Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Forged Yellowcake Documents - How Did We Get Them?

Oct 15, 2001 (shortly after 9/11). Italian Prime minister Berlusconi and SISMI Chief Nicolo Pollari make official visit to Wash. DC

Pollari meets with CIA and provides SISMI dossier containing 'evidence' that Iraq is attempting to purchase yellowcake from Niger. Gave same intel to Great Britain.

The British, the CIA and the US State Department declare the intel to be 'lacking in detail' and 'very limited' in scope.

Feb 2002, the report is resubmitted (description below tells how it got there) to Washington with embellishments. Joe Wilson goes to Niger and then declares the information could not be confirmed.

Sept 2002, Michael Ledeen, Cheney's 'Office of Special Plans' man in Italy sets up secret meeting between SISMI Chief Pollari and Deputy National Security Director Stephan Hadley. (It's not known whether this meeting has anything to do with anything yet, but someone should ask).

Two weeks prior to this meeting Elisabetta Burba of Panorama magazine (owned by Prime Minister Berlusconi) obtained documents from Rocco Martino, a former SISMI officer. He claims to have gotten them from Antonio Nucera, a former SISMI colonel. Nucera had some weird story about a Secretary at the Niger Embassy in Rome being involved.

The documents end up going to the US Embassy instead of the CIA station, thus bypassing agency analysts. They end up directly at the NSC and the Vice Presidents office.

Jan 28, 2003, The famous 16 words about Niger's uranium were used in the Presidents State of the Union address.

What we don't know. Who forged the documents and why? Could SISMI and the Office of Special Plans have been involved? Rocco Martino has stated that Italian and American governments were behind the forgeries.

There is not yet any evidence of an American connection, but there is little doubt that the Office of Special Plans circumvented procedures so that the documents were received by people that wanted to believe them.

Joe Wilson publicly denounced the documents in a New York Times editorial, thus the resulting attack on him and his wife.

I've been following this story closely because this is where the trial of Scooter Libby could eventually lead.

1 comment:

B-Wizz said...

Mmmmm. Yellowcake. Why did Saddam have to go to Niger to get yellow cake? I can stop at the grocery store on the way home, and Betty Crocker'll hook me up...