Ari Fleisher was a big fat lying idiot.

Dr. Robert Harley harley@argote.ch
Mon, 10 Mar 2003 20:51:58 +0100 (CET)


He's not the only one:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59403-2003Mar7.html

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Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake
U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were Forged

A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program
appears to have been fabricated, the United Nations' chief nuclear
inspector said yesterday in a report that called into question
U.S. and British claims about Iraq's secret nuclear ambitions.

[...]

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, Bush said Iraq had
"attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for
nuclear weapons production."

Last month, Powell likewise dismissed the IAEA's conclusions, telling
U.N. leaders that Iraq would not have ordered tubes at such high
prices and with such exacting performance ratings if intended for use
as ordinary rockets.  Powell specifically noted that Iraq had sought
tubes that had been "anodized," or coated with a thin outer film -- a
procedure that Powell said was required if the tubes were to be used
in centrifuges.

ElBaradei's report yesterday all but ruled out the use of the tubes in
a nuclear program.  The IAEA chief said investigators had unearthed
extensive records that backed up Iraq's explanation.  The documents,
which included blueprints, invoices and notes from meetings, detailed
a 14-year struggle by Iraq to make 81mm conventional rockets that
would perform well and resist corrosion.  Successive failures led
Iraqi officials to revise their standards and request increasingly
higher and more expensive metals, ElBaradei said.

Moreover, further work by the IAEA's team of centrifuge experts -- two
Americans, two Britons and a French citizen -- has reinforced the
IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were ill suited for centrifuges.
"It was highly unlikely that Iraq could have achieved the considerable
redesign needed to use them in a revived centrifuge program,"
ElBaradei said.

A number of independent experts on uranium enrichment have sided with
IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were at best ill suited for
centrifuges.  Several have said that the "anodized" features mentioned
by Powell are actually a strong argument for use in rockets, not
centrifuges, contrary to the administration's statement.

The Institute for Science and International Security, a
Washington-based research organization that specializes in nuclear
issues, reported yesterday that Powell's staff had been briefed about
the implications of the anodized coatings before Powell's address to
the Security Council last month.  "Despite being presented with the
falseness of this claim, the administration persists in making
misleading arguments about the significance of the tubes," the
institute's president, David Albright, wrote in the report.

Powell's spokesman said the secretary of state had consulted numerous
experts and stood by his U.N. statement.
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Anybody placing bets on whether Bush will kill more people than bin Laden?


R