By Cynthia Chung

[This is a chapter from my newly released book ‘The Empire on Which the Black Sun Never Set: the Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy.’ For further details on different formats and how to purchase click here.] For the audio version of this chapter refer here.

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You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the State to ask for greater security. This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the State cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.”[1]

– Vincenzo Vinciguerra, convicted Italian terrorist, former member of the Avanguardia Nazionale (National Vanguard) and Ordine Nuovo (New Order), part of Italy’s Gladio.

Nazi Germany: The Bulwark of the West against Communism

“By destroying communism in his [Hitler’s] country, he had barred its road to Western Europe…Germany therefore could rightly be regarded as a bulwark of the West against communism.”[2]

 The Earl of Halifax, aka Lord Halifax (British Ambassador to the U.S. 1940-1946, Secretary of State for British Foreign Affairs 1938-1940, Viceroy and Governor-General of India 1926-1931)

Everyone is aware of the Iron Curtain speech delivered by Winston Churchill on March 5th, 1946. However, as already discussed in Chapter 4 it is not Churchill who is the originator of the phrase, but rather Nazi German Foreign Minister Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk, who made a speech in Berlin on May 3rd, 1945, which was reported in the London Times on May 8th, 1945.[3] In his speech, Krosigk uses the Nazi-coined propaganda phrase ‘Iron Curtain,’ which was used in precisely the same context by Churchill less than one year later. This sharing of policy between Nazi Germany and England should not come as a surprise at this point, having reviewed the history of British Fascism in Chapter 1 and Churchill’s support for the cause.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed August 23rd, 1939, is what has gone down in history in notoriety. However, an important fact is often left out which completely changes the character of the popular interpretation of the Soviet compromise with Nazism, that this notorious pact was signed a full 11 months after UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the appeasement deal with Hitler on September 30th, 1938, known as the Munich Agreement (aka the Munich Betrayal).

Historian Alex Krainer writes:[4]

The story we were taught in school was that the British government agreed to partition Czechoslovakia only as a desperate measure to avoid a greater European war. This view is based on the idea that Germany was already an overwhelming military power that could easily crush Czechoslovakia’s weak defenses. However, this idea is patently false.

Created in 1919, Czechoslovakia was the most prosperous, most democratic, most powerful and best administered of the states that emerged from the Habsburg Empire… the idea that the Germans had a military advantage and that Czech’s security was weak were both fabrications of a sustained propaganda campaign, which was orchestrated by the British media and government representatives to mislead the British and European public

In terms of quality, armaments and fortifications, the Czech army was known to be the best in Europe and was superior to the German army in every way except for air support. On September 3rd, 1938, the British military attaché in Prague wrote a cable to London, stating: ‘There are no shortcomings in the Czech army, as far as I have been able to observe…’

In addition, Czech security was supported by strategic alliances with France and the Soviet Union both of whom were at that time very keen on holding Germany in check and both of whom were significantly superior to Germany in terms of military strength.”

That is, Czechoslovakia did in fact capitulate without resistance, but this was not because her defenses were weak. Rather, it was because her government had been given false promises and was ultimately played in favour of Germany by the treacherous scheming of Britain’s secret diplomacy. Lord Halifax, who was quoted earlier, was among the leading British negotiators of the Munich Agreement.

In 1936, Stalin had predicted how German aggression would break out upon the world:

History shows that when any state intends to make war against another state…it begins to seek frontiers across which it can reach the frontiers of the state it wants to attack…I do not know precisely what frontiers Germany may adapt to her aims, but I think she will find people willing to ‘lend’ her a frontier.”[5]

These statements were made before the Munich Agreement, which was just that, a “lending of a frontier.” In addition, there were multiple attempts by the Soviets to call for a defense pact with France and Britain, in the case that Germany would launch an attack on either side. On March 18th, 1939, at Stalin’s direction Litvinov, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, proposed that France, Britain, Poland, Russia, Romania and Turkey join together at a conference to draw up a treaty to stop Hitler. Chamberlain was strongly against the idea, writing to a friend: “I must confess to the most profound distrust of Russia. I have no belief whatever in her ability to maintain an effective offensive, even if she wanted to. And I distrust her motives.”[6]

On April 14th, 1939, Lord Halifax, British Foreign Minister said that Britain would not extend an alliance to Russia in case Germany were to attack. Russia was clearly being told to go at it alone.

On April 16th, 1939, Stalin had Litvinov propose to Sir William Seeds the British ambassador, that Russia, France and Britain make a pact that would bind their three countries to declare war on Germany if they or any nation between the Baltic and the Mediterranean were attacked. Great Britain and France again refused.

The Munich Agreement allowed Hitler’s Germany to acquire Czechoslovakia’s superior army and transformed Germany into a colossal military threat that would be much more difficult to defeat. Germany had been allowed to become an ultra-supreme force through direct British intervention. It was only 11 months later that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed by the Russians as a means to forestall what was clearly the inevitable; a German attack on Russian soil, with the backing of Britain and France.[7] In addition, the Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank of International Settlements, through BoE Governor Montague Norman, allowed for the direct transfer of 5.6 million pounds[8] worth of gold to Hitler that was owned by the Bank of Czechoslovakia.

Questionable actions from England indeed.

Operation Gladio: NATO’s Dagger

With the Second World War ‘won’, the world was very much under the impression that we were to take the phrase ‘Never Again’ to heart. Unfortunately, those in charge of forming Western policy and geopolitical strategy post-WWII could not have disagreed more.

Operation Unthinkable is a prime example of the sort of thinking that was ruminating within Britain and the United States post-Roosevelt. Operation Unthinkable was the name given to two related possible future war plans by the British Chiefs of Staff against the Soviet Union in 1945. The creation of the plans was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff in May 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe (Roosevelt passed away on April 12th, 1945). One plan assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany to “impose the will of the Western Allies” on the Soviets. The second plan was a defensive scenario in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the Continent.

Though the first plan of the operation would be shelved with the new government under Clement Attlee, this remained a predominantly governing mindset for British and American intelligence. However, contrary to what we are told today, the second plan of Operation Unthinkable was not shelved. It was in fact fully implemented under the initiation of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This plan would continue through every other British Prime Minister’s term that followed afterward, without the knowledge of most members of the British government.

During the Second World War, preparations were made in the case of a possible German victory and ‘stay-behind’ guerilla warfare units were stationed throughout Europe. The model was the British Special Operations Executive, or SOE, a top-secret guerilla-commando force established in 1940. It was the brainchild of Winston Churchill and was called ‘Churchill’s secret army.’ This program would eventually be adopted into NATO. After the Allied victory, these ‘stay-behind’ units were not disbanded but rather were strengthened and expanded in almost every European country, with direct aid and encouragement from the United States.

Daniele Ganser, a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland published NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe in 2005, which is regarded as an authoritative overview of NATO’s Operation Gladio networks and functions. This chapter will reference extensively Ganser’s pioneering work on this crucial history of Western clandestine warfare that was waged on Western civilians and their democratically elected governments for several decades under the guise of Soviet terrorism.

Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[9]

The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister [Andreotti] was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named ‘Gladio’ (the sword) in Italy., while in other countries the network operated under different names including ‘Absalon’ in Denmark, ‘ROC’ in Norway, ‘SDRA8’ in Belgium. In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers, Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defense Ministers, were involved in the conspiracy, while the ‘Allied Clandestine Committee’ (ACC), sometimes also euphemistically called the ‘Allied Co-ordination Committee’ and ‘Clandestine Planning Committee’ (CPC), less conspicuously at times also called ‘Coordination and Planning Committee’ of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), coordinated the networks on the international level. The last confirmed secret meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.

…Leading officers of the secret network trained together with the U.S. Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England…In case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe the secret Gladio soldiers under NATO command… [formed a] stay-behind network operating behind enemy lines.”

However, the expected Soviet invasion never occurred. And thus, these secret armies found another purpose. They were to be used against the people. The desire was that by staging false-flag operations that were blamed on communists, panic and revulsion would be invoked sending voters flocking to the welcoming arms to so-called ‘secure’ right-wing governments. Italy, which had the largest and most powerful communist party in Europe, would be first on the hit-list. The Communist Party of Italy, admired for leading the fight against Mussolini, was expected to win in Italy’s first post-war election in June 1946. This, of course, was considered intolerable under the Iron Curtain diktat.

Investigative journalist Christopher Simpson writes in his book Blowback, how a substantial part of the funding for the opposition to the Communist Party of Italy, which was the Christian Democratic Party, came from captured Nazi assets, largely held by the Americans. This intervention tipped the balance in favour of Italy’s Christian Democratic Party, which hid thousands of fascists in its ranks. The Christian Democratic Party would be the dominating party in Italy for five decades until it was dissolved in 1994.

In March 2001, General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, suggested that next to the Gladio secret army, the Italian secret service and a group of Italian right-wing terrorists, the massacres which had discredited the Italian communists had also been supported by the White House in Washington and the CIA. At a trial of right-wing extremists accused of having been involved in the Piazza Fontana massacre, General Maletti testified:

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 right-wing terrorism…The impression was that the Americans would do anything to stop Italy from sliding to the left… Italy has been dealt with as a sort of protectorate [of the United States]…[10]

In order to ensure that no further communist support were to arise in Italy, Operation Gladio, with direction and support from the CIA and MI6, led a campaign of brutal violence against Italians that stretched into the better part of two decades known as the ‘years of lead,’ the anni di piombo.

Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[11]

According to the findings of the Belgian parliamentary investigation into Gladio, a secret non-orthodox warfare even preceded the foundation of the alliance [NATO]. As of 1948, non-orthodox warfare was coordinated by the so-called ‘Clandestine Committee of the Western Union’ (CCWU).

…When in 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, CCWU [Clandestine Committee of the Western Union] was secretly integrated into the new international military apparatus and as of 1951 operated under the new label CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee]. At the time European NATO headquarters were in France and also the CPC was located in Paris. Like the CCWU before it the CPC was concerned with the planning, preparation and direction of non-orthodox warfare carried out by the stay-behind armies and Special Forces. Only officers with the highest NATO security clearance were allowed to enter CPC headquarters…under the guidance of CIA and MI6 experts the chiefs of the Western European Secret Services met at regular intervals during the year in order to coordinate measures of non-orthodox warfare in Western Europe.”

In 1959, an internal NATO briefing minute, dated June 1st, 1959, slipped into the hands of a British newspaper, which revealed that the task of the stay-behind units had been switched from confronting a Soviet invasion to confronting an “internal subversion”. The secret armies were henceforth to play a “determining role…not only on the general policy level of [domestic] warfare, but also on the politics of [domestic] emergency.”[12] What this meant was that a secret army of stay-behind units, under the direction of NATO, in absence of a Soviet threat, were to direct their actions to internal matters which would include espionage and acts of terrorism on the citizens of Europe with the support and cover of those nations’ police units. This would be used to further centralise control within right-wing governments who supported the NATO apparatus.

Operation Gladio, which used the tactic Strategy of Tension, functioned on three basic levels. The first was a guerilla war to be fought primarily on the streets, in order to draw loyalties away from the Soviet Union. The second level was the political front and would involve NATO-inspired conspiracies, which typically accused certain governments of being in secret partnership with the USSR, in order to evict democratically elected governments unfriendly to the NATO state apparatus and replace them with puppet regimes. The third level was the assassination (hard and soft) of figures who were deemed obstructive to NATO’s aims. Examples of Gladio assassinations include Italy’s former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 (known as Sweden’s JFK), Turkey’s Prime Minister Adnan Menderes in 1961 along with two cabinet colleagues, and U.S. President Kennedy in 1963. As well as the soft assassination (character assassination) of UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. These assassinations would typically be followed by a NATO/U.S. supported putsch. Attempted assassinations from Operation Gladio included President de Gaulle (more on this shortly) and Pope John Paul II.[13]

Yves Guerin-Serac: the Black Ops Grandmaster behind Operation Gladio

“He [Yves Guerin-Serac] was in thrall to his personal vision of a Christian-Fascist New World Order. He was also the intellectual mentor of Gladio terrorism. He wrote the basic training and propaganda manuals which can be fairly described as the Gladio order of battle.”

– Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart to Europe

Guerin-Serac was a war hero, agent provocateur, assassin, bomber, intelligence agent, Messianic Catholic, and the intellectual grandmaster behind the ‘Strategy of Tension’ essential to the success of Operation Gladio. Guerin-Serac published via Aginter Press the Gladio manual, including Our Political Activity in what can aptly be described as Gladio’s First Commandment:[14]

Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime’s structuresIn our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state under the cover of Communist and pro-Soviet activities…Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups.

Guerin-Serac continues:[15]

Two forms of terrorism can provoke such a situation [breakdown of the state]: blind terrorism (committing massacres indiscriminately which cause a large number of victims), and selective terrorism (eliminate chosen persons)…

This destruction of the state must be carried out under the cover of ‘communist activities.’ After that, we must intervene at the heart of the military, the juridical power and the church, in order to influence popular opinion, suggest a solution, and clearly demonstrate the weakness of the present legal apparatus. Popular opinion must be polarized in such a way, that we are being presented as the only instrument capable of saving the nation.

Anarchic random violence was to be the solution to bring about such a state of instability thus allowing for a completely new system, a global authoritarian order. Yves Guerin-Serac, who was an open fascist, would not be the first to use false-flag tactics that were blamed on communists and used to justify more stringent police and military control from the state.

On the 27th of February 1933, Hermann Göring, Hitler’s second-in-command, shouted outside the burning of the Reichstag:

This is the beginning of the Communist revolution! We must not wait a minute. We will show no mercy. Every Communist official must be shot, where he is found. Every Communist deputy must this very day be strung up![16]

It is quite incredible that people never seem to grow tired of these sort of theatrics as part of the popular narrative of what we are told shapes our history, no matter how many times we have heard it played before. The line of obvious patsies is also something that seems to never grow tiring. In the case of the Reichstag fire, now widely acknowledged as a false-flag, it was some befuddled Dutch Jew that was instantly accused.

The day after the fire, six days before the scheduled general election, Hitler persuaded the elderly and confused President von Hindenburg (the icon of the First World War) that the crisis was of such profound gravity it could only be met by complete abolition of all personal liberties. The Reichstag Fire Law conferred by Hindenburg gave Hitler many of the instruments that he required for a total seizure of power. Within two weeks, parliamentary democracy was also reduced to the smoking embers of history. It would not be the only false-flag to be orchestrated by Hitler.

Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe :[17]

SS units forced a small group of concentration camp victims ‘released’ from Buchenwald and disguised in Polish uniforms, to stage a false flag mock attack on the main radio tower in the Nazi controlled free state of Danzig. Citing provocation by the Poles, the German invasion of Poland followed.”

Guerin-Serac spent his life dedicated to a new Black Empire[18] which he dreamed would combine the universal divinity of the Roman church with the United States and Europe as successor to the Holy Roman Empire. This was Christian Fascism and Yves Guerin-Serac was its Crusader.[19] He belonged to several old gangs, including the first generation of ‘former’ Nazis and fascists. He also belonged to a veteran clan of French officers blooded in the Indochinese and Korean struggles and was a member of the elite troop of the 11ème Demi-Brigade Parachutiste du Choc, which worked with the SDECE (French intelligence agency). His connection to French Intelligence would be key in his becoming a founding member of the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), a French terrorist group, made up of disaffected French officers, based in Spain which fought against Algerian independence. Guerin-Serac would form an intricate paramilitary and terrorist network throughout Europe, as well as training facilities to service Operation Gladio, via the cover of Aginter Press.

Cottrell writes:[20]

Guerin-Serac arrived in Lisbon in 1966 with an inspirational blueprint for the next stage of the struggle against godless liberalism. He proposed…an organization that would act as nothing less than an international travel agency for terrorists. The principal funding was supplied by the CIA, according to the Pellegrino Commission established in 1995 by the Italian Senate to investigate the anni di piombo [years of lead]. Guido Salvini was the magistrate appointed to examine the 1969 bombing of the agricultural bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana. He pinned the blame firmly on Guerin-Serac’s Aginter Press. Salvini told the senators that Aginter operatives were active in Italy from 1967 onwards, instructing local militant neo-fascist organisations in the use of explosives. From this nugget, the CIA is positively connected to the Gladio wave of terrorism sweeping Europe.”

Behind the plain business shopfront of Aginter Press lay an invisible network designed to shuttle terrorists around Europe, Latin America, and Africa providing false documents and passports for killers posing as reporters and photographers including Guerin-Serac.[21]

Cottrell continues:[22]

Aginter… was a Gladio finishing school, where recruits to the secret armies from all over Europe were trained in the arts of bomb making, assassination, psychological operations, destabilisation and counter-insurgency. Much of this was borrowed from the textbooks of the U.S. Army’s centre for covert warfare at Fort Bragg. Guest instructors from time to time included members of Britain’s SAS, the Green Berets …Guerin-Serac was blithely summoned to next door Spain to organise the death squads crushing resistance to the Franco regime. Aginter activities have been traced to all those countries where the Strategy of Tension operated at peak volume: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Germany and Belgium.”

Britain’s Gladio

Largely unknown in the West, the secret war against Communism started right after the Russian revolution when Great Britain and the United States deployed secret armies against the newly founded Soviet Union toddler nation. Between 1918 and 1920, London and Washington sided with the Russian right-wing and financed ten military interventions against the USSR on Soviet soil, all of which failed…[23]

In July 1936, fascist dictator Franco staged a coup d’état against the Spanish left-wing government and in the subsequent civil war defeated the opposition and the Spanish communists while enjoying the silent support of the governments in London, Washington and Paris. During the Spanish Civil War, Hitler and Mussolini were allowed to bomb the Spanish opposition. After having started the Second World War, Hitler launched three massive offences against Russia in 1941, 1942 and 1943.[24]

On June 22nd, 1941 Operation Barbarossa was launched. Within a week the Germans had captured 400,000 soldiers, damaged more than 4,000 planes beyond repair and penetrated 300 miles into Russia, capturing Minsk. Another 200,000 soldiers were captured the second week. Stalin, recollecting himself from the shock of such levels of destruction, gave a speech on July 3rd, 1941, stirring the spirit of Russia and reassuring its people that victory was possible against such a formidable foe. In his remarks, he stated that the Russian struggle “will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic liberties. It will be a united front of the peoples who stand for freedom and against enslavement.[25] However, the Soviet Union was still going to need support if they were to win against Hitler’s armies.

On September 8, 1941 the siege of Leningrad began and would only end in January 1944. Hitler intended to starve the 2.2 million Russian inhabitants declaring “Requests to be allowed to surrender will be rejected…We have no interest in preserving any part of the population of that large city.”[26]

There was strong opposition in America to aiding Russia for various reasons, but the most disruptive one was the thought that the Russians did not deserve American support since they were no different from the Nazis.

It was thought by many that the Soviets would not last long in a war with Hitler. British intelligence estimated that the Wehrmacht would reach Moscow “in three weeks or less.”[27] Roosevelt felt differently. He would set up a Lend-Lease in March 1941 which allowed the U.S. to supply anti-Hitler collation allies with material. Despite this aid being delayed for months in the case of the Soviet Union, it nevertheless did come, and not a minute too soon. Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease program was a major factor in Russia’s salvation. The list of goods that Roosevelt committed to send to the Soviet Union was astounding. It included shipments every month of 400 planes, 500 tanks, 5,000 cars, 10,000 trucks and huge quantities of anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, diesel generators, field telephones, radios, motorcycles, wheat, flour, sugar, 200,000 pairs of boots, 500,000 pairs of surgical gloves and 15,000 amputation saws. By the end of October 1941, ships were carrying 100 bombers, 100 fighter planes, 166 tanks all with spare parts and ammunition, plus 5,500 trucks.[28]

The siege of Moscow lasted from October 1941 to January 1942, it would claim 926,000 Soviet lives before it ended. The Soviet Union was receiving supplies from the U.S., but it was taking the full brunt of the Wehrmacht army on their own. According to WWII historian and authority on Nazi Germany Gerhard Weinberg, the German military’s own figures show that ten thousand Russian prisoners of war were shot or killed by hunger and disease EVERY SINGLE DAY for the first seven months of the war. This amounts to two million, adding one million Soviet citizens who died during this period, 3 million Russians died in the first seven months of the war!

Eisenhower had drafted a plan code name Sledgehammer to organise a second front to support Russia, but it would rely on the complete backing of Great Britain from where the operation would be launched, for housing and aircraft support. Churchill claimed he was convinced throughout the war and afterwards, that Stalin was supposedly no different from Hitler and that no alliance could be trusted, which is a rather dubious stance now knowing what we know from Chapter 1 on Churchill’s support for British fascism. Churchill claimed he feared that Stalin’s greatest wish was to conquer and subdue Western Europe if they were to help Russia defeat the Nazis. This fear was used as a justification for a near two-year delay in the formation of a second front by the Allies.[29] The British outright rejected Eisenhower’s Operation Sledgehammer and pushed back Operation OVERLORD for several months.[30] A decision that would cost many millions of innocent lives.

Major General Ismay head of the British Office of the Minister of Defense was among those who thought it a great mistake to have misled General George Marshall and Harry Hopkins on British support for the operation, stating:

Our American friends went happily under the mistaken impression that we had committed ourselves to both Roundup and Sledgehammer…When he had to tell them, after the most thorough study of Sledgehammer, that we were absolutely opposed to it, they felt that we had broken faith with them…I think we should have come clean, much cleaner than we did, and said, ‘We are frankly horrified because of what we have been through in our lifetime.’ “[31]

The second front was postponed yet again, the invasion of French North Africa by a joint U.S.-British operation occurred instead. It is interesting to note that Churchill is on record for his frustration at the Soviets destroying German weapons upon capturing German soldiers,[32] he was furious because he wanted these weapons kept in case they would be needed against the Russians in a future war!

Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[33]

With more victims than any other country during the Second World War the Soviet Union lost over 15 million civilians and 7 million soldiers, while another 14 million were injured…[and] despite Moscow’s urgent request …Great Britain deliberately refrained from establishing a second front against Hitler in the West, which naturally would have diverted Nazi troops and thus eased the onslaught on the USSR.

…In March 1938, shortly after Hitler’s annexation of Austria, a new department was created in MI6, labelled Section D,[34] with the task to develop subversive operations in Europe…Section D of MI6 was secret warfare restricted to Great Britain. This changed when in July 1940 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the creation of a secret army under the label SOE [Special Operations Executive] to ‘set Europe ablaze by assisting resistance movements and carrying out subversive operations in enemy held territory.’ The Prime Minister’s War Cabinet Memorandum of July 19, 1940 records that ‘The Prime Minister has further decided, after consultation with the Ministers concerned, that a new organisation shall be established forthwith to overseas.’…Under Minister Dalton operational command of SOE was given to Major General Sir Colin Gubbins…who was later to be influential in the build up of the British Gladio.

Special Operations Executive employed many of the staff of Section D and eventually became a major organisation in its own right…operating on a global scale and in close cooperation with the MI6…’SOE was for five years the main instrument of British action in the internal politics of Europe’, the British Cabinet Office report noted, ‘it was an extremely powerful instrument’ for it could serve a multitude of tasks and thus ‘While SOE was at work no European politician could be under the illusion that the British were uninterested or dead.’

Officially the SOE was disbanded after the war in January 1946 and SOE commander Gubbins resigned. Yet Sir Edward Menzies, who headed the MI6 from 1939 to 1952, was not going to throw away such a valuable instrument as the secret army, and as Director of MI6’s Special Operations branch made sure that British covert action continued in the Cold War…After SOE was closed down on June 30, 1946 a new section ‘Special Operations’ (SO) was erected within MI6 and placed [again] under the command of Major General Colin Gubbins…Gubbins saw to it that even after 1945, SOE personnel remained in countries including Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece and Turkey; for SOE and its successors had ‘political concerns beyond that of simply defeating Germany’.”  

Frank Wisner, Director of the CIA covert action department Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), was setting up stay-behind secret armies across Western Europe and in his operations collaborated closely with the Special Operations branch of MI6 of Colonel Gubbins. The SAS and the American Green Berets, trained to carry out special missions clandestinely in enemy-held territory, were at numerous instances during the Cold War brothers-in-arms and among other operations also trained the secret stay-behind armies.[35] The SAS were disbanded at the end of the war in October 1945, but were quickly reborn in 1947 and used to fight behind enemy lines in Malaysia. In their biggest deployment since the Second World War, SAS units served in the Gulf in 1991 and together with the U.S. Green Berets secretly trained and equipped the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) forces before and during the 1999 NATO bombardments of Serb’s province.[36]

Ganser writes:[37]

Both paramilitary units cooperated closely. As a sign of intimate cooperation the members of the American Special Forces unit wore the distinctive Green Beret unofficially ever since 1953 in order to imitate their SAS idols who had long used that insignia…Returning the respect the British too cultivated the Special Forces alliance and in 1962 made the commander of the U.S. Green Berets, Army officer Major General William Yarborough, an honorary member of the SAS.”

The reputation of the SAS would be shrouded in infamy with their sensitive deployments throughout the world including the training of Pol Pot’s forces in the Khmer Rouge.[38] SAS units were stationed in Northern Ireland where Irish republicans considered the SAS as nothing less than terrorists. “A very strong case can be made that even from a British point of view, the SAS were part of the problem in Northern Ireland rather than part of the solution.”[39]

Britain’s Betrayal of its Greek Brothers-in-Arms in Support of Fascism

Britain did not wait for the end of WWII before cooperating with Nazis. Under Mussolini’s direction, Italian troops attacked Greece during the Second World War in 1940 but were defeated by the massive resistance of the Greek population. Hitler, in turn, sent his German troops which conquered the country and placed it under the control of the Axis Powers in 1941. The Greeks once again organised a massive resistance operation and throughout the war the German army faced great difficulties keeping the country under control. As in Italy and France, Greece’s strongest resistance organisation to the fascist occupation was dominated by the communists. ELAS, the People’s Liberation Army, had been founded on the initiative of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) some months after the German invasion. EAM, the political wing of the People’s Liberation Army was also dominated by the Greek communists. Out of a population of seven million up to two million Greeks were members of the EAM party, while 50,000 were actively fighting in the ranks of the ELAS army.[40]

ELAS’s operations were supported by the British secret army SOE.[41] Many personal friendships developed between the Greek ELAS resistance fighters and the British SOE liaison officers. However, this was abruptly severed in March 1943 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to halt all British support for ELAS, as he feared that Greece after the defeat of the Axis Powers could come under communist control. At that time, Greece was at the peak of fighting a war with the German Nazis.

In order to minimise the power of the Greek communists and socialists, London planned to reinstall the Greek conservative King George II, who had cooperated with the fascist dictator Ioannis Metaxas (Prime Minister of Greece from April 1936 – January 1941), to form a pro-fascist government. Metaxas had called for a fascist “new order” in Greece, argu1943,that the Great Depression proved the failure of democracy and that fascism was the solution.[42] This fascist solution occurred in alignment with the restoring of the Greek monarchy.[43] The crucial British Foreign Office directive of March 20th, 1943 stated “SOE should always veer in the direction of groups willing to support the King and Government, and furthermore impress on such groups as may be anti-monarchical the fact that the King and Government enjoy the fullest support of His Majesty’s Government [of Britain].”[44] King George II was less than popular among many Greeks after having cooperated with the fascist dictator Metaxas. Yet London pursued the conservative policy and in October 1943, the British Foreign Office even contemplated “a downright policy of attacking and weakening EAM by every means in our power.[45]

‘Former’ Nazi collaborators and right-wing special units such as the fascist X Bands, with British support started to hunt and kill ELAS fighters. However, these groups did not enjoy popular support and recruitment levels were only at around 600 men. Thus, Churchill decided to up the ante, and in late 1944 gave the order for a new Greek army unit, which came to be known variously as the Greek mountain Brigade, the Hellenic Raiding Force, or LOK, its Greek acronym Lochos Oreinon Katadromon.[46] As it was aimed against the communists and the socialists, the unit excluded “almost all men with views ranging from moderate conservative to left wing. Under British military supervision and at Churchill’s express order, the unit was filled with royalists and anti-republicans.”[47]

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[48]

As ELAS fought against both the German Nazi occupiers and the British-sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force, Churchill feared a public relations disaster should it be revealed to the British public that London was secretly supporting the fascists against the Communists in Greece. In August 1944 he therefore instructed the BBC to eliminate ‘any credit of any kind’ to ELAS when reporting on the liberation of Greece. But only weeks later ELAS secured victory over the German occupiers and Hitler was forced to withdraw his soldiers also from Greece. Churchill immediately demanded that the resistance should disarm, an order which ELAS was willing to obey if it was equally applied to their only remaining enemy on the field, the British sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force.”

Britain refused to disband the secret right-wing army and thus large Greek demonstrations against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy took place on December 3rd, 1944, a mere six weeks after Hitler’s forces had been defeated and pushed out of the country. A small group of 200-600 peaceful protestors, men, women and children, gathered at the Syntagma Square in Athens, the main square in front of the Greek parliament. A much larger group of 60,000 protestors were delayed by police blockades. British troops and police with machine guns were positioned on the rooftops.[49] Suddenly, and without warning, the peaceful demonstration was turned into a massacre as the command was given: “Shoot the bastards.” Shortly after the bloodbath, the main group of protestors arrived in the square. In a display of remarkable restraint, these 60,000 protestors held a peaceful demonstration against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy, while among the dead bodies of their recently slain comrades.

In London, Churchill faced an angry House of Commons which demanded an explanation for the barbarity. While admitting that it had been a “shocking thing,” Churchill stressed that it was equally stupid to bring large numbers of unarmed children to a demonstration, while the city was full of armed men. The role of the secret right-wing army in the Syntagma massacre was never investigated.[50]

After the demonstration of force, the British reinstalled King George II and a succession of weak British puppet governments with right-wing leanings followed. A Greek resistance faction rearmed and took to the hills and in the fall of 1946 started a civil war against the British and the local right. An exhausted Britain asked in early 1947 for the United States’ support. Truman with his famous ‘Truman Doctrine’ in March 1947 was able to convince Congress to openly intervene in Greece. Greece was the first country to be invaded by the United States during the Cold War.[51] In the following decades, Washington put forward the argument used in Greece to justify its open or covert invasions of Korea, Guatemala, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Panama and several other countries.[52]

The United States secretly started Operation Torch and used chemical warfare to defeat the Greek resistance by dropping thousands of gallons of Napalm on Greece.[53] By late 1948, the Greek resistance which had defeated the Italian fascists, the German Nazis and the British troops, finally collapsed after years of heroic fighting. A hollowed out Greece joined NATO in 1952 and by that time “had been moulded into a supremely reliable ally-client of the United States. It was staunchly anti-Communist and well integrated into the NATO system.”[54]

Peter Murtagh writes in The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance:[55]

The [Hellenic] Raiding Force doubled as the Greek arm of the clandestine pan-European guerilla network set up in the 1950s by NATO and the CIA which was controlled from NATO headquarters in Brussels by the Allied Coordination Committee…The Greek branch of the network was…known as Operation Sheepskin.”

Is this what Kalergi was referring to as his “Crusade for Pan-Europe”; a “clandestine pan-European guerilla network” to ‘defend’ Europe? (Refer to Chapter 2)

Ganser writes:[56]

The Greek junta consolidated its power through a regime of imprisonment and torture…Communists, Socialists, artists, academics, journalists, students, politically active women, priests, including their friends and families were [horrifically] tortured…’We are all democrats here’ Inspector Basil Lambro, the chief of the secret police of Athens, was fond of stressing. ‘Everybody who comes here talks. You’re not spoiling our record.’ The sadist torturer made it clear to his victims: ‘We are the government, you are nothing. The government isn’t alone. Behind the government are the Americans.’ If in the mood Basil also offered his analysis of world politics: ‘The whole world is in two parts, the Russians and the Americans. We are the Americans. Be grateful we’ve only tortured you a little. In Russia, they’d kill you’.”

[For more on the British Gladio see Chapters 1, 2, 10 & 11.]

The American Gladio Arm

The National Security Act of 1947, a Trojan horse, was a part of the new breed of legislation post-Roosevelt and led to the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), placing it under the direction of the National Security Council (NSC). Although it did not explicitly authorize the CIA to conduct covert operations, Section 102 was sufficiently vague to permit abuse. By December 1947, less than four months after the creation of the CIA, the perceived necessity to “stem the flow of communism” in Western Europe—particularly Italy—by overt and covert “psychological warfare” forced the issue and NSC 4-A[57] was born. NSC 4-A would be replaced by NSC 10/2[58] less than one year later, approved by President Truman on June 18th, 1948, creating the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). NSC 10/2 was the first presidential document which specified a mechanism to approve and manage covert operations, and also the first in which the term “covert operations” was defined.

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the U.S. parliament investigated the CIA and the NSC via the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings[59] and found that:

The national elections in Europe in 1948 had been a primary motivation in the establishment of the OPC…By channeling funds to centre parties and developing media assets, OPC attempted to influence the election results – with considerable success…These activities formed the basis for covert political action for the next twenty years. By 1952 approximately forty different covert action projects were under way in one central European country alone…Until 1950 OPC’s paramilitary activities (also referred to as preventive action) were limited to plans and preparations for stay-behind nets in the event of future war. Requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, these projected OPC operations focused, once again, on Western Europe and were designed to support NATO forces against Soviet attack.”[60]

George F. Kennan selected Frank Wisner as the first commander of the CIA covert action unit OPC. Wisner and other U.S. OPC officers “tended to be white Anglo-Saxon patricians from old families with old money…and they somewhat inherited traditional British attitudes toward the coloured races of the world.”[61] Wisner became the chief architect of the network of secret armies in Western Europe. From 1948-1950 the OPC was a renegade operation run by Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In 1950 the OPC was renamed the Directorate of Plans and continued under the direct commandership of Frank Wisner. George F. Kennan, OPC overseer at the time, would strongly support the passing of NSC 10/2 and CIA covert actions in Italy and beyond.

Ganser writes:[62]

“…next to the Pentagon the U.S. Special Forces were also directly involved in the secret war against the Communists in Western Europe, as together with the SAS they trained the members of the stay-behind network. After the U.S. wartime secret service OSS had been disbanded after the end of the war the U.S. Special Forces were reborn with headquarters at Fort Bragg, Virginia, in 1952. General McClure established a Psychological Warfare Centre in Fort Bragg and in the summer of 1952 the first Special Forces unit, somewhat misleadingly called the 10th Special Forces Group was organised according to the OSS experience during the Second World War, and directly inherited the latter’s mission to carry out, like the British SAS, sabotage missions and to recruit, equip and train guerillas in order to exploit the resistance potential in both Eastern and Western Europe.

…At all times the U.S. Special Forces were set up in Fort Bragg in 1952 the name of the CIA covert action branch changed from ‘OPC’ to ‘Directorate of Plans’ (DP), and Wisner was promoted Deputy Director of Plans. Together with CIA Director Allen Dulles he intensified U.S. covert action operations on a global scale. Dulles authorised CIA assassination attempts on Castro and Lumumba as well as the CIA’s LSD experiments with unwitting subjects…”

[For more on the American Gladio Arm see Chapters 4, 7, 8, 9 & 13.]

De Gaulle vs. NATO

France is determined to regain on her whole territory the full exercise of her sovereignty.

– President of France Charles de Gaulle

It was thought by many of the pro-fascist imperialist persuasion that de Gaulle was ultimately going to play ball. That though he may have had his criticisms of fascism, he was at the end of the day an anti-communist and an imperialist and thus, it was inevitable that he would eventually ‘see the light’. This was something that the pro-fascists thought they could work with in the ‘restructuring’ of Europe amidst a Cold War.

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies[63]:

On the initiative of the U.S. and the British Special Forces SAS, a secret army was set up in France under the cover name ‘Plan Bleu’ (Blue Plan) whose task was to secretly prevent the powerful PCF [Communist Party of France] from coming to power. The Blue Plan, in other words, aimed to prevent France from turning red…The SAS, specialised in secret warfare, contacted the newly created French secret service Direction Generale des Etudes et Recherche (DGER) and agreed with them to set up a secret army in northern France across the Channel in the Bretagne.”

One month after having ousted the communists from the government, the French socialists attacked the military right and the CIA and exposed the Plan Bleu secret army. On June 30th, 1947, French socialist Minister of the Interior Edouard Depreux exposed that a secret right-wing army had been erected in France behind the back of politicians with the task to destabilize the French government. “Towards the end of 1946 we got to know of the existence of a black resistance network, made up of resistance fighters of the extreme-right, Vichy collaborators and [pro] monarchists…They had a secret attack plan called ‘Plan Bleu’, which should have come into action towards the end of July, or on August 6 [1947].”[64]

Ganser continues[65]:

The secret war against the Communists did not end when Plan Bleu was exposed and closed down in 1947. Much to the contrary, French Socialist Prime Minister Paul Ramadier saw to it that his trusted chiefs within the military secret service were not removed by the scandal. When the storm had passed he ordered Henri Ribiere, Chief of SDECE, and Pierre Fourcand, deputy Director of the SDECE, in late 1947 to erect a new anti-Communist secret army under the code name ‘Rose des Vents’ (Rose of the Winds, i.e. Compass Rose), the star-shaped official symbol of the NATO. The code name was well chosen, for when NATO was created in 1949 with headquarters in Paris, the SDECE coordinated its anti-Communist secret war closely with the miliary alliance. The secret soldiers understood that within its maritime original context the compass rose is the card pattern below the compass needle according to which the course is set, and according to which corrections are undertaken if the ship is in danger of steering off course.”

(left) NATO’s symbol, (right) ‘Rose des Vents (Rose of the Winds i.e. Compass Rose) name of a French anti-communist secret army established in 1947. NATO’s first headquarters was established in France in 1949.

However, there was one very large mistake that was made in establishing NATO’s base in France. De Gaulle was not going to play ball after all…

After the Second World War there was increasing pressure for European nations to commit to the NATO diktat. President of France Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969) disagreed with this orientation. One of the major points of this disagreement was over the force de frappe (nuclear striking force), which de Gaulle believed should be kept firmly outside of NATO’s control. He refused the prospect of France getting automatically dragged into a shooting war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. De Gaulle’s relentless pursuit of French nationalism and independence in foreign and military policies was clearly incompatible with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s charter. When de Gaulle began talk of delivering Algeria her independence, it was decided by former allies, and members of his own military and police that de Gaulle had to go.

On April 21st, 1961, a plot to overthrow President de Gaulle, organised by the OAS (Organisation Armée Secrète, the French terrorist group run by Yves Guerin-Serac) swung into action. On that day, four disaffected generals known as the ‘ultra group’ staged a coup in Algiers. The civil caucus in Washington, Pentagon and NATO headquarters in France were all implicated in the plot to eliminate the French president and secure Algeria for the West. The coup leader, air force general Maurice Challe, was formerly commander of NATO’s forces in Central Europe.

The first outlines of the coup were agreed in the summer of 1960, when the former governor of Algeria, Jacques Soustelle, had a secret tête-à-tête with Richard M. Bissell. Bissell, the CIA Deputy Director of Plans (formerly called the OPC), the covert operations wing of the CIA, and close associate of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In the same year, Challe stage-managed his resignation from NATO. In January 1961 the main plotters assembled, the chief item on the agenda was to form the OAS as an alternative government that would replace de Gaulle’s government once he had been toppled. Key figures in Plan Bleu were all present.[66] Challe’s forces in Algeria were secretly funded using channels closely connected to the French Gladio.[67] On the eve of the coup, Bissell, had an undisclosed meeting with Challe in Algiers. Challe was told that if he could get the country under control inside 48 hours, then the U.S. government would formally recognise his regime.[68] The putsch ultimately failed.

Ganser writes:[69]

When NATO was founded in 1949, its headquarters, including the SHAPE [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe], were built in France. France was thereafter particularly vulnerable to NATO and CIA secret warfare as de Gaulle lamented – for together with NATO also the secret Gladio command centre CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee] was located in Paris as the Italian document ‘The special forces of SIFAR [Italian intelligence] and Operation Gladio’ of June 1959 revealed. ‘On the level of NATO the following activities must be mentioned: 1. The activity of the CPC of Paris…attached to SHAPE.’”

What this meant was that the Gladio command centre, the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) was located in Paris to directly coordinate with NATO’s headquarters. In other words, Gladio was working directly for the NATO command centre.

Ganser continues:

“Furthermore also the secret Gladio command centre ACC [ Allied Clandestine Committee] repeatedly met in Paris. It came as a massive shock to the White House in Washington when de Gaulle in February 1966 – due to a number of strategic and personnel motives that historians still struggle to explain – decided to challenge the United States head-on, and ordered NATO and the United States either to place their military bases in France under French control, or to dismantle them. The United States and NATO did not react to the ultimatum whereupon in a spectacular decision de Gaulle took France out of NATO’s military command on March 7, 1966 and expelled the entire NATO organisation together with its covert action agents from French territory. To the anger of Washington and the Pentagon the European headquarters of NATO had to move to Belgium. In Brussels, Mons and Casteau, new European NATO headquarters were being erected where they have remained until today. The Belgium parliamentary investigation into Gladio and secret warfare later confirmed that ‘in 1968 the Chair of CPC moved to Brussels.’ [in order to be with NATO] Research in Belgium furthermore revealed that the ACC secret warfare centre held a meeting with international participation in Brussels as late as October 23 and 24, 1990.

Belgium Gladio author Jan Willems drew attention to the sensitive fact that when de Gaulle withdrew the French army from the military-integrated command of NATO, some of the secret agreements between France and the United States were cancelled. ‘On this occasion it was revealed that secret protocols existed concerning the fight against Communist subversion, signed bilaterally by the United States and its NATO allies. De Gaulle denounced the protocols as an infringement of national sovereignty. Similar secret clauses were also revealed in other NATO states. In Italy Giuseppe de Lutiis revealed that when becoming a NATO member Italy in 1949 had signed not only the Atlantic Pact, but also secret protocols that provided for the creation of an unofficial organisation ‘charged with guaranteeing Italy’s internal alignment with the Western Block by any means, even if the electorate were to show a different inclination.’ And also in the initial NATO agreement in 1949 required that before a nation could join, it must have already established a national security authority to fight Communism through clandestine citizen cadres’.”

Not only was de Gaulle not going to go along with the secret armies of NATO, but he was going to actively intervene to ensure the sovereignty of Europe’s nations against the fascist imperialist end-goal of NATO and its secret Gladio arms. It was a full all-out-war in the underground world of intelligence and clandestine warfare, and de Gaulle was one of the very few that was fully equipped to play the game.

There would subsequently be over 30 assassination attempts on de Gaulle’s life during his presidency. After 43 years, in 2009, France would finally rejoin NATO, a decision made by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has had “an interesting record of winning elections with dramatic perfectly timed post-terror interventions…”[70] It should be noted that there has been a great deal of effort to either flatly deny or downplay France’s role in Gladio, and the involvement of NATO, however, these are demonstrably false. When Italy’s Operation Gladio was finally revealed to the world in the early 1990s (more on this shortly), there was a media frenzy inquiring into whether other governments within Europe were also implicated.

The French along with the British denied that their governments had any involvement in the Gladio networks. Italian Prime Minister Andreotti, not wanting to be the only boat sunk, mercilessly shattered the French cover-up when on November 10th, 1990 he declared that France also had taken part in the very recent meeting of the Gladio directing body ACC (Allied Clandestine Committee) in Belgium on October 23rd, 1990. It was only with Andreotti’s accusation that France changed its tune and acknowledged its role in Gladio, with French Defence Minister Jean Pierre Chevènement claiming that the French secret army was “completely passive…”[71]

In the Quiet of a Small Town

“Sex trafficking, industrial paedophilia, the reports of snuff movies made for political and financial blackmail, or just for profit, were all entangled in a black cobweb of spies, officially connived drug running, the secret paramilitary network, and the constant meddling of NATO’s high command in the internal affairs of the country.”

– Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe

Belgium is made up of a Flemish and French ethnic population. During WWII, many Flemings either openly or symbolically sided with the Germans, in hopes of Flemish nationhood – even within a Nazi commonwealth – doing away with Belgium altogether.

Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe:[72]

A residue from wartime fraternisation with the Germans led to Nazi-style paganistic symbolism and mystical blood bonding ceremonies within the Belgian stay-behind network and elements of the national armed forces, which in any event inclined to the Right. This mystical streak was set for a chilling significance in shaping many of the perversion yet to be wrought on Belgium.”

Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[73]

According to Belgian Gladio author Jan Willems, the creation of WUCC [Western Union Clandestine Committee] in spring 1948 had been a direct consequence of a public speech by British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin held in London on January 22, 1948. In front of the British parliament Bevin had elaborated on his plan for a ‘Union Occidental’, an international organisation designed to counter what he perceived to be the Soviet threat in Europe…”

Ernest Bevin (Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs July 1945-March 1951) aided in the creation of NATO and was instrumental in the founding of the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret Cold War propaganda department of the British Foreign Office, specialised in pro-colonial, anti-communist, disinformation propaganda, including black propaganda.[74]  His commitment to the West European security system, made him eager to sign the Treaty of Brussels in 1948. It drew Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into an arrangement for collective security, opening the way for the formation of NATO in 1949.[75] Bevin also played a role in Parliament misinforming MPs and failing to extradite the Mufti of Jerusalem, while in French custody, who had been installed and funded by the British government in Palestine and had worked closely with the Nazis during the Second World War.[76]

Little Belgium soon after NATO’s move to Brussels, had the second most powerful and intrusive crime cartels in Western Europe. In a very short time, Europe’s cockpit was also its chief narcotics and illegal arms hub, with a sideline of sex trafficking. According to investigative journalist Richard Cottrell,[77] the CIA had recruited Belgian Nazis – mostly, but not exclusively, Flemish – as soon as the war ended, and selected them for high offices at state and provincial levels. Such ‘former’ Belgian Nazi figures were protected from justice and released from prison under the protection of the CIA. NATO’s machinations along with General Lemnitzer’s imported experts in counterinsurgency[78] were responsible for the formation of the Belgian Gladio operations; divided into SDRA-8 (French) and STC/Mob (Flemish) divisions.[79]

Cottrell writes:[80]

According to journalist Manuel Abramowitz – a leading investigator of the far Right in Belgium – neo-Nazis were egged on to infiltrate all the mechanisms of the state, with special attention reserved for the police and the army. By the 1980s, this level of penetration had become so deep – thanks to fascist fronts such as the neo-Nazi militia Westland New Post and its French speaking counterpart, Front de la Jeunesse – that Belgium’s military forces could be said to have fallen almost entirely under extremist control. Not once in the wake of the many false-flag operations over the coming decades, did convincing proof ever appear of a credible coordinated Left-wing subversive force operating on Belgian soil, while seditious organisations of the Far Right flourished openly.

Senator Hugo Coveliers chairman of the special investigating committee probing gangsterism and terrorism in Belgium (1988-1990) tracked the presence of incriminating materials to a special unit called the ‘judicial police’. Here is what Coveliers said on what became known as the ‘scandal of the X-Dossiers’:

Imagine, everywhere you hear that story about a blackmail dossier in which organisations of the extreme right are in the possession of pictures and videos on which a number of prominent people in and around Brussels have sex with young girls; minors it is said. The existence of this dossier has always been vehemently denied. Until it was proven that testimonies and videos of this affair indeed were in the possession of the police services.

The at first non-existing dossier turns out to exist. The videos without substance then turn out to be interesting enough after all to be handed over to the examining magistrate tasked with the investigation into the Gang of Nivelles [held responsible for some of the shop massacres]. But this person is subsequently afraid to testify about that! What do you think is going on here![81]

Cottrell, who is a former European Parliament MP and has conducted formal investigations ordered by the European Parliament, explores these avenues in greater detail in his book. He concludes that these sex-trafficking rings within Belgium, involving the abuse and murder of children, are encouraged among public officials for two reasons. The first is to produce incriminating blackmail making political retreat impossible. The second reason is that some of these activities that were recorded and retained in top secret files, were part of cultist initiation ceremonies.

Cottrell writes:[82]

It was alleged these involved paganistic neo-Nazi traits such as blood rituals, practised by elements within the state’s secret forces, as well as the orthodox military structure.”

In the context of this, NATO’s twitter scandal posting the Black Sun Nazi occult symbol[83] for international women’s day in 2022, might not have been a slip-up after all…

Italy’s Secret Parallel State

In order to set up a bulwark against Communism in Italy, the United States founded the Christian Democratic Party (DCI) “riddled through with collaborators, monarchists and plain unreconstructed fascists.”[84] Alice de Gasperi of the DCI was made Prime Minister and from 1945 to 1953 ruled in eight different cabinets. “A serious purge never occurred, thereby allowing much of the old Fascist bureaucracy to survive.”[85] Prime Minister De Gasperi together with Interior Minister Mario Scelba personally oversaw “the reinstatement of personnel seriously compromised with the fascist regime.”[86] The CIA covert action branch OPC, which under Frank Wisner had set up and directed the secret Gladio armies in Western Europe, pumped ten million CIA dollars into the DCI.[87]

Ganser writes:[88]

Prince Valerio Borghese, nicknamed ‘The Black Prince’, was among the most notorious fascists recruited by the United States. As the commander of a murderous anti-partisan campaign under Mussolini during the Salo Republic, Borghese with his Decima MAS (XMAS), a Special Forces corps of 4,000 men founded in 1941 and officially recognised by the Nazi High Command, had specialised in tracking down and killing hundreds of Italian Communists. At the end of the war the partisans captured Borghese and were about to hang him when on April 25, 1945 Admiral Ellery Stone, U.S. Proconsul in occupied Italy and close friend to the Borghese family, instructed OSS employee and later celebrated CIA agent James Angleton[89] to rescue Borghese. Angleton…escorted him to Rome where he had to stand trial for his war crimes. Due to protection of the United States, Borghese was declared ‘not guilty’ at last resort. CIA agent Angleton [close associate to Allen Dulles] received the Legion of Merit from the U.S. Army for his ‘exceptionally meritorious’ achievements and in subsequent years made a career as chief of CIA counter-intelligence, becoming ‘the key American figure controlling all right-wing and neo-fascist political and paramilitary groups in Italy in the post-war period’.”

Junio Valerio Borghese was an Italian Navy commander during the regime of Mussolini. Borghese would become a leading member of Italy’s Gladio secret stay-behind armies. Italy under the U.S.-supported DCI party was allowed to join the newly created NATO on April 4th, 1949 as a founding member. Only a few days earlier, on March 30th, 1949, the first post-war military secret service had been created in Italy in close collaboration with the CIA. Placed within the Defence Ministry, the clandestine Italian military intelligence unit was labelled SIFAR (Servizio di Informazioni delle Forze Armate).

Ganser writes:[90]

The Secret Service SIFAR was from the very beginning ‘regulated by a top-secret protocol imposed by the United States which constitutes a real and complete renunciation of the Italian sovereignty’. According to this protocol, which was coordinated with NATO planning, the obligations of SIFAR towards the CIA headquarters in the United States allegedly included the making available of all intelligence collected and the granting of supervision rights to the United States, above all concerning the choice of the SIFAR personnel which at all times had to be CIA approved. SIFAR, in effect, was not a sovereign Italian service but was heavily influenced by the CIA.”

Ganser continues:[91]

Sharing in this assessment the Pentagon ordered in a top-secret directive that in ‘Operation Demagnetize’ the CIA together with the military secret services in Italy and in France start ‘political, paramilitary and psychological operations’ in order to weaken the Communists in the two countries. The directive of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff dated May 14, 1952 insisted sensitively enough that ‘The limitation of the strength of the Communists in Italy and France is a top priority objective. This objective has to be reached by the employment of all means’ including by implication a secret war and terrorist operations. ‘The Italian and French government may know nothing of the plan “Demagnetize”, for it is clear that the plan can interfere with their respective national sovereignty’.”

When John F. Kennedy became president in January 1961, the policy of the United States towards Italy changed because Kennedy, unlike his predecessors Truman and Eisenhower, sympathised with the PSI (the Socialist Party of Italy). Kennedy saw no problem allowing the PSI to win the elections and viewed such a development as a move towards “a more democratic form of socialism.”[92]

The absurd situation developed in which President Kennedy found himself up against the Secretary of State Dean Rusk and the Director of the CIA Allen Dulles. On election day in April 1963, the CIA nightmare materialised. The communists gained strength while all other parties lost seats. The supporters of the Italian left celebrated in the streets the novelty that the socialists were also given cabinet posts in the Italian government under Prime Minister Aldo Moro of the left-wing of the DCI. President Kennedy was immensely pleased and in July 1963 decided to visit Rome to the great delight of many Italians.

In November 1963, Kennedy was assassinated and “five months later the CIA with the SIFAR, the Gladio secret army and the paramilitary police carried out a right-wing coup d’état which forced the Italian Socialists to leave their cabinet posts they had held”[93] for only a few months. “The Gladiators equipped with proscription lists, naming several hundred persons had the explicit order to track down designated Socialists and Communists, arrest and deport them to the island of Sardinia where the secret Gladio centre was to serve as a prison.”[94]

On December 7th, 1970, Junio Valerio Borghese, in close collaboration with the CIA in Rome, started a second right-wing Gladio coup d’état code named Operation Tora Tora. According to the plan, Italy and the world would have woken up on December 8th, 1970 to find a new right-wing government installed. After that, Borghese and his conspirators had intended to implement their governmental program which envisaged the “maintenance of the present military and financial commitment to NATO and the preparation of a plan to increase Italy’s contribution to the Atlantic Alliance,” as well as appoint a special envoy to the United States to organise an Italian military contribution to the Vietnam War.[95] The coup plot failed and Borghese was forced to cross the border to avoid arrest and interrogation. In 1984, ten years after Borghese’s death, the Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that no coup d’état attempt had ever happened. Nevertheless, the attempt is well known in Italy with even a popular satiric movie Vogliamo i colonnelli filmed in 1972 by Mario Monicelli on the subject.

Italy still hoped for a new start and therefore acting Italian Foreign Minister Aldo Moro of the DCI together with Italian President Giovanni Leone in September 1974 flew to Washington to discuss the inclusion of the Italian left in the government. The United States flatly rejected this scenario for Italy. Upon his return to Italy, Moro was sick for days and contemplated his complete withdrawal from politics. After Moro’s assassination, Eleonora (his wife) later testified “It’s one of the few occasions when my husband told me exactly what had been said to him, without telling me the name of the person concerned…I will try to repeat it now: ‘You must abandon your policy of brining all the political forces in your country into direct collaboration. Either you give this up or you will pay dearly for it’.”[96]

In front of the Italian parliamentary investigation of Gladio, General De Lorenzo was forced to admit that the United States and NATO had ordered him to set up the files that were secretly monitoring the entire Italian elite. The parliamentary investigation reported, “The gravest aspect of this whole affair consists in the fact that a significant part of the secret service activity of SIFAR consisted of collecting information for the NATO countries and for the Vatican…This situation is incompatible with the constitution. It is an open violation of the national sovereignty, a violation of the principles of liberty and the equality of the citizens, and a constant menace for the democratic balance of our country.”[97]

In the national elections of June 1976, the PCI (Communist Party of Italy) secured its best ever result at the polls (34%), and clearly defeated the DCI. Consequently, acting Prime Minister of the DCI Aldo Moro (Dec. 1963-June 1968 & Nov. 1974-July 1976) found the courage to defeat the USA’s veto. Aldo Moro wished to widen the democratic base of the government, including the PCI in the parliamentary majority. Between 1976 and 1977, Enrico Berlinguer, leader of the PCI, broke with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, implementing along with Spanish and French communist parties, a new political ideology known as Eurocommunism. Such a move made eventual cooperation more acceptable for Christian democratic voters. The early 1978 proposal by Aldo Moro of starting a cabinet composed by Christian democrats and socialists, externally supported by the communists, was strongly opposed by the United States and NATO. Moro’s proposal became known as the ‘historical compromise.’

On March 16th, 1978 Moro packed the documents of the ‘historical compromise’ (compromesso storico) into his suitcase and ordered his driver as well as his bodyguards to bring him to the palace of the Italian parliament in Rome where he was determined to present the plan to include the Italian communists in the executive. On his way to the parliament, two men opened fire on Moro’s five bodyguards. After his return from Washington, Moro had become uneasy and had asked for a bulletproof car, yet the request had been turned down.[98] Thus, the shots went through the car and his bodyguards were killed instantly. Moro was captured and held hostage in central Rome for fifty-five days. Thereafter, Moro’s bullet ridden body was found in the boot of an abandoned car in central Rome symbolically parked halfway between the headquarters of the DCI and the headquarters of the PCI.

The military secret service and acting Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti immediately blamed the left-wing terrorist organisation Red Brigades for the crime and cracked down on the left. While held in captivity, it is certain that Moro himself understood that he was the victim of a political crime in which the political right and the United States were instrumentalizing the Red Brigades. In his last letter, he requested that no member of the corrupt DCI was to be present at his funeral.[99] “Kiss and caress everyone for me, face by face, eye by eye, hair by hair” he wrote to his wife and his children. “To each I send an immense tenderness through your hands. Be strong, my sweet, in this absurd and incomprehensible trial. These are the ways of the Lord. Remember me to all our relatives and friends with immense affection, and to you and all of them I send the warmest embrace as the pledge of my eternal love. I would like to know, with my small, mortal eyes, how we will appear to one another afterwards”.[100]

The Senate Commission investigating Gladio in the early 1990s suspected the CIA and the Italian military secret service including its Gladio hit squads to have organised the Moro crime. It therefore reopened the case but found with much surprise that almost all files on the Moro kidnapping and murder had mysteriously disappeared from the archives of the Ministry of the Interior. The Senate also observed with criticism that in 1978 “the administration of the United States refused to help at all in the investigations on the hostage taking.”[101]

Ganser writes:[102]

As the name of the discredited military secret service after the scandal was changed from SIFAR to SID and General Giovanni Allavena was appointed its new Director the parliamentarians ordered De Lorenzo to destroy all secret files [containing information on the Italian elite from years of secret surveillance]. This he did, after he had given a copy…to SID Director General Giovanni Allavena. It was a remarkable gift, which allowed its possessor to clandestinely control Italy from within. In 1966, General Allavena was replaced as Director of SID by General Eugenio Henke but remained active in the clandestine battle against the Italian left. In 1967, Allavena joined the secret anti-Communist Masonic Lodge organisation of the Freemasons in Italy called ‘Propaganda Due’, or in short P2, and to its Director Licio Gelli as a very special gift gave a copy of the 157,000 files.

Years later it was revealed how much P2 Director Licio Gelli and the CIA had manipulated Italian politics in order to keep the Communists out of power…Frank Gigliotti of the U.S. Masonic Lodge personally recruited Gelli and instructed him to set up an anti-Communist parallel government in Italy in close cooperation with the CIA station in Rome.

‘It was Ted Schackley, director of all covert actions of the CIA in Italy in the 1970s’ an internal report of the Italian anti-terrorism unit confirmed ‘who presented the chief of the Masonic Lodge to Alexander Haig.’ According to the document Nixon’s Military Adviser General Haig, who had commanded U.S. troops in Vietnam and thereafter from 1974 to 1979 served as NATO’s SACEUR, and Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger ‘authorized Gelli in the fall of 1969 to recruit 400 high ranking Italian and NATO officers into this Lodge’.”[103]

In June 1981, an astonishing discovery was made that made the headlines worldwide, including with TIME magazine.[104] A list had been found naming nearly 1,000 individuals from the respected Italian Establishment as part of the Propaganda Due (P2) Lodge. The list was found on the premises of prominent Italian financier Licio Gelli during a police raid. Gelli being the grandmaster of the P2 lodge and prominent acolyte of Benito Mussolini. His sole aim was the restoration of Italian fascism. Among the list of nearly 1000, were members who were planning to seize power and install a fascist state. Descriptions of the Propaganda Due lodge in Italy were heavily overlaid with reports of mystical ceremonies, and the swearing of oaths of fealty and bonding vows.

Another item Gelli left at his mansion when he fled was il piano di rinascita democratica (the Democratic Revival Plan),[105] describing in detail every step of the intended NATO-backed Gladio putsch and the rise of the Italian deep state as an American and subsequently NATO protectorate.[106]

Federico D’Amato was an Italian secret agent, who led the Office for Reserved Affairs of the Ministry of Interior from the 1950s till the 1970s, when the activity of the intelligence service was undercover and not publicly known. D’Amato became the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Special Office, a link between NATO and the United States.[107] D’Amato’s chief responsibility was a secret Carabinieri (the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carried out domestic policing duties) nucleus located inside the Interior Ministry under his personal control. This was under the Office of Reserved Affairs, also known as the Protective Service.[108] D’Amato was the handpicked delegate who negotiated the Atlantic Pact, a forerunner of NATO, on behalf of Italy. The Protective Service, under the control of D’Amato, was the early genesis of Gladio.[109]

In 1969, Italy was soon gripped in a full-blown political crisis that was at its roots largely fabricated. The huge blast in the Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura at Milan’s Piazza Fontana on Dec. 12th, 1969 marked the commencement of hostilities that came to be known as ‘the years of lead’. The blame was instantly pinned on the same leftist radicals accused of provoking unrest in the Italian industrial heartlands.

Investigating magistrate Guido Salvina, began looking into the affair in 1988, and concluded that the bombing of the agricultural bank was an operation planned between Yves Guerin-Serac’s Aginter Press and two prominent Italian neo-fascist outfits Ordine Nuova (New Order) and Avanguardia Nazionale (Advance National Guard). August 1990, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti (leader of the Christian Democratic Party, six times prime minister, a seventh would follow) found himself summoned to a special commission of inquiry hurriedly convened by the Senate to investigate the reports that a secret parallel state existed on Italian soil. It was additionally claimed that this secret parallel state was equipped with its own clandestine commando army operating outside established military structures.

Official transcript of the P2 lodge’s “Democratic Revival Plan”, published by the relevant parliamentary commission of inquiry.

Andreotti conceded that for many years Italy indeed hosted a clandestine army. It was however formally an element of the standing NATO structure. He calmy assured his listeners it was nothing more threatening than a prudent precaution to defend Italy in the event of invasion by the Soviets. When the threat appeared to abate, Andreotti claimed that the secret soldiers were disbanded in 1972. Andreotti insisted, it was only a secret because the Russians were not supposed to know about the so-called ‘stay behind’ army. He added, in any case Italy was not alone since all NATO countries had such forces. During his testimony, Andreotti admitted that this secret army was known as Gladio. However, what Andreotti did not disclose during his testimony was that he was part of Gladio himself, a powerful shareholder in subterranean Italy for many years.

As a consequence of his testimonial, Andreotti was originally sentenced to 24 years in prison, which caused an uproar in Italy. Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[110]

Yet despite all the alarm Andreotti did not end up behind prison bars as the verdicts were overruled in October 2003 and ‘the uncle’ [Andreotti] walked free.

During the first Gladio revelations in front of the Italian Senators on August 3, 1990 ‘the uncle’ had with reference to the secret stay-behind army cunningly claimed that ‘such activities have continued until 1972’ in order to limit personal damage of which loomed. For in 1974 as acting Defence Minister Andreotti had gone on the record stating to a judicial inquiry investigating right-wing massacres: ‘I can say that the head of the secret services has repeatedly and unequivocally excluded the existence of a hidden organisation of any type or size.’ In 1978 he made a similar testimony in front of judges investigating a right-wing bombing in Milan.

When the Italian press revealed that the secret Gladio army, far from having been closed down in 1972 was still active Andreotti’s lie collapsed…As international support was not forthcoming, the Prime Minister, fearing for his power…employed an effective but somewhat awkward strategy. On October 18, 1990…his messenger delivered Andreotti’s report entitled ‘The so called “Parallel SID”-The Gladio Case’ to the…Palazzo Chigi [SID is the intelligence agency of Italy]. A member of parliamentary commission, Senator Roberto Ciciomessere…upon looking through the text…was mightily surprised, for in it Andreotti provided not only a brief description of Operation Gladio, but contrary to his August 3 [1990] statement admitted also that the occult Gladio organisation was still active.

Senator Ciciomessere asked for a photocopy, yet this was denied, as according to standing procedures, first the President of the commission, Senator Gualtieri, was to read the report. Yet Gualtieri never got to read this first version of Andreotti’s report on operation Gladio. For… [he had received a phone call] from the Prime Minister [Andreotti] himself who told the Senator that he immediately needed his report back ‘because a few passages need reworking.’ Gualtieri was annoyed but assented reluctantly and sent the document back to Andreotti’s Palazzo Chigi after photocopies had been made. The unusual manoeuvres of Giulio Andreotti sent a roar through Italy and heightened attention. The newspapers headlined ‘Operation Giulio’ in a word play on ‘Operation Gladio’ and between 50,000 and 400,000 annoyed, scared and angry people organised by the PCI (Communist Party of Italy) marched through central Rome in one of the biggest demonstrations in the capital for years chanting and carrying banners: ‘We want truth.’…

On October 24 Senator Gualtieri had Andreotti’s report on the ‘Parallel SID’ back in his hands. Shortened by two pages this final version was now only ten pages long. Senator Gualtieri compared it with the photocopies made of the first version and immediately noted that sensitive parts especially on the international connection and similar secret organisations in other countries had been cut out. Furthermore the secret parallel organisation, which before had been spoken of in the present tense implying continuous existence, was now spoken of in the past tense. The awkward strategy of Andreotti to send in a document, withdraw and amend it, only to provide it anew, could thus hide nothing. Observers agreed that the manoeuvre necessarily drew attention exactly to the amended parts, hence the international dimension of the affair, in order to take away some weight from Andreotti’s shoulders…”

In his final report, Andreotti explained that after the war the Italian military secret service SIFAR predecessor of the SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa), and the CIA had signed “an accord relative to the ‘organisation and activity of the post-occupation clandestine network.’ An accord commonly referred to as ‘stay-behind,’ in which all preceding commitments relevant to matters concerning Italy and the United States were reconfirmed.”[111] The cooperation between the CIA and the Italian military secret service, as Andreotti explained in the document, was supervised and coordinated by secret non-orthodox warfare centres of NATO: “Once the clandestine resistance organisation was constituted, Italy was called upon to participate…in the works of the CCP (Clandestine Planning Committee) of 1959, operating within the ambit of SHAPE [NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe]…; in 1964 the Italian secret service also entered the ACC (Allied Clandestine Committee).”[112]

Vinciguerra, who was a member of the neo-fascist organizations Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale which carried out terrorist acts and assassinations, is currently serving a life-sentence for the murder of three Carabinieri by a car bomb in Peteano in 1972. His testimonials aided in piecing together the Gladio networks around Western Europe, that were being investigated by prosecutor Felice Casson.

In 1984, questioned by Judges examining the 1980 Bologna station bomb in which 82 people were killed and for which two secret service agents were convicted, Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated[113]:

With the massacre of Peteano, and with all those that have followed the knowledge should by 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 state 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…[It is] a secret organization, a super organization with a network of communications, arms and explosives, and men trained to use them…[This] super organisation which, lacking a Soviet military invasion…took up the task, on NATO’s behalf, of preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country [Italy]. This they did, with the assistance of the official secret services and the political and military forces.”

In an interview with The Guardian published December 5th, 1990,[114] Vinciguerra made the following statement:

The terrorist line was followed by camouflaged people, people belonging to the security apparatus, or those linked to the state apparatus through rapport or collaboration. 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.”

Over three decades have passed since right-wing terrorist Vinciguerra had offered this testimony, which for the first time in Italy’s history linked both the Gladio stay-behind and NATO directly to the terrorist massacres that the country had suffered from for decades. Upon Vinciguerra’s testimony he immediately lost all higher protection he had enjoyed during the previous years. In marked contrast to other right-wing terrorists that had collaborated with the Italian military secret service and walked free, Vinciguerra after his revelations was sentenced to life imprisonment.[115]

NATO Pleads the Fifth on Operation Gladio

After almost a month of silence on Monday, November 5th, 1990, NATO categorically denied Andreotti’s allegation concerning NATO’s involvement in Operation Gladio and the secret armies. Senior NATO spokesman Jean Marcotta said at SHAPE headquarters in Mons, Belgium that “NATO has never contemplated guerilla war or clandestine operations; it had always concerned itself with military affairs and the defence of Allied frontiers.”[116] Then, on Tuesday November 6th, 1990, a NATO spokesman explained that NATO’s denial from the pervious day had been false. The spokesman did not offer much further, but that NATO’s policy was to never comment on matters of military secrecy and that Marcotta should not have said anything at all.[117] A NATO diplomat who insisted on remaining anonymous said to the press, “Since this is a secret organisation, I wouldn’t expect too many questions answered, even though the Cold War is over. If there were any links to terrorist organizations, that sort of information would be buried very deep indeed. If not, then what is wrong with taking precautions to organise resistance if you think the Soviets might attack?”[118]

According to Spanish daily El Pais,[119] NATO Secretary-General Manfred Wörner immediately after the public relations debacle of November 5th and 6th held a Gladio information meeting behind closed doors on the level of NATO ambassadors on November 7th, 1990. The highest-ranking military officer of NATO in Europe, U.S. General John Galvin, had confirmed that what the press was reporting was to a large degree correct but had to remain secret. El Pais writes: “During this meeting behind closed doors, the NATO Secretary-General related that the questioned military gentlemen – precisely General John Galvin, supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe – had indicated that SHAPE coordinated the Gladio operations. From then on, the official position of NATO was that they would not comment on official secrets.”

The Portuguese daily Expresso wrote[120] “The fact that the secret Gladio structures were coordinated by an international committee only made up of members of the different secret services leads to another problem concerning the national sovereignty of each state…obviously various European governments have not controlled their secret services…The implication is that obviously NATO follows a doctrine of limited trust. Such a doctrine claims that certain governments would not act sufficiently against Communists, and were thus not worth being informed on the activities of NATO’s secret army.”

Ganser writes:[121]

Under the headline ‘Manfred Wörner explains Gladio’, the Portuguese press related further details of the NATO meeting of November 7. ‘German NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner explained the function of the secret network – which had been created in the 1950s to organise the resistance in case of a Soviet invasion – to ambassadors of the 16 Allied NATO countries.’ Behind closed doors ‘Wörner confirmed that the military command of the allied forces – Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) – coordinated the activities of the “Gladio Network”, which had been erected by the secret services in various countries of NATO, through a committee created in 1952, which presently is being chaired by General Raymond Van Calster, Chief of the Belgium military secret service’, later revealed to be the ACC [Allied Clandestine Committee]. ‘The structure was erected first in Italy before 1947, and thereafter spread to France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Greece’, the newspaper reported. ‘The Secretary General also said that SHAPE had issued “false information” when it had denied the existence of such a secret network, but he refused to explain the numerous contradictions into which the various governments had fallen, by confirming or denying the existence of Gladio networks within their respective country’.”

In March 1995 the Italian Senate commission headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino after having investigated Gladio and the massacres in Italy placed a FOIA request with the CIA. The Italian Senators asked the CIA for all records relating to the Red Brigades and the Moro affair in order to find out whether the CIA according to the Gladio domestic control tasks had indeed infiltrated the Red Brigades before they killed the former Italian Prime Minister and leader of the DCI Aldo Moro in 1978. Refusing to cooperate, the CIA raised FOIA exemptions B1 and B3 and in May 1995 declined all data and responded that it “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of CIA documentation concerning your inquiry.” The Italian press stressed how “embarrassing” this was and headlined: “The CIA has rejected the request to collaborate with the Parliamentary Commission on the mysteries of the kidnapping. Moro, a state secret for the USA.”[122]

MI6 did not take a stand on the Gladio affair in 1990 because, with a legendary obsession for secrecy, its very own Secret Intelligence Service’s existence, SIS, was only officially confirmed in 1994, with the passing of the Intelligence Services Act that specified that MI6 collected foreign intelligence and engaged in covert action operations abroad.[123] “Britain’s role in setting up stay-behinds throughout Europe was absolutely fundamental”, the British BBC reported in its Newsnight edition on April 4th, 1991.[124]

Oddly, the first official account from Britain on its direct involvement with Operation Gladio would come from a museum, the London-based Imperial War Museum in July 1995, when they opened a new permanent exhibit called “Secret Wars.” As a commentary to one of the museum’s display windows was written “Among MI6’s preparation for a Third World War were the creation of ‘stay-behind’ parties ready to operate behind enemy lines in the event of a Soviet advance into Western Europe.”[125]

Ganser writes[126]:

Former MI6 officers rightly took the exhibition as a sign that they could now speak out about the top-secret Gladio operation. A few months after the exhibition had opened, former Royal Marine officers Giles and Preston, the only MI6 agents to be named in the Gladio exhibition next to a photo ‘in Austrian Alps 1953-1954’, confirmed to author Michael Smith that throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s the British and Americans had set up stay-behind units in Western Europe in preparation for an expected Soviet invasion.

…Giles remembered that they also took part in sabotage operations on British trains that were in public service, as for instance during the exercise at the Eastleigh Marshalling Yards…’We were playing for real’, Giles explained.”

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Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page Through A Glass Darkly.

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By Cynthia Chung

[1] British daily The Observer, June 7, 1992.

[2] Butler, Susan. (2015) Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership. Alfred A. Knopf New York Publisher, pg. 165.

[3] Recall from Chapter 1 that The Times was owned by Lord Northcliffe.

[4] Krainer, Alex. (Dec. 18, 2021) Appeasement: the betrayal in Munich (part 2 of 3). The Naked Hedgie. Retrieved September 20, 2022.

[5] Butler, Susan. (2015) Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

[6] Ibid, pg. 162.

[7] Chung, Cynthia. (June 26, 2021) On Roosevelt and Stalin: What Revisionist Historians Want Us to Forget. Rising Tide Foundation Substack.

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On Roosevelt and Stalin: What Revisionist Historians Want Us to Forget

By Cynthia Chung “Madman, thou errest. I say, there is no darkness but ignorance” – William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) There is a very real attempt to rewrite history as we speak. A history that is at the root of what organises our world today, for it is understood that…

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[8] LeBor, Adam. (Aug. 1, 2013) How bankers helped the Nazis. The Sydney Morning Herald.

[9] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 1.

[10] Willan, Philip. (March 26, 2001) Terrorists ‘helped by CIA’ to stop rise of left in Italy. The Guardian.

[11] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 28

[12] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament.

[13] For more details around the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II see Richard Cottrell’s book Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe.

[14] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 115-121.

[15] Ibid

[16] William L. Shirer. (1959) The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, pg. 192.

[17] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, Nato’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[18] Black Empire is in reference to a Fascist Empire.

[19] Recall from Chapter 2 Kalergi’s Catholic Crusade for a Pan-Europe.

[20] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[21] Recall in Chapter 1, that Mosley and his son were working for a Spanish travel agency that was organising Otto Skorzeny’s travel itinerary, which was likely connected to Aginter Press.

[22] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[23] Fleming, Denna Frank. (1961) The Cold War and its Origins 1917-1960. New York, pg. 4.

[24] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass.

[25] Butler, Susan. (2015) Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

[26] For more on this story refer to On Roosevelt and Stalin: What Revisionist Historians Want Us to Forget

[27] Butler, Susan. (2015) Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

[28] Ibid, pg. 165.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid, pg. 247.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 39.

[34] Recall from Chapter 1 Section D’s operations within the Mosley networks.

[35] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 42.

[36] Ibid, pg. 43.

[37] Ibid, pg. 43.

[38] Ibid, pg. 44

[39] British periodical Lobster, December 1995.

[40] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 212.

[41] Ibid, pg. 212.

[42] Cliadakis, Harry. (January 1979). The Political and Diplomatic Background to the Metaxas Dictatorship, 1935-36. Journal of Contemporary History. 14 (1): pg. 117–138.

[43] Ibid

[44] Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 703.

[45] Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 722-723.

[46] Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 29.

[47] Ibid

[48] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 213.

[49] Ibid, pg. 213-215.

[50] Ibid, pg. 213-215.

[51] Ibid, pg. 213-215.

[52] Ibid, pg. 215.

[53]Ibid, pg. 215.

[54] Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 36.

[55] Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 41.

[56] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 219.

[57] National Security Council. (Dec. 9, 1947) Memorandum from the Executive Secretary NSC 4.

[58] National Security Council. (June 18, 1948) Directive on Office of Special Projects NSC 10/2

[59] For more on the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings see Retrieved October, 2022.

[60] The United States Senate. Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence activities. Book IV: Supplementary detailed staff reports on foreign and military intelligence, pg. 36.

[61] Powers, Thomas. (January 1979) The man who kept the secrets: Richard helms and the CIA. Alfred A. Knopf, pg. 37.

[62] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 57.

[63] Ibid, pg. 87.

[64] Faligot, Roger; Pascal, Krop. (May 1985) La piscine: Les services secrets francais 1944-1984. Seuil, pg. 85.

[65] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 90.

[66] Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149.

[67] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[68] Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149.

[69] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 98-99.

[70] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[71] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 17.

[72] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[73] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 128.

[74] Burke, Jason (14 May 2022). Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies. The Guardian. Retrieved October 14, 2022.

[75] Baylis, John (1982). Britain and the Dunkirk Treaty: The Origins of NATO. Journal of Strategic Studies. 5 (2): pg. 236–47.

[76] See Chapter 11.

[77] Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament.

[78] See Chapter 8.

[79] Richard Cottrell. (2015) Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe. Progressive Press.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Ibid.


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. Retrieved September 12, 2022.

[84] Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 28.

[85] Lee, Martin A. (1997) The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists. Little, Brown and Company, pg. 100.

[86] Dunnage, Jonathan. (1996) Inhibiting Democracy in Post-War Italy: the Police Forces, 1943-1948. Italian Studies, pg. 180.

[87] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 65.

[88] Ibid, pg. 64.

[89] At the very end of Talbot’s book The Devil’s Chessboard, he shares what James Angleton was reported to have said on his deathbed “Fundamentally, the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted…Outside of their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things that, in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it.” Talbot writes, “He invoked the names of the high eminences who had run the CIA in his day – Dulles, Helms, Wisner. These men were ‘the grand masters,’ he said. ‘If you were in a room with them, you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell.’ Angleton took another slow sip from his steaming cup. ‘I guess I will see them there soon’.”

[90] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 66.

[91] Ibid, pg. 69-70.

[92] Colby, William; Forbath, Peter. (May 1978) Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA. Simon &Schuster, pg. 128.

[93] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 71.

[94] Ibid, pg. 71.

[95] Garner, William. (1970) The Puppet-Masters. Collins, pg. 97.

[96] Garner, William. (1970) The Puppet-Masters. Collins, pg. 220.

[97] Igel, Regine. (1997) Andreotti. Politik zwischen Geheimdienst und Mafia. Herbig Verlag, München, pg. 52.

[98] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 79-80.

[99] Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 80.

[100] Ibid, pg. 73.

[101] Ibid, pg. 73.

[102] Ibid, pg. 73.

[103] Igel, Regine. (1997) Andreotti. Politik zwischen Geheimdienst und Mafia. Herbig Verlag, München, pg. 232.

[104] Russell, George. (June 8, 1981) Italy: A Grand Master’s Conspiracy. TIME Magazine.,33009,922552,00.html. Retrieved September 20, 2022.

[105] Also defined as a “national revival program”, along the lines of that announced by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Proclamation to the French people of 19 Brumaire 1799: for excerpts of its content, cf. Alberto Mario Banti, Napoleon and Bonapartism. History lessons, Laterza, the faces of power, 7 December 2008.

[106] Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press.

[107] Ibid.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 10-11.

[111] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 10-14.

[112] British daily The Observer, November 18, 1990

[113] Vulliamy, Ed. (Dec. 5, 1990) Secret agents, freemasons, fascists…and top-level campaign of political ‘destabilisation’: ‘Strategy of tension’ that brought carnage and cover-up. The Guardian. Retrieved September 18, 2022.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 8.

[116] British daily The European, November 9, 1990.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Reuters, November 15, 1990.

[119] No author specified. (Nov. 26, 1990) Gladio. Un misterio de la Guerra fria. La trama secreta coordinada por mandos de la Alianza Atlantica comienza a salir a la luz tras cuatro decadas de actividad. The Spanish daily El Pais.

[120] Portuguese daily Expresso, Nov. 24, 1990.

[121] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 27.

[122] Italian daily Corriere della Sera, May 29, 1995.

[123] Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 35-37.

[124] Ibid, pg. 35-37.

[125] Ibid, pg. 35-37.

[126] Ibid, pg. 35-37.

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