Under strong political pressure, President George Bush established a bipartisan commission on Friday to investigate the failures.
Claims that Iraq had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were the main reason cited by Bush for the Iraq war, in which more than 500 US troops have died. According to the independent website, iraqbodycount.net, Iraqi civilian casualties could be as high as 10,000.
Bush noted during a press conference that former chief US weapons hunter David Kay had failed to confirm prewar intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“We are determined to figure out why,” he said. “We’re also determined to make sure that American intelligence is as accurate as possible for every challenge in the future.”
However, opposition Democrats immediately questioned the independence of the commission since its members were handpicked by Bush.
They want the panel to investigate whether the Bush administration hyped up the threat.
“To have a commission appointed exclusively by President Bush investigate his administration’s intelligence failures in Iraq does not inspire confidence in its independence”Nancy Pelosi,
US Democrat leader
“To have a commission appointed exclusively by President Bush investigate his administration’s intelligence failures in Iraq does not inspire confidence in its independence,” said Nancy Pelosi of California, leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives.
And Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said the commission “may provide President Bush with political cover, but it won’t result in the investigation that the nation needs”.
The commission will have nine members, seven of whom were named on Friday.
He was a legal adviser to the White House duringthe presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
McCain (C) has said he does not
Rick Levin, 56, is a Democrat and has been president of Bush’s alma mater,Yale University, since 1993. He is an economist by training.
She was named to the Washington federal appealscourt in 1977 by then-president Jimmy Carter, a Democrat.
But Waldretired in 1999 and became an ICC magistrate whose work has included trials of the first criminals from the former Yugoslavia.