Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Once an KGB agent, always a KGB agent

Departing Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has been offered a job shilling for Russia's energy interests in Europe, but has turned it down. This would seem to be a good thing on the face of it: outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder took the bait just weeks after pushing through legislation favorable to the company, and became the chairman of the Gazprom division that was to build the very pipeline that he had just pushed through. He has been a reliable shill for the Russians ever since, even defending the Russians during the row over the Bronze Soldier statue in Tallinn.

But, Romano Prodi is unfortunately not so innocent. In 1978, amidst what the Italians called the "Years of Lead," during which many terrorist attacks were carried out by far-left and far-right organizations, the prominent Christian Democrat Aldo Moro was assassinated by the Red Brigade before he could negotiate a political truce between the Communists and the Christian Democrats. But before he was killed, while he was being held hostage, Romano Prodi at the time claimed to have taken part in a séance on a whim with a few Italian intellectuals, during which time the place where Moro was being held hostage appeared to him. The police searched the village named Gradoli, but didn't find anything. However, after Moro's death, it turned out that he was being held on via Gradoli, outside of Rome – Prodi either received the information correctly in a séance, or was tipped off by a source in the leftist terrorist organization, the Red Brigade.

The story that Prodi received the correct name in a séance is pretty absurd, but it makes sense if you consider the allegations against him by the Mitrokhin Archives (a series of documents about the KGB's external operations obtained by an FSB double agent). Romano Prodi was accused of being the "KGB's man in Italy." There was an investigation, but nothing ever came of it. The controversy was rekindled in 2006 when it was revealed that assassinated former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko was told by assassinated former FSB deputy director Anatoly Trofimov that Romano Prodi was "one of ours" – that is, an FSB agent. Funny how they both happen to have been assassinated.

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