Back to Intelligence Index

The Disinfo History of the CIA

Review: Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA


According to most of the reviewers, the main reason for which Legacy of Ashes is the definitive history of the CIA is because the book is based on more than 50,000 documents -- most of them from the secret archives of the CIA itself – and more than two thousand interviews (the term “oral history” is highly misleading) with ex-CIA officers, including ten ex-CIA directors.

In the Author’s Note introducting the book, Weiner affirms that “It is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from first hand reporting and primary documents,” to which he adds that “… to the best of my ability, it is nothing but the truth.”

Weiners’s claims, however, only show that he has no clear idea of what the buisness of intelligence and espionage is about. Moreover, he shows a supine ignorance of the most elementary rudiments of the trade.

For example, in the very second paragraph of his Author’s Note, he gives his own definition of intelligece as “Intelligence is secret action aimed at understanding or changing what goes on abroad.” I don’t know where he got that idea, which differs considerably from the mostaccepted one as intelligence is information that has been validated.

Actually, intelligence has nothing to do with “action” or “changing what goes abroad.” This is in fact the aberration that has undermined the CIA from its very creation, when it was authorized to incur in covert operations – an activity that has more to do with gangsterism than with the profession of intelligence.

Even more, the fac that Weiner consulted so many thousand CIA “documents,” and interviwed several thousand ex-CIA officers, including ten ex-CIA directors, guarantees that most of what he has written in this book is pure hogwash. Let me explain this in detail.

In the first place, Weiner mentions thousands of CIA doucuments. Does this meant that he was alloed access to the CIA’s secret files, where he choose what documents to read? Of course not. He was provided with thousands of photocopies of heavily deleted pages of what he was told were true and exact copies of documents in the CIA’s secret archives. Therefore, these “documents” never passed the normal process to verify the true value of an alleged document; that is, authentication by experts.

So, Mr. Weiner accepted this pieces of paper with heavily deleted photocopies as true documents from an organization whose main role is lying and that has a whole department solely devoted to the falsification of documents. This fact shows that Mr. Weiner is a very gullible person – a disqualifying trait for anybody dealing with intelligence and espionage.

Also, he prides himself about having interviewed several ex-employees of an organization which, before retirement, exacts from his employees a written promise that they will never tell anything about their former employer. The fact that he even interviewed ten of the main liars themselves tells us about the wide limits of Mr. Wiener’s gullibility.

Moreover, because of the principles of need-to-know and compartmentation, no single CIA employee knows what really goes on in this organization. Their vision is by force limited, and their knowledge about it is distorted. Therefore, asking a honest CIA employee about the Agency is like asking a bling man abot the elephant.

The fact that the main source of Weiner’s information is the CIA itself, explains why the Bogotazo, the first successful psychological warfare operation carried out by the CIA against the American and Latin American peoples, is not even mentioned in his book. For the same reason, he does not mention that the proto-CIA began as a private intelligence organization directed by Allen Dulles from a secret office at the Harold Pratt House in Manhattan, the headquarters of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In his book Weiner mentions over and over some CIA “failures”. But, he never explains what criteria he uses to determine why he calls them failures. He simply accepts the CIA’s criteria. But, being an organization whose main goal is lying (and this applies to all intelligence agencies, like the KGB, the Mossad, the MI6, etc.), one has to be a liitle cautious in accepting its claims at face value.

Usually, the so-called CIA “failures” have been those cases in which the Agency has failed to protect the interest of the American people – the ones who foot the bill. But the problem with this is that, since its very creation in 1947, the CIA has never worked to protect the interests of the American people. Therefore, there is a possibiity that some of its “failures” may have been big successes. Lets see.

According to the accepted lore, the CIA failed catastrophically in its atempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. But the only sources given to accept this are Fidel Castro himself and the CIA – both of them very unreliable sources for that matter. Like most politician Castro is not only a liar, but a liar who has confessed a posteriory his lies – don’t forget his claims that he was not a Communist followed by his claims that he had always been a Communist (both claims are lies). And the CIA, as I mentioned before, is an organization devoted to lying.

Even more, some anti-Castro Cubans resent the fact that, when they really tried to assassinate Castro on their own, the CIA turned agains them, to avoid it at all costs. Very strange. But don’t forget the fact that in intelligence and espionage things are never what they seem.

Probably the most known CIA failure is the debacle at the Bay of Pigs. But, what if the true goal of the invasion was not to overtrow Castro, but to consolidate him in power? Well, that was exactly the direct result of the Bay of Pigs “failure”—which most anti-Castro Cubans now realize it was actually a betrayal.

Before the Bay of Pigs invasion there were more than a dozen anti-Castro organizations in Florida, a widespread anti-Castro clandestine movement in the main Cuban cities, and guerrillas have been successfully fighting Castro’s army in the countryside, mainly in the Escambray mountain in the central part of Cuba. Then the CIA consolidated all anti-Castro organizations into one, which destroyed after the invasion, in the months previous to invasion stopped supplying the guerrillas with guns and ammo, and left the urban clandestine movement in the dark about the invasion – which Castro used to his advantage to destroy it.

Now, why does the CIA (or. better expressed, the people who control the CIA), wanted to consolidate Castro in power. Well, before the Bay of Pigs the Soviets had serious doubts about Castro. In a book about his father, Sergei Khrushchev mentioned the fact that he overheard his father Nikita talking with other Politburo members about his suspicions that Castro was a CIA agent. But Castro’s victory at the Bay of Pigs quickly dissipated these suspicions. Of course, contray to Weiner, Nikita Khrushchev was not a gullible man.

A simple analysis of the CIA’s intelligence “failures” shows that they seamlessly dovetail with some people’s successes. As a matter of fact, most of the international political goals of these people have been reached thanks to CIA’s alleged “failures.” This explains why after every alleged “failure,” nobody at the CIA is ever disciplined, let alone fired, and the CIA’s budget is raised. The exception was Allen Dulles, and we know what happened to President Kennedy after he fired him – Dulles’s revenge was having a key role in the comission that investigated the Kennedy assassination.

I am not saying that all CIA employees have betrayed America. On the contrary, most of them – particularly the ones not working in the Directorate of Operation -- have worked hard to defend America. But most of them never realized that they had been recruited under a false flag, and they were just the cover, the smoke screen to hide the CIA’s true work on behalf of America’s domestic enemies.

On page 316 Weiner repeats a leftist mantra: “Allende killed himself with an automatic rifle, a gift from Fidel Castro.” What he does not mention, however, is that the four bullets found in Allende’s body were 9 mm. I imagine Mr. Kalashnikov scratching his head trying to figure out how the rifle he designed was able to fire that type of ammo.

The CIA is the bastard daughter of an illegal union between Wall Street bankers and oil tranationals. It crookedness is congenital, not adquired. There is nothing we can do to change or correct. If the people who created it to advance their own interest -- which never coincide with the interests of the American people -- have decide to orphan the CIA, it is only because they have gained control of a better organization to carry out their plans: the U.S. Army.

Finally, it is interesting to notice that this “anti-CIA” book written by an obvious leftist, appears right on time; precisely when the conspirators of the most reactionary right who created the CIA, don’t have any further use for the it. ¿Coincidence? Perhaps, but one must keep in mind that intelligence officers don’t believe in coincidences.

Allen Dulles once mentioned that, because of its inherent characteristics of need-to-know and compartmentation, the CIA was the most suitable organization to run a conspiracy. He was right, because conspiring is precisely what intelligence and espionage organizations do: their main job consist in lying, disinforming, obfuscating, espying and conspiring to carry out their secret plans.

 

 

 
 ----------------- ----------------------------------