On February 4, 2003, the U.S. government provided copies of the Niger uranium documents to the IAEA with talking points which stated, "two streams of reporting suggest Iraq has attempted to acquire uranium from Niger. We cannot confirm these reports and have questions regarding specific claims. Nonetheless, we are concerned that these reports may indicate Baghdad has attempted to secure an unreported source of uranium yellowcake for a nuclear weapons program." The two streams of reporting refer to the intelligence reports from the foreign intelligence service and a CIA intelligence report reflecting the findings of a former Ambassador's visit to Niger.
This confirms what we read in the previous SSCI report: Joe Wilson told the CIA that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium from Niger, and the CIA included that data in its assessment of Iraqi nuclear-weapons development. It corroborated rather than contradicted CIA intel on Saddam's WMD ambitions. That flies in the face of Wilson's assertions since May 2003, when he apparently decided he needed to cover his ass after American troops came up empty on nukes.
Ed also has discovered that Saddam retained banned missiles and biological stocks:
Rather than showing that Bush lied about the intel he was given, this shows that the White House relied on a broad consensus among military and civilian intelligence services to determine that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nukes. The only liar uncovered in the beginning of the Phase II report is Joe Wilson.
I think if the real media had any sort of gumption they could find a whole lot of very interesting information on Iraq and WMDs. Kindergarten news reporting carries the day.
This shows rather clearly that Saddam continually and purposefully violated the missile restrictions of the cease-fire and the UN resolutions. These missiles on their own would have caused havoc in the region. However, combined with the biological efforts that the CIA and other intel services reported, they created a serious WMD threat. Even before 9/11, the US had over 40,000 military personnel in the region enforcing the sanctions on Iraq that our allies busily undermined, all of whom were deployed in areas where these missiles could have reached.