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Reply #27: "Nobody knew the Niger papers were frauds in 2002, except Dick Cheney." [View All]

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NV1962 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-10-04 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
27. "Nobody knew the Niger papers were frauds in 2002, except Dick Cheney."
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!

From Joe Wilson's (now famous) "What I didnt find in Africa" the following relevant bits:

  • Before I left Niger, I briefed the ambassador on my findings <i.e., that the Niger papers were a forgery>, which were consistent with her own. I also shared my conclusions with members of her staff. In early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau. There was nothing secret or earth-shattering in my report, just as there was nothing secret about my trip.

    Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure.


There you have it: back in 2002, there were at least three governmental agencies "who knew."

And the day after the SOTU in January 2003 (which mentioned the allegation as "fact" that Iraq attempted to acquire uranium from Niger) again Ambassador Joe Wilson contacted the State Department, to inform them that it couldn't be:

  • in January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa.

    The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them. He replied that perhaps the president was speaking about one of the other three African countries that produce uranium: Gabon, South Africa or Namibia. At the time, I accepted the explanation. I didn't know that in December, a month before the president's address, the State Department had published a fact sheet that mentioned the Niger case.

    Those are the facts surrounding my efforts. The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer. I did so, and I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.


I think it's time to raise the question whether anybody in the Senate Intelligence committee, since March 2002, ever inquired formally whether any significative disproving probe was conducted to verify the Niger allegations, and what the findings of that probe were.

My hunch is that that question has been posed, and that it was answered with a lie. Now that would be something to act on, by scrupulous member Senators of that committee.
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