Saturday, February 22, 2014

Inside the CIA

The anti-imperialist library
Inside the Company: CIA Diary

   Last summer the headlines were dominated by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He leaked information that was a shock to some, but were already well known to others. These leaks have been pretty successfully suppressed in the mainstream media where they have turned into a debate about metadata, the NSA is not building these massive data collection centers to keep copies of who you called. They are recording and storing all the electric communications of the world; phone calls, texts, emails and faxes. Total information awareness is the technical term for this hubris, the national security state wants to be all knowing. They also have a concept known as full spectrum dominance America's military seeks strategic dominance on land, sea or air. In addition they want domination of space, the internet and media.
    Flashback 40 years or so to mid 70's a number of disillusioned CIA agents came forward to blow the whistle on the CIA. Undoubtedly the most radical was Philip Agee. Like Snowden he was forced into exile. Unlike Snowden he was nearly killed. For more on his trials and tribulations after blowing the whistle check out the interview with Agee titled hunted by jackals on youtube. (I'll post a link on my twitter) Agee sought not merely to expose the CIA but to destroy it. The book "CIA diary" was the weapon he choose.
      First a disclaimer it's not an actual diary it was written after the fact while he was on the run. It begins with a young idealistic Agee being recruited into the CIA, It was the late 50's so Agee a devout catholic, and patriotic young American never had any question that he was on the right side. He joined the CIA in order to avoid going into the family business  The first section describes his recruitment and training, but mostly goes into an exhaustive account of the CIA organizational structure at that time. His first task for the CIA was doing background checks on job applicants for a Rockefeller owned oil company in South america, in order to insure that no "subversives" got hired. The first clue that his actual role will be to serve the interests of American business.
    The next section is when things start to get exciting. Agee is given a field assignment in Ecuador arriving in december 1960.  Agee is still an idealist he hopes for genuine reform in order to stave off any revolution. At the same time he takes for granted that it is necessary to Fight communism.  It will take him years to realize that the only people genuinely interested in reform are the ones targeted by the CIA In Ecuador a populist politician, Velasco has been elected president.  His cabinet contains some people the CIA considers enemies. Agee arrives to carry out one of the chief duties of the CIA, subversion. This is a complex task. At the beginning of the section he gives a list of all the enemy groups that the CIA is targeting, unions, student organizations and political parties. Plus any embassies from the Soviet bloc and especially the Cubans. Isolating Cuba was a major goal at the time.
    It's the day to day account of CIA activities that is fascinating. They bribes politicians so they will serve US rather then Ecuadoran interests. They works with the local police on a phone tapping program. Actually some of the surveillance technology they had back then would be pretty shocking to people even today.  They pay journalists to publish propaganda. They frame people for imaginary terrorist plots. They forge documents detailing elaborate conspiracies falsely linking Cuba with plans to overthrow the government. They in fact create so much paranoia that Ecuador is destabilized and the president is forced from office. Of course they don't do it alone although the NSA only make brief appearances providing high tech surveillance equipment, the IMF always lurks in the shadows, forcing economic policies on countries that destroy any hope of reform, and forcing politicians to make unpopular moves that turn their people against them.
    A handful of CIA agents are enough to cause riots, panic, and coups. Only a few are required to completely subvert the political system of their host nation.
     Next he is assigned to Uruguay destined to become the torture capital of South America  He briefly mentions an earlier US training program that trained the police of Uruguay in torture. All over Latin america the US was trying to stave off reform by training the police and military to wage brutal counterinsurgency on their own people. This would lead to a string of coups that began with the overthrow of the reformer Goulart in Brazil and ended with most of Latin America suffering a reign of terror under US installed dictators.
     Fortunately for him he never served in one of the post coup countries. The only glimpse of Uruguay's sinister future is when he gives the police a name and later can hear from another room the man's cries of agony as he is tortured. Doubtless if he'd served in Uruguay in the 70's  he would have been witness to many more such incidents. It is in Uruguay that he finally begins to realize that despite US rhetoric about the need for reform their actual economic policies are the reverse to prevent any reforms that could threaten the profit margins of the multinational corporations. This is especially obvious in Uruguay where at the turn of the century Jose Battle y Ordonez conducted a series of reforms far in advance of anywhere else in Latin America or even the US at that time.  The IMF intervened to force a rollback of these reforms and by the time Agee arrives the country has been economically and politically destabilized. Once again his job is to bribe people, spy, and feed phony information about communist plots to the host government. He was also involved in setting up CIA sponsored unions that would serve corporate  interest rather then that of union members. The result once again is chaos and Uruguay is in danger of a political coup motivated by the CIA's manufactured red scare.
   His final assignment was in Mexico. The president of Mexico Luis Echeverria was a long time CIA asset.  It was in Mexico that Agee fell in love with a woman with leftist tendencies and finally decided to leave the CIA. He became increasingly radical becoming a supporter of the Cuban revolution. This led to his desire to destroy the CIA. Unlike other whistleblowers he attempted to expose as many CIA officers as possible as well as all their paid assets. This was to help revolutionary and progressive movements defend themselves against CIA machinations. I'd love to know what impact his book had in Ecuador and Uruguay imagine finding out that your politicians were traitors serving the CIA.
    Unfortunately in the 80's the Reagan administration put forward legislation that made it illegal to reveal the identities of CIA agents.  There have not been major CIA whistleblowers since then. So if you want an account of what the CIA does this is one of the best sources out there. Even though these events took place 50 years ago I was shocked by how little has changed, electronic surveillance, the IMF, covert destabilization,  they are even more important issues now then  they were in the 60's.   Of course there are a number of CIA activities that he wasn't involved in which aren't in the book. These include drug running, managing terrorists, running death squads, and setting up coups. This isn't because it was a more innocent time all these activities were ongoing at the time in either southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia Thailand) or in the middle east. Still this book is invaluable for showing how the CIA corrupts democracies and is highly recommended to the serious student of empire.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Alternative Media Spotlight

Where to go for news and analysis:

Global Research Is an excellent place to go to keep up with current events around the world. Especially anything by site founder prof. Michel chossudovsky, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, or Stephen Lendman. Find out what is going on behind the scenes, the stories behind the stories, and the things you'll never hear about if your naive enough to trust the mainstream media. The essential site for news.

Pepe Escobar, a brilliant writer, cutting edge thinker, world traveler. He was in Afghanistan in the weeks before and after september 11, in Iraq Unembedded shortly after the invasion, but he's equally comfortable in say the south of France, and he lives in Thailand and is from brazil. He writes two columns one at Asia times, the other  at RT. The subject war, globalism, resistance, political folly, energy politics even movies. All written in the most delightful style, usually funny, sometimes heartbreaking, often beautiful. Also look for his  interviews he's equally entertaining on TV or in audio.

Asia times best of Pepe Escobar
Pepe's RT op-edge
I read ten years worth of his Asia times column last year and  it was an incredible experience, buy the book globalistan by Pepe Escobar.

Eric Draitser's stop imperialism podcast is a great way to get indepth analysis of current events. Subscribe to it on itunes or go to to follow all his work his articles are must reads, plus he's a frequent guest on RT and Presstv, and the site has links to all his work. A brilliant analyst and a passionate enemy of empire. One of the inspirations for this site.

Andrew Gavin Marshall's  "Empire Power and People" podcast is must listening. He tries to provide a broader and often a historical perspective to issues of interest. Thus his podcasts have a timeless quality. Another inspiration for this site. They are available in the boiling frog post feed on itunes. Or go to
His site is
He is brilliant, compassionate, reasonable and radical all at once. Plus he's concise he can shove an incredible amount of information into 45 minutes. Go back through the archives to get a history of the empire on every continenent, or get an education in economics. If you've never listened to a podcast this is the one to try. Learn and be entertained (he has a dry sense of humor) while doing mindless chores, driving to work, or just relaxing.

I've opened up a twitter account where you can find articles, documentaries, podcasts, interviews and books of interest. Follow me at @hugoturner1969.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blood in the Streets

Blood in the streets: America's regime change rampage in Ukraine and Venezuela

February 2014

America is starting 2014 with attempts to destabilize Ukraine aiming at a creating a puppet regime that will host American missile defense systems, allow itself to be looted by the west and allow itself to be used as a dagger pointing at Russia. Ukraine is vital in America's quest to be able to launch a nuclear  first strike on Russia with minimal consequences, leverage it will use in it's attempts to launch future wars like the one it wanted in Syria last year. This is payback for Putin saving the Obama administration from launching an unpopular war in Syria. Meanwhile they are maneuvering Japan into confrontation with China, while the ruling classes seem obsessed with the possible parallels between 1914 (the year world war one started)  and 2014.

Aside from possibly starting world war 3 on a lark America is yet again attempting to destroy the bolivarian revolution in Venezuela with economic warfare similar to that seen in Chile during the Allende years. Plus they have stepped up a campaign very similar to the one in Ukraine although it's been operating intermittently for years. Of course this sort of thing is nothing new in latin America it was and is a specialty of the CIA and the NED. In both countries openly fascist elements are being funded by the National endowment for democracy, to overthrow democratically elected governments using mob violence. The price tag to manufacture all this dissent in Ukraine is  5 billion dollars, meanwhile they cut food stamps back home. In both countries the weapon of choice seems to be the molotov cocktail.  Ironically Ukraine went through all this before a decade ago Yanukovich was ejected by the "orange" revolution  replaced by a western oriented kleptocrat. After getting a taste of the corruption and failed economic policies always espoused by puppets of the west they decided they'd rather have their old corrupt leadership back. In both countries you have "pro-democracy" groups that despise free elections, "peaceful protesters" who are in reality violent thugs and fools demanding economic policies that would turn their countries into impoverished colonies.  The attempt to turn back the clock in Venezuela will have disastrous consequences on efforts around the world to create more just societies. Especially in south and central America. Some on the left will point out that Venezuela is far from perfect. We can hope for further progress in latin america as left wing governments are pressured by their people to go further as happened in Brazil last year. We must however oppose this Lopez and his violent right wing thugs, This is nothing less then covert war on Venezuela by America and it's allies an attempt to destroy a nation that has given hope to those all over the world who demand a more just society.

Certainly an ambitious start for America in 2014 an assault on Russia, China and Latin america, a continuation of it's destabilization using death squads in Syria, and it's endless war on the afghan people, quietly waging it's shadow wars in Africa, plus hopes for a return to Iraq, while at the same time trying to bring Iran back into the western sphere of influence. Careful Iran the western elites are as inane as ever. America's war on the world is far from over.

For more information:

 The diplomacy of regime change by Eric Draitser
Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism in Europe by Eric Draitser
Staged Opposition Violence in Venezuela. Towards a “Colored Revolution”? By Tamara Pearson and Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The new US-Russia Cold War by Pepe Escobar

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo

A piece I wrote spontaneusly a couple of months back in response to the discredited notion that the Rwandan tradgedy could have been avoided if  only the  US had gotten involved. And an attack on hollywood history as exemplified in Hotel Rwanda.

Actually America was to blame not through inaction, but through action. Four years before the so called "100 days" current dictator of Rwanda Paul Kagame, was being trained by the US government in the arts of insurgency contra style ie death squad style if your to young to remember the contras and in propaganda. Prior to that he was a long time leiutenant to another long time US backed dictator in Uganda Paul Museveni who also was able to successfully overthrow the government of Uganda in the 1980's in the process inventing the child soldier. Kagame and other Tutsi expatriates (the Tutsis had formerly ruled the place for first the Germans and then after world war 1 the Belgians until independence) these former ruling elites had been waging a terror campaign against Rwanda for 20 years. In 1990 America decided to back the terrorists of the RPF the heroes of films like this one. Why? Resources, we wanted a piece of France's African sphere of influence. Far from uninvolved America provided massive assistance to the RPF. Films like these are one aspect of such support they create a completely false picture of what happened. Why is it that this is the only piece of African history Hollywood is interested other then the fall of apartheid.

For an in depth look at this film in particular go to

Basically what really happened was a civil war brought on by the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi by the RPF with technical assistance and the 4 prior years of atrocities committed by the RPF. These created the background for popular violence against the Tutsis. However things were much more complicated, then they are portrayed it was not just hutu vs tutsi. In fact some tutsis were even members of Hutu militias and since the RPF had been living in Uganda since 1959 they hated the Tutsis that stayed behind in Rwanda. It should be noted that the Ugandan Tutsis of the RPF killed Tutsis and Hutus and they didn't use machetes they used expensive weapons and had CIA advisers with them every step of the way. Most importantly they had the public relations muscle of the west on their side. Thus even when they slaughtered Hutus it was reported in the media that it the victims were Tutsis and of course the RPF role was never mentioned. We saw dead bodies and assumed they must be the Tutsis.
So with American aid RPF won and far from stopping the genocide they actively engaged in it. After victory they mercilesslessly hunted the hutu refugees who fled to the congo where under the eyes of the UN and with the asssistance of US special forces they slaughtered 1.2 million refugees. But because of the genocide narrative nobody seemed to care. Hutus are all evil or so we were told so the international community covered it all up. Thus what separates this from just another ugly covert war is the that RPF and the Ugandans invaded the Congo where 15 years later they are still there killing 1500 people a day. People who had nothing to do with events in Rwanda. Under the disguise of various militias most famously M-23 they set out to seize control of eastern Congo. 10 million people have died and the truth is the RPF is an American proxy army like the Syrian rebels. In other words the RPF has killed ten times more people in the congo then died in the Rwandan civil war. The RPF have killed millions to insure that western mining interests people like Maurice templesman the owner of Tiffany diamond company have unrestricted access to the Congo's riches.
Ever wonder where the uranium for the bombs we dropped on Hiroshima came from or the copper for alll those billions of rounds of ammunition fired in places like Vietnam or Iraq or the cobalt necessary for our fighter planes, or say the rare earth mineral coltan in your smart phone it all comes from the Congo far from being on the fringes of the world Congo has long been central to the global economy, a land of untold riches but nobody in the Congo seems to benefit except of course those rich colonialists that never left and are never mentioned in our papers. You can see why violence, destabilization anarchy chaos are in u.s. and European stratetigic interest in Africa any sane government might ask why the majority of people in Congo are starving when they live atop gold and diamonds as well as such strategically useful minerals. It happened long ago a man called Patrice Lumbumba who remembers him today? in the new frontier of globalization chaos is perhaps the future (as seen in Iraq Somalia and Libya coming soon to Syria) and the problems of Africa don't arise out of tribal savagery but imperialism and greed.

If you are interested in this topic I highly recommend the work of Keith Harmon Snow. His brilliant articles can be found at and Or watch one of his lectures on you tube. In the article cited above he goes into the true story of hotel Rwanda. I've just scratched the surface your mind will be blown.

And no America is hardly the only one to blame England, France, Belgium, Germany, Israel and even Canada are all involved in the plunder and masss murder of the Congo. As well as their rivals the Chinese. And of course local partners like Kagame and Museveni. And our own lack of curiosity or outrage as to why ten million people have been murdered. Investigate Africom and America's plans to vastly increase our military presence in Africa Ironically the first African American president is stepping up the recolonzation of Africa.
If you've never heard any of this before investigate it for yourself the truth is slowly beginning to emerge, check out the friends of the Congo and voice of the Congo. Ignore big NGOs they are complicit.

Post script on Angola

I ran into this qoute by Nelson Mandela a couple of hours after I finished my article last night quite   randomly in a Chomsky article.

When Mandela at last obtained his freedom, he declared that “During all my years in prison, Cuba was an inspiration and Fidel Castro a tower of strength. . [Cuban victories] destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa . a turning point for the liberation of our continent - and of my people - from the scourge of apartheid. . What other country can point to a record of greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?” 

Qouted in Noam Chomsky: US Prerogatives of Power 

Friday, February 7, 2014

What I learned in 2013 part 2

1. Mexico's war on drugs. Over 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the past few years. Thanks to an excellent series of interviews by Guillermo Jimenez I understand a lot more about what's happening. The best is the one he did with researcher Douglas Valentine entitled Beyond dirty wars. It's available on In the interview Valentine points out that the U.S. has been sending arms south of the border since at least the Mexican revolution in an intentional effort to destabilize Mexico. Currently the U.S. is aiding the Sinaloa cartel in it's efforts to gain a monopoly in the drug market Of course the cartel is actually a front for elements of Mexico's corrupt oligarchy and elements of the military and police. The ultimate beneficiaries    are the big US banks. There was a scandal a couple of years ago called fast and furious in which the ATF accidentally on purpose helped the Sinaloa cartel to obtain 1000's of automatic weapons going so far as to tell suspicious gun store owners to let the sales go through. For more on this check out his podcasts on Demanufacturing  consent and his podcast traces of reality where there are some great interviews with Bill Conroy of narco-news and Anabel Hernandez.   Plus check out narco news, and
2. Fidel Castro helped end apartheid. A largely forgotten piece of history in America at least. In 1974 the Portuguese dictatorship fell taking with it one of the last old style colonialist empires. Angola was part of this empire and the people of Angola had been fighting for freedom under the MPLA a revolutionary organization. With elections certain to put the MPLA in power South Africa and the CIA began to intervene. They supported the FNLA and the UNITA movement of the murderous Savimbi to fight the MPLA. In October 1975 South Africa invaded to try and get rid of MPLA. Cuba sent it's own forces to protect the MPLA together they managed to hand the south Africans a devastating defeat. This had a huge psychological impact on the apartheid regime in south Africa calling into question their delusions about white superiority. The War went on for over a decade with the CIA and the south Africans unable to destroy Angolan independence the long drawn out war drained the resources of the apartheid regime and helped lead to it's collapse. Cuba provided not only troops but lots of doctors. Nelson Mandela credited Fidel Castro with a major role in the fall of apartheid. So next time you here some American demonizing Castro remember it was the u.s. that was on the side of the racist apartheid regime and Castro who helped bring about it's downfall. (The cia was directly responsible for Mandela's capture and imprisonment) There is a great interview with Piero Gleijeses on the topic at "your world news" a podcast available at blogtalkradio. It's called visions of freedom Cuba and the struggle for southern Africa. They have some great podcasts on African history and current events, among other topics. Or get the book visions of freedom: Havana Washington Pretoria and the struggle for Southern Africa.
3. Somalia in context. I've already mentioned that the roots of Somalia's problems go back to the proxy war between the US and the Soviets. This led to the collapse of the Somali government and all those US supplied weapons ended up in the hands of various factions leading to chaos. I'll go into all that in the future for now I'll explain the Somali "pirates." With no functioning government let alone Navy Somalia coast became a free for all for multinational corporations. Corrupt European firms  decided to illegally dump toxic waste off the coast since there was no one to stop them. Somalis suffer numerous ill health effects from this toxic waste. Enormous commercial fishing vessels invaded the waters overfishing since there was no one to stop them. If they came across any Somali fishermen they'd attack them. Finally with their food supply poisoned and depleted the Somali fishermen fought back the only way they could they began to organize to resist this foreign maritime invasion. Since the toxic waste dumping and overfishing were illegal companies preferred to pay ransom rather then attract attention to their illegal activities. I learned about this from Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's The Globalization of Nato. Hollywood made a movie about it starring the lovable Tom Hanks in the role of hero and the poor Somalis as the villains. Meanwhile America is still waging proxy war on Somalia over 100,000 people have been intentionally starved and the US keeps getting client regimes like Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya to invade Somalia in it's never ending and seldom reported cycle of war.