Alright- there are only 30+ comments on Step #5, but it appears we have some general consensus. If not, it can be edited, but I am going to try to keep the ball moving forward. Again, A rehash of what is generally agreed upon:
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).
Time for step #6:
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 speech that focussed on the perceived threat of Saddam Hussein and WMD, and the veracity of the bolded words quickly became known as the “Sixteen Words” in an ensuing media firestorm. The reference to aluminum tubes also came under scrutiny shortly after the speech.
Again, this is a long one, but it is necessary. Answer only “Yes” if you believe that the statement is accurate, or “NO’ if you find it is inaccurate. If you believe it is inaccurate, please state why.