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This three-part TV series, which exposed NATO’s secret Nazi armies, still has the ability to make your jaw drop 30 years later. ( This article was written by @AsaWinstanley, thank you!)
On Tuesday I (Asa Winstanley) published a new article which is the first in a new series about Operation Gladio, NATO’s Cold War-era network of Nazi terrorist armies.
Gladio is a wild topic. It’s hard to get your head around the sheer scale of it. One of the three main sources I’ve relied on to write these articles is a three part 1992 BBC documentary series by the late American film maker Allan Francovich.
You can watch it in full using the YouTube video here:
The whole series is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. It’s a stunning watch, something hard to tear your eyes away from.
The first 15 minutes in particular hits you over the head with revelation after revelation:
Gladio was an “invisible army” that secretly manipulated European countries. They used “internal subversion” to fight an ideological anti-communist war against the left, and even established governments.
The secret terrorist armies were trained in Britain and the US, under the authority of Western intelligence agencies.
These agencies often recruited fascists and Nazis “for the simple reason that they fought the communists.”
Gladio were operative in France, Belgium, Italy and several other Western European countries.
This was often done without the knowledge of elected politicians, who were sometimes even the targets of Gladio operations.
The series includes a staggering array of interviews with first-hand participants in the secret army — from fascist terrorists and military intelligence spooks all the way up to senior CIA officers William Colby and Ray S. Cline. We meet all the major players, including Gladio fascist Vincenzo Vinciguerra and Licio Gelli, the head of an organization called (I kid you not) the P2 Masonic Lodge.*
* Italy’s shadowy masonic leader dies aged 96
Licio Gelli, a masonic leader implicated in some of the darkest scandals of Italy’s recent political history, has died in Tuscany aged 96.
I have not been able to find anywhere online that the film is available to buy. It’s frankly unthinkable to imagine the BBC of 2022 ever airing such a series, critical of British and American intelligence. There are several pirated copies online posted to YouTube and other such sites. I’ve included the one above simply because it’s all three parts in one video.
Unfortunately the online copies are of quite low quality. They all appear to be the same copy-of-a-copy, with a massive time stamp imposing itself over the top of the frame. Luckily the image quality is just about good enough to render the subtitles visible (essential in a series whose interviews take place in so many different languages). If any reader knows of the existence of a better quality copy, do let me know in the comments section.
His other films included 1980’s On Company Business, which exposed the dirty dealings of the CIA. It was partly financed by US public broadcasting, but “upset the CIA so much that political pressure was applied to PBS” and the channel only aired it once, despite having planned three showings.
He also made 1994’s The Maltese Double Cross, which debunked the official narrative about the Lockerbie bombing.
There is some speculation online that Francovich died in mysterious or suspicious circumstances, but I could find no hard information on this. His cause of death at the time was reported as a heart attack that hit him as he travelled via Houston airport.
– NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser
This fascinating new study shows how the CIA and the British secret service, in collaboration with the military alliance NATO and European military secret services, set up a network of clandestine anti-communist armies in Western Europe after World War II.
These secret soldiers were trained on remote islands in the Mediterranean and in unorthodox warfare centres in England and in the United States by the Green Berets and SAS Special Forces. The network was armed with explosives, machine guns and high-tech communication equipment hidden in underground bunkers and secret arms caches in forests and mountain meadows. In some countries the secret army linked up with right-wing terrorists [emphasis editor] who in a secret war engaged in political manipulation, harrassement of left wing parties, massacres, coup d’états and torture.
Codenamed ‘Gladio’ (‘the sword’), the Italian secret army was exposed in 1990 by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to the Italian Senate, whereupon the press spoke of "The best kept, and most damaging, political-military secret since World War II" (Observer, 18. November 1990) and observed that "The story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller." (The Times, November 19, 1990). Ever since, so-called ‘stay-behind’ armies of NATO have also been discovered in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Turkey. They were internationally coordinated by the Pentagon and NATO and had their last known meeting in the NATO-linked Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in October 1990.
– Gladio: Die Schattenkrieger des BND | Frontal21, 03.12.2013
Zum ersten Mal berichtet ein Mitglied der geheimen BND-Partisanentruppe „Stay Behind" über seinen Auftrag im Kalten Krieg.
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Last updated on 2022-04-13 by w3admin