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July 11, 2006


The charges against SISMI the past few days have made me look at the Niger forgery reporting again. This getting very creepy. I half expect Roberto Calvi's murder to figure into it.

oh crap.

This is one of those stories that is WAY too complicated and diverse to follow...

what we need is a prosecutor with supoena power to sort things out.

Heh. Thanks EW. After buffing my tin-foiled hat a bit: Does intelligence-related = counter-espionage?


Could be anything, couldn't it? We know MZM had a contract for CIFA, a domestic surveillance program. We know they had a contract for inventing intelligence. And we know Wilkes sowed his oats in Iran Contra. Pick your poison, I guess.


Though payola press is about the only thing these guys haven't been accused of yet. Though I have a feeling that Hoekstra is a fan of Ledeen's work, which would put him closer to SISMI than to Wilkes.

I'm thinking of a counter-espionage effort where the targets are contractors, some CIA people and some congress-critters (among others).

Oh, that kind of counter-espionage. Maybe. But if you've got DOJ after them, why bother with counter-espionage? They're already watching them legally...

True. And the DoJ has been pretty damn effective finding and picking at these scabs (he says, removing his tin-foil hat).

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Colin Powell’s chief of staff, revealed that the cost Iraq agreed to pay for aluminum tubes made to the final specification was $75 each.

This revelation was made to the Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee hearings aired on C-Span this past week. The cost had been redacted in the SSCI report and mistakenly assumed to be the $15 each mentioned for the purchase of tubes to the more open tolerances. Eriposte could not grasp this fact, and insisted endlessly that the tighter toleranced tubes were “within a few dollars” of the original purchase.

A $75 tube price makes it absurd to believe the tubes were meant for anything other than a nuclear program.

Wilkerson also tried to explain to the group of sorely uniformed Senators that the various test results on the tubes were due to the fact that different agencies were testing different progressions of tubes procured at different times in the evolution of the tube’s changing tolerances.

I’m sure, EW, with your skills at research you can obtain the transcript of the hearing and glean even more information on this subject.

Novak to reveal 2 of 3 sources (Harlow, Rove, and X) after Fitz says investigation of his role is over. I'm not clear if Bob will do this tonight (according to Drudge) or tomorrow (according to Hardball).

Novak will give his first interview on Brit Hume (FOX) tomorrow at 6:00, plus appear on Hannity later. He stated tonight that he got the name "Plame" from Wilson's bio on the internet.

Wow, jwest. No matter how many times you're beaten down, you just don't give up, do you?

Now that you mention Negroponte and Honduran hookers, I'm reminded of the very curious story of the four signing statements reported by Charles Savage which purported to nullify a Congressional prohibition on combat operations in Colombia:

On at least four occasions while Bush has been president, Congress has passed laws forbidding US troops from engaging in combat in Colombia, where the US military is advising the government in its struggle against narcotics-funded Marxist rebels. After signing each bill, Bush declared in his signing statement that he did not have to obey any of the Colombia restrictions because he is commander in chief.

I have no reason to believe that the "activities" Hoekstra's talking about have anything to do with this. But for one thing, we're way past through the looking glass. And hell, you brought it up...


Try to put the BDS aside for a moment and think……

You believe the tubes were meant for 81mm rocket motors. Let’s explore what that entails.

1. The artillery rounds that Iraq claimed to be copying were air-to-ground style munitions. Aluminum is used instead of steel for the weight savings; otherwise a steel casing for ground launched systems would work fine. At the time of Saddam’s purchases, no helicopters or other air assets were available to Iraq or were they expected to be in any future conflict.

2. Rockets of this type were manufactured in 6 countries by companies in competition with each other. Because these are standardized munitions, Saddam could purchase the motors from one source and the ordinance from another, if he wanted to. These rockets have been manufactured for decades and the companies building them have invested millions in machines, tooling and processes to make them as cost competitive as possible. Because they are conventional weapons, there were no restrictions on Iraq purchasing as many as they wanted.

3. Saddam desperately wanted sanctions lifted. Any violation of purchasing banned material would hurt the effort to have the U.N. remove the sanctions.

4. As stated in the previous post, Wilkerson stated that the final cost was $75 per tube as opposed to the $15 per tube for the earlier models.

So, in order for you to believe these tubes were meant for rocket motors you would have to believe:

1. Saddam thought it was a good idea to use air-to-ground rockets in land based MRLS systems instead of munitions designed specifically for that purpose.

2. Saddam thought it was a good idea to manufacture his own rockets, even though they were easily and cheaply available from multiple sources.

3. Saddam thought it was a good idea to risk violating the sanctions to buy components for a minor field artillery system, when he could have purchased as many finished munitions as he wanted legally.

4. Saddam thought it was a good idea to pay 6 times more for motor casings than other manufacturers.

Does this really make sense to you?

BDS ... British Dragonfly Society? Bund Demokratischer Sozialisten? Broadcast Data Systems? Oh, I get it, you must mean "Bush Derangement Syndrome", some typically empty unwitticism apparently devised by the serial liar and know-nothing Charles Krauthammer, a term completely unknown outside the sweaty confines of right-wing circle-jerks.

Dilemma: to divert this thread and my valuable time in order to once again shred this guy's feverish ravings, or to let him walk away imagining that it hasn't in fact been decisively and irrefutably demonstrated that the "centrifuge case" for the aluminum tubes was a laughably ludicrous and patently dishonest pile of steaming horse manure?

My apologies to EW for wasting her bandwidth.


You may have had a case prior to Wilkerson’s testimony (under oath), but now you are just clinging to theory proven false.

Try to accept reality.

Get real.

Theory proven false. Uh-huh. You tell me what my "theory" is and how it's "proven" false.

Wilkerson goes and tosses off some cheap rhetorical line -- "When you talk about the difference between $75 for a little piece of metal and $15" -- and suddenly you're running around claiming that it's been "revealed that the cost Iraq agreed to pay for aluminum tubes made to the final specification was $75 each". Right. No out-of-your-butt inferences there.

"Under oath", no less. Wonder what charges the senators could bring if it was discovered that, in fact, there is no evidence whatever of an actual Iraqi procurement agreement for $75 per tube. Perjury -- for what false assertion, exactly? Oh, that's right -- there is no assertion made in that cheap toss-off line. Heck, I don't even know what he's saying there. But I know what he's trying to do, rhetorically, cuz by now I know every cheap rhetorical trick in the Admin playbook.

If you want to discuss the thousands of devastating reasons why it is absolutely ludicrous -- I repeat, absolutely ludicrous -- to continue to seriously entertain the idea that the tubes were meant for centrifuges, I will happily oblige you.

FYI, the top tubes price is redacted on p. 96 of the SSCI report. It isn't on p. 105. Though I suspect you know that full well, and are simply trying to deceive your audience.


You lost. As a democrat, this should be second nature to you now.

Your obsessed friend, eriposte, spent hundreds of hours trying to make the case for rocket motors and now Wilkerson has provided the key the puzzle. If you didn’t catch the context, he was testifying about the night before Powell presented the evidence at the U.N., how all the intelligence agency were present and every detail was being evaluated.

I tried to explain to you and eriposte months ago that tubes could not be built to final tolerances for $15, but your ideology trumped your common sense. Now it seems you want to continue believing in impossibly cheap tubes instead of admitting your error.

Why am I not surprised? You and EW are probably still waiting the “24 business hours” for Rove to be indicted.

If you and your liberal brethren continue to deny facts, you will continue on this perpetual loosing streak.

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