Friday, November 04, 2005

Nothing To See Here, Move Along Please

From the AP late Friday (my bolds):
FBI: Financial Gain Drove Uranium Forgery

The FBI has determined that financial gain, not an effort to influence U.S. policy, was behind the forged documents that the Bush administration used to bolster its prewar claim that Iraq sought uranium ore in Niger.

The FBI's investigation began after questions were raised about a brief portion of President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union speech when he said that Iraq was pursuing the uranium ore, part of his argument to justify the coming invasion of Iraq.

Some U.S. and foreign officials disputed the authenticity of documents, supporting Bush's contention, that showed Saddam Hussein was seeking the uranium ore for a nuclear weapons program.

The FBI had refused comment on the matter until Italian news sources reported this week that FBI Director Robert Mueller sent the Italian government a letter in July with the results of the bureau's two-year investigation.

The investigation "confirmed the documents to be fraudulent and concluded they were more likely part of a criminal scheme for financial gain," FBI spokesman John Miller said Friday, describing the contents of the letter.

Miller did not say what led the FBI to its conclusion or identify the perpetrators of the hoax.

Italian officials earlier this week identified Rocco Martino, described as a one-time informant for the Italian secret service, as the source of the forged documents, according to Italian Sen. Massimo Brutti.

Martino had previously given media interviews acknowledging his role.

But Italy's spy chief, Nicolo Pollari, denied that Italian intelligence had any hand distributing the phony dossier, Brutti and other lawmakers who attended a closed-door briefing said.

The session occurred following a newspaper report alleging Italy had passed the documents to Britain and the United States knowing that they were fake.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said he still has unanswered questions, despite the committee's recent closed-door briefing by the FBI.

"Until I receive additional information about the thoroughness of the investigation, I cannot make a judgment on the accuracy of the conclusions," Rockefeller said.

The Niger claim also is at the center of the CIA leak investigation that led to the indictment last week of Vice President Richard Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
And that's that, eh? Looks like someone wanted this story sent to bed without its dinner.

I suggest continuing to check in at this link for the unvarnished and up-to-date scoop on this.

24 Comments:

Blogger 277fia said...

I've been following the story over there too. Josh Marhsall and Laura Rozen really went out on a limb for the story. Sounded a bit scary to me.

I feel sort of bad because I put Josh on the spot with my blog this week. Two people complained about what I wrote so the TPM Cafe's lawyer said I had to go. My blog was eliminated and my posting privileges were suspended.

I know what I wrote as fact was true and I was pretty careful to make clear what was conjecture on my part. I guess I learned that you can embarrass crooks if you try hard enough.

I just hope Josh did not have to pay his lawyer to read my posts.

Now I post at the TPM Cafe under a Saki nom de plume. Someone over there couldn't get hold of Jack Abramoff's charity's 2003 IRS Return on Form 990-PF so I went to my library and printed it out along with the 2002 and 2001 returns. My wonderful library stays open late on Fridays.

The ostensible mission of this charity, Capital Athletic Foundation, is to "foster character development by promoting the American ideals of sportsmanship in all endeavors."

In 2003, the foundation gave $25,000 to the DeLay Foundation for Kids in Sugarland, Texas.

In 2002, the foundation took in $1,000,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

I left the 2001 return on the library printer so I won't know until tomorrow what's in it.

I once worked for a woman who lives in Washington DC. After she shut down two factories in the Northeast, she created a charitable foundation with some of the profits. Its mission was to help women in DC get cars to go to work. She didn't care that those people in the Northeast had no work to go to.

Sigh.

11/05/2005 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been a tough one to follow. I've been reading Josh for some time and I remember when he interviewed Martino. I've tried to keep up but my head is beginning to hurt so I've just focused on Fitzgerald with the knowledge that they are all related .. along with the Franklin trial and Wilkerson, et al.

11/06/2005 1:34 PM  
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