Monday, June 28, 2004

Now for some interesting stuff:

First, read this article... no, scratch that -- read JMM's post first. Then read the FT article about rehabilitated intelligence establishing the Iraq-Niger-yellowcake story.

Taking Marshall's word for it that a disinfo campaign is underway, do you see anything missing from the FT article?

How about a clear statement that Iraq tried to purchase uranium? Here are the money quotes:

However, European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.


Human intelligence gathered in Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit uranium deals with at least five countries, including Iraq.

This intelligence provided clues about plans by Libya and Iran to develop their undeclared nuclear programmes. Niger officials were also discussing sales to North Korea and China of uranium ore or the "yellow cake" refined from it: the raw materials that can be progressively enriched to make nuclear bombs.

Now, I know that intelligence is a murky business and an inexact science blah blah blah, but if this is all the Brits had they should be ashamed of themselves. According to this piece, the Nigerians illegally shipping yellowcake out of the country were overheard discussing possible markets for their product. Nowhere does it say they found an actual customer in Iraq.

Consider the parallels to the Saddam-al Qaeda 'relationship'. It takes two to tango, and no one has produced a shred of evidence that Saddam wanted to dance with bin Laden. It's the same here. If you were selling illegal fissionables in 1999 and brainstormed a list of people who might be interested, Saddam would have been on your list. That is not proof, however, that he was buying.

We know, for a fact, that the inspectors have gone in and found absolutely no evidence of even a nascent nuclear program under Saddam. We are almost sure that any eyewitness testimony to the contrary was a lie spread by Chalabi's exiles.

Nothing in this article changes any of that. It's more wishcasting of the Douglas Feith variety, more seeing what you want to see, and not what's actually there.

If someone you've never met talks about hiring you to kill someone, does that make you a murderer? Or even a co-conspirator?

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