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Special Reports Last Updated: Aug 18th, 2010 - 00:23:01

Reagan ambassador decimated Italy�s intelligence capabilities in the Arab world
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 18, 2010, 00:22

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The CIA translated and maintained in its voluminous files an article from the Milan newspaper Il Mondo that described the joint actions of the CIA and �the American Jewish Lobby� to purge Arabists from the Italian intelligence service (SISMI) and counter-terrorism service (SISDE) in the early 1980s.

The article, once stamped �For Official Use Only� and dated January 8, 1982, states that �a mass defection among the [intelligence] professionals� affected �the most delicate of the intelligence agencies.�

The article states that among the blows to SISMI and SISDE they �came with the recent influx of CIA personnel here, both before and after the arrival of the new U.S. ambassador to Rome, Maxwell Rabb (a member of the very powerful American Jewish lobby who has business connections in Israel).� The article continues by stating that �Italy�s capacity for foreign penetration (and �foreign� for Italy in this delicate context means primarily the Middle East)� declined.

Rabb had served as an assistant to Navy Secretary James Forrestal in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Rabb also served as an assistant to Eisenhower adviser Sherman Adams for issues dealing with Jewish issues and �anti-Semitism.� Before and during World War II, Rabb served as an assistant to two Massachusetts Republican senators, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and Sinclair Weeks.

One of the SISMI casualties described in the article was Carabiniere Colonel Stefano Giovannone, �who led SISMI�s southeastern division and most importantly was the man who maintained close ties with the top spokesmen for the incandescent Arab world, including the Palestinian leadership.�

Along with the departure of Giovannone was, according the article, the demise of SISMI�s �building and strengthening good working relationships with the Arab nations around the Mediterranean� in order to �keep Italy out of the line of fire of the Palestinian guerrillas and other Arab irredentist groups� and continue Italian economic penetration of Middle East commercial markets.

The article states that the demise of Italy�s autonomous intelligence services in the Mediterranean region was also engineered by France�s SDECE and Israel�s Mossad. Particular targets of SDECE and Mossad included Italian industries that had contracts with Iraq. The article states that the French and Israelis leaked to the media fabricated reports concerning �alleged payoffs to the Italian parties in connection with trade agreements (such as the sale of Lupo-class frigates to Iraq and, quite probably, the ENI contract with Petromin.�)

The article suggests that Rabb and the government of Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini were developing �parallel structures� for intelligence, which was viewed with alarm after what the paper described as the �P2 hurricane.� P2, or Propaganda Due, was a secretive Masonic lodge exposed in the late 1970s that had influential members within the Italian government, police, intelligence services, and even the Vatican.

The purging of SISMI�s Arab specialists did not end in 1982. On March 4, 2005, US forces guarding the road from Baghdad to Baghdad Airport opened fire on the car transporting the deputy head of the Italian intelligence service SISMI, Nicola Calipari, and Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, freed by hostage takers, to an awaiting plane bound for Rome. Calipari was killed in what WMR previously reported was a targeted assassination. Calipari was a member of the Arabist wing of SISMI who survived the purges of the 1980s. But his negotiations with Iraqi insurgents who had taken Sgrena hostage also exposed his links to the Arabs in the Middle East, earning him a death sentence from the neocons in Washington.

WMR reported on multiple confirmations that Calipari was purposefully targeted by US forces who feared he was bringing out of Iraq evidence proving US war crimes in Iraq. It was reportedly part of a quid pro quo arranged with Sgrena�s Iraqi captors who released her to Calipari in return for informing the world about US war crimes in Fallujah.

The United States has refused to bring Calipari�s assassins to justice.

When Calipari was shot by the Americans, there happened to be another AIPAC-tied U.S. ambassador in Rome, Mel Sembler. A month before Calipari was assassinated, Sembler had an annex to the embassy named after himself, a move never before accomplished by an incumbent U.S. ambassador. WMR has learned from U.S. diplomatic sources that AIPAC, in effect, �owns� four U.S. ambassadorial posts in the Mediterranean region: Rome, Rabat, Ankara, and Tel Aviv.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2010

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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