In October 2002, the CIA told Congress "the Brits have exaggerated this issue." The same month, CIA Director George Tenet told the White House to remove a reference to African uranium from a key speech because the reporting behind it "was weak." Key documents on sales of Niger uranium were found to be forged.I've read Lord Butler's report on the matter as well as numerous other articles that strongly refute and discount the above paragraphs. I'll show my analysis sentence by sentence (though not in order):
We still don't know why the White House included the discredited reference to Iraq and African uranium in the State of the Union. Maybe Iraq would have liked to purchase African uranium, but there's still no solid evidence to back this up. And you won't find new evidence in the Senate report.
Key documents on sales of Niger uranium were found to be forged.Documents were indeed found to be forged. However, they were not "key." From the Butler report:
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 Nigers exports, the intelligence was credible. [...]
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.In other words, the forged documents had no impact on the assessment.
In October 2002, the CIA told Congress "the Brits have exaggerated this issue."Though the article doesn't provide context, I recall that there was some exaggeration regarding whether or not uranium was actually purchased, but Bush only claimed that it was "sought," not purchased.
The same month, CIA Director George Tenet told the White House to remove a reference to African uranium from a key speech because the reporting behind it "was weak."True. However, the CIA had learned about the forged documents at about that time and possibly didn't understand the extent of the British Intelligence at the time. In any case, note that the most damning that could be said was that it was weak, not that it was false. Also, I personally give higher credibility to British Intelligence than our own.
We still don't know why the White House included the discredited reference to Iraq and African uranium in the State of the Union.It looks to me that it only remains "discredited" to those who hate Bush. From the standpoint of pure logic, I can't find an analysis that leads me to the same conclusion.
Maybe Iraq would have liked to purchase African uranium, but there's still no solid evidence to back this up. And you won't find new evidence in the Senate report.We can debate what it means for evidence to be "solid", but ironically, even the Niger travel report by Joe Wilson, who was and is one of Bush's fiercest critics, shows up "new" in the Senate report and supports the assertion that "Iraq would have liked to purchase African uranium:"
The Senate report said Wilson brought back denials of any Niger-Iraq uranium sale, and argued that such a sale wasn't likely to happen. But the Intelligence Committee report also reveals that Wilson brought back something else as well -- evidence that Iraq may well have wanted to buy uranium.
Wilson reported that he had met with Niger's former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki, who said that in June 1999 he was asked to meet with a delegation from Iraq to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between the two countries.
Based on what Wilson told them, CIA analysts wrote an intelligence report saying former Prime Minister Mayki "interpreted 'expanding commercial relations' to mean that the (Iraqi) delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales." In fact, the Intelligence Committee report said that "for most analysts" Wilson's trip to Niger "lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal."
So the two paragraphs from the ContraCostaTimes, like the rest of the article, makes a series of assertions that look to me to be false and/or irrelevant. And that's why I had trouble following the article.
Remember, I'm voting for Kerry. I'd be quite happy if I could find more convincing (to me) evidence that I should do that. Sadly, that evidence is extremely thin.