International Intelligence Organizations and State-Sponsored Terrorism

Previously by Michael E. Kreca: Gun Control, Fiat Money — National Security?

"If Jesus Christ were to stand up today, he’d be gunned down cold by the CIA." – The The, "Armageddon Days," Mind Bomb, Epic Records, 1991

A major strategic principle states that the success of most domestic rebellions, insurgencies or revolutionary movements is closely dependent upon the level of interest by or aid from an outside power. History has confirmed this principle — that, with few exceptions, any insurgency, regardless of its size and extent, cannot survive without the support of a wide spectrum of the native populace and some kind of sympathetic and influential external ally. Rebels cannot successfully undermine the state’s authority unless they possess the financial, logistical and political support of agents whose influence equals or surpasses the domestic government’s power. These agents may be internally based (like the French anti-Gaullist resistance), but, in general, they tend to be an external third power.

In the West, this hypothesis has always been used to explain the existence of Soviet-Chinese backed "left-wing" terrorism in the 1970s and Islamic-backed terrorism today and is a worldview still held by the US-based Center for International Affairs (a favorite home-away-from-home for Nixon national security adviser Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski) an institution that endorsed Center member David Galula’s statement that "no revolutionary war can remain a purely internal affair." The Center for International Affairs (and its close cousin, Georgetown University’s Center for Strategic and International Studies — CSIS) employed this worldview to promote the perception the USSR (or in some cases, China) lay behind all incidents of international terrorism. The prestige and influence of CSIS disciples in the US intelligence community was so great that when the CIA’s own analysts couldn’t find documented proof of a global Soviet-led terrorist conspiracy, Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey, chose to rely solely on the information of journalist Claire Sterling in her sensationalistic 1981 book, The Terror Network, one which made the preposterous and unverified claim the KGB was somehow behind every terrorist act on the planet since at least 1968. Director Casey once shouted to his analysts in fury, "I paid $13.95 for this (Sterling’s book) and it told me more than you bastards whom I pay $50,000 a year." The irony was that Sterling’s book had made extensive use of source material that was in fact already part of a long-running CIA disinformation scheme. The Agency’s "wise old men" also enthusiastically pushed the "Kremlin did it" assertion, one that soon morphed into the widely held belief that Iran and Libya (and in some cases, Iraq and Syria — both conveniently onetime Soviet Mideast client states) were solely responsible for the promotion of radical Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world. However, while the mainstream media has been willing to exaggerate and even fabricate the truth of these claims, they have remained silent in regard to the US government’s deep involvement in the active promotion of that very terrorism they claim to bemoan. A deeper look into the issue clearly shows the key players in this terrorism originate from regions that are firmly in the Western sphere of influence. Although the Islamic Jihad has numerous Iranian and Iraqi members (and has used Iran, Iraq Syria and Libya as safe havens), its major influences (and leaders) come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria — nations where Western political and cultural influence is extensive. Moreover, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islamic fundamentalism could not have bloomed without the CIA’s deliberate covert assistance — a fact that is apparent when one examines the recent history of the region. Those who have employed religious faith to justify endless war are thus much closer to the White House, UN headquarters and 10 Downing Street than they are to Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus or Tripoli. However, it isn’t just among Islam’s minority that racism or arrogance is exploited. A huge global network of government intelligence agencies, a self-styled "anti-Communist" element in the Vatican, multinational corporations and banks, the underworld and powerful fugitive Nazis has been in place for over a half-century. Since the earliest days of the Cold War, the new totalitarians have manipulated the world’s ethnic, political and religious tensions by using this huge clandestine network to surreptitiously gain more power for themselves. The influence of this network reaches Latin America, the USA and Western Europe, and, today, in Russia, China and in the conflict within the former Yugoslavia. There are even indicators that elements of this espionage monster have reached as far as Africa and Australasia. Through a combination of governments and their authorized enforcers, powerful individuals, corporations, banks and various secret societies, the liberty of the world’s peoples are being gradually destroyed. State-sponsored terrorism, direct or indirect, has become the new means by which the aspiring dictators’ old strategy of divide and conquer is being implemented on a global scale. In July 1977, Pakistan’s prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was deposed (and later executed) in a CIA-backed coup led by Bhutto’s army chief of staff, General Mohammed Zia Al-Haq. Zulfikar’s daughter, Benazir, placed under house arrest by Zia, believed the motive behind this coup and her father’s subsequent death sentence was a reaction to his desire (with French technical assistance) to turn Pakistan into a nuclear power in response to neighboring India’s similar program inaugurated three years before, one in which he succeeded. Henry Kissinger warned that Bhutto’s nuclearization policy would result in Pakistan being turned into a "horrible example." Once Zia had taken over, the CIA moved in, and its overseas station in Islamabad soon became its largest while Congress paradoxically imposed an arms embargo on the country. Carter Administration National Security Adviser Brzezinski wanted to use Pakistan as a base to help turn the nearby USSR’s Moslem provinces against the Kremlin and thus eventually destabilize the entire country. Thus, despite Congress’s arms embargo, the CIA and Pakistan’s secret service, the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) launched the largest covert operation in CIA history, two years before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Radical Islamic fundamentalism was to be deliberately promoted to attain specific Cold War political objectives. In return, General Zia, banking on his image as the great Islamic crusader, built up a loyal following amongst the Pushwar people who inhabited the Pakistani-Afghani border and was quick to staff his military and security forces with numerous Pushwars. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, Brzezinski, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and CIA Director Stansfield Turner, via Pakistan’s ISI, included Afghans fighting the Soviets in their pro-Islamic/anti-Soviet policy as part of trying to transform the conflict into a large-scale holy war, an Islamic jihad. This action, it was believed would make this war the USSR’s Vietnam. In a way, it did, but Afghan conflict soon turned out to be much more than that. For the next decade, the CIA and the ISI recruited, armed, trained and funded almost 100,000 hardcore muhajedin from 40 different Islamic countries, commanded by a then-obscure Harvard educated civil engineer and Arab construction tycoon named Osama bin Laden, as crusaders for the USA’s proxy war. This Islamic Foreign Legion’s rank and file was largely unaware its jihad was actually being fought on behalf of and paid for by Uncle Sam. (The irony is that the Uncle Sam was equally unaware that it was foolishly financing a future jihad against itself.) The arrival of Soviet glasnost and perestroika amid the bloody military stalemate in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s meant nothing to General Zia and he continued to publicly preach that he had secured his power as the world leader of militant anti-Communist Islam. Zia appeared not even to have had a glimmer of suspicion when in 1984 the Reagan Administration, via the CFR (another refuge for Kissinger, Brzezinski and their globalist allies), strenuously lobbied for Benazir Bhutto’s release from her seven-year-long house arrest. The three front men for this task were Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Clairborne Pell of Rhode Island as well as State Department official Peter Galbraith (a onetime college classmate of Benazir’s). The Kennedy clout aside, it was an interesting selection. The former Sen. Pell had been a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee while Galbraith later became US Ambassador to Croatia. Benazir Bhutto’s release had proved useful in undermining the "increasingly uncooperative" General Zia, and in 1985 she won the seat of Chairman of the General Assembly. Zia contested the election results and remained a political threat to Bhutto (and an embarrassment to the USA) until his sudden death in a mysterious (and possibly deliberately caused) 1986 plane crash. It wasn’t until 1993 (after two dissolved governments and two assassination attempts later) that Benazir was able to wrest presidential power away from Zia’s sidekick and successor, President Ghulam Ishaq Kha (Chairman of the Senate under Zia’s administration). As time passed, her comparatively secure presidential position was attributed by many to be as a result of her belief in the extensive use of human intelligence (spies and informers) and her ruthless approach to geopolitics. Despite Benazir Bhutto’s assistance in unseating both Zia and Kha, she was clearly not the "puppet leader" the CFR and the CIA had in mind. Meanwhile, in 1989, after being severely bloodied by 10 years of relentless, inconclusive warfare, the Red Army had withdrawn from Afghanistan, leaving behind a civilization reduced to rubble. The CIA continued to send funds and arms, but the expense had become astronomical, and more money was needed. In response, the muhajedin ordered local farmers to plant, harvest and process opium as a form of what they called a "revolutionary tax." Over the next six years, the ISI set up hundreds of small opium-processing plants across Afghanistan. The Pakistan-Afghanistan border had become the world’s biggest producer of heroin, and is now the single biggest source of the heroin on North American and European streets. The annual profits, estimated to be about $150 billion yearly, were invested in the continued training and arming of Islamic militants who eventually graduated into staffing radical Moslem insurgencies from the Middle East to the Balkans. Benazir knew full well who was behind the promotion of Islamic terrorism. Just before her spring of 1995 visit to the USA she had held a news conference where she stated, "The question that arises is, who was the mastermind that saw that the World Trade Center should be bombed and that I should be eliminated from the [1993] elections…? I would think that it is those individuals who were involved in the Afghan jihad because they were then brainwashed to believe that it was the duty of any Moslem to spread Islam through terror." Her remarks, in politicoese, translated as "I have a secret: shall I reveal it?," pinched a nerve in the world’s press. The 18-year-long US arms embargo that had been imposed upon Pakistan in the Carter administration in reaction to Islamabad’s refusal to halt nuclear weapons research was lifted shortly before her 1995 visit. The slim majority in Congress’s authorization to do so indicated the presence of intense lobbying on the issue. Pakistan then received the $368 million in military equipment originally purchased under the Zia administration, and the revival of tens of millions of dollars worth of economic aid and US loan guarantees. It also meant increased International Monetary Fund assistance. As far as Congress and the public knew, Pakistan wasn’t required to do or offer anything in return for this largesse. The Clinton Administration’s sudden goodwill towards Pakistan at the time was evidence that all interested parties didn’t want the issue of the February 1993 New York Trade Center bombing to ever resurface — in particular, the CIA’s connection to the accused Egyptian and Pakistani bombers. Years before, in October 1981, following the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the US and Egyptian governments had chosen to step up their infiltration of the Egyptian Islamic fundamentalist groups — a move that occurred partly in response to the CIA’s desire to avoid another Sadat assassination, and partly to use it as a propaganda weapon against Libya and Iran (and now Iraq). Thus, by 1990, the situation in Egypt was such that no Islamic militant could take a bath without the Egyptian or US intelligence services knowing about it. The actual degree of this infiltration’s success is best demonstrated by the 1995 trial of the accused New York World Trade Center bombers. The prosecution evidence included videotape recorded by an FBI informant, a former Egyptian army officer who offered to defuse the planted truck bomb but was refused by the FBI. The witness denied that he was an Egyptian intelligence agent; however, US officials admitted at the time, "He’s no choirboy." The informer received over $2 million for his "assistance." This is an interesting contradiction of a US law that states that it is illegal to use American taxpayers’ money to pay a bribe to a convicted murderer. In 1996, the Taliban — then one of many small marginal sects of dangerous, hardline Islamic fundamentalists supported by the US government — had shot and terrorized its way into absolute power in Afghanistan. It was funded by the ISI, that old friend of the CIA, and supported by many Pakistani political parties. The Taliban unleashed a reign of terror and its first victims were, unsurprisingly, their own people. The Taliban closed down girls’ schools, dismissed women from government jobs, and enforced sharia laws under which women deemed to be "immoral" are stoned to death, and widows guilty of being adulterous are buried alive. Given the Taliban government’s lousy human rights record, it seems unlikely that it will in any way be intimidated or swerved from its purpose by the prospect of war, or the threat to the lives of its subjects. Afghanistan was not the only nation whose Islamic fundamentalists were deliberately aided by the West. In Algeria and France, powerful forces with ulterior motives have also long encouraged Islamic guerrillas. Algerian Moslem fundamentalists received intelligence data and logistical support from elements within France’s own government. In 1996, the Police Judiciae (the French version of the FBI) accused Jean Louis Dèbre, the French Interior Minister, of misdirecting the security forces for "political motives." Likewise, French police have been accused of cooperating with the Spanish secret service in the creation of the GAL (anti-terrorist liberation group) death squads in their war against Basque separatists. Witnesses have stated under oath French police, police informers and former OAS members assisted with GAL activities within France. The OAS was a large French terrorist organization violently opposing attempts at Algerian independence during the 1950s and early ’60s, a group which counted numerous Corsican gangsters as members and its close links to Islamic Algerian radicals. As far back as 1961, Senior OAS Commander Jean-Jacques Sysini discussed with the CIA’s Paris station chief the possibility of a French-Algerian Moslem alliance. President Kennedy, though, quashed the CIA-OAS-Muslim Republic scheme on the advice of his political advisers before it could be implemented. However, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, a crime which some believe involved as a triggerman (among others) one Rene Soutre, a powerful Corsican mobster and OAS member who was killed by an unknown assailant in Mexico City nine years later. JFK was barely in his grave when the CIA’s use of covert operations increased dramatically. The CIA took advantage of Kennedy’s sudden and bloody death as well as Lyndon Johnson’s thorough disdain for the subtleties of foreign policy to increase aid to the OAS and other non-governmental Moslem groups in France and Algeria to ensure neither the French nor an "unfriendly" (read: Soviet-influenced) government would obtain control of the large Algerian oilfields. The exposure of OAS involvement puts another perspective upon the Algeria-related terrorist attacks within France and Algeria itself. The French have long accused Paris and US/British oil companies of collaborating in support of the OAS and Moslem rebels. However, the OAS wasn’t the only government-backed underground goon squad of the era. During the 1954—62 Algerian crisis a similar but separate group gradually emerged from the shadows. Like the OAS, it was a large cabal comprised of many powerful individuals with apparent (if not necessarily real) staunch religious-based anti-Soviet beliefs and the OAS’s (and the CIA’s) desire to rid France of the nonaligned Charles de Gaulle, a group named Il Gladio ("The Sword"). In 1990, then-Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti briefed Parliament in open session on Il Gladio — a covert but influential network of an estimated 15,000 agents provocateurs that operated under various guises in many other European nations, not just in Italy. He explained Il Gladio had been originally set up as the CIA’s Operation Stay Behind in 1947 and, nine years later, was renamed "Operation Gladio." Stay Behind’s/Gladio’s initial mission was to reduce the considerable influence of French and Italian Communists right after W.W.II via hefty cash payments to "cooperative" Italian and French politicians, diplomats and influential businessmen (later, this would include Belgian, Austrian, German, Spanish and Greek ones as well) and by employing what was called a "strategy of tension." This "strategy" made frequent use of scare tactics, media smear campaigns as well as the services of freelance mercenaries, government intelligence officers, hardened career criminals and Mafia hitmen to carry out bloody shootings and bombings where groups like the Italian "Red Brigade" and the German "Baader-Meinhof Gang" were either blamed directly or infiltrated and used as "fronts" for these activities.

These deadly attacks included the Mafia’s orchestration of the Red Brigade’s notorious 1978 kidnap and murder of staunchly anti-Mafia Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. The strategy in these high-profile crimes was to manipulate citizens’ fear of "terrorism" to push for more government police power. Gladio employed many former Axis intelligence officers who, under former General Reinhard Gehlen and Eisenhower’s CIA director, Allen Dulles, had been recruited immediately after W.W.II to help create the CIA. One of these officers was the infamous Licio "The Puppetmaster" Gelli, a former high-ranking Italian Fascist "Blackshirt" and longtime head of the powerful Vatican-Mafia Masonic Lodge founded in 1895, called "Propaganda Due" or P2. Gelli, who had served with Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War, helped organize the underground "ratlines" responsible for smuggling scores of powerful Nazis and their sympathizers out of Europe immediately after World War II. He was aided by Father Krunoslav Draganovich, a Croat Catholic priest and close friend of fascist (Ustasha) Croatia’s notorious wartime leader, Dr. Ante Pavelich. While Gelli worked with the respective intelligence agencies (which included those of the CIA, MI5 and fugitive Gestapo officials), Fr. Draganovich secured generous Vatican support for the ratline plan. Gelli and Draganovich charged the fleeing fascists up to 40 per cent of their money that they split between themselves. Nazi SS Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) Klaus "The Butcher of Lyon" Barbie (a longtime member of the influential neo-pagan Thule Society) was also helped to flee in this manner, and US Army picked up the tab (via unwitting US taxpayers) as part of their recruitment of Barbie as an agent. In 1954, Gelli himself took advantage of his own creation, escaping from a Swiss prison and fleeing to Argentina where he resided as a friend of Argentine dictator Juan Peron. Another of Gelli’s longtime friends, Dr. Pavelich (who had arrived in Buenos Aires with Gelli’s help seven years before) served as Peron’s secret police chief until his death in 1957, while Klaus Barbie, who fled Europe a year after Gelli had, held a similar position in bordering Bolivia under the alias of Klaus Altmann. During the 1970s, both Gelli and Barbie/Altmann (along with California investment swindler and CIA operative Ronald Rewald) were instrumental in helping Argentina secure large numbers of sophisticated French Exocet antiship missiles, one that sank the British frigate HMS Sheffield during Argentina’s 1982 war with Britain over the Falkland Islands (Islas de Malvinas). Funds for these missiles were obtained by Rewald from a bogus but cash-rich Napa, California real estate investment trust called Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong, simply known as BBRDW, a CIA front which laundered drug money and scammed scores of ordinary Napa and San Francisco Bay area homeowners and investors out of millions of dollars. On July 17, 1980, Barbie/Altmann, commanding secret police and military officers loyal to the corrupt General Luis Garcia Meza, and aided by P2, the CIA, Colombian drug lords and Argentine military intelligence, prevented the inauguration of freely-elected incoming President Siles Zuazo and his Democratic Popular Unity Party in a bloody debacle that came to be popularly called "The Cocaine Coup." General Meza was installed as president while Barbie’s men hunted down and killed as many pro-Zuazo government officials, journalists, students and labor leaders as they could find, though Zuazo himself survived the purge. One Argentine intelligence officer who participated in the coup, Lt. Alfred Mario Mingolla, later described to German journalist Kai Hermann Barbie’s role in the matter:

"Before our departure [to Bolivia], we received a detailed dossier on [Barbie]," Mingolla said. "There it stated that he was of great use to Argentina because he played an important role in all of Latin America in the fight against Communism."

The Barbie-led "Cocaine Coup" gave Bolivian narcotics traffickers full run of the country and helped to consolidate the power of the rising Colombian Medellin cartel. Bolivian cocaine exports reportedly totaled an estimated $850 million in the two years after the "Cocaine Coup." In October 1982, angry voters weary of brutal military rule returned the redoubtable Siles Zuazo to the presidency. A few months later, Zuazo quickly approved the extradition of Barbie to France. In 1987, Barbie was tried and convicted of war crimes (chief among them his sadistic torture-murder of highest-ranking French Resistance member ever captured by the Nazis, Jean Moulin) and sentenced to life in prison where he died in September 1991. As noted above in the Bolivian example, both Latin American and Caribbean nations have been badly harmed by the deeply corrosive effects of these odious CIA/P2/Vatican/Ratline exports, becoming homes to some of the worst cases of state-sponsored terror in existence — aided by corrupt governments in those nations, by groups like Alpha 66 and Omega 7 — both "anti-Castro" Cuban exile organizations based in south Florida, and by CIA goons like William Walker. Walker, who organized and led the bloodthirsty government "death squads" in El Salvador during the late 1970s, also fabricated the "Racak Massacre" hoax. This hoax (conclusively exposed as such by Finnish forensic physicians and French journalists) claimed heavily armed Serb police wantonly massacred hundreds of unarmed Albanian villagers in the Kosovo village of Racak in August 1998. Walker’s hoax was employed by the Clinton administration to smear the Serb government in the world press — a government that was fighting hardcore Albanian Moslem KLA insurgents trained and armed by the US government — as a "brutal ethnic cleanser." Before the likes of Walker hit the scene, another of the Agency’s golden boys was the late Dan Mitrione, a former Richmond, Indiana police chief, graduate of the infamous International Police Academy in Washington DC (closed in 1974) and "interrogation" (torture) specialist. For ten years, the appallingly sadistic Mitrione, working undercover as a US Agency for International Development official, taught torture techniques to the Brazilian and Uruguayan secret police. In 1970, Mitrione, a lifelong close friend of the notorious Rev. Jim Jones, founder and head of the ill-fated "People’s Temple" religious cult, (which had been manipulated by the CIA in some form since at least the early 1970s) was kidnapped and then killed by Uruguayan Tupamaro guerrillas. Actor Yves Montand played the Mitrione character in Greek filmmaker Costa Gavras’ 1972 production, State of Siege. Meanwhile, back in Italy, P2 had been for years suspected of clandestinely carrying out terrorist acts for which other groups were blamed and was also suspected of being behind the 1976 assassination of Italian judge Vittorio Occorsio. At the time, Judge Occorsio was investigating P2 links to neo-Nazi organizations. His death killed his P2 investigation but not before he had uncovered evidence that Operation Gladio and P2 operatives were instrumental in the 1969 Piazza Fontana and 1974 Bologna train station bombings (a total of 113 dead and some 185 injured.) In reaction, P2 officially "dissolved" itself — perhaps in name but not in substance. Even so, however, the supposedly defunct P2 was dealt a severe blow in 1981 when Italian police, attempting to clarify Licio Gelli’s business connections to powerful Banco Ambrosiano (BA) officials and P2 members, financier Michele Sindona and bank president Roberto Calvi, discovered a P2 membership-roll document bearing 962 names. The list included over 50 Italian generals and admirals, two cabinet members, 36-plus senior Carabinieri (police officers) as well as numerous journalists, Catholic clergymen and entertainers. These revelations toppled Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani’s administration and sent shock waves through NATO headquarters in Brussels. Yet Tina Anselmi, director of the now disbanded Italian parliamentary commission investigating P2 and its activities, was quoted by David Yallop in his 1984 book, In God’s Name, as saying, "P2 is by no means dead. It still has power. It is working in the institutions. It is moving in society. It has money, means and instruments still at its disposal. It still has fully operative power centers in South America. It is also able to condition, at least in part, Italian political life." In turn, if events in France (whose secret service, the SDECE, prevented Gelli’s arrest in 1982 by the Italian secret service SIFAR) and Spain were any indicators, it would appear this colossal web of espionage and terror is far from untangled and is in fact growing exponentially.

If Gladio operatives were the front line troops in Gelli’s operation, then P2 was its "shadow government." It was expensive to operate all of this, however, and one insight into how Gelli was intimately connected with ruling circles is demonstrated in his secret 1974 meeting with Alexander Haig, retired Army general and former NATO Supreme Commander who had become Nixon’s White House chief of staff. Haig assured Gelli of continued funding for both P2 and his various black ops. This is where the doomed Roberto Calvi entered the picture. Both Calvi’s BA and the Vatican’s Instituto per de Riligione (IOR) became conduits for laundered money of all sorts from all over the planet. Under the direction of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus of Cicero, Ill., head of the IOR, money was flowing into the Holy See’s coffers from a number of sources, and included funds for Operation Gladio/P2 and drug money from organized crime figures. There have been several published reports that Cardinal Albino Luciana, elected Pope John Paul I in July 1978, was intent on ending the crooked activities of the IOR as well as the tenure of Archbishop Marcinkus. Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain how 33 days after his election to the papacy, an otherwise healthy John Paul I had been found in his bed dead of an apparent and sudden heart attack. In any case, the new Pope — Cardinal Karel Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II — was elected as successor, and he continued the "business as usual" agenda. The failed May 1981 attempt on John Paul II’s life by one Mehmet Ali Agca, a member of the "radical Islamic" Turkish Gray Wolves organization, didn’t affect "business as usual" at the IOR either. American Enterprise Institute member and former Reagan administration aide (and Freeper) Dr. Michael Ledeen received $100,000 from the Italian military intelligence officer and P2 member Francesco Pazienza for deliberately creating and disseminating the widely accepted but patently false "Agca-Bulgarian/Soviet connection" to the failed papal assassination. Ledeen, who is also believed to be a P2 member along with Henry Kissinger and Alex Haig, had also helped convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard originally get his job in the Department of the Navy. Meanwhile, BA was in dire financial straits. Calvi began skimming from illicit funds flowing through BA to prop up existing bad loans, and even agreed to "launder" drug money for gangsters. He reportedly sought financial aid from a Catholic organization called the Opus Dei ("God’s Work") a secretive but large and politically influential masochistic/self-flagellation cult of which John Paul II is a member (as is FBI Director Louis Freeh), and traveled to London to meet with group’s treasurer in hopes of selling it a minority stake in BA. But Calvi’s good luck had run out. He’d double-crossed too many powerful people for too long and his wholesale skimming operation threatened to set off a massive political scandal. On June 17, 1982, Calvi was found hanging by a rope around his neck from a bridge in Rome, dead. A decade later, a Mafia defector told investigators Calvi had been killed on the orders of a British drug dealer named Francesco DiCarlo.

Two years after Calvi’s death, in 1984, the Vatican received official diplomatic recognition from the U.S. government, and soon over $12 million in American covert ops funds were being funneled through the Vatican Bank to aid the underground Solidarity trade union in its battle against the tottering Communist regime in Poland, and to help ensure both the breakup of the USSR and solidify the Roman church’s position in a post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Italian court documents made public in July 1998, four months before Licio Gelli’s death, traced the flow of illicit funds during the 1970s and 1980s from powerful Sicilian mobsters to investments in the Vatican Bank. In connection with the "spectacular failure" of BA, the London Daily Telegraph reported, "The Holy See resisted all attempts by magistrates investigating the crash to force the now-retired Marcinkus to submit to Italian justice over the crash." Another twist involved a new probe by Italian authorities into Calvi’s murder, and a Daily Telegraph story that a "Vatican finance figure" (possibly Bishop Marcinkus) was present at the meeting where the plan to kill Calvi was discussed. Why does the Vatican’s involvement in the BA/Calvi affair, like CIA involvement in the Islamic Jihad, keep cropping up? The criminal organizations behind the scandal had links to the IOR and the Vatican hierarchy. In late August 1998, it was announced Michele Giordano, Archbishop of Naples, was under investigation for "usury, extortion and membership in a criminal group." Government prosecutors and members of Italy’s Finance Guards (tax agents) served the archbishop with a search warrant at his "palace." In reaction, Giordano threatened a diplomatic incident and claimed his residence, being an office of the papacy, enjoyed diplomatic immunity and extraterritorial status. Even so, investigators still seized a large number of paper documents and electronic files on floppy disks.

The Cardinal’s younger brother, Mario, had been arrested earlier that month in connection with Rome’s probe of the Bank of Naples. Two other Bank of Naples officials — including a former manager — were charged with extortion and running an illegal loan-sharking operation that charged interest rates as high as 400%. "Investigators have traced back to the cardinal and his administration cheques totaling more than 250,000 pounds cashed by his brother…" noted the Telegraph at the time. P2 isn’t the only force of covert global totalitarianism that remains at large and in business. Similar groups are prevalent throughout Europe and the world as a whole. German, US, British and Austrian mercenaries served with Croat Ustasha and Bosnian Moslem troops in 1994—95 in their brutal campaign to kill or forcibly expel some 300,000 ethnic Serbs from their ancestral homes in Croatia and Bosnia. Yet again, the Balkans is serving its long-running historical role as a laboratory for "the great powers" to develop and test new methods of civil war, genocide and state-sponsored terror, with potentially deadly international consequences. The US and British governments denied the predominance of diehard Ustasha and radical Moslem elements within the respective Croat and Bosnian governments while, along with Germany and Israel, were both secretly supplying arms to those same elements from day one. Germany had sent nearly all of the Soviet-style arms used by the defunct East German forces (ranging from Kalashnikov assault rifles and 130mm field guns to SAMs and attack helicopters) to the Croats. A great deal of weapons and funds also came from Pakistan, Indonesia and possibly even from Iran and Iraq. Logistical support was provided to the Croat and Bosnian armies by the USA, allied UN troops and, according to local rumors, members of the French Foreign Legion in Sarajevo. According to the relative of a high-ranking Indonesian military official, one such airlift took place in August 1994 when New Zealand UN troops brought, along with their own gear, Indonesian-made small arms earmarked for the Bosnian Moslem forces. This report has not been positively verified. However, it is on record that in early September 1994, shortly after the arrival of New Zealand troops in that former Yugoslav republic, Bosnian Moslem forces launched a brutal counteroffensive against the Serbs using large stores of munitions and large numbers of new heavy weapons, previously noticeable only by their absence. How did they get so many of these arms so suddenly? Perhaps it is just coincidence that, a week later, Indonesia awarded New Zealand Telecom an NZ$600 million contract to develop Indonesia’s wireless communications network. At the same time, New Zealand television had run an investigative report on the connection of a joint NZ-Israeli airline, Pacific Express, to the illegal arms trade. The documentary cited the airline’s flight routes and destinations that included Islamabad, Christchurch, Sarajevo and Somalia — flight paths closely matching the developing heroin trafficking routes running into North America at that time, echoing the messy Iran-Contra affair (and the nefarious activities of the CIA airline, Air America, in Southeast Asia and, later, in Latin America) where promotion of large-scale narcotics and weapons trafficking and terrorism and the pursuit of more political power were justified in "the interests of national security." While Pope Bush declares a holy war on Islam after the calamitous Sept. 11th, 2001 attacks (oddly enough, for which no group, Moslem or otherwise has yet claimed responsibility and amid allegations US authorities ignored several warnings of just such an attack months ago) and continues business as usual with Moslem Syria and a nuclear-armed Moslem Pakistan, the US government still freely supports the murderous Albanian Moslem KLA in Kosovo and Macedonia, a US government which even terror-bombed Serbia in 1999 — the same Serbia that was being attacked and terrorized by that very KLA, a terrorist organization which controls a huge and rapidly growing regional prostitution, extortion and narcotics trafficking network — the heroin coming from those highly profitable Taliban-controlled opium poppy fields along the Afghan-Pakistani border — and is exporting it to the rest of Europe, all on the US taxpayer’s tab. What does all of this mean? Well, it seems to mean that the USA today is the late Roman Empire. Oxford historian Arnold Toynbee once explained that Rome, after defeating the Carthaginians, Phoenicians and quelling Spartacus’s slave revolt (which destroyed the last vestiges of a republican Rome as well) became what he called "the universal state" — an imperial entity, much like China became after the "Era of Competing States." (480—222 BC.) The USA became the world’s latest "universal state" after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 — alias the "world’s sole superpower." A universal state is like a shark — it cannot stop swimming or eating or it will die — an empire needs constant expansion and plunder or it too will die, and guess what, in the case of empires — in a given era there’s only so much territory to go around and only so much plunder to be had. In order to help keep this process of plunder in motion, foreign "straw man" enemies have to be constantly created, (Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, the Chinese, etc.) even if out of thin air and then aggressively "pursued," but not necessarily destroyed. Police state methods then have to be used domestically to force "consensus" as to these "enemies" and what to be done or not done with them. Dissent is labeled "treason" because it resists "commonly agreed upon" imperial objectives. Ohio GOP Sen. Bob Taft said in August 1943 that interventionism abroad, no matter how well-intentioned, eventually leads to totalitarianism at home. Moreover, those being conquered and plundered by this "universal state" soon get quite resentful and aggressive and by definition, over time, there are more and more resentful subjects — just like the barbarian "hordes" who eventually sacked an overextended and tottering Rome for the final time in the 400s and the subjugated Mexican Indian tribes who gleefully allied with the invading Spaniards to destroy the oppressive Aztec civilization in the 1520s. So, was Sept. 11, 2001 the first "sack" of the "New Rome?" It sure seems like it. Ruby Ridge and Waco were possibly the USA’s "failed 1905 Revolutions" — echoes of far bigger things to come? We as a people are so comprehensively manipulated. Our leaders have had a lot of practice, since before the days of Ivan Pavlov and his dogs. The "hit" on World Trade Center and the Pentagon were, like it or not, brilliant examples of sophisticated unconventional warfare. From a psychological viewpoint — it was even more effective. In psychological warfare — a group or person maintaining or gaining control of or destroying widely recognized monuments, territories or buildings is vital to convincing the populace of that group’s or person’s effectiveness or legitimacy. It’s why Richard Nixon tried to hold on to the White House (Presidency) and it’s why Bill Clinton would not resign. It’s why the Bolsheviks seized the Winter Palace, and why Gen. MacArthur returned with his troops to the Philippines in 1944, even though strategically it was not necessary for the US victory over Japan, and in fact may have prolonged the war in the Pacific. These and similar acts create solid psychological foundations supporting the legitimacy of and justifying anything that follows from these actions. This leads me to believe the whole Sept. 11th disaster was some kind of elaborate psychological operation, that US government intelligence agencies were involved indirectly somehow. Thinking back to Germany’s actual "Operation Himmler" in August 1939 (where German troops in Polish army uniforms burned a German radio station in the German-Polish border town of Gleiwitz to justify invading Poland) and the CIA’s proposed "Operation Northwoods" in 1962 (where Cuban Communists would be blamed for the sudden bombing of a jetliner or hotel in Miami or for the failure of any US manned space mission) — I don’t hesitate to entertain the notion that power-hungry, out-of-control Medusa-like Moloch of the US government will employ as many "Reichstag Fires" and kill scores of innocent people as necessary to extend its own power. Since the days of the demonization of Spartacus by Crassus, Caesar and Pompey and Robespierre’s and Danton’s deliberate use of violent "agents provocateurs" in the French Revolution to advance their own autocratic power — the song remains the same.

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