DUBUQUE, Iowa – Rep. Dennis Kucinich (search) of Ohio blasted the Bush administration Sunday for its handling of intelligence information in the leadup to the war with Iraq.
Kucinich, a Democratic presidential candidate, also criticized the administration for inflating the Pentagon's budget and heightening the nation's fear, which led America into conflict.
"I think the American people are aware this administration has engaged in a pattern of deceit," said Kucinich, who spoke at a peace forum at Drake University (search) in Des Moines. "Our country is being distorted by fear."
The four-term congressman told reporters that Vice President Dick Cheney (search) put pressure on the CIA (search) to "come up with intelligence that would fit the administration's preconceived notions" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Kucinich also called CIA Director George Tenet (search), who has been the focus of criticism over intelligence information that President Bush presented in his State of the Union speech this year, a scapegoat.
"Everyone in America knows this," Kucinich said. "Tenet is the fall guy."