Did Saddam Hussein seek uranium in Africa? Here at THE HOWLER, we have no idea. Was British intelligence to that effect well-founded? We don?t know that, either. But a Perfect Storm has been constructed around Bush?s 16-word statement. In the process, one pundit after another has suggested that the British intelligence which Bush cited was all about uranium-from-Niger, and was based on those famous forged documents. When the documents turned out to be fake, we?ve been told, so did the British intelligence.
But did the British intelligence concern Niger? We thought we?d show you how that intelligence was framed when it first became public. On September 24, 2002, Tony Blair made a formal presentation to Parliament in which he made a new allegation: ?We know Saddam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa, though we do not know whether he has been successful.? This is the famous British intelligence referred to by Bush in his 16-word statement. But what did this British intelligence concern? Was it really about Niger? In the next day?s Guardian, writers James Astill and Rory Carroll seemed to say that the focus was the Congo:
There was much more detail, but you get the idea. Is any of this true? Was Saddam seeking uranium from the Congo? We have no idea. But on the same day?September 25?the Times of London (writers: Michael Evans, Richard Beeston) also suggested that the Congo was the primary focus:
This report was specifically tracked to the British JIC. Meanwhile, the Financial Times made it three this day, also naming the Congo as the country of greatest concern. Indeed, the FT?s writers specifically said that countries like Niger were of less concern due to international oversight:
For the record, the American National Intelligence Report of October 2002 seemed to support the idea that Iraq sought uranium from African nations other than Niger. ?Reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo,? the NIE said. ?We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources. Reports suggest Iraq is shifting from domestic mining and milling of uranium to foreign acquisition.? True or false? We simply don?t know. But if you got the impression from recent reporting that the Brit intel was all about Niger, you just may have been snookered again.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
BTW, if anyone is wondering what the hell I'm talking about by my assertions regarding all of the lies told by our mainstream media on the issue of Iraq seeking uranium in Africa, here is a great post on the issue from a far left Al Gore freind and supporter: