The Italian newspaper La Repubblica chronicles how meetings in Rome between Pentagon/Office of Special Plans neoconservatives and secretly pro-Iranian "Iranian exile" groups precipitated the invasion of Iraq:
quote:The story of Italian military intervention in Iraq begins [in late 2001] when the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Ledeen, sponsored by Defense Minister Antonio Martin, debarks in Rome with Pentagon men in tow to meet a handful of “Iranian exiles.” The meeting is organized by SISMI in an agency “safe house” near Piazza di Spagna (however other sources told us it was a reserved room in the Parco dei Principi Hotel).
Twenty men are gathered around a large table, covered by maps of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Those who count are Lawrence Franklin and Harold Rhode of the Office of Special Plans, Michael Ledeen of the AIE, a SISMI station chief accompanied by his assistant (the first is a balding man between 46 and 48 years of age; the second is younger, around 38, with braces on his teeth), and some mysterious Iranians.
Pollari confirms the meeting to La Repubblica: "When [Antonio Martin] asked me to organize the meeting, I became curious. But it was my job and I wasn’t born yesterday. It’s true — my men were also present at the meeting. I wanted to know what was boiling in the pot. It's also true that there were maps of Iraq and Iran on the table. I can tell you those Iranians were not exactly 'exiles'. The went and came from Tehran with their passports with no difficulty whatsoever as if they were transparent to the Pasdaran [the Iranian Revolutionary Guard]."
The bogus Italian dossier on the Niger uranium turns up [at the meeting] also — and we don’t know exactly why — because Chalabi is in possession of it.
Ahmed Chelabi and his right-hand men, Karim and Brooke, travel with the Pentagon and American Enterprise Institute teams. Here’s an example: The three men who alternate in 2004 in Baghdad at Chelabi’s side as “liaison officer” with the Pentagon are Michael Rubin, Chairman of the American Enterprise Institute; Harold Rhode, aide to Douglas Feith at the Office of Special Plans and “Islamic Affairs Advisor” to Paul Wolfowitz. They were already serving in this capacity on the eve of the invasion.
The meeting called in Rome assembles the representatives of all the teams: Michael A. Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode of the Office of Special Plans, the colonels of the Iraqi National Congress and in addition, the Iraqi Shi’ites of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and of course, the Guardians of the Revolution. All these actors gathered in Rome. Wouldn’t you say that’s interesting?
Abdalaziz al-Hakim, the chief of the military wing of the Badr Brigades on a visit to Washington, hands over to US officials an Iranian intelligence document showing that the dictator[Saddam Hussein] has ordered regional commanders to use chemical and biological weapons against the Shi’ite resistance should the Americans invade.
Manusher Ghorbanifar says he has a London source who is able, it appears, to identify where in Baghdad Saddam’s stockpile of enriched uranium is located. Ledeen then embellishes the tale by adding that Ghorbanifar’s contact knows of an effort by Iran to acquire uranium and that radiation emitted from Saddam's stockpile of radioactive material has contaminated a few Iraqi technicians, whose identity was known to him.
After some back-and-forth between the CIA and the Pentagon, Ghorbanifar’s London source is brought to Baghdad at the expense of the Agency to assist in the identificatoon of the site where the uranium has been stockpiled. After leading the men of Langley on a wild goose chase, the source demands $50 thousand to refresh his memory on just who in Baghdad would be in a position to help in the search. Naturally, the buffoon is dismissed with a kick in the pants.
When the history books about the Iraq war are written, it will be remembered as the brilliant scheme by Iranian intelligence to manipulate gullible neoconservatives in the Bush Administration with bogus WMD evidence from Iranian intelligence assets like Ahmed Chalabi posing as "Iranian exiles" in order to bring about the creation of a pro-Iran Shiite satellite state in Iraq at the cost of American blood, toil, tears, and sweat.