Judge Oscar Magi: Repercussions over his decision

to convict 23 CIA agents of kidnapping on Italian

soil are already being felt.



La Stampa, Italy

Now, Italy Must Gird for the Repercussions Over CIA Convictions


"In the eyes of the United States, the behavior of Italian politicians has been confusing and unjust - so much so that state secrecy laws were used to protect members of the Italian secret services but not the Americans."


By Mario Calabresi



Translated By Enrico Del Sero


November 6, 2009


Italy - La Stampa - Original Article (Italian)

Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, shows the scars he says were inflicted on him by torture in an Egyptian prison, after he was 'renditioned' there by America's Central Intelligence Agency.


BBC VIDEO NEWS: The CIA is found guilty of kidnapping by an Italian court, 00:02:38 RealVideo

The sentences by the Court of Milan convicting 23 CIA agents for kidnapping a radical Egyptian imam are without precedent in the world. In Washington it is viewed with apprehension - threatening to reopen one of the most dreaded and thorny chapters of the new White House of Barack Obama. Milan police and Milan Public Prosecutor Armando Spataro have received deserved recognition for the correctness of their investigation, which despite considerable obstacles and a hostile climate, succeeded in demonstrating how the most famed and powerful secret service on the planet behaved on Italian soil.



Their work shows - even though Americans continue to deny it - that one can reconstruct in detail the illegal behavior of the administration led by Bush and Cheney - and one can also bring them before a tribunal to seek a ruling on the legality of actions that infringe on basic civil rights.


Obama has always denounced these violations, and throughout the election campaign, promised that he would put an end the use of torture during interrogations, as well as close the special prison at Guantanamo and the secret prisons run by the CIA - although he has kept open the possibility of conducting extraordinary renditions (invented by Bill Clinton) i.e.: kidnapping and transporting terror suspects like Abu Omar. Albeit with delays and some confusion, the new American president is keeping his word on torture and prisons. But there is one thing he has decided not to do: investigate the past.


America is committed to cease violating civil rights in the name of security, but on these grounds it always refuses to prosecute those who have in the past. Obama cannot afford to keep the CIA in the dock for years while there are two wars in progress, Islamic terrorism has yet to be defeated and Iran is working to become a nuclear power. He will not charge Bush and Cheney. His reasoning is this: "History will do that. I want to use my mandate to build the America of the future, to change it and not spend my time with my head turned back putting the Republican pair back on center stage." The Milan ruling risks rekindling anger among liberals and the Democratic left who have had trouble digesting the president's decision - and could set a precedent for investigation and trials in other European countries.


Milan prosecutor Armando Spataro found out what commitment to truth can

mean. His calls were tapped, the intelligence services monitored his every

move and there were probes into whether he betrayed state secrets.



This doesn't mean that Milan magistrates should take diplomatic interests into account and behave any differently. When confronted with charges so serious, they had to proceed as they did. But we know that this will inevitably have, as we shall see, repercussions on relations between our two countries. Because in the eyes of the United States, the behavior of Italian politicians has been confusing and unjust - so much so that state secrecy laws were used to protect members of the Italian secret services but not the Americans. "We have never acted illegally in Italy and we have always respected its sovereignty," is what people at the U.S. State Department have been saying for years, which means only one thing: within an agreed framework in the fight against terrorism, the CIA was working closely with the Silvio Berlusconi government. The fact that Romano Prodi's government with Arturo Parisi as defense minister opposed the use of state secrecy only serves to confirm that there was a political-diplomatic entente behind all this. But court on Milan wasn't able to clear things up to that level.    



Relations between the United States and Italy have already been strained by our privileged alliance with Putin's Russia, as well as ties with Iran and Libya - and in recent days by the notion of a disengagement from Lebanon [reference to Italian peacekeepers in UNIFIL]. Now, paradoxically, the first to suffer the consequences of American mistrust in unlikely to be Silvio Berlusconi - but Massimo D'Alema, who is still in the running to become the E.U.'s defense and foreign policy chief [aka/the high representative for the common foreign and security policy, who is now Javier Solana].


In the past few hours there has likely been an intensification of American pressure in favor of the British candidate, David Miliband, dictated by a desire not to reward Italy, even if D'Alema is a former prime minister who committed the nation in Kosovo and a former foreign minister who pushed for the intervention of a peacekeeping force to stabilize Lebanon. But regardless of who the candidate is, in Washington one would reason that the choice of D'Alema would be viewed as a green light for Italy's conduct. It's no coincidence that just yesterday, the candidacy of our former prime minister was torpedoed by the most pro-American Atlanticist newcomer to the E.U.: Poland. And so the open battle over "Mr. CFSP" [Mr. Common Foreign and Security Policy] is moving from Brussels to Washington.




Corriere Della Sera, Italy: CIA Agents Convicted of Kidnapping; Italy Officials Walk Free

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Criminal Justice Rendered Impotent

Publico, Spain: Torture Charges Filed Against Bush Legal Team

Corriere Della Sera, Italy: Italy Says CIA Guilty of Abduction, Issues Europe-Wide Arrest Warrants

Corriere Della Sera, Italy: U.S. Must Fess Up to CIA Kidnapping on Italian Soil

Tageblatt, Luxembourg: Europe Investigator Into CIA Activity Comes Under Criticism

Le Monde, France: Governments Across Europe Investigate CIA 'Renditions'

Le Monde Diplomatique, France: Law Will Catch Up With CIA's European 'Accomplices'

La Repubblica, Italy: Italy's Spymasters Arrested for Aiding CIA Kidnappings

Corriere Della Sera, Italy: Ex-Intelligence Chief, CIA Agents Indicted for Kidnapping

Corriere Della Sera, Italy: U.S. Must Fess Up to CIA Kidnapping on Italian Soil


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US November 6, 11:25pm]


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