July 19, 2004


Sixteen Truthful Words (WILLIAM SAFIRE, 7/19/04, NY Times)

Two exhaustive government reports came out last week showing that it is the president's lionized accuser, and not Mr. Bush, who has been having trouble with the truth.

Contrary to his indignant claim that "Valerie had nothing to do with the matter" of selecting him for the African trip, the Senate published testimony that his C.I.A. wife had "offered up his name" and printed her memo to her boss that "my husband has good relations" with Niger officials and "lots of French contacts." Further destroying his credibility, Wilson now insists this strong pitch did not constitute a recommendation.

More important, it now turns out that senators believe his report to the C.I.A. after visiting Niger actually bolstered the case that Saddam sought — Bush's truthful verb was "sought" — yellowcake, the stuff of nuclear bombs. The C.I.A. gave Wilson's report a "good" grade because "the Nigerien officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999 and that the Nigerien Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium" — confirming what the British and Italian intelligence services had told us from their own sources.

But a C.I.A. analyst opined "the Brits have exaggerated this issue" because "the Iraqis already have 550 metric tons of uranium oxide in their inventory."

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2004 8:41 AM

Mr. Judd;

So the CIA's view is that President Bush overreacted to stories of the Ba'ath trying to acquire yellowcake because there was already plenty in the inventory?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 19, 2004 9:32 AM

Where there's smoke there's a Plame!

Posted by: genecis at July 19, 2004 9:36 AM

AOG --

It does present an interesting conundrum for the left, doesn't it? If you accept Wilson's explanation of the CIA's explanation that Iraq didn't need the yellowcake because they already had enough, then you have to figure out why Iraq had so much of the stuff, if they weren't trying to acquire nuclear WMDs.

Take that line of reasoning, and you're left saying that if we shouldn't have attacked Iraq because they didn't have WMDs, then we would have had to wait until they had their nuclear weapons in place. Or you can try and explain what other use Saddam would have had for all that uranium. Or -- the more likely option -- you cover your ears, pretend none of this happened and hope the media will help you out by not following up the story and going on to more important things, like how pretty John Edwards looks at the DNC convention or something similar in tone.

Posted by: John at July 19, 2004 10:42 AM

One reason the left shuts its ears to the truths about yellowcake and chemical weapons is because the Europeans will be implicated up to their eyeballs (even more than what is suspected now). And how will the left reconcile their love of France and Germany (and Russia) with perfidy and proliferation?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 19, 2004 1:56 PM

Bulldog journalism. I hope everyone stays on this story, shaking it vigorously until the bull $h!>$ and the real story comes out about Mr. Anon, the rat in the CIA. Sic him.

Posted by: genecis at July 19, 2004 2:56 PM

oj - Did I miss where you explain the connection between Valerie Plame and Olaf Palme?

Posted by: pj at July 19, 2004 9:13 PM

pj: no

Posted by: oj at July 19, 2004 9:42 PM