cj#444> airliner shootdowns


Richard Moore

Date:         Thu, 18 Jan 1996
Sender:       Activists Mailing List <•••@••.•••>
From:         Workers World Service <•••@••.•••>
Subject:      NATO Exposed in Fatal Plane Crash

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Jan.18, 1996
issue of Workers World newspaper


By John Catalinotto

A new report based on documents seized from the retired
head of Italy's counter-intelligence service has revealed
that an Italian passenger plane which crashed in April 1980
just north of Sicily was shot down by NATO jet fighters.

The NATO unit consisted of U.S. and French planes on a
secret operation. They were planning to shoot down a plane
carrying Libyan leader Muammar Qaddhafi across the
Mediterranean Sea.

According to the report, the NATO pilots panicked when
MiGs escorting Qaddhafi counter-attacked. "When the civilian
airliner suddenly came into range, the pilot of a French
Mirage jet opened fire without first checking its identity,
killing all 81 people aboard." (San Francisco Examiner, Jan.

Gen. Demetrio Cogliandro, former head of the Italian
secret service, had hidden the report for 15 years. The
Italian magistrate investigating the crash recently had
these papers seized. In them, Cogliandro names then-Prime
Minister Francesco Cossiga as the person responsible for
covering up the truth. Cossiga's supporters suggested the
plane was blown up by a "terrorist bomb."

Cogliandro's papers also describe how one of the Libyan
MiGs was shot down. He said that disinformation was spread
about the MiG once it was found.

This little news item reprinted from the London
Independent is filled with lessons for the working-class and
progressive movement here in the United States.

First, it reminds everyone that the imperialist powers--in
this case, U.S. and French imperialism--are capable of
assassinating heads of state. This is part of business-as-
usual in defense of ruling-class interests. Several years
later, in 1986, U.S. bombers hit the Libyan capital of
Tripoli, this time nearly killing Qaddhafi. U.S. President
Ronald Reagan charged the Libyan leader with "terrorism."

Second, these powers can pressure allied heads of state to
cover up for them, as Cossiga did. This was true even though
through the U.S.-French crime, 81 people, mostly Italians,
were killed.

Third, all the Western capitalist powers will take such an
incident and, through disinformation or direct control of
the media, blame the crime on whomever they want to

The airliner crash over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December
1988 that killed so many people from the U.S. has been
blamed on "terrorists"--either from Iran, Libya, Iraq,
Syria, or the Middle East in general, depending on who
Washington wants to demonize the most. Every anniversary of
this event becomes another opportunity for racist bashing of
people from that region.

It doesn't stretch the imagination much to think that
someday uncovered papers will reveal that the Lockerbie
crash was the work of agents of the CIA, British MI-5 or
some other imperialist spy agency. It won't be the first

                         - END -

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        The Lockerbie crash was very suspicious indeed.  There was a notice
posted in the U.S. embassy (at the city of origin of the flight) warning
people to avoid the flight, as it was under "terrorist" threat -- but no
public warning was issued.  There have been reports that the German police
have video-tape of the bomb being loaded onto the plane, and that they
contacted the CIA about that before the plane took off -- the CIA told them
to let the flight proceed.  Other reports claimed that the motivation was
to eliminate certain CIA presonnel who "knew too much" (about something),
and were on the flight.  Pan Am investigated the crash and uncovered much
of this, in an effort to reduce their own financial liability, but I've
never seen their report.  (Anyone out there have it?)



 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
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