Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Joe Wilson was right

Bush's State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003: The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

That was Bush's famous 'sixteen words' in case anyone's forgotten. Y'know as part of the causus belli for the Iran War. And the reason Karl Rove got so pissed off enough at Joseph Wilson's dissenting opinion that they had to put his CIA wife at risk. Cause Saddam's got him sum nukular bombs, see?
"We pointed out at that time that Zawahie was one of Iraq's foremost proponents of nuclear weaponry, and that Niger--a poor country with essentially no manufacturing output--exports virtually nothing except uranium and animal hides. We therefore asked the question: So What Was Iraq Buying From Niger? We now know the answer [i.e. uranium]." -Powerline, conservative water carrier for the Bush administration

To which I have to ask.... are you POSITIVE, Mr. Assrocket?
NY TIMES: WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 - A high-level intelligence assessment by the Bush administration concluded in early 2002 that the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq was "unlikely" because of a host of economic, diplomatic and logistical obstacles, according to a secret memo that was recently declassified by the State Department.

Among other problems that made such a sale improbable, the assessment by the State Department's intelligence analysts concluded, was that it would have required Niger to send "25 hard-to-conceal 10-ton tractor-trailers" filled with uranium across 1,000 miles and at least one international border.

In early 2002, the Central Intelligence Agency sent the former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV to Niger to investigate possible attempts to sell uranium to Iraq. The next year, after Mr. Wilson became a vocal critic of the Bush administration's Iraqi intelligence, the identity of his wife, Valerie Wilson, a C.I.A. officer who suggested him for the Niger trip, was made public. The investigation into the leak led to criminal charges in October against Mr. Libby, who is accused of misleading investigators and a grand jury.

The review by the State Department's intelligence bureau was one of a number of reviews undertaken in early 2002 at the State Department in response to secret intelligence pointing to the possibility that Iraq was seeking to buy yellowcake, a processed uranium ore, from Niger to reconstitute its nuclear program.

A four-star general, Carlton W. Fulford Jr., was also sent to Niger to investigate the claims of a uranium purchase. He, too, came away with doubts about the reliability of the report and believed Niger's yellowcake supply to be secure. But the State Department's review, which looked at the political, economic and logistical factors in such a purchase, seems to have produced wider-ranging doubts than other reviews about the likelihood that Niger would try to sell uranium to Baghdad.

The review concluded that Niger was "probably not planning to sell uranium to Iraq," in part because France controlled the uranium industry in the country and could block such a sale. It also cast doubt on an intelligence report indicating that Niger's president, Mamadou Tandja, might have negotiated a sales agreement with Iraq in 2000. Mr. Tandja and his government were reluctant to do anything to endanger their foreign aid from the United States and other allies, the review concluded. The State Department review also cast doubt on the logistics of Niger being able to deliver 500 tons of uranium even if the sale were attempted. "Moving such a quantity secretly over such a distance would be very difficult, particularly because the French would be indisposed to approve or cloak this arrangement," the review said.

Chris Farrell, the director of investigations at Judicial Watch and a former military intelligence officer, said he found the State Department's analysis to be "a very strong, well-thought-out argument that looks at the whole playing field in Niger, and it makes a compelling case for why the uranium sale was so unlikely."

One more sour note in the neo-con wet dreams of WMD. I love it when desire for something becomes synonymous with having it when it comes to these myopic, harebrained lunatics. I want a new Mustang too but you don't see it parked in my garage, ya fucking morons. But if I tell you I have one, are ya gonna bomb the shit out of my house to prove otherwise?


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