This story has been around Free Republic longer than you have. How is it Breaking News?
Thanks for posting.
I just did a search on these forged documents. You can read all kinds of insane explanations on the internet as to how the documents in question originated. The Left says Michael Ledeen produced them. After all, he's a neocon.
In other words, we may never have conclusive evidence of who produced them. That doesn't stop people from propounding crazy theories.
The truth is, we never contended that there was a sale made. Never suggested it at all! We said, there was an "attempt" made, a effort as British intel continues to say without reservation, and that info was the fourteen famous words that Wilson and elements in the CIA claim was false. He then went to Niger and came back claiming that there was no evidence of money changing hands, no SALE?????????
Nut balls! The CIA whiners and cohorts are all totally off base on this and are chasing shadows that never were there to begin with. They distorted the truth and are guilty as hell of deceptive comments regarding this and false charges against the admin in time of war for political gains.
All this because of 9/11 and the blame game.
I don't know if it's true or not, although it would not be surprising if it was.
France was protecting her oil supply.
The Americans categorically and systematically refused, in the run-up to the war, to grant the French their oil concessions in post-war Iraq. Whatever the other issues at stake, they were not important enough for the US and Britain to yield on the oil matter sufficiently to get France on board. It would not surprise me that France engaged in a clever document bait and switch to embarrass the US policy, since the US policy was colliding so directly with French interests.
The whole thing could have been resolved had Bush privately spoken to Chirac and said: your current oil concessions? You will have them in the new Iraq too. The price of French ccoperation was the protection of France's Iraqi oil supply. Bush wouldn't pay that price, and so the French did not cooperate, and indeed sought to frustrate US policy.
Nothing surprising about any of this.
My theory (#42)is that this was a collaborative effort by the French and CIA coordinated by Wilson and his second wife, the French "Diplomat". Wilson did not lie when he said he saw the documents.
Also, Rocco only "procured" the documents, he did not forge them. Fitzgerald went to Italy to investigate the Niger Embassy (in Rome) burglary...where the letterhead and seals for the forgeries were stolen. Ex-CIA agent (and coincidentally, an advisor to the Vatican in Rome),Vincent Cannistraro has stated that Alan Wolf and Duane Clarridge were the actual forgers, but his account is the only one available that I can find on the subject. He has also pointed the finger at Michael Ledeen, but Ledeen has publicly made a statement that he had nothing to do with it and demanded an apology from Cannistraro.
In addition, despite what the MSM is reporting, the Italians released a press report yesterday saying they had nothing to do with the forgeries:
This was also backed up by Rocco here
Cannistraro's "theory" falls apart when you consider that he:
1) blamed SISME (the Italians), which has proven to be wrong
2) bases his assumptions on a Dec 2001 Ledeen meeting, when Cannistraro himself was in Rome in Nov 2001, which would make him just as suspect.
I also discovered that Cannistraro worked directly with Clarridge during Iran Contra, so he has alot of nerve bringing that up in connection to Ledeen. Another interesting tidbit (#47) that I discovered is that Wolf and Clarridge worked with Aldrich Ames, who outed Plame to the Russians in the 90's. Coincidence? I think not. Cannistraro trying to kill two birds with one stone to cover his own carcass seems to be the more likely answer. Equally suspicious is the Hersch article, where Cannistraro and another unnamed agent state the exact route the documents took and Cannistraro actually admits that he called the CIA about the documents before they were proven to be false. This begs the question...just how did Cannistraro know about the documents before they were vetted? Sounds a whole lot like Wilson's slip-up about seeing the documents.
Two other names just crept into this...Niger Ambassador Adamou Chekou, who was in charge at the Embassy when the break-in and forgeries occurred and Wissam al-Zahawiah, Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See. Seems Italian Intelligence was eavesdropping on these two and discovered their "hotline".
Did you read that carefully. Holy See? As in Vatican? Where Vincent Cannistraro is the security advisor?
Also take into consideration:
Wilson (as Ambassador to Gabon) had/has connections to the Gabon Chief of State, Omar Bongo, who was the chief African ally of the French oil company TotalFinaElf, a major beneficiary of the Oil-for-Food bribes. Prior to the Iraq War, they had a contract with Saddam's regime worth an estimated 12.5 to 27.0 billion barrels of oil reserves. Also he had connections via the Middle East Institute and Rock Creek, both of which are Saudi controlled.
Wilson's wife Jacqueline was also apparently a lobbyist for Bongo and it seems Wilson was pretty chummy with Saddam's weapons buyer, having dinner with him on the eve that Kuwait was invaded in 1990. That makes it very clear that there are connections to oil-for-food. No wonder Wilson can afford his lifestyle.
I'm not clear how this article precludes French involvement. France knew and used "Giacomo", according to this article. "Giacomo" could have contacted the French with the information that they had these great forged Niger documents.