Few people today have heard of Operation Gladio a clandestine “stay-behind” operation conducted by NATO and the CIA after WW2 in order to continue anti-communist actions.
Named from Gladius (Latin for sword) these forces continued well after the Soviet threat was extinguished – at least until 1990.
From “The CIAs Greatest Hits” by Mark Zepezauer :
The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947. The ink was barely dry on it before an army of spooks began marching through the law’s major loophole: the CIA could “perform such other functions and duties…as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This deliberately vague clause opened the door to a half-century of criminal activity in the name of “national security.”
One of the first duties the NSC deemed necessary was the subversion of Italian democracy…in the name of democracy, of course. Italy seemed likely to elect a leftist government in the 1948 election. To make sure Italians voted instead for the candidates Washington favored-leftover brownshirt thugs from Mussolini’s party and other Nazi collaborators-millions of dollars were spent on propaganda and payoffs. It was also intimated that food aid would be cut off if the election results were inconsistent with US desires.
The US got its way in 1948 without having to resort to violence but-as was discovered in 1990- the CIA had organized a secret paramilitary army in postwar Italy, with hidden stockpiles of weapons and explosives dotting the map. Called Operation Gladio (gladius is Latin for sword), the ostensible excuse for it was laughable-the threat of a Soviet invasion. But the real purpose wasn’t so funny-Operation Gladio’s 15,000 troops were trained to overthrow the Italian government should it stray from the straight and narrow.
Similar secret armies were formed in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and West Germany- often directed, quite naturally, by former SS officers. They didn’t just wait around for the Russians to come marching in; they assembled huge arms caches (many of which remain unaccounted for), compiled blacklists of leftists and, in France, participated in plots to assassinate President DeGaulle.
Wikipedia list allegations that Operation Gladio was involved in supporting right-wing terrorists, various coups-de-tat and murders of leaders.
Thus a shadowy force, a secret US police and military in league with some of the most extremist political groups and terrorists, could exist throughout most countries in Europe for 40 years without the public knowing anything.
Could the same thing happen today?…. More to come….