Posted by Curt on 1 December, 2005 at 8:18 pm. 1 comment.

AJStrata and MacRanger have been working overtime on the Wilson/Plame affair and wow, have they discovered some doozies. First AJ outlines what we know so far about the possible collusion between Kerry, the CIA, and the Wilsons:

There is more and more evidence that there was a lot of collusion between the Wilsons, people at the CIA and people at the State Department to put out a sham story on the Niger forgeries to help Kerry get elected. Here is the evidence (which somehow Inspector Clousseu Fitzgerald keeps missing).

(1) Wilson was working for the Kerry campaign when he started to tell his Niger forgery lie to Kristof, Pincus, Knight Ridder and the rest of the media. The fact is now well known the trip Wilson used as the lynch pin for the forgery sham had nothing to do with the forgeries.

(2) At the same time Wilson, by his own words, is calling the State Department, CIA and NSC about Niger, Rand Beers up and quits his job at NSC to go work for the Kerry campaign. Personally I think all those phone calls were to tell everyone to start implementing their plans.

(3) Rand Beers, per his own words, knows about Valerie and her role as a member of the Kerry campaign prior to the Novak article. Beers is good friends with Clarke and Berger (Berger being another Kerry campaign member).

(4) Wilson, in his own words, told a group of people only days before his NY Times Op-Ed piece ran in July 2003 that the only way the story can stop Bush?s re-election is for a scandal to hit the news media. Obviously it doesn?t matter if the scandal is just Niger forgeries, it could additionally include the outing of a CIA agent ready to retire.

AJ also highlights this statement by Wilson:

In mid-June, Condoleeza Rice, in response to a question from Tim Russert asserted with respect to what the White House knew about the Niger matter that maybe somebody in the bowels of the Agency knew something about it but nobody in her circle.

It was clear to me then, and later confirmed by a senior State Department official, that if the truth were to come out, I would have to write it myself.

And comes to the conclusion that the most likely suspect for “senior State Department official” is none other then Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s aide. Read his analysis here.

MacRanger then comes up with this article from an Italian paper:

[…]A recent intelligence lead takes us back to Niger, where Khan was a welcomed guest of the government and where his intermediaries continue to do business, the very same who in 1999 made a fool of the French Secret Services charged with monitoring ? through the multinational Cogema ? the uranium mines from which some years before were able to illegally export 1,200 tons of yellow cake (yellow uranium oxide from which gas is extracted to be applied in centrifuges in order to be enriched) to Libya.

The very same Khan ? according to official International Atomic Energy Agency data ? bought a part of the 450 tons of stored in Libya in exchange for arms and petrodollars to finance Islamabad?s nuclear program. Khan worked for Pakistan and for anyone else looking for the precious pieces with which to make an atomic bomb. Businessmen from Niger and the ?architect? of the Islamic Bomb turn up in the notes of the secret services who some time back indicated, amongst other things, the attempts made by Saddam?s emissaries to buy uranium from Niamey in the very same period in which, in Nigers capital, the Old Man of the DIY nuclear device, Khan, was present.

As was seen in Niger-gate the final report of the British Parliaments Commission, in July 2004, pointed out the passage in Niger of Iraqi officials in 1999 and mentions sellers of uranium who in 1999 and 2001 planned to sell uranium to Iran, Libya, China, North Korea and Iraq.

[…]Secret Informative notes refer in detail to how Khan and his scientific council made a series of visits to Niger and to the Direction of the Pakistani nuclear site of Khauta, visits made in February. In 1998, and above all 1999, a series of encounters defined by nuclear anti-proliferation experts as highly suspect, were held in Niamey. It was here that the ?doctor? had his atomic shopping base, the very same base as was used for trips to Sudan, Nigeria, Dubai, Casablanca (where he was received by the ambassador Kakar), Bamako or Timbuktu in Mali (February 98, Hotel Hendrina Khan), Chad where in February he visited the Shifa centre which had just been bombed by the Americans.

Again in February a visit to Mauritania where contacts are made with officials of the Republic of Congo and Somalia, countries evidence by the CIA to the White House before the declarations made by George W. Bush in regards to Iraq, declarations in which the President mentions Africa, and not Niger, as the place in which Saddam was desperately seeking uranium. While Rocco Martino was putting his hands on documents that evidenced agreements between the Niger government and Iraq for the supply of uranium at the very same time, and up until well into 2000, the strangest people on the earth were busy visiting Niger?s ?Gran Bazar? with Khan.

All of the intelligence agencies discovered the father of the Islamic Bomb seeking out money to satisfy the requirements of all those countries intentioned on counterbalancing Israel?s nuclear deterrent. Between one trip and another Khan appeared again in Niger on February 22, 2000, he had been invited by the ambassador Brig Nisare. Khan arrived from Timbuktu, he had stopped over in Dubai where he remained with his right-hand-man Bukari Saied Abu Tair. After the time necessary to meet with his men he left on the 24 for Sri Lanka with Nairobi, Kenya, as a final destination. In fifteen days, on average, Khans visited ten African countries always returning to Niger because ? as was later discovered ? his laboratories in Pakistan were going ahead with atomic powder from the mines in Niger (Pakistan produced around 745 kilos of enriched uranium capable of producing 40 nuclear bombs each with a 2,000 km range) In 1999 Khan was discovered by the 007?s between Niger and Nigeria looking for fuel for a Chinese reactor. From 1999 until today Khan?s network has suffered a series of setbacks but, according to intelligence analysts, in Africa?s fundamentalist countries Khan is continuing to function using lesser means: the work of the mediators is finding fertile ground in the trafficking of double use components that are, apparently, destined to civil use but in reality destined to the enrichment of uranium for military purposes.

Mac continues:

First, we have what we know that Khan was also in Niamey, with some of Saddam’s people at about the same time that Joe Wilson was there on “business”. Again, as I told you here this is exactly what I thought he was doing in Niger in 1999 – brokering yellowcake – using his “French contacts”. So that:

1) The intel showing Saddam seeking uranium in 1999, 2001 was correct – there is no mistake about it.

2) Because it would be a matter of time before the story was out, the purpose of Wilson’s trip to Niger in 2002 was to throw a smoke screen over the previous trip – cover his tracks, and so the tracks of all the other major players -specifically the French.

Which brings us to back to James Lewis and his theory of the French forging the Niger documents in the first place. I’m telling you the more I look at this ,the more I see the story of Cogema and illicit sales of uranium to rogue nations linking all the way to the “Big Frog” himself – Jacques Chirac.

Additionally, John Hindraker wrote a piece yesterday that absolutely skewered the CIA coup:

THE CIA’S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency’s most successful covert action of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer’s words, “the book was being used to bash the president.” However, the agency’s preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New York Times or the Washington Post, CIA officials have sought to undermine America’s foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency’s agenda and profit from its torrent of leaks, have maintained a discreet silence about what should be a major scandal.

Recent events indicate that the CIA might even be willing to compromise the effectiveness of its own covert operations, if by doing so it can damage the Bush administration. The story began last May, when the New York Times outed an undercover CIA operation by identifying private companies that operated airlines for the agency. The Times fingered Aero Contractors Ltd., Pegasus Technologies, and Tepper Aviation as CIA-controlled entities. It described their aircraft and charted the routes they fly. Most significantly, the Times revealed one of the most secret uses to which these airlines were put:

When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job.

The Times went on to trace specific flights by the airlines it unmasked, which corresponded to the capture of key al Qaeda leaders.

[…]The Times reported that its sources included “interviews with former C.I.A. officers and pilots.” It seems difficult to believe that the information conveyed in those interviews was unclassified. But if the agency made any objection to the Times’s disclosure, it has not been publicly recorded. And the agency’s flood of leaks to the Times continued.

The other shoe dropped on November 2, when the Washington Post revealed, in a front-page story, the destinations to which many terrorists were transported by the CIA’s formerly-secret airlines–a covert network of detention centers in Europe and Thailand:

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

[…]The Post’s story caused a sensation, as the “current and former intelligence officials” who leaked the classified information to the newspaper must have expected it would. The leakers evidently included officials from the highest levels of the CIA; the Post noted that the facilities’ existence and location “are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country.” Further, the paper said that it “is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials.” So this top-secret leak was apparently not a rogue operation. On the contrary, it appears to have been consistent with the agency’s longstanding campaign against the Bush administration, which plainly has been sanctioned (if not perpetrated) by officials at the agency’s highest levels.

[…]The twin leaks to the Times and the Post have severely impaired the agency’s ability to carry out renditions, transport prisoners, and maintain secret detention facilities. It is striking that top-level CIA officials are evidently willing to do serious damage to their own agency’s capabilities and operations for the sake of harming the Bush administration and impeding administration policies with which they disagree.

The CIA is an agency in crisis. Perhaps, though, there is a ray of hope: the agency has referred the secret-prison leak to the Post to the Justice Department for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. It is a bitter irony that until now, the only one out of dozens of CIA-related leaks known to have resulted in a criminal investigation was the Valerie Plame disclosure, which was trivial in security terms, but unique in that it helped, rather than hurt, the Bush administration.

Lot’s of strings attached to this story, that is for sure. Hard to keep it all straight. But it all comes back to the simple fact that there were those in the CIA and the State Department who wanted Bush out and Kerry in. To accomplish this they set in motion the Niger forgeries story which backfired. The investigation instead focused on the outing of Valerie which now appears to have exposed this rogue element in the CIA.

It appears that the CIA has become an independent foreign-policy making group

As always, AJ and Mac have done a great job.


Lot’s of strings attached to this story, that is for sure. Hard to keep it all straight. But it all comes back to the simple fact that there were those in the CIA and the State Department who wanted Bush out and Kerry in. To accomplish this they set in motion the Niger forgeries story which backfired. The investigation instead focused on the outing of Valerie which now appears to have exposed this rogue element in the CIA.

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