Dec 07 2005

Rogue CIA Agents In On Niger Forgeries?

Published by at 12:03 am under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Reader Snapple pointed us to the latest news article to come from the Italian newspaper Il Giornale. There smashing reporting was sighted in previous posts here and here, where we lay out the proposal the CIA had Wilson out in Niger to buy out the leaders of the coup d’etat in 1999, and later in 2002 to make sure everyone kept calm and quiet while the US was checking out Iraq’s attempts to acquire uranium yellow cake.

Well, the Italian news media have been monitoring the joint FBI-SISMI investigation into the role of the Niger forgeries (which now appear to have come from France, manager of the uranium mines in Gabon and Niger, benefactor in Saddam’s Oil For Food program and the one nation adamant about not having Saddam toppled (and all his dirty secrets aired). This is amazing stuff, and points to some possible coordination with rogue CIA agents.

Amazingly, an ex-US Ambassador with a French wife working in the French government, with strong ties to the nations running uranium mines, would be a great asset in this kind of covert operation.

The United States and Italy will carry out a joint investigation into the Niger-gate affair, the decision was announced by the Director of SISMI, Nicolò Pollari, on 3 November (not, as reported by La Repubblica, the 24 November) during a hearing of the Copaco Commission. The investigations will focus on discovering the truth behind the documents that emerged from the Niger embassy in Rome, the role played by Rocco Martino (the spy paid by the French) and the conduct of a number of Italian and American citizens whose activities are only now beginning to emerge.

According to indiscretions circulating in various, including judicial, environments the individuals under investigation attempted to obtain information on people and the activities of the Italian Intelligence Services. The activities conducted by SISMI are classified and covered by state secrecy laws. The investigation is examining the attempt to acquire information classified as ‘top secret’ through having corrupted a government official with access to archives and databases belonging to the State. Counterespionage activities have already begun and the FBI will now take part in them. The Bureau has been criticised for not having interrogated Rocco Martino while he was in the United States. The freelance spy arrived in the USA in somewhat unusual circumstances with the help and assistance of a group of individuals who – to all intents, effects and purposes – planned his ‘disappearance’ from Italy while he was under observation and the investigators were preparing to interrogate him.

There very few people trained to get a spy who is under investigation out of his native country unseen. Even fewer can get him into the US. Most of those who could work or used to work for the CIA.

La Repubblica also seems to forget that Rocco Martino did not have a ‘casual’ or ‘occasional’ relationship with the spies from the DGSE but a constant one, one which did not simply concentrate on information regarding the Balkans but included delicate issues concerning parliamentary bodies and the governments of various European countries. According to intelligence inquiries Martino was not simply a ‘postman’ but a 007 capable of maintaining high level relations and in possession of extremely delicate information. His relations ship with the French spies was of a regular nature, consolidated and tested up to the point that Martino – when the relationship went sour – went as far as to ask for compensation. As regards the role of Alain Chouet, the number two at the DGSE (who fell from grace and was removed from his position due to having deviated the French services by conducting illegal investigations into the affairs of President Chirac), it would be interesting to know something about his contacts with Martino in Brussels in 1999-2000, a crucial – and still partially unknown – moment in the Niger-gate affair.

There is that timeframe again – 1999. Wilson went to Niger on Valerie’s behest sometime between April (coup) and October (new government) of 1999. He came back a year later, on his own supposedly. At that same time Iraq was approaching Niger (June 1999) and other countries.

If the source of the Niger forgeries was French intelligence, and US intelligence helped their spy get out of Italy and to the US, then it is not a huge leap to conclude the some rogue elements in the CIA, working with the French, tried to cover up something in Africa regarding Iraq.

The ‘prints’ of the diplomats are all over Niger-gate, this is evident. The dossier was not produced in Rome, it was catapulted into the ‘eternal city’ from another country, one which the joint SISMI-FBI will be examining in order to expose the facts once and for all.

This should be fascinating. Meanwhile, Joe Wilson has dropped all pretense of being a non partisan critic as he schleps for Democrat money in Minnesota.

Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador at the center of a political maelstrom over the war in Iraq, will headline two DFL Party fundraisers in the Twin Cities next week.

He was a volunteer foreign-policy adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 Democratic presidential campaign and has made numerous appearances in recent years on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes, he said.

Joe is about the meet Cindy Sheehan’s fate I would wager.

The Italian government has now formally denied involvement, leaving the French and some US citizens holding the bag.

The Italian government on Monday denied any involvement in a dossier purporting to show an attempt by Iraq to buy uranium in Africa and which was used to help support the case for toppling Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.

A statement from the Italian premier’s office said “Italian institutions” were not involved “either directly or indirectly” in the forging or distribution of the dossier.

It also accused the Italian daily La Repubblica of “repeatedly attempting at all costs to support the hypothesis of the government ‘s presumed involvement.”

La Repubblica has published a series of investigative articles alleging that Italy’s military intelligence service Sismi handed the forged documents to the United States possibly under pressure from the Italian government.

La Repubblica? Sounds like some communist-socialist rag.

27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Rogue CIA Agents In On Niger Forgeries?”

  1. Seixon says:

    You might all want to take a look at this…

    Italian In Black

    I have peeked behind the redaction in the SSCI report in two instances, and it was so easy that I wonder whether the CIA purposely made it easy to figure out. If so, why?

  2. mary mapes says:

    Well, well, well

    The Thwarted Iraqi Peace Proposals: “They Were All Non-Starters”
    By Gary Leupp
    Counterpunch.org
    November 10, 2003
    Last-Ditch Iraqi Efforts to Avoid War: A Chronology

    December 2002: Someone representing Gen. Tahir Jalil Habbush al Takriti, Saddam Hussein’s intelligence chief, made contact with CIA former counter-intelligence head Vincent Cannistraro. This representative, according to Cannistrano, stated that Saddam Hussein “knew there was a campaign to link him to September 11 and prove he had weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqis were prepared to satisfy these concerns. I reported the conversation to senior levels of the state department and I was told to stand aside and they would handle it.”

    [Cannistrano later learned that the offer had been "killed" by the Bush administration. All the offers "had at bottom the same thing---that Saddam would stay in power, and that was unacceptable to the administration. There were serious attempts to cut a deal but they were all turned down by the president and vice president."]

    Sometime soon after that: The national security advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Osama al Baz, sent a message through intermediaries to the U.S. State Department that the Iraqis wanted to discuss charges that Saddam had WMDs or ties with bin Laden. Unidentified U.S. officials told the New York Times; “when that approach went nowhere the Iraqis evidently tried to get through to the Pentagon.”

    They also tried to make contacts through Syrian intelligence, France, Russia, and Germany.”

    Odd Saddam would get in contact with “VINNY” of all people, no?

    This story (that appears to be anti-Bush, but has quotes) appears to have some interesting info…BUT also talks Able Danger things too!

    http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:puv-V1JjsxMJ:www.ccmep.org/2003_articles/Iraq/111003_thwarted_iraqi_peace_proposals.htm+%22Vincent+Cannistraro%22+%22france%22&hl=en

  3. sbd says:

    Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily
    January 30, 2004

    Iraqi WMD Debate and Intelligence: the Links to Libya

    Anaysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS. Discussion and analysis of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs relating to the former Iraqi Administration of Pres. Saddam Hussein has seriously — and virtually from the beginning — missed the point. By focusing entirely on Iraqi WMD programs within the physical borders of Iraq, and by refusing to discuss contextual issues, the arguments missed the point that the bulk of the Iraqi WMD work since 1991 was conducted outside the borders of the country, this being a result of the lesson which Saddam derived from the 1991 Coalition war against him.

    There is a very substantial, historical chain of intelligence — much of which has been cited and verified by Global Information System (GIS) HUMINT sources over the past 14 years and some of which has been verified by external sources — resoundingly confirming this position, which can be summarized as follows:

    1. Documents Moved to Syria: In essence, documentation of that small portion of the WMD program which was administered directly in Iraq was moved, along with other sensitive material and resources, to the Hshishi Compound at al-Qamishli (Kamishli) in Syria, just near the Iraqi border, in August-September 2002. This was noted by GIS at that time.1

    2. R&D Conducted in Libya: The great bulk of the work on WMD and on associated missile delivery systems, however, was conducted since 1991 in a partnership with Libya, and also with Egypt, at facilities in Libya, in order to keep the programs away from US and United Nations (UN) probes. That, too, was noted by GIS.2

    Assuming that these two points can be demonstrated, does this, then, constitute a failure of US, British and other foreign intelligence? Or does it constitute a failure not just of intelligence, but also a failure of policymakers and policy-level managers of the intelligence communities in the West to allow or encourage an examination of the Iraq situation within a broader strategic context?

    From 1991 onwards, Saddam was principally focused on the fact that the UN had a mandate — a search warrant — to inspect all of the physical territory of Iraq. That meant that maintaining any meaningful research and development (R&D) facilities or test capabilities on prohibited weapons within the borders of the country would be virtually impossible. But, given that the “search warrant” extended only within the confines of Iraq, it was logical and expedient that any WMD R&D should be conducted under Iraqi control, but outside the country’s borders.

    Moreover, once this decision was taken, and implemented, it was important to sustain the focus of UN inspections on Iraqi territory and to discourage inspections or analysis on weapons programs elsewhere. This meant that Iraqi weapons programs — or hints about them — within Iraq had to be sufficiently enigmatic as to attract attention; the game had to be drawn out, and no suspicion should be allowed to fall on external programs.

    Given the billions of dollars which Saddam had invested in WMD, and the fact that WMD and associated delivery systems represented his only chance at strategic independence, it was inconceivable that he would not have engaged in massive strategic deception operations in the hope that, as partially demonstrated in 1991, once the US/West/UN had gone through Iraq as comprehensively as possible, he would then be free to re-import his strategic capacity, by that time at a proven and operational level. This option was lost, however, not because the US George W. Bush Administration was aware — at the White House level — of the specifics of the deception and re-deployment of WMD programs, but because of the intuitive belief by the White House that Pres. Saddam was engaged in a strategic-level build-up which threatened the region and Western interests.

    Saddam utilized his best efforts and international contacts and alliances to limit the scope of debate and UN inspections to an extremely finite set of conditions, all of which focused solely on the Iraqi territory. In this, he was almost totally successful.

    However, there were numerous failures to maintain the total secrecy of his actions at an operational intelligence level. This may have been inevitable, given the scope of the WMD programs being conducted in Libya, for example, where an estimated Iraqi workforce of up to 20,000 scientists, engineers and workers were engaged in WMD and missile development, and in other countries, such as Mauritania (intended as a launch site for ballistic missiles to threaten the US), where Iraqi intelligence officials were conducting aspects of the strategy.3

    What has emerged from the pattern of intelligence available is that Pres. Saddam took the opportunity, possibly shortly after the 1991 defeat of his Armed Forces in the first US-led Coalition war against Iraq in 1990-91, to move his WMD programs to one or more safe havens abroad. It was known, even at that point, that Iraq maintained extensive deployments of forces and some basing inside Sudan, and that Saddam and Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi were closely aligned in that they perceived threats from the same quarters: (a) the United States, and (b) radical Islamists. Equally, they increasingly came to the same view that they needed to work with the Islamists because the various Islamist groups — ranging from Osama bin Laden’s organization to the Iranian-led Shi’a groups — also felt threatened by, and hostile to, the United States.

    The thread of a common enemy has historically woven groups together, and this has been consistently evident in Iraqi relations with radical Islamist militant groups, including those of Iraq’s geopolitical rival, Iran. Significantly, Libyan leader Qadhafi, although concerned about the threats to himself from Islamism, had consistently maintained strong relations with the Iranian clerical leadership, again based on the concept that they both faced a mutual and overwhelming enemy in the US. Libya’s supporting rôle in the bombing of Pan Am flight PA103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, was directly at the request of Iran (and Iran’s proxy, Syria), for example, something which has gradually been acknowledged by the US Intelligence Community.

    On November 8, 2000, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily noted:

    “The Libyan acquisition of NoDong-1 SSMs is the result of a joint Egyptian-Iraqi-Libyan crash program to overcome delays in production of indigenous SSMs. Initially, the Egyptians and the Iraqis wanted to expedite the production of their own missile in Libya. Cairo arranged for Tripoli to provide cover for the revival of the Bad’r/Condor program which could no longer take place in Iraq and now also not in Egypt because of the exposure by the US of the North Korean (DPRK) rôle and a consequent US pressure to stop the program. Therefore, the Libyans initiated their relations with the DPRK on behalf of Cairo and Baghdad.”

    That report, by GIS Senior Editor Yossef Bodansky, and based on known and reliable intelligence sources, continued:

    “… [I]n the late Summer of 1999, Cairo and Baghdad urged Tripoli to purchase North Korean NoDong-1 SSMs on their behalf with the idea that Libya would keep a few of them for its own use. At the behest of Pres. Mubarak and Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein, Col. Qadhafi instructed General Abu-Bakr Jabir, the Libyan Defense Minister and Army Chief of Staff — who also holds overall responsibility for the Libyan missile program — to personally devise a more direct way to acquire these missiles. Desperate for hard currency, Pyongyang expressed willingness to deliver numerous NoDong-1 SSMs the moment hard currency was delivered in a ‘safe laundered method’. A North Korean delegation arrived in Tripoli to discuss the operational requirements and, in October 1999, General Abu-Bakr Jabir signed a deal with them for the supply of NoDong-1s and related technological expertise. In the Tripoli negotiations, the Libyans stressed the imperative to have the missiles deployed operationally immediately after their arrival in Libya.”

    What is significant about the flow of intelligence which GIS has obtained on Libya, Iraq, Egypt and other regional states on this matter over more than a decade is that most of it derives from GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs’ own human intelligence (HUMINT) networks, which have been developed privately since the beginning of the 1970s. This has been coupled with reporting from other intelligence agencies which has often confirmed aspects of the total picture. What is also significant is that the US intelligence services in particular, and, to a lesser extent, the UK, have failed to sustain any continuity or depth of HUMINT collection in Libya. As well, US HUMINT with regard to Iraq has been patchy at best, varying from non-existent to massive and sudden build-ups. The result has been a lack of historical knowledge and a lack of broader contextual appreciation. Most specialists brought by US services onto the Iraq problem, when it periodically re-emerged, were either not experienced in Libyan issues, and were — most importantly — told strictly to confine their activities to the territory of Iraq or to Iraqi officials visibly able to be identified abroad.

    During the Cold War, US intelligence and policy officials and diplomats vied to work on the “main threat”: the Soviet Union. The intelligence, diplomatic and threat assessment community remains in the same mode: career paths are associated with participation in the “main threat”. After September 11, 2001, this became perceived as Islamist-based terrorism and Iraq. All other areas, even when they related to the “main threat”, were dismissed or ignored, unless a policy directive from the highest levels explicitly demanded investigation of a link.

    This remained particularly true of intelligence relating to Libya, which was considered by the US intelligence community to be a dead issue, largely based on two criteria: the fact that the White House ignored it, and the fact that Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi said that he had renounced terrorism and radical strategic ambitions. In fact, evidence shows that Qadhafi’s ongoing — and unrealistic — belief that the US would repeat its military attacks of the Reagan era (April 14,-15, 1986) led him to make constant “gestures” of rapprochement and reconciliation with the US and UK while he continued, with as much secrecy as possible, on the path of strategic weapons development and in the conduct of destabilizing political actions in a wide range of countries, from South Africa and the Philippines to Ethiopia, Somaliland, Mauritania, and so on.

    GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs carried extensive intelligence, based on reporting from within the Libyan leadership and Qadhafi’s family circles as well as other Libyan sources, repeatedly detailing the Libyan strategic weapons programs, including the missile developments involving Iraq, Egypt, Iran and North Korea (DPRK), and WMD programs (particularly chemical and biological weapons) conducted with Iraq and Egypt. These were consistently ignored by the US intelligence and diplomatic community, despite very specific references which should have triggered a verification process, and particularly as the US State Dept. and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) committed themselves to a rapprochement and normalization of ties with the Qadhafi Administration based on an admission of responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing.

    [Significantly, on January 28, 2004, The Washington Post, quoting unnamed Pakistani intelligence officials, named Dr Abdul Qadir Khan and Mohammad Farooq as the two men who acted as middlemen to supply nuclear weapons technology to Iran and Libya. One of the officials involved in the current investigation said that while the “money trail’ provided some of the evidence against Dr Khan and Mr Farooq, the most damaging information was given by Iran and Libya to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), which then passed it along to Pakistani authorities.]

    Only a refusal by the US Congress and the White House to accept the State and CIA approach on forgiveness of Qadhafi for the Lockerbie bombing stopped the Lockerbie settlement from leading to a normalization of US-Libya relations. This led to the belief by Qadhafi — by now, in 2003, seriously ill with cancer — that the Bush Administration had targeted Libya for military action. By this point, as well, Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein had ceased to be a factor. It was clear that, despite the presence of numerous Saddam family members in Libya,4 Saddam’s capture by US forces meant that the alliance on strategic weapons would now come to nothing.

    Significantly, as long as Saddam Hussein had eluded capture by US forces, Qadhafi did nothing to reveal, or to stop, the missile and WMD programs which were underway inside Libya, and which were supported by a major core of Iraqi and Egyptian scientists. Even well after the defeat of Iraqi military forces — but while the Arab world continued to believe, to some extent, that Iraqi guerilla forces would rise up and expel the Coalition occupying forces, the plan which Saddam himself had put in place in November 20025 and conveyed to his close associates, presumably including Qadhafi — Libya persisted with plans designed to make the WMD programs strategically effective.

    One such ongoing plan was the attempt to overthrow the Government of Mauritania. Pres. Saddam had long realized that Iraqi technology would not, in the foreseeable future, be able to lengthen the range and payload — to the point where they could credibly threaten US and European targets — of the family of ballistic missiles which Iraq had developed based on original Soviet Scud ballistic missile technology and on Scud-derived NoDong missiles. In order to achieve a viable platform from which to reach the US, he planned to subvert Mauritania. To that end, he had begun the process of winning over the Mauritanian Armed Forces, initially through gifts of old tanks, and then through training programs in Iraq, under which Mauritanian military officers were brought into the Ba’ath Party ideology.

    Saddam, however, needed the help as well of Libya and Libyan-linked Islamists to attempt the coup. Libya had a long history of attempting to overthrow the Mauritanian Government. [See History section, GIS Mauritania country study.] But with the conventional war in Iraq over by April 2003, and the value of the multi-billion dollar investments by Iraq, Libya and others in the Libya-based WMD/missile programs now open to question, Qadhafi, using his management of the Mauritania coup planning, caused the pro-Iraqi Ba’athists in the Mauritanian Army to work with Libyan and Islamist figures to utilize this last opportunity to seize power in Mauritania.6

    The last-ditch coup attempt in Mauritania failed, and details of Ba’athist and Libyan involvement were to gradually emerge as the Government of Mauritanian Pres. Col. Ma’aouiya Ould Sid’ Ahmed Taya tracked down, arrested and prosecuted the coup plotters through 2003. By late 2003, then, Qadhafi was faced with the fact that the WMD program had lost its principal sponsor, and he was faced with the fact that many thousands of Iraqi employees in Libya were now not being paid; and that the WMD program had lost its potential to achieve strategic leverage and that, in fact, the linkage between Saddam and Qadhafi was now a major liability and an actual cassus belli for the US to use to attack Libya militarily.

    The Egyptian Government came to the same conclusion and may have already withdrawn its officials engaged in the Bad’r/Condor missile program aspects of the project at al-Kufrah, in Libya near the Egyptian border. Indeed, it may have been an Egyptian withdrawal which triggered Qadhafi, in 2003, to seek support and to enquire about acquisition of new, longer-range ballistic missiles — Shahab-3s — from Iran rather than persist in attempting to improve the range of the NoDong-1s which Libya acquired for the coalition of Iraq, Egypt and Libya from the DPRK in 2000.7

    By late 2003, there was no chance that the WMD program could be successfully implemented by Libya alone. Qadhafi, as well was terminally ill, and there was increasing infighting among his family over the succession, particularly challenging for Saif al-Islam, the son who was named heir, and who lacked a power base at home. Saif al-Islam knew that the only chance of a stable succession lay in convincing the US, UK and EU states that Libya would, under him, move to a new era of conventional government, so that the major foreign powers would provide him with the power base and protection which he lacked at home. Older members of the “revolutionary” clique around Qadhafi complained that Saif al-Islam persuaded Qadhafi to make the statement on November 19, 2003, in which he renounced WMD.

    It is critical to bear in mind that for the preceding decade and more, Qadhafi had consistently denied that he was engaged in WMD programs, denying also any links with Islamist terrorists or terrorists of any kind. This lie was accepted by the international policy community, and yet when Qadhafi admitted what GIS had long said was the case — that such Libyan WMD programs did, in fact, exist8 — he was greeted as a reformer by the UK Government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, and also by some US politicians. Equally significant is the fact that Qadhafi had ensured that, through the Lockerbie settlement, significant funds (up to $900-million) were to go to Washington and New York law firms, providing a pressure point on Washington policymakers of almost unprecedented levels. For many politicians, there was more to be gained by carefully assisting Qadhafi than in exposing him.

    Qadhafi’s sole remaining option, by the end of 2003, if he was to avoid the risk of a US attack and if he wished to see Saif al-Islam succeed him, was to abandon the decades of work and billions of dollars he had poured into WMD and missile programs and into his links with radical Islamist groups. In so doing, he could (and it appears has been successful to) pre-empt US political investigations which would ultimately have tied Libyan WMD programs into those of Iraq (and Egypt). He has not, however, abandoned other work with many African radical groups, including insurgent groups in Darfor, Sudan, terrorists and insurgents in Ethiopia and aimed at Somaliland (which dominates the egress of the Red Sea).9

    Among the additional intelligence which began to point in recent years to the fact that Iraq had moved its WMD and missile programs offshore was the involvement of officers of the Iraqi Navy in the strategic weapons programs in Iraq, despite the fact that the Iraqi Navy, to all intents, effectively ceased to exist as a result of the Coalition’s actions against it in 1991.10 It became clear that these naval officers were engaged in the clandestine movement of personnel, equipment and other resources to and possibly from Libya in the years following the 1991 Gulf War, and perhaps earlier.

    The fact that some significant strategic matériel, including weapons, documents and other matter, had gone to Syria before the Coalition began military operations in Iraq had, by late 2003, become accepted, and had, as well, been confirmed by a high-level Syrian defector. But apart from the initial note of the transfers of this material by GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily of October 28, 2002, footnoted [1] below, the physical presence of theater ballistic weapons — which may or may not have had chemical and/or biological warheads — was noted by Australian Special Forces troops during the war. The mobile ballistic systems had been moved into Syria before hostilities began, and had moved back into Western Iraq on the night of March 27-28, 2003, in order to assume firing positions against Israel. The actions of the Australian Special Forces drove the missile batteries back into Syria.11

    GIS reports in 2003 also questioned the rôle of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency leader, Mohamed el-Baradei, in suppressing or manipulating intelligence and perceptions relating to the Iraqi and Libyan WMD programs. Significantly, el-Baradei attempted to interpose himself into the Libyan situation following Qadhafi’s December 19, 2003, announcement that he was “relinquishing” his WMD programs. This appeared to be an attempt to stage-manage the closure of the Libyan WMD programs in such a way that Egyptian and Iraqi involvement was denied. [Dr el-Baradei is himself an Egyptian.]

    Dr el-Baradei and others claimed, following the announcement by Qadhafi, that the WMD programs were at least five years away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon. The truth is that nuclear weapons capability, while not imminent, was — when the Iraqi and Egyptian scientific and financial backing were engaged — significantly closer than five years. However, it is true that the jointly-owned (Iraqi, Egyptian, Libyan) NoDong-1 missile batteries were already capable of strategically threatening southern European targets with chemical, and possibly biological weapons. Libyan and Iraqi scientists had already shown a significant capability to weaponize chemicals and possibly biological agents. As of 2000, they had a longer-range ballistic delivery system available to them than they had ever before possessed.

    It is significant that Israeli intelligence sources pointed out that when the batteries of NoDong-1s became active in 2000, they were targeted at Southern European cities, not at Israel. This may have been out of concern that knowledge of targeting of Israel by the systems would have provoked a pre-emptive Israeli strike.

    The clear, and now mounting, evidence that Iraq and Libya had sought to seize power indirectly in Mauritania so that they could use it as a launch site to threaten the US — once longer-range missiles were developed from the basic NoDong-1s, as was being attempted — and that this indicated a readiness date which was sooner, rather than later. The evidence suggests that while Qadhafi and Saddam may not have contemplated a war with the US, they did, however, believe that having a viable nuclear capability would buy them protection and invulnerability to US interference in their activities. There is clear evidence, as well, that the DPRK Administration of Kim Jong-Il and the Iranian clerical leadership today also accepts this logic: nuclear weapons and an intercontinental ballistic missile delivery system guarantees invulnerability from US attack. In the case of Iraq and Libya, the move to Mauritania was meant to compensate for the fact that true ICBM capability would take too long to develop, and therefore a launch facility closer to the US was required.

    In conclusion, it is worth noting that earlier, contextual analysis and a broader understanding of underlying issues and relationships of Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein and his peers in the region (as well as in the DPRK) could have assisted in providing better operational intelligence which could have enabled a more efficient conduct of the war. In this, there was a clear failure of intelligence, but more particularly of intelligence direction at a political and policy level, both in the US and in the UK. The ongoing refusal to acknowledge the rôle of Libya and Col. Qadhafi in the broader picture was also partly attributable to financial and commercial incentives being offered to the UK and US (as had earlier been successfully undertaken by Libya with regard to Italy, France and Germany).

    The current refusal to acknowledge the regional linkages which tie the Saddam Administration in closely with the actions of Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt and the Palestinian and other subsidiary subnational or transnational groups (including al-Qaida) is, to a large extent, governed in the US by the fact that there is strong pressure, not least from the US State Dept. and Secretary of State Colin Powell, not to “widen the war” in the face of international and domestic pressures. However, this position significantly hurts the incumbent US Bush Administration, which took a major political gamble by taking the war to Iraq based on an “intuitive” understanding of the threat which Saddam Hussein posed to regional and Western interests.

    For many career intelligence and diplomatic officials, acknowledgement of the Iraq-Libya-Egypt-Iran-DPRK linkages (but particularly Iraq-Libya), at this stage, would be embarrassing. These officials have chosen the approach that, if all goes well, the Libya “problem” will now go away, albeit leaving a considerable gap in the public knowledge which could be politically beneficial to the re-election of US Pres. George W. Bush.

    SBD

  4. mary mapes says:

    SBD

    I have been reading you on FreeRepublic too…(which I read this posted by you) I have been unable to get a password email me so I can log in.

    You are doing such a good job.

  5. sbd says:

    Thanks Mary Mapes!! :-)

  6. mary mapes says:

    SBD

    My overall feeling is that the forgeries originally revolved around Niger for 3 reasons.

    1) they were meant to be crude and easily “debunked”, so they would embarrass Bush

    2) and Niger was the EASIEST country to “de-bunk” them. In other-words, Niger’s mining control was earlier TO CONTROL…Niger was always kept the “clean” country to run it through, the other African countries were running it through Niger ON PURPOSE

    3) and this was down on purpose to keep “enquiring minds” from really looking at other countries

    Sort of a triangle of a place Niger is…and the whole thing is aided (and abetted) by…

    “For many career intelligence and diplomatic officials, acknowledgement of the Iraq-Libya-Egypt-Iran-DPRK linkages (but particularly Iraq-Libya), at this stage, would be embarrassing. These officials have chosen the approach that, if all goes well, the Libya “problem” will now go away, albeit leaving a considerable gap in the public knowledge which could be politically beneficial to the re-election of US Pres. George W. Bush.”

  7. mary mapes says:

    REDO
    3) and this was down on purpose to keep “enquiring minds” from really looking at other countries

    3) and this was done on purpose to keep “enquiring minds” from really looking at other countries MINING in Africa as well …if other African countries are harvesting and sending…who are they sending too!

    “Niger” was just controling of the whole operation