Operation Gladio and the 'strategy of tension' in Italy beginning in 1969.
Operation Gladio was organised by 'fascists' within the security services of the West.
Reportedly, the idea was to kill innocent people and then blame this on others.
Gladio was about keeping the right-wing elite in power.
Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony:
'You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."
Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed the existence of Gladio in 1991.
Parliamentary investigations in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have given us a little of the truth.
The book "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe," by Daniele Ganser documents some of what we know.
Gladio was the name used in Italy.
In Austria the name was Schwert, Belgium -Sdra 8, Britain - Stay Behind, France - Glaive, Greece -Operation Sheepskin, Holland, Sweden -Sveaborg, Switzerland -P26 and Turkey -Special War Department. [Source: "Operation Gladio." users.westnet.gr/~cgian/gladio.htm]
A Pentagon document, Field Manual FM 30-31B, details the methods for launching terrorist attacks.
85 people were killed on August 2, 1980 in the bombing of the Bologna train station.
According to the Italian Senate, after its investigation in 2000, the bombers were later discovered to be "men inside Italian state institutions and ... men linked to the structures of United States intelligence."
Reportedly, the Bologna bomb was part of Gladio's 'strategy of tension' - creating fear to keep populations in thrall to "strong leaders" who will protect the nation from the ever-present terrorist threat.
The beginning of the 'strategy of tension' in Italy came in Dec. 12, 1969 when a bomb exploded inside the Banca Nazionale dell' Agricoltura in Milan's Piazza Fontana. 16 people were killed and 58 wounded.
Secret guerilla forces
The sources for the following are:
"As early as 1947, the United States was constructing a clandestine network in Northern Italy..." (Wolfgang Achtner, Sunday Independent, 11/11/90)
Reportedly, CIA chief Allen Dulles devised the plan to set up secret guerilla forces across Europe.
Reportedly, Dulles, Sir Stewart Menzies(SIS) and the Belgian Premier Paul Henri Spaak were in on the plan.
According to the newspaper Die Welt, western security services set up a committee to oversee the secret guerrilla forces.
"Former defence minister Paulo Taviani [told Magistrate Casson during his1990 investigation] that during his time in office (1955-1958), the Italian secret services were bossed and financed by 'the boys in Via Veneto' - ie the CIA agents in the US Embassy in the heart of Rome." (William Scobie, Observer, 18/11/90)
"General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, a former commander-in-chief of Nato forces in northern Europe said...that a covert intelligence service was set up in Italy with the help of British agents and the CIA - which also partly funded it. The Italian branch of the network was known as Operation Gladio" (Richard Norton Taylor, Guardian, 15/11/90)
"Gladio was the name given to the Italian branch of a network with the harmless official name, Allied Co-Ordination Committee, set up with British help in the 1950's, operated by the secret services and partly financed bythe United States CIA."(Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 16/11/90)
"Frightened by the 'opening to the left' under the Christian Democrat premiership of Aldo Moro and the success at the polls of the Communists who gained 25 per cent of the vote in the 1963 elections, the Italian right began to make plans to pave the way for the installation of a government of 'public safety' consisting of right-wing Christian Democrats, top managers and military men.
"General Giovanni de Lorenzo, commander of the paramilitary carabinieri and head of the Italian secret services, together with twenty other senior army officers and allegedly with the knowledge and agreement of president Antonio Segni, drew up a plan for a presidential type coup d'etat. 'Plan Solo' was to have concluded with the assassinationof the premier, Aldo Moro.
"Executive authority was to have passed to the right wing Christian Democrat Cesare Merzagora. The coup was called off at the final moment by a compromise between the socialists and right wing Christian Democrats. General de Lorenzo and his colleagues were not ones to give in so easily, however, and although their plans were thwarted on this occasion the plotters did not abandon them."(S Christie, 'Stefano de Chiaie', (Anarchy/Refract, 1984))
"... Neo-fascist bombings such as that in the waiting room at Bologna Station in August 1980... killed 85 people in Italy's communist heartland. Four neo-fascists were jailed for life for the crime, and the grand master of the illegal P2 Masonic Lodge, Licio Gelli, was sentenced to 7 years for his involvement in the case." (Fiona Leney & Wolfgang Achtner, Independent, 10/11/90)
"At the trial of Vincent Vinciguerra (a neo-fascist who took part in a 1972 bomb attack that killed three carabinieri) he told the magistrate that every bombing in Italy after 1969 was linked to one group....'The orders are given by an apparatus belonging to the state, specifically by a secret parallel structure of the Interior Ministry' he said." (Wolfgang Achtner,Sunday Independent, 11/11/90
"The most disturbing questions raised by the discovery of 'Gladio' remain unanswered. How come "Gladio" guns and explosives were used in the 1972 Peteano attack in which three policemen were killed..." (Paddy Agnew, IrishTimes, 15/11/90)
In the early 1970s there was reportedly a meeting between Alexander Haig and Licio Gelli:
According to Searchlight:
In an interview, an ex-Nato operative said that Ted Shackley, the CIA's deputy station chief in Rome, "fixed a meeting between Alexander Haig andGelli at the US embassy in Rome in the early 1970s, when Haig was PresidentNixon's Chief of Staff." Money, he said, was then filtered to Stay Behind or Gladio with the blessing and knowledge of both Haig and the then head of the US National Security Council, Henry Kissinger. Their aim was to prevent a communist takeover at all costs.
"Italians have learned that...General Vito Miceli received an $800,000 handout from the Americans; that Miceli was linked to an abortive coup in1970 led by Prince Valerio Borghese, a wartime mini-sub commander...Miceli received parliamentary immunity as an MSI (neo-fascist) MP, while Borghese was spirited out of Spain by ex-Nazis." (William Scobie, Observer,18/11/90)
"Declassified secret service papers reveal that Ted Shackley, deputy chief of the CIA station in Rome in the 1970's introduced the notorious Licio Gelli - head of the neo-fascist P2 masonic lodge and for years a fugitive in Argentina - to General Alexander Haig, then Nixon's chief ofstaff, and later, from 1974 to 79, Nato Supreme Commander. P2 was a right-wing shadow government, ready to take over Italy, that included fourCabinet Ministers, all three intelligence chiefs, 48 MPs, 160 military officers, bankers, industrialists, top diplomats and the Army Chief ofStaff. After meetings between Gelli, Italian military brass and CIA men in the embassy, Gladio was given renewed blessing - and more money - byHaig and the then head of the National Security Council, Henry Kissinger. Just how those and later funds were spent is a key point in the [Casson]investigation." (William Scobie, Observer, 18/11/90)
"A cache of previously unknown letters written by the former PrimeMinister, Aldo Moro, just prior to his execution by Red Brigade terrorists in 1978, was last month discovered in a Milan apartment which had once beenused as a Red Brigade hideout. One of those letters made reference to theinvolvement of both Nato and the CIA in an Italian based secret service,"parallel" army."(Paddy Agnew, Irish Times, 15/11/90)
"Operational management of Gladio was passed from Nato to Sismi in 1980."(John Wyles, Financial Times, 9/11/90)2/8/80 Bologna Station bomb
"The makings of the bomb which killed 85 people at Bologna railway stationin 1980 came from an arsenal used by Gladio, the Italian wing of Nato's communist-resistance network, according to a parliamentary commission on terrorism...The suggested Link with the Bologna massacre is potentially the most serious of all the accusations levelled against Gladio, and comes just two days after the Italian Prime Minister, Guilio Andreotti, clearedGladio's name in a speech to parliament, saying that the secret army didnot drift from its formal Nato military brief." (Ed Vulliamy, Guardian,16/1/91)
"P2 was not uncovered until 1981. Later it was found that every member ofthe crisis committee set up by Francesco Cossiga, then interior minister, now President of the Republic, was a member of P2." (Charles Richards &Simon Jones, Independent, 16/11/90)
"Licio Gelli, grandmaster of the P2 masonic lodge - which a parliamentarycommission found had links with rightwing terrorists - recently had his jail sentence overturned on appeal. Mr Gelli, as it happens, was a contact for CIA agents responsible for controlling communist influence in Italy."(Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 16/11/90)
"Links between Gladio, Italian secret service bosses and the notorious P2 masonic lodge are manifold. The chiefs of all three secret services -General Santovito (Sismi), Grassini (Sisde) and Cellari (Cessis) - were members of the lodge. In the year that Andreotti denied Gladio's existence, the P2 treasurer, General Siro Dosetti, gave a generous account of"a secret security structure made up of civilians, parallel to the armedforces." (Ed Vulliamy, Guardian, 5/12/90)
Between 28/6/90 and 2/7/90, four programmes on Italian state television (RAI) alleged that the CIA paid LucioGelli to "foment terrorist activities. "
In the first programme someone described as 'Agent Zero' described how (ex-Swedish Prime Minister) Olaf Palme had been caught in a deal between the CIA and Iran to release American hostages in Tehran.
"Palme was a fly in the ointment so we gotP2 to rub him out," the agent said.
The second programme, which showed the gaunt silhouette of 'Agent Zero One', alleged that P2 was not wound up in the mid-1980s, after the arrest of its leader Licio Gelli.
"It still exists. It calls itself P7," he said.
According to the agent, the lodge is till functioning with branches in Austria, Switzerland and East Germany.
"Zero One" has now been revealed by the Italian press to be Dick Brenneke, allegedly a career CIA officer." (Richard Bassett, Times, 24/7/90)
"In the programme, Mr Brenneke alleged that, throughout the 1970's the CIA had made large sums of money available to the subversive Masonic Lodge, P2,widely believed to have been involved in the August, 1980 Bologna trainstation bombing in which 85 people were killed.
"Furthermore Mr Brenneke claimed that, not only does the CIA continue to secretly finance a revivedP2, but that it was involved in the 1986 killing of the Swedish PrimeMinister, Mr Olaf Palme.
"According to Mr Brenneke, P2, under the guidanceof its Grand master, Mr Licio Gelli, used some of the finance made available by the CIA to set up agencies in West Germany, Austria andSwitzerland.
"These agencies in turn were used by P2 to set up the assassination of Mr Palme, on the orders of the CIA. Finally, and perhaps most sensationally, Mr Brenneke alleged that President Bush, then directorof the CIA, not only knew about these CIA activities in Italy (during the late 1970s and early 1980s) but was in fact one of the masterminds behind them.
"In the 1976 general election, the huge success of the CommunistParty...encouraged some to believe that Italy might be close to voting in its first ever Communist government. In order to forestall this possibility, the CIA allegedly sponsored a series of right wing terrorist attacks, via Mr Gelli's P2...The CIA denied the charges and said MrBranneke had never worked for the agency." (Paddy Agnew, Irish Times,24/7/90)
"In a four part special on RAI, the main Italian state-run televisionnetwork, Brenneke claimed he had been making payments to members of P2, a right-wing Masonic lodge, on behalf of the CIA from 1969 to 1980. He said he had made payments which ranged from $lm to $10m a month and were partof the struggle against communism. He said P2 was also involved in arms and drugs trafficking for the CIA..." (Mark Hosenball, Sunday Times, 29/7/90)
"The Belgian government said it was investigating possible links between its own clandestine network and a spate of particularly brutal raids on supermarkets around Brussels in the mid 1980's, in which 28 people died. Several policemen and well-known right-wingers were arrested after ballistic tests, but no one was brought to trial." (Fiona Leney & WolfgangAchtner, Independent, 10/11/90)
GREECE (Operation Sheepskin)
"In Greece, where it was given the code-name, Sheepskin, a cell was set up by the CIA in the 1950s but was dismantled in 1988, according to thegovernment. Officers in the underground unit were involved in theColonel's coup in 1967." (Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, 5/12/90)
"In Portugal, a Lisbon radio station has reported that cells of the networkassociated with Operation Gladio were active there during the 1950s todefend the rightist dictatorship of Dr Salazar." (John Palmer, Guardian,10/11/90)
TURKEY(Special War Department)
"The paper [Milliyet] also quoted former Premier Bulent Ecevit as saying the unit had first been funded by the United States...During a wave of terrorism in the 1970s, leftist groups questioned the possible role of the organisation, also known as 'kontrgerilla', in right-wing terrorism." (Associated Press, 14/11/90)"