Part 1 of 2II. NIGER
A. The Original Niger Reporting
([DELETE]) Reporting on a possible uranium yellowcake  sales agreement between Niger and Iraq first came to the attention of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) on October 15,2001. The Central Agency's (CIA) Directorate of Operations (DO) issued an intelligence report [DELETE] from a foreign government service indicating that Niger planned to ship several tons of uranium to Iraq [DELETE]. The intelligence report said the uranium sales agreement had been in negotiation between the two countries since at least early 1999, and was approved by the State Court of Niger in late 2000. According to the cable, Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja gave his stamp of approval for the agreement and communicated his decision to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The report also indicated that in October 2000 Nigerien Minister of Foreign Affairs Nassirou Sabo informed one of his ambassadors in Europe that Niger had concluded an accord to several tons of uranium to Iraq. [DELETE]
(U) At the time, all IC analysts interviewed by Committee staff considered this initial report to be very limited and lacking needed detail. CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Department of Energy (DOE) analysts considered the reporting to be "possible" while the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) regarded the report as "highly suspect," primarily because INR analysts did not believe that Niger would be likely to engage in such a transaction and did not believe Niger would be able to transfer uranium to Iraq because a French consortium maintained control of the Nigerien uranium industry.
(U) Only the CIA wrote a finished intelligence product on the report (Senior Executive Intelligence Brief [SEIB], Iraq: Nuclear-Related Procurement Efforts, October 18, 2001). Regarding the Niger reporting the SEIB said:
According to a foreign government service, Niger as of early this year planned to send several tons of uranium to Iraq under an agreement concluded late last year. Iraq and Niger had been negotiating the shipment since at least early 1999, but the state court of Niger only this year approved it, according to the service.
- There is no corroboration from other sources that such an agreement was reached or that uranium was transferred.
- United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 687 prohibits Iraq from purchasing uranium, although the transfer would not require the application of safeguards.
In view of the origin, the uranium probably is in the form of yellowcake and will need further processing to be used in an uranium enrichment plant. Iraq has no known facilities for processing or enriching the material.
- The quantity of yellowcake to be transferred could support the enrichment of enough uranium for at least one nuclear weapon.
([DELETE]) On November 20,2001, U.S. Embassy Niamey disseminated a cable on a recent meeting between the ambassador and the Director General of Niger's French-led consortium. The Director General said "there was no possibility" that the government of Niger had diverted any of the 3,000 tons of yellowcake produced in its two uranium mines.
([DELETE]) Reporting on the uranium transaction did not surface again until February 5, 2002 when the CIA's DO issued a second intelligence report [DELETE] which again cited the source as a "[foreign] government service." Although not identified in the report, this source was also from the foreign service. The second report provided more details about the previously reported Iraq-Niger uranium agreement and provided what was said to be "verbatim text" of the accord.
([DELETE]) [DELETE]. Subsequently, the governments of Niger and Iraq signed an agreement regarding the sale of uranium during meetings held July 5-6, 2000. The report indicated that 500 tons of uranium per year [DELETE]
([DELETE]) IC analysts at the CIA and the DIA were more impressed with the detail and substance of the second report. One analyst noted that the report provided much more information than they had seen previously in similar reporting about alleged uranium transactions to other countries. INR analysts continued to doubt the accuracy of the reporting, again because they thought Niger would be unwilling and unable to sell uranium to Iraq and because they thought Iraq would be unlikely to risk such a transaction when they were "bound to be caught." Because of these doubts, an INR asked the CIA whether the source of the report could submit to a polygraph. [DELETE]. A CIA analyst also inquired about the source and says he was told by the CIA's DO that the report was from a "very credible source."
([DELETE]) Several analysts interviewed by Committee staff also pointed out that information in the second intelligence report matched [DELETE] reporting from 1999 which showed that an Algerian businessman, Baraka, was arranging a trip for the Iraqi Ambassador to the Vatican, Wissam al-Zahawi, to visit Niger and other African countries in 1999. [DELETE]
([DELETE]) Based on information from the CIA report from the foreign service, on February 12,2002, the DIA wrote a finished intelligence product titled Niamey signed an agreement to sell 500 tons of uranium a year to Baghdad (NMJIC [National Military Joint Intelligence Center] Executive Highlight, Vol 028-02, Februaryl2, 2002). The product outlined the details in the DO intelligence report, namely, that Niger had agreed to deliver 500 tons of yellowcake uranium to Iraq [DELETE]. The piece concluded that "Iraq probably is searching abroad for natural uranium to assist in its nuclear weapons program." The product did not include any judgments about the credibility of the reporting.
([DELETE]) After reading the DIA report, the Vice President asked his morning briefer for the CIA's analysis of the issue. In response, the Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) published a Senior Publish When Ready (SPWR021402-05), an intelligence assessment with limited distribution, which said, "information on the alleged uranium contract between Iraq and Niger comes exclusively from a foreign government service report that lacks crucial details, and we are working to clarify the information and to determine whether it can be corroborated." The piece discussed the details of the DO intelligence report and indicated that "some of the information in the report contradicts reporting from the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. U.S. diplomats say the French Government-led consortium that operates Niger's two uranium mines maintains complete control over uranium mining and yellowcake production." The CIA sent a separate version of the assessment to the Vice President which differed only in that it named the foreign government service [DELETE].B. Former Ambassador
([DELETE]) Officials from the CIA's DO Counterproliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed to obtain additional information. [DELETE] who could make immediate inquiries into the reporting, CPD decided to contact a former ambassador to Gabon who had a posting early in his career in Niger.
([DELETE]) Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife "offered up his name" and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12,2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed on this sort of activity." This was just one day before CPD sent a cable [DELETE] requesting concurrence with CPD's idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there's this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.
([DELETE]) The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA's behalf [DELETE]. The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region [DELETE]. Because the former ambassador did not uncover any information about [DELETE] during this visit to Niger, CPD did not distribute an intelligence report on the visit.
(U) On February 18, 2002, the embassy in Niger disseminated a cable which reported that the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal "provides sufficient detail to warrant another hard look at Niger's uranium sales. The names of GON [government of Niger] officials cited in the report track closely with those we know to be in those, or closely-related positions. However, the purported 4,000-ton annual production listed is fully 1,000 tons more than the mining companies claim to have produced in 2001." The report indicated that the ambassador had met with the Nigerien Foreign Minister to ask for an unequivocal assurance that Niger had stuck to its commitment not to sell uranium to rogue states. The cable also noted that in September 2001 the Nigerien Prime Minister had told embassy personnel that there were buyers like Iraq who would pay more for Niger's uranium than France, but the Prime Minister added, "of course Niger cannot sell to them." The cable concluded that despite previous assurances from Nigerien officials that no uranium would be sold to rogue nations, "we should not dismiss out of hand the possibility that some scheme could be, or has been, underway to supply Iraq with yellowcake from here." The cable also suggested raising the issue with the French, who control the uranium mines in Niger, despite France's solid assurances that no uranium could be diverted to rogue states.
(U) On February 19, 2002, CPD hosted a meeting with the former ambassador, intelligence analysts from both the CIA and INR, and several individuals from the DO's Africa and CPD divisions. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the merits of the former ambassador traveling to Niger. An INR analyst's notes indicate that the meeting was "apparently convened by [the former ambassador's] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue." The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes.
(U) The INR analyst's meeting notes and electronic mail (e-mail) from other participants indicate that INR explained its skepticism that the alleged uranium contract could possibly be carried out due to the fact that it would be very difficult to hide such a large shipment of yellowcake and because "the French appear to have control of the uranium mining, milling and transport process, and would seem to have little interest in selling uranium to the Iraqis." The notes also indicate that INR believed that the embassy in Niger had good contacts and would be able to get to the truth on the uranium issue, suggesting a visit from the former ambassador would be redundant. Other meeting participants argued that the trip would do little to clarify the story on the alleged uranium deal because the Nigeriens would be unlikely to admit to a uranium sales agreement with Iraq, even if one had been negotiated. An e-mail from a WINPAC analyst to CPD following the meeting noted "it appears that the results from this source will be suspect at best, and not believable under most scenarios." CPD concluded that with no other options, sending the former ambassador to Niger was worth a try.
(U) The INR analyst's notes also indicate that specific details of the classified report on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal were discussed at the meeting, as well as whether analysts believed it was plausible that Niger would be capable of delivering such a large quantity of uranium to Iraq. The CIA has told Committee staff that the former ambassador did not have a "formal" security clearance but had been given an "operational clearance" up to the Secret level for the purposes of his potential visit to Niger.
([DELETE]) On February 20, 2002, CPD provided the former ambassador with talking points for his use with contacts in Niger. The talking points were general, asking officials if Niger had been approached, conducted discussions, or entered into any agreements concerning uranium transfers with any "countries of concern" [DELETE]. The talking points also focused on whether any uranium might be missing from Niger or might have been transferred and asked how Niger accounts for all of its uranium each year. The talking points did not refer to the specific reporting on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, did not mention names or dates from the reporting, and did not mention that there was any such deal being reported in intelligence channels. DO officials told Committee staff that they promised the former ambassador that they would keep his relationship with CIA confidential, but did not ask the former ambassador to do the same and did not ask him to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. The former ambassador left for Niger on February 21, 2002.
(U) On February 24, 2002, the U.S. Embassy in Niamey disseminated a cable (NIAMEY 000262) describing a meeting between the U.S. Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, Deputy Commander, European Command, General Carlton Fulford, Niger's President, Mamadou Tandja and Foreign Minister Aichatou Mindaoudou. General Fulford had previously scheduled a routine refueling stop and brief meeting with Nigerien officials at the request of Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick. Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick told Committee staff that she routinely encouraged visitors to Western Africa to make refueling stops in Niger. She said "when you are assigned to a place like Niger, which is not exactly the center of the universe ... you take everything you can get. And I worked very hard to make Niger the best refueling stop in Africa." When the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting surfaced in early February, Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick decided to ask General Fulford to use the previously scheduled meeting to raise the uranium issue with Nigerien officials. Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick prepared talking points for General Fulford to use during his visit and the CIA coordinated on the talking points.
([DELETE]) At the meeting, Nigerien President Tandja assured the ambassador and General Fulford that Niger's goal was to keep its uranium "in safe hands." He [DELETE]. In the comment section of the cable, the embassy noted that in the past, "previous Nigerien governments have suggested that the best way the [U.S. government] could keep Niger's uranium from the wrong hands" was for the U.S. to purchase it. Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick told Committee staff that during her meetings with Nigerien officials, she never asked whether the officials had been approached by any countries to purchase uranium. She said, "we raised the issue in more general terms rather than specifics."
(U) On February 26, 2002, the former ambassador arrived in Niger. He told Committee staff that he first met with Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick to discuss his upcoming meetings. Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick asked him not to meet with current Nigerien officials because she believed it might complicate her continuing diplomatic efforts with them on the uranium issue. The former ambassador agreed to restrict his meetings to former officials and the private sector.
([DELETE]) The former ambassador told Committee staff that he met with the former Nigerien Prime Minister, the former Minister of Mines and Energy, and other business contacts. At the end of his visit, he debriefed Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick [DELETE], Chad. He told Committee staff that he had told both U.S. officials he thought there was "nothing to the story." Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick told Committee staff she recalled the former ambassador saying "he had reached the same conclusions that the embassy had reached, that it was highly unlikely that anything was going on."
(U) On March 1, 2002, INR published an intelligence assessment, Niger: Sale of Uranium to Iraq Is Unlikely. The INR analyst who drafted the assessment told Committee staff that he had been told that the piece was in response to interest from the Vice President's office in the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal. The assessment reiterated INR's view that France controlled the uranium industry and "would take action to block a sale of the kind alleged in a CIA report of questionable credibility from a foreign government service." The assessment added that "some officials may have conspired for individual gain to arrange a uranium sale," but considered President Tandja's government unlikely to risk relations with the U.S. and other key aid donors. In a written response to a question from Committee staff on this matter, the Department of State said the assessment was distributed through the routine distribution process in which intelligence documents are delivered to the White House situation room, but State did not provide the assessment directly to the Vice President in a special delivery.
([DELETE]) In early March 2002, the Vice President asked his morning briefer for an update on the Niger uranium issue. In response, on March 5, 2002, WINPAC analysts sent an analytic update to the briefer which noted that the government of Niger said it was making all efforts to ensure that its uranium would be used for only peaceful purposes. The update said the foreign government service that provided the original report "was unable to provide new information, but continues to assess that its source is reliable." The update also noted that the CIA would "be debriefing a source who may have information related to the alleged sale on March 5."
(U) Later that day, two CIA DO officers debriefed the former ambassador who had returned from Niger the previous day. The debriefing took place in the former ambassador's home and although his wife was there, according to the reports officer, she acted as a hostess and did not participate in the debrief. Based on information provided verbally by the former ambassador, the DO case officer wrote a draft intelligence report and sent it to the DO reports officer who added additional relevant information from his notes.
(U) The intelligence report based on the former ambassador's trip was disseminated on March 8, 2002. The report did not identify the former ambassador by name or as a former ambassador, but described him as "a contact with excellent access who does not have an established reporting record." The report also indicted that the "subsources of the following information knew their remarks could reach the U.S. government and may have intended to influence as well as inform." DO officials told Committee staff that this type of description was routine and was done in order to protect the former ambassador as the source of the information, which they had told him they would do. DO officials also said they alerted WINPAC analysts when the report was being disseminated because they knew the "high priority of the issue." The report was widely distributed in routine channels.
([DELETE]) The intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996- 1997). Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999, [DELETE] businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted "expanding commercial relations" to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq."
([DELETE]) The intelligence report also said that Niger's former Minister for Energy and Mines [DELETE], Mai Manga, stated that there were no sales outside of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) channels since the mid- 1980s. He knew of no contracts signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of uranium. He said that an Iranian delegation was interested in purchasing 400 tons of yellowcake from Niger in 1998, but said that no contract was ever signed with Iran. Mai Manga also described how the French mining consortium controls Nigerien uranium mining and keeps the uranium very tightly controlled from the time it is mined until the time it is loaded onto ships in Benin for transport overseas. Mai Manga believed it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a special shipment of uranium to a pariah state given these controls.
(U) In an interview with Committee staff, the former ambassador was able to provide more information about the meeting between former Prime Minister Mayaki and the Iraqi delegation. The former ambassador said that Mayaki did meet with the Iraqi delegation but never discussed what was meant by "expanding commercial relations." The former ambassador said that because Mayaki was wary of discussing any trade issues with a country under United Nations (UN) sanctions, he made a successful effort to steer the conversation away from a discussion of trade with the Iraqi delegation.
([DELETE]) When the former ambassador spoke to Committee staff, his description of his findings differed from the DO intelligence report and his account of information provided to him by the CIA differed from the CIA officials' accounts in some respects. First, the former ambassador described his findings to Committee staff as more directly related to Iraq and, specifically, as refuting both the possibility that Niger could have sold uranium to Iraq and that Iraq approached Niger to purchase uranium. The intelligence report described how the structure of Niger's uranium mines would make it difficult, if not impossible, for Niger to sell uranium to rouge nations, and noted that Nigerien officials denied knowledge of any deals to sell uranium to any rogue states, but did not refute the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase uranium. Second, the former ambassador said that he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and signatures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction. In fact, the intelligence report made no mention of the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal or signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal. The only mention of Iraq in the report pertained to the meeting between the Iraqi delegation and former Prime Minister Mayaki. Third, the former ambassador noted that his CIA contacts told him there were documents pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and that the source of the information was the [DELETE] intelligence service. The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from [DELETE] intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal. Meeting notes and other correspondence show that details of the reporting were discussed at the February 19, 2002 meeting, but none of the meeting participants recall telling the former ambassador the source of the report [DELETE].
(U) The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article ("CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data; Bush Used Report of Uranium Bid," June 12,2003) which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong. '" Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. The former ambassador said that he may have "misspoken" to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself. The former ambassador reiterated that he had been able to collect the names of the government officials which should have been on the documents.
(U) The former ambassador told Committee staff that he had no direct knowledge of how the information he provided was handled by the CIA, but, based on his previous government experience, he believed that the report would have been distributed to the White House and that the Vice President received a direct response to his question about the possible uranium deal. He said,
Whether or not there was a specific response to the specific question the Vice President asked I don't know for a fact, other than to know, having checked with my own memory when I was in the White House at the National Security Council ... any time an official who is senior enough to ask that question, that official was senior enough to have a very specific response. The question then becomes whether the response came back as a telephone call, a non-paper - in other words, talking points - or orally briefed, or a specific cable in addition to the more general report that is circulated."
([DELETE]) The CIA's DO gave the former ambassador's information a grade of "good," which means that it added to the IC's body of understanding on the issue, [DELETE]. The possible grades are unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good, excellent, and outstanding, which, according to the Deputy Chief of CPD, are very subjective. [DELETE] The reports officer said that a "good" grade was merited because the information responded to at least some of the outstanding questions in the Intelligence Community, but did not provide substantial new information. He said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerien officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerien Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.
(U) IC analysts had a fairly consistent response to the intelligence report based on the former ambassador's trip in that no one believed it added a great deal of new information to the Iraq-Niger uranium story. An INR analyst said when he saw the report he believed that it corroborated the INR's position, but said that the "report could be read in different ways." He said the report was credible, but did not give it a lot of attention because he was busy with other things.
(U) DIA and CIA analysts said that when they saw the intelligence report they did not believe that it supplied much new information and did not think that it clarified the story on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal. They did not find Nigerien denials that they had discussed uranium sales with Iraq as very surprising because they had no expectation that Niger would admit to such an agreement if it did exist. The analysts did, however, find it interesting that the former Nigerien Prime Minister said an Iraqi delegation had visited Niger for what he believed was to discuss uranium sales.
(U) Because CIA analysts did not believe that the report added any new information to clarify the issue, they did not use the report to produce any further analytical products or highlight the report for policymakers. For the same reason, CIA's briefer did not brief the Vice President on the report, despite the Vice President's previous questions about the issue.
( [DELETE]) On March 25, 2002, the DO issued a third and final intelligence report from the same "[foreign] government service." The report said that the 2000 agreement by Niger to provide uranium to Iraq specified that 500 tons of uranium would be delivered in [DELETE].
([DELETE]) As in the two previous reports, the government service was not identified as the foreign government service. The foreign government service did not provide the DO with information about its source and the DO, to date, remains uncertain as to how the foreign government service collected the information in the three intelligence reports. There were no obvious inconsistencies in the names of officials mentioned or the dates of the transactions in any of the three reports. Of the seven names mentioned in the reporting, two were former high ranking officials who were the individuals in the positions described in the reports at the time described and five were lower ranking officials. Of the five lower ranking, two were not the individuals in the positions described in the reports, however, these do not appear to be names or positions with which intelligence analysts would have been familiar. For example, an INR analyst who had recently returned from a position as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Niger told Committee staff that he did not notice any inconsistencies with the names of the officials mentioned. The only mistake in any of the reports regarding dates, is that one date, July 7, 2000, is said to be a Wednesday in the report, but was actually a Friday.C. Continuing Analysis
([DELETE]) Throughout the time the Niger reports were being disseminated, the [DELETE] CIA Iraq nuclear analyst said he had discussed the issue with his INR colleague and was aware that INR disagreed with the CIA's position. He said they discussed Niger's uranium production rates and whether Niger could have been diverting any yellowcake. He said that he and his INR counterpart essentially "agreed to disagree" about whether Niger could supply uranium to Iraq. The CIA analyst said he assessed at the time that the intelligence showed both that Iraq may have been trying to procure uranium in Africa and that it was possible Niger could supply it. He said his assessment was bolstered by several other intelligence reports on Iraqi interest in uranium from other countries in Africa. 
(U) On May 10,2002, the CIA's Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis (NESA) in the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) prepared a Principals Committee briefing book updating the status of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. The document noted that a "foreign government service says Iraq was trying to acquire 500 tons of uranium from Niger."
(U) On June 24, 2002, the U.S. Embassy in Niamey published a cable, Niger's Uranium: GON Signs IAEA Accord, But Keeps Looking for New Buyers as Price Falls. The cable reported that, following prolonged lobbying, on June 10, 2002, the government of Niger signed a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA. The cable indicated that the agreement would help ensure that Niger's uranium production is only used for "peaceful purposes."
(U) On July 22, 2002, the DOE published an intelligence product (Daily Intelligence Highlight, Nuclear Reconstitution Efforts Underway?) which highlighted the intelligence on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal as one of three indications that Iraq might be reconstituting its nuclear program. The report added that there was "no information indicating that any of the uranium shipments arrived in Iraq," and suggested that the "amount of uranium specified far exceeds what Iraq would need even for a robust nuclear weapons program."
(U) On August 1,2002 CIA NESA published a paper on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities which did not include the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium information.
(U) In September 2002, the DIA published an intelligence assessment (Defense Intelligence Assessment, Iraq's Reemerging Nuclear Program) which outlined Iraq's recent efforts to rebuild its nuclear program. The report focused on a variety of issues related to Iraq's nuclear efforts, including procurement efforts, nuclear facilities, consolidation of scientists and uranium acquisition. On the latter issue, the assessment said "Iraq has been vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake." The report described the intelligence on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal and several other intelligence reports on Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium from Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The assessment said that "DIA cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources."
(U) In a written response to questions from Committee staff, the White House said that on September 11,2002, National Security Council (NBC) staff contacted the CIA to clear language for possible use in a statement for use by the President. The language cleared by the CIA said, "Iraq has made several attempts to buy high strength aluminum tubes used in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. And we also know this: within the past few years, Iraq has resumed efforts to obtain large quantities of a type of uranium oxide known as yellowcake, which is an essential ingredient of this process. The regime was caught trying to purchase 500 metric tons of this material. It takes about 10 tons to produce enough enriched uranium for a single nuclear weapon." The text was identical to the text proposed by the White House except that the CIA had suggested adding "up to" before 500 metric tons. The President never used the approved language publicly.D. The British White Paper
([DELETE]) [DELETE] On September 24, 2002 the British Government published a White Paper on Iraq's WMD stating, "there is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
(U) In a response to questions from Committee staff, the White House said that on September 24, 2002, NSC staff contacted the CIA to clear another statement for use by the President. The statement said, "we also have intelligence that Iraq has sought large amounts of uranium and uranium oxide, known as yellowcake, from Africa. Yellowcake is an essential ingredient of the process to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." The CIA cleared the language, but suggested that "of the process" be changed to "in the process." The President did not use the cleared language publicly.
(U) Some time in September a member of the NSC staff discussed the Niger uranium issue with a CIA analyst. The CIA analyst told Committee staff that during coordination of a speech (he was not sure which one) with an NSC staff member, the CIA analyst suggested that the reference to Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa be removed. The CIA analyst said the NSC staff member said that would leave the British "flapping in the wind." In a written response to a question about this matter from the Committee, the NSC staff member said that the CIA analyst did not suggest that he remove text regarding Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa. The NSC staff member said the analyst suggested that Saddam's meeting with his "nuclear mujahedin" was more compelling evidence of Iraq's effort to resurrect the Iraqi nuclear program than attempts to acquire yellowcake, but said the analyst never suggested that the yellowcake text be removed. He said he had no recollection of telling a CIA analyst that replacing the uranium reference would leave the British "flapping in the wind" and said such a statement would have been illogical since the President never presented in anyone speech every detail of intelligence gathered on Iraq either by the U.S. or by the U.K.E. The National Intelligence Estimate
([DELETE]) At the same time the [DELETE], the IC was preparing the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction. In mid-September 2002, in both hearings and in letters, Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) requested that the CIA publish an NIE on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. Committee Members expressed concerns that they would be expected to vote on an Iraq Resolution shortly and had no NIE on which to base their vote.
(U) On September 12,2002, the DCI officially directed the National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Strategic and Nuclear Programs to begin to draft an NIE. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) staff drew the discussion of nuclear reconstitution for the draft NIE largely from an August 2002 CIA assessment and a September 2002 DIA assessment, Iraq's Reemerging Nuclear Weapons Programs. The NIO sent a draft of the entire NIE to IC analysts on September 23,2002 for coordination and comments and held an interagency coordination meeting on September 25,2002 to discuss the draft and work out any changes.
(U) Regarding uranium from Africa, the language of the NIE said:
Iraq has about 550 metric tons of yellowcake and low-enriched uranium at Tuwaitha, which is inspected annually by the IAEA. Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake; acquiring either would shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons.
• A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of "pure uranium" (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of this arrangement.
• Reports indicate Iraq has also sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources.
(U) At the NIE coordination meeting, the only analyst who voiced disagreement with the uranium section was an INR analyst. Several analysts from other agencies told Committee staff that they did not recall even discussing the uranium reporting at the meeting. All of the analysts said that the bulk of the time at the meeting was spent debating other issues such as the aluminum tubes, time lines for weapons designs, and procurement of magnets and other dual use items. CIA, DIA and DOE analysts all said that at the time the NIE was written, they agreed with the NIE assessment that Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from Africa. Some analysts said, in retrospect, the language should have been more qualified than it was, but they generally agreed with the text.
(U) The uranium text was included only in the body of the NIE, not in the key judgments section because the interagency consensus was that Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium were not key to the argument that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. According to the NIO, the key judgments were drawn from a CIA paper which only highlighted the acquisition of aluminum tubes as the reason Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. The NIO said that at the NIE coordination meeting, analysts added other reasons they believed Iraq was reconstituting, such as acquiring magnets, machine tools, and balancing machines, and reestablishing Iraq's nuclear scientists cadre. When someone, the NIO was not sure who,  suggested that the uranium information be included as another sign of reconstitution, the INR Iraq nuclear analyst spoke up and said that he did not agree with the uranium reporting and that INR would be including text indicating their disagreement in their footnote on nuclear reconstitution. The NIO said he did not recall anyone else at the coordination meeting who disagreed with the uranium text, but also did not recall anyone really supporting including the uranium issue as part of the judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, so he suggested that the uranium information did not need to part of the key judgments. He told Committee staff he suggested that "We'll leave it in the paper for completeness. Nobody can say we didn't connect the dots. But we don't have to put that dot in the key judgments."
(U) Because INR disagreed with much of the nuclear section of the NIE, it decided to convey its alternative views in text boxes, rather than object to every point throughout the NIE. INR prepared two separate boxes, one for the key judgments section and a two page box for the body of the nuclear section, which included a sentence which stated that "the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious."
(U) While formatting the final version of the NIE, the NIC staff decided to separate the entire aluminum tubes discussion into a separate annex that laid out each agency's position. When this formatting change was made, a text box INR had previously submitted for the body of the NIE was split into a text box on reconstitution and a text box on the aluminum tubes. Both the NIO for Strategic and Nuclear Programs and the INR's senior WMD analyst told Committee staff that INR's dissent on the uranium reporting was inadvertently separated from the reconstitution section and included in the aluminum tubes box in the annex of the NIE. The NIC staff disseminated a draft of the NIE in which those changes were made on September 26, 2002 for coordination. An e-mail on September 30, 2002 indicates that INR made some further edits to their text boxes, but did not change the placement of their dissent on the uranium reporting. INR analysts told Committee staff they did not notice that the uranium dissent was included in the aluminum tube section.
([DELETE]) On October 1, 2002, in preparation for an SSCI hearing on the NIE the following day, a CIA NESA analyst prepared responses to questions anticipated from SSCI Members. The [DELETE] WINPAC Iraq nuclear analyst sent the NESA comments for inclusion [DELETE]
(U) On October 1, 2002, the NIC published the NIE on Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The language on Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium from Africa appeared as it did in the draft version and INR's position that "claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are highly dubious" was included in a text box, separated by about 60 pages from the discussion of the uranium issue.
(U) On October 2, 2002, the Deputy DCI testified before the SSC!. Senator Jon Kyl asked the Deputy DCI whether he had read the British white paper and whether he disagreed with anything in the report. The Deputy DCI testified that "the one thing where I think they stretched a little bit beyond where we would stretch is on the points about Iraq seeking uranium from various African locations. We've looked at those reports and we don't think they are very credible. It doesn't diminish our conviction that he's going for nuclear weapons, but I think they reached a little bit on that one point. Otherwise I think it's very solid."
(U) On October 4, 2002, the NIO for Strategic and Nuclear Programs testified before the SSCI. When asked by Senator Fred Thompson if there was disagreement with the British white paper, the NIO said that "they put more emphasis on the uranium acquisition in Africa than we would." He added, "there is some information on attempts and, as we said, maybe not to this committee, but in the last couple of weeks, there's a question about some of those attempts because of the control of the material in those countries. In one case the mine is completely flooded and how would they get the material. For us it's more the concern that they have uranium in-country now. It's under inspection. It's under control of the IAEA -- the International Atomic Energy Agency - but they only inspect it once a year." The NIO told Committee staff that he was speaking as an IC representative and was representing INR's known view on the issue. He said at the time of his remarks, he did not believe that the CIA had any problem with the credibility of the reporting, but said the CIA may have believed that the uranium information should not be included in an unclassified white paper.
(U) Also, on October 4, 2002, CIA published an unclassified White Paper, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs. The NIO for NESA started work on the white paper in the spring of 2002, well before efforts began on the classified NIE. A CIA NESA analyst drafted the body of the White Paper and did not include text on Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium from Africa.
(U) In October 2002, CIA's NESA published a classified Iraq handbook as a repository of reference material that policymakers, intelligence officers, and military personnel could easily access. In the section on Iraq's nuclear program NESA wrote, "Iraq may be trying to acquire 500 tons of uranium -- enough for 50 nuclear devices after processing -- from Niger."F. The Cincinnati Speech
(U) On October 4, 2002, the NSC sent a draft of a speech they were preparing for the President to deliver in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was draft six of the speech and contained the line, "and the regime has been caught attempting to purchase up to 500 metric tons of uranium oxide from Africa -- an essential ingredient in the enrichment process."
(U) The CIA's former Associate Deputy Director for Intelligence (ADDI) for Strategic Programs, told Committee staff he was tasked by the Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) to handle coordination of the speech within the CIA. On October 5, 2002, the ADDI brought together representatives for each of the areas of Iraq that the speech covered and asked the analysts to bring forward any issues that they thought should be addressed with the NSC. The ADDI said an Iraq nuclear analyst -- he could not remember who -- raised concerns about the sourcing and some of the facts of the Niger reporting, specifically that the control of the mines in Niger would have made it very difficult to get yellowcake to Iraq.
([DELETE]) Both WINPAC Iraq nuclear analysts who had followed the Iraq-Niger uranium issue told Committee staff they were not involved in coordinating the Cincinnati speech and did not participate in the speech coordination session on October 5, 2002. The WINPAC Deputy Director for Analysis also told Committee staff he did not recall being involved in the Cincinnati speech, but later clarified his remarks to the Committee in writing saying that he remembered participating in the speech, but did not recall commenting on the section of the speech dealing with the Niger information. Committee staff asked the CIA to identify who might have attended the Cincinnati speech coordination meeting and raised concerns with the ADDI about the and facts of the Niger reporting. The CIA told Committee staff that the NESA Iraq analyst, [DELETE] believes he may have been the one who attended the meeting and raised concerns about the Niger reporting with the ADDI.
(U) Based on the analyst's comments, the ADDI drafted a memo for the NSC outlining the facts that the CIA believed needed to be changed, and faxed it to the Deputy National Security Advisor and the speech writers. Referring to the sentence on uranium from Africa the CIA said, "remove the sentence because the amount is in dispute and it is debatable whether it can be acquired from the source. We told Congress that the Brits have exaggerated this issue. Finally, the Iraqis already have 550 metric tons of uranium oxide in their inventory."
([DELETE]) Later that day, the NSC staff prepared draft seven of the Cincinnati speech which contained the line, "and the regime has been caught attempting to purchase substantial amounts of uranium oxide from sources in Africa." Draft seven was sent to CIA for coordination.
([DELETE]) The ADDI told Committee staff he received the new draft on October 6, 2002 and noticed that the uranium information had "not been addressed," so he alerted the DCI. The DCI called the Deputy National Security Advisor directly to outline the CIA's concerns. On July 16,2003, the DCI testified before the SSCI that he told the Deputy National Security Advisor that the "President should not be a fact witness on this issue," because his analysts had told him the "reporting was weak." The NSC then removed the uranium reference from the draft of the speech.
([DELETE]) Although the NSC had already removed the uranium reference from the speech, later on October 6, 2002 the CIA sent a second fax to the White House which said, "more on why we recommend removing the sentence about procuring uranium oxide from Africa: Three points (l) The evidence is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French authorities. (2) The procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory. And (3) we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa story is overblown and telling them this is one ofthe two issues where we differed with the British."
(U) On October 7, 2002, President Bush delivered the speech in Cincinnati without the uranium reference. On the same day, the CIA prepared comments on a draft White House paper, A Grave and Gathering Danger. The comments suggested a change to the draft language saying "better to generalize the first bullet as follows: Sought uranium from Africa to feed the enrichment process." The original text from the White House had said "sought uranium oxide, an essential ingredient in the enrichment process, from Africa." The White House did not publish the paper.G. The Niger Documents
([DELETE]) On October 9,2002, an Italian journalist from the magazine Panorama provided U.S. Embassy Rome with copies of documents  pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction. The journalist had acquired the documents from a source who had requested 15,000 Euros in return for their publication, and wanted the embassy to authenticate the documents. officers provided copies of the documents to the CIA's [DELETE] because the embassy, which did collect the information, was sending copies of the documents back to State Department headquarters.
([DELETE]) Also on October 11,2002, the U.S. Embassy in Rome reported to State Department headquarters that it had acquired photocopies of documents on a purported uranium deal between Iraq and Niger from an Italian journalist. The cable said that the embassy had passed the documents to the CIA's [DELETE]. The embassy faxed the documents to the State Department's Bureau of Nonproliferation (NP) on October 15, 2002, which passed a copy of the documents to INR.
(U) Immediately after receiving the documents, the INR Iraq nuclear analyst e-mailed IC colleagues offering to provide the documents at a previously planned meeting of the Nuclear Interdiction Action Group (NIAG) the following day. The analyst, apparently already suspicious of the validity of the documents noted in his e-mail, "you'll note that it bears a funky Emb. of Niger stamp (to make it look official, I guess)."
(U) The INR Iraq nuclear analyst told Committee staff that the thing that stood out immediately about the documents was that a companion document -- a document included with the Niger documents that did not relate to uranium -- mentioned some type of military campaign against major world powers. The members of the alleged military campaign included both Iraq and Iran, and was, according to the documents, being orchestrated through the Nigerien Embassy in Rome, which all struck the analyst as "completely implausible." Because the stamp on this document matched the stamp on the uranium document, the analyst thought that all of the documents were likely suspect. The analyst was unaware at the time of any formatting problems with the documents or inconsistencies with the names or dates.
(U) On October 16, 2002, INR made copies of the documents available at the NIAG meeting for attendees, including representatives from the CIA, DIA, DOE and NSA. Because the analyst who offered to provide the documents was on leave, the office's senior analyst provided the documents. She cannot recall how she made the documents available, but analysts from several agencies, including the DIA, NSA and DOE, did pick up copies at that meeting. None of the four CIA representatives recall picking up the documents, however, during the CIA Inspector General's investigation of this issue, copies of the documents were found in the DO's CPD vault. It appears that a CPD representative did pick up the documents at the NIAG meeting, but after returning to the office, filed them without any further distribution.
([DELETE]) The CIA told the Committee its analysts did not seek to obtain copies of the documents because they believed that the foreign government service reporting was verbatim text and did not think it would advance the story on the alleged uranium deal. One analyst noted that, at the time, the CIA was preparing its case [DELETE] on reconstitution and since the uranium reporting was not significant to their argument, getting the documents was not a priority.
(U) On November 22, 2002, during a meeting with State Department officials, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Nonproliferation said that France had information on an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger. He said that France had determined that no uranium had been shipped, but France believed the reporting was true that Iraq had made a procurement attempt for uranium from Niger.
([DELETE]) On November 25, 2002, The Naval [DELETE] issued a very brief report (Alleged Storage of Uranium Destined for Iraq [DELETE] that a large quantity of uranium from Niger was being stored in a warehouse in Cotonou, Benin. The uranium was reportedly sold to Iraq by Niger's President. The report provided the name and telephone numbers for the individual, a West African businessman, who was responsible for coordinating the alleged uranium transaction and indicated that he was willing to provide information about the transaction. CIA's DO told Committee staff that the businessman has never been contacted and the DO has not made an effort to determine whether this individual had any useful information. The DO told Committee staff that they saw no reason to contact him and noted that "no one even thought to do that." The Defense Humint Service (DHS) and the Navy also told Committee staff that they did not try to contact the businessman. The Navy told the Committee that because they were not further tasked regarding their report, they did not pursue the matter further. The DHS told Committee staff that because the DHS examined the warehouse on December 17, 2002 and saw only what appeared to be bales of cotton in the warehouse, they did not see a reason to contact the businessman. The report on the DHS's findings was not published until February 10, 2003. (See page 68)
(U) On December 17,2002, WINPAC analysts produced a paper, us. Analysis of Iraq's Declaration, 7 December 2002. The paper reviewed Iraq's "Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Disclosure" to the UN of its WMD programs and made only two points regarding the nuclear program -- one noted Iraq's failure to explain its procurement of aluminum tubes the IC assessed could be used in a nuclear program, and the other noted that the declaration "does not acknowledge efforts to procure uranium from Niger, one of the points addressed in the U.K. Dossier." An e-mail from the INR Iraq nuclear analyst to a DOE analyst on December 23,2002 indicated that the analyst was surprised that INR's well known alternative views on both the aluminum tubes and the uranium information were not included in the points before they were transmitted to the NSC. The DOE analyst commented in an e-mail response to INR that, "it is most disturbing that WINPAC is essentially directing foreign policy in this matter. There are some very strong points to be made in respect to Iraq's arrogant non-compliance with UN sanctions. However, when individuals attempt to convert those "strong statements" into the "knock out" punch, the Administration will ultimately look foolish -- i.e. the tubes and Niger!"