Sunday, October 22, 2006

51% Support Impeachment of Bush

Inconspicuous in the last paragraph of a story called Are the Faithful Losing Faith?, and divided into two parts, is a startling statistic: 51% of respondents in the latest Newsweek poll support impeaching President George W Bush:

"An overwhelming majority says allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies should be a top priority for a Democratic Congress (74 percent, including 70 percent of Republicans); 68 percent want increasing the minimum wage to be a top priority, including 53 percent of Republicans; 62 percent want investigating impropriety by members of Congress to be a top priority; and 58 percent want investigating government contracts in Iraq to be a top priority. Fifty-two percent say investigating why we went to war in Iraq should be a top priority (25 percent say it should a lower priority and 19 percent say it shouldn’t be done.)

Other parts of a potential Democratic agenda receive less support, especially calls to impeach Bush: 47 percent of Democrats say that should be a 'top priority,' but only 28 percent of all Americans say it should be, 23 percent say it should be a lower priority and nearly half, 44 percent, say it should not be done. (Five percent of Republicans say it should be a top priority and 15 percent of Republicans say it should be a lower priority; 78 percent oppose impeachment.)"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Who Is Manucher Ghorbanifar?



Intelligence laundry: To Paris again

Manucher Ghorbanifar (Wikipedia)

Manucher Ghorbanifar (nickname Gorba) is an expatriate Iranian arms dealer best known as a middleman in the Iran-Contra Affair during the Ronald Reagan presidency. He re-emerged in American politics during the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq during the first term of President George W. Bush as a back-channel intelligence source to certain Pentagon officials who desired regime change in Iran.

In the 1980s, Ghorbanifar's principal American contacts were National Security Council agents Oliver North and Michael Ledeen. Ghorbanifar also tried to get the US to support the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) opposition to the Khomeini government of Iran. Ledeen vouched for Ghorbanifar to National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane. Oliver North later claimed that Ghorbanifar had given him the idea for diverting profits from TOW and HAWK missile sales to Iran to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Ghorbanifar's suspected duplicity during the Iran-Contra deal led CIA Director William Casey to order three separate lie-detector tests, all of which he failed. Iranian officials also suspected Ghorbanifar of passing them forged American documents. The CIA issued a burn notice (or "Fabricator Notice") on Ghorbanifar in 1984, meaning he was regarded as an unreliable source of intelligence. A 1987 congressional report on Iran-Contra cites the CIA warning that Ghorbanifar "should be regarded as an intelligence fabricator and a nuisance".

In December 2001 Michael Ledeen organized a three-day meeting in Rome, Italy between Manucher Ghorbanifar and Defense Intelligence Agency officials Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode. Also present were two officials from Italy's SISMI. In addition to a position at the American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen was working as a consultant to then U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, who oversaw the Office of Special Plans. The 2001 meeting took place with the approval of then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

Yellowcake?

Former CIA counter-terrorism officer Philip Giraldi recently stated in The American Conservative:

At this point, any American connection to the actual forgeries remains unsubstantiated, though the OSP at a minimum connived to circumvent established procedures to present the information directly to receptive policy makers in the White House. But if the OSP is more deeply involved, Michael Ledeen, who denies any connection with the Niger documents, would have been a logical intermediary in co-ordinating the falsification of the documents and their surfacing, as he was both a Pentagon contractor and was frequently in Italy. He could have easily been assisted by ex-CIA friends from Iran-Contra days, including a former Chief of Station from Rome, who, like Ledeen, was also a consultant for the Pentagon and the Iraqi National Congress. It would have been extremely convenient for the administration, struggling to explain why Iraq was a threat, to be able to produce information from an unimpeachable “foreign intelligence source” to confirm the Iraqi worst-case. The possible forgery of the information by Defense Department employees would explain the viciousness of the attack on Valerie Plame and her husband. Wilson, when he denounced the forgeries in the New York Times in July 2003, turned an issue in which there was little public interest into something much bigger. The investigation continues, but the campaign against this lone detractor suggests that the administration was concerned about something far weightier than his critical op-ed.

[Wikipedia's article about the yellowcake forgeries is being considered for deletion, so I'm copying it here.]

The term Yellowcake Forgery refers to falsified classified documents initially "uncovered" by Italian intelligence which depicted an attempt by Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime to purchase yellowcake uranium from the country of Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis.

On the basis of these documents and other indicators, the United States and United Kingdom governments asserted that Iraq had attempted to procure nuclear material for the purpose of creating "weapons of mass destruction", in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

This claim was one of the political justifications for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and led to considerable embarrassment when discredited.

Yellowcake, a mixture of different uranium oxides and other uranium compounds, is an intermediary stage in the production of enriched uranium for use in a nuclear reactor or a nuclear weapon.

Iraq and WMD

In late 2002, the George W. Bush administration was soliciting support for a policy of military force to disarm Iraq of weapons. The U.S. government had for some time alleged that Iraq both possessed and was continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction including nuclear, biological, and chemical arms. Among the allegations was that Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake. In particular, CIA director George Tenet and Secretary of State Colin Powell both cited an attempted yellowcake purchase from Niger in September testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. At that time, the UK government also publicly reported an attempted purchase from an unnamed African country. In December, the State Department issued a fact sheet listing the alleged Niger yellowcake affair in a report entitled "Illustrative Examples of Omissions From the Iraqi Declaration to the United Nations Security Council".[1] In his January 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush repeated the allegation, citing British intelligence. The administration later conceded that evidence in support of the claim was inconclusive and stated "these 16 words should never have been included" in Bush's address to the nation, attributing the error to the CIA.[2]

Initial doubts

The classified documents, which appeared to depict an Iraqi attempt to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger, had allegedly been suspected by some individuals in U.S. intelligence as fraudulent according to news reports. According to other news accounts of the classified situation, by early 2002, investigations by both the CIA and the State Department had found the documents to be inaccurate. Days before the Iraq invasion, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cast doubt on the documents to the U.N. Security Council. An FBI investigation into the provenance of these documents has been reopened.

Oblique reference in Bush speech

During the 2003 State of the Union speech, U.S. President George W. Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The British claim could not be substantiated with evidence. The Butler Report is believed to be the source for the claim and the British Government continues to believe it is accurate.

Critics claim the statement in the speech was a reference to the documents.

However, a more direct reference to Iraq reconstituting its nuclear program may be found in the transcript of President Bush's Cleveland speech on October 7, 2002. [1]

European and British intelligence reports

However, the front page of the June 28, 2004 Financial Times had a report from their national security correspondent, Mark Huband. He describes a strong consensus among that between 1999 and 2001 Niger was engaged in illicit negotiations over the export of its "yellow cake" uranium ore with North Korea, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and China. The British intelligence report on this matter, once cited by President Bush, has never been disowned or withdrawn by its authors. [citation needed]

The Sunday Times of London of August 1, 2004 contains an interview with an Italian source regarding his role in the forgeries. The source said he was sorry to have played a role in passing along false intelligence. [2]

Though British intelligence report's claims regarding Iraq's interest in yellowcake ore from Niger were never withdrawn, the United States' CIA and Department of State could not verify or thought the claims were "highly dubious". [3]

US doubts

Previously, in February 2002, three different American officials had made efforts to verify the reports. The deputy commander of U.S. Armed Forces Europe, Marine Gen. Carlton Fulford, went to Niger and met with the country's president. He concluded that, given the controls on Niger's uranium supply, there was little chance any of it could have been diverted to Iraq. His report was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers. The U.S. Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, was also present at the meeting and sent similar conclusions to the State Department.

Wilson and Niger

At roughly the same time, the CIA sent Ambassador Joseph Wilson to investigate the claims himself. Wilson had been posted to Niger 14 years earlier, and throughout a diplomatic career in Africa he had built up a large network of contacts in Niger. Wilson interviewed former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, who reported that he knew of no sales to Iraq. Mayaki did however recall that in June 1999 an Iraqi delegation had expressed interest in "expanding commercial relations", which he had interpreted to mean yellowcake sales.[3]

Ultimately, Wilson concluded that there was no way that production at the uranium mines could be ramped up or that the excess uranium could have been exported without it being immediately obvious to many people both in the private sector and in the government of Niger. He returned home and told the CIA that the reports were "unequivocally wrong". The CIA retained this information in its Counter Proliferation Department, and was not even passed up to the CIA Director, according to the bipartisan, unanimous findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee's July 2004 report.

CIA doubts

In early October 2002, George Tenet called Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, asking Hadley to remove reference to the Niger uranium from a speech Bush was to give in Cincinnati on Oct. 7. This was followed up by a memo asking Hadley to remove another, similar line. Another memo was sent to the White House expressing the CIA's view that the Niger claims were false; this memo was given to both Hadley and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

IAEA analysis

Further, in March 2003, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released results of his analysis of the documents. Reportedly, it took IAEA officials only a matter of hours to determine that these documents were fake. Using little more than a Google search, IAEA experts discovered indications of a crude forgery, such as the use of incorrect names of Nigerien officials. As a result, the IAEA reported to the U.N. Security Council that the documents were "in fact not authentic." The U.N. spokesman wrote:

The I.A.E.A. was able to review correspondence coming from various bodies of the government of Niger and to compare the form, format, contents and signature of that correspondence with those of the alleged procurement-related documentation. Based on thorough analysis, the I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents, which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded.[4]

Wilson and Plame

Retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson wrote a critical op-ed in The New York Times in which he explained the nature of the documents and the government's prior knowledge of their unreliability for use in a case for war. Shortly after Wilson's op-ed, in a column by Robert Novak, the identity of Wilson's wife, undercover CIA analyst Valerie Plame, was revealed. The Senate Intelligence Committee report and other sources seem to confirm that Plame gave her husband a positive recommendation. However, they also confirm that she did not personally authorize the trip (and in fact did not have any authority to do so).

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report also claimed that when Wilson briefed the CIA on his trip to Niger, CIA analysts felt the claim that Iraq sought WMD from Africa was further substantiated, though the State Department thought Wilson's findings refuted the claim.[citation needed] But the CIA had warned the President in March 2002 that Wilson's trip had concluded the claims were unsubstantiated.[5]

The "Plame affair" (aka. "CIA leak scandal"), which ensued as a result of the unauthorized disclosure of Plame's identity, is an ongoing political scandal and criminal investigation into the source of the leak which "outed" Plame, and whether or not that person committed a crime.

The actual words President Bush spoke: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" suggests that his source was British intelligence and not the forged documents.[6]

However, the Administration has admitted that the claim was "a mistake." [citation needed]

Butler Report

The Butler Report issued after a review by the British government concluded that the report Saddam's government was seeking uranium in Africa appeared credible. Nevertheless, the Butler report fails to advance any evidence to substantiate this conclusion. Furthermore, the Butler report concluded that "The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it,"[4] which again could not be verified. In some ways the Butler Report does dispute the findings with this statement in the review. [5] "authorship of the dossier was a mistaken judgement".

European intelligence services

In June 2004, The Financial Times reported that they had "learnt that three European intelligence services were aware of possible illicit trade in uranium from Niger between 1999 and 2001, [and] human intelligence gathered in Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit uranium deals with at least five countries, including Iraq." The article stated that "human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger, [and that] one of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq."[7]

In any case, French intelligence had repeatedly warned the Bush administration a year before his State of the Union address that the allegation could not be supported with evidence.[8]

More doubts

In January 2006, the New York Times revealed the existence of a memo which stated that the suggestion of uranium being sold was "unlikely" because of a host of economic, diplomatic and logistical obstacles. The memo, dated March 4, 2002, was distributed at senior levels by the office of former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and by the Defense Intelligence Agency.[9]

Statements by Wilson

In a July 2003 op-ed, Ambassador Wilson recounted his experiences and stated "I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."[10] Although the president had cited "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," British intelligence have failed to show any other source of information.

Wilson told The Washington Post anonymously in June 2003 that he had concluded that the intelligence about the Niger uranium was based on the forged documents because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong." The relevant papers were not in CIA hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip. Wilson had to backtrack and said he may have "misspoken" on this.[11] The Senate intelligence committee, which examined pre-Iraq war intelligence, reported that Wilson "had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports."

Origin

By late 2003, the trail of the documents had been partially uncovered. They were obtained by a "security consultant" (and former agent of the precursor agency to SISMI, the SID), Rocco Martino, from Italian military intelligence (SISMI). An article in The Times (London) quoted Martino as having received the documents from a woman on the staff of the Niger embassy, after a meeting was arranged by a serving SISMI agent. [6] Martino later recanted and said he had been misquoted, and that SISMI had not facilitated the meeting where he obtained the documents. It was later revealed that Martino had been invited to serve as the conduit for the documents by Col. Antonio Nucera of SISMI, the head of the counterintelligence and WMD proliferations sections of SISMI's Rome operations center. [12]

Martino, in turn, offered them to Italian journalist Elizabetta Burba. On instructions from her editor at Panorama, Burba offered them to the U.S. Embassy in Rome in October, 2002. [13] Burba was dissuaded by the editors of the Berlusconi-owned Panorama from investigating the source of the forgeries.

An August 2004 Financial Times article indicated French officials may have had a role in the forged documents coming to light. The article states:

According to senior European officials, in 1999 [Rocco Martino] provided French officials with genuine documents which revealed Iraq may have been planning to expand 'trade' with Niger. This trade was assumed to be in uranium, which is Niger's main export. It was then that Mr Martino first became aware of the value of documents relating to Niger's uranium exports. He was then asked by French officials to provide more information, which led to a flourishing 'market' in documents. He subsequently provided France with more documents, which turned out to have been forged when they were handed to the International Atomic Energy Agency by US diplomats.

The Times article also stated that "French officials have not said whether they know Mr Martino, and are unlikely to either confirm or deny that he is a source."[14]

It is as yet unknown how Italian intelligence came by the documents and why they were not given directly to the U.S. In 2005, Vincent Cannistraro, the former head of counterterrorism operations at the CIA and the intelligence director at the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, expressed the opinion that the documents had been produced in the United States and funneled through the Italians: "The documents were fabricated by supporters of the policy in the United States. The policy being that you had to invade Iraq in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein ...." [15]

According to a 2003 article in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh, the forgery may have been a deliberate entrapment by current and former CIA officers to settle a score against Cheney and other neoconservatives. Hersh recounts how a former officer told him that "somebody deliberately let something false get in there." [16] Hersh continues:

He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.

"The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney," the former officer said. "They said, 'O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.'" My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. "Everyone was bragging about it—'Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.'" These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.

In an interview published April 7, 2005, Cannistraro was asked by Ian Masters what he would say if it was asserted that the source of the forgery was former National Security Council and State Department consultant Michael Ledeen. (Ledeen had also allegedly been a liaison between the American Intelligence Community and SISMI two decades earlier.) Cannistraro answered by saying: "you'd be very close." [17] Ledeen has denied this - see [18] - an article which mentions, though, that he has worked for the aforementioned Panorama magazine.

In an interview on July 26, 2005, Cannistraro's business partner and columnist for the "American Conservative" magazine, former CIA counter terrorism officer Philip Giraldi, confirmed to Scott Horton that the forgeries were produced by "a couple of former CIA officers who are familiar with that part of the world who are associated with a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy." When Horton said that must be Ledeen, he confirmed it, and added that the ex-CIA officers, "also had some equity interests, shall we say, with the operation. A lot of these people are in consulting positions, and they get various, shall we say, emoluments in overseas accounts, and that kind of thing." [19]

In a second interview with Horton, Giraldi elaborated to say that Ledeen and his former CIA friends worked with Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. "These people did it probably for a couple of reasons, but one of the reasons was that these people were involved, through the neoconservatives, with the Iraqi National Congress and Chalabi and had a financial interest in cranking up the pressure against Saddam Hussein and potentially going to war with him." [20]

The suggestion of a plot by CIA officers is countered by an explosive series of articles [21] in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.[22][23][24] Investigative reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo report that Nicolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, known as Sismi, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002. Sismi had reported to the CIA on October 15, 2001, that Iraq had sought yellowcake in Niger, a report it also plied on British intelligence, creating an echo that the Niger forgeries themselves purported to amplify before they were exposed as a hoax.

Pollari met secretly in Washington on September 9, 2002, with then–Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. Their secret meeting came at a critical moment in the White House campaign to convince Congress and the American public that war in Iraq was necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. What may be most significant to American observers, however, is La Repubblica's allegation that the Italians sent the bogus intelligence about Niger and Iraq not only through traditional allied channels such as the CIA, but seemingly directly into the White House. That direct White House channel amplifies questions about the 16-word reference to the uranium from Africa in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address -- which remained in the speech despite warnings from the CIA and the State Department that the allegation was not substantiated. [25][26][27][28]

Butler Report

While some officials in the CIA were skeptical of the Niger documents, President Bush relied mainly on intelligence from Britain for his State of the Union message and used the Niger documents for confirmation. Britain had multiple sources for the intelligence that Iraq sought uranium from both Niger and the Republic of Congo. Here are some conclusions from the Butler Report (which was very critical of other aspects of intelligence findings on WMD in Iraq) found on pages 122-125.[4]

Conclusion 494. There was further and separate intelligence that in 1999 the Iraqi regime had also made inquiries about the purchase of uranium ore in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this case, there was some evidence that by 2002 an agreement for a sale had been reached.

Conclusion 499. We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was well-founded.

Conclusion 503. From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:

a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
b. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.
c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium, and the British Government did not claim this.
d. The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it.

Although sources other than the Niger documents are mentioned, no evidence of this is advanced directly within the Butler Report itself.

Aftermath

In March 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed not to open a Congressional investigation of the matter, but rather asked the FBI to conduct the investigation.

In 2003, unidentified "senior officials" in the administration leaked word to columnist Robert Novak that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative. The CIA requested an investigation into whether this public disclosure was illegal, thus the Niger uranium controversy spawned an on-going legal investigation and political scandal.

In September 2004, the CBS News program 60 Minutes decided to delay a major story on the forgeries because such a broadcast might influence the 2004 U.S. presidential election. A CBS spokesman stated, "We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election." [29]

Nicolo Pollari, director of the SISMI intelligence agency,[30] told an Italian parliamentary intelligence committee that the dossier came from Rocco Martino, a former Italian spy.

The Los Angeles Times reported on December 3, 2005, that the FBI reopened the inquiry into "how the Bush administration came to rely on forged documents linking Iraq to nuclear weapons materials as part of its justification for the invasion." According to the Times, "a senior FBI official said the bureau's initial investigation found no evidence of foreign government involvement in the forgeries, but the FBI did not interview Martino, a central figure in a parallel drama unfolding in Rome."

On May 11 2006, New American Media reported how pre-Iraq War Italian forged documents were delivered to the White House alleging that Saddam Hussein had obtained yellowcake uranium ore from Niger. New links implicating Italian companies and individuals with then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi now raise the question of whether Berlusconi received a payback as part of the deal -- namely, a Pentagon contract to build the U.S. president's special fleet of helicopters.

Christopher Hitchens has suggested that the forged documents were made to be such bad forgeries in order that they would be "discovered" in short order.[7]

The irony is that the Tuwaitha facility south of Baghdad already possessed yellow cake uranium. This factory contained the remains of nuclear reactors bombed by Israel in 1981 and the United States in 1991. The facility was monitored and frequently inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency after the 1991 Gulf War. About 1.8 metric tons of "yellow cake" and 500 tons of unrefined uranium went missing as the Iraqis left Tuwaitha unattended during the war.[8]When the facility was first encountered by U.S. Marines, they thought they had stumbled upon an illegal weapons cache; according to nuclear experts, however, they actually wound up breaking the IAEA seals that are "designed to ensure the materials aren't diverted for weapons use or end up in the wrong hands."[9] The Pentagon dispatched a team to survey the site "after a month of official indecision," finding it heavily looted.[10]

Footnotes

1. ^ CNN.com Inside Politics website, October 8, 2002, "Bush: Don't wait for mushroom cloud"
2. ^ The Sunday Times of London, August 1, 2004, "Italian spies ‘faked documents’ on Saddam nuclear purchase"
3. ^ Time Magazine, July 21, 2003, "A Question of Trust"
4. ^ a b Butler Report
5. ^ Butler Report Launch Statement
6. ^ "Tracked down," by Nicholas Rufford and Nick Fielding, Sunday Times (London), Aug. 1, 2004.
7. ^ "Wowie Zahawie: Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger." (Slate, 4.11.06) by Christopher Hitchens.
8. ^ "Missing Iraq uranium 'secured'" (BBC, 6.21.03)
9. ^ William J. Kole, "Experts Say US 'Discovery' of Nuclear Materials in Iraq was Breach of UN-Monitored Site," Associated Press (10 April 2003).
10. ^ Barton Gellman, "Iraqi Nuclear Site Is Found Looted," Washington Post (4 May 2003) A1.

See also

* Downing Street memo
* Plame affair
* Movement to impeach George W. Bush
* 2003 invasion of Iraq
* Iraq disarmament crisis
* Aluminum tubes

External links and references

* Niger-Iraq Yellowcake documents
* Plame's Lame Game: What Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife forgot to tell us about the yellow-cake scandal, from Slate
* Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced in by By Laura Rozen October 25, 2005 American Prospect Online
* Italian Faces Pre-War Intelligence Probe October 25, 2005 By ARIEL DAVID in the Guardian
* "Bush's "16 Words" on Iraq & Uranium: He May Have Been Wrong But He Wasn't Lying" - FactCheck
* "Senate Report on PreWar Intelligence on Iraq" - US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
* "Report on Intelligence of Weapons of Mass Destruction" - Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors chaired by Lord Butler of Brockwell
* "Transcript of UN speech by Colin Powell" - CNN, February 6, 2003
* Detailed timeline of Africa-uranium allegation - Center for Cooperative Research
* "Who Lied to Whom?" by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, March 31, 2003.
* "Fake Iraq documents 'embarrassing' for U.S." CNN, March 14, 2003.
* Joseph Wilson. What I Didn't Find in Africa, New York Times, July 6, 2003.
* "Who Forged the Niger Documents?" interview of Vincent Cannistraro by Ian Masters, Alternet, April 7, 2005.
* "Cheney's Plan to Nuke Iran" interview of Philip Giraldi by Scott Horton, WeekendInterviewShow.com, July 26, 2005
* "Agent behind fake uranium documents worked for France" by Bruce Johnston, News. Telegraph, September 19, 2004
* "Italy blames France for Niger uranium claim" by Bruce Johnston, The Telegraph, 05/09/2004
* The Plame Game: Was This a Crime? By Victoria Toensing and Bruce W. Sanford. Wednesday, January 12, 2005; Page A21

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another Pretty White Girl Missing!

Missing Vermont Women, Man Caught on Surveillance Video

Just in the nick of time--maybe--Fox News has found a distraction from real news: a pretty, white Vermont coed has been abducted.

Now that the tainted spinach scare has subsided (V For Vendetta, anyone?), the Foley Fallout situation demands a new and different diversion. It seems the right wing realizes it can't just give American voters the same kind of phony story over and over again--they must have a list of categories and a schedule for rotating them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

GOP Has Contempt for Evangelical Voters

Tucker Carlson to Evangelicals: Duped

Remember the Jack Abramoff emails which demonstrated how top-level Republican insiders really feel about their evangelical base? Remember when Abramoff referred to co-conspirator Ralph Reed as "crazy, like other folks in the Christian Coalition"?

You'd think that these revelations would've clued in the Jesus voters.

You'd think that they would understand by now that well-paid advisors brief W on which insider terms to use in order to thrill the hearts of fundamentalists. You'd think that they would notice that "their" president rarely attends religious services. Recent books have portrayed GWB as a foul-mouthed and ill-tempered bundle of resentment, likelier to say "motherfucker" and raise the finger than to bend the knee.

Howard Dean described an incident that occurred during a meeting with Bush, when both men were governors. When forced to take a call from a Christian Coalition representative, W stomped off muttering "I hate these people."

Alas, most evangelicals still cling to their hallucinations of Republican piety. Maybe this revelation by Tucker Carlson -- no liberal, he -- will finally awaken the entranced:

[Chris Matthews' Show, Oct. 10, 2006]

CARLSON: It goes deeper than that though. The deep truth is that the elites in the Republican Party have pure contempt for the evangelicals who put their party in power. Everybody in...

MATTHEWS: How do you know that? How do you know that?

CARLSON: Because I know them. Because I grew up with them. Because I live with them. They live on my street. Because I live in Washington, and I know that everybody in our world has contempt for the evangelicals. And the evangelicals know that, and they're beginning to learn that their own leaders sort of look askance at them and don't share their values.

MATTHEWS: So this gay marriage issue and other issues related to the gay lifestyle are simply tools to get elected?

CARLSON: That's exactly right. It's pandering to the base in the most cynical way, and the base is beginning to figure it out.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bonjour Tristesse



George W. Bush, October 4, 2006

Even More Disgusting Than Sex With Underage Pages



Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri said Hastert has led the House well and that "there is not, and has not been, any daylight between the speaker and me."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Congressman Mark Foley's Sexually Explicit Instant Messages

Congressman Foley (7:46:33 PM): did any girl give you a hand job this weekend

Page (7:46:38 PM): lol no

Page (7:46:40 PM): im single right now

Page (7:46:57 PM): my last gf and i broke up a few weeks ago

Congressman Foley (7:47:11 PM): are you

Congressman Foley (7:47:11 PM): good so your getting horny

Page (7:47:29 PM): lol…a bit

Congressman Foley (7:48:00 PM): did you spank it this weekend yourself

Page (7:48:04 PM): no

Page (7:48:16 PM): been too tired and too busy

Congressman Foley (7:48:33 PM): wow…

Congressman Foley (7:48:34 PM): i am never too busy haha

Page (7:48:51 PM): haha

Congressman Foley (7:50:02 PM): or tired..helps me sleep

Page (7:50:15 PM): thats true

Page (7:50:36 PM): havent been having a problem with sleep though.. i just walk in the door and collapse well at least this weekend

Congressman Foley (7:50:56 PM): i am sure

Page (7:50:57 PM): i dont do it very often normally though

Congressman Foley (7:51:11 PM): why not

Congressman Foley (7:51:22 PM): at your age seems like it would be daily

Page (7:51:57 PM): not me

Page (7:52:01 PM): im not a horn dog

Page (7:52:07 PM): maybe 2 or 3 times a week

Congressman Foley (7:52:20 PM): thats a good number

Congressman Foley (7:52:27 PM): in the shower

Page (7:52:36 PM): actually usually i dont do it in the shower

Page (7:52:42 PM): just cause i shower in the morning

Page (7:52:47 PM): and quickly

Congressman Foley (7:52:50 PM): in the bed

Page (7:52:59 PM): i get up at 530 and am outta the house by 610

Page (7:53:03 PM): eh ya

Congressman Foley (7:53:24 PM): on your back

Page (7:53:30 PM): no face down

Congressman Foley (7:53:32 PM): love details

Page (7:53:34 PM): lol

Page (7:53:36 PM): i see that

Page (7:53:37 PM): lol

Congressman Foley (7:53:39 PM): really

Congressman Foley (7:53:54 PM): do you really do it face down

Page (7:54:03 PM): ya

Congressman Foley (7:54:13 PM): kneeling

Page (7:54:31 PM): well i dont use my hand…i use the bed itself

Congressman Foley (7:54:31 PM): where do you unload it

Page (7:54:36 PM): towel

Congressman Foley (7:54:43 PM): really

Congressman Foley (7:55:02 PM): completely naked?

Page (7:55:12 PM): well ya

Congressman Foley (7:55:21 PM): very nice

Page (7:55:24 PM): lol

Congressman Foley (7:55:51 PM): cute butt bouncing in the air

Page (7:56:00 PM): haha

Page (7:56:05 PM): well ive never watched myself

Page (7:56:08 PM): but ya i guess

Congressman Foley (7:56:18 PM): i am sure not

Congressman Foley (7:56:22 PM): hmmm

Congressman Foley (7:56:30 PM): great visual

Congressman Foley (7:56:39 PM): i may try that

Page (7:56:43 PM): it works

Congressman Foley (7:56:51 PM): hmm

Congressman Foley (7:56:57 PM): sound interesting

Congressman Foley (7:57:05 PM): i always use lotion and the hand

Congressman Foley (7:57:10 PM): but who knows

Page (7:57:24 PM): i dont use lotion…takes too much time to clean up

Page (7:57:37 PM): with a towel you can just wipe off….and go

Congressman Foley (7:57:38 PM): lol

Congressman Foley (7:57:45 PM): where do you throw the towel

Page (7:57:48 PM): but you cant work it too hard….or its not good

Page (7:57:51 PM): in the laundry

Congressman Foley (7:58:16 PM): just kinda slow rubbing

Page (7:58:23 PM): ya….

Page (7:58:32 PM): or youll rub yourself raw

Congressman Foley (7:58:37 PM): well I have a totally stiff wood now

Page (7:58:40 PM): cause the towel isnt very soft

Congressman Foley (7:58:44 PM): i bet..that would hurt

Page (7:58:50 PM): but you can find something softer than a towel i guess

Congressman Foley (7:58:59 PM): but it must feel great spirting on the towel

Page (7:59:06 PM): ya

Congressman Foley (7:59:29 PM): wow

Congressman Foley (7:59:48 PM): is your little guy limp…or growing

Page (7:59:54 PM): eh growing

Congressman Foley (8:00:00 PM): hmm

Congressman Foley (8:00:12 PM): so you got a stiff one now

Page (8:00:19 PM): not that fast

Page (8:00:20 PM): hey

Page (8:00:32 PM): so you have a fetich

Congressman Foley (8:00:32 PM): hey what

Page (8:00:40 PM): fetish**

Congressman Foley (8:00:43 PM): like

Congressman Foley (8:00:53 PM): i like steamroom

Congressman Foley (8:01:04 PM): whats yours

Page (8:01:09 PM): its kinda weird

Page (8:01:14 PM): lol

Congressman Foley (8:01:21 PM): i am hard as a rock..so tell me when your reaches rock

Page (8:01:23 PM): i have a cast fetish

Congressman Foley (8:01:27 PM): well tell me

Congressman Foley (8:01:32 PM): cast

Page (8:01:44 PM): ya like…plaster cast

Congressman Foley (8:01:49 PM): ok..so what happens

Congressman Foley (8:01:58 PM): how does that turn you on

Page (8:02:02 PM): i dont know

Page (8:02:04 PM): it just does

Page (8:02:08 PM): ive never had one

Page (8:02:16 PM): but people that have them turn me on

Page (8:02:27 PM): and if i had one it would probably turn me on

Page (8:02:29 PM): beats me

Page (8:02:32 PM): its kinda weird

Page (8:02:50 PM): but along with that i like the whole catholic girl look….thats our schools uniform

Congressman Foley (8:03:02 PM): ha thats wild

Page (8:03:14 PM): ya but now im hard

Congressman Foley (8:03:32 PM): me 2

Congressman Foley (8:03:42 PM): cast got you going

Congressman Foley (8:03:47 PM): what you wearing

Page (8:04:04 PM): normal clothes

Page (8:04:09 PM): tshirt and shorts

Congressman Foley (8:04:17 PM): um so a big bulge

Page (8:04:35 PM): ya

Congressman Foley (8:04:45 PM): um

Congressman Foley (8:04:58 PM): love to slip them off of you

Page (8:05:08 PM): haha

Congressman Foley (8:05:53 PM): and gram the one eyed snake

Congressman Foley (8:06:13 PM): grab

Page (8:06:53 PM): not tonight…dont get too excited

Congressman Foley (8:07:12 PM): well your hard

Page (8:07:45 PM): that is true

Congressman Foley (8:08:03 PM): and a little horny

Page (8:08:11 PM): and also tru

Congressman Foley (8:08:31 PM): get a ruler and measure it for me

Page (8:08:38 PM): ive already told you that

Congressman Foley (8:08:47 PM): tell me again

Page (8:08:49 PM): 7 and 1/2

Congressman Foley (8:09:04 PM): ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Congressman Foley (8:09:08 PM): beautiful

Page (8:09:38 PM): lol

Congressman Foley (8:09:44 PM): thats a great size

Page (8:10:00 PM): thank you

Congressman Foley (8:10:22 PM): still stiff

Page (8:10:28 PM): ya

Congressman Foley (8:10:40 PM): take it out

Page (8:10:54 PM): brb…my mom is yelling

Congressman Foley (8:11:06 PM): ok

Page (8:14:02 PM): back

Congressman Foley (8:14:37 PM): cool hope she didnt see any thing

Page (8:14:54 PM): no no

Page (8:14:59 PM): she is computer dumb though

Page (8:15:01 PM): it makes me so mad

Congressman Foley (8:15:04 PM): good

Congressman Foley (8:15:08 PM): haha

Congressman Foley (8:15:11 PM): why

Page (8:15:23 PM): cause she cant do anything

Congressman Foley (8:15:31 PM): oh well

Page (8:15:41 PM): she couldnt figure out how to download a file from an email and open it

Congressman Foley (8:15:53 PM): haha

Page (8:16:14 PM): and she only does it like a million times a day

Page (8:16:16 PM): oh well

Page (8:16:18 PM): whatever

Page (8:16:53 PM): well i better go finish my hw…i just found out from a friend that i have to finish reading and notating a book for AP english

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jon Stewart on Robert Novak Accusing Him of "Airs of Grandeur"

I'm not going to deny I'm a pompous ass...but "airs of grandeur"?? We couldn't figure out how to appropriately mock "airs of grandeur." Earlier we actually tried rehearsing with a guy in a white powdered wig who walked out with a scroll, but it... felt too real.

To Robert Novak, if you're watching...and I know you're not...I think it's time we buried the hatchet. We need to get together and talk. I know that you're a good person, deep down in your...the thing they replaced your heart with, that pumps the .... I know you have redeeming qualities. For example, when you're on television you let others shine, while you generously absorb all light...and oxygen. When you leave an area, it stops raining. And I know in the past I've referred to you as a...douche-bag, but that's not an "air of grandeur"... that's just mean... and sophomoric. And I only said those things to you because I sincerely believe you're a terrible person.