Skip to comments.Italy blames France for Niger uranium claim
Posted on 09/06/2004 11:02:25 AM PDT by parnasokan
Translation from Italian of the article entitled Cosi Chirac voleva incastrare Berlusconi, originally published in LIBERO on Sunday 9 august 2004
How Chirac tried to frame Berlusconi Sunday, 09 August 2004 The proof of an attempt by the french services to discredit Italy and the Usa over Iraq by RENATO FARINA The english secretely photographed him. The journalists of the Sunday Times then published his photo on the front page on the 1st of August. With his identity blown hes now practically dead. This wasnt the agreement, write the article yes but show the face on the front page no. In the article hes given credit, fine, but publishing the photograph is a dangerous game. Speaking to Libero a close friend of his let us know that he immediately decided to run for cover in America. Hes looking for protection because he knows a lot of things. He also knows that he might no longer be of use. The Prosecutors office in Rome are looking for him, theyre the nice guys compared to others that might be looking for him. Who might the others be? We have an idea: the French, thier secret services. Hes been burnt and his memory could be a missile launcher pointed towards Chiracs country and its intelligence services. At the end of the day Rocco Martino, for thats our mans name, has always been for sale, and they well know it. Since he became a part of this foggy world he knew that he would have to take risks. Coming into possession of documents, earning something on top and pretending to to serve his country and humanity in general. Well worn cynicism. He entered Sid in the seventies but was thrown out after a short time. Over the last thirty years hes been a source to many, a mercenary, a 007 of adventure and disadventure. At the end of the nineties he moved to Brussels where he recently presented himself to Nicholas Rufford and Nick Fielding, reporters from the Sunday Times, as "Giacomo". «White haired, suntanned and with a moustache» he told how he was the decisive "hand" in the uranium from Niger hoax. Seventeen documents from which emerged 500 tons of traffic between sub saharan africa and mesopotamia. The most important spy affair since the fall of the soviet empire. Devised to be used against Saddam it then became a trap for the B trio, Bush, Blair and Berlusconi. Rich pickings for the progressive of scoop orientated media. The thesis fomulated by "Giacomo" for the occassion is the following: the material is Italian, produced by our military secret services, Sismi. Playing on the zeal of Berlusconi to serve Blair e Bush, but not wanting to expose themselves directly our 007s used him to distribute it. Rocco tried to place it with Elisabetta Burba of Panorama who, having a number of doubts, passed it to the american embassy so as they could verify it. Following this the americans analyse the documents but are induced to accept them as true by french confermation and converging information coming from the english (who recieved the same documents from the French but with the order not to reveal the source). An incredible fragility of the anglo-american services but also a game of three cards on the part of the French. The end result was the inclusion by Bush of the famous 16 words in his State of the Union address of the 28th january 2003: it was a certainty that Iraq was seeking uranium in an african country. Only in march would the documents emerge as fakes. (The documents, attention. But the reality of the attempts? At the end of the day whats better than preemptively discrediting the truth?) Now "Giacomo", alias Rocco Martino, is ready to explain his story. In synthesis: «I received a telephone call from an ex collegue from Sismi. He told me that a woman from the Niger embassy in Rome had a gift for me. I met her and she gave me the documents. The people from Sismi wanted me to disseminate them and that no-one should ever know that they were involved. Behind all of this there were Italians and Americans together. It was a disinformation operation».
The proof? "Giacomo" shows a briefcase which contains a cd-rom. It contains names, recordings, everything. But he wants ten thousand dollars. The Sunday Times doesnt pay and the story ends there, but they believe him. Thier article will be an accusation of Sismi and of the Italian government. The war in Iraq was our fault. False, a thousand times false. I perceived this immediately. Rocco asks for a meeting in Brussels, risking everything then - knowing perfectly well that that the Sunday doesnt pay asks for money. Above all only ten thousand dollars! The proof of the conspiracy of the century for a miserable sum. The same sum, never paid, was asked of Elisabetta Burba from Panorama. Ten thousand dollars a year, above all never paid: is this the pay of a 007? In reality Rocco Martino was maintained by others. We are able to provide two photographs taken in different circumstances last autumn in Bruxelles. An officer of the french secret services publishing the name would be too dangerous for the individual meets Rocco Martino. They have a long conversation and documents, that is money, change hands. Then again its known that Rocco Martino has been paid by the French since 1999. His friend wants to save his life and so talks. He says: «the documents were bought by Rocco on behalf of and in the name of the french services in the autumn of 2000. The documents were supplied by an official of the Niger government. Theyve been circulating since 2000...». This way perhaps no-one will feel the necessity to silence him any more and Rocco might be able to hand himself over to the magistrates in Rome. One small step back in time. When "Giacomo" decided to meet the journalists from the Sunday Times he ad already worked with the american tv chanel Cbs. Theres a world thats trying to prove that the alliance is a corrupt one, the 3B alliance (Bush, Blair and Berlusconi) is based on systematic falsifications aimed at conditioning public opinion in favour of decisions that have already been made. In this anti-3B operation a role is played by Chiracs government and those of the progressive-democratic orientation that want to change the way things are run in America. Politicians (for example Jay Rockfeller), media, retired Cia agents are al involved. In addition to the Cbs, heavily involved in these activities, is the Washington Monthly. We are able to reconstruct two fields of action in the anti-3B brotherhood. The first is that of Rocco Martino, but we have already explained it. The second is more complicated. Its based upon the source of the false documents being Michael Ledeen and a weapons dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar, individual involved in the Iran-Contra case. Particularly active are the Washington Monthly (Joshua Marshall and Laura Rozen) and the Talking Points Memo group. They announced being on the trail of shocking documents which would prove a meeting in Rome in the winter of 2002 between Ledeen one of the most known neoconservatives close to Bush - Ghorbanifar and Iranian dissidents. They were allegidlly joined by the Italian Defence Minister, Antonio Martino, and the head of the Italian Military Secret Services, Niccolò Pollari (indicated trough rank but not named), as well as members of the American governemnt. Basically on that occassion all was organised. Its a pity then that the American Congress made public the fact that it was Sismi who informed both the Italian and American governments in regards to these meetings (information that obviously did not include the two Italians) of which not even the american embassy know of. The meetings resulted quite innocent, emphasized only in order to blaken Bush and his team. In reality the French did everything possibile to promote the idea of commerce between Niger and Iraq. Niger belongs to them. Its not easy to understand if deliberately or not they fabbricated a large number of banana skins for Bush. In the autumn of 2002 Bushs war machine is ready to move, the decision has been made. At this point France moves on two different levels. First Rocco Martino is mobilised. He contacts Elisabetta Burba, he supplies material mixing real and false documents. Its a trap. On october 9th Burba consigns the Niger dossier to the Cia in Romes Via Veneto. While these documents are under exam the general director of "counter proliferation" at the french Ministry of Foreign affairs tells the american State Department that «his country is in possession of information that indicates that Iraq was trying to acquire uranio from Niger». Its November 22nd 2002. This decleration is contained in the Senate report published last month. In the same report its revealed that on march 4th 2003 «the government of the United States learned that France based its original analysis of Iraqs attempts to procure uranium in Niger from the same documents that the USA supplied to the Iaea». On the 7th of march Baradei declared the documents false. Excellent timing. Its rather interesting that even before Baradei made his decleration some ex-CIA agents, through thier web site Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity-Vips, had alreaady made it known that the dossier had been manipulated. Today these same people act as (anti-Bush) sources for progressive reporters. And what about our Rocco Martino? Hes in America. It was he who took the French the first authentic documents regarding Niger to the French in 1999. They got greedy. In the autumn of 2000 he bought on thier commission the false ones. He tryed to serve them to the last but he slipped, a big risk. His best course of action would be to consign himself to the Italian magistrates. And the French? They should reply to two little questions. What use did they make of the documents in the autumn of 2000 and in october 2002? And: arent they ashamed?
I think Berlusconi should "incastrare" Chirac. (No, I don't know what "incastrare" means, but it sounds good right now.)
Rough read without enough paragraph breaks, but very interesting.
Shouldn't something be done about the word "Niger"?
Credulous dupes gain international renown. They read like flattered wannabe insiders.
On the 7th of march Baradei declared the documents false. Excellent timing. Its rather interesting that even before Baradei made his decleration some ex-CIA agents, through thier web site Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity-Vips, had alreaady made it known that the dossier had been manipulated.
Hmm...maybe possible DGSE agent "Niger Mint Tea" was incautiously honest when he said he "proved" the documents were forgeries before the IAEA did, and his later expression of "confusion" an after-the-fact deflection.
Hey, if that's what they wanna call their coutry, who are we to argue. ;o)
God bless our troops wherever they may be.
"I don't want to even go there."
No, we don't need to. LOL.
Thanks for posting this. I'm trying to find the original Italian article but the link only takes me to the front page of the current paper, and they don't seem to have an archives search function on that page. Do you have a link to the page with the article?
In this anti-3B operation a role is played by Chiracs government and those of the progressive-democratic orientation that want to change the way things are run in America. Politicians (for example Jay Rockfeller), media, retired Cia agents are al involved. In addition to the Cbs, heavily involved in these activities, is the Washington Monthly. We are able to reconstruct two fields of action in the anti-3B brotherhood. The first is that of Rocco Martino, but we have already explained it. The second is more complicated. Its based upon the source of the false documents being Michael Ledeen and a weapons dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar, individual involved in the Iran-Contra case. Particularly active are the Washington Monthly (Joshua Marshall and Laura Rozen) and the Talking Points Memo group. They announced being on the trail of shocking documents which would prove a meeting in Rome in the winter of 2002 between Ledeen one of the most known neoconservatives close to Bush - Ghorbanifar and Iranian dissidents. They were allegidlly joined by the Italian Defence Minister, Antonio Martino, and the head of the Italian Military Secret Services, Niccolò Pollari (indicated trough rank but not named), as well as members of the American governemnt.
Interesting if true and not another psyop itself. Some stuff on Ghorbanifar:
Then he has at me once again on Ghorbanifar. Like those at CIA who stereotyped Ghorbanifar as a near-total, pathological liar, Draper just can't bring himself to look honestly at the evidence. For what does Mr. Draper use as proof of Ghorbanifar's mendacity? He cites the trip to Tehran in the spring of 1986, when "Ghorbanifar was blamed by the Americans for having deceived both sides about what each was prepared to do ."
June 2003 Complete Iraq timeline
The Pentagon Office of Special Plans sends two Defense officials, Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin, to Paris where they secretly meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms trader who had been a central figure in the Iran-Contra affair. Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute is said to have arranged the meeting, which is not authorized by the White House. [Newsday, 8/9/03; Washington Post, 8/9/03 Sources: A senior official interviewed by Newsday] It appears that the purpose of the meeting is to undermine a pending deal that the White House is negotiating with the Iranian government. Iran is considering turning over five al-Qaeda operatives in exchange for Washington dropping its support for Mujahadeen Khalq, an Iraq-based rebel Iranian group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department. The Office of Special Plans is reportedly interested in using this group to help destabilize Iran?s government. [Newsday, 8/9/03; Inter Press Service, 8/7/03] When Secretary of State Colin Powell gets wind of its activities, he complains directly to the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying that Feith's missions are against US policy. [Newsday, 8/9/03; Washington Post, 8/9/03]
People and organizations involved: Michael Ledeen, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode
What was international man of mystery Manucher Ghorbanifar up to when he met with top Pentagon experts on Iran? In a NEWSWEEK interview in Paris last month, Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian spy who helped launch the Iran-contra affair, says one of the things he discussed with Defense officials Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin at meetings in Rome in December 2001 (and in Paris last June with only Rhode) was regime change in Iran. . .In Congress, investigations into the Ghorbanifar story have sparked partisan tensions. Democrats want to know if the Ghorbanifar contacts are evidence of "rogue" espionage by a secretive Pentagon unit that allegedly dealt with controversial Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi; Republicans want to know whether the CIA refused to meet with potential informants merely because the middlemanGhorbanifarwas someone the agency distrusted. A Defense official says any discussion that Ghorbanifar had with Pentagon experts about regime change was a "one-way conversation."
Why? What's wrong with it. It rhymes with TIGER.
If I'm reading this right, this is dynamite.
I'm going to send it to Rush (who will be back on the air tomorrow). Maybe he can illuminate us about what it really means.
I don't know if that's what ultimately got Franklin in trouble or not, but it does seem possible someone was gunning for him--VIPS et al propagandists have definitely been gunning for Ledeen & Co. using the Ghorbanifar angle--and in any case it's certainly interesting he shows up in this context.
CyberAnt wrote: "It rhymes with TIGER."
Well, I don't like the French any more than you probably
do but the correct pronunciation, at least among Nigerians, is
"neeJAIR" as in Pierre...
Guess which story on Iraq 60 minutes bumped so they could run the infamous Bush National Guard story?
"A team of 60 Minutes correspondents and consulting reporters spent more than six months investigating the Niger uranium documents fraud, CBS sources tell NEWSWEEK. The group landed the first ever on-camera interview with Elisabetta Burba, the Italian journalist who first obtained the phony documents, as well as her elusive source, Rocco Martino, a mysterious Roman businessman with longstanding ties to European intelligence agencies."
Also in that article:
"A French government official told NEWSWEEK that Martino also had a relationship with French intelligence agencies. But the French official rejected suggestions from U.S. and British officials that French intelligence may have played a role in creating the documents in order to embarrass Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair."
Thanks for posting for others' info.
And your analysis:
The docs were not planted by someone who wanted to support the war, they were planted by someone who wanted to undermine the basis for war. These are the same forged docs that Wilson claimed to have knowledge of...before they were even in CIA possession...a claim he later retracted and said he must have "misspoke".
Is spot on.
It's not a coincidence CBS had this in its "bring down Bush" packet of stories in the weeks before the election. Their angle was going to be how the WH had been duped by forgeries. The truth was as soon as CIA headquarters (stateside) got them here in February 2003---after the SOTU---they quickly raised questions about their authenticity and turned over to the IAEA. In the wake of CBS themselves being taken in by forgeries they realized that angle wasn't going to play as well as originally planned so it was scrapped.
"CyberAnt wrote: "It rhymes with TIGER."
Well, I don't like the French any more than you probably
do but the correct pronunciation, at least among Nigerians, is
"neeJAIR" as in Pierre...
Niger and Nigeria are different countries. Please look at a map. I'm also remined of Churchill's demand that his officers quit calling placenames in foreign toungue. He said he didn't want to ever hear 'Roma', or 'Paree' ever again. Niger as in tiger is just the Anglicized way of saying it. Otherwise someone should inform Nee Jair Innes that his parents named him incorrectly and he should start being a little more PC about the way he pronounces his own name.
Oh, please. We don't say "Paris" as the French do, either.
Niger pronounced "Nijer" works for me better than "Neejair".
As to Niger and Nigeria...I know that and you know that, but other pundits and even officials have made the same mistake so you can ratchet down your disdain a notch or three.
MSNBC already did.
In the Senate Intelligence Committee report mentions that the FBI was conducting an investigation into foriegn government manipulation in this matter. Senator Rockefeller specifically asked that the matter not be discussed, therefore none of this was included in the report.
Does anybody know the status of the investigation?
Seems to me the dems managed to sweep it under the rug for a while.
Hmmmmm? Then how come they're not "neeJAIR"IANS" instead of NIE-JERE-IANS ..??
Interesting story along similar lines in an Australian paper a while ago. Writer's conclusion: The French set the whole thing up to discredit the US and Britain.
Thanks for the link. Interesting story. Didn't this reporter get his MSM talking points?
I was thinking about that last night as well. I've read there are some who still want to run the story that got killed.
Thanks for the link to the Telegraph article; I hadn't seen that one.