Photo: CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia
In the alphabet-soup world of politics -- where everything has its defining initials -- three letters, when strung together properly, trigger universal recognition. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, try dropping the letter C.I.A. and check out the reaction.
Now forget those James Bond images for a moment; lay aside flashes of "I Spy" or "Mission Impossible." It's not like that. Romance and intrigue are rarely present in The Agency's (as it's affectionately called by employees) work. The C.I.A.'s primary role is as the brain of the beast, the central-mental, the overall memory-bank for the slicksters and tricksters of the Amerikan Empire. Not that it's above strong-arm super romance stuff. It's just that the CIA is into heavier things. Much heavier.
Someone has to wind the marines up before the march. Someone has to program the Man's moves. Someone has to come up with the schemes (or "contingency plans") to keep the oil flowing from the Middle-East to your gas tank so it can pollute the air. The CIA helps keep the world "safe for democracy", or, more precisely, safe for rape and plunder by the death merchants.
In the chess game now underway between the forces of the future and those of the past, between the Red Menace and the Ajax White Knight the CIA's computers plot Amerika's moves. The mission: Checkmate the world.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING
Founded in 1947, the CIA was launched to shape the cold war, to calculate the "containment" of growing liberation movements around the planet. It was charged with coordinating all government intelligence activities -- military, diplomatic, domestic -- under the direction of the National Security Council, which is controlled by the President. The CIA puts all the information it gathers together and presents it in "useful" form to the head men, who often then come back to the Agency with instructions for action. This frequently includes intervening secretly in the affairs of other nations -- manipulating the overthrow of hostile governments, wiping out troublesome individuals or groups, or purchasing (with cold cash) the services of local agents to help keep things cool.
To do its job the Agency has a secret budget of billions and around 30,000 employees. Its intelligence gathering operation is the most sophisticated in the world. Most of the information comes from what are known as "open" sources. The CIA closely monitors all major newspapers, radio broadcasts and the research papers and academic production of universities, FROM EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! It's a big job. To handle it IBM was hired to develop the biggest and most advanced computer ever -- it processes more than 200,000 different sources of information that arrive at the Langley, VA. CIA HQ every month. Langley houses more PhD's than any other government agency. This is a source of great pride to these schmucks -- a CIA official once boasted that the Agency could easily convert itself into a major university.
Of course it's impossible to really be on top of what's going on from simply clipping newspapers. Here's where the real spying comes in. (The pro's call spying "covert intelligence collection.") Espionage is carried out in every conceivable way by spies of every color and shape, and increasingly by the new spy technology; The U-2 Plane and its ultra-sensitive camera, developed by the POLAROID Corporation (aerial views in 60 seconds); slick eavesdropping equipment (Ramparts once published a picture of a CIA bra especially wired for sound), and even satellites.
Orders coming from the National Security Council are handled by the "Plans Division." These are the people responsible for the CIA's James Bond image. Their finer moments include:
The setting up of "Western Enterprises, Inc." on Taiwan to train and equip Nationalist Chinese Guerrillas for raids against the mainland.
The overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, a move undertaken to protect American oil investments. This operation involved "the careful spending of more than ten million dollars in a period of a few days."
The overthrow of radical President Jacob Arbenz, pulled off to keep Guatemala safe for the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana).
The so far unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Cuban Revolutionary Government. The Plans Division suffered its biggest setback at the Bay of Pigs (prophetic name), where Cuban forces defeated an invasion attempt by Cuban refugee mercenaries trained and organized by the United States. The CIA has tried to assassinate Fidel six different times, and continues to fund and guide anti-Castro "gusanos", based in Miami, Florida.
The use of universities such as Michigan State to shape, advise, and equip the neo-colonial puppet government in Saigon. The CIA remains deeply enmeshed in the War On Vietnam after engineering America's original intervention. It's currently working on Operation Phoenix, an unsuccessful attempt to locate and wipe out the Viet Cong's infrastructure through assassination.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg -- more and more of these undercover activities are being uncovered all the time. Several years ago it was discovered that the CIA was financing the National Student Association and hundred of other largely youth groups, to help oppose radicals and advance moderate points of view friendly to Amerikan interests. The articles which exposed these incredible operations represented a set-back to the Agency. They also illuminated a crucial part of the Agency's work: political engineering.
Political engineering is a very delicate business. It involves --- or helping certain select political movements to defeat others, for example, in 1961 two journalists reported that John McCone was ---ed when he became CIA chief to learn that "The CIA promoted or financed every major international socialist conference held during the past 10 years." Barry Goldwater was even more pissed in 1967 when he complained, after the NSA exposure, that the CIA was pro-socialist. He demanded that right-wing groups be given CIA money, too. Apparently the money never came through -- the latest issue of the John Birch Society's magazine "American Opinion" accused the CIA of being a Communist tool.
Not really. The CIA Super-Pigs are stone manipulators and calculators. They're no liberals -- the Brain Police are very pragmatic: They believe in utilizing "any means necessary" to protect the Empire. Even if that means "capitalists" financing "socialists" to fight "communists." Shrewd motherfuckers!
Every so often the papers are filled with editorials calling for more control over the CIA; the so-called Invisible Government. This is a ruse. From the beginning, the CIA has been controlled by the President, regulated by secret committees of Congress, and, most importantly, responsive to the long range interests of the big U.S. corporations. The CIA is closely inter-meshed with the Washington-White-House-Wallstreet power structures, both in terms of decisions and personnel. The American government as a whole bears responsibility for the CIA's operations -- it doesn't do anything of it's own accord. The Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which keeps after the agency's operations as a double-check, has always been staffed by some of the more illustrious members of the Military-Industrial Complex. Past members include Clark Clifford, the corporate wheeler-dealer and LBJ's Secretary of Defense; Frank Pace, of a large military contracting firm; William Baker, of Bell Tell; James Killian of MIT-IBM-AT&T-GM and Polaroid (!); Polaroid President Edward Land, and General Maxwell Taylor. No women, blacks, or Woodstock Nationals need apply for the job.
The CIA's links with corporations and the ruling class can also be seen by a quick look at who works for the Agency. Espionage tends to attract the elite, privileged and better educated members of society, often from old established families who, already assured of great wealth, are now interested in protecting it. We find names like Amory, Cabot, Salton-stall, Roosevelt, etc. -- men who share the same honkie capitalist values.
The people who work with the CIA are something else again! The J.M. Kaplan Fund, for example, controlled by a wealthy NY businessman with interests in the Dominican Republic Sugar Industry, once passed a million dollars to the CIA Conduit Institute of International Research, which sponsored training for anti-communist trade unionists in -- guess where? -- the Dominican Republic.
Another example of CIA-Corporate collusion was in Guatemala, where the Agency toppled a president who had take the outrageous step of...(illegible)
(CIA, cont. from proceeding page)
Fruit's Board of Directors.
But the CIA doesn't usually work with a single firm. It strives to create the best climate for economic penetration by all U.S. companies around the globe, simultaneously.
According to the Wall Street Journal -- which ought to know -- corporations often provide a cover for CIA operatives. "More frequently" wrote the Journal, "it has turned to business as a source of information, interviewing travelling businessmen to gather clues to political and economic developments abroad." Executives are careful not to let this info out, because such knowledge could arouse resentment and suspicion not very helpful to investment. But companies continue to cooperate with the agency which serves their interests. A few years ago, a company with lots of experience in Brazil provided Washington with a complete analysis of the views of the left-leaning Goulart government. Goulart was soon overthrown.
The CIA also operates a few businesses of its own. The best known is Air America, a private airline which flies U.S. troops, mercenaries, supplies and smuggled opium all over Asia. Another company is no longer around. Double Check, Inc. was set up to provide air support for the Bay of Pigs, but it was triple-checked on the beaches of Cuba.
As a result of student protests, intelligence-related research conducted on university campuses in the past have been channeled more and more to corporations. Professors who once did secret research on campus have set up private companies off-campus so as to continue their investigations into juicy devices like anti-personnel bombs, biological warfare, and the like. So the work goes on.
MICHIGAN GETS CHE
A good example of how university research functions to maintain the Empire took place at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We now know that military research carried on at Michigan's Willow Run Laboratories was directly responsible for the capture and death of Che Guevara in Bolivia. One device perfected by the lab measures the temperature radiation of a subject. This machinery in an aircraft allows you to fly over an area and PHOTOGRAPH THE HEAT. It's used to discover the location of troop concentrations (which give off heat) so as to enable the bombers to destroy them more precisely. It's used a lot in Vietnam.
Sure enough, this we-find-them-you-kill-em technology was used in Bolivia to track down Che and his guerrilla force. The operation was run directly from the White House. CIA Director Richard Helms worked with LBJ's General Staff and a joint CIA-Pentagon unit called the "Che Watch," sending planes back and forth over the guerrilla zone pin-pointing every single heat source on infrared superfilm. Che's unit was found by a process of elimination, and troops were sent in to destroy it.
Contrary to CIA hopes, Che's death did not wipe out the Latin American Revolution. If anything it served as a rallying cry, provoking sharper resistance to his assassins throughout the world, including in Michigan itself. The bombing of the CIA office in Ann Arbor is but one example.
THE BRAIN POLICE
The CIA understands the importance of people standing firm for their society and its actions, to keep support going for its war against the people of the world. Shaping people's minds thus becomes a subtle but essential task. To keep the students from finding out the truth about communism, they subsidized a network of youth organizations with a moderate anti-communist point of view. The National Student Association was the best known. To deal with young minds abroad the agency financed outfits that brought foreign students to this country and trained them up good for jobs in U.S. corporations or in friendly foreign governments.
The CIA also supported groups which thought up ideological rationalizations for imperialism -- like our investments are helping the natives, before we were there they had nothing, when the reality is that we went in there an sapped up the country's resources for our own use before it could stop us. These groups published magazines, sent speakers to campuses and on TV, and published textbooks warning a whole generation as to the danger of communism, and the glory and freedom of America. If everybody believe this kind of stuff, then the government can invade countries like Vietnam without too much opposition.
This ideological indoctrination is part of an active program for training elites to manage American institutions as well as those third world countries which are subordinate to them. The institutes and foundations organized by the CIA must be viewed as components in a sophisticated strategy for administering the empire. Under the Old Colonialism, the British and the French administered their colonies directly. We've all seen movies portraying a pompous Colonial Governor and his elephant gun -- But the U.S. represents a higher form of imperial control, based on neo-colonialism, a strategy which uses native middlemen to control their own people. The Thieu-Ky puppet government in Vietnam is a good example of this.
To carry this out, the native culture must be destroyed and replaced with Amerikan junk/consumer consciousness. This helps remove the natural resistance instincts in people, making them passive like most Americans, and eager to cooperate in their own destruction. Fanon runs this down beautifully in The Wretched of the Earth.
All these programs aim at providing an alternative to revolutionary movements. But they don't always work out. Many of the leaders of the Palestinian Resistance were schooled at the American University in Beirut. When people get hip to what is being done to them, they revolt. Check out your own mind.
THE END OF THIS EPOCH
We could go on and on, vomiting up more details of schemes, episodes and spy stories in the night. These belong to history -- check them out if you want to.
Somewhere in McClean, Virginia, Richard Helms, the current director of The Agency, sits up at night, downing milk for his ulcer, examining the wrinkles in his forehead. His day's work is responsible for some of the most hideous activities ever witnessed by history.
What will be his excuse at the People's War Crimes Trials sure to come? Will he slobber like Eichmann and mumble something about just following orders? Will he stand erect, and admit to serving class and country? Or will he, before an outraged humanity, break down and shed a tear for the end of his epoch.
We have studied these people. Gone to their schools. Read all their fools. Heard about all we want to hear.
And we know.