Monday, 1 September 2008

Giovanni De Lorenzo

General Giovanni De Lorenzo - Head of SIFAR/SID (Italian Secret Service); Head o/t Carabinieri (Italian Paramilitary Police)


@TEMP = The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provided international cover for Washington's postwar
operations in Italy. A secret clause in the initial NATO agreement in 1949 required that before a nation could join, it
must have already established a national security authority to fight communism through clandestine citizen cadres.

This Stay Behind clause grew out of a secret committee set up at U.S. insistence in the Atlantic Pact, the forerunner of
NATO. Each NATO member was also required to send delegates to semiannual meetings on the subject. *4

U.S. authority for such moves flowed in a steady stream of presidential directives transmitted through the National
Security Council (NSC). In December 1950, the council gave the armed forces carte blanche to use appropriate military
even if the communists merely gain participation in government by legal means or threaten to achieve control...or the government ceases to evidence a determination to oppose communist internal or external threats. *5

The CIA helped the Italian police set up secret squadrons staffed in many cases with veterans of Mussolini's secret
police. *6 The squadrons were trained for intensive espionage and counter-espionage, against communists and other
perceived enemies of the status quo. The plan to use exceptional means was patterned after the highly militarized
French intelligence service, the Suret Nationale, which was reportedly so tough on communists that many fled to other
countries. *7

The newly organized intelligence agency, SIFAR, began operations in September 1949, under the supervision of an undercover American, Carmel Offie, nicknamed godfather by the Italians. *8 Interior Minister Mario Scelba headed
the operation. At the same time, Scelba was directing a brutal repression, murdering hundreds of workers and peasants
who sought improved conditions after the war. *9


With the Italian secret service under control, the Americans then expanded it under the name Operation Demagnetize
and tied it to an existing network of cadre in northern Italy. In 1951, the Italian secret service formally agreed to set up
a clandestine organization within the military to coordinate with the northern cadres. In 1952, SIFAR received secret
orders from Washington to adopt a series of political, paramilitary and psychological operations destined to diminish the
power of the Italian Communist Party, its material resources, and its influence on government.
This priority objective
must be attained by all means. 10

Operation Demagnetize marked the institutional hardening of Gladio. A State Department historian characterized it as
the strategy of stabilization, *11 although it could be more accurately described as one of destabilization. From the
start, the offensive was secretly directed and funded by the U.S. government.
In 1956, the arrangement was formalized in a written agreement, using the name Gladio for the first time. According to 1956 documents uncovered in Italy in 1990, Gladio was divided into independent cells coordinated from a CIA camp in Sardinia. These special forces included 40 main groups. Ten specialized in sabotage, six each in espionage, propaganda, evasion and escape tactics, and 12 in guerrilla activities. Another division handled the training of agents and commandos. These special forces had access to underground arms caches, which included hand guns, grenades, high-tech explosives, daggers, 60-millimeter mortars, 57-millimeter machine guns and precision rifles. *12

In 1956, Gen. Giovanni De Lorenzo was named to head SIFAR on the recommendation of U.S. Ambassador Claire
Boothe Luce
, the avidly anticommunist wife of the publisher of Time magazine.
*13 A key player in Gladio was now in place. In 1962, the CIA helped place De Lorenzo at the head of the national police (carabinieri), while he retained
effective control of the secret service.

The general brought with him 17 lieutenants to begin purging insufficiently right-wing officers. It was the first step to a
right-wing coup attempt, with U.S. military attaché Vernon Walters in the vanguard. In a memo to De Lorenzo the same
year, Walters suggested types of intervention aimed at provoking a national crisis, including blocking a center-left
coalition, creating schisms among the socialists, and funding forces favorable to the status quo.14

Meanwhile, according to CIA files found in Rome in 1984, CIA station chief William Harvey began to recruit action
teams based on a list of 2,000 men capable of throwing bombs, conducting attacks, and accompanying these actions with
indispensable propaganda. 15 These teams had a chance to practice their skills in 1963 as part of an anti-union
offensive. U.S.-trained gladiators dressed as police and civilians attacked construction workers peacefully demonstrating
in Rome, leaving some 200 wounded and a large section of the city in shambles. The link to Gladio was made in later
testimony by a former general in the secret service.16

SIFAR Lt. Col. Renzo Rocca was also training a civil militia composed of ex-soldiers, parachutists and members of
Junio Valerio Black Prince Borghese's paramilitary organization, Decima MAS (Tenth Torpedo Boat Squadron), for the
pending coup
.17 President Antonio Segni reportedly knew of the plan, which was to conclude with the assassination of Prime Minister Aldo Moro, under fire for not being tough enough with the communists.18

The long-planned takeover, known later as Plan Solo, fizzled in March 1964, when the key carabinieri involved
remained in their barracks. As a subsequent inquiry moved to question Rocca about the coup attempt, he apparently
killed himself, possibly to fulfill Gladio's oath of silence. After officials determined that state secrets were involved,
three hamstrung inquiries failed to determine the guilty parties.19


Despite the failure of Plan Solo, the CIA and the Italian right had largely succeeded in creating the clandestine
structures envisioned in Operation Demagnetize. Now the plotters turned their attention to a renewed offensive against
the left.

To win intellectual support, the secret services set up a conference in Rome at the luxurious Parco dei Principi hotel in
May 1965, for a study of revolutionary war. The choice of words was inadvertently revealing, since the conveners and
invited participants were planning a real revolution, not just warning of an imaginary communist takeover. The
meeting was essentially a reunion of fascists, right-wing journalists, and military personnel. The strategy of tension
that emerged was designed to disrupt normality with terror attacks in order to create chaos and provoke a frightened
public into accepting still more authoritarian government. *20

Several graduates of this exercise had long records of anticommunist actions and would later be implicated in some of
Italy's worst massacres. One was journalist and secret agent Guido Giannettini. Four years earlier, he had conducted a
seminar at the U.S. Naval Academy on The Techniques and Prospects of a Coup d'Etat in Europe. Another was notorious
fascist Stefano Delle Chiaie, who had reportedly been recruited as a secret agent in 1960. He had organized his own
armed band known as Avanguardia Nationale (AN), whose members had begun training in terror tactics in preparation
for Plan Solo. *21

General De Lorenzo, whose SIFAR had now become SID, soon enlisted these and other confidants in a new Gladio
project. They planned to create a secret parallel force alongside sensitive government offices to neutralize subversive
elements not yet purified. Known as the Parallel SID, its tentacles reached into nearly every key institution of the
Italian state. Gen.Vito Miceli, who later headed SID, said he set up the separate structure at the request of the
Americans and NATO.


Two ancient, mysterious, international fraternities kept the loosely-linked Gladio programs from flying apart. The
Knights of Malta played a formative role after the war (see box), but the order of Freemasonry and its most notorious lodge in Italy, known as Propaganda Due (pronounced doo-ay ), or P-2, was far more influential.
In the late 1960s, its Most Venerable Master was Licio Gelli, a Knight of Malta who fought for Franco with Mussolini's Black Shirts. At the end of World War II, Gelli faced execution by Italian partisans for his Nazi collaboration, but escaped by joining the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. *23 In the 1950s, he was recruited by SIFAR.

After some years of self-imposed exile in Argentine fascist circles,24 he saw his calling in Italy as a Mason. Quickly
rising to its top post, he began fraternizing in 1969 with Gen. Alexander Haig, then assistant to Henry Kissinger,
President Nixon's national security chief. Gelli became the main intermediary between the CIA and SID's De Lorenzo, also a Mason and Knight. Gelli's first order from the White House was reportedly to recruit 400 more top Italian and NATO officials.25

To help ferret out dissidents, Gelli and De Lorenzo began compiling personal dossiers on thousands of people, including
legislators and clerics. *26 Within a few years, scandal erupted when an inquiry found 157,000 such files in SID, all
available to the Ministers of Defense and Interior. *27 Parliament ordered 34,000 files burned, but by then the CIA had
obtained duplicates for its archives. *28
That same year, 1956, U.S. Ambassador to Italy Clare Booth Luce—a Dame of Malta and the wife of Time and Life magazine publisher Henry Luce, a key sponsor of the fascist Congress for Cultural Freedom—"recommended" a fellow SMOM member, Gen. Giovanni De Lorenzo, as the new head of SIFAR. In 1962, the CIA helped install De Lorenzo as head of the Carabinieri, while he still maintained control over SIFAR. He began purging officers deemed not sufficiently "anti-communist," in either his eyes or or those of U.S. military attaché Vernon Walters.
SMOM members De Lorenzo and Prince Borghese each supported fascist coups in Italy in 1964 (the Solo Plan) and 1970.
With McCone heading the CIA and Angleton as his Chief of Counterintelligence, another Knight of Malta of fascist fame, Italian General Giovani De Lorenzo, who had been the chief of the secret service (then known as Sifar) and in 1962 head of the carabinieri, organized an attempted fascist coup on July 14, 1964 (the Plan Solo) and later became a deputy from the fascist MSI party.18

Six and a half years later, on the night of December 7, 1970 Angleton's Prince Borghese gave the order for Stefano delle Chiaie to proceed with seizure of the Interior Ministry in Rome along with 50 fellow neo-Nazis. (See A Killer's Career, in this issue; and see The Fascist Network, in CAIB, Number 22.) This plot to trigger a fascist coup was called off at the last minute, and Borghese and his neo-Nazi protege delle Chiaie fled to Spain where former SS Commando Skorzeny among others was waiting. 19
SMOM by mention:

Italy 1952-1970

* Christie,S. Stefano Delle Chiaie. 1984 (18, 24, 34)
* Covert Action Information Bulletin 1986-#25 (34)
* Covert Action Quarterly 1994-#49 (23-4)
* Dorril,S. Ramsay,R. Smear! 1992 (225)
* Executive Intelligence Review 1999-06-04 (27-8)
* Gurwin,L. The Calvi Affair. 1984 (186)
* Herman,E. Brodhead,F. Rise and Fall of Bulgarian Connection. 1986 (76, 79-80)
* Lee,M. The Beast Reawakens. 1997 (103)
* Lies Of Our Times 1991-06 (21)
* Richelson,J. Foreign Intelligence Organizations. 1988 (108, 118)
* Syrokomsky,V. International Terrorism and the CIA. 1983 (223, 236)
* Willan,P. Puppetmasters. 1991 (28, 36-8, 150)

pages cited this search: 24

1 comment:

avles said...

The first true Gladio was the alliance "Black Shirts - White Partisans" against the Red partisans (especially of Tito). Since the first days of the 'peace' this primordial egg of Gladio started to spread terror and death in North East Adriatic region.

Don't be diverted by the usual, classical, Marxist key of interpretation for which "the Fascists want to do a coupe!!!".

All that, as the facts demonstrated, was a trap. The true coupe d'etat is realized slowly, in a not conventional way, and just with those 'democratic', 'antifascist' forces who pretended to 'contrast' the Neo-Fascist attempts!

I repeat this since June 2007:

Low Intensity Golpe Acted Through Carabinieri At, Work In Italy? (long post, sorry).

Corno di Rosazzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia.....

Restoration of the Pontifical Reign.