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- When Good Liberals Go Bad - 05/29/03
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- Who Are These 'Rich' Getting Tax Cuts, Anyway? - 06/02/03
- How Can We Miss The Clintons If They Won't Go Away? - 06/04/03
- Whining of Mass Distraction: How To Discredit A President - 06/05/03
- Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 06/10/03
- Liberalism: Curable or Terminal? - 06/14/03
- Filibustering Judges: Hijacking Presidential Powers? - 06/17/03
- Is Hamas Exempt from the War on Terror? - 06/22/03
- How Malleable Is The Constitution? - 06/26/03
- Rejecting Our Biological and Cultural Heritage - 06/30/03
- I Need Liberal Assistance, Now! - 07/02/03
- Bring Them On - 07/03/03
- We Need You Arrogant Warmongering Americans...Again - 07/09/03
- Much Ado About Nothing, Again - 07/13/03
- Double Standard: Blindly Blame Bush - 07/18/03
- Was WWII Also Unjustified? - 07/20/03
- Clinton Backing Bush? Don't Bet On It! - 07/24/03
- How To Be A Hypocritical Liberal - 07/28/03
- The Clinton Legacy: In Answer to Mr. Stensrud - 07/30/03
-What Is 'Good News' To Liberals? - 08/02/03
- Bush's Big Blunder - 08/06/03
- The Meaning of Right - Why I Supported the Iraq War - 08/10/03
- More Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 08/14/03
- You Can Have Cary Grant; I'll Take John Wayne! - 08/19/03
- Where Is The ACLU When It's Actually Needed? - 08/25/03
- Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Ten Commandments? - 08/28/03
- From The Weasels: Thanks For Nothing - 08/30/03
- The Liberal Superfriends - 09/02/03
- Liberal Superfriends 2: The Sequel - 09/05/03
- Saddam and 9/11: Connect the Dots - 09/08/03
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- Libya: The First Domino Falls - 12/20/03
- Is the UN Playing Games with American Politics? - 03/04/04


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Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Exploding Liberal Myths: Nigerian Uranium

Liberals have a way of trying to rewrite history, like the totalitarian government in George Orwell's classic 1984. They figure that if they repeat a lie often enough, it will become the truth.  They did so with the memory of the hated (by Liberals) J. Edgar Hoover, repeating the story about his dressing in drag so often and in such a smirking stage-whisper that they made it seem like a fact. (It's especially odd in light of the fact that they support any other cross-dresser with equal fervor.) Most people today don't even know it was started by just one person with a personal grudge against him who made up a vicious story about seeing Hoover arrive at a big Washington party in a dress. No one ever corroborated it (especially not the others at that party), yet it's been referred to so many times in newspapers, magazines, and television that it's now almost indistinguishable from the truth.

With the advent of cable news, talk radio and especially the Internet, the "Hoover effect" isn't going to work anymore. Luckily, the Liberals haven't yet figured that out.

One of the dozens of lies created by the Left for the purpose of discrediting President Bush was the Nigerian uranium tale.  The Liberal version goes something like this:

"Bush and Blair concocted a story about Saddam trying to buy uranium (in a form called called yellowcake) from Niger. The CIA told Bush it wasn't true even after he sent an ambassador to investigate. Determined to publish this lie anyway, Bush and Blair forged documents to substantiate it, which the CIA told him were forged.  Neverthless, Bush inserted the deliberate lie into the State of the Union Address of 2002 to support his rush to war a year later. When the ambassador published the truth about the false uranium story, Karl Rove punished him by having his wife, an undercover CIA agent, exposed by calling a half-dozen journalists and telling them to publish her name. Only one -- Robert Novak -- was low enough to do so."

The only parts of that paragraph that are true were the statements that uranium oxide is called yellowcake, and that Robert Novak was the first person to publish Wilson's wife's connection to the CIA.

(With apologies to Monty Python) And now, for something completely different: the truth.

British intelligence was given proof that a trade delegation Iraq sent to Niger in 1999 was seeking to purchase uranium.  This required no stretch of the imagination -- Niger's main exports are uranium, cowpeas and onions, and I don't see Saddam making a secret of his taste for French Onion Soup a la Niger.  The problem was, the British were given this information by a third country. By the rules of the international intelligence community, a country may only share source documents with the permission of the original country. As our allies, the Brits shared the information with us, but not the source, and President Bush decided to inform the American public about it.  Since the British couldn't turn over the source documents, the CIA was told to find its own proof.

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife had once been an operative for the CIA, though she'd been retired from field work for years. In spite of (or perhaps due to) the fact that she and her husband were among Bush's detractors, she maneuvered to get her husband named as the CIA's choice to investigate this critical information.  Unfortunately, Wilson's method of investigation was to sip mint tea with the Nigerian ambassador and ask, "So... did you sign a trade agreement with Iraq?" "Why, no, Mr. Wilson, no agreement was signed." "Well, that settles that, then. Excellent tea." Not exactly Hercule Poirot, is it?

Meanwhile, faced with the inexplicable failure of Wilson to conduct an actual investigation, British and American intelligence questioned other sources to see whether a fourth country -- one that wouldn't refuse to let America have the source -- might have found evidence of the uranium buy.  An Italian journalist gave the American embassy documents corroborating the story. Still cautious, perhaps torn between the CIA's and Britain's differing conclusions, President Bush would not definitively state that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. The statement in the State of the Union address became, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."  This was an absolutely true statement, and passed the scrutiny of CIA director George Tenet for inclusion in the speech.  A month later, the CIA finally recieved the actual Italian documents, which they immediately recognised as forgeries, and the media witch hunt began. In July 2002, Wilson wrote a vehemently anti-Bush article identifying himself as the investigator into the uranium question, stating with certainty that Saddam had never tried to buy any uranium, and admitting that he never filed a report. It really must have been those onions Saddam wanted, since Wilson did corroborate the trade delegation's visit. British intelligence, by the way, still stands by the story to this day.

Columnist Robert Novak was curious about why Wilson -- now a flamboyant Bush-basher who worked as an unpaid advisor to John Kerry as well as contributing $2,000 to his campaign -- had been sent on such a sensitive mission in the first place. One of his sources (yet unknown) told him off-handedly that Wilson's wife, who worked for the CIA, was instrumental in his choice.  According to Novak,

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

When Novak's column came out naming Valerie Plame in July 2003, Wilson was livid.  Using the same sort of acute investigative techniques that served him so well in Niger (in other words, "gut instinct"), he determined that not just the Administration, not just the White House, but President Bush's chief strategist Karl Rove must have been Novak's source.  He went on record saying, "At the end of the day it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." Unable to offer any actual proof that Rove was the source of the leak, he later changed his assertion to say that Rove condoned it.  The CIA, as it always does in the case of such leaks, began an investigation (not yet concluded), but Rove was tried, convicted and sentenced by Wilson and most Liberals within minutes of Novak's column hitting the press.

The reason this story is back in the media is that John Ashcroft recused (removed) himself from the investigation.  Why? He obviously decided that an independent investigation would avoid any appearance of impropriety, as well as the fact that he has far more important cases to work on personally (we ARE in the middle of a war with terrorism).  Unless Novak gives up his source, or the source decides to come forward him- or herself, no one will ever know who told him Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. 

And yet... if you listen carefully, you can hear the grating wails of those who've already made up their minds without needing all that messy "proof" getting in the way.

Exploding Liberal Myths 11: Home Spying Hogwash 
Exploding Liberal Myths 10: The Plame Name Game
Exploding Liberal Myths 9: The Separation of Church and State 
Exploding Liberal Myths 8: The Nazi Meme 
Exploding Liberal Myths 7: Fidel Castro, Demigod?
Exploding Liberal Myths 6: A Less Safe Post-Iraq
Exploding Liberal Myths 5: The Moral United Nations
Exploding Liberal Myths 4: Runaway Global Warming
Exploding Liberal Myths 3: Outsourcing Woes
Exploding Liberal Myths 2: The Eeevil PATRIOT Act   

* 3 May 04 UPDATE: In his new book, Joe Wilson states that "It was Saddam Hussein's information minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, often referred to in the Western press as 'Baghdad Bob,' who approached an official of the African nation of Niger in 1999 to discuss trade -- an overture the official saw as a possible effort to buy uranium." So the uranium buy attempt did happen, and he knew about it, and he lied about it to try and prevent the liberation of Iraq. How about that?


Posted at Tuesday, January 06, 2004 by CavalierX

Sarah
January 7, 2004   06:08 AM PST
 
Wow. A thrilling summary of this liberal lie. Well done.
Robert McClelland
January 7, 2004   05:24 PM PST
 
Wow! You're really good at making up strawman arguments and then knocking them down. Can you do that with a real argument from a lefty or does your skill only extend to winning arguments against imaginary ones?
Lucy
January 11, 2004   08:25 PM PST
 
Cav, with every action there is motivation. Wilson has a book to sell. By the way, wasn't it about a month or two after this story, Wilson and his wife did a spread for Vanity Fair? Really worried about his wifes identity, huh?
Also, note O'Neil making the rounds this weekend bashing Bush and guess what? Hes got a book to sell.
Robert McClelland
January 12, 2004   10:05 PM PST
 
>Also, note O'Neil making the rounds this weekend bashing Bush and guess what? Hes got a book to sell.

No he doesn't. Suskind wrote the book and will earn all the money from it. Do you just make stuff up because it sounds good?
JM
January 12, 2004   10:41 PM PST
 
Axe to grind, book to sell... sometimes things just come together. Anyone notice how he lied about seeing a document supposedly parceling out Iraq's oil reserves after the war? He took the classified document to show... and it turns out it was a map of what countries already HAD bought Iraq's oil. Oops! And now he's in trouble for waving classified docs around on tv. Double oops!
JM
January 13, 2004   08:29 PM PST
 
Was there a point to that, Liberal? Gotta love those drive-by attacks...
Liberalworld resident
January 14, 2004   08:19 AM PST
 
Um... Just quoting you in context about "repetition of lies" in hopes that things might be viewed as the truth.

I think I know which side of the fence Orwell would be sitting on (although it's nice to see that you've read the works of that great Socialist)
JM
January 14, 2004   08:47 AM PST
 
Whether Orwell was a Socialist or not, 1984 was a chilling view of a Socialist society. Funny how you "think". If you have something you want to call a lie, then present your proof... don't just link to some quotes and expect to make a point by inference. Let's see the PROOF of whatever you're trying to say.
Liberalworld resident
January 14, 2004   09:19 AM PST
 
Hmm... Well looking at some of the PROOF that you've offered (see Chalabi above), I think we're on the same page regarding the burden of proof.

And I think 1984 was about TOTALITARIANISM not SOCIALISM

From Merriam Webster:

Totalitarianism:

1 : centralized control by an autocratic authority
2 : the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority

Socialism:
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2. a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
JM
January 14, 2004   10:22 AM PST
 
And MAN, how often those two go together!
prue
March 8, 2005   10:21 AM PST
 
i'm gonna be back. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site
 

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