By Ben Geman an Alexandra Jaffe - 09/01/13 01:35 PM EDT
The idea of “slam dunk” intelligence should disappear from national security discussions, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryJudd Gregg: Debate prep and being Al Gore Time for Action on Bahrain When wise men attack: Why Gates is wrong about Clinton, Libya MORE said Sunday.
“The word ‘slam-dunk’ should be retired from the American national security issues,” Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
During the George W. Bush administration, then-CIA chief George Tenet reportedly told Bush that intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a “slam dunk.”
The phrase became a symbol for the botched intelligence that the Bush White House used to justify the invasion.
Kerry spoke in response to his claim that evidence shows sarin gas was used in the Assad regime’s alleged chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus last month.
“Individuals who were engaged as first responders in East Damascus, I can report to you today that they have tested positive for signatures of sarin,” he said on Fox News. “So this case is going to build stronger and stronger.”
Kerry, who was to appear on five networks on Sunday, made the case that evidence of a chemical attack is strong.
“We know where this attack came from. We know exactly where it went. We know what happened exactly afterwards,” he said on Meet the Press, according to a transcript.
“We know the preparations were being taken before for this attack, we know people were told to use their gas mask to prepare for the use of the chemical barrage. We also know that after it took place, they acknowledged that they had done it and were worried about the consequences and whether the U.N. inspectors were going to find out,” Kerry said.