Is it Time to Abolish the CIA?
Exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, former President Harry Truman made an interesting observation about the Central Intelligence Agency which was published in the Washington Post. Truman wrote: “For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment…It has become an operational and at times a policy- making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.”
Of course, the CIA was established under Truman in 1947 tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world. That limited role of intelligence-gathering quickly morphed into the CIA taking on the role of a secret army intervening throughout the world to overthrow governments, wage clandestine wars, and install compliant rulers.
As early as the Korean War, the CIA was sending agents into the North to recruit North Korean expatriates for guerrilla operations. In 1953, the CIA engineered a coup in Iran to oust the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh who was threatening British oil interests in that country. The CIA installed the Shah in Mossadegh’s place, leading to 25 years of repression that led to the anti-American Islamic Revolution of 1979 and accounts for much of the enmity the Iranians hold toward the United States to this day. A year later, the spy agency was at it again, overthrowing the Arbenz government of Guatemala which was threatening the massive land holdings of the United Fruit Company. Subsequent CIA meddling followed in Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Dominican Republic. In Indonesia, the CIA even used its own B-26 planes to bomb and strafe the nation in an attempt to oust leftist President Sukarno!
Of course, the CIA’s 1961 attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro probably ranks as the most notorious of the agency’s regime-changing activities. A rebel army was recruited and trained by the CIA – authorized by the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations – to take Castro out. However, at the last minute, Kennedy had a change of heart and denied the rebels the air support they needed to succeed. The resulting slaughter of the anti-Castro Cubans on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs was almost predictable. The CIA blamed Kennedy for the failure of the operation and Kennedy condemned the CIA, vowing to destroy the agency and scatter it to the winds.
John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Most serious students of the assassination discount the Warren Commission whitewash and have offered convincing evidence that the CIA – or elements within that agency— ( possibly working with members of organized crime ) was responsible for Kennedy’s death. The CIA’s multifaceted adventures expanded greatly during the turbulent 1960s, from involvement in the brutal slayings of anti-Communist South Vietnamese President Diem and his brother in November 1963 to a variety of covert actions supporting the U.S. military throughout the Vietnam War, including a controversial plan to destroy the Vietcong infrastructure known as the Phoenix Program as well as alleged drug-running out of the Burma Triangle. The CIA also was active on the home front, infiltrating antiwar and student organizations and conducting domestic surveillance.
Outrage over the CIA’s extra-constitutional escapades reached a fever pitch in the mid-1970s, in the aftermath of Vietnam and the Watergate scandal as well as the 1973 overthrow of President Salvador Allende of Chile. The U.S. Senate established a special select committee headed by Sen. Frank Church of Idaho to investigate the agency’s nefarious work. The committee exposed that far from being an intelligence-gathering service, the Central Intelligence Agency was actually engaging in foreign assassinations and regime change on a massive scale. It was also systematically violating the privacy rights of thousands of American citizens by intercepting mail, wiretapping, etc.
Despite the concerns raised by the Church Committee, the CIA continued on its merry way throughout the 1980s and beyond, from funneling $40 billion in weapons to the Afghan resistance to training the Nicaraguan Contras and mining that nation’s ports.
Yet, in carrying out its actual designated mission of collecting intelligence around the world to enhance U.S. national security, the CIA has often dropped the ball. From failing to recognize the percolating Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 to its failures prior to 9/11 and its false claim that it was a “slam dunk” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, this agency has proved itself incompetent in its original assignment.
Now, over the last three years, we have seen the CIA – the very symbol of the so-called “Deep State” — engaged in a slow-motion coup to overthrow the President of the United States. The involvement of this agency and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies in fabricating the Russian collusion hoax based on phony dossiers from foreign agents is stuff of James Bond. President Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan – who voted for the Communist Party candidate for President in 1976 — has been possessed by a burning hatred of President Trump since before his election. The same goes for Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. These two individuals along with disgraced FBI Director Jim Comey constitute the triumvirate of treason that colluded with foreign governments and foreign intelligence services along with the Hillary Clinton campaign to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign and destroy the Trump presidency from the outset. Now, we learn that the so- called “whistleblower” who lacked any first-hand knowledge of the President’s conversation with Ukraine’s leader is a CIA officer! What a surprise!
The time has come for Congress to reassert its Constitutional responsibility over the U.S. intelligence apparatus. These agencies have been discredited in the eyes of the American people and the world. They have little or no credibility left. Perhaps it is time to abolish the CIA and start over again. The American people do not want rogue spooks running secret wars with secret bank accounts and their own bomber squadrons. They don’t want their tax money used for surreptitious plots to assassinate world leaders and topple foreign governments. The Constitution gives the power to declare war strictly to Congress, not the President, not the Secretary of State, and certainly not to the Central Intelligence Agency.
Let’s hope when the final page is written in the saga of the Trump Russian collusion hoax, it will lead to a consensus that the CIA and its sibling agencies either return to their original intelligence functions or be dissolved entirely.
Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Dr. Veltmeyer can be reached at email@example.com
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