Operation Gladio

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Gladio Organization
Italian: Organizzazione Gladio
Abbreviation Gladio
Motto "Silendo Libertatem Servo"
(In silence, we serve freedom)
Formation November 26, 1956 (1956-11-26)
Founder Antonio Segni
Founded at Italy
Extinction July 27, 1990 (1990-07-27)
Type Stay-behind paramilitary organization
Legal status Defunct
Purpose Defense of Europe from invasion by Warsaw Pact
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Region
Europe
Methods Paramilitary/Clandestine
Membership (1990)
622 (only in Italy)
Affiliations Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe,
NATO

Operation Gladio (Italian: Operazione Gladio) is the codename for a clandestine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) "stay-behind" operation in Italy during the Cold War. Its purpose was to continue armed resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Roman shortsword. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO and even some neutral countries.[1]

The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and any relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) is the subject of debate. Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[2]

History and general stay-behind structure[edit]

World War Two experience[edit]

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940 to assist resistance movements and carry out subversive operations in enemy-held territory across occupied Europe. Guardian reporter David Pallister wrote in December 1990 that a guerilla network with arms caches had been put in place following the fall of France. It included Brigadier "Mad Mike" Calvert, and was drawn from the 5th (ski) battalion of the Scots Guards, which was originally intended to fight against the Soviet forces attacking Finland.<refanme="Scots Guards">"History". Scots Guards Association. Retrieved 19 June 2014. </ref> Known as Auxiliary Units, they were headed by Major Colin Gubbins, an expert in guerilla warfare who later led the SOE. The Auxiliary Units were attached to GHQ Home Forces, and concealed within the Home Guard. The units were created in preparation of a possible invasion of the British Isles by the Third Reich. These units were allegedly stood down only in 1944. Several of their members subsequently joined the Special Air Service and saw action in France in late 1944. The units' existence did not generally become known by the public until the 1990s despite a book on the subject being published in 1968,[3] although in recent years, much more research has been undertaken on the Auxiliary Units, such as the books by John Warwicker (Churchill's Underground Army and With Britain In Mortal Danger) and the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART), which publishes its work on-line. In fiction, Owen Sheers' Resistance (2008), set in Wales, takes as one of its central characters a member of the Auxiliary Units called to resist a successful German invasion.

Post War creation[edit]

After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited, whether in Italy or in other European countries. Its clandestine "cells" were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy-controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.

The stay-behind armies were created with the experience and involvement of former SOE officers.[4] Following Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations, General Sir John Hackett (1910–1997), former commander-in-chief of the British Army on the Rhine, declared on November 16, 1990 that a contingency plan involving "stay behind and resistance in depth" was drawn up after the war. The same week, Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley (1924–2006), former commander-in-chief of NATO's Forces in Northern Europe from 1979 to 1982, declared to The Guardian that a secret arms network was established in Britain after the war.[5] Hackett had written in 1978 a novel, The Third World War: August 1985, which was a fictionalized scenario of a Soviet Army invasion of West Germany in 1985. The novel was followed in 1982 by The Third World War: The Untold Story, which elaborated on the original. Farrar-Hockley had aroused controversy in 1983 when he became involved in trying to organise a campaign for a new Home Guard against a potential Soviet invasion.[6]

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

Historian Daniele Ganser alleges that:[7]

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

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

The Central Intelligence Agency responded to the series of accusations made by Ganser in his book regarding the CIA's involvement in Operation Gladio, by claiming that neither Ganser nor anyone else could have solid evidence supporting their accusations. At one point in his book, Ganser even talks about the CIA's covert action policies as being "terrorist in nature" and then accuses the CIA of using their "networks for political terrorism". The CIA has responded by noting that Daniele Ganser's sourcing is "largely secondary" and that Ganser himself has complained about "not being able to find any official sources to support his charges of the CIA's or any Western European government's involvement with Gladio".[8]

The existence of these clandestine NATO units remained a closely guarded secret throughout the Cold War until 1990, when the first branch of the international network was discovered in Italy. It was code-named Gladio, the Italian word for a short double-edged sword [gladius]. While the press said that the NATO stay-behind units were 'the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II', the Italian government, amidst sharp public criticism, promised to close down the secret army. Italy insisted identical clandestine units had also existed in all other countries of Western Europe. This allegation proved correct and subsequent research found that in Belgium, the secret NATO unit was code-named SDRA8, in Denmark Absalon, in Germany TD BJD, in Greece LOK, in Luxemburg Stay-Behind, in the Netherlands I&O, in Norway ROC, in Portugal Aginter Press, in Spain Red Quantum, in Switzerland P26, in Turkey Özel Harp Dairesi, In Sweden AGAG (Aktions Gruppen Arla Gryning), Plan Bleu in France, and in Austria OWSGV. However, the code name of the stay-behind unit in Finland remains unknown.[7]

Upon learning of the discovery, the parliament of the European Union (EU) drafted a resolution sharply criticizing the fact (...) Yet only Italy, Belgium and Switzerland carried out parliamentary investigations, while the administration of President George H. W. Bush refused to comment.[9]

If Gladio was effectively "the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II",[10] it must be underlined, however, that on several occasions, arms caches were discovered and stay-behind paramilitary organizations officially dissolved.

NATO's "stay-behind" organizations were never called upon to resist a Soviet invasion. According to a November 13, 1990 Reuters cable,[11] "André Moyen – a former member of the Belgian military security service and of the [stay-behind] network – said Gladio was not just anti-Communist but was for fighting subversion in general. He added that his predecessor had given Gladio 142 million francs ($4.6 millions) to buy new radio equipment."[12]

Gladio operations in NATO countries[edit]

First discovered in Italy[edit]

Main article: Gladio in Italy

The Italian NATO stay-behind organization, dubbed "Gladio", was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's (DC) supervision.[13] Gladio's existence came to public knowledge when Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti revealed it to the Chamber of Deputies on October 24, 1990, although far-right terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra had already revealed its existence during his 1984 trial. According to media analyst Edward S. Herman, "both the President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, had been involved in the Gladio organization and coverup..."[14][verification needed]

Giulio Andreotti's October 24, 1990 revelations[edit]

Christian Democrat Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicly recognized the existence of Gladio on October 24, 1990. Andreotti spoke of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave to the Commissione Stragi, the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrino in charge of investigations on bombings committed during the Years Of Lead in Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also stated that 127 weapons' cache had been dismantled, and said that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the SISMI) had joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committee created in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio's operations.[15] However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's supervision.[13] Beside, the list of Gladio members given by Andreotti was incomplete. It didn't include, for example, Antonio Arconte, who described an organization very different from the one brushed by Giulio Andreotti: an organization closely tied to the SID secret service and the Atlanticist strategy.[16][17] According to Andreotti, the stay-behind organisations set up in all of Europe did not come "under broad NATO supervision until 1959."[18]

General Serravalle's statement[edit]

General Gerardo Serravalle, who commanded the Italian Gladio from 1971 to 1974, related that "in the 1970s the members of the CPC [Coordination and Planning Committee] were the officers responsible for the secret structures of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Italy. These representatives of the secret structures met every year in one of the capitals... At the stay-behind meetings representatives of the CIA were always present. They had no voting rights and were from the CIA headquarters of the capital in which the meeting took place... members of the US Forces Europe Command were present, also without voting rights. ".[19] Next to the CPC a second secret command post was created in 1957, the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC). According to the Belgian Parliamentary Committee on Gladio, the ACC was "responsible for coordinating the 'Stay-behind' networks in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States". During peacetime, the activities of the ACC "included elaborating the directives for the network, developing its clandestine capability and organising bases in Britain and the United States. In wartime, it was to plan stay-behind operations in conjunction with SHAPE; organisers were to activate clandestine bases and organise operations from there".[20] General Serravale declared to the Commissione Stragi headed by senator Giovanni Pellegrino that the Italian Gladio members trained at a military base in Britain.[5]

Belgium[edit]

After the 1967 withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure, the SHAPE headquarters were displaced to Mons in Belgium. In 1990, following France's denial of any "stay-behind" French army, Giulio Andreotti publicly said the last Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) meeting, at which the French branch of Gladio was present, had been on October 23 and 24, 1990, under the presidency of Belgian General Van Calster, director of the Belgian military secret service SGR. In November, Guy Coëme, the Minister of the Defense, acknowledged the existence of a Belgium "stay-behind" army, raising concerns about a similar implication in terrorist acts as in Italy. The same year, the European Parliament sharply condemned NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with the stay-behind armies.[4]

New legislation governing intelligence agencies' missions and methods was passed in 1998, following two government inquiries and the creation of a permanent parliamentary committee in 1991, which was to bring them under the authority of Belgium's federal agencies. The Commission was created following events in the 1980s, which included the Brabant massacres and the activities of far right group Westland New Post.[21]

Denmark[edit]

The Danish stay-behind army was code-named Absalon, after a Danish archbishop, and led by E.J. Harder. It was hidden in the military secret service Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE). In 1978, William Colby, former director of the CIA, released his memoirs in which he described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavia:[22]

"The situation in each Scandinavian country was different. Norway and Denmark were NATO allies, Sweden held to the neutrality that had taken her through two world wars, and Finland were required to defer in its foreign policy to the Soviet power directly on its borders. Thus, in one set of these countries the governments themselves would build their own stay-behind nets, counting on activating them from exile to carry on the struggle. These nets had to be co-ordinated with NATO's plans, their radios had to be hooked to a future exile location, and the specialised equipment had to be secured from CIA and secretly cached in snowy hideouts for later use. In other set of countries, CIA would have to do the job alone or with, at best, "unofficial" local help, since the politics of those governments barred them from collaborating with NATO, and any exposure would arouse immediate protest from the local Communist press, Soviet diplomats and loyal Scandinavians who hoped that neutrality or nonalignment would allow them to slip through a World War III unharmed."

France[edit]

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

The network was supported with elements from SDECE, and had military support from the 11th Choc regiment. The former director of DGSE, admiral Pierre Lacoste, alleged in a 1992 interview with The Nation, that certain elements from the network were involved in terrorist activities against de Gaulle and his Algerian policy. A section of the 11th Choc regiment split over the 1962 Evian peace accords, and became part of the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), but it is unclear if this also involved members of the French stay-behind network.[23][24]

La Rose des Vents and Arc-en-ciel ("Rainbow") network were part of Gladio. François de Grossouvre was Gladio's leader for the region around Lyon in France until his alleged suicide on April 7, 1994. Grossouvre would have asked Constantin Melnik, leader of the French secret services during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62), to return to activity. He was living in comfortable exile in the US, where he maintained links with the Rand Corporation. Constantin Melnik is alleged to have been involved in the creation in 1952 of the Ordre Souverain du Temple Solaire, an ancestor of the Order of the Solar Temple, created by former A.M.O.R.C. members, in which the SDECE (French former military intelligence agency) was interested.[25]

Germany[edit]

US intelligence also assisted in the set up a German stay-behind network. CIA documents released in June 2006 under the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, show that the CIA organized "stay-behind" networks of German agents between 1949 and 1953. According to the Washington Post: "One network included at least two former Nazi SS members -- Staff Sgt. Heinrich Hoffman and Lt. Col. Hans Rues -- and one was run by Lt. Col. Walter Kopp, a former German army officer referred to by the CIA as an "unreconstructed Nazi. "The network was disbanded in 1953 amid political concerns that some members' neo-Nazi sympathies would be exposed in the West German press."[26]

Documents shown to the Italian parliamentary terrorism committee revealed that in the 1970s British and French officials involved in the network visited a training base in Germany built with US money.[5]

In 1976, the secret service BND secretary Heidrun Hofer was arrested after having revealed the secrets of the German stay-behind army to her husband, who was a spy of the KGB.[4]

In 2004 the German author Norbert Juretzko published a book about his work at the BND. He went into details about recruiting partisans for the German stay-behind network. He was sacked from BND following a secret trial against him, because the BND could not find out the real name of his Russian source "Rübezahl" whom he had recruited. A man with the name he put on file was arrested by the KGB following treason in the BND, but was obviously innocent, his name having been chosen at random from the public phone book by Juretzko.[27] According to Juretzko, the BND built up its branch of Gladio, but discovered after the fall of the German Democratic Republic that it was 100% known to the Stasi early on. When the network was dismantled, further odd details emerged. One fellow "spymaster" had kept the radio equipment in his cellar at home with his wife doing the engineering test call every 4 months, on the grounds that the equipment was too "valuable" to remain in civilian hands. Juretzko found out because this spymaster had dismantled his section of the network so quickly, there had been no time for measures such as recovering all caches of supplies.[28]

Civilians recruited as stay-behind partisans were equipped with a clandestine shortwave radio with a fixed frequency. It had a keyboard with digital encryption, making use of traditional Morse code obsolete. They had a cache of further equipment for signalling helicopters or submarines to drop special agents who were to stay in the partisan's homes while mounting sabotage operations against the communists.[27]

Greece[edit]

When Greece joined NATO in 1952, the country's special forces, the LOK (Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. "Mountain Raiding Companies") were integrated into the European stay-behind network. The CIA and LOK reconfirmed on March 25, 1955 their mutual co-operation in a secret document signed by US General Trascott for the CIA, and Konstantinos Dovas, chief of staff of the Greek military. In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the CIA instructed LOK to prevent a leftist coup. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, who was sharply criticized in the US for having revealed sensitive information, insisted that "paramilitary groups, directed by CIA officers, operated in the sixties throughout Europe [and he stressed that] perhaps no activity of the CIA could be as clearly linked to the possibility of internal subversion."[29]

The LOK was involved in the military coup d'état on April 21, 1967,[30] which took place one month before the scheduled national elections for which opinion polls predicted an overwhelming victory of the centrist Center Union of George and Andreas Papandreou. Under the command of paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Costas Aslanides, the LOK took control of the Greek Defence Ministry while Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos gained control over communication centers, the parliament, the royal palace, and according to detailed lists, arrested over 10,000 people. Phillips Talbot, the US ambassador in Athens, disapproved of the military coup which established the "Regime of the Colonels" (1967–1974), complaining that it represented "a rape of democracy" – to which Jack Maury, the CIA chief of station in Athens, answered: "How can you rape a whore?".[31]

Arrested and then exiled in Canada and Sweden, Andreas Papandreou later returned to Greece, where he won the 1981 election, forming the first socialist government of Greece's post-war history. According to his own testimony, he discovered the existence of the secret NATO army, then codenamed "Red Sheepskin", as acting prime minister in 1984 and had given orders to dissolve it.[32]

Following Giulio Andreotti's revelations in 1990, the Greek defence minister confirmed that a branch of the network, known as Operation Sheepskin, operated in his country until 1988.[33]

In December 2005, journalist Kleanthis Grivas published an article in To Proto Thema, a Greek Sunday newspaper, in which he accused "Sheepskin" for the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975, as well as the assassination of British military attaché Stephen Saunders in 2000. This was denied by the US State Department, who responded that "the Greek terrorist organization '17 November' was responsible for both assassinations", and that Grivas's central piece of evidence had been the Westmoreland Field Manual which the State department, as well as an independent Congressional inquiry have alleged to be a Soviet forgery.[34] The State Department also highlighted the fact that, in the case of Richard Welch, "Grivas bizarrely accuses the CIA of playing a role in the assassination of one of its own senior officials" while "Sheepskin" couldn't have assassinated Stephen Saunders for the simple reason that, according to the US government, "the Greek government stated it dismantled the "stay behind" network in 1988."[34]

Netherlands[edit]

In 1983, people walking in a forest near the village of Velp, North Brabant chanced upon a large hidden cache of arms. The discovery forced the Dutch government to confirm that the arms were related to NATO planning for unorthodox warfare.[35] In 1990 Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told Parliament that the government was running a secret guerrilla organization similar to the groups whose existence at that time was just discovered in Italy and Belgium. He said in a letter that successive prime ministers and defence chiefs always preferred not to inform other Cabinet members or Parliament about the secret organization. Former Dutch Defense Minister Henk Vredeling said the group set up arms caches around the Netherlands for sabotage purposes.[36] Lubbers said that a secret organisation had also been set up in his country in the 1950s to organise resistance and gather information in the event of a foreign invasion. But he denied that the group was supervised directly by NATO. Speculation that the Netherlands was involved in Gladio arose from the accidental discovery of large arms caches in 1980 and 1983.[37] Lubbers, told parliament that the secret organisation had been set up inside the defence ministry in the 1950s originally to provide intelligence to a government in exile. Members of the cell are believed to have taken part in a training exercise in Sicily.[38] The operating bureaus of the organisation would also move to safety in England or the USA at the first sign of trouble.[citation needed]

A Dutch investigative television program revealed on September 9, 2007, that an arms cache that belonged to Gladio was ransacked in the 1980s. The cache was located in a park near Scheveningen. Some of the stolen weapons later turned up, including hand grenades and machine guns, when police officials arrested criminals Sam Klepper and John Mieremet in 1991. The Dutch military intelligence agency, MIVD, feared at that time that the disclosure of the Gladio history of these weapons was politically explosive.[39][40]

Norway[edit]

In 1957, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protested strongly against the pro-active intelligence activities at AFNORTH, as described by the chairman of CPC: "[NIS] was extremely worried about activities carried out by officers at Kolsås. This concerned SB, Psywar and Counter Intelligence." These activities supposedly included the blacklisting of Norwegians. SHAPE denied these allegations. Eventually, the matter was resolved in 1958, after Norway was assured about how stay-behind networks were to be operated.[41][page needed]

In 1978, the police discovered an arms cache and radio equipment at a mountain cabin and arrested Hans Otto Meyer, a businessman accused of being involved in selling illegal alcohol. Meyer claimed that the weapons were supplied by Norwegian intelligence. Rolf Hansen, defense minister at that time, stated the network was not in any way answerable to NATO and had no CIA connection.[42]

Portugal[edit]

Further information: Aginter Press

In 1966, the CIA set up Aginter Press which, under the direction of Captain Yves Guérin-Sérac (who had taken part in the founding of the OAS), ran a secret stay-behind army and trained its members in covert action techniques amounting to terrorism, including bombings, silent assassinations, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.[4]

Turkey[edit]

Main article: Counter-Guerrilla

As one of the nations that prompted the Truman Doctrine, Turkey is one of the first countries to participate in Operation Gladio and, some say, the only country where it has not been purged.[43]

The counter-guerrilla's existence in Turkey was revealed in 1973 by then prime minister Bülent Ecevit,.[44]

Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries[edit]

Austria[edit]

In Austria, the first secret stay-behind army was exposed in 1947. It had been set up by far-right Soucek and Rössner, who both insisted during their trial that "they were carrying out the secret operation with the full knowledge and support of the US and British occupying powers." Sentenced to death, they were then pardoned under mysterious circumstances by President Körner (1951–1957).

Franz Olah set up a new secret army codenamed Österreichischer Wander-, Sport- und Geselligkeitsverein (OWSGV, literally "Austrian hiking, sports and society club"), with the cooperation of MI6 and the CIA. He later explained that "we bought cars under this name. We installed communication centres in several regions of Austria", confirming that "special units were trained in the use of weapons and plastic explosives". He precised that "there must have been a couple of thousand people working for us... Only very, very highly positioned politicians and some members of the union knew about it".

In 1965, the police forces discovered a stay-behind arms cache in an old mine close to Windisch-Bleiberg and forced the British authorities to hand over a list with the location of 33 other caches in Austria.[4]

In 1990, when secret "stay-behind" armies were discovered all around Europe, the Austrian government said that no secret army had existed in the country. However, six years later, the Boston Globe revealed the existence of secret CIA arms caches in Austria. Austrian President Thomas Klestil and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky insisted that they had known nothing of the existence of the secret army and demanded that the US launch a full-scale investigation into the violation of Austria's neutrality, which was denied by President Bill Clinton. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns – appointed in August 2001 by President George Bush as the US Permanent Representative to the Atlantic treaty organization, where, as ambassador to NATO, he headed the combined State-Defense Department United States Mission to NATO and coordinated the NATO response to the September 11, 2001 attacks – insisted: "The aim was noble, the aim was correct, to try to help Austria if it was under occupation. What went wrong is that successive Washington administrations simply decided not to talk to the Austrian government about it."[7]

Finland[edit]

In 1944, the Swedes worked with Finnish Intelligence to set up a stay-behind network of agents within Finland to keep track of post-war activities in that country. While this network was allegedly never put in place, Finnish codes, SIGINT equipment and documents were brought to Sweden and apparently exploited until the 1980s.[45]

In 1945, Interior Minister Yrjö Leino exposed a secret stay-behind army which was closed down (so called Weapons Cache Case). This operation was organized by Finnish general staff officers (without foreign help) in 1944 to hide weapons in order to sustain a large-scale guerrilla warfare in the event the Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland in the aftermath of the Continuation War. See also Operation Stella Polaris.

In 1991, the Swedish media claimed that a secret stay-behind army had existed in neutral Finland with an exile base in Stockholm. Finnish Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn called the revelations "a fairy tale", adding cautiously "or at least an incredible story, of which I know nothing."[4] However, in his memoirs, former CIA director William Colby described the setting-up of stay-behind armies in Scandinavian countries, including Finland, with or without the assistance of local governments, to prepare for a Soviet invasion.[22]

Spain[edit]

Several events prior to Spain's 1982 membership in NATO have also been tied to Gladio: In May 1976, half a year after Franco's death, two right-wing Carlist members were shot down by far-right terrorists, among whom were Gladio operative Stefano Delle Chiaie and members of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A), demonstrating connections between Gladio and the South American "Dirty War" of the Operation Condor. This incident became known as the Montejurra incident.[46] According to a report by the Italian CESIS (Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security Services), Carlo Cicuttini (who took part in the 1972 Peteano bombing in Italy alongside Vincenzo Vinciguerra), participated in the 1977 Massacre of Atocha in Madrid, killing five people (including several lawyers), members of the Workers' Commissions trade-unions closely linked with the Spanish Communist Party. Cicuttini was naturalized Spanish and exiled in Spain since 1972 (date of the Peteano bombing)[47]

Following Andreotti's 1990 revelations, Adolfo Suárez, Spain's first democratically elected Prime minister after Franco's death, denied ever having heard of Gladio.[48] President of the Spanish government in 1981–82, during the transition to democracy, Calvo Sotelo stated that Spain had not been informed of Gladio when it entered NATO. Asked about Gladio's relations to Francoist Spain, he said that such a network was not necessary under Franco, since "the regime itself was Gladio."[49]

According to General Fausto Fortunato, head of Italian SISMI from 1971 to 1974, France and the US had backed Spain's entrance to Gladio, but Italy would have opposed its veto to it. Following Andreotti's revelations, however, Narcís Serra, Spanish Minister of Defense, opened up an investigation concerning Spain's links to Gladio.[50][51] Furthermore, Canarias 7 newspaper revealed, quoting former Gladio agent Alberto Volo, who had a role in the revelations of the existence of the network in 1990, that a Gladio meeting had been organized in August 1991 in the Gran Canaria island.[52] Alberto Vollo also declared that as a Gladio operative, he had received trainings in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island between the 1960s and the 1970s.[53] El País daily also revealed that the Gladio organization was suspected of having used former NASA installations in Maspalomas, in the Gran Canaria island, in the 1970s.[54]

André Moyen, former Belgian secret agent, also declared that Gladio had operated in Spain.[55] He said that Gladio had bases in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián and the Canary islands.

Sweden[edit]

In 1951, CIA agent William Colby, based at the CIA station in Stockholm, supported the training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and in the NATO members Norway and Denmark. In 1953, the police arrested right winger Otto Hallberg and discovered the preparations for the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg was set free and charges against him were dropped.[4]

Switzerland[edit]

Main article: Projekt-26

In Switzerland, a secret force called P-26 was discovered, by coincidence, a few months before Giulio Andreotti's October 1990 revelations. After the "secret files scandal" (Fichenaffäre), Swiss members of parliament started investigating the Defense Department in the summer of 1990. According to Felix Würsten of the ETH Zurich, "P-26 was not directly involved in the network of NATO's secret armies but it had close contact to MI6."[56] Daniele Ganser (ETH Zurich) wrote in the Intelligence and National Security review that "following the discovery of the stay-behind armies across Western Europe in late 1990, Swiss and international security researchers found themselves confronted with two clear-cut questions: Did Switzerland also operate a secret stay-behind army? And if yes, was it part of NATO's stay-behind network? The answer to the first question is clearly yes... The answer to the second question remains disputed..."[57]

In 1990, Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of P-26, declared in a confidential letter to the Defence Department that he was willing to reveal "the whole truth". He was later found in his house, stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army was presented to the public on November 17, 1990.[4] According to The Guardian, "P-26 was backed by P-27, a private foreign intelligence agency funded partly by the government, and by a special unit of Swiss army intelligence which had built up files on nearly 8,000 "suspect persons" including "leftists", "bill stickers", "Jehovah's witnesses", people with "abnormal tendencies" and anti-nuclear demonstrators. On November 14, the Swiss government hurriedly dissolved P26 – the head of which, it emerged, had been paid £100,000 a year."[58]

In 1991, a report by Swiss magistrate Pierre Cornu was released by the Swiss defence ministry. It found that P-26 was without "political or legal legitimacy", and described the group's collaboration with British secret services as "intense". "Unknown to the Swiss government, British officials signed agreements with P-26 to provide training in combat, communications, and sabotage. The latest agreement was signed in 1987... P-26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain... British advisers – possibly from the SAS – visited secret training establishments in Switzerland." P-26 was led by Efrem Cattelan, known to British intelligence.[59]

In a 2005 conference presenting Daniele Ganser's research on Gladio, Hans Senn, General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, explained how he was informed of the existence of a secret organisation in the middle of his term of office. According to him, it already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also a secret group in Switzerland. But former MP, Helmut Hubacher, President of the Social Democratic Party from 1975 to 1990, declared that although it had been known that "special services" existed within the army, as a politician he never at any time could have known that P-26 was behind this. Hubacher pointed out that the President of the parliamentary investigation into P26 (PUK-EMD), the right-wing politician from Appenzell and member of the Council of States for that Canton, Carlo Schmid, had suffered "like a dog" during the commission's investigations. Carlo Schmid declared to the press: "I was shocked that something like that is at all possible," and said to the press he was glad to leave the "conspirational atmosphere" which had weighted upon him like a "black shadow" during the investigations.[60] Hubacher found it especially disturbing that, apart from its official mandate of organizing resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, P-26 had also a mandate to become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority.[56]

Daniele Ganser and "Strategy of Tension"[edit]

Further information: Strategy of tension

Swiss historian Daniele Ganser in his 2005 NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe accused Gladio of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations and a "strategy of tension" Ganser alleges that on various occasions, stay-behind movements became linked to right-wing terrorism, crime and attempted coups d'état:[7] InNATO's Secret Armies Ganser states that Gladio units were in close cooperation with NATO and the CIA and that Gladio in Italy was responsible for terrorist attacks against its own civilian population.[61]

Peer Henrik Hansen, a scholar at Roskilde University, wrote two scathing criticisms of the book for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and the Journal of Intelligence History, describing Ganser's work as "a journalistic book with a big spoonful of conspiracy theories" that "fails to present proof of and an in-depth explanation of the claimed conspiracy between USA, CIA, NATO and the European countries." Hansen also criticized Ganser for basing his "claim of the big conspiracy" off the US Army Field Manual 30-31B, a Cold War era hoax document.[62][63] Hayden Peake's book review Intelligence in Recent Public Literature describes: "Ganser fails to document his thesis that the CIA, MI6, and NATO and its friends turned GLADIO into a terrorist organization."[64] Philip HJ Davies of the Brunel University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies likewise concludes that the book is "marred by imagined conspiracies, exaggerated notions of the scale and impact of covert activities, misunderstandings of the management and coordination of operations within and between national governments, and... an almost complete failure to place the actions and decisions in question in the appropriate historical context." According to Davies, "The underlying problem is that Ganser has not really undertaken the most basic necessary research to be able to discuss covert action and special operations effectively."[65] Olav Riste of the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, writing for the journal Intelligence and National Security, mentions several instances where his own research on the stay-behind network in Norway was twisted by Ganser and concludes that "A detailed refutation of the many unfounded allegations that Ganser accepts as historical findings would fill an entire book."[66] In a later joint article with Leopoldo Nuti of the University of Rome, the two concluded that the book's "ambitious conclusions do not seem to be entirely corroborated by a sound evaluation of the sources available."[67]

Lawrence Kaplan wrote a mixed review commending Ganser for making "heroic efforts to tease out the many strands that connect this interlocking right-wing conspiracy", but also arguing that "Connecting the dots between terrorist organizations in NATO countries and a master plan centred in NATO's military headquarters requires a stretch of facts that Ganser cannot manage." Kaplan believes that some of Ganser's conspiracy theories "may be correct", but that "they do damage to the book's credibility."[68] In a mostly positive review for the journal Cold War History, Beatrice Heuser praises Ganser's "fascinating study" while also noting that "It would definitely have improved the work if Ganser had used a less polemical tone, and had occasionally conceded that the Soviet Empire was by no means nicer."[69] Security analyst John Prados writes "Ganser, the principal analyst of Gladio, presents evidence across many nations that Gladio networks amounted to anti-democratic elements in their own societies."[70]

The U.S. State Department stated in 2006 that Ganser had been taken in by long-discredited Cold-War era disinformation and "fooled by the forgery". In an article about the Gladio/stay-behind networks and US Army Field Manual 30-31B they stated, "Ganser treats the forgery as if it was a genuine document in his 2005 book on “stay behind” networks, Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe and includes it as a key document on his Web site on the book.[71]

US State Department's 2006 response[edit]

The US State Department published a communiqué in January 2006 which, while confirming the existence of NATO stay-behind efforts, in general, and the presence of the "Gladio" stay-behind unit in Italy, in particular, with the purpose of aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed Westward, from the Warsaw Pact, dismissed claims of any United States ordered, supported, or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units.

The State Department stated that the accusations of US-sponsored "false flag" operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets forged; specifically the Westmoreland Field Manual, whose forged nature was confirmed by former KGB operatives, following the end of the Cold War. The alleged Soviet-authored forgery, disseminated in the 1970s, explicitly formulated the need for a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It also rejected a Communist Greek journalist's allegations made in December 2005.[34]

Films[edit]

Gladio in fiction[edit]

A precise analogue of Operation Gladio was described in the 1949 fiction novel An Affair of State by Pat Frank.[72] In Frank's version, U.S. State Dept officers recruit a stay-behind network in Hungary to fight an insurgency against the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union launches an attack on and captures Western Europe.

In the Archer episode "Lo Scandalo", the character Mallory Archer mentions having been involved in Operation Gladio when younger.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haberman, Clyde; Times, Special to The New York (Nov 16, 1990). "EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Belgian parliamentary report concerning the stay-behind network", named "Enquête parlementaire sur l'existence en Belgique d'un réseau de renseignements clandestin international" or "Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in België van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingenetwerk" pp. 17–22
  3. ^ David Lampe, The Last Ditch: Britain's Resistance Plans against the Nazis Cassell 1968 ISBN 0-304-92519-5
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Chronology, Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies, ETH Zurich
  5. ^ a b c Norton-Taylor, Richard and David Gow. Secret Italian Unit," The Guardian, November 17, 1990
  6. ^ Dan van der Vat. "Obituary: General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley," Guardian. 15 March 2006
  7. ^ a b c d Ganser, Daniele. "Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO's Secret Stay-Behind Armies". ISN. Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, South Orange NJ, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 6, No. 1. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ Peake, Hayden B. "Intelligence in Recent Public Literature". The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf. Central Intelligence Agency. 
  9. ^ Len Scott, R. Gerald Hughes Intelligence, Crises and Security: Prospects and Retrospects, Routledge, 2008, p. 123
  10. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Hugh. "Gladio: Europe's Secret Networks," The Observer, 18 November 1990.
  11. ^ "Secret Cold-War Network Group Hid Arms, Belgian Member Says". Brussels: Reuters. 1990-11-13. 
  12. ^ Pedrick, Clare; Lardner, George Jr (1990-11-14). "CIA Organized Secret Army in Western Europe". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  13. ^ a b Willan, Philip. "Paolo Emilio Taviani", The Guardian, June 21, 2001. (Obituary.)
  14. ^ Herman, Edward S (June 1991). "Hiding Western Terror". Nation: 21–22. 
  15. ^ Barbera, Myriam. "Gladio: et la France?," L'Humanité, November 10, 1990 (French).
  16. ^ "Caso Moro. Morire di Gladio". La Voce della Campania (in Italian). January 2005. 
  17. ^ Gladio e caso Moro: Arconte su morte Ferraro, "La Nuova Sardegna" (Italian)
  18. ^ Pallister, David. "How M16 and SAS Join In," The Guardian, December 5, 1990
  19. ^ Gerardo Serravalle, Gladio (Rome: Edizione Associate, ISBN 88-267-0145-8, 1991), p.78-79 (Italian)
  20. ^ Belgian Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Gladio, quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005)
  21. ^ Official site of the Belgian Permanent Committee for the Control of Intelligence Services See "history" section in the "Presentation" part.
  22. ^ a b Colby, William. "A Scandinavian Spy," Chapter 3. (Former CIA director 's memoirs.)
  23. ^ Kwitny, Jonathan (1992-04-06). "The C.I.A.'s Secret Armies in Europe". The Nation. pp. 446–447.  Quoted in Ganser's "Terrorism in Western Europe".
  24. ^ Cogan, Charles (2007). "'Stay-Behind' in France: Much ado about nothing?". Journal of Strategic Studies 30 (6): 937–954. doi:10.1080/01402390701676493. 
  25. ^ Daeninckx, Didier. "Du Temple Solaire au réseau Gladio, en passant par Politica Hermetica...," February 27, 2002.
  26. ^ Lee, Christopher. CIA Ties With Ex-Nazis Shown, Washington Post, June 7, 2006.
  27. ^ a b Heinz Duthel (23 July 2008). Global Secret and Intelligence Service - I. Lulu Enterprises Incorporated. pp. 235–. ISBN 978-1-4092-1088-7. 
  28. ^ Heinz Duthel (14 November 2014). Global Secret and Intelligence Services I: Hidden Systems that deliver Unforgettable Customer Service. Books on Demand. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-3-7386-6375-4. 
  29. ^ Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (Secaucus: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1978), p.154 (quoted by Daniele Ganser) (2005) p.216
  30. ^ NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.)
  31. ^ NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 221.
  32. ^ NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser, p. 223.
  33. ^ "NATO's secret network 'also operated in France'", The Guardian, November 14, 1990, p. 6
  34. ^ a b c "Misinformation about "Gladio/Stay Behind" Networks Resurfaces". United States Department of State. 
  35. ^ http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/coll_gladio/chronology.cfm?navinfo=15301
  36. ^ "Secret Gladio Network Planted Weapons Caches in NATO Countries". AP News Archive. Nov 13, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Clarion: Nato network in France, Guardian 14 Nov 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Nov 14, 1990. Retrieved Feb 19, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Clarion: gladio, Norton-Taylor, Guardian 5 Dec 1990". Cambridge Clarion Group. Dec 5, 1990. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. 
  39. ^ "MIVD verzwijgt wapenvondst in onderwereld" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  40. ^ "Gladio". Brandpunt Reporter. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  41. ^ Olav Riste (1999). The Norwegian Intelligence Service: 1945–1970. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4900-7. 
  42. ^ "Secret Anti-Communist Network Exposed in Norway in 1978". Associated Press. 1990-11-14. 
  43. ^ "28 Nisan 2008, Pazartesi - İtalyan Gladiosu'nu çözen savcı: En etkili Gladio sizde". SABAH (in Turkish). Apr 28, 2008. Retrieved Feb 20, 2015. 
  44. ^ Üstel, Aziz (2008-07-14). "Savcı, Ergenekon'u Kenan Evren'e sormalı asıl!". Star Gazete (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-10-21. Türkiye'deki gizli ordunun adı kontr gerilladır. 
  45. ^ C. G. McKay, Bengt Beckman, Swedish Signal Intelligence, Frank Cass Publishers, 2002, p. 202
  46. ^ Crimes of Montejurra (Good Google translation)
  47. ^ Un informe oficial italiano implica en el crimen de Atocha al 'ultra' Cicuttini, relacionado con Gladio, El País, December 2, 1990 (Spanish)
  48. ^ Suárez afirma que en su etapa de presidente nunca se habló de la red Gladio, El País, November 18, 1990 (Spanish)
  49. ^ Calvo Sotelo asegura que España no fue informada, cuando entró en la OTAN, de la existencia de Gladio, El País, November 21, 1990 (Spanish)
  50. ^ Italia vetó la entrada de España en Gladio, según un ex jefe del espionaje italiano, El País, November 17, 1990 (Spanish)
  51. ^ Serra ordena indagar sobre la red Gladio en España, El País, November 16, 1990 (Spanish)
  52. ^ La 'red Gladio' continúa operando, según el ex agente Alberto Volo, El País, August 19, 1991 (Spanish)
  53. ^ El secretario de la OTAN elude precisar si España tuvo relación con la red Gladio, El País, November 24, 1990 (Spanish)
  54. ^ Indicios de que la red Gladio utilizó una vieja estación de la NASA en Gran Canaria, El País, November 26, 1990 (Spanish)
  55. ^ La red secreta de la OTAN operaba en España, según un ex agente belga, El País, November 14, 1990
  56. ^ a b The Dark Side of the West, Conference "Nato Secret Armies and P-26," ETH Zurich, 2005. Published 10 February 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  57. ^ Ganser, Daniele. "The British Secret Service in Neutral Switzerland: An Unfinished Debate on NATO's Cold War Stay-behind Armies", published by the Intelligence and National Security review, vol.20, n°4, December 2005, pp. 553–580 ISSN 0268–4527 print 1743–9019 online.
  58. ^ Richard Norton-Taylor, "The Gladio File: did fear of communism throw West into the arms of terrorists?", in The Guardian, December 5, 1990
  59. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard. UK trained secret Swiss force" in The Guardian, September 20, 1991, p. 7.
  60. ^ "Schwarzer Schatten". Der Spiegel (in German) 50: 194b–200a. 1990-12-10. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [verification needed]
  61. ^ Andreas Anton, Michael Schetsche, Michael K. Walter Konspiration p. 175, Springer VS 2014, ISBN 978-3-531-19324-3
  62. ^ Peer Henrik Hansen, "Review of NATO’s Secret Armies," Journal of Intelligence History, Summer 2005. Web Archive - archived website of August 26, 2007
  63. ^ Peer Henrik Hansen, "Falling Flat on the Stay-Behinds," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, January 2006, 182-186.
  64. ^ The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf Hayden Peake, CIA, April 15, 2007
  65. ^ Philip HJ Davies, "Review of NATO’s Secret Armies," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2005, 1064-1068.
  66. ^ Olav Riste, "Review of NATO’s Secret Armies," Intelligence and National Security, September 2005, 550-551.
  67. ^ Olav Riste and Leopoldo Nuti, "Introduction: Strategy of 'Stay-Behind'," The Journal of Strategic Studies, December 2007, 930.
  68. ^ Lawrence Kaplan, "Review of NATO’s Secret Armies," The International History Review, September 2006, 685-686.
  69. ^ Beatrice Heuser, "Review of NATO’s Secret Armies," Cold War History, November 2006, 567-568.
  70. ^ John Prado Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA 2006, p. 95, ISBN 9781615780112
  71. ^ State Department.
  72. ^ Pat Frank. An Affair of State. J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1949

Further reading[edit]

Further reading (Non-English)[edit]

External links[edit]