Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Hard to believe that the Italians could let Berlusconi get into power again, but then a lot of Italian history (as elsewhere) is hard to believe. In the process of writing a diary about a recent trip to Bologna I looked into the background of the bombing of the train station in 1980 - if this was fiction one would say it was too obviously exaggerated;

During investigations into a banking scandal police searched the home of Licio Gelli. Gelli had fought for Mussolini's reborn Roman Empire in Spain, Yugoslavia and Albania and when Italian Fascism crumbled he joined the Nazi S.S. . After the war Gelli worked on the 'Ratlines' - the Vatican and C.I.A. sponsored escape routes for Nazi fugitives. Later he dealt arms in Latin America and reputedly became the linkman between the C.I.A. and Juan Peron the Argentine dictator. Searching his home, the police came across a list of over six hundred names and evidence linking them to a Freemason group called Propaganda-2 or P-2. Now freemasonry or any other oath-bound secret society is illegal in Catholic Italy, but of course totally unremarkable as this would be but for the membership of P-2. P-2 recruited from the "elite" of Italian society. It included within it's ranks one hundred and ninety five military officers, two serving Ministers, three ex-Ministers, one Party Secretary, sixteen Magistrates, four hundred and twenty two State officials, thirty six M.P.'s as well as Secret Service heads and various bankers and capitalists (see footnote 1). Magistrates investigating the Bologna bombing found that P-2 directed much of the Fascist violence and associated cover-ups and distortion. Gelli was P-2's 'venerable master' (that's leader to us mere mortals) and in 1986 he stood trial for his part in the 1980 Bologna bombing and was acquitted but found guilty of perjury. On the fourth of August 1974 a train bombing near Bologna killed twelve and injured forty-eight. A 1983 trial judgement on this atrocity found :

    "In the opinion of the parties claiming damages, the accused members of 'Ordine Nuovo' (New Order) were inspired, armed and financed to carry out the attack by the Masonic movement, which took advantage of right-wing subversives and terrorists, within the context of the so-called 'strategy of tension' in an attempt to halt the country's gradual drift to the left and set up the basis for a future coup d'etat" (4)

This was the P-2's plan, by means of terror in the style of agent provocateur promote a law and order agenda and provide a pretext for a clampdown on dissent and worker's struggle, if necessary a coup d'etat would be part of this. However given that P- 2 constituted a 'State within the State', a coup would be the option of last resort and would happen if for instance the Communist party entered a coalition government. Another organisation in the murky shadows of Italy's secret state shared the same ends and means as P-2. It however was official, if covert, it was called 'Gladio' (sword). Gladio was set up in 1958 by S.I.F.O.R. (Italian secret service, later replaced because it was suspected of involvement in a 1964 coup plot) and the C.I.A. . It's 15,000 members were recruited from W.W. 2 veterans groups and had access to 151 secret arms dumps. The purpose of Gladio was, (it was apparently disbanded in 1990, but then it didn't officially exist until then) we are told, to act as a resistance group in the event of a 'Warsaw pact invasion', a 'Soviet takeover'. Why any Russians would want to take over the radiation desert Italy would have become after a nuclear war, which would have been the result of any Warsaw pact invasion of Italy or any other N.A.T.O. sate is beyond me. In fact by the time it would have taken for 'Soviet' tanks to have reached Italy there would have been no more Pentagon or Kremlin to give orders. Secret Gladio documents made public in 1990 tell a different story, they tell of the danger of 'internal subversion' i.e. the working class. According to General Gerardo Serravalle, commander of Gladio during the 1970's, it was concerned with:

    "Internal control, that is our level of readiness to counter street demonstrations, handling nationwide strikes and any internal uprising"

and Gladio's role was to:

    "Fill the streets, creating a situation of such tension as to require military intervention"(5)

[the Berlusconi connection]

"some Fascists in the group of terrorists in question worked for the Carbinieri (a police unit) , that others had contact with the army or the police and that they received valuable and timely information in the progress of investigation into their activities"(1)
-From the report of an Italian parliamentary committee of inquiry.

Footnote 1: including Silvio Berlusconi , later to be Italian Prime Minister . Berlusconi was head of Group 17 &endash; P2's media section tasked with influencing public opinion and with P-2's help moved into the television business , his companies now dominate the Italian media and have been instrumental in his election success in a coalition with the 'National Alliance' a split from the old Fascist part . The Media in Italy continues to link the modern radical left with the 'days of lead', with i.e. the terrorism of the 70ies. No comment necessary.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 06:34:46 PM EST

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