July 07, 2004


A UK government inquiry into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq is expected to conclude that Britain's spies were correct to say that Saddam Hussein's regime sought to buy uranium from Niger.

The inquiry by Lord Butler, which was delivered to the printers on Wednesday and is expected to be released on July 14, has examined the intelligence that underpinned the UK government's claims about the threat from Iraq. . . .

The Financial Times revealed last week that a key part of the UK's intelligence on the uranium came from a European intelligence service that undertook a three-year surveillance of an alleged clandestine uranium-smuggling operation of which Iraq was a part.

Intelligence officials have now confirmed that the results of this operation formed an important part of the conclusions of British intelligence. The same information was passed to the US but US officials did not incorporate it in their assessment.

Jon Henke writes: "I plan to spend the rest of this evening enjoying the vindication."

Enjoy it all you want, as it's unlikely to make the front page of the New York Times tomorrow.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has more thoughts.

ANOTHER UPDATE: It's interesting to see how Reuters is spinning the story: "Inquiry Report to Drag Blair Back Into Iraq Mire." That's what'll happen if Reuters has anything to say about it. . . .