Living History of the CIA
CIA and Personal History
It took a long time to discover the huge role the CIA plays in the story of the American empire. Though prohibited from operating domestically, the CIA has played a huge role in American domestic politics. They try to mislead us about the worst of what they do domestically under the umbrella term “conspiracy theory.” Fortunately, it doesn’t take a conspiracy theory to understand the basics, evidence is everywhere around us. So I do not intend to rely much on such events in this posting, just tell my personal story.
A wargaming buddy of mine asked me to calculate the numbers of hours of daylight in the battle of Tapanaja, Russia. This was in the Archangel Murmansk area and was fought between American troops and the Red army. The battle was one year to the day after the World War ended, November 11, 1919. So I did the math, there was only five hours of daylight that close to the arctic circle that close to winter solstice. This meant little to me at the time, my first taste of the paranoia about communism. Today it helps explain the Truman years better.
In the sixties I heard of the book and play “McBird,” a play on words suggesting Lyndon Johnson was a modern day “MacBeth” which happened to be the first Shakespeare I was to read in English class in high school. I thought nothing of it at the time.
In 1976 I actually signed up to interview with the CIA. But when the interview was transferred to a local restaurant, I freaked out about the spy implications and missed the interview. I also tried to get a job with Booz Allen Hamilton and Rand Corporation, but they said come back later when you have some real world experience. They seemed to miss the point that I was already a terrific board game general, Avalon Hill style, and had read dozens of books on world war two history.
Political Career Years
The 1980 election came and I was with a friend in social services, Republican, who was going to vote for Carter. Suddenly she changed her mind the last weekend when the Iranian parliament was scrambling to make a last minute deal with Carter before the election. Years later the October Surprise was confirmed by three books, including Carter official Gary Sick and the Iranian leader at the time. Congressperson Lee Hamilton led the congressional whitewash for Iran Contra, this October surprise, and later the 9-11 commission. As in the Church Committee of the seventies, they always find a CIA guy to lead the investigation and preserve the cover up. The CIA is very good at making up various cover stories to distract and confuse the public. This way they can usually keep a lid on the truth and make the truth look hard to believe.
In 1989 I went to Costa Rica and was picked up at the airport by the mother of Tony Avirgan, the journalist who had sued the CIA for bombing him in the Christic Institute case. Years before a priest from the Christic Institute spoke in Eugene; I asked him about his case in the Miami Courts and he naively expected justice and fair play. I knew better because I gave three workshops on Peace Economics in January 1990 at St. Thomas University on the North beltline of Miami. The Peace Economy conference held there tried fifteen times to get a notice in the Miami Herald, but the press wouldn’t respond. I knew also that the Peace Resource Handbook showed miniscule peace groups throughout the South. Southern justice loves militarism. Sure enough, the Christic Institute was fined a million dollars by the judge preventing them from even presenting their case in court. When the largest domestic CIA base is located on the University of Miami campus in the heart of the Cuban exile part of Florida, bias is a way of life.
In Costa Rica in 1989 I tried after the UN University for Peace initial conference to enter Nicaragua: they refused me with harsh stares, because there was an upcoming election and they probably thought I was a spy. While in San Juan I visited the Peace House there run by the Quakers. Tony Avirgan’s mother was a member. They told me that Oliver North and several other administration types were banned from Costa Rica because they would be arrested if they came there. About 15 congressmen were putting pressure on Costa Rica to drop this policy, but they would not. I looked at all the state owned facilities; oil comes to mind, and compared what I saw in Costa Rica with what I had read about Nicaragua, the two countries seemed more similar than different. Nicaraguan Sandinistas had elections, left the 65% of the economy in small business alone, yet it had been branded “Communist” while Costa Rica was considered a democracy. The distinction seemed quite arbitrary. A socialist friend of mine visited the East Bloc and Cuba in the eighties and reported that Eastern Europeans felt oppressed by their government, while Cubans were proud of their government and happy under it.
Madison Years after 1993
A friend of mine was very perturbed about being chosen to be drugged without his consent in the MK Ultra program. Another friend had me watch a trial of a CIA person. He was being defended by a lawyer and judged by a judge who seemed oblivious to the fact that his story seemed ridiculous by convention standards but made sense by CIA standards. I was appalled about the injustice of his treatment by naïve legally trained people.
Gary Webb came to Madison on his book tour after his “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury News. I asked why the press was so hard on him, and he responded that the CIA had a program called Operation Mockingbird to co-opt the press. He further stated that the Church Committee of the seventies had documented 400 press connections to the CIA. I later read several excellent online resources about this program.
Later on 7-24-01, two months before 9-11, I was watching Ted Koppel on nightline give deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz a hard time over a pentagon list of ten threats facing the US. Wolfowitz and the administration were fixated on the least likely nuclear missile attacks on the list, not the most likely terrorism at the top of the list, with cyber attacks in the middle. I got the transcript from ABC and with a lot of help from the Defense Monitor, I finally determined the list was classified, not available to the public, like me. But Ted Koppel was former Naval Intelligence (like Bob Woodward of the Washington Post) and had security clearance. He was able to get a great story out there, but I could not get the same information. That’s the edge former intelligence people have over others when they become news-people. That’s why they rise to the top of the business.
When I became a leading member of Madison’s anti-war group, I actively cross listed numerous articles by national and local peace list-serves. It was quite an education, as my favorite pieces were about the lobby groups driving the whole war process, JINSA, CSP, and especially PNAC, Project for a New American Century. All the big political names were in these groups.
For more on the evolution of empire in our times:
Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace,
Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016
Real Economy Institute, Madison, Wisconsin
CONTACT: email@example.com 608-230-6640,