By the time you read this post you'll likely already know that today's Financial Times makes stunning new claims about alleged sales of uranium from Niger to Iraq.
In brief, the main article in the FT makes two points ...
First, that there is much more information than the forged 'Niger-uranium' documents backing up the claim that Iraq (and other countries) sought to clandestinely purchase 'yellowcake' uranium from Niger.
The second assertion requires a touch more explanation.
If you're up on the arcana of the 'Niger-uranium' story , you'll remember that they first came to light when a source—an unnamed Italian businessman and security consultant—gave copies of them to an Italian journalist named Elisabetta Burba.
(For more on the tick-tock of what Burba did with them and how they eventually got into US hands, see this piece by Sy Hersh from last year in The New Yorker.)
There has been endless speculation about who this mystery man was and who actually did the forging. Was he the forger? And if so, what were his motives? If not, who put them into his hands? And what were their motives?
According to the Financial Times article, that business man is likely himself the forger of the documents and he has a long history of bad acts which, they say, discredit him as a source of information. That last tidbit plays a key part in the FT story because, in their words, the provider of the documents is "understood to be planning to reveal selected aspects of his story to a US television channel."
That's what the FT says. I hear something different. In fact, I know something different.
My colleagues and I have reported on this matter extensively, spoken to key players involved in the drama, and put together a detailed picture of what happened. And that picture looks remarkably different from this account which is out today—specifically on the matter of the origins of those forged documents and who was involved. MORE