For over a year now, the FBI has been investigating the forged documents that were used by the Bush administration as the smoking gun of Saddam’s nuclear ambitions. In particular, the FBI has been trying to ferret out who forged the documents in the first place. Could it be that they have tracked down the source of the forgeries? Could it be that the trail leads to Dick Cheney’s office? And is it possible that the evidence is now in the hands of Patrick Fitzgerald? As the Plame leak investigation comes to a close, information is seeping out from all sides and at this point it seems anything is possible.
In early October 2003, there was a bare knuckles brawl going on between the Vice Presidents office and the CIA over the intelligence surrounding the claim that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from Niger. Bush was to give a speech in Ohio and they were going to use the uranium claim. The CIA went into overdrive and got the reference taken out of the speech. Of course those 16 words resurfaced months later in the State of the Union address. What changed between the Ohio speech and the State of the Union? Two days after the Ohio debacle, a miracle occurred. An Italian businessman gave a reporter documented evidence of Saddam’s uranium deal. These documents proved that Saddam was seeking uranium and it bolstered the Bush administrations case for war. The only problem was that the documents were forgeries.
The Bush administration, when faced with an obstacle to their agenda, has two ways of dealing with it. Roll over the top of it and crush it, or go around it then shoot it in the back. The former is the tactic used with Joe Wilson and the latter seems to be the favored method when dealing with reporters, for example Judith Miller. Here’s the circular method of validating information that the Bush administration has perfected:
1) Give Reporter (Judy Miller, Novak, etc.) unverified claim that will boost the case for war.
2) Reporter then writes investigative piece (for say, the front page of the New York Times) citing “senior White House officials”
3) Send White House officials (Cheney, Condi, Rumsfeld) to the Sunday news shows to hold up said newspaper and declare, “Look, the proof’s right here!”
The forged documents may very well have taken a similar route. If they did, and Patrick Fitzgerald can prove it, the story becomes NOT who’s going down, but who could possibly be left standing when this scandal breaks wide open.