Key figure speaks out on Niger-Uranium lies

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Jul 6 07:33:40 MDT 2003

NY Times, July 6, 2003
What I Didn't Find in Africa


Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's 
weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?

Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to 
the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence 
related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the 
Iraqi threat.

For 23 years, from 1976 to 1998, I was a career foreign service officer and 
ambassador. In 1990, as chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, I was the last 
American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein. (I was also a forceful 
advocate for his removal from Kuwait.) After Iraq, I was President George 
H. W. Bush's ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe; under President 
Bill Clinton, I helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council.

It was my experience in Africa that led me to play a small role in the 
effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's 
nonconventional weapons programs. Those news stories about that unnamed 
former envoy who went to Niger? That's me.


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