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Posted on 12/03/2005 1:17:55 PM PST by parnasokan


INCREDIBLE, the FBI is opening a new front in the Nigergate affair. Thanks to the efforts of Free Republic the Niger-gate affair is at last heading in the right direction. As reported in the Los Angeles Times (,0,4700538.story?coll=la-home-headlines), albeit in their ‘own way’, the FBI has decided to continue its investigations into the false documents that lie at the heart of the affair. The FBI will continue its investigation working alongside the Italian SISMI, the results, according to qualified sources, will not be long in the coming. The investigation will concentrate on two aspects of the affair: 1) identifying who is behind the forgeries and what their motives were and 2) who in a second moment attempted to gain from the affair. An Italian news agency quoted a qualified intelligence source as saying “The investigations are also aimed at asserting who, and for what reasons, tried to accredit the responsibility to the Italian authorities and through this damage the institutions”. This is fantastic, what the official is saying is that the members of the media (and we know who they mean) who took part in the crusade aimed at damaging Italy’s security apparatus and thus it’s government and thus the security of an allied nation are going to be ‘named and shamed’. Are we about to see a few new indictments? What we will definitely see are a lot less smiles in certain circles.

The news wires are reporting that the pressure applied by a group of Senators, including John Rockefeller, has induced the FBI to further investigate the matter. Initially the FBI concluded that the forgeries were simply the work of a trickster who wanted to make some fast cash, now they are going to go all the way down the line. This is going to be interesting, what’s being said is that initially there was very little suspicion of political manoeuvring, the FBI are now doing a rethink and are examining exactly this: what is the REAL STORY behind the long and drawn out affair. Who stood to gain, who tried to manipulate through lies, falsities, insinuations and outright untruths. Put in simple terms the FBI are now looking at the affair as an attempt to influence American foreign policy and an attempt to create internal damage.

It gets better: according to media reports the FBI is concentrating on a line that places numerous individuals, including US citizens, in relation to the affair surrounding the forgeries. So the FBI concluded some time back that the Italian SISMI had nothing to do with the forgeries and is now examining an internal front. This is news. Shame on the lie mongers who tried, and are still trying, to place the blame on one the principal allies of the US. The FBI have asked for help from the Italians so the days of malicious lies and deceit from certain blogs and certain MSM are over. Finished. Well almost, the FBI will be asking some folks a lot of questions, why they disseminated lies, why they pointed fingers and why, above all, did they try to damage a key allied government and their own administration.

Free Republic has played an important role in all of this, we should be satisfied that by helping the truth to emerge (the REAL truth, not the invented truths of the liars) the FBI has opened a new and crucial front into the entire affair. All of this should make us PROUD. We were the first to say that SISMI was innocent, that Rocco Martino was working for Paris and that bloggers, journalists and ‘associates’ were spreading lies. We were the first to open the ‘French Connection’ and the first to look at it in detail (see most recent postings). By its actions and through its decisions the FBI has proved us all correct. This is a triumph for the truth, I fear that those who were saying the same thing about their own actions are going to have to eat their words.

Lets keep posting. Interesting times indeed.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: cialeak; italy; niger; probe; usa
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To: quidnunc
No...YOU get a grip on the story and then maybe you'll know just WTH you are talking about. Fedora's research can be found at the link below:

Wilsongate: Motive, Means, and Opportunity

My theory (which is actually dated now, but still in play):

My theory (#42)is that this was a collaborative effort by the French and CIA coordinated by Wilson. Jacqueline, (Joe's his second wife), was a French diplomat and may have provided the connections for Wilson to see the forged documents that were supplied by the French through the Italians. In other words it is possible that Wilson knew that the docs were forged because he was privy to the information that French wanted to discredit the British info on Saddam shopping for yellowcake and that Wilson's objective was the same. The French just happen to manage the yellowcake production in Niger.

Therefore, Wilson did not lie when he said he saw the documents.

Per a thread by Fedora:

French intelligence soon began a campaign to discredit the US case for war against Iraq. In 1999, French intelligence had begun investigating the security of uranium supplies in Niger, where uranium production was controlled by a consortium led by the French mining company COGEMA, a division of the French state-owned nuclear energy firm AREVA. At that time, Italian businessman Rocco Martino provided French intelligence with genuine documents revealing that Iraq was planning to expand trade with Niger. French intelligence took an interest in the documents and asked Martino to provide more information. In 2000 he used a contact in the Niger embassy in Rome to provide French intelligence with documents purporting that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger. These documents were later exposed as forgeries;

< snip >

Since it is now also known that French intelligence was trying to push Martino’s forgeries on US and British intelligence, as simultaneously the Democratic National Committee was planning to discredit President Bush’s Iraq policy by accusing his administration of manufacturing evidence against Hussein’s regime, heightened suspicion is cast on Wilson’s use of the Niger investigation to discredit the Bush administration’s case for war.

What Wilson Didn’t Say About Africa

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:

Italy denies role in fake documents on Iraq

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.

Hersch also claims in the above linked article:

Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, “Somebody deliberately let something false get in there.” He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.
A more reliable source, Joe diGenova claims it was a possible CIA coup as well. As does James Lewis in two articles, here and here

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?

And speaking of al Zahawie, he was also apparently clairvoyant:

JANUARY 2003 : (AL ZAHAWIE, "RETIRED IN JORDAN" - IS RECALLED BACK TO BAGHDAD, IRAQ; HE IS TAKEN TO MEET UN WEAPONS INSPECTORS) But last January, al-Zahawie was summoned back to Baghdad for what he had expected would be a request to help Iraq's Foreign Service plan for deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz's planned visit to the Vatican. Instead, upon landing in Baghdad, al-Zahawie was taken to meet with UN weapons inspectors. Five inspectors interviewed him in a 90-minute session, he says.

"They asked why I went [to Niger], why I was chosen, when I left Rome and whether there were any other Iraqi diplomats at the Vatican," he says. "But then they asked who had the seal of the embassy and where I had left it." That's when al-Zahawie got wind of some kind of foul play. Italy had handed over cables from al-Zahawie to the Niger government announcing the trip, and other documents had pointed to his presence in Niger. But the inspectors were particularly interested in a July 6, 2000, document bearing al-Zahawie's signature, concerning a proposed uranium transaction. The inspectors refused to show him the letter, he says, but al-Zahawie was sure he had never written it. "If they had such a letter, it had to have been a forgery," he says. The tell-tale signs of the forgery were quite obvious, he stresses. [* My note: How would he know the 'tell-tale sign' if they refused to show the letters to him? Shades of Joe Wilson's foreknowledge of the docs?]

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. She is now an advisor to Bongo, her picture from a 2005 conference can be found here That makes it very clear that there are connections to oil-for-food. No wonder Wilson can afford his lifestyle.

Source: Posts 21 and 22

If you want to see how much research Freepers have done on this story, just click on the CIALEAK link.

Bottom line:

Educate yourself. As the saying goes "Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way". The lead positions have been taken already by Fedora, Peach, Enchante, myself and others who have been following this story and doing the research so I guess that only leaves you two choices.

41 posted on 12/05/2005 2:23:20 PM PST by ravingnutter
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To: ravingnutter
ravingnutter wrote: No...YOU get a grip on the story and then maybe you'll know just WTH you are talking about. Fedora's research can be found at the link below:


That's not research, that's selective article-clipping in support of conspiracy crankery.

As a retired police officer I know something about investigations, and just between you, me and the gatepost there aren't any happening here on Free Republic.

42 posted on 12/05/2005 2:37:26 PM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: quidnunc

Oh, really...maybe you forgot about Buckhead and various other Freepers who have taken the media down a notch or two. And I have a bit of an investigations background as well, so that doesn't make you anyone special. As an investigator, you should know you have to venture past the gatepost, you dismissed our research without even bothering to read it. If you don't have any more respect for FR than that, I would suggest you take the latter alternative I suggested when it comes to this investigation. Don't bother to come on these threads if all you are going to do is snipe. Buh-bye now...

43 posted on 12/05/2005 3:05:35 PM PST by ravingnutter
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To: parnasokan

It took a long time for this thread to show up here.

44 posted on 12/07/2005 12:28:12 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: Wristpin

"The interesting question is how did Joe Wilson know about them before they were in the custody of the US State Dept???????????"

Loose lips sink ships?

45 posted on 12/07/2005 12:30:34 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: parnasokan

What's the deal with nobody posting any LINKS today?

46 posted on 12/07/2005 12:31:18 PM PST by Howlin ("Victory is not a strategy. " ``Jack Murtha 11/18/05)
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To: Wristpin; McGavin999
Rockefeller asked?


47 posted on 12/07/2005 12:32:10 PM PST by Howlin ("Victory is not a strategy. " ``Jack Murtha 11/18/05)
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To: shield

True dat.

48 posted on 12/07/2005 12:33:01 PM PST by Howlin ("Victory is not a strategy. " ``Jack Murtha 11/18/05)
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To: Sam Hill


49 posted on 12/07/2005 12:34:08 PM PST by Howlin ("Victory is not a strategy. " ``Jack Murtha 11/18/05)
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To: DJ Taylor

"...the first rule of a coup is that you must kill the King, because if you fail, your a$$ is grass and the King has the lawn mower."

Is that from Machiavelli?

50 posted on 12/07/2005 12:43:22 PM PST by Busywhiskers ("...moral principle, the sine qua non of an orderly society." --Judge Edith H. Jones)
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To: shield

Rockefeller is hoping they can blame this on Chalabi - or better yet, Cheney.

51 posted on 12/07/2005 12:55:21 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: Peach

Don't get your hopes up and stop padding yourself on the back. You're making the assumption that it was the media or individuals that congered up the forged documents in order to purposely embarrass the Italian and/or the White House.

But what if was the White House that intentially cycled through various other intelligence agency a report that would confirm Iraq's allege seek for Uranium. This would have everyone saying that Iraq did...and it did follow that script...the Brits stated it as well as everyone else.

I am NOT saying that this happend, NOR do I think it happened. I'm a FREEPER. But if this were the case, even a hint of it, then the FBI investigation would be horrible rather than a big thanks. And judging what the damn CIA has been doing the Administration, I wouldn't be surprised if the FBI would twist their findings only to be exacerbated by the MSM.

Bottomline is this: there was an unhinged network of people epitomized by AQ Kahn who sought to build the Islamic bomb. That network was a proxy for nationstates to get their hands on the technology without having their fingerprints on it. And once word got out that Pakistan and Iran were racing to built, the competition was on for everyone else to use that network to keep their own balance of power.

I think Rocco Martino knew this, but didn't have updated, fresh intelligence to prove (and profit) from. And so the forgery...something that, itself, is false, but the claim still might be true...something like what Rathergate was all about.

Iraq and Saddam's chief concern was always Iran, not the U.S. He miscalculated the U.S. in its conviction to finally do something. But, ironically, his view of Iran is proving everyday even more correct.


52 posted on 12/07/2005 1:38:19 PM PST by Intellectual Jarhead (Bad ass devil dog.)
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To: Busywhiskers

"...the first rule of a coup is that you must kill the King, because if you fail, your a$$ is grass and the King has the lawn mower."
"Is that from Machiavelli?"

I don't think it's from Machiavelli, because Da Vinci had not yet invented the lawnmower };-)

53 posted on 12/07/2005 2:09:55 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: paperjam


54 posted on 12/07/2005 2:13:10 PM PST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: Wil H
Rockerfeller is hiding in plain sight, like a fox mingling with the Beagle pack at a hunt.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller III loves to pretend.

55 posted on 12/07/2005 4:43:28 PM PST by syriacus (People who seem "nutty" can STILL be dangerous bombers -- Edw. Leary firebombed NYC subway 1994)
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To: syriacus

Rockerfeller is under investigation by the Senate Ethics committee -- that has been going on for quite a while now. There has been no report on this at all. It relates to his memo; he should be under investigation by the Justice Department as well.....but, I don't think that is happening.

56 posted on 12/07/2005 4:45:43 PM PST by Laverne
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To: okie01

"If it is Rockefeller that is pushing for the investigation to be re-opened, I smell a rat."

The spin will be that the documents were forged at the request of Chalabi or some neocon.

57 posted on 12/07/2005 5:18:59 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: parnasokan

For additional discussion of this subject, check "Rogue CIA Agents in on Niger Forgeries":

Extremely interesting further discussion.

58 posted on 12/08/2005 6:39:16 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: Intellectual Jarhead

"But what if was the White House that intentially cycled through various other intelligence agency a report that would confirm Iraq's allege seek for Uranium."

That is exactly the spin that some people have been trying to put on this for years. But I don't think we have to worry about it - yet.

59 posted on 12/08/2005 8:11:09 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: stocksthatgoup
December 08, 2005
Italian In Black

Don't you hate reading government documents that have been redacted? Isn't it annoying that they always conceal all the juicy parts? It sure is: that's their job. Which is why the following revelations seem rather odd to me and may say a thing or two about what is really going on in the story of Niger, the CIA, blatant forgeries, a man named Rocco, his motherland Italy, and last but not least… France.

There has been much speculation ever since the SSCI released their report back in July 2004 about where the forgeries came from and why. The sometimes heavily redacted report sure keeps us guessing about key details behind the entire story. Except it seems the CIA were oddly careless in certain passages relating to what Wilson had told the SSCI, and the CIA's response. The following passage appears in the SSCI report on pages 44-45:

Third, the former ambassador noted that his CIA contacts told him there were documents pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and that the source of the information was the [redacted] intelligence service. The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from [redacted] intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal.

I have long wondered how Wilson could have known about the source of the reporting he was sent to investigate when the CIA claims they did not tell him. Oh, wait, his wife worked at the CIA. Now I remember… So who is this redacted source? Well apparently the CIA weren't too concerned with you, me, or anyone else knowing. Have a look:


I took a screenshot of the SSCI report PDF, put it into Photoshop, discovered the font settings to use (Times New Roman, 21px, 105% horizontal spacing) and lo and behold, it matched perfectly (sans document warpage) when I typed straight over the sentences. Obviously it will only match if the word that is blocked out matches the spacing perfectly. The only logical words that fit in the sentence, the context which we can clearly see since only a single word is redacted, are "Italian" or for those conspiracy theorists out there, "Israeli". British, French, MI6, DGSE, American, no other logical words work with the spacing, and I went through the entire list of world countries and checked that indeed, only these two nations fit, with "Indian" coming very close.

By the power invested in me, I will dare to claim that the word being redacted is "Italian".

So why is it that the CIA left this passage wide open for a completely ordinary person such as myself (OK, maybe I'm not a complete dunce when it comes to computers) to easily crack?

There have been several press reports alleging that the Italians were behind this, but none of them have been very assertive about it. Well, unless you count in Michael Smith, of Downing Street Memo fame, who wrote an article last month asserting the following:

In October 2001, as Bush launched his war on terror, the CIA raised the yellowcake affair in its intelligence assessments for the first time. Its information came, however, from Italian sources, not French.

The CIA cited the Italian intelligence service as saying that Niger had agreed to send several tons of uranium to Iraq. There was little detail in the report and the State Department dismissed it as “highly suspect”.

Michael Smith, as I understood it, is some what of a documents expert. Did he do the same thing I did to figure this out? Well, this is what he wrote next:

Indeed, western intelligence officials say now that the Italians had told the Americans to treat it with caution and that there was no evidence that any uranium had changed hands.

Who are these "western intelligence officials"? It wouldn't happen to be the French would it? Or has Michael Smith passed off figuring out the contents of the documents as I have done and instead sourced it to "western intelligence officials"? Who knows.

Here are some interesting questions to ponder, which I will be covering later:

  • Why was the CIA so sloppy with the SSCI report covering the Italians?
  • Was the original reporting from the Italians, or was it really from the French?
  • The French allege that Rocco Martino was not working for them (opposite of what Martino claims), but for the Italian intelligence agency SISMI (from which Martino was fired back in the 1980s…). If that is the case, why was SISMI shadowing Martino continuously throughout 2002 through 2004?
  • The former French intelligence chief, Chouet, alleges that the CIA had the forged documents as early as July 2002 and knew they were forgeries at that time. If that is the case, why did the CIA's CPD, the division Valerie Plame worked for, not provide any reports to the CIA or others about this?
  • In fact, the CPD were sent the forged documents from the embassy in Rome on October 15, 2002. However, they never made any reports about it, and did not pass them on to WINPAC, CIA's non-clandestine side. Why did CPD sit on the forged documents and not tell anyone about them?
  • Why did WINPAC have to get the forged documents from INR, and not from CPD? Why was WINPAC not made aware of the existence of the documents more than a week before the president's SOTU?
  • The INR also received the documents from the embassy in Rome in mid-October. INR analysts were suspicious and thought that the documents were a hoax. If that is so, why didn't the INR's views on the documents get to WINPAC and higher-ups in INR and the State Department?
  • Carl W. Ford Jr. was the director of the INR at the time, and would have been the one to report on this on to the State Department, such as Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage. Did he do so?
  • Why was the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Nonproliferation telling the US government on November 22, 2002 that they had intelligence showing that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium from Niger?
  • Why was Naval Intelligence told by a [redacted] source that uranium from Niger was being stored in a warehouse in Cotonou, Benin on November 25, 2002, which turned out to be a boondoggle?
  • Why did a foreign intelligence service (who?) report to the CIA on January 27, 2003 (the day before the SOTU) that the previous Naval Intelligence story was not true, and then reaffirm that they had intelligence from 1999 showing that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger?

Facts that relate to the questions above:

  • Carl W. Ford Jr. is the person who gave Undersecretary Marc Grossman the famous INR memo on June 10, 2003 after a request on more information about the ambassador leaking to the press. Where he included the information about Wilson's wife.
  • Richard Armitage is suspected by Newsweek and others to be Bob Woodward's leaker.
  • Persons present at the meeting that Valerie Plame convened to talk to Wilson about his trip to Niger were from the INR and the CIA.
  • Wilson is a former ambassador to former French colonies, and Plame said to her superiors that he had good contacts with the French. Wilson's former wife is French.
  • The British got intelligence from the French regarding uranium and Niger that they were not allowed to provide to the Americans, which was part of the British base of evidence used for their white paper in September 2002.

For some interesting articles, here's one written by the former director of DGSE, the French intelligence agency, where he tries to discount the Italians' account of what happened. Here's one from 2004 pointing out Rocco Martino's testimony to a grand jury in Italy that he was on the payroll of DGSE during this time, which the former French intelligence chief denies. Here are two other articles from Italian newspapers mounting a rebuttal to the former DGSE chief's article, from Il Foglio and from Il Giornale.

I wonder if we'll ever get to the bottom of this spy thriller.

Posted by George at December 8, 2005 03:25 AM

60 posted on 12/12/2005 6:59:51 AM PST by MilleniumBug (Pattycake, Pattycake, Wilson's the man...Bake me a yellowboy fast as you can.)
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