Double-edged Sword: A Review of Richard Cottrell’s Gladio
by Dave Randle
An exhaustive chronicle of the doings and mis-doings of NATO and its motley clandestine collaborators might be expected to take some swallowing. And not just because the very notion of the thin veneer of democracy masking an endemic and far-reaching woodworm infestation tends to make the average punter queasy and inclined to hold tighter to his happily imbecilic delusions.
Even those of us who always suspected there was something nasty in the nursery have been assailed by so much conspiracy theory that we would be forgiven for shrugging resignedly at the prospect of five hundred pages of all is not what it seems spookery.
‘Yeah, yeah. Tell me about it.’
But Richard Cottrell is not of the tinfoil hat brigade; nor is he a purveyor of perverse propositions.
He has spent much time in the thick of it in person – as a member of the European parliament, as a journalist, and even as an appointed rapporteur on one of the ever more compelling cases he instances of dark forces tampering with mass reality.
Such cases stack up to a clearly repeated pattern and an increasingly recognisable M.O. which, taken together, betray the same criminal intents, and frequently the same criminals.
Cottrell’s achievement here is monumental, not only in providing an encyclopaedic list of ‘deep state’ atrocities, false-flag capers and universal corruption, but in whisking us through it at a breathless pace, so that it reads more like a le Carré novel than a charge sheet.
The author weaves his tangled web with wit and authority, not least because he doesn’t, himself, practice to deceive. Where the evidence refuses to add up, or isn’t all in yet, he won’t jump to conclusions merely to support his general thrust.
The meticulous nature of his research is alone enough to engender confidence in the veracity of his naming of names and identification of times, places, sequences and consequences. In addition, a fine talent for metaphor and simile keeps the reader from flagging as he or she is bustled from continent to continent in company with drug racketeers, mad bombers, freelance anarchists, dodgy bankers with their hands in the Vatican’s tills, dictators taking dictation from surprising quarters, ‘terrorists’ who didn’t know the time of day, paedophiles, blackmailers and even the occasional honest person.
If you know there’s something going on here, but you don’t know what it is, get into Gladio.
The book is comprehensively annotated and footnoted in this newly updated edition.
The updating could have been hoped to provide an opportunity to sort out some editing issues – such as some early instances of the word ‘cohorts’ occurring in place of ‘cahoots’ – that smack of spell-checking rather than professional proofing.
But the quality of the author’s prose and his ability to hold on to the thread through all those events over all those years and all those pages make this a vital cornerstone for a library of inside knowledge.
Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe by Richard Cottrell is published by Progressive Press
Dave Randle is an author and journalist
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