CIA and freemasons among dark
forces in Europe:
an exclusive JUST Response report from the Dougal Watt Dossier
'Whistleblower' Robert Dougal Watt speaks out
Mr Michel HERVÉ
European Court of Auditors
Subject: further to my letters of 17 June and 8 July
For your information, please find in the attached Annex material of relevance to my letter of 17 June. Essentially, this material supports the plausibility of the central hypothesis presented in that letter.
Firstly, the material presented demonstrates that concern for one’s personal safety when querying official explanations for any past mafia-related death is symptomatic of common-sense rather than paranoia. This is particularly true given the apparent public distance between the institution and myself. When the circumstances of the “suicide” in London of Roberto Calvi were officially re-examined, several years after the event, the British authorities were careful to minimise the exposure to risk of all those involved in the re-examination.
Secondly, evidence is presented of the penetration by freemasonry of the European institutions, and Member State administrations; and accounts of the consequential corruption in France, Belgium and Italy.
Thirdly, historical evidence is presented of the key role played by the United States, and its intelligence community in particular, in the post-war formation of the “Europe Community”. As the leading historian (in English) has concluded, “Viewed from Europe, the most striking aspect… is the extent to which officials working for European reconstruction and unification shared the experience of wartime intelligence, special operations and resistance. European unity had taken root in wartime resistance movements. These links with clandestine organisations continued into the post-war period. The emerging European Economic Community and the growing Western intelligence community overlapped to a considerable degree.”
Fourthly, evidence is presented of more recent CIA intervention in domestic Italian politics; of the Agency’s role with regard to the P2 masonic lodge; and of the lodge’s associated criminal and terrorist activities.
Fifthly, evidence is presented of contemporary CIA spying on the European Institutions.
Sixthly, by way of balance, evidence is presented of KGB activities in Europe during the Cold War period. At least some of the fears of US agencies with regard to clandestine Communist activity were well founded, offering corresponding justification for covert US activity in Europe. Essentially, just as the United States endeavoured to encourage Western European unity, so the Soviet Union endeavoured to keep the states of Western Europe divided.
Seventhly, evidence is presented demonstrating the establishment under NATO auspices of a Europe-wide network of “Gladio” or “Stay-behind” forces; and the linkages made between the personnel/equipment of such forces and terrorist atrocities in Italy and Belgium during the 1980s. The revelation in the early 1990s of these clandestine forces, and such linkages, gave rise to a strongly-worded condemnatory resolution of the European Parliament.
The evidence presented in the attached Annex thus supports the plausibility of the central hypothesis of my letter of 17 June. Again, I should like to emphasise that I have presented – and maintain – a hypothesis, and neither a conviction nor a definitive proof. The hypothesis is derived from the facts known to me; and given the significance of the potential audit findings, I believe further investigation by the Court of the matters raised is merited.
Consequently, it gives me great distress to find that the Court seems, from my perspective at least, to prefer to “shoot the messenger” rather than to give consideration to the “message”. It gave, and its gives, me no pleasure to question the integrity of two senior officials with whom I have worked and/or known for many years. However, if two individuals voluntarily swear to protect their “brothers”, and their fraternal secrets, upon pain of death and dismemberment; and an analysis of the audit evidence available casts material doubt on their, and other “official” explanations offered to date; and evidence of masonic corruption in other fields of public life is well known and thoroughly documented; then I fail to understand why it must be unreasonable to assume it possible that such “brotherly” oaths might take precedence over employees’ normal duties of loyalty to their employer.
Furthermore, I was astonished to receive from OLAF a fax dated 9 August stating, “Mr Michel Herve, Secretary General of the Court of Auditors, informed the European anti-fraud Office about your letter of 17/6/02”; and inviting me to contact OLAF in order to allow the Office to “complete and assess these allegations”. Given that my letter of 17 June presents allegations of serious impropriety by OLAF, committed at the highest level; and given that the Court, as a sovereign institution under the Treaty, has responsibility for reporting on the sound management of OLAF; - I regret I find your decision to pass my letter to OLAF for further investigation to be incomprehensible.
With regard to your letter of 31 August, and its opening remark, “You have not answered to my letter dated 2nd July 2002”: I observe that I did reply, on 8 July, before noon, as you had requested in your letter of 2 July. I hold a fax “transmission record” which confirms the above, and confirms that your fax machine received the transmission “OK”. Furthermore, a copy of my letter to you of 8 July was included in the fax which I sent to the President of the institution’s Staff Committee on 9 July; which I asked be made available to all staff who requested access; and which I understand was submitted for your consideration.
My fax of 8 July raised a number of queries with regard to your proposal to conduct a second medical examination on 23 August. I have waited patiently in the expectation of some response to my queries; to date, in vain. In view of the proximity of the proposed examination, I await your urgent response to the queries presented in my fax of 8 July.
In addition, I should be grateful if you would forward the following to me: the terms of reference for the employment by the Court/Commission Medical Service of Dr John Callender; an explanation for his selection by the Court/Commission Medical Service (i.e., selection methodology, criteria, etc.); and a copy of all information which has been provided to Dr Callender by the Court/Commission Medical Service.
R Dougal WATT
20 August 2002
(on sick leave)
1. Concern for personal safety upon raising the “Quatraro Case”
Claire Sterling, “The Mafia: the long reach of the international Sicilian Mafia”, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1990, p231-3:
“The fact remained that Della Chiesa was horribly exposed. The silence in Rome, the barbs in the pro-government press, the icy hostility of local politicians, made it plain that the state had cut him off. Whether this was the result of indifference, incomprehension, political expediency, or bureaucratic torpor he was left in the classic position for a Mafia kill; standing in the middle of an empty space. Della Chiesa knew that, as he revealed in an interview with Giorgio Bocca at the end of a nerve-racking summer: ‘… I think I’ve understood the new rules of the game: the powerful man is killed when a fatal combination comes about, when he has become too dangerous but can be killed because he is isolated.’ When did a powerful man become too dangerous? When he insisted on enforcing the law, or proposed to strengthen it, or investigated the Mafia’s ‘accumulation of capital [and] elaborate network of controls,’ or threatened to expose thunderous secrets… The prefect of Catania promptly rushed into the breach. There was not now, nor had there ever been, a Mafia in Catania, he assured the press. The mayor of Palermo deplored such allusions. ‘Mafia, Mafia… how people talk!’ he exclaimed. The president of the Sicilian Region demanded clarification of the general’s remarks. ‘If these things are true, we must take the consequences. If they are not true…’. He left the phrase unfinished. On Dalla Chiesa’s 127th day in office… he was murdered… The general’s solitude had made him vulnerable, wrote Judge Falcone afterward… Cosa Nostra believed it could strike with impunity, because he personified only himself.”
Claire Sterling, “Crime Without Frontiers", 1994, p203 – with regard to the re-opening in London of the inquest into the death of Roberto Calvi:
“…as Britain’s Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd admitted when the case was re-opened, Scotland Yard was ‘moving prudently in an investigation considered very dangerous for the judges, the police, their families, everybody helping in some way to collect evidence of the murderer’s guilt’”.
“The Economist”, 26.12.92:
“There is a strong network of Masons at work in the European Parliament, which has been accused of helping members to conceal corrupt dealings.”
Paul van Buitenen, interviewed by BBC News Online, 13.3.2000:
“…He spoke about his fears of Mafia and Masonic infiltration of the Brussels machine… Asked about persistent rumours of Mafia involvement in Brussels, he insisted he had no proof and was nervous of making any claims. ‘I have heard certain things about Mafia involvement in Brussels… I have seen traces of Masonic involvement and of networks where you don’t know what is happening. But if I was quoted as saying there was Mafia involvement in the Commission, first of all I am in serious trouble and secondly I cannot prove it. If you ask my personal subjective opinion and I have to put money on it then I would have to say ‘yes’… It is my personal conviction that in the European Parliament the irregularities are at least as serious as in the Commission.”
Paul van Buitenen, “Blowing the Whistle”, Politico’s Publishing, 2000, p181:
“When Joep Dohmen’s book ‘Europese Idealisten’ was published I understood why the largest political groups in the European Parliament were less than enthusiastic about supporting a whistleblower. The book exposed cases of favouritism and corruption by MEP’s. These included claiming attendance allowances for sittings they had not attended (SiSo or Sign in Sod off), the unauthorised use of private chauffeurs and official cars, conflicts of interest between their membership of parliamentary committees and their association with certain firms, family members based abroad being paid as assistants and the role of masonic lodges. To my mind the most shocking example was the political appointment of a director-general nominated by one of the large political groups. The other large political group was prepared to go along with that if it could put forward its own director-general, but there was only one vacant post. No problem. A DG was divided, instantly creating two vacant posts. I often thought of that later when my own case was under consideration. Apparently that was a bit more difficult to resolve.”
Michael McGrade, “Bugnini, Bernadin and Basil: Modernist Masons or Masonic Modernists?”, November 2000:
“In its 1 June 2000 edition, the liberal French weekly ‘Le Nouvel Observateur’ featured a lengthy, shocking report on French Freemasonry, citing case after case of direct Masonic involvement in the most notorious criminal acts of the past twelve years. From mafia-like penetration of big business and the magistracy to assassination to public health catastrophes, it seems that virtually no aspect of contemporary Gallic life – whether political, judicial, military, commercial, civil administrative or law enforcement – is untouched by the corrupting hand of ‘les franc-macons’…”most of the recent scandals of the Republic have implicated, to various degrees, French masons… the press rarely speaks – except in veiled terms – of the role of French masons in business and politics, even though their presence is often a key to the decoding of affairs.” Indeed, the French media itself is implicated in specific scandals, involving disinformation spread by a “masonic network at the heart of the magistracy and the press”. Furthermore, the closed-shop environment created wherever the Brotherhood gains a foothold is a constant source of acrimony and division in both public and private sectors. A former Cabinet Minister recalled that he had once made discreet application for the presidency of a major French foundation: “They explained to me on all sides that my career profile was right for the post, but that I had no chance: it was reserved for a Brother”.”
David Yallop, “In God’s Name”, prologue/back cover text:
“On September 28, 1978, he [Pope John Paul I] had been pope for 33 days. In little more than a month he had initiated various courses of action that, had they been completed, would have had a direct and dynamic effect on us all. The majority in this world would have applauded his decisions, a minority would have been appalled. The man who had quickly been labelled ‘the smiling pope’ intended to remove the smiles from a number of faces on the following day. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Jean Villot… studied the list of appointments, resignations to be asked for and transfers the pope had handed him. He had advised, argued, remonstrated, but to no avail. Luciani [John Paul I] had been adamant… There was one common denominator, one fact that linked each of the men about to be replaced. Villot was aware of it. More important, so was the pope. It had been one of the factors that had caused him to act, to strip these men of real power… it was Freemasonry. The evidence the pope had acquired indicated that within the Vatican City State there were over one hundred masons, ranging from cardinals to priests. Luciani was further preoccupied with an illegal masonic lodge that had penetrated far beyond Italy in its search for wealth and power. It called itself P2. The fact that it had penetrated Vatican walls and formed links with priests, bishops, and even cardinals made P2 anathema to Albino Luciani. That evening, September 28, 1978, 33 days after his election, Pope John Paul I, ‘the smiling pope’, was declared dead. No official death certificate has ever been issued. No autopsy ever performed. His body was hastily embalmed. Cause of death: unknown. And Vatican business continues…”. [Luciani had been given the list of freemasons by a journalist; who was later found dead in the street, shot through the mouth.]
Claire Sterling, “Crime Without Frontiers”, 1994, p63 and 230:
“In 1977, a covered Masonic lodge had formally invited the mafia to enrol two members from each of the provinces in Sicily, guaranteeing secrecy… Nearly all the top bosses had joined, defectors [pentiti] revealed. ‘Men of Honour who get to be bosses belong to the Masonry: this must not escape you’, Messina [top mafioso defector] told the Parliamentary Commission. ‘Because it is in the Masonry that we can have total contact with businessmen, with the institutions, with the men who administer power…’. Indeed, Messina added, this secret Masonic connection is ‘an obligatory passage for the Mafia on a world level’”… “In June 1993 [twelve years after the exposure of P2], a court in Trapani convicted the head of a covered Masonic lodge called Iside 2, for the crime of ‘secret association’… The lodge membership had included leading Christian Democrats, businessmen and mafia bosses…”.
Domenico Pacitti, “Guardian”, 7.7.98 – ‘Firm grip of corruption: the mafia menace in Italian universities’:
“Diego Cuzzocrea, rector of the University of Messina in north-east Sicily, has been charged with aiding and abetting the mafia… [he] is also being questioned about the murder of medical professor Matteo Bottari, shot dead in a mafia car execution in January… the University had provided a regular Godfather scenario of violence stretching back 20 years and culminating in a two-year crescendo of campus bombings, shootings, intimidations and murders… Messina committee [for Peace and Unilateral Disarmament] member Giuseppe Restifo, a professor of modern history at Messina and chairman of the local Green party regional council, explains: ‘A natural subservience to power, the fear of retaliation, popular scepticism in the efficacy of justice, and the sharing of common interests with organised crime are the main reasons for reticence. This social consensus of silence has produced a Kafkaesque feeling of cultural death, moral stagnation and impending doom and must first be defeated if any real progress is to be made’… Another committee member, Antonello Mangano, aged 23, presented a painstakingly researched 400-page graduation thesis on the mafia to a stunned examination commission in February. It explored the concept of mafia, tracing its history and connections with Italian freemasonry, and documented its unchecked presence within the University of Messina… The seven-minute oral exam, one of the shortest on record, was witnessed by a packed hall of curious observers and conducted by a commission of nine professors who denied him full honours… Both the traditional Sicilian mafia, and the university mafias, he admits, share many features such as the total lack of moral and social conscience, the code of silence, the exchange of favours, membership of power groups prepared to break the law, and the ruthless use of power to instill fear and a sense of servility… Some of Italy’s strongest voices are joining the appeal for radical change. President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, a former education minister, is known to have persistently vetoed premier Romano Prodi’s recommendations of freemason rectors for prestigious appointments.”
Derk Jan Eppink, “De Standaard”, 19.8.99:
“Freemasonry has in itself become an important contacts network for the highest appointments… The structure of political appointments has infiltrated the Belgian system and applies also for high-level administrative and diplomatic posts… Freethinking has emerged from the shadows several times during recent legislature, for example on 19 October 1995 when Willy Claes defended himself to the Chamber against allegations of corruption. At that time he was secretary-general of NATO and wanted to conserve his immunity… The session was held behind closed doors. Claes had to present his own defence and addressed the assembly’s Freethinkers in symbolic Masonic language. “I address those of you who have also known the dark days before the light began to shine”, declared Claes. The closed room was so silent that a pin could have been heard to drop, “I am sure that my appeal will not be in vain”. Before that event, Claes’ friend Freddy Willockx had telephoned around the ministers known or thought to be freemasons, imploring them not to let “brother Willy Claes” down... Tension between the Christian Democrats and Freethinkers reached a head on 8 May 1998 during a Chamber debate on the sect report compiled by a parliamentary committee… The president of the enquiry commission was Serge Moureaux, French-speaking Socialist minister and freemason. The proposal was introduced by Antoine Duquesne, then minister of the French-speaking Liberal party and currently Minister of the Interior, also a freemason… During the debate on 8 May 1998, the head of the Flemish Christian Democrat party angrily accused Mr Moureaux of leading a ‘Lodge operation’.” Eppink also identified the holders in 1999 of the following ministerial portfolios in the Belgian federal government as freemasons: two Deputy Prime Ministers; Employment; Foreign Affairs; Interior; Public Function and Modernisation of Administration; Defence; Finance; Telecommunications and Business and Public Participation; Secretary of State. The Parliament voted to deprive Willy Claes of his immunity – although ten of the 150 MPs crossed party lines to support him.
3. Post-war American covert support for European unification
“Der Spiegel”, 33/1997, 11.8.97, p20:
Richard J. Aldrich, “The Hidden Hand: Britain, America and Cold War Secret Intelligence”, John Murray, London, 2001: Chapter 16, “The CIA’s Federalist Operation: ACUE and the European Movement”, p342-369:
“Covert operations are central to any understanding of events in post-war Western Europe… American officials, trying to stabilise post-war Europe in the face of growing communist parties in France and Italy, assumed that this required rapid unification, perhaps leading to a United States of Europe. President Truman’s Marshall Plan was designed to encourage a federal Europe… The creation of a federalist United States of Europe was therefore a holy grail for Washington. Extensive covert operations for the specific promotion of European unity were launched by the CIA’s greatest luminaries… The most remarkable US covert operation was vast secret funding of the European Movement. By the early 1950’s promoting European unity was the largest CIA operation in Western Europe… The European Movement counted Winston Churchill, Paul-Henri Spaak, Konrad Adenauer, Leon Blum and Alcide De Gasperi as its five Presidents of Honour. In 1948, its main handicap was lack of funds; indeed, it was bankrupt and close to collapse. The discreet injection of more than $4 million by the CIA between 1949 and 1960 was central to efforts to drum up mass support for the Marshall Plan, the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community and a European Assembly with sovereign powers. This covert contribution never formed less than half the European Movement’s budget and, after 1952, it was probably two-thirds… The conduit for American assistance was the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), directed by senior figures from the American intelligence community… ACUE typifies the liberal philosophy underpinning many such CIA covert operations. It made little attempt to manipulate organisations or individuals… Indeed many Europeans in receipt of covert funding belonged to the non-communist left, confirming Peter Coleman’s adept characterisation of these CIA activities in Europe as a ‘liberal conspiracy’… the broad objectives of American operations in post-war Europe are now clear. The CIA… were creating stay-behind or GLADIO networks against the possibility of a Soviet incursion into Western Europe. West European political parties, often of the non-communist left and centre, were subsidised. Famously, during the Italian election of 1948, various political groups were paid millions of dollars which helped to revitalise the hitherto listless campaign of the future Prime Minister, De Gasperi… Cord Meyer [a senior CIA official] recalled that the ‘European political and cultural leaders who solicited our aid… made it a condition that there be no publicity, since the Communist propaganda machine could exploit any overt evidence of American support as proof that they were puppets of the American imperialists’. This was certainly the case with the European Movement… in November 1953, Baron Boel, the Treasurer of the European Movement, explained that it was essential to avoid a situation where opponents of European unity could accuse the organisation of being an American creation… Funds from the Mutual Security Agency, the successor to the Marshall Plan, were also used to support the European Movement; indeed the [US] Mutual Security Act of 1951 explicitly stated that its resources were to be used ‘to further encourage the economic and political federation of Europe’… In July 1953 it [the CIA] surveyed all its work in Western Europe in the field of political-psychological operations and covert action. It was clear about its major achievements, which fell into two categories: ‘The major accomplishments of political action and propaganda operations in Western Europe have been in the area of European unification, and in reducing the power and influence of Communism. Covert operations have been chiefly in support of overt US Government actions to achieve greater military, economic and political cooperation.’ In the summer of 1953, the CIA judged the acceleration of European unity and co-operation to be its most successful area of covert operations in Western Europe… Viewed from Europe, the most striking aspect of the ACUE’s work is the extent to which officials working for European reconstruction and unification shared the experience of wartime intelligence, special operations and resistance. European unity had taken root in wartime resistance movements. These links with clandestine organisations continued into the post-war period. The emerging European Economic Community and the growing Western intelligence community overlapped to a considerable degree.”
4. CIA involvement in post-war Italian politics and P2
The relationship between OSS, precursor of the CIA, and the mafia originated during World War Two, when contact was made to facilitate the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943 (John Ranelagh, “The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA”, Weidenfield and Nicolson, London, 1986, p50).
D Yallop, “In God’s Name”, Jonathan Cape, London, 1984, p117-8:
“From the early formation of P2, he [Gelli] had the active support and encouragement of the CIA operating in Italy… Excluding Italy there are still branches functioning in Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia, France, Portugal… Members are also active in Switzerland and the USA. P2 interlocks with the Mafia in Italy, Cuba and the USA. It interlocks with a number of the military regimes of Latin America, and with a variety of groups of neo-fascists. It also interlocks very closely with the CIA.”
J. Patrice McSherry, “Operation Condor”, in journal “Social Justice”, Winter 1999, v26, i4, p144 et seq:
“After World War II, top US national security strategists grew increasingly alarmed by the advances of Communism in Eastern Europe and in the Far East. US national security specialists embarked on a secret, multi-billion dollar project to develop global covert warfare and propaganda machinery to wage Cold War against Communism. National Security Council Directive 10/2 of June 1948 authorised a vast programme of clandestine ‘propaganda, economic warfare, preventative direct action including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition, and evacuation measures… [to be done so that] any US government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorised persons and that if uncovered the US government can plausibly deny any responsibility’ ([US Congress] Church Committee Report, Book IV, 1976:29-31). The earliest uses of targeted US covert operations were in the Greek civil war and in the Italian elections of 1948, in which the Communist Party (PCI) stood poised to gain power. Respected domestically for its central role in the Italian antifascist resistance, the PCI was subject to a covert US campaign of political manipulation, paramilitary action, and propaganda to undermine its popularity. The Italian operation, which was considered successful, set a precedent for CIA covert operations and dirty methods that became standard practice. Throughout Europe, US and British officials, operating within NATO, set up secret stay-behind armies to prepare for a Communist invasion – and prevent Communist electoral victories… The US pushed for a secret clause in the North Atlantic Treaty requiring the secret services of all joining nations to establish their own brances of the secret army… Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO partially due to the secret protocol, which he considered a violation of sovereignty, and he regarded the secret network to be a danger to his government. Discovery of the covert project in 1990 caused a political firestorm in Europe. In that year, the European Parliament passed a strongly worded denunciation of the clandestine organisation, its antidemocratic implications, and the terrorist acts associated with it… A 1992 BBC documentary on the Cold War featured an interview with US Colonel Oswald Le Winter, who asserted that the CIA had penetrated or controlled right-wing terrorist organisations, including P2, and recruited members on the basis of anti-communism. [P2 Venerable Master] Gelli was a key figure linking US officials, the CIA,… and there was overlap between Gladio and P2… During the investigation of Gladio, former Italian Defence Minister Paulo Taviani told a judge that the Italian secret services were directed and financed by CIA officers stationed in the US Embassy…”
William Scobie, “Observer”, 18.11.90:
“Declassified secret service papers reveal that Ted Shackleton, deputy chief of the CIA station in Rome in the 1970’s, introduced the notorious Licio Gelli – head of the neo-fascist P2 masonic lodge and for years a fugitive in Argentina – to General Alexander Haig, then Nixon’s chief of staff, and later, from 1974 to 79, NATO supreme commander… After meetings between Gelli, Italian military brass and CIA men in the embassy, Gladio was given renewed blessing – and more money – by Haig and the then head of the National Security Council, Henry Kissinger.” Gelli was later invited to President Reagan’s inaugural celebration.
Richard Bassett, “Times”, 24.7.90:
“Four programmes on state television (RAI) allege that the CIA paid Licio Gelli to ‘foment terrorist activities’. In the first programme someone described simply as ‘Agent Zero’ described how [Swedish Prime Minister Olaf] Palme had been caught in a deal between the CIA and Iran to release American hostages in Tehran. ‘Palme was a fly in the ointment so we got P2 to rub him out,’ the agent said. The second programme, which showed the gaunt silhouette of ‘Agent Zero One’, alleged that P2 was not wound up in the mid-1980’s, after the arrest of its leader Licio Gelli. ‘It still exists. It calls itself P7,’ he said. According to the agent, the lodge is still functioning with branches in Austria, Switzerland and East Germany. ‘Zero One’ has now been revealed by the Italian press to be Dick Brenneke, allegedly a career CIA officer.”
Paddy Agnew, “Irish Times”, 24.7.90:
“In the programme, Mr Brenneke alleged that throughout the 1970’s the CIA made large sums of money available to the subversive masonic lodge, P2… According to Mr Brenneke, P2, under the guidance of its Grand master, Mr Licio Gelli, used some of the finance made available by the CIA to set up agencies in West Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These agencies in turn were used by P2 to set up the assassination of Palme, on the orders of the CIA.”
Mark Hosenball, Sunday Times, 29.7.90:
“In a four part special on RAI… Brenneke claimed he had been making payments to members of P2, a right-wing masonic lodge, on behalf of the CIA from 1969 to 1980. He said he had made payments which ranged from $1m to $10m a month and were part of the struggle against communism. He said P2 was also involved in arms and drugs trafficking for the CIA.”
Ed Vulliamy, Guardian, 3.8.90:
“On the eve of the [tenth] anniversary [of the Bologna railway station bombing], Liberato Mancuso, the Bologna judge who had led the investigation and secured the initial convictions [of the Bologna bombers] broke six months of silence: ‘It is now understood among those engaged in the matter of democratic rights that we are isolated, and the objects of a campaign of aggression. This is what has happened to the commission into the P2, and to the magistrates. The personal risks to us are small in comparison with this offensive of denigration, which attempts to discredit the quest for truth. In Italy there has functioned for some years now a sort of conditioning, a control of our national sovereignty by the P2 – which was literally the master of the secret services, the army, and our most delicate organs of state”.
5. Contemporary US covert action in Europe
Sunday Times, 4.8.96; “CIA spies on Europe? American spies hack into Euro computers to steal trade secrets”:
“American intelligence agents have hacked into the computer of the European Parliament and European Commission as part of an international espionage campaign aimed at stealing economic and political secrets, according to investigators, write Tim Kelsey and David Leppard. The European Parliament has called in British communications experts to improve its security and block further attempts by American government agents to spy on its workings. Security officials at the Parliament’s Luxembourg offices say they have discovered several recent instances in which its communications systems was compromised by American hacking. They have also found evidence that the Americans used information obtained from hacking to help them in negotiations last year on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt). Lord Plum, leader of the British Tory MEPs in the European Parliament, said he was shocked by the disclosure. “I will be taking this up directly with the American ambassador [to the European Union]”, he said. The CIA has already been accused by the Japanese and French governments of hacking into their communications networks in an attempt to obtain confidential trade secrets. The European Parliament’s computer network links more than 5,000 MEPs, officials, researchers, and other staff to each other and to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels and the Council of Ministers. Traffic across the network by telephone and computers include details of the private medical and financial records of many MEPs and officials, and discussion documents on confidential issues, including trade, tariff and quota agreements. The records of closed committees of enquiry into BSE and fraud are also stored on the system. European Parliament sources say the Americans accessed the network by compromising the information exchanges that link the Parliament’s internal networks with the Internet and external computers. The devices called ‘routers’, filter entry to the European Parliament’s network; it is understood the Americans were able to obtain access to what is called the simple network management protocol (SNMP), the language that enables the networks to talk to each other. They were able to exploit the fact that parts of the system were manufactured by two American firms. The breach came to light when officials believed that American negotiators had been given advance warning of confidential European Union positions in last year’s trade negotiations. “It was established that the system had been penetrated just days before the talks”, an EU source said. “Our principal concern is not to establish what has already been copied but to ensure that it does not happen again. This is an on-going problem”. A spokeswoman for Antonio Cavaco, director of data processing at the Commission, confirmed that allegations of hacking had been investigated. However, she said she was unable to provide any details.”
Duncan Campbell, campaigning UK journalist; “Former CIA Director Says US Economic Spying Targets ‘European Bribery’”; 12.3.2000:
“Former US CIA director James Woolsey confirmed in Washington this week that the US steals economic secrets ‘with espionage, with communications [intelligence], with reconnaisance satellites”, and there was now “some increased emphasis” on economic intelligence. He claimed that economic spying was justified because European companies had a ‘national culture’ of bribery and were the ‘principle offenders from the point of view of paying bribes in major international contracts in the world’.”
R James Woolsey, former Director CIA, in “The Wall Street Journal”, 17.3.2000, ‘Why We Spy on Our Allies’:
“Yes, my continental European friends, we have spied on you… The European Parliament’s recent report on Echelon… has sparked angry accusations from continental Europe that US intelligence is stealing advanced technology from European companies so that we can – get this – give it to American companies to help them compete. My European friends, get real… Most European technology just isn’t worth our stealing… we have spied on you because you bribe… you bribe a lot. So complicit are your governments that in several European countries bribes are still tax-deductible.”
6. KGB involvement in European politics
Oleg Gordievsky, KGB political intelligence officer based in Denmark in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s; “My task was to acquire contacts in… any organisation through which the KGB might be able to influence public opinion. I might, for example, cultivate the head of an organisation opposed to the European Common Market, because the policy of the Kremlin and the KGB was to split Europe and prevent its consolidation” (Oleg Gordievsky, “Next Stop Execution”, Macmillan, London, 1995, p192). Gordievsky also claimed to have “ran”, as a KGB informant, a Member of the European Parliament (same reference, p193).
Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, “The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West”, Allen Lane, London, 1999, p384 et seq:
During the Cold War the Soviet Union provided substantial financial and other support to western communist organisations – in particular the Communist Party of Italy (PCI) – as revealed by KGB documents smuggled to the West by the defector Vasili Mitrokhin:
“’The profound, fraternal and genuine ties’ which bound the PCI to the Soviet Union even after Soviet tanks had entered Prague had a secret dimension of which very few Italian Communists outside the [PCI] Direzione were aware. After the Colonels’ coup in Athens in 1967, the PCI general secretary, Luigi Longo, and other Party leaders had become alarmed by the possibility of an Italian military putsch on the Greek model. In the summer of 1967, Giorgio Amendola, on behalf of the PCI Direzione, formally requested Soviet assistance in preparing the Party for survival after a coup as an illegal underground movement. [The Soviet] Politburo decision no. P50/P of 15 August authorised the [KGB] to draw up a programme which was intended to give the PCI its own intelligence unit with a fully trained staff and a clandestine radio communications system… three Italian radio operators completed a four-month KGB training course. Other Party members took courses in producing bogus identity documents, following a syllabus which devoted ninety-six hours to rubber stamps and document seals, six to the art of embossing with synthetic resins, six to changing photographs on identity documents, six to making hand-written entries on documents and twelve to ‘theoretical discussions’. These and other secret training courses continued at least until the end of the 1970’s”. The Soviet Union also bank-rolled the PCI in this period: e.g., $5.7m in 1972. “Moscow provided further financial assistance through lucrative contracts with PCI-controlled companies in business ventures ranging from Soviet oil imports to hotel construction in the Soviet Union” (p386). “In December  the PCI took secret delivery from the KGB of three SELENGA radio stations in order to enable Party headquarters to maintain contact with local branches if the PCI was forced underground… In the aftermath of a coup the SELENGA radios would transmit messages to Moscow which would then be retransmitted to local PCI underground groups by powerful Soviet transmitters” (p386). In 1976, during which Moscow’s subsidy was $6.5m, “the Party received a record 34.5% of the vote” (p388). However, not all Eastern Bloc initiatives were financial or defensive in nature: “What most concerned the leaders of the PCI, however, was support by the Czechoslovak StB [secret service] for the Italian Red Brigades. Their anxieties reached a peak on 16 March 1978, when the Red Brigades ambushed a car carrying the president of the Christian Democrats, Aldo Moro… the PCI Direzione… was privately tormented by the fear that news of the support given to the Red Brigades by the StB would leak out” (p389). The KGB also provided long-term support to other European communist parties, in particular those of France and Spain.
Wolfgang Achtner, “Sunday Independent”, 11.11.90:
“Andreotti… has admitted to Parliament that a covert intelligence service was set up 40 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.”
Richard Norton-Taylor, “Guardian”, 15.11.90:
“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 was known as ‘Operation Gladio’”.
Edward Lucas, “Independent”, 16.11.90:
“By the late 1960’s the CIA felt Gladio was expensive and out of control, but decided not to close it down because it fostered useful contacts with the Italian security establishment”.
UK magazine “Searchlight”, January 1991 report on “Gladio”:
”the Swedish post-war “Gladio” organisation was entitled ‘Sveaborg’, and was mainly composed of veteran Swedish volunteer battalion members who fought in the Finnish-Soviet war, some of whom went on to join the Waffen-SS Nordland division… In the 1950’s, Sveaborg had over 1,000 ‘contact persons’ who were the core of the would-be guerilla force. Many of these people were serving in the Swedish armed forces and the group held regular military exercises… Today Sveaborg keeps an extremely low profile but does exist and is said to have taken younger people into its ranks… In her book ‘Hakkorset och Wasakarven’, published this year, Dr Helena Loow of Gothenberg University’s Institute of History wrote that Sveaborg ‘considered itself to be a secret unit whose foremost task was to fight the enemy within and without’… It was in Norway that the first hint of Stay Behind surfaced in 1978 when a police raid on shipowner Hans Otto Mayer turned up a huge quantity of weapons, explosives and sophisticated communications equipment. Mayer told the police investigators that he was the leader of a Stay Behind group and after a brief row when police made this public the story was quickly buried… The strength of the Italian Stay Behind group was put at about 12,000 men. So far the existence of the plan has [been] officially admitted in Holland, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Turkey and Italy… Some of the objectives of the German Stay Behind conspiracy were highlighted in a German Stern TV programme last month in which it was reported that the assassination of left-wing politicians was planned by the German wing of Stay Behind in the event of a Soviet invasion… Klaus Barbie functioned as a recruiter… Documentary evidence in the hands of the British All-Party Parliamentary War Crimes Group… shows that Barbie… was indeed in close contact with the US secret services.”
Ed Vulliamy, “Guardian”, 16.1.91 and 5.12.90:
“The makings of the bomb which killed 85 people at Bologna railway station in 1980 came from an arsenal used by Gladio, the Italian wing of NATO’s communist-resistance network, according to a parliamentary commission on terrorism…”; “Links between Gladio, Italian secret service bosses and the notorious P2 masonic lodge are manifold.”
Fiona Leney and Wolfgang Achtner, “Independent”, 10.11.90:
“Details of Gladio emerged after a Venetian magistrate, Felice Casson, stumbled across records of the group during an enquiry into a terrorist murder [in 1972 of three carabinieri at Peteano by a fascist car bomb, made using a Gladio explosives cache] which took him into the archives of the Italian secret service. [Prime Minister] Mr Andreotti, who has already been interviewed by judge Casson, was forced to report to Parliament detailing the creation of the group… [he] admitted that ‘certain activities had been carried out under a NATO umbrella in consideration of a possible invasion, but said the organisation had ceased to exist in 1972.”
Charles Richards, “Independent”, 1.12.90:
“Operation Gladio has been dismantled. General Paulo Inzerilli, chief of staff of the Italian security service SISMI told the parliamentary committee on terrorism that the Prime Minister issued the order on Wednesday.”
Bruce Johnston, “Sunday Times”, 9.12.90:
“[President] Cossiga delivered a eulogy on the paramilitary organisation in a speech to carabinieri cadets at a training college in Rome. Calling members of Gladio patriots, the President suggested the magistrate investigating the organisation was inspired by the same subversive ideals that fuelled Italy’s left-wing movements.”
Richard Norton-Taylor, “Guardian”, 16.11.90:
“The network… in Austria is called ‘Schwert’ (sword).”
Fiona Leney and Wolfgang Achtner, “Independent”, 10.11.90:
“The Belgian government said it was investigating possible links between its own clandestine network and a spate of particularly brutal raids on supermarkets around Brussels in the mid 1980’s, in which 28 people died. Several policemen and right-wingers were arrested…”
P. Neuray, Associated Press, 14.11.90:
“’Shortly after I became Minister of Justice on January 16, 1984 I was informed about ‘Stay Behind’”, former Justice Minister Jean Gol said in an interview with the Socialist daily ‘Le Peuple’. He said Belgium’s 1984 budget contained 10 million francs to modernise the network’s sophisticated communications equipment, code-named ‘Harpoon’… Gol said a total of 50 civilians were members of Stay Behind in 1984… In Luxembourg, Prime Minister Jacques Santer told Parliament… the Luxembourg network was recently disbanded.”
”Earlier this week, Belgium’s Defence Minister, Guy Coeme, said the Belgian arm of the network, SDRA-8, set up with British weapons in 1949, was still active under the head of the Belgian military’s intelligence service.”
Paddy Agnew, “Irish Times”, 15.11.90:
“In Paris the defence minister, Mr Jean-Pierre Chevenement, confirmed French involvement in the network [named, ‘Glaive’; ‘sword’] but said that President Mitterand had abolished it. The agency AFP claims that the disbandment is ‘recent’… [In Germany] A government spokesman said the government knew of plans by US intelligence agencies to recruit a network of guerillas throughout Europe and to prepare arms caches. The plans had been developed with the knowledge of the West German secret service director, he said.”
Richard Norton-Taylor and David Gow, “Guardian”, 17.11.90:
“The German government is to disband its part of Gladio, the secret resistance network, Bonn officials said yesterday. According to a German television report [produced by Stern magazine], the section consisted of former SS and Waffen-SS officers as well as members of an extreme rightwing group, the Federation of German Youth, and drew up plans to assassinate leading figures of the opposition Social Democratic Party in the event of a Soviet-led invasion.”
John Palmer, “Guardian”, 10.11.90:
“In Greece, defence minister, Yannis Varvitsiotis, has said local commandos and the CIA set up a branch of the network in 1955 to organise guerilla resistance to any Communist invader. Known as Operation Sheepskin, it was dismantled in 1988.”
“Andreas Papandreou, Greece’s former Socialist prime minister, said his government had disbanded the Greek network, which he described as a ‘para-state’ organisation… it was formed in 1955 as a secret part of the agreement to set up US military bases in Greece.”
Richard Norton-Taylor, “Guardian”, 5.12.90:
“Officers in the [Gladio] underground unit were involved in the [Greek] Colonels’ coup in 1967… France proposed Spain for membership of the network in 1973 but Britain, Germany and the Netherlands blocked the move on the grounds that Spain was not a democracy.”
Associated Press, 14 and 21.11.90:
“Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed in a Tuesday letter to Parliament that his government is running its version of the Gladio group… ‘I cannot exclude that [financial contributions by] private persons were used in protecting and covering up certain activities’ of what he called the Stay Behind force. Dutch newspapers reported last week that most of the organisation… was being paid for by wealthy industrialists so that it could not be traced through government spending records.”
John Palmer, “Guardian”, 10.11.90:
“In Portugal, a Lisbon radio station has reported that cells of the network associated with Operation Gladio were active there during the 1950’s to defend the rightist dictatorship of Dr Salazar.”
L Foyen, Reuters, 18.12.90:
“The Swedish government created in 1978 a fully-fledged network known only to the Prime Minister and a few selected cabinet ministers, military leaders and industrialists. It was led by a Swedish businessman… The network, supported by the US CIA and Britain’s MI6, existed from 1958 until at least 1978 and included 150 standby resistance leaders and special arms depots across Sweden.”
Note: This letter was published as a JUST Response exclusive report on September 24 2002.