NATO's Secret Armies - by Stephen Lendman
In his book, "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe," Daniele Ganser described their clandestine Cold War operations, run by European secret services, collaborating with NATO, the CIA and Britain's MI6 and Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) against a possible Soviet invasion, internal communist takeovers, or others on the political left gaining power.
The network included France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Luxemburg, as well as politically neutral European countries - Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Named "Gladio" (Latin for double-edged sword), NATO's armies remained secret until August 1990, when then Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed Italy's participation in testimony before a Senate subcommittee investigating terrorism, General Vito Miceli, former Italian military secret service director, saying in protest:
"I have gone to prison because I did not want to reveal the existence of this super secret organization. And now Andreotti....tells....parliament!"
According to a 1959 Italian military secret service document, "these armies had a two-fold strategic purpose: firstly, to operate as a so-called 'stay-behind' group in the case of a Soviet invasion and to carry out a guerrilla war in occupied territories; secondly, to carry out domestic operations in case of 'emergency situations.' "
In Italy, against both communist and socialist parties, it was claimed they wanted to weaken NATO "from within," Italian judge, Felice Casson, learning that right-wing terrorists carried out bombings against civilians, blamed them on the left, neo-fascist Vincenzo Vinciguerra explaining the scheme as follows:
"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."