by Steve Kangas
“In 1999, a journalist [Steve Kangas] who had written exposes of
Richard Scaife was by all appearances murdered in the Oxford Centre
of Pittsburgh, PA - the office complex of the foundation of his
subject - Scaife.
Richard Mellon Scaife is the heir of the
Mellon fortune and a major funder of the Heritage Foundation and
other right wing organizations, although, like the Coors family,
Scaife also funds abortion and gay rights organizations.
Shortly before his death in February
1999, Kangas catalogued the gruesome accomplishments of the CIA and
issued a scathing indictment of their paymasters - the very elites
who created the CNP!”
- The Council For National
George Bush Sr.
The wealthy have always used many methods to
accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods
coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine.
After 1975, it became greater than the sum of
its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists,
think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest
1 percent into the stratosphere.
The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the
CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with
code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface -
and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as
MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and
MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.)
But what we do know already indicts the CIA
strongly enough. Its principle creators were,
Richard Mellon Scaife
William F. Buckley,
Almost all the machine's creators had
During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational
techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War.
Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears
an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism.
The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization
of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth.
By 1992, they would nearly double that,
to 42 percent - the highest level of inequality in the 20th
How did this alliance start?
The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite:
During World War II, General "Wild Bill"
Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the
forerunner of the CIA.
Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s
rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for
"Oh, so social!"
Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from
1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of
Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other
mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the
J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and
His financial interests across the world would
become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan,
he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.
By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and
universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives.
Their employment with the agency took a variety
of forms, which included:
Leaving one's profession to work for the
CIA in a formal, official capacity.
Staying in one's profession, using the
job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be
full-time, part-time, or on-call.
Staying in one's profession,
occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA.
Passing through the revolving door that
has always existed between the agency and the business world.
Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have
been one and the same people.
This means that their interests and goals are
one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the
intelligence community is the "old boy network," where members socialize,
talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the
formal halls of government.
Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America
would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel
they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both
share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American
public or lying about them to present the best public image.
And both are in a perfect position to help each
How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding,
top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands.
the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes,
satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic
thrill of participating in spy operations.
The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount
of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the
guise of "national security."
Finally, the CIA helps American corporations
remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to
unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor
American corporations at the expense of their people.
The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each
enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s
history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend
it, even in the name of anticommunism.
Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is
useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.
The Crimes of the CIA
During World War II, the OSS actively engaged in propaganda, sabotage and
countless other dirty tricks.
After the war, and even after the CIA was
created in 1947, the American intelligence community reverted to harmless
information gathering and analysis, thinking that the danger to national
security had passed. That changed in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold
War. In that year, the CIA recreated its covert action wing, innocuously
called the Office of Policy Coordination. Its first director was Wall Street
lawyer Frank Wisner.
According to its secret charter, its
“propaganda, economic warfare, preventive
direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and
evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including
assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous
anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”
By 1953, the dirty tricks department of the CIA
had grown to 7,200 personnel and commanded 74 percent of the CIA’s total
The following quotes describe the culture of
lawlessness that pervaded the CIA:
Stanley Lovell, a CIA recruiter for "Wild
"What I have to do is to stimulate the Peck's Bad Boy
beneath the surface of every American scientist and say to him, 'Throw
all your normal law-abiding concepts out the window. Here's a chance to
raise merry hell. Come help me raise it.'" 1
George Hunter White, writing of his CIA escapades:
wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun... Where
else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and
pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest?" 2
A retired CIA agency caseworker with twenty years experience:
gave a thought to legality or morality. Frankly, I did what worked."
Blessed with secrecy and lack of congressional
oversight, CIA operations became corrupt almost immediately.
Using propaganda stations like Voice of America
and Radio Free Europe, the CIA felt justified in manipulating the public for
its own good. The broadcasts were so patently false that for a time it was
illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S. This was a classic case
of a powerful organization deciding what was best for the people, and then
abusing the powers it had helped itself to.
During the 40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was
Those who knew thought they were fighting the
good fight against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep
their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans began
learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities. 3
It turns out the CIA has:
Corrupted democratic elections in
Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations
Been involved to varying degrees in at
least 35 assassination plots against foreign heads of state or
prominent political leaders. Successful assassinations include
democratically elected leaders like Salvador Allende (Chile) and
Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created dictators like
Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh Diem (South
Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara.
Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle
Helped launch military coups that
toppled democratic governments, replacing them with brutal
dictatorships or juntas. The list of overthrown democratic leaders
includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala, 1954), Velasco
and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican Republic,
1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965), Papandreou
(Greece, 1965-67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and dozens of others
Undermined the governments of Australia,
Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more
Supported murderous dictators like
General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos
(Philippines), "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier (Haiti), General
Noriega (Panama), Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the "reign of the
colonels" (Greece), and more
Created, trained and supported death
squads and secret police forces that tortured and murdered hundreds
of thousands of civilians, leftists and political opponents, in
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico,
Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey,
Angola and others
Helped run the "School of the Americas"
at Fort Benning, Georgia, which trains Latin American military
officers how to overthrow democratic governments. Subjects include
the use of torture, interrogation and murder
Used Michigan State "professors" to
train Diem’s secret police in torture
Conducted economic sabotage, including
ruining crops, disrupting industry, sinking ships and creating food
Paved the way for the massacre of
200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia and one to two million
Launched secret or illegal military
actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola, Cuba, Laos and Indochina
Planted false stories in the local media
Framed political opponents for crimes,
atrocities, political statements and embarrassments that they did
Spied on thousands of American citizens,
in defiance of Congressional law
Smuggled Nazi war criminals and weapon
scientists into the U.S., unpunished, for their use in the Cold War
Created organizations like the World
Anti-Communist League, which became filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi
sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist
Afrikaners, Latin American death squad leaders, CIA agents and other
extreme right-wing militants
Conducted Operation MK-ULTRA, a
mind-control experiment that gave LSD and other drugs to Americans
against their will or without their knowledge, causing some to
Penetrated and disrupted student antiwar
Kept friendly and extensive working
relations with the Mafia
Actively traded in drugs around the
world since the 1950s to fund its operations. The Contra/crack
scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –- other notorious examples
include Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and Noriega’s Panama
Had their fingerprints all over the
assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther
King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Even if the CIA is not responsible for
these killings, the sheer amount of CIA involvement in these cases
And then routinely lied to Congress
about all of the above.
The Association for Responsible Dissent
estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert
Former State Department official William Blum
correctly calls this an "American Holocaust." We should note that the CIA
gets away with this because it is not accountable to democratic government.
Former CIA officer Philip Agee put it
"The CIA is the President's secret army."
Prior to 1975, the agency answered only to the
President (creating all the usual problems of authoritarianism).
And because the CIA’s activities were secret,
the President rarely had to worry about public criticism and pressure. After
the 1975 Church hearings, Congress tried to create congressional oversight
of the CIA, but this has failed miserably.
One reason is that the congressional oversight
committee is a sham, filled with Cold Warriors, conservatives, businessmen,
and even ex-CIA personnel.
The Business Origins
of CIA Crimes
Although many people think that the CIA’s primary mission during the Cold
War was to "deter communism," Noam Chomsky correctly points out that its
real mission was "deterring democracy."
From corrupting elections to overthrowing
democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing
murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with
dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose
hostility towards democracy is legendary.
The reason they overthrew so many democracies is
because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national
corporations didn't like:
land reform, strong labor unions,
nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting
workers, consumers and the environment.
So the CIA’s greatest "successes" were usually
more pro-corporate than anti-communist.
Citing a communist threat, the CIA helped
overthrow the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh government in Iran
in 1953. But there was no communist threat - the Soviets stood back and
watched the coup from afar. What really happened was that Mossadegh
threatened to nationalize British and American oil companies in Iran.
Consequently, the CIA and MI6 toppled Mossadegh
and replaced him with a puppet government, headed by the Shah of Iran and
his murderous secret police, SAVAK. The reason why the Ayatollah Khomeini
and his revolutionaries took 52 Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979 was
because the CIA had helped SAVAK torture and murder their people.
Another "success" was the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected
government of Jacabo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. Again, there was no communist threat.
threat was to Guatemala’s United Fruit Company, a Rockefeller-owned firm
whose stockholders included CIA Director Allen Dulles. Arbenz threatened to
nationalize the company, albeit with generous compensation. In response, the
CIA initiated a coup that overthrew Arbenz and installed the murderous
dictator Castillo Armas.
For four decades, CIA-backed dictators would
torture and murder hundreds of thousands of leftists, union members and
others who would fight for a more equitable distribution of the country’s
Another "success" story was Chile. In 1973, the country’s democratically
elected leader, Salvador Allende, nationalized foreign-owned interests,
like Chile’s lucrative copper mines and telephone system. International
Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) offered the CIA $1 million to overthrow Allende
- which the CIA allegedly refused - but paid $350,000 to his political
The CIA responded with a coup that murdered
Allende and replaced him with a brutal tyrant, General Augusto Pinochet.
Pinochet tortured and murdered thousands of leftists, union members and
political opponents as economists trained at the University of Chicago under
Milton Friedman installed a "free market" economy.
Since then, income inequality has soared higher
in Chile than anywhere else in Latin America.
Even when the communist threat was real, the CIA first and foremost took
care of the elite. In testimony before Congress in the early 50s, it
artificially inflated Soviet military capabilities.
A notorious example was
the "bomber gap" that later turned out to be grossly exaggerated. Another
was "Team B," a group of hawkish CIA analysts who seriously distorted Soviet
military data. These scare tactics worked. Congress awarded giant defense
contracts to the U.S. military-industrial complex.
And not even the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of American defense
contracts have stopped the CIA from serving the elite. Journalist Robert
Since the end of the Cold War, Washington
has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage.
Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American
spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda,
and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S.
corporate executives. 5
If this isn’t bad enough, a worse problem arises
in that the CIA doesn’t hand over this technology to every American
auto-related company, but only the Big Three:
In a 1975 interview, Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee
summed up his personal observations of the agency:
To the people who work for it, the CIA is
known as The Company. The Big Business mentality pervades everything.
Agents, for instance, are called assets. The man in charge of the United
Kingdom desk is said to have the "U.K. account"…
American multinational corporations have built up colossal interests all
over the world, and you can bet your ass that wherever you find U. S.
business interests, you also find the CIA… The multinational
corporations want a peaceful status quo in countries where they have
investments, because that gives them undisturbed access to cheap raw
materials, cheap labor and stable markets for their finished goods. The
status quo suits bankers, because their money remains secure and
And, of course, the status quo suits the
small ruling groups the CIA supports abroad, because all they want is to
keep themselves on top of the socioeconomic pyramid and the majority of
their people on the bottom.
But do you realize what being on the bottom
means in most parts of the world? Ignorance, poverty, often early death
by starvation or disease…
Remember, the CIA is an instrument of the President; it only carries out
policy. And, like everyone else, the President has to respond to forces
in the society he's trying to lead, right?
In America, the most powerful force is Big
Business, and American Big Business has a vested interest in the Cold
The CIA had no trouble recruiting elites who sought a more exciting life.
Between 1948 and 1959, more than 40,000 American individuals and companies
acted as sources for the U.S. intelligence community. 7
Let’s look at each area of recruitment, and see
how they enabled the CIA to conduct its crimes:
The CIA co-opted big business right from the start, beginning with the most
famous billionaire of the time: Howard Hughes.
Hughes had inherited his father’s million-dollar
tool and die company at age 19. Anxious to expand his fortune, he made a
conscientious decision "to go where the money is" - namely, government. With
a few well-placed bribes, Hughes secured defense contracts to build military
planes. The result was the Hughes Aircraft company.
By 1940, he had also acquired a controlling
interest in Trans World Airlines. His government connections and
international airline soon caught the attention of the CIA, and the two
began a lifelong relationship. Hughes, whom the CIA dubbed "The
Stockbroker," became the agency’s largest contractor. Not only did he let
the CIA use his business firms as fronts, but he also funded countless CIA
Perhaps the most notorious was Operation
Jennifer, an allegedly failed attempt to recover nuclear codes from a sunken
Soviet submarine. Hughes’ right-hand security man, Robert Maheu, was a CIA
agent who at one time represented the CIA in negotiations with the Mafia to
assassinate Fidel Castro.
The CIA’s contacts with big business quickly spread. The agency showed a
preference for international companies, public relations firms, media
companies, law offices, banks, financiers and stockbrokers. The CIA didn’t
limit its activities to recruiting businessmen; sometimes the CIA bought or
created entire companies outright.
One benefit of co-opting big business was that
the CIA was able to create a secret source of funds other than from
government. With stock portfolios multiplying their profits, it’s impossible
now to say how flush the CIA really is. If Congress ever cut off funds for a
mission, the business fraternity could easily replace them, either by
donations or even setting up profitable businesses in the target country.
In fact, this is precisely what happened during
the Iran/Contra scandal.
By allying itself with the business community, the CIA received the funds
and ability it needed to remove itself from democratic control.
Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents.
People talk freely to journalists, and few think
suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information.
Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA
began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide
scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD.
The agency wanted these journalists not only to
relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write
anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were,
Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s
publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA
that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and
MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had
recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda.
least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to
the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The
committee felt the true number was considerably higher.)
The names of those recruited reads like a Who's
Who of journalism:
Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
William Paley (President, CBS)
Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
James Copley (Copley News Services)
Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
United Press International
Mutual Broadcasting System
Old Saturday Evening Post
New York Herald-Tribune
Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post,
one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies.
Its location in the nation’s
capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with
leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other
newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than
relying on AP wire services.
Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence
officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures
like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He
inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.
After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced
by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her
newspaper’s relationship with the CIA.
In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at
Langley, Virginia, she stated:
“We live in a dirty and dangerous world.
There are some things that the general public does not need to know and
shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take
legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide
whether to print what it knows.”
This quote has since become a classic among CIA
critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a
political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.
Ben Bradlee was the Post’s managing editor during most of the Cold War. He
worked in the U.S. Paris embassy from 1951 to 1953, where he followed orders
by the CIA station chief to place propaganda in the European press. 9
Most Americans incorrectly believe that Bradlee
personifies the liberal slant of the Post, given his role in publishing the
Pentagon Papers and the Watergate investigations.
But neither of these two
incidents are what they seem. The Post merely published the Pentagon Papers
after The New York Times already had, because it wanted to appear
competitive. As for Watergate, we’ll examine the CIA’s reasons for wanting
to bring down Nixon in a moment.
Someone once asked Bradlee:
"Does it irk
you when The Washington Post is made out to be a bastion of slanted liberal
thinkers instead of champion journalists just because of Watergate?" Bradlee
responded: "Damn right it does!" 10
It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most
important examples of the CIA/media alliance.
Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset
the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he
went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two
major outlets of CIA propaganda.
The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40
percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were
threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many
domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954
by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA
Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business
contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman
Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able
to buy an entire TV network: ABC.
For those who believe in "separation of press and state," the very idea that
the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling.
reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was
because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the
immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, "debate" about the
issue rages in the media.
Here is but one example:
In 1996, The San Jose Mercury News published
an investigative report suggesting that the CIA had sold crack in Los
Angeles to fund the Contra war in Central America.
A month later, three
of the CIA’s most important media allies - The Washington Post, The New
York Times and The Los Angeles Times - immediately leveled their guns at
the Mercury report and blasted away in an attempt to discredit it.
wrote the Post article? Walter Pincus, longtime CIA journalist. The
dangers here are obvious.
By the early 50s, CIA Director Allen Dulles had staffed the CIA almost
exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale. (A
disproportionate number of CIA figures, like
George Bush, come from Yale’s
"Skull and Crossbones" Society.)
CIA recruiters also approached thousands of
other professors to work in place at their universities on a part-time,
contract basis. Not stopping at recruiting scholars, the agency would go on
to create several departments at elite universities, including Harvard's
Russian Research Center and the Center for International Studies at MIT.
Although most academics were supportive of the CIA in the 50s, most were
unaware of its abuses. In the 60s, academia would become outraged to learn
that anti-communist organizations like the National Student Association were
actually creations of the CIA.
The most audacious CIA front was the Congress
for Cultural Freedom, an organization that attracted liberal, freethinking
artists and intellectuals who nonetheless deplored communism.
By the late 60s and 70s, growing reports of CIA crimes and atrocities had
deeply alienated academia.
Scholars were further troubled to learn that the
CIA had penetrated and disrupted student antiwar groups. Unlike business and
the media, academia overwhelmingly denounced the CIA after the Vietnam era.
This eventually forced the CIA to turn to new places to find their analysts
and scholars. The most important source was the conservative think-tank
movement, which it helped to create.
More on this later.
The Roman Catholic Church
Although the CIA began as a mostly Protestant organization, Roman Catholics
quickly came to dominate the new covert-action wing in 1948.
staunchly conservative, fiercely anti-communist and socially elite. Just a
few of the many Catholic operatives included future CIA directors William
Colby, William Casey, and John McCone. Another well-known personality from
this period was William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of the National Review and
gadfly host of TV’s Firing Line.
Buckley, it turns out, served as a CIA
agent in Mexico City, and his experiences there served as fodder for his
Blackford Oakes spy novels.
There were several reasons for this influx of Catholic elites. First, Wisner
(himself a Wall Street lawyer) had an extensive and glamorous circle of
friends to recruit from. Second, Italy was in constant crisis in the 1940s,
both during World War II and after. Throughout this troubled period, the
American intelligence community’s greatest ally in Italy was the Roman
The Roman Catholic Church, of course, is one of the most anti-communist
organizations in the world. The Marxist doctrine of atheism threatens
Catholic theology, and its equality threatens the Church’s strict tradition
of hierarchy and authoritarianism.
When Hitler invaded Communist Russia, the
Vatican openly approved.
Jesuit Michael Serafian wrote:
"It cannot be denied
that [Pope] Pius XII's closest advisors for some time regarded Hitler's
armored divisions as the right hand of God." 11
But Hitler persecuted Catholics as well, and ultimately drove the Church to
In 1943, the Vatican reached a secret agreement with OSS
Chief Donovan - himself a devout Catholic - to let the Holy See become the
center of Allied spy operations in Italy. Donovan considered the Church to
be one of his prize intelligence assets, given its global power, membership
and contacts. He cultivated this alliance by sending America’s most
prestigious Catholics to the Vatican to establish rapport and forge an
After the war, half of Europe lay under Communist control, and the Italian
communist party threatened to win the 1948 elections. The prospect of
communism ruling over the heart of Catholicism terrified the Vatican.
again, American intelligence gathered their most prestigious Catholics to
strengthen ties with
the Vatican. Because this was the first mission of the
new covert action division, the American Catholic agents acquired positions
of power early on, and would dominate covert operations for the rest of the
At a public level, the U.S. government sunk $350 million in social and
military aid into Italy to sway the vote.
On a secret level, Wisner spent
$10 million in black budget funds to steal the elections. This included
disseminating propaganda, beating up left-wing politicians, intimidating
voters and disrupting leftist parties.
The dirty tricks worked - the
Communists lost, and the Catholic Americans’ success permanently secured
their power within the CIA.
The Knights of Malta
The Roman Catholic Church did not forget the American agents who had saved
them from both Nazism and Communism.
It rewarded them by making them
of Malta, or members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
SMOM is one of the oldest and most elite religious orders in the Catholic
Until recently, it limited its membership to Italians and foreign
heads of state. In 1927, however, an exception was made for the United
States, given its emerging status as a world power. SMOM opened an American
branch, awarding knighthood or damehood to several American Catholic
This group was so conservative that one, John Raskob, the
Chairman of General Motors, actually became involved in an aborted military
plot to remove Franklin Roosevelt from the White House. SMOM has also been
embarrassed by knighting or giving awards to countless people who later
turned out to be Nazi war criminals. This is the sort of culture that
thrives within the leadership of SMOM.
Officially, the Knights of Malta are a global charity organization.
beginning in the 1940s, knighthood was granted to countless CIA agents, and
the organization has become a front for intelligence operations. SMOM is
ideal for this kind of activity, because it is recognized as the world’s
only landless sovereignty, and members enjoy diplomatic immunity.
allows agents and supplies to pass through customs without interference from
the host country. Such privileges enabled the Knights of Malta to become a
major supplier of "humanitarian aid" to the Contras during their war in the
A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of
OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood
that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.
Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency,
Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV
and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board
of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.
Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has
become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international
finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major
funder of right-wing think tanks.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.
William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
Clare Boothe Luce
The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular
playwright and the wife of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who cofounded
Francis X Stankard
CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller
institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)
President, U.S. Steel
Chairman, General Motors
William S. Schreyer
Chairman, Merrill Lynch.
Richard R. Shinn
Chairman, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Founder of the Kennedy empire.
Owner, Hilton Hotel chain.
Patrick J. Frawley Jr.
Heir, Schick razor fortune. Frawley is a famous funder of right-wing
Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.
Martin F. Shea
Executive vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust.
Chairman of the executive committee of the Emigrant Savings Bank of New
J. Peter Grace
President, W.R. Grace Company. He was a key figure in Operation Paperclip,
which brought Nazi scientists and spies to the U.S. Many were war criminals
whose atrocities were excused in their service to the CIA.
Of Saxe, Bacon and Bolan, the law firm of Senator McCarthy's deceased aide
Cardinal John O'Connor
Extreme right-wing leader among American Catholics, and fervent abortion
Cardinal Francis Spellman
The "American Pope" was at one time the most powerful Catholic in America,
an arch-conservative and a rabid anti-communist.
Cardinal Bernard Law
One of the highest-ranking conservatives in the American church.
Secretary of State under President Reagan.
Admiral James D. Watkins
Hard-line chief of naval operations under President Reagan.
Senator (R-New Mexico).
Walter J. Hickel
Governor of Alaska and secretary of the interior.
When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business
The CIA has also used other religious and charity organizations as fronts.
For example, John F. Kennedy - another anticommunist Roman Catholic who
greatly expanded covert operations - created the
U.S. Peace Corps to serve
as cover for CIA operatives.
The CIA has also made extensive use of
missionaries, with the blessings of many right-wing, anticommunist Christian
But the World Grows
It was only a matter of time before other nations caught on to these fronts.
They learned that when the CIA comes to their countries to commit their
crimes and atrocities, they come disguised as American journalists,
businessmen, missionaries and charity volunteers. Unfortunately, foreigners
are now targeting these professions as hostile. In Lebanon, terrorists held
U.S. journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years, on the not
unreasonable assumption that he was a spy.
Whether or not this was true is
beside the point. The CIA has put all Americans abroad at risk, whether they
are CIA agents or not. In hearings before the Senate in 1996, many
organizations urged Congress to stop using their professions as CIA cover.
Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals testified:
of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and
From the Cold War to the
As noted above, academia was the first major institution to denounce the
crimes of the CIA.
One reason is that scholars conduct their own
extensive research into world affairs, so naturally they were the first to
learn the truth. This is the main reason why protest against the Vietnam War
and the CIA erupted first among students on the nation’s campuses. By the
end of the Vietnam War, the CIA had suffered a "brain drain" as its academic
allies became its most articulate, passionate and eloquent critics.
The social revolutions of the 60s terrified the CIA. James Jesus Angleton,
chief of counter-intelligence and a truly paranoid man, was convinced the
Soviets had masterminded the entire antiwar movement. FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover shared his conviction.
The CIA had always spied on student groups
throughout the 60s, but in 1968 President Johnson dramatically stepped up
the effort with Operation CHAOS.
This initially called for 50 CIA agents to
go undercover as student radicals, penetrate their antiwar organizations and
root out the Russian spies who were causing the rebellion. Tellingly, they
never found a single spy. The agents also began a campaign of wire-tapping,
mail-opening, burglary, deception, intimidation and disruption against
thousands of protesting American civilians.
By the time Operation CHAOS wound down in 1973, the CIA had spied on 7,000
Americans, 1,000 organizations and traded information on more than 300,000
persons with various law agencies. 14
When academia learned of this, its outrage grew.
The loss of academia was only the first blow for the CIA. Other disasters
quickly followed; in the early 70s, the CIA was trying desperately to stave
off a growing number of scandals. The first was Watergate.
The CIA’s fingerprints were all over Watergate. First, we should note the
CIA had clear motives for helping oust Nixon. He was the ultimate
"outsider," a poor California Quaker who grew up feeling bitter resentment
towards the elite "Eastern establishment."
Nixon, for all his
arch-conservatism, was surprisingly liberal on economic issues, infuriating
businessmen with statements like,
"We are all Keynesians now."
He created a
whole host of new agencies to regulate business, like the FDA, EPA and OSHA.
He signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, which forced businesses to
clean up their toxic emissions. He imposed price controls to fight
inflation, and took the nation fully off the gold standard.
strengthened affirmative action. Even his staffers were famously
anti-elitist, like Kevin Philips, who would eventually write the bible on
inequality during the 1980s, The Politics of Rich and Poor.
Add to this
Nixon’s withdrawal from Vietnam and Détente with China and the Soviet Union.
Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had not only tried to
remove control of foreign policy from the CIA, but had also taken measures
to bring the CIA itself under control. Not surprisingly, Nixon and his CIA
Director, Richard Helms, couldn’t stand each other. (Nixon fired him for
failing to cover up for Watergate.)
Clearly, Nixon was fighting at
cross-purposes with the CIA and the nation’s elite.
As it turns out, the CIA had inside knowledge of Nixon’s dirty work. Nixon
had created his own covert action team,
"The Committee to Reelect the
President," more amusingly known by its acronym, CREEP.
The team consisted
of two CIA agents - E. Howard Hunt and James McCord - as well as former FBI
agent G. Gordon Liddy.
They also employed four Cubans with long CIA
histories. In fact, a CIA front called the Mullen Company funded their
activities, which ranged from disrupting Democratic campaigns to laundering
Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions.
The CIA not only had intimate knowledge of Nixon’s crimes, but it also acted
as though it wanted the world to know them. When the FBI began investigating
Watergate, Nixon tried using the CIA to cover up for him. At first the CIA
half-heartedly complied, telling the FBI that the investigation would
endanger CIA operations in Mexico.
But a few weeks later it gave the FBI a
green light again to proceed again with their investigation.
Furthermore, Watergate was exposed by the CIA’s main newspaper in America,
The Washington Post. One of the two journalists who investigated the
scandal, Robert Woodward, had only recently become a journalist.
Woodward had worked as a Naval intelligence liaison to the White House,
privy to some of the nation’s highest secrets. He would later write a
sympathetic portrait of CIA Director Bill Casey in a book entitled Veil: The
Secret Wars of the CIA. It was Woodward who personally knew and interviewed
"Deep Throat," the unnamed source who revealed inside information on Nixon’s
Many Watergate researchers consider one of Woodward’s old
intelligence contacts to be a prime candidate for Deep Throat. 15
Despite all the facts of CIA involvement, Woodward and Bernstein made
virtually no mention of the CIA in their Watergate reporting. Even during
Senate hearings on Watergate, the CIA somehow managed to stay out of the
spotlight. In 1974, the House would clear the CIA of any involvement in
The CIA was not as lucky in 1974, when the Senate held hearings on James
Jesus Angleton’s illegal surveillance of American citizens. These
disclosures resulted in his firing. But that was nothing compared to the
1975 Church Committee. This Senate investigation looked into virtually every
type of CIA crime, from assassination to secret war to manipulating the
The "reforms" that resulted from these hearings were mostly
cosmetic, but the details that emerged shattered the CIA’s reputation
forever. Interestingly enough, the two Senators who held these hearings -
Frank Church and Otis Pike - were both defeated for reelection, despite a 98
percent reelection rate for incumbents.
The CIA wasn’t the only conservative institution that found itself embattled
in the early 70s.
This was a bad time for conservatives everywhere. America
had lost the war in Vietnam. U.S. corporations had to cope with the rise of
OPEC. The anti-poverty programs of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great
Society were causing a major redistribution of wealth.
And Nixon was making
things worse with his own anti-poverty and regulatory programs. Between 1960
and 1973, these efforts cut poverty in half, from 22 to 11 percent.
Meanwhile, between 1965 and 1976, the richest 1 percent had gone from owning
37 percent of America’s wealth to only 22 percent. 16
At a 1973 Conference Board meeting of top American business leaders,
"We are fighting for our lives," "We are fighting a
delaying action," and "If we don’t take action now, we will see our own
demise. We will evolve into another social democracy." 17
The CIA to the rescue
In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the
CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around.
They did this in several ways.
First, they helped create numerous
foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA
had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie
Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious
recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
During World War II, Scaife's father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA.
mid-twenties, both of Scaife's parents had died, and he inherited a fortune
under four foundations:
the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin
investing his fortune to fight the "Soviet menace." 18
From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World
Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA
propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions
to fund the New Right.
Scaife's CIA roots are typical of those who head the new conservative
By 1994 the most active were:
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Charles G. Koch
David H. Koch
Claude R. Lambe
Philip M. McKenna
John M. Olin Foundation
Henry Salvatori Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
Between 1992 and 1994, these foundations gave $210 million to conservative
Here is the breakdown of their donations:
$88.9 million for conservative
$79.2 million to enhance a national
infrastructure of think tanks and advocacy groups
$16.3 million for alternative media
outlets and watchdog groups
$10.5 million for conservative
pro-market law firms
$9.3 million for regional and state
think tanks and advocacy groups
$5.4 million to "organizations working to transform the nations social
views and giving practices of the nation's religious and philanthropic
The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every
aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs
in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media
companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress
(irreverently known as "Astroturf" movements), "Roll-out-the-vote" machines,
pollsters, fax networks, lobbyist organizations, economic seminars for the
nation’s judges, and more.
And because corporations are the richest sector
of society, their greater financing overwhelms similar efforts by Democrats.
Besides creating foundations, the CIA helped organize the business
community. There have always been special interest groups representing
business, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of
Manufacturers, and the CIA has long been involved with them.
1973, a spate of powerful new groups would come into existence, like the
Business Roundtable and the
quickly became powerhouses in promoting the business agenda.
Their efforts clearly succeeded. With the 1975 SUN-PAC decision,
corporations persuaded government to legalize corporate Political Action
Committees (the lobbyist organizations that bribe our government). By 1992,
corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs, and they donated 79 percent of
all campaign contributions to political parties. 20
In two landmark elections - 1980 and 1994 -
corporations gave heavily and one-sidedly to Republicans, turning one or
both houses of Congress over to the GOP. Democratic incumbents were shocked
by the threat of being rolled completely out of power, so they quietly
shifted to the right on economic issues, even though they continued a public
façade of liberalism.
Corporations went ahead and donated to Democratic
incumbents in all other elections, but only as long as they abandoned the
interests of workers, consumers, minorities and the poor. As expected, the
new pro-corporate Congress passed laws favoring the rich: between 1975 and
1992, the amount of national household wealth owned by the richest 1 percent
soared from 22 to 42 percent. 21
The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement. Prior to
the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think
tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these
early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to
This would all change after the rise of conservative
foundations in the early 70s.
The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in
1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A
flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980
they overwhelmed the scene.
The new think tanks turned out to be little more
than propaganda mills, rigging studies to "prove" that their corporate
sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government.
Of course, think-tank studies are useless without publicity, and here the
CIA proved especially valuable. Using propaganda techniques it had perfected
at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned
American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk show hosts.
Yes - Rush
Limbaugh uses the same propaganda techniques that Muscovites once heard from
Voice of America. The CIA has also developed countless other media outlets,
like Capital Cities (which eventually bought ABC), major PR firms like Hill
& Knowlton, and of course, all the Agency’s connections in the national news
The following is a typical example of how
the "New Media" operates. As most
political observers know, the Republicans suffer from a "gender gap," in
which women prefer Democrats by huge majorities. This is, in fact, why
Clinton has twice won the presidency. But, curiously enough, as the 90s
progressed, conservative female pundits began popping up everywhere in the
Hard-right pundits like,
..conditioned us to the idea of the conservative woman.
This phenomenon was no
It turns out that Richard Mellon Scaife donated
$450,000 over three years to the Independent Women's Forum, a booking agency
that heavily seeds such female conservative pundits into the media. 23
The most obvious criticism of the New Overclass is that their political
machine is undemocratic.
Using subversive techniques once aimed at
communists, and with all the money they ever need to succeed, the Overclass
undemocratically controls our government, our media, and even a growing part
These institutions in turn allow the Overclass
to control the supposedly "free" market. It doesn't win all the time, of
course - witness Bill Clinton's impeachment trial - but it does score an
endless string of other victories elsewhere, all to the detriment of
workers, consumers, women, minorities and the poor.
We need to fight it with everything we've got.
Mind Manipulators, Scheflin and Opton. p.241.
Captain George White in a letter to Dr.
All history concerning CIA intervention
in foreign countries is summarized from William Blum’s encyclopedic
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II
(Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). Sources for domestic
CIA operations come from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s
The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.:
Citadel Press, 1997). Information about CIA drug running can be
found at The Real
Drug Lords and
Coleman McCarthy, "The Consequences of
Covert Tactics" Washington Post, December 13, 1987.
Robert Dreyfuss, "
Company Spies," Mother Jones.
Philip Agee: The Playboy Interview.
Lara Shohet, "Intelligence, Academia and
Industry," The Final
Report of the Snyder Commission, Edward Cheng and Diane C.
Snyder, eds., (Princeton University: The Woodrow Wilson School of
Public and International Affairs, January 1997). Website:
Nation - Vol. 9 Num. 35.
Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great
and the Washington Post, 2nd ed. (Bethesda MD: National
for Ben Bradlee," Watergate 25.
The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (London and New York,
1964), pp. 249-250.
National Catholic Reporter, Jan 89, Mar
89, Apr 89, May 89, "Nazis,
the Vatican and the CIA," Covert Action Information Bulletin,
Winter 1986, Number 25.
Anthony Collings, "Journalists
tell Senate they want no CIA ties," CNN, July 18, 1996.
Morton Halperin, et al, eds.,
The Lawless State (New York: Penguin, 1976), p. 153.
Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA.
Edward N. Wolff, "
How the Pie is Sliced," The American Prospect no.
22 (Summer 1995), pp. 58-64.
Quoted in Leonard Silk and David Vogel,
Ethics and Profits (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), pp.
Karen Rothmyer, "The
Man Behind the Mask," Salon, April 7, 1998.
Study conducted by National Committee
for Responsive Philanthropy, July 1997,
as reported by the National Education Association.
Center for Responsive Politics,
Washington D.C., 1993.
For CIA involvement in Capital
Cities/ABC, see Dennis Mazzocco,
Networks of Power (Boston: South End Press, 1994). For CIA
involvement in the PR industry, see John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton,
Toxic Sludge is Good for You! (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage
Press, 1995), pp. 49-51,153,157,160-63.
Jonathan Broder and Murray Waas,
[Untitled] Salon, April 20, 1998.