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Errors in Terror Report

June 16, 2004

Re "Powell Says Politics Were Not Behind Flawed Terror Report," June 14: Secretary of State Colin Powell claims that "mistakes in data collection," not politics, were responsible for the erroneous report on the decline of terrorism.

Do we just add this one to the list already compiled by this administration? The mistaken intelligence reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his ties to Al Qaeda that led us into the war? The mistake of failing to install enough properly trained and equipped armed forces to provide the security necessary to maintain the infrastructure and civil government needed to allow the population to carry on normal lives during the transition period? The mistake of failing to take into account the ethnic, religious and nationalistic feelings of the Iraqi people?

The Bush administration, whose members' incompetence has been proved over and over again, cannot be tolerated, much less rewarded by a second term. It has got to go!

Sidney Ellis

Sherman Oaks

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Powell said, "It's not a political judgment that said, 'Let's see if we can cook the books.' We can't get away with that now." Telling clarification, that "now." Raising the question, just when could you get away with it, Mr. Powell? Maybe when you gave "incontrovertible evidence" to the United Nations?

Or when President Bush gave his State of the Union speech in 2003? Or does it go all the way back to the 2000 election?

Dennis Castanares

Los Angeles

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Two questions that will probably never be answered: Why do CIA errors always seem to favor the Bush administration? If Powell, an honest and forthright man, had not told us about the serious error, would we have ever known?

Joe Woods

Los Angeles

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