Wednesday, October 26, 2005

'KARL ROVE, MICHAEL LEDEEN SPIES PROCURED FORGED NIGER DOCUMENTS'

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=7256

An article by Clayton Hallmark, 29 July 2005, at http://bellaciao.org :

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...

EARLY 2000: ROCCO MARTINO AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION

Rocco Martino is a 66-year-old Italian gentleman 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 (for receiving stolen checks, among other things), he convinced the French intelligence in 2000 that he knew all about Africa and the trafficking of conventional and nonconventional arms. To avoid stepping on the toes of Italian intelligence, the French gave him a contact, or handler, in Brussels. Martino’s handler in Brussels asked him to obtain every type of news or reference to contraband uranium from Niger... where mining was under the jurisdiction of two companies controlled by the gigantic French mining company Cogema.

Martino soon was knocking at the door of the embassy of Niger in Rome, where he met an Italian functionary (a "lady," by most reports - but this was no lady, as we shall see). Martino 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. (We now know that Iraq had no nuclear program.) "We need additional confirmation and more detailed information," said the French secret service. Martino set out to satisfy his French patrons with additional documents.

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 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.

Martino passed it on to the French secret service, who had paid for it, and also to Panorama [a magazine owned by Bush ally and Italian president Silvio Berlusconi], which assessed it by dispatching a female reporter to Niger. Panorama also turned the file over to the US Embassy in Rome for cross-checking in the US.

The female journalist soon told Martino that the 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 was debunked way back in 2001 by amateur and professional sleuths.

Furthermore, it was a very amateurish forgery, not likely produced through official channels by any state intelligence agency with their vast resources. However, it was soon resuscitated as the Bush administration, in its first year, 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.

Present 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.

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.

This little group dusted off Martino’s discredited second dossier on Iraq-Niger trade, with the uranium references. The Bush administration now had its causus belli.

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.

Even the Panorama reporter could have saved him the trouble.

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.

Bush soon began to drive in the nail using the same argument.

Remember, Martino had delivered the phony dossier this was based on to the US embassy in Rome over a year before. The US State Department and CIA rejected it and even Panorama had debunked it.

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 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.

The US overcame Iraqi opposition -- temporarily (resistance became "suicide," now wonders, for whom?) -- 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

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.

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 "exceptional rendering," 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 went 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.

By : Clayton HallmarkJuly Friday 29th 2005



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