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July 10, 2004

JOE WILSON LIED, REPUTATIONS DIED:

WASHINGTON - A Senate report criticizing false CIA claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at the same time provides support for an assertion the White House repudiated: that Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa.

A Friday report from the Senate Intelligence Committee offers new details supporting the claim.

French and British intelligence separately told the United States about possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger, the report said. The report from France is significant not only because Paris opposed the Iraq war but also because Niger is a former French colony and French companies control uranium production there.

Joseph Wilson, a retired U.S. diplomat the CIA sent to investigate the Niger story, also found evidence of Iraqi contacts with Nigerien officials, the report said.

Hmm. That's not what his Times oped said, is it? But wait, there's more:

Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, dispatched by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program with uranium from Africa, was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly.

Read the whole thing, which also notes that Wilson's public statements about what he found don't match the record. Josh Marshall, you got some 'splainin' to do. At the very least, I think it's time to answer Greg Djerejian's challenge. Isn't it?