Operation Gladio: CIA State-Sponsored Terror
By Larry Romanoff, May 04, 2023
Following closely on the heels of the waves of recruitment and immigration for Project Paperclip for its vast military and commercial advantages, US President Truman’s handlers devised a scheme of “psychological warfare, covert operations, and intelligence gathering” that was initially aimed at the USSR but began to run amuck very quickly thereafter – mostly due to the fact that it operated without the oversight or even the knowledge of anyone within the US government, including the President and his own staff.
Gehlen, Reinhard – Officer, (l.) with officers of the Vlasov Army.
(Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Gehlen, Reinhard *03.04.1902-08.06.1979+Officer, DErst President of the BND 1955-68- (l.) talking to officers in a recruiting camp of the Russian Liberation Army (ROA / Wlassow – Army); on the right an officer of the ROA- undated (around 1943/44 ) (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Central to this operation of covert warfare was a wildly disreputable man named Reinhard Gehlen who had operated networks of espionage agents behind Soviet lines during the war, and who saved his skin from the Russians by offering himself and his network to the Americans. He received huge amounts of CIA funding that produced virtually nothing of value, except that he did devise “Operation Stay-Behind” which morphed quickly into “Operation Gladio” that served to terrorise Europe for decades after the war. The CIA, the Deep State and Truman‘s handlers were so taken by the attraction of terrorising Western Europe into accepting Right-Wing governments and restrictions on civil liberties that the CIA clandestinely diverted much of the funds from the so-called ‘Marshall Plan’ to finance these atrocities. Arms dumps and a secret communication network, to be manned by the former SS officers, were established in Austria around 1947.
With Gehlen’s help, the CIA and US military recruited thousands of chemical and biological warfare experts, espionage agents, explosives experts and covert operations specialists in what Simpson called “an extremely secret program” that was meant initially to destabilise and overthrow the government of the USSR but was soon turned loose on an unsuspecting Western Europe. Refer to Christopher Simpson’s book “Blowback”: See Other Books & Documents
George F. Kennan Allen Dulles Frank Wisner
“National Security Council directives and intelligence projects sponsored by the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department, then under the leadership of George F. Kennan, Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner, and a number of other latter-day CIA executives, helped convince Truman’s NSC to approve a comprehensive program of covert operations. Scholars and propagandists who had once collaborated in formulating the Nazis’ political warfare program were brought into the United States to provide brains for the new operation. Wisner believed in the tremendous espionage potential of the Eastern European emigre organizations, their value as propagandists and agents of influence, and the unique advantages of using soldiers who had no provable ties to the US government for certain particularly sensitive missions, including assassinations.”
Wisner and many others in the hidden government held high hopes that the USSR could be overthrown with yet another Russian revolution, and meant to make their contribution in that regard. In their view, and as Simpson also points out, the US was already at war with Russia and proceeded to act accordingly. Prior to and during this period, the West saw Stalin as paranoid and unreliable, evidencing a deep distrust of the West and of US intentions specifically. Given these actions, it would appear Stalin was neither paranoid nor unreliable, and his deep distrust of the US was perfectly justified. We see carbon copies today of clandestine US actions toward Russia, China, and other nations, with the same accusations of paranoia and distrust. Nothing changes.
Keeping the operation totally secret was impossible, since the Germans were scattered around the country and were mingling with American citizens. Because the government’s first announcement had, deliberately, never been contradicted, the public believed the Germans were just temporary visitors. Yet the rest of the operation was top secret, and it fell to the army to deflect attention away from the secret long – term immigration and denial policies. This policy of deception would soon be extended towards the State Department and the White House. In the spring of 1946, however, it simply amounted to emphasizing the harmlessness of the Germans and their potential benefit to America.
Following the Second World War, the CIA and Britain’s MI6 collaborated through NATO on Operation Gladio, an all-out effort by the US to create a strongly Right-Wing political environment throughout Europe that would be amenable to American influence and control. The superficial rationale originally stated was to protect against a future Soviet invasion of Western Europe, but this was never the real intent. Rather, the US had already conceived of a “Strategy of Tension” through the execution of Operation Gladio that was designed to portray leftist political groups in Europe as terrorists and to frighten the populace into voting for authoritarian governments. “Gladio quickly transcended its original mission and became a covert terror network consisting of rightwing militias, organized crime elements, agents provocateurs and secret military units.” These units were active in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.
CIA director Allen Dulles was one of the key people in instituting Operation Gladio, and most of Gladio’s operations were financed by the CIA, most often using secretly-diverted Marshall Plan funds. It should be noted clearly that the much-vaunted Marshall Plan never was what it pretended to be, nor did it ever do what most people believe it did – i.e., rebuild Europe after the war. A full 50% of the plan was a welfare program for American multi-nationals and the other 50% was essentially terrorist financing.
True to form, the CIA sought out and recruited extremists from across Europe, incited, trained, funded and supplied them, then set them loose on unsuspecting European nations. For many years, these CIA-funded Gladio operatives conducted deadly terrorist attacks that were then blamed on leftists and Marxists. As late as 1980, Gladio operatives bombed a train station in Bologna, killing 85 people, initially blamed on the Red Brigades, but later discovered to have been perpetrated by fascist elements within the Italian secret police and by Licio Gelli, the head of the P2 Masonic Lodge in Italy. Operation Gladio ultimately claimed the lives of hundreds of people across Europe. It was responsible for the shooting of innocent civilians, terrorism and assassinations that the US would blame on leftist communists but which were actually a part of well-coordinated CIA “black operations”. Italy’s Prime minister Aldo Moro was murdered in May 1978 in one of a complicated and messy string of events involving the P2 Masonic Lodge, NATO, the CIA and MI6, Mossad, and, of course, the ever-present CIA.
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official, Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987. (source RAWA)
According to later confessions, an Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admitted that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out these terror bombings in Italy and other European countries from the 1950s onward, and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for Right-Wing governments in Europe. American author Sibel Edmonds, who wrote an explosive exposé of CIA terrorist activities, claims that some portions of Operation Gladio continue to this day, and that Osama bin Laden worked for NATO and the Pentagon as part of Operation Gladio.
According to Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a Gladio terrorist serving a life-sentence for murdering policemen, the reason for Gladio was simple. It was designed “to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security”. This is the political logic that lay behind all the massacres and bombings which remained unpunished, and is precisely the same template being followed within the US today in its fabricated “War on Terror”: State-sponsored terrorism makes a population fearful, and that fear produces the environment for encroachment on, and withdrawal of, all manner of civil rights, leading eventually to a Fascist police state – which is precisely where the US is heading today.
The role of the CIA in sponsoring Gladio, the extent of its activities in Europe during the Cold War era, and its relationship to right-wing terrorist attacks in Italy have undergone much debate and investigation, especially in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. The US government and the CIA of course have issued adamant denials of any involvement, but there have been admissions by the highest levels of government in Italy, thousands of documents and testimonials as well as recordings of conversations, to prove the CIA’s orchestration of one of the most violent instances of state-sponsored terrorism in history. Gladio has been called “the best-kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II”.
The investigations into Gladio, and those following the 1978 assassination of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, shed some light on a professional apparatus of destabilization that had been invisible for several decades to the public. General Gianadelio Maletti, commander of the counter-intelligence section of the Italian military intelligence service from 1971 to 1975, alleged in March 2001 during the trial for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombings that the CIA had foreknowledge of the event, and that the explosives used had been obtained with the assistance of the US intelligence community, a firm indication that the CIA had progressed from infiltration, incitement and monitoring of extremist groups to instigating acts of violence on its own.
These so-called “Black Ops” and “false flag” operations are planned to fit neatly into a category of deniability, with extensive efforts made to hide the fact that a black operation ever occurred and to give the appearance that other parties were responsible. These events are often used by US espionage services to achieve political objectives to benefit either the US government in its quest for world domination, or to satisfy the personal goals of a group of American elites. These black operations normally include assassination, sabotage, extortion, spying on allied countries or one’s own citizens, kidnapping, supporting resistance movements, torture, use of fraud to obtain funds, use of child soldiers, human experimentation and drug trafficking for the sake of raising undetectable funds.
Since the events of 9/11 in the US, many unethical and reprehensible black operations have been conducted by the CIA in its war on terror, and these have become so common and normal that no “conspiracy” is required for their initiation. Today, a simple decision by the US President or a top CIA official will create these events which are conceived and executed without oversight by any part of the Government. Many of the Black operations today are performed by private contract companies like Blackwater (now Xe).
This atrocity, as with all the others, is heavily sanitised in the US media, most authoritative journals, and even in the books published on the subject, with most describing Operation Gladio as “a search to recruit Nazi spies”, with little acknowledgement of the true nature of Gladio which was almost entirely terrorism.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
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 Operation Gladio
 CIA ORGANIZED SECRET ARMY IN WESTERN EUROPE
 Christopher Simpson; Blowback
 Blowback: U.S. Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War; The Paperclip Conspiracy
Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Blue Moon of Shanghai, Moon of Shanghai, 2023