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Tilting at Windmills

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April 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SADDAM'S URANIUM SHOPPING....Both the Washington Post and Tom Maguire bury the lead today in reporting about Iraq's alleged prewar uranium cravings. Here it is:

Iraq's alleged uranium shopping had been strongly disputed in the intelligence community from the start....[In 2002] the Pentagon asked for an authoritative judgment from the National Intelligence Council.

....The council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest. Four U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge said in interviews that the memo, which has not been reported before, arrived at the White House as Bush and his highest-ranking advisers made the uranium story a centerpiece of their case for the rapidly approaching war against Iraq.

In other words, well before the 2003 State of the Union Address, when George Bush stated unequivocally that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," his own intelligence experts had told him unequivocally and in writing that the story was bogus.

I for one would sure like to see that memo. Wouldn't you? A couple of questions spring immediately to mind:

  • Does "unequivocal" mean that the memo debunked the whole story, or just the Niger part?

  • Does "unequivocal" mean that the memo addressed and debunked the supposedly "independent" British reports about Saddam's attempts to purchase uranium? After all, the CIA's deputy director was already on record telling Congress that "we don't think they are very credible," so it seems like the kind of thing the NIC might address.

Inquring minds want to know. This seems like a memo that could stand to be declassified in the public interest, no?

Kevin Drum 1:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (88)

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Comments


KEVIN DRUM: This seems like a memo that could stand to be declassified in the public interest, no?

Public interest, you say? Name one time when that has happened.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

This seems like a memo that could stand to be declassified in the public interest, no?

Apparently, you aren't familiar with Bush's understanding of the public interest: L'etat, c'est moi.

Posted by: dj moonbat on April 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: This seems like a memo that could stand to be declassified in the public interest, no?

Only a lunatic fringe of lefty moonbat commie pinko America-hating Saddam-loving Islamofascist sympathizing liberal moonbats believe in "the public interest". Why, the very phrase comes right out of Marx, proving that there is no difference at all between The Communist Manifesto and the Democrat Party's platform.

The vast majority of true patriotic Americans realize that the only interests that matter are the interests of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their financial backers in the corporate ruling class.

Until the Democrat Party realizes that corporate interests matter, and the "public interest" doesn't, you lefty liberal moonbat Democrats will lose elections.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 9, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Where is any proof that Saddam was shopping for uranium in Niger (or anywhere)?

Posted by: lina on April 9, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

This seems like a memo that could stand to be declassified in the public interest, no?

What is the one thing characteristic of all the conclusions and evidence that Bush has chosen to declassify?

They have been proven to be false.

What is the one characteristic of all the conclusions and evidence that Bush has refused to declassify?

They have been proven to be true.

The "evidence" behind the British claims of some "other" place and time in Africa where Saddam supposedly "sought" uranium has now been proven to be false.

Ergo, it will never see the light of day on Bush's watch.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

The best thing the Republican party could do now would be to impeach Cheney and Bush.

Posted by: phleabo on April 9, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, well before the 2003 State of the Union Address, when George Bush stated unequivocally that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," his own intelligence experts had told him unequivocally and in writing that the story was bogus.

The Senate Report refutes your claim.

Link

"that Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa."

"A Friday report from the Senate Intelligence Committee offers new details supporting the claim."

"French and British intelligence separately told the United States about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger, the report said. The report from France is significant not only because Paris opposed the Iraq war but also because Niger is a former French colony and French companies control uranium production there."

"Joseph Wilson, a retired U.S. diplomat the CIA sent to investigate the Niger story, also found evidence of Iraqi contacts with Nigerien officials, the report said."

Posted by: Al on April 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The end of my last post was probably confusing.

The point is, Bush won't declassify the true and correct debunking of the "evidence" that Saddam sought uranium elsewhere in Africa.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and BTW, you want extremely good evidence of the shitty job Democrats have done politically?

How about the way they signed off on that idiot, wholly unbalance, a simply scurrilous Senate report that resident troll Al is now quoting from?

Oh yeah, the Democrats aren't lame at all, are they?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Does "unequivocal" mean that the memo debunked the whole story, or just the Niger part?

One thing seems clear. If there ever was hard evide nce that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Niger, or anywhere else, or evidence of any kind that would have support the adminstrations reasons for going to war, George Bush would have "declassified" it by now.

This is what makes me sure no such evidence exists.

Posted by: Paul on April 9, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

lina wrote: "Where is any proof that Saddam was shopping for uranium in Niger (or anywhere)?"

There is none, of course, mostly because we have a great deal of evidence that no such shopping took place. What folks like our resident troll Al continue to overlook is that we have access to the people and ministries in Iraq that would have overseen such a purpose, not to mention that there was no point in such a purpose because a) Iraq already had plenty of uranium, and b) it did not have a reactivated nuclear program.

The claim was and is bogus and the Bush administration knew it was bogus, as the latest documents pretty clearly show. That didn't stop them from repeating it, though.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

That the Democrats let the Republicans use that Senate Report to go out of their way, far from their stated mission, simply to smear Joe Wilson is, in my view, a great disgrace, and one of the major reasons I find it very difficult to have any real respect for them.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

No, Al, Ambassador Joe Wilson reported that Iran (note the trailing "n") has expressed a passing interest in Nigerien yellowcake. That got accidentally-on-purpose typoed to Iraq in one page of the congressional report, and in one online summary by the wapo.

Iran, not Iraq, and Iran actually had IAEC permission to purchase yellowcake for their domestic nuclear power plants.

Posted by: not al on April 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Bushies treat the facts about Iraq the same as they do the facts about global warming or evolution: If there is one single solitary "fact" that agrees with their preferred worldview, that single solitary fact becomes all the proof they need.

Anyone surprised by this?

Posted by: Martin on April 9, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bush doctrine:

"Good Leaks": false propaganda

"Bad Leaks": truth in any of its forms


Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

What Paul says. Any hard evidence would be posted on all Pentagon and State bulletin boards by now.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 9, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's not quite as bad as you think, frankly0. Much of your ire should probably be directed at the media who were lazy in their reporting of the Senate Report's conclusions, although the Democratic committee members should have been more vigorous in opposing the weasel-wording in the final draft. For example, one conclusion was:

The Committee did not find that the information showed Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure uranium" as indicated in the NIE, but it did indicate that Iraq may have been trying to acquire uranium. [Emphasis added.]

Elsewhere, the committee wrote:

The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq's possible procurement attempts. [Emphasis added.]

All through the report, you see the same kind of weasel wording. The Senate Committee refused to rule out the possibility that Saddam Hussein may have been trying to acquire uranium but it did not find any compelling evidence that he did. And, as we well know now, that's because there was no such evidence to find.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Look over there! Iran is getting nukes! Booga-booga!

Posted by: George W. Bush on April 9, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

I'm sure that there was at least some Democratic pushback against some of the wording in some contexts, leaving weasel words in place, instead of simply false declarations.

But the abusive and grossly unfair and unbalanced treatment of Wilson in that report is simply a disgrace. I'd like someone to explain to me why the Senate Democrats could NOT have made, or threatened to make, a huge public stink about the Republicans insisting on a whitewash in its version of the report. THAT would have changed the content of report enormously for the better?

Why didn't they do so? Cowardice or incompetence. You choose.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK


AL: The Senate Report refutes your claim.

The Senate Report, biased in favor of the president and partisan in favor of the Republicans as it was, did not refute Kevin's claim that Bush's "own intelligence experts had told him unequivocally and in writing that the story was bogus." As you yourself quoted from the report: "French and British intelligence separately told the United States about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger" This refutes the claim that French and British intelligence did not tell the U.S. about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium--which is a claim Kevin (nor anyone) has made.

Likewise, no one ever, not even once, said about Bush's 2003 SOTU speech that the British had not told Bush about an old report of theirs from 1999 saying it was possible Iraq had attempted to buy uranium in Niger. But that is not what Bush told the American people. Once again, because you can't seem to keep it in your head no matter how many times you're told, here's what Bush said:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa

Has "learned," Al. Just as you can't seem to learn, they hadn't learned anything of the kind. They had speculated about it being possible. Our government had investigated the matter and had learned that it was untrue. Bush knew this when he spoke the words... when he lied.

I learned long before Bush became president that it would be stupid to invade Iraq. So along with millions of others, I tried to tell him when he got the crazy notion to do it. But Bush doesn't learn anything he doesn't want to. He wanted to learn of any and all excuses to attack Iraq, so he would naturally go with disproven reports and any forgery and use their dishonesty to advance his own. He's a lot like you. A proven liar.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 9, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Not Al wrote: "No, Al, Ambassador Joe Wilson reported that Iran (note the trailing "n") has expressed a passing interest in Nigerien yellowcake. That got accidentally-on-purpose typoed to Iraq in one page of the congressional report, and in one online summary by the wapo."

Yes and no. While what you write is true, there was an element of Wilson's report that some people on the right have seized on as "proof" that Wilson's report actually confirmed that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger. What Wilson passed on was the results of a conversation with former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Araki Mayaki. Mayaki told Wilson that in 1999 he had been approached by an Iraqi delegation interested in "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. Mayaki interpreted this to mean that Iraq was interested in uranium, since he couldn't think of anything else that Niger made or had that would interest Iraq.

The contact went nowhere and no confirmation of Mayaki's suspicions has ever turned up. The Iraqi Survey Group, in its own investigation of these claims, found that Iraq was, in fact, interested in two things: 1) seeking support for removing the UN sanctions, and 2) selling oil, which means that Mayaki's interpretation simply doesn't hold up.

For far more detail on this, including the debunking of some of what was written in the Senate Report, see this link.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my attempt to characterize this issue for those fellow citizens of mine who tend to be, shall we say, ethnocentric:

You can divide Americans into two groups: those who fear (and don't want to hear) the truth about Iraq's alleged uranium shopping Bush's alleged lying; and those who do not fear the truth.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 9, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 wrote: "But the abusive and grossly unfair and unbalanced treatment of Wilson in that report is simply a disgrace."

The worst of the abuses were contained in an annex to the report that only three Republican Senators -- Roberts, Hatch, and Bond -- signed on to. They were unable to persuade their colleagues, on either the left or the right, to assist in the sliming. I don't think there is anything the Democratic committee members could have done to block this, since any member is free to attach such annexes.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: thanks for the clarification, you beat me to it. The entire purpose of the Republicans adding that addendum was to allow shallow propagandists to make the kinds of statements you see being made here.

This is not a complicated matter. Wilson was right, had the facts on his side, period. The Bush folks were wrong and extremely dishonest about a very important matter.

There is not reason to let this matter go. Too many Americans still do not have a clue. It was a horrible deception by the Bush administration and needs to be investigated futher, documented, publicized. All in the interest of avoiding this type of foolishness in the future.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 9, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, that should have been the lead of the story. Can you imagine the uproar that would have been created had that come out in July of 2003, just as Wilson's op-ed was forcing the administration to back (gently) off of the Niger-uranium story? Suddenly, it's not longer "of the quality deserving of inclusion in a major presidential address," but rather a "complete and total bald-faced lie told to frighten and mislead the nation into an unneccessary war." That probably would've been worth a few points at the polls in November 2004.

Posted by: twc on April 9, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Slight OT but what's up with the WaPo editorial that ignores what Gellman and Linzer reported on the same subject? Is the Downie/Hiatt lip-lock on Bush's rear end so cemented that even contrary reporting by the paper's reporters can't break it? That newspaper is in some serious trouble right now.

Posted by: Taobhan on April 9, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

.
Kevin, I'm surprised at you. Normally, you're up to the minute with the latest, so how could you possibly miss Carpetbagger's invaluable McLellan Dictionary?

* "Public interest" as in, "Declassifying information and providing it to the public, when it is in the public interest, is one thing." This refers to leaks that help the president politically.

* "National Security" as in, "Leaking classified information that could compromise our national security is something that is very serious." This refers to leaks that make Bush look bad.

Using the correct definitions, the disclosure you want would damage national security. You pinko commie, you.

Posted by: quixote on April 9, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I am puzzled that George Bush's most obvious lies exposed by the Fitzgerald report have not gotten better coverage.

Sure, the report hints at dishonesty by the president at two points of important policy decisions: the State of the Union before the invasion and the time when it was decided to go after Wilson through his wife. But the report challenges the president's truthfulness with the American people on a more recent occasion.

Namely: If Libby is telling the truth that he had the president's permission (which may have legally amounted to a declassification) to release parts of a classified document to Judith Miller, then Bush was flat-out lying when he told the American people he wanted to get to the bottom of these leaks. If Fitzgerald's report is to be believed, Bush WAS the bottom of the leaks.

All Bush needed to do was tell everyone it was OK for Libby to talk to reporters because he had approved it. At worst, the president could have asked a few questions of Rove, Hadley, Cheney and Libby to refresh his memory. Then he could clear the whole thing up without an expensive investigation.

The question: Why not?

Once we hear the president's answer to this very basic question, I suspect the answers about all the rest of his lies should be fairly straightforward.

Posted by: scotus on April 9, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK


PAULB: For far more detail on this, including the debunking of some of what was written in the Senate Report, see this link.

Prior to offering this link, you gave an excellent summary of one of the ways the right tried to discredit Wilson, smearing him as a liar. In fact, his mere mention of Mayaki was nothing more than evidence of his thoroughness and attention to detail. As for The Left Coaster's superb analysis and debunking of the Senate Report, it's too bad that no one will follow your link except those already only too aware of this administration's and its enablers' dishonesty.

Wouldn't matter if they did, though. At this point, only those who are equally dishonest are still defending Bush. Every single one of them. Oh, some will say that there are Bush supporters who just are ignorant of the facts, and are hanging on because they believe their interests are served by Bush policies. Such persons are motivated purely by selfishness; but they won't admit that. Hence, like the rest, like Bush, they are simply dishonest.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 9, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

It was Clinton's fault.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 9, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Al:

Thanks for pointing out (once again) the despicable dishonesty of the Intelligence Committee's whitewash. At a time most of the GOP is running away from Bush as fast as their sneakers can take them, up pops Al with the document that ties them to the worst of what the Bushies have done.

We can look at the Fitzgerald report as what the Intelligence Committee might have produced if Hatch and Roberts had the slightest interest in national security...

...or the truth.

Posted by: scotus on April 9, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Vote for me in 06.

I promise to charge George Bush with the murder of 2500 US servicemen and women. Screw this impeachment crap.

Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Bush tried to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, and failed, because our troops were tied up and overextended in Iraq, and Iran successfully nuked Israel? I'd be laughing for weeks.

Posted by: Democrats on April 9, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

What was left out of the SOTU speech.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. But we learned he didn't."

Posted by: Max Power on April 9, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Does "unequivocal" mean that the memo debunked the whole story, or just the Niger part?

I doubt there's a difference. According to the SSIC report (here):

Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.
Which strongly suggests that "Africa" and "Niger" are one-and-the-same. Nor is it difficult to believe that such a memo debunking the Africa/Niger claims was produced, and discounted, as the report also states:
Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory.

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Glad to see you picked this up Kevin. Have been surprised how little traction this story is getting, given how damning it is. Trumpeted it last night at Daily Kos, but with little apparent effect. Here is another write up today at Inconvenient News.

Posted by: smintheus on April 9, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

The worst of the abuses were contained in an annex to the report that only three Republican Senators -- Roberts, Hatch, and Bond -- signed on to.

I certainly realize this. But even in the body of the report that ALL signed on to, there was much to slime Wilson, including, most notably, the total misresentation of his wife's "involvement" in the decision to have him sent to Niger.

The single most obvious question to ask of the whole section devoted to this point is, WHY is this relevant to the mission goals of this report? Answer: they are completely irrelevant to the issue of intelligence failures, but completely relevant to the hatchet job being perpetrated on Wilson.

It was disgusting -- nothing but a further continuation of the smear attack long ago launched by the WH, and the Senate Democrats who let it pass have much to answer for.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

With regard to the smear on Wilson in the Senate Report -- both in the body of the report and in the addendum -- ask yourself the simple question: why was it important for the Senate to go out of its way to discredit Wilson? What Wilson claimed and concluded was NOT an example of intelligence FAILURE, but of an intelligence SUCCESS. If Wilson had proven to have MISREPRESENTED the realities in Niger, it would be important to get to the bottom of his failure, and how it came about. But on what ground could one legitimately go after his trip given that everything he concluded was borne out? In particular, how on earth is the involvement or not of his wife in the decision for him to go to Niger relevant?

Answer: NONE of it is relevant, EXCEPT as a means to further the slime job on Wilson. And why did the Senate Dems agree to sign off on any part of that?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 9, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, again, the Democrats signed on to some weasel wording, not the definitive sliming from Roberts and Co. The final report said that officials "could not recall how the office decided to contact" Wilson but that "interviews and documents indicate his wife suggested his name for the trip." That's pretty much it.

Should they have even signed on to that much? Probably not, but I don't think it was as clear at that time just how slimy the Bush administration was in this matter and the depths to which they were sinking. And that wording, while unfortunate, isn't really that damaging. At least the full committee's report doesn't pretend that his wife got him the job or that she even remotely had the power to do so.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: What Wilson claimed and concluded was NOT an example of intelligence FAILURE, but of an intelligence SUCCESS.

The conclusions of that section of the report recognize that Wilson's activities and findings were worth recognition and the attention of at least the VP, e.g.:

Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador's findings.

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

if you guys find time to take a break from coloring turds in a bowl, take a deep look at the complete record and the reaction of the Iraqis to the GWB's project to bring Western values of liberty and democracy to that unfortunate nation.

you will find that the project has essentially been a great success despite all the brickbats at home from the hysterical left.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 9, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Iran successfully nuked Israel

You forget, Israel has both offensive and defensive nuclear capability. That is one reason that Iran (legitamately in my opinion) wants to have its own nukes. In any case, the attack in unlikely to be 1) attempted or 2) successful. You are buying Republican/neo-con/Fundamentalist propaganda.

I'd be laughing for weeks.

I don't see anything funny about nuclear detonations.

Posted by: Ray on April 9, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

the reaction of the Iraqis to the GWB's project to bring Western values of liberty and democracy to that unfortunate nation.

So suppose, for the sake of argument that you are right "that the project has essentially been a great success."

When exactly did GWB announce this project to the American people? It certainly wasn't announced in advance of the war. The American people's support for the war was predicated on a lie, or really, a series of lies about Saddam's link to 9-11 and willingness, capability and intention of acquiring and using nuclear weapons against the Unitied States.

You see, GWB did announce that "we ought to have a humble foreign policy." Not a foreign policy of regieme change.

Of course, right around that time he also said the Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher, so he has been practicing his lying hypocrite routine for quite a while now.

Posted by: Ray on April 9, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

take a break from coloring turds in a bowl

I am glad that you finally have acquired some perspective on Bush and Cheney though.

Oh and don't forget the flower of Rove.

Posted by: Ray on April 9, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

tbroz says:
if you guys find time to take a break from coloring turds in a bowl, take a deep look at the complete record and the reaction of the Iraqis to the GWB's project to bring Western values of liberty and democracy to that unfortunate nation, you will find that the project has essentially been a great success despite all the brickbats at home from the hysterical left.


Great success at what, destabilizing the Mid-East? Stirring up the Iranians? Causing a civil war? Wasting half a trillion dollars? Wearing down the Army and the Marines? Sending Iraq back to the Dark Ages?

Which Great Success are you talking about?

Posted by: Broken on April 9, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

By the way Kevin, what do you think of the editorial "A Good leak" in the same edition of the post. Quite a few bloggers have commented on it. I know you don't enjoy MSM bashing, but sometimes it's necessary.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on April 9, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin, you really have a problem understanding simple facts. The "Niger story" that was baseless was the one about the forged documents "discovered" by Italian intelligence.

These documents and this "baseless story" had nothing whatsoever to do with GWB's sixteen words in his SOTU address. Nor had Joe Wilson seen them when he wrote his infamous (and mendacious) op-ed.

In fact Saddam had sought to buy Uranium ore from Niger, probably to support his scientists in Libya -- where he had relocated his nuclear efforts.

And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 9, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Re Joe Wilson's lies on what he found in Niger:

http://hawspipe.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_hawspipe_archive.html#113114273465206582

And scroll up from there.

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Correction, this link:

http://hawspipe.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_hawspipe_archive.html#113123849092164909

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

When exactly did GWB announce this project to the American people? It certainly wasn't announced in advance of the war.

For the love of... Go back and read the Iraq War Resolution that was passed by Congress in 2002. Then read a transcript of the 2003 SOTU speech. Those items were discussed repeatedly and at great length. And the left accuses the right of being uninformed. Harrumph!

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers, still determined to betray his complete lack of reading comprehension, not to mention his extreme ignorance, writes: "Hey Kevin, you really have a problem understanding simple facts."

Sorry, dear, but I'm afraid that it's you who exhibits that teensy little problem.

"The 'Niger story' that was baseless was the one about the forged documents 'discovered' by Italian intelligence."

No, dear, that was just one bit of cooked-up "evidence" for that story. The whole thing was a fantasy, not just those documents.

"These documents and this 'baseless story' had nothing whatsoever to do with GWB's sixteen words in his SOTU address."

Yes, dear, they did, although since the Bush administration knew by then that the documents were a forgery and that the Niger story was a fantasy, they tried to give themselves an out by pretending that the British had "learned" that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium from Niger. Sadly for Bush, this, too, was a lie, so it ultimately didn't matter.

"Nor had Joe Wilson seen them when he wrote his infamous (and mendacious) op-ed."

Joe Wilson based his accurate op-ed on other evidence, including the evidence of his own investigation.

"In fact Saddam had sought to buy Uranium ore from Niger,"

No, dear, he hadn't, as the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, along with the work of other intelligence agencies, conclusively demonstrated. There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger and ample evidence that he did not. The fantasy never did make sense, given that Saddam Hussein already had plenty of uranium and that he had not restarted his nuclear program.

"probably to support his scientists in Libya -- where he had relocated his nuclear efforts."

[Snicker] Yes, dear, and I'm sure they were joined there by the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and everyone had a marvelous time at the Mad Tea Party. Isn't it your bedtime, dear?

"And you wonder why I think you're a moron?"

No, dear, we really don't. Sadly for you, though, all you do with these little regurgitations of yours is provide conclusive evidence that the reverse is true. They are ever so much fun, though, so please do keep up the good work. We look forward to the next installment of your little fairy tale.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB is the one living in a fantasy land. Joe Wilson has admitted himself that he found evidence during his trip to Africa that Iraq had made inquiries in Niger for what he (Wilson) and the prime minister of Niger believed to pertain to uranium. Read the links provided just above. Use your noodle, buddy.

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon wrote: "Re Joe Wilson's lies on what he found in Niger:"

There's only one problem with that link: it's not correct. See my post at 2:07 and its link to the debunking of that myth by the Left Coaster. Moreover, the two-year old Washington Post report that is linked to in that post is flatly contradicted by the wealth of new information that has recently appeared, including the information linked to in Kevin's original post. In short, the more we learn, the better Joe Wilson looks.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon, determined to show that he knows as little as dear little Normy, writes: "PaulB is the one living in a fantasy land."

Sorry, but I'm not.

"Joe Wilson has admitted himself that he found evidence during his trip to Africa that Iraq had made inquiries in Niger for what he (Wilson) and the prime minister of Niger believed to pertain to uranium."

Sorry, but you are incorrect, as I've already noted above. We've already covered that point, Shannon. I'm afraid that you're just not keeping up.

"Read the links provided just above."

I did. See my response. That link you pointed me too is, quite frankly, worthless.

"Use your noodle, buddy."

I have; I don't think you can say the same. What I find most interesting is how so many war supporters just cannot get their heads wrapped around the fact that Saddam Hussein didn't need uranium because he already had plenty and had no use for it, anyway, because he hadn't restarted his nuclear program.

I also find it interesting that so many of them simply ignore the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, which probed this from the Iraqi side after the war and found that there was nothing there. Give it up, guys; the story was a fantasy from the very beginning and it still is a fantasy.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB:

Sorry, but you cannot change what Joe wilson has said on the matter. Follow the links to his interview with Josh Marshall. He came back and told the CIA that he found evidence supporting their intel that Iraq had indeed sought -- not purchased, sought -- uranium from Niger.

And if Saddam already had uranium, as you say, what's your beef with the allegation that he was seeking it. He was prohibited from possessing uranium under the UN resolutions. This makes it a slam dunk (not to mention the mountain of other reasons). I think you're the one not keeping up, my friend.

Speaking of the ISG:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21924

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

For the love of... Go back and read the Iraq War Resolution that was passed by Congress in 2002. Then read a transcript of the 2003 SOTU speech. Those items were discussed repeatedly and at great length. And the left accuses the right of being uninformed. Harrumph!

Harrumph yourself. What I accuse the right of is taking statements out of context and tilting whatever small scintilla of evidence they might have to their benefit while ignoring all contrary evidence. This post of your's is a case in point.

The phrase that I referred to was, "GWB's project to bring Western values of liberty and democracy "

The Resolution you cite contains none of these words, "project," "western," "values," "liberty," or "democracy".

It does say, " Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime" which I presume you think supports your point, but I don't. Supporting efforts is not the same as going to war, especially in the context of W's alledged "humble" foreign policy.

This is also, not "repeatedly and at great length," as you state. This was one paragraph of a 25 paragraph statement. Most of the statement deals with alledged threats the the US.

For the SOTU, same thing. Bush does use the phrases liberty and democracy, including this, "We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers," which supports your position more than the Resolution, but he this comes after his declaration of war, and there is really nothing about democracy or Western values.

Again, this is not "repeatedly and at great length."

Do you seriously think that this is evidence that Bush sold the war on the basis of a project to bring liberty, democracy and Western values to Iraq? Why not invade Saudi Arabia it that is the goal? Or North Korea? Or Iran?

Show me a survey that shows that American's supported the war because W had a project to " bring Western values of liberty and democracy to that unfortunate nation" and I'll agree with you. Citing boilerplate from congressional resolutions and the SOTU isn't evidence of the substantive arguments that were made at the time.

If the public support of the war was based on the American people's desire to export Western values to Iraq, why was the Bush administration so keen to cook up this evidence about WMD and ties to al Queda? The evidence that Iraq wasn't a Western democracy was unassailable. The evidence for WMD and ties to al Queda weak to non-existent to negative.

If the public's support of the war was based on the American people's support for this so called project, why has support for the war fallen? According to tbrosz at least, "you will find that the project has essentially been a great success despite all the brickbats at home from the hysterical left." Why has public support fallen?

To cite these two paragraphs as pre-war support for a project of bringing Western values of liberty and democracy to Iraq is to rewrite history.

Posted by: Ray on April 9, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon -- You cherry-pick the SSCI report and Wilson's statements to support your position. Then you whine about not being taken seriously--of being an "angry partisan complainer". boo hoo...

The SSCI report is, at best, neutral with respect to Wilson's findings:

Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.
You then draw conclusions--speculative at best--based on selected statements from Wilson, while summarily dismissing Wilson's own conclusions in his own words, and the context in which those statements were made, including several years of context:
Our former ambassador who was in place at that time told me that the embassy had fully reported that visit. That report was reported by the government in the press. There was nothing clandestine about his visit, nothing untoward.The people that I talked to in the government at that time, said that uranium had not yet come up in discussions, although they acknowledged that perhaps uranium would have been one of the things that would have interested Iraq in a future relationship

...The fact that there was a meeting or a visit in which uranium was not discussed does not translate into purchased a significant quantities of uranium. The fact that there was a meeting that was not taken, that was not held, but had it been held, one of the participants opines that perhaps uranium might have been one of the things that this guy might have wanted to discuss, does not suggest uranium sales or significant quantities of uranium from Niger to Iraq. So, those were both--I thought those were both really red herrings.

...so yes, "for the love of..." go read--and for once try undertanding--or at least thinking about--what you read. Until then, whine on asshole.

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ray, it wasn't the primary case to be sure, WMDs were, but it's not like it was never discussed in advance of the war (I don't think you've read both in their entirety), or was only brought up after the fact.

has407 writes: "You then draw conclusions--speculative at best--based on selected statements from Wilson, while summarily dismissing Wilson's own conclusions in his own words..." Wilson's conclusions? Ahem, he said, ""I've spent enough time there not to be so naive as to believe that the Iraqis were interested in Niger for its millet, sorghum production."

And that's not my blog, by the way.

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe. Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the moveon.org crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don't take my word for it; it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them. Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he'd been told by senior figures from Major Wanke's regime in Niger is known only to him.

Posted by: Mark Steyn on April 9, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon: He was prohibited from possessing uranium under the UN resolutions.

No, he wasn't. Moreover, the uranium oxide in question was under seal, and subject to IAEA inspection. That--for you self-proclaimed "informed" types--was specifically noted in the NIE (and elsewhere), and was a source of debate as to why Hussein would attempt--at significant risk--to acquire additional stock of low-yield yellowcake, as he already had a partially-enriched stock, which some in the intelligence community fretted that he could turn into weapons-grade material, given that the IAEA inspections were conducted annually

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon wrote: "Sorry, but you cannot change what Joe wilson has said on the matter. Follow the links to his interview with Josh Marshall."

I did. You took his statements out of context. Reading further, we see that Wilson said that the Iraqi visit was nothing more than a red herring, something that has been amply confirmed since.

"He came back and told the CIA that he found evidence supporting their intel that Iraq had indeed sought -- not purchased, sought -- uranium from Niger."

Not really. He found someone who speculated that Iraq was trying to initiate a trade deal for uranium. Since Wilson knew that such a purchase was virtually impossible, given the checks and safeguards around the Niger uranium, and since the purpose of his trip was mostly to do a sanity check on the possibility of such a sale, he didn't bother to dig any further. As we know now, Iraq was not trying to acquire uranium. Wilson's instinct in regarding the story as a red herring was precisely correct.

"And if Saddam already had uranium, as you say, what's your beef with the allegation that he was seeking it."

Dude, if he already had plenty, which he did, then why the hell would he need to purchase more? And in such a ridiculously clumsy manner? And why on earth would he need it when he didn't have a nuclear program that could use it? My "beef" with the allegation is that it's stupid!

"He was prohibited from possessing uranium under the UN resolutions. This makes it a slam dunk (not to mention the mountain of other reasons)."

Oh, good grief. The UN and the US knew that Saddam Hussein had uranium. It was well-known and well-accounted for (at least until our invasion, at which point the seals were broken and some of the stuff scattered).

"I think you're the one not keeping up, my friend."

Considering that you appear to wholly ignorant of what Saddam did and did not have, not to mention the latest news on these matters, forgive me if I just laugh at this assertion.

"Speaking of the ISG: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21924"

ROFL... Not only is this irrelevant to the discussion at hand, it's another idiotic red herring, unsupported by anything even remotely resembling real evidence. We heard crap like this all the time before and immediately after the war. I'd be willing to bet that this idiot's sources were Chalabi's folks, and we know damn well how all of those earlier leads panned out. And you take shit like this seriously???

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Steyn wrote: "In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe."

ROFL... And another moron enters the fray. Man, these guys just cannot let go of their fantasies, can they?

"Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the moveon.org crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa."

Add the CIA, the DIA, the State Department, every other major intelligence agency of damn near every other country, the ISG, the White House, and, well, just about everybody on the face of the earth to that little list of yours who know that Saddam was not trying to acquire uranium from Africa.

"Don't take my word for it;"

Trust me, we don't.

"it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report,"

Nope, sorry, but thanks for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

"Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom,"

Nope, sorry, but thanks for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

"MI6,"

Not likely, although they are still trying to pretend that they have some super-duper secret intelligence that nobody else has.

"French intelligence,"

Nope, sorry, but thanks for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

"other European services"

Nope, sorry, but thanks for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

" -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them."

Nope, sorry, but thanks for playing; we have some lovely consolation prizes for you.

My goodness, you really haven't kept up, have you?

"Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he'd been told by senior figures from Major Wanke's regime in Niger is known only to him."

ROFL... What can you say about (or to!) someone this deluded? Poor guy....


Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Reading further, we see that Wilson said that the Iraqi visit was nothing more than a red herring, something that has been amply confirmed since. ...As we know now, Iraq was not trying to acquire uranium. Wilson's instinct in regarding the story as a red herring was precisely correct."

I'll repeat Wilson's own conclusion on the matter in his own words, "I've spent enough time there not to be so naive as to believe that the Iraqis were interested in Niger for its millet, sorghum production." And see Mark Steyn's column. I guess it's just you and the other idiot revisionists who refuse to acknowledge what actually occured. Thank God for you guys. Otherwise the Dems might actually have a chance at the White House.

Posted by: Shannon on April 9, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Man, what is it with these guys who are still stuck back in 2003? Have they really been ignoring all of the news, documents, information gathered since then? The matter of Iraq and Niger has been well and truly laid to rest -- there's nothing there, there never was anything there. Sheesh....

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon, still determined to show that he cannot read, writes: 'I'll repeat Wilson's own conclusion on the matter in his own words,"

Shannon, why are you bothering to lie when we can easily check the link to verify that you are lying? That was not Wilson's "own conclusion." His conclusion was that the contact was a red herring. He was right. Deal with it.

As for what Iraq actually did want, Wilson didn't really know, nor did it matter, since he knew that they couldn't acquire uranium even if they wanted to. We now know what Iraq wanted -- to sell oil and to gather support for lifting the sanctions.

"And see Mark Steyn's column."

ROFL.... And that's what you're basing your conclusions on? Wow....

"I guess it's just you and the other idiot revisionists who refuse to acknowledge what actually occured."

You still cannot bring yourself to accept the fact that Iraq wasn't trying to acquire uranium, can you? You cannot accept that we know what the purpose of the Iraq trade mission was. You cannot accept that no reliable evidence exists anywhere that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from anyone. You cannot accept that Saddam didn't need uranium because he already had plenty. You cannot accept that Saddam didn't need uranium because he didn't have an active nuclear program. You cannot accept that we've already talked to the Iraqis who were in charge of such missions and that we have access to all of the relevant records, all of which conclusively debunk the Niger story. You cannot accept the evidence that was linked to in Kevin's original post -- that our own intelligence community was sure (and remains sure) that the story was a complete fabrication.

You are so much in need of your little fantasies that no reality can penetrate. Pathetic.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Steyn column is a classic example of living in the past, by the way. In July of 2004 when it was written, much of that column was incorrect but at least a couple of items were debatable. Now, though, we know that the whole thing is false. Wilson's report and op-ed have pretty much stood the test of time.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Shannon: I'll repeat Wilson's own conclusion on the matter in his own words, "I've spent enough time there not to be so naive as to believe that the Iraqis were interested in Niger for its millet, sorghum production."

And I'll repeat WIlson's own conclusion on the matter in his own words:

The fact that there was a meeting that was not taken, that was not held, but had it been held, one of the participants opines that perhaps uranium might have been one of the things that this guy might have wanted to discuss, does not suggest uranium sales or significant quantities of uranium from Niger to Iraq. So, those were both--I thought those were both really red herrings. [emphasis added]
If you do not understand the meaning of "I thought" and "red herrings", then you really area a brain-dead stupid f*ck.

Posted by: has407 on April 9, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Shannon, have you even bothered to read the Washington Post article that Kevin linked to in his original post? Or the phrase that Kevin quotes?

....The council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest.

Everything we have learned since then has confirmed that the National Intelligence Council (along with Joe Wilson) was correct -- the story was baseless and should be laid to rest. I'm honestly amazed that there are still people out there who are stubbornly trying to cling to a fantasy that never did have any credible evidence supporting it and that was laid to rest a long time ago.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Ray, it wasn't the primary case to be sure, WMDs were, but it's not like it was never discussed in advance of the war (I don't think you've read both in their entirety), or was only brought up after the fact.

It wasn't the case in either example that you cite. I've read both of them more throughly than you have. No matter how many isolated paragraphs that you cite, the argument for the war was based on WMD, terrorists and the threat Saddam posed. The just wasn't a project to send Western values of liberty and democracy to Iraq.

Consider the President's entire argument in the SOTU. Everything before

The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.

has to do with WMD except for one paragraph that notes Saddam's maltreatment of his own people. It says nothing about democracy or liberty or Western values in Iraq before that point, although it does refer to democracy in Iran and treatment of women in Afghanistan.

There is substantially more in the SOTU about Aids in Africa than there is about democracy in Iraq in the one paragraph that I cited at 10:24. That paragraph is well after "Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups," which really was the alledged reasons for the war.

Everything else is an after the fact justification.

Posted by: Ray on April 9, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder why it is that these guys never can seem to remember that Joe Wilson's investigation was just one of three independent investigations and that all three investigations reached the same conclusion -- that the story was bogus? That's just one of the reasons the various intelligence agencies didn't take the story seriously and why the CIA tried to get Bush to remove it from his speeches and from the SOTU.

Sad, just sad.

Posted by: PaulB on April 9, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

More than sad. Ignorant brain-dead sods, the lot of them. They make me sick. Joe and Valerie's big toe have earned more credibilty and respect in a day than wankers like Shannon and their ilk will earn in a lifetime.

Posted by: has407 on April 10, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

The Uranium claims are were independant of the Niger Memos. The Niger Memos were know to be fakes well before the Uranium shopping was advanced. I believe the NYT had the story shortly after the memos were in the press.

Posted by: aaron on April 10, 2006 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, explain to me again why Iraq would need to go to Niger for yellowcake? I mean, they can actually mine yellowcake in Iraq, and that was the source for the material for the nukes they were trying to build in the 1980's.

Posted by: mcdruid on April 10, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

The quality of the ore that can be obtained locally in Iraq is exteremely poor. (I believe the ISG report discusses it.) That is why it was imported--and not mined locally in any quantity--prior to the embargo.

Posted by: has407 on April 10, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, even the Washington Post proclaims that Iraq had indeed sought uranium from Niger -- and that Joe Wilson was a serial liar.

The affair concerns, once again, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002. Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges, so it's worth recalling the previous iterations. Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraq threat." The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2006 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

aaron wrote: "The Uranium claims are were independant of the Niger Memos."

No shit, Sherlock. Unfortunately, the rest of the "evidence" doesn't hold up any better than those memos. Do try to keep up.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Poor little Normy. Is an anonymous editorial, directly contradicted by a front-page news report in that very edition of the paper, the best you can do? Feel free to come back when you've got something real, won't you? We won't be holding our breaths, of course, since there's nothing there.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB writes: "Shannon, why are you bothering to lie when we can easily check the link to verify that you are lying? That was not Wilson's "own conclusion." And: "You cannot accept the evidence that was linked to in Kevin's original post -- that our own intelligence community was sure (and remains sure) that the story was a complete fabrication."

Good grief. The Wilson quote is a direct quote, as anyone following the link knows. Who do you think you're kidding? And numerous CIA agents testified at the time that Wilson's report to them ADDED TO THE EVIDENCE that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger. You are not a person to be taken seriusly. Neither is hasbeen407. I'm done with you both.

Posted by: Shannon on April 10, 2006 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Shannon--

Ugh. The "evidence" that Niger and Iraq were working on some kind of uranium transfer is the usual "evidence" that people wheel out when discussing Africa.

"Oh, Africa's fucked up. There's no way the government could actually have any control over the uranium they have. Therefore we have to assume that there was some kind of corrupt secret deal with Saddam, even though all we have is an Iraqi government official visiting Niger. Jeez, why would an Iraqi government official visit Niger? Must be for the illicit uranium!"

This is "intelligence"?

Posted by: kokblok on April 10, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

"He was prohibited from possessing uranium under the UN resolutions."

All anyone needs to know to verify that Shannon has his/her/its head firmly implanted in his/her/its ass is contained in that know-nothing sentence.

Fact 1- No Iraq wasn't.
Fact 2- Iraq possessed quantities of all types of uranium, under UN seal and inspection regimes, pre-invasion.
Fact3- Iraq had no nuclear weapons program in March 2003.

Given facts 1, 2, and 3 (all of which you are painfully ignorant of) what earthly reason would Iraq have for seeking MORE useless uranium?

Since you are so woefully ill-equipped to discuss the facts of the matter, the only purpose you serve here is as a figure of fun. If we all agree that you are stupid and dishonest will this satisfy your freeper masochism?

Posted by: solar on April 10, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

It appears that the Washington Post is literally at war with itself:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002314409

http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/04/09/does-fred-hiatt-even-read-the-washington-post/

Funny, I still read the wingnuts who claim the Washington Post is a wing of the Democratic party. The normal mendacity asside, they must not read the paper.

Posted by: Catch22 on April 10, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Shannon, still unable to deal with reality, writes: "Good grief. The Wilson quote is a direct quote"

Yes, Shannon, it was. However, it was not Wilson's "conclusion," as you well know. That conclusion followed shortly after that out-of-context quote you cited. In short, you were lying and you got caught. Deal with it.

"And numerous CIA agents testified at the time that Wilson's report to them ADDED TO THE EVIDENCE that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger."

Sorry, but this is simply false. And, of course, the evidence that has come in since, including the evidence that Kevin linked to above, along with the rest of the evidence I and others have discussed here (evidence that you still cannot bring yourself to even accept, much less deal with), completely blows the Niger claim out of the water. There's nothing there, Shannon; deal with it.

"You are not a person to be taken seriusly."

ROFL... Coming from you, I'll take that as a compliment. You just cannot deal with reality, can you? The shattering of your little fantasies is just too much for you, so you have to lash out at the shatterers. Poor guy....

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

For all you moonbats who are forever confused about those "sixteen words" and which "report" was discredited, and the WAPO's public food fight between its editorial voice and its working scribes, here is Michael Ledeen's analysis.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I like the way PaulB uses the condescending tone of a self-satisfied lefty. It must be some sort of mating call.

Please call me pumpkin or sugar or sweetie. Gets me as excited as a communist march in Berkeley.

Posted by: Birkel on April 10, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

I love how Birkel is entirely unable to actually provide any substance in his posts. It makes it so much easier, and ever so much more satisfying, to troll him. Sorry, Birkel, dear, but I'm afraid I don't have time to play with you on this thread. Perhaps some other time.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Man, that Michael Ledeen article was fricking hilarious! Thanks for pointing us to that, Normy. It's rare to see so many falsehoods, evasions, and delusions in one place.

Posted by: PaulB on April 10, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa...In Clintonian terms truer words were never spoken but as Ol'Apron string's Junket Joe somehow managed to weasely have those 16 words retracted ( yeah yeah, I know they are still up there at the W/house website but thats like Walt Disney's Gooberment Land - the happiest kingdom of them all )then I fear and tremble for the next 20 words.
If Osama Joe Wilson is allowed to fly a plane into THAT building then we will have to look more closely at the Malkin plan for America. You know this makes sense.

Posted by: professor rat on April 10, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Morons ---> PaulB, has407

"Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger." -- Christopher Hitchens, April 10, 2006

http://www.slate.com/id/2139609/

Posted by: Shannon on April 11, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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