Sunday, December 11


So the French warned us too.

More than a year before President Bush declared in his 2003 State of the Union speech that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear weapons material in Africa, the French spy service began repeatedly warning the CIA in secret communications that there was no evidence to support the allegation.
The French conclusions were reached after extensive on-the-ground investigations in Niger and other former French colonies, where the uranium mines are controlled by French companies, said Alain Chouet, the French former official. He said the French investigated at the CIA's request.
The repeated warnings from France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure did not prevent the Bush administration from making the case aggressively that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons materials.
Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the Niger claims first surfaced in 2002, said some officials in the U.S. State Department were also expressing doubts: "The big mystery is why did the administration, in the face of at least a very persuasive contrary view, feel the president should take the risk of stating this?"

Why indeed.


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