How Will John's Special Talents Be Put to Use in the CIA?

To give our readers a flavor of some of the CIA's activities, the
following short articles have been reprinted from the CIA's Greatest
Hits by Mark Zepezauer.

CIA + Chile

In 1973, the CIA destroyed the oldest functioning democracy in South
America. Twenty years later, the Agency is still trying to deny its
involvement.  The CIA successfully intervened in Chile's 1958 and 1964
elections. In 1970, its fears were realized-the socialist candidate, a
physician named Salvador Allende, was elected president.
	Horrified, President Nixon ordered the CIA to prevent
Allende's inauguration. The Agency did its best to promote a military
coup, but the Chilean military's long history of respect for the
democratic process made this virtually impossible. One of the main
impediments was the Chilean army's chief of staff, General Rene
Schneider, so that the CIA plotted with fanatics in the military to
assassinate him. The killing backfired, solidifying support for
Allende, who took office as scheduled.
	That approach having failed, the CIA was ordered to create a
"coup climate"-"Make the economy scream," President Nixon told CIA
director Helms. CIA-backed acts of sabotage and terror multiplied. The
agency trained members of the fascist organization Patria y Libertad
(PyL) in guerrilla warfare and bombing, and they were soon waging a
campaign of arson.
	The CIA also sponsored demonstrations and strikes, funded by
ITT and other US corporations with Chilean holdings. CIA-linked media,
including the country's largest newspaper, fanned the flames of
crisis. The military patriotism was gradually eroded by endless
stories about Marxist "atrocities", like castration and cannibalism,
and rumors that the military would be purged or "destroyed" and Soviet
bases set up.
	When the coup finally came, in September 1973, it was led by
the most extreme fascist members of the military, and it was
unrelenting in its ferocity. Allende was assassinated, although some
CIA apologists maintain he committed suicide-by shooting himself with
a machine gun! Several cabinet ministers were also assassinated, the
universities were put under military control, opposition parties were
banned and thousands of Chileans were tortured and killed, many
fingered as "radicals" by lists provided by the CIA.
	Under the military junta headed by General Pinochet, torture
of dissidents became routine, particularly at a gruesome prison called
Colonia Dignidad. It drew expatriate Nazis from all over South
America, one of whom told a victim that the work of the Nazi death
camps was being continued there.
	No wonder the CIA tries to deny its involvement with the
Chilean coup. It turned a democratic, peace-loving nation into a

References Covert Action in Chile, 1963-1973, a Staff report of The
Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to
Intelligence Activities (US Senate), 18 December 1975.  William Blum,
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II,
(Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, s1995).

CIA + Panama

For most of his life, Manuel Noriega got along very well with the
CIA. As far back as 1959, he was reporting on Panamanian leftists to
the Americans. By 1966, he was on the CIA payroll. Despite-or maybe
because of-Noriega's "perverse" treatment of prisoners, he was deemed
worthy to be trained at the notorious School of the Americas (also
known as the "School of Dictators" or the "School of Assassins"), run
by the US Army in Panama City; it has since moved to Fort Benning,
	As early as 1972, reports of Noriega drug trafficking irked
the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and the State Department complained
of his dealings with other intelligence services, notably those of
Israel and Cuba. Don't worry, said the CIA-he's our boy.
	In 1976, Noriega paid a visit to CIA Director George Bush in
Washington. Bush's successor was less comfortable with Noriega and
took him off the CIA payroll, but when Bush became Vice President in
1980, Noriega went back on, with a six-figure annual salary.
	In 1981, Panama's popular head of state, Omar Torrijos, was
killed in a plane crash; by 1983 Noriega had consolidated his
control. In 1987, a close Noriega aide corroborated what many
suspected-Noriega had sabotaged Torrijos' plane. (The CIA had also
been linked to the assassination, in 1955, of Panama's president,
allegedly with the approval of then vice-president Nixon).
Nothing Noriega did seemed to upset the CIA. If he smuggled cocaine on
Contra supply planes...well, he wasn't the only one. If he beheaded a
political opponent who accused him of drug running...well, he was just
being firm. If he used violence and fraud to steal the 1984 Panamanian
elections...well, we couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome.
	By 1989, however, the love affair was over. Noriega had
angered his handlers by waffling on his opposition to the Sandinistas
in Nicaragua, and he was showing other disquieting signs of
disobedience. In December 1989, US troops invaded Panama to "arrest"
Noriega, slaughtering 2,000-4,000 innocent civilians in the process.
	What changed after the invasion? Violence, fraud and drug
trafficking continued unabated. But, unlike Noriega, Panama's new
rulers knew how to follow orders, and agreed to reconsider the
Torrijos treaties, under which all US military bases in Panama would
be shut down by the year 2000.

References Independent Commission of Inquiry on the US Invasion of
Panama, The US Invasion of Panama: The Truth behind Operation 'Just
Cause,' South End Press, 1991.

CIA + Iran

The history of the CIA in Iran shows that it isn't the failures of the
agency we need to worry about, numerous as they are. Its
successes-Iran is one of the biggest-are far more dangerous.
	The CIA did exactly what was asked of it in Iran, deposing a
mildly nationalist regime that was a minor irritant to US policy
makers. As a direct result, a fiercely nationalist regime came to
power 26 years later, and it has proved to be a major irritant to the
US Government ever since.
	In 1951, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, "the most popular politician
in the country," was elected prime minister of Iran. His major
election plank was the nationalization of the only oil company
operating in Iran at that time-British Petroleum. The nationalization
bill was passed unanimously by the Iranian parliament.
	Though Mossadegh offered BP considerable compensation, his
days were numbered from that point on. The British coordinated an
international economic embargo of Iran, throwing its economy into
chaos. And the CIA, at the request of the British, began spending
millions of dollars on ways to get rid of Mossadegh.  The CIA's plans
hinged on the young Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, a timid and
inexperienced figurehead. (He was a mere shadow of his father, who had
led a pro-Nazi regime during World War II.) In 1953, with CIA backing,
the Shah ordered Mossadegh out of office and appointed a Nazi
collaborator as his successor. Demonstrators filled the streets in
Support of Mossadegh, and the Shah fled to Rome.
	Undaunted, the CIA paid for pro-Shah street demonstrators, who
seized a radio station and announced that the Shah was on his way back
and that Mossadegh had been deposed. In reality, it took a nine hour
tank battle in the streets of Tehran, killing hundreds, to remove
	Compared to the bloodshed to follow, however, that was just a
drop in the bucket. In 1976, Amnesty International concluded that the
Shah's CIA trained security force, SAVAK, had the worst human rights
records in the planet, and that the number and variety of techniques
the CIA had taught SAVAK were "beyond belief."
	Inevitably, in 1979, the Iranian people overthrew the
bloodstained Shah, with great bitterness and hatred toward the US for
installing him and backing him all those years. The radical
fundamentalist regime that rules Iran today could never have found
popular support without the CIA's 1953 coup and the repression that

References Kermit Roosevelt, Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control
of Iran (New York, 1979).  Bahman Nirumand, Iran: The New Imperialism
in Action (New York, 1969).  William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military
and CIA Interventions since World War II (Monroe: Maine, Common
Courage Press, 1995).

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