Monday, October 31, 2005

Italian Intelligence Problems

After a week full of headlines that did little to bolster the enthusiasm of White House supporters, there comes a brief glimmer of light into the fiasco that was the origins of the sixteen words in the 2003 State of the Union speech. It is not a trivial matter that this snippet of intelligence found its way into a major speech by the President, became an important reason to launch a preventative war, and created the release of Valerie Wilson's identity. The impact of the forged documents from Niger added credibility to the President's war prior to March 7th, 2003, and then added headaches to the Administration's efforts to contain the embarassment thereafter.

Out comes this piece of investigative journalism from Josh Micah Marshall. This whole episode should be detailed by an agency or body that has no political stake in the outcome in order to lay down all the facts of who created the forgeries, and the intention the creators had in so placing these documents in the hands of the U.S. Embassy in Rome.

This is not to make the allusion that the Administration had something to do with these documents, but to highlight that any intelligence gathered should be viewed with a skeptical eye. Even if a President says that it is true in a State of the Union speech.

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