Operation Gladio: Unholy Alliance Between Vatican, CIA and The Mafia

This exposé by Paul L. Williams describes a secret alliance forged at the close of World War II by the CIA, the Sicilian and US mafias, and the Vatican to thwart the possibility of a Communist invasion of Europe.  Williams presents evidence suggesting the existence of “stay-behind” units in many European countries consisting of five thousand to fifteen thousand military operatives. According to the author’s research, the initial funding for these guerilla armies came from the sale of large stocks of SS morphine that had been smuggled out of Germany and Italy and of bogus British bank notes that had been produced in concentration camps by skilled counterfeiters. As the Cold War intensified, the units were used not only to ward off possible invaders, but also to thwart the rise of left-wing movements in South America and NATO-based countries by terror attacks.

Williams argues that Operation Gladio soon gave rise to the toppling of governments, wholesale genocide, the formation of death squads, financial scandals on a grand scale, the creation of the mujahideen, an international narcotics network, and, most recently, the ascendancy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit cleric with strong ties to Operation Condor (an outgrowth of Gladio in Argentina) as Pope Francis I.

Here are selected excerpts from this book-

“In 1947, Pope Pius XII was more than willing to allow black money to flow
through his bank. The Truman Administration already had funneled more than
$350 million to the Holy See for economic relief and political payments.
The pope used these funds to reactivate the Christian Democratic Party (CDP),
which had been dismantled under the reign of Mussolini, and to establish twenty
thousand CDP cells throughout Italy.

The Holy Father also obtained an additional $30 million from Truman’s
aid package to create Catholic Action, an
organization to generate propaganda against the Communists.

American cardinal Francis Spellman was now called upon to spearhead the
Vatican-sponsored campaign to encourage Italian Americans to urge their
relatives in the old country to vote against Togliatti and the other Communists.
“The fate of Italy depends upon the forthcoming election and the conflict
between Communism and Christianity, between slavery and freedom,” Spellman
wrote in a pamphlet that was distributed in Catholic parishes throughout the
United States.”

The cardinal also arranged to bombard Italy with radio
messages from American celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and
Gary Cooper, urging the people to rise up in support of the Christian Democrats
in order to check the growth of Communism.

WILD BILL’S KNIGHTHOOD

Pius XII soon realized he would need millions more in cash from Uncle Sam,
since 50 percent of the Italian people were now aligned with the PCI. He was no
stranger to US intelligence agents. At the close of the war, the pope, along with
Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, his Undersecretary of State, had worked
with Dulles and the OSS to create the ratlines used to help Nazis escape Europe,
something he viewed as an essential means to address the threat of
Communism.
Several prominent Nazis, including Walter Rauff—who had led
an extermination unit of the SS across Italy—still remained sheltered within
Vatican City, ready to join in the struggle against the Red Menace.

In 1945, the pope had held private audiences with Wild Bill Donovan to
discuss the implementation of Gladio and had decorated him as a crusader
against Communism with the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester, the
oldest and most prestigious of papal knighthoods.
Now, the Holy Father remained determined to do all in his worldly power to
prevent the godless forces of Communism from taking control of Rome, the holy
and eternal city—including the spilling of blood.

CASH AND CANDY

In the months before the 1948 national election, the CIA dumped $65 million of
its black money into the Vatican Bank. Much of the cash was hand delivered in
large suitcases by members of Luciano’s syndicate, including clerics with
affiliations to the Sicilian Mafia. The reception of this money by the Holy See
was held in strictest confidentiality. One reason for the secrecy, as Cardinal
Francis Spellman of New York later revealed, was that “subversive groups in the
United States would grasp this as a very effective pretense for attacking the
United States Government for having released money to the Vatican, even
though indirectly conveyed.”

The heroin, which remained the source for the black money, continued to be
supplied to the Sicilian mob by Schiaparelli, the Italian pharmaceutical giant.
The drugs were received by a chain of businesses that had been set up in
Palermo by Luciano and Don Calo. These businesses included a candy factory,
which produced chocolates that were filled with neither cherries nor cream but
nuggets of 100 percent pure smack. Another company was a fruit export
enterprise, which was of integral importance, since the drugs continued to be
shipped to Cuba in crates of oranges, half of which were made of wax and
stuffed with pure heroin.”

(The book is available at https://www.amazon.in/Operation-Gladio-Alliance-between-Vatican/dp/1616149744)

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