The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC (also formed at the same time) — there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to “perform such other functions and duties… as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks. In its first year of existence, CIA agency operatives help the Mafia seize total power in Sicily and it sends money to heroin-smuggling Corsican mobsters in Marseille to assist in their battle with Communist unions for control of the city’s docks. By 1951, Luciano and the Corsicans have pooled their resources, giving rise to the notorious `French Connection’ which would dominate the world heroin trade until the early 1970s. The CIA also recruits members of organized crime gangs in Japan to help ensure that the country stays in the non-communist world. Several years later, the Japanese Yakuza emerges as a major source of methamphetamine in Hawaii.
INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999 (House of Representatives – May 07, 1998)
Once the illuminati conspirators had infiltrated and gained control of the US Government, they formed several front organizations to further their agenda without oversight. Although there are many agents that carry out important operations in an effort to make us safer, most operations seem to have the appearance of good while in reality a more sinister plan is ostensibly carried out to gain control of resources for the corporate collaborators (oil, precious minerals, etc.) or gaining control of opium, heroin, and other drug markets, which they make billions for their clandestine operations.
What they say that they do and what they actually are doing are two different stories. The fruit of the CIA has been war, world destabilization, media propaganda, murder, bribery, etc. Listen to former CIA agent John Stockwell:
“It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize the American people to hate, so we will let the establishment spend any amount of money on arms. ….”
CIA Propaganda & Disinformation
Almost from its founding in 1947, the CIA had journalists on its payroll, a fact acknowledged in ringing tones by the Agency in its announcement in 1976 when G.H.W. Bush took over from William Colby that “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any US news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.”
Though the announcement also stressed that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists, there’s no reason to believe that the Agency actually stopped covert payoffs to the Fourth Estate.
Its practices in this regard before 1976 have been documented to a certain degree. In 1977 Carl Bernstein attacked the subject in Rolling Stone, concluding that more than 400 journalists had maintained some sort of alliance with the Agency between 1956 and 1972.
Press manipulation was always a paramount concern of the CIA, as with the Pentagon. In his Secret History of the CIA, published in 2001, Joe Trento described how in 1948 CIA man Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects, soon renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency, the very first in its list of designated functions was “propaganda”.
Later that year Wisner set an operation codenamed “Mockingbird”, to influence the domestic American press. He recruited Philip Graham of the Washington Post to run the project within the industry.
Trento writes that:
“One of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers.” Other journalists willing to promote the views of the CIA, included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), Charles Douglas Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), William C. Baggs (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times).
By 1953 Operation Mockingbird had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies, including the New York Times,Time, CBS, Time. Wisner’s operations were funded by siphoning of funds intended for the Marshall Plan. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.”
In his book Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA, Alex Constantine writes that in the 1950s, “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts”. (Source: Counterpunch)
Of course, they have been in cahoots with the military industrial complex, which President Eisenhower warned Americans about back in January 1961. The CIA has become a propaganda outlet.
We can see what former CIA Director William Casey said when reinforcing John Stockwell’s statement:
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American people believe is false.”
The CIA has a long history of “spooking the news,” dating back to its earliest days when the legendary spymaster Allen Dulles and his top staff drank and dined regularly with the press elite of New York and Washington, and the agency boasted hundreds of U.S. and foreign journalists as paid and unpaid assets. In 1977, after this systematic media manipulation was publicly exposed by congressional investigations, the CIA created an Office of Public Affairs that was tasked with guiding press coverage of intelligence matters in a more transparent fashion. The agency insists that it no longer maintains a stable of friendly American journalists, and that its efforts to influence the press are much more above board. But, in truth, the intelligence empire’s efforts to manufacture the truth and mold public opinion are more vast and varied than ever before. One of its foremost assets? Hollywood.
Whistleblower, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte came out in 2014 exposing the CIA by stating the following in a well documented book:
“The entire mainstream media is totally fake!”
“Taught to lie, to betray the people and not to tell the truth to the public.”
“The CIA gets control over all of the majority of journalists.”
The agency has established a very active spin machine in the heart of the entertainment capital, which works strenuously to make sure the cloak-and-dagger world is presented in heroic terms. Since the mid-1990s, but especially after 9/11, American screenwriters, directors, and producers have traded positive portrayal of the spy profession in film or television projects for special access and favors at CIA headquarters.
Ever since its inception in 1947, the CIA has been covertly working with Hollywood. But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the agency formally hired an entertainment industry liaison and began openly courting favorable treatment in films and television. During the Clinton presidency, the CIA took its Hollywood strategy to a new level—trying to take more control of its own mythmaking. In 1996, the CIA hired one of its veteran clandestine officers, Chase Brandon, to work directly with Hollywood studios and production companies to upgrade its image. “We’ve always been portrayed erroneously as evil and Machiavellian,” Brandon later told The Guardian. “It took us a long time to support projects that portray us in the light we want to be seen in.”
The flag-waving Tom Clancy franchise became a centerpiece of CIA propaganda in the 1990s, with a succession of actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and finally Ben Affleck) starring in films like Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears, which pit the daring agent Jack Ryan against an array of enemies, from terrorists to South American drug lords to nuclear-armed white supremacists.
Brandon, the CIA’s man in Hollywood was also a frequent presence on the set of Alias, the TV espionage series starring Affleck’s then-wife, Jennifer Garner. The series, which debuted in September 2001, reflected the pervasive paranoia of the post-9/11 era—that climate of permanent anxiety so beloved by national-security agencies. Created by the Hollywood powerhouse J. J. Abrams, who would go on to reboot the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, the show featured Garner as Sydney Bristow, a CIA undercover agent who infiltrated a global conspiracy.
In March 2004, the CIA announced that Garner—reflecting the growing merger between Langley and Hollywood—had filmed a recruitment video for the agency. “The video emphasizes the CIA’s mission, and its need for people with diverse backgrounds and foreign language skills,” the agency’s press release stated. “Ms. Garner was excited to participate in the video after being asked by the Office of Public Affairs. The CIA’s Film Industry Liaison worked with the writers of Alias during the first season to educate them on fundamental tradecraft. Although the show Alias is fictional, the character Jennifer Garner plays embodies the integrity, patriotism, and intelligence the CIA looks for in its officers.”
As Hollywood became increasingly embedded with Langley following 9/11, CIA employees often saw their public-affairs colleagues giving various celebrities personalized tours of the headquarters. “I can’t tell you how many times this happened,” recalled the former CIA officer John Kiriakou. He would regularly bump into a parade of Hollywood types, including Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. He often wondered why these actors were allowed to walk around a top-secret facility. “Because he’s going to be playing a CIA guy in a movie? That’s the criteria now? You just have to be a friend of the agency and you can come in and walk around? In the meantime, people who are undercover are having to walk through the halls with their hands over their faces because these people aren’t cleared. It’s insane.”
Langley’s investment in Ben Affleck, and vice versa, paid handsome dividends with the hugely popular, if factually challenged, 2012 film Argo, directed by Affleck, who also starred as the CIA makeup artist Tony Mendez. Based on a 2007 Wired article by Joshuah Bearman, Argo told the [sort of] true story of how the CIA rescued several American hostages in Tehran, with the help of Mendez, who set up a fake Hollywood production company and was pretending to shoot a science-fiction fantasy film in Iran. According to Richard Klein, a consultant who helps connect Hollywood studios with the CIA and other government agencies, Argo was the first movie to get permission to film inside Langley headquarters in fifteen years.
Argo took many liberties with the truth, all of them geared to make Langley and Hollywood appear more heroic. For example, the significant role played by the Canadian embassy in helping the hostages escape was left out for storytelling purposes. And despite the film’s dramatic conclusion, there were no gun-toting Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen racing in jeeps down the runway after a jet plane full of fleeing Americans. But the movie won over audiences with its entertaining tale of a real-life Mission Impossible-style caper, while featuring the CIA in the most glowing light possible. In fact, Argo—which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, and reaped over $230 million at the box office— arguably ranks as the agency’s most successful propaganda coup in Hollywood.
“That was a grand slam,” observed the former CIA officer Robert Baer, whose memoir See No Evil inspired its own cinematic tale of foreign intrigue, the critically acclaimed 2005 film Syriana, with George Clooney starring as a fictional CIA officer partly based on Baer. But, Baer added, Argo “had nothing to do with reality. Anybody involved in that operation knows that. The unit Mendez worked for is fictional. He was a makeup guy. He made the first mustache I used. They aren’t supposed to last a long time, so they don’t remember your face.” When people ask Baer what he thinks is the best film made about the CIA, he tells them to watch HBO’s The Wire. “It’s the same mindless bureaucracy and politics and ambition,” he explained. “All the other crap you run into in a police department, you run into in intelligence.”
Although its main character, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), is a bipolar CIA officer who must take medication to keep from suffering mental breakdowns and who frequently violates all kinds of protocols—even sleeping with the targets of her investigation—the Showtime television drama Homeland, which premiered in 2011, has become a favorite at CIA headquarters.
“There is an appreciation for the show [in national security circles],” confirmed Alex Gansa, Homeland’s co-creator. “We really did not hear any criticism officially or in a back channel way about the show or the character [from the CIA].”
CIA & Drug Trafficking / Arms Trafficking
From its very inception, the CIA has been embroiled in the murky underworld of drug trafficking.
In the late 1940s, the CIA funneled arms and funds to the Corsican Mafia in return for their assistance in breaking up widespread labour strikes in France that were threatening to establish communist control over the Old Port of Marseille. The Corsican crime syndicate, in turn, used the CIA support to set up the trafficking network known as “The French Connection” which saw heroin smuggled from Turkey to France, and shipped to the US, feeding an American heroin epidemic.
In Burma in 1950, the CIA regrouped the remnants of the defeated Nationalist Chinese Army, or KMT, to start an invasion of Southern China and draw Chinese troops away from the Korean front. Easily beaten back by Mao’s forces, the KMT instead turned their attention to occupying Burma, imposing an opium tax on all farmers in the opium-rich Shan highlands. Members of the Burmese military claimed that the KMT opium was flown out to Thailand and Taiwan on the same unmarked C-47s that the CIA had used to supply the group in the first place.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the CIA recruited the Laotian Hmong tribe to fight communist forces in the region. The CIA encouraged the Hmong to grow opium instead of rice to make them dependent on CIA air drops of food. The agency could then force their compliance by threatening to withdraw the food aid. To make the deal even sweeter, they even located a heroin refinery at CIA headquarters in northern Loas and used Air America, a passenger and cargo airline that was covertly owned and operated by the CIA, to export the Laotian opium and heroin. Much of it ended up in Vietnam, causing an epidemic of heroin addiction in US soldiers.
In the 1980s, the locus of opium production shifted from the Golden Triangle, where the CIA was disengaging, to the Golden Crescent, where it was engaging with the Afghan mujahedeen in their CIA-funded struggle against the Soviets. Opium became a key funding mechanism for the insurgency, and as Peter Dale Scott explained on The Eyeopener earlier this year, the correlation between CIA involvement in the region and increasing opium production was not coincidental.
Also in the 1980s, the US supported the Contras in their fight against the Sandanista government in Nicaragua. Officially barred from arming and funding the Contras by congress, the CIA came up with a scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the funds to illegally arm and supply the Contras. CIA-protected drug smugglers flew down to Nicaragua loaded with arms to supply the Contras and flew back loaded with Columbian cocaine. A decade later, investigative reporter Gary Webb used official government documents to prove that the CIA had sheltered these drug smuggling operatives and followed the trail of this cheap Columbian cocaine to the beginning of the crack epidemic in South-Central LA.
Despite the numerous, documented and fully admitted examples of CIA involvement in drug dealing in the past, the idea that the agency is still tied in with international drug traffickers is largely dismissed as the stuff of conspiracy theory.
Over the last several years, however, some sensational but under-reported stories of plane crashes in Mexico have served to focus attention once again on the issue of agency complicity in drug dealing.
In 2004, a Beech 200 was apprehended in Nicaragua with 1100 kilos of cocaine. It was bearing a false tail number for a CIA aircraft owned by a CIA shell company.
In 2006, a DC9 was seized on a jungle airstrip in the Yucatan carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine packed into 126 identical black suitcases. The plane’s owner was linked to a company called Skyway Communications, whose CEO, James Kent, had previously held contract positions supporting intelligence projects for the DoD.
In 2007, a Grumman Gulfstream II jet crashed in Mexico carrying 3.3 tons of Columbian cocaine linked to the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel. Later it was revealed that the plane had previously been used by the CIA to carry out rendition flights to Guantanamo Bay.
In 2008, a Cessna 402c aircraft was seized in Columbia with 850 kilos of cocaine bound for the United States. The plane’s purchase history links it to a company that one ex-CIA asset has fingered as a company that has a history of being involved in US government operations.
Now, the issue of intelligence agency drug dealing has once again raised its head in spectacular fashion in a rather unlikely place: a Chicago federal courtroom.
The case revolves around the prosecution of an accused Mexican drug trafficker, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla. Zambada Niebla is part of the famed Sinaloa drug cartel, an organization that has risen in Calderon’s Mexico to become one of the most powerful international drug trafficking cartels in the region, if not on the globe.
His case revolves around “Fast and Furious,” an offshoot of the ATF’s Project Gunrunner which was ostensibly set up to stop the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico but has in fact allowed over 2000 guns to be smuggled under the ATF’s nose into the hands of Mexican drug gangs.
Zambada Niebla is in court on charges of serving as the logistical coordinator for the Sinaloa cartel, helping to import tons of cocaine into the us by land, rail, and air.
The only problem is that Zambada Niebla is now claiming to to be an asset of the US government. In response to this claim, US government prosecutors are attempting to invoke the “Classified Information Procedures Act” to keep classified material relation to national security out of public court proceedings.
According to a former federal agent contacted for comment on the case by Bill Conroy of NarcoNews, the invocation of CIPA means that CIA involvement in the case “is a very reasonable conclusion” and that “there is hot stuff to hide.”
Earlier this week, I had the chance to talk to Bill Conroy about the case, and about the possible relationship between the CIA and the Mexican drug cartels.
Despite the startling nature of the case, and the likelihood of agency complicity in drug trafficking into the United States yet again, the establishment media has been almost completely silent on this aspect of the Fast and Furious scandal, with Bill Conroy at NarcoNews being one of the only reporters on the beat at the moment.
Perhaps this is not surprising, given the shameful history of the American media in their coverage of CIA-drug connections in the past.
After the publication of Gary Webb’s expose on the CIA-Contra drug connections in the San Jose Mercury News in 1996, he was subjected to a fierce critique from the Washington Post, the LA Times and the New York Times. The backlash eventually forced Webb’s editors at the Mercury News to back away from the story. The CIA’s own internal investigation by Inspector General Frederick Hitz vindicated much of Webb’s reporting, but Webb remained a journalistic outcast and the story was commonly believed to be discredited.
In 2004, Gary Webb was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head. The death was ruled a suicide.
In the end, perhaps it is a simple matter of economics. There are billions of dollars per year to be made in keeping the drug trade going, and it has long been established that Wall Street and the major American banks rely on drug money as a ready source of liquid capital.
In late 2009, Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, even went on record to say that it was primarily drug money that kept the American financial system afloat during the 2008 crisis, estimating that some $352 billion dollars of drug profits had been laundered via the major US banks during that time.
With those kinds of funds at stake, it is unsurprising to see a media-government-banking nexus develop around the status quo of a never-ending war on drugs, aided, abetted and facilitated by the modern-day British East India Company, the CIA.
As Presidential candidate Ron Paul pointed out during his 1988 run for the White House, it is not until the people take back their government and repeal the drug laws that help to maintain this phony drug war and artificially inflate the prices of this age-old scourge that we can begin to actually deal with the root of the drug problem, and at the same time remove one of the key funding sources for the CIA’s illegal operations.
CIA International Interventions, Coups, Sabotage, & Destabilization
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.” The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be “communists,” but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.
This scenario has been repeated so many times that the CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious “School of the Americas.” (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the “School of the Dictators” and “School of the Assassins.” Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.
The CIA justifies these actions as part of its war against communism. But most coups do not involve a communist threat. Unlucky nations are targeted for a wide variety of reasons: not only threats to American business interests abroad, but also liberal or even moderate social reforms, political instability, the unwillingness of a leader to carry out Washington’s dictates, and declarations of neutrality in the Cold War. Indeed, nothing has infuriated CIA Directors quite like a nation’s desire to stay out of the Cold War.
The ironic thing about all this intervention is that it frequently fails to achieve American objectives. Often the newly installed dictator grows comfortable with the security apparatus the CIA has built for him. He becomes an expert at running a police state. And because the dictator knows he cannot be overthrown, he becomes independent and defiant of Washington’s will. The CIA then finds it cannot overthrow him, because the police and military are under the dictator’s control, afraid to cooperate with American spies for fear of torture and execution. The only two options for the U.S at this point are impotence or war. Examples of this “boomerang effect” include the Shah of Iran, General Noriega and Saddam Hussein. The boomerang effect also explains why the CIA has proven highly successful at overthrowing democracies, but a wretched failure at overthrowing dictatorships.
CIA Phony War on Terror
The reader may recall the Report from Iron Mountain, the heavily footnoted report in 1967 which concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace “could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it.” War was a part of the economy. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War served the vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended “credible substitutes” and paying a “blood price” to emulate the economic functions of war. Prospective government-devised alternatives to war included reports of alien life-forms, the reintroduction of a “euphemized form” of slavery “consistent with modern technology and political processes”, and – one deemed particularly promising in gaining the attention of the malleable masses – the threat of “gross pollution of the environment”.
The cold war served the purpose for a long time with American children terrorized with sporadic bomb drills, adults propagandized with war scares in the news, etc.
For the average person who has lived through the phony ‘War on Terror’, a post-9/11 age of fear that has swirled around the persona of bin Laden, it may be quite confusing to now read headlines like Libya: the West and al-Qaeda on the same side. Indeed, the rebel forces trying to topple Gaddafi admittedly include more than 1,000 al Qaeda soldiers while enjoying total backing– weapons, planes, funding and forces– from the U.S., Britain, NATO and other allies. The CIA and British SAS forces that are now “officially” entering Libya as ground support were covertly operating at least a month ago.
The real Osama bin Laden is a Western-trained CIA asset with the declassified code-name “Tim Osman.” He was chosen to lead the Mujahideen / Taliban in Afghanistan, in part, because his wealthy family has been a long-term business partner to key families in the West, including the Bush family (Carlyle Group). In fact, George H. W. Bush, the father, had been meeting with one of Osama bin Laden’s brothers on the morning of 9/11. The real Mujahideen has been used for a variety of Western-backed political purposes, namely upheaval and regional-destabilization.
Back in 1979, al Qaeda, in the form of the Mujahideen / Taliban, were America’s secret weapon in Operation Cyclone. It was geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, then National Security Advisor under Carter, who schemed to draw the Soviet Union into a trap that might bleed them dry. [Declassified documents authorizing action]
During the Reagan years, they were Freedom Fighters, public heroes heralding the possibility for democracy to spread overseas in resistance to Communism. Reagan even dedicated the launch of the space shuttle Columbia to the Afghans, in the name of the ‘highest aspirations of freedom.’ In 1985, Ronald Reagan said the men in the Taliban’s ranks were “the moral equivalents of America’s Founding Fathers.” These men were supported openly for a decade as the Soviets met ‘their Vietnam’ in Afghanistan.
As Kurt Nimmo writes:
Osama bin Laden ran MAK (Maktab al-Khidamat), an organization created by Pakistan’s ISI at the behest of the CIA. It funneled money, weapons, and internationally recruited fighters into the war created in part by Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Osama was closely tied to the Afghan warlord and ISI stooge Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who ran drugs for the CIA. In the 1980s, emissaries from the United States met with Osama. The CIA paid Osama to train the militant group Abu Sayyaf and others at his CIA-built camps in Afghanistan. In New York, Osama’s MAK operated the CIA-connected al-Kifah Refugee Center that was involved in the 1993 WTC bombing. The U.S. government would later call the al-Kifah charity the “precursor organization to al-Qaeda.”
The list of the agency’s wrongdoings is long, continuous and deeply documented in such books as “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner, and “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention And Extraordinary Rendition” by Amrit Singh and published by The Open Society Foundations.Unfortunately, the most heinous crimes are mostly untold because the CIA gets to refuse and censor some FOIA requests, censor any book that involves them, and pre-censor congressional reports such as the recent Senate intelligence Committee on the History of CIA Torture ‘for National Security Reasons’ .
The CIA, as the NSA is also involved in spying on Americans and people throughout the world in the name of fighting terrorism, however they are actually creating a dossier on everyone that they can through front companies that they funded such as Google and Facebook as well as tracking you. But don’t worry, as long as you’re a good boy or girl and do not resist the tyrannical new world order you will be just fine!