University of Pittsburgh
September 15, 2004

Former State Department Official to Discuss U.S. Intelligence Failures on Iraq at a Sept. 20 Pitt Forum

Greg Thielmann, former State Department director of intelligence on the Iraqi threat, will provide an insider's look
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Greg Thielmann, former State Department director of intelligence on the Iraqi threat, will provide an insider's look into U.S. intelligence in "How We Got It Wrong on Iraq" at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in the University of Pittsburgh Teplitz Memorial Courtroom in the Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave. Oakland.

"The intelligence leadership wanted to deliver what the political leadership wanted to hear: Iraq was a serious and imminent threat," said Thielmann, who was an advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He now feels that Iraq was not an "imminent threat" to America, and that the world is less safe today than before the war.

A career foreign service officer since 1977, Thielmann has served in three Republican and two Democratic administrations, working at diplomatic posts in Brazil and Germany and in the former U.S.S.R. as a special assistant to Ambassador Paul H. Nitze. He also was a U.S. arms control negotiator during the Reagan administration.

In 2000, he became head of the Office of Strategic Proliferation and Military Affairs in the State Department's Office of Intelligence and Research, from which he retired in September 2002. While there, Thielmann contributed to the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate and participated directly in intelligence community deliberations prior to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Since retiring, he has been interviewed on television programs including Australian Television's Four Corners, BBC's Panorama, CBS' Sixty Minutes II, and PBS' Frontline, NOW with Bill Moyers, and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Thielmann's commentary on the role of intelligence data in preventive war decision-making also has been featured in articles published by The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, and Reuters.

Thielmann is a member of Pitt's Ridgway Center for International Security Studies Working Group on Preemptive and Preventive Military Intervention. The event is sponsored by Pitt's Ridgway Center, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and Students in Solidarity, as well as the Thomas Merton Center and 20/20 Vision.

For more information, contact Gordon Mitchell at or


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