The recently exposed document were originally provided to reporters at what appeared to be a "press conference" held by an individual who described himself as an "administration spokesman."
"I guess they weren't actually 'painting the press room' that day," one reporter suggested after the fraud was revealed. "Also I did find the 'Nader' tee-shirt on the spokesman a little unusual."
While printed on U.S. State Department stationary, one of the documents in the collection, a letter dated October of 2001 and purporting to transmit copies of the Niger document to the U.S. Ambassador to Rome for "distribution to local journalists," is signed by William P. Rogers. Although a Powell-like whipping boy in his day, Mr Rogers has not in fact served as U.S. Secretary of State since late in the Nixon administration.
Another document, dated October 2002, which purports to inform President Bush of the suspicious nature of the Niger documents, is itself suspicious in that it is both signed by and addressed to the President. The document is made further suspect in that although purportedly authored by President Bush, multiple instance of both "uranium" and "Niger" are spelled correctly in the body of the note.
A third document in the collection, dated December of 2002 and appearing to question British intelligence on Iraq's efforts to restart its nuclear weapons program refers to Tony Blair as a "Prominent World Leader." Mr Blair is in fact the governor of a small northeastern state.
Although other documents made available by the CIA and apparently authentic Bush insiders continue to suggest that the administration at least willfully closed its eyes to flaws in its Iraqi nuclear intelligence, this fraud has made some re-question their secondary misgivings about the invasion.
This has led some commentators to speculate that the administration is running what they describe some kind of "double blind operation" and may in fact have orchestrated release of the bogus documents.
Asked about this possibility at a recent press conference, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld laughed maniacally but denied that anyone 'traceable' to him would "be involved in those sorts of hi jinks."