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CIA sends heavily redacted WMD report to Senate

From Steve Turnham and David Ensor
CNN Washington Bureau

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Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating prewar Iraq intelligence expressed displeasure Tuesday with CIA efforts to keep large parts of the committee's report secret.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, said the committee has received some of its report back from the CIA, which has been reviewing it to determine which parts can be made public.

A visibly irritated Roberts asked, "Do I look happy?" when asked to comment on the redacted CIA report.

The Democratic vice chairman of the panel, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, said, "Some of the things are just patently laughable."

"If they think they're going to suppress the report by doing this they're wrong," Rockefeller said.

On the other side, officials said they expected the Senate committee to object to some of the proposed redactions made by the CIA.

"There is going to be some give and take," one source said.

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, an expert on Senate rules and procedures, said the committee may decide to overrule the CIA and publicly release the bulk of the report by the end of the week.

"I don't think we can tolerate blanket redactions," Lott said. "They have to come to terms with the fact that we have to do a report and do it soon, and I'm going to vote to go forward."

According to sources, the report details serious failures by the intelligence community leading to the unsupported conclusion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

On Sunday, Roberts said the CIA appeared to be dragging out the process of declassifying the report.

In response, a U.S. official said Tuesday that Roberts' assertion is "simply not the case."

The official said that going through more than 400 pages in the report to make sure classified material is not included is "painstaking work -- you've got to get it right."

Sources say the CIA team has also found a number of "factual inaccuracies."

The committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to consider the CIA redactions and decide how to proceed. A final decision on how to act is not expected until the end of the week.

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