We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANSFOR WORLD HEGEMONY, by Romanian author Calistrat M. Atudorei which was published in English version very recently by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 5/3. NATO Secret Armies in Europe
Investigations in Italy
The most and the toughest attacks took place in Italy, which is why the most serious investigations on Stay-Behind armies were conducted here. The first clues were identified in the 1970s. For example, on November 17, 1974, Italian general Vito Miceli, chief of military secret service (Servizio Informazione Difesa—SID), was arrested on charges of subversive conspiracy against the state. As provided for in a documentary study published in 2002 by investigative journalist Philip Willan, during the trial Miceli revealed that he executed orders that came by a secret way from NATO. Judge Giovanni Tamburino concluded that Miceli’s allegedly security organization “actually acts as an obstacle to particular changes in domestic and international policies” and operates “illegal, secret and violent acts” to restrict national sovereignty in Italy. General Vito Miceli defended himself declaring that “the incriminated organization, known as the ‘Parallel SID’, was formed following a secret agreement with the United States within NATO’s internal framework.”36Miceli’s testimony is faithfully presented in a study in France in 1994, L’affaire Gladio, where they note that, related to SID creation, he angrily declared that: “A Super SID on my orders? Of course! But I have not organized it myself to make a coup d’état. This was the United States and NATO who asked me to do it!”37
Another study, by Paul Ginsborg, highlights the “crucial importance” of the case analyzed by Judge Tamburino as he revealed the existence of another related organization, the Masonic lodge Wind Rose, which “coordinated acts of terrorism as preparation for coups d’état of the right wing. Wind Rose had members both inside Italian secret services and Italian armed forces and seemed to relate to a NATO-based super-national intelligence organization.”38
More extensive disclosure was made in 1984 by one of the operative members of the Gladio network, Vincenzo Vinciguerra. He was accused of involvement in the bombing in Peteano on May 31, 1972. The original investigation blamed the communist Red Brigades, but further research showed that the explosives used came from a Gladio depot and were supplied by NATO. In 1984, Vinciguerra confessed his guilt in a trial, while providing more than conclusive details about Stay-Behind networks. He declared he is assuming responsibility not because he would regret what he did, but because he wanted to make certain political and ideological statements. As a matter of fact, he accepted for these reasons to give some interviews right in front of the cameras.
Vincenzo Vinciguerra explained among others that terrorist attacks that have shaken Italy were not meant to destabilize the Italian state. Rather, they were part of a so-called “strategy of tension” that sought to instill fear into people’s minds. They targeted a state of fear that could be exploited to strengthen pro-NATO governance and marginalize left-wing socialist movements. The authors of the attacks are very difficult to identify, he said, because they are protected by structures that are right in the core of the State.
In 1990, The Guardian wrote about several of Vinciguerra’s accounts during the trial: “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.” The structure in question, he said, “lies within the state itself.”39 With regard to this structure, the former Gladio agent gave very precise details of political and operative level, a remarkable fact since usually those who executed attacks were told only the minimum necessary, without disclosing elements of significance or about perspective. Vinciguerra stated that:
There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men, (…) a secret organization, a super-organization with a network of communications, arms and explosives, and men trained to use them. (…) that took up the task, on NATO’s behalf, of preventing a slip to the left in the political balance of the country. This they did, with the assistance of the official secret services and the political and military forces.40
Vinciguerra also knew very well about the relation between the terrorist attacks and NATO structures, information which in 1984 had not yet been publicly disclosed and which seemed totally absurd at the time for an ignorant:
I say that every single outrage that followed from 1969 fitted into a single organized matrix (…) originating not with organizations deviant from the institutions of power, but from the state itself, and specifically from within the ambit of the state’s relations within the Atlantic Alliance.41
Here is one of Vincenzo Vinciguerra’s accounts in the documentary film Operation Gladio, produced and broadcast by BBC in 1992:
Peteano was an act of war (…), an act of rebellion against this manipulation, revenge against the State. When you supported the right wing, you did not have to attack the State or its representatives. 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. That was precisely the role of the right wing in Italy. It acted deliberately in the service of the State that created the strategy called the “Tension Strategy”… so as to get people to accept that at any time emergency could be declared. And so people will voluntarily give up their freedom in exchange for security, that is, to be able to walk down the streets, travel by train or enter a bank. 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.42
We may ascertain that the method does not seem to be unknown either to today’s global-scale
political forces claiming that terrorist groups carry out attacks, but secretly precisely those political and military forces support them, cover and finance them to have reason to intervene humanitarianly and keep occupation troops in the region…
The scandal in Italy, however, really took proportions only after Judge Felice Casson discovered documents about the Operation Gladio in the archives of the Italian military service in Rome. In January 1990, Judge Casson asked the Italian authorities for permission to search the Military Secret Service (SID) archives. In July 1990, the judge obtained the agreement from Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Casson found in the archive documents that unquestionably linked NATO and the United States to Operation Gladio, to secret subversion actions and right-wing terrorists in Italy and from other Western European countries. Intrigued by what he discovered, Judge Casson contacted members of a parliamentary committee that in 1988 conducted an investigation to fully elucidate why the authors of terrorist massacres in Italy could not be captured. The committee was led by Senator Libera Gualtieri and was named The Italian Parliament’s Senate Committee on Terrorism Investigation in Italy and the reasons why the persons responsible for the massacres could not be identified: terrorism, massacres and political-historical context.43
In line with the data recorded by historian Mario Coglitore, on August 2, 1990, senators urged the Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti,
to inform the Parliament within sixty days about the existence, the characteristics and the purpose of a parallel and occult structure about which it is said to have functioned within our military secret service with the objective of conditioning the political life of the country.44
Andreotti presented a first account of the situation before the Italian Parliament on the very next day, on August 3, 1990. The Prime Minister revealed that the investigation of Italian prosecutors in a 1972 terrorist attack (Peteano case, the explosion of a trap car) led to the discovery of Gladio network, which had 139 secret weapon depots in Italy. Andreotti made public that the “Italian army behind the front called Gladio” existed since 1958 with the approval of the Italian government. His report also stated that Gladio worked within the Armed Forces Information Service (SIFAR), consisting of about 1,000 people mostly anticommunists, guerrilla warriors and spies, former members of Mussolini’s secret police. Yet, the data provided by the Prime Minister remained rather superficial or even false. For instance, he asserted that: “As far as I have been informed by the secret services such activities [of the Gladio network] have continued until 1972. After that it was decided that they were no longer necessary.”45
The press, however, was doing numerous disclosures proving that no way of Gladio being dissolved in 1972. That is why, as some newspapers report46, on October 18, 1990 there was a great demonstration in Rome in the Central Square (Piazza del Popolo). Tens of thousands of people organized by the Italian Communist Party (PCI) held up banners on which it was written “We want the truth!”
A new report, entitled The Parallel SID—Operation Gladio47, was presented by the Prime Minister on 24 October 1990 to a Senate Committee (called Comisia Stragi). The presentation focused on SIFAR Report48 of 1959 describing the “Stay-Behind agreement” between the Italian Military Secret Service (SIFAR) and the CIA, Gladio constitution under this agreement, and Gladio integration into NATO headquarters (CPP, SHAPE, BCC). Very concise, this second Andreotti’s report pointed out only the basics of the issue, in seven pages.
The debates and controversies that emerged in the Italian Senate after the exposures from that meeting reached very hot levels. From the Communist Party, Senator Norberto Bobbio said that “We cannot accept that… this super-SID was passed off as a military instrument destined to operate ‘in the case of enemy occupation.’ The true enemy is only and has always been the Italian Communist party, i.e. an internal enemy!”49
The illegal links between CIA and Italian secret services continued to be revealed by the Italian press. In November 1990 the article By the End of 1975 the CIA Funded Gladio50 was published in the Italian newspaper La Republica. The article referred to disclosures made by Judge Charles Mastelloni following accounts made by numerous officers of the Italian Military Intelligence Service (SIFAR). Among them there was General Giovanni Battista Minerva, who had been SIFAR director for 12 years, from 1963 to 1975. General Minerva also made public who had been the Gladio leader from 1970 to 1974 in Italy, namely General Gerardo Serravalle. Subsequently, dozens of other correlated testimonies were obtained from senior officers of Italian secret service and of Air Force.
On February 26, 1991, Prime Minister Andreotti presented a much more detailed report than the previous one (from October 1990). This third 84-page report was entitled Report on Gladio Affair51and developed the subject of cooperation between secret armed groups from Western European countries, under NATO coordination. It has also been presented the organizing structure of Gladio network in Italy and its specific activities. These activities included “intelligence services, sabotage activities, propaganda, radio communication, data encryption, agent recruitment, logistic support.”52 The locations and the dates where weapons and ammunition (especially in cemeteries and churches) were deposited for secret operations in Italy were also exposed. Regarding financial support, the document explicitly states that “Expenditures for Gladio operation were supported with the participation of US services.” Part of the amount of US funding is detailed. For “annual operating contributions between 1957 and 1975,” the amount provided by the US was “1,004 million lira” and for “operating material contributions, 1,292 million lira.” For the years 1981–1990 the amount increased significantly: “Gladio management expenses amounted to 3,409,208,000 lira (3,400 million lira), which corresponds to annual average of 340 million lira.”53 The report also includes a list of more than 600 people identified as being illegally part of Gladio terrorist network. Andreotti’s document unquestionably confirms that CIA and NATO led Europe’s secret armies.
Another report aimed at elucidating Gladio case was submitted to the Italian Parliament on June 23, 2000. In 300 pages of analyzes and documents, the report found that Gladio’s actions and the setting up of that dreadful “Strategy of Tension” was ordered for political purposes by the United States administration and was executed through NATO. When examining the reasons why those who orchestrated the bombing in Italy were seldom caught, the report explained that they were protected by state secret services themselves, that collaborated with the CIA: “those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organised or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.” Regarding statements by the US side claiming to have no connection with the bombings, the report presented evidence that “US intelligence agents were informed in advance about several rightwing terrorist bombings (…) but did nothing to alert the Italian authorities or to prevent the attacks from taking place.”54
The complicity of the United States secret services was confirmed by several credible sources. A news item from Reuters agency, for example, showed that another Italian general, GianadelioMaleti, had just revealed in an interview that the CIA “knew the targets and culprits”55 for the terrorist bombing executed.
(To be continued)