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How the NeoCons Cut Their Teeth

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Lying, massive fraud, illegal weapons smuggling, forged documents . . . all sound like a description of the lead-up to the war in Iraq. However, this same situation existed in the late 1970s. Some of the same players who got this nation into the bloody quagmire of Iraq also criminally conspired to bring down the administration of President Jimmy Carter. President Carter's indignation about the neo-cons -- their blind support for Israel, their whittling away of our Constitution, our neo-con foreign policy -- is rooted in the treason they committed against the United States during his administration. There is no statute of limitations on treason and the neo-cons should face double barrel treason charges from incidents a generation apart.

The neo-con attacks on President Carter were planned in the office of the late Democratic Senator from Washington, Henry "Scoop" Jackson. Jackson was the Joe Lieberman of his day -- more concerned about representing the interests of a defense contractor, Boeing (Lieberman represents the interests of General Dynamics), and the expansionists and military-intelligence complex of Israel (as does Lieberman), than in doing what was best for America. Jackson's treason against the United States is honored today in Britain, where the Henry Jackson Society pushes the neo-con agenda in the British Parliament and media. Jackson, his chief assistant, Richard Perle, and foreign and defense policy aides Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams, as well as unofficial Jackson adviser Paul Wolfowitz, did everything possible to derail U.S.-Soviet detente and arms limitation treaties, including the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II).

Jackson and Perle helped initiate sanctions against the USSR, at the expense of American farmers, with the help of Ohio Democratic Rep. Charles Vanik (the Jackson-Vanik sanctions act). Jackson's Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) was the "Democratic Leadership Council" of its time. CDM worked tirelessly to damage President Carter and among its ranks were, in addition to Jackson, Texas Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Oklahoma Senator David Boren, Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Ben Wattenberg, Irving Kristol, Max Kampelman, Richard Pipes, John Roche, Samuel Huntington, and James Woolsey. In 1976, the CDM helped form the Committee on the Present Danger, reactivated in 2004 by Lieberman, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl, Laurie Mylroie, Norman Podhoretz, Frank Gaffney, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Boeing, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

The treason committed by these neo-cons against the Carter administration centered on machinations in Rome (Rome was also at the center of the later conspiracy to drive the United States into war in Iraq). Arch neo-con and foreign policy adviser to Karl Rove, Michael Ledeen, served as the Rome correspondent for The New Republic from 1975 to 1977 and a journalist for the right-wing Milan newspaper Il Giornale. In Rome, Ledeen cultivated close ties with neo-fascist groups.

Jackson's and his staffs' first documented case of treason against the United States concerned the leak to Jackson and Perle in 1978 of a Top Secret CIA report on the SALT talks by CIA nuclear weapons analyst Daniel S. Sullivan. Sullivan, believing the Soviets deceived the U.S. in the SALT talks, took it upon himself to pass Top Secret information to Jackson and his band of neo-cons. However, rather than being prosecuted, Sullivan was permitted to resign due to "insubordination" and not for illegally passing classified information to unauthorized persons. Sullivan later joined the staff of Senator Bentsen and received another Top Secret clearance as a member of Bentsen's staff.

However, the leak of the Top Secret SALT CIA document to Jackson may not have been the only leak to have taken place. In February 2005, the Everett (WA) Herald reported that five federal agents from the Departments of Defense and Energy removed several documents from the archived papers of Jackson housed at the University of Washington's Suzzallo-Allen Library. The seized documents were re-classified by the government. The retention by Jackson and his staff of top secret documents is reminiscent of the Larry Franklin-AIPAC case, in which Franklin, opposed to U.S. policy on Iran, passed a number of classified CIA documents to AIPAC and the Israeli embassy's Mossad station in Washington.

Rather than being treated as the traitor he was, Jackson is today lauded by Democrats of various political stripes. His ideological descendants are at the core of the Republican pre-emptive strike foreign policy construct.

In 1976, two years after Secretary of State Henry Kissinger threatened then-Italian Foreign Minister Aldo Moro about forming a coalition with the Communists, Jackson, on a trip to Italy, issued a similar warning to Moro. In Phillip Willan's Puppetmasters, Moro's widow recounted Kissinger's warning, which was undoubtedly echoed by Jackson: "You must abandon your policy of bringing all the political forces in your country into direct collaboration . . . or you will pay dearly for it." Moro was kidnapped for 55 days by the so-called Red Brigades, who were later found to be in the service of Italian fascists, Italian intelligence, the P-2 Masonic Lodge, a parallel SID [Italian Defense Intelligence Service], and the CIA. Some of these same elements would be behind the infamous Niger yellowcake forgeries used by the neo-cons to prove the case for war against Iraq.

The same neo-con network would transform Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II, from a right-wing member of the Turkish Gray Wolves to a Communist in the employ of the KGB and Bulgarian intelligence. The Judith Miller-like journalist in those days who spun the story about Agca's Soviet Bloc connections was Claire Sterling, whose disinformation was quickly picked up by The Reader's Digest, New York Times, NBC News, and other mainstream media outlets. Sterling's fellow disinformation journalist was Ledeen.

Agca told a fantasy story about his orders to kill the Pope coming from a Bulgarian "control officer" and that he had also been involved in a plot to kill Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, and Malta's Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. In fact, there was a plot to overthrow and possibly kill Mintoff, Allende-style, but it was being crafted by U.S. Navy intelligence in conjunction with the neo-fascist and renegade Italian intelligence elements in Rome. The U.S. Navy wanted to overthrow Mintoff to gain access to its former NATO base on the island nation off the Libyan coast. Bourguiba was not popular with the neo-cons because he allowed Yasir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization to maintain its headquarters-in-exile in Tunis.

The Turkish Gray Wolves and the pan-Turkic National Action Party (NAP) made common cause with the neo-cons and their Israeli friends. The Wolves and the NAP considered the peoples of Soviet Central Asia to be "captive Turks." The Turkish right-wing nationalists foresaw a nuclear-armed Turkey extending from Thrace to the central Asian steppes. The anti-Soviet concordat between the Turkish right (and the Turkish intelligence agency MIT) and the neo-cons in America, Israel, and Italy would later serve as a basis for the political alliance between AIPAC and the American Turkish Council.

Ledeen operated a right-wing cell in Rome that included Francesco Pazienza, an Italian businessman linked to P-2, Italian SISMI military intelligence chief General Giuseppe Santovito, and the mafia; P-2 "Venerable Master" Licio Gelli; and Banco Ambrosiano chief Roberto Calvi (later murdered Masonic ritual-style in London on Blackfriar's Bridge). Ledeen provided a conduit between this group and Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

In an attempt to embarrass President Carter during the 1980 presidential race, Santovito, Pazienza, and Ledeen conspired to entrap Bill Carter, the president's brother, into a business relationship with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. La Repubblica reported on the Italian investigation into the conspiracy:

"The scandalous material was gathered mostly by Pazienza and by his American friend Michael Ledeen . . . Pazienza availed himself of SISMI both for the use of some secret agents and for the expenses of organizing the scandalous plan. It seems that the organizers got a huge payoff for "Billygate." Moreover, Santovito and Pazienza got great advantage in return from American officials, in fact, may have been helped in other obscure affairs. The "Billygate" operation did not come from SISMI's institutionally mandated task, and for that reason Judge Sica brought charges of pursuing private interests through official activities." [Translated in Diana Johnstone, "The Ledeen Connection," In These Times, Sept. 8-14, 1982].

Rather than being charged and prosecuted for treason against the United States, Ledeen was rewarded with a consulting job for the State Department and Pentagon in the Reagan administration, a position from which he was free to continue his anti-American activities with fellow traitors from the Henry Jackson staff.

While the traitors in the Washington office of Jackson and Ledeen in Rome were conspiring against President Carter, George H. W. Bush, Carter National Security Council staffer Robert Gates, and William Casey criminally conspired with the Ayatollah Khomeini's government to keep 52 hostages held in Tehran captive in return for a shipment of weapons. A meeting between Casey, Gates, and Bush and Iranian agents was held in Paris on October 19, 1980, in what became known as the "October Surprise."

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