Throughout the president’s Africa trip this week, for instance, Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell were peppered with questions on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and particularly on the president’s Jan. 28 claim that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from African countries that mine it.
The image of African leaders standing mutely by as their news conferences were transformed into debates on Iraq could not fail to recall similarly uncomfortable moments during Bill Clinton’s scandal-plagued administration.
But the comparisons end there. Clinton’s troubles were domestic, in the strictest sense, and largely dismissed as unimportant in the rest of the world. Today, with U.S. troops dying in Iraq at a rate even the White House sees as politically unsustainable, there is a palpable desire to lay to rest any questions about the war’s real motives and stem any further damage to U.S. and British credibility.
Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President’s mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address -- despite objections from the CIA.
Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.
CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.
CBS' now-famous "Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False" story is at this link. However, CBS changed the headline from "False" to "Dubious." Uh-huh.