IDA Study Incomplete

Clarice Feldman
The Institute for Defense Analysis study of the captured Iraqi documents isinsufficient, argues Laurie Mylroie:

Those who support Operation Iraqi Freedom have welcomed the recently released study on Saddam Hussein's dealings with terrorists.

Based on captured Iraqi documents held in a Defense Department database, the Institute for Defense Analysis study makes important points. It clearly demonstrates that no ideological barrier prevented Saddam's "secular" regime from working with "Islamic" terrorists and that his regime had dealings with a wide variety of terrorists.

Yet the study also falls short. A Pentagon analyst familiar with the material in that database recalls walking into a meeting in 2004 with a thick stack of documents showing Saddam's ties to terrorists, explaining that they justified the war. He was astonished when the senior official chairing the meeting dismissed them as "history." Subsequently, this analyst told me, "You won't believe what's in them."

Neither this study nor the documents released in conjunction with it really elicit that response. Is something missing? Most probably, yes.

The study is based on an inadequate number of document files, processed in a superficial fashion. Those files were declassified and published and include details of the electronic searches that produced them. One can see how the work was done.
The Institute for Defense Analysis study of the captured Iraqi documents isinsufficient, argues Laurie Mylroie:

Those who support Operation Iraqi Freedom have welcomed the recently released study on Saddam Hussein's dealings with terrorists.

Based on captured Iraqi documents held in a Defense Department database, the Institute for Defense Analysis study makes important points. It clearly demonstrates that no ideological barrier prevented Saddam's "secular" regime from working with "Islamic" terrorists and that his regime had dealings with a wide variety of terrorists.

Yet the study also falls short. A Pentagon analyst familiar with the material in that database recalls walking into a meeting in 2004 with a thick stack of documents showing Saddam's ties to terrorists, explaining that they justified the war. He was astonished when the senior official chairing the meeting dismissed them as "history." Subsequently, this analyst told me, "You won't believe what's in them."

Neither this study nor the documents released in conjunction with it really elicit that response. Is something missing? Most probably, yes.

The study is based on an inadequate number of document files, processed in a superficial fashion. Those files were declassified and published and include details of the electronic searches that produced them. One can see how the work was done.