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French secret service 'kept CIA in the dark over Iraq and uranium'
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 07/14/03 | Michael Smith

Posted on 07/13/2003 5:14:06 PM PDT by Pokey78

The French secret service is believed to have refused to allow MI6 to give the Americans "credible" intelligence showing that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, US intelligence sources said yesterday.

MI6 had more than one "different and credible" piece of intelligence to show that Iraq was attempting to buy the ore, known as yellowcake, British officials insisted. But it was given to them by at least one and possibly two intelligence services and, under the rules governing cooperation, it could not be shared with anyone else without the originator's permission.

US intelligence sources believe that the most likely source of the MI6 intelligence was the French secret service, the DGSE. Niger is a former French colony and its uranium mines are run by a French company that comes under the control of the French Atomic Energy Commission.

A further factor in the refusal to hand over the information might have been concern that the US administration's willingness to publicise intelligence might lead to sources being inadvertently disclosed.

US sources also point out that the French government was vehemently opposed to the war with Iraq and so suggest that it would have been instinctively against the idea of passing on the intelligence.

British sources yesterday dismissed suggestions of a row between MI6 and the CIA on the issue. However, they admitted being surprised that George Tenet, the CIA director, had apologised to President George W Bush for allowing him to cite the British government and its claim that Saddam had sought to acquire uranium from Africa in his State of the Union speech last October.

The apology follows the International Atomic Energy Authority's dismissal of documents given to it by the CIA, which purported to prove the link, as fakes.

Those documents have been widely identified with last September's British dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which said Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium ore from an unnamed country in Africa.

British officials admitted that the country was Niger but insisted that the intelligence behind it was genuine and had nothing to do with the fake documents. It was convincing and they were sticking with it, the officials said.

They dismissed a report from a former US diplomat who was sent to Niger to investigate the claims and rejected them. "He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said. "We see no reason at all to change our assessment."

The fake documents were not behind that assessment and were not seen by MI6 until after they were denounced by the IAEA. If MI6 had seen them earlier, it would have immediately advised the Americans that they were fakes.

There had been a number of reports in America in particular suggesting that the fake documents - which came from another intelligence source - were passed on via MI6, the officials said. But this was not true.

"What they can't accuse MI6 of doing is passing anything on this to the CIA because it didn't have the fake documents and it was not allowed to pass on the intelligence it did have to anyone else."


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; bushropadope; cia; dgse; france; iaea; intelligence; mi6; niger; nigerflap; nonallyfrance; scandal; uranium; warlist; wmd
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1 posted on 07/13/2003 5:14:06 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Unnamed sources rock.
2 posted on 07/13/2003 5:16:24 PM PDT by Satadru
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3 posted on 07/13/2003 5:18:01 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Pokey78
Now why am I not surprised the French had a role in this?
4 posted on 07/13/2003 5:19:19 PM PDT by rintense (Freedom is contagious, and everyone wants to catch it!)
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To: Peach; Howlin; Dog; Ernest_at_the_Beach; backhoe; BOBTHENAILER; Grampa Dave; FairOpinion
Weasel alert!

"The French secret service is believed to have refused to allow MI6 to give the Americans "credible" intelligence showing that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, US intelligence sources said yesterday."

5 posted on 07/13/2003 5:21:28 PM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: Pokey78
How precisely does this rise above the level of sheer idle speculation? The CIA asserts the intelligence is faulty, Blair insists it's genuine but cannot be shared, so someone simply decides it cannot be shared because the French are withholding permission. Where's the substance?
6 posted on 07/13/2003 5:22:06 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Cathryn Crawford
British officials... insisted that the intelligence behind it was genuine and had nothing to do with the fake documents. It was convincing and they were sticking with it, the officials said. They dismissed a report from a former US diplomat who was sent to Niger to investigate the claims and rejected them. "He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said. "We see no reason at all to change our assessment."
7 posted on 07/13/2003 5:22:54 PM PDT by marron
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To: Pokey78
Click!
A big question has been 'why would the British government not share the other intelligence about Niger'? Jack Straw stood by the British intelligence, saying there was more than just the documents that Wilson claims to be fake (though Wilson never saw them).

We now know why. French secret service 'kept CIA in the dark over Iraq and uranium':

"The French secret service is believed to have refused to allow MI6 to give the Americans 'credible' intelligence showing that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, US intelligence sources said yesterday.

MI6 had more than one 'different and credible' piece of intelligence to show that Iraq was attempting to buy the ore, known as yellowcake, British officials insisted. But it was given to them by at least one and possibly two intelligence services and, under the rules governing cooperation, it could not be shared with anyone else without the originator's permission.

US intelligence sources believe that the most likely source of the MI6 intelligence was the French secret service, the DGSE. Niger is a former French colony and its uranium mines are run by a French company that comes under the control of the French Atomic Energy Commission."

As I said in the blog entry linked above (click Straw's name): What did the Clinton's know, and when did they know it?

Remember this:

"France's first lady expressed her support for a presidential run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying that such a candidacy would be an inspiration to women worldwide."
Folks, there really is a Watergate style scandal coming. But it is not going to be about the administration. It is going to be about the Democrats.

8 posted on 07/13/2003 5:23:23 PM PDT by William McKinley (You're so vain, you probably think this tagline's about you.)
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To: Satadru
The British blame the French and CIA, the CIA blames the British and the French, Bush blames the CIA and British and French because they didn't want the British and US to go into Iraq. Never have so many tried to pass the blame onto so many other shoulders. It is effective though, because nobody can figure out who did or did not do what.
9 posted on 07/13/2003 5:24:23 PM PDT by meenie
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To: Pokey78
Uck the rench.
10 posted on 07/13/2003 5:28:41 PM PDT by Mean Daddy
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To: Miss Marple; Dog
ping
11 posted on 07/13/2003 5:31:58 PM PDT by kayak (Support FR with a donation ... or become a monthly donor ... or at least go bump the thread, please.)
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To: William McKinley
Folks, there really is a Watergate style scandal coming. But it is not going to be about the administration. It is going to be about the Democrats.

And to think, Chirac's wife is throwing her support behind Hillary! The weasels stick together, come hell or high water, don't they?

12 posted on 07/13/2003 5:33:41 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: William McKinley
I have thought this for some time. Clinton spent a great deal of time in the run-up to the Iraqi war gadding about Europe, hobnobbing with Chirac and meeting with people in Belgium. I note also that right before Chretien of Canada let loose with his last round of insults about President Bush, he was meeting with Bill and Hillary Clinton in the Dominican Republic.

My hope is that the Secret Service reports this stuff to Secretary Snow, who briefs the appropriate people.

14 posted on 07/13/2003 5:35:53 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: marron
Yeah...and its pretty interesting how so much credibility is given to Wilson's claim when he only spent 8 days in Niger doing nothing more than asking questions. And, were suppose to believe that Niger is going to admit to dealing with Saddam and participating in proliferation.
15 posted on 07/13/2003 5:36:18 PM PDT by cwb
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To: rintense
Well, there is no proof here. Just some really good educated guesses that would explain an awful lot. There is obviously something the Brits know that we don't (see the Straw statement). Why would they not share with us?

Here is a very, very plausible explanation.

16 posted on 07/13/2003 5:36:41 PM PDT by William McKinley (You're so vain, you probably think this tagline's about you.)
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To: meenie
Well, meenie, I have no trouble figuring this out at all. I am sure if you ask nicely, William McKinley will give you a quick synopsis.
17 posted on 07/13/2003 5:37:10 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: AntiGuv
"...so someone simply decides it cannot be shared because the French are withholding permission. Where's the substance?"

Italian intelligence, the reported source of the forged documents, has asserted that they got them from the French.

Ever since the forgery has become known, the speculative source has been France. They had opportunity. And they had motive -- to cover their continued game of footsie with Saddam...and to embarrass the USA.

It's not "substance". But it seems a well-founded guess...

18 posted on 07/13/2003 5:38:20 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: rintense
Now why am I not surprised the French had a role in this?

Because the French are Weasles.

19 posted on 07/13/2003 5:38:40 PM PDT by NeoCaveman ("I don't need the Bush tax cut. I never worked a f****** day in my life. Patrick Kennedy D-RI)
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To: William McKinley
This is indeed a plausible explanation. The other explanations for the Brit's withholding intelligence would be the protection of a source (which I don't think is the case) OR the knowledge that the information might reach someone who is compromised in the US...like a Senator or Representative that sits on one of the Congressional intelligence committees.
20 posted on 07/13/2003 5:39:20 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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