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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -
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Italian criminal probe yields name

Posted in the database on Tuesday, August 02nd, 2005 @ 11:55:34 MST (791 views)
from The Wayne Madsen Report  

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An ongoing criminal investigation in Italy has yielded copies of the minutes of meetings held at the U.S. Embassy in Rome in 1995 attended by a "Colonel Franklin" from the United States, leading Italian neo-Fascist politicians (including Deputy Prime Minister Giancarlo Fini), and Likud officials from Israel. The meetings were held to arrange for lucrative telecommunications and military contracts for Israeli companies with the U.S. government.

Air Force Reserve Colonel, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Pentagon Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs employee Lawrence (Larry) A. Franklin was recently indicted for passing classified information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees. The top Mossad official at the Israeli embassy in Washington and other Israeli agents are also under investigation by FBI agents. Franklin served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 1976 and was posted to the DIA and Defense HUMINT Services. While serving on active duty, Franklin was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Franklin, who touted an aggressive military approach against Iran, also reportedly attended a December 2001 meeting in Rome on opening up back channels to Iranian dissidents. Attending the meeting, in addition to Franklin, were leading neo-con Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute and Karl Rove's chief foreign policy advisor; Pentagon neocon Harold Rhode; Iran-contra figure and known fabricator Manucher Ghorbanifar; Italian SISMI military intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari; Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino; and a number of Iranian dissidents.

Another Italian criminal probe has focused on campaign contributions made by wealthy Italians and Italian-Americans to the Bush 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns in return for the U.S. Navy's award of a lucrative $1.7 billion contract to replace the President's Marine One helicopter fleet with 23 helicopters manufactured by Agusta Westland, the Italian subsidiary of Finnmeccanica. The long-running criminal probe of illegal money going to mostly Republican politicians in the United States has been carried out by the prosecutor for Aosta and focused in the late 1990s on fraudulent "Phony Money" deals involving almost worthless Weimar Republic bonds issued during the Weimar German Republic and the Nazi regime, a self-styled secessionist northern Italian state called the "Federal Republic of Padania," and Central Bank of Nicaragua treasury notes. That scandal involved Italian politicians, intelligence agents, and businessmen associated with the right wing and secessionist Northern League (Lega Nord) of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's political ally Umberto Bossi, the Italian military intelligence service SISMI, former CIA agents now associated with neocon elements within the Bush administration, a reconstituted P-2 Masonic Lodge (sometimes referred to as P-3), and P-2/P-3's leader Grand Master (Gran Maestro) Giorgio Paterno. There are also links between the Phony Money scandal and the recent collapse of the Italian dairy giant Parmalat.



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