Remember the disinformation peddled by NBC news -- the story that Iran has supplied the Iraq insurgents with sophisticated new bombs? I registered my skepticism
yesterday. That skepticism has been authoritatively confirmed by Juan Cole in his latest column
Do you notice how there are 250,000 tons of missing munitions in Iraq, such that it is not necessary for the Baath military intelligence to import very many from elsewhere?
Damn straight. I should have made that point myself.
Jerome a Paris on Daily Kos has a fine run-down
on the administration's attempts to foment a new war with Iran.
So far, we're missing one key element: The personal touch. The right-wing propaganda machine has yet to direct a great deal of personal invective toward the Iranian president -- the (ulp!) elected
president -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Conservatives love to demonize. When the Murdochian hordes tell us the Ahmadinejad eats babies, when the tabloids "reveal" that he wears a dress, then you'll know
that war is nigh.
By the way, my previous discussion
on the forthcoming war with Iran elicited some intriguing discussion points. The Dark Wraith's analysis of neocon plans are surely worth reading (start here
), even though I must repeat my fuddy-duddy unease with "cute" internet nicknames.
Unlike Mr. Wraith, I do not count out the possibility that the AIPAC scandal will link up with the Plame/Rove affair. Just such a linkage is a subtext of this
Justin Raimondo column which cites a UPI story (yes, I know
who owns UPI) as follows:
Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.
"According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, were the two Cheney employees. 'We believe that Hannah was the major player in this,' one federal law-enforcement officer said...
Hannah was the director for Washington Institute for Near East Policy -- euphoniously acronymed WINEP -- a think tank linked at the hip with AIPAC.
I have already taken note of this remarkable piece
by Clayton Hallmark, which delves deeper into the role played by Italian wheeler-dealer Rocco Martino in the peddling of the Niger forgeries. (Josh Marshall was, I believe, the first to uncover Martino's part in this sorry matter.) The fakery -- and the forthcoming Iraq war -- were, according to Hallmark, discussed at a key meeting in Rome, held in December of 2001. Participants included:
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.
Hallmark names the man he considers the likely actual forger: Francesco Pazienza, a long-time friend to Ledeen. A former SISMI spook (kicked out for criminal activity), Pazienza became a major player in P2, described by Hallmark as an underground intelligence agency.
Which is true enough. But P2 is much more -- it's a secret society devoted to the resurgence of fascism. P2 was founded by Licio Gelli, a former Mussolini "black shirt" who later functioned as an SS liaison officer.
If Hallmark's report is accurate (and at this point, I must withhold final judgment), then AIPAC has hopped into bed with a partner that would disgust most American Jews.