President Harry S. Truman's Secret Government ~ Part 2 of 2

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 11:36am.

The CIA has become a secret government with no accountability to anyone but itself.

Keeping Company with the Company: Friends of the CIA

The CIA has many controversial friends. Over the years, it has maintained many ties with the Mafia and organized crime, and it is very likely that Mob hit men have done contract work for the CIA in the past. Another group that it has frequently been involved with has been the international arms traders, like Adnan Khashoggi. Such arms dealers have turned up in countries with very flimsy explanations as to their presence there... inevitably with some CIA equipment for sale. True to their business, the arms dealers will often sell to both sides of a conflict - for example, arming both Iran and Iraq during their long war. One tie the CIA has worked hard to maintain over the years is with the Vatican, for obvious reasons. In the world of gathering intelligence you need to spread your tentacles far; who better to pick up some juicy info then a priest hearing Confession? The CIA has many connections to the para-Jesuit order Opus Dei and also to the Sovereign and Military Order of the Knights of Malta (the order descended from the Knights Hospitaller of St. John, kicked off the isle of Malta by Napoleon's troops.) Several CIA officials, including Bill Casey, have been made honorary members of this Catholic order. Needless to say, the CIA has had no problem making friends with prominent dictators, such as Pinochet, "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Marcos, the Pahlevi Shah, Somoza, General Franco, and, until 1989, Noriega in Panama and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

But is there really a connection between the CIA and "international fascism" as some more conspiratorially-minded individuals have suggested? It does appear that the CIA was involved in some of the shady right-wing intrigues of Europe, including the whole P2 Masonic affair in Italy. Also, the group connected to Pope John Paul II's attempted assassination, the Gray Wolves, is part of a fascist "Black International" which is linked closely to the Reverend Moon's organization and Gen. Singlaub's World Anti-Communist League, which have been known to work with the CIA. There are those who think that the CIA was part of Project Paperclip, which smuggled ex-Nazi scientists and S.S. officials into this country to spy on Russia or develop rocket technology, or that it assisted the right-wing generals in South America to hide Nuremberg war criminals from international justice in exchange for what information could be gleaned on Soviet military forces. Some U.S. far-right groups are actually as paranoid about the CIA and its 'internationalist' agenda as they are about the Trilateral Commission or the Council for Foreign Relations, so it is doubtful that the CIA works with them...

It's not always clear where the CIA stands in the shifting sands of international politics: they can and do switch sides and double-cross their "friends." The CIA supported the Kurds from 1975-79 in their war for independence from Iraq, but when the Ayatollah Khoemini came to power in Iran, he was perceived as a greater threat. Keeping Saddam Hussein in power to 'buffer' Iraq took precedence over the Kurds' rights, and they were abdandoned to his savage response. Then, when Khoemini died and Hussein invaded Kuwait, the U.S. turned against Hussein, who they had been arming for the past eight years. Following the 'liberation' of Kuwait, the U.S. invited the Kurds to rebel yet again, only to abandon them to Saddam Hussein's forces once more. Having been double-crossed twice, I am sure that the Kurds will run the other way the next time the CIA comes around with some scheme. It is not suprising that the only 'friends' the CIA has are people who are equally as untrusting of others, and untrustworthy, as it is in its affairs - mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, cutthroats, adventurers, and other spy agencies such as the Israeli Mossad.

The CIA and the KGB often get involved with complex games with each other - games so elaborate and pointless that, as one commentator has noted, it seems that they are jokes for their benefit and at our expense. In the cloak-and-dagger world of Spookland, anything is fair game. The CIA has had 'sleepers' placed in many countries - these agents often going over to live in those countries for months or even years under some cover before they are finally 'activated' to carry out some mission. In order to 'sting' KGB operatives, the CIA has often leaked all kinds of false documents to people in order to 'weed' out their contacts, even involving people who really should not be under any suspicion. What goes on in the Soviet and American embassies would almost be funny if it were not such a waste of taxpayer money. The CIA has often gone to elaborate lengths to embarass their enemies, including taking pictures of them visiting brothels or other compromising situations. Nonetheless, these games are often carried out with a spirit of comraderie. After all, the CIA and the KGB had a mutual interest in keeping the Cold War going, because it kept them in business. That made them the strangest 'friends' of all, but after all, politics does make strange bedfellows.

Cloak and Gown: The CIA and College Campuses

The nation was shocked by a series of revelations in 1967 that the CIA was connected to the National Student Association. It was revealed in a series of articles that the CIA often maintained professors as recruiting agents on college campuses who were to keep their eyes out for students who would make good potential Company cadres. As a result, many campuses moved to bar the CIA from recruiting their students; but the confidential informal networks between the administration and faculty and the CIA often remained, and were used to send more recruits the Agency's way. Some of the young agents hired in this way were used to infiltrate campus leftist groups and spy on them, or to "plant" stories in the campus newsletter, or to found Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapters where the CIA could easily locate future allies. Many universities discovered, to their discomfort, that CIA-connected professors were often taking a cue on their curriculum from the Agency, and saw it as threat to academic freedom. Student leftists often tried to 'out' those professors and get them fired.

The CIA has also used funds from its Science & Technology Directorate to subsidize academic research projects. Many academic behaviorists received those funds for their research into human-behavior control. But academic research into covert warfare technology - remember Bond's amazingly lethal devices - was also supported as well, in addition to the general DoD funding of projects such as SDI. Much of the early LSD research - in the pre-Leary era - was controlled by academics working for the CIA as well. Amazingly, there were some CIA links to the 1969 University of Colorado investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Some UFO buffs feel that this may be because the CIA still suspects that UFOs are "some foreign power's secret air force," and they wanted to throw other people off the trail of their investigation... but others think this is because the CIA is doing research into the 'psychological warfare' aspects of utilizing UFO 'true believers' and they want to throw them off this trail as well.

Certainly, the CIA was carrying out clandestine activity at many U.S. universities in strategic locations. The University of Miami in the early 1960s was an important staging base for many of its operations against Cuba. Jim Jones, the cult leader who had his Peoples' Temple followers commit suicide in the jungles of Guiana, may have been part of a CIA operation within the University of California system focusing on psychological warfare. Even today there are people who wonder whether Jones was just crazy or if he was really following orders. Some international universities, especially those in equatorial Africa, are used for training local, native henchmen and agents, much as the KGB trains its African operatives as Patrice Lumumba Friendship University. The CIA has always felt it a priority to get the true WASP bluebloods into the Company, by recruiting the sons of "well-bred" families at Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale. Changing demographics and political winds have caused the Agency to focus its efforts much more on recruiting from midwestern and southern schools.

The Secret Government: Banks, Guns, and Shadow Proprietaries

The "Enterprise," as it was called, was a joint effort during the 1980s between the NSA, CIA, and DIA to go over Congress' policy in Central America. As the Christic Institute has pointed out, the 'Shadow' government behind the 'Enterprise' has been active for 25 years, and the recent Iran-Contra hearings have only scratched its surface, grabbing its more visible members such as North, Secord, and Poindexter. The "Enterprise' was to sell arms to Iranian 'moderates' in order to raise funds to support the Nicaraguan Contras, whose aid had been reduced to a minimal level in 1985. Links to the Islamic Republic were not hard to find since the 'moderate' contacts made by Reagan's "October Surprise" Team (which included Bill Casey) in 1980 were all too eager to accept our weapons in their war with Iraq. It was thought, somewhat erroneously, that these 'moderates' had some connection to the Shiite groups in Lebanon who were holding Americans hostage, and that they could obtain their release. The "Enterprise" also was involved with some attempted bombings right here in the U.S., and sabotage efforts against groups opposing U.S. Central America policy, such as the Pledge of Resistance and the Christic Institute. Bill Moyers called the Iran-Contra hearings a "Constitutional Crisis," much as some people called Watergate 20 years earlier... but they did not result in the resignation of a president.

It turns out that unscrupulous businessmen, like Stefan Halper and Harvey D. MacLean, Jr., who founded the Palmer National Bank in 1983, used deregulation in order to make loans to ex-CIA operatives involved in funding the Contras. Much of the S & L swindle, it turns out, may have turned up in the hands of the CIA. Halper, not unsurprisingly, was one of the individuals who helped set up Oliver North's defense fund. Other banks, such as Robert L. Corson's Vision Banc Savings, were involved in the 'laundering' of money connected with Noriega... and the Houston bank went under four months after Corson took ownership. The "vanishing money" in the Iran-Contra scandal went, in part, to secret Swiss accounts belonging to its principals - but at this point it intertwines with another recent scandal, involving the Bank of Commerce and Credit, International (BCCI). BCCI has been branded an 'outlaw' bank for its supports of brutal Middle East regimes, but one of its big trading partners, it seems, was the CIA, as well. Yet another banking scandal - the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, where millions of dollars disappeared from the Vatican Bank into the pockets of "G-d's Banker," Roberto Calvi, has CIA written all over it... Licio Gelli and his Italian organization may have worked with the CIA to frame the Communists in a train station bombing in Italy in 1980.

The CIA has a rather remarkable 'financial empire.' Despite the fact that it is the only government agency with a totally unmonitored 'black budget' - they can spend as they see fit (within set limits) - it is also the only one that annually turns a profit! That is because it maintains many 'shadow proprietaries,' commercial enterprises that operate "up-front" operations until the point where they are called on to do CIA business. Some of those proprietaries include major airlines, such as Pacific Air and its subsidiary Air America, and trade organizations (such as the International Trade Mart) that are really used for covert operations coordination. These shadow companies are maintained tightly and squeaky-clean (and often turn over a hefty profit) until their covert support becomes necessary. It is well known that the CIA brass reguarly invest much of the Agency's money in stocks and risky investments rather than the generally tame security bonds issued by the government. It isn't just James Bond who believes in gambling... the CIA feels that financial independence is an important key to remaining free of government oversight.

Conclusions: What Future for Shadow-Politics?

Robert Gates, who became Director of Central Intelligence recently over questions that he (like other illustrious predecessors) distorted intelligence to support policy, declared that the Agency would be taking "new directions." In the post-Cold War world, the Agency would focus on "new threats." Two new sources identified as potential threat sources were Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in the Middle East, and economic 'warfare' on the part of ostensible U.S. 'allies' such as Germany and Japan. In addition, Bush had directed Gates to marshal the CIA's resources to curtail the proliferation of "weapons of mass destruction" - chemical, biological, and nuclear devices. (That is ironic, in light of the U.S. refusal to sign chemical weapons accords in the 1970s and its own huge nuclear arsenal.) Industrial espionage and sabotage were to be part of the new focus of the Agency - but, needless to say, the Company will probably do more than just prevent foreign powers from doing it to us: they will try to "do it to them before they do it to us." If Japan can steal our technological secrets, well, surely there must be ways the cult of intellligence can beat them at their own game? Gates seems to think so.

The founding fathers enjoined their nascent republic to constant vigilance against its enemies. There is vigilance, and then there is paranoia. One can be on guard against danger, or one can go out of their way to see enemies where there aren't any. The Pentagon has always profitting by overestimating the size and capability of American enemies, and the CIA knows the value of that game as well - lest their budget fall to the cutback axe as well! The CIA simply cannot handle a world without enemies, without people ready for a double-cross. Once you're part of the spook trade, it becomes impossible to see things any other way. And if the CIA doesn't have communism as a scapegoat, it may have to create something else to fulfill its role as the justifier of its actions, and find another sparring partner altogether in the absence of the KGB. No federal bureaucracy ever mandates itself out of existence, saying "Hey, our job's done, we can go home!" And if most small government bureaucracies are reluctant to cease their self-promotion and perpetuation, consider the Agency, which is a multibillion dollar organization with some 16,000 admitted employees...

But if the CIA isn't willing to pack its bags and go home, perhaps it is time for Congress to act. The National Security Act of 1947 should be revoked, or at least have many of its provisions changed severely. The CIA should be turned back into what it was meant to be, an intelligence-processing center with lots of number-cruching bureaucrats, like elsewhere in Washington. But Clandestine Services and Covert Operations are fossils, and should be scrapped. The "black ops" should be retired. Spying in peacetime - in the absence of a clear and present threat - should be illegal. But most certainly interference with the democratic processes of other countries should be made illegal, especially paramilitary exercises. The shadow government's covert policy has often been at open odds with the stated public policy of the elected government in many areas, putting us in the position of considerable distrust by the rest of the world. In a free society, foreign policy should be as open and democratic as domestic policy. If the President wants to aid nations that have democratic values and protect human rights, or to sanction or use military force against those countries that are true threats to the United States or its allies (and not just ruled with a form of government we don't like), let him openly ask for the support of the American people, not go behind their backs.

There will always be a need to gather intelligence about the military capabilities of other nations, and for a center to coordinate the gathering of that intelligence. Such a center would really know when a country was preparing for war or invasion, and how to plan a response. The CIA's dismal failure in predicting Iraq's aggression against Kuwait shows that it is not competent for that task. And it is not competent because since 1952 it has gained proficiency in all the "black operations" to the detriment of improving intelligence techniques. The CIA must be "broken in a thousand pieces," as Kennedy wanted, and built anew, into something that will not be a disgrace to American principles and ideals. That new agency will address real concerns to national security, and not chase after phantoms. And it will take a sea change in the government to bring about a "new" CIA; but such a sea change is well overdue.


Steve Mizrach - October 19, 2006 - posted at

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 11:36am.


Anonymous (not verified) | Sat, 02/21/2009 - 3:49pm

Harry Truman allowed himself to be run by mob bosses his entire political life. He also helped put the IMF in power. The IMF has worldwide (except Cuba) control of the financial underpinnings of the economy. They can bring any country to its knees at a whim. Truman helped set up these agencies because they mirrored his organized-crime-run view of the world. Truman had people kicked out of their offices in the State Department to make room for the new IMF. Truman didn't like the State Department. He preferred mob tactics. Here is a link from Truman's own library to back this up: I now think of the government as the crime family in "The Sopranos" that took over the guys sporting goods business for gambling debts. They then proceeded to ruin the business by selling everything out the back door and keeping the money.