Post 1 (T Gosling)
– by David Guyatt, 1999 –
CIRCLE OF POWER
Perhaps more sinister, and certainly more shadowy than the Bilderbergers, the “Pinay Cercle” is an “Atlanticist” right-wing organisation of serving and retired intelligence operatives, military officers and politicians that conspired to “affect” changes in government. Amongst other things they claim credit for engineering the election of Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. and may have been behind the ousting of Australia?s Gough Whitlam.
By David Guyatt
Now almost forgotten, the decade of the “Seventies” was a time of immense political upheaval, dirty tricks and incessant rumours of right-wing military Coup d’etats in leading western democracies. Amongst the long list of resulting casualties of this “decade of tension” were Britain’s Prime Ministers: Harold Wilson and Ted Heath, Australia’s Gough Whitlam, Sweden’s Olaf Palme, America’s Jimmy Carter and France’s Francois Mitterand. The more southern flanks of Nato’s European axis: Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece converted rumour into chilling fact via the steel-blue glaze of gun-barrels. Italy, home of Pizza, the Pope, and Propaganda Due (P2) came in for its own brand of political fixit, courtesy of Uncle Sam’s very own CIA.
As the decade of the “eighties” slowly slipped above the now less than pink eastern horizon, right-wing beneficiaries of a co-ordinated international destabilisation programme gave their heart-felt thanks. Among them were Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher – Madonna of the Armaments industry – and America’s less brittle, and considerably less acute, Ronald Reagan – humble originator of the mega-tax-buck-swallowing SDI “Star Wars” programme and also, thus, a valued friend of the boys at Guns R Us International.
These two decades saw a proliferation of right-wing, quasi official and secretive groups that co-ordinated intelligence, propaganda and undertook covert black-operations around the globe. One of the most shadowy of all is the “Pinay Cercle”, named after its founder Antoine Pinay, Premier of France in 1951. Known more simply as “Le Cercle” it is recognised as a more clandestine sister organisation to the already very secretive Bilderberg Group1 – a “behind-the-scenes ‘invisible’ influence” network.
Both groups share a familiar membership which includes Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockerfeller. Each of these three luminaries of the international power network are, in addition to the foregoing, influential members of The Trilateral Commission and the Council for Foreign Relations as well as being regular attendees at Britain’s “Chatham House” – The Royal Institute of International Studies – shadowy twin to America’s CFR.
Antoine Pinay was extremely influential in Europe and the United States, where he had forged links with President Nixon. Pinay attended the Bilderberg inaugural meeting in Oosterbeek, Holland during May 1952. By 1969, Pinay together with Jean Violet, a Lawyer working for the French Intelligence Service SDECE, and Archduke Otto von Habsburg, heir to the Austrian throne, formed Le Cercle, and secretly began recruiting men of influence as members.
The intention was to shift the political climate of Europe to the far right via a secretly financed campaign of propaganda, and to establish a private intelligence service that would work, unofficially, with the existing security apparatus of the west. Author Stephen Dorrill also believes there are serpentine inter-connections between Le Cercle and the Gladio network, a “stay-behind anti communist” military guerrilla force set up by Nato’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) during the “fifties”, that was largely composed of ex Nazi’s.
Le Cercle has a different flavour to Bilderberg, however. The latter is an important link to the overt “influence” organisations cited above and almost certainly focuses its efforts on the broader political issues, being careful to keep well-away from “direct actions”. Le Cercle has a much more “hands on” role. Interestingly, its membership is more heavily composed of serving or former members of various Intelligence Services, senior military officers as well as politicians, bankers and VIP’s with right wing connections. The “Cercle” was unknown until 1500 internal documents of the rightist (and Le Cercle funded) Institute for the Study of Conflict, were leaked to Time Out Magazine in 1975. Subsequently the documents have gone missing. At the time ISC was headed by CIA agent and “Cercle” Chairman, Brian Crozier who was heavily involved in another covert action group known simply as “The 61.”
Unknown to Crozier, Hans von Machtenburg (a pseudonym) a senior intelligence official of Germany’s Intelligence service, BND, (and a member of Crozier’s “61”) had been exchanging full reports on Crozier’s secret get-together’s with Hans Langemann, formerly a senior ranking officer of Germany’s Intelligence Service, the BND and latterly Head of Bavarian State Security. In a fit of depression, Langemann blew the whistle on a number of alarming and sinister conspiracies to the left wing German glossy magazine Kronket. Soon the story was picked up by Der Spiegel who featured it. One of Langemann’s more sensational reports, dated 1979, stated:
Specific aims within this framework are to affect a change of government:
(a) in the United Kingdom – accomplished
(b) in West Germany – to defend freedom of trade and of movement and to
oppose all forms of subversion including terrorism.
In another secret memorandum dated 8th November 1979 and addressed “Personal for the state minister only”, Langemann notes that “Crozier worked with the CIA for years.” He concludes, therefore “that they are fully aware of his activities” and goes on to observe that Crozier “has extensive connections with members, or more accurately, with former members, of the most important western security and intelligence services.” Further on he advises that Crozier, together with “Dickie Franks, Director of Britain’s SIS, and Nicholas Elliot, a senior department head in MI6 “were recently invited to Chequers (the country home of the incumbent Prime Minister, in this case Margaret Thatcher) for a working meeting.” Langemann continues: “It must therefore be concluded that MI6 is fully aware of, if not indeed one of the main sponsors of”, Crozier’s “diverse circle of friends in international politics…”
Additional subjects covered in the Langemann papers include the “involvement of the main intelligence and security agencies both as information sources and as recipients for information in these institutions” as well as “undercover financial transactions for political aims” that would be utilised by conducting “international campaigns aiming to discredit hostile personalities or events,” the “creation of a (private) intelligence service specialising according to a selective point of view” and the “establishment of offices under suitable cover each run by a corordinator from the central office. Current plans cover London, Washington, Paris, Munich and Madrid.” The plans also called for “provision of contributions by certain well-known journalists in Britain, the US and other countries” and the organisation of “public demonstrations in particular areas on themes to be decided and selected.” The Cercle and their Chairman, Crozier, clearly had lined-up a whole strategy of political “actions” that were not only known about, but approved by the western intelligence community, in additional to leading political figures including Prime Minister Thatcher and Presidential candidate Reagan. In his autobiography Crozier regales us with his repeat visits to the White House to meet senior administration figures. In 1980 he flew to California to meet Reagan and “brief him” on his network and to offer his services when he became President. Crozier stayed in close touch during the election with William Casey, Reagan’s campaign chief, later appointed DCI of the Central Intelligence Agency. After Reagan’s election victory he appointed Californian friend, William A. Wilson, to act as a his liaison with the Cercle and the related 61 group.8
The Cercle has intimate connections with a host of inter-locking right wing outfits including WACL, Heritage Foundation, Western Goals, ISC, Freedom Association, Interdoc, Bilderbergers, Propaganda Due (P2), Opus Dei, the Moonies and the Jonathan Institute. Many of these are funded fully or in part by the American Central Intelligence Agency. Members have included Nicholas Elliott (British SIS/MI6 Dept. Head), the CIA’s Director of Central Intelligence William Colby, Colonel Botta, (Swiss Military Intelligence), Franz Josef Strauss (German Defence Minister, Head of CSU party and Bavarian Premier), Alfredo Sanchez Bella (head of European operations for Spain’s Secret Service and closely connected to Opus Dei), Giulio Andreotti (former Italian Prime Minister, P2 member and Mafia confidant), General Antonio de Spinola (head of the Portugese putschists), Silva Munoz (former Franco minister and senior Opus Dei member), Monsignore Brunello (Vatican prelate and BNG agent) and Stefano della Chiaie, leading member of P2 and Italy’s Secret Service, SID.9. This list is by no means complete.
Another major aim of Le Cercle was to influence West German elections to ensure that Franz Joseph Strauss, the ultra right wing leader of the Christian Social Union Party, became Chancellor of Germany. In the event Strauss was defeated, due, it is believed to effective counter-measures taken by Germany’s security and intelligence apparatus, the BND and BfV, who’s “operational chiefs do not follow his political lines.” However, despite this set-back, other projects were more successful. During the “Cercle’s” meeting held on 28-29th June 1980 in Zurich, Switzerland, discussions were focused around “a series of appropriate measures to promote the electoral campaign of presidential candidate Reagan against Carter.” Elliott reported that in this context positive contact had been made with George Bush as well.
Journalist, David Teacher, a keen investigator of Cercle activities observes: “It is becoming more and more apparent that the treatment reserved for Harold Wilson at the hands of the intelligence services was only the U.K end of an international phenomenon. Around 1975 a surprising number of governments were targeted by their own (or others?) intelligence agencies because of their radical policies.” He goes on to list a number of known “destabilisation” programmes that the Cercle are known, or believed, to have been involved:
“the UK: the concerted efforts by elements in the British intelligence and security services, with CIA and BOSS, to bring down Wilson, Thorpe and Heath.”
The USA: the CIA?’ Operation Chaos, the FBI’s Cointelpro programme and, of course, Watergate.
Australia: the loans scandal and other destabilisation of Gough Whitlam by the CIA and SIS.”
Additional Cercle targets may have been Olaf Palme, Sweden’s Prime Minister. In 1987 the leading Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter carried a sensational story that the 03 section of the Swedish intelligence service, SAPO, were heavily involved in Palme’s assassination, following their fury at his policy of détente towards the Soviet Union, and possibly fearful that he may discover the extent of their implication in arms sales to Iran. Other “direct actions” possibly include a Coup d’etat in Belgium during 1973, “planned by gendarmerie officers and extreme right-wing groups.” By no means least were the allegations by France’s leading daily, Le Monde, which in 1978 revealed the activities of Circle member and head of the intelligence service SDECE, Alexandre de Marenches. Le Monde claimed that de Marenches led a domestic campaign of terrorism and disinformation. It is fairly apparent that these activities were, “designedly”, to keep Francois Mitterand from office during the 1974 elections. However, with the exception of the Langemann papers, and an ISC memo published in Lobster 17, there are no other Cercle documents available to confirm these allegations.
Despite a strong focus on European issues, the Cercle were not unaware of the significance of establishing psyops “action centres” in North America. In 1975 the Washington Institute for the Study of Conflict (WISC) was launched under the chairmanship of George Ball. Characteristically, Ball, one time Senior Managing Director of the enormous Wall Street international investment bank, Lehman Brothers, and Under Secretary of State (1961-66) was a member of the Trilateral Commission; on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group and a member of the Council for Foreign Relations. His association with the WISC mark him as a close friend of the Cercle. Others members of the WISC committee were Zgigniew Brzezinski and Kermit ? Four years later, in 1979, Maurice Tugwell, former head of Information Policy, a black propaganda unit set-up by British military intelligence in Northern Ireland, formed the Canadian Centre for Conflict Studies. CCS largely operates on contract work for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Dept. of National Defence plus others. We have seen that one aim of the Cercle was to aid in the election of President Reagan. Presumably they can also cite this aim as being “accomplished”? Their close connection to George Bush may have extended to helping in his drive to election victory also. Canada also veered sharply to the right during the eighties.
We may never know the true extent to which the Cercle, and its black psyops “fronts” the ISC, WISC, CCS and others had in “affecting” a wholesale change in government in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Clearly the decade of the eighties witnessed a marked shift to the political right in the western democratic arena. It would be stretching credulity to suggest that this rapid swing in political ideology took place accidentally. It is also abundantly obvious that the Cercle’s primary influence resided in its top level connections to the shadowy intelligence apparatus of the west. At the same time it possessed serious clout inside the sinews of transatlantic power that repose in the Council for Foreign Relations, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group.
The foregoing outline – slim as it is – serves not only to underscore the inherent and potential weaknesses that reside in the institution of representative democracy, but also demonstrates the “will o’ the wisp” nature of covert activities that hide comfortably behind the public face of government. That a small handful of influential men across the planet may be able to manipulate “free” elections to suit their personal and ideological advantage, is not a new concept. Generally, utterances of this sort are met by the blanket rejection: “conspiracist theory” and discarded out of hand. Such rebuffs rarely take into account the underlying evidence, fragmentary as it is. Perhaps they are not meant to?
Despite the wholesale collapse of the Soviet bloc, the Cercle has not packed up its victorious bags nor have its members disbanded. Attendees at the 1990 Cercle meeting at the sumptuous Al Bustan hotel, Muscat, in Oman, included Jonathan Aitken, (Minister of Defence procurement) Alan Clarke (Minister of State for Defence), Lord Julian Amery (joint Chairman), Sheikh Qaboos (Ruler of Oman), General Norman Schwarzkopf (the bear-like Commander of the Allied forces in the Gulf), Paul Channon (former secretary of State at the Dept. of Trade & Industry), the Head of the Dutch Secret Service, an unnamed French Naval Admiral plus other serving or former intelligence operatives and VIP’ s.. Aitken, Clarke and Channon have all been heavily implicated in the arms to Iraq affair examined by Lord Justice Richard Scott. Significantly, Alan Clarke revealed in his hugely successful “Diaries” that the Cercle was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.
With its apparent “raison d’être” (anti communist psyops) clearly in tatters, one can only suppose that there is, or, perhaps, always was an additional hidden agenda lurking behind Cercle activities. To understand what this may be one must look further ahead. An increasing international focus are the calls for “minimalist” government. This has always been a central plank of laissez faire economics. Deregulation and the freeing of government imposed constraints on international business to engage in activities as it sees fit, is a long-term and obvious objective. If history is any judge, the attainment of this singular goal may usher in a new dark age of unrestrained capitalism, co-ordinated by the gargantuan trans national corporations – all of whom are heavily represented on the membership rolls of the CRF, the Trilats, RIIA, Bilderbergers etc.
In the meantime a new millennium awaits.
Stephen Dorrill’s LOBSTER NO: 26.
Robert Eringer’s “the Global Manipulators” (Pentacle Books 1980)
Brian Crozier in his book “Free Agent” (HarperCollins 1994) confirms that he
was an erstwhile “Chairman” between 1971 and 1985 but disputes that there
was a membership in the “formal sense”. In his words it was an “informal
group of broadly like-minded people”. Make of this what you will. The word
“insignificant” immediately jumps to my mind.
During telephone conversation with this writer. Stephen Dorrill “The Silent
Conspiracy” (Mandarin 1993) p 438
See Brian Crozier?s “Free Agent” (HarperCollins 1994)
LOBSTER No: 17
LOBSTER No: 17
Brian Crozier “Free Agent” (HarperCollins 1994) pp 178-186
LOBSTER NO: 18
LOBSTER NO: 17
LOBSTER NO: 18
BOSS = South Africa’s “Bureau of State Security”. Jeremy Thorpe was the
leader of the British Liberal Party until forced in to reisignation. See
Stephen Dorrill’s and Robin Ramsay’s “Smear!” (Fourth Estate Ltd 1991) for a
full account of the British campaign of destabilisation.
LOBSTER NO: 18
Stephen Dorrill’s LOBSTER NO: 26
Alan Clark “Diaries” (Phoenix 1994)
ibid. pp 369-374
……extract from a longer article on the 1970’s parapolitical scene & worth a read for a few dotted-lines discernibly connecting up a few of our dots…I think it’s from S****wag :
“Le Cercle” eventually spread its tentacles throughout the Western World, but it started in France, as a cogent force, during the Premiership of Antoine Pinay in 1951. Pinay attended the notorious Bilderberg meeting in Ossterbeek, Holland in May 1954. Here he identified others of his extreme political ilk and with the active co-operation of Jean Violet of the then SDECE and Otto von Hapsburg, heir to the Austrian throne, he formed the club.
By the sixties their covert membership was truly astonishing. The “inner circle” included, among many others, Nicholas Elliot, a department head at MI6; William Colby, former controversial director of the CIA; Colonel Botta, of Swiss Military Intelligence; Stefano Della Chiaie, a leading member of the Italian Secret Service; Giullo Andreotti, former Italian Prime Minister and member of P2, who, it was later proved, gave the Italian Mafia presidential protection; General Antonio de Spinola, leader of the Portuguese Putschists; [[Silva Munoz], former Franco minister and a senior member of Opus Dei; Franz Josef Strauss, the German Defence Minister, and Monsignor Brunello, BNG agent in the Vatican.
While the Circle itself was clandestine, they soon formed open and genuine fronts.
In America it was the Washington-based, CIA-backed, Heritage Foundation which was to eventually donate some £5 million to the Conservative Party coffers in support of the Thatcher government, on condition that they put some of their own people into the CCO HQ. This included Dr. Julian Lewis, an arch enemy of Scallywag’s for some years now.
In turn, these people were sponsored by the British Freedom Association, run by Norris McWhirter, scourge of the CND, who is also founding editor of the Guinness Book of Records. Fringe members were The World anti-Communist League; Western Goals, the Bilderbergers, the Opus Dei; Propaganda Duo (P2) and the Jonathan Institute. Attaching themselves somewhere along the line was also the Moonies.
The Circle, on the one hand masterminded the demise of the Wilson and Heath governments in the UK; the assassination of Olaf Palme in Sweden; and caused the destabilization of the Gough Whitlam government in Australia. On the other hand it was masterminding the setting-up of right-wing governments everywhere.
“Le Cercle” was not just anti-Communist, it was anti-socialist, even though many of the governments they tried to destroy or destabilise had been properly and legally elected. They truly were the original “Reds Under the Beds” fanatics who saw communism everywhere and believed it was their divine right to molest it in any way possible. Under this guise, however, they also cornered the arms markets.
To be fair, during the Cold War, communism under the Bolsheviks was a constant and serious threat to Western democracies and it had developed a huge, expensive, potent and dangerous machine of destabilization against the West. Leading, it appeared obvious at the time, to an all-out nuclear war. Western security forces were quite within their rights to be paranoiac about the Eastern Block’s intentions. But the activities of “Le Cercle” were merely an extension of McCarthyism in a rather more intelligent and less hysterical, though none the less potent, form. They had developed a huge sense of menace which was closely guarded by some genuine authenticity and tolerated because of national paranoia. The CIA almost openly backed them, the MI6 more cautiously so. In both forces the Circle found many sympathisers.
Key members of the British Establishment, but especially their security services, were heavily involved with this set up. If many individuals were not actual members they were strident sympathisers. And at the end of the day, in the years leading up to Diana’s death, it all came down to simple gun-running. The supplying of arms to those forces, however evil, which they thought would stamp out the reds.
Three constant sympathisers in the UK, were Jonathan Aitken, later heavily discredited, Alan Clark, Minister of State for Defence in the Thatcher government and Paul Channon, former Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which at the time were so instrumental in discrediting both Asil Nadir and al-Fayed. In their dealings with the latter, the DTI brought into the conspiracy everyone mentioned in the former chapter concerning Ashraf Marwan. Sir Richard Scott reprimanded all three former ministers in the arms-to-Iraq enquiry.
The Safari Club meanwhile, with unlimited oil money, was busy plotting to overthrow President Sekou Toure of Guinea; assassinating Amilcar in Guinea-Bissau; and backing Siad Barre in Somalia. They led plots to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, because he had actively supplied backing and arms to the “other side”. They had formed strong links with BOSS, the Gestapo-style secret police of South Africa. Their only real failures were not managing to murder Gaddafi and failing to prop up the Shah.
But did the West later in the Gulf War fall short of murdering Saddam because he was an original member of the Safari Club? Did he still have influential friends on the world stage? Has he even today? He certainly still has widespread support in much of the Muslim world. In February 1998 it was revealed that a top CIA agent, Thomas Twetten, (Deputy Director of Operations at the time), a major influence of Le Cercle in Washington, was working outside his office or jurisdiction in a plot by Iraqi Generals to murder Saddam. Clinton himself had ordered a feasible death plot. Mysteriously, all the names of the plotters were leaked from Washington and the plot was thwarted. MI6 were actively involved on an operational level directly with Twetten. In all some 120 officers were shot as a result.
In the final analysis, to “Le Cercle” it is not so much a political question as one of economics. There’s still a lot of oil out there, and a vibrant market for billions of dollars worth of armaments. Kuwait, of course, was not a member of the Safaris. But it must have been difficult for Saudi Arabia to choose between the threat imposed by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and attacking a fellow member of the club.
My own security contacts, including the Baroness, had also told me about a highly mysterious organisation called the Committee of 26, which is apparently based in Bristol, in England’s West Country.
I have never heard of this and can find no other official reference in any file. But it is apparently a super-secret “liaison desk” between the highest echelons of British and American agencies and has the “co-operation” of the French. I was told it was “Old Guard” and worked unilaterally. That is, it was a kind of uncontrolled “super-agency” which answered to no one.
I cannot show that this agency even exists, but if it does the number 26 presumably relates to members and, given the rise of membership of The Circle, which is known to exist, I would approximate that that would be an accurate figure and that it may well represent the right-wing elements of some 26 countries. I trust the Baroness, but she was unable to give me any feasible further “chapter and verse.”
While there is a strong argument against landmine manufactures themselves plotting against Diana, at the time of her death the production of landmines was still going strong. The Clinton administration had just clinched a £400 million deal to supply an arms package for Bosnian Muslims (Through Honeywell). The French (through the DGSE) had just dried the ink on a $2 billion oil deal with the Iranians and part of the payment was to be a shipment of arms to Bosnia where a very high-profile Princess Diana had recently visited to appeal to the world against the recent carnage and its aftermath. Her very innocence was getting to be a huge embarrassment to several governments. And, perhaps more important, to the machinations of “Le Cercle” An uncontrolled Princess was swanning through their affairs and getting world-wide support. She was a one-woman icon wandering at will through the war zones of the world. She was striking huge chords for international pacifism. And worse, far worse, she was a deep influence on the future king.
Ironically, Sir James Michael Goldsmith, was also an associate member of “Le Cercle” Goldsmith had been very much involved with Circle activities in Africa, and so had Tiny Rowland . It was very much in Rowland’s interests to keep left-wing governments out of Africa where the base of his fortune was made. Mainly in diamond mines which used, almost exclusively, slave labour. There has never been any dispute that Rowland had become a serious threat to the Fayed family. All over a personal tiff about the world’s most high-class grocery shop.
“Le Cercle” can still call upon almost unlimited funds and includes among members many of the most powerful men in the world. They are fervent to the extreme. They nurture the paranoia so as to feather their own nests and they have a very firm grip on Whitehall, Paris and Washington. They are more than capable of organising and executing an assassination against any force they feel may be threatening them. To all of them Diana and Dodi were highly dispensable.