Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bob Ney-CIA-Iran story continues to unfold

On September 17, 2006, WMR ran the following story and suggested that Representative Bob Ney (R-OH)'s prosecution was part of a larger effort by neoconservatives and the Israel Lobby to "take out" all those who were providing a back channel to Iran, including Ney. Our report follows:

On Jul. 14 and Aug. 8, WMR reported on convicted Ohio Rep. Bob Ney's longtime intelligence role for the CIA. More details are emerging about that role. The following is what WMR reported last month on the Ohio Republican:

"WMR has learned that covert Iranian backchannels employed by a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of [Valerie] Plame's Brewster Jennings & Associates network were thoroughly compromised by the White House leak. The member of Congress, who, like Plame, had been an earlier CIA 'non-officialcover (NOC) energy consultant' in the Middle East during the late 1970s and early 80s, and who was familiar with the early weapons of mass destruction proliferation involving the A. Q. Khan network of Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, was compromised and he and his connections to the Brewster Jennings & Associates intelligence network and Iranian government contacts were made known to adversarial intelligence agencies. The staff of the member whose covert Iranian contact network was compromised was targeted and tainted with Jack Abramoff money, putting the U.S. Representative in extreme political jeopardy."

WMR can now report that according to congressional sources in Washington and well-placed sources in Columbus, Ohio, including high-level Democratic sources, the congressman in question is Republican Rep. Bob Ney, who yesterday announced that he was dropping out of his race for re-election. Because neo-con elements opposed to any negotiations between the United States and Iran discovered Ney's involvement in CIA backchannels to Tehran they decided to use Abramoff's illegal political money and favors conduit to steer money and non-monetary gifts to Ney's staff and eventually to Ney himself. With Ney's departure from Congress, his role as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran is severely diminished.

After Ney'sstint as a CIA "NOC" in the Middle East, he returned to Ohio to run against former US Representative and then-Ohio state representative Wayne Hays. Hays resigned from Congress amid a sex scandal involving Elizabeth Ray in 1976. Ney, who beat the coal industry-connected Hays in his run for the state House of Representatives in 1980, also received the backing of the unions in a traditionally Democratic district. Ney eventually became the chairman of the powerful US House of Representative Administration Committee, an office referred to as the "Mayor of Capitol Hill."

After Ney's stint as a CIA "NOC" in the Middle East, he returned to Ohio to run against former US Representative and then-Ohio state representative Wayne Hays . . . In May, Ney's former chief of staff Neil Volz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy involving his role in getting Ney to support several Abramoff initiatives that benefited Abramoff's Indian casino, Israeli-connected wireless company, Northern Marianas clothing manufacturer, and other clients.

According to a Democratic Party official in Ohio, it was always well known that Neyhad "special protection" stemming from his CIA past. A House of Representatives source revealed that Abramoff's interest in Ney was accentuated by Ney's involvement as a CIA Counter-proliferation Division (CPD) backchannelto Tehran. However, under General Michael Hayden's iron fist, the CIA continues to purge and put into the cold those involved with Brewster Jennings, the CPD, and questioning fanciful Bush administration weapons of mass destruction claims."

The Department of Justice, in its charges against Ney, failed to mention the name of the Syrian-born arms trader from whom Ney pleaded guilty to accepting casino chip bribes -- in return for getting him a U.S. visa -- and a sanctions waiver on the sale of U.S. aircraft parts from his front company in Larnaca, Cyprus for later sale to Iran. The reasons for the mystery surrounding Ney's Middle East interlocutors are that they point to high-level corruption within the Bush Justice Department -- corruption that is tied to covering up the role of U.S. and Russian Mafia state and non-state players in assisting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction throughout the Middle East and South Asia. The Syrian, Fouad al Zayat, whose Larnaca-based company, FN Aviation (later changed to FAZ Aviation), is based in Russian-Israeli mobbed-up Cyprus and has an office in London, is known as a high-rolling gambler called "The Fat Man" in London gambling parlors. The London gambling dens are known to act as major money laundering enterprises for arms smugglers and other mob activities. FN Aviation's British director, Nigel Winfield, a thrice-convicted felon, paid for Neyto take a three-day trip to London in February 2003, a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. According to well-placed congressional sources, Ney was using the dodgy London arms network to determine whether neocon-supplied intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs had any merit. However, Ney had also stumbled across incriminating evidence tying top Bush administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, to the WMD proliferation network -- the same intelligence discovered by covert CIA agent Valerie PlameWilson and her Brewster Jennings & Associates (BJ&A) network in their investigation of arms smuggling routes through Cyprus, South Africa, Turkey, and former Soviet Central Asian states. Zayat's money laundering reportedly coincided with BJ&A's investigation of WMD money laundering and sanctions-busting activities in Switzerland, Cyprus, and the Isle of Man. Ney's links to the Middle East arms bazaar also provided the CIA with an important backchannel into Tehran, Damascus, and Baghdad -- a backchannel not wanted by the neoconswho were anxious to bomb all three capital cities.

UPDATE:Zayat, a Syrian Christian nicknamed "The Fat Man," has retired but continues to act as a consultant for Samata Enterprises in Nicosia, Cyprus, which is also his primary residence.

Ney is said to have agreed to cooperate with Justice prosecutors in return for a sentence of 27 months in prison and a $500,000 fine. In reality, Gonzales' prosecutors are more interested in how much Ney discovered about links between top GOP and White House officials and the arms smuggling business involving Iran, Iraq, and the Zayat, Abdul Qadeer (AQ) Khan, and other shady networks connected to neocon and Russian-Israeli Mafia activities. By finding out what Ney knows, Cheney and his neocon provocateurs will be able to neutralize any embarrassing information on their proliferation activities prior to the November 7 election. In fact, during the DOJ investigation of Ney, the congressman, aware that wireless communications in the House was in the hands of Israeli-owned MobileAccess Communications (formerly Foxcom Wireless), studiously avoided communicating with sensitive sources through any member of his staff.

FN Aviation's chief lobbyists in the United States, people whose activities were of interest to Ney (and Brewster Jennings and the CIA) were Roy Coffee and David DiStefano, both of whom work for failed Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' old law firm, Locke Liddell & Sapp. According to the Jan. 24, 2006, Dallas Morning News, Coffee, who was a one time deputy campaign manager for then-Texas Governor George W. Bush, and DiStefano, pressured Ney to lobby the State Department to grant an export license for the sale of U.S. spare aircraft parts by FN Aviation to Iran. Coffee has been called Bush's "eyes and ears on K Street," a reference to the lobbyist district of Washington, DC. WMR has been told that Ney was passing the information he was getting on FN Aviation's activities, as well as other intelligence, to BJ&A. After BJ&A's cover was blown by Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Richard Armitage (who was worried that the CIA would discover his own involvement in shady deals in Azerbaijan), Ney's intermediary activities also became known to the White House and the Special Prosecutor named to investigate the leak of the classified CIA information to the media -- Patrick Fitzgerald.

UPDATE: Although Coffee and DiStefano, who served as Ney's chief of staff from 1994 to 1998, were investigated in the Justice Department probe of Abramoff, they were never charged.

Fitzgerald's decision not to prosecute Karl Rove and to seek the lesser charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against Cheney's former Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby stems from Fitzgerald's own conflicts-of-interest in the CIA case. Ney and BJ&A were uncovering past and embarrassing links between the Russian-Israeli mob and key players in the Bush administration. Zayat's myriad aircraft firms in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are based in the same locations as those of Russian Mafia arms smuggler (and favored Pentagon contractor) Viktor Bout. Bout's Kyrgyzstan companies -- Phoenix Aviation and Inter Transavia, both connected to U.S. private military contractors operating in Iraq and Africa -- and Zayat's Kyrgyz-based aviation company, Aqua Transit, share the same airfield in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Zayat's Samaya Investments Ltd. comfortably resides in Tashkent, Uzbekistan along with firms controlled by the Uzbek-speaking Bout. Bout and Zayatshare more than centralAsian airports and capitals in common -- they both have high level contacts in the Bush administration, contacts that reach right into the Oval Office.

When she was National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice interceded with Sharjah authorities not to arrest Bout. She informed U.S. intelligence to "look but don't touch" with regard to Bout. And Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department, while convicting Ney, has yet to go after Zayat's lobbyist, Coffee, George W. Bush's former deputy campaign manager and "eyes and ears" on K Street. And there is continued Department of Homeland Security disinterest in the activities of Bout's Syrian associate Monzer al Qasser, who has been involved with his brother Ghassem in arms and drug smuggling and counterfeiting of $100 U.S. notes. Interpol has long been interested in the al Qassers' weapons smuggling and counterfeiting activities but the official U.S. Secret Service replies have echoed Rice's "look but don't touch" orders. Monzer Al Qasser's weapons smuggling activities, selling former East Bloc arms and using secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and Switzerland, cross the path of Viktor Bout's supply of weapons to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and pro-Al Qaeda Islamist elements in the Balkans. The supply of arms from Mafia smugglers to Muslim guerrillas in Bosnia and Kosovoalso involve the financialnetworks employed by the Bosnia Defense Fund, a 1990s weapons-purchasing slush fund set up at Riggs Bank in Washington, DC and the Central Bank of Bosnia in Sarajevo by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. WMR has learned of a significant Washington, DC-based lobbying and smuggling operation involving Al Qasser and Bout. This operation appears to be sanctioned by high-level Bush administration officials.

Key bad actors in the real "Path to 911 [and Iraq]" -- Bush, Cheney, Bin Laden, Rice, Libby, Rove, Fitzgerald, Gonzales and Bout.

And their targets.

And there is even more to this story. Bout was a supplier of logistics and arms to both the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. As WMR has reported, a classified French intelligence report obtained by WMR shows that Bin Laden remained under the operational control of the CIA and Britain's MI-6 until 1995. According to U.S. intelligence sources, Fitzgerald, working for then-US Attorney for Southern New York James Comey, failed to translate from Arabic and Farsi and present to the grand jury and jury in the trials of 1993 World Trade Center bombers several important telecommunications intercepts. The intercepts proved that Bin Laden, who was based in Sudan at the time and living on the largesseof the Saudi-backed Sudanese government, was directly involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Suspiciously, the attack took place only a few weeks after Bill Clinton was sworn in an President. Sudanese and Bin Laden involvement in the bombing was proven by NSA-decrypted messages sent between the Sudanese Mission to the UN and the Sudanese Foreign Ministry in Khartoum. According to a former Sudanese government officials, the NSA possessed a backdoor into the encryption equipment Sudan's Foreign Ministry purchased from a Hamburg, Germany firm named PK Electronics. Fitzgerald also covered up key evidence that a US Army Special Forces non-commissioned officer, Ali Mohammed, was in direct contact with Bin Laden in Afghanistan while still on active duty and reporting to the U.S. Special Forces command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

It is believed by many legaland intelligence observers that the Washington, DC U.S. District Court grand jury's decision to indict Karl Rove last May was derailed after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confronted Fitzgerald with his past prosecutorialmisconduct in the 1993 World Trade Center trials. Therefore, an unusual "SEALED vs. SEALED" indictment of the grand jury against Rove remains sealed to this day and Rove attorney Robert Luskin maintains a veil of secrecy around a 10-page letter, dated June 12, 2006, that stated that Fitzgerald did not intend to charge Rove in the leak of Valerie PlameWilson's name and identity to a number of journalists. Nor did Fitzgerald charge either Rove or Libby with the underlying crime of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act -- an act cited by federal appellate Judge David Tatel in a February 2005 as having "serious" national security implications. In fact, Tatel wrote that Valerie PlameWilson "worked for the CIA in some unusual capacity relating to counterproliferation." In fact, Mrs. Wilson and her CIA network were targeting the very same smuggling and money laundering networks that were aided and abetted by Cheney and his neocon influence network.

It is now clear that Fitzgerald has been playing what the French call a "double jeu" -- a "double game." Eager to protect his and then-New Jersey federal prosecutor Michael Chertoff's own cover-up of the U.S. intelligence links to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Fitzgerald folded when confronted with the threat of exposure from Gonzales, who was acting on behalf of Cheney, Rove, and Bush. Cheney's and Libby's ties to Russian-Israeli mobsters like Marc Rich, a major global smuggler in his own right, and their involvement in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to form the conditions to promote a casus belli for neocon war goals were the real reasons behind the Cheney's operation to expose Mrs. Wilson and her BJ&A network and Abramoff's and Gonzales' entrapment of CIA asset Ney in a double cross sting operation.

On November 13, "The Cable," an on-line publication of Foreign Policy, a division of Newsweek, published a piece that further exposed the neocon operation against not only Ney but also Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and a key Iran policy adviser to the Obama administration. Parsi is an Iranian-Swede who holds a U.S. residency permit.

"The Cable" reported that The Washington Times, in a November 13 article by Eli Lake was highlighting Parsi's alleged links to the Iran government and pointed out that NIAC's advisory board includes Thomas Pickering, a former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs during the Clinton administration, and, until his appointment as deputy assistant secretary of state for Iran, John Limbert, a former U.S. hostage in Tehran.

In his report, Lake asserts that Parsi and NIAC may have operated as undeclared lobbyists for Iran and cites the fact that Parsi failed to register as a lobbyist pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Yet Lake also reports that Parsi and another Iranian expatriate, Siamak Namazi, organized NIAC in 2002 as an Iranian-American version of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Namazi has served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, headed up by former Representative Lee Hamilton (D-IN), and as an economist at the National Endowment for Democracy and has attended a number of Middle East energy conferences, the same types of conferences that attracted the attendance of Brewster Jennings & Associates and its top non-official cover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

Namazi and his family are key players in Middle East finance and politics. They are involved in the operation of the Atieh Group and its affiliates, Atieh Roshan, Atieh Bahar, and Atieh Associates, as well as other energy companies.

Lake fails to mention that AIPAC, with a long and documented history of ties to Israeli intelligence, has never registered under the FARA as a lobbying organization for the government of Israel, although there is an insistence that NIAC should register under FARA.

In 2007, an Iranian-American named Hassan Daioleslam charged that NIAC was a lobbying agent for Iran. In fact, NIAC had received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Parsi sued Daioleslam for defamation. "The Cable" revealed in its article that Daioeslam was working, according to court documents, with Ken Timmerman, a neocon journalist who has close ties to the Israel Lobby and is executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, a neocon contrivance that also involves such neocon operatives as Peter Rodman and Joshua Muravchik.

One of the documents published by "The Cable" is a memo allegedly sent from Parsi's House of Representatives e-mail address to Coffee and Ney's chief of staff DiStefano, in which a new Iranian lobby, designed to work closely with NIAC, is proposed. However, the meno cited by "The Cable" has a constantly updating date, which calls into question the validity of the document since the article in "The Cable" is dated November 13, 2009 and the date of the memo is reflected as the current date. Moreover, Ney resigned from his seat on November 3, 2006, making it virtually impossible for Parsi to have sent the e-mail from Ney's office on any date after November 3, 2006.

Parsi claims to have passed an Iranian offer to negotiate with the Bush administration in May 2003 and passed it to Ney, who then, in turn, passed it to Karl Rove at the White House. The offer, which included an Iranian proposal to normalize relations with Israel, in addition to the United States, was reportedly in a letter passed by the Swiss ambassador to Iran, Tim Guldimann, from the Tehran authorities, via Ney, to the White House. However, Rove was being advised by the arch-neocon and virulent anti-Iranian government operative Michael Ledeen, who was a supporter, along with Richard Perle, of the Iranian terrorist organization, the Mojaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK), who were no friends of either Parsi or NIAC. Ney has since stated that he believes his prosecution was a political pay-back from the neocons over his back channel communications with Iran.

Parsi, in an October 5, 2008, article in The Washington Times, which later was involved in the campaign to discredit him, stated that the MEK, the favorite Iranian opposition group of Perle and Ledeen, openly celebrated the September 11 terrorist attacks from their base at Camp Ashraf inside Iraq.

E-mails obtained by Parsi's attorneys during the discovery process indicate that Parsi, Namazi, and NIAC were all targets in a neo-con operation involving Newsmax's Kenneth Timmerman, Daioleslem, and Lake of The Washington Times. On April 2, 2009, Daioleslam sent an e-mail to Timmerman, who is also President of the Middle East Data Project, Inc., asking two questions:

"1- Is it politically correct to attack the Rockefeller foundation [sic]?

2- Is the CA senator going for reelection? In this case, we coul use her support to NIAC."

Daioleslam adds, "Ken, I strongly believe that Trita Parsi is the weakest part of the Iranian web because he is related to Siamak Namazi and Bob Ney. I believe that destroying him will be the start of attacking the whole web. This is an absolute integralpart of any attack on Clinton or Obama. I hope your friends understand this crucial point."

In an August 27, 2008, e-mail to Daioleslam, Timmerman states that there is no link between Parsi and to Joseph Biden or Barack Obama but that there is a Hassan Nemazee link. Nemazee is the chairman of Nemazee Capital and a multi-millionaire Iranian-American investment banker. Nemazee, along with Zbigniew Brzezinski, irritated the neocons in early 2008 when they met in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the same week that Hezbollah military commander Imad Mugniyeh was blown up in a car bomb in Damascus.

Two days before the interchange of e-mails between Daoileslam and Timmermann, Nemazee was arrested and charged by the US Attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan for trying to obtain a $74 million fraudulent loan from Citigroup.

Nemazee is a big Democratic Party political donor, having chaired John Kerry's 2004 New York presidential campaign's finance committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign finance committee, and was nominated by President Clinton to be the U.S. ambassador to Argentina but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the hands of Republicans, sent to nomination back to the White House saying Nemazee had no diplomatic experience.

The August 27, 2008, exchange of e-mails between Timmermann and Daioleslam suggest that there was a conspiracy by neocons to take down Nemazee, along with Parsi, Namazi, and NIAC.

The August 27 e-mail from Timmerman to Daioleslam states that Nemazee "IS the big fish here, but as of now we have nothing to hang him with." Timmerman also suggests to Daioleslam that he can put him "in touch with people at The Washington Times."

Daioleslam replies the same day by e-mail and states "Namazee [sic] is part of a web. The best way to attack this web is to bring down the weakest part of it Trita Parsi."

Timmerman replies: "The missing link that we MUST fill in is between hassan [sic] Nemazee and the regime." He added, referring to Nemazee, "Here is a case where, if you're going to attack the King, make sure you kill him. Otherwise, he's just an Iranian-American who's made it big, and is playing politics with the big boys. And it's not a story."

On September 21, 2009, the U.S. Attorneys Office for Southern Manhattan, reported by WMR in the past to be a beehive of corruption, announced a further indictment of Nemazee for running a $292 million Ponzi scheme that benefited the political campaigns of a number of Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Senator Charles Schumer of New York. The indictment of Nemazee was announced by US Attorney Preet Bharara, born in Ferozapur, India and moved to the United States as an infant with his Sikh father and Hindu mother who were both born in what is now Pakistan and fled the Muslim-ruled nation to India leaving their property and possessions behind. Needless, to say, with someone with Bharara's built-in biases, it is not difficult to find someone better to hammer Iran and Iranian-American believed to be conduits to Tehran than Bharara.

It was no surprise, therefore, that Bharara and his prosecutors in Manhattan, known for their close links to AIPAC and Israeli organizations, moved on the New York-based Alavi Foundation, a non-profit Iranian organization that reportedly made donations to Bill Clinton's foundation. On November 12, the US Attorneys Office moved to seize the assets of Alavi Foundation's interest in a 36-story office tower in Manhattan. The government sought to seize the building from the 650 Fifth Avenue Company, a joint venture between Alva and Assa Corporation, both linked by the prosecutors to the government of Iran and the Iranian government-owned Bank Melli. Prosecutors also moved to seize a number of Sh'ia mosques around the United States in a virtually unprecedented move by the government against religious institutions.

The Saudis and Yemenis are currently piggybacking on Israeli and neocon claims that Iran is funding terrorist groups abroad. The Al-Huthi clan rebellion in the Yemeni mountains on the Yemeni-Saudi border is now being claimed by Yemen and the Saudis to have the financial backing of Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah, as well as wealthy Shi'a families in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Dubai. The move by the Justice Department against the Alavi Foundation, Shi'a mosques, and Bank Melli in New York is actually welcome news in both Sana'a and Riyadh.

One of the chief government officials who has targeted Iranian investments in the United States is Stuart Levey, the Undersecretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Levey is a holdover from the Bush administration, where he served in the Treasury Department and in the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft.

What is apparent is that the Obama Justice Department appears to be a continuation of the Bush Justice Department with all those who favor dialogue with Iran being singled out for prosecution by politically-motivated U.S. Attorneys who are meting out the worst treatment to Iranian-American supporters of Obama and other Democrats. Meanwhile, documented cases of conspiracies to take down Iranian-American moderates, conspiracies linked to known activists and agents for Israel and right-wing Jewish organizations who use forged documents -- their signature stock-in-trade -- remain untouched by the Justice Department prosecutors and FBI G-Men.