portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

government | imperialism & war

Bush Cabal Admits One of Its Lies About Iraq

White House admits Iraq-Nigeria falsehood reguarding nuclear matrials.
July 8, 2003
Bush Claim on Iraq Had Flawed Origin, White House Says
By DAVID E. SANGER


ASHINGTON, July 7 The White House acknowledged for the first time today that President Bush was relying on incomplete and perhaps inaccurate information from American intelligence agencies when he declared, in his State of the Union speech, that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium from Africa.

The White House statement appeared to undercut one of the key pieces of evidence that President Bush and his aides had cited to back their claims made prior to launching an attack against Iraq in March that Mr. Hussein was "reconstituting" his nuclear weapons program. Those claims added urgency to the White House case that military action to depose Mr. Hussein needed to be taken quickly, and could not await further inspections of the country or additional resolutions at the United Nations.

The acknowledgment came after a day of questions and sometimes contradictory answers from White House officials about an article published on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times on Sunday by Joseph C. Wilson 4th, a former ambassador who was sent to Niger, in West Africa, last year to investigate reports of the attempted purchase. He reported back that the intelligence was likely fraudulent, a warning that White House officials say never reached them.

"There is other reporting to suggest that Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Africa," the statement said. "However, the information is not detailed or specific enough for us to be certain that attempts were in fact made."

In other words, said one senior official, "we couldn't prove it, and it might in fact be wrong."

Separately tonight, The Washington Post quoted an unidentifed senior administration official as declaring that "knowing all that we know now, the reference to Iraq's attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not have been included in the State of the Union speech." Some administration officials have expressed similar sentiments in interviews in the past two weeks.

Asked about the statement early today, before President Bush departed for a six-day tour of Africa, Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, said, "There is zero, nada, nothing new here." He said that "we've long acknowledged" that information on the attempted purchases from Niger "did, indeed, turn out to be incorrect."

But in public, administration officials have defended the president's statement in the State of Union address that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

While Mr. Bush cited the British report, seemingly giving the account the credibility of coming from a non-American intelligence service, Britain itself relied in part on information provided by the C.I.A., American and British officials have said.

But today a report from a parliamentary committee that conducted an investigation into the British assertions also questioned the credibility of what the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair had published.

The committee went on to say that Mr. Blair's government had asserted it had other evidence of Iraqi attempts to procure uranium. But eight months later the government still had not told Parliament what that other information was.

While Mr. Bush quoted the British report, his statement was apparently primarily based on American intelligence a classified "National Intelligence Estimate" published in October of last year that also identified two other countries, Congo and Somalia, where Iraq had sought the material, in addition to Niger.

But many analysts did not believe those reports at the time, and were shocked to hear the president make such a flat, declarative statement.

Asked about the accuracy of the president's statement this morning, Mr. Fleischer said, "We see nothing that would dissuade us from the president's broader statement." But when pressed, he said he would clarify the issue later today.

Tonight, after Air Force One had departed, White House officials issued a statement in Mr. Fleischer's name that made clear that they no longer stood behind Mr. Bush's statement.

How Mr. Bush's statement made it into last January's State of the Union address is still unclear. No one involved in drafting the speech will say who put the phrase in, or whether it was drawn from the classified intelligence estimate.

That document contained a footnote in a separate section of the report, on another subject noting that State Department experts were doubtful of the claims that Mr. Hussein had sought uranium.

If the intelligence was true, it would have buttressed statements by Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that Saddam Hussein was actively seeking a nuclear weapon, and could build one in a year or less if he obtained enough nuclear material.

In early March, before the invasion of Iraq began, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismissed the uranium reports about Niger, noting that they were based on forged documents.

In an interview late last month, a senior administration official said that the news of the fraud was not brought to the attention of the White House until after Mr. Bush had spoken.

But even then, White House officials made no effort to correct the president's remarks. Indeed, as recently as a few weeks ago they were arguing that Mr. Bush had quite deliberately avoided mentioning Niger, and noted that he had spoken more generally about efforts to obtain "yellowcake," the substance from which uranium is extracted, from African nations.

Tonight's statement, though, calls even those reports into question. In interviews in recent days, a number of administration officials have conceded that Mr. Bush never should have made the claims, given the weakness of the case. One senior official said that the uranium purchases were "only one small part" of a broader effort to reconstitute the nuclear program, and that Mr. Bush probably should have dwelled on others.

White House officials would not say, however, how the statement was approved. They have suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency approved the wording, though the C.I.A. has said none of its senior leaders had reviewed it. Other key members of the administration said the information was discounted early on, and that by the time the president delivered the State of the Union address, there were widespread questions about the quality of the intelligence.

"We only found that out later," said one official involved in the speech.
That is one stupid monkey! 07.Jul.2003 23:30

Dade Cariaga dadecariaga@hotmail.com

I'm just gonna indulge myself and mash together a few of my favorite aphorisms.......

This is quickly spinning out of control. President Junior Monkey may be on his way to Africa, but he's gonna face a hornet's nest when he gets back. This ain't goin' away, folks. The GOP may control both house of congress, but there's only so much lipstick you can put on this pig.

I'm going out on a limb and saying it boldly and with much elation: Junior is cooked!

If it weren't going to be such a destructive, ugly fall, I might even enjoy it.

Summary Mistakes 08.Jul.2003 01:23

m

Should have read: White House admits Iraq-Niger falsehood regarding nuclear materials.

rebutal 08.Jul.2003 11:50

anon

"In an interview late last month, a senior administration official said that the news of the fraud was not brought to the attention of the White House until after Mr. Bush had spoken."

----------------

In an interview on NBC-TV's Meet the Press, Wilson insisted his doubts about the purported Iraq-Niger connection reached the highest levels of the U.S. government, including Vice-President Dick Cheney's office.

In fact, he said, Cheney's office inquired about the purported Niger-Iraq link.

"The question was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice-president," Wilson said. "The office of the vice-president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked, and that response was based upon my trip out there."

Yet nearly a year after he had returned and briefed CIA officials, the assertion that Saddam was trying to obtain uranium from Africa was included in Bush's state of the union address.

 http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1057658525829&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154

So Bush Is A Terrorist Under the Patriot Act 08.Jul.2003 12:18

Legal Eagle

USC Title 18, Section 2331, (a new category) - "domestic terrorism" - has been created and means activities that:

"involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."

So Bush lied about Saddam's WMD capabilities (criminal fraud) to intimidate and coerce the public and congress to get his oil war in Iraq. Bush is, by definition of his own Patriot Act, a terrorist.

We gotta get rid of this guy (George) 08.Jul.2003 18:09

so 'n so

How can we make sure that Bush gets prosecuted for his criminal acts (this one and a long list of others)?
Him and all of his freinds, too. Where are the attorneys that can do this? Where's (someone like) Kenneth Starr, now that we REALLY need him? What an absurd (and scary) world we live in now.

Bush Rules! 08.Jul.2003 19:09

Commies Go Home!

What would happened Robotman And his side kick Two Faced Joe were in charge? They would have surrendered before the fight even began. They would have polled world opinion and folded like a house of cards. So WAKE UP YOU COMMIES!

question for 'Bush Rules!' 08.Jul.2003 20:53

??

who are the "COMMIES"?

Coma 09.Jul.2003 02:05

His doctor

Bush Rules just woke up from a coma he fell into in 1956 when his donkey kicked him in the head.

question for 'Snaggle' 09.Jul.2003 09:27

??

who are the "Commies"?

another question for 'Snaggle'-- 09.Jul.2003 09:29

??

who are "Zinn and Chomsky"?

one last question for 'Snaggle'-- 09.Jul.2003 09:29

??

do you need a job?

Commies 09.Jul.2003 11:21

GO HOME COMMIES!

In 1956 the Democratic Party was full of known and proven Communists. The Dem leaders even knew and ignored the problem. So go get a real education in US history not the imagined one the liberals make up as they go along to cover their lies. To ?? the commies are the uber liberals who want to socialize everything. And for Coma, if that is how you debate by insults you are a mindless democratic liber stooge. Come up with a real argument to prove that I'm wrong. I dare you to. I bet that you can't do it.

No need to prove that you're wrong 09.Jul.2003 15:52

James

There's no reason for anyone to prove you're wrong -- indeed, you're right. But I don't agree with your premise, that it's a damning fact about the Democratic Party. Who cares if the Democratic Party was filled with Communists in 1956? That's the beauty of democracy. It's not as though their presence in politics would have/will destroy the country. Only 2 outcomes are possible:

a) People don't like communists, and they won't vote for them, or
b) People do like communists, and they will vote for them.

Either way, the people are getting what they want.

I don't see why commie, pinko, etc are such dirty words. I think socialism is fundamentally flawed, in that it requires a strong central control, which can never be managed efficiently. But if someone could figure out a way to do it, then it would clearly be a better system.

Think about all the energy wasted on things like advertising, sales, etc. Those people -- millions of them -- could be putting their energy to good use elsewhere under socialism. Actually creating things, innovating. Think about pollution -- some companies will pollute the environment terribly just to make a few extra bucks. Think about the tendency towards monopoly, and resulting price hikes under capitalism. These are just some of the negative aspects of capitalism. (And no doubt, there are many).

In my opinion, capitalism (with limited state intervention) is a more efficient economic structure, hence it leads to better lives for all. But I don't understand the "commie" insult. (Unless you're really just trolling). It's not as though socialists are inherently anti-American.

A few responses 09.Jul.2003 17:14

*

No, I'm not Snaggle, but Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky are two brilliant professors of history whose work I would highly recommend. Zinn wrote 'The People's History of the United States," and Chomsky has written numerous books addressing international issues and US foreign policy.

Secondly, I am amused that someone would still think to use "Commie" as an insult-- given that the Cold War has essentially been replaced by the "War on Terror," I would think the insulting language would have changed accordingly, but it appears that the commies have some staying power after all.

Finally, I have to ask the commie-haters just what great favors capitalism has done for them and whether they have ever lived or traveled in a communist or socialist country. It seems that if someone has such a rabid hatred of an alternative economic model, they ought to have sufficiently educated themselves on the matter to reach such a conclusion.

latest LIE-- 09.Jul.2003 18:09

detector

Iraq war not about new arms evidence: Rumsfeld

Last Updated Wed, 09 Jul 2003 18:40:04

WASHINGTON - The United States didn't declare war on Iraq because of new evidence of banned weapons, U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday.

Rumsfeld said the U.S. declared war because it saw existing evidence of Iraqi arms programs in "a dramatic new light" following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Rumsfeld made the comments in an appearance before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

On Tuesday, the White House acknowledged that U.S. President George Bush's claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was based on forged information.

Though Bush justified the invasion to topple former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein largely by referring to his alleged possession of chemical and biological weapons and possible pursuit of nuclear weapons, such arms have not been found in the 10 weeks since the war ended.


FROM JUNE 3, 2003: Report says no weapons of mass destruction

Congressional committees are evaluating whether the administration may have used faulty or exaggerated intelligence on Iraq's weapons to justify the war.

Rumsfeld also told the committee that talks were under way to increase NATO involvement in Iraq peacekeeping efforts.
-----------------

But the BEST quote of the day from Rummy was this one (from Reuters): " White House officials said information that the documents may have been forged had not reached top level policymakers before the public statements. Rumsfeld said he learned "within recent days" that the information was bogus."

C'mon...it was in most of the world's newspapers months ago. Neocons will believe anything, I guess.


asdf;lkj 09.Jul.2003 23:05

Snaggle

c-o-m-m-i-e is easier to type.