The mysteries of Italy

The Mysteries of Italy - Marco Travaglio

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Good day to you all. This is the last of the pre-recorded episodes of Passaparola so, as from next Monday we will once again be going live and launch ourselves back into what is happening at present. Although I cannot be totally certain since this is being recorded at the end of June, I’m pretty sure that there will be no lack of fresh issues on which to get into some fresh discussion.

Cosa Nostra’s strategy of terror
Today we’re going to put together another shopping list, just like the one we put together last week on our ruling class, but this time with the aid of a Magistrate who is absolutely ingenious, in my opinion, namely Roberto Scarpinato. I interviewed him on this very same topic some time ago and now I would like to make up a shopping list of all the people that know the truth about the political – terrorist – mafia strategy that eventually led to the massacres.
There was the Lima attack in March 1992, the Capaci attack on Giovanni Falcone, Francesca Morvillo and bodyguards on 23 May 1992, the Via d’Amelio massacre on 19 July 1992 involving Borsellino and his bodyguards and then, in 1993, the failed attempt in Via Fauro on Maurizio Costanzo in May 1993, at the end of May 1993 came the unfortunately successful Via dei Georgofili attack in Florence, in which 5 people were killed and many more were injured. Then came the twin attacks at the end of July, at the PAC (the Modern Art Pavilion) in Via Palestro in Milan and the “San Giorgio un Velabro” and the “San Giovanni in Laterano” Basilicas in Rome, which also left 5 people dead and a number of others injured, and finally the failed attack at the Olympic Stadium in Rome in November – December 1993. Then the massacres suddenly stopped in January 1994, purely coincidentally of course, but just at the time when Silvio Berlusconi made his entry into Italian politics.
This strategy, or at least the basic outline thereof, was physically planned at a meeting that was held at the end of 1991 and then obviously changed and refined by the Regional Committee of the Cosa Nostra as they went along. The various chiefs of the Sicilian Mafia met at a farmhouse in the Enna countryside and planned what had to be done . Sometime later the chiefs of the ‘ndragheta did the same thing in a Calabrian sanctuary. Roberto Scarpinati has done a few sums and states that, all in all and very conservatively speaking, there must be some 100 people that have known the truth all along, in other words, for the past 18-plus years, since the advent of that political-terrorist-mafia strategy. Yet none of those who hold those secrets have yet spilled the beans. It would be extremely interesting to uncover the secrets that lie behind those attacks and to discover why those that hold those secrets hidden have never come forward and have never revealed what they know, whether they know all or only a part of what went on. At this stage we only know a small part of what went on, notwithstanding the fact that all the members of the Regional Committees that met at the end of 1991, and then there were Riina, Provenzano and Graviano, Matteo Messina Denaro, Bagarella, Mariano Agati, the Madonias of Palermo, the Madonias of Caltanissetta, Vito, Santa Paola, the Gancis (father and son), as well as leaders of the Sicilian Mafia that were also members of the Regional Committee who, when the time came, had revealed various parts of that plan to their trusted generals, and the entire plan to certain of them and revealed some parts even to other people, but why? Well, probably because they had to explain to the perpetrators of the crimes the reason why the act was necessary, so that’s why Spatuzza was able to reveal what Giuseppe Graviano had said to him, and from Maurizio, Avola, Leonardo Messina, Filippo Malvagni and a handful of others precisely what was going on at the time. Then there were certain others that knew something, but whose testimony was rejected because they were deemed to be unreliable witnesses, like Luigi Ilardo, who was an informer for the ROS unit of the Carabinieri and was killed some time later, just when he had decided to change his relationship from being a mere informer to being a State witness. Then there is Antonino Gioè who, soon after his arrest in 1993 on suspicion of having carried out the Capaci attack, was found hanged by his shoelaces in his jail cell, in Trento if I’m not mistaken, after having received a strange visit from some agents from the secret services and one of his cellmates, a certain Bellini, who was linked to the so-called black subversion and was considered to be a close confidant of the Carabinieri.
Together, these people alone add up to around fifty, but that’s not only the Mafia. It also includes certain Rome politicians who knew most, if not the entire strategy at the time. But where’s the proof, you may ask? By way of example, there was a press agency in Rome at that time, going by the name of Repubblica but nothing at all to do with the Repubblica newspaper that we know today. This agency was headed up by Vittorio Sbardella, a former fascist that Andreotti had recruited and that went on to become the leader of the Andreotti-ists in Rome. 24 Hours before the Capaci attack on 22 May 1993, Sbardella wrote that there would soon be a bombshell dropped as part of a strategy of tension aimed at getting an outsider elected as State President to replace the popular Andreotti. The very next day, there was that terrible bomb explosion at Capaci, right on the eve of Andreotti’s election, at which point Andreotti stood aside to make way for the outsider, namely Scalfaro. Years later, at the Andreotti trial, Giovanni Brusca said: we were hoping that, by carrying out the Capaci attack, we could force a change in Parliament, where there had been a number of in conclusive votes, and that is precisely what happened in the end. So, by launching the Capaci attack, we hoped that the attack would take place in time to get the Hon. Andreotti to withdraw, opening the way for the Hon. Scalfari to become State President. Our objective was to prevent the Hon. Andreotti from becoming State President at that time and we achieved that objective thanks to the Capaci attack and then, after the plan was momentarily halted in order to keep an eye on developments, Salvatore Riina was arrested.
So, either Sbardella or whoever wrote that anonymous article for Repubblica had a crystal ball, or that individual was fully aware of certain things, particularly of that terrorist strategy, and had decided to send out a coded message to those that knew about that big bang. After all, this Repubblica Agency had made some pretty accurate comments regarding the Lima murder, and Lima was indeed killed on 13 March 1992. Just six days later, Andreotti’s man in Sicily and Andreotti’s man in Rome, namely Sbardella, released an article through the Repubblica Agency, claiming that the murder was just the beginning of the a strategy of tension that was part of a separatist, autonomist plan aimed at handing over southern Italy to the Mafia, the purpose being to establish the south as a new Mediterranean haven by means of a direct attack on the mediation nerve centres of the popular parties. Paradoxically, this is what this Repubblica Agency added just six days after the Lima murder. They were also well aware of the purpose of the “Federalism of the North” and Bossi’s Lega Nord, and they had a similar interest in establishing a similar organisational structure in the South by allowing the South to develop into a tax haven and a crossroads for all sorts of transfers and industrial development, without any of the usual controls in place and a place where they manage the credit squeeze and the revenue deriving from the diversification in the use of the available capital. It’s interesting to read about Lima crime because, just a few years thereafter, one of the turncoats, one of those that actually knew something, namely Leonardo Messina, revealed that political secessionist plan that was discussed at that mafia leadership meeting held at Enna in late 1991 to the Magistrates and to the anti-mafia Commission, but what did he have to say? He claimed that the Cosa Nostra leaders discussed that secessionist plan for Sicily on the basis of input received from certain outside parties, who were about to establish a new political force, or so he said, supported by various business sectors and the political institutions and others. But how did that agency columnist know that the Lima crime actually sprang from that plan that was purely coincidentally revealed only years after by one of the mafia members that was fully aware of what decisions were made at that Cosa Nostra leadership summit? Interesting, but that’s not all because, in the late nineties, 1999 to be precise, Gianfranco il miglio, former master mind of the Lega Nord, gave an interview in which he stated that: “I am in favour of keeping the Mafia and the ‘ndragheta as well. The South must draft its own charter based on the personality of its leadership. After all, what is the Mafia? Is it nothing more than personal power used to commit crime? I don’t want to reduce the South to emulate the European model. That would be absurd. There is such a thing as good patronism that leads to economic growth and we need to start from the idea that there are certain things about the South that need to be constitutionalised”, and he was referring to the plan that the Lega had worked on in the early ‘90s. It is very strange that certain people in the North were talking about leaving the South to the Mafia, which is precisely what the Mafia had decided to go for at that leadership summit held in the Enna countryside.
Let’s continue, because the hallmarks of that strategy don’t end here! There was someone that knew everything even before the Lima murder and the attacks in Capaci and in Via D’Amelio, and his name is Elio Ciolini. The latter was involved in the investigations into the Bologna attack and 9 days after the Lima murder, namely on the 4th March 1992, he wrote a letter from the prison where he was being held. A letter to a judge, Leonardo Grassi, in which he warned that, sometime between March and July 1992, certain events would take place that were aimed at destabilising the public order, namely dynamite explosions and political murders, and soon after, on 12 March to be precise, Lima was murdered, after which came the Capaci attack in May and the Via d’Amelio massacre in June. He has specified the period from March to June, so he must have been aware of at least part of that strategy, of what was going to happen to Lima in March and Borsellino in July.
Not only, but immediately thereafter, on 18 March, just 6 days after the Lima murder and one day before that Repubblica Agency article appeared on the 19th, Ciolini added that that subversive plan was Freemason-political-Mafia inspired, as was later confirmed by a number of turncoats, and he also warned that we should expect a terrorist-type operation to strike a senior member of the Socialist Party. Surprise, surprise, a few years later it emerged that the Mafia had planned to eliminate Claudio Martelli, an attack that failed for unexpected reasons.

How many people know but aren’t talking?
The story doesn’t end there, but why? Well, because the armed wing, a strange organisation, which first appeared in 1992 and issued a number of strange press releases to Ansa or to a number of newspapers, in which this armed wing left some clues as to what was going on. In Italy, this was the era of the “Tangentopoli” scandal, the bomb explosions and the armed wing. When, back in February 1993, Martelli was involved in the so-called protection account scandal, that Swiss bank account into which Gelli and Calvi had deposited some 8/9 billion Lire in the early 80’s, destined to be paid over to Craxi so that he could pay off the Socialist Party, Martelli was Minister of Justice and, having been implicated in that scandal, he resigned from the Amato Government following the confessions made by Silvano Larini, who had set up the protection account and who was also Craxi’s right hand man, and Licio Gelli, who also finally confessed many years later regarding his involvement, and revealing the role played by Martinelli with regard to the protection account. So, having been rumbled, Martinelli resigned from his post as Minister of Justice. Remember too that Martelli is the man that had introduced the Anti-Mafia Decree!
It’s interesting to note the dates of these statements implicating Martelli. Larini accused Martelli on 9 February 1993, Gelli accused Martelli on 17 February, Martelli resigned immediately thereafter and then, on 21 April 1993, as the Amato Government collapsed or was about to collapse due to the fact that 5 of the Government’s Ministers were under investigation and had thus resigned, suddenly the armed wing issued a press release calling on Martelli not to play the role of victim and to thank his lucky stars that his end came through politics rather than through military action. In other words, that he should be thankful that he had avoided an attack. But who precisely is this “armed wing” and why are they spilling the beans? What were they trying to say? Who were they talking to? These were all under-the-counter messages from people closely linked to the institutions and to the Mafia, people who knew all about that plan and were now talking amongst themselves, in code of course, because they couldn’t exactly do so openly, but they were nevertheless sending each other messages in a code that they alone knew.
That same Armed Wing press release also warned that Senate President Spadolini, Minister of Internal Affairs Mancino and Police Chief Parisi were potential targets of further attacks or other actions against them and just a few months later, surprise, surprise, up pops the scandal of the SISDE slush funds, which turned out to be at least partly true. It seems that certain members of the SISDE Management who had helped themselves to the SISDE slush funds then proceeded to attack the Ministers of Internal Affairs of the past decades right in front of the Magistrates, accusing them of also having dipped into the SISDE slush funds, amongst them Scalfaro and Mancino. As a matter of fact, Parisi resigned as a result of the SISDE slush funds scandal, while Minister of Internal Affairs Mancino, and Scalfaro found themselves standing on shaky ground. The latter went public on television, uttering that famous phrase “I won’t have it”, by which he didn’t mean that he would not tolerate being investigated, but that he knew about the destabilisation plan, saying that that dastardly Samson and all of the Philistines sent by the Sisde managers that had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar were part of a strategy to destabilise the institutions, something that the armed wing had revealed previously, on 21 April 1993. Then, Scarpinato claims that the list of names is extremely long and that he cannot in any event even name all of the people that knew what was going on, but we have to ask ourselves who these other people are, besides those that we already know about. For example, what about the police officers from the Unit headed up by Police Chief of Palermo, La Barbera, who, back in 1993, arranged to sidetrack the investigations by setting up the fake turncoat Scarantino, fake turncoat Candura and fake turncoat Andriotta, all of whom claimed that they had acted alone, including the theft of the Fiat 126 that later exploded in Via d’Amelio, which we only now know to have been a lie, but why? Well, because Spatuzza incriminated himself and proved that he had in fact stolen that car. He then went on to recount how, while the car that would later explode in Via D’Amelio was being loaded with explosives in that famous garage, there was someone else, someone who had nothing to do with the Mafia was also present at the scene. So it wasn’t simply Scarantino and the others who that invented the whole thing and were sentenced to life imprisonment for their trouble, but indeed they and another four individuals had nothing to do with it and will now probably be released following the judicial review resulting from Spatuzza’s statements. Not only were these self-confessed not even there, sent by heaven alone knows who, but there was in fact also a member of the secret services present, who Spatuzza apparently recognised as an office bearer of SISDE who was working very closely with Bruno Contrada and who is now under investigation. His name is Narracci, and he is the one that was in the boat with Contrada at the very moment when the explosion occurred in Via d’Amelio. Then there are also 2 police officers from La Barbera’s Unit. Now unfortunately La Barbera died in 2002, but these officers of his are under investigation for tampering, however, who actually arranged this tampering? Why did they want to attribute the Via d’Amelio massacre to this bunch of yahoos that included Scarantino, etc, who actually had nothing to do with it? How did he manage to convince them to take the blame and to serve out a life sentence for a crime they didn’t commit, when they were merely petty neighbourhood criminals? Who were they covering for? Were they trying to downplay the Via D’Amelio massacre in order to prevent the investigation from heading in the right direction, namely upwards, downplaying it right from the word go and entirely off their own bat, or did someone put them up to it? Was it not perhaps General Mori and Captain De Donno that did a deal with Vito Ciancimino? How many of these Tom Dick or Harrys from the secret services that had been protecting Vito Ciancimino for 30 years stood alongside him in these negotiations and were told to keep their mouths shut? And who are the individuals that should have been guarding Ciancimino while he was under house arrest in Rome and, instead of watching him, did everything in their power not to see anything on the 6 occasions when Bernardo Provenzano came to visit him, until just before Ciancimino’s death, in 2002 if I’m not mistaken? So you see, this number of people and such important dealings could not have escaped the senior commanders of the Carabinieri and the ROS Unit, and could not have occurred without the knowledge of certain Ministers and Undersecretaries. We recently heard how Massimo Ciancimino said that his father was convinced that the deals were being backed by a former Minister of Defence, someone like Rognoni, who of course denied everything, and by the new Minister for Internal Affairs, Mancino, who also denied everything. He says that the deals were also backed by Violante, who also denies everything but then remembers that Mori had wanted to introduce him to Vito Ciancimino at all costs, but why didn’t he mention this some 17 years earlier, but only decided to mention it when Massimo Ciancimino began talking about these events?
So we can only imagine how many people there are that knew what was going on, and that in a Country as full of prostate sufferers as Italy is, a Country where no one ever keeps anything to themselves, we have a secret that has been jealously guarded by at least a hundred individuals, including mafia members, freemasons, subversives, politicians, members of the forces of law and order and military men, that this wall of silence has remained so totally impenetrable and that none of these people have even mentioned it.
Perhaps it is precisely because it pertains to what Scarpinato calls the great “War Game”, the brunt of which was borne at the time by scores of innocent victims. A grand scheme that began with Giovanni Falcone. One thing that has become a constant feature of Italian history is that when it comes to massacres and events behind the scenes, there are always hundreds of people that are fully aware of what is going on. Just think back to Portella della Ginestra where they killed some tens of people who knew the secrets of Portella della Ginestra, from Pisciotta onwards. Just think back to massacres carried out by the subversive right-wing organisations in the ‘70s. Think back to the unexplained deaths, for example, the case of Ermanno Buzzi who was strangled to death in prison immediately after having been convicted for the Brescia massacre. Think back to Nino Gioè’s “suicide” in jail. Think back to what Provenzano’s right-hand man, Nino Giuffrè, said back in 2005, namely that when he was in prison and had just begun to collaborate with the authorities, no one knew about it yet, or rather no one supposedly knew about it yet, but he nevertheless received a visit from certain people who suggested that he commit suicide and that indeed they would help him to take his own life.
That is another way of keeping secrets hidden, but here we have many live people that know these secrets and that are, from time to time, obliged to reveal some of what they know, like Violante, Martelli, who suddenly remembers 18 years later that his Minister had informed Borsellino about the ROS’ deals with Ciancimino, Ministry Chief Liliana Ferraro, who had just replaced Falcone and went to warn Borsellino about the deal, as well as heaven alone knows how many others within the Ministry who knew about the deal? Then, obviously, there are those that made the subsequent deals that Massimo Ciancimino spoke about. Massimo Ciancimino stated that after his father’s arrest, Dell’Utri took over his father’s position as the lynchpin between Cosa Nostra and Forza Italia. The Palermo Magistrates believe that there was sufficient proof of Dell’Utri’s links with the Mafia dating all the way back to 1992, thus including and up to the time of the Capaci massacre, but no later. Meanwhile, however, the investigations into Ciancimino have only just begun in earnest and they are searching for proof of the clues provided by Spatuzza and Ciancimino’s words and, in recent hours, weeks and months the magistrates have been finding just the proof they were looking for regarding the post 1992/1993 deals. The story remains to be written and all that needs to happen is that just one of these hundreds of people let something slip, no matter how little they know, but enough to cause the investigations to make a quantum leap. We hope that this will happen at some point, after all, it’s a given that, in times of crisis, when a system begins to fall apart, people tend to speak more freely. Back in 1992, certain people even spoke about Andreotti’s Buscetta and Mannoia and the collapse of the First Republic, so let’s hope that, now that the Second Republic is about to collapse, some sort of brainwave suddenly comes to the fore and that someone will decide to explain to us precisely who did what.

We already know the “what” however, namely that the subversive plan went on to achieve the desired results in 1994, when they managed to replace the First Republic with something very similar, the triumph of the prince, as Scarpinato would say, or the triumph of the leopard, as Tommasi of Lampedusa would say. Spread the word!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:23 AM in | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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You should investigate more about Elio Ciolini.

This ultra-right activist has been active in Bolivia, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium.

Few people outside Belgium know what he did there.

Here is an article written in 1996.

(original article in Dutch ; Belgium ; "De Morgen")

Belgium: Prosecutors want 2 year sentence for CIA man

Brussels prosecutors have demanded that Elio Ciolini, a CIA agent who was active in Belgium between 1985 and 1991 and is now being tried in his absence after escaping from an Italian jail, should receive two years imprisonment for a series of crimes he allegedly committed during his time in the country. Ciolini operated in Belgium at the high point of the "Nijvel" gang murders. He was also linked to other organised crime gangs in Belgium, as well as operating within far-right circles.

Ciolini first appeared in Belgium during the latter part of 1985, which happened to be roughly the period when the "Nijvel" gang, since allegedly linked to the Gladio project, were robbing warehouses on Overijse, Eigenbrakel and Aalst. The robberies led to the deaths of more than 15 people in what has since become known as the Brabant massacres. He was then introduced to far-right circles in Brussels through the businessman Robert Wellens.

Using these contacts Ciolini founded a number of small companies dealing in everything from arms to personal security. He quickly developed contacts with the Belgian underworld, in particular with a Thierry Smars, a member of the Haemers gang. Smars who was later found dead in mysterious circumstances, was alleged by the magazine Humo to have been recruited by Ciolini to membership of the Spanish anti-Basque death squads.

After his name had started to appear frequently during the Haemers trial the Justice department decided to interrogate Ciolini whilst he was in prison in Italy. During questioning Ciolini freely admitted that he was an agent for the CIA and that his companies were nothing more than a front for espionage.

Although most of his activities were known to the Belgian authorities since 1986, it took a remarkably long time for any decisive action to be taken against Ciolini. It appears that some pressure was exerted on the Justice department to drop the enquiry but they decided to proceed with the case just before the statute of limitations would have saved him from prosecution.

According to the De Morgen newspaper Ciolini was involved in far-right politics since the seventies. They claim that he was a member of the so-called "Black International" which was active in Spain, Italy, Bolivia and Belgium in the late seventies and early Eighties. He is supposed to have taken part in a meeting of far-right activists in Madrid in 1982 where they plotted to murder Alexander Haig, then Secretary-General of NATO, as well as Francois Mitterand. He was then involved in Bolivian death-squads. Later on he is alleged to have accused the "P2" lodge of being behind the Bologna bombing in which 80 people died. He was in jail in Italy waiting to tried for providing false information following this accusation when he mysteriously vanished from his cell. He has not been seen since.

De Morgen 26.9.96.

Posted by: HERVE | July 28, 2011 09:41 AM

I just read the article in L'Unita where Bonanni (Cisl) defines the arbitrary firing of three Fiat workers as a residual incident deflecting from more important issues. And how did he get to be number one in a Catholic union? With friends like that Fiom needs no enemies. Wake up Bonanni! If Fiat gets away with the contemptuous firing of three workers I sure as hell would hate to see the treatment Fiat reserves for the rest of the workers on the job. Fiat is free to hire whomever, but can't fire workers nilly-willy. The Melfi issue is not a residual event, it's a human rights issue with damaging repercussions on labour relations should Fiat prevail.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | August 24, 2010 06:41 PM

Words from an Italian labor expert.

"Non si puo costringere con la forza un imprenditore a tenere nella sua azienda una persona non gradita se non altro per rispettare i principi della libera impresa costituzialmente garantiti dall'altro dell'articolo 41 della Costituzione.


'One cannot force an employer to retain in his place of work a "persona non grata", if for no other reason than to show respect for the freedom of enterprise principles as constitutionally guaranteed, after all, by Article 41 of the Constitution".

And that may be so. On the other hand, no employer should be allowed to terminate an employee simply because one morning the management deems the worker not welcome. Especially if that employee is carrying on union activities. Terminating an employee as "persona non grata" is an act of discrimination. After all the worker was deemed employable and hired on by the company. In Melfi it seems to me that dismisal was triggered by the workers' union activities. If so, that's a glaring case of discrimination and I don't think the Constitution guarantees employers the right to discriminate.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | August 24, 2010 03:56 PM

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