Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

American Hypocrisy: CIA Ops from an Inside Source


With all the news these days about the CIA and their alleged 'exposes' about Russian interference in our recent national election I thought I'd reread this book called The Game Player: Confessions of the CIA's original political operative by Miles Copeland.

Copeland did not feel any qualms about his activities on behalf of the CIA and its corporate clients who wanted to control resources (oil and other valuable natural resources) - particularly in the Middle East.  Copeland speaks with pride and pleasure as he recounts his efforts to organize coups d'etat in Egypt, Iran and other vital places.

I want to share some of his words that expose the total hypocrisy of statements that I regularly hear or read from American media like New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), CNN, FOX, and MSNBC about US democracy, the rule of law, and other such claptrap.

Here is a very small sampling of Copeland's own words:

  • Naturally, we had some trouble in getting clearance for projects involving the use of Nazis and ex-Nazis, but our difficulties disappeared when our friends in Israel's Mossad admitted that they, too, were using ex-Nazis for a number of nefarious purposes, and for the same reasons that they were attractive to us.  

  • Dissuasion: in the CIA's early days we used the word 'terrorism' without embarrassment.  Terrorizing, instead of killing, was what we did when we wanted to discourage a group or a government from doing something we believed might endanger our legitimate interests.

  • The CIA used it [terrorism] only sparingly, but to good effect when we wanted to provoke some police state into clamping down on its civilian population in ways that would dramatize its oppressive character, thus facilitating our efforts to build resistance movements.

  • Last-resort capabilities: as I review my varied past in search of materials suitable for bedtime stories to tell my grandchildren, I find myself dwelling inordinately on coups d'etat, the rigging of elections, and the more violent forms of governmental replacement or destabilization we have employed at various times in the past.  

  • Our first act as the Political Action Staff was to list those countries of the world which had in them materials or locations that were absolutely essential to our survival and wellbeing - raw materials, possible sites for military or naval bases in the event of war, areas we would have to cross in order to be sure of speedy and economic access to essential raw materials or places of strategic military importance.  

  • I was to go to Iran [early 1953] and obtain answers to four or five questions which, for all practical purposes, could be boiled down to one: could we, and should we, take political action to shore up the Shah, discredit Mossadegh [the elected Prime Minister overthrown in August of 1953 by the US], and prevent his supporters from doing what the British Foreign Office and the US Department of State feared they would do?  [Which was to nationalize Iran's oil so their own citizens would benefit from the profits rather than US and British oil corporations.]

  • Yes, we did need extraordinary political action there to protect American, as well as British [oil] interests.  The objective of the action should be to remove Mossadegh from office, make a laughing-stock of him, jail his principal supporters, and give the Shah any assistance he might need in launching a public relations programme to show the Iranian people what a narrow escape they had had, and how extremely lucky they were to have had it. 

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