White House Admits Factual Error in State of Union Address

Published July 08, 2003

| Associated Press

The White House (searchacknowledged Monday that President Bush's State of the Union (searchaddress in January was incorrect in stating that Iraq had recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa.

The acknowledgment came as a British parliamentary commission questioned the reliability of British intelligence about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Bush said in his State of the Union address that the British government had learned that Saddam recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa.

The president's statement was incorrect because it was based on forged documents from the African nation of Niger, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (searchacknowledged.

A British parliamentary committee concluded that Prime Minister Tony Blair's government mishandled intelligence material on Iraqi weapons.

John Stanley, a Conservative member of the committee, said so far no evidence has been found in Iraq to substantiate four key claims, including that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa as part of an effort to restart a nuclear weapons program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency told the United Nations in March that the information about uranium was based on forged documents.

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