Monday, December 9, 2019

Part 12:The CIA as Organized Crime...How the Government tries to Mess with your Mind...Disguising Obama's Dirty Wars

The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt 
America and the World
By Douglas Valentine

Chapter 20  
LEW ROCKWELL: Those of us who were interested in the Church Hearings, which we don’t hear much about anymore, learned about Operation Mockingbird, the CIA’s program to take control of the US media. Has Operation Mockingbird continued? Is the American mainstream media pretty much a PR operation for the CIA? 

VALENTINE: Mockingbird, as you know, was a program the CIA launched in the early 1950s to influence the mass media. CIA officers Cord Meyer and Frank Wisner are credited with creating Mockingbird. Meyer, through his friendship with the owner of Random House, tried to suppress Al McCoy’s book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, in 1972. Wisner famously referred to the CIA’s army of Morley Safer-style assets in the publishing and journalism world as the Mighty Wurlitzer, which he could turn on and off whenever he wished. Wisner’s son, by the way, served in the Phoenix program. 

In her book, Katherine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post, Deborah Davis said that “By the early 1950s,” according to Deborah Davis, “Wisner had implemented his plan and ‘owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS, and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst.” 1 Carl Bernstein, citing CIA documents, said basically the same thing in his famous 1977 expose for Rolling Stone, “The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up.” 

The CIA established a strategic intelligence network of magazines and publishing houses, as well as student and cultural organizations, and used them as front organizations for covert operations, including political and psychological warfare operations directed against American citizens. In other nations, the program was aimed what Cord Meyer called the Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced. 

All of that is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world, and many people don’t even realize they are part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line. “Assad’s a butcher,” they say, or “Putin kills journalists,” or “China is repressive.” They have no idea what they’re talking about, but they spout all this propaganda. 

Nowadays it goes way beyond the CIA. Several government agencies are propagandizing not only the American people but the world. This includes the State Department and the military. The military is the nation’s biggest advertiser, I believe, and the media depends on its revenue. Television, especially, isn’t dependent on viewers, but on advertisers. So the media is probably more financially dependent on the military and the State Department than it is on the CIA. But the CIA laid the groundwork. 

The question one has to ask, given all this propaganda, is what makes CIA propaganda different than State Department or military propaganda, or even the red white and blue advertisements being thrown at the American people every second of every day. Everywhere you look there are signs wrapped in American flags selling things, and that’s propaganda too, it’s just emanating from the Business Party. What makes CIA propaganda different? 

ROCKWELL: You make an interesting point about advertising. Doesn’t the DEA do a huge amount of advertising, too? 

VALENTINE: Well, sure. The DEA is selling the notion that America is the victim in the War on Drugs. It spouts this kind of nonsense at Congressional hearings and through taxpayer-funded propaganda campaigns like DARE and Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” idiocy. They coordinate their message with state and local law enforcement agencies and their civil offshoots. The DEA claims foreign countries like Mexico are pushing drugs on us, and therefore the DEA needs $50 billion-a-year to police the world and stop these horrible people, most of whom don’t look like “us”. Meanwhile, the American demand for drugs persists and the war goes on and on. But the propaganda is convincing, and Americans feel good that it’s not their demand that’s fueling the problem; it’s the fault of a couple of cartels in Mexico. 

The FBI has a huge propaganda machine too. Gangbuster J Edgar Hoover understood how to promote FBI agents as heroic “crime stoppers”, as the good guys who got John Dillinger. Like the DEA, Hoover knew how to manipulate statistics, and how to go after the proper criminals to promote the interests of his fiefdom. The government is composed of huge bureaucracies like the FBI and DEA, all competing for federal taxpayer dollars. They each have their own propaganda machine, which exist primarily for bureaucratic reasons, so that they can get a bigger piece of the federal budget. 

There are all sorts of reasons for propaganda, and many types of propaganda, and the CIA is one of the agencies engaged in self-promotion to get more of your money. But the CIA also has operational reasons for using propaganda to target particular people or nations. 

ROCKWELL: What is it that differentiates CIA propaganda from all the rest of these agencies? 

VALENTINE: The CIA advances the unstated goals and policies of the United States government, as opposed to the State Department, whose propaganda is promoting its stated objectives – which of course are wrapped in the same kinds of circumlocutions and euphemisms the CIA and military use. The language is pretty much the same for whichever agency is propagandizing, which adds to the confusion about where it’s coming from. 

The purpose of CIA propaganda is to create plausible deniability: to hide or disguise the fact that it is the source of a particular piece of misinformation designed to mislead the American public. It has briefing officers who tell PR people in other government agencies what to say, to hide the fact that it is engaged in a particular covert action that is designed to start a war or that supports a terrorist group, or subverts a friendly government, or promotes a fascist political party in Ukraine or a military dictatorship in South America – the sorts of things that if the public was to find out that the US government is doing them, would cause the president and the government embarrassment, like the attempted Gülen coup in Turkey. Journalists, of course, report all these carefully scripted communiques as fact. 

The CIA is in charge of doing the things that are illegal and antidemocratic. Its propaganda is generally referred to as “gray” or “black” propaganda. Black propaganda is used to completely disguise CIA operations and blame them on someone else, be they friends or enemies. Gray propaganda uses questionable sources, the sort of anonymous sources Seymour Hersh is famous for using. 

I’ll give some examples. The CIA introduced New York Times reporter Chris Hedges to two Iraqi defectors who claimed, in November 2001, that Saddam Hussein was training terrorists to attack America. That’s black propaganda. It was completely untrue but the lies could be blamed on the Iraqi defectors. 

The Ben Affleck film Argo, winner of multiple awards, told a fictionalized story of the CIA’s successful rescue of several Embassy employees held Hostage in Tehran in 1979 and 1980. It was based on a book written by a CIA officer and the CIA helped produce the film through its old boy network and its “Entertainment Industry” liaison office. The CIA has an office that works with Hollywood. If a film is pro-CIA, it provides advisors. That’s propaganda designed to rewrite history – in this case the Canadians had more to do with the rescue than the CIA – and to give the CIA a good name and portray its officers as happy-go-lucky heroes. 

Journalists writing articles and authors of political books on current affairs tend to deliver CIA propaganda, some wittingly, others because they’re stupid. There is an obscure discipline known as “the interpretation of intelligence literature” that involves studying these texts, like rabbis studying the Talmud for eschatological meaning, or English Lit majors wondering why Eliot said, “Madame Blavatsky will instruct me in the Seven Sacred Trances.” There’s an esoteric quality to propaganda that can drive some people crazy trying to figure it out. Some CIA officers spend their careers trying to unravel Russian propaganda. Some end up paranoid, seeing enemy agents everywhere. That’s why Colby fired James Angleton – Angleton thought Colby was a Russian agent. 

Sometimes, however, it is easy to identify and discern the meaning behind CIA propaganda. 

Back in 2011, reporter Jeff Stein wrote an article about Fethullah Gülen, the American-based Turkish exile I referenced above. Gülen was accused of trying to overthrow Prime Minister Erdoğan in July 2016. In his article, Stein referred to a memoir written by Osman Nuri Gundes, “a top former Turkish intelligence official” who alleged that the Gülen movement “has been providing cover for the CIA since the mid-1990s.” Citing the Paris-based Intelligence Online newsletter, Stein reported that the movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone.” 2 

Having CIA agents operating out of schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan sounds like something the CIA would do. It’s a great way of manipulating a social and political movement. Case officers could easily place principal agents (PAs) in the schools. The PAs could run agent nets or even assassins into Russia as legal travelers. Maybe the schools are spreading CIA propaganda; it was certainly influencing political and social movements. It may even front for a drug smuggling apparatus, here and in Central Asia. 

Journalists like Stein know they have to look to foreign magazines and sources to get the true story about what the CIA is doing. At the same time, they have to maintain their “credibility” here in the States, which means they have to report the CIA line. Being a responsible journalist, Stein contacted two former CIA officers who both said the allegations were untrue, that the CIA would never do anything like that. So whom do you believe; the CIA or your own lying eyes? Stein’s is not an article one needs to pick apart for hours, trying to figure out if it’s gray or black propaganda, or Russian disinformation. 

The New York Times, however, functions as the CIA’s protector and thus dutifully published a series of stories that did their best to bury under a mound of disinformation and overtly biased reporting any hint that Gülen is a CIA agent. One article, steeped in schmaltz, described Gülen as a “moderate” who “promotes interfaith dialogue, leads a worldwide network of charities and secular schools, favors good relations with Israel and opposes harder-line Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.” 3 

According to The New York Times, and as universally adopted as truth by its readers, someone who favors Israel and opposes Hamas is all right, even if, as it acknowledged, “a former C.I.A. official helped [Gülen] get a green card.” 

The Times reporters did not explain that the CIA routinely creates and manipulates social and political movements like Gülen’s and keeps them in place for decades until the time is right to launch a coup. They didn’t explain that the Gülen movement ran one of Turkey’s largest, most anti-Erdoğan newspapers, or that the CIA uses such newspapers to spread propaganda before a coup. Instead, they cited Gülen’s denials and his defenders, at length. One expert said the Gülen movement was a “golden generation of young people who are educated in science, but have Muslim ethics.” 

No one in the media will examine the network of schools the Gülen “movement” has planted in the US, to see if they are part of an elaborate CIA counter-espionage operation, like Operation Twofold (see Chapter 12), through which the CIA is hiding an operational unit that bumps off Gülen’s political opponents. The fact that the mainstream media never looked too deeply into it proves it is a CIA operation.

Indeed, the media does exactly the opposite. Within days of the coup, the writers group PEN, which functions as a propaganda arm of the Israeli government and the CIA, sent all its members an urgent request to sign a petition to the Turkish government protesting the arrest of journalists involved in the coup. PEN never mentioned that many of the arrested journalists were, by virtue of their anti-Erdoğan work on behalf of Gülen, tacitly working for the CIA. The purpose of signing such a meaningless petition is not to put pressure on Turkey, but to shape the assumptions of PEN’s deluded members, to make them hate Turkey, which is not Israel’s best friend. 

ROCKWELL: The CIA has always specialized in assassinations; the military, too. But now we have the president openly assassinating people and claiming he has the right to. In the earliest days, the CIA was allegedly prevented from operating within the US. I think that was always a myth. Now, the CIA is just openly and massively involved here. Do you think it is committing assassinations here as well? 

VALENTINE: It’s impossible to prove. You’ll never find a document that says the president ordered the CIA to kill some critic like Senator Paul Wellstone when Wellstone died in a suspicious plane crash. You’re never going to find any proof that can be used in a court of law that would show the CIA conducted that kind of a political assassination within the United States. The CIA doesn’t conduct that kind of an operation unless it’s deniable. 

My inclination, based on everything I know about the CIA, is that, yes, they do. But I can’t prove it because of the reasons I’ve just stated. They get the Mafia to pay some petty crook to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., and then work with what Fletcher Prouty called the “Secret Team” to cover it up. 

ROCKWELL: What’s your opinion of Philip Agee’s book Inside the Company: CIA Diary? He was, of course, a former CIA agent who wrote about just how many people were on the payroll and how many people were controlled by the agency. Is that a persuasive book? 

VALENTINE: Absolutely, it is. Modern history of the CIA begins with Agee and his revelations. Nothing Agee said has been disproved. His fatal mistake was telling the truth, naming over a hundred CIA officers and linking some of them to specific crimes. He was easily discredited on that basis alone. And anyone who reads Agee and responds rationally to his revelations is also, by association, a traitor. His revelations were akin to the collateral murder video Chelsea Manning gave to Wikileaks. Manning was tormented and imprisoned for revealing the truth about what the CIA and military really do, which is the equivalent of treason in America. Agee was never imprisoned, but he was threatened and forced to settle in Cuba. 

Agee and his publishers revealed the inner workings of the CIA. It’s not a coincidence that the Church Hearings followed pretty much on the heels of his revelations. A lot of things were coming out in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but Agee and later John Stockwell were the only CIA officers ever to reveal the CIA’s criminal deeds and, more importantly criminal intentions, in operational detail. 

That will never happen again. After Agee and Stockwell, the CIA placed one of its officers, Rob Simmons [see Chapter 15], in the Senate Intelligence Committee where Simmons shepherded the Agent Identities Act into law. It’s now illegal to name CIA officers and if you do, you go to prison like John Kiriakou, who exposed the CIA’s use of waterboarding. That repressive measure was the legal outcome of Agee’s revelations. 

ROCKWELL: We’re finding out just now a lot more information about the Paris Review, a very influential literary publication, being, in effect, a CIA front. I’ve always been interested in National Review, one of my least-favorite publications, which was founded by Bill Buckley, a former CIA agent – maybe I should put “former” in quotes. A number of other former CIA people were also involved. This is a magazine that set out as its goal to destroy any anti-war feelings on the so-called right. Do you think that the National Review was a CIA operation too, like the Paris Review

VALENTINE: I’m glad that you asked that question, because there are CIA “agents” who work for a CIA case officer and are on the payroll; and then there are people, in this case media propagandists, who do it for “love”. They inform on colleagues or otherwise help a spy agency for ideological reasons. Buckley is a perfect example of this. There are people who, by predilection, appear to be CIA officers, but are simply ideologically in sync with it and would do these things anyway. In Buckley’s case, it isn’t necessary to try to distinguish whether he was an agent of the CIA or just somebody doing it out of, like I say, love. 

Where you need to focus is not on people whose ideology is the same as the CIA’s, but on the left, which in my usage of the term include liberals. The Nation, for example, is a popular leftist/liberal magazine. Would The Nation promote the CIA line in a particular instance? Could it be infiltrated? Could the CIA be directing some of its efforts, in critical situations? The CIA doesn’t have to infiltrate and direct the Ultras. It directs its efforts at what Cord Meyer called the “Compatible Left.” Cord Meyer was associated with Operation Mockingbird, which was a way of “courting” the Compatible Left. This is what the CIA does. It’s not courting Bill Buckley or the National Review, because the Ultras already love the CIA and know exactly what to say about it. They say the same things as the CIA anyway. The CIA penetrates the media that pretend to be non-partisan or leftist. The further to the left a magazine or a media outlet is, that’s where the CIA would be found. 

ROCKWELL: For example, the Congress for Cultural Freedom in the early years, too. 

VALENTINE: Yes. The CIA doesn’t have to tell The New York Times what to say. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr and his staff know what to say. They’re on the CIA’s wavelength. They have the same interests and exist within the same stratospheric economic and political class. 

The CIA wants to know what everyone is thinking and planning, from Marine Le Pen to Benjamin Netanyahu to Bashar al-Assad. It is trying to influence everyone to as great an extent as possible. It’s infiltrating Socialist parties and trying to bring them over to the freewheeling capitalist model. They’re going to concentrate in areas that are thought to harbor enemies of the United States, like the Chinese and Russians. They’re going to infiltrate troublesome domestic groups as well. They’re going to try to move the Black Lives Matter people to moderate their positions on equality. They’re commandeering emigre groups like Gülen’s and redirecting them against foreign opponents within the United States. But mostly they are trying to adjust American public opinion to support intervention abroad; arming Israel and Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to keep the oil flowing. 

ROCKWELL: You know, Doug, if somebody wanted to learn about the CIA, what would be the books that you would tell them to read? 

VALENTINE: Regarding propaganda, people should read Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, and Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda, both by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. For books about the CIA, I’d recommend Agee’s and Stockwell’s books, as well as Victor Marchetti’s The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. Another book from days gone by is Fletcher Prouty’s The Secret Team, which does the best job explaining how the CIA hides itself in other agencies and how its briefing officers write the script for the rest of the government. I’d stay away from books written by anyone working for The New York Times. If you read books about the CIA by Evan Thomas or Tim Weiner, do so with a block of salt; they’re basically advocating hero worship. I’d also stay away from academic books that rely on official documents, all of which (including the Pentagon Papers, as Prouty explains) have all the credibility of Bob Kerrey’s after-action report, the one that said his SEAL team killed 21 VC, instead of 21 women and children. 

Those early books are important, but the CIA has undergone significant organizational changes in the last 15 years. The clandestine services have been reorganized and are under new names. It’s a shell game. So these older books refer to the CIA organizationally in ways that are outdated, although the policies and practices haven’t changed. 

It’s important to read whatever information the CIA publishes about its organizational structure. It has a website that sketches its organizational structure, its different branches and divisions and what they do, in a straightforward way. Looking at its organizational chart is the first step, while keeping in mind that, as with any organization, channels of power flow off the organizational chart. An organization like the CIA has back channels and ways of doing things that defy any kind of structural analysis. 

It’s difficult to understand, like higher mathematics or the petrochemical industry. It takes serious study and a lot of effort. You have to read a lot of books and you have to stay up to date. A serious student has to read a lot of translated foreign publications on the subject as well. You have to get into the details. 

For example, in 1989 there was an article in Marine Corps Gazette talking about modern warfare. That was 27 years ago. The authors of this article said, “The new type of warfare will be widely dispersed and largely undefined. The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. There will be no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between civilian and military will disappear. Success will depend heavily on effectiveness and joint operations, as the lines between responsibility and mission become blurred.” 4 

The kicker in the article was when they said that, “This new type of warfare will depend on psychological operations manifested in the form of media information intervention.” 

All of this became standard operating procedure, at home and abroad, in terms of the military and CIA intervening in media information. 

The article said, “One must be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion. On this new psychological battlefield, television news may become a more powerful operational weapon then armored divisions.” 

Twenty-seven years ago, before the Internet, the military was talking about how, in the global village, national boundary lines would vanish and the US would become the dominant power and influence events everywhere through the control of information. The article predicted that propaganda and psychological operations would become the defining factor in shaping political and social affairs. 

This was before Facebook allowed people to talk to people in Brazil or the Philippines, or enemy nations like Russia or China. This was before we could read Russia Today and get information from sources that contradict the official US line. The military and State Department and CIA understood that this was evolving and were making plans to control it. 

To become an individual who can look at all this information, and understand that the CIA is covertly trying to manipulate it – to make you think, feel and behave a certain way – well, that is a breathtakingly complex thing to do. It’s almost impossible to try to figure out where a particular piece of information is coming from – is it from the State Department or the military or the CIA? As the Marine Corps Gazette said, the boundaries have vanished. The information is so rapid and overwhelming and mixed in with corporate messages, other kinds of messages that are coming at us. It’s just like the person who wrote that article said: it’s a blur. Guy Debord talks about it in The Society of the Spectacle. 

How can people adapt themselves, and adjust their assumptions about reality, in order to be able to discern, within a media spectacle that produced Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate, what is really happening and where messages are coming from? It’s an incredible challenge. People are so overwhelmed and alienated, they tend to withdraw – which is how Trump could create and control a social and political movement through Tweets and symbolic messages. How can anyone begin to sort this out by reading a few books, if you see what I’m trying to say? 

ROCKWELL: But it still is possible, isn’t it? It’s just a matter of a lot of work? 

VALENTINE: Oh, it’s possible, because all the information is there. 

ROCKWELL: One last question. This is a huge question, so you may just want to sort of skip over it lightly. But since you’re an expert on the DEA as well as the CIA, what about the story of CIA drug running? Is it true that, in the late 1940s, it began to get involved in the Golden Triangle and so forth, and maybe until recently, used drugs for political and maybe financial purposes?

VALENTINE: It’s true. As I’ve explained elsewhere, the CIA made a point of infiltrating the DEA under the Nixon administration, as a result of rising addiction in the US being tied to the CIA’s drug networks in the Far East. All that was being exposed. But prior to that, the CIA didn’t have to tell the people who ran the DEA or its predecessor organizations that the drug wars were essentially political, and dependent on psychological warfare. 

Starting in 1949, it was official US policy to blame Communist China for America’s drug problem. It was not true. But the CIA didn’t need to tell the old Bureau of Narcotics to do that. The commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, was one of the great propagandists of all time. He associated pot smoking with Mexicans trying to seduce white women; he associated heroin addictions with black musicians. He manipulated statistics in order to aim his agents at a rogues’ gallery of despised minorities and leftist organizations. 

Anslinger taught the CIA how to propagandize. He helped form the OSS. One of his senior agents, Garland Williams, went to England in 1942 with a man named Millard Preston Goodfellow, who was a Hearst executive and owned the Brooklyn Eagle. Williams and newspaper magnate Goodfellow were members of the Office of the Coordinator of Information. They went to England and met with John Keswick, who ran England’s Special Operations Executive. Keswick had been involved in the opium trade in China and, based on that knowledge and experience, was put in charge of England’s Special Operations Executive, which conducted dirty tricks in World War Two. Williams and Goodfellow returned to Washington with the SOE’s training manuals and set up the OSS. 

In other words, the guys who created the CIA included a narcotics agent who taught OSS officers how to avoid the security forces of foreign nations, which is what the narcotics people had been doing for decades. Not surprisingly, it was a newspaper man who taught the OSS how to control the message. 

This stuff is standard operating procedure. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the DEA, CIA, FBI or the military. These people all know what to do. They mostly do it for their own different bureaucratic reasons, but the CIA ultimately controls the final product. 

ROCKWELL: Well, Doug Valentine, thank you for what you do. This is not the sort of career that leads to power and wealth. You’ve chosen the path of truth and of teaching truth, and we’re all very much in your debt. Please come back on the show again. This has been terrific. 

VALENTINE: You’re very welcome. I would love to.

Chapter 21  
In a speech to West Point cadets delivered in early December 2009, President Barack Obama declared, “We’re in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading throughout that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That’s why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border.” 1 

The hackneyed phrasing and use of the buzzword “cancer” signaled that Obama’s “troop surge” in Afghanistan, announced a week earlier in direct opposition to his campaign promises to reduce US military presence in Muslim nations, would adhere to the dictates of what the CIA calls political and psychological warfare, the cornerstones of any counterinsurgency. 

As I’ve stressed throughout this text, political and psychological warfare depends on information management; in this case, the careful revising of history and official government communiques to conceal the fact that American covert actions and unstated policies, including its reliance on drug-trafficking warlords, were responsible for the so-called “cancer” in the first place. 

Indeed, at a meeting a month before Obama announced the surge, the US Ambassador in Kabul advised against a large buildup of forces, according to one report, “as long as the Karzai government remained unreformed.” 2 Regional commander General David Petraeus “told Mr. Obama to think of elements of the Karzai government like ‘a crime syndicate.’ Ambassador Eikenberry was suggesting, in effect, that America could not get in bed with the mob.” 

All of this rhetoric was completely disingenuous, given that America had installed the Karzai crime syndicate in the first place. 

Let’s review the actual history. America’s ignoble defeat in Vietnam in 1975 did not end its militant anti-Communist jihad, which President Carter simply repackaged and sold as a policy of promoting “human rights.” While Carter was preaching “human rights,” his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was secretly subverting the pro-Soviet regime that had ascended in Afghanistan in 1978. The covert actions began immediately and consisted of CIA case officers recruiting, funding, arming and forming warlords from Afghanistan’s non-Pashtun ethnic groups into the infamous Northern Alliance. Through allied Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia, the CIA also recruited mercenaries like Osama bin Laden and aimed them against the secular Communists. 

Brzezinski’s big idea was to provoke Soviet military intervention and drag the Russians into a debilitating Vietnam-style war through a carefully sustained insurgency. The “cancer” America was eradicating at the time was Communism, along with its goals of income equality and the liberation of Afghan women, who were encouraged to attend universities and get jobs. 

Like Monsanto selling dioxin-laced herbicides to happy American suburbanites as the solution to their lawn problems, the CIA launched an information campaign to convince Muslims that communism was antithetical to Islam’s basic tenets, such as the belief in God. To wipe out the commie weeds, the CIA created the mujahideen, paving the way for al Qaeda. It created the civil war that destroyed Afghanistan’s emerging, modern society. 

Just as mighty US corporations in search of profits produce the toxins that create actual cancer, the CIA created the conditions that prompted the traumatized Taliban to arise from the ashes of the CIA-provoked civil war in an attempt to restore law and some semblance of order to their nation. 

If Obama really wanted to rid the world of cancer, maybe he should have bombed Monsanto, or sicced his death squads on the tobacco companies? 

While we’re on the subject of carcinogens, Obama borrowed a page from Carter and, while visiting Vietnam in the spring of 2016, chided the Hanoi government for “human rights” violations. He did so without acknowledging the horrific plague of cancers the US visited on Vietnam through the systematic spraying of some 20 million gallons of Agent Orange over 12 % of Vietnam, adversely affecting over 3 million innocent people. And don’t think this is Vietnam War history; it’s a huge problem today. 

As Marjorie Cohn noted in December 2015, “Those exposed to Agent Orange during the war often have children and grandchildren with serious illnesses and disabilities. The international scientific community has identified an association between exposure to Agent Orange and some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam as well as to U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in this country.” 3 

Individual CIA officers made liberal use of poisons in Vietnam as early as 1961, when, according to Tom Ahern in his book Vietnam Declassified, CIA officer Ralph Johnson’s Vietnamese counterpart “proposed deploying special teams to poison VC rice depots, booby trap VC munitions depots, kill or capture VC cadre in ambushes or in raids on Communist-controlled villages, and gather intelligence. Johnson endorsed this program, saying he expected it to tie down VietCong military forces and reduce Communist pressure on Montagnard villages.” 4 

While stationed in Kien Hoa Province in 1964, Ahern proposed “the use of sophisticated booby traps, incendiaries, and materials toxic to livestock in areas considered to be under uncontested Communist control.” Ahern encouraged this despite “the possibility of civilian casualties and suggested using leaflet drops to warn that persons using particular routes now incurred mortal danger.” 5 

CIA officers like Ahern were well aware of the cancer they were spreading. The US government, along with its British allies, developed dioxin in the 1940s as a weapon of war ostensibly to destroy Nazi and Japanese crops. They had known since the 1950s that it (along with nuclear fallout) was a lethal cancer causing agent. The US also knew what would happen to its own expendable soldiers, as well as the Vietnamese people, by saturating Vietnam with dioxin, just as it knew what would happen when it planted the mujahideen cancer in Afghanistan. 

When asked if he regretted creating terrorists, Brzezinski replied: “What is most important to the history of the world; the Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?” 6 

When asked by Leslie Stahl if she regretted that US sanctions on Iraq had led to the death of half-a-million children, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “We think the price is worth it.” 

Albright’s comment was made on 60 Minutes in 1996, but, as reported by Rahul Mahajan, “a Dow Jones search of mainstream news sources since September 11 turns up only one reference to the quote – in an op-ed in the Orange County Register (9/16/01). This omission is striking, given the major role that Iraq sanctions play in the ideology of archenemy Osama bin Laden; his recruitment video features pictures of Iraqi babies wasting away from malnutrition and lack of medicine (New York Daily News, 9/28/01). The inference that Albright and the terrorists may have shared a common rationale – a belief that the deaths of thousands of innocents are a price worth paying to achieve one’s political ends – does not seem to be one that can be made in U.S. mass media.” 7 

Commenting in October 2011 about her needless destruction of Libya and the ramming of a knife up Muammar Qaddafi’s rectum, Hillary Clinton chortled majestically, We came. We saw. He died.” Being an exceptional American means never having to say you’re sorry. If you’re a top American leader, it also means never going to prison. 

Left as Right 
Delivered a week after he addressed cadets at West Point, Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech (in which he boasted about ordering the Guantanamo torture center closed) marked an important juncture for him as he took on the job of selling more war in Afghanistan. It didn’t matter that American hands had already been stained by the blood of thousands of innocents killed in bombing raids. 

Never mind all that innocent blood; Obama’s double-talk was hailed by neoconservatives who believed they had, surprisingly, found in the young biracial President a far more effective spokesman for their interventionist causes than the inarticulate, buffoonish George W. Bush. 

“The shift in rhetoric at Oslo was striking,” observed neocon theorist Robert Kagan in a Washington Post op-ed. “Gone was the vaguely left-revisionist language that flavored earlier speeches, highlighting the low points of American global leadership – the coups and ill-considered wars – and low-balling the highlights, such as the Cold War triumph.” 8 

But then, those words were intended for the American public, with a view to winning an election. Indeed, in his Oslo speech, Obama shoved six decades of bloody “low points” behind one five-word clause, “whatever mistakes we have made.” 9 

Obama more than willingly shouldered the job of arms salesman for the war in Afghanistan; he reveled in his role as custodian of the “Kill List” and boasted of his power to cross international borders to assassinate Taliban leaders in Pakistan and later, an American citizen in Yemen. Under Obama’s stewardship, the role of the president evolved from moral leader to Predator drone orchestrator conducting surgical hits. 

Being a tough guy who enjoys murder is also a popular stance in America: Obama leaves office in the summer of 2016 with a 51% approval rating. 

But it was never necessary for Obama to win the support of the majority of the American public for the War on Terror; programmed Americans instinctively rally around the flag and support the troops. It is the knee-jerk reaction Obama and the National Security Establishment counted on when they sent 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. And even though the surge would eventually count among “mistakes we made,” decades of political and psychological warfare have successfully shifted the responsibility for those mistakes from leaders with good intentions onto the general public, which has as its only obligation the moral imperative to support the troops. 

The trick is to make the public feel, every day in every way, that there is an ongoing, urgent need for wars they must support. So Obama packaged his surge as a cure for cancer. He made it an involuntary matter of personal survival, like the radiation and chemotherapy treatments that take a terrible toll on a patient’s body, but are necessary if the patient wants to live. 

Fifteen years after Bush invaded Afghanistan and provoked its current civil war, the American public is still paying for some magical cure that will stop the fear and insecurity its leaders created; a condition of psychological dependence that makes the public incapable of shaking off its political oppressors here at home. 

Beyond relying on alternating doses of medicinal fear and patriotism, Obama’s incestuous war council (symbolized by the marriage of neo-con Robert Kagan and Obama’s neo-liberal Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland) knows that public confusion is helpful. Most Americans don’t have the time to learn what really happened in Afghanistan – in this case, that there was never an “insurgency” to counter, but rather a resistance movement to American military occupation by Afghan nationalists. 

One could say that America’s unstated policy of conquest through massive corruption was a mistake. Or one could say that the National Security Establishment wanted to control the drug trade and use the profits to train a new generation of special operations forces (who since 9/11 primarily invade private homes at midnight on targeted “snatch and snuff” missions, and thus refer to themselves as “door kickers”) while colonizing Afghanistan and using it as a base to subvert Russia and China. 

Either way you say it, that’s what intentionally happened, and will continue to happen.

What Is Counterinsurgency? 
In his speeches, President Obama defines America’s objectives in Afghanistan as: 1) suppressing the Taliban resistance forces to American military occupation and the corrupt puppet regime the US installed in 2001; 2) eliminating several Arab terrorists; and 3) creating a stable, pro-American government and economic infrastructure. 

David Galula, author of Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice and a recognized authority on the matter, stressed that counterinsurgency includes “building or rebuilding a political apparatus within the population.” 10 

In this sense any counterinsurgency is also an insurgency; it just depends on who is telling the story, and when the story begins. In Afghanistan, the Taliban ruled for several years until the CIA’s Northern Alliance drove them out. Since the civil war, there have been two governments. 

Obama’s successor will continue to define the Taliban as the insurgents. But the Taliban, who by 2005 once again controlled many parts of Afghanistan, view the Americans as invaders backing a corrupt insurgency that undermines traditional Muslim law. 

As every government propagandist knows, the essence of existence is no longer “to be or not to be,” but to define or be defined. Thus, “military occupation” is not a phrase one hears when Americans tell the story of Afghanistan. One only hears the word “counterinsurgency.” But the US military’s strategy for defeating the Taliban has always been to “clear and hold” territory the corrupt warlords on its payroll covet for economic purposes. 

To “clear and hold” means to drive the resistance out of their secure areas in the countryside through Phoenix-style operations perfected in Vietnam. Such operations range from small unit death squads like Bob Kerrey’s, when his SEAL team slaughtered the women and children of Thanh Phong – just like the US commandos did in Ghazi Khan 40 years later. The idea in either case is to terrorize the public into no longer supporting the resistance movement. 

This terror strategy worked in Iraq. According to the story told by Washington’s ruling National Security Establishment, President George W. Bush’s 2007 “surge” and the “clear and hold” strategy “won” the war in Iraq – although it merely gave rise to ISIS, yet another “cancer.” 

As in Afghanistan in 2002, the reality in Iraq is diametrically opposed to the story we have been told. More important than the surge and the temporary drop in violence were the massive bribes (billions of Pentagon dollars are still unaccounted for) used to pay off Sunni tribes in 2006, along with Bush’s agreement in 2008 to reduce the US military presence. But that is not what Bush and Obama wanted people to believe. 

For instance, Establishment propagandists Evan Thomas and John Barry at Newsweek asserted that the “clear and hold” strategy worked because it protected the “friendly civilians” who provided the tips that enabled the CIA and its Special Forces sidekicks to find and kill people who were, as in Bob Kerrey’s after-action report at Thanh Phong, said to be terrorists or members of the resistance. 

“By ratcheting back the heavy use (and overuse) of firepower,” they claimed, “US military commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal has reduced civilian casualties, which alienate the locals and breed more jihadists.” 11 

The reality, however, is far less humane and clinical. 

1) It is false to assert that a counterinsurgency is gentler than the shock and awe of, say, the Iraq invasion. Such an assertion is propaganda intended to deceive its target population in the United States into thinking that innocents are not being intentionally killed and robbed of everything they own. 

2) The assertion that only “jihadists” are targeted for assassination obscures the fact that thousands of people are fighting not for religious reasons, but for nationalist reasons – Afghans (or name your target population) are simply opposed to American invaders and their corrupt collaborators. 

3) The notion that civilians provide information because they are “friendly” to the Americans is misleading, since most intelligence is coerced or bought. Only in the world of illusion created by Barry and Thomas can a warlord like Gul Agha Sherzai, whose tips in 2001 led to the massacre of hundreds of his personal rivals and sparked the civil war, be said to be a “friend”. 

As Anand Gopal revealed in No Good Men Among the Living, Sherzai supplied the CIA with a network of informants that targeted their business rivals, not the Taliban. In return Sherzai received the contract to build the first US military base in Afghanistan, along with a major drug franchise. In an effort to create an insurgency, and a pretext for eternal military occupation, the CIA methodically began torturing and killing Afghanistan’s most revered leaders in a series of Phoenix-style raids that radicalized the Afghan people. 

The Newsweek propagandists were correct only when they said that Obama’s dirty war was modeled on the Phoenix program, whose goal was to “target and assassinate Viet Cong leaders.” As usual, they only told the part of the story they wanted people to hear. They didn’t add that waging a successful dirty war depends on spreading disinformation as to who is the enemy and why they and everyone around them are being killed. 

Intelligence is gained primarily through informants, detainees, interrogations, defectors, electronic intercepts, and secret agents. 

1) Voluntary informants like Sherzai typically work for money and vengeance. Ideology is a factor, but more often informants in a civil war are given no choice. Fracturing a society or culture into opposing factions (Sunni vs Shia) and then coercing rivals into becoming informants is the CIA’s strong suit. 

2) Detainees also provide coerced information in an effort to escape a jerry rigged legal system in which due process is denied and spilling the beans is the only alternative to torture and death. Producing and coercing detainees is one of the CIA’s major means of assuring that a society will remain divided and manageable. Sowing suspicion, fear and confusion keeps a subject population suppressed. 

3) In the Afghan conflict, interrogations are conducted by members of the Afghan National Army (ANA), the Afghan secret police (KHAD), or private militias operated by warlords like Sherzai. When not actually conducted under the supervision of CIA and military officers in jointly managed facilities, torture sessions are conducted unofficially by private militias acting as CIA mercenary forces. High Value targets captured in unilateral CIA operations are tortured in secure facilities off-limits to militiamen. 

Not publicized by Newsweek is the fact that the CIA and US military purchased from members of the corrupt Afghan government the right to operate secret torture and detention centers, as well as the right to use unilateral paramilitary teams to target, capture and kill Afghans who pose security risks to its profitable drug network. 

Based on “administrative detention” laws developed in Vietnam, the CIA’s secret detention and torture centers were supposed to be handed over to the Afghan secret police. Suspects theoretically appear before “review boards” that afford them a fleeting chance to present evidence of their innocence. Reporters and international human rights officials are supposed to have access to the trials. 

The reality is far different. As reported in the 28 November 2009 Washington Post: “Two Afghan teenagers held in U.S. detention north of Kabul this year said they were beaten by American guards, photographed naked, deprived of sleep and held in solitary confinement in concrete cells for at least two weeks while undergoing daily interrogation about their alleged links to the Taliban.” 12 

4) The CIA’s defector programs for Muslims evolved from the CIA’s Chieu Hoi program for Communists in Vietnam. Defector programs are the essence of political and psychological warfare and rely totally on the control of information. A typical defector program consists of dropping leaflets on a targeted village in a secure enemy village; the leaflets promise mutilation and slow death to those who resist, and riches beyond one’s wildest dreams to those who defect. 

Immediately upon defecting, defectors are interrogated, often by former comrades who have defected and repented. Defectors are made to prove their loyalty by providing actionable intelligence so military operations can be mounted immediately. Having proven their worth, defectors are then taught the American “line” by other defectors; to further prove their sincerity, they are then conscripted into CIA-funded militias and sent back to contact other resistance members and recruit more defectors. Defectors are used as “pseudo-insurgents” in black propaganda operations, and as translators and interrogators in torture centers. The CIA’s espionage operations are populated by defectors. 

5) American electronic intercepts are entirely unilateral and directed mostly against the various agencies of the puppet Afghan government, as a way of detecting double agents and discovering information that can be used to bribe and coerce officials in the puppet regime. 

6) The CIA and US military run agents in liaison with militia leaders like Sherzai, as well as with subservient police and military officials in the Afghan government. Often, however, the militias target police and military officials belonging to rival tribes. Thus, the CIA values most highly its unilateral agents within the various militias and government agencies, in order to keep in touch with real events, as opposed to the stories it tells to the press. 

It is difficult recruiting agents within the Taliban leadership, which is composed of religious clerics who dispense justice, not social services, per se. Taliban leaders have not succumbed to the cash nexus and are not easily bribed. They do not have bookkeepers nor do they organize in Western-style corporate hierarchies. They do not issue press releases, broadcast their plans and strategies, or allow photography (which can confound CIA assassins). 

These ideological precepts make them nearly impervious to blackmail, extortion and corruption – the CIA’s standard means of penetrating the enemy infrastructure, and the means by which it controls top-ranking officials in the Afghani government. 

The Taliban leadership does meet with foreigners to negotiate land and mineral rights, as well as to form alliances. But after being “preemptively man- hunted” for 15 years they are loath to deal with Americans, which further hampers the CIA’s ability to penetrate their ranks. The Taliban’s cultural practices make it hard to know if any intelligence gathered is reliable, but that does not much matter. The Taliban, according to Hillary Clinton, treat their women like animals, and that is reason enough to wipe them off the planet and steal everything they own. 

The main function of intelligence in the Afghan dirty war is to create public support for US government policies. Intelligence managers skew intelligence to this political purpose, as happened with the bogus reports of WMD in Iraq. Any policy can find supporting intelligence, especially when the meaning of words is garbled by Afghan (or Iraqi or Syrian) collaborators and US officials who are required to report what the CIA wants to hear, and which they disseminate, respectively, for their own survival and/or career advancement. 

As Phoenix program veteran Stan Fulcher explained to me: “The Vietnamese lied to us; we lied to the Phoenix Directorate; and the Directorate made it into documented fact. It was a war that became distorted through our ability to create fiction.” 

Intelligence programs have two other functions in a dirty war. One is to map out the clandestine organizations that drive the resistance, so they can be destroyed. At the secret detention and torture centers it operates in Afghanistan, the CIA draws up blacklists of actual and fabricated Taliban cadres based on their social and family ties, position within the infrastructure, age, sex and profession, etc. 

The idea is to send paramilitary teams out to capture them, make them inform on their comrades, turn them into double agents, or kill them and their families and friends. None have the right to due process. 

Some of these death squad operations have surfaced during US military disciplinary proceedings. In one case, an Afghani, identified as suspected insurgent leader Nawab Buntangyar, was encountered on 13 October 2006 by an Afghan army patrol led by US Special Forces Captain Dave Staffel. Afraid that the suspected terrorist might be wearing a suicide vest, the Americans kept their distance while checking his description against the CIA’s “kill-or-capture list.” Concluding that the man was indeed Buntangyar, Staffel ordered American sniper Troy Anderson to fire from a distance of about 100 yards away, putting a bullet through the man’s head and killing him instantly. 13 

The soldiers viewed the killing as “a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement,” the International New York Times reported. “The men said such rules allowed them to kill Buntangyar, whom the American military had designated a terrorist cell leader, once they positively identified him.” 

When Staffel’s civilian lawyer said the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command concluded that the shooting was “justifiable homicide,” a two-star general in Afghanistan then initiated a murder charge against Staffel and Anderson. Both were released on technicalities. 

An even more telling tale involved Sergeant Major Anthony Pryor, who in 2007 was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. As Pryor said modestly at the award ceremony, “I just did what I had to do.” 14 

Anand Gopal chronicled the actual event in No Good Men Among the Living. In his book, Gopal told how Pryor’s Special Forces A-team attacked a schoolhouse where al Qaeda terrorists were said to be hiding. It was January 2002, only three months after the US launched its invasion of revenge for 9/11. The men in the schoolhouse were said to have defended themselves, but were overwhelmed. 

As Pryor soon discovered, the men he attacked were part of a pro-American local government. Like Bob Kerrey after Thanh Phong, “Pryor claims he acted in self-defense,” Gopal wrote, “but Khas Uruzgan residents point out that the bodies were found in their beds, handcuffed, and there were no signs of struggle. Either way, every official was killed.” 15 

As Gopal noted, the massacre would have been controversial anyway, but the schoolhouse was within the governor’s compound. The anti-Taliban police chief lived in the compound but he too was beaten and kidnapped. The governor, Tawildar Yunis, heard the commotion and escaped, but others were summarily shot in the head. The survivors were put in an AC-130 gunship (the kind featured in the Collateral Murder video Chelsea Manning was sent to prison for leaking) and flown to a CIA/military base. Pryor and his team left behind a sadistic card saying, “Have a nice day. From Damage, Inc.” 

Gopal said, “In a thirty-minute stretch, the United States had managed to eradicate both of Khas Uruzgan’s potential governments, the core of any future anti-Taliban leadership – stalwarts who had outlasted the Russian invasion, the civil war, and the Taliban years but would not survive their own allies.” 

Weeks later the Americans realized their “mistake” and released the prisoners. Brutalized beyond belief, they were now eager to fight back. As usual, a series of such “mistakes,” the kind Obama referenced in his Nobel Prize speech – and which the Pentagon claimed was the reason US and British forces killed and wounded dozens of Syrian soldiers who were fighting ISIS on 17-18 September 2016 – created the nationalist resistance that would “force” the United States to occupy Afghanistan for the next 15 years, and into the foreseeable future. 

At some point one must ask, are they really mistakes based on faulty intelligence? Or are they the essential ingredients of colonization and military occupation? 

In Afghanistan, the CIA aims its death squads at Taliban judicial officials operating “religious law” courts and assessing and collecting taxes; resistance members operating business fronts for purchasing, storing or distributing food and supplies, including farm products; public health officials distributing medicine; security officials targeting American collaborators and agents; officials in transportation, communication and postal services; military recruiters; and military leaders and forces. Or anyone said to be engaged in these activities. 

The other major purpose of the intelligence programs is to understand how resistance leaders prepare Afghan civilians to cope with the violence the CIA and US military visited upon them for generations. Through opinion polls and surveys, the CIA tries to understand what drives people into the resistance or, conversely, into the arms of corrupt warlord regimes. Based on this attitudinal intelligence, the CIA seeks to establish the rationale for its own parallel government, which it portrays to the press as free of corruption and drug traffickers, and modeled on Afghan sensibilities. 

The media admits the CIA occasionally makes mistakes, but minimizes the “mistakes” by insisting the Agency and its military adjuncts only have good intentions – guys like William Calley, Bob Kerrey, Rob Simmons, Frank Scotton, Dave Staffel, Troy Anderson and Tony Pryor. 

It’s enough to make you want to give the CIA a big medal. 

How to Disguise a Dirty War 
The CIA forms its parallel governments in foreign nations in conjunction with the US military and State Department. In Afghanistan it hides itself in consulates and secret compounds on military bases, as it does in most of the hundreds of military bases America has spread around the world. 

After establishing itself on military bases, the CIA expands its operations under cover of the State Department’s Agency for International Development (AID) “civic action” missions. Psywar is what makes it all possible; having collaborators like Thomas and Barry who are willing to tell the American public the approved version of the story – good guys doing good deeds who occasionally make mistakes. 

The CIA follows in the tradition of the Christian “missions” that brought Bible classes to undeveloped nations around the world. In the process, the benighted natives were softened up for military conquest, bureaucratic colonization and economic exploitation, no matter how well-intentioned the missionary. Indeed, the more effective the missionary’s message, the more malleable the natives became. 

AID missions serve the same softening-up function today, though their gospel is “development” not the word of god. In either case – by accepting the outsider’s medicines and message – the natives tacitly accept the outsider’s authority. They are converted into a compliant workforce; recruited into the occupation army or as petty officials in the puppet government; and as special police in its homeland security apparatus. 

As were Christian missionaries of old, the modern AID worker is a highly indoctrinated fanatic. As one aid worker in Afghanistan told me: “The ANA [the Afghan National Army] is really good: people trust them and share intelligence with them, something they are not willing to do with internationals.” 

This AID worker did not acknowledge the Taliban as being people; after all, one cannot become an AID worker unless one preaches the CIA gospel, chapter and verse. No heretics need apply. 

As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam in this book, AID programs provide cover for the CIA and are symbolic of the evil intentions that lurk behind the righteous US façade. In the following paragraphs I’ll outline an AID program that existed in Thailand during the Vietnam War, and which serves as an example of what is currently happening worldwide on a massive scale. 

The CIA proprietary company Joseph Z. Taylor Associates was planted in Thailand as a community development counseling service. At the same time, it had a contract with the Thai Border Patrol Police (BPP). The BPP was a paramilitary force of 10,000 airborne rangers created by the CIA in the early 1950s and charged with “internal security,” which meant killing Communists, guarding the King’s opium fields, protecting CIA drug smuggling networks, and eliminating the competition. 

Taylor Associates employed CIA contract officer Ray Coffey and his Green Beret assistants to oversee BPP intelligence collection, counterinsurgency, and border control operations in northern Thailand. As Coffey explained to me, in 1972, CIA-advised BPP operations in northern Thailand were redirected on narcotics intelligence collection. Coffey was not happy about the job; he recalled sitting on a mountain side in 1973 and watching a battalion of KMT soldiers with 200 mules moving a huge opium shipment. 

“I had thirty men to stop a battalion,” Coffey recalled, “so I said, ‘Forget it.’” 

According to Coffey the Thai military also moved drugs: “Ten tons of opium at a time on barges into Chiang Mai.” 

In the early 1980s, when author James Mills was in Chiang Mai writing about DEA operations, the BPP was still considered “totally corrupt and responsible for the transportation of narcotics.” 16 

I was told the same story by Gordon Young, a CIA officer in Thailand since 1954. Originally a BPP advisor, Young in 1972, as part of Nixon’s incipient war on drugs, was put under AID Public Safety cover and assigned to Houei Sai, Laos (which is mentioned elsewhere in this book as the epicenter of the CIA’s drug operations in the Golden Triangle). 

Young described the anti-narcotics effort between 1972 and 1974 as “a messy, uncoordinated affair” with “each outfit (CIA, DEA, USAID Public Safety, State, the military and Customs) all pulling in different directions – each looking jealously for the rewards!” 

Like Coffey, Gordon had no illusions that he could overcome official corruption fueled by the CIA. As is true in Afghanistan today, “No one was there to be heroes,” he said. 

“It was like dealing with Mafia chiefs,” Young added. He recalled a trip he took to meet a BPP captain in the jungle. The captain was sitting beside a huge pile of heroin, morphine and opium. Young asked if he would surrender it. 

“You may have it,” the captain said, “but by time you get through….” 

Ray Coffey’s area of expertise was not drug interdiction; it was conducting “civic action” operations in remote areas. To this end, through a facet of Taylor Associates called DEVCON, Coffey and his Special Forces assistants created the Hill tribe Research Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1967. 

As part of the CIA’s parallel government in Thailand, the Hill tribe Research Center employed Thai nationals as teachers, agronomists, animal husbandry-men and engineers. Under the supervision of American case officers, these Thai nationals doubled as Principal Agents who recruited informants and ran agent nets. As a cover for its espionage activities (and to baptize the indigenous people in the holy Cash Nexus), the Center bought and marketed their handicrafts. Many of them were recruited and sent back into the local opium growing areas to gather intelligence on drug traffickers. 

The Hill tribe Research Center famously employed Puttaporn Khramkhruan, a CIA agent arrested for smuggling opium into the US. The case began in 1972, when Puttaporn sold opium to several Americans through a Peace Corps volunteer in Chiang Mai. The Americans packaged the opium in film canisters and sent it home. An initial shipment went through without any problems, but a second 59-pound package was spotted by Customs inspectors in Chicago. The receiver was arrested when he came to pick it up. 

Upon closer examination, the inspectors found that Puttaporn had wrapped the opium in a magazine with his name and address on it. A Customs agent was sent to Thailand to investigate. Although snubbed by the CIA officer in Chiang Mai, the Customs agent learned that Puttaporn was, at that very moment, in the US as part of a business seminar sponsored by the Agency for International Development. AID, in fact, had given him $1600 for airfare. 

Back in the US, Customs agents arrested Puttaporn and stuck him in the Cook County jail. When questioned, he confessed to everything. Not only did he name his US accomplices, he said he was an officer in General Li Mi’s Kuomintang army in Burma. His job, he said, was to guard opium caravans traveling from Burma to Houei Sai, Laos. It was a CIA operation, he said, and he named his CIA case officer as the US consul in Chiang Mai, James Montgomery. 

In 1973, the CIA under William Colby was looking at the Big Picture, meaning Nixon’s overture to China, which included negotiations over the status of Taiwan. Many CIA senior officers had invested 20 years of their lives supporting the Kuomintang in Taiwan. They considered Taiwan a strategic military base and were violently opposed to rapprochement with China. As Rob Simmons was quoted as saying in an earlier chapter, they would do anything to eradicate Communism. 

One thing they did was use opium caravans to detect Chinese troop movements. Despite Nixon’s official presidential directives to the contrary, doing so was official policy. And in Afghanistan it still is, for all the same Russian and Chinese reasons. 

DEVCON agents spied on Soviet and Chinese agents in Thailand, and Puttaporn was directly involved in the intrigues between the CIA, the KMT in Burma and Taiwan, and the Chinese. Nixon took a personal interest in his case after Puttaporn told DEA agents that he had led commando raids into China for the CIA. Puttaporn threatened to confess that he had smuggled the opium into Chicago at the request of the CIA. His lawyer stated his intention to call DEVCON boss Joseph Taylor, as well as the CIA station chief in Bangkok, Louis Lapham, and the CIA base chief in Udorn, Thailand, Pat Landry, as witnesses. His defense team was also preparing to subpoena incriminating documents. 

The CIA’s reaction was predictable. It refused to provide the documents and witnesses, and directed the assistant US attorney in Chicago to dismiss the case in April 1974. The stated reason was to protect Joe Taylor, who was working with senior Thai police and political officials planning intelligence operations against Chinese agents in Malaysia and against Russian agents in North Vietnam. 

On July 24, 1974, two weeks before his resignation, Nixon appointed Joseph Z. Taylor as Assistant Inspector General of Foreign Assistance. 

At Congressional Hearings into the Puttaporn case, CIA Director William Colby said: “We requested the Justice Department not to try him for this reason. They agreed.” 

CIA lawyers told Senator Charles Percy that Puttaporn was hired only to report on narcotics trafficking in northern Thailand (not to attack and spy on China), and that his crime was a “controlled delivery” designed to counter narcotic trafficking. 

Percy said with a heavy sigh, “CIA agents are untouchable — however serious their crime or however much harm is done to society.” 17 

Fred Dick ran the DEA’s office in Bangkok at the time and was involved in the Puttaporn operation. As he explained to me, “The Agency folks are masters at going behind the scenes in the US court system and convincing the judiciary an open exposure of this sort would jeopardize national security. To my knowledge they have never failed with this ploy.” 

DEA agents knew the CIA was lying and, at Dick’s direction, told Senator Percy that Puttaporn had been employed by the CIA since 1969, “as a member of a multi-million dollar opium ring.” They also told Percy that Puttaporn’s close friend, Victor Tin-Sein, “had been killed while living in the United States by unnamed parties for his involvement in and knowledge of Puttaporn’s smuggling ring.” 18 

The murder dovetailed with a case CIA/DEA Agent Joe Lagattuta was working on. A member of Lou Conein’s CIA-controlled special operations unit outlined earlier in this book, Lagattuta was sent to Amsterdam to recruit a specific Chinese asset – Victor Tin-Sein. Victor was not an informant but an agent and part of a CIA operation “for Conein and a significant figure who must remain nameless.” 

Lagattuta hinted that the significant figure was William Colby. “We were very successful,” Lagattuta said, “not just in heroin seized but the planning and execution of the sting leading to arrests and destruction of several significant trafficking rings.” 

Unfortunately, Victor Tin-Sein was sent to San Francisco against Lagattuta’s wishes where, according to Lagattuta, he was assassinated (as opposed to being murdered). 

For his part, Puttaporn was released and returned to Thailand. 

CIA case officers and their agents in the puppet Afghan government are following the same script. And anyone who deviates from the script, even some stratospheric character like Ahmed Karzai, the former Afghan president’s half brother, is assassinated. Ahmed’s assassination occurred, it should be noted, after mainstream reporters connected him to drug trafficking. 

Anand Gopal summarized the situation in Afghanistan: “Bush administration officials had drawn up a list [in 2005] of the most wanted international drug barons who posed a threat to US interests. When Assistant Secretary of State Bobby Charles saw it, he asked, “Why don’t we have any Afghan drug lords on the list?” This was, in fact, a thorny problem because some of the biggest Afghan narcotics kingpins –Gul Agha Sherzai and Ahmed Wali Karzai chief among them – were allied with Washington, and in some cases even paid by the Americans.” 19 

Running the drug business in a foreign country is dangerous work. Afghanis who collaborate with the CIA in this criminal endeavor must inform on their countrymen or die. Likewise, Afghans working in US AID programs as part of the CIA’s parallel government must preach the party line: they must refer to the resistance as “insurgents” in exchange for their prosperity and survival. The CIA is just like al Qaeda and the Taliban in this regard: no heretics allowed. 

As the AID worker in Afghanistan told me with all the histrionics of a Clinton or Trump campaign speech: “The wrath on informants [should the resistance prevail] will make the rape camps of Serbia look like picnics in the park.” 

How he knew this is not the point: his job is to propagandize – to terrorize – Americans. 

The terror that accompanies institutionalized CIA corruption enables Civic Action teams to train rural villagers how to build perimeter defenses. When not administering medicine and forming militias, CIA-guided Special Forces units, having learned to dress and grow beards like Afghanis, slip into the countryside at night and, using intelligence from their assets, “snatch and snuff” the local resistance cadre. Urban units do likewise in cities. 

Sometimes they engage in “black propaganda” activities designed to produce defectors by inflicting atrocities on the population that can be blamed on the enemy. When they function in this manner, they are terrorists. 

Instilling terror, as their Jesuit forefathers knew, is how the CIA creates converts among the resistance. Any AID worker who helps the CIA in this mission is someone author Graham Greene would have described as “a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.” 

It doesn’t matter that many Taliban men, women and children are pure in thought and deed, and are seeking only to defend their homes and culture from foreign invaders. Most do not participate in terrorism or even guerrilla action, and yet they are uniformly dehumanized as “cancer” by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who must prove their willingness to stigmatize and kill innocent people in order to command the respect of the National Security Establishment. 

Meanwhile, in the mainstream news media, the US government’s intentions are always characterized as heroic, generous, cancer-curing. Which is how bad becomes good. Dependent on official government sources like addicts depend on heroin, the media’s propagandists justify the policy of war crimes by covering up the existence of CIA parallel governments dependent on corruption and criminal collaborators, and by blurring distinctions between combatants and noncombatants. 

Few reporters dare to report that in Afghanistan – as in Vietnam – the CIA offers bounties to anyone willing to identify the political leaders of the resistance, the shadow government of the people that exists apart from the CIA imposed criminal conspiracy that is despised for its corruption and collaboration. 

I’ll give an example. Griff Witte wrote in the Washington Post on 8 December 2009 that the Taliban has “an elaborate shadow government of governors, police chiefs, district administrators and judges that in many cases already has more bearing on the lives of Afghans than the real government.” 20 

Witte quoted Khalid Pashtoon, “a legislator from the southern province of Kandahar who has close ties to Karzai,” as saying: “These people in the shadow government are running the country now.” 

Witte also cited the case of “the shadow governor, Maulvi Shaheed Khail,” who “is regarded as fearsome but clean. A former minister in the Taliban government, he became the shadow governor here last year after being released from government custody. Residents said he spends most of his time in exile in Pakistan but occasionally crosses the border to discuss strategy with his lieutenants.” 

In many parts of Afghanistan, Witte continued, “Afghans have decided they prefer the severe but decisive authority of the Taliban to the corruption and inefficiency of Karzai’s appointees. From Kunduz province in the north to Kandahar in the south, even government officials concede that their allies have lost the people’s confidence and that, increasingly, residents are turning to shadow Taliban officials to solve their problems.” 

All of these statements are confirmed by my independent sources. And yet, while Witte spoke truth when interviewing Afghanis, he veered into propaganda when quoting US sources. Specifically, he claimed that all Taliban officials are combatants: “There are no clear lines between the Taliban’s fighting force and its shadow administration. Insurgents double as police chiefs; judges may spend an afternoon hearing cases, then take up arms at dusk.” 

Although sprinkled with truth to achieve believability, Witte’s article ultimately supported the notion that all Taliban, including civilians, are “legitimate” military targets to be subjected to murder and mutilation without due process. 

Secret Government 
The intelligence apparatus in Afghanistan is the foundation of the CIA’s parallel government. Just as it operates under the cover of US and NATO AID missions, it lurks behind whatever group of professional criminals and warlords it installs in the official government in Kabul. 

Obama, like every public official, struggles to present this criminal enterprise in the best terms possible, though in reality it is no different than the corrupt political apparatus the CIA imposed on South Vietnam. 

In 1965, the CIA named Air Force General Nguyen Cao Ky as chief of national security. In exchange for a lucrative narcotic smuggling franchise, Ky then sold the CIA the right to extend its parallel government from Saigon into the countryside. Called the Revolutionary Development Cadre program, it consisted of CIA covert action programs staffed by corrupt Vietnamese officials. 

The CIA did the same thing in the 1980s, when it coerced US law enforcement agencies into “looking away” in regard to both cocaine smuggling by the Nicaraguan Contra terrorists and heroin trafficking by the Northern Alliance warlords fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. 

This history is not lost on Afghan bandits. A 2010 article by the McClatchy Newspapers noted that by blocking a diplomatic solution in Afghanistan in favor of Obama’s surge, US militarists spared President Karzai from having to make meaningful reforms; he even refused to send his drug-dealing half-brother, Ahmed, into honorable exile. 

After 15 years of US military occupation and misrule by its collaborators, the situation hasn’t changed. Informants, interrogators, hit teams and corrupt politicians understand the evil they’re doing, but their prosperity and lives depend on US patronage. As a result, the definition of “insurgent” gets skewed to mean anyone who is not compliant with the US occupation. Just like Rudy Giuliani and Ultra law and order fanatics petition Obama to label the Black Lives Matter organization as a terrorist group. 

I would like to close this chapter by quoting from John Cook, an army officer assigned to the Phoenix program in Vietnam. CIA officers taught Phoenix advisors at the Vietnamese Central Intelligence School. As Cook recalled: “There were forty of us in the class, half American, half Vietnamese. The first day at the school was devoted to lectures by American experts in the insurgency business. Using a smooth, slick delivery, they reviewed all the popular theories concerning Communist-oriented revolutions. Like so many machines programmed to perform at a higher level than necessary, they dealt with platitudes and theories far above our dirty little war. They spoke in impersonal tones about what had to be done and how we should do it, as if we were in the business of selling life insurance, with a bonus going to the man who sold the most policies. 21 

“Those districts that were performing well with the quota system were praised; the poor performers were admonished. And it all fitted together nicely with all the charts and figures they offered as support of their ideas.” 

Like many of his colleagues, Cook resented “the pretentious men in high position” who gave him unattainable goals, then complained when he did not reach them. 

Fifty years later, the US government has expanded Phoenix worldwide, with all the missionary zeal of Jesuits. Only now its cadres are more highly indoctrinated. There is little resentment anymore among the rank and file. 

Former Delta Force Commander, General William Boykin, is a born-again Christian who casts the War on Terror as a Holy Crusade against Islam. As zealous as any jihadist, he believes an anthropomorphic god directs his personal actions. When asked about Phoenix and the War on Terror, Boykin said: “I think we’re running that kind of program. We’re going after these people. Killing or capturing these people is a legitimate mission for the department. I think we’re doing what the Phoenix program was designed to do, without all of the secrecy.” 22 

On July 16, 2012, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins announced that Boykin had been named the group’s Executive Vice-President. 

Like the terrible god Boykin believes in, with its savior crucified on a cross, the “cancer” Obama sought to destroy in Afghanistan was merely a projection of the dark side of the twisted American psyche, and more of a threat to the safety of the American people than to any Taliban or ISIS terrorist. 

Whomever the Business Party, in the name of its one true god, Mammon, forces upon the American people in the 2016 elections and beyond, his or her job will be to preserve the myth of America as altruistic liberator. 

The terrible truth is that a Cult of Death rules America and is hell-bent on world domination.


Chapter 20 
1 Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post (1979). 
2 Jeff Stein, “Islamic group is CIA front, ex-Turkish intel chief says”, Washington Post, 5 January 2011. 
3 Tim Arango and Ben Hubbard, “Turkey Pursues Cleric Living in U.S., Blamed as Coup Mastermind”, The New York Times, 19 July 2016. 
4 William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR), “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation”, Marine Corps Gazette, 1989. 

Chapter 21 
1 Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 1 December 2009. 
2 Peter Baker, “How Obama Came to Plan for ‘Surge’ in Afghanistan”, International New York Times, 5 December 2009. 
3 Marjorie Cohn, “40 Years On, the Vietnam War Continues for Victims of Agent Orange”, Counterpunch, 17 December 2015. 
4 T. Ahern, Vietnam Declassified: The CIA and Counterinsurgency, University Press of Kentucky, 2010, p. 64. 
5 Ibid, p. 132. 
6 Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998. 
7 Rahul Mahajan, FAIR, I November 2001. 
8 Robert Kagan, “Obama shows he has learned from the early world resistance”, Washington Post, 13 December 2009. 9 “Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize”, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 10 December 2009. 
10 Galula, p. 95. 
11 Thomas and Barry, “Rethinking”, Newsweek, 6 November 2009. 
12 Joshua Partlow and Julie Tate, “2 Afghans allege abuse at U.S. site”, Washington Post, 28 November 2009. 
13 Paul Von Zielbauer, “Army will examine Special Forces killing”, The International New York Times, 17 September 2007. 
14 Kyle J. Cosner, “SF Soldier gets Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan”, 2 February 2007,
15 Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company, 2013, p. 122. 
16 James Mills, The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace, Doubleday, 1986, p. 780. 
17 Christopher Robbins, Air America, Avon Books, New York, 1985, p. 242. 
18 David Corn, The Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994, p. 300. 
19 No Good Men, pp. 113-114. 
20 Griff Witte, “Taliban establishes elaborate shadow government in Afghanistan”, Washington Post, 8 December 2009. 
21 John Cook, The Advisor, Dorrance, Philadelphia, Pa., 1973, p. 208. 
22 Sami Ramadani, “Iraq invasion deception increasingly shapes coverage of occupation”, Guardian, 8 February 8, 2006.


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duncan Phelps said...

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oldmaninthedesert said...

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