Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Two Scoops 

Courtesy of our perspicacious colleague Jonathan Schwarz at A Tiny Revolution: If his ex-CIA source is telling the truth, Justin Raimondo has a spectacular double scoop at AntiWar.com. An investigative report prepared by an Italian parliamentary committee has identified the forgers of the bogus documents that indicated Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. And if that doesn't tantalize you, try this on for size -- Patrick Fitzgerald has asked for, and received, an unredacted copy of the report:
[T]he former CIA officer tells me:

"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."

Alan Wolf died about a year and a half ago of cancer. He served as chief of the CIA's Near East Division as well as the European Division, and was also CIA chief of station in Rome after Clarridge. According to my source, "he and Clarridge and Ledeen were all very close and also close to Chalabi." The former CIA officer says Wolf "was Clarridge's Agency godfather. Significantly, both Clarridge and Wolf also spent considerable time in the Africa division, so they both had the Africa and Rome connection and both were close to Ledeen, closing the loop" . . . .

The story of how the Niger uranium forgeries got past all the safeguards, how the actual documents were never seen by the CIA until after the president's 2003 speech, and who was pushing to include a reference to Saddam's alleged efforts to procure uranium in "an African nation" as one of the president's major talking points – these are all subjects of interest to a prosecutor attempting to prove charges of conspiracy to lie us into war. There must be a special law that covers government employees, including high officials, who transmit tainted information and poison the well of U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts. I'm sure Fitzgerald will have no trouble finding it.
Raimondo's source also claims that Fitzgerald has asked the Italians for permission to share the report with the prosecutor in the AIPAC case. In December of 2001 Larry Franklin, who has since confessed to spying for Israel, accompanied Ledeen and Harold Rhode to Rome, where the three of them met with Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar and the head of the Italian intelligence agency SISMI.

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