CIA Drug Plane Probe Targets 9/11 Figure Does Dept. of Homeland Security Threaten Homeland Security?
January 31, 2008 by Daniel Hopsicker
New revelations in the broadening scandal kicked off by two CIA and Dept of Homeland Security-linked airplanes busted in Mexico with multi-ton loads of cocaine point to a level of criminality and turpitude wellbeyond the corruption at U.S. Customs in South Florida to which officials have already admitted.
A central figure in the Customs corruption probe is Guyanese pilot Michael Francis Brassington, the MadCowMorningNews has learned, a name familiar to readers who have followed the unfolding and still largely untold story of the activities and associates of the terrorist hijackers while in Florida…
Michael Brassington was the co-pilot on a drug running Lear jet (N351WB) caught by DEA agents at Orlando Executive Airport in July of 2000 carrying 43 pounds of heroin.
The Lear jet’s owner, Wallace J Hilliard, also owned the Venice FL flight school where, at that very moment, the two terrorist pilots who crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center Towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, were receiving flight training.
Today’s $64,000 Question
In the current Customs scandal Brassington is under suspicion for trafficking drugs, passports, people, currency, and diamonds into the U.S. through two airports in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with the assistance of high-level officials in U.S. Customs and the FAA.
Discovery of Brassington’s participation in the rampant Customs corruption in South Florida raises questions about whether the criminal turpitude of officials there may have contributed to the breech in American national security which allowed 19 terrorist hijackers, whose identities in some cases were already known to authorities, to roam freely in the U.S. before the 9/11 attack.
In other words, was a dirty operation engaged in drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, run with assistance from the highest levels of the U.S. Government, responsible for creating the opening which allowed 19 terrorists to murder 3000 people?
The Alphonso Bowe Smuggling Group, LTD.
We first learned of Brassington’s recent activity from a former Customs Agent, who was able to confirm that Brassington was the co-pilot when Wally Hilliard’s Lear jet was busted in Orlando.
When Brassington entered the U.S. through Customs at Fort Lauderdale International Airport on April 6th, 2004, the agent on duty was a rookie Customs inspector working the night shift at the General Aviation Facility.
J. L. Sanders was the unlucky Inspector charged with checking Brassington through Customs that night. When he entered Brassington’s name into his computer, the July 2000 heroin bust came up on his screen.
Nor was that Brassington’s only red flag.
“In the ‘active lookout’ it stated Brassington was known for bringing in suspect passengers,” Sanders told us.
“Brassington handed me a manifest for the flight from Executive Flight Support, which I found out later was owned by Wally Hilliard, and managed by Afphonso Bowe,” Sanders stated. “So Brassington apparently still has some kind of financial relationship with Hilliard.”
Huffman Aviation flight school owner Wally Hilliard is the owner of Executive Flight Support FBO (fixed base of operations) in Nassau. Alphonso Bowe manages the facility for him.
“The charter company Brassington was flying for is controlled by a family suspected of running an organized drug ring,” said Sanders.
“In the Customs computer system, the terminology used to describe the criminal organization associated with Executive Flight Support is the ‘Alfonso Bowe Smuggling Group.’
“Here’s my card. Call us when she comes out of the coma.”
Other indications that Michael Brassington might be operating with a wink and a nod’ from corrupt government officials can be found in recent documents.
An “unusual” relationship between Brassington and U.S. officials is hinted at in the sometimes harsh wording of an NTSB decision affirming an emergency order of revocation issued against the pilot in 2005 for a variety of violations, including a spectacular near-fatal crash at Teeterboro Airport in New Jersey in February 2003.
The airplane accident for which he was facing the music was so colorful it led the local evening news that night in New York City…
Brassington was piloting a Challenger business jet which overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, ploughed through the airport fence, and went flying across a busy highway, slamming into a moving automobile before coming to rest after crashing into a warehouse.
The plane was demolished. Injuries were remarkably few, except for an innocent civilian driving down the street minding his or her own business…
“One passenger in the car remains in a coma,” a story about the crash reported dryly, “while lawyers wait in the wings.”
For all this, Brassington’s punishment seemed remarkably light to one NTSB administrator, who put his feelings into a dissenting opinion…
“My expectation of the Administrator in pursuing egregious safety violations of this nature is that she would pursue every violation demonstrated by the evidence. (Yet) for reasons not explained in the record, (italics ours) the Administrator chose to allege a violation of the safety check requirement for only the flight on January 2, 2005.”
The CIA drug plane scandal began when two American-registered planes with ties to the CIA and the Dept of Homeland Security were caught in Mexico’s Yucatan, a popular refueling stop between Colombia and the U.S.
The first, a DC9 airliner (N900SA) busted carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine, had been painted to impersonate aircraft from the Dept of Homeland Security.
The Gulfstream II business jet (N987SA) caught in September with at least 4 tons (estimates vary) had been used in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition operation for several years. Prior to that, pilot Greg Smith flew for both the CIA and DEA in operations in Colombia during the 1990’s, Narco News reported, and mainstream media sources in Colombia state the Gulfstream was often seen there.
The scandal mushroomed exponentially last month when Mexico’s Attorney General announced that the sale of the two drug running American planes had been part of a huge 50-plane deal between Mexico’s dominant Sinaloa cartel, and unnamed sellers.
The Mexican Attorney General’s announcement diplomatically left the American side of the equation unstated. But if the Sinaloa Cartel hadn’t purchased the 50 planes from the pages of Trade-a-Plane, they had, presumably, dealt with as-yet unnamed drug lords in the U.S.
Drug Lord-less U.S. goes it alone… again.
The problem is immediately obvious. Top DEA officials have stated categorically that there are no American drug lords.
Once again, the U.S. is alone among nations.
The scandal also claimed its latest victim yesterday, with the arrest of the Chief of Staff and head of intelligence of the Judicial Police, Ricardo McGregor, in Mexico City.
McGregor is accused of giving a “heads up” to suspected Sinaloa cartel money man Pedro Alphonso Alatorre to move large sums from one of his money exchanges in advance of the arrest for paying $50 million in laundered money to buy 50 planes in the U.S.
Customs corruption in Mexico and Latin America is an ingrained and decades old practice historically used by political leaders there for personal purposes and to pay off political debts.
But in the case of the two downed American planes, Mexican authorities have so far charged, in addition to McGregor, dozens of government employees and officials, from local police officers to Federal Police, Civil Aviation officials, Airport Administration personnel, and even two pilots working for Mexico’s National Water Commission.
A pilot who ‘disappears’
This is not to say that things are jes’ all right south of the border, and that no sleight of hand is being practiced.
One example: when the Gulfstream business jet crashed, Mexican newspapers reported that government authorities caught the pilot, Edic Munoz Sanchez, who had been injured in the crash. They even published his mug shot.
In later reports, however, his name has been completely dropped. When seven people were charged with being present at the scene recently, his name was absent.
He has been “disappeared.”
In stark contrast, American authorities have been totally silent. No officials have been charged, with no indication given that even the American owners of the two planes at the time they were caught are under suspicion.
“Eleven months and change and we’re gone”
Well, maybe not entirely silent. There has been a certain amount of discreet passing-the-buck at the DEA in the form of denials by officials there of either any DEA investigation or involvement in the case.
Several DEA sources have stated that the reason there is no DEA investigation ongoing is that, because the case involves corruption in a U.S. Custom’s “rogue operation,” it is being investigated internally by the Inspector General’s Office in the Dept. of Homeland Security.
However, the MadCowMorningNews has learned that the existence of any federal investigation in the scandal remains a matter of speculation.
An official in the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s office, Tamara Faulkner, told the MadCowMorningNews in a phone call last week that the Department’s practice is to neither confirm nor deny the existence of any internal investigation conducted by the Inspector General’s office.
So, let’s see… Two American planes carrying ten tons of cocaine worth at least several hundreds of millions of dollars get caught red-handed. No Americans are charged with any crime.
And you and I, the American people, are not entitled to know if there’s any federal investigation.
What we want to know is: how does that make you feel?
The DEA and its predecessor federal drug law enforcement organizations have always been infiltrated and, to varying degrees, managed by America’s intelligence agencies. The reason is simple enough: the US Government has been protecting its drug smuggling allies, especially in organized crime, since trafficking was first criminalized in 1914. Since then drug law enforcement has been a function of national security in its broadest sense; not just protecting our aristocracy from foreign enemies, but preserving the Establishment’s racial, religious and class prerogatives.
The glitch in the system is that while investigating traffickers, federal drug agents are always unearthing the Establishment’s ties to organized crime and its proxy drug syndicates. US intelligence and security agencies recognized this problem early in the early 1920s and to protect their Establishment patrons (and foreign and domestic drug smuggling allies fighting communists), they dealt with the problem by suborning well-placed drug law enforcement managers and agents.
They have other means at their disposal as well. In 1998, for example, in a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News, reporter Gary Webb claimed that the CIA had facilitated the flow of crack cocaine to street gangs in Los Angeles. After the Agency vehemently denied the allegations, Webb was denounced by the CIA’s co-conspirators: the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Frightened into submission by the growls of its biggers and betters, the Mercury News retracted Webb’s story and sent the reporter into internal exile. The CIA’s Inspector General later admitted that Webb was partially right. But being unjustly discredited is the price one pays for tearing the mask off the world’s biggest drug trafficker.
It’s always been that way. Case in point: in 1960 MacMillan published Russ Koen’s book The China Lobby. In it Koen said the Nationalist Chinese were smuggling narcotics into the US, “with the full knowledge and connivance” of their government in Taiwan. He said that “prominent Americans have participated and profited from these transactions.” The idea of prominent Americans profiting from drug trafficking was unthinkable and quick as a flash, Harry J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), denounced Koen as a fraud. Within weeks Koen’s book was remaindered into obscurity by MacMillan.
Professor Al McCoy’s seminal book The Politics of Heroin, published in 1972, is another example. The CIA knew about McCoy’s research and approached his publisher, demanding thatit suppress the book on grounds of national security. Harper Row refused, but agreed to allow the CIA to review the book prior to publication. When McCoy objected, Harper Row said it would not publish the book unless McCoy submitted.
Examples of federal drug law enforcement’s complicity with the CIA also abound and many are recounted in my first book on the subject, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1968. In my new book, The Strength of the Pack: The Politics, Espionage Intrigues, and Personalities that Defined the DEA, I explain how the CIA infiltrated the DEA and how, under CIA direction, the war on drugs became a template for the war on terror. One example shall be presented in this essay.
The Merry Pranksters
My new book, Strength of thePack, begins in April 1968, when, in the wake of a huge corruption scandal, the Johnson Administration folded the FBN into a new organization called the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced the appointment of thirty-eight year old John E. Ingersoll as the BNDD’s director. In a letter to me Clark said that Ingersoll “offered a clean break with a past that had ended in corruption and, I hoped, a new progressive, scientific based approach to drug control in a time of deep social unrest.”
Clark appointed Ingersoll while Johnson was president and after the elections, in an attempt to preempt the in-coming Nixon Administration, Clark held a news conference to proclaim the Johnson Administration’s success in cleansing the BNDD of any lingering corruption. “32 Narcotics Agents Resign in Corruption Investigation Here,” read the headline in the 14 December 1968 New York Times. Clark noted that five of the bad agents had been indicted, and that additional prosecutions and resignations would soon be forthcoming.
The Democrats had lost the election, largely because the “law and order” candidate Richard Nixon had promised to win the war on drugs. Ironically, once he was elected president, this vow would pit Nixon against the CIA, which was aiding and abetting the major politicians and generals commanding America’s allies in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, many of whom were part of a huge Kuomintang drug smuggling network. In order to defeat the Communists, their drug smuggling activities had to be protected. But in order for Nixon to make good on his promise to win the war on drugs, they had to be stopped. Thus began the CIA’s infiltration of the BNDD, and its struggle with Nixon’s anti-Establishment, felonious minions for control over targeting of major traffickers as a mean of managing the war on drugs.
BNDD Director John Ingersoll was totally unprepared for the political tug-of-war he found himself in the midst of. He had joined the Oakland police department in 1956, serving as a motorcycle cop and later as an administrative assistant to the chief. In the mid-1960s he became the police chief in Charlotte, North Carolina where he earned a reputation as a straight arrow and fighter against corruption. But within a year of taking control of the BNDD, Ingersoll realized he was no match for the wily federal drug agents he inherited. They were a cunning and dangerous wolf pack, and the organization’s top officials were among the worst offenders.
As one agent explains, “Most were corrupted by the lure of the underworld. They thought they could check their morality at the door–go out and lie, cheat, and steal–then come back and retrieve it. But you can’t. In fact, if you’re successful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureaucracy. You’re talking about guys whose lives depended on their ability to be devious and who become very good at it. So these people became the bosses. Meanwhile the agents were losing their simplicity in subtle ways.”
Ingersoll knew this, but he was also aware of the high priority Nixon placed on winning the war on drugs. Rather than generate a scandal, Ingersoll decided to go outside of the organization, to the CIA, for help in quietly rooting out corruption. The 1975 Rockefeller Commission Report On CIA Activities Within The United States stated that the joint CIA-BNDD anti-corruption program began when Ingersoll became “vitally” concerned that some of his employees might have been corrupted by drug traffickers. Lacking the necessary security apparatus to expunge these corrupt agents, Ingersoll in early 1970 asked the Director of Central Intelligence, Richard Helms, for help building a “counter-intelligence” capacity. The request was “apparently” supported by President Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell.
The man Ingersoll appointed chief inspector of BNDD, Patrick Fuller, had served with IRS investigations for nearly 20 years in California. Fuller was Ingersoll’s close friend, but apart from that, he was incapable of mounting internal security investigations against federal drug agents. When Ingersoll proposed that they turn to the CIA, Fuller readily agreed. The plan, known as Operation Twofold, involved the hiring of CIA officers to spy on ranking BNDD officials suspected of corrupt practices, past and present. As Pat Fuller recalls, “We recruited the CIA officers for BNDD through a proprietary company. A corporation engaged in law enforcement hired research consultants, and three CIA officers posing as private businessmen were hired to do the contact and interview work.”
The principle recruiter was Jerry Soul, assisted by CIA officers John F Murnane, Joseph Cruciani, and Chick Barquin. Then a personnel officer at CIA headquarters, Soul had managed Cuban exiles during the Bay of Pigs invasion, and later directed the CIA’s exile Cuban mercenary army and air force in the Congo.
Apart from one exile Cuban, the CIA officers hired for Operation Twofold were, typically, Anglo paramilitary officers whose careers had stalled due to the gradual reduction of CIA forces in Vietnam and Laos. Those hired were put through the BNDD training course and assigned by Fuller to spy on a particular regional director and his trusted subordinates. According to Fuller, no records were kept and some participants will never be identified because they were “cut-outs” who never went to a BNDD office, but spied from afar and reported clandestinely. Some were not even known to Fuller. All were supposed to be sent overseas but most remained in the US.
Much of Twofold remains a mystery because, as the Rockefeller Commission reported, it “violated the 1947 Act which prohibits the CIA’s participation in law enforcement activities.”
No one was ever prosecuted.
Twofold Case Studies
Twofold was aimed at the BNDD’s top managers. One target was Joseph J. Baca, the assistant Regional Director in Los Angeles. The cousin of a top Mexican cop, Baca in July 1969 was charged by the New Mexico State Police with trafficking in drugs and stolen property. He was accused of arranging burglaries and holdups, and allegedly sold heroin to a drug smuggler. But the local investigations were closed without any adverse action against Baca, so Twofold torpedo Charles “Chuck” Gutensohn was asked to investigate.
Gutensohn had served with the Special Forces in South Vietnam. He left the army in 1964, earned a college degree, and in 1968 joined the CIA. For the next two years, Gutensohn served in Pakse, Laos, one of the major drug transit points between the Golden Triangle and Saigon. He had drug experience and upon returning to the US, Gutensohn was given the choice of being the CIA’s liaison to the BNDD in Laos, or joining Twofold. Gutensohn’s brother Joel, also a Vietnam veteran, had joined the Twofold program six months earlier in Chicago. That being the case, Chuck joined too.
“After meeting with Jerry Soul,” Gutensohn recalls, “I met Fuller at a hotel near Tyson’s Corner. He said that when we communicated, I was to be known as Leo Adams, for Los Angeles. He was to be Walter De Carlo, for Washington, DC.”
Fuller recruited Gutensohn and the other CIA officers because they did not have to be trained in the “tradecraft skills” required for the job of spying on their bosses. But Gutensohn’s cover was blown before he got to LA. As he recalls, “Someone at headquarters was talking and everyone knew. About a month after I arrived, one of the agents said to me, “I hear that Pat Fuller signed your credentials.”
A similar situation occurred in Miami, where Fuller’s targets were Regional Director Ben Theisen and Group Supervisor Pete Scrocca. Terry Burke, who would cap his career as the DEA’s acting administrator in 1990, was one of the Twofold agents assigned to investigate Theisen and Scrocca. Tall and handsome, Burke’s background is fascinating. After serving as a Marine guard at the US Embassy in Rome, he joined the CIA and served as a paramilitary officer in Laos from 1963-1965, working for legendary CIA officer Tony Poshepny at the 118A base near Ban Houei Sai–the epicenter of the Golden Triangle’s opium and heroin trade. Burke received the CIA’s highest award, the Intelligence Star, for gallantry in combat in Laos. He served his next tour in the Philippines but in 1969 was assigned to a dead-end job at CIA headquarters. Knowing his career had stalled, Burke contacted a friend from Italy, Customs Agent Fred Cornetta. Then the agent in charge at Dulles airport, Cornetta persuaded Burke to join the BNDD.
Burke applied and was hired in December 1970. Fuller recruited him into the Twofold operation and assigned him to Pete Scrocca’s group. But instead of spying on his new colleagues, Burke set about proving that he was tough and smart enough to work “undercover cases on bad guys with shotguns in motel rooms.” Burke never sent any negative reports to Fuller, and Theisen and Scrocca eventually accepted him.
Gutensohn and Burke’s experience was not unusual, and Twofold never resulted in a single dismissal of any corrupt BNDD agent. The astonishing reason for this is quite simple. Little did Ingersoll or Fuller know that the CIA never initiates a program unless it is deniable and has “intelligence potential.” Twofold conformed to these criteria: it was deniable because it was, ostensibly, a BNDD program; and it had intelligence potential in so far as it was perfectly suited for Angletonian style “operations within operations.”
As the BNDD’s chief inspector Pat Fuller told me, “There was another operation even I didn’t know about. Why don’t you find out who set that one up, and why?”
Boxes Within Boxes
Well, I did find out about this operation. Quite by accident, while interviewing a DEA agent in Miami, I was introduced to Joseph C DiGennaro, a member of the CIA’s secret facet of Operation Twofold, its unilateral drug operations unit. Hidden behind Fuller’s “inspections” program, the purpose of the CIA’s unilateral drug unit was to identify drug-dealers worldwide, and selectively kidnap and/or assassinate them. As DiGennaro explains, his entry into the program began when an eminent surgeon, a family friend, suggested that he apply for a job with the BNDD. Then working as a stockbroker in New York City, DiGennaro in August 1971 met Fuller at a Howard Johnson’s near the Watergate complex. Fuller told him that if he took the Twofold job, he would be given the code name Novo Yardley. The code name was based on DiGennaro’s posting in New York, and a play on the name of the famous American spy, Herbert Yardley.
DiGennaro took the job and was sent to a CIA security officer to obtain the required clearances. That’s when he was told that he and several other recruits were being “spun-off” from Fuller’s inspection program into the CIA’s unilateral “operational” program. He was told that he had been selected because he had a black belt in Karate and the uncanny ability to remember lists and faces. The background check took 14 months, during which time DiGennaro received intensive combat and tradecraft training. In October 1972 he was sent to BNDD regional headquarters in New York and, as a cover, was assigned to a compliance group that mostly inspected pharmacies. His paychecks came from official BNDD funds, though the program was funded by the CIA through the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Mines. The program had been authorized by the “appropriate” Congressional committee.
DiGennaro’s special group was managed by the CIA’s Special Operations Division (then under Evan Parker, first director of the CIA’s Phoenix Program) in conjunction with the military, which provided assets within foreign military services to keep ex-filtration routes open. Ex-filtration routes were air corridors and roads. The military also cleared air space when captured suspects were brought into the US. DiGennaro spent most of his time on operations in South America, but served in Lebanon and other places too.
Within the CIA’s special anti-drug unit, which numbered about 40 men, were experts in printing, forgery, maritime operations, and telecommunications. The operatives knew one another by first name only. DiGennaro, however, was aware that other BNDD agents, including Joseph Salm and Paul Seema, were in the program. No one else in the BNDD, however, knew about the program. When the call to duty came, DiGennaro would check with Fuller and then take sick time or annual leave to go on missions. There were lots of missions. As his group leader in New York, Joe Quarequio, told me: “Joey was never in the office.”
The job was tracking down, kidnapping, and if they resisted, killing drug dealers. The violence was the result of the “limited window of opportunity” needed to get the job done. Due to the need for plausible deniability, there was minimal contact with the American Embassy where the mission was conducted. DiGennaro had “a Guardian Angel” who “assembled intelligence, developed routines, and contacted informants.” But the host country and its uniformed police and military services were rarely aware of his presence, and there was little coordination with the local BNDD outpost.
The operations were extremely dangerous. As DiGennaro recalls, “There was a case in Colombia. There was seventy-two to ninety-six hours to get it done. I was flown to Colombia where I contacted my Guardian Angel. He had paid someone off and that someone had led him to a cocaine lab. The operators of the lab had been surveilled and followed to their hideout. In order to capture them, we had to work with a local military unit, which we contacted by two-way radio. In this particular instance, someone intercepted the call, and the next thing we know there’s a woman on the radio alerting the suspects. She was an agent of the traffickers inside the local military unit. We hear her screaming at the soldiers. Then she’s shot. We didn’t know who she was calling,” he continues, “so we had to leapfrog by helicopter and military truck to where we thought the subjects were. That time we happened to be right. We got the violators back to the United States. They were incapacitated by drugs and handcuffed in various men’s’ rooms in Chicago and Miami.”
As one DEA Agent recalls, “We’d get a call that there was ‘a present’ waiting for us on the corner of 116th St and Sixth Avenue. We’d go there and find some guy who’d been indicted in the Eastern District of New York, handcuffed to a telephone pole. We’d take him to a safe house for questioning and, if possible, turn him into an informer. Sometimes we’d have him in custody for months. But what did he know?” If you’re a Colombian or a Corsican drug dealer in Argentina, and a few guys with police credentials arrest you, how do you know it’s a CIA operation?
Expendable operative DiGennaro did not see the management apparatus that was directing him. He never knew much about the people the CIA unit was snatching and snuffing either; only that people were prosecuted and that defendants screamed.
DiGennaro’s last operation in 1977 involved the recovery of a satellite that had fallen into a drug dealer’s hands. By then he had all the CIA tradecraft skills required to fly solo; he learned who owned satellite, negotiated for it in good faith, and purchased it back on the black market. Such was the extent of the “parallel mechanism” the CIA had with the BNDD; a mechanism the CIA obviously used not only for anti-drug purposes, but for counter-terror reasons as well.
By 1977, some 125 “former” CIA officers had been infiltrated into the DEA at every level of the organization, especially in intelligence units, making everything possible–from black market arms exchanges, to negotiations with terrorists, to political assassination. It also put the CIA in total control of targeting.
However, as the CIA’s influence became pervasive, more and more DEA agents felt its adverse impact on their cases. First the CIA demanded a list of all overseas DEA informants, as well as copies of all its intelligence reports. They got both. Next they began recruiting traffickers the DEA was working on. These recruits were subtracted from the DEA target list. In Chile in 1973, for example, the CIA allowed five drug traffickers to leave the soccer stadium in Santiago where dissidents were being tortured en masse. These traffickers fled to Colombia where they helped form the cartel that would eventually supplied crack cocaine to street gangs in Los Angles, through other CIA assets in Latin America.
As one DEA agent puts it, “The relationship between the CIA and DEA was not as it was originally intended. The CIA does not belong in any type of law enforcement activity, unless it can result in a conviction. Which it rarely does. They should only be supportive, totally.”
In February 1977, as he was about to resign in dismay, this agent and a group of other senior DEA officials felt compelled to document a litany of CIA misdeeds.
The CIA was causing so many problems that in early 1977, outgoing Assistant Administrator for Enforcement Dan Casey sent a three page, single-spaced memorandum to DEA Administrator Peter Bensinger expressing his concern “over the role presently being played by the CIA relative to the gathering of operational intelligence abroad.” Signing off on the memo were six enforcement division chiefs. “All were unanimous in their belief that present CIA programs were likely to cause serious future problems for DEA, both foreign and domestic.” Unilateral CIA programs in foreign countries were a “potential source of conflict and embarrassment and which may have a negative impact on the overall U.S. narcotic reduction effort.” He referenced specific incidents, citing CIA electronic surveillance and the fact that the CIA “will not respond positively to any discovery motion.” Casey foresaw more busted cases and complained that “Many of the subjects who appear in these CIA promoted or controlled surveillances regularly travel to the United States in furtherance of their trafficking activities.” The “de facto immunity” from prosecution enables the CIA assets to “operate much more openly and effectively.”
Casey was especially upset that the CIA demanded that DEA provide telephone numbers for its operations. “This practice is most disturbing because, in effect, it puts DEA in the position of determining which violators will be granted a de facto immunity.” Considering the seriousness of the problem, he recommended that “all DEA support for CIA electronic surveillance be suspended at once.” He asked DDEA Administrator Peter Bensinger to insist that the CIA adhere to guidelines set by the Carte White House Domestic Council, which limited the CIA to gathering strategic intelligence. He advised that DEA personnel not request CIA support “which might end to prejudice the domestic prosecution of any drug trafficker.”
Alas, Bensinger suffered the CIA at the expense of the DEA’s integrity. He ignored Casey and his division chiefs. The Strength of the Pack features examples of how this accommodation with the CIA emasculated the DEA. One major example is the CIA’s Contra Connection, as revealed by Gary Webb. There is also the fact that Manuel Noriega was a CIA asset and that his DEA file was destroyed by CIA infiltrators, paving the way for the invasion of Panama. There was also the Pan Am 103 case in December 1988, in which a bomb was planted by enemy agents who had penetrated a protected CIA drug ring, which was making a “controlled delivery.”
This huge crack in the CIA’s protective shield led to the formation of the CIA’s Counter-Narcotics Center, and business continued as usual. In December 1989, as reported in the 4 May 1990 issue of Newsday, “a small US special operations team both planned and carried” out a raid that resulted in the death of drug lord Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, his 17 year old son, and several bodyguards. Pablo Escobar in 1994 was similarly assassinated by a CIA led execution squad.
The Gacha and Escobar hits, and many more like them which the public knows little or nothing about, are extrapolations of those performed by Joey DiGennaro. And the beat goes on. Shortly after he resigned in 1993, DEA chief Robert Bonner revealed that the CIA in 1990 had shipped a ton of pure cocaine to Miami from its Counter Narcotic Center warehouse in Venezuela. The Orwellian “controlled delivery” was accidentally lost.
With Bush’s war on terror, the situation has only gotten worse. In Afghanistan and South West Asia, the DEA is entirely infiltrated and controlled by the CIA and military. DEA headquarters is basically an adjunct of the Oval Office. And the Establishment continues to keep the lid on the story. After sending my manuscript to two reviewers–one with CIA connections, the other with DEA connections–my publisher has stopped communicating with me. I think my editor just wants me to go away.
One can only wonder how deeply America will descend into this vortex of fear and subservience to state security before it vanishes altogether.
The CIA. itself a ruthless, terrorist organization inspires terrorism in response. In some cases, notably the CIA and al Qaeda, the relationship between the CIA and terrorism is symbiotic. The CIA has perpetrated an “American Holocaust”, the deaths of some 6 million people from its inception to the year 1987. As Long as the CIA Exists, the US will never be safe from terrorism.
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.” The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy).
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has been propping up Musharraf’s military regime with $3.6 billion in economic aid from the US and a US-sponsored consortium, not to mention $900 million in military aid and the postponement of overdue debt repayments totaling $13.5 billion. But now the administration is debating whether Musharraf has become too dependent on Islamic extremist political parties in Pakistan to further US interests, and whether he should be pressured to permit the return of two exiled former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who have formed an electoral alliance to challenge him in presidential elections scheduled for next year.
The late Benazir Bhutto revealed the truth before she was brutally gunned down in the streets of Karachi: US policy causes world terrorism. She died before she could tell the rest of the story.
When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation — namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf’s suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.
The May 12 terrorist attacks on the al Hamra, Jadawal and Vinnell compounds in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, which killed more than 90 people, were not merely assaults on “symbols” of the imperialist West. The bombers were also intent on weakening the rule of Saudi royal family.While the timing of the bombings in Saudi Arabia and in other countries — just hours before US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Saudi Arabia — suggested a coordinated assault on US targets, the bombings in Riyadh were targeted at key props of the reactionary regime.All three Saudi Arabian targets were associated with Saudi Arabia’s role as a US client state: residential compounds housing mainly expatriates working in the country, the offices of the Vinnell Corporation and the residences of its employees.Vinnell, founded in California in 1931, first gained a foothold in Saudi Arabia in 1975. An article by Matt Gaul in the June 1998 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, revealed that it was the culmination of a close relationship between the corporation, the US military and Washington’s intelligence agencies. This relationship stretched back to the end of World War II, when the US government used the company to ship supplies to the China’s counter-revolutionary party, the Kuomintang.During the 1950s and ’60s, Vinnell constructed US military airfields in Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, Thailand and southern Vietnam. According to Gaul, it was during this period that Albert Vinnell, the corporation’s founder, “offered his staff’s services to the [CIA], and several CIA agents used employment with Vinnell as cover for operations in Africa and the Middle East”.
It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be “communists,” but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.
The CIA uses all those methods to install dictators like Musharraf, whom it most certainly trained. The CIA is ruthless in its on-going efforts to eliminate with torture and murder, if necessary, all opposition to the interests of American imperialists. Saddam Hussein was among the dictators propped up by the US, the CIA specifically. Saddam ran afoul of Bush Sr by opposing efforts by the Bush regime to keep the price of oil high. The transcript of US Ambassador April Glaspie’s interview with Hussein on the eve of his invasion of Kuwait proves conclusively that Hussein had been set up by the master spy –George Bush Sr. The CIAs allegiance to the US oil industry is overt and is most certainly at the very heart of well-founded suspicions about the CIA, Texas oil barons, and JFK. Dealy Plaza is said to have been the nexus of all three! The origins of Bush’s war in Iraq may be found in the Arab Oil embargo of the 1970s.
Three decades ago, in the throes of the energy crisis, Washington’s hawks conceived of a strategy for US control of the Persian Gulf’s oil. Now, with the same strategists firmly in control of the White House, the Bush administration is playing out their script for global dominance. In the geopolitical vision driving current US policy toward Iraq, the key to national security is global hegemony — dominance over any and all potential rivals. To that end, the United States must not only be able to project its military forces anywhere, at any time. It must also control key resources, chief among them oil — and especially Gulf oil.
JFK promised to “smash the CIA into a thousand pieces”. Bill Clinton, on the 50th anniversary of “the company”, defended it with an absurdity that one might have expected from the GOP! Americans, Clinton said, don’t know or understand what the CIA does and should, therefore, lay off! Our not knowing what the CIA is up to is precisely the problem. Bill Clinton is as dead wrong on this issue as Barack Obama is dead wrong about Ronald Reagan. Both positions are premised upon the idea that the American people are stupid and those that are not ought to be! The fact is: the CIA is out of control and they will continue to get away with it as long as the American people are either ignorant, kept in the dark, or both! Because the CIA is unaccountable. it remains a cancerous source of unchecked corruption and most certainly the inspiration for generations of American hating terrorists who will fight back in kind! Much has been written about the CIA’s operations, [The Modus Operandi of the CIA] by insiders and outsiders. One insider who has chronicled what he witnessed in the CIA is Ralph McGehee. He worked for the CIA from 1952 until 1977 and now writes about intelligence matters, notably the book Deadly Deceits — My 25 years in the CIA (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1983). He has compiled a computer data base on CIA activities. Persons interested may write to him at: 422 Arkansas Ave., Herndon, VA 22070. (See http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA/CIA_SOP.html .) Here are some excerpts of what he has written:
“…it is essential to provide background on the scope and nature of its worldwide operations. Between 1961 and 1975 the Agency conducted 900 major or sensitive operations, and thousands of lesser covert actions. The majority of its operations were propaganda, election or paramilitary. Countries of major concern, such as Indonesia in the early 1960s, were usually subjected to the CIA’s most concerted attention. Critics of the CIA have aptly described the mainstays of such attention: “discrediting political groups… by forged documents that may be attributed to them. . . ,” faking “communist weapon shipments,” capturing communist documents and then inserting forgeries prepared by the Agency’s Technical Services Division.
Much of the rest of the world knows the truth about the CIA; Americans are kept in the dark. The media dare not tell the truth about the CIA and the Bush administration, in particular, is complicit. Rare media outlets that dare tell the truth are demonized. “Liberal” activist Steve Kangas, for example, turned up dead just outside the office of Richard Mellon Scaife, the multi-billionaire about whom it is no stretch to say he coordinated and bankrolled the “vast right wing conspiracy” to impeach, remove and, in other ways, smear Bill Clinton. As more documents are declassified and the hidden history is made painfully clear, the CIA’s predictable response is compared to the Medieval Church’s oppressive response to the Scientific Revolution. Indeed, there are many things about the CIAs relationship to the world around it that are medieval: intolerance, fear, repression, secrecy and torture. Initially, the CIA would merely harass American writers but foreign writers were tortured and/or murdered. With the death of Steve Kangas, one wonders if the CIA now operates against the domestic media. What’s next? An inquisition? The CIA, whose very is name is enough to inspire generations of “terrorists”, has outlived its usefulness. The time has come to abolish the CIA —to smash it into a thousand pieces! Its leadership should be dismissed and investigated. Where there is probable cause, CIA members should be investigated and tried for crimes against humanity.
The CIA: The World’s Number One Terrorist Organization
In researching the events leading to America’s downfall, I have had to continually readjust my understanding of the situation as new information surfaced. Throughout the entire learning process it has proven especially difficult to determine whether the CIA determines the secret policies it carries out, or if the agency merely serve as a loyal tool to the moneymen who control the world from behind the scenes. It is very difficult to sort out the facts from the fabrication about an ongoing disinformation campaign while immersed in it.
I used to think that the “new right” was simply a merger between militarist corporate interests and right wing militant groups, and that the CIA was merely a servant to whoever was in power. But I have come to realize that the spy agency was instrumental in creating the “Reagan revolution” and the “neoconservatives” who were spawned by it. At first it seemed that the confluence of CIA dirty tricks with the Republican national politics was limited to agents helping-out their former boss. But it became apparent that there had been a strategic merger between the CIA, the Republican Party and corporate America.
Names like Nelson Rockefeller and Nelson Bunker Hunt (of the infamous Hunt brothers) show up as major financiers in the new right “conservative movement.” Researcher Steve Kangas reported (shortly before his murder) on the connections between radical Republican billionaires and the early neocons, most of whom had previous CIA experience. Kangas was found shot to death outside the Pittsburgh offices of right-wing benefactor Richard Mellon Scaife, who gave millions to right wing groups trying to destroy President Clinton, including the Heritage Foundation and New Gingrich’s Free Congress Foundation. http://msnoh.tripod.com/kang.html Before Kangas died, he produced a lengthy report titled, “How the CIA Created a Ruling, Corporate Overclass in America” that may have gotten him killed.
“From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right. The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress… The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement… The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene. The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to ‘prove’ that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government… Using propaganda techniques it had perfected at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk shows…The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA…Its principle creators were [neoconservatives] Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family… these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism…”
The radical neocon attack machine was constructed under CIA guidance to incorporate the political strategies that they had perfected while waging covert political warfare against our European allies, as well as other friends and enemies throughout the world. The politics of fear that underlie the “war on terrorism,” derive from the “strategy of tension” that the agency developed in Italy.
“A strategy of tension (Italian: strategia della tensione) is a way to control and manipulate public opinion using fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, as well as false flag terrorist actions (including bombings). According to historian Daniele Ganser, “It is a tactic which consists in committing bombings and attributing them to others. By the term ‘tension’ one refers to emotional tension, to what creates a sentiment of fear. By the term ‘strategy’ one refers to what feeds the fear of the people towards one particular group” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension
This terror-based political strategy was called “Operation Gladio.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio Neocons like Michael Ledeen were recruited from these actual covert operations to serve as spokesmen and political “hit men” for the united neocon front. Gladio was just a more recent manifestation of recurring secret CIA plans to overthrow the government of the United States that eventually leak out, stemming back to at least the era of “Operation North Woods” (another “false flag” terror attack by CIA/military agents upon Americans, for the purpose of causing war with Cuba). http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf The recently released “Family Jewels” documents CIA crimes before 1975, including the involuntary MK-ULTRA LSD experiments upon the American people, which even included experiments upon children. http://www.foia.cia.gov/browse_docs.asp?doc_no=0001451843&title=%22FAMIL…
Kangas documented the astonishing gains reaped by the corporate ruling class from the benefits accrued to them by their merger with CIA interests.
“In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century… The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars… By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives… Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well…
‘The CIA is the President’s secret army,’ Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was ‘deterring democracy.’ From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn’t like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment… Even when the communist threat was real, the CIA first and foremost took care of the elite…Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage… Remember, the CIA is an instrument of the President; it only carries out policy…
The CIA’s contacts with big business quickly spread. The agency showed a preference for international companies, public relations firms, media companies, law offices, banks, financiers and stockbrokers. The CIA didn’t limit its activities to recruiting businessmen; sometimes the CIA bought or created entire companies outright… By allying itself with the business community, the CIA received the funds and ability it needed to remove itself from democratic control… the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale,.. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed… By the early 50s, CIA Director Allen Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale. (A disproportionate number of CIA figures, like George Bush, come from Yale’s “Skull and Crossbones’ Society).”
Today, after thirty years running roughshod over America, this unholy alliance of ruthless businessmen and cold-blooded spies has brought the world to the very edge of the precipice. Their policy has amounted to waging economic warfare against the American people, the purposeful de-industrialization and off-shoring of American vital industries and jobs has drained the life from our economy into their off-shore bank accounts. The foolish anti-tax policies enacted by the Bush Administration to accelerate that transfer of wealth has accelerated the collapse of the global economy, as well as our own. The shaky status of our bankrupted economy can best be seen in the desperate measures now being prepared to stave-off the certain economic collapse that we have caused. The $100+ economic boost represents a complete break with Bush economic doctrine, giving every American $250 and Republicans giving-up the hotly contested Bush tax cuts.
“The stimulus plan taking shape in Congress is likely to include targeted tax cuts and rebates for middle- and low-income Americans, tax breaks for business, and spending for unemployment insurance and food stamps…GOP leaders said they would not insist on an extension of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts, set to expire in 2010… ” http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0118/p01s01-uspo.html
“To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services…”
This comes after six years spent fighting a war without end that is as much a war against American democracy as it is against Islamic extremism. The truth about our alleged enemy, “al Qaida,” is that there is no international terrorist conspiracy by that name, killing Americans and our friends by the hundreds. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7787 “Al Qaida” is a CIA fabricated enemy, created as an opponent for the CIA-created “neocon” supermen, intended to embed an invisible terror army amongst the people, in order to perpetually justify waging war upon the people. 9/11 was a declaration of war by the CIA conspirators upon the people of the United States and the military forces that defend us. The US Army should be hunting the real CIA terrorists.
The CIA National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is disinformation, intended to both throw the people off the trail of their crimes and to provide a backdoor confirmation of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. The upcoming Iran war should be seen as the CIA opening another front in its war against the Pentagon. They will not relinquish control of America’s foreign policy to anyone, even if they have to destroy America in the process. What does the internationalist agency care, if the “homeland” gets toasted, as long as they hold the rest of the world in their hands?
“The President this week explicitly called Israel a Jewish state and that any agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. This signals a complete rejection of the Palestinian right of return that derailed the Clinton Camp David talks in 2000…”
With Bush busily destroying all the groundwork from past peace negotiations, it becomes more than obvious that he is just as determined as ever to strike Iran for Israel, before he leaves office. It is also obvious that the full Congress has turned their backs on the will of the American people in this determination. The false sense of jubilation expressed by many on the left and the right was premature. The war with Iran is still on, it will just be a little more difficult to instigate, than before. But the war gremlins are working overtime to provide the needed justification for a wider war. Israeli officials are now claiming that a rocket fired into Israel by Palestinians originated in Iran.
Anyone who saw the pictures of Bush (the man who believes that he is the hand of God in restoring “God’s people” to the Holy Land) begins to understand – Bush is on a “mission from God.” Did you see him tear-up, when he said that he wished that he had been there to “bomb Auschwitz?” He shed no tears for the poor Palestinians when he told them to stop hoping that Israel will pull back to the 1967 borders, which Israelis have dubbed the “Auschwitz borders.” He has wedded himself to Israel’s idea of the “two-state solution,” which will one day be revealed to mean a Palestinian state in Jordan and a “Jewish state” from the Jordan River to the sea.
Bush the alcoholic former party animal, who credits Billy Graham with “saving” him from himself, has no choice but to do God’s will. Remember, Bush once admitted that God had told him to strike Afghanistan and Iraq. Now God has ordered him to make peace in the Holy Land. Bush’s idea of “peace” is the peace of the grave.
The Bush push to force “peace” upon the Palestinians requires that every party be bound to the terms of his road map for peace, which is clearly slanted in Israel’s favor. It will take many years to implement the major restructuring of Mideastern society to one that is favorable to the will of Bush. This means that he doesn’t intend to leave office. His role as messiah will require that he remain in power for a long time. He is convinced that God wants him to start Armageddon.
The US war on terror has been, in reality, a machine for sowing terror, intended to force the people who are inclined to self-defense, to become terrorists. Kidnappings, targeted assassinations, military attacks, and the making of entire populations into refugees, are tactics intended to alienate individuals and drive them to vigilantism. Terrorists are defined as those who take up arms to defend against US attacks and occupation. The driving purpose of the war on terrorism has been to uncover would-be terrorists (those who would resist America), by forcing radicalized men to violently act upon their beliefs. The use of “death squads” and militias to instigate conflicts is a plot to flush-out the hidden commitments to family and country that would drive angry young men to oppose America’s violent designs upon their property.
It is the same wherever this covert foreign policy of fomenting civil war is being implemented. This plan that has been hatched by our “leaders” is pure evil. It cannot be allowed to proceed. That is exactly what the GWOT (global war on terrorism) does, it requires that those governments who join with the US in its offensive attack upon the world, agree to wage low-level war against their own people, until the people rise-up in a true civil war. Whether it is a straight-out insurgency that is ignited, or a religious conflict, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that the government agrees to oppress its own people in the name of “fighting terrorism.”
This sorry state of affairs is the brainchild of new world order geniuses like Zbigniew Brzezenski, who hatched the idea of reviving Islamic jihadism and turning it into a political weapon, inspiring a generation of Islamic insurgents armed and trained with modern weaponry and demolition skills. The idea was to indoctrinate millions of devout Muslims with militant Wahabi doctrine, dispensed in Saudi madrassas in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s badlands (utilizing radical Islamist textbooks printed for the CIA in the USA), is bearing fruit today. The new generation of thirty-something Taliban leaders, like 34 year-old Baitullah Mehsud (accused of assassinating Benazir Bhutto), are products of the madrassa indoctrination. The University of Nebraska-Omaha jihadi textbooks began arriving in the Saudi/Pakistani madrassas when Mehsud and his pals were about ten years old.
It is little wonder that there are so many Islamists wanting revenge upon America, considering the suffering we have inflicted upon the families of the war dead, the refugees and the “disappeared.” The US campaign to save its economy by waging war upon the world will clearly succeed in raising a large portion of the earth’s people in opposition to us. When conditions deteriorate to that point, American survival will depend upon our leaders’ willingness to liquidate that very large protesting portion or the earth’s people.
The crimes of the corporate state are rapidly catching up to them. There will be “hell to pay,” when the people realize the true face of the organization of thieves and murderers that calls itself the “American government.” The takeover of democracy and the initiation of world war through the commission of the largest terrorist attack in history on US soil, are crimes beyond measure. We the people will destroy the terrorist government that has taken us over from within. The world waits with baited breath to learn whether we will bring this government down before or after the real conflagration begins.
Chooms: This is a TRUE story, not an execrable satire, capricious exercise in political fulmination or similar waste of petroleum …
The next phase in the institution of fascist law enforcement involves cyber-security and the Internet. Media martinets have been making noise about cyber-terrorism lately – similar to the manner in which they raised a good scare over anthrax preceding the mailing of the spores – and the CIA is currently laying the justification for legislation that will permit spying on us via our computers with this story in the current PC World: “CIA Says Hackers Have Cut Power Grid”:
“Several cities outside the U.S. have sustained attacks on utility systems and extortion demands.”
No one but the CIA appears to know anything about the outages and attendant extortion demands, and now the Company – one that trains death squads and put Saddam Hussein in power – is graciously letting us in on it …
“Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities…. Speaking at a conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.
“Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.”
Again, vagaries, no specifics – as if he were making the whole thing up …
“‘We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,’ he said in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference’s organizers, the SANS Institute. ‘In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.'”
How did media around the world miss THAT ONE, especially in cities thrown into blackness and disarray by these vicious criminal “outages.” There must have been looting, chaos, casualties. But why is this secret information suddenly fit for lay consumption? …
‘According to Mr. Donahue, the CIA actively and thoroughly considered the benefits and risks of making this information public, and came down on the side of disclosure,’ SANS said in the statement.”
Risks? Anyone who thinks secrecy is necessary in this case may WORK for the CIA, which is holding all related information closely to its blood-stained vest:
“One conference attendee said the disclosure came as news to many of the government and industry security professionals in attendance.”
It may also come as a surprise to the cities around the world subject to these hideous “extortion plots.”
“It appeared that there were a lot of people who didn’t know this already,’ said the attendee, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with the press.”
OF COURSE, the disclosure “came as news” – the CIA appears to have fabricated the whole problem, or perhaps hired provocateurs as they’ve often done in the past, to stir up tensions, fatten the counter-terror budget …
“He confirmed SANS’ report of the talk. ‘There were apparently a couple of incidents where extortionists cut off power to several cities using some sort of attack on the power grid, and it does not appear to be a physical attack,’ he said.”
We would all like an actual, concrete example of a power grid extortion plot, so the reporter gives us this:
“Hacking the power grid made front-page headlines in September when CNN aired a video showing an Idaho National Laboratory demonstration of a software attack on the computer system used to control a power generator. In the demonstration, the smoking generator was rendered inoperable.”
The scare mongering recalls Colin Powell’s tiny vial of death. Drastic steps that happen to violate civil liberties are necessary.
“The U.S. is taking steps to lock down the computers that manage its power systems, however. On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved new mandatory standards designed to improve cybersecurity. CIA representatives could not be reached immediately for comment.”
The Agency will search frantically for other existing “solutions.” As it happens, in little Bavaria, Nordic Big Brother is already taking on the Beast, according to Trend News: “German state of Bavaria to go ahead with online surveillance.”
“The southern German state of Bavaria is to go ahead with controversial plans to permit security officials to monitor personal computers online to check for terrorist internet traffic, the state interior minister said Saturday. A spokesman for Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann confirmed an earlier news report in the weekly Focus news magazine that Bavaria would not wait for planned federal legislation.”
No time for niceties like overhauling the Bavarian Constitution.
This is a likely peek at our own near future if the CIA succeeds in putting the fear into the proles. Legislators are enamored of the prospects:
“Herrmann said he would put forward draft legislation in February. Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble favours similar plans to deploy a so-called ‘government Trojan’ to spy on the PCs of terrorist suspects. The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe is currently considering a similar law put forward by the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is expected to rule in the spring. Schaeuble, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), last year suggested constitutional changes to give increased powers to counter-terrorism operatives, including online searches of PCs.
“Members of the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partner in Merkel’s grand coalition, have opposed the plans on civil liberties grounds. SPD Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has said she is not ‘in principle’ opposed to the idea but concerned about the practicalities of implementing legislation.”
We can all be reassured that government in Bavaria and stateside will handle its new powers “responsibly.”
But when the cyber-security apparat is in place, who’s to stop the CIA Homeland Security thugs from “overstepping their bounds,” as they did with forced detainments, secret files and torture, to cite a few well-known examples?
The result is a form of corporate serfdom if not slavery.
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
–Steve Kangas, The Origins of the Overclass
The Bush administration will be forever associated with a “ruling overclass” –oligarchs who were the sole beneficiaries of Ronald Reagan’s infamous tax cut of 1982 and, later, several equally inequitable tax cuts during the Bush regime. It is no coincidence that the oligarchs likewise benefited in various ways from Bush’s military adventures in the Middle East. GOP tax cuts are typically called “trickle down” theory. Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman called the theory that justifies them a “trojan horse”. Since Ronald Reagan’s infamous tax cut of 1982, “conservatives” myopically cite a mythical “Reagan Recovery” as proof of “Reaganomics”, otherwise called supply-side economics. The right wing argument is simplistic and fallacious. It must be pointed out that following the tax cut, the nation plunged into recession, the worst since Herbert Hoover’s Great Depression of 1929. Nevertheless, conservatives will persist in citing a three percent growth rate following two years of severe recession as proof that “wealth trickles down”. This assertion fails to address key questions. Who benefited from the recovery? At some 3 percent how long did it take for the nation to regain lost ground? Did Reagan’s tax cuts bring about more growth than would have normally occurred? The record shows that between 1979 and 1989 the growth rate was 3% –the same as the growth rate between 1973 and 1979! There was, then, no improvement with “voodoo economics” than without it. There was no “Reagan recovery”! Wealth did not trickloe down; it flowed upward at alarming rates. The nation had been plunged unnecessarily into recession upon a pack of lies. The only beneficiaries were those who were rich already. However hard you may look, you will not find in the cold hard stats any confirmation of GOP/Reaganomics whatsoever. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the BEA! You will find, rather, confirmation of a more pernicious trend: the rich began to get even richer. The poor began to lose ground at alarming rates. It seems almost to have been deliberate. The late Steve Kangas believed it was deliberate just as I believe that the war against Iraq is a payoff to the robber barons that make up the Military/Industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned. Later, JFK would warn of the dangers posed by the CIA, which he proposed to “smash into a thousand pieces”. The following essay by the late Steve Kangas should be required reading. He makes the bullet proof case that the enrichment of the “overclass” is the work of radical “conservatives” who knew at the time that “trickle down” hardly describes the effect of inequitable tax cuts. Kangas’ is supported by Ronald Reagan’s own Budget Director, David Stockman, who later called “Reaganomics” a “trojan horse” insisted upon by radicals, a “noisy faction of Republicans”! Kangas’ work is a classic. Kangas himself was found shot to death just outside the office of the infamous Richard Mellon Scaife –the man who bankrolled the dubious attempt to buy witnesses against Bill Clinton! It is more than a mere footnote to history, that not even Scaife’s millions succeeded in “buying” a single witness against Clinton. But I digress. The story that Kangas might well have paid for with his life is nothing less than the role played by the CIA in the creation of a permanent ruling “overclass” in America.
Stockman was right. Supply-side, otherwise called “trickle down” theory, was indeed a trojan-horse, about which it was known that it would create and support a class of oppressive oligarchs. Following is Kangas’ essay in its entirety.
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface — and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine’s creators had CIA backgrounds.
During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA’s expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General “Wild Bill” Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that “OSS” stood for “Oh, so social!”
Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.
By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:
Leaving one’s profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity.
Staying in one’s profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call.
Staying in one’s profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA.
Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the “old boy network,” where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.
Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American public or lying about them to present the best public image. And both are in a perfect position to help each other.
How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding, top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands. In return, the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes, satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic thrill of participating in spy operations. The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the guise of “national security.” Finally, the CIA helps American corporations remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor American corporations at the expense of their people.
The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it, even in the name of anticommunism. Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.
The Crimes of the CIA
During World War II, the OSS actively engaged in propaganda, sabotage and countless other dirty tricks. After the war, and even after the CIA was created in 1947, the American intelligence community reverted to harmless information gathering and analysis, thinking that the danger to national security had passed. That changed in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold War. In that year, the CIA recreated its covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination. Its first director was Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities included
propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.
By 1953, the dirty tricks department of the CIA had grown to 7,200 personnel and commanded 74 percent of the CIA’s total budget. The following quotes describe the culture of lawlessness that pervaded the CIA:
Stanley Lovell, a CIA recruiter for “Wild Bill” Donovan: “What I have to do is to stimulate the Peck’s Bad Boy beneath the surface of every American scientist and say to him, ‘Throw all your normal law-abiding concepts out the window. Here’s a chance to raise merry hell. Come help me raise it.'” (1)
George Hunter White, writing of his CIA escapades: “I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun… Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest?” (2)
A retired CIA agency caseworker with twenty years experience: “I never gave a thought to legality or morality. Frankly, I did what worked.”
Blessed with secrecy and lack of congressional oversight, CIA operations became corrupt almost immediately. Using propaganda stations like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA felt justified in manipulating the public for its own good. The broadcasts were so patently false that for a time it was illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S. This was a classic case of a powerful organization deciding what was best for the people, and then abusing the powers it had helped itself to.During the 40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was doing. Those who knew thought they were fighting the good fight against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans began learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities. (3) It turns out the CIA has:
Corrupted democratic elections in Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations;
Been involved to varying degrees in at least 35 assassination plots against foreign heads of state or prominent political leaders. Successful assassinations include democratically elected leaders like Salvador Allende (Chile) and Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created dictators like Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara. Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle.
Helped launch military coups that toppled democratic governments, replacing them with brutal dictatorshipsor juntas. The list of overthrown democratic leaders includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala, 1954), Velasco and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican Republic, 1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965), Papandreou (Greece, 1965-67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and dozens of others.
Undermined the governments of Australia, Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more;
Supported murderous dictators like General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos (Phillipines), “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier (Haiti), General Noriega (Panama), Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the “reign of the colonels” (Greece), and more;
Created, trained and supported death squads and secret police forces that tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, leftists and political opponents, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Angola and others;
Helped run the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia, which trains Latin American military officers how to overthrow democratic governments. Subjects include the use of torture, interrogation and murder;
Used Michigan State “professors” to train Diem’s secret police in torture;
Conducted economic sabotage, including ruining crops, disrupting industry, sinking ships and creating food shortages;
Paved the way for the massacre of 200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia and one to two million in Cambodia;
Launched secret or illegal military actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola, Cuba, Laos and Indochina;
Planted false stories in the local media;
Framed political opponents for crimes, atrocities, political statements and embarrassments that they did not commit;
Spied on thousands of American citizens, in defiance of Congressional law;
Smuggled Nazi war criminals and weapon scientists into the U.S., unpunished, for their use in the Cold War;
Created organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, which became filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist Afrikaaners, Latin American death squad leaders, CIA agents and other extreme right-wing militants;
Conducted Operation MK-ULTRA, a mind-control experiment that gave LSD and other drugs to Americans against their will or without their knowledge, causing some to commit suicide;
Penetrated and disrupted student antiwar organizations;
Kept friendly and extensive working relations with the Mafia;
Actively traded in drugs around the world since the 1950s to fund its operations. The Contra/crack scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –- other notorious examples include Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and Noreiga’s Panama.
Had their fingerprints all over the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X. Even if the CIA is not responsible for these killings, the sheer amount of CIA involvement in these cases demands answers;
And then routinely lied to Congress about all of the above.
The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (4) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”We should note that the CIA gets away with this because it is not accountable to democratic government. Former CIA officer Philip Agee put it best: “The CIA is the President’s secret army.” Prior to 1975, the agency answered only to the President (creating all the usual problems of authoritarianism). And because the CIA’s activities were secret, the President rarely had to worry about public criticism and pressure. After the 1975 Church hearings, Congress tried to create congressional oversight of the CIA, but this has failed miserably. One reason is that the congressional oversight committee is a sham, filled with Cold Warriors, conservatives, businessmen, and even ex-CIA personnel.
The Business Origins of CIA Crimes
Although many people think that the CIA’s primary mission during the Cold War was to “deter communism,” Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was “deterring democracy.” From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn’t like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment.
So the CIA’s greatest “successes” were usually more pro-corporate than anti-communist. Citing a communist threat, the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected Mohammed Mussadegh government in Iran in 1953. But there was no communist threat — the Soviets stood back and watched the coup from afar. What really happened was that Mussadegh threatened to nationalize British and American oil companies in Iran. Consequently, the CIA and MI6 toppled Mussadegh and replaced him with a puppet government, headed by the Shah of Iran and his murderous secret police, SAVAK. The reason why the Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries took 52 Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979 was because the CIA had helped SAVAK torture and murder their people.
Another “success” was the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacabo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. Again, there was no communist threat. The real threat was to Guatemala’s United Fruit Company, a Rockefeller-owned firm whose stockholders included CIA Director Allen Dulles. Arbenz threatened to nationalize the company, albeit with generous compensation. In response, the CIA initiated a coup that overthrew Arbenz and installed the murderous dictator Castillo Armas. For four decades, CIA-backed dicatators would torture and murder hundreds of thousands of leftists, union members and others who would fight for a more equitable distribution of the country’s resources.
Another “success” story was Chile. In 1973, the country’s democratically elected leader, Salvadore Allende, nationalized foreign-owned interests, like Chile’s lucrative copper mines and telephone system. International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) offered the CIA $1 million to overthrow Allende — which the CIA allegedly refused — but paid $350,000 to his political opponents. The CIA responded with a coup that murdered Allende and replaced him with a brutal tyrant, General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet tortured and murdered thousands of leftists, union members and political opponents as economists trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman installed a “free market” economy. Since then, income inequality has soared higher in Chile than anywhere else in Latin America.
Even when the communist threat was real, the CIA first and foremost took care of the elite. In testimony before Congress in the early 50s, it artificially inflated Soviet military capabilities. A notorious example was the “bomber gap” that later turned out to be grossly exaggerated. Another was “Team B,” a group of hawkish CIA analysts who seriously distorted Soviet military data. These scare tactics worked. Congress awarded giant defense contracts to the U.S. military-industrial complex.
And not even the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of American defense contracts have stopped the CIA from serving the elite. Journalist Robert Dreyfuss writes:
Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage. Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S. corporate executives. (5)
If this isn’t bad enough, a worse problem arises in that the CIA doesn’t hand over this technology to every American auto-related company, but only the Big Three: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
In a 1975 interview, Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee summed up his personal observations of the agency:
To the people who work for it, the CIA is known as The Company. The Big Business mentality pervades everything. Agents, for instance, are called assets. The man in charge of the United Kingdom desk is said to have the “U.K. account”…
American multinational corporations have built up colossal interests all over the world, and you can bet your ass that wherever you find U. S. business interests, you also find the CIA… The multinational corporations want a peaceful status quo in countries where they have investments, because that gives them undisturbed access to cheap raw materials, cheap labor and stable markets for their finished goods. The status quo suits bankers, because their money remains secure and multiplies. And, of course, the status quo suits the small ruling groups the CIA supports abroad, because all they want is to keep themselves on top of the socioeconomic pyramid and the majority of their people on the bottom. But do you realize what being on the bottom means in most parts of the world? Ignorance, poverty, often early death by starvation or disease…
Remember, the CIA is an instrument of the President; it only carries out policy. And, like everyone else, the President has to respond to forces in the society he’s trying to lead, right? In America, the most powerful force is Big Business, and American Big Business has a vested interest in the Cold War. (6)
Domestic RecruitmentThe CIA had no trouble recruiting elites who sought a more exciting life. Betweenn 1948 and 1959, more than 40,000 American individuals and companies acted as sources for the U.S. intelligence community. (7) Let’s look at each area of recruitment, and see how they enabled the CIA to conduct its crimes:
The CIA co-opted big business right from the start, beginning with the most famous billionaire of the time: Howard Hughes. Hughes had inherited his father’s million-dollar tool and die company at age 19. Anxious to expand his fortune, he made a conscientious decision “to go where the money is” — namely, government. With a few well-placed bribes, Hughes secured defense contracts to build military planes. The result was the Hughes Aircraft company. By 1940, he had also acquired a controlling interest in Trans World Airlines. His government connections and international airline soon caught the attention of the CIA, and the two began a lifelong relationship. Hughes, whom the CIA dubbed “The Stockbroker,” became the agency’s largest contractor. Not only did he let the CIA use his business firms as fronts, but he also funded countless CIA operations. Perhaps the most notorious was Operation Jennifer, an allegedly failed attempt to recover nuclear codes from a sunken Soviet submarine. Hughes’ right-hand security man, Robert Maheu, was a CIA agent who at one time represented the CIA in negotiations with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The CIA’s contacts with big business quickly spread. The agency showed a preference for international companies, public relations firms, media companies, law offices, banks, financiers and stockbrokers. The CIA didn’t limit its activities to recruiting businessmen; sometimes the CIA bought or created entire companies outright. One benefit of co-opting big business was that the CIA was able to create a secret source of funds other than from government. With stock portfolios multiplying their profits, it’s impossible now to say how flush the CIA really is. If Congress ever cut off funds for a mission, the business fraternity could easily replace them, either by donations or even setting up profitable businesses in the target country. In fact, this is precisely what happened during the Iran/Contra scandal.
By allying itself with the business community, the CIA received the funds and ability it needed to remove itself from democratic control.
Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)
MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:
Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
William Paley (President, CBS)
Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star)
Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
James Copley (Copley News Services)
Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
United Press International
Mutual Broadcasting System
Old Saturday Evening Post
New York Herald-Tribune
Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.Ben Bradlee was the Post’s managing editor during most of the Cold War. He worked in the U.S. Paris embassy from 1951 to 1953, where he followed orders by the CIA station chief to place propaganda in the European press. (9) Most Americans incorrectly believe that Bradlee personifies the liberal slant of the Post, given his role in publishing the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate investigations. But neither of these two incidents are what they seem. The Post merely published the Pentagon Papers after The New York Times already had, because it wanted to appear competitive. As for Watergate, we’ll examine the CIA’s reasons for wanting to bring down Nixon in a moment. Someone once asked Bradlee: “Does it irk you when The Washington Post is made out to be a bastion of slanted liberal thinkers instead of champion journalists just because of Watergate?” Bradlee responded: “Damn right it does!” (10)
It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most important examples of the CIA/media alliance. Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two major outlets of CIA propaganda.
The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.
For those who believe in “separation of press and state,” the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, “debate” about the issue rages in the media. Here is but one example:
In 1996, The San Jose Mercury News published an investigative report suggesting that the CIA had sold crack in Los Angeles to fund the Contra war in Central America. A month later, three of the CIA’s most important media allies — The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times — immediately leveled their guns at the Mercury report and blasted away in an attempt to discredit it. Who wrote the Post article? Walter Pincus, longtime CIA journalist. The dangers here are obvious.
By the early 50s, CIA Director Allen Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale. (A disproportionate number of CIA figures, like George Bush, come from Yale’s “Skull and Crossbones” Society.) CIA recruiters also approached thousands of other professors to work in place at their universities on a part-time, contract basis. Not stopping at recruiting scholars, the agency would go on to create several departments at elite universities, including Harvard’s Russian Research Center and the Center for International Studies at MIT.
Although most academics were supportive of the CIA in the 50s, most were unaware of its abuses. In the 60s, academia would become outraged to learn that anti-communist organizations like the National Student Association were actually creations of the CIA. The most audacious CIA front was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization that attracted liberal, freethinking artists and intellectuals who nonetheless deplored communism.
By the late 60s and 70s, growing reports of CIA crimes and atrocities had deeply alienated academia. Scholars were further troubled to learn that the CIA had penetrated and disrupted student antiwar groups. Unlike business and the media, academia overwhelmingly denounced the CIA after the Vietnam era. This eventually forced the CIA to turn to new places to find their analysts and scholars. The most important source was the conservative think-tank movement, which it helped to create. More on this later.
The Roman Catholic Church
Although the CIA began as a mostly Protestant organization, Roman Catholics quickly came to dominate the new covert-action wing in 1948. All were staunchly conservative, fiercely anti-communist and socially elite. Just a few of the many Catholic operatives included future CIA directors William Colby, William Casey, and John McCone. Another well-known personality from this period was William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of the National Review and gadfly host of TV’s Firing Line. Buckley, it turns out, served as a CIA agent in Mexico City, and his experiences there served as fodder for his Blackford Oakes spy novels.
There were several reasons for this influx of Catholic elites. First, Wisner (himself a Wall Street lawyer) had an extensive and glamorous circle of friends to recruit from. Second, Italy was in constant crisis in the 1940s, both during World War II and after. Throughout this troubled period, the American intelligence community’s greatest ally in Italy was the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church, of course, is one of the most anti-communist organizations in the world. The Marxist doctrine of atheism threatens Catholic theology, and its equality threatens the Church’s strict tradition of hierarchy and authoritarianism. When Hitler invaded Communist Russia, the Vatican openly approved. Jesuit Michael Serafian wrote: “It cannot be denied that [Pope] Pius XII’s closest advisors for some time regarded Hitler’s armoured divisions as the right hand of God.” (11)
But Hitler persecuted Catholics as well, and ultimately drove the Church to the Americans. In 1943, the Vatican reached a secret agreement with OSS Chief Donovan — himself a devout Catholic — to let the Holy See become the center of Allied spy operations in Italy. Donovan considered the Church to be one of his prize intelligence assets, given its global power, membership and contacts. He cultivated this alliance by sending America’s most prestigious Catholics to the Vatican to establish rapport and forge an alliance.
After the war, half of Europe lay under Communist control, and the Italian communist party threatened to win the 1948 elections. The prospect of communism ruling over the heart of Catholicism terrified the Vatican. Once again, American intelligence gathered their most prestigious Catholics to strengthen ties with the Vatican. Because this was the first mission of the new covert action division, the American Catholic agents acquired positions of power early on, and would dominate covert operations for the rest of the Cold War.
At a public level, the U.S. government sunk $350 million in social and military aid into Italy to sway the vote. On a secret level, Wisner spent $10 million in black budget funds to steal the elections. This included disseminating propaganda, beating up left-wing politicians, intimidating voters and disrupting leftist parties. The dirty tricks worked — the Communists lost, and the Catholic Americans’ success permanently secured their power within the CIA.
The Knights of Malta (12)
The Roman Catholic Church did not forget the American agents who had saved them from both Nazism and Communism. It rewarded them by making them Knights of Malta, or members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
SMOM is one of the oldest and most elite religious orders in the Catholic Church. Until recently, it limited its membership to Italians and foreign heads of state. In 1927, however, an exception was made for the United States, given its emerging status as a world power. SMOM opened an American branch, awarding knighthood or damehood to several American Catholic business tycoons. This group was so conservative that one, John Raskob, the Chairman of General Motors, actually became involved in an aborted military plot to remove Franklin Roosevelt from the White House. SMOM has also been embarrassed by knighting or giving awards to countless people who later turned out to be Nazi war criminals. This is the sort of culture that thrives within the leadership of SMOM.
Officially, the Knights of Malta are a global charity organization. But beginning in the 1940s, knighthood was granted to countless CIA agents, and the organization has become a front for intelligence operations. SMOM is ideal for this kind of activity, because it is recognized as the world’s only landless sovereignty, and members enjoy diplomatic immunity. This allows agents and supplies to pass through customs without interference from the host country. Such privileges enabled the Knights of Malta to become a major supplier of “humanitarian aid” to the Contras during their war in the 1980s.
A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of American Catholicism:
William Casey – CIA Director.
John McCone – CIA Director.
William Colby – CIA Director.
William Donovan – OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.
Frank Shakespeare – Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.
William Simon – Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major funder of right-wing think tanks.
William F. Buckley, Jr. – CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.
James Buckley – William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
Clare Boothe Luce – The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular playwright and the wife
of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who co-founded Time magazine.
Francis X Stankard – CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)
John Farrell – President, U.S. Steel
Lee Iacocca – Chairman, General Motors
William S. Schreyer – Chairman, Merrill Lynch.
Richard R. Shinn – Chairman, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Joseph Kennedy – Founder of the Kennedy empire.
Baron Hilton – Owner, Hilton Hotel chain.
Patrick J. Frawley Jr. – Heir, Schick razor fortune. Frawley is a famous funder of right-wing Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.
Ralph Abplanalp – Aerosol magnate.
Martin F. Shea – Executive vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust.
Joseph Brennan – Chairman of the executive committee of the Emigrant Savings Bank of New York.
J. Peter Grace – President, W.R. Grace Company. He
was a key figure in Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists and spies to the U.S. Many were war criminals whose atrocities were excused in their service to the CIA.
Thomas Bolan – Of Saxe, Bacon and Bolan, the law firm of Senator McCarthy’s deceased aide Roy Cohn.
Bowie Kuhn – Baseball Comissioner
Cardinal John O’Connor – Extreme right-wing leader among American Catholics, and fervent abortion opponent.
Cardinal Francis Spellman – The “American Pope” was at one time the most powerful Catholic in America, an arch-conservative and a rabid anti-communist.
Cardinal Bernard Law – One of the highest-ranking conservatives in the American church.
Alexander Haig – Secretary of State under President Reagan.
Admiral James D. Watkins – Hard-line chief of naval operations under President Reagan.
Jeremy Denton – Senator (R–Al).
Pete Domenici – Senator (R-New Mexico).
Walter J. Hickel – Governor of Alaska and secretary of the interior.
When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business and politics.The CIA has also used other religious and charity organizations as fronts. For example, John F. Kennedy — another anticommunist Roman Catholic who greatly expanded covert operations — created the U.S. Peace Corps to serve as cover for CIA operatives. The CIA has also made extensive use of missionaries, with the blessings of many right-wing, anticommunist Christian denominations.
But the World Grows Wise…
It was only a matter of time before other nations caught on to these fronts. They learned that when the CIA comes to their countries to commit their crimes and atrocities, they come disguised as American journalists, businessmen, missionaries and charity volunteers. Unfortunately, foreigners are now targeting these professions as hostile. In Lebanon, terrorists held U.S. journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years, on the not unreasonable assumption that he was a spy. Whether or not this was true is beside the point. The CIA has put all Americans abroad at risk, whether they are CIA agents or not. In hearings before the Senate in 1996, many organizations urged Congress to stop using their professions as CIA cover. Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals testified: “Such use of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and immoral.” (13)
From the Cold War to the Class War
As noted above, academia was the first major institution to denounce the crimes of the CIA. Why? One reason is that scholars conduct their own extensive research into world affairs, so naturally they were the first to learn the truth. This is the main reason why protest against the Vietnam War and the CIA erupted first among students on the nation’s campuses. By the end of the Vietnam War, the CIA had suffered a “brain drain” as its academic allies became its most articulate, passionate and eloquent critics.
The social revolutions of the 60s terrified the CIA. James Jesus Angleton, chief of counter-intelligence and a truly paranoid man, was convinced the Soviets had masterminded the entire antiwar movement. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover shared his conviction. The CIA had always spied on student groups throughout the 60s, but in 1968 President Johnson dramatically stepped up the effort with Operation CHAOS. This initially called for 50 CIA agents to go undercover as student radicals, penetrate their antiwar organizations and root out the Russian spies who were causing the rebellion. Tellingly, they never found a single spy. The agents also began a campaign of wire-tapping, mail-opening, burglary, deception, intimidation and disruption against thousands of protesting American civilians.
By the time Operation CHAOS wound down in 1973, the CIA had spied on 7,000 Americans, 1,000 organizations and traded information on more than 300,000 persons with various law agencies. (14) When academia learned of this, its outrage grew.
The loss of academia was only the first blow for the CIA. Other disasters quickly followed; in the early 70s, the CIA was trying desperately to stave off a growing number of scandals. The first was Watergate.
The CIA’s fingerprints were all over Watergate. First, we should note the CIA had clear motives for helping oust Nixon. He was the ultimate “outsider,” a poor California Quaker who grew up feeling bitter resentment towards the elite “Eastern establishment.” Nixon, for all his arch-conservatism, was surprisingly liberal on economic issues, enfuriating businessmen with statements like “We are all Keynesians now.” He created a whole host of new agencies to regulate business, like the FDA, EPA and OSHA. He signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, which forced businesses to clean up their toxic emissions. He imposed price controls to fight inflation, and took the nation fully off the gold standard. Nixon also strengthened affirmative action. Even his staffers were famously anti-elitist, like Kevin Philips, who would eventually write the bible on inequality during the 1980s, The Politics of Rich and Poor. Add to this Nixon’s withdrawal from Vietnam and Détente with China and the Soviet Union. Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had not only tried to remove control of foreign policy from the CIA, but had also taken measures to bring the CIA itself under control. Not surprisingly, Nixon and his CIA Director, Richard Helms, couldn’t stand each other. (Nixon fired him for failing to cover up for Watergate.) Clearly, Nixon was fighting at cross-purposes with the CIA and the nation’s elite.
As it turns out, the CIA had inside knowledge of Nixon’s dirty work. Nixon had created his own covert action team, “The Committee to Reelect the President,” more amusingly known by its acronym, CREEP. The team consisted of two CIA agents — E. Howard Hunt and James McCord — as well as former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy. They also employed four Cubans with long CIA histories. In fact, a CIA front called the Mullen Company funded their activities, which ranged from disrupting Democratic campaigns to laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions.
The CIA not only had intimate knowledge of Nixon’s crimes, but it also acted as though it wanted the world to know them. When the FBI began investigating Watergate, Nixon tried using the CIA to cover up for him. At first the CIA half-heartedly complied, telling the FBI that the investigation would endanger CIA operations in Mexico. But a few weeks later it gave the FBI a green light again to proceed again with their investigation.
Furthermore, Watergate was exposed by the CIA’s main newspaper in America, The Washington Post. One of the two journalists who investigated the scandal, Robert Woodward, had only recently become a journalist. Previously Woodward had worked as a Naval intelligence liaison to the White House, privy to some of the nation’s highest secrets. He would later write a sympathetic portrait of CIA Director Bill Casey in a book entitled Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA. It was Woodward who personally knew and interviewed “Deep Throat,” the unnamed source who revealed inside information on Nixon’s activities. Many Watergate researchers consider one of Woodward’s old intelligence contacts to be a prime candidate for Deep Throat. (15)
Despite all the facts of CIA involvement, Woodward and Bernstein made virtually no mention of the CIA in their Watergate reporting. Even during Senate hearings on Watergate, the CIA somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight. In 1974, the House would clear the CIA of any involvement in Watergate.
The CIA was not as lucky in 1974, when the Senate held hearings on James Jesus Angleton’s illegal surveillance of American citizens. These disclosures resulted in his firing. But that was nothing compared to the 1975 Church Committee. This Senate investigation looked into virtually every type of CIA crime, from assassination to secret war to manipulating the domestic media. The “reforms” that resulted from these hearings were mostly cosmetic, but the details that emerged shattered the CIA’s reputation forever. Interestingly enough, the two Senators who held these hearings — Frank Church and Otis Pike — were both defeated for reelection, despite a 98 percent reelection rate for incumbents.
The CIA wasn’t the only conservative institution that found itself embattled in the early 70s. This was a bad time for conservatives everywhere. America had lost the war in Vietnam. U.S. corporations had to cope with the rise of OPEC. The anti-poverty programs of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society were causing a major redistribution of wealth. And Nixon was making things worse with his own anti-poverty and regulatory programs. Betweenn 1960 and 1973, these efforts cut poverty in half, from 22 to 11 percent. Meanwhile, between 1965 and 1976, the richest 1 percent had gone from owning 37 percent of America’s wealth to only 22 percent. (16)
At a 1973 Conference Board meeting of top American business leaders, executives declared: “We are fighting for our lives,” “We are fighting a delaying action,” and “If we don’t take action now, we will see our own demise. We will evolve into another social democracy.” (17)
The CIA to the rescue
In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around.
They did this in several ways. First, they helped create numerous foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. During World War II, Scaife’s father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. By his mid-twenties, both of Scaife’s parents had died, and he inherited a fortune under four foundations: the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Allegheny Foundation. In the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin investing his fortune to fight the “Soviet menace.” (18) From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right.
Scaife’s CIA roots are typical of those who head the new conservative foundations. By 1994 the most active were:
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Charles G. Koch
David H. Koch
Claude R. Lambe
Philip M. McKenna
John M. Olin Foundation
Henry Salvatori Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
Betweenn 1992 and 1994, these foundations gave $210 million to conservative causes. Here is the breakdown of their donations:
$88.9 million for conservative scholarships;
$79.2 million to enhance a national infrastructure of think tanks and advocacy groups;
$16.3 million for alternative media outlets and watchdog groups;
$10.5 million for conservative pro-market law firms;
$9.3 million for regional and state think tanks and advocacy groups;
$5.4 million to “organizations working to transform the nations social views and giving practices of the nation’s religious and philanthropic leaders.” (19)
The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress (irreverently known as “Astroturf” movements), “Roll-out-the-vote” machines, pollsters, fax networks, lobbyist organizations, economic seminars for the nation’s judges, and more. And because corporations are the richest sector of society, their greater financing overwhelms similar efforts by Democrats.Besides creating foundations, the CIA helped organize the business community. There have always been special interest groups representing business, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and the CIA has long been involved with them. However, after 1973, a spate of powerful new groups would come into existence, like the Business Roundtable and the Trilateral Commission. These organizations quickly became powerhouses in promoting the business agenda.
Their efforts clearly succeeded. With the 1975 SUN-PAC decision, corporations persuaded government to legalize corporate Political Action Committees (the lobbyist organizations that bribe our government). By 1992, corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs, and they donated 79 percent of all campaign contributions to political parties. (20) In two landmark elections — 1980 and 1994 — corporations gave heavily and one-sidedly to Republicans, turning one or both houses of Congress over to the GOP. Democratic incumbents were shocked by the threat of being rolled completely out of power, so they quietly shifted to the right on economic issues, even though they continued a public façade of liberalism. Corporations went ahead and donated to Democratic incumbents in all other elections, but only as long as they abandoned the interests of workers, consumers, minorities and the poor. As expected, the new pro-corporate Congress passed laws favoring the rich: between 1975 and 1992, the amount of national household wealth owned by the richest 1 percent soared from 22 to 42 percent. (21)
The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement. Prior to the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to policy problems. This would all change after the rise of conservative foundations in the early 70s. The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene. The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to “prove” that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government.
Of course, think-tank studies are useless without publicity, and here the CIA proved especially valuable. Using propaganda techniques it had perfected at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk show hosts. Yes — Rush Limbaugh uses the same propaganda techniques that Muscovites once heard from Voice of America. The CIA has also developed countless other media outlets, like Capital Cities (which eventually bought ABC), major PR firms like Hill & Knowlton, and of course, all the Agency’s connections in the national news media. (22)
The following is a typical example of how the “New Media” operates. As most political observers know, the Republicans suffer from a “gender gap,” in which women prefer Democrats by huge majorities. This is, in fact, why Clinton has twice won the presidency. But, curiously enough, as the 90s progressed, conservative female pundits began popping up everywhere in the media. Hard-right pundits like Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olson, Melinda Sidak, Anita Blair and Whitney Adams conditioned us to the idea of the conservative woman. This phenomenon was no accident. It turns out that Richard Mellon Scaife donated $450,000 over three years to the Independent Women’s Forum, a booking agency that heavily seeds such female conservative pundits into the media. (23)
The most obvious criticism of the New Overclass is that their political machine is undemocratic. Using subversive techniques once aimed at communists, and with all the money they ever need to succeed, the Overclass undemocratically controls our government, our media, and even a growing part of academia. These institutions in turn allow the Overclass to control the supposedly “free” market. It doesn’t win all the time, of course — witness Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial — but it does score an endless string of other victories elsewhere, all to the detriment of workers, consumers, women, minorities and the poor. We need to fight it with everything we’ve got.
2. Captain George White in a letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.
3. All history concerning CIA intervention in foreign countries is summarized from William Blum’s encyclopedic work, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). Sources for domestic CIA operations come from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1997). Information about CIA drug running can be found at http://www.magnet.ch/serendipity/cia/blum1.html and http://speech.csun.edu/ben/news/cia/index.html.
4. Coleman McCarthy, “The Consequences of Covert Tactics” Washington Post, December 13, 1987.
7. Lara Shohet, “Intelligence, Academia and Industry,” The Final Report of the Snyder Commission, Edward Cheng and Diane C. Snyder, eds., (Princeton Unversity: The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, January 1997). Website: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/snyder/academia.htm.
20. Center for Responsive Politics, Washington D.C., 1993.
22. For CIA involvement in Capital Cities/ABC, see Dennis Mazzocco, Networks of Power (Boston: South End Press, 1994). For CIA involvement in the PR industry, see John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge is Good for You! (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), pp. 49-51,153,157,160-63.