Dec 02 2005

Wilson, France & Niger Uranium

Published by at 10:21 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

This is an update to my previous post regarding my belief that Joe Wilson was rushed to Niger in 2002 to do damage control for the CIA, or a rogue group inside the CIA, regarding illicit uranium trade of some sort in Niger. Recall Wilson talked only to leaders who took power in the 1999 coup d’eta, the event which brought Wilson to Niger the first time for Valerie and the CIA. These leaders, so Joe says, needed to be convinced to allow a democratic government to take hold – and he did just that in his 1999 trip to Niger for the CIA. Did the CIA offer something to entice the coup leaders to walk away?

It is also important to recall that Joe Wilson claimed (initially through Pincus at the Washington Post and Kristof at the NY Times) that two factors proved Bush’s 16 words in the SOTU, and therefore his entire reason to go to war, were false. The first was he had debunked the Niger forgeries – which it was later proven did not even exist at the time he went. The second was that the uranium process was so tightly controlled there could be no chance of illicit uranium going undetected.

We have posted on how the French controlled Consortium Cogema did not control the uranium mines as first implied, and that there were abandoned minesfully capable of producing uranium left unwatched.

We have posted on how the same French run Cogema also abandoned mines in Gabon, where Joe Wilson was US ambassador and where he traveled for African government business when he went into private business.

Through a suggestion by Mac Ranger, and requests from our readers, I posted on how Oil For Food monies from Saddam could find its way through a series of companies and subsidiaries into Cogema, the parent company now called Areva Group. Pay special attention to the comments in that post.

Yesterday, late breaking confirmation that uranium was at the center of intelligence efforts in the 1999-2000 timeframe came from a recent Italian news article we added as an update to the first link we mentioned above. This puts AQ Kahn in Niger during the time of the take over of Niger and the transition to a democrat government, which Joe Wilson clearly tells his part in above in the 1999 post. But Joe, in that same UVA speech, let’s slip he was back in Niger a year later in 2000, after the formal transition to Mamadou Tandja in December of 1999. What is so important about that trip? Let’s see what the US state department says about that period:

In January 2000, Niger’s newly elected government inherited serious financial and economic problems, including a virtually empty treasury, past-due salaries (11 months of arrears) and scholarship payments, increased debt, reduced revenue performance, and lower public investment.

They seem to have been desperate.

Well there is another Italian news article today that puts the final touches on destroying the Wilson claim illicit uranium could not flow undetected through Niger.

This week saw a group of IAEA inspectors in Niger, not on a holiday but on a somewhat delicate mission: the UN officials are charged with training the Niger border guards in the art of detecting and stopping the smuggling of uranium (the countries principal export alongside goats) thus avoiding it’s ending up in the hands of terrorists of foreign countries attempting to build nuclear bombs.

Until just the other day the sustainers of the ‘neocon conspiracy’, aimed at starting a war, denied that Niger suffered any problems in the control of its uranium. Il Giornale published an article evidencing the opposite: the transport of uranium was to say the least insecure, only two guards escorted the yellowcake along it’s thousand mile journey. An easy prey for any armed and well organised group. Who extracts the uranium in Niger? France, who controls the extraction via the Cogema company.

The article goes on to discuss the timing of the Niger documents, which clearly comes out well after Wilson’s February 2002 visit. It does confirm another Canadian article from September 2003. The only question is, did they come out because of his 2002 visit! Were they an effort to mislead the media from the true story.

So all support for Wilson’s claims about Iraq purchasing uranium from Africa have been debunked completely.

So what we need to know is what happened to Ibrahim Assane Mayaki and Colonel Daouda Mallam Wanké, the two people who decided to walk away from the country they just took over. And one of which, Mayaki, Wilson talked to in 2002, and who happened to be the one approached by the Iraqi’s in June 1999.

This is where the human rights organizations come in to provide assistance:

In its September 1999 document, Niger: Impunity enshrined in the constitution, Amnesty International condemned the culture of impunity which had characterised Niger for years, as well as the decision to grant an amnesty to the perpetrators of human rights violations which occurred during the two coups of January 1996 [during which Ibrahim Baré Ma ï nassara took power] and April 1999 which had just consolidated this impunity. This constitutional amnesty was confirmed by a law passed in January 2000 by the new National Assembly of Niger, installed after the legislative elections of November 1999.

The cover up was complete. I am still trying to find what happended to these two men after this period. The news is chillingly empty. More on these two if I can find it.

What happened in 2003? Well, Wilson started calling folks from all over, probably to start a false scandal against Bush to elect his new master, John Kerry. In the last post I pointed out two places where Pincus and Kristof clearly implicate Joe and Valerie as their sources. Well, I found a 3rd instance where Kristof clearly implicates Joe and Valerie has his source in his June 13, 2003 article:

To help out Ms. Rice and Mr. Cheney, let me offer some more detail about the uranium saga. Piecing the story together from two people directly involved and three others who were briefed on it, the tale begins at the end of 2001, when third-rate forged documents turned up in West Africa purporting to show the sale by Niger to Iraq of tons of “yellowcake” uranium.

Immediately upon his return, in early March 2002, this senior envoy briefed the C.I.A. and State Department and reported that the documents were bogus, for two main reasons. First, the documents seemed phony on their face — for example, the Niger minister of energy and mines who had signed them had left that position years earlier. Second, an examination of Niger’s uranium industry showed that an international consortium controls the yellowcake closely, so the Niger government does not have any yellowcake to sell.

OK. Earlier, on May 6th, Kristof had two sources to the debriefing, as did Pincus on June 12th, the day before this ran. Of the four at the debreifing two were Valerie and Joe, since it was at their house. Two others were supposedly CIA DO agents. The DO Agents never seem to be likely sources due to their senate testimony under oath. But the Wilsons had to admit to the Senate that they were present and it was at their house.

The funny thing here is I always felt the State Department connection was confusion by Kristof. But he talked to three people who were briefed! One had to be at the State Department at the time in 2002 at least, and maybe 2003 when the story broke! Little did I know Anne Pincus worked for the State Department! But one thing is clear, the Woodward source appears to be from State, and now we have Pincus talking to someone at State who is buying into the Niger forgery angle.

But clearly, the implication is Valerie and Joe are the sources for the story. Who else was directly involved in the briefing or the trip? If not Valerie, was it Valerie’s CIA boss?

Valerie needed Joe to get to Niger in 1999. They needed to get Joe to Niger again in 2002. And then they plant a Niger forgery story with Pincus and Kristof in 2003. The only ones who would support the forgery story connected to Wilson’s 2002 trip to Niger are the Wilsons.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Wilson, France & Niger Uranium”

  1. Seixon says:

    I think it has already been established that the Italians got the forgeries in December 2001. They sent the verbatim text of the documents to the CIA in February 2002. By this time, there was no way to know whether anything was forged on the CIA end since they didn’t have the actual documents. So it’s curious that the Kristof article claims that the documents surfaced in West Africa. I haven’t seen that anywhere else.

    My understanding is that Italian intelligence got the documents in December 2001 from someone, maybe Rocco Martino. Then Rocco tried to pass them off to the Italian media as well, which ended up with the INR and CIA CPD getting copies of them, with of course the CPD sitting on them and not telling anyone.

    I see it as very likely as you say that Valerie and Joe were both sources for Pincus and Kristof, we know that Joe was! So who’s the other mystery person? Since his wife was involved with the whole thing from A to Z, why not just interview his wife too?

    Well, that would mean that both Kristof and Pincus knew that Valerie was working at the CIA… Ooops, can’t have that out there now can we?

    I’m starting to be pretty sure that at least Pincus already knew about Valerie at the CIA. That dude needs to be put on the stand under oath and asked some questions.

    Remember, Wilson also claimed in his testimony to the SSCI that he knew which foreign intelligence service the original reporting came from in February 2002. Unless this was already revealed in the press by the time he testified, I can’t see how else he would know that other than through his wife.

    There is simply too much weird stuff going on with this case.

  2. Seixon says:

    One thing I have been pondering is whether or not we know that the intelligence agency being cited in the SSCI is the Italian SISMI and not… French intelligence. I haven’t actually seen any place show any evidence that the “verbatim text” that the CIA got in February 2002 came from SISMI, and not French intelligence.

    Anyone have any info on that? I mean, where did the whole assumption of SISMI’s passing of this information to the CIA come from?