Military Review

Gladio: the secret neo-fascist government of Europe

Gladio: the secret neo-fascist government of Europe

How did the CIA and NATO after the war impose "conditional sovereignty" on European countries?

In the first part, we talked about how the United States and England after World War II created a secret organization of former Nazis against the European Left, which was revealed only in 1990 year. The organization was named Gladio.

Using administrative contacts in the post-war authorities, where the far-right ones played a huge role, Gladio began its independent development everywhere. Whether they wanted to or not, the United States and Britain thus created the largest and most influential terrorist network in Europe in the second half of the twentieth century.

Anti-communist plot

After the sensational revelations of the Italian Prime Minister Andreotti in Parliament and the promulgation of a mass of evidence and documents collected by the Commission for the Investigation of Terrorist Acts, most of the officials in Italy and other affected countries refused to comment or made ambiguous statements. However, very few denied what was said by the Prime Minister. A significant number of officials found it possible or beneficial to join the wave of evidence: in particular, President Francesco Cossiga openly declared that he himself was a member of Gladio in his youth and is now ready to defend his country from the Communists just like 40 years ago. Even more people agreed to speak a few years after the collapse of the USSR.

Gerardo Seravalle

In particular, the BBC managed to interview General Gerardo Seravalle, the official head of Gladio in Italy for many years. In front of us sits a peppy old man, in a vest and with a bow tie. Gladio, he said, was a secret network of military intelligence cooperation within the NATO apparatus, originally conceived to counter the possible invasion of the Red Army, as well as to counter a possible revolution in Europe, whether it was initiated by local communist parties. Over time, however, it became clear that the left was determined to win by democratic means, having come to power through elections, which somewhat complicated the task of the military. Seravalle recalls that from a certain moment (probably you can talk about 1953), his American and English curators increasingly advised him not to focus on military exercises, which meant the fight against aviation and armored vehicles, and on the development of a new program of civilian, internal political resistance. The general himself assures that he was not personally engaged in anything similar, however, he has every reason to believe that inside his organization, at the suggestion of the Americans or autonomously, a duplicate secret structure could arise that he called Gladio 2. And it is she who, apparently, including, on the one hand, the top military leadership, and on the other, ultra-right young men, using caches with ammunition intended for guerrilla warfare, can be responsible for the atrocities of the 60-70s .

The version of Seravalle, to which, to one degree or another, all the politicians in all NATO countries involved in the scandal are inclined, does not look too convincing. Unfortunately, the grim version that Gladio 1 and Gladio 2 seem to be a single organization seems much more plausible. Its leadership and funding came from the headquarters of NATO troops in Belgium; then the means and directives reached the national offices, the members of which (high-ranking officers of the army, internal troops, intelligence) simultaneously supervised the mass ultra-right movements, which included underground terrorist groups. By the time when the military threat from the USSR was long gone, and Stalin himself had died for many years, this harmonious system focused on fighting the left movement in their countries, where social democrats of all stripes were gradually becoming their main enemy.

Such a policy is very difficult to explain from a military point of view, but it is easy from an economic point of view. It can be assumed that from its very inception, NATO was not a military, but a macroeconomic alliance between the European oligarchy and the US elites. The former received guarantees of protection against their main adversary, the European left, the latter, a string of satellite states, an ideal space for marketing products and financial services. The political brainchild of this union was the dominance of the same type of "Christian Democratic" parties in Europe for most of the second half of the 20 century.

The Swiss historian, professor of the University of Basel, Daniel Genzer, believes that the main result of the exposure of the Gladio network is that it best illustrates the geopolitical state in which the countries of Western Europe after the war were: “conditional sovereignty”. This is adequate to the idea of ​​how the “democratic” system functioned in the countries of the Eastern bloc. No matter how shocking the European reader may be, but on both sides of the Iron Curtain similar processes took place.

The mistake of many Gladio researchers (among which the majority, of course, conspiracy therapists) is that they indiscriminately record all the crimes committed by the ultra-right in Europe on the list of acts of the network - if not all unsolved crimes at all. This creates a very impressive picture, but seriously confuses the clear, in reality, history. Over the course of 40’s years of existence, “gladio” -shaped structures have shown themselves openly in a multitude of episodes of a different nature. For example, in 1957, a major inter-departmental scandal occurred in Norway: the head of counterintelligence accused their own employees that, under the leadership of NATO officers, they carried out acts of pressure on left-wing activists, including sending letters with threats.

In another relatively peaceful country, Belgium, between 1982 and 1985, a series of bloody attacks on supermarkets and other crowded places took place. They were joined by the police in an investigation into the “Killings in Brabant” - the same details were present in all 18 episodes. Used automatic weapons, the actions of the group in their organization were reminiscent of the actions of the military, the same people always led the attack, and the stolen sums were so insignificant that the impression of a staging was created. It turned out that some of the machine guns used earlier belonged to the gendarmerie (paramilitary police, internal troops), but disappeared from the warehouse. The investigation entered the ultra-right grouping of the Westland New Post - part of the movement Front de la Jeunesse ("Youth Front"), "militarized self-defense units." During the search, a copy of some of the secret materials of the Belgian army was discovered by one of the members of the group, and later it turned out that one of the leaders of the Westland New Post was an employee of the VSSE (Belgian Intelligence). The “Brabant killings” were never disclosed. The founder of the Westland New Post was found hanged in the basement of his own home.

"Coercion to democracy"

However, the most large-scale forms of ultra-right and pro-state terrorism acquired in the countries of southern Europe, where the positions of the left were traditionally the strongest. We will not turn to the most bloody campaign of this kind that took place in Turkey, NATO’s eastern stronghold - here the generals did not even try to hide their involvement in the mass shootings and their financing by the United States. From the point of view of systematization, the events in Turkey should be attributed to the episodes of the world war of the Pentagon against the left movement in developing countries - such operations have not been called secret for a long time.

For many years, the Communist Party of Italy (KPI) continued to lose in rigged national elections, but always won municipal elections in the most developed regions: it was impossible not to reckon with them. The KPI began to join coalitions with the center-left, becoming gradually part of the political establishment. In 1956, many members of the leadership of the KPI openly condemned the entry of Soviet troops into Hungary. As a compromise, Palmiro Tolyatti put forward the concept of "polycentrism" - it was obvious that the KPI gradually distanced itself from the direct participation of Moscow in its affairs. This had a positive effect on the image of the party - in the elections in 1963, she scored 25% of votes plus 14% of the socialists, this gave a total of 39%, exactly 1 percent more than the ruling CCD.

The consequences of the explosion in the waiting room of the Agrarian Bank in Milan, 1969 year. Photo: AP

The US position remained tough - the Communists were not supposed to enter the Italian government. After negotiations, parliamentarians came to a compromise: although members of the KPI did not enter the cabinet, he was headed by the representative of the left wing of the Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro, and some socialists became ministers for the first time. This situation did not suit the right and the United States. On June 14, 1964, the commander of the Carabinieri units, General De Lorenzo, launched the old military plan for "countering the communist uprising." Rome entered Tanks and part of the paratroopers, the networks of “gladiators” were mobilized - they were ordered to make arrests on the lists of members of the KPI, SPI, liberal journalists, and to occupy newspaper editorial offices. The coup and bloodshed was stopped at the last minute: Prime Minister Moreau came to De Lorenzo with an apology, as a result of which all left ministers voluntarily left the office on the same day. The appearance of armored vehicles in the city was explained by the rehearsal of the military parade.

The bloodless, overwhelming success of the “coercive democracy” operation, a plan that was developed in case of a communist victory many years ago, was very impressed by the Americans. From now on, he began to be perceived as an instruction for action in all such situations - it was no more difficult to make military coups in Europe than in Central America.

"How can you rape a whore ?!"

In 1965, political tension in Greece reached its crisis, which in historiography received the almost biblical name "Apostasy 65". The National Radical Alliance, an ultra-right pro-American party that held power in the country since the end of 1950, lost to the centrist and left-wing of the EDA party, many of whose members were related to the banned Communist Party. King Constantine dissolved the parliament, and he did it several times, because the share of the right in it all decreased and decreased. It was necessary to act promptly: in 1967, the leadership of the elite army units of LOC launched the Prometheus plan - just as in Italy, it was provided in case of communist victory in 1940's. 20 April 1967 of the year armored vehicles entered Athens, the paratroopers seized the controls, in one night, according to long-prepared lists, all opposition politicians and journalists were arrested. Now quite a lot is known about the role played by the CIA residency in these events - the phrase went by Jack Mori, head of the Athens office, which was abandoned when a member of the embassy was outraged by the “violence against democracy” committed: to rape a whore ?! ”

The “black colonels” ultra-right regime existed until 1974, when they were unable to protect the Greek population of Cyprus from the invading Turkish army. The “siloviki” quite often turn out to be not so strong when regular troops, and not civilians, become their opponents. During the period of their dictatorship, Greece became the unconditional center of neo-fascist terrorism in Europe. With the knowledge of the NATO leadership, the junta supplied weapons to ultra-right militants everywhere - its role can be compared to the role of the Romanian Securitate, with the knowledge of the KGB sending weapons to ultra-left militants (the topic for a separate material, of course).

The consequences of the explosion during the anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia. Photo: AP

In particular, in 1968, Stefano delle Ciaye, the founder of the Avanguardia Nazionale group, an ally of Prince Borghese, visited the country. He was very impressed with the welcome and support that he had in Athens. It is difficult to say what exactly the negotiations were conducted at and what their results were, but one thing is clear: it was this visit that gave impetus to the development of neo-fascist terrorism in Italy — within a year, explosions of unprecedented power sounded all over the country, and this did not stop until the middle of 1980 .

What is famous for "black terrorism"

Apart from the multitude of street actions against left-wing organizations, “black terrorism” became famous for its attacks against the “apolitical” population. In 1969, the bomb worked in the waiting room of the Agrarian Bank in Milan (17 people were killed, 88 was injured), in 1972 - the “ambush in Peteano”, which we wrote about in the first part. In 1974, an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia killed 8 people, injured 102; just a few months later, the Italicus international train was attacked - 12 killed, 48 injured. All these stories developed in the same way: the bomb was laid in such a way that as many random people as possible suffered; immediately after the terrorist attack, the police placed the responsibility on the left — mass arrests of communists, anarchists, and representatives of the student movement began. Many years later, new evidence unexpectedly confirmed the connection of these crimes with the rights; the occasional arrests of former neo-fascists led the investigation to the trail of their curators - military intelligence officers. All cases collapsed in court, right-wing performers mysteriously found themselves abroad.

Vincenzo Wincheguerra, one of the few convicted in these cases, explained this military activity by the fact that they achieved two of their goals at the same time: they discredited the left movement and strengthened their power in society as "the only defenders against terrorism" (the logic that now does not seem to anyone strange).

The most bloody action of this kind was the explosion in the second-class lounge at the Bologna railway station in 1980, which is also the most significant. The bag with 23 kg of army explosives was left in the station building in the morning rush hour — the destructive power was such that only the ruins of the corps were left: 85 people were killed, more than 200 were wounded. Bologna has traditionally been the center of the labor movement, at the municipal level, members of the KPI were stably in power here. Despite the fact that the press immediately reported about the involvement of the ultra-leftists in the explosion, local residents and the press immediately linked the provocation to the “black terrorism” of the ultra-right. The Bologna court issued hundreds of arrest warrants for members of the neo-fascist underground, interrogations and proceedings lasted about a year - as a result, all the detainees were released, with the exception of members of the youth group Nuclei Armati Revoluzionari (NAR), which by that time already had more than a dozen murders.

The leader of the group, Valerio Fioravanti and his girlfriend, Francesca Mambro, were found responsible for the attack after years of litigation — at the time of his arrest, they were 23 and 20 years, respectively. Fioravanti by that time was already quite a famous actor - he starred in youth telenovelas, was the idol of teenage girls. Simultaneously with the 18 years he took part in the war of radical groups, together with his friends from the suburbs of Rome formed the ideology and principles of the "revolutionary cells" of NAR: they called themselves "right-wing anarchists."

Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro. Photo:

“I have never been a fascist,” said Fioravanti. - “I have always been an anti-fascist. You have to understand the difference, I never saluted. " NAR moved away from the official right-wing movements, increasingly inclined to launch a massive campaign of terror against state authorities — while continuing the street war against communist groups. They committed many assaults, murders, arsons, robberies - Fioravanti called it "armed spontaneity." During his arrest in the case of the explosion in Bologna, he resisted and shot two policemen, he was seriously wounded.

The circumstances of the arrest predetermined the decision of the court - the accused never admitted his participation in this particular terrorist act, although he never hesitated to talk about many other attacks and murders. No material evidence of his guilt was also found. The only thing on which the conviction was based was the testimony of one of the former members of the Roman criminal organization “Banda della Maliana”, with which the NAR collaborated in the sale of the loot and the purchase of weapons - later these testimonies were considered unreliable. The Banda della Maliana itself soon found itself in the center of a scandal when it became clear that it had links with the leadership of the Italian military intelligence SISMI - the weapons warehouses of the group had all this time been located in the basements of state institutions. According to the results of the investigation in Bologna, three SISMI officers were found guilty of “obstructing the investigation process” and “criminal fraud”. By order of intelligence general Pietro Musumechi, they carried a train carrying Bologna, a suitcase with explosives identical to that used in the 1980 year, as well as personal belongings of one of the German terrorists. This provocation was supposed to send an investigation outside of Italy and was discovered by chance.

Another person who has been drawn into this story is the most influential banker Lycio Gelli. The Supreme Court of Cassation found him guilty of the fact that it was he who initiated through the press (in particular, the Career della Serra that belonged to him then) and false witnesses to spread the version that the attack was the work of the left. Jelly himself, in his youth, was a “black shirt”, later - an official in the Republic of Salo, still later - one of the founders of the “Social Movement”, at that time had long been hiding in Switzerland. In 1981, his name surfaced in connection with the scandal around Ambrosiano Bank. This bank was actually a "mundane" understudy of the Vatican Bank, and carried out non-transparent activities in offshore. In addition, the management of Amborziano was suspected of financing the “Fascist International” by Stefano delle Ciaille, who by that time had relocated the center of his activities to post-Franco Spain (shooting of trade union lawyers on Atosha Avenue, performed by members of the Fuerza Nueva group, is linked to his breakdown plan shaky process of “transition to democracy”), and later to Latin America.

"Propaganda-2" as the secret government of Italy

Jelly was the grand master of a quasi-Masonic lodge, which had little to do with religion, but much more to politics and economics. It was called "Propaganda-2", it was a closed club, which included the most prominent ultra-right politicians and the military of Italy. The villa found part of the membership lists of the boxes - among the listed persons were: 12 generals of the Carabinieri internal troops, five generals of the economic police, 22 army generals, four air force generals, eight admirals and countless bankers, parliamentarians, journalists, television figures. This list even included the then young entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi, many years before he became king of the media empire. Also on the list were Stefano delle Ciaye and General Musumechi, who ordered the bomb on a train.

During further searches, the founding documents of the club were found, including the “Plan of Democratic Revival” - the political program of Jelly. It was a standard neo-fascist set, already familiar to us: the struggle against the KPI and the socialists, the use of armed networks to "correct" democracy, the abolition of trade unions. Unexpectedly, the public has discovered that for many years now the country has been operating an “alternative government” of ultra-right security officials and oligarchs, and many bloody events that have occurred in recent years have been associated with its activities.

At the same time in the south of the country began the so-called "Maxi-process" over the mafia. It became possible due to the fact that during the bloody “Second Mafia War” of the beginning of 80's, one of the warring clans, Corleonesi, in fact, destroyed all of its competitors - the thirst for absolute power destroyed the Sicilian bosses and they made themselves many deadly enemies who hate them so much they were ready to testify in court. During the process, it turned out that the southern clans actively cooperated with Liccio, Ambrosiano Bank, and the leadership of the Christian Democratic Party in Milan - from 1987, all new revelations have not ceased to shake the country.

In this context, the recognition of Giulio Andreotti in parliament in 1990 year seems to be a trick, a gesture that the 70-year-old patriarch of the Italian political scene wanted to buy off the wall of criticism against the existing system. But the crisis of the system was already unstoppable: in 1992, the “Clean Hands” anti-corruption campaign began, showing that almost all members of the country's political esteem were to be brought to justice. In 1994, the Christian Democratic Party collapsed, and three years before its main rival, the Communist Party of Italy, following the collapse of the USSR, was reformed into the centrist Democratic Party of the Left. The political system of the "First Italian Republic" ceased to exist.

Gaining sovereignty

In the meantime, the exposure of the Gladio networks continued on the territory of other countries of Western Europe. Overcoming the resistance of the military, through the creation of special commissions and the holding of parliamentary hearings, the truth gradually acquired a legal form: at the moment, the authorities of most states recognized that secret civilian units of this kind existed on their territory. In some, for example, in Finland, they were supposedly disbanded at the end of the 50, but in the majority they existed at least until the 90. In Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, official resolutions on the dissolution and prohibition of these organizations were issued following the results of parliamentary investigations.

The matter reached the European Parliament: in their resolution of November 22, 1990, European parliamentarians point to the unacceptability of third countries ’intervention (read: the United States) in Europe’s domestic policy through the creation of secret militias that are not controlled by democratic institutions. All such associations are ordered to immediately dissolve, and their activities subject to a detailed investigation. The text of the resolution can be found at the link on the official website of the European Parliament.

Now we see that then, at the beginning of 90-s, a lot of people said about Gladio by many people - including the participants themselves and the leaders of these organizations. Perhaps they were so talkative, because they felt pleasantly relaxed due to the total defeat of their former potential opponent - the USSR. Right before their eyes, their own activities became a part of the past - an area of ​​myths and fantasies. Very soon, the story of Gladio was overgrown with similar additions in abundance and became part of the usual set of amateur conspiracy: the evidence of former intelligence leaders were mixed with speculation from secondary, tertiary sources, often just by conjectures of journalists.

This problem also applies to the works of the most popular researcher of Gladio in Europe - Daniel Genzer from the University of Basel: an amateur translation of his book The NATO Secret Armies was published last year in Russian by the publishing house Kuchkovo Pole. Company in the catalog is made up of conspiracy opuses traditional for our book market. This is partly to blame for the author himself, who tried in a small format of his collection to fit all versions and assumptions available to him that exist around the secret activities of NATO - a safe way to the conspiracy regiment. And it is very disappointing, because in the instructive history of Gladio, which reveals very interesting aspects of the modern history of Europe, in fact, there is much more reliable data than dark spots.

What happened to prominent members of the "Gladio"

Vincenzo Wincheguerra never received any concessions for his revelations. For committing an explosion in Peteano, he is currently serving a life sentence. In prison, he constantly gives interviews, putting forward more and more new charges against the "Gladio conspiracy", thereby making an enormous contribution to the gradual shift of the whole story to the field of conspiracy.

His former accomplice, Carlo Zicuttini, lived happily in Barcelona for many years, until in 1998, the Venetian magistrates, with deceit worthy of their city, lured him to France with an offer of profitable work through a front company. In France, of course, the Spanish amnesty did not help him, he was extradited to Italy, appeared before the court, received a life sentence and died in 2010-m in prison in Parma.

Stefano delle Ciaye. Photo: Meazza / APStefano delle Ciaille. Photo: Meazza / AP

General Reinhard Gehlen became the head of the German intelligence agency BND in 1956, and neither the constant scandals with double agents, nor the hostility of Chancellor Adenauer could shake his position until he was awarded many orders and retired to retire in 1968 year - a day to reaching retirement age.

General Seravalle, his colleague, wrote a book about his participation in the "Gladio" and still live in the province of Perugia.

"Black Prince" Valeriano Borghese tried to repeat the experience of a successful coup under the Gladio scenario in 1970, but at the last moment canceled the coup, fled to Spain and died there in the 1974 year. Belonging to one of the most distinguished Italian aristocratic houses, he was buried in the family chapel of the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Stefano delle Ciaille took part in a number of far-right conspiracies in Latin America, particularly in Operation Condor, in the putsch of Bolivia’s 1980, had a hand in creating the Contra movement in Nicaragua, and was finally arrested in 1987 in the year Venezuelan Caracas and extradited to their homeland. There he appeared before a string of courts on suspicion of involvement in all possible terrorist acts, but was not convicted in any case. He founded the Publishing House Publishing House and the National People's Party.

Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro were sentenced to several life sentences consecutively, but both were released early on 2004. Now they work in a non-profit foundation to promote the ban on the death penalty throughout the world and are members of the humanistic “Radical Party”.

Licio Jelly this year marks 95 years. He is serving a sentence for multi-million dollar fraud in his villa in Arezzo, where 33 a year ago had been discovered “Propaganda-2 lists”. He willingly gives interviews and is politically active in every sense. In an 2003 year, in an interview with the newspaper La Repubblica, he called the reforms of the then Prime Minister Berlusconi "the embodiment of his ideas":

“I look at the country, read newspapers and think:“ It all gradually becomes a reality, step by step ... Justice, health care, public order - everything, as I wrote 30 years ago! Berlusconi is a unique person, a man of action. This is what Italy really needs: not a man of words, but a man of action. ”
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  1. Vova Vartanov
    Vova Vartanov 14 December 2013 15: 42 New
    Not bad . There are specifics, conclusions of the author, a topic for reflection ...
  2. kaktus
    kaktus 14 December 2013 18: 31 New
    Stunned ... that's what lies behind the painted facades belay
  3. Geisenberg
    Geisenberg 15 December 2013 14: 11 New
    Thanks to the author. Good article, sorry just a little ...