WHAT COMES to mind when someone mentions intelligence and the Iraq War? Why, of course, the intelligence estimate on Iraqi unconventional weapons programs-excoriated in a 500-page report that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued with much fanfare in July 2004, further torn apart in another 500-page report by a White House-appointed commission, and scorned and vilified ever since.
But the estimate on weapons was one of only three classified, community-coordinated assessments about Iraq that the intelligence community produced in the months prior to the war. Don't feel bad if you missed the other two, which addressed the principal challenges that Iraq would present during the first several years after Saddam's removal and the likely repercussions of regime change in Iraq on the surrounding region. After being kept under wraps (except for a few leaks) for over four years, the Senate committee quietly released redacted versions of those assessments on its website on a Friday as Americans were beginning their Memorial Day weekend.