The brave few who have challenged the intelligence establishment in this country are slowly eroding the walls the CIA has built around its dirtiest secrets. The Freedom of Information Act provides all citizens the right to peruse the documents we paid for, regardless of which clandestine agency created them and how heinous the crimes reported therein. Thus, some day, hopefully soon, the true story of the CIA’s sordid history will be revealed for all to see.
Under great pressure from those who have filed civil suits, the National Security Archive has posted several documents relating to the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. For those of you who need a quick history refresher, Mossadegh was Iran’s legitimately elected leader who just happened to have populist/socialist leanings, and, as such, threatened U.S. business interests in the region–specifically the oil industry. Mossadegh was beloved by the Iranian people, but he was deemed unsuitable by the CIA (Corporations Invisible Army) and was thus overthrown. An iron-fisted totalitarian was installed; perhaps you’ll remember him: the Shah of Iran. Despised by the people for his political oppression and his overt corruption, the Shah did a profitable business with U.S. oil companies for a quarter century. When the Iranian people finally took action in the late ’70s, the Shah was deposed and American embassy workers were taken hostage. The hostage crisis lasted 15 months, toppled the Carter administration and ushered in the era of Reagan. But the genesis of the crisis can be fully blamed on the U.S. itself, namely the CIA and its corporate allies, for intervening in a sovereign nation’s right to determine its own destiny.
This was standard operating procedure for the CIA, which overthrew socialist and communist leaders across the globe from the 1940s on. Among their other clandestine tricks were the rescue and repatriation of Nazi war criminals after World War II and the subversion of the free press in America. Operations we are learning more about each day.
The work of incorporating Nazis into our intelligence apparatus, space programs, medical research, and weapons technology was called Operation Sunrise or Operation Paperclip. Among the well-known “Paperclip Nazis” were:
Wernher von Braun, Nazi V-2 rocket scientist who worked on guided missiles and manned rocket programs for the U.S. He was named Director of NASA’s Space Flight Center, and, despite his questionable past, became somewhat of a celebrity in the 1960s. At no time was he forced to publicly renounce his Nazi ideology or made to pay for his war crimes. (He used slave labor camps to build his rockets in Nazi Germany. Thousands died of starvation and brutality in these camps.) A CIA-sponsored feature film, called I Aim For The Stars, was even made which honored his courage and audacity.
Kurt Blome, Nazi chemist who performed cruel experiments on death camp prisoners. He was hired by the U.S. Army to develop chemical warfare weapons.
Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s top intelligence officer. He got a job spying on the Soviets for the CIA. In fact, he cut a deal with the CIA (OSS) to hire practically his entire Third Reich intelligence network. Much of the information he provided his superiors in U.S. intelligence greatly exaggerated Soviet military capabilities. Gehlen lied to make himself seem more important and useful to the CIA, and this led directly to the escalation of the Cold War and U.S. military buildup in the 1950s and beyond.
Heinrich Rupp, another Nazi war criminal who went to work for the CIA after World War II. In 1980 he accompanied George H.W. Bush, Vice Presidential candidate at the time, to cut a deal with Iran to delay the release of American hostages until after the election of the Reagan/Bush ticket in America in November 1980. The hostages were released on January 20, 1981, just minutes after Reagan and Bush were sworn into office. In return, Rupp promised release of Iran’s frozen assets, laying the groundwork for the Iran-Contra deal. So Rupp, the Paperclip Nazi, helped steal an election, control U.S. foreign policy, and helped precipitate one of the worst scandals of the 1980s.
Arthur Rudolph, Operations Director at Mittelwerk factory at the Dora/Nordhausen concentration camps where thousands were worked to death.
Evil as it was, Operation Paperclip was surpassed, some say, by Operation Mockingbird. Mockingbird was a well-organized, systematic destruction of the free press in America in the second half of the 20th century. Why destroy the free press? Because a free and independent press was the CIA’s worst enemy. Unfettered investigative journalism would have (or at least should have) uncovered the CIA’s dirty secrets and criminal operations. The CIA needed to operate in secrecy, without threat of being detected, in order to get away with murder, coup d’états, drug running, sabotage of democracies, and covert fascist policies.
As outlined by reporter Carl Bernstein in a Rolling Stone article in 1977, the CIA co-opted, bribed, threatened, recruited and partnered with media assets at TV networks, newspapers, publishers and radio outlets across the nation. Frank Wisner, who ran Mockingbird for the CIA in the 1950s, once famously bragged, the program was like his own mighty Wurlitzer, “…I can play any tune I want on it, and America will follow along.” William Colby, CIA Director under Nixon, added, “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” This meant that it was a simple matter for the agency to print and broadcast propaganda, cover up misdeeds, plant false stories, and smear CIA opponents at will. I believe this is what prevented an honest journalistic investigation of the JFK assassination.