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September 18, 2004
France Behind Forged Niger Documentation

The Italian spy who passed on forged documents to American and British intelligence services has confirmed that he did so on orders and under the pay of France, the London Telegraph reports in tomorrow's edition:

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. ...

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.

Not only did France actively attempt to undermine support for our insistence that the UN finally enforce the sixteen ultimata issued to Iraq from the Security Council, we now have confirmation that France conducted a disinformation campaign against the British and the US. While some domestic politicians like John Kerry and John Edwards continue to insist that France is an American ally, the obvious conclusion of this episode is that France does not see itself as a friend to the US.

Indeed, disinformation operations are specifically designed to confuse and damage an opponent's intelligence services, placing them at a disadvantage against their enemies. Any time another country targets the US for such tactics, it puts American citizens at risk and when successful weakens our national security. But especially after 9/11, such activity cannot be seen as the actions of a friend, even an envious or concerned friend. Deliberate disinformation campaigns during wartime make clear that the aggressor considers themselves an antagonist to the US, if not a complete enemy.

Why would France do somthing this stupid and clumsy? After all, if France wanted to convince the US and Britain that war was unnecessary, creating evidence of Saddam's hunt for WMD material would hardly convince George Bush to stand down -- and Jacques Chirac knows this. No, Chirac had bigger fish to fry. Part of his motivation may have been personal, targeting Bush politically in order to cripple his support at home. That would be bad enough, having the French meddling in our electoral processes. However, it's no secret that the French have been casting the EU as a foil to American power, and blinding our intelligence services with a disinformation campaign advances Chirac's vision of France as a competing superpower.

The American electorate should pay close attention to this incident, especially those who may feel sympathetic to John Kerry's blatherings about deferring to our "friends" on issues of national security. Friends do not engage in disinformation campaigns while we face attacks from Islamofascist terrorists. Allies do not meddle in our elections. Kerry's blindness on this issue underscores how dangerous a Kerry presidency would be for our national security.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 18, 2004 8:56 PM

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» A Complete Enemy from Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog
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Tracked on September 18, 2004 11:45 PM

» French Forgeries? from Crusader of Justice
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» The Other Fake Documents from Free Will
The Other Fake DocumentsHey, remember that "bad intelligence" about Saddam buying yellowcake from Niger?Well, it now appears that it was part of a disinformation operation perpetrated by... Well, I'll give you one guess.Oui oui!The Itali... [Read More]

Tracked on September 19, 2004 4:19 AM

» French Forgeries from PiratesCove
Captain Ed has found a story about how the French forged a document stating that Iraq was trying to purchase Uranium from Niger. The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence [Read More]

Tracked on September 19, 2004 8:32 AM

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» The Latest Provocation from John Kerry's Favorite Ally from infidel cowboy
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Tracked on September 19, 2004 1:37 PM

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