Posted by seemslikeadream on Sat Aug-18-07 09:29 AMhttp://www.prospect.org/weblog/archives ... tml#008117
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 then–Deputy 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.
JANUARY 2001 BREAK-IN AT NIGER EMBASSY
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 Martino’s hands, one that included references to uranium trafficking. Martino claims he got it from embassy personnel and that he thought it was authentic.http://nuralcubicle.blogspot.com/2005/1 ... wcake.html
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 Miller’s 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 don’t 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 President’s 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?
It’s 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 Pollari’s was, according to secret service agents, the ‘creation of a system’ that would bring together government, intelligence and public affairs .
To summarize: Nicolo Pollari’s 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 1980’s) were the dowry of the second-in-command of CISMI’s 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 Pollari’s 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 wasn’t 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 Italy’s.’ 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 1980’s . 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 CIA’s 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 don’t 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 wasn’t 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.”… SISMI’s ‘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? It’s 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.
morehttp://nuralcubicle.blogspot.com/2005/1 ... ction.html
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 exposé 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: He’s another politico-military intelligence chief. He’s 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 hotel’s 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 Government—are 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 did—and we didn’t 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" http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/002979.html
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). http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051103/pl_afp/usital
But committee staff sources say that before the cooperation ceased, the committee had received from Feith’s 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 (Italy’s SISMI). The catch is that it wasn’t 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" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4402594.stm
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 Prosecutor’s 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. Antiwar.com 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.http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/nolan-m2.html
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 Machiavelli’s 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 nation’s 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 Ledeen’s 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 naïve 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 http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytim
Italy's Top Spy Names Freelance Agent as Source of Forged Niger-Iraq Uranium Documents
November 4, 2005 by ELAINE SCIOLINO and ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
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. Nicolò 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. http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/002983.html
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.
There’s 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. Sismi’s 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 Britain’s 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 Year’s 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 it.....total 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 Whitewash....you can spot them a damn mile away now.http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051103/wl_mideast_af
"no one here has any recollection of Niger and uranium being discussed" http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com
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.
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Yes.
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?
SCOTT McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
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.http://neworleans.cox.net/cci/newsnational/nationa
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."
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! http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp11012005.html
November 1, 2005
Berlusconi's Halloween Visit
The Plame Affair Leads to Rome
By GARY LEUPP
"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 exposé 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 Nicolò 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.
Nicolò 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 protégé, 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?
morehttp://www.informationclearinghouse.inf ... e10571.htm
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 I’ve spoken to, is that those reports turned out to be text transcriptions of Niger forgeries that didn’t 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 ROVE, MICHAEL LEDEEN SPIES PROCURED FORGED NIGER DOCUMENTS
KARL ROVE and VARIOUS SPIES HE IS LINKED TO
Karl Rove’s 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" Wilson’s 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, who’s under charges of giving US secrets to Israel.
Karl Rove’s 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, Rove’s "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.
EARLY 2000: ROCCO MARTINO AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION
The war is not just about oil, Israel’s 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 war’s chief banshee -- Simone Ledeen, Michael’s 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 it’ll help to pay off those student loans -- huh, Michael?http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/19/14555
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.http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism ... edeen.html
"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 America’s leading “Christian” Dominionists—Pat Robertson, and a man who called Pearl Harbor “lucky” and a providentially inspired event—may 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 America’s 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 didn’t care what religion—just as long as it was a religion that could link itself to the political order.