A report published by the Spanish website Rebelion confirmed that the mainstream American media exaggerated what it described as the lies of the government of then-US President George W. Bush, and distorted the facts about the Iraq file.

The report cited the example of Niger and said it inadvertently played a pivotal role in what was seen as one of the biggest U.S. foreign policy disasters of modern times. Without Niger, the United States might not have been able to start its illegal and disastrous war against Iraq.

On January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush referred to foreign-owned uranium mines in Niger, saying, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently tried to obtain large quantities of uranium from a country in Africa," Rebellion said.

Bush based his statement on intelligence that the CIA believed was wrong, but which the Bush administration used to wage war in Iraq. That information indicated that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

Months earlier, then-Bush National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice warned against the threat of weapons of mass destruction, saying, "We don't want to wait for conclusive evidence until these weapons are used."

Bush used the same metaphor a month later, in a landmark speech in which he offered the arguments for invading Iraq: "In the face of clear evidence of danger, we cannot wait for the final proof."


Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a speech full of lies to the UN Security Council in 2003 to justify the invasion of Iraq, then said years later, "This speech was a stain on my career."

Months after the invasion, the New York Times published an article by the late Ambassador Joe Wilson, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," in which he recounted his February 2002 CIA-sponsored trip to Niger to assess the Bush administration's uranium claims.

Wilson told the CIA that he found no evidence that Niger had sold uranium to Iraq, and the article constituted an incontrovertible condemnation of the Bush administration, as it showed how it manipulated intelligence to promote an illegal war.

As these legal battles raged in Washington, D.C., the real war in Iraq was killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and thousands of U.S.-led troops and a U.S.-led military coalition.

Millions of Iraqis became refugees and were later joined by millions of Syrians as the fallout from the war sparked by the U.S. invasion spread across the region.