Welcome to the ninth installment in my ongoing examination of the notorious Propaganda Due (P2) Masonic lodge. For those of you just joining me or trying to catch up, here is a brief rundown of what has come before: With part one I gave an overview of P2 and its Venerable Grand Master, former Blackshirt and SS man Licio Gelli. The second installment moved along to P2's alleged connections to a series of terror bombings that rocked Italy during a period known as the "Years of Lead" as well the lodge's links to the terror network known as Aginter Press.
Part three began to examine that lodge's role in what is commonly known as the "Great Vatican banking scandal" or the "Banco Ambrosiano affair" breaking down the backgrounds of three of the key players: Bishop Paul Marcinkus (alleged P2 member) and financiers Michele Sindona (a P2 initiate) and Roberto Calvi (also an initiate). With the fourth installment I moved on to to the black heart of the scandal, namely that the money siphoned off from Mafia drug money by Sindona and Calvi was likely used to arm the Contras (some would say death squads...) on behalf of forces within the Vatican (among others). With part five I addressed the Rothschild banking dynasty's part in the scandal, as well as a series of armed robberies linked to the Banco Ambrosian collapse and the bizarre and highly ritualistic death of Roberto Calvi.
The implications of these things will be considered a bit further down. For this installment on the whole I would like to take a step back and begin considering the forces behind P2. Let us start with the organization's ties to the US intelligence community. Noted all the way back in part one was that notorious CIA operator Theodore Shackley as well as General Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger had authorized Gelli's dabblings with P2 back in the late 1960s. Many years later Gelli himself would give some indication of the formal structure within which P2 functioned:
"The US-funded anti-Communist parallel government P2 and the US-funded anti-Communist parallel army Gladio cooperated closely during Italy's First Republic. Licio Gelli, who after the discovery of the P2 had escaped arrest and fled to South America, after the end of the Cold War was happy to confirm that the secret army was made up of staunch anti-Communist. 'Many came from the ranks of mercenaries who had fought in the Spanish Civil War and many came from the fascist Republic of Salo. They chose individuals who were proven anti-Communist. I know it was a well-constructed organization. Had Communist strength grown in Italy, America would have assisted us, we would have unleashed another war and we would have been generously supplied with arms from the air.' Gladiators were paid well, Gelli elaborated, for the US spent a lot of money on the network: 'The Americans paid them large sums of money, the equivalent of an excellent salary. And they guarantee the financial support of the families in case the Gladiator was killed.'
" 'The aim of Gladio and other similar organizations which existed in all countries of Western Europe was to counter the invasion of the Red Army or the coming to power by coup d'etat of the Communist parties,' Gelli stressed the twofold function of the secret network. 'That PCI, during all those years, has never come the power, although they have tried to do so repeatedly, is the merit of the Gladio organization.' Gladio researcher Francovich, with an implicit reference to the numerous massacres Italy had suffered from, asked Gelli: 'How far would you have gone in your campaign against Communism? to which Gelli vaguely replied: 'Ah, number one enemy was Communism [silence] – we were an association of believers – We did not admit non believers – We wanted to stop Communism in its tracks, eliminate Communism, fight Communism.' "
(NATO's Secret Armies, Daniele Ganser, pg. 75)
"As the Cold War ended, following juridical investigations into mysterious acts of terrorism in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was forced to confirm in August 1990 that a secret army existed in Italy and other countries across Western Europe that were part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Coordinated by the unorthodox warfare section of NATO, the secret army have been set up by the US secret service Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6 or SIS) after the end of the Second World War to fight communism in Western Europe. The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named 'Gladio' (the sword) in Italy, while in other countries the network operated under different names including 'Absalon' in Denmark, 'ROC' in Norway and 'SDRA8' in Belgium. In each country the military secret service operated the anti-Communist army within the state in close cooperation with the CIA or the MI 6 unknown to parliaments and populations. In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers, Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defense Ministers, were involved in the conspiracy, while the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC)... coordinated the network on the international level. The last confirmed meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.
"As the details of the operation emerged, the press concluded that the 'story seems straight from the pages of a political thriller.' The secret armies were equipped by the CIA in the MI6 with machine guns, explosives, munitions and high-tech communication equipment hidden in arms caches in forests, meadows and underground bunkers across Western Europe. Leading officers of the secret network trained together with the US Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England. Recruited among strictly anti-Communist segments of the society the secret Gladio soldiers included moderate conservatives well as right-wing extremists such as notorious right-wing terrorist Stefano delle Chiaie and Yves Guerain Serac. In its strategic design the secret army was a direct copy of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), which during the Second World War had parachuted into enemy-held territory and fought a secret war behind enemy lines.
"In case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe the secret body of soldiers under NATO command would have formed a so-called stay-behind network operating 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 centres of the occupation forces with explosives. Yet the Soviet invasion never came. The real and present danger in the eyes of the secret war strategists in Washington and London were the at-times numerically strong Communist parties in the democracies of Western Europe. Hence the network in the total absence of a Soviet invasion took up arms in numerous countries and fought a secret war against the political forces of the left. The secret armies, as the secondary sources now available suggest, were involved in a whole series of terrorist operations and human rights violations that they wrongly blamed on the Communists in order to discredit the left at the polls. The operations always aimed at spreading maximum fear among the population and ranged from bomb massacres trains and market squares (Italy), the use of systematic torture of opponents of the regime (Turkey), support for right-wing coup d'etats (Greece and Turkey), to the smashing of opposition groups ( Portugal and Spain)..."
(NATO's Secret Armies, Daniele Ganser, pgs. 1-2)
|a patch used by the "gladiators" of Gladio|
"Despite all official assurances to the contrary, there is a strong suspicion that a complete list of Gladio members, if that should ever be made public, would contain numerous names of right-wing extremist, possibly of people implicated in acts of terrorism. Magistrates in Brescia, for example, have begun examining the possibility that Gladio may have been in some way involved in the 1974 Piazza della Loggia bombing. Judge Casson's investigations have revealed that the gladiators were unusually thick on the ground in that part of the world. One particularly encumbering name discovered by Casson on the cover of an almost empty secret service file pertaining to a Gladio member is that of Gianfranco Bertoli. The secret services insist that it is just a coincidence and that the person involved has nothing to do with the man who attempted to blow up the Interior Minister with a bomb in 1973. It is significant that Vincenzo Vinciguerra, one of the first insiders to lift the veil on secret service manipulation of terrorism, has drawn attention to Bertoli's attack as a particularly good example of secret service-inspired terrorism. He has also claimed that he was himself invited to carry out an assassination attempt on the same minister some two years earlier. The proposal was put to him, he told magistrates, by two members of Ordine Nuovo whom he suspected of being in contact with the secret services. Much of what Vinciguerra had alleged in the past appears to meet with confirmation in Andreotti's revelations about Gladio.
"Perhaps where Gladio gets closest to direct involvement in terrorism is with the Peteano bombing, carried out by Vinciguerra himself. It may have been to preserve the secrecy of Gladio that the secret services organized their heavy-handed cover-up over the affair. On 24 February 1972, at Aurisina in north-east Italy, not far from Peteano, some children playing in the woods discovered one of the Gladio arms caches and reported their findings to the carabinieri. A week later, more arms were found in a cave nearby. In both cases, it appears, the dumps had been interfered with and some of the explosives were missing. The then commander of Gladio, General Gerardo Serravalle, used this incident as a pretext to recommend the dismantling all the Gladio dumps. As we shall see, he had come to suspect the democratic reliability of many of his own men. The remaining explosives were immediately detonated by the carabinieri and the secret services busied themselves in concealing the true nature of the arms caches, encouraging investigators to pursue the theory that the weapons belonged to international arms traffickers rather than to the guardians of Italian democracy. Three months later, on 31 May 1972, Vinciguerra staged the Peteano bombing and there is a strong suspicion that the explosives used in that attack may have originated in one of the Aurisinia dumps. When Casson attempted to investigate this hypothesis some eighteen years later, he was told by the carabinieri that all the documentation relating to the discovery have been destroyed. It is quite possible that the secret service cover-up over Peteano may have been intended simply to preserve the secret of Gladio. But it is hard to avoid the suspicion that the anti-communist organization may have been more directly involved in the bombing and that someone in the know may have tipped off members of Vinciguerra's group about where they could obtain their explosives.
"Some of the most serious doubts about the reliability of the gladiators stemmed from the testimony of General Serravalle, commander the organization from 1971 to 1974, who is one of the first secret service officers to lift the veil of secrecy about the organization in evidence to Judge Mastelloni. Serravale has described how, shortly after his appointment, he made a point of meeting some of the men under his command and was shocked by the extremist views that many of them expressed. Rather than waiting for a Soviet invasion, half of the gladiators were eager to set about eliminating Italian communists without delay. 'I found myself, an officer in the service of the Italian Republic, at the head of an armed band,' the general told the parliamentary commission on terrorism. He was even more specific in the course of a television interview: the Gladio arms dumps, he said, were 'an absolute threat to the stability of the country.' The discovery of the Aurisina dump provided him with a convenient excuse to recommend the dismantling of all the arms caches on the grounds that they were no longer secure. But he did not share his suspicions with his secret service superiors because he had so little faith in them. 'Miceli [SID director] was a man of honor, but I was afraid of the other people around him, who had been in SIFAR and were involved in Piano Solo,' he told me."
(Puppetmasters, Philip Willan, pgs. 152-154)
|General Gerardo Serravalle|
|General Vito Miceli|
"... Nor is it reassuring to learn that the gladiators were in large part armed with Eastern Bloc weapons. Secret service director Admiral Fulvio Martini told the parliamentary commission on terrorism that the Gladio arms dumps contained Kalashnikovs and other Soviet weapons, as well as explosives from Czechoslovakia. It is interesting to remember, in this context, Richard Brenneke's claim to have bought weapons in Czechoslovakia on behalf of the CIA. It is hard to imagine what advantage the gladiators could derive from the use of Eastern Bloc weapons in the event of a Soviet invasion. Their use for acts of terrorism in peacetime, on the other hand, would conveniently point the finger of blame at the communist bloc. It would be interesting to know, for example, how many of Gladio's Soviet-made weapons ended up in the hands of the Red Brigades."
(Puppetmasters, Philip Willan, pg. 158)
The gladiators may have devised some advantage from these weapons in the event of an invasion in that they would be easier to procure ammunition for but certainly there chief value would have been as incriminating evidence in false flag terror attacks, as Willan indicates above.
It is likely that these Soviet Bloc weapons originated from the Bulgarian Connection detailed at length in part eight. There it was noted that various US-weapons, included some classified ones, flowed to the Soviet Union through this network. Surely it would not be especially difficult for Soviet weapons to travel the other way. This also may offer a glimmer into the reasoning behind shipping classified weapons to the Soviets: the Russians gave up common weapons for US false flag operations that would in turn be used to stir up the Cold War at a time when the Soviet Union was already beginning to tire for some advanced hardware.
But there are indications that there was an even more subtle reason. The highly controversial Richard Cottrell traces things back to the Vatican's support for the Polish Solidarity movement and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II:
"As usual [Paul] Marcinkus overshadowed this very strange affair with his customary aplomb. Late in 1980, he entertained a group of visiting CIA dignitaries for an excellent lunch followed by a bracing round of golf. Thus restored, they agreed the Vatican Bank would act as a conduit for a $200 million slush fund, with the theoretical intention to boost the fledging Solidarnosc movement. The money would enter the Vatican from forwarding banks in Panama and South Africa, together with Coutts, snooty London bankers to the British Royal Family, and the Sindona network. It was understood that profits from the CIA's off-radar activities would count among the proceeds. More would be sourced from various government agencies, Right-wing think tanks and the American AFL-CIO labor movement. There was many hands rubbing with glee at the prospect of a share in these gala proceedings. But Solidarnosc was just the cover story of a much grander drama.
"The token archbishop himself sometimes mused in retirement over the Red Gold sifting through his fingers. A clue as to what he meant came from Elizabeth Wasiutynski, who ran the Solidarnosc office in Brussels in the early 1980s. She was adamant that she never saw such galactic sums passing through her hands. At most she handled about $200,000 petty cash every year. Moreover, what need had Solidarnosc of such amazing amounts, given its main financial pressures arose from the need to fork out meager amounts of occasional strike pay? Richard Pipes, one of Reagan's key advisers, soon began to question exactly where the $200 million, which he suspected (rightly) was only the tip of the financial iceberg, actually went after it vanished in the CIA plugholes. The ardent Zionist Pipes, like all Zionist-Likudnik neo-conservatives no bosom chum of the CIA, suspected its dirty tricks department working hand-in-hand with the notoriously corrupt Vatican on some grand smoke and mirrors deception. Indeed it was, in classic Italian fashion. Even as Reagan heaped fiery rhetoric on the Evil Empire, hands were moving behind the scenes to disable the Soviet Union with the most effective weapon of all: money.
"It is time to resurrect again that grand master of duplicity and financial chancery, Robert Maxwell, who above all knew how an intricate web of shell companies, operating under an anonymous group umbrella, could shuttle funds unseen around the globe. Maxwell was the key to the Red Gold and the Pope's Kremlin connection. By the end of the 1970s, intelligent realists in the KGB and in particular one man, the hard-line but coldly practical KGB boss and Politburo member Vladimir Kryuchkov, understood that the USSR was bankrupt politically and financially. It could only be repaired by importing the precepts of the West. Kryuchkov is of course remembered chiefly for his role in the short-lived 1991 coup against Gorbachev. This was a classic Russian-style false-flag operation, which effectively destroyed the last remnants of the rigid conservative base holding out against sweeping reforms of the Soviet system. As the future presidential candidate General Alexander Lebed said afterwards: 'There was no putsch as such. It was a provocation, planned with genius, carried out brilliantly, large-scale and unprecedented, where roles were set down for both the clever and the stupid.'
"Gorbachev was a designated heir of the briefly-reigning, long-sighted Yuri Andropov, the only true intellectual ever to head the Politburo, although Kryuchkov, his former deputy at the KGB, was of the same stripe. With Andropov's encouragement, he set about the papal Noah's Ark project. It was to quietly escort the most senior inner party members to the safe haven of about 600 companies established on western lines, to secure a future in the inevitable transition from the command economy to western-style corporatist capitalism. From the seed corn capital transmitted through the Vatican, giants such as Gazprom arose from the ashes of the communist party. The recipients of this secret nourishment were destined to flower as the all-powerful oligarchs who came to dominate post-communist Russia (and Poland too, where a similar project was bearing fruit). By weaving trading links with Western companies and learning through their expertise, these KGB front companies would obtain access to the refreshing energies of capitalism."
(Gladio: NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe, Richard Cottrell, pgs. 284-285)
It seems evident that both Gladio and P2 played a role in these intrigues. Both organizations were littered with former Nazi and fascist intelligence assets. And many of these assets played both sides during the Cold War. This was especially true of the Gehlen Organization (which was later incorporated wholesale into the BND, Germany's chief intelligence agency), which was so littered with double and triple agents than no one seems truly certain as to where its loyalties laid. All that can be said is that Gehlen and his Org took the lead in Eastern European operations for the Pentagon and CIA from the onset of the Cold War up to the early 1960s and left nothing but a trial of disasters in their wake.
"... the Org, which served as a kind of subcontracting syndicate for harebrained CIA rollback schemes, guerrilla airdrops, and other ill-fated covert attempts to topple Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. In addition to providing plausible deniability, Gehlen had access to former leaders of virtually every Nazi puppet government from the Baltics to the Black Sea, as well as an assortment of Waffen SS fanatics who joined the American-led campaign to 'liberate' their native lands. 'It was a visceral business of using any bastards as long as he was anti-Communist,' explained Harry Rositzke, ex-head of CIA operations in the Soviet Union. 'The eagerness to enlist collaborators meant that you didn't look at their credentials too closely.'
"In the wake of successive paramilitary fiascoes in Eastern Europe, some CIA officers wondered if Soviet agents had infiltrated the Org. Clearly Gehlen was a political hot potato. A conflict raged within U.S. intelligence as to what advantages the United States had in fact accured by supporting a shadowy spy network run by a moody ex-Nazi officer. The CIA's James Critchfield, who worked with Gehlen on a daily basis for nearly eight years, recalled that 'hundreds of flaps... kept breaking out between the [Org] and elements of the occupation. Suspicions were such that the CIA and the army both began spying on the Org. Born of concern that U.S. intelligence lacked effective control over its surrogate, Operation Campus became the designated codename for a secret army investigation into Gehlen's activities.
"American army sleuths discovered that Gehlen's agents had employed various stratagems to undercut U.S. intelligence. During interrogations at displaced-persons camps, for example, his men would warn inmates not to talk with the Americans on the grounds that the United States was secretly still in cahoots with the Soviets. The Agency also learned of a rabidly nationalist newsletter, Orientierung, that circulated among Gehlen's staffers, giving rise to 'the uneasy feeling that we, namely U.S. intelligence, were being misused for German nationalistic purposes,' as one CIA operative put it. But as long as Allen Dulles ruled the roost, Gehlen continued to live a charmed existence. 'He's on our side and that's all that matters,' Dulles said of his German counterpart. 'Besides, one needn't ask him to one's club.'
"Was Gehlen really on America's side, as Dulles glibly asserted? 'What we had, essentially, was an agreement to exploit each other, each in his own national interest,' said Critchfield, who considered Gehlen 'a consummate political operator.' It seemed to work as long as Gehlen's objectives coincided with the CIA's, but being on the U.S. payroll did not guarantee abiding loyalty. While Gehlen sought to satisfy his sponsor's craving for details on their mutual enemy, he also pursued another agenda, which entailed running interference for the legions of war criminals who flocked to the Org for cover. By coopting the CIA's anti-Communist bias, Gehlen was able to neutralize the immediate threat posed by U.S. intelligence, which otherwise might have pursued a more rigorous denazification program.
"The CIA eventually found out that the Nazi old-boy network nesting inside the Org had a dangerous and unexpected twist to it. By bankrolling Gehlen, the Agency had unknowingly laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet spies. Although former Nazis gravitated to the West, some went over to the Soviets, who took advantage of every opportunity to infiltrate the Gehlen network. Certain Third Reich veterans collaborated with the Russians while also pawning secrets to the Americans, the British, and the French, depending on who offered more money. Willi Hottl, the SS disinformation adept who later worked for U.S. Army intelligence and the Gehlen Org, described the free-for-all that ensued at war's end: 'The German Secret Service is broken and scathered both to East and West. Some serve the Americans and some the Russians. Others lie low and watch which way the wind blows. Some play with fire on both sides of the Iron Curtain...' "
(The Beast Reawakens, Martin A. Lee, pgs. 38-39)
|the coat of arms of the Sovereign Oder of Malta|
"... Grey Wolves member Abdullah Catli ranged among the most notorious Counter-Guerrillas during the 1970s. Graduating from street gang violence Catli became a brutal enforcer for the Grey Wolves as a member of the Counter-Guerrilla operating under the direction of the Special Warfare Department. After the military coup in 1971 Catli rose quickly within their ranks, emerging second in command in 1978. It was in that year that he had to go underground because the police had linked him to the murder of seven left-wing activist. Supported by other right-wing terrorists Catli linked up with notorious Italian right-wing terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie and together they traveled to Latin America and the United States. Closely linked to terror operations in Turkey and abroad Catli cultivated excellent contacts with the Turkish elite..."
(NATO's Secret Armies, Daniel Ganser, pgs. 237-238)
|the nations who participated in Operation Condor|
|the logos of the neo-fascist terror networks Grey Wolves, Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale, all of which have been linked to Gladio|
In this researcher's opinion, this incident is one among many that indicate that elements of Gladio (including the European wide network) have habitually gone rogue. As has been emphasized throughout this series, much of the nucleus of Gladio was comprised of "former" Nazis and fascists who had recently been defeated by the Allied powers (i.e. the British and Americans as well as the Soviet Union). While many of these individuals had a pathological hatred of Communism so fierce that they were generally willing to collaborate with their conquerors, these individuals and groups none the less had little love for the United States.
As the Gladio network expanded and took on younger organizations such as Avanguardia Nazionale and the Grey Wolves, this anti-American sentiment only intensified. Many of these organizations had their own agendas distinct from the Anglo-American elite who dominated NATO and while superficially collaborating with them, said organization always looked for an opening to advance their own agendas. To this end, these fascist elements also found extensive support among far right factions within the Vatican as well as the US intelligence and military establishment itself. The rivalry between the Anglo-American Establishment and the Military-Industrial Complex has been addressed briefly before here.
As for John Paul II, the issue seems to have been how to finally crush the Soviet Union. The Anglo-American Establishment, closely linked to banking and finance, wanted an orderly collapse, one that would include Russian elites willing to play ball. Their "allies" in Gladio wanted a full scale blood letting.
While there is much debate over the character of John Paul II (who was no doubt deeply corrupt), this Pope seems to have favored a peaceful defeat of the Soviet Union. The transfer of funds the Vatican shipped to the Soviets seems to have been protection money for Poland, Pope John Paul II's native land. Such a solution does not seem to have been favored by the more militant figures within Gladio, to put it mildly.
|Pope John Paul II|
Consider then two events in this context that unfolded in 1981 in Italy. The first occurred on March 17 (Saint Patrick's Day and the appearance of the highly esoterically significant number 17): a surprise raid of Gelli's Tuscany villa (which surely required authorization from the Most High) exposed a vast quantity of P2 documents revealing the names of various members. This led to the first serious public scrutiny of P2. Later confiscated documents included one dubbed "A Plan for Democratic Revival," which some have described as a putsch to impose a military dictatorship upon Italy. Then, on May 13th 1981, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.
These two events could be described as an elite "tit-for-tat." Establishment figures seemed to have attempted to curtail the influence of P2 by exposing it and thus destabilizing the Italian state which it dominated. Not long afterwards, the Pope is nearly murdered. Investigations continued against P2 but hence forth Gelli and other powerful figures within the lodge avoided any serious legal consequence for their actions. Further, allegations of Soviet involvement were promptly spread by P2's allies. This was even more fuel for the fire of the reinvigorated Cold War that followed Reagen's election. The stage was thus set for the brutal "Dirty Wars" Latin American suffered during the 1980s that P2 and their allies played a key role in (as noted in part four).
And even more compelling, after Pope John Paul II's recovery from the assassination attempt the Polish pontiff would move to protect a highly secret order with longstanding ties to Gelli and P2. Some researchers have speculated that this organization was in fact the real power behind P2.
This would seem to indicate that the Pope was sent a message, one of which he and his supporters heard loud and clear. In the next installment this organization and other curious groups behind P2 shall be considered. Stay tuned.