The Niger Papers: Obstacles to Coverage

Could a media scandal from the 2004 election wind up hindering a major U.S. media organization from following up on the Bush administration's alleged use of forged documents to justify the Iraq war?

The Los Angeles Times is one of several U.S. papers to pick up on the La Repubblica series, focusing on the travails of Elizabeth Burba, the writer for the Italian weekly Panorama who was one of the first journalists to receive the bogus papers on Iraq's alleged attempts to acquire nuclear materials in Africa.

Burba told the LAT "she wanted to press ahead with efforts to investigate the case further and determine who forged the documents, but her magazine never published any additional reports."

Panorama is owned by the family of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian leader was a strong supporter of the U.S. effort to topple Saddam Hussein.

Burba "has also been interviewed by the CBS investigative show '60 Minutes' for a piece on the documents that was pulled in the wake of the problems that brought down Dan Rather," according to the LAT.

But after suffering a major black eye last year for relying on forged documents for a story about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS would risk controversy if it aired a story about how the Bush administration allegedly relied on doctored intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. CBS's coverage would seem to be handcuffed, at least temporarily, by Rather's 2004 election mistake.

By Jefferson Morley |  October 29, 2005; 12:10 PM ET  | Category:  Europe
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

the difference is Dan Rather's mistake didn't get anyone killed, Bush's got 2,000 US soldiers killed and thousands maimed...out

J-Sin / editor @
Smother Magazine

Posted by: J-Sin | October 29, 2005 12:49 PM

After that kind of serious news, 'A Daily Survey of What the International Online Media Are Saying' ought to include at least *some* of what the International Online Media are saying about it. Here's two:

"The indictment - and resignation - of Lewis Libby, chief-of-staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, is a wound in the side of the president.

It raises serious questions about how the Bush administration sought to justify the war against Iraq and brings into scrutiny the possible role of Mr Cheney in the unlawful disclosure of a CIA agent" -- BBC

"The indictments are part of the larger question of the Bush administration's claims that Saddam harboured weapons of mass destruction and opened an important window for Americans on their government's selling of that war and aggressive bids to punish those who got in their way." -- The Toronto Star

The US MSM (Mainsteam Media) is being viewed by liberals and foreigners as oddly compliant with this administration. Mabe 60 Minutes can get a story out of that.

Posted by: Dee Lilley | October 29, 2005 02:26 PM

CBS should do its job and air that 60 minutes piece on the forged Niger Documents. Bush is at 39% approval. Why are they so scared to still do investigative reporting especially on this White House?

Posted by: Drdemocrat | October 30, 2005 05:55 AM

Allright, CIA undercover was revealed as a form of retribution to Wilson's report, and administration officials were part of this whole mess.

But, Who is investigating the biggest lie by our President for presenting fabricated evidence for going into Iraq mess. Is anyone investigation or this CIA leak will lead to it.

Posted by: ZS | October 30, 2005 05:59 AM

Every time that Libby said a reporter told him about Valerie Plame ...Cheney KNEW he was lying,but kept his mouth shut!...So what does that make him?

Posted by: P. Campbell | October 30, 2005 06:40 AM

Everybody knows lies were told in order to convince people that Saddam should be toppled.
However we need to know what was the underlying motive to topple Saddam {despite the costs}.
Was it for the oil that god gave to Iraq or was it at the request and manipulations of another country?
Bush and Blair need to know that if the whole world were to lie,it would bring generalized chaos to world order

Posted by: observer | October 30, 2005 06:41 AM

Cheney and Libby would NOT have 'outed' Valerie Plane and lied about Joe Wilson without Bush wanting them to. That is clear. And it needs to be in investigated
to him.

He ordered the UN Inspectors out. American tax dollars have been/still are to find a justification - paranoia is such that it cannot be traced.

Newspapers and electronic media can, though, find the trail to leads to Bush even if it means a lie detector test for an independent source.

Posted by: Judy Phillips | October 30, 2005 07:04 AM

When you have a rat the only question is how big it is and how to get rid of it.

Posted by: lorin | October 30, 2005 07:05 AM

President George W. Bush Jr. stated today in order to demonstrate his belief in the War in Iraq and to refute charges that it was ok for other parents children getting killed and maimed, but not members of his family or the Elite Class, that both Twins today would enlisted in the army and after 10 weeks of infantry training would be posted in Iraq.

He also said this action should help lessen the damage by the investigation that I twisted the intelligence on WMD & lied in order to justify to the American people going to War in Iraq!

He stated this should prove to all American Citizens that I believe in our just cause in Iraq!

Laura and I are ready to bear our fair share of pain with the 10,s of thousands of other grieving parents & show our support for the war.

My children serving in the War on terrorist & possible death or disfigurement should prove my commitment to war, company profits, & proves what is good for some Citizens are good for all, even members of the Rich, Elite, and Powerful & Truly Corrupt!

He also said he is encouraging all members of his Cabinet, Vice President Cheney & Congress to look for kids or grand kids to go to Iraq!

He further stated there has been & to date unproved vicious charges that the Rich and Elite are not bearing their fair share in this war & only profiting from this war!

Some has went as far as to suggest that the no bid contracts given to Halliburton and other big companies, in Iraq and after Hurricane Katrina, benefited my Honorable Vice President Cheney & was a payoff to the companies for their support and money in my elections!

Just because my Honorable Vice President has Halliburton stock & a few Billion dollars went missing in the fog of war, there is no reason for that kind of charge and suspicion.

There have also been questions about my waver of the Davis-Bacon act in rebuilding New Orleans. All citizens should understand those hard working executives of the companies rebuilding, deserve to make an obscene profit from their hard labor, it is hard work! That is harder to accomplish paying those high wages. Why I understand, that the some of the company executives there do not have access to a decent Golf course. They should be rewarded for the hardships they are enduring!

Also, it may affect our Illegal Aliens or Undocumented Workers why have illegal aliens if our companies cannot us them! This clearly is not right and a sign of lingering prejudice in our society!

He commented, that these actions should surely bring his sinking polls numbers up & prove once and for all I & my family are not Chicken Hawks!

Update!!! To the Breaking news store About the Bush Twins we bought you a few days ago!

President George W. Bush Jr. held a long & far ranging news conference today to announce there had been a change of plans!

He went on to explain some had been unfairly maligning him & the nearly 22 to 30 millions Illegal Aliens he let in this country! They are making racist remarks about their crimes include murder, rape, drugs and every kind of crime they can think of! I realize there are reports that Illegal Aliens account for 20% of the crime rate in this country but a few 1000,s citizens getting killed, raped, and robbed etc. is small price to pay for all the cheap labor they supply!

Also some are making unfounded charges by letting Millions pour across the Borders, I am not really concerned about a terrorist attack from terrorists entering this country across our open borders.

My reply to those charges that as your President, I have to make the hard choices, and there is more good from supplying cheap labor for our companies so those hard working executives & businesses owners can make a decent profit than a few 1000,s or even 10,s of thousands American Citizens getting killed in a terrorist attack!

I know they are taking jobs from our lazy Citizens but the Business owners and Companies deserve to make all they can make! Why I have created 3.3 million jobs since I came into office and only 68% of those were filled by Illegal Aliens!

He complained about people and the news media making a big deal about the vicious MS13 gangs comprised of Illegal Aliens and spreading far and wide into every city, both large and small, and terrorizing citizens.

That is nothing but racist, and nationally, race or citizenship should never be mentioned or collected or a factor in reporting those misdemeanors! To do so is Totally Politically Incorrect & Racial & illegal profiling!

He went on to explain his very good friend Vicente Fox had assured him they just wanted a better life & it was to be expected that a few 10,s of thousands may try short cuts on the way to Gringo riches, and it was hard to live and send money back to Mexico on the few 100 billion they got from welfare from American tax payers in the USA!

Of course, the President Bush said, so much of their benefits are medical benefits & educating their many children and when you have a kid every year, that explains a big part of their benefits and makes it understandable why it makes it hard to live on the amount they actually get after medical benefits & the 10,000 average it cost each school year to send their children to school.

Especially considering, they have to send money back to Mexico & Latin American to keep the standard of living there high enough to prevent a rebellion by the Peons and demanding an end to political corruption and an improvement in their standard of living!

He also, explained we need to address their 50% high school drop out rate; one option he and his advisor were looking at was to provide private school for all Illegal Aliens with one on one tutoring!

This may raise the cost of their education to 25,000 or maybe even 50,000 per year, but we are a rich Nation & our tax payers can afford to pay more, after all I give them a big tax cut! We think this plan, if adopted, will reduce the drop out rate to near 40%, a great gain!

So you see with this plan not only are we helping our businesses and companies here make more profits because the Latinos work cheaper & harder then our lazy American citizens & the companies do not have to provide the expensive benefits, because the American tax payer provide those.

We are raising the standard of living all over Latin American and preventing a rebellion there & assuring peace and tranquility on this continent! I think anyone can see and understand this is a Brilliant plan.

I want to Acknowledge and thank my Very Special friend Vicente Fox of Mexico for helping me formulate and plan how to implement this great and farseeing policy!

We have run into a few problems, those damn vigilances have reduced the flow of Illegal Aliens from 8000 per day to only 5000 per day. But my good Friend Vicente is just increasing the number starting out so it will get the numbers back up & our goal is at least 10,000 per day!

But our great vision does not end there, in time, maybe not before my term is up, but in a few years at most, we will be MexicAmercan with no borders between our two Great Nations! One great Nation teeming from coast to coast, full of hard working, cheap labor for our businesses and companies, then we can compete with the Chinese and other third world counties!

I want to take time here to acknowledge and thank my many farseeing and wise friends of both parties for working hard to make this Vision and Dream come true!

First my special thanks to John McCain (R-AZ) Edward Kennedy (D-MA)... then in the House ....Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Cannon (R-UT), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Joe Baca (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Jane Harman (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), David Price (D-NC), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Mark Udall (D-CO)

The U.S. Senate : Richard Durbin (D-IL) Larry Craig (R-ID), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Christpher Dodd (D-CT), John Kerry (D-MA), Evan Bayh (D-IN)
.Governors : Bill Richardson (D-NM), Rod Blagojevich (R-IL), Bill Huckabee (R-AR), Janet Napolitano (D-AZ),Jim Huntsman (R-UT), John Baldacci (D-ME)

Thank you, I appreciate you all, we will be a bigger more profitable Nation with your help! This is the end of my prepared speech. Thank you all.

But now my wife Laura has some words, and duh, that will explain our family brainstorming session, with my devoted advisors and duh, and after Laura is thought, and duh, I will, take your questions.

Laura ..... First I would like to say we had a really good discussion and quality family time.

Some may remember George Sr. had a problem with this vision thing, but not my George Jr.!

In our discussion we realized that living in the White House & our beautiful ranch complete with a great full time Chef & vacations in Hainesport & spending weekends at Camp David we may be a little out of touch with the way some of our poorer Citizens live.

So to be sure we understand how others live we have came up with this really wonderful plan!

It is called one million bright lights shinning in all the corners of this great Nation. I alone with thousands of others I recruit, at least a million that is why the plan is called a million shining lights.

I and they will do our part in making this come to fruition & help George & out great and good friend Vicente Fox make their Great Vision and Dream come true.

First we decided the wrong people were requested to assimilate!

It will be easier for American citizens to learn Spanish and prove to the world how free of prejudice and how Political Correct we are. So My George has asked Senator John McCain to co-sponsor a bill by Senator Edward Kennedy to make Spanish the official language of the USA.

The way our Illegal soon to be Citizens will feel more at home. English will be a secondary language, but not required! In addition, we will be replacing American History with Mexico & Latin American History. Oh, I am so excited, our children will be so thrilled to study and learn about all the great Mexicans heroes!

In addition, we are going to encourage all Americans to have refried beans & tacos at least twice per week! They are cheap so most Americans can afford them, especially the refried beans & as our plan really kicks in our standard of living may decrease at a faster pace & it will be necessary for our working citizens to change their diet. My Chef has a wonderful receipt we will be sharing with everyone!

My George loves the smell of processed refried beans. I think that helped develop the great close relationship with our friend Vicente Fox! I have asks our perfume making companies to design and produce a processed refried beans perfume, especially for me, to wear for George when we are in a loving mood.

I am so excited; I digress from our plan, the plan is simple as all great plans are, first my wonderful fun loving daughter alone with her many fun loving girl friends from Texas U will be going into the barrios in Houston and Austin & other cities in the great State of Texas.

There they will meet and make friends with the gang bangers & members of the society group MS13.

I can tell you all she is really excited about the many opportunities in doing this! The intent is to form close relationships with those poor disadvantaged illegal citizens. We think that will help in breaking some of their less desirable habits that uniformed citizens complain about.

They will be teaching them civilization coping skills. We all agree they are kind, caring people at heart and their problems are due to racial prejudice, misunderstanding and bias reporting!

Once my wonderful daughter and her wonderful friends gain their trust they will be taking them out to some of the better more expensive party clubs and introducing them to the finer, fun things of life.

We think this plan expanded thought-out the Nation by University girls in every State will change our wonderful Illegal Aliens into typical fun loving young American citizens!

Also, we think the babies conceived by these contacts will speed the process of assimilation in this great country & reduce racial prejudice!

My friends and recruits will be going into the slums, tract housing and trailer parks where so many of the racist and prejudice citizens live and explaining our wonderful plan to them.

We intend to explain it to both American citizens and our Wonderful Undocumented Illegal workers the many advantages of this Great Plan! We think once they understand the Vision and benefits of this Wonderful Plan they will embrace it and convince others of its great advantages!

Our Corporate Friends have pledged 5 billion dollars initially to buy TV, radio, and news paper articles to convince our Citizens of the virtues of this wonderful plan and more if required! We intend a wide ranging and mass media saturation to sell this Wonderful Plan!

All our Friends from both parties that My George recognized above, will also, be explaining this Wonderful plan in their home States.

We think with the Latino votes and corporate money that only a few politicians will dare to opposite this Wonderful Plan!

President George W. Bush we will take any questions you, and Duh, may have now.

Reporter.....Mr. President.... has Vice President Cheney come up with any members of his family to serve in Iraq!

Well some of you may remember Vice President Cheney had other priorities during the Vietnam War, and Duh, he and all members of his family and friends are still, and Duh still working on those priorities. So it is with deep regret that he and Duh, he is unable for any of his family or friends to assist our efforts in Iraq.

But the Vice President has assure me once those pesky priorities, and Duh, are completed he is sure he can find someone, and Duh, in his many friends, children to serve in Iraq!

Reporter.....Mrs. First Lady how did the twins decide which one was going to Iraq or stay here and serve the country by going into the Barrios?

Mrs. Bush Well you may imagine, there was a rather spirited discussion about that; both wanted to serve this country by going into the Barrios.

Those Arab countries frown upon partying and as you all know My Wonderful Daughters inherited My George's love of partying. So finally they tossed a coin to see which one won the prize of serving our Wonderful Illegal Aliens in the Barrios. But after the coin toss they made up and both recognized there was lots of pleasing possibilities in both places.

Reporter....Mr. President has any members of your Cabinet or Congress found any children to go serve in Iraq?

President Bush ....Well, not yet but all, and Duh, looking hard. And Duh I am pleased to announce that many of their wife's and daughters, and Duh, are signing up to go with my Wonderful Daughter to go serve, and Duh, our Undocumented Workers in the Barrios! But we have to give this time, and Duh, this is hard work!

Reporter ... Mr. President, Mr. President .....we just received word of our reporter interviewing Bush Sr. and your Mother in Houston She said when she ask the question if Bush Sr. planned to go into the Barrios he replied he never lived this long by being stupid and he wouldn't go into those Crime Ridden Barrios in a Adams Tank!

When she asked your Mother the same question your Mother uttered a profanity and gave her a sharp, hard kick to her Shin bone. Our reporter is using crutches now!

What do you have to say about their reaction?

President Bush...Well my Father never had the chance to experience & meet the many fine wom I mean people in Mexico like I did when I was a young man and partied a little there and Duh, as far as my Mother that is just Mother being Mother.

President our time is up, thank you all for coming and we will keep you informed on the progress, and Duh, of this Great and Good Plan!

Posted by: Iraq War & Things Bush will never say | October 30, 2005 07:13 AM

what I still find hard to understand if whether an underlying crime was committed. It appears to me that the Administration was merely trying to set the record straight about how Wilson was sent to Niger since the op-ed piece, at the heart of this matter and filled with holes, placed the Administrations assertions about the uranium in a precarious position. I believe the Administration was defending its position, correctly so.

Posted by: gladys | October 30, 2005 07:59 AM

But the administration's position was a lie, gladys. Based on what they knew were forged documents. A LIE. TO START A WAR.

In the immortal words of Monica Lewinsky, "Like, Hello?!"

Posted by: Get a clue, gladys | October 30, 2005 08:17 AM

If the administration was trying to set the record staight, why didn't they? This administration has never felt the need to be human and admit mistakes have been made. Remember during the debates last fall? Dub-ya couldn't think of a single mistake he had made. They attacked Wilson and Plame from behind the scenes,vis a vis reporters, instead of coming out with statements and proof of why wilson was wrong. They couldn't defend themselves in front of the press cameras, so they set about with a conspriacy of sedition. Setting the record staight is something done in the open, not behind cover of admin-buddy reporters.

Posted by: gladys,wake up and smell the coffee | October 30, 2005 08:40 AM

it's incredible the corporate media's response to this incredible deception of the american people and the world ... nbc news on saturday night had a piece at the end of the news that it claimed to represent the 'reaction to the scandal beyond the beltway' .. and what was this reaction according to the corporate clowns: they went to a tine republican town in northwest indiana and interviewed one women as if this one women was somehow representative of the entire country. and what was this women saying ? she said that she still 'trusted' bush and cheney because they were not indicted ! and that despite this who only real concern was that friday night's hight school football game .. 'that's all that matters to me' .. and this was supposed to be the 'reaction beyond the beltway' .. according to general electric .. whoops excuse me .. nbc news. the repulsive nature of the corporate propaganda never ends .. not even now.

Posted by: alias | October 30, 2005 08:45 AM

The "unmentioned" motive for the Iraq invasion is as explict as its advocates (Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, David Wursmer,Lewis Libby, etc. and their allies in the media)! Needless to say, this motive had nothing to do with American national security.

Posted by: David G. Ward | October 30, 2005 08:51 AM

One network did it's own analysis of the Niger papers and concluded they were such poor forgeries they would not pass serious examination. Bush said he got them from Blair, now we learn Italy bought them at a "flea market" after France refused. Question is who drew them up and why doesn't our administration want to know? Considering our losses, shouldn't we find out?

Posted by: Bill Boyd | October 30, 2005 09:02 AM

Karl Rove planted those documents, just like he planted the ones that tripped up Dan Rather. You have to hand it to the fat guy. He's sneaky.

Posted by: Goodman | October 30, 2005 09:26 AM

The reason behind going to war in Iraq was wrong, the war was wrong and the President heard only what he wanted to hear. It's time to cut our loses (dead and injured) and move on.

Posted by: M. Albin Morariu, M.D. | October 30, 2005 09:27 AM

The reason behind going to war in Iraq was wrong, the war was wrong and the President heard only what he wanted to hear. It's time to cut our loses (dead and injured) and move on.

Posted by: M. Albin Morariu, M.D. | October 30, 2005 09:28 AM

We need to know whether or not the Pentagon, perhaps through Stephen Hadley, had anything to do with creating or promoting the forged documents. There is evidence that SISMI was involved somehow and that Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced.

Posted by: anon (they might be watching) | October 30, 2005 09:53 AM

OK, according to your warped logic, since CBS did something wrong by not scrutinizing the forged military records properly, they have lost the moral right to scrutinize the forging of documents to justify the war.

Wonderful logic, just the type of "blackmail" that the current administration loves. You are either on our side or against neutral ground allowed.

BTW the Italian PM has admitted he was not convinced about the need to go to war and Bush ignored his pleas. I guess he's lying also, since he and his party are in deep trouble prior to up-coming elections.

We all know the policy papers that were drawn up in 1992 by Scooter and his other "mechanical" friends. Unfortunately for them Clinton stayed for 8 years (despite Monica and all that came his way) and they had to wait this long to put their sick ideas into the hands of someone more pliable and willing to kill for economic gain.

Are we in general a nation of morons?

Posted by: Imran Ahmed | October 30, 2005 10:06 AM

I have difficulty putting feelings into words for my total contempt for the Bush administration!

Those that try to put the Clinton fiasco in the same context of lying to take the country to war on fabrications and then lying to cover it up--and also "salting" the news media--some of who fully complied with their wishes-- causes thoughts to surface that I dare not express.

Posted by: W. Williamson | October 30, 2005 10:09 AM

I have difficulty putting feelings into words for my total contempt for the Bush administration!

Those that try to put the Clinton fiasco in the same context of lying to take the country to war on fabrications and then lying to cover it up--and also "salting" the news media--some of who fully complied with their wishes-- causes thoughts to surface that I dare not express.

Posted by: W. Williamson | October 30, 2005 10:11 AM

Well, Jefferson...if 60Minutes is handcuffed from presenting the forged Niger documents story--what prevents your paper from looking into it?

Other than, of course, your editor's love affair with this war.

Posted by: KateGraham'sGhost | October 30, 2005 10:15 AM

International intelligence agencies from the late 1990s were unanimous that Saddam had WMD. Clinton Admin. officials, as well as Clinton himself, are on record saying that. Of course, it goes almost without saying that the CIA's human intelligence capabilities were very poor with countries like Saddam's Iraq, but it seems the CIA wasn't alone; this seems to be why we relied on sources that in the end weren't accurate.

But if Saddam didn't have WMD, it wasn't because he hadn't had and used them before (chemical weapons on the Kurds and Iranians), or hadn't tried (nuclear and biological). In addition, it is clear to me that Saddam would have reconstituted his programs once the sanctions ended, in any case.

So I'm afraid I can't buy into the "Bush Lied, People Died" meme -- I guess the folks who say that discount the estimated 300,000 who Saddam killed, and the hundreds of thousands more who were tortured or raped under his control, and the dangers during the attacks on Kuwait and Israel that we had to stop in 1991. Not to mention what Saddam might have done in the future, had he not been overthrown.

Is Bush really the problem here?

The Bush presidency has been marked by many issues, that's clear, but if a freer and relatively stable Iraq comes from all this, I will be happy we went in, and I will see it as in the vital interests of the U.S. as well as of the great majority of Iraqis.

I will see the sacrifices that have been made by U.S. soldiers as honorable and very much worth it -- as many of the parents of deceased soldiers have publicly stated, without the attention the mass media showered upon Cindy Sheehan, who thinks that freeing Afghanistan from the Taliban was a mistake. Balance, anyone?


Posted by: john | October 30, 2005 10:36 AM

This is my first time here, and most likely my last. You people are sure full of yourselves. Why don't you look at all the facts, instead of only those you want to believe. Based on Clinton era documentation from the UN, Iraq had WMDs. You all know it. Why aren't you concerned with what happened to them? Your one-track fervor will ultimately get us all killed.

Posted by: Dazed by you all | October 30, 2005 10:55 AM

Could a media scandal from the 2004 election wind up hindering a major U.S. media organization from following up on the Bush administration's alleged use of forged documents to justify the Iraq war?

Bottom line?


And therein lies the rub.

Do your job. DO IT WELL. And no one, NO ONE, can argue with you. Quit whining about being "suppressed". No one, least of all the Bush administration, has tried to leash the press.

And for God's sake, QUIT LYING about Wilson. The SSCI concluded that he was lying about "what he learned" in Niger, lying about whether his wife recommended him for the post (there is an actual memo from her DOING JUST THAT on file), and lied to several papers INCLUDING THE POST. So stop lying by omission and casting him as a "whistleblower" when in fact he deliberately lied about the facts he learned in Niger and about whether the White House "knew" about what he had learned (read the SSCI report - your tax dollars paid for it).

The facts: the CIA vetted the statements in the SOTU address. It says so in the SSCI report. If the President of the US cannot trust the CIA when he says to them, "is it OK for me to say this?", then there is something very, very wrong, and it is NOT at the White House.

Fact: Iraq did, in fact seek uranium from Niger. Several intel reports say so from several sources. And there is NO evidence the Prez quoted this "forged" report, and at any rate, how does Joe Wilson, a NON-CIA employee and demonstrated serial liar, KNOW WHAT INFO IS PASSED AT CLASSIFIED PRESIDENTIAL BRIEFINGS.

*That is a question none of you brain surgeons seem to be asking yourselves, and you should be.*

Posted by: Kate | October 30, 2005 11:01 AM

The lack of WMD in Iraq right now does not mean Saddam got rid of all of them and they are now lost or in dangerous hands. It means there most likely weren't any to begin with.

But, your position yields a wonderful argument for exactly why going to war over WMD was stupid, assuming he actually did have them.

Consider the nuclear deterrence, the ease of identifying the source of nuclear material, Saddam's passion for power, his secular government and disdain for religious extremists: these are all phenomena that strongly suggest that a nuclear-capable Iraq would not have been an imminent threat to the US. A concern, of course, but more for its regional implications (Iran, Pakistan, India) than the likelihood of an attack against the U.S. or its allies.

Now conider the present situation, according to you: WMD waiting to be found or already in the wrong hands inside a country in a complete state of disarray with an occupation breeding a growing sect of extremists with material reason to terrorize the United States. Or, perhaps, outside the country in a region swarming with well-connected terrorists.

Which scenario do you find more threatening?


Posted by: Shiva | October 30, 2005 11:25 AM

Just wondering if Mr. Fitzgerald has this information and if the FBI is working on it?

Perhaps Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove should HURRY UP and resign.

I pray for people to tell the truth and open the doors to hell (Cheney's office) and Rove's tangled brain.

Posted by: victoria2 | October 30, 2005 11:56 AM

Just wondering if Mr. Fitzgerald has this information and if the FBI is working on it?

Perhaps Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove should HURRY UP and resign.

I pray for people to tell the truth and open the doors to hell (Cheney's office) and Rove's tangled brain.

Posted by: victoria2 | October 30, 2005 11:56 AM

Dick has control of the strings,George
has to " out for that tree!"

Posted by: | October 30, 2005 11:56 AM

Just wondering if Mr. Fitzgerald has this information and if the FBI is working on it?

Perhaps Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rove should HURRY UP and resign.

I pray for people to tell the truth and open the doors to hell (Cheney's office) and Rove's tangled brain.

Posted by: victoria2 | October 30, 2005 11:57 AM

Kate says: If the President of the US cannot trust the CIA when he says to them, "is it OK for me to say this?", then there is something very, very wrong, and it is NOT at the White House.

>Ah, but Kate...let's remember that Bush had his own man (Tenet)working at the CIA who said attacking Iraq successfully would be a "slam dunk".

Then, when things go wrong, Tenet is out of the CIA as the "fall guy" for "poor intelligence" that there were no WMD (although he has indicated, I believe, that he doesn't intend to lay still and take more blame).

Aditionally, the CIA has lost a LOT of its experienced personnel (via "retirements" and "resignations") because of their not supporting the lie of WMD, and, because Bush now has his other man, Porter Goss, who's covering Bush's buns.

The Bush administration didn't trust the CIA's evaluation of no WMD in Iraq previous to the attacking of that country was a "choice", because the CIA was not telling the administration what it wanted to hear and the administration wanted the CIA to "echo" the administration's point of view - "there are WMDs in Iraq".

And even Powell said the "yellow cake" thing was b-s, before Bush gave his speech to the nation.

Posted by: 0701 | October 30, 2005 01:00 PM

57,000 Men and Women DIED in VIETNAM.
Hundreds of thousands came home wounded and traumatized. Let's not wait until the numbers in Iraq are the same. We cannot afford to lose our fighting men and women to one man's whim. We cannot afford to take the chance that Bush has a "plan" to get us home from Iraq.

Posted by: lattegrand | October 30, 2005 06:12 PM

Shiva: Where are you geting your facts? Show some references that can be verified.

From what I have read reported by news other than FOX your information sources are full of Crap and so are you if you really believe what you are commenting on. I think you are a diehard Republican who don't want to face the real facts.

Posted by: Martin | October 30, 2005 06:31 PM

"Fact: Iraq did, in fact seek uranium from Niger. Several intel reports say so from several sources."

that's some good journalism. wow, INTEL reports, from SEVERAL sources. good enough for me!!! yeeeeee-haw!!! let's go destabilize us some ter'rists!!

Fact : Anyone can write "Fact" and put whatever the hell they want after it.

Posted by: | October 31, 2005 11:24 AM

FOX watchers are living in dreamland. Every other channel has started telling the truth about the WMD and the Neocon conspiracy, except FOX. If you turn to that channel, you would think that Libby's treason was just a burp~! Everything is just fine in La-La Foxland.

Posted by: solitairedog | October 31, 2005 01:25 PM

And, Kate, the lies repeated in your message makes it clear to me that you, also, are living in LaLa Foxland. Wake up girl. Read something from a source that isn't guaranteed to agree with your mis-perception.

Posted by: solitairedog | October 31, 2005 01:32 PM

Here is a set of FAQ regarding the location of WMDs and yellowcake, etc. I keep it handy on the desktop for when I run into discussions like these. Note that all answers are sourced--and not by FOX or

Where the WMD's went: Nowhere. Some were destroyed in Gulf War 1 and the rest were destroyed under the guidance of the UN and the IAEA. (The International Atomic Energy Agency)

Where the Iraq oil is: Still in the ground. As of October 11, 2005, Iraq was producing 1.9 million barrels a day. Pre-war production was 2.6.

Where the yellowcake is: In Iraq. It's been there, under seal and inspected regularly since Gulf War 1. It is low-enriched which is useless as a nuclear weapon. In order to become useful for nuclear weapons, it needs to be processed in a complex procedure, with facilities and equipment made for that purpose. Iraq's facilities and labs were destroyed, which is why the US left it there in 1991. So evidently it defies explanation why they would be looking for more. See the IAEA again.

What was Iraq trying to acquire from Niger? Money. The CIA reports that the deal between Niger and Iraq involved a scheme whereby Iraq acquired money in exchange for Niger's acquisition of oil. The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction

Why the US has not been attacked since 9/11: Lack of time. The terrorists have been busy elsewhere, mainly in Iraq. According to Peter Bergen, the US invasion on Afghanistan served to create a hostile climate for terrorist training. So there was great happiness amongst the established and wanna-be terrorists when the US "freed" Iraq, a country that had previously been on their ick list.

Where will the terrorists go when the war in Iraq ends? Probably the US. We shouldn't count on them going home and getting 9-5 jobs. See Peter Bergen again.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: Keeper of the FAQ | November 1, 2005 08:36 AM

Hadley's Non-Denial Denial on Forged Documents

The forged documents that the administration used to bolster the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger originated from Italian intelligence sources.

Specifically, it was being peddled by Nicolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service. It was recently revealed by an Italian newspaper that on September 9 2002, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley had a secret meeting with Pollari.

People are now asking what they talked about. Hadley says he has "no recollection" of Iraq's nuclear ambitions being discussed or of any documents being passed.

It sure sounds like a denial, but it doesn't mean much.

Hadley was asked about it during a press conference today and he claims he has almost no recollection of anything that happened during the meeting with Polari:

QUESTION: Can you say what you did discuss with Mr. Pollari?

HADLEY: I told you, I have very little recollection of the meeting. And it was in the order of a courtesy call, getting to know a person who was going to be a colleague going forward. And you can tell that from the relative briefness of the meeting.

Just an innocent, "getting-to-know-you," meeting with the guy who had been relentlessly pushing forged documents about Iraq's nuclear ambitions for months.

We've posted the all relevant excerpts from today's press briefing with Hadley here.

Posted by: | November 3, 2005 02:16 PM

1. I do not listen to Fox. Interesting how rather than bothering to refute anything I said in my comment, your idea of a factual refutation is, in effect, "oooh! you listen to Fox, you liar! I can safely ignore you!"

Not impressive.

2. Regarding the SSCI report, Wilson admitted in his own words:

1. That he never saw the report,

2. That he, therefore, had no way of knowing that it was forged or that "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong", and

3. That he had no way of knowing if anyone at the White House ever saw his report.


This, one might think, is important information the American public should know when assessing what Wilson has alleged. It makes him, on several counts, a liar.

It is *so* important that the Washington Post routinely omits it from virtually every story mentioning Wilson's name.

Now why is that?

We have now had I can't tell you how many investigations into whether the intel was manipulated. The SSCI, the Butler Report, Robb-Silverman. The average American knows NOTHING about these investigations.

Whatever happened to our right to know? As far as our press corps is concerned it is non-existent. Who do they report about, day in and day out? A man who has been shown to have been a liar: Joe Wilson.

A man who lied to the Washington Post. A man who lied to Walter Pincus.

I guess I am just an idiot, because I really do not understand this. The Post is my hometown paper. I suppose I expect more. You have some extremely fine reporters. Howard Kurtz is one: though I don't always agree with him, I do respect his integrity. I think the Post is a far better paper than the NY Times.

But a reputable paper covers both sides of the story, even when they don't fit one's preconceived notions. The truth is sometimes uncomfortable.

But it's out there.

Posted by: Kate | November 8, 2005 02:05 PM

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