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CIA Skeletons Released To Public

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Files on Illegal Spying Show C.I.A. Skeletons From Cold War






WASHINGTON, June 26 — Long-secret documents released Tuesday provide new details about how the Central Intelligence Agency illegally spied on Americans decades ago, including trying to bug a Las Vegas hotel room for evidence of infidelity and tracking down an expert lock-picker for a Watergate conspirator.


Known inside the agency as the 'family jewels,' the 702 pages of documents catalog domestic wiretapping operations, failed assassination plots, mind-control experiments and spying on journalists from the early years of the C.I.A.


The papers provide evidence of paranoia and occasional incompetence as the agency began a string of illegal spying operations in the 1960s and 1970s, often to hunt links between Communist governments and the domestic protests that roiled the nation in that period.


Yet the long-awaited documents leave out a great deal. Large sections are censored, showing that the C.I.A. still cannot bring itself to expose all the skeletons in its closet. And many activities about overseas operations disclosed years ago by journalists, Congressional investigators and a presidential commission — which led to reforms of the nation's intelligence agencies — are not detailed in the papers.


In a note to agency employees, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, said that Tuesday's release of documents was part of the agency's 'social contract' with the American public, 'to give those we serve a window into the complexities of intelligence.'


General Hayden drew a contrast between the illegal activities of the past and current C.I.A. practices, which he insists are lawful.


The 60-year-old agency has been under fire, though, by critics who object to the secret prisons and harsh interrogation practices it has adopted since the Sept. 11 attacks.


Some intelligence experts suggested on Tuesday that the release of the documents was intended to distract from the current controversies.


And they and historians expressed disappointment that the documents were so heavily censored. (The agency said it had to protect its intelligence 'sources and methods.')


Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, the research group that filed the Freedom of Information request in 1992 that led to the documents' becoming public, said he was initially underwhelmed by them because they contained little about the agency's foreign operations.


But Mr. Blanton said what was striking was the scope of the C.I.A's domestic spying efforts — what he called the 'C.I.A. doing its Stasi imitation' — and the 'confessional' nature of so many of the documents.


'Reading these memos is like sitting in a confessional booth and having a string of former top C.I.A. officials say 'Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.' ' Mr. Blanton said.


The broad outlines of the C.I.A.'s illegal activities have been known for some time. Still, the public has never seen most of the documents, contemporary memorandums and reports from an agency that zealously guards its files and almost never permits outsiders to examine its internal records.


More than anything, the papers provide a dark history of the climate both at the C.I.A. and in Washington during the cold war and the Vietnam era, when fears about the Soviet threat created a no-holds-barred culture at the spy agency.


Some of the documents provide insight into the mundane workings of a bureaucracy — tedious correspondence about reimbursement for stationery, references to insurance benefits for E. Howard Hunt, the Watergate conspirator, and a document noting 'the high degree of resentment' among C.I.A. officers who had to grow long hair to pose as hippie radicals to infiltrate the peace movement at home and overseas.


And some of the language in the papers reflects the sanitized jargon of officialdom: 'gangster-type action' refers to an assassination plot against Fidel Castro, for example.


The internal C.I.A. investigation into covert operations during the agency's first three decades — the inquiry that produced the 'family jewels' documents — was begun in 1973 by James R. Schlesinger, then director of central intelligence.


Mr. Schlesinger had been appalled to learn that operatives had carried out domestic break-ins on behalf of the Nixon White House, and ordered an investigation into past operations 'outside the C.I.A.'s charter.'


Because the documents were compiled as the Watergate investigation was gathering steam, the agency's concern about the extent that it could be tied to the crimes of the Nixon administration is palpable throughout.


Internal memorandums detail C.I.A. contacts with Mr. Hunt and James W. McCord Jr., a retired operative who was one of the Watergate burglars. One has the heading 'Hunt Requests a Lockpicker' and reveals that in spring 1972, a C.I.A. official helped Mr. Hunt, the mastermind of the Watergate break-in, track someone 'accomplished in picking locks.' It is unclear exactly what lock Mr. Hunt was trying to open.


Historians have generally concluded that far from being a rogue agency, the C.I.A. was following orders from the White House or top officials. In 1967, for instance, President Lyndon B. Johnson became convinced that the American antiwar movement was controlled and financed by Communist governments, and he ordered the C.I.A. to produce evidence.


His director of central intelligence, Richard Helms, reminded him that the C.I.A. was barred from spying on Americans.


In his posthumous memoir, Mr. Helms said Johnson told him: 'I'm quite aware of that. What I want for you is to pursue this matter, and to do what is necessary to track down the foreign Communists who are behind this intolerable interference in our domestic affairs.'


Though it was a violation of the C.I.A.'s charter, Mr. Helms obeyed the president's orders.


The C.I.A. undertook a domestic surveillance operation code-named Chaos that went on for almost seven years under Presidents Johnson and Nixon. Mr. Helms created a Special Operations Group to conduct the spying. A squad of C.I.A. officers grew their hair long, learned the jargon of the New Left, and went off to infiltrate peace groups in the United States and Europe.


The agency compiled a computer index of 300,000 names of American people and organizations, and extensive files on 7,200 citizens. It began working in secret with police departments all over the United States.


The documents released on Tuesday provided details. One said the agency 'recruited, tested and dispatched' as foreign agents overseas 'Americans with existing extremist credentials.' It also used 'new and old Agency assets' — in other words, people and sources of information — who had worked against China, the Soviet Union, North Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea.


These were people and businesses that had 'connections with and/or knowledge of' the American antiwar movement. They were as far-flung as Paris, Stockholm, Mexico City, Ottawa and Hong Kong.


One document, entitled 'Foreign Support for Activities Planned to Disrupt or Harass the Republican National Convention' in 1972, lists the Beatles singer John Lennon, 'a British subject,' as someone who had given money to a protest group.


A rare gem among the documents for C.I.A. buffs is a pair of detailed reports signed by James J. Angleton, the legendary chief of the agency's counterintelligence staff from 1954 to 1974. They describe an American program to create and exploit foreign police forces, internal-security services and counterterrorism squads overseas.


The documents explain that the C.I.A. and other American agencies trained and equipped foreigners to serve their countries — and, in secret, the United States. Once the Americans had set up a foreign service, it could help carry out American foreign policy by suppressing communists and leftists, and gather intelligence on behalf of the C.I.A.


The documents evidently were included in the 'family jewels' because one part of the program in April 1973 included training of the foreigners by the bomb squad of the Dade County Police in Florida.


Mr. Angleton, who was dismissed from the C.I.A. the following year, after disclosures that he had overseen the opening of first-class mail in the United States since the early 1950s, was the C.I.A.'s man in charge of the overseas training program.


The program, according to recently declassified government documents, trained hundreds of thousands of foreign military and police officers in 25 countries by the early 1960s.


It put the C.I.A. on 'dangerous ground,' Robert Amory Jr., chief of the C.I.A.'s intelligence analysis directorate under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, said in an oral history interview for the Kennedy presidential library. 'You can get into Gestapo-type tactics.'


Some anecdotes reveal just how far outside the law some C.I.A. agents strayed. One technician was arrested in 1960 after trying to bug a Las Vegas hotel room. The operation had been requested by Sam Giancana, the Chicago mobster, who was then helping the C.I.A. in a plot to assassinate Mr. Castro.


Mr. Giancana had been concerned that his girlfriend, the singer Phyllis McGuire, was having an affair with the comedian Dan Rowan, and surveillance was ordered to 'determine the extent of his intimacy' with her.


In one episode that has echoes of a current controversy, the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, a May 1973 memorandum details a C.I.A. wiretapping operation that monitored calls between the United States and Latin America to learn about drug trafficking.


The surveillance, conducted by a C.I.A. unit called Division D, was ended after the agency's general counsel issued an opinion that it violated the agency's charter and 'should be carried on by appropriate law-enforcement agencies.'


Some of the activities detailed, while lawful, would have been embarrassing had they emerged at the time. One document revealed that John McCone, director of central intelligence during Kennedy's presidency, authorized an Air Force plane to fly the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis and the soprano Maria Callas from Rome to Athens, a favor that led to media inquiries.


The documents were compiled in the early 1970s but remained classified because of concern by C.I.A. directors that public exposure of a litany of illegal acts by their operatives would do indelible damage to the agency's reputation — possibly even bring an end to the agency itself.


'The shock effect of an exposure of the 'family jewels,' I urged, could, in the climate of 1973, inflict mortal wounds on the C.I.A. and deprive the nation of all the good the agency could do in the future,' wrote William E. Colby, a former director of central intelligence, in his memoir.




My favorite is Operation Chaos... Paranoids?!!! I think not... :) lol


Beware of Long Haired Hippie CIA Agents!!! :)





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CIA Documents Foreshadow Controversies


CIA Documents Foreshadow Controversies






The Associated Press


Wednesday, June 27, 2007; 7:56 PM


WASHINGTON -- The CIA's scandalous "family jewels" revelations from the 1970s provide reminders that current debates over secret prisons, aggressive interrogations and spying on Americans have a long history in this country.


CIA Director Michael Hayden said the newly released 693 heavily censored pages, in which CIA officers in 1973 reported possible abuses, provided "a glimpse of a very different era and a very different agency."


But the tactics cited in the CIA documents from the Cold War and the Vietnam War have counterparts in the ongoing disputes over intelligence tactics in the war on terror.


Consider the case of Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko, discussed in one bland paragraph of Tuesday's release.


Though he was no terrorist, his treatment by the CIA during 3 1/2 years of solitary confinement bears striking parallels to the current stories of secret CIA prisons overseas where terror suspects are held without charges or visitors for long periods while subjected to harsh interrogation, known to include "waterboarding," which produces the sensation of drowning.


Even the outcomes have been similar: a fierce debate over whether the information produced under such conditions can be believed.


And that's not the only example of deja vu in the newly released CIA documents.


Though barred from spying inside the United States, the CIA assembled dossiers on U.S. civil rights and anti-Vietnam war protesters ostensibly to detect foreign influence on them. It also opened mail between U.S. citizens and the Soviet Union and China.


That has some echoes of President Bush's order to the National Security Agency after the terrorist attacks by al-Qaida on Sept. 11, 2001. Though a federal law requires a warrant to wiretap Americans, Bush directed the NSA to monitor without warrants telephone and e-mail conversations between people in the United States and suspected terrorists abroad.


The current debate also questions aspects of computerized Department of Homeland Security systems which gather information about Americans entering the United States and assess whether they are terrorists.


A generation ago, congressional investigators were given the unedited catalog of abuses that CIA officers reported to Director James Schlesinger in 1973 during the Watergate scandal.


After years of work, the congressional committees produced thousands of pages of disclosures that went far beyond anything in the papers released on Tuesday.







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I do not know have you noticed, but there are ever increasing body of intelligence spills in the media (not just on the agencies). Do you think that these 'old dogs' are having 'second thoughts' (because these articles do not look like they have been done by the investigate journalists) ?



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I have a feeling there is a revolt on behalf of the Shadow government against the NWO and their links to the intelligence agencies... :)


If you noticed Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the former head of NSA, has taken over the CIA.


The NSA has been watching (and listening) for a long time.


I think they decided to stop the CIA and secret soceties nutballs... :)


Just my opinion... :)





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I know that Hayden has taken over the CIA, and probably has left a trusted man in charge of the NSA (He wouldn't let the government choose any old geezer in the job, would he?).


However, it is not just the American agencies, which has spilled their beans out. I have seen others doing the same thing. Many of the officers that has been in the business for God knows how long, has been coming out and revealing bits of pieces, but nothing like what happened to the STASI when the Wall came down. (I hope that if something like this is going to happen at that side of the pond, then there are people in place to go and save the 'archives', so that we can finally know what was the truth.) What comes to the 'spills', I honestly believe that the conscience of some of these people, has topped up the loyalty that they have given to the country/countries they serve.


My understanding is that many of these 'silent men' are hard to crack, and they are the true patriots who don't want to see their country going down in flames, when they could have open their mouth and do what they can do, without using their 'other skills' to provoke anarchy to cause a revolution. If the revolution comes, it is not just going to be in the US. I believe that it is going to be in many places where the retired generals and the intelligence whistle-blowers are going help the ranks of the revolutionaries. After the 'final battle' they are going to withdraw from the field, go somewhere where they can be alone with their memories and nacking conscience. It would be a honourable deed, one last act in the play to try to make it right, don't you think?


Then again, you are trying to refer to act of Hayden, him 'giving the information' to cover the other information that he has to keep in secret, aren't you? That is conspirators was of thinking, isn't it?



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Artificial intelligence - Central Hearsay Agency


Artificial intelligence


The CIA often has shaped information to meet White House expectations, says a new history




By Ann Blackman | July 15, 2007


Legacy of Ashes : The History of the CIA


By Tim Weiner


Doubleday, 702 pp., illustrated, $27.95


When my husband and I arrived in the Soviet Union as foreign correspondents at the dawn of glasnost in 1987, we discovered a country that simply didn't work. Well-educated Russians with good jobs stood on long lines for meager food and clothes. The neighborhood dentist left his instruments on an open windowsill to dry in the sun, next to his sleeping cat. Five of the six language instructors at Berlitz in Moscow had no home telephones. I ventured a few miles outside the capital of the world's other great superpower and found villages with no running water. Women hauled buckets home from the local well. Why, I asked myself, had I grown up terrified of this country trapped in primitive poverty? Didn't America's crack Kremlinologists -- all those people who had been briefing us -- know that the "Evil Empire" was a shambles?


Apparently not, writes Tim Weiner in his riveting new book, "Legacy of Ashes : The History of the CIA," since "The agency somehow missed the fact that its main enemy was dying." For eight years, from 1986 to 1994, senior CIA officers responsible for writing highly classified reports assessing the strength of the Soviet military deliberately concealed the fact that they were giving Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton information manipulated by Russian agents . "To reveal that [the agency] had been delivering misinformation and disinformation would have been too embarrassing," Weiner writes. "Ninety-five of these tainted reports warped American perceptions of the major military and political developments in Moscow. . . . They distorted and diminished America's ability to understand what was going on in Moscow."


Weiner, a New York Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who specializes in national intelligence, has written a fascinating yet scathing history of America's spy service , which, almost since its inception six decades ago, has rarely accomplished its central mission: to gather and analyze intelligence that informs the president of what is happening in the world. Instead, the CIA often tailors its work to fit White House preconceptions. "To survive as an institution in Washington, the agency above all had to have the president's ear," Weiner writes. "But it soon learned it was dangerous to tell him what he did not want to hear. The CIA's analysts learned to march in lockstep, conforming to conventional wisdom. They misapprehended the intentions and capabilities of our enemies, miscalculated the strength of communism and misjudged the threat of terrorism."


Iraq is only the latest example. In November 2002, the spy service supplied President George W. Bush with convenient facts to support his case for war. According to Weiner, the agency's last reliable reports from Iraq were four years old, but after 9/11, Iraqi defectors eager to see Saddam Hussein removed from power told Western intelligence agents the most politically expeditious story: that the Iraqi leader had biological weapons. And the deception worked. The CIA "swallowed secondhand and thirdhand hearsay that conformed to the president's plans," Weiner writes. "Absence of evidence was not evidence of absence for the agency. Saddam once had the weapons. The defectors said he still had them. Therefore he had them. The CIA as an institution desperately sought the White House's attention and approval. It did so by telling the president what he wanted to hear."


Page 2 of 2 --Weiner's book, carefully researched and sharply written, is based entirely on material he gathered on the record. There are no references to anonymous sources, no blind quotes. (Bob Woodward, take note!) Drawing on interviews with scores of CIA insiders, including 10 past directors, Weiner paints a frightening portrait of a hapless bureaucracy whose drastic miscalculations -- from the Korean War through the Cold War to Vietnam and now Iraq -- have cost the United States dearly in blood, treasure, and prestige. George Tenet, the spy chief who will always be remembered for telling Bush that the agency had "slam dunk" evidence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, conceded later: "Those were the two dumbest words I ever said." But was he -- or any other top dog -- ever fired for such a grievous error ? Of course not. Bush gave Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


The publication of "Legacy of Ashes," originally scheduled for August, was moved up several weeks because of the CIA 's release of its "family jewels," a compendium of historic documents detailing early horror stories. The material, collected in the 1970s, describes illegal and deceptive activities by the agency, including domestic wiretapping, failed assassination plots against Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, the opening of U S citizens' first -class mail from the Soviet Union and China, and spying on journalists and political dissidents inside the United States in violation of the agency's charter to gather intelligence on foreigners.


Weiner's book adds depth, detail, and perspective to the supposed "jewels" and reports that the patterns identified in them more than 30 years ago only previewed what was yet to come. For example, the Bush policy permitting the torture of prisoners in places like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to pry intelligence from reluctant sources has roots in CIA experiments dating at least as far back as 1950, when unsuspecting subjects were given heroin, LSD, amphetamines, and sleeping pills in dubious attempts at mind control. During the Korean War, the CIA sent suspected double agents to secret prisons in Germany, Japan, and the Panama Canal Zone, where they were subjected to brainwashing and harsh, drug-assisted interrogation. "The drive to penetrate the iron curtain had led the CIA to adopt the tactics of its enemies," Weiner writes.


Now, as then, the country faces a hostile enemy , and the threat of nuclear war still looms. But to understand the political forces that shape our world, a new generation of spies is needed. Despite billions of dollars spent by a plethora of old and newly created intelligence agencies, the United States fails to train its clandestine officers to understand the language and culture of its most bitter enemies. Nor do the nation's elected leaders demand solid, unvarnished intelligence, irrespective of national policy or political prejudice, to help them make critical foreign-policy decisions. "Legacy of Ashes" should be must-reading for every presidential candidate -- and every American who wants to understand why the nation repeatedly stumbles into one disaster abroad after another.


Ann Blackman was a news correspondent for 35 years, including for Time magazine. She is the co-author of " The Spy Next Door, " about FBI spy Robert Hanssen , and author of " Seasons of Her Life, " a biography of Madeleine Albright , and " Wild Rose, " a biography of a Confederate spy.




It's easier to make things up and tell presidents what they want to hear :)





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In Intelligence World, A Mute Watchdog


In Intelligence World, A Mute Watchdog


Panel Reported No Violations for Five Years




By John Solomon


Washington Post Staff Writer


Sunday, July 15, 2007; Page A03


An independent oversight board created to identify intelligence abuses after the CIA scandals of the 1970s did not send any reports to the attorney general of legal violations during the first 5 1/2 years of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort, the Justice Department has told Congress.


Although the FBI told the board of a few hundred legal or rules violations by its agents after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the board did not identify which of them were indeed legal violations. This spring, it forwarded reports of violations in 2006, officials said.


The President's Intelligence Oversight Board -- the principal civilian watchdog of the intelligence community -- is obligated under a 26-year-old executive order to tell the attorney general and the president about any intelligence activities it believes "may be unlawful." The board was vacant for the first two years of the Bush administration.


The FBI sent copies of its violation reports directly to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. But the board's mandate is to provide independent oversight, so the absence of such communications has prompted critics to question whether the board was doing its job.


"It's now apparent that the IOB was not actively employed in the early part of the administration. And it was a crucial period when its counsel would seem to have been needed the most," said Anthony Harrington, who served as the board's chairman for most of the Clinton administration.


"The White House counsel's office and the attorney general should have known and been concerned if they did not detect an active and effective IOB," Harrington said.


Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) added: "It is deeply disturbing that this administration seems to spend so much of its energy and resources trying to find ways to ignore any check and balance on its authority and avoid accountability to Congress and the American public."


White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday that "the president expects every single person working in counterterrorism and intelligence strictly to follow the law -- and if there are instances where that has not occurred, either intentionally or non-intentionally, he expects it promptly to be corrected." She said the White House relies on the presidentially appointed director of national intelligence to monitor problems.


Through five previous administrations, members of the board -- all civilians not employed by the government -- have been privy to some of America's most secret intelligence operations and have served as a private watchdog against unpublicized abuses. The subjects of their investigations and the resulting reports are nearly all classified.


The Bush administration first appointed board members in 2003. Since then, the CIA and the National Security Agency have been caught up in controversy over interrogation tactics at secret prisons, the transfer of prisoners to countries that use torture, and domestic wiretapping not reviewed by federal courts.


Until recently, the board had not told the attorney general about any wrongdoing. "The Attorney General has no record of receiving reports from the IOB regarding intelligence activities alleged to be potentially unlawful or contrary to Executive Order or Presidential directive," the Justice Department told the House Judiciary Committee in a May 9 letter.


White House officials said the board began forwarding reports of problems shortly thereafter. The officials declined to discuss the board's interactions with President Bush and said its members could not be interviewed for this report.


President Gerald R. Ford created the board in the mid-1970s after the Church Committee identified numerous abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies. President Ronald Reagan made the board permanent with an executive order in 1981 and gave it the mission to identify legal violations.


Harrington said that under President Bill Clinton, the board promptly sent reports of legal violations by intelligence agencies to the attorney general. Officials said the panel concluded that the administration showed poor judgment in supporting Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia, and it complained about the CIA's policy of employing known torturers or killers as informants in Latin America.


Perino said that during the first two years of the Bush administration, a career intelligence officer at the White House collected and reviewed reports in which the FBI and other intelligence agencies self-disclosed violations of civil liberties and privacy safeguards.


The board's three or four members -- the number has alternated over the years -- are usually drawn from the larger President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which advises the commander in chief on U.S. intelligence policy and performance. The oversight board has been a mix of intelligence experts, such as George H.W. Bush's choice of former Air Force Gen. Lew Allen, and civilians from other walks of life, such as Clinton's choice of Philadelphia investment banker Harold Pote.


The board now in place is led by former Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman. It includes Don Evans, a friend of the president and a former commerce secretary; former Adm. David Jeremiah; and lawyer Arthur B. Culvahouse.


Perino said the board's "original unique mission and primary oversight role has been supplemented" in recent years by new layers of government. To watch for abuses, the administration now relies on the director of national intelligence -- a job created in 2005 -- along with presidentially appointed inspector generals. As a result, Bush is considering changes to Reagan's executive order, Perino said.


A Clinton-era deputy national security adviser, James B. Steinberg, said, however, that "you have to have a civilian proxy who on one hand can be trusted with these secrets and can still call the operator on the carpet when they go astray. If you neuter these internal mechanisms, then you are basically saying there is no one watching the henhouse."


On Friday, the FBI and the Justice Department announced several changes meant to strengthen internal oversight, including the creation of a legal "compliance office" inside the bureau and a review office inside the department that will regularly examine all violations.


Separately, Gonzales wrote the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), on Friday to defend his 2005 testimony that there had been no verified civil liberties abuses during the first three years of the efforts against terrorism. The Washington Post reported last week that the FBI had sent Gonzales a half-dozen reports of violations of civil liberties and privacy safeguards before his testimony.


Gonzales wrote that he did not consider the conduct in those reports to be abuses because the violations involved mistakes, not deliberate misconduct. "My testimony was completely truthful, and I stand by that testimony," he wrote.


Leahy scoffed at Gonzales's explanation. "The American people deserve an attorney general who will fully and accurately inform the Senate and the public about violations of civil liberties. Instead, they have one who misleads Congress and then hides behind dictionary definitions," he said.




No one is watching the 'Intelligence Store' :)


Be Warned :)





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The Life and Times of the CIA


The Life and Times of the CIA




Wall Street Brokers, Ivy League Professors, Soldiers of Fortune, Ad Men, Newsmen, Stunt Men, Second-Story Men, and Con Men on Active Duty for the United States


By Chalmers Johnson


This essay is a review of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner (Doubleday, 702 pp., $27.95).


The American people may not know it but they have some severe problems with one of their official governmental entities, the Central Intelligence Agency. Because of the almost total secrecy surrounding its activities and the lack of cost accounting on how it spends the money covertly appropriated for it within the defense budget, it is impossible for citizens to know what the CIA's approximately 17,000 employees do with, or for, their share of the yearly $44 billion-$48 billion or more spent on "intelligence." This inability to account for anything at the CIA is, however, only one problem with the Agency and hardly the most serious one either.


There are currently at least two criminal trials underway in Italy and Germany against several dozen CIA officials for felonies committed in those countries, including kidnapping people with a legal right to be in Germany and Italy, illegally transporting them to countries such as Egypt and Jordan for torture, and causing them to "disappear" into secret foreign or CIA-run prisons outside the U.S. without any form of due process of law.


The possibility that CIA funds are simply being ripped off by insiders is also acute. The CIA's former number three official, its executive director and chief procurement officer, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, is now under federal indictment in San Diego for corruptly funneling contracts for water, air services, and armored vehicles to a lifelong friend and defense contractor, Brent Wilkes, who was unqualified to perform the services being sought. In return, Wilkes treated Foggo to thousands of dollars' worth of vacation trips and dinners, and promised him a top job at his company when he retired from the CIA.


Thirty years ago, in a futile attempt to provide some check on endemic misbehavior by the CIA, the administration of Gerald Ford created the President's Intelligence Oversight Board. It was to be a civilian watchdog over the Agency. A 1981 executive order by President Ronald Reagan made the board permanent and gave it the mission of identifying CIA violations of the law (while keeping them secret in order not to endanger national security). Through five previous administrations, members of the board -- all civilians not employed by the government -- actively reported on and investigated some of the CIA's most secret operations that seemed to breach legal limits.


However, on July 15, 2007, John Solomon of the Washington Post reported that, for the first five-and-a-half years of the Bush administration, the Intelligence Oversight Board did nothing -- no investigations, no reports, no questioning of CIA officials. It evidently found no reason to inquire into the interrogation methods Agency operatives employed at secret prisons or the transfer of captives to countries that use torture, or domestic wiretapping not warranted by a federal court.


Who were the members of this non-oversight board of see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil monkeys? The board now in place is led by former Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman. It includes Don Evans, a former commerce secretary and friend of the President, former Admiral David Jeremiah, and lawyer Arthur B. Culvahouse. The only thing they accomplished was to express their contempt for a legal order by a president of the United States.


Corrupt and undemocratic practices by the CIA have prevailed since it was created in 1947. However, as citizens we have now, for the first time, been given a striking range of critical information necessary to understand how this situation came about and why it has been so impossible to remedy. We have a long, richly documented history of the CIA from its post-World War II origins to its failure to supply even the most elementary information about Iraq before the 2003 invasion of that country.


Declassified CIA Records


Tim Weiner's book, Legacy of Ashes, is important for many reasons, but certainly one is that it brings back from the dead the possibility that journalism can actually help citizens perform elementary oversight on our government. Until Weiner's magnificent effort, I would have agreed with Seymour Hersh that, in the current crisis of American governance and foreign policy, the failure of the press has been almost complete. Our journalists have generally not even tried to penetrate the layers of secrecy that the executive branch throws up to ward off scrutiny of its often illegal and incompetent activities. This is the first book I've read in a long time that documents its very important assertions in a way that goes well beyond asking readers merely to trust the reporter.


Weiner, a New York Times correspondent, has been working on Legacy of Ashes for 20 years. He has read over 50,000 government documents, mostly from the CIA, the White House, and the State Department. He was instrumental in causing the CIA Records Search Technology (CREST) program of the National Archives to declassify many of them, particularly in 2005 and 2006. He has read more than 2,000 oral histories of American intelligence officers, soldiers, and diplomats and has himself conducted more than 300 on-the-record interviews with current and past CIA officers, including ten former directors of central intelligence. Truly exceptional among authors of books on the CIA, he makes the following claim: "This book is on the record -- no anonymous sources, no blind quotations, no hearsay."


Weiner's history contains 154 pages of end-notes keyed to comments in the text. (Numbered notes and standard scholarly citations would have been preferable, as well as an annotated bibliography providing information on where documents could be found; but what he has done is still light-years ahead of competing works.) These notes contain extensive verbatim quotations from documents, interviews, and oral histories. Weiner also observes: "The CIA has reneged on pledges made by three consecutive directors of central intelligence –- [Robert] Gates, [James] Woolsey, and [John] Deutch -- to declassify records on nine major covert actions: France and Italy in the 1940s and 1950s; North Korea in the 1950s; Iran in 1953; Indonesia in 1958; Tibet in the 1950s and 1960s; and the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Laos in the 1960s." He is nonetheless able to supply key details on each of these operations from unofficial, but fully identified, sources.


In May 2003, after a lengthy delay, the government finally released the documents on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's engineered regime change in Guatemala in 1954; most of the records from the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco in which a CIA-created exile army of Cubans went to their deaths or to prison in a hapless invasion of that island have been released; and the reports on the CIA's 1953 overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq were leaked. Weiner's efforts and his resulting book are monuments to serious historical research in our allegedly "open society." Still, he warns,


"While I was gathering and obtaining declassification authorization for some of the CIA records used in this book at the National Archives, the agency [the CIA] was engaged in a secret effort to reclassify many of those same records, dating back to the 1940s, flouting the law and breaking its word. Nevertheless, the work of historians, archivists, and journalists has created a foundation of documents on which a book can be built."


Surprise Attacks


As an idea, if not an actual entity, the Central Intelligence Agency came into being as a result of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. It functionally came to an end, as Weiner makes clear, on September 11, 2001, when operatives of al-Qaeda flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade towers in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Both assaults were successful surprise attacks.


The Central Intelligence Agency itself was created during the Truman administration in order to prevent future surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor by uncovering planning for them and so forewarning against them. On September 11th, 2001, the CIA was revealed to be a failure precisely because it had been unable to discover the al-Qaeda plot and sound the alarm against a surprise attack that would prove almost as devastating as Pearl Harbor. After 9/11, the Agency, having largely discredited itself, went into a steep decline and finished the job. Weiner concludes: "Under [CIA Director George Tenet's] leadership, the agency produced the worst body of work in its long history: a special national intelligence estimate titled 'Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction.'" It is axiomatic that, as political leaders lose faith in an intelligence agency and quit listening to it, its functional life is over, even if the people working there continue to report to their offices.


In December 1941, there was sufficient intelligence on Japanese activities for the U.S. to have been much better prepared for a surprise attack. Naval Intelligence had cracked Japanese diplomatic and military codes; radar stations and patrol flights had been authorized (but not fully deployed); and strategic knowledge of Japanese past behaviors and capabilities (if not of intentions) was adequate. The FBI had even observed the Japanese consul-general in Honolulu burning records in his backyard but reported this information only to Director J. Edgar Hoover, who did not pass it on.


Lacking was a central office to collate, analyze, and put in suitable form for presentation to the president all U.S. government information on an important issue. In 1941, there were plenty of signals about what was coming, but the U.S. government lacked the organization and expertise to distinguish true signals from the background "noise" of day-to-day communications. In the 1950s, Roberta Wohlstetter, a strategist for the Air Force's think tank, the RAND Corporation, wrote a secret study that documented the coordination and communications failings leading up to Pearl Harbor. (Entitled Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, it was declassified and published by Stanford University Press in 1962.)


The Legacy of the OSS


The National Security Act of 1947 created the CIA with emphasis on the word "central" in its title. The Agency was supposed to become the unifying organization that would distill and write up all available intelligence, and offer it to political leaders in a manageable form. The Act gave the CIA five functions, four of them dealing with the collection, coordination, and dissemination of intelligence from open sources as well as espionage. It was the fifth function -- lodged in a vaguely worded passage that allowed the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct" -- that turned the CIA into the personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president.


From the very beginning, the Agency failed to do what President Truman expected of it, turning at once to "cloak-and-dagger" projects that were clearly beyond its mandate and only imperfectly integrated into any grand strategy of the U.S. government. Weiner stresses that the true author of the CIA's clandestine functions was George Kennan, the senior State Department authority on the Soviet Union and creator of the idea of "containing" the spread of communism rather than going to war with ("rolling back") the USSR.


Kennan had been alarmed by the ease with which the Soviets were setting up satellites in Eastern Europe and he wanted to "fight fire with fire." Others joined with him to promote this agenda, above all the veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a unit that, under General William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan during World War II, had sent saboteurs behind enemy lines, disseminated disinformation and propaganda to mislead Axis forces, and tried to recruit resistance fighters in occupied countries.


On September 20, 1945, Truman had abolished the OSS -- a bureaucratic victory for the Pentagon, the State Department, and the FBI, all of which considered the OSS an upstart organization that impinged on their respective jurisdictions. Many of the early leaders of the CIA were OSS veterans and devoted themselves to consolidating and entrenching their new vehicle for influence in Washington. They also passionately believed that they were people with a self-appointed mission of world-shaking importance and that, as a result, they were beyond the normal legal restraints placed on government officials.


From its inception the CIA has labored under two contradictory conceptions of what it was supposed to be doing, and no president ever succeeded in correcting or resolving this situation. Espionage and intelligence analysis seek to know the world as it is; covert action seeks to change the world, whether it understands it or not. The best CIA exemplar of the intelligence-collecting function was Richard Helms, director of central intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973 (who died in 2002). The great protagonist of cloak-and-dagger work was Frank Wisner, the CIA's director of operations from 1948 until the late 1950s when he went insane and, in 1965, committed suicide. Wisner never had any patience for espionage.


Weiner quotes William Colby, a future DCI (1973-1976), on this subject. The separation of the scholars of the research and analysis division from the spies of the clandestine service created two cultures within the intelligence profession, he said, "separate, unequal, and contemptuous of each other." That critique remained true throughout the CIA's first 60 years.


By 1964, the CIA's clandestine service was consuming close to two-thirds of its budget and 90% of the director's time. The Agency gathered under one roof Wall Street brokers, Ivy League professors, soldiers of fortune, ad men, newsmen, stunt men, second-story men, and con men. They never learned to work together -- the ultimate result being a series of failures in both intelligence and covert operations. In January 1961, on leaving office after two terms, President Eisenhower had already grasped the situation fully. "Nothing has changed since Pearl Harbor," he told his director of central intelligence, Allen Dulles. "I leave a legacy of ashes to my successor." Weiner, of course, draws his title from Eisenhower's metaphor. It would only get worse in the years to come.


The historical record is unequivocal. The United States is ham-handed and brutal in conceiving and executing clandestine operations, and it is simply no good at espionage; its operatives never have enough linguistic and cultural knowledge of target countries to recruit spies effectively. The CIA also appears to be one of the most easily penetrated espionage organizations on the planet. From the beginning, it repeatedly lost its assets to double agents.


Typically, in the early 1950s, the Agency dropped millions of dollars worth of gold bars, arms, two-way radios, and agents into Poland to support what its top officials believed was a powerful Polish underground movement against the Soviets. In fact, Soviet agents had wiped out the movement years before, turned key people in it into double agents, and played the CIA for suckers. As Weiner comments, not only had five years of planning, various agents, and millions of dollars "gone down the drain," but the "unkindest cut might have been [the Agency's] discovery that the Poles had sent a chunk of the CIA's money to the Communist Party of Italy." [pp. 67-68]


The story would prove unending. On February 21, 1994, the Agency finally discovered and arrested Aldrich Ames, the CIA's chief of counterintelligence for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, who had been spying for the USSR for seven years and had sent innumerable U.S. agents before KGB firing squads. Weiner comments, "The Ames case revealed an institutional carelessness that bordered on criminal negligence." [p. 451]


The Search for Technological Means


Over the years, in order to compensate for these serious inadequacies, the CIA turned increasingly to signals intelligence and other technological means of spying like U-2 reconnaissance aircraft and satellites. In 1952, the top leaders of the CIA created the National Security Agency -- an eavesdropping and cryptological unit -- to overcome the Agency's abject failure to place any spies in North Korea during the Korean War. The Agency debacle at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba led a frustrated Pentagon to create its own Defense Intelligence Agency as a check on the military amateurism of the CIA's clandestine service officers.


Still, technological means, whether satellite spying or electronic eavesdropping, will seldom reveal intentions -- and that is the raison d'être of intelligence estimates. As Haviland Smith, who ran operations against the USSR in the 1960s and 1970s, lamented, "The only thing missing is -- we don't have anything on Soviet intentions. And I don't know how you get that. And that's the charter of the clandestine service [emphasis in original, pp. 360-61])."


The actual intelligence collected was just as problematic. On the most important annual intelligence estimate throughout the Cold War -- that of the Soviet order of battle -- the CIA invariably overstated its size and menace. Then, to add insult to injury, under George H. W. Bush's tenure as DCI (1976-77), the agency tore itself apart over ill-informed right-wing claims that it was actually underestimating Soviet military forces. The result was the appointment of "Team B" during the Ford presidency, led by Polish exiles and neoconservative fanatics. It was tasked to "correct" the work of the Office of National Estimates.


"After the Cold War was over," writes Weiner, "the agency put Team B's findings to the test. Every one of them was wrong." [p. 352] But the problem was not simply one of the CIA succumbing to political pressure. It was also structural: "[F]or thirteen years, from Nixon's era to the dying days of the Cold War, every estimate of Soviet strategic nuclear forces overstated [emphasis in original] the rate at which Moscow was modernizing its weaponry." [p. 297]


From 1967 to 1973, I served as an outside consultant to the Office of National Estimates, one of about a dozen specialists brought in to try to overcome the myopia and bureaucratism involved in the writing of these national intelligence estimates. I recall agonized debates over how the mechanical highlighting of worst-case analyses of Soviet weapons was helping to promote the arms race. Some senior intelligence analysts tried to resist the pressures of the Air Force and the military-industrial complex. Nonetheless, the late John Huizenga, an erudite intelligence analyst who headed the Office of National Estimates from 1971 until the wholesale purge of the Agency by DCI James Schlesinger in 1973, bluntly said to the CIA's historians:


"In retrospect.... I really do not believe that an intelligence organization in this government is able to deliver an honest analytical product without facing the risk of political contention. . . . I think that intelligence has had relatively little impact on the policies that we've made over the years. Relatively none. . . . Ideally, what had been supposed was that . . . serious intelligence analysis could.... assist the policy side to reexamine premises, render policymaking more sophisticated, closer to the reality of the world. Those were the large ambitions which I think were never realized." [p. 353]


On the clandestine side, the human costs were much higher. The CIA's incessant, almost always misguided, attempts to determine how other people should govern themselves; its secret support for fascists (e.g., Greece under George Papadopoulos), militarists (e.g., Chile under Gen. Augusto Pinochet), and murderers (e.g., the Congo under Joseph Mobutu); its uncritical support of death squads (El Salvador) and religious fanatics (Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan) -- all these and more activities combined to pepper the world with blowback movements against the United States.


Nothing has done more to undercut the reputation of the United States than the CIA's "clandestine" (only in terms of the American people) murders of the presidents of South Vietnam and the Congo, its ravishing of the governments of Iran, Indonesia (three times), South Korea (twice), all of the Indochinese states, virtually every government in Latin America, and Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The deaths from these armed assaults run into the millions. After 9/11, President Bush asked "Why do they hate us?" From Iran (1953) to Iraq (2003), the better question would be, "Who does not?"


The Cash Nexus


There is a major exception to this portrait of long-term Agency incompetence. "One weapon the CIA used with surpassing skill," Weiner writes, "was cold cash. The agency excelled at buying the services of foreign politicians." [p. 116] It started with the Italian elections of April 1948. The CIA did not yet have a secure source of clandestine money and had to raise it secretly from Wall Street operators, rich Italian-Americans, and others.


"The millions were delivered to Italian politicians and the priests of Catholic Action, a political arm of the Vatican. Suitcases filed with cash changed hands in the four-star Hassler Hotel. . . . Italy's Christian Democrats won by a comfortable margin and formed a government that excluded communists. A long romance between the [Christian Democratic] party and the agency began. The CIA's practice of purchasing elections and politicians with bags of cash was repeated in Italy -- and in many other countries -- for the next twenty-five years." [p. 27]


The CIA ultimately spent at least $65 million on Italy's politicians -- including "every Christian Democrat who ever won a national election in Italy." [p. 298] As the Marshall Plan to reconstruct Europe got up to speed in the late 1940s, the CIA secretly skimmed the money it needed from Marshall Plan accounts. After the Plan ended, secret funds buried in the annual Defense appropriation bill continued to finance the CIA's operations.


After Italy, the CIA moved on to Japan, paying to bring Nobusuke Kishi to power as Japan's prime minister (in office 1957-1960), the country's World War II minister of munitions. It ultimately used its financial muscle to entrench the (conservative) Liberal Democratic Party in power and to turn Japan into a single-party state, which it remains to this day. The cynicism with which the CIA continued to subsidize "democratic" elections in Western Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, starting in the late 1950s, led to disillusionment with the United States and a distinct blunting of the idealism with which it had waged the early Cold War.


Another major use for its money was a campaign to bankroll alternatives in Western Europe to Soviet-influenced newspapers and books. Attempting to influence the attitudes of students and intellectuals, the CIA sponsored literary magazines in Germany (Der Monat) and Britain (Encounter), promoted abstract expressionism in art as a radical alternative to the Soviet Union's socialist realism, and secretly funded the publication and distribution of over two and a half million books and periodicals. Weiner treats these activities rather cursorily. He should have consulted Frances Stonor Saunders' indispensable The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters.


Hiding Incompetence


Despite all this, the CIA was protected from criticism by its impenetrable secrecy and by the tireless propaganda efforts of such leaders as Allen W. Dulles, director of the Agency under President Eisenhower, and Richard Bissell, chief of the clandestine service after Wisner. Even when the CIA seemed to fail at everything it undertook, writes Weiner, "The ability to represent failure as success was becoming a CIA tradition." [p. 58]


After the Chinese intervention in the Korean War, the CIA dropped 212 foreign agents into Manchuria. Within a matter of days, 101 had been killed and the other 111 captured -- but this information was effectively suppressed. The CIA's station chief in Seoul, Albert R. Haney, an incompetent army colonel and intelligence fabricator, never suspected that the hundreds of agents he claimed to have working for him all reported to North Korean control officers.


Haney survived his incredible performance in the Korean War because, at the end of his tour in November 1952, he helped to arrange for the transportation of a grievously wounded Marine lieutenant back to the United States. That Marine turned out to be the son of Allen Dulles, who repaid his debt of gratitude by putting Haney in charge of the covert operation that -- despite a largely bungled, badly directed secret campaign -- did succeed in overthrowing the Guatemalan government of President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. The CIA's handiwork in Guatemala ultimately led to the deaths of 200,000 civilians during the 40 years of bloodshed and civil war that followed the sabotage of an elected government for the sake of the United Fruit Company.


Weiner has made innumerable contributions to many hidden issues of postwar foreign policy, some of them still on-going. For example, during the debate over America's invasion of Iraq after 2003, one of the constant laments was that the CIA did not have access to a single agent inside Saddam Hussein's inner circle. That was not true. Ironically, the intelligence service of France -- a country U.S. politicians publicly lambasted for its failure to support us -- had cultivated Naji Sabri, Iraq's foreign minister. Sabri told the French agency, and through it the American government, that Saddam Hussein did not have an active nuclear or biological weapons program, but the CIA ignored him. Weiner comments ruefully, "The CIA had almost no ability to analyze accurately what little intelligence it had." [pp. 666-67, n. 487]


Perhaps the most comical of all CIA clandestine activities -- unfortunately all too typical of its covert operations over the last 60 years -- was the spying it did in 1994 on the newly appointed American ambassador to Guatemala, Marilyn McAfee, who sought to promote policies of human rights and justice in that country. Loyal to the murderous Guatemalan intelligence service, the CIA had bugged her bedroom and picked up sounds that led their agents to conclude that the ambassador was having a lesbian love affair with her secretary, Carol Murphy. The CIA station chief "recorded her cooing endearments to Murphy." The agency spread the word in Washington that the liberal ambassador was a lesbian without realizing that "Murphy" was also the name of her two-year-old black standard poodle. The bug in her bedroom had recorded her petting her dog. She was actually a married woman from a conservative family. [p. 459]


Back in August 1945, General William Donovan, the head of the OSS, said to President Truman, "Prior to the present war, the United States had no foreign intelligence service. It never has had and does not now have a coordinated intelligence system." Weiner adds, "Tragically, it still does not have one." I agree with Weiner's assessment, but based on his truly exemplary analysis of the Central Intelligence Agency in Legacy of Ashes, I do not think that this is a tragedy. Given his evidence, it is hard to believe that the United States would not have been better off if it had left intelligence collection and analysis to the State Department and had assigned infrequent covert actions to the Pentagon.


I believe that this is where we stand today: The CIA has failed badly, and it would be an important step toward a restoration of the checks and balances within our political system simply to abolish it. Some observers argue that this would be an inadequate remedy because what the government now ostentatiously calls the "intelligence community" -- complete with its own website -- is composed of 16 discrete and competitive intelligence organizations ready to step into the CIA's shoes. This, however, is a misunderstanding. Most of the members of the so-called intelligence community are bureaucratic appendages of well-established departments or belong to extremely technical units whose functions have nothing at all to do with either espionage or cloak-and-dagger adventures.


The sixteen entities include the intelligence organizations of each military service -- the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and the Defense Intelligence Agency -- and reflect inter-service rivalries more than national needs or interests; the departments of Energy, Homeland Security, State, Treasury, and Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the FBI and the National Security Agency; and the units devoted to satellites and reconnaissance (National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office). The only one of these units that could conceivably compete with the CIA is the one that I recommend to replace it -- namely, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). Interestingly enough, it had by far the best record of any U.S. intelligence entity in analyzing Iraq under Saddam Hussein and estimating what was likely to happen if we pursued the Bush administration's misconceived scheme of invading his country. Its work was, of course, largely ignored by the Bush-Cheney White House.


Weiner does not cover every single aspect of the record of the CIA, but his book is one of the best possible places for a serious citizen to begin to understand the depths to which our government has sunk. It also brings home the lesson that an incompetent or unscrupulous intelligence agency can be as great a threat to national security as not having one at all.


Chalmers Johnson's latest book is Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2007). It is the third volume of his Blowback Trilogy, which also includes Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire. A retired professor of international relations from the University of California (Berkeley and San Diego campuses) and the author of some seventeen books primarily on the politics and economics of East Asia, Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute.


Copyright 2007 Chalmers Johnson




This guy basically agrees with me... What does the CIA do with all that money?


Are "Procurement Officers" of the CIA running their own Black Ops all over the place.





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Re: The Life and Times of the CIA


This guy basically agrees with me... What does the CIA do with all that money?Are "Procurement Officers" of the CIA running their own Black Ops all over the place.

Basically yes, think about air america operations over LAOS and inside the golden triangle. Revolutions cost money and what is the best money maker then drug running? I do believe that every country own intelligence services are involved in black operations and since you are already on that side of the law, then why not to do the other things?What comes to the legal money, I think it goes to many legal and semi-legal projects that the old agency runs.



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I read on early days of war how Afganistan Heroin production created junkies in Pakistan and everywhere else the drugs travelled. However, is it just Heroin in the business, and who the hell is using it. Every drug user that I know in England stays out from that stuff and stick with cannabis or charlie.


If you remember from not so long time ago how Isreal diplomat was connected to biggest MDMA smuggling operation in the that side of the Atlantic, then one can easily connect MOSSAD with the CIA and so on and so fort.


Where does all this 'retirement money' go? If the big intelligence family has been running the business like we have concluded here, then it must have created absolutely amazing sum of money over the years that the operation has been on. I just would like to know what it has bought?



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Re: The Life and Times of the CIA




As for "I read on early days of war how Afganistan Heroin production created junkies in Pakistan and everywhere else the drugs travelled. However, is it just Heroin in the business, and who the hell is using it. Every drug user that I know in England stays out from that stuff and stick with cannabis or charlie."


In America its a different story... Lots of addicts... Although Crystal Meth is up there too...


As for "If you remember from not so long time ago how Isreal diplomat was connected to biggest MDMA smuggling operation in the that side of the Atlantic, then one can easily connect MOSSAD with the CIA and so on and so fort."


They say the Mossad doesn't have a CIA or KGB desk... Because they have throughly inflitrated them...


As for "Where does all this 'retirement money' go? If the big intelligence family has been running the business like we have concluded here, then it must have created absolutely amazing sum of money over the years that the operation has been on. I just would like to know what it has bought?"


I have three guesses...


o Swiss Bank Accounts


o Black Ops


o Underground Bases :)





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"They say the Mossad doesn't have a CIA or KGB desk... Because they have throughly inflitrated them..."


Is there an agency, where the 'big bad M' don't have their slimy fingers in the cake, and have already eaten it? I can remember reading an article that the NSA network was inflitraded by them and I wouldn't be surprised if they did not have anything to do with the wire-tabbing scandal (them being on the saddle and saying where the horse is going).


How long do think Mossad is going to be in the game?


"I have three guesses...


o Swiss Bank Accounts


o Black Ops


o Underground Bases :)"


I am willing to believe that first item is valid and it supplies all the activities in the Black Ops (maybe even the development work of the underground bases).



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Re: The Life and Times of the CIA




As for "Is there an agency, where the 'big bad M' don't have their slimy fingers in the cake, and have already eaten it? I can remember reading an article that the NSA network was inflitraded by them and I wouldn't be surprised if they did not have anything to do with the wire-tabbing scandal (them being on the saddle and saying where the horse is going)."


I'm still upset about 9/11... Having agents yelling and cheering as the towers went down... :(


It's just bad form...


As for "How long do think Mossad is going to be in the game?"


My 'God Channeling' powers till me... Not for long.... :)


I sense 'payback' is in order...





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The Tailor of Panama - Good Example




I don't know if you ever saw the "The Tailor of Panama" starring Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush.


It seems to be a good expample of how foreign intelligence operations go...


Get mixed up with the local powers...


Create a 'crisis'


Get funding to back a side of the 'crisis'


Pad money for yourself...


Convince "Intelligence" HQ to lauch military or covert action...


"Crisis" Flames up...


Walk away with the CASH... :)


It seems to be the most realistic spy movie ever made... :)





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"I don't know if you ever saw the "The Tailor of Panama" starring Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush."


I went to see it, when it came out and it has been on my buy list for quite some time, but it didn't strike as much as what the Robert Redford "Spy Game". Although it is fictitious, it still portrays very well on how 'the game is played and how dirty it can get'. 'The tailor of Panama' is more like an old man having hard time getting off from his old institutionalised habits, but it is still one beautiful play, novel is better then the film. However about the film actors, my all time favourite spy actor is British Michael Caine, and the spook character was always ready to do the government dirty bidding, but at the end he was always the most cunning and uncompromised of them all.



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I liked "Spy Game" it seemed fairly realistic... However, Redford operation at CIA HQ didn't...


My two favorite spy movies are still "The Three Days of the Condor" and "All The President's Men"


You don't get much better than that...


What spy did Caine play? I remember watching Sir Alec Guinness in "Smiley's People" which I liked.





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Why you say that the Langley action was unrealistic? It seemed dramatised, but not unrealistic to me. The people like the guy operating the map-room, was realistic enough to me. I can think some weird geezer like him in a map-room like they had. Problem is that I do not know enough about Langley activities to be absolutely certain about what is what.


"All The President Men", what a classic, brilliant intelligence work done by the two amazing journalist. "The Three Days of the Condor", I haven't seen that one, so I have to wait to see if it appears on sky at some point, but as long as it is here, I can get it from the play.com next time when I have money.


Michael Caine == Harry Palmer, is a fictional secret agent who is the protagonist in a number of films based on three of the first four spy novels written by Len Deighton. The character has most often been portrayed by actor Michael Caine.


Unlike Ian Fleming's Bond, Deighton's spy is hindered by bureaucracy, wears glasses, shops in supermarkets, lives in back street flats and seedy hotels, and is in need of a pay rise. He is a lowly army sergeant who was forcibly recruited to the secret service in order to work off a sentence for black market activities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Palmer



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As for "Why you say that the Langley action was unrealistic?..."


From a movie plot standpoint... That a guy could develop a rescue operation while he was getting hung out to dry... Not believable to me...


As for "The Three Days of the Condor", I haven't seen that one, so I have to wait to see if it appears on sky at some point" Still Relevant Today...


It's great... I won't give anything away. Also stars Robert Redford. You should order the DVD. I'll pay if you don't like it :)


As for "Michael Caine == Harry Palmer, is a fictional secret agent who is the protagonist in a number of films based on three of the first four spy novels written by Len Deighton. The character has most often been portrayed by actor Michael Caine."


Oh yeah... Now I remember... But I think I've only seen it once... They don't play it alot on American TV.





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