View Full Version : Bush blames own spies for Iraq uranium claims

07-12-03, 03:36 AM
Bush blames own spies for Iraq uranium claims

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Washington Seeking to avert a credibility meltdown that could pose the first serious threat to his presidency, George W. Bush blamed his own spies yesterday, saying they had approved a now-discredited claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium for a nuclear-weapons program.

Mr. Bush and some of his top cabinet members fought a spirited rearguard action for a second day as their tour of Africa designed to boost the U.S. President's image was again overshadowed by the weapons brouhaha.

A growing number of critics, including leading Democrats, have suggested the President misled Americans during last January's State of the Union address by suggesting the Iraqi regime had shopped for nuclear-weapons materials in Africa.

"I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services," Mr. Bush said.

His National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of State Colin Powell also went to some lengths to explain the President's words and blame the Central Intelligence Agency.

CIA director George Tenet accepted blame last night for not properly vetting the President's speech, issuing a statement in which he said: "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency."

The controversy centres on a British intelligence claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from the West African nation of Niger.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Mr. Bush said in his speech, which was watched around the world and hailed as a call to arms.

It was later revealed the British information was based on bogus trading certificates.

"The President had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President," Mr. Tenet said.

Ms. Rice said the broader claim that Iraq sought to buy uranium from several African countries "may still be true."

"But having very high standards for what we put in a presidential speech, knowing now that at least one of the documents underlying this story was a forgery, we wouldn't have put it in the President's speech," she said.

At stake is far more than the weapons claim. For the first time since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the President's own credibility is being openly questioned, and the dire warnings about the supposedly vast and dangerous Iraqi arsenals of weapons of mass destruction are in doubt.

"This breaks the basic bond of trust we must have with our leaders in times of war and terrorism," Senator Joe Lieberman, a leading Democratic presidential hopeful who strongly supported the war, said yesterday.

"We should not play fast and loose with our intelligence information," Mr. Lieberman said. Then, using a phrase made famous during the Watergate scandal, he said: "Quite simply, we need to know what people in the administration knew about the weakness of our uranium intelligence reports and when they knew it."

Sixteen Democratic congressmen also made public a blunt letter to the President, asking: "What reassurance can Congress and the American public receive that the other claims you made in your State of the Union speech regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs are based on solid intelligence information and analysis?"

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, another Democratic presidential hopeful and supporter of the war, said the President "needs to be honest with the American people." A third contender, Florida Senator Bob Graham, said: "Day after day, the Bush administration fails to confess the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the use of intelligence leading us to war with Iraq."

Mr. Tenet said there were "legitimate questions" about the CIA's conduct, as attention in the controversy shifted from the White House to his agency. CIA officials believed the Niger allegation was based on "fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002," the director said.

He explained that the CIA had dispatched a former diplomat to West Africa to investigate the allegations. The diplomat discovered that only broad discussions had taken place between Niger officials and Iraqis.

The unnamed diplomat reportedly passed on his findings to Vice-President Dick Cheney's office. But Mr. Tenet said the CIA "did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other senior administration officials."


07-12-03, 10:32 PM
First, C.I.A. approved the president's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president." -CIA Director George Tenet

07-12-03, 11:17 PM
What gives with all this? Posturing?
Just bashing for the heck of it?

I see some of the same people who, a few months ago, were
extolling the merits of this war to free Iraq from Sadaam Hussien-and are now complaining about the POTUS, because everything hasn't been exactly like it was portrayed.(maybe)(yet)

Why? because it has suddenly become in vogue to do so? In the bigger scheme of things-does it really make a rat's butt if no WMD's are found?

Does it really matter if ther was a failure in intel on the uranium thing?

I see the same people, who were chiding France & Germany a few months ago, berating Bush now, because the casualties are still being taken. Is it his fault that the Iraqi army dissolved into the civilian population & decided to carry out terrorist type warfare? Were you naive enough to think it would be easy & quick? It's a tough, real world out there-accept that fact.

Understand this:
ALL POLITICIANS LIE>they always have & always will. With emphasis on ALL. If they didn't, none of them would ever get their constituent's business taken care of.

The bottom line, is that this country represents freedom & liberty. It's what we stand for & it's our most precious domestic commodity & our most valuable export. We value freedom, but we better value the freedom for everyone or our principles are gone. If someone in California can turn a blnd eye on an Iraqi child having his arm torn off because he didn't bow to a tyrant, then he can turn the same blind eye to someone in New York being at the mercy of terrorists. How do you draw the line? & where? Across the sea-across the continent-one state over-the next block? Anyone outside your family is fair game? We drew that line for decades, till airplanes flew into NY. We woke up, but now, partisans are closing their eyes again, and striking out at politics.

(California was just an example-nothing personal to those in that state)

Mr Christopher
07-13-03, 03:58 PM
Who started all this &quot;blame&quot; nonsense. There's really nothing to be blamed about. <br />
<br />
Paul Koring is a moron. Sorry, but I have to be blunt. There is no scandal here despite the massive liberal...

Mr Christopher
07-13-03, 04:10 PM
Apparently the Saddam/WMD/terrorist threat was not imminent enough for the DNC who had to misquote the President to show that HE is dishonest.

And where were these champions of anti-terrorist and intelligence strategy to point out the imminence of the bin Laden threat? Where were these champions of American military wisdom now saying that our military is too thin to take on our challenges when they were all about cutting it down even further?

If anyone is exaggerating its the leftists who run the Democrat party, and they are exaggerating and lying about those defending our country while they themselves accuse our leaders of exaggerating about our enemies.

These people are clearly not rational in an objective sense, they are quarreling clowns. Left amongst themselves they would quickly devolve into some sort of primative state incessantly shaken by chaos and subjectivity. One would forget that we are dealing with Islamo-fascists behind the terrorism, Nation States utilizing their malleable human resources through asymetric warfare in different corners of the globe; Africa, Asia, the Middle East, here, Iraq. Out of the equation for the sake of entertaining lib argument, Iranian Islamo-fascists and their agents fomenting opposition for their interests mainly perpetuating Islamo-fascism and opposing liberation and reformation. We're supposed to think that this war, low casualties and all, is Vietnam - when the truth is we are doing very well despite all the opposition that our leaders are facing. The cause of liberty being advanced and so-called liberals as the lawyers of dictators and prosecutors of the Americans who dare defy controlled "world opinion," as if socialists, communists, dictators, starving ignorants, and everyone else in societies dominated by such elements make for good "opinion."

07-13-03, 06:50 PM
Mostly what any rhetoric makes for is good press-and the Democrats are desperate for some. Latest polls, after months of campaigning, and televised "debates", show that over 60% of Americans don't know who any of the 8 top running democrats are-much less what they stand for. In the absence of viable alternatives, they have resorted to the same thing that lost them congresssional seats last election- Bashing the incumbant, hoping against hope that if they turn over enough rocks, they will actually find something the electorate will swallow. They've already accepted that the WMD issue is moot, since 90% of the world, including Americans, believes Iraq is a safer place today, for Iraqi's than it was with Hussien in power. So, next will be the issue that Iraq is unsafe for US troops. Even the Dems know the US cannot pull out & leave open the real possibility(probability) that Hussien will regain power. They won't shut the pursestrings on Iraqi Freedom, but they will complain loudly, for political gain, just as some here are doing, that previously were banging the drum for Hussien's head on a lance just a few months ago.