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Rumsfeld Defends Intelligence, War In Iraq - 2004-02-05


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has denied the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence to bolster its case for war in Iraq.

He told the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee today (Wednesday) that he has neither seen nor heard evidence that administration officials distorted intelligence findings to justify the war.

Mr. Rumsfeld spoke out in public for the first time since former U.S. chief weapons inspector David Kay said U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons was apparently wrong.

Critics have charged the administration presented a one-sided view of the intelligence to make it appear Iraq posed a threat to the United States.

Mr. Rumsfeld said he is not yet ready to conclude that Saddam Hussein did not have chemical or biological weapons.

He raised a number of theories about what may have happened to the alleged weapons. He said they may have been hidden somewhere in Iraq, moved to other countries, or destroyed before the start of the war.

He said Saddam's government also may have fooled the outside world into thinking it had weapons that did not actually exist.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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