Wednesday :: Jul 9, 2003

Wednesday Night Bush Administration Niger Lie Update

by Steve

Another update from the latest lies told by the Bush Administration about the Niger uranium story. In testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rummy told Senator Mark Pryor and the rest of the panel with a straight face that he only recently learned that the Niger story was bogus. Yet at the same time in South Africa, Colin Powell was telling the BBC that he deleted the Niger story from his UN testimony in early February because it lacked credibility.

Rumsfeld, in a terse exchange with Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said he learned only "within recent days" that the Africa claims were based on faulty evidence. U.N. officials determined the documents were forgeries before the war.

In a BBC interview from South Africa, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he did not raise the uranium allegation in his Feb. 5 appearance before the U.N. General Assembly because of the controversy it had generated.

"As we looked at all that we knew about it, it did not seem to be the kind of claim that I should take into the U.N.," Powell said. When asked whether he was concerned about the truthfulness of the allegation, Powell replied: "The question is not truthfulness. The question is credibility at a moment in time."

Before Bush gave the January speech, some U.S. intelligence analysts had decided the claim was not credible, officials have said. Accounts have differed as to who in the White House was told of this determination.

We know that the State Department and the CIA debriefed Ambassador Wilson in March 2002 upon his return from Niger. We know from Wilson and an unnamed senior administration official that the reports from those debriefings went throughout the administration to “all of God’s children.” We know that Colin Powell got those reports sometime between March 2002 and his February 5, 2003 speech to the UN, because he gleaned from that report and others that the Niger story was garbage. And we know this lack of credibility didn’t stop the president from using the falsehood in his SOTU in January 2003.

Yet despite Powell saying he knew the report was at least questionable if not crap in February 2003, Rummy wants the Senate to believe that he only recently learned the report was crap.

Therefore, you are left with two possibilities: either a report that went to “all of God’s children” somehow didn’t go to the Pentagon, or Rummy lied to Congress today.

Please send a letter to your Senator, especially members of the Armed Services Committee tomorrow demanding that any Bush Administration official who testifies from now on be required to be sworn in first.

Steve :: 11:04 PM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!