Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Final Nail In The Yellowcake Lies Coffin

Methinks Patrick Fitzgerald's activities here helped shake loose some information nuggets over there. Per the AP, via Josh Marshall at TPM:

The head of Italy's military secret services will be questioned by a parliamentary commission next week over allegations that his organization gave the United States and Britain disputed documents suggesting that Saddam Hussein had been seeking uranium in Africa, officials said Tuesday. Nicolo Pollari, director of the SISMI intelligence agency, will be questioned on Nov. 3 by members of the commission overseeing secret services, said Micaela Panella, a commission spokeswoman. She said Pollari asked to be questioned after reports Monday and Tuesday in the Rome daily La Repubblica claiming SISMI passed on to the CIA, U.S. government officials and Britain's MI6 intelligence services a dossier it knew was forged. ... When foreign intelligence agencies met the documents with skepticism, Pollari used his own contacts in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and an aide to the president's national security adviser to promote the dossier, La Repubblica said, without elaborating.
So the Brits' claim to have had "independent verification" of the yellowcake documents is itself a lie. There was no independent verification -- the only source was a rogue Italian intelligence agent who was willing to tell the PNAC Platoon and Doug Feith's OSP whatever they wanted to hear. As Josh says:
Remember, Pollari had good contacts with folks at Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans. At the end of 2001 one he had attended a secret meeting in Rome with OSP stalwart Harold Rhode, the now-indicted Larry Franklin and neo-con regime-change-everywhere-at-once guru Michael Ledeen.
These are the people that the PNAC Platoon -- Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolton, and the rest -- favored over the actual intelligence-gatherers at the CIA and even the Defense Intelligence Agency. And when their intel was revealed to be bogus, they made the CIA and George Tenet take the fall for it. You didn't expect the CIA to take this lying down, did you? [UPDATE: It looks like Fitzgerald is, as David Corn and others predicted, going to take the Ronnie Earle route: A few indictments now, and a new grand jury to cover all the late-breaking stuff such as the new info on the Niger yellowcake forgeries. Better and better!]

good catch! I wonder if Italy will follow up its request of 13 CIA officers to face trial with a request for a couple of craven politicians to face the music?

(Doubtful, obviously...)
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