With all the discussion over the past week about Plamegate and the Senate Intelligence Committee's review of prewar intell on Iraq and WMD, I thought I would take a trip through the actual report the committee produced to see what it says.
One thing it makes pretty clear is that former Ambassador Joe Wilson has been less than candid regarding his pre-war trip to Niger to investigate reports Iraq was trying to buy uranium from that nation.
First, is his statement that he was not picked for the job by his wife. The report makes it pretty clear that he was.
Second, was his claim that his trip produced no evidence that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Niger. The report says that to the contrary his debriefing with the CIA actually INCREASED their suspicions that the reports were true.
Specifically, he recounted a conversation with Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki in which the Mayaki said he had been approached by a businessman representing Iraqi officials who wanted to discuss "expanding commercial relations" with Niger. The prime minister indicated he believed that meant they wanted to buy uranium. The meeting took place, but because such trade would violate international sanctions, the prime minister "let the matter drop."
For further illumination -- this is not in the report, I just add it for clarification -- Niger's two main exports are uranium and goats. Iraq has goats.
That should indicate what it was Iraq was seeking through those "expanded commercial relations."
Read the report yourself, if you wish. You can find it here.
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