"Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?" Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador to Gabon, asks in a Sunday New York Times op-ed."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."In 2002, Wilson was asked by the CIA to check out claims that uranium from Niger has somehow ended up in Saddam's hands. Wilson did just that, and found that the assertions were bogus; Niger's uranium industry was just too tightly-controlled, he concluded.But Wilson was ignored, it seems. The Bush adminsitration highlighted the Niger case as a big-time example of Saddam's push to build nuclear weapons. administration officials even brandished documents that "proved" the Niger uranium transfers. Those papers were later shown to obvious forgeries.
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