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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 10:50 AM
Original message
Ledeen, Ghorbanifar, and the strategy of tension
The stuff in the article quoted below is mind-blowing. It refers to events of 25 years ago but might as well be today. Everything that's being pulled on Iran now was in the playbook move-for-move back then. And then, as now, Ledeen and Ghorbanifar were in the thick of it.

The early sections of the article describe how the Reagan Administration first invented the war on terror as an excuse for maintaining power and secrecy even as the Cold War was winding down. Michael Ledeen and his associates were at the heart of this shift -- providing the theoretical basis for seeing global terrorism as a menace equivalent to the Soviet Union in its glory days and slamming the State Department and CIA for not going along with their claims.

But where it gets really eerie is in the section on the manufactured anti-Libyan hysteria which I've quoted below. (Note particularly the interesting phrase "strategy of tension," a reference to the methods used by Ledeen's neo-fascist friends in Italy to discredit the left through fake terrorist attacks.)
The administration redoubled its domestic propaganda campaign to persuade the nation of the virulent menace of foreign terrorism. If no one could find convincing evidence of Soviet-sponsored terror, they could of Libyan support for violent European and Middle Eastern groups. And the administration could magnify the evidence until Americans felt positively threatened by what was in fact a weak and ineffectual power-and one that, far from being a surrogate of the USSR, did not even let the Soviets base ships at its ports. . . . The campaign against Libya started at the New Republic, whose line on terrorism and foreign policy in general was shaped increasingly by editor Martin Peretz's strong political commitment to Israel. The once-liberal magazine had begun publishing regular articles by Michael Ledeen and former Newsweek correspondent Arnaud de Borchgrave, a Jerusalem conference participant and a vociferous exponent of the theory that Soviet disinformation had duped the American media. . . .

On July 26, 1981 Newsweek reported that the administration was gearing up a major effort to topple Gadhafi, involving a "disinformation" campaign to erode the colonel's domestic support, formation of a "counter government" of Libyan exiles and a program of paramilitary and sabotage operations inside Libya to stir up discontent and expose Gadhafi's vulnerability. The next month, provocative U.S. naval exercises off Libya's coast provoked a rash-and desired-response from Gadhafi. U.S. jets downed two Libyan fighters in a dogfight over Gulf of Sidra. In September, columnist Jack Anderson confirmed that CIA director Casey had concocted a disinformation campaign to mislead the American press about Libya by planting false stories abroad. The stories accused Gadhafi of supporting the slave trade in Mauritania, mismanaging his country's petrodollar accounts and stirring up terrorism. . . .

November saw a positive flurry of reports linking Gadhafi to terrorist plots. . . . But the most significant theme in this strategy of tension surfaced with Newsweek. Its voluble U.S. intelligence sources tipped the magazine that "Gadhafi is plotting to assassinate the president and other top American officials," including Vice President Bush and Secretaries Haig and Weinberger. The average reader could sympathize with administration officials who were said to "openly admit that they would be delighted if someone else killed Gadhafi." The notorious Reagan assassination plot story hit the front pages of the New York Times on December 4. "The government has received detailed reports that five terrorists trained in Libya entered the United States last weekend with plans to assassinate President Reagan or other senior officials," the paper revealed. A "huge nationwide search for the potential assassins" was underway. . . . Fed a steady diet of Gadhafi rumors, the American public could be excused for believing President Reagan's dismissal of the Libyan's denials: "We have the evidence, and he knows it....l wouldn't believe a word he says if I were you." . . .

Then, as mysteriously as they had appeared, the hit teams vanished. By late December, officials decided "the hit squads have become inactive." Indeed, "the information about the hit squads has been and still is mushy," sources told the Washington Post. "The United States still does not know for sure whether any members of the two hit squads ever left Libya." Only in the context of the latest Iran arms scandal has the public finally learned that the source of the fanciful "hit squad" story was Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK agent with close ties to Israeli intelligence. According to the Washington Post, the CIA believed he was a Iying schemer who "had made up the hit-squad story in order to cause problems for one of Israel's enemies." . . . These details confirm what the Los Angeles Times had learned in 1981: "Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan administration, was a major source of some of the most dramatic published reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent to kill President Reagan and other top U.S. officials... Israel, which informed sources said has 'wanted an excuse to go in and bash Libya for a long time,' may be trying to build American public support for a strike against Libyan strongman Moammar Ghadhafi, these sources said."
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Administration lawyers argue president has right to goto war in Iran, tomo
Senator Biden says

"This administration's Lawyers argue that president has the right to go to war in Iran, tomorrow without even telling the US Congress, that is what they argue Katie" this was said the second time.,

Type in Biden in search

Watch this video

Sen. Biden discusses Alito hearings

Biden tells Couric 2X's that Bush and his lawyers have argued that they have the authority to declare war on Iran without telling Congress.

Thanks to stop the bleeding
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK agent with close ties to... Israeli intelligence...."

Connecting some dots here: Ghorbanifar was present at the meeting of "the Rome Group," in 2001, also present, rabid Neo Con Michael Ladeen (organizer of the meeting, on Bush/US payroll). This is the group suspected of concocting the Niger forgeries, and whom I suspect of concocting a lot more than forgeries (a scheme to plant WMDs, probably nukes or nuke material, in Iraq, after the invasion, which is at the heart of Treasongate--Treasongate being a panicked effort by the Bushites to cover up the scheme and its foiling, after the Brits chief WMD expert David Kelly found out about it--scheme probably foiled by the Brewster-Jennings counter-proliferation network). Ghorbanifar was a SAVAK agent (which I didn't know before--although I picked up that one of his aides is a former Shah minister). SAVAK was the Shah of Iran's torture group, the goons who inflicted 25 years of horror on the Iranian people, after the US/Israel destroyed Iranian democracy in 1953. So, what Ghorbanifar may be up to is re-installing a Shah type regime in Iran, that he could be a major figure in (Grand Inquisitor and Master of Torture Chambers?).

The WMD-planting theory of Treasongate is that the "Rome Group" cooked up a 2-part scheme, 1) to draw the CIA out into a public position of no-nukes in Iraq, with the crude, easily detectable Niger forgeries; and 2 ) to discredit the CIA forever, by planting nukes in Iraq to be "found" by the US troops who were "hunting" for WMDs after the invasion (notably accompanied by Judith Miller), with the additional huge benefit to Bush/Blair's political fortunes. Ghorbanifar may have had a personal vendetta against the CIA for their exposing him as a fabricator in the '80s. Re: part 2, there was a parallel cover story that Ghorbanifar was running, recently revealed--and early on debunked by the CIA--that Iran stole nuke material from Iraq just before the invasion--the purpose of this Ghorbanifar planted story perhaps being to cover up any botching up of the Bush junta operation (a nuke spill; discovery of the scheme, etc.), and possibly also to be used later as an excuse to invade or bomb Iran. However, see #2 below.

Puzzles: (perhaps someone can help me out with this?)

1. Libya. I know that Mossad is likely out of control (much like Rumsfeld's OSP), but why pick on one of the weakest Arab regimes back then? Was it--as with Iraq--just because it was weak? That it could be easily picked off? And what of the Lockerbee plane crash? Is there any suspicion that that was trumped up against Ghadhafi?

2. The crudeness of the Niger forgeries clued me into possible misdirection. (If they were not intended as convincing proof of an Iraq nuke program, what WERE they intended for?) (i.e., The Bush junta could surely have concocted better forgeries than this, if they had wanted to.) Ghorbanifar's story of Iran stealing nuke material from Iraq (easily and early debunked by the CIA) also has a smell of misdirection about it. The story immediately collapsed upon investigation. So what could be the purpose of this easily disprovable story? I'm thinking that Ghorbanifar was engaged in probing the CIA for honest agents and operations. Identifying people for the Bushites to purge. This story ran in March 2003, right at the beginning of other events (invasion of Iraq, efforts to plant WMDs in Iraq, Treasongate). Could it have been an effort to detect who, in the CIA, would be likely to detect and expose the WMD-planting scheme--an effort both to uncover and perhaps to foil/purge/kill members of the Brewster-Jennings network (an extensive CIA worldwide network of covert agents and contacts, keeping track of and countering WMD proliferation, headed by Plame). Such a project would be of benefit to Ghorbanifar, even aside from planting WMDs in Iraq and getting away with it. He is a notorious arms dealer, and having Bush & Co. in the White House gave him the perfect opportunity to clear the way for arms proliferation, since the Bushites had no loyalty to their own CIA and despised honest information and counter-proliferation.


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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Libya was a big deal then
Edited on Thu Jan-12-06 01:37 PM by starroute
Qaddafi was a sort of Castro-like figure -- far more important symbolically than for his actual degree of power. But there's more to the story than that. For example, try googling for any of the below:

Check into "the Enterprise" -- the rogue CIA operations of Ted Shackley, Tom Clines, Edwin Wilson, and Richard Secord that started in Vietnam and wound up in Iran-Contra. Note that in the middle 70's, they transferred their main base of operations from southeast Asia to Iran, where they were both overseeing their drug-running, arms-dealing and money-laundering and also instructing SAVAK in Phoenix Program-style assassination. (This was a major factor leading to the overthrow of the Shah a couple of years later.) Note that when the Carter administration forced them to pull out of Iran, they started diversifying their operations throughout the Middle East. It was Edwin Wilson's dealings with Qaddafi that finally got the whole gang in trouble and ultimately led to them being pushed out of the CIA.

Then note that Michael Ledeen was working with Ted Shackley in Italy around 1979-80, offering trainings to European intelligence services. Note that it was Ledeen who help shut down the investigation of Wilson that might have implicated Shackley and Clines. Note also that it was Shackley who first brought Ghorbanifar into Iran-Contra in November 1984 and then passed him on to both Ledeen and Ollie North (who himself went back to the Shackley team's Vietnam days.)

(I'd really love to know how that Shackley-Ghorbanifar connection came about and whether it went back to the Enterprise's days in Iran in the middle 70's.)

Also note that in 1980 Ledeen was busy trying to concoct a "Billygate" scandal tying President Carter's brother to Qaddafi. And that Ledeen and Shackley are both said to have been involved in the October Surprise.

Finally, just for the fun of it, check out Ledeen in connection with the "strategy of tension" and P2.

It seems possible to me that what was happening around 1980-81 was a preliminary attempt to shift gears from the Cold War to the war on terror. It was still haphazard -- partly because Libya wasn't a good enough boogeyman -- and they soon reverted to the standard Cold War moves in Latin America and in Afghanistan. But this proto-phase of the war on terror seems to have set the paradigm for everything that has come along since 9/11.

On edit: Now that I think about it, if Ghorbanifar was behind the Libyan hit squad story in 1981, he couldn't have popped up out of nowhere in 1984. That's interesting . . .
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Have you read DUer Minstrel Boy's take on Ledeen & the Strategy of Tension
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Yellow Cake and Black Shirts


Now, do you know of Italy's "Strategy of Tension"? It was a campaign of false-flag terror in the late 1970s, waged by outright fascists who enjoyed the patronage of the CIA, the Mafia and far right elements of the Italian State. These were the Gladio Brigades and Licio Gelli's P2 Lodge, and they intended to discredit the increasingly popular Communist Party, and to ensure it would not take power, by staging terrorist acts in the name of the Left. Their campaign culminated in the Bologna train station bombing of 1980.

Now, do you know where Michael Ledeen was during these years, what he was doing, and with whom he was doing it?


From Asia Times:

Ledeen's right-wing Italian connections - including alleged ties to the P2 Masonic Lodge that rocked Italy in the early 1980s - have long been a source of speculation and intrigue, but he returned to Washington in 1981 as "anti-terrorism" advisor to the new secretary of state, Al Haig.

Over the next several years, Ledeen used his position as consultant to Haig, the Pentagon and the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan to boost the notion of a global terrorist conspiracy based in the Kremlin, whose KGB pulled the strings of all of the world's key terrorist groups, especially in the Middle East.

An excerpt from Herman and O'Sullivan's The "Terrorism" Industry:

In 1980 entered into a collaboration with Francesco Pazienza, an agent of the Italian secret service (SISMI) and a member of Rome's extreme right-wing Masonic Lodge, P2 (Propaganda Due), headed by the fascist Licio Gelli. In an Italian criminal court in 1985, Pazienza was judged guilty of political manipulation, forgery, and the protection of criminals and terrorists, among other offenses. Indeed, according to the findings of the court, Pazienza falsified information about the Bologna bombing in order to divert attention away from the real (right-wing) terrorists who had staged the attack.


The resemblance between the recent mass murder in Madrid and the Bologna bombing extends, I suspect, well beyond the scale of carnage.

Why do some insist on calling these people neo-fascists? I see nothing new here.


Why did Michael Ledeen make the Niger forgeries so crude? Sounds like Minstrel Boy is hinting that it could have been a red herring to distract from something even more sinister.
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. This last paragraph should be a clarion call
"If the immorality of covert policies like the Iran and contra operations doesn't decide the case, these practical considerations should. Failure to curb the extraordinary power of presidents to wage covert foreign and military campaigns can only ensure a succession of similar policy disasters in the future."
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kick
A good thread that should not die young.

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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. Amazing. Is this the nub of the matter?
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Don't you hate the message that "Error: You've already recommended
that thread"?

Managing perceptions. Setting the broader stage, for the political divisions to play themselves out on, towards a conclusion already inherent in the framing of the issue.

Fortunately, we've still got the vote as our weapon. Right? Right?
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FULL_METAL_HAT Donating Member (673 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. 2 + 2 = 5 says my diebold calculator... :^/ nt
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. Ledeen, Ghorbanifar
and a little Adnan

HADLEY NAMED. La Repubblica has a dynamite series this week on the origin of the yellowcake forgeries. Laura Rozen reports:
With Patrick Fitzgerald widely expected to announce indictments in the CIA leaks investigation, questions are again being raised about the murky matter that first led to the appointment of the special counsel: namely, how the Bush White House came into possession of discredited Italian intelligence reports claiming that Iraq sought uranium "yellowcake" from Niger.
The key documents supposedly proving the Iraqi attempt turned out to be crude forgeries on official stationery stolen from the African nation's Rome embassy. Among the most tantalizing aspects of the debate over the Iraq War is the origin of those fake documents and the role of the Italian intelligence services in disseminating them.

In an explosive series of articles appearing this week in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, investigative reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo reveal how Niccolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, known as SISMI, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002.

Today's exclusive report in La Repubblica reveals that Pollari met secretly in Washington on September 9, 2002, with thenDeputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Their secret meeting came at a critical moment in the White House campaign to convince Congress and the American public that war in Iraq was necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons.

The La Repubblica article quotes a Bush administration official saying, "I can confirm that on September 9, 2002, general Nicolo Pollari met Stephen Hadley."

Laura will have more on this story later today.

and this


At night, between the first and second of the January 2001, a mysterious thief came to the embassy of Niger in Rome and into the residence of the counselor in charge. It turned out that some letterhead and seals (see photocopy) were missing. A second dossier on Niger-Iraq trade soon came into Martinos hands, one that included references to uranium trafficking. Martino claims he got it from embassy personnel and that he thought it was authentic.

Double-Dealers and Dilettantes--the Men Behind Nigergate Were All Italians.

The military intervention in Iraq was justified by two revelations: Saddam Hussein attempted to acquire unprocessed uranium (yellowcake) in Niger (1) for enrichment with centrifuges built with aluminum tubes imported from Europe(2). The fabricators of the twin hoaxes (there was never any trace in Iraq of unprocessed uranium or centrifuges) were the Italian government and Italian military intelligence. La Repubblica has attempted to reconstruct the who, where and why of the manufacture and transfer to British and American intelligence of the dodgy dossier for war.

They are the same two hoaxes that Judith Miller, the reporter who betrayed her newspaper, published (together with Michael Gordon) on September 8, 2002. In a lengthy investigative piece for the New York Times, Miller reported that Saddam could have built an atomic weapon with those aluminum tubes. These were the goods that the hawks in the Bush administration were expecting.

The "war dance" which followed Judith Millers scoop seemed like "carefully-prepared theater to an attentive media-watcher, Roberto Reale of Ultime Notizie (The Latest News).

Condoleezza Rice, who was then White House Security Advisor, said on CNN: We dont want the smoking gun to look like a mushroom cloud. A menacing Dick Cheney told Meet the Press that We know with absolute certainty that Saddam is using his technical and commercial capacities to acquire the material necessary to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon. This was the beginning of an escalation of fear.

26 September 2002: Colin Powell warns the Senate: The Iraqi attempt to acquire uranium is proof of its nuclear ambitions.

19 December 2002: The information on Niger and the uranium is included in the three-page Presidents Daily Briefing prepared each day by the CIA and the Department of State for George W. Bush. The ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, added his stamp of approval: Why is Iraq dissimulating its purchase of Niger uranium?



Its a fact that on the eve of the Iraq war, and under the supervision of the diplomatic advisor to the Foreign Ministry, Gianni Castellaneta (today ambassador to the USA), the director of SISMI organized his agenda in Washington with the staff of Condoleeza Rice, who was National Security Adviser to the White House at that time. La Repubblica is able to document this two track process between the government and Italian intelligence. At least one of these barely official meetings of Pollaris was, according to secret service agents, the creation of a system that would bring together government, intelligence and public affairs .

To summarize: Nicolo Pollaris SISMI wanted to substantiate the the Iraqi acquisition of raw uranium to build a nuclear bomb. The game-plan was rather transparent. Authentic documents relating to an attempted acquisition in Niger (old Italian intelligence from the 1980s) were the dowry of the second-in-command of CISMIs Roman headquarters (Antonio Nucera). They were bundled together with another fabricated document through a simulated burglary on the Nigerien embassy (from which they had gotten headed notepaper and seals). The documents were shown by Pollaris men to CIA station agents, and at the same time, a SISMI postman by the name of Rocco Martino was sent to Sir Richard Dearlove of MI6 in London.

turning to the second chapter of the Great Swindle, organized in Italy, to build the case that military intervention in Iraq was necessary. the Italian report on uranium

The CIA analysts thought the first report very limited and without the necessary details. INR analysts in the Department of State assessed the information as highly suspect. The immediate impact on the American Intelligence community wasnt very gratifying for Pollari Gianni Castellaneta advised him to look in other directions too, while the minister of Defence, Antonio Martino invited him to meet an old friend of Italys. The American friend was Michael Ledeen, an old fox in the parallel intelligence community in the US, who had been declared an undesirable person in our country in the 1980s . Ledeen was at Rome on behalf of the Office of Special Plans, created at the Pentagon by Paul Wolfowiz to gather intelligence that would support military intervention in Iraq. A source at Forte Braschi told La Repubblica : Pollari got a frosty reception from the CIAs station head in Rome, Jeff Castelli, for this information on uranium. Castelli apparently let the matter drop . Pollari got the hint and talked about it with Michael Ledeen. We dont know what Michael Ledeen did in Washington. But at the beginning of 2002, Paul Wolfowitz convinced Dick Cheney that the uranium trail intercepted by the Italians had to be explored top to bottom. The vice-president, as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence tells it, once again asked the CIA very decisively to find out more about the possible acquisition of Nigerien uranium. In this meeting, Dick Cheney explicitly said that this piece of intelligence was at the disposition of a foreign service.

Forte Braschi says that Pollari was incredibly cunning he knew that it wasnt enough to rely on the CIA to push the uranium story. It was necessary to work, as Palazzo Chigi and the Department of Defence had indicated, with the Pentagon and with the National Security Adviser, Rice. An administration official has told La Repubblica I can confirm that on September 9 2002, General Nicolo Pollari met Stephen Hadley, the deputy to the National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice. SISMIs postman, Rocco Martino contacted a journalist for a weekly newspaper edited by Carlo Rossella to sell her the documents at issue. Panorama had a worldwide scoop. Title The War? Its already begun, it spoke of half a ton of uranium. The government asked. The intelligence service gave. The media spread it. The government confirmed it. It was an old disinformation technique from the Cold War. Exaggerate the danger of the threat. Terrify and convince public opinion of it.


Monday, October 31, 2005
SISMI's War in Iraq: The Iranian Connection

Carlo Bonini and Giuseppi d'Avanzo are at it again. Another three-part blockbuster expos on the involvement of Italian Military intelligence inside Iraq.

Part I: From Chelabi to Iranian Agents--SISMI's War in Iraq
A strategic summit in Rome with the Pentagon.

ROME: Hes another politico-military intelligence chief. Hes a SISMI man. He makes his way slowly down the narrow hallway of the bar at the Hotel Eden in via Ludovisi. He stops to admire the sky and the attractive skyline of Rome in the April sun (it is 22 April 2003) through the hotels large windows. He looks elegant in his Chairman's Committee grisaille. . He selects a table at the center of the terrace. The waiter walks over and solicitously takes his order. The gentleman orders a freshly-squeezed orange juice and a double espresso. The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq began on the night of 19-20 March, thirty-three days earlier.

Today, as Silvio Berlusconi reveals that he never supported the military intervention in Iraq, it is fitting to tell the story of how our country, Italy, although allegedly opposed to war as our Premier now claims, was an active protagonist in war preparations and operations.

We will reveal the different arrangements and plans of action, as well as who planned them and with whom they were planned.

For us Italians, recounts the high-ranking SISMI official to La Repubblica, the war on Iraq was already underway in the days before Christmans, 2002. He smiles. He is animated with a glint of excitement in his eyes and for once seems seems to have no qualms about letting his personal satisfaction slip from behind a frozen mask.

Our man is too disciplined to crow about his successes and too stubborn to be discouraged by defeat. He tells us: It was a novelty, a revolution for our intelligence services. Never before in its history has SISMI been so prominently involved in military ground operations and a major role in planning a war campaign, to boot. The Italian Government? Of course our work was authorized by the Italian Governmentare you joking? It was real war, not an exercise! The twenty men we sent to Iraq were risking their lives. He pauses. The espresso arrives. He sips it slowly, his eyes half-closed with satisfaction.

He continues. Twenty men from three SISMI departments were involved: Intelligence, Operations and Counterterrorism. They were divided into small groups which were to operate in and around the areas of Kirkuk, Baghdad and Basrah using outlandish disguises. Each unit was unaware of the identities and the mission of the others. Each unit was ordered to operate within a sector of territory and to work with intelligence assets who had already been selected and trained. The objectives were twofold: To identify Iraqi defenses and to evaluate the readiness of the Iraqi armed forces.

If combat was less intense than expected, it is due to the job we didand we didnt do it alone. If we won the war before firing a shot, it was due to our successes at infiltration and intelligence-gathering.

The story of Italian military intervention in Iraq begins when the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Ledeen, sponsored by Defense Minister Antonio Martino, debarks in Rome with Pentagon men in tow to meet a handful of Iranian exiles. The meeting is organized by SISMI. In an Agency safe house near Piazza di Spagna (however, other sources have told us it was a reserved room in the Parco dei Principi Hotel).

"Reid: Cheney Obstructing Investigation"

Reid: Cheney Obstructing Investigation
From Laura Rosen at War and Piece...

Reid on Fire

The New Republic has more on what I reported last month: that Cheney has intervened with chairman Pat Roberts to obstruct the Senate Select Intelligence committee's investigation of the Bush administration's use of Iraq intelligence. TNR write:

...--More dramatically, Reid also made it clear that he believes the delay in the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of prewar Iraq WMD--the underlying issue behind Tuesday's closed session--is entirely attributable to Vice President Dick Cheney. "Nothing happens regarding intelligence gathering ... unless it's signed off on by the Vice President," he said. " Roberts couldn't do it"--i.e., Roberts couldn't conduct a full investigation without Cheney's approval. When I asked Reid whether he meant to state so flatly that Cheney was personally and directly stalling the Intelligence Committee's work, he didn't pause a beat. In fact he almost stood from his chair. "Yes. I say that without any qualification ... Circle it." ...

I don't understand why we haven't heard Pat Roberts complaining more vociferously about the obstruction he's experienced from the Veep. Why would the Senator stand for the administration bucking oversight and Congressional reporting requirements on Iraq intelligence, torture, black site prisons, etc.? (Via Tapped's Ezra Klein). ...

But committee staff sources say that before the cooperation ceased, the committee had received from Feiths office internal memos suggesting that the office may indeed have been conducting unlawful activities. In particular, Democratic staffers are interested in a secret December 2001 meeting of two Feith deputies, Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode, with Ghorbanifar in Rome. The meeting also included members of a foreign intelligence service (Italys SISMI). The catch is that it wasnt reported in advance to the intelligence committee or the CIA, in possible violation of Section 502 of the National Security Act, which says that anyone conducting intelligence activities must inform the committee and the agency

"Italy MPs probe Niger-Iraq claim"

Italy MPs probe Niger-Iraq claim

The director of the Italian military intelligence agency (Sismi) is due to give evidence over allegations that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger.

Nicolo Pollari is testifying before a parliamentary committee over reports that Italy wilfully gave the US and UK evidence that turned out to be false......

The Italian hearing into the claims is being held behind closed doors, but some details were expected to emerge later.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica says Italian agents gave the false dossier to British and American intelligence services........

"Niger Uranium Forgeries: Excavating a Roman Mystery"

One has to wonder how Laura can have such certain knowledge of what Fitzgerald has or has not requested. Ah, but if there is no such report -- and she cites the head of the Italian intelligence oversignt committee, one Enzo Bianco, denying it -- then how can Fitzgerald have requested it? There is, here, perhaps some confusion as to the nature of the "report" -- is it official, or is it just a transcript of a hearing? I think this guy, whoever he is, has the right idea.

Giovanni D'Avanzo, writing in La Repubblica , poses a few questions to Senor Bianco's oversight committee, and in the course of them avers:

"Sometime after October 9, 2002, a team of SISMI agents are ordered to keep Rocco Martino under close surveillance ... Why was no surveillance memo or report issued to judicial investigators on Rocco Martino, who is investigated by the Rome Public Prosecutors office in 2003, until the fall of 2004?"

So there was an investigation, albeit not by the Italian parliament but by Rome's public prosecutor. It could be that this is what both Walker's and my own sources are referring to.

Laura cites several other skeptics, including a reporter for La Repubblica and "a former U.S. official recently in Italy," who say this story is "the echo of a rumor put out by people back the States." She also cites Vince Cannistraro, "who at one time heard rumors of such a report from Italian sources," and who

"Now says there doesn't appear to be a parliamentary report either. 'There is no published report,'Cannistraro told me Monday. 'If there is a report, we might expect it would have some analysis and conclusions. There is no report, at least not a published report. I think this stuff is just getting circulated.'"

Of course it isn't published -- that's the whole point.

Yes, it's true, as Laura says, that the Italians aren't too eager to have the blame pinned on SISMI -- but that doesn't mean SISMI isn't involved. And some Italians -- the left-wing opposition coalition, for example -- might be understandably eager to expose the scandal in the run-up to Italy's elections scheduled for next year.

Laura goes into the Italian role in creating and disseminating these documents, referring to the La Repubblica series on the subject, but somehow neglects to mention the crucial American angle -- and the key role of American neocons, i.e. Michael Ledeen, in funneling the information contained in the Niger forgeries to Washington. Someone legitimized these fake documents by doing an end run around the CIA and the mainstream intelligence community, and injected a fabrication into the American intelligence stream. Who was it? La Repubblica fingers the Office of Special Plans, and names names, including Ledeen, Harold Rhode, and Larry Franklin, the confessed spy for Israel.


I trust my source, and I furthermore think it's unimportant whether this information is coming from the Italian parliament or Rome's public prosecutor: the point is that the information is there, and it's getting out. stands by its story.

"Open the Ledeen Dossier!" ...

The stakes involved in the Ledeen dossier are much more significant than the particular incident around the yellowcake. As EIR documented at great length, Ledeen is not just a nasty American political operative, but had been brought into the service of one of the remnant fascist organizations of the Mussolini era, the Propaganda Two (P-2) freemasonic lodge. P-2, which was founded by avowed wartime fascist grandmaster Licio Gelli, is an outgrowth of the Venetian synarchist bankers network which runs international terrorism, and proceeds from the avowed aim of destroying all nation-states, particularly the United States. The P-2 network has been exposed over the past 20-plus years as the real center of international terrorism, including the left and right wings of the "strategy of tension" which carried out such atrocities as the 1980 Bologna bombing, and the assassination of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

Italian political life is riddled with assets, if not outright agents, of the P-2. Notable among them is Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi himself, whose membership card is a matter of public record. Given the prominence of P-2 influence in Italy, it should be no surprise that the Italians, under a Berlusconi government, were the ones who provided the cover of the forged Niger yellowcake documents, to support the Cheney-Bush war drive.

The question raised here is a fundamental one. The role of former P-2ers Ledeen and Berlusconi in promoting the war, underscores the reality that the drive for empire and world dictatorship, for which Cheney is a frontman, is in fact the project of an international synarchist oligarchy, the direct descendants of those banking families who funded Hitler and Mussolini, and created World War II. Cheney is undoubtedly a fascist thug, eager to carry out whatever wars, torture, and economic genocide are on the agenda of the desperate synarchist bankers. But the brains for these operations come from the top level of the heirs of the Venetian banking system, who know that they will destroy the United States as a republic by carrying out these plans.

The prime objective for all those patriots and world-citizens who wish to save this planet from a descent into a New Dark Age, is, of course, to remove Dick Cheney from office. But exposing the roots of Cheney policies in the global Venetian synarchist banking system, is a crucial concomitant, if we are to get the alternative, FDR-like policy put into effect.

How would the neocon think tanks view martial law? Michael Ledeen, a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, and close and trusted White House adviser, has this to say on p. 173 of his book Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavellis Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago: Paradoxically, preserving liberty may require the rule of a single leader a dictator willing to use those dreaded 'extraordinary measures,' which few know how, or are willing, to employ."

According to the Boston Globe, Ledeen in a 2003 speech to the American Enterprise Institute, asserted our nations insatiable lust for war by claiming that "All the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. . .What we hate is not casualties but losing." Did anyone in the media ever challenge an administration spokesman to defend Ledeens staggeringly wrongheaded, anti-American values? Did any of the (self-described) scholars at AEI that day ask why the GD fool would say such a thing? President Bush, for his part has personally offered these congratulations to the AEI: At the American Enterprise Institute, some of the finest minds in our nation are at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds.

The leaders of the War Machine with their gulags, their lies, their senseless, immoral war do not treat enemies and purported enemies terribly well. In the event of martial law, it would be nave indeed to suspect that they would treat Americans any better. Patriots left, right and center should unite under the American flag to stop the War Machine today while they still can. The impeachment of Bush and Cheney is the obvious place to start. We, the people, should demand it of the US Congress, just as statesmen and citizens of their time demanded the Bill of Rights. Congress should be ordered, as well, to act responsibly and responsively and in the best interest of the sovereign Republic of the United States of America, not in the interest of neocon warmongers.

"Italy's Top Spy Names Freelance Agent as Source of Forged Niger-Iraq"

... Uranium Documents ...

Italy's Top Spy Names Freelance Agent as Source of Forged Niger-Iraq Uranium Documents


ROME, Nov. 3 - Italy's spymaster identified an Italian occasional spy named Rocco Martino on Thursday as the disseminator of forged documents that described efforts by Iraq to buy uranium ore from Niger for a nuclear weapons program, three lawmakers said Thursday.

The spymaster, Gen. Nicol Pollari, director of the Italian military intelligence agency known as Sismi, disclosed that Mr. Martino was the source of the forged documents in closed-door testimony to a parliamentary committee that oversees secret services, the lawmakers said.

Senator Massimo Brutti, a member of the committee, told reporters that General Pollari had identified Mr. Martino as a former intelligence informer who had been "kicked out of the agency." He did not say Mr. Martino was the forger.

The revelation came on a day when the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that it had shut down its two-year investigation into the origin of the forged documents.

Laura Rozen: "The (Niger forgeries) Report that Wasn't"

For weeks in the run-up to the Libby indictment last Friday, reports swirled in the blogosphere and some wires. They contended that CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had widened his probe to include investigating the origins of the Niger yellowcake forgeries themselves. They spoke of Fitzgerald getting ahold of a secret Italian parliamentary report that reportedly fingered a gang of American neoconservatives and aides to Ahmad Chalabi as being behind the Niger forgeries.


Theres just one problem: Not only has Fitzgerald not received such a report or even indicated he has any interest in one. There is no Italian parliamentary report, published or unpublished, on the Niger forgeries. In fact, until today, there has been no Italian parliamentary investigation of the Niger forgeries, or the claim promoted by the Italian military intelligence organization Sismi to the CIA and other western intelligence agencies that Iraq was seeking vast quantities of yellowcake uranium in Niger.


A reporter with the Italian newspaper Repubblica, which published a blockbuster series on the origins of the Niger forgeries last week, said that he heard rumors of such a report while in Washington this past summer, and went back to Italy and checked them out with his sources. He was left scratching his head. Not only is there no such report, there is as yet no such Italian parliamentary investigation. Sismis director Nicolo Pollari was interviewed by the Italian parliamentary committee overseeing the intelligence services on Thursday, in a closed-door session.


The Italian military intelligence organization Sismi reported that Iraq had signed a contract to purchase 500 tons of yellowcake uranium from Niger to the CIA in October 2001 and February 2002. It also reported those claims to Britains foreign intelligence service, the MI6, which reported them back to Washington. A motley crew including a senior Sismi officer, a former Sismi officer turned intelligence peddler (Rocco Martino), and a Sismi asset at the Niger embassy in Rome were identified by Repubblica as having collaborated to assemble the Niger forgeries, after staging a robbery on New Years Day 2001 to get official Niger embassy letterhead and a diplomatic codebook. Martino reportedly sold the dossier of forgeries to the French, the British, attempted but failed to sell them to the American embassy in Rome, and to an Italian reporter working for a Berlusconi owned magazine.

Lets hope Fitzgerald really does stay un-compromised, period because everyone knows from reading it Cheney deflected the blame to Italy.

The real forgers were NOT mentioned ie Duane Claridge so you can immediately see fucking whitewash in progress and its going to take a huge entity/army to get this bastard once and for all.

Notice how there was never any mention of....MICHAEL LEDEEN, mossad etc....

More about the can spot them a damn mile away now. ...

"no one here has any recollection of Niger and uranium being discussed" /

QUESTION: Thank you. Any more explanation of the Berlusconi-President discussion about Italian intelligence on Iraq -- is this to say that Mr. Fitzgerald's finding that the Niger claim had its genesis in Italian intelligence was wrong?
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Mr. Fitzgerald's -- I'll have to look back at what his finding was. I don't recall the specifics of that.

QUESTION: Fitzgerald found that what we had been calling British intelligence, the document -- the forged document --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Maybe I missed that. I don't think so. I don't think so.

QUESTION: -- alleging an Iraq --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Okay, I don't think he did.

QUESTION: I'm wrong on this?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't think he --

QUESTION: That's not ringing any bells.


QUESTION: It's not ringing any bells with other people either.

QUESTION: No, it is, it is. And I can't remember if it's Fitzgerald or somebody else, but there's this is the central issue is --

QUESTION: The central issue was --

QUESTION: -- the source of the --

QUESTION: The source of the forged document was Italy, who handed it to --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: No, the -- we actually briefed on the source of the information back in July of 2003, and the source was the National Intelligence Estimate and British Intelligence. That was the basis for the reference in the President's State of the Union address.

QUESTION: Fitzgerald found an Italian tie, and I presume this is what the discussion between the President and Berlusconi was about.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Yes, they -- like I said they -- Prime Minister Berlusconi brought it up, and as they indicated, that there wasn't any documents that were provided to us on Niger and uranium by --

QUESTION: Wait, no documents or no intelligence?


QUESTION: The press report out of Italy is a transcription -- it's a transcription of the forged documents, not the actual documents themselves. But Berlusconi said yesterday was, no information passed from Italy to the United States.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Yes, I think he was accurately reflecting what he indicated in the meeting.

QUESTION: So that accurately characterizes the President's position, that the United States never received any intelligence --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, Prime Minister Berlusconi was reflecting that within the meeting, and we've previously said in regards to a question that came up about a meeting here at the White House that no one here has any recollection of Niger and uranium being discussed at that meeting, much less any documents being provided. ...
Italian Lawmaker Says Country's Secret Service Warned U.S. That Iraq Uranium Documents Were Fake

"Hadley told a press briefing that he had briefly met the head of Italy's SISMI secret intelligence service, Nicolo Pollari, on September 9, 2002 in a "courtesy call" aimed at getting to know his new colleague.

"There was a meeting in Washington on that date. I did attend a meeting with him," Hadley said in response to a question about a report published last week in the Italian center-left newspaper La Repubblica, which disclosed the meeting.

"It was, so far as we can tell from our records, about less than 15 minutes. It was a courtesy call. Nobody participating in that meeting or asked about that meeting has any recollection of a discussion of natural uranium, or any recollection of any documents being passed. And that's also my recollection," he said."
AFP News ...

Well Hadley, I'm sure there was a meeting....and I'm also sure you took the Niger forgeries to Frederick Fleitz.

I mean, you wouldn't LIE about everything would you? And attempt to get executive priveledge to save your ass? Nah, not you Hadley, who lied about going to Italy to begin with!

November 1, 2005

Berlusconi's Halloween Visit
The Plame Affair Leads to Rome

"All roads lead to Rome," and it seems that Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the Plame Affair, and more broadly the lies used to hoodwink the American people into supporting a criminal war on Iraq, will also trudge down the Appian Way lined this Halloween with the ghosts of crucified Iraqis.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has recently published an expos alleging in essence that the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare) at the specific behest of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi provided bogus intelligence to the Bush neocons in order to curry favor with the U.S. and to abet the relentless drive for war between 9-11 and the March 2003 invasion. This follows an Italian parliamentary report released in part to the public in July concerning the forged Niger uranium documents at the heart of the Plame Affair. These, which purport to show a deal between Baghdad and Niger for the purchase of huge quantities of yellowcake, were it seems produced in the Italian capital.

The report names four men as the likely forgers of the documents (Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes) and suggests that the forgeries may have been planned at December 2001 gathering in Rome involving Ledeen and SISMI chief Nicol Pollari. Also in attendance at that meeting: Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Antonio Martino and others including a former senior official of the Revolutionary Guard in Iran. Here is a true rogues' gallery.

Michael Ledeen: neocon columnist, National Review Online contributing editor, specialist on the thought of Machiavelli and on Italian fascism, former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair. Active in the American Enterprise Institute, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and Center for Democracy in Iran (CDI). Advocates regime change by force in Iran and Syria.

Nicol Pollari: Author of many publications on legal and economic matters, investigation techniques and intelligence. Tax law Professor at the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria. SISMI head since October 2001.

Dewey Clarridge: former CIA operative, famous in mid-1980s for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair. Head of CIA's Latin America division 1981-84, directed the mining of Nicaragua's harbors and helped organize the Contras. Indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements, pardoned by first president Bush Christmas Eve 1992.

Ahmad Chalabi: convicted swindler, leader of U.S.-funded Iraqi National Congress, neocon ally, presently one of two deputy prime ministers in Iraqi government.

Francis Brookes: member of the "Rendon Group," a "public relations" body formed by the Pentagon engaged to promote Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

Larry Franklin: colonel in USAF reserve, subordinate to Douglas Feith in Defense Department, Middle East specialist, under arrest for espionage for Israel.

Harold Rhode: Pentagon official, Middle East specialist, Ledeen protg, American Enterprise Institute, heavy neocon.

Manucher Ghorbanifar: Iranian exile, arms dealer, one-time CIA operative distrusted by CIA since 1980s. Key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Antonio Martino: Founding member of Forza Italiano (Berlusconi's political party), Professor of Economics, adjunct scholar with the Heritage Foundation, Italian Defense Minister.

"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."

Alan Wolf died about a year and a half ago of cancer. He served as chief of the CIA's Near East Division as well as the European Division, and was also CIA chief of station in Rome after Clarridge. According to my source, "he and Clarridge and Ledeen were all very close and also close to Chalabi." The former CIA officer says Wolf "was Clarridge's Agency godfather. Significantly, both Clarridge and Wolf also spent considerable time in the Africa division, so they both had the Africa and Rome connection and both were close to Ledeen, closing the loop."

A veteran of the Iran-Contra scandal, Ledeen played an important role in the Iran-Contra "arms for hostages" scandal by setting up meetings between the American government and the Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar. Not all that unexpected coming from a self-proclaimed advocate of Machiavelli's amoralism. Today, Ledeen is among the most visible and radical neoconservative ideologues whose passion for a campaign of serial "regime-change" in the Middle East is undiminished by the Iraqi debacle. Just as the Roman senator Cato the Elder finished his perorations with the command "Carthage must be destroyed," so Michael "Creative Destruction" Ledeen closes his hopped-up warmongering essays with "Faster, please!," an exhortation presumably addressed to his confreres in the Bush administration.

Ledeen has kept the neocon faith and the same friends for all these years. He's still buddies with Ghorbanifar. In December 2001, he had a meeting in Rome with Ghorbanifar in the company of the Pentagon's top Iran specialist, Larry Franklin, and Harold Rhode, assigned to the Office of Net Assessment, a Pentagon think tank. Also at the Rome conclave: a number of Ghorbanifar's Iranian friends, including a former senior official of the Revolutionary Guard. Rounding out the distinguished guest list, we have the Italian delegation, consisting of SISMI head honcho Nicolo Pollari, the head of Italy's military intelligence agency, and Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino, a neocon favorite. Once again, Ledeen plays the middleman but what kind of a deal was he trying to negotiate?


At the beginning of 2001, a few weeks before George Bush took office, there was a break-in at the Niger embassy in Rome. Strangely, nothing of value was taken. Months later came 9/11 and a month after that, as George Bush wondered how to get back at the terrorists, a report from the Italian security service (Sismi) reached the CIA: Iraq was seeking to buy uranium.

Disappointingly for the neocons, the CIA sent Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to check the story: he reported that it was nonsense. When the story was repeated by Bush, Wilson went public. His wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, was then outed by the White House. Hence Rove's predicament.

An organisation called the Office of Special Plans (OSP) was set up in the Pentagon by Douglas Feith, a former consultant to Israel's Likud party, to prepare for the war. In the words of Robert Baer, a distinguished former CIA man, it was a "competing intelligence shop at the Pentagon"..."if you didn't like the answer you're getting from the CIA". In short, bogus stories would get a second chance at the OSP.

A clue to the ancestry of these black arts can be found in 1980, when right-wing Republicans wanted Ronald Reagan elected. They publicised a story that Billy Carter, the then President Jimmy Carter's colourful brother, had received $50,000 (28,000) from the Libyan government.

The story was always denied by the President and no evidence of the payment was found, but the story helped to elect Reagan. Its source? Sismi, and an associate of a man called Michael Ledeen.

First of all, I am not a leftist. Secondly, the sources for the quotes of former CIA and DIA agent Philip Giraldi were my interviews of him, as indicated in the correctly transcribed entry on the Wikipedia page, and which I provided the mp3 link for. Fourth, I am happy that the US is no longer part of the British Empire.

As far as Ledeen and the Niger uranium forgeries, Giraldi explained in the interviews that the "couple of CIA agents" were paid in foreign accounts and that Fitzgerald had "already found the money trail." Ledeen's connections to the Office of Special Plans and Sismi are well documented, he attended a number of meetings in Italy with Harold Rhode, who "practically lived out of (Iranian spy) Ahmad Chalabi's office," Manucher Ghorbanifar and guilty Israeli spy Larry Franklin, around the time the Italians began passing on the (already debunked) story back to the US.

As Josh Marshall put it in The Hill:

"he intelligence reports that came in to Washington in late 2001 were from Italian military intelligence, SISMI. The other detail, according to intelligence sources Ive spoken to, is that those reports turned out to be text transcriptions of Niger forgeries that didnt surface in Rome until almost a year later...

From the very beginning, American suspicions about a Niger-Iraq trade in uranium were based on what turned out to be the forged documents. And the text transcriptions of those documents came in from Italian intelligence...

Burba, the Italian journalist who eventually brought the forgeries to the U.S. Embassy in Rome, got them from an unnamed Italian security consultant. His name turns out to be Rocco Martino, a retired SISMI operative. And as I mentioned last week, last summer, my colleagues and I conducted a series of in-person interviews with him.

It has sometimes been suggested in the Italian press that Martino himself is the forger. But he told us a different story one that was corroborated by another participant in the handling of the documents. Martino told us that the documents came from a still-serving SISMI colonel, whom he named."

But where did they originate? Giraldi's partner, Vincent Cannistraro, Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council under Reagan, has maintained that they were produced in the US and has said, "You'd be very close," in answer to the question of whether Ledeen forged them.

Combined with what Giraldi had to say, it sure seems like enough to take to a grand jury to me.

Or is it not a crime to lie a country into war?

July Friday 29th 2005 (05h28) :


Karl Roves only full-time foreign-policy advisor is Michael Ledeen, a rabid anti-Arab, pro-Israel activist. The FBI is investigating Ledeen for procuring forged documents (shown here) on nonexistent WMD, which George Bush used to justify his war on Iraq. When Joseph Wilson exposed the farce, Rove helped "out" Wilsons CIA wife. Did Ledeen procure the documents for Rove, and how might he have done that? The story includes multinational stool pigeon Rocco Martino, Italian spy Francesco Pazienza, wanted CIA spy Robert Seldon Lady, and Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin, whos under charges of giving US secrets to Israel.

Karl Roves foreign-policy advisor, Michael Ledeen, proclaimed "the rightness of the fascist cause" in 1972. In 1984 he got George Bush Sr to appoint Iranian arms merchant and Iranian/Israeli double-agent Manucher Ghorbanifar as a middleman in the scandalous Iran-Contra affair. Ledeen has been a fixture in Washington and Israel ever since, advocating a modern version of the Crusades against Islamic nations. Based on what he has said and written, I believe Ledeen is insane.
Michael Ledeen, Roves "brain," is one of the leading advocates for a US attack on Iran. The Washington Post quoted Ledeen as saying that Rove told him, "Anytime you have a good idea, tell me." I guess that means we can look forward to the Bush team drumming up a war with Iran.

George Bush Jr., when he assumed the presidency in 2000, already knew that he was going to settle the family score with Saddam Hussein. His "brain," Rove, quickly enlisted Ledeen to trump up a causus belli.



The war is not just about oil, Israels fears/ambitions, or US hegemony. There are contracts and contractors in Iraq. Modern-day carpetbaggers with briefcases descended like a plague of scorpions on the poor, bloodied, bombed-out, grieving people of Iraq. They included the daughter of the wars chief banshee -- Simone Ledeen, Michaels young daughter -- shown in the photo, greeting with an impish smile another occupier at the Baghdad airport -- getting ready to lord it over the Iraqis as she tries out her new MBA in working for the CPA. Caption: "The creatures step out of the tripods." Maybe itll help to pay off those student loans -- huh, Michael? ...

Keyser Soze aka Michael Ledeen.

Michael Ledeen was one of the founders of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). He holds the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a think tank for AIPAC. He is co-founder of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran. As far back as 1980, the CIA allegedly listed Ledeen as an agent of influence of Israel. Ledeen is the main foreign policy advisor to Karl Rove. Ledeens main obsession seems to be to overthrow Iran.

In 1972 he published the book Universal Fascism, in which he expounds upon "the rightness of the fascist cause." In Universal Fascism, Ledeen first builds his case that fascism was the "20th Century Revolution" and that "people yearn for the real thing - revolution". It's the blueprint for a fascist revolution.

In 1980 he collaborated with Francesco Pazienza of SISMI and P-2 in the "BillyGate" affair. This is the same Pazienze who was recently found out to belong to the parallel intelligence agency in Italy. In 1985 Pazienza was found guilty of political manipulation, forgery, and the protection of terrorists. Ledeen is identified in court documents as an agent of SISMI.

The Pentagon downgraded Ledeen's security clearances from Top Secret-SCI to Secret in the mid-1980s, after the FBI began a probe of Ledeen for passing classified materials to a foreign
country, believed to be Israel.

"Everything You Need to Know About Michael Ledeen"

April 7, 2005

Everything You Need to Know About Michael Ledeen
By Katherine Yurica

Would you be surprised to find that a man who was deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan Administration, a man who is the darling of the Bush White House and is an adviser to Karl Rove, a man who loves Machiavelli and studies him, a neo-conservative who has close ties to one of Americas leading Christian DominionistsPat Robertson, and a man who called Pearl Harbor lucky and a providentially inspired eventmay be the man who is behind the forging of the Niger documents that convinced America to launch a preemptive strike against Iraq?


It would be foolish for Americas political strategists and congressional leaders to ignore Michael Ledeen and his interpretation of Machiavelli. Mr. Ledeen speaks from the cutting edge of a group of men and women who desire nothing more than to reconstruct America in their own image. This nation is in grave danger. Ledeen belongs to a group of men, including Harry Jaffa, Pat Robertson, Willmoore Kendall to Allan Bloom, who, according to Shadia Drury, scholar and author of Leo Strauss and the American Right, share the view that America is too liberal and pluralistic and that what it needs is a single orthodoxy that governs the public and private lives of its citizens.<1>

The belief in a single voice that governs the public should cause all Americans to understand these men want to convert this nation to a permanent dictatorship. Their inspirer was Leo Strauss, a professor who taught Machiavellian methods to many of them at the University of Chicago. In fact, Paul Wolfovitz earned his doctorate under Strauss and many of the neo-cons in the White House studied under him. Strauss believed every society needs a single public orthodoxy. As Drury put it, a set of ideas that defines what is true and false, right and wrong, noble and base. Strauss believed that the role of religion was indispensable to the political success of a nation. For a political society had to hold together and act as a unit in lock step with the leader. Strauss believed that religion was the means to inculcate the desired ideas into the minds of the masses. He didnt care what religionjust as long as it was a religion that could link itself to the political order.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
11. ***Background for current treason of Ledeen:
thread title (1-11-06 GD): PLAME= IRAN/CONTRA REDUX - Planted WMD from Ghorbanifar & Ledeen.

Thanks for posting this very chilling thread. These traitors were never brought to justice, and now the oceans of blood on their hands just keeps getting deeper. Dante would be hard-pressed to come up with a deep enough circle of Hell for such crimes.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. K&R, thanks for posting. n/t
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
13. Kick....
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. Bookmarked, this thread is another trove of research and facts
it is amazing how these guys keep popping up in the same places doing the same "crook" things. But if I was a bank robber I keep robbing banks if I knew I wouldn't get caught and could keep on living the life that I wanted.

Several responses on this thread are worth reading.

Kicking to the top!!!!
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. .
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. kicking for awareness and discussion n/t
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. .
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Hey stop the bleeding, what did you think of post 5?
Read the link. Jeff Wells posts on DU as Minstrel Boy. Is it too :tinfoilhat: or is this worth exploring deeper?
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Red Herring yes but for what I could only guess
Edited on Fri Jan-13-06 11:40 PM by stop the bleeding
I have yet to finish seemslikeadeam's piece at post#85 of your Plame/Redux thread. I have gotten through about 1/4 - 1/2 of it before interruptions but it sounds like this P2 gang is worth more investigation for sure. It is funny that you put on the tinfoil because from what I can gather from my brief readings on P2 is that they are masonic maybe even Illuminati. When you start talking in those terms then your talking about protecting true power and powerful truths that need protecting.

I just got done skimming SLAD's post# 85 on the Plame/Redux thread and Cheney and Ledeen are punks doing the bidding of others. They keep the world in a state of terror by keeping people in power or real terror and the "old bankers" reap all of the money from both sides of the fence like you said in your paper. This sounds like a never ending cycle of good versus evil and one hell of a business if you ask me. Man I feel like we/American's are even stupider, and we are definitely tools in this business.

I don't know if this is what your asking or if I am kook, but I need to go lay down now and think about all of this, I sent you a PM earlier on the Forgeries/Fitz and Cheney being indicted but from what I read Fitz/McNulty may be looking beyond Cheney/Ledeen. I will check back in a little bit.

Also tomorrow is another day to review and get some more pieces of the puzzle in place.


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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. George H.W. Bush and the invention of the War on Terror in 1979
I've been Googling some more and found interesting stuff in Tarpley's "Unauthorized Biography." It seems that over the Fourth of July weekend in 1979, just as he was gearing up his campaign for the presidential nomination, George H.W. Bush went off to Israel for the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, held at the Jonathan Institute, founded earlier that year by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Along for the trip were a bunch of Neocons who had been associated with Team B, founded by Bush when he was CIA director in 1977 in order to provide more hysterical evaluations of Soviet military capacities than the official CIA would endorse. Also present were two figures whose names come up at that period in connection with Michael Ledeen. One was Ray Cline, formerly of the OSS and CIA and the founder of CSIS, of which Ledeen was then a fellow. The other was Claire Sterling, Ledeen's frequent collaborator in promoting the theory that the Soviet Union was the source of all terrorist movements.

According to Tarpley:
Ray Cline made a major presentation, developing his theory that terrorism should not be seen as a spontaneous response to oppression by frustrated minorities, but rather only as the preferred tool of Soviet bloc subversion. . . . Richard Pipes then drew on Russian history to illustrate the singular thesis that terrorism was a product of Russian history, and of no other history. . . . Ian Black wrote in the Jersualem Post that "the conference organizers expect the event to initiate a major anti-terrorist offensive."

There were skeptics, even in the U.S. intelligence community, where Ray Cline's monomania was recognized. At the 1980 meeting of AFIO, Cline was criticized by Howard Bane, the former CIA station chief in Moscow, who suggested "We've got to get Cline off this Moscow control of terrorists. It's divisive. It's not true. There's not one single bit of truth to it." A retired CIA officer named Harry Rostizke put in: "It's that far-right stuff, that's all. It's horseshit."

Nevertheless, the absurd thesis of the Jerusalem Conference was soon regurgitated by several new top officials of the Reagan Administration. In Alexander Haig's first news conference as Secretary of State on January 28, 1981, Haig thundered that the Kremlin was trying to "foster, support, and expand" terrorist activity worldwide through the "training, funding, and equipping" of terrorist armies. Haig made it official that "international terrorism will take the place of human rights" as the central international concern of the Reagan Administration.

So there you have it -- the War on Terror at the very moment of its invention.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 10:38 PM
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20. Where Ghorbanifar came from
It seems that Ghorbanifar was an acquaintance of Albert Hakim, going back to the early 70's:
Ghorbanifar is an Iranian who now runs a rug business in Europe. Albert Hakim said he met Ghorbanifar in the early 70s right after the formation of his new company, Star Line Shipping (a company headed by the deputy prime minister and run by about 15 Israelis). When asked by the Congressional Iran-contra panel counsel whether Ghorbanifar was a Savak agent who had worked for the Israelis, Hakim said that was so. He also acknowledged seeing information connecting Ghorbanifar to the intelligence services of Israel.

Albert Hakim was an integral part of the "Enterprise" and Iran-Contra, starting in 1976:
In 1976, Iranian expatriate businessman Albert Hakim obtained contracts from Bechtel Corporation, a large defense contractor then headed by George Schultz and Caspar Weinberger. The same year, Theodore Shackley introduced Hakim to Richard Secord in Iran. Secord was then in charge of U.S. arms sales to the Shah, and Hakim had contacts in the Iranian military and in the Shah's secret police, SAVAK. The huge disparity between what the Pentagon charged and what the Iranians were willing to pay enabled Hakim, and allegedly Secord, to make fortunes by skimming profits off these arms sales.

After Secord resigned from the military Hakim became his partner. He was the financial wizard behind "the Enterprise", a non-governmental, profit-making operation which aided the Reagan Administration's covert foreign policies. The tangled web of "shell" companies and off-shore bank accounts that Hakim created and controlled for the "Enterprise" was designed, as Secord admitted, to "confuse anyone who might start poking around."
From 1976 to 1979, in Iran, Richard Secord supervised the sale of U.S. military aircraft and weapons to Middle Eastern nations. However, Richard Secord did not authorize direct nation-to-nation sales of such equipment directly from the U.S. government to said Middle Eastern governments. Instead, Richard Secord conducted such sales through a "middle-man", one Albert Hakim. By the use of middle-man Albert Hakim, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Secord purchased U.S. military aircraft and weapons from the U.S. governament at the low "manufacturer's cost" but sold these U.S. aircraft and weapons to the client Middle Eastern nations at the much higher "replacement cost". Secord then caused to be paid to the U.S. government, out of the actual sale price obtained, only the lower amount equal to the lower manufacturer's cost. The difference, was secreted from the U.S. government and Secord and Albert Hakim secretly transferred these millions of dollars into Shackley's "Secret Team" operations inside Iran -- and into Shackley's secret Nugen-Hand bank account in Australia. Thus, by 1976, Defendant Albert Hakim had become a partner with Thomas Clines, Richard Secord and Richard Armitage in Theodore Shackley's "Secret Team".

Ted Shackley and Albert Hakim were apparently brought together by Duane Clarridge:
Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, a man with an extensive background in terror, was well equipped for managing this job. A rabid right wing ideologue, he was chief of the CIA's station in Turkey in the late 1960s and 1970s, when the fascist Grey Wolves went on a terror rampage, bombing, shooting and killing thousands of officials, journalists, students, lawyers, labor organizers, social democrats, left-wing activists and Kurds. Since then, Turkey' military dictatorship has been one of America's strongest allies.

A body-builder and certified member of the Old Boy clique that runs the CIA, Clarridge in August 1976 helped ADDO Ted Shackley recruit Albert Hakim, later a member of Secord's Enterprise, to spy in Iran. (Shackley was soon thereafter forced into retirement due to his association with "rogue elephant" Ed Wilson, the CIA officer who sold tons of explosives to Libya.) Clarridge was serving as the CIA's station chief in Rome when the Pope was shot, and was chief of Latin America Division from 1981 until 1984, when Nicaraguan harbors were mined and the psyops "murder manual" was distributed to the Contras, with his approval. In this capacity Clarridge helped Richard Secord move PLO weapons captured by Israeli forces during their bloody invasion of Lebanon, through Noriega in Panama, to the Contras.

Clarridge, as chief of the Europe Division, next played a pivotal role in the illegal Iran-Contra operation, by providing the back channel, through his station chief in Lisbon, that allowed North and Secord's Enterprise to sell HAWK and TOW missiles to the Iranians, at a huge profit for Secord and his Israeli counterparts, in exchange for the release of several American hostages. The operation, which subverted the U.S. Constitution and the Bolland Amendments passed by Congress, made Ronald Reagan into the world's biggest, but most adorable, liar.

And Clarridge, in turn, has recently been described as close to Michael Ledeen (though the claim quoted below that he was the forger of the Niger documents doesn't seem to have been widely accepted):
According to a source in the Italian embassy, Patrick J. "Bulldog" Fitzgerald asked for and "has finally been given a full copy of the Italian parliamentary oversight report on the forged Niger uranium document," the former CIA officer tells me:

"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."

Alan Wolf died about a year and a half ago of cancer. He served as chief of the CIA's Near East Division as well as the European Division, and was also CIA chief of station in Rome after Clarridge. According to my source, "he and Clarridge and Ledeen were all very close and also close to Chalabi." The former CIA officer says Wolf "was Clarridge's Agency godfather. Significantly, both Clarridge and Wolf also spent considerable time in the Africa division, so they both had the Africa and Rome connection and both were close to Ledeen, closing the loop."

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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. Interesting
Bo Gritz Letter to George Bush
1 February 1988, Sandy Valley, NV

Honorable George Bush, Vice President, United States of America, Washington, D.C.


Why does it seem that you are saying "YES" to illegal narcotics in America?

I turned over video tapes to your NSC staff assistant, Tom Harvey, January 1987, wherein General KHUN SA, overlord of Asia's "Golden Triangle", offered to stop 900 tons of heroin/opium from entering the free world in 1987. Harvey told me, "...there is no interest here in doing that." General Khun Sa also offered to identify U.S. Government officials who, he says, have been trafficking in heroin for more than 20 years.

November 1986, Scott Weekly and I went into Burma in coordination and cooperation with The White House. Tom Harvey told me you received a letter from Arthur Suchesk, Orange County, CA, dated 29 August 1986. Dr. Suchesk said that Gen Khun Sa had access to U.S. POWs. Harvey said the letter had received "highest attention". He gave me a copy along with other case documents. I was asked if it was possible to verify the information. According to Harvey, the CIA said Khun Sa had been assassinated some months before. Harvey supplied Scott and myself with language under White House and NSC letterhead that would help us gain access to Khun Sa. It worked. Unfortunately, Khun Sa knew nothing about US POWs. He did, however, offer to trade his nation's poppy dependence for a legitimate economy.

Instead of receiving an "Atta Boy" for bringing back video tape showing Khun Sa`s offer to stop 900 tons of illegal narcotics and expose dirty USG officials, Scott was jailed and I was threatened. I was told that if I didn't "erase and forget" all that we had discovered, I would, "hurt the government". Further, I was promised a prison sentence of "15 years".

I returned to Burma with two other American witnesses, Lance Trimmer, a private detective from San Francisco, and Barry Flynn from Boston. Gen Khun Sa identified some of those in government service he says were dealing in heroin and arms sales. We video taped this second interview and I turned copies over in June 1987, to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence; Chairman of the House on Foreign Affairs Task Force on Narcotics Control; Co-Chairman, Senate Narcotics Committee; Senator Harry Reid, NV; Representative James Bilbray, NV; and other Congressional members. Mister Richard Armitage, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, is one of those USG officials implicated by Khun Sa. Nothing was done with this evidence that indicated that anyone of authority, including yourself, had intended to do anything more than protect Mr. Armitage. I was charged with "Misuse of Passport". Seems that it is alright for Oliver North and Robert MacFarlane to go into Iran on Irish Passports to negotiate an illegal arms deal that neither you nor anyone else admits condoning, but I can't use a passport that brings back drug information against your friends.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
23. Iran-Contra II?
Personally, I think it's worse. It's more like Bologna 2001.

Until I can get a CD-ROM unstuck from under the card table, here's a bit of background on how the Strategy of Tension architects have helped us get them their war.

Iran-Contra II?

Fresh scrutiny on a rogue Pentagon operation.

By Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris

On Friday evening, CBS News reported that the FBI is investigating a suspected mole in the Department of Defense who allegedly passed to Israel, via a pro-Israeli lobbying organization, classified American intelligence about Iran. The focus of the investigation, according to U.S. government officials, is Larry Franklin, a veteran Defense Intelligence Agency Iran analyst now working in the office of the Pentagon's number three civilian official, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.

The investigation of Franklin is now shining a bright light on a shadowy struggle within the Bush administration over the direction of U.S. policy toward Iran. In particular, the FBI is looking with renewed interest at an unauthorized back-channel between Iranian dissidents and advisers in Feith's office, which more senior administration officials first tried in vain to shut down and then later attempted to cover up.

Franklin, along with another colleague from Feith's office, a polyglot Middle East expert named Harold Rhode, were the two officials involved in the back-channel, which involved on-going meetings and contacts with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and other Iranian exiles, dissidents and government officials. Ghorbanifar is a storied figure who played a key role in embroiling the Reagan administration in the Iran-Contra affair. The meetings were both a conduit for intelligence about Iran and Iraq and part of a bitter administration power-struggle pitting officials at DoD who have been pushing for a hard-line policy of "regime change" in Iran, against other officials at the State Department and the CIA who have been counseling a more cautious approach.


While the FBI is looking at the meetings as part of its criminal investigation, to congressional investigators the Ghorbanifar back-channel typifies the out-of-control bureaucratic turf wars which have characterized and often hobbled Bush administration policy-making. And an investigation by The Washington Monthly -- including a rare interview with Ghorbanifar -- adds weight to those concerns. The meetings turn out to have been far more extensive and much less under White House control than originally reported. One of the meetings, which Pentagon officials have long characterized as merely a "chance encounter" seems in fact to have been planned long in advance by Rhode and Ghorbanifar. Another has never been reported in the American press. The administration's reluctance to disclose these details seems clear: the DoD-Ghorbanifar meetings suggest the possibility that a rogue faction at the Pentagon was trying to work outside normal US foreign policy channels to advance a "regime change" agenda not approved by the president's foreign policy principals or even the president himself.

The Italian Job

The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians. One of the Iranians, according to two sources familiar with the meeting, was a former senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who claimed to have information about dissident ranks within the Iranian security services. The Washington Monthly has also learned from U.S. government sources that Nicolo Pollari, the head of Italy's military intelligence agency, SISMI, attended the meetings, as did the Italian Minister of Defense Antonio Martino, who is well-known in neoconservative circles in Washington.


This is a most important subject, starroute. The elite fascisti are global, applying their traditional methods of mayhem for power and profit.! Thank you for the info.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
24. Operation GLADIO
The "Strategy of Tension" is S.O.P. for fascist orgs.

They get the people fearing anarchy and thus welcoming a powerful state and leader.

Way back when, again, in Italy...

Operation Gladio

David Guyatt


Origins of the Stay Behind Network

Information that surfaced in recent years suggests that the "Stay Behind" concept first arose in Britain. Senior military sources told the Guardian newspaper in December 1990, that a British guerrilla network was already in place following the fall of France in 1940. Numerous arm "caches" were buried for later use by a special forces ski battalion of the Scots Guards under the leadership of Brigadier "Mad Mike" Calvert. After the war, the decision was taken to create new units throughout Europe. The plan was conceived by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and spearheaded by the newly formed CIA.

Secretly granted immunity these and thousands of other battle hardened Nazi soldiers were to form the fighting nucleus of a top secret Allied contingency group conceived by the first Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles. Loosely known as operation "Stay Behind," the idea was to build a Europe wide secret network of anti communist guerrillas who would fight behind the lines in the event of a Soviet invasion. The plan was later codified under the umbrella of the Clandestine Co-ordinating Committee of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the military arm of NATO.

US planners worried over the growing influence of Italy's large and popular communist party, established Operation "Gladio" in 1956. The name derived from the short sword used by Roman legionnaires 2000 years earlier, and was almost certainly drawn from the crest of SHAPE which features two swords arranged in an "A" shape. The Gladio network was operated by the secret services and initially funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency. 622 people were recruited and trained by US and British specialists in Sardinia. It is believed that up to 15,000 members were ultimately recruited to the Gladio network.

By 1972, with the prospect of a Soviet invasion receding, a decision was taken to "make a pre-emptive attack" on the Italian communist party - who had polled 27% in that year's election - and who would go on to increase their vote to 35% just four years later. There immediately followed a series of bomb outrages signalling the beginning of a "strategy of tension," designed to shift Italian politics sharply to the right. In April 1972 a Fascist bomb attack killed three carabinieri. In November 1973, an Argo 16 aircraft was destroyed in a mid-air explosion.


Ask Ledeen and friends about their false flag operations, like the Bologna train station massacre claimed 89 lives in 1980.
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 10:51 PM
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25. Truly Machiavellian indeed. Thanks for sharing. n/t
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-15-06 02:38 AM
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26. Kick n/t
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