Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"a heap of things that have been reported to us is bogus."

OK, there are real, if not professional, translations of the Italian news reports about the phony Nigerian yellowcake documents.  The correctly-translated versions are not funny at all, but they are informative.  The articles were translated by the mysteriously-named woman, Nur al-Cubicle, on a blog that is mysteriously named Nur al-Cubicle.  There are three parts, corresponding to the three installments in the Italian paper, La Repubblica.  (1 2 3) She ends with an epilogue, in which the Italian government denies the whole thing.  

There are parts that are interesting, for example:
So on September 8, 2002, Judith Miller portrays the aluminum tubes as “a smoking gun.” The next day, Pollari is seated in front of Stephen Hadley. So what does he tell him? Pollari keeps his mouth shut. He doesn’t reveal what he knows about the aluminum tubes, which are the source of so much concern (or even enthusiasm) for the Bush Administration. The shame is that those 7075-T6 tubes, 900 millimeters long, 81 millimeters in diameter, 3.3 millimeters thick, are well-known hardware to the Italian Army. They are 81-mm rocket artillery shells used in the Medusa air-to-ground missile system installed on Italian Army and Navy helicopters. In reality, the Iraqis are merely attempting to reproduce weaponry with which they became familiar during the long years of economic, military and nuclear cooperation between Rome and Baghdad. [...] Saddam’s General Staff needs to duplicate them, so to speak, because their inventory is stockpiled outdoors and is now corroded. That was the reason behind the new anodized aluminum tube purchases.
That excerpt does not make much sense unless you read the entire 3-part thing, which is rather long, to understand who Pollari is, and why his meeting with Hadley may have been significant.  The only reason it is interesting is that it may provide some insight into the means used to "fix" the intelligence that provided a rationale for the war.  Oh, and there is a reference to Judith Miller, which may explain why Fitzgerald was so interested in talking to her.  But there has been so much speculation about that, lately, that there is hardly any point in speculating any more.