Actually, Wilson's article doesn't mention that fact. In later articles, as information bled out that he had lied in his first article, he would add detail attempting to cover himself. It was Tenet that first revealed that Wilson told him, verbally, what he didn't mention in his op-ed.
What Wilson's article does do, however, is play a sleight of hand. He ignores the charge that Saddam tried to obtain uranium, instead attempting to prove that such a sale didn't transpire.
His proof that it didn't happen is to say that IAEA monitored uranium mining too closely for such a thing to occur. The truth was otherwise; IAEA wasn't monitoring these mines at all. The reasons were as follows: Niger hadn't yet passed laws allowing the inspectors into the country; IAEA claimed it didn't have the personnel anyway, and thirdly, that yellowcake is considered by them to be low-grade ore not worthy of monitoring directly. Yellowcake sales are supposed to be self-monitored, the countries involved are requested to notify IAEA themselves.
Apropos probably of nothing, has anyone ever bothered to ask where Libya's yellowcake came from? Since, according to Wilson, contraband of uranium is impossible, where did theirs come from?
The answer is, Niger. Half their supply was smuggled in from Niger, and then later self-reported. The other half was smuggled in from Niger and never self-reported. Perhaps "smuggle" is too strong a word, since it was probably simply purchased and delivered. But Wilson's claim that uranium sales to rogue states are impossible, is just silly on the face of it.
Nobody in the press, of course. But there is evidence it definitely came from Niger.
And some of it, at least, may well have been Saddam's yellowcake.
You're aware, of course, that -- in Jan-Feb, before his NYT op-ed -- Joe Wilson was writing columns and making speeches arguing against any American intervention in Iraq. Why? Because Saddam had WMD...and he would use them.
Joe Wilson belongs in the nation's rogue's gallery.
Thanks for the clarification and for all of your post. I understand it better now.
Joe Wilson had a company called JCWilson Ventures, INTL.
He was on his way to Niger on ‘company business’ when he was asked by the CIA to ‘spy’ on the yellowcake ore sales.
He went on these trips ONCE during the CLINTON admin, and AGAIN during the BUSH admin.
They ‘asked’ him because he had ‘close’ contacts with the people in Niger that sold the ore.
Joe’s close contact was the President of Niger. Joe’s company is a broker for the President of Niger.
The President of Niger deals in the country’s only export, which is yellowcake ore.
Joe ‘knew’ the deal didn’t go through, because the President of Niger refused. If he had not, Joe would have been the one making the deal, because that is what his company does, and that is why he went in the first place.
The lefties in the CIA thought it was funny that the man they selected to ‘spy’ for them was also the one making money off the sales of that same item.
Did JOE make money off any ‘illegal’ sales of the ore?
We may never know.
Thanks for the ping! The article provides the full text of a memo that previously appeared in censored form in the Senate report on Iraq intelligence. It reads: