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Profile: Elisabetta Burba

 
  

Positions that Elisabetta Burba has held:

  • Reporter for the Italian current affairs weekly Panorama


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, July 2003

   “I realized that this could be a worldwide scoop, but that's exactly why I was very worried. If it turned out to be a hoax, and I published it, I would have ended my career. I went by myself and give [sic] them the dossier. No one said anything more to me, and in any case the decision not to publish it was already taken—with no further way to check out the reliability of those papers, we chose not to risk.” [Associated Press, 7/20/03, Washington Post, 7/20/03]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Elisabetta Burba actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Early October 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Elisabetta Burba, a reporter for the Italian current affairs weekly Panorama, receives a phone call from Rocco Martino, an Italian information peddler and former SISMI agent. He tells her that he has some documents that might interest her. Burba has obtained information from Martino before and she considers him to be a reliable source. [Financial Times, 8/2/04; Corriere della Sera, 7/17/03, cited in Talking Points Memo, 10/31/03 Sources: Elisabetta Burba] They meet at a bar in Rome and he gives her copies of the documents, totaling some 22 pages, mostly in French, and offers to give her the originals for a sum of ten thousand dollars. Burba tells her source that she needs to verify the authenticity of the documents before her employer will agree to purchase the documents. [Corriere della Sera, date unknown, cited in Talking Points Memo, 10/31/03; New Yorker, 10/20/03; Agence France Presse, 7/19/03; Reuters, 7/19/03 Sources: Elisabetta Burba]
People and organizations involved: Elisabetta Burba
          

October 8-9, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       One day after receiving the Niger documents (see Early October 2002), Elisabetta Burba meets with her editors and expresses her concern that the documents might be fakes. She notes that the amount of uranium specified in the documents—500 tons—is very large. Moreover, the letters do not include details on how the uranium would be delivered. She proposes that she travel to Niger to determine the document's authenticity. [Corriere della Sera, 7/19/03, cited in Talking Points Memo, 10/31/03; Associated Press, 7/20/03 Sources: Elisabetta Burba] But Burba is instructed by the magazine's editor-in-chief, Carolo Rossella, who is “known for his ties to the Berlusconi government,” to hand them over to the American embassy in Rome for verification. [The Washington Post, 7/20/03; New Yorker, 10/20/03; Corriere della Sera, 7/19/03, cited in Talking Points Memo, 10/31/03 Sources: Elisabetta Burba]
People and organizations involved: Carlo Rossella, Elisabetta Burba
          

After October 9, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Elisabetta Burba travels to Niger to investigate the documents she received a few day earlier (see Early October 2002). In Niger, she quickly becomes convinced that the documents are not authentic. Seymour Hersh will later report: “She visited mines and the ports that any exports would pass through, spoke to European businessmen and officials informed about Niger's uranium industry, and found no trace of a sale. She also learned that the transport company and the bank mentioned in the papers were too small and too ill-equipped to handle such a transaction.” With all evidence indicating that the papers are bogus, Burba abandons the story. [New Yorker, 10/20/03; The Washington Post, 7/20/03; Associated Press, 7/20/03]
People and organizations involved: Elisabetta Burba
          

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