Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald issues a correction

Patrick Fitzgerald has issued a correction:

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, Fitzgerald wrote yesterday that he wanted to "correct" the sentence that dealt with the issue in a filing he submitted last Wednesday. That sentence said Libby "was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

Instead, the sentence should have conveyed that Libby was to tell Miller some of the key judgments of the NIE "and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

This would mean, as far as I can tell, that Libby did not tell Judith Miller that one of the key judgements of the NIE was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium, something that the administration had been lambasted for, since that would have been a flat out lie. But this twist creates more questions, because now we have to wonder what exactly it was that Libby leaked to Miller. Eriposte has some ideas, and I'll add one more: the sentence as Fitzgerald has corrected it reads as if Libby may have been trying to conflate the key judgements with the claim that Iraq was trying to procure uranium, so that Miller would take it as a hidden assumption that the claim was part of the key judgements.

More information is needed to know for sure what exactly went on, but one thing emerges clearly, the administration has been acting as if it has something to hide.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has picked out another Bush war in Iraq untruth

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

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