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Bush names final members of intelligence panel

President Bush on Thursday named the last two members of the panel looking into the intelligence that indicated before the war that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
/ Source: The Associated Press

President Bush on Thursday named the final two members of the commission that will investigate prewar intelligence on Iraq, adding the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Pentagon official.

Charles M. Vest has been MIT’s president since 1990. Henry S. Rowen, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, was an assistant defense secretary from 1989 to 1991.

Bush, under fire about whether Iraq had banned weapons before the U.S.-led invasion, reversed course last week and created the nine-member bipartisan commission. Iraq’s alleged possession of such weapons was Bush’s primary rationale for war.

The president instructed commissioners to examine the apparently flawed intelligence that suggested Iraq had chemical and biological weapons stockpiles and an aggressive nuclear weapons program.

The commission also will look at U.S. intelligence on weapons programs in North Korea, Iran, Libya and Afghanistan.

The commission is led by Laurence Silberman, a former federal appeals court judge and ambassador to Yugoslavia, and Charles Robb, a former two-term Democratic senator and Virginia governor.