Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is this What They Call Making Lemon-Aid Out of Lemons?

At least we're getting the kind of experience we need for the next war.

-Allen Dulles


  1. Is this 50 year old quote relevant to anything these days?

  2. Is it if you consider the context.You know, if you're country is in a war and particularly if you are fighting in it. Some cynical VIP writes it off as lessoned learned. Are you getting it anonymous?

  3. He's not writing it off. He's saying there's value there. This was the infant days of the CIA and no one knew what was going to be effective. The only real way to learn is trial by error.
    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Churchill

  4. Well, at least we can agree it is relevant then?

    And some people could interpret it as cynically writing it off. Well, the Bay of Pigs was a disaster, many lives were lost, we left our team stranded on the beach: Oh well, chalk it up to a lesson learned, let's go to lunch.

    What are CIA people saying nowadays?

  5. Ahh, yes...Allen Dulles, that paragon of neo-fascism and protector of murdering Nazis who should have been hanged at Nuremberg. What he said is always relevant, until the day comes that we have undone in this country all the evil that he wrought--to wit, subversion of the free press, overthrow of duly elected leaders here and abroad, cruel experimentation on unwitting citizens, and contrivances for unholy and unnecessary wars...to name a few. I wonder what covert operations he's running in hell?

    Tim Fleming
    author, "Murder of an American Nazi"

  6. Well Tim, comments are open here, you're entitled to your opinion, but I'm not hopping on your bandwagon at this present time.

  7. Where's the subverted press and overthrow of elected leaders here?! LoL! As we can see, Nutbars like Tim are quite obviously allowed out without restriction these days. So what's your idea of a workable government these days Tim? Cuba?
    Interesting that the CIA at that time was not even close to as effective and/or evil as the KGB or other foreign intel services.
    Don't call for malice when incompetence/hubris will do. You hubristic boob, Tim.

  8. Anonymous--

    You need to educate yourself on American history. Do you know what Operation Mockingbird was(the CIA hired, coerced, bribed, and threatened media types and/or trained their own assets as journalists/propagandists)? Have you ever heard of Operation MK-ULTRA (experiments in mind control which destroyed thousands of unwitting, innocent Americans)? How about ZR-RIFLE/Executive Action (the assassinations of heads of state)? Have you heard of Operation Paperclip (the importation of Nazi war criminals--like Strughold, Dornberger, Schmidt, Gehlen, von Braun, hundreds others--who were given jobs in our aerospace/defense/intelligence industries where they were able to wield influence in foreign policy and war-making)? How about Operation Artichoke, PB-SUCCESS, Midnight Climax? All of these programs were intitiated, overseen, or supported by Allen Dulles and his CIA cronies.

    Before you start name-calling (the last refuge of the truly uninformed), you should start reading up on the real history of the CIA. Lack of knowledge makes one speak foolishly.

    Oh, by the way, democracy is my preferred form of government, and those who would subvert it, as the CIA did, are my enemies.

  9. Kudos to your Wikipedia-like knowledge of “covert ops!” However, it’s pointless going line by line through each program like a KGB wanna-be, because the overall gist is that we, however coarsely as a nation, learned something from this trial and error. And sometimes the only thing we learned is that we shouldn’t try it again. And, we learned it faster than the KGB et al.

    The real irony/strength you seem to be missing is that the CIA/govt always bones it up and everyone eventually finds out. Just like corruption in Illinois or Enron, they all fall. Because of this they’ll never be a Mugabe/Hitler/Stalin here. Case in point is how everyone freaks out over the very minimal , but very regrettable, cases (3 documented?) of CIA Waterboarding but is almost silent about the multitudes of rape/torture rooms/beheadings/child suicide bombers/insane torture of our enemy. Myself, I like to give the benefit of the doubt first to our guys, not to say that they have carte blanche, torture should never be an option.

    But look, only in the US could Tim Flemming find out the fine details of how they/we experimented two+ generations ago and not only live to talk about it, but write a book and promote himself! Where else could get such freedom?

    I already started the name calling by calling you a “boob” and if that was too harsh I apologize…perhaps “dork” would be more fitting. Because you seem to be one of those conspiracy dorks who thinks that everything the US does has an overriding evil streak to it.

    And, whew, you’re for democracy…Thank god! So, let’s also posit that democracy would be strong without having people willing to do horrible things to other people to support it. Ie. Goto War.

  10. Anonymous--

    If you now concede that the CIA did all these things, within a framework of a country where the military-industrial complex (Eisenhower's term, not mine...you should read his farewell speech to the nation, Jan. 17,1961) did and does rule, aren't you motivated to learn more? It does not end there. The CIA did not control the country in a vacuum. They were doing their masters' bidding. Don't you want to know who, how, and why? Doesn't your intellectual curiosity demand more? Or are you content to call me a boob and a dork, and stay sequestered in your narrow-minded view of the country. People like you--and your blind ignorance, your unfathomable acceptance of authority, your accession of self-determination to the wealthy and powerful--gave us Johnson, Nixon, two Bushes, legalized looting of the national treasury, bloody wars for profit, and an immense weapons/defense industry that needs puppets in congress and the White House to keep itself oiled.

    Let me give you just one example of how it works. You've heard of Halliburton KBR, right? One of the largest war profiteers in the nation, it has made billions off the Iraq War. Dick Cheney, Halliburton's ex-CEO, of course was the main mover behind the scenes in getting us involved in Iraq (falsifying intelligence, spreading propaganda, doing the bidding of his masters). Did you know that Halliburton did the same thing in Vietnam? The "BR" in "KBR" stands for Brown & Root. Brown, as in the Brown brothers--George and Herman--who were big financial backers of LBJ. LBJ contrives the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident to get us into the war, and, voila, Brown & Root gets the lucrative contract to dredge Camran Bay. Halliburton gets the contract to build military infrastructure in southeast Asia. Another of LBJ's financial guardian angels was D.H. Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas (I presume you've heard of this building?). His minion, Roy Truly, is introduced to Lee Harvey Oswald by Ruth Paine, Oswald's landlady. And, voila, Oswald has a job in the building by which the president will pass in a month. JFK is murdered, LBJ's the new president, the war begins, and, presto, Byrd's weapons manufacturing company (Ling-Temco-Vought) has a big, fat defense contract courtesy of LBJ.

    Ruth Paine, by the way, in 1963 was married to Michael Paine, an executive with Bell Helicopter of Texas. Bell got the contract to build Hueys for the Vietnam War. They made hundreds of millions off this contract. Working for Paine was one Walter Dornberger, ex-Nazi rocket scientist and war criminal. Walter should have been hanged at Nuremberg for the deaths of thousands of slave laborers at Peenemunde, where the Third Reich developed and tested the V-2. However, he was evacuated to the US, under the auspices of the OSS (CIA), as part of Operation Paperclip, a program run by Allen Dulles.

    That's America. That's how it works. And your suggestion that it is easy to extract these details from the government is absolutely ludicrous. Only through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act, which says they are our documents, we've paid for them, we have the right to read them) have concerned citizens been able to gain access to the government's dirtiest secrets. Even then, the CIA fights us at every turn, through the courts, through disinformation tactics, through smears of dedicated researchers. And when they do release documents, they are ususally heavily redacted.
    Without FOIA, and good citizens fighting for the right to know how their democracy was subverted, most of the secrets we know today would still be hidden. That's the real fight for democracy, not some purposeless war in the middle of some godforsaken desert where we have no place being.

    Here's the point in a nutshell: Until we take back the country from the military-industrial-defense-intelligence complex which runs it, we will always be fighting a needless war in some godforsaken place...the machinery needs to be greased, profit needs to be made. And that's what Dulles meant by "at least it's good experience for the next war"; he KNEW there would always be a next war.

    Well, I tried. I've done my good deed for the week, trying to give sight to the blind. Now I have to move on to more useful things. Good luck to you, and try to open your mind and educate yourself.

  11. You’ve obviously got a good heart, but your effectiveness is heavily blunted by your embarrassing epistemic arrogance. It also probably makes you no fun at dinner parties. Just something to consider.

    So, you’ve figured out the history of the world eh? And you’ve found that it is controlled by a small cabal that runs the CIA and other power centers. And, even granting this is true, if we could only expose these people and convict them the world would shed all glimmers of corruption and we all live happily ever after? They eventually do get exposed, and big companies which rely on stupid ideas do fail (unless we bail them out). Bottom line is that you are egregiously committing a narrative fallacy. When you look back like that there is any number of stories that make sense. BTW- Did the Huey perform better or worse because Dornberger worked on it?

    It’s all your assumptions that are so incredible. Like as if JFK survived we would be living in the crystal palace by now. Don’t forget that JFK entrenched the Green Berets…the guys who carry out the scary-evil “black ops.” Or, that if we didn’t hire and exploit former Nazi scientific knowledge we would be just as far along in technical supremacy. The CIA has mostly been a boondoggle. They can barely predict anything with accuracy and Dulles sent many agents to their death due to incompetence not malice. The KGB was way better. The list of fuck-ups is astonishing.

    Predicting a war doesn’t count. That there is going to be a future war is like predicting a baseball season will happen again. Watch out though, one year the players might strike and the season gets scrubbed. Praise be! Peace in our time!

    Cheney may be the worst/most-evil VP in American history, but however much you and Naomi Klein want us to think it, he’s not pulling the strings. You give these guys too much credit. I wonder why too? Because it’s your business now perhaps?

    But hey, to jump on your bandwagon… how about the Iraq and Afghan wars were planned all along so that the US military would get good at nation building and then we’d be able to build all sorts of well run nations all over the world? Then the Blue bloods like Bush & Gore et al could set up a world govt that they could manage. Not bad right?!