Friday :: Jul 29, 2005

Uranium from Africa and the Senate (SSCI) Report: Part 3A-8


by eriposte

This is a continuing series focusing on the findings on the "uranium from Africa" issue in the whitewash Senate Report - the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). [Previous parts: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 3A-1, Part 3A-2, Part 3A-3, Part 3A-4, Part 3A-5, Part 3A-6, Part 3A-7]. This post discusses the last Niger-related uranium claim in the Senate report. (Note that all bold/highlighted text in this post is my emphasis).

3A-8. Undated report on alleged uranium shipping agreement recovered from a Somali businessman in 2001

Summary

The Senate report has a brief mention of this:

On March 8, 2003, the DIA provided an info memo (TS-99-177-03) to the Secretary of Defense in response to a March 8, 2003 Washington Post article, "Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake." The memo said, "we believe the IAEA is dismissing attempted Iraqi yellowcake purchases, largely based upon a single set of unverified documents concerning a contract between Niger and Iraq for the supply of 'pure uranium.' The [memo added that the] USG ha[d] not shared other [information] with the IAEA that suggested a Nigerien uranium deal with Iraq." The other intelligence referenced in the memo is the CIA intelligence report on the former ambassador's trip, which described the Nigerien Prime Minister's belief that an Iraqi delegation was interested in uranium [debunked here - eRiposte], the Navy report from November 2002 which said uranium destined for Iraq was being stored in a warehouse in Cotonou, Benin, [debunked here - eRiposte] and a fax from late 2001 found in the possession of a Somali businessman which described arrangements for shipping unidentified commodities in an amount that appeared similar to the amount in the Iraq-Niger yellowcake deal. [page 70]

Analysis

Of course, the Senate report also points out in the next sentence that:

The fax, however, did not mention uranium, Iraq, or Niger.

Well, well. One could certainly rely on the DIA to peddle this "evidence" with no basis whatsoever. So, you have an alleged fax found with another mysterious African (Somali this time) businessman, which says nothing about uranium, Niger or Iraq, that had some unidentified commodities listed that seemed to match something in an alleged deal that was already known at that time to be a hoax. And that's an example of "intelligence" to back up Bush's claim. Capital!

Conclusion

Needless to say, this is a complete bit of nonsense that provided no backing whatsoever for the uranium claim.

P.S. However, it did seem to provide evidence for a claim that the DIA was recently seeking significant amounts of African businessman who could come with mythical documentation on Iraq's alleged attempts to seek uranium from Niger.

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