Statewatch article: RefNo# 14270
Operation Gladio
Statewatch archive
Operation Gladio
bacdoc July=1991



1947 Origins of Gladio

"As early as 1947, the United States was constructing a clandestine network
in Northern Italy to act in the event of a communist insurrection or
electoral victory." (Wolfgang Achtner, Sunday Independent, 11/11/90)

"Though the Stay Behind operation was officially started only in 1952, "the
whole exercise had been in existence for a long time, in fact ever since
it was born in the head of Allen Dulles," said the ex-Nato source who has
access to files in several West European nations. According to him,
Dulles, the first chief of the CIA, worked out the original plan to build
secret anti-communist guerilla forces across Europe when he was based in
Switzerland at the end of the second world war. Dulles, Sir Stewart Menzies
(SIS) and the Belgian Premier Paul Henri Spaak codified the plan in a
secret pact sometime between 1949 and 1952 under the umbrella of the
Clandestine Co-ordinating Committee at the Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe, (SHAPE), which became Nato. "There was a division of labour
between the British and the US," he continued, "with Britain taking
responsibility for the operation in France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal and
Norway and the Americans looking after Sweden, Finland and the rest of
Europe" (Searchlight, January 1991)

1951 Formation of Clandestine Planning Committee

"In 1951, said the newspaper [Die Welt], Allied intelligence agencies and
each participating nation - Germany, Italy and France being among the first
- agreed to set up a Committee for planning to oversee the network"
(Associated Press, 13/11/90)

1955-58 CIA control of Italian secret services
"Former defence minister Paulo Taviani [told Magistrate Casson during his
1990 investigation] that during his time in office (1955-1958), the Italian
secret services were bossed and financed by the boys in Via Veneto' - ie
the CIA agents in the US Embassy in the heart of Rome. (William Scobie,
Observer, 18/11/90)

1956 General Giovanni de Lorenzo appointed head of Sifar

"De Lorenzo was...appointed head of the secret services (Sifar) in 1956 by
President Granchi, he stayed on as head of Sifar after he was made
commander of the carabinieri in 1962." (Stuart Christie, "Stefano de
Chiaie", Anarchy/Refract, 1984)

1956 Formation of Gladio

"US documents declassified in the 1970's show that General Giovanni de
Lorenzo, the chief of Sifar (Italian Military Intelligence), joined the US
in the 1950's in preparing a plan against a Communist takeover, but did not
inform his own government. According to a document released by Mr
Andreotti last month the CIA and Sifar sketched a plan in November 1956,
codenamed Gladio, to form a force of 1000 men capable of guerilla warfare
and espionage. A training base was set-up in Sardinia and 139 weapons and
ammunition dumps were hidden in Northern Italy." (Wolfgang Achtner, Sunday
Independent, 11/11/90)

"Andreotti ... has admitted to parliament that a covert intelligence
service was set-up forty years ago, with the help of the CIA and British
agents to combat Soviet subversion or aggression. Although no elected
representatives save Prime Ministers were told of its existence, it still
exists." (Wolfgang Achtner, Sunday Independent, 11/11/90)

"The network, run by secret-services of Nato members, was apparently set-up
in the 1950's at US instigation to create a guerrilla resistance
organisation in the event of a Soviet invasion or communist takeover in
Nato countries." (John Palmer, Guardian, 10/11/90)

"General sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, a former commander-in-chief of Nato
forces in northern Europe said...that a covert intelligence service was set
up in Italy with the help of British agents and the CIA - which also partly
funded it. The Italian branch of the network wa

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