In February 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell gave his now famous speech to the United Nations, laying the groundwork for the US invasion of Iraq. Using specially declassified intelligence information, Powell highlighted, with dramatic visual imagery, Iraq's continued development of biological weapons (BW), emphasizing the purported development of a mobile BW capability. Yet, within a year, all the evidence about the mobile biological labs presented in Powell's UN speech was discredited. In this paper, I will illustrate how US intelligence analysts used particular kinds of anticipatory assumptions and communication techniques to produce classified and unclassified information about the Iraqi mobile labs, which contributed to the flawed assessments and public understanding of the threat.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law