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Protest from the EU
If there had been a Soviet invasion, the secret anti-communist soldiers would have operated behind enemy lines, strengthening and setting up local resistance movements in enemy-held territory, evacuating shot down pilots, and sabotaging the supply lines and production centers of occupation forces. Upon discovery of the secret armies, the European Parliament responded with harsh criticism, suspecting it to have been involved in manipulation and terror operations. “This Europe will have no future,” Italian representative Falqui opened the debate, “if it is not founded on truth, on the full transparency of its institutions in regard to the dark plots against democracy that have turned upside down the history, even in recent times, of many European states.” Falqui insisted that “there will be no future, ladies and gentlemen, if we do not remove the idea of having lived in a kind of double state - one open and democratic, the other clandestine and reactionary. That is why we want to know what and how many "Gladio" networks there have been in recent years in the Member States of the European Community." The majority of EU parliamentarians followed Falqui, and in a special resolution on 22 November 1990 made it clear that the EU “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”, calling for a “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, and the problem of terrorism in Europe”.
Secret armies across Western Europe
Only the parliaments in Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium had formed a special commission to investigate the national secret army, and after months or even years of research, presented a public report. Building on this data and secondary sources from numerous European countries, “NATO’s Secret Armies” confirms for the first time that the secret networks spread across Western Europe, with great details on networks in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, as well as the strategic planning of Britain and the US. The stay-behind armies were coordinated on an international level by the so-called Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) and the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), linked to NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). And they used cover names such as “Absalon” in Denmark, “P26” in Switzerland, “ROC” in Norway or “SDRA8” in Belgium. Interestingly, large differences existed from country to country. In some nations the secret armies became a source of terror, while in others they remained a prudent precaution.
In Turkey, the “Counter-Guerrilla” was involved in domestic terror and torture operations against the Kurds, while in Greece, the “LOK” took part in the 1967 military coup d’état to prevent a Socialist government. In Spain, the secret army was used to prop up the fascist dictatorship of Franco, and in Germany, right-wing terrorists used the explosives of the secret army in the 1980 terror attack in Munich. In other countries, including Denmark, Norway, and Luxemburg, the secret soldiers prepared for the eventual occupation of their home country and never engaged in domestic terror or manipulation. In the context of the ongoing so-called war on terror, the Gladio data promotes the sobering insight that governments in the West have sacrificed the life of innocent citizens and covered up acts of terrorism in order to manipulate the population.
Allegations that NATO, the Pentagon, MI6, the CIA, and European intelligence services were linked to terror, coups d’état, and torture in Europe are obviously of an extremely sensitive nature, and future research is needed in the field. In the absence of an official investigation by NATO or the EU, ongoing international research into terrorism is about to tackle this difficult task, the first step of which I hope to have promisingly taken with “NATO’s Secret Armies”.