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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 22:10 GMT
Profile: Stephen Hadley
Stephen Hadley, the new US national security adviser
Stephen Hadley: Earned trust of President George W Bush
In his long career behind the scenes of US politics, Stephen Hadley has served four presidents, but has rarely made the headlines.

The next US national security adviser is best known for taking the blame in the so-called "Niger-gate" affair.

In July 2003, the White House found itself in trouble over apparently unfounded claims that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had tried to obtain uranium for nuclear weapons from the west African state of Niger.

The allegation originally came from UK intelligence, but President George W Bush had lent his authority to it by repeating it in his State of the Union address.

I should have recalled at the time of the State of the Union speech that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue
Stephen Hadley
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," the president said.

As the controversy raged, Mr Hadley told reporters at the White House that it was his fault that the 16-word claim had been included in Mr Bush's speech.

He said he should have deleted the reference after being told by the CIA's director at the time, George Tenet, that the intelligence was unreliable.

"I should have recalled at the time of the State of the Union speech that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue," he said.


At the time, Democratic party politicians and cynical observers alike branded Mr Hadley the fall-guy for the Bush administration's blunder.

2004: Named as next national security adviser
2001-2004: Deputy national security adviser
1977-2001: Works for law firm Shea & Gardner
1989-1993: Assistant secretary for international security policy
1986: Counsel to the Tower Commission
But the announcement that he is to become the next national security adviser shows that the episode has done his career no harm at all.

His outgoing boss at the National Security Council, Condoleezza Rice paid tribute to him as "the consummate professional, a man I know and admire, my colleague and friend".

President Bush, who appointed him as deputy national security adviser in 2001, said Mr Hadley had done "a superb job" over the past four years.

"Steve is a man of wisdom and good judgment," he said. "He has earned my trust."

Born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio, Mr Hadley gained a BA from Cornell University and a law degree from Yale before taking on the first of several jobs in Washington.

From 1972 to 1974, he served as a comptroller for an analysis group for the assistant secretary of defence.

He then worked in the National Security Council's Office of Program Analysis for three years, leaving government service in 1977 to join the Washington law firm of Shea & Gardner.

He stayed with the firm until 2001, becoming first an associate, then a partner.

But he took leave of absence in 1986 to serve as counsel to the Tower Commission, appointed by President Reagan to look into the Iran-Contra affair.

He had another stint in government from 1989 to 1993, as assistant secretary for international security policy in the defence department.

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