Let me suggest a few other questions to be posed in response to the new story the Italian government rolled out today to explain their involvement with the Niger uranium hoax.
The current story, detailed in this updated report from the Associated Press is that Rocco Martino forged the documents, that no one at SISMI (Italian military intelligence) was involved in any way and that at some point in January 2003, the Italians warned the United States that the documents were forged.
For the sake of discussion, let's stipulate to those facts.
So these questions.
1. If Martino forged the documents with no involvement by SISMI personnel, how did SISMI end up distributing transcriptions of the forgeries to the United States and other countries?
2. The Italian government now says they warned the Americans that the documents were forgeries in January 2003. But what exactly did they warn them about? According to the current story, the documents that the Americans had went from Martino to Elisabetta Burba to the US Embassy in Rome to the State Department. When exactly did the Italian government come into the picture in that chain of custody and how did they know we had the documents?
What Italian intelligence had done is give us reports in 2001 and early 2002 that were summaries and transcriptions of the documents. Was it their own earlier reports that they told us were based on forgeries? And if so, when did they learn that the information they gave us was based on forgeries?
3. If it is certain that Martino is the forger, and that he was acting on his own account, why has no action ever been taken against him?