Thursday, October 25, 2012


OMNI CIA/FBI NEWSLETTER #1, OCTOBER 25, 2012.    Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.


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Contents #1

No Charges

Weiner, FBI History

Zepazauer, CIA History

McCoy, History of US Torture

Jaffer and Wessler, Drone Killing Then PR

Engelhardt, Assassin in Chief

Targeted Killings Are War Crimes

Patriot Act Versus US People

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.

August 30, 2012

No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A.


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the C.I.A.

Mr. Holder had already ruled out any charges related to the use of waterboarding and other methods that most human rights experts consider to be torture. His announcement closes a contentious three-year investigation by the Justice Department and brings to an end years of dispute over whether line intelligence or military personnel or their superiors would be held accountable for the abuse of prisoners in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The closing of the two cases means that the Obama administration’s limited effort to scrutinize the counterterrorism programs carried out under President George W. Bush has come to an end. Without elaborating, Mr. Holder suggested that the end of the criminal investigation should not be seen as a moral exoneration of those involved in the prisoners’ treatment and deaths. ......


Behind the Bureau: On the FBI

Beverly Gage

August 21, 2012
This article appeared in the September 10, 2012 edition of The Nation.

J. Edgar Hoover died forty years ago, at the reasonably ripe age of 77. The timing of his death—a heart attack on May 1, 1972—turned out to be a blessing and a curse for his historical legacy. Had he lived a few months longer, he could have become mired in Watergate and been tarnished by the downfall of his longtime ally Richard Nixon. A few years beyond that and he might have been hauled before the Church Committee to answer for the civil liberties abuses committed during his thirty-seven-year tenure at the FBI. His death spared him the experience of seeing the bureau maligned, denounced and partially dismantled in the 1970s. But it also made him a poster boy—often rightly, sometimes wrongly—for all that had gone wrong in American intelligence policy since the ugly days of the Palmer raids in the wake of World War I. In the four decades since his death, Hoover has come in for merciless treatment at the hands of journalists, biographers and government investigators seeking to expose his secrets and scuff up his polished public image. Today, most Americans know him best not as the consummate public servant of FBI lore but as a tyrannical brute and alleged cross-dresser who spent a lifetime assaulting Americans’ constitutional rights.


A History of the FBI. By Tim Weiner. 2012

Buy this book.

At first glance, Tim Weiner’s Enemies fits comfortably into the tradition of exposé. A longtime intelligence reporter, Weiner is best known for Legacy of Ashes, his award-winning 2007 indictment of the CIA’s secret operations since its founding in the late 1940s. Enemies promises revelations from never-before-seen FBI files and vows that the truth about the bureau has—at last—come out. But the truth, it turns out, is rather messy. Enemies suffers from one-damned-thing-after-another syndrome, a common hazard with case-based intelligence histories. The book covers a wide range of issues and contexts, from the civil liberties violations committed in the bureau’s early years to World War II espionage on up through the “war on terror.” Weiner seems determined to judge each episode on its merits, and at its best Enemies is surprisingly evenhanded. But at its worst, Enemies collapses under the weight of its internal contradictions. Weiner describes his book as a study of “a century of constant conflict over the conduct of secret intelligence in an open democracy.” Unfortunately, Enemies often seems to embody rather than explain that conflict.

Weiner begins with the founding of the Bureau of Investigation in 1908 and traces its evolution from a tiny, incompetent band of misfits into the Hoover-led powerhouse reorganized as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. From there, he offers a selective and often fascinating journey through the FBI’s efforts to protect the nation from its alleged “enemies, foreign and domestic.” Enemies does not pretend to be an encyclopedic institutional history. Instead Weiner focuses on the FBI’s intelligence work: ferreting out Russian spies, running American agents against the Russians in turn, manipulating foreign governments, investigating terrorism and keeping tabs on that dubious category of malcontents known as “domestic subversives.” As Weiner notes, the FBI has long been a hybrid agency: part police force, part secret intelligence bureau. And we tend to know a lot more about one side of the story than the other. Enemies is an attempt to fill in some of those gaps.

Weiner summons a blend of well-worn FBI scholarship and new revelations from declassified intelligence files acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. The first quarter of the book, which covers the period from 1908 to 1940, draws heavily on the work of such historians as Richard Gid Powers and Athan Theoharis. During these early years, Weiner writes, the bureau bounced in and out of secret intelligence work as public opinion, institutional priorities and presidential directives seemed to demand. In the main, though, it was a law enforcement agency—and not a terribly good one. The early bureau failed to solve many of its biggest cases, including the 1920 Wall Street bombing, the era’s worst terrorist attack. It also bungled its first high-profile campaign against the communists and anarchists who would become the lifelong focus of Hoover’s domestic intelligence efforts.

* * *

The Palmer raids of 1919–20 turned out to be a disaster for the bureau. With the Bolshevik Revolution stirring up fears among some Americans of a similar revolt at home, the bureau helped round up thousands of alleged communists, anarchists and other left-wingers, often ignoring the need for warrants and failing to distinguish between resident aliens and homegrown radicals. It also lacked the legal authority and the institutional know-how to carry out a mass deportation effort. In response, the fledgling ACLU joined forces with some of the nation’s most prominent attorneys to make the case that the bureau was acting outside the limits of the law. Among those persuaded was Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone, who shut down the bureau’s political surveillance apparatus upon assuming office in 1924.

The Palmer scandal foreclosed serious domestic intelligence operations for more than a decade, until Franklin Roosevelt gave the go-ahead for the FBI to plunge back in. In telling this next chapter of the story, Enemies finally hits its mark. Roosevelt was cagey with his orders at first, encouraging Hoover to keep an eye on homegrown fascists and communists as early as 1934 but refusing to put the instructions in writing. When World War II began five years later, the FBI’s intelligence mission quickly expanded. In the two years between Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the bureau doubled in size. It also acquired jurisdiction over espionage, sabotage and “subversion” cases throughout the Western Hemisphere. Today we tend to think of the CIA (another product of World War II) as the foreign intelligence wing, with the FBI mostly limited to domestic soil. During the 1940s, however, the FBI took charge of fully half the world—albeit the half least engulfed in war.

The FBI’s activities abroad, especially during World War II, are perhaps the least studied aspect of its history, and Weiner provides a valuable, detailed and sometimes shocking account of what bureau agents were up to at that time. Despite its glowing reputation in the 1930s, the FBI was not particularly well prepared for the exigencies of wartime intelligence work. As a result, agents assigned to the new Special Intelligence Service, the FBI’s South America division, faced a steep learning curve. Weiner narrates the war as a series of desperate experiments in spying and counterspying, with the FBI initially a laughingstock to the more established diplomatic services. Things got so bad that Hoover begged to get out of the South America work—one of the “few examples of Hoover offering to cede power,” as Weiner notes. Roosevelt refused the request, eager to keep the intelligence services competing with (and often undermining) one another. So the FBI adapted to the challenge as best it could, creating a “legal attaché” position that allowed its agents to work with rather than against the State Department and established a permanent infrastructure for FBI activities abroad.

One of the dirty secrets of espionage work, Weiner explains, is that success or failure often depends more on jurisdictional cooperation (or the lack thereof) than on any given agency’s competence. In one of the book’s best chapters, Weiner provides a sharp account of Hoover’s attacks on the early CIA as a cabal of socialists, adventure seekers and clueless intellectuals. “Their use as a secret intelligence agency in the postwar world [is] inconceivable,” Hoover sputtered to Truman—with little effect. Hoover had hoped that Truman would abolish the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, and place the FBI in charge of global intelligence. Instead, he got a permanently divided intelligence establishment


The CIAs Greatest Hits by Mark Zepezauer Odonian Press, March 31, 2012

In order to survive, nations need strong intelligence services. But the idea that the CIA is primarily an intelligence-gathering operation is itself one of the agency's greatest propaganda triumphs.

Despite its name, the Central Intelligence Agency's main purpose is, and has always been, carrying out covert operations involving economic warfare, rigged elections, assassinations and even genocide.

The CIA is also expert at distorting intelligence to justify its own goals, and this "disinformation" leads to dangerous illusions among our policymakers. But covert operations are its life's blood.

The litany of illegal, murderous CIA activity is enough to chill the bones of anyone who cares about liberty and justice.

As long as the CIA exists, our government can break any law it chooses in the name of national security.

Anyone for whom democracy is more than just a word should be working to abolish the CIA. For some ideas on how to do that, send a SASE to Odonian Press at Box 32375, Tucson AZ 85751.

Mark Zepezauer

The Gehlen Org

Operation Gladio


Operation CHAOS

Crooked Banks

Drug Trafficking

The Mighty Wurlitzer -- the CIA's propaganda machine

"... what the Agency [CIA] does is ordered by the President and the NSC [National Security Council]. The Agency neither makes decisions on policy nor acts on its own account. It is an instrument of the President."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary




Bay of Pigs

Vietnam 1945 - 1963

Dominican Republic

"... Secret CIA operations constitute the usually unseen efforts to shore up unjust, unpopular, minority governments, always with the hope that overt military intervention ... will not be necessary. The more successful CIA operations are, the more remote overt intervention becomes, and the more remote become reforms. Latin America in the 1960s is all the proof one needs."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary




Vietnam 1964-1975



"But what counter-insurgency really comes down to is the protection of the capitalists back in America, their property and their privileges. US national security, as preached by US leaders, is the security of the capitalist class in the US, not the security of the rest of the people."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary


Orlando Letelier


El Salvador



"A considerable proportion of the developed world's prosperity rests on paying the lowest possible prices for the poor countries' primary products and on exporting high-cost capital and finished goods to those countries. Continuation of this kind of prosperity requires continuation of the relative gap between developed and underdeveloped countries - it means keeping poor people poor.

Increasingly, the impoverished masses are understanding that the prosperity of the developed countries and of the privileged minorities in their own countries is founded on their poverty."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary

South Pacific





"American capitalism, based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force - without a secret police force.

Now, more than ever, each of us is forced to make a conscious choice whether to support the system of minority comfort and privilege with all its security apparatus and repression, or whether to struggle for real equality of opportunity and fair distribution of benefits for all of society, in the domestic as well as the international order. It's harder now not to realize that there are two sides, harder not to understand each, and harder not to recognize that like it or not we contribute day in and day out either to the one side or to the other."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary



Index of Website

Home Page


• Read this eBook on multiple devices.


The CIA's Greatest Hits details how the CIA:

* hired top Nazi war criminals, shielded them from justice and learned--and used--their techniques

* has been involved in assassinations, bombings, massacres, wars, death squads, drug trafficking, and rigged elections all over the world

* tortures children as young as 13 and adults as old as 89, resulting in forced "confessions" to all sorts of imaginary crimes (an innocent Kuwaiti was tortured for months to make him keep repeating his initial lies, and a supposed al-Qaeda leader was waterboarded 187 times in a single month without producing a speck of useful information)

* orchestrates the media--which one CIA deputy director liked to call "the mighty Wurlitzer"--and places its agents inside newspapers, magazines and book publishers

* and much more.

The CIA's crimes continue unabated, and unpunished. The day before General David Petraeus took over as the twentieth CIA director, federal prosecutors announced that they were dropping 99 investigations into the deaths of people in CIA custody, leaving just two active cases they're willing to pursue.

This book is sold in the US by Sony Electronics Inc.

This book is sold in Canada by Sony Electronics Inc.

Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation

by Alfred W. McCoy. U of Wisconsin P, 2012

Critical Human Rights

Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, Series Editors

“A masterful account of an appalling national drift toward accepting torture as part of our culture and polity.”

—Alex Gibney, director, Oscar-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side

Interview with Author on Democracy Now

Many Americans have condemned the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used in the War on Terror as a transgression of human rights. But the United States has done almost nothing to prosecute past abuses or prevent future violations. Tracing this knotty contradiction from the 1950s to the present, historian Alfred W. McCoy probes the political and cultural dynamics that have made impunity for torture a bipartisan policy of the U.S. government.

During the Cold War, McCoy argues, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency covertly funded psychological experiments designed to weaken a subject’s resistance to interrogation. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the CIA revived these harsh methods, while U.S. media was flooded with seductive images that normalized torture for many Americans. Ten years later, the U.S. had failed to punish the perpetrators or the powerful who commanded them, and continued to exploit intelligence extracted under torture by surrogates from Somalia to Afghanistan. Although Washington has publicly distanced itself from torture, disturbing images from the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are seared into human memory, doing lasting damage to America’s moral authority as a world leader.

Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin– Madison. His many books include Policing America’s Empire and A Question of Torture.

For more information regarding publicity and reviews contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email:

First the 'targeted killing' campaign, then the targeted propaganda campaign

Officially, the CIA insists its drone war is a state secret, yet we're now seeing a concerted PR effort to sanitise its dubious legality

• Jameel Jaffer and Nathan Wessler

•, Wednesday 6 June 2012 16.03 EDT

• Comments (188)

President Obama and CIA Director David Petraeus: the agency appears engaged in a carefully planned campaign of leaks about its targeted killing drone campaign. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP

A story in last week's New York Times painted a remarkably detailed picture of the US government's so-called "targeted killing" campaign, a campaign that involves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to kill suspected insurgents and terrorists and, it turns out, many, many others, as well. The story, written by Jo Becker and Scott Shane, discussed the CIA's choice of munitions, its efforts to avoid civilian casualties, and its method for calculating the number of civilians killed in any given strike. The story also underscored the extent to which President Obama himself is involved in overseeing the campaign – and even in selecting its targets.

The story has already received a great deal of coverage, but two aspects of it deserve more attention.

The first has to do with the targeted killing campaign itself. Long before the New York Times story was published, human rights organizations questioned the campaign's lawfulness. At the ACLU, we sued (pdf) over elements of the campaign two years ago, contending that the US government's then-proposed (and now-realized) killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen would violate both international law and the US constitution.

But the New York Times story suggests the legal foundation of the targeted killing campaign is not simply shaky, but rotten. One problem is that the US government appears to take a very broad view of who can be targeted. At one point, officials at the State Department complained to the White House that the CIA seemed to believe that any group of "three guys doing jumping jacks" was a terrorist training camp.

Another problem, and perhaps an even deeper one, is in the government's approach towards individuals who are not targeted – not in the conventional sense of the word, anyway. According to the New York Times, the government "counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent".

If this is true, it is astounding. The government has an obligation under international law to distinguish combatants from noncombatants – and, as far as reasonably possible, to avoid causing noncombatants harm. Direct targeting of noncombatants is a war crime; indeed, it is the prototypical one. It surely need not be explained that the government's obligation is to distinguish combatants from noncombatants while they are still alive, not after they have been killed. A "shoot first, ask questions later" policy is entirely inconsistent with international law, not to mention morally grotesque.

The other aspect of the New York Times story that warrants more attention has to do with the way the story was assembled. Becker and Shane report that they interviewed "three dozen" of President Obama's current and former advisors. These advisors supplied them with granular detail about deliberations inside the White House, quoted (or paraphrased) conversations between the president and senior officials, and discussed tensions between various agencies – most notably, the State Department and the CIA.

That the advisors were so forthcoming would be remarkable in any circumstances, but it is particularly remarkable here because the US government's official position – a position it has set out in legal briefs and sworn affidavits (pdf) – is that the CIA's targeted killing campaign is a state secret. Indeed, the CIA's position in court is that the agency's mere acknowledgement of the campaign would cause grave and irreparable injury to the nation's security.

The truth, of course, is that the CIA has already acknowledged the campaign, and that dozens of government officials have spoken about it to Jo Becker and Scott Shane and many other reporters besides. The CIA's litigation position is not intended to protect the "secrecy" of the agency's killing program, but to protect the agency's ability to disclose only the information that it wants to disclose – information that invariably paints the CIA's practices as closely supervised, supremely effective, and absolutely necessary.

Later this month, in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the CIA will have to file a legal brief explaining to a court in New York why it should be permitted to eschew real transparency about the targeted killing program, while simultaneously carrying on its propagandistic campaign of officially sanctioned leaks. Notably, the Freedom of Information Act was meant to foreclose precisely this kind of official duplicity. Almost half a century ago, Republican lawmakers championed the act in the hope of curbing the "selective disclosures, managed news, half-truths, and admitted distortions" that had come to characterize official statements about the war in Vietnam and Cambodia. The act, they said, would "help to blaze a trail of truthfulness and accurate disclosure in what has become a jungle of falsification, unjustified secrecy, and misstatement by statistic".

Whether a court will compel the CIA to retire the increasingly untenable fiction that the targeted killing program is a secret remains to be seen. There is no doubt, though, that selective disclosures – and selective secrecy – about the program has distorted public debate. Last week's New York Times article serves as a reminder that our public debate about the government's bureaucratized killing program is based almost entirely on the government's own selective, self-serving, and unverifiable representations about it.

This surely puts far too much power in the hands of the CIA, and too little in the hands of ordinary citizens.

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Tomgram: Engelhardt, Assassin-in-Chief

Posted by Tom Engelhardt at 7:51am, June 5, 2012.

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Signed, personalized copies of Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050, the new book Nick Turse and I have co-authored, will soon be in the mail to the many of you who contributed $75 or more to this site -- with our deepest thanks. (Copies of my book The United States of Fear, similarly signed, will similarly be off.) Those of you who still have the urge to contribute, do check TD’s donation page for our offer on both books.

And as for the rest of you, remember to pick up your copy of Terminator Planet, either the ebook by clicking here or the paperback by clicking here, and ensure that our little publishing venture is a success. News of drones now seems to be everywhere, even in the comic strips, so this couldn’t be more timely! To catch Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Engelhardt discusses drone warfare and the Obama administration, click here or download it to your iPod here. Tom]

Praying at the Church of St. Drone

The President and His Apostles

By Tom Engelhardt

Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief. The last two presidents may not have been emperors or kings, but they -- and the vast national-security structure that continues to be built-up and institutionalized around the presidential self -- are certainly one of the nightmares the founding fathers of this country warned us against. They are one of the reasons those founders put significant war powers in the hands of Congress, which they knew would be a slow, recalcitrant, deliberative body.

Thanks to a long New York Times piece by Jo Becker and Scott Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” we now know that the president has spent startling amounts of time overseeing the “nomination” of terrorist suspects for assassination via the remotely piloted drone program he inherited from President George W. Bush and which he has expanded exponentially. Moreover, that article was based largely on interviews with “three dozen of his current and former advisers.” In other words, it was essentially an administration-inspired piece -- columnist Robert Scheer calls it “planted” -- on a “secret” program the president and those closest to him are quite proud of and want to brag about in an election year.

The language of the piece about our warrior president was generally sympathetic, even in places soaring. It focused on the moral dilemmas of a man who -- we now know -- has personally approved and overseen the growth of a remarkably robust assassination program in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan based on a “kill list.” Moreover, he’s regularly done so target by target, name by name. (The Times did not mention a recent U.S. drone strike in the Philippines that killed 15.) According to Becker and Shane, President Obama has also been involved in the use of a fraudulent method of counting drone kills, one that unrealistically deemphasizes civilian deaths.

Historically speaking, this is all passing strange. The Times calls Obama’s role in the drone killing machine “without precedent in presidential history.” And that’s accurate.

It’s not, however, that American presidents have never had anything to do with or been in any way involved in assassination programs. The state as assassin is hardly unknown in our history. How could President John F. Kennedy, for example, not know about CIA-inspired or -backed assassination plots against Cuba’s Fidel Castro, the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, and South Vietnamese autocrat (and ostensible ally) Ngo Dinh Diem? (Lumumba and Diem were successfully murdered.) Similarly, during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, the CIA carried out a massive assassination campaign in Vietnam, Operation Phoenix. It proved to be a staggeringly profligate program for killing tens of thousands of Vietnamese, both actual enemies and those simply swept up in the process.

In previous eras, however, presidents either stayed above the assassination fray or practiced a kind of plausible deniability about the acts. We are surely at a new stage in the history of the imperial presidency when a president (or his election team) assembles his aides, advisors, and associates to foster a story that’s meant to broadcast the group’s collective pride in the new position of assassin-in-chief.

Religious Cult or Mafia Hit Squad?

Here’s a believe-it-or-not footnote to our American age. Who now remembers that, in the early years of his presidency, George W. Bush kept what the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward called "his own personal scorecard for the war" on terror? It took the form of photographs with brief biographies and personality sketches of those judged to be the world's most dangerous terrorists, each ready to be crossed out by Bush once captured or killed. That scorecard was, Woodward added, always available in a desk drawer in the Oval Office.

Such private presidential recordkeeping now seems penny-ante indeed. The distance we’ve traveled in a decade can be measured by the Times' description of the equivalent of that “personal scorecard” today (and no desk drawer could hold it):

“It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals: Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die. This secret 'nominations' process is an invention of the Obama administration, a grim debating society that vets the PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases, and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia’s Shabab militia. The nominations go to the White House, where by his own insistence and guided by [counterterrorism ‘tsar’ John O.] Brennan, Mr. Obama must approve any name.”

In other words, thanks to such meetings -- on what insiders have labeled “terror Tuesday” -- assassination has been thoroughly institutionalized, normalized, and bureaucratized around the figure of the president. Without the help of or any oversight from the American people or their elected representatives, he alone is now responsible for regular killings thousands of miles away, including those of civilians and even children. He is, in other words, if not a king, at least the king of American assassinations. On that score, his power is total and completely unchecked. He can prescribe death for anyone “nominated,” choosing any of the “baseball cards” (PowerPoint bios) on that kill list and then order the drones to take them (or others in the neighborhood) out.

He and he alone can decide that assassinating known individuals isn’t enough and that the CIA’s drones can instead strike at suspicious “patterns of behavior” on the ground in Yemen or Pakistan. He can stop any attack, any killing, but there is no one, nor any mechanism that can stop him. An American global killing machine (quite literally so, given that growing force of drones) is now at the beck and call of a single, unaccountable individual. This is the nightmare the founding fathers tried to protect us from.

In the process, as Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, the president has shredded the Fifth Amendment, guaranteeing Americans that they will not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produced a secret memo claiming that, while the Fifth Amendment’s due process guarantee does apply to the drone assassination of an American citizen in a land with which we are not at war, “it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.” (That, writes Greenwald, is “the most extremist government interpretation of the Bill of Rights I’ve heard in my lifetime.”) In other words, the former Constitutional law professor has been freed from the law of the land in cases in which he “nominates,” as he has, U.S. citizens for robotic death.

There is, however, another aspect to the institutionalizing of those “kill lists” and assassination as presidential prerogatives that has gone unmentioned. If the Times article -- which largely reflects how the Obama administration cares to see itself and its actions -- is to be believed, the drone program is also in the process of being sanctified and sacralized.

You get a sense of this from the language of the piece itself. (“A parallel, more cloistered selection process at the C.I.A. focuses largely on Pakistan…”) The president is presented as a particularly moral man, who devotes himself to the "just war" writings of religious figures like Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, and takes every death as his own moral burden. His leading counterterrorism advisor Brennan, a man who, while still in the CIA, was knee-deep in torture controversy, is presented, quite literally, as a priest of death, not once but twice in the piece. He is described by the Times reporters as “a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama.” They then quote the State Department’s top lawyer, Harold H. Koh, saying, “It’s as though you had a priest with extremely strong moral values who was suddenly charged with leading a war.”

In the Times telling, the organization of robotic killing had become the administration’s idée fixe, a kind of cult of death within the Oval Office, with those involved in it being so many religious devotees. We may be, that is, at the edge of a new state-directed, national-security-based religion of killing grounded in the fact that we are in a “dangerous” world and the “safety” of Americans is our preeminent value. In other words, the president, his apostles, and his campaign acolytes are all, it seems, praying at the Church of St. Drone.

Of course, thought about another way, that “terror Tuesday” scene might not be from a monastery or a church synod, but from a Mafia council directly out of a Mario Puzo novel, with the president as the Godfather, designating “hits” in a rough-and-tumble world.

How far we’ve come in just two presidencies! Assassination as a way of life has been institutionalized in the Oval Office, thoroughly normalized, and is now being offered to the rest of us as a reasonable solution to American global problems and an issue on which to run a presidential campaign.

Downhill All the Way on Blowback Planet

After 5,719 inside-the-Beltway (largely inside-the-Oval-Office) words, the Times piece finally gets to this single outside-the-Beltway sentence: “Both Pakistan and Yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the United States than when Mr. Obama became president.”

Arguably, indeed! For the few who made it that far, it was a brief reminder of just how narrow, how confining the experience of worshiping at St. Drone actually is. All those endless meetings, all those presidential hours that might otherwise have been spent raising yet more money for campaign 2012, and the two countries that have taken the brunt of the drone raids are more hostile, more dangerous, and in worse shape than in 2009. (And one of them, keep in mind, is a nuclear power.) News articles since have only emphasized how powerfully those drones have radicalized local populations -- however many “bad guys” (and children) they may also have wiped off the face of the Earth.

And though the Times doesn’t mention this, it’s not just bad news for Yemen or Pakistan. American democracy, already on the ropes, is worse off, too.

What should astound Americans -- but seldom seems to be noticed -- is just how into the shadows, how thoroughly military-centric, and how unproductive has become Washington's thinking at the altar of St. Drone and its equivalents (including special operations forces, increasingly the president’s secret military within the military). Yes, the world is always a dangerous place, even if far less so now than when, in the Cold War era, two superpowers were a heartbeat away from nuclear war. But -- though it’s increasingly heretical to say this -- the perils facing Americans, including relatively modest dangers from terrorism, aren’t the worst things on our planet.

Electing an assassin-in-chief, no matter who you vote for, is worse. Pretending that the Church of St. Drone offers any kind of reasonable or even practical solutions on this planet of ours, is worse yet. And even worse, once such a process begins, it’s bound to be downhill all the way. As we learned last week, again in the Times, we not only have an assassin-in-chief in the Oval Office, but a cyberwarrior, perfectly willing to release a new form of weaponry, the most sophisticated computer “worm” ever developed, against another country with which we are not at war.

This represents a breathtaking kind of rashness, especially from the leader of a country that, perhaps more than any other, is dependent on computer systems, opening the U.S. to potentially debilitating kinds of future blowback. Once again, as with drones, the White House is setting the global rules of the road for every country (and group) able to get its hands on such weaponry and it’s hit the highway at 140 miles per hour without a cop in sight.

James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and the rest of them knew war, and yet were not acolytes of the eighteenth century equivalents of St. Drone, nor of presidents who might be left free to choose to turn the world into a killing zone. They knew at least as well as anyone in our national security state today that the world is always a dangerous place -- and that that’s no excuse for investing war powers in a single individual. They didn’t think that a state of permanent war, a state of permanent killing, or a president free to plunge Americans into such states was a reasonable way for their new republic to go. To them, it was by far the more dangerous way to exist in our world.

The founding fathers would surely have chosen republican democracy over safety. They would never have believed that a man surrounded by advisors and lawyers, left to his own devices, could protect them from what truly mattered. They tried to guard against it. Now, we have a government and a presidency dedicated to it, no matter who is elected in November.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. To listen to Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Engelhardt discusses drone warfare and the Obama administration, click here or download it to your iPod here.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.

Copyright 2012 Tom Engelhardt

UN expert labels CIA tactic exposed by Bureau 'a war crime'

Jack Serle, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, June 21st, 2012

The UN's expert on extrajudicial killings has described a tactic used by the CIA and first exposed by a Bureau investigation as 'a war crime'.

Earlier this year the Bureau and the Sunday Times revealed the CIA was deliberately targeting rescuers and funeral-goers in its Pakistan drone strikes. Those controversial tactics have reportedly been revived.

Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur, told a meeting in Geneva on June 21: 'Reference should be made to a study earlier this year by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism… If civilian 'rescuers' are indeed being intentionally targeted, there is no doubt about the law: those strikes are a war crime.'


In a separate presentation to the Council, Heyns, said that he was hopeful that the US would reveal the procedures, rules and legal opinions underlying its controversial use of drones. He also noted that the US government did not give his predecessor a satisfactory response when asked to clarify which aspects of international law it believes covers targeted killings.

But after a two-day Council debate, Heyns said the US had not been forthcoming: 'I don't think we have the full answer to the legal framework,' he said. 'We certainly don't have the answer to the accountability issues.'

A number of other Geneva delegates also expressed concern about targeted killings. Swiss UNHRC representative Dante Martinelli addressed the Council and called for transparent reporting of casualties from targeted killing operations which 'cause many victims among the civilian population.' Because of the cost to civilians, Switzerland called for 'respect for the rules of international law.'

Senators terrified with abuse of Patriot Act's secret laws

By RT TV (about the author)

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (AFP Photo / Chip Somodevilla)

Horrified with the way the US government uses the Patriot Act against its own people, two senators have been trying to make these practices public for years. Tired of being ignored, they're now taking their fight against secret programs to public.

Two US senators wrote the attorney general of the United States this week, urging the federal government to give the American public evidence explaining how the Patriot Act has been interpreted since signed into law in 2001.

In a joint letter to Attorney General Eric Holder sent Thursday, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mark Udall (D-Colorado) plead with the government to provide the American people with the facts behind what the Patriot Act can let America's top investigators do. The lawmakers, who have rallied for disclosure of these details for more than two years, say citizens would be "stunned" to learn what the government believes it can get away with under the law.

The controversial USA Patriot Act was hastily signed into legislation after the September 11 al-Qaeda attacks under the guise of a being a necessity for preventing future terrorist efforts, but for over a decade since the law has become notorious for its ability to stick federal eyes into seemingly every aspect of the American public in the name of counter-terrorism. Although the government has gone on the record to downplay the constitutionally-damning powers they are granted under the law, Senators Wyden and Udall say it is time that the feds fulfill the demands of millions of concerned Americans and discuss in detail what they can do under the act -- and what they've already done.

Wydell and Udall are specifically calling on Holder to provide information about how the government has interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which grants government officials with certain clearance to obtain "tangible things" deemed "relevant" to issues of terrorism. While that much is clear, write the senators, how the government goes about abiding by it "has been the subject of secret legal interpretations," which they add "are contained in classified opinions" that are not made available to much of Congress, let alone members of the general public.

"We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215," add the senators . "As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when they public doesn't know what its government thinks the law says."

The Justice Department has in their own defense said that disclosing details on certain interpretations could be detrimental to national security, an issue to which the senators acknowledge. "We believe that is entirely legitimate for government agencies to keep certain information secret," write the lawmakers.The argument being made by Wyden and Udall, however, is that the government is letting itself perceive the law in a way which not only are Americans completely oblivious to, but Americans are also under the false impression that matters are marvelously different.

"In a democratic society -- in which the government derives its powers from the consent of the people -- citizens rightly expect that their government will not arbitrarily keep information from them," reads the letter to Holder. "Americans expect their government to operate within the boundaries of publically-understood law, and as voters they have a need and a right to know how the law is being interpreted, so that they can ratify or reject decisions made on their behalf.

"Americans know that the government will sometimes conduct secret operations, but they don't think that government officials should be writing secret laws."

Wydell and Udall add that this is not something that they've only recently been pressing for. They claim to have gone after the president himself to declassify the interpretations of the Patriot Act so that Congress can consider discussions on Capitol Hill, but say that despite repeated attempts to appeal to Holder and others in the past, no leeway whatsoever has been accomplished. Now both the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times are trying to get the truth through filing Freedom of Information Act requests, but the feds are working overtime to make sure that the attempts at finding the facts are ignored.

The senators say they had a glimmer of hope in August 2009 when the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced that they would begin a new processes for reviewing and releasing details of decisions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- the court that interprets the Patriot Act -- but "two and a half years later, however, this 'process' had produced literally zero results." is Russian television, which actually does a great job reporting on US news too.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author

ah,election time by liberalsrock on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 1:00:09 PM

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 1:03:17 PM

How about your own transparency, Wyden and Udall? by Joan Mootry on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 4:47:45 PM


Secrets the CIA

Ref Number: 58

Type of Video: Documentary

Genre: Conspiracy

Length: 44 Minutes

Visit Website

Description: Engaging profiles of 5 former CIA agents which includes the varied experiences encountered during they-re recruitment, frightening top-secret operations, eventual disillusionment and defection. A remarkable look at the lengths the US government has gone to manipulate public opinion, radically undermine civilizations in other countries, and commit crimes against humanity. An exceptional expose.

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Dennis Kucinich: “Unaccountable, Immoral and, by Definition, Inhuman”

Dennis Kucinich, Statement: “The use of lethal force by the United States in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – countries we are not at war with – constitutes an already troubling method of waging war in which we are accountable to no one. As Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur recognizes: ‘Not even the American public, let alone the international community, knows when and where the CIA has authorized the kill, the criteria for individuals who may be killed, how the CIA insures killings are legal, and what follow-up there is when civilians are illegally killed. It follows that the international law requirements of transparency and accountability are comprehensively violated.’”



Hendricks, Steve. A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial. Norton.

Prouty, Nada. Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab-American Patriot in the CIA. Palgrave, 2011. This tale of rampant trampling of citizen’s rights reminds us to be vigilant against unaccountable government overreach.


Ali Soufan, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda.

“CIA Seeks to Censor 9/11 Book”

Scott Shane, The New York Times, August 27, 2011

Intro: "In what amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, the Central Intelligence Agency is demanding extensive cuts from the memoir of a former FBI agent who spent years near the center of the battle against Al Qaeda."


Experiments in MIND-CONTROL on Writers

From: Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 7:51 AM

July 20, 2011

On this day in 1977, the Central Intelligence Agency released 20,000 documents revealing that they had engaged in mind-control experiments. They released the documents after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, and the revelation triggered a Congressional hearing in August. The program was named MK-ULTRA; it began in the early 1950s and ran at least through the late 1960s.

MK-ULTRA had its roots in Operation Paperclip, a program to recruit former Nazi scientists who had conducted studies on torture and brainwashing. Operation Paperclip spawned several secret government programs involving mind control, behavior modification, hypnosis, and the like. It's not clear whether the CIA's real aim was to produce a "Manchurian candidate" who could be brainwashed to carry out various tasks, or whether these off-the-wall "operations" were a smoke screen to keep attention away from their real mission: to come up with better torture and interrogation techniques. The program received 6 percent of the CIA's operating budget without oversight or accounting.

Since then-director Richard Helms ordered all the MK-ULTRA documents destroyed in 1973, the investigation had to rely on sworn testimony and the 20,000 remaining documents, which had escaped destruction because they were stored in a different warehouse. The limited information that was available at the Congressional hearings revealed that "chemical, biological, and radiological" methods to achieve mind control were studied. This involved, among other things, administering drugs like LSD, heroin, amphetamines, and mescaline to people without their knowledge or consent; they also used, according to the Congressional report, "aspects of magicians' art." In one project, called Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up brothels in San Francisco, gave patrons LSD, and filmed their responses through hidden cameras. They figured that even if subjects got suspicious, they would be too embarrassed to report anything to the authorities. In other experiments conducted at McGill University in Montreal, subjects — who had come to the institute thinking they were to be treated for anxiety or post-partum depression — were put into drug-induced comas and exposed to tape loops for weeks at a time; others were given electroconvulsive therapy at 30 to 40 times the normal dose. Many subjects suffered lasting damage.

The CIA had the assistance of nearly a hundred colleges and universities, pharmaceutical companies, research foundations, hospitals, and prisons in conducting the MK-ULTRA project. Some evidence suggests that Unabomber Ted Kaczynski was one of the subjects; Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, volunteered for the LSD tests at a Veterans Administration hospital when he was a student at Stanford. The official CIA position is that they no longer conduct mind-control experiments, although at least one veteran of the agency has said that the tests continue.


1. 'Five Fingers' Is Sheer Torture - CBS News - Cached

May 2, 2006 – (CBS) Showbuzz's Judy Faber reviews the feature film "Five Fingers," which is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. ...

2. Five Fingers review (2006) Phillippe, Fishburne - Qwipster's Movie ... - Cached

As you can tell from the plot summary above, Five Fingers isn't a pleasant movie . Films about torture rarely are. However, at the same time, the film isn't ...

“Former CIA Legal Chief Wanted for Murder by Drone”

Peter Beaumont, Guardian UK

Intro: "Campaigners against US drone strikes in Pakistan are calling for the CIA's former legal chief to be arrested and charged with murder for approving attacks that killed hundreds of people."




Anthony Lappé, GNN Gary Webb, RIP

No thanks to the L.A. Times

Marc Cooper, LA Weekly Trashed by the CIA's Claque

Gary Webb: a Great Reporter

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair, Counterpunch Why They Hated Gary Webb

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair, Counterpunch How Webb Saved My Ass from the FBI

Gary Webb was the Real Deal

Bill Conroy, Counterpunch I Knew It Was the Truth and That's What Kept Me Going

My Last Talk with Gary Webb

Richard Thieme, Counterpunch A Giant Falls

Press accounts fail to mention his vindication by CIA Inspector General reports and congressional investigations

Michael C. Ruppert, From the Wilderness The Pariah

“Two years ago, Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that said some bad things about the CIA. The CIA denied the charges, and every major paper in the country took the agency's word for it. Gary was ruined. Which is a shame, because he was right.”

Charles Bowden, Esquire


Sue Skidmore to MPC 6-20-11

A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments - H. P. Albarelli Jr.; Review'Gripping Cold War tale of the CIA frying French brains. Tremendous.' -- Fortean Times April 2010. Following nearly a decade of research, this account solves the mysterious death of biochemist Frank Olson, revealing the identities of his murderers in shocking detail. It offers a unique and unprecedented look into the backgrounds of many former CIA, FBI, and Federal Narcotics Bureau officials—including several who actually oversaw the CIA’s mind-control programs from the 1950s to the 1970s. In retracing these programs, a frequently bizarre and always frightening world is introduced, colored, and dominated by many factors—Cold War fears, the secret relationship between the nation’s drug enforcement agencies and the CIA, and the government’s close collaboration with the Mafia.See all Editorial Reviews

The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists - Colin A. Ross; The C.I.A. Doctors, (Manitou Communications, 2006), uncovers the truth about violations of human rights by American Psychiatrists in the twentieth century. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and cross-referenced research published in leading medical journals expose the existence of mind altering experiments on unwitting human subjects, paid for by the U.S. government, the U.S. Military and the C.I.A. These experiments which include LSD experiments, sensory deprivation, electroconvulsive treatment, brain electrode implants, radiation experiments and prostitution rings were perpetrated not by a few renegade doctors but by leading psychiatrists, psychologists, neurosurgeons, universities, medical schools and maximum security prisons on American soil. Dr. Ross takes you on a mind-blowing fact finding adventure into the secret world of espionage and Manchurian Candidates. Given our situations in Guantanamo and Abu Graib the only question left unanswered is what are the U.S. Government, psychiatrists and medical schools doing today? The C.I.A. Doctors was originally published as BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists in 2000. About the AuthorColin A. Ross, M.D. is an internationally renowned clinician, researcher, author and lecturer in the field of traumatic stress and trauma related disorders. He is the founder and President of The Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma. Dr. Ross has authored over 100 professional papers and books. He has reviewed for numerous professional journals, and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. In addition, Dr. Ross has served as expert witness in over 50 court cases, consulted on several television and video productions on trauma related disorders, and produced an educational video for mental health professionals on the treatment of trauma based disorders.

The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Second Edition) - L. Fletcher Prouty; The book the CIA doesn't want you to read—now with a new foreword by Jesse Ventura.The Secret Team, L. Fletcher Prouty’s exposeì of the CIA’s brutal methods of maintaining national security during the Cold War, was first published in the 1970s. However, virtually all copies of the book disappeared upon distribution, having been purchased en masse by shady “private buyers.” Certainly, Prouty’s allegations—such as how the U-2 Crisis of 1960 was fixed to sabotage Eisenhower–Khrushchev talk—cannot have pleased the CIA. The Secret Team appears once more with a new introduction by Jesse Ventura. About the AuthorL. Fletcher Prouty (1917–2001), a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy years. He was directly in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the clandestine activities of the CIA. He was also the author of The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies.

Jesse Ventura is the former governor of Minnesota and author of several bestselling books, including Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me! and American Conspiracies. Ventura is the host of the television show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV. He lives in Minnesota and Mexico

Shadow Masters: An International Network of Governments and Secret-Service Agencies Working Together with Drugs Dealers and Terrorists for Mutual Benefit and Profit - Daniel Estulin; This investigation examines how behind-the-scenes collaboration between governments, intelligence services and drug traffickers has lined the pockets of big business and Western banks. Beginning with a last-minute request from ex-governor Jesse Ventura, the narrative winds between the author's own story of covering "deep politics" and the facts he has uncovered. The ongoing campaign against Victor Bout, the "Merchant of Death," is revealed as "move/countermove" in a game of geopolitics, set against the background of a crumbling Soviet Union, a nascent Russia, bizarre assassinations, wars and smuggling.About the AuthorDaniel Estulin is an award-winning investigative journalist and author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group. He is the host of two radio shows in Spain.

The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate": The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences - John D. Marks; A comprehensive, detailed and thoroughly readable account of the CIA safehouses, the brainwashing experiments, the involvement of the universities. (Washington Monthly )

Perhaps the most compelling, well-researched, organized and well-written account of CIA operations ever. (Progressive )

A serious effort to reconstruct carefully the details of intelligence agency experiments with 'mind control.' (American Political Science Review )

One of the most important books of the year. . . . We see the CIA on the cutting edge of inquiry into hypnosis, drugs, brainwashing, personality assessment, psychosurgery, electric and radio stimulations of the brain, the creation of involuntary amnesia, terminal shock therapy. (Playboy )

Fascinating reading. (Washington Post )

A wonderful piece of investigative reporting. The best account we'll ever get of one of the seamiest episodes of American intelligence. (Seymour Hersh ) Product Description"The CIA exposé to end all CIA exposés." —New YorkA 'Manchurian Candidate' is an unwitting assassin brainwashed and programmed to kill. In this book, former State Department officer John Marks tells the explosive story of the CIA's highly secret program of experiments in mind control. His curiosity first aroused by information on a puzzling suicide. Marks worked from thousands of pages of newly released documents as well as interviews and behavioral science studies, producing a book that 'accomplished what two Senate committees could not' (Senator Edward Kennedy). A new consciousness and a totally new morality are necessary to bring about a radical change in the present culture and social structure. This is obvious, yet the Left and the Right and the revolutionary seem to disregard it. Any dogma, any formula, any ideology is part of the old consciousness; they are the fabrications of thought whose activity is fragmentation - the Left, the Right, the centre. This activity will inevitably lead to bloodshed of the Right or of the Left or to totalitarianism. This is what is going on around us. One sees the necessity of social, economic, and moral change but the response is from the old consciousness, thought being the principal actor. The mess, the confusion, and the misery that human beings have got into are within the area of the old consciousness, and without changing that profoundly,every human activity-political, economic or religious-will only bring us to the destruction of each other and of the earth. -J. Krishnamurti This Light in Oneself

Sue Skidmore to Dick

A Nation Betrayed: The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on our Children and Other Innocent People by Carol Rutz ... - The Want to Know site lists three books. Carol Rutz was one of those books listed. The Want to Know site is about Mind Control and other things….and is a project of several professionals. It looks very legitimate to me. Carol Rutz book is out at Amazon and can be ordered as above. Thanks, Sue

A survivor of SRA and Government Mind Control experimentation is the author of A Nation Betrayed which tells the true story of secret Cold War experiments performed on children. With extensive research and testimony from survivors, she documents experiments by the CIA to create a Manchurian Candidate. Book

A Nation Betrayed: The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on our Children and Other Innocent People by Carol Rutz Book Review: A Nation Betrayed: The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on our Children and Other Innocent People by Carol Rutz

Ritual Abuse - Shadow Government and Mount Pony by Carol Rutz [2003] "Healing from Ritual Abuse and Mind Control." Ritual Abuse Conference

[2003] Carol Rutz's Lecture at Indiana University

[2001] Carol Rutz's Conference Presentation The Fourth Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference -2001


NYT reporter is fighting a grand jury subpoena (April 2010)seeking the identities of his sources for portions of his book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.


NY Times reports the destruction of video tapes of interrogations using torture by the CIA. -Carl


In 1991 our RSO, the Arkansas Committee, invited Professor Al McCoy to visit us here and speak at Giffells in Old Main. He spoke on the CIA controlled drug trade at the Mena, Arkansas airport. We filmed that event and it is available upon your request in DVD format. Dr. McCoy's book is available at:

Dr. Kurzmarov of the University in Tulsa has invited Dr. McCoy to speak there and the poster announcing that is attached for your information and action. Dr. Kuzmarov visited here two weeks ago to discuss his new book "The Myth of the Addicted Army" and connections to the CIA controlled drug trade worldwide.


Thank you for considering this. Rev. Tom Brown

Exclusive: Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups

Meet the private security firm that spied on Greenpeace and other environmental outfits for corporate clients. A tale of intrigue, infiltration, and dumpster-diving. " />

James Ridgeway" />

April 11" /> , 2008" /> A private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records—donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies.

In addition to focusing on environmentalists, the firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i), provided a range of services to a host of clients. According to its billing records, BBI engaged in "intelligence collection" for Allied Waste; it conducted background checks and performed due diligence for the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based investment firm; it provided "protective services" for the National Rifle Association; it handled "crisis management" for the Gallo wine company and for Pirelli; it made sure that the Louis Dreyfus Group, the commodities firm, was not being bugged; it engaged in "information collection" for Wal-Mart; it conducted background checks for Patricia Duff, a Democratic Party fundraiser then involved in a divorce with billionaire Ronald Perelman; and for Mary Kay, BBI mounted "surveillance," and vetted Gayle Gaston, a top executive at the cosmetics company (and mother of actress Robin Wright Penn), retaining an expert to conduct a psychological assessment of her. Also listed as clients in BBI records: Halliburton and Monsanto.

BBI, which was headquartered in Easton, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, worked extensively, according to billing records, for public-relations companies, including Ketchum, Nichols-Dezenhall Communications, and Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin. At the time, these PR outfits were servicing corporate clients fighting environmental organizations opposed to their products or actions. Ketchum, for example, was working for Dow Chemical and Kraft Foods; Nichols-Dezenhall, according to BBI records, was working with Condea Vista, a chemical manufacturing firm that in 1994 leaked up to 47 million pounds of ethylene dichloride, a suspected carcinogen, into the Calcasieu River in Louisiana.

Like other firms specializing in snooping, Beckett Brown turned to garbage swiping as a key tactic. BBI officials and contractors routinely conducted what the firm referred to as "D-line" operations, in which its operatives would seek access to the trash of a target, with the hope of finding useful documents. One midnight raid targeted Greenpeace. One BBI document lists the addresses of several other environmental groups as "possible sites" for operations: the National Environmental Trust, the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Media Services, the Environmental Working Group, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an organization run by Lois Gibbs, famous for exposing the toxic dangers of New York's Love Canal. For its rubbish-rifling operations, BBI employed a police officer in the District of Columbia and a former member of the Maryland state police.

Beckett Brown's efforts to penetrate environmental groups and other targets came to an end when the business essentially dissolved in 2001 amid infighting between the principals. But the firm's officials went on to work in other security firms that remain active today.

Beckett Brown International began when John C. Dodd III met Richard Beckett at a bar in Easton in 1994. Dodd had recently become a millionaire after his father had sold an Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship on Maryland's eastern shore. Beckett ran a local executive recruiting and consulting business. Soon after they met, according to Dodd, Beckett introduced him to Paul Rakowski, a recently retired Secret Service agent, who had put in two decades protecting presidents and foreign heads of state and had become regional manager of the agency's financial crimes division. Rakowski told Dodd he had an idea for a new security business.

Dodd subsequently received a fax of a business plan for the new company. The sender's address at the top of the fax, according to Dodd, read: "11/02/94 USSS Financial Crimes Division/Forgery"—which suggested it had come from a Secret Service office. But Dodd was reluctant to put in the start-up money for the enterprise, because he didn't know who all the partners were. To impress him, Dodd says, Rakowski and his former Secret Service colleagues began taking him and his friends on special tours of the White House. "This wasn't a White House tour conducted by tour guides," he says. "They would take us…to areas that said 'Do not pass this line.'"

At one point, Dodd says, a senior Secret Service agent named Joseph Masonis arranged for him to tour a Secret Service facility. "To encourage me to invest in this company," Dodd notes, "they all said 'why not go up to technical security headquarters [of the Secret Service] and you will get an exclusive tour.'…They showed me everything....They were worried about someone flying way up high in a plane, miles from the White House, jumping out of a plane, skydiving, popping the chute and getting on the White House grounds without anybody knowing it. They were working on the technology to pick that up." Dodd says he was blown away by what he saw. (Masonis says, "I have never taken Mr. Dodd to any facility in D.C.") And at a waterfront party, Dodd says, he was introduced to and deeply impressed by George Ferris, a former naval special operations officer and an expert in demolitions.

Eventually, Dodd says, he agreed to be the sole investor of the new firm, and he put up $170,000, the first of what would be several loans at 15 percent interest. (His investment in the firm, Dodd estimates, would grow to a total of $700,000.) The company was officially launched in August 1995, named after Beckett and Sam Brown, a lawyer who helped get it started. Rakowski, Masonis, and Ferris were officials in the firm.

Business was good. In early 1997, Beckett Brown provided security services for Bill Clinton's second inauguration, landing a contract worth nearly $300,000. Early clients also included Phillip Morris, Mary Kay, Browning-Ferris Industries, and Nichols-Dezenhall, a Washington-based firm founded in 1987 by Nick Nichols and Eric Dezenhall that specialized in crisis communications, particularly for corporations involved in biotechnology, product safety, and environmental controversies. BBI provided protection for retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, Dodd says, and there was talk it might also get a job to guard the Rolling Stones.

NEXT PAGE: "Alley is locked by iron gates. 7 dumpsters in alley—take your pick."

By 1998, BBI had 22 employees working in five different divisions, along with subcontractors that it hired as operatives. The company also looked abroad for new opportunities and recruited more law enforcement and intelligence veterans. David Bresett, a former chief of the Secret Service's foreign intelligence branch, joined the firm as a vice president. (A company biography noted that Bresett, while detailed to the CIA, had directed the investigation that identified the terrorists who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.) The firm retained Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and earlier one of the government officials responsible for overseeing U.S. support of the Nicaraguan contras, as a consultant at $75,000 a year. "I did due diligence on a couple of customers," Cannistraro recalls. On the advice of Cannistraro and Bresett, BBI turned down a $1 million job with the Church of Scientology, according to Dodd. (Bresett did not respond to a message asking for comment.) At one point, an employee named Tim Ward, who had been a sergeant in the Maryland state police, traveled to Saudi Arabia for the company, according to Dodd.

Phil Giraldi, a former CIA officer, was also on the payroll. According to Giraldi, there was not a lot of work for him and Cannistraro. "We would go to a company like Enron and see if they had any issues if they were looking to acquire a company," he recalled. "See if the [company to be acquired] is connected to the Russia mob. That's what we were selling. We were not very successful." Giraldi left the firm in 1999. By then, he had become aware of the firm's more unconventional activities: "Scooping garbage, trying to get penetrations of companies and environmental groups. I didn't know a lot of the details." But, he says, he knew BBI was "working on Greenpeace."

In 2000, the firm—which had changed its name to S2i after Richard Beckett left the company—was targeting a group of activist organizations opposed to genetically engineered food that had formed a coalition called GE Food Alert. In the fall of 2000, with these groups poised to assail Taco Bell, S2i operatives got on the case.

Their thoughts soon turned to garbage.

On September 26, Jay Bly, a former Secret Service agent working for S2i, sent an email to Tim Ward, the former Maryland state trooper on the payroll:

Received a call from Ketchum yesterday afternoon re three sites in DC. It seems Taco Bell turned out some product made from bioengineered corn. The chemicals used on the corn have not been approved for human consumption. Hence Taco Bell produced potential glow-in-the-dark tacos. Taco Bell is owned by Kraft. The Ketchum Office, New York, has the ball. They suspect the initiative is being generated from one of three places:

1.Center for Food Safety, 7th & Penn SE

2.Friends of the Earth, 1025 Vermont Ave (Between K & L Streets)

3.GE Food Alert, 1200 18th St NW (18th & M)

#1 is located on 3rd floor. Main entrance is key card. Alley is locked by iron gates. 7 dempsters [sic] in alley—take your pick.

#2 is in the same building as Chile Embassy. Armed guard in lobby & cameras everywhere. There is a dumpster in the alley behind the building. Don't know if it is tied to bldg. or a neighborhood property. Cameras everywhere.

#3 is doable but behind locked iron gates at rear of bldg.

In this email, Bly explained the urgency and the goal: "Apparently there is an article or press release due out next week and [Ketchum] would like some pre release information." He then turned practical: "I want to send Sarah [another BBI employee] to site #1 for a job inquiry. She can see how big the offices are and get the lay of the land. Maybe this will narrow the field. If they have a job opening could she work there for two or three days to find out what's going on?" The Friends of the Earth site, he noted, would be tougher to penetrate. As for the garbage of GE Food Alert, Bly had a plan: "if we can get some help from our friends who ride the truck. The alley is tight. I think the truck can drive down the alley but the container probably is rolled out and dumped. Looks like one dumpster for the building. I'm sitting on the building at 4:00 am tomorrow morning (if Ketchum gives us a budget)." And Bly noted that there were other possible opportunities: "we have found some other affiliates with the above groups. We are looking for their locations in [Washington, D.C.] and hopefully a more S2i friendly site."

The following day, Bly emailed Ward about his early morning surveillance:

Re: Dumpster Dive.

I got hold of Jim Daron [a Washington police officer working for BBI] yesterday. He was supposed to do Vermont Ave and Penn Ave SE last night. I have not heard from him today—what's new. I did 18th St. Weard [sic] set up—the dumpster is behind locked gates. The truck drives down the alley and rings for the night guard to open the gate. The guard comes out, unlocks and goes back into the building (probably pissed off because they woke him up), the guys walk the bags out to the truck one at a time. When they finish they locked the gate behind them. There was so much trash they had to compact the truck two times while they were there. I did not find anything from the 5th floor, but the good news is it's doable.

On September 28,Ward responded:

Good news! Think that once Jim [Daron] calls you back we will know where we stand. If he can't get in with the shield, it will be difficult at sight #1. I think #2 we can do regardless. The issue is a hot one in general. I've been following it from here. Don't forget our GP [Greenpeace] boy in Baltimore has been handling the work for GP. It may be worth a check in the city. Maybe one of our BPD [Baltimore Police Department] guys can hit that one. When you talk with the client push the fact that their client (the cheese people)…should put together a trend tracking program for the future. The anti's now have found an exposed corporate target and they will be back for more blood.

This email appears to suggests that the Beckett Brown operatives were considering using a Washington police officer's badge to gain access to the garbage of the Center for Food Safety. And Ward was apparently hoping that Beckett Brown could persuade Ketchum to hire the company to monitor the ongoing activity of the activists opposed to genetically-engineered food.

These emails do not indicate whether Beckett Brown succeeded in scooping valuable intelligence from the garbage at these three sites. But Beckett Brown had already managed to penetrate the anti-GE food network. In a 1999 report to Ketchum—entitled "Intelligence Analysis for Dow Global Trends Tracking Team" —BBI described in detail a strategy session held by 35 representatives of various environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, US PIRG, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The report noted the targets the coalition was considering (Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, the Grocery Manufacturers of America) and listed various tactics the group had discussed. Such strategy meetings of this coalition were confidential, according to Dale Wiehoff of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Neither Bly nor Ward would discuss this series of emails or any of the work they did for Beckett Brown or S2i. "Legally, I can't tell you anything about what the company did," Ward says. He accuses Dodd of trying to "besmirch the names of the people involved" in the company. Rakowski, Daron, and Beckett did not reply to requests for comments. Nor did Ketchum. A spokesman for Kraft says, "After a review of our historical procurement files, we have no record of work on or about Sept. 26, 2000, with either Ketchum, Beckett Brown International or S2i. In the late '90s, Ketchum provided some PR services to Kraft for one of our coffee brands. However, Ketchum does not currently provide PR services to Kraft and has not done so for many years."

Time and again, according to Beckett Brown records, the firm looked to trash for intelligence. These trash runs at one point did raise concern within the company. In 1998, David Queen, a senior vice president, sent Rakowski a memo about "dumpster diving." Queen, a former deputy assistant secretary of the treasury and once a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania, noted that in certain instances searching trash could raise "some troublesome issues," including possible violation of state trespass laws and "possible violation of trade secrets laws." He concluded, "If BBI expects to use this method of information gathering, it would be prudent to get the opinion of outside counsel which could be relied upon by BBI should there be future litigation directed against BBI."

Whether or not BBI sought counsel, the dumpster diving continued. In November 1999, according to company documents, Jay Bly traveled to St. Augustine, Florida, to meet with a private detective. He told the investigator that BBI wanted to obtain garbage from the offices of Whetstone Chocolates, a locally based candy manufacturer. (According to BBI billing records, BBI at the time was working for Nichols-Dezenhall on a "Nestle Project-Florida." At press time, Nestle had not responded to a request for comment.) This private investigator and another local gumshoe then tracked the garbage men who made pick-ups at Whetstone and tried to persuade one of the drivers to turn over the trash from Whetstone. The trash collectors wouldn't cooperate. A month later, another private investigator apparently attempted to grab the garbage himself. He sent Bly a fax reporting, "We made a pickup run on December 23,1999 as requested. We were unable to enter the area where the dumpster is located as there appeared to [be] a company party taking place in the break area located in front of the dumpster. We remained in the area for a short time, however, the party continued and we departed the area." A December 1, 1999, BBI briefing paper on a "Nichols-Dezenhall/St. Augustine Project" reported on activities within Whetstone and said that "BBI now has operative in place."

Eric Dezenhall says that he cannot identify clients or vendors with which his firm worked. But he notes in an email that he never saw the briefing paper referring to a BBI operative and Whetstone and that "we would not have been involved in any infiltration operation." He adds, "Nichols-Dezenhall Communications never authorized, directed, or was informed of unethical or illegal activities by forensic investigators employed on any project we have worked on. With regard to our work on matters in which we were teamed with investigators, we are aware only of information-gathering through public records checks and other legitimate means." Dezenhall says that "any use of an 'operative' to infiltrate a company…would be counter to our business interests and any information gathered in that manner would be unusable in court." (In 2003, Dezenhall bought out Nichols and renamed the company Dezenhall Resources. "Our client base and employees from the 1990s have turned over almost entirely," Dezenhall says. According to a source familiar with the firm's current operations, the company has moved away from handling corporations involved in environmental controversies.) Another target of BBI's trash men was Fenton Communications, the liberal PR firm headed by David Fenton that for years has assisted environmental causes. On December 8, 1999, a BBI operative, according to an internal report, "sat surveillance" at Fenton's Washington home, beginning at 2:50 am. In the report, the operative noted the time of the morning garbage pick-up and that he returned to the office to "sort material" and "analyze." BBI ran background checks on both Fenton and his then-wife. The company's files contained photographs of their house as well as client lists, billing information, and personnel information from Fenton Communications. Between July 1998 and February 2001, Fenton says, his firm experienced several break-ins, during which boxes of files and two laptops were stolen. The culprits were never caught.

NEXT PAGE: "It was Mission Impossible-like."

Greenpeace was the target of one of BBI's more elaborate—and cinematic—intelligence-gathering efforts, according to company documents and an interview with an eyewitness. Jennifer Trapnell, who was dating Ward in the late 1990s, recalls an evening when she accompanied Ward on a job in Washington D.C. "He said they were trying to get some stuff on Greenpeace," she says. Ward wore black clothes and had told her to dress all in black, too: "It was Mission Impossible-like." In Washington, Ward parked his truck in an alley, she remembers, and told her to stay in the truck and keep a lookout. In the alley, he met a couple of other men, whose faces Trapnell did not see clearly. Ward was talking on a walkie-talkie with others, and they all walked off. About an hour later, the men came back and placed two trash bags in Ward's car. Trapnell says she didn't know what they did with the bags—and Ward never explained. In addition to Ward's work, on several occasions in 2000, Jim Daron, the Washington cop who also worked for BBI, submitted reports to BBI for surveillance of Greenpeace's offices.

BBI gathered numerous internal Greenpeace documents, including financial reports. It also obtained the instructions for using the security system at Greenpeace's offices. And the Greenpeace files at BBI included a handwritten document that appears to record attempts to crack the security codes on entry doors with notations such as "codes do not match" and "open."

BBI prepared reports on Greenpeace—based on "confidential sources"—for Ketchum. In at least one case, according to Rick Hind, legislative director for Greenpeace (who reviewed these reports at Mother Jones' request), a BBI report written for Ketchum contained information tightly held within the group about planned upcoming events. And a December 2, 1999 BBI report (which does not mention Ketchum) noted that Greenpeace had chosen Kellogg's, Kraft, and Quaker as "their main targets in the GE campaign," that it was developing a campaign tactic called "Food-Aid Expose" (which would highlight the export of genetically-modified foods to other countries), and that it was helping a Wall Street Journal reporter track food companies involved in the debate over genetically-engineered foods.

Over the years, Greenpeace has repeatedly been the target of public relations firms working for industry, and the group has experienced burglaries and caught would-be spies posing as students seeking employment. But Greenpeace officials say they did not know that their organization was under surveillance during that period of time.

In the late 1990s, Greenpeace was working with environmental groups in the stretch of Louisiana dubbed "Cancer Alley," organizing against various forms of industry pollution. Its work there and that of its Louisiana partners became another target for BBI. In 1998, according to BBI emails, correspondence, and records, BBI retained Mary Lou Sapone, a self-described "research consultant," who recruited a paid operative in Louisiana to infiltrate an environmental group called CLEAN. Sapone had something of a talent for infiltrating activist groups. In the late 1980s, working for a security firm called Perceptions International, which was, in turn, working for the U.S. Surgical Corporation, she penetrated a Connecticut-based animal-rights group, gathering evidence on an activist who would later serve jail time for planting a pipe bomb near the parking space of the company's CEO. The activist would eventually accused Sapone of coaxing her into the plot.

Sapone's operative in Louisiana relayed to her information on what the local enviros were planning, provided gossip on the internal rivalries, and identified the scientists aiding the groups. She passed the intelligence to BBI. In an August 20, 1998 "client briefing," BBI boasted that "our operative is being nominated to the citizen action panels for local industries" and it asked which local industry Condea Vista, the chemical manufacturing firm, would prefer the operative to focus on. (The previous year, Condea Vista had lost a lawsuit brought by the residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana, against the company for the 1994 ethylene dichloride leak and had been slapped with a $7 million judgment.) Another BBI document noted, "The operative has been trained to be inquiring, but not participatory. Operatives are not allowed to offer suggestions or `help' targets in any way. They are trained to seek documents, ID friends and foe legislators and regulators, follow money trails, ID informants, discover future targets."

BBI produced detailed confidential reports for Ketchum on the environmental activism underway in Louisiana. And BBI records indicate that the firm worked for Nichols-Dezenhall on a "Condea Vista Project." Citing "strict confidentiality agreements," Dezenhall will not say whether his firm worked with Condea Vista (or any other company), but he notes in an email, "It would be extremely damaging and wrong…to interpret or portray the term 'operative,' a generic term often used by investigators and former law enforcement types to mean an individual, as implying someone necessarily engaged in illicit actions such as corporate espionage." (Sapone did not respond to a message requesting comment.)

Penetrating a citizens group was not a new endeavor for BBI. In 1996 and 1997 in northern California, where Browning-Ferris Industries was engaged in a battle over the future of a garbage dump, BBI conducted what its records labeled "covert monitoring" and "intelligence gathering" on the North Valley Coalition, a citizens group opposed to the Browning-Ferris project. In September 1997, BBI received a payment of $198,881.05 from BFI.

NEXT PAGE: The firm's Obama connection.

BBI fell apart in 2001 amid arguments over the company's finances. "It was not a happy company," says Phil Giraldi, the ex-CIA man who had worked there, adding, "I have worked for a number of security companies. Some are ethical, some are not. Beckett Brown was not especially so." When the company was collapsing, Dodd says, he heard that document shredding was underway in its offices, and one weekend he went to the offices and carted off scores of cartons stuffed with records.

BBI's demise led to a lawsuit. Dodd sued Rakowski, Ward, Bly and two others, claiming they had engaged in fraud. In a pretrial statement, Dodd accused them of having "dipped into the Company's coffers for generous salaries, commissions, bonuses, loans, benefits and unsupported expense reimbursements, all the while presenting false and misleading financial information" to Dodd. In 2005, after a month-long trial in Maryland's Talbot County Circuit Court, Dodd lost. He now was out the $700,000 he had invested in the company. By his own estimate, he had spent over a million dollars in legal fees. And he was mad. He claims that he only learned of the firm's sleazier actions after the company imploded and that his lawyers encouraged him not to raise that issue as part of his lawsuit. But after the trial was done, Dodd began contacting some of BBI's targets and shared its records with them. "I wanted the facts to come out," he says. "I feel terrible that my money was used to screw these people over."

Today, boxes and boxes of BBI records sit in warehouse space Dodd rents. Dodd has not gone through all of the material. (The records include internal and confidential financial reports of a local bank that had been the subject of a takeover.) Much of what BBI did remains a mystery to Dodd. A law firm representing the Mars candy corporation pored over all the records, according to Dodd and his lawyer, apparently in search of evidence that Mars had been the target of corporate espionage. (The files contain records indicating that BBI obtained information on the phone calls made by a PR man working with Mars.) Then Dodd heard nothing further from this law firm. Dodd says he would be delighted to testify before Congress about BBI—but no one has invited him to do so.

As for BBI's principals, they are still operating. Tim Ward now runs a security firm called Chesapeake Strategies, which bills itself as "a multinational security and investigative firm comprised of professionals with extensive security experience." Jay Bly works there. Its website boasts that it maintains affiliated offices in Paris, Beijng, Tokyo, Qatar, and Kuwait and that "many team members continue to hold Secret and Top Secret government security clearances." The firm has been active in protecting research facilities from animal-rights activists. In 2002, it won a contract from the General Services Administration "for recreational, hospitality, law enforcement, facilities, industrial and environmental services and products." It was listed on a 2005 line-up of Defense Department contractors. "I don't have any comment about what I am currently doing or what I plan to do," Ward says.

Joseph Masonis works for the Annapolis Group, a security firm. Its website notes that the company's managing directors "have over forty-five years of combined experience with the United States Secret Service." Paul Rakowski married Amy DiGeso, who was CEO of Mary Kay when BBI worked for the cosmetics firm. (Currently, she is a top executive at Estee Lauder.) Rakowski's current occupation—if he has one—is not publicly known.

Richard Beckett is now CEO of Maryland-based Global Security Services, which, according to its website, offers clients a "suite of business solutions" that includes "intelligence services," "disaster management," "information systems security," and "paramilitary operations." Last year, his firm provided bodyguards to Senator Barack Obama.

James Ridgeway is Mother Jones' Senior Washington Correspondent.

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© 2008" /> The Foundation for National Progress


Who Runs the CIA? Outsiders for Hire.

By R.J. Hillhouse/Washington Post, Sunday, July 8, 2007; B05

Red alert: Our national security is being outsourced.

The most intriguing secrets of the "war on terror" have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. They're about the mammoth private spying industry that all but runs U.S. intelligence operations today.

Surprised? No wonder. In April, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was poised to publicize a year-long examination of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the report was inexplicably delayed -- and suddenly classified a national secret. What McConnell doesn't want you to know is that the private spy industry has succeeded where no foreign government has: It has penetrated the CIA and is running the show.

Over the past five years (some say almost a decade), there has been a revolution in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing. Private companies now perform key intelligence-agency functions, to the tune, I'm told, of more than $42 billion a year. Intelligence professionals tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) -- the heart, brains and soul of the CIA -- has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

These firms recruit spies, create non-official cover identities and control the movements of CIA case officers. They also provide case officers and watch officers at crisis centers and regional desk officers who control clandestine operations worldwide. As the Los Angeles Times first reported last October, more than half the workforce in two key CIA stations in the fight against terrorism -- Baghdad and Islamabad, Pakistan -- is made up of industrial contractors, or "green badgers," in CIA parlance.

Intelligence insiders say that entire branches of the NCS have been outsourced to private industry. These branches are still managed by U.S. government employees ("blue badgers") who are accountable to the agency's chain of command. But beneath them, insiders say, is a supervisory structure that's controlled entirely by contractors; in some cases, green badgers are managing green badgers from other corporations.

Sensing problems -- and possibly fearing congressional action -- the CIA recently conducted a hasty review of all of its job classifications to determine which perform "essential government functions" that should not be outsourced. But it's highly doubtful that such a short-term exercise can comprehensively identify the proper "blue/green" mix, especially because contractors' work statements have long been carefully formulated to blur the distinction between approvable and debatable functions.

Although the contracting system is Byzantine, there's no question that the private sector delivers high-quality professional intelligence services. Outsourcing has provided solutions to personnel-management problems that have always plagued the CIA's operations side. Rather than tying agents up in the kind of office politics that government employees have to engage in to advance their careers, outsourcing permits them to focus on what they do best, which boosts morale and performance. Privatization also immediately increased the number of trained, experienced agents in the field after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Even though wide-scale outsourcing may not immediately endanger national security, it's worrisome. The contractors in charge of espionage are still chiefly CIA alumni who have absorbed its public service values. But as the center of gravity shifts from the public sector to the private, more than one independent intelligence firm has developed plans to "raise" succeeding generations of officers within its own training systems. These corporate-grown agents will be inculcated with corporate values and ethics, not those of public service.

And the current piecemeal system has introduced some vulnerabilities. Historically, the system offered members of the intelligence community the kind of stability that ensured that they would keep its secrets. That dynamic is now being eroded. Contracts come and go. So do workforces. The spies of the past came of age professionally in a strong extended family, but the spies of the future will be more like children raised in multiple foster homes -- at risk.

Today, when Booz Allen Hamilton loses a contract to SAIC, people rush from one to the other in a game of musical chairs, with not enough chairs for all the workers who possess both the highest security clearances and expertise in the art of espionage. Some inevitably lose out. Any good counterintelligence officer knows what can happen next. Down-on-their-luck spies begin to do what spies do best: spy. Other companies offer them jobs in exchange for industry secrets. Foreign governments approach them. And some day, terrorists will clue in to this potential workforce.

The director of national intelligence has put our security at risk by classifying the study on outsourcing and keeping the truth about this inadequately planned and managed system out of the light. Much of what has been outsourced makes sense, but much of the structure doesn't, not for the longer term. It's time for the public and Congress to demand the study's release. More important, it's past time for the industry -- an industry conceived of and run by some of the best and brightest the CIA has ever produced -- to come up with the kind of innovative solutions it's legendary for, before the damage goes too deep.

R.J. Hillhouse writes the national security blog the Spy Who Billed Me and is the author of the espionage thriller "Outsourced."

Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA's illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974.

Here is the National Security Archive website at

In the news

";CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry"

By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus

Washington Post

June 22, 2007

";CIA Kidnapping, Wiretapping of '60s, '70s Revealed"

Morning Edition (National Public Radio)

June 22, 2007

";C.I.A. to Release Documents on Decades-Old Misdeeds"

By Scott Shane

New York Times

June 22, 2007

Chronology of the CIA's record on declassification

CIA Proposed Rule on FOIA Fees Would Burden Requesters and the Agency

February 7, 2007

CIA Had Single Officer in Hungary 1956

October 31, 2006

CIA Claims the Right to Decide What is News

June 14, 2006

Secret Understanding Between National Archives and CIA Exposes Framework for Surreptitious Reclassification Program

April 19, 2006

CIA Wins 2006 "Rosemary Award" for Worst Freedom of Information Performance by a Federal Agency

March 13, 2006

Declassification in Reverse

February 21, 2006

PDB News - The President's Daily Brief

January 27, 2006

Judge Refuses In Camera Review of CIA Estimate on Iraq

October 21, 2005

Public Interest in Hidden CIA Operational Records Is High

January 21, 2005

Professor Sues CIA for President's Daily Briefs

December 23, 2004

Archive Calls on CIA and Congress to Address Loophole Shielding CIA Records From the Freedom of Information Act

October 15, 2004

CIA Whites Out Controversial Estimate on Iraq Weapons

July 9, 2004

Dubious Secrets

May 21, 2003

The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup

November 29, 2000

Lawsuit calls CIA secrecy claims "facially incredible"

August 2, 2000

Archive Sues CIA

May 13, 1999


CIA's Broken Promises on Declassification

What Others Say about CIA's Promises

";C.I.A., Breaking Promises, Puts Off Release of Cold War Files"

By Tim Weiner

New York Times (Select)

July 15, 1998

For more information contact:

Thomas Blanton - 202/994-7000

Washington D.C., June 21, 2007 - The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s, according to declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden announced today that the Agency is declassifying the full 693-page file amassed on CIA's illegal activities by order of then-CIA director James Schlesinger in 1973--the so-called "family jewels." Only a few dozen heavily-censored pages of this file have previously been declassified, although multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed over the years for the documents. Gen. Hayden called the file "a glimpse of a very different time and a very different Agency." The papers are scheduled for public release on Monday, June 25.

"This is the first voluntary CIA declassification of controversial material since George Tenet in 1998 reneged on the 1990s promises of greater openness at the Agency," commented Thomas Blanton, the Archive's director.

Hayden also announced the declassification of some 11,000 pages of the so-called CAESAR, POLO and ESAU papers--hard-target analyses of Soviet and Chinese leadership internal politics and Sino-Soviet relations from 1953-1973, a collection of intelligence on Warsaw Pact military programs, and hundreds of pages on the A-12 spy plane.

The National Security Archive separately obtained (and posted today) a six-page summary of the illegal CIA activities, prepared by Justice Department lawyers after a CIA briefing in December 1974, and the memorandum of conversation when the CIA first briefed President Gerald Ford on the scandal on January 3, 1975.

Then-CIA director Schlesinger commissioned the "family jewels" compilation with a May 9, 1973 directive after finding out that Watergate burglars E. Howard Hunt and James McCord (both veteran CIA officers) had cooperation from the Agency as they carried out "dirty tricks" for President Nixon. The Schlesinger directive, drafted by deputy director for operations William Colby, commanded senior CIA officials to report immediately on any current or past Agency matters that might fall outside CIA authority. By the end of May, Colby had been named to succeed Schlesinger as DCI, and his loose-leaf notebook of memos totaled 693 pages [see John Prados, Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby (Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 259-260.]

Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA's illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974 ("Huge C.I.A. Operation Reported in U.S. Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years"), writing that "a check of the CIA's domestic files ordered last year… produced evidence of dozens of other illegal activities… beginning in the nineteen fifties, including break-ins, wiretapping, and the surreptitious inspection of mail."

On December 31, 1974, CIA director Colby and the CIA general counsel John Warner met with the deputy attorney general, Laurence Silberman, and his associate, James Wilderotter, to brief Justice "in connection with the recent New York Times articles" on CIA matters that "presented legal questions." Colby's list included 18 specifics:

1. Confinement of a Russian defector that "might be regarded as a violation of the kidnapping laws."

2. Wiretapping of two syndicated columnists, Robert Allen and Paul Scott.

3. Physical surveillance of muckraker Jack Anderson and his associates, including current Fox News anchor Brit Hume.

4. Physical surveillance of then Washington Post reporter Michael Getler.

5. Break-in at the home of a former CIA employee.

6. Break-in at the office of a former defector.

7. Warrantless entry into the apartment of a former CIA employee.

8. Mail opening from 1953 to 1973 of letters to and from the Soviet Union.

9. Mail opening from 1969 to 1972 of letters to and from China.

10. Behavior modification experiments on "unwitting" U.S. citizens.

11. Assassination plots against Castro, Lumumba, and Trujillo (on the latter, "no active part" but a "faint connection" to the killers).

12. Surveillance of dissident groups between 1967 and 1971.

13. Surveillance of a particular Latin American female and U.S. citizens in Detroit.

14. Surveillance of a CIA critic and former officer, Victor Marchetti.

15. Amassing of files on 9,900-plus Americans related to the antiwar movement.

16. Polygraph experiments with the San Mateo, California, sheriff.

17. Fake CIA identification documents that might violate state laws.

18. Testing of electronic equipment on US telephone circuits.


Read the Documents

Note: The following documents are in PDF format.

You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Document 1: Summary of the Family Jewels

Memorandum for the File, "CIA Matters," by James A. Wilderotter, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 3 January 1975

Source: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

On New Years' eve, 1974, DCI Colby met with Justice Department officials, including Deputy Attorney General Laurence H. Silberman, to give them a full briefing of the "skeletons."

Document 2: Colby Briefs President Ford on the Family Jewels

Memorandum of Conversation, 3 January 1975

Source: Gerald R. Ford President Library

Ten days after the appearance of Hersh's New York Times story, DCI William Colby tells President Ford how his predecessor James Schlesinger (then serving as Secretary of Defense) ordered CIA staffers to compile the "skeletons" in the Agency's closet, such as surveillance of student radicals, illegal wiretaps, assassination plots, and the three year confinement of a Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko.

Document 3: Kissinger's Reaction

Memorandum of Conversation between President Ford and Secretary of State/National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, 4 January 1975

Source: Gerald R. Ford President Library

An apoplectic Kissinger argues that the unspilling of CIA secrets is "worse than the days of McCarthyism" when the Wisconsin Senator went after the State Department. Kissinger had met with former DCI Richard Helms who told him that "these stories are just the tip of the iceberg," citing as one example Robert F. Kennedy's role in assassination planning. Ford wondered whether to fire Colby, but Kissinger advised him to wait until after the investigations were complete when he could "put in someone of towering integrity." The "Blue Ribbon" announcement refers to the creation of a commission chaired by then-vice president Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Document 4: Investigations Continue

Memorandum of Conversation between Kissinger, Schlesinger, Colby et al., "Investigations of Allegations of CIA Domestic Activities," 20 February 1975

Source: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

Cabinet and sub-cabinet level officials led by Kissinger discuss ways and means to protect information sought by ongoing Senate (Church Committee) and House (Pike Committee) investigations of intelligence community abuses during the first decades of the Cold War. Worried about the foreign governments that have cooperated with U.S. intelligence agencies, Kissinger wants to "demonstrate to foreign countries that we aren't too dangerous to cooperate with because of leaks."


January 25, 2008

A CounterPunch Special Investigation

How the CIA Inflitrated the DEA

Operation Two-Fold


The DEA and its predecessor federal drug law enforcement organizations have always been infiltrated and, to varying degrees, managed by America's intelligence agencies. The reason is simple enough: the US Government has been protecting its drug smuggling allies, especially in organized crime, since trafficking was first criminalized in 1914. Since then drug law enforcement has been a function of national security in its broadest sense; not just protecting our aristocracy from foreign enemies, but preserving the Establishment's racial, religious and class prerogatives.

The glitch in the system is that while investigating traffickers, federal drug agents are always unearthing the Establishment's ties to organized crime and its proxy drug syndicates. US intelligence and security agencies recognized this problem early in the early 1920s and to protect their Establishment patrons (and foreign and domestic drug smuggling allies fighting communists), they dealt with the problem by suborning well-placed drug law enforcement managers and agents.

They have other means at their disposal as well. In 1998, for example, in a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News, reporter Gary Webb claimed that the CIA had facilitated the flow of crack cocaine to street gangs in Los Angeles. After the Agency vehemently denied the allegations, Webb was denounced by the CIA's co-conspirators: the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Frightened into submission by the growls of its biggers and betters, the Mercury News retracted Webb's story and sent the reporter into internal exile. The CIA's Inspector General later admitted that Webb was partially right. But being unjustly discredited is the price one pays for tearing the mask off the world's biggest drug trafficker.

It's always been that way. Case in point: in 1960 MacMillan published Russ Koen's book The China Lobby. In it Koen said the Nationalist Chinese were smuggling narcotics into the US, "with the full knowledge and connivance" of their government in Taiwan. He said that "prominent Americans have participated and profited from these transactions." The idea of prominent Americans profiting from drug trafficking was unthinkable and quick as a flash, Harry J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), denounced Koen as a fraud. Within weeks Koen's book was remaindered into obscurity by MacMillan.

Professor Al McCoy's seminal book The Politics of Heroin, published in 1972, is another example. The CIA knew about McCoy's research and approached his publisher, demanding that it suppress the book on grounds of national security. Harper Row refused, but agreed to allow the CIA to review the book prior to publication. When McCoy objected, Harper Row said it would not publish the book unless McCoy submitted.

Examples of federal drug law enforcement's complicity with the CIA also abound and many are recounted in my first book on the subject, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1968. In my new book, The Strength of the Pack: The Politics, Espionage Intrigues, and Personalities that Defined the DEA, I explain how the CIA infiltrated the DEA and how, under CIA direction, the war on drugs became a template for the war on terror. One example shall be presented in this essay.

The Merry Pranksters

My new book, Strength of the Pack, begins in April 1968, when, in the wake of a huge corruption scandal, the Johnson Administration folded the FBN into a new organization called the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced the appointment of thirty-eight year old John E. Ingersoll as the BNDD's director. In a letter to me Clark said that Ingersoll "offered a clean break with a past that had ended in corruption and, I hoped, a new progressive, scientific based approach to drug control in a time of deep social unrest."

Clark appointed Ingersoll while Johnson was president and after the elections, in an attempt to preempt the in-coming Nixon Administration, Clark held a news conference to proclaim the Johnson Administration's success in cleansing the BNDD of any lingering corruption. "32 Narcotics Agents Resign in Corruption Investigation Here," read the headline in the 14 December 1968 New York Times. Clark noted that five of the bad agents had been indicted, and that additional prosecutions and resignations would soon be forthcoming.

The Democrats had lost the election, largely because the "law and order" candidate Richard Nixon had promised to win the war on drugs. Ironically, once he was elected president, this vow would pit Nixon against the CIA, which was aiding and abetting the major politicians and generals commanding America's allies in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, many of whom were part of a huge Kuomintang drug smuggling network. In order to defeat the Communists, their drug smuggling activities had to be protected. But in order for Nixon to make good on his promise to win the war on drugs, they had to be stopped. Thus began the CIA's infiltration of the BNDD, and its struggle with Nixon's anti-Establishment, felonious minions for control over targeting of major traffickers as a mean of managing the war on drugs.

BNDD Director John Ingersoll was totally unprepared for the political tug-of-war he found himself in the midst of. He had joined the Oakland police department in 1956, serving as a motorcycle cop and later as an administrative assistant to the chief. In the mid-1960s he became the police chief in Charlotte, North Carolina where he earned a reputation as a straight arrow and fighter against corruption. But within a year of taking control of the BNDD, Ingersoll realized he was no match for the wily federal drug agents he inherited. They were a cunning and dangerous wolf pack, and the organization's top officials were among the worst offenders.

As one agent explains, "Most were corrupted by the lure of the underworld. They thought they could check their morality at the door--go out and lie, cheat, and steal--then come back and retrieve it. But you can't. In fact, if you're successful because you can lie, cheat, and steal, those things become tools you use in the bureaucracy. You're talking about guys whose lives depended on their ability to be devious and who become very good at it. So these people became the bosses. Meanwhile the agents were losing their simplicity in subtle ways."

Ingersoll knew this, but he was also aware of the high priority Nixon placed on winning the war on drugs. Rather than generate a scandal, Ingersoll decided to go outside of the organization, to the CIA, for help in quietly rooting out corruption. The 1975 Rockefeller Commission Report On CIA Activities Within The United States stated that the joint CIA-BNDD anti-corruption program began when Ingersoll became "vitally" concerned that some of his employees might have been corrupted by drug traffickers. Lacking the necessary security apparatus to expunge these corrupt agents, Ingersoll in early 1970 asked the Director of Central Intelligence, Richard Helms, for help building a "counter-intelligence" capacity. The request was "apparently" supported by President Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell.

The man Ingersoll appointed chief inspector of BNDD, Patrick Fuller, had served with IRS investigations for nearly 20 years in California. Fuller was Ingersoll's close friend, but apart from that, he was incapable of mounting internal security investigations against federal drug agents. When Ingersoll proposed that they turn to the CIA, Fuller readily agreed. The plan, known as Operation Twofold, involved the hiring of CIA officers to spy on ranking BNDD officials suspected of corrupt practices, past and present. As Pat Fuller recalls, "We recruited the CIA officers for BNDD through a proprietary company. A corporation engaged in law enforcement hired research consultants, and three CIA officers posing as private businessmen were hired to do the contact and interview work."

The principle recruiter was Jerry Soul, assisted by CIA officers John F Murnane, Joseph Cruciani, and Chick Barquin. Then a personnel officer at CIA headquarters, Soul had managed Cuban exiles during the Bay of Pigs invasion, and later directed the CIA's exile Cuban mercenary army and air force in the Congo.

Apart from one exile Cuban, the CIA officers hired for Operation Twofold were, typically, Anglo paramilitary officers whose careers had stalled due to the gradual reduction of CIA forces in Vietnam and Laos. Those hired were put through the BNDD training course and assigned by Fuller to spy on a particular regional director and his trusted subordinates. According to Fuller, no records were kept and some participants will never be identified because they were "cut-outs" who never went to a BNDD office, but spied from afar and reported clandestinely. Some were not even known to Fuller. All were supposed to be sent overseas but most remained in the US.

Much of Twofold remains a mystery because, as the Rockefeller Commission reported, it "violated the 1947 Act which prohibits the CIA's participation in law enforcement activities."

No one was ever prosecuted.

Twofold Case Studies

Twofold was aimed at the BNDD's top managers. One target was Joseph J. Baca, the assistant Regional Director in Los Angeles. The cousin of a top Mexican cop, Baca in July 1969 was charged by the New Mexico State Police with trafficking in drugs and stolen property. He was accused of arranging burglaries and holdups, and allegedly sold heroin to a drug smuggler. But the local investigations were closed without any adverse action against Baca, so Twofold torpedo Charles "Chuck" Gutensohn was asked to investigate.

Gutensohn had served with the Special Forces in South Vietnam. He left the army in 1964, earned a college degree, and in 1968 joined the CIA. For the next two years, Gutensohn served in Pakse, Laos, one of the major drug transit points between the Golden Triangle and Saigon. He had drug experience and upon returning to the US, Gutensohn was given the choice of being the CIA's liaison to the BNDD in Laos, or joining Twofold. Gutensohn's brother Joel, also a Vietnam veteran, had joined the Twofold program six months earlier in Chicago. That being the case, Chuck joined too.

"After meeting with Jerry Soul," Gutensohn recalls, "I met Fuller at a hotel near Tyson's Corner. He said that when we communicated, I was to be known as Leo Adams, for Los Angeles. He was to be Walter De Carlo, for Washington, DC."

Fuller recruited Gutensohn and the other CIA officers because they did not have to be trained in the "tradecraft skills" required for the job of spying on their bosses. But Gutensohn's cover was blown before he got to LA. As he recalls, "Someone at headquarters was talking and everyone knew. About a month after I arrived, one of the agents said to me, "I hear that Pat Fuller signed your credentials."

A similar situation occurred in Miami, where Fuller's targets were Regional Director Ben Theisen and Group Supervisor Pete Scrocca. Terry Burke, who would cap his career as the DEA's acting administrator in 1990, was one of the Twofold agents assigned to investigate Theisen and Scrocca. Tall and handsome, Burke's background is fascinating. After serving as a Marine guard at the US Embassy in Rome, he joined the CIA and served as a paramilitary officer in Laos from 1963-1965, working for legendary CIA officer Tony Poshepny at the 118A base near Ban Houei Sai--the epicenter of the Golden Triangle's opium and heroin trade. Burke received the CIA's highest award, the Intelligence Star, for gallantry in combat in Laos. He served his next tour in the Philippines but in 1969 was assigned to a dead-end job at CIA headquarters. Knowing his career had stalled, Burke contacted a friend from Italy, Customs Agent Fred Cornetta. Then the agent in charge at Dulles airport, Cornetta persuaded Burke to join the BNDD.

Burke applied and was hired in December 1970. Fuller recruited him into the Twofold operation and assigned him to Pete Scrocca's group. But instead of spying on his new colleagues, Burke set about proving that he was tough and smart enough to work "undercover cases on bad guys with shotguns in motel rooms." Burke never sent any negative reports to Fuller, and Theisen and Scrocca eventually accepted him.

Gutensohn and Burke's experience was not unusual, and Twofold never resulted in a single dismissal of any corrupt BNDD agent. The astonishing reason for this is quite simple. Little did Ingersoll or Fuller know that the CIA never initiates a program unless it is deniable and has "intelligence potential." Twofold conformed to these criteria: it was deniable because it was, ostensibly, a BNDD program; and it had intelligence potential in so far as it was perfectly suited for Angletonian style "operations within operations."

As the BNDD's chief inspector Pat Fuller told me, "There was another operation even I didn't know about. Why don't you find out who set that one up, and why?"

Boxes Within Boxes

Well, I did find out about this operation. Quite by accident, while interviewing a DEA agent in Miami, I was introduced to Joseph C DiGennaro, a member of the CIA's secret facet of Operation Twofold, its unilateral drug operations unit. Hidden behind Fuller's "inspections" program, the purpose of the CIA's unilateral drug unit was to identify drug-dealers worldwide, and selectively kidnap and/or assassinate them. As DiGennaro explains, his entry into the program began when an eminent surgeon, a family friend, suggested that he apply for a job with the BNDD. Then working as a stockbroker in New York City, DiGennaro in August 1971 met Fuller at a Howard Johnson's near the Watergate complex. Fuller told him that if he took the Twofold job, he would be given the code name Novo Yardley. The code name was based on DiGennaro's posting in New York, and a play on the name of the famous American spy, Herbert Yardley.

DiGennaro took the job and was sent to a CIA security officer to obtain the required clearances. That's when he was told that he and several other recruits were being "spun-off" from Fuller's inspection program into the CIA's unilateral "operational" program. He was told that he had been selected because he had a black belt in Karate and the uncanny ability to remember lists and faces. The background check took 14 months, during which time DiGennaro received intensive combat and tradecraft training. In October 1972 he was sent to BNDD regional headquarters in New York and, as a cover, was assigned to a compliance group that mostly inspected pharmacies. His paychecks came from official BNDD funds, though the program was funded by the CIA through the Department of Interior's Bureau of Mines. The program had been authorized by the "appropriate" Congressional committee.

DiGennaro's special group was managed by the CIA's Special Operations Division (then under Evan Parker, first director of the CIA's Phoenix Program) in conjunction with the military, which provided assets within foreign military services to keep ex-filtration routes open. Ex-filtration routes were air corridors and roads. The military also cleared air space when captured suspects were brought into the US. DiGennaro spent most of his time on operations in South America, but served in Lebanon and other places too.

Within the CIA's special anti-drug unit, which numbered about 40 men, were experts in printing, forgery, maritime operations, and telecommunications. The operatives knew one another by first name only. DiGennaro, however, was aware that other BNDD agents, including Joseph Salm and Paul Seema, were in the program. No one else in the BNDD, however, knew about the program. When the call to duty came, DiGennaro would check with Fuller and then take sick time or annual leave to go on missions. There were lots of missions. As his group leader in New York, Joe Quarequio, told me: "Joey was never in the office."

The job was tracking down, kidnapping, and if they resisted, killing drug dealers. The violence was the result of the "limited window of opportunity" needed to get the job done. Due to the need for plausible deniability, there was minimal contact with the American Embassy where the mission was conducted. DiGennaro had "a Guardian Angel" who "assembled intelligence, developed routines, and contacted informants." But the host country and its uniformed police and military services were rarely aware of his presence, and there was little coordination with the local BNDD outpost.

The operations were extremely dangerous. As DiGennaro recalls, "There was a case in Colombia. There was seventy-two to ninety-six hours to get it done. I was flown to Colombia where I contacted my Guardian Angel. He had paid someone off and that someone had led him to a cocaine lab. The operators of the lab had been surveilled and followed to their hideout. In order to capture them, we had to work with a local military unit, which we contacted by two-way radio. In this particular instance, someone intercepted the call, and the next thing we know there's a woman on the radio alerting the suspects. She was an agent of the traffickers inside the local military unit. We hear her screaming at the soldiers. Then she's shot. We didn't know who she was calling," he continues, "so we had to leapfrog by helicopter and military truck to where we thought the subjects were. That time we happened to be right. We got the violators back to the United States. They were incapacitated by drugs and handcuffed in various men's' rooms in Chicago and Miami."

As one DEA Agent recalls, "We'd get a call that there was 'a present' waiting for us on the corner of 116th St and Sixth Avenue. We'd go there and find some guy who'd been indicted in the Eastern District of New York, handcuffed to a telephone pole. We'd take him to a safe house for questioning and, if possible, turn him into an informer. Sometimes we'd have him in custody for months. But what did he know?" If you're a Colombian or a Corsican drug dealer in Argentina and a few guys with police credentials arrest you, how do you know it's a CIA operation?

Expendable operative DiGennaro did not see the management apparatus that was directing him. He never knew much about the people the CIA unit was snatching and snuffing either; only that people were prosecuted and that defendants screamed.

DiGennaro's last operation in 1977 involved the recovery of a satellite that had fallen into a drug dealer's hands. By then he had all the CIA tradecraft skills required to fly solo; he learned who owned satellite, negotiated for it in good faith, and purchased it back on the black market. Such was the extent of the "parallel mechanism" the CIA had with the BNDD; a mechanism the CIA obviously used not only for anti-drug purposes, but for counter-terror reasons as well.


By 1977, some 125 "former" CIA officers had been infiltrated into the DEA at every level of the organization, especially in intelligence units, making everything possible--from black market arms exchanges, to negotiations with terrorists, to political assassination. It also put the CIA in total control of targeting.

However, as the CIA's influence became pervasive, more and more DEA agents felt its adverse impact on their cases. First the CIA demanded a list of all overseas DEA informants, as well as copies of all its intelligence reports. They got both. Next they began recruiting traffickers the DEA was working on. These recruits were subtracted from the DEA target list. In Chile in 1973, for example, the CIA allowed five drug traffickers to leave the soccer stadium in Santiago where dissidents were being tortured en masse. These traffickers fled to Colombia where they helped form the cartel that would eventually supplied crack cocaine to street gangs in Los Angles, through other CIA assets in Latin America.

As one DEA agent puts it, "The relationship between the CIA and DEA was not as it was originally intended. The CIA does not belong in any type of law enforcement activity, unless it can result in a conviction. Which it rarely does. They should only be supportive, totally."

In February 1977, as he was about to resign in dismay, this agent and a group of other senior DEA officials felt compelled to document a litany of CIA misdeeds.

The CIA was causing so many problems that in early 1977, outgoing Assistant Administrator for Enforcement Dan Casey sent a three page, single-spaced memorandum to DEA Administrator Peter Bensinger expressing his concern "over the role presently being played by the CIA relative to the gathering of operational intelligence abroad." Signing off on the memo were six enforcement division chiefs. "All were unanimous in their belief that present CIA programs were likely to cause serious future problems for DEA, both foreign and domestic." Unilateral CIA programs in foreign countries were a "potential source of conflict and embarrassment and which may have a negative impact on the overall U.S. narcotic reduction effort." He referenced specific incidents, citing CIA electronic surveillance and the fact that the CIA "will not respond positively to any discovery motion." Casey foresaw more busted cases and complained that "Many of the subjects who appear in these CIA promoted or controlled surveillances regularly travel to the United States in furtherance of their trafficking activities." The "de facto immunity" from prosecution enables the CIA assets to "operate much more openly and effectively."

Casey was especially upset that the CIA demanded that DEA provide telephone numbers for its operations. "This practice is most disturbing because, in effect, it puts DEA in the position of determining which violators will be granted a de facto immunity." Considering the seriousness of the problem, he recommended that "all DEA support for CIA electronic surveillance be suspended at once." He asked DDEA Administrator Peter Bensinger to insist that the CIA adhere to guidelines set by the Carte White House Domestic Council, which limited the CIA to gathering strategic intelligence. He advised that DEA personnel not request CIA support "which might end to prejudice the domestic prosecution of any drug trafficker."

Alas, Bensinger suffered the CIA at the expense of the DEA's integrity. He ignored Casey and his division chiefs. The Strength of the Pack features examples of how this accommodation with the CIA emasculated the DEA. One major example is the CIA's Contra Connection, as revealed by Gary Webb. There is also the fact that Manuel Noriega was a CIA asset and that his DEA file was destroyed by CIA infiltrators, paving the way for the invasion of Panama. There was also the Pan Am 103 case in December 1988, in which a bomb was planted by enemy agents who had penetrated a protected CIA drug ring, which was making a "controlled delivery."

This huge crack in the CIA's protective shield led to the formation of the CIA's Counter-Narcotics Center, and business continued as usual. In December 1989, as reported in the 4 May 1990 issue of Newsday, "a small US special operations team both planned and carried" out a raid that resulted in the death of drug lord Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, his 17 year old son, and several bodyguards. Pablo Escobar in 1994 was similarly assassinated by a CIA led execution squad.

The Gacha and Escobar hits, and many more like them which the public knows little or nothing about, are extrapolations of those performed by Joey DiGennaro. And the beat goes on. Shortly after he resigned in 1993, DEA chief Robert Bonner revealed that the CIA in 1990 had shipped a ton of pure cocaine to Miami from its Counter Narcotic Center warehouse in Venezuela. The Orwellian "controlled delivery" was accidentally lost.

With Bush's war on terror, the situation has only gotten worse. In Afghanistan and South West Asia, the DEA is entirely infiltrated and controlled by the CIA and military. DEA headquarters is basically an adjunct of the Oval Office. And the Establishment continues to keep the lid on the story. After sending my manuscript to two reviewers--one with CIA connections, the other with DEA connections--my publisher has stopped communicating with me. I think my editor just wants me to go away.

One can only wonder how deeply America will descend into this vortex of fear and subservience to state security before it vanishes altogether.

Douglas Valentine is the author of The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, and TDY. His fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1930-1968, which received the Choice Academic Excellence Award and is being published in Russia. The sequel, The Strength of the Pack, is being published by University Press of Kansas in 2008. For information about Mr. Valentine, and his books and articles, please visit his web sites at and

Combined Bibliographic Resources for:

CIA, FBI, Intelligence, Terrorism and War on Terror

CIA, FBI, Intelligence Bibliography:


CIA (see: Bush, Imperialism, Torture)

--Prados, John. Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Ivan Dee, 2006. Relates the inside stories of covert operations and examines CIA’s relations with presidents and Congress.

--Schou, Nick. Kill the Messenger. Nation Books/Avalon, 2006. Rev. In These Times (Oct. 2006). Life and death of Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who revealed how the CIA turned a blind eye to drug dealing in furtherance of its covert support for the Nicaraguan contras. For this report, Webb was hounded out of journalism and eventually killed himself.



Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War. South End P, 2005. Vol. 3 of her account of the dirty US-backed war against the people of Nicaragua.


FBI (see: Secrecy)

May, Gary. The Informant: The FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Liuzzo. Yale UP, 2005. Broadly about secret government and the misuse of secret agents in particular.




Price, David. Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists. Duke UP, 2004.

Terrorism and War on Terror:



Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of its Enemies since 9/11 (Simon & Schuster, 2007) tells the story of how the Bush administration prepared to deal with threats, both real and perhaps even imaginary. The title of this work comes from Vice-President Dick Cheney's address to those assembled in the White House Situation Room - a collection of the best intelligence officers in the country:If there's a one-percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. "It's not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence. It's about our response." And there you have it, in a nutshell. It was no longer about critical analysis, but about mere suspicion, and fear mongering.


TERROR, WAR ON (see: Bush, Iraq, Liberals, 9-11, Suicide Bombers, Torture, War)

---Scheuer, Michael. Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror. Rev. Bradley Gitz in ADG, his choice for the worst book of 2005. “…the latest evidence of the apparently irresistible urge that some of our citizens feel to bow and scrape when attacked by savages.”

---The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind In this troubling portrait of the war on terror, America's intelligence agencies confront not just al-Qaeda but the Bush administration's politicized incompetence.

---Chernus, Ira. Monster to Destroy: the Neoconcervative War on Terror and Sin.

Chernus also wrote American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea.

---Robert Dreyfuss, DEVIL'S GAME : How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005).

---Ann Louise Bardach, “Twilight of the Assasins” in Atlantic Monthly denounces the US for harboring the terrorists Bosch and Posada, who blew up a Cubana airplane, killing all aboard.

--Shore, Zachary. Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe. Johns Hopkins UP, 2006.


WAR ON TERROR (see: Middle East, Torture)

--Mr. George Soros, a financier, is author of The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror (Public Affairs, 2006).

**--“Outlawed: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture, and the Disappearances in the ‘War on Terror.’” Gillian Caldwell, director and producer. Another film documentary about human rights abuses since 1992 by Witness, a Brooklyn, NY nonprofit. Interview of Caldwell in In These Times (Nov. 2006).


TERRORISM (see: Imperialism, Islamic, Torture)

---Kunkel, Benjamin. “Dangerous Characters.” NYT Book Review (Sept. 11, 2005). Reviews many novels about “terrorism”; that is, individual and small group terrorism; omits state terrorism. Who are the novelists of state terrorism?

---Understanding America’s Terrorist Crisis. Independent Instit. Video featuring Gore Vidal, Barton Bernstein, Robert Higgs, and Thomas G. Moore and moderated by Lewis Lapham. Why the US is so hated? Negative consequences of 9-11—curtailment of civil liberties20th c. US. Military campaigns against foreign civilians. Indefensible corporate welfare. Effects of U.S. global military presence, etc.

**---Gareau, Frederick. State Terrorism and the United States: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism.

---Honderich, Ted. After the Terror. McGill-Queens UP, 2004. Praised highly by Chomsky.


TERRORISM (see: Zarqawi)

Bloom, Mia. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. Columbia UP, 2005


Brisard, Jean-Charles. Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda. Norton, 2005. Traces his career.


WAR ON TERROR (see: Empire, Islam)

Friedman, George. America’s Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and Its Enemies. Doubleday, 2004. Rev. Nebraska Report (Feb. 2005). “….the most coherent and sensible account of the War on Terror….”



These 5 books are reviewed in NYTimes Book Rev. (Feb. 6, 2005): these books attempt “to make sense of…the global interaction and conflict” of Islam and the West, the globalization of Islam.

Roy, Olivier. Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah. Columbia UP, 2005.

Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Harvard UP, 2005.

Horowitz, David. Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left. Regnery, 2005.

Palmer, Monte, and Princess Palmer. At the Heart of Terror: Islam, Jihadists, and America’s War on Terrorism. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

Abbas, Hassan. Pakistan’s Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror. Sharpe, 2005.

October 30, 2002

WAR ON TERRORISM (see: 9-11)

Achcar, Gilbert. The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World. Monthly Review P, 2002. Explores dynamics of U.S. foreign policy in the ME.

Mahajan, Rahul. The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism. Monthly Review P, 2002. Critique of the ideology of the "war on terrorism; exposes the falsity of the official, mainstream version of 9-11-causes, context, threat, consequences.

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"The US is losing even a bigger war at home where a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes."

The types of crimes committed by the fbi/cia/dod,etc., as I have witnessed over the course of my lifetime are not new to mankind; indeed, for as long as man has walked on the face of the earth he has been confronted with his own savagery and inhumanity to fellow man. War has become legal; fbi/cia covert intelligence operations (including mass murder and other assassinations & tortures) are well known by many but never spoken about in polite conversations because they are also legal by awful custom. Thus, the end game for man is now being shaped by the most barbaric feature of his character: man's criminal urge to destroy one another for myriad purposes. Mark Twain perhaps captured this truth as he said,

" A crime preserved in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law."

The recent wars are paid for largely by the lives of (and taxed on the backs of) the poor .

Send the senators (like Lindsey Graham, et al) into battle on the front lines to remove the hidden bombs and see how long the war would last.
Other candidates for the proposed congressional bomb squad battalion are found in the marble hallways of Congress and specifically from here:

War not worth fighting by a USA not worth defending

The awful irony of our time is that the three official branches of government are now overthrown by the unofficial fourth branch, Administrative Agencies.






The fbi remove the data on brain entrainment from the internet; here is the former link to the site which shows the US Marines use of the torture tool:


Update: How to silence the voice of liberty:

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)