Monday, July 07, 2003

Cheney loved to visit the CIA. 

Ray McGovern, ex-CIA analyst, talks about Cheney's many visits to the CIA before the war began:

Cheney got into the operational side of intelligence as well. Reports in late 2001 that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger stirred such intense interest that his office let it be known he wanted them checked out. So, with the CIA as facilitator, a retired U.S. ambassador was dispatched to Niger in February 2002 to investigate. He found nothing to substantiate the report and lots to call it into question. There the matter rested--until last summer, after the Bush administration made the decision for war in Iraq.

Cheney, in a speech on Aug. 26, 2002, claimed that Saddam Hussein had "resumed his effort to acquire nuclear weapons."

At the time, CIA analysts were involved in a knock-down, drag-out argument with the Pentagon on this very point. Most of the nuclear engineers at the CIA, and virtually all scientists at U.S. government laboratories and the International Atomic Energy Agency, found no reliable evidence that Iraq had restarted its nuclear weapons program.