Today, I have on Asa Winstanley to talk about a series that he’s been publishing at his Substack about Operation Gladio, that is the NATO ‘stay behind’ networks in Europe, and that is how in the first Cold War, NATO supported a bunch of former Nazis and fascists to wage a war against the Soviet Union but really it was also a war internally against socialism. And today, we’re going to talk about what Operation Gladio is. This is not that well known even though there’s so many documents that have been released proving definitively that after World War II, NATO, the CIA and European intelligence agencies created a series of secret armies that were not only preparing for a potential hot war with the Soviet Union, but also kind of internally acted as secret police and they were implicated in terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of people across western Europe and were also implicated in killing, spying on and torturing and kidnapping Leftists.
The history of the US intelligence operations goes back to World War II. Stephen Bandera was released from prison by OSS officers in 1944. Bandera was a Nazi operative whose militia slaughtered Poles, Jews and communist workers on the eastern front. The OSS/CIA recruited Bandera so he could fight the advancing Soviet Union. In all the years since then, the CIA has never had an annual audit of its trillion dollar budget, and of course nothing has changed. Just over ten years ago the CIA initiated its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) “Orange Revolution” to once more cravenly attempt to thwart the Russians, a country that has living wages for its population and free health care for all. This was one of the first color revolutions and it involved the same militant Nazis the CIA employed in its Ukraine coup in 2014.
As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate and dominate the world’s attention, the increasing evidence that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is and has been working to create and arm an insurgency in the country has received considerably little attention considering its likely consequences. This is particularly true given that former CIA officials and a former Secretary of State are now openly saying that the CIA is following the “models” of past CIA-backed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Syria for its plans in Ukraine. Given that those countries have been ravaged by war as a direct result of those insurgencies, this bodes poorly for Ukraine. Yet, this insurgency is poised to have consequences that reach far beyond Ukraine.
As a CIA analyst, David McCloskey covered Syria from 2008 to 2014. He draws on his experience for his new spy thriller, “Damascus Station,” set during the early years of the Syrian war. David McCloskey joins Aaron Maté to discuss “Damascus Station”; the early years of the Syrian war; the role of foreign powers including the US; the US decision to support the insurgency despite knowing that Al Qaeda and other Salafi jihadist groups were its “primary engine”; allegations of chemical weapons attacks in Syria; and the direction of US policy in post-war Syria. Guest: David McCloskey. Former CIA analyst who covered Syria for six years, from 2008 to 2014. Wrote memos for the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), lived and worked in CIA field stations throughout the region, and briefed senior White House officials, members of Congress, and Arab royalty.
Donald Trump imposed 243 additional coercive measures aimed at tightening the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba. Increased economic suffering for ordinary Cubans is the consequence of this policy. President Biden has not lifted even one of the additional sanctions imposed by Trump. Instead of treating Cuba as a neighbor and resuming the process towards normalization between U.S. and Cuba, the Biden White House is working overtime to promote a counterrevolution inside of Cuba. The State Department, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other U.S. agencies are working to organize anti-government protests in Cuba on Monday, November 15.
One of the biggest moments in Julian Assange’s trial is slated to happen next month, when the embattled and imprisoned WikiLeaks founder’s final extradition hearing is held in Great Britain. And as host Lee Camp points out before introducing his guest in this clip from “Redacted Tonight,” there have been some stunning developments recently in Assange’s story—namely, the revelation that the U.S. government and a certain three-letter intelligence agency were ginning up possible plans to assassinate Assange. If ever there were an expert on Julian Assange, it would surely be Camp’s guest, John Shipton—Assange’s father—who calls the assassination plot considered by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials “pretty scandalous,” if not entirely surprising.
Yahoo! News (9/26/21) published a bombshell report detailing the US Central Intelligence Agency’s “secret war plans against WikiLeaks,” including clandestine plots to kill or kidnap publisher Julian Assange while he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Following WikiLeaks‘ publication of the Vault 7 files in 2017—the largest leak in CIA history, which exposed how US and UK intelligence agencies could hack into household devices—the US government designated WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” (The Hill, 4/13/17), providing legal cover to target the organization as if it were an adversarial spy agency. Within this context, the Donald Trump administration reportedly requested “sketches” or “options” for how to kill Assange, according to the Yahoo! expose (written by Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor and Michael Isikoff), while the CIA drew up plans to kidnap him.
Havana -After gaining access to their private Facebook group, MintPress can reveal that the people who sparked the July 11 protests in Cuba are planning similar actions for October and November. The group, La Villa del Humor, is widely credited with providing the initial spark that ignited nationwide protests on the Caribbean island in the summer, the most significant demonstrations since the 1990s. On July 10, one of the group’s administrators posted this message: Tired of not having electricity? Stubborn because they didn’t let you sleep for 3 days? Tired of putting up with the impudence of a government that doesn’t care about you? It is time to go out and demand. Do not criticize from home, let’s make ourselves heard. If we’re not going to do it, we’d better shut our mouths and not talk shit from home that doesn’t solve anything. Are we more afraid to go out than to put up with all this cheek? How is it possible? We demand that [Presidents Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro] also have blackouts. We demand that, since we have no food, at least they let us sleep. Hit the streets. Down with the opportunistic communist government now. This Sunday at 11am, Parque de la Iglesia. See you there. If you don’t go, stop complaining so much.
The US prosecution of Julian Assange has been dealt another blow following revelations that the CIA plotted the kidnap and rendition or murder of the WikiLeaks founder. The revelations also directly implicate Mike Pompeo, former CIA director and secretary of state, and US president Donald Trump. Separately, there’s evidence of how cyber activists foiled a 2012 attempt by British police to break into and enter the Ecuadorian embassy where Assange had sought asylum. In April 2017, Pompeo publicly declared that “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service”. Arguably, that could be interpreted as an invitation to the CIA and other US agencies to take action against Assange and other WikiLeaks staffers.
Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News discusses his team’s reporting on the CIA plot to surveil, kidnap, and even kill Assange — all overseen by Michael Pompeo. In response, Pompeo has called for the prosecution of all the sources involved. The story builds on previous disclosures including a May 2020 exposé by The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal, which revealed that the CIA was working with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and the Spanish security firm UC Global to target and surveil Assange in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. Isikoff and Aaron Maté also debate Russia’s role in the Assange controversy, particularly the allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails in 2016 and gave them to Wikileaks.
Though District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against the United States’ extradition request, she rejected the argument from the legal team for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that hostility within U.S. intelligence agencies “translated into improper pressure on federal prosecutors to bring charges.” However, a Yahoo! News report on the CIA’s plans to kidnap or kill Assange contains some of the strongest evidence yet that Assange was only charged with crimes because of their thirst for vengeance. Assange was charged by the U.S. Justice Department with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer intrusion that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.
Under the leadership of then-Director Mike Pompeo, the CIA in 2017 reportedly plotted to kidnap—and discussed plans to assassinate—WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, who is currently imprisoned in London as he fights the Biden administration's efforts to extradite him to the United States. Citing conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials, Yahoo News reported Sunday that "discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred 'at the highest levels' of the Trump administration." According to Yahoo: The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency's multipronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord among the group’s members, and stealing their electronic devices.
Two hours’ drive from Kandahar, in the southern Afghan desert city where the Taliban were born and where Osama bin Laden maintained his operational base, a February 2001 wedding ceremony became the stage for bin Laden’s first public appearance in several years. Seated in the shade of palm trees was the Al Qaeda leader’s seventeen-year-old son, Mohammed, his father’s personal protector and likely successor. To his left was Mohammed Atef, an Egyptian comrade of Zawahiri who acted as the chief military strategist of Al Qaeda—the brains behind its operations. To Mohammed’s right sat his father, who smiled proudly as his son prepared to marry Atef’s fourteen-year-old daughter. Ahmad Zaidan, a correspondent for the Qatari outlet Al Jazeera, was ferried to the wedding with a camera crew in an effort to provide bin Laden with the publicity he had been denied by the Taliban.
Once upon a time, a keystone of American exceptionalism was the claim of a moral high ground when it came to how our forces operated abroad, in war or peace, especially when it came to the use of torture, that hallmark of enemies we stamped as evil, primitive and sadistic. The ends were not supposed to justify the means, lest we be no better than our rivals and predecessors. Yet, within months of the 9/11 attacks, frustration with the interrogation of a single alleged enemy agent led to the creation of a sprawling, global CIA-run torture program using violence, sleep deprivation and isolation on more than 100 men. While the program was eventually outlawed and deemed a massive strategic and moral failure, nobody was held legally accountable — except, in a terrible irony, a whistleblower who risked everything to expose it.
Rizzo was the unapologetic godfather of the CIA’s torture program, a monstrous crime against humanity that he defended unabashedly until his death. On the surface, he was a nice enough guy — quick with a smile and a nod. He was dapper, with a well-groomed beard that made him look more like a 19th century businessman in search of a top hat rather than what he was: a seasoned, very political attorney whose job was to lay out the legal justifications for horrific crimes yet to be committed.