Daniele Ganser, the sole academic author thus far to have conducted comprehensive research on the NATO and CIA-supported Operation Gladio that terrorized Europe’s citizenry for two decades, describes how his pathbreaking work was stymied by the CIA’s unresponsiveness to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests. On December 14, 2000 Ganser “placed a FOIA request with the CIA, whereupon two weeks later the CIA replied to the author’s request “pertaining to ‘Operation Gladio’ in an evasive manner by stating that ‘The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request,'” Ganser explains. “By raising FOIA exemptions B1 and B3 the CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, Kathryn I. Dyer, with her letter declined all information on Operation Gladio.”
Shortly thereafter Ganser appealed, maintaining, “’The documents that were withheld must be disclosed under the FOIA, because the secrecy exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3) can only reasonably refer to CIA operations which re still secret today.’” In February 2001 the CIA responded:
“Your appeal has been accepted and arrangements will be made for its consideration by the appropriate members of the Agency Release Panel. You will be advised of the determination made.”
In 2004, just before Ganser’s book manuscript went to press, “the CIA Agency Release Panel had still not answered the author’s request for information.” Dr. Ganser confirmed to this author in early 2018 that close to 20 years later the CIA has still not turned over the responsive documents or even provided him with a response.
Daniele Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, London and New YorK: Frank Cass, 2005, 35.