Monday 16th of December 2019

the italian job .....

‘When Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA officers last November, for the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan, it seemed like a hollow gesture. Spataro claimed that American operatives had snatched the Imam, who is known as Abu Omar, and transported him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured. But there was no way the United States would extradite its spies, and it appeared that the Italian investigation of the murky practice of extraordinary rendition would go the way of similar cases in this country: nowhere.

But Spataro wasn’t hampered by the sort of pervasive official secrecy that prevails in the United States, and his team turned up revealing details of the abduction. The more they dug, the more dirt they found. Before long, the investigation blossomed into a full-blown spy scandal, replete with domestic wiretapping and the mysterious death of one of the investigators. By early July, two of Italy’s top spymasters were under arrest.

We haven’t heard much about the story on this side of the Atlantic. (When asked whether he had discussed it at the G8 summit with President Bush, Italy’s new Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, quipped that Bush probably doesn’t even know “the initials” of Italy’s spy agency, Sismi.) But this is Italy’s Watergate. It has already revealed in unprecedented detail the anatomy of an extraordinary rendition. And it raises serious doubts about the Bush administration’s “just trust us” insistence that behind the veil of secrecy, espionage is an honest, upstanding business.’

Italy's Watergate

the thicken plots .....

‘Just after noon on Friday, July 21, Adamo Bove - head of security at Telecom Italia, the country's largest telecommunications firm - told his wife he had some errands to run as he left their Naples apartment. Hours later, police found his car parked atop a freeway overpass. Bove's body lay on the pavement some 100 feet below.

Bove was a master at detecting hidden phone networks. Recently, at the direction of Milan prosecutors, he'd used mobile phone records to trace how a "Special Removal Unit" composed of CIA and SISMI (the Italian CIA) agents abducted Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric, and flew him to Cairo where he was tortured. The Omar kidnapping and the alleged involvement of 26 CIA agents, whom prosecutors seek to arrest and extradite, electrified Italian media. U.S. media noted the story, then dropped it.

The first Italian press reports after Bove's death said the 42-year-old had committed suicide. Bove, according to unnamed sources, was depressed about his imminent indictment by Milan prosecutors.

But prosecutors immediately, and uncharacteristically, set the record straight: Bove was not a target; in fact, he was prosecutors' chief source. Bove, prosecutors said, was helping them investigate his own bosses, who were orchestrating an illegal wiretapping bureau and the destruction of incriminating digital evidence. One Telecom executive had already been forced out when he was caught conducting these illicit operations, as well as selling intercepted information to a business intelligence firm.’

Two Strange Deaths In European Wiretapping Scandal