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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Traitorgate: The Real Issue

Larry Johnson:
Whether or not indictments come down, our domesticated mainstream media probably will continue to play down the damage to US intelligence. Even more important, they are likely to ignore completely the very curious event that started the whole business - the forging of documents that became the basis of reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger for its (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. Together with other circumstantial evidence, the neuralgic reaction of Vice President Dick Cheney to press reports that he was point man for promoting the bogus "intelligence" report suggests that he may also have been its intellectual author/authorizer.

Yes, I am suggesting that it may have been an inside job. Cheney and his chief of staff Lewis Libby may well have had a hand in commissioning the forgery, as a way of manufacturing an intelligence report, with "mushroom cloud" written all over it - in order to deceive Congress into approving an unnecessary war. The more you look into the whole affair, the curiouser and curiouser it becomes. Why, for example, would Senate Intelligence Committee chair Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) adamantly refuse to investigate the provenance of a forgery used to start a war?

And why did former Secretary of State Colin Powell, addressing the UN on February 5, 2003, decide to delete from his very long laundry list of spurious charges against Iraq its alleged attempt to acquire uranium from Niger? Even though he himself had avoided repeating the famous "16 words" used by President Bush just five weeks before (see below), Powell was forced to listen stoically as Mohammed El-Baradei, head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, reported on worldwide TV that his own and outside experts had concluded that the Iraq-Niger documents were "not authentic." The White House left it to Powell to concede that El-Baradei was correct, and Powell eventually did so.

Perhaps special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will be able to shed light on some of this.

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