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View Diary: Niger Yellowcake and The Man Who Forged Too Much (192 comments)

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  •  At the time the Franklin story broke (4.00)
    Ledeen paid a visit here and possibly Feith (as a dougf) also chimed in.

    It's marginally interesting for anyone following everything involved since it's unusual to see this type of public participation from someone like Ledeen.

    Ledeen references the meetings described in an old Knight-Ridder article:

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity, said the FBI also is investigating the same official's contacts with Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi and with Manucher Ghorbanifar, a controversial Iranian arms dealer. Chalabi was a source of much of the discredited pre-Iraq war intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida.

    . . . The CIA has twice labeled Ghorbanifar, a figure in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal, untrustworthy. Nevertheless, two Pentagon officials, Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who worked on Iraq policy for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, met secretly with Ghorbanifar to discuss Iran.

    He mostly bullshits his way past a few questions put to him in an effort to minimalize the entire affair while also trying to get some of his agenda across.

    The waves carry up little bits of knowledge and deposit them on the shore, and before you know it you've got Finland. Or whatever.

    by dougr on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 05:58:47 AM PDT

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    •  Con Man (none)
      One thing I think is interesting is that Novak, in his column, claims CIA thinks the person who supplied the document is a "Con Man."

      But look at how the SSCI report (PDF) describes the early CIA assessment of the documents:

      Because of these doubts, an INR analyst asked the CIA whether the source of the report could submit to a polygraph. [entire sentence redacted] A CIA analyst also inquired about the source and says he was told by the CIA's DO that the report was from a "very credible source." (38)

      I think it's clear these documents come from Ghorbanifar. But it's inconceivable to me that CIA's DO (who in this affair seems to have been on the side of mostly-good) would consider a guy they had given a burn rating to twice would consider him a credible source.

      It also makes me really curious about what's in that redacted sentence. Something like: "We asked SISMI to conduct a polygraph but they were unable to contact the source"?

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:21:47 AM PDT

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      •  Passage in SSCI refers to the initial report (none)
        of the Niger sales,the one that piqued Cheney's interest, not the (forged) documents that turned up a year later.  The CIA may have considered SISMI or the particular agent a credible source.  But Novak refers to the "documents" having come from a con man, which they did.  The CIA in July, 2003 may well have known that.

        This may also just be Novak, in July, 2003, after esposure of the forgeries, showing that he is really in the know.

        "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

        by Mimikatz on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:37:56 AM PDT

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        •  Good speculations on both counts (none)
          Just one more detail to keep in mind, though. The SSCI never indicates that CIA had decided these came from a "Con Man," at least not in the unredacted bits.

          Which makes me keep wondering about the report mentioned in that WaPo article but not in SSCI.

          This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

          by emptywheel on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:44:27 AM PDT

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      •  con man (none)
        directly after novak wrote the atricle WH came out w/ statement about how the 16 words got in the state of the union address and also blaming it on tenant. therefor they wanted to have an excuse for how they got 'duped'. by discrediting the source of the doc , by calling him a 'con man' he's softening the blow and supporting/taking the blame away from the WH. the admin knew all along they were forged, they were using any and all intellegence whether true or false to create the justification for war.

        excellent diary, this is as close as anyone's come so far putting all the pieces in place, for people who have been following leeden it comes as no surprise. i really don't know how to rate around here but i did push the recommend button, on a scale of 1 to 10 i'd give it a ten.

        •  OK Sooooooooo.... (none)
          If you can figure all this stuff out, in a pretty convincing manner I might THIS the info Fitzgerald has shown all the ejudicators in the Plame case, info that moved them to say this case trumps Millers jounalistic privilege???

          is miler sitting in jail NOT because she wont reveal her source but because she wont testify about her personal knowlege of ledeen et al????

          "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

          by KnotIookin on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 11:50:16 AM PDT

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      •  Novak confirms Cheney wanted the Wilson trip (none)
        "The White House, State Department and Pentagon, and not just Vice President Dick Cheney, asked the CIA to look into it."

        Not just Cheney but including Cheney. The original admin story (thru mouthpiece Novak) was "everybody was concerned". Somehow that has morphed to "Cheney had nothing to do with it". Riiight.

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