Thursday, June 24, 2010

CIA at home and abroad

The CIA, since its inception in the late 1940s, has bought, corrupted and otherwise influenced individuals and governments across the world.* Their use of money parallels the way wealth corrupts, buys and otherwise corrupts and over-influences the U.S. government, electorate and other institutions.

Wealthy individuals and corporations make money available to those who serve a narrow, corporate, pro-capitalist agenda and those who will attack and otherwise undermine the efforts of those with a non-corporate, alternative agenda.

The CIA did it in Iran, essentially buying a revolution, over-throwing a democratically elected government, in the early 50s. Same scenario in Guatemala, same time-frame. Gangsters were used to intimidate and corrupt unions and political parties, in France and Italy after World War II., sometimes in exchange for allowing heroine smuggling into the U.S. I risk the obvious: the U.S. consistently chooses to ally itself with criminals against citizens innocently practicing democracy.

Oil-rich Texans influenced the direction of our "democracy" by funding right wing groups such as ex-CIA agent William F. Buckley’s National Review and other activities and other even zanier right wingers such as the John Birch Society. They did not restrict themselves to Texas, targeting “liberal” senators across the nation, lavishly funding their opponents, usually staunch embracers of the religion of anti-communism, meaning actually pro-capitalist privilege. Wealthy activists in other parts of the country may not have been as flamboyant but were no less commited in their determination to undermine democracy.

The ideology of anti-communism is not principled opposition to the lack of justice and democracy, its gulags etc; as is shown by the alliances mentioned above with gangsters, and in the enthusiastic support for brutal regimes world-wide practicing the very evils they, rhetorically, decry. The threat of Communism to these “patriots” is not in its corruption but in its promise of equality and condemnation of class privilege.

*Legacy of Ashes, a History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

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