FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The CIA: Surprise, Kill, Vanish

International Criminal Court (ICC) Logo

The International Criminal Court (ICC) which prosecutes crimes against humanity is under attack again by the Trump Administration for pursuing Americans. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama supported it. George W. Bush tried to close it down but then decided to cooperate with it. Donald Trump is against it and encouraged John Bolton, his National Security Advisor, to publically savage it earlier this month.

To be published in May is a first-rate book on the CIA, its paramilitary armies, operators and assassins. The book is still under wraps so I can’t break the embargo by telling you its title and author. All I can say is that it’s meat for the ICC.

The CIA crosses the moral lines all the time: Surprise your target, torture or kill your enemy, vanish without a trace. Then deny it. That was and is its intent – as described in riveting, well-researched detail.

The whole book should be read by prosecutors everywhere, not least those on the ICC. It should propel them into more regular prosecutions of Americans. The book tells the awful story in accessible detail.

This kind of systematically organized secret activity was begun by the British during World War 2, the Special Operations Executive, (SOE), which evolved into James Bond’s MI6. It crossed the Atlantic to become the OSS and later the CIA, although President Harry Truman thought, “soldiers of democracy do not fight guerrilla wars. Gentlemen do not slit throats”, as the author puts it. He closed down the OSS.

The same reservations were held by many British generals. When SOE  hatched a plan to assassinate Hitler they opposed it, worrying that it could open the way to a war crimes trial. The plan was scrapped. But over in Washington a young Bill Casey, head of the OSS’s operations in Europe, hatched his own plan.

Casey was later to become director of the CIA, and a ruthless one under President Ronald Reagan. General Dwight Eisenhower overruled the Hitler operation – he had deployed the army close to Hitler’s mountain residence and it was planning to capture him.

In 1947 Truman had changed his mind, worried that Stalin was intent of expanding the borders of the Soviet Union (which we now know from an overwhelming majority of historians knowledgeable about this period was a false fear). Congress passed the National Security Act and the CIA was formed.

Its first test was not in Eastern Europe, it was when North Korea with Chinese military help invaded the South. Truman decided to fight. The CIA concentrated on behind-the-lines paramilitary actions. But there were dozens of disastrous operations. Thousands of anti-communist foreign fighters and their American handlers were parachuted into North Korea, never to return.

The next big effort was in Guatemala. The CIA easily deposed a left-leaning president, said to be a “communist”, set on reforming the distribution of land in a country where 2% of the people owned 70% of the land. A right wing dictator was installed. Over the next half century the majority Indian population was cruelly suppressed by a government and army, supported by a majority of the white colonial population.

Guatemala was where Che Guevara studied to be a doctor. He wanted to work with the resistance but the militia movement assigned him to hospital work. Much later, after the Cuban revolution when he worked side by side with Fidel Castro, he was assassinated in Bolivia by CIA-trained local troops as he tried to organize a revolution.

Those who like wearing Che t-shirts should know he was an advocate of nuclear war against the US. So extreme was he that Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev asked Castro to shut him up.

When it came to nuclear weapons it was the US which was far more dangerous. In the early 1960s operatives trained in the waters off the coast of Okinawa in Japan. Launched from a submarine, they set off to emplace a tactical nuclear weapon into the target area.

They carried a real atomic weapon.

In the Congo in the 1960s, the CIA helped the successful effort to assassinate the anti-Western prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. Next was the effort to kill Castro, a plot initiated by President Eisenhower- the Bay of Pigs. It failed miserably.

Vietnam was the next big CIA operation.

Interestingly, CIA director Allen Dulles told President Eisenhower in 1954 that a majority of the Vietnamese supported the communist-led Viet Minh. His advice was ignored. The CIA was active during the war. Once, it aided the military by performing a landscape analysis to see where it would be best to use a nuclear bomb.

Jumping to 2000, the CIA’s great achievement was to track down Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. President Barack Obama ordered a commando raid on his house and he was killed. Obama shut down the CIA’s “torture program” but he had few reservations about using CIA drones to assassinate Taliban and ISIS soldiers and supporters.

Trump wants to re-establish the torture program but hasn’t yet. The CIA dare not ask for it.

Meanwhile, the ICC gets ready to prosecute American soldiers and CIA operatives. There is more to come, and so there should be.

The ICC should not be deterred by Trump and Bolton.

Copyright: Jonathan Power

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 18, 2019
Timothy M. Gill
Bernie Sanders, Anti-Imperialism and Venezuela
W. T. Whitney
Cuba and a New Generation of Leaders Respond to U.S. Anti-People War
Jonathan Cook
How the Goliath of the Jerusalem Settler Movement Persuaded the World It’s Really David
William Hartung
Merger Mania: the Military-Industrial Complex on Steroids
John G. Russell
The Devolution Will Be Televised: Our Body-cam President
Judith Deutsch
Psychology Stories: Children
Dean Baker
The Coal Industry is Not a Major Employer
Binoy Kampmark
Corporate Gangster: Adani’s Pursuit of Scientists
Thomas Knapp
National Polls Don’t Mean Much. Here’s Why.
Thomas Mountain
Africans Solving African Problems; Bringing Peace to Sudan
Ann Garrison
History Is Happening: WikiLeaks, the Global Fourth Estate
Elliot Sperber
Don’t Open the Door 
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail