More Niger Forgery Spin From The Press

More Niger Forgery Spin From The Press: Since the bogus document from Niger is hot right now, I thought I’d tackle a ridiculous piece of left-wing spin from CBS that actually comes close to being pure anti-Bush propaganda. It’s titled, “Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False“. Those are pretty strong words right? Well, let’s dig into it. Here’s how it starts out…

“Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President’s mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address — despite objections from the CIA.

Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.”

I love controversial statements from anonymous sources. Especially when they directly contradict other statements from other anonymous sources. As I noted in
Rewriting History To Attack Bush On Iraq, the Washington Post’s anonymous sources say exactly the opposite of what the CBS’ sources are saying….

“A key component of President Bush’s claim in his State of the Union address last January that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program — its alleged attempt to buy uranium in Niger — was disputed by a CIA-directed mission to the central African nation in early 2002, according to senior administration officials and a former government official. But the CIA did not pass on the detailed results of its investigation to the White House or other government agencies, the officials said.”

Since the anonymous sources directly contradict each other, either the Washington Post or CBS News is pulling a Jayson Blair or getting snookered by their source. But just for the heck of it, let’s just assume that the CBS News sources are telling the truth. Here’s the next thing CBS News wrote,

“The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has … sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it was delivered.”

Woah, stop the presses. CBS News seems to be telling us that the forged document from Niger had nothing to do with the SOTU speech, that the CIA signed off on Bush’s speech, and that it was entirely based on British intelligence, which the Brits still stand by to this very day.

So where exactly is the “false info” supposed to be here? Hell, they should have called the article “Bush Exonerated By New Information.” But no, that’s not the spin they wanted to put on it. Here’s what their rational is…

“The statement was technically correct, since it accurately reflected the British paper. But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true.”

So let me get this straight; what Bush said was “technically correct”, but the CIA warned the White House it “might not be true” even though they signed off on the SOTU speech as it was written? How the heck do you get “Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False” out of all that?

Deliberately misleading articles like this one are a perfect example of why Conservatives will tell you that the media tilts to the left.

***Update***: It will still take it a little while to fade away, but Condi just killed this “scandal” as dead as a doorknob by saying, “the CIA cleared President Bush’s State of the Union address in its entirety, including the now-controversial sentence stating that Iraq was trying to get uranium from Africa.”

It’s pretty hard to argue that Bush somehow manipulated the truth about this or that the CIA told Bush this information was false given that the CIA actually read and cleared the speech beforehand.

***Update #2***: John Cole from Balloon Juice points out all the things that the left is trying to make you believe based on this silly little “scandal” they’re trying to drum up.

***Update #3***: CBS has now changed the title of this article to, “Bush Knew Iraq Info Was Dubious.” I guess too many people were calling them on their ridiculous anti-Bush spin…

CIA Director George Tenet confirms what Rice & Bush have been saying…

“Let me be clear about several things right up front,” he said. “First, CIA approved the president’s State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound.”

Tenet said CIA officials reviewed portions of the draft speech and raised some concerns with national security aides at the White House that prompted changes in language concerning allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger. But he said the CIA officials failed to stop the remark from being uttered despite the doubts about its validity.

“Officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues,” Tenet said. “Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa.”

“This should not have been the test for clearing a presidential address,” the statement continued. “This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.”

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