Break Up The CIA by Jonathan A. Esq
The CIA came into existence after World War II, evolving from an intelligence operation run by “Wild Bill Donovan” born Jan 1, 1883.
It is noteworthy that Nixon’s “smoking gun” for impeachment was his idea of having the CIA stop the FBI’s investigation into his Watergate break in. (Ironically, JFK’s first two appointments were renewals of J. Edgar Hoover to the FBI and Allan Dulles to the CIA.) A public history of the CIA reveals many instances of dramatic failures, often apparently offering information to please the White House administration rather than to fulfill the demands of telling the truth.
We can go back to the origins of American involvement in Vietnam where the Dulles brothers operated. John Foster Dulles intervened in the settlement process there to draft a treaty (which the United States did not sign) to implement the foreign policy vision of his brother Allan. Eisenhower then sent the first troops. It was CIA “information” and encouragement that led to the great expansion and historic disaster. Throughout the increasing devastation and disaster, they were a main force in the false propaganda about body counts, progress, and “light at the end of the tunnel.”
When Kennedy became President, the CIA had promulgated the idea that the Cuban people would rise up against their government if there were an invasion of the Island. He inherited the “Bay of Pigs” and acted on it. The result, of course, was a predictable disaster.
The “Arab Spring” of insurrections against dictators was hailed by the CIA which led instead to civil wars and chaos with resulting American involvement (e.g. Libya) culminating in the current catastrophe in Syria. In the preparatory propaganda for the invasion of Iraq. creating the chaos, continuing there the CIA issued incorrect confirmatory reports about “weapons of mass destruction” justifying American military might becoming mired there and entangled to the present. Similarly, the longest war in American history in Afganistan was based on mistaken efforts of its probably quick success.
When a Court House in Oklahoma was blown up by domestic “terrorists” neither the FBI or CIA apparently had any clue that it was planned. The World Trade Center was attacked twice, with no warning from the CIA, which apparently had information about its possibility, at least the second time, with reports of potential pilots training to take off but not land, warnings from some local government agency, etc. Mysteries still remain about who did what (Bin Laden, immediately pronounced responsible was killed by a Navy Seal team, many years later so he could not be interrogated; Saudis mainly involved and Saudis uniquely permitted to leave the USA the next day, etc.). 9/11 is a central American trauma which could have been prevented had proper intelligence been supplied to those capable of preventing the carnage and toxicity, leading many times, to more suffering and more death. (See my Crimes of 9/11).
The most famous unacknowledged assassinations were executed upon Patrice Lumumba and Salvador Allende (some claim he committed suicide at the end, a distinction without a difference, for this putsch). Each extinguished a great leader and hope for a popular democracy. Both were followed by brutal repressive autocracies with devastating damage still reverberating today.
Maybe the defense for these glaring important failures is that successes are kept secret. Secrecy is the a CIA mantra. Tom Powers in his book on the CIA entitled it The Man Who Kept Secrets (Director Richard Helms).But is secrecy an ideal in an accountable democracy where transparency and visibility of reasons, policies, and activities are essential for public opinion and votes for representatives and referendums? Are spying and even killing desirable for a free Country?
Suppose the CIA was closed down as a unit. Could separate agencies (even after abolition of the redundant Department of Homeland Security) provide the information and actions desirable?
This clearly is an age of cyber action. The Russians were active in the last Presidential election and appear ready to repeat. 60 Minutes reports there is an extensive criminal Russian internet operation proceeding for the last ten years posing great danger to this country. Clearly, a part of the Pentagon could and should be adequately funded to counteract this activity. Indeed, there is already American capability (which should be increased) to return the favor by “hacking” into adversaries’ complete range of written and also oral communications. There are now many technical means to gather knowledge, including, but not limited to drones, satellites, telescopes, etc. which NASA is equipped to employ.
Knowledge is power. The CIA, as we have illustrated, has not provided what is needed here but has generated misleading material. There are replacements, probably more effective than spying. Native speakers could read newspapers, magazines, “scholarly articles”, listen to radio broadcasts, watch television and prepare reports publicly available as to what the contents are, reveal, and indicate about foreign governments and hostile groups’ activities. Commensurately, rather than “spies”, people could be hired who live there or who will who can report with no “classification” but publicly on the spirit of the people and visible activities. Spies and counter spies may thrive, feeding on each other’s actions (Mad Magazine even had cartoons about such skulduggery) but how reliable (and secure) are they; how do we verify; and why would that be superior in total to the means suggested above?
Local and Federal police (whether the FBI should continue in its present embodiment, given all the damage it has done, raises similar concerns to the CIA) should be able to track suspicious agents – instead we have Marina Buttina, a striking Russian agent, working implausibly with the NRA “outed” as a result of a General Counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling. (The New York police department boasts of an effective counter-terrorism department which, we must admit, does work in secrecy. Although it must be noted that their covert surveillance of Muslims in their mosques, gatherings, and neighborhoods produced nothing of value except some police retaining the name of good Arab restaurants.) This country should have allies (instead of insulting them) which can and should provide relevant information to the State Department for reference to a Pentagon intelligence unit with the tasks described above and the Administration.
Under our Constitution there is both Freedom of Press and a balance of power with oversight of the Executive by Congress. How much is now kept secret from the public and Congress? Democracy implies that both should not have information hidden. Instead, the classification by “secrecy” is a virus which has spread widely based originally on its justification that it is essential (and every government, even at peace, does it.) Obviously, in a war, declared by Congress, the military, with its Commander in Chief, must have military secrets – but having “adversaries” and troop deployments (over 60 apparently outside the United States) does not meet such a standard. (There is a clear irony of over 30 people in the current administration given “top security clearance” over expert administrative advice).
We must “fight fire with fire” it is said. We must match our “adversaries” tactics, it is claimed. But the CIA has failed notably.
Democracy is a noble experiment.
Why shouldn’t a Democracy use all current tools and allow the public to know what evidence there is for policies and consequential actions? If we break up the CIA and use traditions, innovative, and new means of gathering information with the funds then available, my suggestion is that we will all probably profit. At least, we should debate the extent, function, and failures of the CIA rather than accepting it as necessary as is. We should be suspicious of secrecy. We should expand access to the thinking and actions in other countries and cultures.
It is time to reexamine the role of the American government in a democracy operating for the security and safety of an informed citizenry.
#BreakUpTheCIA #Nixon’s #SmokingGun #BayofPigs #StateCraft #AllenDulles #WildBillDonavan
MORE by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.
9/11 Criminals The tragic collapse of the twin towers on 9/11/01 was, is, and continues to be an American trauma.