Operation Gladio

Rohit Khare (rohit@uci.edu)
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 23:12:10 -0700

There was an obscure reference in the Economist this week, so I
punched it into Sherlock, and voila! a whole chapter of cold war
history emerged. In 1990 a minor scandal was uncovered throughout
Europe: that the US, through NATO, financed secret paramilitary
anti-communist organizations in almost every country, ready to rise
up after a Soviet takeover. Of course, all the usual risks of
standing armies ensued: allegations of interference in internal
politics, right-wing terrorism, etc. But it does substantiate the
fantasy that there are entire secret extra-constitutional
organizations known only to the head of state...

It was most immediate in Italy, which was closest to the verge of
democratically electing a Communist government. A really excellent
page of raw material -- all quotes from news articles -- is at
http://users.westnet.gr/~cgian/gladio.htm (all the more impressive
given how leftist the enclosing parent site is; the facts seemed
damning enough in this case)

I've attached only the last bit, the bit which makes it seem more
than a Clancyesque fantasy: a European Parliament resolution
condemning it...



EP 22.11.90 joint resolution replacing B3-2021, 2058, 2068, 2078 and 2087/90

on the Gladio affair

A. having regard to the revelation by several European governments of the
existence for 40 years of a clandestine parallel intelligence and
armed operations organization in several Member States of the

B. whereas for over 40 years this organization has escaped all democratic
controls and has been run by the secret services of the states
concerned in collaboration with NATO,

C. fearing the danger that such clandestine network may have interfered
illegally in the internal political affairs of Member States or may
still do so,

D. whereas in certain Member States military secret services (or
uncontrolled branches thereof) were involved in serious cases of
terrorism and crime as evidenced by, various judicial inquiries,

E. whereas these organizations operated and continue to operate
completely outside the. law since they are not subject to any
parliamentary control and frequently those holding the highest
government and constitutional posts are kept in the dark as to these

F. whereas the various `GLADIO' organizations have at their disposal
independent arsenals and military resources which give them an unknown
strike potential, thereby jeopardizing the democratic structures of
the countries in which they are operating or have been operating,

G. greatly concerned at the existence of decision-making and operational
bodies which are not subject to any form of democratic control and are
of a completely clandestine nature at a time when greater Community
cooperation in the field of security is a constant subject of

1. Condemns the clandestine creation of manipulative and operational
networks and Calls for a full investigation into the nature, structure,
aims and all other aspects of these clandestine organizations or any
splinter groups, their use for illegal interference in the internal
political affairs of the countries concerned, the problem of terrorism in
Europe and the possible collusion of the secret services of Member States
or third countries;

2. Protests vigorously at the assumption by certain US military personnel
at SHAPE and in NATO of the right to encourage the establishment in Europe
of a clandestine intelligence and operation network;

3. Calls on the governments of the Member States to dismantle all
clandestine military and paramilitary networks;

4. Calls on the judiciaries of the countries in which the presence of such
military organizations has been ascertained to elucidate fully their
composition and modus operandi and to clarify any action they may have
taken to destabilize the democratic structures of the Member States;

5. Requests all the Member States to take the necessary measures, if
necessary by establishing parliamentary committees of inquiry, to draw up
a complete list of organizations active in this field, and at the same time
to monitor their links with the respective state intelligence services and
their links, if any, with terrorist action groups and/or other illegal

6. Calls on the Council of Ministers to provide full information on the
activities of these secret intelligence and operational services;

7. Calls on its competent committee to consider holding a hearing in order
to clarify the role and impact of the `GLADIO' organization and any similar

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission,
the Council, the Secretary-General of NATO, the governments of the Member
States and the United States Government.

Source: Statewatch briefing