“Public opinion polls in many countries today portray the United States as the greatest threat to world peace on the globe . . . Critics of this [U.S. foreign] policy argue that American presidents have pursued their proximate goals, defined in terms of U.S. power, while cloaking them in the language and trappings of universalist desire . . . The conclusions of this inquiry tend to bear out the critics.”
– from the Foreword of Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA
If you don’t know the history (at least what has been discovered) and the modus operandi of the CIA, FBI and other intelligence or secret police agencies of the U.S., then you have only a partial understanding of what really happened. In fact, you may have a completely inaccurate picture of history and a deeply flawed understanding of how the U.S. empire maintains and seeks to expand its hegemony leading to the ultimate goal of total domination of the planet. You will draw conclusions and form personal opinions based on incomplete or inaccurate information. You might then misinterpret and apply overly harsh criticism of those nations and groups trying to defend themselves from U.S. domination and aggression. Those nations who do successfully fend off the empire are then pilloried by further US propaganda efforts: “Look at that authoritarian regime over there violating human rights and repressing its own people! That’s messed up, right?”
The secret to the U.S empire’s success thus far lies not only with military might (although that is clearly part of it), but with an unrelenting effort at secret warfare/covert or clandestine operations. The CIA and other U.S. agencies have secretly interfered in the social, economic and political affairs of many other nations – probably most – by trying to influence public opinion through psychological warfare, manipulating elections, bribing military and government officials, funding and training terrorist groups, funding political parties and even labor unions that they can sway to serve U.S. interests, assassination, coups, etc., etc. If you can think of it, they have done it or at least considered it. They tried to figure out a way to kill Castro with exploding seashells!! They infiltrated the inner circle of several superstitious foreign leaders with agents posing as astrologers to give bogus advice. Read the selections below and you will be amazed, entertained, and horrified at the juvenile, but insidious antics of the CIA and other agents of empire; not for the faint of heart!
A Reading List:
Start with Agee!
The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks
Marchetti remained a conservative and loyal American, but lots of good information in here.
Secret Intelligence: The Inside Story of America’s Espionage Empire by Ernest Volkman and Blaine Baggett
Some great information, but a bit of a whitewash too.
Portrait of a Cold Warrior: Second Thoughts of a Top CIA Agent by Joseph B. Smith
Again, lots of interesting details, but also a whitewash. This book came out the year after Philip Agee’s expose. It was an effort at damage control.
Deadly Deceits: My 25 years in the CIA by Ralph W. McGehee
This is a really good one. Deals a lot with the Vietnam War.
In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story by John Stockwell
CIA misdeeds in Africa.
A fascinating account of how U.S. military intelligence and the NSA conducted counterintelligence operations to fuel UFO hysteria in order to distract and “hide in plain sight” test flights of experimental aircraft. The truth is out there, but sorry folks, there are no aliens to be found – just lots of spooks (spies)!
TASS is authorized to announce . . . by Julian Semyonov
A spy novel from the Soviet Union! Although it is fiction, it is based on true events of covert operations in Africa during the cold war. This story gives a better idea of espionage operations and tradecraft than the fantastical exploits of the James Bond action-hero.
My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy by Kim Philby
The memoirs of the highly-placed British master spy who was a deep penetration agent (mole) working for the Soviet Union.
Memoirs of the head of East Germany’s Foreign Intelligence Service.
Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer by Victor Cherkashin
The KGB officer who recruited and ran the double agents Aldritch Ames of CIA and the FBI’s Robert Hanssen.