Dec 07 2005
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, NicolÃ² 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 â€˜top secretâ€™ 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 â€“ to all intents, effects and purposes â€“ planned his â€˜disappearanceâ€™ 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 â€˜casualâ€™ or â€˜occasionalâ€™ 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 â€˜postmanâ€™ 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 â€“ when the relationship went sour â€“ 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 â€“ and still partially unknown â€“ 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 â€˜printsâ€™ of the diplomats are all over Niger-gate, this is evident. The dossier was not produced in Rome, it was catapulted into the â€˜eternal cityâ€™ 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.