- Strategy of tension
A strategy of tension ( _it. strategia della tensione) is an alleged way used by world powers to divide, manipulate, and control
public opinionusing fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, as well as false flagterrorist actions. According to historian Daniele Ganser, "It is a tactic which consists in committing bombings and attributing them to others. By the term 'tension' one refers to emotional tension, to what creates a sentiment of fear. By the term 'strategy' one refers to what feeds the fear of the people towards one particular group". [ PDFlink| [http://www.danieleganser.ch/interviews/pdf_06/GanserInterviewVoltairenet29dez06.pdf Interview with Daniele Ganser] |154 KiB , December 29, 2006, on Voltaire network's website fr icon ]
The term "strategia della tensione" was coined in
Italyduring the trials that followed the 1970s and 1980s years of lead ( "anni di piombo"), during which terror attacks and assassinations were committed by apparently neofascist terrorists (with such names as " Ordine Nuovo", "Avanguardia Nazionale" or " Fronte Nazionale"). Some claim that these groups were in fact acting on instructions from the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, the P2 masonic lodge and Operation Gladio, a NATOsecret " stay-behind" army officially set up to perform guerilla and resistance activities should Italy be successfully invaded by the Soviet bloc(there were equivalent armies in most Western states).Fact|date=October 2007
These groups began to pursue an ostensibly extreme right-wing
anti-communistagenda using violent means, including false flag bombings that were then blamed on extra-parliamentaryleft-wing militant organizations, to discredit the political Left in general at a time in Italy when the Italian Communist Party was very close to entering government, a possibility the US would naturally have wanted to impede. It should be noted that the actions carried out by these extreme groups primarily designed to agitate and control public opinion, creating fears about the Communist Party. At the time, they created massive public concern and widespread paranoia. According to the "strategia della tensione" theory, this was deliberate. Examples of such actions include the 1972 Peteano bombing, long thought to have been carried out by the Red Brigades, but for which the neofascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerrahas been imprisoned, the attempted assassination of former Interior Minister Mariano Rumoron 17 May 1973or the Bologna railway station bombing known as the Bologna massacreof 1980.Fact|date=October 2007
The aim of these actions was to make the public believe that the bombings were committed by a communist insurgency, to promote the formation of an authoritarian government, and to prevent the strong
Italian Communist Party(PCI) from joining the ruling Democrazia Cristiana(DC) in a national unity government (the " Historic Compromise" between Aldo Moroand Enrico Berlinguer, respective leaders of the DC and of the PCI).Fact|date=October 2007 An astonishing observation of the terrorism in Italy that was blamed on communists is that it coincided with election victories for the communists at the polls. So as the PCI was gaining popular support, the number of civilian-targeted bombings, random knee-cappings, and high-profile kidnappings blamed on communist terrorists increased markedly.Fact|date=October 2007
Furthermore, starting with the 1969
Piazza Fontana bombingand the 1972 Peteano attack, several bombings carried out by the far-right were at first blamed on anarchists (for the first one) and, for the second one, on the Red Brigades(BR) — although it was later found that neofascists, such as Vincenzo Vinciguerra, had organized them. Piazza Fontana's bombing, in December 1969, marked the beginning of the "strategia della tensione", which ended around the time of the Bologna railway station bombingin 1980.Fact|date=October 2007
In 2000, a Parliamentary report from the
Olive Treecoalition concluded that the strategy of tension followed by Gladio had been supported by the United States to "stop the PCI, and to a certain degree also the PSI, from reaching executive power in the country".Fact|date=October 2007 Members of the Democratic Party of the Left(PDS), part of the Commission on Terrorism headed by senator Giovanni Pellegrinoand created in 1988, also described the Italian peninsula since the end of World War IIas a "country with 'limited sovereignty'" and as an "American colony" [ [http://www.pds.it/dossier/dossier_stragi/introduzione2.htm Dossier Stragi] by the Democrats of the Leftit icon ] The centrist Italian Republican party described the claims as worthy of a 1970s Maoist group. Aldo Giannuli, a historian who works as a consultant to the parliamentary terrorism commission, sees the release of the Left Democrats' report as a manoeuvre dictated primarily by domestic political considerations. "Since they have been in power the Left Democrats have given us very little help in gaining access to security service archives," he said. "This is a falsely courageous report." cite journal
month =June 24
title =US 'supported anti-left terror in Italy'
The US state department has denied involvement in terrorism and stated that some of the researchers, like Ganser above, have been influenced by a Soviet forgery,
US Army Field Manual 30-31B.cite web|title=Misinformation about "Gladio/Stay Behind" Networks Resurfaces |publisher=United States Department of State |url=http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2006/Jan/20-127177.html]
Piazza Fontana bombing
In December 1969, four bombings struck in Rome the
Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II("Altare della Patria"), the " Banca Nazionale del Lavoro", and in Milan the "Banca Commerciale" and the "Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura". The later bombing, known as the Piazza Fontana bombingof 12 December 1969, killed 16 and injured 90, marking the beginning of this violent period. Giuseppe Pinelli, a young anarchist, was first accused of the crime. After his suspicious death, which was claimed to be suicideby the authorities, investigator Luigi Calabresi— accused of being the murderer — came under violent criticism from the left; he would eventually be murdered a few years later. Nobel prize laureate Dario Fowrote a piece on Pinelli's death, Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
After Pinelli, the police investigated another anarchist,
Pietro Valpreda. He quickly became a hero to the left, who perceived him to be a victim of a plot to attribute a fascist bombing to the left. The leftist environment produced an investigative book, "La strage di Stato" ("The state massacre") [it icon [http://www.uonna.it/libro.htm La strage di Stato] ] , in which they claimed the state was attacking anarchists because they (by definition) could not have a political party to defend them, as communists would have had. As it would turn out through years of painstaking investigation, the bombing was indeed a work of the extreme right, even though the connection of the state to these acts is not yet clear.
Stefano Delle Chiaiewas then arrested in Caracas, Venezuelain 1989 and rendered to Italyto stand trial for his role. Delle Chiaie was however acquitted by the Assise Court in Catanzaroin 1989, along with fellow accused Massimiliano Fachini.
In 1998, David Carrett, officer of the
U.S. Navy, was indicted by a Milanese magistrate, Guido Salvini, on charge of political and military espionage and his participation in the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, among other events. Judge Guido Salvini also opened a case against Sergio Minetto, Italian official for the US-NATO intelligence network, and " pentito" Carlo Digilio. " La Repubblica" underlined that Carlo Rocchi, the CIA's man in Milan, was surprised in 1995 searching for information concerning Operation Gladio, thus demonstrating that all was not over. it icon cite news | title=Strage di Piazza Fontana spunta un agente USA | publisher= La Repubblica| date=1998-02-11| accessdate = 2006-02-02| url=http://www.repubblica.it/online/fatti/fontana/fontana/fontana.html (With original documents, including juridical sentences and the report of the Italian Commission on Terrorism) ]
June 20, 2001conviction of Italian Neo-fascists Doctor Carlo Maria Maggi, Delfo Zorziand Giancarlo Rognoniwas overturned in March 2004. Carlo Digilio, a suspected CIAinformant, received immunity from prosecution by becoming a witnessfor the state (in agreement with the pentitilaws).
Ordine Nuovomember Vincenzo Vinciguerra: "The December 1969 explosion was supposed to be the detonator which would have convinced the political and military authorities to declare a state of emergency."
Bombing of Italicus train,
August 4, 1974 August 4, 1974, 12 died and 105 were injured in the bombing of the train Italicus Roma-Brennero express at San Benedetto Val di Sambro.
1974 Piazza della Loggia bombing in Brescia
The first judicial investigation concerning the 1974 Piazza della Loggia bombing led to the condemnation in 1979 of a member of the Brescian far-right movement. However, this first sentence was cancelled in 1983 and the suspect absolved in 1985 by the Court of Cassation. A second investigation led to the accusation of another far-right activist, who was thereafter absolved in 1989 because of insufficient proofs. A third investigation is still in activity. On
May 19, 2005, the Court of Cassation confirmed the arrest warrant against Delfo Zorzi, a former member of the " Ordine Nuovo" neo-fascist group, who was also suspected of being the material executor of the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing. Alongside Delfo Zorzi, his neo-fascist comrades Carlo Maria Maggi and Maurizio Tramonte, all members of the Ordine Nuovo group founded in 1956 by Pino Rauti, are also suspected of having organized the Piazza della Loggia bombing.
Bologna railway bombing,
August 2, 1980
Bologna railway bombing killed 85 persons and injured 200. A long, troubled and controversial court case and political issue ensued. The relatives of the victims formed an association ("Associazione tra i famigliari delle vittime della strage alla stazione di Bologna del 2 agosto 1980") to raise and maintain civil awareness on the Bologna massacre. On
23 November 1995the Italian Supreme Court ("Corte di Cassazione") issued the final sentence:
* confirmation of
life imprisonmentto the Neo-Fascistterrorists Valerio Fioravantiand Francesca Mambro— who have always pleaded innocent — as executors of the attack
* sentence for investigation diversion to
Licio Gelli(headmaster of Propaganda Due- aka P2), Francesco Pazienza and to SISMIofficers Pietro Musumeci and Giuseppe Belmonte.
Stefano Delle Chiaie, friend of Licio Gelli and member of the "Armed Revolutionary Nuclei" (ARN), an off-shoot of " Ordine Nuovo", also has been accused of having taken part in it.
Role of Italian Intelligence Services
Vito Miceli, P2 member, chief of the SIOS(Servizio Informazioni), Army Intelligence's Service from 1969 and SID's head from 1970 to 1974, was arrested on charges of "conspiration against the state" concerning investigations about "Rosa dei venti", a state-infiltrated group involved in terrorist acts.Fact|date=March 2008 In 1977, the secret services were reorganized in a democratic attempt. With law #801 of 24/10/1977, SID was divided into SISMI("Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare"), SISDE("Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica") and CESIS("Comitato Esecutivo per i Servizi di Informazione e Sicurezza"). The CESIS has a coordination role, led by the President of Council.
Turkeyhas a history of involvement in similar plots. The Turkish branch of Gladio, known as Counter-Guerrilla, allegedly followed a similar strategy in Turkey in order to justify the 1980 military coup. See [http://www.danieleganser.ch/ Daniele Ganser] , "NATO's Secret Armies. Operation Gladioand Terrorism in Western Europe", Frank Cass, London, 2005. [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php/collections/coll_gladio.htm Extracts and documents available here] . ] Turkish secret police are also believed to have instigated the bombing of the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, Greecein 1955, leading to the Istanbul Pogromagainst the Greek minority of Istanbul. [Dilek Güven, [http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=163380 “6–7 Eylül Olayları (1)”] , "Radikal", 6 September 2005]
As recently as July 2008, two Turkish ex-generals were arrested for allegedly planning to spark mass demonstrations and violent clashes against the government. This, in turn, would justify a military takeover of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Islamic government.Fact|date=August 2008
Operation Condorin South America and events in Algeriaduring the 1990s (see Organisation of Young Free Algerians).Fact|date=March 2008 Stefano Delle Chiaieapparently had a hand in both what was happening in Italy and with Operation Condor, as he met with Michael Townley(a US expatriate, DINAagent). It has been claimed that Delle Chiaie was involved in the murder of General Carlos Pratsin Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 30 1974. Delle Chiaie, along with fellow extremist Vincenzo Vinciguerra,testified in Romein December 1995 before judge María Romilda Servini de Cubríathat Enrique Arancibia Clavel(a former Chilean secret police agent prosecuted for crimes against humanityin 2004) [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3596316.stm Vital rights ruling in Argentina] , BBC News, August 24, 2004] and Michael Townley were directly involved in this assassination. [es icon [http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2000/05/22/mun6.html Arancibia, "clave" en la cooperación de las dictaduras] , La Jornada, May 22, 2000]
Books, cinema, theater
Dario Fo, "Morte accidentale di un anarchico", on anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli's death.
Excellent Cadavers" (a book and 1976 movie), a political thriller about a coup d'état by a powerful élite in Italy in the 70s.
Mario Monicelli, "Un borghese piccolo piccolo" (film), 1977
Margarethe von Trotta, "Anni di piombo", 1981
Silvio Bandinelli, "Anni di piombo", 1999
Guido Chiesa, "Lavorare con lentezza" - Radio Alice 100.6 MHz, 2004
Philip Willan, "Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy", London: Constable and Company, 1991. 375 pages (ISBN 0-09-470590-9)
Stuart Christie, " Stefano Delle Chiaie: Portrait of a Black Terrorist", London: Anarchy Magazine/Refract Publications, 1984. 182 pages (ISBN 0-946222-09-6)
* Chernyavsky, V., ed. "The CIA in the Dock: Soviet Journalists on International Terrorism", Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1983. 176 pages.
Giuseppe De Lutiis: "Storia dei servizi segreti in Italia", Roma : Editori Riuniti, 1984(1994). 313 pages (ISBN 883593432X)
Piazza della Loggia bombing, May 28, 1974
Enrico Mattei's 1962 death
Aldo Moro's 1978 murder
Mariano Rumor(Christian-Democrat), Interior minister, attacked in 1973
* [http://libcom.org/tags/strategy-of-tension The Strategy of Tension] on libcom.org
* [http://www.fearlessnews.com/ Fearless News] - An online community collecting statistics on fear in mass media
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