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Is Bush's use of the term Islamofascist backfiring and exposing the neocon fascist roots?


Exceptions, Distinctions and Process of Identification - 

The 'Concrete Thought' of Carl Schmitt and U.S. Neoconservatism as seen through Readings of Kenneth Burke and Jacques Derrida


But was the neo-con fascism hijacked by Chalabi?

Was Bush duped into invading Iraq?

Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress  Senate Intelligence Committee Report go to page 3


Chalabi tricked Bush into invading Iraq? 

 go to: Page 3

Index of Abramoff / Ledeen / Bush fascism connections pages
Page 1 Page 2, 3 Page 4,5, 6 Page 7  8 Related pages
Why is the term Islamofascist surfacing
  • Neo-con promotion of 'Clash of Civilizations?
Reference   top
  • AfterDowningStreet Ledeen worked for Panorama magazine in Italy when Niger forged docs were 'discovered' by a Panorama reporter.  Ledeen denies any involvement.  see also Elizabetta Burba, 
  • Antiwar Islamo-Fascism, The New Bogeyman, Daniel Pipes and the New Inquisition.  and Fascism' 'Frame Set Up by Neocon Press
  • Antiwar Fascism' 'Frame Set Up by Neocon Press
  • Counterpunch The Sandy Foundation of the White House.
  • Daily KOS Abramoff, what's next and how can we bring down the GOP.  
  • Detroit Free Press "Bush has in recent days recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzzword for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq."
  • Drury, Shadia B. Alexandre Kojeve: The Roots of Postmodern Politics. Palgrave Macmillan: London, 1994. ISBN 0-312-12092-3
  • Drury, Shadia B. The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss. 1st ed. Macmillan: London, 1988. ISBN 0-333-41256-7
  • Drury, Shadia B. Leo Strauss and the American Right. Palgrave Macmillan: London, 1999. ISBN 0-312-21783-8
  • Drury, Shadia B. Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics, and the Western Psyche. Palgrave Macmillan: London, 2004
  • Global Security
  • Guardian
  • Consortium News, "Original October Surprise (part 2), search terms, Carter, Reagon, 1980 stolen election, rise of the GOP, Ghorbanifar, Ledeen, Israel, Mossad, missiles, Iran Contra. by Robert Parry
  • MediaTransparency Weyrich Ledeen "In the late 1970s, Paul Weyrich, widely considered as the guru of the modern conservative movement, Terry Dolan, Richard Viguerie, the godfather of conservative direct mail, and Howard Phillips left Christian Voice and tapped televangelist Falwell to head up the Moral Majority. Over the years, as the Reverend became more influential politically, he became a favored guest on cable television's news programs."
  • The Nation
  • NewsMeat, Jack Abramoff, political campaign contributions: 
  • OurFuture War Profiteers Profits Over Patriotism in Iraq
  • SourceWatch Leo Strauss  "For Strauss, "religion is the glue that holds society together", said Drury, who added that Irving Kristol, among other neo-conservatives, has argued that separating church and state was the biggest mistake made by the founders of the U.S. republic.  "Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing", because it leads to individualism, liberalism and relativism   ...   precisely those traits that might encourage dissent, which in turn could dangerously weaken society's ability to cope with external threats. "You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty," according to Drury"
  • Zfacts, "The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff .... Ledeen, Abramoff  - Preston Gates & Ellis,  Greenberg Traurig LLP, 
  • Zfacts, "Michael Ledeen, Niger and Iran"
  • Answers Islamofascism 
  • Asia Times, Iran Contra, Amplified  and see Who's Who in Iran Contra
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Harper's The Bush Administration and Godwin's Law, The new GOP buzzword: Fascism
  • Liberty Committee, Congressman Ron Paul, "Neo-conned"
  • MSNBC NewsWeek
  • Wikipedia Shadia Drury "In Drury's opinion, contemporary society is threatened by a small school of American academics labeled Straussians, after the German born, Jewish-American political scientist, Leo Strauss (1899-1973). She has not shied away from voicing a strident interpretation of Strauss' work, linking it to American right-wing public policy"
  • Wikipedia, Jack Abramoff
  • Wikipedia, Jack Abramoff, scandals
  • Wikipedia, Iran Contra
  • Wikipedia Islamofascist critics of the term argue that associating the religion of Islam with fascism is both offensive and inaccurate.
  • Wikipedia Renzo de Felice
  • Wikipedia Mosse, George, University of Wisconsin
  • Wikipedia Neoconservatism
  • Wikipedia Nietzsche
  • Wikipedia Nihilism
  • Wikipedia, Leo Strauss
  • Wikipedia, Carl Schmitt
  • Chalabi hijacked neo-con fascist tricks?  Iran is now stronger, more influential in the Middle East and is well on its way to replacing 'communism' as the imperialists' boogeyman? Is it Perpetual War....the new 'Cold War'?
  • see OldAmericanCentury 14 points of Fascism

  • AEI American Enterprise Institute, Michael Ledeen, Nonsense
  • American Conservative
  • Benador Associates
  • Bush Whitehouse   " This nation is at war with Islamic fascists,” he said somberly, “who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Cheney, Dick, VP
  • Christopher Hitchens, coined the term Isalmo Fascist?
  • Conservative Voice search Islamofascist, radioactive dust.
  • DeLay, Tom, Cheney, Ledeen, Abramoff connections.
  • Frontpage Mag  
  • Georgetown University
  • Haig, Alexander, Ledeen was a Special Advisor to Haig,
  • Heritage The Origins of the Modern American Conservative Movement, "Dwight Eisenhower was inaugurated as President, signaling an end to the New Deal era. Conservatives such as Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, Clinton Rossiter, and Leo Strauss published works that could not be ignored."
  • Iran Contra Scandal, search Michael Ledeen  Wikipedia
  • Italian military intelligence service, Ledeen worked as a "risk assessment" consultant
  • Jewish World Review
  • Ledeen, Michael,  self-professed "Universal Fascist"
  • Matalin
  • Lincoln Group
  • National Review Online search islamofascist
  • Neo-Neocon blog 
  • Santorum, who will be fighting for his seat in November, uses the phrase repeatedly. “Islamic fascism,” he told the National Press Club in July “is the great test of this generation.” In June, political consultant Mary Matalin told Fox News that “You either believe we’re going to fight Islamic fascism or you don’t,” and a week later, after an Israeli soldier was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists, Rep. Eric Cantor (R- Va.) issued a statement saying that Israel “has every right to secure its citizens from these Islamic fascists.” MSNBC
  • Netanyahu
  • Savage, Michael, radio talk show host frequently uses the term see WorldNetDaily
  • Silberman Robb report, Whitehouse, Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. and TEXT FILE Judge Lawrence Silberman is married to Ricky.  Ricky Silberman and Barbara Ledeen  and Barbara Olson cofounded Independent Women's Forum.  IWF funding Richard Mellon Scaife, Koch Industries, affiliation with Citizens for a Sound Economy.
  • Stygius.Mindsay Fanaticism & Philosophy: The Origins of Islamofascism
  • TownHall "The Islamofascist Threat"
  • U.S. National Review
  • Washington Times, Khalid Duran
  • Weekly Standard Postmodern Jihad
    What Osama bin Laden learned from the Left. 
Why is the term IslamoFascist, Islamofascism wrong
  • The newly coined word is a neologism: an association of the ideological or operational characteristics of certain modern Islamist movements with European fascist movements of the early 20th century.  Wikipedia
  • No organizations including al-Queda, the Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the current Iranian government, Hezbollah call themselves this.
  • Critics of the term call it offensive and inaccurate.  see Wikipedia Neofascism
Is the use of the term Islamofascist a smokescreen to hide neo-con fascist roots?

on Leo Strauss: internet search terms: Nazi philosophy, as shaped by Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt.

Leo Strauss ..."was a German-born American political philosopher, who specialized in the study of classical philosophy ... Since his death, he has come to be regarded, although debatably, as a leading intellectual source of neoconservatism in the United States.  Strauss has been interpreted as endorsing "noble lies;" myths used by political leaders seeking to maintain a cohesive society" Wikipedia Carl Schmitt, right, internet search terms: leading Nazi philosopher of law, Leo Strauss, absolute rulers who lied deceived and manipulated the foolish masses, used religion to perpetuate myths,...etc.  Wikipedia

Heidegger, Martin, Leo Strauss was a student of 'Heidegger the Nazi'

go to: Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism  

Friedrich Nietzsche  more below

Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Martin Heidegger, Frederick Nietzsche  

and Neoconservatism, Research top

  • Antiwar Islamo-Fascism, The New Bogeyman, Daniel Pipes and the New Inquisition.  
  • Global Security
  • MediaTransparency Weyrich Ledeen "In the late 1970s, Paul Weyrich, widely considered as the guru of the modern conservative movement, 
  • The Nation
  • New Yorker Francis Fukuyama ... "
  • Uruknet  "Bush’s Straussians have put into practice the political philosophy of Carl Schmitt, who wrote Die Diktatur (On Dictatorship) and believed the office of the Reichspräsident should rule supreme and transform the juridical system into a deadly juggernaut"
  • WSWS "The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi ...  After Hitler's seizure of power in 1933 Heidegger the world-renowned philosopher became Heidegger the Nazi, holding membership card number 312589. .."
  • Bush Whitehouse
  • Christopher Hitchens, helped coin the term Islamo Fascist?  
  • National Interest, Kristol, Albert Wohlstetter, Allan Bloom
  • Real Clear Politics It's Fascism -- And It's Islamic
  • Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno
  • Wolfowitz
Students of Leo Strauss  Wikipedia
Ledeen, Research
  • Woolsey was Ledeen's lawyer during the Iran-Contra testimony. Political Friendster.
  • The 'Concrete Thought' of Carl Schmitt and U.S. Neoconservatism as seen through Readings of Kenneth Burke and Jacques Derrida   EXCERPT: "Manifest destiny has been described as a ‘nationalistic theology’, which according to Tuveson (1968: 92-3) ‘implies that simple nationalism, the pride of a new and ambitious new nation, with many virtues and advantages, spontaneously generated a religious justification for its desire to acquire new and rich territories.’ Although the term was first used in the US in 1845 (ibid.92-3), the concept behind it, which Tuveson describes as an ideology based partly on self-interest and chauvinism, existed long before that. (Ibid. 125)53 It remains relevant, as the present form of neoconservatism is very much a product of the search for a new moral mission for the US to replace the Cold War. Michael Ledeen, for one, prefers ‘neo-Manifest Destinarianism’ to the neoconservative label. (Dorrien, 2004: 2) Despite the US not being unique in believing in its own uniqueness, Tuveson argues that the US sense of mission takes at least two conflicting forms. First, citizens have a duty to develop and protect their land as a refuge to inspire others to carry out similar revolutions against ancient tyrannies and injustices.54 On the other hand, the ‘American mission’ has a second, conflicting form, requiring the population to be constantly on guard against the intrusion of evil and corruption from outside enemies: this vigilance was intended ‘not only to make a greater country out of what we have but to form the kind of nation that would save the world.’ (Tuveson 1968: 131-3) He finds the combination of the two dangerous: ‘to assume that what is good for America is good for the world, that saving the United States is saving mankind, is to open up a large area of temptation.’ (Ibid. 132) This warning is still relevant; the neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was founded on the beliefs that that ‘American leadership is good both for America and for the world; that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle; and that too few political leaders today are making the case for global leadership."
  • Friedrich Nietzsche  Wikipedia During the interbellum, certain Nazis employed a highly selective reading of Nietzsche's work to advance their ideology, notably Alfred Baeumler in his reading of The Will to Power. The era of Nazi rule (1933 – 1945) saw Nietzsche's writings widely studied in German (and, after 1938, Austrian) schools and universities. The Nazis viewed Nietzsche as one of their "founding fathers". Although there exist few — if any — similarities between Nietzsche's views and Nazism (see political views), phrases like "the will to power" became common in Nazi circles. The wide popularity of Nietzsche among Nazis stemmed in part from the endeavors of his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, the editor of Nietzsche's work after his 1889 breakdown, and an eventual Nazi sympathizer. Nietzsche himself thoroughly disapproved of his sister's anti-Semitic views"  see Ledeen NRO  and Free Republic search Islamic fascism, Ledeen
  • American Conservative "Ledeen’s conviction that the Right is as revolutionary as the Left derives from his youthful interest in Italian fascism. In 1975, Ledeen published an interview, in book form, with the Italian historian Renzo de Felice (Wikipedia), a man he greatly admires. It caused a great controversy in Italy. Ledeen later made clear that he relished the ire of the left-wing establishment precisely because “De Felice was challenging the conventional wisdom of Italian Marxist historiography, which had always insisted that fascism was a reactionary movement.” What de Felice showed, by contrast, was that Italian fascism was both right-wing and revolutionary. Ledeen had himself argued this very point in his book, Universal Fascism, published in 1972. That work starts with the assertion that it is a mistake to explain the support of fascism by millions of Europeans “solely because they had been hypnotized by the rhetoric of gifted orators and manipulated by skilful propagandists.” “It seems more plausible,” Ledeen argued, “to attempt to explain their enthusiasm by treating them as believers in the rightness of the fascist cause, which had a coherent ideological appeal to a great many people.” For Ledeen, as for the lifelong fascist theoretician and practitioner, Giuseppe Bottai, that appeal lay in the fact that fascism was “the Revolution of the 20th century.”
  • Ledeen: from his book: War Against the Terror Masters, "Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.
  • Wikipedia Gabrieli D' Annunzio  "D'Annunzio is often seen as a precursor of the ideals and techniques of Italian fascism. His own explicit political ideals emerged in Fiume when he coauthored a constitution with anarcho-syndicalist Alceste de Ambris, the Charter of Carnaro. De Ambris provided the legal and political framework, to which d'Annunzio added his skills as a poet. De Ambris was the leader of a group of Italian seamen who had mutinied and then given their vessel to the service of d'Annunzio. The constitution established a corporatist state, with nine corporations to represent the different sectors of the economy (workers, employers, professionals), and a tenth (d'Annunzio's invention) to represent the "superior" human beings (heroes, poets, prophets, supermen). The Carta also declared that music was the fundamental principle of the state.  It was rather the culture of dictatorship that Benito Mussolini imitated and learned from d'Annunzio; his method of government in Fiume, the economics of the corporate state; stage tricks; large emotive nationalistic public rituals; the Roman salute; rhetorical questions to the crowd; blackshirted followers, the Arditi, with their disciplined, bestial responses and strongarm repression of dissent. (1) D'Annunzio was said to have originated the practice of forcibly dosing opponents with large amounts of castor oil to humiliate, disable or kill them. This practice became a common tool of Mussolini's blackshirts. D'Annunzio advocated an expansionist Italian foreign policy and applauded the invasion of Ethiopia."  and see Ledeen biography of Annunzio  Annunzio: The First Duce
  • "During the Reagan years, he (Ledeen) served as an adviser to Secretary of State Alexander Haig and national security adviser Robert McFarlane, in which capacity he helped arrange meetings between the US government and Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, thus becoming a minor figure in the Iran-Contra saga. These days, according to The Washington Post, he talks frequently with Bush strategy guru Karl Rove. In the current debate over "regime change" in Iran, Ledeen is a major voice for an aggressive US policy to overthrow the mullahs, which he sees as but one small part of his vision of an American-led "global democratic revolution."
  • Zfacts, "The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff .... Ledeen, Abramoff  - Preston Gates & Ellis,  Greenberg Traurig LLP, 
  • Zfacts, "Michael Ledeen, Niger and Iran"
  • Flocco, Tom   Heneghan,  "Agents Say Foley Scandal Tip of Iceberg ...Abramoff operated the sex/ spy ring at the Watergate, Ritz-Carlton and Sheraton hotels in Washington D.C.  ...  sex in return for legislative influence over taxpayer dollars  ...  Karl Rove is linked ...financing of which is directly linked to AIPAC, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Marc Rich and Abramoff  ...   congressional pages subject to sexual contacts by congressmen or other officials linked to the Abramoff poker party hotel sex ring (AIG financing) which has already ensnared convicted former GOP Congressmen Randy "Duke" Cunningham who is currently serving a federal prison sentence.  other search terms: Jeff Gannon (visits to private living quarters of the White House), Tony Blair, Robert Novak, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Roy Blunt, Bill Frist, issue "taken care of" ...  pedophilia, Plame outed because her intelligence team had identified Israeli Mossad operatives inside Iran who were to receive WMD to be delivered through Turkey and planted in Iraq ...did Scott Palmer reveal Kirk Fordham's concerns about Foley to Hastert?  ...  RNC Chairman Tom Reynolds accepted $100,000 from Foley at the same time Republican leaders were deciding how to handle Foley's underage  


Prescott Bush & the Nazis   top
  • Antiwar Islamo-Fascism, The New Bogeyman, Daniel Pipes and the New Inquisition.  
  • Guardian  How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power ...  Rumors of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president
  • The Nation
  • Wikipedia  Prescott Bush  "Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, who had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but who by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. Dealing with Nazi Germany wasn't illegal when Hitler declared war on the US, but, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City." MORE
  • WMR: "The extended clan of George W. Bush includes the family of convicted child molester Mary Kay Letourneau.  George H. W. Bush and John G. Schmitz, Sr. were fellow GOP members of the House of Representatives in 1970. However, the links between Schmitz, a former John Birch Society member who was ousted because of his extremism and who was detested by President Richard Nixon, and the Bushes go beyond sharing right-wing political beliefs. John G. Schmitz, Jr., the attorney son of the late Congressman Schmitz, was deputy counsel to President George H. W. Bush. He refused to testify before Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Judge Lawrence Walsh. Schmitz also clerked for then U.S. Appellate Court Judge Antonin Scalia (CNN Transcripts) from 1983 to 1984. Schmitz's sister is Mary Kay Fualaau (formerly Letourneau), a former elementary school teacher in Washington State who was convicted of two counts of statutory rape of her 13-year old student in 1996. Letourneau gave birth to a daughter. Letourneau later married the student.  The elder Schmitz, the 1972 presidential candidate of the American Independent Party (the party that was later disowned by its 1968 presidential candidate, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace), died in January 2001, the same month George W. Bush was sworn in as President. Like Bush, Schmitz was fond of making Hitler-like salutes. Columnist Michael Barone wrote about Schmitz's presidential candidacy, [Schmitz] "distinguished himself with his direct talk and 'puckishly humorous' wit." Schmitz suggested that he had no problem with Nixon going to China, he just objected to his coming back. Schmitz accused Nixon of being backed by Moscow and Peking. As for Democratic candidate George McGovern, Schmitz accused him of being endorsed by Hanoi and the Manson Family. Schmitz was endorsed by the neo-Nazi Liberty Lobby, a group that promoted Holocaust denial and whose founders had links to George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party. After George Wallace was shot in 1972 by Arthur Herman Bremer, Schmitz condemned Wallace for reverting back to the Democratic Party. It was later discovered that Bremer had strong contacts in Milwaukee with the John Birch Society, a group with which Schmitz had strong links. In 1982, Schmitz, a California state senator, was under investigation by child protective service workers. A 13-month old baby boy, later discovered to have been fathered by Schmitz and his German political science student at Santa Ana College, was found to have had hair tied around his penis to the point the organ was almost severed.  Fellow Congressmen John Schmitz and George H. W. Bush -- familial ties continue to bind them and their neo-Fascist politics.  John G. Schmitz Jr. is married to the sister of Columba Bush, wife of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Letourneau-Fualaau's and John Schmitz Jr.'s brother in Joseph Schmitz, the Defense Department Inspector General under Donald Rumsfeld who helped cover up sexual depravity, including child molestation, in Abu Ghraib and other American concentration camps. Joseph Schmitz also served as an assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese. Joseph Schmitz, an activist with the right-wing Federalist Society and a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, is now General Counsel for the Prince Group, the parent firm of mercenary firm Blackwater USA. The Prince Group is run by Erik Prince, a White House intern for George H. W. Bush. Prince's father, Edgar, was a co-founder of the right-wing Christian Family Research Council (now run by Tony Perkins) with Gary Bauer. Prince's sister, Betsy, a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, is married to Dick DeVos, a wealthy neo-con Republican who is the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. The younger DeVos lost the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial race to Governor Jennifer Granholm."
Spitfirelist  Review of the Brown Brothers Harriman link to the Thyssen family; review of the Thyssen group’s establishment of foreign subsidiaries to mask their assets; the liquidation of the Nazi-linked UBC and how it helped boost the Bush family’s already considerable wealth; an order by President Roosevelt from January of 1944 that is the legal foundation of the plaintiffs’ suit against the Bush family; proof that the Bush family’s disclaimers of knowledge of the Nazi links of their companies are disingenuous.

Hagee uses the term Islamofascist in  alerts to his followers

Index to pages on NewsFollowUp related to Bush tactic to hide neo-con fascist roots.






White House, Bush  "Subcultures of conspiracy and misinformation. Terrorists recruit more effectively from populations whose information about the world is contaminated by falsehoods and corrupted by conspiracy theories. The distortions keep alive grievances and filter out facts that would challenge popular prejudices and self-serving propaganda.  What about Senate Report that says there's no connection between Iraq and al Queda ... is the Senate a conspiracy organization? and also see GOP dirty tricks page

Iraq War Propagandists, Miller, Chalabi, Woolsey


Forged Niger documents...referred to in BUSH war mongering State of the Union speech of by Joe Wilson...leading to Cheney retaliation...leading to  Plame outing..leading to...????

search internet: Harold Rhode, Ledeen, Woolsey, Chalabi, Iraqi National Congress. and Islamic Affairs Advisory to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.  and search: Office of Special Plans, 
Who is Michael Ledeen?
from:  By William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service. Posted May 8, 2003.

From "creative destruction" to "total war," the guiding beliefs of the most aggressive foreign policymakers in the Bush administration may originate in the works of an influential yet rarely seen neoconservative.  Editor's Note: This is a revised and corrected version of this story. The earlier version contained a quote that was erroneously attributed to Michael Ledeen.

Most Americans have never heard of Michael Ledeen, but if the United States ends up in an extended shooting war throughout the Middle East, it will be largely due to his inspiration.

A fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. He is a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. As a consultant working with NSC head Robert McFarlane, he was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair -- an adventure that he documented in the book "Perilous Statecraft: An Insider's Account of the Iran-Contra Affair." His most influential book is last year's "The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We'll Win."

Ledeen's ideas are repeated daily by such figures as Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. His views virtually define the stark departure from American foreign policy philosophy that existed before the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. He basically believes that violence in the service of the spread of democracy is America's manifest destiny. Consequently, he has become the philosophical legitimator of the American occupation of Iraq.

Now Michael Ledeen is calling for regime change beyond Iraq. In an address entitled "Time to Focus on Iran -- The Mother of Modern Terrorism," for the policy forum of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) on April 30, he declared, "the time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon."

With a group of other conservatives, Ledeen recently set up the Center for Democracy in Iran (CDI), an action group focusing on producing regime change in Iran.

Quotes from Ledeen's works reveal a peculiar set of beliefs about American attitudes toward violence. "Change -- above all violent change -- is the essence of human history," he proclaims in his book, "Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago." In an influential essay in the National Review Online he asserts, "Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically ... it is time once again to export the democratic revolution."

Ledeen has become the driving philosophical force behind the neoconservative movement and the military actions it has spawned. His 1996 book, "Freedom Betrayed; How the United States Led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War, and Walked Away," reveals the basic neoconservative obsession: the United States never "won" the Cold War; the Soviet Union collapsed of its own weight without a shot being fired. Had the United States truly won, democratic institutions would be sprouting everywhere the threat of Communism had been rife.

Iraq, Iran and Syria are the first and foremost nations where this should happen, according to Ledeen. The process by which this should be achieved is a violent one, termed "total war," a concept pioneered by the 19th century Prussian general, Karl von Clausewitz in his classic book "On War."

Ledeen's take on this idea is wedded to ideology. In summarizing his book "The War Against the Terror Masters" on the American Enterprise Institute Web site, he writes: "We wage total war because we fight in the name of an idea, and ideas either triumph or fail ... totally." In his reckoning, force is the only reliable strategy to enforce our ideology on our enemies. In the same summary he claims, drawing inspiration from Machiavelli: "We can lead by the force of high moral example ... [but] fear is much more reliable, and lasts longer. Once we show that we are capable of dealing out terrible punishment to our enemies, our power will be far greater."

Consequently, Ledeen has excoriated both the State Department and the United Nations for their preference for diplomatic solutions to conflict; and the CIA for equivocating on evidence that would condemn "America's enemies" and justify militant action.

"No one I know wants to wage war on Iran and Syria, but I believe there is now a clear recognition that we must defend ourselves against them," Ledeen wrote on May 6 in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Though he appears on conservative outlets like the Fox television network, Ledeen has not been singled out for much media attention by the Bush administration, despite his extensive influence in Washington. His views may be perceived as too extreme for most Americans, who prefer to think of the United States as pursuing violence only when attacked and manifesting primarily altruistic goals toward other nations.

Clearly a final decision has not been made on whether the United States will continue military action in Iran, Syria and Lebanon. But Ledeen has a notable track record. He was calling for attacks against Iraq throughout the 1990s, and the U.S. invasion on March 19 was a total fulfillment of his proposals. His attacks against the CIA and the State Department have contributed to the exclusion of these intelligence bodies from any effective decision making on Iraq. His attacks on Iran, even when Iran was assisting the United States, helped keep the Bush administration from seeking any rapprochement with Tehran. Were it in Ledeen's hands, we would invade Iran today.

Given both his fervor and his influence over the men with the guns, Americans should not be surprised if Ledeen's pronouncements come true.

PNS contributor William O. Beeman teaches anthropology and directs Middle East Studies at Brown University. He is author of "Language, Status and Power in Iran," and two forthcoming books: "Double Demons: Cultural Impediments to U.S.-Iranian Understanding," and "Iraq: State in Search of a Nation."

Indictments are coming Posted by: reader at Aug 06, 2005 00:25 Michael Ledeen is now a direct target of the Grand Juries

"August 4, 2005 -- TWO FORMER AIPAC OFFICIALS INDICTED, ADDITIONAL CHARGES AGAINST FRANKLIN, INDICTMENT DISCUSSES A SENIOR FELLOW OF A WASHINGTON, DC THINK TANK" INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY, REPORTEDLY THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE (AEI). The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Paul McNulty announced the indictments of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at a press briefing this afternoon in Alexandria, Virginia. McNulty termed the indictments a "major national security prosecution." Steve Rosen, former AIPAC policy director and Keith Weismann, an Iran analyst for AIPAC, were indicted and further criminal charges were brought against former Pentagon and Defense Intelligence Agency employee Larry Franklin, a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Rosen and Weismann were charged with illegally receiving classified material. Franklin was charged with illegally passing classified information to Rosen."

"The one key sentence in McNulty's press release is the involvement of known and unknown persons to communicate classified information to an agent or representative of a foreign government (Israel). These are referred to in the indictment as Foreign Officials 1, 2, and 3. (FO1, FO-2, FO-3). It is also clear that the FBI had Rosen and Weismann under electronic surveillance since at least 1999. The indictment states that Rosen had passed to an Israeli agent U.S. "code word protected intelligence" concerning terrorist activities in Central Asia in April 1999. In another intercept, Weismann told the same Israeli agent that he had heard that a "Secret FBI, classified FBI report" had been prepared on the Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia. In December 2000, six days before the Supreme Court awarded the presidency of the United States to George W. Bush, Rosen and Weissman met with a "U.S. Government official" (USGO-1). It is unclear whether the official was a member of the Clinton administration. Following the meeting, Rosen gave classified information to a member of the media concerning "classified strategy options against a Middle East country and internal United States government deliberations on those options." In January 2002, Rosen met with another U.S. government official (USGO-2) and received classified information that was sent to other AIPAC employees in a memo. During the next several months, Rosen continued to discuss classified information with USGO-2 and an unnamed Pentagon official, the latter referring Rosen to Franklin. Rosen then established a liaison with Franklin. Rosen told Franklin at a meeting in February 2003 that he would try and secure a job at the National Security Council for Franklin so that he would be "by the elbow of the President." In March 2003, Rosen discussed a classified internal policy document concerning Iran with a "senior fellow of a Washington, DC think tank." Sources familiar with the investigation have reported the think tank is the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In June 2003, Franklin told Weissman that he had a friend in the CIA from whom he could obtain a copy of the classified Iran policy document. In October 2003, Franklin had a meeting with FO3 in which they discussed the fact that work had ceased on the classified Iran policy document.

In July 2004, Franklin began cooperatng with the FBI and passed classified CIA information to Weismann as part of the continuing FBI investigation. Some of the information concerned a "foreign government's covert actions in Iraq." In August 2004, Rosen told Israeli agents that he and Weissman were under FBI investigation over the leaks from the Pentagon. It is important to note that the indictment states that the intelligence operation against the United States was a "conspiracy" involving U.S. government officials, AIPAC officials, and foreign agents (Israelis). The indictment also states that Iran's nuclear program was a primary focus of the espionage conspiracy.

This investigation will continue to investigate the identities of unnamed "agents and representatives." As previously reported here, the AIPAC investigation has dovetailed with the White House CIA leak and the forgeries of the Niger documents. McNulty and Fitzgerald have intersected in their investigations. The senior fellow reference at a Washington think tank, reportedly AEI , and Iran are key. A check of AEI's web site shows Michael Ledeen, Karl Rove's chief foreign policy adviser , and Michael Rubin as the only two advertised resident Iran experts at AEI. It is also noteworthy that Lynne Cheney, the Vice President's wife, occupies a $125,000/year senior fellowship at AEI reportedly funded by Israeli Likud Party sources."

Over 100 mistakes Mr.. President? Posted by: Accountability at Aug 06, 2005 01:45

Everyone please review this, as it is critical to understand the legal definition of fraud as the current Administration is liable. Additionally, This information is critical to building the solid core case to holding hearings immediately. There is no more important duty but this issue.

For the sake of our Democracy, we have to stop this on-going criminal conspiracy immediately; or we will all be subject to further life threatening deception.

Make no mistake, this deception leads nowhere but to death and total tyranny. If no one can hold this deception to account, America will be lost forever. This is unacceptable.


Bush's Uranium Lies: The Case For A Special Prosecutor That Could Lead To Impeachment

by Francis T. Mandanici 

July 2, 2005 Democracy Rising Email this article to a friend Print this article

 Iran: The Next War By James Bamford – Rolling Stone Magazine July, 2006
I. The Israeli Connection

A few blocks off Pennsylvania Avenue, the FBI's eight-story Washington field office exudes all the charm of a maximum-security prison. Its curved roof is made of thick stainless steel, the bottom three floors are wrapped in granite and limestone, hydraulic bollards protect the ramp to the four-floor garage, and bulletproof security booths guard the entrance to the narrow lobby. On the fourth floor, like a tomb within a tomb, lies the most secret room in the $100 million concrete fortress—out-of-bounds even for special agents without an escort. Here, in the Language Services Section, hundreds of linguists in padded earphones sit elbow-to-elbow in long rows, tapping computer keyboards as they eavesdrop on the phone lines of foreign embassies and other high-priority targets in the nation's capital.

At the far end of that room, on the morning of February 12th, 2003, a small group of eavesdroppers were listening intently for evidence of a treacherous crime. At the very moment that American forces were massing for an invasion of Iraq, there were indications that a rogue group of senior Pentagon officials were already conspiring to push the United States into another war—this time with Iran.

A few miles away, FBI agents watched as Larry Franklin, an Iran expert and career employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency, drove up to the Ritz-Carlton hotel across the Potomac from Washington. A trim man of fifty-six, with a tangle of blond hair speckled gray, Franklin had left his modest home in Kearneysville, West Virginia, shortly before dawn that morning to make the eighty-mile commute to his job at the Pentagon. Since 2002, he had been working in the Office of Special Plans, a crowded warren of blue cubicles on the building's fifth floor. A secretive unit responsible for long-term planning and propaganda for the invasion of Iraq, the office's staffers referred to themselves as "the cabal." They reported to Douglas Feith, the third-most-powerful official in the Defense Department, helping to concoct the fraudulent intelligence reports that were driving America to war in Iraq.

Just two weeks before, in his State of the Union address, President Bush had begun laying the groundwork for the invasion, falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had the means to produce tens of thousands of biological and chemical weapons, including anthrax, botulinum toxin, sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. But an attack on Iraq would require something that alarmed Franklin and other neoconservatives almost as much as weapons of mass destruction: detente with Iran. As political columnist David Broder reported in The Washington Post, moderates in the Bush administration were "covertly negotiating for Iran to stay quiet and offer help to refugees when we go into Iraq."

Franklin—a devout neoconservative who had been brought into Feith's office because of his political beliefs—was hoping to undermine those talks. As FBI agents looked on, Franklin entered the restaurant at the Ritz and joined two other Americans who were also looking for ways to push the U.S. into a war with Iran. One was Steven Rosen, one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington. Sixty years old and nearly bald, with dark eyebrows and a seemingly permanent frown, Rosen was director of foreign-policy issues at Israel's powerful lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Seated next to Rosen was AIPAC's Iran expert, Keith Weissman. He and Rosen had been working together closely for a decade to pressure U.S. officials and members of Congress to turn up the heat on Tehran.

Over breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton, Franklin told the two lobbyists about a draft of a top-secret National Security Presidential Directive that dealt with U.S. policy on Iran. Crafted by Michael Rubin, the desk officer for Iraq and Iran in Feith's office, the document called, in essence, for regime change in Iran. In the Pentagon's view, according to one senior official there at the time, Iran was nothing but "a house of cards ready to be pushed over the precipice." So far, though, the White House had rejected the Pentagon's plan, favoring the State Department's more moderate position of diplomacy. Now, unwilling to play by the rules any longer, Franklin was taking the extraordinary—and illegal—step of passing on highly classified information to lobbyists for a foreign state. Unable to win the internal battle over Iran being waged within the administration, a member of Feith's secret unit in the Pentagon was effectively resorting to treason, recruiting AIPAC to use its enormous influence to pressure the president into adopting the draft directive and wage war against Iran.

It was a role that AIPAC was eager to play. Rosen, recognizing that Franklin could serve as a useful spy, immediately began plotting ways to plant him in the White House—specifically in the National Security Council, the epicenter of intelligence and national-security policy. By working there, Rosen told Franklin a few days later, he would be "by the elbow of the president."

Knowing that such a maneuver was well within AIPAC's capabilities, Franklin asked Rosen to "put in a good word" for him. Rosen agreed. "I'll do what I can," he said, adding that the breakfast meeting had been a real "eye-opener."

Working together, the two men hoped to sell the United States on yet another bloody war. A few miles away, digital recorders at the FBI's Language Services Section captured every word.

II. The Guru and the Exile

In recent weeks, the attacks by Hezbollah on Israel have given neoconservatives in the Bush administration the pretext they were seeking to launch what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls "World War III." Denouncing the bombings as "Iran's proxy war," William Kristol of The Weekly Standard is urging the Pentagon to counter "this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities." According to Joseph Cirincione, an arms expert and the author of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, "The neoconservatives are now hoping to use the Israeli-Lebanon conflict as the trigger to launch a U.S. war against Syria, Iran or both."

But the Bush administration's hostility toward Iran is not simply an outgrowth of the current crisis. War with Iran has been in the works for the past five years, shaped in almost complete secrecy by a small group of senior Pentagon officials attached to the Office of Special Plans. The man who created the OSP was Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy. A former Middle East specialist on the National Security Council in the Reagan administration, Feith had long urged Israel to secure its borders in the Middle East by attacking Iraq and Iran. After Bush's election, Feith went to work to make that vision a reality, putting together a team of neoconservative hawks determined to drive the U.S. to attack Tehran. Before Bush had been in office a year, Feith's team had arranged a covert meeting in Rome with a group of Iranians to discuss their clandestine help.

The meeting was arranged by Michael Ledeen, a member of the cabal brought aboard by Feith because of his connections in Iran. Described by The Jerusalem Post as "Washington's neoconservative guru," Ledeen grew up in California during the 1940s. His father designed the air-conditioning system for Walt Disney Studios, and Ledeen spent much of his early life surrounded by a world of fantasy. "All through my childhood we were an adjunct of the Disney universe," he once recalled. "According to family legend, my mother was the model for Snow White, and we have a picture of her that does indeed look just like the movie character."

In 1977, after earning a Ph.D. in history and philosophy and teaching in Rome for two years, Ledeen became the first executive director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a pro-Israel pressure group that served as a flagship of the neoconservative movement. A few years later, after Reagan was elected, Ledeen had become prominent enough to earn a spot as a consultant to the National Security Council alongside Feith. There he played a central role in the worst scandal of Reagan's presidency: the covert deal to provide arms to Iran in exchange for American hostages being held in Lebanon. Ledeen served as the administration's intermediary with Israel in the illegal-arms deal. In 1985, he met with Manucher Ghorbanifar, a one-time Iranian carpet salesman who was widely believed to be an Israeli agent. The CIA considered Ghorbanifar a dangerous con man and had issued a "burn notice" recommending that no U.S. agency have any dealings with him. Unfazed, Ledeen called Ghorbanifar "one of the most honest, educated, honorable men I have ever known." The two men brokered the arms exchange—a transaction that would result in the indictment of fourteen senior officials in the Reagan administration.

"It was awful—you know, bad things happened," Ledeen says now. "When Iran-Contra was over, I said, ?Boy, I'm never going to touch Iran again.' "

But in 2001, soon after he arrived at the Pentagon, Ledeen once again met with Ghorbanifar. This time, instead of selling missiles to the Iranian regime, the two men were exploring how best to topple it.

"The meeting in Rome came about because my friend Manucher Ghorbanifar called me up," Ledeen says. Stout and balding, with a scruffy white beard, Ledeen is sitting in the living room of his white-brick home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, smoking a Dominican cigar. His Airedale terrier, Thurber, roams the room protectively. In his first extensive interview about the covert Pentagon operation, Ledeen makes no secret of his desire to topple the government in Tehran. "I want to bring down the regime," he says. "I want the regime gone. It's a country that is fanatically devoted to our destruction."

When Ghorbanifar called Ledeen in the fall of 2001, he claimed, as he often does, to have explosive intelligence that was vital to U.S. interests. "There are Iranians who have firsthand information about Iranian plans to kill Americans in Afghanistan," he told Ledeen. "Does anyone want to hear about it?"

Ledeen took the information to Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser at the White House. "I know you're going to throw me out of the office," Ledeen told him, "and if I were you I would throw me out of the office too. But I promised that I would give you this option. Ghorbanifar has called me. He said these people are willing to come. Do you want anybody to go and talk to them?"

Hadley was interested. So was Zalmay Khalilzad, then the point man on Near East issues for the National Security Council and now the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad. "I think we have to do this, we have to hear this," Hadley said. Ledeen had the green light: As he puts it, "Every element of the American government knew this was going to happen in advance."

III. The Meeting in Rome

Weeks later, in December, a plane carrying Ledeen traveled to Rome with two other members of Feith's secret Pentagon unit: Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode, a protégé of Ledeen who has been called the "theoretician of the neocon movement." A specialist on Islam who speaks Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Farsi, Rhode had experience with shady exiles like Ghorbanifar: He was close to Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi dissident whose discredited intelligence helped drive the Bush administration to invade Baghdad. According to UPI, Rhode himself was later observed by CIA operatives passing "mind-boggling" intelligence to Israel, including sensitive information about U.S. military deployments in Iraq.

Completing the rogues' gallery that assembled in Rome that day was the man who helped Ledeen arrange the meeting: Nicolò Pollari, the director of Italy's military intelligence. Only two months earlier, Pollari had informed the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had obtained uranium from West Africa—a key piece of false intelligence that Bush used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

To hide the shadowy rendezvous in Rome, Pollari provided a well-protected safe house near the noisy espresso bars and busy trattorias that surround the Piazza di Spagna in central Rome. "It was in a private apartment," Ledeen recalls. "It was fucking freezing—it was unheated." The Pentagon operatives and the men from Iran sat at a dining-room table strewn with demitasse cups of blackish coffee, ashtrays littered with crushed cigarette butts and detailed maps of Iran, Iraq and Syria. "They gave us information about the location and plans of Iranian terrorists who were going to kill Americans," Ledeen says.

Ledeen insists the intelligence was on the mark. "It was true," he says. "The information was accurate." Not according to his boss. "There wasn't anything there that was of substance or of value that needed to be pursued further," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld later conceded. "It went nowhere."

The men then turned their attention to their larger goal: regime change in Iran. Ghorbanifar suggested funding the overthrow of the Iranian government using hundreds of millions of dollars in cash supposedly hidden by Saddam Hussein. He even hinted that Saddam was hiding in Iran.

Ledeen, Franklin and Rhode were taking a page from Feith's playbook on Iraq: They needed a front group of exiles and dissidents to call for the overthrow of Iran. According to sources familiar with the meeting, the Americans discussed joining forces with the Mujahedin-e Khalq, an anti-Iranian guerrilla army operating out of Iraq.

There was only one small problem: The MEK had been certified by the State Department as a terrorist organization. In fact, the White House was in the midst of negotiations with Tehran, which was offering to extradite five members of Al Qaeda thought to be of high intelligence value in return for Washington's promise to drop all support for the MEK.

Ledeen denies any dealings with the group. "I wouldn't get within a hundred miles of the MEK," he says. "They have no following, no legitimacy." But neoconservatives were eager to undermine any deal that involved cooperating with Iran. To the neocons, the value of the MEK as a weapon against Tehran greatly outweighed any benefit that might be derived from interrogating the Al Qaeda operatives—even though they might provide intelligence on future terrorist attacks, as well as clues to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.

Ledeen and his Pentagon cabal were not the only American officials to whom Ghorbanifar tried to funnel false intelligence on Iran. Last year, Rep. Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania, claimed he had intelligence—from an "impeccable clandestine source" he code-named "Ali"—that the Iranian government was plotting to launch attacks against the United States. But when the CIA investigated the allegations, it turned out that Ali was Fereidoun Mahdavi, an Iranian exile who was serving as a frontman for Ghorbanifar and trying to shake down the CIA for $150,000. "He is a fabricator," said Bill Murray, the former CIA station chief in Paris. Weldon was furious: The agency had dismissed Ali, he insisted, "because they want to avoid, at all costs, drawing the United States into a war with Iran."

After the Rome rendezvous, Ledeen and Ghorbanifar continued to meet several times a year, often for a day or two at a time. Rhode also met with Ghorbanifar in Paris, and the Iranian phoned or faxed his Pentagon contacts almost every day. At one point Ledeen notified the Pentagon that Ghorbanifar knew of highly enriched uranium being moved from Iraq to Iran. At another point, in 2003, he claimed that Tehran was only a few months away from exploding a nuclear bomb—even though international experts estimate that Iran is years away from developing nuclear weapons. But the accuracy of the reports wasn't important—what mattered was their value in drumming up support for war. It was Iraq all over again.

IV. On the Trail of Mr. X

Such covert efforts by Feith's team in the Pentagon started to have the desired effect. In November 2003, Rumsfeld approved a plan known as CONPLAN 8022-02, which for the first time established a pre-emptive-strike capability against Iran. That was followed in 2004 by a top-secret "Interim Global Strike Alert Order" that put the military on a state of readiness to launch an airborne and missile attack against Iran, should Bush issue the command. "We're now at the point where we are essentially on alert," said Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the 8th Air Force. "We have the capacity to plan and execute global strikes in half a day or less."

But as the Pentagon moved the country closer to war with Iran, the FBI was expanding its investigation of AIPAC and its role in the plot. David Szady, then the bureau's top spy-catcher, had become convinced that at least one American citizen working inside the U.S. government was spying for Israel. "It's no longer just our traditional adversaries who want to steal our secrets, but sometimes even our allies," Szady declared. "The threat is incredibly serious." To locate the spy sometimes referred to as Mr. X, agents working for Szady began focusing on a small group of neoconservatives in the Pentagon—including Feith, Ledeen and Rhode.

The FBI also had its sights on Larry Franklin, who continued to hold clandestine meetings with Rosen at AIPAC. Apparently nervous that the FBI might be on to them, the two men started taking precautions. On March 10th, 2003, barely a week before the invasion of Iraq, Rosen met Franklin in Washington's cavernous Union Station. The pair met at one restaurant, then they hustled to another, and finally they ended up in a third—this one totally empty. As an added precaution, Franklin also began sending faxes to Rosen's home instead of to his AIPAC offices.

A few days later, Rosen and Weissman passed on to Israeli-embassy officials details about the draft of the top-secret presidential directive on Iran, saying they had received the document from a "friend of ours in the Pentagon." They also relayed to the Israelis details about internal Bush-administration discussions on Iran. Then, two days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Rosen leaked the information to the press with the comment "I'm not supposed to know this." The Washington Post eventually published the story under the headline "Pressure Builds for President to Declare Strategy on Iran," crediting the classified information to "well-placed sources." The story mentioned Ledeen, who helped found the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, a pressure group dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian government, but gave no indication that the leak had come from someone with a definite agenda for planting the information.

That June, Weissman called Franklin and left a message that he and Rosen wanted to meet with him again and talk about "our favorite country." The meeting took place in the Tivoli Restaurant, a dimly lit establishment two floors above the metro station in Arlington that was frequently used by intelligence types for quiet rendezvous. Over lunch in the mirrored dining room, the three men discussed the Post article, and Rosen acknowledged "the constraints" Franklin was under to meet with them. But the Pentagon official placed himself fully at AIPAC's disposal. "You set the agenda," Franklin told Rosen.

In addition to meeting Rosen and Weissman, Franklin was also getting together regularly with Naor Gilon, an Israeli embassy official who, according to a senior U.S. counterintelligence official, "showed every sign of being an intelligence agent." Franklin and Gilon would normally meet amid the weight machines and punching bags at the Pentagon Officers Athletic Club, where Franklin passed along secret information regarding Iran's activities in Iraq, its missile-testing program and even, apparently, New York Times reporter Judith Miller. At one point, Gilon suggested that Franklin meet with Uzi Arad, Mossad's former director of intelligence and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign-policy adviser. A week later, Franklin had lunch in the Pentagon cafeteria with the former top Israeli spy.

V. Iran's Double Agent

Larry Franklin, it turns out, wasn't the only person involved in the Pentagon's covert operation who was exchanging state secrets with other governments. As the FBI monitored Franklin and his clandestine dealings with AIPAC, it was also investigating another explosive case of espionage linked to Feith's office and Iran. This one focused on Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, the militant anti-Saddam opposition group that had worked for more than a decade to pressure the U.S. into invading Iraq.

For years, the National Security Agency had possessed the codes used by Iran to encrypt its diplomatic messages, enabling the U.S. government to eavesdrop on virtually every communication between Tehran and its embassies. After the U.S. invaded Baghdad, the NSA used the codes to listen in on details of Iran's covert operations inside Iraq. But in 2004, the agency intercepted a series of urgent messages from the Iranian embassy in Baghdad. Intelligence officials at the embassy had discovered the massive security breach—tipped off by someone familiar with the U.S. code-breaking operation.

The blow to intelligence-gathering could not have come at a worse time. The Bush administration suspected that the Shiite government in Iran was aiding Shiite insurgents in Iraq, who were killing U.S. soldiers. The administration was also worried that Tehran was secretly developing nuclear weapons. Now, crucial intelligence that might have shed light on those operations had been cut off, potentially endangering American lives.

On May 20th, shortly after the discovery of the leak, Iraqi police backed by American soldiers raided Chalabi's home and offices in Baghdad. The FBI suspected that Chalabi, a Shiite who had a luxurious villa in Tehran and was close to senior Iranian officials, was actually working as a spy for the Shiite government of Iran. Getting the U.S. to invade Iraq was apparently part of a plan to install a pro-Iranian Shiite government in Baghdad, with Chalabi in charge. The bureau also suspected that Chalabi's intelligence chief had furnished Iran with highly classified information on U.S. troop movements, top-secret communications, plans of the provisional government and other closely guarded material on U.S. operations in Iraq. On the night of the raid, The CBS Evening News carried an exclusive report by correspondent Lesley Stahl that the U.S. government had "rock-solid" evidence that Chalabi had been passing extremely sensitive intelligence to Iran—evidence so sensitive that it could "get Americans killed."

The revelation shocked Franklin and other members of Feith's office. If true, the allegations meant that they had just launched a war to put into power an agent of their mortal enemy, Iran. Their man—the dissident leader who sat behind the first lady in the president's box during the State of the Union address in which Bush prepared the country for war—appeared to have been working for Iran all along.

Franklin needed to control the damage, and fast. He was one of the very few in the government who knew that it was the NSA code-breaking information that Chalabi was suspected of passing to Iran, and that there was absolute proof that Chalabi had met with a covert Iranian agent involved in operations against the U.S. To protect those in the Pentagon working for regime change in Tehran, Franklin needed to get out a simple message: We didn't know about Chalabi's secret dealings with Iran.

Franklin decided to leak the information to a friendly contact in the media: Adam Ciralsky, a CBS producer who had been fired from the CIA, allegedly for his close ties to Israel. On May 21st, the day after CBS broadcast its exclusive report on Chalabi, Franklin phoned Ciralsky and fed him the information. As the two men talked, eavesdroppers at the FBI's Washington field office recorded the conversation.

That night, Stahl followed up her original report with "new details"—the information leaked earlier that day by Franklin. She began, however, by making clear that she would not divulge the most explosive detail of all: the fact that Chalabi had wrecked the NSA's ability to eavesdrop on Iran. "Senior intelligence officials were stressing today that the information Ahmed Chalabi is alleged to have passed on to Iran is so seriously sensitive that the result of full disclosure would be highly damaging to U.S. security," Stahl said. "Because of that, we are not reporting the details of what exactly Chalabi is said to have compromised, at the request of U.S. officials at the highest levels. The information involves secrets that were held by only a handful of very senior intelligence officials." Thanks to the pressure from the administration, the public was prevented from learning the most damaging aspect of Chalabi's treachery.

Then Stahl moved on to Franklin's central message. "Meanwhile," she said, "we have been told that grave concerns about the true nature of Chalabi's relationship with Iran started after the U.S. obtained, quote, ?undeniable intelligence' that Chalabi met with a senior Iranian intelligence officer, a, quote, ?nefarious figure from the dark side of the regime, an individual with a direct hand in covert operations against the United States.' Chalabi never reported this meeting to anyone in the U.S. government, including his friends and sponsors." In short, the Pentagon—and Feith's office in particular—was blameless.

VI. The Cabal's Triumph

Soon after the broadcast, David Szady's team at the FBI decided to wrap up its investigation before Franklin leaked any more information. Agents quietly confronted Franklin with the taped phone call and pressured him to cooperate in a sting operation directed at AIPAC and members of Feith's team in the Pentagon. Franklin, facing a long prison sentence, agreed. On August 4th, 2005, Rosen and Weissman were indicted, and on January 20th, 2006, Franklin, who had earlier pleaded guilty, was sentenced to twelve years and seven months in prison. In an attempt to reduce his sentence, he agreed to testify against the former AIPAC officials. The case is set to go to trial this fall.

So far, however, Franklin is the only member of Feith's team to face charges. The continuing lack of indictments demonstrates how frighteningly easy it is for a small group of government officials to join forces with agents of foreign powers—whether it is AIPAC or the MEK or the INC—to sell the country on a disastrous war.

The most glaring unindicted co-conspirator is Ahmed Chalabi. Even top-ranking Republicans suspect him of double dealing: "I wouldn't be surprised if he told Iranians facts, issues, whatever, that we did not want them to know," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., who chairs the House subcommittee on national security. Yet the FBI has been unable to so much as question Chalabi as part of its ongoing espionage case. Last November, when Chalabi returned to the United States for a series of speeches and media events, the FBI tried to interview him. But because he was under State Department protection during his visit, sources in the Justice Department say, the bureau's request was flatly denied.

"Chalabi's running around saying, ?I have nothing to hide,' " says one senior FBI official. "Yet he's using our State Department to keep us from him at the same time. And we've got to keep our mouth shut."

In the end, the work of Franklin and the other members of Feith's secret office had the desired effect. Working behind the scenes, the members of the Office of Special Plans succeeded in setting the United States on the path to all-out war with Iran. Indeed, since Bush was re-elected to a second term, he has made no secret of his desire to see Tehran fall. In a victory speech of sorts on Inauguration Day in January 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney warned bluntly that Iran was "right at the top" of the administration's list of "trouble spots"—and that Israel "might well decide to act first" by attacking Iran. The Israelis, Cheney added in an obvious swipe at moderates in the State Department, would "let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterward."

Over the past six months, the administration has adopted almost all of the hard-line stance advocated by the war cabal in the Pentagon. In May, Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, appeared before AIPAC's annual conference and warned that Iran "must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences." To back up the tough talk, the State Department is spending $66 million to promote political change inside Iran—funding the same kind of dissident groups that helped drive the U.S. to war in Iraq. "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared.

In addition, the State Department recently beefed up its Iran Desk from two people to ten, hired more Farsi speakers and set up eight intelligence units in foreign countries to focus on Iran. The administration's National Security Strategy—the official policy document that sets out U.S. strategic priorities—now calls Iran the "single country" that most threatens U.S. interests.

The shift in official policy has thrilled former members of the cabal. To them, the war in Lebanon represents the final step in their plan to turn Iran into the next Iraq. Ledeen, writing in the National Review on July 13th, could hardly restrain himself. "Faster, please," he urged the White House, arguing that the war should now be taken over by the U.S. military and expanded across the entire region. "The only way we are going to win this war is to bring down those regimes in Tehran and Damascus, and they are not going to fall as a result of fighting between their terrorist proxies in Gaza and Lebanon on the one hand, and Israel on the other. Only the United States can accomplish it," he concluded. "There is no other way."


National Review Online, September 29, 2003  and local copy of article