Crackpot Realist manqué (part two)


Dame Pauline Neville-Jones’ proximity to the milieu described in the previous section, particularly in her role in organising the Intelligence Summit, begs several questions: but there will be no answers.  Her entry into government was preceded by her ubiquity in the UK media together with various positions of responsibility, many of which intertwined in conflicts of interest—why is she slotted into these positions, what talent has she displayed? Examination of her position as chair of ‘scandal-ridden’ (meaning exculpated by officialdom)  Qinetiq and its relation to her intervention in the reporting of the war was repeatedly made unmanifest, replaced by appearances on the more show-biz versions of politics where she gained the upper hand of distraction.  What was her peculiar role in planning the removal of Greg Dyke from within her edifice within the BBC overseers?  How did she gain her new position advising the Conservative Party on ‘security’ —why is she part of this inclusion procedure and yet an ‘objective’ media pundit role while BBC governor and so forth: this seems vastly under-explored together with her motives and the source of her wealth—such are establishment niceties.

Below I will try to contextualise her work via her involvement with networks such as the Centre for European Reform that brings together Atlanticist, New Labour, neo-liberal and neo-conservative elements in a well-funded (including Shell, Lockheed Martin, BP and J.P. Morgan) and promoted EU military-industrial lobby to influence organisations such as the European Defence Agency and others.


Is Pauline Neville-Jones actually sane?

But we have one over-riding question to ask first: is Neville-Jones actually sane? It is not that she absent-mindedly overlooked the peculiarities of the Summit and its contributors and sponsors, she actively promoted it, she allies herself to it and is in a decision-making capacity: thus it is something of a rhetorical question to ask does her criteria of evidence match that outlined above—she too is a Crackpot Realist. She might satisfy certain criteria for cunning and conniving, and indeed her wealth is almost exclusively obtained from war, but that is no evidence of sanity. If our examples cited above are representative, mental health is a drawback in the land of the ‘wilderness of mirrors,’ a place where self-deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.

In her position as a governor of the BBC what annoyed her about the organisation’s performance in the ‘war on terror’ was not the catalogue of errors or war-profiteering and mongering (her stock-in-trade) but paranoid interpretations of Newsround’s statement that the 9/11 attacks may have some connection to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle-East. Newsround (aimed at viewers aged between six and twelve) had answered questions concerning 9/11, such as “Why did they do it” by saying:

The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al Qaeda — who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks. (112)

This was then amended to:

Al Qaeda is unhappy with America and other countries getting involved in places like the Middle East. People linked to al Qaeda have used violence to make this point in the U.S.A, and in other countries.

Neville-Jones asked —in a rather remote way for an overseer —“Is the BBC so naive as to take al Qaeda’s propaganda at face value? Or is there something more sinister at work here?” She also described an “ugly undercurrent,” adding in a confused manner redolent of the Summit [emphasis added]:

Al Qaeda make the manifestly false claim that America is part of an enormous Jewish-Christian conspiracy to dominate the world and kill Muslims. This is no secret — Osama bin Laden has said as much himself. We know that in the long run the struggle against terrorists is a battle for hearts and minds […] Just two days after the [2001] attacks the BBC screened an edition of the Question Time programme where they invited an anti-American audience that laid into the American ambassador, leaving him close to tears. In fairness, the BBC apologised for that outrage. Even though this was an appalling example of knee-jerk prejudice, at least it was meant for adults. I never imagined the rot would spread to the BBC’s children’s programmes. I was wrong. (113)

She is also quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: “Is the BBC really saying that if you’re ‘unhappy’ it’s quite normal behaviour to murder people?” No, clearly the BBC is not saying this in this context— but according to the Intelligence Summit such behaviour is the prerogative of the Israeli and U.S. states: it is they who seek to normalise this type of approach. And how would a phrase such as “… enormous Jewish-Christian conspiracy to dominate the world and kill Muslims” be understood around some of the more enthusiastic elements of the Intelligence Summit. What she also joined to this conspiracy theory was the appearance on BBC’s Question Time of former US ambassador to Britain, Philip Lader who was allegedly reduced to tears because members of the audience expressed their opinions.

Lader, who can be hired from The Harry Walker Agency “Noted for his humor, in-depth preparation and inspirational style”, has quite a business portfolio: the chairman of the WPP Group, the Atlantic Council, Morgan Stanley, a director of RAND Corporation, Marathon Oil and a Patron of the British American Project Before entering government service, he was executive vice president of the company managing the late Sir James Goldsmith’s US holdings. One of the overlooked problems with the ‘tears’ is that WPP now own Hill and Knowlton, notorious for their covert endeavours devised to swing American public opinion in favour of war. Hill and Knowlton arranged for the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US to appear as an ordinary Kuwaiti girl crying her eyes out in front of the US Congress to testify that:

Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die. (114)

A trick as old as Edward Bernays. Essentially, Neville-Jones’ opportunistic charge is that Question Time’s production staff (and presumably David Dimbleby as the ring-leader) arranged a conspiracy involving the deliberate selection of a heartless anti-American mob (which given the planning of Question Time is suggestive of prior knowledge of the attacks) to orchestrate their own ‘outrage,’ under the guise of the freedom of expression of opinions contrary to those of a representative of a ruthless Military Industrial Complex who seeks to influence the climate of political opinion in the UK covertly. She finds this linked (although no evidence of causality is provided) to Newsround’s people, who are even more depraved and corrupt and willingly entangled in “something more sinister at work” in the form of a vicious Al Qaeda plot to deliberately target children. From there the phenomena which, attributed to some kind of unspecified epidemiological ‘rot’ that presumably only she is immune from, spread to the entire BBC and from thence to the general public, although no one else has noticed this and many, including the Security Services themselves, link the London bombings to US foreign policy.

If I compare her allegations concerning Question Time to the reality of the Key Note address of her Intelligence Summit delivered by Louis Rene Beres: this called for the annihilation of an entire nation on the basis of the rationale of ‘Anticipatory Self-Defense,’ a concept which of course anyone including Al Qaeda could argue in an attempt to justify any attacks on anyone anywhere at any time.

For Neville-Jones the ringleader in the rot plot would appear to have been Greg Dyke, the former BBC Director-general, whom she helped to remove in her capacity as a BBC governor after publication of the Hutton report. What she thinks we should be teaching the children and allowed to watch on television ‘debates’ as adults (although the debate side of that will have to go) was alluded to in a Sunday Times interview:

But she seems genuinely misty-eyed about the good old days: “In the 19th century the fathers of the nation had the Children’s Reader series in the new compulsory schools” — “kings and things” taught them what “made them Brits”. Once “we sang Rule Britannia” without embarrassment: “We have become apologetic about what it is to be British.” (115)

Neville-Jones quit the Foreign Office, rather unpatriotically accusing it of sexism after being snubbed for the job of ambassador to France according to the Telegraph (116) : yet we have this empty longing for a return to the patriarchal ethos of the 19th century. Historically these 19th century elites contained what a more clear-eyed view would perceive as elements of what might now be termed dangerously psychopathic, with sexist or racist elements causing physical and moral revulsion rather than ‘embarrassment’. But could such psychosis be the state Neville-Jones exists in as a Crackpot Realist. Would she genuinely enjoy turning Question Time into a compulsory sing-along celebrating our Empire and all of its exploits? Well possibly a small clue comes in that old phrase ‘hearts and minds,’ she used above — this has an origin in the tactics the British used in Malaysia with terrible results. But such negative opinions in the form of dissent have no place in propaganda operations and Vietnam’s Operation Phoenix, also associated with the phrase (inspiring Apocalypse Now) is just that: a psychological operation. One can see this Crackpot Realism in many of Neville-Jones’ ‘ponderously spoken platitudes’, when asked about the view that the Iraq war has “blown back” terrorism to the UK she stated:

The threat to this country preceded the intervention in Iraq . . . but the effect of Iraq has been to act as a recruiting sergeant . . . giving our enemies the narrative of western hostility to Islam and Muslims in general. [emphasis added]

Did Newsround really have Bin Laden’s men dancing around like maniacs in the caves of Bora Bora yelling “Oh man they’ve just handed us a narrative structure!” Or perhaps, not being as familiar with Derrida as Neville-Jones, they concentrate more on the real buildings exploding and people dying. Neville-Jones is not taking any chances and at least we know where the Newsround office is thus it becomes a whipping-boy. But beneath the contemporary doublespeak of post modernism and perception management can be detected some kind of atavistic macabre fantasy that teachers of the future should abandon rationality and read out narratives from 19th century instructional texts to once again encourage support for the conquest of any country that stood in the way of the Empire and a religious crusade. Dissenters will be modelled and shaped as ‘Brits’ by singing songs about our glorious past to start off Question Time, now re-modelled as Narrative Time, where US Ambassadors from big business are entertained by a more appropriate subservient tune to — what: celebrate the British Empire?

In her address to those allowed into the Conservative’s Blackpool conference she set out a bit more of this neo-imperialist vision:

And Despite what Brown and Blair have done, Britain still has tremendous assets which we can bring to the world. Vibrant Parliamentary Democracy. Our tradition of international aid and voluntary giving; [a]nd the best Armed Forces in the World.(117)

Her solution (“Strengthened international co-operation between intelligence agencies is essential”) is to set up a ‘National Security Council.’ Would such a Council be based on the US model and equate “national security” with the security of the power elite, and go on to establish methods designed to protect elite decision-makers from public scrutiny and subsequent accountability? Although he argued that the power elite, by their very nature are more likely to use existing organizations, Mills also stated:

… if there is no machinery in existence to ensure, for example, that military and political factors will be balanced in decisions made, they will invent such machinery and use it, as with the National Security Council. Moreover, in a formally democratic polity, the aims and the powers of the various elements of this elite are further supported by an aspect of the permanent war economy: the assumption that the security of the nation supposedly rests upon great secrecy of plan and intent. Many higher events that would reveal the working of the power elite can be withheld from public knowledge under the guise of secrecy. With the wide secrecy covering their operations and decisions, the power elite can make their intentions, operations, and further consolidation. Any secrecy that is imposed upon those in positions to observe high decision-makers clearly works for and not against the operations of the power elite. (118)

Neville-Jones’ plans have largely unspecified connections to the unaccountable world of the Secret Intelligence Services, themselves beyond even a ‘vibrant’ parliamentary democracy, not that there is any evidence that she believes this should be put into practice. In a move which came alongside some stunts by Dean Godson’s neoconservative crowd at the Policy Exchange, Neville-Jones, in a Sunday Times interview, offered her a different view of Councils, in the case of the Muslim Council of Britain:

The council has (belatedly) condemned the Heathrow and Glasgow airport terror plots. Perhaps it and some ministers want to resume the dialogue. Neville-Jones smiles thinly: “I was glad to see the condemnation of the atrocities but no group [of people] in this country should work through representatives.” She wants to reach out to Muslims as individuals, not through self-appointed community leaders. (119)

Where would her idea of a National Security Council be if they had to stand for election? If no groups should work through representatives — how does that relate to the Conservative Party’s raison d’être to become democratic representatives? And what is Neville-Jones’ promise of ‘reaching out’ to each individual other than a Crackpot notion put alongside her associations with those who seek to construct “self-appointed community leaders” in the case of Ledeen’s ‘Secular Islam Summit,’ ran as part of the Intelligence Summit; not to mention her other war-profit organisations and their public relations smoke screen. But her task in trying to gather fellow disgruntled remnants from the Carlton Club into a Council of Crackpot Realists, and her American Intelligence colleague’s attempts to talk to representatives of their own choice seems a massive self-delusion. The outward part of this delusion requires the tone of the overseer whereby Neville-Jones can maintain that the secret defenders of the realm are not such an asset after all and then once more pine for the good old days.

She is the principle source of a 2005 BBC News online report, No confidence in intelligence services.(120)  This set out that a year after the Hutton report into the death of Dr David Kelly, there was still a lack of confidence in the intelligence services both in Britain and the US. Her testimony aids in the assertion that in the words of former Foreign Secretary, David Owen, which the article quotes: “The joint intelligence committee machinery, which I have known well and respected, was corrupted in the run-up to that war in a way which will leave damage for decades to come.” Here Neville-Jones is not so keen on traditional values and all that “we sang Rule Britannia without embarrassment” business. With MI6, her diagnosis of its failings is that tradition is the problem, as emphasised here:

They have raised quality control to a senior level. This is a modern management concept and the lack of it before shows that enclosed organisations are in danger of not being as aware as they might be of new ways of doing things […] MI6 worked under traditional methods and modern management had not hit them.

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The Centre for European Reform

And is she particularly loyal to Britain or the Conservatives? Documents such the 2005 ‘A Compact Between The United States And Europe’ (signatory Dame Pauline Neville-Jones et al) proposed that:

The United States and the European Union shall support the establishment of an independent Foundation for Democracy in the Middle East, and jointly contribute $100 million a year over the next 5 years to its activities. (121)

This seems to have emanated from the Centre for European Reform (CER), of which Neville-Jones is an Advisory Board member, along with other elite decision-makers of Atlanticist tendencies with a penchant for adopting the fashionable US ‘soft power’ approach together with support for more conventional forms of power.(122)

According to the CER’s 2007 Report it was founded at the annual British-German Koenigswinter conference in 1996 by David Miliband and BP’s Nick Butler a key figure in setting up the British American Project, which, as an elite transatlantic security and defence network is one of the expressions of this soft power alongside the CER. By the turn of the century its board included:

• Percy Barnevik: AstraZeneca
• Carl Bildt: Former Swedish Prime Minister
• Nick Butler (Chair): Group Vice President For Policy Development, BP.
• Lord Dahrendorf: Former Warden Of St Antony’s College, Oxford.
• Vernon Ellis: International Chairman, Accenture.
• John Gray: Professor of European Thought, LSE.
• Lord Hannay: Former Ambassador To The UN And The EU.
• Ian Hargreaves: Group Director Of Corporate And Public Affairs, BAA Plc.
• Lord Haskins Of Skidby: Former Chairman, Northern Foods.
• Francis Heisbourg: Director, Fondation Pour La Recherche Stratégique.
• Catherine Kelleher: Visiting Research Professor, US Naval War College.
• Fiorella Kostoris Padoa Schioppa: President, Istituto Di Studi E Analisi Economica.
• Richard Lambert: Former Editor, Financial Times.
• Dominique Moisi: Deputy Director, Institut Francis Des Relations Internationales.
• John Monks: General Secretary, Trades Union Congress.
• Wanda Rapaczynski: President of Management Board, Agora SA.
• Lord Simon Of Highbury: Former Minister For Trade And Competitiveness In Europe.
• Baroness Smith Of Gilmorehill
• Peter Sutherland: Chairman, BP P.L.C.
• Adair Turner: Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch Holdings.(123)

I am writing a fuller account of the CER at the NEOCON site , details on the Director’s portfolios can be found there, but the reader can imagine how these could be possibly arranged into a diagrammatic overlap of institutional aspects of this compliant Atlanticist network which, for some years now, has functioned to manipulate British democracy through ‘public diplomacy’: MI6 offshoot Hayklut in the case of Baroness Smith Of Gilmorehill, the British American Project for the Successor Generation for Nick Butler and the business funded think tanks for Hargreaves, Dahrendorf, Haskins and others such as George Robertson would join later. In their own words the CER say they make a point of “bringing together people from the world of politics and business” but who that might be is indicated by their meetings and seminars which are described as “invitation-only events, to ensure a high level of debate.”  Why not mention the “world of covert subversion” too?

So it is the CER who openly controls its audience and not the BBC’s Question Time. And the ends to which it seeks to control strongly relate to the arms industry and political influence particularly that of the interests of USA. The CER’s Report says it provides “private papers and briefings that business people, senior officials, ministers and commissioners ask us to provide,” but they make a point of saying that their “work is funded by donations from the private sector” and that “it has never received money from governments or EU institutions.” That is questionable given the presence of the German Marshall Fund of the US, but why this distinction was made was during a period when the processes of influencing elite decision-making by insider lobbying — which would seem to be the CER’s purpose— was to the fore with Greg Palast’s evidence New Labour’s ‘Lobbygate.’ Many of the CER’s small group of people have later joined ‘governments or EU institutions.’(124)  But why do ‘senior officials, ministers and commissioners’ get something for nothing and the more important question is why is the CER utterly dependent on the ‘donations’ of its funders: Accenture, APCO, AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, BAT, BP, British Bankers’ Association, BT, Chubb Investment Services, Daily Mail and General Trust, Deutsche Bank, Diageo, EADS, EDS, The Economist, Express Dairies, German Marshall Fund of the US, GKN, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Northern Foods, Pearson, Portland Place Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Telecom Italia, Tesco, Thales, Unilever, United Utilities, UPS, Weber Shandwick Adamson and WPP Group. What do they get for their money?

The presence of the German Marshall Fund of the US dates back to the more open side of the project to shape post-war cold war Europe but it also contained public diplomacy aspects. We could group the companies into various patterns: UK and US Arms Companies and manufacturers would include AstraZeneca, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin. Two of the main Public Relations organizations, Weber Shandwick Adamson and the WPP Group appear so it is reasonable to assume that the CER engages with these PR companies and some of their clients— that means quite legitimate suspicion could be cast on Ambassador Lader (the chairman of the WPP Group) and his very public performance on Newsnight, Neville-Jones is in his debt since the company’s generosity enables her to see her advice carried out via the CER. Three right-wing mainstream media companies (although Pearson publish many titles including the Financial Times) feel the need to support the CER’s endeavors: The Economist, Pearson, Daily Mail and General Trust. We can also identify the three main consultants: PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Accenture. Five representatives of finance capital dovetails with the security industry: Portland Place Capital, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Chubb Investment Services, British Bankers’ Association and APCO — founded in 1984, APCO Associates Inc, the Washington based parent of APCO UK, has a long record of providing lobbying services. Its Washington office has a staff of over 100 including former politicians, US Ambassadors and Capitol Hill staff, including Richard V. Allen (formerly with the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies mentioned above), as senior counsellor. APCO note of themselves:

Given the expertise of APCO consultants in Middle East affairs and with the key U.S. government agencies involved in the contracting process, including the Agency for International Development (AID) and the Defense Department, APCO is well positioned to help identify contract opportunities, navigate the complex award process both in Washington and in Baghdad, and position clients with major contracting parties and the U.S. government’s key appointees in Baghdad. (125)

So again, aside from her directorship in Qinetiq, we can identify that Neville-Jones has direct and ramified ties with war profiteering or “contract opportunities”, or “complex award process” whatever terminology you prefer. We cannot gain a complete knowledge of who is actually funding the CER from their Annual Report of 2002 only: “In addition to our corporate members, numerous other companies have supported specific publications and events,” and there are pictures of influence peddlers at various Fringe meetings such as the Labour Party Conference, Peter Mandelson was a frequent speaker. The Report does indicate that half the money (over half a million) goes on staff, a quarter on administration and that they spend about the same on travel and ‘other’ as they do on ‘publishing’. Their statement on their achievements is feeble but included this indication of their purpose:

…we have pointed the way to a healthier transatlantic relationship by urging the Americans to become more confident about using ‘soft power’, and the Europeans to develop some more of the hard sort. (126)

What they say they offer is “Proximity to the media” and the hard sell is reinforced by the “activity of our advisory board”, so it is difficult for the advisory board to distance themselves from the work and who funds it given that it is argued the “distinguished members of our board —from business, politics, diplomacy and academia — devote time and energy to helping us with our strategy and work programme.” Proximity is a key phrase in their self-recommendations including: “Proximity to governments and EU institutions” and “Proximity to the private sector,” so they claim to play the role of a proxy force to procure that which their clients desire, why leaders in business, politics, diplomacy and academia would need such a conduit is unclear, given that we already have the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the International Institute for Strategic Studies the Royal United Services Institute, the Foreign Policy Centre, the British American Security Information Council and even the Henry Jackson Society, but perhaps these organizations are just the same old faces. Charles Grant the director boasted that “Several publications by CER Director Charles Grant, have helped to set the agenda in the debate on European Defence.”

An early biography of the CER’s new director, Mark Leonard states that he was formerly the Director of the:

Foreign Policy Institute at Demos… leading the Demos Europe series… now Director of the Foreign Policy Centre. Educated at Cambridge University, Mark has previously worked as a journalist at The Economist, as political adviser to Calum Macdonald MP (Minister of State for Scotland) and as a stagiaire [sic] in the legal service of the European Council of Ministers in Brussels. Mark is a regular broadcaster and contributes to publications ranging from The Guardian to The Sun. He is a member of FCO Panel 2000, the Government body responsible for modernising the way Britain presents itself to the world. He also sits on the Policy Committees of the European Movement and the Fabian Society.

Grant had been on a leaked list of prospective labour candidates leaked to the Independent, in the ‘Seat sought’ section it states “Urban seat anywhere.” In one section titled ‘To Sell the Truth’ his writings have outlined that:

The term “public diplomacy” is often a euphemism for propaganda. But the proliferation of information in open societies (and, increasingly, in closed ones as well) makes it more difficult for governments to control information. Attempts to distort the truth will eventually be exposed and therefore will create even greater skepticism of governments. Moreover, because most ideas that people absorb about a country are beyond the control of national governments—books, CDs, films, television programs, or brands and consumer products with national connotations—governments can only have an impact at the margins by seeking to clear paths for the most positive messages to reach mass audiences while working directly to influence the opinions of niche audiences. (127)

It could well be that the CER only really offers low level access at their private gatherings, but their past address in Tufton Street was something of a political lobbyist’s Tin Pan Alley and their present address at 14 Great College Street, London is shared with an odd nexus of lobbyists.

But with organisations such as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (set up to recast the work of MI6 in a more acceptable light in the early 1990s) we see a very institutionalised version of soft power providing a cover-story strategy for the CIA’s and MI6’s covert interventions and interference abroad —pioneered by the US National Endowment for Democracy’s ‘democracy assistance’ programmes —largely the development of ancillary services to support the primary activities of US foreign policy by concocting ‘indigenous’ organisations, orchestrating political ‘crises,’ funding phoney NGOs (Transparency International and the news agencies internews is based in The Mezzanine 2 a follow on from the gathering of Demos, the Foreign Policy Centre discussed elsewhere) and other PR propaganda stunts such as the Intelligence Summit’s ‘Secular Islam Summit’ — conveniently organised by Michael Ledeen. These ‘public diplomacy’ scams are now an integral part of what Neville-Jones called in her speech, Britain’s need to ‘promote our values,’ a process based on disingenuousness and deception at a firmly entrenched institutional level as we have roughly outlined.

Obviously it was only a tub thumper speech at a conference (there is no actual explanation for problems or solutions offered) but what does values does Neville-Jones represents other than an authoritarian complex and the faux-aristocratic (she’s from Leeds) demeanour of the parvenu:

We have long-standing relationships with the countries of the Middle East. We need to use those relationships to persuade them to reform their societies and their political systems so they start to resolve the social and political problems that breed terrorism. (128)

With that dead-eyed, utter gall feeding off dangerous levels of unapologetic ignorance whereby all camp x-ray, rendition, torture and so forth incidents are obliterated, Neville-Jones can provide the platitude that our values are “that we are a liberal democracy; all our citizens are equal under a single secular law”, except for those widespread incidents of those who are immune from prosecution, such as Ledeen et al, and those less fortunate who are targeted for it and spirited off. Social and political problems breed terrorism abroad, but not, as she argues, in the UK (or in the US), with the possible exception of Newsround and certain episodes of Question Time.

Neville-Jones and Shrimpton seem much the same thing: Crackpot Realist manqués, but Neville-Jones was Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and at the same time the Deputy Under-Secretary in charge of the Defence and Overseas Secretariat and as such engaged at an elite level, and here we see not the protection of freedom, but sheer naked avaricious greed. It is not that the process whereby Neville-Jones’ involvement in the areas where war, terrorism, privatisation, diplomacy, politics and big business collide have not been noticed, some authors, such as Francis Wheen, have described her rewards and her values and motivation in some detail:

Throughout the war in Bosnia, she and her colleague Douglas Hurd treated Milosevic as a moderate and necessary middleman, refusing to accept that he was in fact the genocidal thug who had instigated the violence. At the Dayton peace talks, where Neville-Jones was the chief British representative, she argued energetically and successfully for an end to sanctions against Serbia. What no one at Dayton knew, but Hurd has since confirmed, is that at the same time she was ‘in touch with NatWest Markets’ about the possibility of a job in the private sector. Hurd himself had become deputy chairman of the bank shortly after resigning as foreign secretary, and Neville-Jones joined him as managing director in July 1996, whereupon they jetted off to Serbia to cash in on the abolition of sanctions. At a ‘working breakfast’ in Belgrade, Milosevic signed a lucrative deal whereby NatWest Markets would privatize Serbia’s post and telephone system for a fee of about $10million. For a further large fee, they agreed to manage the Serbian national debt. (129)


Ledeen to war

From the onset one of the main problems the Intelligence Summit has in terms of credibility is the simple fact that quite a high proportion of its people are propagandists. Many of their kind have written books explaining the nature of their game, Roy Godson tells us that to:

discredit an adversary the disinformer intentionally disseminates falsehoods, say through forgery or rumor, going to great trouble to hide his involvement in creating and/or releasing the information. (130)

This goes on to outline the use of stolen documents used to smear opponents, secretly controlled journalists and so forth, so their critics can easily point to self-confessed thieves and liars. Many of the Summit’s more notorious speakers would probably define covert action as essentially clandestine political intervention in the affairs of other states; but quite a bit of it concerns interference in their own states which in turn usually turns around staying in power by keeping down your enemies. The politicians are usually ‘out of the loop’ or offering the admonition that the public and scholars alike need to be shielded from even any real knowledge of what happened in the past — one could easily conclude that confusion reigns as regards the history of covert action and that this is the way a lot of its people would like to keep it. But something has to be openly produced to lead.

Michael Ledeen in his 2002 National Review article ‘The Blind Leading the Blind,’ stated that Iran’s “Supreme Leader”, the Ayatollah Khamenei is an opium addict — but might that just be made up.(131) 
 Or what about the “apparently irrefutable evidence that has now providentially fallen into our hands,” of what was “in essence a wiring diagram of Iranian operations in Iraq.”(132)   What is apparently irrefutable evidence — could that be possibly refutable evidence? But what if Ledeen has been looking into the abyss for too long, what if he shares the views that he is supposedly attacking, what if he is putting his own view in the mouths of his supposed enemies: if these enemies are wrong why should we match their ‘extremism’ or ‘fundamentalism’ or death cults so deftly described? Why should we abandon ‘freedom’ and live under our own version of a closely monitored and controlled society overseen by unaccountable security clerics? Let no one forget Ledeen’s role in Iran/Contra (and the previous Israeli shipments in 1981 of US arms to Iran secret arms-for-hostage-delay deal between Iran and the 1980 Reagan presidential campaign).(133)  The quote below is from The Jewish Virtual Library, and would suggest the need for a ‘Crackpot Realism’ section:

According to the Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair issued in November 1987, the sale of U.S. arms to Iran through Israel began in the summer of 1985, after receiving the approval of President Reagan. The report shows that Israel’s involvement was stimulated by separate overtures in 1985 from Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar and National Security Council (NSC) consultant Michael Ledeen, the latter working for National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane. When Ledeen asked Prime Minister Shimon Peres for assistance, the Israeli leader agreed to sell weapons to Iran at America’s behest, providing the sale had high-level U.S. approval. (134)

Without the inclusion of the money going to the Contras and the Byzantine labyrinth of deception, criminality and subversion, that almost sounds quite reasonable — but ‘high-level’ approval becomes just that — distant and unobtainable. But those of us who do not see the sanction of one man acting illegally as the be-all and end-of of jurisprudence are not so impressed. Shimon Peres does not come across as particularly fussy to us either. But let us also put aside the industry which arose in arming Iraq during the same period and its effect on the region. If the person in charge says it is kosher then it is kosher— that would imply a certain infallibility, certainly not unanimously attributed to Reagan in particular and commonly absent in the area of US foreign policy. And that is the realism that Ledeen’s reason has led him to: crackpot realism. And what if everybody gets caught red-handed—the president can wave the magic wand of immunity and pardon as he did in this case. But why does everyone dress up in uniforms?

According to Mills this realism and rationalization equates with a military definition of reality, the phrase ‘crackpot realism’ is from Veblen; and we should also make reference to the chapter The Higher Immorality of the Power Elite:

The higher immorality can neither be narrowed to the political sphere nor understood as primarily a matter of corrupt men in fundamentally sound institutions. Political corruption is one aspect of a more general immorality; the level of moral sensibility that now prevails is not merely a matter of corrupt men. The higher immorality is a systematic feature of the American elite; its general acceptance is an essential feature of the mass society. […] A society that is in its higher circles and on its middle levels widely believed to be a network of smart rackets does not produce men with an inner moral sense; a society that is merely expedient does not produce men of conscience. A society that narrows the meaning of ‘success’ to the big money and in its terms condemns failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value, will produce the sharp operator and the shady deal.

And the money here relates to the ‘Warlords’ the title of another chapter of Mills’:

In this military world, debate is no more at a premium than persuasion: one obeys and one commands, and matters, even unimportant matters, are not to be decided by voting. Life in the military world accordingly influences the military mind’s outlook on other institutions as well as on its own. The warlord often sees economic institutions as means for military production and the huge corporation as a sort of ill-run military establishment. In his world, wages are fixed, unions impossible to conceive. He sees political institutions as often corrupt and usually inefficient obstacles, full of undisciplined and cantankerous creatures.

Obviously there is a lot to choose from, but arguably, Iran/Contra is one of the clearest illustrations of crackpot realism. The organized irresponsibility of this integrated quasi-secret elite and the subsequent military and bureaucratic reality denial necessitates that a military definition of reality prevailed. But someone like Mills would be the crackpot’s crackpot. Yet it is not the New Left who offer testimony on Ledeen.

When Vincent Cannistraro, the former head of Counterterrorism at the CIA. Cannistraro came close to naming Ledeen as the forger of the Niger ‘yellow cake’ documents. When asked by an interviwer: “If I said ‘Michael Ledeen’?” Cannistraro replied, “You’d be very close.” (135) Ledeen’s creativity is also on display in his writing’s and utterances, but yes there is a twist: “Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically … it is time once again to export the democratic revolution,”(136)  have provided a genuine inspiration to everyone from US warmongers to Italian fascists. Commentators have identified Ledeen’s ideas in the pronouncements of such figures as Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. As a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, he is surely the type of person Neville-Jones would be looking to recruit her new Security Council. But there is a problem that Ledeen has on occasion alluded to himself:

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. They are an integral part of the terror network that produced September 11.

Funny? Here we have apparently irrefutable evidence that the dope fiends running Iran straightened themselves up sufficiently to organize an ‘integral part’ of the ‘network that produced’ 9/11, and nobody, even amongst Ledeen’s close associates including the Project for a New American Century and Americans Against Hate wants to defend the USA! Even though the Intelligence Summit has come up with apparently irrefutable evidence that those WMDs are primed and ready to go in 45 minutes from secret bases in Syria — or these days the White House. Surely someone somewhere could set up a phony organization screaming for war — say the ‘Coalition for Democracy in Iran’ or something cunning like that — Douglas Feith/Ledeen could get together with Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Nicolo Pollari, Antonio Martino in one of those chance meetings in Rome…Hell why not bring along Elliot Abrams: it would be just like the old days except instead of selling weapons to the Iranians we (well others) get to use them on them — forever.(137)

He is rather isolated — few, apart from serial killers and an appreciative Fox television audience — find a resonance in Ledeen’s very simple idea that the US wage ‘total war’ (some consider that phrase to be a misattribution to Ledeen, an activity that has never bothered him much in the past except as an occupation) in the name of an idea for the foreseeable future. Consequently, Ledeen has condemned the State Department the United Nations for wasting time with diplomatic solutions to prevent conflict and the CIA for bothering about evidence. Pearl Harbour would appear to be the preferred model for starting things off.

Permanent war will make the empire last forever — just like Rome. And how do we talk the populace into all this? As is surprisingly common with the neo-conservatives, it is some perverse mutation of Marxism:

Leo Strauss […] did not dissent from Marx’s view that religion is the opium of the people; but he believed that the people need their opium. He therefore taught that those in power must invent noble lies and pious frauds to keep the people in the stupor for which they are supremely fit. (138)

And this is where disinformation comes in: patriotism and religion, noble lies and pious frauds, if the enemy cannot be found, then it must be invented. As Drury notes: the use of religion as a political tool is a recipe for tyranny, not freedom or democracy as it encourages the cultivation of “an elite of liars and frauds who exempt themselves from the rules they apply to the rest of humanity.” And this is what we have in the Intelligence Summit, a Mount Olympus from which vantage point the mortals provide the gods with entertainment in the form of pain, suffering and tragedy. But this sounds a bit too out-in-the-open, would a ‘shadowy elite’ not be more appropriate for this kind of moral turpitude?

Ref: Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the USA, which refers to “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals”.

One would have to go to a ward full of non-medicated schizophrenics to hear similar levels of struggles with god and the devil, one would have to talk with the most extreme end of Wahabbism to find a similar death cult; and it may be that Ledeen, Pipes and so forth have perceived a ‘missile-gap’ type lacuna in contemporary US policy: the ‘death cult gap, no doubt supervised by Hill & Knowlton and the Rendon Group:’ ‘Mr President, Al Qaeda are way ahead of us in terms of rhetorical propensity towards annihilation.’ During the Gulf War of 1991, the differences in language used to condemn the other side became very obvious. The Iraqi rhetoric seemed a lot more lively and full of vivid illusions, perhaps a bit too Old Testament for western ears, but akin to the metaphorical reach of the Book of Revelations: the “immortal mother of all battles” seems to have (sardonically) entered the language, while the American condemnations lacked that vital spark, they were dull technocrats with their own lexicon of ‘collateral damage’ and the ‘pin-point accuracy’ of ‘precision guided missiles.’

On a day like this day 10 years ago, evil and all those who made Satan their protector lined up in one place, facing those who represented the will to defend what is right,” Saddam said. Iraq’s enemies were “stamped with disgrace and shame that will never disappear until doomsday.(139)

And Ledeen and the neo-conservatives seem to have adopted this tone by some form of osmosis:

it is only proper, since Iran is the mother of all modern terrorism, the great engine of terror in the region, and the sworn enemy of the United States. (140)

Ledeen even parroted Saddam’s phraseology at a JINSA (the Intelligence Summit’s common denominator) policy forum in April 2003 with “Time to Focus on Iran-The Mother of Modern Terrorism.” With that customary lonely oratory (not so much a voice crying in the wilderness as a voice crying for wilderness) Ledeen declared: “The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon.” First ‘The End of History’ now ‘The End of Diplomacy,’ closely followed by the end of the lives of those people like Ledeen judge to be sub-human.(141)

One would think that the practitioners of the nuances right and wrong would have a less Manichean view of the world. But where does that leave loyalty? According to a now declassified chronology prepared for the Senate/House Iran-Contra investigation, in 1986, Oliver North recommended to John Poindexter that “for [the] security of the Iran initiative” Ledeen be asked to take periodic polygraph examinations, and that North wrote to Poindexter of his suspicion that “Ledeen, along with Adolph Schwimmer and Manucher Ghorbanifar, might be making money personally on the sale of arms to Iran, through Israel.” (142) That all came on the back of previous suspicions by Principle Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs, Noel Koch’s unsuccessful attempts to interest the Bureau in an investigation of the possibility that Ledeen was effectively negotiating for Israel, not the US.


Ledeenstraum —Don’t be stupid be a smarty…

Is anyone bothered about the likelihood that Ledeen, Shrimpton and Neville-Jones are insane, psychotic and looking forwards to bringing about a permanent Armageddon?

Before the invasion of Iraq the Guardian tried to explain “what ‘creative destruction’ and ‘total war’ mean in the context of current US foreign policy.” (143) The starting point was identified as happening “in a meeting with American congressmen” when “the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, nominated three countries to be tackled after Iraq: Iran, Libya and Syria”; then, to clarify that the vision driving US policy under George Bush, is ‘far broader’ (don’t think so) Ledeen’s National Review conceptualisation of ‘total war’ is introduced via an amanuenses, Adam Mersereau, a former Marine Corps officer.

This contrasted total war with “limited” war: total war destroys the enemy’s military forces and brings the enemy society:

to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends that spawned the war in the first place. A total war strategy does not have to include the intentional targeting of civilians, but the sparing of civilian lives cannot be its first priority … The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people group. Limited war pits combatants against combatants, while total war pits nation against nation, and even culture against culture.

It’s a guess, but the model for this would seem to be the Biblical injunction concerning the occupation of the ‘promised land,’ what we might call a sort of global Ledeenstraum, but for the Guardian:

However, the real point is not whether such ideas are mad, it is the amount of influence that they have on policy.

Given the assumptions there, that is quite an odd thing to say about an entire country. The report notes the influence and agency of Eleana Benador (whose propaganda is obligingly published in the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph) and its relation to a small cabal waiting to take over the running of Iran should Ariel Sharon’s wish list be granted, including Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah, who was of course installed by the US/UK instigated coup back in the 1950s. The report closes with a list of Benador’s people many of whom have connections with the Intelligence Summit, and form the basis of what Ledeen would categorise as the ‘revolutionary right.’ Others on the right, such as The American Conservative are less amenable to fighting this revolution, and have pointed out that “Ledeen’s conviction that the Right is as revolutionary as the Left derives from his youthful interest in Italian fascism.”(144)

Ledeen has written on the effects of propaganda in 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.”

This report argues that Ledeen’s position is that the common ground between Nazism and Italian fascism was “exceedingly minimal,” and that the Axis Pact should not be permitted to become the overriding consideration in this analysis”. It finds that Ledeen’s careful distinction between fascist “regime” and “movement” makes him a “clear apologist for the latter.” Drawing on the work of the fascist intellectual, Camillo Pellizi:

Ledeen says, the fascist state was “a generator of energy and creativity.” The purest ideologues of fascism, in other words, wanted something very similar to that which Ledeen himself wants now, namely a “worldwide mass movement” enabling the peoples of the world, “liberated” by American militarism, to participate in the “greatest experiment in human freedom.” Ledeen wrote in 1996, “The people yearn for the real thing—revolution.”

They may well yearn for the real thing but they are unlikely to get that from a parcel of rogues who are loudly unrepentant forgers, liars, black propagandists and disinformation professionals. Ledeen’s associate Roy Godson in his 1980 book Hydra of Carnage, called for a total overhaul of U.S. intelligence, on a Machiavellian model, to pave the way for the “post-nation state era” and advocated the promotion of irrationalist cults as a means of social perversion and subversion. In Ledeen’s earlier academic work we see an interest in Pareto and in his 1901 treatise, The Rise and Fall of Elites with its attribution of the rise of socialism’s to “the sanction of the victim,” the argument that people’s motivations are inherently irrational, based on sentiment rather than logic and ordered retrospectively and the elite monopoly of force in respect of manipulating this. In this respect we could also mention Elliott Abrams (2001) The Influence of Faith: Religious Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy, this draws its inspiration from Samuel Huntington and was funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, drawing on Abrams work at Ethics and Public Policy Center:

…some missionaries became what we would now call lobbyists and their “interest group” often allied with less devout expansionists.

The book also mentions “premillenial dispensationalism,” whereby the British promise of a “Jewish homeland in Palestine as evidence of Jesus’ imminent return” was used as propaganda or “attuned” as Abrams puts it. Premillenial dispensationalism” is still put about by Michael Ledeen and his wife.(146)

Taking this into account we begin to see the purpose of much of the content of gatherings like the Intelligence Summit and the ramblings of Shrimpton and Neville-Jones.


The Triumph of the ill

What does Ledeen have to say about the Niger forgeries and the Plame affair? After a Vanity Fair article which set out the complexities of the intrigue and included an interview which cast doubts on some of his assertions, even on the Iraq invasion itself:

Ledeen claims […] that he had strongly advised against the plan, saying that the invasion of Iraq was the “wrong war, wrong time, wrong way, wrong place.” But the truth is somewhat more complicated. Ledeen had urged regime change in Iraq since 1998, and just four hours after the 9/11 attacks he posted an article on the National Review Web site urging Bush to take “the fight directly to Saddam on his own territory.”(147)

Are we left with the conclusion no one meddled with the facts to encourage a war? That even the black propagandists played it straight? Does the free market’s invisible hand regulate this as well? Did it also try to discredit Wilson and Plame? How did ‘evidence’ deemed unsuitable even for an Italian tabloid creep into and become the basis of UK and US war plans? Or perhaps this has nothing to do with the law of supply and demand and there were no buyers or sellers. No wonder the US economy is in such a mess. But there would seem to be rather a lot of money in providing disinformation and so on: not just the secret slush funds and invisible budgets of ‘black operations’, but open spending on ‘homeland security.’ Imagine if one was able to overlay a map of the areas of the American empire’s expansion with a diagram of budgetary expenditure and have the thing animated with no regard to secrecy and just watch the money flow.

Here Ledeen can help us with a dues ex machina. In his National Review columns he has astonished readers with the revelation that he can summon up the ghost of James Jesus Angleton via a ouija board.(148)   This was purchased “in one of those kinda ratty antiques-and-esoterica shops in the French Quarter before New Orleans” and as (one presumes) a rhetorical device works all kinds of magic (an essential part of which is misdirection — legerdemain). Here Angleton explains matters from the grave:

…In fact, the information the president cited–the British intelligence —was probably accurate. If I had to bet, I’d lay pretty decent odds that the story of Saddam trying to buy uranium in Africa was true. (149)

But Ledeen is no Ricky Jay — what does materialize is his utter disdain for practically every US organization involved in intelligence, a blogger who have reviewed the content of the ‘Angleton’ essays over the last few years have made the following observations: Ledeen tries to blame the Niger forgeries on the French; he used the now largely discredited Zawahiri letter to claim terrorist ties between Sunnis and Shiites; a supposition is made that the London tube bombing was not a suicide bombing, he complains about the Plame investigation and “Anonymous’ “(Michael Scheuer’s) publication, he claims the FBI do not have any real evidence in the Franklin (spying for Israel) case because there have been no indictments; he dismisses the notion that Chalabi is an Iranian spy; he attempts to get Condilica Rice off the hook for her lies about the PDB that presented only “historical” information; he offers a continuation of the critique on Tenet, used to focus on the Iranian regime; he offers a critique of Tenet’s Senate testimony to argue for a unified theory of terrorism; he alleges that the DC sniper was tied to Islamic terrorists; he offers an assessment of the attempt to assassinate Saddam to argue for regime change and to argue that the anthrax through the mail was a plot of Saddam’s.(150)

For Vanity Fair the Niger story was a workable lie, quoting Melvin Goodman, the former CIA and State Department analyst it states: ” there is no benign interpretation of this […] at the highest level it was known the documents were forgeries. Stephen Hadley knew it. Condi Rice knew it. Everyone at the highest level knew.” Ledeen asserts that he could not have orchestrated the Niger operation, because he “disagreed so strongly with the administration’s policy.” Because of a potential legal action Vanity Fair makes it clear that despite all the speculation, “there are no fingerprints connecting Ledeen to the Niger documents.” Ledeen replied by picking up on this (although he misquotes it as “no evidence”) and maintains that he “opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place.”(151)

Angleton also helps with reviews of literature and with the general macabre childlike tone of the articles (also promoted by the American Enterprise Institute) and as a character (poet, warrior, crackpot realist) is the closest object of worship Ledeen has to old Nicolo. Now, master card player Ricky Jay, mentioned above, can deal cards from anywhere in the deck and you cannot tell he is doing it: he seems to provide specific cards on demand with the trick kept perfect secret. You can slow it down and still not see it: all you find yourself looking at is his flat lugubrious face. Can you say that of Angleton? Even although he was working in an environment where legitimate enquiry journalism and academic investigation had been quashed or suffocated —quite a lot of the other people in Mills’ dept. at Columbia were working for or associated with the CIA one way or another—he is an absurdly well-known secret agent. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a covert operation which contributed to the exposure of the political elite —the ‘invisible government’.

Ledeen was in charge of doing in the left in the UK when the cold warrior mentality crept into London’s Grosvenor Square. Cord Meyer was somewhat put out at all those hippies demonstrating. A little bit of COINTELPRO was imported along with all that LSD.

…the most active interventionist at the time of the SDP’s foundation was Michael Ledeen, Secretary of State Al Haig’s man monitoring the Socialist International and, in particular, Western Europe […] an old associate of Ledeen, who, like him, had a big hand in the Iran Contra scandal […] was known to lots of SDP types from childhood when his dad, Joe, was plotting with Gaitskell against Bevan. Roy Godson grew up and became a great mate of Bill Casey. (152)

Elsewhere Easton has brought the network up to date with ventures such as The New Atlantic Initiative (NEI). Led by Radek Sikorski the ex-Solidarity member, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation representative in Poland in 1989

The New Atlantic Initiative counts Margaret Thatcher as one its patrons. Its advisory board includes her former adviser, Sir Charles Powell (brother of Blair’s chief of staff, Jonathan), and such other Cold Warriors as Lord Chalfont, Robert Conquest, Newt Gingrich, Jean-François Revel, Samuel Huntington and Brian Beedham. Alongside Michael Ledeen on the board are also Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz. Max Kampelman, Daniel Pipes and William Kristol of the Project for the New American Century. Roger Scruton, Lord Weidenfeld and Alan Lee Williams […] complete the British complement.”(153)

What we see is nothing new it merely takes us back to networks and methods of operating that built themselves up around the cold war:

What can be said with certainty is that almost all of the leading promoters of the ‘Soviet terror network’ thesis — for example Brian Crozier, Arnaud de Borchegrave, Ray Cline, Paul Henze, Michael Ledeen, Robert Moss, John Rees, Claire Sterling, Pierre de Villemarest and a number of Israelis — have a long history of direct or indirect intelligence connections; that some of these people have been personally involved in prior ‘counter-terror’, counter-insurgency, psychological warfare, or propaganda operations; that most have at some point been connected to think tanks or other organizations which have themselves been covertly funded by intelligence agency slush funds; that they frequently meet to exchange information (and perhaps to develop and coordinate disinformation themes) at pseudo-academic conferences; and that the data they cite to buttress their claims are derived primarily from each other and ‘unnamed’ intelligence sources — i.e. sources that are untraceable, unverifiable and arguably contaminated. (154)


112. Chapman, James (2007) BBC’s Newsround fed youngsters Al Qaeda propaganda, claims ex-spy chief, Daily Mail, September 29.

113. Chapman, James (2007) BBC’s Newsround fed youngsters Al Qaeda propaganda, claims ex-spy chief, Daily Mail, September 29.

114. Stauber, John & Rampton, Sheldon (2006) How the public relations industry sold the Gulf War to the U.S. — The mother of all clients.

115. Ivens, Martin (2007) Cameron’s secret weapon, The Sunday Times
July 8.


117. Neville-Jones, Pauline (2007) It is time for a national security policy, October 2.

118. Mills, C. Wright (1957) The Power Elite, New York: Harper.

119. She argues the exact reverse of this on The Politics Show, Sunday 4 February 2007, 12.10 GMT, BBC One:

“I think we will have a proper dialogue with the Muslim Council of Britain. I mean we have promised each other a proper dialogue and I do think that it’s very important actually that the Muslim Council of Britain, which isn’t an umbrella organization, they will say we don’t represent everybody, but they are quite important. It is very important they give a lead.”

120. Reynolds, Paul (2005) No confidence in intelligence services, BBC News website, January 27.


122. Atlantic Council (2002) The Twain Shall Meet: The Prospects for Russia-West Relations , The Report of a Joint Working Group of The Atlantic Council of the United States, The Centre for European Reform, and The Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Policy Paper, September. Funding for the project came from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

123. CER (2002) Annual Report, Page 9.

124. Charles Grant was appointed to the British Council and was a prospective Labour candidate; Heather Grabbe left to join the European Commission, working in the cabinet of enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn; Steven Everts went to the cabinet of Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, in the Council of Ministers; Kitty Ussher, having worked as a special adviser in the Department of Trade and Industry, was selected as Labour Party candidate in a safe parliamentary seat; Alexandra Ashbourne has built a successful career as a defence consultant; Edward Bannerman worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit before moving to the Treasury; and Ben Hall is one of the Financial Times’ political reporters.

125. Ginsberg, Marc, (2003) Industry Announcements, APCO Creates Iraq Reconstruction Task, May 20, APCO Worldwide.

126. CER (2002) Annual Report, Page 4-5. The CER is also a member of the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) run by Bassma Kodmani the program officer of the Ford Foundation in Cairo and an advisor to the Oxford Research Group. The ARI also have the US/Middle East Project, Inc. as partners (with the CER’s Nick Butler and Peter Sutherland on board) this is run by Brent Snowcroft, who says he coined the term ‘New World Order’.

127. Leonard, Mark (—-) Diplomacy by Other Means. Other CER publications include Grant’s (2000) Can Britain play a leading role in European defence—and keep its special links to US intelligence? Grant was a former defence editor of The Economist.

128. Neville-Jones, Pauline (2007) It is time for a national security policy, October 2.

129. Wheen, Francis (1998) Return of the Gruesome Twosome, The Guardian, June 24.

130. Godson, Roy (2001) Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards: US Covert Action & Counterintelligence, Transaction Publishers.

131. Ledeen, Michael A. (2002) The Blind Leading the Blind: The New York Times and the Iranian crisis, National Review Online, November 21.

132. Ledeen, Michael A. (2007) The Time May Have Come: The Iran We Cannot Avoid January 2.

133. Honegger, Barbara (1987) Irangate and Secret Arms-for-Hostage Deal, Lobster No. 14.

134. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (2008) The Iran-Contra Affair, The Jewish Virtual Library.

135. Mcgovern, Ray (2005) The Hand of Cheney: Did Dick Finger Valerie?, Counterpunch, July 20.
See also: Marshall, Joshua M., Rozen, Laura, & Glastris, Paul (2004) Iran-Contra II? Fresh scrutiny on a rogue Pentagon operation, Washington Monthly, September

136. Ledeen, Michael A. (2001) Creative Destruction How to wage a revolutionary war, National Review Online, September 20.

137. A satire sadly not that divorced from ‘reality’, see: Barry, Tom (2004) Is Iran Next?
The Pentagon neocons who brought you the war in Iraq have a new target, In These Times magazine, October.

138. Drury, Shadia B. (2003) Leo Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor, Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 24, Number 4.

139. Myre, Greg (2001) Defiant Saddam glories in Gulf War ‘triumph’: TV speech praises “mother of all battles” while neglecting true cost of conflict, The Independent, January 17.

140. Gancarski, Anthony (2002) The Mad World of Michael Ledeen: National Security, Iran and Iraq, CounterPunch, September 25.

141. Barry, Tom (2004) Is Iran Next? The Pentagon neocons who brought you the war in Iraq have a new target, In These Times magazine, October.

142. Green, Stephen (2004) Serving Two Flags: Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration, Counter Punch, February 28/29.

143. Whitaker, Brian (2003) Conflict and catchphrases, Guardian, February 24.

144. Laughland, John (2003) Flirting with Fascism: Neocon theorist Michael Ledeen draws more from Italian fascism than from the American Right, The American Conservative, June 30.
The American Conservative is also one of the many publications that present evidence to establish that Ledeen — who denies any connection — was a part of the infamous Niger forgeries. An example of this is: Giraldi, Philip (2005) Forging the Case for War: Who was behind the Niger uranium documents?, The American Conservative, November 21. This, again from a former CIA Officer, points to Ledeen as a go-between and (the alleged planning group involves old Iran-Contra figures such as former CIA Rome station chief Duane Claridge and Manucher Ghorbanifar and interestingly Lawrence Franklin, the Pentagon Iran desk officer, who pled guilty to passing classified Pentagon documents to officials in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Israeli Embassy) states that Rocco Martino, who provided the dossier to the Berlusconi-owned (and Ledeen advised) Panorama magazine has since admitted to the Financial Times that both the Italian and American governments were behind the eventual forgery of the full Niger dossier as part of a disinformation operation.

145. Elliott Abrams (2001) The Influence of Faith: Religious Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy, Rowman & Littlefield.

146. Ledeen, Michael A. & Ledeen, B. (1984) The Temple Mount Plot, The New Republic, June 18. Excerpts can be found at:

147. Unger, Craig (2006) The War They Wanted, the Lies They Needed, Vanity Fair, June 6.

148. Ledeen, Michael A. (2004) Signals & Background Noise: Angleton on Clarke, Condi, and who knew what when, National Review Online, April 12.
See also: Ledeen, Michael A. (2004) Porter’s Purge, National Review Online, November 16. Ledeen,,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

149. Ledeen, Michael A. (2005) The French Connection: Getting to the Bottom of the Prewar-Intelligence Mystery, National Review Online, November 7.,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

150. emptywheel (2005) Michael Ledeen’s “Wilderness of Mirrors,” The Last Hurrah,
December 15.

151. Ledeen, Michael A. (2006) The Latest Disinformation from Vanity Fair, National Review Online, November 4.

152. Easton, Tom (1996) Who were they travelling with? Lobster No. 31.

153. Easton, Tom (2003) Tittle-tattle: The British American Project and the war on Iraq, Lobster No. 45.

154. Bale, Jeffrey M. (1989) Right-wing Terrorists and the Extraparliamentary Left in Post-World War 2 Europe: Collusion or Manipulation? Lobster No. 18. In Lobster 19, in the second part of the article, Bale states that:

“Ledeen began his public career as a historian of Italian fascism, but after working in Italy for several years he became involved in a number of apparent intelligence-connected ventures, including Il Giornale Nuovo, CSIS, and an international group organised to ‘study’ terrorism in Italy. Later he was recruited as agent Z-3 by SISMI (in which capacity he became involved in a number of scandals), became the ‘international terrorism’ expert attached to Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s staff, and may have covertly worked with Israeli intelligence. More recently, in addition to promoting disinformation themes in a variety of conservative or rightist publications, including Commentary and Human Events, he served as an intermediary between the US National Security Council and ex-SAVAK (Iranian secret police) officer Manukher Ghorbanifar during the early phases of the illegal Iran-Contra operation.”


5 Responses to “Crackpot Realist manqué (part two)”

  1. Maury Markowitz Says:

    You missed Michael’s best work – did you know the Nazi’s blew up the de Havilland Comet in order to make the USA the most powerful nation in the world, and then went on to blow up the Space Shuttle (or something)? Think I’m making this up?

  2. etominusipi Says:

    useful couple of articles, thanks.

  3. Norse Kode Says:

    did you ever read Dr.Rat by William Kotzwinkle? well worth a read just to peek inside the warped mindset of these individuals and institutions,and thanks for your fine research ,absolutely fascinating and informative.

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