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Kay faults pre-war intelligence

By Philip Shenon

WASHINGTON, AUG. 19. A former Bush administration official who led the fruitless post-war effort to find unconventional weapons in Iraq told Congress on Wednesday that the National Security Council, led by Condoleezza Rice, had botched intelligence information before the war and was ``the dog that did not bark'' over Iraq's weapons programme.

In uncharacteristically caustic remarks about his former colleagues, the weapons inspector, David Kay, said the security council had failed to protect the President, George W. Bush, from faulty pre-war intelligence and had left the Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell, ``hanging out in the wind'' when he tried to gather intelligence before the war about Iraq's weapons programmes.

``Where was the NSC?'' Mr. Kay asked, suggesting that the President had come to depend too heavily on information supplied by Ms Rice, Mr. Bush's National Security Adviser, and that the President needed to reach out to others for national security information. ``Every President who has been successful, at least that I know of, in the history of this republic has developed both informal and formal means of getting checks on whether people who tell him things are in fact telling him the whole truth,'' Mr. Kay told the Senate intelligence committee.

``I think this is particularly crucial and difficult to do in the intelligence area.

"The recent history has been a reliance on the NSC system to do it. I quite frankly think that has not served this President very well."

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