There has been a vast amount of speculation as to the provenance of the documents supposedly verifying that Iraq had purchased 500 tons of Yellow Cake from Niger in 1999. Yellow cake is a raw material (uranium oxide) from which enriched uranium is refined for use in a nuclear weapon. Allegedly a former agent for the Italian equivalent of the CIA obtained and passed the documents to MI6 and the CIA. A copy went to the U.S. Embassy in Rome and allegedly a copy went directly to the White House.
This all occurred during the period that the Bush Administration was marshalling public support for the war against Iraq. Supposedly the Bush-Cheney cadre was salivating for any evidence that Saddam had or was trying to get Weapons of Mass Destruction (WPD). The CIA late in 2002 identified the documents as forgeries and informed the White House of this conclusion. Yet Bush in his January 28, 2003 State Of The Union message refers to the fact, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” What did the British rely on to reach this conclusion? The forgeries?
That would validate Joseph Wilson’s allegation in his July 2003 op-ed piece that Bush had recklessly advocated war disregarding not only the CIA reports that the documents were forgeries but also his own report that Niger had not sold any Yellow Cake to Iraq and in part relying on a British assessment that may have been based on the forgeries. (click here).
The British had issued the Butler report that makes the purchase statement but offers no evidence as to whether the statement is true. A reading of the 2003 State Of The Union address reveals many of the statements made by the President about Iraq and Saddam Hussein were assumptions or exaggerations later found to be untrue. (click here)
The Creation And Circulation Of The Yellowcake Forgeries.
So what were the grounds for his State of The Union Assertion? Unfounded British intelligence in the Butler report concluding that the Iraqi’s were trying to by yellow cake from Niger? The British now say that the obvious yellow cake forgeries were circulated to undermine their intelligence estimate but don’t say what evidence their intelligence assessment was based on if not the forgeries.
However the question still arises who created and circulated the obvious forgeries and why would the President allude to yellow cake purchases knowing that the sales documents were forgeries and the British had only given an intelligence estimate with no facts to back it up?
It appears that there was no proof in either our own intelligence or British intelligence files to validate the assertion in the State Of The Union address. Also we know the subsequent invasion and search of Iraq turned up no evidence of programs for the development of WMD, Chemical, Biological or Nuclear.
A consequence of the matter has been the Valerie Plame affair and the indictment of I. Lewis Libby.
What was the motivation of those who created these documents and fed them to The Italian SISMI, The CIA, MI6 and the White House and why? Some have speculated the CIA in retaliation of The Bush Administrations statements that its intelligence was non existent or inaccurate on Iraqi WMD. It now appears that the CIA had no intelligence of WMD programs in Iraq because there was none!
However since the A.Q Khan organizationof Pakistan had sold nuclear technology to North Korea and Libya how long would it be before Khan sold the plans and technology to Iraq. Intelligence organizations in the U.S. knew of Kahn and his proliferation activities as early as the Nineties when he sold nuclear technology and equipment to Libya. (click here)
Perhaps this information led Bush to go ahead with the allegations in his State of The Union speech. Was the White house set up or were they so eager to obtain something to support their justification for the attack on Iraq that they were willing to disregard the CIA’s assertion that the documents were false?
Strange things are happening.
Also it appears that Libya was the real culprit in attempting to build a nuclear bomb and the White House knew it so why not invade Libya. A much easier task.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also looked at the documents, but after the State of Union speech and before the invasion of March 19, 2003 and concluded the documents were false also. It is rumored it took no more than a Google search of the names in the documents to determine that they were false.
Perhaps the Administration was so sure it would find WMD after the invasion it believed the forgeries would be irrelevant and the Administration would be vindicated. However the opposite occurred and the Plame Affair lit up. So why hasn’t the makers and the source of these documents been exposed. Did the NeoCons create their own evidence? Did the CIA surface flawed evidence knowing the Administration would go ahead anyway and use them to embarrass the administration later on when the flaws became publicly known. Did the Iraqi National Congress and Chalabi create the documents to support the invasion? After all the Bush government was funding the INC at this time.
Strange things are happening. It appears the Bush administrations motivation for going to war were not on the basis of Iraq’s non-existent WMD but other considerations. I t would be nice if the White House would be more candid with the media and the American people about their reasoning in pursuing this war which has led to the death of more than two thousand American service men and women and tens of thousands of others. Was it to make a statement to other outlaw states and organizations that the U.S. intended to enforce the U.N. Non-Proliferation Treaty unilaterally. If so, Bush was spectacularly successful in the case of Libya but Iraq is another story and Iran and N. Korea maybe strategically beyond direct action at this time and so are beligerantly non-responsive to the statement made by the attack on Iraq.