Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your work focuses essentially on the strategy of the masked war. Can you explain this concept?
Dr. Daniele Ganser: A secret war, a covert war is a war where the attacker does not admit that he is attacking the target country. In 1961 for instance the CIA made an invasion of Cuba and tried to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. It was a secret operation, and therefore at the United Nations the US ambassador lied and said: We have nothing to do with this.
What is the role of the media in the strategy of the masked war?
Today we have a secret war against Syria. In 2011 the four NATO countries US, Great Britain, France and Turkey attacked Syria, together with Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These six countries want to overthrow the government of President Assad. This is illegal according to the UN Charta. But the media confuse the public. They spread stories that what we have in Syria is a civil war of a brutal dictator against his own population. With this narrative the media hide the international powers who try to make a regime change. But there are always also courageous journalists who try to inform the public about what is really going on. These journalists for instance report how NATO countries cooperate with terrorists in Syria who also want to overthrow Assad. Of course NATO countries then say that they would never cooperate with terrorists like al Nusra, but only with “moderate rebels”. So we are in the middle of an information war.
Your doctoral thesis concerned Gladio. Can you enlighten us about this subject?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the US-led largest military alliance on the planet, had set up secret armies in all countries of Western Europe after the Second World War. In Italy the secret army was codename Gladio. These networks were armed and trained by the CIA and the MI6. Their original mission was to fight behind enemy lines in case of a Soviet invasion, hence the name stay-behind network. But in some countries like Italy and France and Turkey these secret armies became operative in the total absence of a Soviet invasion, targeted the domestic opposition and became tragically linked to crime and terror.
How is it possible that in the so-called western “democracies”, secret armies often linked to the extreme right, act with impunity? Where are the States and their institutions?
In Switzerland, Belgium and Italy there was an investigation into the stay-behind armies, so at least in some countries the local parliaments looked into the delicate affair. But in many other countries including Germany, France and Turkey there was no in depth investigation. Furthermore NATO and CIA refused to comment. It was a big military scandal but US President Bush senior, who was in office in Washington when the existence of the secret armies was revealed in 1990, simply refused to comment. CIA operatives confirmed that the secret armies hat existed but claimed they were designed only to fight against a Soviet invasion. The CIA said the secret Gladio armies had not linked whatsoever with terrorism. The EU parliament in November 1990 protested “vigorously at the assumption by certain US military personnel at SHAPE and in NATO of the right to encourage the establishment in Europe of a clandestine intelligence and operation network” and called for “a full investigation into … these clandestine organizations … and the problem of terrorism in Europe”. But nothing happened, the affair was too delicate and the EU parliament was powerless against NATO and the CIA.
You often base your work on declassified documents from various intelligence agencies, CIA, MI6, etc. Have you obtained easily certain confidential or top secret information?
No, it was always very difficult to find historical documents on secret warfare in general and operation Gladio in particular. I placed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) with the CIA, but the CIA refused to hand me the Gladio documents. Also NATO refused access to the relevant documents.
Can we say we are living the continuation of the Cold War, especially with the latent conflict between the EU and the US on one side and Russia on the other, and whose one of epicenters is Ukraine?
Yes, in Ukraine we have a new confrontation between Washington and Moscow, a confrontation between two nuclear powers. On February 20, 2014, the US sponsored a coup d’état in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in order to throw out the government of Janukowitsch and install the new and acting government of Poroschenko. The plan of the US is to drag Ukraine into NATO. Poroschenko wants to join NATO. Responsible for the coup d’état in Kiev was Victoria Newland who became famous for her comment „Fuck the EU“, because she did not care what the EU thinks when the US carries out a coup in Ukraine.
But the Russians don’t want that. They don’t want the Ukraine to become a NATO member. So in March Putin reacted and took the Crimea. So right now the Ukraine is split into two parts: one aligned with Washington, the other aligned with Moscow.
The United States will elect a new president and choose between Trump and Clinton. Don’t you think that these two candidates are dangerous for the stability and peace in the world?
Unfortunately both Trump and Clinton are a danger for world peace, they both will serve the military industrial complex, thus the interest of powerful lobby groups in Washington who want more wars and want to sell more weapons.
According to your analysis, leaders fomented plots outside the control of Parliament and their institutions. Some of them are alive like Bush, Blair, Cheney, Sarkozy, etc. Why aren’t they judged? Is it utopian to believe in their trial?
Bush, Blair and Cheney should be brought in front of the International Criminal Court ICC in Den Haag because they attacked Iraq in 2003 that was illegal. Sarkozy should also be brought in front of the ICC because he attacked together with Obama and Cameron Libya in 2011. But these leaders of NATO countries are very powerful. It is very difficult to bring them in front of a court, right now it seems impossible.
According to you, does this strategy of masked war and of creation of tensions aim at monopolizing the natural resources of the countries, or are there other underlying objectives?
Secret wars have always been used to increase the influence of the US empire and aligned NATO countries. So really it’s about the desire to have more power and more money. The so called war on Terror, which started in 2001, is full of lies. Above all the collapse of WTC7 is totally unclear. I think the entire war on terror is not about catching terrorists, but about controlling oil and gas supplies.
Based on your work, the occult groups who commit these attacks and plots are a minority. From where do they hold their influence and does the intelligence agencies are not infiltrated by these groups?
Yes, the people who start all these wars and lie to the public are a minority. But they are powerful and they control the intelligence services like the CIA and the MI6.
We notice an increasing role of the private military companies, as Blackwater now Academi, CACI, etc. Will we see the privatization of sensitive sectors such as Defense and Intelligence? Who is behind these companies?
I know that the influence of Academi and other private military companies is growing. But really I don’t know much about this subject because I have not studied it in detail.
In your opinion, why the occult powers to imperialism service do they feel the need to accuse those who dispute official theses of being conspiracy theorists, and other pejorative terms?
The term conspiracy theory is being used to discredit everybody who criticizes the elite and also the abuse of power by the elite. If you question the terrorist attacks of September 11 you are immediately attacked as a conspiracy theorist. But more and more people start to understand that the entire so called war against terror is full of lies and brutality.
All the information we have about these white collar criminals, their mass murders, State lies, aren’t they a drop in the ocean?
No, this information is important; we must try to understand what is going on.
By manipulating terrorism, don’t the Western countries play with fire?
Indeed, it is very dangerous to manipulate terrorists. The CIA did it by arming Al Qaida in Afghanistan in the 1980s. And now the same happens again in Syria.
You are also an expert in energy, what are your forecasts about this market? Can humanity afford to remain dependent on fossil fuels?
No, we need to move towards renewable energies. We should try to reduce the consumption of oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy and go toward solar energy, wind energy, water energy, and geothermal energy.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is the Doctor Daniele Ganser?
Daniele Ganser was born in 1972 in Lugano, Switzerland. He is a historian and peace researcher specializing in energy issues, economic history, geo-strategy and international contemporary history since 1945. He is the founder and owner of the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER).From 1992 onwards he studied history and international relations at the University of Basel, the University of Amsterdam (UVA) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He received his licentiate in 1998, summa cum laude, and his PhD in 2001, insigni cum laude. 2001-2003 he conducted research at the think tank Avenir Suisse in Zurich; 2004-2006 he worked for the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the ETH Zurich. He teaches at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) courses on the history and future of energy systems. At Basel University, he taught in the postgraduate course on conflict analysis with a focus on the global fight over petroleum. He is also on the scientific advisory board of the business association Swisscleantech. Daniele Ganser holds the German IQ-Award 2015 by Mensa in Deutschland e.V., the association for highly skilled people (www.mensa.de). His book “NATO’s secret armies in Europe” has been translated into ten languages. His book “Europe in the oil rush” was published in September 2012 and describes the global struggle for petroleum. The TOP-10 of his presentations and interviews on Youtube count over 3 million views. Daniele Ganser has a daughter and a son and lives with his family close to Basel.
This article was written by Mohsen Abdelmoumen for American Herald Tribune on Sep. 20, 2016. Mohsen Abdelmoumen is an independent Algerian journalist. I wrote in several Algerian newspapers such as La Nouvelle République, AlgériePatriotique. I started my career in the Algerian newspaper Alger Républicain, founded in 1938.