Between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia: Overview of the book by Paul L. Williams
Antony C. Black
On the hot summer morning of Aug. 2, 1980 a massive explosion ripped apart the main waiting room of the Bologna railway station. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds more injured. Though at first blamed on Italy’s legendary urban guerrillas, The Red Brigades, it soon emerged that the attack had, in fact, originated from within the ‘deep state’ of the Italian government itself.
The full nature of this secret parallel state would only come to light a decade later when the Italian premier, Giulio Andreotti, under questioning from a special commission of inquiry, revealed the existence of arms caches stashed all around the country and which were at the disposal of an organization which later came to be identified as ‘Gladio’.
The members of this group turned out to include not only hundreds of far-right figures in the intelligence, military, government, media, Church and corporate sectors, but a motley assortment of unreconstructed WW2 fascists, psychopaths and criminal underworld types to boot. And despite Andreotti’s attempts to airbrush the group as ‘patriots’ it appeared evident to much of the rest of the Italian polity that these seemed rather more like pretty bad folk indeed. Little did they know. Follow-up research by the likes of Daniele Ganser, Claudio Celani, Jurgen Roth and Henrik Kruger traced connections to similar groups spread throughout Europe of which all were found to be deep state terrorist organizations, and all of which were found, ultimately, to be subservient unto the highest levels of the CIA and NATO command structures.
The moniker ‘Gladio’ (after the two-edged sword used in classical Rome) was eventually broadened to include a bewildering host of related deep state terrorist structures including: ‘P2’ In Italy, ‘P26’ in Switzerland, ‘Sveaborg’ in Sweden, ‘Counter-Guerrilla’ in Turkey and ‘Sheepskin’ in Greece. This (hardly definitive) European list was then found to have connections not only to virtually every US sponsored secret state terrorist organization the world over (including the likes of Operation Condor in Latin America), but also to many of the global drug cartels that provided the secretive wealth needed to fund and otherwise lubricate the whole rotting, corrupt shebang.
If all this sounds sinister enough, it pales in light of the detailed structure of the dazzlingly diabolical Gladio edifice. And it is to those details we now repair vis a vis an overview of the remarkable, if otherwise unheralded, 2015 work by journalist Paul L. Williams entitled, ‘Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia’. Though there are other books on the subject worthy of honourable mention (including Daniele Ganser’s seminal tome, ‘NATO’s Secret Armies’, and Richard Cottrell’s recent and stylishly written, ‘Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe’), it is to Williams that I believe we owe a particular debt of gratitude in having provided a more or less fully integrated portrait of the global machinations of Operation Gladio.
Before embarking on our grim, if yet fascinating, journey it is worth first noting that whilst ‘Gladio’ was officially acknowledged and condemned by the European Parliament (in Nov., 1990; Washington and NATO having ever after refused ‘comment’ on the matter), and its multifarious organs and factions ordered dismantled, it is hardly likely that the latter was ever fully enacted. The historical context of ‘Gladio’, then, is really the quintessential backdrop to understanding the trademark false flag events of the modern era.
Of Spooks and Made Men
The general origins of this labyrinthine network of deep state actors lay in the so-called ‘stay-behind-armies’ set up at the end of WW2 by the Allied powers (principally the US) ostensibly to act as resistance forces should the Soviets ever decide to invade Europe. Quickly, however, the raison d’etre of the ‘armies’ transmogrified into a mission to counteract, not external invasion, but ‘internal subversion’. Such would eventually result in the undermining not just of post-war European socialism, but of Italian, Greek – and later global – democracy itself.
But we get ahead of ourselves.
The primal author of the ‘stay-behind-armies’, Williams informs us, was General Reinhard Gehlen, the head of German military intelligence during the Second World War. Having foreseen early on that the Reich was doomed to defeat, Gehlen had “concocted the idea of forming clandestine guerilla squads composed of Hitler youth and die-hard fascist fanatics” ostensibly to fend off the inevitable Soviet invasion. These guerilla units he referred to as ‘werewolves’.
Not ones to miss a fascist opportunity when they saw it, the US Office of Strategic Services (the OSS, and the forerunner of the CIA), under the leadership of William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, quickly enlisted both Gehlen and SS General Karl Wolff (in 1945) in forming the Gehlen Organization (later to transform into the present-day German BND) and which received its initial funding from US Army G-2 intelligence resources.
The American point-man on this was Allen Dulles, the first president (in 1927) of the Council on Foreign Relations, and later the first head of the CIA. Duly incorporated into the American fold, the ‘werewolves’ were, given that their initial meddling took place in Italy, rebranded as ‘gladiators’. Operation Gladio was born.
In 1947 the CIA (having, that year, superseded the OSS) was faced with its first daunting task, i.e. how to prevent the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from forming the next government. Elections were scheduled for 1948 and the PCI was a virtual shoe-in not just in Italy proper, but in Sicily as well. Fortunately, ‘Gladio’ was ready and waiting. The gladiators had been training in a special camp set up in Sardinia under the local command of the former WW2 Italian fascist leader, Prince Junio Valerio Borghese.
In addition, hundreds of American mafioso began to arrive on the shores of Italy to lend a hand with the communist ‘problem’. The arrival of the ‘made men’ was the result of Donovan’s efforts from 1943 onward in working with American mobsters Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Vito Genovese to conger new (drug) funding for the OSS’s off-books’ operations, and to reinstall the Sicilian mafia on the island in the leadup to Operation Husky (the Allied invasion of Sicily). These forces were now unleashed on the Italian electorate, and through 1948 an average of five people a week were murdered by the CIA-backed terrorist units. The results were grimly predictable. Hallelujah, the PCI were defeated and the Christian Democrats returned to power.
Still, the threat remained. Fully half the Italian electorate were communist sympathizers and, moreover, leftist politics pervaded much of the rest of the diseased European body. More would have to be done. The problem, however, was money. There simply wasn’t enough of it. Thus, the initial $200 million in funding for Gladio (which had come from the Rockefeller and Mellon foundations) was quickly exhausted. And though the National Security Act of 1947 had provided the loophole that allowed for the CIA’s covert operations, it had not allowed for their overt Congressional funding. There lay the rub. Thankfully, Paul Helliwell knew how to salve the itch.
Paul Helliwell was an inner member of the original OSS (along with key scions of the Morgan, Mellon, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, DuPont and Ryan families) and, according to Williams, likely the greatest unsung hero of the nicknamed ‘Oh-So-Social’ club. It was he, who having cut his teeth in the drugs-for-arms trade by shepherding opium deals with the Kuomintang (KMT, the Chinese National Army fighting against Mao Zedung), conjured the brilliant inspiration to do the very same thing – in the United States itself.
Thus, it was at his suggestion that Donovan elected to forge the deep bond (and that exists to this day) between the nation’s intelligence services and organized crime. Enter stage left such notables as ‘Lucky’ Luciano, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky and the Trafficante and Gambino crime clans. Quickly the streets of, first, New York, and later many an American metropolis, were flooded with heroin. These early, halcyon days would soon lead to the infamous ‘French Connection’, thence to the ‘Golden Triangle’ (where the CIA’s very own ‘Air America’ transported drugs out of South East Asia during the Vietnam War) and, later, to the Balkan, Mexican, and Colombian drug cartels.
All very well and good. But, to begin with, there was yet a fly in the whole drugs-for-arms-for-terror ointment. To wit: how to pay off the mafioso without anyone noticing; indeed, how to stash, launder and hide all of this financial derring-do from the prying eyes of the authorities; you know, the real-enough authorities, the Treasury cops and so forth. How do you do that?
The Vatican Connection
Article 2 of the Lateran Treaty of 1929 was clear and unequivocal. The Article, which served to regulate matters between the Holy See and the Italian state, expressly forbade any interference of the latter in the affairs of the former. It is hardly conceivable, of course, that the framers of the Treaty ever foresaw what such immunity could actually mean in practice. But then they probably hadn’t reckoned on the fiendish formation of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), or more colloquially, the Vatican Bank.
Established by Pope Pius XII and Bernardino Nogara in 1942, the Bank would quickly come to serve as the principal repository post-war both for the Sicilian Mafia and for the OSS/CIA wherein all of the monies and documents relating to drug trafficking and to Gladio would be stored and laundered. Already in 1945 the pope had held private audiences with Donovan to discuss the implementation of Gladio and where, as Williams reports, Donovan was knighted as an anti-Communist crusader with the Grand Cross of the Order of Sylvester. Prior to this time Pius XII had proven himself a loyal ally in working with Dulles and the OSS to establish the ratlines used to help prominent Nazis escape Europe. Now, new horizons beckoned. The first duty at hand, of course, was to destroy the communist menace in respect of the 1948 elections. To this end the pope authorized his own terror squads (under Monsignor Bicchierai) to assist the gladiators and the ‘made men’ in intimidating the Italian electorate. Task accomplished.
The second duty at hand, however, was longer term. Communism, socialism and, indeed, any Godless form of progressive government, anywhere, had to be stamped out at source. For this money would be needed. Lots of money. Untraceable money. Drug money. Now in the months before the 1948 election the CIA deposited some $65 million into the Vatican Bank. The source of these monies came from heroin produced by the Italian pharmaceutical giant, Schiaparelli, and which was then transported by the Sicilian mob into Cuba where it was cut and then distributed to New Orleans, Miami and New York by the Santo Trafficante family. Lucrative though this trade was, it was not nearly enough to suit the needs of the CIA and ‘Gladio’. More would be required. More drug networks and more banks. Gladio was about to global.
To start with a new alliance was forged with the Corsican mafia. Unlike the Sicilian mob, the Corsicans had extensive experience in processing heroin, a skill they had picked up through years of working with Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese technicians in French Indochina. A supply route then emerged running from Burma through Turkey to Beirut and thence to Marseille. Alas, there was a slight hitch when the leftist dockworkers in Marseille, being sympathetic to the rebel army under Ho Chi Minh, refused to load and unload the boats from Indochina. No worries. A deft bit of terror administered by the Corsican boys (and funded by the CIA), and problem solved. By 1951, then, Marseille had become the center of the Western heroin industry. Voila, the ‘French Connection’.
Meanwhile, Wild Bill Donovan had ‘resigned’ from the CIA to form the World Commerce Corporation (WCC) whose primary function was to facilitate the arms-for-drugs deals with the KMT. Paul Helliwell lent a needed hand at the helm by heading up Sea Supply, Inc., a CIA front company gainfully employed in shipping heroin from Bangkok. By 1958 the whole operation was so successful that a second supply route was established running through Saigon. Here, the help of Ngo Dinh Diem, the US installed despot of South Vietnam, proved invaluable.
Still, there was a potential cloud on the horizon, i.e. word of all these shenanigans was bound to leak out. What to do? The first reflex, naturally, was to pin the blame for the West’s growing heroin problem on the Communist Chinese under Mao Zedung. Check. The second, more considered response, was to organize an ongoing campaign to deflect attention away from, and burnish the image of, the CIA. And to this end, in 1953, did the CIA establish ‘Operation Mockingbird’. Under ‘Mockingbird’ the Agency recruited hundreds of American journalists to spread false stories and propaganda about the Company’s ‘benign’ activities. Eventually, this depraved fabric of anti-journalism enlisted entire news networks including ABC, NBC, Newsweek, Associated Press, and The Saturday Evening Post. Now the guys and gals at Langley could relax. Henceforth, American (and global) eyes were dutifully prismed through the rose-coloured lens of ‘Mockingbird’.
But back to the Vatican. The IOR, solid banking pillar of the Gladio community that it was, could hardly be expected to do all the heavy lifting itself. After all, the global heroin industry would, by 1980, be pulling in a cool $400 billion annually. En route an extensive and orchestrated financial network would be required to supplement God’s Bank. As with any fine orchestra it helps to have a maestro of exquisite genius to run the show. A nice round of applause, then, for one Michele Sindona. The biography of Sindona begins, humbly enough, with his degree in tax law from the University of Messina in 1942 after which, in quick succession, he rockets to stardom as a leading financial adviser to the Sicilian mafia, an agent for the CIA, and, thereafter, a financial intimate of the Holy See. By the late 1950s Sindona had become the lynchpin in a nexus between the mob, the CIA and the Vatican that would eventually, as Williams chillingly puts it, “result in the toppling of governments, wholesale slaughter and financial devastation.”
Though a full elaboration of this bewilderingly complex financial system is best left to the author, it is worth briefly savouring a few highlights. To begin with Sindona purchased Fasco AG, a Liechtenstein holding company and through which he purchased his first bank – the Banca Privata Finanziaria (BPF). The BPF then became, by way of a Chicago-based intermediary bank, Continental Illinois, a principal conduit for transferring drug money from the IOR for the purposes of Gladio. In fact, it was this banking pipeline in particular which provided the filthy lucre that fueled the 1967 coup d’etat in Greece. But more on this heady stuff in a bit.
It was through his Chicago contacts that Sindona first met Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, popularly known as ‘the Gorilla’. The Gorilla was six foot four, “a gifted street fighter…and a lover of bourbon, fine cigars and young women”. Under Sindona’s patronage Marcinkus would soon rise to become both Pope Paul VI’s personal body guard and the head of the IOR. A third musketeer in the person of Roberto Calvi (the assistant – and later full – director of the famous, Milan-based Banco Ambrosiano) came to complete the three Vatican amigos. Together they would cut a dramatic, collective figure in the global banking underworld all through the ‘anni di Piombo’ (the Gladio ‘years of lead’ in Italy from 1969 to 1987). Exactly how dramatic is illustrated, par excellence, by Calvi’s eventual dark demise. Who among us, old enough to remember, can forget the macabre spectacle (June, 1982) of Calvi’s body hanging from Blackfriars Bridge, his feet dangling in the Thames and pockets stuffed with five masonry bricks. Sindona would also later be murdered (1986) by means of a cyanide-laced cup of coffee whilst in jail and under ‘maximum protective custody’.
Calvi was a key figure in establishing a series of eight shell companies (six in Panama, two in Europe) through which drug lords like Pablo Escobar in South America were encouraged to deposit their ill-gotten loot. (The CIA put shoulder to wheel by helping ferry the Escobar cocaine in a fleet of planes operating out of Scranton airport in Pennsylvania). The monies were then transferred via Banco Ambrosiano to the IOR which took a 15 to 20 percent processing fee. From there funds were distributed to a host of European banks set up by Sindona for use by Gladio units spread throughout the continent. In addition to the flow of cash from the cartels, funds were bled from Banco Ambrosiano into the eight shell companies – again for use by the CIA in funding its covert operations.
This points up a general operating procedure of the entire Gladio ‘banking’ system, i.e. the system, far from being designed to turn a profit, was expressly designed to ‘lose’ money; that is, to have it siphoned off into covert ops. Such explains the regular and spectacular failure of a host of CIA-related banks including: Franklin National Bank (purchased by Sindona), Castle Bank & Trust, Mercantile Bank & Trust (both set up by the ubiquitous Paul Helliwell), Nugan Hand Bank (in Australia, and from which funds were diverted to undermine Prime Minister Gough Whitlam during the Vietnam War), and the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International (based in Karachi in aid, primarily, of the Southeast Asian heroin trade). Indeed, it was precisely the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano itself that brought both Calvi and Sindona to their untimely ends.
Finally, it is worth noting here that these august institutions were linked in a tight criminal embrace with many of the most prestigious financial firms in America including Citibank, the Bank of New York, and the Bank of Boston. The base of the iceberg, in short, extended far and wide. But then, what was all this money really doing?
Following the thwarting of Italian democracy in 1948 the Gladio ‘secret armies’ entered into a period of what one might characterize as pregnant incubation. Thus, it was during the 1950s that the various drug supply routes and financial networks were being created, as were some of the principal political organizations. Probably the most important of the latter was ‘Propaganda Due’ otherwise known as ‘P2’.
Created in 1877 as a Freemasonry lodge for the Piedmont nobility, it was banned by Mussolini in 1924 only to be resurrected post-war with the approval of Allen Dulles, himself a thirty-third degree Mason. The lodge, though at first dominated mainly by spooks, spies, military and mafia figures, would soon encompass a who’s who of Italian political, corporate, banking and media supremos to boot. Indeed, the organization would eventually spread shoots throughout Europe as well as North and South America, and its members would come to include such luminaries as Henry Kissinger and General Alexander Haig.
A ‘P2’ denizen of especial significance was Licio Gelli. The latter’s pedigree was impressive: a former volunteer in the 735th Black Shirts Battalion, a former member of the elite SS Division under Field Marshall Goering and, thereafter, a chummy employee of the US Counter Intelligence Corps of the Fifth Army. Working with William Colby, the OSS agent in France, and Allen Dulles, the OSS director, Gelli soon gained entry to the Vatican where he helped set up the Nazi escape routes to Argentina. His ties with Argentina would later prove critical in facilitating Operation Condor (the US-backed mass assassination program in 1970s and ‘80s South America). Moreover, in 1972, Gelli would emerge as P2’s supreme ‘Worshipful Master’ under whose leadership the lodge would reach its full, horrific flowering. Finally, it is worth mentioning at this juncture that it was as a result of a police raid on Gelli’s villa in 1981 that the full, tentacled structure of Gladio would come to light. But we digress.
One of the first substantive actions of Gladio was the Turkish coup of 1960. Here the incumbent Prime Minister, Adnan Menderes, made the fatal mistake of believing he was really in charge and thereafter initiating a visit to Moscow to secure economic aid. The ‘stay-behind-army’ in Turkey known as Counter-Guerilla, in alliance with the Turkish military, quickly disabused him of any such delusions by arresting and executing him. Throughout the 1970s both Counter-Guerilla and its youth wing, the Grey Wolves, would stage “ongoing terror attacks…that resulted in the deaths of over five thousand students, teachers, trade union leaders, booksellers and politicians”.
Counter-Guerilla would also figure in the Turkish coup of 1980 when its commander, General Kenan Evren, toppled the moderate government of Bulent Ecevit. According to Williams, US President Jimmy Carter phoned in his approval to the CIA station-chief in Ankara, Paul Henze, with a jubilant, ‘Your boys have done it!’ What they had done, of course, was set up a tyranny in which thousands more would be tortured while incarcerated. The Turkish Gladio boys would also be unleashed in the 1980s upon the PKK – the Kurdistan Workers Party. All of this was in keeping with Zbigniew Brzezinski’s (Carter’s national security advisor) core vision of the importance of controlling Central Asia to which Turkey was both a vital portal and, thus, a key NATO ally.
Alas, Gladio would prove something of a disappointment in France, where, after having backed a series of assassination attempts against the regrettably too independent President Charles de Gaulle, it found itself on the receiving end of de Gaulle’s boot. Actually, it was NATO itself – at the time, headquartered in Paris – that was unceremoniously kicked out of France (in 1966, whence it took up its present cozy and famously corrupt abode in Brussels). But, of course, de Gaulle was ahead of the curve and understood all too well who was really behind the mayhem and murder.
Greece, unfortunately, did not fare as well. In 1967 the ‘Hellenic Raiding Force’, a franchise of Gladio and playing to a NATO authored script entitled Operation Prometheus, overthrew the left-leaning government of George Papandreou. The ensuing military dictatorship would last until 1974 though this would hardly signal the end of Greece’s tribulations. From 1980 until near the turn of the millennium, the nation would suffer under a reign of terror and political assassinations nominally attributed to ‘November 17’, an alleged Marxist revolutionary group, but which in fact (and here I briefly tag-team with authors Cottrell and Ganser) was yet another faction of Greek-Gladio known as ‘Sheepskin’.
This illustrates a point originally brought home by Ganser’s research to the effect that virtually every alleged ‘leftist revolutionary’ group said to have been operating in Europe throughout the post-war years was, in truth, either a Gladio ‘secret army’ unit or else had been completely infiltrated by state intelligence services, and was subsequently being steered by them for Gladio-style state-terrorist ends. Such is well documented for the ‘Red Brigades’ in Italy and the ‘Baader-Meinhof Gang’ in Germany (the ‘gang’ being conveniently and cold-bloodedly exterminated on the ‘night of the long knives’, Oct.18, 1977, whilst under custody in Stammheim prison). It also, just by the by, speaks to the universally attested prior association of many a modern-day ‘terrorist’ and their police and intelligence handlers.
In Spain, during the early ‘70s, Stefano delle Chiaie and fellow Gladio agents from Italy provided their consulting expertise to General Francisco Franco’s secret police who conducted over a thousand violent acts and some fifty murders. Following Franco’s death in 1975, delle Chiaie moved to Chile to lend a fatherly hand in helping the CIA-backed Augusto Pinochet set up his death squads. In later years the Spanish Gladio unit would find gainful employment hunting down and assassinating the leaders of the Basque separatist movement.
Of Italy we have already mentioned the ‘years of lead’, but just to capture a few highlights. The ‘strategy of tension’ unleashed in 1969 in Italy – the same year ‘Condor’ was unleashed in Latin America – was in response to the renewed popularity of Communism throughout the country and which, itself, was partly in response to the uptick in revolutionary sentiment globally as a result of antipathy towards the US war on Vietnam. The antidote, naturally, to this woeful state of progressive affairs was a healthy dose of terror. According to Williams, “Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor, issued orders to Licio Gelli through his deputy, General Alexander Haig, for the implementation of terror attacks and coup attempts.” The terror attacks began on December 12, 1969 when a bomb exploded in the crowded lobby of a bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana in which seventeen people were killed and eighty-eight injured. Over the ensuing years (from 1969 to 1987) there followed more than ‘14,000 acts of violence with a political motivation’. The most infamous of these was, of course, the Bologna bombing in August of 1980 and which led to the initial exposure of Gladio in Italy.
Of the many attempted coups and related high-level political machinations engineered by Gladio forces in Italy (1963, 1970, 1976) and Sicily (more or less continually on tap throughout the decade), the kidnapping on March 16, 1978 – and murder a month or so later – of Prime Minister Aldo Moro was likely the most sensational. Moro had dared to include communists in his new coalition government. At first blamed on the usual suspects, i.e. the Red Brigades, further investigation (to begin with by journalist Carmine ‘Mino’ Pecorelli who paid with his life) led to the real usual suspects including CIA operative Mario Moretti (eventually convicted of the killing) and thence up the line to Gelli, then to Italy’s interior minister Francesco Cossiga and onwards to Zbigniew Brzezinski.
The high-level intrigue did not stop at the murder of a prime minister however. At least two Popes felt the sharp end of the Gladio sword as well. In August of 1978, Pope Paul VI died. His successor, the preternaturally timid John Paul I, soon gave his handlers a very real shock when, after looking at the IOR accounts, he issued a ‘call for reform’. The very next day the otherwise fastidiously health-conscious pontiff – in office barely a month – was dead. Not just dead but expired with the telltale bulging eyes and horrific grimace of acute poisoning. His autopsy was definitively thwarted by an illegal and hastily contrived embalming, and his personal papers disappeared without a trace. Archbishop Marcinkus, having been temporarily removed prior, was returned to office whilst Calvi and Sindona, also under scrutiny at the time, breathed a (temporary) sigh of relief.
Having been (almost) burned once the overseers of Gladio made sure to engineer the follow-up Papal succession. Thus did Cardinal Karol Wojtyla shuffle onto the historical proscenium as Pope John Paul II. Now, at first, John Paul worked seamlessly with the CIA and Gladio. Together they oversaw the destruction of Liberation Theology in Latin America, the continued undermining of Italian democracy, and the dispensing of black funds for Solidarity in Poland. Ah, but how the best laid plans do oft go astray. By the spring of 1981 not only were events spinning out of control for Gladio itself, but so too were they for Banco Ambrosiano, and by extension, the IOR. The Pope, inexplicably, refused to act. Compounding this lapse was an unaccountable trifecta of moral turpitude that witnessed the Holy Father suddenly breaking into treasonous song singing the benefits of rapprochement with the Soviets; recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization; and, egads, nuclear disarmament. The order from on high was given: ‘Kill the Pope’.
But best blame it on the Soviets. So issued the ‘Bulgarian Thesis’ wherein a lowly Bulgarian airline employee (Sergei Antonov) was set up as the patsy. In truth, the key actors in the Papal plot came straight from Gladio central casting. The starring role in the drama fell to General Giuseppe Santovito, the head of Italy’s military intelligence (SISMI) and the commander of the Italian Gladio units. His co-star, Theodore Shackley, was the infamous CIA mastermind who had already served as executive producer on such epics as Operation Phoenix (involving the murder of some 40,000 non-combatants in Vietnam), Operation Condor, the setting up of Nugan Hand Bank, and, along with delle Chiaie, the murder of Salvador Allende. West Germany’s BND (the national security services) garnered a significant credit by harbouring and financing the two actual assassins, Mehmet Agca and Abdullah Cath (both from Turkish Gladio). And, of course, the Mighty Wurlitzer, i.e. Operation Mockingbird, figured prominently in the aftermath grinding out endless tunes on the ‘Bulgarian Thesis’ – despite the fact of Agca’s eventual (lone) conviction in the shooting.
The production ended all somewhat anticlimactically when the Pope (on May 13, 1981) was only seriously wounded. In a fascinating denouement, however, on Christmas Day 1983, the Pope opted to publicly forgive Agca. Italian state television was allowed to record the moment when John Paul asked his assassin from whom he had received his orders. Leaning forward to hear Agca’s response the Pope appeared momentarily frozen, then clasped his hands to his face. Though the Pontiff kept it secret, there was little need to guess at the answer.
The adventures of both Agca and Cath are the stuff of legend. Indeed, Cath figures in events well beyond the time line of Gladio proper, enough to suggest that Gladio never really shut down at all. But that, as they say, is a whole other story – and one I leave to the author to take up.
Paul Williams has made a fine contribution here. Certainly, if the day ever comes when, seated across from some smug establishment interlocutor, you are taken to task for being a ‘conspiracy monger’ – well, you need only lean back, smile gently, and utter but two words….’Operation Gladio’.
Antony C. Black is a Canadian freelance writer specializing in international affairs. He has written for numerous mainstream and independent media (of the latter, principally Canadian Dimension and Global Research) over three decades.
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Thank you Anthony Black, especially for highlighting the greek angle which derailed my life and had our family end up in Canada [Tsigantes = Gigantes]. It took many years to be able to return to Athens. Meanwhile for a good laugh I recommend Brady Kiesling’s [retired chief of the Political section at the US embassy in Athens who resigned in protest over Iraq] Greek Urban Warriors: Resistance & Terrorism 1967-2014 pub. 2014 by Lycabettus Press here in Athens. Written in English of course.
An excellent article by Antony C. Black: operations all highlighting the necessity to finally audit the Vatican Bank and their Swiss Banking connectivity, via their independently declared ‘State’ Jurisdiction of the Bank of International Settlements, (like Liechtenstein, really) & finally hold accountable electronically, the Crown’d Syndicate of all organised crime & their banking masters of deception.
TINA >>> really, there is no alternative >>> follow d’Money . . .
Best of all right now, coz’ with the Cardinal sinner George d’Pedo Pell in jail in Australia, as Chief Treasurer of the Vatican Bank, one might quite reasonably assume that serious ‘Leverage’ could brought to bear heavily, regarding Liberties ! Not withstanding that, if all transactions to & from the Vatican Bank were monitored electronically via the Bank of International Settlements, as investigation into organised crime & the CIA Narco-Gangbangers >>> Pasta 😉 or
Gnocchi alla Siciliana !
Spooks, Criminals, Bankers & Religious nut jobs thinking & believing that they are above the Laws of any land, with clever legal tricks & declarations of Vatican State independence, failing any & all accountability globally, can no longer be tolerated and least of all protected by NATO paying nations, when renditions, drugs, murder, Wars & Genocide or Regime Change, are funded & orchestrated at will, with God’s forgiveness upon confession in Church, on Sundays, seriously !?
Frankly, i think NATO & Interpol should just invade the Vatican State and assume control & take possession of all banking records, archives & no ‘D’ Notices, no secrecy permitted, “until we know what the hell is going on”, with external assistance from independent judges from various EU nations: judges like Lord Justice Leveson and this new German Minister of Justice could help oversee, (the one who considers Russia as German European Partner), then multiple proceedings will ensue, inevitably . . .
‘Ring-fence’ Vatican Bankers.
Problem, reaction, solution 😉
Given the obvious life threatening circumstances for any ruling Pope, he can only be reasonably expected to ‘OBSTRUCT JUSTICE’, under such internal Vatican duress, allied with spooky criminal external forces threatening him & literally the bodies of historic evidence: therefore, it is fair to assume that the Pope cannot be relied upon to respect the Laws of the Protectorate N.A.T.O. Lands. or European Law, be it criminal or financial in any way: and anyway, the Pope can always confess on Sunday and that makes all the ‘misdemeanours’ Ok, right ?
What a Farce, worthy of Dostoevsky’s ‘Demons’, confessing chaos . . .
Correction: Fascist Farce !
“I got entangled in my own data, and my conclusion directly contradicts the original idea from which I start. Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that apart from my solution of the social formula, there can be no other.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons
Unfortunately NATO and Interpol are part of the same criminal constellation. If only we had just ONE honest agency!
Right you are & this must necessarily be exposed … 😉
The Godfather III covered some events quite nicely.
on related subjects:
Max Kolskegg — 9/11 In Context: Plans and Counterplans
“Twin Towers Destroyed Using Clean Nukes” > memo to PDJT, posted at Robert David Steele site and > JamesFetzer(.)org
impossible with thermite or remote Direct Energy Weapons, this was 0.5 kiloton Pulsed Nuclear Lasers placed in each tower basement
The Allies overthrew Mussolini to reinstate the mafia. Gladio was about combatting a challenge to one Masonic crime syndicate (inherent in the nature of the beast) from another.
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I do find it curious that Mehmet Agca has not been conveniently dispatched…..
Marx comes along and advocates violent overthrow of the upper classes and bourgeoisie middle class and to stomp out Christianity. Banksters and anti-Christian oligarchs in the West fund and support the communist revolution in Russia and continue to support its spread throughout the West. They ruthlessly persecute Christians in Russia and after winning WWII they do the same in every nation they occupy. Fascism in Europe was totally a reaction by the establishment to the real and dire threats of communism. Surprise surprise. Communism continued to spread after WWII and continued to be supported by the same Western financial parasites. You expect Christians to turn the other cheek and play fair with those who are trying to wipe them out? Of course not. You screw with my family and my religion I screw with you. You stomp out my religion I stomp out you. That is what happened. However, the problem is that both sides quickly lost any sight of God in their ideologies and in their methods.
Too religious for you? If you think so then you and your kind are entirely to blame for the mess, because once you get rid of God and the the ultimate purpose of human life then it does not matter if you are a ruthless communist, a ruthless nazi, or a ruthless Zionist, a ruthless CIA agent, or even a ruthless mafia don. Life becomes more and more nihilistic and politics becomes just one big giant meaningless power struggle where eventually to the power brokers human beings and human life have no real intrinsic worth, except in terms of how they can manipulate or destroy it.
Wow! I got some idea of all this from the film by Michele Metta on Italy’s involvement in the JFK assassination, “CMC: The Italian undercover CIA and Mossad station and the assassination of JFK”, as some of the people mentioned here were also involved in that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrnNpm74Ocw
One important correction:
The Bologna station bombing like so many other terror events and seeming false flags was really a false-flag hoax. Death and injury were obviously staged.
I certainly do not challenge many of the other deaths spoken of in this article. I know lots of people are killed all over the place but as far as I can tell when it’s a terror event reported widely or said to be a false flag (including Pearl Harbour which is said to be more a semi false-flag), death and injury are always staged – and they let us know in the way they stage it, the very obvious contradiction between witness reports and visual evidence and a number of other signs.
What did George Pell know ?
A whole lot I’d venture.
My God…. What pure evil. Thank you Anthony for this searing exposé. I knew of Operation Gladio on a fairly superficial level, I knew of Operation Mockingbird, I knew of the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte who blew the whistle. And is now dead. I vaguely remember the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, tho had just left High School at the time, and had no real knowledge of how the World really was. And yes, had a Catholic upbringing, and mostly a Catholic education. I also knew of the Grey Wolves in Turkey, and who was behind the 1967 coup in Greece…. But all of this – how its all linked together. Somewhat gobsmacked. The level of depravity – for power, for psychopathic greed. And I have to wonder about certain ‘Socialist groups’ who have claimed a revolution was taking place in Syria (while ignoring the jihadist headchoppers) and who claimed the White Helmets are a real humanitarian organisation, while fully ignoring all the glaring evidence to the contrary. There are groups out there, including couple Anarchist ones, that I have bells going off in my head. As Anthony pointed out, I believe similar operations are still being conducted by the Anglo Zionist Empire. You’d have to be really gullible to believe otherwise. These monsters are willing to kill vast numbers of human beings to retain their power and wealth. And as we see, they will do anything. Utterly Evil.
Cheers Gezzah… re ‘how it is all linked together’. This was precisely what prompted me to write this overview, i.e. the linkages and global scope, the sheer depravity, the significance of all of it to modern-day affairs. Antony Black
How do you feel about an interview on Gorilla Radio to talk about it? http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/
Antony: if I had a wish, it would be that millions could read this article, or even the book. The level of political apathy in the West, the vast amount of heads buried deep in the sand, the wholesale buying into the filthy propaganda of the media presstitutes. It might jolt more people awake. It gave me a jolt, that’s for sure, Cheers….
Thanks Gezzah…Indeed, that was precisely my reaction when I read Williams’ book (in conjunction with a few others)….and, of course, the motivation for writing the article. I did the same thing for Macgregor and Docherty’s ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ [Here’s the link to that if you’re interested: https://www.globalresearch.ca/hidden-history-the-secret-origins-of-the-first-world-war/5600090 ]
Great article, thank you.
Did you read that an Italian nuclear engineer / hedge fund manager / lodge member had hacked Mario Draghi, ECB, and EU politicians from US servers? A wild story: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/mario-draghis-email-was-hacked-high-ranking-mason
Operation Gladio – Full 1992 timewatch documentary
VHS quality. But worth a look.
One thing that seems a bit off about this thesis (which I generaly accept) is the question of where when and by whom are all these drugs consumed. If the scale of consumption were big enough to provide these slush funds wouldn’t the streets be full of people laying around in various states of intoxication?
The streets ARE full of such people. A recent survey conducted in a European country found that one person in ten is connected to drug consumption. In a country like the UK with, say 60 million inhabitants, that leaves us with six million such people “in various states of intoxication”. Add to that the unbelievable prevalence of alcohol consumption in, say, Britain, where even the TV detective programmes show us cops drinking all day, and you can see that the scale of consumption is unbelievable. It’s really staggering.
Thanks so much for sharing this review. I’ve read everything I can find on Gladio and what becomes apparent in exploring this deeply is the almost surreal nature of the complete corruption of Western institutions by these tentacles of the deep state as various associated societal apparatus. From church, to banking, to mafia, to CIA, to MSM, to narcotic traffickers, to the death squads of Latin America and to the Gladio terror bombings in Europe- nothing is as it seems. There is only moral corruption and the spin designed to befuddle and confuse we the citizens of our so called “Western democracies.”
The number of individuals and institutions deserving of criminal prosecution is simply astronomical. In fact holding accountable those who so richly deserve criminal punishment would in fact absolutely crumble all popular faith in the institutions of Western society – crumbling them into dust – though in the process it perhaps might save our planet from the rot of this continuing madness of what in the end is simply a completely institutionalized fascism posing as “democracy.”
the guy who made the excellent “On Company Business” doco about the CIA also made a program about Gladio some years ago (when one was allowed to do such things on television) and it’s worth tracking down
Here it is Nick.
I’m totally incredulous. I feel betrayed and understandably disturbed by the depth of corruption evident in the US and other Western governments, The CIA should be disbanded and its former leaders charged with heinous crimes. The US Congress should be held up to much deserved censure for allowing such horror to take root and grow under its oversight! It is an outrage, morally and ethically. I hate what we have become, its beyond disgusting and completely degenerate.
“Drain the Swamp” and HRC’s appalling ‘Judgement’ won Trump the election,
when the U$A was teetering on Civil War,
Robert Mercer ran his private poll confirming this, Twice, paying twice in absolute disbelief, reconnecting the poll, before backing Trump, with Cambridge Analytica tweaking the tuning of messaging accordingly, to beat the Deep State efforts of Google Analytics to further the CIA NSA & FBI objectives for Clinton, inc. massive media bias and yet still she lost, thankfully . . .
Somebody should declare a National Effin’Emergency in Congress ! 😉
due to corruption of everything-everything !
Think Rumsfeld’s announcement on missing Trillions$$$, the day before WTC 7,
when Mueller was boss of the FBI… ground-zero credibility!
JFK famously vowed to smash the CIA into a thousand pieces. Guess what happened next?
I assume JFK did not grasp just how far the reach of the CIA went?
Dulles and his cohorts were up to their necks in the Bay of Pigs fiasco as well as an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état againt De Gaulle (because of Algiers)
If JFK knew his history (Iran / Congo) he should have realised the US security and military apparatus will employ all and any means to achieve their objectives.
For this to change 3 things needs to happen;
1. Actors responsible for such crimes such as organising a hit on the Prez, or invading a country under false pretexts should be held to account.
2. The media should stop lying about the true nature of these recurring geopolitical patterns.
3. The public needs to extract its collective head from its arse.
Sadly none will come to pass.
It’s pretty odd though, to think that JFK did not grasp things that we, here, are grasping pretty easily.
After all, he had access to a lot more facts and hard evidence than we do, and he was no fool either.
I am hardly an authority on JFK but do you think he worked out he had become a target on the CIA kill list?
He socialised with Allen Dulles albeit on a casual basis and replaced him (as head of the CIA) with another commie fearing republican with mixed loyalties, John McCone.
In ‘The Devils Chessboard’ Talbot portrays JFK as a leader increasingly disenchanted with the rabid nature of American foreign policy, especially the way those that controlled it were doing their utmost to frustate expectations that they should act within international norms.
Maybe JFK was in denial but after the WWII surely he must have known the US intelligence community had forged strong links with former Nazis (once Soviet Russia became the new nemesis) and were culpable for black-ops and regime change on an industrial scale.
Good points Harry.
One possibility maybe that “someone” was assuring him that his back was covered. In the book “JFK and the Unforgivable” one gets the sense that he was way way on the limb with the Ruling Class. He was certainly trying to move the US in a more peaceful direction but the momentum of business interests would simply not give given the consequences this would have on their Profits.
It should also be mentioned that the lost European colonies help vast wealth underground and this was not going to be simply given to the natives to make a profit on. Big Money wanted to control it and they did no matter the blood that had to be spilled to accomplish it. “The Incubus of Intervention” gives some great information on how this was done.
Benefit of hindsight. A good Catholic boy might not so easily believe how vicious the power hungry people are?
He was also spoiled by their wealth. People with that kind of money do have a distorted view of people and power structures.
I have come to believe that the media is run by the same individuals that are perpetrating the crimes so it is like the fox watching the henhouse and nobody knows what to do about it, that is the ones that actually know how the game is played.
Most are either asleep or just can’t believe what they see and hear and go into some kind of psychosis where it is just not discussed as they refuse to even think about it .
Don’t ask me what the solution might be as I have just identified the problem and I don’t know how to fix it .
LEVESON 2 ! ?
Solutions for the UK.
Gotta’ start somewhere.
Why else would Theresa May have silenced Justice Leveson ?
dismissing all Logic, need & transparent accountability for media moguls’ mendacity,
whilst utilising sovereign NATO militaries for Deep State strategic corporate agendas & goals for resources, regime change
and, not least of all, control of societal brainwash.
Murdoch instructed her !
Smart guy, Leveson: outrageously ostracised, ‘organically’ . . .
Has anybody thought to ask Lord Justice Leveson for his opinion on Assange ? He might even respond to some legitimate OffG enquiries from Kit & Co. , given May’s dismissive actions and arrogant nature, with ‘D’ Notices & Censorship now rampant & abused >>> Mensch !
Sir Brian Henry Leveson, currently the President of the Queen’s Bench Division
and Head of Criminal Justice.
Born: Brian Henry Leveson, (22nd June 1949, Liverpool, Lancashire, England), has likely less of either an affinity or affection for the SUN of “Mad Mullahs”, like most from Liverpool >>>
with pro-active memories !
The excellent JFK and the Unspeakable addresses JFK’s awareness of the danger he was in and his fatalism in the face of it.
Yes, the JFK assassination was very much an “inside” job.
Great review of Greg Poulgrain’s book “The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesian Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles” by one of the Off-G regulars, Edward Curtin.
Curtin says “Dulles was nothing if not patient; he had been at this game since WW I. Even after Kennedy fired him following the Bay of Pigs, his plans were executed, just as those who got in his way were. Poulgrain makes a powerful case that these included JFK, U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold (working with Kennedy for a peaceful solution in Indonesia and other places), and Congolese President Patrice Lumumba.”
Of course according to the Guardian or other MSM apologists for the status quo Poulgrain would no doubt dismissed as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – but books like ‘Incubus’ and ‘The Devils Chessboard’ highlight just how far from the truth most MSM journalists are.
Wow, we must be on the same wavelength as to the Poulgrain book Harry 🙂
The trickery in the case Papua is amazing. I suspect there is even more to it all but what Poulgrain found out is enough to open eyes of anyone sleeping.
The CIA and some such like will not be disbandoned because they and the US military exist to keep and extend the reach of the global corporations based in the US, i.e. Coke, Pepsi, Disney, NewCorp/Fox, microsoft, google, apple, boeing, Raytheon, etc. These companies would not have secure wide reach without enforcers like the CIA. ,
Wall Street would be worth less if the military/deep state would not work with them hand in glove. The trick is to incorporate in Delaware, have your bank accounts in the Caymans and let the taxpayer fund the military to protect you. NATO expenses are justified with Russian aggression; Australia’s excessive military expenses are justified with a China threat – both are to counter the crumbling of the US power monopoly.
The Guardian is fully aware that they depend on the good graces of the US and where there is exposure of bad and exploitative US activities or just not agreeing with US ideology – your comments get rubbed.
There are many other similar cases, like the Belgian Supermarket Shootings of the 1980s, with 28 dead. False flags like Baader Meinhof and the Red Brigades. “Grey Terror” intended to serve a “Strategy of Tension”, creating a general climate of anxiety, tension, fear and uncertainty, affecting the outcome of elections and enabling repressive laws and censorship. Russiagate, Skripal and 9/11 fall into the same general category.
Mark, what was it George Orwell knew, that eludes us?
Re the Belgian Supermarket Shootings… Both Williams and Cottrell cover these in their respective books – a lot more besides. I simply couldn’t fit everything in without the essay, well, turning into a book 🙂 I highly recommend both, of course.
Thanks for that, A. It wasn’t a criticism. It’s just something that stuck in my mind at the time, like Bologna. I only really began connecting the dots after Iraq. Until then I wouldn’t really have believed that those who rule over us would actually slaughter their own people at random without any compunction if they thought it served their interests. Maybe that was a bit naïve, knowing what we know now..
I realised they were arrogant, corrupt, self serving, probably with few moral principles. But I didn’t think they’d plumb those depths, that even they would retain some kind of moral standards. It gradually dawned on me that the ruling elite were more vicious and depraved than the worst serial killers and child killers. People like the Moors Murderers and Sutcliffe were probably damaged individuals who killed a relatively small number of people. And they at least did their own dirty work. This ruling elite often had a very privileged background and yet are utterly devoid of any moral standards.
Mark, I think the Belgian killings sound very suspect in terms of reality. Three men, never identified, one of whom was called the “Giant” because of his tallness, terrorising all these tiny towns, in Volkswagens, using pump shotguns with a rare, heavy buckshot? In the several shootouts with the police, the police never managed to shoot any of them? I keep beating my drum about terror being staged and, so far, nothing has come up in the variety that’s promulgated widely by the media to have any reality to it – and yet my comment above gets 5 downvotes. My goodness, they tell us so clearly, so very clearly – tall man, tiny towns, Volkswagens, pump shotguns with heavy buckshot, trivial robberies with significant deaths. Does not add up.
September 17, 1983: A couple were murdered in the early hours after stopping their Mercedes at a 24-hour self-service gas station beside a store that the gang was burgling. Despite the alarm going off, the gang took the time to load twenty kilos of tea and coffee and 10 liters of cooking oil. Two gendarmes responding to the alarm were shot as they arrived on the scene; one was killed, the other seriously wounded. The gang escaped in the Saab turbo stolen on February 22 and the murdered couple’s Mercedes. After shooting up a police car that began following them, the gang used a little-known minor road to get away in the Saab, abandoning it near to the garage from which it had originally been stolen, and close to the Delhaize supermarket that would be attacked on September 27, 1985. Investigators believe that the repeated propinquity of locations where the gang was active may indicate that they lived in the area. Potentially crucial fingerprint evidence collected from the Saab ‘disappeared’.
I’m not saying no one dies at all, right. These events are often used to bring greater control and an excuse for killing many, many more people, eg, 9/11. And I don’t doubt most of the killings mentioned in the book review – just the staged terror, that is all.
The Giant, allegedly, was 6’4″. How on earth would this person go undetected in this rural area? Did he just hide out all the time and only come out guns ablazing? It is truly amazing the lengths of fabrication they will go to – but then let us know with obvious signs. All the talk about it really being some kind of inside job/connection to Gladio (it’s an inside job all right, just no death and injury) is similar to the truther-targeted propaganda campaign for 9/11 (https://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/911.html), first-it-was-Red-Brigades-now-it’s-neofascists Bologna station killing (https://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/bologna-1980-and-mogadishu-2017.html) and the alleged killing with a letter containing anthrax of an employee of the publisher of a magazine that published unflattering photos of the Bush twins “falling down drunk” (https://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/anthrax-attacks-after-911.html). There’s a similar MO in both the skeptic-targeted propaganda and the obvious signs.
I don’t have personal experience of this, but an army officer told me this kind of thing was routine standard practice.
The way he put it was, in the run up to a war or a military operation of any kind where you want to achieve surprise, there are certain things that you can’t easily disguise, like a build up of military forces and huge amounts of supplies and other preparations.
The idea is to throw up a smokescreen to divert attention from what you are doing.
To send people out to commit horrific criminal acts like Jack The Ripper type murders of women, Dunblane style shootings of children in their school playground. Rail track derailments causing a large number of casualties appearing to be random vandalism.
The aim is to create shock and horror to act as a distraction.
I asked if military or intelligence people would actually do that, carry out orders to murder women and schoolchildren at random.
He said sure, you have to realise in a war thousands of perfectly decent people go to the wall.
Anything that helps you achieve your objective is fair game. Nothing is off limits.
He said that people in this country had carried out bank robberies, burglaries, car thefts and other crimes in training exercises. I suppose that’s just the way things are.
So this guy may have said they do it for real (and even believe it), however, the evidence does not show they do it for real – for many events at least. Not only does it not show it, it actively shows against it, as in really unbelievable additions to the major story, which, in the case of 9/11 at least, is an unbelievable story in the first place. Planes do not go unintercepted in that way and steel frame buildings do not crash to the ground controlled-demolition style by fire. But they need these big lies for their terror story, right? For their terror story, however, they don’t need the third building, WTC-7, to crash to the ground in a perfect implosion (unlike the twin towers where the CD was of a very different kind), they don’t need its collapse to be announced 20 minutes before it happened, they don’t need Silverstein to say he said to “pull it”, they don’t need the supposedly dead terrorists to pop up alive, they don’t need Hani Hanjour’s flight instructor to say that he cried when asked to attempt steep turns and stalls. They don’t need those little extras at all – quite the opposite – as they undermine their already ludicrous story. But this is what they tell us and we can only infer that it’s as the insider told Ole Dammegard – they justify their hoaxing of us by telling us through clear signs and it’s up to us to call them out and if we don’t the fault’s on us and they’re spared karmic repercussions. However, much that may seem woo-woo, counterintuitive, preposterous or whatever, the evidence so very much supports this claim. Plus, of course, if you’re involving agency staff it makes easier to have them comply in the operation – “Don’t worry, they’re not really feeling terror because we make our stories so obvious – it’s OK to do it because of our higher agenda [whatever BS that is].”
The thing is, they know so very well how to fool us and they love to do it and doing it for real will result in undesirable consequences – the loved ones asking questions. The difference between someone who hasn’t suffered the loss of a loved one and one who has is like the difference between night and day and then some. Those who’ve suffered the loss of a loved one are a breed apart. They turn into super sleuths, will constantly hammer on doors and never, ever give up on their quest for truth and justice. Of course, when the people who are killed are criminals in the first place and involved with those who kill them as mentioned in the book review, their loved ones are not going to jump up and down. Those loved ones will, generally, keep very quiet and hope the same doesn’t happen to them. A son of Valerio Borghese (mentioned in the review) migrated to Wollongong, the town I grew up in, and our families were friends for many years. The son knew his father had been killed by the people he was involved with but he knew not to try to do anything about it – I’m not sure he knew exactly what his father was up to though.
6’4″ never-identified criminal who’s been involved in numerous shootings in a rural area is simply not believable, nor is “Firearms were a particular interest; the 12-gauge pump shotguns used were loaded with a rare, heavy buckshot;” That really does make me laugh.
Honestly, all you have to do is go to Wikipedia, look the event up, read it, and then read it again. If you don’t laugh the first time, you’ll laugh the second, if not the third. And if you’re laughing at such serious crimes there’s obviously something wrong, right? I remember watching my first Coen brothers film, Blood Simple (my favourite actually), and starting to laugh. I felt puzzled at how I could be laughing in a thriller and then it dawned on me – it was a spoof.