Via Laura, From page 58 of the SSCI report:
(U) The INR Iraq nuclear analyst told Committee staff that the thing that stood out immediately about the documents was that a companion document - a document included with the Niger documents that did not relate to uranium - mentioned some type of military campaign against major world powers. The members of the alleged military campaign included both Iraq and Iran, and was according to the documents, being orchestrated through the Nigerien Embassy in Rome, which all struck the analyst as "completely implausible." Because the stamp on this document matched the stamp on the uranium document, the analyst thought that all of the documents were likely suspect....
Laura has the document. The translation reads:
REPORT ON THE MEETING REALIZE[D] WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN OF ACTION "GLOBAL SUPPORT"
Our group, which met today June 14, 2002, at 4 PM in the residence of the Iraqi ambassador, via della Camillucia n° 355 in Rome has determined as follows:
The group directed by the ambassadors of Niger, Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Iran have decided that "Global Support" which is composed of specialists belonging to different military corps of the allied countries will be active immediately.
We are convinced that the high profession of the military belonging to "Global Support" are qualified with considerable experiences and very diversified in the sectors of defence and security and without a doubt they are responsible for the tasks assigned to them.
The Global Support (our group) is active worldwide, in all areas and extreme climates.
The competences of the members of Global Support are the following:
- Our support will above all be extended to:
governments subjected to an embargo;
governments continually suspected, and without just cause, of producing nuclear, biological, chemical weapons;
governments accused, without just cause, of international terrorism;
Islamic patriots accused of belonging to criminal organizations, to cells having non-existent ramifications;
"When you read this, it is so laughably outrageous, so cooked up out of some utterly goonish central casting spook house (or else a really truly funny Saturday Night Live crew), it requires its whole own Senate report treatment....Does this add (or subtract) anything to my questions/theories about the Niger forgeries or our broader understanding? I'm not sure.
Gee, you think the CIA might find something a little fishy about documents that basically purport to be the Rosetta Stone of all rogue Islamic countries taking notes of their meeting where they conspired together to forge a military alliance to defeat sanctions against fellow rogue regimes? A meeting supposedly held in the Iraq ambassador's residence in Rome, where surely none of the participating countries' ambassadors could have any inkling they might be under any sort of surveillance? And written in French that is not even correct? Glad the CIA caught that.
If it had been signed, P.S. We love you Saddam, it couldn't have been more cooked up, more staged. [I especially like the bit "Global Support (our group)..." part way down, just in case you didn't catch the first few times that the group was calling itself "Global Support."]
But even in such outrageous forgeries, there are clues about the thinking of the deceivers. Both of the people who might have created such a document, and of those who tried to put a package of such documents into circulation. Hersh's theory that the documents might have been created by anti-administration elements who wanted to ultimately embarrass the administration willing to seize on them for a time seems not implausible, when one gets a glimpse at how almost comically outrageous these documents are."
Juan Cole sez:
"The Niger forgeries also try to implicate Iran. Indeed, the idea of a joint Iraq/Iran nuclear plot was so far-fetched that it is what initially made the Intelligence and Research division of the U.S. State Department suspicious of the forgeries...
So Franklin, Ledeen, and Rhode, all of them pro-Likud operatives, just happen to be meeting with SISMI (the proto-fascist purveyor of the false Niger uranium story about Iraq and the alleged Iran-Iraq plot against the rest of the world) and corrupt Iranian businessman and would-be revolutionary Ghorbanifar in Europe. The most reasonable conclusion is that they were conspiring together about the Next Campaign after Iraq, which they had already begun setting in train, which is to get Iran."
Let me just recap the timeline.
Dec 2000 - Niger embassy break-in in Rome.
Feb 02 - Wilson goes to Niger (because of the story in the original forgeries)
June 02 - the above-mentioned Global Support document is dated.
Oct 02 - US Embassy in Rome gets all the documents and sends them to Foggy Bottom
In my original post, I asked whether the original forgeries may have been for some other reason than trying to instigate/justify an iraq war - e.g. whether they were designed to expose the fact that Iran had been trying to buy uranium in Niger.
Here's Laura again (in a different post):
"Recently, I have been told about several alleged front companies for Iran to acquire certain technologies based in Italy -- and elsewhere in Europe, that apparently are no secret to Sismi or the Italian authorities. That Iran is seeking dual use technology wherever it can get it, but particularly in Europe, no one disputes. But what was remarkable is the allegation that the Italian authorities know full well what some of these companies are about; Sismi has a whole division focused just on this counterproliferation issue. Yet, for some reason, some of these companies anyhow are permitted to operate there unmolested. Business as usual?"Here's the thing - the stuff that Joe Wilson learnt about Iran's procurement efforts in Niger probably weren't much of a secret - he picked up that info in 8 days of drinking mint tea.
SISMI probably already knew. The CIA probably knew too. Heck - maybe Ledeen et al did as well.
We know that there has been a concerted cover-up of Wilson's iran/Niger findings - and it is ongoing. I still don't understand why the egadministration doesn't shout this from the rooftops - even as they claim that Iran is trying to nuke everyone.
Looking at the timeline above - we see that the Iraq/Iran nuclear plot story was fabricated after Wilson returned and distributed his findings. Did the perpetrators of the Global Support story know of Wilson's findings? Were they angling for the 'Next Campaign' as Cole puts it? Or were they trying to conflate the two stories - in response to Wilson's findings?
No answers from me, yet. Just more questions.