Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program was a deception to deter Iran, an FBI agent who spent nearly a year with the dictator says in a new book.
If true, the deception was one of the costliest mistakes in human history.
Special Agent George Piro befriended Saddam in what is described as a successful interrogation that yielded confessions about mass murder and about the WMD program that the US used as a pretext to invade in 2003.
Prominent intelligence writer Ronald Kessler authored the book, The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack. Kessler interviewed Piro who provided the account for the story.
Piro's account calls for an immediate classified and public assessment of how the US intelligence community detects and neutralizes deception. I don't think the community has been very willing to confront the issue, or to fix its own bureaucratic cultural biases in order to defend against such ruses. Higher education does little to fix the problem either, with the exception of places like The Institute of World Politics, where our new Master's degree program in strategic intelligence prepares current and prospective intelligence officers like no other school.