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And as with most lies from this administration being uncovered on a daily basis, this one too is connected to uranium, Niger, sixteen words and the daily White House press briefings.   Tonight's journey began with a visit to Josh Marshall's TPM where I read this:

(See the footnote on page 57 of the SSCI report or this earlier post.)

That's the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, by the way, and it led me to this:

Now, it's a premise of much reporting and in fact a subtext of the committee report that there were these various reports about Niger...

For whatever reason, that rang a few bells...

I had recently read the daily White House press briefings from mid-July, 2003...you know, when the smearing of Joe Wilson and the ruining of his wife's career was officially on.  At this point in time the White House was frantically explaining how and why the famous "sixteen words" got into the SOTU address, were allowing George Tenet to fall on his sword for the uranium claims, all while they were busily outing covert agents, covering their tracks and building their web of lies...I guess we'll have to credit them with some seriously honed multi-tasking skills.  Or not.

This was what Ari had to say on July 14th:

Q Ari, to follow-up on his question, the apple was a reference in a draft to the October speech to a specific quantity of uranium from Niger. To take another apple, the draft of the State of the Union speech -- according to Dr. Rice's briefing on the plane on Friday -- included references to quantity and place, and we were told that that was Niger, they were taken out.

MR. FLEISCHER: She was referring to Cincinnati in that. I talked to her afterwards, and she was referring to Cincinnati when she said that.

Q When she said that on the plane?

MR. FLEISCHER: Yes.

So what did Condi say on the 11th?

DR. RICE: I'm going to be very clear, all right? The President's speech -- that sentence was changed, right? And with the change in that sentence, the speech was cleared. Now, again, if the Agency had wanted that sentence out, it would have been gone. And the Agency did not say that they wanted that speech out -- that sentence out of the speech. They cleared the speech.

Now, the State of the Union is a big speech, a lot of things happen. I'm really not blaming anybody for what happened. But there is a fact here, in the way that we clear speeches.

 

I've read her responses several times now and she is not talking about Cincinnati.  A little white lie?  Simple confusion between colleagues?  I don't think so.  The basic theme that Condi and Ari both pounded was that administration claims of Saddam's nuclear ambitions weren't based only on the Niger claims...there were "other African countries" (and the aluminum tubes, but I digress), other reports, other intelligence being relied on.  But the bottom line was, if only the CIA had warned them!

So what had the CIA told them?  

On July 16, 2003, the DCI testified before the SSCI that he told the Deputy National Security Advisor that the "President should not be a fact witness on this issue," because his analysts had told him the "reporting was weak." The NSC then removed the uranium reference from the draft of the speech.

Although the NSC had already removed the uranium reference from the speech, later on October 6th, 2002 the CIA sent a second fax to the White House which said, "more on why we recommend removing the sentence about procuring uranium oxide from Africa: Three points (1) The evidence is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine city by the source is under the control of the French authorities. (2) The procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory. And (3) we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa story is overblown and telling them this is one of the two issues where we differed with the British."

Did I miss something?  It seems to me that the CIA warned them quite strongly about uranium claims from Africa.  

It seems that Ari was backtracking since Condi had let the cat out of the bag. They knew full well that Bush's uranium claim in his SOTU was wrong and they knew it before he said it...and they certainly didn't want it out that CIA-requested revisions had been made, just not revisions that would result in the truth. As I said, maybe it was a harmless little lie...SOTU, Cincinnati, potato, potahto, right?  Wrong.  It's just another tiny piece of the big lie that landed us in the quagmire we call Iraq.

A late addition to this diary, but important. More from Ari on July 14th:

MR. FLEISCHER: It was a different reference in the State of the Union speech.

Q Well, it was similar.

MR. FLEISCHER: But it was different. And it's similar in the fact that it's Iraq and Iraq pursuing weapons -- that's similar, of course. What is dramatically and markedly different and makes the Cincinnati speech different from the State of the Union speech, is the Cincinnati speech had a sentence in it about Iraq pursuing a specific quantity of weapons from one country -- Niger. The Director of Central Intelligence suggested to the White House that that statement should be removed. It was removed.

The State of the Union address had different language, and it was that Iraq is pursuing uranium, seeking uranium from Africa. That's because there was additional reporting from the CIA, separate and apart from Niger, naming other countries where they believed it was possible that Saddam was seeking uranium. So it's an apple in Cincinnati and an orange in the State of the Union. The two do not compare that directly.

But what did George Tenet say on July 11th:

Tenet said CIA officials reviewed portions of the draft speech and raised some concerns with national security aides at the White House that prompted changes in language concerning allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger.

An outright lie.

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:25 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get Bush a Hobby (4.00)
    When Bush gets bored, he starts wars.

    When you get bored, you expose Bush's lies.

    I like it better when you get bored.

    There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.-Charles Dickens

    by Ranting Roland on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:44:37 AM PDT

  •  nice catch (4.00)
    This shows how it's really necessary to expand this. This isn't about Valerie Plame. Or Joe Wilson, and neither Larry Johnson. This blows away their "Africa" talking points. The crack is opening and the media are picking up the competitive pace.

    I do think the shitbags are being kept on the defensive. I like it.

    "What they found is a silver bullet in the form of a person."

    by subtropolis on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:45:20 AM PDT

  •  I'm confused (4.00)
    Wasn't the uranium from Niger found in an RV parked on a turkey farm in Cincinnati?
  •  CIncinnatti? (4.00)
    I agree with you.  Those comments could not have been about Cincinnatti, because the sentence WAS removed from the Cincinatti speech.  In the SOTU, it was merely changed.  

    See:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/s071604.html

  •  What apple? (none)
    I'm missing something - what are they refering to when questioning Fleischer - "the apple was a reference in a draft to the October speech to a specific quantity of uranium from Niger. To take another apple, the draft of the State of the Union speech..."

    What is an apple in this context?

    'Just World News' by Helena Cobban, it's like Juan Cole with comments

    by joejoejoe on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:32:36 AM PDT

    •  Ari was... (none)
      ...using an "apples versus oranges" argument regarding the SOTU speech and the Cincinnati speech.  He was claiming that the Cincinnati speech was dealing specifically about claims about uranium from Niger, while the SOTU speech was talking about uranium from Africa.  

      I suppose where I started the quote box with that opening remark was confusing.  I'm sorry.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:42:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naw (none)
        I read the transcript from the link and still missed it. Good catch with the Cinci/SOTU obfuscation. I think this was one of the last briefings Ari F. ever gave - Scottie took over shortly after - that is why Ari had a big crowd and his family was there.

        The Rice briefing from Air Force One was very odd and if your read the transcript from that briefing you can see the reporters are a little puzzled - it was unusual for the NSC chief to brief on the record on the plane with no video (the TV people get nothing to run). Rice tried to work in something about the Wilson Niger trip but no press took the bait.

        'Just World News' by Helena Cobban, it's like Juan Cole with comments

        by joejoejoe on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:59:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I remember that (4.00)
          And it was an odd and from-left-field comment, IMO:

          DR. RICE: The IAEA reported it I believe in March. But I will tell you that, for instance, on Ambassador Wilson's going out to Niger, I learned of that when I was sitting on whatever TV show it was, because that mission was not known to anybody in the White House. And you should ask the Agency at what level it was known in the Agency.

          Q When was that TV show, when you learned about it?

          DR. RICE: A month ago, about a month ago.

          Q Can I ask you about something else?

          DR. RICE: Yes. Are you sure you're through with this?

          In fact, I quoted this excerpt here recently in a different context.  I noted that Rice claimed to have learned about Wilson's trip on a TV show "A month ago, about a month ago."  Given that this press briefing was on July 11th, I thought the timing of one month earlier was odd...June 10th was when Grossman prepared the original on Joe Wilson...the one that was faxed to Powell on July 7th.  

          Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

          by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:05:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  typo alert...actually, an omission (none)
            Should have said, "...when Grossman prepared the original report on Joe Wilson."

            Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

            by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:07:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ask the CIA (4.00)
            "And you should ask the Agency at what level it was known in the Agency."

            The "little wifey" smear was already planned at this point but these clowns were too arrogant to consider outing a CIA agent wasn't fair game. Their was a time that the NSC chair wasn't a political figure - I wish Democrats would point that out a bit more.

            This is the flight that Powell had the INR brief containing Valerie Wilson's name and the big (S) for secret. SECRET. And Rice is going to reporters to tell them to ask around the CIA. She's a horrible incompetent person. She was Stanford Provost and she's arguing that footnotes don't matter? Idiot.

            'Just World News' by Helena Cobban, it's like Juan Cole with comments

            by joejoejoe on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:12:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh definitely (4.00)
              And to me, it's another piece of the puzzle proving the conspiracy against Wilson/Plame.  And I don't use the word conspiracy lightly, but it's quite obvious.  Her "casual" comment about asking the agency was on July 11th.  We know that Rove had spoken to Novak, confirming Plame's CIA involvement, three days earlier...we know that he'd talk to Cooper on this day (11th) to give Plame's name and occupation.  We know that Scooter was already making his rounds...who knows who else?  

              A conspiracy (im)pure and simple.

              Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

              by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:20:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Are you sure you're through with this? (none)
            That is priceless.

            I Am The King Of The Eleven Comment Diary

            by CalbraithRodgers on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:23:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  With me... (none)
              ...you can never be sure.  ;-)

              Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

              by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:43:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just hope the MSM (none)
                is through with Condi and Rummy and Karl and all the neoclowns who've been destroying our country right before their eyes in press conference, after interview, after backgrounder, after phone call, after press release, after statement after, after luncheon, after backrub, after .... What more do journalists need?

                Are they waiting for a mic to be accidentally left on after a SOTU speech to actually hear Bush say "Well, that oughta fuck the country real good!" before they will spring into action and start calling these neoclowns the traitors that they are?

                I know they're out of practice and all, but wouldn't you think they would want to feel good about drawing their paychecks again?

                Now's the time.

                I Am The King Of The Eleven Comment Diary

                by CalbraithRodgers on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:58:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Did some more reading and... (4.00)
    ...I came across this, again from the July 14th press briefing:

    Q A reference to Iraq's alleged attempt to get the uranium from Niger. In that case, the CIA Director asked Mr. Hadley to delete it, and it was deleted. Should that not have raised all kinds of red flags come January, when a similar reference pops up in the speech? Should not Mr. Hadley or someone from the White House made sure to check this out with the CIA?

    MR. FLEISCHER: It was a different reference in the State of the Union speech.

    Q Well, it was similar.

    MR. FLEISCHER: But it was different. And it's similar in the fact that it's Iraq and Iraq pursuing weapons -- that's similar, of course. What is dramatically and markedly different and makes the Cincinnati speech different from the State of the Union speech, is the Cincinnati speech had a sentence in it about Iraq pursuing a specific quantity of weapons from one country -- Niger. The Director of Central Intelligence suggested to the White House that that statement should be removed. It was removed.

    The State of the Union address had different language, and it was that Iraq is pursuing uranium, seeking uranium from Africa. That's because there was additional reporting from the CIA, separate and apart from Niger, naming other countries where they believed it was possible that Saddam was seeking uranium. So it's an apple in Cincinnati and an orange in the State of the Union. The two do not compare that directly.

    But what did George Tenet say on July 11th:

    Tenet said CIA officials reviewed portions of the draft speech and raised some concerns with national security aides at the White House that prompted changes in language concerning allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger. But he said the CIA officials failed to stop the remark from being uttered despite the doubts about its validity.

    "Officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues," Tenet said. "Some of the language was changed."

    More proof that in the SOTU speech, when Bush said "Africa", he was talking about Niger.  Period.  

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:38:26 AM PDT

    •  Here is what I think happened.... (none)
      If you bolded the last paragraph in the quote box above, you have this scenario:

      The first draft of the SOTU read like this:

      "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from the African nation of Niger."

      The CIA checked it over, said this wasn't substantiated and recommended removal to the national security aides at the White House (who are they???). These national security aides then were told by someone that this portion of the speech NEEDS to be in there, it's the most important information they need to get to the American people to get them on side for the war. So, they decided to figure out how they could word it and still get away with leaving it in there. A discussion ensued where someone says, "Well, we can leave the Niger bit out and just say Africa, the Brits will back that up." Someone else says, "But if it ever gets questioned, we'll look pretty silly relying on foreign intelligence for these claims instead of our own." To which the response is, "That's when we execute plan B, if need be, and blame it on the CIA. I mean we all know the CIA will be the fall guy for intelligence failures if things don't go well. We'll just throw this into the mix as well." And it was done, the speech then read:

      "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

      What they didn't count on was Wilson digging around after the speech and finding out that this meant Niger and countering the claim in an op-ed. They knew he had gone to investigate and they had a plan for him already in case he became a problem: his wife who works at the CIA sent him.

      So, when Wilson started making news, Cheney tells Karl and Scooter to play hardball and cut Wilson off at the knees with the pre-approved story about his wife's involvement using our wonderfully pliant media, but be sure and cover your asses so the leak can't be traced to us. We'll make Tenet fall on his sword, as we planned all along, and things will blow over. Get to work, it's time for a little hardball!

      Unfortunately, they never thought of the little known law concerning the outing of a CIA agent... But, Tenet remembered that law. And Tenet says to himself, "You want to blame me for your little scam? Well, fuck you!" and calls the justice department.

      My guess is that he also told on them for knowingly putting false information into the SOTU. And when the judges saw the sealed case from Fitz, they realized that this was serious. This is, of course, pure speculation, but I am hoping beyond hope that Fitz has uncovered part of their devious plot to go to war under false pretenses.

      So, it's now about 12 hours and 16 words....

      Canadians care too...

      by jbalazs on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:27:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My take on it too.. (none)
        They thought they could skirt the Niger issue by changing the wording and putting the British government in as the source.

        When Wilson started talking they had a handy smear ready for him.  

        Tenent left the CIA shortly afterward due to pressure from Bush / Chaney or due to having to rat out his boss.  But he had played ball with them so he got a nice shiny metal for playing.

        "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

        by RAST on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:55:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In addition: (none)
        From Isikoff in Newsweek:

        Fitzgerald has been said to be investigating whether any aides violated the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act--which makes it a felony to disclose the identity of a covert CIA employee: it requires showing the violator knew the agent's undercover status. (The State memo makes no reference to that.) But the CIA's initial "crimes report" to the Justice Department requesting the leak probe never mentioned that law, says a former government official who requested anonymity because of the confidential material involved. Fitzgerald may be looking at other laws barring the disclosure of classified info or the possibility that current or former White House aides made false statements or obstructed justice.

        Canadians care too...

        by jbalazs on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:12:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Animal Farm (4.00)
        I am reminded of George Orwells book 'Animal Farm'. In it, the pigs take over the farm and continually twist the truth into lies so they can keep the other animals confused and subordinate.

        I think Ari and Scott would be the small squeally propaganda pigs. I have visions of them with curly little tails and pig feet. Their tails are wriggling in glee as they spin their lies in high pitched voices.

      •  No, I think you're missing the point. (none)
        The line about uranium from Niger was used BECAUSE IT WAS FALSE.  They were using dis-information or "counter-intelligence" to sow confusion among the enemy.

        What got to Wilson was that in this case they used it to deceive the nation and take us into a needless war.

        If the President revealed accurate classified information in a public speech, it would provide the enemy with useful information.  Whether he could be held liable for revealing top-secret information, I don't know, but it wouldn't be prudent behavior.

        If all the President did was use the disinformation to let Saddam Hussein know that his activities were being closely followed and thus persuade him to admit that the jig was up and leave the country, then there would have been no problem.  The problem arises from using a lie to formulate policy that kills thousands of people for nothing.

        When Wilson revealed the truth, he was making classified information public.  To tell the truth in this case is a crime.  But it's OK to tell lies if the intent is to deceive the enemy.
        That was actually what prevented Kerry, who knew whenever Bush was lying because of the information he was privy to as a Senator, from refuting the Bush lies during the campaign.  Kerry would have been guilty of treason.
        I think that's one reason why foreign relations have usually been off the table during presidential campaigns--because discussions could lead to the spilling of secrets.  In addition, there was always the presumption that presidential candidates would be honorable people.  There probably wasn't any precedent for dealing with an out-right liar.
        When Dukakis ran against Bush I, there was no way for him to know when Bush was lying about foreign matters and, having only been a governor, he couldn't really compete in that arena anyway.  When Clinton went up against Bush, he wisely focused on domestic matters.  It wouldn't suprise me to evetually learn that Perot was put up to split the Democratic vote but Bush managed to show himself such a putz, that Perot siphoned off Republicans.  With Nader in the mix, it worked better.  Besides, Gore being an honorable man, he didn't take advantage of Bush the Lesser's foreign policy disadvantage, thereby allowing the Lesser to make all kinds of assertions and promises without being challenged.

        Bush is still getting away with crap by playing stupid.  And all the time he's had Poppy, the former president and former head of CIA behind him.  And they've known just how to manipulate the agency.  Which is why the Agency people are so angry.

        Was the uranium in Niger a set-up?  Maybe.  Is it a set-up when you know someone is criminally inclined and he takes the bait?

        3-D Republicans=division, deceit, debt

        by hannah on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:11:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent work (none)
    Great research; I'm glad somebody is reading through all of this.

    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

    by bogdanmi on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:05:29 AM PDT

  •  Meet Mr. 16 words: Robert Joseph (4.00)
    Now on Bolton's old position, a BIG promotion, Mr 16 words was the guy the allegedly asked:
    • "Can we say that the British said it" ?
    • Yes
    • "Then keep it on (the SOTU)"
    Who Is Robert Joseph?, by Justin Raimondo

    The search for the government official responsible for inserting those inflammatory 16 words about the Niger-uranium-Iraqi WMD connection in George W. Bush's state of the union speech turns out to have been one Robert Joseph, according to scattered but widespread reports. To those familiar with the factional alignments inside the Bush administration, this hardly comes as a surprise.

    Joseph is was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation and Homeland Defense, and a key member of the neoconservative group in the administration.

    Joseph is among the chief advocates of 'counter-proliferation,' - as opposed to 'non-proliferation,' - which seeks to use the issue of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons as a pretext for war rather than a reason to engage in disarmament negotiations. If a dangerous wackiness is a general characteristic of the neocons in government, then surely the National Institute for Public Policy's 2001 report 'Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control,' in which Joseph collaborated, bore all the hallmarks. As William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca put it, the report recommends 'developing a new generation of 'usable' lower-yield nuclear weapons, expanding the U.S. nuclear 'hit list' and expanding the set of scenarios in which nuclear weapons may be used.'

    If being anti-child-sodomy is now considered the partisan position, then I'm going to be the biggest f---ing partisan on the planet.. - Hunter

    by lawnorder on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:09:49 AM PDT

  •  My blood is boiling (none)
    I don't understand how people tolerate lie after lie from this administration.   From media payola  to the PNAC inspired whopper that is Iraq, the parade of schemes and manipulations is seemingly unending.

    It must be exhausting for the Bush apologists to keep up.   No wonder they're still clinging to Clinton's BJ-gate like they're clinging to a life raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

    I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'.

    by AriesMoon on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:44:56 AM PDT

    •  Perjury (none)
      Remember perjury.  It's the new "plastics" of politics.

      If they can impeach Clinton over it then when the indictments come in for Rove, Libby, Chaney, ??? we have to hold their feet to the fire.

      If it's good for the goose it's good for the gander.

      So I don't mind their clinging to that raft of BJ-gate.  We can turn that raft into an albatross.

      "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

      by RAST on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:58:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Barb- (4.00)
    Here's hoping you're bored and up late often. Great job!
    •  Thanks n/t (none)

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:42:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Second the accolade.... (none)
      ...all bolstering the point that the words used were carefully crafted as part of a deliberate plan to instill fear in the American public...a fear that Iraq could be the source of an event of nuclear destruction here.  These words were essential to building the case for the long planned invasion...keep the American public scared shitless by talking about uranium and mushroom clouds...and it worked.
  •  Confused. (none)
    Maybe I didn't have enough coffee, but I am having trouble with the logic here:

    A late addition to this diary, but important. More from Ari on July 14th:

     

      MR. FLEISCHER: It was a different reference in the State of the Union speech.

        Q Well, it was similar.

        MR. FLEISCHER: But it was different. And it's similar in the fact that it's Iraq and Iraq pursuing weapons -- that's similar, of course. What is dramatically and markedly different and makes the Cincinnati speech different from the State of the Union speech, is the Cincinnati speech had a sentence in it about Iraq pursuing a specific quantity of weapons from one country -- Niger. The Director of Central Intelligence suggested to the White House that that statement should be removed. It was removed.

        The State of the Union address had different language, and it was that Iraq is pursuing uranium, seeking uranium from Africa. That's because there was additional reporting from the CIA, separate and apart from Niger, naming other countries where they believed it was possible that Saddam was seeking uranium. So it's an apple in Cincinnati and an orange in the State of the Union. The two do not compare that directly.

    But what did George Tenet say on July 11th:

     

      Tenet said CIA officials reviewed portions of the draft speech and raised some concerns with national security aides at the White House that prompted changes in language concerning allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger.

    An outright lie.

    As I read this, Ari is saying that they were given information that discredited the Niger claim, so they changed the wording to "Africa".  The comment by Tenet says that the CIA had problems with Niger, but doesn't say that he had problems with "Africa".  So I don't see where there is conflict in these statements.  

    Now, I fully realize that careful wording was probably used in both of these quotes, but I don't see the contradiction.

    Freedom isn't free. So why are you bitching about taxes?

    by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:17:34 AM PDT

    •  Okay (none)
      Ari was being asked (more than once) why the October speech, where the CIA had had language removed about uranium from Niger, didn't raise any red flags in January.  Ari said that they were two entirely different circumstances.  That the Cincinnati speech was specifically about Niger while the SOTU speech reference was about Africa and some unstated number of countries.  But when you read what Tenet had to say, you see that the reference removed from the SOTU speech was about Niger, and not any other countries.  And bear in mind, the CIA and State Department had already debunked the Niger claims long before January, 2003, which is why neither Powell (at the UN) a week after the SOTU, nor Tenet in a speech given around the same time, would use the claims about Saddam trying to buy uranium for his nuclear program...they both knew it wasn't true.

      Did that help?  

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:51:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so in order for this to be a lie (none)
        ...there would have to be no evidence about Iraq trying to deal with any other countries besides Niger.  Is that the case?
        •  Well, there wasn't (none)
          And if you read the July 11th and 14th press briefings, you'll see both Ari and Condi saying there were other countries mentioned although nothing was ever proved...and then they'd finish with a variation of "But just because it hasn't been proved doesn't mean it's not true."  

          But the bottom line is, the "sixteen words" were, in fact, about the Niger claims.  That is shown by Condi's slip of the tongue, Ari's trying to deflect it by claiming she was talking about Cincinatti, and by Tenet saying the reference to Niger was what was removed from the SOTU...because the CIA and State Department had both already declared the Niger claims to be false, keeping it in the SOTU is a prime example of "fixing the facts around policy", IMO.  

          Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

          by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:12:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is one of their patented techniques of (none)
            keeping their lies alive: "But just because it hasn't been proved doesn't mean it's not true."
            They're still doing it about WMD: (paraphrasing) 'Just because no WMD have been found doesn't mean there weren't WMD.'

            Another thing I've noticed is the use of the words 'ridiculous' and 'silly' as refutations of accusations of wrong-doing. Translation: 'guilty as charged.' 'Cooperation'='stonewalling'. When will the nation emerge from the rabbit hole?

          •  Good pick-up, but (none)
            There's no question in my mind that Bushco was being too cute in the wording of the SOTU, and I commend your diligence, but technically no untruths were told.

            1. British intelligence was consistent with Iraq "seeking" uranium (whatever that means.)   Such wording makes it sound as if an outside source (Britiain) is in agreement with the asssertion of Iraq "seeking" uranium.  Britain stands by those accounts, altho Tenet felt the assertions were "inconclusive."

            2. Factcheck.org has written an exhaustive appraisal of the issue and concludes that the British Butler report supported the "seeking" of uranium, and the CIA was, at the time, not ready to completely discredit that assertion.

            Bush supporters are okay with this liberal use of intelligence reports, but most of the rational world would hold SOTU to much highger standards of known facts.

            "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

            by Grodge on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:53:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Are you saying you believe there IS evidence (none)
          that Iraq/Saddam tried to buy uranium from another African country?  

          Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

          by macmcd on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:19:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, not at all (none)
            There were vague claims made, but nothing was ever substantiated.  And as was pointed out in the SSCI:

            (2) The procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory.

            That uranium was under the control of the IAEA, btw.

            Not to mention the deafening silence from the administration about the other alleged claims.

            Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

            by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:24:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Explains the bad-mouthing (none)
              ...of the IAEA, of course.  It's the Bushista's M.O. to harangue the party or parties that obstruct their plans.

              But the bit about the other source of uranium being under French control -- that part hadn't clicked until I read it here.

              The administration didn't have a problem with France's refusal to join the so-called "coalition of the willing"; they had a problem with France's refusal to help build-the-case-to-support-the-war policy.  I'll bet euros to croissants that somebody in Cheney's offices tried to encourage the French to "provide" documents like those that eventually surfaced via Italy and that France didn't go along, let alone that they had the means to do so since they had uranium mining under their control.

              Wonder if we can pinpoint when exactly the WH and the RNC turned on the French?

              (BTW, nice work here, BarbinMD!)

          •  I do seem to recall... (none)
            ...reading about some kind of scheme to move uranium ore out of the war-torn Rep. of Congo where the mines had fallen into disuse and into the hands of various ne'er-do-wells.

            Not sure where I remember that from, but I'll look.

            In my opinion, the lie of the statement was that it mattered at all that Iraq was trying to procure yellow cake from Niger or wherever else in Africa.  They already had some 500 tons of it secured in Iraq and NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

            And the "significant quantities" bit matters to me, too...how much, exactly?  You seem to know...

  •  My head slapping moment (none)
    Last Friday I watch NOW on PBS. Their headline report was this one:

    Politics and Science
    http://www.pbs.org/now/science/scienceandpolitics.html

    The report details how the Bush administration edits scientific facts to conform to their chosen policies.

    Isn't that exactly what they did to pre-war intelligence?  Isn't that exactly what they do to economic data? Isn't that exactly what they do to just about everything?

    It's just what Howard Dean used to say on the stump. If they have facts that don't fit their theory, they just throw out the facts.

    I have no doubt they ignored Wilson's report because he was sent to Niger to find support for their theory that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium, not to determine whether that theory was true.

    •  editing the facts to conform to the policy (none)
      In Col. Lang's testimony at the Waxman/Dorgan hearing on Friday, he mentioned an article he wrote for the Middle East Policy Council Journal a year ago, Drinking the Kool-Aid.  It's a bit long, but a great read.  Some of the most interesting parts discuss how the 'editing' process worked re. Iraq, starting Oct. 2001 with a 2-person unit in Douglas Feith's office combing through the intelligence community's classified files to cherry-pick data:

      By October 2001, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith had established a two-man intelligence cell inside his office with the job of combing the intelligence community's classified files to establish a pattern of evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks.  The permanent, statutory agencies of the national intelligence community could not support such beliefs on the basis of what they saw in their own files. Therefore, some other means was sought to obtain the conclusion that the Iraqi government had been involved in 9/11.  The team's mission was to cull the massive holdings of the intelligence database and to uncover intelligence reports accumulated on the subject of Iraq-al-Qaeda links.  The issue of whether or not the intelligence agencies considered these reports to be true was thought immaterial.

  •  I get most of this (none)
    but please tell me what "cat" Rice let out of the bag.
    •  That the SOTU reference... (none)
      ...was about Niger, not some nameless "other African countries."  A reference that was known to be false for several months.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:53:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Barb: Re-read my May diary to jog your (none)
        memory. It may be Bolton who saw to it that the uranium canard was given new life for the SOTU:

        Bolton Helped Pass Yellowcake Forgery to U.N..

        Henry Waxman unraveled this mystery shortly after Plame was outed. Details are here.

        •  Very interesting (none)
          Thank you for posting the link.  Damn...so many interesting possibilities going through my head right now.  I've been thinking the intercepts that the White House refuses to release had something to do with Valerie Plame...but now I'm thinking that it goes much deeper.  

          Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

          by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:30:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No wonder it's taking Fitzgerald so long (none)
          Jesus, there's more intrigue here than in an episode of Three's Company. I wonder if they did it intentionally to dissuade any would-be prosecutors (haha, little did they know when they appointed a Republican).

          Seriously, I wonder if Fitzgerald has one of those glass chart like in submarines to keep track of the actors, their public statements and they possible routes of specific facts among them.

          Didn't know that bit about Rep. Waxman. Thanks.

  •  UK and French Intelligence on other countries? (none)
    Pardon me if this has already been addressed but I thought the Bush Admin weaseled around the CIA's admonitions by claiming that the UK had information about Saddam seeking uranium from somewhere else in Africa besides Niger.  I've seen some neoconservative-fanboys pushing this meme around.  Besides the fact that it's ridiculous for our government to be citing foreign intelligence reports, have these ever been verified?
    •  I will have to look.... (none)
      ...but I came across that subject last night while researching/writing this diary...I'm trying to remember where.  Basically, the UK was basing their assessments about Niger on the forged documents and the CIA and State Department had informed them (I believe) in March, 2002, that the claims were wrong (and that was before seeing the documents, which were officially called forged in March, 2003).  The reports about other African countries was considered "fragmented" and "suspect" by a number of intelligence agencies...and in fact, it was later learned that many of the reports were "layered".  That is, intelligence from Country A heard a rumor, wrote a report, report passed on to Country B, whose own intelligence would write a report based on Country A's assessment and then pass it on to Country C, who would write their own report.  As time passed, Country A would reference Country C as verifying their original story...and on and on.

      I'll post the link if I can find it.  

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:03:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oddly enough... (none)
      The man in the UK who could have blown the cover off of this claim (and was about to) just happened to have "committed suicide" in July 2003.

      Oh, and did I mention that Judy Miller DID DO a story on THAT? Damn, she even had e-mails from the guy just prior to his death where he mentions dark forces at work, or something to that effect...

      Canadians care too...

      by jbalazs on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:51:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the somewhere else (none)
      I don't see it anywhere in this diary, but I thought the "somewhere else" was Libya.  Didn't Libya publicly anounce that it was getting out of the "weapons of mass destruction" business, which included uranium enrichment.  I'm not sure if it was ever proven, but in regards to the Plame case, it doesn't even matter anymore.  Even if you justify the wording of the speech, you can't justify the actions of the administration.
  •  Barb, please do NOT take any sleep aids. (4.00)
    This is a great diary.  Recommended!  I hate to think that anybody who does such good work is not getting enough rest; however, the demise of your health is for the good of the country, after all.  Thank you.

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:26:09 AM PDT

    •  hahahaha! (none)
      Well, reading and writing about these people is hard work.  But don't worry about my health...my daughter has a soccer game later...with some sunglasses and a baseball cap, I should be able to catch a nap.  ;-)

      And thank you.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:32:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone "in power" see these posts? (none)
    BarbinMD's post indicates careful research and thoughtful analysis, as do a number of posts on DailyKos.

    My question: are we talking brilliantly to ourselves or do "people in power" (in congress and the mainstream media) take note too?  Like does prosecutor Fitzgerald know what gets dug up here?

    •  This is America. (none)
      WE are the ones who are in power.

      I know what you meant but I couldn't help myself.

      Actually, even when we preach to the choir as some would put it, we do make a difference.

      LTE and donations to candidates from us force them to notice the issues we care about.

      Example: Paul Hackett

      3000 on ActBlue Mon Jul 25th, 2005 at 14:51:10 PDT

      3042 on ActBlue at Mon Jul 25th, 2005 at 18:48 PDT

      3508 on ActBlue at Tues Jul 26th, 2005 at 9:20 PDT

      3525 on ActBlue at Tues Jul 26th, 2005 at 9:31 PDT

      3587 on ActBlue at Tues Jul 26th, 2005 at 10:31 PDT

      3618 on ActBlue at Tues Jul 26th, 2005 at 11:10 PDT

      Total from the 3618 donors $181,280.81. Average donation $50.10.

      Up from $ $179,945.83 at 10:31.

      Up from $176,609.59 at 9:31.

      Go kossacks. Go! The light is green now.

      If every Swiftie attack generates $$$ for the target--Bugs will end up hunting Elmer Fudd.

  •  Where is the summary? (2.00)
    I really appreciate all the effort you've taken to investigate and write this piece.

    But, it's a wasted effort if you won't summarize the piece at the top.  I don't have time to wade through your investigative reporting to figure out what it's about.  I really wish that diary writers would write for the other 90% of us who are eager to learn but don't have time to read the full-blown post.

    The first sentence of most paragraphs should be a summary sentence.  The rest of the paragraph should be supporting material.  This allows people to skim your article quickly.

    If I can get a quick understanding of what your article is about, I might be willing to devote the time to reading the whole thing (and sacrifice another time commitment in order to do so).

    Thanks for reading.  Again, I really appreciate the effort, but I'm going to post this every time I run into a diary like this.

    •  Ummmm... (4.00)
      I write the way I write, which is to start out with an opening sentence to tell what the subject is, followed by a brief background of said subject...and so on.  Everyone has their own style of writing a diary and while I appreciate that we all have preferred styles, etc., I'll stick with how I like to write my diaries.  If that means someone won't read them, then so be it.  You can't please all the people and all that...

      And quite frankly, telling someone how they should write and/or construct a piece seems arrogant, high-handed and downright rude.    

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:06:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen sister! n/t (none)

        Canadians care too...

        by jbalazs on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:22:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well! (none)
        I guess you don't want to hear my comment.

        But, I was going to ask for twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one to be used as evidence.

        •  Ha ha (none)
          Again, I'm really just asking for a one or two sentence summary at the beginning of the article.  The part about summarizing each paragraph is ideal, but not absolutely necessary.

          This is basic writing.  I'm talking eighth grade stuff here.  I'm appalled that I have to defend myself on this.

          Get ready for my GCDK diary... :)

      •  Your opening sentence (none)
        "And as with most lies from this administration being uncovered on a daily basis, this one too is connected to uranium, Niger, sixteen words and the daily White House press briefings."

        This is not a summary.  It's very poetic though.

        I'm not asking you to change your writing style.  I'm just asking you to add a summary to the beginning which contains the main conclusions of your piece.  Don't even worry about summarizing each paragraph.  Just one or two sentences at the beginning.  Is that too much to ask for?

        I'm speaking for all the lurkers who passed by your article, because it was too involved, and there was no entry point.  It's not about reaching me.  It's about reaching as many people as possible.  If that's not the point, then why post your article at all?

        I meant no offense.  I hoped you would take this as constructive criticism.  There's no need to take it personally.  A good portion of the diaries I read on this website are exactly like yours - a "journey" (your word), which the reader has to wade into.  I just kind of got tired of skipping over articles and not at least letting the author know why.

        Again, I really appreciate the effort you put into the piece.  Thanks for contributing to this community.

        P.S. It's not just about time.  It's also about making the article more accessible, period.  When I look at articles like yours, they are just a huge block of intimidating text.  I need an entry point, and I know that I'm not alone.  This is why newspaper articles are written the way they are.  Otherwise, they wouldn't sell any newspapers.

      •  Here's an example of a well-summarized article (none)
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/7/26/10612/2519

        Heck, the title itself summarizes the contents completely:

        "Bush won't release Robert's papers from Iran-Contra Pardon days! "

        Again, this is not the norm for articles on DK.  Most articles are not summarized and the reader has to slog through the whole article just to figure out what it's about.

        Of course, Atrios is even worse.  Many times, it's impossible to understand what he's talking about without wading through the comments.

  •  Incredible connection. (none)
    It's amazing what being bored at a late hour can produce.

    • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • °

    by wanderindiana on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:17:52 AM PDT

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