday rejected a last-ditch attempt to torpedo Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, vetoing a proposed national referendum. The plan now goes to the nation's Supreme Court.

Demoralized by the defeat, settlers said they would move their fight into the streets, promising to bring 100,000 protesters to the settlements slated for evacuation to prevent the withdrawal.


JAPAN BEEF BAN: Japan's food safety panel on Monday recommended the government stop testing cattle younger than 21 months for mad cow disease, a step toward making U.S. beef eligible for import after a 15-month ban. Japan banned U.S. beef in December 2003 after the United States found its first mad cow case.

SYRIA WITHDRAWAL: Syria has withdrawn 2,000 more troops from Lebanon, a military official said Monday, bringing Damascus' military presence in the country to the lowest level since it began three decades ago.

YEMEN FIGHTING: Fighting raged in Yemen's northern mountains between government troops and followers of a slain rebel cleric Monday, killing 11 soldiers and eight fighters, officials said.

[Last modified March 29, 2005, 01:32:11]

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