I due cablogrammi segreti di Frattini e Berlusconi

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“La comunità internazionale, quella vera, che vuole migliorare il mondo e non distruggerlo come Wikileaks, deve reagire compatta alla fuga di file riservati del Dipartimento di Stato USA, diffusi dal sito di Julian Assange, senza commentare, senza retrocedere sul metodo della diplomazia, senza lasciarsi andare a crisi di sfiducia che, se diventa reciproca, può bloccare collaborazioni fondamentali per risolvere gravi situazioni di crisi che ci sono nel mondo. Dobbiamo ricalcare quello che si fece in un momento più tragico, l’11 settembre, quando si disse: alleanza globale contro il terrorismo. Qui dovremmo dire: alleanza globale per continuare a far vivere il metodo della diplomazia”. (Franco Frattini)

“Su di me solo falsità da funzionari di terz’ordine”. (Silvio Berlusconi)

“La rivelazione di documenti di Intelligence è molto spesso un atto di coscienza nell’interesse della gente”. (Julian Assange)

Julian Assange è scomparso lo scorso 18 novembre, quando la magistratura svedese ha emesso nei suoi confronti un mandato d’arresto internazionale per stupro e molestie. Negli Stati Uniti, invece, c’è un’indagine penale in corso, chiamata cablegate. La Casa Bianca ha marchiato il comportamento di Wikileaks come criminale ma per ora le autorità non hanno diramato una vera e propria denuncia. I critici accusano Assange di avere qualche contatto nella CIA o in altri servizi d’Intelligence, che lo utilizzano per una nuova forma di guerra cibernetica. Attualmente Julian Assange è ricercato dall’Interpol in 188 Paesi.

“Stiamo per invitarlo a venire in Ecuador – ha detto Kintto Lucas, giornalista e scrittore dell’Equador – così da poter liberamente presentare le informazioni in suo possesso e tutta la documentazione, non solo via internet ma in una varietà di forum pubblici. Siamo pronti a dargli soggiorno in Ecuador, senza problemi e senza condizioni”.

Intanto Wikileaks annuncia che presto diramerà documenti sugli affari sporchi di una banca americana, assicurando, inoltre, di essere in possesso di informazioni su società farmaceutiche e ditte private coinvolte nella gestione corrotta degli appalti da parte dei Governi.

Domenica sera Wikileaks cominciò a pubblicare 251.287 cablogrammi diplomatici degli Stati Uniti, il più grande set di documenti confidenziali che si abbia mai posto a disposizione dell’opinione pubblica internazionale. I temi più discussi nei cablogrammi riguardano relazioni internazionali di ordine politico, assunti interni di Governo, diritti umani, condizioni economiche, terroristi e terrorismo ed il Consiglio di Sicurezza dell’ONU.

I cablogrammi, che comprendono il periodo che va dal 28 dicembre 1966 al 28 febbraio 2010, contengono comunicazioni confidenziali tra 274 Ambasciate americane che si trovano sparse in tutti i Paesi del mondo ed il Dipartimento di Stato di Washington. Ci sono 15.652 cablogrammi classificati come segreti. Sono coinvolti anche consolati e missioni diplomatiche.

“I cablogrammi rivelano atti di spionaggio degli Stati Uniti nei confronti dei suoi alleati e dell’ONU – ha detto Julian Assange – atti di corruzione e violazione dei diritti umani in Paesi cosiddetti amici, negoziati segreti in Paesi supposti neutrali ed attività lobbistiche illecite in favore di multinazionali americane. La pubblicazione dei documenti rivela le contraddizioni tra l’immagine pubblica degli Stati Uniti e ciò che realmente si dice a porte chiuse. Se i cittadini in una democrazia vogliono che il governo rifletta i loro desideri, devono avere l’opportunità di chiedere che venga reso pubblico ciò che realmente accade dietro il palcoscenico. Negli Stati Uniti si insegna a scuola ad ogni bambino che George Washington, il primo Presidente di questo Paese, era una persona incapace di mentire. Se le amministrazioni dei suoi successori si fossero rette su questo principio, oggi questa marea di documenti non sarebbero altro che una mera questione d’imbarazzo. Il Governo degli Stati Uniti ha, invece, allertato tutti i Governo coinvolti, anche i più corrotti, riguardo la pubblicazione dei cablogrammi, in maniera che ogni Stato possa difendersi dall’impatto delle rivelazioni contenute nei documenti”.

A differenza delle pubblicazioni anteriori di Wikileaks, quando i documenti si pubblicarono tutti allo stesso momento, in questa occasione l’organizzazione sta pubblicando i documenti in maniera graduale. “I cablogrammi saranno pubblicati per tappe nei prossimi mesi – ha sottolineato Assange – gli argomenti trattati sono di tale importanza e coinvolgono un ambito geografico così ampio, che pubblicare tutto in una sola volta non renderebbe giustizia al contenuto rivelato. Deve essere dato tempo per leggere, studiare con attenzione e commentare ampliamente assieme all’opinione pubblica ogni cablogramma. Tutto ciò sarebbe impossibile da fare se i documenti fossero pubblicati tutti nello stesso momento e perciò la pubblicazione avverrà in forma graduale durante le prossime settimane”.

Di seguito, in lingua originale inglese, i due cablogrammi riguardanti l’Italia e l’Ambasciata USA a Roma, pubblicati da Wikileaks (Julian Assange ha detto che il contenuto dei prossimi cablogrammi che riguardano l’Italia si riferiscono al periodo tra il 2006 e il 2009, ndr.):

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STAFFDEL KESSLER DISCUSSES IRAN WITH MFA, ENI, PD

1.  (C)  Staff Director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HCFA) Dr. Richard Kessler and HCFA staff members probed senior MFA and energy and gas parastatal Eni officials on Italy’s intentions concerning Iran sanctions and prospects for effective multilateral action to curb Iran’s nuclear program.  Opposition Democratic Party (PD) officials discussed Iran, Italy‘s role in Afghanistan, the MEPP, Iraq, and nonproliferation with the Staffdel.  End Summary.

IRAN DOMINATES MFA TALKS

2.  (C)  A January 8 roundtable discussion with Dr. Kessler and three HCFA staff members at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) included MFA Director General for Multilateral Political Cooperation Stefano Ronca, Ronca’s Deputy Filippo Formica, and  Deputy DG for Economic Cooperation Claudio Spinedi.  Office Directors Massimo Marotti (Political-Military Security and NATO Affairs); Diego Brasioli (G8 Issues and Global Challenges); and Giovanni Pugliese (Arms Control and Nonproliferation) also participated. After the roundtable the Staffdel had a meeting with MFA Deputy SecGen and Political Director Sandro De Bernardin.  Post was represented by the Charge, Pol-Mil Counselor and Poloff (notetaker).

3. (C)  Ronca believes the deteriorating situation in Iran will soon come to a head and that the UNSC should convey to Iran that delay tactics will not work and support this position by readiness to adopt further pressure.  Ronca and Spinedi told the Staffdel Italy is ready to explore, with its EU colleagues, the possibility of further sanctions, which, however, must conform to EU regulations, and not affect the legal rights of European companies.  Ronca suggested that the Iranian financial, oil and gas, and insurance sectors (but not the Central Bank) could be targeted and that the list sensitive products on the export ban list could be expanded.

4.  (C)  Spinedi, who (with Formica) attended the October 7 Washington meeting of “Likeminded States on Iran,” started bybriefly alluding to Italy‘s longstanding complaint of exclusion from P5 1.  Spinedi pointed out we needed to determine what kind of sanctions would be acceptable to China and Russia, adding that even at the beginning of January, China‘s UN ambassador said that China “needed more time,”which, Spinedi noted, was not a total rejection of tougher sanctions.  Spinedi advocated strengthening what already exists and deciding where we are willing to exert additional pressure (especially in the oil and gas sector).  It would be important to determine which technologies others (e.g., China and India) are willing to provide and embargo those which they cannot.  Spinedi acknowledged that Italy had not yet imposed legally binding sanctions, but that the GOI had successfully used “moral suasion.”

5.  (C)  Spinedi noted that sanctions proposed by the U.S. at the October 7 Likeminded meeting included targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command (IRGC), but did not include an embargo of refined oil and gas products.  Spinedi echoed Ronca in saying that in the coming months Italy will need to see how the rest of the Europe will approach new sanctions.

6.  (C)  MFA Deputy SecGen Sandro De Bernardin told the Staffdel that Italy was well aware of the danger posed by Iran and supported a “firm line.”  De Bernardin noted Eni’s considerable investments in Iran and characterized Italy‘s “moral suasion” efforts to wean Iran away from its nuclear ambitions as a “significant success.”  On sanctions, De Bernardin stated that Italy was prepared to assume its “share of responsibility,” but that sanctions are a means of pressure, not a goal; effective ones must be found. In DeBernardin’s view, U.S.domestic legislation should not negatively affect other countries and the presidential waiver has been useful in the past; he hoped it will still figure in the future.

7.  (C)  Kessler encouraged Italy to continue and reinforce their past efforts.  De Bernardin agreed that if Iran gets the bomb, then others will seek to acquire nuclear weapons too and that the Iranian regime must realize there is a heavy price to be paid for persisting in non-compliance. ” DeBernardin reiterated Italy’s support for openess to dialogue in addition to pressure, or the dual-track approach, and that “putting Iran in a corner” is not the same as “cutting it off” and characterized Italy as a “crucial player,” essential to catalyzing consensus in Europe. He added that, given Iran‘s critical domestic situation, the regime was not in a position to decide anything.

KEY TO SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN

8.  (C)  With regard to the critical situation in Afghanistan, Ronca acknowledged that we must strengthen the military aspect of the campaign, but that institution building and engaging President Karzai on fighting corruption must not be neglected. On the security side, Ronca said that Italy will increase its force by 1000 men during the first half of 2010 and that its Afghan National Police (ANP) training program is a first priority.  As for civilian engagement, Italy has committed 465 million euros in various civilian sectors, including health, education, and justice. Ronca and Marotti stressed the need for better coordination of civilian and military activities as an issue that should be on the agenda of the January 28 London NATO conference. Ronca noted that reaching out to insurgents was a task that should also be pursued. The Italians stressed the need for a long-term development strategy based on Afghan priorities, but which would also include private sector involvement and the development of good governance.

CENTER LEFT PD AIRS FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONS

9. (C)  Head of the opposition Partito Democratico’s (PD) Foreign Policy Department Piero Fassino told the Staffdel the PD supports President Obama’s initiative  to dialogue and build bridges with the Islamic world, but is very concerned about the blocked MEPP and the “new wave of terror” in Afghanistan.  As for Iran, the PD supports pursuing a negotiated solution, but Fassino questioned whether the current leadership is in a position to negotiate credibly. He suggested it could be useful to change the order of priorities in Iran; that is, be more flexible on the nuclear issue, but harder on human rights.  According to Fassino, the greatest risk with nuclear proliferation is that irresponsible governments like the one in Iran could gainaccess to nuclear arms, adding that the PD assessed that there was little to fear with nations such as India, Britain, and France having nuclear weapons.  He asked whether a democratic government in Iran might not have a different position on the nuclear program.

10.  (C)  Fassino said the PD supports the GOI’s increased (military) support for Afghanistan, but stressed that strengthening civil and governmental institutions and economic development are equally important.  On the MEPP, Fassino characterized Netanyahu’s proposed 10-month settlement freeze “a little window of opportunity,” but questioned whether it was enough, given the Israelis’ refusal to discuss (the status of) Jerusalem.  As for Iraq, Fassino said the stabilization process must be supported; there was no alternative.

ENI JUSTIFIES IRAN ACTIVITIES

11.  ( C ) Energy and gas parastatal Eni (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) officials told the Congressional delegation that it is cooperating to address USG concerns over the company,s Iran activities, but insisted that it will continue to fulfill its contractual obligations there. The company officials said that Eni has understood the USG message to reduce its presence in Iran, and as a result it has already decreased its Iran activities to a minimum level. The Eni officials provided the Staffdel with a copy of the November 16, 2009 CEO Scaroni letter to Ambassador Thorne that states the company,s position (A copy of Eni’s letter was provided to EEB in November). Referencing this letter, the officials pointed out that Eni will not undertake new activities in Iran, including no new activities by its subsidiaries, Saipem and Polimeri Europa. They added that following Scaroni,s September 16 meetings in Washington the company also gave up plans for an MOU with Iran for development of the phase III of the Darquain oil field. The officials stated that while EU law prevents the Eni from responding to official requests for information on its Iran operations, it has been transparent in informing the USG on a voluntary basis.

12.  ( C ) The Eni officials stated, however, that Eni intends to carry out exploration and development activities in Iran that fall under its contractual obligations there. The officials acknowledged that this is a &gray area8 due to the differences of opinion between the company and the USG over what is &new8 activity and what is &old.8 The company officials said that they hope to clarify this issue with Washington during separate meetings in January with senior officials from the State Department and Department of Treasury. Pressed for details over the company,s existing obligations, the officials said that it is under contract to meet certain targets of (oil) production in order to guarantee defined levels of production within a given time frame. They added that Eni must keep a certain threshold of production in order to recover its investments in Iran. They also explained that Eni receives periodic (possibly scheduled) payments by Iran in oil equivalent amounts thatcorrespond to the attained target levels of production.

13.  ( C ) The Eni officials admitted the frustrating difficulties of operating in Iran, but stated that Eni’s priority is to recover its investments there while meeting EU laws. The officials estimated Eni’s total Iran investments at around $3 billion dollars, of which they said Eni has already recovered already about 60 percent (or about $1.7 billion according to one Eni representative). The company officials said Eni still needs to recover about $1.4 billion from its Iran operations. They added that &if all goes as planned8 Eni will recover this remainder of its investments by the end of 2013 or early in 2014. They further explained that Eni’s Iran contracts provide the possibility of extensions if the company is not able to recover its investments within the stipulated time frame. The Eni officials cautioned that the company may face EU sanctions if it withdraws from Iran due to pressure from USG unilateral sanctions.

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SECDEF MEETING WITH ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FRANCO FRATTINI

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (SecDef) met with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattiniduring an official visit to Rome on February 8.  On Afghanistan, Frattini was eager to move beyond the London Conference and work to produce practical results for the Afghan people.  He proposed better civil-military coordination at senior levels in NATO, and raised the prospect of coordination on local projects across the Afghanistan-Iran border.  SecDef thanked Frattini for Italy‘s pledge of more troops for operations in Afghanistan and explained where gaps in civil-military cooperation existed. Frattini believed the international community was lining up against Iran, and encouraged better coordination with countries outside the P5-plus-1.  SecDef warned that a nuclear Iran would lead to greater proliferation in the Middle East, war, or both.  SecDef agreed with Frattini that a United Nations conference highlighting security challengesin the Horn of Africa was a good idea. END SUMMARY.

AFGHANISTAN

2. (S/NF) Frattini opened by telling SecDef that the U.S. can count on Italy‘s full support on Afghanistan, Iran and fighting terror. He had recently talked with General Jones and Secretary Clinton and relayed the same message.  He expressed a desire to focus on the comprehensive approach in such a way to improve the daily lives of Afghans.  He asserted a need to press President Karzai on delivering improved governance or risk losing support for the mission in coalition Parliaments.  Frattini wanted to get beyond “just talking” — referencing the London conference — and noted concrete Italian projects to convert poppy cultivation to olive oil production and to create a national high school for public administration.

3. (S/NF) SecDef commended Rome‘s efforts to increase Italian contributions, asking whether even more Carabinieri might be available for training the Afghan security forces.  He observed that General McChrystal’s emphasis on protecting Afghan civilians has changed attitudes among Allied publics. SecDef said he is pushing the comprehensive approach, noting a need for all stakeholders in Afghanistan to share information effectively.  He said he hoped that NATO’s new Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Mark Sedwill, could facilitate this.  SecDef recommended a focus on better governance below the level of the national government (which would take decades to turn into a modern government ) taking advantage of traditional institutions and competent governors at the regional and sub-regional levels and leveraging them into local success stories.  At the national level, however, our priority should be to develop those ministries most critical to our success, such as Defense, Interior, Finance, Agriculture, and Health.  Noting Gen. McChrystal’s recent statement that the situation in Afghanistan is no longer deteriorating, SecDef said that much of the challenge is psychological — convincing Afghans that we can win and that we will not abandon them.

4.  (S/NF) Frattini agreed that civilian-military integration is the weakest part of the Afghan strategy.  He expressedfrustration that NATO foreign ministers only discuss issues like agriculture and education while defense ministers onlydiscuss security.  The problem, Frattini suggested, is that they don’t talk to each other.  He proposed a joint meeting of foreign and defense ministers, beginning with talks at the expert level.  SecDef responded that Gen. McChrystal andAmbassador Eikenberry do civilian-military collaboration at the national level on the basis of a Joint Campaign Plan, as do local ground commanders with leaders of PRTs.  What is missing is the level in between — the regional commands — and SecDef expressed a desire for Sedwill to appoint subordinates to address this in each RC, building on the example of the civ-mil cell in RC-South.  The effect would be cascading civil-military coordination at the national, regional, and local levels.  SecDef noted that similar efforts by UNSRSG Kai Eide had been hamstrung by resourcing and the UN’s aversion to working with the military.  As a NATO representative, Sedwill should not have these problems.

5. (S/NF) Frattini also asked about practical cooperation across the Afghan-Iranian border.  Local incentives for cooperation might undermine weapons and drug trafficking and help co-opt reconcilable Taliban.  SecDef noted that Iran is playing both sides of the street — trying to be friendly with the Afghanistan government while trying to undermine ISAF efforts.  He noted that intelligence indicated there was little lethal material crossing the Afghanistan-Iran border. SecDef suggested that trade route protection from Afghanistan into Eastern Iran, which is important for local economies on both sides of the border, might be a place to start.  SecDef noted that any effort will need to be coordinated with Kabul. Frattini agreed this would be a good starting point.

IRAN

6. (S/NF) Frattini supported recent public statements by SecDef raising the pressure on Iran.  He declared that Ahmadinejad cannot be trusted, especially after contradicting recent constructive statements by his own government. Frattini, citing a recent conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, said he believed Russia would support the sanctions track.  The challenge was to bring China on board; China and India, in Frattini’s view, were critical to the adoption of measures that would affect the government without hurting Iranian civil society.  He also specifically proposed including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela and Egypt in the conversation.  He expressed particular frustration with Ankara‘s “double game” of outreach to both Europe and Iran.  Frattini proposed an informal meeting of Middle East countries, who were keen to be consulted on Iran, and noted that Secretary Clinton was in agreement.

7. (S/NF) SecDef emphasized that a UNSC resolution was important because it would give the European Union and nations a legal platform on which to impose even harsher sanctions against Iran.  SecDef pointedly warned that urgent action is required.  Without progress in the next few months, we risk nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, war prompted by an Israeli strike, or both.  SecDef predicted “a different world” in 4-5 years if Iran developed nuclear weapons.  SecDef stated that he recently delivered the same warning to PM Erdogan, and he agreed with Frattini’s assessment on Saudi Arabia and China, noting that Saudi Arabia is more important to both Beijing and Moscow than Iran.

8.  (S/NF) SecDef urged Frattini to reconsider a planned visit to Italy by a prominent Iranian Parliamentarian in the wake of recent executions of students in opposition to the government. At the same time, we needed to ensure we did not discredit the opposition by creating the impression that they are the tools of foreign partners.

HORN OF AFRICA

9. (C) Frattini expressed concern about deteriorating conditions in Somalia and Yemen.  He noted a recent conversation with President Sharif of Somalia‘s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), in which Sharif said that he would be unable to pay his security forces by the end of February. Frattini said that Italy was encouraging the EU Presidency to focus on Somalia and Yemen, and had proposed a United Nations conference addressing Horn of Africa security issues. Italy was providing funding to the TFG’s national budget. SecDef concurred that the region deserved more focus.

“Spero che Julian Assange venga presto catturato”. (Franco Frattini)

“Non abbiamo amico migliore. Nessuno sostiene l’amministrazione americana con la stessa coerenza con la quale in questi anni Berlusconi ha sostenuto le amministrazioni Bush, Clinton e Obama”. (Hillary Clinton)

Matteo Vitiello


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