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    04 November 2005

    Plot thickens

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    Bumped up to remain on front page ~ Geoff


    The Italian parliament is again looking into charges that Italian military intelligence passed forged documents alleging Iraqi purchases of Niger uranium to the US. The charges were amplified in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica:

    http://www.repubblica.it/2005/j/sezioni/esteri/nigergate/domande/domande.html

    This could ensnare Belusconi and also really kick the neocons in the anus.


    Posted by Bill

    [UPDATED] ~6 pm by Geoff
    A new front on the Niger-Uranium connections surfaced today mainstream and has been discused for the past week around the blogosphere. The claim is now that
    "At about the same time as the State of the Union address, they (Italy's SISMI secret services) said that the dossier doesn't correspond to the truth," Sen. Massimo Brutti told journalists after the parliamentary commission was briefed.

    Brutti said the warning was given in January 2003, but he did not know whether it was made before or after President Bush's speech.

    The United States and Britain used the claim that Saddam was seeking to buy uranium in Niger to bolster their case for the invasion, which started in March 2003. The intelligence supporting the claim later was deemed unreliable.

    TPM has more here and here...

    [UPDATE] ~1230 pm on Friday

    The Italian congress had a closed door session Thursday on the Niger/Uranium forgeries
    Committee members said they were shown documents defending General Pollari, including a copy of a classified letter from Robert S. Muller III, the director of the F.B.I., dated July 20, which praised Italy's cooperation with the bureau.

    In Washington, an official at the bureau confirmed the substance of the letter, whose contents were first reported Tuesday in the leftist newspaper L'Unità. The letter stated that Italy's cooperation proved the bureau's theory that the false documents were produced and disseminated by one or more people for personal profit, and ruled out the possibility that the Italian service had intended to influence American policy, the newspaper said.

    As a result, the letter said, according to both the F.B.I. official and L'Unità, the bureau had closed its investigation into the origin of the documents.

    The F.B.I. official declined to be identified by name.

    Josh Marshall asks
    Did the FBI interview Martino before making a conclusive judgment about the forgeries, who created them and why?

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