Thursday, June 17, 2004

US Intelligence thought chicken coops were missile silos

Yahoo! News - Spy Work in Iraq Riddled by Failures: "U.S. analysts also erred in their analysis of high-altitude satellite photos, repeatedly confusing Scud missile storage places with the short, half-cylindrical sheds typically used to house poultry in Iraq. As a result, as the war neared, two teams of U.N. weapons experts acting on U.S. intelligence scrambled to search chicken coops for missiles that were not there.
'We inspected a lot of chicken farms,' said a former inspector who asked not to be identified because he now works with U.S. intelligence. His U.N. team printed 'Ballistic Chicken Farm Inspection Team' on 20 gray T-shirts to mark the futile hunt.
The problems the U.S. experienced in gathering and analyzing intelligence mirrored difficulties experienced by other Western intelligence agencies. Investigations of intelligence agencies in at least four countries have found the misjudgments of Iraq's weapons were founded on circumstantial evidence, unverified secondhand accounts, false assumptions, old intelligence and shoddy tradecraft. "

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