I just found this article hidden in abc news, and thought it would help the fence-sitters decide to call their Senator/Congressperson to demand "NO" vote or filibuster support.
From ABC news.com: http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20021009_61.html
— By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA said the probability of
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein initiating an attack
without provocation on the United States in the
foreseeable future was "very low," according to a letter
made public on Tuesday.
But if he was attacked, the likelihood that Saddam would
respond with biological or chemical weapons was "pretty
The letter, dated Oct. 7, was signed by Deputy CIA
Director John McLaughlin on behalf of CIA Director
George Tenet and sent to Senate Intelligence Committee
Chairman Bob Graham in response to the Florida
Democrat requesting the CIA declassify parts of its secret
assessment on Iraq.
The Senate is debating how much authority to give President Bush in a war powers
resolution, and some Democrats complained that the CIA was not providing
intelligence that contradicted the Bush administration's views on Iraq.
Bush, in a televised speech on Monday night, sought to rally public support around
his position that Iraq poses a danger to the United States because of its biological
and chemical weapons and ties to terrorists.
The CIA assessment in the letter to Graham said Iraq appeared to have stopped
short of terrorist attacks against the United States.
'DRAWING A LINE'
"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks
with conventional or CBW (chemical and biological weapons) against the United
States," the CIA said.
"Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he
probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions," the
Tenet, in a statement, said there was "no inconsistency" between the CIA's view of
Saddam's growing threat and the view expressed in the president's speech.
"Although we think the chances of Saddam initiating a WMD (weapons of mass
destruction) attack at this moment are low -- in part because it would constitute an
admission that he possesses WMD -- there is no question that the likelihood of
Saddam using WMD against the United States or our allies in the region for
blackmail, deterrence, or otherwise grows as his arsenal continues to build," Tenet
The letter declassified dialogue from a closed Oct. 2 Senate Intelligence Committee
hearing, in which a senior intelligence witness was asked what Saddam would do if
he did not feel threatened.
"My judgement would be that the probability of him initiating an attack -- let me put a
time frame on it -- in the foreseeable future, given the conditions we understand now,
the likelihood I think would be low," the witness said.
In response to a U.S. attack, the likelihood that Saddam would respond with chemical
or biological weapons was "pretty high," the intelligence witness said.
INFORMATION FROM DETAINEES
The CIA said its understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda was
"evolving" and based on sources of varying reliability. The United States blames al
Qaeda for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but officials say they have not found any direct
link between the attacks and Iraq.
"Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of
high rank," the CIA letter said. "We have solid reporting of senior level contacts
between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade."
"Credible information indicates that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven
and reciprocal nonaggression," the CIA said.
Bush, in his speech, said some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq,
including a senior leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year.
U.S. officials told Reuters that was a reference to Abu Musab Zarqawi who lost a leg
in Afghanistan, but that he was no longer in Iraq.
"Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians, coupled with growing indications
of a relationship with al Qaeda, suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will
increase, even absent U.S. military actions," the letter said.
The CIA last week publicly released an unclassified report on Iraq's biological,
chemical and nuclear weapons capabilities. "
And this, from ABC News, no less. I need say no more, just read this and call Senator Smith and ask him to read it # 503-326-3386 ro Wa.,D.C. 202-224-3753, toll-free Capitol Switchboard, 800-648-3516.