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January 18, 2006


One more thing. Regardless of the date of this document (March 1 or March 4), it was definitely written without input from Wilson's trip. Wilson returned from Niger on March 4 and was debriefed on March 5.

Might Wilson have phoned or emailed from Africa?

He might have. But he wasn't taked to talk to Tandja's government (and pointedly avoided stepping on the Ambassador's toes by doing so). His job was to talk to the prior government, who were in power in 1999. Furthermore, he conducted the trip at the beheast of CIA, not State. He did brief Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick just before he left, but it's unlikely such a report would make it back to a different department of State in time to appear in the report.

It appears that the report relied on the Ambassador's and General Fulford's earlier meetings with the government as well as general knowledge about the country.

Which is not to say that the other documents refer to Wilson. But it's unlikely this did.

Judicial Watch has now posted the document, and it is indeed the INR report or some version of it. I can't tell if there's any indication of whether the INR analyst you mention was involved. It does, however, have an interesting mention of the alleged sales agreement of July 2000, saying it is improbable any such agreement was signed with Tandja's knowledge -- the report INR (and the CIA) were responding to evidently said that the agreement was signed with full support from Tandja. This is explicitly to say that the INR was casting serious doubt on the intelligence report, and the implication is that if the sales agreement indicated the support, and therefore knowledge of, Tandja, it is improbable that the document was authentic. I can't remember, was Tandja supposedly one of the signers of the document? Or how is he referred to in it, if at all?

It's interesting that this bit quoted in the SSCI report -- "some officials may have conspired for individual gain to arrange a uranium sale," -- is not in the unclassified version of the document. Presumably it is part of what is redacted at the end of #35 in the document.

On a related note, sort of, abc's The Note today says

The grand jury looking into the CIA leak was meeting at 9:00 am ET.

I've heard nothing else about this, and can't tell if the Note is reporting that the grand jury did in fact or that the grand jury was scheduled to meet, which they reported last Wednesday too, although it's impossible to know if it actually happened and seems like it didn't.


They may also me noting that the Grand Jury is meeting, without knowing whether Fitz has anything to present to them. After all, they do serve on other cases.

Thanks a ton for letting me know that this is up at Judicial Watch.


I was waiting to see the actual document (from Judicial Watch) before posting on this. Thanks for the link. I will study the document tonight...

Interesting question by contributor above, whether telephone call by Wilson, during timeframe that might have lodged in the datamining filter.
Sidelite now two weeks old, maybe illuminating a one-month prior article EW, different topic, at Waas' site. Maybe you have seen that followup article by MW.


Just took a look at the document.

This paper was written after the "second" (technically third) Niger intel report from the CIA in Feb 2002 - which is the one that appears to have explicitly made the Wissam Al-Zahawi - uranium link.

Your observation that "this document appears to be saying that Mainassara might have begun negotiations, but that he was killed before he could finalize the deal" is close to the mark. (I would have added, "....finalize the deal, if there was really one.") Mainassara is being brought in to the discussion because Wissam Al-Zahawi met him when he went to Niger in early 1999.

The paper also appears to refer, indirectly ("internal legal review"), to the alleged State Court of Niger approval of the deal on "Wednesday July 7 2000".

The declassified portions of this paper suggest to me that the author of this paper did not see the actual forgeries and did not get the complete transcriptions with dates, but likely just the edited versions. There is no indication in the declassified portions that the author figured out the obviously fake information in the reports.

ew - Your explanation about the grand jury made perfect sense, until I just heard Don Gonye (sp?) on NPR explain that Fitzgerald empaneling his own grand jury back in December or whenever it was was a different matter from just using a sitting grand jury. I have no idea if that's right, but the implication was pretty clear that when the grand jury meets, they're dealing with Fitzgerald's case. Which of course doesn't mean that Fitzgerald himself had to be there, as he evidently wasn't.

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