Jeffrey LewisWMD Commission on Iran

The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (also known as the WMD Commission or Silberman-Robb Commission after its co-chairmen) was empaneled to “assess whether the intelligence community is sufficiently authorized, organized, equipped, trained, and resourced to identify … the development … of weapons of mass destruction” threats to the United States.

And while some of us think that means “pin the blame for Iraq on the intelligence community,” the Commission is also examining our intelligence on countries like Iran and North Korea. And what they have to say about Iran ain’t pretty:

A commission due to report to President Bush this month will describe American intelligence on Iran as inadequate to allow firm judgments about Iran’s weapons programs, according to people who have been briefed on the panel’s work.


One person who described the panel’s deliberations and conclusions characterized American intelligence on Iran as “scandalous,” given the importance and relative openness of the country, compared with such an extreme case as North Korea.

Although the Commission spokesperson declined to comment, the Post cited former intelligence officials as having said that Iran successful penetrated the principal American spy network inside Iran in the late 1980’s. This story was initially publicized (and seemingly distorted to partisan gain) by Richard Perle.

Update: ACW Reader JP notes the Iran intel debacle was covered in the papers at the time. I’ll check that out …