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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | July 16, 2003

Yellowcake is but the tip of the iceberg

The Washington Post has taken the logical step beyond Yellowcake to the web of half-truths, lies, and obfuscations that marked the administration's case against Iraq.

By Jan. 28, in fact, the intelligence report concerning Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa -- although now almost entirely disproved -- was the only publicly unchallenged element of the administration's case that Iraq had restarted its nuclear program. That may explain why the administration strived to keep the information in the speech and attribute it to the British, even though the CIA had challenged it earlier.
The article notes the other three big bits of "evidence" that had already been debunked (but never to a wide audience to busy being whipped into a war fever):
  1. Bush's claims that satellite photos reveal that Iraq was rebuilding its nuclear facilities (a claim easily debunked by UN inspectors who visited those sites);

  2. Bush's claim that Hussein had "numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists" (never proved or disproved. Initial and supervised UN meetings with the scientists didn't turn up anything illicit); and

  3. Bush's claim that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were necessary components for banned centrifuges (though the tubes were the wrong length, the wrong thickness, and were coated with the wrong chemical).
It wasn't soon thereafter that the Niger forgeries were exposed, though that didn't stop the administration from making claims completely unsubstantiated by the evidence:
On March 16, Cheney appeared again on "Meet the Press" and reiterated his views of the previous August about Hussein's nuclear program. "We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." The war began three days later.
This, my friends, is what's called "making shit up". Otherwise known, in more polite company, as a LIE.

Posted July 16, 2003 01:09 AM


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