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Profile: David Kay

 
  

Positions that David Kay has held:

  • Senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
  • UN weapons inspector
  • Head of US Iraqi survey group


 

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David Kay actively participated in the following events:

 
  

January 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance is created by the Pentagon to direct the post-war administration of Iraq. Its head, retired army general Jay Garner, reports to Gen. Tommy R. Franks of the US Central Command. The Office is later renamed the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). David Kay, a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and a former UN weapons inspector, had initially been selected to head the office, but he declined the invitation. Associates of Kay tell the New York Times that Kay felt the new agency seemed relatively uninterested in the task of promoting democracy. [New York Times, 2/23/03; New York Times, 4/2/03]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks, David Kay, Jay Garner
          

January 28, 2004      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       David Kay presents his final report to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the results of his weapons inspection teams' search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. “Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong,” he says in his opening remarks, before revealing that the inspection teams had found no weapons of mass destruction. “I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons there,” he says. [Guardian, 1/29/03; CNN, 1/28/03 Sources: David Kay]
People and organizations involved: David Kay
          

September 2004      US confrontation with Iran

       The Atlantic Monthly magazine commissions retired military officers, intelligence officials, and diplomats to participate in a war game scenario involving Iran. The three-hour war game deals “strictly with how an American President might respond, militarily or otherwise, to Iran's rapid progress toward developing nuclear weapons.” Its main objective is to simulate the decision-making process that would likely take place during a meeting of the “Principals Committee” in the event that Iran ignores the deadline set by the IAEA to meet its demands. Kenneth Pollack, of the Brookings Institution, and Reuel Marc Gerecht, of the American Enterprise Institute, both play the role of secretary of state—Pollack with a more Democratic perspective and Gerecht as more of a Republican. David Kay plays the CIA director and Kenneth Bacon, a chief Pentagon spokesman during the Clinton Administration, is the White House chief of staff. Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, serves mostly as National Security Adviser, but plays other roles as well. He is also the person who designed the game. During the game, Israel's influence on the administration's Iran policy is highlighted, with Pollack noting at one point, “[I]n the absence of Israeli pressure how seriously would the United States be considering” the use of military force against Iran? One of the largest concerns raised, shared by all of the participants, is that a US attack on Iran would provoke the Iranians to interfere in Iraq. “[O]ne of the things we have going for us in Iraq, if I can use that term, is that the Iranians really have not made a major effort to thwart us ... If they wanted to make our lives rough in Iraq, they could make Iraq hell.” At the conclusion of the three-hour exercise, it is apparent that the players believe that the game's scenario offered the US no feasible options for using military force against Iran. [Atlantic Monthly, 12/2004; Guardian, 1/18/2005]
People and organizations involved: Kenneth Pollack, Sam Gardiner, Reuel Marc Gerecht, David Kay
          

January 12, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       The Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC hosts the “Transition 2005: US Policy Toward Iran” discussion with David Kay and Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution. Pollack states that “...the MEK as best I can tell, [inaudible] on the intelligence community, has very little support inside of Iran.” [Council on Foreign Relations, 1/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: Council on Foreign Relations, David Kay, Kenneth Pollack
          

February 9, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       In an op-ed piece published by the Washington Post, David Kay, formerly of the Iraq Survey Group, recommends five steps the US should follow in order to avoid making the same “mistake” it made in Iraq when it wrongly concluded that Iraq had an active illicit weapons program. Three of the points address the issue of politicized intelligence. He implies that the US should learn from the experience it had with the Iraqi National Congress (see 2001-2003), which supplied US intelligence with sources who made false statements about Iraq's weapon program. “Dissidents and exiles have their own agenda—regime change—and that before being accepted as truth any ‘evidence’ they might supply concerning Iran's nuclear program must be tested and confirmed by other sources,” he says. In his fourth point, Kay makes it clear that the motives of administration officials should also be considered. He says it is necessary to “understand that overheated rhetoric from policymakers and senior administration officials, unsupported by evidence that can stand international scrutiny, undermines the ability of the United States to halt Iran's nuclear activities.” And recalling the CIA's infamous 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq (see October 1, 2002), he says that an NIE on Iran “should not be a rushed and cooked document used to justify the threat of military action” and “should not be led by a team that is trying to prove a case for its boss.” [Washington Post, 2/9/05]
People and organizations involved: David Kay
          

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