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Ear to the Ground

Vanity Fair: Niger Yellowcake Forgery May Have White House Ties

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Posted on Jun 7, 2006
Vanity Fair cover
From Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair’s Craig Unger reports that the Italian Secret Service likely concocted the Saddam-Niger forgery to bolster Bush’s case for war. The article raises questions about the involvement of a prominent White House-connected neocon in the “black ops” campaign.


Vanity Fair:

It’s a crisp, clear winter morning in Rome. In the neighborhood between the Vatican and the Olympic Stadium, a phalanx of motor scooters is parked outside a graffiti-scarred 10-story apartment building. No. 10 Via Antonio Baiamonte is home to scores of middle-class families, and to the embassy for the Republic of Niger, the impoverished West African nation that was once a French colony.

Though it may be unprepossessing, the Niger Embassy is the site of one of the great mysteries of our times. On January 2, 2001, an embassy official returned there after New Year’s Day and discovered that the offices had been robbed. Little of value was missing?a wristwatch, perfume, worthless documents, embassy stationery, and some official stamps bearing the seal of the Republic of Niger. Nevertheless, the consequences of the robbery were so great that the Watergate break-in pales by comparison.

A few months after the robbery, Western intelligence analysts began hearing that Saddam Hussein had sought yellowcake?a concentrated form of uranium which, if enriched, can be used in nuclear weapons?from Niger. Next came a dossier purporting to document the attempted purchase of hundreds of tons of uranium by Iraq. Information from the dossier and, later, the papers themselves made their way from Italian intelligence to, at various times, the C.I.A., other Western intelligence agencies, the U.S. Embassy in Rome, the State Department, and the White House, as well as several media outlets. Finally, in his January 2003 State of the Union address, George W. Bush told the world, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

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By Fred X, July 6, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The nonexistant yellow cake is worth a every existant several tens of millions. 

I guess you got it wrong.

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By harald hardrada, June 8, 2006 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

if we look at results, we can only infer that bush & his team are on the take—by destroying iraq they’ve boosted iran—the mullahs of iran must be paying bush & his team substantial sums: after all, america’s broke & iran’s flush—now the blustering about attacking iran’s starting to make sense: it’s a show to keep us in the dark—likewise the blustering about china & russia makes sense too: both countries are flush & have put bush & his team on the payroll because he’s been willing to stretch our military to the breaking point

we must always ask ‘cui bono?’

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By rex, June 8, 2006 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope that someone will do a companion story on how the
case for the non-existant “Iraqi Chemical Weapons” program
was created from nothing and why Colin Powell presented it at the UN when he knew the United Nations weapons inspectors had already examined the suspect sites and found nothing.
Talk about ignoring reality.

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By TruthPlease, June 8, 2006 at 1:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are there really any folks out there who still actually believe this administration didn’t manipulate the hell out of everything in the pre-war run up? And ever after, too, for that matter?
I know all the rhetoric, but surely no one can be so thoroughly blind - this one had Karl Rove and Dick Cheney written all over it from the very start - much like the related story of the CIA agent outing.
The real question is (and has been all along) - how much of this crap will the American people swallow, ignore, deny - before some kind of critical mass is achieved, and sanity prevails?  Please hurry - I don’t think things can hold together too much longer at this pace!

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By Ga, June 7, 2006 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since I first heard the phrase “forged documents” in the MSM, and everytime I heard the phrase subsequently, I always shouted: “Just who forged them?”

Why didn’t the MSM not ever even attempt to ask that question let alone answer it?!??!?

In addition, Vanity Fair has found at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union in which analysts at the C.I.A., the State Department, or other government agencies who had examined the Niger documents or reports about them raised serious doubts about their legitimacy—only to be rebuffed by Bush-administration officials who wanted to use the material. “They were just relentless,” says Wilkerson, who later prepared Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations General Assembly. “You would take it out and they would stick it back in. That was their favorite bureaucratic technique—ruthless relentlessness.

And this last bit from the story (emphasis added)... How many times did all the people involved in all of the commissions and investigations say that they never found any cases of “arm twisting” to support going to war?!?!??!

Everytime I think it can’t get any worse….

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By JP, June 7, 2006 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is SUCH a must-read, I cannot begin to tell you.

Just think of how that segued into all the timely terrorist threats.. makes one sick to the stomach.

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By SueG, June 7, 2006 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does this surprise anyone?  It shouldn’t.  George W. Bush is clearly criminally insane and something like a good case or the truth wouldn’t even be considered to stop his desire to show up “Poppy”.  Barbara did a wonderful job producing a war criminal and his snotty personality is a duplicate of hers.

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