October 9, 2005 / by emptywheel


How Fitzgerald Might Expose the Niger Forgery Scandal through His Plame Investigation

I’ve said on multiple occasions that I don’t think Fitzgerald has evidence yet from the Plame investigation pertaining to the Niger forgeries. I’ve said that Fitzgerald needed to flip Bolton and not just Judy to get to the Niger forgeries. But I think I was wrong. I think Fitzgerald may be able to get to the Niger forgery scandal too. Here’s how.

Judy’s discovery of a possible uranium forgery

As I described twice in my Judy series, on her ridiculously staged Indiana Jones expedition into the depths of the Mukhabarat, Judy "found" a document detailing a potential deal between Iraq and a Ugandan businessman to buy uranium. Here’s the description she gives of that memo:

Of even greater interest to MET Alpha was a ”top secret” intelligencememo found in a room on another floor. Written in Arabic and dated May20, 2001, the memo from the Iraqi intelligence station chief in anAfrican country described an offer by a ”holy warrior” to selluranium and other nuclear material. The bid was rejected, the memostates, because of the United Nations ”sanctions situation.” But thestation chief wrote that the source was eager to provide similar helpat a more convenient time.

Note, this paragraph is a logical non-sequitur in the story. The paragraph before describes all the wacky items they find suggesting Iraq wanted to attack Israel. And the paragraph following reads:

The discoveries, which American military officers called significantbut which did not by themselves offer documentary evidence of directIraqi links to terror attacks on Israel, were the serendipitousbyproduct of one of the strangest missions ever conducted by MET Alpha.

I wonder, now, whether Judy managed to slip that paragraph in after it had been edited. Either that, or the NYT is just an even shittier newspaper than I had thought. Both equally possible, I guess…

One more important detail. Whether or not this really is a forgery, this discovery was almost certainly staged. I say that partly because of the sheer asburdity of the circumstances through which it was discovered (read this post if you want to see what I mean). But also, we know the INC had already cleared truckloads of documents out of Mukhabarat. From a May 6 article:

In an interview today, he said his supporters had seized as much as 60tons of documents from the Baath Party and Iraqi secret police andintelligence services. The files document Mr. Hussein’s relationshipwith Arab leaders and foreign governments, he said.

But then, that’s what you’d do with a forged document, right?Stage the discovery of it in a place where it might plausibly be found?

Finally, one more reason I think this is a forgery, rather than a legitimate, unsuccessful attempt to sell uranium to Saddam. Known forger Ahmed Chalabi and suspected forgery planter Harold Rhode were with Judy in Baghdad at the time she wrote this story. Not good enough evidence to admit into court, I know. But a remarkable coincidence nevertheless, don’t you think?

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2005/10/09/how-fitzgerald-might-expose-the-niger-forgery-scandal-through-his-plame-investigation/