or former fascists. The passionate debate oer the future of therniiionarcliy in Ital}’, which followed the defeat of Nazi Germanyrnand the P’ascist Republic in Northern Italy, affected the ItalianrnRoyal Navy, which Angleton himself described as “the strongholdrnof Monarchism.” Angered by the militant monarchism ofrnhis superiors, a voung republican in the naval intelligence sectionrntook matters into his own hands and, from the summer ofrn1945, supplied Americans with Italian secrets, strengtheningrnAngleton’s abilih’ to monitor Italian efforts to rebuild an intelligencerncapabilih’.rnThis w as tire time when the first director of the CIA, AllenrnDulles, conceived Operahon Stay Behind. I’he idea wasrnto build throughout Western Europe a secret network of guerrillasrnwho could fight behind the lines in the event of a Sovietrninvasion. The plan was later codified under the auspices of thernClandestine Coordinafing Committee of the Supreme fieadquartersrnAllied Powers Europe, the militarv arm of NATO.rnThis was the seed that grew into Operation Gladio in 1956.rnThe name derived from the short sword {gladhts] used by Romanrnlegionnaires. The Cladio nehvork was inifially funded byrnthe CIA. ,pparentlv unknown to the Italian government, 622rnItalian citizens were recruited and trained bv U.S. and Britishrnspecialists in Sardinia.rnUp to 15,000 people were ultimately recruited to the Cladiornnehvork. Bv the 1970’s, with the prospect of a Soviet invasionrnreceding, some of its members (especially its senior officers)rnseem to have turned rogue and activelv fomented politicalrndcstabilization plots, surreptitiously encouraging and even facilitatingrna series of terrorist attacks.rnThroughout the Cold War, the Soviets had an invaluablernpool of collaborators in Italv: a large, well-organized, and disciplinedrnCommunist Part)’. The extent of the KCB’s activitiesrnonlv became fully apparent in recent vears, notably with tiicrnpublication of the so-called Mitrokhin dossier on the KGB’s espionagernactivities. But while the report named names from Italianrnpolitical, social, and media life, it mcreh’ lists Soviet activitiesrnin the Vatican —without giving us a cine whetherrnreeruitinent attempts were successful. After the Polish popernwas elected in 1979, the report states:rnThe central office has assigned the KGB in Rome the priorityrntask of penetrating Vatican objectives, espeeiall}- atrnthe present moment, when tire Western special servicesrnare constantiy attempting to use the Catholic Church forrnanti-Soviet and anti-Socialist ends. A special section ofrnthe plan was dedicated to the stud- and cultivation ofrnsupport staff in Vatican institutions vvitli direct access tornsecret records. It was a difficult undertaking, given the atmospherernof distrust and suspicion that prevailed, as wellrnas the hostilih’ of the media and religions fanaticism ofrnsome individuals… It was not necessary to find a directrncontact. It was neeessarv to find and acquire supportrnagents who could cultivate Vatican personnel under falsernpretenses. Tiiis tvpe of employee was poorly paid; thernmaterial factor did not play an insignificant part. Withinrnthis categorv, one could come across those who werernclosed from the point of view of ideology and who, becausernof the work itself, addressed negative aspects withrnVatican chiefs, such as corruption, lack of honestv-, immoralrnconduct, and individuals who were totally disillusionedrnwith the ideals and ideas of C’atiiolicism.rnI’he KGB’s central office pointed out concrete strategicrnplaces within the Vatican establishment, singling out interpretersrnworking in the Secretariat of State and in tire Church’srnCouncil of Public Affairs: ”Such individuals could be contactedrnthrough ads in which, as members of a category that wasrnpoorlv remunerated, they offered their ovvn scnices as teachers,rntranslators, etc.” Interestingly, the report does not indicate subsequentrnsuccess in its attempts to infiltrate the Vatieair. A listrnhas been published, however, of Italian politicians, journalists,rnand otiier personalities who were paid bv the KGB.rnBv’ far the most intriguing Roman cloak-and-dagger affair inrnmodern times started unraveling in London in tlie earlv morningrnhours of Fridav, June 18, 1982, when tiie body of a stocky,rnmiddle-aged man was found dangling from an orange rope underneathrnBlackfriars Bridge. A passport identified him as GianrnRoberto Calvini, bit the dead man was really Roberto Calvi,rnchairman and managing director of the Banco Ambrosiano.rnCalvi had mv steriouslv vanished from Rome a week earlier, andrnhis spectacular end in I ,ondon reignited media curiosih’ over arnstory that had already made headlines, reverberating throughrnthe world’s major financial and political institutions. Calvi wasrnonly one of a cast of characters that included organized-crimerninterests, political groups, secret societies, drug dealers, major financialrninstitutions, and —perhaps most stunning of all —thernInstitute for Religious Works, the official bank of the Vatican.rnThe circumstances of Calvi’s death led knowledgeable observersrnto suspect a Masonic ritual slaving. With his hands tiedrnbehind his back and a brick thrust into his coat pocket, Calvirnhad been strangled, apparently bv the rope that had beenrnnoosed aromid his neck. The location itself was svnibolic:rnBlackfriars Bridge sits astride the border tiiat connects the masonicallvrnnamed “Square Mile” of the Cit’ (the financial districtrnof London) to the rest of London. The initial inquest intornhis death returned a verdict of suicide. Su.spicious of the Masonicrnaffiliafions of the Citv police, Calvi’s family called for arnsecond, more thorough inquest, which belatediv returned anrnopen verdict. Meanwhile, Banco Ambrosiano, Calvi’s privafelvrnowned bank, collapsed on the news of his death, revealing arn$1.3 billion deficit in the balance sheet. A large portion of thernmissing monev was later traced to aecormts owned by the Vaticanrnbank.rnCalvi was connected to the secret Masonic lodge P2, an organizationrnheaded bv Licio Gelli, known as the “Puppet Master.”rnB’ 1974, P2 had more than 1,000 members, includingrnfom- Italian cabinet ministers, three intelligence chiefs, 160 seniorrnmilitary officers, 48 MPs, the chief of staff of the ItalianrnArmy, and top diplomats, bankers, industrialists, and mediarnpublishers. But Gelli needed more funds to spread his nehvork.rnHe hirned to Calvi, who headed the largest non-state-ovvnedrnbank in Italv. Calvi began to siphon money illegally from hisrnbank, using Hie Vatican bank to channel it. As a result of blackmailrnor ideological commitment, Calvi continued to funnelrnvast amounts to Gelli and P2, bankrupting his bank in thernprocess.rnThe storv’ gets even more interesting—and murky—from thisrnpoint on, including possible ties to the sudden death of PopernJohn Paul I, Mafia links, and secret societies. Which version ofrnevents is true is anyone’s guess. Roman espionage has beenrnaround for over hvo millennia of recorded history, and by nowrnthe spies have learned how to cover their tracks more sucecssfidlvrnthan in the days of Fabius Maximus.rn22/CHRONICLESrnrnrn