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Associated Free Press
A former Middle East specialist of the US Central Intelligence Agency has condemned what he called an organised campaign of manipulation by the Bush administration to justify the Iraq war.
Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst specialising in counter-terrorism in the Middle East and Asia, said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais that the United States had particularly wanted to prove a link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.
"That was not the case," he was quoted as saying. "I suppose by some definitions that could be called a lie."
"There was an organised campaign of manipulation," El Pais also quoted Pillar as saying. "That would be the proper way to define it."
"As far as weapons of mass destruction were concerned, there was a generally false perception in the American, British and other intelligence services that Iraq possessed these. We were wrong."
Rumsfeld Heckled by Former CIA Analyst
Protesters repeatedly interrupted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a speech Thursday and one man, a former CIA analyst, accused him of lying about
Iraq prewar intelligence in an unusually vociferous display of anti-war sentiment.
"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst, during a question-and-answer session.
"I did not lie," shot back Rumsfeld, who waved off security guards ready to remove McGovern from the hall at the Southern Center for International Studies.
With Iraq war support remaining low, it is not unusual for top Bush administration officials to encounter protests and hostile questions. But the outbursts Rumsfeld confronted on Thursday seemed beyond the usual.