Dec 01 2005

Kristof, Wilson And The CIA War With America

Published by at 10:47 am under All General Discussions,Plame Game


Too many posts to keep track of! One thing we did post on was how the Wilson trip in 2002 was handled in a way to be hidden from higher ups. This could be ‘plausible deniability’ or hiding a rogue effort – but it is important to realize how uniquely the Wilson trips were handled.


Cleaned up text, extended the ending


Looks like we are beginning to pull Tom Maguire over to the dark side!

Mac Ranger has more on the WND story here, and on the Hindraker topic here

But most importantly to my theory outlined below is Mac Ranger found more linkage to AQ Kahn and his two trips to Niger in….

Yep, you guessed it. 1999. (translated version here)

A recent intelligence lead takes us back to Niger, where Khan was a welcomed guest of the government and where his intermediaries continue to do business, the very same who in 1999 made a fool of the French Secret Services charged with monitoring – through the multinational Cogema – the uranium mines from which some years before were able to illegally export 1,200 tons of yellow cake (yellow uranium oxide from which gas is extracted to be applied in centrifuges in order to be enriched) to Libya.

Businessmen from Niger and the «architect» of the Islamic Bomb turn up in the notes of the secret services who some time back indicated, amongst other things, the attempts made by Saddam’s emissaries to buy uranium from Niamey in the very same period in which, in Nigers capital, the Old Man of the DIY nuclear device, Khan, was present.

As was seen in Niger-gate the final report of the British Parliaments Commission, in July 2004, pointed out the passage in Niger of Iraqi officials in 1999 and mentions sellers of uranium who in 1999 and 2001 planned to sell uranium to Iran, Libya, China, North Korea and Iraq.

Secret Informative notes refer in detail to how Khan and his scientific council made a series of visits to Niger and to the Direction of the Pakistani nuclear site of Khauta, visits made in February. In 1998, and above all 1999, a series of encounters defined by nuclear anti-proliferation experts as highly suspect, were held in Niamey. It was here that the «doctor» had his atomic shopping base, the very same base as was used for trips to Sudan, Nigeria, Dubai, Casablanca (where he was received by the ambassador Kakar), Bamako or Timbuktu in Mali (February 98, Hotel Hendrina Khan), Chad where in February he visited the Shifa centre which had just been bombed by the Americans.

Bingo! We know why Wilson and the CIA was interested. But even more so – we know there was an Iraqi connection.

More at American Thinker. This story is about to bust wide open!


Sorry folks, not a lot of time to post this morning.

I suggest you check out this Jack Cashill piece at WND. It is a pretty good piece, but I wish he would focus more on the fact Kristof clearly implicates Valerie as one of his sources:

I’m told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president’s office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the CIA and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the wording I emphasized clearly implies a witness to Joe Wilson’s debriefing. According to the Senate report the debriefing was at the Wilson’s house with Valerie, Joe and two DO agents. The two DO agents have testified there was no discussion of the Niger forgeries – because there wasn’t. So the only witness who would back up Joe’s Niger document angle was Valerie. Who Kristof knew – according to Tom Maguire.


BTW, the same is true for the Pincus story referenced in the WND article. This time there is a clear reference to ‘sources’ – which can only be Valerie and J0e (unless the DO agents perjured themselves in front of the US Senate)

After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy’s conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the “dates were wrong and the names were wrong,” the former U.S. government official said.

There were only two people present that would add the forgery spin to the debriefing.


The other must read on this topic is John Hindraker’s scathing piece on the CIA war and all the leaks coming out in a misguided attempt to set the press against Bush (like they aren’t already there!).

THE CIA’S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency’s most successful covert action of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer’s words, “the book was being used to bash the president.” However, the agency’s preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New York Times or the Washington Post, CIA officials have sought to undermine America’s foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency’s agenda and profit from its torrent of leaks, have maintained a discreet silence about what should be a major scandal.

The Plame Game with Niger forgeries was just one of these efforts. The problem is the Wilsons bungled it somehow. They tied their forgery leak-scam to the 2002 trip of Joe Wilson to Niger. This was to be a big mistake. Because that was the fourth trip to the region for Wilson, one being in 1999 and again for the CIA. Why was is so important for Wilson to get to Niger, over the doubts of the entire intelligence community, while two other investigations were on going?

It is pretty clear. Wilson, in his own words, made sure the people he talked to in Niger knew he was from ‘the government’. The same people in power during the coupe d’etat in 1999 who were looking for money to finance their new government and get out from under the uranium market recession that had been going on for years. The reason Joe needed to say he was from ‘the government’ was so they knew he was back in his emissary role for the CIA.

He needed to talk to these people so badly he did not once complain about the restrictions placed on him by the other two investigations to stay away from current Niger leaders. Joe was more than happy to talk to Niger leaders who were somehow extremely well off and working with business men in the uranium trade. Former Niger leaders who were more than happy to walk away from leading the country to allow for a democratically elected government.

On this site we have speculated that the rogue CIA elements that Hindraker is pointing to are so rogue they would partake in black market trade of such items as uranium. We have shown how uranium was/is still available from abandoned minds in Niger and Gabon – where Wilson was US Ambassador. Was the uranium from these abandoned mines (abandoned by French company Cogema/Avera Group) being routed to Libya through Niger?

And the money for lobbyists for these countries was immense. This is probably why Wilson went into private business. He was just following the lead of his second wife (before Valerie)

Gabon has also maintained a three-year-old relationship with Jacqueline Wilson, the ex-spouse of a senior US diplomat. According to her filings, Wilson receives tens of thousands of dollars for special projects and reports to President Omar Bongo’s daughter, Pascaline Mferri Bongo.

In her latest filing, Wilson reported that she was paid 60,000 dollars between August and November 2000 to ”support action of president of Gabon to fight AIDS pandemic (and) develop a strategy.” As to work performed, she reported sending ”letters to the office of National AIDS policy at the White House.”

So, why did Valerie and Joe feel it was imperative to get Joe to Niger in 2002 as investigations were heating up all over the place regarding uranium to Africa? Well, if you want to push a military dictator out of the way so elections can take place, you might set him up with an small, illicit trade to keep fat dumb and happy the rest of his life. And you might do this as a CIA special operation, using the former Ambassador of a neighboring country the dictator trusted. And you might do that in 1999.

And when a new administration comes in, one which is not going to patiently wait around while the CIA bribes bad guys to allow democracy to take root, the trouble starts. The CIA’s dirty little secrets are about to be exposed because this new administration has developed an intelligence group within the pentagon equal to the CIA – but not out of the loop on CIA Ops. So the DoD folks start tripping over CIA operations, like the one to get a military dictator out of the way in Niger in 1999. That is why Wilson had to rush to Niger – to put the tooth paste back in the tube and talk to all those now silenced and profitable former leaders.

All well and good. But then the Wilsons wanted to join the Kerry campaign and get back into power. Joe said himself it would take a major scandal to unseat Bush and get Kerry in. He said this days before his Op-Ed came out. The only problem was the scandal was supposed to be about Niger forgeries. It turned out to be about Valerie instead. That led to the Senate investigation that debunked any forgery connections, and which exposed the 1999 trip to Niger for Valerie. That was the mistake. To put a false story on top of a covert story.

That is how this will all fall apart. The Wilsons used a covert operation to cover for a covert political scandal, and in the end helped expose the CIA people, methods, contacts and operations. This is the one leak that the CIA tried that backfired. Because the 1999 and 2002 trips were not about Niger forgeries, but they were very likely about the illegal uranium trade.

We would hope our CIA would be working to close down the illegal trade. But as Mac Ranger points out, our efforts around the world are not always as ‘right side’, and at times we make pacts with the devils.

21 responses so far

21 Responses to “Kristof, Wilson And The CIA War With America”

  1. LuckyBogey says:

    Michael Scheuer should be added to our list of ex-CIA officers and his possible connection to Wilson and Valerie? He has an interesting background! Also, why is the CIA prison leak new now? This was first reported on 60 Minutes in March? CIA Flying Suspects To Torture? March 6, 2005

    An airport officer told 60 Minutes she saw the two men hustled to the plane. She didn’t want to be identified, but she had no doubt about where the plane came from: “I know that the aircraft was American registration … because the ‘N’ first, on the registration.”

    The so-called “N” number marks an American plane. Swedish records show a Gulfstream G5, N379P was there that night. Within hours, Al-Zery and Agiza, both of whom had been seeking asylum in Sweden, found themselves in an Egyptian prison.

    “The option of not doing something is extraordinarily dangerous to the American people,” says Michael Scheuer, who until three months ago was a senior CIA official in the counterterrorist center. Scheuer created the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit and helped set up the rendition program during the Clinton administration.

    “Basically, the National Security Council gave us the mission, take down these cells, dismantle them and take people off the streets so they can’t kill Americans,” says Scheuer. “They just didn’t give us anywhere to take the people after we captured.”

    So the CIA started taking suspects to Egypt and Jordan. Scheuer says renditions were authorized by Clinton’s National Security Council and officials in Congress – and all understood what it meant to send suspects to those countries.

    From the above article, Bin Laden Expert Steps Forward Nov. 14, 2004

    Michael Scheuer is the senior intelligence analyst who created and advised a secret CIA unit for tracking and eliminating bin Laden since 1996. He’s also been at the center of a battle between the CIA and the White House over Mideast policy and the war on terror…. What is new for Scheuer – who resigned from the intelligence agency on Friday after 22 years – is commenting by name. This summer, he authored a book, “Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror,” under the pen name Anonymous…. The book, written with the CIA’s blessing, is critical of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policy, and was viewed by some at the White House as a thinly veiled attempt by the CIA to undermine the president’s reelection…..

  2. […] interesting stuff. Filed in: Misc, War on Terror at 10:50 am on Thursday, December 1, 2005 TrackBack function wpopen (macagna) {, ‘_blank’,’width=590,height=500,scrollbars=yes,status=yes’); } […]

  3. mary mapes says:

    I posted this before…

    CEMAC – Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale
    (Member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, D.R. Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal)
    “The Treaty instituting the CEMAC was signed on March 16, 1994 in Ndjamena (Chad); it came into effect in June 1999 (Conference of the Heads of States of the CEMAC with Malabo)”

    • the promotion of the national markets by the elimination of the obstacles to the intercommunity trade, the coordination of the programs of development, the harmonization of the industrial projects

    CEMAC was Africa taking over the black market. Illicit trading was cutting into their already fledging bottom line.

  4. mary mapes says:

    If anyone has the stomach for it Wilson gave a speech at Brown last night (audio and report of speech found here)

    “Iraq and ambassador to Gabon, he was enjoying retirement.

    Journal photo / Connie Grosch
    Former ambassador Joseph Wilson speaks at Brown University last night. He talked about his book, The Politics of Truth.

    “My golf game was improving,” he said. “I was able to afford a Jaguar convertible — a used one.

    “You may have seen it in Vanity Fair, with an attractive blonde in dark glasses and a Grace Kelly scarf,” he continued, referring to the magazine spread for which he and his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, posed after her employment with the Central Intelligence Agency became public knowledge.

    Early in 2002, Wilson traveled to Niger to investigate a report that Iraq had attempted to buy 500 tons of uranium ore from the West African country’s government, and that a memorandum of sale existed.

    Wilson was sent not because of vicarious clout with the CIA, as his detractors have claimed. “I had served as ambassador to another French-speaking, uranium-producing country,” he said, going on to cast himself as a trusted friend of officials in Niger, thanks to his role in crafting U.S.-Africa policy, and in nourishing Niger’s fledgling democracy, late in his diplomatic career. After consulting with those officials, he concluded there was nothing to the report. If there had been, he said, “In a country that’s been bankrupt since the 1960s, everybody would know about it, because everybody would want a piece of the revenue for their respective ministries.”

    Producing 500 extra tons of uranium would have represented a 35-percent increase in production, an increase that would have been apparent in increased quantities of workers, trucks and supplies, Wilson said.”

  5. […] Meanwhile, the Plame/Wilson Nonsense is still around, and will be for as long as there is any hope that the “right” people – any Bushies – can be taken down from the non-scandal, and as long as none of the “wrong” people – members of the press or the Wilson’s themselves – can get hurt by it. As we see here, Andrea Mitchell is still hanging on by her fingernails. […]

  6. Ghost Dansing says:

    The feud between the White House and the CIA was simmering in the run-up to the Iraq War. Cheney’s office kept pushing the CIA to substantiate claims by Chalabi and other defectors that would connect Iraq to al-Qaeda and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The vice president’s office focused on a meeting that had allegedly taken place in Prague in April 2001 between the 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence. CIA analysts would literally measure ears and noses in surveillance photos of the alleged meeting to show that the report was phony, but Cheney’s aides would tell them to go back again, and yet again.

    In January 2003, the CIA finally balked at being assigned over and over to confirm what it viewed as phony intelligence. In a heated conversation with Libby, CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin is said to have insisted: “I’m not going back to the well on this. We’ve done our work.”

    This confrontation between the White House and the CIA came to a head in June and July 2003, in the battle over who should take the blame for the erroneous claim in President Bush’s State of the Union address that “Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium” from Niger. Former ambassador Joseph Wilson was telling reporters in early June, and repeated in a July 6 op-ed piece, that the administration knowingly had lied about the attempted uranium purchases – since Wilson had told the CIA in 2002 they were a hoax after the agency sent him on a secret mission to Niger. Wilson’s op-ed was more conclusive than his 2002 reporting, and he implied that Cheney was made personally aware of his findings.

    Libby’s indignation toward the CIA was described by Judith Miller in her account in The New York Times of her grand jury testimony. She wrote that on June 23, Libby complained to her about “selective leaking” by the CIA. “He told me that the agency was engaged in a ‘hedging strategy’ to protect itself if no weapons were found in Iraq,” she explained. In a July 8 breakfast meeting, Miller said, the chief of staff “proceeded through a lengthy and sharp critique of Mr. Wilson and what Mr. Libby viewed as the CIA’s backpedaling on the intelligence leading to war.”

    At issue that July was whether the CIA would be the fall guy. On the day Robert D. Novak first called the CIA to check his famous July 14 column that outed Valerie Plame Wilson, the agency’s public affairs chief, Bill Harlow, was in fact drafting a July 11 statement for his boss, George Tenet, on the Niger issue. In the end, Tenet “didn’t take the whole spear,” said one former top CIA official. He formally took responsibility for allowing the false claim to appear in the president’s speech. But he also offered a detailed account of all the agency’s prior efforts to wave the White House off the Niger allegation.

    After Tenet’s hedged statement about the Niger affair, whatever trust remained between the White House and CIA seemed to dissolve. Then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice blasted Tenet personally, and the White House escalated its criticisms of the CIA’s intelligence failure. Tenet was gone by early 2004, loyally falling on his sword.

    Now this saga has come full circle. Libby is accused of lying to FBI agents and the grand jury about his discussions of Valerie Plame Wilson and her CIA status. But as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald suggested in his comments Friday, the deeper issue was blowing her cover and the disregard that showed for the CIA, its people and the importance of its mission.

    That’s the real crime in Libbygate – that the Bush White House became so passionate about its goals that it treated the CIA as the enemy.

  7. BurbankErnie says:

    Where did you get this dialog? Links??
    And please, the CIA is not the “victim” here. I would like to see the article this diatribe was pulled from.

  8. Snapple says:

    Dear AJ–

    Here is an article about Joe Wilson

    I don’t know if you have posted this or not.

  9. Snapple says:


    Here is an article that a Free Republic poster translated into English.

    The article is talking about the Africn connection to the bomb.

    It is called “Uranium from Niger for the Islamic Atom Bomb By Gian Marco Chiocci Washington, November 30, 2005 The controversial «father» of Pakistan’s nuclear program was in Niamey the very same days in which Saddam’s emissaries were present.”

    They mention 1999 a lot like you do, too.

  10. Snapple says:


    Sorry for the above post. I see reading again that you linked this right at the beginning of your article. Sorry. This is all very confusing and complicated.

    So what bureaucracy in the American government is mostly responsible for investigating nuclear trafficking?

    Would the Pentagon investigate this the most? It does have to do with defense since it is about nuclear trafficking.

    Would the CIA? The Department of Energy?

    Who would investigate Americans who might be involved with nuclear trafficking? The FBI?

    So if what you say about Wilson has merit, who would mainly be investigating him?

    I think that if Wilson is up to no good and you can figure it out, probably they can, too.

  11. Snapple says:

    I am reading about all of this. It sounds a bit like all the BCCI stuff that went on years ago. I think they took them down in the summer of 1991, so it is a long time ago.

    I remember what happened to Clifford and Altman. Their bank was secretly owned by BCCI which was financing all kinds of shady weapons deals for all kinds of folks.

    This sounds sort of like the same sort of thing, but I don’t really know.

    I think it was the CIA who gave BCCI the moniker “banks of crooks and criminals.”

  12. Snapple says:

    Ghost Dansing (above) writes that “the real crime in Libbygate [is] that the Bush White House became so passionate about its goals that it treated the CIA as the enemy.”

    I think that depends on whether Wilson is really working an agent for the CIA or for Saddam’s nuclear traffickers, in which case, he IS the enemy. Maybe the CIA just didn’t get it. I really would not know, so I don’t want to sound critical of the CIA.

    I don’t think the CIA is the enemy, but they could have had a bad apple and didn’t catch it. Perhaps another bureaucracy did, and the CIA got its nose out of joint. I wouldn’t know from any personal insights, so I like to stay a little agnostic about all these theories and hope that someone can figure it out the truth. It probably won’t be me!!

    Perhaps all these different spies are getting all messed up and spying on each other’s front operations. Who knows.

    Still, it could be, to reword what Ghost says, that the real crime in Plamegate is that the CIA became so passionate about protecting itself that it treated the White House as the enemy.

    But all of this is very complicated, and with something like intelligence an ordinary person doesn’t really know what is actually going on.

  13. Snapple says:

    All of this is really complicated, but one thing I do understand. When I hear Wilson speak, I just don’t believe a word he says. He is about as believeable as that other shill for the Saddam crowd, Ward Churchill.

    Here is another thing I know:

    A few years ago (2002?), Wilson didn’t want to go to war with Iraq because Saddam might use WMD if his back was to the wall. (I posted about this a while ago on a different thread and had the quotes.)

    Recently, Wilson didn’t want to go to war with Iraq because Saddam did NOT have WMD.

    Wilson can’t have it both ways. He is trying to have his cake and eat it, too!

    I think he just didn’t want this government to go to war with Iraq–period. And that is very troublesome.

    I do suspect he was trying to protect his cash cow, not my country.

    And I am pretty sure, this will all come out. He doesn’t seem very honest to a lot of people, and he contradicts himself a lot.

  14. Snapple says:

    Here is a new article from Il Giornale (December 2, 2005)

    Here is the title and lead line:


    Il Giornale’s Marco Chiocci takes a look at the accusations made by the disgraced ex DGSE agent, Alain Chouet, in yesterdays Repubblica. The ex Spy master from Paris got his facts, faces and dates completely wrong. It’s interesting to see how a French socialist jumps at the opportunity to accuse the USA of deception. Unfortunately for Chouet the following article explains and exposes his and the Repubblica’s lies one by one.


  15. Ghost Dansing says:

    I’ll bet on the CIA for legitimacy.

  16. Snapple says:

    Ghost Dansing writes, “I’ll bet on the CIA for legitimacy. ”

    You have made such a short comment that I am not too sure what it means. I guess you mean the CIA is right.

    But explain this, Ghost. Even I, who cannot balance a checkbook, can see this is troubling.

    The CIA volunteer Wilson originally said we should not go to war with Iraq because Saddam might use WMD if his back were to the wall.

    Later the CIA volunteer Wilson said we should not go to war because Iraq didn’t have WMD.

    Now I posted Wilson’s arguments with the links some time ago on this site. I am not looking them up, but I remember what he said.

    Why did Wilson publically argue two opposite reasons for not going to war? Was this some cunning CIA trick?

    AJ might be right. Wilson may not have been a patriotic whistleblower; he may have been carrying water for Saddam. Perhaps Wilson didn’t want the US to overthrow Saddam because it would ruin and expose his business dealings. AJ and others make a lot of points.

    I used to “bet on” the CIA, too. I have a lot of admiration for the CIA.

    But now I think I am not just going to believe them or people who just say to “bet on the CIA.” I am not buying a pig in a poke, which is to say, you are going to need to show me where AJ is wrong. And that will be hard, because he uses the evidence of Wilson’s own words against him. AJ is obviously an experienced arguer. And Wilson can’t shut up. He must have a really bad lawyer.

    Sometimes intelligence people are corrupted by the opportunities they have to run front operations. The Russian KGB officers sometimes got rich off of their private enterprise. A high French intelligence official is implicated in the oil-for-food. Lots of journalists and business people have taken Saddam’s money. That’s why they didn’t want the US to depose Saddam. They were getting rich from Saddam’s deals.

    You need to be able to respond to the points in AJ’s posts to make me consider taking your blind “bet” on the CIA.

    I don’t work for the government, so I have only what I read in the papers, but I think that the Pentagon may have sniffed out something about Joe Wilson, and I think AJ may also be on the trail of it.

    AJ gives his arguments, and you tell me to “bet.” Frankly, that’s just not good enough for me, Mr. Ghost.

    I read a really good piece on Free Republic that gives a theory about all of this. The poster makes several posts, so you have to scroll down. Don’t just read the first post. He posts more later.

    This article has very extensive documentation with links.
    This is a person who is an experienced researcher. He doesn’t just tell readers to “bet” on the CIA. This writer is trying to get me to see something.

    So have you got any good research, Ghost? You just want me to bet on the farm, hmmmmmm?

    You could be right, Mr. Ghost. I don’t know. I don’t work for the government. But you haven’t said one thing to convince me. In fact, your post had just the opposite effect.

    It says on my money: “In God we trust.”
    But others, as they say, pay cash. So put your money where your mouth is and give me the proof that you are right and AJ is wrong.

    I bet you won’t do it.

  17. AJStrata says:


    The CIA is made up of people. Most good, some bad, some weak, some incredible. But they live in a monoply and have become lazy and arrogant. I work in the government and grew up outside Langley. They are people. If you blindly bet on the CIA the you blindly bet the Aldrich Ames was hero.

    People come in all variations of morality. And they are prone to mistakes. I have become less and less convinced the CIA effort in Niger was a rogue element trying to get rich (though I have some reasons to hold this open) and now see it one of those classic weak kneed plans to buy out the bad guys. Iraq was in Niger in June to bid on some uranium in return for money to right the new government. Wilson was there around the same time for the same reason.

    Before 9-11, if you made a big enough wave, you got bought off. All that meant is you needed bigger waves to get bought off as time progressed. Its Pavlov’s dog all over again. So the Palestinians and others decided to get their finances through brutality and a pay off from the west so the west did not have to go to war.

    And this is possibly why we had 9-11. It was not just that we were whimps on the battle field and ran from Somalia. We also bribed our way out. The CIA and government may have learned a hard lesson on 9-11. The enticement of money to stop violence, simply causes more violence as more people want money.

  18. Snapple says:

    I posted the wrong link above.

    Here is the long report about Niger that I meant to post.

    It is called “Wilsongate: Motive, Means, and Opportunity.”

    It has all the footnotes to back up its points.

  19. Snapple says:


    Please elaborate:

    “I have become less and less convinced the CIA effort in Niger was a rogue element trying to get rich (though I have some reasons to hold this open) and now see it one of those classic weak kneed plans to buy out the bad guys. ”

    In the early-mid 1990s, the German intelligence were accused in the papers of paying crooks to steal radioactive metals for them. The operatives posed as people from the Middle East who wanted to buy radioactive materials.

    I think the German police were trying to penetrate smuggling operations and see what was going on, but they were accused of possibly stimulating nuclear smuggling by paying for it.

    The whole business came out when one branch of police spied on another branch of police. It turned out that they had unwittingly uncovered another agency’s operation. Opps!! It was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. It is a long time ago; my memory may be faulty.

    A lot of the confiscated material came out of Ukraine and E. Europe.

    There were some big stings, but usually the contraband was not too dangerous. But in a few cases, however, the materials were dangerous.

    It always bothered me that Atta was in Germany and visited Prague.

    Early post 9-11 reporting claimed that he had some electrical supply company and some trading company in Prague. Then I never heard anything more about that.

    I did a little research on this nuclear smuggling in the early-mid 1990s. It was not clear to me why this stuff was going to Germany if it was for buyers in the ME. Why not just go though Central Asia?
    Why deal with the very professional German police?

    After 9-11, when it came out that Atta had lived in Germany and had travelled often to Prague, I wondered if he was involved in some nuclear smuggling. And I wondered where that nuclear stuff was being sent.

    Some nuclear busts also happened in the Czech Republic and maybe Slovakia. The Czechs closed their mines in 1999, I read.

    Some of the metals were not radioactive, such as zirconium.
    Zirconium is used in nuclear-related industrial processes, however.

    Maybe this is not related, but I wonder about it.

  20. Snapple says:

    One thing I learned about the Czech military industry was about a company called Omnipol. This company was one of the “red multinationals.” It sold weapons all over the world.

    I also read about an international Czech jewelry-trading company that also dated to the communist era. It was called “Jablonex” under the communists.

    These companies were used as cover-companies for Czech state security. After the fall of communism, these companies were full of kind of dubious people who needed to make a living.

    In Sao Paolo Brazil, for example, Jablonex and Omnipol even shared offices.

    So I wondered if this jewelry-trading business might be used as a cover for the transfer of strategic metals.

    All I could do was wonder, however.

    A Czech official, Vladimir Stracar, who poked his nose into some of these issues, died suddenly on a trip to Brazil, even though he wasn’t very old.