Lazy fellows who make up the Italian National Commission of the CPA... However, they would like to urge some fire-brand to put the idea into execution. It is not always necessary to arm the hand of a killer; enough to inflame the mind of a fanatic.
"One does not have to be very intelligent to understand what the members of the National Commission... mean when they shout that the isolation of Tresca is imperative, and when... they say it would be a betrayal of anti-Fascists and their conscience... not to tell that Tresca must no longer be tolerated. Mussolini used the same words when he wanted to incite to action the murderers of Mattcotti; but Mussolini, considering that the designation of the victim was not sufficient, set to work, organized, directed, and took part in the execution of the crime. I am waiting unflinchingly for the four scoundrels of the Commission to act."
But would fanatics incited by the virulent invective of the Communist Party press have resorted to violence against Tresca? Judging from the record of secret agents acting under their influence, it does not seem incredible. And any one who has studied the known circumstances in the case of Victor Alter and Hendryk Erlich, Polish Socialists and anti-Nazi leaders, executed in Soviet Russia in 1942, is not likely to have any doubts about the Stalinist attitude toward the violent extinction of individuals.
What did District Attorney Frank S. Hogan's men find out, if anything, about Sormenti's whereabouts? If it is true that he was in Mexico City on January 11, 1943, as his defenders assert, where was he in the previous month? Where was he on December 22, when "Charles Pappas" bought the murder car? Was any investigation made of the working of secret agents among Communist sympathizers in New York? Did the Hogan staff look into the maneuvering by Communists and ex-fascists for position in the Mazzini Society? No public statement on these points has ever come from the prosecutor's office.
Was it the Fascists or the Ex-Fascists?
Both the Communists and the Fascists had reason to be hostile to Tresca at the time of his death because of his successful fight to keep them out of the Mazzini Society and his efforts to bar them from the Italian-American Victory Council, then being organized by the Office of War Information. The potential importance of this council was great. It could become a bridge to Italy, a Trojan horse by which Communists and ex-Fascists could get on the inside of American policy in dealing with Italy's future. As we have seen since, Italy is a key piece in Soviet foreign policy. And with the Badoglio regime and the AMG policy matters of recent history, we can see the kind of deals ex-Fascists here hoped to make with the American Government. In both Stalinist and Fascist calculations, the Italian-American Victory Council was a major objective, and the Mazzini Society was the leading organization of Italian anti-Fascists in this country.
The original OWI program called for inclusion in the Council of Generoso Pope and other prominent ex-Fascists, and also of representatives of the International Workers' Order, a fraternal benefit organization