The NY Times reports Bush, Cheney, Powell, and other administration officials repeatedly cited known dissembler's information as "credible ' ' evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.
Before the 2004 elections, a Republican majority in the Senate Armed Services Committee forced key documents and information to be kept secret, preventing the American public from knowing that the arguments for war were built upon known lies and fabrications.
The NY Times article reports,
"A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.
The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers ' ' in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda 's work with illicit weapons."
And there were numerous other known informants whose bad information, although known to be bad, was used by the administration to lie to the American public and the UN to sell the war, including one who told about mobile bio-weapon labs, and Ahmad Chalabi.
The key document, proving the Bush administration's early knowledge that their claims were false, is called DITSUM No. 044-02. The Times reports
"the document would have circulated widely within the government, and it would have been available to the C.I.A., the White House, the Pentagon and other agencies. It remains unclear whether the D.I.A. document was provided to the Senate panel."
The report was clear in stating the weak, unlikely veracity of the informant's statements,
"It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers, ' ' the February 2002 report said. "Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest. ' '
The Times article says the DIA report states
"Saddam 's regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements, ' ' the D.I.A. report said in one of two declassified paragraphs. "Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control. ' '
In late October, Harry Reid demanded in a closed session of the senate that a report be released to the American people disclosing these and other facts. Senate Republicans said they'd been planning to release it anyway.