3,847. 9/12/2002

The October 1, 2002, National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was produced by the CIA in three weeks, as opposed to the usual six to 10 months. Regarding the short-notice, request, then-CIA Director George Tenet wrote: “I reluctantly agreed and, on September 12, 2002, directed the National Intelligence Council staff to initiate a crash project to produce an NIE on the ‘status of and outlook for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs.’ The NIE was to answer two key questions on nuclear weapons: Did Saddam have them, and if not, when could he get them? …Had we started the process sooner, I am confident we would have done a better job highlighting what we did and didn’t know about Saddam’s WMD programs. …The flawed analysis that was compiled in the NIE provided some of the material for [Secretary of State] Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003 UN speech, which helped galvanize public support for the war.”

 – George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm, Pages 322-323

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