Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy
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The CIA has been accused of a massive intelligence failure in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks -- the result, it is said, of a moralistic and bureaucratic approach to information-gathering. But the CIA's spies had few qualms when it came to cultivating terrorist organisations and interfering in the internal politics of Cold War Italy. Puppetmasters reveals how US intelligence services exploited the P2 masonic lodge to prop up friendly Christian Democrat-dominated governments and counter the growing political influence of the Italian Communist Party. It was a ruthless strategy involving coup plots, right wing terrorist bombings and the manipulation of the Red Brigades. And it gave Italy one of the bloodiest and most protracted periods of terrorist violence ever seen in a modern, industrialised society.
filthy, bleating herd, led by Chrisrian·communist jackals,' it read. This is just the frame of mind required if one is to plant bombs in crowded public places. The prosecutor at the 1973 trial was Vittorio Occorsio. He was shot dead by Ordine Nuovo members on 10 July 1976, in the first assassination of a magistrate carried our by a right-wing group. One of the principal influences on the ideology of Ordine Nuovo, and of the neo-fascists in general, was the philosopher julius Evola. Evola
on receipt of a written agreemem from the government. 'All arrangements, including security, living accommodations, bail status, ere, would be made in advance so as to assure no possible inconvenience to the client,' Goldberger wrote. The letter gave the impression that the negotiations had made considerable progress. 'We are very close to concluding the matter,' Goldberger said and proposed holding an urgent meeting 'so that I can learn each of your requirements and present them to the US
newspaper of the extreme leh.' It may wel1 have been decided that there was more to be gained by falsely blaming the left for terrorist attacks than by risking such potential political capital on the uncertain outcome of a military coup. The bloody right-wing bombings often came as the culmination of a series of bloodless demonstrative bombings againsr political or economic targets. Iris possible to see this as a kind of dialogue within the right-wing camp: those who promised to move after our
author has refused the label of'repenrant' terrorist and has not sought any judicial benefit from his collaboration with the authorities, simply taking the opponuniry to denounce some of his erstwhile comrades as tools of the secret services. The man's name is Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a virulent fascist of psychopathic ruthlessness, who is currently serving a life sentence for Peteano and other terrorist crimes. On the evening of 31 May an anonymous caller informed the carabinieri in the town of
ideal instrument of an astute and perverse reactionary plan, embedded in the heart of the state and fed, perhaps, by domestic and international political forces.•• He described Negri as one of the driving forces of the revolutionary left and an essential reference point for the terrorists. Many students of left-wing terrorism have been struck by the modest intellectual level of captured terrorist leaders and speculated about the existence of an as yet undiscovered terrorist intelligentsia, who