In this disturbing exposé, journalist Paul L. Williams describes a secret alliance forged at the close of World War II by the CIA, the Sicilian and U.S. mafias, and the Vatican to thwart the possibility of a Communist invasion of Europe. Williams presents evidence suggesting the existence, in many European countries, of "stay-behind" units consisting of five thousand to fifteen thousand military operatives. The initial funding for these guerrilla armies came from bogus British bank notes and the sale of large stocks of SS morphine that had been smuggled out of Germany and Italy. As the Cold War intensified, the units were used not only to ward off possible invaders but also to thwart the rise of left-wing movements in South America and NATO-based countries by terror attacks.
Williams argues that Operation Gladio soon gave rise to the toppling of governments, wholesale genocide, the formation of death squads, financial scandals on a grand scale, the creation of the mujahideen, an international narcotics network, and, most recently, the ascendancy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit cleric with strong ties to Operation Condor (an outgrowth of Gladio in Argentina) as Pope Francis I.