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December 01, 2005



Pattycake, pattycake, Wilson's the Man.
Africa's as big as any one Khan.
You dig it, you shop it,
You pack it, you ship it.
Bake me a Yellow Boy as fast as you can.


Just because the ultimate source of the yellowcake is Niger doesn't mean it came from there directly. My guess is the Libyans got it from Pakistan.


I cannot understand why Khan or anyone else in the world could even entertain making untowards attempts at getting uranium from a mine operated and controlled by the French in the first place. They all had to have been there for the goats.

Follow the goats.


Goats pall. It was the dust and the flies.


Great minds, Tom. My editor was away yesterday when I sent this is..and so it didn't get published until today.



I wouldn't put it past Joe to have tried to score a bomb for the Wahabbi.


Well, Zahawi visited Niger February 5, 1999. So I don't quite see a connection between him being there and AQ Khan being there, at least not connected to each other directly. Certainly is interesting, though, that AQ Khan was perusing through Niger. Checking on his black market operation?

So, did Wilson get sent to Niger in 1999 to check out what Zahawi was doing there? Why not, oh I don't know, a CIA agent?


Until TM gets Clarice's Link in an update ...

It's her American Thinker article on the subject.


The very notion that these corruptocracies overseen by French bureaucrats could honestly account for all uranium sales is risible. Even more astonishing is that Il Giornale with resources representing a tiny fraction of the American msm's resources must be relied on for coverage.


Speaking of corruptacracies, what do you think the MSM is?

My guess is the Libyans got it from Pakistan.
Or maybe they got it from Iraq. Shorter trip and all, ya' know...

cathy :-)


This is actually getting pretty funny - now Wilson's critics are saying that maybe he did debnk some forgeries, and, I suppose, his supporters will have to insist he was just BSing.


But according to the Butler Report, the justification for the infamous "16-words" included "both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo".

Why did Butler think it necessary to include the Democratic Republic of Congo ?

We all know that Joe Wilson didn't go there, so what are we missing ?


TM, who said Wilson actually debunked some forgeries?


I seem to have found my own answer ..

"Again in February [1998] (there was) a visit [by Khan] to Mauritania where contacts were made with officials of the Republic of Congo and Somalia : countries reported by the CIA to the White House before the declarations made by George W. Bush in regards to Iraq :declarations in which the President mentions Africa, and not Niger, as the place in which Saddam was desperately seeking uranium.


AJ has interesting stuff and links along this line.


C'mon TM, what has Wilson ever debunked? Besides his own op ed of course.


When Tim and I a'huntin went,
We found three maidens in a tent.
Since there was nothing else to do,
Ibukone and Timbuktu.


Do I have this right? Did the CIA supposedly turn a blind eye to some trafficking in Niger and send Wilson on a CYA tour?

Isn't it accepted that at least somebody here in the States knew and tacitly permitted Khan to acquire the Islamic bomb?

I'm telling you, this one's flying right over my head, Clarice's piece notwithstanding.


"'Khan visited Timbuktu for uranium'

Shyam Bhatia in London | February 17, 2004 19:12 IST

The London accountant who accompanied Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to Timbuktu on three occasions in 1998, 1999 and 2000 says the 'father' of the Pakistani bomb witnessed the digging of a well, toured an ancient Islamic library and enjoyed the views of the desert.

A remote outpost in the middle of the West African desert, Timbuktu usually attracts explorers associated in the popular mind with the adventures of the comic character Tin Tin.

And Pakistani dissidents told rediff.com the reason for Khan's visit to Timbuktu, part of landlocked West African state of Mali, was to prospect for uranium.


Forgot to this from the Timbuktu link:

One year later in February 1999 Siddiqui again agreed to accompany a Khan-led group back to Timbuktu. This time Khan was accompanied by his chief scientific adviser, Dr Fakhrul Hasan Hashmi, Brigadier Tajwar, director General of Security at KRL and other senior officials of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. This time the group flew via Sudan, Nigeria, Niger and Chad.

In February 2000 Siddiqui describes how 'we were again air borne for Timbuktu', this time from Dubai to Khartoum, then to Niamey, capital of Niger, where ambassador Brigadier Nisar, hosted a dinner in honour of Khan.

"Niger has big uranium deposits," Siddiqui notes without further comment. On February 29, 2000 the group returned back to Dubai after visiting 10 African cities.


Close down the CYA..It's worse than useless.


Last year he spent a week downstream from Timbuktu sipping mint tea and listening to Francophone assurances that no respectable Nigerian slave trader, gun runner, hashish merchant or blood diamond smuggler in the adjacent million square miles of howling sandstorm would stoop to dealing in uranium.

And what of malefactors from Mali, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Libya, and Nigeria? Never fear: Niger's vigilant border patrol awaits them. None shall escape special visa fees stiff enough to leave impecunious Chads hanging.

Well satisfied, the intrepid Ambassador returned to Foggy Bottom, but Newsweek says that his verbal trip report "vanished into the bureaucratic maw."

"TRANSPORT-TRADE:Removing Trade Barrier from West Africa’s Roads
By Honore Yaovi Tchalim Blao on 11/11/1998 16:42:01 GMT
LOME, Nov 11 (IPS) - What’s new on the main road from northern Togo to Burkina Faso is that a major barrier to a smooth trade flow in West Africa - checkpoints and the host of policemen and gendarmes who man them - has disappeared. … (continue)


Tom, are you calling me a fantasist!? ;)




Come on in! The kool aid is great.

Cheers, AJStrata


Oh my.

Just Oh My.


dtG, don't forget Gabon.


Gabon pere,
Won't you dare,
Lay out bare,
What there is there?


Kim, you rang?

"Finally, the spatial concentration for uranium production is also very high. The USA 22%; Canada 19.3%; South Africa 16.3%; France 9%; and Australia 8.7%, between them provide three-quarters of the total production of the non-socialist world. The remaining quarter comes from three African countries, Niger, Namibia and Gabon. The location of uranium extraction has also changed recently; less is extracted in the USA and more in Australia and Africa, while total output for the non-socialist world has increased by one-third since the mid-1970s.

Recent changes in the location of world mineral activity have somewhat corrected the imbalance we noted between the relative shares of Africa in world resources and in world output at the beginning of the 1970s. Its relative share of world production decreased for copper, which was (and still is) over-exploited, and increased for bauxite and uranium, which were (and still are) under-exploited."


My economic geographer father would be proud of you.


Stupid question. Why did Qadaffi fold up so quickly? Did we catch him doing something?


TP as I recall, he was afraid we'd find out about his program. Plame's shop had no idea how far along he was. (Shades of the Pak program).


I was wondering if he figured we would find out about his program from any activities that would be uncovered by the deposing of Saddam.


Now why the heck does Niger need to do this?

Niger guards get nuclear training
Country at center of CIA leak case

Thursday, December 1, 2005 Posted: 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
United States
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

NIAMEY, Niger (Reuters) -- Customs and border guards in Niger, the African country named in a U.S. intelligence scandal over alleged Iraqi uranium purchases, are being trained to fight the smuggling of nuclear materials, the government said.

International Atomic Energy Agency specialists, along with local experts, were giving a three-day course this week in the African uranium producer on the risks of handling radioactive material and how to detect trafficking of nuclear substances.

JM Hanes

TM !

Check out this June 2004 item from Greg Djerejian at Belgravia Dispatch for yet another angle on this. He's got lots of stuff from FT -- which naturally never really broke the surface on this side of the pond.


Very interresting, Greg's old column. It was deja vu all over again for me, because it reminded me of where so many of my idees fixes about Joe came from.

Ironic that he mentioned his news would not get displayed, even on Instapundit.

Also ironic is that he pointed out a clear FT/TPM battle, and we know that one's denouement. Why isn't Josh as well as all the rest of MSM addressing this?

Hunh, Doc?


Neo- Republic of Congo is Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo is Congo-Kinshasa. So the Khan contacts don't match the Butler reports.


From Clarice:

TM, who said Wilson actually debunked some forgeries?

Hmm, aside from some of our friends on the left, maybe no one.

A couple of days ago, I posed a Bonus Question to folks who think that maybe he *did* debunk the forgeries - if he did, wouldn't it follow that the CIA engaged in a major whoopsie and cover-up, since, per the SSCI, they never reported the news that the docs were forged until a year later?

And reading your article, I got the idea that you were thinking it would be cool to revisit that point as well.

But I don't know of anyone on the right who is now claimign Wilson did debunk the forgeries.

Cecil Turner

Why did Qadaffi fold up so quickly? Did we catch him doing something?


Nearly three months after the successful operation, the Bush administration confirmed on Wednesday interception of an illegal shipment of thousands of parts of uranium-enrichment equipment bound for Libya.
According to reports, we'd been tracking the AQ Khan activities for years, mostly focused on the DPRK connection:
According to a June 2002 CIA report, described by Seymour Hersh in the January 27 New Yorker, in 1997 Pakistan gave North Korea high-speed centrifuges and how-to data on building and testing a uranium-triggered nuclear weapon. (Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are based on a Chinese implosion design that uses a core of highly enriched uranium.) In return, North Korea gave Pakistan missile technology and parts.
But as Butler pointed out, they're interconnected (though it's not clear to what degree).

Cecil Turner

More bonus paranoia: what did Saddam buy with his $3.5 billion "safe-haven" money? Doesn't look like a lot of regime members actually went to Libya. Might it have been for something else?


He's puttin' up in a tent.


Maybe 3.5 billion dollars bought a bomb for Bush. It buys Khaddafi throwing in the towel-wrapped red herring and device acquistion pursued under the roses. Think like Saddam.

Maybe there is a little urgency to getting to the bottom of the Yellow Cake Mystery. He's known to do whatever he Khan. Means ethics mean nothing to him, and he had the means, or at least three and a half thousand million of the little mean ones.

Thanks to France, and the UN. God this is getting old. On Coleman, on Bolton, on Duelfer, and you with the Rossett moniker, get out in front.


Claudia, the Rosset monikered chronicler,
Has a newsy houndy nose.
That Saddam was a beast and a stinker,
Is just exactly what she shows.


TM--There is so much funny business about what--if anything--Wilson saw and when and from whom..Ditto with Buate (French member of the IAEA) and how Plam'es shop just happened to have misplaced the forgeries in their safe for 6 months. Then add that these were such very bad forgeries..

Oh, and remember-- Kristof set this off by reporting that Wilson saw the forgeries and tried to warn everyone off relying on them (even though as it turns out he never saw them cause they came in 8 months later) and NOW, years later, says Wilson never told him he like, actually saw them..
This is the most preposterous part of the Jivin Joe Envoy and his media chorus tap dance.


You cast this whole scenario ina whole new light. Wilson better hope his 15 minutes of fame are almost up.


Nick could have a starring role in the new movie 'Driving Joe Envoy'.



A French, not an Italian car, remember..And a bar stocked with tea and yellow cake for the trip.


Clarice. You have followed this a lot closer than I have, so I throw this suspicion out for comment.

When I hear, Africa, forgery and left wing Italian newspaper in the same sentence, I automatically think of Russia. They have used forgery as a method to drive wedges between the US and France before. Given the probability that they had a lot better Iraqi intelligence than almost anybody (including Saddam's war strategy), this would just be a natural for them. It is the gift that keeps on giving. First, it drives a deeper wedge between the USA and France and, second, it drives a wedge in the voting public here--a key to Saddam winning the war. (My guess is that Russia would be just as happy bleeding us for a few years--payback for Afghanistan).

If you review the execution of Soviet-Russian policy for the past 50 years, this is their style. France's style has been more one of hyperkinetic diplomacy. I wouldn't doubt for a minute Putin's ability to play on French (Chirac is an old fool) vanity and resentment of US hegemony.

If this is what happened, it only magnifies the level of CIA failure.


Chi ciao chai?
Cha cha chai.


Could be just what Bush saw in Putin's soul. The Game is old, likely eternal.


Kim. I've always felt like it is a Bush family trait to put too much trust in their worst enemies. I really think this has been the case with Putin.

My guess is that the Germans and French are going to be a little less comfortable with Vlad selling those missiles to the Iranians.


Interesting. There's lots of stuff about the forgery being written and to me the most credible source of it is French intel(thru Martino). OTOH Iraqi intel followed the Soviet model and was trained by them..(It is why I am inclined toward the 9/11 attack as a "false flag" operation, a standard Soviet move.)


The whole Baathist organization, in fact, is modeled on the Soviets'..even the dissolving of the troops and reformation as a revanchist "insurgency" is out of old Joe's playbook.


Saddam's hero was Joe Stalin.

It will be interesting to watch the French on Syria. They have to feel a little used on the Iranian negotiations.

I don't believe the Cold War ever ended--entirely. The Russians still have interests and pretensions to be a world power, and like it or not, we are stomping around in their historic spheres of influence. Their country may be beaten up, but they are not broken and they still have pride.


Putin puts Pershings in Psycho Poobahs Palms.


Yellow Cake! Yellow Cake!
How will it all shake?
I don't know who is gonna bake,
Even who is goin' to bust a take.


Ah, C, the 'false flag' may even explain the lack of direct and voluminous links between Saddam and AQ. How Stalinist to have Zarqawi as link.


And the 3.5 billlion dollars may have run up a few false flags in Libya. Why wouldn't the money go to finance a continuing, even more clandestine operation to acquire a bomb? Maybe Saddam's bravado is rooted in the hope that the money may bear fruit.


TP, Do not forget that whatever else was going on, Putin called Bush and warned him that his intel people had picked up solid evidence that Saddam was planning an attack againt the US and US interests abroad.

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