My first question Mr. Ganser will be once

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1 NATO s Secret Armies:fact or fiction?: Voice of Russia That was a very difficult topic to investigate because NATO does not want to talk about its secret armies despite the fact that it is proven, that NATO was running secret armies in the Cold War. My first question Mr. Ganser will be once you said that many of your colleagues didn t believe you that NATO had ever had a secret army. However in 1990 Italy s Prime Minister Julio Andreotti confirmed that there had been NATO s secret armies in all NATO member countries. And that in Italy such an army was called Gladio. In spite of this fact many treated your book and the very fact of some secret armies was with distrust. What are the facts did you rely on? What evidence of these NATO divisions did you find for example in Turkey or Switzerland? It is true that at a time when I was researching the subject of NATO secret armies many of my colleagues said that they were not sure that the NATO have had secret armies at all during the Cold War. But when I looked at the data available I found very clearly that NATO had secret armies during the Cold War, that they were called stay behind and I basically relied upon a testimony by the Italian Prime Minister Julio Andreotti at that time but also on investigations by the Italian Senate and I also relied on documents from the Italian defense department. Furthermore I relied on parliamentary reports of the Belgium Senate, I relied on parliamentary reports of the Swiss Parliament. So, there is really a lot of evidence. Also the former CIA people have spoken that they all confirm that NATO had operated the secret armies which in Italy were called Gladio and in other countries they had other names. Mr. Ganser, you started working on these issues some time ago. You have been working on the book called NATO s Secret Armies for a long period of time. Can you tell us actually what did you find out that you decided to start an investigation? What facts led you to the subject? It is true that I have worked on the subject of NATO secret armies for more than ten years now. And my book was first published in 2005 and it is now published in ten languages but the first English edition was published in And the reason why I wanted to shed more light on NATO s secret armies was really the question of whether NATO is a force for peace or whether it is some sort of a dark organization linked to terrorism and secret armies. And that was a very, very difficult topic to investigate because NATO does not want to talk about its secret armies despite the fact that it is proven, that NATO was running secret armies in the Cold War. So, you have to understand that most people in the 28 NATO countries today do not know that NATO operated secret armies because NATO does not want to talk about it. You write that secret armies were formed in Western Europe in the early 50 es of the last century to resist the Soviet invasion. Today the leaders of Russia and the West point out that the Cold War has been ended. Do you think that is really so in practice? Are these statements confirmed? It is clear that the secret armies were formed after the World War II because if I looked for the data from the secret armies in Norway for instance, the Page 1

2 Norwegian experience in the World War II was that they were occupied very quickly by the German army. They were scared that if in the Cold War there should be another invasion and occupation of their country, they feared the Soviet invasion of Norway. And many countries in the Western Europe feared the Soviet invasion. They said we need a secret army which then would fight the Soviet occupying forces in Western Europe. So, this was really the structure of the secret armies during the Cold War and we have many documents that confirm these structures. There were secret arms caches in the ground with guns and explosives and munitions. And it is clear that the secret armies existed during the Cold War from 1950 to 1990 and then in 1990 the Cold War ended, the Berlin Wall crumbled, the USSR was transformed into Russia of today. So, the huge changes that swept across Europe influenced the secret armies in the sense that the governments said we now dissolve the secret armies. But I ve been asked many times whether it is not possible that new secret armies have been setup by NATO and I have to say yes, that is possible. I think they would probably be under different names and different forms but it is possible that new secret armies exist. The importance today I think is to talk about a secret warfare in general. Mr. Ganser, according to your information these divisions received money from the CIA and partly from the MI6. Washington or London will hardly ever confirm this fact. Nevertheless, can some evidence of the leading role of the US and the UK in coordination of these divisions and of the connection of the CIA with terrorism in Europe can be obtained? There are two aspects to your question. One thing is whether the CIA and the MI6, thus the American and the British secret service, whether they paid money to the secret armies of NATO and that is confirmed. We do have very clear data from different sources, we also have the former Director of the CIA William Colby who in his memoirs wrote how the CIA funded the stay behind armies. Therefore this is very clear and confirmed. And the same thing is confirmed for MI6. We know that the British secret service for instance trained the Swiss stay behind network which was called P26. But we do not know whether the CIA and the MI6 were linked to the acts of terrorism. We have many different voices here in the Western Europe that say that NATO secret armies and especially Gladio in Italy was linked to acts of terrorism. But I have said many times that it is very difficult to prove this because there is no written document where the CIA says please carry out an act of terrorism in Western Europe in order to scare the population. The idea really was that these acts of terrorism which indeed were carried out in Italy and in Belgium, and in other countries, that they were then blamed on the communists in order to weaken the communist political parties in the parliaments of Western Europe. One of the aims of the NATO s secret divisions was an influence on the political system of individual countries and a change of political course of one or another country. So, does it mean that terrorism which is a forceful intervention was considered as the main tool of political conviction? Again that is a very delicate terrorism question. What I do know is that we had acts of terrorism in Italy for instance in Piazza Fontana in 1969 or in Bologna in 1980, or in Germany in 1980 was a large terrorist attack in Munich, in Belgium in the 1980 es there were large terrorist attacks, or in France there were terrorist attacks during the crisis with Algeria and we had three military coup d états in Turkey and we had a military coup d état in Greece and Spain was a dictatorship during the Cold War, and Portugal was a dictatorship during the Cold War. So, the whole idea that there was no violence in Western Page 2

3 Europe during the Cold War is simply wrong, there was a lot of violence. And what we try to find out now is whether the secret armies of NATO were linked to these acts of violence. One point of evidence is that NATO s secret armies were, it seems, linked to the military coup d état in Greece in We have also data which links the secret armies to the military coup d état in Turkey. And some people in Italy, right wing terrorists, including Vincenzo Vinciguerra, they have said yes, we carried out acts of terrorism, yes, we had to attack women, we had to attack children, innocent people far from the political game because the idea was to scare the population, to make them fear communism because after having carried out the terrorist attack we blame it on the political enemy which at that time was communism. So, it is a so called false flag terrorism, you carry out a terrorist attack and you blame it on your political opponent. It is something very, very evil and it is very difficult to find out what really happened. The NATO of these days has nothing to do with it but the Italian right wing terrorists, they say that they were protected by NATO and they confessed that they have carried out the attacks. So, it is a delicate topic. Mr. Ganser, you say that we should not exclude the introduction of NATO agents into the ranks of terrorists and wasn t the same service used against the terrorists? Yes, the question really is that we would need names to really say this is an agent of NATO and he was active in this and that military secret service. And we do not have such names. So, the problem with the NATO secret armies is that we only have a confirmation that they existed, we have a confirmation that they prepared for a Soviet invasion, we have confirmation that in some countries like Germany they recruited the former SS people, people from the very right wing spectrum, because they wanted to make sure that knew how to use arms and they wanted to make sure that were anti-communist. So, the whole Gladio story very delicate in itself and we still do not know exactly what happened on the NATO commands. And what we do know is that people like Lyman Lemnitzer was the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, that s a very high ranking NATO officer. When he was still in the Pentagon he was suggesting that the false flag terrorism should be used to create an attack against Cuba. That s a different context but we have official documents from Operation Northwoods where Lemnitzer actually suggests that a ship should be blown up in Guantanamo on the coast of Cuba and then the Americans should say that Fidel Castro blew up the ship. But in fact it would have been the Pentagon to blow up the ship. Furthermore, Lemnitzer suggested that terrorist attacks should be carried out in Washington and in Florida and then should be blamed on Fidel Castro whereas in reality the Pentagon would have carried out these terrorist attacks. And furthermore, Lemnitzer suggested that a plane should be brought to explode above Cuba and people should be told that this is a plane with young American children in it and that Fidel Castro shot it down whereas in reality the plan was to have just an empty plane downed. And this Operation Northwoods was not executed, President Kennedy said you can t do that, and he stopped that. But really the thinking behind it is a false flag terrorism, it is a strategy of tension and we tried to find out whether in the context of Gladio the same happened in the Western Europe. And what about Iran? NATO says that the main threat to the international security comes from Iran. Can we talk about the existence of a new strategy of destabilization but in the Middle East area? If we look at Iran the main point is that Iran has a lot of oil, together with Saudi Arabia and Iraq the Page 3

4 biggest oil reserves of the world are in these very countries. So, I do think that during the last hundred years really, you know the first oil in the Persian Gulf area was discovered in 1908, that s a hundred and five years ago now, and this interest to control the resources of this area is very traditional, it is longstanding. And if you look at Iran in 1953 you see that at that time the country wanted to control a larger part of its oil and then the British secret service MI6 and the American secret service CIA, they were the ones who operated the Gladio NATO s secret armies in Western Europe. These two secret services attacked Iran in a secret war and overthrew the Government of Mossadegh because Mossadegh was the Prime Minister and he was elected, and he actually wanted to control and give the oil to the Iranian population but at that time you actually had the same phenomenon of false flag terrorism. You had the CIA people who dressed up as radical Muslims and took bombs into holy Muslim cities just to stir up fear and stir up hatred in Iran. And today, fifty years later we are in a situation where America has attacked Iraq in 2003 and is now saying that Iran should stop building nuclear weapons. But I m not sure that s the whole story, it might well be that the secret operations are being carried out in Iran to destabilize the country and it might well be that secret operations are carried out also in Syria to destabilize the country. So, that strategy of tension is used again. And I d like to explain that strategy of tension you carry out a terrorist attack, blame it on somebody who did not do it and then you destabilize the entire country and people look very confused. And actually in Syria they don t know right now, I don t know it either, who is responsible for the last ten terrorist attacks that we had, there is a whole series of terrorist attacks. And it really creates chaos. Speaking about the Middle East, NATO armies in the middle of the last century achieved their aims also through terrorism. In some Middle Eastern countries terrorism unfortunately has become an integral part of life. So, are there reasons to look for the trace of the same secret armies? I think it is important to look at secret warfare in general. Secret armies existed in Western Europe during the Cold War and what historians and also political scientists, and citizens and politicians today have to realize is that a secret warfare is a reality. You have to remember that in 1990 when the secret armies of NATO were first discovered in the Western Europe the European Parliament was shocked and they said how can this be, we shouldn t have secret armies that are not controlled by the Parliament, because the parliamentarians didn t know that these secret armies exist, so how could they control them. And then the media didn t know that these secret armies exist, that was a huge surprise to people and media. The only people who knew that these secret armies existed were military officers and people from the secret services. So, the challenge today really is to look at the secret warfare in general. We must find out for instance in the war of 2011 against Libya, we have obviously the story that it was just a war between Gaddafi and his own population before NATO started to bomb the country, but if you look at the data more critically you see that that is not true. We did have secret forces which operated inside Libya before NATO started to bomb the country. We have data which shows that the CIA and the MI6 we again involved, that the secret services of America and Great Britain, and we also have data that Qatar was involved. So, we always have to search for the signs of secret warfare today and I m convinced that the secret warfare still exists today and it is a very great danger for people who are interested in peace and are very active in the peace movement, and people who try to spot wars, who try to spot the secret warfare find it very difficult to talk about the secret armies. Mr. Ganser, our last and the most important question is there any reason to say that NATO s secret Page 4

5 armies were not dismissed and did not stop its activities in Europe? The question of what NATO is doing today and whether it still has secret armies is a very delicate question. I always say that the problem with NATO is that it does not want to talk about its secret armies that it had in the Cold War. I once wrote a letter to NATO and asked them about more data of the secret armies and they just refused to talk about the subject. So, NATO is not really transparent, it is a military organization and if it doesn t want to talk about something it just doesn t talk about it. So, I think it is possible that NATO today is still using a secret warfare to achieve its interests and therefore we need more and also more critical research on what NATO is really doing, I mean it is always the same but it is a force for peace, but we know that NATO is the biggest military organization now existing worldwide. We know that NATO is basically directed by the United States and that the Europeans are only on the secondary line of command and therefore it is very important to have this discussion in Europe about NATO history past, present and future. Page 5

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