Dulles is worthy of a number of essays. Nowadays, punters from both left and right agree Dulles and his brother John Foster were ugly stains on American and world history.
There is no finer tribute to these scions of virtue than the CIA. The delicate rosebud Allen Dulles helped nurture, and effectively ran from its creation in 1947. When some naïve scholars look at the CIA, they note Dulles served under three different DCI’s prior to his ascension in early 1953.
However, Dulles had been a high up in U.S. intelligence dating back prior to WWI. He ran his own club within the agency and was the organization’s prime link to corporate America. His power within these circles was such Dulles was still pulling the strings at the CIA when he left after getting the sack. John McCone, his replacement, had no idea what Dulles loyal underlings like Richard Helms were doing.
The following unethical projects all came about or had the involvement of these two wonderful human beings.
MK Ultra (1947-1973)
MK Ultra, which officially began in 1953, encompassed its precursors “Chatter” (1947), “Bluebird” (1950) and “Artichoke” (1951). Via Ultra, the agency dabbled in mind/population control, torture, and resistance techniques.
We only have a limited idea of how far the CIA went. Dulles’ beloved underboss, Dick Helms, burned all of the documents in 1973; however, we have John D Marks to thank for his excellent book “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control.” (1) Marks’ work has primarily given us what we now know today. Moreover, ace researchers like Martin Cannon have also made useful contributions. (2)
The CIA’s tamer stuff in this realm would apparently goes into Stargate, and the darker MJ-12 stuff merged with Operation Chaos. While interesting (I will hit “Chaos” soon enough) this is beside the point. While some of MK-Ultra’s experiments used willing student volunteers (for LSD for exampl), it was the unwitting, unwilling, the poor, weak, sick, the infirm, the insane, and the incarcerated, that made up the majority of its nameless, faceless, victims.
Hence, it is ironic that one of the few victims the CIA is willing to discuss was an employee. Oh yes, I forgot to say the honest company men and women.
The man went crazy and fell some 150 feet out of the Hotel Pennsylvania’s window in Manhattan on the 28th of November, 1953. The agent was Dr. Frank Olson; however, Olsen did not leap out of the window, the coroners exhuming his body believe he had received blunt force trauma to the back of his head prior to leaving the premises.
The CIA claimed it was a bad trip and suicide, a mistake in other words. The problem is the evidence accumulated by Olson’s eldest son indicates his dad’s growing disenchantment with illegal CIA operations and experiments with bio-weaponry. (3)
Operation Chaos (1948-1973)
Operation Chaos was an exotic creature. Some say it started in 1967 under Lyndon Johnson; nevertheless, that is only the official date. According to Vern Lyon, it began sometime near ’59. Nevertheless, Lyon is an apologist for Richard Helms, the man who effectively ran it after Dulles, and who shut it down in 1973 (like MK Ultra – supposedly). (4)
The CIA and FBI had infiltrated ethnic and student groups with supposed Communist ties from the late 40’s. Hell, they had even funded the National Students Association from 1952-1967 (5)
Chaos aim was to control, cause division, and disunity in the progressive counter culture movement. Indeed, chaos and MK-Ultra are closely linked in my and many others’ opinions. To discuss all of the crossovers, and theories would make this essay even longer than it is. Suffice to say, many legitimate non-kook sources now consider Gloria Steinem, Tim Leary, and Ron Stark to be assets or informants of U.S intelligence agencies. (6) (7) These guys aren’t cult heroes in any way or form.
How deep the Chaos-Ultra rabbit hole went is unknown; moreover, I think it is still running in some form.
Nevertheless, discussions on Chaos-Ultra are pointless from Alex Jones. Speaking of conspiratards, it is a shame some over imaginative types have made a number of dubious statements concerning Jim Jones’ and Charles Manson’s roles in Chaos-Ultra. Because, when one strips away the crap, there are some points to ponder.
The problem is you can only make up your mind with the best information, of which, there is sod all. Hence, Jim Hougan has a fascinating take on Jones. The stuff on Manson is not quite so accurate. Nevertheless, this article from RobertsCourt.com gives an interesting overview of the weird stuff going on at the time. (8) (9)
Operation Gladio (1947 – 1992)
While there had been rumblings of discontent from the independent press in Europe concerning intelligence operations against civilians and politicians, the CIA and NATO kept “Operation Gladio” out of the world press for a period of almost fifty years. It was not until a mistake in programming by the BBC in 1992, which let out an episode of “time watch” air, which detailed the inner workings of the operation. It is an amazing documentary, perhaps the BBC’s finest. (10)
Gladio was dreamed up amidst fairs of the Communists sweeping through Europe. The OSS/CIA and Allied powers created stay-behind groups of ex-soldiers and intelligence operatives. The problem was they did not choose apolitical pros to monitor Western Europe. The blokes invariably making up the stay-behind units were extremely right of center. The use of ultra-right wingers does not surprise the learned in these matters. Charming individuals like Nazi Reinhardt Gehlen and his spy network played a massive part in Gladio.
Gladio much like the other projects is far too broad to discuss in three paragraphs. If you want to understand postmodern Europe and the infiltration of political groups at home and abroad (check out the debates surrounding the CIA’s probable infiltration of The Weather Underground and Baader-Meinhof groups for starters). Indeed, as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers have discussed the planting and supplanting of political movements are now the norm. (11) (12)
Thus, an understanding of Gladio is essential to any credible non Alex Jones wannabe intelligence researcher. Moreover, the best non-kook source for Gladio fun and games comes from the excellent Daniele Ganser. (13)
Operation Phoenix (1965-1972)
Operation Phoenix/Phoenix Program achieved two things. While it certainly plucked out some local Vietcong cells, it also terrorized, raped, murdered, and tortured vast numbers of innocent civilians. Thus, in rooting out NVA supporters it created many, many, more.
Part of the problem with the operation was that the CIA worked alongside the South Vietnamese military. They cared less about insurgency than extorting the locals like gangsters. (14)
Thus, it often boiled down to the fact that if you didn’t pay up you were VC; this meant you got a one way ticket up in a chopper, and a free trip back to earth from a few hundred feet. That was if you were lucky.
Picking on the South Vietnamese armed forces is a little selective nevertheless. The CIA brass oversaw and condoned all of these operations practically. Moreover, we all know about the My Lai massacre. My Lai (and too many others to mention) proved to be right at the heart of Phoenix and the U.S failure to win popular support. (15)
The more I have read about the CIA’s role in Vietnam over the years, the more shocked I become concerning how competent, committed ex-CIA agents noted how incompetent the CIA brass at the infamous Saigon mission was. The mission consistently ignored professional intelligence operatives and analysts. Instead, they preferred to acknowledge sources confirming their beliefs about enemy movements. Whence did this information come? Well, it was from the same South Vietnamese thugs raping, murdering, and pimping women and children. (16)
Thus, the old “the Pentagon ignored our information” excuse bandied around by the agency’s big men like Helms (who became DCI in 1966, and presided over Phoenix’s until its stop in 1972) is hilarious, and it reminds me of a rabid, wolf crying warning of its ugly twin.
Operation Phoenix claimed the lives of a sickening 20,000 – 40,000+ Vietnamese. It is impossible to calculate two things. First, how many legitimate VC sympathisers they caught. Second, how many blows back from Phoenix operations increased the U.S. overall casualty list. No one doubts it did. (17)
Some people may think it strange I choose this at the top of the CIA’s unethical doings. It is certainly not very bloody. However, this operation protected and enveloped everything we have discussed practically.
Had citizens of the United States known about the CIA’s Cold War antics as it happened maybe, just maybe, the intelligence mad house we have today could have lessened or halted. As it stands, from the end of WWII to the first and only genuine investigations into the agency in the mid ‘70’s, U.S. intelligence the CIA, and the U.S intelligence community had enjoyed massive growth, and enormous black budgets.
In the 70’s and ‘80’s (Iran/Contra), the CIA could out wait Congress and the Senate. Moreover, they now had numerous allies in both and could downplay reporting in the press. Namely, by making sure news editors could call reports “old news” and junk stories. Ironically, this is after they had said they had abandoned sensational stories like “Mockingbird”.
Mockingbird was the brainchild of Dulles’ pals Cord Myer, CD Jackson, and Frank Wisner. While it officially kicked off in 1952-53, Mockingbird had been around since 1948. Moreover, if we include the OSS, and its ties to the media in WWII, we can see there had been an extremely long relationship.
There are some excellent articles and books about Mockingbird out there. The most celebrated is by famous Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein “The CIA and the Media” from 1977. (18) Deborah Davies’ controversial “Katharine the Great” and “Into the Buzzsaw” by Kristina Borjesson. (19) (20)
Issues with CIA
As stated in the beginning, there are so many CIA activities to report on. Assassinations (foreign and domestic) are other areas of debate worthy of good non Alex Jones research. The overthrow of democratically elected governments is another. For the purpose of this essay, they are in a different category of shame.
Thus, the above initiatives are scary because they are likely still in operation in some way. For example, was the CIA’s pumping crack into black communities a Chaos offshoot? What kind of Phoenix-like operations are the U.S. and Israel currently running in the Middle East? Is Mockingbird now part of the Sunnstein program feeding us with idiots like Alex Jones? (21)
Indeed, Phoenix is important to mention again. In that section, I made the point concerning professional operatives, and analysts disenfranchised with incompetence at higher levels. Very little has changed it would seem.
Were truly competent individuals running U.S. intelligence from the grass roots up, rather than top down? It is obvious to anyone with a brain there would be improvements in all aspects of U.S. intelligence. The problem is with more efficiency, less money is required, which means less funding is necessary and thus there is less power for those running the show.
The folks running these agencies invariably come from the same privileged world that Allen Dulles and his partner in the above atrocities, Dick Helms, did. Any agency commandeered by elites of this caliber is going to face PR problems. More so if they fail to realize how destructive their actions were.
References & Image Credits:
(1) Manchurian Candidate
(5) American Buddha
(6) Rigorous Intuition
(8) Jim Hougan
(9) Robert’s Court
(12) Global Research
(13) Daniele Ganser
(14) Counter Punch
(15) Vietnam War 1961
(17) Third World Traveler
(18) Carl Bernstein
(19) Spartacus Educational
(20) Freedom of the Press
(21) TSW: Why Alex Jones and Poorly Researched Conspiracies Are So Popular
(22) Wikipedia: Images