...The US has long known that the Italians had the forged documents in their possession at least as early as the beginning of 2002. And what we've uncovered is that at the same time Italian intelligence operatives were surreptitiously funnelling copies of the documents to this document peddler with the knowledge that he would sell them to other intelligence services and likely to members of the Italian press.
Now, a few more notes on the ‘security consultant’. The Financial Times story said that he “had a record of extortion and deception and had been convicted by a Rome court in 1985 and later arrested at least twice.” Several of the particulars here are incorrect. But he does have a criminal record. And I’m told by a very reliable source that he is now trying to sell his the detailed version of his story to members of the British press for 30,000 euros. Whether he's successful in doing so we'll probably find out in the next few days.
We already have his account. And needless to say, we didn’t pay him. But it’s reasonable to ask how trustworthy his account is since he seems to be someone of rather less than spotless integrity. The answer is that we’ve confirmed the key details of the story I outlined above independently.
The Niger yellowcake documents MAY have been authored by Italian intelligence, then funneled via an active "asset" who was supposed to be "inactive" to a shady information broker who passed them on the British intelligence ...
Maybe we have the wrong people running intelligence services in the west.