Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Friday, October 28, 2005

FBI Going Through Motions but Stalling Investigation of Forgeries that Led to Iraq War

At the heart of the Bush Administration revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative in order to punish her husband for informing the American people that one of the reasons for starting the Iraq War (Saddam’s trying to buy Uranium from Niger) was not true and was based on forged documents, is the origin of those forged documents themselves. Who forged them and why. Journalist Josh Marshall writes about this in his blog, Note that the FBI reports to Attorney General Gonzalez who reports to President Bush and was for many years Bush’s own lawyer. How is the FBI’s investigation into those forgeries which has been on-going for two and a half years progressing? Josh answers that question:

Now, about that FBI investigation into the origins of the Niger forgeries, discussed by Doug Jehl in his piece in today's Times.

(Apologies to longtime readers of the site who will be familiar with much of what follows.)

Jehl reports that a "counterespionage official said Wednesday that the inquiry into the documents ... had yielded some intriguing but unproved theories."

That's not a lot for an investigation that began two and a half years ago.

And, remember, the existence of the supposed FBI investigation was the basis on which Sen. Roberts' Senate intel committee agreed not to examine anything about the origins of the documents or how they came into American hands.

So how serious has that investigation been? And what is known by the two senators -- Roberts and Rockefeller -- who've been regularly briefed on it?

Consider this: As is now all over the papers in the US and Italy, the 'security consultant' who tried to peddle the forgeries to a reporter for the Italian magazine Panorama in October 2002 is a man named Rocco Martino. FBI sources continue to tell reporters that they have not been able to question Martino because they have not been able to secure the permission of the Italian government to speak with him.

Given the gravity of the case, it seems difficult to believe that the United States would tolerate Italy's non-cooperation. But what about when Martino came to the United States?

Martino travelled to the United States twice last year. He travelled under his own name and stayed in New York City where he provided interviews to me and two other journalists. By the time Martino made his second visit to the United States his name and his central role in the case had been reported in several Italian and two major British papers. Yet no effort was made to contact him or question him when he was in the US for several days.

Surely US law enforcement wouldn't need the permission of the Italian government to speak to Martino when he was on US soil.

Elisabetta Burba is the Italian journalist, who works for the Berlusconi-owned magazine Panorama, to whom Martino tried to sell the forgeries. She was interviewed by the FBI not long after Sen. Roberts agreed to co-sign Sen. Rockefeller's request for an FBI investigation in the spring of 2003. But she describes the interviews and follow-ups as cursory at best.

There are various other reasons to doubt that the Justice Department has made a serious effort to solve the mystery of the Niger forgeries. But the apparent lack of interest in even speaking to the man at the center of the scheme is a decent place to start.

As Chairman of the senate intel committee, Sen. Roberts is in a position to receive detailed briefings on the status of the investigation. And his spokespersons say he's received them. So what does he know? More reporting needed.

-- Josh Marshall

So, the FBI has repeatedly failed (for two and a half years) to interview the chief suspect in the forgery that led to the Iraq War claiming that it couldn’t interview him even when it could have. Even when he was here in the US right under their noses. They also only performed a “cursory at best” interview of another key suspect who works for the media company owned by Bush’s friend, the Prime Minister of Italy, who is meeting with Bush this very day!

Now I greatly respect the men and women in law enforcement especially those serving in the FBI, but clearly they are being ham-strung by the Bush Administration preventing them from doing their duty to uncover who forged documents that were used by the Bush Administration to bolster support for the war.

When will we, the American People, be told the truth about what our Government is doing in our name?



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