Friday, June 22, 2007

CIA Does Strange CYA

Next week the Central Intelligence Agency will reveal evidence of its past misdeeds. It plans to come clean on a number of plots from the 1950's to the 70's. It is "unflattering" but part of agency history, CIA chief Michael Hayden said. "This is about telling the American people what we have done in their name," Gen Hayden told a conference of foreign policy historians. Included on the list are such legally questionable items as:

1. The confinement of a Soviet defector in the mid-1960s
2. Assassination plots of foreign leaders, including Cuba's Fidel Castro
3. Wiretapping and surveillance of journalists (including Brit Hume)
4. Behaviour modification experiments on "unwitting" US citizens
5. Surveillance of dissident groups between 1967 and 1971
6. Opening from 1953 to 1973 of letters to and from the Soviet Union (including 4 letters to Jane Fonda according to CBS News); from 1969 to 1972 of mail to and from China

The point is to show the CIA hasn't followed the law in the past, so why should it do so now? Look over the list again and you'll find illegal confinement, government ordered murder, and spying on journalists as well as people exercising their rights to the free speech. Did you note how CBS worked the Jane Fonda communist link into their story supposedly defiling the CIA? And I'm sure Brit Hume will say it was a O.K. for the government to watch him as an young newsman under Jack Anderson. Somehow, we'll turn this into a patriotic parade.

So everybody look at the bright side. Torture is less than assassination, secret prisons are nothing new, and e-mail is just a modern day letter. As for "free speech", you'll have the same amount people have always had. You have the right to be monitored...

No comments: