In a letter to an MP, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirmed once again that the statement in one of the Blair administration’s dossiers that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa was “based on reliable intelligence which we had not shared with the U.S.” Thus, he said, the Blair administration disregarded the CIA’s suggestion that the claim be deleted, which was “unsupported by explanation.”
In other words, what Bush said in his State of the Union address was true: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
But it’s too late for that now. That “Bush was wrong!” is now a given; it is but a short step to “Bush lied!” This has been the first political crisis of the President’s term, and he and his advisers have bungled it badly.
UPDATE: This Associated Press headline represents the ultimate in wishful thinking: “Bush Considers Iraq Uranium Issue Closed.” The issue is not closed, and it’s nowhere near being closed. And it won’t be until the Administration goes on the offensive and starts attacking the Democrats aggressively, somthing they’ve shown no ability or inclination to do.
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