WMD Commission's Report
Due 5 Months AFTER Election

By Phillip Coorey
The Herald Sun - Australia

US President George W. Bush has insured against political fallout by ordering the independent commission into weapons of mass destruction intelligence to report on March 31, next year -- almost five months after the November 2 presidential election.
And he confined the commission, the members of which he handpicked, to investigating whether the intelligence that led to the Iraqi weapons claims was flawed.
Democrats have demanded the probe also cover whether Mr Bush and his administration exaggerated the intelligence to fit their pre-determination to oust Saddam Hussein.
Mr Bush named seven members of the panel yesterday and said "we will let you know" about the other two.
Among them are maverick Republican Senator John McCain, who is on the record as saying about Iraq "I don't think anyone intentionally misled the American people".
In the spirit of bi-partisanship, Mr Bush named former Democrat Senator Chuck Robb as a co-chair. He is the son-in-law of former president Lyndon Johnson.
The other co-chair is senior Judge Laurence Silberman.
Mr Bush said it was important to "figure out why" no weapons were found in Iraq, but stood by his decision to invade.
The commission will also look into WMD intelligence about North Korea, Afghanistan and Libya.
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