"CIA-Sponsored Trolls Monitor Internet & Interact With Users to Discredit Factual Information
In July of this year it became apparent through a flood of mainstream media reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) was â€œdesperate to hire new hacking talent to protect the nationâ€™s critical infrastructureâ€ yet the NSA is notorious for its surveillance programs on American digital activity.
David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, said at a summit for In-Q-Tel, that he was speculating on the â€œinternet of thingsâ€ and that â€œâ€˜Transformationalâ€™ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies . . . particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.â€
Petraeus is seeking to better the CIAâ€™s ability to create online identities for undercover spies. Currently, each internet user has a digital footprint that can trace the movements online to the person on the other end of the screen. Petraeus wants to utilize technology that will essentially erase a digital footprint; erasing all traces of anyone at the whim of the CIA.
In a possible preparation for the ability of the CIA to spy on American citizens with their household items, the NSAâ€™s Utah Data Center is located in the Utah desert in the foot hills of the Wasatch mountain range. This is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid; a military project that collects yottabytes of data. They are listening to every conversation, reading every post, intercepting every text message under the false flag of terrorism.
The facility has the technological ability to record and analyze every communication in the world. From emails to phone calls to text messages to chats; nothing is private anymore.
Based on â€œthreat Levelsâ€ the NSA can use all the technology at their disposal to obtain information on:
â€¢ Finances â€¢ Stock transactions â€¢ Business deals â€¢ Foreign military â€¢ Diplomatic secrets â€¢ Legal documents â€¢ Personal civilian communications
This information could be used at Fusion Centers for the DHS to create a more efficient profile on each and every American citizen. The implications are staggering. This ability to collect these types of data are a violation of the 4th Amendment guard against unreasonable searches and seizures. By collecting intelligence on every American citizen, the US government is treating everyone as if they were a potential foreign or domestic terrorist. Whether this assumption is valid or not, under the US constitution, Americans are supposed to be protected from intrusion of government; even if that government is their own.
At the same time the NSA spy center was being constructed, Attorney General Eric Holder new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). These guidelines will allow the NCTC access to data on American citizens once held under right to privacy. The NCTC will focus on collecting and sharing information; regardless of whether or not there is the threat of terrorism. The will collaborate with local state officials, tribal courts and private partners; as well as the FBI and DHS and other federal agencies.
The Obama administration empowered the NCTC with the authority afforded Obama under Presidential Executive Order 13354. This EO was codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The NCTC reports directly to the President and director of National Intelligence as instructed by the President and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Sen. John McCain was integral in the creation of this combination of military strength and governmental power culminating in all-encompassing tyranny.
Both private and public corporations will be employed to mine the data. Silicon Valley and other technology giants in the private sector will have open access to private information on any and all American citizens.
Since the manufactured attack on 9/11, the US government has created a â€œvast domestic intelligence apparatusâ€ that spies on Americans and collects massive amounts of data to be profiled and used at the discretion of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), local law enforcement, DHS and military criminal investigators. The FBI and NSA house more than 1.5 billion government and private sector profiles. The information on average citizens includes all sources of criminal and non-criminal databases that assist the US government in creating a filing system on each American.
The NSA has a comprehensive program to search out our schools into scouting grounds for a team of American grown hacker community. The Obama administration has made it a concern of theirs that the future of cybersecurity rest with the college graduates of tomorrow. The NSA is focusing on colleges and universities within the US. Four schools have already been singled out as officialCenters of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-COP).
The CAE-COP focuses on recruiting persons with â€œparticular emphasis on technologies and techniques related to specialized cyber operations (e.g., collection, exploitation, and response), to enhance the national security posture of our Nation.â€
Those chosen for this program become vital researchers expected to assist the NSA in:
â€¢ Global communications and computing networks â€¢ Developing a digital strategic advantage â€¢ Collaboration with the US government on cyber issues â€¢ Carry out directives on designated targets at the discretion of the US government
These â€œcyber operatorsâ€ are trained to become an elite team of â€œcomputer geniusesâ€ that are experts in computer hacking, digital communications, cyber intelligence â€“ for the purpose of spying on Americans; as well as conducting interactive digital psy-ops with users of the internet.
Earlier this month, Janet Napolitano, in her blog entitled â€œInspiring the Next Generation of Cyber Professionalsâ€, would like future generations to learn about cybersecurity so that their contribution to the federal government is secure to â€œensure their professional development.â€ The collaboration of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency will support â€œthe nationâ€™s educational infrastructure by supporting Centers of Academic Excellenceâ€ to make sure that the â€œscope of cyber educationâ€ becomes an important function for those in the field as inspired by theNational Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
NICE is meant to â€œestablish an operational, sustainable and continually improving cybersecurity education program for the nation to use sound cyber practices that will enhance the nationâ€™s security.â€ The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) oversee NICE by providing information and leverage to encourage the development of citizens to become â€œresponsibleâ€ when using the Internet.
Beginning in kindergarten, Napolitano hopes that the DHS-sponsored US Cyber Challenge will provide schools, universities and all forms of academia in the private sector the federal government-allocated tools they would need to â€œdevelop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nationâ€™s growing and changing security needs.â€
In 2011, the NICE report entitled, â€œShaping the Future of Cybersecurity Educationâ€, explored intercepting children in the public education system, as well as continuing the focus throughout their educational career, there can be a national recruitment and retention process that produces â€œskilled workers for the private sector and government.â€
Napolitanoâ€™s Secretaryâ€™s Honors Program for Cybersecurity Professionals is meant to recruit college students for the purpose of assimilating their talents into the federal government for â€œmissions including cyberâ€ security as defined by the DHS Advisory Council Task Force on CyberSkills. This focus is to ensemble the most effectual cybersecurity team comprised of civilians, US veterans and those educated specifically in the field of IT technologies. For the sake of national security, DHS is selecting the most technically skilled citizens in the avenues of malware and digital forensic analysis, to participate in the Cybersecurity Internship Program for a 2 year internship that will result in a devotional career in the federal government and service to Big Sis.
In August, the DHS was central in the taking of domain names for websites without due process or explanation â€“ simply using the blanket claim of copyright infringement. Holder and Napolitano received correspondence from several members of the House of Representatives who were in protest of the domain name seizures, citing that the copyright claims were questionable and that the websites were clearly being censored for alternative reasons.
The letter stated that: â€œOur concern centers on your Departmentâ€™s methods, and the process given, when seizing the domain names of websites whose actions and content are presumed to be lawful, protected speech.â€
According to Lynnae Williams, former CIA clandestine service trainee and DIA analyst, the FBI and CIA use trolls to monitor social media and interact with users to discredit information disseminated on the web. Williams explains that the CIA provides training videos to new recruits on how to troll the internet. Once a target is locked-in, all open source information is obtained on the individual, and then any angle to discredit them in public forum is used on social media sites.
Software is used to sift through the â€œmountainsâ€ of users on social networking sites. At the Atlanta CIA branch where Williams was trained, she personally witnessed CIA-sponsored and sanctioned trolling of Americans on social networking sites.
In 2011, the CIA revealed its Open Source Center where recruited personnel are used as government trolls to â€œanalyzeâ€ websites for information pertinent to the objective of the US government â€“ meaning discrediting targets on certain websites. Under the guise of conducting business intelligence (i.e. cyberespionage), the Open Source software gathers digital data on targets; including all Facebook posts, Twitter posts, comments on website threads. Those assigned to monitor this data can interact with users online through anonymous portals. Agents are designated to surveillance operations to message anyone, analyze political and religious speech, assess trends and conduct electronic eavesdropping through cell phones, satellites and other digital apparatus.
Agents not only survey the internet and interact as anonymous persons through directed postings, but also are deployed to wander through the streets domestically and in foreign nations to monitor newspaper and other printed media to extract useful information about the temperament of the general public."
"Exclusive: CIA nominee had detailed knowledge of "enhanced interrogation techniques"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the CIA, had detailed, contemporaneous knowledge of the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on captured terrorism suspects during an earlier stint as a top spy agency official, according to multiple sources familiar with official records.
Those records, the sources said, show that Brennan was a regular recipient of CIA message traffic about controversial aspects of the agency's counter-terrorism program after September 2001, including the use of "waterboarding."
How deeply involved Brennan was in the program, and whether he vigorously objected to it at the time, as he has said he did, are likely to be central questions lawmakers raise at his Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, scheduled for February 7.
After Brennan temporarily left government service in 2005, he publicly disavowed waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, and other physically painful techniques that are often described as torture.
The official records, which include raw CIA operational message traffic that remains classified, are silent on whether he opposed the techniques while at the spy agency, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Brennan served as deputy executive director of the agency beginning in 2001.
Some former officials familiar with deliberations about the program said they don't recall Brennan voicing objections to the use of harsh interrogation techniques.
But other former officials say Brennan was among agency officials who were uncomfortable with the use of physically coercive tactics, despite the legal opinions that supported their use. He expressed concern, according to these officials, that if details of the program became public, it would be CIA officers who would face criticism, rather than the politicians and lawyers who approved them.
"If John says he expressed reservations about some techniques, I believe him because he's an honest guy," said John McLaughlin, who was deputy CIA director at the time.
"Mr. Brennan had significant concerns and personal objections to many elements of the EIT (enhanced interrogation techniques) program while it was under way," a senior administration official said in response to Reuters' inquiries. "He voiced those objections privately with colleagues at the agency."
The question of whether and to what extent Brennan raised objections will be a focus of his confirmation hearing for Republican and Democratic senators alike.
"I have many questions and concerns about his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, especially what role he played in the so-called enhanced interrogation programs while serving at the CIA during the last administration," Senator John McCain, who was tortured during captivity in North Vietnam, said recently.
KNOWLEDGE, BUT NOT RESPONSIBILITY
Under the CIA program, which largely ended before Obama took office, captured militants were detained and interrogated in a network of secret CIA prisons. Sometimes, they were delivered to foreign governments through an extralegal process called "extraordinary rendition."
Three high-ranking al Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, were waterboarded.
Because he was a regular recipient of operational traffic related to the interrogation and detention program, Brennan's name appears in a secret draft of a 6,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee investigative report on the program, sources familiar with that report said. They added, however, that he was cited in passing, not as a significant supervisor or manager of the program.
Brennan, who is now Obama's White House counter-terrorism adviser, played no role in the program's "creation, execution or oversight," the senior Obama administration official said.
"(Brennan) was on hundreds if not thousands of messages a day regarding many different issues but his primary responsibility was ... helping manage the day-to-day running of the agency, to include support, logistics, IT, budget, personnel resources, facilities, IG (Inspector General) recommendations, and the like."
SECOND TRY FOR CIA
This is the second time that Obama has sought to nominate Brennan to head the spy agency, and the second time that questions have arisen about his involvement in enhanced interrogation tactics when he was a CIA official during the administration of former President George W. Bush.
Brennan's candidacy for the top CIA job was derailed over the issue when he was an early front-runner for it after Obama's 2008 election victory.
Brennan withdrew his name from consideration at that time and, in a letter to President-elect Obama, said he had been a "strong opponent" of Bush-era policies, including the Iraq war and coercive interrogation techniques.
Brennan instead became Obama's White House counter-terrorism adviser. Obama issued an executive order banning the techniques shortly after taking office.
Barring unexpected revelations, most political handicappers believe Brennan will be confirmed as CIA director this time."
"The CIA and Political Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents
These documents, including an instructional guide on assassination found among the training files of the CIAâ€™s covert â€œOperation PBSUCCESS,â€ were among several hundred records released by the Agency on May 23, 1997 on its involvement in the infamous 1954 coup in Guatemala.
After years of answering Freedom of Information Act requests with its standard â€œwe can neither confirm nor deny that such records exist,â€ the CIA has finally declassified some 1400 pages of over 100,000 estimated to be in its secret archives on the Guatemalan destabilization program. (The Agencyâ€™s press release stated that more records would be released before the end of the year.) An excerpt from the assassination manual appears on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The small, albeit dramatic, release comes more than five years after then CIA director Robert Gates declared that the CIA would â€œopenâ€ its shadowy past to post-cold war public scrutiny, and only days after a member of the CIAâ€™s own historical review panel was quoted in the New York Times as calling the CIAâ€™s commitment to openness â€œa brilliant public relations snow job.â€ (See Tim Weiner, â€œC.I.A.â€™s Openness Derided as a â€˜Snow Jobâ€™,â€ The New York Times, May 20, 1997, p. A16)
Arbenz was elected President of Guatemala in 1950 to continue a process of socio- economic reforms that the CIA disdainfully refers to in its memoranda as â€œan intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the â€˜Banana Republic.â€™â€ The first CIA effort to overthrow the Guatemalan presidentâ€“a CIA collaboration with Nicaraguan dictator Anastacio Somoza to support a disgruntled general named Carlos Castillo Armas and codenamed Operation PBFORTUNEâ€“was authorized by President Truman in 1952. As early as February of that year, CIA Headquarters began generating memos with subject titles such as â€œGuatemalan Communist Personel to be disposed of during Military Operations,â€ outlining categories of persons to be neutralized â€œthrough Executive Actionâ€â€“murderâ€“or through imprisonment and exile. The â€œAâ€ list of those to be assassinated contained 58 namesâ€“all of which the CIA has excised from the declassified documents.
PBSUCCESS, authorized by President Eisenhower in August 1953, carried a $2.7 million budget for â€œpychological warfare and political actionâ€ and â€œsubversion,â€ among the other components of a small paramilitary war. But, according to the CIAâ€™s own internal study of the agencyâ€™s so-called â€œK program,â€ up until the day Arbenz resigned on June 27, 1954, â€œthe option of assassination was still being considered.â€ While the power of the CIAâ€™s psychological-war, codenamed â€œOperation Sherwood,â€ against Arbenz rendered that option unnecessary, the last stage of PBSUCCESS called for â€œroll-up of Communists and collaborators.â€ Although Arbenz and his top aides were able to flee the country, after the CIA installed Castillo Armas in power, hundreds of Guatemalans were rounded up and killed. Between 1954 and 1990, human rights groups estimate, the repressive operatives of successive military regimes murdered more than 100,000 civilians.
Click on the document icon to view each document. Document 1, â€œCIA and Guatemala Assassination Proposals, 1952-1954â€³, CIA History Staff Analysis by Gerald K. Haines, June 1995.
"Cuban â€œBloggerâ€ Working for the CIA and the US State Department - Yoani MarÃa SÃ¡nchez Cordero
All Western agencies joined together reporting the news that Yoani MarÃa SÃ¡nchez Cordero, a 37 years old Cuban blogger, got a permission to leave Cuba. She had tried to get the permission for five years, now she got it. SÃ¡nchez was kind of frustrated that her leaving was far from being an event in the focus of public attention. No dramatic actions: no interrogations, no searches, there was nothing to be used for denigration of the Â«Castro brothers regimeÂ».
Yoanniâ€™s 80 days trip is to include ten states, including Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the United States. Brazil was the country to startâ€¦ The first appearance there was a failure: a group of left-wing protesters demonstrated against the screening of a libelous documentary entitled Â«Cuba-Honduras ConnectionÂ», devoted to curbing the freedom of speech in the countries ruled by Â«dictatorial regimesÂ». Yoani SÃ¡nchez plays a part. She is the one to tell about the fight for democracy in Cuba, the use of social networks for uniting the young people. She has an aversion for life in Cuba and dreams about Â«genuine democracy for allÂ».
The blogger was frustrated over the fact the Â«Advocates of Castro brothers regime in BrazilÂ» disrupted the screening. She called on the government of Dilma Rousseff to take a Â«more energeticÂ» and Â«tougherÂ» position to address the issue of human rights with the government of RaÃºl Castro. According to her, Â«There is a lack of toughness or frankness when talking about the subject of human rights on the island. There has been too much silence. The people do not forgetÂ». Her guard was reinforced after the first incident. Some media outlets reported Habana was ready to go to any length in order to get the bloggerâ€™s tour disrupted. Brazilian Foreign Minister Patriota denied the rumors. He said there were no obstacles on the way of the visit. Yoani stopped at the most fashionable hotels reputed as the most safe ones for US citizens. Her stay was at the expense (hosting courtesy) of Brazilian Hotel Association.
The fame Yoani gained thanks to social networks is a matter of special attention. How could a hardly out of the ordinary blogger critical of Habanaâ€™s communal services and transport problems become a key figure in the propaganda campaigns launched by the US State Department and the CIA in Cuba? She emigrated to Switzerland in 2002 after a fictitious marriage. Probably then the US special services laid eyes on her as a promising influence agent. There are many Latin Americans living on Switzerland and the CIA has always been well connected and strongly positioned there. She had all the makings for the job. Graduated in philology, she was full of ambitions and had a special aptitude for analysis and improvisation. The blogger tried to compensate her lack of physical attractiveness by intellectual prowess, achievements in politics and journalism. The CIA operatives used it all to their advantage, promising her a Â«smooth career pathÂ», international fame and protection from Â«repressionsÂ» on the part of Cuban government.
She became computer savvy in Switzerland and got introduced to programming and other skills. The training was useful afterwards. She told that on a number of occasions that she pretended to be a German tourist to get access to Internet connections in the hotels destined for foreigners. Not once she disguised beyond recognition to get necessary information at party gatherings. The blogger was master of disappearing when being watched and followed so that she could meet her connection from the United States Interests Mission in Havana. But itâ€™s not always she used the art of conspiracy for working meetings with Americans. Many a time she met them in broad daylight in her apartment: kind of Â«I have nothing to hide and do it all openlyÂ» behavior.
Sanchez got back to Cuba in the summer of 2004. In April 2007 she launched the Generation Y blog full of blunt reflections on Cuban life. From the start it was mainly destined for young people. Yoani positioned herself as a young Cuban mulling over the issues of right and wrong in the conditions of Â«tough lifeÂ». She said in an interview once that she had Â«a lot of issues and stories never discussed in press or on television. It was all strongly mixed up with skepticismâ€¦, the blog made it possible to get rid of many demons: apathy, fear, inertness. The blog therapy found its way to many hearts captured by the same demonsÂ».
The State Department and the CIA did their best to promote the blog in the shortest time possible. The bloggerâ€™s posts were translated into twenty languages. The texts were accumulated together, sorted according to the issues and then made public as books. There were four bulky volumes published in 2010-2011.
The number of issues encompassed has grown as time went by. The state of Cuban economy, public sentiments, rumors about possible changes at the top â€“ the blog was referred to as the most reliable information source by Western media. The Huffington Post, the Miami Herald, the New York Times, Spanish El Pais and Argentinian Clarin began to cooperate with her. A flow of prestigious international awards followed. In April 2008 she won the Ortega y Gasset journalism prize from the Spanish daily El PaÃs. In a short period of time she received around twenty awards totally equal to over $250 thousand. US Time lost no time in inserting her name into an annual list of the 100 most influential people of the planet, Foreign Policy called her one of the ten leading Latin American intellectuals.
The US Habana Mission reports made public by WikiLeaks, mention promising young Â«non-traditional dissidentsÂ», like Yoani SÃ¡nchez, who are able to influence the Cuban social and political life after the Castro brothers are gone. Thatâ€™s what explains why President Obama pays such attention on what SÃ¡nchez does. In 2007 he responded to seven questions of the blogger. Thatâ€™s what it looked like in practice. The US Mission got the questions and made answers in the name of President. Then they sent it to Washington for the approval by State Department and the White House. After that the document went back to the Mission and re-sent to SÃ¡nchez.
In 2011 Sanchez received the US Secretary of Stateâ€™s International Women of Courage Award. Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton took part in the ceremony. According to her, no matter the persecution by Cuban authorities Sanchez was going her own way telling the things that could not be told by others.
In 2012 the blogger was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Spanish Union, Progress and Democracy (Spanish: UniÃ³n Progreso y Democracia) party. The prize went to the European Union. No doubt sheâ€™ll be nominated again. Her chances will go up in case of repressions on the part of the government. But the Cuban leadership is reserved even in view of intermittent information war waged against it by the blogger. Does she have support on the Island? Not much. The Cubans know well the examples of other countries that refused socialism."
"US Senate approves John Brennan, tied to torture and drone assassination, as CIA director
John Brennan, the mastermind of the Obama administrationâ€™s drone assassination program, was confirmed by the US Senate as CIA director on Thursday by a vote of 63 to 34. The confirmation, which comes as no surprise, is another step in the direction of extra-constitutional, dictatorial rule in the United States.
Four years ago, Brennan was considered by Barack Obama for the CIA position, but his association with torture under George W. Bush made his nomination â€œpolitically difficult,â€ as the New York Times euphemistically puts it. The Obama administration today, along with the US Congress, has no such qualms.
The vast majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for Brennanâ€™s nomination, along with a handful of Republicans. Obama immediately praised the vote, saying, â€œThe Senate has recognized in John the qualities I value so much.â€
The vote followed a quarrel within the political establishment over the claim by the Obama administration that it has the authority to assassinate American citizens on US soil without trial or charges being laid. The tremors the debate set off are indicative of the depth of the political crisis in the US and the great concern of the ruling elite to conceal its preparations for police-state dictatorship from the American population.
In a March 4 letter to Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, US Attorney General Eric Holder declared that the Obama administration considered itself empowered â€œto authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United Statesâ€ against American citizens.
At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Holder agreed with Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, that the American government had been given Congressional authorization to launch military attacks against opponents in â€œthe homeland.â€
On Wednesday Paul carried out a 13-hour filibuster, which blocked Brennanâ€™s confirmation vote, insisting on a response from the attorney general as to whether government officials believed they had had the right to kill American citizens without due process.
During his filibuster, Paul raised the explosive issue of whether the Obama administration considered it had the authority to launch drone strikes on political opponents, pointing to the anti-Vietnam War protest movement as an example. The Kentucky Republican asked at one point, â€œIs objection to the policy of your government sympathizing with the enemy? â€¦ Are you just going to drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?â€, referring to the actress who opposed American imperialist intervention in Southeast Asia during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Rand is a right-wing figure, associated with â€œlibertarianâ€ elements, and a dedicated enemy of the working class and social progress. However, he was asking questions that provoked consternation within the Obama administration and Congress, because they got too close to the heart of the matter for comfort: that Holderâ€™s March 4 letter was a green light, for example, under conditions of widespread social turmoil, for the president to suppress political opposition through murder.
At a Thursday press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney revealed that Attorney General Holder had written a second, three-sentence letter to Paul. This is the entire text:
â€œDear Senator Paul: It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: â€˜Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?â€™ The answer to that question is no.â€
Carney told the media, â€œThe president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.â€
Holderâ€™s dismissive and arrogant letter should be treated with the skepticism and contempt it deserves.
First of all, his new message contradicts the March 4 letter, responding to a question specifically about drone strikes, in which Holder wrote that it was indeed possible â€œto imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force [i.e., drones] within the territory of the United States.â€
Second, the March 7 letter takes for granted that the US president has the right to order the assassination of just about anyone, anywhere, except for American citizens on US soil not engaged in combat. This is already a radically authoritarian and reactionary claim, only made by imperial rulers, who determine by a hand signal who lives and who dies.
Is there any reason to have the slightest confidence in Holderâ€™s supposed change of heart? The denial comes from an administration carrying out illegal and murderous daily drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere, which have already killed US citizens, on the basis of infamous â€œkill lists.â€ The Obama government, moreover, has maintained the institutionalized torture in Guantanamo Bay and relentlessly attempted to destroy Bradley Manning. No one should doubt its willingness and capacity to launch attacks, pre-emptive or otherwise, on political opposition within the United States.
In any event, the phrase â€œengaged in combatâ€ is elastic enough, from the point of view of the American establishment, to include mass protest, political strikes and efforts to create new, more democratic organs of political power. Moreover, the US military regularly categorizes as â€œcombatantsâ€ anyone it kills, deliberately or accidentally, in air or drone strikes. Will the Pentagon stop telling lies at the borders of the United States?
Holderâ€™s second letter reflects nervousness about popular opposition to the governmentâ€™s claims of dictatorial power, but should do nothing to assuage it. There were other efforts on Thursday to close down and cool off the debate.
Paulâ€™s reference to the possible murder of Jane Fonda elicited angry and anxious comments from Graham and Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican, both of whom have close associations with the military and intelligence apparatus.
McCain attacked Rand Paul for his â€œrant,â€ adding: â€œI donâ€™t think what happened yesterday was helpful to the American people.â€ According to the Associated Press, McCain â€œderided that notion of an attack against the actress [Fonda] and argued that Paul was unnecessarily making Americans fear that their government poses a danger.â€
The Arizona senator continued, â€œTo somehow allege or infer that the president of the United States is going to kill somebody like Jane Fonda or somebody who disagrees with the policies is a stretch of imagination which is, frankly, ridiculous.â€ In fact, Holderâ€™s letter and the ensuing discussions make crystal clear that such things are already being discussed by the White House, military and CIA.
Graham criticized Republicans who took the opportunity to grandstand at Obamaâ€™s expense by supporting Randâ€™s filibuster. The South Carolina Senator said that Obama had the â€œgood judgment to understand weâ€™re at war. To my party: Iâ€™m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think weâ€™re at war.â€ He also said on the Senate floor, â€œTo my Republican colleagues, I donâ€™t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone.â€
Graham was effusive in his praise for the Obama administration during Wednesdayâ€™s hearings involving Holder. On Thursday, he called the vote for Brennan a â€œreferendum on the drone program.â€
Paul, for his part, once he received the terse reply from the attorney general and after the scolding from McCain and Graham, packed up his tent and described himself as satisfied and â€œvictorious.â€ Ridiculously, he told the media, â€œIâ€™m quite happy with the answer [i.e., Holderâ€™s letter] â€¦Through the advise and consent process, Iâ€™ve got an important answer.â€
That US senators are openly discussing the assassination of left-wing political opponents is absolutely extraordinary. This, along with the bipartisan support for Obama, the drone program and Brennanâ€™s nomination, are a further dire warning about the state of political affairs in the US, increasingly a democracy in name only."
So the other night I got in a Beer-fueled argument in a bar with a former Wall Street moneyf**k I know. He goaded me into this discourse by saying to me: “Now your hero Obama is ten times worse than Dick Cheney!” I responded that Obama was not a hero of mine, but he was certainly not a “Dick Cheney”. I added that I was not at all a fan of the drone strike program if that’s what he ment, and that said Wall Street moneyf**k had no idea of the histoy of CIA assassination programs. We’re talkin’ dark history here. Let’s begin with the close of World War two. The “Office of Strategic Services” or OSS was being remodeled into the agency we now know as the CIA. Anxious Nazi intelligence agents were hurriedly incorporated into the fledgling agency in anticipation of the cold war with the Soviet Union. General Reinhard Gehlen, a German expert on the “Eastern bloc” and his entire intelligence operation were brought into the new CIA. Gehlen retained his full rank, and later went back to Germany to run their intelligence services.
From Wikipedia: “Beginning with an article on 17 March 1952, Sefton Delmer, senior correspondent for London’s Daily Express, dragged Gehlen into the news. On 10 August 1954, Delmer would set the tone by announcing that “Gehlen and his Nazis are coming.” Delmer implied in his story that a continuation of nothing less than Hitler’s aims was at hand through this “monstrous underground power in Germany.” —————————
Through a “Ratline” that delivered Nazi collaborators (which will be described in detail in a future post), many new types of paramilitary operations were formed. This included the U.S. Green Berets, which owe their distinctive head wear to those former European Fascist emigres. Operatives fanned out all over the world in an effort to fight Communism, Nazi scientists were recruited into U.S. rocket science programs and Fascist collaborators succeded in guiding American politics to their pinnicle in the Reagan and subsequent Bush administrations. More on that in future posts, but back to the “wet work”:
From an article by Alexander Cockburn:
“Before irrefutable evidence of its vast kidnapping and interrogation programme post-2001 surfaced, the CIA similarly used to claim, year after year, that it had never been in the torture business either. Torture manuals drafted by the agency would surface – a 128-page secret how-to-torture guide produced by the CIA in July 1963 called Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation, another 1983 manual, enthusiastically used by CIA clients in the ‘Contra’ war against central American leftist nationalists in President Reagan’s years – and the agency would deny, waffle and evade until the moment came simply to dismiss the torture charge as “an old story”. In fact the agency took a keen practical interest in torture and assassination from its earliest days, studying Nazi interrogation techniques avidly. (snip) “What about assassination attempts by the CIA, acting on presidential orders? We could start with the bid on Chou en Lai’s life after the Bandung Conference in 1954; they blew up the plane scheduled to take him home, but fortunately he’d switched flights. Then we could move on to the efforts, ultimately successful in 1961, to kill the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, in which the CIA was intimately involved, dispatching among others the late Dr Sidney Gottlieb, the agency’s in-house killer chemist, with a hypodermic loaded with poison. The agency made many efforts to kill General Kassem in Iraq. The first such attempt, on October 7, 1959, was botched badly, and one of the assassins, Saddam Husssein, was, spirited out to an agency apartment in Cairo. There was a second agency effort in 1960-1961 with a poisoned handkerchief. Finally they shot Kassim in the coup of February 8/9, 1963. The Kennedy years saw deep US implication in the murder of the Diem brothers in Vietnam and the first of many well attested efforts by the agency to assassinate Fidel Castro. Reagan’s first year in office saw the inconvenient Omar Torrijos of Panama downed in an air crash. In 1986 came the Reagan White House’s effort to bomb Muammar Gaddafi to death in his encampment in 1986, though this enterprise was conducted by the US Air Force. Led by that man of darkness, William Casey, in 1985 the CIA tried to kill the Lebanese Shia leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah by setting off a car bomb outside his mosque. He survived, though 80 others were blown to pieces. In his book Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Bill Blum has a long and interesting list starting in 1949 with Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader, going on to efforts to kill Sukarno, Kim Il Sung, Mossadegh, Nehru, Nasser, Sihanouk, Jose Figueres, ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, Gen Rafael Trujillo, Charles de Gaulle, Salvador Allende, Michael Manley, Ayatollah Khomeini, the nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate, Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader of Somalia, Slobodan Milosevic… And we should not forget that the CIA is by no means the only player in the assassination game. The military have their own teams.” ————————
There is absolutely no doubt such operations have been illegaly carried out against U.S. citizens, some say even against U.S. politicians as in the Kennedy assassination. These may not be in the interests of official state policy, but once the dogs of war are unleashed it’s hard to get them back in the doghouse. What may have changed however, is the management style of these operations. From The Atlantic.com:
“It was one of the biggest secrets of the post-9/11 era: soon after the attacks, President Bush gave the CIA permission to create a top secret assassination unit to find and kill Al Qaeda operatives. The program was kept from Congress for seven years. And when Leon Panetta told legislators about it in 2009, he revealed that the CIA had hired the private security firm Blackwater to help run it. “The move was historic,” says Evan Wright, the two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist who wrote Generation Kill. “It seems to have marked the first time the U.S. government outsourced a covert assassination service to private enterprise.”
The quote is from his e-book How to Get Away With Murder in America, which goes on to note that “in the past, the CIA was subject to oversight, however tenuous, from the president and Congress,” but that “President Bush’s 2001 executive order severed this line by transferring to the CIA his unique authority to approve assassinations. By removing himself from the decision-making cycle, the president shielded himself — and all elected authority — from responsibility should a mission go wrong or be found illegal. When the CIA transferred the assassination unit to Blackwater, it continued the trend. CIA officers would no longer participate in the agency’s most violent operations, or witness them. If it practiced any oversight at all, the CIA would rely on Blackwater’s self-reporting about missions it conducted. Running operations through Blackwater gave the CIA the power to have people abducted, or killed, with no one in the government being exactly responsible.” None of this is new information, though I imagine that many people reading this item are hearing about it for the first time.”
" “Scientific Assassinations” Are Part of the CIA’s Modus Operandi
The Guardian newspaper’s self-proclaimed Venezuela expert Rory Carroll has glibly categorized serious charges that Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez Frias was assassinated by a United States-produced bio-weapon as being in the same league with «conspiracy theorists who wonder about aliens at Roswell and NASA faking the moon landings». A number of Venezuelan and international officials believe a hostile party covertly introduced an aggressive form of cancer into the 58-year old president.
Carroll also wrote that Chavez, himself, believed that the cancers that befell former leftist leaders of Latin America, including Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, diagnosed with colon cancer and Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva, treated for throat cancer, were part of a CIA plot directed against left-wing leaders. Curiously, Carroll suggests that Uruguay’s former leftist president, Tabare Vazquez, also recovered from cancer.
In fact, Vazquez never had cancer. Furthermore, he is a renowned oncologist trained in France. It was Paraguay’s former president, Fernando Lugo who was ousted in a 2012 CIA-backed right-wing coup, who was diagnosed with lymphoma, cancer of the immune system. Carroll simply proclaims that because all three ex-leaders recovered from cancer, there was nothing to the U.S. cancer assassination weapon story.
Carroll conveniently omitted the cancers that have struck other Latin American leaders, including Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, afflicted with thyroid cancer, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, struck with lymphoma. After beginning peace talks with the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s conservative president Juan Manuel Santos was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro charged that Chavez was struck in a «scientific attack» by Venezuela’s «historical enemies».The U.S. State Department claimed the notion was absurd». Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov speculated that is was far from coincidental that six leftist leaders all contracted cancer at around the same time.
Cuba’s Fidel Castro, himself the target of several CIA biological assassination attempts, told Chavez: «Chávez take care. These people [the Americans] have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat… a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what».
Castro almost died from a mysterious stomach and intestinal ailment he contracted after attending a parallel «People’s Summit» held concurrent to the July 2006 Cordoba MERCOSUR (Common Market of the South) Summit with Chavez and Nestor Kirchner.
A U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires cable dated July 26, 2006, demonstrated Washington’s displeasure with Castro’s and Chavez’s presence in Cordoba with Kirchner: «What was remarkable about the summit was the degree to which Argentina and Brazil, the two key protagonists in MERCOSUR since its founding, played secondary roles at this summit, while Chavez and Castro dominated».
Of the three People’s Summit participants, Kirchner and Chavez are now dead. Kirchner died from a sudden heart attack and Chavez’s aggressive cancer began in his pelvic region.
Chavez said the probability of so many Latin American leaders developing cancer at the same time was «difficult to explain».
General Jose Ornella, the head of the Venezuelan Presidential Guard, said it may be fifty years before details of the «hand of the enemy» in Chavez’s death is disclosed in a declassified document.
General Ornella and others may not have to wait another fifty years for the smoking gun documents on America’s cancer weaponry to be divulged. The records have already been declassified and are available, although many records were destroyed by the CIA under director Richard Helms in the early 1970s.
Although the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, ratified by the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, banned the use and possession of biological weapons, the Army-Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, Maryland and the CIA’s Technical Services Department continued to maintain and develop stockpiles of cancer-causing biological agents used in special delivery weapons.
The biological agents and their weapons were specifically developed as part of the top secret MKNAOMI project, a joint operation conducted by the CIA and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick.
But America’s use of cancer-causing biological warfare agents had its start long before the outset of the Cold War and the first victims of such weapons were Latin Americans. In 1931, Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads, a white racist and anti-Latin American scientist with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations in San Juan, subjected 13 Puerto Ricans to experiments by injecting them with cancer-causing biological agents.
The head of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, Pedro Albizu Campos, also known as «El Maestro,» obtained a letter from Rhoads to a friend in which Rhoads wrote of Puerto Ricans:
«I can get a damn fine job here and am tempted to take it. It would be ideal except for the Porto [sic] Ricans. They are beyond doubt the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere. It makes you sick to inhabit the same island with them. They are even lower than Italians.
What the island needs is not public health work but a tidal wave or something to totally exterminate the population. It might then be livable. I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off 8 and transplanting cancer into several more. The latter has not resulted in any fatalities so far . . . The matter of consideration for the patients’ welfare plays no role here – in fact all physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects».
Albizu complained to the League of Nations but it came to no avail. In 1950, Albizu was arrested in a crackdown on Puerto Rican nationalist activities on the island and Albizu was subjected to radiation burns and poisoning.
NSA Chief Called CIA ‘Out of Control
There is little doubt that Rhoads, who directed the Army’s chemical and biological weapons programs at Fort Detrick, the Dugway Proving Ground and Deseret Test Center in Utah, and the Panama Canal Zone, subjected Albizu to revenge experimentation. Rhoads then went on to the staff of the Atomic Energy Commission, which also subjected American citizens to dangerous radiation tests.
Albizu suffered a stroke in prison in 1956. In 1964, he was pardoned but died shortly after his release from prison in 1965. The Guardian, the U.S. State Department, and the Pentagon can harp on all they want about «absurd» charges and «conspiracy theories» but it is a fact that Puerto Rico’s nationalist leader was assassinated by the United States in brutal medical experiments while he was in prison. And if that is what the United States is willing to do to its own citizens, to what have foreign adversaries of the United States been subjected?
MKNAOMI planned to assassinate Fidel Castro and Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba with «exotic» biological weapons. The work on such weapons was carried out by the CIA’s Technical Services chief Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Other affiliated CIA and U.S. Army bio-warfare weapons programs had the code names of DORK and OFTEN/CHICKWIT.
The National Cancer Institute, while looking for a cure for cancer, spun off an intelligence agency «carve out» project under the Viral Cancer Project that researched military applications for cancer-causing biological agents.
The work was centered at Fort Detrick and, after the 1972 Biological Warfare Convention was signed by President Richard Nixon, secret work on «the large scale production of oncogenic and suspected oncogenic viruses» continued with the net result in 1977 being the successful production of 60,000 liters of oncogenic and immunosuppressive viruses.
In 1970, the CIA’s Deputy Director for Plans, Thomas Karamessines, recommended that if the proposed Biological Warfare Convention was ratified, the CIA’s stockpile of bio-warfare agents should be transferred from Detrick to the Huntingdon Research Center of the Becton-Dickinson Company, in Baltimore.
The CIA’s and Pentagon’s secret carve out program at Fort Detrick included in its stockpiles botulinum toxins, which can cause deadly food poisoning. Other research included the aerosol transmission of cancer-causing viruses and production of «species jumping» viruses that would jump from animal species to humans with the intent of causing cancer.
One of the first cancer weapon victims of the CIA’s bio-assassination program may have been Angola’s first president, Agostinho Neto.
Neto, who was targeted by the CIA in violation of congressional prohibitions, quickly developed cancer in 1979 and died in a Moscow hospital before the age of 57. Another CIA victim may have been former Chilean President Eduardo Frei, who became an outspoken adversary of the CIA-installed dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Frei died in a Santiago hospital on January 22, 1982 after contracting a suspicious infection after routine surgery.
The CIA pioneered in the use of cancer-causing agents that could infect their victims through injection; inhalation; skin contact through contaminated clothing, especially underwear – Chavez’s formation of aggressive in his pelvic region is germane in this respect; and contact with the digestive system through the use of contaminated food, drink, and even toothpaste.
There is such a wealth of documentation on the CIA’s use of cancer weapons against its enemies that the existence of such weapons is not the issue. The only issues are for Venezuela and other victimized countries to determine how the cancer-causing agents were delivered and the identities of the assassins and would-be assassins…"
" “Poison Dart”: Secret CIA Weapon of Assassination, Triggers Heart Attack
A CIA secret weapon used for assassination shoots a small poison dart to cause a heart attack, as explained in Congressional testimony in the short video below. By educating ourselves and others on vitally important matters like this, we can build a brighter future for us all.
The dart from this secret CIA weapon can penetrate clothing and leave nothing but a tiny red dot on the skin. On penetration of the deadly dart, the individual targeted for assassination may feel as if bitten by a mosquito, or they may not feel anything at all. The poisonous dart completely disintegrates upon entering the target.
The lethal poison then rapidly enters the bloodstream causing a heart attack. Once the damage is done, the poison denatures quickly, so that an autopsy is very unlikely to detect that the heart attack resulted from anything other than natural causes. Sounds like the perfect James Bond weapon, doesn’t it? Yet this is all verifiable in Congressional testimony.
The astonishing information about this secret weapon of the CIA comes from U.S. Senate testimony in 1975 on rogue activities of the CIA. This weapon is only one of many James Bond-like discoveries of the Church Committee hearings, officially known as the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.
Could this or a similar secret weapon have been used, for instance, in the recent death of 52-year-old Mark Pittman, a reporter who predicted the financial crisis and exposed Federal Reserve misdoings? Pittman, whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died of a heart attack on Nov. 25th.
Watch the one-minute video for the description of a former CIA secretary and Congressional testimony on this secret assassination weapon which caused heart attacks.
To watch the revealing 45-minute documentary from which the above clip was taken, click here. In this riveting exposé, five former CIA agents describe how their initial pride and enthusiasm at serving their nation turned to anguish and remorse, as they realized that they were actually subverting democracy and killing innocent civilians all in the name “national security” and promoting foreign policy agendas.
The above-mentioned testimony is from 1975, well over 30 years ago. With the ensuing leaps in technological capability, just imagine what kinds of secret weapons for assassination have been developed since. There is good evidence that technology has even been developed to cause suicidal feelings in a person. For more on this, read powerful information on nonlethal weapons at this link.
The box below provides several ideas on what you can do to further educate yourself on CIA secret weapons, CIA mind control projects, and more. We also invite you to comment below and let us know what you think. Does the public deserve to know about such secret programs? Can we trust that such deadly weapons are being used for the good of the nation and world, and not for selfish ends?"
"CIA Media Disinformation and US Proxy Wars: Fallouts of Iran-Contra’s “Lost Chapter”
In 1987, amid the Iran-Contra inquiry, investigators found that the scandal fit within a larger Republican scheme for manipulating American public opinion through CIA-style disinformation. But GOP senators blocked inclusion of the chapter in the final report.
As historians ponder George W. Bush’s disastrous presidency, they may wonder how Republicans perfected a propaganda system that could fool tens of millions of Americans, intimidate Democrats, and transform the vaunted Washington press corps from watchdogs to lapdogs.
To understand this extraordinary development, historians might want to look back at the 1980s and examine the Iran-Contra scandal’s “lost chapter,” a narrative describing how Ronald Reagan’s administration brought CIA tactics to bear domestically to reshape the way Americans perceived the world.
That chapter – which we are publishing here for the first time – was “lost” because Republicans on the congressional Iran-Contra investigation waged a rear-guard fight that traded elimination of the chapter’s key findings for the votes of three moderate GOP senators, giving the final report a patina of bipartisanship.
Under that compromise, a few segments of the draft chapter were inserted in the final report’s Executive Summary and in another section on White House private fundraising, but the chapter’s conclusions and its detailed account of how the “perception management” operation worked ended up on the editing room floor.
The American people thus were spared the chapter’s troubling finding: that the Reagan administration had built a domestic covert propaganda apparatus managed by a CIA propaganda and disinformation specialist working out of the National Security Council.
“One of the CIA’s most senior covert action operators was sent to the NSC in 1983 by CIA Director [William] Casey where he participated in the creation of an inter-agency public diplomacy mechanism that included the use of seasoned intelligence specialists,” the chapter’s conclusion stated.
“This public/private network set out to accomplish what a covert CIA operation in a foreign country might attempt – to sway the media, the Congress, and American public opinion in the direction of the Reagan administration’s policies.”
However, with the chapter’s key findings deleted, the right-wing domestic propaganda operation not only survived the Iran-Contra fallout but thrived.
So did some of the administration’s collaborators, such as South Korean theocrat Sun Myung Moon and Australian press mogul Rupert Murdoch, two far-right media barons who poured billions of dollars into pro-Republican news outlets that continue to influence Washington’s political debates to this day.
Before every presidential election, Moon’s Washington Times plants derogatory – and often false – stories about Democratic contenders, discrediting them and damaging their chances of winning the White House.
For instance, in 1988, the Times published a bogus account suggesting that the Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis had undergone psychiatric treatment. In 2000, Moon’s newspaper pushed the theme that Al Gore suffered from clinical delusions. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]
As for Murdoch, his giant News Corp. expanded into American cable TV with the founding of Fox News in 1996. Since then, the right-wing network has proved highly effective in promoting attack lines against Democrats or anyone else who challenges the Republican power structure.
As President George W. Bush herded the nation toward war with Iraq in 2002-03, Fox News acted like his sheep dogs making sure public opinion didn’t stray too far off. The “Fox effect” was so powerful that it convinced other networks to load up with pro-war military analysts and to silence voices that questioned the invasion. [See Neck Deep.]
Seeds of Propaganda
The seeds of this private/public collaboration can be found in the 84-page draft Iran-Contra chapter, entitled “Launching the Private Network.” [There appear to have been several versions of this “lost chapter.” This one I found in congressional files.]
The chapter traces the origins of the propaganda network to President Reagan’s “National Security Decision Directive 77” in January 1983 as his administration sought to promote its foreign policy, especially its desire to oust Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.
In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, then-National Security Advisor William Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. “We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding,” Clark wrote.
As administration officials began reaching out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim at not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding Nicaraguan rebels, known as Contras.
At the time, the Contras were earning a gruesome reputation as human rights violators and terrorists. To change this negative perception of the Contras, the Reagan administration created a full-blown, clandestine propaganda operation.
“An elaborate system of inter-agency committees was eventually formed and charged with the task of working closely with private groups and individuals involved in fundraising, lobbying campaigns and propagandistic activities aimed at influencing public opinion and governmental action,” the draft chapter said.
Heading this operation was a veteran CIA officer named Walter Raymond Jr., who was recruited by another CIA officer, Donald Gregg, before Gregg shifted from his job as chief of the NSC’s Intelligence Directorate to become national security adviser to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
[The draft chapter doesn’t use Raymond’s name in its opening pages, apparently because some of the information came from classified depositions. However, Raymond’s name is used later in the chapter and the earlier citations match Raymond’s role.]
According to the draft report, the CIA officer recruited for the NSC job had served as Director of the Covert Action Staff at the CIA from 1978 to 1982 and was a “specialist in propaganda and disinformation.”
“The CIA official [Raymond] discussed the transfer with [CIA Director William] Casey and NSC Advisor William Clark that he be assigned to the NSC as Gregg’s successor [in June 1982] and received approval for his involvement in setting up the public diplomacy program along with his intelligence responsibilities,” the chapter said.
“In the early part of 1983, documents obtained by the Select [Iran-Contra] Committees indicate that the Director of the Intelligence Staff of the NSC [Raymond] successfully recommended the establishment of an inter-governmental network to promote and manage a public diplomacy plan designed to create support for Reagan Administration policies at home and abroad.”
Raymond “helped to set up an elaborate system of inter-agency committees,” the draft chapter said, adding: “In the Spring of 1983, the network began to turn its attention toward beefing up the Administration’s capacity to promote American support for the Democratic Resistance in Nicaragua [the Contras] and the fledgling democracy in El Salvador.
“This effort resulted in the creation of the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Department of State (S/LPD), headed by Otto Reich,” a right-wing Cuban exile from Miami.
Though Secretary of State George Shultz wanted the office under his control, President Reagan insisted that Reich “report directly to the NSC,” where Raymond oversaw the operations as a special assistant to the President and the NSC’s director of international communications, the chapter said.
“At least for several months after he assumed this position, Raymond also worked on intelligence matters at the NSC, including drafting a Presidential Finding for Covert Action in Nicaragua in mid-September” 1983, the chapter said.
In other words, although Raymond was shifted to the NSC staff in part to evade prohibitions on the CIA influencing U.S. public opinion, his intelligence and propaganda duties overlapped for a time as he was retiring from the spy agency.
Despite Raymond’s formal separation from the CIA, he acted toward the U.S. public much like a CIA officer would in directing a propaganda operation in a hostile foreign country. He was the go-to guy to keep the operation on track.
“Reich relied heavily on Raymond to secure personnel transfers from other government agencies to beef up the limited resources made available to S/LPD by the Department of State,” the chapter said.
“Personnel made available to the new office included intelligence specialists from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. On one occasion, five intelligence experts from the Army’s 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were assigned to work with Reich’s fast-growing operation. …
“White House documents also indicate that CIA Director Casey had more than a passing interest in the Central American public diplomacy campaign.”
The chapter cited an Aug. 9, 1983, memo written by Raymond describing Casey’s participation in a meeting with public relations specialists to brainstorm how “to sell a ‘new product’ – Central America – by generating interest across-the-spectrum.”
In an Aug. 29, 1983, memo, Raymond recounted a call from Casey pushing his P.R. ideas. Alarmed at a CIA director participating so brazenly in domestic propaganda, Raymond wrote that “I philosophized a bit with Bill Casey (in an effort to get him out of the loop)” but with little success.
The chapter added: “Casey’s involvement in the public diplomacy effort apparently continued throughout the period under investigation by the Committees,” including a 1985 role in pressuring Congress to renew Contra aid and a 1986 hand in further shielding S/LPD from the oversight of Secretary Shultz.
A Raymond-authored memo to Casey in August 1986 described the shift of S/LPD – then run by neoconservative theorist Robert Kagan who had replaced Reich – to the control of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, which was headed by Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, another prominent neoconservative.
Another important figure in the pro-Contra propaganda was NSC staffer Oliver North, who spent a great deal of his time on the Nicaraguan public diplomacy operation even though he is better known for arranging secret arms shipments to the Contras and to Iran’s radical Islamic government, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal.
The draft chapter cited a March 10, 1985, memo from North describing his assistance to CIA Director Casey in timing disclosures of pro-Contra news “aimed at securing Congressional approval for renewed support to the Nicaraguan Resistance Forces.”
The Iran-Contra “lost” chapter depicts a sometimes Byzantine network of contract and private operatives who handled details of the domestic propaganda while concealing the hand of the White House and the CIA.
“Richard R. Miller, former head of public affairs at AID, and Francis D. Gomez, former public affairs specialist at the State Department and USIA, were hired by S/LPD through sole-source, no-bid contracts to carry out a variety of activities on behalf of the Reagan administration policies in Central America,” the chapter said.
“Supported by the State Department and White House, Miller and Gomez became the outside managers of [North operative] Spitz Channel’s fundraising and lobbying activities.
“They also served as the managers of Central American political figures, defectors, Nicaraguan opposition leaders and Sandinista atrocity victims who were made available to the press, the Congress and private groups, to tell the story of the Contra cause.”
Miller and Gomez facilitated transfers of money to Swiss and offshore banks at North’s direction, as they “became the key link between the State Department and the Reagan White House with the private groups and individuals engaged in a myriad of endeavors aimed at influencing the Congress, the media and public opinion,” the chapter said.
In its conclusion, the draft chapter read: “The State Department was used to run a prohibited, domestic, covert propaganda operation. Established despite resistance from the Secretary of State, and reporting directly to the NSC, the [S/LPD] attempted to mask many of its activities from the Congress and the American people.”
However, the American people never got to read a detailed explanation of this finding nor see the evidence. In October 1987, as the congressional Iran-Contra committees wrote their final report, Republicans protested the inclusion of this explosive information.
Though the Democrats held the majority, the GOP had leverage because Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, the House chairman, wanted some bipartisanship in the final report, especially since senior Republicans, including Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyoming, were preparing a strongly worded minority report.
Hamilton and the Democrats hoped that three moderate Republicans – William Cohen of Maine, Warren Rudman of New Hampshire and Paul Trible of Virginia – would break ranks and sign the majority report. However, the Republicans objected to the draft chapter about Ronald Reagan’s covert propaganda campaign.
As part of a compromise, some elements of the draft chapter were included in the Executive Summary but without much detail and shorn of the tough conclusions. Nevertheless, Cohen protested even that.
“I question the inordinate attention devoted in the Executive Summary to the Office of Public Diplomacy and its activities in support of the Administration’s polices,” Cohen wrote in his additional views. “The prominence given to it in the Executive Summary is far more generous than just.”
However, the failure of the Iran-Contra report to fully explain the danger of CIA-style propaganda intruding into the U.S. political process would have profound future consequences. Indeed, the evidence suggests that today’s powerful right-wing media gained momentum as part of the Casey-Raymond operations of the early 1980s.
According to one Raymond-authored memo dated Aug. 9, 1983, then-U.S. Information Agency director Charles Wick “via Murdock [sic] may be able to draw down added funds” to support pro-Reagan initiatives.
Raymond’s reference to Rupert Murdoch possibly drawing down “added funds” suggests that the right-wing media mogul was already part of the covert propaganda operation. In line with its clandestine nature, Raymond also suggested routing the “funding via Freedom House or some other structure that has credibility in the political center.”
Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, publisher of the Washington Times, also showed up in the Iran-Contra operations, using his newspaper to raise Contra funds and assigning his CAUSA political group to organize support for the Contras.
In the two decades since the Iran-Contra scandal, both Murdoch and Moon have continued to pour billions of dollars into media outlets that have influenced the course of U.S. history, often through the planting of propaganda and disinformation much like a CIA covert action might do in a hostile foreign country.
Further, to soften up the Washington press corps, Reich’s S/LPD targeted U.S. journalists who reported information that undermined the pro-Contra propaganda. Reich sent his teams out to lobby news executives to remove or punish out-of-step reporters – with a disturbing degree of success. [For more, see Parry’s Lost History.]
Some U.S. officials implicated in the Iran-Contra propaganda operations are still around, bringing the lessons of the 1980s into the new century. For instance, Elliott Abrams. Though convicted of misleading Congress in the Iran-Contra Affair and later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush – Abrams became deputy adviser to George W. Bush’s NSC, where he directed U.S.-Middle East policy.
Robert Kagan remains another prominent neocon theorist in Washington, writing op-eds for the Washington Post. Oliver North was given a news show on Fox. Otto Reich advised Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Latin American affairs. Lee Hamilton was a senior national security adviser to Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
Beyond these individuals, the manipulative techniques that were refined in the 1980s – especially the skill of exaggerating foreign threats – have proved durable, bringing large segments of the American population into line behind the Iraq War in 2002-03.
Only now – with thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead – are many of these Americans realizing that were manipulated by clever propaganda, that their perceptions had been managed.
For instance, the New York Times pried loose some 8,000 pages of Pentagon documents revealing how the Bush administration had manipulated the public debate on the Iraq War by planting friendly retired military officers on TV news shows.
Retired Green Beret Robert S. Bevelacqua, a former analyst on Murdoch’s Fox News, said the Pentagon treated the retired military officers as puppets: “It was them saying, ‘we need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.’” [NYT, April 20, 2008, or see Consortiumnews.com’s “US News Media’s Latest Disgrace.”]
Bush’s former White House press secretary Scott McClellan described similar use of propaganda tactics to justify the Iraq War in his book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.
From his insider vantage point, McClellan cited the White House’s “carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval” – and he called the Washington press corps “complicit enablers.”
None of this would have been so surprising – indeed Americans might have been forewarned and forearmed – if Lee Hamilton and other Democrats on the Iran-Contra committees had held firm and published the scandal’s “lost chapter” two decades ago."
The CIAâ€™s â€œOperation Condorâ€: Dirty War, Death Squads and The Disappeared
This article was originally published in 1999. Image Chilean Sociologist Tito Tricot
â€œThese military regimes hunted down dissidents and leftists, union and peasant leaders, priests and nuns, intellectuals, students and teachers and other people not just guerrillas (who, under international law are also entitled to due legal process). These illegal military regimes defied international law and traditions of political sanctuary to carry out their ferocious state terror and destroy democratic opposition forces.â€
â€œOperation Condor â€¦ involved the intelligence agenciesâ€¦in a joint effort to eliminate perceived enemies of those regimes throughout the world.â€ â€“ Daniel Brandt, Public Information Research, USA.
â€œOperation Condorâ€¦involved the intelligence agenciesâ€¦in a joint effort to eliminate perceived enemies of those regimes throughout the world.â€