Waxman cautions Rice for 'hindering' Iraq intelligence investigation
Michael Roston
Published: Friday May 4, 2007
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The Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has cautioned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice against hindering investigation into the intelligence used to build the case for the invasion of Iraq.

The warning came after the committee was blocked from taking a deposition from a State Department intelligence analyst who had suggested in 2003 that fears of Iraq's nuclear program were based on a hoax.

"I am writing to urge you to instruct your staff, particularly officials in your legislative affairs office, not to impede the Committee's investigation into why President Bush and other senior Administration officials, including yourself, cited forged evidence in building a case for war against Iraq," wrote Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in a letter released Friday.

The Committee had written to Simon Dodge, a nuclear weapons analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, who had warned the intelligence community in Jan. 2003 that allegations of Iraq seeking uranium from Niger were "probably a hoax" and "clearly a forgery." Dodge agreed to fully cooperate with the investigation.

But the committee had been blocked from deposing Dodge by the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs after they asserted it "would be 'inappropriate' because the Committee voted to issue a subpoena to compel your attendance at a hearing on your knowledge of the fabricated evidence," the California Democrat wrote.

Waxman urged Rice to make Dodge available by May 9, writing, "I trust you will cooperate in this matter and instruct your staff to cease further interference with the Committee's inquiry."

The Oversight Committee Chairman also sought a variety of documents from Rice related to the investigation, which he said that she had "failed to provide."

The full letter can read at the Committee's website.