“The Italian Job” sebuah operasi CIA yang penuh kekeliruan. Siapa yg menyuruh?

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Kita baru saja mendapat kunjungan orang nomor satu Amerika Serikat, Presiden Barack Hussein Obama yang banyak memberikan inspirasi bagi kita dan dunia agar menerapkan prinsip-prinsip pluralisme, demokrasi, dan kebersamaan, dan kesamaan derajat diantara bangsa-bangsa didunia, bukan dominasi kekuasaan. Beliau banyak mengutip ideologi yang dianut bangsa Indonesia, seperti Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunngal Ika, dan keberhasilan bangsa Indonesia dalam menyelesaikan berbagai konflik di dalam negeri. Indonesia sebagai sebuah contoh demokrasi yang behasil membuat masyarakat yang berbeda keyakinan agama dapat hidup berdampingan secara damai. Beliau lebih mengedepankan penyelesaian konflik secara damai, atau Soft Power, melalui perundingan dari pada melalui peretempuran fisik. Ini merupakan kampanye Obama saat berpidato dalam kampanye Pemilihan Presiden AS tahun 2008.

Cita-cita Obama untuk merubah kebijakan Luar Negeri Amerika Serikat pada kenyataannya memang tidak selalu berjalan mulus, seperti penyelesaian konflik Israel-Palestina, Perang Iraq, dan Perang Afghanistan, sebab perang yang dikobarkan oleh pendahulunya, Presiden George W. Bush, penuh dengan asumsi-asumsi yang tidak benar, seperti adanya senjata pemusnah massal di Iraq, dll. Untuk perang Iraq, memang Obama telah membuat keputusan yang tepat, yaitu menarik seluruh pasukann AS pada bulan Juni 2011. Sedangkan untuk perang Afghanistan, keputusannya masih keliru dengan terus melanjutkan serangan-serangan pesawat tempur tak-berawak yang menimbulkan banyak korban-korban berjatuhan dari rakyatr yang tak berdosa. Obama harus membuat keputusan yang berani dan tepat, sebab sudah diperkirakan bahwa Perang Afghanistan akan berjalan lama dan tak mungkin dimenangkan oleh tentara pendudukan AS dan NATO. Jangan sampai AS menelan kekalahan pahit dan memalukan seperti Perang Vietnam.

Obama harus segera menghentikan perang Afghanistan, menghentikan pertempuran fisik yang telah menewaskan puluhan ribu korban rakyat Afghanistan yang tak berdosa, dan menggantikannya dengan Soft Power, melalui perundingan perdamaian antara fihak-fihak yang bertikai. Ini akan dapat menghemat anggaran perang AS sampai ratusan milyar Dollar yang saat ini memang sangat dibutuhkan oleh Pemerintah AS untuk memulihkan perekonomiannya yang sedang terpuruk.

Terkait dengan judul berita diatas, itu adalah sebuah kekeliruan atau kebodohan sebuah operasi intelijen CIA yang mereka lakukan di Italia disiang hari bolong tahun 2003, dimana operasi-operasi CIA itu dengan mudah dapat dilacak, untuk menangkap seorang tersangka teroris, Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, atau Abu Omar. Abu Omar akhirnya dikirim ke Mesir, disiksa sampai berbulan-bulan di penjara Mesir, dan akhirnya dibebaskan karena tuduhan-tuduhan terhadapnya tidak terbukti.

Saat ini di Pengadilan Italia sedang diproses pengadilan terhadap 23 orang warga negara AS sebagai anggota CIA yang melakukan penangkapan Abu Omar secara illegal, dan menjadi berita hangat di The New York Times saat ini. Apakah operasi itu merupakan perintah langsung orang nomor satu di AS saat itu, Presiden Bush? Apakah ada peran Perdana Menteri Italia saat itu, Silvio Berlusconi? Jawabannya akan sangat menarik untuk diketahui oleh kita semua, bahwa pelanggaran HAM tidak dapat lagi ditolerir oleh masyarakat dunia.

Silahkan ditanggapi.
Semoga bermanfaat.

Inside the Central Intelligence Agency, it came to be known as “The Italian Job,” a botched operation in 2003 that snatched a radical cleric off a Milan street in broad daylight and spirited him to Egypt, where he says he endured months of torture at the hands of his Egyptian jailers.

The C.I.A. operatives had successfully nabbed their quarry — Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar — but they made a number of dizzyingly stupid decisions while in Italy. They spoke on commercial cellphones, used traceable toll scanners to breeze down highways in the getaway van, checked into ritzy hotels using the addresses of post office boxes located near C.I.A. headquarters and even gave the hotels frequent flier numbers so they could earn miles during their stay in Milan. The missteps left a lengthy evidence trail for Italian prosecutors, and 23 Americans were ultimately convicted on kidnapping charges after being tried in absentia.

Italian and American journalists have already unearthed many details of the case, and others came out during the trial. Yet a more thorough treatment has been needed to resolve a number of mysteries.

Steve Hendricks, the author of “The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country,” has gone part of the way in “A Kidnapping in Milan,” a generally fast-paced account of the episode. Hendricks is particularly strong in tracing Abu Omar’s roots in the jihadist world of the Middle East and his travels to Pakistan, Albania and eventually the rundown fringes of Milan. When Abu Omar arrived in Italy, he was just one among a flood of immigrants who had come to work in factories churning out Armani suits and Prada shoes.

But as Milan emerged as a hive of radical Islamic activity, Abu Omar became an influential cleric at one of the city’s mosques. His fiery sermons attracted the attention of both Italian and American officials, who began eavesdropping on his conversations to determine whether he was plotting terror attacks. Hendricks chronicles the rivalries, mistrust and poor communication between the Italian counterterrorism agencies, a situation not unlike the historic animosity between the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. Though the C.I.A. operatives snatched Abu Omar with the blessing of part of Italy’s intelligence establishment, a separate Italian counterterrorism agency that had been gathering evidence to prosecute the Egyptian in court was left completely in the dark.

Hendricks recounts Abu Omar’s time in an Egyptian prison in particularly grim detail, in a section that also contains a somewhat superfluous and stomach-churning description of torture methods employed throughout history. And he is admirably candid about the fact that he paid Abu Omar to get his story after the cleric was released from prison. Abu Omar even locked Hendricks in his apartment when the two men fought over exactly how much Abu Omar should be paid.

But who thought the Abu Omar abduction was actually a good idea? And why was the operation so amateurish? Did the head of the C.I.A.’s Milan base, Robert Seldon Lady, really oppose it, as Lady has asserted in some news media accounts? “A Kidnapping in Milan” provides no answers.

Hendricks tried unsuccessfully to get members of the C.I.A. team to speak to him — efforts that resulted in hastily hung-up phones and face-to-face meetings where people he suspects were on the mission flatly denied any involvement, or even working for the C.I.A. Reporters who regularly toil in these fields will sympathize with Hendricks’s frustration.

And yet Hendricks does not seem to have tried other, more senior American officials to better fill in the picture. Who gave approval for the operation? Did President Bush personally make the decision? And what exactly did the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, know about it all? These are some of the questions that bedeviled a group of dogged Italian prosecutors and, as yet, have not been answered.

Mark Mazzetti is a national security correspondent for The Times. (Source: Mark Marzetti – The New York Times, Nov 12, 2010)

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