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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:40 PM
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and did not even shrink from terror attacks against their own people.
The dark side of the West

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www.ethlife.ethz.ch
Rubrik: Science Life
Conference "Nato Secret Armies and P26"
The dark side of the West
Published: 10.02.2005 06:00
Modified: 09.02.2005 21:41

During the Cold War secret armies in all West European states prepared themselves for
possible Soviet invasion. An ETH study was presented last week that shows how these

hidden groups operated and did not even shrink from terror attacks against their own
people.


By Felix Wrsten
It is now a little more than fifteen years since the fall of the Wall in Berlin brought the Cold War
to an end. The division of Europe into two hostile spheres of control that had lasted for
decades was thus overcome. Previous to this each side had done everything conceivable to
maintain control over its sphere of influenceat any price. That the East resorted to drastic
measures during the Cold War is borne out for example by the tragic events in Hungary or
former Czechoslovakia.
By contrast, there is hardly any awareness today of how cohesion in the West was maintained.
True, at the beginning of the 1990s, due to revelations in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, the
public learned that the western alliance had not always been squeamish when it came to
choosing its ways and means. Most states, however, steadfastly refuse to shed any light on
incidents pertaining to the Cold War. Some light now comes from a new publication (1) from
the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich (2) , which was presented to the public
last week.

Direct connections to the Pentagon
During the Cold War, explains the author of the study, Daniele Ganser, NATO set up so-called
"stay-behind" networks. These were secret organisations thatin the eventuality that a country
was invadedwould fight the Soviet occupying forces from the underground. There was close
co-operation between the different national organisations. Co-ordination was upheld by two
secret sub-divisions of "Shape", NATO's Headquarters, which was directly subordinate to top
NATO commanding officer in Europe (Saceur). Direct connections also existed to the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the USA and to the British Secret Service, MI6.
Secret underground armies existed also in the neutral countries. In Switzerland it was the
organisation known as P26, the existence of which was brought to light in 1990 by a
parliamentary committee for investigation (PUK-EMD) investigating the military department.
P26 was not directly involved in the network of NATO's secret armies but it had close contact
to MI6. In Austria in 1990 too, the government was obliged to admit that an underground
organisation had existed.

Andreotti unveils the unbelievable
NATO's secret armies are a dark spot on the history of Western Europe. In a number of
countries they attempted to influence political developments with terrorist activities. In Italy in
1990, the then Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti publicised the existence of the secret army
"Gladio" under pressure from the investigators. Gladio was controlled by the military secret
service Sismi and worked in close collaboration with the CIA. But apparently Gladio was also
in league with the Mafia, the fascists and the Catholic Church.
The aim was to hinderat any pricethe government participation of the communists. Ministers
of this party, so the fear, could pass on secrets to the Soviet Union, thus undermining NATO
from the inside. Gladio did not flinch from cowardly terrorist attacks against its own people.
The population was to be unsettled so they would demand more security from the state. By
using false trails and exerting control over the the judiciary, Gladio succeeded in laying the
blame on the political opponents.
In France and Germany (where former SS officers were involved), as well as in Norway and
Belgium secret armies carried out terrorist strikes. In Greece one such was involved in a
military putsch and in Turkey so-called "counter-guerrilla" groups fought against the Kurds.
Following the revelations of Switzerland's PUK-EMD commission, the suspicion was voiced for
the first time that P26 had carried out strikes. The suspicion, however, could not be confirmed.
What did the politicians know?
In the panel discussion following the presentations Hans Senn, former lieutenant general and
General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, told how, in the middle of
his term of office, he was informed of the existence of a secret espionage and defence
organisation. He tolerated the existence of the organisation for security political reasons. It
already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also
a secret group in Switzerland. For this reason the later investigations of the military
department by PUK-EMD appear strange, said Senn. All politicians were in a position to know
that there existed a covertly operating group in Switzerland. Senn still finds it scandalous that
his successor, Jrg Zumstein, was decried as a "putsch general" by the Social Democrats
Lively discussion on the hidden activities of secret
service agents (from the left): Daniele Ganser
(author of the study), Professor Andreas Wenger
(Director of CSS, ETH Zurich), Professor Georg
Kreis (Director of the Europe Institute at the
University of Basle), Hans Senn (Company
Commander rtd.), Helmut Hubacher (former
Member of Parliament), Bruno Lezzi (journalist,
NZZ).
Page 2 of 3
Science Life: ETH Life - ETH Zurich's weekly web journal in English.
11.03.2005
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 02:52 PM
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1. It's like posting into a dark void around here sometimes.
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