The Whistle Blows an Operetta
October 11, 2005
CIA whistleblower Larry Johnson gives the deep background on the role Italy's intelligence service played in the Iraq-Niger uranium story -- it was likely the only player:
With friends like the Italians who needs enemies? If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are indicted they can shift some of the blame to the Italians. If it were not for Italy, Joe Wilson probably never would have been sent to Africa to investigate the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and the ensuing chain of events to smear Wilson would not have happened. A careful review of the Senate Intelligence CommitteeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Report on the Intelligence CommunityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq (July 2004) shows very clearly that there was only one source claiming that Iraq was buying the uranium. Shades of Curveball! Except in this case the source was not an Iraqi linked to Ahmed Chalabi, but a foreign liaison service. Knowledgeable friends say it was the Italian Intelligence Service (SISME).
SISME provided the CIA with three separate intelligence reports that Iraq had reached an agreement with Niger to buy 500 tons of yellowcake uranium (October 15, 2001; February 5, 2002; and March 25, 2002). (See Expanded PlameGate Timeline below). The second report from February was the subsequent basis for a DIA analysis, which led Vice President Cheney to ask CIA for more information on the matter. That request led to the CIA asking Ambassador Joe Wilson to go check out the story in Niger.Read on...