Cheney Feigned Ignorance on Yellowcake Claim

On September 14, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss the faulty pre-war evidence on Iraq. Here was Cheney’s response on the question of whether Iraq was trying to acquire uranium:

I guess the intriguing thing, Tim, on the whole thing, this question of whether or not the Iraqis were trying to acquire uranium in Africa. …. I don’t know what the truth is on the ground with respect to that. [Meet the Press, 9/14/03]

Today, Murray Waas, writing in the National Journal, reveals Cheney’s false pretense. Three months before he appeared on Meet the Press, Cheney and his chief of staff Scooter Libby were personally presented a memo by CIA Director George Tenet that debunked the uranium acquisition theory:

CIA analysts wrote then-CIA Director George Tenet in a highly classified memo on June 17, 2003, “We no longer believe there is sufficient” credible information to “conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad.” The memo was titled: “In Response to Your Questions for Our Current Assessment and Additional Details on Iraq’s Alleged Pursuits of Uranium From Abroad.”

So, three months after receiving a memo from the CIA informing him Iraq was not purchasing uranium, Cheney went before a national televised audience and refused to tell the truth about what he knew. All this coming from a man who said, “The suggestion that’s been made by some U.S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.