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Profile: Greg Thielmann


Positions that Greg Thielmann has held:

  • Director of the strategic, proliferation and military issues office in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.




Quote, February 5, 2003

   “... I think my conclusion [about Powell's speech] now is that it's probably one of the low points in his long distinguished service to the nation.” [CBS News, 10/14/03]

Associated Events

Summary, summer 2003

   There was “a lot of sorrow and anger at the way intelligence was misused.” It seemed as though “the administration didn't think the public would be enthusiastic about the idea of war” if they knew that much of the intelligence on Iraq was uncertain. [Newsweek, 6/9/03, Guardian, 6/2/03]

Associated Events

Summary, July 2003

   “This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude ... ‘We know the answers—give us the intelligence to support those answers.’” Iraq “posed no imminent threat to either its neighbors or to the United States” when the invasion was launched in March 2003. [Guardian, 7/10/03]

Associated Events

Quote, August 2, 2003

   “One would think if Cheney was on some sort of noble pursuit of the truth and really wanted to get into details, he would have noticed that INR [State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research] had very loud and lengthy dissents on some critical pieces of Iraq intelligence. ... You'd think he might want to hear from us. It never happened, of course, because Cheney wasn't engaged in an academic search for truth.” [Chicago Tribune, 8/2/03]

Associated Events

Quote, October 2003

   “...The main problem was that the senior administration officials have what I call faith-based intelligence. They knew what they wanted the intelligence to show. They were really blind and deaf to any kind of countervailing information the intelligence community would produce. I would assign some blame to the intelligence community and most of the blame to the senior administration officials.” [CBS News, 10/14/03]

Associated Events

Quote, October 27, 2003

   “What was improper and, I thought, very deceptive was implying, as President Bush did when he first mentioned it, that there was no other explanation for the aluminum tube procurements other than the pursuit of nuclear weapons. When he...when he used his language, there was nothing in it that suggested there was enormous controversy inside the intelligence community on what the purpose of these tubes was.” [Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10/27/03]

Associated Events

Quote, (Spring 2004)

   “... the American public was seriously misled. The administration twisted, distorted, and simplified intelligence in a way that led Americans to seriously misunderstand the nature of the Iraq threat. I'm not sure I can think of a worse act against the people in a democracy than the president distorting critical classified information.” [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 294]

Associated Events




Related Entities:


Greg Thielmann actively participated in the following events:


Early 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Shortly after Bush is inaugurated into office, Greg Thielmann, an analyst for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), is appointed to serve as the intelligence liaison to John Bolton. But Thielmann's intelligence briefings do not support Bolton's assumptions about Iraq, and Thielmann is soon barred from attending the meetings. According to Thielmann: “Bolton seemed to be troubled because INR was not telling him what he wanted to hear. I was intercepted at the door of his office and told, ‘The undersecretary doesn't need you to attend this meeting anymore. The undersecretary wants to keep this in the family.’” [New Yorker, 10/20/03 Sources: Greg Thielmann]
People and organizations involved: Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Greg Thielmann, John R. Bolton  Additional Info 

Fall 2001      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Joe T., an analyst for the CIA, gives a presentation in Room 6526 of the State Department's Office of Strategic Proliferation on his theory that a confiscated shipment of 7075-T6 aluminum tubes destined for Iraq (see July 2001) had been intended for use in a gas centrifuge program. Present at the meeting is Greg Thielmann, head of the nuclear proliferation monitoring division at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, who is not at all impressed with Joe T.'s argument. “I found the presentation to be unpersuasive,” Thielmann later explains to Vanity Fair. “He seemed far more a man on a mission than an objective analyst. He had something to sell.” Also in attendance is a scientist from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory who also disagrees with Joe T.'s conclusions. [Vanity Fair, 5/04, pg 281]
People and organizations involved: Joe T., Greg Thielmann

After May 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       US current and former intelligence and other governmental officials who have inside knowledge continue to refute claims made by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein's regime had or was seeking ties with international militant Islamic groups. [UPI, 7/25/03; Associated Press, 7/12/03; Associated Press, 6/26/03; UPI, 7/23/03; Boston Globe, 8/3/03]
People and organizations involved: Mel Goodman, Vincent Cannistraro, Greg Thielmann  Additional Info 

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