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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Leak And The Truth....

Of course all the conspiracy theorist Democrats will look at David Corn's piece on the release of NIE excerpts following Joeseph Wilsons Op-ed in the New Tork Times and go... yea. yea. So why does David Corn not even mention some of the material in the British Butler report released a year later in mid-2004 that supports the President's postion? Because it just doesn't fit his story line. So is David Corn a pundit or a jouranlist. Definately not a jouranlist given the weak research of his piece and the lack of opposing evidence readily available.

The Butler report can be found here and for the uranium Niger and Congo bits go to page 135/216. Some of the interesting bits here via Powerline....
492. In the course of the first Gulf war, the facilities involved in this indigenous route were severely damaged. Subsequently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supervised the dismantlement of all the facilities that Iraq had built to process, enrich and fabricate uranium, and removed all potentially fissile material. Some unprocessed uranium ore was left in country, but under IAEA safeguards and subject to regular inspections. Iraq would therefore have had to seek imports of uranium or uranium ore if it wished to restart its nuclear programme covertly.

493. In early 1999, Iraqi officials visited a number of African countries, including Niger. The visit2 was detected by intelligence, and some details were subsequently confirmedby Iraq. The purpose of the visit was not immediately known. But uranium ore accounts for almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports. Putting this together with past Iraqi purchases of uraniumore fromNiger, the limitations faced by the Iraq regime on access to indigenous uranium ore and other evidence of Iraq seeking to restart its nuclear programme, the JIC judged that Iraqi purchase of uraniumore could have been the subject of discussions and noted in an assessment in December 2000 that: ...unconfirmed intelligence indicates Iraqi interest in acquiring uranium.

494. There was further and separate intelligence that in 1999 the Iraqi regime had also made inquiries about the purchase of uranium ore in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this case, there was some evidence that by 2002 an agreement for a sale had been reached.

495. During 2002, the UK received further intelligence fromadditional sources which identified the purpose of the visit to Niger as having been to negotiate the purchase of uranium ore, though there was disagreement as to whether a sale had been agreed and uranium shipped.

497. In preparing the dossier, the UK consulted the US. The CIA advised caution about any suggestion that Iraq had succeeded in acquiring uranium from Africa, but agreed that there was evidence that it had been sought.

499. 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.
was well-founded.

503. 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.
Its astonishing that this story is still being peddled by the press the way it is.

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