Forwarded from Robert Touraine (Tenet)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Jul 13 16:21:52 MDT 2003

CIA Director George J. Tenet successfully intervened with White House 
officials to have a reference to Iraq seeking uranium from Niger removed 
from a presidential speech last October, three months before a less 
specific reference to the same intelligence appeared in the State of the 
Union address.

TENET ARGUED personally to White House officials, including deputy national 
security adviser Stephen Hadley, that the allegation should not be used 
because it came from only a single source, according to one senior 
official. Another senior official with knowledge of the intelligence said 
the CIA had doubts about the accuracy of the documents underlying the 
allegation, which months later turned out to be forged.

[Note that Tenet "argued personally." However, regarding responsibility for 
the Bush's assertion in the State of the Union speech, Tenet merely says:]

"I am responsible for the approval process in my agency."

[Isn't Tenet making a point here? He had nothing to do with it personally 
and some other person(s) approved the assertion in the speech. He is merely 
accepting ultimate responsibility as head of the agency. Perhaps the NY 
Times is pushing this to undercut Bush and more particularly, Cheney.]

[T]he controversy continues to boil, and as new facts emerge a different 
picture is being presented than the administration has given to date.

Administration sources said White House officials, particularly those in 
the office of Vice President Cheney, insisted on including Hussein's quest 
for a nuclear weapon as a prominent part of their public case for war in Iraq.

"seeking uranium from Niger was never in drafts," [said a senior 
administration official]

There is still much that remains unclear about who specifically wanted the 
information inserted in the State of the Union speech, or why repeated 
concerns about the allegations were ignored.

A senior administration official said Bush¹s chief speechwriter, Michael J. 
Gerson, does not remember who wrote the line that has wound up causing the 
White House so much grief.

full article at


Here's another version of the same controversy. Note that throughout, the 
CIA was involved in the process, but Tenet personally intervened only once. 
Notice how the reference to Niger uranium was weaseled in (apologies to 
weasels who are very direct animals, incapable of such deviousness) by 
putting it off on British intelligence : "But after the White House removed 
specific references to Niger from the State of the Union Message, and 
changed the line to say that the information came from the British 
government, not U.S. intelligence agencies, CIA officials signed off."

full article at

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