The System

Fighting 9/11 Disinformation the Easy Way

Ecocide on the East Side: the Environmental Crisis in Eastern Europe

Yuppies In Moscow!?

Crisis in Ukraine

Runaway Planetary Warming

On Terrorism and the State

Clean, Sober and Obedient

In the Wake of the Exxon Valdez: World Capitalism and Global Ecocide

The Sick Planet

Occupy Needs To Target And Destroy The Ruling Money Fetish

The Global Fascist Terror State

Michael Hudson and Webster Tarpley Disseminate Disinformation

The Modern American Left Doesn't Get Capitalism

The Crisis of Value

9/11 In Context: the Strategy of Tension Gone Global

Retort's Response: Intellectual Dishonesty

Left Denial on 9/11 Turns Irrational

9/11 In Context: Plans and Counterplans

Established Left as Ideology Police

Henry the Great on September 11

9/11: A Desperate Provocation by US Capitalism

After Genoa: Reform or Revolution?

Socially-Responsible Investing: An Oxymoron

On Terrorism and the State

by Gianfranco Sanguinetti

"The first duty of all conscious subversives is to pitilessly chase all illusions about terrorism from the heads of those called to action."

Note: Gianfranco Sanguinetti participated as a member of the Italian section of the Situationist International until its dissolution in 1972, with a distinguished history of collaborations and writings. His "On Terrorism and the State", published in April 1979 in Italy, is a detailed analysis of the long series of terror attacks in Italy, from the Piazza Fontana bombing in December 1969 in Milan, to the kidnapping and execution of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, which he concluded had been carried out by the Italian intelligence agencies (aka "secret services"). His conclusions have been confirmed by subsequent revelations: the Italian intelligence agencies had been controlled and directed by the CIA and FBI, working through NATO's "stay behind" armies, as the Italian component of what has come to be called Operation Gladio. Sanguinetti's analysis, written more than twenty years before 9/11, illuminates the dark background of the attacks and their aftermath, as we demonstrate by here presenting excerpts that are especially revealing with respect to 9/11, the new global "Strategy of Tension", and their impacts on the anti-capitalist movement. Our commentary follows the text, in numbered notes to key passages. The complete text of Sanguinetti's historic essay has been ably translated and annotated by Bill Brown and made available at this link. All italics in original; our added emphases in bold. Most of the short elements of text inside [brackets] are by Brown; we have supplied a few others. -- Tod Fletcher and Jeff Strahl

All acts of terrorism, all the attacks that have struck and that strike the imagination of men and women, have been and are either offensive or defensive actions. Experience has long since shown that, if they are part of a strategic offensive, they are always doomed to failure. On the other hand, experience has also shown that, if they are part of a defensive strategy, such actions can hope for some success, which is nevertheless momentary and precarious. The attacks by the Palestinians and the Irish, for example, are acts of offensive terrorism, while the bombing of the Piazza Fontana and the kidnapping of Aldo Moro ... are defensive acts.

However, it is not only the strategy that differs depending on whether the act in question is an instance of offensive or defensive terrorism, but also the strategists. The desperate and those suffering from illusions have recourse to offensive terrorism, while it is always and only States that have recourse to defensive terrorism, either because they have been thrust into some serious social crisis, as the Italian State has been, or because they fear such a crisis, as does the German State.

The defensive terrorism of the States is practiced directly or indirectly by them, that is, with their own weapons or with those of others. If the States have recourse to direct terrorism, it is directed against their own populations, as was the case with the massacres at the Piazza Fontana, on the Italicus or at Brescia. If, on the other hand, the States decide they must have recourse to indirect terrorism, such acts must appear to have been directed against them, as was the case in the Moro affair.

The attacks directly realized by detached units or by the unofficial [or “parallel”] services of the State are not customarily claimed by anyone, but are imputed or attributed to this or that convenient “guilty party.” [1] Experience has proved that this aspect is the weakest point of this type of terrorism and determines the extreme fragility of the political usage one wants to make of it. The results of this same experience show that the strategists of the State’s unofficial services seek to give their own acts much greater credibility or at least less improbability, either by directly claiming them in the name of the initials of this or that ghostly group, or even by getting them claimed by an existing clandestine group, whose militants are apparently, or believe themselves to be, strangers to the designs of the State apparatus.

All the secret terrorist groups are organized and directed by a clandestine hierarchy that is composed of the militants of clandestinity themselves, who perfectly reflect the division of labor and the roles proper to the current social organization: those on high decide on what is to be done and those below execute orders. Ideology and military discipline protect the true summit from all the risks and the rank-and-file from all suspicions [that they are being manipulated by state agents]. Any secret service can invent for itself a set of “revolutionary” initials and carry out a certain number of attacks for which the press will make good publicity and from which the secret service in question will find it easy to form a small group of na´ve militants, who it can direct with the greatest ease. [2] But in case a small terrorist group spontaneously constitutes itself, there is nothing easier in the world for the detached units of the State to do than infiltrate it and then, thanks to the means at their disposal and the extreme freedom of maneuvering that they enjoy, to substitute themselves for it, either by well-chosen arrests made at opportune moments or by the assassination of the original leaders, which, as a general rule, takes place during an armed conflict with the “forces of order,” informed in advance of such an encounter by the infiltrated agents.

From that moment on, the unofficial services of the State can dispose as they please of a perfectly effective organization, composed of na´ve or fanatical militants who only ask to be led. The small original terrorist group, born from the illusions of its militants concerning the possibilities of launching an effective strategic offensive, changes strategists and becomes nothing other than a defensive appendage of the State, which maneuvers it with the greatest agility and assurance, according to its own necessities of the moment or those that it believes are its own necessities.

From the [bombing of the] Piazza Fontana to the kidnapping of Moro, the only things that have changed are the contingent objectives that this defensive terrorism has achieved, but the goal of the defensive can never change. And the goal from 12 December 1969 to 16 March 1978, and today, as well, has in fact remained the same: to make the entire population, which had not supported the State or had been struggling against it, believe that it at least has an enemy in common with the State and that the State will defend the population on the condition that no one questions it. The population, which is generally hostile to terrorism, and not without reason, must then agree that, at least in this instance, it needs the State, to which it must delegate the most extensive powers so that the State can vigorously confront the arduous task of the common defense against an enemy that is obscure, mysterious, perfidious, merciless and, in a word, illusory. Faced with a terrorism that is always presented as the absolute evil, evil in itself and by itself, all the other evils, which are much more real, become secondary and must even be forgotten. Because the struggle against terrorism coincides with the common interest, it is already the general good, and the State that generously leads that struggle is the good itself and by itself. Without the cruelty of the devil, the infinite kindness of God cannot appear and be properly appreciated.

The State, extremely weakened by all the attacks it has suffered every day for ten years – attacks on its economy made by the proletariat, on the one hand, and attacks on its power and prestige made by the ineptitude of its managers, on the other [3] – can thus [negate] both of them by solemnly tasking itself with staging the spectacle of the collective and sacrosanct defense [of all] against the monster of terrorism and, in the name of this pious mission, it can take from all of its subjects a supplementary portion of their already limited freedom and thus reinforce the police-related control of the entire population. “We are at war,” and war against an enemy that is so powerful that any other discord or conflict is an act of sabotage or desertion. It is only to protest against terrorism that one has the right to the recourse of the general strike. [4] Terrorism and “emergency,” a state of emergency and perpetual “vigilance,” become the only problems, at least the only ones with which it is permitted and necessary for people to be occupied. All the rest doesn’t exist or becomes forgotten, and in any case is shut up, banished, repressed into the social unconscious because of the seriousness of the question of “public order.” And confronted with the universal duty of its defense, everyone is invited to become an informer, to be base and to become fearful. For the first time in history, cowardice becomes a sublime quality, fear is always justified, and the only form of “courage” that is not contemptible is the one that approves and supports all the lies, abuses and infamies of the State. Since the current crisis doesn’t spare any country in the world, there are no geographical boundaries between peace, war, freedom or truth. These borders pass through every country, and each State arms itself and declares war on the truth....

That which above all unites bourgeois reactionaries, the good souls of the progressive bourgeoisie, fashionable intellectuals, the contemplative supporters of armed struggle and the militants who complain about it is precisely the fact that, apropos of Moro, they all believe that, for the first time, the State hasn’t lied where an act of terrorism is concerned, and therefore the kidnapping was the work of revolutionaries, with respect to whom the lugubrious Toni Negri has said, “we underestimated their effectiveness (…) We are disposed to make our self-critique” for having “underestimated their effectiveness.” Thus, all these people, willingly or unwillingly, are the victims of this umpteenth lie by the State. Both the extra-parliamentarians and the Leftist intellectuals certainly admit that the State always makes use of terrorism after the fact, but they cannot conceive that it would also have recourse to killing its “most prestigious” representative. [5] And this is why I spoke of their ignorance of history: none of them know or, in any case, none of them remember the infinite number of examples in which States in crisis, in social crisis, have precisely eliminated their most reputable representatives with the intention and in the hope of arousing and channeling general indignation – generally ephemeral – against “extremists” and malcontents. Of a thousand possible historical examples, I will only cite the Czarist secret services, the formidable Okhrana, which – foreseeing with terror (and with good reason) the revolution of 1905 – killed no one less than Plehve, the Minister of the Interior, on 28 July 1904 and, when this didn’t seem sufficient, killed Grand Duke Serge, uncle of the Czar, a very influential man and the head of military conscription in Moscow, on 17 February 1905.

These perfectly successful attacks were organized, executed and claimed by the “Combat Organization” of the Revolutionary Socialists, who had just come under the direction of the famous Azev, a truly ingenious engineer and Okhrana agent, after he replaced the revolutionary Guerchuni, who was opportunely arrested shortly before.

I cite this unique but admirable example of provocation because five hundred pages wouldn’t be enough to [list] all the notorious examples from the 19th century, and because Italy in 1978 had a vague but quite real resemblance to Russia in 1904-1905. In any case, we must note that all powers in difficulty always resemble each other, just as their behaviors and manners of proceeding [in such instances] always resemble each other....

Since the Stalinists kept quiet in 1969, this so-called “party of clean hands” had to continue to keep quiet and lie about all the subsequent provocations and assassinations perpetrated by the secret services of the very State from which, today, they want to receive recognition for observing the omerta and, as payment, a few crumbs from the Christian Democrats.

For a long period, the situationists were the only ones in Europe to denounce the Italian State as the creator and exclusive beneficiary of modern, artificial terrorism and its entire spectacle. And, to the revolutionaries of all countries, we identified Italy as the European laboratory for counter-revolution and the privileged field for experimentation with modern police techniques, and we did so starting on 19 December 1969, when we published our manifesto entitled "The Reichstag Burns". [6]

The final phrase of this manifesto – “Comrades, do not let yourselves stop here” – is, without exception, the only thing that has been challenged by [subsequent] history. The movement stopped on that precise day and it couldn’t be otherwise, because we were the only ones who had full awareness of what the Piazza Fontana operation meant and we said what it was, without any other means than a “stolen mimeograph machine,” as was indicated in our manifesto. As the people say, “those who have bread have no teeth, and those who have teeth have no bread.” All those courageous extra-parliamentarians who had newspapers and other rags had no teeth, and they published nothing pertinent about the massacre, occupied as they were, and still are, with the search for the “correct strategy” to impose on the proletariat, which is only good for being directed and being directed by them! [7]

Because of their incurable inferiority complex concerning the ICP’s [Italian Communist Party's] ability to lie, which is indeed superior to theirs, these extra-parliamentarians immediately accepted the version of the facts accredited by the ICP, according to which the bombs were “fascist style” and therefore could not have been the work of the secret services of this “democratic” State that is so “democratic” that it never worries about what is said by these extra-parliamentarians, although they are the only ones considered to be “dangerous” to the spectacle, for which they are badly compensated but indispensible walk-on actors. Their false explication of the facts perfectly matched the true ideology of their groupuscules, then infatuated with Mao, Stalin and Lenin, and now by Guattari, Toni Negri and Scalzone. Since these alleged “extremists” do not want to tell the truth, and do not know how to openly accuse the State of being the terrorist, they also do not know how to combat it with any tangible results. Because saying that the bombing was “fascist” was as mendacious as saying that it was “anarchist,” and all the lies – though apparently in contradiction with each other – are always united in the sabotage of the truth. And only the truth is revolutionary; only the truth is able to harm power; only the truth can infuriate the Stalinists and the bourgeois. And the proletariat, always deceived and betrayed by everyone, has learned to seek the truth on its own and is impervious to lies, no matter how “extremist” their authors claim to be. In the same way, and due to the same guilty ineptitude, all the extra-parliamentarians of 1978 merrily fell into the trap set by the kidnapping of Moro, “the work of comrades who were mistaken.” You great oafs, don’t you realize that, once again, you were the only “comrades who were mistaken”?...

Victims of their own false consciousness, which always expresses itself in ideology, the extra-parliamentarians could not for long elude the questions posed by spectacular terrorism and, from 1970 on, they began to consider the question of terrorism as such, in the empyrean of ideology, in a completely metaphysical way, completely abstracted from the reality of the thing. And when the truth about the massacre at the Piazza Fontana finally saw the light of day, after all the lies about it collapsed one after the other, neither the good souls of the intellectual-progressive bourgeoisie nor the scarecrows for sparrows at Lotta Continua and their consorts were able to pose the question in its real, that is to say, scandalous terms: the democratic Republic [of Italy] did not hesitate to perpetrate a massacre when it appeared useful for it to do so, because, when all the laws of the State are in danger, “there is only a single and inviolable law for the State: that of its survival” (Marx).

Since the extra-parliamentarians at first did not believe they knew, then knew without believing, and finally believed without concluding that it was indeed the State that launched the terrorist attack in Milan, the entire country has entered into a period of apparent madness and mad appearances. The entire question of terrorism has become the subject of academic diatribes and enthusiastic invectives that have led some (the bourgeois and the Stalinists) to hypocritically condemn terrorism “whatever its color” – as if they weren’t precisely the ones who had encouraged and covered it up, each time, by giving it the color that best suited the moment – and have led the others (those who believe themselves to be “extremists”) to fondle the idea that “one responds to State terrorism with proletarian terrorism.” And this comes at the right time for our secret services. The first small, clandestine terrorist groups (the RBs and the Armed Proletarian Nuclei [APN]) had just been formed when the police, the Carabinieri and the detached units started competing to see which one could be the first to infiltrate these small para-military groups with the goal of preventing their attacks or masterminding them according to the necessities and desires of the moment and the powerful.

Thus everyone could see how the APN were radically destroyed, either [indirectly] by arresting their members and exhibiting them in a disgusting way at this or that trial, or directly by turning them into objects for target practice, a meticulously arranged spectacle in which the “forces of order” were exhibited for the pleasure of the most repugnant bourgeois.

Things panned out differently with the Red Brigades. We know the names of only two of the agents who infiltrated this group, that is to say, Pisetta and the Christian Brother, Girotto, who – despite being quite clumsy as agents provocateurs – were able to trap Curcio and the other members of what can justly be called the “historical group” (all the militants who had no experience with clandestinity and were hardly “ferocious” as terrorists). Despite this, the RBs were not dismantled after being decapitated [in September 1974], not because of the prudence of the other militants, who were no less na´ve than their original leaders (who themselves fell into the very first trap set for them), but because of the decisions made by their new leaders. And why would the State, already in difficulty for other reasons, lose this opportunity to make use of a terrorist organization that had an autonomous appearance, although infiltrated and tranquilly directed from afar? ... General Dalla Chiesa ... had a good laugh at all the proclamations of the ideologues of armed struggle who intended “to bring the attack to the heart of the State,” because Chiesa knows that the State doesn’t have a heart, not even a metaphorical one, and because ... he knows that the only attack capable of killing the State today is the violent denunciation of its terrorist practices, which is precisely what I am making here....

General Dalla Chiesa ... knows perfectly well that terrorism is the substitute for war in an era in which large-scale world wars are impossible or, in any case, it is no longer permitted to have one proletariat massacre another in an exhausting and bloody battle. Our General and the upper-level strategists of the political police also know that spectacular terrorism is always anti-proletarian and that it is the pursuit of policy by other means (the pursuit of the anti-proletarian policy of all the States). And the fact that the State needs modern, artificial terrorism is proved by the fact that it was precisely here, in Italy, that the State invented this form of terrorism ten years ago. [8] And we know that the Italian bourgeoisie has long used invention to replace what it lacks in power. It was the Italian bourgeoisie that invented fascism, which was so successful in Germany, Spain, Portugal and everywhere else it was necessary to crush proletarian revolution. And the spectacle of terrorism has already been immediately successful for the German government, which does not envy our situation, but envies our imagination, that is to say, the imagination of our secret services, which permits our government to navigate through shit without drowning in it, just as in the 1920s it envied us for Mussolini.

That [the Italian] State has need of terrorism is, on the other hand, something that each one of its representatives is now completely convinced of, through experience if not due to reasoning, and has been so ever since the immediately and miraculously fortunate outcome of the Piazza Fontana operation. The proof is that, if there has not been a “Dreyfus affair” where the Piazza Fontana is concerned, this is certainly not because the event was less scandalous, but because all the political parties have, for different reasons, understood that, if this bombing saved the State (which each of them defend in their own way), the truth about it was capable, by itself, of definitively destroying it. And if there has been no “Dreyfus affair,” this is also because, among our enslaved intelligentsia, no equivalent of Emile Zola has ever demanded or wanted to demand a truthful conclusion about the bombing....

If the State needs terrorism, as I have demonstrated, it also needs to avoid getting caught red-handed every time it uses it.... And for the State what better occasion than that offered by a group like the Red Brigades, decapitated and available, with its former leaders in prison and ignorant of everything? ... I know quite well that the currently known infiltrators, as well as the majority of the agents provocateurs at work today, did not invent the butter knife, but our clandestine militants aren’t any more subtle than they are, as we have seen. And even if they were all Lenins, as they imagine themselves to be, one would still have to remark that the Bolsheviks were deeply infiltrated several times. [9] Roman Malinovski, worker and Okhrana agent, made a part of the Bolshevik Central Committee, enjoyed the blindest confidence on the part of Lenin, and sent to Siberia hundreds of militants and leaders. To a suspicion expressed by Bukharin, Lenin (according to his wife, Nadiejda Krupskaia) responded that it was “unworthy of a conscious militant; if you persist, it will be you who will be denounced as a traitor.” But the case of Malinovski is not an isolated one. Opening the secret archives of the Okhrana in 1917, Lenin was (not without good reason) stupefied to discover that, of fifty-five officially active and regularly paid professional provocateurs, seventeen “worked” among the Revolutionary Socialists, and a good twenty of them shared the job of surveilling the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and certainly not among the rank-and-file militants! And Lenin had the bitter surprise of discovering that the provocateurs were always those “comrades” to which he – the man who was so prudent and so expert in matters of clandestinity – accorded the greatest esteem and the greatest confidence because of their service and the boldness they showed on several occasions.

Today, the practices of the Okhrana, which were very sophisticated and refined for the times, are no more than primitive. The modern unofficial services of the State, of any State, dispose of a number of means and people of all classes and all social appearances, well trained in the use of weapons and ideas, and often much more capable than the na´ve militants, who pay the price for it. The organizational form of the political party, which is always hierarchical, is in fact the one that is best suited for infiltration and manipulation, which is exactly the opposite of what the bourgeois press says. All the rank-and-file nuclei, which are made up of clandestine militants, are kept separate from each other and in ignorance of everything, without any possibility for dialogue and debate, and everything functions perfectly due to the blindest [obedience to] discipline and the most expedient orders from an inaccessible summit, which is generally nested in this or that ministry or powerful group. And, if some provocateur ever arouses suspicion, he is always providentially arrested and made a star by the press, which removes him from danger and washes him of the suspicion. Thanks to an unbelievable and “heroic” escape, he can then be put back into action.

Thus, here is one more reason why I would warn any subversive of good faith about organizing hierarchically and clandestinely in a “party”: in certain conditions, clandestinity can be necessary, while all hierarchies always and only benefit the world we seek to bring down. In revolutionary groups that do without militants and leaders, and that are founded on the qualitative, infiltration is practically impossible or immediately discovered. “The only limit to participation in the total democracy of the revolutionary organization is the recognition and effective appropriation by all of its members of the coherence of the organization’s critique, a coherence that must prove itself in the critical theory properly speaking and in the relationship between this theory and practical activity” (Debord)....

And if, during ten years, the merciless and great struggle against the “monster” of terrorism – a struggle that has been so glorified in words – has only resulted in the hypertrophy of this “monster”; if the trial [of the suspects in the bombing] of the Piazza Fontana has never truly begun, this derives from the fact ... that those who have always been tasked with this merciless struggle are the same secret services that have always directed and animated terrorism, and certainly not because of alleged “deviations” or “corruption,” but simply because they have executed in military fashion the orders that they have received. And all the militants who have been exhibited in the public cages of the courts, as if they were ferocious beasts, ... are always and most assuredly the least implicated, even if they have been designated “the leaders” and “the strategists” (nothing is easier than making a na´ve fanatic believe that he or she has taken part in this or that operation simply because he or she distributed the tract that claimed responsibility for it). [10]...

Ever since the great fear of 1969, our regime has accorded an immense trust in its senior political police officers and their abilities to always find technical and spectacular solutions to all of the historical and social questions that face it. Thus, our regime is in the process of committing the same error made by the Czarist regime, which dedicated all of its attention and care to building the best and most powerful secret police in the world, which is what the Okhrana was at the time. This permitted the Czar to continue to survive day by day, without anything changing for another decade, but his [eventual] fall was only more violent and definitive....

And in Italy, [the effects of] ten years of political-police policy are beginning to make themselves felt, and that includes their harmful and uncontrollable effects. The State still exists, with more authority and a worse reputation than ever, but its real adversaries have grown in number, their awareness has [also] grown and, with it, the effectiveness and violence of their attacks. In the eras in which the police make policy, a complete collapse is always what follows....

Several extra-parliamentarians, lost within their puerile illusions and fetishistic ideology of armed struggle, would perhaps object that, since they believe in the armed struggle, other people, more “extreme” than they are, could actually practice it and be responsible for everything, including the kidnapping of Moro. I would respond that I have never doubted, either in public or in private, the imbecility of our extra-parliamentarians as a whole; but it is fitting to observe that, where they are concerned, they never doubt what the spectacle says about armed struggle or themselves. Brave, alienated militants, pay attention to this only: if Moro had indeed been kidnapped and killed by free and autonomous revolutionaries, as the State has told you and as you believe, then it also follows that, for the first time in ten years, the State hasn’t lied about a matter concerning terrorism. But this, being unbelievable and absurd, can be excluded.

Many extreme-Left militants believe that they are shrewd because they understand that Pinelli didn’t fall on his own from the fourth floor of the Central Police Station, but they will never manage to surpass their record for perversity, since they shortly thereafter applauded our secret services when they killed Commissioner Calabresi. Our bourgeoisie and Stalinists, who have already proved their ineptitude so well, thus have reasons to be consoled when they consider the stupidity of all their allegedly “extreme” adversaries, who in a certain way compensate for their own stupidity, even if it doesn’t annul it. And indeed, in ten years, no extra-parliamentary groupuscule has ever managed to harm the State in the least, because none of them have been able to help the practical struggles of the wildcat workers in any way or to contribute to the advancement of their theoretical consciousness.

Impotent and maladroit, militants today accuse the State of being morally “responsible” for Moro’s death because it didn’t save him (and not because it was the one who killed him), just as in 1970 they accused the State of “moral responsibility” for the massacre at the Piazza Fontana, certainly not for ordering it done, but for not ordering the arrest of several fascists who were implicated in the affair, at least on the legal plane. [11] The [newly elected] politicians who please themselves by imitating the gestures of the established ones continue to ignore the fact that politics has nothing to do with morality, but, rather, with the ideology that justifies certain policies, that is to say, all the lies that all politics normally require. This is why they always and only speak of the “moral responsibility” of the State and thus become co-responsible for all of its lies....

All of our incapable extra-parliamentarians, dazzled like primitive peoples by the technical success of the Via Fani operation [the abduction of Moro], were not able to see beyond it by realizing that those who disposed of so many means and tactical capabilities surely did not put them at the service of a strategy that was as poor and unbelievable as the one attributed to the RBs, but, rather, at the service of a political design of much greater scope. [12] But the extra-parliamentarians, faced with the operational efficiency on display at the Via Fani and in what followed it, naturally preferred to attribute it to “comrades who were mistaken” and not to enemies who do not make mistakes and calmly fuck people over. Here as well, our poor Leftists have taken their poor desires for reality, without suspecting that reality always surpasses their desires, but not in the manner that they desire. And if they were less ignorant, they would not have neglected the abilities of the unofficial Italian services so much and so wrongly....

A great number of workers, many of whom I have encountered in the most diverse situations and who are much less na´ve than the extra-parliamentarians, immediately concluded that “they kidnapped Aldo Moro,” and by this they naturally meant those who have power. And to think that as recently as yesterday such workers voted and generally voted for the ICP!

The irreparable split that exists in this country between all those who have the floor (the politicians, the powerful and their servants, some of whom are journalists), on the one hand, and those who are deprived of the opportunity to speak, on the other, expresses itself perfectly in the fact that the former – who are far from the ordinary people and protected by the barrier of their bodyguards – no longer know what the latter say and think in the streets, restaurants and workplaces. As a result, the lies of power have become tangential; they have entered into a kind of autonomous orbit due to centrifugal force. And this orbit no longer touches any part of the “real country,” in which the truth makes its way so much more easily because no obstacle hinders or intimidates it. In contrast, the spectacle has become autistic, that is to say, it is suffering from a schizophrenic psychopathological syndrome in which the ideas and actions of the sick person can no longer be modified by reality, from which he or she is irremediably separated, and is thus constrained to live in his or her own world beyond the real one. Like King Oedipus, the spectacle has gouged its eyes out and continues blindly in its own terrorist delirium. Like King Oedipus, it no longer wants to see reality and, like President Andreotti, it says that it wants to know nothing about the secret services; it even proclaims that they were dismantled several years ago and no longer exist. If, like King Oedipus, the spectacle no longer wants to see reality, this is because it only wants to be seen, contemplated, admired and accepted as everything that it pretends to be. Thus, it wants to be heard, without ever hearing, and it even doesn’t worry too much about not being heard. What seems to be the most important thing to the spectacle is that it can pursue its endless paranoiac voyage [undisturbed]. At the very moment that the police claim to make history, all historical facts are explained by power in a police-related way. The Hungarian psychiatric researcher Joseph Gabel says that, according to what he defines as the “police conception of history,” history is no longer constituted “by the entirety of objective forces, but by good or bad individual actions”; every event “is placed under the rubric of miracle or catastrophe.” The interpretation of an event no longer involves its historical explanation, but the determination of its cause by either red or black magic. Thus, for power, the bombing of the Piazza Fontana was the miracle that made the unions renounce strikes and allowed the State to avoid civil war. In contrast, the death of Moro announced a mysterious catastrophe that, thanks to the skill and inflexibility of our politicians, spared us. But this has no importance to the large number of “plebian people” ... who have said, “If they kill Moro, it doesn’t interest me at all: that’s their affair,” which is something I’ve heard thousands of times. “The country resisted; it knew how to react.” What a good joke! The only reaction from this “mythological” country was (quite wisely) to not believe anything that one said to it.

Parallel to the catastrophic or miraculous explication of history, the spectacle comes to no longer know what it dominates, no longer grasps hold of the reality and thoughts that it urgently must master. As Machiavelli says, “when one knows the least, one has the most suspicions.” The entire population, and the young people in particular, become suspect in the eyes of power. At the same time, if artificial terrorism claims to be the only real phenomenon, all the spontaneous revolts – such as those in Rome and Bologna in 1977 – become, in accordance with the “police conception of history,” a conspiracy that has been artificially plotted and conducted by forces that are “hidden” and yet “quite identifiable,” which is what the Stalinists believe even today. Everything that power cannot foresee, because it hasn’t organized it, thus becomes a “conspiracy” against it. On the other hand, artificial terrorism, since it is organized and conducted by the masters of the spectacle, is a real and spontaneous phenomenon that these masters continually feign to combat for the simple reason that it is easier to defend oneself against a simulated enemy than a real one. And power would like to refuse the very status of enemy to its real enemy, which is the proletariat. If the workers say they are against this demented terrorism, “they are for the State,” and if they are against the State, “they are terrorists,” that is to say, enemies of the common good and thus public enemies. And against a public enemy, everything is permitted, everything is authorized.[13]

Gabel goes on to say that “the police conception of history represents the most extreme form of political alienation (…): unfavorable events can only be explained by external actions (the conspiracy) and they are experienced (by the sick person) as an unexpected, ‘unmerited’ catastrophe.” And this is why any spontaneous strike must be an insult to “the working class,” which is so well represented by the unions, and any wildcat struggle is “provocative,” “corporative,” “unjust” and “unmerited.” All this goes back to the clinical framework of autistic schizophrenia. “The syndrome of external action (…) is the clinical expression for the irruption of the dialectic in a reified world that can only accept the event as a catastrophe” (J. Gabel, False Consciousness). The irruption of the dialectic corresponds to nothing other than the irruption of struggle in a reified world, which, more exactly, is the spectacular-commodity world, which cannot accept struggle, even in the domain of thought. Thus, this spectacular society is no longer even capable of thinking. Those who reason logically, for example, can only accept the identity of two things when it is based on the identity of subjects. In contrast, the spectacle, which is para-logical, establishes identity on the basis of the identity of predicates and thus says: “the devil is black; that which is black is the devil,” or “the Jew is bad; that which is bad is Jewish,” or “terrorism is catastrophic, the catastrophe is terrorism.” Aside from terrorism, everything else goes well. Unfortunately, there is terrorism: what can we do about it?

If I say, “a police officer must have a legally unblemished record; Mario Bianchi is a police officer; therefore he has a legally unblemished record,” the schizophrenic will say, “Mario Bianchi has a legally unblemished record, therefore he is a police officer.” Thus the spectacle, when it has reached the point of autism, says, “those who kidnapped Moro are terrorists; the RBs are terrorists; Moro was kidnapped by the RBs.” No identification is improper to the spectacle, except for one, which is the only one not made. Namely: the State has proclaimed for years that it is combating the RBs; it has infiltrated them several times without ever trying to dismantle them; thus the State makes use of the RBs as a cover, because the RBs are useful to the State, thus RBs = the State. Power has confessed in a thousand different ways that it fears the making of such an identification: for example, when it invented the neurotic and maladroit slogan, “Either with the State or the RBs,” which means “Either with me, or with me.” [14]

A long time before the advent of the spectacle, religion – which has always been a functioning ideological prototype for all the old forms of power – had already invented the Devil, the first and supreme agent provocateur, whose role was to assure the complete triumph of the Kingdom of God. Religion projected the simple necessity of concrete and real power upon the metaphysical world. Thus Cicero needed to amplify the risk constituted by Catilina to magnify his own glory as savior of the fatherland and to multiple his own abuses in this way. For any power, the only real catastrophe is being swept from history, and each power, once it has become weak and senses the imminence of this real catastrophe, has always tried to consolidate itself by feigning to fight an unequal battle against a convenient adversary. But such battles have also been the final prayers for hearth and home made by power in trouble. History is full of examples....

Respected hoaxers, I have only one thing to say to you: unlike you, for the last thirteen years I have known a large number of the revolutionaries in Europe – they are also known by all the police forces – who have contributed the most, in both theory and practice, to reducing capitalism to its current conditions and, without exception, none of them have ever practiced or even applauded modern spectacular terrorism, which is a fact that appears obvious to me. There are no secret affairs of the revolution: today, everything that is secret belongs to power, that is to say, to the counter-revolution. And all the police forces know this perfectly well.

Gentlemen of the government, it is fitting that, from now on, you have a calm conscience on this point: as long as your State exists, and as long as I am alive, I will never stop denouncing the terrorism perpetrated by your unofficial services, whatever the costs, because doing so is the primary concern of the proletariat and the social revolution at this moment in this country. And this precisely because, as Courier says, “known politics is politics lost.” And if this criminal State continues to lie, kill and provoke the entire population, it will henceforth be constrained to take off its “democratic” mask, act against the workers in its own name, abandon the current comedic spectacle in which the secret services display themselves (thereby supporting the illusions of na´ve militants about the “armed struggle,” which are in turn used to render those services’ provocations plausible), and throw into prison hundreds of people, while the police forces train themselves for civil war by shooting at sitting ducks. [15]

Ever since 1969, the spectacle, to continue to be believed, has had to attribute unbelievable actions to its enemies, and, to continue to be accepted, it has had to ascribe unacceptable behavior to proletarians. As a result, the spectacle has generated enough publicity that the people who allow themselves to be frightened will choose “the lesser of two evils,” that is to say, the current state of things. When the real leaders of the RBs ordered that unarmed people be shot in the legs – something that is only worthy of police-like cowardice and certainly not worthy of revolutionary courage – and when those leaders ordered such attacks, which struck second-tier industrial executives, they knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish, which was to frighten that part of the bourgeoisie that doesn’t have sufficient class consciousness (because it doesn’t enjoy the advantages of the big bourgeoisie) and to win it over to the side of the latter with the upcoming civil war in mind. The fragility of such artificial terrorism lies in the fact that, when one adopts such a tactic, it becomes known and thus judged; as a result, everything that gave this tactic its force now weakens it, and thus the great advantages that it assured its strategists become a major inconvenience....

The detached units of the State, having reached their current level of power, can only continue to make use of the same tactics of infiltration that were used with success on the RBs, but this time they will be extended to all of the State’s institutions. In these conditions, not only will terrorism not cease, but it will grow quantitatively and qualitatively....

In such conditions, the first duty of all conscious subversives is to pitilessly chase all illusions about terrorism from the heads of those called to action. As I have already said elsewhere, historically speaking, terrorism has never had any revolutionary effectiveness, except when all other forms of subversive activity have been rendered impossible by complete repression and an important part of the proletarian population has been led to take part in terrorism silently. But this is no longer or still not the case in contemporary Italy. Moreover, it is fitting to note that the revolutionary effectiveness of terrorism has always been very limited, as the history of the end of the 19th century has shown.

In contrast, the bourgeoisie, which established its domination in France in 1793 thanks to terrorism, must have renewed recourse to this weapon (in a strategically defensive context) during a historical period in which its power is universally being placed in question by the very proletarian forces that its own development has created. At the same time, the bourgeois State’s secret services cover for their terrorism by making opportune use of the most na´ve militants of a Leninism that has been completely frustrated by history, a Leninism that, between 1918 and 1921, also used the same anti-worker terrorist methods to destroy the soviets and seize control of the State and the capitalist economy in Russia.

All States have always been terroristic, but they are more violently so during their births and when they face the imminence of their deaths. And those today who, either due to despair or because they are victims of the propaganda that the regime creates in favor of terrorism as the best example of subversion, and who thus contemplate artificial terrorism with an uncritical admiration (and even try to practice it on occasion), do not know that they are only competing with the State on its own terrain and that, on this terrain, not only is the State stronger, but it will always have the last word. Everything that does not destroy the spectacle reinforces it, and the incredible reinforcement of all the governmental powers of control that has taken place thanks to the pretext of spectacular terrorism has already been used against the entire Italian proletarian movement, which is the most advanced and most radical in Europe today.

The true terrorism is continually obligating everyone to take positions for or against mysterious and obscure events that are prefabricated with this precise intention in mind. Furthermore, continually constraining the entire working class to come out against this or that attack, to which everyone except the unofficial services of the State are strangers, is what permits the union bureaucrats to unite under their anti-worker directives the workers of every factory in turmoil, where some mid-level executive is regularly shot in the leg [allegedly by the RBs].

In 1921, in the midst of the repression of the Kronstadt soviet, when Lenin famously declared “here or there with a gun, but not with the opposition of the workers; we have had enough of the opposition of the workers,” he showed himself to be less dishonest than Berlinguer [the National Secretary of the ICP], who said, “with the State or with the RBs,” because he had no fear of declaring that his only goal is the liquidation of the opposition of the workers. Well, from the precise moment that someone affirms that he or she is “with the State,” he or she knows that he or she supports terrorism, which, in this case, is the most putrid State terrorism that has ever been deployed against the proletariat. Such a person knows that he or she supports those responsible for the deaths at the Piazza Fontana, on board the Italicus, and at Brescia, as well as the assassins of Pinelli and a hundred other people. We have had enough of the crocodile tears shed for the “martyrs” of the Via Fani and enough of the provocations, the crude efforts at intimidation, the assassinations, the prison sentences, the brazen hypocrisy of the defense of the “democratic institutions” and all the rest.

As for us, the subversives, who support the opposition of the workers and do not support the State, we will prove ourselves to be [subversive], above all and on every occasion, by continually unmasking all the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the secret services of the State, to which we willingly leave the monopoly on terror, and by making the State’s infamy more infamous by publicizing it: the publicity that it merits.

When our turn comes, we won’t be lacking weapons or valorous fighters. We are not slaves to the commodity fetish of weapons, and we will procure them when they are necessary and in the simplest fashion: by taking them from your generals, police officers and bourgeois, because they already have enough of them for all the workers in Italy. “We do not have compassion [for you]; we do not expect any from you. When our turn comes, we will not embellish the violence” (Marx).

A thousand repetitions of [the attacks at] the Via Fani and the Piazza Fontana will not benefit capitalism as much as a single anti-bourgeois and anti-Stalinist wildcat strike or a simple act of sabotage against production hurts it. Every day, millions of oppressed minds wake up and revolt against exploitation, and wildcat workers know perfectly well that the social revolution does not make its way by accumulating dead bodies, which is a prerogative of Stalinist-bourgeois counter-revolution (a prerogative that no [true] revolutionary has ever contested).

As for those who have joined up with alienated and hierarchical militantism at the moment of its bankruptcy: they can only become subversives on the condition that they leave militantism behind, and only if they succeed in negating in acts the conditions (set by the spectacle itself) for what is today designated by the vague but just term “dissidence,” which by nature is always powerless.

From now on, those in Italy who do not use all the intelligence that they have to quickly comprehend the truth that is hidden behind each lie told by the State are allies of the enemies of the proletariat. [16] And those who still claim they want to combat alienation with alienated means – militantism and ideology – will quickly realize that they have renounced real combat. It will certainly not be the militants who will make the social revolution, nor will the secret services and the ... police be able to prevent it!


[1] Perfectly exemplifying the analysis of Sanguinetti, the 9/11 attacks were never claimed by any group. But they were blamed on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda already on the morning of the attacks, by talking heads with prepared scripts. Henry Kissinger's call for a global war on terrorism was ready to go and was posted online by the Washington Post on the very evening of the attacks, where he laid out the rationale and overall features of the policy followed by the US government since that day without debate or deviation. Is his wish the government's command?

Osama bin Laden in early videos after the attacks denied that he had anything to do with them, evidently not relishing the role of patsy, just as Lee Harvey Oswald had not. Later videos produced by US intelligence agencies which purported to show bin Laden taking credit for the attacks were demonstrably fake, as shown in detail by David Ray Griffin in Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

As Sanguinetti argued regarding the Italian secret services' creation of terrorist groups, Al Qaeda was created by the CIA to run mujahideen fighters (much of whose fighting was terroristic, involving bombings in public places) into proxy wars waged in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and elsewhere as needed. Bin Laden was put in charge of these operations; he maintained a database of past, present and potential mujahideen (the Arabic word "Al Qaeda" simply means "the list" or "the database").

The 'former' intelligence operative bin Laden was still providing his usual services into the summer of 2001 in Macedonia, and meeting with CIA agents for orders and debriefing between kidney operations at the American Hospital in Dubai. But for years previously he had been portrayed as the world's leading anti-American terrorist, responsible for embassy bombings in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole in Aden. The BBC (evidently exemplifying the adage that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing), broadcast a documentary proving that the anti-American terrorist organization called "Al Qaeda" by governments and press has never existed, and is nothing less than a massive psychological operation of the intelligence agencies.

The anthrax attacks in the US shortly after 9/11, which were an integral part of the complete operation, were purportedly claimed by a previously unknown Islamic terrorist organization, but they have been proven to have originated from a US military biological weapons facility. Thus the "claim" by the "Islamic terrorist group" has been proven false as well.

[2] It is highly likely that Sanguinetti here provides an accurate description of the origins of the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Weather Underground. Although these and other groups appeared in the late '60s and early '70s to be merely pathetic but genuine Leninist militant groups engaged in "armed struggle" to rally the proletariat, their actions were excessively staged and artificial, creating a feeling of unreality, e.g. the abduction of Hearst family heiress Patty and her "conversion" to revolutionism. And objectively the acts were bad strategy and counterproductive, undermining class militance in the workplace. They were such a 'godsend' to the State that it is more likely they were actually created by intelligence agencies to provide a fake enemy to defend the public against, while reaping all the attendent benefits so well described by Sanguinetti.

There is much evidence that many alleged Islamist terrorist groups besides "Al Qaeda" were in fact creations of state intelligence agencies; as just one, but very significant, example, take Hamas, which was created by the Israeli Mossad and has a history of provocation in Israel similar to that provided by the "Red Brigades" in Italy. Furthermore, there may be deluded Islamic rank-and-file militants who are unaware that their organizations, where they originated as part of a genuine resistance to Western and secular domination, are now controlled by agents of the US and allied states. Although it is hard to determine if any of the "Islamic terrorists" captured and tortured actually were anything but completely innocent of any political activity, such lower level militants if they exist could be duped as easily and in the same manner as the Italian militants Sanguinetti knew so well.

[3] The situation in the United States in the late summer of 2001 was not unlike the frighteningly unstable position in Italy in the late '60s and '70s. When 9/11 occurred, the US state was also "extremely weakened" by both external and internal factors: the Bush administration, installed by electoral fraud and a judicial coup d'etat, was the most unpopular in US history, presided over by a near-idiot behind whom loomed an obviously vicious overseer in the "VICE-president's" office; with a looming global economic collapse due to capital's terminal accumulation crisis (the stock market was in shambles after the the "Dot-Com" crash, while there were no productive options for capital trapped in a speculative bubble about to burst); peak oil fears and widespread resource shortages looming; catastrophic and irreversible climate change underway; and massive breakdown of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (soil erosion, deforestation, water and air pollution, overfishing of the seas).

As in Italy, the US ruling class was well aware of significant radically anti-capitalist elements and potential within a rapidly-growing "anti-globalization movement". A worldwide delegitimation crisis had beset global capitalist planning, with resistance movements developing all over the world. These coalesced in a series of massive demonstrations, which began in Seattle in 1999, shutting down the operations and even the function of the World Trade Organization, and spread quickly and widely to every city in the world in which any major institution of global capitalist planning attempted to carry out formerly-routine meetings. This series culiminated in Genoa, Italy in July 2001, which witnessed the largest and most radical demonstration of resistance to global capitalism, with over 300,000 protestors in the streets, as well as the most violent crackdown yet seen, with one demonstrator, Carlo Giuliani, shot dead in the street by Carabinieri, and hundreds of independent journalists seized and subsequently tortured in dungeons for weeks. Pres. George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair were on hand at the ducal palazzo to supervise Berlusconi's Fascist crackdown; the Carabinieri had recently attended a training course provided by the Los Angeles police.

Obviously, the attempted "solution" to capital's crisis by terror would have to be on a much greater scale than the Piazza Fontana or other bombings in Italy, or even than Operation Gladio as a whole. The "strategy of tension" had to go global, triggered by a "catalyzing" event, a "New Pearl Harbor", as Zbigniew Brzezinski called for in his The Grand Chessboard in 1997, a call taken up and promulgated by The Project for the New American Century in 2000 by Bush administration appointees waiting in the wings for the installation of Bush and Cheney. This discourse was a hardly-veiled call for a truly massive attack, killing thousands of Americans, to simply flatten resistance to the launch of a global war of aggression to acquire resources and spatial control, and to erect the most complete police state conceivable, as events since 9/11 have amply confirmed.

[4] Of course, precisely the battlecry "We are at war" sounded immediately after 9/11, a war so important that even more than a "supplementary portion" of civil liberties would have to be sacrificed. Legislation passed immediately after 9/11, but written beforehand and never read by the legislators who passed it (the USA PATRIOT Act) redefined "terrorist" so vaguely that all protestors could be designated terrorists. This no doubt contributed to the virtual end of mass protests in the US. In Spain, however, after the Madrid train bombings (another false flag operation blamed on "Al Qaeda") in 2004, 11.4 million Spaniards took to the streets (28% of the population) to protest "terrorism", demonstrating Sanguinetti's point that the public is still "free to protest" against terrorism without being designated "terrorist".

[5] No highly prestigious persons comparable to Aldo Moro were killed on 9/11; instead a similar spectacular effect was achieved by the mass killing of over 3,000 people, the actual destruction of the iconic Twin Towers, symbol of American financial dominance, and by the photos of the alleged airliner impact at the Pentagon, symbol of American military dominance. Thus the government and press could make the case that the livelihood and security of everyone in the country had been attacked.

[6] Sanguinetti’s note: This is the occasion to cite, as an example of revolutionary lucidity, several passages from this manifesto, which one could find posted at the Piazza Fontana and the principal Milanese factories during the period when the repression was the worst.

"(…) Faced with the rise of the revolutionary movement, and despite the methodical recuperation undertaken by the unions and the bureaucrats of the old and new Left, power saw itself constrained (…) to play the false card of terrorism (…) The Italian bourgeoisie of 1969 (…) no longer needs the errors of the anarchists of the past to find pretexts for the political realization of its totalitarian reality, but instead seeks to manufacture such pretexts on its own by cornering the anarchists of today in a police machination (…) The bomb in Milan exploded against the proletariat. Intended to strike the least radicalized categories and thus ally them with power, and to give the call to arms to the bourgeoisie (…) It isn’t at all by chance that there was a massacre among the farmers (at the National Agricultural Bank) and only the fear of one among the bourgeois (the unexploded bomb found at the Commercial Bank). The direct and indirect results of the attacks were their purpose (…) But the Italian bourgeoisie is the most miserable in Europe. Incapable of making its own active terrorization of the proletariat succeed, it can only attempt to communicate to the majority of the population its own passive terror, that is to say, its fear of the proletariat. Powerless and maladroit in its attempts to stop the development of the revolutionary movement and, at the same time, [unable] to create a strength that it does not possess, the Italian bourgeoisie risked losing both battles on a single blow. Thus, the most advanced factions of power (internal or unofficial) have made a mistake. Excessive [social] weakness has brought the Italian bourgeoisie onto the terrain of police excess: it understands that its only possibility of getting out of its endless agony passes through the risk of the immediate end of that agony. Thus, right at the start, power has had to burn the last political card it has to play before [the outbreak of] civil war or a coup d’Útat of which it is incapable [of winning or defeating] – the two-faced card of a false “anarchist peril” (for the Right) and a false “fascist peril” (for the Left) – with the goal of masking and making possible its [counter-]offensive against the real danger: the proletariat. Moreover, the act with which the bourgeoisie has tried to avert civil war is, in reality, its first act of civil war (…) Thus, it is no longer a question of the proletariat avoiding or beginning it, but winning it (…) The proletariat now begins to understand that it isn’t by partial violence that this civil war can be won, but by the total self-management of revolutionary violence and the general arming of the workers organized into Workers’ Councils. It now knows that, through revolution, it must definitively reject the ideology of violence as well as the violence of ideology (…) Comrades: do not let yourselves stop here (…) Long live the absolute power of the Workers’ Councils!"

A comical peak of idiocy was achieved after 9/11 by "Autonomist Marxist" George Caffentzis, who, recognizing the familiar pattern and evidently still smarting from Sanguinetti's disparaging views of the Italian Autonomia's stupidity and dishonesty on the subject of the Italian state terror campaign, felt it necessary to deny that the Reichstag Fire was a Nazi false-flag operation. See Caffentzis' defense of the Nazi version of the Reichstag Fire ("A Note on 9/11 and the Reichstag Fire"), at this link.

[7] A similar cessation of organized street militance occurred immediately after 9/11, as the self-proclaimed "leaders" of the anti-globalization movement, apparently concerned that they might be branded "terrorists", called off planned demonstrations in Washington DC at the end of September, 2001, as we noted on September 28 in the Addendum to "After Genoa: Reform or Revolution?" and analyzed in more depth in January 2002 in "9/11: A Desperate Provocation by US Capitalism". The Left and the Ultra-Left [Sanguinetti's "extra-parliamentarians"] not only said nothing pertinent or accurate about the 9/11 events and their hidden causes and purposes, but in fact largely swallowed the official story of what happened on 9/11 hook, line and sinker, and have actively suppressed any attempted discussions of this topic on the websites they manage, such as Autonomedia (and have even rewritten history in their defense of the US ruling class, as shown by George Caffentzis' championing of the Nazi official story of the Reichstag Fire; see previous note).

[8] At the time of writing, Sanguinetti didn't know about the US-directed Operation Gladio, and was unaware of the magnitude of US control of Italian intelligence agencies. The credit for the invention of the most modern forms of state terror really belongs to the US, as the version developed in Italy was just one approach among several. For more on the Italian theater of Operation Gladio, and its preparatory function for 9/11, see "9/11 In Context: Plans and Counterplans" and "9/11 In Context: the Strategy of Tension Gone Global".

[9] The important book on the Italian component of Operation Gladio, Puppetmasters by Philip Willan, presents a complex and convincing story that has special significance for us today, and suggests actual links between the "strategy of tension" in Italy and currently ongoing special operations such as the Boston Marathon bombings. Willan turned up numerous indications that the famed Toni Negri was indeed involved with the Red Brigades, but most likely as an operative of the Italian secret services, run by the FBI (oddly not, as one might expect, by the CIA). Although now considered a "martyr" by the Left, a victim of a frame-up by the Italian judicial system, if Willan's analysis is accurate the more likely reality is that Negri is still working for the integrated U.S./NATO/Italian secret services, as an informer and a "disinformation" agent. Among the crimes we know Negri is guilty of is successfully infecting Marxian critique with postmodernism. It is probably no coincidence that "autonomist Marxists" refuse to see the real significance of September 11, and the globalization of the strategy of mass terror through mass murder that it announced.

[10] Not only can lower-level operatives be duped, as Sanguinetti describes, believing their organization a genuine and independent one and magnifying their own importance out of ignorance of the reality of the situation, but high-profile prisoners brought to trial for crimes of terror can be brought to say anything by torture and "plea-bargaining" or other secret deals. The claims of involvement by Zacharias Moussaoui ("the twentieth hijacker") and Khalid Sheik Mohammed ("mastermind of the 9/11 attacks") probably fall into one or the other of these two categories; their claims certainly are insufficient to prop up the collapsed house of cards that is the official story of the attacks, given physical evidence of demolition of the three WTC buildings, the standdown of the US air defenses, the total lack of evidence of an airliner striking the Pentagon, etc..

[11] Note the remarkable similarity to Left and Ultra-Left accusations that the US government did not do enough to stop the 9/11 attacks, and even their actual support for the "global war on terror." Exemplifying the stupidity ascribed to them (in the Italian context) by Sanguinetti, the Left and Ultra-Left have completely bought the official claim that the 9/11 attacks were planned and carried out by cunning external enemies.

[12] There may be, of course, some Muslim fundamentalists who do believe that terrorizing infidels can advance their cause, just as there are Christian, Jewish and Hindu fundamentalists who think the same way. But, as Sanguinetti says, "those who disposed of so many means and tactical capabilities surely did not put them at the service of a strategy that was as poor and unbelievable as the one attributed to" Al Qaeda, that quintessential bogey. Such a strategy would have been a very "poor and unbelievable" one for such an organization (if it actually exists, which it does not), given that it unleashed a global war on Muslim peoples, as would have been predicted had they considered such a ridiculous strategy. And beyond this is the fact that there is no actual evidence that Islamists were the perpetrators of 9/11, the train bomb attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, or the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013; all the purported evidence "goes up in smoke" when examined. See, for example, David Ray Griffin's article "Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?", and his book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

[13] That the real enemy of the state is its own domestic population, and especially the class-conscious elements, is shown by the brutal crackdowns at demonstrations and against the Occupy movement. Demonstrators have repeatedly pointed out that they are not terrorists, but the police in US cities control them under new "anti-terrorist" legislation (the USA PATRIOT Act and similar laws) with the overall supervision of the FBI, CIA and White House. Their opposition to government economic policies and war proves that they are in fact terrorists, "and thus public enemies. And against a public enemy," as Sanguinetti truly observes, "everything is permitted, everything is authorized."

[14] George W. Bush immediately after 9/11 said exactly this, raising the question whether he and his fellow state operatives are using an agency manual for speaking to the press, drafted during Operation Gladio but still in use.

[15] This is borne out by overt measures such as the National Defense Authorization Act which permits the domestic use of the US military, as well as not-so-overt ones such as the ongoing militarization of police forces around the country, a process which started with COINTELPRO in the 1960s but really picked up steam under the Clinton Administration in the 1990s. See “The American Military Coup of 2012" by Frank Morales.

[16] This conclusion is as valid today (mid-2013) in the US and elsewhere, as it was in Italy in 1979. Actions undertaken by Left and even Ultra-Left groups and individuals to censor outright any discussion of covert government false-flag "terrorism" assist the corporate state and hinder those who oppose it and strive for a post-capitalist world. The impact of their support of the state's line on terrorism more than negates the effects of whatever critical opposition these groups and individuals manage to provide.

Posted on July 11, 2013

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