Reid Seeks More Clarity in Nuclear Intelligence on Iran

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 11, 2006

LAS VEGAS, June 10 -- Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said here Saturday that he will seek greater transparency from the Bush administration about possible threats posed by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. He said he wants to prevent possible misuse of intelligence as the administration deals with the crisis.

Speaking before a partisan audience of Internet bloggers and Democratic activists, Reid said he plans to introduce legislation next week that would require a new national intelligence estimate for Iran, along with an unclassified summary that could form the basis for a public debate about possible action if Tehran continues to seek nuclear weapons.

He also said he will require Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte to demonstrate that he has in place a process to review public statements by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other officials with regard to Iran. Many Democrats allege that Bush and Cheney manipulated intelligence in making the public case for war with Iraq.

"We face many threats -- threats that have grown worse -- because this administration took its eye off the ball," he said in remarks prepared for delivery. "We must address these threats, but we must not be manipulated into acting for ideological or political gain."

He urged the Senate intelligence committee to complete its investigation into the use of prewar intelligence, a probe that led to a brief but bitter shutdown of the Senate by Reid and other Democrats last November. "What we need to know -- and still don't know today -- is whether the White House intentionally cherry-picked and politicized intelligence to sell the war," he said.

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