The White House has begun arguing that President Bush was "technically correct" when, during his last State of the Union speech, he cited a discredited British report claiming that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium in Africa. On a Sunday talk show, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice conceded the claim "didn't rise to the standard of a presidential speech," inasmuch as the CIA and the State Department had expressed doubts about it. But she added, "It turns out that it's technically correct, what the president said, that the U.K…did say that."
Not quite. The president said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" (emphasis added). If Bush had said, "The British government has reported that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Rice would be correct: The president would merely have been passing on the British claim. By saying the British government learned about this alleged uranium hunting, he implied that the report was true.