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Iraq: Pentagon Denies Slanting Intelligence On Iraq

Washington, 4 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Defense Department is denying that the government sought to mold intelligence findings to support the view that Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat to U.S. interests. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith said in Washington today the allegation is simply untrue.

U.S. officials cited Iraq's alleged possession of stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and a program to develop nuclear weapons as justification for the recent war.

No such weapons have been found since the government of President Saddam Hussein was toppled. The U.S. Congress says it is looking into intelligence gathering concerning Iraq.

Feith also sought to defend a Pentagon intelligence analysis operation that he acknowledged advanced the idea of alleged ties between Hussein's government and Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network.

He denied Pentagon officials pressured the Central Intelligence Agency to slant findings to conform to the view of Iraq menacing the world with weapons of mass destruction.

Feith also denied current U.S. policy was to topple the government in Iran, saying the future of that government is up to Iranians.