C&P: More liberal media bias Pt. II

ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
edited June 2005 in General Discussion
Nuke group exposed
Niger fraud in 'days'
IAEA quickly spotted errors in letters that escaped U.S. intelligence for months

Posted: July 21, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Paul Sperry
c 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON - The International Atomic Energy Agency was able to figure out in just 10 days something that had escaped U.S. intelligence for months - that documents alleging Iraq recently sought uranium from Africa were forgeries, an IAEA letter to Congress reveals.

With the help of the Internet, IAEA officials quickly spotted crude errors in letters claiming to be signed by officials of Niger in 2000. One is allegedly from a foreign minister who had been out of office for 11 years. Another, allegedly from the president of Niger, bears an obsolete presidential seal on the letterhead.

The Vienna, Austria-based group, which has conducted regular nuclear inspections in Iraq, received the documents from the Bush administration in early February, after first requesting them in December. The State Department, for one, had them since October.

The president delivered his State of the Union speech, which included the uranium charge, on Jan. 28.

The documents included an alleged agreement by Niger for the delivery to Iraq of "two lots of 500 tons each of uranium over two years," said IAEA spokesman Piet de Klerk in a June 20 letter to the House Government Reform Committee.

Shortly after receiving the documents, alarmed officials at the agency's Iraq Nuclear Verification Office asked Baghdad to provide all information regarding contacts with Niger.

But "after approximately 10 days, it became clear that the alleged contract in all likelihood could not have been honored, as the export of uranium from Niger is fully controlled by international companies," de Klerk said.

At that point, the documents were "scrutinized more closely" to confirm their authenticity, he said.

A little research using "open-source information" available on the Internet quickly revealed crude errors in the letters, de Klerk says.

For instance:

- In an alleged letter dated July, 27, 2000, the president of Niger refers to the central African nation's constitution of May 12, 1965, but the constitution in place in 2000 was dated Aug. 9, 1999.

- A letter allegedly signed by the foreign minister of Niger on Oct. 10, 2000, bears the signature of Allele Elhadj Habibou, who was actually foreign minister in 1988-1989.

- The official letterhead used is obsolete and includes the wrong symbol for the presidency, as well as references to temporary state bodies - such as the Supreme Military Council and the Council for National Reconciliation - which are "incompatible with the dates of the alleged correspondence."

- The date of a Niger "ordonnance" cited in the alleged agreement is off by 26 years.

IAEA concluded the documents were counterfeit, and officially reported the findings to the U.N. Security Council on March 7.

The CIA agreed the letters were fakes, and alerted the British government, which also had accused Iraq of actively seeking uranium from Africa to possibly make nuclear weapons.

The White House, however, did not correct the president's State of the Union statement until July 8 - and only after a British parliamentary committee the previous day had released a report revealing that the CIA had warned the British government about the forgeries.

When will this liberal media bashing of Bush ever stop?
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