Michael Ledeen

Caught Lying About Promoting War With Iraq


Michael Ledeen, “Freedom Scholar” at AEI explains why America ought to help the people of Iran overthrow our government, falsely claims he was opposed to the war in Iraq, argues that Bush will not attack Iran, denies any connection to the Niger uranium forgeries, and falsely denies advocating war against Iraq again.

MP3 here. (24:27)

Michael Ledeen writes at the National Review Online and advocates regime change from the American Enterprise Institute.

19 thoughts on “Michael Ledeen”

  1. Ledeen advocates both negotiations and regime change. He says the central issue in Iran is not the nuclear facillity but the regime itself. So what kind of negotiation results in the ouster of a regime?

    Moreover, with respect to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear facillities, thus far we have demanded that Iran cease all enrichment before any negotiation on nukes can begin to occur.

    Lastly, Iran’s regime may be a tyrannical one, but in some measure it is democratic as well. Ahmadinejad was actually elected. The more visibly we intervene with politics in Iran, the more likely it is the people will support the Shia Islamists.

    Btw, good job with the links. Ledeen wrote that the war with Iraq was “desperately-needed and long overdue” yet he denies advocating war. He “hope[s] that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today.” What kind of a moron thinks that turning the region into a cauldron solves the creation of radical Muslims? Does he not realize that the calloused and genocidal racism expressed in this view can drive Arabs to radical ideologies?

  2. It’s amazing how easily Neo”Cons” lie and manipulate uninformed Americans. Michael “P2” Ledeen keeps referring to ‘terrorists’, but he never mentions that under the international law and the UN Charter its the right of occupied nations to fight the occupiers. Article 51 clearly gives “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence” to the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Iraqis and the Afghans. So, when NeoCons keep referring to democratically elected HAMAS and Hezbollah as ‘terrorists’, they are clearly lying. The entire Muslim World recognizes this fact, and even informed people in the West understand that calling democratically elected HAMAS and Hezbollah anything other than “legitimate resistance” is false and has no legal basis. NeoCon’s main false ‘terrorism’ accusation against Iran is its support for the legitimate right of Palestinian and Lebanese people to fight Israeli occupiers. In fact, it is the NeoCons who are openly supporting Sunni, Baluchi, Kurdish and Zionist-Azeri terror groups operating from their CIA-MI6-CSIS-BND-DGSE-SISMI-ASIS-NZSIS-MOSSAD bases throughout the World against the Iranian people in absolute violation of the international law, the UN Charter and the 1981 Algiers Accords.

  3. There are so many things wrong with Michael Ledeen, political operative and propagandist. Where do you begin? In the interview, he characterizes Seymour Hersh as havng a track record of getting it wrong. Hmmm. How is that Michael Ledeen gets it completely wrong, not once (“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, is dead”), not twice (“according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December”), but continually, but still gets published in the WSJ?

    It also is positively stomach-turning to hear him talk about Iran. A country he’s never visited. He doesn’t speak Persian. He repeated that Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979, yet he seldom mentions his involvement in selling missles to this enemy in the 1980s. If you have read what Ledeen says about his involvement in the “opening to Iran” or “arms-for-hostages” deals, he diminishes himself to a role of “messenger boy”. However, a reading of the history and some first-person contact with Ledeen and other Iran-Contra participants, leads me to believe that the entire affair would never have happened without Ledeen’s involvement and advocacy. The whole affair has its roots in meetings Ledeen had with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. What if another sane “messenger boy” had been involved? For instance, someone who came back from the meetings with Peres and told Robert McFarlane that selling arms to Iran was at very best unpredictable (i.e., risky) and not something the Reagan administration should entertain? We did not have such a sane messenger boy — we had Michael Ledeen someone who might have been motivated to sell to the Iranians because of pre-1980-election deals with the Iranian government concerning release of the U.S. Embassy hostages.

  4. It amazes me how often Ledeen refers back to the Iranian Revolution as being the beginning of their hostility towards the U.S., but he never puts in context ‘why’ they revolted or ‘why’ they don’t love us.

    Unlike America, they didn’t forget the 25 years of vicious tyrannical rule by the American installed and supported Shah. See Ledeen, if we would have never meddled with their (unfriendly to U.S. oil capitalism) flowering Democracy in 1953, the radicals most likely would have never gained the momentum to take control.

    Ledeen wants a repeat of the past 54 years. We overthrow their government (again), install a U.S. friendly puppet(again), eventually he gets overthrown from within(again), then they are back to where we are today. Next time for our children to deal with…and again …and again …

    …and again it’s about U.S. capitalist interests. Iran is sitting on a sea of oil and gas, worth what, about $15 Trillion? But we don’t care about that, it’s merely coincidental…

  5. “Thousands of Americans have been killed by Iran-sponsored organizations ever since 1979 and no American President has ever responded to that”.

    We absolutely need more details on these “thousands”. Iran is certainly not a cuddly Pikachu but this “thousands” does not seem to come out of the timeline I know of.

    As for “no American President”, I remember some Reaganite action and subsequent serious collateral damage due to incontinent US frigates patrolling the Straight of Hormuz. Doesn’t that count?

  6. In his Charles Goyette interview Ledeen acuses and derides Charles of getting his info from “reading newspaper articles” IE the reliable seymore Hersh, so i was surpirsed (sarcasm) to read in his national review article of august 02 the following statement about Brent Scowcroft –

    “This is the head of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Commission? Doesn’t he read the newspapers? He doesn’t seem to realize that Saddam is actively supporting al Qaeda, and Abu Nidal, and Hezbollah”

  7. Ledeen forgets the first rule of the serial liar. Be very careful not to contradict yourself. Early in the interview he states that his opposition ot the Iraq war was because he believed that Iran should have been attacked first.

    Later on he contradicts this by claiming he is and has been wholly opposed to military action against Iran.

    Not just a liar, a poor liar at that.

  8. Ledeen is just a classic neo-con, deny everything even when the evidence is over whelmingly stacked agaisnt you, just keep denying it play semantics and never admit you were wrong even if your backed into a corner as tight as a mouses ear,.

    He says he was against military action against Iraq and saddam yet said this-

    “So it’s good news when Scowcroft comes out against the desperately-needed and long overdue WAR against Saddam Hussein “

  9. A couple of Ledeen quote from the frontpage interview:

    “we are talking about America, and Americans love to fight and love to win.”

    “As for radical Islam, I think you’ll find them less vigorous and less united once we’ve smashed them. But we’re taking too long, that’s the main problem these days.”

    And now he tries to spin the line that he didn’t want an aggressive invasion, that he wanted a political solution, and that he foresaw the tragic consequences of a military invasion.

    If that was so, why would he beat the drums so loudly. Did he think he could get the gov’t to pay attention to him once the war got started and adapt his political recommendations.

    If we accept the 2nd proposition, then he is clearly an idiot, but the truth is he is a slimy liar with an appetite for war.

    And he wants us to respect his suggestions for developing peace and liberty in the middle east now? It’s no wonder the founding fathers told us to keep out of foreign entanglements, when vultures like Ledeen are drawn into foreign policy think tanks to fulfill their delusions of grandeur.

  10. Historically, everyone picks on Michael Ledeen. All those lies in newspapers over decades! Consider the passage from The Wall Street Journal article by Jonathan Kwitny, Aug 8, 1985. The puzzling thing is why Kwitny, Francesco Pazienza, Federico Umberto D’Amato, etc. would want to pick on humble Mike Ledeen for his stellar work in Rome as a “journalist”?

    An Italian court called it “the Libyan business of Billy Carter.”
    Most Americans remember it as “Billygate” — the scandal that erupted in 1980 after it was learned that the president’s brother had visited Libya in 1979 and had received a $220,000 loan in connection with an oil deal.

    Col. Muammar Qadhafi’s regime was also said to have paid him $50,000 to help smooth U.S.-Libyan relations. And
    Billy Carter was said to have met with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat on the trip. The affair
    alone may not have cost President Carter reelection, but it didn’t improve his odds.

    What concerned the Italian court was the role in exposing “the Libyan business” played by Francesco Pazienza, who in 1980 was a highly placed Italian intelligence agent.


    In Italy, Mr. Pazienza is also charged with a host of other offenses, all of which he denies, including extortion, cover-ups of right-wing terrorism that killed scores of people, cocaine possession and “criminal associations of a Mafia type.”

    Mr. Pazienza already has been convicted, in absentia, of some charges. Among them: that he abused his intelligence job by using extortion and fraud to obtain embarrassing facts about Billygate, and that he obtained the facts “in collaboration with” Michael Ledeen, an American journalist, commentator, conservative think-tanker, and consultant on terrorism and other matters for the State and Defense departments. Mr. Ledeen wasn’t indicted.


    Billy Carter wasn’t the only one allegedly getting money from a foreign government. Mr. Pazienza says that Mr. Ledeen sometimes worked for Italian intelligence and received at least $120,000 from SISMI, plus expenses, in 1980 or 1981. At least some of the money was paid into a Bermuda bank account, Mr. Pazienza says. At SISMI, Mr. Pazienza says, Mr. Ledeen warranted a coded identification: Z-3.

    Mr. Ledeen says he was never called Z3 “that I can remember.” He says a consulting firm he owned, ISI, undertook work for SISMI either late in 1980 or early in 1981 and the price “may well have been $100,000, I can’t remember.” SISMI may have paid another fee for other work in 1980, Mr. Ledeen says. He says his travel expenses were also paid. And he says, “I had, I think, for a period of a few months, a personal account in Bermuda.” He declines to discuss further “any of my personal finances.”

    Mr. Ledeen is vague about the nature of his work for the Italians, referring to one project as “risk assessment.” But witnesses before an Italian parliamentary commission have testified that he helped train Italian intelligence agents. Federico Umberto D’Amato, who has held several top security jobs and is known as “the J. Edgar Hoover of Italy,” testified before parliament in 1982 that “Ledeen had collaborated with the Italian services” and, after the Moro case {the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro} taught courses {in Italy} “together with two former CIA agents.” The late Gen. Giuseppe Santovito, the head of SISMI and Mr. Pazienza’s superior at the time, gave similar testimony.

    Mr. Ledeen, however, denies ever teaching any such courses.

  11. Ledeen is a liar. He says he doesn’t want war with Iran, but behind the scenes he is pushing for it.

  12. I can’t believed I listened to Ledeen for that long! He said that 70% of the Iranian people don’t support the regime so let’s overthrow it. Well, only 30% of Americans support Bush!
    And if he wants to demonize sexist nations, he should come over here to Japan. And I don’t hear him talking about democracy for Burma/Myanmar either.

  13. Ledeen has been involved in shady activities within & without the CIA for many years, going back to the ’70’s, at least. Check out “Counterspy,” of years ago, for just one source. He’s as devious as Negroponte, et al.

  14. If only the truth were told. If only the framers of the Constitution, and most particularly, Patrick Henry, were still with us.

  15. Mr. Goyette was excellent with the exception of letting Mr. Ledeen perpetuate the myth that Iran has killed thousands of Americans. It is the U.S. that has terrorized Iran (1953-1979) not the other way around.

    Also, who in their right mind thinks that the U.S. has the moral authority to determine the fate of Iran?

    I’m afraid of the U.S. government and police, not Iran.

  16. I just can’t make myself listen to this interview of this HORRIBLE creature. Slimy and evil and ***(^@#$%.

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