Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Secrets, Lies, and Audiotape

Today, the Central Intelligence Agency released several hundred pages of formerly classified material detailing (among other things) misdeeds and other embarrassing activities made by "The Agency" between 1959 and 1973.

In the tradition of Dave Letterman's "Top 10" lists, here is a summary of the so-called Family Jewels:

8. Tested equipment in Miami prior to a political convention.

7. CIA personnel "swept" the 1968 conventions (and candidates) for listening devices.

6. Loaned equipment to police agencies near Washington D.C. so they handle protests from "dissident elements" rather than the CIA's own guards.

5. Surveilled "newsmen" to identify their sources and other activities to support local police investigations.

4. Illegally confined a Soviet defector for nearly three years.

3. Wiretapped two unidentified newsmen to learn their sources. Most identified.

2. Tried to use the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro.

1. We don't know.

That's right! One secret, the first one mentioned in the report, has been kept private. The details appear to have taken two and a half pages, pages that are completely blanked on the online report.

What do you suppose was detailed in those pages? Watergate involvement? The JFK assassination? Tests involving LSD? Remote viewing? Roswell? Some strange combination of these possibilities?

Whatever the final secret, one thing became pretty clear while I was reading the report. The agency's former activities could have been ripped from modern headlines. Illegal detention. Wiretapping of American citizens. Attempted regime change. Monitoring of dissidents and protesters.

It doesn't seem like much has changed in the last 34 years, does it?

One final note. Disclosures like this intrigue historians, political science students, and X-Philes. They generate headlines and water cooler gossip. They're fun to read and ponder. They're flashy; they command attention. I'm sure we'll be hearing about the Castro thing for days.

I do wonder one thing, though. Why was so much information was released at this particular time, especially after so many years of official denials and refusals?

It wouldn't happen to be a transparent attempt to shift attention from more recent acts of questionable legality, would it?

Nah. Our leaders wouldn't do that to us. Would they?

Photo credit: Paul Morse

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

It wouldn't happen to be a transparent attempt to shift attention from more recent acts of questionable legality, would it?

Nah. Our leaders wouldn't do that to us. Would they?


Yeah right - they wouldn't DREAM of doing anything like that. Meh.

xx, JP

10:22 PM  
Blogger Shaz said...

LOL we have the gift of sarcasim also. The political realm is a scary place no matter where you live.
They work for us don't they?
Don't I pay there wages?
PFftttt

10:29 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Sad part is some really good people with good intentions go into politics to change things but end up sucked in to the system.

4:41 PM  

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