WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The criticism of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has abruptly halted following the capture of Saddam Hussein, the New York Times said Monday.
The country's spy agency's standing was brought to a low ebb by a long line of setbacks, including the failure to anticipate the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the unsuccessful search for unconventional weapons in Iraq, and the inability to find Saddam or Osama bin Laden.
Bush used his televised address in part to praise what he called "the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country."
Senior members of Congress who have been critical of the CIA also went out of their way to praise the intelligence agency.
"Saddam's capture is a direct result of unprecedented cooperation and joint effort on the part of our intelligence analysts, operators in the field and our military," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said they "deserve a great deal of credit and our gratitude."