Skip to comments.Intelligence backs claim Iraq tried to buy uranium
Posted on 07/04/2004 8:58:26 PM PDT by neverdem
Illicit sales of uranium from Niger were being negotiated with five states including Iraq at least three years before the US-led invasion, senior European intelligence officials have told the Financial Times.
Intelligence officers learned between 1999 and 2001 that uranium smugglers planned to sell illicitly mined Nigerien uranium ore, or refined ore called yellow cake, to Iran, Libya, China, North Korea and Iraq.
These claims support the assertion made in the British government dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme in September 2002 that Iraq had sought to buy uranium from an African country, confirmed later as Niger. George W. Bush, US president, referred to the issue in his State of the Union address in January 2003.
The claim that the illicit export of uranium was under discussion was widely dismissed when letters referring to the sales - apparently sent by a Nigerien official to a senior official in Saddam Hussein's regime - were proved by the International Atomic Energy Agency to be forgeries. This embarrassed the US and led the administration to reverse its earlier claim.
But European intelligence officials have for the first time confirmed that information provided by human intelligence sources during an operation mounted in Europe and Africa produced sufficient evidence for them to believe that Niger was the centre of a clandestine international trade in uranium.
Officials said the fake documents, which emerged in October 2002 and have been traced to an Italian with a record for extortion and deception, added little to the picture gathered from human intelligence and were only given weight by the Bush administration.
According to a senior counter-proliferation official, meetings between Niger officials and would-be buyers from the five countries were held in several European countries, including Italy. Intelligence officers were convinced that the uranium would be smuggled from abandoned mines in Niger, thereby circumventing official export controls. "The sources were trustworthy. There were several sources, and they were reliable sources," an official involved in the European intelligence gathering operation said.
The UK government used the details in its Iraq weapons dossier, which it used to justify war with Iraq after concluding that it corresponded with other information it possessed, including evidence gathered by GCHQ, the UK eavesdropping centre, of a visit to Niger by an Iraqi official.
However, the European investigation suggested that it was the smugglers who were actively looking for markets, though it was unclear how far the deals had progressed and whether deliveries of uranium were made.
Sweet mint tea, anyone?
I guess the classifieds were full.
Thanks for retrieving that from the business section!
Yeah Page 12 Z Arts and Entertainment section, LOL.
Oh, tie some yellowcake around the old oak tree, it's been two long years ...!
Am I misunderstanding something here? Isn't this a really big story? I mean, like screaming headline big?
Now that's a damn shame. How many of the lefts assertions against President Bush have been proven to be BS? Who keeps score?
Yes, you're misunderstanding everything. This is a non-story, just like the WMDs found in Iraq over the past six weeks are non-stories. Now move along, before I run you in!
the real concern is why haven't we gone after niger if they are actively trying to sell uranium on the black market??
Okay, I understand now. Just wake me when the election is over. Nothing to see here.
Do we have a universal name and password for the NYT? I don't want to register, but I sure would like to download a copy of this for a commie colleague.
Try BugMeNot.com. It works for WaPO. I'm registered at both. I don't feel burdened by either of them. You need to know what the enemy thinks.
At the next White House news conference, this story should be blown up poster sized and displayed for all to see.
After 9/11 the Dems were crying about Bush not being able to
connect the dots, now it appears they don't know what a dot
Which story, about the uranium or how the Times buried it?
Bugmenot.com is currently down.
And didn't Wilson and his 'outed' spy wife just appear on a tv show, this past week, trashing Bush for 'faulty intelligence' on this very issue? It's a well managed smear campaign and I wish Bush would take off the gloves NOW!
thanks for this important post. it looks like bush and the cia will eventually be vindicated by history.
truly amazing how the NYT buried this!
i thought it was Wilson who gave it weight by saying it proved all claims were not true
Still would like some controls on those abandoned mines!
They should do both. Explain how important it is, and embarrass the SLIMES.
And you were surprised? Hell no one is EVER going to admit that Bush was right because then Kerry is toast...Hopefully it will be trumpeted but who knows at this point?
In other words, Bush was an idiot for believing the intelligence, but the intelligence was true.
Since Niger is a center for illicit uranium smuggling, does it not occur to anyone that smugglers might use fake documents?
What this article says is that, during the long months that Bush was taking it on the chin for his (true) charge of Iraqi interest in uranium, the Euro agencies that knew his charges to be true remained silent. The joke is that Iraq's interest in uranium wasn't even secret, and was not dependent on classified sources; Iraq's trade mission to Niger was public knowledge.
It is the active existence of Nigerienne smuggling rings that was not public knowledge, but whose existence was well known among the agencies who were paid to know such things.
Everyone it seems, except the CIA, who seemed to have needed the services of a self-aggrandizing liar, who managed to spend a week in the country without finding what everyone else seems to have already known. Illicit uranium mines were open for business.
Yes it is, but the NY Times is damn well NOT gonna admit that President Bush was right, after all!
From time to time, Ill post or ping on noteworthy articles about politics and foreign and military affairs. Let me know if you want off my list. This is a combined list.
If you read comment# 1, you'll understand why I posted this story that's more than a week old. With all the comments it generated, it seems there are plenty of folks who never heard or read about it. It was posted twice before generating more than 100 comments being sourced each time from the Financial Times, not the NY Times. The story had the same title and author every time.
"Officials said the fake documents, which emerged in October 2002 and have been traced to an Italian with a record for extortion and deception, added little to the picture gathered from human intelligence and were only given weight by the Bush administration."
As I recall President Bush attributed the information about Iraq's efforts to obtain yellowcake from Nigeria to UK intelligence in his SOTU address - he didn't mention anything about a document. Why is this misinformation still continuing. The media has said it so many times that now it has become defacto truth among the libs/dems. Are they that intellectually dishonest or just that stupid?
6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other, possibly both.
Another angle to this story is the utter deception of the Europeans during the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Messr's Schröder and Chirac knew damn well that the charges against Iraq we well founded, but they chose to claim otherwise before the UN Security Council (and the world), and, as has been reported over the last several weeks, this obstuctionism allowed Saddam sufficient time to move his WMDs to Syria and other points unknown.
Axis of Weasel does not even BEGIN to describe the despicable acts of these so called allies.
In the event you have not seen this.
NYTimes slips in a "Joe Wilson" retraction. "Business section".
I know it's about a week old. The reason I'm posting it is because I just discovered that the Times chose to bury it in its business section. Check the URL:
1 posted on 07/04/2004 8:58:26 PM PDT by neverdem
Wilson, actually, never said that the Bush Admin relied on the forged documents. In fact, Bush probably disregarded them given he mentioned British Intelligence. Both before and after Wilson's NYTImes op-ed the Brits denied their intel had anything to do with the forged documents, and they didn't even know about them when they made there assessment.
Wilson is generally careful to say that he proved that Niger could not have completed a sale of uranium, not that Iraq didn't seek it from them. It's a semantic game lost on the media.
In case you missed this during the holiday.
Right next to the "Out and About In The Big Apple" column.
Thanks. If we are attacked by AQ again on our soil, I suspect it will won't even make section A of the NYT....while Katie Couric fiddles.....
Insert the URL of the NYT in the box on the main page and it will spit out usernames and passwords you can use to access the registered members content at the NYT website.
I was just about to ask what page this was reported on. I was confident it wasn't on page 1 above the fold.
FOX was talking about it yesterday .. and Fred Barnes purposefully said, "I guess President Bush was NOT lying about the Niger issue, and Joe Wilson WAS" .. ROTFLOL!!
One more time .. the DEMOCRATS have been PROVEN wrong.
Geeeeee .. how about we call on Teddy to APOLOGIZE to the President.
[L]iberals want to have their Nigerian yellow cake and eat it, too. Ann Coulter
ROTFLOL! It's not big to the liberals.
It proves the dems were wrong .. which I believe they knew all along .. they were convinced THE PUBLIC DIDN'T KNOW. They certainly don't want the public to realize it was the dems who WERE LYING!!