Saturday, July 12, 2003

The Niger uranium forgeries were really, really crude

Old news, but bears repeating -- Anyone with an open mind willing to do a little research would have seen the red flags immediately.

Mark Riley of the Sidney Morning Herald writes:

The Niger intelligence was first raised by Italian agencies in November 2001 and shared with the CIA. It was based on four letters, including one purportedly from the Nigerian President, Tandja Mamadou, and two from another cabinet minister, relating to an Iraqi uranium deal.

Mr Mamadou had proved the one supposedly from him carried a childlike signature bearing no resemblance to his own. Two more documents were written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, yet bore an October 2000 date and carried the signature of a foreign minister who had not held office for 14 years.

Despite protestations from the CIA, British intelligence included the claims in a September 2002 dossier that became the first rhetorical strike in Prime Minister Tony Blair's case for war

How could this crude forgery ever have been taken seriously by anyone? Or -- Gosh! -- maybe the CIA took one look at it, wanted no part of it, and the neo-cons and the White House hacks rammed it through anyhow? Since they had to have their war? My goodness!

"And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude." Forgeries, that is. Yellow cake. Erroneous allegations. Misstatements. Exaggerations. Lies, Texas-sized....