There has never been a more powerful evil loosed upon humanity. Its tentacles reach into every corner of the globe. Its wealth draws from the plunder of the ages and the take from a thousand forms of corruption. To underestimate it, is to acquiesce. To believe it can be stopped through protest or enlightenment, is to live a fool’s dream. It doesn’t play by the rules. Expediency is its only master. Its foot soldiers have no allegiance. They cannot be stopped by democratic means.
This evil has been called the Beast, the Hydra, the Octopus, a wild animal. It roams from Berlin to Dallas, Manila to Washington …Marseilles to Baghdad, Vatican City to Mogadishu …Rabat to Szymany, Bagram to Langley… always shape-shifting, always lurking in the shadows, the jungles, the rooftops, the hills, erasing its tracks, hiding in plain sight, mutating, replicating, metastacizing, its eyes and ears everywhere. “It’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” as Churchill once said of the U.S.S.R.
But it’s not Russia that poses this threat to mankind.
* * * * * * *
In his book In Search of Enemies, John Stockwell, former Chief of CIA Angola Task Force, describes the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency:
“The CIA’s authority to run covert operations was solely dependent on a vague phrase in the National Security Act of 1947 which read: ‘to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.’”  
That vague phrase, signed into law by President Truman, has led to the deaths of millions of people over the last sixty-five years… deaths that were accurately characterized by author and former State Department official, Howard Blum, as the “American Holocaust.”  We can thank Truman for that. We can also thank him for handing our democracy to a military junta.
How exactly did we end up with Truman?
Truman was hand-picked by a group of anti-labor conspirators in top positions at the DNC at the 1944 convention. They knew, as everyone did, that FDR would probably die in office during his fourth term and that his successor would shape the post-war world. They were determined to prevent a continuation of FDR’s social and foreign policies by blocking the nomination of pro-labor, anti-fascist Henry Wallace – the guy at the center of FDR’s New Deal, the guy who started Food Stamps, the guy who started economic support for small farmers, the guy whose whole life was about economic fairness, the guy who actually had good things to say about Russia.
The conspirators were:
Edwin Pauley, determined to stop Wallace
- Edwin Pauley, Democratic Party Treasurer (and rich oil tycoon), who was actually a right wing mole who spied on the Roosevelt Administration and Democratic Party for Allen Dulles, helped Dulles smuggle Nazi loot out of post-war Germany, undid the harsh Nazi reparations established by FDR, helped Ronald Reagan get elected, rooted out “commies” at UC Berkeley  and had business dealings with GHW Bush’s Zapata Oil, a CIA front.
- Maj. Gen. Edwin M. (Pa) Watson, FDR’s Appointments Secretary who ensured a steady stream of Wallace-hating visitors and kept Wallace supporters from seeing the president
- Robert Hannagan, chairman of the Democratic National Committee who was instrumental in getting Truman elected in Missouri
- Oscar R. Jack Ewing, Vice Chair, Democratic Party
- Charles Michelson, Publicity Director, Democratic Party
- George Allen, National Secretary, Democratic Party
- Frank Walker, Postmaster General, US
- Edward Kelly, Mayor of Chicago
They all wanted a successor who would take the country in a different direction – a much different direction – a pro-business, anti-labor, anti-Soviet direction. And they weren’t alone. J. Edgar Hoover, who Wallace described in his diary entry of Dec. 19, 1944 as “on his way toward becoming a kind of American Himmler,”  was out to sink him. So were Lord Halifax, Britain’s ambassador to the United States, and Winston Churchill who went ballistic when he read a pamphlet Wallace wrote that extolled the virtues of alllowing India (and other nations) to decide their own fate.
Averill Harriman, George Marshall, Harry Truman, Dean Acheson (courtest tarpley.net)
With such powerful enemies, Wallace never stood a chance. Truman became FDR’s running mate in ’44, suceeded him in ’45 and ultimately conceded civilian rule to the military-industrial complex during his four years in office. Generations that followed would never know an America at peace. To them it would seem as if the whole world had gone mad. Like Wallace, they too would never have a chance. By 1946, Truman had fired Wallace and most of FDR’s “New Dealers.”  The new deal from that point would be the eradication of every right accrued since the American Revolution.
“In 1975 Clark Clifford testified that the drafters of [the National Security Act of 1947] intended only to give the president authority to undertake operations in rare instances that the national security was truly threatened [emphasis mine].
“In fact, the CIA used the vaguely-worded charter to launch thousands of covert actions in every corner of the world. Most of them had dubious justification in terms of the United States security”. 
Dubious indeed. A military unhinged from civilian oversight and compartmentalized to abet maximum deniability is a shadow government. JFK understood that and tried to stop the agency in 1961. Congressman Leo Ryan did the same in the ’70’s.
“The Hughes-Ryan Amendment to the National Assistance Act of 1974 required that no funds [emphasis mine] be expended by or on behalf of the CIA for operations abroad, other than activities designed to obtain necessary intelligence…” (Stockwell, 44)
Congressman Leo Ryan
Ryan’s amendment cut to the heart of the CIA’s little game of replacing democracies with dictators for American business interests. It also expressly banned the CIA from engaging in covert military operations unless they were first approved by the president and Congress. In other words, it did pretty much the same thing JFK set out to do after the Bay of Pigs.
Not surprisingly, Congressman Ryan met with the same fate. He was gunned down on the tarmac of the Guyana Airport in 1978 during a mission to see if Jonestown really was a CIA mind-control operation as he suspected.
It clearly was.
The “congregation” at the camp were treated like prisoners at Dachau. They were worked 18 hours a day ( “Arbeit macht frei” ). They were fed rancid, rotting food. They were subjected to brutal PsychOps techniques like “sermons” blasted 24 hours a day to all areas of the camp. Armed guards patrolled the perimeters. Children were encouraged to rat on their parents. Dissidents were brutally punished in front of the whole camp. Meticulous medical records were kept on every “parishoner.” Physical exams were performed daily (yet painful procedures were performed without anesthesia).
This wasn’t a religious cult. It was a ghastly experiment on a mass scale, the very type that shocked the world when Nazi attrocities came to light in 1945; the very type that shocked the world when the CIA’s experiments on unwitting victims were exposed in 1976 during testimony to the Church Committee, testimony in which the agency insisted their MKULTRA program had been terminated in 1963.
Joseph Holsinger, Congressman Ryan’s aide, put the pieces together after the congressman’s murder when he received an essay from a Berkeley psychologist alerting him that “…the CIA had shifted its programs from public institution [sic] to private cult groups including the People’s Temple rather than terminating MKULTRA experiments.” 
That meant the CIA had stopped farming recruits from jails, state hospitals and college campuses for their mind control experiments and switched to religious cults. It also meant that if Congressman Ryan blew the whistle on Jonestown, they’d be exposed as violating Ryan’s amendment and their own testimony that MKULTRA had been terminated in 1963. There was only one thing to to do: get rid of the congressman and any evidence that could link the CIA to the camp, including the “congregation.” 
And the clean-up crew was already on it.
According to U.S. Air Force Colonel, L. Fletcher Prouty, who worked closely with the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) for many years, the JCS “had prepared air shipments of hundreds of body bags. Within hours, they began to shuttle them down to Georgetown, the main city. They couldn’t possibly have done that without prior knowledge that it was going to happen. It shows that there was prior planning.”  
He continues: “The JCS wouldn’t have moved at all on their own. They didn’t give a damn about Jonestown.”
I’d have to agree. Why on earth would the top military brass in the United States give a damn that 900 people of color died in a jungle in Guyana? I mean, really.
Five years earlier, in 1973, then-DCI Richard Helms ordered all records pertaining to MKULTRA destroyed, ostensibly (and he had the audacity to tell this to the Church Committee) “so that anybody who assisted us in the past would not be subject to…questions…” He was never indicted though he was convicted of lying to Congress in 1977. 
The inability to get evidence and clear message sent by Ryan’s murder (not to mention JFK’s assassination ten years earlier) put an end to any further attempts to rein in the agency. From 1978 forward, no serious challenge to CIA autonomy would be mounted by any governmental body or representative. Even the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed under President Clinton 24 years later, which compelled the agency to release documents regarding its collusion with the Nazis, was heavily resisted.
The CIA, as Nixon realized too late, was beyond the control of the Executive Branch or any other branch of government. The “wild animal” was loose and there was no way to get it back in the cage.
The number of murders that can be laid at the CIA’s feet, directly or indirectly, is staggering. Millions have been tortured, raped, assassinated, disappeared or otherwise terrorized by, or because of, the CIA. Their numbers increase every day.
What follows is a timeline of the “rare instances” in which the CIA. carried out covert operations“from time to time” as directed by the NSA. It’s far from complete. But as we review, let’s raise a toast to President Truman who handed the world’s greatest democracy to a military junta that revived the Third Reich, and the “Greatest Generation,” who collectively cheered as the junta imposed its will at home and abroad.
* * * * *
1945 – OPERATION PAPERCLIP: Dubbed for the paperclips used to clip phony records over the real ones, Operation Paperclip is a massive rescue mission undertaken by the OSS, precursor to the CIA, to save Nazi butchers from the noose. Klaus Barbie, Otto von Bolschwing, Otto Skorzeny and Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s top S.S. Intelligence officer for East Europe, are among the thousands of Nazi butchers whisked to safety in the West. Gehlen is paid huge sums of money to reassemble his Nazi spy network and spy on the Soviets. Bound by ODESSA, he feeds bogus information to the Allies and works tirelessly to reunify his beloved S.S. Thousands of Nazis emigrate to the U.S. with papers provided by the JOIC and jobs provided by the military-industrial complex. The effect is the “Nazification” of a nation already led by fascist-friendly war profiteers.
1945 – MKULTRA: Among the Nazis who emigrate to America are dozens of doctors and pyschiatrists who performed ghastly experiments on concentration camp prisoners during the war. To keep their skills honed, military intelligence allows them to continue their experiments on unwitting Americans and other unfortunates. The experiments will include the administration of LSD and other mind-altering drugs, paralyzing drugs, drugs that cause permanent brain damage, permanent damage to the hearing or comprehension, amnesia, confusion over long periods, the use of physical force, shock, torture, sleep deprivation and more. The program will be kept secret for thirty years.
1946 – NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AUTHORITY – Truman, in an overt snub to his charge to protect the Constitution, issues an Executive Order (Directive on Coordination of Foreign Intelligence Activities) which establishes a National Intelligence Authority without any democratic or congressional oversight. This forms a “Central Intelligence Group” which establishes the C.I.A.
It’s charter states: “No police, law enforcement or internal security functions shall be exercised under this directive” and “nothing herein shall be construed to authorize the making of investigations inside the continental limits of the United States and its possessions, except as provided by law and Presidential directives [emphasis mine].”
Jul 26, 1947 – NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1947 – Truman approves the National Security Act of 1947 which creates a National Military Establishment. This “desired unification of the services” concentrates all branches of the military into a single unit… the most powerful conglomerate on earth. Fourteen years later, President Eisenhower will warn of its threat to domestic liberty.
April 1, 1947 – GREECE – Truman issues a statement bereaving the death of King George II of Greece and assures them of our “interest in the welfare of our gallant ally.”
Truman announces the Truman Doctrine
That welfare comes a month later in the form of Executive Order 9857: An Act to Provide for Assistance to Greece and Turkey, otherwise known as the Truman Doctrine, signed at the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under cover of the United Nations. It purports to create the “conditions for peace” in Greece by providing aid through the auspices of the State Department and the Secretaries of War and Navy. But providing aid through emissaries backed by the full power of the U.S. military has clear implications.
The Greeks reluctantly back an iron-fisted dictator. The illegal intervention into their affairs sets the stage for innumerable CIA interventions as hawks in Washington back one notorious leader after another.
1948 – OFFICE OF POLICY COORDINATION – Emboldened by its vague charter (and complete lack of public oversight), the CIA creates a covert action wing, Office of Policy Coordination, using funds diverted from the Marshall Plan. This innocent-sounding unit is headed by Wall Street lawyer and OSS cold warrior, Frank Wisner. Its charter is top secret, and for good reason. Its responsibilities go way past anything envisioned by Truman (bless his heart). They include “propaganda, economic warfare, preventative direct action including sabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures, subversion against hostile states including assistance to underground resistance groups and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened [emphasis mine] countries of the free world.”
The monster stretches its claws.
1948 – ITALY – The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy when it appears Italian voters will elect communists. They buy votes, broadcast propaganda, threaten and beat up opposition leaders, infiltrate and disrupt communist organizations. The communists are defeated.
1949 – SYRIA – The CIA orchestrates a coup in Syria led by Army Chief of Staff, Husni al-Za-im who approves a Trans-Arabian Pipeline to transfer oil from Saudi Arabia to Mediterranean ports. He’s deposed four months later.
1949 – RADIO FREE EUROPE – The CIA creates Radio Free Europe, its first major propaganda outlet. Over the next thirty years Radio Free Europe broadcasts such blatant lies it becomes a crime at one point to publish transcripts of its broadcasts inside the United States!
But the agency will soon put an end to that.
1949 – OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD – Operation Mockingbird, the first domestic covert operation (and clear violation of the CIA’s charter), is established by DCI Allen Dulles (the guy who gifted a Swiss chalet to Hitler’s spymaster) and Frank Wisner who sells the operation as a way to monitor foreign news organizations. But its real purpose becomes clear when he taps Phil Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, to recruit American news organizations and journalists to disseminate CIA propaganda in the United States. Wisner later calls the operation his “Mighty Wurlitzer” (after the pipe organ) insinuating that he can press any key and make fictitious stories sing from American news outlets. 
If you’re looking for the moment America’s mainstream media became puppets for the CIA, look no further.
Under Graham, The Washington Post becomes a major propaganda outlet for the agency. Even JFK’s pal, Ben Bradley, goes along with the scheme. In no time the CIA has ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, the Associated Press, United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and many others in their back pocket. According to CIA testimony, “at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists became CIA assets.” 
The dawn of fair and balanced reporting has arrived.
Allen Dulles recruits a young Cord Meyer to spy on his progressive ex-wife Mary Pinchon Meyer in Georgetown. Mary, a hippie before her time, is all about peace and love, and belongs to a wide variety of liberal groups who she entertains at her Georgetown studio. She becomes one of JFK’s mistresses, smokes marijuana and is rumored to have done LSD with the president. 
Dulles wants Meyer to help Wisner with Operation Mockingbird. In her book, Katherine The Great, Deborah Davis claims Meyer was “the principal operative of Mockingbird.” 
1949 – CIA INTELLIGENCE ACT OF 1949 – The Central Intelligence Act of 1949 becomes law. Among its provisions is PL-110 which permits the agency to circumvent immigration law in certain circumstances but specifically limits the number of illegal aliens (Nazis) they can admit under the guise of national security:
“Whenever the Director [CIA], the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Immigration shall determine that the admission of a particular alien into the United States for permanent residence is in the interest of national security…such alien and his immediate family shall be admitted to the United States for permanent residency without regard to their inadmissability …provided that the number of aliens and members of their immediate families …in no case exceeds one hundred persons [emphasis mine].“
They probably exceed that number the day after Nuremberg.
It goes on hold the CIA completely unaccountable for its expenses: “The sums made available to the Agency may be expended without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of Government funds.”
Gen. Walter Bedel Smith
1950 – PROJECT BLUEBIRD – Project Bluebird is approved by DCI Gen. Walter Bedel Smith to research “unconventional interrogation techniques” using drugs and hypnosis. (Church)
1951 – ARTICHOKE – Project Bluebird is renamed ARTICHOKE to reflect the new operational status of the program. In-house experiments and on-call medical personnel are formalized to assist with “interrogation”. America will become familiar with this process many years later when waterboarding and simliar tortures are exposed at the agency under the GW Bush Administration.
The agency creates real-life Manchurian Candidates: “subjects clearly demonstrated they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H [hypnotic] controlled state via the telephone” (CIA document 190684, 1-4). Seventeen years later a confused Sirhan Sirhan will find a smoking gun in his hand with no recollection of having just shot Robert Kennedy. For forty years, teams of psychologists will use every tool to help him recall the crime, but he never will.
1952 – MKNAOMI – The Army agrees to let SOD (Special Operations Division) at Fort Detrick teach the CIA. how to develop, test and maintain biological agents and delivery systems. The CIA.’s Technical Services Division (TSD) will manage all stockpiles.
1952 – GUATEMALA – Guatemala’s democratically elected president, Jacob Arbenz, has the audacity to suggest Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company return some of the land they stole from the peasants since they aren’t using it. Truman approves the first plan to topple him. Sec’y of State Dean Acheson talks him out of it (Blum, Killing Hope).
1953 – MKULTRA – Less than two months after taking office, Allen Dulles, Gen. Smith’s replacement, approves MKULTRA, submitted by Richard Helms to study the “use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior” (Church, 391). Helms chooses Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, Chief of Technical Operations at the Technical Services Division, to head the experiments, a real life Dr Mengali (Thomas, 63). Gotlieb uses Nazi scientists whose state-of-the-art mind control techniques were perfected in concentration camps to create robot assassins he program is highly compartmentalized and funding is obscured to protect the identities of the medical monsters drawn from universities, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, state and federal institutions and private research organizations to experiment on human subjects. The methods of torture are expanded under the program to include “radiation, electroshock…harrassment substances, and paramilitary devices and materials.” (Church, 420).
The agency elicits the aid of the Bureau of Narcotics. The FBN uses the program to obtain information it never could have obtained using legal means. Drug addicts are rewarded with their drug of choice for becoming guinea pigs. Informers are given LSD as a “truth serum.” At the C.I.A.’s behest, the FBN begins administering drugs “in operational situations” (i.e., to unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens) with the help of their own, Charles Siragusa, who will later run the mind control program. 
Why not? He’s got all the good drugs.
1953 – MKDELTA is established to perform tests on unwitting citizens in foreign countries, often prisoners of foreign intelligence or security organizations. According to findings by the Church Committee, “there were no attempts to secure approval for the most controversial aspects of these programs from the executive branch or Congress.”
And why should they? By 1953 the military has no need to ask permission for anything. Americans are fed the myth that we defeated the Nazis, and the Wurlitzer keeps playing. Endless movies and television programs, endless documentaries, talk shows and books (even today) perpetuate the myth. And everything’s fine. We can go back to sleep and nothing’s changed. Nothing to see here, folks. Nothing to see.
But there is something to see, something terrifying. In colleges and universities across the country (often with the full knowledge of deans) the CIA’s MKULTRA program is torturing unwitting citizens with sleep deprivation, sexual abuse, isolation, verbal abuse, hypnosis, and drug experiments. In later years it will become apparent that MKULTRA is far more widespread than anyone knows. American citizens will learn that funding, in part, comes from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations (two foundations inextricably linked to CIA crimes).
But these “enhanced interrogation techniques” won’t become known until 1975 and won’t become an issue for another sixty years. Even then, the Wurlizter will shake its finger, remind everyone that “we don’t torture,” and Americans will go back to whatever they were doing. CIA torture chambers will proliferate around the globe and torture will be codified in the U.S. Army Field Manual.
1953 – GUATEMALA – Newly elected President Eisenhower resurrects the plan to topple Arbenz in Guatemala. In the meantime, outgoing CIA Director William Bedel Smith maneuvers for a high-paying gig with United Fruit (Blum, Killing Hope).
1953 – IRAN – The CIA overthrows the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup when he (briefly) nationalizes British Oil. The coup is led by CIA operative, Kermitt Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson. They instill the Shah whose secret police, SAVAK, becomes as feared and brutal as the Gestapo. Millions are killed or disappear in a reign of terror.
When the Shah is toppled twenty-six years later, Americans will be outraged as American flags are burned in Tehran. A wave of Wurlitzer-inspired nationalism will sweep the nation.
1953 – OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD – Dulles takes control of Mockingbird. Journalists in the CIA’s pocket include Joseph Alsop (syndicated in over 300 newspapers), Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (NY Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times).
James Jesus Angleton
1954 – James Jesus Angelton, possibly the creepiest character in U.S. post-war history, becomes the CIA’s Counter Intelligence Chief. In Oliver Stone’s film Nixon, Richard Helms (Sam Witherspoon) is portrayed as obsessed with orchids, but it’s Angleton who’s the genius at growing orchids. Church Committee staffer, Loch Johnson, will also find he has a genius for evading questions:
“Questioning him ..was like trying to find a new planet through an earthbound telescope: it took constant probing, a sensitivity for nuance, and a willingness to endure vast oceans of silence.” – Loch Johnson
Angleton will describe his job as a counter-intelligence officer as constructing a “wilderness of mirrors” in which the opponent is forever lost and confused.  In nine years, Angleton will orchestrate a cover up of JFK’s assassination, constructing a “wilderness of mirrors” that has historians debating facts even to this day.
1954 – INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS DIVISION – Cord Meyer becomes head of the CIA’s International Organizations Division.
E. Howard Hunt will later implicate Meyer in the conspiracy to assassinate JFK. The agency will offer Hunt to the Church Committee as a sacrifice instead of Meyer. They know Hunt was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 with two other “hobos.” They know he can’t produce an alibi. The “wilderness of mirrors” still at work decades later.
1954 – NSC5412 “National Security Council Directive on Covert Operations” is approved under Eisenhower. It defines covert operations as: “all activities conducted pursuant to this directive which are so planned and executed that any U.S. Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the U.S.Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them.”
Policies are codified for all covert operations.
To oversee the CIA, and prevent its becoming a “fourth service,” NSC5412 establishes the 5412 Committee or Special Group with members from the JCS, DoD, State Department, NSA, CIA and focal points from each armed service who approve funding and all clandestine operations. Each member reports back to their respective principals and votes as they dictate. So the committee becomes a rubber stamp. The CIA learns to game the system by ensuring focals are loyal to the agency first. This tips the scales in their favor, gets projects approved, shifts responsibility onto focals and keeps activities under wraps by using friendly members as conduits to high level officials.
1954 – SOUTHEAST ASIA – A large covert program is launched in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. The program will become so large that an overt invasion will be needed by 1965. By then, there’ll be a president who doesn’t mind breaking the law by sending overt troops to bail out failed covert actions.
1954 – GUATEMALA – DCI Allen Dulles, who owns a good part of United Fruit Co. and who’s made a fortune off the labor of Central American plantation slaves, tasks Deputy Director Richard Bissell with developing a plan to depose the democratically-elected president, Jacob Arbenz, in a full-on military coup. Weapons are distributed to rebels who are then trained in sabotage and demolition. “Soviet marked weapons” are planted to justify an invasion. Eisenhower orders “suspicious foreign flag vessels” bound for Guatemala to be stopped on the high seas (an act of war and a clear violation of international law). Bribes are offered to Guatemalan military leaders, even Arbenz. The CIA and USIA distribute thousands of leaflets calling for an insurrection and plant news stories in foreign papers, picked up by Guatemalan news sources (Blum, Killing Hope). All this to protect the business interests of United Fruit Company.
Bissell, with E. Howard Hunt at his side, succeeds in replacing Arbenz with a series of right wing despots who kill more than 100,000 Guatemalans over the next forty years.
1955 – In May, 1955 the Army approves testing LSD on American soliders in “field stations” (Church, 419). The Army Chief of Staff issues a memorandum authorizing the tests.The plan is supposedly submitted to the Secretary of the Army (civilian) a year later, but there’s “no evidence that he either reviewed or approved” it. Another slap in the face to civilian rule.
Subsequent testing under Materials Testing Program EA 1729 will continue under the same (military) authorization. Civilian government won’t weigh in on the utter disregard for protocal until the Church Committee hearings twenty years later.
1956 – HUNGARY – Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khrushchev’s Secret Speech in which he denounces Stalin. It also suggests that American aid will be forthcoming if the Hungarians rise up and fight. But it’s a funny thing about aid. Sometimes it never quite gets where it’s going. And that’s just what happens in Hungary. The aid never quite arrives and the Hungarian revolt fails pitifully which (I might add) opens the door for the Soviets to launch a major invasion and kill 7,000 – 30,000 Hungarians.
1954/1958 – VIETNAM – CIA officer, Edward Lansdale (the infamous “General Y” in Oliver Stone’s JFK) spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam. He employs every dirty trick in the book, but it just isn’t working. So the CIA heads south to “protect” the South Vietnamese from their communist neighbor. Their protection comes in the form of a puppet regime led by Ngo Dinh Diem, a tyrant who the South Vietnamese know wants nothing to do with democracy, land reform or poverty reduction.
His atrocities will become so well known he’ll become a complete embarrassment to the Kennedy Administration. JFK will come under increasing pressure to “do” something… send advisors, anything. But Kennedy will refuse to escalate the situation. When he’s assassinated, Lyndon Johnson will approve an all-out military assault.
1957/1973 – LAOS – During this sixteen year span, the CIA executes about one coup a year in an attempt to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. But Pathet Lao, a popular group on the left, manages to retain enough popular support to be included in any coalition government. So, the CIA creates a secret army of Asian mercenaries (Armee Clandestine) to attack them. But nothing seems to work. So the CIA turns to Nixon, who they have plenty of dirt on.
Nixon authorizes a bombing campaign of unprecedented scale. “Bomb them back to the Stone Age!” he says. More bombs are dropped on Laos than were dropped in the entire Second World War. A quarter of all Laotians become refugees. Many flee to caves.
Meanwhile, Americans back home are spoon-fed a diet of nationalism and “domino theories” from CIA think tanks and the “Wurlitzer News.” They throw bricks at anti-war protesters and castigate liberals as unpatriotic, a label that will propel Ronald Reagan into the White House years later.
1958 – Sukarno – Indonesia – The CIA supports 42,000 anti-Sukarno rebels who are defeated by General Nasution of the loyal Indonesian army.
1959 – The CIA helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tinton Mahouts” who terrorize the population with machetes. Over 100,000 Haitians are butchered during Duvalier’s reign of terror. Yet the Wurlitzer never echoes their cries.
1960 – Project Mongoose, headed by Edward Lansdale, is approved by Eisenhower to topple Castro. Ike makes it clear that the covert operation will get no support from active duty military. He also understands the operation to be limited in scope, certainly not a full-scale Normandy-style invasion.
Lansdale suggests in a memo: “Gangster elements might prove the best recruitment potential for actions [murders] against police G-2 [intelligence] officials. CW [Chemical Warfare] agents should be fully considered.” He employs Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante, Meyer Lansky, and Lucky Luciano.
The CIA begins training 300 Cuban exiles in Panama and Guatemala for a limited guerrila operations against Castro, but they ramp up their operation to 1,300 Cuban exiles for an all-out amphibious attack with air strikes and everything during Eisenhower’s “lame duck” session. After all, Nixon will be elected…
But Nixon isn’t elected. JFK is briefed on the operation the day after he takes office and given two possible plans:
Plan #1) by CIA Deputy Director Richard “I toppled Arbenz” Bissell envisions a popular uprising as the invasion beings
Plan #2) by Thomas “Who the hell am I?” Mann, JFK’s Asst. Sec’y of State for Inter-American Affairs pretty much laughs at Bissell’s suggestion that a measly force of 1,300 exiles will spark a mass uprising.
What Mann doesn’t realize is that Bissell’s plan doesn’t actually expect an uprising. Bissell knows it’s insane to expect a force of 1,300 exiles to overwhelm Castro’s 20,000 troops, even with covert air support. Bissell’s plan relies on overt military assistance, without actually saying so. He’s betting the farm that the inexperienced president will cave and send active duty military equipment and personnel if (when) the exile forces get into trouble.
Kennedy senses this and makes it clear he can’t and won’t send overt military assistance under any condition. He even sends an aide to the guerilla camp in Nicaragua to make sure the exiles know that no overt military assistance will be forthcoming.
But Bissell doesn’t believe it.
The JCS approves Bissell’s plan using (only) covert Cuban assets. JFK approves the landing plan which includes a crucial pre-dawn air strike by covert (Cuban exile) pilots flying B-26 bombers from Nicaragua. The landing is set for April 17, 1961 (D-Day).
Kennedy authorizes the first covert (Cuban exile) air strikes on (D-2) April 15, 1961. He authorizes the second covert (Cuban exile) air strikes on (D-1) April 16, 1961. That evening, Special Assistant to the President, George McBundy, calls Bissell to relay JFK’s order that the next morning’s air strikes be cancelled “until they can launched from an air strip on the beachhead.” Bissell goes apeshit. He asks Defense Secretary, Dean Rusk, to reconsider, but Rusk quotes JFK saying “they’re not vital.”
At this point, Bissell has two choices: call off the invasion or invade without the air strikes. He knows the mission will fail without those air strikes. So he goes ahead anyway. Why? Because his whole plan has always been to get the president to break the law and commit active duty military to prevent 1,300 Cuban exiles from being slaughtered.
Unfortunately, that slaughter is the only part of Bissell’s plan that’s actually working on D-Day. The popular revolt never materializes. Castro quickly surrounds them. No one bothers to tell the invading force there’s 80 miles of swamp between them and their escape route to the mountains. They’re infiltrated by Castro spies. The CIA plan is a complete and utter failure.
Bissell implores JFK to send help. “Let me take two jets and shoot down the enemy aircraft.” But Kennedy stands firm.
A government document surfaced in 2005 that confirmed the CIA expectation that the Bay of Pigs invasion would fail without direct American military support. The intelligence memorandum, dated November 15, 1960, concluded that an invasion would be “unachievable, except as joint Agency/DOD action” which means Bissell clearly knew his merry band of Cuban exiles didn’t stand a chance.
Yet the fact that Bissell & Co. bet the lives of 1,300 Cuban exiles and lost only fuels their hatred for Kennedy. Hawks at the Pentagon and CIA fume over their “betrayal.” They’re not going to take the hit for this one. It’s Kennedy’s fault. He isn’t up to the job. He’s too young, too inexperienced, too liberal. Cuban expats are whipped into an anti-Kennedy frenzy, not realizing they were played for cannon fodder by the CIA. Dangerous right wing cabalists like H.L. Hunt (with a direct line to J Edgar Hoover) rail against the president.
The mob is furious. Their casinos are gone. The president they thought was bought and paid for has turned on them. What’s more, the president’s brother is now doing what J. Edgar Hoover promised would never happen: he’s fighting organized crime, which has grown to alarming proportions under Hoover’s protection.
No one at the CIA questions the legality (or morality) of invading countries and murdering their citizens and democratically-elected officials. No one questions the ethics of waging a covert operation you know won’t work in the hope that a commander-in-chief will send in the Marines. They simply know that Kennedy “left our guys on the beach” and that’s that.
But Kennedy doesn’t get mad. He gets even. He puts his brother in charge of all covert operations in April. Then, to prevent us all from the criminal empire we now face, he fires the entire CIA top brass. All three of them! Bissell, Gen. Charles Cabell (left) and the head honcho himself, Allen Dulles! I mean… this is unprecedented. Unthinkable! By far the coolest, and most sensible, thing a president has ever done (and the only sane move for a civilian government interested in survival).
Dulles is untouchable. He’s one of the most powerful men in America, far more powerful than JFK. Bissell is untouchable. Cabell is untouchable. They’re all made men, tolerating the Executive Branch, not taking orders from it. And here’s this new young president firing their asses!
It’s now clear to the CIA that they’re in a fight for survival.
And they are.
June 28, 1961 – JFK issues National Security Action Memorandum No. 55 which states: “I regard the Joint Chiefs of Staff as my principal military advisor responsible for initiating advice to me and for responding to requests for advice. I expect their advice to come to me direct and unfiltered.”
[read: From now on I don’t need the CIA. I have the Joint Chiefs of Staff]
June 28, 1961 – JFK issues NSAM #56 “Evaluation of Paramilitary Requirements” which states: “It is important that we anticipate now our possible future requirements in the field of unconventional warfare and paramilitary operations. A first step would be to inventory the paramilitary assests we have in the United States Armed Forces, consider various areas in the world where the implementation of our policy may require indigenous para-military forces, and thus arrive at a determination of the goals which we should set in this field. Having determined the assets and the possible requirements, it would then become a matter of developing a plan to meet the deficit.”
[read: get me a list of everything we can use in the future to replace the CIA.]
June 28, 1961 – JFK issues NSAM #57 “Responsibility for Paramilitary Operations” which states: “The Special Group (5412 Committee) will perform the functions assigned in the recommendation to the Strategic Resources Group…. In order to conduct paramilitary operations with maximum effectiveness and flexibility within the context of the Cold War, it is recommended that current directives and procedures be modified to affect the following: Any proposed paramilitary operation in the concept stage will be presented to the Strategic Resources Group for initial consideration and for approval as necessary by the President. Thereafter, the SRG will assign primary responsibility for planning, for interdepartmental coordination and for execution to the Task Force, department or individual best qualified to carry forward the operation to success, and will indicate supporting responsibilities. Under this principle, the Department of Defense will normally receive responsibility for overt paramilitary operations. Where such an operation is to be wholly covert or disavowable, it may be assigned to CIA, provided that it is within the normal capabilities of the agency. Any large paramilitary operation wholly or partly covert which requires significant numbers of militarily trained personnel, amounts of military equipment which exceed normal CIA-controlled stocks and/or military experience of a kind and level peculiar to the Armed Services is properly the primary responsibility of the Department of Defense with the CIA in a supporting role.”
[read: we’re changing the rules.. from now on DoD is in charge and mayyyybe they’ll need the CIA.’s help]
Right there the president’s fate is sealed. And I might add, our fate as well as it’s our last chance to rein in the wild animal before it takes over. But it’s already too late. JFK does the right thing, and shame on the Cuban exile community for not seeing how the CIA played them, but he’s alone in a pack of wolves (and “wolves” is being gratuitous).
1963 – By 1963, the shadow government is a murky conglomerate of political fanatics, oil barons, Nazi butchers, spy masters, retired and active military, organized crime bosses, assassins, agent provocateurs, whack jobs, mercenaries, political operatives, diabolical masterminds, expatriates, anti-communist zealots, Italian, Spanish and East European fascists, Czarist Russians, Nazi sympathizers, French drug traffickers, mafiosos, French and Italian fascists, ex-members of General MacArthur’s intelligence apparatus in The Far East, Green Berets, drug smugglers, drug addicts, gun runners, corporate bosses, cross dressers, double agents, serial killers … and god knows what else.
It’s already the most dangerous criminal empire ever assembled, more powerful than any nation, any law, any elected official, answerable to no civilian authority; loosely bound by an insatiable lust for money, power and dominion in a milieu of ever-shifting allegiances.
Americans, sitting by their Wultizers, respond to this present menace by standing in line for James Bond films. They never see the grotesque figures who carry out the most despicable crimes in their name. They never see the hideous face of their new rulers …and they certainly never see the guy the CIA considers the real James Bond (left). They see Sean Connery in a tux chasing comic book villains with a girl on each arm.
No wonder Wisner was so proud of his Wurlitzer.
Then again, no matter how bad things get, you can always find something good to say about anything …and the good thing to say about the CIA in 1963 is that they’ve got this assassination business down pat. They’re so good at it their plans can be used in almost any situation.
And it just so happens they have a “situation” in America.
(to be continued)
Andrea Hackett is a writer and anti-fascist activist. Comments are always welcome and may also be directed to @andreafed. Reprint by permission only.
 Stockwell, John. In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story. W. W. Norton. 1984. pg. 44. Footnote.
 Select Committee on Intelligence United States Senate. 1978. pg. 26. – Clark Clifford, a key author of the Act, admitted the vague nature of the C.I.A.’s charter when the committee took up intelligence reform in 1978. “With three decades of experience, we know better what we want from our intelligence operations and what to guard against.”
 Blum, William. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II. Monroe, Maine. Common Courage Press, 1995.
 Rosenfeld, Seth. Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012.
 “Henry Wallace Diary Unsealed” The Evening News, Nov. 20, 1975
 Tarpley, Webster G. British Coup d’Etat in Washington, April 12, 1945: How The Harriman Gang Started The Cold War. October, 1995. Web.
 Acacia, John. Clark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington. The University Press of Kentucky. 2009. Yet Clifford argued against prohibiting “political assassination, torture, germ warfare, and the violent overthrow of democratic government[s]” which he saw as “demeaning” to the intelligence community.
 Church Committee Report, April 26, 1976
 Meyers, Michael. Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?
 Howe, Bridget S. If The West Fails…Westbow Press. 2011. pg 79.
 Prouty, L. Fletcher.
 In his article on CIA. involvement in Jonestown dated Sep. 27, 1980, Jack Anderson, perhaps the most well known investigative journalist at the time, broke the news that “Joe Hollister, Ryan’s top aide who arranged the trip …got a call from [Lee Francis at] the White House on the day of Ryan’s murder [who] reported accurately the number of persons killed and, according to Hollister, said his information was based on ‘a CIA report from the scene.'”
 Helms, Cynthia. An Intriguing Life: A Memoir of War, Washington and Marriage to an American Spymaster. Rowman & Littlefield. 2012. In trying to exonerate her husband, Cynthia Helms defines the very quagmire that ensues when an agency declares itself above the law: “[He] faced a moral dilemma because of his two conflicting oaths: the one he had taken when joining the CIA, and the other he took when he swore to tell the truth to the committee.”
 Wilford, Hugh. The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America. First Harvard University Press.
 Rolling Stone Magazine. 1977. Article cited by the NY Times in 2013 as having revealed the extent of the CIA operation.
 Janney, Peter. Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision of World Peace. Skyhorse Publishing.
 Davis, Deborah. Katherine The Great. New York City, NY. Sheridan Square Press. 1991. Print.
 The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs, Douglas Valentine (Verso Books, 2004)
 Holzman, Michael Howard. James Jesus Angleton, The C.I.A. and the Craft of Counter-Intelliegence. Boston, MA. University of Massachusetts Press. pg. 21
Thomas, Marshall. Monarch: The New Phoenix Program.