- Gladio in Italy
stay-behind" anti-communistnetworks existed in all NATOcountries, the Italian branch of Gladiowas the first one to be discovered. It was set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani's supervision [http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,510075,00.html Paolo Emilio Taviani] , obituary by Philip Willan, in " The Guardian", June 21, 2001] . Prime minister Giulio Andreotti(DC) publicly recognized it on October 24, 1990, speaking of a "structure of information, response and safeguard", with arms caches and reserve officers.
Giulio Andreotti's revelation
Giulio Andreotti(DC) publicly recognized the existence of Gladio, a NATO stay-behindanti-communist organisation, on October 24, 1990. He gave to the "Commissione Stragi", the parliamentary commission led by senator Giovanni Pellegrinoin charge of investigations on bombings committed during the years of leadin Italy, a list of 622 civilians who according to him were part of Gladio. Andreotti also assured that 127 weapons caches had been dismantled, and pretended that Gladio had not been involved in any of the bombings committed from the 1960s to the 1980s (further evidence implicated neofascists linked to Gladio, in particular concerning the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, the 1972 Peteano attack by Vincenzo Vinciguerra, the 1980 Bologna massacrein which SISMIofficers were condemned for investigation diversion, along with Licio Gelli, head of Propaganda Duemasonic lodge, etc.). Andreotti declared that the Italian military services (predecessors of the current SISMIhad joined in 1964 the Allied Clandestine Committeecreated in 1957 by the US, France, Belgium and Greece, and which was in charge of directing Gladio's operations [ [http://www.humanite.presse.fr/journal/1990-11-10/1990-11-10-805062 Gladio: et la France?] , in " L'Humanité", November 10, 1990fr icon (See [http://www.google.com/language_tools www.google.com/language_tools] for machine translation) ] . However, Gladio was actually set up under Minister of Defense (from 1953 to 1958) Paolo Taviani (DC) 's supervision [http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,510075,00.html Paolo Emilio Taviani] , obituary by Philip Willan, in " The Guardian", June 21, 2001] . Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a far-right terrorist, had already revealed Gladio's existence during his 1984trial. Gladio was involved in "la strategia della tensione" during the "lead years", which started with Piazza Fontana bombingin December 1969. Thirty years later, during a trial of right-wing extremists, General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counter-intelligence, claimed that the massacre had been carried out by the Italian stay-behind army and right wing terrorists on orders of the CIA in order to discredit the Italian Communist Party(PCI).
After the discovery by judge Felice Casson of documents on Gladio in the archives of the Italian military secret service in Rome,
Giulio Andreotti, head of Italian government, revealed to the Chamber of deputies the existence of "Operazione Gladio" on October 24, 1990, insisting that Italy has not been the only country with secret " stay-behind" armies. He made clear that "each chief of government had been informed of the existence of Gladio". Former Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxiclaimed that he had not been informed until he was confronted with a document on Gladio signed by himself while he was Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini(Republican Party), at the time President of the Senate, and former Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani, at the time secretary of the ruling Christian Democratic Party claimed they remembered nothing. Spadolini stressed that there was a difference between what he knew as former Defence Secretary and what he knew as former Prime Minister. Only former Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga(DC) confirmed Andreotti's revelations, explaining that he was even "proud and happy" for his part in setting up Gladio as junior Defence Minister of the Christian Democratic Party. This lit up a political storm, requests were made for Cossiga's (Italian President since 1985) resignation or impeachment for high treason. He refused testifying to the investigating Senate committee. Cossiga narrowly escaped his impeachment by stepping down on April 1992, three months before his term expired [ [http://www.psa.ac.uk/journals/pdf/5/2005/Ganser.pdf Daniele Ganser 2005] , NATO’s Secret Armies.Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, PSA Conferernce Leeds, April 7, 2005, 66pp ] .
In addition to preparing for a Soviet invasion, the stay-behind also was to act in case of a communist government being elected in Italy. Since Italy was the country most likely to vote into power a communist government (with the communist party receiving up to 36% of the popular vote, being at times the strongest party in parliament), the Italian branch of Gladio also became the largest NATO "stay-behind" organization.
*In 1964, Gladio was involved in a silent coup d'état when General
Giovanni de Lorenzoin Operation Solo forced the Italian Socialists Ministers to leave the government [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php/documents/collection_gladio/chronology.htm ETH Zurich chronology] ] .
*In 1974, an attack committed by "
Ordine Nuovo", during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia, kills eight and injures 102 ( Piazza della Loggia bombing). The same year, a bomb in the Rome to Munich train "Italicus Express" kills 12 and injures 48. Also in 1974, Vito Miceli, P2 member, chief of the SIOS (Servizio Informazioni), Army Intelligence's Service from 1969 and SID's head from 1970 to 1974, got arrested on charges of "conspiration against the state" concerning investigations about "", a state-infiltrated group involved in terrorist acts. During his trial, he reveals the NATO stay-behind secret army. In 1977, the secret services were reorganized in a democratic attempt. With law #801 of 24/10/1977, SID was divided into SISMI("Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare"), SISDE("Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica") and CESIS("Comitato Esecutivo per i Servizi di Informazione e Sicurezza"). The CESIS has a coordination role, led by the President of Council. General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa's murder, in 1982, by the mafiain Palermois allegedly part of the strategy of tension. Alberto Dalla Chiesa had arrested Red Brigadesfounders Renato Curcio and Alberto Franceschini in September 1974, and was later charged of investigation concerning Aldo Moro, assassinated in 1978.
1969 Piazza Fontana bombing and others massacres
1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, which started Italy's "anni di piombo", and the 1974 " Italicus Expressen" train bombing were also attributed to Gladio operatives. In 1975, Stefano Delle Chiaiemet with Pinochet during Franco's funeral in Madrid, and would participate afterward in operation Condor, preparing for example the attempted murder of Bernardo Leighton, a Chilean Christian Democrat or participating in the 1980 'Cocaine Coup' of Luis García Meza Tejadain Bolivia. In 1989, he was arrested in Caracas, Venezuelaand extradited to Italy to stand trial for his role in the Piazza Fontana bombing. Despite his reputation, Delle Chiaie was acquitted by the Assize Court in Catanzaroin 1989, along with fellow accused Massimiliano Fachini (as yet no convictions have been made for the attack). According to ""Avanguardia Nazionale" member Vincenzo Vinciguerra: "The December 1969 explosion was supposed to be the detonator which would have convinced the politic and military authorities to declare a state of emergency" [ [http://www.repubblica.it/online/fatti/fontana/fontana/fontana.html Piazza Fontana anniversary] in " La Repubblica" ]
1972 Peteano massacre and the strategy of tension
"Avanguardia Nazionale" member
Vincenzo Vinciguerraconfessed in 1984 to judge Felice Cassonof having carried out the May 31, 1972Peteano terrorist act, in which three policemen died. Until Vinciguerra's trial, the Red Brigadeswere accused of having carried it out. Vinciguerra explained during his trial how he had been helped by Italian secret services and fled away to Francoist Spain after the Peteano massacre. He was abandoned by Gladio as soon as he started talking about it, declaring for example during his 1984 trial:
"with the massacre of Peteano and with all those that have followed, the knowledge should now be clear that there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages. [This structure] lies within the states itself. There exists in Italy a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men, in an anti-Soviet capacity, that is, to organise a resistance on Italian soil against a Russian army." [ [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php/documents/collection_gladio/Terrorism_Western_Europe.pdf "Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO’s Secret Stay-Behind Armies" Acrobat file] ,
ETH Zurichresearch project on Gladio directed by Daniele Ganser ]
1980 Bologna massacre
In November 1995, Neo-Fascists terrorists Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro were convicted to life imprisonment as executors of the 1980
Bologna massacre, for which Gladio's direct influence has been accused; Licio Gelli, headmaster of P2 and former OSS/CIA operative, received a sentence for investigation diversion, as well as Francesco Pazienza and SISMIofficers Pietro Musumeci and Giuseppe Belmonte. "Avanguardia Nazionale" founder Stefano Delle Chiaie, who was involved in the " Golpe Borghese" in 1970, was also accused of involvement in the Bologna massacre [ [http://translate.google.com/translate?sourceid=navclient-menuext&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Estragi%2Eit%2Findex%2Ephp%3Fpagina%3Dvicenda Translated from Bologna massacre Association of Victims Italian website] ] [ [http://translate.google.com/translate?sourceid=navclient-menuext&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ehumanite%2Epresse%2Efr%2Fjournal%2F1990%2D11%2D29%2F1990%2D11%2D29%2D806105 "Le Monde" quote from "L'Humanite" November 29, 1990] ]
Aldo Moro's 1978 assassination
In May 1978, investigative journalist
Mino Pecorellithought that Prime Minister Aldo Moro's kidnapping and assassination by the Red Brigadeshad actually been masterminded by a "lucid superpower" and was inspired by the "logic of Yalta". Christian-Democrat Aldo Moro was negotiating the " historic compromise" which would have allowed the Communist Party to enter into government for the first time since the May 1947 expulsion (which had also taken place in France).
Pecorelli painted the figure of General
Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesaas "general Amen", explaining that it was him that, during Aldo Moro's kidnapp, had informed Interior Minister Francesco Cossigaof the localization of the cave where Moro was detained. In 1978, Pecorelli wrote that Dalla Chiesa was in danger and would be assassinated (Dalla Chiesa was murdered four years later). After Aldo Moro's assassination, Mino Pecorelli published some confidential documents, mainly Moro's letters to his family. In a cryptic article published in May 1978, wrote " The Guardian" in May 2003, Pecorelli drew a connection between Gladio and Moro's death. During his interrogation, Aldo Moro had referred to "NATO's anti-guerrilla activities." [http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,4665179-105806,00.html Moro's ghost haunts political life] , Philip Willan in " The Guardian", May 9, 2003— URL accessed on January 20, 2007] Mino Pecorelli, who was on Licio Gelli's list of P2 members discovered in 1980, was assassinated on March 20, 1979. The ammunitions used, a very rare type, where the same as discovered in the " Banda della Magliana" 's weapons stock hidden in the Health Minister's basement. Pecorelli's assassination has been thought to be directly related to Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who was condemned to 20 years of prison for it in 2002 before having the sentence cancelled by the Supreme Court of Cassation in 2003.
*"strategia della tensione"
Felice Casson, the magistrate who discovered Gladio in Italy
Guido Salvini, another magistrate who investigated on the strategy of tension and the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing
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