Bolton and Niger Uranium Fiasco

Bolton and Niger Uranium Fiasco…. Steve Clemons has a post you will want to read about the previously undisclosed role of undersecretary of state and UN ambassador-nominee John Bolton in pushing bogus information contained in the forged “Niger uranium” documents in a fact sheet distributed at the United Nations, despite deep skepticism about the Niger information from the State Department’s own intelligence analysts. The Niger docs, you will remember, were the poorly forged documents that claimed Iraq had signed a contract to purchase several hundred tons of uranium from Niger, that was one of the shreds of faulty evidence cited by the Bush administration that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons.

But strangely enough, when Congressman Henry Waxman inquired of the State Department back in the summer of 2003 if Bolton had had any role in creating the “fact sheet” distributed at the United Nations that cited the bogus Niger info, the State Department sent the California Democrat a “definitive denial.”

That, it turns out, was a lie, Clemons says. He points us to a March 1, 2005 letter by Waxman describing evidence that the State Department classified Bolton’s office’s role in the fiasco as “sensitive but unclassified” so as not to have to disclose it under the Freedom of Information Act. That’s dubious enough in its own right, but to misrepresent Bolton’s role in approving the fact sheet to a sitting Congressman would seem an altogether graver matter. Check out Steve’s post.