Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Buried lede of the day:

The second [CIA] memo, dated Oct. 6 and sent to Hadley and Rice, was brought to the White House's attention yesterday by the CIA, the officials said. In response to another draft of the speech that had already deleted the [Niger] uranium reference, the memo included fresh CIA objections to the charge, saying there was "weakness in the evidence" and that the attempted purchase "was not particularly significant," Hadley said.

From which we can extract two less-than-well-remarked details:

First, the CIA specifically informed Condi Rice of its objections to the (now discredited) charge that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Niger, well before the State of the Union address. This was not what one might conclude seeing only the flood of mea culpas from Rice's deputy, and Dubya's latest fall guy, Stephen Hadley.

Second, for those following the beltway politics, this latest blame-taking episode was the White House response to memos which were "brought to [their] attention by the CIA". Billmon's right; spooks make lousy scapegoats.


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