U.S. Policy / Global

Blum, William. The CIA, A Forgotten History: U.S. Global Interventions Since World War 2. London: Zed Books, 1986. 428 pages (includes 65 pages of end notes). Published in a revised and expanded edition in 1995, under the title of "Killing Hope," by Common Courage Press, Box 702, Monroe ME 04951.

This is the only well-documented book on CIA history that is arranged country by country, year by year. It describes and analyzes the known significant interventions throughout the world since 1945 that have been carried out through the CIA and other branches of U.S. government. Hundreds of distinct operations were launched in more than 50 countries using various techniques: the use of armed aggression by U.S. and/or indigenous forces working with the U.S.; operations, successful or not, to overthrow a government; attempts to suppress a popular rebellion or movement; attempts to assassinate political leaders; gross interference in elections or other flagrant manipulations of a country's political system; the manufacture of "news"; serious manipulation of trade unions, etc.

[Cartoon]

While most CIA histories get sidetracked with anecdotal personality discussions, this one deals exclusively with the big sorry picture. One might conclude that the same interventionist patterns appear with every post-war administration, suggesting that it never was a matter of personalties at all, but rather something more enduring, more structural, and much more threatening. -- D.Brandt and W.Blum


Blum, William. Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Monroe ME: Common Courage Press, 1995. 457 pages.

This is a revised and expanded edition of "The CIA: A Forgotten History," which was published in 1986 by Zed Books in London. Unfortunately, Zed Books did not arrange the U.S. distribution that the book deserved. With this revised and expanded 1995 edition, it finally became available in bookstores across America. Since the 49 chapters of the 1986 edition were already indexed in NameBase, we added only the names from the six extra chapters in "Killing Hope": Libya 1981-1989, Panama 1969-1991, Bulgaria 1990, Iraq 1990-1991, Afghanistan 1979-1992, El Salvador 1980-1994, and Haiti 1986-1994.

The other 49 chapters are similarly titled, and deal with distinct interventions in various other countries. With a total of more than two thousand end notes, this encyclopedia of U.S. intervention provides the "big picture" that our mainstream media effectively manage to obscure.

William Blum left the State Department in 1967 over his opposition to U.S. policy in Vietnam, and became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press. In 1969, he published the names and addresses of more than 200 employees of the CIA. Currently he lives in Washington DC and works with Covert Action Quarterly (formerly Covert Action Information Bulletin).


Bernstein, Richard and Munro, Ross H. The Coming Conflict With China. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. 245 pages.

Authors Richard Bernstein and Ross Munro, two former Asia correspondents for Time magazine, argue that the next cold war is already emerging, with China in the lead as America's biggest headache. One problem is economic: America's trade deficit with China exceeded Japan's for the first time in June 1996. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is a major player behind China's stunning increase in exports, as well as its rapid appropriation of new technologies, using methods that range from fine-print trade deals to outright espionage. The takeover of Hong Kong made them that much stronger.

Economics is only part of the problem. Many Chinese, from leaders to ordinary citizens, are fundamentally nationalistic. They see China's ancient destiny as the complete domination of Asia. In this context, America is increasingly identified as the "global hegemonist" that stands in their way. As the U.S. tries to tie trade relations to the human rights issue, we are out-maneuvered every time. China knows that in the end, rich U.S. corporations want to get richer, and that's what really counts in the negotiations. Meanwhile, China's growing military -- already the largest in Asia -- continues to tweak Taiwan's nose now and then, in order to gauge the extent to which the U.S. may be prepared to intervene.


Borosage, Robert L. and Marks, John, eds. The CIA File. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976. 236 pages.

This anthology of eleven essays on CIA operations around the world was produced by the Center for National Security Studies during a two-day conference on "The CIA and Covert Action" in September, 1974. The meeting included many of the biggest names in espionage studies: David Wise, Thomas Ross, Morton Halperin, Victor Marchetti, and John Marks. The former director of the CIA, William Colby, presented an essay at the meeting defending CIA activities, and participated in a question and answer session involving Senator James Abourezk.

The material selected for NameBase includes the CIA in Laos by Fred Branfman (pages 46-78), the CIA in Chile by Borosage and Marks (pages 79-89), and CIA domestic operations by Thomas B. Ross (pages 93-108).

-- Wendell Minnick


Chernyavsky, V., ed. The CIA in the Dock: Soviet Journalists on International Terrorism. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1983. 176 pages.

Soon after Ronald Reagan took office, think-tank pundits took their cues from Secretary of State Alexander Haig and began making ominous pronouncements about "the hand of Moscow" behind "international terrorism." This collection of essays uses information from the Western press to make the case that it's actually the CIA, not the KGB, who has been responsible for the bulk of state-sponsored terrorism during the Cold War. The contributors are Yuri Zhukov, Genrich Borovik, Karen Khachaturov, Yevgeny Korshunov, Vladimir Katin, Timur Gaidar, Lolli Zamoisky, Eduard Kovalev, Vadim Kassis, Leonid Kolosov, and Melor Sturua.

Most of the essays concern topics that are covered fairly well in the U.S. literature on the CIA: the coup in Chile, CIA mercenaries in Angola, American policy in Libya, CIA in Afghanistan, Licio Gelli and P2 in Italy, OAS in France, Portugal in 1975, and William Casey's wheeling and dealing. Two essays cover material that is more obscure: the history of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, and the CIA in Bolivia. The latter is based partially on the 1968-1969 testimony of Bolivian Minister of Internal Affairs, Antonio Arguedas Mendietta, who confessed to working for the CIA since 1965. While on bail, Arguedas survived three assassination attempts before receiving asylum from Mexico.


Chomsky, Noam and Herman, Edward. The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism. Boston: South End Press, 1979. 441 pages.

An earlier version of this book was kept from publication by Warner Communications -- after its book-publishing subsidiary had contracted to publish it -- because of its "unpatriotic" content.

The book is a highly detailed account of how the U.S. government, in its foreign policy since World War II, has contributed greatly to the occurrence of serious bloodbaths, torture, state terrorism, and a whole range of other violations of human rights in the Third World.

Among the case studies presented in support of this thesis are those of Indonesia (1965-69), Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic. The longest case study is that of East Timor. The authors note that the mass killing in that country carried out by Indonesia, beginning in 1975, was comparable to the massacres in Cambodia occurring at the same time, but the Western reactions to the two massacres were markedly different because the Cambodian killings were carried out by Communists, while Indonesia was a U.S. ally. -- William Blum


Frazier, Howard, ed. Uncloaking the CIA. New York: The Free Press, 1978. 288 pages.

A "Conference on the CIA and World Peace" was held at Yale University on April 5, 1975, and the contributors to this volume made presentations at the conference, or prepared material for it. They are Hortensia Bussi de Allende, Fred Branfman, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Frank Donner, Stanley Faulkner, Joelle Fishman, Patricia Garrett, John L. Hammond, Michael J. Harrington (D-MA), Sokhom Hing, Russell Johnson, Mark Lane, Ngo Vinh Long, Ernest De Maio, Victor Marchetti, John D. Marks, Florencio Merced, Tony Monteiro, Winslow Peck, Jo Pomerance, L. Fletcher Prouty, Kirkpatrick Sale, Adam Schesch, and Nicole Szulc.

Some of the topics covered include the CIA in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Chile, Puerto Rico, Portugal, and Africa; domestic surveillance; the CIA and labor unions; and the CIA and assassinations.


Garwood, Darrell. Under Cover: Thirty-Five Years of CIA Deception. New York: Grove Press, 1985. 309 pages. With an introduction by Tom Gervasi.

"Under Cover" is a revision of Darrell Garwood's "American Shadow" (Stafford VA: Dan River Press, 1980), which was not widely distributed. This new version is better, and two of its best features are the introduction (36 pages) and chronology (9 pages) by Tom Gervasi. Sandwiched between these is Garwood's research and reporting on over a dozen episodes in CIA history. Over half involve foreign exploits and the others concern domestic issues. It is not exhaustive by any means, but is highly readable and serves as an excellent introduction to the field. Together with Gervasi it makes this book a perfect choice for required undergraduate reading.

Garwood is one of the only writers to deal with the 1955 attempt on Zhou En-lai. "The strongest possible circumstantial evidence, overwhelming in the light of subsequent discoveries, later left no room for doubt that the agency, working through the Chinese Nationalists, had used a time bomb to blow up and send crashing into the Pacific the Air India passenger plane on which Zhou was scheduled to fly to the Bandung Conference." Part of this evidence is a memoir (also in NameBase) by John Discoe Smith, published after he defected to the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. In it Smith claims that he was instructed to deliver a package to a KMT agent, which he later discovered had contained the time bomb.


Hirsch, Fred and Fletcher, Richard. The CIA and the Labour Movement. Nottingham, England: Spokesman Books, 1977. 71 pages.

This little book is in two parts, one each by Fred Hirsch and Richard Fletcher. Hirsch's essay, "The Labour Movement: Penetration Point for U.S. Intelligence and Transnationals" (pp. 7-48), is about the history and operations of the American Institute for Free Labor Development, an international organization of the AFL-CIO that was headed by J. Peter Grace and funded by 95 transnational corporations and the CIA. AIFLD played an important role in the destruction of the Cheddi Jagan government in Guyana, in the Dominican Republic after the 1965 U.S. invasion, in the 1964 coup in Brazil, and in Chile from 1962 to the 1973 coup. Most of Hirsch's essay is a case study of the AIFLD in Chile; it includes over 50 end notes.

Richard Fletcher's essay, "Who Were THEY Travelling With?" (pp. 51-71), concerns the deep pockets of U.S. intelligence and the effect this had on the British Labour Party. Subtopics include the Congress for Cultural Freedom; the magazines Socialist Commentary, New Leader, and Encounter; the Marshall Plan and the start of the Bilderberg meetings; and the Campaign for Democratic Socialism. Portions of this essay also appeared in Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, eds., "Dirty Work" (pp. 188-200), under the title "How CIA Money Took the Teeth Out of British Socialism."


Honey, Martha and Barry, Tom, eds. Global Focus: U.S. Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium. New York: St.Martin's Press, 2000. 340 pages.

This collection of essays was put together by staff at the Institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, and partially funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Most of the contributors are from progressive think tanks, or are faculty members at various campuses. Of the twelve chapters, the first five deal with the U.S. budget, militarization, the global economy, human rights, and the environment. Except for the first chapter, each of these is supplemented with five two-page essays on related issues, from other writers. The remaining seven chapters adopt a regional approach: Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe, Central and East Europe, Russia and its neighbors, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. Of these seven, only the third essay has two extra short pieces.

Five years later the perspectives in these essays have been largely overshadowed. America is hated by more people, it's running huge deficits, a high-tech stock-market bubble popped, and the U.S. domestic safety net has all but disappeared. It is now clearer than ever that Americans won't be driving around in gas guzzlers for many more years. There is nothing on the horizon that can adequately address these new issues, and sooner or later they could have a profound effect on U.S. foreign policy.


Lisee, Jean-Francois. In the Eye of the Eagle. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1990. 353 pages.

Since the early 1960s, French-Canadian nationalism in Quebec has been a major issue in Canadian politics. In 1995, Quebecers rejected secession by a margin of only one percent. At that time, some separatists wanted to develop their own military to protect their sovereignty if the referendum was successful, and Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien reportedly was ready to ask for U.S. troops if things turned nasty. Another referendum can be expected soon. The climate of uncertainty reached a peak in 1970, when Pierre Trudeau invoked martial law after a kidnapping committed by a tiny terrorist group called Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). Since then, some Quebecers suspect that CIA agents are lurking behind every Mountie.

This books addresses the question of how policymakers in Washington and Wall Street felt about an independent Quebec at various points in time. Author Jean-Francois Lisee obtained thousands of documents from the U.S. and Canada, and conducted 240 interviews. The history he reconstructs is useful because it gives a feel for the situation in Quebec. But his conclusions about U.S. attitudes are fairly ho-hum: Wall Street doesn't care as long as they don't lose money, and Washington has generally responded in one of two ways: either the issue had such a low priority that there was no policy at all, or the dominant policy was to stay out of Canada's internal affairs.


Loftus, John and Aarons, Mark. The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. New York: St.Martin's Press, 1994. 658 pages.

John Loftus and Mark Aarons are formidable when it comes to uncovering the secret history of Western intelligence. Their previous effort, Unholy Trinity, was an examination of the Vatican's support of the Nazi ratline, and how it was manipulated by Soviet intelligence after World War II. This book is even more sensational. The most interesting portions are only peripherally involved with Israel; the "war against the Jews" seems to be a journalistic "hook" that ties together chapters stuffed with new material on political corruption in U.S. and British intelligence. The extent to which Israel was victimized, in other words, is essentially the extent to which big oil and Arab interests mattered more in the scheme of things.

Three areas of inquiry are most notable. The first is the wheeling and dealing of the Dulles brothers, in and out of office, in response to their own interests and the interests of their clients. The second is the involvement of the British in Iran-contra, and the third is the possibility that Bush's reversal of policy toward Syria was the result of blackmail. Although the authors include 115 pages of end notes, many of their sources, unfortunately, requested anonymity.


Marchetti, Victor and Marks, John D. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Dell Publishing, 1975. 397 pages.

The CIA went to court prior to publication of this book, claiming that it would harm national security. The court disagreed, but the publisher had to submit the manuscript to the CIA for prior review. They asked for 339 deletions, most of which were refused by the court. Along with Philip Agee's "Inside the Company: CIA Diary," this was one of the most important works on the CIA to appear in the 1970s. While Agee's book is a detailed look at one officer's activities in several Latin American countries, Marchetti and Marks give an overview of the CIA's administrative structure and operational history. (An appendix reprints the detailed notes from a secret four-hour 1968 Council on Foreign Relations meeting that discussed intelligence issues. Richard Bissell gave the talk while nineteen other luminaries, such as Allen Dulles, listened and offered comments. It's clear from gems like this that the ruling class knows who they are, even if most of their subjects don't.)

Victor Marchetti spent 14 years in the CIA, where he became an executive assistant to the deputy director, and John Marks spent five years in the State Department, where he worked as an analyst and as staff assistant to the intelligence director. Currently Marchetti lives in Vienna, Virginia while Marks lives in Washington, D.C.


Martin, Lawrence. Pledge of Allegiance: The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1993. 296 pages.

Lawrence Martin, a former Washington and Moscow correspondent for The Globe and Mail, has written several previous books on international affairs. He also admits that he voted for free trade in 1988. Since the free trade agreement took effect in 1989, Martin and other Canadians are reconsidering the quality of life in what is beginning to look like America's 51st state. Brian Mulroney, Michael H. Wilson, and other Tories have made their mark since they were first elected in 1984. From trade to taxes, from foreign policy to film policy, by the time this book appeared in 1993, Canada was in line with U.S. policy and the Wall Street sharks swimming behind it.

After three years of free trade, nearly 20 percent of Canada's manufacturing jobs had vanished. Industries died, or they packed up and moved to the U.S., or American head offices no longer maintained Canadian subsidiaries. The U.S. economy is ten times the size of Canada's, and when tariff walls came down, American exports to Canada grew more than Canada's exports to the U.S. (Soon Mexico was brought into the free-trade deal with NAFTA, whereupon U.S. jobs started moving south in search of low wages.) Meanwhile, the Tories began tampering with the social safety net, as Michael Wilson made quiet cuts in medicare and froze federal transfer payments to provinces. After all, someone has to pay when the rich become richer.


Tully, Andrew. CIA: The Inside Story. New York: William Morrow, 1962. 276 pages.

Written at a time when few Americans could identify what the letters CIA stood for, much less what the agency did, this was the first book to reveal a number of CIA adventures in some detail. It discusses actual and possible CIA attempts at government-making in Algeria, Guatemala, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Cuba, Laos, Korea and the Soviet bloc, and also has sections on Nazi general Reinhard Gehlen, and the U-2 and Francis Gary Powers. Some espionage and counter-espionage tales are thrown in to make what must have at the time seemed like the "inside story," but which now definitely comes across as rather superficial.

Tully's point of view is strictly cold-war anti-communist, although he's not an extremist. To have put together a book like this in 1962, he most likely had the cooperation of the CIA, which was reeling from the Bay of Pigs fiasco and needed some publicity about agency "successes." In general, the book's sins are more those of omission than of commission.

-- William Blum


Prados, John. Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II Through Iranscam. New York: William Morrow (Quill), 1988. 560 pages.

This 1988 paperback edition was expanded to include the Iran-contra scandals. The strength of this book is that it presents a straightforward overview of CIA and Pentagon secret paramilitary operations in various parts of the world since the beginning of the Cold War. Unlike many similar books, Prados does this without using anecdotes, and without dwelling on the personalities of particular players. While not comprehensive, it covers Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, Tibet, Guatemala, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos. The chapters on Bill Casey and Iran-contra are skimpy at best.

This book deals with secret paramilitary operations, and ignores the massive covert efforts in propaganda and surveillance, influence peddling, funding of institutions, connections to drug smugglers, money laundering, organized crime, the politicization of intelligence analysis, the role of assassinations, and the effectiveness of counterintelligence. These are more important than your garden-variety paramilitary operation, which is sanctioned by the President and rarely a secret (at least not to the other side). This book needs a chapter explaining that these other activities are easier to hide from the President and Congress, and perhaps more threatening to democracy and enduring in their effects, than Presidential secret wars.


Weissman, Steve (with members of the Pacific Studies Center and the North American Congress on Latin America). The Trojan Horse: A Radical Look at Foreign Aid. Palo Alto CA: Ramparts Press, 1975 (revised edition). 249 pages.

This collection of essays researching U.S. foreign policy is another example of excellent work that emerged out of the sixties, and stopped dead in its tracks as the student movement collapsed in the seventies. Some of the highlights: directors and contributors to the Overseas Development Council (pages 32-34); the World Bank by Bruce Nissen (pages 35-60); the IMF by Cheryl Payer (pages 61-72); the Alliance for Progress by Steve Weissman (pages 73-91); and essays on food policy (pages 151-200).

Two additional essays deserve special mention. "AFL-CIA" by Lenny Siegel (pages 117-135) recounts the alphabet soup of labor organizations that receive AID and CIA funding, particularly the AFL-CIO's American Institute for Free Labor Development. And an essay by David Ransom ("Ford Country: Building an Elite for Indonesia," pages 93-116), slightly revised from its appearance in the October, 1970 issue of Ramparts, describes the Ford Foundation programs that sent consulting professors to modernize Indonesia from 1954-1962. MIT and Cornell did the groundwork, while the "Berkeley Mafia" from the University of California actually trained most of the key Indonesians who finally took over -- by seizing power in a 1965 coup that resulted in the slaughter of up to a million people.


Wise, David and Ross, Thomas B. The Invisible Government. New York: Vintage Books, 1974. Reprint of the 1964 Random House edition. 379 pages.

With chapters on the Bay of Pigs, Burma, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, and Guatemala, as well as information on Iran, Egypt, Costa Rica, and even the Gehlen Org, this 1964 book was amazingly comprehensive about U.S. covert activities. Other chapters include the NSA, DIA, covert shortwave radio, and electronic spying. Until these revelations, literature concerning the CIA consisted only of puff-piece memoirs and anecdotes by ethically- myopic, compartmented former agents. It took too long for American journalism to discover that they didn't have the story.

With all of the literature about the CIA over the past two decades, it is easy to forget that for the first half of the Agency's history, almost nothing was in the public domain. Washington journalist David Wise changed all of that with "The Invisible Government" in 1964. CIA director John McCone called in Wise and co-author Thomas Ross to demand deletions on the basis of galleys the CIA had secretly obtained. When that didn't work, the CIA formed a special group to deal with the book and tried to secure bad reviews, even though the CIA's legal counsel had found the book "uncannily accurate." As the unofficial dean of intelligence journalists, Wise is still working on future books from his Washington office.


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