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    War and Terror: Sword Play
    Posted on Thursday, February 17 @ 20:39:07 UTC
    Topic: Bushfire
    BushfireBy Chris Floyd, Moscow Times

    "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."

    This was the essence of Operation Gladio, a decades-long covert campaign of terrorism and deceit directed by the intelligence services of the West -- against their own populations. Hundreds of innocent people were killed or maimed in terrorist attacks -- on train stations, supermarkets, cafes and offices -- which were then blamed on "leftist subversives" or other political opponents. The purpose, as stated above in sworn testimony by Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra, was to demonize designated enemies and frighten the public into supporting ever-increasing powers for government leaders -- and their elitist cronies.

    First revealed by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in 1991, Gladio (from the Latin for "sword") is still protected to this day by its founding patrons, the CIA and MI6. Yet parliamentary investigations in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have shaken out a few fragments of the truth over the years. These have been gathered in a new book, "NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe," by Daniele Ganser, as Lila Rajiva reports on CommonDreams.org.

    Originally set up as a network of clandestine cells to be activated behind the lines in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, Gladio quickly expanded into a tool for political repression and manipulation, directed by NATO and Washington. Using right-wing militias, underworld figures, government provocateurs and secret military units, Gladio not only carried out widespread terrorism, assassinations and electoral subversion in democratic states such as Italy, France and West Germany, but also bolstered fascist tyrannies in Spain and Portugal, abetted the military coup in Greece and aided Turkey's repression of the Kurds.

    Among the "smoking guns" unearthed by Ganser is a Pentagon document, Field Manual FM 30-31B, which details the methodology for launching terrorist attacks in nations that "do not react with sufficient effectiveness" against "communist subversion." Ironically, the manual states that the most dangerous moment comes when leftist groups "renounce the use of force" and embrace the democratic process. It is then that "U.S. army intelligence must have the means of launching special operations which will convince Host Country Governments and public

    opinion of the reality of the insurgent danger." Naturally, these peace-throttling "special operations must remain strictly secret," the document warns.

    Indeed, it would not do for the families of the 85 people ripped apart by the Aug. 2, 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station to know that their loved ones had been murdered by "men inside Italian state institutions and ... men linked to the structures of United States intelligence," as the Italian Senate concluded after its investigation in 2000.

    The Bologna atrocity is an example of what Gladio's masters called "the strategy of tension" -- fomenting fear to keep populations in thrall to "strong leaders" who will protect the nation from the ever-present terrorist threat. And as Rajiva notes, this strategy wasn't limited to Western Europe. It was

    applied, with gruesome effectiveness, in Central America by the Reagan and Bush administrations. During the 1980s, right-wing death squads, guerrilla armies and state security forces -- armed, trained and supplied by the United States -- murdered tens of thousands of people throughout the region, often acting with particular savagery at those times when peaceful solutions to the conflicts seemed about to take hold.

    Last month, it was widely reported that the Pentagon is considering a similar program in Iraq. What was not reported, however -- except in the Iraqi press -- is that at least one pro-occupation death squad is already in operation. Just days after the Pentagon plans were revealed, a new militant group, "Saraya Iraqna," began offering big wads of American cash for insurgent scalps -- up to $50,000, the Iraqi paper Al Ittihad reports. "Our activity will not be selective," the group promised. In other words, anyone they consider an enemy of the state will be fair game.

    Strangely enough, just as it appears that the Pentagon is establishing Gladio-style operations in Iraq, there has been a sudden rash of terrorist attacks on outrageously provocative civilian targets, such as hospitals and schools, the Guardian reports. Coming just after national elections in which the majority faction supported slates calling for a speedy end to the American occupation, the shift toward high-profile civilian slaughter has underscored the "urgent need" for U.S. forces to remain on the scene indefinitely, to provide security against the ever-present terrorist threat. Meanwhile, the Bushists continue constructing their long-sought permanent bases in Iraq: citadels to protect the oil that incoming Iraqi officials are promising to sell off to American corporations -- and launching pads for new forays in geopolitical domination.

    Perhaps it's just a coincidence. But the U.S. elite's history of directing and fomenting terrorist attacks against friendly populations is so extensive -- indeed, so ingrained and accepted -- that it calls into question the origin of every terrorist act that roils the world. With each fresh atrocity, we're forced to ask: Was it the work of "genuine" terrorists or a "black op" by intelligence agencies -- or both?

    While not infallible, the ancient Latin question is still the best guide to penetrating the bloody murk of modern terrorism: Cui bono? Who benefits? Whose powers and policies are enhanced by the attack? For it is indisputable that the "strategy of tension" means power and profit for those who claim to possess the key to "security." And from the halls of the Kremlin to the banks of the Potomac, this cynical strategy is the ruling ideology of our times.

    Annotations

    The Pentagon's 'NATO Option'
    CommonDreams.org, Feb. 10, 2005

    NATO's Secret Armies Linked to Terrorism?
    International Relations and Security Network, Dec. 15, 2004

    Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies
    Parallel History Project, Nov. 29, 2004

    Synopsis of Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio
    International Relations and Security Network, Dec. 15, 2004

    Gladio: The Secret U.S. War to Subvert Italian Democracy
    Independent Media Center, Jan. 31, 2004

    Unknown Militant Group Declares War on Extremists in Iraq
    Al Ittihad via Focus News, Jan. 11, 2005

    U.S. Arming Baathist Militia's to Combat Shiite Cleric Rule
    Asia Times, Feb. 15, 2005

    The Coming Wars
    New Yorker, Jan. 17, 2005

    Sectarian Massacres Shake Iraq
    The Guardian, Feb. 12, 2005

    Iraqi Election Catapults Critic of U.S. to Power
    Los Angeles Times, Feb. 14, 2005

    Iraq Winners Allied With Iran are the Opposite of U.S. Vision
    Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2005

    COINTELPRO: Alive and Kicking
    San Francisco Bay Guardian, Jan. 25, 2001

    US Role in Salvador's Brutal War
    BBC, March 24, 2002

    Guatemala: Memory of Silence
    Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification,"

    Reagan's Dark Global Legacy
    Counterpunch, June 7, 2004

    Dark Reagan Legacy in Central America
    Reuters, June 7, 2004

    Reagan Set Roots for al Qaeda
    News24 South Africa, June 7, 2004

    Reagan and Guatemala's Death Files
    Consortiumnews.com, May 26, 1999

    The US-Guatemala File: Training State Terrorists
    Consortiumnews.com, May 26, 1999

    The Ghost of Terror Past
    Salon.com, Jan. 11, 2002

    US Wants to Build Network of Friendly Militias to Fight Terrorism
    AFP, August 15, 2004

    Opening Statement of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
    House Armed Services Committee, Aug. 10, 2004

    Guatemala to Pay Paramilitaries
    BBC, Aug. 10, 2004

    Efrain Rios Montt Background
    More or Less (Australia), June 18, 2004

    Rios Montt: Authoritarian Fundamentalist
    Proceso (Mexico), April 15, 2001

    CIA Admits 'Tolerating' Contra Drug Trafficking
    Consortiumnews.com, June 8, 2000

    Wackenhut: Inside the Shadow CIA
    Spy Magazine, Sept. 1992

    The CIA's Gentlemanly Planner of Assassinations
    Slate.com, Nov. 1, 2002

    Declassified Files Confirm US Post-War Collaboration With Nazis
    San Francisco Bay Guardian, May 7, 2001

    Nixon Rigged 1971 Uruguay Elections
    National Security Archive, June 20, 2002

    JFK and the Diem Coup
    National Security Archive, Nov. 5, 2003

    CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents
    National Security Archive, May 23, 1997

    Guatemala: Memory of Silence
    Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification,"

    Death, Lies, and Bodywashing
    Consortiumnews.com, May 27, 1996

    The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup, 1953
    National Security Archive, Nov. 29, 2000

    CIA Acknowledges Ties to Pinochet's Repression
    National Security Archive, Sept. 19, 2000

    U.S. Documents Show Embrace of Saddam Despite WMD, Aggression and Human Rights Abuses
    National Security Archive, Feb. 23, 2003

    Copyright: Moscow Times


     
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    · US Crusade
    · US Terror History
    · More about Bushfire
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