Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gladio: Nato-sponsored State Terrorism in Europe

On August 4, 1974, while I was travelling around Italy on an Interrail ticket, a bomb exploded in car 5 of the Italicus Express running from Rome to Brennero on the Florence-Bologna line as it left the tunnel of San Benedetto Val di Sambro. Twelve passengers were killed and 44 were wounded. Mario Tuti, Pietro Malentacchi, and Luciano Franci of the Revolutionary National Front were accused of the attack, though when they came to trial years later they were aquitted for lack of evidence.

Days earlier I had travelled through the same tunnel on my way by train from Venice to Naples. A few days later, I would travel through the same tunnel on my way to Florence. Had my schedule been different, I may well have found myself a victim of the attack.

I became aware of the event through the lurid artist's reconstructions on the covers of Italian news magazines outside newsagents on Rome's Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

I was seventeen at the time.

On August 2, 1980, a bomb was planted in the waiting room of the Bologna railway station: 84 died and some 200 were injured. The act was ascribed to neo-Fascists.


A few weeks later, while travelling with a friend around Italy by train we passed through Bologna and noted the gap where the waiting room had been.

In March, 1982, I began to live and work in Italy. In the June of that year, the body of Italian banker, Roberto Calviwas found hanging from a noose under Blackfriars Bridge, London. In the next few years, the name of Banco Ambrosiano, the Propaganda Due (P2) Masonic Lodge, and Licio Gelli would become familiar.

In the winter of 1984/85, I was working in Pistoia, Tuscany, and I lived in a mansard directly under the rafters on the top floor of the medieval Casa del Capitano del Popolo (House of the Captain of the People). (See picture below.)

Shortly before Christmas, 1984, I travelled through the San Benedetto Val di Sambro tunnel where, ten years earlier, there had been a bomb explosion, on my way from Florence to Bologna and from Bologna to Padua to stay with the family of an Italian friend who lived in a house in the Veneto countryside, before flying from Treviso airport to London's Gatwick airport.

In the January 7, 1985, edition of Time Magazine, the article, "Italy Tunnel of Death", appeared. It began:

Stretching for 11 1/2 miles beneath central Italy's rugged Apennine mountains, it is one of Europe's longest railway tunnels and carries the nickname La Direttissima because it provides the most direct route between Florence and Bologna. Last week the Italian press renamed it the "Tunnel of Death."

Two days before Christmas, Train 904, an express bound from Naples to Milan with 700 holiday passengers aboard, was roaring through La Direttissima at 90 m.p.h. when a time bomb exploded in a second-class carriage. The force of the blast blew in the double-paned windows in most of the train's 14 cars. Antonio Algieri, 33, one of those wounded by the flying glass, described the scene as "a hurricane of slivers--and then so much terrible screaming in the dark." The train came to a stop, and thick smoke billowed through the tunnel, initially frustrating rescue attempts as dazed passengers stumbled around in the blackness.

When rescue teams eventually reached the wreckage, they found that the ninth car of the train had been demolished by the blast; at least 15 people were found dead and 80 were seriously injured. It was Italy's bloodiest terrorist act since the authorities began to gain the upper hand in the fight against political extremists two years ago.

Within hours, a number of outlawed groups of both the left and the right claimed responsibility for the blast. Official suspicion centered on neo- Fascist terrorists, since the Christmas attack took place in the same tunnel in which right-wing extremists bombed a train in 1974, killing twelve and wounding 48. In 1980 neo-Fascists planted a bomb in the waiting room of the Bologna railway station: 84 died and some 200 were injured.

I had travelled through this very tunnel only days before this second bomb attack.

After flying back to Italy, I returned by the same route to my mansard in Pistoia's Casa del Capitano del Popolo.

As the couple above whose flat I lived were out and I couldn't get in, a doctor who lived in a flat below theirs invited me in for a drink and a chat. Naturally, the conversation revolved around the recent bombing, and my own lucky escapes, both in 1974 and a few weeks earlier.

It was then that I became aware of the view, quite commonly held by all classes of people in Italy, including respectable middle class doctors, that the Italian government were somehow behind these attacks.

Over the next few years, the words Operazione Gladio (Operation Gladio), and strategia di tensione (strategy of tension), became increasingly familiar as these were increasingly talked about in the Italian press. These topics are too complicated to deal with in one article. But I leave the reader with a few links and the first of a three-part BBC programme on Operation Gladio.

And with one final thought. When, in 1990, Italian Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, revealed the existence of Gladio (though he denied that it had anything to do with the bombings described above), then president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, who had been involved in setting Gladio up, felt honor-bound to resign.

More recently, Senator Cossiga, who clearly has a deep roots in his country's intelligence service, has stated, in an interview with leading Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera: "It is common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies that 9/11 was an inside job."

Operation Gladio: NATO Terrorists pt 1 of 15

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

part 7

part 8

part 9

part 10

part 11

part 12

part 13

part 14

part 15

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The $3-Trillion War

By James Harris | truthdig, posted on Apr 16, 2008

Listen to this interview.


James Harris: This is Truthdig. James Harris here with Linda Bilmes. She is the co-author of the new book, “The Three Trillion Dollar War.” She’s also a Harvard economist, and she did serve in the Department of Commerce during the Clinton administration. As we watch the sensational news coverage of the governor of New York’s resignation, “The Three Trillion Dollar War” reminds us that nearly 4,000 American soldiers and more than half a million Iraqis have been killed in this war. And that spending will total more than $3 trillion. Linda, why is it important that we take this war, and our spending, more seriously?


Neocons Admit that “War On Terror” Is a Hoax

George Washington Blog | Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Key war on terror architect Douglas Feith has now confirmed Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Wesley Clark in admitting that the so-called War on Terror is a hoax.

In fact, starting right after 9/11 -- at the latest -- the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon so as to protect Israel. And the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda.

As reported in a new article in Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.

Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states...


General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].


When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."


The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Where does Israel come in?

Well, the Asia Times article continues:
Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.

Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.


After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1988] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden's sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders "refused to consider it", according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.

A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower".

And if "terrorist strikes" were a "small price to pay for being a superpower"- and that is the reason that the U.S. government refused to disrupt the alleged planners of the 9/11 attacks - doesn't that add weight to the claim that the U.S. government intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur? In other words, doesn't this statement by a senior officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tend to prove that 9/11 was intentionally allowed to occur as the "New Pearl Harbor" which would allow America to act like "a superpower" and re-make the Middle East in its own (and Israel's) image?

This is not an unreasonable question, especially given that Feith, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and most of the other key architects of the "war on terror" were part of the Project for a New American Century and its plea for a "New Pearl Harbor" to justify expansion of American militarism and regime change in the Middle East.

And remember that many of the key members of PNAC and architects of the "war on terror" had previously created the "Clean Break" strategy for Israel, which called for a policy of war and regime change against Israel's enemies.

The war on terror was never intended to be about fighting terrorism. As even Newsweek has now admitted, the war on terror is a hoax.

The Self-Righteous Rich: Rockefeller Family Fables

SHARON SMITH | Counterpunch | Thursday, May 8, 2008

On April 30th, reporters flocked to the penthouse suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel where fifteen representatives of the Rockefeller dynasty were holding court. There, the Rockefellers chastised oil giant Exxon-Mobil for failing to invest in “alternative energy” sources, invoking their own moral authority as Exxon-Mobil’s longest standing shareholders.

Family spokesperson Neva Rockefeller Goodwin sanctimoniously recalled the memory of her great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and originator of the family fortune. “Kerosene was the alternative energy of its day when he realized it could replace whale oil,” she argued. “Part of John D. Rockefeller’s genius was in recognizing early the need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner fuel.”

But the indignation of today’s generation of Rockefellers—who inherited their own exorbitant wealth from Standard Oil, Exxon-Mobil’s parent corporation—is aimed more at ensuring the continued financial health of the family’s trust funds than concern for the future of the world’s population. As Peter O'Neill, great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, commented at the press conference, “I have a world of respect for what the company has done well. In fact, if the next 20 years of the energy business were just going to be about oil and gas, we probably wouldn't be here today.”