And ye shall know the truth,
And the truth shall make you free. -- Gospel According to John [inscribed in marble, CIA, Langley, Virginia]
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or of the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances. -- US First Amendment
Secrecy is the first essential in affairs of the State. -- Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal de Richelieu, Chief Minister to Louis XIII
The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one ... -- Adolf Hitler
The Bay of Pigs has taught me a number of things. One is not to trust generals or the CIA ... -- John F Kennedy
... we might have ridden into an ambush. -- Kennedy aide David Powers
The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we too are honourable men devoted to her service. -- Richard Helms, CIA Director [found guilty of committing perjury]
We do misrepresent, lie, steal on occasion. But once you get beyond the question of whether we ought to do espionage, this is as ethical a group of people as you'll find. -- Elizabeth Rindskopf, CIA General Counsel
The CIA in its pursuit of intelligence and influence, often courts the same powerful figures [DEA] pursued as criminals ... and intelligence wins precedence over law enforcement. The highly connected tuxedo-clad criminal is left in place to provide intelligence to the United States - and drugs to its citizens. -- James Mills
The Committee finds that covert action programs have been used to disrupt the lawful political activities of individual Americans and groups to discredit them, using dangerous and degrading tactics which are abhorrent in a free and decent society .... The sustained use of such tactics by the FBI in an attempt to destroy Dr Martin Luther King Jr, violated the law and fundamental human decency. -- Church Committee
Prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. [Malcolm X] might have been such a messiah; he is a martyr of the movement today. [King could] be a real contender for the position should he abandon his supposed obedience to white liberal doctrines. -- FBI report
In a review of all COINTELPRO files on Dr King, the committee found substantive evidence that the harassment program showed no signs of abatement as the fateful day approached. -- House Select Committee on Assassinations
It is the firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup ... -- CIA memo
...on the basis of the evidence, it is clear that [the Contras] knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers... In each case, one or another agency of the US government had information about the involvement... Indeed, US policy-makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was the perfect solution to the Contra's funding problems. -- US congressional subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Relations
We were told that the only way to defeat the Sandinistas was to use the tactics the agency [CIA] attributed to Communist insurgencies elsewhere: kill, kidnap, rob and torture .... Many civilians were killed in cold blood. Many others were tortured, mutilated, raped, robbed, or otherwise abused.... When I agreed to join .... I had hoped that it would be an an organisation of Nicaraguans ... [it] turned out to be an instrument of the US government ... -- Edgar Chamorro, former Contra Colonel
In recent years ... forces have developed in our government over which there is no control and these forces have an authoritarian approach to justice - meaning, they will let you know what justice is. -- Jim Garrison
When those rifles crackled over Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963 ... [they] made [their] move into the big time. [They] took control of the President and the presidency. The man [they] killed was no longer a problem, and they had made certain that his successor, Lyndon B Johnson, heard and remembered the sound of those guns. -- Col Fletcher Prouty
To the extent that the the United States was governed by anyone during the decades after World War II, it was governed by the President acting with the support and cooperation of key individuals and groups in the executive office, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and more important businesses, banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitutes the private sector's 'Establishment'. -- Trilateral Commission
Last June I spoke to the British Parliament, proposing that we - the democracies of the world - work together to build the infrastructure of democracy. This will take time, money and effort by both government and the private sector. We need particularly to cement relationships amongst the various sectors of society in the United States and Europe. A special concern will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defence and security issues. -- Ronald Reagan
What we've got now in the United States, is one party, two names. We've got Republicans and Republicans Lite. -- Jessie Jackson
It is not surprising that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the ballot box is no longer an instrument that will secure political solutions ... They can see that the parliamentary democracy we boast of is becoming a sham. -- Tony Benn
The presidents and prime ministers are the ones who make the underground deals and speak the true underground idiom. The corporations. The military. The banks. This is the underground network. This is where it happens. Power flows under the surface, far beneath the level you and I live on. This is where the laws are broken, way down under, far beneath the speed freaks and the cutters of crack. -- Don Delillo
The time I spent investigating the allegations of the 'Dark Alliance' series led me to the undeniable conclusion that the CIA, DEA, DIA, and FBI knew about drug trafficking in South Central Los Angeles. They were either part of the trafficking or turned a blind eye to it .... -- US Congresswoman Maxine Waters
What happened to Stalker and myself was nothing less than oppressive government; a gross abuse of the power invested in our leaders, for the furtherance of their own ends. -- Kevin Taylor
The only thing I have ever done ... is to criticise the state. -- David Shayler, from Paris gaol
This is a great day for justice and a sad and embarrassing one for MI5 and the British government. -- David Shayler, on release from French prison
In Western democracies, with few exceptions, power used to be concentrated in the hands of a monarch or similar figure. In most countries today, that power is in the hands of a corrupt elite. Monarchs did not willingly surrender their power. Power diffused amongst those invited within the inner circle. If your face fitted and you accepted the prevailing philosophy, you might get to sit below the table and taste a few crumbs of power, then if you were lucky, began the greasy climb.
This is as true today under democracies as it was under monarchs who ruled by divine right. The only difference today is that the power is shared amongst a state-corporate nexus. Elections are held, but these are a mirage, a vote gathering mechanism only, to enable the common masses to endorse their betters. The common masses are not allowed to participate in any meaningful way, they are usually not even informed (state security). At election time the voters have little if any choice.
In the US, it was sleazy Clinton or tired old George Bush. Clinton continued the massive welfare programme for the military-industrial complex and agribusiness at its historic high levels, whist simultaneously dismantling welfare programmes for the poor under the guise of 'welfare reform'. In the UK, slick, no principles (other than I must get elected at any cost) Blair, and the tired, grey Major. Tony (socialism is a dirty word) Blair, possibly the worst British Premier in modern history, is seen as the natural successor to Margaret Thatcher. One of the first invited visitors to see Blair upon taking office was ex-PM Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher has made no secret of the fact that she sees Blair as her natural successor. Lord Rothermere, owner of the right wing Daily Mail, took up his seat in the House of Lords alongside New Labour. Right up until his death, Rothermere saw Tony and his cronies as the new Conservatives. No sooner had Blair been elected than he launched a vicious attack on the poor, slashing welfare programmes, axing student grants, meanwhile tobacco sponsorship was sacrosanct, especially after F-1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone donated £1 million to party funds. It wasn't long before cash for access, and corrupt, incestuous relationships with lobbyists, all with strong links to New Labour, became widely known. Like their Tory predecessors, New Labour didn't take long to get their snouts in the trough. Moderate trade union leader John Edmonds summed up feelings in the country when he described the occupants of Britain's boardrooms as 'greedy bastards ... bloated rodents ... [engaged in the] politics of the pig trough'. Major contributors to Bill Clinton's campaign funds were Monsanto. Clinton has lobbied Tony Blair for favourable treatment of Monsanto. On 8 September 1998, the US Attorney General launched an investigation into irregularities in Clinton's campaign funding. Many of Tony's cronies, including five senior government ministers, are members of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (others include influential journalists and academics). Funded by the extreme right in the US, the idea for a 'successor generation' was aired at a secret meeting in the White House (March 1983), attended by such adherents to the democratic ideal as Rupert Murdoch (details of the meeting only came to light through the Iran-Contra investigations). The 'successor generation' were to be the chosen few who would run the world. Many other of Tony's cronies have been funded by right-wing sources, with roots in the military-industrial complex. To guarantee Tony's cronies stood a chance, internal Labour elections were rigged to disadvantage the left (code for anti-Blair, may represent the people), to make doubly sure, smear campaigns were run against those who ran on a left of centre ticket and help sought from professional lobbying companies.
The only choice open to the electorate, assuming they wish to exercise that choice, is choosing between different factions of the Business Party.
Two sponsors of the Labour Party 1998 Autumn Conference were Novartis and Enron. Novartis, the largest drugs group in Europe, are promoting GM-crops, they are seeking approval for the commercial growing of their GM-maize. Enron, an aggressive US energy company, donated £15,000 to the autumn conference. Enron has been accused by Amnesty International of human rights violations in India, in particular the beating of women and children who were protesting against pollution and environmental destruction. Enron were involved in a highly contentious takeover bid for Wessex Water, for which government approval was required for the bid to go ahead. Enron's appalling track record includes in addition to human rights violations, pollution, environmental damage and political corruption. Their thoughts on workforce relations 'depopulate the workforce' because workers 'gum up the works' is reflected in their desire to cut the level of the workforce by 50-60%. $3 million to US campaign funds has bought a lot of legislative influence. In the UK, Enron has hired one of the lobbyists at the centre of the cash-for-access scandal. Over the last two years Enron has contributed large sums to New Labour (the exact sums are not known as New Labour refuse to release detailed accounts), on 11 September 1998 the New Labour government granted approval for the Wessex Water takeover, hard lobbying by Enron for power station licences continues.
Enron and Novartis were not the only sponsors of the New Labour Autumn Party Conference hoping to gain influence. Others included train operators, Thomas Cook (travel agents) and Somerfield (supermarket chain). Meetings between sponsors, ministers and MPs could be arranged, all part of the 'comprehensive service'. It was not only companies who saw the advantages of contributing to New Labour. Tommy Adams (head of the Adams Family, gangland boss, vicious thug and drugs baron) bragged of donating cash to the New Labour election fund.
At the 1998 New Labour Party Conference, Tony's cronies got their come-uppance. Every trick in the book had been used to prevent leftist activists from being elected to the NEC. The vicious attack on Liz Davies and her colleagues (who were calling for democratic accountability) by has-been politician Neil Kinnock (now European Commissioner), a man who had done more to damage labour and rendered it unelectable than any other person, was all too typical. Liz Davies and her colleagues soundly defeated those who had the Blair kiss of death. Delegates to the conference refused to wear the ID badges sponsored by Somerfield, and instead wore those handed out by a trade union - traditional red with an appeal to support British workers. A few blows for democracy at party conference that every independently minded commentator referred to as a 'trade fair' on account of the blatant sponsorship.
A decade before the 'successor generation', the Trilateral Commission was established to address some of the problems of the 1960s - 'Democratic Distemper: ... The 1960s witnessed a dramatic upsurge of democratic fervour in America ... marches, demonstrations, protest movements and, 'cause' organisations ... markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students and women, all of whom became mobilized and organised in new ways ... The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private.' All this 'produced problems for the governability of democracy in the 1970s ...' The proposed solution was to bring democracy back under control of government and key people from the private sector establishment, and place control of the world (US, Europe and Japan) in the hands of a small private elite. Members of the Trilateral Commission were drawn from the elite of politics, business, academia and the media in the US, Western Europe and Japan. The work of the Trilateral Commission bore fruit extremely rapidly, the two founder members, David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, both took positions of high office in government.
Under these conditions that go under the all embracing term democracy, it is not at all surprising that the domestic population is targeted by the intelligence services when the intelligence services are the servants of the power structure and are there to back the power structure, it would be surprising if it were otherwise.
As the Trilateral Commission noted the power structures have at times been severely challenged. The Civil Rights movement in the States in the 1950s and 1960s, the riots in France in the 1960s, a challenge to the status quo in UK during the 1960s, the massive anti-war demonstrations in the US and UK during the 1960s and early 1970s, the anti-cruise missile demonstrations across Western Europe during the mid-1980s. By the mid-1970s there was talk of 'a crisis of democracy', this wasn't a reflection upon the low base material of the present political leadership, but a comment on the fact that the common masses were demanding a greater say in the running of their own countries.
It was against these developments that the intelligence services and the power structure of which they were part had to stage containment then rollback. The establishment of the Trilateral Commission and then the 'successor generation' was an integral part of this containment and rollback.
In the US there is a Freedom of Information Act, strengthened after Watergate, that allows the citizen to occasionally lift the veil of secrecy. In the UK there is nothing, the citizen is kept permanently in the dark.
Secrecy and the control of the flow of information is the most powerful weapon that any power structure has at its disposal.
The first inkling that something was seriously wrong was the Bay of Pigs - a bloody fiasco organised and funded by the CIA. It wasn't the first time the CIA had blood on its hands, the overthrow of the legitimate government in Guatemala in the 1950s, but because it was such a massive failure and so close to home it couldn't be overlooked, even by a mainstream media that marched in lock step with the government.
The Bay of Pigs woke President John F Kennedy with a shock to the fact that the CIA was a threat not only to civil rights but to world peace. Following his re-election he was expected to dismantle the CIA, possibly putting key personnel on trial for crimes against humanity. Other items on the political agenda were a withdrawal from Vietnam, detente with Russia and Cuba, a fight against poverty. LBJ was likely to be dropped as Vice-President. JFK paid with his life. The CIA then mounted a massive cover-up
On 11 October 1963, John F Kennedy signed the top secret NSAM 263, authorising the first phase of troop withdrawals from Vietnam. Little more than a month into office, Lyndon B Johnson signed the top secret NSAM 273, reversing the Kennedy policy, a new policy which ultimately led to a massive escalation of the Vietnam War.
Kennedy aides, David Powers and Kenneth O'Neill, were part of the motor cavalcade in Dallas on 22 November 1963. They both heard shots fired from the Grassy Knoll. Both were told by the FBI that they must be mistaken and persuaded to change their minds.
Martin Luther King campaigned against prejudice. This hurt Southern bigots, but not too many others. Exactly one year to the day of his assassination, he spoke out against the Vietnam War - he linked the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-War Movement. He was now threatening the very core of the power structure, the state-corporate nexus, the military-industrial complex. He paid with his life. The FBI unit that had been charged with the harassment of King was responsible for the investigation of his murder. At the time of the assassination, members of the unit celebrated.
Grace Stephens, possibly the only witness of the assassin of Martin Luther King, was locked away in mental institutions under false names, denied visitors, because she refused to change her testimony that the person she saw was not James Earl Ray. Protesting his innocence until the day he died, James Earl Ray never received a trial.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations was disabled by the CIA and FBI. The CIA, by use of its assets in the media, tried to discredit any independent voice on the assassination of the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King. The CIA and FBI were involved in the harassment of witnesses, cover-up and the withholding of evidence on the assassination of JFK. Mark Lane established a Citizens Committee to investigate the assassination of JFK, the FBI bugged their office and tapped their phones. Jim Garrison (New Orleans District Attorney) had his investigation of the JFK assassination sabotaged by CIA infiltrators.
Richard Salant (President of CBS News) confirmed CIA links that went back to the 1950s. Allen Dulles (then CIA Director) would routinely debrief journalist on their return to the States. In the early 1970s, the CIA had forty news reporters on its payroll. Jeremiah O'Leary was one of these journalist who could be relied upon to write whatever the CIA required.
Former high ranking CIA official Victor Marchetti published a detailed expose of CIA malpractice. Large sections of his book were censored by the CIA. The first time any book had been censored in the history of the United States, the First Amendment conveniently abandoned. Publication of the book went ahead, leaving large blank sections to emphasise the censored parts. The excuse was National Security (ie the right of the people to know). Mark Lane, in Plausible Denial, gives an example of one of the censored passages. It involves a cat that following a million dollar operation, was kitted out to be a roving pick-up, a transmitter in its abdomen, an antenna run along its tail. The operation was a disaster, the cat was eventually run over a killed by a lorry.
The CIA Operation Phoenix in Vietnam was responsible for 20,000 assassinations (Vietnamese sources put the figure at 40,000). The CIA, with British help, put Suharto into power in Indonesia in a violent bloody coup. The massacre of 200,000 people in East Timor followed.
The CIA, with the help of US military, has been helping to maintain corrupt and bloody regimes all over Central America. Death squads, disappearances, torture, victim mutilation are all par for the course.
With the exception of a few racist White South Africans, Nelson Mandela is widely acknowledged as the world's leading statesman. Mandela spent 28 years of his life imprisoned under the Apartheid Regime for fighting injustice. It was the CIA who tipped off BOSS as to where to find Mandela, the same CIA who collaborated with BOSS in the war against the ANC.
The CIA engaged in farcical plots to assassinate Fidel Castro that would have been more in keeping for a plot for the Keystone Cops. Such was the farcical obsession with Cuba that the military had a crass plan code-named 'Operation Dirty Tricks' to blame Cuba should John Glenn's first space mission have failed. Fidel Castro's biggest crime is to have had the audacity to pursue a separate foreign policy less than 90 miles from the shores of the US.
The CIA was responsible for the French Connection, the Golden Triangle in South-East Asia, the Colombian Drugs Cartels and the running of crack-cocaine into US inner cities. Gun running, drug trafficking were parallel operations across the Afghan-Pakistan border. In Indo-China, the CIA 'secret army' in Laos was run by the local drug baron General Van Pao. Air America, the CIA airline, at the time of the Vietnam War the largest airline in the world, was used to ferry guns and heroin, the currency used was gold and heroin. At the time Nancy Reagan was saying 'say no to drugs', good old Ronnie, in cahoots with CIA Director William Casey were, to avoid congressional scrutiny, financing the Contras with drug proceeds, and turning a blind eye, if not offering official protection, to Contra drug trafficking. When a Bolivian Congressman was about to make public US involvement in the Bolivian drugs trade he was assassinated. Well known drug trafficker and long time buddy of ex-CIA director George Bush, General Noriega was trained at the US School of Americas, as were many Latin American and Central American Death Squads. La Corporacion dominated the cocaine trade in South America for at least a decade. Operation Hun which could have netted some of the world's biggest cocaine traffickers was deliberately scuppered by the CIA with the tacit connivance of the suits at the DEA and the Public Prosecutors Office in Miami. The CIA sponsored drugs trade has killed more Americans than Korea and Vietnam combined.
Lewis Tambs (former US ambassador), Joe Fernandez (CIA station chief), Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter (former US National Security Adviser), Richard Secord (US Air Force General, links with Air America) are barred from Costa Rica for their involvement with gun running and drug trafficking during the CIA-directed Contra terrorist war against the Nicaraguan civilian population.
Richard Nixon saw Watergate as a CIA plot to destroy his presidency. Two of the Watergate 'plumbers', E Howard Hunt (ex-CIA, senior operative Bay of Pigs) and G Gordon Liddy (ex-FBI), had strong intelligence connections. The CIA supplied Hunt with the equipment to carry out their illegal operations. Nixon sent Bob Haldeman (White House Chief of Staff) to warn Richard Helms (then CIA Director) to back off, or else Nixon would make public what he knew about the Bay of Pigs (a coded reference to JFK assassination).
The Secret Service (better known for its role in Presidential protection) has engaged in massive overkill in the crackdown on computer hackers.
The NSA (together with its UK counterpart GCHQ) monitors electronic traffic worldwide. The groups it targets are as diverse as peace groups to Catholic Bishops. The NSA is the lead agency in an Anglo-alliance that consists of US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Echelon, NSA Project P415, monitors European traffic - the golf balls on the Yorkshire hills are more than space-age art. By the early 1990s, Echelon was automatically monitoring electronic messages at the rate of 2 million/hour.
The CIA is prohibited from spying on its own citizens. It usually gets around this by using foreign intelligence agencies or free-lancers to do its dirty work. Through an obscure bureau of the State Department, employing CIA, DIA operatives, counter-intelligence and psychological warfare specialists the CIA targeted a domestic audience. When a report on these activities was written, as part of the Iran-Contra hearings, it was duly ignored by the mainstream media.
The US, using the CIA as its lead agency, is widely acknowledged as the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. During the Reagan years alone, the CIA proxy army the Contras killed 8,000 Nicaraguan civilians. In Chile the bloody overthrow of the Allende regime saw 130,000 Chileans murdered, tortured and disappeared. The CIA intervention in Latin and Central America is one long litany of unspeakable bloody tragedy.
Entering Europe at the end of World War II, the US protected Nazi war criminals. When it got too uncomfortable for them in Europe they were shipped out with the help of the Vatican to South America, where they helped to train the locals in torture and counter-insurgency techniques. Nazi manuals on torture techniques were re-issued as US manuals on counter-insurgency. The Argentinians, trained by the Nazis, acted as US proxies in Central America.
The infamous Japanese Unit 731 operated in the Far East Theatre of World War II. According to the US Justice Department, Unit 731 'conducted inhumane and frequently lethal pseudo-medical experiments - on thousands of ... prisoners and civilians' including mass dissections of live subjects. After the war, General Shiro Ishii (the commander of Unit 731), together with his colleagues, was granted immunity and freedom in exchange for providing the United States with details of the experiments.
A few months after presenting a paper in California entitled 'The Psychological Consequences of Political Terrorism', Father Ignacio Martin-Baro, a leading liberation theologian, Jesuit priest and expert on US terrorism, undoubtedly a thorn in the side of the Vatican who, notwithstanding the difficulty the rich have in passing through the eye of a needle, prefer Cardinals who dine with dictators than barefoot priests who speak on behalf of the poor, was, together with five fellow priests and their housekeepers, gunned down by a Salvadoran death squad armed and trained by the US. A month after his assassination he was due to present another paper, that was presented in his absence. In his papers he highlighted that the US sponsored state terrorism in El Salvador, a 'dirty war' aimed at 'eliminating all significant opposition and protest' was not specific to El Salvador but a common feature of US Third World intervention.
In the week that the six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers were killed, at least 28 Salvadoran civilians were killed including a union leader, a leader of a university women's group, nine members of an Indian farming cooperative and ten students. Their deaths were attributed to the Atlacatl Battalion, created, trained and equipped by the US. The Atlacatl Battalion were trained in counter-insurgency by the US Army School of Special Forces. Victims of the death squads are not just killed, their bodies are mutilated and left on display to serve as a warning to others.
The treatment of the Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko was one of the worst episodes in the CIA's less than glorious history. Nosenko was a double, possibly triple agent. Yuri Nosenko was a lieutenant colonel in the KGB Second Chief Directorate (equivalent to FBI or MI5) with responsibility for surveillance of suspected foreign agents. The CIA recruited Nosenko as a double agent. Nosenko expressed a wish to defect to the States. Valuing his services in-situ, he was ordered to remain in Russia. Ignoring his instructions and fearing that his cover had been blown, Nosenko defected, claiming that he had important information regarding Lee Harvey Oswald. The Russian fear was that if Oswald was to be seen as part of a conspiracy, the Russians could be suspected and the end result could be nuclear war. Chief Justice Earl Warren was led to believe this to be a real possibility and the rationale behind 'proving' Oswald was a lone assassin. Nosenko was kept in solitary confinement for three and a half years in a specially constructed cell in the basement of a safe house in Virginia. He was subjected to hostile interrogation which included torture, sensory deprivation, administering of drugs and knocking out most of his teeth. The purpose of the attempt by the CIA to break Nosenko was to prevent him testifying before the Warren Commission. Although he did not break, Nosenko never did get to testify. A later CIA review of the Nosenko affair, concluded that he was genuine.
In recent years there has been close cooperation between the CIA and Palestinian security forces. CIA Director George Tenet has paid several visits to the Palestinian controlled areas. Coincidental with this close cooperation there has been a sharp increase in human rights abuses - torture of detainees, deaths of prisoners.
The CIA has had some monumental failures. It failed to predict the downfall of the Shah of Iran. The CIA were totally dependant on SAVAK (the Shah's secret police), and lacked any of their own assets or anyone who could speak Farsi. The Ayatollah was dismissed as a decrepit old cleric. The Israelis gave dire warnings, but these were ignored as scaremongering by Mossad. The CIA failed to predict the nuclear explosions by either India or Pakistan. The US relied entirely on satellite data. Both the Indians and Pakistanis, using information and software available on Internet, were able to calculate when spy satellites were overhead and carry out all activities during the satellites' blind spots. In the five days before India carried out its first test there were ten periods of eight hours when the watchers were blind. Allen Thomson, former CIA-analyst, had warned that reliance upon reconnaissance data alone was flawed. His report was suppressed for two years and only published following a protracted legal battle. The House Intelligence Committee has criticised the intelligence agencies for its over reliance on satellite data, the failure to devote sufficient resources to analysis, and the fact that target countries will soon have the ability to blackout satellites.
Again and again the CIA overestimated Russian intentions and size of their weapons count, a bomber gap, then a missile gap, though these errors may have been intentional in a deliberate attempt to spur the arms race and argue for more money in an increasingly hostile world.
Jack Ryan (FBI agent of 25 years standing) was fired for refusing to investigate peace groups. Denied his pension rights he was forced for some time to live in a shelter for the homeless.
The ruling elite has for a long time feared that Blacks would organise and become a powerful political force. The Black Panthers were targeted, once their leaders were dead, the Panthers self-destructed. MOVE, a radical religious environmental group of activists were targeted. Their headquarters in Philadelphia was destroyed by the Police dropping a fire bomb, which destroyed not only MOVE, but a large part of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The FBI has a dual role, the familiar crime busting role and a lesser known counter-intelligence role (equivalent to MI5 in the UK). It is in counter-intelligence that the worst excesses have occurred. Under J Edgar Hoover, the FBI instigated COINTELPRO. To Hoover, hunting down Commies was far more important than crime busting, anything left of Genghis Khan was a threat to national security. As a result organised crime was allowed to flourish, for many years Hoover refused to admit to the existence of the mafia. COINTELPRO went beyond surveillance, Hoover used COINTELPRO to target what he perceived to be his enemies, the anti-war movement, civil rights, tactics included disruption, smear campaigns and neutralisation. Interviews of left-wing activists were increased to engender paranoia and to give the impression that an FBI agent was monitoring their every move. For Hoover, the campaign against Martin Luther King became a personal crusade. Nixon believed Hoover had files on everyone. Not quite true, but the files did cover 25 million people. Under Hoover, the FBI did not just go rotten, the rot became institutionalised so that the death of Hoover did not solve the problem because as stated by former FBI agent Arthur Murtagh 'it is possible for the structures of an organisation such as the Bureau to be responsible for much wrongdoing without any measurable culpability on the part of individuals working in the lower levels of the organisation' and to clean up the FBI 'a complete restructuring' was required, without which 'we'd just be treading water'.
The public first got an inkling that something was seriously wrong following the publication of Peter Wright's Spycatcher, in which he described how MI5 bugged and burgled its way across London, how MI5 brought down the Wilson government. The government of the day attempted to prevent the publication of Spycatcher in Australia, and in doing so not only made complete asses of themselves, but gave an enormous boost to the sales of the book. Back in the UK, under-the-counter copies of the banned book were selling like hot cakes.
Spycatcher wasn't the first expose of an intelligence service spiralling out of control. This became apparent with the infamous and farcical ABC trial, so named partly because the defendants were Crispin Aubrey, John Berry and Duncan Campbell, and also because the prosecution witnesses were all identified by letter only (eg Col B, who was then identified by the Leveller and Peace News as Col H A Johnstone).
The three defendants highlighted amongst other things the existence and function of GCHQ (British equivalent of NSA) and monitoring stations on Cyprus. At their trial, pictures of the Telecom Tower in central London, a major tourist attraction and shown on many postcards, were produced marked Top Secret. The Top Secret spy station in Cyprus was so secret that tourist coaches were pointing it out as 'the secret British spy base'. Post-Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the many coachloads of Russian tourists video the bases as they pass through.
It soon became apparent that the trial was a farce and the judge was left with no alternative but to dismiss the case.
Duncan Campbell went on to become the UK's leading authority on intelligence matters. The intelligence service does not take defeat lightly nor independent probing and analysis. For many years Duncan Campbell was subjected to harassment, including raids on his flat, seizure of all his equipment, and attempts to run him down whilst out riding his cycle.
Crispin Aubrey was to discover many years later that MI5 had a plant within their defence committee.
During the fevered atmosphere that surrounded the ABC trial, Philip Agee (ex-CIA) and Mark Hosenball (journalist) were both expelled from the UK.
The arms-to-Iraq affair and the scandal of the Matrix Churchill trial once again exposed the murky world of espionage. The proceedings of the trial could not be reported, the fact that the proceedings could not be reported also could not be reported. Ministers signed PII (Public Interest Immunity) certificates to prevent evidence that would establish the innocence of those being charged from being presented in court. The only function of the Orwellian newspeak PII certificates was to act against the public interest and deny the course of justice.
The jury for the ABC trial was carefully vetted. The foreman of the jury (ex-SAS) made his feelings clear before the trial got under way. A trial was a waste of public money when the defendants could be simply taken outside and shot! The jury in the Matrix Churchill trial were similarly vetted.
Nothing has been learnt from these cases. Autumn 1997, David Shayler (ex-MI5) exposed that MI5 were corrupt and incompetent, had been tapping the phones of many prominent public figures, including members of the present New Labour government and at least one ex-Prime Minister, that operations against the IRA had been bungled, delaying the peace process by at least a decade. The response was to serve injunctions on the press to prevent publication of the allegations, and to attempt to arrest Shayler (now in hiding in Europe). Within days his girlfriend Annie Machon came out with similar allegations. She too was in hiding on the continent. On her voluntary return to the UK, she was immediately arrested by several large burly men, her flat was trashed. The trashing of the flat, intended as a warning to Shayler as to what to expect if caught, was more reminiscent of KGB thugs intimidating dissidents at the height of the Cold War, than what one should expect in a supposedly democratic country.
Richard Tomlinson (ex-MI6) made similar allegations about MI6, and threatened to publish a book. He was arrested, charged, and sentenced to several months in prison. On his release he was kept under constant surveillance and continually harassed by the intelligence services. Nevertheless he managed to give them the slip and escape to France.
Following a meeting between himself and David Shayler in Paris and a tip off from the British, Tomlinson was arrested by a group of heavies employed by the French intelligence service. During the arrest he was beaten and suffered a cracked rib. When the French learnt that they had been deceived and made fools of by the British (they were told Tomlinson was a major terrorist, not that he had committed a minor technical offence of slipping probation) they let him go.
Tomlinson escaped to New Zealand (he holds a NZ passport, his UK passport is held by the British). British strong arm tactics prevented Tomlinson appearing on NZ TV, he was also arrested and prevented from travelling on to Australia. In the light of his treatment, Tomlinson vowed to publish and be dammed. Tomlinson is currently in Geneva seeking political asylum.
Meanwhile David Shayler, having been arrested by the French shortly before they burst into Richard Tomlinson's hotel room, is languishing in a French jail awaiting extradition to the UK. Bail for Shayler has been denied.
The trial of Shayler is expected to be a farce, if it ever gets that far.
Extradition to Britain to stand trial never took place. After 3 1/2 months in prison, Shayler's case was thrown out by a French court on the grounds that it was 'political'. More revelations from Shayler are now expected. Meanwhile the British government, unable to accept defeat gracefully, have vowed to continue the vendetta against Shayler. They have made it clear Shayler will never be able to set foot in Britain again without the fear of imprisonment.
Having failed miserably with David Shayler, the British government has turned its attention back to Richard Tomlinson. Not satisfied with having jailed Tomlinson for 6 months, the British are now trying to have him extradited back to the UK. They fear he may make further allegations of bungled intelligence operations, if not follow Shayler's example and set up a Web site to reveal all. When pictures of Tomlinson are shown in the British media his face is blacked out. There is no rhyme nor reason to this and only goes to illustrate the depth of the farce the British government has constructed for itself. Allegations by Tomlinson to date include a plot to assassinate Milosevic that bore an uncanny resemblance to the death of Princess Diana, a highly placed source in the German Bundesbank, editor of a newspaper on the MI6 payroll, assistance by MI6 to defence companies to win contracts. The British have made informal approaches to the Swiss authorities for Tomlinson's extradition (Tomlinson now lives in Geneva under Swiss protection), but the Swiss have refused to cooperate.
The editor allegedly on the MI6 payroll was later named in the House of Commons as Dominic Lawson, editor of The Daily Telegraph. It was claimed that large sums had been paid to him via foreign bank accounts. It was also alleged that whilst editor of The Spectator, Lawson had published articles on Bosnia, written by MI6 agents under false names. The articles were black propaganda intended to sway public opinion, though the circulation of The Spectator is so low (c 57,000) it is difficult to see that it would sway anyone, unless the articles were picked up by the mass media.
Once the initial shock of her death had worn off, the vast majority of the British public came to believe that Princess Diana had been killed, and that it was the intelligence services who were responsible. MI5 became so concerned at the accusations that it was forced to leak a denial through its assets in the press and to publish an official guide to MI5, including a Web site, which claimed it was not involved in assassinations. There are of course some people who believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
On the eve of the first anniversary of Diana's death, Richard Tomlinson (ex-MI6) claimed that the driver of the car, Henri Paul, was an MI6 agent (for a long time there had been rumours circulating in Paris that Henri Paul was working for the security services) and that one of Diana's bodyguards was a secret service contact. The British media were prevented from revealing these allegations by court injunctions.
Much of what Richard Tomlinson or David Shayler have to say is being censored from the British Press. Injunctions have been served by the British government to prevent publication. Breaches can result in the charge of contempt of court, heavy fines, imprisonment and the destruction of that issue of a newspaper. Any statement from either of the two men has to be vetted by the government, which then decides what if anything may be printed. When Shayler alleged a botched MI6 attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadafy, all the press was able to report was vague plots concerning Colonel Gadafy without revealing what these were. It took a report in the New York Times, ironically filed from London, to blow the whole thing wide open. Anyone with Internet access could read the report, as could anyone finding copies of the New York Times on sale in London. The following day, The Guardian decided to go it alone and publish what was being reported in the New York Times. They used a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the Spycatcher case which ruled that the prevention of publication of material that had appeared elsewhere was a breach of the right to freedom of expression.
A further claim by Tomlinson is that MI6 has a highly placed agent in the German Bundesbank. Code named Operation Orcada, this well placed and well paid agent was not only giving advance notice of interest rate movements, but also details of German negotiating tactics. Operation Orcada was part of a network of euro-agents spying on EU member states. Only one British newspaper, The Sunday Times, dared run with the story, and then only by quoting prior publication (it had appeared on Internet).
The 1984-5 Miner's Strike was a legitimate industrial dispute, part of the democratic process. Nevertheless, MI5 saw their role as destruction of the strike, its leaders and the National Union of Miners. MI5 fed stories to the press, which the press duly published without question. One of the main sources of information from within the NUM, Roger Windsor, was later identified as an MI5 agent. Provocateurs were employed on many of the picket lines. The NUM, once one of the most powerful forces in the land, able to shake governments to their core, is now a spent force, a shadow of its former self, the mining industry has been destroyed, only a handful of pits remain open, those few that remain were sold to Richard Budge, once described in a DTI report as 'unfit to be concerned in the management of a company'.
A decade and a half later the police were meting out the same treatment to farmers - groups were infiltrated, phones tapped. What so exercised the mind of Pc Plod, was farmers, not exactly well known for their radical nature, might hold protest rallies outside supermarkets to raise public awareness of the low prices farmers received for their produce and the imports of foreign foodstuffs.
In the 1980s, MI5 had infiltrated most environmental, anti-war, peace, and antinuclear groups. Phones were tapped, mail intercepted. Sympathetic journalists were also targeted. Offices were regularly raided by Special Branch (branch of police that acts as liaison with MI5).
In the 1990s, groups who took a foreign policy view that differed from government policy, found themselves targeted in the same way as environmental groups and others in the 1980s.
The UK has an 'ethical foreign policy'. To those on the receiving end it is a bloody sick joke. The 'ethical foreign policy' means supplying weapons to Turkey to bomb and attack Kurdish villages, supplying Hawk ground attack aircraft to Indonesia to attack East Timor. In Malaysia, Robin Cook (Foreign Secretary) held a polite tete-a-tete with the corrupt Mahathir whilst the recently detained ex-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was being beaten into unconsciousness in police custody, whilst protesters were being beaten and gassed on the streets. At the IMF/World Bank meeting finance ministers spoke out against the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer) remained silent. During a state visit to China, Tony Blair could manage little more than an innate grin and weasel words, not a word passed his lips on Chinese abuses of human rights, atrocities in occupied Tibet, lack of democracy in Hong Kong. Martin Lee, leader of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, publicly rebuked Blair, describing his 'ethical foreign policy' as an 'economical foreign policy'.
In a virtual replay of the Arms-to-Iraq Affair, Britain was supplying arms to Sierra Leone in defiance of a UN arms embargo. Robin Cook, he of the 'ethical foreign policy', refused to allow senior Foreign Office civil servants or Sir David Spedding (head of MI6) to give evidence to a parliamentary committee investigating the arms-to-Sierra-Leone scandal.
Virtually every town of any size in the UK has CCTV monitoring the public. Not just on the streets, CCTV is everywhere, shops, offices, lifts, phone booths. The police are soon expected to fit mini-cams into their helmets. It is now virtually impossible to leave one's front door and not be monitored wherever you go. Little is known as to who is watching or to what purpose. In London trials are being conducted of pattern recognition, faces will be matched to a data base. A 'ring of steel' encircles the City of London, with carefully controlled access points. The CCTV system is linked into a data base of car registrations and logs all the cars entering and leaving. In what will be the world's largest vehicle surveillance scheme, there will soon be CCTV on every major road, every road intersection, tied in to a vehicle tracking system.
Software exists to automatically sort the various data inputs held on individuals and groups to form profiles, links and relationships.
The corrupt and now bankrupt BCCI was allowed to continue in business, because as well as laundering drug money and financing gun-running, it also existed to launder money for the CIA and British intelligence agencies. Richard Norton-Taylor (journalist) revealed that the CIA used its BCCI London accounts to finance 500 key British personnel including prominent academics and journalists. The payroll included ninety prominent journalists and broadcasters, many in senior positions. Until the practice was exposed in 1985, MI5 had for forty years vetted senior editorial positions within the BBC. Any journalist of an independent frame of mind was shown the door. The Information Resource Department, a secret political agency within the Foreign Office, ran dozens of journalists during the 1950s and 1960s.
MI5 automatically vet anyone destined for senior position in government.
Ron Davies, former Welsh Secretary, resigned in mysterious circumstances following a walk across Clapham Common, where, following a brief conversation with a total stranger, he went off with the stranger, to be then robbed at knife-point of money, car and personal possessions. Of the many rumours circulating in the following weeks was that he had been targeted by MI5 for the last 13 years, followed, his phone bugged and his mail opened.
Ken Livingstone, the people's favourite for Mayor of London, has had a smear campaign run against him by MI5. Tony's cronies are devising ways to rig the selection procedure to ensure that he can not be chosen as New Labour Official Candidate. Tony's cronies have been working overtime to rig similar ballots for the Welsh Assembly, European elections, Scottish Parliament.
Targeting of MPs and government ministers is nothing new. MI5 forced the resignation of an innocent minister from the Wilson government. Harold Wilson himself was the target of a vicious MI5 smear campaign, which may explain Wilson's sudden and unexpected resignation. Running the campaign was none other than Peter Wright of Spycatcher fame, himself to be later a target of the UK government. Also associated with the campaign was James Jesus Angleton, CIA chief of counter-intelligence and head of an assassination team during the CIA's worst excesses and eventually forced out as unacceptable even by the CIA's standards.
2 September 1998, the police conducted a massive raid on the UK's largest ISP, one person was arrested. No search warrant had been obtained. Two years previously, 9 August 1996, the Metropolitan Police issued instructions to ISPs to remove access to news groups that the Met found offensive. ISPs are being told to retain e-mail of selected individuals for police inspection. In all cases the police are acting outside of the law. Strong arm tactics are being used to force ISP compliance, many of whom have been intimidated into silence.
Once through the door with a legitimate warrant the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 gives the police wide-ranging powers to seize any evidence implicating anyone in any crime, or in other words the ability to conduct a trawling expedition.
Early September 1998, Tony Blair introduced the most Draconian legislation seen in the UK outside of wartime. MPs were dragged back from their summer vacation, the legislation was not published until the night before, giving MPs little time to read let alone understand. The measures were attacked by all shades of political opinion though it was doubtful that Blair even understood their arguments. The legislation was rammed through Parliament within a few days. The excuse was terrorism. The reality was that almost all terror groups in Ireland had declared a ceasefire, within days one of the few remaining groups declared a ceasefire, a week later the British Army was withdrawn from the streets of Belfast for the first time in 30 years, two weeks later, in the light of the 'improving security situation', troop withdrawals were started from Northern Ireland and foot patrols stood down in Londonderry. One of the most disturbing features of the legislation was that a suspect could be charged and found guilty on the accusation of a senior police officer, the right to remain silent was also removed (ie the presumption of innocence). Troops serving in Northern Ireland loathe the Irish, this is only exceeded by their loathing and distrust of the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary). Over the decades the RUC have accurately reflected the racism and bigotry endemic in the Loyalist community. A decade earlier John Stalker (the Deputy Chief Constable Manchester Police) had been engaged to investigate a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland, or what MI5 would refer to as 'termination with extreme prejudice'. When Stalker started to unearth the truth a smear campaign was mounted against him which resulted in his suspension and criminal proceedings. Stalker was quite surprised at the level of public support he received. Thames Television who in their highly acclaimed Death on the Rock investigated the shoot-to-kill policy lost their lucrative TV franchise. The head of the Metropolitan Police has alleged 10% of his officers are corrupt and he is powerless to remove them. He has established an ultra secret task force to root out corruption. The corruption in the Met goes beyond the odd bent copper accepting bribes to officers organising major armed robberies and putting out contracts on people they want to eliminate, preliminary investigations have shown the corruption extends beyond the police to lawyers and judges. Duncan MacLaughlin, a detective of 18 years experience, has, in a soon too be published book, alleged New Scotland Yard officers are involved in organising major drugs rackets. In Lincolnshire, Inspector Dena Fleming a high flying female officer had a smear campaign mounted against her, officers involved ranged from the top of the force to bobbies on the beat. The handful of officers who courageously spoke on her behalf found themselves in turn targeted and victimised, their careers destroyed. The investigation into the Dena Fleming affair is covered by a Public Interest Immunity certificate, neither are the public allowed to know the substantial sum in compensation paid to Dena Fleming from public funds.
The endemic racism within the Police initiated the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Nothing had been learnt since the inner-city race riots of the early 1980s, the various inquiries, and the Scarman Report.
Jack Straw (Home Secretary) is one of the UK's main threats to civil rights. He has floated the idea of there no longer being an automatic right to trial by jury. An ancient Anglo-Saxon right to protect the people from abuses by the state. The matter may no longer rest in his hands. In a briefing to 140 jurists 'corpus juris' (the press were deliberately excluded and no communique released), the EU would deny not only the the right to trial by jury, but also remove habeas corpus. Also proposed is the post of European Public Prosecutor.
The EU is to tighten police surveillance across Europe. Any group opposed to the state-corporate nexus will be targeted, this will include peace groups, environmental activists, anti-road campaigners etc. The EU is proposing to establish its own intelligence service. The EU poses one of the biggest threats to human rights for the people of Europe. The drip drip loss of sovereignty and national accountability (however notional). The anti-democratic EU in league with big business is slowly eroding civil rights, diktats from the Commission (has-been politicians accountable to no one) are issued daily. It surely will not be long before we are all charged with the crime of sedition against the EU.
Known as Enfopol 98, the EU plans to establish a Europe wide monitoring network to tap into telephones, mobile phones, fax, e-mail, net access, interactive television. Providers of electronic services will be expected to establish ports for real time access. Mobile phones will be tracked to locate their user. National scrutiny is to be avoided by keeping much of the agreement secret. The use of hard encryption, such as PGP, will be made illegal. The plans came to light when they were leaked to Telepolis.
It is only recently that the British public has been allowed to know the names of the heads of MI5 and MI6, or for the government to publicly acknowledge that either agency exists. The public were only permitted to know the name of the head of MI5 after a Sunday newspaper published not only the name but plans of the house where the head lived! Unlike the US, there have been no commissions of inquiry to investigate the running of the intelligence services or the establishment of an oversight committee to provide a modicum of democratic accountability.
The Orwellian Public Interest Immunity certificates are regularly used to deny justice. Far from being used to protect the public interest, they are used to deny justice and protect the corrupt elite.
British journalists often have to pinch themselves to be sure that they are not writing in Stalinist Russia. There is now greater accountability and access to information in Russia and most of the former Soviet Bloc countries than there is in the UK.
The denial of access to information to the British public, information that is widely available outside the UK is not working. Anyone with Internet access can access the information outside of the UK. This inability to censor information is one of the many reasons why governments around the world fear Internet and desire tighter control. David Shayler has gone so far as to set up his own Internet site. It was the fear of new revelations on his site that led to his arrest in Paris.
Noam Chomsky, who has made extensive studies of these matters, was of the view when asked 'the CIA is very much under the control of executive power.'
The intelligence services may be out of control, at least out of control of the man in the street, but this is a reflection of a deeper malaise, governments are rotten and corrupt, out of control of the citizen and merely the tool of powerful elites.
In the intimidation of citizens, suppression of information, the excuse is always the same 'in the name of national security', where 'the nation' is defined as the corrupt elite, whoever they may be, who are ruling the people, national security is never in the name of the people.
Too often the people forget that the system is not reality. The system is an artificial construct, built on a foundation of fear masquerading as reality. All it takes is a little courage to dismantle the false construct to discover the true reality that lies behind.
Ex-DEA drugs enforcement agent Michael Levine captured the essence when referring to the phoney drugs war mounted by the US administration:
As I travel around the country speaking to adults, children and teenagers, I sense a great awakening. People are becoming disgusted with the billions of dollars thrown down the rathole of the militarized drug war; the sordid invasion of Panama, which has actually resulted in more rampant drug dealing in that country; the secret deals made in the name of "national security" that really make us less secure in own homes; and the lack of concern of elected officials and their appointed staff for the welfare of the American people. As that sage comic strip hero Pogo first said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." People are looking for the truth about the drug war, and when they find it, that will be the doom of the Underground Empire.
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