Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Forgotten Investigation

Many of you may remember that Senator Pat Roberts was going to investigate the Niger Yellowcake "mistake." but that investigation has been on hold to the point where it has been cancelled.

So, we are not going to investigate the source of the error (that includes a fraudulent Italian document) that caused us to mistakenly spend half a trillion dollar, 2,000 American lives, 25,000 Iraqi lives (or more) and 20,000 American casualties.

That make sense.

So, we are left to see if the Plame investigation will somehow lead to information that will shed light on the Yellowcake, as suggested by Justin Raimondo here.

Laura Rozen explains just why the investigation is going nowhere:

But the main reason he has been inhibited is that previous public comments he made apparently caused the Pentagon to abruptly stop cooperating with the investigation. At the July 2004 press conference occasioned by the release of the Phase I report, Rockefeller asserted that certain activities of members of the office of then–Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, including a secret Rome meeting with the Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, might have been “unlawful.” At that point, Feith’s office simply stopped cooperating with the investigation, and Roberts hasn’t compelled Feith or his staff to comply. “[The Defense Department] got very skittish about volunteering as they had been up to that point,” an SSCI staffer told the Prospect. “They got all lawyered up. Roberts’ position, and [the Defense Department’s], has been either ‘show us what you’re talking about’ or ‘withdraw the statement and we’ll continue our cooperation with you.’ Rockefeller wouldn’t do either.”

The fact that there may have been unlawful conduct should make it more imperative that this investigation is completed, not less. Perhaps we need another special prosecutor appointed?

Laura goes on:

But committee staff sources say that before the cooperation ceased, the committee had received from Feith’s office internal memos suggesting that the office may indeed have been conducting unlawful activities. In particular, Democratic staffers are interested in a secret December 2001 meeting of two Feith deputies, Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode, with Ghorbanifar in Rome. The meeting also included members of a foreign intelligence service (Italy’s SISMI). The catch is that it wasn’t reported in advance to the intelligence committee or the CIA, in possible violation of Section 502 of the National Security Act, which says that anyone conducting intelligence activities must inform the committee and the agency.

This doesn't seem very complex to me. If they can show Franklin and Rhode met with Ghorbinifar (long time friend of Leeden), they have a case. What's the problem?


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