I put this at the end of the “Wingnut Hysteria” post below, but I think I’ll give it its own post so it doesn’t get lost.
One of the running themes of the various Idiots I called out in “Wingnut Hysteria” is that the Tuwaitha yellowcake proves that Joe Wilson lied. For example, Patterico says I am missing the point of the significance of the Tuwaitha yellowcake.
The debate isnâ€™t about if Saddam was on the verge of obtaining nukes or not. Rather, it is about the fact that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are liars – something that most of the press refuses to acknowledge. Notably, Mahablog doesnâ€™t mention the Joe Wilson controversy at all.
Please. The yellowcake in Tuwaitha is completely unrelated to Joe Wilson. The Tuwaitha yellowcake had been sitting in those drums, with the IAEA seals, at least since the end of the Gulf War. The IAEA had exhaustively inventoried it and monitored it from 1991 until inspections stopped in 1998, and when they went back in 2003 they found nothing whatsoever had changed — nothing had been added, nothing had been taken away. The same barrels were still there, with the same seals.
Documentation for the IAEA inspections is in my old Tuwaitha posts, and you can also find some of the same documentation on this Iraq Nuclear Verification Office page, which provides summaries of inspections from 1991 to 1998
Wilson’s trip to Niger in 2002 was to investigate an alleged sale of uranium in the late 1990s. The alleged Niger uranium had nothing whatsoever to do with the Tuwaitha uranium.
In fact, one of my arguments all along about the 16 words and the alleged Niger yellowcake was that it made no sense for Saddam Hussein to purchase more yellowcake when he was already sitting on a huge pile of yellowcake that he didn’t have the technology to enrich.