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Program Information
Takes on the World
Interview
Grant Smith, Director, Inst. for Research: Middle Eastern Policy
 Jeff Blankfort  Contact Contributor
Grant Smith elaborates on his May 20th post on www.irpep.org, “”Lesson from FBI’s ‘Niger Uranium Forgeries’ File: There will be no consequences for twisting intelligence to attack Iran,” based on his obtaining, through FOIA, and analyzing the 640 pages of FBI records In which he describes as then FBI director, Robert Mueller, who, as a special counsel, oversaw the Russiagate investigation of Trump associates, stifled efforts to investigate possible Washington (obviously neocon) links to the forgery of documents ostensibly from Niger purporting to have offered to sell and ship 500 tons of yellow cake uranium that could only have been used in the production of nuclear weapons. The documents had not been scheduled for release until 2018.

Despite the determination by the International Atomic Energy Agency that, without question, the documents were forgeries, Pres. Bush had gone on the air with his State of the Union Address telling the public that the purchase of the Niger yellow cake was a fact and that it validated the White House Claim that Iraq was engaged in the building of weapons of mass destruction and this demanded a US military response.

On March 14, 2003, six days before the invasion, Sen. John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV, Vice-Chair of the Senate Com. on Foreign Relations, and chair of the Senate Select Com. on Intelligence, sent a letter to Mueller, NEVER BEFORE RELEASED (which can be viewed at www.irmep.org), noting that the IAEA had determined that the Niger documents were forgeries, calling on the FBI director to investigate, “at a minimum to help allay concerns that the US Intelligence Community, or other elements of the US government, were involved in the creation of these documents in order to build support for the Administration’s policies.” The released documents reveal that the Washington Field Office of the FBI did not receive the senator’s letter until Sept. 13 of 2004, 551 days later, as Mueller had elected to ignore Rockefeller’s request and focus attention on Italy where the magazine, Panorama, had received the forged documents, quite likely with the assistance of veteran neocon Michael Ledeen who has publicly advocated changing US traditional policy in the Middle East into one of “chaos.” Whatever role the White House neocons, Wolfowitz, Feith or Libby may have played in this was never examined.

(Elisabetta Burba, a Panorama reporter, went to the US embassy in Rome to authenticate the documents, but Panorama never reproduced them as authentic in an article as was apparently desired by Rocco Martino, the go-between who wanted money for them. Panorama later debunked them as forgeries and wrote about them as a "hoax")

Smith also compared the lack of media coverage of the neocon role in the Iraq war with the absence of any mention in today’s media of the role the major Jewish organizations such as AIPAC, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, the American Jewish Committee, and the ADL, have played in pushing the crisis in Iran to its current point.

In the latter part of the interview, Smith speaks about the first US free trade agreement between Israel and the US in 1985 when an agent of the Israeli government stole a file containing critical documents of the major US industries and organizations that had opposed the agreement. Smith explains how the agreement has been an economic disaster for the US but that after Trump looked at the results and seemed ready to do something about it, he apparently changed his mind.
Interviewed by Jeff Blankfort

Download Program Podcast
00:35:25 1 June 26, 2019
KZYX Studios, Philo CA
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