Wednesday, January 18, 2006

State Dept. memo doubted Niger uranium claims

Via the New York Times

A high-level intelligence assessment by the Bush administration concluded in early 2002 that the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq was "unlikely" because of a host of economic, diplomatic and logistical obstacles, according to a secret memo that was recently declassified by the State Department.

Among other problems that made such a sale improbable, the assessment by the State Department's intelligence analysts concluded, was that it would have required Niger to send "25 hard-to-conceal 10-ton tractor-trailers" filled with uranium across 1,000 miles and at least one international border.

The analysts' doubts were registered nearly a year before President Bush, in what became known as the infamous "16 words" in his 2003 State of the Union address, said that Saddam Hussein had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
Fortunately for those who wanted to invade Iraq, President Bush, as revealed in Bush at War, doesn't doubt. According to Woodward, President Bush has a "secular faith" in his instincts. So if the President's instincts tell him Iraq is seeking uranium it must be the case that any intelligence saying otherwise is wrong.

1 comment:

John Lombard said...

Malcolm Gladwell needs to write a chapter on Bush -- for a future edition of Blink.

"When your instincts are really, really wrong."