5,178. 6/30/2003

The June 30, 2003, issue of The New Republic (TNR) contained an article titled ‘The First Casualty,’ which covered still-unnamed former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s investigation of claims Iraq tried to purchase uranium from Niger. ” ‘[Vice President Dick] Cheney’s office had received from the British, via the Italians, documents purporting to show Iraq’s purchase of uranium from Niger. Cheney had given the information to the CIA, which in turn asked a prominent diplomat, who had served as ambassador to three African countries, to investigate. He returned after a visit to Niger in February 2002 and reported to the State Department and the CIA that the documents were forgeries. The CIA circulated the ambassador’s report to the vice president’s office, the ambassador confirms to TNR. But, after a British dossier was released in September detailing the purported uranium purchase, [Bush] administration officials began citing it anyway, culminating in its inclusion in the State of the Union. ‘They knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie,’ the former ambassador tells TNR.’ ”

 – Stephen F. Hayes, Cheney, Pages 410-411

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