George Bush's Private Eye
Michael Ledeen's Private Eye
Are Karl Rove, Michael Ledeen, Larry Franklin, and Harold Rhode -- officials and agents of the US Government -- to subvert Italian institutions and laws just as they do in the United States? If so, then I, Clayton Hallmark, nominate Italy to become the 51st state of the United States. It would be so much more convenient that way for me to enjoy the Italian Riviera.
ASSOCIATES OF KARL ROVE AND MICHAEL LEDEEN PROCURED NIGER FORGERIES: NIGERGATE
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 Robert Novak "out" Wilson's CIA wife, the Plamegate scandal. Did Ledeen procure the documents for Rove, and how might he have done that? This story, the Nigergate scandal, 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. http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=7256 On August 2, 2005, we begin to see the Plamegate and Nigergate scandals converge, along with the CIA renditioning scandal in Italy.
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. [For more, see articles by Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post -- the main man of the mainstream media pursuing the Rove Scandal.]
George Bush Jr., when he assumed the presidency at the start of 2001, 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.
1999, EARLY 2000: ROCCO MARTINO AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Rocco Martino is a 66-year-old Italian gentleman SEE PHOTO who worked on and off for the Italian SISMI (analogous to the CIA) for many years and who also peddled the same information to various spy organizations and publications -- a convicted felon and international stool pigeon, just the kind of person Ledeen's associates needed.
After being fired by SISMI (he was considered unreliable, possibly because he had been convicted for receiving stolen checks, among other things), he convinced the French intelligence in 1999 that he knew all about Africa and the traffic in conventional and nonconventional arms.
To avoid stepping on the toes of Italian intelligence, the French gave him a contact, or handler, in Brussels.
Meanwhile, the Italians were pursuing their own intelligence aims, according to Martino, using the Niger embassy in Rome as a conduit to distribute information while concealing their identity.
In early 2000, a former colleague at SISMI told Martino of a SISMI source at the Niger embassy in Rome -- "a lady," according to most reports, but this was no lady, as we shall see -- who could provide Martino with information.
Martino soon provided the French with documents showing that Iraq may have been planning to expand trade with Niger. In fact, the first set of documents did not refer to uranium, and the trade plans were probably the typical sort of relationship Arab oil states had with a whole range of third-world countries.
Martino was surprised when he saw that the French immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion and thought that the documents indicated an Iraqi interest in uranium. (The world now knows that Iraq had no nuclear program.) Martino's handler in Brussels asked him to obtain every type of news or reference to contraband uranium from Niger ("NYE-jer") -- a former French colony in the Sahara desert (not to be confused with ex-British Nigeria in W. Africa), where mining was under the jurisdiction of two companies controlled by the gigantic French mining company Cogema.
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) came up missing.
Then, late in 2001 Martino received a telephone call from a former colleague at SISMI, who informed him that his source, the "lady" at the Nigerien embassy, was in possession of documents that might be of interest to him. “I met her and she gave me documents,” Martino later told the Sunday Times (London). “SISMI wanted me to pass on the documents but they didn't want anyone to know they had been involved.” Martino thus received half a dozen letters and other documents between Niger and Iraqi officials negotiating a sale of 500 tons of uranium oxide.
Martino passed the dossier on to the French secret service, who had paid for it, and anyone else he could sell it to, practically hawking it on the sidewalks like a newsboy.
It was a forgery, and very amateurish, not likely produced through official channels by any state intelligence agency with their vast resources. However, it soon became important as the Bush administration, in its first year (2001), ramped up its public relations campaign for war.
ROME MEETING IN DECEMBER 2001
Michael Ledeen organized a meeting in Rome to gather evidence to support the planned war. Remember, Martino obtained the Niger forgeries about this time -- possibly a littler sooner, possibly a little later. Present at the meeting were:
1. Michael Ledeen, Karl Rove's foreign policy advisor and organizer of the meeting
2. Nicolo Pollari, head of the the Italian equivalent of the CIA, the SISMI
3. Italy's Minister of Defense, Antonio Martino (no relation apparently to the spy Rocco Martino), Pollari's boss
4. Larry Franklin, an American who presently is being prosecuted in the US for giving classified information to an Israeli front group, AIPC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) -- which some would call "spying," even though he has not been charged with espionage
5. Harold Rhode: member of Dick Cheney's Office of Special Plans, protege of Ledeen, go-between with Iraqi exile and CIA asset (at the time) Ahmed Chalabi.
6. Manucher Ghorbanifar, Iranian/Israeli double agent and Ledeen accomplice going back to Iran/Contra. I won't even attempt to guess whom or what Ghorbanifar was working for in 2001. If it was Iran or Israel, both wanted action against Iran.
IMPORTANT THING ABOUT MEETING: A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT LIKELY CREATED THE FORGERIES TO INFLUENCE US POLICY. Whether it was France, Israel, Iran, or Italy, this is highly illegal, and such goings on are a threat to national security bigger than any terrorist activity. Again, is the FBI investigating, or not?
Ledeen already had a longstanding friendship with Francesco Pazienza, an Italian felon and forger who had been kicked out of the official Italian intelligence organization SISMI but who had found a new home in the renegade intelligence agency P-2 (Propaganda Due). Pazienza apparently was not present but definitely was known to Italian intelligence agents, including Rocco Martino, as well as to Ledeen.
Ledeen also was a personal friend of Pollari, who, like Ledeen, is a master of the card game bridge (Ledeen writes columns on it). There are close ties between Pollari's official intelligence organization, SISMI, and Pazienza's unnofficial one, P-2. In fact, P-2 recruits from SISMI.
Somehow, through the efforts of the people at Ledeen's meeting, plus Rocco Martino and Francesco Pazienza, the Bush administration soon had its causus belli, the forged letters on the sale of uranium by Niger to Iraq.
Rove, Ledeen, and Bush obtained this historic false information through very irregular means, and this means should be the subject of a Congressional investigation, perhaps in the next Congress. Also, to preserve the rule of law in the United States, the FBI and US attorneys should ascertain how these people and others used unofficial channels to obtain a false causus belli. The Constitution will mean little if the president and his cronies can get away with sneaking around using common criminals, false information, and clandestine foreign alliances to fabricate a case for war that they couldn't obtain through legal channels -- their own CIA and State Department.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of Sen. Pat "Coverup" Roberts of Kansas looked into this and another, June 2002, meeting between some of these persons but backed off, apparently with the consent of Democrats on the committee.
CAUSUS BELLI: A PIECE OF CRAP [SEE PHOTOCOPY]
The accompanying figure shows one of the letters made with the stolen letterheads and seals and forged by an unofficial source -- most likely Ledeen's friend, Francesco Panzienza. These documents, which can be viewed at the Israeli site http://www.4law.co.il/Le838k.html , are the "evidence" on which George Bush has sent almost two thousand young Americans and untold thousands of Iraqi civilians, mostly children, to their deaths.
SPRING 2002: JOE WILSON TO NIGER
Former US Ambassador (to Gabon) Joseph Wilson made the trip, apparently at the behest of the CIA, to determine the authenticity of the charges in Martino's documents, even though the CIA already could see they were forgeries. I believe the CIA already had the documents by this time, even though the Italian magazine Panorama says it was months later that Martino conveyed them to Panorama and that Panorama in turn gave them to the US embassy in Rome. I believe that Karl Rove's man Ledeen somehow obtained them from Martino or Pazienza about the end of 2001. Wilson reported back to the CIA that there was no proof that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger. The US government knew there was no proof.
FALL 2002: USING THE CRAP
In London, Tony Blair spoke on September 24, 2002, for the first time on the attempts of Saddam Hussein to obtain uranium from Africa. Remember, Martino apparently had obtained the phony dossier this was based on in late 2001; and Ledeen, Franklin, and Rhode had gone to Rome to get the goods on Saddam Hussein in December 2001. The US State Department and CIA had rejected Martino's dossier. The Pentagon, too, knew it was false, of course, but the Wolfowitz-Feith-Perle Defense Policy Board axis plus Bush and Cheney and their respective aides, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby (both now subjects of interest to US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and his grand jury in Washington, DC), went with it anyway. The next step was to get their British stooge Tony Blair to go public as just noted.
In October 2002, Martino passed the Niger-uranium dossier on to Panorama [a magazine owned by Bush ally and Italian president Silvio Berlusconi], which assessed it in order to study it, dispatching reporter Elizabeth Burba to Niger. Panorama also turned the file over to the US embassy in Rome for cross-checking.
The Italian journalist soon told Martino that her trip to Niger had not produced any real confirmation, and also the French confirmed to Martino that the reports he had passed on to them were groundless. In other words, Bush's war rationale had been debunked by amateur as well as professional sleuths. Martino says he was surprised again by what happened next.
THE REST IS HISTORY: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein...
...recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Sixteen little words in Bush's January 2003 State of the Union message that will be remembered in history with more honorable presidential words like, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" (FDR). Bush was going on the forged documents procured by Rocco Martino, debunked by all pertinent experts, and debunked by Joseph Wilson for the CIA. In March 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (a UN organization) needed just a few hours to debunk the Niger document. However, a few days later, George Bush started a war. US forces overcame Iraqi opposition -- temporarily (resistance was "suicide" for the Iraqis at first, now it's occupation and collaboration that are suicide) -- mainly by bombing civilian structures rather than fighting, beginning on March 19, 2003
Wilson's outraged response to using, for murder, evidence he had debunked got his family, or at least his wife, targeted by that amoral husk of a man, Karl Rove, who, along with I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby (Cheney's chief aide) outed Valerie Wilson to Robert Novak, Judith Miller (the jailed New York Times reporter and pro-war hawk), Matthew Cooper (Time's reporter who has jeopardized Rove in a criminal investigation), and numerous other journalists. Most, like Miller and Cooper, wisely resisted Rove's bait.
IMP OF IMPS: MICHAEL LEDEEN'S DAUGHTER SMILES IMPISHLY IN IRAQ [PHOTO]
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?
LEDEEN FELLOW-TRAVELER FRANKLIN FACES A COURT TRIAL
At Ledeen's (Rove's brain) meeting with Italian intelligence in December 2001 was one Larry Franklin.
The FBI caught Franklin, 58 -- a Pentagon analyst on Iran and an Air Force Reserve colonel -- meeting two agents of AIPAC, Israel's US "lobby," in an Alexandria, VA, restaurant in June 2003. AIPAC employees -- including AIPAC agents at the meeting, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman -- had been under FBI surveillance for a couple of years. The FBI was surprised by Franklin showing up and began investigating him, too. The FBI arrested Franklin, on May 4, 2005, for illegally disclosing highly classified information to AIPAC -- spying for AIPAC, in other words. He is free on bond and is expected to plead innocent at his trial.
Why hasn't the FBI arrested anyone at the AIPAC? Who in the Bush administration is blocking justice in this case?
For that matter, why hasn't the FBI interviewed Rocco Martino, the acknowledged and admitted procurer of the phony Niger uranium documents? They are known to be investigating the phony documents.
The United States has had no qualms about getting audacious in Italy by having the CIA abduct an Egyptian cleric, Abu Omar, off the streets of Milan in February 2003, for "extraordinary rendition," aka "torture," in Egypt. This open violation of Italian sovereignty was supervised by the CIA's station chief in Milan, Robert Seldon Lady, formerly of the New Orleans area.
Lady Is No "lady": ROBERT SELDON LADY
It is my belief that the "Italian functionary," or "a lady," that Martino referred to was actually a Lady, Robert Seldon Lady Sr, the same man who headed up the torture abduction of Abu Omar.
Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro has just obtained arrrest warrants for 6 more CIA spies in addition to the original 13 that included Robert Lady, in connection with the abduction.
Robert Seldon Lady, 51, lived in Abita Springs, Lousiana, until 2001, when he left for the Milan post. He still has an address in New Orleans, according to Cryptome http://cryptome.org/lady-eyeball.htm. He and his wife Martha own a villa in the Italian countryside near Penango (Asti) and Turin, where they hoped to retire before he "took it on the lam." Born in Honduras, he was an affable New York City cop in the 80s who infiltrated leftist groups. He is something of an electronics hacker (at least of cell phones). And now he is a wanted felon in Europe.
During the operation, Lady apparently worked directly with the commander of the 31st Security Police Squadron, Lt. Col. Joseph Romano, USAF, at the Aviano Air Base in Italy. Lt. Col. Romano, who currently works at the Pentagon, also is sought for interviewing by Italian prosecutors. At the time, Romano worked under Brig Gen R. Michael Worden, commander of the 31st Fighter Wing, who also should have to answer some questions.
The Italian prosecutor could release the photographs of the American kidnap-torture perps at any time. This case -- Robert Lady's kidnapping of Abu Omar -- could become a very big story because of its possible effects on relations between nations.