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View Diary: Is it possible the INR memo is a red herring? (140 comments)

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  •  July 12 2003 Press Gaggle (none)
    "The transcript of the July 12, 2003 press gaggle reveals no reference to the Wilson matter."

    There's LOADS of information referring to Joe Wilson in the Press Gaggle:

    MR. FLEISCHER: Let me explain to you the President's thinking on this. A greater, more important truth is being lost in the flap over whether or not Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. The greater truth is that nobody, but nobody, denies that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. He was pursuing numerous ways to obtain nuclear weapons. The United States never said that he had nuclear weapons. We have said that he was pursuing them. It should surprise nobody that Saddam Hussein was seeking to acquire the means to produce from a variety of sources and a variety of ways.

    He had previously obtained yellow cake from Africa. In fact, in one of the least known parts of this story, which is now, for the first time, public -- and you find this in Director Tenet's statement last night -- the official that -- lower-level official sent from the CIA to Niger to look into whether or not Saddam Hussein had sought yellow cake from Niger, Wilson, he -- and Director Tenet's statement last night states the same former official, Wilson, also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official, Wilson, meet an Iraqi delegation to discuss expanding commercial relations between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales.

    This is in Wilson's report back to the CIA. Wilson's own report, the very man who was on television saying Niger denies it, who never said anything about forged documents, reports himself that officials in Niger said that Iraq was seeking to contact officials in Niger about sales.

    What did the President say in the State of the Union? He said: according to British reports, Iraq is seeking uranium from Africa. And the intelligence cited two other countries, in addition to Niger.

    So, again, the larger truth, was Saddam Hussein a threat, in part because he was seeking nuclear weapons, in addition to what we know and have said about chemical and biological.

    Now, if you ask, how is the President approaching this, what's the President's approach, the President sees this as much ado, that it's beside the point of the central threat that Saddam Hussein presented.

    WOW! Did Fleisher say that Wilson lied to the CIA in his report to them?

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