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World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La CIA lave plus blanc

by Bernard Duraud

The CIA Washes its Dirty Linen

Translated Thursday 16 August 2007, by Collaborative Translation

Is the CIA admitting its guilt? By publishing, not long ago, more than 700 pages of secret documents, the CIA was trying to launder its troubled past.

This thick file of internal notes and various documents called "family jewels", comes essentially from a file created at the request of James Schlesinger in 1973, while he was the agency director. He had wanted to convey some signs of transparency concerning the two decades of obsurity that ended with the CIA implication in the Watergate affair and the resignation of President Nixon. The spies’ "boss" had reason to think that many secret operations were wantonly breaking the CIA charter. The CIA mandate was in principle to collect and centralize information and to engage in clandestine operations abroad, but not within the United States’ territory.

The current Agency director, Michael Hayden, has taken to heart this will to move toward a cleanup. He justified the sifting of the archives as a means to avoid an accumulation of mysteries that would eventually permit misinformation to "fill the vacuum like a gas". He has also admitted in a rather touching formula that the "Agency had done things it should never have done". It’s the least one can say. What the documents reveal are attempts to assassinate heads of state and political leaders, repeated and aborted attempts in the case Fidel Castro, who is without doubt one of the rare persons who have been able to thwart all the plots fomented against him. The document also reveals illegal citizen surveillance, abusive incarcerations, forced behavioral and therapeutic experiments on human guinea pigs, without their knowledge. By separating the good grain of the present from the darnel of the past there is little likelihood that "skeletons" will emerge from the cupboard. But a simple reading of the report generates today a particular despondency, when we measure the high level of involvement of the United States in covert operations around the world.

Since its creation in 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War and until the middle of the Seventies, no congressional control was exercized on the Langley Agency (nor on the other US intelligence services).

Since the Seventies, with the crisis created by the defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, two Congressional commissions were mandated to supervise intelligence activities. however, restrictions imposed on the initiative of the Executive were regularly overriden by "special order" of the President of the United States.

The CIA ’s mission covers a large spectrum and the list of criminal interventions is endless. To start with, we recall the support of the coup in Chile in 1973, the Irangate affair involving Iran and Nicaragua, the fight against USSR in Afghanistan in the Eighties, when, in alliance with the Pakistani and Saudi secret services, the Mujahidins, including Bin Laden, were trained, and help was provided to Saddam Hussein.

All this reminds us of the "fundamentally repugnant philosophy" of illegal action specified in the well known projection offered by the General Doolittle [1] in 1954. The General thought that, due to the Communist danger, it was necessary to develop such a philosophy. The current threat is identified, and is named terrorism. The CIA, criticized because it wasn’t able to prevent the September 11 attacks, remains an instrument of George Bush and his Washington falcons, for whom the proclaimed "democratic" mission is antiterrorist war. The State has legally become a police state, inquisitive and destructive of liberties, with its Patriot Act, its CIA secret jails and torture. These practices have been brought to light, thanks to a democratic process of struggle on the part of all those who now demand transparency and truth. But to get to the bottom of the archives, it will surely be necessary to work and wait a bit longer ...

[1For the quote by Doolittle, see this article from Consortium News


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