Where All Roads Lead

So we’re all following the US news, and we know that Bush’s senior aides may be indicted this week for exposing a US spy, right? And the reason the people in the White House deliberately exposed one of America’s own intelligence agents is that they were mad at her husband. And they were mad at her husband because he went to Africa and discovered that what the Bush administration wanted to say about Iraq buying uranium from Niger was not true.

Well. The documents that the Bush administration wanted to hang their claims on were forgeries. And the source of the forgeries, it is becoming increasingly clear, is Italy. La Repubblica is naming names and providing dates. It’s starting to echo in the US press, at the L.A. Times for example, and in the blogs. Questions still abound. Who was behind the forging? Why? Was Iran involved? Did the Berlusconi government know what SISMI was up to? Why were intelligence contacts being run through the Pentagon instead of the CIA? And more…

Josh Marshall has been on this story for a long time, and is all over it this week. At one time, he took a lot of ribbing because he had said in public that it would “shake the tectonic plates” in Washington. Then parts were published or broadcast, and not much seemed to happen. But tectonic plates and their fault lines can be deceiving. It may just take time for the pressure to build up.

10 thoughts on “Where All Roads Lead

  1. Presuming that the forgeries were indeed those that were published in fascimile in “La Repubblica” a couple of years ago, in way I think it is rather academic and irrelevent as to who was behind creating them. In fact, they clearly proved themselves incapable of making credible forgeries. The documents contained blatant errors that should have been easily observed by anyone with even a passing knowledge of Nigerien politics (Wrong Ministry name: wrong Minister’s name: wrong designation of the cabinet/government – details years out of date). And it wouldn’t require a trip to Africa to work this out.

    The real question is why any weight whatsoever was given to these documents at all in the first place. They were simply not credible or even close to being credible.

    (Iran’s relationship with Niger is another question which could perhaps warrant some exploration, however.)

  2. Chalabi is responsible for the forgeries, this is established evidence. Paul Wolwofitz and Chalabi worked closely and extensively. Paul Wolfowitz was working at the White House at the time forgeries arrived on Bush’s desk. Earlier drafts sent to Bush are in circulation.

  3. Not really. The Bush administraton was not hanging its hat on the forgeries. That another part of this farce case in the US. The forged documents were later. I’m glad to see that they are being investigated.

  4. Italy was the source of the documents??


    = = = = =

    “Agent behind fake uranium documents worked for France”

    The Telegraph

    By Bruce Johnston in Rome
    (Filed: 19/09/2004)

    “The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to blame for bogus documents suggesting Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy material for nuclear bombs has admitted that he was in the pay of France.”

    The man, identified by an Italian news agency as Rocco Martino, was the subject of a Telegraph article earlier this month in which he was referred to by his intelligence codename, “Giacomo”.

    His admission to investigating magistrates in Rome on Friday apparently confirms suggestions that – by commissioning “Giacomo” to procure and circulate documents – France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq.”

    = = = = =

    The frogs…

  5. I always thought that the British _and_ French stuck by the story over Niger far, far longer than the Americans did. Am I right in thinking it was taken by the Americans from British intelligence, and that even when doubt was being put on the claims, the Brits stood by it? Just for my information – this whole affair confuses me quite a bit.

  6. Doug’s ‘tectonic plates’ are anything but. It’s telling that he links to The Daily Kos, whose feverish longings for a Bush scandal have led him to hang his hat on just about anything which smells of Bush or Rove involvement.

    If anything, the big story with regards to this whole affair is how the NY Times, in it’s seemingly endless incompetence, allowed the whole Judith Miller scandal to happen.

    But I’m sure as this affair fades into the background as every other supposed ‘scandal’ has in the past 4 years( whatever happened to ‘Mother’ Sheehan?), the Kos crowd will move on.

    I would suggest that anyone who wants a straightforward, if rather obsessive assesment of the Plame affair to read Mickey Kaus over at Slate, not the Daily Kos for God’s sake.

  7. Cheney’s aid was trying to point out that it wasn’t Cheney that sent him to Niger, it was Wilson’s wife. And when Joseph Wilson began spewing lies and half-truths about his trip to Niger, Liddy was trying to point out to reporters what a crackpot he was. However, Liddy undeniably lied under oath, and he will get his wrist slapped smartly, I’m sure. The liberal left will make hay of this tempest in a teapot, since that’s about all they’ve got going any more.

  8. I would suggest that anyone who wants a straightforward, if rather obsessive assesment of the Plame affair to read Mickey Kaus over at Slate, not the Daily Kos for God’s sake.

    Joshua Marshall and Kos aren’t the same critter by a long shot. And while I wouldn’t rely on Daily Kos as a primary source, Kaus isn’t exactly trustworthy either.

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