Toward an American Revolution

Exposing the Constitution and other Illusions

Jerry Fresia

Chapter 5

The Constitution and Secret Government

Early in 1934, Irene Du Pont and William S. Knudsen [General Mortors president] reached their explosion point over President Roosevelt. Along with friends of the Morgan Bank and General Motors, certain Du Pont backers financed a coup d'á‚átat that would overthrow the President with the aid of a $3 million-funded army of terrorists, modeled on the fascist movement in Paris known as the Croix de Feu...[Roosevelt] knew that in view of the backing from high banking sources, this matter could not be dismissed as some crackpot enterprise...On the other hand, Roosevelt also knew that if he were to arrest the leaders of the houses of Morgan and Du Pont, it would create an unthinkable national crisis...Not for the first or last time in his career, he was aware that there were powers greater than he in the United States.
-Charles Higham1
The bicentennial year was more than a celebration of the Constitution. It was a year of political crisis in which several congressional investigations and a widely followed law suit filed by the Christic Institute exposed what many have called a “secret team.”2 It is through this secret team, we have learned, that the federal government continues to assassinate political opponents despite declarations and statutes to the contrary, collaborates with transnational criminal organizations in drug dealing for the purpose of covert financing, and systematically promulgates disinformation about its political opponents and its own policies.3 The general response to the dirty work of the secret team (which we shall detail below), from mainstream and progressive leaders alike, has been that these deeds are a direct violation of the Constitution.4 Only Congress has the power to declare war (Article I Section 8) we are constantly reminded. The message is clear: this crisis does not mean that it is time to depart from or transform our political economic structure; it means that it is time to get back to the Constitution.

In light of the secret team revelations, how does one explain the rush to defend the Constitution on the part of many progressives? Perhaps it is this: it stems from the desire to protect the liberal ideal which the Framers used to cloak their defense of private power and their quest for private empire by separating it from the structures of private power and the reality of private empire. It emerges, ultimately, from a desire to protect the myth of innocence: we are a self-governed nation of the people, where individual freedom is extended to all, where no one is above the law, and where the right to dissent is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. But in order to preserve the innocence of the liberal ideal, we must ignore the fact that the Constitution is more than a design for a political system; we must ignore that it is a design for a political economic system. As has been shown, the political system which the Constitution created was intended to support private power (“freedom”) in a private economy (“free” enterprise) and that today its purpose is to support and protect a capitalist empire, indeed, the largest empire on earth. The vision of the Framers has been realized, and then some. That is the crux of the problem.

The Constitution is not a neutral instrument, it is an active element within a political economic structure organized around private power within a private economy. For example, following Harry Magdoff, we can identify three distinct stages in the drive to empire and in each the state has played a crucial role: during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the state was used to help private elites market food and raw materials to the rest of the world, assist the importation of capital, and protect maritime commercial interests. By the late nineteenth century, the state was helping a small number of industrial and financial giants compete internationally in the export of manufactured goods and capital. Following World War II, the function of the state was to protect and support what had become the major, dominant capitalist economy, the largest manufacturer, foreign investor, trader, the world's banker, and the dollar which in turn had become the key international currency.5

Furthermore, the expansion of our private economy may be viewed as the expansion of power, the imposition of the will and needs of those who own concentrated wealth upon the lives of those people who do not own land or factories and who live dependent lives (what Rosa Luxemburg has called “capital's blustering violence”). Therefore, the use of military force by the state in the service of private power has been a constant feature of the expansion of our economy. According to a 1969 study, the United States has been engaged in warlike activity during three-fourths of its history (in 1,782 out of 2,340 months).6 To put this dynamic in a constitutional context, persistent acts of war have been sponsored by the federal government because in order to validate the state debt, protect private property, provide military and diplomatic representation abroad, suppress insurrections and do the other things that the Constitution requires the state to do to help property owners control productive activity and markets on a global scale, the state repeatedly has had to take the side of the few who seek control against the many who resist it. In this defense of “freedom,” the probability of state sponsored violence and terror is always high.

Here we come to the heart of the problem of secret government. The United States is nearly always at war because the United States is nearly always using violence to support the few who are rich against the many who are poor. It is the few who are rich (those who own vast amounts of wealth producing property), then, who have real power in our society because it is their private interests (the “national interest”) that need to be served if economic expansion is to take place. Working through their own private organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Committee for Economic Development, and such “think tanks” as the American Enterprise Institute, these elites become an unaccountable governing force that can become a secret government if and when they acquire positions within the government which enable them to link military and intelligence capability with specific corporate needs. Fletcher Prouty, a former officer within the Defense Intelligence Agency, describes those who run the secret government this way: they are “security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency...” whose power derives from the “vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses.” During the post-World War II era, states Prouty, “more and more control over military and diplomatic operations at home and abroad” was assumed by elites “whose activities are secret, whose budget is secret, whose very identities as often as not are secret...”7

The fundamental issue which underlies secret government (and the secret teams which they field to carry out “special” covert operations) is injustice. The American people must not know that their government acts violently and unjustly on a regular basis. But there is an additional twist. The injustice in question is purposeful. It is a feature of economic expansion, privilege, and private empire. It is in the interest of private elites. All of this is quite consistent with the values of the Framers, the way they understood and explained inequality, and the purposes to which the Constitution was committed. To be sure, the Framers had no way of knowing the dimension of the political problem that would confront their descendants following 1945 when the empire was fully realized. They had no way of knowing that the checks and balances outlined within the Constitution might not be sufficient to protect private power against the rapid upward swell of political activism following World War II and on into the 1960s and 1970s. They had no way of knowing that the suppression of insurrections, shifted to a global scale, would take the form of virulent anti-communism, Nazi collaboration, and state sponsored terrorism. This set of sins was not especially more wicked than the acts of human enslavement and genocide committed by the Framers. But against the standards of decency that had emerged by the mid-twentieth century, the blustering and impersonal violence of capitalist expansion could not be legitimated as easily. Instead, new methods of insulating the policymaking of private elites from interested majorities had to be invented. Thus, the real issue today is not whether the dirty work of the secret team violates the Constitution, it is whether the work of the Framers is sufficient to protect corporate power from the people in the wake of yet another “crisis of democracy,” whether called feminism, Black Power, student protest, environmentalism, peace, the New Age or simply the “Vietnam syndrome.”

The Power of the President and the Role of Congress

Much has been written about the increasing power of the presidency vis-á…á-vis Congress since World War II. This is not quite right. What should be said is that the power of the Executive branch vis-á…á-vis Congress has increased. The distinction is an important one because it suggests that what is increasing is not necessarily the power of the president as much as are the various agencies (primarily military and intelligence) within the Executive branch to which private elites have ready access and insulation from popular pressure (often expressed through Congress). In other words, as the government has been drawn into the economy, private power has been protected from direct public interference from the Congress and from the president, if need be, through the construction of layers of bureaucratic insulation within the Executive branch. Pundits have looked at the Iran-Contra affair and have cried foul play: a private foreign policy has been conducted behind the back of Congress (and possibly the president). What they should have said is that the dependent status of public officials generally with regard to private power and the specific distrust of Congress is nothing new. From the point view of the Framers, it is the correct relationship between public and private power.

Article II states that Executive power is invested in a president. That power is not defined but John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government argued that in the conduct of foreign affairs, the executive does not simply execute laws passed by the legislature, rather the executive exercises a wholly separate function, particularly with regard to the “power of war and peace.” Thomas Jefferson similarly stated that “foreign affairs are executive altogether.” In one instance, Jefferson, by executive order and without consulting Congress, returned to France certain “prizes” taken at sea by American warships. Discussing this action in a letter to Madison, Jefferson stated that “the executive, charged with our exterior relations, seems bound, is satisfied of the fact, to do right to the foreign nations, and take on itself the risque [sic] of justification.”8

Does this mean that something like the Iran-Contra affair could have happened with someone like Jefferson as president? The answer is yes, because it did. In 1803, the United States found itself at the mercy of fundamentalist Muslims who were holding U.S. citizens hostage. In addition, they were asking and getting ransom from the U.S. government. Jefferson's response was a covert plan to secretly overthrow the government (a state in the region near present day Libya) and replace it with one which would be more congenial to U.S. interests. On December 10, 1803, Jefferson held a secret meeting in the White House with with Captain William Eaton. They worked out a plan in which Eaton would be given $40,000 from the State Department and 1,000 rifles. Eaton was then detached from the State Department and loaned to the Navy where he was given the title “Agent for the United States Fleet in the Mediterranean,” a post never heard of before. Covertly and behind the back of Congress, Eaton eventually was sent to Egypt with eleven Marines where he organized a mercenary army and achieved some military success but was unable to destabilize the government in question.*

*This information was reported by National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” on July 7, 1987. The piece was entitled “Barbary Coast Wars.”
The essential differences between the “secret team” of 1803 and the secret team of 1987 have less to do with violations of constitutional principles than with the way those principles must be expressed, given the very different stages (from fledgling nation to declining empire) of economic development.

And what has been the role of Congress with regard to covert action? As we noted earlier, Veron L. Parrington has stated that the Constitution represented the first written safeguard against tyranny, “but it was aimed at the encroachments of agrarian majorities rather than at Tory minorities...An honest appeal to the people was the last thing desired by the Federalists...” Allen Smith similarly adds that “[I]t was the almost unanimous sentiment of the Convention that the less the people had to do with the government the better.”9 The Framers would have been pleased, then, if they had watched the congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra affair this summer. Congress limited the scope of the investigation, provided a platform for anti-communist ideologues, covered up the most controversial acts such as drug-running, and effectively kept the public misinformed.10 This is what Madison meant when he said that the purpose of a representative system was “to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country...and if pronounced by the people themselves...” The Constitution states that only Congress shall declare war. But notice it does not say which branch of government can or cannot make war nor does it say that acts of war must be declared. Congress, in defining the true interest of the country, has seen fit to declare war only four times despite nearly 1,800 months of fighting and nearly 200 known instances of United States armed interventions abroad.11 In addition to formal declarations, however, numerous congressional acts have been intended to legitimize acts of war. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which permitted the prosecution of the Vietnam war is one. The repeated funding of the Contras is another. But the task of covering up “capital's blustering violence” since the empire gained world dominance has become considerably more difficult than it was during the early nineteenth century when Congress could, without widespread public protest, open the West to economic penetration and the Native Americans to genocide by passing legislation which called for measures that would lead Native Americans to “agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization.” After more than a century and a half of varied social movements, Congress in 1947 felt compelled to create a new level of government that better insulated private elites from the public pressures of policy making. The National Security Act of 1947, which gave birth to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council (NSC) among other agencies and departments, enabled corporate elites to more directly and more secretly control war making policies essential for global economic expansion and stability. It was the stronger centralization, the more severe set of checks and balances against public power that many of the more conservative members of the Constitutional Convention such as Hamilton had argued for in 1787. Moreover, the act created a new kind of transnational army within the CIA suitable for suppressing insurrections and overthrowing governments (“such other functions and duties”) on a global scale just as the Framers had created a national army in 1787 to suppress insurrections on a state or regional scale.

Funding measures have also kept pace with the Framers' original intentions. Although the Constitution states that “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (Article I Section 7) in the interest of ensuring “perfect secrecy,” the Framers provided George Washington with a secret slush fund (see Chapter 6). Thus covert financing originated with the Framers. As the government became more deeply involved in economic matters (a situation the Framers could not foresee), the overriding need to insulate key economic decisions from public pressures forced Congress to pass on revenue decisionmaking to the executive and beyond. Following the “Red Scare” in 1921, the Bureau of the Budget was created which permitted the coordination of departmental funding requests. The Bureau was moved to the Executive Office of the President in 1939 and later became the Office of Management and Budget, enabling private elites and the president to originate revenue bills and use the budget to control executive bureaucracies. Moreover, the NSC sets budgetary guidelines for the Defense Department and in 1949 Congress gave permission to the CIA to “transfer to and receive from other government agencies such sums as may be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, for the performance of any functions or activities authorized...and any other government agency is authorized to transfer or receive from the agency such sums without regard to any provisions of law limiting or prohibiting transfers between appropriations.” In other words, much of the actual U.S. war making agencies are above the law because Congress has so stipulated. Indeed, the CIA's real charter, its “secret charter,” was not shown to Congressional “oversight” committees until July 1973. The public has no way of knowing if the CIA is exceeding its mandate because there is no way of knowing what the mandate is. We see here that Madison's insight that “the danger of disturbing the public tranquility by interesting too strongly the public passions is a still more serious objection against a frequent reference of constitutional questions to the decisions of the whole society,” is one that is shared by elites today. Taking added precaution, presidents have “regularly enlarged the functions of the CIA by executive fiat...And sometimes...have acted without informing...[the] normally indulgent congressional `watchdogs.' ” Periodically members of Congress complain that they are not really involved in the secret government in the way that they should be. But most congressional watchdogs share the view of Senator Leverett Saltonstall who in 1966 said, “It is not a question of reluctance on the part of CIA officials to speak to us. Instead it is a question of our reluctance, if you will, to seek information and knowledge on subjects which I personally, as a Member of Congress and as a citizen, would rather not have.”12 Statements such as these capture well our collective need to deny what we have become. But what is it that our government does that citizens, because they are members of that government, would prefer not to know?

The Secret Government and the Rise of Nazi Germany

I have suggested that the military defeat in 1787 of Daniel Shays and others who resisted the advancement of market relations expressed counter-revolutionary tendencies because it marked a return to the imperial values of Great Britain. As market relations became fully capitalist and spread from Europe and the United States into other parts of the world, resistance was organized by those who, similar to the participants of Shays Rebellion, sought either to defend or create space for an alternative way of life. And like the Framers of 1787, U.S. government leaders together with private elites have often felt compelled to organize counter-revolutionary armies to protect property and market relations or what they prefer to call “freedom.” The first counter-revolutionaries or “freedom fighters” were the Framers themselves when they put down Shays Rebellion. The next organized effort to enlist Freedom Fighters to put down a revolution was in response to the overthrow of the Russian czar by the Bolsheviks after World War I.

International bankers and lawyers in the Northeast, alarmed by the Bolsheviks but determined to press on with the expansion of foreign investments and operations, established the American branch of the Round Table Groups, a set of “semicovert policy and action groups” formed at the turn of the century by English aristocrats and bankers who sought to create a federation among the English speaking peoples of the world. The American group, centered in New York and led by the Rockefeller-Morgan financial establishment, has since come to be known as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which was then committed to bringing the government and “all existing international agencies...into constructive accord.” A second response was to assist the displaced armies and supporters of the czar, or White Russians, who were poised to restore the czar, his court, and his industrialists to power. Fourteen nations, including the United States, placed troops inside the borders of the Soviet Union. And still other responses were combinations of the two. But significant for us is the mixture of private interest and public policy particularly with regard to the use of the government for counter-revolutionary measures. With this in mind, let us outline the linkage of private and public power, in the immediate post-war era, of Herbert Hoover.

Hoover, a former mining engineer employed by British concerns, had become a successful entrepreneur in Russian oil wells and mines. He had major investments in eleven Russian oil companies. By 1912, together with British investor Leslie Urquhart, Hoover had formed the Russo-Asiatic Corporation which was worth (in 1912 dollars) $1 billion. After the Russian revolution, Hoover's property was seized and a claim was filed with the British government by Russo-Asiatic Consolidated, a new cartel which Hoover and his partners had formed to protect their Russian interests, for $282 billion for damage to properties and loss of probable annual profits. Hoover, however, was also director of the American Relief Administration for the United States government. And it was in this capacity that he was able to use food relief to covertly support the White Russian army.13

The interest of the government of the United States was, by 1917, part of the interests of a North Atlantic class of capitalists. The armistice of 1918 (the Treaty of Versailles) between Germany and the allied powers contained in Article 12, for example, a clause stipulating that German troops should remain, with the consent of the allies, in whatever Russian territory they then occupied. It was understood that these forces would be used against the Bolsheviks. The British directed the remnants of the German army against the Red Army under General Rudiger Vondergoltz and later under the czarist, General Nicolas Yudenitch. In each instance, Hoover placed food supplies, which were intended for the relief of starving Europeans, under the direction of these generals who were proceeding with wholesale executions and campaigns of general terror. The money for the food relief had been in part appropriated by Congress and some of it had been privately donated. The point should not be lost, however, that Hoover was using an Executive branch of the government, covertly, to advance his private interests and the counter-revolutionary interests of his class. But he was not alone. In February of 1922, the New York Globe editorialized, “Bureaucrats centered throughout the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce...are carrying on a private war with the Bolshevist government...” There was in 1922, in other words, just as there had been earlier, a secret government.

The penetration of the Soviet Union by the allied supported czarist Freedom Fighters was turned back. Moreover, to the horror of Western elites, enthusiasm among peasants and workers for various anti-capitalist ideologies spread throughout the West including the United States. It was in this context that many Western elites believed that their salvation lay in the rearmament of Germany. In other words, a rearmed Germany, together with royalist White Russians, would constitute the ultimate counter-revolutionary force both within Europe and against the Soviet Union.

The first obstacle to overcome in the reindustrialization and rearmament of Germany was the Treaty of Versailles itself. The allies had imposed exorbitant reparations payments on Germany. Therefore, prominent U.S. bankers, such as J.P. Morgan, Charles G. Dawes, and Owen D. Young, with the support of the U.S. government came up with two plans, the Dawes and Young Plans, which would help Germany with its reparations payment problem through very generous international loans. The loans helped strengthen Germany's three largest firms (which had significant U.S. capital participation), IG Farben, United Steel, and German General Electric (30 percent of which was owned by U.S. General Electric) by enabling them to out-produce their competition and develop new product lines. It should be pointed out that IG Farben, a huge chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate that enjoyed close ties to Standard Oil (now Exxon) even after Pearl Harbor, was, perhaps, the single most important firm in Nazi Germany. In addition it produced the gas for the Final Solution and built a synthetic fuel and rubber plant at Auschwitz, which it had created, in order to create an inexhaustible supply of slave labor.

Two Americans who played a central role in successive secret governments were John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen. John Foster Dulles, as special counsel to the Dawes Committee, had drawn up the Dawes Plan and would eventually become Secretary of State under Eisenhower. Allen Dulles would become Eisenhower's CIA Director. Both Dulles brothers were partners in Sullivan and Cromwell which handled the legal affairs of American IG (the U.S. subsidiary of IG Farben). The Dulles brothers were also deeply involved in a number of U.S. and German firms and banks or their subsidiaries that contributed to the Nazi build-up and in U.S. firms which later traded with the enemy during World War II (such firms as the Chase Bank, Ford, ITT, General Aniline and Film, and Standard Oil).14

Numerous other U.S. corporations also were deeply involved in the German military build-up. Hitler's two largest tank producers were Adam-Opel and Ford of Cologne, wholly owned subsidiaries of General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. The Curtis-Wright Aviation Corporation helped the German Air Force develop secret dive bombing techniques and they supplied the German air force critical parts which were desperately needed by U.S. aircraft. The research of Charles Higham is the most exhaustive in this area. Perhaps a brief excerpt from his work will helped us grasp the depth of the U.S. corporate-Nazi collaboration. In noting that his research was made more difficult because the “government smothered everything, during and even (inexcusably) after the war,” he speculates as to the reasons why:

What would have happened if millions of American and British people, struggling with coupons and lines at the gas stations, had learned that in 1942 Standard Oil of New Jersey [part of the Rockefeller empire] managers shipped the enemy's fuel through neutral Switzerland and that the enemy was shipping Allied fuel? Suppose the public had discovered that the Chase Bank in Nazi-occupied Paris after Pearl Harbor was doing millions of dollars' worth of business with the enemy with the full knowledge of the head office in Manhattan [the Rockefeller family among others]? Or that Ford15 trucks were being built for the German occupation troops in France with authorization from Dearborn, Michigan? Or that Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of the international American telephone conglomerate ITT, flew from New York to Madrid to Berne during the war to help improve Hitler's communications systems and improve the robot bombs that devastated London? Or that ITT built the FockeWulfs that dropped bombs on British and American troops? Or that crucial ball bearings were shipped to Nazi-associated customers in Latin America with the collusion of the vice-chairman of the U.S. War Production Board in partnership with Goering's cousin in Philadelphia when American forces were desperately short of them? Or that such arrangements were known about in Washington and either sanctioned or deliberately ignored?16
The U.S.-Nazi collaboration, we find, was not strictly a private matter. The tendency was for corporate elites to use their own organizations, private networks, and their positions in the government to form a secret government. Dean Acheson, for example, as Secretary of State and as former Standard Oil lawyer, together with the Treasury department issued licenses permitting Standard Oil and other corporations to trade with enemy collaborators during the war. Higham states that while President Franklin Roosevelt knew that these corporations were trading with the enemy, there was little he could do. “Roosevelt was blackmailed, “ states Higham. “You can't run a war without Chase Bank, or Standard Oil of New Jersey, or ITT.”17

The Secret Government Following World War II

No figure was more important within the secret government during the immediate post-war era than Allen Dulles. Before the war was over, he argued that the German state had to remain in existence to maintain order. He also urged that it was necessary to form a cordon sanitaire against bolshevism and Pan-Slavism by “enlarging Poland toward the East and maintaining Romania and a strong Hungary.” His ideas about a post-war western capitalist alliance were quite in accord with what some Nazi generals, also hopeful of a post-war western capitalist alliance, were beginning to call “the Fourth Reich.”18

Hitler's infamous SS (Schutztaffel, or defense squads) officers, who were directly involved in the Final Solution, were recruited from the conservative German monarchists (who sought to unite the best of the German racial characteristics of the past with a Pax Europa in the future)19 whose commercial interests extended well beyond the German borders. They were part of the older, more aristocratic or Prussian royalist community of world money. They were not particularly enchanted with the “upstart, working-class Hitler,” rather their allegiance inclined more toward the “memory of SS leader Heinrich Himmler's idol, King Henry I of Saxony, and to the Stein bank of Cologne, which financed Himmler's inner circle under the aegis of the international banker Kurt von Schroeder,” a close associate of the Dulles brothers. Within the SS was the SD (Sicherheitsdienst, or intelligence service) whose first and foremost task was to repel communist infiltration. When it became apparent that all was lost, several officers within the SD plotted to displace Hitler in favor of Himmler. The goal was to set up an international front against the Soviet Union. The vision of a restored German aristocracy tied into a transatlantic hegemony of money and power vis-a-vis the Soviets was called the Fourth Reich.20

One of the conspirators who believed that communism was “a force of pure evil” was the head of SD, Walter Schellenberg. Schellenberg was also a director of the U.S. firm, International Telephone and Telegraph. In 1943, Schellenberg, through a representative, entered into direct and secret talks with Allen Dulles who in addition to working for the U.S. government in Switzerland for the Office of Strategic Service (OSS or intelligence forerunner of the CIA), was also legal advisor to and director of a banking (Schroeder) subsidiary which directly financed the “hard-core SS inner circle.” His private negotiations had “no support whatever in the White House” according to Higham. In 1944 and early 1945, Dulles had entered into separate negotiations with Waffen SS General Karl Wolff who was high in the Himmler hierarchy as leader of the Military SS in Italy and Walter Rauff (designer and builder of the gas ovens at Auschwitz) whom Dulles later employed on anti-communist operations in Italy.21 In addition to confessing that he was “sick and tired of listening to stories of...prejudiced Jews,” Dulles laid out his conception of a post-war Europe. It would be a “high-income zone” with developed markets. Germany would be restored, without Hitler. Perhaps there would be a political federation. Jews would not be returned to positions of power. “He made the curious assertion that the Americans were only continuing the war to get rid of the Jews...” Dulles revealed (to a German agent) a variety of (top secret) military plans and asserted the need to create a strong front against bolshevism. And he stressed, in this and other meetings like it, that he had the support of Roosevelt, which was, according to Higham, totally false. It is clear that private negotiations were conducted behind the back of a misinformed Roosevelt. In negotiating the surrender of northern Italy, Dulles permitted the Germans to dispatch three divisions form Italy to the Eastern Front to attack Russia. It was, as the SS leader who negotiated with Dulles called it, “part of the proposed police force of the Western powers against Russia.” Roosevelt had not been briefed and received an angry cable from Stalin in which Stalin stated that he had been tricked by the Allies.22

The post-war policies of the Allies, or perhaps it should be said elements within the Allied internationalist corporate world, did accommodate (consciously or otherwise) the interests of Fourth Reich visionaries in the following ways:

Politically - In Germany, Italy, Japan, as well in other countries that were in danger of being governed by popularly supported socialist partisans that had fought the fascists (such as in Greece where the British were fighting the partisans before the war's end), the Allies insured that lesser known fascist bureaucratic leaders and government officials, mayors and clerks were returned to power. The process of restoration was initiated with Fourth Reich-minded leaders before the war was over. In West Germany, for example, the new Chancellor was Konrad Adenauer who collaborated with the Nazis as Mayor of Cologne. His Secretary of State was Hans Globke who, as head of the Office of Jewish Affairs under Hitler, drafted the lethal anti-Jewish laws which paved the way for the Final Solution. And Reinhard Gehlen, who had been Hitler's chief of intelligence on the Eastern Front (the Soviet Union), eventually became head of West German intelligence after having first worked with the U.S. government at the Pentagon. Gehlen had also been part of the SD royalist clique that had opposed Hilter in hopes of reassembling a Fourth Reich following the war.23

Economically - Amid a degree of controversy and in violation of several agreements such as the Potsdam Agreement, corporate elites insured that, given the post-war influence of the Soviet Union and the internal threat posed by leftist/partisan movements, German cartels would not be broken up and that concessions would be made to German industrialists for the purposes of rapid development and reconstruction. James S. Martin, who worked for the Economic Warfare Section of the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice and whose job it was to blunt international dealings of German cartels during the war and after the war during the supposed period of “de-nazification,” stated:

We had not been stopped in Germany by German business...[but] by American business. The forces that stopped us had operated from the United States but had not operated in the open. We were not stopped by a law of Congress, by an Executive Order of the President, or even by a change of policy approved by the short, whatever it was that had stopped us was not `the government.' But it clearly had command of channels through which the government normally operates. The relative powerlessness of governments in the growing economic power is of course not new...national governments stood on the sidelines while bigger operators arranged the world's affairs.24
Among the biggest private organizations that had command of government channels and the ability to set policy was the Council on Foreign Relations which consciously attempted “to organize and control a global empire” in the post-war world. The Council, composed of corporate elites, lawyers, academic and journalistic elites, such as Allen Dulles, set up study groups which interlocked with at least five cabinet level departments and fourteen separate government agencies, bureaus, and offices. In a rationally ordered and impersonal fashion, the study groups divided up the world into blocs and the location, production, and trade of all important commodities and manufactured goods were listed for each area. They concluded that the U.S. “national interest” required “free” access to markets and raw materials in the British Empire, the Far East, and the entire Western hemisphere. These “Grand Areas” were “strategically necessary for world control,” as one elite planner put it. The idea was a simple one, the economic integration of sufficient global territory to insure that the United States would be the “hegemonic power in a system of world order.”25 In addition to definitions of our national interests and purpose, this private organization initially conceived of and arranged government ratification of such post-war economic instruments as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Militarily - The military collaboration between the Allies and the Fourth Reich Nazis was extensive. As early as December 1941 key top generals had become disillusioned with Hitler's handling of the war and began to plan ways of rebuilding the German military after the anticipated German defeat.26 Perhaps the major figure in the post-war collaborative efforts was Hitler's chief of Soviet intelligence, Reinhard Gehlen. As the Russians closed in on Berlin in April 1945, Gehlen, with his staff and crates of intelligence, fled to a hideout in the Bavarian mountains. From there he worked out a deal with the Americans where he would continue to supply intelligence on the Soviet Union and its satellites to the United States provided that he would be permitted to maintain an autonomous organization under his control. The deal was made and Gehlen, accompanied by Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner and others, was brought to the United States three months after VE (Victory in Europe) Day in the uniform of a four-star U.S. Army general. Gehlen's entire intelligence organization was grafted from the Third Reich onto the U.S. government and became the nucleus of the CIA. Gehlen's organization was later sent back to West Germany and became West Germany's intelligence system and largely the intelligence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well. It should be pointed out that by April 1961, Adolph Heusinger, the last Deputy Chief of the German General Staff (or number two military man in the Wehrmacht) had become Chairman of the Permanent Military Committee of NATO, the highest ranking U.S. military office in NATO.27

Gehlen was just one of 5,000 SS and Gestapo Nazis who, with the assistance of key U.S. government officials like Dulles, were able to find safe refuge outside of Germany. Many of the most sadistic killers such as Josepf Mengele were protected by the United States in their effort to escape justice. Many would develop links with neo-fascist elements in the military or interior ministries of Latin American countries (particularly in Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Peru) and collaborate with the CIA in repressive operations against the Left. And many found their way into the U.S. intelligence system, including, for a time, Adolf Eichmann and Klaus Barbie. Peter Dale Scott concludes that one legacy of the U.S.-Nazi collaboration “is the system of Death Squads now operative in Central America. Another has been the involvement of men like Barbie and their political clients in the highly organized Latin American drug traffic.”28

Although Gehlen is not well known, he left an important legacy as well. For example, he initiated the idea of erecting an anti-communist propaganda transmitter called Radio Free Europe. The idea was implemented with the assistance of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner and private contributions from such groups as the CFR. More important for our purposes was his creation before the war was over of Nazi special forces, called the Werewolves, which were intended to act as a partisan underground army inside Germany during the occupation. Their battle cry was “better dead than red.”29 What is interesting is that Gehlen's expertise with regard to guerrilla tactics was called upon during the early 1950s to create a mercenary army to penetrate eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The units were called the Green Berets.

The two Americans responsible for bringing the idea to Gehlen of creating a guerrilla army that would infiltrate the Soviet Union was Allen Dulles, director of the CIA by the time the operation began, and Frank Wisner, director of Plans and Operations.30 The special forces were supposed to collect intelligence and Dulles believed that these captive nations would rise up against communist oppression once the liberators had arrived. These “Green Berets” were recruited from the vast reservoir of war refugees from eastern Europe. They were trained both in Germany and at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and they were trained by U.S. officers and by German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS NCO's. Gehlen also chose three special assistants who were knowledgeable about the Soviet Union for the training. They were Dr. Michael Achmeteli, Dr. Franz Alfred Six, and Dr. Emil Augsburgs, all Nazi war criminals.31

Achmeteli had written books about the need for “civilizing communist Russia.” He was a friend of Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler's chief theoretician of the Nazi Aryan doctrine and advisor to Hitler's high command. Six was a brigadier-general in the SS and received a twenty year sentence for ordering the execution of hundreds of civilians but served only four years. Augsburg was a colonel in the SS heading a section attached to Adolf Eichmann's S-4 department, which handled the “Jewish problem.” The operation lasted until 1960 and 5,000 men were trained. One can only speculate on the actual effect which the SS training had on the tactics employed by U.S. special forces (which are now part of the U.S. Army, not the CIA). But we do know that between 1950 and 1975, the U.S. provided training or aid to the police of twenty=two nations that practiced torture.32 The U.S. also trained military personnel of four additional nations that practiced torture during the same period. We know also that United States the documentation of torture instruction by U.S. special forces in Vietnam, Central America, and other places by such groups as Amnesty International is extensive. Members of the CIA have been present, according to some victims, during torture sessions.33 The following is a brief excerpt from an interview with a Salvadoran soldier who claims to have been in attendance at one of the torture classes:

The officers said we are going to teach you how to mutilate and how to teach a lesson to these guerrillas. The officers who were teaching us this were the American Green Berets...then they began to torture this young fellow. The took out their knives and stuck them under his fingernails. After they took his fingernails off then they broke his elbows. Afterwards they gouged out his eyes. They took their bayonets and made all sorts of slices in his skin...They then took his hair off and the skin of his scalp. When they saw there was nothing left to do with him they threw gasoline on him and burned him...the next day they started the same thing with a 13 year old girl...34
The idea of the “death squad,” which is central to the torture network, was suggested in 1962 by U.S. General William Yarborough, head of the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg. He urged security forces to “select civilian and military personnel for clandestine training” that would “execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known Communist proponents.” Used in Vietnam in the Phoenix Program which was responsible for the assassination of more than 20,000 Viet Cong (these are CIA figures, other estimates are as high as 100,000), Yarborough's death squad concept often operates out of the U.S. Office(s) of Public Safety, a division of the Agency for International Development. It is interesting to note that the term public safety has been used throughout U.S. history to cover instances of repression. And the term has its roots in the Constitution. The one instance where the Constitution (Article I Section 9) authorizes the state to take people off the street without a writ of habeas corpus or due process “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”35

John Stockwell, a former CIA agent, has stated that a woman who had been tortured in Brazil for two years testified, before international tribunals, that “the most most horrible thing beyond the pain and degradation was the fact that the people doing the torturing were not raving psychopaths. She said had they been she might have been better able to break mental contact with them. She said they were normal, everyday, decent people doing these things to her.” According to Stockwell, the woman reported that during a torture session conducted by six men in which she was strapped naked to a table, there was an interruption: “The American is called to a telephone in the next room. The rest take a smoke break. And she listens to the conversation as he says, `Oh hi honey. Yes, I can wrap it up here in another hour or two and pick up the kids and meet you at the ambassador's on the way home.'”36

It has often been said that the CIA is the president's private army. But the role of the CIA and other military forces that are shrouded in mystery such as those associated with the Defense Intelligence Agency appear to be less at the command of the president than at the command of those whom the president serves, namely international corporate elites. It appears, then, that the CIA is a special force, trained as professionals to carry out impersonal and anonymous punishment, for international corporate elites. These elites, because of their hidden power and influence within the Executive branch of government, constitute, at any given time, a secret government. And that secret government is capable of fielding secret teams whose job it is to remove political opposition to the expansion of our private economy by any means necessary.

The Secret Government and the First Secret War

Tales of U.S.-Nazi collaboration may, at first reading, appear to be mere sensationalism. Instead, it helps us to better understand the origins of our own present day national security state. Challenges to the private economy, ever since the days of Shays Rebellion, have instilled great fear among the propertied classes. Following World War II, the fear had reached fanatical proportions. It was called anti-communism.

What may have been the very first CIA covert operation came about when James Forrestal, as the first Secretary of Defense, became alarmed that the communists might win the Italian elections of 1948. Forrestal, whose relation to General Aniline Film, Standard Oil, and the banking company of Dillon Read (which had helped finance Hitler) brought him into intimate Nazi collaboration during the war, sought to run a private clandestine operation to alter the electoral outcome with money raised from his wealthy Wall Street colleagues. The ubiquitous Allen Dulles felt that the elections could not be subverted privately so he urged the U.S. government to establish a covert organization that could do the job. (Forrestal, it is worth noting, hanged himself in 1949 in a hospital window; newspapers reported him “screaming that the Jews and the communists were crawling on the floor of his room seeking to destroy him.”)37

John Loftus writes that “[t]he success of the Italian operation brought demands for similar actions do worldwide what the OSO [Office of Special Operations] had done in Italy.” Naturally, such dirty work could only be effectively carried out if it was hidden, if it was insulated from public pressure. George Kennan, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) working through the State Department recommended the creation of a new agency called the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). Officially created by a National Security Council Directive (NSCD) 10/2, OPC was authorized to “overthrow governments regarded as unfriendly to the United States” and OPC's program, according to Loftus “emanated almost entirely from the State Department's Policy and Planning staff, headed by George Kennan.”38

Frank Wisner, Wall St. lawyer who had worked with Dulles in the OSS organizing covert guerrilla teams in Rumania, was chosen as the head of OPC. In this position he organized an army of Nazi collaborators (again they were called “freedom fighters”) and launched a clandestine guerrilla war against the Soviet Union that lasted well into the late 1950s. By 1952, OPC had 4,000 agents in forty-seven stations with a budget of $82 million. Money for the project was drawn from “untraceable government accounts, such as those of the CIA, and laundered through American corporations whose leaders had expressed a willingness to work with Wisner and OPC.” Gehlen who was deeply involved in the project saw to it that Wisner hire Nazi war criminal Dr. Franz Six to head the recruitment and training of the special forces. By 1952, OPC had been brought under the control of the CIA. While the secret war “had not received official sanction from the White House,” according to Loftus, “its two most ardent advocates, Dulles and Wisner, were in a position to continue the secret war on their own.” Did either Truman or Eisenhower know of these operations? It appears that they did. But as Loftus suggest (Eisenhower had “difficulty in presenting cover stories to the press and generally preferred not to know about Wisner's covert operations”), the real impetus and execution of covert policy seems to have come from corporate organizations and the men they supplied to Washington. For example, during Eisenhower's administration a special group, the Operations Coordination Board, which came to be known as the “Twenty Committee” (and it has had other names in other administrations), oversaw covert operations and would serve as a “circuit breaker” to give the president deniability. It was headed by private elites; in this case by C.D. Jackson, a former Time, Inc. executive and later by Nelson Rockefeller.39

The Secret Government and the Assassination of JFK

In 1950 the CFR urged President Truman to create yet another private organization to assist “the government in all phases of national activity.” The result was the creation of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD). Working closely with Secretary of State Dean Acheson, the CPD pressed for a policy review which culminated in the creation of NATO which effectively rearmed Germany within a North Atlantic alliance. The outlines of the policy were made clear in what was then a top secret NSC memorandum, NSC-68. The NSC-68 called for a redefinition of or shift away from Truman's policy of “containment” of the Soviet Union to a policy “intended to check and roll back the Kremlin's drive for world domination” or “in general, to foster the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system that the Kremlin is brought at least to the point of modifying its behavior to conform to generally accepted international standards.” The purpose of NSC-68, said Acheson, was “to so bludgeon the mass mind of `top government' that not only could the President make a decision but that the decision could be carried out.” As for common people? The “selling” of foreign policy “to the average man on the street” was not an easy task: “Qualification must give way to simplicity, nicety and nuance to bluntness, almost brutality, in carrying home a point.” In other words, Acheson admitted, arguments must be made “clearer than truth.”40

As it turned out, the problem was less selling foreign policy to the average person than it was selling it to top government officials. The clash between the secret government and the elected government would come as a result of the Cuban Revolution and disagreement over the subsequent U.S.-sponsored invasion at the Bay of Pigs. In a report prepared by CIA analyst for the White House, it was suggested that the Cuban revolution was due largely to the corruption of the Batista regime. Dulles altered the report to reflect his own worldview. The revolutionaries would unleash terror and “blood will flow in the streets,” Dulles predicted. Moreover, CIA analysts stressed that Cuba was not a security threat to the United States. Nevertheless, in late 1959, Dulles decided that Cuba did pose a security threat and that the solution was to invade with an army of Cuban refugees.41 It was an operation that fit into the postwar “rollback” scheme and it was a continuation of the covert and counter-revolutionary use of special forces developed by Gehlen, Dulles, Wisner, and SS advisors. In this particular operation, Richard M. Bissell, the new Deputy Director of Plans and Operations, who continued to rely on Gehlen, was in charge. The top CIA representative that dealt with the Cuban counter-revolutionaries was also a Gehlen agent who went by the name of “Frank Bender” and who, according to Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, was a leader of ex-Nazis in Peru. 42

It is apparent that the planners of the invasion at the Bay of Pigs distrusted both Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. According to Fletcher Prouty, members of the secret government, particularly those within the CIA took advantage of period between November 1960 and January 1961, when Kennedy was President-elect to transform the training of Cuban refugees into an invasion plan. Writes Prouty, “The ST [secret government] had strong-armed the early Eisenhower authorization of the training and arming of Cubans into an invasion of a foreign country, during the `lame duck' period of his administration.” With regard to Kennedy the distrust was mutual. Kennedy had rejected a Castro assassination plot that had been part of the original plan. Kennedy also rejected the direct use of U.S. forces and during the early phase of the operation, when after two days the cover story began to crumble, he withdrew authorization for air support for the second phase, thus contributing to invasion's failure. Cuban exile commanders had been quoted as saying that if Kennedy had called off the operation altogether, they were going to proceed anyway, in order to force Kennedy to go along. In the end, Kennedy felt that he had been manipulated and after the fiasco he fired several top CIA officials including Allen Dulles and directed that covert actions be brought under the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of Defense.43

The tension between the secret government and President Kennedy over the relation of the United States to revolutionary movements increased during the remainder of his administration. Peter Dale Scott has argued that the assassination of President Kennedy permitted (what I have been calling) the secret government to reverse Kennedy's announced troop withdrawal and to escalate U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Scott's analysis rests upon policy directives before and after the assassination as revealed by National Security Action Memoranda (NSAM). For example, key NSAM before the assassination were the following:

  • NSAM 111 (November 22, 1961): This NSAM committed the United States to “helping” the South Vietnamese but pointedly avoided language which would commit the United States helping the South Vietnamese “win.”
  • NSAM 249 (June 25, 1963): This NSAM suspended all covert action against North Vietnam pending review of policy. This was the last official JFK document on the subject of covert action toward North Vietnam.
  • NSAM 263 (October 11, 1963): This NSAM provided for a phased withdrawal of between 1,000 and 1,300 U.S. troops from Vietnam.

On November 20, 1963 Kennedy publicly announced an “accelerated” troop withdrawal of 1,300 troops. Two days later, on November 22, President Kennedy was assassinated. Two days after that, November 24 (on Sunday evening, hours after Jack Ruby had executed Lee Harvey Oswald), at a secret meeting of the National Security Council, each of the NSAMs listed above were rescinded. In other words, NSAM 273, which was formally recorded on November 26, 1963, committed the United States to a “win” policy in Vietnam, resumed covert action against the North, authorized increased troop levels and explorations of an expanded war. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel has also stated that it was on November 25, the Monday after the assassination, that a dramatic escalation of “manpower” levels was called for by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.44

Scott's research also indicates that while Kennedy may have ordered a halt to covert action in June 1963 pending further study, covert action against the North was continued by the CIA in defiance of the President's directive. The independence of the secret government was clearly evident at this point. States Scott, “President Kennedy had lost control of covert planning and operations.” Moreover, Scott shows that the Pentagon Papers, a history of the Vietnam war written by the Pentagon and ordered by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, covered up the abrupt change in policy and instead suggested that there was a continuity between Kennedy's policy toward Vietnam and his successor Lyndon Johnson by incorrectly stating the contents of the NSAM described above. The implications regarding the Kennedy assassination are all too obvious. Prouty, who “had the unique assignment of being the Focal Point officer for contacts between the CIA and the Department of Defense on matters pertaining to the military support of the Special [covert] Operations of that Agency,” has written the following regarding Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedy assassination: “He knew exactly what had happened there in Dallas. He did not need to wait for the findings of the Warren Commission. He already knew that the death of Lee Harvey Oswald would never bring any relief to him or to his successors.”45

The Secret Government and the Secret Team of Today46

The chief political officer of the NSC's Special Group which planned the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1959 was then Vice-President Richard Nixon. Following the precedent set by the Gehlen-Dulles-Wisner secret armies that penetrated the Soviet Union, Nixon and Dulles also established secret military training bases for counter-revolutionary Cubans whose assignment would be to infiltrate back into Cuba, establish centers of guerrilla military resistance (much like Gehlen's Werewolves) and wage terrorist military attacks against the economic infra-structure of Cuba. The code-name for this operation was Operation 40. In addition, Robert Mahue, a key figure in the empire of billionaire Howard Hughes, and Santo Trafficante, a Mafia casino, hotel, and prostitution operator who had been kicked out of Cuba by Fidel Castro, were brought into Operation 40. Their job was to carry out a “private” sub-operation, the assassination of Castro, his brother Raul Castro, Che Guevara and five other revolutionary Cuban government leaders.

The training of these political assassins by Trafficante and his associates, called the Shooter Team,47<took place in Mexico at a secret Triangular-Fire Training Base. The Shooter Team attempted several assassinations of Castro between 1960 and 1963. Operation 40 (after the Bay of Pigs it was called Operation Mongoose; it is also referred to as JM/Wave, the name of a Miami CIA station), involving up to 6,000 (Cuban) counter-revolutionaries or “freedom fighters,” had the support of members within the Kennedy administration. In 1963, members of Operation Mongoose were caught smuggling narcotics to the U.S. from Cuba. For reasons that are unclear, President Kennedy ordered the CIA to halt the raids in 1963.48 According to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, it was “likely” that Santo Trafficante participated in the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.

Operation Mongoose continued into 1965 when it was shut down. Theodore Shackley, a young CIA agent who had been brought in directly from Berlin where he had worked with Gehlen, to head Operation Mongoose along with his deputy, Thomas Clines, were then transferred to Laos where Shackley was made Deputy Chief of Station for the CIA in Laos. While in Laos, Shackley and Clines arranged air support for one Vang Pao in a three-sided war in which Vang Pao was fighting to gain control of the Laotian opium trade. Vang Pao, in turn, helped Shackley and Clines, by financing the training of indigenous Hmong tribesmen in guerrilla war tactics for use in “unconventional warfare” activities which included the art of political assassination. A Special Operations Group, supervised by Shackley and Clines, was created which was a multi-service or Joint Task Force for unconventional warfare. General John K. Singlaub supervised the political assassination program in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. One of his deputies was Oliver North, a major in the Marines at the time. The Deputy Air Wing commander for the Special Operations Group was Air Force General Richard Secord. Between 1966 and 1971, this operation, using the secret Hmong tribesmen unit funded by Vang Pao's opium trade, assassinated over 100,000 suspected communists (“non-combatant village mayors, book-keepers, clerks and other civilian bureaucrats”) in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. In 1969, Vang Pao's opium trade increased substantially as did the money flowing from it to the Special Operations Group as Santo Trafficante, from the initial Operation 40 team, worked with Vang Pao to become the number one importer and distributor of China White heroin in the United States.

In 1971, Shackley was brought back to the U.S. and made the chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere operations. Clines was made his deputy. And from this post they directed the political assassination of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende and his Chief of Staff in Chile as well as the military overthrow of the Chilean democratically elected government in 1973. It was during this time that Henry Kissinger declared, “I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”

In 1973, Shackley and Clines were sent to Vietnam where they directed the Phoenix Project which carried out the assassination of members of the economic and political bureaucracy so that once the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, its ability to function successfully and validate a communist alternative would be crippled. Within the Phoenix Project, the CIA, through Shackley, Clines, and others, carried out the assassination of some “60,000 village mayors, treasurers, school teachers and other non-Viet Cong administrators.” Vang Pao opium money was also used in the Phoenix Project. In charge of this drug money in Vietnam was Richard Armitage, a member of the Saigon's U.S. office of Naval Operations from 1973 to 1975.

“However, because Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage knew that their secret anti-communist extermination program was going to be shut down in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in the very near future, they, in 1973 began a highly secret non-CIA authorized program setting up their own private anti-communist assassination and unconventional warfare program, to operate after the end of the Vietnam campaign.” Shackley and Clines, therefore, began taking tons of U.S. weapons, ammunition, and explosives (stored in Thailand) and they began funnelling drug money into a secret Australian bank account.

Following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 1975, Armitage was sent to Iran by Shackley and Clines in order to arrange for a secret “financial conduit” to be set up in Iran that could receive Vang Pao's drug money. These funds were intended to establish a non-CIA authorized secret team that would “seek out, identify, and assassinate socialist and communist sympathizers, who were viewed by Shackley and his `secret team' members to be `potential terrorists' against the Shah of Iran's government in Iran.” We find, then, a privately organized secret team, run by government officials, emerging out of a government organized secret team that was privately funded. The point simply is that the linkages between private and government covert operations, by the late 1970s were growing more complex. The purpose of assassinating “communists” remained the same. And the assassination of “communists” represented an efficient way of removing obstacles in the path of market expansion. It was a rational solution.

In 1976, Richard Secord was sent to Tehran, Iran as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in Iran. He was in charge of military sales of U.S. aircraft, weapons and military equipment to “friendly” nations in the Middle East. But Secord used a middle-man, Albert Hakim. He did this so that he could purchase military equipment from the U.S. government at a low “manufacturer's cost,” turn around and sell the equipment to client states, through Hakim, at a higher “replacement cost.” The difference was secretly transferred into Shackley's private secret team and into various secret bank accounts. Secord and Hakim, in other words, had joined Shackley, Clines, and Armitage in their anti-communist assassination project.

Just prior to the triumph of the Sandinistas over U.S. created dictator Anatasio Somoza in Nicaragua, representatives of the Shackley's secret team offered to assassinate the top leadership of the Sandinista movement for $650,000. It is worth noting that veterans of the 1960 Nixon-Trafficante Shooter Team that was brought together for Operation 40 were still being used by Shackley. Meanwhile, as Somoza was negotiating a lower price, it became clear that the military situation of Somoza had deteriorated significantly. The Carter administration, in the final days of Somoza's reign, had cut off the supply of military equipment by the United States. Therefore, the Shackley team arranged to fill the gap and provide Somoza with military supplies. Neither President Carter nor director of the CIA, Stansfield Turner, knew of the operations of Shackley's secret team. In fact, Turner ordered that Shackley and Clines resign from the CIA when he discovered that Shackley and Clines were linked to an illegal weapons delivery to Libya.

When the Sandinistas kicked Somoza and his supporters out of Nicaragua, Shackley, now acting privately, sent his representatives to meet with Somoza (in exile in the Bahamas). They entered into a contract to supply aircraft, weapons, ammunition, and military explosives to Somoza and his National Guard or state police which had fled Nicaragua so that they could execute a war against the Sandinista government. The remnants of the National Guard, now known as the Contras, were “virtually identical to the one(s) which Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines had supervised against the socialist revolutionary government of Cuba from 1961 to 1965.” In 1981, with the election of President Reagan, the CIA officially took over Schackley's operation of funding Somoza's National Guard or Contras. And when Congress cut off funding for the Contras in 1983, Lt. Colonel Oliver North, working with the NSC, turned to Shackley, Clines, Hakim, and Secord and had the secret team reactivate its military supply of the Contras. And when President Reagan, Attorney General Meese, CIA Director William Casey, and NSC members Robert McFarlane, John Poindexter and Oliver North decided in 1985 to secretly send weapons to “friendly” factions in Iran, they turned once again to the secret team.

After 200 years, the political system which was rooted in the desire to serve and insulate private power has been forced to circumvent, entirely, the political process. Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter write that given general public hostility to “rolling back” socialist states in the Third World, overt pursuit of the “Reagan Doctrine” became “difficult or impossible. Even the CIA was a problematic tool of policy owing to legal requirements that it report covert operations to Congress.” The reliance on private citizens to carry out foreign policy was effective because a private citizen, noted a “covert missions planner”, “has no obligation to tell anyone.” And the Policy Development Group within the NSC “could plan secret operations free from the obligation to report to the intelligence committees of Congress.” The use of drug money as a means of covert financing also helps to avoid the messiness of prolonged debate and uncertainty.49

The Secret Government and Capitalism

Let us clarify the problem of secret government. First recall Madison's fundamental political concern articulated in Federalist 10 : “...the most common and durable source of factions has been the...unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society.” The Constitution, as we have seen, was designed to hold in check those people without property, a majority at the time. It was also designed to permit property owners the freedom to own unlimited amounts of property and to have the freedom (from government) to do with that property as they pleased, to invest anywhere, and to have access to raw materials anywhere. When China sought to block Great Britain's effort to create a market for opium, John Adams said that China was acting contrary to the law of nature and that the Chinese exclusion policy is “an enormous outrage upon the rights of human nature, and upon the first principles of the rights of nations.”50 Such are the rights and freedom granted by the Constitution; they rest upon the belief that government is the source of tyranny and unchecked private power is the source of freedom. The Constitution not only was intended to create a political system that would serve private power (freedom), it was intended to guarantee that private power would remain unaccountable.

When we understand that it was the western European powers, primarily, that created and controlled markets around the globe, set up client states, inhibited the development of popular organizations such as labor unions, we understand that with freedom for property owners came institutionalized racism and militarism. Further, the Constitutional imperative to protect private power and correspondingly the need to check the political impulse of non-elites (primarily people of color) has never been relaxed. Even during the immediate postwar period when the security and wealth of the United States was unparalleled, elites were quite alarmed that the “have nots” might threaten their power and privilege. Note George Kennan's (head of the State Department Planning Staff) icy assessment of the security threat posed to the United States in1948:

...we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all the sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction...We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.51
The perceived threat to U.S. security has grown in proportion to the degree that the private economy of the United States has become dependent upon the international economy. Following the rise of a monopoly sector in the United States and the subsequent merger period at the start of the twentieth-century, private elites required massive state involvement in order to manage and coordinate their far-flung empires. But the penetration of the state into economic affairs required new layers of insulation and secrecy, particularly in light of nationalist and revolutionary movements that needed to be suppressed. Thus we find that the Council on Foreign Relations, among other private elite organizations, was created in this period in order to orchestrate public policy and still maintain the separation of public and private affairs as desired by the Framers. In other words, to understand the appearance and function of the secret government we must understand the political economic nature of the Constitution. During the twentieth century, it means that we must understand the global imperatives of advanced capitalism.

Note also Lyndon B. Johnson's lament: “There are 3 billion people in the world and we have only 200 million of them. We are outnumbered 15 to one. If might did make right they would sweep over the United States and take what we have. We have what they want.” Again it is the Madisonion fear, the distrust of common people, especially people of color, and the corresponding assumption that a few people, primarily white, deserved to be privileged. But there is an insidious dimension to private power that is also an essential feature of classism and racism. It is the mechanical or impersonal nature of market forces that are assumed to be natural, a given. We have become the society described by Richard Rubenstein “whose prosperity depends upon virtuosi capable of applying calculating rationality to large-scale corporate enterprise[s].” In fact, we are the society in which technical experts monitor all aspects of our life. We have become the society that “can ill afford the loss of highly trained managerial personnel.” And as Rubenstein points out, “the Nazis...were this century's original efficiency experts.” So why shouldn't we have used them? Just as Sir Henry Deterding, Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, pointed out in 1932, the “Nazis are a great stabilizing force which would come in handy against Soviet Russia.” Nazis, technical experts, scientists, and others whose notion of the good life resembles a machine-like society always come in handy when real people, with personal needs, emotions, and moral standards step in and say, “Wait a minute. It might be profitable for some, but it's wrong.” After all, if political opposition can be viewed simply as an obstacle to economic growth, to be removed or eliminated, the suppression of insurrections can be easily justified.52

The one value which the Framers intended the government to respect was the right of individuals to pursue each of their self-interests in the context of the impersonal forces of market competition. A government which acts to curb individual activity on the basis of ethical or moral concerns is precisely what the Framers feared and sought to prevent. The steady advance of the impersonal forces of our political economy, however, has made it easier for us to think of people as things and political opponents as obstacles. And so we now live in a country that is deeply involved with:

the existence of an international terror network which is integral to the political superstructure of U.S. client-state economies, where human and political rights are eroded with each improvement of the business climate for U.S. based multinational and transnational corporations. Case studies of the repressive instruments required to create this climate - subversion of national economies, coup d'etat, torture, and the annihilation of the political opposition through systematic disappearances and death squad activity - point to systematic cooperation between global frontier managers, such as the Israeli-U.S. connection, and continent-wide coordination between death squad and intelligence forces.53
Similarly, Edward S. Herman argues that, “There is a large body of evidence that U.S. training has given not the slightest nod to democracy and human rights...that as human rights conditions deteriorate, factors affecting the `climate of investment,' like tax laws and labor repression, improve from the viewpoint of the multinational corporation...There is great deal of evidence of U.S. training in methods of torture and provision of torture technology, which have been diffused throughout the system of U.S. client states.”54

Our own domestic population, of course, cannot escape the siege of this mentality; the situation of common people within the United States is far more similar to the situation of common people outside its borders than it is to corporate elites. Prisoners in the United States are regularly used for medical experiments that result in the “mutilating effects of disease and/or death.” One reputable American scientist was reported to have said that, “Criminals in our penitentiaries are fine experimental material and much cheaper than chimpanzees.” By “paying” prisoners one dollar a day, corporations maintain the fiction that such prisoners are volunteers. Bristol-Myers, Squibb, Lederle, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, and Upjohn have conducted such experiments and have had the cooperation and approval of such federal bureaucracies as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Food and Drug Administration.55 Similarly, environmentalists, organized labor, feminists, and civil rights workers present the same obstacle to corporate control in this country as their counterparts do in Europe or the Third World.

It is in this context that we should assess the desire of corporate elites to control domestic political activity in the interest of capitalist expansion and stability. For example, during the mid-1970s, the Trilateral Commission, a commission created by capitalists to coordinate public policy among the major capitalist nations, stated that there was a “crisis of democracy” because certain citizens had become too politically active. They further stated that the “effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and non-involvement on the part of some individuals and groups.”56

In addition, Trilateralists expressed concern about the erosion of “the legitimacy of hierarchy, coercion, discipline, secrecy, and deception - all of which are, in some measure, inescapable attributes of the process of government...people no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents.” And they were quite specific about which people had become too involved politically: “previously passive or unorganized groups in the population, blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students, and women now embarked on concerted efforts to establish their claims to opportunities, positions, rewards, and privileges, which they had not considered themselves entitled before.” Their explicit suggestion, finally, was that some groups had to be made “marginal”; “marginality on the part of some groups...has enabled democracy to function effectively.”57

We have seen this “crisis” before. The crisis of today is the crisis of 1787 when the common people also sought to govern themselves, when they were compelled to try to protect their limited local autonomy by taking up arms during Shays Rebellion. Then the problem was defined by the Framers as the “excess of democracy.” Today descendants of the Framers call it the “crisis of democracy.” Then, the Framers worried that the House of Representatives, elected directly, might legislate in the interests of people with little property. Similarly, Trilateralists have complained of the “chain of picayune legislative restrictions and prohibitions.” Meanwhile, executive elites who assume the hidden positions of power within executive intelligence, military, and security agencies and who constitute the secret government worry that the checks and balances designed by the Framers to control public power are inadequate to protect private power. The protections, regulations, and access to secrets that we have won through struggle are under increasing assault. More secrecy and insulation for private power is needed.

The rise of the secret government and the use of secret teams does present us with a Constitutional crisis. But the crisis is not that the values of the Framers or the purpose of the Constitution are being violated. President Eisenhower “preferred not to know about clandestine operations such as the...overthrow of the democratically elected Arbenz regime in Guatemala...” and left the planning and the execution of the covert action to a secret committee within the NSC.58 This type of deference to the needs of private capital is quite consistent with the purpose of the Constitution and varies insignificantly from the deference President Madison (Father of the Constitution) showed to General Andrew Jackson when he killed 800 Native Americans at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 and then as treaty commissioner took away half the land of the Creek nation. Remember, the Constitution states that only Congress can declare war but it says nothing about who can make war or when it should be declared. The crisis occurs when there is a clash between the secret government and the elected government (as in the case of an independent Kennedy) or when there is a clash between the secret government and the people directly, as in the case of social movements during and after Vietnam or in other periods when common people try to become meaningfully involved in public affairs and are repressed by such programs as COINTELPRO. The fundamental crisis, then, is that the values of the Framers and the political system that they created are clearly undemocratic. And the unaccountable private power which they championed has today become so concentrated and the rich citizens they thought would be so virtuous have instead become so desperate to extend a declining empire that the United States now threatens democracy and decency around the globe.


Chapter 5

1. Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy (New York: Dell, 1984), 184, 185.

2. One important and early study was L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team (New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973). As we shall note, the “secret team” referred to by the Christic Institute is different than Prouty's. While it has its roots in the same corporate-intelligence community, the Christic Institute's secret team tends to carry out policy; Prouty's secret team sets it. For Prouty's secret team I shall use “secret government.” When I shall use the term “secret team” I shall use it in the sense that the Christic Institute does.

3. The best recent study on these matters is Johnathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter, The Iran Contra Connection (Boston: South End Press, 1987).

4. Both Daniel Sheehan, Chief Counsel of the Christic Institution and Saul Landau of the Institute for Policy Studies, for example, have emphasized in public talks that the covert activities violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

5. Harry Magdoff, Imperialism: From the Colonial Age to the Present (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978), 202.

6. A study by Lawrence Dennis quoted by Magdoff, 199; considering covert activities, the Untied States has been at war continuously since 1941.

7. Prouty, 2.

8. Robert M. Johnstone, Jr., Jefferson and the Presidency (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978), 64, 65.

9. See Chapter 3.

10. For a more complete account see Marshall, Scott, and Hunter.

11. Paul Jacobs and Saul Landau, To Serve the Devil, Vol. 2, (New York: Random House, 1971), 338-355.

12. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), 323, 324, 344; for the Madison quote see Chapter 3.

13. For information on Hoover and the post-war attack on Russia see Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers, The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War Against Soviet Russia (Boston: Little, Brown Books, 1946); also I have profited very much from the research of Dave Emory and Nip Tuck whose work in this area can be obtained on audio cassettes from Davkore Co., 1300-D Space Park Way, Mountain View, CA 94043.

14. Leonard Mosley, Dulles (New York: Dial Press, 1978).

15. Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Hitler, the highest award that the Nazis could give a foreigner. Ford had also written anti-Semitic texts, such as The International Jew which reportedly influenced Hitler.

16. Higham, Trading.

17. Higham, 62; the last quote is taken from an interview conducted with Charles Higham by Louise Belloti, November 1982, broadcast on KPFA, Berkeley, CA

18. See Charles Higham, American Swastika (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1985), Chapter 16.

19. See for example the description of Lieutenant Commander Canaris, an American intelligence source working with the Germans; Anthony Cave Brown, Wild Bill Donovan: The Last Hero (New York: Times Books, 1982), 128.

20. Higham, Swastika, 184-186.

21. Higham, Swastika, 198; Peter Dale Scott, “How Allen Dulles and the SS Preserved Each Other,” Covert Action , Number 25 (Winter 1986), 6, 12.

22. Higham, Swastika, 190-199.

23. For detailed examinations of this type of collaboration in Europe see T. H. Tetens, The New Germany and the Old Nazis (New York: Random House, 1961); Howard Ambruster, Treason's Peace (Beechhurst Press, 1947); Kurt Riess, The Nazis Go Underground (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Duran & Co., 1944); Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS (London: Secker & Warburg, 1969), translated by Richard Barry; Ladislas Farago, Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974); and in Japan, see James Hougan, Spooks (New York: William Morrow & Co. Inc., 1978).

24. James S. Martin, All Honorable Men (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1950).

25. See Laurence H. Shoup & William Minter, “Shaping a New World Order: The Council on Foreign Relations' Blueprint for World Hegemony,” in Holly Sklar, ed., Trilateralism (Boston: South End Press, 1980)135-156; Noam Chomsky, Turning the Tide (Boston: South End Press, 1985), 65.

26. See Riess and note that publication date is prior to the end of the war.

27. Charles R. Allen, Jr., Heusinger of the Fourth Reich (Manzoni and Monzel, 1963).

28. Gehlen's organization was first within the Office of Policy Coordination before it became part of the CIA. The sources for Eichmann and Barbie are Higham, Swastika, 252, Chapter 26, and Cookridge, and Scott. Also see Scott, 5, 14.

29. It is interesting to note also that the phrase “iron curtain” was used first not by Churchill but by Hitler's last finance minister Count Von Krosigk.

30. Not surprisingly it was Allen Dulles who saw to it that the legislation which defined the power of the CIA contained the clause enabling the CIA to carry out “such other functions and duties related to intelligence as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.”

31. For a discussion of Gehlen and the Green Berets, see Cookridge, Chapter 17.

32. See Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (Boston: South End Press, 1979), 361 and Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, On Democracy (New York: Penguin Books, 1983), 199.

33. Torture victims, for example, have recently identified CIA personnel as being present during interrogations in Honduras; see The New York Times, January 19, 1988, 1, 4.

34. This particular instance of torture was first reported in the January issue of Alert, a publication produced by the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador; it was also reported by Ray Bonner in The New York Times, January 11, 1982. The transcript of the interview may be found in “Salvadoran Deserter Discloses Green Beret Torture Role,” Covert Action Information Bulletin , No. 16, March 1982.

35. Jim Naureckas, “Death Squad Strategy Was Made in U.S.A.,” In These Times, Jan. 13-19, 1988, 9.

36. John Stockwell, in a speech at the University of California, Santa Barbara, April 8, 1986.

37. David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Invisible Government (New York: Vintage Books, 1974), 95; for information on Forrestal see Higham, Trading.

38. John Loftus, The Belarus Secret (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, inc., 1982), 69.

39. Loftus, 70, 73, 76, 78, 89, 106, 107, 130, 132; Victor Marchetti, who spent 14 years working in the CIA writes that “If one looks back at the CIA's predecessor, the wartime Office of Strategic Service, one finds that its primary activities were...concentrated on trying to create guerrilla movements in occupied territory. When the CIA was formed in 1947, the operatives - most of whom had served in OSS [Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey] - quickly got control of the Agency, and they have held on ever since.” Victor Marchetti, “An Introductory Overview,” in Robert L. Borosage and John Marks (ed.), The CIA File (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976), xii. It should be pointed out that Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey were CIA directors that served in the OSS.

40. Jerry W. Sanders, Peddlers of Crisis (Boston: South End Press, 1983), 14, 24, 25.

41. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The Cult of Intelligence (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974), 305.

42. Henrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup (Boston: South End Press, 1976), 144, 205; Cookridge, 218;

43. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), Chapter 3; see Wise and Ross, 184-192. John McCone who replaced Dulles was a far right©wing business tycoon with interests in Bech<©>tel, Standard Oil of California, and Curtis-Wright Corporation.

44. See Peter Dale Scott, “The Kennedy Assassination and the Vietnam War,” in Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hotch, and Russel Stetler, eds., The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (New York: Vintage, 1976); the information regarding the escalation of troop levels comes from a talk given by John Judge in San Francisco, July 24, 1987. His mother was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

45. Prouty, vii, 416.

46. Most of the information from this section is drawn from an affidavit filed for a federal civil lawsuit prepared by the Christic Institute which is available at 1324 North Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20002. All quotes in this section are taken directly from the affidavit unless otherwise indicated.

47. The Shooter Team has been linked by many, including Daniel Sheehan of the Christic Institute to John Kennedy's assassination. See also the reference to the Torbitt document in the footnotes of Chapter 4.

48. Kruger, 146.

49. Marshall, Scott, and Hunter, 8,9.

50. See Noam Chomsky, On Power and Ideology (Boston: South End Press, 1987),13.

51. Policy Planning Study (PPS) 23, Feb. 24, 1948, FRUS 1948, I (part 2).

52. Richard L. Rubenstein, The Cunning of History (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), x, 64.

53. Gregory Shank, “Contragate and Counterterrorism: An Overview,” Crime and Social Justice, Nos. 27-28, iii.

54. Edward S. Herman, “U.S. Sponsorship of International Terrorism: An Overview,” Crime and Social Justice, Nos. 27-28, 15,16.

55. Rubenstein, 53.

56. Taken from Sklar, “Trilateralism: Managing Dependence and Democracy,” 37. The references to trilateralist thinking are from Michael J. Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuk, The Crisis of Democracy (New York: New York University Press, 1975).

57. Crozier, et. al., 91-114.

58. Dillion Anderson quoted by Peter Thompson, “Bilderberg and the West,” in Sklar, 186; see The Nation, “A Mini-C.I.A.,” August 15/22, 1987.

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