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Clear out the manure in the CIA stables!

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Mackenzie, A. 'SECRETS: THE CIA'S WAR AT HOME', Berkeley, CA, 1997.

Posted in a-infozine V1 #654. The A-Infos News Service. COMMANDS:

'An eye-opening expose', the result of 15 years of investigative work, uncovers the CIA's systematic efforts over several decades to suppress and censor information and to manipulate academia, the domestic media and control Congressional oversight. A very informative and important book. Below are a few extracts.

University of California Press.

DCI Gates ordered DeTrani of Public Affairs to explore openness (for a public relations campaign). DeTrani said the CIA had a wide range of contacts with academics through recruiting, professional societies, and contractual agreements which could be expanded. CIA should sponsor more academic conferences and bring scholars to Langley and expand the officer-in-residence program which then had 13 CIA officers at universities. He recommended expanding CIA work with the media. He wanted CIA to declassify certain files to put the CIA in more positive light. By assisting journalists, "intelligence failure" stories could be turned into "intelligence success," stories -- and boasted of past successes -- "In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories..." He recommended helping friendly Hollywood directors by allowing them to shoot movies at Langley. He wanted to cooperate with feature writers. Other propaganda could be aimed directly at the public via unclassified versions of the Agency's Studies In Intelligence and CIA officers could step up the number of their speeches - a CIA speakers bureau was established in 1990. DeTrani wanted the CIA to try to better manipulate Congress. Gates accepted the suggestion to persuade friendly journalists to write profiles of CIA officers. Gates assigned more TV time for himself. Gates approved propagandizing the general public through press releases detailing the CIA's history, mission and functions in the new world order. He encouraged setting up intelligence studies programs on campuses and finding universities to publish CIA-subsidized articles. pp. 185-188.

CIA organized the Unauthorized Disclosures Analysis Center (UDAC) to monitor the news media and to stop leaks. Commanded by Dell Bragan, UDAC was staffed by full-time intelligence officers. CIA officers around the nation were tasked to by UDAC to keep track of reporters who obtained news stories through leaks. Mark Mansfield said UDAC was the coordinating center to combat disclosures. In addition to UDAC, CIA had an even more secretive unit that investigates leaks, performs damage assessments, and investigates journalists. Located in the Office of Security and called the Special Security Office, the unit reports to UDAC. Journalists were analyzed by how many unauthorized disclosures they printed a year -- columnist Jack Anderson, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and Bill Gertz were often at the top of the list. pp. 178-180.

VP Bush chaired a cabinet-level Task Force on Combating Terrorism. He used terrorism as justification for domestic spying against groups lobbying Congress to ban Contra funding. This when statistics showed domestic terrorist incidents declining rapidly. But the 34-page "Public Report of the Vice President's Task Force on Combating Terrorism of 1986 ," urged Intel agencies involve themselves in "conventional human and technical intelligence capabilities that penetrate terrorist groups and their support systems." This when the FBI said domestic terrorism was virtually nonexistent. Following directions, FBI conducted 8,450 domestic terrorism investigations in 86, even though they reported only 17 actual terrorist incidents that year. The FBI was conducting political spying under the terrorism label. pp. 147-151.

Richard Helms cautioned Ober, head of the MHCHAOS program, re the doubtful legality of MHCHAOS, to describe the operation within the CIA and the intelligence community as an operation against international terrorism. but the illegal domestic operation, MHCHAOS targeted radical youths, blacks, women and antiwar militants. "international terrorist" was designated to replace "political dissident" as the justification for illegal domestic operations. helms transferred the MHCHAOS operation to the international terrorism group. "let's call domestic spying a response to terrorism." pp. 46-49

USSR, 1985-91
Melvin Goodwin, former CIA Division Chief in Soviet foreign policy was a witness at the confirmation hearings for Robert Gates to be DCI. Goodwin testified that Gates had, over a period of years as Deputy Director of CIA, had given Congress and the president misleading and politicized intelligence. "Gates role was to corrupt the process and the ethics of intelligence...[and] to ignore and suppress signs of Soviet strategic retreat." p. 183.

Nicaragua, El Salvador, 1981-90
The House intelligence Committee knew that the Sandinistas were not shipping arms to Communist guerrillas in El Salvador, as claimed by Reagan, "But we were unable to respond to the President's assertions because this information was classified," per Congressman Lee Hamilton, later. Senator Moynihan said "I knew the President's claim could not be substantiated, but I knew this from classified briefings which a chairman or vice chairman of suck a committee is sworn not to discuss in public." He said secrecy: "effect is to hide things from the American people that they need to know." pp. 172-3.

An eleven-year CIA career officer, Thomas R. Smeeton, had become minority counsel to the House Intel Committee -- beginning in 1990, Smeeton made repeated attempts to convince members of Congress to take oaths to uphold executive secrecy classifications. He devised an oath which gave CIA yet another hold over congressional oversight. pp. 173-4.

An annotated list of some FBI Surveillance Targets during the 1980s is given in the appendix. pp. 203-207.

A photograph of CIA agent Salvatore John Ferrera when he was infiltrating the "Quicksilver Times and other news organizations in Illinois and California. He legally changed his name to Allen Vincent Carter and fled to the Southern California suburb of Costa Mesa. In 1980, Angus Mackenzie confronted him at his hideout -- and he denied he worked for CIA. Angus showed him copies of the informant reports he had sent to CIA Hqs -- he slammed the door. passim.

Censoring books, particularly Marchetti's pre-publication review. Marchetti named Jack O'Connell as the control agent for King Hussein of Jordan. Karamessines warned against making public the existence of electronic collection devices in India aimed at Chinese and Russian weapons systems, CIA financial assistance to Tom Mboya and Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya. the ruling by judge Bryan re reviews effectively nullified the first amendment rights of government workers who sign secrecy agreements. CIA's attempt to halt the publication of Alfred Mccoy's book, THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. pp. 42-49, 52-55

Thomas H. Karamessines in 1967 started an operation to handle the antiwar press. On 8/4/67 a telegram re the new special operations group (SOG) in the counterintel section. Angleton appointed Dick Ober to coordinate SOG and expand his Ramparts investigation to encompass the entire underground press -- some 500 newspapers. SOG was designated as MHCHAOS. CIA assigned domestic political espionage the highest level of priority. SOG ops grew to sixty field agents as well as other CIA compartments. Due to the large number of reports generated computers were used for the first time to handle the traffic. CIA coordinated efforts with army agents, the local police and the FBI. Penetration of antiwar periodicals (his primary mission). john ferrera a student was recruited to penetrate various antiwar media. details of Ferrera's successes. the FBI used its agents to create dissension within protest groups. Ober had relied on the CIA's domestic contract service (DCS) but was experiencing resistance. pp. 26-41

Michael Wood with the national student association, learned that it was funded by CIA. details of the program. IRS gave copies of Ramparts tax returns to Dick Ober of the CIA's investigative unit. CIA planted stories in the media to discredit Ramparts. pp. 18-24

Vietnam, 1955-90
Stanely K. Sheinbaum was the first person to go public with his experience of CIA activity in the U.S. he began with the CIA in the 50s when hired by Michigan state u.'s $25 million project to advise the South Vietnamese government. he resented use of academic cover by CIA. he resigned in 1959. he with Robert Sheer wrote an article in Ramparts magazine. The CIA began to investigate Ramparts in violation of its charter. His article caused a storm of protest among academicians -- to forestall further embarrassment, president Johnson established the Katzenbach committee. CIA identified the source of Rampart's money and urged the FBI to investigate. pp. 15-18

Washington Post 12/27/97 A1
Colombia, 1997 The U.S., fearful that Marxist guerrillas allied with drug traffickers pose a growing threat to Colombia, is loosening restrictions on aid to Colombian armed forces, withheld for years because of the military's human rights record. A unique agreement worked out last summer -- and heavily debated -- permits U.S. aid, expected to total about $37 million in fiscal 1998, to be used by the Colombian military for counterinsurgency as part of a larger program to fight drugs. The aid can be used only in a specifically defined geographic area called "the box," whose exact boundaries are classified but which covers roughly the southern half of the country. Critics say the move brings the U.S. closer to a vicious, multi-sided political conflict that is decades old and has cost thousands of lives. the Colombian army and right-wing paramilitary groups it sponsors have been implicated in scores of civilian massacres, disappearances and cases of torture. Leaders of the army-backed PM groups have been implicated in large-scale drug trafficking, yet have not been singled out as targets of the anti-drug efforts.. .

This collection of extracts from Mackenzie, A. (1997). SECRETS: THE CIA'S WAR AT HOME. Berkeley, CA, 1997, written 8:03 AM Jan 2, 1998 by in newsgroup "CIA's Illegal Ops - Past & Present"

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Posted in a-infozine V1 #654
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King Augean owned twelve white bulls sacred to Apollo. Their stables had not been cleaned in thirty years. Hercules had to do the work in one day. He diverted the course of a river, made it run through the stables, and completed his labor.

"The CIA's Directorate of Operations is in a state of deep rot." Former DCI John Deutch.

The Directorate of Operations is, a "wasteland, a Mecca for know-nothing men..." Former CIA Officer Reuel Gerecht, pen name, Edward Shirley.

U.S. intelligence "needs to be scrubbed" from the top down, from its spies to its analysts to its "bureaucratic barons." Admiral Jeremiah's 1998 report.

We might suggest to the current DCI, George Tenet, that he divert the Potomac River and clean out the CIA's "Augean Stables," the Directorate of Operations. Instead he has gone on a massive recruitment drive that will only pile up more manure.

The New York Times recently reported that Tenet has the CIA recruiting aggressively -- two or three thousand in the next few years. He says he must do this or risk the slow death of American intelligence. He hopes to make the clandestine service bigger than it was at the height of the Cold War, to open more overseas stations and bases, to mount more complex and more expensive secret operations. And he wants the nation's sharpest talents to come to work at CIA Headquarters as analysts, information technicians and in-house experts. He aims to revitalize an agency mired in a slough of despond-terrible publicity, terrible morale, terrible credibility.

Congress plans to pump hundreds of millions of extra dollars into the Agency over the next few years to get new blood flowing. Tenet rates the hiring blitz as the most important internal affair on the Agency's agenda for the rest of the century.

I suggest that the CIA's most important internal affair is cleaning out the Directorate of Operations Augean Stables -- its poor, incompetent and arrogant leaders. Even if those leaders were capable of recognizing their deficiencies, they do not have the ability to devise solutions.

Next the CIA must alter its personnel procedures that have resulted in rewarding incompetence and duplicity -- see a description of these in Edward Shirley's book, "Know Thine Enemy" or view his comments on my web page.

Another set of problems occurs with the CIA's Inspector General who tosses all protests back to the complainants' bosses. A prescription for disaster.

One issue that has plagued me since my time in the CIA is the complete inability of its operations officers to analyze. This has defeated intelligence collection in many ways. First the case officers cannot evaluate their agents. This is manifest -- Cuba's DGI ran three dozen agents the CIA thought was working for it. East Germany's Stasi had probably a few hundred double agents supposedly working for CIA, and the KGB's double agents convinced the CIA that the USSR was a viable, threatening menace when everyone else recognized its collapse.

These egregious realities have somehow avoided Tenet's notice as he happily builds atop its rotting foundations.

One reason (of a number of reasons) the DGI, Stasi and the KGB were able to dupe the CIA is that the operations officers had no incentive to, nor measuring ability, to question agent reporting.

There is also the problem that if a case officer questions his own agents' reporting, he then is questioning his own (the case officer's) promotability. The Operations Directorate promotes based on the number of agent recruitments -- the results be damned or ignored or never reviewed.

Since case officers are recruited for their rigid mentalities (those with flexible mentalities might question orders) and since Tenet uses the same personality qualifications for the new officers, he is recruiting disaster.

The CIA is hiring all sorts of new analysts but until it gets analysts directly involved in all phases of operations -- we can guarantee failure.

I must briefly cite my own personal experience at the risk of immodesty. The CIA in mid-1960s targeted me against the burgeoning insurgency in Thailand. (For a more complete description see my book, Deadly Deceits). Within about six months, using analysis and operations, I discovered what the Thai Communist Party was doing and how to defeat it -- a problem that had plagued the CIA for decades. I am not that good, it is just that the rest of the CIA's officers were that bad.

Next I asked to go to Vietnam because I wanted to defeat the communists there. With a little research and operations I quickly determined that the United States could not win in Vietnam and that the Agency had absolutely no idea what was happening in that country. An ignorance that continues to this day. My conclusions and protests landed me in the Agency's very vengeful doghouse.

So if Tenet has any sort of analytical ability himself he can see that he must first clean up the stables before trying to build anew.

A number of critics claim that I am far too soft on the CIA. I have in recent times changed my views to some extent. With the advent of international terrorism we need the best possible intelligence service to fight that terrifying menace. Instead we have the ignorant, arrogant and incompetent CIA.

We must recognize that the United States will always have an intelligence agency. It is my hope, therefore, that the CIA can change enough to become a real intelligence agency, if not it should be abolished or replaced by a new structure.

Ralph McGehee

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