Is he kidding? Here’s a clip from John Lumpkin’s Wednesday evening AP story …
Rumsfeld, in a terse exchange with Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said he learned only “within recent days” that the Africa claims were based on faulty evidence. U.N. officials determined the documents were forgeries before the war.
I guess it depends on what the definition of ‘recent’ is.
It’s been widely known since at least March 8th that the evidence in question was ‘faulty’. The US turned over the evidence to IAEA. The IAEA quickly determined they were forgeries and announced its findings publicly. What’s more, from the beginning, the US government made it clear that it did not dispute the Agency’s findings. The understanding was that the US had got taken in by some forged documents, was a bit embarrassed, but didn’t want to dwell on it. A week later, according to an article in the Washington Post (March 13th, 2003, pg. A17.), the FBI began a preliminary investigation into who might have forged the documents — a fact I figure we can take as prima facie evidence that the US government thought the evidence was ‘faulty’.
Whatever the ins and outs of it, everyone has known the documents were bogus for at least four months. (If you were a cabinet secretary in the Bush administration and a member of the National Security Council, let’s just say there’s some possibility you might have known even before that.)
Even if you take the most innocent possible explanation of how the Niger-uranium docs got into the State of the Union address, Rumsfeld’s comments can’t possibly be true can they?
Tim, this counts as a whopper, doesn’t it?
Or is he already over his quota?