Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

Watch it

Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2014

Kill the Messenger is worth watching. Aside from the story itself, which is moving, it points to a broader feature of modern American life: we can no longer handle the truth. We have lost that sense of honor that demands that when we have made a mistake, we should acknowledge it and correct it. We imagine that we can become the image of ourselves that we create, independent of reality. And so we crash into reality, and are injured by that collision much more deeply than we ever would be by embracing the truth.

Gary Webb, we miss you.

Posted in abuse of power, CIA, colonial wars, media, Media machine, War On Some Drugs | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Darrell Issa Burns A Few US Agents In Libya, Just So He Can Look Good On The Sunday Talk Shows

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 20, 2012

Remember when Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby burned a high-value CIA agent, Valerie Plame, in revenge for her husband Joe Wilson’s proclaiming that a key Bush-Cheney pretext for the invasion of Iraq — the alleged Niger yellowcake shipments — was bogus?

Now we find that, just so he could score some political points, Darrell Issa, former car thief and now a guy who at $500 million in wealth is the richest member of Congress, just outed a number of currently working CIA operatives, many of whom are in-country Libyans and who were doing some important projects in addition to their CIA work:

One of the cables released by Issa names a woman human rights activist who was leading a campaign against violence and was detained in Benghazi. She expressed fear for her safety to U.S. officials and criticized the Libyan government.

“This woman is trying to raise an anti-violence campaign on her own and came to the United States for help. She isn’t publicly
associated with the U.S. in any other way but she’s now named in this cable. It’s a danger to her life,” the administration official said.

Another cable names a Benghazi port manager who is working with the United States on an infrastructure project.

“When you’re in a situation where Ansar al-Sharia is a risk to Americans, an individual like this guy, who is an innocent civilian
who’s trying to reopen the port and is doing so in conjunction with Americans, could be at risk now because he’s publicly affiliated with America,” the official said, referring to the group thought to have led the Benghazi attack.

One cable names a local militia commander dishing dirt on the inner workings of the Libyan Interior Ministry. Another cable names
a militia commander who claims to control a senior official of the Libyan armed forces. Other cables contain details of conversations between third-party governments, such as the British and the Danes, and their private interactions with the U.S., the U.N., and the Libyan governments over security issues.

“It betrays the trust of people we are trying to maintain contact with on a regular basis, including security officials inside
militias and civil society people as well,” another administration official told The Cable. “It’s a serious betrayal of trust for us and it hurts our ability to maintain these contacts going forward. It has the potential to physically endanger these people. They didn’t sign up for that. Neither did we.”

Again, does this remind you of how Cheney and Scooter Libby outed Valerie Plame — and her entire in-country network of Iraqi contacts — just to get back at her hubby Joe Wilson for saying that he didn’t find any WMDs or WMD precursors in Niger?

The main difference here, besides the fact that this information, though sensitive and tightly held, was not classified, is this: Darrell Issa doesn’t even have the excuse of wanting revenge. He did it for cheap political posturing — and because he could do it, and could get away with it.

Posted in CIA, IOKIYAR, Iraq war, Libya, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Valerie Plame | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

9/11 Happened Because Bush Trusted PNAC Over The CIA

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 11, 2012

We know from Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine that George W. Bush contemptuously dismissed any and all attempts by the CIA to warn him about the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, culminating with his curt dismissal to the CIA agents who came out to his Potemkin ranch in the Potemkin town of Crawford, Texas: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”

What we didn’t know for sure was why Bush was so dismissive of the CIA’s increasingly frantic warnings. Now, thanks to Kurt Eichenwald, we do:

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

“The neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon” — ah, that would most likely be Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, the latter of whom has been tagged by no less an authority than General Tommy Franks as “the stupidest fucking man on the face of the earth”. Feith, you will remember, ran the Office of Special Plans, which sucked up any intel without bothering to vet it — and in fact did reverse vetting, only accepting that intelligence data that seemed to confirm OSP’s PNAC-generated theories about Iraq and the Middle East — theories that in large part had their origins in the fevered, scheming brain of one Ahmad Chalabi, a man who among other things has been allied with Iran’s leaders for decades.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The way we do business: genocidal African leader is a CIA/DIA asset

Posted by Charles II on January 22, 2012

Bryan Bender, Boston Globe:

When Charles G. Taylor tied bed sheets together to escape from a second-floor window at the Plymouth House of Correction on Sept. 15, 1985, he was more than a fugitive trying to avoid extradition. He was a sought-after source for American intelligence.

After a quarter-century of silence, the US government has confirmed what has long been rumored: Taylor, who would become president of Liberia and the first African leader tried for war crimes, worked with US spy agencies during his rise as one of the world’s most notorious dictators.

Former intelligence officials, who agreed to discuss the covert ties only on the condition of anonymity, and specialists including Farah believe Taylor probably was considered useful for gathering intelligence about the activities of Moammar Khadafy.

Bryan Bender, Boston Globe:

Breaking two and a half decades of silence, former Liberian president and accused war criminal Charles G. Taylor said today that his infamous prison break from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in 1985 was aided by the US government…

In the second day of his testimony in his war crimes trial that could settle the long-standing mystery, Taylor said that on the night of Sept. 15, 1985, his maximum-security prison cell was unlocked by a guard and he was escorted to the minimum-security part of the facility.

According to news reports from The Hague, he said he then escaped by tying sheets together and climbing out a window and over a prison fence where he said a car with two men he assumed were agents of the US government drove him to New York, where his wife was waiting with money to get him out of the country.

Robtel Neajai Pailey, AllAfrica:

The bombshell news that he was indeed a CIA informant in the early years of his rise to notoriety calls into question America’s complicity in Taylor’s destruction of Liberia.

America’s facilitation of Taylor’s escape from a maximum security prison in Boston in 1985 – while he was facing extradition to Liberia for allegedly stealing US$1 million from the General Services Agency, which he headed during President Samuel Kanyon Doe’s regime – was always rumored but never corroborated. …

The Taylor-CIA connection has re-inscribed for Liberians an age-old dilemma, what to do with our so-called historical relationship with the United States, which has been fraught with betrayal after betrayal. Liberians who have been commenting on various notice boards are justifiably angry, upset and disappointed, but not surprised.

It’s no wonder that the U.S. didn’t intervene in the Liberian civil war, though Liberians begged and pleaded for its “father/mother” to stop us from killing each other. One U.S. diplomat at the time even said that “Liberia is of no strategic interest to the United States.” …

This should send a strong signal to Liberians and Liberia once and for all that America cannot be trusted. From Noriega, to Osama, to Saddam, to Samuel Doe, authoritarian leaders who end up in the U.S.’s good graces are never there for long.

Taylor presided over genocide and looting that garnered him hundreds of millions or billions of dollars while costing the lives of 250,000 human beings, including many child soldiers.

1985 would be Reagan. But the “intelligence community” that facilitated Taylor’s release is eternal and non-partisan. The same unelected government which released a man who had robbed the American people of a million dollars so that he could prey on descendants of Americans who chose to return to the country of their ethnic origin very likely participated in the kidnapping of the lawfully elected president of Honduras–indeed, probably presided over a host of criminal actions performed in the name of national security, but ending in innocent blood, public dishonor and the world’s distrust of us.

Apparently it’s just the way we do business.

Posted in Africa, international, Osama bin Laden, Ronald Reagan, totalitarianism | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Mossad, CIA, Jundallah: Hiding Behind Each Other To Commit Terrorism?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2012

Emptywheel directs our attention to this Foreign Policy article by Mark Perry:

According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

Now, while US operatives are barred from dealing with Jundallah, Mossad operatives are not — a fact that Perry emphasizes.

But Emptywheel, sharp thinker that she is, senses a few odd things about this story:

Israelis and Americans have long hidden behind each other when working with Iranians, going back at least to the Iran-Contra ops that Dick Cheney had a fondness for. Hiding behind Israelis lets American officials pretend we’re not doing the taboo things we’re doing. Hiding behind Americans lets Iranian partners working with Israelis pretend they aren’t working with the Zionist enemy. That false flag business works in many different directions, after all.

Mind you, whatever the other purposes of this “false flag” story, its publication at this point in time just stripped Jundallah partners of the ability to deny they’re working with Israel, with all the probably dangerous consequences that will have.

As she further explains in her comments section, she wonders if it’s the FoPo article itself that’s a false flag:

I should probably be more explicit about what I think is going on here.

1) I believe we, the Iranians, and Jundallah’s immediate neighborhood are the targets of a current false flag op. The intent of that op is BOTH to foster the same story that State is telling implausibly now–that we haven’t had anything to do with the assassinations (though I think we DIDN’T with this very last one).

2) Such a false flag would create the story that ops the US WAS involved in were run entirely by Israel. (While I don’t doubt whatever involvement Israel has had–maybe training, which they’re good at–they maintained a convenient fiction they were Americans, but that’s not really a false flag.)

3) Such a story would not only give us plausible deniability, allow Iranian partners to continue to talk to us, but also would probably get some Jundallah members killed for cooperating with the Zionist enemy. That would make it a lot harder for Israel and its American partners in warmongering to kill more Iranians, bc Jundallah members would pay a price for cooperating in such things.

It’s all very neat. A nice op, for whoever pulled it off.


@Jim White: To be clear, I think the false flag op is this article (though I’m agnostic about whether or not Perry knows that or not). The earlier stuff–whatever story the Americans and Israelis decided on to explain away their partnership with Jundallah (which I agree was probably heavily JSOC), yes that was and is deception.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chiang Kai Shek, the C.I.A., and drug running; also, a fascinating sidelight about Patton

Posted by Charles II on December 9, 2011

I finally found a site that reviews the history of how the US got into the business of running drugs: The Takao Club.

Now, it’s important to understand that the US was not the first. The British beat us into the state-driven drug trade by a couple of centuries in the Opium Wars. But drug running has become a central part of US military action. The roots of US involvement are in World War II. Alfred McCoy gives a comprehensive history of that involvement through the mid-70s. In the case of Luciano, drug running was incidental; Luciano was clearly a bad guy (McCoy adds the fascinating point that Patton’s sweep through Sicily was facilitated by the Mafia). In Southeast Asia, drug running became part of policy.

Here’s what the Takao Club says about the connection between the CIA and the opium trade; I’ve highlighted a sentence that I think is based on the political fear that still reigns Taiwan politics:

The rise to power of China’s Nationalist movement was closely linked with Shanghai’s eminence as an international drug capital….

Chiang’s control of Shanghai was made possible with the aid of two main groups: the wealthy and the criminal. Wealthy merchants and foreign capitalists supported the KMT with the understanding that there would be no reforms that threatened their interests. The Shanghai criminal organizations were dominated by two secret society groups called the Green Gang and the Red Gang.

Tu and the Green Gang solved the problem for Chiang Kai-shek. On April 12, 1927, the gangsters initiated a vicious crackdown on the local Communist party organizers and labour activists. During the subsequent ‘reign of terror’, the city’s Communist party and labour movement was destroyed. This pact with the Kuomintang strengthened the Green Gang’s grip on official power, so that Tu was given a seemingly free hand to operate throughout Nationalist China.

By mid-July 1935, Chiang had turned most of the opium enterprises over to his ally, Tu Yueh-sheng. The Kuomintang jurisdiction in 1935 did not lead to opium suppression but brought instead stricter regulation of cultivation and sale…

Following World War II, the Green Gang fell under the control of a Nationalist army lieutenant general, Kot Siu-wong.

With CIA support, the Kuomintang remained in Burma until 1961, when a Burmese army offensive drove them into Laos and Thailand. By this time, however, the Kuomintang had expanded Shan State opium production by almost 1,000 percent-from less than 40 tons after World War 11 to an estimated three hundred to four hundred tons by 1962.

Shan heroin refinery in Thailand

From bases in northern Thailand the Kuomintang continued to send huge mule caravans into the Shan States to bring out the opium harvest. Until 1971, over twenty years after the CIA first began supporting Kuomintang troops in the Golden Triangle region, these Kuomintang caravans controlled almost a third of the world’s total illicit opium supply and a growing share of Southeast Asia’s thriving heroin business.

The Hong Kong-based ’14K’ triad, with its strong links to the old Shanghai Green Gang and Nationalist officers, was able to link the Kuomintang-controlled highlands of the Golden Triangle to the distribution channels of the USA and Europe.

Whether the Kuomintang in Taiwan had any connection with this trade remains an open question. However, it can be assumed that Taipei had little incentive to risk the American aid that flowed in after the Korean War, and the American supply contracts that flooded in during the Vietnam War, launching Taiwan on its ‘economic miracle’.

In the early 1990s, Taiwan came to notice as a transit point for Asian drug trafficking organizations moving heroin to the Western Hemisphere. The largest heroin seizure on record is the nearly half-ton of heroin that U.S. authorities discovered in Hayward, California in 1991. The drugs, which originated in China, had transited Taiwan en route to the United States.

(Also consult The Soong Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave)

Now, I don’t think it’s an open question as to what the relationship between the KMT on Taiwan and the narcotics trade was. Alfred McCoy, in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia wrote:

In 1950 the Defense Department extended military aid to the French in Indochina. In that same year, the CIA began regrouping those remnants of the defeated Kuomintang army in the Burmese Shan States for a projected invasion of southern China. Although the KMT army was to fail in its military operations, it succeeded in monopolizing and expanding the Shan States’ opium trade.

The KMT shipped bountiful harvests to northern Thailand, where they were sold to General Phao Sriyanonda of the Thai police, a CIA client. The CIA had promoted the Phao-KMT partnership in order to provide a secure rear area for the KMT, but this alliance soon became a critical factor in the growth of Southeast Asia’s narcotics traffic.

With CIA support, the KMT remained in Burma until 1961, when a Burmese army offensive drove them into Laos and Thailand. By this time, however, the Kuomintang had already used their control over the tribal populations to expand Shan State opium production by almost 1,000 percent-from less than 40 tons after World War 11 to an estimated three hundred to four hundred tons by 1962. (130) From bases in northern Thailand the KMT have continued to send huge mule caravans into the Shan States to bring out the opium harvest. Today, over twenty years after the CIA first began supporting KMT troops in the Golden Triangle region, these KMT caravans control almost a third of the world’s total illicit opium supply and have a growing share of Southeast Asia’s thriving heroin business. (131)

At first glance the history of the KMT’s involvement in the Burmese opium trade seems to be just another case of a CIA client taking advantage of the agency’s political protection to enrich itself from the narcotics trade. But upon closer examination, the CIA appears to be much more seriously compromised in this affair.

What is particularly notable is the destination of the products of the opium that the KMT was producing: the streets of America. The addiction of Americans was financing secret wars being conducted by the CIA.

If you want to understand why Burma–a US ally during WW II–has been so hostile to the US, you cannot understand without understanding this history. If you want to understand why Italy is so ungovernable, this history is an important source to visit. If you want to understand the violence in Latin America, look into this history. All through the world history of the last 60 years, this secret drug empire lurks as a primary cause of America’s defeats.

And this returns us to why the Gary Webb story is so important. Today, December 9th, is the seventh anniversary of his death.

Posted in China, CIA, War On Some Drugs | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why The War On Some Drugs Exists, Reason #1324087

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 27, 2010

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we now know, in reading between the lines, that the exorbitant budgets of anti-drug orgs are favorite places for our intelligence agencies to go to for ‘black budget’ or ‘off budget’ dough for all those projects they don’t want us finding about it through their own balance sheets:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.


Diplomats recorded unforgettable vignettes from the largely unseen war on drugs:

¶In Panama, an urgent BlackBerry message from the president to the American ambassador demanded that the D.E.A. go after his political enemies: “I need help with tapping phones.”

¶In Sierra Leone, a major cocaine-trafficking prosecution was almost upended by the attorney general’s attempt to solicit $2.5 million in bribes.

¶In Guinea, the country’s biggest narcotics kingpin turned out to be the president’s son, and diplomats discovered that before the police destroyed a huge narcotics seizure, the drugs had been replaced by flour.

¶Leaders of Mexico’s beleaguered military issued private pleas for closer collaboration with the drug agency, confessing that they had little faith in their own country’s police forces.

¶Cables from Myanmar, the target of strict United States sanctions, describe the drug agency informants’ reporting both on how the military junta enriches itself with drug money and on the political activities of the junta’s opponents.

Officials of the D.E.A. and the State Department declined to discuss what they said was information that should never have been made public.

But even the DEA isn’t omnipotent:

In Venezuela, the local intelligence service turned the tables on the D.E.A., infiltrating its operations, sabotaging equipment and hiring a computer hacker to intercept American Embassy e-mails, the cables report.

If anybody thinks the CIA and/or FBI wasn’t in cahoots with the DEA on this, they’ve got another think coming. And of course various dictators the world over asked the DEA for the use of its high-tech snooping systems. Once wonders how many of them made access to it part of the price they charge the US for doing business in their countries. We might need another WikiLeaks release to find out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »