In an era where geopolitical truths are often shrouded in layers of secrecy, Fabrizio Gatti’s “Educazione Americana”, published in 2023 by La Nave di Teseo, emerges as a document of great interest. Based on an extensive interview with an Italian secret agent who worked on delicate CIA clandestine operations, Gatti lucidly unveils the CIA’s underground strategies, transcending European borders to unravel a network of global operations.
Since it is not possible to summarize in detail a narrative of a good 400 pages, we have decided to isolate some aspects that seem particularly relevant to understand the modus operandi of the American secret services and some of their allies.
Gatti begins with an analysis of the Mossad’s targeted operations, specifically referring to the assassination of engineer Gerald Bull, who was supposed to build Saddam Hussein’s supergun. As we have said, it will be the Israeli secret service that eliminates him with the explicit consent of the American one. This episode opens a gap on the collaborative and sometimes intersecting dynamics between international intelligence agencies.
The author highlights the clear distinction between intelligence analysts, who work behind the scenes, and operational agents, described as “ghosts” who act on the front line. The latter, being unofficial, allow an easy denial of responsibility by the United States. The clandestine agents, used for unofficial operations, are described as entities on the margins of the agency, whose existence is known only to their controllers. These figures represent a crucial piece in the mosaic of secret operations. It is even more interesting to confirm that the dirty operations not only existed but are always there, as the world is still a large canvas on which unaware citizens move, and it is the clandestine operational agents who paint new figures and add colors that are often scarlet like blood.
One of the most disturbing points of the essay concerns the CIA’s ability to manipulate evidence to safeguard its interests. Gatti highlights how this practice extends to Italian institutions, with the presence of CIA infiltrators. In order to legally protect American intelligence activity in Italy, the agency uses diplomatic covers, especially consular, to mask CIA activities in strategic locations such as Milan and Rome. Regarding the organization chart, real or presumed, of the agency, it is described in Gatti’s essay as a pyramidal organization led by a group of thinkers capable of influencing global events to the advantage of the United States, an aspect that reflects the complexity and influence of the agency. They are able to write history before it manifests itself, so that in allied countries changes occur without harming the interests of the United States.
But the agency’s modus operandi is notoriously cynical and unscrupulous, and consequently, the use of torture could not be missing. Gatti’s text confirms that during the hunt for Islamic terrorists, torture was practiced in extra-European countries, naturally allies of the United States and with which there are secret agreements. But it is also confirmed that the kidnapping or seizure of terrorists – see, for example, the case of Abu Omar – is possible due to the tacit collaboration of the services and allied countries, such as Italy, and the presence of military infrastructure such as that of Aviano. It is not surprising that Gatti observes how evidence can be fabricated and how, especially in operations of vital interest to the United States, the CIA is capable of fabricating or eliminating evidence even in Italian institutions.
One of the most significant passages is that relating to the broad, pervasive, and capillary influences that the United States, through its security services, have put in place in our country. According to Gatti’s essay, some of the crucial events of contemporary Italian politics, such as those related to Mani Pulite, the fall of the Berlusconi government, and, earlier, Bettino Craxi, were favored and facilitated by the CIA. Of extreme interest is the fact that these destabilization operations in our country substantially confirm what was already happening during the strategy of tension. But it also confirms that there are divergent schools of thought within the CIA, including a current that favored a civil war in Italy. Another disturbing constant that emerges from Gatti’s essay is the traditional opposition between the American and Russian secret services, an opposition that has led to the use of extreme actions such as the physical elimination of the head of the CIA’s secret operations in Italy, just as it happened during the years of the Cold War.
This aspect illuminates the ruthless and no-holds-barred nature of international power games. One of the most disconcerting points is the NSA’s ability to monitor Italian communications, both civilian and military. This control, justified by the need to monitor investigations and illicit activities, raises significant concerns about privacy and the integrity of national institutions. Moreover, in the essay of the Italian journalist, the technical possibility is confirmed that the National Security Agency is able to have an exact idea of all the main judicial investigations carried out by the Italian judiciary, especially because these could be very useful to blackmail, influence, or otherwise condition the political choices of our government or part of it. It is precisely in this regard that the hypothesis that the infamous Armed Phalanx was nothing more than a manifestation of state terrorism, born from the collaboration between certain sectors of our services and the Americans, to send precise messages to the Italian political class, finds no contradiction. Similarly, the disturbing link between the agency’s clandestine operations and organized crime is confirmed. After all, Italy is a country where the mafia, corruption, and politics often intertwine, and therefore monitoring a country of this kind means conditioning its choices.
In “Educazione Americana,” Fabrizio Gatti not only unveils the obscure and often unmentionable operations of the CIA and other intelligence agencies but also raises fundamental questions about the nature of power, ethics in geopolitics, and the impact of these actions on the world stage. His work opens a window of great importance onto a world normally hidden behind curtains of secrecy, inviting the reader to reflect on the global interconnection of power politics and their ramifications.