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August 12, 2004

Let's All Ignore What's Right In Front Of Our Faces

When the Butler report came out in England recently, America was treated to the edifying spectacle of various conservatives bloviating about how it PROVED Iraq actually had tried to buy uranium in Africa. For instance, Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) learnedly explained that "a report released today on British intelligence confirmed that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger."

Of course, the Butler report did no such thing. It merely claimed that it was credible for Bush and Blair to say so "on the basis of intelligence assessments at the time" (Butler report, para. 499) -- that is, before we invaded Iraq.

Is it still "credible" now? Well, we've captured all the most important government officials and scientists in Iraq and have access to all of the former regime's documents. Yet no evidence whatsoever has been located by the Iraq Survey Group to substantiate the uranium claim. Indeed, just the opposite -- David Kay says they found that Congo tried to sell Iraq uranium, and Iraq turned them down.

Now Jafar Dhia Jafar, the former head of Iraq's nuclear program, is saying that "the British government's assertion that Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Niger is false."

But really, who cares what all the scientists and government officials in Iraq say? Who cares that it would make absolutely no sense for Iraq to try to buy uranium, since IT HAD NO NUCLEAR PROGRAM. Far more more important to trust pre-war intelligence that the British government refuses to show anyone. After all, the rest of the pre-war intelligence was right on the money.

Posted at August 12, 2004 03:18 PM | TrackBack