The American and international media with each passing month publish an increasing number of articles that expose the dubious nature of operations carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, leading numerous international players to point out that the CIA should be banned, since there’s no more hope of reforming it.
This position can be justified by the fact that for almost 70-year of its existence, the CIA has provided numerous American presidents with false reports on a number of crucial foreign policy issues, in addition to election fraud, toppled governments around the globe, and the sponsorship of dictators. The CIA is responsible for thousands of civilian deaths, countless torture cases and world-wide Orwellian-style surveillance.
Immediately after the end of World War II, while the anti-Hitler coalition intelligence agencies were hunting down Nazi war criminals to arrest and try them, the CIA, carried on the “dubious business” of its predecessor – the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), by handpicking these very war criminals for the purpose of carrying on their activities against the countries of Eastern Europe.
From the very moment of its creation the CIA started preparing illegitimate coups in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Indonesia (1957), all of which resulted in decades of repression, mass murder, and torture in each respective country while their national resources were put at the disposal of Washington. For instance, the Iranian coup of 1953 allowed the United States to get its hands on 40% of Iran’s oil industry.
Today one would fail to name a state which has not suffered from the actions of the CIA.
Repeated attempts at coups were organized by the CIA in Laos (1958, 1959 and 1960), Costa Rica, Iraq (1960), Ecuador and several other countries.
In 1961, the CIA organized the assassination of a nationwide popular Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, to put Mobutu Seko in his place, the latter ruled the country with such cruelty that even his backers in the CIA were shocked. In Ghana, the CIA organized a military coup against the country’s leader Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. In Chile, it sponsored the overthrow of President Salvador Allende in 1973, that was later replaced by the bloody regime of Augusto Pinochet, who slaughtered three thousand political opponents and tortured tens of thousands of Chileans. In 1967 in Greece, the CIA assisted the disruption of local elections and supported the consequent military coup, which took the lives of eight thousand Greeks in the first month alone. In South Africa, the information provided by the CIA to the apartheid regime, allowed the latter to arrest the leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela, who then spent decades in prison. In Bolivia in 1964 CIA agents overthrew President Victor Paz. In Australia in the short period from 1972 to 1975 the CIA transferred millions of dollars to the political opponents of the Labor Party. The same thing happened in Brazil in 1962. For 20 years from 1970 to 1990 the CIA had been supporting a bloody regime in the Philippines, which carried out mass executions of its own civilians. In the 1990’s as a result of the support the CIA provided to local ruling families in El Salvador some 75,000 civilians died in a bloody civil war.
The list goes on and on.
Chalmers Johnson in his book “Backfire” cited the revelations of Robert Gates, who has led the CIA for many years, according to which the CIA started providing support to the Mujahideens in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet invasion in 1979, therefore Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization Al-Qaeda was bankrolled by the CIA back then along with many other radical fundamentalists. That is why the CIA is directly responsible for the “collateral damage” that was done to the city of New York in September 2001, dealt by the very organization that the CIA had created during the days of anti-Soviet Afghan resistance.
But the damage wasn’t to New York alone, the White House has been suffering from false intelligence information for nearly as long as the CIA has existed. To illustrate this, one must recall the infamous incident in which Colin Powell provided “evidence” of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to the UN Security Council, none of which ever materialized in the wake of the subsequent US invasion and occupation.
As for the “secret CIA prisons” that have been at the heart of the recent scandal in the US Senate, it is worth mentioning that back in 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner wrote in his book “Legacy of Ashes, The history of The CIA” that: ”The CIA had run secret interrogation centers before—beginning in 1950, in Germany, Japan, and Panama. It had participated in the torture of captured enemy combatants before—beginning in 1967, under the Phoenix program in Vietnam. It had kidnapped suspected terrorists and assassins before…“
It seems that the CIA activities confirmed the worst fears of its founder – President Harry Truman, who loathed the idea that this agency may degenerate into an “American Gestapo.”
There’s a puzzling question as to why President Obama with nearly two dozen major intelligence agencies at his disposal to provide him with all necessary data and advice, would still need the CIA? Wouldn’t it be easier to wash America’s hands and save its reputation by cutting some 30 thousand CIA employees, and saving billions of taxpayers dollars?
Barack Obama, who was awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize, would be better off listening to the recent calls of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) that demanded the prosecution of those agents who had committed and authorized torture, along with American politicians who allowed the criminal activities of the CIA to continue. Additionally, these very actions are imperative if the United States is to obey the Convention against Torture which it had signed back in 1994.
Vladimir Odintsov is a political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.