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Twenty-five year CIA veteran J. Ransom Clark available for comment on Iraqi intelligence issues

Twenty-five year CIA veteran J. Ransom Clark is eminently qualified to comment on matters related to intelligence, particularly in light of the inquiry into Iraq intelligence and justifications for war.

Now vice-president for administration at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, Clark compiles and manages an on-line bibliography on the topic of "the literature of intelligence." This bibliography is available at http://intellit.muskingum.edu.

When he retired, he was a CIA senior executive and had held assignments in Asia, Europe, Latin American, the Middle East and Washington D.C. Following his retirement, he was awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit for his career contributions

The former CIA analyst recently interviewed with Todd Richissin, the London correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. Clark explained that it was his job at the CIA to sift through reports from secret operatives and that he has "little doubt that the intelligence agencies in Britain sent nuanced reports to their superiors, full of caveats explaining the percentage of confidence in their conclusions."

Richisson writes in the February 1, 2004, Baltimore Sun: The caveats would have been particularly prominent coming from a country such as Iraq, a "denied area" in intelligence parlance, meaning agents could not work freely and would have tight limitations on the amount of first-hand knowledge they could obtain.

"The information works its way up the bureaucracy, and a caveat is taken out here, another there, and then you have a boss standing in front of the president, and suddenly the answer is, 'Yes, Iraq is storing chemical weapons,'" Clark said. "Presidents want answers, not equivocations, and prime ministers don't want probabilities."

Clark came in 1990 to Muskingum College where he has served as a political science professor, the academic dean, interim vice-president for development, and now, as an administrative vice-president.