Military Analysts Who Lived in Aluminum Fairy Land Rewarded
Two Army analysts who mistakenly claimed that aluminum tubing bought by Iraq was for centrifuges to enrich uranium received job performance awards during the past 3 years. When the specifications of the tubing were finally shown to the International Atomic Energy Commission in March of 2003, Mohammed ElBaradei was able to falsify the allegation within 24 hours, issuing a statement that tubing with those specifications could not be used for uranium enrichment. If Elbaradei could see the falsehood of the claims almost immediately, it is not plausible that US analysts could not.
On March 7, 2003, he said:
“Based on available evidence, the IAEA team has concluded that Iraq efforts to import these aluminum tubes were not likely to have been related to the manufacture of centrifuge, and moreover that it was highly unlikely that Iraq could have achieved the considerable redesign needed to use them in a revived centrifuge program . . .
The IAEA was able to review correspondence coming from various bodies of the government of Niger and to compare the form, format, contents and signature of that correspondence with those of the alleged procurement-related documentation.
Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded with the concurrence of outside experts that these documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded. However, we will continue to follow up any additional evidence if it emerges relevant to efforts by Iraq to illicitly import nuclear materials.”
Compare that to what the Bush administration was telling people in the same period, and it is clear. Elbaradei was living in the real world. The US government and the US press and the US punditocracy was living in a fantasy land.