CIA Past, Present and Future, Part I
by Ralph McGehee
The essential point I try to make through all of the effort in my computer data base, CIABASE, is that the CIA is a policy-implementing agency not (primarily) an intelligence agency — the CIA gathers desired data from selected agents to reinforce predetermined conclusions. In most situations it avoids overt information like the plague because such information frequently disproves the conclusions it wants you and I and itself to believe. The CIA claims to be an intelligence agency that spends only two to three percent of its money on covert operations. The only look into that classified deceit came during the 1975-1976 Senate Church Committee investigation which said the CIA in some years spent about 80 percent of its budget for covert operations — while all the time claiming an absurdly small covert action budget. A recent announcement reveals the Agency’s plans for the future.
In October 1994, the Clinton administration officially announced its worldwide program of intervention via Morton Halperin, former head of the ACLU in D.C., who is now special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy at the National Security Council. The three foreign policy operating principals are the advancement of democracy, security and prosperity. Halperin said, “We divide the world in two, those countries who choose democracy, we help…in those who do not choose it, we create conditions where they will choose it.” Need there be any more specific statement re the CIA’s role in the post Cold War period? The organization that for nearly 50 years installed dictators frequently under the guise of democracy now fights for democracy?
As noted in the last update notice — the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is the overt vehicle for political operations as it subsidizes and influences elections, political parties, think tanks, academia, business groups, book publishers, media, and labor, religious and women’s and youth organizations. NED assumed this role from the CIA in 1983, but as indicated in a 1994 government study, NED is a front for operations of other government agencies. Here then, I believe is the CIA’s role for the future — a continuation of its covert operations of the past.
In this period the CIA advised that it will gather economic intelligence via a new center to track economic espionage. The new center is made up of corporations and government agencies, and is designed to determine industry’s needs for economic threat assessments. Comment: another threat to be used by the CIA to continue to justify its role in the post Cold War world. How soon after making economic counterintelligence a program of daily reporting to corporations, does economic counterintelligence become economic intelligence? Is there any difference between the two? To their credit many corporations rejected the CIA’s help — they have a better appreciation of the quality of CIA intelligence than the Agency itself.
MATERIAL ADDED TO CIABASE THIS PERIOD
In addition to extracting information from such publications as Covert Action Quarterly, Intelligence Newsletter, Military Intelligence, Extra, Top Secret, Unclassified, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, the Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Nation, The Progressive, a new printed/computerized report, Intelligence, a new computer service with periodic printed analyses, Intelligence Watch Report, selected academic, think tank and government studies; and, other sources, CIABASE has added material from the following listed books and publications.
David Corn, BLOND GHOST: TED SHACKLEY AND THE CIA’S CRUSADES, published by Simon & Schuster in New York in 1994. This is one of the few excellent books on the CIA. Corn follows the career of Theodore Shackley from the environs of Cold War Berlin, to various other world hot spots as he tries to overthrow Castro’s Cuba and we end up in a near nuclear conflagration with the Soviets; to Laos where he directs CIA’s hilltribe Hmong guerrillas to act like regular troops — leading to their destruction; to Vietnam where after three years of Shackley-declared “intelligence successes” [one high-level officer says “it seems pretty obvious Saigon (CIA) doesn’t know what the f…’s going on,”] he leaves for another adventure elsewhere. His can-do persona convinces the CIA’s hierarchy of his ability and he progresses up the career ladder.
Shackley’s legacy lives today in the CIA’s like-thinking, can-do, tunnel-visioned, rigid-thinking, team players. One of the more disturbing aspects of Corn’s book is the claimed recognition at the time by various high-level CIA officials that our intelligence on Vietnam was at best, of little value, and at worst manipulated to show non-existent progress — yet none of these officials protested.
Mike Frost and Michael Gratton, SPYWORLD: INSIDE THE CANADIAN AND AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE ESTABLISHMENTS, by Doubleday, Canada. The book describes how the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is used as an arm of America’s National Security Agency while also illegally monitoring Canadians. This book provides one of the most detailed and descriptive accounts of how close-in technical intelligence operations are conducted, their successes, and their threats to the security of us all.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, November 1, 1994. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ALDRICH AMES ESPIONAGE CASE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. INTELLIGENCE. Amazing incompetence goes unpunished and uncorrected.
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. House of Representatives, November 30, 1994. REPORT OF INVESTIGATION: THE ALDRICH AMES CASE. As Senator Moynihan wrote, “Our stupid but permanent CIA, what will we do about it, nothing.”
Wayne G. Jackson, Historical Staff, Central Intelligence Agency, declassified 6/22/94. ALLEN WELSH DULLES AS DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, 26 FEBRUARY 1953-29 NOVEMBER 1961: VOLUME V, INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT OF POLICY. This of course is the CIA’s role — to support policy with slanted intelligence.
Wayne G. Jackson, Historical Staff, Central Intelligence Agency, declassified 6/22/94. ALLEN WELSH DULLES AS DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, 26 FEBRUARY 1953-29 NOVEMBER 1961: VOLUME III, COVERT ACTIVITIES. The book outlines the government’s role in the unsuccessful operation in 1957-1958 in support of dissident military leaders attempting to overthrow Sukarno’s government in Indonesia. The CIA coordinated the operation with relevant elements of the United States Government. The Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, was so involved he acted as a “CIA case officer.” A detailed description of a second operation — the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 is an extended mea culpa (not). The CIA invaded Cuba with 1,500 armed men and expected with an additional air strike to overturn Castro’s dedicated and committed revolutionary army. The book makes little mention of CIA operations in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam during the Dulles era.
John Heidenry. THEIRS WAS THE KINGDOM: LILA AND DEWITT WALLACE AND THE STORY OF THE READER’S DIGEST. New York, W. W. Norton. This is an informative book that portrays the close relationship between the CIA and the Reader’s Digest — as the latter frightened everyone with Cold War tales. The book names individuals, publications and books authored as part of CIA’s propaganda. Much information from this book has been entered in CIABASE.
Peter Grose, GENTLEMAN SPY: THE LIFE OF ALLEN DULLES. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1994. The book covers the life of Allen Dulles from his early childhood to President of the Council on Foreign Relations, to being the impetus behind the creation of the CIA, to the Director of the Agency, to his post Bay of Pigs dismissal by Kennedy, and his life thereafter. The book, although generally understated, reviews some of major covert operations (with the exceptions of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam) undertaken during the Dulles era and sums up by saying “The most damaging long-term legacy of Ajax (the CIA’s overthrow of the government of Iran in 1953) was the hubris that CIA through a covert political action, could so easily…change the politics of the world, shaping foreign societies to the American design.” Hopefully, someone in our foreign policy mechanism will recognize that the “promotion of democracy” policy of the Clinton Administration is merely a rehash of the Cold War actions that so often failed at tremendous cost to the American people. GENTLEMAN SPY notes the incompatibility of covert operations and intelligence, “you can’t get intelligence from advocates” — now if someone would only tell the President and Congress.
Irving Horowitz, (Ed). THE RISE AND FALL OF PROJECT CAMELOT: STUDIES IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PRACTICAL POLITICS. Published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press in 1967. An interesting sidelight to this publication is [that] MIT’s Center for International Studies was funded by CIA. Project CAMELOT was a military counterinsurgency project with a first year budget of eight million dollars that envisioned an alliance of the Pentagon and the academic community on a scale similar to the Manhattan Project.
Robert Manning, (Editor-in-Chief, 1988). WAR IN THE SHADOWS: THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE. Boston Publishing Company, Boston, MA. A number of scholars and participants in the war wrote individual chapters of WAR IN THE SHADOWS. The book in many aspects is the most informative, concise and accurate of many of the books on Vietnam re the clandestine operations of the Special Operating Groups (SOGs) and the CIA’s various programs.
The United States’ leading wartime writer/scholar on the Vietcong, Douglas Pike, wrote the chapter, “The Vietcong Secret War.” He states the liberation associations of the VC were villagers molded into tight-knit, self-controlled, self-contained associations. Mao Tse-tung of China and Vo Nguyen Giap of Vietnam called liberation associations the initial phase and the sine qua non of their revolutions. In 1963, the VC announced that seven million South Vietnamese (generally rural civilians) had joined these associations. Pike’s article avoids numbers but the existence of those associations and their massive numbers was the intelligence community’s greatest secret or most egregious failure (one that I have rallied against for a quarter of a century). If the CIA had known and/or reported the seven-million-person-strong association structure, it would have invalidated all U.S. justifications for the war; hence, no war. Liberation association members — or to put it another way — most of the South Vietnamese — and their dedication, caused our defeat in Vietnam. Victory was never a possibility. William Colby, the CIA’s main man on Vietnam, called the liberation associations the skeletal organizations of no real power that came into existence late in the fighting.
In WAR IN THE SHADOWS, Pike outlines the spy networks of the Vietnamese communists — his coverage of counterespionage operations where I had a direct role are generally accurate and detailed. The communists penetrated the Thieu Government at every level and a CIA study written by the courageous intelligence analyst who fought the CIA at every step, Sam Adams, said the communists had 30,000 spies in Thieu’s government with a target of 50,000 in a few years. The Chapters, “Dawn of the War,” and “Operation Phoenix,” are also detailed. CIABASE includes much information from the WAR IN THE SHADOWS.
GAO/GGD-94-94, May 1994, U.S. General Accounting Office Report. INTERNATIONAL TRADE: U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. BUSINESS ACTIVITIES IN CHINA.
John Loftus and Mark Aarons, St. Martin’s Press, 1994. THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS: HOW WESTERN ESPIONAGE BETRAYED THE JEWISH PEOPLE. The authors are far too rhetorical to be considered reliable. I added no entries in CIABASE from this book.
JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY — numerous recent issues have been entered in CIABASE. Sponsored foreign authors — and their plans for democracy in their countries.
SURVEILLANT, Volume 3, Number 6. This once impressive magazine’s issue took months to come out and even so it is quite disappointing. It appears to have little information not available from newspapers and magazines. Prior to receiving this issue, I had already read and entered in CIABASE all of the relevant books listed. However, Surveillant’s reviews of those books are helpful. The magazine has few references to Aldrich Ames other than noting a number of books about him are in the works.
Mark Reibling, WEDGE: THE SECRET WAR BETWEEN THE FBI AND CIA, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1994. Upon first glance this seemed to be an impressive book with considerable new information about CIA/FBI operations and the problems between the two organizations. But on closer examination it appears to be so rife with unsupported data and conclusions, it loses all credibility. I did not add any citations to CIABASE from this book.
This report was copied from Ralph McGehee’s CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE.
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CIA Past, Present and Future, Part II
by Ralph McGehee
The primary news re the Central Intelligence Agency in early 1994 was the discovery and arrest of Aldrich Ames as a spy for Russia. The worst intelligence nightmare come true. I have not been surprised by the CIA’s ability to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of its many covert action and intelligence disasters — but will it survive the Aldrich Ames debacle? The question is academic, for if the CIA does not survive some new or re-designed intelligence agency will rise to take its role; e.g., implementing policy while supplying “intelligence” to justify policy goals. (Already the commission to investigate the intelligence community’s deficiencies — the Warner/Aspin Commission has laid out the ground rules and will narrowly focus on non-substantive issues.)
As early as 1951, Walter “Beetle” Smith, director of the CIA under Truman, said covert action was distracting CIA from gathering and analysis of intelligence and asked whether the Agency would continue as an intelligence agency or had become a “cold war department.” Allen Dulles, the director under Eisenhower, answered the question and chose the latter path and in some years spent up to eighty percent of the CIA’s budget on covert operations. Covert dominance persisted until the Congressional investigations of the mid-1970s. Over the years the Agency increased expenditures for technical collection systems but CIA-supplied budget figures consistently understate its covert action costs.
For example, during the Afghanistan war the covert budget was nearly one billion dollars in one year, a figure openly discussed in Congress. At the same time the CIA claimed it spent only three percent of its money for covert operations. Those figures reflect an impossibly high amount but demonstrate how the CIA deceives the American people about the size and expense of its covert operations.
The CIA continues its role as the maker or breaker of governments while in the catbird seat of providing supportive intelligence. Critics of the Agency’s egregious intelligence miss the point, its intelligence is designed to fail — it must produce politicized intelligence — that is its role, to provide information to justify policy. Occasionally presidents need real intelligence but the infrastructure is so distorted by this requirement, and so bloated by bureaucrats, that it is incapable of providing accurate, unbiased information. An insider’s book, Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, by Abram N. Shulsky, argues that seeking intelligence to support policy is a legitimate task of the CIA.
The move to transfer or augment or conceal the CIA’s role in covert operations began over ten years ago with creation of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and later with the establishment of the Joint Special Forces Command. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also play a role in foreign policy.
The Joint Special Forces Command assumes or supplements the Agency’s role in paramilitary operations; low intensity conflicts; strategic reconnaissance; unconventional warfare, including covert or clandestine operations, subversion, sabotage, intelligence collection, and escape and evasion; psychological operations, counterterrorism and others. (Special Forces also collect demographic information on indigenous populations — a task similar to the much disputed “Project Camelot,” of the 1960s.)
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also appear to to be involved in CIA covert actions. The degree to which they serve as cover for CIA operations, funding, or personnel is not known. The book, Holy War, Unholy Victory, one of the few substantive books on covert action in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s, says European NGOs that sprung up around CIA operations were so intertwined with CIA it was impossible to separate them.
The Clinton Administration pushes the theme of promoting democracy around the world. In October 1994, the administration confirmed its worldwide program of intervention via Morton Halperin, former head of the ACLU in D.C., who is now special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy at the National Security Council. Halperin said, “We divide the world in two, those countries who choose democracy, we help … in those who do not choose it, we create conditions where they will choose it.” This statement indicates, of course, the CIA, or whatever, will continue the eternal, never-changing role of subverting other governments while reporting only policy-supportive intelligence.
The United States “promotes democracy” in the less accessible, restricted societies — Third World countries and the former Soviet States. The current democracy-promoting operations follow a pattern. The Administration, by influencing established human rights organizations and/or by creating new human rights groups, 12 in Africa alone, declares a country to be in violation of human rights. Propaganda damns these miscreants. Once a government has been appropriately demonized — diplomatic, political, propaganda, media operations and economic measures are applied to force the target country to honor human rights.
When the target nation lessens or abolishes political restrictions, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the United States Information Agency (USIA), the government-backed and guided Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Export-Import Bank, the State Department, the Agency for International Development (AID), and the CIA all begin overt or covert operations to modify or replace governing authority. When these methods fail, we have the Joint Special Forces Command to fight the “insurgency,” with “counterinsurgency” operations.
NED is the primary overt vehicle for political operations — in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and in the former states of the USSR. NED subsidizes and influences elections, political parties, think tanks, academia, business groups, book publishers, media, and labor, religious, women’s, and youth organizations. NED assumed this role from CIA beginning in 1983, and uses many of the same institutions but operates more openly. While NED is in the open drawing all the attention, it is in part a smoke screen for operations by other organizations. As proof we cite a government study that states the United States through AID and USIA, “and other agencies,” is a huge and primary source of funding for democracy promotion programs.
An explicit demonstration of all of these processes was revealed recently when Russia’s Federal Counterintelligence Service reported in early 1995 that American research centers, institutes and aid organizations, were in fact spying on Russia and working to undermine it as a competitor to the U.S. “Through their special services [CIA] and scientific centers, the U.S. is penetrating deeply into all spheres of our country’s life, occupying strategic positions and influencing the development of political and economic processes in Russia … The use of scientific centers in intelligence and sabotage activities against Russia acquires a total character.”
The report named the Soros Foundation and dozens of other U.S. organizations that it says are using Russia’s open atmosphere to engage in subversive activity designed to steal secrets or restrain Russia as a competitor to the “one and only superpower.”
The report names groups from Harvard, Columbia and Duke Universities and their involvement in the December 1993 parliamentary elections. The university groups organized large polling samples and asked many detailed questions. Comment: This sort of activity was part of the social conditioning programming of the notorious Project Camelot, a Pentagon counterinsurgency project that envisioned an alliance of the Pentagon and the academic community on a scale similar to the Manhattan project. Camelot was used in Chile in the sixties but the resulting outcry forced its cancellation.
Another good example of U.S. interference is China. Prior to the Tiananmen Square incident, NED maintained two offices inside China and conducted regular seminars on Democracy. NED also sponsored various Chinese writers and publications. Probably NED or CIA, recruited numerous Chinese students studying in the United States; and, when Tiananmen Square erupted, either sent of helped fax thousands of letters to recipients in China, inflamed opinion via the Voice of America; and sheltered a leading dissident in the U.S. Embassy, which also arranged for many dissidents to flee China. NED continues to support Chinese activists and awards Tiananmen’s “Goddess of Democracy,” to noted dissidents of all nations.
In the early part of 1994 the United States tried to force the Chinese to allow U.S.-backed Chinese and Tibetan activists freer rein in exchange for continuation of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status and called China a violator of human rights. (In May 1994, Chinese police detained four members of a local Association for Human Rights as one of their number boarded a flight for the United States.) In late May 1994 Clinton, bowing to pressure from business interests, separated human rights from China’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status.
The other more prominent NED operations in 1993 and early 1994 in Asia, were Vietnam and Burma. In the case of Burma, the Administration announced a diplomatic campaign in March 1994, to isolate the Burmese government while proclaiming we were considering economic sanctions to force Burma to improve its human rights. Some of the activities sponsored in Burma by NED as listed in NED’s 1993 annual report, include the Democratic Voice of Burma, the National League for Democracy/Liberated Area; the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB); and the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma.
We continue operations to promote democracy in Vietnam. Such operations first began in the early 1950s, and became the Vietnam War. As a tragic footnote to history, the Vietnamese Government in mid-June 1994 announced their death toll: three million people — one million North Vietnamese and two million soldiers and civilians of the South. In addition more than four million sustained injuries and over two million people were made invalids.
There appears to be a great deal of ambiguity on the part of domestic political ideologies as to whether promoting democracy is good or bad, should be condoned or condemned, or supported or opposed selectively. In South Africa, the former Soviet Republics, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, China, Burma, and some other countries there is support, even pressure, for U.S. interference, but in other countries, many object to the U.S. role. In my experience with, and research on the CIA, the majority of United States political operations have had disastrous consequences for the target countries and in many cases also for the United States.
Where the U.S. has operated to change governments, it frequently replaced popular administrations with military dictatorships, or with elected governments that fronted for military rule, or with very conservative civilian rule. From Iran in 1953 to the 1994 election in El Salvador CIABASE records dozens of examples of the tragic consequences of U.S. intervention.
BOOKS, AND OTHER SOURCES ADDED TO CIABASE THIS PERIOD
POWER AND PRINCIPLE: MEMOIRS OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER 1977-1981, by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Published in New York by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Brzezinski implies that in his position in the Trilateral Commission in the mid 1970s, he chose Jimmy Carter to be the Democrat’s presidential candidate. After the election, Carter named Trilateralists to all top national security and foreign policy positions. We note Trilateralists and members of the Trilateral Commission’s sister organization, the Council on Foreign Relations, occupy all top level foreign policy positions in the Clinton Administration.
HOLY WAR, UNHOLY VICTORY: EYEWITNESS TO THE CIA’S SECRET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, by Kurt Lohbeck, published by Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C., 1993. The author who worked for various U.S. new organizations at different periods of the war had unique access to U.S.-backed participants in the war. He had personal discussions with the Director of CIA, William Casey, and President Ronald Reagan and at least once delivered money to one of the mujahaddin group leaders supported by the CIA. Lohbeck also went on many attack missions into Afghanistan with the mujahaddin.
Despite his close associations, Lohbeck is essentially critical of the persecution and outcome of the war. The CIA insisted on giving the majority of its support to Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, a fanatic resistance leader who is also vehemently anti-American and supports the extremist Pan-Islam movement. Hekmatyar’s power is now a major concern of our policymakers who consider the primary enemy in the area to be radical Islamic fundamentalism. Lohbeck also records and names some of the humanitarian aid organizations that sprung up around the covert operations of the CIA and frequently became so intertwined with them that they were inseparable — particularly the various European NGOs. Holy War is an informative and worthwhile book.
WAR OF NUMBERS: AN INTELLIGENCE MEMOIR, by Samuel Adams, published in 1994 by Steerforth Press. Sam Adams was a junior CIA analyst who for years fought the CIA’s and the military’s deceitfully low estimates of Vietnamese Communist strengths. Sam died in 1988, but Steerforth Press posthumously brought out his nearly complete manuscript. “War of Numbers” is a masterpiece of articulate exposition about the battle in the trenches of the Agency’s Intelligence Directorate over the Vietnam War. Adams’ explanations of the processes he used to make his determinations, the meticulous attention to detail, and the seemingly inexplicable deficiencies of the CIA’s Intelligence Directorate that did not assign anyone full-time to count the Viet Cong until the mid-1960s, all make this book essential reading. “Numbers” says CIA estimates virtually ignored what should have been its primary source — captured enemy documents. If the Agency had used those documents it would have had to increase the numbers of the enemy to their real numbers, making the war an American invasion, which it was.
THE INDOCHINA STORY: A FULLY DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT, by the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, published by Pantheon Books in New York in 1970.
It is difficult to read this book and understand how the American people could believe the lies about the war by our Government. The book put forth in 1970 — five years before the war ended — a documented version of what had happened and would happen in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
THE CIA UNDER HARRY TRUMAN: CIA COLD WAR RECORDS, by Dr. Michael Warner, published by the History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. The book contains a compilation of Top Secret Documents outlining the transition of the OSS to the CIA; the CIA under DCI Hillenkoetter: and, the Smith Years 1950 to 1952. There is a minimum of editorializing with the flow of the book supported by copies of Top Secret documents. The Agency’s (required) view of the world threatened by the International Communist Conspiracy and the falling dominoes, comes through vividly in the various position papers and intelligence estimates.
THE CIA’S DARKEST SECRETS: AN EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION OF CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE IN AMERICA’S SPY SERVICE. The cover article of the 4 July 1994 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Foreign Policy magazine, Winter 1993-1994, an article by Marvin Ott, “SHAKING UP THE CIA.” An establishment criticism of the CIA’s intelligence with recommendations for reform. The criticisms and recommendations have been around for years but now the atmosphere may be ripe for accomplishing some change.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY: 1993 ANNUAL REPORT. The document outlines NED activities throughout the world in Latin American and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and the republics of the former Soviet Union. The report gives a nation-by-nation account of the various institutions and their leaders funded by NED and should be required reading for political activists and policymakers for all countries and persuasions. The names of all supported institutions have been entered into CIABASE.
JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY, a quarterly published by the National Endowment for Democracy and John Hopkins University Press. The Journal includes writings by many who are apparently subsidized writers. Names of authors and titles of some writings contained in issues of the Journal have been entered into CIABASE. We may assume that some of these persons are on the U.S.-National Endowment for Democracy payroll — or to put it another way — agents of the United States. The July 1992 issue contains the startling announcement of a new “underground” movement in China — the Free Trade Union of China. This announcement was published by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions — a long time CIA labor front organization.
PROMOTING DEMOCRACY: FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENSE AGENCIES FUNDS AND ACTIVITIES — 1991 TO 1993, General Accounting Office report GAO/NSAID-94-83, January 1994. The report breaks down support for democracy in the regions of the world by agency or department with dollar totals for 1991, 1992 and 1993.
NED AT 10, Foreign Affairs Magazine, Summer 1994, by Thomas Carothers.
THE BIG WHITE LIE, by Michael Levine, published in 1993 by Thunder’s Mouth Press. Many of the book’s claims are apparently valid, but the manner of their presentation and hyperbole make it difficult to separate fact from dramatic license. Collateral reporting, including a 60 Minutes segment, shows the CIA was duped into facilitating drug shipments to the United States to authenticate penetration operations.
SPIES AND PROVOCATEURS: A WORLDWIDE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PERSONS CONDUCTING ESPIONAGE AND COVERT ACTION, 1946-1991, by Wendell L. Minnick, published in North Carolina in 1992 by McFarland & Company, Inc. The book contains a very useful and comprehensive inventory of known espionage cases and personalities — from the KGB to the CIA. The book also lists key events in a chronology at the back of the book. Its alphabetical catalog of agents and officials, with brief descriptions, makes it a one-of-a-kind resource. In some cases Minnick’s ‘s details seem over simplified but can be an important aid to further research. CIABASE entries from the book include names of cases related primarily to CIA, plus a few entries about other major operations and operators.
MARITA: ONE WOMAN’S EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF LOVE AND ESPIONAGE FROM CASTRO TO KENNEDY, by Marita Lorenz with Ted Schwarz, published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in New York in 1993. A lover of Fidel Castro sent by CIA to kill him. The book seems to be a mixture of fact and fiction and it is difficult to determine which is which. Marita asserts that she rode with anti-Castro Cubans and Lee Harvey Oswald to Dallas in November 1963 — but left before the assassination of Kennedy.
IN OUR IMAGE: AMERICA’S EMPIRE IN THE PHILIPPINES, by Stanley Karnow, published by Random House, Inc., in 1989. In Our Image details the role played by the United States as it involved itself in Philippine politics — particularly after World War Two — and gives a good account of events that led to the removal of Marcos and the installation of Cory Aquino. Karnow describes the blow-by-blow battle in Washington to get President Reagan to accept Marco’s removal. The book also provides a clear and precise account of the role OPC/CIA played in lionizing and electing Magsaysay in the 1950s and the Agency’s failed efforts in a later election.
SILENT WARFARE: UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD OF INTELLIGENCE, Second Edition Revised. The book was originally written by Abram N. Shulsky, with the revision prepared by Gary Schmitt. This is the bible of the pro-intelligence set. Its definitions and descriptions of the processes of intelligence seem precise and could by used as a primer for CIA trainees. The book details the scope of intelligence: human intelligence operations, technical collection, open-source collection, the analysis of intelligence, counterintelligence, counterespionage, and covert action — but as is always true, pro-CIA discussions of covert actions are useless. Surprisingly the book badly makes an argument for politicized intelligence, “In a supportive role, intelligence must concentrate its efforts on finding and analyzing information relevant to the implementations of policy.” This practice accurately describes CIA’s intelligence from its inception to today.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES: FORCE STRUCTURE AND READINESS ISSUES, GAO/NSIAD-94-105, March 1994. A General Accounting Office study of Special Forces that criticizes and discusses the “unified” command of United States’ special operations. For those wishing to understand the background, effectiveness, command relationships and force structures this is an essential document. Although treating special operations only in general terms, it does summarize the plans and uses of the Special Forces.
This report was copied from Ralph McGehee’s CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE.
A copy of the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
Ralph McGehee and CIABASE
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CIA and the Crisis of Democracy
by Ralph McGehee
The bombing at Oklahoma City in late April  focused all attention on terrorism. The reaction to that disaster reminds me of the steps that drew us into the Vietnam War. Each action brought forth a greater re-action, culminating in over 58,000 deaths and our ignominious defeat.
McNamara claims we were terribly, terribly wrong about Vietnam yet it seems we are embarked on a similar domestic course. Would it not be better to admit we were terribly, terribly wrong about the attack on the Branch Davidians than continue down this destructive path?
The supposedly liberal Clinton Administration, even before the events at Oklahoma City, pushed for more repressive legislation. His administration, like most preceding administrations both Democrat and Republican, draw their top people from the Trilateral Commission and its founding elite group — the Council on Foreign Relations. What neither organization wants is fully participatory democracy here or abroad — see the Trilateral Commission book, The Crisis of Democracy. The bombing in Oklahoma and its aftermath apparently assures the passage of even more repressive legislation.
Internationally, one event of note was the revelation of CIA operations with death Squads in Guatemala that killed an American, Michael Devine, and the husband of an American lawyer, Jennifer Harbury. Death squads have been created and used by the CIA around the world — particularly the Third World — since the late 1940s, a fact ignored by the elite-owned media.
In January 1995, our elites demonstrated their power to make policy this time in Mexico via a Chase Bank report. The report’s author, Riordan Roett, is the Director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University when not on leave with Chase. The report said the Mexican government must “eliminate the Zapatistas” to restore credibility and stability, and Mexico’s President, Zedillo, ordered military operations into the Zapatistas’ stronghold. Roett’s report also said that the ruling PRI might have to rig future elections. In the U.S., after Congress rebuffed Clinton’s effort to provide Mexico with $40 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to reimburse U.S. banks and mutual funds for Mexico’s inability to pay interest on its loans to them, Clinton unilaterally came up with $20 billion from the U.S. Treasury.
President Clinton early in this period named his appointees to the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the Intelligence Community. The Commission is larded with corporate executives, ex-intelligence wonks and many former Cold War warriors. The 19 “questions” it is to examine are broad and would seem to defy the abilities and energies of this group. As with virtually all such commissions, this is an exercise in calming public outcry for something to be done after the Aldrich Ames debacle. Following each major intelligence or covert action disaster you have cries for change. Appointing a commission allows time for public outrage to dissipate. We can be confident this Commission will implement little if any significant action.
The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University held a series of meetings in late 1994 and early 1995 on “American Intelligence for the Twenty-First Century” as a lead-in to the Presidential Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The chairman of the latter, Les Aspin, was a participant in the colloquium. Others — speakers and members of the Institute — came predominately from either retired or active CIA personnel. Not surprisingly the group opted for a stronger CIA led by a Director of Central Intelligence who had real authority over the entire intelligence community. While opting for a leaner and less costly community primarily via consolidation of military intelligence units, the group ignored the Ames debacle and concluded that the presidential commission should focus on requirements and missions rather than on budget and personnel. The latter of course, is primary to any real reform — especially its old-boy personnel that defend the disastrous status quo.
The DCI nominee, John Deutch, in his confirmation hearings claims he will reform the CIA’s personnel and policies. His affiliations, abilities and determination are obvious — but will he implement needed change? Does he understand that by removing many of the the CIA’s top bureaucrats and replacing them with its younger generation, he is merely substituting older psychologically-screened, rigid-thinking, tunnel-visioned, team players, with younger ones?
Earlier update notices have covered the use of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as an implement for subverting other governments via the transfer of many of CIA functions in those operations to NED. The Agency for International Development (AID) and the United States Information Agency (USIA) also participate in “democracy promotion” operations in addition to the covert activities of CIA. Some European-based and many U.S. funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also participate directly or indirectly in these operations. While such organizations and agencies are the more or less overt manifestation, CIA retains the primary role of supporting or overthrowing other governments.
In a generally conflicting view of NGOs, the liberal magazine, NACLA: Report on the Americas, in its March/April 1995 issue, discusses the current usage of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Latin America. The author indicates that NGOs may serve a useful purpose in Latin America and that some liberals assume the growth of non-governmental organizations in Latin America reflects a strengthening of civil society.
The author goes on to say that in searching for alternative models of development, North American progressives need to question whether these NGOs are invariably the best vehicle. Earlier the Reagan administration’s low-intensity warfare used NGOs to supplement counterinsurgency campaigns. Now NGOs have an important role in promoting participatory, egalitarian and sustainable forms of development. Northern organizations must be flexible enough to learn from mistakes. Given the growth in numbers and competence of Latin American NGOs, northern NGOs are rethinking their mandate and role.
But in assessing covert actions we feel NGOs are an ambiguous area. We note a report by Russia’s Federal Counterintelligence Service that records what happens in the former USSR. The report says, “through their special services [CIA] and scientific centers [and NGOs] the U.S. is penetrating deeply into all spheres of the country’s life, occupying strategic positions and influencing the development of political and economic processes in Russia.”
A personal note: The harassment directed at me for the last one and a half plus years — by presumably the FBI or the joint FBI/CIA Counterintelligence office — continues. On the night of 23/24 April my shed was broken into, I am harassed in local stores, subject to vehicular surveillance and tail-gateing and my wife’s car was tail-gated by the Herndon police. I fear I will be arrested for shoplifting or assault or some other trumped-up charge.
BOOKS AND OTHER ITEMS
This period I added information to CIABASE from a number of new on-line and/or printed intelligence publications. “Intelligence,” a computerized as well as printed magazine published in Paris, France, is particularly informative. Intelligence Watch Report, published in the U.S., provides daily and periodic substantive coverage of world-wide developments in intelligence. The NY Transfer News is another valuable computerized report. A number of individuals sent me hard-to-find books or other important material such as informed E-Mail. I select, edit and summarize the most relevant from all of those sources and incorporate this with information from the usual sources: Covert Action Quarterly, Military Intelligence, Extra!, Unclassified, The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, the newsweeklies, The Washington Post and the Washington Times, etc.
McNamara, Robert Strange. (1995). IN RETROSPECT: THE TRAGEDY AND LESSONS OF VIETNAM. NY: Times Books. A superficial and selective mea culpa. The former Secretary of Defense claims our governing elite had little understanding of the Vietnamese and the war — and from the perspective of 25 years — explains all that they did (do) not know. McNamara decries the Vietnamese lack of resolve to fight, he still does not realize that they won, repelling the world’s strongest military force. McNamara was the best and brightest of the “best and brightest,” but his book does not cite a single communist source. The shallowness of his analysis exposes the intellectual prostitution demanded of America’s academic elite. Sam Adams, a CIA analyst, who fought the CIA at every step, said the Agency in undercounting the VC, refused to use what should have been its primary source — captured enemy documents. In my own experience I discovered that the CIA buried any information that did not support its pro-war policies. Asian communist leaders set forth in their writings the plans and programs of their revolutions but I doubt if any Agency operative, or any member of the best and brightest, ever read or, if so, understood those writings. The CIA recruited paid agents to tell the CIA what it wanted to hear, ignoring the mass of overt information that so disproved our rationales for the war. This practice epitomizes Agency operations from the beginning to the present.
Mohammad Yousaf & Adkin, M. (1992). THE BEARTRAP: AFGHANISTAN’S UNTOLD STORY. London, England: Leo Cooper. The book outlines CIA’s support operation for the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan via Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s CIA. ISI funneled 70 per cent of all material aid — money, uniforms, weapons, including stinger missiles and demolitions — to radical Islamic fundamentalists. Now radical Islamic fundamentalism is one of our major problems.
Howard, E.L. (1995). SAFE HOUSE: THE COMPELLING MEMOIRS OF THE ONLY CIA SPY TO SEEK ASYLUM IN RUSSIA. Bethesda, MD: National Press Books. Howard says he had no contact with the Soviets until FBI harassment operations forced him to flee the United States and seek sanctuary in the USSR.
Adams, James. (1995). SELL OUT: ALDRICH AMES AND THE CORRUPTION OF THE CIA. NY: Penguin Books USA. The story of Ames’ betrayal. To protect Ames the KGB ran deception operations that kept the FBI chasing false leads for years. The book foreshadows a series of other such books on Ames.
Andrew, C. (1995). FOR THE PRESIDENT’S EYES ONLY: SECRET INTELLIGENCE AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY FROM WASHINGTON TO BUSH. NY: HarpersCollins Publishers.
Kempe, F. (1990). DIVORCING THE DICTATOR: AMERICA’S BUNGLED AFFAIR WITH NORIEGA. NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
William, P. (1991). PUPPETMASTERS: THE POLITICAL USE OF TERRORISM IN ITALY. London: Constable.
Minter, W. (1994). APARTHEID’S CONTRAS: AN INQUIRY INTO THE ROOTS OF WAR IN ANGOLA AND MOZAMBIQUE. London, England: ZED Books Ltd.
Institute for the Study of Diplomacy of Georgetown University, CHECKLIST FOR THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENCE, prepared by Dr. John Hollister Hedley. The checklist concludes that the CIA is fine, it just needs more power and influence.
Anderson, J. L. & Anderson, S. (1986). INSIDE THE LEAGUE: THE SHOCKING EXPOSE OF HOW TERRORISTS, NAZIS, AND LATIN AMERICAN DEATH SQUADS HAVE INFILTRATED THE WORLD ANTI-COMMUNIST LEAGUE. NY: Dodd, Mead & Company.
GAO REPORT: RADIO MARTI: PROGRAM REVIEW PROCESSES NEED STRENGTHENING. GAO/NSAID-94-265 11 PAGES.
GAO REPORT: CHEMICAL WEAPONS: STABILITY OF THE U.S. STOCKPILE. GAO/NSAID-95-67.
JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY, A PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY.
Godson, Roy (editor). Books published in the 1980s by the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC). Readers’ alert: Irrelevance, ignorance, arrogance and dissembling. The books are:
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: ANALYSIS AND ESTIMATES
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: INTELLIGENCE AND POLICY
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: CLANDESTINE COLLECTION
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: COVERT ACTION
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: ELEMENTS OF INTELLIGENCE
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1980’S: DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE
INTELLIGENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 1990’S: COLLECTION, ANALYSIS, COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND COVERT ACTION
This report was copied from Ralph McGehee’s CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE.
A copy of the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
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Congress Attacks the CIA
by Ralph McGehee, July 1997
The two June 1997 Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committee reports recommended approval of the intelligence budget (approved 7/10/97) while demanding changes in the way the Intelligence Community (IC) operates.
Both Committees ordered an improvement in analytical personnel and results. This to me is exactly right. Since the earliest days of the CIA, it recruited people both for itself, and the foreign liaison services it creates, who are psychologically tested to be team-playing extroverts with rigid mentalities — sounding the death knell for controversial or accurate intelligence. The CIA over its entire history has recruited those deficient in analytical promise and its 50-year record of intelligence failures should have clued us to the problem. The 25-year failure of intelligence on Vietnam is but just one example.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SIC) Report 105-24, June 9, 1997, is particularly detailed and informative and while authorizing increases in budget and personnel for the CIA, notes the inability of CIA analysts and directs that this problem be corrected. The report also orders CIA make new investments and efforts in counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, counter-intelligence and covert action. This report taken with the companion House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, below, documents the intelligence community’s analytical inabilities. You cannot run effective operations against terrorists, drug dealers, distributors of weapons of mass destruction and others if you do not and cannot analyze the information you collect.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HIC) report 105-135, 6/18/97 is especially condemnatory stating the Intelligence Community (IC) has very limited analytical capabilities to meet the myriad challenges, especially strategic and predictive. The report says the IC lacks the analytical depth, breadth and expertise to monitor political, military, and economic developments worldwide. Analytical deficiencies include: a largely inexperienced workforce; lack of foreign languages; limited in-country familiarity among analysts; and a focus on current intelligence that erodes strategic analyses. The IC must improve training and personnel selection. The IC is awash in unexploited open source information. “Put simply, collecting information that is not processed and analyzed is simply a waste…”
Unfortunately the two Committees do not address the other major deficiencies of the CIA. Any number of analysts, and books by some of them, record the impossibility of accurate intelligence surviving the bureaucratized and politicized processing of CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI).
In my experience, raw field intelligence had to survive political decisions by the Directorate on Operations (DO) managers — who frequently achieved those positions by accommodating to the demands of politicizing information. In a large field station, raw reports were measured by the operational desk chief, the station reports office and in some cases the Deputy Chief and Chief of Station. This review was repeated when and if the report reached Headquarters — the DO desk chief, the branch chief, the division reports officer, and the division chief, before it was sent on to the DI. The DI then followed a similar procedure for reports from the DO. One informed person recorded eight DI review layers these had to survive prior to dissemination.
The Agency denies this and other problems via its media operations. Using its relationship with the media, CIA routinely turns or tries to turn intelligence and operational failures into successes. The standard canard — its successes must remain forever secret while its failures are headlined — is for the most part not true.
The CIA’s pre-1975 use of over 500 members of the domestic media to burnish its image, boost its covert operations and cover its failures, gives lie to this canard. In more recent times, CIA report dated 10/12/91, entitled “Task Force on Greater CIA Openness”, outlined its relationship with the media. The report said:
PAO (Public Affairs Office) has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly and TV network … this has helped turn some “intelligence failure” stories into “intelligence success” stories, and it has contributed to … countless others. In many instances we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold or even scrap stories.
An example of this occured after its egregious failure to predict the downfall of the USSR. The Agency tried to turn this embarrassment into a “success.” Rather than determine what went wrong with intelligence under DCIs Casey and Gates, the CIA waged a campaign to show that it anticipated the Soviet collapse. CIA declassified selected documents, and then the Director of Intelligence, Douglas MacEachin, took a sabbatical at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where the CIA financed the case study that concluded “CIA got it right.” Both profited. Harvard continued to receive millions in research contracts from CIA and the Agency protected its image. Details of its vindication appeared in an article by Bruce Berkowitz and J. Richelson — their article drew heavily on the Harvard case study.
It should be clear why the CIA has such a terrible intelligence record. The politicized/bureaucratized structure ensures that managers, who owe their supervisory positions to political accommodations, can alter, negate or cancel unwanted information. The current CIA leadership is replete with those who have documented records of politicizing intelligence, as recorded in an article in March 1997 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine.
The article says that former DCI Gates’s immediate successors have compounded the problem by refusing to deal with politicization of intelligence. They have condoned efforts seeking to obfuscate the record and have recycled those high-level officials who contributed to the politicization. Two senior officers who corrupted intelligence on the USSR later became the National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Russia and the Deputy Director for Intelligence. The project manager for the politicized papal plot assessment is one of CIA’s highest ranking officers, the Deputy Director for Operations. The co-author is the CIA historian. Deutch even named Gates to head a panel to determine whether a NIE had been politicized.
Now Congress charges the CIA to meet the challenges of counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, counter-intelligence and increased covert action. It is obvious that this terribly flawed organization cannot meet these difficult challenges. But it is just as obvious that we will sit on our collective hands and do nothing as we wait for the next CIA operational/intelligence disaster.
This report was copied from Ralph McGehee’s CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE.
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CIA: Ignorant, Arrogant and Incompetent
by Ralph McGehee
The New York Times reported recently — “One of the most secret documents of the Cold War is out: the CIA’s inquest into the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco, which laid the blame for the disastrous invasion of Cuba squarely on the agency’s own institutional ‘arrogance, ignorance and incompetence’.”
Scans of documents:
[Now at http://www.anusha.com/pigs-all.htm.%5D
ZIP files available for download:
The CIA convinced itself and the White House that the invasion would magically create in Cuba “an organized resistance that did not exist,” composed of 30,000 Cubans who would “make their way through the Castro army and wade the swamps to rally to the liberators.”
If the CIA could not work with Cubans, Kirkpatrick warned, “how can the agency possibly succeed with the natives of Black Africa or Southeast Asia?”
The report warned those who would use the CIA to overthrow enemies, saying that job belongs to the Pentagon and its broad arsenal of military forces around the globe.
The IG’s report painted a picture of an agency shot through with deadly self-deception, one whose secret operations were “ludicrous or tragic or both.”
Also released were some 300 pages of documents with the IG’s report. Those pages include comments from various top-level CIA officials who predictably laid the blame for the conclusions of the report on other factors such as the rival ambitions of Lyman Kirkpatrick and Richard Bissell, the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations and President Kennedy’s cancellation of a second air strike.
The CIA to itself is never at fault — the blame always lies elsewhere — its only reaction to criticism is denial and attacks on critics.
Those reactions, to me, epitomize the then and present “incompetence, arrogance and ignorance.”
As noted the Bay of Pigs report painted a picture of an agency shot through with deadly self-deception, one whose secret operations were “ludicrous or tragic or both.” Kirkpatrick accuses the agency of faulty intelligence on both the strength of the Castro regime and the opposition to it. This is particularly evidenced by the realities — the CIA was matching the 1,500-man brigade, after an amphibious landing, against Castro’s combined military forces, estimated as: Cuba’s Revolutionary Army of 32,000 men; and the militia of 200,000 men — a prescription for a predictable disaster.
The Inspector General’s report was written in 1961 but it just as appropriately could have been written about today’s CIA. Any number of ex-CIA officials from John Deutch the last DCI, to recently resigned intelligence and case officers, record the state of deep rot in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations (especially its leadership) and in the Directorate of Intelligence.
The United States, as the leader of the world community, needs the best possible intelligence service — something the CIA’s 50-year history of failed covert operations and bad and politicized intelligence cannot provide due to its “ignorance, arrogance and incompetence.”
The IG’s Cuba report was made public just as the Administration was pushing another covert operation to topple Saddan Hussein of Iraq. But even a general apologist for the Agency, former CIA Director Robert Gates, said of this new plan, “Nobody should kid themselves that it will be successful … you might as well play Lotto.”
The Associated Press reported that the CIA drafted plans against Saddam Hussein using Kurds and Shiites to sabotage key economic and political targets in Iraq. The plan would be the fifth covert attempt by the CIA to get rid of the Iraqi president. DCI Tenet feels the plan is risky, and NSC adviser Berger doubts the agency’s ability to undermine Hussein and warns of the debts incurred to the survivors of its various disasters.
The new plan would target utility plants and government broadcast stations, and employ propaganda programs like a “Radio Free Iraq.” “This is a major campaign of sabotage.” Since 1991, CIA has backed Kurdish dissidents in northern Iraq, Shiite Muslims in the south and Iraqi exiles and defectors in London and Jordan in an unsuccessful effort to destabilize Saddam.
One of the current deficiencies of the CIA is its (continuing) inability to analyze intelligence. Even the very pro-Agency House Intelligence Committee in its annual 1997 report said the CIA was unable to analyze political, military and economic information — this is about as dismal an evaluation as possible.
If the CIA is intelligence and operationally-challenged, and is “ignorant, arrogant and incompetent” and refuses to change, what good is it?
This report was copied from Ralph McGehee’s CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE.
A copy of the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
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CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam
by Ralph McGehee, 1996-02-19
Until outlawed in mid 70s CIA directly involved in assassination attempts against Castro of Cuba, and Congolese leader Lumumba. CIA also encouraged plots that resulted in assassination of Dominican Republic President Trujillo, South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in 63 and Chilean Rene Schneider in 73. Most extensive assassination op was Operation Phoenix conducted during latter part of VN war. Twentieth Century Fund. (1992). The Need to Know: Covert Action and American Democracy, 83.
Vietnam, 65-70 details re Vietnam. From 65-68 U.S. and Saigon intel services maintained an active list of VC cadre marked for assassination. Phoenix Program for 69 called for “neutralizing” 1800 a month. About one third of VC targeted for arrest had been summarily killed. Security committees established in provincial interrogation centers to determine fate of VC suspects, outside of judicial controls. Green Berets and navy SEALs most common recruits for Phoenix Program. Green Beret detachment B-57 provided admin cover for other intel units. One was project cherry, tasked to assassinate Cambodian officials suspected of collaborating with NVNese, and kgb. Another was project oak targeted against svnese suspected collaborators. They controlled by special assistant for counterinsurgency and special activities, which worked with CIA outside of general abrams control. Stein. J. (1992), A Murder in Wartime, 360-1.
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix op from 1/68 thru 5/71, CORDS reported 20,857 VCI killed. Gvt of VN reported 40,994 from 8/68 thru mid 71. Per cord statistics 12.4% Deaths could be attributed to Phoenix ops. Kenneth osborn of program said Phoenix became a depersonalized murder program. A dept of defense analyst thayer, found that 616 suspected VCI targeted by Phoenix from 1/70 thru 3/71 were killed by Phoenix forces. After war NVNese foreign minister Nguyen Co Thach said CIA’s assassination program slaughtered far more than the 21,000 officially listed by the U.S. In some parts of south 95% of communist cadre assassinated or compromised by Phoenix. Manning, R., (ed), (1988), War in the Shadows: the Vietnam Experience, 72.
Vietnam, 68-72 Under Phoenix “security committees” in provincial “interrogation centers” would determine fate suspected NLF. Counterspy spring/summer 78, 8.
Vietnam, 69 Under Phoenix in July 69 “Vietnam information notes,” a state dept publication said target for 69 elimination of 1,800 VCI per month. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978), Uncloaking the CIA, 97.
Vietnam, 73 According to Defense Dept official 26,369 South Vietnamese civilians killed under Phoenix while op under direct U.S. control (Jan 68 thru Aug 72 ). By same source, another 33,358 detained without trial. Colby in 73 admitted 20,587 deaths thru end 71 , 28,978 captured, and 17,717 “rallied” to Saigon gvt. Thus approx 30% targeted individuals killed. All Phoenix stats fail to reflect U.S. Activity after “official” U.S. Control of op abandoned. Counterspy spring/summer 75 8.
Vietnam, 75 Counter-spy magazine describes Phoenix Program as “the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the nazi death camps of world war two.” Counterspy spring/summer 75 6.
Vietnam, in 82 Ex-Phoenix operative reveals that sometimes orders were given to kill U.S. military personnel who were considered security risks. He suspects the orders came not from “division”, but from a higher authority such as the CIA or the ONI. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) summer 82 52.
Vietnam. Phoenix Program to neutralize VCI (tax collectors, supply officers, political cadre, local military officials, etc). Plan to send pru or police teams to get in practice, death the frequent result of such ops, some times through assassinations pure and simple. Powers, T. (1979), The Man Who Kept the Secret, 181.
Vietnam. Phoenix Program took over 20,000 lives, 65-72 U.S. Congress,Church Committee Report. (1976) B 1 27.
Vietnam, July 71 Colby inserted chart to Representative Reid showing that some 67,282 persons had been neutralized by Phoenix ops against VC between 68-71 Of these 31 percent had been killed, 26% rallied, and 43% captured or sentenced. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978). Uncloaking the CI, 18.
Vietnam, 67-73 The Phoenix Program used the CIA’s assassination squads, the former counter terror teams later called the provincial reconnaissance units (PRU). Technically they did not mark cadres for assassinations but in practice the pru’s anticipated resistance in disputed areas and shot first. People taken prisoner were denounced in Saigon-held areas, picked up at checkpoints or captured in combat and later identified as VC. Sheehan, N. (1988), A Bright Shining Lie, 732.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, late 60 early 70 took over 20,000 lives in Vietnam. U.S. Congress,Church Committee Report. (1976) B 1 27.
Vietnam. Phung Hoang aka Phoenix Program quotas for units set by komer for all 242 districts. One result indiscriminate killing with every body labeled VCI. Powers, T. (1979), The Man Who Kept the Secrets, 181-2.
Law professor at University of Washington, Seattle, Roy L. Prosterman, designed the land reform program the U.S. Government promoted in the Philippines, Vietnam, and El Salvador. In each place the program was accompanied by a rural terror. In Vietnam the Phoenix Program killed 40,000 civilian between August 68 and mid-71; in Philippines, martial law; in El Salvador, a state of siege. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) Winter 90 69
Vietnam, 67-70 Phoenix a fiasco, it unmanageable and encouraged outrageous abuses. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 323.
Vietnam, 75 according to Frank Snepp’s Decent Interval up to thirty thousand special police, CIA and Phoenix related Vietnamese employees were left behind. Saigon CIA station managed to pull out only 537 of its 1900 Vietnamese including close to 1000 high-level Vietnamese who had built close relationships with the agency over the years. Covert Action Information Bulletin (now Covert Action Quarterly) 6-7/79 4.
Vietnam, 68-72 CI Phoenix project run jointly CIA and U.S. Army military intel. Counterspy 5/73 21.
Vietnam, 75 U.S. military provided approx 600 case officers to supplement 40-50 CIA case officers for Phoenix ops. Counterspy spring/summer 75 8.
Vietnam. The Phoenix and the identity card programs. Volkman, E., & Baggett, B. (1989), Secret Intelligence, 150.
Vietnam, 65-69 CI/pacification efforts initiated by French culminate in Phoenix Program designed to eliminate Viet Cong infrastructure. Made official June 68, Phoenix was intensification of ci ops and involved “mass imprisonment, torture and assassination.” For thorough Phoenix description seeCountersp 5/73 20.
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix Program synthesis police and pm programs. CIA managing census grievance, rd cadre, counterterror teams and pics. Military intel working with mss, ARVN intel and regional and popular forces. Aid managing chieu hoi and public safety, including field police. Needed to bring altogether under special police. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 99.
Vietnam, 66 beginning of Phoenix Program. Lv 218. Phoenix to increase identification VC infrastructure and passing info to military, police, and other elements who were to induce defections, capture them, or attack them in their strongholds. Colby, W. (1989). Lost Victory, 266.
Vietnam, 67-73 In 67 CIA proposed all U.S. Intel agencies pool info on VC at district, province and Saigon levels for exploitation. Program first called intel coor and exploitation program (icex). Phoenix the name of program. Assigned quotas for VC to be neutralized. To focus police and intel orgs. Against communist apparatus. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977), The Counterinsurgency Era, 243-8.
Vietnam, 67-73 District intel ops coor center (diooc). Dien ban center a model for all of Phoenix. Bldg 10′ x 40′. Manned by two U.S. soldiers, 2 census grievance, one rd cadre, and one special branch. Diooc intel clearinghouse to review, collate, and disseminate info. Immediate local reaction. Americans kept files of sources, VCI and order battle. Reaction forces 100 police, 1 PRU unit, guides from census grievance. Marines screened civilian detainees using informants and diooc’s blacklist. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 126.
Vietnam, 67 12/20/67 Prime Minister signed directive 89-th. T/vp/m legalizing Phung Hoang, VN clone of Phoenix. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 148.
Vietnam, 67 Phoenix Program in fledgling stage conceived and implemented by CIA. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 147.
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix Program statistics were phony a bust and a fake. DeForest, O., & Chanoff, D. (1990), Slow Burn, 54-55.
Vietnam, 69 Program of 69 campaign called for elimination of VCI. Program became known as Phung Hoang or Phoenix. In each province the chief established a province security committee (PSC). PSC controlled the npff and sp who maintained province interrogation centers (pics). Counterspy 5/73 20.
Vietnam, 71 CIA had no intention handling over attack on VCI to national police command. CIA advisers to special police advised to begin forming special intel force units (sifu). 8-Man teams composed of 4 volunteers each from special police and field police. Sifu targeted at high-level VCI, as substitutes for pru. They sign CIA planned manage attack on VCI thru sb, while keeping Phoenix intact as a way of deflecting attention. Valentine, D. (1990), The Phoenix Program, 391.
Vietnam, 71 In revising Phoenix Program (because of all communist penetrations in gvt) first steps to hire southeast asia computer associates (managed by a CIA officer) to advise 200-odd VNese techs to take over MACV and CORDS computers. VNese were folded into big mack and Phung Hoang management info system (phmis). Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 363.
Vietnam, 72 In report on Phoenix effectiveness in 9/72 Phung Hoang crossed out and anti-terrorist inserted. The end of Phoenix? Some Phoenix ops in 73. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program 403, 406.
Vietnam, 75 U.S. Still involved in Phoenix in 75. Program renamed special police investigative service (spis). U.S. provides data processing facilities for spis thru, Computer Science Services, inc. Which runs intel thru machines to classify and collate them and then turns info over to spis. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 415.
Vietnam. Phoenix Program, resources control program, checkpoints, identification card program, paramilitary police called the police field force a 100 man mobile company at least one assigned to each province. Aid helped upgrade police and developed national police academy, improved communications and files, established one two-way radio in every village. Chieu hoi program. Refugee generation programs. Province coordinating committees supervised civic action on bridges, roads, public buildings, agricultural extension work, medical technicians and more. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, 217-8.
Vietnam, 67-73 The Phoenix Program used the CIA’s assassination squads, the former counter terror teams later called the provincial reconnaissance units (PRU). Technically they did not mark cadres for assassinations but in practice the PRU’s anticipated resistance in disputed areas and shot first. People taken prisoner were denounced in Saigon-held areas, picked up at checkpoints or captured in combat and later identified as VC. Sheehan, N. (1988), A Bright Shining Lie, 732.
Vietnam, Phoenix. Ranelagh, J. (1986), The Agency 437-441.
Vietnam, police. Public safety included Michigan State University program. Resources control, effort to regulate movement resources both human and material. Includes set up checkpoints roads and waterways, mobile checkpoints. Resulted in 560,000 arrests by 1969. National identity registration program. Every VNese 15 or older must register and carry identification card. Fingerprints obtained. Once completed program to include fingerprints, photos and bio data. Surveillance of suspects role of special police branch. Sp agents penetrate subversive organizations and use intel collection, political data and files from census data to separate good from bad. Pacification or Phoenix Program. Systematic effort at intel collection and exploitation. All intel services and America’s CIA and military intel orgs. Pool data from informers and prisoners. With this info police and provincial reconnaissance units make raids in contested areas to seize or eliminate VCI agents. See Klare, M.T. (1972), War Without End, 265 for more death squads.
Vietnam, 66-71 Phoenix op designed to help U.S. Military reach crossover point, where dead and wounded exceeded VC’s ability to field replacements. In 4/67 Pres Johnson announced formation of civil ops and revolutionary development support (CORDS) for pacification. R. Komer as deputy commander of MACV-CORDS. CORDS budget about $4 billion from 68-71. CORDS the management structure for pacification programs. Personnel both military and civilian. By 71, 3000 servicemen, advisers to ARVN, placed under CORDS. 1200 Civilians by 71. Usaid responsible for material aid. State and USIA also provided personnel. But CIA played the crucial role. CORDS reinstated civic action teams under name revolutionary development cadre. Rd program formed teams of 59 SVNese, divided into 3 11-man security squads and 25 civic action cadres. Teams to spend 6 months in a village to fulfill “eleven criteria and 98 works for pacification.” 1. Annihilation of …Cadre; 2. Annihilation of wicked village dignitaries; etc. System placed 40,000 two-way radios in villages. Land reform failed. (Photos of Phoenix propaganda material). Teams helped create regional and popular forces (rf/pfs). Ruff-puffs, suffered high casualties. They represented half of SVN gvt forces, they had 55-66% of casualties. They inflicted 30% of communist casualties. Underground pm effort called Phoenix which included a “census grievance,” stay-behind. He actually a spy. All info fed into intel coordination and exploitation program. VNese at Komer’s request set up staff that with CIA was responsible for coordinating intel reports on VC infrastructure. Info from census grievance, military, police reports. PM units – including CIA’s provincial reconnaissance units and ruff-puffs. Arrestees – those not killed when captured – taken to provincial interrogation centers (pic). Also regional prisons and a national center all financed by CIA. Problems of coordination and jealousy. Numerical quotas created saying how many VCI to be eliminated each month. Torture used in questioning. Manning, R., (ed), (1988), War in the Shadows: the Vietnam Experience, 55-65.
Vietnam, 71 William E. Colby on july 19, 1971, before Senate subcommittee testified CIA op Phoenix had killed 21,587 Vietnamese citizens between 1/68 and 5/71. In response to a question from mr. Reid “do you state categorically that Phoenix has never perpetrated the premeditated killing of a civilian in a non-combat situation?” Colby replied: “No, I could not say that…I certainly would not say never.” Counterspy 12/78 6.
Vietnam, 67 First MACV alloted Phoenix 126 officers and ncos. By end 67 one nco assigned to each of 103 dioccs then in existence. All military officers and enlisted men assigned to Phoenix Program took orders from CIA. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 145.
Vietnam, 68-73 Phoenix ci/terror op funded and covered by U.S. Aid, CORDS pacification survey, public employment projects, and other benign agencies. Counterspy may 73 22.
Vietnam, 71 1.7 Billion dollars go to CORDS in Phoenix Project. Colby refuses congressional audit Phoenix funds before committee. Counterspy 5/73 24.
Vietnam, 71 When questioned concerning unaccounted-for 1.7 Billion dollars which had financed much of covert aspect of Phoenix Program, Ambassador Colby assured house subcommittee on foreign ops and govt info, all main problems has been resolved and Congress could rest assured aberrations of brutality would remain at a minimum. He did not know how many innocent victims the program had killed, maybe 5,000, maybe more. He did not have authority to discuss reasons why Congress could not audit 1.7 billions worth of taxpayers funds which went to CORDS. Counterspy 5/73 24.
Vietnam, 69 Colby rendered due process obsolete. VCI target broken into three classes a, for leaders and party members; b, for holders of responsible jobs; c, for rank-and file. Decision c category to be ignored since Phoenix directed at VCI command and control structure. Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) explained. Hes guesstimate of VCI in 1/69 was 75,000. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 260.
Vietnam, 71 House subcommittee on foreign operations and gvt. Info. investigates Phoenix. Colby insists project “respectable”, brutality minimized. Estimates 5000 killed. Congress denied audit of Phoenix funds. Counterspy may 73 24.
Vietnam, 67-73 CIA developed Phoenix Program in 67 to neutralize: kill, capture or make defect VCI. VCI means civilians suspected of supporting communists. Targeted civilians not soldiers. Phoenix also called Phung Hoang by VNese. Due process totally nonexistent. SVNese who appeared on black lists could be tortured, detained for 2 years without trial or killed. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 13.
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix ci/terror program established by Thieu’s presidential decree, literally written by CIA man William Colby. Decree and future authorizations indicated that suspects could be arrested without a warrant or copy of charges and detained on basis of police dossier heresay evidence. Once arrested, suspect could not confront accusers or see dossier, was denied bail legal counsel, and was denied a trial or even a hearing. At best one’s case was reviewed by province security committee composed of milt and intel officers. Under Phoenix all rights of due process stripped. Counterspy Winter 78 28.
Covert Action Information Bulletin 13:3, 16-17:6-10; 17:48-49; 22:2,4,6,10-24; “from Phoenix associates to civilian-military assistance,” 22:18-19; “from the hessians to the contras: mercenaries in the service of imperialism,” 22:10-11.
89 An article by Rob Rosenbaum from interviews with General Secord and Ted “Blond Ghost” Shackley. They give their answers to questions about Iran-Contra, secret war in Laos, Phoenix Program in Vietnam, CIA-Mafia plots of the sixties. Shackley discusses charges of opium smuggling in Laos by elements supported by CIA. Photos of Secord and Shackley. Shackley interview in his risk-assessment consulting firm, Rosslyn-based Research Associates International. Vanity fair, 1/90 72-77, 126-8,130-1 Vietnam 68-73 Evan Parker, Jr., John Mason, and John Tilton all from CIA were men who headed Phoenix Program when it supposedly transferred to military and CORDS. Roger McCarthy said CIA very much involved with Phoenix. Corn, D. (1994), Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades, 193.
Vietnam. John Murray, of WHD, and his wife Delores, former CIA ops officer, sending letters of disclosures re Shackley. He covertly contacted William Miller, staff director of Church Committee, and told how Shackley and Helms in 70 arranged to keep CIA from being implicated in My Lai massacres. (Some evidence suggested massacre related to CIA’s Phoenix Program.) Corn, D. (1994), Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades, 302.
Vietnam, 67 50 officers and enlisted men invited to join counter insurgency program. Those who accepted by CIA joined as junior officer trainees. Most assigned to provinces as rdc/p or rdc/o advisers and many as Phoenix coordinators. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 198.
Vietnam, 68-69 Robert K. Brown (later editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine) worked with James K. Damron, CIA’s project coordinator for the Phoenix Program in Gia Dinh province. Pigeon, R. (1986). The Soldier of Fortune, 44.
Vietnam, Orrin DeForest, with U.S. Air Force special investigations early on. Joined CIA in 68 as chief interrogator Hau Nghia province in bien hoa under cover of Office of Special Assistance (OSA). Duties included inspection of pics, training VNese in interrogation. Monitoring intel production. He discovered pics poorly run, Phoenix Program slipshod, and CIA had been unable generate single agent. Using methods learned while working with Japanese national police in identifying, communist agents, disregarding CIA methods, DeForest’s efforts produced 80% hard intel in VN. Minnick, W. (1992). Spies and Provacateurs, 50-1. training, 55 Eisenhower establishes public safety program whose goal is to train foreign police units in, among other things, counterinsurgency. 62 Program becomes Office of Public Safety which eventually procures 400 officers in 45 countries and yearly budget 50 million. Much of Phoenix funding and training was thru Office of Public Safety. By 75 ops had distributed 200 million in equipment foreign police, trained 7000+ senior police officials, and trained over 1 million rank and file police officers worldwide. Counterspy Winter 78 29-30.
Vietnam, 75 Counter-spy magazine describes Phoenix Program as “the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the nazi death camps of world war two.” Counterspy Spring/Summer 75 6.
Vietnam. Former Phoenix advisor Wayne Cooper said “Operation Phoenix was a unilateral American program”, and Klare confirmed by saying “although most of the dirty work was performed by indigenous operatives, Phoenix was designed, organized, financed, and administered by U.S. authorities.” Counterspy Winter 78 27.
Vietnam. “Phoenix demonstrated that the U.S. Government through the CIA will create, impose, and conduct an operation in another country without a semblance of a mandate from a given people or their representatives as long as the operation is considered in interest of U.S. governmental objectives.” Counterspy Winter 78 27-8.
Vietnam, 59-69 the SEALs and the Phoenix Program. The Intel Coordination and Exploitation Program (ICEX) was a joint MACV/CIA op – forerunner of Phoenix. SEALs helped train VNese personnel. SEALs assigned ops detachments. SEALs worked with PRUs. By 68, with prisoner snatches, ambushes, and increasing VC defections, ICEX program neutralizing 800 VCI every month. Phoenix began 7/1/68. Description of the province intel ops coordinating center (piocc) and the district (diocc). Combatting VCI in urban areas responsibility of national police force and police field force. SEALs taught PRUsin mekong delta. Description of prus. They the most effective native troops. By end of 68, the iv corps PRUswere almost entirely advised by seal personnel. Seal advisors accompanied PRUson average of 15 missions a month. Description of ops. Dockery, K. (1991). SEALs in Action, 167-176.
Vietnam, 68-73 ttwo small groups wreaked havoc on the VCI. The Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU) and the Navy’s SEALs. PRUs and SEALs often worked together and both killed many VCI and guerrillas — the enemy had wrapped itself in the population. Together they were fewer than 6000 men. They had access to the best intel often coming directly from CIA. Pru had roots in the counterterror teams of the early 60s. In 66 the ct became prus. Details of the makeup and recruiting source of the prus. PRUsoften killed targets. Military participation in the pru program was to end in 10/70. Pru was the most effective action arm of the Phoenix Program. Details of the SEALs larger-than-life reputation earned in VN. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 171-199.
Vietnam, 65-72 During Nixon’s first 2 1/2 years, state department officially admits that the CIA-run Phoenix Program murdered or abducted 35,708 VNese civilians, 4,836 more than the pentagon claimed the NLF had assassinated or kidnapped during the same period, and a monthly increase over the 200 killed by the CIA every month under johnson. Senator Gravel edition, (1971), Pentagon Papers v 300.
Vietnam, 65-73 Phoenix Program torture tactics include rape, electric shock, water torture, hanging from ceiling, beatings, incarceration and execution. Counterspy 5/73 16. Vietnam, 69-71 K. Barton Osborn, Phoenix agent, testified to Congress “I never knew an individual to be detained as a VC suspect who ever lived through an interrogation in a year and a half. Uc 114. Note says this testimony given before U.S. Congress,Heari. 315-321.
Vietnam, 73 “The prime difference between the types of intelligence provided to the military units and the Phoenix coordinator was that all information going to Phoenix was of a political nature … I was following through on a reported (VC) suspect that one of my agents had identified. The man was interrogated at the marine counter-intelligence complex and I was invited to witness it. As I entered the hooch the man was being taken out, dead. He died from a six inch dowel pushed through his ear and into his brain.” Barton Osborn, former Phoenix case officer before Armed Services Committee, 1973. Counterspy Spring/Summer 75 7.
Vietnam. Colby supervised est of pics in each of SVN’s 44 provinces. Each center constructed with CIA funds. Agency personnel directed each centers op much of which consisted of torture carried out by VN nationals. Coi 207. Colby admitted serious abuses committed under Phoenix. Former intel officers came before Congressional cmttees to describe repeated examples torture. Marchetti, V., & Marks, J.D. (1974), The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, 207 see fn.
Vietnam, 66-74 CIA analyst, Nelson H. Brickman, on 11/66 produced basic guidelines for [the Phoenix Program] in a memorandum that described the VCI and suggested which parts of it should be targeted. His memo said rank-and-file members were not legitimate targets “because they were most often unwilling participants in the revolution.” Brickman called for using all available intelligence services to neutralize the VCI. Robert Komer was so impressed he assigned Brickman to the revolutionary development office. He adopted brickman’s suggestion that there was no need to begin a new anti-vci program, only that the existing programs be brought together and managed by a single bureau. He recommended the U.S. Agencies get their houses in order before bringing in the gvn. Brickman “deserved the credit” for the Phoenix Program. A program called intel coordination and exploitation (icex) was the first structure. Evan parker named director of icex but komer had full control. U.S. Military reluctantly participated initially. Icex officially created on 7/9/67, although basic structure had been in place a year. Building of district ops and coordinating centers (doicc) which by late 67 were called district intel and ops coordinating centers (dioccs). MACV directive 381-41 stated: “to coordinate and give impetus to U.S. and gvn operations…Directed toward elimination of the VC infrastructure.” Icex placed under cords. South Vietnamese were unwilling to take program seriously. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 58-70.
Vietnam, 67-72 K. Barton Osborn’s testimony re the Phoenix Program before the house committee on government ops, 8/71. Osborn characterized program as a “sterile, depersonalized murder program.” Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, xv-xvi.
Vietnam, 67 The Phoenix (Phung Hoang) program was officially born on 12/20/67 when the SVNese premier issued a decree. This differed from ICEX only in official SVNese support for the program. Seal-and-search op in Bui Cui village. LRRP ambush parties. People’s self-defense forces (psdf) started after Tet, it was a nationwide system of local militias. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 72-81.
Vietnam, 68-70 PIOCCC had extensive dossiers on VCI and the chieu hoi program was the largest producer of Phoenix intel. 132. A criticism of Phoenix was the covert control by CIA. Despite influx of military advisers, CIA controlled chain of command and purse strings. Colby, top man of CORDS in 69 had been with CIA. American directors of Phoenix at national level were all CIA. In 7/69 the system changed. “Management and support facilities for Phoenix were officially transferred from the office of the special assistant to the ambassador (osa) (cia) to MACV, who assumed full responsibility for providing for or arranging monetary and logistical support through American channels.” From July 69 on, CIA made up only a small part of the program. Details of numbers neutralized and differences between CIA and military estimates. The use of diocc VCI target folders, a simple prepared set of biographical, operational, and administrative questions. By the end of 1970 one hundred thousand copies had been distributed. A sophisticated computerized collation program called the Phung Hoang Management Info System (PHMIS) was implemented. The program combined the national police tracking system with VCI info to gear up police for handling both. PHMIS was manned by Vietnamese, using American advisers as trainers. 135-6. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 134.
Vietnam, 68 President Thieu with the help of William Colby, Komer’s deputy for CORDS, drafted a decree that officially sanctioned Phoenix/Phung Hoang on 7/1/68. Article 3 was of paramount importance — it defined who was or was not a member of the VCI. Article 3 — definitions: the Viet Cong infrastructure is all Viet cong, political and administrative organizations established by the communist party which goes under the name people’s revolutionary party, from the cities to the countryside. The Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN) is the highest level steering organization…And the front for the liberation of South Vietnam (NLFSVN)….Viet Cong military units, members of mass organizations established by the Viet Cong, citizens forced to perform as laborers, or civilians in areas temporarily controlled by the Viet cong, are not classified as belonging to the Viet Cong infrastructure. Definition adjusted over time. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 84.
Vietnam, 94 VN rejects visit of ex-CIA chief Colby, now a Washington lawyer, who had planned to visit as a director of a U.S.-based investment fund. Fund directors had planned to hold a reception Monday. Event canceled, and directors will meet in Bangkok. Colby was CIA’s chief in Saigon during war and was associated with Phoenix, an op to root out rural support for communist guerrillas via sweeping arrests, torture and execution of suspects. Critics said most of those killed were innocent peasants. Chicago Tribune 12/3/94 21.
Vietnam, accelerated pacification campaign, July 68 Thieu with Colby’s help issued decree est Phoenix committees at national, regional and provincial and even district level, “to which all the agencies involved had to furnish representation.” Colby, W. (1978). Honorable Men, 267.
Vietnam, Australia, Vietnam, 62-73 Australian AATTV teams operated in VN often in CIA Phoenix op. `Black team’ commanded by American of australian usually given target figure. He pinpointed and black team would go out, usually dressed in enemy’s gear and the assassination then blamed on VC. Toohey, B., & Pinwill, W. (1990), Oyster: The Story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service 87-88.
Vietnam, icex intel coor and exploitation MACV/cia program to work on VCI with Vietnamese cooperation. Colby helped devise program which became Phoenix. Colby, W. (1978), Honorable Men 267.
Vietnam, National Security study memo, 67-69 said although Phoenix launched in Dec 67, Vietnamese cooperation minimal and only after American prodding, Thieu issued a decree in July 68 directing network to be set up. Program forced on VNese. Pru supervised, controlled and financed by Americans. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978), Uncloaking the CIA, 111-125.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program most notorious of counterinsurgency programs. Originated by robert w. Komer, who now headed Civilian Operations Revolutionary Development Staff (CORDS), Phoenix designed to root out secret Vietcong infrastructure in South Vietnam. Miller, N. (1989). Spying for America379.
Vietnam, Phoenix, 68-70 In 69 CIA apparently had attack squeamishness and pulled out of CORDS. Concluded Phoenix inappropriate. It believed North had moved away from military engagement to lacing entire gvt with spies — possibly as many as 30,000 so Thieu’s gvt could be easily overthrown. Baritz, L. (1985). Backfire, 269.
Vietnam, Phoenix op. Every person who ran program from Saigon assigned to program from CIA. Colby and 20,000 + figure of persons killed under Phoenix, see fn ag 440. Phoenix General Ranelagh, J. (1986), The Agency 436-441.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, beginning circa 66-67 CORDS pacification program. Komer settled on massive intel program on VC who could be neutralized by SVN forces. First called ICEX. Name changed to Phoenix in 69 with SVN version phung hoang. Had interrogation centers in each of SVNs 235 districts and 44 provinces, card files and computerized indexes. Pru’s of 50 to 100 men. In Phoenix CIA provided weapons, paid for Saigon computer files, funded and trained PRU’s and passed intel to Phoenix. Colby told senate Phoenix killed 20,587 VCI. When questions arose re legality Colby retreated and said 87% killed in regular military actions. Two army lts. Told federal judge they order to maintain kill quota 50 VCI a month. Prados, J. (1986), Presidents’ Secret Wars, 307-310.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program evaluation. Robert Komer wrote Phung Hoang has been a small, poorly managed, and largely ineffective effort. Clearly Phoenix failed to eliminate the infrastructure that remained after heavy losses of tet. Ce 274-8. Colby continued to see Phoenix as contributing usefully to attack on VC. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977), The Counterinsurgency Era, notes 328.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, july 69 “Vietnam information notes” a State Dept publication says: target for 1969 calls for elimination of 1,800 VCI per month. Frazier, H. (ed). (1978). Uncloaking the CIA, 97.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program. Part of total pacification program of gvt VN. Colby testified that in over two and a half years there were 29,000 captured, 17,000 defected and 20,500 killed, of which 87% were killed by regular and paramilitary forces and 12% by police and similar elements. Vast majority killed in military combat, fire fights, or ambushes, and most of remainder were killed in police actions attempting to capture them. Major stress to encourage capture. Borosage, R.L., & Marks, J. (eds.). (1976), The CIA File, 190.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program. Quotas and indiscriminate killing of people. CIA conceived and organized program and regional and provincial officers in charge were all CIA. Colby actually wrote Phoenix directive which Thieu was finally pressured into adopting july 68 Colby conceded Phoenix recorded deaths of 20,587. Powers, T. (1979). The Man Who Kept the Secrets, 181-2.
Vietnam, Phoenix Program, 67-75 Targets members VCI. 637 Military intel advisers assigned to Phoenix. Much money given to VNese police to expand detention facilities. Phoenix org: first the district co – ordination center, diocc, that maintained dossiers on suspected VC. Once enough evidence person placed on police green list. Suspect then jailed without right to civilian trail. In cordon and search ops all villagers lined up and walk past police checkpoint. Next level province interrogation center, pic, staffed by SVNese, Americans and CIA. After interrogation, suspect passed on to province security committee, comprised of police chiefs, military and police intel and advisors. Finally suspects could be imprisoned under law for 2 years. This one way to neutralize. Other way via Provincial Reconnaissance Units, PRUs, who would kidnap or assassinate agents targeted by diocc. Had American advisors from SEALs, Green Berets. Official amnesty program called chieu hoi used to convince VC to surrender. VC categorized as a,b, or c. A were key members, c least impt. National police detention center processed 180,000 a year. American money and effort went into national identification card, id, project. All Vietnamese over age 15 jailed if did not carry a card a RAND computer tracked the 15 million suspects also cross-linked to 10 million dossiers and fingerprints. The Dossier issue 6, 11/83 14-5.
Vietnam, Phoenix, 72-73 The F-6 program was a defensive measure to bolster Phung Hoang after the Easter Offensive. F-6 sought to increase pressure on the VCI by allowing province chiefs to move against suspected cadre on the strength of a single report rather then the usual three. With the culmination of the F-6 program in early 73, the Phoenix Program came to an end. In the spring of 72 phung hoang was absorbed into the national police. The last American advisers left VN in december 72. Various tables, command structure charts in appendix. Andrade, D. (1990), Ashes to Ashes, 231-251.
Vietnam, 66-73 Phoenix Program synthesis police and pm programs. CIA man managing census grievance, rd cadre, counterterror teams and pics. Military intel working with mss, arvn intel and regional and popular forces. Aid managing chieu hoi and public safety, including field police. Needed to bring altogether under special police. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 99.
Vietnam, 67-73 CIA developed Phoenix Program in 67 to neutralize: kill, capture or make defect VCI. VCI means civilians suspected of supporting communists. Targeted civilians not soldiers. Phoenix also called phung hoang by VNese. Due process totally nonexistent. SVNese who appeared on black lists could be tortured, detained for 2 years without trial or killed. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 13.
Vietnam, 68-72 NLF according to Nixon adm decimated during Tet Offensive, remainder by Phoenix Program. Nvese officer reported Phoenix resulted in loss of thousands of our cadres. Proof in 2 remaining offensives. In 72 and in 75 they did not rely on guerrillas. Baritz, L. (1985), Backfire, 273.
Vietnam, 68 Phoenix Program quota of 1800 neutralizations per month. Viet Cong Infrastructure system (vciis) fed 3000 names VCI into computer at combined intel center political order battle section. Beginning of computerized blacklist. In Saigon DIA, FBI and CIA used computers. Until 70 computerized blacklist a unilateral American op. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 259.
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CIA Support of Death Squads
by Ralph McGehee
Posted on RemarQ, 9 October 1999
The information below is from CIABASE files on Death Squads supported by the CIA. Also given below are details on Watch Lists prepared by the CIA to facilitate the actions of Death Squads.
Death Squads: Miscellaneous
CIA set up Ansesal and other networks of terror in El Salvador, Guatemala (Ansegat) and pre-Sandinista Nicaragua (Ansenic). The CIA created, structured and trained secret police in South Korea, Iran, Chile and Uruguay, and elsewhere — organizations responsible for untold thousands of tortures, disappearances, and deaths. Spark, 4/1985, pp. 2-4 1953-94 Sponsorship by CIA of death squad activity covered in summary form. Notes that in Haiti CIA admitted Lt. General Raoul Cedras and other high-ranking officials “were on its payroll and are helping organize violent repression in Haiti. Luis Moreno, an employee of State Department, has bragged he helped Colombian army create a database of subversives, terrorists and drug dealers.” His superior in overseeing INS for Southeastern U.S., is Gunther Wagner, former Nazi soldier and a key member of now-defunct Office of Public Safety (OPS), an AID project which helped train counterinsurgents and terrorism in dozens of countries. Wagner worked in Vietnam as part of Operation Phoenix and in Nicaragua where he helped train National Guard. Article also details massacres in Indonesia. Haiti Information, 4/23/1994, pp. 3,4
CIA personnel requested transfers 1960-7 in protest of CIA officer Nestor Sanchez’s working so closely with death squads. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, p. 294
CIA. 1994. Mary McGrory op-ed, “Clinton’s CIA Chance.” Excoriates CIA over Aldrich Ames, support for right-wing killers in El Salvador, Nicaraguan Contras and Haiti’s FRAPH and Cedras. Washington Post, 10/16/1994, C1,2
Angola: Death Squads
Angola, 1988. Amnesty International reported that UNITA, backed by the U.S., engaged in extra-judicial executions of high-ranking political rivals and ill-treatment of prisoners. Washington Post, 3/14/1989, A20
Bolivia: Death Squads
Bolivia. Between October 1966-68 Amnesty International reported between 3,000 and 8,000 people killed by death squads. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, p. 264
Bolivia, 1991. A group known as “Black Hand” shot twelve people on 24 November 1991. Killings were part of group’s aim to eliminate “undesirable” elements from society. Victims included police officers, prostitutes and homosexuals. Washington Post 11/25/1991, A2
Bolivia: Watch List
Bolivia, 1975. CIA hatched plot with interior ministry to harass progressive bishops, and to arrest and expel foreign priests and nuns. CIA was particularly helpful in supplying names of U.S. and other foreign missionaries. The Nation, 5/22/1976, p. 624
Bolivia, 1975. CIA provided government data on priests who progressive. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, p. 259
Brazil: Watch List
Brazil, 1962-64. Institute of Research and Social Studies (IPES) with assistance from U.S. sources published booklets and pamphlets and distributed hundreds of articles to newspapers. In 1963 alone it distributed 182,144 books. It underwrote lectures, financed students’ trips to the U.S., sponsored leadership training programs for 2,600 businessmen, students, and workers, and subsidized organizations of women, students, and workers. In late 1962 IPES member Siekman in Sao Paulo organized vigilante cells to counter leftists. The vigilantes armed themselves, made hand-grenades. IPES hired retired military to exert influence on those in active service. From 1962-64 IPES, by its own estimate, spent between $200,000 and $300,000 on an intelligence net of retired military. The “research group” of retired military circulated a chart that identified communist groups and leaders. Black, J.K. (1977). United States Penetration of Brazil, p. 85
Brazil: Death Squads
Brazil, circa 1965. Death squads formed to bolster Brazil’s national intelligence service and counterinsurgency efforts. Many death squad members were merely off-duty police officers. U.S. AID (and presumably the CIA) knew of and supported police participation in death squad activity. Counterspy 5/6 1979, p. 10
Brazil. Death squads began appear after 1964 coup. Langguth, A.J. (1978). Hidden Terrors, p. 121
Brazilian and Uruguayan death squads closely linked and have shared training. CIA on at least two occasions co-ordinated meetings between countries’ death squads. Counterspy 5/6 1979, p. 11
Brazil, torture. After CIA-backed coup, military used death squads and torture. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, p. 190
Cambodia: Watch List
Cambodia, 1970. Aided by CIA, Cambodian secret police fed blacklists of targeted Vietnamese to Khmer Serai and Khmer Kampuchea Krom. Mass killings of Vietnamese. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, p. 328
Cambodia: Death Squads
Cambodia, 1980-90. U.S. indirect support for Khmer Rouge — U.S. comforting mass murderers. Washington Post, 5/7/1990, A10 editorial
Central America: Death Squads
Central America, circa 1979-87. According to Americas Watch, civilian non combatant deaths attributable to government forces in Nicaragua might reach 300, most Miskito Indians in comparison 40-50,000 Salvadoran citizens killed by death squads and government forces during same years, along with similar number during last year of Somoza and still higher numbers in Guatemala. Chomsky, N. (1988). The Culture of Terrorism, p. 101
Central America, 1981-87. Death toll under Reagan in El Salvador passed 50,000 and in Guatemala it may approach 100,000. In Nicaragua 11,000 civilians killed by 1968. Death toll in region 150,000 or more. Chomsky, N. (1988). The Culture of Terrorism, p. 29
Central America. See debate carried in Harpers “Why Are We in Central America? On Dominoes, Death Squads, and Democracy. Can We Live With Latin Revolution? The Dilemmas of National Security.” Harpers, 6/1984, p35
Central America, 1982-84. Admiral Bobby Inman, former head of NSA, had deep distaste for covert operations. Inman complained that the CIA was hiring murderers to conduct operations in Central America and the Middle East — eventually Inman resigned. Toohey, B., and Pinwill, W. (1990). Oyster: the Story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, pp. 215-6
Chile: Watch List
Chile, 1970-73. By late 1971 the CIA in near daily contact with military. The station collecting the kind of information that would be essential for a military dictatorship after a coup: lists of civilians to be arrested, those to be protected and government installations occupied at once. Atlantic, 12/1982, p. 58
Chile, 1970-73. CIA compiled lists of persons who would have to be arrested and a roster of civilian and government installations that would need protection in case of military coup against government. Corn, D. (1994). Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades, p. 251
Chile, 1972-73. Drew up lists those to be arrested immediately, or protected after a coup by military. Sergeyev, F.F. (1981). Chile, CIA Big Business, p. 163
Chile late 1971-72. CIA adopted more active stance re military penetration program including effort to subsidize anti-government news pamphlet directed at armed services, compilation arrest lists and its deception operation. CIA received intelligence reports on coup planning throughout July, August and September 73. U.S. Congress, Church Committee Report. (1976) v 7, p. 39
Chile. Chilean graduates of AIFLD, as well as CIA-created unions, organized CIA-financed strikes which participated in Allende’s overthrow. In 1973 AIFLD graduates provided DINA, Chile’s secret police, with thousands of names of fellow unionists who were subsequently imprisoned and tortured and executed. Counterspy 4/1981, p. 13
Chile. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, 240
Chile, 1973-74. After 1973 coup, U.S. Embassy intelligence types gave their files on the Chilean and foreign left to the junta’s military intelligence service (SIM). NACLA (magazine re Latin America) 8/74, p. 28.
Chile, 1973. The military prepared lists of nearly 20,000 middle-level leaders of people’s organizations, scheduled to be assassinated from the morning of the coup on. The list of some 3,000 high-level directors to be arrested. Lists detailed: name, address, age, profession, marital status, and closest personal friends. It alleged U.S. military mission and the CIA involved in their preparation. Moa 186. From late June on plotters began to finalize lists of extremists, political leaders, Marxist journalists, agents of international communism, and any and all persons participating with any vigor in neighborhood, communal, union, or national organization. The Pentagon had been asked to get the CIA to give the Chilean army lists of Chileans linked to socialist countries. Names sorted into two groups: persons not publicly known but who important in leftist organizations; and, well-known people in important positions. 20,000 in first group and 3,000 in second. Second group to be jailed, the first to be killed. Sandford, R.R. (1975). The Murder of Allende, pp. 195-6
CIA provided intelligence on “subversives” regularly compiled by CIA for use in such circumstances. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, p. 194
Columbia: Watch List
Colombia. Luis Moreno, an employee of State Department, bragged he helped Colombian army create a database of subversives, terrorists and drug dealers. Haiti Information, 4/23/94, pp. 3,4
Columbia: Death Squads
Colombia. MAS (Muerte A Secuestradores): “Death to Kidnappers,” Colombian antiguerrilla death squad founded in December 1981 by members of Medellin cartel, Cali cartel, and Colombian military. Scott, P. and Marshall, J. (1991). Cocaine Politics, p. 261.
Colombia, 1993-94. Amnesty International called Colombia one of worst “killing fields.” U.S. is an accomplice. William F. Schultz, human rights group’s newly appointed Executive Director for the U.S., told a news conference that using fight against drugs as a pretext — Colombian government doesn’t reign in [its forces]. About 20,000 people killed since 1986 in one of Latin America’s most “stable democracies.” only 2% political killings related to drug trafficking and 70% by paramilitary or military. U.S. probably a collaborator and much of U.S. aid for counternarcotics diverted to “killing fields.” AI report said human meat is sold on black market and politicians gunned down along with children, homosexuals, and drug addicts. U.S. support because of Colombia’s strategic position. No one is safe, people killed for body parts. Washington Times, 3/16/1994, p. a15
Costa Rica: Watch List
Costa Rica, 1955. Ambassador Woodward reported the government should be urged to maintain closer surveillance over communists and prosecute them more vigorously, and the government should be influenced to amend the constitution to limit the travel of communists, increase penalties for subversive activities and enact proposed legislation eliminating communists from union leadership. Meanwhile USIA aka USIS programs “to continue to condition the public to the communist menace” should be maintained. Z Magazine, 11/1988, p. 20
Cuba: Watch List
Cuba, 1955-57. Allen Dulles pressed Batista to establish with CIA help, a bureau for the repression of communist activities. Grose, P. (1994). Gentleman Spy: the Life of Allen Dulles, p. 412
Cuba: Death Squads
Cuba, 1956-95 CIA’s war against Cuba and Cuba’s response. In 1956, CIA established in Cuba the infamous Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities, BRAC — secret police that became well known for torture and assassination of Batista’s political opponents. Unclassified W/1994-1995 16-17
Dominican Republic: Watch List
Dominican Republic, 1965. CIA composed list of 55 communist ringleaders of projected takeover of government. Crozier, b. (1993). Free Agent, p. 58
Dominican Republic: Death Squads
Dominican Republic, cover, 1965. 18 public safety program advisers, 6 of whom CIA. Police organized La Banda, a death squad. Lernoux, P. (1982). Cry of the People, p. 187
Eastern Europe: Watch List
East Europe, USSR, 1952-93. Radio Free Europe researchers have hundreds of thousands of file cards on prominent east bloc citizens and a staff of 160 researchers. Washington Post, 4/4/1993, p. A19
East Timor: Death Squads
East Timor, 1975-76. Role of U.S. Government, CIA/NSA, and their Australian collaborators in East Timor is another example of support for genocide which joins a long list of similar cases. Carter and Ford administrations have been accomplices in the massacre of anywhere between one-in-ten (Indonesian foreign minister Mochtar’s latest figure) and one-in-two Timorese. Counterspy, Spring 1980, p. 19
Ecuador: Watch List
Ecuador, 1962. Subversive control watch list. With agent from Social Christian party CIA will form five squads composed of five men for investigative work on subversive control watch list. Agee, P. (1975). Inside the Company: CIA Diary, pp. 240, 247 Ecuador, 1963. The CIA maintained what was called the lynx list, aka the subversive control watch list. This a file that might have 50 to 500 names. People on the list were supposed to be the most important left-wing activists whose arrest we might effect through the local government. Would include place and date of birth, wife’s name, where they worked, and biological data on the whole family, including schools the children attended, etc. In Ecuador the CIA paid teams to collect and maintain this type information. Agee, (1981). White Paper Whitewash, p. 55
Egypt: Watch List
Egypt, Pakistan, 1993. 4/16/1993 2 teams from CIA and FBI to Peshawar to check information given them by Egyptian intelligence services. Egyptians reported terrorist groups based in Peshawar belong to “Arab Afghans” with ties to fundamentalist Muslims in U.S. CIA specialists met with officers of Mukhabarat Al-Amat who had list of 300 Egyptians believed to be hard inner core of Jihad led by Mohammed Sahwky Islambuli. Names of various terrorists. On request by CIA and others, 100 expulsions on 4/10. Intelligence Newsletter, 4/29/1993, pp. 1,5
El Salvador: Watch List
El Salvador, 1980-89. On TV D’Aubuisson, using military intelligence files, denounced teachers, labor leaders, union organizers and politicians. Within days their mutilated bodies found. Washington had identified most leaders of death squads as members Salvadoran security forces with ties to D’Aubuisson. Washington Post op-ed by Douglas Farah, 2/23/1992, p. C4
El Salvador, 1982-84. Significant political violence associated with Salvadoran security services including National police, National Guard, and Treasury Police. U.S. Government agencies maintained official relationships with Salvadoran security establishment appearing to acquiesce in these activities. No evidence U.S. personnel participated in forcible interrogations. U.S. Did pass “tactical” information to alert services of action by insurgent forces. Information on persons passed only in highly unusual cases. Senate Intelligence Committee, October 5, 1984, pp. 11-13
El Salvador: Death Squads
El Salvador, 1961-79. Vigilante organization called Democratic National Organization (Orden) created early 1960s to further control countryside. Created in 1961 but abolished in 1979. But quickly regained and even surpassed former vicious role. Today its members form the core of civil defense corps. White, R.A. (1984). The Morass, p. 133
El Salvador, 1961-84. During the Kennedy administration, agents of the U.S. government set up two security organizations that killed thousands of peasants and suspected leftists over the next 15 years. Guided by Americans, these organizations into the paramilitary units that were the death squads: in 1984 the CIA, in violation U.S. law, continued to provide training, support, and intelligence to security forces involved in death squads. Over the years the CIA and U.S. military organized Orden, the rural paramilitary and intelligence net designed to use terror. Mano Blanco grew out of Orden, which a U.S. ambassador called the “birth of the death squads;” conceived and organized Ansesal, the elite presidential intelligence service that gathered files on Salvadoran dissidents and gave that information to the death squads; recruited General Medrano, the founder of Orden and Ansesal as a CIA agent; supplied Ansesal, the security forces, and the General Staff with electronic, photographic, and personal surveillance of individuals who later assassinated by death squads; and, trained security forces in the use of investigative techniques, weapons, explosives, and interrogation with “instruction in methods of physical and psychological torture.” The Progressive, 5/1984, pp. 20-29
El Salvador, 1963. U.S. government sent 10 special forces personnel to El Salvador to help General Jose Alberto Medrano set up Organizacion Democratica Nacionalist (Orden)–first paramilitary death squad in that country. These green berets assisted in organization and indoctrination of rural “civic” squads which gathered intelligence and carried out political assassinations in coordination with Salvadoran military. Now there is compelling evidence to show that for over 30 years, members of U.S. military and CIA have helped organize, train, and fund death squad activity in El Salvador. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Summer 1990, p. 51
El Salvador, 1963. National Democratic Organization (Orden) formed as pro-government organization with assistance from CIA, U.S. military advisers, AID’s police training program. Orden supervised by Salvadoran national security agency, intelligence organization of military. CIA chose “right hand man,” Jose Medrano, to direct Orden. Orden served as base for death squad operations and sanctioned in 1970-79 all “above ground” unions. Barry, T., and Preusch, D. (1986). AIFLD in Central America, p. 33
El Salvador, 1965-85. For a report of CIA supporting death squad activities in El Salvador see “Spark,” 4/1985, pp. 2-4
El Salvador, 1966. Developed death squads with help of green berets. Campaign used vigilantes to employ terror. Later called civil defense corps. White, R.A. (1984). The Morass, pp. 101-3
El Salvador, 1968. AIFLD creates Salvadoran Communal Union (UCS) which emphasized self help for rural farmers and not peasant organizing. Initially, UCS had support military government. By 1973 UCS seen as too progressive and AIFLD officially expelled. U.S. funding UCS continued through training programs and private foundations. UCS charged with ties to Orden, organization which carried out death squad activity. With failing pro-government union efforts, AIFLD called back to control UCS in 1979. Barry, T., and Preusch, D. (1986). AIFLD in Central America, p. 34
El Salvador, 1976-85. Attended conferences of World Anti-Communist League: Roberto D’Aubuisson, El Salvador. Former major in military intelligence; charged with being responsible for coordinating nation’s rightist death squads. Established Arena political party with assistance of U.S. new right leaders. Anderson, J. L.. and Anderson, S. (1986). Inside the League
El Salvador, 1979-84. House Intelligence Committee investigation of U.S. intelligence connections with death squad activities concluded U.S. intelligence agencies “have not conducted any of their activities in such a way as to directly encourage or support death squad acts.” House Intelligence Committee, annual report, 1/2/1985, pp. 16-19
El Salvador, 1979-88. Death squads recruited under cover of boy scouts. Boys operated as a death squad known as Regalados Armed Forces (FAR). They murdered union officials, student leaders and teachers accused of being guerrilla sympathizers. Herman Torres, a death squad member, learned that the scouts part of nationwide net based on the paramilitary organization known as Orden and coordinated from the main military intelligence unit known as Ansesal run by D’Aubuisson. After coup of 1979, Orden and Ansesal officially disbanded. In 1982, when Arena won control of the constituent assembly, the top legislative body was turned into a center for death squads. Another death squad called the secret anti-communist army (ESA). Bush and North in 12/11/1983 were sent to make it clear U.S. would not tolerate death squads. Perez Linares boasted he killed Archbishop Romero on 3/24/1980. Catholic Church’s human rights office reports 1991 death squad and government killings in first half of 1988 double the number of 1987. Mother Jones, 1/1989, pp. 10-16
El Salvador, 1980-84. Colonel Roberto Santivanez, former chief of the Salvadoran Army’s special military intelligence unit, testified before U.S. Senators and Congressmen. He charged that Roberto D’Aubuisson was the principal organizer of the death squads, along with Colonel Nicolas Carranza, the head of the country’s Treasury Police. He said Carranza also serves as a paid CIA informer. Other reports said Carranza received $90,000 a year for providing intelligence to the CIA. Washington Post, 4/1/1984
El Salvador, 1980-84. Former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White, said the Reagan administration covered up information that Salvadoran rightist Roberto D’Aubuisson ordered the killing of Archbishop Romero. Washington Post, 2/3/1984, 2/7/1984
El Salvador, 1980. Former U.S. Ambassador Robert White, said D’Aubuisson presided over a lottery to select which Salvadoran military officer would assassinate Archbishop Romero, gunned down on 3/24/1980. White said the U.S. Embassy received an eyewitness account of the 3/22 meeting that plotted Romero’s murder. Washington Post from Associated Press, 3/1984
El Salvador, 1981-83. Colonel Carranza, leader of Salvador’s infamous Treasury Police, oversaw the government reign of terror in which 800 people were killed each month. Carranza received $90,000 a year from the CIA from 1979-84 Reportedly living in Kentucky. The Nation, 6/5/1988, p. 780
El Salvador, 1981-84. House Intelligence Committee concluded “CIA did not directly encourage or support death squad killings.” Report added that “some intelligence relationships with individuals connected with death squads” may have given the impression that the CIA condoned, because it was aware of, some death squad killings. Washington Post, 1/14/1985, A20
El Salvador, 1981-84. Senate Intelligence Committee reported several Salvadoran security and military officials have engaged in death squads acts. Large numbers of low-level personnel also involved. Death squads have originated from the Treasury Police and the National Guard and police. Washington Post, 10/12/1984
El Salvador, 1981-84. The CIA and military advisers have helped organize, trained, financed and advised Salvadoran army and intelligence units engaged in death squad activities and torture. Information from two well-informed sources in Salvadoran government. Christian Science Monitor, 5/8/1984, p. 1
El Salvador, 1981-88. Discussion of the use of death squads in El Salvador (No indication of direct CIA participation). The Nation, 5/8/1989, p. 625
El Salvador, 1986. Despite extensive government labor clamp down (including National Guard raid of hospital workers strike), Irving Brown, known CIA and head AFL-CIO’s Department of International Affairs, issues report claiming “a shift away from violent repression and an improvement in human rights.” Statement incredible in light of death squad attacks on unionists. Barry, T., and Preusch, D. (1986). AIFLD in Central America, p. 35
El Salvador, 1987. Central American death squads reported operating in the Los Angeles area. NACLA (magazine re Latin America), 6/1987, pp. 4-5
El Salvador, 1988. Americas Watch in September said the military killed 52 civilians in first 6 months, compared with 72 in all of 1987. In 1988 the Salvadoran rebels have stepped up the war. Washington Post, 11/26/1988, A1&18
El Salvador. AID public safety advisors created the national police intelligence archive and helped organize Ansesal, an elite presidential intelligence service. Dossiers these agencies collected on anti-government activity, compiled with CIA surveillance reports, provided targets for death squads. Many of 50,000 Salvadorans killed in 1981-85 Attributable to death squad activity. National Reporter, Winter 1986, p. 19
El Salvador. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly) 12:14-15;12:5-13.
El Salvador. Medrano “the father of the death squads, the chief assassin of them all,” according to Jose N. Duarte. On 23 March 1985, Medrano was assassinated. Medrano in 1984 admitted he had worked for the CIA in 1960-69. The Progressive, 6/1985, p. 11
El Salvador. Administration sources said at height of rightist death squad activity, Reagan administration depended on commanders of right wing death squads. The U.S. shared some intelligence with them. U.S. intelligence officers developed close ties to chief death squad suspects while death squads killed several hundred a month and totaling tens of thousands. Washington Post, 10/6/1988, A 39 and 43
El Salvador. Article contrasting results of Senate Committee 1984 news accounts of official cooperation between CIA and Salvadoran security officers said to be involved in death squad activities. First Principles, 12/1984, pp. 2-4
El Salvador. CIA supplied surveillance information to security agencies for death squads. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, pp. 321, 327
El Salvador. Falange mysterious death squad comprising both active and retired members security forces. Conducts death squad activities. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), 4/1981, p. 14
El Salvador. Formation of Organisation Democratica Nacionalista Orden Formed in 1968 by Medrano. Forces between 50,000 and 100,000. From 1968-79, Orden official branch of government. First junta attempted to abolish, but group reorganized as National Democratic Front. Example of Orden death squad acts. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), 4/1981, p. 14
El Salvador. See Dickey article re slaughter in El Salvador in New Republic, 12/13/1983, entitled “The Truth Behind the Death Squads.” fn Dickey, C. (1985). With the Contras, p. 286
El Salvador. The CIA and U.S. Armed forces conceived and organized Orden, the rural paramilitary and spy net designed to use terror against government opponents. Conceived and organized Ansesal, the presidential intelligence service that gathered dossiers on dissidents which then passed on to death squads. Kept key security officers with known links to death squads on the CIA payroll. Instructed Salvadoran intelligence operatives “in methods of physical and psychological torture.” Briarpatch, 8/1984 p. 30 from the 5/1984 Progressive
El Salvador. UGB (Union Guerrilla Blanca) (white warriors union). Headed by D’Aubuisson, who trained at International Police Academy. D’Aubuisson claims close ties CIA. Former ambassador White called D’Aubuisson a “psychopathic killer.” Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), 4/1981, p. 14
El Salvador, 1979-88. See “Confessions of an Assassin,” article. Herman Torres Cortez is the assassin who was interviewed and tells of death squad operations in El Salvador. Mother Jones, 1/1989, p. 10
El Salvador, 1983. Vice President Bush delivered an ultimatum to Salvadoran military to stop death squad murders. Mother Jones, 8/1986, p. 64
El Salvador, 1987. Assassins, certainly sponsored by and probably members of Salvadoran security forces, murder Herbert Ernesto Anaya, head of Salvadoran civil rights commission and last survivor of commission’s eight founders. Prior harassment of Anaya solicited neither protest nor protection from Duarte or U.S. administration. Contrary to popular opinion, death squad activity has not waned. “Selective killings of community leaders, labor organizers, human rights workers, rural activists and others have replaced wholesale massacres” since signing of Arias plan. Los Angeles organization “El Rescate” has compiled chronology of human rights abuses. The Nation, 11/14/1987, p. 546
El Salvador. CIA took more than two years 1980-83 begin seriously analyzing papers captured from D’Aubuisson. ICC 242. Papers said reveal death squad supporters, atrocities. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, p. 22
El Salvador, 1988. Death squad activity surged in El Salvador in 1988 after a period of relative decline. Amnesty International report “El Salvador: Death Squads- A Government Strategy,” noted in NACLA (magazine re Latin America) 3/1989, p. 11
El Salvador, 1989. Although human rights monitors consistently link death squad acts to the Salvadoran government, many U.S. media report on death squads as if they an independent or uncontrollable force. Extra, Summer, 1989, p. 28
El Salvador, 1989 Member of Salvadoran army said first brigade intelligence unit army troops routinely kill and torture suspected leftists. First brigade day-to-day army operations carried out with knowledge of U.S. military advisers. CIA routinely pays expenses for intelligence operations in the brigades. U.S. has about 55 advisers in Salvador. Washington Post, 10/27/1989, A1,26
El Salvador, circa 1982-84. Ricardo Castro, a 35 year old Salvadoran army officer, a West Point graduate, said he worked for the CIA and served as translator for a U.S. official who advised the military on torture techniques and overseas assassinations. Castro personally led death squad operations. The Progressive, 3/1986, pp. 26-30
El Salvador, domestic, 1986-87. Article “The Death Squads Hit Home.” For decades they terrorized civilians in El Salvador, now they are terrorizing civilians in the U.S. The FBI shared intelligence about Salvadoran activists in the U.S. with Salvador’s notorious security services. The Progressive, 10/1987, pp. 15-19
El Salvador. Office of Public Safety graduate Colonel Roberto Mauricio Staben was, according to journalist Charles Dickey “responsible for patrolling — if not contributing to — the famous death squad dumping ground at El Payton a few miles from its headquarters.” also, Alberto Medrano, founder of El Salvador’s counterinsurgency force Orden, was an operations graduate. Finally, Jose Castillo, who was trained in 1969 at the U.S. International Police School, later became head of National Guard’s section of special investigations which helped organize the death squads. The Nation, 6/7/1986, p. 793
El Salvador. Former death squad member Joya Martinez admitted death squad operations carried out with knowledge and approval 2 U.S. military advisers. LA Weekly, 1/25/1990
El Salvador. DCI report to House Intelligence Committee re CIA connections with death squads. National security archives listing.
El Salvador. FBI’s contacts with the Salvadoran National Guard. Information in Senate Intelligence Committee Report, 7/1989, pp. 104-5
El Salvador. Former San Francisco police officer accused of illegal spying said he worked for CIA and will expose CIA’s support of death squads if he prosecuted. Tom Gerard said he began working for CIA in 1982 and quit in 1985 because he could not tolerate what he saw. He and Roy Bullock are suspected of gathering information from police and government files on thousands of individuals and groups. Information probably ended up with B’nai B’rith and ADL. CIA refused to confirm Gerard’s claim. Gerard said there is proof CIA directly involved in training and support of torture and death squads in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala during mid 1980s. Proof in his briefcase San Francisco police seized. Gerard said several photos seized by police show CIA agents attending interrogations, or posing with death squad members. Washington Times, 4/28/1993, A 6
El Salvador, 1963-90. In 1963 U.S. sent 10 Special Forces to help General Madrano set up Organizacion Democratica Nacionalista (Orden), a death squad. Evidence this sort activity going on for 30 years. Martinez, a soldier in First infantry brigade’s department 2, admitted death squad acts. Said he worked with two U.S. Advisers. Castro, another soldier, talks about death squads and U.S. contacts. Rene Hurtado, former agent with Treasury Police, gives his story. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly) Summer 1990, pp. 51-53
El Salvador, 1973-89. El Salvador’s ruling party, Arena, closed off fifth floor of National Assembly building to serve as HQ for national network of death squads following Arena’s 20 March 1988 electoral victory. Hernan Torres Cortez, a former Arena security guard and death squad member, said he was trained and recruited by Dr. Antonio Regalado under orders of Roberto D’Abuisson intelligence service, Ansesal, in 1973. Official network was broken up in 1984 following Vice President Bush’s visit, but was reinstated in 1988. Intelligence Newsletter, 1/18/1991, p. 5
El Salvador, 1979-90. A detailed discussion of Salvador’s death squads. Schwarz, B. (1991). American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador, pp. 41-3
El Salvador, 1980-84. Expatriate Salvadorans in U.S. have provided funds for political violence and have been directly involved in assisting and directing their operations. Senate Intelligence Committee, October 5, 1984, p. 15
El Salvador, 1980-84. Numerous Salvadoran officials involved in death squad activities — most done by security services — especially the Treasury Police and National Guard. Some military death squad activity. Senate Intelligence Committee, October 5, 1984, 15
El Salvador, 1980-89. D’Aubuisson kept U.S. on its guard. Hundreds of released declassified documents re relationship. Washington Post, 1/4/1994, A1,13
El Salvador, 1980-89. Declassified documents re 32 cases investigated by United Nations appointed Truth Commission on El Salvador reveal U.S. officials were fully aware of Salvadoran military and political leaders’ complicity in crimes ranging from massacre of more than 700 peasants at El Mozote in 1981 to murder of 6 Jesuit priests in 1989, and thousands of atrocities in between. Lies of our Time 3/1994, pp. 6-9
El Salvador, 1980-89. President Reagan and Vice President Bush instituted polices re fighting communists rather than human rights concerns. From 11/1980 through 1/1991 a large number of assassinations — 11/27, 5 respected politicians; 12/4, rape and murder of 3 American nuns and a lay workers; 2 American land reform advisers on 1/4/1981. Archbishop Romero killed 3/1980. There clear evidence D’Aubuisson’s involvement but Reagan administration ignored. On TV, D’Aubuisson, using military intelligence files, denounced teachers, labor leaders, union organizers and politicians. Within days their mutilated bodies found. Washington had identified most leaders of death squads as members Salvadoran security forces with ties to D’Aubuisson. With U.S. outrage at bloodshed, U.S., via Bush, advised government slaughter must stop. Article discusses torture techniques used by security forces. Washington Post op-ed by Douglas Farah, 2/23/1992, C4
El Salvador, 1980-90. COL Nicolas Carranza, head of Treasury Police, on CIA payroll. Minnick, W. (1992). Spies and Provocateurs, p. 32
El Salvador, 1980-90. State panel found that mistakes by U.S. diplomats, particularly in probing 1981 massacre of civilians at El Mozote, undercut policy during Salvador’s civil war. Findings in 67-page study ordered by Secretary of State Christopher. Sen. Leahy said report “glosses over…the lies, half-truths and evasions that we came to expect from the State Department during that period.” Sen. Dodd said “report is sloppy, anemic and basically a whitewash…” Washington Times, 7/16/1993, A12 and Washington Post, 7/16/1993, A16
El Salvador, 1980-91. Truth Commission report says 19 of 27 Salvadoran officers implicated in 6 Jesuit murders were graduates of U.S. Army’s School of Americas in Fort Benning, Ga. Almost three quarters of Salvadoran officers accused in 7 other massacres were trained at Fort Benning. It called school for dictators. Since 46 it has trained more than 56,000 Latin soldiers. Graduates include some of region’s most despicable military strongmen. Now, when U.S. wants to build democracy, school an obstacle. Newsweek investigation turned up hundreds of less than honorable grads. At least 6 Peruvian officers linked to a military death squad that killed 9 students and a professor were graduates. Four of five senior Honduran officers accused in Americas Watch report of organizing a death squad, Battalion 316, were trained there. A coalition charged 246 Colombian officers with human rights violations; 105 were school alumni. Honored graduates include General Suarez, a brutal dictator of Bolivia; General Callejas Ycallejas, chief of Guatemalan intelligence in late 1970s and early 1980s, when thousands political opponents were assassinated; and Honduran General Garcia, a corrupt person; and, Hernandez, armed forces chief of Colombia suspected of aiding Colombian drug traffickers. Newsweek, 8/9/1993, pp. 36-7
El Salvador, 1980-92. “Secret of the Skeletons: Uncovering America’s Hidden Role in El Salvador.” Pathologists uncovered 38 small skeletons in El Mozote. In 1981 soldiers of ACRE, immediate reaction infantry battalion created by U.S., herded children into basement and blew up building. U.S. officials denied any massacre had taken place and kept on denying for years. About 800 residents killed. Armed service leaders said they conducted war on part of Reagan and Bush administrations with bi-partisan support Congress since 1984; received daily assistance from State Department, DOD and CIA. Truth Commission investigating via U.S. Government interagency committee. State and CIA not cooperating with commission. CIA not giving one document on formation of death squads, prepared in 1983 for congressional intelligence committees. Kidnap-for-profit ring against Salvadoran business community. With U.S. Encouragement, Salvadoran government arrested several members of ring. One was a death squad assassin, Rudolfo Isidro Lopez Sibrian, who implicated in deaths of 2 American labor advisers. Washington Post, 11/15/1992, C1,2
El Salvador, 1980-93. 11/5/1993 release of thousands pages of intelligence reports shows every U.S. diplomat, military officer, and intelligence operative who worked with El Salvador’s military and political leaders in 1980s knew most of those involved in organizing death squads. State Department officials lied to Congress. Intelligence reports detailed precise information on murder, kidnapping, and coup plots, and death squad funding, involving people like VP Francisco Merino and current Arena candidate Armando Calderon Sol. At least 63,000 Salvadoran civilians — equivalent of 3 million Americans were killed — most by government supported by U.S. The Nation, 11/29/1993, p. 645
El Salvador, 1980-93. Approximately 50-page article on the massacres at El Mozote. Article by Mark Danner. New Yorker, 12/6/1993
El Salvador, 1980-93. Article by Jared Toller, “Death Squads Past, Present & Future.” discusses recent cases of FMLN members being murdered by resurgent death squads. Only left is calling for full implementation of UN Truth Commission’s recommendations — purging armed forces, full investigation into death squads, etc. Truth Commission had recommended U.S. make it files available. U.S. Had refused to turn over 1983 FBI report on death squads organization in Miami. Salvadoran government is the death squads. Member of a death squad now imprisoned and seeking amnesty, Lopez Sibrian, explained participation of Arena luminaries in kidnappings, bombings and attacks on National University. He implicated the mayor of San Salvador in various acts. Link between phone service, Antel, and national intelligence police. Antel records calls of left and passes them to police. (The secret anti-communist Army, a former death squad, were regulars of now-disbanded Treasury Police). Upcoming elections may have generated increase in death squad activity. Z magazine, 1/1994, pp. 14-5
El Salvador, 1980-93. Colman McCarthy comments of UN’s Truth Commission report and the Reagan-Abrams “fabulous achievement.” Washington Post, 4/6/1993, D22
El Salvador, 1980-93. Letter to editor by Thomas Buergenthal of law school at George Washington U., who was a member of the Truth Commission for
El Salvador. He denies news story that there was a chapter in the report that dealt with the structure and finances of the groups was withheld. He bemoans the ability of the commission to thoroughly investigate all aspects. Washington Post, 11/30/1993, A24
El Salvador, 1980-93. Report of UN’s Truth Commission re enormous crime of a government that killed upwards of 70,000 civilians between 1980-92. Report refutes official statements made by Reagan and Bush administrations — when officials denied leaders of Salvadoran armed forces were using execution, rape and torture to sustain their power — reports says they were. We need a truth report on our own government per Rep. Moakley. Truth report adds growing body evidence U.S. Government officials may have participated in perpetuation of atrocities in El Salvador. In 1960s, CIA advisers helped create a nationwide informant net. In 1981, team of military advisers led by Brig. Gen. Frederick Woener sent to determine “rightist terrorism and institutional violence.” Salvadorans generally dismissed notion that terror was a bad idea. One of Colonels, Oscar Edgardo Casanova Vejar, was one covering up rape and murder of four churchwomen. Woener recommended U.S. proceed and give $300-400 million aid. U.S. officials claimed churchwomen had run a roadblock and there was no massacre at El Mozote. Neil Livingstone, a consultant who worked with Oliver North at NSC concluded, “death squads are an extremely effective tool, however odious, in combating terrorism and revolutionary challenges.” op-ed by Jefferson Morley, an Outlook editor. Washington Post, 3/28/1993, C1,5
El Salvador, 1980-93. Salvador’s ruling party moved to declare amnesty for those named in United Nations.-sponsored Truth Commission. Investigators said 85% of complaints laid to government death squads. Discusses D’Aubuisson’s implication in Archbishop Romero’s assassination. Washington Post 3/17/1993 a25
El Salvador, 1980. Ten former death squad members were ordered killed in Santiago de Maria on 27 December 1980 by Hector Antonio Regalado, who felt they knew too much. Intelligence Newsletter, 10/4/1988, p. 6
El Salvador, 1981-84. There are two versions of first page of a CIA report, “El Salvador: Dealing With Death Squads,” 1/20/1984. CIA released first version in 1987, among congressional debate over aid to El Salvador. Second version, which contradicts first, declassified by CIA in 11/1993. As recently as 10/1992, CIA continued to release censored version in response to FOIA requests. Redacted version implies death squad problem overcome — non censored version show this is not true. New York Times, 12/17/1993, A19
El Salvador, 1981-89. Salvadoran atrocity posed agonizing choice for U.S. COL Rene Ponce, chief of staff of Salvador’s armed forces, has been accused of ordering murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at Central American University. Newly available U.S. documents show U.S. knowingly and repeatedly aligned themselves with unsavory characters during 1980s while defending them to U.S. Public. Diplomatic cables found among more than 10,000 recently declassified State, Pentagon and CIA documents, reveal extent U.S. policy makers chose to overlook Ponce’s brutality. U.S. officials long labeled Ponce a right-wing extremist tied to death squads. But documents make clear U.S. played down unsavory side of Ponce. Details from correspondence between Ambassador Walker and Baker. In 10/1983, CIA prepared a “briefing paper on right-wing terrorism in El Salvador” that described Ponce as a supporter of death squads. Impact Bush’s visit in 1984 to push for human rights was minimal. By 7/1989, CIA reported that Ponce “espouses moderate political views.” Ponce refused repeated requests to pursue those responsible for deaths of Jesuits. Washington Post, 4/5/1994, A13
El Salvador, 1981-90. Government operation at El Mozote consisted of Army, National Guard and the Treasury Police in operation rescue. By early 1992, U.S. spent more than 4 billion in civil war lasting 12 years and that left 75,000 dead. New Yorker, 12/6/1993, p. 53
El Salvador, 1981-90. In 1981 over 10,000 political murders committed by Salvadoran military and its death squads. In 1990 there were 108 such murders. Schwarz, B. (1991). American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador, p. 23
El Salvador, 1981-92. Article “Death-Squad Refugees,” discusses case of Cesar Vielman Joya Martinez, extradited by Bush to El Salvador to face murder charges for being part of a death squad that he claims operated with knowledge of defense minister Ponce and other top officials. FOIA documents show U.S. helping prepare extradition request for Salvadoran government. Truth Commission’s report vindicates Joya. Texas Observer (magazine), 3/26/1993, pp. 9-10
El Salvador, 1981-92. Some U.S. special operations soldiers in El Salvador during civil war want Pentagon to admit they more than advisers. They say they also fought. Army memo given Newsweek says, “most personnel serving in an advisory capacity were directly engaged in hostile action.” Newsweek, 4/5/1993
El Salvador, 1981-92. Truth Commission report implicates top Salvadoran officials in ordering or covering up murders of four U.S. churchwomen and six Jesuit priests; and Salvadoran troops massacred many hundreds at El Mozote. Four Dutch journalists killed 3/17/1982 were deliberately ambushed by Salvadoran army. Denials by then top U.S. government officials now exposed. U.S. government supported war with $6 billion. The Nation, 4/12/1993, p. 475
El Salvador, 1981-93. 12 years of tortured truth on El Salvador — U.S. declarations undercut by United Nations. Commission report. For 12 years, opponents of U.S. policy in Central America accused Reagan and Bush administrations of ignoring widespread human rights abuses by the Salvadoran government and of systematically deceiving or even lying to Congress and people about the nature of an ally that would receive $6 billion in economic and military aid. A three-man United Nations.-sponsored Truth Commission released a long-awaited report on 12 years of murder, torture and disappearance in El Salvador’s civil war. Commission examined 22,000 complaints of atrocities and attributed 85 percent of a representative group of them to Salvadoran security forces or right-wing death squads. It blamed remainder on guerrilla Farabundo Marti National Liberation front (FMLN). In May 1980, for instance, when Carter was still President, security forces seized documents implicating rightist leader D’Aubuisson in the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero. In Fall of 1981, Army Brig. Gen. Fred Woerner supervised preparation of a joint U.S.-Salvadoran internal military “Report of the El Salvador Military Strategy Assistance Team,” which noted that “the (Salvadoran) armed forces are reluctant to implement vigorous corrective actions for abuses in the use of force.” One reason so many people found it hard to believe U.S. officials could not have known more about rights abuses and acted more aggressively to curb them is that the U.S. was deeply involved in running the war, from intelligence gathering to strategy planning to training of everyone from officers to foot soldiers. By 1982, U.S.. military advisers were assigned to each of the six Salvadoran brigades, as well as each of 10 smaller detachments. The U.S. put tens of millions of dollars into developing the ultra-modern national intelligence directorate to coordinate intelligence gathering and dissemination. U.S. military and CIA officials participated in almost every important meeting. Most brigades had a U.S. intelligence officer assigned to them, as well as a U.S. liaison officer. U.S. advisers regularly doled out small amounts of money, usually less than $1,000 at a time, for intelligence work. The U.S. was not informed of arrests or captures Unless they specifically asked. “They never asked unless there was a specific request because someone in Washington was getting telegrams.” El Mozote, the report said, was work of U.S.-trained Atlacatl battalion, part of a days-long search-and-destroy sweep known as “Operation Rescue.” In fact, the report said, the soldiers massacred more than 500 people in six villages. In El Mozote, where the identified victims exceeded 200, “the men were tortured and executed, then women were executed and finally, the children” Washington Post, 3/21/1993
El Salvador, 1981-93. A discussion of the media’s treatment of the El Mozote massacres and the U.S. media’s treatment of that story. Lies of our Time, 6/1993, pp. 3-4
El Salvador, 1981-93. Thomas Enders, former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1981-83, writes op-ed defending U.S. officials’ testimony re massacre at El Mozote as now confirmed by UN’s Truth Commission report. Washington Post, op-ed 3/29/1993, A19
El Salvador, 1981-93. United Nations. Commission on Truth to release report on crimes committed against civilians in Salvador’s 12-year civil war. Defense Minister Ponce already resigned. Washington Post Outlook, 3/14/1993, C1,2
El Salvador, 1981-94. Armando Calderon Sol considered shoo-in to win Presidency in impending elections. Calderon began his political career as a member of a seven-man, neo-fascist group under D’Aubuisson’s guidance that supported death squad operations. Calderon has all worst elements of D’Abuisson without any redeeming qualities. When D’Abuisson running death squads out of his office, Calderon was his private secretary and a loyal soldier in a terrorist cell — Salvadoran National Movement (MNS). In 1981, D’Abuisson unified MNS into Arena party. Washington Post, Outlook, 4/17/1994, C1,3
El Salvador, 1981. Detailed article on “The Truth of El Mozote,” by Mark Danner. New Yorker, 12/6/1993, pages 51 and ending on page 103
El Salvador, 1981. Skeletons verify killing of Salvadoran children of El Mozote, El Salvador. Washington Times, 10/21/1992, A9 and Washington Post, 10/22/1992, A18
El Salvador, 1982-84. Significant political violence associated with Salvadoran security services including National police, National Guard, and Treasury Police. U.S. government agencies maintained official relationships with Salvadoran security establishment appearing to acquiesce in these activities. No evidence U.S. personnel participated in forcible interrogations. U.S. did pass “tactical” information to alert services of action by insurgent forces. Information on persons passed only in highly unusual cases. Senate Intelligence Committee, October 5, 1984, pp. 11-13.
El Salvador, 1982-84. “Recent Political Violence in El Salvador,” Report of Senate Intelligence Committee. Committee found ample evidence that U.S. policy was to oppose political violence. U.S. government accorded high priority to gathering intelligence on political violence. President Bush and his demarche in 1983. P8. U.S. government Relationship with Robert D’Aubuisson — bio on him. U.S. Government contact with him limited. Roberto Santivanez, director of Ansesal 1978-79. He claimed he himself had engaged in death squad activity and had a relationship with U.S. through CIA and that COL Carranza had ties to CIA. Colonel Nicolas Carranza had extensive ties to Arena and National Conciliation (PCN) parties. He involved in various activities of interest to U.S. in various positions. Senate Intelligence Committee, October 5, 1984, pp. 1-11
El Salvador, 1983-90. Former Salvadoran army intelligence agent who applied for political asylum in U.S. convicted in court of entering country illegally. Joya-Martinez’s request for political asylum still pending. Washington Post, 9/19/1990, A5
El Salvador, 1985. In 2/1985, CIA reported that behind Arena’s legitimate exterior lies a terrorist network led by D’Aubuisson using both active-duty and retired military personnel…” main death squad was “the Secret Anti-communist Army,” described by CIA as the paramilitary organization of Arena — from the National Police and other security organizations. These were funded directly from Washington. Death squads became more active as 1994, election approached. Columbia, possibly leading terrorist state in Latin America, has become leading recipient of U.S. military aid. Since 1986, more than 20,000 people have been killed for political reasons, most by Colombian authorities. More than 1,500 leaders, members and supporters of the Labor Party (UP) have been assassinated since party established in 1985. Pretext for terror operations is war against guerrillas and narcotraffickers. Former a partial truth, latter a myth concocted to replace the “communist threat.” Works hand-in-hand with drug lords, organized crime, and landlords. National Police took over as leading official killers while U.S. aid shifted to them. Targets include community leaders, human rights and health workers, union activists, students, members of religious youth organizations, and young people in shanty towns. Sale of human organs. Case of Guatemala. Shift of 1962, under Kennedy administration from hemispheric defense to “internal security:” war against the internal enemy. Doctrines expounded in counterinsurgency manuals. Internal enemy extends to labor organizations, popular movements, indigenous organizations, opposition political parties, peasant movements, intellectual sectors, religious currents, youth and student groups, neighborhood organizations, etc. From 1984 through 1992, 6,844 Colombian soldiers trained under U.S. International Military Education and Training Program (MET). Z Magazine, 5/1994, 14 pages
El Salvador, 1986-87. See article “Death Squad Update, Investigating L.A.’s Salvadoran Connection.” Los Angeles Weekly, 8/7/1987
El Salvador, 1986-89. Joya Martinez, former death squad member, who said two U.S. advisers attached to his unit and gave funds of 9500 month. Article names other Salvadoran death squad members. Unclassified, 7/1990
El Salvador, 1986. In 1986, Salvadoran authorities, with help of FBI, cracked a kidnap-for-hire ring in which death squads posing as leftist rebels kidnapped some of nation’s wealthiest businessmen. Schwarz, B. (1991). American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador, p. 28
El Salvador, 1987-89. Jesuit labeled ardent communist two years before by Salvadoran, U.S. officials. Religious News Service, 5/9/1990, p. 1
El Salvador, 1987-89. Salvadoran woman defecting to U.S. said she worked for death squad and provided information on six people who killed. Her claims back up those of her supervisor, Cesar Joya Martinez, who linked death squad acts to U.S. funding. Boston Globe, 3/16/1990, in First Principles, 4/1990, p. 10
El Salvador, 1988-89. Joya Martinez, former member intelligence department 1st army Brigade of Salvador’s army. Said U.S. advisers funded their activity, but unaware of death squad. Washington Post, 11/19/1989, F2
El Salvador, 1988. Amnesty International report of 26 October 1988 noted “black list” are supplied to Salvadoran media by Salvadoran intelligence services. During first six months of 1988, number of murders by death squads tripled over same period of previous year. Most prominent victim was Judge Jorge Alberto Serrano Panameno who was shot in May 1988. Increase reflects rise to power of 1966 class from national military school. Class members include Colonel Rene Emilio Ponce, new chief of staff of armed forces as well as director of Treasury Police. They command five of country’s six brigades, five of seven military detachments, three security forces as well as intelligence, personnel and operations posts in high command. Intelligence Newsletter, 11/16/1988, pp. 5,6
El Salvador, 1989-91. According to confidential Salvadoran military sources, decision to murder six Jesuit priests was made at a 15 November 1989 meeting of senior commanders (CO) at the Salvadoran military school. Those allegedly present were: Colonel Benavides, CO of the school; General Juan Rafael Bustillo, then CO of Salvadoran Air Force — in 1991 assigned to embassy in Israel; General Emilio Ponce, then chief of staff — in 1991 minister of defense; and Colonel Elena Fuentes, CO of 1st brigade. Initiative for murders came from Colonel Bustillo. For a listing of direct and circumstantial evidence supporting allegation, see statement of Rep. Joe Moakley, Task Force on El Salvador, 11/18/1991
El Salvador, 1989. CIA officer visited bodies of dead priests. Officer was senior liaison with (DNI) the national intelligence directorate. U.S. probably knew Salvadoran military behind assassinations but did not say anything for seven weeks. State Department panel did not review actions of CIA or DOD. Washington Post, 7/18/1993, C1,4
El Salvador, 1989. Congressman criticized a 11/ 1987 report in which Latin American and U.S. military leaders accused Rev. Ignacio Ellacuria and several other theologians of supporting objectives of communist revolution. Father Ellacuria, Rector of Jesuit university in San Salvador, was murdered on 11/16/ 1989. Religious News Service, 5/11/1990, p. 1
El Salvador, 1989. Joya Martinez and Jesuit murders. Martinez says his unit which played major role in 12/1989 murder of Jesuit priests had U.S. government advisors. INS trying to deport Martinez. Unclassified, 9/1990, p. 6
El Salvador, 1989. Salvadoran Archbishop Rivera accused U.S. officials of subjecting a witness to the slaying of 6 Jesuit intellectuals to brainwashing and psychological torment. Washington Post, 12/11/1989, A23,24
El Salvador, 1989. U.S. military adviser Benavides told FBI, later recanted, that Salvadoran army chief of staff and others knew of plan to kill six Jesuit priests. Washington Post, 10/29/1990, A17,21
El Salvador, 1990. Amnesty International reported a significant surge in number of killings by army-supported death squads this year. 45 people killed between January and August this year, compared with 40 reported in 1989. Washington Post, 10/24/1990, A14
El Salvador, 1990. Cesar Vielman Joya-Martinez, former member Salvadoran First brigade death squad, sentenced to 6 months in jail for illegally reentering U.S. 6 years after he deported. Washington Post, 12/8/1990, A22
El Salvador, 1991. Salvadoran minister of defense and other top generals attended 1989 meeting where decision was made to murder six Jesuit priests, according to confidential sources. Allegation was made by an attorney working for Rep. Moakley (D-MA), whose task force released a six page statement directly linking Salvadoran high command to slayings. Washington Times, 11/18/1991, A2
El Salvador, 1991. Summary executions continued in El Salvador despite the presence of Onusal, the UN observer mission monitoring human rights violations. In a 1991 report, Onusal noted government made few attempts to investigate slayings. Report also accused FMLN for recruiting fifteen-year-olds. Washington Times, 12/3/1991, A8
El Salvador, 1992. Cesar Vielman Joya Martinez, former Salvadoran death squad member, to be deported. Washington Post editorial, 10/23/1992, A20
El Salvador, 1993. Right-wing death squads undermining fragile peace per UN chief in campaign for March 1994 elections. Washington Times, 11/25/1993, A15
El Salvador, Central America, 1981-1993. Salvadoran death squads set up as a consequence of Kennedy administration decisions. Killers were Treasury Police and the military who were trained in intelligence and torture by U.S. U.S. personnel staffed military and intelligence apparatus. Generals selected and trained by U.S. were most notorious killers. 1984 FBI report on death squads never released. For savage expose of School of Americas’ killers, see Father Roy Bourgeois’s School of the Americas Watch, Box 3330, Columbus Ga. 31903; (706) 682-5369. The Nation, 12/27/1993, p. 791
El Salvador, 1989-1990. Joya Martinez testified role played by U.S. officials in death squad killings carried out by U.S. trained first infantry Brigade’s intelligence unit. Two U.S. military advisers controlled intelligence department and paid for unit’s operating expenses. His unit performed 74 executions between April and July 1989. Washington Post confirmed U.S. advisers work in liaison with First brigade and CIA pays expenses for intelligence operations in the brigades. Martinez said his first brigade unit attached to U.S.-trained Atlacatl battalion, which slaughtered the Jesuit priests. Member of his unit, Oscar Mariano Amaya Grimaldi has confessed to slayings. In These Times, 8/14/1990, p. 17
Europe: Watch List
Europe, 1945-92. Operation Gladio. First scandal was discovery of assassination teams in 1952 linked to Bundes Deutscher Jugend — a right-wing political organization in Hesse, Germany. They prepared list of German politicians who [might cooperate with Soviets]. BBC (1992). Gladio — Timewatch (Transcript of 3 part program), pp. 19-20
Georgia: Watch List
Georgia, 1993. Woodruff worked for 2 months as CIA’s Tbilisi station chief posing as a State Department regional-affairs officer. He to help Guguladze upgrade Georgian intelligence service and to monitor factional struggle. Newsweek 8/23/1993, p. 18
Germany: Watch List
Germany, 1950-54. In about 1950 pacifist ideas to be eradicated. U.S. formed German youth league (Bund Deutscher Jugend (BDJ)) in Frankfurt. Psychological indoctrination given by Paul Luth. BDJ was a militant organization, a counterweight to communist-run free German youth (FDJ) run from East Berlin to infiltrate W. German youth. BDJ passed letters and brochures through Iron Curtain and pasted slogans on walls. Chancellor Adenauer wanted cold war and wanted to use the BDJ. Otto John told by State official Zinn that it had uncovered neo-Nazi unit BDJ run by Peters, that was organizing secret firing exercises and training for partisan warfare in the Odelwald. BDJ had drawn up a blacklist of left-wing socialists who were to be arrested or even murdered in event of attack from east. [early version of Gladio political and staybehind operation]. John, O. (1969). Twice Through the Lines: the Autobiography of Otto John, pp. 210-15
Germany, 1950-90. Bonn officials said government to disband secret resistance net Operation Gladio. Section consisted of former Nazi SS and Waffen-SS officers as well as members of an extreme right-wing youth group that drew up plans to assassinate leading members of Socialist Democratic Party in event of USSR-invasion. “Statewatch” compilation filed June 1994, p. 11
Germany, 1952-91. CIA’s stay-behind program caused scandal in 1952 when West German police discovered CIA working with a 2,000-member fascist youth group led by former Nazis. Group had a black list of people to be liquidated in case of conflict with the USSR. Lembke case. The Nation, 4/6/1992, p. 446
Germany, 1953. (Stay-behind operation Gladio?). In 1953 mass arrests of neo-Nazi militant organization within ranks of German youth fellowship (BDJ) discovered. Group held secret night maneuvers in Odenwald with CIA instructors. They preparing for war with East Germany and prepared lists of communists, left-wing sympathizers and pacifists who were to be arrested in case of emergency. Members encouraged to infiltrate East German youth league (FDJ). Operation exposed in press and scores of youths arrested in East Germany as spies, propagandists or provocateurs, and sentenced to terms of up to nine years of hard labor. Hagan, l. (1969). The Secret War for Europe, p. 78
Germany, 1953. U.S. Intelligence officer told Otto John, head of BFV, one of its agents in East Germany to defect with a list of East German agents in West. 35 Communist spies arrested after Easter. Later it found many of those arrested were innocent. Arrests followed with apologies. Disaster caused by over-zealous U.S. intelligence officer. West German businessmen as consequence afraid to do business with east. This a goal of U.S. Policy — was this a deliberate “mistake?” Hagan, l. (1969). The Secret War for Europe, p. 81
Greece: Watch List
Greece, 1967. After CIA-backed coup, the army and police seized almost 10,000 prisoners, mostly left-wing militants, though political leaders of all shades taken including prime minister Kanelopoulos and members of his Cabinet, trade union members, journalists, writers, etc. The lists had been provided by the sympathizers in the police and the secret service. Final lists kept up to date by COL George Ladas. Details of fate of the arrestees. Tompkins, P. (Unpublished manuscript). Strategy of Terror, pp. 13-8
Guatemala: Watch List
Guatemala, 1954. Death squads and target lists. Schlesinger, S., & Kinzer, S. (1983). Bitter Fruit 197, pp. 207-8, 221
Guatemala, 1954. Goal of CIA was apprehension of suspected communists and sympathizers. At CIA behest, Castillo Armas created committee and issued decree that established death penalty for crimes including labor union activities. Committee given authority declare anyone communist with no right of defense or appeal. By 11/21/1954 committee had some 72,000 persons on file and aiming to list 200,000. Schlesinger, S., & Kinzer, S. (1983). Bitter Fruit, p. 221
Guatemala, 1954. The U.S. Ambassador, after overthrow of Arbenz government, gave lists of radical opponents to be eliminated to Armas’s government. NACLA 2/1983, p 4. The military continued up to at least 1979 to use a list of 72,000 proscribed opponents, drawn up first in 1954. NACLA (magazine re Latin America) 2/1983, p. 13
Guatemala, 1954. After Armas made president, labor code forgotten and worker organizers began disappearing from united fruit plantations. Hersh, B. (1992). The Old Boys, p. 353
Guatemala, 1954. Department of State Secretary Dulles told Ambassador Peurifoy to have the government scour the countryside for communists and to slap them with criminal charges. A few months later the government began to persecute hundreds for vague communist crimes. The Nation, 10/28/1978, p. 444
Guatemala, 1954 U.S. Ambassador Peurifoy, after Arbenz resigned, gave Guatemalan army’s chief of staff a list of “communists” to be shot. The chief of staff declined. The Nation 6/5/1995, pp. 792-5
Guatemala, 1981-89. Israeli Knesset member General Peled said in Central America Israel is ‘dirty work’ contractor for U.S. Helped Guatemala regime when Congress blocked Reagan administration. Israeli firm Tadiran (then partly U.S.-owned) supplied Guatemalan military with computerized intelligence system to track potential subversives. Those on computer list had an excellent chance of being “disappeared.” It was “an archive and computer file on journalists, students, leaders, leftists, politicians and so on.” Computer system making up death lists. Cockburn, A. & Cockburn, L. (1991). Dangerous Liaison, p. 219
Guatemala, 1985-93. CIA collected intelligence re ties between Guatemalan insurgents and Cuba. CIA passed the information to U.S. military, which was assisting Guatemalan army extinguish opposition. Washington Post, 3/30/1995, A1,10
Guatemala, 1988-91. CIA station chief in Guatemala from 1988 to 1991 was a Cuban American. He had about 20 officers with a budget of about $5 million a year and an equal or greater sum for “liaison” with Guatemalan military. His job included placing and keeping senior Guatemalan officers on his payroll. Among them was Alpirez, who recruited for CIA. Alpirez’s intelligence unit spied on Guatemalans and is accused by human rights groups of assassinations. CIA also gave Guatemalan army information on guerrillas. New York Times, 4/2/1995, A11
Guatemala: Death Squads
Guatemala, 1953-84. For 30 years the CIA has been bankrolling a man reported to be behind right-wing terror in Central America. The CIA’s protégé, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, former Vice President Of Guatemala, now heads the National Liberation Movement (NLM) founded in 1953 by CIA as a paramilitary force to overthrow Arbenz. By mid-1960s Sandoval emerged as head of the organization. The White Hand or La Mano Blanco with close ties to the NLM was responsible for as many as 8000 deaths in the 1960s plus more in the 1970s. Sandoval a pillar of the World Anti-communist League. The CIA still funds Sandoval. Jack Anderson, Washington Post, 1/30/1984
Guatemala, 1954-76. Effect of CIA coup organized labor all but wiped out. Union membership dropped 100,000 to 27,000 immediately and continued decline thereafter, in part due to death squad activity. Barry, T., and Preusch, D. (1986). AIFLD in Central America, p. 21
Guatemala. Police trained by AID public safety program murdered or disappeared 15,000 people. Lernoux, P. (1982). Cry of the People, p. 186
Guatemala, 1954-84. See Jack Anderson column “Links Reported Among Latin Death Squads.” Washington Post, 1/12/1984, N. VA., p. 15
Guatemala, 1970-72. Under Arana presidency, with Mario Sandoval Alarcon and others involved in right-wing terrorism, Arana unleashed one of the most gruesome slaughters in recent Latin American history (only in Chile, following the coup against Allende was the degree of violence greater). The New York Times reported in June 1971 that at least 2000 Guatemalans were assassinated between 11/1970 and 5/1971; most corpses showed signs of torture. Most of killing attributed to the officially supported terrorist organizations Ojo Por Ojo (an eye for an eye) and Mano Blanca. Jones, S., and Tobis, D. (Eds.). (1974). Guatemala, pp. 202-3
Guatemala, 1970-87. Violence by security forces organized by CIA, trained in torture by advisors from Argentina, Chile. Supported by weapon, computer experts from Israel. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, p. 133
Guatemala. 1960-82. Trained military death squads who used “terror tactics” from killing to indiscriminate napalming of villages. Special Forces almost certainly participated in operations despite Congressional prohibition. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, p. 193
Guatemala, 1954. The U.S. ambassador, after overthrow of Arbenz government, gave lists to Armas of radical opponents to be eliminated. NACLA (magazine re Latin America) 2/1983, p. 4
Guatemala, 1985. The World Anti-communist League’s point man, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, remains a League member even after exposed as a death squad patriarch who was on the CIA payroll. Jack Anderson, Washington Post, 8/9/1986
Guatemala, 1989. Climate of terror grips Guatemala. Killers, bombers said to target civilian rule. Washington Post, 9/29/1989, A 45
Guatemala, circa 1968-70. U.S. counterinsurgency program turned area into bloody war zone taking the lives of thousands of peasants. Formed Mano Blanca or White Hand. Plan used through out country in 1970. NACLA (magazine re Latin America), 3/74, p. 19
Guatemala. Article by Gary Bass and Babette Grunow on the Guatemalan counterinsurgency forces. Lies of our Time, 6/1993, pp. 11-13
Guatemala. At least three of recent G-2 chiefs were paid by CIA. Crimes are merely examples of a vast, systematic pattern; [the guilty] are only cogs in a large U.S. government apparatus. Colonel Hooker, former DIA chief for Guatemala, says, “it would be an embarrassing situation if you ever had a roll call of everybody in Guatemalan army who ever collected a CIA paycheck.” Hooker says CIA payroll is so large that it encompasses most of Army’s top decision-makers. Top commanders paid by CIA include General Roberto Matta Galvez, former army chief of staff, head of presidential General Staff and commander of massacres in El Quiche department; and General Gramajo, defense minister during the armed forces’ abduction, rape and torture of Dianna Ortiz, an American nun. Hooker says he once brought Gramajo on a tour of U.S. Three recent Guatemalan heads of state confirm CIA works closely with G-2. Gen. Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores (military dictator from 1983 to 1986) how death squads had originated, he said they started “in the 1960s by CIA.” General Efrain Rios Montt (dictator from 1982 to 1983 and the current congress president), who ordered main high-land massacres (662 villages destroyed, by army’s own count), said CIA had agents in the G-2. CIA death squads by Allan Nairn. The Nation, 4/17/1995
Guatemala. CIA works inside a Guatemalan army unit that maintains a network of torture centers and has killed thousands of Guatemalan civilians. G-2, since at least 60s, has been advised, trained, armed and equipped by U.S. undercover agents. One of American agents who works with G-2, is Randy Capister. He has been involved in similar operations with army of neighboring El Salvador. A weapons expert known as Joe Jacarino, has operated through out Caribbean, and has accompanied G-2 units on missions into rural zones. Jacarino [possibly a CIA officer]. Celerino Castillo, a former agent of DEA who dealt with G-2 and CIA in Guatemala, says he worked with Capister as well as with Jacarino. Colonel Alpirez at La Aurora base in Guatemala Denied involvement in deaths of Bamaca and Devine. He said CIA advises and helps run G-2. He praised CIA for “professionalism” and close rapport with Guatemalan officers. He said that agency operatives often come to Guatemala on temporary duty, and train G-2. CIA gives sessions at G-2 bases on “contra-subversion” tactics and “how to manage factors of power” to “fortify democracy.” During mid-1980s G-2 officers were paid by Jack McCavitt, then CIA station chief. CIA “technical assistance” includes communications gear, computers and special firearms, as well as collaborative use of CIA-owned helicopters that are flown out of piper hangar at La Aurora civilian airport and from a separate U.S. Air facility. Guatemalan army has, since 1978, killed more than 110,000 civilians. G-2 and a smaller, affiliated unit called Archivo have long been openly known in Guatemala as the brain of the terror state. With a contingent of more than 2,000 agents and with sub-units in local army bases, G-2 coordinates torture, assassination and disappearance of dissidents. CIA Death Squads by Allan Nairn. The Nation, 4/17/1995
Guatemala, 1954-95. For at least five years, Colonel Alpirez was also a well-paid agent for CIA and a murderer, a U.S. Congressman says. Alpirez has been linked to the murder of Michael Devine, an American innkeeper who lived and worked in the Guatemalan jungle, and the torture and killing of Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, a leftist guerrilla who was the husband of Jennifer Harbury. CIA ties began in 1954, when Alpirez was about five years old. The CIA engineered a coup in Guatemala that overthrew a leftist president and installed a right-wing military regime. CIA’s station in Guatemala began recruiting young and promising military officers who would provide information on the left-wing guerrillas, the internal workings of Guatemala’s intertwined military and political leadership, union members, opposition politicians and others. Alpirez was sent in 1970 to School of the Americas (SOA), an elite and recently much-criticized U.S. Army academy at Fort Benning, Ga. Human-rights groups and members of congress point out that SOA’s graduates include Roberto D’Aubuisson, leader of death squads in El Salvador; 19 Salvadoran soldiers named in the 1989 assassination of six Jesuit priests and three soldiers accused of the 1980 rape and murder of four U.S. church workers; Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedars and other leaders of the military junta that ran Haiti from 1991 to 1994; General Hugo Banzer, dictator of Bolivia from 1971 to 1978, and General Manuel Antonio Noriega of Panama, now imprisoned in U.S. In 1970s Alpirez was an officer in a counterinsurgency unit known as Kaibiles. Kaibiles became notorious in the early 1980s, known as scorched earth years, when tens of thousands of Indians were killed as military swept across rural Guatemala, systematically destroying villages. Guatemalan government’s own count, campaign left 40,000 widows and 150,000 orphans. In late 1980s, Alpirez served as a senior official of an intelligence unit hidden within the general staff and became a paid agent of CIA who paid him tens of thousands of dollars a year. Intelligence unit, known as “Archivo,” or archives, stands accused of assassination, infiltration of civilian agencies and spying on Guatemalans in violation of the nation’s Constitution. Archivo works like the CIA. “It was also working as a death squad.” New York Times, 3/25/1995
Guatemala, 1954-95. U.S. Undercover agents have worked for decades inside a Guatemalan army unit that has tortured and killed thousands of Guatemalan citizens, per the Nation weekly magazine. “working out of the U.S. Embassy and living in safe houses and hotels, agents work through an elite group of Guatemalan officers who are secretly paid by CIA and implicated personally in numerous political crimes and assassinations ”unit known as G-2 and its secret collaboration with CIA were described by U.S. and Guatemalan operatives and confirmed by three former Guatemalan heads of state. Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, Guatemalan officer implicated in murders of guerrilla leader Efrain Bamaca Velasquez — husband of an American lawyer — and rancher Michael Devine discussed in an interview how intelligence agency advises and helps run G-2. He said agents came to Central American country often to train G-2 men and he described attending CIA sessions at G-2 bases on “contra-subversion” tactics and “how to manage factors of power” to “fortify democracy” the Nation quoted U.S. and Guatemalan intelligence sources as saying at least three recent G-2 chiefs have been on CIA payroll — General Edgar Godoy Gatan, Colonel Otto Perez Molina and General Francisco Ortega Menaldo. `It would be embarrassing if you ever had a roll call of everybody in Guatemalan army who ever collected a CIA paycheck,” report quoted Colonel George Hooker, U.S. DIA chief in Guatemala from 1985 to 1989, as saying. Human rights group Amnesty International has said Guatemalan army killed more than 110,000 civilians since 1978 with G-2 and another unit called Archivo known as main death squads. Reuters, 3/30/1995
Guatemala, 1960-90. Human rights groups say at least 40,000 Guatemalans “disappeared” in last three decades. Most were poor Indians. Anthropologists, led by Clyde Snow, dug away at a village site. Maria Lopez had a husband and a son in one grave. She said on morning of Valentine’s Day 1982, members of anti-guerrilla militia took her husband and others. They had refused to join militias known as civil self-defense patrols and were killed. Six unknown clandestine graves in San Jose Pacho. Human rights groups blame most disappearances on army-run civil self-defense patrols set up under presidencies of General Lucas Garcia and Brig. Gen. Rios Montt. There are hundreds of clandestine graves filled with victims of the militias, right-wing death squads and brutal counterinsurgency campaigns. Washington Times, 8/5/1992, p. A9
Guatemala, 1970-95. Jennifer Harbury’s story. Time, 4/3/1995, p. 48
Guatemala, 1981-95. DIA reports re MLN particularly disturbing, as they raise grave questions about extent of U.S. knowledge of MLN activities in earlier years when MLN leader Mario Sandoval Alarcon was tied to Reagan Administration’s efforts to support Contras. Having come to power in 1954 with the CIA-backed overthrow of Colonel Jacobo Arbenze, MLN leader Sandoval was accused in 1980 by Elias Barahona, former press secretary to the Guatemalan Interior Minister, of having worked for CIA. Head of National Congress from 1970 to 1974, at which time he was made vice president, a position he kept until his term expired in 1978, Sandoval is widely regarded as father of Latin America’s “death squads.” In 1970’s, he had a close relationship with Roberto D’Aubuisson, deputy chief of El Salvador’s national security agency (Anseal). D’Aubuisson reportedly was behind El Salvador’s death squads. Sandoval was so close to Reagan administration that he was one of only two Guatemalans invited to attend Reagan’s inauguration. Intelligence — a computerized intelligence newsletter published in France, 4/24/1995, p. 1
Guatemala, 1984-95. Article, “Murder as Policy.” Washington was supporting Guatemalan army in a number of ways: green berets trained Kaibul massacre force, the army’s self-proclaimed “messengers of death.” U.S. openly sold weapons to Guatemala — used in massacre in Santiago Atitlan. Hundreds of U.S. troops (mostly National Guard) helped civic action and road building in massacre zones. The Nation, 4/24/1995, pp. 547-8
Guatemala, 1985-93. CIA collected intelligence re ties between Guatemalan insurgents and Cuba — CIA passed the information to U.S. military, which was assisting Guatemalan army extinguish opposition. Washington Post, 3/30/1995, A1,10
Guatemala, 1985-95. Bombings against military-reformist Christian Democratic Party (DCG) of then President Vinicio Cerezo to topple Cerezo, who perceived as being too soft on rebels. A 10/1988 DIA intelligence report alerted American authorities that MLN, which was involved in “plotting a coup against Cerezo in the past,” is “now apparently prepared to use violent tactics to undermine DCG government.” MLN “is reportedly planning a bombing campaign directed against members of ruling DCG. MLN intends to use recently obtained explosives to target personal vehicles of DCG Congressional representatives in order to frighten them. After assessing their impact, MLN will consider initiating a second stage of its anti-DCG campaign that will include killing of various individuals. MLN has selected potential targets in Guatemala city. U.S. Army and DIA, getting regular, high-level intelligence from senior Guatemalan army officers and other sources about crimes, notably murder, being committed by Guatemalan army personnel. Source and depth of intelligence raises questions about what U.S. Government actually knew about Guatemalan army complicity in civilian murders in that country throughout the 1980s, including alleged involvement of Guatemalan Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, then a CIA agent, in 1990 and 1992 murders of American innkeeper Michael Devine and guerrilla fighter Efrain Bamaco Velazquez, husband of an American, Jennifer Harbury.” Intelligence — a computerized intelligence newsletter published in France, 4/24/1995, p. 1
Guatemala, 1988-91. CIA station chief in Guatemala from 1988 to 1991 was a Cuban American. He had about 20 officers with a budget of about $5 million a year and an equal or greater sum for “liaison” with Guatemalan military. His job included placing and keeping senior Guatemalan officers on his payroll. Among them was Alpirez, who recruited others for CIA. Alpirez’s intelligence unit spied on Guatemalans and is accused by human rights groups of assassinations. CIA also gave Guatemalan army information on the guerrillas. New York Times, 4/2/1995, A11
Guatemala, 1989. 25 students in two years killed by squads. Entire university student association has been silenced. U.S. backed governments in virtual genocide have more than 150,000 victims. AI called this genocide a “government program of political murder.” The Nation, 3/5/1990, cover, p. 308
Guatemala, 1990-95. Member of House Intelligence Committee, Robert G. Torricelli (D- NJ.) said, in letter to President Clinton, that a Guatemalan military officer who ordered killings of an American citizen and a guerrilla leader married to a North American lawyer was a paid agent of CIA. CIA knew of killings, but concealed its knowledge for years. Another member of House Intelligence Committee confirmed Torricelli’s claims. Torricelli wrote in letter to President that the “Direct involvement of CIA in the murder of these individuals leads me to the extraordinary conclusion that the agency is simply out of control and that it contains what can only be labeled a criminal element.” Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, Bamaca, and Michael Devine. Tim Weiner, New York Times, 3/23/1995
Guatemala, 1990-95. Article, El Buki’s Tale — Murder of Michael Devine. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Summer 1995, pp. 32-37
Guatemala, 1990-95. Article, The Agency, Off Target. Two Deaths, a Rogue CIA Informant and a Big Pot of Trouble. Re deaths of Michael Devine and Efrain Bamaca Velasquez — Harbury’s husband. CIA paid Colonel Alpirez $43,000 after it learned of cover up of deaths. U.S. News & World Report, 4/10/1995, p. 46
Guatemala, 1990-95. Assassin of Michael Devine and of the husband of Jennifer Harbury, Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, was on CIA’s payroll and had attended School of Americas (SOA) on two separate occasions. In January 1995 when State and NSC pieced together what CIA knew, the ambassador demanded removal of CIA’s station chief. CIA fought to stop disclosure of its relationship with the Colonel. Administration officials began to mistrust what CIA was saying about the case. The Colonel first came to U.S. In 1970 as an army cadet at SOA. He returned to SOA in 1989, to take year long Command and General Staff course when he was already on CIA payroll. In 1990, Michael Devine, who ran a hotel, apparently stumbled on a smuggling operation involving Guatemalan military. He was killed. New York Times, 3/24/1995, A3
Guatemala, 1990-95. CIA last month removed its station chief in Guatemala for failing to report promptly information linking a paid CIA informer to the slaying of a Guatemalan guerrilla fighter married to Jennifer Harbury. Guatemalan army Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, was paid $44,000 by CIA in 1992 for secretly supplying intelligence on the civil war. At time of payment CIA had evidence linking him to the slaying of U.S. citizen Michael Devine (after he found about a military smuggling operation or because he had a weapon). Washington Post, 3/25/1995, A1,20
Guatemala, 1990-95. Clinton has threatened to fire anyone in CIA who withheld information from him about activities of its informant in Guatemala, Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez. What is more likely to be agency’s undoing is its failure to tell congress that only six months after he graduated from command-level courses at School of Americas Colonel Alpirez, a member of military intelligence on agency’s payroll, ordered murder of a U.S. citizen, William Devine, and then torture-murder of husband of an American woman. White House officials, and President Clinton in particular, were very angry about Guatemalan affair but NSC Anthony lake was arguing that there is no evidence that CIA tried to deceive president. Los Angeles Times reported that late last year State Department found information about Devine murder in its files that appeared to have originated with CIA and had not been passed on to White House. This discovery prompted State Department and White House to ask CIA for more information. State initially asked CIA for information on rebel Commandante Efrain Bamaca Velasquez and received a few modest files. Several weeks later, State again asked CIA for information but this time on “Commandante Everardo,” which was Commandante Bamaca’s well-known nom de guerre. Only then did CIA produced incriminating data that it held solely under that name. CIA has tried to ease situation with a rare “leak” about itself to press. On 3/24, Los Angeles Times quoted “CIA sources” as saying Agency was only told after the fact that its Guatemalan informant, Colonel Alpirez, was present at killing in 1990 of Devine, a U.S. citizen who ran a popular tourist resort in Guatemala. CIA insisted to the paper that it cut ties with Colonel at that point, but, significantly, sources did not put a date on rupture. That gave it “wiggle room” to say it didn’t find out about Colonel’s involvement in March 1992 torture-murder of Bamaca until early this year. CIA gave Colonel Alpirez a “final payment” of $44,000 at about time of Bamaca’s murder. Per National public radio commentator Daniel Schorr, CIA station chief in Guatemala has been fired for failing to relay information. But New York Times says he was reassigned to Langley in January, after U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala accused him of withholding information. CIA has assigned its inspector General, Fred Hitz, to investigate. CIA station chief in Switzerland, who held a top position at Department of Operations (DO) Latin American Division from 1990 to 1992, is now being questioned, as is Jack Devine, who headed division from January 1983 until last October. He was appointed Associate Deputy Director of Operations in October after John MacGaffin was removed from that post for secretly giving an award to a senior operative who had just been disciplined in Ames case. Devine’s successor is a woman, first to direct a DO division. She is in her 50s, was previously station chief in El Salvador, and is said by officials outside CIA to be very forthcoming about case. Intelligence — a computerized intelligence newsletter published in France, 3/27/1995, p. 30
Guatemala, 1990-95. Guatemalan soldiers killed Michael Devine under orders from Colonel Mario Garcia Catalan, per convicted soldier, Solbal. He killed as the army convinced he had bought a stolen rifle. They tortured him before killing him. Solbal says Colonel Alpirez gave food and shelter to the killers. Washington Times, 5/15/1995, A13
Guatemala, 1990-95. Letter from Congressman Torricelli to President Clinton about involvement of CIA in two murders in Guatemala. 3/22/1995
Guatemala, 1990-95. Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-NJ., who is on the HPSCI, has requested an investigation from the Justice Department on role of the CIA in the murder of Michael Devine and Efrain Bamaca Velasquez. Request was made in a letter to President Clinton. Guatemalan intelligence officer who ordered the murders, Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, was a paid agent of the CIA. Torricelli claims that the NSA, CIA, State Department., and NSC covered up the involvement of a paid agent in the murders. Devine, who was killed in 1990, was an American citizen and Velasquez, who was killed in 1992, was married to an U.S. Citizen. CNN Headline News, 3/23/1995 and AP, 3/23/1995
Guatemala, 1990-95. Revelations about a CIA informer linked to two murders (Devine and Bamaca) in Guatemala helped exhume embarrassing relationship between U.S. military and intelligence personnel and a Central American regime notorious for human rights violations. Washington Post, 4/2/1995, A29
Guatemala, 1990-95. Tim Weiner article “A Guatemalan Officer and the CIA.” Colonel is recalled as a “good soldier” and a murdering spy. New York Times, 3/26/1995
Guatemala, 1990-95. Two colonels suspended in Guatemala for covering up 1990 killing of Michael Devine. One was a paid CIA informant at time of killing. Colonel Mario Garcia Catalan also suspended. Washington Post, 4/27/1995, A29
Guatemala, 1990-95. Wife of Michael Devine discusses slaying of her husband. New York Times, 3/28/1995, A1,6
Guatemala, 1991-94. State Department reported in 1991, that “military, civil patrols and police continued to commit a majority of major human rights abuses, including extrajuridicial killings torture and disappearances.” Guatemalan counterinsurgency campaign devised by U.S. counterinsurgency experts Caesar Sereseres and Colonel George Minas. Former served as a consultant to RAND Corporation and State Department’s Office of Policy Planning. Minas served as military attache in Guatemala in early 1980s. Both encouraged population control such as Vietnam-style military-controlled strategic hamlets and civilian defense patrols. Today Guatemala is largest warehouse for cocaine transshipments to U.S. Drug trade run by military which tries to blame the leftists. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Spring 1994, pp. 28-33
Guatemala, 1991-95. U.S. Had information in 10/1991 linking a paid CIA informer in slaying of a U.S. citizen. Colonel Roberto Alpirez was dropped from CIA’s payroll but remained a contact through 7/1992 — when he allegedly ordered another killing of Efrain Bamaca Velasquez — husband of Jennifer Harbury. Washington Post, 3/24/1995, A1,27
Guatemala, 1992. Rights abuses in Guatemala continue, paramilitary civilian patrols — self defense patrols — accused of campaign of terror, control rural areas. Patrols answer to military. Washington Post, 10/4/1992, A35
Guatemala, 1995. President Clinton said he would dismiss any CIA official who withheld information on death of Jennifer Harbury’s husband. Rep Torricelli said CIA withheld information for years. Washington Times, 3/25/1995, A3
Guatemala, 1970-95. Discussion of Torricelli, Harbury, Devine, Bamaco, etc. The death of husband of Harbury not a rogue operation. This was standard operating procedure in El Salvador and Guatemala and elsewhere around the globe. CIA organized death squads, financed them, equipped them, trained them, etc. That’s what the CIA does. Once in a decade the U.S. public hears about this. CIA should be abolished. The CIA mislead Congress about the Devine case. Getting rid of CIA is not enough — the CIA did not act alone. The National Security Agency and the Army may have been involved in Guatemala. The Progressive, 5/1995, pp. 8,9
Haiti: Watch List
Haiti, 1986-93. In 1986 the CIA funded the national intelligence service (SIN) under guise of fighting narcotics — but SIN never produced drug intelligence and used CIA money for political operations. Sin involved in spying on so-called subversive groups…they doing nothing but political repression…they targeted people who were for change. CIA used distorted data to discredit Aristide. NACLA (Magazine re Latin America), 2/1994, p. 35
Haiti, 1990-94. Emannuel Constant, leader of Haiti’s FRAPH hit squad, worked for CIA and U.S. intelligence helped launch FRAPH. Haiti’s dreaded attaches paid for by a U.S. Government-funded project that maintains sensitive files on Haiti’s poor. The Nation, 10/24/1994, 458
Haiti, 1990-94. U.S. officials involved in refugee policy have backgrounds suggestive of Phoenix-like program activities. Luis Moreno, State Department, has background in counterterrorism. Gunther Wagner, senior intelligence officer at INS’s southwest regional office, assigned to investigate repression against repatriated refugees. Wagner had served as public safety adviser to Vietnamese National Special Branch for 5 years and later advised Somoza’s National Guard. INS database on all asylum interviews at Guantanamo. INS, on demand, gave State Department unrestricted access to all interview files. U.S. Officers hand Haitian authorities computer print-outs of names of all Haitians being repatriated. CIA funded service intelligence nacionale (SIN), who’s de facto primary function was a war against popular movement — including torture and assassination — a fact admitted by a CIA officer to an official in Aristide’s government. U.S. shares “anti-narcotics intelligence” with Haitian military. The Progressive, 4/1994, p. 21
Haiti, 1991-94. Asylum-promoting project gets family information that fed into a computer project that could be used to target for repression. The Progressive, 9/1994, pp. 19-26
Haiti, 1991-94. Seven chief attaches arranged killings and brought victims to houses. Four of the seven worked for Centers for Development and Health (CDS), funded by U.S. AID. One was Gros Sergo, and other was Fritz Joseph who chief FRAPH recruiter in Cite Soleil. Two others are Marc Arthur and Gors Fanfan. CDS files track every family in Cite Soleil. The Nation, 10/24/1994, p. 461
Haiti, 1994. AID programs for Haitian popular groups; Immigration and Naturalization service, with computerized files on 58,000 political-asylum applicants and army intelligence S-2 section of 96th Civil Affairs Battalion assigned to monitor refugees at Guantanamo Bay. Per Capt. James Vick, unit develops networks of informants and works with marine corps counterintelligence in “identifying ringleaders of unrest and in weeding out troublemakers.” 96th’s files enter military intelligence system. Gunther Wagner, a former Nazi, served with U.S. In Phoenix operation in Vietnam, and in Nicaragua — now heads State Department’s Cuba-Haiti task force. Pentagon’s Atlantic command commissioned Booz, Allen, Hamilton, to devise a computer model of Haitian society. Results of study given. Priority of study to build an “organized information bank….” no change expected in ruling clique of Haiti. Article by Allan Nairn. The Nation, 10/3/1994, pp. 344-48
Haiti: Death Squads
Haiti. CIA officer assigned 1973-75 Coordination with Ton-Ton Macoute, “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s private death squad. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), 9/1980, p. 16
Haiti, 1985-93. CIA created an intelligence service in Haiti: National Intelligence Service, (SIN) from its initials in French, to fight cocaine trade, but unit became instrument of political terror whose officers engaged in drug traffic, killings and torture. Unit produced little drug intelligence. U.S. cut ties to group after 1991 military coup. New York Times, 11/14/1993 pp. 1,12
Haiti, 1986-93 INS database on all asylum interviews at Guantanamo. INS, on demand, gave State Department unrestricted access to all interview files. U.S. officers hand Haitian authorities computer print-outs of names of all Haitians being repatriated. CIA funded service intelligence nacionale (SIN), who’s de facto primary function was a war against popular movement — including torture and assassination — a fact admitted by a CIA officer to an official in Aristide’s government. U.S. shares “anti-narcotics intelligence” with Haitian military. The Progressive, 4/1994, p. 21
Haiti, 1990-94. Clinton administration denied report CIA helped set up Haiti’s pro-army Militia — FRAPH. Officials refused to comment whether FRAPH leader Emmanuel Constant was a paid CIA informant. “Nation” article said Constant worked for both the CIA and the DIA. Colonel Collins of DIA and Donald Terry of CIA were his contacts. Collins urged Constant to set up FRAPH. Mr. Constant, per Washington Times, was a paid U.S. Informant on Haitian political activities and assisting anti-drug efforts. Relationship broken off early this year. FRAPH has been linked to murders, public beatings and arson. CIA officers in past worked with Haiti’s national intelligence service. Washington Times, 10/7/1994, A16
Haiti, 1990-94. Emannuel Constant, leader of Haiti’s FRAPH hit squad, worked for CIA and U.S. Intelligence helped launch FRAPH. Haiti’s dreaded attaches paid for by a U.S. Government-funded project that maintains sensitive files on Haiti’s poor. In 10/3/1994, issue of Nation carried Nairn’s article “The Eagle is Landing,” he quoted a U.S. official praising Constant as a young republican that U.S. Intelligence had encouraged to form FRAPH. Constant confirmed that account. He first said his handler was Colonel Patrick Collins, DIA attache in Haiti, and later claimed another U. S. official urged him to form FRAPH. Collins first approached Constant while he taught a course at HQs of CIA-run national intelligence service (SIN) and built up a computer data base at Bureau of Information and Coordination. FRAPH originally was called Haitian Resistance League. Constant was working for the CIA at SIN while it attacked the poor. The Nation, 10/24/1994, p. 458
Haiti, 1991-94. Emmanuel Constant (son of a Duvalier general), who had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-‘1980s. With U.S. intelligence advice, formed FRAPH, a political front and paramilitary death squad offshoot of the Haitian army, that began to systematically target democratic militants and hold the country hostage with several armed strikes. On 10/11/1993, day U.S.S. Harlan County and U.S. and Canadian soldiers were to land, even though CIA had been tipped off, FRAPH organized a dockside demonstration of several dozen armed thugs. Ship turned around. U.S. asylum processing program hand-picked and exported almost 2,000 grassroots leaders. In three years after coup, 7,000-man army and its paramilitary assistants killed at least 3,000 and probably over 4,000 people, tortured thousands, and created tens of thousands of refugees and 300,000 internally displaced people. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Winter 1994/1995, pp. 7-13
Haiti, 1991-94. Haitian paramilitary chief spied for CIA. Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, head of Haiti’s notorious FRAPH, secretly provided information to U.S. intelligence while his group killed people. Constant paid by CIA for giving intelligence officers information about Aristide beginning shortly after Aristide ousted in 9/1991 coup. CIA dropped him last Spring. Constant’s organization blamed for killing hundreds of supporters of Aristide — and organizing demonstration that drove off U.S. troop-carrying Harlan County last October. In “Nation” article, U.S. Defense Attache, Colonel Patrick Collins, had encouraged Constant to form FRAPH. U.S. intelligence agencies had extensive penetration of Haitian military and paramilitary groups. Using Constant as source may explain why CIA’s reporting on Aristide was skewed. FRAPH not formed until 8/1993, 9 months after Collins left Haiti. Washington Post, 10/9/1994, A1,30
Haiti, 1993. Young men kidnapped by armed thugs seldom reappear. Under de facto government, as many as 3000 may have been killed. Aristide negotiating his return with UN. The Nation, 5/3/1993, p. 580
Haiti, 1995. Interview with Allan Nairn, April 1995 “Criminal Habits.” Z Magazine 6/1995, pp. 22-9
Honduras: Death Squads
Honduras, 1981-87. Florencio Caballero, who served as a torturer and a member of a death squad, said he was trained in Texas by the CIA. He said he was responsible for the torture and slaying of 120 Honduran and other Latin American citizens. The CIA taught him and 24 other people in a army intelligence unit for 6 months in interrogation. psychological methods — to study fears and weaknesses of a prisoner, make him stand up, don’t let him sleep, keep him naked and isolated, put rats and cockroaches in his cell, give him bad food, throw cold water on him, change the temperature. Washington Post, 6/8/1988, B3
Honduras, circa 1982-87. Army Battalion 3/16, a special counterinsurgency force which many considered a kind of death squad, was formed in 1980. Florencio Caballero, a former battalion member, described a clandestine paramilitary structure for repressing leftists. Caballero, who studied interrogation techniques in Houston, said the CIA was extensively involved in training squad members. NACLA 2/1988, p. 15, from New York Times, 5/2/1987
Honduras, March 1986. Apart from CIA training of a battalion implicated in death squad activities and torture, Honduran army defector said CIA arranged a fabricated forced “confession” by kidnapped prisoner that he headed a guerrilla front and had planned attacks against U.S. installations. This in operation truth. Chomsky, N. (1988). The Culture of Terrorism, p. 239
Honduras. General G. Alvarez Martinez, CIA-Contra point man in Honduras, had death squad operation run by Ricardo Lau. Alvarez godfather to new CIA Chief of Station’s daughter. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, pp. 78-9
Honduras, 1982-86. Zuniga told congressional staffers about the 316 Battalion established with the knowledge and assistance of the U.S. Embassy. By 1984 more than 200 Honduran teachers, students, labor leaders, and opposition politicians had been murdered. The CIA had knowledge of the killings. Zuniga killed in 9/1985. Mother Jones, 4/1987, p. 48
Honduras. Capt. Alexander Hernandez, a graduate of U.S. International Police services training program, has played a central role in Honduran death squad activities and the war in Nicaragua. Early 1986 New York Times reports that CIA was providing “training and advice in intelligence collection” to Hernandez’ unit “as part of a program to cut off arms shipments from Nicaragua to leftist rebels in Honduras and El Salvador.” New York Times also says that CIA knew of the assassinations but “looked the other way.” The Nation, 6/7/1986, p. 793
Honduras, circa 1981-84. Honduran government established a secret unit that seized, interrogated, tortured, and murdered more than 130 people between 1981-84. Unit named Battalion 316. Unit operated with CIA supervision and training and received U.S. instruction in interrogation, surveillance and hostage rescue. Commander of unit in first years was a graduate of International Police Academy. NA, 2/20/1988, pp. 224-5 The clandestine houses and command post of 316 were visited by CIA agents. NA, 1/23/1988, p. 85
Honduras, Nicaragua, 1982. A Contra commander with the FDN admitted he helped organize a death squad in Honduras with the approval and cooperation of the CIA. Honduran government agreed to host the death squad and provide it with cover, since the group would kill Honduran dissidents at the government’s request. The commander admitted he participated in assassinations. CIA “Colonel Raymond” congratulated the squad. The Progressive, 8/1986, p. 25
Honduras, Nicaragua, 1984-85. Honduran army investigators report that Contras have been involved in death-squad killings in Honduras. At least 18 Hondurans and an unknown number of Salvadorans and Nicaraguans have been killed by the Contras. Washington Post, 1/15/1985, A12
Honduras, 1980-83. Agents of Battalion 316, a Honduran death squad, received interrogation training in Texas from CIA in 1980. CIA agents maintained contact with unit in early 1980’s, visiting detention centers during interrogation and obtaining intelligence gleaned from torture victims. See Americas Watch “Human Rights in Honduras” (May 1987). Dillon, S. (1991). Commandos, p. 101
Honduras, 1980-83. Gustavo Alvarez, formerly head of police, in 1981 a general running entire armed forces. Worked closely with U.S. on Contras. Alvarez had organized military intelligence Battalion 316 — first Honduran death squad. Argentines sent 15-20 officers to work with Alvarez on Contras. Senior officer Osvaldo Riveiro. Garvin, G. (1992). Everybody Has His Own Gringo, p. 41
Honduras, 1980-89. CIA and State Department worked with a Honduran military unit called Battalion 316 during the 1980s. Unit was responsible for cracking down on dissidents. AP, 6/12/1995. Honduran special prosecutor for human rights asking the U.S. to turn over classified information on Ambassadors John Negroponte and Chris Arcos and several CIA agents connected to the disappearance of dissidents in the 1980s. AP, 6/13/1995
Honduras, 1980-89. Colonel Gustavo Alvarez Martinez shot to death in 1989. Alvarez spent years networking with fascists and ultra right terrorists who in World Anti-communist League and its sister organization, the Latin American Anti-communist Confederation, or CAL. He most famous for streamlining Honduras’s death squads and uniting them under his control. Alvarez gathered together the National Front for the Defense of Democracy, the Honduran Anti-communist Movement (MACHO), and the Anti-communist Combat Army — death squads all — and combined them with several governmental forces, including the Fuerzas de Seguridad Publica (FUSEP), Departmento Nacional de Investigaciones (DIN), and Tropas Especiales Para Selva y Nocturnas (TESON). With Director of Central Intelligence Casey, Alvarez and Negroponte turned Honduras into a staging ground for Contra incursions into Nicaragua. Honduran Congress issued Decree 33, which declared terrorist anyone who distributed political literature, associated with foreigners, joined groups deemed subversive by the government, damaged property, or destroyed documents. Alvarez’s forces murdered upwards of 500 people. He ousted as Honduras’s dictator in 1984 and became special consultant to RAND Corporation. Lies of our Time, 3/1994, pp. 3-5
Honduras, 1980-89. Eleven senior officers who are believed to have been involved with Battalion 316 have been convicted on charges of kidnapping, torturing and attempting to murder six students in 1982. Officers include one general, nine colonels, and one captain. AP, 7/25/1995
Honduras, 1980-89. See entry in Liaison from Baltimore Sun, 6/11-18/1995
Honduras, 1980-93. CIA-trained death squad issue in presidential campaign. In early 1980s, Battalion 3-16, of Honduran military whose members instructed by and worked with CIA “disappeared” scores of activists. Both candidates accusing other of connections to Battalion 3-16. In 1980 25-Honduran officers to U.S. for training per sworn testimony in International Court by Honduran intelligence officer who participated — Florencio Caballero. Group trained in interrogation by a team from FBI and CIA. Training continued in Honduras. U.S. Trainers joined by instructors from Argentina and Chile — sessions focused on surveillance and rescuing kidnap victims. Battalion 3-16 engaged in a program of systematic disappearances and murder from 1981 to 1984. By March 1984, 100-150 students, teachers, unionists and travelers picked up and secretly executed. Squads, according to Inter-American Court of Human Rights, belonged to 3-16. Squads modus operandi included weeks of surveillance of suspects followed by capture by disguised agents using vehicles with stolen license plates, interrogation, torture in secret jails followed by execution and secret burial. CIA’s connection to 3-16 confirmed by General Alvarez, who created and commanded squad from 1980 through 1984. He later became chief of police and then head of the armed forces. Alvarez said CIA “gave good training, lie detectors, phone-tapping devices and electronic equipment to analyze intelligence.” CIA men informed when 3-16 abducted suspected leftists. When bodies found, 3-16 put out story they killed by guerrillas. CIA looked other way. Ambassador Negroponte in 1982 denied existence of death squads. State Department was attacking as communist, anti-democratic and a terrorist group, Committee for Defense of Human Rights in Honduras that was exposing 3-16. In a barracks coup, Alvarez forced into exile in Miami and became paid consultant to Pentagon writing study on low-intensity conflict. Members of 3-16 still in positions of power in government. Congressional intelligence committee in 1988 looked into CIA’s role with 3-16, but findings never published. Op-ed by Anne Manuel. Washington Post, 11/28/1993, C5
Honduras, 1982-83. Ex-guard Benito “Mack” Bravo reportedly killed dozens of Contra recruits at his La Ladosa training base near El Paraiso. Mack suspected many were Sandinista infiltrators. In one case, FDN ordered four ex-guardsmen executed for insubordination and allegedly selling arms to El Salvador’s FMLN. They also had been accused of killing recruits. Honduran military participated in the execution. Dillon, S. (1991). Commandos, pp. 118-124
Honduras, 1988. Director human rights commission in Honduras and associate killed by assassins. The Progressive, 2/1990, p. 46
Honduras, 1988. Honduran human rights leader Ramon Custodio Lopez accused Battalion 3-16 of murdering a politician and a teacher on 14 January 1988. Custodio relied on testimony by former battalion member sergeant Fausto Caballero. In 11/30/1988. Honduras was condemned by Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 1988 for disappearance of Angel Manfredo Velazquez. Battalion 3-16, along with DNI (Directorate of National Intelligence), and FUSEP (National Police) were implicated, all of which have received training from CIA. Intelligence Parapolitics, 9/1988, p. 8
Honduras, 1988. Jose Isaias Vilorio, an intelligence officer and former death squad member, was shot dead on 1 January 1988. Isaias was to testify before Inter-American Court on Human Rights (New York Times, 20 January 1988). Human rights leader and legislator Miguel Pavon was killed on 14 January 1988 after testifying before Inter-American Court. Also killed was Moises Landaverde, a teacher who was riding in Pavon’s car at the time of attack. Intelligence Parapolitics, 3/1988, p. 12
Honduras, Argentina, 1980-89. A survivor tells her story: treatment for a leftist — kicks and freezing water and electric shocks. In between, a visitor from CIA. CIA worked closely with the Honduran military while the military tortured and killed dissidents during the 1980s, human rights groups said. A government official also said Argentine military advisers, with U.S. support, were brought in to help monitor leftist activism.
“At least nine Argentine military (officers), supported by the CIA, trained many Honduran officers to prevent communism from entering Honduras,” said Leo Valladares of the government’s human rights commission. Bertha Oliva, head of committee of relatives of the disappeared, claimed CIA knew of disappearances by Honduran security forces and that “the U.S. Embassy had absolute power in this country.” in the first of a series of four articles, the Baltimore Sun reported Sunday that CIA and the State Department collaborated with a secret Honduran military unit known as Battalion 316 in the 1980s in cracking down on Honduras dissidents. Following a 14-month investigation. In order to keep up public support for Reagan administration’s war efforts in Central America, U.S. officials misled congress and the public about Honduran military abuses.
Collaboration was revealed in classified documents and in interviews with U.S. and Honduran participants. Among those interviewed by the Sun were three former Battalion 316 torturers who acknowledged their crimes and detailed the battalion’s close relationship with CIA. Ramon Custodio, president of non-government human rights commission, said a former member of Battalion 316, Florencio Caballero, disclosed that CIA in early 1980s took 24 soldiers to the U.S. for training in anti-subversive techniques. At the time, Custodio said, “Honduras’ policy was oriented to detaining and summarily executing those who did not please the government or the military.” Battalion 316 was created in 1984 and its first commander was General Luis Alonso Discua, current armed forces chief. A government report subsequently blamed it in the cases of 184 missing people. Baltimore Sun, 6/15/1995
Honduras, Israel. During Contra war Honduran military intelligence officers on double salary from CIA and Colombian drug cartels, who saw advantage of using Honduran airstrips for transiting cocaine under cover of war effort. Israelis also trained Honduran death squads. Cockburn, A. and Cockburn, L. (1991). Dangerous Liaison, p. 225
Honduras, Assassinations, 1980-84. CIA and Contras accused of running Honduran death squads, killing over 200. CIA officials “looked the other way” when people disappeared. Violence tapered off after ouster of CIA backed military commander Alvarez. Ricardo Lau running Contra intelligence, also death squads. Accused arranging assassination Archbishop Romero in El Salvador. Marshall, J., Scott P.D., and Hunter, J. (1987). The Iran-Contra Connection, pp. 132-3
Indonesia: Watch List
Indonesia, 1963-65. U.S. trained unionist spies laid groundwork for post 1965 coup gestapu massacre of leftists by gathering intelligence on leftist unionists. Counterspy, Winter 1979, p. 27
Indonesia, 1965-66. “U.S. officials’ lists aided Indonesian blood bath in ’60s.” U.S. officials supplied the names of thousands of members of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) to the army that was hunting them down and killing them in a crackdown branded as one of the century’s worst massacres, former U.S. Diplomats and CIA officials say. Robert J. Martens, Former member of embassy’s political section said, “it really was a big help to the army…. They probably killed a lot of people…” Martens said. He headed an embassy group of state Department and CIA officials that spent two years compiling the lists. He said he delivered them to an army intermediary. The lists were a detailed who’s who of the leadership of the PKI that included names of provincial, city and other local PKI members and leaders of mass organizations. Ambassador Marshall Green, his deputy Jack Lydman, and political section chief Edward Masters admitted approving the release of the names. Army intermediary was an aide to Adam Malik. The aide, Tirta Kentjana Adhyatman, confirmed that he had met with Martens and received lists of thousands of names…given to Sukarno’s HQs. Information on who captured and killed came to Americans from Suharto’s HQs, according to former CIA deputy chief of station Joseph Lazarsky. Lazarsky said “we were getting a good account in Jakarta of who was being picked up,”…”the army had a ‘shooting list’ of about 4,000 to 5,000 people.” Lazarsky said the check-off work was also carried out at CIA’s intelligence directorate in D.C. By end of January 1966, “the checked off names were so numerous the CIA analysts in Washington concluded the PKI leadership had been destroyed.” Washington Post, 5/21/1990, A5
Indonesia, 1965-66. In response to Kathy Kadane’s May 21 article in Washington Post, Robert J. Martens responds “it is true I passed names of PKI leaders and senior cadre system to non-communist forces during the six months of chaos between the so-called coup and the ultimate downfall of Sukarno. The names I gave were based entirely on Indonesian communist press and were available to everyone. This was senior cadre system of the PKI few thousand at most out of the 3.5 millions claimed party members. I categorically deny that I headed an embassy group that spent two years compiling the lists.” Washington Post, 6/2/1990, A18
Indonesia, 1985. Indonesia: years of living dangerously. CIA’s role in bloody coup in Indonesia in 1965. Utne Reader. 2/1991, p. 38, two pages
Indonesia: Death Squads
Indonesia, 1965-66 Indonesian generals approached U.S. for equipment “to arm Moslem and nationalist youths for use in central Java against the PKI.” Washington responded by supplying covert aid, dispatched as “medicines.” Washington Post, 6/13/1990, A 22
Indonesia, 1965-66. Kathy Kadane’s story for States News Service disclosed part played by CIA and State Department officials in 1965-66 blood bath in Indonesia. Kadane reported that U.S. officials in Jakarta furnished names of about 5,000 communist activists to the Indonesian army and then checked off the names as the army reported the individuals had been killed or captured. The Nation, 7/9/1990, p. 43
Indonesia, 1965. CIA and State Department officials provided name lists to Indonesian army that killed 250,000. The Progressive, 7/10/1990, p. 9
Indonesia, 1965. Ex-agents say CIA compiled death lists for Indonesians. San Francisco Examiner, 5/20/1990
Indonesia, 1965-66. Article by Michael Vatikiotis and Mike Fonte; Rustle of Ghosts. (1965 Indonesian coup). Far Eastern Economic Review, 8/2/1990, 2 pages
Indonesia, 1965-85. Death squads roam at will, killing subversives, suspected criminals by thousands. Blum, W. (1986). The CIA A Forgotten History, p. 221
Iran: Watch List
Iran, 1953-54. CIA gave Shah intelligence on Tudeh party facilitate anti-Tudeh Campaign. Gasiorowski, M.J. (1990). “Security Relations Between the United States and Iran, 1953-1978,” p. 150
Iran, 1953-64. CIA station chiefs in regular contact with Shah and working level liaison relationship with SAVAK established by 5-man training team and smaller unit in SAVAK HQs for several years after training team left. CIA and SAVAK exchanged intelligence including information on Tudeh party. Gasiorowski, M.J. (1990). “Security relations between the United States and Iran, 1953-1978,” pp. 255-56
Iran, 1953. CIA prepared an arrest list for the overthrow operation. Copeland, M. (1989). The Game Player, p. 190
Iran, 1953. U.S. Army colonel working for CIA under cover of military attache worked to organize and train intelligence organization for Shah. Trained on domestic security, interrogation. Primary purpose of (Bakhtiar’s intelligence unit later to become SAVAK) to eliminate threats to Shah. Gasiorowski, M.J. (1990). “Security Relations Between the United States and Iran, 1953-1978” p. 150
Iran, 1954. Year after coup American cryptographic experts and CIA agent played important part in rooting out conspiracy army officers linked to Tudeh Party. Kwitny, J. (1984). Endless Enemies, p. 165
Iran. During Shah’s reign, thousands people killed. Many killed at Shah’s directive. Rafizadeh, M. (1987). Witness, p. 134
Iran, 1983. CIA identifies to Iranian government 200 leftists who were then executed. The Nation, 12/13/1986, p. 660
Iran, 1983. In 1983, when the Tudeh party was closed down, the CIA gave the Khomeni government a list of USSR KGB agents operating in Iran. Two hundred suspects were executed, 18 USSR diplomats expelled and Tudeh party leaders imprisoned. Washington Post, 1/13/1987, A1,8
Iran, 1983. To curry favor with Khomeni, the CIA gave his government a list of USSR KGB agents and collaborators operating in Iran. The Khomeni regime then executed 200 suspects and closed down the communist Tudeh party. Khomeni then expelled 18 USSR diplomats, and imprisoned the Tudeh leaders. Washington Post, 11/19/1986, A28
Iraq: Watch List
Iraq, 1963. CIA supplied lists of communists to Baath party group that led coup so that communists could be rounded up and eliminated. Cockburn,
A. and Cockburn, L. (1991). Dangerous Liaison, p. 130
Israel: Death Squads
Israel. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir headed a special hit squad during his ten years in Mossad. Shamir headed the assassination unit from 1955-64 that carried out attacks on perceived enemies and suspected Nazi war criminals. Shamir recruited former members of the Stern Gang. Washington Times, 7/4/1992, A8
Israel, 1992. Article, “How Israeli Commandos Are Waging an Undercover War In Occupied Territories.” In January 1992, Israeli army launched all-out offensive to end “Red Intifadeh.” Undercover units “Arabized” produced a rash of deaths under controversial circumstances leading to claims commando units are death squads. Since Intifadeh began in 1987, 775 Palestinians killed; 680 more slain by their brethren mostly for collaboration. Human-rights organizations contend Sayarot shoot first and ask questions later. Time 8/31/1992, pp. 49-50
Israel, 1992. Israel’s assassination squad, Duvdevan or Cherry has killed one of its own by mistake. Intelligence Newsletter, 7/23/1992, p. 5
Israel, 1992. Israeli army had discharged commander of undercover unit for issuing orders to shoot at Palestine activists. Unit code-named Samson has had three commanders fired or placed on trial within three years. More than 30 Palestinians killed this year by undercover troops, who usually dress as Arabs. Washington Post, 8/26/1992, A14
Israel, Honduras, 1981-89. In 1981 Leo Gleser, “co-owner” of International Security and Defense Systems (ISDS) — a leading Israeli “security” firm (Israeli Foreign Affairs 2/1987, 5/1987, /1987, 2/1988, 3/1989) identified repeatedly as an Israeli entity — began building Battalion 316, a unit of Honduran military intelligence which disappeared, tortured, then killed its victims. Honduran General Walter Lopez Reyes who C-I-C Honduran armed forces 1984-86, said “we had Israeli advisers in Special Forces. They seconded to Special Forces by Israeli mod, although they came officially as non-governmental.” Their front [was] they [were] training security groups but [they really gave] special operations courses on how take over buildings, planes, hostages…Contras also taking courses… coordination between them and CIA. Israeli Foreign Affairs, 4/1989, p. 1,4
Israel, South Africa, 1986-91. Israel trained members of Inkatha hit squads aimed at African National Congress, a disillusioned former leader of Zulu organization has revealed. Israeli Foreign Affairs, 2/20/1992, p. 3
Israel. Ranks as fifth largest exporter of arms in world, according CIA estimates, and has become essential element global counterinsurgency business. “Hit lists” used by death squads in Guatemala have been computerized with Israeli assistance and Uzi machine guns the standard weapon of death squads. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Summer 1988, p. 5
Italy: Watch List
Italy, 1950-59. All Italian “SIFAR” counterespionage officers collected biographies on every deputy and senator. List increased to include Ecclesiastics: 45,000 dossiers on them alone, 157,000 altogether, 30,000 dealing with Italians in world of business and industry. Drop copies went to CIA. De Lorenzo’s outfit to become a tool for CIA. Tompkins, P. (Unpublished manuscript). Strategy of Terror, pp. 8-12
Italy, 1959-67. Carabinieri drew up plan Piano Solo — for paramilitary to intervene in order to restore public order. Secret services had massive program of surveillance of Italian political and business figures. This partly intended to identify left-wing suspects who would be rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps on Sardinia. Investigation revealed creation of personal intelligence dossiers began in 1959 and 157,000 files amassed. SIFAR (military intelligence) dossiers emphasized unfavorable significance. SIFAR dossiers routinely deposited at CIA HQs. SIFAR planed microphones in Papal apartments and President’s Rome residence. Operation ordered by de Lorenzo at request of CIA station chief Colby. Some years earlier Rome CIA station chief Thomas Karamessines had asked General de Lorenzo, then head of SIFAR, for dossiers on [left-leaning] politicians and in particular for Moro’s circle of collaborators. Willan, P. (1991). Puppetmasters, pp. 35-7
Italy, 1960-70. General de Lorenzo, whose SIFAR became SID, implemented new Gladio project to neutralize subversive elements. Known as parallel SID, it reached into nearly every institution. Group set up at request of Americans and NATO. Knights of Malta, as well as freemasonry, and its most notorious lodge — Propaganda Due, or P-2, far more influential. Licio Gelli, a knight. Joined U.S. Army’s CIC. To ferret out dissidents, they prepared watch lists on thousands. 157,000 files found in Ministry of Interior. CIA obtained duplicates. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Summer 1994, p. 24
Italy, 1960-70. Operation Solo — a planned coup against a leftist government did not occur — but it was based on Operation Gladio. Giovanni de Lorenzo, as chief of secret services, compiled dossiers, including tapes and photos, on some 150,000 people — priests, politicians and unionists. He drew up plan to arrest many politicians, take over radio and TV, seize offices and newspapers of left-wing parties. De Lorenzo was organizing a duplicate of Operation Gladio in case left gained too much power. “Statewatch” compilation, filed June 1994
Latin America: Death Squads
Latin America, labor. AIFLD collected detailed information about Latin American labor leaders under pretext surveys necessary for AID-financed worker’s housing projects. AIFLD able obtain personal and political history union members, with address and photos. Given CIA role in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil coups, among others, it probable this information passed to military regimes and their secret police. DL p. 238 from Lernoux, P. (1982). Cry of the People. pp. 212, 220
Liaison, 1960. Target lists maintained by all Western Hemisphere division stations. Maintain in case local government asks for assistance in preventive detention of dangerous persons. Agee, P. (1975). Inside the Company: CIA Diary, p. 114
Latin America. CIA organizes right wing terrorist organizations that attack and assassinate leftist politicians and others without implicating foreign governments. Groups include “La Mano Blanco” and “Ojo Por Ojo” (Guatemala), “La Banda” (Dominican republic), and “Death Squad” (Brazil). Counterspy, 3/1973, p. 4
Latin America. CIA trained assassination groups such as Halcones in Mexico, the Mano Blanca in Guatemala, and the Escuadron de la Muerte in Brazil. NACLA (magazine re Latin America) 8/1974, p. 11
Latin America, 1953-84. The activities of the death squads, formed under CIA sponsorship in 1954 Are loosely controlled by an international organization known as La Mano Blanco (the White Hand). The front group is the CAL, Latin American Anti-communist Federation, the Latin American affiliate of the World Anti-communist League. Jack Anderson, Washington Post, 1/13/1984
Latin America. Terrorist groups created in most countries. Groups such as “La Mano Blanco” attack and assassinate leftist politicians and others feared by military governments, doing so without implicating police or military. CIA implicated in attempts to organize the right into terrorist organizations. Counterspy, __/1973, p. 4
Latin America, 1960-95. Colonel Alpirez accused killer of American innkeeper and guerrilla leader, graduated from School of Americas in 1989. Other notable alumni include: Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos, former Panamanian strongmen; Roberto D’Aubuisson, leader of Salvadoran death squads; Roberto Viola and Leopoldo Galtieri, leaders of argentine dirty war; Michael Francois, former Haitian police chief; 19 of 27 Salvadoran officers cited for murder of six Jesuit priests; 10 of 12 Salvadoran officers involved in El Mozote massacre; 105 of 247 Colombian officers cited for human rights violations in 1992; and, former dictators of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. Time. 4/10/1995, p. 20
Latin America, 1976. An Argentinean told Scherrer, legal attache (FBI) Santiago, that Operation Condor, a nascent program among military intelligence services of some Latin American countries designed to locate and eliminate one another’s fugitive terrorists and exiled dissidents. Ambitious leader of Chilean DINA trying to institutionalize process. Branch, T. and Proper, E. (1983). Labyrinth, p. 123
Latin America, Operation Condor, Paraguay, 1970-92. 12/1992 a Paraguayan judge in a police station found documentary history of decades of repression and U.S. intelligence cooperation with Paraguay and other regional dictatorships. Archives detail fates of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Latin Americans secretly kidnapped by right-wing regimes of the 1970s. Paper trail revealing elusive conspiracy among security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to eliminate foes without regard to borders. Sketchy outlines of Operation Condor, can be partially filled in. Some of documents already disappeared. Finders had unearthed jumbled mountain of papers outlining police and military intelligence activities during recently overthrown Stroessner regime. HQs of Paraguayan technical police revealed more documents. 4 tons records. Data confirmed arrest and killing of politicians and exchange of prisoners with Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Discovered documents a bombshell that led to arrest of some of Stroessner’s old regime. Southern Cone repression killed 50,000, disappeared 30,000 — the majority in Argentina and 400,000 imprisoned. U.S. gave inspiration, financing and technical assistance for repression. CIA’s technical services division (TSD), provided electrical torture equipment. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Fall 1994, pp. 7-13
Latin America, 1993. James Carroll wrote editorial about U.S. Army’s School of Americas in Fort Benning. It is “the U.S. school that teaches militaries how to torture.” Among renowned alumni are various Latin American strongmen, including dictators in Bolivia, Argentina, El Salvador and Panama. In Peru 6 of army officers charged with recent murders of 9 students were School of Americas alumni. In Honduras, 4 of the high-ranking officers who helped create “Battalion 316” death squad graduated from the school. In Columbia, the list of officers designated by human rights organizations as worst offenders reads like an honor roll from Fort Benning. In El Salvador, 2 of 3 officers cited for the assassination of Archbishop Romero, 3 of 5 convicted of killing 3 Maryknoll nuns and their lay associate, and 19 of the 26 officers implicated by United Nations. “Truth Commission” investigation of murder of Jesuits, were graduates. “For decades alumni of the School of Americas have helped fill morgues and mass graves of an entire continent.” Colonel Louis Michel Francois has been most closely linked to Haiti death squads, and he is an alumni of the school just as is General Raoul Cedars one of those CIA agents. Z Magazine, 2/1994, p. 24
Mexico: Death Squads
Mexico, 1957-89. The Mexican DFS (Federal Security Directorate) like many Western-hemisphere intelligence organizations was creation of CIA. DFS has state of the art computer and records systems. Through DFS CIA able to keep tabs on all embassies in Mexico City. DFS works closely with U.S. In the suppression of leftists and political parties. In early 1970s, Nazar created the Brigada Blanca, a right-wing death squad that killed hundreds, probably thousands of Mexican students and political activists. Zacaris Osorio Cruz, a member of death squad, testified in Canada that, between 1977-82, he part of team that killed between 60-150 people. Penthouse, 12/1989
Mexico, 1977-89. U.S. looked the other way when Nazar, head of DFS used his infallible (interrogation) techniques on behalf American agencies while he carried out hundreds, perhaps thousands of political executions of Mexican leftists and political dissidents. DFS (Federal Security Directorate) administering drug traffic. Penthouse, 12/1989
Nicaragua: Watch List
Joseph Adams, a former Marine intelligence officer, who served as chief of security for Aldolfo Calero, helped maintain a list of civilians marked for assassination when Contra forces entered Nicaragua. The Progressive, 3/1987, p. 24
Nicaragua: Death Squads
Nicaragua, 1983-89. Enrique Bermudez, a Contra leader, said in Contra raids on economic targets in northern Nicaragua, particularly coffee plantations and farming cooperatives, any resistance brought brutal retribution. Commandantes in field authorized to select those to die. Bermudez ordered prisoners to have throats cut rather than waste bullets. Terrell, J., and Martz, R. (1992). Disposable Patriot, p. 149
Nicaragua, 1985-89. “Death squad” reports re Sandinistas first circulated by the CIA-funded Puebla Institute in 1991 as coming from the UN and OAS. When checked out, this proved to be not true. Unclassified, 9/1992, p. 14
Nicaragua, circa 1940-79. Under name Anti-Communist League Nicaragua. Conservative estimates say 30,000 died four decades prior 1978-79 civil war. Lernoux, P. (1982). Cry of the People. pp. 81, 94
Norway: Watch List
Norway, 1947-90. Operation Gladio, formed in 1947, kept track of communists and became part of intelligence service in 1948. Norwegian branch exposed in 1978, when an arms cache discovered. “Statewatch” compilation filed June 1994, p. 12
Panama: Watch List
Panama, 1989-90. U.S. says 90 prisoners now held in Panama. Most of those detained had been picked up by U.S. Forces based on wanted lists compiled by U.S. and Panamanian authorities. Washington Post, 1/19/1990, A16
Panama, 1989. Several hundred people on list Endarra government seeks to detain. They arrested by U.S. troops. Most political activists and labor leaders were wanted. The Nation, 1/29/1990, p. 115
Paraguay: Watch List
Paraguay, 1972-83. The Paraguayan government expelled an author and released a document supplied by the U.S. Embassy. The document, marked secret, includes the author among a list of Paraguayans said to have visited the USSR bloc. Washington Post 2/5/1983, A1,21
Philippines: Death Squads
Philippines. Article “Death Squads in the Philippines,” by Doug Cunningham. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly), Winter 1988 pp. 22-3
Philippines. Military used hunter killer unit called scout rangers to find enemy and either attack or report back to battalion combat teams. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, p. 28
Philippines. Probable U.S. support for vigilante death squads in the Philippines. Used in coordination with other programs making up a total low intensity conflict profile. National Reporter, Fall 1987, pp. 24-30
Philippines, 1950-54. Military man who helped Lansdale was Charles Bohannan and Lansdale’s chief Filipino associate was Colonel Napoleon Valeriano whose “skull squadrons” beheaded suspected Huks. Karnow, S. (1989). In Our Image, p. 350
Philippines, 1969-83. Marcos’ land reform failed and he approved creation of “Monkees” a group used to intimidate and even murder Marcos’ rivals. Karnow, S. (1989). In Our Image. p.378
Philippines, 1973-83. In Philippines 1,166 persons were killed from 1972-83. Human rights groups say most of victims were opponents of President Marcos. Washington Post, 4/12/1984, A21
Philippines, 1986-87. “Vigilante Terror” a report of CIA-inspired death squads in the Philippines. National Reporter, Fall 1987, pp. 24-31
Philippines, 1986. See chapter “Direct U.S. Role in Counterinsurgency.” includes psywar operations, vigilante and death squads. USIA anti-communist campaign of distributing films and written materials. Film “Amerika” shown. Use of Asian-American Free Labor Institute Operations. In 1985, AAFLI spent up to $4 million on organizational efforts, the money coming from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Bello, W. (1987). U.S. Sponsored Low Intensity Conflict in the Philippines
Philippines, March 1986. Reagan signs finding increasing CIA involvement in Philippine counterinsurgency operations. New Aquino government is allegedly perpetrating a purge of opposition, carried out by more than 50 death squads. Ramsey Clark, who investigated death squad activity in 1987, wrote in June that “the victims of vigilante violence are overwhelmingly poor farmers, workers, slum dwellers, and others who are pushing for significant land reform, wage increases and protection workers’ rights, as well as those who oppose U.S. military bases.” Upsurge in death squad activities are coincident with increased CIA aid and was preceded by visit to Philippines by Maj. Gen. John Singlaub. The Nation, 9/19/1987, pp. 259-60
Puerto Rico: Watch List
Puerto Rico. FBI has institutionalized repression. It created “subversive” lists with names of more than 150,000 “independentistas” who often find themselves thrown out of work. FBI agents organized and trained death squads within the Puerto Rican police department NACLA (magazine re Latin America), 8/1990, p. 5
Puerto Rico: Death Squads
Puerto Rico, 1978. “Puerto Rico’s Death Squad Requiem on Cerro Maravilla: the Police Murders in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Government Cover-up.” A book by Manuel Suarez reviewed in the Progressive, 12/1988, pp. 40-42
Russia: Watch List
Russia, 1994. FBI to open Moscow office with an eye on nuclear trafficking. FBI has about 20 posts abroad at U.S. Embassies with its agents serving as legal attaches. They range in size from one agent to as many as eight, plus support staff. FBI director Freeh said the FBI working to set up joint police/intelligence data base with authorities in Russia and Germany. Washington Times, 5/26/1994, A3
South Africa: Watch List
South Africa, 1962. A tip from a paid CIA informant led to 1962 arrest of Nelson Mandela leader of the African National Congress. A CIA officer claimed “we have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch.” Washington Post, 6/11/1990, A18
South Africa: Death Squads
South Africa. Article, “South African Death Squad Plot: A Missing Piece to a Puzzle the Media Won’t Solve,” by Jane Hunter. Extra, 11/1992, p. 26 South Africa. See article “South African Death Squads.” Covert Action Information bulletin (Quarterly) Summer 1990, pp. 63-66
South Africa, 1980-89. Details of South Africa’s death squads by a former police Captain Dirk Coetzee. Group tracked and killed ANC activists in Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho. Newsweek, 11/27/1989, p. 56
South Africa, 1980-90. Apartheid’s fiercest warriors in 1980s were South Africa’s army special forces, police force known as Koevoet (crowbar), and Portuguese-speaking “buffalo” battalion who ran a campaign of assassination and sabotage against the African National Congress. Newsweek, 9/14/1992, p. 45
South Africa, 1991-92. 75 COSATU (labor union) members killed during past two years by security forces. Many other attacks. Briarpatch magazine (Canada), 10/1992, pp. 55-6
South Africa, 1992. Slaughter in South Africa. Newsweek 9/21/1992, p. 57
South America: Watch List
South America, 1970-79. U.S. Legal attache Buenos Aires, FBI agent Robert Scherrer, sent cable to D.C. Describing operation. Operation Condor the code-name for collection, exchange and storage intelligence re leftists, communists and Marxists. Established between cooperating intelligence services in South America to eliminate Marxist activities. Operation provided for joint operation against targets in member countries…third and secret phase of operation involves formation of special teams from member countries who travel anywhere in world to carry out sanctions up to assassination against terrorists from member countries. Special team from Operation Condor could be sent to locate and surveil target. When located, a second team would be sent to carry out sanction. 1979 Senate Report, based on CIA files, says “such a phase three operation planned in 1974 and planned on killing 3 European leftists” — one Carlos. Plot foiled when CIA discovered it and warned host countries — France and Portugal. U.S. military officers sent under auspices of AID oversaw formation of technical police. One folder of archives has correspondence between Paraguayan ministers and U.S. Army Colonel Robert Thierry, who was serving as “public administration adviser,” who supervised formation of the technical police. Letters from FBI agent Scherrer advising Paraguayan police re targets. CIA also worked with Paraguayans. Deputy DCI, Vernon Walters, visited country in 1976 who apparently approved abortive effort to get false passports for 2 Chilean DINA agents — Armando Fernandez and Michael Townley — who en route to U.S. To assassinate Orlando Letelier. The case of Eugenio Berios. Covert Action Information Bulletin (Quarterly) 12, 57, 8, 9
South America: Death Squads
South America, 1976. Letelier killed by right wing Cuban exiles called “Gusanos” who are paid and trained by CIA and “Chilean Gestapo” DINA. Gusanos regularly engage in terrorism against Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean countries. Tactics include blowing up airplanes, embassies, fishing boats, and kidnappings. Gusanos connected with police of other right wing governments such as Venezuela. Certain gusano operations directed by CIA; Other unilateral operations of DINA. Counterspy, 12/1976, p. 10
Syria: Watch List
Syria, 1949. Following CIA coup of March 1949 CIA officer reported over “400 Commies” arrested. Middle East Journal 57
Syria, 1949. The Husni Za’im coup of 30 March result of guarantee CIA that once firmly in power, the U.S. would give de facto recognition with de jure to follow in a few days and pointed out targets to be seized. Gave him a list of all politicians who might be able to rally resistance. Copeland, M. (1989). The Game Player, p. 94
Thailand: Death Squads
Thailand, 1965. Death squads. Lobe, T. (1977). United States national security policy and aid to the Thailand police 67-70
Thailand, 1973-76. General Saiyut Koedphon, deputy head of CSOC and close ally of CIA, admitted that CIA was collaborating with a variety of Thai security agencies, including CSOC. Similarly, deputy director of police, Withun Yasawat, said he was receiving CIA advice and reports as late as 1974. American indoctrination of CSOC and border patrol police during 1960’s produced U.S. desired objectives. “Nawaophon” created ISOC officers who in turn has close contacts with CIA, employed covert tactics to search out “subversive elements” within the Thai population. Counterspy, Summer 1980, p. 14
Thailand, 1973-76. The Krathin Daeng (Red Guars), were groups of rightist students with police support that had over 100,000 members including government employees, soldiers, policemen, etc. Group received support and assistance from the internal security command (where CIA had a presence) and the Thai Santiban aka Special Branch. The Red Guars implicated in numerous bombings, killings, shooting and harassment of labor leaders, peasant leaders, etc. Indochina Resource Center Study, 1/1977
Thailand, 1976. A high-ranking official of Seni Pramoj government told a foreign visitor few weeks before October 6 coup, both Nawapon and the Red Gaurs were being financed by CIA. Counterspy, 12/1976, p. 52
Thailand, 1976. Over 10,000 students, professors, political figures, labor and farm leaders arrested since coup. U.S. military aid increased. New junta used CIA-trained forces to crush student demonstrators during coup. 2 right-wing terrorist squads suspected for assassinations tied directly to CIA operations. Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, v9 #3, 9/1977, p. 2
Thailand, 1976. Red Gaurs, an organization of the extreme right, staged provocations against progressive students and assassinations of activists of farmers’ federation of Thailand. The number of assassinations by right wingers soared in April 1976 during parliamentary elections. Defense minister Pramarn Adireksan, leader of right wing Thai National party, openly proclaimed the slogan “the right kill the left.” Syrokonski. (1983). International Terrorism and the CIA, p. 117-118
Thailand, 1976. Thai border police, element of police most involved in counterinsurgency and which CIA concentrated most of its efforts, carried out an assault by fire against essentially unarmed students, killing at least 100. Counterspy, 12/1976, p. 52
Turkey: Watch List
Turkey, 1971. Coup carried out by counter-guerrilla, the CIA, the Turkey military and Turkish military intelligence (MIT). CIA solely interested in protecting American interests. CIA assisted MIT in 1960-69 in drafting plans for mass arrests of opposition figures similar to the pattern followed in Thailand, Indonesia and Greece. In single night generals ordered 4000 professors, students, teachers and retired officers arrested. They tortured. Counterspy, 4/1982, p. 25
Uruguay: Watch List
Uruguay. CIA agent associated with death squads. Every CIA station maintained subversive control watch list of most important left wing activists. Gave names families and friends. Frankovich, A. (1980). On Company Business. TV transcript, 5/9/1980, pp. 51-3
Uruguay, liaison, 1964. Biographical data and photos. Uruguay has national voter registration that effective identity card system. From liaison service CIA station gets full name, date and place of birth, parents names, address, place of work, etc. and id photos. Information invaluable for surveillance operations, for subversive control watch list and for a variety of other purposes. CID-361
Uruguay: Death Squads
Uruguay, 1970-72. CIA operations officer used cover of AID public safety advisor to help set up Department of Information and Intelligence (DII). DII served as a cover for death squad. Counterspy, 5/1979, p. 10
USSR: Watch List
USSR, 1990 KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov said KGB to protect against anti-Communist forces. Said western intelligence exploiting current instability in USSR. Certain radical movements being masterminded by foreign support. Certain groups had written “blacklists” of people who must be neutralized. Washington Post, 12/12/1990, A18,20
USSR, 1990. KGB’s Kryuchkov accuses CIA and other western intelligence agencies of gathering information on workers’ movements. Washington Post, 12/23/1990, A1,22
USSR, East Germany, 1949-57. League of Free Jurists (UFJ) kept a blacklist of offenders against justice — particularly lawyers and police — and published their activities. Named were marked men, whether they came to West as refugees or as accredited representatives of East Germans. Hagan, L. (1969). The Secret War for Europe, p. 200
USSR, Iran, 1982. Vladimir Kuzichkin, a senior KGB officer in Tehran, defected to the British. CIA had a sharing agreement with MI6 and became privy to contents of two trunks full of documents. From those documents CIA prepared name lists of more than one hundred people, mostly Iranians, working as secret agents in Iran for the USSR. Casey allowed this list be handed to the Iranians — who executed them. Persico, J. (1991). Casey, p. 301
Vietnam: Watch List
Vietnam, 1965-68. U.S./Government of Vietnam create list of active NLF for assassination. After 1968 Tet offensive, names centralized to Phoenix coordinators. Collect names of tens of thousands NLF suspects. Military operations such as My Lai use Phoenix intelligence. By 1973, Phoenix generates 300,000 political prisoners in South Vietnam. Counterspy, May 1973, p. 22
Vietnam, 1965-70. Details re Vietnam. From 1965-68 U.S. and Saigon intelligence services maintained an active list of Viet Cong cadre marked for assassination. Phoenix program for 1969 called for “neutralizing” 1800 a month. About one third of Viet Cong targeted for arrest had been summarily killed. Security committees established in provincial interrogation centers to determine fate of Viet Cong suspects, outside of judicial controls. Green Berets and Navy Seals most common recruits for Phoenix program. Green Beret Detachment B-57 provided administrative cover for other intelligence units. One was Project Cherry, tasked to assassinate Cambodian officials suspected of collaborating with North Vietnamese, KGB. Another was Project Oak targeted against South Vietnamese suspected collaborators. They controlled by Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities, which worked with CIA outside of General Abrams’s control. Stein. J. (1992). A Murder In Wartime, pp. 360-1
Vietnam, 1967-73 CIA developed Phoenix program in 1967 to neutralize: kill, capture or make defect Viet Cong infrastructure. Viet Cong infrastructure means civilians suspected of supporting Communists. Targeted civilians not soldiers. Phoenix also called Phung Hoang by Vietnamese. Due process totally nonexistent. South Vietnamese who appeared on black lists could be tortured, detained for 2 years without trial or killed. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, p. 13
Vietnam, 1967-73 District Intelligence Operations Coordination Center (DIOCC). Dien Ban center a model for all of Phoenix. Bldg 10′ x 40′. Manned by two U.S. Soldiers, 2 Census Grievance, one Rural Development cadre, and one Special Branch. DIOCC intelligence clearinghouse to review, collate, and disseminate information. Immediate local reaction. Americans kept files of sources, Viet Cong infrastructure and order of battle. Reaction forces 100 police, 1 PRU unit, guides from census grievance. Marines screened civilian detainees using informants and DIOCC’s blacklist. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, p.126
Vietnam, 1968-69. Until late 1968, Saigon had run a program under which 500,000 ID cards were issued. Viet Cong made fake ones and many stolen. Viet Cong during Tet assigned teams to go door-to-door to collect them. Saigon reissued cards in 10/1968. By 1 May 1969, number of cards issued was 1.5 million. Adams, S. (1994). War of Numbers, p. 181
Vietnam, 1968. Phoenix program quota of 1800 neutralizations per month. Viet Cong Infrastructure System (VCIS) fed 3000 names Viet Cong infrastructure into computer at Combined Intelligence Center political order of battle section. Beginning of computerized blacklist. In Saigon DIA, FBI and CIA used computers. Until 1970 computerized blacklist a unilateral American operation. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, 259
Vietnam, 1968. U.S. advisors worked with Government of Vietnam counterparts to establish a list of those who were active with the NLF and who were vulnerable to assassination. Counterspy, 5/1973, p. 21
Vietnam: Death Squads
Vietnam. Counterterror teams aka Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU). Six or dozen men carried out carefully planned forays, capturing or killing identified communists. Blaufarb, D.S. (1977). The Counterinsurgency Era, pp. 210-11
Vietnam, 1960-93. Montagnards recruited in early 1960s by Special Forces to fight Viet Cong. Did not surrender until 1992, when they yielded weapons to UN forces in Cambodia and brought to U.S. About 600 live in North Carolina. Paul Campbell, former SF who first American to recruit them. Kay Reibold head of Vietnam highlands assistance project. Montagnards live in small apartments around Raleigh with low-paying jobs. In 10/1961 Campbell, then a SF Sergeant, sent by CIA to recruit Montagnards. They to form village security, but soon being used for long-range reconnaissance and in highly mobile strike forces that hunted Viet Cong for weeks at a time. “We killed many Vietnamese.” Article by W. Booth. Washington Post, 12/27/1993
Vietnam, 1965. CIA station helped create census grievance units. CIA funded, trained and guided counter terror teams who per Chief of Station de Silva, were “to bring danger and death to Viet Cong functionaries.” Corn, D. (1994). Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades, p. 175
Vietnam, 1966-71. Phoenix operation designed to help U.S. military reach crossover point, where dead and wounded exceeded Viet Cong’s ability to field replacements. In April 1967, President Johnson announced formation of Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) for pacification. Robert Komer as deputy commander of MACV-CORDS. CORDS budget about $4 billion from 1968-71. CORDS the management structure for pacification programs. Personnel both military and civilian. By 1971, 3000 servicemen, advisers to ARVN, placed under CORDS. 1200 civilians by 1971. U.S. AID responsible for material aid. State and USIA also provided personnel. But CIA played the crucial role. CORDS reinstated civic action teams under name Revolutionary Development cadre. RD program formed teams of 59 South Vietnamese, divided into 3 11-man security squads and 25 civic action cadres. Teams to spend 6 months in a village to fulfill “Eleven criteria and 98 works for pacification.” 1. Annihilation of …cadre; 2. Annihilation of wicked village dignitaries; etc. System placed 40,000 two-way radios in villages. Land reform failed. (Photos of Phoenix propaganda material). Teams helped create Regional and Popular Forces (RF/PFs). Ruff-puffs, suffered high casualties. They represented half of South Vietnamese government forces, they had 55-66% of casualties. They inflicted 30% of Communist casualties. Underground paramilitary effort called Phoenix, which included a “census grievance,” stay-behind. He actually a spy. All information fed into intelligence coordination and exploitation program. Vietnamese at Komer’s request set up staff that, with CIA, was responsible for coordinating intelligence reports on Viet Cong Infrastructure. Information from census grievance, military, police reports. paramilitary units, including CIA’s Provincial Reconnaissance Units and ruff-puffs. Arrestees — those not killed when captured — taken to Provincial Interrogation Centers (PIC). Also regional prisons and a national center. All financed by CIA. Problems of coordination and jealousy. Numerical quotas created saying how many VCI to be eliminated each month. Torture used in questioning. Manning, R., (ed), (1988). War in the Shadows: the Vietnam Experience, pp. 55-65
Vietnam, 1966. In 1966 recycled counter terrorists called Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU) and managed by CIA officer in CORDS RDC/O Office. Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, p. 117
Vietnam, 1968. CIA issued two handbooks in June 1968. One “the Viet Cong Key Organization From Central Level Down to Village and Hamlet Levels.” Second a manual of procedures from Saigon to DIOCCs. One report said “as DIOCCs and PIOCCs have refined data bases, gained experience, and mounted more operations against targeted individuals, the neutralization rate… over 1000 per month for last 4 months.” Gia Dinh “has more than quadrupled monthly rate of killed, captured and rallied.” Valentine, D. (1990). The Phoenix Program, p. 190
Vietnam, 1971. William E. Colby on July 19, 1971, before Senate Subcommittee testified that CIA’s Operation Phoenix had killed 21,587 Vietnamese citizens between January 1968 and May 1971. Counterspy, December 1978, p. 6
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Timeline of CIA Atrocities
By Steve Kangas
The following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA since 1943.1
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). 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.
This scenario has been repeated so many times that the CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious “School of the Americas.” (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the “School of the Dictators” and “School of the Assassins.” Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.
The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations.2 Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.” The CIA justifies these actions as part of its war against communism. But most coups do not involve a communist threat. Unlucky nations are targeted for a wide variety of reasons: not only threats to American business interests abroad, but also liberal or even moderate social reforms, political instability, the unwillingness of a leader to carry out Washington’s dictates, and declarations of neutrality in the Cold War. Indeed, nothing has infuriated CIA Directors quite like a nation’s desire to stay out of the Cold War.
The ironic thing about all this intervention is that it frequently fails to achieve American objectives. Often the newly installed dictator grows comfortable with the security apparatus the CIA has built for him. He becomes an expert at running a police state. And because the dictator knows he cannot be overthrown, he becomes independent and defiant of Washington’s will. The CIA then finds it cannot overthrow him, because the police and military are under the dictator’s control, afraid to cooperate with American spies for fear of torture and execution.
The only two options for the U.S at this point are impotence or war. Examples of this “boomerang effect” include the Shah of Iran, General Noriega and Saddam Hussein. The boomerang effect also explains why the CIA has proven highly successful at overthrowing democracies, but a wretched failure at overthrowing dictatorships.
The following timeline should confirm that the CIA as we know it should be abolished and replaced by a true information-gathering and analysis organization. The CIA cannot be reformed — it is institutionally and culturally corrupt.
1929: The culture we lost
Secretary of State Henry Stimson refuses to endorse a code-breaking operation, saying, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”
1941: COI created
In preparation for World War II, President Roosevelt creates the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI). General William “Wild Bill” Donovan heads the new intelligence service.
1942: OSS created
Roosevelt restructures COI into something more suitable for covert action, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan recruits so many of the nation’s rich and powerful that eventually people joke that “OSS” stands for “Oh, so social!” or “Oh, such snobs!”
Donovan recruits the Catholic Church in Rome to be the center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. This would prove to be one of America’s most enduring intelligence alliances in the Cold War.
1945: OSS is abolished
The remaining American information agencies cease covert actions and return to harmless information gathering and analysis.
While other American agencies are hunting down Nazi war criminals for arrest, the U.S. intelligence community is smuggling them into America, unpunished, for their use against the Soviets. The most important of these is Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s master spy who had built up an intelligence network in the Soviet Union. With full U.S. blessing, he creates the “Gehlen Organization,” a band of refugee Nazi spies who reactivate their networks in Russia. These include SS intelligence officers Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (who massacred Jews in the Holocaust), Klaus Barbie (the “Butcher of Lyon”), Otto von Bolschwing (the Holocaust mastermind who worked with Eichmann) . The Gehlen Organization supplies the U.S. with its only intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next ten years, serving as a bridge between the abolishment of the OSS and the creation of the CIA. However, much of the “intelligence” the former Nazis provide is bogus.
Gehlen inflates Soviet military capabilities at a time when Russia is still rebuilding its devastated society, in order to inflate his own importance to the Americans (who might otherwise punish him). In 1948, Gehlen almost convinces the Americans that war is imminent, and the West should make a preemptive strike. In the 50s he produces a fictitious “missile gap.” To make matters worse, the Russians have thoroughly penetrated the Gehlen Organization with double agents, undermining the very American security that Galen was supposed to protect.
President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces fighting communist rebels. For the rest of the Cold War, Washington and the CIA will back notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.
President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC -there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to “perform such other functions and duties as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks.
1948: Covert-action wing created
The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, 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.”
The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works — the communists are defeated.
1949: Radio Free Europe
The CIA creates its first major propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.
Late 40’s: Operation MOCKINGBIRD
The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham head the effort. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.
CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.
Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising, hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.
CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.
1954-1958: North Vietnam
CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy, land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing failure results in escalating American intervention and finally the Vietnam War.
Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.
The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an “Army Clandestine” of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.
The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tonton Macoutes,” who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.
1961: The Bay of Pigs
The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But “Operation Mongoose” fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion would spark a popular uprising against Castro — which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.
The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.
The CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.
The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.
1963: Kennedy Assassination
1963: Dominican Republic
The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right wing junta.
A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.
A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police that hunt down “communists” for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these “communists” are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.
The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being “communist.” The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.
A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece.
A CIA-backed military coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.
1966: The Ramparts Affair
The radical magazine Ramparts begins a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops: the CIA has paid the University of Michigan [or Michigan State University? – ed.] $25 million dollars to hire “professors” to train South Vietnamese students in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received similar payments. Ramparts also reveal that the National Students’ Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.
A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government two days before the elections. The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate. During the next six years, the “reign of the colonels” – backed by the CIA – will usher in the widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents. When a Greek ambassador objects to President Johnson about U.S. plans for Cyprus, Johnson tells him: “Fuck your parliament and your constitution.”
The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report, this operation killed about 20,000 “Viet Cong.”
1968: Operation CHAOS
The CIA has been illegally spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS, President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators, which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations.
A CIA-organized military operation captures legendary guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation, but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls for clemency.
The notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. “The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect,” is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’. He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.
The CIA overthrows Prince Sihanouk, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them out of the Vietnam War. He is replaced by CIA puppet Lon Nol, who immediately throws Cambodian troops into battle. This unpopular move strengthens once minor opposition parties like the Khmer Rouge, which achieves power in 1975 and massacres millions of its own people.
After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed.
“Papa Doc” Duvalier dies, leaving his 19-year old son “Baby Doc” Duvalier the dictator of Haiti. His son continues his bloody reign with full knowledge of the CIA.
1972: The Case-Zablocki Act
Congress passes an act requiring congressional review of executive agreements. In theory, this should make CIA operations more accountable. In fact, it is only marginally effective.
Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret war in Cambodia.
President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.
The CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.
CIA begins internal investigations
William Colby, the Deputy Director for Operations, orders all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they know about. This information is later reported to Congress.
The CIA’s main collaborating newspaper in America, The Washington Post, reports Nixon’s crimes long before any other newspaper take up the subject. The two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, make almost no mention of the CIA’s many fingerprints all over the scandal. It is later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House, and knows many important intelligence figures, including General Alexander Haig. His main source, “Deep Throat,” is probably one of those.
CIA Director Helms Fired
President Nixon fires CIA Director Richard Helms for failing to help cover up the Watergate scandal. Helms and Nixon have always disliked each other. The new CIA director is William Colby, who is relatively more open to CIA reform.
1974: CHAOS exposed
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh publishes a story about Operation CHAOS, the domestic surveillance and infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. The story sparks national outrage.
Congress holds hearings on the illegal domestic spying efforts of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. His efforts included mail-opening campaigns and secret surveillance of war protesters. The hearings result in his dismissal from the CIA.
House clears CIA in Watergate
The House of Representatives clears the CIA of any complicity in Nixon’s Watergate break-in.
The Hughes Ryan Act
Congress passes an amendment requiring the president to report non-intelligence CIA operations to the relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.
The CIA helps topple the democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam. The CIA does this by giving an ultimatum to its Governor-General, John Kerr. Kerr, a longtime CIA collaborator, exercises his constitutional right to dissolve the Whitlam government. The Governor-General is a largely ceremonial position appointed by the Queen; the Prime Minister is democratically elected. The use of this archaic and never-used law stuns the nation.
Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This polarizes Angolan politics and drives his opponents into the arms of Cuba and the Soviet Union for survival. Congress will cut off funds in 1976, but the CIA is able to run the war off the books until 1984, when funding is legalized again. This entirely pointless war kills over 300,000 Angolans.
“The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence”
Victor Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA, eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official in the State Department.
“Inside the Company”
Philip Agee publishes a diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which he took part.
Congress investigates CIA wrongdoing
Public outrage compels Congress to hold hearings on CIA crimes. Senator Frank Church heads the Senate investigation (“The Church Committee”), and Representative Otis Pike heads the House investigation. (Despite a 98 percent incumbency reelection rate, both Church and Pike are defeated in the next elections.) The investigations lead to a number of reforms intended to increase the CIA’s accountability to Congress, including the creation of a standing Senate committee on intelligence. However, the reforms prove ineffective, as the Iran/Contra scandal will show. It turns out the CIA can control, deal with or sidestep Congress with ease.
The Rockefeller Commission
In an attempt to reduce the damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the “Rockefeller Commission” to whitewash CIA history and propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five of the commission’s eight members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.
The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Lebanon: CIA Trains Phalangists on how to bomb civilians
An idealistic group of young military officers, repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government. Soon, things are back to “normal” – the military government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves powerless, resign in disgust.
Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.
1980: El Salvador
The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter “Christian to Christian” to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority. CIA-trained death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.
1981: Iran/Contra Begins
The CIA begins selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. President Reagan vows that the Sandinistas will be “pressured” until “they say ‘uncle.'” The CIA’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual disbursed to the Contras includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination.
The CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious “Battalion 316” then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered.
1984: The Boland Amendment
The last of a series of Boland Amendments is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras; the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William Casey is already prepared to “hand off” the operation to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network. This includes “humanitarian aid” donated by Adolph Coors and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.
1986: Eugene Hasenfus
Nicaragua shoots down a C-123 transport plane carrying military supplies to the Contras. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, turns out to be a CIA employee, as are the two dead pilots. The airplane belongs to Southern Air Transport, a CIA front. The incident makes a mockery of President Reagan’s claims that the CIA is not illegally arming the Contras.
Although the details have long been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures (like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community. CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal are purely cosmetic.
Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that “Baby Doc” Duvalier will remain “President for Life” only if he has a short one. The U.S., which hates instability in a puppet country, flies the despotic Duvalier to the South of France for a comfortable retirement. The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.
The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington. So out he goes.
Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates, leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous priest as mentally unstable.
1991: The Fall of the Soviet Union
The CIA fails to predict this most important event of the Cold War. This suggests that it has been so busy undermining governments that it hasn’t been doing its primary job: gathering and analyzing information. The fall of the Soviet Union also robs the CIA of its reason for existence: fighting communism. This leads some to accuse the CIA of intentionally failing to predict the downfall of the Soviet Union. Curiously, the intelligence community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the demise of communism.
1992: Economic Espionage
In the years following the end of the Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering, the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.
The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to the country’s ruling class.
1993: World Trade Centre
1995: Oklahoma City Federal Building
2001: World Trade Centre
In a speech before the CIA celebrating its 50th anniversary, President Clinton said: “By necessity, the American people will never know the full story of your courage.” Clinton’s is a common defense of the CIA: namely, the American people should stop criticizing the CIA because they don’t know what it really does. This, of course, is the heart of the problem in the first place. An agency that is above criticism is also above moral behavior and reform. Its secrecy and lack of accountability allows its corruption to grow unchecked. Furthermore, Clinton’s statement is simply untrue. The history of the agency is growing painfully clear, especially with the declassification of historical CIA documents. We may not know the details of specific operations, but we do know, quite well, the general behavior of the CIA. These facts began emerging nearly two decades ago at an ever-quickening pace. Today we have a remarkably accurate and consistent picture, repeated in country after country, and verified from countless different directions.
The CIA’s response to this growing knowledge and criticism follows a typical historical pattern. (Indeed, there are remarkable parallels to the Medieval Church’s fight against the Scientific Revolution.) The first journalists and writers to reveal the CIA’s criminal behavior were harassed and censored if they were American writers, and tortured and murdered if they were foreigners. (See Philip Agee’s On the Run for an example of early harassment.)
However, over the last two decades the tide of evidence has become overwhelming, and the CIA has found that it does not have enough fingers to plug every hole in the dike. This is especially true in the age of the Internet, where information flows freely among millions of people. Since censorship is impossible, the Agency must now defend itself with apologetics. Clinton’s “Americans will never know” defense is a prime example.
Another common apologetic is that “the world is filled with unsavory characters, and we must deal with them if we are to protect American interests at all.” There are two things wrong with this. First, it ignores the fact that the CIA has regularly spurned alliances with defenders of democracy, free speech and human rights, preferring the company of military dictators and tyrants. The CIA had moral options available to them, but did not take them.
Second, this argument raises several questions. The first is: Which American interests? The CIA has courted right-wing dictators because they allow wealthy Americans to exploit the country’s cheap labor and resources. But poor and middle-class Americans pay the price whenever they fight the wars that stem from CIA actions, from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Panama. The second question is: Why should American interests come at the expense of other peoples’ human rights?
The CIA should be abolished, its leadership dismissed and its relevant members tried for crimes against humanity. Our intelligence community should be rebuilt from the ground up, with the goal of collecting and analyzing information.
As for covert action, there are two moral options. The first one is to eliminate covert action completely. But this gives jitters to people worried about the Adolph Hitler’s of the world. So a second option is that we can place covert action under extensive and true democratic oversight. For example, a bipartisan Congressional Committee of 40 members could review and veto all aspects of CIA operations upon a majority or super-majority vote. Which of these two options is best may be the subject of debate, but one thing is clear: like dictatorship, like monarchy, unaccountable covert operations should die like the dinosaurs they are.
1. 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.
2. Coleman McCarthy, “The Consequences of Covert Tactics”, Washington Post, December 13, 1987.
Copyright 1996 Steve Kangas
Text can be quoted freely for non-commercial purposes only, with proper attribution.
Published on Serendipity 2002-11-30.
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Italy Charges CIA Agents
By John Crewdson, Tom Hundley and Liz Sly, Tribune correspondents Tom Hundley reported from Milan and Liz Sly from Rome
Published in the Chicago Tribune, June 25, 2005
In rare act by ally, officials seek arrests of U.S. agents in kidnapping of imam who allegedly was tortured in Egypt
WASHINGTON — Four days before Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan vanished into the thin Italian air, three middle-aged American visitors checked into the $300-a-night Milan Hilton on Via Luigi Galvani.
The Americans, a man and two women, might have been tourists or fashion buyers, the hotel’s usual foreign clientele. The U.S. passports and visa cards, the driver’s licenses, even the frequent-flyer IDs they presented to the desk clerk were genuine enough.
Only the names on those documents were bogus. So was their shared corporate address, a non-existent company with a post office box in Washington.
According to Italian authorities, there was a reason for all the cloak-and-dagger business: The three Americans really were spies, the last-arriving members of a covert action team assigned to snatch Hassan off the street and ship him back to Egypt, where he would later say he was brutally tortured.
On Thursday an Italian judge issued arrest warrants charging two of the three Americans and 11 of their colleagues with illegally detaining Hassan, a fundamentalist Muslim preacher better known in Milan’s Islamic community as Abu Omar.
The move was no less extraordinary for coming from a country whose prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is one of the few European leaders who support the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq and which has contributed 3,000 troops to that effort.
Current and retired CIA officers, none of whom agreed to be quoted by name, said they could not remember one of their own having been charged abroad with a crime other than espionage, and certainly not in a country friendly to the U.S.
Although the CIA refuses to talk about the Milan abduction or even acknowledge that it occurred, documents obtained by the Tribune clearly link the intelligence agency with the identities, addresses and cell phones used by several of the American operatives.
The existence of the CIA’s supersecret abduction squads has come to light since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, although the agency’s practice of snatching suspected criminals abroad goes back at least to the Reagan administration.
Congressional Democrats have called for a public inquiry into the practice of covert abductions, which the CIA euphemistically terms “extraordinary rendition,” and have introduced legislation that would ban what they term the “outsourcing of torture” to other countries such as Egypt.
News reports and human-rights organizations have identified at least 33 suspected terrorists who have been “rendered” by the U.S. since Sept. 11. Unnamed intelligence officials have been quoted as putting the number over the past two decades at closer to 100.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazief, whose country has received more renditions than any other, recently told a group of Tribune reporters and editors that he was aware of “60 or 70” cases in which U.S. agents have seized Egyptian nationals abroad and flown them to Egypt.
In most of the known renditions, suspects have been arrested by local authorities in such countries as Indonesia, Sweden and Macedonia before being handed over to the CIA.
Even when such arrests are made purely at the behest of the U.S. — “there are arrests, and then there are arrests,” a senior American intelligence official said with a laugh — they technically absolve the CIA of responsibility for unlawful seizure.
In the case of Abu Omar, the absence of any prior arrest has left the CIA open to kidnapping charges. Indeed, the police in Milan, who had been tapping Abu Omar’s telephone, were as surprised as his wife and friends by his sudden disappearance.
When they learned he was gone, the puzzled police opened a missing-person investigation.
The Key Sleuth
Armando Spataro, the Milan prosecutor who requested the warrants, said the names of those accused, which have not been made public, were taken from the passports and other documents used at hotels and car rental agencies in Milan.
None of the databases accessible by the Tribune contains any indication that individuals with those names have ever had a spouse, a residence, an employer, a driver’s license, a telephone, a mortgage, a credit history or a family — in short, none of the things typically associated with real people.
Spataro, who gained his reputation by prosecuting the Mafia in Italy, said in a telephone interview Friday that he believed most of the names were probably not the true identities of the accused kidnappers.
Spataro’s investigators, however, have pictures of the suspects taken from photocopies of their passports made by hotels. He intends to ask the U.S. government to help him identify the suspects, none of whom is believed to still be in Italy.
“We have a convention for mutual cooperation with the U.S. in criminal matters,” Spataro said in a recent interview. “I will ask them to identify some people, and I will ask them to interrogate [the suspects], because I don’t believe they will surrender them to Italy voluntarily.”
Italy is part of an agreement under which any member of the European Union can arrest and extradite someone wanted by another member country, and Spataro expressed some optimism the suspects would be found if they are in Europe and are still using the same names.
“They will become fugitives in Italy but also in all the other countries” of the European Union, he said.
On Monday, Italy will issue the arrest warrants through the European police agency, Europol, and the international police agency, Interpol.
While Italy also has extradition treaties with the U.S., Spataro did not directly address the question of whether he planned to ask the U.S.
Justice Department to act on any of the suspects who might be in the U.S.
In at least one instance, the U.S. has extradited an American citizen to a European country — Germany — to stand trial in a criminal case.
Spataro dismissed suggestions that Abu Omar’s abductors, who like many CIA officers working abroad may have been posing as American diplomats, might enjoy diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution.
“If we have evidence of their involvement in kidnapping, there is no immunity for that,” he said.
Posing as Diplomat
A senior official with the prosecutor’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that one of those accused was a CIA officer posing as a U.S. diplomat in Milan at the time of Abu Omar’s abduction.
The official said that the diplomat was well known as the CIA’s representative in Milan and that the dozen other suspects charged had been in cell phone contact with him during their stay in Milan.
The diplomat is believed to have left Italy, and his whereabouts are unknown. Several U.S. telephone numbers listed in his name were unanswered or disconnected on Friday.
In all, Spataro asked the court for warrants on 19 people. But the Italian judge, Chiara Nobili, refused his requests for warrants on three men and three women on the basis that they had been brought to Milan only to help monitor Abu Omar’s movements before the abduction and might not have known the reason for the surveillance.
A prosecution official said Spataro plans to appeal the judge’s decision and hopes to obtain the six arrest warrants next week.
The Italian court also issued a warrant for the arrest of Abu Omar. The 103-page document consists mostly of transcripts of conversations picked up by police wiretaps and microphones before his abduction. Prosecution sources said the warrant was sought principally in hope of forcing Egypt to return Abu Omar to Milan.
The Egyptian government has ignored two formal diplomatic requests, sent last year through the Italian Justice Ministry, asking for confirmation that Abu Omar is in Egypt and an explanation of how and why he entered Egypt.
Spataro also is seeking permission to interview Abu Omar’s mother, his two brothers, his sister and a prominent lawyer, all of whom are believed to be living in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.
“We asked the Egyptian authorities for their cooperation, but they haven’t responded,” Spataro said.
The Egyptian Embassy in Washington has declined to respond to repeated requests from the Tribune for similar information.
Costly Web of Intrigue
Judging from the information gleaned by Spataro’s investigators, the abduction of Abu Omar on the afternoon of Feb. 17, 2003, was an elaborate and expensive operation.
The 18 people brought into the city for the operation spent at least $150,000 at the Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and Westin hotels, according to documents obtained by the Tribune.
According to their U.S. passports, several of the first CIA operatives to arrive, and who apparently were used to track Abu Omar’s comings and goings, were of late middle age, suggesting they might have been posing as retired Americans on holiday.
Nearly all gave post office boxes as their home or business addresses.
Those names and addresses are linked to what appears to be a CIA network of dozens of post office boxes in the Washington area with hundreds of names attached.
Hotel records show that several of the 13 suspects visited Milan in early January and then left, suggesting that the abduction operation was put on hold at the beginning of 2003.
The first to return, on Feb. 1, 2003, was a 33-year-old woman with a Hispanic-sounding name whose passport said she was a native of Florida. She was joined two days later by six other alleged team members and five more the day after that.
They included a 64-year-old man whose passport said he had been born in Alaska, a 57-year-old woman whose passport said she had been born in Florida and a 50-year-old man whose U.S. passport said he had been born in the former Soviet republic of Moldova.
The Moldovan-born man listed his U.S. employer’s address as a post office box in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington.
His name is linked, via a half-dozen post office boxes in the Washington and Boston areas, to a Massachusetts company, Premier Executive Transport Services, that until last year was the nominal owner of a Gulfstream executive jet spotted at the scene of post-Sept. 11 “renditions” in Pakistan and Sweden.
Before checking into the Sheraton’s Room 814, the man also left the hotel’s front desk a Virginia telephone number. When the Tribune first began making inquiries, the number was answered “Coughlin Enterprises” by an operator who described the company as a “management consulting” firm.
According to the operator, the company’s owner, a man she identified as Robert Coughlin, was unavailable.
“He’s in and out a lot, but he always checks his messages,” she said.
The next day, a different operator who answered the same number identified the company’s owner as “Rosemarie Coughlin,” who she said was similarly unavailable.
Neither Coughlin ever returned a reporter’s telephone calls. The operators have since been replaced by an anonymous answering machine.
Most of the aircraft known to have been used in CIA renditions are executive jets, such as Gulfstreams or Learjets, that are either owned by the agency through front companies like Premier Executive Transport or chartered for upward of $5,000 an hour.
Several planes shown by FAA records to have visited Afghanistan or the CIA’s training facility at Camp Peary, Va. — destinations not normally accessible by private corporate aircraft — are registered to companies with names like Rapid Air Transport, the Path Corp. and Braxton Management Services, with mailing addresses in Nevada, Montana and Delaware.
The plane that carried Abu Omar to Cairo was not a CIA aircraft but a chartered Gulfstream owned by Phillip H. Morse, a multimillionaire Florida businessman and a co-owner of the world champion Boston Red Sox.
Morse confirmed to the Boston Globe in March that he charters his plane to the CIA and other clients when it is not being used for Red Sox business. But Morse said he knew nothing about the uses to which the intelligence agency had put the plane.
The Globe quoted Morse saying he was “stunned” by an earlier Tribune report that the Gulfstream, with the usual Red Sox decals missing from its fuselage and tail, had been present at the Cairo airport at the time Abu Omar arrived in the early hours of Feb. 18, 2003.
Moving on their Prey
Abu Omar’s abduction began on a busy street in broad daylight, as he was walking to a mosque that has been identified as a center of radical fundamentalist activity.
The startled imam was hustled inside a parked white van that, according to a passerby, drove away at high speed, followed closely by another vehicle.
The baffled police, who had been keeping tabs on Abu Omar, had no idea where he had gone, although it seemed unlikely that he would have run away from his wife and friends in a country where he had been living lawfully.
Abu Omar was granted political asylum by the Italian government after arriving in Milan in 1997, apparently on the grounds that his membership in a radical Egyptian Islamic organization, Jamaat al Islamiya, which he had joined as a university student, left him at risk for political persecution if he returned home.
Inspector Bruno Megale, the chief of Milan’s police anti-terrorism unit that learned a great deal about the structure and functioning of radical Islamic cells in Italy from the wiretap on Abu Omar’s phone, began the investigation into his disappearance by collecting the numbers of all the cell phones in use in the area where he disappeared.
Megale and his investigators looked first for phones that had moved across the Italian cellular network in the direction of Aviano, the site of a large joint U.S.-Italian air base some 175 miles from Milan, where Abu Omar’s abductors had put him aboard a Learjet Model LJ-35 that was using the call sign “SPAR 92.”
SPAR is short for Special Air Resources, a military airlift service that uses Learjets and other executive-style jets to transport senior military officers and civilian VIPs.
Abu Omar was a VIP of sorts, and at 6:20 p.m. on Feb. 17, SPAR 92, with Abu Omar aboard, departed from Aviano and headed to an air base at Ramstein, Germany, where Abu Omar was moved to the Red Sox Gulfstream.
At 8:31 P.M. the Gulfstream took off and turned southeast, headed for Cairo, where it arrived in the early hours of Feb. 18.
Records showed that the phones singled out had also been in use at a number of Milan hotels in the weeks preceding the abduction. When the hotel registers were scoured, police learned that a few of the operatives, including the Moldovan-born man, had given the hotels their cell phone numbers
In all, 17 cell phones were identified as belonging to members of the abduction team. Records showed numerous calls among the team members and several others that proved interesting: to a U.S. Air Force colonel at Aviano, to the American Consulate in Milan and to four numbers in northern Virginia, where the CIA headquarters is.
One of those numbers is listed to a man in Ashburn, Va., who has the same name as one of the names used by the CIA operatives in Milan and who apparently registered at a Milan hotel using his real name. A message left on the man’s answering machine was not returned Friday.
After 14 Months, a Call
Fourteen months after Abu Omar disappeared without a trace, the telephone rang in his Milan apartment. His wife, whom Abu Omar married after moving to Italy, still had no clue what had become of her husband.
Now she was astounded to hear him explaining that he had just been released from an Egyptian prison, reportedly after a ruling by an Egyptian judge that he was not a terrorist threat.
The police in Milan had continued tapping his telephone in his absence. While their tape recorders turned, Abu Omar told his wife he had been held incommunicado in Egypt since being grabbed off the street in Milan.
During that call and in a later conversation with another Egyptian imam in Milan, Mohammed Reda, whose cell phone was also tapped, Abu Omar said he had been tortured by the Egyptian security service.
According to Reda’s account of that conversation, published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Abu Omar “underwent terrible tortures” after arriving in Cairo.
“He told me that the initial seven months were very tough,” Reda said. “They hit him day and night. They made him listen to sounds at full blast, which was the reason why his hearing was impaired.
“They closed him in a sort of sauna and then in a refrigerator cell, causing him dire pain, as if his bones were shattered. They hung him head downward, applying electrodes onto his most sensitive parts, including his genitals. The electric shocks made him become incontinent. He could not walk.”
The Milan police concluded that Abu Omar’s account hadn’t been invented for their benefit, because it evidently hadn’t occurred to him that his telephone was still being tapped. Among his requests to his wife was that she erase the hard drive on his computer before it fell into the hands of the police.
Shortly after his telephone conversations with his wife and Mohammed Reda, Abu Omar was rearrested by Egyptian authorities. He has not been heard from since.
Copyright © 2005 Chicago Tribune
This article originally appeared on the Tribune’s website here.
• John Hooper, UK Guardian, 2005-07-02: CIA methods exposed by kidnap inquiry
Agents’ use of commercial mobiles gives Italian police detailed picture of how Muslim cleric was abducted.
• Human Rights Watch Report To The Canadian Commission Of Inquiry Into the Actions Of Canadian Officials In Relation To Maher Arar
• Reuters, 2005-12-23: Italy issues arrest warrant for CIA team
Reuters has removed (censored) the content of this page, but it has been preserved here.
• Robert Stevens: Council of Europe report reveals European collusion with US torture flights
• Richard Phillips: Another exposure of Australian government involvement in citizen’s torture
• Salman Rushdie: Ugly phrase conceals an uglier truth
BEYOND any shadow of a doubt, the ugliest phrase to enter the English language last year was “extraordinary rendition”. To those of us who love words, this phrase’s brutalisation of meaning is an infallible signal of its intent to deceive.
• Mohamad Bazzi: The CIA’s Italian Job
[Hassan Osama Nasr said:] “If I accepted, he [the Egyptianinterior minister] said, I would be returned to Italy right away before anyone noticed my disappearance.” Nasr refused, and the two men left. That’s when the torture began. He testified that he was beaten with wooden sticks, given electric shocks and hung upside down. He was sometimes shackled to an iron rack, nicknamed “the Bride” and zapped with stun guns.
At other times, Nasr testified, he was tied to a wet mattress on the floor. … Another interrogator would then flip a switch, sending jolts of electricity into the mattress coils. For most of his four years in prison, Nasr was kept in solitary confinement. He testified that his cell had no toilet and no lights, and “roaches and rats walked across my body.”
• Wanted Poster: Robert Lady of CIA (Also here.)
• WANTED: Robert Seldon Lady (Bob Lady), an ex-CIA agent), for overseeing the abduction-for-torture (extraordinary rendition, as the CIA calls it) of Muslim cleric Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, aka Abu Omar. Nasr was abducted by the CIA on February 17, 2003, in Milan, Italy, and transported via the USAF Aviano base to Egypt.
• Prosecutors in Milan have charged Bob Lady, the Milan station chief of the CIA; Jeffrey Castelli, the Rome station chief and ranking CIA man in Italy; Joseph Romano, a US Air Force colonel who was in charge of security at Aviano; 24 other CIA operatives; and 8 Italian security men, including Luciano Pironi.
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• The CIA’s Drug-Trafficking Activities
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Question by Congressman William Alexander, Jr. So you worked for Mr. [John] Gotti as well as for the CIA?
Answer by Richard Brenneke. Actually the CIA told me to do that on his behalf.
Q. So the CIA was in, would you say, partnership or association with Mr. Gotti?
A. Yes, sir. I would say a partnership.
Q. And can you describe the nature of that partnership?
A. Sure. The organized crime members had a need for two things: they needed drugs brought into the country on a reliable, safe basis; they needed people taken out of the country or people brought into the country without alerting customs or INS to the fact that they were being brought into the country; they also needed their money taken offshore so that it would not be subject to United States tax where they might have to declare its source. And so we performed these kinds of functions for them.
Q. Mr. Brenneke, are you saying that the CIA was in the business of bringing drugs into the United States?
A. Yes, sir. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
— New York Mob at Mena
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). 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” [or these days “terrorists”] 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.
— Steve Kangas: Timeline of CIA Atrocities
Alongside and underneath these visible structures is a veritable menagerie of secret planning cabals and “operational units” that try to put the contending strategies of different power centers of capital into effect. This is, broadly speaking, the principal charge of the CIA, the biggest snake in the pit. The “Agency” is precisely that; it is the active force that puts the plans and schemes of the most powerful Wall Street, armaments and oil interests into operation. Within the CIA the lines between the state and private, corporate power are totally blurred, in fact have melded into one.
— Max Kollskeg: 9/11 In Context: Plans and Counterplans
The CIA’s Drug-Trafficking Activities
The CIA’s operational directorate, in other words that’s their covert operations, para-military, dirty tricks — call it whatever you want — has for at least 40 years that we can document paid for a significant amount of its work through the sales of heroin and cocaine. — Guerrilla News Network’s Interview with Christopher Simpson
ClA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [who in 2001 were part of the “Northern Alliance” fighting the Taleban which became the core of the new Afghani government following the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in late 2001] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The Agency’s principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies. — The Real Drug Lords
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as is by now well-known by anyone who has cared to be informed, has long been deeply involved in the international trafficking of the addictive drugs heroin and (since the early 1980s, if not earlier) cocaine, the enormous profits from which have financed, and continue to finance, both U.S. covert operations and the U.S. military (via payments to Pentagon contractors).
The main reason why this is not more widely known is that the main players in the U.S. media have always worked to protect the Agency and to keep the American public in the dark as to the nature of its activities (as documented in great detail in Carl Bernstein’s article in the October 20, 1977, issue of Rolling Stone: “The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up”). The information you will find on this web page, and the web pages it links to, is not considered by the editors of the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. “news” media as proper for the public to know.
By the end of the 1980’s it was calculated that the illegal use of drugs in the United States now netted its controllers over $110 billion a year. — Modern Times, p.782.
Covert government by defense contractor means corrupt wars of conquest, government by dope dealer. When the world’s traditional inebriative herbs become illegal commodities, they become worth as much as precious metal, precious metal that can be farmed. … Illegal drugs, solely because of the artificial value given them by Prohibition, have become the basis of military power anywhere they can be grown and delivered in quantity. … To this day American defense contractors are the biggest drug-money launderers in the world.— Drug War: Covert Money, Power and Policy, p.318.
Most of this page concerns the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking, but we should first note that this is only one part of its activities, the means by which it finances its operations in addition to the billions of dollars it gets from U.S. taxpayers courtesy of the U.S. federal government (the exact amount, of course, being kept secret from U.S. taxpayers). In addition to being the principal source of U.S. propaganda for domestic and foreign consumption the CIA is the covert operations division of the U.S. Government and as such has engaged in many terrorist activities. In fact the CIA is a terrorist organization, funded by the profits of international drug smuggling.
Kennedy’s intended change in Vietnam policy — his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the imbroglio — infuriated not only the CIA but elements in the Pentagon and their allies in the military-industrial-complex. By this time, of course, the Lansky Syndicate had already set-up international heroin running from Southeast Asia through the CIA-linked Corsican Mafia in the Mediterranean. The joint Lansky-CIA operations in the international drug racket were a lucrative venture that thrived as a consequence of deep U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia as a cover for drug smuggling activities. — Michael Collins Piper, The Final Judgment, quoted at Vietnam, the CIA’s Illegal Drug Trafficking, and JFK’s Assassination
From the days of the Vietnam War the CIA has been at the forefront of heroin trafficking. When the Reagan administration needed to finance its war against Nicaragua the CIA applied what it had learned in Vietnam to importing vast quantities of cocaine (sometimes 20 tons at a time) from Latin America, selling it to the Mafia, and using the profits to finance its “covert activities”, activities so contrary to America’s professed values that they must be concealed at all costs from the American people.
I ask Dennis [Dayle, former head of DEA’s Centac], “If the following statement were made to American citizens would you agree with it? ‘Enormously powerful criminal organizations are controlling many countries, and to a certain degree controlling the world, and controlling our lives. Your own [U.S.] government to some extent supports them, and is concealing this fact from you.'”
“I know that to be true. That is not conjecture. Experience, over the better part of my adult life, tells me that that is so. And there is a great deal of persuasive evidence. But I also believe that what you just said can be dealt with very effectively. You can contain drug trafficking by the immobilization of the few cartels who truly control it. There must be conscious decisions, based on fact rather than propaganda, at the grass-roots level of the global community, that the global drug-trafficking situation should not be tolerated.” — The Underground Empire, p.1161.
Because (some) drugs are illegal, there are huge profits to be made in supplying them to those who want or need them. Legalization would eliminate the enormous profits now being made and would provide a social context in which education concerning the use of drugs was not only respectable but also a social obligation. In the meantime the “War on Drugs” works only to keep (some) drugs illegal and to maintain the profits of the traffickers.
Much information about the CIA is already available (see Audiotapes, Videos, CD-ROMs, Books and Articles), but the mainstream media has deliberately ignored this information, and as others have said, if it’s not on TV then for many Americans it isn’t real. But this is real, and it affects everyone.
• William Blum: The Real Drug Lords: A brief history of CIA involvement in the drug trade
• Bo Gritz Letter to George Bush
• The CIA Paid
• The CIA and Cocaine: Some Quotes
• How the U.S. Drug War Plays in the European Media
• CIA “Smoking Files” at COPA ’97
• Celebrating a Golden Anniversary: 50 Years of Drug Dealing by the CIA
• National ‘Clear Yourself’ Day Announced!
• The Duplicity of the War on Drugs
The intent of this essay is to demonstrate that the War on Drugs was America’s first great psy-war campaign perpetrated against its own people and that such abuse of power is likely to happen again.
• Noam Chomsky: The War on (Certain) Drugs
• Xymphora: George W. Bush, Cocaine and Community Service
The CIA, Cocaine Smuggling at Mena and the Train Deaths
• Sally Denton and Roger Morris: THE CRIMES OF MENA
Of this Michael Rivero has written:
This is the article which had been scheduled to appear in the Washington Post. After having cleared the legal department for all possible questions of inaccurate statements, the article was scheduled for publication when, just as the presses were set to roll, Washington Post Managing Editor Bob Kaiser (Like George Bush, a member of the infamous Skull & Bones Fraternity) killed the article without explanation. According to the sidebar which appeared with the Penthouse Magazine version of this story, Bob Kaiser refused to even meet with Sally Denton and Roger Morris, hiding in his office while his secretary made excuses.
Mena, Arkansas, was (and perhaps still is) one of the major centers for the smuggling of cocaine and heroin into America. This article is about the late Barry Seal, a CIA agent who is said to have smuggled between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. It is based in part upon an extensive archive of Seal’s personal records. Denton and Morris write:
If the Seal documents show anything, an attentive reader might conclude, it is that ominous implication of some official sanction. Over the entire episode looms the unmistakable shape of government collaboration in vast drug trafficking and gunrunning, and in a decade-long cover-up of criminality.
• The “Train Deaths”
August 23, 1987, in a rural community just south of Little Rock, police officers murdered two teenage boys [Kevin Ives and Don Henry] because they witnessed a police-protected drug drop. The drop was part of a drug smuggling operation based at a small airport in Mena, Arkansas. … There were CIA operatives who took advantage of the protection their positions gave them, and they participated in saturating our country with drugs. Kevin and Don were victims of this atrocious crime, and it is up to us to expose those responsible.
This site includes:
o CIA Operatives and Drug Smuggling
o Mena and
o information on the video Obstruction of Justice
• Jean K. Duffey:
o Mena, Drugs and the Train Deaths Case
o Bipartisanship Outrage
o WE FINALLY WON ONE!
• Mara Leveritt:
o A review of the book The Boys on the Tracks
o Asa and Me
What does Asa Hutchinson (George W. Bush’s nominee as head of the DEA) know about Arkansas’s biggest drug smuggler? And when did he know it?
o Mara Leveritt’s web site
“… the site is a significant collection of government documents about the murders of Kevin and Don, Berry Seal’s drug smuggling, and the federal cover-up of the Mena guns-for-drugs operation.”
• Alexander Cockburn: Chapters in the Recent History of Arkansas
• The Mena Scandal
A chronological summary and archive of the Washington Weekly, with links to many supporting documents.
• More on the CIA-Drugs Connection
• Ace R. Hayes: New York Mob at Mena
America is losing its mind. The two-party system has been utterly homogenized by corrupt money. The mob and Mossad have cut a deal with Wall Street and the CIA to run the world as a global plantation for the benefit of the global plutocracy. Only impoverished presses like the PFP, some talk radio and the Internet are yet outside the hegemonic power of transnational corporate fascism. However, when the Imperial pigs succeed in driving 80 percent of the world into the new serfdom, they will probably wish they had not let their greed glands run wild. When the middle class discovers that they are part of the impoverished and imprisoned rather than the privileged, they will lead the “underclass” in a revolution against the plutocracy and its gun thugs. Failure to deal with the Mena cesspool will continue to erode the credibility of a terminally corrupt governing class.
• Ace R. Hayes: CIA Drug-Money Laundering
… knowledge of drug-running through Mena, Arkansas has been known to the FBI and the head of the Arkansas State Police since January 1988 …
The Arkansas Attorney General and Special Prosecutor Walsh have known of this since June 1991 … How in the hell have the corporate media and government law enforcement succeeded in playing dumb for the past decade?
• The Oral Deposition of Richard J. Brenneke (multipage; a single page version is here)
Joint Investigation by the Arkansas State Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Congress; very revealing testimony.
• Daniel Hopsicker: The Secret Heartbeat of America: A New Look at the Mena Story
What in my opinion has been involved is a CIA or rogue CIA operation, conducted by the CIA or CIA operatives. To smuggle drugs into the United States from South America, using Barry Seal’s drug smuggling operation in Mena. — Linda Ives, mother of Kevin Ives, one of the boys murdered in the Train Deaths.
• The Mena Scandal
• Two messages from Daniel Hopsicker:
o The Dixie Mafia
• Bill Clinton’s Skeleton Closet has links to many articles concerning Mena, Barry Seal, etc.
• Dick Russell: Spook Wars in Cyberspace — Is the FBI Railroading Charles
Asked if then-Governor Bill Clinton was aware of the Mena operation, Hayes responded, “No, but his associates were involved.” He elaborated that some of the money was laundered through two powerful Arkansas companies with ties to Clinton.
• The Crimes of Mena: GRAY MONEY
Mind Control and the CIA’s Use of LSD
The CIA’s interest in drugs goes beyond heroin and cocaine. They have always been very interested in LSD and other drugs for use in interrogation and brainwashing.
• G. J. Krupey: The High and the Mighty: JFK, MPM, LSD and the CIA
Could it have been possible that some faction of CIA agents, their typical cold war super-patriot minds blown by acid, indeed flooded the country with LSD, not as part of some plot to forestall change or stifle rebellion, but to encourage it, especially in the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination by their dark counterparts within the agency?
This shows part of the front page of The Washington Post, 1975-06-11. The report is the Rockefeller Commission investigation into the CIA’s domestic activities, in which it was revealed that a U.S. Army scientist had died a week after having been given LSD. This is the “Suicide Revealed”. The “suicide” was actually a murder. For further details see The Frank Olson Murder.
• THE OLSON FILE: A secret that could destroy the CIA
Gordon Thomas has his own idea of what it [the vital clue to the murder of CIA researcher Dr Frank Olson in 1953] was. “The CIA was using German SS prisoners and Norwegian Quislings [collaborators] taken from jails and detention centres as guinea pigs to test Cameron’s theories about mind control. The Agency preferred to conduct such clinical trials outside the United States because sometimes they were terminal — the human guinea pig ended up dead. … I believe that he [Olson] wanted out.” …
The CIA has always maintained as a matter of historical record that it has never murdered an American citizen on American soil. If … this turns out to be a lie, it could well be the beginning of the end of the Agency.
For more on these topics see The CIA, MKULTRA and Timothy Leary and Project Monarch.
• The Sleep Room’s Missing Memories
How mental patients in Montreal were subjected to CIA-sponsored brainwashing, including the use of LSD and PCP.
• In fact a book has been written on this subject — Father, Son and CIA, by Harvey Weinstein. Here is Chapter 9 from that book, Supply and Demand, concerning the origins of the CIA and its interest in brainwashing techniques.
Was Sirhan Sirhan hypnotically programmed by CIA operatives to fire a gun at Robert Kennedy on the night he was assassinated? Sirhan’s role in the assassination was not to be the actual assassin but rather to be a patsy.
Mr. Teeter [Sirhan’s lawyer] claims his client attended a hypnosis demonstration in Pasadena a month before the Kennedy assassination and may have been recruited by unnamed CIA members who he claims were experimenting with hypnosis at the time. — SIRHAN DEMANDS RETRIAL AS VICTIM OF CIA
Another crazy conspiracy theory? (A ‘conspiracy theory’ is any hypothesis or explanation of a crime which is inconsistent with the official story.) Not if you are aware of the evidence that Sirhan never got close enough to Kennedy to fire the fatal shot, and that there is physical evidence that there must have been more than one shooter.
[The] CIA was, by 1968, extremely experienced in various mind-control scenarios that involved drugs, hypnosis and a combination of the two. One of the CIA’s initial forays into this area came through a project code-named ARTICHOKE. One ARTICHOKE document presents the question: “Can an individual … be made to perform an act of attempted assassination involuntarily under the influence of ARTICHOKE?” This program later evolved into the MKULTRA program, an umbrella designation for hundreds of experiments that involved drugs, hypnosis and biological and chemical warfare.
— Lisa Pease, The other Kennedy conspiracy
But why would the CIA want to kill Robert Kennedy? The answer is supplied by one JMWeleski in a comment on Lisa Pease’s article:
As president, RFK could have [and presumably would have] waged an absolute jihad (both behind-the-scenes and public) against his brother’s assassins. It would have been war. And if RFK came out on top, you can almost count on the fact that numerous high-ranking, very public figures would have been implicated, convicted of treason, and sentenced to death. The conspirators (cough, CIA, cough) couldn’t let that happen. And what did they care? By that time they had already become experts at assassinating political leaders and subverting democracy. RFK was just another feather in their cap.
Ralph McGehee and CIABASE
Ralph McGehee was a CIA agent for 25 years, active mainly in South-East Asia, and received a career achievement medal upon retirement. Initially a gung-ho anti-communist crusader, McGehee’s experiences in Vietnam, where he witnessed American bombing and napalming of villages, and of the men, women and children who lived in them, led him to examine closely what the CIA was really all about. He concluded that:
The CIA is not now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency. It is the covert action arm of the President’s foreign policy advisers. In that capacity it overthrows or supports foreign governments while reporting “intelligence” justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical areas as Soviet nuclear weapons capability, to support presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and the American people are the primary target of its lies.
After a long legal battle with the CIA censors Ralph McGehee published in 1983 his account of the CIA in his book Deadly Deceits (from which the paragraph above is quoted). A synopsis of this book is at Ralph McGehee, The CIA and Deadly Deceits (specifically here).
As part of his efforts to demonstrate that nothing in his book contravened the secrecy agreement that he signed when he joined the CIA McGehee set up his CIABASE
… a computer data base on the Central Intelligence Agency that provides a vital, easy-to-use historical resource for policy makers, academicians, journalists, and students.
The CIA has officially acknowledged that McGehee’s CIABASE activities were legal and constituted no threat to “national security” (click on the image at right). Yet he has recently been harassed both by the CIA and by the FBI, involving bodily injury, and his CIABASE website was shut down.
Here is a statement from Ralph McGehee (given to Wade Frazier and copied from his website):
I moved to Florida in July 2000. Immediately the harassment I experienced in Herndon transferred here. A major difference is that the FBI here openly advises I am a threat to National Security — because, I assume, I tell unclassified truths to the American people.
In 1990 the CIA officially advised me in writing that I may use any information in the public domain — making the FBI’s actions against me false if not illegal as I have never and will never expose secret persons or information.
Harassment here has grown to such a degree that I fear staged incidents to arrest me for something — anything.
I base my actions on what is in the best interests of the United States. This may be difficult to believe given my negative commentary, but I participated in and watched CIA operations in Vietnam and other countries nearly destroy the US/us.
The CIA said I was an analyst with few peers and awarded me its Career Intelligence Medal. I use this ability and those experiences to inform about the CIA’s many opportunities and deficiencies.
Anyone wishing to know more may find details via a Google search under my name.
— Ralph McGehee
Here are reports by Ralph McGehee copied from his CIABASE website as at 2001-11-14 CE:
• The CIA Past, Present and Future, Part I
• The CIA Past, Present and Future, Part II
• CIABASE on the Crisis of Democracy
• Congress Attacks the CIA
• Ignorant, Arrogant and Incompetent
See also Ralph McGehee’s:
• CIA and Operation Phoenix in Vietnam — Information about the CIA’s assassination program in Vietnam.
• CIA Support of Death Squads
William E. Colby on July 19, 1971, before Senate Subcommittee testified that CIA’s Operation Phoenix had killed 21,587 Vietnamese citizens between January 1968 and May 1971.
The CIA and Torture
In 2005 it began to become widely known (to the public) that the CIA routinely practices torture (or rather, outsources this to Syria, Egypt and other countries) and routinely abducts people and flies them around the world to be interrogated in torture centers. Here are some articles on this site relating to this:
• CIA Support of Death Squads
• Timeline of CIA Atrocities
• Italy Charges CIA Agents
• Torture: It’s the new American way
• Torture (with quite a few recent links here)
• CIA Rendition Flights, including the Summary of Amnesty International’s UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Below the radar: Secret flights to torture and ‘disappearance’
More about the CIA
• Mike Lehman: The 1954 CIA Coup in Guatemala
Information warfare, the manipulation of public opinion, in particular US public opinion, is the final determinant of the success of [a CIA] operation. In this sense, it can be said that the US public is one of the main targets of the CIA in any covert action. This level of organizational hubris, combined with the cloak of secrecy, render the CIA as a threat to the continuation of our democratic system.
• Walter Pincus: CIA Had Hit List of 58 Guatemalans
In 1953, the CIA included plans for ‘K’ groups, or assassin teams, to work with sabotage groups, and rebels began training assassins. CIA headquarters in Washington sent 20 silencers for .22-caliber rifle to the rebel killers training in Honduras, said a Jan. 11, 1954, cable. In the spring of 1954, CIA officers made official requests to the State Department to implement assassinations. … Three weeks before President Arbenz resigned, a CIA field officer met with officials in Washington to submit the political assassination plan in person.
• FBI Probed Alleged CIA Plot to Kill Saddam
• Italy Charges CIA Agents
•Rosa Brooks: Torture: It’s the new American way
•Transcript of 9/11 in Context: The Strategy of Tension Gone Global, Guns and Butter, January 24, 2007
So he [L. Fletcher Prouty] got to understand what the C.I.A. was doing, and the interpenetration of the C.I.A. and the Pentagon. What he saw over time was that the C.I.A. was infiltrating the Pentagon. He developed this analysis that the C.I.A. is much bigger than the C.I.A. that’s visible, and that there are C.I.A. agents in virtually every government department, as well as in many other institutions in American society. And the people who run this secret, very large C.I.A. he calls the Secret Team. He connects them to Wall Street; he says they’re mostly connected to Wall Street and they’re instructing their operatives to do the bidding of Wall Street, but all surreptitiously, that they’ve infiltrated departments and that the heads of the departments don’t even know that they’re actually C.I.A. with this task.
• The Central Intelligence Agency — the lair of the beast itself.
The CIA’s web site has been through several versions. Here’s an early version (with links to their site removed). At that time (1996-09-19) their website was broken into by some Swedish hackers, who replaced the CIA’s home page by this (much more interesting) version:
Welcome to the Central Stupidity Agency
The CIA then cleaned up their act, but the next version had this on their home page:
You are entering an Official United States Government System, which may be used only for authorized purposes. Unauthorized modification of any information stored on this system may result in criminal prosecution. The Government may monitor and audit the usage of this system, and all persons are hereby notified that use of this system constitutes consent to such monitoring and auditing.
Sounds like the CIA alright. We could hardly expect otherwise from a bunch of control freaks. They’ve now moved this notice to a lower-level page.
• Rodney Stich: Defrauding America
• A letter from Rodney Stich
• Domestic Surveillance: The History of Operation CHAOS
An article by Verne Lyon, former CIA undercover operative. “For over fifteen years the CIA … conducted a massive illegal domestic covert operation called Operation CHAOS … [during which] the CIA spied on thousands of U.S. citizens.” This article concludes:
Given the power granted to the office of the presidency and the unaccountability of the intelligence agencies, widespread illegal domestic operations are certain. We as a people should remember history and not repeat it. It is therefore essential that the CIA be reorganized and stripped of its covert operations capability. Effective congressional oversight is also an important condition for ending the misuse of the intelligence apparatus that has plagued every U.S. administration since the formation of the CIA. A great deal is at risk our personal freedoms as well as the viability of this society. The CIA must be put in its place. Should we demand or allow anything less, we will remain vulnerable to these abuses and face the risk of decaying into a lawless state destined to self-destruction.
• Campus Surveillance
A sidebar to the preceding article.
• The Secret Wars of the CIA
Excerpts from a talk by John Stockwell, who served as a CIA case officer in Africa and in Vietnam. He was commander of the CIA’s secret war in Angola in 1975 and 1976.
• Producing the Proper Crisis
Philip Agee on the connections between Bush’s military adventures in the Gulf and Truman’s military adventures in Korea.
• The CIA and the Gulf War A talk by John Stockwell.
But the key to understanding this system is that these ARE NOT U.S. corporations. Not anymore! They are multinational corporations, on a welfare dole from the U.S. taxpayers, producing MX missiles which are put in holes in the ground, which can never be used, and producing Tomahawk missiles and everything that we’re pouring into the desert at a million dollars a shot … [The] course that we are on will definitely lead, eventually, to rendering this planet UNINHABITABLE. Now, it won’t happen in five years or ten years. But eventually, unless we profoundly change what we are doing, there will BE NO MORE warm-blooded life on this planet. Sooner or later, we MUST change or we will destroy ourselves.
• The CIA in Australia, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
A transcript of a five-part radio program series on the CIA and its involvement in Australia and in New Zealand, including an account of its overthrow of the Whitlam Government (originally at http://www.cia.com.au/vic/cia.html [but now disappeared]).
• See also a transcript of the 1982-05-23 Australian 60 Minutes program: A Spy’s Story
Just two days before a Federal Parliamentary debate was due on the American satellite bases, a CIA telex arrived in Canberra. It warned that Prime Minister Whitlam was in danger of blowing the lid off Pine Gap. The next day, the Whitlam Labor Government was dismissed [by the Australian Governor-General].
• The #59 issue of CovertAction Quarterly has a very interesting article by New Zealand writer Nicky Hagar about the Global Surveillance Network, which is the means whereby the spooks of the U.S. and the U.K. (and to a lesser extent those of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, making up the five countries in the UKUSA espionage ‘alliance’) are able to eavesdrop on every international telex, fax and email message (including yours). This is the ECHELON system.
Plenty of other governments besides the U.S. and the U.K. are interested in spying on their own citizens. Germany (though it does not receive information from the ECHELON system) is one such country.
• Excerpts from The Underground Empire — Where Crime and Governments Embrace, by James Mills (Doubleday, New York, 1986; Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1987). These were uploaded to the CIADRUGS mailing list in June 1997.
The CIA may argue that it dirties itself in the narcotics industry because that is where it finds the leaders of nations it seeks to comprehend and influence. Over a period of five years I became convinced of the participation in the drug traffic of high officials in at least thirty-three countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia … France, Haiti, Honduras, Italy … and the United States. — from Excerpt 5
o Excerpt 1
Information [about Centac] continued to pour in. Phone calls came from as far away as Hong Kong, classified documents appeared in envelopes with no return addresses, a forty-pound cardboard carton arrived packed with CIA documents stamped SECRET.
o Excerpt 2
No more than a handful of men in the world understood completely what Centac was and what it did. Though Centac was controlled from a position within the Drug Enforcement Administration, its operations and power reached far beyond that agency.
o Excerpt 3
But leaders of source country governments, seeking foreign exchange or personal enrichment, frequently participated in the [drug] traffic themselves, and the American State Department and CIA, seeking to retain military, diplomatic, and intelligence allies, were loath to blow the whistle.
o Excerpt 4
Another secret cable, four pages in length, from the CIA’s Bahamas station reported government corruption with astonishing precision, detailing not only the names of a half-dozen bribe-taking officials but the exact amount of the bribes ($50,000 to over $100,000) and specifically what favors they bought. At least one DEA official expressed shock, not so much at the revelations as at the thoroughness with which they were known. It was almost as if the CIA had been involved in some way.
o Excerpt 5
When Noriega later visited Washington, the CIA tried to prevent his meeting with DEA Administrator Francis Mullen. … Evidently the CIA did not want Panama’s boss establishing direct relations with the leadership of DEA. “Why not?” I asked an agent familiar with Noriega’s visit. “Because the CIA takes the position that ‘We have the total picture. We see things you don’t see. You don’t know it all.'” And surely that is true. Only the CIA knows it all.
o Excerpt 6
You do not have to be a ClA-hater to trek around the world viewing one major narcotics group after another and grow amazed at the frequency with which you encounter the still-fresh footprints of American intelligence agents. You might never be absolutely certain the footprints shouldn’t be there, but you will always be uncomfortable that so many solemn men in pinstriped vests are lying about them. The tracks are everywhere.
• Clandestine Drug Study Commission Act
But the CIA defied the DEA and they shipped this pure cocaine into the United States in 1990, and they have since acknowledged that they defied the laws of this government and allowed the drugs to be sold on the streets of the United States of America. I challenge anybody to tell me that it did not happen, because it is documented.
This document concerns an amendment to legislation pending before the U.S. House of Representatives. This amendment, put forward by Ms. Maxine Waters, Democrat from California, would establish a commission to be known as the “Clandestine Drug Study Commission” to investigate the involvement of the CIA in the smuggling of drugs (in particular, cocaine, in ton quantities) into the U.S. and the subsequent distribution of those drugs. The amendment was opposed by representatives Goss from Florida and Dixon from California. The discussion ends with the withdrawal of the amendment by Ms. Waters, perhaps because the votes were not there to pass it. The discussion is interesting, revealing on one hand the courage of Ms. Waters and her desire to bring the facts of this matter to the attention of the American people and, on the other hand, the willingness of representatives Goss and Dixon (despite their apparent agreement with the aims of Ms. Waters) to block this inquiry and to participate in the cover-up-as-usual.
• Senator Barbara Boxer Calls for CIA Probe
• Of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
Some would have us believe that only paranoids believe in conspiracies. Is this what certain people want us to believe? And why?
• Dope Story: Doubts Rise on Report Reagan Cited in Tying Sandinistas to Cocaine
Jonathan Kwitney’s Wall Street Journal article on the attempt of the Reagan administration to accuse the Sandinistas of smuggling cocaine into the U.S.
• Tim Weiner: House Panel Says CIA Lacks Expertise to Carry Out Duties
• Michael Ravnitzky: 1996 CIA FOIA Case Log Highlights
Information available from the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act.
• Norman Solomon: Media Focus on CIA’s Cocaine Links is Long Overdue
• Cocaine Politics – Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America A book by an academic and a journalist which exposes the lies and hypocrisy behind the Drug War.
The Bay of Pigs — it seems that the CIA sabotaged its own operation in order to try to force President Kennedy into ordering a full-scale invasion of Cuba. For details see Michael D. Morrissey’s The Bay of Pigs Revisited.
Newsgroup and Mailing List
There was a Usenet newsgroup concerned with the CIA, alt.politics.org.cia. Here are some postings from this newsgroup.
There was a mailing list concerned with the drug-smuggling activities of the CIA: the CIADRUGS mailing list. See some messages to this list.
Audiotapes, Videos, CD-ROMs, Books and Articles
A CIA Reading List
Links to Further Documents Concerning the CIA
A copy of the Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
Prohibition: The So-called War on Drugs
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