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
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail