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National Journal- Iraq, Niger, And The CIA

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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-02-06 08:04 PM
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National Journal- Iraq, Niger, And The CIA

Iraq, Niger, And The CIA
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006

Vice President Cheney and his then-Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were personally informed in June 2003 that the CIA no longer considered credible the allegations that Saddam Hussein had attempted to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger, according to government records and interviews with current and former officials. The new CIA assessment came just as Libby and other senior administration officials were embarking on an effort to discredit an administration critic who had also been saying that the allegations were untrue.


CIA analysts wrote then-CIA Director George Tenet in a highly classified memo on June 17, 2003, "We no longer believe there is sufficient" credible information to "conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad." The memo was titled: "In Response to Your Questions for Our Current Assessment and Additional Details on Iraq's Alleged Pursuits of Uranium From Abroad."

<snip>

The answer may lie in part with the already well-known misgivings about the CIA by Cheney, Libby, and other senior Bush administration officials. At one point during that period -- the summer of 2003 -- Libby confronted a senior intelligence analyst briefing him and the vice president and accused the CIA of willfully misleading him and the administration on Niger. Libby was said to be upset that the CIA, in his view, had routinely minimized the extent to which Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and was now prematurely attempting to distance itself from the Niger allegations.

One indication of Cheney's personal interest in the subject was that some of Libby's earliest and most detailed information regarding Plame's CIA employment came directly from the vice president, according to information contained in Libby's grand jury indictment.

http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2006/...
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