Friday, April 28, 2006

Scenarios: A Story Behind the Story of the CIA Leakers?

[ UPDATE: Remind me not to post at 2:00 in the morning when I'm too tired for a comprehensive proofread. I apologize unreservedly for the errors in copy and somewhat incoherent prose. It's fixed now. ]

Is there a story behind the story of the CIA Leakers?

Macranger at Macsmind certainly thinks so, and has been suggesting so for some time. Based on the fact that Uranium, Niger's one product, has a black market, besides its legal, UN-certified market. And that this black market, which has sold its product illictly to various countries over the last several years, including Libya (until its recent agreements with the US and Britain to get rid of their WMDs) and North Korea. And that Joe Wilson, for one, spent a great deal of time in Niger first on official business and then returned there, pursuing his own business interests, in 1999.

Macranger has several posts elaborating on this subject, with internal links for further references and a new one today.

AJ Strata of the Strata-Sphere joins the game by elaborating on the point that the family oil consortium of anti Iraq war, Senator Jay Rockefeller - so troublesome to Bush for so long on Iraq, and particularly on the NSA leaks - does business with the French company COEGMA. And COEGMA just happens to run the uranium trade in Niger. "COGEMA is the French company (now Avera) that runs the Niger mines and monitors the uranium." That's all "above board."

Macranger has been predicting trouble for Senator Rockefeller, particularly in respect to the trip he took to the Middle East to see the heads of state of Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, to warn them, by his own admission, that Bush had already made the decision to go to war.

What motives would a US Senator have, who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, to act as his own self-appointed spokesman to these countries?

Now, what does this have to do with Mary McCarthy?

She has a West African, uranium connection, too, expounded here by Douglas Hanson.
One aspect of her background so far comparatively unexamined is her West African uranium connection. She served in a key government position concerned with West African nations producing yellowcake uranium at the same time that Joseph Wilson was working in the area. The two may be considered members of the "yellowcake community" within the Clinton national security apparatus of the 1990s...

Mary McCarthy held positions in both African and Latin American analysis desks at Langley while Wilson was U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic from 1992 to 1995. Gabon was a producer of yellowcake uranium. Wilson’s powerful position in Gabon from 1992 to 1995 raises questions about his official trip to Niger to discredit President Bush’s claim that Iraq had sought quantities of uranium from Africa.

During his time in Gabon, Wilson must have been deeply knowledgeable about uranium production and trade there, and must have been familiar with officials of the French energy giant COGEMA, now consolidated into the French Areva Group, a firm closely involved with the French government which appoints members of its board. Joe Wilson has his own French connection.

So are there motives to the actions of all these people, other than that of partisan politics?

A very lucrative market was involved, to which all of these people had strong connections. It certainly begs the question, then, as to whether something else was going on.

But back to the article, where Douglas Hanson asks this question as well, while pointing out a few more connecting facts.
Speaking of dealing in commodities, this whole affair brings us back to square one and Mary McCarthy. One of her previous employers was Beri, SA. Possibly by coincidence Beri provides a Mineral Extraction Risk Assessment service for up to 145 countries that are expected to show rapid growth in oil, gas, and mineral extraction capacity. If one had advance access to economic intelligence and had fostered close business ties over the years with uranium producers, huge financial gains would be possible. Could the Wilson-McCarthy-Africa connection may indicate another instance of US intelligence and Foreign Service personnel taking advantage of regulatory loopholes and lax security in third world countries for personal gain?

There have been many indicators since the Iraq War started that the CIA's internal war against the administration is much more than ideological. For some in the CIA, the Global War on Terror is not just about the struggle for democracy and freedom to protect our national interest.
All this is on the level of speculation still, at least for the general public. It's interesting that, thus far, these net of connections have received very little journalistic attention, and even less in the US, than in Italy or Britain. For, those two countries support to this day the intelligence report about Iraq attempting to purchase Uranium from Niger that Joe Wilson later "debunked" in his op-ed in the NYTimes. And it turns out that it was the French, with its state vested interest in French firm COEGMA, that produced the forgery about Iraq and Uranium that made a mockery of the subject. But that forgery did not undermine the original report.

Recently Christopher Hitchens approached this problem in a little article about Joe Wilson, but did not go far enough in looking at its magnitude. His article, Clueless Joe Wilson concluded, essentially, that Joe Wilson was a narcissist and an idiot. He's certainly a narcissist. But he may be less of an idiot than Hitchens suggests if the line of reporting I wrote about above ends up having a bearing on the motives of various players in the anti-war, anti--Bush crowd.

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