RECENT INFO ON THE CIA
Ralph McGehee <rmcgehee@igc.apc.org>
Posted to the CIADRUGS Mailing List, 1997-08-10

The 50-year anniversary of the CIA creates an avalanche of new material, delaying this update notice. The material includes CIA's own "Studies in Intelligence," newspapers, specialty publications, Internet, on-line publications such as "Intelligence", and recent books:

Foreign Policy Magazine, March 1997, "Ending the CIA's Cold War Legacy," by Melvin A. Goodman wherein he enumerates the politicization of intelligence from 1981 through (1996) under former DCI's Casey and Gates. Mr. Goodman, a former CIA intelligence analyst, says the influencing of CIA's estimates of Soviet military strength to justify increases in defense spending, led to the greatest intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor -- the failure to chart the weakness and collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Goodman proves that subsequent "reform" efforts covered up these failures and appointed those guilty of the worst offenses to top leadership positions.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SIC) Report 105-24, June 9, 1997 while authorizing increases in budget and personnel for the CIA, notes the inability of CIA analysts and directs that this problem be corrected. The report also directs the CIA make new investments in counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, counter-intelligence; and, covert action.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HIC) report 105-135, 6/18/97, states the Intelligence Community (IC) has very limited analytical capabilities to meet the myriad challenges, especially strategic and predictive; and, lacks the analytical depth, breath, and expertise to monitor political, military, and economic developments. The IC must improve training and [personnel selection] and is awash in unexploited open source information.

CIA, Studies in Intelligence, No. 1, 1997, contains a number of articles including a memorial to William Colby, and a review of CIA efforts to repress reporting on UFOs. One essay details the intelligence community's (IC) lack of analysis. "...it is time to stop pretending that the current structure can work....we will need to refocus on the analytic process and establish a structure that actually facilitates analysis rather than impedes it...."
(Comment: This detailed discussion of failed analysis, does not address the problem of operational analysis. If the IC is to counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, and counter-intelligence and these are not just self-justifying mantras -- the IC must assign analysts to work directly with operators in the field. Operations without analysis are futile.)

Fisher, J. (1997). DR. AMERICA: THE LIVES OF THOMAS A. DOOLEY, 1927-1961. University of Massachusetts Press, 1997. In 1954 the U.S. Navy sent Doctor Tom Dooley to Vietnam. In Dooley the CIA had their man: he was a doctor doing good deeds and a devout Catholic. His government contacts and Reader's Digest made him an international hero. His books detailing "communist atrocities" were huge successes. He appeared on TV, talked on the radio, gave dozens of interviews; spoke in schools, colleges, churches, hospitals, hotels, and military bases. The Navy investigated him for "homosexual tendencies," and in March 1956, he resigned while continuing his activism, raising money for far-off medical missions (that aided CIA paramilitary operations).

Clarridge, Duane. (1997). A SPY FOR ALL SEASONS: MY LIFE IN THE CIA.
NY: Scribner. Clarridge's book, is an Agency- and self-justification. The book's cover says, "we follow Dewey Clarridge on his trajectory through the CIA....With legendary candor, Dewey describes...the inner workings of the CIA...and his alleged involvement in the Iran-contra affair, for which he was indicted and then pardoned." In "ALL SEASONS" it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Eddington, P.G. (1997). GASSED IN THE GULF: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE PENTAGON-CIA COVER-UP OF THE GULF WAR SYNDROME. Wash D.C.: Insignia Publishing Company. For nearly two years CIA analyst Patrick G. Eddington and his wife tried to get the CIA to confront the edifice of lies regarding chemical agent exposures and their possible link to the Gulf War Syndrome. The CIA turned its fury on the Eddingtons destroying their careers. Unearthing hundreds of classified documents they argue that tens of thousands of American troops had been exposed to chemical weapons. A Government Accounting Office (GAO) study found evidence linking exposure to nerve gas and other chemical weapons with the health problems of Gulf War veterans.

Andrade, Dale (1990). ASHES TO ASHES: THE PHOENIX PROGRAM AND THE VIETNAM WAR. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. An outstandingly documented account of the CIA writing off the main strength of the South Vietnamese Communist forces and, of course, never predicting as a consequence, our inevitable defeat.

Marshall, Jonathan (1991). DRUG WARS: CORRUPTION, COUNTERINSURGENCY, AND COVERT OPERATIONS IN THE THIRD WORLD. California, Forestville: Cohan & Cohen Publishers.

Castillo III, Celerino. (1994). POWDERBURNS: COCAINE, CONTRAS & THE DRUG WAR. Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press. POWDERBURNS describes the use of CIA Contra supply planes to transport drugs to the United States -- Mr. Castillo, a Drug Enforcement Agency officer, recorded plane numbers, dates, flight plans and other information. Unfortunately no one followed up on this evidence and the subversion of our anti-drug effort by covert operators.

Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Jan-Mar 1997. ASIA, ASIAN STUDIES, AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE: A SYMPOSIUM. An excellent discussion of the CIA's operations in academia. The penetration of the CIA and "national security," elements in determining the direction (and conclusions) of research into political developments in Asian studies was massive -- leading, inter alia, to the inevitability of the Vietnam War. This issue of BCAS also examines the relationship between the national security state and post-Cold War scholarship.

Noriega, Manuel & Eisner, Peter. (1997). AMERICA'S PRISONER: THE MEMOIRS OF MANUEL NORIEGA. NY: Random House. Undoubtedly slanted to show Noriega in the best possible light but does describe the processes of U.S. destablization and demonizing consistent with operations in the Third World.

Gordon, M.R. and Trainor, General B.E. (1995). THE GENERALS' WAR THE INSIDE STORY OF THE CONFLICT IN THE GULF. NY: Little Brown and Company. The story has a familiar ring. A lone CIA analyst, battles the Agency's leaders to alert all re the impending invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. His warning is credited too late to prevent the invasion.

Cordovez, D., and Harrison, S. (1995). OUT OF AFGHANISTAN: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE SOVIET WITHDRAWAL. NY: Oxford University Press. U.N. official Cordovez and foreign correspondent, Selig S. Harrison tell of the CIA role in building up Islamic fundamentalists. The combined writings of these two well-placed writers gives an unusually well-documented account of this CIA covert operation and its wide-ranging and long-lasting consequences.

Hager, N. (1996). SECRET POWER: NEW ZEALAND'S ROLE IN THE INTERNATIONAL SPY NETWORK. Nelson, New Zealand: Craig Potton Publishing. New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) uses electronics to spy on countries throughout the Pacific, including friends and trading partners. Geared to serve an alliance with the United States, New Zealand's spies proved useless in preventing domestic terrorism and providing accurate intelligence.

GAO/NSAID-97-27, FOREIGN ASSISTANCE: HARVARD INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT'S WORK IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE. November 1996. An account of the re-structuring of the Soviet economy, with the proud claim, inter alia, to have reduced employment in half in key industries.

GAO/NSAID-97-163, GULF WAR ILLNESSES: IMPROVING MONITORING OF CLINICAL PROGRESS AND REXAMINATION OF RESEARCH EMPHASIS ARE NEEDED. JUNE 1997.

GAO/NSAID-97-2, UNITED NATIONS: U.S. PARTICIPATION IN FIVE AFFILIATED INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. February 1997.

GAO/NSAID-97-59, U.N. PEACEKEEPING: STATUS OF LONG-STANDING OPERATIONS AND U.S. INTERESTS IN SUPPORTING THEM. April 1997.

COMMENTARY

To help keep track of the avalanche of recent information, CIABASE downloaded and edited entire articles and studies directly from Internet -- increasing the number, accuracy and content of the entries. Early versions of CIABASE hovered in the four to five megabyte range while it now boasts over eleven megabytes containing over 35,000 detailed and annotated entries.

Since the late 1970s, CIABASE has passed through two phases. Initially a scattered article or two was all that was available about covert or intelligence actions and several years would pass before we accumulated significant material on any particular operation. This data for a large part would be lost to history were it not for CIABASE, as the CIA in many cases has destroyed all records of those operations.

In CIABASE's second phase, beginning about five years ago, each day produced massive amounts of data on the intelligence community. CIABASE filtered out the ludicrous, un-creditable and duplicated, while recording and categorizing the valid. A number of scholars and ex-intelligence personnel also provide significant details. An ancillary but important effort begun in 1983, records all annual and special reports of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Another phenomenon of this period is the reporting by the establishment media that has published details of CIA operations that in years past one could get only from very liberal or fringe publications. The CIA is skillful in feeding disinformation to the media (as admitted in a document released under the provisions of the FOIA act) but by comparison and analyses, CIABASE records primarily only valid details.

CIABASE software increases the effectiveness of all this historical gold mine via its various search options -- the database can be plumbed by anyone of its 100 subject categories; e.g., "Assassinations", or by country, name of individuals or organizations, words, phrases, or dates -- or any combination thereof. Over forty universities, a number of authors of books on intelligence/policy and major media and hundreds of activists now use the data base.

A user comment: Professor of intelligence at American University, and formerly Commandant of the Defense Intelligence College, John Macartney, said "CIABASE remains a one-of-a-kind, extraordinary resource for serious scholars, journalists, and researchers, regardless of their political leanings and research interests...there are no alternates out there. If there were, they would undoubtedly sell for thousands of dollars....I am in awe of the massive effort....in short I have found CIABASE invaluable, indeed indispensable..." Dr. John Macartney, American University.


For further information contact Ralph McGehee, at CIABASE POB 5022 Herndon, VA, 20172-1961 -- Phone & Fax (703) 437-8487 -- E-mail rmcgehee@igc.apc.org


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