There seems to be some general agreement so far, with the exception of one or two people. Let’s rehash (note- some slight edits):
1.) Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, was stationed in Washington at the time of her outing, and previously had been a covert agent. 2.) Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame and former ambassador to Iraq, was sent by the CIA to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was interested in/trying to buy uranium (ignore precisely what he was doing in Niger for now- we can get to that later).
3.) Valerie Plame recommended her husband to CIA authorities for the job, as he had extensive contacts in Africa from his numerous years of previous service.
4.) Joseph Wilson, either on his own volition, or at the behest of the NY Times, wrote an editorial critical of the Bush administration and many claims made by the Bush administration and was quoted widely in major media outlets prior to the ‘outing’ of his wife.
5.) After 9/11, the administration advanced the argument that it was no longer acceptable to allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power, as he had used chem/bio weapons in the past, it was believed (or at least asserted) that he had stockpiles of weapons, he seemed intent on obtaining WMD, etc. Thus, a main argument used to sell the necessity of the war in Iraq was that he should no longer be allowed to possess WMD. This was not the only argument for removing Hussein from power, but it *WAS PERCEIVED BY MANY AS* the focal argument for galvanizing support within the general American public *AND WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY* (updated).
6.) On 28 January 2003, President Bush, stated the following during the annual State of the Union address:
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
That paragraph was one of 18 paragraphs in the part of speech *IN WHICH BUSH ASSERTED THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A THREAT*, and the veracity of the bolded words *LATER* became known as the “Sixteen Words” in an ensuing media firestorm *LATER ON IN THE YEAR WHEN NO WMD WERE FOUND IN IRAQ.*
Asteriks denote updates to the generally agreed upon statements to date. If you have a problem with 1-6, please note it in the comments. And now, one more for the day:
7.) Shortly after the State of the Union Address, Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, addressed the UN Security Council, presenting the administration’s case regarding Saddam Hussein.
Unmoved,The Security Council did not provide the authorization the United States had sought, yet Coalition forces proceeded to initiate Operation Iraqi Freedom on 20 March 2003. In the aftermath of the invasion, no WMD stockpiles were found.
This, and other developments we will discuss in other points, led to renewed focus on the intelligence used to advocate for the invasion.
Again, yes or no. Let’s clear all this up before we move on to the really thorny stuff. This is the last one for tonight, and tomorrow we will start anew, with revisions to Step #7, if necessary.