July 14, 2003


Withheld Iraq report blamed on French (Michael Smith, 7/13/03, LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH)
The French secret service is believed to have refused to allow Britain's MI6 to give the United States "credible" intelligence showing that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, U.S. intelligence sources said yesterday.

Britain's Secret Intelligence Service had more than one "different and credible" piece of intelligence to show that Iraq was attempting to buy the ore, known as yellowcake, British officials insisted. But it was given to them by at least one and possibly two intelligence services and, under the rules governing cooperation, it could not be shared with anyone else without the originator's permission.

U.S. intelligence sources believe the most likely source of the MI6 intelligence was the French secret service, the DGSE. Niger is a former French colony, and its uranium mines are run by a French company that comes under the control of the French Atomic Energy Commission.

This would explain Jack Straw's somewhat cryptic comment about not being able to share all their info with the U.S.. It would also, if it allows the Administration to blame the French, go a long way towards defusing the whole matter. Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2003 5:40 PM
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