Thursday, June 22, 2006

Italy's role in America's anti-terrorist war

* alternet:
"Italian investigators are continuing to probe Italy's role in America's anti-terrorist war, particularly the rendition and torture of U.S.-wanted terrorist suspects. Reacting to the public and media outcry, the Italian parliament is also tracing links between Italian defense firms and the country's recently defeated government in an attempt to understand how these connections may have pushed Italy into an unpopular war.

The investigation will focus on the role played by Giovanni Castellaneta, currently Italy's ambassador to the United States, in the crafting and the delivery of the yellowcake dossier to the White House. The Italian Senate investigation seeks to detail the full extent of its intelligence agency's involvement with its American counterpart in waging an off-the-books war on international terrorism.

"Castellaneta's role is pivotal, not only because he seems to be deeply involved with the yellowcake dossier and the steering of the Marine One contract to Finmeccanica, but also because he is at the crossroad of many of Italy's activities in relation to the more general American-led war on international terrorism," states Francesco Martone, Italian senator from Sardinia for Sinistra Europea and a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission. Martone is a leading promoter of a full scope parliamentary investigation.
It is worth remembering that Pollari and Castellaneta were simultaneously central to the transmission of the forged Yellowcake dossier. Furthermore, by virtue of his role as deputy chair of Finmeccanica, the Italian defense contractor, Ambassador Castellaneta was securing the Marine One contract -- 23 new helicopters for the president.
Debkafile believes that Poland is also central to this defense network since the US has transferred key air bases from Germany to Poland. In addition, Debkafile states that an agreement between the Italian and the Israeli defense industries would assure the uninterrupted flow of US military technology to Israel, a transfer which frequently runs afoul of Congressional stipulations about not selling military sensitive military technology to China.
"Why and how did Finmeccanica became such a behemoth of the defense industry? Why was Berlusconi so invested in this company to the point of appointing his National Security Adviser to its board of directors? Can there be some sort of personal profiting? It may come out that there's a simple and innocent explanation to everything, but the Parliament should investigate nevertheless."

Understanding Finmeccanica's proprietary structure is akin to opening up a matrioska doll. Once the 32 per cent owned by the Italian state is removed, understanding who owns the remaining 68 per cent is like solving puzzles within puzzles, with Milan banks fronting for investors.

During the years of the Berlusconi administration, Finmeccanica became a defense giant, in no small part because the Italian government gave the company some $4 billion in interest-free loans that the European Commission says were actually illegal subsidies. In 2003, in a joint venture with the Carlyle Group, Finmeccanica acquired Fiat Avio, another prominent Italian defense contactor. According to sources close to the company, Finmeccanica has also joined forces with other, undisclosed partners."
oh boy. let the games begin!

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Well, I think the answer to your question of why Italy was asked to participate is their willigness to throw the fight, so to speak, by funneling the forgeries, at a minimum.

Having been so deeply involved in the Niger forgery caper, can you imagine Italy's reaction when the Us fragged its top intel Agent on the road to the airport in Baghdad and called it a mistake?

This was giant NO No to all Italians, except Berlusconi, and marked the beginning of the end of the least of the 3 B's in the Bush, Blair, Berlusconi Triumverate.

Italy gave Fitz a full, unredacted report, while Berlusconi was still in Office. Now that he is gone, it will only get better.

When Italy's troops are fully withdrawn from Iraq and out of harm's way, the new Italian government will show us how they lied us into war. Even if they stop Fitz, having Italy investigate this means Dopey and Darth could end up at the Hague.

Aaaand, if Plame files a civil suit, she can subpoena Italy for dox tooo.

As for Poland gaining in the military hardware, Victor Ash, reportedly Laura, Condi and Jeff Gannon's competition, is our Ambassador to Poland. Are they part of the Coalition of the Willing?

Well, don't tell Dopey you think he's cute, indeed.