10 times the Military plotted against their own Citizens

In countries around the world since time immemorial, the military's role is to defend its people, its country, and to that end, to obey its government But the military does not always behave this way

What drives an army to fight its own people? Fear? Power? Perhaps pride? Here are 10 Military Plots Against Their Own People 10) THE 2019 VENEZUELAN UPRISING On 10th January 2019, Venezuela's opposition-majority National Assembly stated Nicolás Maduro's 2018 reelection was invalid, due to many irregularities that went against its Constitution Juan Guaidó (huan gooaid’o) was designed as acting president of the nation till the new elections However, Maduro refused the Assembly’s measure On 30th April, Juan Guaidó led a group of several military officers and civilians in an uprising against Nicolás Maduro in the so-called ""Operation Freedom""

During the uprising, among opposition protesters and government forces, four people were killed Maduro expelled 54 members of the army and the head of intelligence National Assembly vice-president Edgar Zambrano was also arrested But on 11th May in Caracas, Guaidó marched again with a thousand Venezuelans and publicly asked the ambassador to the United States to speak with US Southern Command to find a solution to the country’s political turmoil As of June 2019, Venezuela is still facing an ongoing crisis

More countries are joining the conflict and the fate of the State is still unclear 9) THE 1981 SPANISH MILITARY COUP On 23rd February 1981, Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 armed Civil Guard officers into the Congress of Deputies during their vote to elect a Prime Minister The army, which had played a crucial part in government during Francisco Franco's military regime from 1939 to 1975, and the extreme right were enraged They blamed democratic politics for the repeated economic, military and diplomatic failures of the country and wished to return to a full military dictatorship The officers held Congress hostage for 18 hours

Meanwhile, Captain Jaime Milans del Bosch supported Tejero with a revolt in Valencia And in Madrid, the rebel army took over the radio and TV stations for 90 minutes When King Juan Carlos I denounced the coup in a televised address, siding with the democratic government, it was clear the revolution had failed On 24th February, Del Bosch abandoned his plans at 5am while Tejero resisted until noon By the end of the day, they were both arrested

8) THE WILSON PLOT One of the most persistent controversies involving the British Security Service is the so-called ""Wilson Plot"", in which officers of MI5 were accused of conspiring against Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson During his final term, from 1974 to 1976, Wilson became convinced that he was under constant electronic surveillance Wilson's fears were then publicised by the press in 1977 This caused an immediate political controversy that led Prime Minister James Callaghan to open an internal inquiry, which revealed that “At no time has the Security Service or any other British intelligence or security agency, either of its own accord or at someone else's request, undertaken electronic surveillance in 10 Downing Street or in the Prime Minister's room in the House of Commons"" However, the allegations reemerged ten years later when former Security Service officer Peter Wright claimed that thirty intelligence officers and some senior military officers actually plotted against Wilson

A second investigation followed, but once again it was concluded that “no such plot had ever existed"" 7) OPERATION NORTHWOODS: In the spring of 1962, General Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff developed Operations Northwoods, which consisted of faked and real terror attacks against the US The plan was to blame the attacks on Cuba In this way, the U

S would have the perfect pretext for launching a full-scale military invasion of the island to remove Fidel Castro According to the Pentagon proposition, ""A series of well-coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces… to develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities, and even in Washington… The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States” On March 16th 1962 the proposal was rejected by President John F Kennedy 6) THE KATYN MASSACRE After the Nonaggression Pact of 1939, Poland was occupied on both sides by Nazi German and the Soviet Union

Many Polish officers fell into Soviet hands and were interned in their prison camps But when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, the Polish and Soviet governments agreed to cooperate against Germany However, when the Polish general Wladyslaw Anders requested 15,000 Polish prisoners of war to be transferred to his command, the Soviets informed him that most of those prisoners had escaped and couldn’t be located That is, until April 13th 1943, when the Germans discovered the corpses of 4,443 Polish officers in the Katyn (k’atein) forest near Smolensk (smoliensk) prison camp Investigations revealed they had been shot from behind, then piled in stacks and buried

From that moment the Polish government blamed the Soviets, who in turn blamed the Germans and denied the charges for years In the 1990s, investigations by the Prosecutors General of the Soviet Union in the 1990s confirmed the Soviets were responsible, but they refused to classify the massacre as a war crime or a mass murder Russia finally admitted the crime in November 2010, when the State Duma declared that Joseph Stalin and other Soviet leaders were responsible for ordering the massacre 5) THE ANJALA CONSPIRACY In 1788 Swedish king Gustav III started a war with the Russian Empire to gain more influence among his opponents But, since the initial success he expected failed to transpire, anger rose among his military

This anger was shared by members of the government, who made it clear that people wanted peace Members of the Swedish Cabinet secretly opened peace negotiations with Russian Empress Catherine the Great She turned them down Nevertheless, the conspirators spread rumours the Empress was instead considering a reconciliation pact This led 113 officers in Anjala, a town in Southern Finland now known as Kouvola (kouv’ola), to sign a declaration in support of the scheme

Many others within the army and the navy joined the cause However, when the Russian government planned to use the scheme to weaken the Swedish government, the Cabinet’s point of view changed The conspirators were charged with high treason Nine of them were sentenced to death, while the rest ended up deported or in prison 4) THE KYUJO INCIDENT On August 9th 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito (hiroshto) decided to surrender to the Allied nations

On the night of 14th August, he recorded his announcement to the nation at the Imperial Palace The recordings were then secured in the grand chamberlain’s office Less than an hour afterwards, some imperial officers assaulted the palace in an attempt to stop the speech being broadcast According to the Imperial Annals, the rebels, led by Major Kenji Hatanaka tried to arrest the Emperor They disarmed the palace guards, blocked all entrances and disconnected any communication with the outside

However, after searching in vain for hours for the recordings, and due to their failure to persuade the rest of the Army to join the revolt, the coup flopped Hatanaka and his co-conspirators committed suicide The Emperor’s speech aired at noon on August 15th 3) THE 2016 TURKISH MILITARY COUP On 15th July 2016, a faction of the Turkish Army, the Peace at Home Council, attempted a military coup against President Erdoğan (Aerdoan) They attempted to seize key places in Ankara and Istanbul but failed to do so, after forces loyal to the state defeated them

The Council denounced the lack of democracy in the government and its disregard for human rights Erdoğan accused their leaders of being connected to the Gülen movement, an organization recognised as terrorists by Turkey, and of being protected by the US and the UK During the turmoil, over 300 people were killed and more than 2,100 were injured Many government buildings, including the Turkish Parliament and the Presidential Palace, were bombed from the air Once the soldiers were defeated, mass arrests followed

Between soldiers and judges, at least 40,000 people were imprisoned, and the licences of about 21,000 private teachers were revoked 2) OPERATION GLADIO The Red Brigades were an Italian militant left-wing organization known for kidnappings, murders, and terror attacks Their aim was to undermine the Italian state in favour of a Marxist proletarian revolution Between 1974 and 1988, the Red Brigades accomplished about 50 attacks, in which nearly 50 people were killed This led the Italian government to join the CIA and NATO in ""Operation Gladio""

Its purpose was to, stage terror attacks, which were blamed not only on the Red Brigades but also on progressive leftists to demonise them and to promote conservative, reactionary social and political parties The government covered everything up for years In fact, it was only in 1990 that former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti finally admitted the relationship between the State and the terrorist attacks 1) OPERATION CONDOR Operation Condor took place between 1968 and 1989 It was an organised cooperation programme, sponsored by the US, to support South American military regimes

According to thousands of secret documents accidentally discovered in 1992, the original countries involved were Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, with the later annexation of Brazil The main purpose was to allow the countries to send death squads into each other’s territory to monitor, kidnap or kill political opponents to their military dictators For the US it was an opportunity to eradicate potential communist and Soviet influence in the area In fact, the CIA provided planning, training on torture, technical support and supplied military aid to the Juntas (huntas) during the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations The exact number of the victims is still unknown, but by some estimates at least 60,000 deaths and several hundred thousand wrongful arrests can be attributed to Operation Condor

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