US intelligence 'ignored Iraq for Vietnam cases'

(First Edition)

US intelligence missed most of Iraq's nuclear bomb-building efforts before the Gulf war because its heaviest efforts were directed at cases concerning US servicemen missing in action (MIA) in the Vietnam war, Reuter reports from Washington.

A report by the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee found 20 times more Defence Intelligence Agency personnel were assigned to MIA cases than to intelligence on Iraq. The US had been 'totally unaware of more than 50 per cent' of what has since been identified as suspected nuclear weapons-related facilities. Another reason the agency, the intelligence arm of the Pentagon, missed so much of the nuclear programme was the lack of input from potential Iraqi turncoats.