Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

An Eye on Intelligence An Interview with Douglas Valentine

An Eye on Intelligence, an Interview with Douglas Valentine

by ADAM ENGEL

It may be a lot of fun to wave the flag and scowl and loudly "support our troops" and, when in the comfortable center of a mob, call for tar and feathers for those who don’t agree, but it’s not necessarily relevant to the issue at hand. For by the time "our" troops are overseas, fighting to defend the interests of people who live off interest, the CIA has already been there, done that, softened up the "enemy," bribed or recruited their top officers, and more or less settled things. If it weren’t for the damn military marching in and breaking stuff, the CIA might have a relatively clean batch of dominoes to set up and knock down (clean for us TV viewers; for the natives of the "enemy" country nothing’s ever good).

Douglas Valentine knows about the CIA, having studied it intensely, on paper and in personnel, for over twenty years, culminating in his seminal book, "The Phoenix Program," about the CIA’s infamous Phoenix Program in Vietnam.

"TDY" is based on a true story told to Valentine by a photographer named Richard Finkle. Finkle is not "TDY’s" protagonist, Pete, per se, but his TDY account and Valentine’s years of research and interviews with CIA personnel provided the author with the material he needed to write an action story with punch, a parable that used as its literary model Hemingway’s short novel, "The Old Man and the Sea."

"I wanted to write a book that told a linear story in as few words as possible," said Valentine. "When Finkle told me his story in his darkroom, I knew immediately that I could write a book about it. The Old Man and the C…IA."

The CIA operates by softening up a target through stealth operations, assassinations, propaganda and recruiting its top military officers and politicians. Unlike the regular armed forces, whose sizeable $400 billion dollar budget is dispersed through payroll, hardware, technology etc., the CIA operates on a $30 Billion budget but little accountability. CIA operatives are not expected to report weekly activities or fill out mountains of paperwork, and can thus be more deviously creative with their resources.

The CIA goes into a country and develops covert operations for the first couple of years. Once the country is "softened up" by assassinations, rebellions, guerrilla warfare, economic warfare etc., then the war becomes overt. That is, the military is sent in with masses of uniformed personnel and heavy equipment.

"In addition to the sanctions which would devastate any country, for the last ten years the CIA and Mossad have been recruiting officers in the Iraqi military," said Valentine.

Thus, when it came time to fight, officers who fled would be remunerated with top positions in the new regime.

Unlike the career soldier in the regular military, who lives a life of routine, continual accountability to the chain of command, and has little but a modest pension to look forward to, a successful CIA operative has many perks and options, not to mention the black market.

"Once you’re a CIA agent, you’re not expected to report to headquarters all the time. The CIA doesn’t micro-manage. You have a lot more freedom," said Valentine. "You work for the CIA and succeed, and everything’s possible. Sex, money, power, travel. You’re like James Bond. The regular army guy who fought to save his life in Vietnam, what did he have to come back to? A young, ambitious CIA agent, on the other hand, could really make a life for himself."

Valentine’s next book, The Strength of the Wolf, will be published by Verso in the spring of 2004.

Click here to read Engel’s review of TDY.

ADAM ENGEL can be reached at: bartleby.samsa@verizon.net.