May 21, 1999 (Ira Pilgrim)

The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA)

Now, as nearly as I can make out, those fellows in the CIA don't just report on wars and the like, they go out and make their own, and there's nobody to keep track of what they're up to. They spend billions of dollars on stirring up trouble so they'll have something to report on. They've's become a government all of its own and all secret. They don't have to account to anybody.

Harry S. Truman, 1973

In 1947, President Truman created the CIA out of the World War II Office of Strategic Services(OSS). He set it up because he "needed at that time a central organization that would bring all the various intelligence reports we were getting in those that the President would get one report on what was going on in various parts of the world. But it got out of hand."

The CIA has four major divisions: Intelligence, which is in the business of gathering information; Science and Technology; Administration; and Operations. The Operations division, sometimes called "The Department of Dirty Tricks," is the division that is controversial. It is responsible for such things as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, attempts to assassinate people such as Fidel Castro, toppling the Allende government in Chile and putting Augusto Pinochet in power, mining Nicaraguan harbors in 1984. These and other fiascoes led to numerous changes in the directors of the CIA.

In 1994 Aldrich Ames was nailed by the FBI and admitted that he was a spy for the USSR and Russia for 9 years. This led to the replacement of the CIA's director with John Deutch who retired much of the upper echelons of the organization. Apparently he didn't retire enough of them.

On May 8, 1999, an American plane bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. NATO and the U.S. government said that it was an accident. The Chinese government didn't believe that it was an accident, and neither do I.

If it was the Swedish, British or French embassy that had been bombed, I would buy the story that it was a mistake, but not the embassy of the most powerful Communist nation in the world.

I do not believe that it was bombed as a deliberate act by our government, the Clinton administration, or NATO. I believe that it was done by either an individual or a group of anti-Communist fanatics within the CIA. It was the CIA that prepared the maps used by the Air Force. All that they had to do to get the Chinese embassy bombed was to deliberately mislabel a building and the Air Force would do the rest.

When will we learn that the CIA has been an embarrassment to our country since its inception? It should have been abolished after the Bay of Pigs fiasco during the Kennedy administration. Harry Truman said, after the Bay of Pigs invasion, about his setting up the CIA, "I think it was a mistake. If I had known what was going to happen, I never would have done it." The CIA has become a secret government with no accountability to anyone but itself.

Sure our government needs intelligence; but just intelligence as information. We don't need an organization that is in the business of de-stabilizing governments and arranging assassination the way that it did in Chile or manipulating invasions.

The best argument for getting rid of the CIA is that during all of its existence, it has never done anything right! If it did, it's a secret.

(The Truman quotes are from Merle Miller's 1973 book Plain Speaking." The rest of the information is from the Encyclopedia Britannica)

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