Thursday, October 20, 2005
Niger Uranium Forgery Mystery Solved?
Two things, though, have been lost in all this talk about "Plame-Gate," "Rove-Gate," or "Treason-Gate," if you like:
1.) we should keep in mind that the Niger documents were known to be forged
2.) Bush lied about this in his State Of The Union Address, despite warnings from various people (including Tenet) that the now infamous 16 words should not be included. Bush deliberately changed the wording of the speech from "Niger" to "Africa."
It's not clear why he believed this change would make any difference in the substance of the [false] claim. But, regardless of Bush's logic or lack thereof, the important thing is that he knew he was lying.
Anyway, apparently Patrick Fitzgerald is not limiting his investigation to merely the issue of who leaked Plame's name, but why this was done; which of course leads to the question, who forged the documents, and why?; and this could be perilous for the Bush Administration (not just Turd Blossom and Scooter). Forging documents is one thing. But forging documents about a matter as significant as whether or not a country has a nuclear weapons program, which is the basis on which we invade that country, and then lying about the fake intelligence and covering up the fact that it was forged . . . It's Treason, there's no other word for it.
So, who forged them? It appears it may have former CIA agents (surprise, surprise), along with Italy's version of the CIA:
Whoever leaked Plame's name and CIA affiliation was trying to scare off any further inquiries into the whole Niger uranium funny business, underscoring the key question in all this: who was behind the Niger uranium forgeries?
. . . . . . . .
"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."
. . . . . . . .
Fitzgerald seems to have broadened his probe to include not only the outing of Plame, but also the origin of the Niger uranium forgeries and other instances of classified information leakage via the vice president's office.
. . . . . . . .
This much is certain, either SISME [Italian intelligence] or someone with ties to SISME, helped forge and circulate those documents which some tried to use to bolster the case to go to war with Iraq."
"Reporters" at FOX, and elsewhere, are of course still trying to downplay the significance of Wilson's report, claiming that the Niger claim "was never one of the major arguments" for war, and that Wilson's report "was never accepted by anybody."
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production" (Bush, State Of The Union address -- the aluminum tubes claim was another lie). "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud" (Condi). ""We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons." . . . "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." (Cheney). "Saddam is a grave and gathering threat" (Bush). "Saddam has the capability of launching a WMD attack within 45 minutes" (Blair, repeated by everyone).
"The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known." . . .
Ring a bell? Nukes were a very crucial part of the argument for war. And all this stuff was repeated in such a way as to clearly imply (without quite saying so) that either Saddam would nuke the U.S. or he would give nukes to terrorists to attack us. (And people whined because Michael Moore is "disingenuous"? Give me a fucking break.)