NASR RENDITION UPDATE….So did the Italian government know in advance about the CIA’s 2003 kidnapping in Milan of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr and his subsequent rendition to Egypt? Dana Priest’s CIA sources say the Italians knew all about it, but today the Italian government denied everything:

Responding to questions about the article from lawmakers in the Italian Senate, Giovanardi said simply, “it’s false.” Later, in the Chamber of Deputies, he called the Post article “a report without any foundation, a false report, which the Italian government is able to deny with great calm.”

….some opposition lawmakers said they were unconvinced by Thursday’s denial and said evidence was mounting that Italian intelligence agencies were complicit in the operation.

“Obviously, they cannot admit this because it violates the Constitution, Italian laws and international treaties,” said Luigi Malabarba, leader of the Communist Refoundation Party and a member of the parliamentary committee that oversees the Italian secret services.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain the CIA’s actions.

Is this a kabuki dance for the benefit of the public, or was Berlusconi truly in the dark about all this? I’d guess the former, but in any case this is shaping up to be a fine little showdown that might shake loose some interesting tidbits along the way. Investigative reporters everywhere should be licking their chops.

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