Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17728 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:17 pm Post subject: Allan Francovich - CIA On Company Business (1980)
I now have DVDs of all three parts of this brilliant documentary all on one disc available for £8 cheque or portal order, which includes postage anywhere, to Tony Gosling, 10-12 Picton St, BRISTOL, BS6 5QA.
On Company Business (1980)
With Francovich's TWO obituaries in the Independent.
On Company Business
Interviews telling the story of Henry Kissinger's interventionist foreign policies informed by eyewitnesses: who include whistleblowers and ex-mercenaries.
Documentary about the CIA, with exclusive use of interviews with current and former CIA employees. Won the International Critics Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Obituary: Allan Francovich
Monday, 28 April 1997
That Allan Francovich should die prematurely, succumbing to a heart attack in the Customs Area of Houston Airport, is hardly astonishing to those whose lives were touched by this remarkable, hyperactive film director. I picture him arriving to meet me in the Central Lobby of the House of Commons, bag and baggage full of contents, out of breath, and blurting out the latest discovery that he had made about the iniquity of the authorities.
He reeled off facts at a mind-boggling rate. Yet, unlike most conspiracy theorists - of which he was proud to be one - Francovich was scrupulous about fact, and particularly about unpalatable facts which did not suit his suspicions. I never caught him cutting any inconvenient corners to arrive at the conclusion he wanted. He was, above all, a seeker after truth, wheresoever that truth might lead.
Francovich was born in 1941, into a Jewish engineer's family in New York, but brought up in the Mira Flores district of Lima, one of the most sophisticated societies in the Americas. At an early age his extraordinary facility for languages was developed. It was to prove a launching pad, not only for academic success, but also for making investigative films which required mastery of precision in language as the complicated projects he undertook crossed international borders. Nothing Francovich either said or did was other than complicated.
From the University of San Marcos in Lima, he went to Notre Dame in the United States, where did a Bachelor of Arts in English, Romance and Slavic Languages. From there he went to the Sorbonne to study Comparative Literature and to L'Ecole des Langues Orientales, where he studied Russian, Serbo- Croat and the Arabic that was to prove so useful two decades later in untangling the complexities of Lockerbie.
He completed his education at Berkeley, California, where he studied the Dramatic Arts and was prominent in the university when Flower Power was at its height.
In 1970, Francovich married Kathleen Weaver, a graduate of Edinburgh University, who collaborated with him in his first major investigative film, Short Circuit (1970), relating to the murder of nuns in El Salvador. His linguistic talent was put to effective use in another joint venture, On Company Business (1980). Their work run the prestigious International Critics Award for the best documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, exposing as it did many of the thuggish practices of the Central Intelligence Agency.
It was a matter of sadness to him that he drifted apart from his wife and was without her during the creation of the documentary Gladio (1992) which was partially instrumental in bringing down an Italian government by exposing its links with American intelligence and the Americans' gross misbehaviour in assaulting democracy in Italy.
My first introduction to Francovich was from Dr Jim Swire of the British Lockerbie Victims, who said that he had persuaded the best investigative film director in America to turn his attention to the crash of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, on 21 December 1988 that had killed his daughter Flora along with 269 other victims.
Once persuaded that there was a cause for suspicion, Francovich was the most determined of ferrets. The end result was his film The Maltese Double Cross (1995), made in conjunction with his fervently loyal colleagues John Ashton and David Ben-Aryeah and their cameraman Jeremy Stavenhagen. The showing of the film on Channel 4, and in the House of Commons, did more than anything else to awaken the British from J.S. Mill's "deep slumber of a decided opinion" about responsibility for Lockerbie.
Quite simply, Francovich proved the so-called Malta connection, on which the case against Libya depends, was a fabrication. Francovich identified the shooting down by the USS Vincennes of an Iranian airliner carrying pilgrims to Mecca as the starting point for Lockerbie. The Iranian Minister of the Interior, Ali Akbar Mostashemi, swore that there should be a "rain of blood" in revenge. He had been, crucially, the Iranian ambassador in Damascus from 1982 to 1985, and had close connections with the terrorist gangs of Beirut and the Bekaa valley. They had infiltrated an American drug sting operation, which allowed them to circumvent the security precautions at the Rhine Main airport in Frankfurt. It was typical of Frankovich that he could go to the Jafaar family of the naive courier who had perished in Pan Am 103, and capture them on film in a powerful sequence showing up the activities of the Neuss terrorist gang operating in Germany.
It was Francovich's multi-dimensional, multilingual talents which I am sure will eventually unlock the truth about Lockerbie. Rare indeed, outside fiction, are the crusaders of truth who, time and again, have put themselves in personal danger as Francovich did.
Allan Francovich, film director: born New York 1941; married 1970 Kathleen Weaver (marriage dissolved 1985); died Houston, Texas 17 April 1997.
Obituary: Allan Francovich
Dr Jim Swire
Tuesday, 29 April 1997
It was not I, but Tiny Rowland, who persuaded Allan Francovich to make his film about Lockerbie, writes Dr Jim Swire [further to the obituary by Tam Dalyell, 28 April].
I first met Allan for lunch in a London Italian restaurant, where his facility with languages and vivacious enjoyment of the occasion revealed him as highly intelligent and widely read. It soon became apparent that he really cared about the human consequences of the disaster even more deeply than he resented what he had saw as, at the very least, a readily avoidable massacre of so many innocents.
He had already assembled a team, backed by the financial muscle, determination and world-wide contacts of Tiny Rowland of Lonrho, to make a film, and he needed to hear (and was profoundly moved by) the plight of the relatives. Thus began a friendship which we greatly valued.
Allan had worked for the Observer film unit and become known to Tiny, who selected him as his man to investigate Lockerbie, giving him complete editorial control over The Maltese Double Cross.
During the making of the film it became clear that there were people in powerful positions who were determined to stop it; the lives of Allan and other team members were threatened. Tiny Rowland, his executive Ken Etheridge and contributors to the film suffered grievously. This extraordinary exhibition by "authority", starting with accusations of being "Libyan dupes", and continuing with overt threats even of imprisonment, lent credibility to growing suspicions that something desperate was being concealed and that "the team" must be getting warm.
When the truth about Lockerbie is made clear, it may turn out that Allan Francovich's last film and his dogged following of its ramifications were his greatest contribution to the cause of truth in analysing the way that the intelligence services of the world's most powerful nation relate both to other nations and to its own citizens.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17728 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:38 am Post subject: Allan Francovich on Making a Documentary About the CIA
Newly up on the web this one.
Allan Francovich discusses his three-part documentary film about the CIA which took five years to produce. Explains US Secret Foreign policy since the second world war 50-60-80 people interviewed. Interviews President of CBS News on collusion with the CIA. Influencing the news. All interviewees are ex CIA employees.
On Company Business (1980) is a documentary film about the CIA, with exclusive use of interviews with current and former CIA employees. It won the International Critics Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Allan Francovich (1941 April 24, 1997) was an American film producer and director who made a series of films purporting to expose Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert operations.
Francovich suffered a heart attack while going through US customs at Houston airport, Texas on April 17, 1997, and died at the age of 56.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17728 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:13 pm Post subject:
Inside The CIA, On Company Business (1980) Hour one of three is now uploaded to Blip TV. Allan Francovich's unique and astounding 1980 insight into CIA covert operations, same sort of stuff that the good ol' boys, Mossad and MI6 get up to now.
In 1959, Fidel Castro purged the first post-revolution Prime Minister José Miró Cardona and President Manuel Urrutia Lleó, assuming power.
On 11 December 1959, Colonel J.C. King of the CIA recommended assassinating Fidel Castro.
By the end of 1960, all opposition newspaper had been closed down and all radio and television stations were in state control. Moderates, teachers and professors were purged. One estimate is that 15,000-17,000 people were executed. The Communist Party strengthened its one-party rule, with Castro as the supreme leader. Hundreds of thousands fled to the United States.
Operation Mongoose was approved by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The Soviet Ambassador to the US said the USSR had no plans to put bases into Cuba.
There had been CIA agent reports and NSA SIGINT of increased military activity in Cuba starting in late 1960, but these initially appeared to be of defensive equipment.
Between August 1960, and April 1961, the CIA pursued a series of plots to poison or shoot Castro according to the assassination plots proposed by Colonel Sheffield Edwards, director of the CIA's Office of Security.
The CIA-organized Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961, failed, using plans that the regular military advised against. Kennedy also required the invasion to be less visible, and reduced its air support. Recently declassified documents show that President Kennedy had officially denied the CIA authorization to invade Cuba. Cuban leader Fidel Castro used the routed invasion to consolidate his power and strengthen Cuba's ties with the Soviet Union.
CIA establishes a main physical facility in Miami, Florida, as one of the bases for intelligence and covert actions against Cuba. The station itself had the cryptonym JMWAVE; operations using it had their own cryptonyms or code words, such as Operation Mongoose. The facility, under commercial cover of "Zenith Technical Enterprises", was located at the University of Miami, was considered too obvious and closed in 1968. Some of its functions moved to other locations in the Miami area, including the overt radio broadcast monitoring station of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service.
Operation Mongoose was re-approved to Edward Lansdale by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in November 1961. The CIA tried and failed several times to assassinate Fidel Castro. Various methods are discussed, such as hiding bombs in seashells.
The limitations of large scale covert action became apparent during the CIA-organized Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961. The failed para-military invasion embarrassed the CIA and the United States worldwide. Recently de-classified documents show in written confirmation that President Kennedy had officially denied the CIA authorization to invade Cuba. Cuban leader Fidel Castro used the routed invasion to consolidate his power and strengthen Cuba's ties with the Soviet Union.
The CIA supported a variety of anti-Castro agents such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, who are wanted in Venezuela for terrorism charges.
The January 1962 Special National Intelligence Estimate suggested "We believe that Castro's Cuba will continue to do what it can to export its revolution." Such attempts were made, especially under the leadership of Che Guevara.
While there were CIA agent reports of increased Soviet activity from late 1960 on, NSA SIGINT gave indications of increased air defense activity from approximately May 1962. In August, CIA imagery intelligence IMINT confirmed the presence of Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, the presence of which indicated something was receiving exceptional protection. Surveillance, without overflights, was stepped up.
In October 1962, high-altitude reconnaissance photographs, taken from outside Cuban airspace by U-2 aircraft flown by Air Force pilots were analyzed at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), indicated that Soviet missile construction was underway. As described by Dino Brugioni, these photographs were brought to the President and Secretary of Defense, who authorized overflights that confirmed the construction and triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Under Frank Wisner and the Office of Policy Coordination, Operation Mockingbird was set up to put anticommunist messages into US news media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, to run the news aspects of the operation. Columbia Broadcasting System began co-operating with the CIA. "To understand the role of most journalist‑operatives, it is necessary to dismiss some myths about undercover work for American intelligence services. Few American agents are spies in the popularly accepted sense of the term. Spying — the acquisition of secrets from a foreign government—is almost always done by foreign nationals who have been recruited by the CIA and are under CIA control in their own countries. Thus the primary role of an American working undercover abroad is often to aid in the recruitment and handling of foreign nationals who are channels of secret information reaching American intelligence.
"Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work: he is accorded unusual access by his host country, permitted to travel in areas often off‑limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long‑term personal relationships with sources and—perhaps more than any other category of American operative—is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for recruitment as spies." Formal recruitment of reporters was generally handled at high levels—after the journalist had undergone a thorough background check. The actual approach might even be made by a deputy director or division chief. On some occasions, no discussion would he entered into until the journalist had signed a pledge of secrecy.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17728 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:44 am Post subject:
Bob Baldock interviews Francovich's wife Kathleen Weaver.
Must be rememberance Sunday?
BB: Allan was a documentary filmmaker, brilliantly talented too. He made "Gladio" for British television and the classic anti-CIA film "On Company Business."
Kate Weaver: Yes, we worked together on that with Philip Agee. It was really all propelled by the CIA coup in Chile, when Salvador Allende was overthrown.
Allan had grown up in the Andes. His father worked for Cerro de Pasco, the U.S. mining firm in Peru, and Allen felt so connected with the mineworkers' kids, with their misery and really with all the poverty and squalor of the high Sierra. He had this incredible passion for social justice.
BB: And he brought you into that world.
KW: I was ready. We both got engaged with Chile Solidarity work, and we both wanted Americans to understand...
BB: North Americans.
KW: Yes, of course. We wanted them to understand what their government was doing to other people in so many places.
This is a very useful site, with loads of documentaries available. _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
In part 9, retired CIA Victor Marchetti explains how the President can make a statement called a "non-directive". He might say to his Defense Secy or CIA chief, "we're having a problem with so-and-so (Castro, in this case), and I'm sure we could solve this problem if we could only get rid of him, but of course we can't do that."
This would be taken as an order to assassinate that person, to carry out that operation, under the guise of the fact that the President *did* verbally state that the US could not do that.
Prior to that point in the movie, you see Helms confirm ALL those Cuba ops under oath before Congress, stating that everyone at the top knew, then the documentary flips back to McGeorge Bundy in the 60s categorically denying any knowledge of the President, Atty Gen, or anyone else about these Cuba plans or operations.
In part 10 of the documentary, Marchetti states that for any dirty job, paramilitary, assassinations, sabotage, special ops, the role of a CIA career officer ends in the planning stage or before that in the policy stage. Beyond that, it's handed off to Mafia, gangster, or some other contract agent, mercenary, one time operative, whoever is available to carry it out. Obviously, a larger op might require a bit more coordination, or at least a few people poised to prevent govt interference with the crime and with the criminals _________________ The only time I ever funded Al-Qaeda is when I paid my taxes.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17728 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:46 pm Post subject:
Almost every single Allan Frankovich and similar Blip & YouTube videos on this theread has been removed from YouTube.
Let me know if any have been re-uploaded or are still there.
Trust you watched them all before they disappeared!
Great example/salutory lesson of the limitations of YouTube and the internet.
Here's one replacement though!
Making a documentary about CIA - Alan Francovich about "Inside the CIA: On Company
Alan Francovich is producer and director of the most definitive film on the CIA--the acclaimed three-hour documentary (Inside the CIA: On Company Business, 1980) --which took five years to make and required massive, world-wide research. The movie has won prizes at international film festivals and has been shown in over 30 countries. Francovich tells how the US government and the CIA have harassed him and have applied pressure to restrict the movie's distribution. Francovich also relates some new information about the CIA and analyzes contemporary world events in light of this evidence.
CIA: SS Einsatzgruppen, Gestapo, Abwehr, SS LSSAH - of USA by PNACATTACKdotCOM
and 'Gladio' (I havent checked for all three episodes):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trGfQREzScY _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
John Stockwell, former CIA Station Chief in Angola in 1976, working for then Director of the CIA, George Bush. He spent 13 years in the agency. He gives a short history of CIA covert operations. He is a very compelling speaker and the highest level CIA officer to testify to the Congress about his actions. He estimates that over 6 million people have died in CIA covert actions, and this was in the late 1980's.
THE SECRET WARS OF THE CIA:
by John Stockwell
A lecture given in October, 1987
Part I - Part II
John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA official ever to leave the agency and go public. He ran a CIA intelligence-gathering post in Vietnam, was the task-force commander of the CIA's secret war in Angola in 1975 and 1976, and was awarded the Medal of Merit before he resigned. Stockwell's book In Search of Enemies, published by W.W. Norton 1978, is an international best-seller.
"I did 13 years in the CIA altogether. I sat on a subcommittee of the NSC, so I was like a chief of staff, with the GS-18s (like 3-star generals) Henry Kissinger, Bill Colby (the CIA director), the GS-18s and the CIA, making the important decisions and my job was to put it all together and make it happen and run it, an interesting place from which to watch a covert action being done...
I testified for days before the Congress, giving them chapter and verse, date and detail, proving specific lies. They were asking if we had to do with S. Africa, that was fighting in the country. In fact we were coordinating this operation so closely that our airplanes, full of arms from the states, would meet their airplanes in Kinshasa and they would take our arms into Angola to distribute to our forces for us....
What I found with all of this study is that the subject, the problem, if you will, for the world, for the U.S. is much, much, much graver, astronomically graver, than just Angola and Vietnam. I found that the Senate Church committee has reported, in their study of covert actions, that the CIA ran several thousand covert actions since 1961, and that the heyday of covert action was before 1961; that we have run several hundred covert actions a year, and the CIA has been in business for a total of 37 years.
What we're going to talk about tonight is the United States national security syndrome. We're going to talk about how and why the U.S. manipulates the press. We're going to talk about how and why the U.S. is pouring money into El Salvador, and preparing to invade Nicaragua; how all of this concerns us so directly. I'm going to try to explain to you the other side of terrorism; that is, the other side of what Secretary of State Shultz talks about. In doing this, we'll talk about the Korean war, the Vietnam war, and the Central American war.
Everything I'm going to talk to you about is represented, one way or another, already in the public records. You can dig it all out for yourselves, without coming to hear me if you so chose. Books, based on information gotten out of the CIA under the freedom of information act, testimony before the Congress, hearings before the Senate Church committee, research by scholars, witness of people throughout the world who have been to these target areas that we'll be talking about. I want to emphasize that my own background is profoundly conservative. We come from South Texas, East Texas....
I was conditioned by my training, my marine corps training, and my background, to believe in everything they were saying about the cold war, and I took the job with great enthusiasm (in the CIA) to join the best and the brightest of the CIA, of our foreign service, to go out into the world, to join the struggle, to project American values and save the world for our brand of democracy. And I believed this. I went out and worked hard....
What I really got out of these 6 years in Africa was a sense ... that nothing we were doing in fact defended U.S. national security interests very much. We didn't have many national security interests in Bujumbura, Burundi, in the heart of Africa. I concluded that I just couldn't see the point.
We were doing things it seemed because we were there, because it was our function, we were bribing people, corrupting people, and not protecting the U.S. in any visible way. I had a chance to go drinking with this Larry Devlin, a famous CIA case officer who had overthrown Patrice Lumumba, and had him killed in 1960, back in the Congo. He was moving into the Africa division Chief. I talked to him in Addis Ababa at length one night, and he was giving me an explanation - I was telling him frankly, 'sir, you know, this stuff doesn't make any sense, we're not saving anybody from anything, and we are corrupting people, and everybody knows we're doing it, and that makes the U.S. look bad'.
And he said I was getting too big for my britches. He said, `you're trying to think like the people in the NSC back in Washington who have the big picture, who know what's going on in the world, who have all the secret information, and the experience to digest it. If they decide we should have someone in Bujumbura, Burundi, and that person should be you, then you should do your job, and wait until you have more experience, and you work your way up to that point, then you will understand national security, and you can make the big decisions. Now, get to work, and stop, you know, this philosophizing.'
And I said, `Aye-aye sir, sorry sir, a bit out of line sir'. It's a very powerful argument, our presidents use it on us. President Reagan has used it on the American people, saying, `if you knew what I know about the situation in Central America, you would understand why it's necessary for us to intervene.'
I went back to Washington, however, and I found that others shared my concern. A formal study was done in the State Department and published internally, highly classified, called the Macomber [sp?] report, concluding that the CIA had no business being in Africa for anything it was known to be doing, that our presence there was not justified, there were no national security interests that the CIA could address any better than the ambassador himself. We didn't need to have bribery and corruption as a tool for doing business in Africa at that time.
I went from ... a tour in Washington to Vietnam. And there, my career, and my life, began to get a little bit more serious. They assigned me a country. It was during the cease-fire, '73 to '75. There was no cease-fire. Young men were being slaughtered. I saw a slaughter. 300 young men that the South Vietnamese army ambushed. Their bodies brought in and laid out in a lot next to my compound. I was up-country in Tayninh. They were laid out next door, until the families could come and claim them and take them away for burial.
I thought about this. I had to work with the sadistic police chief. When I reported that he liked to carve people with knives in the CIA safe-house - when I reported this to my bosses, they said, `(1). The post was too important to close down. (2). They weren't going to get the man transferred or fired because that would make problems, political problems, and he was very good at working with us in the operations he worked on. (3). Therefore if I didn't have the stomach for the job, that they could transfer me.'
But they hastened to point out, if I did demonstrate a lack of `moral fiber' to handle working with the sadistic police chief, that I wouldn't get another good job in the CIA, it would be a mark against
So I kept the job, I closed the safe-house down, I told my staff that I didn't approve of that kind of activity, and I proceeded to work with him for the next 2 years, pretending that I had reformed him, and he didn't do this sort of thing anymore. The parallel is obvious with El Salvador today, where the CIA, the state department, works with the death squads.
They don't meet the death squads on the streets where they're actually chopping up people or laying them down on the street and running trucks over their heads. The CIA people in San Salvador meet the police chiefs, and the people who run the death squads, and they do liaise with them, they meet them beside the swimming pool of the villas. And it's a sophisticated, civilized kind of relationship. And they talk about their children, who are going to school at UCLA or Harvard and other schools, and they don't talk about the horrors of what's being done. They pretend like it isn't true.
What I ran into in addition to that was a corruption in the CIA and the intelligence business that made me question very seriously what it was all about, including what I was doing ... risking my life ... what I found was that the CIA, us, the case officers, were not permitted to report about the corruption in the South Vietnamese army....
Now, the corruption was so bad, that the S. Vietnamese army was a skeleton army. Colonels would let the troops go home if they would come in once a month and sign the pay vouchers so the colonel could pocket the money. Then he could sell half of the uniforms and boots and M-16's to the communist forces - that was their major supply, just as it is in El Salvador today. He could use half of the trucks to haul produce, half of the helicopters to haul heroin.
And the Army couldn't fight. And we lived with it, and we saw it, and there was no doubt - everybody talked about it openly. We could provide all kinds of proof, and they wouldn't let us report it. Now this was a serious problem because the south was attacked in the winter of 1975, and it collapsed like a big vase hit by a sledgehammer. And the U.S. was humiliated, and that was the dramatic end of our long involvement in Vietnam....
I had been designated as the task-force commander that would run this secret war [in Angola in 1975 and 1976].... and what I figured out was that in this job, I would sit on a sub-committee of the National Security Council, this office that Larry Devlin has told me about where they had access to all the information about Angola, about the whole world, and I would finally understand national security. And I couldn't resist the opportunity to know. I knew the CIA was not a worthwhile organization, I had learned that the hard way. But the question was where did the U.S. government fit into this thing, and I had a chance to see for myself in the next big secret war....
I wanted to know if wise men were making difficult decisions based on truly important, threatening information, threatening to our national security interests. If that had been the case, I still planned to get out of the CIA, but I would know that the system, the invisible government, our national security complex, was in fact justified and worth while. And so I took the job.... Suffice it to say I wouldn't be standing in front of you tonight if I had found these wise men making these tough decisions. What I found, quite frankly, was fat old men sleeping through sub-committee meetings of the NSC in which we were making decisions that were killing people in Africa. I mean literally. Senior ambassador Ed Mulcahy... would go to sleep in nearly every one of these meetings....
You can change the names in my book [about Angola]  and you've got Nicaragua.... the basic structure, all the way through including the mining of harbors, we addressed all of these issues. The point is that the U.S. led the way at every step of the escalation of the fighting. We said it was the Soviets and the Cubans that were doing it. It was the U.S. that was escalating the fighting. There would have been no war if we hadn't gone in first. We put arms in, they put arms in. We put advisors in, they answered with advisors. We put in Zairian para-commando battalions, they put in Cuban army troops. We brought in the S. African army, they brought in the Cuban army. And
they pushed us away. They blew us away because we were lying, we were covering ourselves with lies, and they were telling the truth. And it was not a war that we could fight. We didn't have interests there that should have been defended that way.
There was never a study run that evaluated the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA, the three movements in the country, to decide which one was the better one. The assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Nathaniel Davis, no bleeding-heart liberal (he was known by some people in the business as the butcher of Santiago), he said we should stay out of the conflict and work with whoever eventually won, and that was obviously the MPLA. Our consul in Luanda, Tom Killoran, vigorously argued that the MPLA was the best qualified to run the country and the friendliest to the U.S.
We brushed these people aside, forced Matt Davis to resign, and proceeded with our war. The MPLA said they wanted to be our friends, they didn't want to be pushed into the arms of the Soviet Union; they begged us not to fight them, they wanted to work with us. We said they wanted a cheap victory, they wanted a walk-over, they wanted to be un-opposed, that we wouldn't give them a cheap victory, we would make them earn it, so to speak. And we did. 10,000 Africans died and they won the victory that they were winning anyway.
Now, the most significant thing that I got out of all of this, in addition to the fact that our rationales were basically false, was that we lied. To just about everybody involved. One third of my staff in this task force that I put together in Washington, commanding this global operation, pulling strings all over the world to focus pressure onto Angola, and military activities into Angola, one third of my staff was propagandists, who were working, in every way they could to create this picture of Cubans raping Angolans, Cubans and Soviets introducing arms into the conflict, Cubans and Russians trying to take over the world.
Our ambassador to the United Nations, Patrick Moynihan, he read continuous statements of our position to the Security Council, the general assembly, and the press conferences, saying the Russians and Cubans were responsible for the conflict, and that we were staying out, and that we deplored the militarization of the conflict.
And every statement he made was false. And every statement he made was originated in the sub-committee of the NSC that I sat on as we managed this thing. The state department press person read these position papers daily to the press. We would write papers for him. Four paragraphs. We would call him on the phone and say, `call us 10 minutes before you go on, the situation could change overnight, we'll tell you which paragraph to read. And all four paragraphs would be false. Nothing to do with the truth. Designed to play on events, to create this impression of Soviet and Cuban aggression in Angola. When they were in fact responding to our initiatives.
And the CIA director was required by law to brief the Congress. This CIA director Bill Colby - the same one that dumped our people in Vietnam - he gave 36 briefings of the Congress, the oversight committees, about what we were doing in Angola. And he lied. At 36 formal briefings. And such lies are perjury, and it's a felony to lie to the Congress.
He lied about our relationship with South Africa. We were working closely with the South African army, giving them our arms, coordinating battles with them, giving them fuel for their tanks and armored cars. He said we were staying well away from them. They were concerned about these white mercenaries that were appearing in Angola, a very sensitive issue, hiring whites to go into a black African country, to help you impose your will on that black African country by killing the blacks, a very sensitive issue. The Congress was concerned we might be involved in that, and he assured them we had nothing to do with it.
We had in fact formed four little mercenary armies and delivered them into Angola to do this dirty business for the CIA. And he lied to them about that. They asked if we were putting arms into the conflict, and he said no, and we were. They asked if we had advisors inside the country, and he said `no, we had people going in to look at the situation and coming back out'. We had 24 people sleeping inside the country, training in the use of weapons, installing communications systems, planning battles, and he said, we didn't have anybody inside the country.
In summary about Angola, without U.S. intervention, 10,000 people would be alive that were killed in the thing. The outcome might have been peaceful, or at least much less bloody. The MPLA was winning when we went in, and they went ahead and won, which was, according to our consul, the best thing for the country.
At the end of this thing the Cubans were entrenched in Angola, seen in the eyes of much of the world as being the heroes that saved these people from the CIA and S. African forces. We had allied the U.S. literally and in the eyes of the world with the S. African army, and that's illegal, and it's impolitic. We had hired white mercenaries and eventually been identified with them. And that's illegal, and it's impolitic. And our lies had been visible lies. We were caught out on those lies. And the world saw the U.S. as liars.
After it was over, you have to ask yourself, was it justified? What did the MPLA do after they had won? Were they lying when they said they wanted to be our friends? 3 weeks after we were shut down... the MPLA had Gulf oil back in Angola, pumping the Angolan oil from the oilfields, with U.S. gulf technicians protected by Cuban soldiers, protecting them from CIA mercenaries who were still mucking around in Northern Angola.
You can't trust a communist, can you? They proceeded to buy five 737 jets from Boeing Aircraft in Seattle. And they brought in 52 U.S. technicians to install the radar systems to land and take-off those planes. They didn't buy [the Soviet Union's] Aeroflot.... David Rockefeller himself tours S. Africa and comes back and holds press conferences, in which he says that we have no problem doing business with the so-called radical states of Southern Africa.
I left the CIA, I decided that the American people needed to know what we'd done in Angola, what we'd done in Vietnam. I wrote my book. I was fortunate - I got it out. It was a best-seller. A lot of people read it. I was able to take my story to the American people. Got on 60 minutes, and lots and lots of other shows.
I testified to the Congress and then I began my education in earnest, after having been taught to fight communists all my life. I went to see what communists were all about. I went to Cuba to see if they do in fact eat babies for breakfast. And I found they don't. I went to Budapest, a country that even national geographic admits is working nicely. I went to Jamaica to talk to Michael Manley about his theories of social democracy.
I went to Grenada and established a dialogue with Maurice Bishop and Bernard Cord and Phyllis Cord, to see - these were all educated people, and experienced people - and they had a theory, they had something they wanted to do, they had rationales and explanations - and I went repeatedly to hear them. And then of course I saw the U.S., the CIA mounting a covert action against them, I saw us orchestrating our plan to invade the country. 19 days before he was killed, I was in Grenada talking to Maurice Bishop about these things, these indicators, the statements in the press by Ronald Reagan, and he and I were both acknowledging that it was almost certain that the U.S. would invade Grenada in the near future.
I read as many books as I could find on the subject - book after book after book. I've got several hundred books on the shelf over my desk on the subject of U.S. national security interests. And by the way, I urge you to read. In television you get capsules of news that someone else puts together what they want you to hear about the news. In newspapers you get what the editors select to put in the newspaper. If you want to know about the world and understand, to educate yourself, you have to get out and dig, dig up books and articles for yourself. Read, and find out for yourselves. As you'll see, the issues are very, very important.
I also was able to meet the players, the people who write, the people who have done studies, people who are leading different situations. I went to Nicaragua a total of 7 times. This was a major covert action. It lasted longer and evolved to be bigger than what we did in Angola. It gave me a chance, after running something from Washington, to go to a country that was under attack, to talk to the leadership, to talk to the people, to look and see what happens when you give white phosporous or grenades or bombs or bullets to people, and they go inside a country, to go and talk to the people, who have been shot, or hit, or blown up....
We're talking about 10 to 20 thousand covert actions [the CIA has performed since 1961]. What I found was that lots and lots of people have been killed in these things.... Some of them are very, very bloody.
The Indonesian covert action of 1965, reported by Ralph McGehee, who was in that area division, and had documents on his desk, in his custody about that operation. He said that one of the documents concluded that this was a model operation that should be copied elsewhere in the world. Not only did it eliminate the effective communist party (Indonesian communist party), it also eliminated the entire segment of the population that tended to support the communist party - the ethnic Chinese, Indonesian Chinese. And the CIA's report put the number of dead at 800,000 killed. And that was one covert action. We're talking about 1 to 3 million people killed in these things.
Two of these things have led us directly into bloody wars. There was a covert action against China, destabilizing China, for many, many years, with a propaganda campaign to work up a mood, a feeling in this country, of the evils of communist China, and attacking them, as we're doing in Nicaragua today, with an army that was being launched against them to parachute in and boat in and destabilize the country. And this led us directly into the Korean war.
U.S. intelligence officers worked over Vietnam for a total of 25 years, with greater and greater involvement, massive propaganda, deceiving the American people about what was happening. Panicking people in Vietnam to create migrations to the south so they could photograph it and show how people were fleeing communism. And on and on, until they got us into the Vietnam war, and 2,000,000 people were killed.
There is a mood, a sentiment in Washington, by our leadership today, for the past 4 years, that a good communist is a dead communist. If you're killing 1 to 3 million communists, that's great. President Reagan has gone public and said he would reduce the Soviet Union to a pile of ashes. The problem, though, is that these people killed by our national security activities are not communists. They're not Russians, they're not KGB. In the field we used to play chess with the KGB officers, and have drinks with them. It was like professional football players - we would knock heads on Sunday, maybe in an operation, and then Tuesday you're at a banquet together drinking toasts and talking.
The people that are dying in these things are people of the third world. That's the common denominator that you come up with. People of the third world. People that have the misfortune of being born in the Metumba mountains of the Congo, in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and now in the hills of northern Nicaragua. Far more Catholics than communists, far more Buddhists than communists. Most of them couldn't give you an intelligent definition of communism, or of capitalism.
Central America has been a traditional target of U.S. dominion. If you want to get an easy-read of the history of our involvement in Central America, read Walter LaFeber's book, Inevitable Revolutions.  We have dominated the area since 1820. We've had a policy of dominion, of excluding other countries, other industrial powers from Europe, from competing with us in the area.
Just to give you an example of how complete this is, and how military this has been, between 1900 and W.W. II, we had 5,000 marines in Nicaragua for a total of 28 years. We invaded the Dominican Republic 4 times. Haiti, we occupied it for 12 years. We put our troops into Cuba 4 times, Panama 6 times, Guatemala once, plus a CIA covert action to overthrow the democratic government there once. Honduras, 7 times. And by the way, we put 12,000 troops into the Soviet Union during that same period of time.
In the 1930's there was public and international pressure about our marines in Nicaragua....
The next three leaders of Guatemala [after the CIA installed the puppet, Colonel Armaz in a coup] died violent deaths, and Amnesty International tells us that the governments we've supported in power there since then, have killed 80,000 people. You can read about that one in the book Bitter Fruit, by Schlesinger and Kinzer.  Kinzer's a New York Times Journalist... or Jonathan Kwitny, the Wall Street Journal reporter, his book Endless Enemies  - all discuss this....
However, the money, the millions and millions of dollars we put into this program [helping Central America] inevitably went to the rich, and not to the people of the countries involved. And while we were doing this, while we were trying, at least saying we were trying, to correct the problems of Central and Latin America, the CIA was doing its thing, too. The CIA was in fact forming the police units that are today the death squads in El Salvador. With the leaders on the CIA's payroll, trained by the CIA and the United States.
We had the `public safety program' going throughout Central and Latin America for 26 years, in which we taught them to break up subversion by interrogating people. Interrogation, including torture, the way the CIA taught it. Dan Metrione, the famous exponent of these things, did 7 years in Brazil and 3 in Uruguay, teaching interrogation, teaching torture. He was supposed to be the master of the business, how to apply the right amount of pain, at just the right times, in order to get the response you want from the individual.
They developed a wire. They gave them crank generators, with `U.S. AID' written on the side, so the people even knew where these things came from. They developed a wire that was strong enough to carry the current and fine enough to fit between the teeth, so you could put one wire between the teeth and the other one in or around the genitals and you could crank and submit the individual to the greatest amount of pain, supposedly, that the human body can register.
Now how do you teach torture? Dan Metrione: `I can teach you about torture, but sooner or later you'll have to get involved. You'll have to lay on your hands and try it yourselves.'
.... All they [the guinea pigs, beggars from off the streets] could do was lie there and scream. And when they would collapse, they would bring in doctors and shoot them up with vitamin B and rest them up for the next class. And when they would die, they would mutilate the bodies and throw them out on the streets, to terrify the population so they would be afraid of the police and the government.
And this is what the CIA was teaching them to do. And one of the women who was in this program for 2 years - tortured in Brazil for 2 years - she testified internationally when she eventually got out. She said, `The most horrible thing about it was in fact, that the people doing the torture were not raving psychopaths.' She couldn't break mental contact with them the way you could if they were psychopath. They were very ordinary people....
There's a lesson in all of this. And the lesson is that it isn't only Gestapo maniacs, or KGB maniacs, that do inhuman things to other people, it's people that do inhuman things to other people. And we are responsible for doing these things, on a massive basis, to people of the world today. And we do it in a way that gives us this plausible denial to our own consciences; we create a CIA, a secret police, we give them a vast budget, and we let them go and run these programs in our name, and we pretend like we don't know it's going on, although the information is there for us to know; and we pretend like it's ok because we're fighting some vague communist threat. And we're just as responsible for these 1 to 3 million people we've slaughtered and for all the people we've tortured and made miserable, as the Gestapo was the people that they've slaughtered and killed. Genocide is genocide!
Now we're pouring money into El Salvador. A billion dollars or so. And it's a documented fact that the... 14 families there that own 60% of the country are taking out between 2 to 5 billion dollars - it's called de-capitalization - and putting it in banks in Miami and Switzerland. Mort Halper, in testifying to a committee of the Congress, he suggested we could simplify the whole thing politically just by investing our money directly in the Miami banks in their names and just stay out of El Salvador altogether. And the people would be better off.
Nicaragua. What's happening in Nicaragua today is covert action. It's a classic de-stabilization program. In November 16, 1981, President Reagan allocated 19 million dollars to form an army, a force of contras, they're called, ex-Somoza national guards, the monsters who were doing the torture and terror in Nicaragua that made the Nicaraguan people rise up and throw out the dictator, and throw out the guard. We went back to create an army of these people. We are killing, and killing, and terrorizing people. Not only in Nicaragua but the Congress has leaked to the press - reported in the New York Times, that there are 50 covert actions going around the world today, CIA covert actions going on around the world today.
You have to be asking yourself, why are we destabilizing 50 corners of the troubled world? Why are we about to go to war in Nicaragua, the Central American war? It is the function, I suggest, of the CIA, with its 50 de-stabilization programs going around the world today, to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize the American people to hate, so we will let the establishment spend any amount of money on arms....
The Victor Marquetti ruling of the Supreme Court gave the government the right to prepublication censorship of books. They challenged 360 items in his 360 page book. He fought it in court, and eventually they deleted some 60 odd items in his book.
The Frank Snep ruling of the Supreme Court gave the government the right to sue a government employee for damages. If s/he writes an unauthorized account of the government - which means the people who are involved in corruption in the government, who see it, who witness it, like Frank Snep did, like I did - if they try to go public they can now be punished in civil court. The government took $90,000 away from Frank Snep, his profits from his book, and they've seized the
profits from my own book....
[Reagan passed] the Intelligence Identities Protection act, which makes it a felony to write articles revealing the identities of secret agents or to write about their activities in a way that would reveal their identities. Now, what does this mean? In a debate in Congress - this is very controversial - the supporters of this bill made it clear.... If agents Smith and Jones came on this campus, in an MK-ultra-type experiment, and blew your fiance's head away with LSD, it would now be a felony to publish an article in your local paper saying, `watch out for these 2 turkeys, they're federal agents and they blew my loved one's head away with LSD'. It would not be a felony what they had done because that's national security and none of them were ever punished for those activities.
Efforts to muzzle government employees. President Reagan has been banging away at this one ever since. Proposing that every government employee, for the rest of his or her life, would have to submit anything they wrote to 6 committees of the government for censorship, for the rest of their lives. To keep the scandals from leaking out... to keep the American people from knowing what the government is really doing.
Then it starts getting heavy. The `Pre-emptive Strikes' bill. President Reagan, working through the Secretary of State Shultz... almost 2 years ago, submitted the bill that would provide them with the authority to strike at terrorists before terrorists can do their terrorism. But this bill... provides that they would be able to do this in this country as well as overseas. It provides that the secretary of state would put together a list of people that he considers to be terrorist, or terrorist supporters, or terrorist sympathizers. And if your name, or your organization, is put on this list, they could kick down your door and haul you away, or kill you, without any due process of the law and search warrants and trial by jury, and all of that, with impunity.
Now, there was a tremendous outcry on the part of jurists. The New York Times columns and other newspapers saying, `this is no different from Hitler's "night in fog" program', where the government had the authority to haul people off at night. And they did so by the thousands. And President Reagan and Secretary Shultz have persisted.... Shultz has said, `Yes, we will have to take action on the basis of information that would never stand up in a court. And yes, innocent people will have to be killed in the process. But, we must have this law because of the threat of international terrorism'.
Think a minute. What is `the threat of international terrorism'? These things catch a lot of attention. But how many Americans died in terrorist actions last year? According to Secretary Shultz, 79. Now, obviously that's terrible but we killed 55,000 people on our highways with drunken driving; we kill 2,500 people in far nastier, bloodier, mutilating, gang-raping ways in Nicaragua last year alone ourselves. Obviously 79 peoples' death is not enough reason to take away the protection of American citizens, of due process of the law.
But they're pressing for this. The special actions teams that will do the pre-emptive striking have already been created, and trained in the defense department.
They're building detention centers. There were 8 kept as mothballs under the McLaren act after World War II, to detain aliens and dissidents in the next war, as was done in the next war, as was done with the Japanese people during World War II. They're building 10 more, and army camps, and the... executive memos about these things say it's for aliens and dissidents in the next national emergency....
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by Loius Guiffrida, a friend of Ed Meese's.... He's going about the country lobbying and demanding that he be given authority, in the times of national emergency, to declare martial law, and establish a curfew, and gun down people who violate the curfew... in the United States.
And then there's Ed Meese, as I said. The highest law enforcement officer in the land, President Reagan's closest friend, going around telling us that the constitution never did guarantee freedom of speech and press, and due process of the law, and assembly.
What they are planning for this society, and this is why they're determined to take us into a war if we'll permit it... is the Reagan revolution.... So he's getting himself some laws so when he puts in
the troops in Nicaragua, he can take charge of the American people, and put people in jail, and kick in their doors, and kill them if they don't like what he's doing....
3-hour video _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Double agents selling secrets to foreign governments; defectors running amok in the streets of Washington; allies betraying allies — these days spies are out of the shadows and on the spot. Yet espionage isn’t what it once was, and at least one Cold War vet fondly remembers overthrowing unfriendly governments, planning assassinations and performing dirty tricks. Most of all, retired CIA officer Miles Copeland (whose brood of rock & roll overachievers includes oldest son Miles Copeland III, manager of the Police and solo Sting; Ian, founder of the music booking agency FBI; and youngest son Stewart, drummer first for Curved Air and later for the Police) yearns for the good old days when secret agents kept their secrets secret — from the government and especially from the press.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Copeland joined the U.S. Army in 1940. Assigned to the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC), he transferred in 1942 to the new Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the first U.S. secret intelligence agency. After the war, Copeland was station chief in Damascus, “putting Syria,” as he recalls, “on the path to democracy by starting a military dictatorship.” For this achievement, he was awarded a presidential citation. Copeland became a member of the Central Intelligence Agency when it was founded in 1947; he was appointed chief of the agency’s Political Action Staff, the dirty-tricks department, in 1950. “Nobody,” he says, “knows more about changing governments, by force or otherwise, than me.”
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Copeland left government service in 1957 to form his own “private CIA,” which he claims became the largest private security service operating in Africa and the Middle East. Today the seventy-two-year-old Copeland and his wife, Lorraine, a well-known British archaeologist, live in a stone cottage in the tranquil hamlet of Aston Rowant, near Oxford, in England.
The White House has given the CIA part of the Job of handling terrorism. What do you think they will do that is different from what has already been done?
You know, you’re opening a real can of worms here. The difference between the CIA’s counterterrorist experts and this new kind that’s been proliferating all over the place is that the CIA has operators who know the terrorists, who’ve actually talked to a few, who’ve even lived with them, or who, like myself, have actually been terrorists. We understand the enemy, while these instant experts who’ve been advising the White House have never in their lives laid eyes on a terrorist, and they think of them as common criminals. Maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t, but where these recent “experts” are wrong is that they assume they are criminals simply because they are judging them as though they are Americans, brought up on American ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong. They are making moral judgments that aren’t relevant to the situation. What may be effective in combating crime is not likely to be effective in dealing with wrong doers who in their own eyes, whether rightly or wrongly, think they are engaged in some noble cause. The Pentagon wants to kill them; the CIA wants to win them over.
It’s not a matter of winning. Just different viewpoints. The president of the United States has got to say what is necessary to keep himself in office. We have a domestic foreign policy and a foreign foreign policy. The domestic foreign policy, which is the more important one, is what he has to do to make the American public think he’s doing the right thing. Whether it’s the right thing or not doesn’t matter. The American people have to think he’s doing the right thing because we have a democratic society. Now, the American people were highly indignant about what happened in Beirut [the hijacking of TWA flight 847 in June 1985]. They wanted to do something. They wanted to punish the people without regard to the consequences. The president had to say things to them, make threats, to show the American people that, by God, we were doing something. But the professionals inside the government were worried about the consequences of this. Because what it takes to please the American people is not what it takes to please a lot of people who did not grow up in the American culture but grew up in cultures quite different from our own. We’ve got most of the world against us at the moment. When we drag out our gunboats, bomb villages and kill a lot of women and children — a lot more than the terrorists kill — we turn the world against us. And the American people don’t care. They don’t give a damn. But those people whose job it is to look after the interests of the U.S. government abroad, they’ve got to care. They have to think of the consequences of everything we do. And they know the consequences of dragging out the gunboats are absolutely the wrong ones. In fact, these are the consequences the terrorists created acts of terrorism in order to provoke. That’s the purpose of terrorism, not to kill, maim or destroy, but to terrorize, to frighten, to anger, to provoke irrational responses. Terrorism gains more from the responses than it gains from the actions themselves.
So how do you deal with it?
You’ve got to know who they are. You’ve got to know their reasons for doing it. And you’ve got to manipulate them in one way or another. We have to somehow come to grips with the problem. The Israelis went in to Lebanon and killed tens of thousands of people. They say, “That’s exaggerating, we didn’t kill but 5,000 people.” Okay, let’s say they killed only 2,000 people, which is a very modest estimate. But they destroyed Lebanon. They then set up groups against each other, made chaos ten times worse than it already was. Instead of helping the Shiites — the Shiites welcomed the Israelis in — we, the United States, gave a billion dollars to the Israelis. One billion we gave because it costs a lot of money to destroy someone else’s country. We gave peanuts — Red Cross supplies — to the Shiites. What we should have done is gone in there and said to the Shiites: “Look, a lot of injustice has been done. We’re going to put your orange groves back and put you back commercially. . . . “
Is that your answer for potential terrorists? Give them lots of aid to keep them sweet?
No. Let’s get back to the reason these guys are terrorists. They’re terrorists because their orange groves have been destroyed and they’ve got nothing to do. They can’t even get to their farms because the Israelis have declared them out of bounds and destroyed a lot of them. Now, the CIA’s job is to explain all of this to our government. That’s the main job of the CIA — to go to the White House and explain to the president that the only reason these terrorists are terrorists is because of the way they’ve been treated, and they’ve got nothing else to do. In fact, I’ll tell you quite frankly, if people came into Alabama, my home state, and destroyed my farms and kicked me around and kicked my children around, I’m going to become a terrorist, just as the French became terrorists under the Germans in World War II. It’s understandable. The CIA understood this and understood it very well and explained it to the president. But we had pressures from Congress. The members of Congress don’t give a damn about foreign affairs. They give a damn about their next election. They have to do what makes them popular enough with their constituents to get reelected. And their constituency cares about one place in this world, and that’s the United States.
You have told me what we should have done. What should we do to combat terrorism now that the damage has been done?
Well, most terrorists in the world are coming down to two categories. The first kind are people such as the Palestinians, who’ve had — listen, I’ve known this one family for the past forty years. The guy has polio, he’s crippled. He has some teenage kids who are nice kids, nice family. The Israelis showed up at six o’clock in the evening and said: “Everybody out! Everybody out!” They all got out, and the Israelis razed his house. He says: “I haven’t done a damn thing! I’m just looking after my orange groves!” They said, “You had a terrorist in your house six months ago.” First place, he said he hadn’t, and I believe he was telling the truth. But the Israelis had no good reason to believe he wasn’t — no name, no information at all. Now this is information that our embassy reported. This is official, not something I heard from the PLO information office. Now those two teenage kids stood there and watched their family being destroyed and their mother kicked downstairs when she refused to leave the house. Can you imagine their not becoming terrorists? They don’t have an air force or artillery. I had a Shiite ask me: “You say we shouldn’t use terrorism. What should we use?” Well, you shouldn’t use anything, we might say. You should make peace with Israel. Make peace with Israel? They’ve just destroyed my land! I have nothing! My house is flattened! The whole village is destroyed! This isn’t just the Shiites talking. Our own embassy says this. You know something that very few people know, and I suspect you ought to leave all this out, but the fact is, in the American foreign service, there are a lot of patriots. You’ve never seen such patriots in your life. They all fight for American policy, right or wrong. Central America, Vietnam, wherever, except in the Middle East. The whole career service in the Middle East spends all its time fighting its own government. Anyone who doubts that can use the Freedom of Information Act to get the cables, all of them pleading with our own government to stop this support of Israel to that point. I don’t mean stop supporting Israel, but stop the behavior of Israel, which is making them hated. And we are backing them against these people they’ve kicked around. And how did the Israelis get in power? Terrorism. You’d think they’d know something about terrorism since the heads of their government have been terrorists themselves. In fact, Israel wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t been for their effective terrorists. But they know nothing about terrorism. A friend of mine in Mossad [the Israeli intelligence agency] said: “Terrorism is not going to destroy Israel, but our counterterrorism might, because it costs us a million dollars a day. It might drive us into bankruptcy.”
So what’s the answer to terrorism?
Like I was saying, we have to find the reason these people are terrorists. The job of the CIA is to report why they are terrorists. Now I said there are two categories. The first, people who have been deprived and been ruined. The second category is this: A lot of these guys have found a way of life. They’re like gunslingers in the Old West. They drive Mercedes. There are professional terrorists now. It’s a profitable business. Maybe they were criminals originally, criminally inclined, but now they have political motivations to justify themselves. You’re not going to find them. Many of them are in Paris, and the French police don’t give a damn. The fact is that we are fighting a “proxy war” right now in which Soviet proxies face our proxies. Today’s war, between us and the Soviets, is a mosaic of regional wars. The Soviet policy is one of denial, not to gain territory for themselves but to deny it to us, to deprive us of the raw materials from Africa — cobalt, magnesium, chromium — that we have to have for a highly technological society like ours.
Are you saying the Soviets are behind terrorism?
No, they exploit the troubles. Most of the terrorism in the world today the Soviets do not instigate. They may train key people to go in and stir things up, but that’s as far as they go. The Soviets are delighted when we draw up a gunboat in the Beirut harbor. They love this. It makes people hate us. The thing we should have done about the TWA hijacking in Beirut was get the damn thing over with right away as the CIA advised.
And how would we have done that?
Let the Shiites loose. Forget it. We’ve lost this one.
Wouldn’t giving in like that encourage more terrorism?
No. What encourages them is to get all that prime time on television. They wanted the publicity they got. And they wanted us to look like jackasses, which they succeeded in doing. In a war, you lose battles now and then. The best thing to do is cut your losses and get the hell out. They were hoping we’d drag it out.
You think the media was out of control?
The media is always out of control. It’s not supposed to be under control. That’s what we have to live with in a free society. You can’t prevent the media from doing what it wants to do. But you can prevent the media from getting the information in the first place, by having rules for those who have the secrets not to release them to the media.
All right, how would the rules have worked in Beirut? How could you have prevented the madness that ensued?
You know, if a plane lands in Turkey right now, the minute they establish there are hijackers on it, you know what happens? Nothing. They cut off all communications. “We want you to release so-and-so.” Silence. They just sit there and rot as far as the Turks are concerned. So there’s no news whatsoever. It’s not unethical to give the press false information. We do have a kind of adversary relationship with the press. There’s nothing we should try to do to shut them up, but it is absolutely permissible to tell the press whatever is in the interests of the American people to have the press know or think. And they can use it any way they want to. They can be suspicious, as they should be. A good pressman is suspicious of what anyone tells him.
How does your vision of the CIA fit Western democracy?
Come on, what are Miles Copeland’s principles of democracy?
Let me tell you about democracy. First place, I remember Syria. We decided we were going to bring democracy to Syria. So we got a translator in Arabic, and we got signs. We were going to have an election. This is 1946, ’47. The signs say, Get Out And Vote For The Candidate of Your Choice. We had people coming in the embassy and saying, “Look, these signs are no good — they don’t tell us who the candidate of our choice is.” In the United States, if we had true democracy, it would be a good thing. But true democracy is impossible now because of the fact that the general population cannot possibly keep themselves well enough informed to decide on issues except on a very parochial basis. The average person, the best he can do is something he’s not allowed to do — that’s to vote for a man because he’s known to be honest and competent. But now a candidate has to tell you what his issues are and get elected on that basis. We have to sell the idea to the American public that there are many things about foreign policy the American people simply cannot understand, because foreign policy requires, above all else, judging people according to their own standards. The emphasis should be in choosing people we trust. Where the CIA can work as an institution in a democratic government is, we have to set up criteria where nobody can get into the CIA unless he’s honest and patriotic. And I think they’ve succeeded at that. The guys in the CIA are the most strait-laced people you ever saw.
Who gets your highest marks as CIA director?
I’d have to name two people, and for totally different reasons. I think George Bush was the best. He came in knowing he didn’t know a damn thing about the CIA, but he did know how to judge people whose opinions he could trust, and he listened to them.
Who is second?
Dick Helms. Helms lied to a congressional committee. That’s one of his fortunate traits, that he’s willing to lie to a congressional committee. William Colby didn’t have the guts to do this. Lacking patriotism, he did not lie to a committee.
Wait a minute — lacking patriotism?
Absolutely. Why should he tell a group things he knew would leak to the newspapers? He should have lied to them. If he were really a patriotic American, he wouldn’t have thought of telling them the truth.
And Helms gets high marks for perjury?
With me and with everyone who has ever been a career officer in the government. Absolutely. You can call it perjury if you like, and maybe it was, but he should have been willing to go to jail for it.
It’s okay to lie under oath if you’re in the CIA?
I said nothing of the sort. If what you know means that telling the truth is going to damage the national interest, it is your obligation. . . .
Who decides the national interest?
Do you want me to give you a hard time or do you want an answer?
Okay, I’ll give you an answer: The CIA is set up so that it’s impossible for a person as an individual to arrogate to himself the right to lie to a congressional committee or to anyone else. But what he can or cannot say is clearly specified from the day he is sworn in. He can lie to people who are not his bosses, who do not have security clearances. Most congressmen do not have security clearances. When Senator Frank Church asked me something, and he said, “Will you take an oath,” I said, “Senator, I’ll take the oath, and I wouldn’t think of telling you the truth.” Personally, I like Colby very much. He’s a very fine man, but he’s just the wrong kind of guy to be head of the CIA. He’s a good guy.
You’ve got to be a bad guy to head the CIA?
You have to be prepared, as a good soldier does. A good soldier could be religious and have read the Bible, but he’s got to go out and kill people. The CIA has to have a separate set of morals. In that sense, you have to be amoral.
Is it true you were once asked by your CIA bosses to kill President Nasser of Egypt?
My old boss, Frank Wisner, passed on to me orders that I was to “explore the possibility” of assassinating Gamal Nasser. Poor Wiz didn’t like doing even that. But the order came straight from the White House. Anthony Eden, who was Britain’s foreign minister at the time, believed the world would be a happier place without Nasser in it, and the belief grew to enormous proportions after the Suez fiasco. The head of British intelligence, who had a somewhat wry sense of humor, used to say that if either his boys or ours didn’t assassinate Nasser “professionally,” Eden was likely to do it himself “amateurishly,” and the results would be “messy.” Eden’s attitude was “At least we should look into it.” He said as much to his opposite number in Washington, John Foster Dulles, and Dulles discussed it with President Eisenhower, who said, in effect, “Anything to keep Tony quiet.” The order was passed down, from the president to the secretary of state to the director of the CIA — Foster’s brother, Allen — to Frank Wisner to Kermit Roosevelt to me. I was to visit Nasser, have coffee with him, say, “That’s an interesting vase you have over there in the corner,” and when he turned his head to look, make the motion of slipping a cyanide pill into his cup just to see if he would catch me at it.
Did you do it?
Sort of, and I didn’t have to use the “look over there” trick. Nasser kept looking the other way out of sheer boredom at what I had to say. Just sitting there with Nasser, rehearsing in my mind just how I would go about sneaking something into his lemonade or coffee, I saw how easy it would have been-theoretically, that is. When I got back from the Nasser experiment, I went into the whole question of assassination, from the philosophy behind it to all the ways of doing it.
Philosophy of assassination?
Very important. All these post-Watergate liberals forget that assassination was once a healthy alternative to war. There is only one justification for assassination: to save lives, lots of lives. One life to save many. But as for a weapon of strategy, that’s a different story.
What is the justification?
The rationalization by which the so-called war of dirty tricks is justified is that it takes the place of a real war in which millions may be killed. Given such a justification, anything goes. For example, you can sometimes gain points in the war of dirty tricks by killing an expendable person on your own side and blaming it on the other. But that kind of nonsense is talked about only in meetings where “contingencies” are being considered. In those meetings, it is permissible to suggest literally anything.
One CIA target was President Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, in the summer of 1960. . . .
Well, now, I’ll tell you a brief story to illustrate what a great farce that was. The CIA station chief in the Congo at the time, who I knew very well, was a very sober, conservative fellow who harbored the ambition to get into the State Department. Since he was really a CIA man, his State Department job was only a cover — and at a lower grade than his CIA job called for, to the disgrace of his wife. So his main worry was his wife, who was complaining that she wasn’t invited to parties and wasn’t seated high enough above the salt at dinners. And he was wondering how he got this lousy job in the Congo. One day he was contemplating the sadness of his lot when a message arrived from Washington. It had a code word which means this is something you take seriously because this comes from the White House. Ordinarily, when you get an order from headquarters you never obey it the first time because you’re not sure they mean it. It might be some guy telling you to do something to get himself off the hook, being on record as having ordered it. So you always wait until the second time. But if there’s a White House code word, you’d better take it seriously. The message from the White House said he was to assassinate Lumumba — to explore means to terminate with extreme prejudice. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The last thing he wanted to do was assassinate anyone, except perhaps his wife! But this thing said he had to go kill Lumumba, and he hadn’t the faintest idea how to go about it. Well, then another cable came in, saying somebody was coming out from the scientific section. And up showed this weird little Dr. Strangelove type. So not only does this guy have an order from the White House, he’s also got on hand this creep who was going to show him how to do it! Well, the station chief just blew his top, said, “The hell with this,” and told Dr. Strangelove to get the hell out.
What else did you get up to in the CIA?
Well, I got my foot in the door in the psychopharmacological department by virtue of my interest in assassination. There are two categories: those which are made to look like natural deaths and those which serve their purpose only if they are known to be assassinations. For the first kind, there is a variety of methods, most of them involving poison. Somehow you introduce into the body of your victim two separate substances, at different times, each of which is harmless by itself but which becomes poisonous when mixed with the other. You wouldn’t believe what those weirdos come up with! The congressional subcommittee which went into this sort of thing got only the barest glimpse.
What did they miss?
You can kill a man by putting a certain substance on a letter you send to him which gets into his system simply through his holding the letter in his fingers. You can make him allergic to almost anything — alcohol, aspirin tablets, even coffee or tea — that if he takes even a small quantity of it he will drop over dead. You can program a pair of dogs — even his own dogs — to savage him to death upon a given signal. You can do any number of imaginable and unimaginable things. But you don’t have to kill him; you can just make a fool out of him.
You can slip an LSD pill into his lemonade as he is about to make a speech or have an electric fan blow “distress gas” onto him, or you can doctor his notes so that simply by holding them in his hands he will absorb enough hallucinatory materials to make him think he is God. One of [Indonesian president] Sukarno’s best, most electrifying speeches, I understand, was made after one of his assistants, a CIA agent, doctored his shaving lotion. The agent simply forgot that Sukarno’s wildest ramblings were made when he was cold sober and that a hallucinogen could only make for an improvement!
What do you think of today’s CIA?
The organization itself is great, and Mr. Casey is tops, but the government won’t let it move, and the press is intent on preventing any secret operations it might try to run. As you know, unlike The New York Times, Victor Marchetti and Philip Agee, my complaint has been that the CIA isn’t overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I’m getting old. What’s keeping the agency inactive is Congress and disinformed public opinion. With modern communications being what they are, we’re supposed to be the best informed people in history, but we’re not. We’re the most informed, which is hardly the same thing.
You seem to take an active interest in American politics. Do your sons share your interest?
It’s my impression my oldest son, Miles, has actually contributed to Republican congressional campaigns, but I’m not all that sure. That’s one area of my son’s activities he doesn’t confide in other members of the family about. [Laughs] My son Miles — he wants everything everybody says about him these days to be cleared in advance.
Does Miles have anyone in mind for the presidency in 1988?
I know Miles has his eye on Congressman Jack Kemp [Republican — New York]. I think that’s his candidate, but I don’t know. [Miles Copeland III denies that he supports Jack Kemp or any other Republican or Democratic candidate for Congress or for the presidency.] He’s always planning several years ahead. Miles is pretty secretive about his affairs. He should have been in the CIA instead of me. Yeah, I’m “blah blah blah,” and he’s “hush hush.” I’m not sure he’s thought through all the implications of the power he’s got.
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