Testing the validity of this assertion requires examination of Western institutions from a holistic rather than fragmentary perspective. This is easier said than done.
There exists a massive amount of near real-time web based information available for us to process daily if we are attempting to keep abreast of world events. This often leaves us diligently evaluating recent events, while lacking the opportunity to step back and assemble these discrete events into a more comprehensible whole.
The assassinations of the entire elite level of progressive leadership in the United States during the 1960s (JFK, Malcolm X (image left), MLK & RFK within a 5 year period).In Europe this includes the later assassinations of Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme.
Following is but a partial list of the crimes of the U.S. empire (with the routine complicity of many Western European governments) over the decades since the end of WWII. It is important to briefly review them as the intersection of these orchestrated criminal actions casts light on the lack of legitimacy of Western governments and institutions:
- Operation Condor , the Phoenix program and ongoing material aid and military training support for dictators, torture and death squads in numerous non-Western nations,
- The extensive history of CIA and Western involvement in global narcotics trafficking including importation of drugs into the United States
- US government criminalization of drug use by the poor in conjunction with CIA importation to create the apartheid-like prison-industrial system
- Covert and overt U.S. foreign policy operations involving the destabilization, overthrow and/or assassination of many dozens of foreign leaders of former colonies with assistance from Western European intelligence and/or military
- U.S. corporate financial support for the Nazi regime before and during WWII (trading with the enemy), followed by post-war recruitment and incorporation of Nazi war criminals by the CIA and other U.S. government agencies
- The failed plot to overthrow FDR by U.S. oligarchs prior to WWII
- CIA & FBI programs to undermine and destroy progressive social and political change within the U.S. such as COINTELPRO, MKUltra, Operation Mockingbird and Operation Chaos
- Creation of the Mujahideen and continued logistical support, training and arming of related evolving jihadist forces (i.e. al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra), used by the West in ongoing efforts to destabilize secular nations in the Middle East
- The instalment of former Nazis, Nazi collaborators and fascists into governing and institutional positions of power across Western Europe following WWII
- The continuing failure to abide by the stipulations of a single legal treaty entered into with Native American tribal nations
- Many decades of maintaining an institutionally based apartheid system restricting access by African Americans to housing, voting, job opportunities and access to basic public services such as equal education
- Many dozens of U.S. led/or sponsored outright military invasions of sovereign nations in violation of both domestic and international law
- The U.S. manipulation and rigging of ostensibly democratic election processes in Europe and throughout Latin America since WWII
- The publicly state justification of the use of sanctions to bring about the deaths of half a million Iraqi children framed as an acceptable policy decision
- The routine outright police murders of unarmed minority American civilians and the mentally ill
- The utilization of both NATO and the United Nations to sanction, destabilize and/or militarily intervene in nations that remain independent of Western control
- Ongoing Western looting of the natural resources of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East facilitated by the IMF, World Bank and related Western financial and military institutional structures
- The proposed murder of U.S. citizens in the Northwoods document, and the actual murder of European citizens under NATO/CIA run Operation Gladio
We are fortunate to have a global community which includes researchers who have focused in great depth on the various aforementioned crimes sponsored by Western governments and their institutions. Many such individuals have sacrificed a great deal personally to do so. Some have given their lives in the pursuit of truths that powerful violent institutions prefer be kept hidden from public view. Their efforts provide exhaustive detail regarding particular historical actions and policies of Western institutions. However, it is critical that we assemble these discreet puzzle pieces into a discernible image that can unify and shed light upon the whole.
Let us return to the assertion that Western governments and institutions by simple objective evaluation of this history currently lack all legitimacy.
While the intersection of institutionalized Western criminality and war crimes cited in our partial list should be enough to persuade an impartial observer, one particular example from our list can stand alone. Operation Gladio is an individual puzzle piece that helps unite and shed light upon many other disparate pieces. This is precisely why it is seldom acknowledged, much less discussed in Western MSM or academia. Even a cursory examination of Operation Gladio offers us a much more comprehensible image of the essentially illegal and amoral nature of many important Western institutions.
Gladio offers us a rather frightening glimpse into the thought processes and ethics of the assemblage of oligarchic Western elites and institutions that continue to literally rule our world. These powerful Western hierarchical institutional structures evolved over many centuries.
They evolved from control situated in earlier periods under the auspices of popes and feudal monarchies.
They evolved through various forms of parliamentary and dictatorial rule.
Their current manifestation today is one in which massive global corporations rule in tandem with entrenched Western military, intelligence and economic institutions, all of which function beyond any practical popular input much less control. Oligarchic rule, carried out through these institutional structures is the reality, in spite of the West's much publicized devotion to liberal democracy. Examination of Operation Gladio exposes the rot at the very core of the structures of Western rule.
Operating under the aegis of NATO with CIA input/supervision, Operation Gladio utilized false flag terrorism, mainly bombings but also shootings, in service to what it defined as the "strategy of tension." This "strategy" was seen as a way to manipulate European public perception, thought, opinion and voting behavior away from progressive political parties and leadership, and toward the conservative pole of the political spectrum. Some Gladio operatives have testified that the intent was to force the public to seek a stronger more authoritarian police and State presence in order to protect citizens from political violence.
Critically important is the fact that the violence carried out by Operation Gladio operatives was routinely blamed on the left, on communist or socialist political parties, and/or on groups advocating progressive or revolutionary change. However, the many decades of violence were in actuality carried out by right wing cells within NATO's Gladio stay-behind army units. Thus Operation Gladio was by definition orchestrated false flag terrorism carried out not by "leftists," but rather by a multiplicity of Western institutional structures in Europe in coordination with the CIA.
The Gladio units were originally organized under the supervision of the CIA and NATO, ostensibly as a way to respond in guerrilla warfare fashion to a possible future Soviet invasion of Western Europe. However, lacking cooperative Soviet troops to kill and terrorize the population of Western Europe, the CIA and NATO took up the task of doing the killing and terrorizing themselves.
Gladio's terrorism was conducted in order to shape the minds of the European public, and thus manipulate the political landscape in favor of the goals of U.S. and European elites. This is the reality of Operation Gladio, and it is also why knowledge of its actions is critical to our understanding of present day terrorism.
In the process of authorizing and conducting false flag bombing attacks, Western elites and institutions intentionally killed, maimed and/or psychologically terrorized thousands of European citizens. This violence was carried out with the top-secret collusion of select members of Western European governments, as well as through loyal right-wing cadres within their intelligence agencies, judicial branches, and various police services. Operation Gladio was of course hidden from the public, since it constitutes both treason as well as murder conducted by the very Western government institutional structures sworn by law to protect their citizenry from such crimes.
Although its false flag violence was based in Western Europe, Operation Gladio offered a domestic propaganda benefit to CIA operations in the United States. Mass protests and progressive groups in the United States were tarred in the public mind through guilt by association with the Gladio terror events in Europe. The false reality created by Gladio intentionally portrayed leftists in Europe as "violent murderers of innocent civilians." This narrative was endlessly amplified by corporate media in the U.S. where it meshed rather seamlessly with both the FBI's COINTELPRO activities and the CIA's Operation Chaos program on the domestic front.
The critical conclusion we arrive at from reviewing the history of Operation Gladio is that Western elites used a great many institutions of State to intentionally target and kill their own citizens for political purposes, and then conspired to hide that fact. The importance of this reality cannot be overstated. Failing to widely publicly expose and discuss the history of Operation Gladio has left all citizens of Western nations vulnerable to the continued use of State sponsored false flag terrorism in new and varied manifestations.
When we examine Operation Gladio from a more macro perspective we must remain cognizant of both past and ongoing U.S. and Western European assaults on Third World governments. That people of color around the globe have been the targets of Western imperial violence for over 500 years is simple historical reality. What Operation Gladio demonstrates decisively is that Western elites saw the cold blooded murder of their own citizens as no more an obstacle to their plans for global control than the murder of countless residents of the many Third World nations which were still struggling to free themselves from Western domination.
Consider that Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Northwoods document requested authorization to conduct false flag terror operations in the U.S. in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. Only JFK's fateful refusal to comply stopped those proposed Gladio-style false flag operations from occurring on U.S. soil.
Official narratives often leave us with rather disturbing questions regarding the true nature of such attacks. With the loss of the Soviet Union as a military danger and its replacement by Islamic terrorism, the identity of the official enemy changed. However, we would be remiss if do not question whether the dynamic of false flag terrorism might continue as a tool to manipulate the public mind.
The perceptions, thinking and consciousness of the citizens of Western Europe and the US have been powerfully shaped by the new narratives emanating from events of 9/11, and from subsequent terror attacks. Although these events are routinely blamed upon Islamic jihadist groups, knowledgeable observers find that numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the true identity of the perpetrators, often including the nature of their connections to Western intelligence structures.
Yet in spite of the historical reality of Gladio never has NATO been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for conducting the false flag bombings and murders of civilians in Western Europe. Unaccountable and unpunished, with its Gladio units still possibly in place, NATO instead offers possible cover for the continuing conduct of false flag terrorism in Europe. On the US domestic front the CIA also has never been subjected to legal action and criminal prosecution for its role in advising/coordinating Operation Gladio bombings and terrorism. Nor has the Northwoods document been treated to widespread public discussion and analysis.
The total impunity enjoyed by NATO, the CIA and all the interconnected Western institutional structures of police, military, politicians and judiciary exists for a very specific reason.
In the words of convicted Operation Gladio bomber Vincente Vinciguerra, the reason is simple:
For the State to investigate, prosecute and punish itself for terrorism is of course unimaginable. To do so would be an admission that Western institutions have in fact been for many decades morally and legally bankrupt, and have been operating to systematically murder their own citizens while engaging in a cover-up. Such an admission would validate my contention that the institutions of the West currently lack all moral and legal legitimacy, therefore such an admission cannot occur.
It is clear from this history that what is required to move toward the restoration of any semblance of legitimacy to Western institutions would be the investigation and criminal prosecution on charges of murder, treason and cover-up for all parties, individual and institutional, involved in Operation Gladio. This would need to take place in every country in which it operated in Europe, and would need to also address the organizational and operational support of the CIA.
This is not about some obscure ancient history from the 1970's and 1980's. The link between Operation Gladio and present day terrorism is as disturbing as it is clear. Today NATO, multiple Western European governments and the government of the U.S. are suspected by increasing numbers of the world's citizens of continuing to use false flag terrorism in order to validate their ongoing "war on terror."
This war is at least in part designed to destroy the remaining secular governments of the Middle East while manipulating the control of petroleum and the resources of the region. In the course of pursuing such policies Western governments and institutions have now maneuvered the entire planet to the brink of nuclear war between the West and Russia. Yet in spite of the danger posed to all of humanity the U.S. continues a publicly stated quest to achieve full spectrum dominance. Given post-WWII history and our current state of affairs Western governments and institutions clearly exist as criminal entities which function outside the rule of all recognized morality and law, domestic and international.
Even the limited amount we know of the history of Operation Gladio should destroy in the mind of any thinking person the utter and complete fantasy that Western leaders would "never harm their own people" to achieve their larger strategic goals. Western elites in fact did so for many decades. They systematically killed their own citizens and they lied about it. There is a great deal of evidence that they continue to do both while hiding behind the mask of false flag terrorism. Our failure to adequately investigate and prosecute Operation Gladio paved the way for our current wave of false flag events used to manipulate Western public perception and behavior in support of endless war in the Middle East.
From the U.S. government's official account of 9/11, which requires belief in the temporary suspension of the laws of physics in conjunction with the magical suspension of fighter jet intercept protocols, 9/11 can be seen as a logical continuation of Operation Gladio's "strategy of tension." 9/11 is Reichstag fire, and Operation Himmler look like the work of small time amateurs. It is perhaps more than simply ironic that so many former Nazis made their way into U.S. intelligence services after WWII, given the many decades of politically useful false flag events in the West that have followed.
The State kills its own citizens and blames a foreign or domestic enemy. The population looks to the state for protection and surrenders their democratic rights to an ever more militaristic, invasive and repressive State. State power increases along with corporate profits in many sectors of the permanent wartime economy of the U.S. The bewildered populace lives in fear and is psychologically vulnerable to the next false flag terror event which in truth the government, rather than "terrorists," actually control. In the instance of the 9/11 attacks it is the State itself that is the terrorist entity. The official Islamic enemies exist very simply as Oswald explained his own role, that of the designated "patsy."
Since we have mentioned Oswald, the puzzle piece that is the JFK assassination, carried out by our deep state, fits quite well alongside the later false flag operations of Operation Gladio and 9/11, as well as intersecting the assassinations of European leaders such as Aldo Moro and Olaf Palme. These assassinations all appear to be activities of the unaccountable deep state institutional structures which exist outside of view, law and morality, and which serve to connect elites in Western Europe and the United States.
One cannot admit this information into one's consciousness, without reaching the logical conclusion that Western governments and institutions have become quite literally massive criminal enterprises which routinely violate the very laws, international and domestic, they ostensibly exist to enforce. Given this state of affairs, it is rather difficult to view electoral politics as the way forward if justice, meaningful institutional change and a planet not rendered uninhabitable by nuclear war are our goals. Our institutional structures have shown themselves to be irredeemably corrupt.
The recent election cycle in the United States has writ this large into the consciousness of anyone with a pulse. If the two nominees of this past election are the "best candidates" with the "best platforms" the two major political parties can field, it is without doubt an absolutely definitive indictment regarding the deadly gangrenous condition of our electoral charade. Cognitively amoral and behaviorally psychopathic elite policies are hardly a new phenomenon.
For centuries such behavior has typified Western elites regardless of how polished their public personas. Such are the political scoundrels we peasants are graciously allowed to choose between every four years. There does appear to be a silver lining to the recent Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton carnival of the absurd. It would appear that for growing numbers of Americans of all persuasions the ability to continue to believe in the fairy tale that is the U.S. electoral process has finally been shattered beyond repair.
Before closing let us step back for a moment and imagine a world that might have been. A world in which progressive leaders in the U.S. and abroad had not been assassinated or overthrown in favor of fascists; dictators hadn't been armed, taught torture techniques and supported against the interests of their own people decade after decade; and the CIA prevented rather than facilitated the international drug trade.
Imagine a world in which corporations and oligarchs weren't allowed to own the mass media and so were not allowed to weaponize the news, reducing it to simplistic pro-war mass culture propaganda, all while buying the services of the political candidates who will support their ongoing war profiteering. Imagine a world that could have been in which the political organizing of the masses wasn't systematically infiltrated, disrupted and shut down by the institutions of State; Third World nations were allowed to develop independently of Western subversion and control; and the massive amounts of Western taxpayer money spent on war and violence went instead toward the public good. This is the world that has been stolen from humanity by violent unaccountable oligarchic interests ruling through long discredited and massively corrupt Western institutional structures.
The history of Operation Gladio, including the failure of Western institutions to publicize and prosecute its murderous activities, unmasks our elites as capable of "doing literally anything" in their quest for power and domination. However, we are ourselves complicit. A public that can find any legitimacy whatsoever in economic and political institutions that systematically engage in and profit from endless war, while the 8 richest people possess as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire earth's population, one fears, can make themselves "believe literally anything."
Gary Weglarz recently retired from practice as a clinical social worker. He worked with, and learned from, Alaskan Native peoples who were attempting to heal the damage inflicted by the collective intergenerational trauma of colonization. Currently he is engaged in research and writing regarding the relationship between past mass trauma in Western societies, and the subsequent colonial violence that has characterized Europe and her colonies.
He was actively involved in Central American solidarity efforts throughout the 1990's, traveling with human rights delegations to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Colombia. He currently lives in France.