wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ROME2887
2003-06-25 10:37:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

USTICA CRASH BACK IN THE HEADLINES

Tags:   PREL  PINR  IT  FAA  AVIATION 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

251037Z Jun 03
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 002887 

SIPDIS


DEPT PLEASE PASS TO A/RPS/IPS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2013
TAGS: PREL PINR IT FAA AVIATION
SUBJECT: USTICA CRASH BACK IN THE HEADLINES


CLASSIFIED BY: POLITICAL MINISTER COUNSELOR THOMAS
COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 1.5(B)(D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 002887

SIPDIS


DEPT PLEASE PASS TO A/RPS/IPS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2013
TAGS: PREL PINR IT FAA AVIATION
SUBJECT: USTICA CRASH BACK IN THE HEADLINES


CLASSIFIED BY: POLITICAL MINISTER COUNSELOR THOMAS
COUNTRYMAN FOR REASONS 1.5(B)(D)


1. (U) THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST. EMBASSY REQUESTS THAT
DOCUMENTS DESCRIBED BELOW, WHICH WERE RELEASED PURSUANT TO
THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, BE FORWARDED TO POST AS
RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE. SEE PARA 4.


2. (U) MOST MAJOR ITALIAN SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS CARRIED A SPECIAL
REPORT AIRED ON STATE BROADCASTER RAI-TG3 ON JUNE 21 ALLEGING
"NEW REVELATIONS" ABOUT THE 1980 CRASH OF AN ITALIAN AIRLINER
OFF THE ISLAND OF USTICA IN WHICH 81 PEOPLE DIED. UNDER THE
HEADLINE, "USTICA: U.S. SPIED ON AMATO," LA REPUBBLICA'S
FRONT PAGE ARTICLE CHARGED THE U.S. WITH INTERCEPTING A 1992
PHONE CALL BETWEEN THEN PRIME MINISTER GIULIANO AMATO AND
DEFENSE MINISTER SALVO ANDO' (BOTH SOCIALIST PARTY MEMBERS)
IN CONNECTION WITH USG EFFORTS TO MONITOR COURT AND
PARLIAMENTARY PROBES INTO THE USTICA ACCIDENT. THE ARTICLES
INDICATE THAT THE U.S. AMBASSADOR USED THE INTERCEPTED
INFORMATION TO PRESSURE BETTINO CRAXI, LEADER OF THE
SOCIALIST PARTY, OVER THE GOI'S DECISION TO BE A PLAINTIFF IN
A TRIAL RELATED TO THE CRASH.


3. (U) THE LA REPUBBLICA ARTICLE, WHICH WAS ONE OF THE MORE
EXTENSIVE PIECES, INCLUDES AN INTERVIEW WITH FORMER PM AMATO.
HE DESCRIBED THE 1992 PHONE CALL AS ONLY A DISCUSSION OF THE
FACTS, AND SAID THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAD NOTHING TO HIDE.
OTHER MAJOR ITALIAN PAPERS ALSO CARRIED THE STORY PROMINENTLY
ON JUNE 22. THE REPORT OF THE ALLEGED 1992 WIRE-TAP WAS
BASED ON DOCUMENTS RELEASED UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
ACT AT THE REQUEST OF USTICA VICTIMS' RELATIVES.


4. (C) COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST. THE USTICA CRASH AND
CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT A POSSIBLE USG ROLE ARE PERENNIAL
FAVORITES OF THE ITALIAN MEDIA. WHILE THE 1992 WIRE-TAP
STORY HAS ONLY LASTED THROUGH ONE NEWS CYCLE, WE CAN
CONFIDENTLY PREDICT USTICA WILL BE BACK IN THE NEWS IN SOME
FORM IN THE FUTURE. IN THE INTEREST OF BEING PREPARED TO
RESPOND TO AND LIMIT THE SPIN CONSPIRACY-THEORISTS ATTACH TO
NEW "REVELATIONS" ABOUT THE ACCIDENT, POST REQUESTS A COPY OF
THE DECLASSIFIED 1992 TELEPHONE INTERCEPT. GRAPHICS FOR THE
LA REPUBBLICA ARTICLE SHOWED A BLURRED AND INDECIPHERABLE
PHOTO OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE A STATE DEPARTMENT CABLE. ANOTHER
ARTICLE REFERS TO A RESTRICTED CABLE SENT IN 1992 FROM
AMBASSADOR SECCHIA TO THEN DEFENSE SECRETARY CHENEY. IT IS
NOT CLEAR WHERE THE MESSAGE ORIGINATED OR WHETHER IT WAS SENT
NODIS OR EXDIS. END COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST.
SEMBLER

NNNN
2003ROME02887 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL