What Joe Wilson Knew & When

1. Ann Coulter asserts that Joe Wilson's oral report from his brief Niger trip amounts to two claims by Wilson:

A. "That in 1999 Saddam had sent a delegation to discuss 'expanding commercial relations' with Niger. Rather than falsify the possibility that Hussein wanted yellow cake, this confirmed it: "The only thing Niger has to trade is yellowcake." In another poster here regarding a C. Hitchens essay, an Iraqi government nuclear expert led that delegation.

B. Wilson talked to Niger's former PM, who assured Wilson that the 1999 visit from Iraq involved no discussion of yellow cake sales.

Wilson thus confirmed that Iraqi officials visited in 1999 to discuss trade with the government of a state that exports only one thing: yellow cake. But because a former PM chum of Wilson's denied the implication, Wilson reported back that Iraq's and Niger's govt never had any yellow cake sales activities.

Is this rendition true? I await an explanation for how Wilson's brief trip conclusively falsified the yellowcake assertion, and what other than yellow cake explains the 1999 Iraqi govt visit.

2. Coulter further asserts that after the Novak article, which Wilson used to launch the media careers of himself and Plame, Wilson started telling audiences that "he knew Saddam was not seeking yellowcake from Niger because the documents allegedly proving a deal were obvious forgeries. Again, thanks to endless investigations, we now know that Wilson was lying: He never saw the forged documents."
The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report notes that Wilson was asked how he "could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports." Indeed, the United States didn't even receive the "obviously forged" documents until eight months after Wilson's trip to Niger! Wilson admitted to the committee that he had "misspoken" to reporters about having seen the forged documents.

4. Furthermore, Coulter says that "Bush's statement was not based on the forged documents because no one ever believed them. What Bush said was: 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' Even if the British had been wrong, what Bush said was factually correct: In 2003, the British government believed that Saddam sought yellowcake from Niger. By now, everyone believes Saddam was seeking yellowcake from Niger — the CIA, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler's report in Britain, even the French believe it."

Meanwhile, the liberal cable news chatters presume that Hussein never attempted to purchase yellow cake from Niger, and that Bush's statement was incorrect. I am a witness to how Chris Mathews and his guests are speaking of this matter, and Coulter's charactorization is accurate.

No comments: