NIGER-GATE: THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE SCANDAL
In his January 28, 2003 State of the Union Speech, President Bush uttered 16 words that have since come back to haunt him. "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Bush was quoting a statement by the British, "There is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Iraq has no active civilian nuclear power programme or nuclear power plants and therefore has no legitimate reason to acquire uranium." This quotes came from a document issued by Number 10 Downing Street titled, "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The assessment of the British Government". This document has since become more widely known as the "Dodgy Dossier" following exposure that it was written from plagiarized student thesis papers. In one case, information in the Dodgy Dossier was 12 years old, dating from before the UN sanctions on Iraq, hopelessly outdated and obsolete, but included because it portrayed Iraq as heavily armed with banned weapons. Prime Minister Tony Blair has since apologized for this document.
Bush made his claim about Iraq buying uranium from Niger even though former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who had a great many contacts in Niger, had traveled to that country in February of 2002 to verify the accusation and on his return had reported the claim to be without foundation. Following Bush's speech repeating the Niger claim that Wilson knew to be false, Wilson went public, writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times in July of 2003 that exposed the claim as deceptive. As part of a campaign to discredit Wilson and prevent him from further exposing the truth of the matter, Joe's wife, Valerie Plame was revealed as a CIA operative. Not only was Plame's career ruined, but the company she worked for, Brewster Jennings & Associates, was exposed as a CIA front. In one of the ironies of the scandal, Brewster Jennings & Associates' mission was to track nuclear weapons in other countries. Since compromised and shut down, this has left the United States without the means to track just who does and does not have nuclear weapons.
Originally, George Bush tried to dump the blame for the Niger claim on the CIA's George Tenet. The CIA then demanded an investigation into the outing of Plame. Then Attorney General John Ashcroft stalled for months, then handed the investigation to Patrick Fitzgerald.
However, months before Joe Wilson's article appeared, the International Atomic Energy Agency had examined the documents which had surfaced in Italy purporting to document the sale of uranium to Iraq and determined that they were forgeries, and indeed, very clumsy ones.
This is the scandal behind the scandal. The outing of Valerie Plame was not done out of revenge, or as the Washington Post reports, part of a feud between Karl Rove and the CIA. Joe Wilson's article started to focus attention on the fact that the documents used to claim that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger were fakes!
The fact that the Niger documents were fake is hard proof that the lies that tricked this nation into war were not an accident, not "misinterpreted" or "bad" intelligence, but deliberate falsehood with malice aforethought.We The People were lied to intentionally to trick us into supporting a war of conquest against an innocent nation that had done us no wrong.
Where did the forgeries come from? The documents had first surfaced in Italy, and in July, 2005 the Italian Parliament released a report naming four men as the likely forgers of the documents; Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes. Ahmed Chalabi is the former bank embezzler who was at one time expected to lead Iraq in the post-Saddam period. Of the remaining men, Michael Ledeen deserves special note. Shortly before the forged documents surfaced in Italy, Michael Ledeen paid a visit to the head of Italy's secret service, SISMI. Ledeen's entourage included Larry Franklin, since exposed as a spy for Israel operating in the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, an operational partner to the White House Iraq Group charged with "selling" the war in Iraq to the American people. Larry Franklin has confessed to handing classified information to AIPAC, the Israeli lobby. Presumably the information went from AIPAC to Israel. Less discussed is what disinformation flowed back from Israel through AIPAC, to Larry Franklin. What is known is that the claims regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that came from the Office of Special Plans were as groundless as the claim that Iraq was buying uranium from Niger.
Larry Franklin is not alone in handing classified documents to Israel. Larry's boss at the DPB, Richard Perle, likewise was caught giving classified information to Israel in 1970. Yet another official caught handing America's secrets to Israel is Michael Ledeen himself, as a result of which he (briefly) lost his security clearance. Ledeen was hired by Douglas Feith to start up the Office of Special Plans. As a side note, it was Michael Ledeen who arranged Jonathan Pollard's job with the US Navy, which led to US Nuclear Deterrent Secrets being given to Israel, who in turn traded them to the Russians for increased emigration quotas.
The exploding Plame-gate scandal is more than just the illegal outing of a CIA agent and her associates. It is more than just the shutting down of Brewster Jennings & Associates, leaving the US without a means to track foreign nuclear weapons. It is more than the extent to which the people of the United States were lied to in order to trick them into a war. Running through every single aspect of this horrible mess are the clear traces of a foreign spy operation that has infiltrated the government of the United States to the highest levels and subverted the nation to the purposes of that foreign government.
As of this typing, the men who gave classified information to Israel are still in their positions. AIPAC, the Israeli lobby implicated in the spy scandal, still donates money to US politicians. US Politicians, more damning still, continue to take it.
The following actors in the Niger forgery imbroglio have Ties to JINSA , The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs 1) Dick Cheney ,Vice-President of the United States 2) Michael Ledeen , former Pentagon consultant to Doug Feith , head of Office of Special Plans 3) Ahmed Chalabi ,former Head of Iraqi National Congress , deputy prime minister of Iraq 4) Major General Amos Gilad , head of Sharon's Office of Special Plans 5) Duane Claridge , JINSA member , military advisor to Iraqi National Congress 6) General Wayne Downing , JINSA , military advisor to Iraqi National Congress 7) John Bolton , UN Ambassador , touted forgeries in State Department "Fact Sheet" 8) Antonio Martino , JINSA defence minister of Italy 9) Michael Mason JINSA Assistant Director of FBI /Head of Washington Field Office.
Americans are the victims of the greatest and most deadly hoax in history; lied into a war of conquest. As we are Americans, and as we are at heart moral and just people, we cannot allow a single person who took part in that lie to remain in a position of authority or public trust, whether in government or in the media.
Return to top of What Really Happened