Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Axis of Weasels
The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to blame for bogus documents suggesting Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy material for nuclear bombs has admitted that he was in the pay of France.We now know the motive France would have for trying to make the Bush administration look mistaken in its claims about WMDs in Iraq. Put simply, the French were up to there eyeballs in Iraqi bribes- not to mention the Germans and the Russians. The French had every reason to attempt this manipulation in order to discredit the case for war. But this leaves the question of what happened to the WMDs. A question that has never been adequately explained. Saddam certainly made an effort to convince everyone that he had them, he never went out of his way to cooperate in proving that he did not have them. Even up to the launch of the war in March of 2003 when he had every incentive to cooperate with the U.N. inspectors. Why not cooperate?
The man, identified by an Italian news agency as Rocco Martino, was the subject of a Telegraph article earlier this month in which he was referred to by his intelligence codename, "Giacomo".
His admission to investigating magistrates in Rome on Friday apparently confirms suggestions that - by commissioning "Giacomo" to procure and circulate documents - France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq.
Italian diplomats have claimed that, by disseminating bogus documents stating that Iraq was trying to buy low-grade "yellowcake" uranium from Niger, France was trying to "set up" Britain and America in the hope that when the mistake was revealed it would undermine the case for war, which it wanted to prevent.
An answer that not many have been willing to consider is that he did have some WMDs or, at least, a WMDs program and that in the run up to the war his friends in France, Russia, and Germany helped the Iraqis destroy or remove them from Iraq. This makes much more sense than Saddam was bluffing or that his scientists were lying to him. Lying to a maniacal dictator, not likely.
Junk Yard Blog speculates that Joe Wilson, who had claimed to have seen the forged documents but could not have at the time he claimed, might actually have seen them because he was tipped off by the French. Just as the IAEA might have been tipped off which lead to them quickly determining the documents were forged. This is a speculation too far. Without further evidence I would call this a smear against Wilson. Let's not give this guy any reason to gather sympathy. Wilson lied about his wife's involvment in his selection to go to Niger. He lied about disproving the Bush adminstration's evidence. Wilson has no credibility left.
What this revelation about French involvment in shaping the pre-war debate should unequivocally prove is that the French think only about the French. To be more charitable, the government of Jacque Chirac is corrupt and it is this corruption, not a sense of moral outrage, which caused them to oppose the Iraqi invasion and to pull Germany and Russia into a cabal. This part of the world opposed the Iraq invasion becaused it paid. I hope this ends the argument that the Bush administration did not do enough to get our former allies on board. I guess we could have offered to reimburse them the lost bribes they knew they were going to lose from Saddam.