After months of not being able to get a newscast that didn’t mention the 16 words about yellowcake uranium in the State of the Union address, the matter is settled: Bush did not lie, Joseph Wilson IV did lie, and the Iraqis sought to buy yellowcake uranium from the Nigerians.
It’s a relief, of course, to know that it was Ambassador Wilson and not the President of the United States who lied about Iraq’s attempts to get this key ingredient of bomb making.
Of course, if you aren’t a news junkie, you may not know.
The media, so fixated on those 16 words, seems to have moved on–they got what they wanted, an apology of sorts from the president, who said he might have “misspoken” about the uranium.
“That apology was a mistake; Bush had spoken the plain truth,” writes columnist William Safire in today’s New York Times. “Did Saddam seek uranium from Africa, evidence of his continuing illegal interest in a nuclear weapon? Here is Lord Butler’s nonpartisan panel, which closely examined the basis of the British intelligence:
“…we conclude that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that ’The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa’ was well-founded.’”