Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar
Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has pardoned, without presenting a justifiable reason, a US Air Force colonel, who has been convicted in absentia of the abduction and illegal imprisonment of an Egyptian Muslim cleric.
Napolitano’s office said in a statement on Friday that the president had granted the pardon “in hopes of giving a solution to a situation to an affair considered by the United States to be without precedent because of the aspect of convicting a US military officer of Nato for deeds committed on Italian soil.”
Napolitano said he had pardoned Joseph Romano because the US and Italy are close allies and share the ‘common goal of promoting democracy.’ This is while the move to pardon the US convict is believed to be unjustifiable in concrete terms.
Romano was one of the 23 Americans tried and sentenced by Italian courts over the operation to kidnap Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, in 2003.
Italian courts convicted 22 CIA personnel in the Abu Omar case. The CIA agents are believed to be living in the United States. They are unlikely to serve their sentences.
Romano was the only American convicted who was not a CIA employee.
Abu Omar, who was abducted in a joint operation by the CIA and the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI, enjoyed political asylum in Italy at the time.
He was allegedly taken to a US air base in northeastern Italy and then transferred to a US base in Germany and subsequently to Cairo.
Romano was the security chief of northern Italy’s Aviano airbase, where Abu Omar was taken to.
The Muslim cleric, who was released in 2007, says he was tortured in prison by his kidnappers.
- Italy Imprisons Military Intelligence Chief for Helping CIA Kidnap Egyptian Cleric (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Video clip (apparently filmed in 2002) demonstrates clearly how agent provocateur-police officers frame peaceful demonstrators to get them arrested.
On this video, an undercover cop pushes a non-violent bystander (a journalist according to the video) against uniformed police officers to get him arrested, and then the masked provocateur leaves the scene without the cops bothering him/her.
Police (at least) in the UK, Canada, US, Italy, Greece have been caught using provocateurs at demonstrations. This is done to get an excuse to put an end to the demonstration, and to restrict people’s right to protest in the future.
You can find videos of some of these events by searching the internet, use the words “police agent provocateurs + name of the country”.
Not every police officer is in on this. This is mainly being orchestrated by a relatively small group of corrupt insiders who in reality work for high-level organized crime, usually called the “shadow government” or “deep state”.
“Police agent provocateurs” are also the reason why violent-activism is counter productive: If there isn’t enough radical behavior at demonstrations, the police might actually stage some. So if there is a far-right/left group willing to stage riots against the establishment, the “deep state” controlling the establishment is getting just what THEY WANT out of the these extreme-groups.
- Undercover ‘agent provocateurs’ assault man at Montreal protest (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Unable to imprison the Americans behind the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, Italy has successfully jailed five Italians who took part in the 2003 controversy, including the government’s former military intelligence chief.
Niccolò Pollari was sentenced to 10 years in prison for complicity in the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) abduction of Abu Omar (Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr). His former deputy, Marco Mancini, received nine years, and three Italian secret service officials were sentenced to six years each.
In November 2009, an Italian court tried 23 Americans (all but one of whom worked for the CIA) in absentia for the Abu Omar kidnapping. All of the convicted received jail sentences of seven years, except for Robert Seldon Lady, the former Milan CIA station chief, who had his sentence increased to nine years after appealing. During the original trial, Lady told an Italian newspaper he was not guilty—but also indicated he may have been involved in the abduction. “I’m only responsible for carrying out orders that I received from my superiors,” he told Il Giornale. The U.S. government has refused to turn over any of those convicted.
After being abducted, Abu Omar was transferred to U.S. military bases in Italy and Germany and eventually shipped to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. “You cannot imagine,” he told Human Rights Watch. “I was hung up like a slaughtered sheep and given electric shocks…. I could hear the screams of others who were tortured too.”
The CIA later allowed him to be released after determining that he was not actually a part of a terrorist organization.
To Learn More:
Italy’s Ex-Intelligence Chief Given 10-Year Sentence For Role In CIA Kidnapping (by Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)
Jeff Castelli was found guilty along with two other agents, who were each given six years for abducting Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as part of the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in 2003.
The trio had been acquitted at their first trial in 2009 due to diplomatic immunity but prosecutors had appealed against the verdict.
Abu Omar, who was kidnapped in a joint operation by the CIA and the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI, enjoyed political asylum in Italy at the time.
He was allegedly taken to a US air base in northeast Italy and then transferred to a US base in Germany and subsequently to Cairo.
The Muslim Cleric, who was released in 2007, claims he was tortured in prison by his kidnappers.
Last year, Italy’s Court of Cassation upheld the convictions of 23 CIA agents over the same incident and ordered new appeals trials for five Italian intelligence agents, including Italy’s top two former military intelligence officers, Nicola Pollari and his ex-deputy Marco Mancini.
The Italian Supreme Court ordered the 23 CIA agents to pay one million euros in damages to Abu Omar and 500,000 euros to his wife.
The ‘extraordinary rendition’ program was launched by former US president George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks as an operation for the global apprehension and incarceration of suspected terrorists.
Originally aired on BBC2 in 1992, Operation Gladio reveals Gladio, the secret state-sponsored terror network operating in Europe. This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups.
Known as stay-behinds these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.
- The Strategy of Tension (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Former Italian President: CIA & Mossad Behind 9/11 Terror Attacks! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
October 13, 2012, National Demonstration at Alenia Aermacchi Headquarters, Varese, Italy
On Saturday, October 13, 2012, a national demonstration will be held in Varese, Italy, where most of the country’s military aircraft production is located, to denounce the weapons industry, in particular the sale of 30 M-346 trainer jets to Israel. The protest will take place at the Alenia Aermacchi headquarters, manufacturers of the M-346 and part of Finmeccanica Group, one of the world’s top weapons producers.
The M-346, defined as a “technologically advanced trainer jet,” is in fact designed to be armed with missiles or bombs. These weapons will undoubtedly be “tested” first and foremost on Palestinians. As a trainer jet, the M-346 is designed to prepare fighter pilots in the use of the most “technologically sophisticated” attack aircraft, such as the “netcentric” and “invisible” F-35 from US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Israel has signed on to purchase 19 F-35 fighter jets, with an option for 56, and Italy is also unfortunately in line to purchase the combat aircraft for future wars.
Recently, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stopped off at Alenia Aermacchi headquarters near Varese during his semi-secret tour of Italy, which was soon followed by the signing of the M-346 contract.
Local and national politicians, from center-left to center-right, have promoted the deal, conveniently “overlooking” the December 2008 – January 2009 “Operation Cast Lead”, which saw Israel’s “air power” rain down on the unarmed civilian Palestinian population, killing 1400, of which 400 children. A brutal military action, in which Israel used new unknown weapons as well as those already prohibited by international conventions (white phosphorus, DIME bombs, depleted uranium) and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity as documented in the UN “Goldstone Report”.
In addition to halting the sale of M-346 jets to Israel, the demands of the demonstration include suspension of the military cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel signed in 2005.
In recent years, local groups in Varese have denounced the chronic dependence of their territory on war production, organizing assemblies and protests against Agusta Westland (helicopters) and Alenia Aermacchi (aircraft) and, more recently, the F-35.
The demonstration also calls on workers at Alenia Aermacchi and all weapons producers to rejects employment based threats and to work to convert factories from producing instruments of death to socially beneficial and environmentally friendly products.
Moreover, local groups have called this national demonstration in opposition to the practice of war, which has intensified over the last 20 years, where military action is called “peace”, justified as an instrument of “preventive security” and to “export democracy”, and even defined as “humanitarian.”
“Humanitarian war” is instead an oxymoron: war causes nothing but death, injuries, destruction, generating hatred, resentment and revenge, it is the most inhumane act imaginable.
There will never be peace as long as the most profitable industry is that of producing weapons and instruments of death.
Participants include Father Alex Zanotelli, Prof. Massimo De Santi, Prof. Mauro Cristaldi, dr Mario Agostinelli and former Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini.
Endorsements and statements of support can be sent to: email@example.com
Varese organizing committee:
October 26, 2009
Antonio Caracciolo is a scholar of philosophy of law who works at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Rome University.
Politically, he is a liberal in the Italian sense of the word: a believer in the separation of Church and state, constitutional democracy, the rule of law and a free market; however he keeps his opinions strictly out of his work, reserving them for his blog Civium Libertas.
Recently, his blog has dedicated much attention to the politics of Israel and the methods used by Zionist organizations in Italy to silence criticism of Israel in the Italian media and political sphere.
The Zionist discourse, in recent years, has focused increasingly on the extermination of the European Jews during the Second World War, and this has led Antonio Caracciolo to touch another topic. As a liberal and legal scholar, he considers the attempt to introduce prison sentences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial against “Holocaust deniers” or “revisionists” incompatible with Articles 21 and 33 of the Italian constitution, which protect freedom of expression and of research. In this context, however, Antonio Caracciolo has refused to get involved in historical discussions, or to support any “revisionist” thesis.
His blog – one of hundreds of thousands on the net in Italy – passed unnoticed for over two years, until a few days ago Italy’s leading daily, La Republica, decided to make its existence front page news, under the more-than-misleading title:
Gianni Alemanno, mayor of Rome, immediately demanded that the President of Rome’s University, Luigi Frati, take steps against Antonio Caracciolo. It is ironical to remember that Alemanno is not only the first neo-Fascist to become mayor of the Italian capital, he has also been the historic leader of the mystic current in the Alleanza Nazionale (former MSI) party, and is the son-in-law of Pino Rauti, who introduced the esoteric ideas of Julius Evola into the neo-Fascist movement.
In Europe, even in the Middle Ages, mayors had no right to tell universities whom to hire or fire. However, the President of the University Luigi Frati, thanked Gianni Alemmano for his prompt action and promised to “look into taking disciplinary steps against Caracciolo”, which could include his being fired from his job.
The right-wing president of the Rome town Council, Marco Pomarici, declared that
“one cannot tolerate certain statements circulating freely around Europe’s largest university, especially in a course on Philosophy of Law. Such theories can generate a return of anti-Semitism and it is quite clear that Caracciolo is not suited to teach and must be dismissed.”
Irony again, since Marco Pomarici a short time before had declared publicly that “there were also many positive elements in Fascism.”
Riccardo Pacifici, the very Zionist president of the Jewish community elected by a first-time right wing majority (on a ticket explicitly called “For Israel”) and well known in Italy for an “aid to Gaza” hoax, calls directly for imprisoning Antonio Caracciolo:
“Such “gentlemen” in some European countries – alas, not in Italy yet – are punished by the law for the ideas they uphold.”
The next day, Riccardo Pacifici launched an appeal (directly from Israel) to the academic world, announcing that he would take legal action against Caracciolo’s blog, and calling on university professors to take steps to “prevent allowing certain people having contact with students” (La Repubblica, October 23, 2009). Specifically, he calls upon the professors to “help us so that Italy makes laws declaring holocaust denial a crime.”
Pacifici claimed the existence of a “true Holocaust denial network” in Internet, hardly surprising if we consider that Internet is a network. Pacifici also told the press that he had presented a black list of websites to the police.
“The problem of the net, emphasizes Pacifici, is that it is uncontrolled. The risk is that one can write anything by simply opening a website in Moscow. We also need to intervene in terms of legislation about this.”
Statements of indignation about Caracciolo’s blog “are not enough,” Pacifici goes on. “Unanimous condemnation is not enough. We need to act in terms of criminal law.”
The Caracciolo case opens a new frontier. Not only would unpopular opinions be banned, but also the right to criticize such bans. Pacifici’s proposal, if applied in Germany, would put Henryk Broder, candidate-president of the German Jewish Community, in gaol, as he has promised to fight for the repeal of Holocaust denial legislation. http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/henryk-m-broder-publizist-will-knobloch-im-zentralrat-abloesen_aid_446835.html
The following day, October 24, Repubblica itself published an article by Christopher Hitchens which called for a military attack on Iran, no less, but this seems not to have sent any shock waves through the media.
Far more than Holocaust revisionism/denial is at stake. Pacifici is calling for legislation able to outlaw a blog like Antonio Caracciolo, which criticizes a government of the Middle East, analyzes the action of public figures and organizations in Italy and defends freedom of speech.
Such legislation would be possible only if laws were passed forbidding opposition to government policies, or declaring certain foreign states to be above criticism, or forbidding even support for the notion of free speech.
This of course is the basic issue behind “Holocaust denial legislation”, which is actually only part of the general attempt by governments to control the Internet and to make opposition – outside of very limited channels – a crime: one need only think of the Czech Republic, where legislators slipped a few extra words into the the Holocaust denial legislation. In Prague today, one can go to prison for up to eight years for “supporting class hatred” in “print, film, radio, television.” “Hatred” of course is a purely emotional term, and any judge will be free to decide whether the person organizing a strike had such wicked feelings or not.
 The Italian neo-Fascist party, MSI (later Alleanza Nazionale, now dissolved into the governing centre-right party) was a complex coalition, with three main strands: very conservative, largely Catholic anti-Communists; the “left-wing” which saw Mussolini as the “true” Socialist in the progressive and secular nationalist tradition of the 19th century; and a mystic, largely pagan wing with close cultural ties to certain currents of German thought.
Islamabad—According to Airforce-technology.com the United States is now planning to arm Italy’s fleet of MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with missiles and bombs, in a bid to “protect Italian armed forces from enemy threats” in Afghanistan.
Until now the United States and Britain had been using drones against “enemy elements” but almost all drone attacks carried out along Pak-Afghan borders areas had been carried out by American CIA.
The website claimed that the Obama administration was likely to announce the deal within two weeks, following which the US-built drones, operated by Italian air forces, will be equipped with weapons such as laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles.
The publication quoted Pentagon spokesman, George Little, as saying: “Italy is one of our strongest partners and Nato allies, and it’s important for us, for a variety of reasons, to share technologies and capabilities with them for purposes of burden sharing and to enable them to better protect themselves and, by extension, to protect the United States and our other allies.”
The American CIA carries out drone attacks citing “threats from unidentified enemies” and there are fears that if armed with missiles the Italian drones may also hit “possible enemies” considered a “threat to NATO forces”.
The report added that “Italy currently operates surveillance drones to protect its troops deployed to Afghanistan and it is likely that around six of them will be armed.”
The proposed sale may also assist the US in reallocating the global military operations burden, especially at a time when the Pentagon’s budget is facing deficit-reduction by requirements, report added.
According to the report the MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude UAV primarily designed for reconnaissance and surveillance and uses several kinds of sensors, including a thermal camera, and has six stores pylons that can carry a maximum of 4,600lb of weapons and external fuel tanks.
- Hot Drone-On-Drone Action (wariscrime.com)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has pointed to the possibility of calling in the army to deal with the violent protests in the country over the government’s economic policies.
Monti raised alert levels on Sunday at some sensitive sites across Italy to handle the recent violence that has hit the country.
Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri also said on Sunday that she was considering bringing in the army to defend certain locations.
“There have been several attacks on the offices of Equitalia (the agency handling tax collections) in recent weeks. I want to remind people that attacking Equitalia is the equivalent of attacking the State,” she said.
“The army could be used to guard buildings which could be the target of violent protest. The danger of an escalation exists. It’s a situation which demands drastic action,” she added.
On Saturday, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the offices of Equitalia in Livorno, Tuscany, and severely damaged the front of the building after they blew off. Moreover, a letter bomb, which did not blast, was sent to the organization’s offices in Rome on Friday.
Earlier this month, a senior executive of state-controlled nuclear engineering group Ansaldo Nucleare was shot in the leg, with an Italian rebel group claiming responsibility for the attack.
Italy has faced a fresh wave of attacks in the last six months since Monti took office as prime minister and introduced a harsh austerity package to save the country from bankruptcy. The three-year austerity and growth package includes budget cuts, pension reforms as well as tax hikes worth 30 billion euros.
Italy, one of the biggest eurozone economies, fell into recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter and by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Italian government has been urged to implement economic reforms and budget cuts to reassure investors concerned about the country’s debt.
Italy’s debt ratio in the eurozone is second only to Greece.
Justice K John Mathew of the Lok Adalat (Peoples Court) of Kochi in Kerala has computed the value of a human life at Rs 1 crore. That is the money paid by Italian authorities to the next of kin of each of the two fishermen who had been shot dead months ago by Italian marines. Although the victims were in waters where there had been no pirate trouble, and in a small fishing boat rather than in a much larger pirate ship, and all but one of them had been visibly asleep on deck when the attack took place, the other having died when he awoke to the sound of shots and raised his head, the Italians have claimed that the shootings were justified as “the suspicion was that these were pirates about to attack” the Enrico Lexie, an Italian tanker. Why pirates about to attack a huge ship would be fast asleep on deck, besides being visibly unarmed, has not been explained by the Italian navy, which was angry that two of its men were arrested just for shooting two innocents from India. After all, if NATO personnel were to be arrested for killing innocent civilians, tens of thousands would now be in jail for the murder of hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. To join NATO is to get an invisible 007 badge which confers the right to kill without any fear of punishment.
Admirers of Italy in India (and there is at least one prominent political family in India, one very close to the Bhuttos, that speaks only Italian when they are with each other) ensured that the lawyer for the central government sought to excuse the two Italian marines from being prosecuted by saying that the shooting took place “outside the territorial waters of India”, an untruth. If such an argument is to be accepted, should any person wish to conduct an assassination, all that needs to be done is to lure the victim beyond Indian waters and kill him or her there. According to the government lawyer, Harish Rawal, this would mean that Indian courts would automatically have zero jurisdiction over the case. The intense effort to free the two Italians may ensure that they be allowed to return to their country by next month, if the Kerala High Court accepts Rawal’s arguments. Such an outcome would mean that India would de facto have joined Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations where NATO personnel cannot be held to account by local courts, but must be sent back, usually to be freed even after committing rape and murder. Incidentally, the two Italians who killed the fishermen were first placed in a luxurious guest house accommodation and later moved to a special cell in a Trivandrum jail, where they are allowed to dress and move about as they please, and get specially-prepared meals served to them. Part of the benefits of working in NATO.
Justice Mathew ought to have decreed that at the least, the Italian government should pay Rs 5 crores for each of the dead fishermen. These days, even a middle-sized apartment in a big city costs Rs 1 crore to buy. Bringing up a family on that capital would be very difficult. Hence the fact that at the least, Justice Mathew ought to have awarded Rs 5 crores to each of the two “NATO widows”. That sum would still be much less than what was demanded of the Libyan government (and got) by European governments after the Lockerbie air disaster. It is unfortunate that authorities in India seem comfortable with a situation where the price of a human life in India is placed at a level far below that of a life in any of the NATO member-states, barring perhaps Turkey, which the EU does not accept as European enough to join the grouping. Justice Mathew is following in the path of then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, R S Pathak, who decreed that the tens of thousands killed and disabled by the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster were collectively worth only around $400 million, when in fact a much more reasonable value would have been $4 billion, at the least. The only way to teach NATO that India is still an independent country would be to set a figure for compensation that is similar to what citizens of the alliance themselves claim when a loved one is killed.
India is a democracy where the top priority of the government is the protection of the reputation and assets of the ruling branch of the Nehru family, which interestingly has much more contact with the Italian side of the family than with the Indian. While relatives from Italy come at frequent intervals to enjoy the gracious hospitality of Sonia Gandhi at her government-provided fortress, such a privilege is almost never extended to the Indian relatives,most of whom meet her – if at all – only during special occasions such as weddings,that too in public locations. Officials who know that if their identities get revealed will face severe punishment claim that Sonia Gandhi’s Italian relatives have interceded “several times” in the matter of the arrested Italian marines,and that they themselves and their illustrious sister have been “regularly contacted” by Italian authorities to ensure an early release of the two NATO personnel.We do not know if such claims are correct. However,what is clear is that the Government of India has gone the extra ten thousand miles in accommodating the wishes of the Italian side.There have also been reports that the Vatican in Rome has interceded with prominent Indian politicians to secure an early release of the two marines. Again,such a report is difficult to accept.Why would the Vatican get involved in a muder case,just because the alleged perpetrators are Italian?
The world is a much less secure place because of the James Bond-style 007 privileges given to NATO personnel in action. A human being is a human being, and just because she or he is Afghan, Indian or Iraqi does not mean that a murder should be ignored by the international human rights brigade, the way such killings are at present. In Libya, to take just this example, several thousand civilian lives were lost in NATO military action, besides much more as a result of the ongoing rampage of those armed, funded and trained by NATO to kill their fellow citizens. There is no longer any security for life or property for Libya, and yet neither BBC nor CNN nor Al Jazeera refer to the country at all in their broadcasts, having moved on to the next target, Syria. Here too, armed gangs have sprouted up so that it is no longer safe to go about in some parts of the country. Countries across the world that have lost lives as a consequence of NATO action need to come together and shame the UN into conducting an investigation into the matter, rather than ignoring it because the headquarters of that venerable institution is dominated by members of NATO,whose license to kill with impunity needs to be taken away before more tens of thousands of innocents perish in bombs, bullets and missiles.
As for the two Italian marines who killed innocent fishermen off the Kerala coast, the chances are that the power of NATO will ensure their escape from justice. They will not be the first NATO personnel to get away with murder. Interestingly, those such as Bradley Manning who sought to expose such crimes are now in prison rather than celebrated for their ethics and courage. But why blame NATO? When governments crawl before the alliance, who can blame them for continuing to regard themselves as above international law and morality?
—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.
Israeli military officials say the Tel Aviv regime plans to sign a major arms deal worth USD 1.6 billion with Azerbaijan.
The officials said on Sunday Israel Aerospace Industries will sell “drones, anti-aircraft and missile defense systems worth USD 1.6 billion” to Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, Israeli media said Angolan Finance Minister Carlos Alberto Lopes has traveled to Israel to sign a military agreement.
Reports say the Israeli-Angolan deal is worth about USD one billion.
The latest report on the Israeli military agreements comes a couple of days after Israeli officials said on February 16 the Tel Aviv regime had reached a “USD one billion preliminary” agreement with Italy to buy 30 Italian military training jets.
- Azerbaijan Hub for Mossad’s Assassination & Espionage Operations against Iran (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Azerbaijan Claims More Iranian Terror Plots Without Providing Details or Evidence (alethonews.wordpress.com)