Thursday, June 24, 2004

Here are two facts:

On Monday, January 27, 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an address to the United Nations Security Council, “We have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapon program since the elimination of the program in the 1990s."

On Tuesday January 28, 2003, President Bush said in his State of the Union Address: “The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

Unfortunately, these conflicting claims, made only a day apart, unleashed a torrent of controversy. As it turned out, the uranium from Africa story was full of holes and based on really bad information. That didn’t stop the White House, who knew of the suspect nature of the intelligence, from using it to build their case for war.

Here’s the play by play.

So what are we all supposed to think about the President using faulty intelligence to distort perceptions about Iraq’s weapons capabilities? John W. Dean has some thoughts.

(The question remains, was Bush really lying?)