Jefferson Morely at WaPo scoops:
According to La Repubblica, Pollari was providing the false information, specifically a batch of forged documents concerning alleged Iraqi efforts to purchase nuclear material in the African country of Niger. The documents, rejected as genuine by the CIA and State Department earlier in 2002, were fed to a "parallel intelligence conduit" created by Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo say officials working for Cheney and Wolfowitz were "determined to produce the evidence for 'regime change’ in Baghdad." President Bush then used the information to make the case for invading Iraq.
. . .
La Repubblica's account suggests the forged documents were the product of an Italian government eager to curry favor with President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. They were originally produced by a rogue cop on the payroll of both French and Italian intelligence services, the newspaper reported. The French wanted to follow up on reports from the late 1980s that Iraq had bought nuclear material in Niger, so the cop, in need of money, sold them the phony documents.
Let us not forget that our government was fully aware that the docs were questionable before we used them as part of the rationale for war.