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06ROME2636 2006-09-19 07:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

LEGAL ADVISER BELLINGER MAKES CASE FOR GREATER CT

Tags:   PTER PGOV PREL EUN IT 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 002636 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2031
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL EUN IT
SUBJECT: LEGAL ADVISER BELLINGER MAKES CASE FOR GREATER CT
COOPERATION

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MESSAGE RELEASED WITHOUT CLEARANCE

MESSAGE WILL BE RESENT WITH NEW MRN'S

PLEASE DESTROY ALL COPIES OF THIS MSG

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Classified By: Ambassador Ronald Spogli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger
joined the Ambassador in a series of events commemorating the
September 11 attacks, urging support for the President's
September 6 remarks on detainees and deeper counter-terrorism
cooperation. Bellinger delivered the keynote address at a
conference on the challenge of maintaining robust
counter-terrorism policies post-9/11. At a lunch hosted by
the Ambassador, Justice Minister Mastella underscored Italy's
willingness to work with Europe to reinforce cooperation with
the U.S. and other guests acknowledged that the Italy-US
partnership is constant and deep. At a subsequent meeting at
the PM's office, U/S Micheli said Italy is proud of its
strong links with the U.S., in line with other important
European countries, and underscored that the GOI will
continue to be a strong partner in the fight against
terrorism. At every level, Italian interlocutors emphasized
that the change in government will not change Italy's
commitment to maintaining a strong partnership with the U.S.
in fighting international terrorism. The GOI, they
maintained, is eager to continue the dialogue to find new
ways to improve joint counter-terrorism efforts. End Summary.



2. (U) State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger visited
Rome on September 11 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of
the attacks on the U.S. Bellinger participated in a
conference at a local think tank, delivering the keynote
address entitled "Freedom and Security: Counterterrorism and
the Challenge of September 11, 2001." Interior Minister
Amato chaired the event, which included an audience of over
160 and a variety of media. Amato moderated a Q&A session
from the audience that engaged Bellinger on the legal and
policy aspects of fighting terrorism. Bellinger and the
Ambassador also conducted a series of interviews following
the conference, which were replayed throughout the day in
various news outlets.



3. (C) The Ambassador hosted a luncheon that included Justice
Minister Mastella, the chiefs of the National Police,
Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza, Prime Minister Prodi's
diplomatic adviser, and deputy legal adviser at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs Astraldi. National Police Chief De
Gennaro noted that home-grown terrorism requires a new legal
framework that can facilitate prosecution and the transfer of
suspects between states. Italy, he said, has experience
fighting home-grown terrorism (such as the Red Brigades and a
variety of anarchist movements), but the new trend involving
terrorist suspects with multiple nationalities complicates
the law enforcement work to bring them to justice.



4. (C) Stefano Sannino, PM Prodi's diplomatic adviser,
welcomed the transparency in President Bush's recent series
of speeches on terrorism. It is helpful to acknowledge past
mistakes, he said, to pave the way toward reconciliation and
look toward the future. He praised the way the US
Administration was handling very sensitive intelligence and
legal issues. MFA Deputy Chief of Diplomatic Litigation and
Treatises (Deputy Legal-adviser equivalent) agreed, noting
that Italy is trying to forge a common EU position on
fighting terrorism and find ways at the EU level to bring the
Union and the U.S. closer. One key problem, Mastella added,
is the general lack of sensitivity--especially among
Europeans--toward countries who seek to extradite individuals
in high-profile cases. Often, these individuals are not
turned over and therefore cannot be tried in the countries
where they have committed crimes.



5. (C//NF) Bellinger met with U/S Enrico Micheli, of the PM's
office, who is in charge of overall intelligence policy.
Micheli was unexpectedly joined by Sannino and U/S for the
cabinet Enrico Letta. Bellinger described the President's
September 6 remarks in detail and urged senior Italian
officials to acknowledge it as a step forward. Micheli said
that Italy was proud of its close ties to the U.S. and that
we need to look no further than the mutually beneficial
intelligence cooperation we have maintained over the years.
He said that the GOI had closely followed the President's
remarks and welcomed the change in direction. Letta echoed
Micheli's praise for the President's remarks, noting that
Italy has been a strong partner on counterterrorism and will
continue to be under a center left government. Letta
emphasized that the change in government brought some changes

ROME 00002636 002.4 OF 002


in policy, such as Iraq, but that quote a change in tactic is
not a change in strategy and Italy's response to Lebanon is
one such example, end quote. The GOI, Letta said, wants to
deepen bilateral discussions with the USG along the lines of
issues Bellinger raised during his visit adding that the
President's remarks struck a tone that the GOI shares.



6. (C) Bellinger noted that the September 11 commemoration
event at the Italian Senate (immediately prior to the meeting
at the PM's office) had touched him personally both for the
words that President Marini chose to deliver as well as by
the high-level attendance. (Note: Marini, who wrote most of
the speech himself, passionately recalled the quote brotherly
friendship unquote between the Italy and the U.S.,
characterizing the bonds between the two countries quote as
strong as steel end quote. PM Prodi and a large number
cabinet ministers, senior political leaders from the
center-left and center-right, and radical left parties
attended. End Note.) Letta said the Senate event was
deliberately bipartisan and remarked that even all of the top
labor union officials chose to attend.



7. (C) Comment: The outpouring of goodwill and high-level
gestures during 9/11 commemoration events were meant to
signal that five years on and with a change in government,
the GOI remains committed to a strong partnership with the
U.S. in fighting terrorism. Italian contacts told us that
Bellinger's visit so soon after the President's speeches
demonstrated to them the USG's seriousness to talk about
sensitive intelligence and legal issues.
SPOGLI