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“Calipari may have been a target. Conflicts among secret services are not just spy stories”

Alessandro Cardulli, Aprile - Zabrinskypoint.org

Iraq. Interview with Giulietto Chiesa: "The accident might be possible, but…"

Source: http://www.aprileonline.info/articolo.asp?ID=3765&numero=218

"Let me tell you a real story about secret services". This how our talk with Giulietto Chiesa begins, a member of European Parliament, a journalist who knows very well who’s who in the village of several countries, Iraq not least, where he recently visited Basra, Nassirija, and other places. "This story happened in Chechnya, but it could happen in any country where the secret services have pitched their camp. Everywhere there are two-way infiltrations, I infiltrate you, you infiltrate me. The problem, seems a piece of cake, is to prevent the undercover agents to be identified. That’s why the services are called "secret". Let’s go back to the story, whose main character I know but, for obvious reasons, I can’t reveal his name: this person, in Chechnya, gets in touch with one service. It happens, accidentally, by mere chance, that among those he’s meeting there’s someone he knows, but that shouldn’t be there. A russian spy, exactly. Guess what he had to do to save his life? He had to flee right away, leave Chechnya immediately. What he had seen put him in jeopardy. He should have not seen it."
Giulietto Chiesa tells me this story referring to the risks run by those who deal with the terrorists, the resistance, the guerrilla, operating in constantly unsafe situations. Nicola Calipari had accomplished other rescues, he was a well known person in various iraqi circles. "Who pursues awkward negotiations, finds himself necessarily involved in tricky problems – Chiesa goes on - in collusion with different kinds of groups that create a grey area, with undercover agents of the kind I was talking about, with double-dealers. One arriving in Iraq must establish a series of contacts and figure out who really is the one to deal with. A circle of Hell from which once you’re in you can no longer get out, unless you leave immediately the country where you have accomplished a mission, and never go back there again ".
Chiesa points out the role of secret services, their conduct, plots that not even your ally must know. The agent’s operativeness must be ignored even though the ally must know what you’re doing, not your relationships and your contacts.
"In short – he observes – I mean that exactly Nicola Calipari might have become a target, he could have seen something he didn’t have to. Conflicts among secret services, in countries where guerrilla, terrorism and resistance rule, are likely, are a fact. They don’t happen only in spy stories". It is a line of investigation, although "it might have actually been only an accident, knowing that such accidents are normal, an every day occurrence".
"The actual evidence are few but significant – he adds -, showing the car speed was not high as the americans claim, that there was no warning sign, they have just shot. However, it is certain that everybody knew there was a car carrying the liberated hostage, a Sismi agent and his aide. Now we know that another Sismi agent, the chief of the italian force and the chief of the Cia station were waiting for them at the airport". Chiesa draws this scenario, suggests these certainties because these are the basic starting ground of the committee of inquiry, "for a serious inquiry, to get the truth and shed light". He’s not too confident though, as he told a Los Angeles Times reporter who interviewed him: "The americans - he asserted – are unlikely to say something inconvenient for them". This is another knot to loose, for the americans it is also "inconvenient" to akcnowledge the accident, because it means to acknowledge the total failure of Bush’s politics, the preemptive war. "If in Iraq the US soldiers shoot any time something that, according to them, could blow up – Giulietto stresses -, if they live in terror that a car bomb might blown them up at any time, if the terror is spread, if people die not during a conventional battle but at any street corner, if you patrol behind a bend and from the other side a car is coming and you blast away, it means the war never ended. It is a terrible, endless war. What are our soldiers doing out there, what is their role? The situation has lost any sign of reasoning: this is a carnage where it is not easy to recognize your friends. After the elections euphoria, why do we stay in Iraq, what for? When journalists can’t do their job, when they are told not to go, when all the civilians and the troops are constantly in danger, I repeat, why stay?"

Translated by Eva Milan - www.zabrinskypoint.org

Giulietto Chiesa is one of Italy's best known journalists. As Moscow correspondent for the Italian paper "La Stampa", his investigative reporting has always been marked by a sense of civil engagement balanced with scrupulous documentary research. Among his latest books are "Afghanistan, anno zero" (Guerini e Associati, 2001) and "G8/Genova" (Einaudi, 2001) and "The Infinite War" (Feltrinelli, 2002).

Courtesy of Zabrinskypoint.org

:: Article nr. 10372 sent on 14-mar-2005 18:56 ECT


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