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what Scaramella tells us about Berlusconi's Italy (occult, dirty tricks, corruption involved)

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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:36 PM
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what Scaramella tells us about Berlusconi's Italy (occult, dirty tricks, corruption involved)
(more weirdness from the Litvinenko affair...)


http://www.slate.com/id/2155274 /

The Secret Life of Mario Scaramella
What a bit player in the case of the radioactive Russian tells us about Berlusconi's Italy.

He is a kind of Rosencrantz or Guildenstern of the Litvinenko tragedy, a minor character who sheds a highly revealing sidelight on the larger drama while also illuminating a different and very Italian tragedy. He is a type that shows up in spy storiesa teller of tall tales and half-truths; part Walter Mitty, part con man, part spy; a person who by virtue of bogus credentials and connections acquires real credentials and real connections. The Italians have a term for people like this that has no exact equivalent in English: millantatore di creditosomeone who claims to know a lot more and to have done a lot more than he really does. (It is even a crime in Italy, generally invoked in fraud cases.)

Although a baby-faced man of only 36, Scaramella claims to have been recruited several years ago by the CIA to trace relationships between South American narco-traffickers and Russian spy agencies. ... The one indisputable element in Scaramella's rsum is that for the last three years he has served as a paid consultant on a commission of the Italian parliament set up by then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2002 to investigate the occult influence of the KGB in Italian life. As newly published wiretaps reveal, the commission quickly degenerated into a dirty-tricks operation to dig up dirt on Berlusconi's political opponents.

(snip)

However, the commission failed to provide the rich material that Berlusconi and Guzzanti were hoping formaterial to keep the Italian left on the defensive and in opposition for years to come.... As a result, in 2003, Guzzanti hired Scaramella hoping to dig up information of more recent vintage. Of course, this meant going beyond documentary evidence supposedly copied by Mitrokhin from the KGB files, investigating all sorts of ties between Russia and Italian politicians, and refreshing the memories of unemployed or underemployed former spies with nothing to sell other than their stories. The commission's work was so poorly regarded even by many conservatives that not only was it unable to generate a bipartisan report, but Guzzanti ended up issuing a report without the signatures of his fellow commissioners on the center-right.

Even after issuing his official report in December of 2004, Guzzanti continued his investigations with Scaramella at his side. But soon enough, Scaramella became a major source of embarrassment. He told Italian authorities that the Russians had planted an antenna on Mount Vesuvius that could activate nuclear missiles that were in a sunken Soviet submarine at the bottom of the Bay of Naples. Investigations found no antenna, and the submarine in question was known to have sunk in the Bay of Biscay. In looking for the mysterious antenna, Scaramella obtained a police escort and got involved in a shootout that he described as an attempt on his life. Investigations proved that Scaramella's bodyguard had done all the shooting, firing 16 bullets into a parked car. Scaramella insisted that he was the target of an assassination squad from Ukraine connected to al-Qaida, and he led police to a truck containing four Ukrainians and an unimpressive stash of arms: two grenades. Scaramella's precise knowledge of the operation attracted suspicion, and he is now under investigation for arms trafficking. He also claimed that Russians were transporting a shipment of uranium across Italyanother claim that didn't pan out.
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