Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Out of the mouths of Gepetto's babies
... or Niger, Niger burning bright the damp squib.

"At the time, the national intelligence estimate on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction referred to attempts by Iraq to acquire uranium from several countries in Africa," Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said. "We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged."

As part of their case for military action against Iraq, both President Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Saddam Hussein's government of attempting to purchase uranium to fuel its illegal weapons program.

Prime Minister Blair first raised the issue publicly in September 2002, when he introduced an intelligence dossier that outlined the efforts of Iraq's government to thwart international arms agreements and United Nations Resolutions.

"We know Saddam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa, though we do not know whether he has been successful," Blair told parliament on Sept. 24, 2002

The White House press office issued a statement saying the president no longer backed the reports, but officials were quick to say that the administration had distanced itself from the Niger claim months ago.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "There is zero, nada, nothing new here." He added that the Bush administration "long acknowledged" that information on the attempted purchases from Niger "did, indeed, turn out to be incorrect."

Full story.

"When PG Wodehouse wrote humorously about Hollywood he invented a genus called nodders. First there was the film company's president, then legions of vice-presidents, then there were the nodders whose job it was to attend conferences and agree, by deferential head inclination, with everything that was said. Far too many reporters and legislators are nodders."

The above snippet is from interesting and related article about nodders by this interesting convert who was stung by an email from a newspaper editor who expressed surprise about his peacenik views

"I was outraged, and replied that far from having had "mainstream views", I possessed in the fairly recent past decidedly right-stream views. Never at a loss for a cliche, I state that not long ago I was several leagues to the right of Genghiz Khan, and replied to Ye Ed that "I was a thorough-going, kill-a-commie-for-Christ, jackboot-wearing, there's no-Gook-like-a-dead-Gook, card-carrying, liberal-hating fascist". "