CIA — 71 Years of Torture, Narco Trade & Regime Change [UPDATE : Australia 1975]

“The Eagle = vigilance, a symbol of our nation. The Defense Shield = intelligence as our nation’s first line of defense. The 16-Point Compass Rose = information coming in from all points of the globe & being brought together at one central place.”

CIA Tweet — September 18 2018

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President. (…) We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”

US President Harry Truman (December 22, 1963)

On September 18 2018, the CIA has tweeted a GIF marking its 71st birthday. Some folks took the opportunity to express their sincere thanks to the intelligence agency for the work it does. Many were not so kind. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: On This Day — The Central Intelligence Agency Act Is Signed (June 20 1949)

RELATED POST: CIA — Memorial Ceremony 2018

RELATED POST: Parody –“Party In The CIA” by “Weird Al” Yankovic

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — The long history of CIA involvement in the international narcotics trade — [Documentary]

RELATED POST: Former CIA Director James Woolsey: “US meddles in foreign elections – but only for a very good cause”

UPDATE (October 5 2019) — Responding to news that Attorney General Bill Barr reached out to intelligence agencies in Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom for help in probing Russiagate, Senator Mark Warner made the following comment during a NBC interview:

“Can you imagine if the CIA was asked to provide damaging evidence on a political opponent in Australia?

There would be outrage in our political establishment.”

Indeed such tactics would be so disgusting, so un-American. There is just one little glitch. The CIA did precisely that in 1975!

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam had proposed shutting down Pine Gap — the U.S. satellite intelligence gathering center in central Australia — and exposing a joint UK – U.S. intelligence operation in Australia. Bad idea…

The Americans and British worked together. In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain’s MI6 was operating against his government.

“The Brits were actually decoding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office,” he said later.

One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, “We knew MI6 was bugging cabinet meetings for the Americans.” In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the “Whitlam problem” had been discussed “with urgency” by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: “[governor-general of Australia, Sir John Kerr] did what he was told to do.”


On 11 November—the day Whitlam was to inform parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia—he was summoned by Kerr.

Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers,” Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence. [The British-American coup that ended Australian independence — John Pilger]

So Senator Warner, yes, we can imagine the CIA interfering in Australian politics because it actually happened. However, we do not recall the outrage in your political establishment.


One Twitter user [Andres] suggested that 71 years might be a good time to “call it quits and let the people of the world live in peace”.

The CIA was created under the National Security Act of 1947. Two years later, President Truman signed the Central Intelligence Agency Act, which authorized CIA to secretly fund intelligence operations and conduct personnel actions outside of standard US Government procedures.

By 1963, Truman admitted in writing that he was seriously “disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment.”

I think it is fair to say that President Truman would be horrified to learn what the CIA has become.

CIA Interference in Foreign Elections

Dov Levin, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie-Mellon University, found that the U.S. attempted to influence the elections of foreign countries as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000.

Levin’s figures do not include military coups or regime change attempts following the election of a candidate the U.S. opposed, such as when the CIA helped overthrow Mohammad Mosaddeq, Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, in 1953.

By Levin’s count, Russia attempted to interfere in other countries’ elections 36 times between the end of World War II and the end of the 20th century.

Even after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the U.S. continued its interventions abroad, including elections in Israel, former Czechoslovakia, and even Russia in 1996, Levin found.

Since 2000, the U.S. has attempted to sway elections in Ukraine, Kenya, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, among others.

A Timeline of CIA Atrocities

The following timeline — initially published in 1997 — was based on the work of William Blum. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (1995). It has been extended by Ron Standahl.


The culture we lost — Secretary of State Henry Stimson refuses to endorse a code-breaking operation, saying, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”


COI created — In preparation for World War II, President Roosevelt creates the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI). General William “Wild Bill” Donovan heads the new intelligence service.


OSS created — Roosevelt restructures COI into something more suitable for covert action, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan recruits so many of the nation’s rich and powerful that eventually people joke that “OSS” stands for “Oh, so social!” or “Oh, such snobs!”


Italy — Donovan recruits the Catholic Church in Rome to be the center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. This would prove to be one of America’s most enduring intelligence alliances in the Cold War.


OSS is abolished — The remaining American information agencies cease covert actions and return to harmless information gathering and analysis.

Operation PAPERCLIP – While other American agencies are hunting down Nazi war criminals for arrest, the U.S. intelligence community is smuggling them into America, unpunished, for their use against the Soviets. The most important of these is Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s master spy who had built up an intelligence network in the Soviet Union. With full U.S. blessing, he creates the “Gehlen Organization,” a band of refugee Nazi spies who reactivate their networks in Russia.

These include SS intelligence officers Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (who massacred Jews in the Holocaust), Klaus Barbie (the “Butcher of Lyon”), Otto von Bolschwing (the Holocaust mastermind who worked with Eichmann) and SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny (a personal friend of Hitler’s). The Gehlen Organization supplies the U.S. with its only intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next ten years, serving as a bridge between the abolishment of the OSS and the creation of the CIA. However, much of the “intelligence” the former Nazis provide is bogus. Gehlen inflates Soviet military capabilities at a time when Russia is still rebuilding its devastated society, in order to inflate his own importance to the Americans (who might otherwise punish him). In 1948, Gehlen almost convinces the Americans that war is imminent, and the West should make a preemptive strike. In the 50s he produces a fictitious “missile gap.” To make matters worse, the Russians have thoroughly penetrated the Gehlen Organization with double agents, undermining the very American security that Gehlen was supposed to protect.


Greece — President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces fighting communist rebels. For the rest of the Cold War, Washington and the CIA will back notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.

CIA created — President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC — there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to “perform such other functions and duties… as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks.


Covert-action wing created — The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include “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.”

Italy — The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works — the communists are defeated.


Radio Free Europe — The CIA creates its first major propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.

Late 40s

Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.


Iran – CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.

Operation MK-ULTRA — Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising, hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.


Guatemala — CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.


North Vietnam — CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy, land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing failure results in escalating American intervention, culminating in the Vietnam War.


Hungary — Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.


Laos — The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an “Armee Clandestine” of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.


Haiti — The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tonton Macoutes,” who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.


The Bay of Pigs — The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But “Operation Mongoose” fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion will spark a popular uprising against Castro -– which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.

Dominican Republic — The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.

Ecuador — The CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.

Congo (Zaire) — The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.


Dominican Republic — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.

Ecuador — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.


Brazil — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down “communists” for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these “communists” are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.


Indonesia — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being “communist.” The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.

Dominican Republic — A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.

Greece — With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece.

Congo (Zaire) — A CIA-backed military coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.


The Ramparts Affair — The radical magazine Ramparts begins a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops: the CIA has paid the University of Michigan $25 million dollars to hire “professors” to train South Vietnamese students in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received similar payments. Ramparts also reveals that the National Students’ Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.


Greece — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government two days before the elections. The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate. During the next six years, the “reign of the colonels” — backed by the CIA — will usher in the widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents. When a Greek ambassador objects to President Johnson about U.S. plans for Cyprus, Johnson tells him: “Fuck your parliament and your constitution.”

Operation PHOENIX — The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report, this operation killed about 20,000 “Viet Cong.”


Operation CHAOS — The CIA has been illegally spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS, President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators, which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations.

Bolivia — A CIA-organized military operation captures legendary guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation, but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls for clemency.


Uruguay — The notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. “The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect,” is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’. He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.


Cambodia — The CIA overthrows Prince Sahounek, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them out of the Vietnam War. He is replaced by CIA puppet Lon Nol, who immediately throws Cambodian troops into battle. This unpopular move strengthens once minor opposition parties like the Khmer Rouge, which achieves power in 1975 and massacres millions of its own people.


Bolivia — After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed.

Haiti — “Papa Doc” Duvalier dies, leaving his 19-year old son “Baby Doc” Duvalier the dictator of Haiti. His son continues his bloody reign with full knowledge of the CIA.


The Case-Zablocki Act — Congress passes an act requiring congressional review of executive agreements. In theory, this should make CIA operations more accountable. In fact, it is only marginally effective.

Cambodia — Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret war in Cambodia.

Watergate Break-in — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.


Chile — The CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.

CIA begins internal investigations — William Colby, the Deputy Director for Operations, orders all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they know about. This information is later reported to Congress.

Watergate Scandal — The CIA’s main collaborating newspaper in America, The Washington Post, reports Nixon’s crimes long before any other newspaper takes up the subject. The two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, make almost no mention of the CIA’s many fingerprints all over the scandal. It is later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House, and knows many important intelligence figures, including General Alexander Haig. His main source, “Deep Throat,” is probably one of those.

CIA Director Helms Fired — President Nixon fires CIA Director Richard Helms for failing to help cover up the Watergate scandal. Helms and Nixon have always disliked each other. The new CIA director is William Colby, who is relatively more open to CIA reform.


CHAOS exposed — Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh publishes a story about Operation CHAOS, the domestic surveillance and infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. The story sparks national outrage.

Angleton fired — Congress holds hearings on the illegal domestic spying efforts of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. His efforts included mail-opening campaigns and secret surveillance of war protesters. The hearings result in his dismissal from the CIA.

House clears CIA in Watergate — The House of Representatives clears the CIA of any complicity in Nixon’s Watergate break-in.

The Hughes Ryan Act — Congress passes an amendment requiring the president to report nonintelligence CIA operations to the relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.


Australia — The CIA helps topple the democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam. The CIA does this by giving an ultimatum to its Governor-General, John Kerr. Kerr, a longtime CIA collaborator, exercises his constitutional right to dissolve the Whitlam government. The Governor-General is a largely ceremonial position appointed by the Queen; the Prime Minister is democratically elected. The use of this archaic and never-used law stuns the nation.

Angola — Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This polarizes Angolan politics and drives his opponents into the arms of Cuba and the Soviet Union for survival. Congress will cut off funds in 1976, but the CIA is able to run the war off the books until 1984, when funding is legalized again. This entirely pointless war kills over 300,000 Angolans.

“The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” — Victor Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA, eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official in the State Department.

“Inside the Company” — Philip Agee publishes a diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which he took part.

Congress investigates CIA wrong-doing — Public outrage compels Congress to hold hearings on CIA crimes. Senator Frank Church heads the Senate investigation (“The Church Committee”), and Representative Otis Pike heads the House investigation. (Despite a 98 percent incumbency reelection rate, both Church and Pike are defeated in the next elections.) The investigations lead to a number of reforms intended to increase the CIA’s accountability to Congress, including the creation of a standing Senate committee on intelligence. However, the reforms prove ineffective, as the Iran/Contra scandal will show. It turns out the CIA can control, deal with or sidestep Congress with ease.

The Rockefeller Commission — In an attempt to reduce the damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the “Rockefeller Commission” to whitewash CIA history and propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five of the commission’s eight members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.


Iran — The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Afghanistan — The Soviets invade Afghanistan. The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt. Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry. One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.

El Salvador — An idealistic group of young military officers, repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government. Soon, things are back to “normal” — the military government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves powerless, resign in disgust.

Nicaragua — Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.


El Salvador — The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter “Christian to Christian” to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority. CIA-trained death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.


Iran/Contra Begins — The CIA begins selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. President Reagan vows that the Sandinistas will be “pressured” until “they say ‘uncle.’” The CIA’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual disbursed to the Contras includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination.


Honduras — The CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious “Battalion 316” then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered.


The Boland Amendment — The last of a series of Boland Amendments is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras; the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William Casey is already prepared to “hand off” the operation to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network. This includes “humanitarian aid” donated by Adolph Coors and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.


Eugene Hasenfus — Nicaragua shoots down a C-123 transport plane carrying military supplies to the Contras. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, turns out to be a CIA employee, as are the two dead pilots. The airplane belongs to Southern Air Transport, a CIA front. The incident makes a mockery of President Reagan’s claims that the CIA is not illegally arming the Contras.

Iran/Contra Scandal — Although the details have long been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures (like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community. CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal are purely cosmetic.

Haiti — Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that “Baby Doc” Duvalier will remain “President for Life” only if he has a short one. The U.S., which hates instability in a puppet country, flies the despotic Duvalier to the South of France for a comfortable retirement. The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.


Panama — The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington… so out he goes.


Haiti — Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates, leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous priest as mentally unstable.


The Gulf War — The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas. It also gave him all the military might he needed to conduct further adventurism — in Kuwait, for example.

The Fall of the Soviet Union — The CIA fails to predict this most important event of the Cold War. This suggests that it has been so busy undermining governments that it hasn’t been doing its primary job: gathering and analyzing information. The fall of the Soviet Union also robs the CIA of its reason for existence: fighting communism. This leads some to accuse the CIA of intentionally failing to predict the downfall of the Soviet Union. Curiously, the intelligence community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the demise of communism.


Economic Espionage — In the years following the end of the Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering, the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.


Haiti — The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to the country’s ruling class.


Sudan – The CIA sends $20 million to the Sudanese opposition by way of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda to destabilize the government in an attempt to get them to cooperate with the US on investigations and to expel Osama Bin Laden and 300 of his associates. The Sudanese argued that this was a huge mistake because while in Sudan they monitored him and his associates, read their mail, and kept track of them. Exactly as predicted (and likely the CIA goal all along) once Bin Laden and co. left Sudan and hid out in Afghanistan they couldn’t be tracked anywhere.

Iraq – The CIA decided to use the occasion of UN weapon’s inspectors entering Iraq to try to stage a coup to remove Saddam Hussein. Before the coup could make much headway it was discovered by Hussein’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, who arrested all of the CIA coup assets, then called the CIA’s secret line used by the coup to tell them that the game was up. The CIA pulled out of the weapon’s inspection and hid any trace of their involvement.


Venezuela – After Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced the US invasion of Afghanistan as terror, the US recalled its ambassador to Venezuela and sent Charles Shapiro as new ambassador. Shapiro had extensive experience with coups in his capacity in Chile and El Salvador. CIA-front NGO NED (National Endowment for Democracy) was sent to Venezuela and began channeling first hundred of thousands and then millions of dollars to try to establish and build an opposition to Chavez. Meanwhile, the US ambassador groomed Pedro Carmona, the head of Venezuela’s Chamber of Commerce, to be the new President. A staged demonstration was used to have the military take Chavez into custody and put Carmona in place as president, but a widespread revolt by the people demanded that Chavez be reinstated, which he was.


Iraq – After the US military invades Iraq on false pretenses, the CIA recruits 27 brigades of “Special Police,” merging the most brutal of Saddam’s security forces with the Iranian-trained Badr militia to form death squads that murdered tens of thousands of mostly Sunni Arab men and boys in Baghdad and elsewhere in a reign of terror that continues to this day.


Ukraine – In an attempt to continue to turn former Soviet states in to NATO stronghold, the CIA launched a campaign to oust the president of Ukraine and install a US puppet. CIA-controlled NGO USAID, as well as CIA -compliant NGOs Freedom House and Soros’ Open Society, flooded Ukraine with money to establish and grow an opposition to the current president. The CIA has been said to have spent $14 million to get a color revolution going to oust the pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and put in his place CIA-puppet Viktor Yushchenko. As soon as the people of Ukraine could vote again in 2010, the resoundingly got rid of the US puppet and returned Yanukovych to power.

Haiti – Former president Aristide is allowed to take over Haiti only after agreeing to demands by the CIA. After eventually deciding that President Aristide would not play ball, the CIA trained what they called “Haitian rebel forces” just over the border in the Dominican Republic. These troops were later used to invade Haiti and depose Aristide.


Iran – President Bush authorizes the CIA to undertake black operations in an attempt to destabilize the Iranian government. Over the next few year $215 million was allocated to this project, much of it spent on dissident groups and radicals. The nature of this changed when it was decided to instead take out Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility as a way of dissuading Israel from attacking it with nuclear weapons. A joint CIA/Israeli team worked on a plan to insert viral code into the Iranian computers that controlled the centrifuges. This virus would eventually become known as the Stuxnet virus.


Somalia – After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991 the country fell into chaos. As a result, a system of sharia law-based courts became the main judicial system. Funded through litigant fees, it eventually came to offer citizens services such as education and healthcare, acted as local police forces. It was so successful that these courts joined together to form the Islamic Courts Union. A successful Islamic government could not be allowed by the CIA in the era of the War on Terror, so the CIA funded secular warlords to create an opposition called the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. By claiming that the arms flooding the country by the CIA for their secular group were instead intended for the Islamic Courts Union, the CIA was able to get the Ethiopian military to attack Somalia and begin the devastating War in Somalia. Most of the CIA actions were run from their station house in Nairobi, Kenya.


Honduras – The CIA sponsors a coup d’etat to oust the left-leaning President Manuel Zalaya. The military junta running things behind the scenes conducts severe repression using death squads to murder political opponents, union organizers, and journalists.


Libya – Since his coming to power in 1969 the CIA has tried at least four times to overthrow or otherwise remove Muammar Gadhafi, several of which were in partnership with the Israeli Mossad. Numerous acts of terrorism were committed by the CIA as well as the Mossad and blamed on Gadhafi and Libya. Two particular events pushed the CIA to finally destroy Libya: first Gadhafi stated that he would find other places to sell Libya’s oil and cut off the US and Europe. The US and Europe are highly dependent on the very high quality “sweet” oil extremely low in sulfur only found in Libya (European refineries cannot process higher sulfur crude oil). Second, Gadhafi announced that he was launching a currency for all of Africa called the Gold Dinar. This currency would be backed by Libya with gold and would be the currency for the continent. As a result, Gadhafi would no longer sell Libyan oil in US dollars. So the standard ops were set in motion: CIA covers NGOs NED and USAID began setting up and funding opposition to Gadhafi in Libya. The Libyan people proved so loyal to Gadhafi that the CIA was forced to bring in Al Qaeda forces and claim that they were Libyan rebels. Once this fake uprising was put in place, the US claimed that Gadhafi was killing 100-of-thousands of his own people – while providing zero proof. They then used NATO and UN forces to completely destroy the billions of dollars in infrastructure that Gadhafi had put in place for the Libyan people, eventually having the CIA agents tell the Al Qaeda rebels where to find Gadhafi and they then killed him.


Syria – The CIA began covertly funding a Syrian opposition as early as 2006. But it was with the fall of Libya that the project went into overdrive. The CIA took the weapons and many of them into Libya and moved them into terrorist groups in Syria. Classified documents show that even after being warned that that funding terrorist groups would lead to the formation of ISIS/ISIL the response was that it would be a “strategic advantage” over the Assad government and drag it into a proxy war. The ultimate goal was the support of a plan from Israel to break Syria and Iraq into smaller ethnic states: the ISIS/ISIL group would form Sunnistan, and the Kurds would form Kurdistan, with others to follow after these were established. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 Syrian soldiers have died fighting this CIA proxy was. It has only been the requested intervention of the Russian government that stopped Syria succumbing to the fate of Libya.


Venezuela – With the death of Hugo Chavez of cancer (the 5th leader of a South American country opposed to the US to suffer from cancer within 5 years) the CIA saw it’s opportunity to finally destabilize Venezuela. In the run-up to the election one month following Chavez’ death, the main candidates were Nicolas Maduro (Chavez’ hand-picked successor), and Henrique Capriles (the right-wing candidate). The CIA closely supported, trained and funded Capriles in the hopes of his winning, but even if he didn’t he would act as a destabilizing force for Venezuela. The initial plan had been for a tight, acrimonious campaign with called from Capriles of vote tampering/rigging etc. and then the CIA planned to assassinate Capriles so that the Maduro campaign would get the blame, throwing the country into chaos. The Maduro administration found out about the plot and announced it to the press, do gales of shocked denial by the US. Once Maduro won the election Capriles began a campaign of accusations and calls for international support for him. The CIA has used old friends NED and USAID to stage the usual group of students and others as opposition to destabilize the government of Maduro while the US has been causing havoc with Venezuela’s economy.


Ukraine – For the second time in 10 years, the CIA staged another coup in Ukraine. Using almost exactly the same model, NGOs were brought in to fund an opposition, it has been claimed that the US spent $5 billion on this coup. Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay was also a prominent funder of the coup. Staged violence was also used to try and pin the blame on those loyal to Yanukovych. This time though, the CIA planned to remove most of the pro-Russian voted by creating hostilities with the largely Russian east of Ukraine. The coup leaders fraudulently claimed that the Prime Minister was no longer in charge and seized power. Yanukovich fled to Russia, and the CIA and it’s new puppet regime began a civil war with the Russian sympathetic east Ukrainians.


Venezuela – The CIA had again tried to stage a coup in Venzuela, this time to take down Chavez’ successor President Nicolas Maduro.  The CIA plan had been to use NGOs again to incite unrest in the streets, then to overthrow the elected government with a campaign of violence, including mass killings and tactical bombings of strategic sites across Caracas. When the dust cleared, the coup plotters expected key government officials, including Maduro to have been assassinated, with the country then firmly in their control. Unfortunately for the CIA, the Maduro government found out, arrested all the coup leaders, revealed the US embassy coordination, and revealed all to the media.


Brazil – After the 2010 election, and 2014 re-election of left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff, the NSA and CIA worked together to oust her from power, the final straw being Brazil’s involvement in BRICS (the monetary organization of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). Using the wildly corrupt Brazilian congress the NSA and CIA provided collected info to allow the Senate and Lower House to fraudulently impeach her. Temer, her replacement, is widely hated, rampantly corrupt, and a CIA proxy. He is expected to start privatizing much of Brazil’s natural resources.

South Africa – Once South Africa joined the BRICS economic group, the CIA began its usual destabilization games. CIA-controlled NGOs were brought in to create and grow opposition to President Jacob Zuma, which recently took the form of Student Protests over fees.

Every Government the CIA Has Overthrown and What Happened Next

Who needs the CIA? Documentary 1997

In the late 1990’s the CIA was in crisis and elites in Washington were seriously talking about closing the CIA down….. but then along came 9/11.


CIA — Official Twitter site

Limit CIA Role To Intelligence by Harry S. Truman — Washington Post (December 22, 1963)

A Timeline of CIA Atrocities — Global Research

Yet Another Timeline of CIA Atrocities by Ron Sandahl


CIA — 71 Years of Torture & Regime Change

CIA — 71 Years of Torture, Narco Trade & Regime Change [UPDATE : Australia 1975]

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