I’ve had questions about the conspiracy column, asking if I believe that any actual conspiracies exist. The short answer is that they do. They’re fairly common, in fact. What only rarely exist are complex conspiracies that remain unrevealed.
Most conspiracies occur between a handful of people and have a very limited scope. They are routinely discovered and exposed by journalists, often through the action of a single whistleblower or through efforts by law enforcement. Terrorist actions are good examples; it is all too common to hear of a person turned in by a relative prior to a mass shooting, or for a person to attempt to detonate a bomb only to have FBI agents converge upon them as soon as the false trigger is thrown.
The exposure of conspiracy isn’t limited to violence. Whether they be proven or not, potential conspiracies are regularly presented to the public. Often there’s not enough evidence to successfully press criminal charges, but enough to cause a backlash due to the appearance of impropriety. Examples here are the repeated revelations of questionable use of Trump properties by public officials or the apparent decision to stonewall conservative group tax statuses during the Obama administration.
Have there been, then, grand, secret conspiracies? Again, the answer is yes. They’re rare, but they exist… and of them, Gladio was one of the greatest.
Operation Gladio was a long-term covert operation which governed a group of secret “stay-behind” armies throughout Europe. The armies were designed to respond to expected subversive actions by the Soviet Union, and to monitor for the potential regrowth of fascist groups. It was begun immediately following World War II, and continued to operate through the early 1990s. Funding and direction came primarily from the CIA and British special services, but also from the top levels of the national governments, as well.
Gladio had hidden weapons caches, special accesses and recruited personnel in most NATO countries, including Germany, France, Belgium, and Greece. The most active of the groups was in Italy, where the program was eventually exposed; some of the people who were affiliates of Gladio had membership in organizations which were responsible for violent terrorism, and when members of those organizations were brought to trial, Gladio’s existence was revealed.
It wasn’t simply revealed to exist, however; there was proof that some of the highly connected individuals in the Italian wing had torpedoed prior efforts to investigate. Moreover, one of the terrorists, seeking a lighter sentence, implicated Gladio itself as not merely monitoring for potential communist infiltration but actively directing terrorist strikes which were then blamed on leftist organizations.
So – a shadow government operation, which operated unbeknownst to some of the major political parties in various countries. It isn’t merely speculation, it has been verified to have successfully existed for decades. That would seem, on its face, to be a verification of the plausibility of Deep State.
It is not.
The construction of Gladio was possible because of great international turmoil following World War II. Countries were creating new organizations designed for national and international intelligence gathering, and NATO was coming together. During the massive post-war restructuring, it was possible to locate people who had already been tested in defense of their nation and who were to be vitally connected to internal operations for decades.
It was able to continue only due to constant funding from and guidance by outside sources, in this case strong international allies with some of the best intelligence services available.
This was the same combination which allowed the Soviet Union to implant deep cover spy networks – into British and U.S. governmental bodies.
Deep State, and most similar “shadow government” theories, relies upon the notion of a group of people being elevated to key positions. Among those people, there are none who change allegiances for influence, money or conscience; there are none who are outed by friends or relatives; they are capable of autonomous action yet consistently and successfully work toward a single goal; they leave no evidence of their work to be found by the many new faces who are inserted by future governments; and they do so without any traceable payments or guidance. When identified, there are none who seek leniency or profit by exposing their associates.
This isn’t merely implausible, it’s ridiculous.
Grand conspiracies can happen, but they require special circumstances for their creation and constant maintenance. The closest we have had in the modern era has been the effort by Russia to exert broad influence on foreign elections; those maintained the pattern of a time of great flux (development of social media), significant funding and careful guidance… and even then they were conclusively exposed.