John Hawkins discusses the Bush Lied versus Intelligence failure issue. He does such a great job that I won't cover it here.
What I want to do here is to talk about why and how our intelligence services failed us (Brits included). So here we go:
Speculation: So it looks like there wasn't MUCH WMD in Iraq.
Confirmation: There was Riccin. We know this because terrorists were arrested with it in England (and the Riccin they had on them when arrested was confirmed from Iraq).
Speculation: There may be two 5,000 gallon tankers of it buried in the desert somewhere. But that's probably it.
Speculation: Oh, and then, according to David Kay, there may be more WMD that was shipped to Syria just before the war. But who really knows?
Confirmation: What we do know is that Saddam paid his scientists to develope WMD and they created the programs to build WMD. So why is there no WMD?
Speculation: Because the scientists pocketed the cash instead of following through on the programs, they didn't produce much WMD and lied to Saddam about it. This is where the breakdown in Intelligence occurred. All documentation/evidence pointed to the creation of WMD. Hell, even Saddam thought they had it. This is why, before the invasion, Iraqi troops were being equipped with NBC gear - because Saddam thought that they had WMD to use.
Evidence/dcoumentation existed that WMD was being produced, but almost none of it was being produced by the scientists. They were making money on the prospect but not building WMD. Possibly, France had more information and better intel because some of the scientists wanted to flee to France. France and Russia also might have had better intel because they were suppliers to Iraq. They had eyes on the ground to confirm if WMD existed.
While this is just speculation, I believe it to be why our intelligence services failed us. Because, in order to confirm the existence of WMD, we would need to have human verification that it existed - not just documentation of programs, satellite photos, financial transactions between Saddam and the scientists, intercepted communications, etc. - we would need eyes on the WMD in order to confirm it.
We'll see what comes of this.