« Fools and Our Money | Main | Last Weekend's Caption Contest™ Winners »

Where The Hell Did THAT Come From?

The United States has just finished transporting 550 metric tons -- that's over 1.2 MILLION pounds -- of yellowcake uranium from Iraq to Canada. The Iraqi government sold it to a Canadian firm which supplies nuclear fuel for power reactors.

This prompts the obvious question: where did the yellowcake come from? After all, Joseph Wilson assured us that Saddam was NOT trying to get his hands on the stuff.

I, for one, question the timing. WHY is this story coming out now, over five years after we invaded Iraq?

The only thing that makes sense is that it took this long for Halliburton to get all the uranium together and fake the rest of the evidence that indicates that it was, indeed, part of Saddam's non-existent nuclear program.

That's gotta be it.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/30429.

Comments (50)

Apparently Joe (liar) Wilso... (Below threshold)
JAP:

Apparently Joe (liar) Wilson and Saddam had royalties coming from Joe Plames book of lies all split up between them. So Saddam went along for the cash He needed so much.

Now that Saddam has been lynched, Joe intends to cash in on His life insurance policy that they each had on the other. And carry on Saddams good works in the mold of Jimmy Carter.

Make sense?

I'm sure that all that yell... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure that all that yellowcake came from a natural rock formation within Iraq. Joe had no reason to lie, did he? I'm pretty sure he had no hidden agenda. Did he?

but...but....but....BUSH LI... (Below threshold)
Jamie:

but...but....but....BUSH LIED!!! THERE WERE NO WMDS!!!!

/leftard

If you had read the entire ... (Below threshold)
Pete Author Profile Page:

If you had read the entire article you would have seen
Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

It would have been nice if it was more recent.

I'm sure the Democrats will... (Below threshold)
SarahConnor2:

I'm sure the Democrats will apologize to President Bush immediately. Right?...hello?...

Bush has had the worst publ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Bush has had the worst public relations in history.

One of the ways the Left used Plame to undermine Bush was to make out that Yellowcake from Niger was necessary to make the case to Invade. That wasn't true to begin with, but this information would have dispelled that in an instant.

Idiots.

It would have been nice ... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:

It would have been nice if it was more recent.

I figured it was stuff that had been documented and was under inspections from before 1991. It is current though in that the stuff was still there in Iraq, even though not weapons grade. It's probably a good idea to not have it in the Middle-east anymore.

Jay Tea, I'm thinki... (Below threshold)
the struggler:

Jay Tea,
I'm thinkin' Halliburton too.

Notice that the AP story fa... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

Notice that the AP story fails to mention the fact that former Ambassador Joe Wilson was deceiving people when he wrote that he had found no evidence to support assertions that Iraq tried to buy additional yellowcake from Niger. The Washington Post admitted that Wilson was deceptive. Of course, we shouldn't hold our breath while waiting for the AP (and the NYT) to admit that Wilson lied.

Yellowcake has been unde... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Yellowcake has been under guard since '03, only now has the security situation improved enough to consider moving the stuff.

Bah -- my long post detaili... (Below threshold)

Bah -- my long post detailing the history of Tuwaitha and the yellowcake that was there was blocked for having too many links. While I wait for that to be approved, let me ask a question of my own:

If Saddam had 550 metric tons of yellowcake just sitting around since 1991, then why would he be trying to purchase more from Nigeria. If you have the yellowcake, then you need high tech equipment to process it and refine it, you don't need more yellowcake. Please keep in mind that Iraq's questionable delegation visited Niger on Feb. 8, 1999, significantly after Hussein had kicked out all IAEA inspectors. So, at that point, all that stood between him and tons and tons of yellowcake were IAEA seals and there was no one to stop him. He wouldn't have to pay for it, transport it across borders, deal with the very stringent oversight on Nigeria's production of radioactive material, or anything like that. He could just have guys walk in and get it. That seems like it would have been a little easier.

A added the post that I ref... (Below threshold)

A added the post that I referenced above about the history of Tuwaitha and yellowcake here.

If he wanted to make more, ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

If he wanted to make more, he'd eventually need a supplier like Niger, but not immediately.

To add, it makes a relation... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

To add, it makes a relationship with Niger, a nice to have, not a must have in the short-term.

Joe the reason is that some... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Joe the reason is that some yellow cakes are more equal than others. The yellow cake they just removed from Tuwaitha was not weapons grade. The IAEA had already removed all of the weapons grade nuclear material they could find.

"If Saddam had 550 metric t... (Below threshold)
cirby:

"If Saddam had 550 metric tons of yellowcake just sitting around since 1991, then why would he be trying to purchase more from Nigeria."

Because it was under UN seal, and was one of the few things in Iraq that got regular inspections by the IAEA.

The attempt to buy more uranium was to replace the yellowcake with something that the UN inspectors didn't know about.

Wow, this story puts the in... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Wow, this story puts the invasion and occupation of Iraq into a whole new light. Mr. Bush's approval rating should soar to 24 or 25%.

I think people are falling ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I think people are falling into a trap here. They so want to go to the mat on the Joe Wilson/Plame thing, they are fulfilling the purpose of Wilson & Plame which is to complicate the story to create opportunity for doubt and to serve as a distraction. A distraction from the main issue of whether Saddam posed a threat.

This material largely render that whole issue incidental. And gives credence that Saddam's Nuclear Program, even in an 'on the shelf' state was a threat.

Yes, it was inspected, but Saddam had ejected inspectors in the past. There was also some findings during the invasion that IAEA seals may have been bypassed on various facilities. Perhaps this material may not have been weapons grade, but that much material can be made yield about 3-4 tonnes of weapons grade material.

We can go down the Joe Wilson path which is where the Left wants us to go. They don't care what your conclusion is or how well you can prove it. Its where they want you to spend your time.

Between the bribes, crumbling sanctions, and inspector ejections, this gives Saddam another straightforward option for a source of material for his program.

This story is further evide... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

This story is further evidence that Saddaam was being framed for a Niger operation that didn't need to be undertaken by the trans-Atlantic neocon network of Berlosconi's Italian intelligence service (with aid from Michael Ledeen) and Cheney's Pentagon stovepipe operation (the Libby front).
No wonder even the UN said the Niger manifest documents were laughably fraudulent.
Thus Cheney blew a gasket and sicced his flying monkeys on that hotties human babe, Plame.

Monkey brains

The outcome was a foregone conclusion.

Is it just me, or was that ... (Below threshold)

Is it just me, or was that last post a paranoid scream of denial?

Now that we have more fuel,... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Now that we have more fuel, can we build more reactors?

We knew about the reactor a... (Below threshold)
tyree:

We knew about the reactor and it's fuel, but how did rocket engine parts get out of Iraq into a scrapyard in the Netherlands? These were part of the WMD's that "were never found" which were found, just outside the country. I just checked Yahoo and they didn't anything list after 2004 on the subject.

This story is further... (Below threshold)

This story is further evidence that Saddaam was being framed for a Niger operation that didn't need to be undertaken by the trans-Atlantic neocon network of Berlosconi's Italian intelligence service (with aid from Michael Ledeen) and Cheney's Pentagon stovepipe operation (the Libby front).

What evidence? Only in that grassy knoll of your imagination.

This stuff can't be made up fast enough for the HuffPo/Kos looney left. You guys, at the end of the day, are going to make the Fifties era Birchers look liberal.

The timing of this article ... (Below threshold)

The timing of this article is more interesting in light of this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120182537976533691.html

This is basically 'raw' yel... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

This is basically 'raw' yellow cake, the finely refined, along with tons of equipment (some BIO/Chem weapons included), was delivered to Oak Ridge Tn a few years ago. Special flights were set up and flew it direct. The BDS infected media simply forgot to inform the BDS infected democrats. Actually it was news in a 'few' media outlets and promply ignored by the BDS sufferer's. I think there are a few posters on here that know this but like Hussein Obama, Osama, and Saddam Hussein they chose to lie about it. Saddam's fate should come to all of them. I don't have to name the lying BDS infected posters on here, they know who they are and have been called liars many times by family and friends, either to their face or behind they're backs.

Sounds like bryanD accident... (Below threshold)

Sounds like bryanD accidentally splashed some bong water on his tin foil hat. Seriously, his comment at #19 was one of the most breathtakingly delusional tirades I have ever read on this blog, and keep in mind we have weapons-grade moonbats like JFO and Lee Ward posting here.

Congrats, I think.

I wonder how many members o... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I wonder how many members of the Associated (with terrorists) Press shot each other trying to avoid printing this story. I'll bet fear of the blogs telling the truth had a big hand in it. They just couldn't allow another scoop by the blogs, added to the thousands that have already came out of Iraq.

Jay, This is old new... (Below threshold)

Jay,
This is old news. It was uncovered in 2004 and reported.

While Saddam planned on reconstituting his nuclear program, this is not it.

This has nothing to do with the Wilson/Plame farce.

Here is a summary of the yellow cake.
David

Oh, Jay, did you happen to check on this post and correct the SAW assertions?

The yellow cake th... (Below threshold)
The yellow cake they just removed from Tuwaitha was not weapons grade.
There's no such thing as "weapons grade" yellow cake, unless the weapon you're making is a dirty bomb to spread radiation, and Saddam's yellowcake was radioactive enough for that. Any and all yellowcake, including yellowcake from Nigeria, would have to be processed and enriched before it could possibly be used for nuclear weapons. While it's possible that Saddam's yellowcake would have had a lesser yield than Nigerian yellowcake, I'd agree with jpm100's assessment that this could have yielded a significant amount of enriched uramium suitable for a nuclear device. However, it definitely would take time, equipment, and lots of effort.
Because it was und... (Below threshold)
Because it was under UN seal, and was one of the few things in Iraq that got regular inspections by the IAEA.

While that's a possible reason, as I noted above, Saddam had already taken the step of kicking out inspectors before any Iraqi delegation went to Niger. At that point, there is little reason not to reclaim the yellowcake if you have need of it, unless you're planning on letting inspectors back in. Although he did let the IAEA have limited visits a few more times, if he had denied these, I doubt that Clinton would have done much more than he was already doing.

That brings up another question. Other than the documents that everyone now admits are forgeries and unrevealed evidence that the British supposedly have, what actual evidence is there that Saddam or his delegation ever tried to negotiate anything having to do with yellowcake with Nigeria. I agree with jpm100 that Wilson is a total distraction. However, it's the (very rational) dislike of him on the right that has led a lot of people to buy into this NigeriaIraqyellowcake connection with the flimisist of evidence. Even Bush has said that "those 16 words" should not have made it into the State of the Union address, so why do so many people still have such a dcesperate need to believe this story, when the foundation for it is known to be false?

The BDS infected m... (Below threshold)
The BDS infected media simply forgot to inform the BDS infected democrats. Actually it was news in a 'few' media outlets and promply ignored by the BDS sufferer's.
While I think this article was weak and ill-informed, there's no reason to accuse Jay Tea of being a BDS sufferer just because he didn't know the history behind the yellowcake :-)
Saddam's fate should come to all of them.
Of course, Jay Tea can take comfort in the fact that the person accusing him is a total nut who references his fervent desire to kill people, have a revolution or have another terrorist attack in post after post after post.
I wonder how many members of the Associated (with terrorists) Press shot each other trying to avoid printing this story. I'll bet fear of the blogs telling the truth had a big hand in it.
As I and others have pointed out, this story has always been well reported, the yellowcake in question has been known about since 1991, and it was mentioned in several media publications, TV, radio, etc. before, during, and after the war. This was just a minor follow-up on a long settled story. Please return to your regularly scheduled, blood-filled fantasies of Americans dying in the streets while you gleefully stroke your gun.
Lifetrek, I dropped you an ... (Below threshold)

Lifetrek, I dropped you an e-mail about that article on Friday. Did you give a bogus e-mail address in your comment, or do you not read your mail?

J.

Jay, Email address should h... (Below threshold)

Jay, Email address should have been accurate but it may be outdated -- I signed up for my Wizbang account (Typekey I think?) long ago, I just tried to check it but there isn't a place to edit the profile.

Just to clarify, your one line was:

"Finally, in the waning years of the 19th century, we got into the act. But we decided it was too much work to build our own empire. Rather, why not just take someone else's? That led to the Spanish-American War,"

You may think it is pedantic to point out that we didn't decide to take an empire but it is a fundamentally false accusation that is still used today against the US for the Iraq invasion.

That was a fundamental error that altered the facts supporting your post and it should have been corrected not replied to with a snarky comment.

"I wanted to talk about the long-term consequences of our acquisition of those Spanish possessions and make a larger point. I had no interest in the minutiae of the roots of the conflict, and less now."

And Dan Rather wanted to talk about the TNG not some pedantic font! "Fake but accurate," right?

But I guess that's just me being, "pedantic," as you put it.
David

It still doesn't answer why... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

It still doesn't answer why the Iraqi delegation was in Niger. While the left insists there was no talk of procuring yellowcake uranium and continue to harp on the fake documents as another distraction to prove that assertion, they never ask themselves (or anyone else for that matter) why the Iraqis were there. The document in question was so poorly done, one has to wonder if it wasn't done deliberately by someone to make sure it was caught.

...what actual evidence is there that Saddam or his delegation ever tried to negotiate anything having to do with yellowcake with Nigeria.

They never negotiated anything at all because Niger officials wouldn't even talk to them. Apparently they knew something no one else wants to admit.

What else does Niger offer that the Iraqis were interested in? Cow peas? Live stock? Onions? If he was interested in feeding his people then he could have lightened up on fleecing the OFF program. The only other thing, besides yellowcake, was to maybe procure more gold for water faucets in his palaces.

This may seem too elementary, but sometimes the obvious is the answer. Bringing up Joe Wilson is certainly a distraction, but the Iraqi visit to Niger is completely relevant. Saddam probably assumed that even if sanctions were lifted no one was going to allow him to keep 550 metric tons of yellowcake currently under seal. I doubt he had any intention of having anything transported from Niger while he was being monitored, so the Niger visit was just an attempt to get set up for the future.

Oregon MuseThanks ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Oregon Muse

Thanks for the compliment. It's a delight to know I'm inside a wingnuts head though I hadn't even made a comment on the post. Any other voices regularly talking to you? There's medication and help even for wingnuts you know.

Oyster,T... (Below threshold)

Oyster,

The document in question was so poorly done, one has to wonder if it wasn't done deliberately by someone to make sure it was caught.

I don't understand the point here. Are you saying that Iraq or Iraq symapthizers forged the document as an elaborate cover-up so that it would be discovered and then invalidated? I'd say that's a little bizarre to cover up a trip that no one was talking about before the document.

Or are you saying that it was a bad forgery to alert people to look more deeply into this trip (I believe Mary Mapes/Bill Burkett operate under a similar theory)? In that case, why not make a really good forgery that couldn't be dismissed out of hand?

As far as actual evidence goes, you didn't really present any. I think that if the document never existed, that the delegation to Nigeria would never have made anyone's radar, and would simply be a hugely obscure historical footnote. The same would hold true if US intelligence had actually done their job and properly examined the forgery instead of being easily fooled by it.

In any event, even your theory points to long term plans for Hussein once sanctions were removed, and that was if Nigeria talked with him. Since they didn't (they did actually have a meeting, but it was brief, not much was discussed, and there was no follow up), I guess his nuclear ambitions would have been pretty stalled, if the rest of your theory holds.

Of course, we all know the reality of the situation is way different than what the forgeries purported, and the CIA apparently believed, namely that Nigeria and Iraq had actually negotiated a deal for uranium.

Joe, I don't know who forge... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Joe, I don't know who forged the document or why. As I said, one has to wonder. But as you said, why not make a really good forgery that couldn't be dismissed out of hand? If I were the CIA and I needed a forgery to unquestionably support a claim, I would employ the very best resources and technology to make it undetectable. Is it possible that someone put out the forgery to discredit the CIA saying, "Look, here's what they're basing their intelligence on." To portray them as total buffoons? Sure. It's possible. That they came from a journalist in an allied country makes them look stupid too.

Those documents served to make anything else that came out of Iraq questionable. It undermined and made suspect any and all documentation recovered. It made it easy for anyone to dismiss a good deal of information that didn't fit with their preconceived notions. I'd say it served a very good purpose for the Ba'ath regime or any sympathizers to sway public opinion about justification for the war. And that's what much of this is about. Public opinion that also determines the vote.

Am I making any sense? I know, I may seem a bit out on a limb. If you have a better explanation, I'd like to hear it.

I think you're misrepresenting facts here though that the CIA "believed" a deal was struck. Speeches were written and rewritten - so were reports - to be very careful about making concrete claims. They went to a lot of trouble to investigate claims made by "a foreign government" that there was a deal. I saw nowhere that the CIA ever claimed it was a fact that a deal was made - only that they investigated it and reported findings and that it seemed plausible and that the Iraqis did indeed send a delegation to Niger. The CIA even said that Joe Wilson's trip "added little knowledge to the matter". Additionally, Joe Wilson's claim that he had exposed documents as forgeries long before they even came into the possession of the US only adds more intrigue to the story. Wilson was very meticulous in his WaPo story - meticulously misleading. How could he be so sloppy in regards to the documents? But was the CIA sloppy too? You bet.

Wilson's story about Niger doesn't add up. The time line is screwed up, the stories are screwed up and the general public is woefully misinformed.

I believe that it's entirely possible that the Iraqis went to Niger with the purpose of setting themselves up for future uranium deals. But obfuscation and political wrangling has muddied the waters and created a volatile atmosphere for even the slightest discussion about it.

But as I said, if you have a better theory about the documents, I'd like to hear it. After all, we're only theorizing here.

I'd say just a cheap forgey... (Below threshold)

I'd say just a cheap forgey done for sale or leverage in negotiation, probably having little to do with the bigger picture. If it was done to obfuscate and make the CIA look bad, then whoever did it must have had a very, very low opinion (though apparently an accurate one) of the US intelligence services.

I think the rest of your post is a very fair assessment. We don't know and we probably never will know for certain the true story of the intentions of this meeting. I agree that Wilson muddies the waters even more, due to his self-serving nature.

"It still doesnt answer ... (Below threshold)
JAP:

"It still doesnt answer why the Iraqi delegation was in Niger."

Really? To see friends and family, why else?

Bottom line is Saddam was a terrorist supporting threat to every Nation in the middle east and thus the rest of the world at large. As is that pipsqueak in Iran.

Wow. All that yellowcake i... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Wow. All that yellowcake in Canada. Haven't there been flare-ups between the U.S. and Canada in the past? You conservatives plan to invade Canada??? If so, what excuse will you give the world???

You conservatives ... (Below threshold)
You conservatives plan to invade Canada??? If so, what excuse will you give the world???

We'll just say we're getting back at them for the war of 1812.

"We'll just say we're getti... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"We'll just say we're getting back at them for the war of 1812."

Bah, giving us Keanu Reeves is more than enough of a recent reason. ;-)

Keanu Reeves? Wasn't Celin... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Keanu Reeves? Wasn't Celine Dion bad enough?

Of course, we all ... (Below threshold)
Of course, we all know the reality of the situation is way different than what the forgeries purported, and the CIA apparently believed, namely that Nigeria and Iraq had actually negotiated a deal for uranium.
I think you're misrepresenting facts here though that the CIA "believed" a deal was struck. Speeches were written and rewritten - so were reports - to be very careful about making concrete claims.

I think you misunderstood me. The forgeries themselves state clearly that an agreement had been reached. If the CIA accepted the forgeries, then they believed that. From the forgeries:

IT'S MY HONOR TO REFER TO THE AGREEMENT # 3*1-NI 2000, REGARDING THE SUPPLY OF URANIUM, SIGNED IN NIAMEY ON THE 6TH OF JULY 2000 BETWEEN THE GOVERMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NIGER AND THE GOVERMENT OF IRAQ BY THEIR RESPECTIVE REPRESENTATIVES OFFICIAL DELEGATES.

ABOVE MENTIONED SUPPLY EQUIVALENT TO 500 TONS OF PURE URANIUM
PER YEAR, WILL BE DELIVERED IN TWO PHASES.

One last note, Nigeria was not the Iraqi ambassador's only stop. He visited three other African nations on that trip. None of them had any uranium resources.

Hyperbolist is good enough ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyperbolist is good enough for getting back at Canada. ;) ww

I'm aware of what the forge... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I'm aware of what the forgeries contained. My point is that they were not part of the intelligence stream prior to or during Wilson's trip. They didn't even come into possession of them until many months after his trip, so they were not used as a basis for the initial investigation. Immediately after they received them someone from INR deemed them forgeries, and a few months later the IAEA considered them forgeries. The CIA didn't 'accept' them, they sat on the documents. They did try to verify if there was any fact to the claim that a deal had been made, but never could do so. The CIA (well, not everyone - there were differences of opinion) consistently maintained the stance that the Iraqis were possibly interested in uranium without ever making a claim that there was a definite deal.

The trip by the Iraqis was public knowledge and was reported by a French press agency and local Niger papers with pictures. Two other countries they visited were Somalia and the DRC. I don't know where the third was. Incidentally, Somalia and DRC do indeed have uranium resources. I don't know why the trip wasn't seen as suspicious right off the bat. I don't think the Iraqis were stupid enough to have, in writing, a deal, but I do think they were testing the waters in preparation for a lift on sanctions. And I do think that they thought everyone else was stupid and armed with those who were sympathetic, France, Germany and Russia, they knew they had someone in their corner to deny, deny, deny. It seemed they were hiding nothing. While much is said about what they didn't do, nothing is said about what they DID do.

I'm not saying they were in fact seeking uranium. I'm saying that with all the information we have, it is quite possible and not a stretch of the imagination - unless someone simply refuses to entertain the idea and will deny even a possibility without concrete proof. A very high percentage of intelligence is speculation. Small facts and other bits of intelligence form a picture to come to conclusions and probabilities. It's been a long time since the days of Mata Hari and Nathan Hale. We didn't have spies in the Iraqi regime.

Interestingly, a French consortium controlled Niger's uranium exports. These are the French who vehemently spoke out against any action in Iraq. They initially didn't even want to take part in removing the Iraqis from Kuwait in 1990. These are the French who suspiciously monitored the whereabouts of the USS Nimitz in 1998 while it was in the service of the UN monitoring of Iraq. This is the France, who's President, Jacques Chirac, was clearly infatuated with Saddam Hussein; who was instrumental in providing the uranium to Hussein that was necessary for his Osirak plant more than two decades prior to the Iraq invasion- weapons grade uranium. This is the France who's officials took part in the OFF scam. These are facts. This part is not: I think it's probable that the French produced the forged documents waiting for someone else to determine their falsity before backing off their own intelligence.

But hey, like I said, mine is a theory. The documents themselves are not that important. Who produced them and why is important. The time line of events and the players are important.

Wait... I cancel out the ev... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Wait... I cancel out the evil that is Celine Dion? Or I compound the problem?

Keanu Reeves showed up at my ex-girlfriend's high school reunion in Toronto. Apparently he doesn't just play d-bags in movies--he's always in character.

Nobody ever says "Thanks for Leonard Cohen/Neil Young/Norman Jewison/Arcade Fire/basketball/hockey/insulin". It's always "F**k you very much for Celine, you frigid hosers."

And I can't say that I blame anybody for that sentiment.

My point is that t... (Below threshold)
My point is that they were not part of the intelligence stream prior to or during Wilson's trip. They didn't even come into possession of them until many months after his trip, so they were not used as a basis for the initial investigation.
That is not correct. The Wilson-Niger trip took place between Feb 21st, 2002 and Mar 4th, 2002. The CIA was alerted to the existence of the forged documents by the Italians on October 15th, 2001. Analysts from the CIA reviewed these documents in January 2002. There is no indication that the US had any interest in the Iraqi Niger trip before receiving the Italian reports based on the forgeries. They pretty much were the basis for the investigation.
The trip by the Iraqis was public knowledge and was reported by a French press agency and local Niger papers with pictures. Two other countries they visited were Somalia and the DRC.
This is also incorrect. The three other countries visited by Iraqi Ambassador Wissam al-Zahawie on his Niger trip were Benin, Burkina-Faso and Congo-Brazzaville. The latter should not be confused with the DRC, but I can see how that error could easily be made. I don't know where you got Somalia from, though.
I'm not saying they were in fact seeking uranium. I'm saying that with all the information we have, it is quite possible and not a stretch of the imagination - unless someone simply refuses to entertain the idea and will deny even a possibility without concrete proof.
Oh, there's definitely a possibility. Let's say that there are 6 levels of proving something, "absolute proof", "proof beyond a reasonable doubt", "preponderence of evidence", "some evidence", "some reason to believe", and "it could happen"(unlikely). I'd rate this as a "some reason to believe," since Iraq was a rogue nation that had a previous nuclear program. However, as far as evidence goes, there is none at this point, so we can't even get to some evidence.
Interestingly, a French consortium controlled Niger's uranium exports. These are the French...I think it's probable that the French produced the forged documents.
When I first read, "These are the French," I seriously thought you were talking about the directors/employees of this particular French company, and I was very interested to read about this new specific allegation. Two sentences later I realized that you were just lumping all French people together into one homogenous blob. I can make up better unfounded conspiracy theories than that. "Ahmed Chalabi financed the creation of this forgery, yes the same Ahmed Chalabi that pushed for the Iraq war all along, the same Ahmed Chalabi that supplied "Curveball" and other false intelligence sources, the same Ahmed Chalabi that stood to become part of the ruling party of Iraq if Saddam were opposed." Sure, it's utter crap, with no real reason to believe it, but at least mine is specific to an individual with motive. That's slightly better than just pointing a finger at a country that has Foreign Policy differences with the US and saying, "it is probable that one of those guys did it."
The forged documents I'm ta... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

The forged documents I'm talking about were not provided until later. The October 15, 2001 date coincided with a report from the Italians that included some papers that the CIA used to initiate their investigation (apparently some of those were false as well), but the actual, false "sale" documents weren't in hand until Oct 2002 - read further down your link here to the heading, Afternoon October 7, 2002: Intelligence Peddler Gives Forged Niger Documents to Italian Journalist. This is what I refer to.

As far as the particular Iraqi delegation on what trip was taken I'll admit I may have confused one trip with another - it's all a bit unclear at times. But there were reports that the Iraqis had indeed sent 'someone' to Somalia and the DRC at some point in 1999.

I didn't attempt to lump all the French together in one ball. My intention was to point to many facets of the French hierarchy, diplomats, government officials, and military that all seemed to have relatively the same goal to different degrees. That was to discredit any intelligence gathered by the US or other allied countries that would justify our actions and to secure their standing with respect to dealings with Iraq. If I seemed to be broad brush painting "the French", it was not my intention. That they were all French is incidental, if you'd like it put that way.

So, we are agreed that the ... (Below threshold)

So, we are agreed that the CIA's interest and Wilson's trip were based on the CIA's knowledge and examination of forged documents that detailed the Iraqi-Niger uranium deal? You are correct that others came later, but the point is that the CIA's interest in those initial forged documents kicked off the whole chain of events.


My intention was to point to many facets of the French hierarchy, diplomats, government officials, and military that all seemed to have relatively the same goal to different degrees. That was to discredit any intelligence gathered by the US or other allied countries that would justify our actions and to secure their standing with respect to dealings with Iraq.

None of your examples even come close to saying anything about French efforts to discredit US intelligence on Iraq. Of course, none of them are actually linked to any specifics, so I will havbe to make some assumptions about what you meant in each case. Let's break them down one by one:

1. These are the French who vehemently spoke out against any action in Iraq.
This is a diplomatic position. Countries often have those and quite a few countries held this same position before the Iraq invasion. This is hardly an indication of undermining intelligence.

2. They initially didn't even want to take part in removing the Iraqis from Kuwait in 1990.
France voted for UN Security Council Resolution 660, condemning the invasion of Kuwait shortly after it occurred. They also voted for UNSC 678, which was essentially the legal basis for the war if Iraq did not retreat by the deadline. Although you say that they didn't want to take part initially, you don't provide any basis for this. Was this Chirac saying they wouldn't or some lower level officials? While there was certainly debate in the government over whether to take part or not, I don't remember France ever having an official position except that they were going to be a part of the coalition forces.

3. These are the French who suspiciously monitored the whereabouts of the USS Nimitz in 1998 while it was in the service of the UN monitoring of Iraq.
I must admit, I have no idea what you're talking about here, so I can't analyze this one. Did the US file official complaints with the French government over this? Was there an investigation of this suspicious activity?

4. This is the France, who's President, Jacques Chirac, was clearly infatuated with Saddam Hussein;
Are there unpublished love letters that I don't know about?

who was instrumental in providing the uranium to Hussein that was necessary for his Osirak plant more than two decades prior to the Iraq invasion- weapons grade uranium.
This agreement was struck in 1977. Chirac wasn't president until 1995. Perhaps these were meant to be different sentences. 1977 was a long time ago and the world acceptance of Iraq was much different than after the Kuwait invasion. I seem to remember another country had ties with Iraq around this time and provided weapons to them, but I don't see you accusing them.

This is the France whose officials took part in the OFF scam.
Corrupt, greedy bureaucrats are not exactly a French phenomenon. French officials were hardly the only ones that benefitted from these crimes.

So, other then the uncertain Nimitz incident, nothing in your catalog of Franch grievances has to do with intelligence discrediting at all. Even after that, there is very little that can be said of France in this list that can't be said of numerous other countries. You said before that it's "probable" that the French were behind the forgeries. What percentage chance would you assign to that being true based on your knowledge and given all the other myriad possibilities of how these could have been created?




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy