The Lying Game
We know that Silvio Berluconi is a disgrace and that he betrayed the Italian people in taking them to war with George W. Bush based on evidence he knew to be false. Not only that, but he ordered his intelligence operatives to plant false evidence inside the safe of the Niger Embassy in Rome that would show that Saddam Hussein had purchased yellowcake from the African country. In the Sgrena affair, Berlusconi ordered the ransom of a Rome reporter because her execution would hurt him at the polls. But now his has lowered himself further to permit the US military to get away with the murder of one of Italy's most experienced, competent and valuable Middle East intelligence agents. In a masculine culture like Italy this should hurt him irreversibly, even among the fascists whom he has ressurected and brought to power.
La Repubblica reports that the investigation into Calipari's death will be concluded without a consensus of its findings, because the US Military is willing to prevaricate and to issue disinformation to the US press to distort the facts further.
ROME. The Italian and US versions of the Calipari investigation vary on several different points as to what took place on the highway to Baghdad airport where Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was killed and Guiliana Sgrena, a reporter freed after one month after being kidnapped by rebels, was wounded. Below are the major divergences:
Coordination: The Italians say that the US military in Baghdad was informed of Calipari’s imminent arrival at Baghdad airport. Not only that, a CIA agent was waiting at the airport with safe conducts for the party. US General George Casey, commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, has always maintained that he had no information of communications between the Italians and the US military. Casey also says he knew nothing about Sgrena’s release. The checkpoint was a “rolling” checkpoint which according to US press accounts [not the Military’s!—Nur] had been deployed to defend Ambassador John Negroponte, who was expected to be on the road at about the same time. The US patrol was not informed of the passage of the Italians.
Warnings. The Carabinieri major affirmed that halfway through a dangerous curve, a light, probably a spotlight, lit up unexpectedly in front of the car and he stopped. The car then came under automatic weapons fire immediately which lasted from 10 to 15 seconds. The USA claims that the patrol obeyed the rules of engagement with lights, handsignals and warning shots fired into the air, then at the ground.
Speed of the automobile. Both the Carabiniere assigned to SISMI and Mrs. Sgrena affirm that the Toyoto Corolla in which they were riding was going slowly--at about 40 km/hour(25 MPH), given the hazardous road conditions: a wet and uneven road and a dangerous curve. The interior passenger light was kept on because Calipari was making phone calls and because the group wanted to identify themselves at any possible checkpoint. The United States continues to claim that the headlights were turned off and that the vehicle was speeding. US press accounts say that the Toyota was doing between 90 km/hour (50 MPH) and 160 km/hour(100 MPH) and that the driver was out of control of his vehicle several times along the highway.