GLADIO, HOW AMERICA AND NATO INVENTED TERRORISM

“NOT ONE TERRORIST IN A HUNDRED….A THOUSAND…..IS REAL”

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By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

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(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Wikipedia’s report on Operation Gladio is reproduced below.  This is a threatened document, an important part of our history.  Help preserve it.)

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How many Americans have heard of Operation Gladio?  Many ask, how could simple Arabs or even Israel, put together an organization capable of 9/11?  If, as 78% of Australians indicate, in a recent Herald Sun poll, America planned 9/11 herself, how did a democracy lose its way? 

How did America’s intelligence and defense groups become terrorists?  When did it happen and why?  The answer isn’t simple, it started decades ago, when the world was at the edge of obliteration and two systems, or what we then believed were systems, fought for the hearts and minds of the world.

Today, all that sounds childish.  A mature look at the Cold War looks more like two rats fighting over a corpse.  Then, however, some saw it as “light and dark,” clear as that.  Many believed the Soviet Union would drive its tanks through Europe like a knife through hot butter.  To fight this “eventuality,” NATO built a terrorist organization of massive proportions.  The remaining cells of Operation Gladio, one of the greatest disasters of military ignorance in history, are busy today.

We call some of them “Al Qaeda.”

Operation Gladio is the heart of world terrorism, alive and well, and built by NATO, built by the United States and used against America and the world.  Gladio, created to save us from communism, quickly became a terrorist organization itself, murdering political leaders, rigging elections, terror attacks to blame on one group or another.  The “medicine” became the disease.  It is now killing us.

WHERE THE DAMAGE HAS LEFT US, LESS FREE, MAYBE NOT FREE, NOT INDEPENDENT AT ALL

This week, in light of failing relations with Israel over unresolved “Bush era” issues, 9/11, Israel’s role in manipulating America into two illegal wars and the despicable propaganda campaign they have run against the United States in her own press, something unheard of happened.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with GOP leaders, extracting a promise that they would agree to work with Israel against the interests of the United States.  Yes, we said “against.”  America has no treaties with Israel, no Israeli troops support us but Israel has been caught, time after time, spying on the US, bribing public officials and military leaders and worse, working to keep America under attack.

They are either the worst friend imaginable or something else.  Many are coming to realize that America has been occupied by Israel.  When Netanyahu met with his Republicans it was because President Obama, much like Karzai in Afghanistan, is simply getting sick of them as Karzai is sick of the American occupation of Afghanistan.   There is a reason that dual citizens control Homeland Security, the FBI, the State Department and Department of Defense.  Oh, you didn’t know that most of the key officials of those organizations are Israeli citizens?  The news didn’t tell you?  Well, in an occupied country, the “occupier” controls the news.

THOSE WHO CLAIM TO SAVE US TURN OUT TO BE THE THREAT ITSELF

These organizations are controlled so that any resistance will be crushed immediately.  I am not one to talk about FEMA camps and black helicopters but Jesse Ventura seems to be right.  Our most recent proof is the Yemen bomb scam.  No bombs were found.  There is no Al Qaeda in Yemen, in fact there is no Al Qaeda, no matter how much you hear the word, which means, of course, “toilet.”  Former Homeland Security director, Chertoff, (Israeli) is raking in millions selling scanners which, other than being another humiliation, may well be dangerous.

When is the last time you heard of a bomb being found by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) officers?  The last time a bomb came into the US, the “terrorist” was personally seated on the plane by an airport security official working for an Israeli company.  He was walked around inspections.  Why search anyone at all under circumstances like that?  The same company manages most of America’s airports too.  Have we lost our minds here?  We know who the real terrorists are, they are the people we hire to run our security.  Didn’t read that in the papers?  Problem living in an occupied country?

BRITAIN AND THE MURDER OF DAVID KELLY

Today, if you read the Daily Mail, the Thames Valley Constabulary, after several years, has decided to open a murder inquiry on the “suicide” of Dr. David Kelly, the expert who told Prime Minister Tony Blair that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.  For years, “backchannel” chatter has been that Kelly’s murder was ordered at the highest levels of government, not just Britain but America as well.  More importantly, Kelly was personally involved in the Israeli/South African nuclear program and its dismantlement.

He was also the signatory for the 3 nuclear weapons that disappeared and he knew Saddam didn’t have them.  The real reason for the attack on Iraq in 2003 was nuclear weapons the “45 minute” nukes, the “ambulance” nukes, that we claimed Saddam had.  Kelly knew better, he arranged for their shipment to Oman and knew British politicians were paid millions to “look the other way” when these bombs disappeared.

Kelly’s murder is one of the thousands of war crimes tied to the phony war on terror.  Every tape released, featuring long dead Osama bin Laden is a war crime as are the very suspicious bombings in Pakistan, the very suspicious Mumbai attack and the 7/7 “incident” in Britain that the “organs of state security” are working so hard to cover up to this day.  In fact, there is a long history of bombings, Madrid, further back, Berlin or those in Italy during the 80s.  All are easily tied to intelligence agencies and, frankly, have been by newspapers, politicians.

Here at home, it was more than CIA agent Valerie Plame who was attacked.  A good friend and former UN Ambassador, a Middle East briefer for President’s Reagan and Bush/Bush, did the same thing as Kelly.  He went to President Bush and revealed that the intelligence that was being presented was false.  He wasn’t killed.  Instead he was arrested, charged with dozens of fanciful counts of working for terrorist organizations.  This was a warning.  If they would go after one of President Reagan’s closest advisors and friends, a strong pro-Zionist and neo-con, anyone could be “gotten rid of.”

Anyone who thinks people weren’t “gotten rid of” isn’t paying attention.

GLADIO, THE LIVING PROOF THERE IS NO AL QAEDA, NO WAR ON TERROR

In order to fight communism, NATO organized, though its intelligence agencies, terrorist capabilities in case Western Europe would fall to the communists.  Hundreds of millions were spent to set up, in every country of Europe, terrorist organizations, bomb making factories in basements, underground organizations, terror cells.  This was done under what was called Operation Gladio.  These terror organizations were used, from time to time, to simulate threats.  They kidnapped officials, blew up trains and cafe’s, they became a real terrorist threat.

The newspapers don’t like reporting this but it is, not only true but extremely well documented.  As Wikipedia has now come under threat, the extensive section of GLADIO will be reproduced in this article.  It should be saved.

Nearly everything we claim the PLO and other organizations were responsible for, including and especially Al Qaeda, has been the work of the GLADIO “stay behind” networks which were never totally broken up after the Cold War.  GLADIO is Al Qaeda.

Everything that is claimed to be Osama bin Laden and the imaginary Taliban training camps, people who have trouble keeping camels alive, was financed by NATO as part of the Cold War and left to take on a life of itself, morphing into a terrorist capability that no one wants to give up, no matter what kind of threat it is capable of.

The long shadow of GLADIO now fuels an industry that has started two wars, controls the world’s opium supplies and has allowed the United States to occupy the Middle East as a “protectorate.”  At the same time, however, the United States itself, though its love affair with treason, terrorism and spying, has, itself, become the real victim of the invisible networks it spent so many millions to build.

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Operation Gladio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Emblem of “Gladio”, Italian branch of the NATO “stay-behind” paramilitary organizations. The motto means “In silence I preserve freedom”.

Gladio (Italian for Gladius, the sword is a type of Roman short sword) is a code name denoting the clandestine NATOstay-behind” operation in Italy after World War II, intended to continue anti-communist actions in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organisations, “Operation Gladio” is used as an informal name for all stay-behind organisations, sometimes called “Super NATO”.[1]

Operating in many NATO and even some neutral countries,[2] Gladio was part of a series of national operations first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe), transferred to Belgium after France’s official withdrawal from NATO’s Military Committee in 1966 — which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.

The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in sponsoring Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and its relationship to right-wing terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the Years of Lead and other similar clandestine operations is the subject of ongoing debate and investigation. Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[3]

Contents

Origins

The origin of Gladio can be traced to the so-called “secret anti-Communist NATO protocols”, which were allegedly protocols committing the secret services of NATO member states to work to prevent Communist parties from coming to power in Western Europe. According to the Italian researcher Mario Coglitore, the protocols required member states to guarantee alignment with the Western block “by any means”. According to a US journalist Arthur Rowse, a secret clause exists in the North Atlantic Treaty requiring candidate countries, before joining NATO, to establish clandestine citizen cadres standing ready to eliminate communist cells during any national emergency. These clandestine cadres were to be controlled by the county’s respective security services.[4]

General stay-behind structure

Emblem of NATO’s “stay-behind” paramilitary organizations.

After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create “stay-behind” paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited: i.e., mainly hardline anticommunists, including many ex-Nazis or former fascists, whether in Italy or in other European countries. In Germany, for example, Gladio had as a central focus the Gehlen Org — also involved in ODESSA “ratlines” — named after Reinhard Gehlen who would become West Germany’s first head of intelligence, while the predominantly Italian P2 masonic lodge was composed of many members of the neofascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), including Licio Gelli. Its clandestine “cells” were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.

However, Italian Gladio was more far reaching. “A briefing minute of June 1, 1959, reveals Gladio was built around ‘internal subversion’. It was to play ‘a determining role… not only on the general policy level of warfare, but also in the politics of emergency’. In the 1970s, with communist electoral support growing and other leftists looking menacing, the establishment turned to the ‘Strategy of Tension’ … with Gladio eager to be involved.”[5]

CIA director Allen Dulles was one of the key people in instituting Operation Gladio, and most of Gladio’s operations were financed by the CIA.[citation needed] The anti-communist networks, which were present in all of Europe, including in neutral countries like Sweden and Switzerland, were partly funded by the CIA.[6] Some went as far as claiming that Democrazia Cristiana leader Aldo Moro had been the “founder of (Italian) Gladio”.[7] However, whether these allegations are correct or not, his murder in 1978 put an end to the “historic compromise” (sharing of power) attempt between the PCI and the Christian Democrats (DC), thus accomplishing one of the alleged objectives of the strategy of tension.

Operating in all of NATO and even in some neutral countries such as Spain before its 1982 admission to NATO, Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the “Clandestine Planning Committee” (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France’s official retreat from NATO — which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.

Ganser alleges that:[4]

Next to the CPC, a second secret army command center, labeled Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC), was set up in 1957 on the orders of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR). This military structure provided for significant US leverage over the secret stay-behind networks in Western Europe as the SACEUR, throughout NATO’s history, has traditionally been a US General who reports to the Pentagon in Washington and is based in NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. The ACC’s duties included elaborating on the directives of the network, developing its clandestine capability, and organizing bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE. According to former CIA director William Colby, it was ‘a major program’.

Coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), {the secret armies} were run by the European military secret services in close cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British foreign secret service Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also MI6). Trained together with US Green Berets and British Special Air Service (SAS), these clandestine NATO soldiers, armed with underground arms-caches, prepared against a potential Soviet invasion and occupation of Western Europe, as well as the coming to power of communist parties. The clandestine international network covered the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The existence of these clandestine NATO armies remained a closely guarded secret throughout the Cold War until 1990, when the first branch of the international network was discovered in Italy. It was code-named Gladio, the Latin word for a short double-edged sword [gladius]. While the press said that the NATO secret armies were ‘the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II’, the Italian government, amidst sharp public criticism, promised to close down the secret army. Italy insisted identical clandestine armies had also existed in all other countries of Western Europe. This allegation proved correct and subsequent research found that in Belgium, the secret NATO army was code-named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxemburg Stay-Behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey Ozel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning, and in Austria OWSGV. However, the code names of the secret armies in France, Finland and Spain remain unknown.

Upon learning of the discovery, the parliament of the European Union (EU) drafted a resolution sharply criticizing the fact (…) Yet only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried out parliamentary investigations, while the administration of President George H. W. Bush refused to comment, being in the midst of preparations for war against Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf, and fearing potential damages to the military alliance.

If Gladio was effectively “the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II”,[8] it must be underlined, however, that on several occasions, arms caches were discovered and stay-behind paramilitary organizations officially dissolved – only to be created again. But it was not until the 1990s that the full international scope of the program was disclosed to public knowledge. Giulio Andreotti, the main character of Italy’s post-World War II political life, was described by Aldo Moro to his captors as “too close to NATO”, Moro thus advising them to be wary. Indeed, before Andreotti’s 1990 acknowledgement of Gladio’s existence, he had “unequivocally” denied it in 1974, and then in 1978 to judges investigating the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing. And even in 1990, “Testimonies collected by the two men [judges Felice Casson and Carlo Mastelloni investigating the 1972 Peteano fascist car bomb] and by the Commission on Terrorism on Rome, and inquiries by the Guardian, indicate that Gladio was involved in activities which do not square with Andreotti’s account. Links between Gladio, Italian secret services bosses and the notorious P2 masonic lodge are manifold (…) In the year that Andreotti denied Gladio’s existence, the P2 treasurer, General Siro Rosetti, gave a generous account of ‘a secret security structure made up of civilians, parallel to the armed forces’ There are also overlaps between senior Gladio personnel and the committee of military men, Rosa dei Venti (Wind Rose), which tried to stage a coup in 1970.”[5]

European Parliament resolution concerning Gladio

Wikisource has original text related to this article:European Parliament resolution on Gladio

On November 22, 1990, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Gladio, requesting full investigations – which have yet to be done – and total dismantlement of these paramilitary structures. In 2005,the first academic examination of Gladio was published by Swiss historian Daniele Ganser. Mr. Ganser, as of 2010, is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. His book, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, is a documented study of how Gladio oeprated.

British journalist Philip Willan, who by 2010 writes for the UK Guardian and UK Observer, is the author of the book Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy, describing how US intelligence services relationship with a masonic lodge used to prop up Christian Democrat governments , undermining the growing political influence of the Italian Communist Party.

The 1990 European resolution condemned “the existence for 40 years of a clandestine parallel intelligence” as well as “armed operations organization in several Member States of the Community”, which “escaped all democratic controls and has been run by the secret services of the states concerned in collaboration with NATO.” Denouncing the “danger that such clandestine network may have interfered illegally in the internal political affairs of Member States or may still do so,” especially before the fact that “in certain Member States military secret services (or uncontrolled branches thereof) were involved in serious cases of terrorism and crime,” the Parliament demanded a “a full investigation into the nature, structure, aims and all other aspects of these clandestine organizations or any splinter groups, their use for illegal interference in the internal political affairs of the countries concerned, the problem of terrorism in Europe and the possible collusion of the secret services of Member States or third countries.” Furthermore, the resolution protested “vigorously at the assumption by certain US military personnel at SHAPE and in NATO of the right to encourage the establishment in Europe of a clandestine intelligence and operation network,” asking “the Member States to dismantle all clandestine military and paramilitary networks” and to “draw up a complete list of organizations active in this field, and at the same time to monitor their links with the respective state intelligence services and their links, if any, with terrorist action groups and/or other illegal practices.” Finally, the Parliament called “on its competent committee to consider holding a hearing in order to clarify the role and impact of the ‘Gladio’ organization and any similar bodies,” and instructed “its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Secretary-General of NATO, the governments of the Member States and the United States Government.”

Allegations

The first academic examination of Gladio was published in 2005 by Swiss historian Daniele Ganser. Mr. Ganser is currently a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. His book, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Gladio has been accused of trying to influence policies through the means of “false flag” operations: a 2000 Italian Parliamentary Commission report from the Olive Tree left-wing coalition concluded that the strategy of tension used by Gladio had been supported by the United States to “stop the PCI (Italian Communist Party), and to a certain degree also the PSI (Italian Socialist Party), from reaching executive power in the country”.

Propaganda Due (also known as P2), a quasi-freemasonic organization, whose existence was discovered in 1981, was said closely linked to Gladio.

P2 was outlawed and disbanded in 1981, in the wake of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, which was linked to the Mafia and to the Vatican Bank. Its Grand Master, Licio Gelli, was involved in most of Italy’s scandals in the last three decades of the 20th century: Banco Ambrosiano’s crash; Tangentopoli, which gave rise to the Mani pulite (“Clean hands”) anticorruption operation in the 1990s; the kidnapping and the murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978 – the head of the secret services at the time, accused of negligence, was a piduista (P2 member). Licio Gelli has often said he was a friend of Argentine President Juan Perón. In any case, some important figures of his circle were discovered to be piduista, such as José López Rega, founder of the infamous anticommunist organization Triple A and provisional president Raúl Alberto Lastiri. Some members of later Jorge Videla’s dictatorship were part of the P2 too, such as Admiral Emilio Massera and General Guillermo Suárez Mason. The Vatican Bank was also accused of funneling covert US funds for the Solidarnosc trade union movement in Poland and the Contras in Nicaragua.[9]

Furthermore, Gladio has been linked to other events, such as Operation Condor[10] and the 1969 killing of anticolonialist/independentist Mozambican leader Eduardo Mondlane by Aginter Press, the Portuguese “stay-behind” secret army, headed by Yves Guérin-Sérac – the allegation on Mondlane’s death is disputed, with several sources stating that FRELIMO guerrilla leader Eduardo Mondlane was killed in a struggle for power within FRELIMO. In 1995, Attorney General Giovanni Salvi accused the Italian secret services of having manipulated proofs of the Chilean secret police’s (DINA) involvement in the 1975 terrorist attack on former Chilean Vice-President Bernardo Leighton in Rome. A similar mode of operation can also be recognized in various Cold War events, for example between the June 20, 1973 Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires (Argentina), the 1976 Montejurra massacre in Spain and the 1977 Taksim Square massacre in Istanbul (Turkey).

After Giulio Andreotti’s revelations and the disestablishment of Gladio, the last meeting of the “Allied Clandestine Committee” (ACC), was held according to the Italian Prime minister on October 23 and 24, 1990. Despite this, various events have raised concerns about “stay-behind” armies still being in place. In 1996, the Belgian newspaper Le Soir revealed the existence of a racist plan operated by the military intelligence agencies. In 1999, Switzerland was suspected of again creating a clandestine paramilitary structure, allegedly to replace the former P26 and P27 (the Swiss branches of Gladio). Furthermore, in 2005, the Italian press revealed the existence of the Department of Anti-terrorism Strategic Studies (DSSA), accused of being “another Gladio”.

Gladio’s strategy of tension and internal subversion operations

Further information: Strategy of tension

NATO’s “stay-behind” organizations were never called upon to resist a Soviet invasion, but their structures continued to exist after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Internal subversion and “false flag” operations were explicitly considered by the CIA and stay-behind paramilitaries. According to a November 13, 1990 Reuters cable,[11] “André Moyen – a former member of the Belgian military security service and of the [stay-behind] network – said Gladio was not just anti-Communist but was for fighting subversion in general. He added that his predecessor had given Gladio 142 million francs ($4.6 millions) to buy new radio equipment.”[12] Ganser alleges that on various occasions, stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d’état:[4]

“Prudent Precaution or Source of Terror?” the international press pointedly asked when the secret stay-behind armies of NATO were discovered across Western Europe in late 1990. After more than ten years of research, the answer is now clear: both. The overview aboves shows that based on the experiences of World War II, all countries of Western Europe, with the support of NATO, the CIA, and MI6, had set up stay-behind armies as precaution against a potential Soviet invasion. While the safety networks and the integrity of the majority of the secret soldiers should not be criticized in hindsight after the collapse of the Soviet Union, very disturbing questions do arise with respect to reported links to terrorism.

There exist large differences among the European countries, and each case must be analyzed individually in further detail. As of now, the evidence suggests the secret armies in the seven countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands, focused exclusively on their stay-behind function and were not linked to terrorism. However, links to terrorism have been either confirmed or claimed in the nine countries, Italy, Ireland, Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Sweden, demanding further investigation.

According to Daniele Ganser, only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried on parliamentary investigations, while the prosecution of various “black terrorists” (terrorismo nero, neofascist terrorism) in Italy was difficult.

A 1990 article from The Guardian featured the following quote from judge Libero Mancuso:[13]

On the eve of the 1980 Bologna bombing anniversary, Liberato [sic] Mancuso, the Bologna judge who had led the investigation and secured the initial convictions [of the Bologna bombers] broke six months of silence: “It is now understood among those engaged in the matter of democratic rights that we are isolated, and the objects of a campaign of aggression. This is what has happened to the commission into the P2, and to the magistrates. The personal risks to us are small in comparison to this offensive of denigration, which attempts to discredit the quest for truth. In Italy there has functioned for some years now a sort of conditioning, a control of our national sovereignty by the P2 – which was literally the master of the secret services, the army and our most delicate organs of state.”

Examples of such alleged terrorist acts include the strategy of tension in Italy, or the Oktoberfest bomb blast of 1980 in Munich.[citation needed] A Gladio official said that “depending on the cases, we would block or encourage far-left or far-right terrorism”.[14][15]

Gladio operations in NATO countries

First discovered in Italy

Main article: Gladio in Italy

The Italian NATO stay-behind organization, dubbed “Gladio”, was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani‘s (DC) supervision.[16] However, Gladio’s existence came to public knowledge when Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed it to the Chamber of Deputies on October 24, 1990, although far-right terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra had already revealed its existence during his 1984 trial. According to media analyst Edward S. Herman, “both the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, had been involved in the Gladio organization and coverup…”[17][verification needed]

Giulio Andreotti’s October 24, 1990 revelations

Prime minister Giulio Andreotti (member of the Christian Democracy, DC) publicly recognized the existence of Gladio on October 24, 1990. Andreotti spoke of a “structure of information, response and safeguard”, with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave to the Commissione Stragi, the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrino in charge of investigations on bombings committed during the Years Of Lead in Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also assured that 127 weapons’ cache had been dismantled, and pretended that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s (further evidence implicated neofascists linked to Gladio, in particular concerning the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, the 1972 Peteano attack by Vincenzo Vinciguerra, the 1980 Bologna massacre in which SISMI officers were condemned for investigation diversion, along with Licio Gelli, head of Propaganda Due masonic lodge, etc.). Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the SISMI) had joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committee created in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio’s operations.[18] However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani‘s supervision.[16] Beside, the list of Gladio members given by Andreotti was incomplete. It didn’t include, for example, Antonio Arconte, who described an organization very different from the one brushed by Giulio Andreotti: an organization closely tied to the SID secret service and the Atlantist strategy.[19][20] According to Andreotti, the stay-behind organisations set up in all of Europe did not come “under broad NATO supervision until 1959.”[21]

2000 Parliamentary report: a “strategy of tension”

In 2000, a Parliament Commission report from the “Gruppo Democratici di Sinistra l’Ulivo” concluded that the strategy of tension had been supported by the United States to “stop the PCI, and to a certain degree also the PSI, from reaching executive power in the country“. A 2000 Senate report, stated that “Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.” According to The Guardian, “The report [claimed] that US intelligence agents were informed in advance about several rightwing terrorist bombings, including the December 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan and the Piazza della Loggia bombing in Brescia five years later, but did nothing to alert the Italian authorities or to prevent the attacks from taking place. It also [alleged] that Pino Rauti [current leader of the MSI Fiamma-Tricolore party], a journalist and founder of the far-right Ordine Nuovo (new order) subversive organisation, received regular funding from a press officer at the US embassy in Rome. ‘So even before the ‘stabilising’ plans that Atlantic circles had prepared for Italy became operational through the bombings, one of the leading members of the subversive right was literally in the pay of the American embassy in Rome,’ the report says.”[22]

General Maletti’s testimony concerning alleged CIA involvement

General Gianadelio Maletti, commander of the counter-intelligence section of the Italian military intelligence service from 1971 to 1975, alleged in March 2001 during the eight trial for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombings that the CIA had foreknowledge of the event.[23] According to the Guardian, he said:[24]

…his men had discovered that a rightwing terrorist cell in the Venice region had been supplied with military explosives from Germany. Those explosives may have been obtained with the help of members of the US intelligence community, an indication that the Americans had gone beyond the infiltration and monitoring of extremist groups to instigating acts of violence…

General Maletti told the Italian court that “the CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism,” and continued on by declaring: “I believe this is what happened in other countries as well.” Gianadelio Maletti also said to the court: “Don’t forget that Nixon was in charge and Nixon was a strange man, a very intelligent politician but a man of rather unorthodox initiatives.[citation needed]

General Maletti himself in the first Piazza Fontana trial received a four year sentence for providing a false passport to one of the accused bombers, this sentence was overturned in 1985.[25] Maletti received, while in exile, a 15-years sentence in 2000 for his role in trying to cover up a 1973 bomb attack in Milan against the Interior minister, Mariano Rumor (DC – 4 killed and 45 injured), but was acquitted on appeals.[26] According to the court, General Maletti knew in advance of the plan of the attacker, Gianfranco Bertoli, allegedly an anarchist but in reality a right-wing activist and a “long-standing SID informant” according to The Guardian, but had deliberately failed to inform the interior minister of it.[24]

Responding to charges made by Maletti in La Repubblica one year earlier, the CIA called the allegation that it was involved in the attacks in Italy “ludicrous.”[27]

A quick chronology of Italy’s “strategy of tension”

In 1964, Gladio was involved in a silent coup d’état when General Giovanni de Lorenzo in the so-called Piano Solo (“Operation Alone”) forced the Italian Socialists Ministers to leave the government.[28]

According to Avanguardia Nazionale member Vincenzo Vinciguerra: “The December 1969 explosion was supposed to be the detonator which would have convinced the politic and military authorities to declare a state of emergency[29]

In 1970, the failed coup attempt Golpe Borghese gathered, around fascist Junio Valerio Borghese, international terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie and P2 grand master Licio Gelli.[citation needed]

  • 1972 Gladio meeting

According to The Guardian, “General Geraldo Serravalle, a former head of “Office R”, told the terrorism commission that at a crucial Gladio meeting in 1972, at least half of the upper echelons “had the idea of attacking the communists before an invasion. They were preparing for civil war.” Later, he put it more bluntly: “They were saying this: “Why wait for the invaders when we can make a preemptive attack now on the communists who would support the invader? The idea is now emerging of a Gladio web made up of semi-autonomous cadres which – although answerable to their secret service masters and ultimately to the NATO-CIA command – could initiate what they regarded as anti-communist operations by themselves, needing only sanction and funds from the existing ‘official’ Gladio column (…) General Nino Lugarese, head of SISMI from 1981-84 testified on the existence of a ‘Super Gladio’ of 800 men responsible for ‘internal intervention’ against domestic political targets.”[5]

  • May 31, 1972 Peteano massacre

Magistrate Felice Casson discovered that “the explosives used in the attack came from one of 139 secret weapons depots of a secret army organized under the code name Operation Gladio”.[17] Neofascist Vincenzo Vinciguerra confessed in 1984 to judge Felice Casson of having carried out the Peteano terrorist attack, in which three policemen died, and for which the Red Brigades (BR) had been blamed before. Vinciguerra explained during his trial how he had been helped by Italian secret services to escape the police and to fly away to Francoist Spain. However, he was abandoned by NATO as soon as he started talking about Gladio, declaring for example during his 1984 trial:

“with the massacre of Peteano and with all those that have followed, the knowledge should now be clear that there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages. [This structure] lies within the states itself. There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men, in an anti-Soviet capacity, that is, to organise a resistance on Italian soil against a Russian army… A super-organization which, lacking a Soviet military invasion which might not happen, took up the task, on NATO’s behalf, of preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did, with the assistance of the official secret services and the political and military forces…” He then said to The Guardian, in 1990: “I say that every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single, organised matrix… Avanguardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuovo (the main right-wing terrorist group active during the 1970s), were being mobilised into the battle as part of an anti-communist strategy originating not with organisations deviant from the institutions of power, but from within the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state’s relations within the Atlantic Alliance.”[4][5]

  • November 23, 1973 Bombing of the plane Argo 16

General Geraldo Serravalle, head of Gladio from 1971 to 1974, told a television programme that he now thought the explosion aboard the plane Argo 16 on 23 November 1973 was probably the work of gladiatori who were refusing to hand over their clandestine arms. Until then it was widely believed the sabotage was carried out by Mossad, the Israeli foreign service, in retaliation for the pro-Libyan Italian government’s decision to expel, rather than try, five Arabs who had tried to blow up an Israeli airliner. The Arabs had been spirited out of the country on board the Argo 16.[30]

In 1974, a massacre committed by Ordine Nuovo, during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia, kills eight and injures 102. The same year, a bomb in the Rome to Munich train “Italicus Express” kills 12 and injures 48. Also in 1974, Vito Miceli, P2 member, chief of the SIOS (Servizio Informazioni), Army Intelligence’s Service from 1969 and SID‘s head from 1970 to 1974, got arrested on charges of “conspiration against the state” concerning investigations about Rosa dei venti, a state-infiltrated group involved in terrorist acts. During his trial, he revealed the existence of the NATO stay-behind secret army.[citation needed]

  • 1977 Reorganization of Italian secret services following Vito Miceli’s arrest

In 1977, the secret services were thus reorganized in a democratic attempt. With law#801 of 24/10/1977, SID was divided into SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare), SISDE (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica) and CESIS (Comitato Esecutivo per i Servizi di Informazione e Sicurezza). The CESIS was given a coordination role, led by the President of Council.[citation needed]

Prime minister Aldo Moro was murdered in May 1978 by the Second Red Brigades (BR), headed by Mario Moretti, in obscure circumstances. The head of the Italian secret services, accused of negligence, was a P2 member. The so-called “historic compromise” between the Christian-Democracy and the PCI was abandoned:[31] The Italian Government led by Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga (a member of the extreme right faction of Italy’s Christian Democrat party, a pro-NATO atlantist was also suspected of involvement in the killing of Aldo Moro).[citation needed]

As the conspiracy theorists would have it, Mr. Moro was allowed to be killed either with the acquiescence of people high in Italy’s political establishment, or at their instigation, because of the historic compromise he had made with the Communist Party[citation needed]

During his captivity, Aldo Moro wrote several letters to various political figures, including Giulio Andreotti. In October 1990, “a cache of previously unknown letters written by the former Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, just prior to his execution by Red Brigade terrorists in 1978… was discovered in a Milan apartment which had once been used as a Red Brigade hideout. One of those letters made reference to the involvement of both NATO and the CIA in an Italian-based secret service, ‘parallel’ army.”[32] “This safe house had been thoroughly searched at the time by Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, the head of counter-terrorism. How is it that the papers had not been revealed before?” asked The Independent[31] Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa was murdered in 1982 (see below).

In May 1978, investigative journalist Mino Pecorelli thought that Aldo Moro’s kidnapping had been organised by a “lucid superpower” and was inspired by the “logic of Yalta“. He painted the figure of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa as “general Amen,” explaining that it was him that, during Aldo Moro’s kidnap, had informed Interior Minister Francesco Cossiga of the localization of the cave where Moro was detained. In 1978, Pecorelli wrote that Dalla Chiesa was in danger and would be assassinated (Dalla Chiesa was murdered four years later). After Aldo Moro’s assassination, Mino Pecorelli published some confidential documents, mainly Moro’s letters to his family. In a cryptic article published in May 1978, wrote The Guardian in May 2003, Pecorelli drew a connection between Gladio, NATO’s stay-behind anti-communist organisation (which existence was publicly acknowledged by Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in October 1990) and Moro’s death. During his interrogation, Aldo Moro had referred to “NATO’s anti-guerrilla activities.”[33] Mino Pecorelli, who was on Licio Gelli‘s list of P2 members discovered in 1980, was assassinated on March 20, 1979. The ammunitions used, a very rare type, where the same as discovered in the Banda della Magliana ‘s weapons stock hidden in the Health Minister’s basement. Pecorelli’s assassination has been thought to be directly related to Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who was condemned to 20 years of prison for it in 2002 before having the sentence cancelled by the Supreme Court of Cassation in 2003.[citation needed]

The makings of the bomb… came from an arsenal used by Gladio… according to a parliamentary commission on terrorism… The suggested link with the Bologna massacre is potentially the most serious of all the accusations levelled against Gladio, and comes just two days after the Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, cleared Gladio’s name in a speech to parliament, saying that the secret army did not drift from its formal Nato military brief.”[34] In November 1995, Neo-Fascists terrorists Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro, members of the Nuclei Armati Revoluzionari (NAR), were convicted to life imprisonment as executors of the 1980 Bologna massacre. The NAR neofascist group worked in cooperation with the Banda della Magliana, a Mafia-linked gang which took over Rome’s underground in the 1970s and was involved in various political events of the strategy of tension, including the Aldo Moro case, the 1979 assassination of Mino Pecorelli, a journalist who published articles alleging links between Prime minister Giulio Andreotti and the mafia, as well as the assassination of “God’s Banker” Roberto Calvi in 1982. The investigations concerning the Bologna bombing proved Gladio’s direct influence: Licio Gelli, P2’s headmaster, received a sentence for investigation diversion, as well as Francesco Pazienza and SISMI officers Pietro Musumeci and Giuseppe Belmonte. Avanguardia Nazionale founder Stefano Delle Chiaie, who was involved in the Golpe Borghese in 1970, was also accused of involvement in the Bologna massacre[15][35]

General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa’s 1982 murder, in Palermo, by Pino Greco, one of the Mafia Godfather Salvatore Riina‘s (aka Toto Riina) favorite hitmen, is allegedly part of the strategy of tension. Alberto Dalla Chiesa had arrested Red Brigades founders Renato Curcio and Alberto Franceschini in September, 1974, and was later charged of investigation concerning Aldo Moro. He had also found Aldo Moro’s letters concerning Gladio.

After the discovery by judge Felice Casson of documents on Gladio in the archives of the Italian military secret service in Rome, Giulio Andreotti, head of Italian government, revealed to the Chamber of deputies the existence of “Operazione Gladio” on October 24, 1990, insisting that Italy has not been the only country with secret “stay-behind” armies. He made clear that “each chief of government had been informed of the existence of Gladio”. Former Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi said that he had not been informed until he was confronted with a document on Gladio signed by himself while he was Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini (Republican Party), at the time President of the Senate, and former Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani, at the time secretary of the ruling Christian Democratic Party claimed they remembered nothing. Spadolini stressed that there was a difference between what he knew as former Defence Secretary and what he knew as former Prime Minister. Only former Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga (DC) confirmed Andreotti’s revelations, explaining that he was even “proud and happy” for his part in setting up Gladio as junior Defence Minister of the Christian Democratic Party. This lit up a political storm, requests were made for Cossiga’s (Italian President since 1985) resignation or impeachment for high treason. He refused to testify to the investigating Senate committee. Cossiga narrowly escaped his impeachment by stepping down on April 1992, three months before his term expired.[36]

  • 1998 David Carrett, officer of the U.S. Navy

David Carrett, officer of the U.S. Navy, was indicted by magistrate Guido Salvini on charge of political and military espionage and his participation to the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, among other events. Judge Guido Salvini also opened up a case against Sergio Minetto, Italian official for the US-NATO intelligence network, and pentito Carlo Digilio. La Repubblica underlined that Carlo Rocchi, CIA’s man at Milan, was surprised in 1995 searching for information concerning Operation Gladio, thus demonstrating that all was not over.[29]

1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, which started Italy’s anni di piombo, and the 1974 Italicus Expressen train bombing were also attributed to Gladio operatives. In 1975, Stefano Delle Chiaie met with Pinochet during Franco‘s funeral in Madrid, and would participate afterward in operation Condor, preparing for example the attempted murder of Bernardo Leighton, a Chilean Christian Democrat, or participating in the 1980 ‘Cocaine Coup’ of Luis García Meza Tejada in Bolivia. In 1989, he was arrested in Caracas, Venezuela and extradited to Italy to stand trial for his role in the Piazza Fontana bombing. Despite his reputation, Delle Chiaie was acquitted by the Assize Court in Catanzaro in 1989, along with fellow accused Massimiliano Fachini (as yet no convictions have been made for the attack). According to Avanguardia Nazionale member Vincenzo Vinciguerra: “The December 1969 explosion was supposed to be the detonator which would have convinced the political and military authorities to declare a state of emergency.”[29]

The DSSA, another Gladio?

In July 2005, the Italian press revealed the existence of the Department of Anti-terrorism Strategic Studies (DSSA), a “parallel police” created by Gaetano Saya and Riccardo Sindoca, two leaders of the National Union of the Police Forces (UNPF), a trade-union present in all the state security forces. Both said they were former members of Gladio. According to the DSSA website — closed after these revelations — Fabrizio Quattrocchi, murdered in Iraq after being taken hostage, was there “for the DSSA”. According to the Italian investigators, the DSSA was trying to obtain international and national recognition by intelligence agencies, in order to obtain finances for its parallel activities. Furthermore, Il Messaggero, quoted by The Independent, declared that, according to judicial sources, wiretaps suggested DSSA members had been planning to kidnap Cesare Battisti, a former communist activist. “We were seeing the genesis of something similar to the death squads in Argentina” (the AAA groups) the magistrate is reported to have said.[37][38][39][40][41]

Belgium

Main article: Belgian stay-behind network

After the 1966 retreat of France from NATO, the SHAPE headquarters were displaced to Mons in Belgium. In 1990, following France’s denial of any “stay-behind” French army, Giulio Andreotti publicly said the last Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) meeting, at which the French branch of Gladio was present, had been on October 23 and 24, 1990, under the presidency of Belgian General Van Calster, director of the Belgian military secret service SGR. In November, Guy Coëme, the Minister of the Defense, acknowledged the existence of a Belgium “stay-behind” army, lifting concerns about a similar implication in terrorist acts as in Italy. The same year, the European Parliament sharply condemned NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with the stay-behind armies.[28]

New legislation governing intelligence agencies’ missions and methods was passed in 1998, following two government inquiries and the creation of a permanent parliamentary committee in 1991, which was to bring them under the authority of Belgium’s federal agencies. The Commission was created following events in the 1980s, which included the Brabant massacres and the activities of far right group Westland New Post.[42]

France

In 1947, Interior Minister Edouard Depreux revealed the existence of a secret stay-behind army in France codenamed “Plan Bleu”. The next year, the “Western Union Clandestine Committee” (WUCC) was created to coordinate secret unorthodox warfare. In 1949, the WUCC was integrated into NATO, whose headquarters were established in France, under the name “Clandestine Planning Committee” (CPC). In 1958, NATO founded the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare.[citation needed]

The network was supported with elements from SDECE, and had military support from the 11th Choc regiment. The former director of DGSE, admiral Pierre Lacoste, alleged in a 1992 interview with The Nation, that certain elements from the network were involved with terrorist activities against de Gaulle and his Algerian policy. A section of the 11th Choc regiment split over the 1962 Evian peace accords, and became part of the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), but it is unclear if this also involved members of the French stay-behind network.[43][44]

La Rose des Vents and Arc-en-ciel (“Rainbow”) network were part of Gladio. François de Grossouvre was Gladio’s leader for the region around Lyon in France until his alleged suicide on April 7, 1994. Grossouvre would have asked Constantin Melnik, leader of the French secret services during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62), to return to activity. He was living in comfortable exile in the US, where he maintained links with the Rand Corporation. Constantin Melnik is alleged to have been involved in the creation in 1952 of the Ordre Souverain du Temple Solaire, an ancestor of the Order of the Solar Temple, created by former A.M.O.R.C. members, in which the SDECE (French former military intelligence agency) was interested.[45]

 

 

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