3,764. 8/26/2002

In “a speech Vice President [Dick] Cheney gave to the Veterans of Foreign Wars [VFW] on August 26, 2002…he said, ‘Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.’ Later in the speech, the vice president would tell the VFW, ‘Many of us are convinced that [Saddam] will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.’ “ Then-CIA Director George Tenet said, “The speech caught me and my top people off guard for several reasons. For starters, the vice president’s staff had not sent the speech to CIA for clearance, as was usually done with remarks that should be based on intelligence. The speech also went well beyond what our analysis could support. The intelligence community’s belief was that, left unchecked, Iraq would probably not acquire nuclear weapons until near the end of the decade.”

 – George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm, Page 315

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