Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy
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The CIA has been accused of a massive intelligence failure in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks -- the result, it is said, of a moralistic and bureaucratic approach to information-gathering. But the CIA's spies had few qualms when it came to cultivating terrorist organisations and interfering in the internal politics of Cold War Italy. Puppetmasters reveals how US intelligence services exploited the P2 masonic lodge to prop up friendly Christian Democrat-dominated governments and counter the growing political influence of the Italian Communist Party. It was a ruthless strategy involving coup plots, right wing terrorist bombings and the manipulation of the Red Brigades. And it gave Italy one of the bloodiest and most protracted periods of terrorist violence ever seen in a modern, industrialised society.
when I requested 'information on contacts between Licio Gelli and the US government or US individuals', in 1988. Celli's collaboration with American intelligence, as we have seen, dates back to the end of the war, when he worked for the Counter Intelligence Corps of the US Fifth Army. At about the same time, in Germany, US Army Intelligence was enlisting the services of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie. After the partisans had handed Celli over to the Americans, he was held for a fortnight in the
it was at a time when there was a serious threat, that doesn't exist today. The PCI was very well organized, it didn't want to seize power because if it had wanted to, it could have done. At that time, the Americans kept Italy under very close observation.'' Gelli is hardly giving anything away here, but his hints appear to be based on the logic adopted by many of the right-wing conspirators: if I am guilty then everyone is guilty, right up to the top. The public prosecutor at the Borghese coup
this somewhat lukewarm testimonial, Gelli professes the highest regard for Andreotti. 'Everyone has an idol. Some people admire film stars, others sports stars like [the soccer player Diego] Maradona. I have a great admiration for this particular politician,• the Pz boss told the author. 15 Gelli rounded off his potentially embarrassing tribute by saying: 'I consider him to be very intelligent. He is able to turn negative events into positive events, even when these concern other countries.'
and they had the case taken away from them by the ( I33] COVERING UP FOR THE BOMBERS Courr of Cassation. On 17 May 1973, a self-professed anarchist, Gianfranco Bercoli, hurled a hand-grenade into a crowd outside the Milan police headquarters, killing four people and injuring twelve. The crowd was gathered for the unveiling of a plaque to the memory of Police Chief Luigi Calabresi, who had been assassinated by an unidentified gunman the year before. In 1988 a former member of the left-wing
theology, but other accounts have him working for the CIA-financed Radio Free Europe, which [ 189 ] MANIPULATING THE LEFT broadcasts to Eastern Europe from that city. H is name appears on a list of CIA agents operating in Italy that came into the possession of the left-wing newspaper Lotta Continua in the late r96os. Whatever he was doing, his experience abr-oad had turned him inro a radicallefrwinger.U Renaro Curcio was given a strong personal reason for distrusting Simioni when the Superclan