"How so? I missed that."
Well, how's the Senate Select Intel Committee work for you-
Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq
(Conclusion 13, page 73)
"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."
I mean, come on, Joe, but *snap*.
(Oh, and the committee pulls his pants down again on pg. 45 about his exaggeration that he was part of exposing forged Niger docs: The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.'" Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports.)
And The Weekly Standard had more about what the British felt in '04:
For the record, the British have stood firm in their intelligence on the matter. In fact, the July 2004 Butler Report
states that the president's uranium reference in his 2003 State of the Union address was "well-founded" and based on intelligence having nothing to do with the forged documents.
Here are the "relevant" bits, on pages 123 and 125:
We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government's dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that:
'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa'
From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:
a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
b. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger's exports, the intelligence was credible.
c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium and the British Government did not claim this.
d. The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it.
I wonder why none of this makes it into Mr. Wilson's speeches.
"And that's what they immediately set out to do to Wilson."
Nah. But of course one person's smear campaign is another's legitimate response. The Admin tried to answer Wilson's claims in the public forum, but some would rather cook up cloak and dagger in another Rove (et al) witch hunt. It's just sad to me that so many in the mainstream media are eating of that feast and successfully selling it, Wilson at the front of the pack with book and movie deals.
I liked the way some blog had it:
"...It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue.
Not necesarily! Although it takes a fantasist to imagine that the White House orchestrated the leak to Novak by way of Armitage (I bet I could find one!), what about the leaks to Matt Cooper and Judy Miller?
With Cooper, it is clear (to some) that after Karl Rove learned from Novak that a column about Wilson and Plame was imminent, Rove ruthlessly sat by the phone and waited for Matt Cooper to call him and ask about Niger.
Then when Cooper interviewed Libby the next day, Libby was so brutal and crafty that he never raised the subject of Ms. Plame, but offered something like "I heard that, too" when Cooper asked him about her.
And the Judy Miller leak? Libby was so intent on besmirching Wilson with the nepotism charge that he forgot to tell Judy that Ms. Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Niger.
And Special Counsel Fitzgerald still can't prove that Libby was aware of Ms. Plame's classified status back when he was conspiring to punish Joe by outing his wife."
And let's remember that kooky ol' Woodward knew about this months before and considered it idle gossip.
And btw, the CIA apparently was still working out the kinks a couple months ago.
As of April of 07 they had not yet formed an opinion, Fitzgerald's clarity be damned; Walker, the CIA's director of congressional affairs, told Hoestra that relaying her status "is taking longer than expected" to reply because of "the considerable legal complexity required for this tasking."
Perhaps they ought to get to the bottom of it via Wilson himself, in one of Blitzer's interview: "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."
Edited by Nittany Lioness, 30 May 2007 - 08:28 PM.