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Public, classified versions of Iraq intelligence report differed

WASHINGTON—Following are excerpts from the public and classified versions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons capabilities. The first set of quotes under each topic is from the public version, "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs," which was released by the CIA in October 2002. The second set is from the classified version of the NIE, portions of which were declassified and released by the White House in July 2003.

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WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

"Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon within this decade." _public version.

"We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon within this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)" _classified version.

"Iraq hides large portions of Iraq's WMD efforts." _public version.

"We judge that we are seeing only a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts, owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception efforts. ... We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD programs." _classified version.

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NUCLEAR PROGRAM

" ... most analysts assess Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." _public version.

"The activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraq may be doing so, but INR considers the available evidence inadequate to support such a judgment. Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons programs, INR is unwilling to ... project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening." _classified version, "State/INR Alternative View of Iraq's Nuclear Program."

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BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS

"Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives, including potentially against the US Homeland." _public version.

"We judge Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives.

"... Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington with a stronger case for making war.

"Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the US Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.

" ... we have no specific intelligence information that Saddam's regime has directed attacks against US territory."_classified version.

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UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

"Baghdad's UAVs—especially if used for delivery of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents—could threaten Iraq's neighbors, US forces in the Persian Gulf, and the United States if brought close to, or into, the US Homeland." _public version.

" ... The Director, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, US Air Force, does not agree that Iraq is developing UAVs primarily intended to be delivery platforms for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents. The small size of Iraq's new UAV strongly suggests a primary role of reconnaissance, although CBW delivery is an inherent capability." _classified version.

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(c) 2004, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Iraq

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