|wakes on Mon, 12 Oct 1998 19:29:14 +0200 (MET DST)|
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|<nettime.free> Tracking Covert Actions into the Future|
>From the CovertAction Quarterly Archive http://caq.com/archive Agee established his reputation as a critic of the CIA with his controversial 1975 book, "Inside the Company: a CIA Diary." Published in 20 languages, the book exposed CIA actions around the world. At the same time, he sought to identify CIA undercover officers. Tracking Covert Actions into the Future by Philip Agee Over May Day weekend I was one of several thousand people attending an international solidarity conference in Brussels organized by the Belgian Labor Party. Among the participants were representatives of progressive and revolutionary parties and movements from around the world. The atmosphere was a refreshing reminder that the ideal of socialism, and resistance to exploitation and oppression, are very much alive. My role was to outline U.S. efforts during the Cold War- mainly through the CIA-to suppress Third World national liberation movements. Additionally, I was asked to speculate on what these movements could expect from the U.S. under the Bush-proclaimed New World Order. Inevitably, questions arose about the much televised burning of Los Angeles. Would it affect Bush in the November elections? Could it be only the beginning? Was it another sign of overall U.S. decline? Los Angeles, I suggested, was the result of the U.S. system working exactly as it is supposed to-the failure being not the existence of poverty, rage, and despair, but the momentary inability of the dominant class and culture to dissuade or distract the "underclass" from taking mass action. The Rodney King beating verdict simply lifted the lid. The events in L.A. and other cities underlined the domestic system that produces, and is in turn affected by, U.S. foreign policy, including CIA activities. They were also a vivid reminder that the 1990s is a period of transition, with enormous opportunities for change in national priorities-a potential not seen since the late 1940s. The possibilities for positive change in those post-World War II years, not overwhelming to be sure, disappeared when Truman and his team decided in 1950 to start a permanent war economy in the United States. The reason? The U.S. economy, in its traditional trickle-down structure, needed militarism at home and abroad to generate jobs and exports to avoid a return to the 1930s conditions of depression-toward which the economy was then feared to be moving. Moreover, we cannot recall too often, the ideologists of that time believed that the Soviet Union was out to conquer the world. At stake, as Paul Nitze, former Dillon Read investment banker, wrote in the secret re-militarization plan known as NSC-68, was "the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself." Intensification of the Cold War would plant "the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system" resulting in a fundamental change in the system or its collapse. The plan admitted to being "in effect a policy of calculated and gradual coercion." Public and congressional opposition to rearmament (the grand plan was kept secret for 25 years) only broke when China entered the war in Korea in late 1950. By 1952, the military budget had more than tripled to $44 billion while the services doubled to 3.6 million men and women. The permanent war economy was a reality. Meanwhile repression of domestic political dissent reached near hysteria. In the process the CIA's covert operations, already in progress in Europe, expanded worldwide. By 1953, according to the 1970s Senate investigation, there were major covert programs under way in 48 countries, consisting of propaganda, paramilitary, and political action operations. The bureaucracy also grew. In 1949, the Agency's covert action arm had about 300 employees and seven overseas field stations; three years later it had 2,800 employees and 47 field stations. In the same period, the budget for these activities grew from $4.7 million to $82 million. Covert operations became a way of life, or better said, a way of death, for the millions of people abroad who lost their lives in the process. By the Reagan-Bush period in the 1980s, covert operations were costing billions of dollars. CIA Director William Casey would be quoted as saying that covert action was the "keystone" of U.S. policy in the Third World. [...] http://media.filter/MFF/CovOps.html http://mediafilter.org/MFF/CovOps.html # distributed via nettime.free : no commercial use without permission # <nettime.free> is an open mailinglist for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: email@example.com and "info nettime.free" in the msg body # To subscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org with # "subscribe nettime.free" in the msg body # Speak freely or unsubscribe!