Forbidden History: Operation Gladio

The following two-and-a-half hour BBC documentary may not be of the best visual quality, but is nonetheless vital viewing for anyone wanting to understand how Europe was clandestinely “rebuilt” from the ashes of the Second World War in preparation for the Cold War. The film’s findings are particularly pertinent in light of recent events in Paris and Belgium, showing the brutal lengths to which the allied powers (the U.S., UK and NATO) would go in order to maintain their grip on the power structures of the newly liberated old continent.

The film exhaustively documents how the secret services of the allied victors, led by the OSS (the forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency), deployed fascist and other far-right groups that had collaborated with Hitler (what they termed “stay-behinds”) to build secret networks of spies and agents to fight against communist or other left-wing movements in Cold-War Europe.

As Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a former member of the neo-fascist group “Ordine Nuevo”, says in the film’s introduction, “Gladio, as it is defined nowadays, forms part of what I have always referred to as ‘parallel structures’. In other words, an invisible army that is not poised for battle against a hypothetical invader but rather one meant to be used internally against what the military have always called the ‘Fifth Column of the USSR.'”

This allegedly inlcuded orchestrating false-flag terrorist attacks against Italian civilians during the “Years of Lead” (1960s to 1980s) as a means of discrediting Italian left-wing movements. A 2000 Senate report stated that “Those massacres, those bombs, those military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.”

Which kind of makes you wonder: if, at the height of the Cold War, European governments and secret services were willing to sacrifice untold numbers of their own citizenry with the goal of engendering fear, division and distrust among the general public, what about now?

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