Monday :: Oct 24, 2005

As Fitzgerald Tracks Down Source Of Niger Forgeries, Bush May Be Trying To Dispose Of Any Trials

by Steve

As Atrios notes, some caution is in order here because the source of this story is the UPI, although Martin Walker is one of the best editors they have. Confirming what others had heard last week, the UPI reported late yesterday that Patrick Fitzgerald is looking into the source of the Niger forgeries, and has obtained the Italian parliamentary report into the matter. That, as Eriposte has noted previously, is significant enough. But down in the story is something I had suspected but never seen connected before:

There is one line of inquiry with an American connection that Fitzgerald would have found it difficult to ignore. This is the claim that a mid-ranking Pentagon official, Larry Franklin, held talks with some Italian intelligence and defense officials in Rome in late 2001. Franklin has since been arrested on charges of passing classified information to staff of the pro-Israel lobby group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Franklin has reportedly reached a plea bargain with his prosecutor, Paul McNulty, and it would be odd if McNulty and Fitzgerald had not conferred to see if their inquiries connected.

Remember that Franklin had ties into the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a Secretary that through his Office of Special Plans wanted to create his own intelligence service separate of the CIA. And even though Franklin was prosecuted by U. S. Attorney Paul McNulty, it appears that McNulty let Franklin cut a deal and plans to make the AIPAC case go away so that it won’t cause any problems for BushCo. You see, McNulty is apparently a partisan GOP hack who will do Bush’s bidding, and as such, as Billmon notes, has just been nominated to be Deputy Attorney General and Fitzgerald’s boss, where he will be in a position to make some of the Plamegate headaches go away as well months from now.

Of course, this assumes that McNulty gets confirmed, and it assumes that Bush could survive the backlash from such an obvious partisan maneuver. I mean, if Fitzgerald comes down with some serious indictments this week, and McNulty makes them go away months from now, especially after the Democrats make an issue of his partisanship during his confirmation hearings, wouldn’t McNulty’s subsequent disposal of any trials be the best present Democrats could ask for heading into the 2006 midterms?

Steve :: 10:27 AM :: Comments (12) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!