Bush didn't Lie!


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txgolfer45
July 12, 2004, 11:25 PM
http://www.suntimes.com/output/stey...dt-steyn11.html


Bush's State of the Union speech redeemed

July 11, 2004

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Do you remember a year ago when the Democratic National Committee was putting out press releases headlined ''President Bush Deceives The American People"?

Yawn. What's new? But last summer the Bush Lie Of The Week was all to do with Saddam trying to buy uranium from Niger. CNN and Co. replayed endlessly the critical 16 words from the president's 2003 State of the Union Address:

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

Sixteen words that could break a presidency! Bush ''misled every one of us,'' huffed Sen. John Kerry. ''It's beginning to sound like Watergate,'' said Howard Dean. Joseph C. Wilson IV, the man the CIA sent to Africa to investigate, wrote a piece for the New York Times titled ''What I didn't find in Africa.''

Can you guess what he didn't find, dear reader? That's right, he didn't find a big package of uranium bearing the address label ''S. Hussein, Suite 27, the Saddam Hussein Centre for Armageddon Studies, Saddam Hussein Parkway, Baghdad.'' Ambassador Wilson said relax, he'd been to Niger, spent "eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people,'' and there's nothing going on.

Well, on Wednesday in London, Lord Butler will publish his report into the quality of the intelligence on which rested Britain's case for going to war with Iraq. The report is said to be critical of some of Tony Blair's claims, supportive of others. And, among the latter, he says that the statements about Iraq and Niger are justified and supported by the intelligence. In other words, the British Government did learn that Saddam Hussein did seek significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

As a gazillion e-mails a day shrieked from my in-box back then, ''BUSH LIED!!!!!!" So where exactly in that State of the Union observation is the lie?

Last summer, the comparatively minor matter of uranium from Niger was all over the front pages and the news shows. Do you think Butler's report will be? Do you think Terry McAuliffe and John Kerry and Howard Dean will be eating humble yellowcake?

In July last year, I wrote about the Bush Lie Of The Week in this space. The CIA had disowned the Niger story, and I pointed out that these were the same fellows who'd botched the Sudanese aspirin factory business, failed to spot 9/11 coming, etc., etc.

"So," I wrote, "if you're the president and the same intelligence bureaucrats who got all the above wrong say the Brits are way off the mark, there's nothing going on with Saddam and Africa, what do you do? Do you say, 'Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day'? Or, given what you've learnt about the state of your humint (human intelligence), is it likely they've got much of a clue about what's going on in French Africa? Isn't this one of those deals where the Brits and the shifty French (Niger's uranium operations are under the supervision of the French Atomic Energy Commission) are more plugged in?"

And so it's proved. The fact is almost every European intelligence service reckoned Saddam was trying to buy uranium in Africa. The only folks who didn't think so were the CIA.

Let's weigh their comparative interest in the story. The Financial Times revealed last week that one continental intelligence agency had had a uranium-smuggling operation involving Iraq under surveillance for three years. In return, the only primary investigation initiated by the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth was to send a narcissistic kook from a Saudi-funded think-tank on vacation for a week to sip mint tea with government stooges. He didn't even bother filing a written report, and the ''Bush spurned my advice!'' column he wrote for the Times reads like a bad travelogue: ''Through the haze, I could see camel caravans crossing the Niger river.'' After that, the great narcissist somehow managed to make himself the center of the story -- But hey, enough about Saddam's nuclear ambitions; let's talk about me.

A few weeks before 9/11, Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote a timely piece in the Atlantic Monthly on the woeful state of U.S. counter-terrorism intelligence in a CIA neutered by politically correct bureaucracy. Among Gerecht's many memorable quotes was this line from a young CIA man reflecting on an agency grown used to desk-bound life in Virginia: ''Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don't happen.'' That's Niger in a nutshell: Diarrhea Central. Who'd want to be stationed there when they could be back at Langley monitoring the world's e-mail in an air-conditioned office?

But Niger is a 99.5 percent Sunni Muslim country with the world's second highest birth rate and a load of uranium. It's exactly the sort of place an intelligence agency in the war on terror ought to be keeping an eye on. And that doesn't mean sending Mint Tea Boy to write it up for the travel section.

That's the issue here: The CIA are tourists in the heart of darkness. This spring, the ever-complacent George Tenet told the 9/11 Commission that it would take another half-decade to rebuild the clandestine service. So three years after 9/11 the CIA says it needs another five years. Imagine if Franklin Roosevelt had turned to Tenet to start up the OSS, the CIA's wartime predecessor. In 1942, he'd have told the president not to worry, he'd have it up and running by 1950.

Bush didn't LIE!!!! He was right, and the CIA were wrong. That doesn't mean they LIED!!!! either. Intelligence is never 100 percent. You make a judgment, and in this instance the judgments of the British and Europeans were right, and the judgment of the principal intelligence agency of the world's hyperpower was wrong. That should be a cause of great concern -- for all Americans.

National security shouldn't be a Republican/Democrat thing. But it's become one because, for too many Americans, when it's a choice between Bush and anybody else, they'll take anybody else. So, in ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' if it's a choice between Bush and Saddam, Michael Moore comes down on the side of the genocidal whacko and shows us lyrical slo-mo shots of kiddies flying kites in a Baathist utopia. In the Afghan war, if it's a choice between Bush and the women-enslaving gay-executing Taliban, Susan Sarandon and Co. side with the Taliban. And in the most exquisite reductio of this now universal rule, if it's a choice between Bush and the CIA, the left sides with the CIA.

There's one for the peace marches: Hey, hey, CIA/How many Bush lies did you expose today?

This isn't an anti-war movement. This is a movement in denial.

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OF
July 13, 2004, 09:02 AM
I'll be keeping an eye on this Butler report. While the Bushies have acted like they don't remember saying it, Blair and his crew have steadfastly stood by the Niger intelligence at every turn.

If it turns out to be true, you won't hear a word about it on the news and it will be another incidence where the Bush crew has chosen to back away from something they should have stood fast on.

- Gabe

El Tejon
July 13, 2004, 09:07 AM
No, no, no. Kindly Uncle Saddam's agent were there to buy cookie dough for his cookie factories in Iraq. Silly British.:p

The OSS! Man, that's what we have needed for a long time, reconstitute the OSS and turn them loose on the Middle East!

"Wild Bill", where are you when we need you?:(

morganm01
July 14, 2004, 10:28 AM
Now if everyone of us would kindly report this news to www.drudgereport.com in the "submit" field...maybe this will get some serious airplay.

Mute
July 14, 2004, 03:16 PM
More on the same subject:


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

Report supports claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa
By Thomas Catan in Washington and Mark Huband in London
Published: July 12 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: July 12 2004 5:00

Virtually every significant plank of the White House's case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction has been debunked by the year-long investigation by the US Senate intelligence committee.


But the committee's report has provided unexpected support for a controversial claim that even the administration of George W. Bush had backed away from: that Iraq had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

The claim was originally mentioned by Mr Bush in his January 2003 State of the Union address as evidence that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons programme. Citing a recently published UK dossier, Mr Bush said: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

As evidence, the US passed copies of documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, purporting to show a uranium deal between Iraq and Niger. The papers had been originally handed to the US embassy in Rome in October 2002 by an Italian journalist who wished to check their authenticity.

The IAEA promptly dismissed the documents as crude forgeries, causing a furore in Washington and prompting the Bush administration to concede that the "16 words" on Iraq's alleged procurement efforts should never have made it into the presidential speech.

Things got worse for the administration when Joseph Wilson, a former US ambassador, revealed that he had travelled to Niger to assess the claims on behalf of the CIA and had quickly concluded it "was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place".

The Niger claim was cited by John Kerry, the Democratic presidential contender, when he said that the US president had "misled every one of us" on the case for war.

But on Friday the Senate committee surprised many when it concluded that the claim was entirely reasonable and not based on the forged documents.

"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 CIA reporting and other available intelligence".

A parallel British investigation, due for release on Wednesday, is also expected to find that it was reasonable for UK intelligence to conclude that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Africa.

Until now, it had been assumed that US and British leaders had referred to "Africa", not Niger, to disguise the source of the information. But according to the Senate investigation, US intelligence had also received separate reports that Iraq had sought uranium from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a businessman in Somalia.

There was also a further report from a US Navy source that a large quantity of Nigerien uranium sold to Iraq was being stored in a warehouse in Benin. (US intelligence failed to check the warehouse for another month or call a contact who claimed to have information on the sale. They found only bales of cotton).

Furthermore, the report shows that even Mr Wilson's trip did not wholly debunk intelligence that Iraq had sought uranium from the country, as he suggested. In fact, Mr Wilson reported that Ibrahim Mayaki, the former prime minister of Niger, had told him that he had met an Iraqi delegation in 1999 interested in "expanding commercial relations".

Mr Mayaki had assumed the delegation meant they wanted to discuss uranium sales but "made a successful effort to steer the conversation away" from the issue, as Iraq was under UN sanctions, Mr Wilson reported.

The FT revealed two weeks ago that the original claims on the uranium came from a European intelligence service which had mounted three years' surveillance of an alleged clandestine uranium-smuggling operation of which Iraq was a part. The results were passed to US intelligence in late 2001 and the UK early in 2002.

The UK was able to verify the information with its own sources and has stood by its claim. In the US, embarrassment over the forged documents appears to have forced the government and its spies to climb down on the one piece of evidence in their case against Iraq that still appears to have some substance.

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


Link here (news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1087373643246)

bountyhunter
July 15, 2004, 02:18 PM
If it turns out to be true, you won't hear a word about it on the news and it will be another incidence where the Bush crew has chosen to back away from something they should have stood fast on. If it is credible, you will see it headlined on Fox News channel which is the Bush mouthpiece. They have even run a number of pro-admin stories regarding WMD's that were total hoaxes.

But what you are forgetting is that the US government sent Ambassador Wilson to check out the validity of the claim back then and his findings were it was without merit. Another intel source said that the documents were forgeries. So, the point is, the admin's best information at the time was that the claim of Iraq buying it was false.... so even if somebody can re-write history and "prove" it happened, the point is that the Bush admin knowingly propogated info they knew was bekieved false at the time. And the proof of this is that the speech was re-written to give the source of the statement to the British, so they could have deniability if it was found out it was false.

BTW: I propose these "smoking gun" threads get posted as stickies so we can all watch them evaporate. Two weeks ago somebody posted one here about "the most important story of the year" where somebody had PROOF that Iraqi intelliugence officers had conducted clandestine meetings with Al Qaeda.... the liberal media had conspired to cover it all up. Supposedly, some American judge was the investigator who reported it. At the time I said it smelled fishy because it was only reported in one unknown right-wing nespaper site and not a single other news source had any clue about it. That story was fake, but they never get called on it when they pull this crap because the thread just drift away as nobody adds posts to them.

I wish I had a dollar for every "smoking gun" story I have seen last year... not one has proven to be factual.

morganm01
July 15, 2004, 02:33 PM
Black Label Society....my new favorite band.
=============
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne took Jones Beach, NY last night on what is quickly becoming a predictable Bush-bashing express.

Osbourne opened his concert with the song "War Pigs," featuring a video portrait comparing Bush to Adolph Hitler.

The video featured Bush and Hitler on the same screen, with the caption: "Same sh*t different a**hole," says a source. Footage of bombs dropping and Hitler marching flashed as Ozzy screamed and guitars screeched.

......

Other bands in the OZzzFest lineup, such as Black Label Society , expressed support of the war.

The lead singer told the crowd in a profanity laced tirade against the terrorist:"Those f**kers crashed the planes into the Towers."

The concert featured a few dedicated songs to the our men and women serving overseas.

morganm01
July 15, 2004, 02:35 PM
But what you are forgetting is that the US government sent Ambassador Wilson to check out the validity of the claim back then and his findings were it was without merit. Another intel source said that the documents were forgeries.

The forgeries came out after multiple supporting sources validated the info already.

bountyhunter
July 15, 2004, 03:07 PM
The key phrase is:

"But an investigation by the British government has now found that British intelligence officers were right to make the claim."

The Brits are releasing an investigation that says they didn't screw up. OK, maybe. Let's see if the story has legs. If it does, it should get printed in other sources and verified.

Here is the story in question:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,125195,00.html

Niger Negotiated With Iraq?
Friday, July 09, 2004
By Brit Hume

Niger and Iraq Negotiated?
President Bush (search) has been called a — "liar" for saying last year that, according to British intelligence officers, Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy uranium from Africa. But an investigation by the British government has now found that British intelligence officers were right to make the claim.

A report on the investigation, expected to be released next week, concludes that the claim was both reasonable and consistent with British intelligence, which indicates that the African country of Niger (search) negotiated with Iraq to sell it refined uranium.

However, according to the Financial Times, the investigation did find British Prime Minister Tony Blair's claim that Saddam could deploy chemical weapons within 45 minutes was inadequately supported by intelligence.

Thumper
July 15, 2004, 03:08 PM
"Wild Bill", where are you when we need you

Living large in W.E.B. Griffin's books...but you knew that.

Pick up a law book for a change, kid; supper depends on it.

w4rma
July 15, 2004, 03:42 PM
"I have earned every cent. And in all of my years in public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook," President Nixon, April 3, 1974.

Ironic.

bountyhunter
July 15, 2004, 04:54 PM
"I have earned every cent. And in all of my years in public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook," President Nixon, April 3, 1974. Well... I don't think he was a"crook" in the conventional sense (a thief), but he certainly was a felon who acted after the burglary to obstruct justice, suborn perjury from others to hide the crime, and also lie through his teeth about it all.

bountyhunter
July 15, 2004, 04:58 PM
A report on the investigation, expected to be released next week, concludes that the claim was both reasonable and consistent with British intelligence, which indicates that the African country of Niger (search) negotiated with Iraq to sell it refined uranium. I want to see exactly what intel they had that they now claim made it reasonable for them to believe that the allegation about Iraq attempting to buy uranium was accurate. If it's the old "sorry, it's classified but take my word for it" or the other "there was a meeting between this guy who we know had talked to this other guy who once had lunch with this other guy we think was connected to terrorists".... then, it's the same old crap.

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