Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Uranium and Niger

The Financial Times (London) runs what seems to me to be an amazing story about the Iraqis interest in Uranium from Niger. Will this be big news?

"A UK government inquiry into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq is expected to conclude that Britain’s spies were correct to say that Saddam Hussein’s regime sought to buy uranium from Niger.

The inquiry by Lord Butler, which was delivered to the printers on Wednesday and is expected to be released on July 14, has examined the intelligence that underpinned the UK government’s claims about the threat from Iraq....

Among Lord Butler’s other areas of investigation was the issue of whether Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger. People with knowledge of the report said Lord Butler has concluded that this claim was reasonable and consistent with the intelligence.

President George W. Bush referred to the Niger claim in his state of the union address last year. But officials were forced into a climbdown when it was revealed that the only primary intelligence material the US possessed were documents later shown to be forgeries.

The Bush administration has since distanced itself from all suggestions that Iraq sought to buy uranium. The UK government has remained adamant that negotiations over sales did take place and that the fake documents were not part of the intelligence material it had gathered to underpin its claim.

The Financial Times revealed last week that a key part of the UK’s intelligence on the uranium came from a European intelligence service that undertook a three-year surveillance of an alleged clandestine uranium-smuggling operation of which Iraq was a part." (Thanks to
Instapundit).

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