treasongate: why it matters…

Posted on Sunday 26 February 2006

Volume I

Volume II

For the as yet un-named group of us who have been obsessed with the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity by the Bush Administration, the details of the investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald and the Justice Department are always in the background. What’s happening with the investigation? the indictments? with Libby’s Defense Team? But, an even stronger background current is the story of the Niger Forgeries – those documents that purported to show that Iraq was attempting to buy crude uranium ore, called "yellowcake" from the African country where it is mined, a country called Niger. These documents were the main justification for the United States declaring war on Iraq three years ago – being used to support the claim that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear bomb program.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney, National Security Advisor Rice, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield, Secretary of State Powell and New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, bombarded the country with a campaign for war towards the end of 2002 and in early 2003. It was George Bush’s inclusion of this claim that Iraq was trying to buy Uranium in his January 2003 State of the Union speech, though by then he attributed it to British Intelligence. It was this mention of the Uranium that stimulated Joseph Wilson to ultimately write his op-ed article questioning the claim, which in turn stimulated the Bush Administration to reveal his wife’s identity to discredit Ambassador Wilson.

We hold these truths to be self evident:

  • The Niger documents are forged. There was never any real reason to think otherwise.
  • The motives for war with Iraq were not any real danger. Those motives were, among other things, driven by a philosophy of foreign affairs hatched in several think-tanks of the group called Neoconservatives.
  • The war with Iraq was not a legitimate part of our War on Terror declared after the attack by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.
  • While the prewar intelligence from the Iraqi expatriots suggested that Hussein was involved in the active production of Weapons of Mass Destruction, these untrue reports were also not the reason for the war.
  • The Bush Administration, en masse, was actively responsible for the C.I.A. Leak known as Plamegate. The "outing" of Valerie Plame to discredit her husband Joseph Wilson was an attempt to avoid our knowing that the war was declared on false information, information that was actively distorted by our government.
Given that the Niger Forgeries were the only solid basis for the war; given that the Bush Administration and the British government held on to them tenaciously even though they were obviously false; given that the ‘coalition’ went to war in spite of Hussein’s compliance with U.N. inspections [which debunked our claims]; the question of the history of these Forged documents is the question. The subplot is "How involved was the United States government in their creation?" We’re beyond thinking that we were just fooled by them. At the least, we used them as a justification long after they should have been discarded. But, is it worse than that? Were we involved in either their origin, or in perpetuating their credibility. Eriposte, above, is hot on the case. His analyses are thorough, brilliant, and tedious. My plan is periodic reports for "Dummies" – keeping up with his conclusions, and attempting to establish an easily followed timeline of the forgeries themselves. I am well aware that I may fail at this, since there is a Da Vinci Code level of subtrafuge at every level of this story…

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