Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Third La Repubblica article on SISMI and alleged Iraqi nuclear projects.

This article is less dramatic than the second. Bonini and D'Avanzo try to blame SISMI (roughly Italian CIA) and its director Pollari for the missinterpretation of the Aluminum tubes too. They really don't have anything new on this. The tubes, which Colin Powell told the security councile were gas centrfuges were in fact casings for an Iraqi copy of the Italian Medusa missile. They have the exact specifications of Medusa casings. This has been known for years, indeed, analysts of the deparmtment of energy pointed this out before Powell's speach. Since the Medusa missile is Italian,
SISMI's failure to note this little problem with the centrifuge theory could not be innocent. However, the failure of the Bush administration to understand that the theory was a silly idea of one CIA analyst could not be innocent either.

All this is, by now, well known.

Aside from that Bonini and D'Avanzo discuss an attempt last summer by Pollari to blame the French for telling the US that the Nigien dossier was OK. In fact, the French said that they knew it was a forgery. Finally they point out that a Parliamentary investigation of the affair was blocked by the Berlusconi administration who claimed that it would endager intelligence sources and methods and the criminal investication of Rocco Martino (the guy who sold the fake dossier to Panorama) was opened and closed in half a hour. Again the exreme unenthusiasm of the Italian Parliament and the prosecutor Franco Ionta is well known. Ionta is, as an Italian magistrate and unlike Patrick Fitzgerald, independent from the executive. It is clear that he is unlike Fitzgerald in other ways as well.

I think the third article is beating a dead horse. It is clear that Pollari was determined to help Bush deceive the world. It is reasonably obvious that Berlusconi should have known what was going on and presumably wanted it to happen. Berluscni is both prime minister and owner of Panorama and clearly had something to do with sending false intelligence to the USA.

However, unlike many of Berlusconi's other activities, that is not a crime.

I think this will be no big deal in Italy. It won't come a surprise to anyone and doesn't rank very high up among the misdeeds of Berlusconi or SISMI.

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