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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

In the post below, I translated the latest article by Carlo Bonini and Giusepe D'Avanzo in La Repubblica.

This article was mentioned by Kevin Drum. Drum links to another translation.

It might be the effort of translating, but after starting out with great enthusiasm, I am underwhelmed. The article discusses a meeting in Rome where two high ranking Pentagon officials Lawrence Franklin and Harold Rhode met with SISMI officials, Iraqi exiles and alleged Iranian exiles. The main revelation is that the director of SISMI, Niccolo' Pollari, strongly suggests that the Iranian exiles were, in fact, Iranian agents, since they were able to enter and exit Iran using their authentic passports without difficulty.

Pollari is trying to shift a maximum of blame to other people. In this case the Italian defence minister Antonio Martino. Now the meeting did include an exile from Iran, the notorious Manuchir Ghorbanifar of Iran Contra fame. Other exiles who lived in Teheran and travelled without difficulty were, of course, Iraqi exiles in Iran. I'd say that the implied claim that Bush administration officials were collaberating with Iranian intelligence officers is not proven. Specific information which would prove such a link is consistent with Pollari's claims, and I doubt that he is simply lying. However, it would be easy for him to say what he is quoted as saying without lying even if there was no evidence that agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran were at the meeting.

Anyway, I hope he's right, because that would mean that Michael Ledeen was at least working with Iranian spys. This would tend to support a claim that I made (as a joke) that Ledeen is an Iranian spy.

Bonini and D'Avanzo also have a source in SISMI. They only give the teaser for what they might have learned from this guy which will be repeated in their next article.

Finally they have a source in the USA. This source doesn't seem to have any specific info and is probably eager to talk to them as no US reporters have time for him (or her).

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