Faster, Please!

Scott Horton, October 22, 2005

It is time for regime change in Washington DC, and I am so impatient! Who all in the executive branch will be indicted? The suspense is killing me. Rumors are swirling everywhere. It seems pretty clear that we can expect to see more indicted than just Libby and Rove, but what about the Niger uranium forgeries that started all this? As Chris Matthews explained the other day, without the “deal maker” lie that Iraq was actively pursuing nuclear weapons – a lie supported by Iranian spy and now Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi, the ridiculous claims about the intended use of some intercepted aluminum tubes and the Niger uranium forgeries – the American people and the congress would not have supported the unprovoked invasion of a helpless third world nation.

So here once again is the case against that Machiavellian proto-fascist warmonger Michael Ledeen:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet grand jury, his motive is clear. Michael Ledeen has been intent on turning the Middle East into a “cauldron” of revolution for years. From the pages of the National Review, he consistently advocates the neocon’s Israel-First democratist ideology, advocating “creative destruction” and crying “Faster, please” for more war.

He was a contract employee of the Office of Special Plans in Douglas Feith’s “separate government” at the Pentagon, the “Lie Factory” where the talking points were put together to frighten the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq.

His ties to SISMI, the Italian intelligence agency which gave the forged documents back to the US in 2002 go way back.

He attended a series of meetings in Italy with Israeli spy Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode, who “practically lived out of Ahmad Chalabi’s office,” Ledeen’s old Iran-Contra buddy, Manucher Ghorbanifar, and SISMI’s director around the time that the information surfaced.

Joshua Micah Marshall has written that all information about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger came from the forged documents, though the documents themselves weren’t given to the US until October 2002, and that it’s clear a SISMI asset at the Niger embassy in Rome was given the forgeries by SISMI people in the first place before she funneled them back to them and then us:

“[T]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…”

Former CIA agent Larry Johnson has strongly implied that Ledeen is the one.

Another former CIA agent, former head of counter-terrorism under Reagan, Vincent Cannistraro, has answered the question of whether Ledeen was involved with, “You’d be very close.”

Former CIA and DIA covert operative Philip Giraldi, when I interviewed him on my radio show last July 26th said the documents were forged by “a couple of former CIA officers who are familiar with that part of the world who are associated with a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy.”

When I said that must be Ledeen, he confirmed it, and added that the ex-CIA officers, “also had some equity interests, shall we say, with the operation. A lot of these people are in consulting positions, and they get various, shall we say, emoluments in overseas accounts, and that kind of thing.”

When I said there must be a money trail for Patrick Fitzgerald to follow. Giraldi told me he thinks Fitzgerald has already found it.

When I interviewed him a second time, on September 3rd, Giraldi elaborated to say that Ledeen and his former CIA friends worked with Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. “These people did it probably for a couple of reasons, but one of the reasons was that these people were involved, through the neoconservatives, with the Iraqi National Congress and Chalabi and had a financial interest in cranking up the pressure against Saddam Hussein and potentially going to war with him.” Short mp3 of the relevant soundbites here

Wow, a board member of JINSA and his friends getting paid by Iran to lure the American people into their desert sand-trap.

Joshua Micah Marshall has also said,” [I]f and when we actually get serious about getting to the bottom of this mystery, Italian intelligence should be one of the first places we go to ask questions.”

Well, now it seems that this question is finally being asked and answered by the federal prosecutor… and even better – he’s sharing the answer with another like him.

Earlier this week here on Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo, based on a secret source, broke the story and revealed that Patrick Fitzgerald is indeed following the question of the origin of the crudely forged documents and the identities of Michael Ledeen’s former CIA friends. Fitzgerald, he says:

“‘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…’

[M]y source tells me that ‘Fitzgerald asked the Italians if he could share the report with Paul McNulty,’ the prosecutor in the AIPAC case. There are plenty of links between the two investigations: they are, in a sense, the same investigation, since many of the same people are involved. McNulty is delving into a single aspect of the cabal’s activities, while Fitzgerald seems to have broadened his probe to include not only the outing of Plame, but also the origin of the Niger uranium forgeries and other instances of classified information leakage via the vice president’s office.

Raw story says that neocon belly-crawler John Hannah and David “Clean Break” Wurmser are, after all their tough-guy-neocon-warmonger posturing, nothing but a couple of sniveling little rats – snitches, who have decided to turn state’s to save their own necks.

Let’s hope that in the pile of indictments to come down from the grand jury next week, Michael Ledeen and his fellow traitor Duane Clarridge are among those on the docket.

Faster, please!

Update: Wow, that was fast!

It’s clear from this report that Chris Matthews read Raimondo the other day, and then sent his man David Shuster to corroborate. It is a small wonder why he’s so far ahead of the rest of the press when it comes to this (these) investigation(s). While not yet naming Michael Ledeen, this report confirms that Fitzgerald has indeed received the unredacted report of the Italian parliamentary inquiry into the forgeries’ origin and that the forgers were associated with Chalabi and the INC as reported above.

Onward to Doug Feith’s office!




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