Hieronder heb ik, in het licht van de Charlie Hebdo-aanslag, een stuk uit het boek “NATO’s Secret Armies” van de Zwiterse onderzoeker Daniel Ganser geplakt, waar Ganser uitlegt hoe het geheime soldatennetwerk opgebouwd was:

After the failed coup, the secret soldiers were completely out of control. OAS

outrages soon escalated to assassinations of prominent government officials in

Algiers, random murders of Muslims, and bank raids. By November 1961 the

secret OAS soldiers operated at will in Algiers and killed repeatedly to sabotage

the beginning of the peace process that should have led to Algerian independence.

The battle of the French security and military apparatus against the OAS proved

very difficult because many only half heartedly engaged in it, or even sabotaged

it, as they were sympathetic of the OAS and its political aims. As the violence

escalated, the OAS carried the secret war to France and killed the mayor of Evian

south of Lake Geneva where peace talks between the French government and

FLN representatives were being held. Furthermore the secret soldiers targeted the

government in Paris, and de Gaulle only narrowly escaped an assassination

attempt at Pont-sur-Seine. Paris hit back with a vengeance and in November 1961

six prominent cafes in Algiers frequented by OAS sympathisers were ripped

apart by explosions.

Next to France the secret soldiers of the OAS from their bases in Algeria

carried their secret war to other European countries including Spain, Switzerland

and Germany where special squads of the 11th du Choc engaged in assassination

operations of FLN leaders as well as their financial contributors and arms

suppliers.49 In Germany the secret soldiers allegedly cooperated with the German

secret soldiers of the stay-behind network and the German secret service BND.

The Germans allowed the 11th du Choc to carry out its operations against the

FLN using the German parachute-training centre in Altenstadt in Bavaria as a

secure camouflaged operation base. ‘Gladio members and many BND members

were recruited there also for other secret services operations’, BND expert Erich

Schmidt Eenboom observed. The French assassins of FLN activists in Germany

were never caught. ‘The police seemed unable to catch the members of the hit

and run teams’, Eenboom relates.

The secret war dragged France into a nightmare of violence with brutality

escalating on all sides. At the height of the tensions in Paris, police chief Maurice

Papon imposed a curfew in the capital aflat the murder of 11 of his officers. The

FLN, which had orchestrated the attacks, responded by organising a protest

march, and up to 40,000 Algerians answered the call to demonstrate in Paris on

October 17, 1961. Papon, a notorious racist who during the Second World War

had been involved in the deportation of more than 1,500 Jews to Nazi death camps,

ordered his officers to brutally smash the demonstration whereupon a massacre

ensued.51 According to the 1988 testimony of Constantin Melnik at least 200 – and

probably closer to 300 people – were slaughtered by police officers who were

eager to avenge the deaths of their colleagues.52 Melnik had been the security

adviser for de Gaulle’s government and chief of all French secret services from

1959 to 1962. When asked about the stay-behind network Melnik had highlighted

the inherent danger of secret armies when he declared that ‘any group with radios

and training would be very dangerous for the security of France’.

‘I saw people collapse in pools of blood. Some were beaten to death. The bodies

were thrown onto lorries and tossed into the Seine from the Pont de la Concorde’

Saad Ouazene, a 29-year-old foundry worker and FLN sympathiser later remembered

the massacre in Paris. ‘If I hadn’t been strong I’d never have got out alive’, Ouazene

who escaped with a fractured scull testified. ‘As Algerians got out of the buses at

the Porte de Versailles, they were clubbed over the head’, French policeman

Joseph Gommenginger, on duty that night, recalled the 1961 massacre. ‘Those carrying

out the attacks even threatened me. They had all removed their numbers

from their uniforms. I was revolted. I never thought police could do such things.’

In the days following the massacre, dozens of bodies were taken from the

Seine as fardown river as Rouen.54 In the absence of an official investigation the

magazine of distinguished French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre Temps Modernes

called the episode a pogrom.

The secret war of the OAS, which had involved secret soldiers of the NATO

stay-behind, in the end failed to both overthrow de Gaulle and prevent Algeria from

becoming independent. The agreement for peace in Algeria and the independence

of the country was signed between the FLN and the government of de Gaulle in

Evian in March 1962, whereupon also the OAS collapsed about a year after its

creation declaring truce on June 17, 1962. Only a fraction of OAS diehards led by

Colonel Jean-Marie Bastien-Thirty were unwilling to give up and carried out

another ambush on President de Gaulle near Paris on August 22, 1962. De Gaulle,

who survived after having displayed as always little concern for his own safety,

was outraged that the OAS assassins had attacked him while in the company of

his wife and made the operation a personal affair. In September the OAS men

involved in the assassination operation were captured in Paris, all were sentenced

to death, but only Bastien-Thirty was executed.56 The larger part of 11th du

Choc, many of whom had joined the OAS, saw their career at an end. The

remaining units of the 11th du Choc were put under close Gaullist control.

The secret CIA army designed by NATO as an anti-Communist stay-behind

had thus during the Algerian crisis on the ensuing chaos and violence allegedly

been involved in domestic operations in the total absence of any Soviet invasion.

The danger of secret warfare consisted then, as now, in the lack of control that the

democratic institutions including parliament and at times also the government had

over the secret soldiers. Admiral Pierre Lacoste who directed the French military

secret from 1982 to 1985 under President Mitterand confirmed after the discovery

of the secret Gladio networks in 1990 that some ‘terrorist actions’ against de

Gaulle and his Algerian peace plan were carried out by groups that included ‘a

limited number of people’ from the French stay-b ehind network. However,

Lacoste insisted that the Algerian anti de Gaulle operations had been the only

case when the French Gladio had become operational inside France and stressed

that he believed that Soviet contingency plans for invasion nevertheless justified

the stay-behind program also during his time in office as chief of the military

secret service.

Like few others Charles de Gaulle had been at the centre of secret warfare in

France for most of his lifetime until in April 1969 when he was replaced peacefully

by Georges Pompidou and died a year later at the age of 80 in his home, allegedly

watching a sentimental television serial. De Gaulle had led the resistance of France

against Hitler in the Second World War, had employed secret warfare to reach

power as the Fourth Republic ended and during the Fifth Republic became the

target of coup d’etats and assassination operations. Long before the public

exposure of the secret stay-behind armies of NATO, de Gaulle was envious of

the United States, when he considered to have too stray a position in Western

Europe, and suspicious of the CIA, whom he suspected to engage in manipulation

and secret warfare. Upon coming to power de Gaulle had made it plain that he

intended to carry out his foreign policy with his diplomats, not his ‘irresponsible

secret services’, who were ordered to sever all relations with the CIA, upon whom

they depended for much of their intelligence. As de Gaulle saw it, ‘the French state

was under assault by secret forces. Who was to blame? The CIA certainly,

believed de Gaulle.’

Voor meer informatie, hier een documentaire over het geheime leger van NAVO.

Of lees het boek van Daniel Ganser


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