Yellowcake, Joe Wilson and the Senate (SCII) Report

The M$M and the Bush administration have been lying about the conclusions of the SCII report for quite some time. It turns out that the SCII report supports Joe Wilson’s broad conclusions about Iraq’s efforts to purchase yellowcake from Niger and/or Africa.
eriposte over at The Left Coaster has actually read the SCII Report. Damned clever idea if you ask me. Uranium from Africa and the Senate (SSCI) Report – Part 1:

This is the first part of the series I introduced earlier today focusing on the findings on the “uranium from Africa” issue in the whitewash Senate Report – the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). This part addresses the following question:

Did the conclusions of the Senate Report really provide justification for the claim that Saddam Hussein was in fact recently seeking significant quantitites of uranium from Africa?

Without any doubt, the answer is a resounding NO.

Isn’t that interesting. That is exactly the opposite of the impression I’ve gotten from reading the M$M fairy tales about the SCII Report. What is even more surprising is that I have not heard a single Democrat rush to Joe Wilson’s defense and correct the record.
Even Bob Somerby has been misled by media reports about the conclusions of the Senate Intelligence Committee report about the veracity of Joe Wilson’s claims and the conclusions of The Butler Report.

To see why, let’s first note the exact words used by George W. Bush in the 2003 State of the Union (SOTU):

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa

Before we get into the innards of the Senate Report on this claim, let me make an important observation. I’ve already shown that the British government, in reality, learned no such thing. The British may have claimed that Saddam sought uranium from Africa, but a reasonably critical review of their claims reveals them to be bunk — and this was known before the start of the Iraq war.

(click through for links)

Having said that, let’s review how the Senate Report did not really substantiate Bush’s claim (note that all bold/italicized text in quotes are my emphasis, not the Senate Report’s emphasis).

1. The CIA and the British Government’s claim
2. The Senate Report’s own conclusions
3. The position of the CIA at the time of Bush’s SOTU claim
4. The position of the CIA soon after Bush’s SOTU claim
5. The position of INR prior to Bush’s SOTU claim
6. The position of the State Department soon after Bush’s SOTU claim

Here’s one sample of what eriposte uncovered by actually reading the SSCI Report:

On October 2, 2002, the Deputy DCI testified before the SSCI. Senator Jon Kyl asked the Deputy DCI whether he had read the British white paper and whether he disagreed with anything in the report. The Deputy DCI testified that “the one thing where I think they stretched a little bit beyond where we would stretch is on the points about Iraq seeking uranium from various African locations. We’ve looked at those reports and we don’t think they are very credible…” [page 54]

Here’s another:

On October 4, 2002, the NIO for Strategic and Nuclear Programs testified before the SSCI. When asked by Senator Fred Thompson if there was disagreement with the British paper, the NIO said that “they put more emphasis on the uranium acquisition in Africa that we would.” He added, “there is some information on attempts and, as we said, maybe not to this committee, but in the last couple of weeks, there’s a question about some of those attempts because of the control of the material in those countries. In one case the mine is completely flooded and how would they get the material…” [page 54]

eriposte has much, much more.