Skip to comments.THAT URANIUM STORY
Posted on 07/14/2003 8:59:22 PM PDT by Utah Girl
On the ground floor of the White House is the Map Room, so-called because it was here that Franklin Roosevelt used to get his briefings on the progress of World War II. Over the mantel is the last map FDR saw before his death. It shows American, British, and Soviet troops racing toward Berlin. It also shows a frightening concentration of German forces in the Nazis last redoubt, the mountains of Bavaria.
We now know of course that this last redoubt did not exist. American intelligence had been deceived. And its possible that policymakers also deceived themselves. Roosevelt, for reasons of his own, wanted to let the Russians have the honor and suffer the losses of an assault on Berlin. The belief in the last redoubt was a very useful belief: It justified FDRs wish to avoid joining the battle for Berlin.
Intelligence is a very uncertain business. And theres no doubt that consumers of intelligence tend to be quicker to accept uncertain information that confirms their prejudices than uncertain information that calls those prejudices into question. Since consumers of intelligence are usually prejudiced in favor of doing little, most of the time they prefer intelligence that errs on the side of minimizing dangers.
9/11 changed the way American officials looked at the world. So when they got reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Niger, you can understand why they took the information seriously. That information has since turned out to be false and its falsity has generated a major political controversy, as bitter-end opponents of this president and the war on terror try to exploit the administrations error.
The controversy turns on the fact that some in the CIA doubted the story from the start. Their warnings were apparently disregarded, that is assuming that they were adequately communicated in the first place. Why? One reason may be that the CIAs warnings on Iraq matters had lost some of their credibility in the 1990s. The agency was regarded by many in the Bush administration as reflexively and implacably hostile to any activist policy in Iraq. Those skeptics had come to believe that the agency was slanting its information on Iraq in order to maneuver the administration into supporting the agencys own soft-line policies.
So when the Bush administration got skeptical news on the Niger uranium matter, it would not be surprising if mid-level policymakers mentally filed it under the heading more of the same from the CIA, filed it, and discounted it. The tendency was redoubled by the origin of the Niger-debunking report: Joseph C. Wilson. For more about him, see Clifford May's important post in last week's NRO. The result was the strange formulation in the State of the Union speech, in which the Niger story was cited but attributed to British intelligence.
The story is an embarrassment for all concerned. But it no more undercuts the case for the Iraq war than FDRs mistake in 1945 retroactively discredited the case for World War II. The United States did not overthrow Saddam Hussein because he was buying uranium in Niger. It overthrow him because he was a threat to the United States, to his neighbors, to his own people, and to the peace of a crucial region of the globe. All of that is just as true as it was on the day the President delivered his speech containing the errant 16 words and the war is just as right and justified today as it was then.
This whole deal is purely political
See that good looking dude on the left? He's got FAR BETTER THINGS to do than conduct Freepathons! Come on, let's get this thing over with.
I believe it would be covered under, "Whatever it takes".
Of course, they made this every bit as clear as "British intelligence tells us that Iraq sought uranium in Africa". Which, evidently, was and remains a true statement.
But the libs and the media can always be counted upon to misconstrue, confuse, twist and distort the issue, regardless of its initial clarity and accuracy.
They are really showing their true colors, are they not?
He don't always say good stuff about the republicans.
So he must be one o'them dem-o-rats er sumpthin.
You trot out this "he must be a dem-o-rat" line with every criticism of the GOP anymore.
There are things the GOP does right.
And there are things they do wrong.
We all know the democrats suck. That's what brought most people together here. But sometimes the GOP is just plain wrong.
You used to be a man who was willing to stand up and tell them in no uncertain terms when they were wrong.
Now you not only remain painfully silent of their faults, but you ridicule others for mentioning them.
What did you do with the real Jim?
You can keep trotting out this tired old line if you want, but you know it ain't so.
Democrats are socialist thieving parasites.
My problem with the GOP, is that they're doing their level best to be just like 'em.
You can make excuses for 'em if you want to... rationalizations about "political necessity" and "real world problems" and "give a little to get a little"... but the fact is, Bush spends like a drunken sailor.
And he spends on social programs, and the kind of federal expansionist nonsense that you used to loathe in the democrats.
Apparently it wasn't the policies you loathed.
Just the people enacting them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.