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Doug Valentine's New Book - CIA as Organized Crime
#1
December 23, 2016

How I Came to Understand the CIA

by Douglas Valentine
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I've been researching the CIA for over 30 years and I've interviewed over 100 CIA officers. So naturally, people often wonder how I prepare myself. In one of the interviews that's included in my new book, James Tracy asked me how I know where to look for information that's pertinent to a given story.
I told James that's it's complicated, that my experience is different from most other CIA researchers and writers. I didn't follow the usual career course. I didn't go to the Columbia School of Journalism. I'm a college dropout who climbed trees for a living for ten years. But I did want to be a writer, and my philosophy of life is based on the study of language and literary criticism. I take a very broad approach. When I went to college, I studied Greek and Roman literature, read the Norton anthologies of English and American literature, and took courses in classical myth and the Bible.
Very early in my studies I was introduced literary critics like Robert Graves, poet and author of The White Goddess, and Sir James Fraser who wrote The Golden Bough. Fraser brought a socio-anthropological way of looking at the world of literature. That led me to Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Eric Newman, Northrop Frye and a few other people who approached literature from a variety of different perspectives psychological, political, anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical. All those things were of interest to me. So when I look at a subject, I look at it comprehensively from all those different points of view, plus my blue collar, working class perspective.
Literary criticism teaches the power of symbolic transformation, of processing experience into ideas, into meaning. To be a Madison Avenue adman, one must understand how to use symbols and myths to sell commodities. Admen use logos and slogans, and so do political propagandists. Left or right; doesn't matter. The left is as adept at branding as the right. To be a speech writer or public relations consultant one must, above all, understand the archetypal power of the myth of the hero. That way you can transform Joe the Plumber, or even a mass murdering politician, into a national hero.
When I decided to research and write about the CIA's Phoenix program, that was how I thought about it. I went directly to William Colby, who'd been Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I didn't know enough to be intimidated, it was just the smart
[Image: 51ZBwgdHCAL._SX331_BO1204203200_.jpg]thing to do. Colby was the person most associated with Phoenix, the controversial CIA "assassination" program that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War. No one had written a book about it, so I wrote Colby a letter and sent him my first book, The Hotel Tacloban, which is about my father's experiences in combat and as a POW in World War Two.
Tacloban was key to unlocking the CIA's door, for two reasons. First, it demonstrated that I understood what it means to be a soldier, which was essential in terms of winning the trust of CIA officers, most of whom think of themselves as soldiers. The CIA is set up like a military organization with a sacred chain of command. Somebody tells you what to do and you salute and do it. Colby himself had parachuted behind enemy lines in France during World War Two.
On a deeper level, Tacloban showed that I could bridge the "man" gap that divided my frag-happy, draft-dodging generation from Colby's "saved the world for freedom and democracy" generation. I felt that "father-son" dynamic with Colby and several of the senior spooks he referred me to. Some of them even acknowledged that I was attempting to reconcile with them in a way their own sons never had.
So I told Colby I wanted to write a book that would de-mystify the Phoenix program, and he was all for that. Colby liked my approach to look at it from all these different points of view so he got behind me and introduced me to a lot of senior CIA people. And that gave me access from the inside. After that it was easy. I have good interview skills. I was able to persuade a lot of these CIA people to talk about Phoenix. I approached it from an organizational point of view, which is essential when writing about bureaucracies like the CIA or the DEA. You have to understand them as a bureaucracy, that they have an historical arc. They begin somewhere, they have a Congressional mandate, they have a purpose, and organizational and management structures. And in that regard I really lucked out. One of the first people I interviewed was the CIA officer, Nelson Brickham, who organized the Phoenix program in 1967 in Saigon. Brickham graduated magna cum laude from Yale and was something of an organizational genius. He explained to me how he organized Phoenix. He also explained the different divisions and branches of the CIA so I'd be able to understand it. All of that went into my book The Phoenix Program.
So I lucked out. Through Colby I had access to the CIA people who created the Phoenix program and its various components. I was able to find out what was on their minds and why they did what they did. That never would have happened if I had gone to the Columbia School of Journalism, or if I'd been working for mainstream media editors for many years. I'd have had a much narrower way of going about the thing. But the CIA officers I spoke with loved the broad view that I was bringing to the subject. They liked me asking them about their philosophy. It enabled me to understand the subject comprehensively. I related to them on a very personal level, and when the book came, they reeled. Colby was furious.
So the New York Times killed the book in its cradle. As Guillermo Jiminez noted in one of our interviews, the book didn't take off until Open Road Media republished it 25 years later as part of their Forbidden Bookshelf series. Guillermo asked me why my book was chosen for the series, why there was new-found interest in Phoenix, and what the CIA is up to, generally, nowadays.
As I explained, when the book came out in 1990, it got a terrible review in The New York Times. Morley Safer, who'd been a reporter in Vietnam, wrote the review. Safer and the Times killed the book because in it I said Phoenix never would have succeeded if the reporters in Vietnam hadn't covered for the CIA.
Several senior CIA officers told me the same thing, that some correspondent "was always in my office. He'd bring a bottle of scotch and I'd tell him what was going on." The celebrity reporters knew what was going on, but they didn't report about it in exchange for having access.
I said that in the book specifically about The New York Times. I said, "When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. To have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, CIA officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors." I told how, at its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are related. I cited the example of Charles LeMoyne, a Navy officer who ran the CIA's counter-terror teams for a year in the Delta, and his New York Times correspondent brother James. I said that if Ed Lansdale hadn't had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the US, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.
So I not only got the CIA mad at me, I also got the Vietnam press corps angry at me too. Between those two things, the book did not get off to an auspicious start. The Times gave Safer half a page to write his review, which was bizarre. The usual response is just to ignore a book like The Phoenix Program. But The Times Book Review section serves a larger function; it teaches the media elite and "intelligentsia" what to think and how to say it. So Safer said my book was incoherent, because it unraveled the bureaucratic networks that conceal the contradictions between stated CIA policy and operational reality. It exposed Colby as a liar. Safer was upset that I didn't portray his buddy, Bill Colby, as a symbol of the ruling elite, as a modern-day Odysseus.
Safer vented his professional hatred for me when he wrote the half page review in The New York Times that killed my book in its cradle. [1] And, at the time, I wasn't surprised that the Times employed Safer to assassinate my book. But I was totally unaware of the personal basis for his animosity.
At the time of the review (October 1990), I thought Safer hated me primarily for accusing the press corps of covering up CIA war crimes. I thought he did it for pecuniary reasons too; Safer's grandiose and self-congratulatory book on Vietnam had come out a few months before mine. I wrote the Times editor about that conflict, but of course never heard back. And I didn't have another book published for 14 years.
It wasn't until 25 years later that I found out that Safer owed William Colby a favor. Safer revealed his incestuous relationship with Colby for the first time at the American Experience conference in 2010. [2]
"I got a call to come and see [Colby] in his office," Safer explained. "And I walked in and I had met him; we had no strong relationship at all but and [Colby] said, Look, can you disappear for three days?'
(Laughter.) And I said, I guess.' (Laughter.) And he said, Well, be at the airport be at (inaudible) at the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30.'"
Bernard Kalb, the moderator, asked Safer if Colby wanted him to bring along a camera crew.
"No, no," Safer replied. "And I showed up and [Colby] said, Okay, here are the rules. You can see that I'm going on a tour of all the stations. You can't take notes and you can't report anything you hear.' And I spent three days first of all, down in the Delta and they were really, really revealing. There was only one meeting that he would ask me to leave the barracks. And it was fascinating because the stuff that these guys were reporting through whatever filters to you had been so doctored by the time it got to you I mean, to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about."
So, Colby introduced Safer to all the top CIA officers in Vietnam. He introduced him to the guys who ran the interrogation/torture centers and the counterterrorism teams. Safer got to see how the CIA crime syndicate was organized and operated. And like Don Corleone dispensing favors in The Godfather, Colby knew that one day Safer would be obligated to return it. Colby, of course, hated me more than Safer did.
That is how the CIA, as the organized crime branch of the US government, functions like the Mafia through its old boy network of complicit media hacks.
Luckily, with the Internet revolution, people aren't bound by The Times and network news hacks like Safer anymore. They can listen to Russia Today or tune in to Counterpunch and get another side of the story. So Mark Crispin Miller at Open Road chose The Phoenix Program to be the first book they published. And it's been reborn. Thanks to the advent of the e-book, we've reached an audience of concerned and knowledgeable people in a way that wasn't possible 25 years ago.
It's also because of these Internet developments that John Brennan, the current director of CIA, thought of reorganizing the CIA into "centers" that have their origin in the Phoenix program. Phoenix is the template for the war on terror and the homeland security boondoggle.
All these things are connected. It's a vastly different world than it was in 1947 when the CIA was created, or in 1967 when the CIA created the Phoenix program, or in 1990 when my book came out. The nature of the American empire has changed, and what the empire needs from the CIA has changed. The CIA is allocated about $30 billion a year, so the organizational changes are massive undertakings.
If you want to understand the CIA, you have to understand how it's organized and how it relates to the press and every other thing that's going on. And that's what I try to explain in my new book.
Notes.
[1] Behind the scenes, the CIA was doing it's best to prevent Valentine from completing his research. Valentine found out the CIA was keeping a file on him and, through the ACLU, sued the CIA in federal court. Here's the link to the documents that were released to Valentine in 1993.
And here's a link to an article John Prados wrote about the borderline legality of the CIA's secret attempts to obstruct Valentine.
[2] US Department of State, Media Roundtable Discussion, The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975, 29 September 2010.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#2
The CIA in Ukraine

Excerpt from The CIA as Organized Crime
by Ryan Dawson / January 8th, 2017
[Image: 9780997287011.jpg]Following is a slightly edited excerpt from The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and The World (Clarity Press, 2016). Ryan Dawson is Webmaster and host for www.ANCreport.com which features podcasts on politics and economics with professionals from around the world. He interviewed Mr. Valentine in May 2014.
*****Ryan Dawson: This is Ryan Dawson of the ANC Report. With me today is Doug Valentine. I'm going to be asking him tonight about the CIA's role in Ukraine and in infiltrating the media. Mr. Valentine, it's a pleasure to have you back on the show.Douglas Valentine: It's my pleasure, thank you.
RD: I want to ask you about this organization working with NGOs in the Ukraine. It's called United Action Centre. I want to read something short from their page and get your thoughts. It says:
The NGO Centre UA has a strong professional human potential. The team has experience running projects in the sphere of European and EuroAtlantic integration. At the same time, the Centre UA consists of experts and activists who have experience in journalism, public service, PR, public activities, et cetera. Also, the Centre UA has an extensive database of contacts with international experts, politicians, and journalists. At the moment, The Centre UA is the coordinator of the New Citizen's Public Campaign which brings together around 40 NGOs.
We know from the Carl Bernstein report on the media how much the CIA has infiltrated the media. Could you give your thoughts about Centre UA and what they're doing there with 40 NGOs, supposedly to promote democracy and have activists and experienced journalists working together?
DV: The Centre UA is the organization that Pierre Omidyar co-funded two years ago. Center UA is an umbrella organization that is linked to various activist projects and NGOs,[SUP]1[/SUP] one of which is the New Citizen campaign which, according to the Financial Times, "played a big role in getting the protest up and running."[SUP]2[/SUP]
In fact, according to the Kyivpost, the "Center UA received more than $500,000 in 2012,… 54 percent of which came from Pact Inc., a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Nearly 36 percent came from Omidyar Network, a foundation established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife. Other donors include the International Renaissance Foundation, whose key funder is billionaire George Soros, and the National Endowment for Democracy, funded largely by the U.S. Congress."[SUP]1[/SUP]
Why did Omidyar prove willing to come on board with such known regime-change sponsors as USAID and NED to say nothing of Soros? Where else is he [co]operating? It should never be forgotten that this is the kind of company he keeps. Why?
While Omidyar was born in Paris and his parents moved to Maryland when he was young, he appears to be of Iranian descent. His mother was a Farsi linguist and as of 2016, was president of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. As bizarre as it may seem, little information is publicly available about his father, including his name. He apparently was a urologist or surgeon at John Hopkins, and if that was the case, his name should be available. The secrecy suggests some sort of intelligence connection, perhaps to the type of upper class émigré circles the CIA cultivates in America. It is a fact that the CIA station in Iran served as one of the Agency's main bases for agent operations against the Soviets. The CIA and MOSSAD created SAVAK, the Shah's notorious internal political security service, and the Shah in turn gave the CIA a free hand to run operations against the Soviets.
Maybe Pierre Omidyar is accessible to US foreign policy agencies due to some prior family connections. Maybe that accounts for why he spent a few hundred thousand dollars (a paltry sum for a billionaire) to help put the Centre UA in place in the Ukraine: so the CIA could run operations against the Russians, like it did out of Iran. I've never heard any explanation from inquisitive Glenn Greenwald. When it comes to his sugar daddy's monkey business, Greenwald's policy is "see no, hear no, speak no evil." Why? Is that the quid pro quo for the handout?
What I do know is that billionaires like Omidyar and Soros and the Rockefellers to say nothing of USAID and NED aren't funding political action out of the goodness of their hearts. They're doing it to advance their interests. That's why an organization like Centre UA is created: to advance the interests of its financial backers. To me it looks like a CIA-facilitated mechanism to create a crisis in Ukraine and exploit it. The 40 NGOs it coordinates are perfectly placed to provide cover for covert CIA political action.
The Centre UA must have a tech team. Let's say, hypothetically, this tech team is a CIA proprietary which, for purposes of plausible deniability, the CIA staffed with consultants (as opposed to on-the-books employees) from a third country. Maybe the consultants are professional underworld Guccifer-style hackers, and the CIA has provided them with fully back-stopped fake identities. Maybe the hackers subvert governments for hire. Given its cutting-edge technology, the CIA's new Digital Directorate could easily run such a mercenary tech team without ever being discovered. Maybe the team organizes color revolutions and resistance movements in nations like Ukraine, using CIA-supplied intelligence to expose official corruption, infiltrate and subvert security forces, and even deploy and direct private militias in a national emergency in places like Donetsk. Maybe it's the CIA's equivalent of Mr. Robot's Dark Army.
Given the CIA's history of placing its officers under commercial cover, one might plausibly wonder if this applies to members of Omidyar's private tech security team as well. His enterprise reportedly invested in InnoCentive, a company that markets crowd sourcing technology. The CIA's venture capital firm, IN-Q-TEL, also invested in InnoCentive. So a business connection may already be there too.
All that is speculation, of course, but the Centre UA does, in fact, coordinate politicians and journalists with experts on international affairs and public relations. It says so on its website. All these people are involved in managing information; maybe they're linked on a private server like Hillary Clinton used while secretary of state. It will have occurred to the political and psywar experts in the CIA's digital Dark Army that they could easily garner public support for their color revolutions by creating websites that unite and direct people; that they could manipulate potential rebels using the same, albeit updated "motivational indoctrination" methods people like (US Information Service officer) Frank Scotton pioneered in Vietnam.[SUP]3[/SUP]
The Centre UA's public relations experts certainly guide pro-American candidates in Kiev the same way American PR people manipulated Boris Yeltsin in Moscow. As is well known, Yeltsin gave away the store after he became President of the Russian Federation. In the same way the CIA promoted Yeltsin, Centre UA journalists certainly make sure that pro-American politicians get favorable press. They spin the facts in such a way that Omidyar, who has made their operation possible, will be happy.
The Centre UA's stated purpose was to pull Ukraine out of the Russian orbit and deliver it to Western corporations. And that's what happened, along with the obligatory political payoffs. Indeed, a few short years after Centre UA was established, Vice President Joe Biden's son joined the board of directors of the largest Ukraine gas producer Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden heads Burisma's legal department and liaises with international organizations.
The book Flashpoint in Ukraine[SUP]4[/SUP] provides ample evidence that the Obama regime and its privateering corporate partners overthrew the pro-Russian Ukraine government and installed a government packed with neo-Nazis and American elites. They did this for their own enrichment, and yet the US media never made it an issue. It's business as usual. The average Ukrainian citizen doesn't benefit; just the "super-predator" American elite who organized the coup. It's amazing to behold.
Biden's smash and grab operation occurred in 2014. In 2016, another super-predator, Natalie Jaresko, took control of Datagroup, the company that controls Ukraine's telecom market. Jaresko at one time held a top job at the State Department coordinating trade and commerce agencies that dealt with the former Soviet Union, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Check her out on Wikipedia. She's a part of the global elite: the IMF/World Bank /European Bank for Reconstruction and Development network. In the Clinton Administration she served as Chief of the Economics Section of the US Embassy in Ukraine, and helped paved the way for the coup d'état that occurred there 20 years later. These coups take years to organize. Many more are planned.
Jaresko acquired Ukrainian citizenship on the same day as her appointment as Minister of Finance of Ukraine in 2014, at which point she squeezed her competitor, the owner of Datagroup, out of business using the kind of foreign currency loan debt scam favored by Mafia hoods and economic hitmen. That's how freewheeling capitalists work: they overload targeted nations and business people with debt and then clean them out. Again, not a word of protest from the mainstream media: it's non-political "free trade" in action.
The CIA plays a central but secret role in these schemes, doing the illegal but plausibly deniable things that require high tech espionage and underworld assets reaching into a nation's secret police files or using private investigators to get dirt on people, then setting them up and blackmailing them. These kinds of subversion operations can't be done publicly by the likes of Biden or Jaresko or their PR people. Foreign shakedowns have to be done secretly through the criminal underworld, and that's where the CIA comes into play.
Other times the media plays the central role. In the US, for example, people win elections through negative campaigning. The Democratic Party hires investigators to get dirt on Republican candidates. Republicans do the same thing. The truth doesn't matter because events are happening instantaneously. Hyperbole becomes fact before anyone can respond. Senator Elizabeth Warren reportedly claimed to be part Native American in her application to Harvard, and once she started campaigning for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump called her "Pocahontas" every chance he got. There are all sorts of ways, within the eternal present of spectacular domination, of influencing events through manufactured scandals and misrepresentations without it being illegal or secret. It just requires celebrity status, a Twitter account, and the attention of the networks of information control.
As Guy Debord said long before the internet in his book Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, "One aspect of the disappearance of all objective historical knowledge can be seen in the way that individual reputations have become malleable and alterable at will by those who control all information: information which is gathered and also an entirely different matter information which is broadcast. Their ability to falsify is thus unlimited."
Anyone can be smeared, and apart from the unknown Protected Few in the CIA and National Security Establishment, there's no defense. Overseas, the CIA is perpetually collecting information on adversaries like Vladimir Putin and passing it along to the Western media, which rejoices in spinning it a million different ways.
What is less well known is the CIA is engaged in tipping the balance in the domestic as well as international contests. That's why it's secret, and why all the corporate privateers protect it. They share the same business ideology. CIA officers, PR people, journalists, politicians, and academics who get paid to give "expert" testimony on Fox or MSNBC, are knowingly manipulating social and political movements here in the US, just like they do for the Ukrainian opposition or the Venezuelan opposition.
The CIA sets up Twitter accounts and Facebook pages and social websites to move people into mass organizations to achieve its secret ends. In May 2016 Twitter "cut off U.S. intelligence agencies from a service that sifts through the entire output of Twitter's social media postings."[SUP]5[/SUP] The guilty party was the CIA's Open Source Enterprise, which contracted with a private contractor, Dataminr, through the CIA's ubiquitous venture capital fund In-Q-Tel, to spy on American citizens. Such super-secret "intelligence" operations are frequently used as cover for highly illegal "offensive counterintelligence" operations.
RD: We saw the National Endowment for Democracy, which is totally CIA, at the forefront in the Ukraine. But why does the CIA need so many NGOs as middlemen? What is their purpose for having 40 different non-governmental organizations?
DV: I'll give you an example. When the CIA moved into Vietnam, which had a culture the US hadn't dealt with before, the first thing it did was buy a lot of property. This was during the First Indochina War and they did this clandestinely, through cut-outs, so they'd have safe houses to set up organizations later on. It's always best for them to buy real estate during times of crisis when prices are down. Like Trump always says, "Buy low." And when are prices lowest? As Baron Rothschild famously said, "When there's blood in the streets."
The CIA bought huge tracts of property in Saigon in between 1952 and 1955, during the First Indochina War, when there was blood on the streets. The CIA bought prime property at ten percent of its value. That's the first step get your nose in the tent. These buildings served as places where CIA officers could meet their agents and plot dirty deeds. They passed some to NGOs and civil organizations to operate.
William Colby introduced me to one of his cohorts, Clyde Bauer, the CIA officer who ran Air America in Vietnam in the early days. Bauer told me he set up South Vietnam's Foreign Relations Council, Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club, "to create a strong civil base." That's what the CIA is doing in Ukraine through the Centre UA. It's creating a pro-American civil base, from which political candidates emerge.
The CIA influences politics in foreign nations in many ways. CIA officers are constantly funneling money to all political parties, right and left, and establishing long-range agents to monitor and manipulate political developments. That's standard operating procedure.
The next thing the CIA does is seize control of a nation's secret services. That's what they did in Vietnam, and in Ukraine. As I've explained elsewhere, they offer training and high tech gadgetry to people in the secret services; they corrupt them and use them for their own purposes, like they used SAVAK in Iran. It's highly illegal to suborn officials in foreign nations. We don't like it when it's done to us, and it's not something even an influential billionaire like Omidyar is trained to do (although his private security force is probably staffed by former CIA officers or FBI agents who do know how to do it).
The CIA infiltrates all the political parties and as soon as a politician they own is in place, right or left, they can elevate him or her to Defense Minister or Interior Minister. These ministers are on the CIA payroll and appoint military, security and police officials who do the CIA's bidding. The CIA tries to place its people throughout the captive nation's government and civil society. In South America they recruit junior military officers via the School of the Americas (now innocuously renamed) and when the time is right, have them stage a coup with the support of all the other people they're been cultivating for years, sometimes decades.[SUP]6[/SUP]
US corporations need the CIA to help put these parallel governments in place. The CIA penetrates the military and security services, and simultaneously creates a civil base through deniable organizations like Centre for UA. This is how societies are ruled when there's no overwhelming popular support: through the ownership of property and by having the proper people in government and civic institutions. The CIA recruits people in place, someone like union leader Lech Walesa in Poland.
Often the people running the unions are on the CIA payroll; people running the education system too, someone like preacher Fethullah Gülen in Turkey. The CIA can recruit these people because it has so much money. The Russians can't compete, when billionaires like Soros are sprinkling a million here and five million there money that goes into building civic institutions that are ideologically attuned. Whether people do it for love or money, or belief of a brighter future, the CIA is manipulating the social and political processes. Its officers and their agents are recruiting people and putting them in place, having them sign contracts that effectively say, "In exchange for working for us in advancing our interests here in Kiev you will get $100,000 in a Swiss bank account and your life will be rosy."
It's illegal. It's treasonous. You can't take money from a foreign intelligence agency and work against your own country, but that is what the CIA is doing in the Ukraine right now and around the world on a massive scale.
For reviews of Douglas Valentine's The CIA as Organized Crime. read:
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#3

A valiant verbal warrior demythologizes the CIA

By Edward Curtin
Posted on January 23, 2017 by Edward Curtin
"Once there is a suspicion that a religion is a myth, its power has gone."Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
Like Odysseus, Douglas Valentine is a wily warrior who managed to enter the enemy's stronghold disguised as a gift. Not Troy, and not within a wooden horse, but in the guise of a nice young "Nobody," he was able, thirty or so years ago, to breach the walls of the CIA through William Colby, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The guileful thing he brought was his proposal to demystify the Phoenix program, "the controversial CIA assassination program that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War," with which Colby was notably associated.
Colby naively assumed "demystify" meant justify, so he welcomed Valentine into his inner sanctum. As in days of yore, Colby, and the CIA officers he referred Valentine to, were so disarmed by the bright young trickster that they divulged their secrets without being asked, defeating themselves in the boastful ways of men drunk on their own youthful exploits. Wanting to be heroes in their own myths, they became unwitting accomplices in their own besmirchment. So much for intelligence.
When the Trojan Horse that became Valentine's 1990 book, The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam, was opened, and many truths rushed out to slay them, they reacted with shocked outrage that they had been double-crossed by an amateur counterspy.
Legends fall, of course, battles are lost, but when the self-anointed heroic warriors of the CIA fell, they summoned their acolytes and media scribes to silence the counterspy who did not love them. It was not the Valentine that these spurned lovers were expecting.
In this case, their defender was the media celebrity reporter, Morley Safer, who had reported from Vietnam and was friendly with William Colby. Safer owed Colby a favor. When he was in Vietnam, Safer had accepted Colby's Mephistophelian offer to take a tour of the infamous Phoenix program's interrogation centers and meet the counterterrorism teams, but with one stipulation. In Safer's words, delivered to a conference in 2010: "I showed up and [Colby] said, Okay, here are the rules. . . . You can't take notes and you can't report anything you hear. . . . to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about'" (what he saw and heard).
Valentine: "And like Don Corleone dispensing favors in The Godfather, Colby knew that one day Safer would be obligated to return it. That is how the CIA, as the organized crime branch of the US government, functions like the Mafia through its old boy network of complicit media hacks."
So The New York Times, which Valentine had criticized in his book for not reporting the truth about the CIA's Phoenix program, had Safer write a book review of The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam. He wrote a scathing review in which he said the book was "as turgid and dense and often incomprehensible book as I have ever had the misfortune to open." Thus Valentine's work was disappeared like the Vietnamese victims of the Phoenix program. (Safer's "misfortune," however, became our fortune when in 2014 Open Roads publishers announced a "Forbidden Bookshelves" series and resurrected Valentine's exposé in a new edition.)
In his latest book, The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America And The World, Valentine explains it thus: "But the left's leadership is part of the CIA's old boy network and like all American intellectuals, they look to the Times for direction and validation. So the word went out to ignore the book, not just because it revealed CIA secrets, but because it identified the media, and the Times in particular, as the reason why the public can't see the CIA clearly for what it is: a criminal conspiracy on behalf of wealthy capitalists."
But Valentine had been "neutralized," and over the next quarter century the CIA, through its placement of its people throughout the media, including Hollywood and television, resurrected its mythic imagephoenix-likefrom the fleeting and rarely examined ashes Valentine had reduced it to. Using what the CIA officer Frank Wisner called the agency's "Mighty Wurlitzer"its deep penetration of the news and cultural apparatusit played the American people to a tune of CIA heroes defending the "homeland" from mad Muslim terrorists and evil drug dealers besieging the U.S. citadel through deception and direct attack. Movies, television shows, cognitive infiltration of the mainstream media across platforms repeated the message over and over again: We are the good guys in this mythic battle of good against evil. We are defenders of the "Homeland."
But over these years Valentine had not disappeared, despite the CIA's wish that he had. It took him fifteen years to recover from his "neutralization," and then he wrote two booksThe Strength of the Wolfand The Strength of the Packthat examine the nexus between the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and the Drug Enforcement Administration in which he explains in documented detail how the CIA hijacked drug enforcement as it became a prime player in international drug trafficking. Joining hands with organized crime and corrupting law enforcement, the drug running and murder that was crucial to the CIA's Phoenix program went international.
Most importantly, the Phoenix program's organizational structure became the template for these world-wide bloody operations: among them, the Salvadoran Option, undertakings throughout South and Central America, the Middle-East, and later the war on terror, "the greatest covert op ever." And the Phoenix became the conceptual model for The Department of Homeland Security, as "both are based on the principle that governments can manage societies through implicit and explicit terror."
Valentine shows how the federal drug agencies protect the CIA's drug running assets and operations, and spread addiction throughout the "homeland." This is accomplished by CIA agents posing as federal narcotics agents. "The DEA has a public affairs branch staffed by creative writers who filter out anything bad and tell you only what the bosses want you to know. The media echoes what the DEA and the CIA PR people say. But it's a big lie and it's pervasive."
But those important books had little effect on a drug addled population. They appeared in the midst of the dramatic rise in the use of "legal" pharmaceutical drugs (see Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare by Dr. Peter C. Gotzsche) and the epidemic of heroin (Greek, heros, hero + German chemical suffix, ine, coined in 1898 by the Bayer Company as a morphine substitute) that has reduced so many people to walking zombies, while minorities have long had their neighborhoods devastated by CIA facilitated crack cocaine. The zombie myth itself has become a staple of American culturepure entertainment for a brain devouring and brain dead populationentertainment for dummies. It is no wonder. Because from 1990 when Valentine's The Phoenix Program was trashed by the Times until today, the U.S. government and the scientific/media establishment have worked to convince Americans that all our lives revolve around our brains and that the answers to our problems lie with more brain research, drugs, genetic testing, etc. It's been a quarter century deluge of propaganda of scientific materialism and biological determinism that we are not free but victims of our genes, neurotransmitters, brains/computers, and chemicals. Having lost our minds and fixated on our brains as instructed, we have chosen to be determined to be determined, not free. It is not coincidental that the U.S. government, beginning with ex-CIA Director and then President George H.W. Bush, declared the 1990s the decade of brain research, followed up with 20002010 as the decade of the behavior project, and our present decade being devoted to mapping the brain and artificial intelligence, organized by the Office of Science and Technology Project and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Brains and drugs, Big Pharma and the CIA, drug running and drug dealing, deaths at home and deaths abroada neat circle that has corrupted the country at the deepest levels.
This corruption is dependent on the creation of fictions that penetrate public consciousness to the level of myth. "The government," Valentine writes, "is creating conditions across the board that are conducive to taking drugs. The pharmaceutical industry is part of the problem, along with its co-conspirators in the advertising industry; every time you turn on the TV there's a commercial telling you to take a pill. The next commercial says don't take that pill, take this pill. This is the free market at work, sucking the life out of people."
But myths rise and fall, and recently the CIA's invincibility has come under increased scrutiny. As the Greeks warned us long ago, hubris leads to humiliation. Today, more and more Americans are learning, through independent Internet sources and a growing list of books, how to deconstruct the ways the CIA "uses language and mythology to control political and social movements." The fight is on.
Valentine, a warrior of astute knowledge from his wanderings in the CIA's labyrinth, has reemerged with his new guidebook to the Minotaur's deadly ways. The CIA As Organized Crime is a tour de force, a counterpuncher's no-holds-barred passionate battle to reverse "the terrible truth . . . that a Cult of Death rules America and is hell-bent on world domination." Unlike many writers, he holds back nothing. He names names. He is adamantine in his accusations against those he considers accomplicesin particular, "the compatible left""liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced"in the CIA/media/elite's efforts at domination and mind-control. He claims that media celebrities of the left serve the function of pacifying the liberal bourgeoisie in these enterprises.
But knowing how leads on to way and one can easily get lost in a labyrinth, let me not tell the story of the man, Valentine, skilled in all ways of contending with such a formidable foe as the CIA. Better to give you a sampling of his words that explain what he has learned in his long wanderings in these strange and sick worlds.
"I have a very broad approach. . . . psychological, political, anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical. When I look at a subject I look at it comprehensively from all those different points of view. Literary criticism teaches the power of symbolic transformation, or processing experience into ideas, into meaning. . . . one must, above all, understand the archetypal power of the myth of the hero. That way you can transform, through words, Joe the Plumber or even a mass murderer, into a national hero. When I decided to research and write about the CIA's Phoenix program, that was how I went at it."
"They [CIA] create the myths we believe. If we were allowed to understand the CIA, we'd realize it's a criminal organization that is corrupting governments and societies around the world. It's murdering civilians who haven't done anything wrong."
"Nowadays, the only way you can discern what's going on is by studying and understanding the historical arc of these bureaucracies. Where did the CIA come from? Where is it going? If you look at it historically, you can see beyond the spin and it becomes demystified. And that is not a happy story. As power gets more concentrated in the security services, the media is no longer simply compliant, it's functioning as their public relations arm. It simply ignores anything that contradicts the official line."
"The most important fiction of all is the need for secrecy to preserve our national security."
"If you want to understand the CIA, you have to understand how it's organized. . . . The media organizes itself the way the CIA does."
"Journalism in the US is a traditional cover for CIA officers. And when the owners of the media aren't covering for the CIA, they're selling commercial time slots to the multi-national corporations that in turn are selling you commodities made in sweatshops in foreign nations that have been subverted by the CIA. You could almost say there is no such thing as factual reporting. . . . The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy. You're never going to learn anything substantive by reading what mainstream reporters dish out about the CIA. You can't take a journalism course in CIA Criminal Conspiracies 101."
"I'm sure the anthrax scare after 9/11 was a CIA provocation designed to justify a mail intercept program codenamed HTLINGUAL."
"The CIA and the military hire the smartest anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists to figure out how to do this stuff [social engineering]. . . . That's why you need a broad historical view. If you focus on just what's happening now, you're shocked every day by what you see."
"When the United States took over drug law enforcement in Afghanistan, opium production increased dramatically. All of a sudden Afghan heroin is flooding the US and Europe. It still is. You can say it's a coincidence, except all the opium warlords are on the CIA payroll. The DEA sends six hundred agents to Afghanistan to make sure nobody knows about it."
"Phoenix is the conceptual model for the DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. Both are based on the principle that governments can manage societies through implicit and explicit terror. The strategic goal is to widen the gap between the elites and the mass of the citizenry, while expunging anyone who cannot be ideologically assimilated."
"Through their control of the media, political and bureaucratic systems, America's secret rulers engage in terrorism abroad and at home for economic purposes. . . . The objective is to maximize profits and concentrate wealth and political power in fewer and fewer hands. The global War on Terror and its domestic homeland security counterpart are flip sides of the same coin. They are the capitalist ideology applied to foreign and domestic security policy. And like the capitalist system it serves, an unstated national security policy is consolidated in fewer and fewer ideologically correct hands as the empire expands and its contradictions become more apparent."
This sampling of Valentine's insights should be enough to show the depth and breadth of his demythologization of this "religious" cult of death that is the CIA. Yet myths die hard. And even when they do, they often rise again, especially when one controls the levers of a society's storytelling powers, as does the CIA to a great extent through its incestuous coupling with the mainstream corporate media. That is why it is so important for people to take the time to read Valentine's work.
While The CIA As Organized Crime is filled with detailed information labyrinthine in its complexity, his primary goal is to help us grasp the big picture, to see how the myth and the mythmaking work and how we might break through these fictions. He repeatedly reminds us that we are truly caught in the belly of the whale, in the underworld that will overwhelm us if we do not make the sustained effort to get beyond the blur of daily events and understand how the illusionists who are deluding us create and structure their evil propaganda.
Perhaps the only way to heaven is through hell, as Dante told us. Virgil was his guide. The valiant Valentine can be ours, if we are willing to accompany him on the journey.
Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is edwardcurtin.com.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#4
I bought the book and have started reading it. Wow! Highly recommend.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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