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Wash. Post joined Republicans in baseless attacks on Wilson's credibility [View All]

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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-05 08:46 AM
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Wash. Post joined Republicans in baseless attacks on Wilson's credibility
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In a July 15 editorial titled "Mr. Rove's Leak," The Washington Post repeated numerous false claims peddled by defenders of White House senior adviser Karl Rove and intended to attack the credibility of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The editorial appeared in response to mounting evidence of Rove's involvement in the outing of Wilson's wife, clandestine CIA operative Valerie Plame. The Post's claims mirror several of those included in a Republican National Committee document distributed on July 12 and titled "Wilson/Rove Research & Talking Points."

Post editorial: "It turned out his report to the CIA had not altered, and may even have strengthened, the agency's conclusion that Iraq had explored uranium purchases from Niger."

This statement concerns Wilson's report following his February 2002 trip to Niger to investigate, on behalf of the CIA, allegations that Iraq had purchased or attempted to purchase nuclear materials from the African nation. The Post's statement conceals the fact that some in the intelligence community had already concluded before Wilson's trip that Saddam had not sought uranium from Africa and, more broadly, that Iraq had not reconstituted its nuclear program. While the CIA indeed interpreted Wilson's report as confirmation of its assessment at that time that Saddam had sought uranium in Africa, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) interpreted it as confirmation of its competing assessment that Iraq had not sought uranium from Niger, a fact the Post failed to mention. In its "Report on the U.S Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence on Iraq," the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence wrote:

The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.

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