Many people continue to believe that Iraq had no connection to weapons of mass destruction. We now know the Senate Intelligence Committee received the same briefings as President Bush in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. All of the Democratic lawmakers on this panel reached the same conclusion as the President. Every intelligence agency believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and the post-invasion UN Duelfer report concluded that he maintained the capability to produce them on short notice.
Saddam had destroyed most, but not all of his WMD stockpile. On June 14, 2003 the U.S. Army discovered over 550 metric tons of uranium yellowcake at a facility in Tuwaitha , 12 miles south of Baghdad. Once refined, this quantity would make 142 nuclear weapons. At the same location the Army uncovered four devices for controlled radiation exposure. Over 500 chemical weapons (mustard and sarin gas) were also found.
In July of 2008 the last of the yellowcake was shipped to Canada where it is now being processed into nuclear fuel. Most of the uranium was acquired prior to 1991, but Saddam still had it in 2003. He was holding onto it in order to wait out the U.N. sanctions when he could restart his WMD program.
This one discovery should put to rest the canard peddled by Joe Wilson who made a career out of claiming “Bush lied” about Iraq seeking yellowcake from the African country of Niger. After numerous investigations it appears the person who lied was Wilson, not Bush. The Senate Intelligence Committee and the British parliament both concluded that Wilson was lying about many things. Iraq was seeking additional yellowcake in Niger, and Wilson accurately reported this at the time, before changing his story.
Bush’s “16 words” in his 2003 State of the Union Address were accurate. Wilson lied about the documents he had seen, and he also lied when he claimed his CIA officer wife was not instrumental in sending him to Niger,
According to Wilson’s own testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki of Niger said an Iraqi delegation was seeking to acquire additional yellowcake in 1999, but they let the matter drop because Iraq was under international sanctions.
Wilson’s wife, former CIA employee Valerie Plame wrote the book, “Fair Game: My Life As A Spy, My Betrayal By The White House.” You don’t even have to get to the first page of Plame’s book to find something misleading, because it’s right in the title, in the ‘My Betrayal By The White House’ part. It wasn’t the White House who first told Robert Novak that Plame worked for the CIA, it was Richard Armitage, a State department Iraq war critic, hardly a Bushie. Novak was the one who outed Plame by saying she worked at the CIA in one of his columns. You would think it was Cheney who announced it in a press conference if you listened to the propaganda. After prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s endless investigation of the White House, nobody was ever charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) for outing Valerie Plame, though Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, was convicted of making false statements to the FBI during the investigation for not remembering who told him Plame’s name first several months after the fact. Libby would not have been in any trouble if he had just said “I do not recall.” Hillary Clinton used that phrase over 250 times when she was under oath.
Valerie Plame was never deep under cover. The CIA confirmed her employment over the phone when they were called by Bob Novak.