Sunday :: Jul 17, 2005

Treasongate (Part V), Addendum I: ISG and uranium/Africa

by eriposte

I know that readers of this blog will not find anything surprising in this post, but I am on a bit of a mission here to more thoroughly expose the continued use of fictional "data" by Bush administration apologists to trash Joseph Wilson and shift attention away from the Bush cabinet's conspiracy to take the United States to war using fabricated, false or misleading claims about WMDs and their attempts to cover it up, in part by treasonously outing Valerie Plame's identity.

In Treasongate Part V, I showed systematically that *any* attempts by Bush supporters to claim that Bush's "16 words" were "well-founded" (or "reasonable" or what not) - using either the whitewashed report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) or the similarly whitewashed Butler Report - were/are complete bunk considering the Bush administration's myriad, own statements on the matter. I highlighted this again in response to a hatchet job editorial in the Washington Post last Friday (and Steve added some critiques of his own).

Now, there are many additional data points available to debunk the claim that Bush's SOTU claim was somehow "well-founded".

One such data point is what David Kay's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) found. On Friday, Ivo Daalder summarized the relevant part from that report at TPM Cafe:

But this ignores the definitive judgement on the matter by the Iraqi Survey Group, which concluded as follows last September:

ISG has not found evidence to show that Iraq sought uranium from abroad after 1991 or renewed indigenous production of such material—activities that we believe would have constituted an Iraqi effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.

Note the emphasis on "sought uranium", not "bought uranium". Additionally, this is not about Monday-morning quarterbacking. In other words, the ISG looked at the very same "intelligence" that was claimed to have earlier vindicated the positions of Bush (and Blair) and found that it showed no evidence that Saddam Hussein recently sought uranium from Africa. Even without the ISG report, it was blindingly obvious that the SSCI Report and the Butler Report were whitewash reports aimed purely at vindicating the political masters the reports were intended to serve. But the ISG report added the final nail in the coffin.

Indeed, the ISG report takes one additional step and says:

So far, ISG has found only one offer of uranium to Baghdad since 1991—an approach Iraq appears to have turned down. In mid-May 2003, an ISG team found an Iraqi Embassy document in the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) headquarters related to an offer to sell yellowcake to Iraq. The document reveals that a Ugandan businessman approached the Iraqis with an offer to sell uranium, reportedly from the Congo. The Iraqi Embassy in Nairobi—in reporting this matter back to Baghdad on 20 May 2001—indicated it told the Ugandan that Iraq does not deal with these materials, explained the circumstances of sanctions, and said that Baghdad was not concerned about these matters right now. Figure 1 is the translation of this document.


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