Meanwhile - for the last few days I've had two broad questions kicking around in my head - without any resolution. one is the 'why?' about the niger forgeries. and the other is about what Joe Wilson did find in africa.
We know that Wilson was sent to Africa and he learnt that he found that IraN had been trying to buy uranium in Niger - and we know that this story has been extensively covered up - which is totally bizarre. The USG justified war with Iraq (in part) because they said Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger -
And to my second issue about the creation of the niger forgeries - try as i might, i still cant make sense of the story. none of the major competing hypotheses make any sense to me. I understand that the forgeries made their way to the SOTU and led (in part) to an invasion of Iraq - but if that was the goal of the forgeries, then surely the perpetrators would have done a better job - right? right?
I don't even have any alternative hypotheses that make any sense. There was one suggestion (via hersh?) that the french (?) inserted the forgeries into the system so that the americans would be shown to be stupid, and thus stop the iraq invasion - but that doesnt make any sense. and we know via karen kwiatowski that the forgeries didnt come up through the OSP lie factory.
so what do we know?
1. we think we know that the forgeries were a result of the ledeen/ghorbanifar/MEK meetings
2. we know that the forgeries got wilson sent to niger
3. we know that wilson's trip got plame outed
4. we know that wilson discovered that Iran had been trying to buy uranium in iran
5. we know that wilson's Iran/uranium findings were covered up
was #2 predictable?
Is it possible that the purpose of the forgeries was to trigger events 3 or 4 (via #2)?
I cant see any scenarios that make any sense without becoming too convoluted.
We know that Ledeen/MEK were rooting for an invasion of Iran - if they knew about iran's overtures to Niger - then they could have created forgeries implicating Iran directly, rather than cross their fingers and hope that an investigation into Iraq would uncover the stuff about Iran.
Larisa talks about competing factions - leveraging from my hypotheses above that maybe the AQKhan network might otherwise be known as, say, the Dick Cheney Network, is it possible that Ledeen et al belong to a different faction - and they wanted it exposed that Cheney was selling nukes to Iran (and the Niger procurement was a part of the program)? Again, most unlikely. Not least becuase OVP kinda organised to have someone go to niger to go investigate.
Similarly, although the forgeries led to the outing of Plame (which led to some neoconic benefits) it's almost impossible that the events could have been predicted, or planned - so it's difficult to imagine that the purpose of the niger forgeries was to get Plame outed.
As I say - the major narratives on offer don't make any sense - but i cant come up with anything better.
There's also another possible scenario that I've speculated about before - that is also virtually implausible - that Wilson was played like a dupe by scowcroft into outing BJ (via the purported condi overtures) - or even that Wilson outed BJ intentionally (or at least intentionally instigated the chain of events that led to the outing).
I don't know the answer - but the circumstances as we know them dont seem to make much sense - so all we can do is ask questions.