NATO’s Secret Armies:fact or fiction?

Source: Voice of Russia

That was a very difficult topic to investigate because NATO does not want to talk about its secret armies despite the fact that it is proven, that NATO was running secret armies in the Cold War.

My first question Mr. Ganser will be – once you said that many of your colleagues didn’t believe you that NATO had ever had a secret army. However in 1990 Italy’s Prime Minister Julio Andreotti confirmed that there had been NATO’s secret armies in all NATO member countries. And that in Italy such an army was called Gladio. In spite of this fact many treated your book and the very fact of some secret armies was with distrust. What are the facts did you rely on? What evidence of these NATO divisions did you find for example in Turkey or Switzerland?

It is true that at a time when I was researching the subject of NATO secret armies many of my colleagues said that they were not sure that the NATO have had secret armies at all during the Cold War. But when I looked at the data available I found very clearly that NATO had secret armies during the Cold War, that they were called “stay behind” and I basically relied upon a testimony by the Italian Prime Minister Julio Andreotti at that time but also on investigations by the Italian Senate and I also relied on documents from the Italian defense department. Furthermore I relied on parliamentary reports of the Belgium Senate, I relied on parliamentary reports of the Swiss Parliament. So, there is really a lot of evidence. Also the former CIA people have spoken that they all confirm that NATO had operated the secret armies which in Italy were called Gladio and in other countries they had other names.

Mr. Ganser, you started working on these issues some time ago. You have been working on the book called NATO’s Secret Armies for a long period of time. Can you tell us actually what did you find out that you decided to start an investigation? What facts led you to the subject?

It is true that I have worked on the subject of NATO secret armies for more than ten years now. And my book was first published in 2005 and it is now published in ten languages but the first English edition was published in 2005. And the reason why I wanted to shed more light on NATO’s secret armies was really the question of whether NATO is a force for peace or whether it is some sort of a dark organization linked to terrorism and secret armies. And that was a very, very difficult topic to investigate because NATO does not want to talk about its secret armies despite the fact that it is proven, that NATO was running secret armies in the Cold War. So, you have to understand that most people in the 28 NATO countries today do not know that NATO operated secret armies because NATO does not want to talk about it.

You write that secret armies were formed in Western Europe in the early 50’es of the last century to resist the Soviet invasion. Today the leaders of Russia and the West point out that the Cold War has been ended. Do you think that is really so in practice? Are these statements confirmed?

It is clear that the secret armies were formed after the World War II because if I looked for the data from the secret armies in Norway for instance, the Norwegian experience in the World War II was that they were occupied very quickly by the German army. They were scared that if in the Cold War there should be another invasion and occupation of their country, they feared the Soviet invasion of Norway. And many countries in the Western Europe feared the Soviet invasion. They said – we need a secret army which then would fight the Soviet occupying forces in Western Europe.

So, this was really the structure of the secret armies during the Cold War and we have many documents that confirm these structures. There were secret arms caches in the ground with guns and explosives and munitions. And it is clear that the secret armies existed during the Cold War from 1950 to 1990 and then in 1990 the Cold War ended, the Berlin Wall crumbled, the USSR was transformed into Russia of today. So, the huge changes that swept across Europe influenced the secret armies in the sense that the governments said – we now dissolve the secret armies. But I’ve been asked many times whether it is not possible that new secret armies have been setup by NATO and I have to say yes, that is possible. I think they would probably be under different names and different forms but it is possible that new secret armies exist. The importance today I think is to talk about a secret warfare in general.

Mr. Ganser, according to your information these divisions received money from the CIA and partly from the MI6. Washington or London will hardly ever confirm this fact. Nevertheless, can some evidence of the leading role of the US and the UK in coordination of these divisions and of the connection of the CIA with terrorism in Europe can be obtained?

There are two aspects to your question. One thing is whether the CIA and the MI6, thus the American and the British secret service, whether they paid money to the secret armies of NATO and that is confirmed. We do have very clear data from different sources, we also have the former Director of the CIA William Colby who in his memoirs wrote how the CIA funded “the stay behind armies”. Therefore this is very clear and confirmed. And the same thing is confirmed for MI6. We know that the British secret service for instance trained the Swiss “stay behind” network which was called P26.

But we do not know whether the CIA and the MI6 were linked to the acts of terrorism. We have many different voices here in the Western Europe that say that NATO secret armies and especially Gladio in Italy was linked to acts of terrorism. But I have said many times that it is very difficult to prove this because there is no written document where the CIA says – please carry out an act of terrorism in Western Europe in order to scare the population. The idea really was that these acts of terrorism which indeed were carried out in Italy and in Belgium, and in other countries, that they were then blamed on the communists in order to weaken the communist political parties in the parliaments of Western Europe.

One of the aims of the NATO’s secret divisions was an influence on the political system of individual countries and a change of political course of one or another country. So, does it mean that terrorism which is a forceful intervention was considered as the main tool of political conviction?

Again that is a very delicate terrorism question. What I do know is that we had acts of terrorism in Italy for instance in Piazza Fontana in 1969 or in Bologna in 1980, or in Germany in 1980 was a large terrorist attack in Munich, in Belgium in the 1980’es there were large terrorist attacks, or in France there were terrorist attacks during the crisis with Algeria and we had three military coup d’états in Turkey and we had a military coup d’état in Greece and Spain was a dictatorship during the Cold War, and Portugal was a dictatorship during the Cold War. So, the whole idea that there was no violence in Western Europe during the Cold War is simply wrong, there was a lot of violence.

And what we try to find out now is whether the secret armies of NATO were linked to these acts of violence. One point of evidence is that NATO’s secret armies were, it seems, linked to the military coup d’état in Greece in 1967. We have also data which links the secret armies to the military coup d’état in Turkey. And some people in Italy, right wing terrorists, including Vincenzo Vinciguerra, they have said – yes, we carried out acts of terrorism, yes, we had to attack women, we had to attack children, innocent people far from the political game because the idea was to scare the population, to make them fear communism because after having carried out the terrorist attack we blame it on the political enemy which at that time was communism.

So, it is a so called false flag terrorism, you carry out a terrorist attack and you blame it on your political opponent. It is something very, very evil and it is very difficult to find out what really happened. The NATO of these days has nothing to do with it but the Italian right wing terrorists, they say that they were protected by NATO and they confessed that they have carried out the attacks. So, it is a delicate topic.

Read or listen to entire interview: Voice of Russia

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