Thursday, June 12, 2003

Dubya: Who will take this bullet for me?

Not the CIA for one
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA rejected any blame on Thursday for the use of a faulty intelligence report by President Bush as he built his case for war against Iraq. A spokesman, Bill Harlow, voiced confidence that "a careful reading" of documents supplied to congressional oversight committees would show the spy agency "did not withhold information from appropriate officials" about Iraq's purported attempt to buy uranium in Niger. The Central Intelligence Agency, he said, had shared hundreds of pages of material with the panels looking into charges, from lawmakers and others, that the administration and the intelligence community oversold the weapons threat to foster public support for ousting President Saddam Hussein. The latest challenge to the CIA involved a claim in Bush's State of the Union address that Saddam had been trying to buy "significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush aides have given somewhat conflicting accounts of how this claim made it into the speech. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said intelligence officials declared the charge incorrect "as the information was received." On Sunday, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said "someone may have known" the information was false 11 months before Bush's speech, but the White House believed it to be true at the time. But she said the claim, attributed in the speech to the British government, was what "the intelligence community said we could say."
Update: I wonder if this is a response to this story.

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