5,307. 8/12/2003

According to an August 12, 2003, interview with Greg Thielmann, the State Department proliferation expert, the Bush Administration was ” ‘convinced that Saddam was developing nuclear weapons, that he was reconstituting his program, and I’m afraid that’s where they started,’ he said. ‘They were cherry-picking the information that we provided to use whatever pieces of it that fit their overall interpretation. Worse than that, they were dropping qualifiers and distorting some of the information that we provided to make it seem even more alarmist and dangerous than the information that we were giving them.’ The impulse to push the conclusions was especially worrisome, he added, because the intelligence community, not wanting to be caught napping, already tends ‘to overwarn, rather than underwarn.’ ”

 – Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco, Page 55

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