Europe,  Israel/Palestine

Conspiracy Theorist?

Former Italian President, Francisco Cossiga is a favourite of the 9/11 “Truth” Movement. His popularity results from a report of an interview he gave with the Italian newspaper, Corierre della Sera, in which he apparently claimed that 9/11 was a CIA/Mossad plot. Knowledge of the interview came to the english-speaking world, largely through the efforts of World Wide Zionist Conspiracy Theorist, Alex Jones.

Unfortunately, a full translation of the piece in question suggests that the ex-President was taking the piss out of conspiracy theorists, not promoting them:

“As I’ve been told, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow (interview appeared on 30 november 07) the most important chain of newspaper of our country should give the proof, with an exceptional scoop, that the video (which in reality is an audio tape, NdR) in which appear Osama, leader of “the great and powerful movement of islamic revenge Al Quaeda” – God bless him! – and in which are formulated threats to our ex president Berlusconi, is nothing more than a fake realized inside Mediaset studios (the huge television group owned by Berlusconi) in Milan and sent to arabic television Al Jazeera.

The trap was organized to create solidarity for Berlusconi, which is having lot of problem related for the tangle between RAI and Mediaset. From sources near to Palazzo Chigi, the nevralgic center of italian intelligence, we know that the video is fake because Osama admits that he was the mind behind the attacks against the twin towers, while all the democratic parties in Europe and USA know very well that the attack was organised by CIA and Mossad, whit the help of sionistic world, just to accuse arab countries and induce occident to intervein both in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is why nobody in parlament gave solidarity to Berlusconi, which is the author of the fake video” “

In an article in another Italian newspaper, La Stampa, he had this to say:

He affirms, “I refuse the conspiracy theory, which is a smart and sometimes sincere contrafaction of reality caused by the fear of that (reality)”.

And also: “Rembering how “open” american society is, I think it’s very unlikely, I may say impossible, that 9/11 was an inside job”.

Well, that sounds a bit more like it.

Now read this article in Yediot Aharonot.

In an article written by former Italian President Francesco Cossiga for the national newspaper Corriere della Sera he confesses, “I always knew, though not by official documents and information kept from me, Foreign Relations about the existence of an agreement based on ‘don’t harm me and I won’t harm you’ between the Italian Republic and organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the PLO.”

According to Cossiga the agreement was approved and directed by former Italian Premier Aldo Moro, who “was awarded an extraordinary capability for the direction of Italian intelligence agencies and special forces after he received approval for the deal.”

“According to the deal, the Palestinian organizations could establish bases in Italy, enjoyed freedom of movement when entering and exiting the country, and could move around without undergoing mandatory security checks because they were protected by the secret service,” Cossiga explained.

“During my time as interior minister I learned that PLO people were holding heavy artillery in their homes and protected by diplomatic immunity as representatives of the Arab League. I was told not to worry and I managed to convince them to lay down their heavy artillery and make do with light weaponry.”

Cossiga’s article was published just one day after Corriere della Serra’s reporter in Israel interviewed Bassam Abu Sharif in Jericho, who is considered the foreign minister of the PFLP. In the interview Sharif admitted that Italy permitted free movement to Palestinian organizations within its boundaries.

But the agreement did not always run smoothly. On August 2, 1980 an explosion shook Bologna’s train station; 85 people were killed and 200 more were injured in the blast. Cossiga believes it is entirely possible that the explosion was due to a “work accident” and that explosive materials handled by the Palestinians were responsible for the incident.

However Sharif claims that international intelligence agencies, mainly the Israeli Mossad, instigated the event in order to undermine the agreement between the Palestinian organizations and the Italian government. Thus Italians began to feel that the blast was not an outcome of a conflict between Italian extremists, but rather a consequence of the Israeli-Arab quarrel.

Aldo Moro himself was kidnapped by the Red Brigades terror organization. In a letter he sent from captivity the former premier admitted that “with the Palestinians we get along in a different manner.” When he was nearing death he launched another letter in which he claimed that “only the Palestinians can serve as mediators with the Red Brigades.”

Indeed, Sharif admitted recently that his organization held ties with the Italian leftist group, which ended up executing Moro and terrorizing Italy for many years.

According to this article in the Jerusalem Post, Yediot Aharonot published an interview with Cossiga this Friday, in which he has the following to say:

Cossiga admitted that it wasn’t just Israeli targets that Italy permitted the Palestinians to attack with impunity, but Jewish targets as well. Indeed, in at least one and probably two incidents, the Italians colluded with the Palestinians in their attacks against Jews. On October 9, 1982, six terrorists opened fire on worshippers leaving Rome’s Great Synagogue. Dozens of Jews were wounded and two-year-old Stefano Tache was murdered. Hours before the attack the Italian police detail charged with securing the synagogue was withdrawn.

Then too, in December 1985, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the El Al ticket counter at the Rome airport. Ten people were killed. Another seven people were murdered in a simultaneous attack against the El Al ticket counter at the Vienna airport. According to Cossiga, Italian intelligence agencies received prior warning of the attack but didn’t bother to share the information with Israel.

Cossiga explained to Yediot, “No Italian targets were hit. They attacked the Israeli airline at the airport. The murdered were all Israelis, Jews, and Americans.”

Then there was the hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro off the Egyptian coast in October 1985. Palestinian terrorists led by Abu Abbas commandeered the ship. They shot wheelchair-bound American Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw him overboard while he was still alive. The Egyptians freed the hijackers and sent them off on a flight to Libya. American jets forced a plane to land at a NATO base in Sicily. The Italians refused to permit the Americans to take the hijackers into custody and freed Abbas. The Italians cast the standoff as a victory against American bullies. But it really amounted to a surrender to Palestinian murderers. As Cossiga explained, “Since the Arabs were capable of harming Italy more than the Americans, Italy surrendered to them.”

COSSIGA ALLEGES that his country’s agreement with the Palestinians has recently been expanded to include Hizbullah. After the Second Lebanon War, Italy agreed to command the UNIFIL force charged with preventing Hizbullah from reasserting control over southern Lebanon and blocking its re-armament efforts. Yet Cossiga asserts, “I can state with absolute certainty that… Italy has a deal with Hizbullah according to which UNIFIL forces turn a blind eye to Hizbullah’s rearmament so long as no attacks are carried out against soldiers in the force.”

What am I to make of this?

Is Cossiga joking, as he did about Berlusconi’s supposed forgery of the Osama bin Laden tape threatening him? Is he an old man who has gone mad? Or is this true?

This tells you a little bit about how both news and conspiracy theories work. I haven’t seen this story on the front page of The Times. I’m inclined to believe, that if Italy really did work hand in glove with Arab and Palestinian terrorists, then a non-Israeli newspaper would have reported it. I don’t read Italian, so I don’t know what – if anything – the Italian press is saying about these allegations. I don’t have any particular reason to think that Cossiga is lying. He seems an authoritative figure. However, that he comes from the Italian Right, and the fact that he has also become – evidently against his intention – a pin up boy for the Truther movement, makes me slightly cautious. I know little about terrorism or Italian politics and diplomacy in the 1970s: so I have no feel for what is likely to be going on here. In any case, if this is true, my gut tells me, surely it would be headline news in every country in the world?

What I do know is this. If I were to tell my friends that a former Italian President had claimed that the Italian Government actively assisted the PLO and the PFLP, I’d get the same sort of pitying looks that I’d get if I opined that the moon landings were staged in a TV studion in Burbank.

The only thing is, the agreement – if not the wilder theories about Bologna – does appear to have been confirmed by spokesman for the PFLP, Bassam Abu Sharif, in which he confirms an agreement between the PFLP and the Italian Government, to transport arms through Italy.

By contrast, it is very readily believed, by a large number of people, that Cossiga blew the cover on Mossad’s involvement in the flying of aeroplanes into the Twin Towers.

Hat tip: ami