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THAT URANIUM STORY
NRO ^ | 7/14/2003 | David Frum

Posted on 07/14/2003 8:59:22 PM PDT by Utah Girl

On the ground floor of the White House is the Map Room, so-called because it was here that Franklin Roosevelt used to get his briefings on the progress of World War II. Over the mantel is the last map FDR saw before his death. It shows American, British, and Soviet troops racing toward Berlin. It also shows a frightening concentration of German forces in the Nazis’ last redoubt, the mountains of Bavaria.

We now know of course that this last redoubt did not exist. American intelligence had been deceived. And it’s possible that policymakers also deceived themselves. Roosevelt, for reasons of his own, wanted to let the Russians have the honor – and suffer the losses – of an assault on Berlin. The belief in the last redoubt was a very useful belief: It justified FDR’s wish to avoid joining the battle for Berlin.

Intelligence is a very uncertain business. And there’s no doubt that consumers of intelligence tend to be quicker to accept uncertain information that confirms their prejudices than uncertain information that calls those prejudices into question. Since consumers of intelligence are usually prejudiced in favor of doing little, most of the time they prefer intelligence that errs on the side of minimizing dangers.

9/11 changed the way American officials looked at the world. So when they got reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Niger, you can understand why they took the information seriously. That information has since turned out to be false – and its falsity has generated a major political controversy, as bitter-end opponents of this president and the war on terror try to exploit the administration’s error.

The controversy turns on the fact that some in the CIA doubted the story from the start. Their warnings were apparently disregarded, that is assuming that they were adequately communicated in the first place. Why? One reason may be that the CIA’s warnings on Iraq matters had lost some of their credibility in the 1990s. The agency was regarded by many in the Bush administration as reflexively and implacably hostile to any activist policy in Iraq. Those skeptics had come to believe that the agency was slanting its information on Iraq in order to maneuver the administration into supporting the agency’s own soft-line policies.

So when the Bush administration got skeptical news on the Niger uranium matter, it would not be surprising if mid-level policymakers mentally filed it under the heading “more of the same from the CIA,” filed it, and discounted it. The tendency was redoubled by the origin of the Niger-debunking report: Joseph C. Wilson. For more about him, see Clifford May's important post in last week's NRO. The result was the strange formulation in the State of the Union speech, in which the Niger story was cited – but attributed to British intelligence.

The story is an embarrassment for all concerned. But it no more undercuts the case for the Iraq war than FDR’s mistake in 1945 retroactively discredited the case for World War II. The United States did not overthrow Saddam Hussein because he was buying uranium in Niger. It overthrow him because he was a threat to the United States, to his neighbors, to his own people, and to the peace of a crucial region of the globe. All of that is just as true as it was on the day the President delivered his speech containing the errant 16 words – and the war is just as right and justified today as it was then.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: britsstandbystory; cia; davidfrum; frostedyellowcake; intelligence; josephwilson; mycousinknowsclay; niger; opus; sotu; uranium; wmd
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1 posted on 07/14/2003 8:59:22 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Utah Girl
An excellent overview of the facts and just how rediculous the critics are on this matter.

This whole deal is purely political

2 posted on 07/14/2003 9:03:43 PM PDT by MJY1288
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To: All

See that good looking dude on the left? He's got FAR BETTER THINGS to do than conduct Freepathons! Come on, let's get this thing over with.

3 posted on 07/14/2003 9:05:13 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: MJY1288

4 posted on 07/14/2003 9:07:31 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: MJY1288
I think the story is losing a little bit of traction, now that President Bush is back in the country. I think the next thing the media is going to jump on is the fact that the US soldiers are going to be in Iraq for some years to come. I don't remember President Bush or Donald Rumsfeld giving a timetable of pulling the soldiers out, and how about those soldiers STILL in Bosnia, etc? They were supposed to be there a year, max, and they're still there.
5 posted on 07/14/2003 9:07:40 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Utah Girl
I don't remember President Bush or Donald Rumsfeld giving a timetable of pulling the soldiers out

I believe it would be covered under, "Whatever it takes".

6 posted on 07/14/2003 9:23:03 PM PDT by NJJ
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To: NJJ
Exactly.
7 posted on 07/14/2003 9:23:57 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Utah Girl
The administration has made it very clear that we will be in Iraq for a lengthy period -- "as long as it takes" and, at least, "years".

Of course, they made this every bit as clear as "British intelligence tells us that Iraq sought uranium in Africa". Which, evidently, was and remains a true statement.

But the libs and the media can always be counted upon to misconstrue, confuse, twist and distort the issue, regardless of its initial clarity and accuracy.

They are really showing their true colors, are they not?

8 posted on 07/14/2003 10:21:00 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: okie01
I can't help but wonder... Was Bush's visit to Africa the humanitarian (& PR) tour it seemed, or were he and his team there to meet someone and collect something related to the yellowcake issue?
Dubya's a wily fellow, has proved this many times over, and the dims and mediots never seem to really catch on to this fact.
Gotta wonder: strategery?
9 posted on 07/14/2003 10:31:49 PM PDT by King Prout (people hear and do not listen, see and do not observe, speak without thought, post and not edit)
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To: King Prout
Mistakes were made. I can remember the last President that used that line to justify doing nothing. Bush is the executor in charge of the CIA, FBI, DIA, etc. and letting them put him in a hole such as he claims they did, and not doing anything but actually supporting them is____*.

*insane.

10 posted on 07/14/2003 11:19:21 PM PDT by meenie
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To: meenie
That's certainly the way it looks, and if it IS the reality then I agree with you, but I wonder...
Bush has snookered the dims and the mediots time after time.
So, I wonder...
(runawayyyy, a-run-run-run-run-runawayyyy!)
Sorry, getting punchy as the shift wears on.
11 posted on 07/14/2003 11:22:50 PM PDT by King Prout (people hear and do not listen, see and do not observe, speak without thought, post and not edit)
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To: meenie
Planning,Reconaissance,Control & Security... Please continue your stupid drivel. It pleases me to see your ineptitude. FIDO.
12 posted on 07/14/2003 11:46:02 PM PDT by ownaccord (First post...)
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To: meenie
Start reading more threads and reacting, emotional, less. Just a helpful hint. ;^)
13 posted on 07/14/2003 11:52:43 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: meenie
I can't see any difference between your posts and the screaming Democrats I've been watching on the TV shouting matches. Have you officially joined the Democrat Party? Are you on the Democrat talking point mailing list?
14 posted on 07/15/2003 2:00:49 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
Go git 'em Deputy Fife.

He don't always say good stuff about the republicans.

So he must be one o'them dem-o-rats er sumpthin.

15 posted on 07/15/2003 3:32:16 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
Guess so. I don't see a dimes worth of difference between what that guy is saying and what Dean is saying. Must've fallen for the Democrat propaganda hook, line and sinker.
16 posted on 07/15/2003 3:35:29 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
C'mon Jim.

You trot out this "he must be a dem-o-rat" line with every criticism of the GOP anymore.

There are things the GOP does right.

And there are things they do wrong.

We all know the democrats suck. That's what brought most people together here. But sometimes the GOP is just plain wrong.

You used to be a man who was willing to stand up and tell them in no uncertain terms when they were wrong.

Now you not only remain painfully silent of their faults, but you ridicule others for mentioning them.

What did you do with the real Jim?

17 posted on 07/15/2003 3:46:16 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
No, some of you guys are parroting the Democrat lies. I'm standing against the Democrats. If you don't want to defend America when we're at war and you want to use the enemy's propaganda against us, well, don't be surprised when you're labled an enemy sympathizer.

18 posted on 07/15/2003 3:50:15 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
No, some of you guys are parroting the Democrat lies.

You can keep trotting out this tired old line if you want, but you know it ain't so.

Democrats are socialist thieving parasites.

My problem with the GOP, is that they're doing their level best to be just like 'em.

You can make excuses for 'em if you want to... rationalizations about "political necessity" and "real world problems" and "give a little to get a little"... but the fact is, Bush spends like a drunken sailor.

And he spends on social programs, and the kind of federal expansionist nonsense that you used to loathe in the democrats.

Apparently it wasn't the policies you loathed.

Just the people enacting them.

19 posted on 07/15/2003 3:55:58 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
I'm not making ewxcuses for anyone. President Bush is doing a hell of a job wiping out the terrorists and I back him 100% in that effort. I also back him 100% in his effort to turnover the liberal activist judiciary. I'll live with the rest of the baggage just to get those two things accomplished. I see it as the price we pay to end terrorism and to end the abortionist/homosexualist/gungrabbing liberal activist judiciary. After the trillions already stolen from us by the liberal Democrats over the last century, it's not such a large price to pay to end their run. Sorry if the rest of you can't see the forest for the trees.
20 posted on 07/15/2003 4:02:37 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
I see it as the price we pay to end terrorism and to end the abortionist/homosexualist/gungrabbing liberal activist judiciary.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

21 posted on 07/15/2003 4:06:11 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Jim Robinson
I see it as the price we pay to end terrorism and to end the abortionist/homosexualist/gungrabbing liberal activist judiciary.

He extended the assault weapons ban, and you didn't utter a peep.

He nationalized airport workers to collect toenail clippers, and not a sound was heard.

He expanded the federal Department of Education, and you continued to cheer.

He pushed for and got, yet another federal giveaway program in prescription drugs for seniors.

And you want this guy to pick justices.

Go figure.

22 posted on 07/15/2003 4:06:28 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
I've got a feeling that if we had FR when Ronald Reagan was in office, some of you guys would've been campaigning against him and some of his "socialist" policies and run away spending too. No one took him serious about defeating the communists. Well, thank God there were not so many short-sighted, weak kneed cowards around in those days as we seem to have today.
23 posted on 07/15/2003 4:08:26 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: OWK
Well, who cares. The prize is much bigger than all of that rolled together and multiplied many times over. Ending the liberal activist judiciary is priceless.
24 posted on 07/15/2003 4:09:59 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: OWK
Who would you rather have picking the judges?
25 posted on 07/15/2003 4:11:07 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: OWK
He extended the assault weapons ban,...

No he didn't.

26 posted on 07/15/2003 4:13:14 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Jim Robinson
I've got a feeling that if we had FR when Ronald Reagan was in office, some of you guys would've been campaigning against him and some of his "socialist" policies and run away spending too.

Yeah you've got all kinds of "feelings".

And a long supply of excuses.

And a habit of changing the subject.

The fact is the the republicans are behaving just like the democrats you claim to despise.

But because they're republicans, you don't say a word, and you ridicule those who do.

Rationalizing and excuse mongering seem to be the order of the day.

"They had to, because...."

"Well if they just take care of this, then I don't care about that...."

With each passing excuse, and with every rationalization, the bonds on our children's future become tighter and tighter.

And you helped.

27 posted on 07/15/2003 4:14:15 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
No excuses. The prize is worth the price.
28 posted on 07/15/2003 4:15:14 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
Ending the liberal activist judiciary is priceless.

yeah, that's gonna happen.

His track record as a conservative is so dependable after all.

29 posted on 07/15/2003 4:15:26 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
It's going to happen.
30 posted on 07/15/2003 4:16:25 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
The prize is worth the price.

The price is further advancement of socialism, and a bleak future for our children.

Not only is it an unacceptable price... but an unnecessary one.

All of your rationalizations are based on the assertion that we somehow NEED to do these things.

That they are political necessity.

That's nonsense.

31 posted on 07/15/2003 4:17:58 AM PDT by OWK
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To: Jim Robinson
It's going to happen.

GOP Lucy will yank the football out from under conservative Charlie Brown... yet again...

And everyone will see it... yet again.

And they will know it for what it is... yet again.

And yet others will still excuse it.

32 posted on 07/15/2003 4:19:44 AM PDT by OWK
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To: Jim Robinson
Do you ever sleep?
33 posted on 07/15/2003 4:20:14 AM PDT by Rebelbase (........The bartender yells, "hey get out of here, we don't serve breakfast!")
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To: .30Carbine
Am I ever on time to work?
34 posted on 07/15/2003 4:26:49 AM PDT by .30Carbine
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To: OWK
The price is doing whatever he has to do to get reelected and to increase the majority in both houses of Congress. And I could care less what that price is. How can you measure the price of ending the scourge of terrorism? How can you measure the price of killing millions of the unborn through government sanctione abortion? How can you measure the price of destroying the family and our society? How can you measure the price of defending the 2nd amendment or of the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights? This is the first chance we've had in my lifetime and my parents lifetime before that to have a complete turn around in government. Do not underestimate the evil that a continued liberal activist court can do. We can replace them. It will happen if Republicans don't go all wobbly on us. I believe that ending the liberal activist judiciary is the first step in recovering our constitutional government. What the libs couldn't get done via legislation, they simply got their judges to do through unconstitutional rulings. There is no other way to break their hold other than having a Republican president and a Republican Senate to appoint and confirm conservative judges. Sorry, but there's zero chance that the libertarians can do it.


Besides, you don't have any plan to do anything else, other than try to defeat Bush by electing a Democrat and letting the downhill slide into a socialist hell continue. What the hell good will that do for you or your children?
35 posted on 07/15/2003 4:33:12 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
wiping out the terrorists and I back him 100% in that effort. I also back him 100% in his effort to turnover the liberal activist judiciary. I'll live with the rest of the baggage just to get those two things accomplished

While I agree with the first, I respectfully disagree with the second. The huge expansion of non defense items, the acceleration of motion toward bigger, more expensive government, the continued road to more and more regulations is really a very high price to pay for an unpredictable judiciary.

36 posted on 07/15/2003 4:33:30 AM PDT by RJCogburn ("All them Parmelees is teched. Harold's the worst.".....Lucky Ned Pepper)
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To: RJCogburn
Well, what else are you going to do? I wish he wasn't doing all these things, but he doesn't take my calls. I'll be damned if I'm going to give up now when we're so close. four more years, eight more, and we get several Supreme Court appoints. Twelve more years and we probably have a complete turnover, not only in the Supreme Court, but in most of the federal judiciary. Why defeat the Republicans now by allowing the Democrats to win? You say Republican judges are unpredictable. Well, I guarantee you liberal judges appointed by Democrats are not. I'll take my chances with the Republicans.
37 posted on 07/15/2003 4:39:46 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Rebelbase
Yes, In fact, I was getting ready to turn in when OWK popped up on the thread. Will be signing off in a few minutes.
38 posted on 07/15/2003 4:41:02 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
The price is doing whatever he has to do to get reelected and to increase the majority in both houses of Congress. And I could care less what that price is.

OK... so let me get this straight.

You want republican control of both houses of congress, the executive branch, and the ability to pick judges.

And you're willing to pay any price for that. Including (as now appears to be the case) the price of republicans becoming just like democrats, thereby eliminating any advantage to liberty and rights there might have been in having republicans in those positions.

Try as I might, I just don't get it Jim.

39 posted on 07/15/2003 4:58:21 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
Yes lets get more do absolute stupid, do nothing Dems like Hillary in there to rob you blind. At least the Republicans don't steal as much.
40 posted on 07/15/2003 5:02:35 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Here's to Hillary's book sinking like the Clinton 2000 economy)
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To: Jim Robinson
I wish he wasn't doing all these things, but he doesn't take my calls.

A minute ago you said it was a price you'd happily pay.

Now you say you wish he wasn't doing it.

Which is it?

And if you wish he wasn't doing it, then why not speak out about it, instead of ridiculing those who do?

41 posted on 07/15/2003 5:03:21 AM PDT by OWK
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To: bmwcyle
Yes lets get more do absolute stupid, do nothing Dems like Hillary in there to rob you blind. At least the Republicans don't steal as much.

Why do they steal at all?

And why do you wring your hands and excuse it?

"Not quite as bad as the socialist democrats" is not a rallying cry for me.

Maybe it works for you.. I don't know.

42 posted on 07/15/2003 5:05:00 AM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
You don't get it because you hate the Republicans so much you're simply assuming they're as bad as the Democrats. They're not. If they were, we'd already have universal healthcare paid by the government for all. We'd already have totally government funded campaigns. The Electoral college would already be gone. We'd already have a repeal of the second amendment. We'd already be subserviant to a world court, a world army and a world tax. The UN would be much further entrenched than it already is. We'd already have signed on to the Kyoto treaty. You hate the Republicans so much that you fail to realize that they are the only thing standing between you and a complete Democrat liberal socialist utopia.
43 posted on 07/15/2003 5:05:27 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: OWK
It's a price I'll happily pay if it's the only way I can get it. Obviously, I wish, hope and pray that the price could be less expensive. And maybe it will.
44 posted on 07/15/2003 5:07:12 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: Jim Robinson
I don't "hate" republicans. I'd love nothing more than to have a GOP that actually stood for something.

I thought at one time that might actually be possible.

But people like you with your "I'll pay any price for control" mentality, make it increasingly difficult to believe that the GOP will ever be anything more than a slightly-less-socialist alternative to the democrats.

By excusing every failing, and telling them over and over and over that anything they do is OK provided it helps them stay in power, principle is lost to pragmatism.

And even that could be lived with if the pragamatic goals were liberty and rights.

But by your own admission, they aren't.

The goal is power. What's to be done with that power is of minimal concern by your own admission.

Read your own words on this thread.

They're an eye-opener.

45 posted on 07/15/2003 5:11:45 AM PDT by OWK
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To: Jim Robinson
Obviously, I wish, hope and pray that the price could be less expensive. And maybe it will.

I guess my point Jim, is that the price will never be different, unless you make it different.

Wishing and hoping isn't going to change things.

You have the Whitehouse, and both houses of congress.

Do something with it.

Use your website to do something with it.

46 posted on 07/15/2003 5:13:42 AM PDT by OWK
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To: okie01
Nobody in the Bush administration acknowledged that we would be caught in the middle of a slow bleed guerrilla war. Their views on the "liberating Iraq" and the aftermatah were far more Pollyannish than you indicate.
47 posted on 07/15/2003 5:15:19 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Captain Kirk
B/S.
48 posted on 07/15/2003 5:16:35 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: OWK
So we elect a Libertarian with the same problem, a sinful falled human. Libertarians will have that human ego just like the two parties in power. You will never see the reality of the nature of man until you look through the eyes of Christ but I don't think you will ever get it.
49 posted on 07/15/2003 5:19:05 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Here's to Hillary's book sinking like the Clinton 2000 economy)
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To: Jim Robinson
Why are all these people suddenly appearing? It is very difficult to get through threads lately with all of the attacks from the left and the anti-Bush conservatives.
50 posted on 07/15/2003 5:19:42 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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