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:
July 14, 2020
Anthony DiMaggio
Canceling the Cancel Culture: Enriching Discourse or Dumbing it Down?
Patrick Cockburn
Boris Johnson Should not be Making New Global Enemies When His Country is in a Shambles
Frank Joyce
Lift From the Bottom? Yes.
Richard C. Gross
The Crackdown on Foreign Students
Steven Salaita
Should We Cancel “Cancel Culture”?
Paul Street
Sorry, the Chicago Blackhawks Need to Change Their Name and Logo
Jonathan Cook
‘Cancel Culture’ Letter is About Stifling Free Speech, Not Protecting It
John Feffer
The Global Rushmore of Autocrats
C. Douglas Lummis
Pillar of Sand in Okinawa
B. Nimri Aziz
Soft Power: Americans in Its Grip at Home Must Face the Mischief It Wields by BNimri Aziz July 11/2020
Cesar Chelala
What was lost when Ringling Bros. Left the Circus
Dan Bacher
California Regulators Approve 12 New Permits for Chevron to Frack in Kern County
George Wuerthner
Shrinking Wilderness in the Gallatin Range
Lawrence Davidson
Woodrow Wilson’s Racism: the Basis For His Support of Zionism
Binoy Kampmark
Mosques, Museums and Politics: the Fate of Hagia Sophia
Dean Baker
Propaganda on Government Action and Inequality from David Leonhardt
July 13, 2020
Gerald Sussman
The Russiagate Spectacle: Season 2?
Ishmael Reed
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Perry Mason Moment
Jack Rasmus
Why the 3rd Quarter US Economic ‘Rebound’ Will Falter
W. T. Whitney
Oil Comes First in Peru, Not Coronavirus Danger, Not Indigenous Rights
Ralph Nader
The Enduring Case for Demanding Trump’s Resignation
Raghav Kaushik – Arun Gupta
On Coronavirus and the Anti-Police-Brutality Uprising
Deborah James
Digital Trade Rules: a Disastrous New Constitution for the Global Economy Written by and for Big Tech
Howard Lisnoff
Remembering the Nuclear Freeze Movement and Its Futility
Sam Pizzigati
Will the Biden-Sanders Economic Task Force Rattle the Rich?
Allen Baker
Trump’s Stance on Foreign College Students Digs US Economic Hole Even Deeper
Binoy Kampmark
The Coronavirus Seal: Victoria’s Borders Close
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Power, Knowledge and Virtue
Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail