ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Grèce : Le Coup d’état des colonels
Translated Monday 20 July 2009, by
This was an embodiment of projects put together by the CIA to counter communist subversion in countries with an Atlantic proclivity, effected by the GLADIO network, renowned in Italy for murderous attacks attributed to Leftists.
The existence of these hidden networks, "stay behind" as they were called by the CIA, and their goal has been confirmed by William Colby, former director of CIA, in his memoirs: "Honorable Men". C. L. Sulzberger in The New York Times and Joe Alex Morris in the New York Herald Tribune attested to their existence from 3 May in comments on the role of American intelligence.
"Prometheus" was established by the General Staff of NATO (under the command of US General, Lauris Nordstad, Ed), in case of war against a communist country, wrote Sulzberger.
It provided for the immediate arrest of communist leaders in the event of such a war to combat internal subversion and to take control of key administrative centres and of administrative centres and communications necessary to avoid sabotage. Greece was considered from 1945 as a strategic pawn that the Pentagon feared to see escape.
GLADIO, counted among its ranks Colonels Papadopoulos, Makarezos and Pattakos. The three strongmen of the junta who walked over the king, considered too feeble, as well as his generals, in the attack against a fledgling democracy intolerable for fanatical anti-communists.
On 27 April, I attended the press conference held by Colonel Papadopoulos in the conference room of the union of journalists. This was to warn the international press, which from the first day did not cease to harass the spokesman of the junta, asking him every morning since April 21 how he justified the fascist coup, and which finished by leaving him voiceless.
The head of the junta did not tread lightly in calling the journalists to order. The expulsion of an Italian journalist, Luciana Castellina (later a founder of the "Manifesto") and a Swedish colleague set the example.
Papadopoulos, when asked to provide evidence of a Communist conspiracy that would justify the coup, responded grotesquely, laughing: "We have refilled the sixty-six three-tonne trucks." Never was the least grain of evidence ever made public.
More candidly, Colonel Pattakos acknowledged on 8 May: "We carried out the coup d’etat to avoid elections." At the end of August, Mikis Theodorakis, the musician idol of the Greeks, was arrested at a lady friend’s of his, hidden, implausibly, in a piano.
He joined his friends from Bouboulinas Street, and met again Captain Lambrou of the Security Police, torturer in chief. Despite the prisons, the torture, and the deportation camps on the islands, the junta could not overcome the resistance.
On 3 November 1968, three hundred thousand people attended the funeral of George Papandreou to the shouts of "No to fascism", "Freedom", "Democracy". Other demonstrations would follow in 1972 and 1973.
Papadopoulos manœuvred, abolished the monarchy, proclaimed himself President of the Republic following a referendum on 14 November of that year. Students from the polytechnic, in the centre of the capital, occupied their establishment and barricaded themselves in.
They called for fair elections on a radio they had made. The voice became famous, that of a future communist leader, heard throughout Athens.
A tank, sent by Papadopoulos, broke down the gates of polytechnic and the students were driven out. On the 25th, hardliners of the junta dismissed Colonel Papadopoulos, replacing him with General Ioannidis.
A group of politicians of the right-wing and generals decided to appeal to Constantine Karamanlis exiled in Paris. On his return he undertook to restore freedoms. On 24 July, hundreds of thousands of manifestations of joy broke out around Constitution Square.
The prisons were opened. The Communist Party was legalized. The nightmare ended. "
Read: "Le livre noir de la dictature" (Black book of the dictatorship in Greece). Collection of articles by Richard Someritis, Clément Lépidis, Aris Fakino.
Publisher: Editions du Seuil 1969.
Jacques Coubard. Published by Editions Julliard. 1969.