Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 3 Num. 47

("Quid coniuratio est?")

I received the following from a CN reader who wishes to remain anonymous. What I plan to do is post the entire document over a period of time, most likely in weekly installments. Here is part 9.

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An Investigation and Discussion of that Part of the United States Government Which We Did Not Elect, Which Is Not Accountable, Which Is Unconstitutional, Which Is Engaged In Unlawful and Unconstitutional Activity, and Then Hides Behind the National Security Act of 1947



33. Kessler, Ronald, Inside The CIA, New York, New York, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1992. Kessler is an author and award-winning former investigative reporter. Summary: Documents CIA covert action to influence or overthrow foreign governments or political parties; development of eavesdropping devices that work by zapping laser beams through windows. CIA officials failed to tell their own boss, the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence), the truth. "Not that they lied outright; they were too smart for that. But by telling only half the story, by answering questions precisely, by not addressing the real intent of [the DCI's] questions, they had misled him" just as they had misled other legal bodies of investigation. The DCI found that plans for covert action were rarely scrutinized formally and their approval was given informally. CIA misdeeds have been "aided and abetted by a Congress that shirked its oversight duties." Documents how the agency moves forward and backward, into and out of illegality based on who the Director of Central Intelligence is.

Because of the competition between departments, the directorates of those departments report "to the [DCI] only grudgingly, fearful that its own turf will be infringed upon or that its secrets will be shared with the other directorates."

The CIA's past attempt to humiliate Castro "by trying to get his beard to fall off - something that only someone whose level of maturity had not advanced beyond kindergarten could have dreamed up." The CIA "is also secretive - sometimes foolishly so....Even newspaper clippings have been stamped 'secret.'"

"A 1979 Opinion Research Corporation poll found 24% [of all Americans] had an unfavorable opinion [of the CIA]....Unfavorable opinions were highest among Americans who were college educated and had higher incomes."

"CIA officers must be willing to break the laws of other countries and lie....The most common form of fraud is when CIA officers claim they have paid a local agent and actually kept the money themselves. While agents are required to sign receipts, it is easy to forge such documents."

The Agency's emphasis and rewarding of quantity, not quality, in their efforts to recruit foreign spies has led them into disaster. For example, it was discovered in 1987 that almost every single spy recruited from Cuba were double agents reporting back to Castro.

Since the end of the Cold War, higher priority has been given to economic spying. "The CIA tries, for example, to find out overseas what kinds of computers the Japanese are developing....It is something like being able to eavesdrop on a seller and his broker when negotiating to buy a house."

The CIA commonly meddles in the affairs of other countries, even to the extent of overthrowing a legally and democratically elected leader, which is how the U.S. ends up with a reputation for being imperialistic and hypocritical. "'Defenders of covert action would say we are fighting to preserve liberty and democracy and the American way,' said Simmons, a former CIA officer....'But when you get into the details, you wonder if they are talking about the same thing. He may be an SOB and a dictator, but he is our SOB, whereas Arbenz, who was democratically elected, was not an SOB, but he wasn't ours.'"

A CIA inspector general's report uncovered dozens of attempts to humiliate and assassinate Castro, which included the aid of Mafia gangsters Sam Giancana and John Roselli. The CIA also developed plans to assassinate the head of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, and attempts to control elections in Chili. They spent $8 million attempting to mount a military coup against and to prevent the confirmation of Salvadore Allende's presidential election.

"In principle, I think we ought to discourage the idea of fighting secret wars or even initiating most covert operations. When the United States violates those principles - when we mine harbors in Nicaragua - we fuzz the difference between ourselves and the Soviet Union," said George Ball, undersecretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. "In the last analysis, covert action has contributed very little to strengthening the national security of the U.S. If an action is worth taking, it should be done openly." Covert action allows the government to pursue unquestioned policy while "avoiding asking itself the tough questions it would normally ask before taking action in the open."

Senior CIA officers "keep in touch with chief executive officers of major corporations in order to place defectors in jobs."

CIA abuses included "programs for opening mail between U.S. and Soviet-bloc countries and for compiling files on dissident Americans." The latter program accumulated 13,000 files on 7,200 Americans and "included the names of 300,000 American citizens and organizations." Most CIA abuses have "been approved by CIA directors at the time and even attorneys general of the U.S." Former Agency officers claim they have never engaged in any covert activity not ordered by the White House, a president or a cabinet officer.

The CIA "had been providing funds to the National Student Association." This, of course, "raised suspicions both in the eyes of foreigners and of Americans that U.S. institutions might have dual allegiances - one to their directors or trustees and one to the CIA."

Frank E. Olson committed suicide "after the CIA had given him LSD without his knowledge." The consequences for those agents involved were merely a letter of reprimand which was not even placed in their personnel files. In reference to another abuse, the illegal imprisonment for three and a half years of Yuri Nosenko, Colby said, "That frightened me more than anything else, the idea that an intelligence agency could secretly hold a man in prison."

One of Richard Bissell's responses indicated CIA arrogance, that "only CIA officers know what is good for the country. Elected officials may be the representatives of the people, but they have no business questioning the judgment of the CIA....The problem is irresponsible scrutiny. The winks and nods and tacit approval: 'I don't want to hear these things. Don't tell me this. I need to deny any knowledge.' Yet when an operation goes awry, these very same people turn on you," said Saunders, a former CIA officer.

"Today the Directorate of Science and Technology controls billion- dollar satellites that see through clouds and even buildings with radar and infrared imaging that senses heat. Other satellites can intercept conversations of terrorists, trace narcotics dealers' electronic transfers of money between bank accounts, and see mobs in places such as Iraq, a machine gun under a tent, and water or oil under the desert."

"The agency has a disguise capability that no one can touch," a former OTS officer said.

"Besides administering the finances of the agency, the Office of Financial Management launders money using dummy corporations and multiple bank accounts worldwide in order to further the work of the clandestine side of the agency."

The CIA's Office of Security "illegally wiretapped the telephones of three order to determine their sources....And while investigating CIA employees, the Office of Security illegally conducted twelve break-ins and installed thirty-two wiretaps and thirty-two bugs." DCI Webster found this Office of Security to have the most problems, "to be still operating in the dark ages and most resistant to change." One CIA officer responsible for training new recruits lectures to them often that critics of past CIA abuses are "unsophisticated detractors," defends the CIA having spied on Americans due to "national security questions," and that "those who would destroy us and our efforts were not the Soviets and our other worldwide enemies but our own elected legislative representatives." Perhaps this CIA instructor's worst failure is not informing new recruits that "by subverting the law, the CIA subverts the very freedoms it is trying to preserve, while failing to achieve its objectives."

"The CIA and other intelligence agencies can try to hide their mistakes by claiming prosecutions would air secrets that would compromise the work of the agencies."

"In debugging overseas stations, one of the biggest problems CIA technicians face is not bugs but insistent requests from ambassadors to sweep their offices. 'It's a status symbol,' a former technician said. 'If the chief of station gets his done, the ambassador wants his done, too.'"

In hiring a new recruit, training officers claim they want "impeccable character and integrity." Yet, that same recruit will be asked to "spend much of his or her life living a lie, pretending to be someone he or she is not...." And, "you have to have a passion for anonymity."

"Very few people [at the CIA] know the complete picture because very few are allowed to know it," McGregor said. "That is what makes it so difficult to get at the whole truth. This is exacerbated by the fact that so very few feel any loyalty to the head of the agency. Rather, their loyalties are to the heads of their divisions or their directorates."

"Operations officers seldom suffered permanent career damage for poor performance or incompetence, even when agents were killed or compromised," said former CIA operations officer. They also "did not understand the need for taking disciplinary action against those who had violated the trust the agency placed in them" (as in not telling the truth during the Iran-Contra investigation. The CIA criticized the DCI for wanting to please Congress and the public.

The CIA treats "the American press as an adversary" and has a history of being involved "in the business of trying to suppress books....Yet smart as [the CIA employees] were, they seemed to have difficulty understanding why so many people had a negative impression of what they do."

The CIA has laundered its money at the Nugan Hand Bank, which had a reputation for taking your money without asking too many questions. The CIA also used the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

"It was the CIA's job to break laws, not to follow them. While the laws that the CIA broke were those of other countries, it was easy for the distinction between foreign laws and American laws to be lost."

"Lawrence R. Houston, the agency's first general counsel, helped draft the law establishing the agency. According to him, the clause permitting the agency to engage in 'such other functions' as the NSC directed referred only to intelligence collection, not to covert action....'All during this drafting of the act, all during the presentations to congressional committees and debates, and all during the consideration in Congress, there was no mention of covert action,' Houston said. 'It was entirely intelligence....'" It was only later that Houston wrote a legal opinion that if the president orders it and if Congress funded it, then the "such other functions" could be stretched to include covert action.

The author's 1976 request for material from the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act took more than fourteen years for the CIA to fulfill.

"The Classified Information Procedures Act of 1980 provides ways for classified information to be handled by a court without making it public."

A law suit was filed against the CIA by victims of Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, who had conducted experiments on psychiatric patients without their consent. His experiments subjected his patients "to LSD, electroshock treatment up to 75 times the normal level, and drug-induced sleep that lasted for weeks." The suit cost taxpayers $750,000 for the settlement alone."

"Despite [DCI] Webster's best efforts, the Office of Security is still in the Dark Ages, still prone to overlook legal niceties and to act in a heavy-handed fashion." The agency still has difficulty separating what should and shouldn't be kept legitimate secrets.

"'We still have institutional biases that act as a wet blanket on judgment,' Thomas Polgar, a former CIA station chief said. 'If you say there is no more threat from Eastern Europe, that means somebody's budget is going to be reduced. Self-interest enters into it.'"

"The secrecy that envelops [the CIA] conflicts with inherent American values and leads to mistrust. Too many times in the past, that mistrust has been warranted. And the CIA is often guilty of arrogance."

"No longer should Americans 'to a degree take it on faith,' as Richard Helms proposed....The CIA's power can easily be misused by unscrupulous directors or presidents."

[ be continued...]

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Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

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