The contents of this report in Argentina's Critica daily opened my eyes to this connection (an excellent read for those versed in Spanish and recommended). It turns out that Berlusconi is a member of the so-called "black lodge" of Italian freemasons known as P-2 that has been connected to lots of shenanigans over the years. So much so, in fact, that the official Italian freemasonary society has banned and disassociates itself from P-2. Plenty of P-2 members have direct connections to Benito Mussolini (for example, his chief of police is a member), but it's remarkable to see just how many of the Argentine military directly responsible for the atrocities of the Dirty War also figure as members (links to some of the more interesting characters provided).
Emilio Massera, joint head of the coup d'etat that ruled from 1976. Chief architect of the government clampdown on dissidents and directly responsible for hundreds if not thousands of the Dirty War disappeared.
Guillermo Suárez Mason, intelligence chief in the Dirty War period.
Alberto Vignes, Argentine chancellor.
José Lopez Rega, founder of the AAA anti-communist death squad.
Carlos Federico Barttfeld, naval officer, organizer of clandestine operations in the Dirty War period. In a later period in the diplomatic corps he was directly involved with the illegal arms shipments to Croatia in the 1990's and was relieved of all duties in 2003.
Horacio Estrada, "suicided" naval captain of the period who was at the time suspected of being a high-level whistleblower against the military government.
Orlando Ramón Agosti, head of the Argentine Air Force at the time of the coup and joint ruler of Argentina in the triumvirate from 1976. Knew without a shadow of a doubt about the "Flights of Death" that took people over the Rio de la Plata and dumped them, either dead or drugged, out the back.
Carlos Alberto Conti, admiral in the Argentine Navy
So all these people who were directly responsible for the Argentine Dirty War, being high ranking officers in the military dictatorship at the time, were/are also members of the P2 black lodge of freemasons. And Silvio Berlusconi, a man who denied for many years that he was a member, was also proven to be a part of the lodge by an Italian court. This is the background to the Silvio Berlusconi that enjoys cracking jokes about the Argentine disappeared.
Nice Prime Minister you got yourselves there, Italy. And while we're at it, let's not forget this pearl from 2003:
Berlusconi: Mussolini 'never killed anyone'
ROME (AP) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a newspaper report Thursday that Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini never killed anyone and only sent people away on vacations in internal exile......
By the way and to wrap up, I'm neither pro nor contra freemasonary in general terms but this P-2 lodge is a real piece of work. Check out the Wiki page to see what they've been up to and you'll sympathize with the law-abiding lodges that banned the group.