Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Just following up on our earlier post about SISMI Chief Nicolo Pollari, there are already a few US news organizations snooping around over in Rome about this story. But, really, they needn't go so far afield.

According to La Repubblica, a key role in the Italo-American Niger uranium back channel was played by a man named Giovanni Castellaneta.

He was then a key foreign policy advisor to Silvio Berlusconi.

He is now the Italian Ambassador to the United States.

I placed a call to the press office at the Italian Embassy in Washington this afternoon. The man who took the call told me the embassy is being deluged by requests to discuss the Repubblica allegations with Castellaneta. He took my number and said I could expect a call back from the press attache.

They won!

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) played a pivotal role in organizing cosponsors for a bill to overturn the president's Gulf Coast Wage Cut. Later, he found a way to force a vote on the legislation. Unwilling to face that prospect, today the White House caved in and revoked the wage cut on their own.

Rep. Miller explains what happened here at TPMCafe.

Pollari on the ropes?

Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation may not be the only game in town when it comes to the now-quickly-evolving Plame/Niger/uranium forgeries story.

As we discussed with you at the time, last year the Italian government and its intelligence agency SISMI mounted an extended disinformation campaign, using articles fed to Italian and British publications, in an effort to discredit or prevent further revelations about SISMI's complicity in the Niger uranium forgeries scandal.

Those bogus stories came in response to the as yet-unpublished-interviews that Rocco Martino was then giving, in which he detailed the involvement of SISMI officer Antonio Nucera and a SISMI asset, a female Italian national, who works in the Nigerien embassy in Rome in the promulgation of the forgeries.

Repubblica now seems to be delving into that cover-up effort that was taking place through much of last year.

More soon.

David Rieff questions the premises of establishment Democratic foreign policy thinking and the assumptions of the authors of TPMCafe's America Abroad blog.

More coming momentarily on the third installment from Italy's La Repubblica, more details on how SISMI floated bogus cover stories to hide their role in the Niger forgeries, cover stories (implicating the French, for instance) eagerly gobbled up by the conservative press in the UK and the US.

TPM Reader JS has a question ...

Regarding the Colin Powell speech to the U.N., Powell--and now his former Chief of Staff--have said that they threw out much of the draft speech given to them by the White House. Yet, even as delivered, the speech had several falsehoods. My questions: how much worse was the first draft and why can't we see that draft? Nobody can says it's classified because it was exactly what the White House wanted Powell to tell the whole world.

Good question. If we ever have a real congressional inquiry maybe it will be asked.