The Niger Uranium Forgery of December 2003

Revisiting the Dream Memo

by Gary Leupp

I’ve been putting together a chronology of the Niger Uranium Disinformation Scheme, drawing on numerous Plame Affair timelines available online. As the question of who outed Plame leads to the question of who invented the yellowcake purchase story in the first place, the chronology has to include material on the Rome embassy break-in, Italian investigations, British reports on an African uranium purchase, CIA statements in response to those reports, officials’ public statements alleging a uranium deal, the establishment of bodies within the U.S. government to prepare for and explain the assault on Iraq, conversations between reporters and administration officials about Plame, investigations into the “prewar handling of intelligence,” prewar yellow journalism, the Fitzgerald investigation, etc. . . . My chronology-in-progress, which I’ll post when done, plainly indicates that the infamous 16 words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union speech, and similar statements by Rice and Powell earlier that month, were caused by many months of discussion between U.S., British and Italian officials about alleged efforts by Iraq to obtain yellowcake from Niger; months of activity by Michael Ledeen in concert with Italian friends culminating with his input into the Office of Special Plans;


months of Judith Miller’s reporting on Iraq’s supposed nuclear program; and months of disputation between neocon proponents of the uranium story (backed up conveniently by British intelligence) and CIA skeptics. The evidence on which the statement rested was debunked by the IAEA even before the attack on Iraq began, but the administration and its supporters continued to argue that there was intelligence aside from the discredited documents linking Iraq to Niger uranium. One little item left out of all the timelines I’ve seen is an article by Con Coughlin in the December 14, 2003 issue of the British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph...



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