Due to its strategic importance and functional architecture, the MUOS (*) can be used by the USA for all its wars, even those not complying with Article.11 of the Italian Bill of Rights stating the fundamental principles of peace and rejecting war. This project is going on while in the media there is silence, and with the country unaware of its risks and targets. This is what limited sovereignty means.
It will dispatch attack orders to military units anywhere they are – in Africa, Asia, Europe or Oceania. It will direct operations of killer drones and cruise missiles, the first strike of submarines and intercontinental missiles. It is an instrument to consolidate U.S. hegemony over the planet and in space, and to accelerate the transition towards an entirely automated management of the 21st century’s wars, without juridical limits or moral restrictions. For global and permanent wars. For conventional, chemical, biological, nuclear warfare. Until the final holocaust.
The MUOS, the new satellite telecom system of the USA armed forces, will be used for these purposes.. Five geostationary satellites in space and four earth terminals: one of those will be set up p in Sicily – in the Niscemi area – in the heart of the natural reserve supposed to be protected by the European and National laws. This is a mass-destruction system, exclusively owned and used by Washington, which will indissolubly link Italy to Washington's militarist policies. This is the reason why MUOS violates the basic values of our Constitution.
“Due to its strategic importance and functional architecture, the MUOS could be used by the USA for all conflicts, even those failing to comply with the Article 11 of the Italian Constitution stating the fundamental principles of peace and rejecting war," said Professor Agatino Cariola, teacher of Constitutional Law at University of Catania, during a recent seminar about MUOS and U.S. and NATO bases in Italy (MUOS e basi USA e NATO in Italia) organized by the Political and Social Science Department of the Sicilian University.
"We defend our lives: NO to MUOS!"
According to Lawyer Sebastiano Papandrea, legal consultant of the Sicilian Coordination of the No MUOS Committee, the agreement between Italian and U.S. authorities - which allowed the installation of the MUOS on national territory - is totally illegitimate, because it was formalized outside of the procedures regulated by the Italian Constitution. “MUOS constitutes a problem of crucial political significance, and it certainly cannot certainly be regulated under mere technical agreements”, as the legal consultant. “According to the Constitution, the Government should have solicited the ratification of the agreement by the president of the Republic – subject to parliamentary authorization. Instead, they have adoped a simplified procedure with the signature of a protocol only by the Ministry of Defense’s representative , neither ratified by the Head of State nor endorsed by both Chambers”.
All the decisions pertaining to the new weapon system have been assumed by secondary and/or minor institutions. It is done in a different way from what occurred in Australia – the other non U.S. country that is going to host one of the MUOS earth terminals. In fact, once Parliament gave a positive vote to that programme, in November 2007 the Australian executive stipulated a bilateral agreement with the USA, in order to regulate the installation of the satellite facilities inside the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Ground Station in Kojarena.
During the same period, in Italy, on the contrary, the government classified the U.S. military project as secret, rejecting any kind of debate with the Members of Parliament that were inquiring after explanations and truth about it.
Washington governs at Niscemi
As many constitutionalists and jurists remarked, however, as they denounced MUOS as illegitimate, it is the permit given to the U.S. to use Niscemi base itself that raises strong doubts that it is Constitutional. “The U.S. Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) at Niscemi was built twenty years ago without the necessary prior authorization by Parliament, evidently contradicting Articles 11, 80 and 87 of the Constitution,”Professor Agatino Cariola reminded us. “Article 80, in particular, regulates the composition of international treaties, proceeding from Article 5 of the Albertine Statute
, in which it was stated that the government headed by the king was entitled to ratify international treaties. Our constituent modified the old set of rules and established the need of a ratification co-endorsed by the Parliament”. According to the Sicilian jurist, Article 80 of the Constitution produced a deep transformation of the the meaning of the rules.”International politics is no longer reserved to the government alone, , but is subject to Parliamentary approval and, therefore, to the electoral body,” says Cariola. “The procedure that led to the Italy – USA secret agreements in 1954, which is used to justify the legitimacy of the existence of the Niscemi NRTF base, is unconstitutional. That’s because since 1948 our Constitution indeed requires the Parliament to participate to foreign politics choices, but not the possibility to conclude exclusively interior agreements“.
The Niscemi base is an infrastructure destined for the exclusive use of the U.S. Armed Forces, over which there is no way to exercise sovereignty and any control by the Italian authorities. This is what you can infer from the Technical Arrangement between the Ministry of Defense of the Italian Republic and the Defense Department of the United States of America regarding the installations/infrastructure in use by the U.S. Forces in Sigonella signed in Rome in April 6, 2006 by Admiral N. G. Preston, US Navy Chief for Europe Region and by General Mario Marioli of the Italian Army. According to what is expressively reported in the text of the agreement, an exclusive use “stands for the infrastructure utilization by a single nation's armed force, and for carrying out activities regarding missions and/or tasks it is assigned by the State that dispatched it”.
Last October, the No MUOS Committee Sicily Coordination brought to the attention of political, social, trade union and religious forces the need for the Italian Parliament to finally confront the theme of the agreements regulating the use of U.S. and NATO infrastructures in Italy; and that it take a position regarding the authorizations for the insallation of the MUOS in the Niscemi natural reserve. During a meeting whose title was “MUOS: Sicilia tra ponte di pace e avamposto militare” (MUOS: Sicily between a peace bridge and a military outpost”) – held in Rome on October 23, 2013 with the Members of Parliament for Peace Intergroup and with the collaboration of ARCI
(Italian Recreational and Cultural Association), Legambiente
(Italian Environmentalist Association), COBAS
(Trade Union's Confederation), Anti-Mafia Association “Rita Atria
”, Rete Disarmo
(Disarmament Network), Emergency
and Pax Christi, the No MUOS Committees presented the text of an eventual parliamentarian motion proposal against the new satellite system. “With the proposed motion framed with the help of some Sicilian jurists, we are asking Parliament to take back some of its own ineliminable prerogatives”, explained Lawyer Sebastiano Papandrea. “Both Chambers must oblige the government to annul or, as secondary way, to suspend the international treaty not authorized as per Article 80 of the Constitution regarding building the MUOS communication system. The Parliament itself should make a statement about those agreements, with respect to the principles and values of the Constitution”.
The Members of Parliament for Peace Intergroup includes 68 senators and deputies belonging to several political parties such as Sel, Pd, Scelta civica and M5S. Their spokesperson is MP Giulio Marcon, an independent deputy elected in the candidate lists of Sel. Working together on the Rome convention with MP Erasmo Palazzotto, Marcon has undertaken the task of putting on the agenda of the next Intergroup works the problems concerning the MUOS and the other military programmes which are heavily weighing on Sicily: from the “Mare Nostrum” Operation - started by the Ministry of Defense with anti-migrants functions - to the transformation of the Sigonella airbase into an operational hub for the spying and killer drones of the U.S. and NATO armed forces.
(*) - MUOS: Mobile User Objective System