Covering Up the Murder of Nicola Calipari

In a cable that was released by Wikilleaks, there is clear collusion between the Italian and the US governments to bury the story of Nicola Calipari’s murder and to deter any future investigations into this case. This cable has unleashed an outcry for justice and chorus of calls for a reopening of the Calipari/Sgrena investigation. His wife Rosa Villecco Calipari now a deputy for the Democratic Party in Italy, called the revelations proof that her husband had been betrayed not just once, but two times by the Italian and American Governments and secret service agencies. Giuliana Sgrena has also called for a reopening of the case as have journalists and activists alike.

It is important to note here that the US investigation into Calipari’s shooting was begun five days prior to the Italians joining in the “joint” investigation and that the crime scene was not secured. Interviews were conducted with all the chain of command involved prior to the Italians arriving on the scene, the one caveat mentioned in point 7. At the top of that chain of command was John Negroponte, ambassador to Iraq in 2005 and in transition to become the Director of National Intelligence under George Bush. He was perceived as an expert on covert actions geared to protect American interests and cover up American lies and war crimes. All investigations should logically point Negroponte’s way and not at a soldier fall guy as they have thus far with the Italian magistrates closing an investigation into one of the supposed trigger men Mario Lozano. The case against Lozano, just so fittingly an Italian American who loves his country of origin, was dropped due to the case being considered out of jurisdiction.

Why would they want this case buried? Since the end of the second world war, Italy has played the role of subservient partner to American Imperial crusades. Through the CIA and other agencies the United States government spent millions of dollars to defeat the Italian Communists in 1948 even working with components of the Fascist regime from which they had supposedly helped liberate Italy. After this the US remained an almost constant part, often illegally, of Italian politics in order to keep a fortuitous hold on the peninsula as the most strategic NATO military location in the Mediterranean.

Article 11 of Italy’s constitution states: “Italy rejects war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means for the settlement of international disputes. Italy agrees, on conditions of equality with other States, to the limitations of sovereignty that may be necessary to a world order ensuring peace and justice among the Nations. Italy promotes and encourages international organizations furthering such ends.”

Through his work as an Italian Secret Service agent Nicola Calipari had become well aware of the lies that had taken Italy into the Iraq war in violation of its constitution. It was said that he had grown frustrated with Rome’s participation in the fabrication of those lies. Can we remember back to the forged Niger yellow cake uranium documents turned over to the American Embassy in Rome? Giuliana Sgrena’s work as a journalist was exposing the brutal war crimes of the American military in Fallujah. Just by taking a look at the car that has far more than 8 to 10 shots as the official story stated in 2005, it seems likely that she was a target of an assassination as well. Could it have all been a well laid trap to rid the ranks of this pesky Italian Agent and communist anti-war journalist? How quickly we might forget the words “if your not with us your are against us”.

The collusion on this case was under Berlusconi’s watch but seems to go much further into the mechanisms of Italy’s heavily US influenced and corrupt political caste. Massimo D’Alema who was foreign minister under the Center Left’s Romano Prodi now heads Italy’s COPASIR — Parliamentary Committee on the Security of the Republic. His nomination to committee chair was supported by Berlusconi and despite his communist roots D’Alema has always moved toward the center of the neoliberal body politic. It was his announcement on the floor of the senate of Italy’s continued support for the so called War on Terror in Afghanistan that led to Romano Prodi’s center left coalition failing a vote of confidence and subsequent downfall of the center left government.

In 1999 D’Alema was prime minister and led Italy to join NATO in bombing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He has always been willing to violate Italy’s constitution in order to please the Americans and has earned the praises of Berlusconi for his commitment to the American alliance as illustrated in another wikileaks cable: (reprinted here as link is no longer available).

In another wikileaks release from the Gulf War Logs in October sketchy details are laid out about the ambush on the car in which Calipari and Sgrena were passengers. This report states that the ex-leader of the Baghdad cell of al qaida Sheik Husain, was responsible for the kidnapping and that after receiving his 500,000 dollar payoff he called the Iraqi foreign ministry to tell them that the car carrying Sgrena and Calipari was equipped with a bomb. The story here just doesn’t seem to add up though as the car is described as a blue chevy celebrity and not the white Toyota corolla that Sgrena and Calipari were driving in. This document from wikileaks talks of independent unverified sources and has never been a part of the official story, another layer of confusion to help let bygones be bygones.

It certainly seems that the cover-up suspected in this story has been exposed. Italy continues to serve the American empire anyway that it can in its unjust wars and criminal endeavors even at the sacrifice of its own servicemen. The American military presence in Italy continues to expand and as Hillary Clinton recently told Silvio Berlusconi at a recent summit for the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United States “has no better friend.”

Berlusconi is currently embroiled in sex scandals involving young call girls paid to have sex in his mansions while being provided with drugs. He is growingly unpopular in the polls and student led protests in recent days and weeks have created havoc across the country as Italy’s social programs and public education system are slashed and burned. Berlusconi’s government has been linked time and time again with organized crime within Italy and his ties to Russia’s Vladmir Putin have raised questions of a Mafia state bilateralism.

Hillary and Silvio met at their summit in the oil rich country of Kazakhstan. What could be a better place for such good friends to plot their further control and distribution of the worlds natural resources? It should make all Americans shudder that what many consider as the most corrupt politician in the world, let alone the morality of his sexual follies with teenage girls, is America’s best friend in the world.

MICHAEL LEONARDI is currently living in Toledo, Ohio and can be reached at

See: Lifting the Veil on the Sgrena / Capilari Incident and The Game of Role-Playing and the Ambush of Giuliana Sgrena.




Michael Leonardi lives in Italy and can be reached at