The CIA:
Covert Action Around the World

excerpted from the book

The Lawless State

The crimes of the U.S. Inteligence Agencies

by Morton Halperin, Jerry Berman, Robert Borosage, Christine Marwick

Penguin Books, 1976


"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people."' So spoke Henry Kissinger at a secret June 1970 White House meeting. The topic under discussion that day was ... what covert actions the CIA should take against Salvador Allende, but the sentiment reflected American behavior in many countries and could have come from the lips of any of the key American foreign-policy managers of the post-World-War-II era. These men-presidents and their chief advisers-felt that they knew best; that if other countries acted in a manner they considered irresponsible, they had the right, and even the duty, to intervene with American power.

For the last thirty years the United States has stood almost alone as the activist leader of the West, and American officials have become the arbiters of what sort of economic and political systems other nations should have. When such countries as Greece and Vietnam were threatened from the left, the United States intervened. When leftists took power in countries like Guatemala, Iran, and Chile, the United States helped to overthrow them. Stated American policy may have been that foreign countries

should be free to choose their own system of government, but the reality has been that this freedom of choice applied only within American-defined limits. Successive American administrations claimed that the American objective was to spread democracy, but in fact American objectives were different and more specific.

Essentially the United States has demanded three things of foreign regimes: (1) that they support the anti-Soviet and anti-Chinese foreign policy of the United States; (2) that they allow and safeguard the investment of outside- particularly American-capital; and (3) that they maintain internal stability-which has usually translated into their repressing their own internal lefts. The intensity of American intervention has also been influenced by such other factors as the brashness or charisma of a foreign leader and a country's physical proximity to the United States.

With some help from its allies, the United States generally imposed its standards on other countries, particularly those of the Third World, though American intervention was not always effective. In effect the United States has served as the world's policemen. And the secret policeman -the enforcer-of this system has been the CIA.

The CIA was established by Congress in 1947 at a time when the cold war with the Soviet Union was just beginning but when American leaders had taken up the role of Western leadership. Britain and France had long maintained colonial empires with comparatively small occupying forces and actively functioning secret services. Their technique was to use "dirty tricks" to divide and confound native opposition. The United States had little experience with such clandestine agencies (although U.S. cavalry agents were known in the nineteenth century to have given blankets from tuberculosis wards to hostile Indians). In World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created by executive order the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a military agency designed to promote resistance movements and to use the techniques of secret war against the Axis powers. America's first covert operatives largely learned these arcane skills from their more experienced British allies.

The OSS was disbanded after the war ended in 1945, but many of its components were transferred intact to other government agencies. Its veterans had enjoyed their clandestine wartime experiences and much preferred spy work to the ordinary routine of civilian life. These OSS alumni were closely connected to some of the most powerful figures in American government, law, industry, and finance. Led by former OSS chief William "Wild Bill" Donovan and OSS operational chief in Switzerland, Allen Dulles, they formed a potent lobbying group for a peacetime intelligence service. By 1947, the Truman administration had accepted their belief that such an organization was needed to counter the Soviet threat covertly. In the National Security Act, passed that year, Truman and his top advisers proposed the command structure that would be used to fight a cold war: the National Security Council (NSC) was established as the chief decision-making body; the armed forces were unified into the Defense Department; and the Central Intelligence Agency was formed.

In considering this package, Congress was not informed that the CIA would take an activist covert role. Rather, the CIA was presented to the lawmakers and the public as an entity whose function would be the coordination and analysis of intelligence within the government. The failure of the various military intelligence agencies to provide a clear warning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was frequently cited as the reason the United States needed a central intelligence agency to pull together in one place all the information available from all the government agencies. The CIA then would be expected to give the president the best possible estimate of the situation.

The National Security Act did not mention that the CIA would collect intelligence, although the Truman administration apparently did privately inform some members of Congress. However, no member of Congress was informed that the CIA would also be using the techniques of covert action to manipulate the internal affairs

of other nations secretly. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence noted that "authority for covert action cannot be found" in the 1947 act and that Congress was not aware of any such purpose. The ClA's own general counsel conceded in a memorandum written shortly after the passage of the act that the legislative history showed no congressional intent to authorize covert action. Nevertheless the CIA continues to claim that its authority to interfere in other countries' affairs came from a vaguely worded section of the National Security Act, which directed it "to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting national security as the National Security Council might from time to time direct."

No one in a policymaking position in the executive branch was really concerned about whether Congress had authorized covert actions. Such activities were, they believed, necessary and hence the president could order them. Thus the first year of the ClA's existence, the NSC had assigned the agency responsibility for conduct of secret psychological, political, paramilitary, and economic operations. There may not have been a legal mandate for such activities but there was something approaching a national consensus for "stopping Communism." To many Americans, including a commission headed by former President Herbert Hoover, that meant acting "more ruthIess" than any foe. The Hoover Commission concluded in a secret annex on intelligence quoted in part in the Introduction:

It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the U.S. is to survive, longstanding American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.

Two spectacular "successes" in the early 1950s overthrowing constitutional but "leftist" governments in Iran and Guatemala set the tone for agency Third World operations. Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala were charismatic leaders who, like Castro, Patrice Lumumba, and Allende, sought to lead a leftist revolution. They were all labeled "Communists" and the CIA, directed by successive presidents, sought to drive them from power. In each of these cases (except Cuba) and in others, the agency was "successful" in that the feared charismatic leader was removed from the scene. 1 Whether American ideals or even strategic interests were served by these actions is another matter.

The meddling in these societies had little to do with our national interest or security. For example, the Shah of Iran had a border dispute with the Iraqi government and wanted to feed the Kurdish revolt against the Iraqis. The Shah prevailed on Nixon and Kissinger to provide money to the Kurds and to assure them of American support. After three years, the Shah settled his dispute with Iraq. The CIA suddenly cut the Kurds off without a penny as the Iraqis launched an all-out search-and-destroy mission the day after the secret agreement was signed with Iran. The result was thousands of casualties and more than 200,000 refugees. Kissinger even refused to provide humanitarian assistance to the refugees, stating: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."

In Ecuador the CIA helped to overthrow two governments, with only about ten American operators working there full time. In more complex societies like Brazil, Iran, and Vietnam, the CIA assigned considerably more personnel.

In some places the CIA-always at the order of the White House-went well beyond behind-the-scenes manipulation and fought "secret wars." Although the Constitution says only the Congress shall declare war, a succession of presidents has committed the ClA's paramilitary forces to combat. In virtually all these cases most members of Congress were not even informed that United States forces were involved in fighting. Yet, as the Senate committee found, "Paramilitary operations have great potential for escalating into major military commitments.

Against mainland China during the 1950s, the CIA sponsored guerrilla raids-the only results of which were the deaths of many Chinese and the capture and imprisonment for twenty years of two young CIA operatives, John Downey and Richard Fecteau. In Guatemala, in 1954, the CIA organized a small army to overthrow a leftist government. In Indonesia in 1958, the CIA supplied rebels fighting against President Sukarno, and agency planes- belonging to an agency "proprietary," or front, called Civil Air Transport-bombed government forces. In Burma during the 1950s, the CIA supported about 12,000 Nationalist Chinese who had fled China in 1949. These forces became heavily involved in the opium trade-as were the ClA's Meo allies in Laos. The United States ambassador to Burma, who was not aware of the CIA involvement, wound up lying about their presence to the Burmese government.

The largest CIA military operations took place in Indochina. The ClA's involvement in Vietnam had started in support of the French colonial regime before 1954. Thereafter the CIA and General Edward Lansdale, one of its legendary operators, played a key role in installing President Ngo Dinh Diem in power. Lansdale's subordinates ran guerrilla raids against North Vietnam; spread false propaganda that caused large increases in the flow of refugees from North Vietnam; and financed and trained Diem's secret police and palace guards. United States Special Forces, or "Green Berets," which were under CIA operational control until 1963, recruited an army of ethnic minorities to fight secretly along Vietnam's borders and in Cambodia, North Vietnam, and Laos.

Inside Laos itself the CIA organized another, even larger, "secret" army, which contained at its peak 35,000 Meo and other minority tribesmen. When that force had been nearly decimated in the early 1970s, 17,000 Thai troops were hired by the agency. Congress had by law forbidden the hiring of such mercenaries from neighboring countries, but the Nixon administration gave the CIA the go-ahead to recruit the Thais anyway, under the thin subterfuge that they had signed on not in Thailand but locally in Laos.

Despite the tens of thousands of foreign soldiers on its payroll, the CIA was able to keep its war in Laos concealed from most members of Congress until 1969. While it was no secret from the enemy soldiers who were being bombed and shot, the agency's involvement was largely invisible to the outside world because of a wide variety of covers. Its operatives hid as political and economic officers in the American embassy in Vientiane, as CIA persons do around the world; 25 percent of so-called State Department officials worldwide are actually with the CIA. The U.S. Army and Air Force also provided cover, as military units have long done for the CIA both at home and abroad. The Agency for International Development (AID) was another front for the CIA and allowed it to set up under AID cover a "requirements Office" and a "Research Management Branch." By 1971, almost 50,000 American military men and women based outside Laos were supporting the "secret war: logistically and with massive bombing strikes."

The CIA also made extensive use of proprietaries in its second largest operation, mounted against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Starting in the late 1950s, the CIA organized a Cuban exile army to overthrow Castro. The result was the ClA's greatest fiasco ever: the total routing of its forces at the Bay of Pigs. The agency did not give up, however, as the Kennedy brothers remained more determined than ever to get rid of the Castro government. CIA paramilitary forces continued to make regular raids against Cuba, destroying crops, blowing up installations and generally attacking the Cuban economy, in operations code-named MONGOOSE.

The most extreme of the ClA's anti-Castro programs were its repeated attempts to assassinate the Cuban leader. Time after time, during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations, the CIA failed in its murder attempts. From 1960 to 1962, the agency worked in tandem with Mafia leaders to dispose of Castro. The ClA's mob accomplices included Sam Giancana of the Chicago family, the Trafficantes of Havana and Tampa, Florida, and convicted card cheat John Rosselli of the West Coast. The agency tried poisoners and riflemen. Explosive seashells and a deadly fountain pen were some of the murderous devices the agency's Technical Service Division came up with. In 1963, the technicians specially prepared a skindiving suit to be presented as a gift to Castro. It was dusted inside with a fungus that would produce a chronic skin disease called Madura foot. Just to make sure, the breathing apparatus was contaminated with tubercule bacillus.

The ClA's ill-fated attempts to kill Castro were only one episode m agency assassination plots. Murder was viewed within the CIA as an important enough weapon that an assassination capability was institutionalized in 1961. The agency, which has a particular knack for euphemism, called the program "executive action." Preferring to keep the actual blood off their own hands, agency officials hired people like mafiosos and an agent code-named WI/ROGUE to do the dirty work. WI/ROGUE is described in CIA documents as a "forger and former bank robber"...

WI/ROGUE was involved in the ClA's attempts to kill Patrice Lumumba in the Congo (now Zaire). The Senate Select Committee found that the CIA sent highly toxic poisons to the Congo and took other "exploratory steps" as part of its plots to kill the popular leftist leader. In 1961, in the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo was shot by Dominican dissidents who were in close touch with the CIA and the State Department. Reported the Senate Select Committee ...

The CIA was also involved in plots that led to the assassinations of Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Nhu in South Vietnam, and that, already detailed, of General Rene Schneider in Chile. Whether the CIA directly planned for these men to die or whether their shootings were outside the agency's control is not clear from the record available. In any case the CIA was certainly a witting- accomplice in both the Vietnamese case, where it gave its approval to the coup plotters, and the Schneider incident, where it provided machine guns and other equipment to those plotting against him.

In Vietnam the CIA became involved in a different kind of assassination program. This was a series of operations -generally referred to as PHOENIX-which were designed to "neutralize" the political infrastructure of the National Liberation Front (NLF). In the first two and one-half years of PHOENIX, 20,587 suspected NLF cadre were killed, according to figures supplied Congress by William Colby, the man who supervised the program and then was promoted by President Nixon to head the CIA. Linked to PHOENIX were ClA-run and -financed Provincial Interrogation Centers and Counter Terror (CT) teams in every Vietnamese province...

The CIA makes wide use of legitimate multinational corporations. Financial institutions such as the First National City Bank help the CIA move large sums of money into target-countries. During the mid-1950s, Pan American Airlines had an arrangement with the CIA to provide agency personnel access to baggage in planes transiting the airport in Panama City, Panama, and even to provide the operatives with mechanics overalls-better to disguise them. In Chile from 1970 to 1973, ITT worked closely with the CIA in a whole variety of secret operations.

Multinational corporations also provide cover to CIA operatives abroad. Companies known to have concealed CIA personnel on their payrolls are ITT, Pan Am, and Grace Shipping Lines. In February 1974, a "high government official," who was in fact CIA Director William Colby, told reporters that the CIA had over 200 operatives working under corporate cover. A rare public glimpse of the inner workings of such an agency-corporate arrangement came in 1975 when Ashland Oil Company admitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had received $98,968 from the CIA from 1968 to 1973. The money was reportedly to pay Ashland the costs of providing cover to an agency operator for those five years in Western Europe. Of the money, $50,000 wound up in a fund that Ashland used to make illegal campaign contributions in the United States. Ashland obviously had its own use for the untraceable "laundered" funds the CIA uses to pay its debts.


Starting in the late 1940s, the CIA has worked extremely closely with George Meany and much of the American labor movement to build strong anti-Communist unions and to destroy the effectiveness of leftist unions. The agency funneled money for European unions in the early years through such labor leaders as Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers and the AFL's Irving Brown. CIA funds went to the international programs of individual unions, including the American Newspaper Guild and the American Federation of Federal, State, and Municipal Employees (which served as the ClA's principal instrument for fomenting a general strike and helping to overthrow the government of British Guiana in 1962-63).


The ClA's activities in the media area are as varied as the most diverse conglomerates. Since 1947, the agency has published over 1,250 books that were not identified as being connected with the United States government. These works were distributed around the world-and in the United States-to support propaganda themes the CIA was pushing. Wrote the ClA's covert propaganda chief in 1961: "Books differ from all other propaganda media primarily because one single book can significantly change the reader's attitude and action to an extent unmatched by the impact of any other single medium."

In addition to book publishing, the CIA has also owned or subsidized for propaganda purposes magazines, newspapers, news services, and radio and television stations.

Although the CIA's propaganda activities are supposed to be limited to foreign audiences, events and ideas described in agency publications are often widely distributed in the United States. The Penkovskiy Papers, which the CIA wrote, was a best seller at home, and information put out by the CIA in its Chilean media operations in 1970 was picked up by both the Washington Post and The New York Times. Clandestine Services head Desmond Fitzgerald commented in 1967: "Fallout in the United States from a foreign publication which we support is inevitable and consequently permissible."

While the CIA apparently is not bothered by the prospect of putting out misleading propaganda inside the United States, it has established safeguards to make sure that top officials outside the agency do not accept falsehoods it is spreading as truth and use these misleading data as a basis to make policy. Regular coordination exists between the CIA and the State Department to prevent the deception of these officials through CIA "black" propaganda.

The CIA uses the press in another way by disguising some of its operatives as news personnel. In 1973, CIA Director Colby revealed that some "three dozen" American newsmen worked for the agency. In February 1976, the CIA announced it would no longer make use of "accredited" reporters, but the announcement was worded in a way not to give away the fact that the Senate Select Committee would reveal two months later: namely, the CIA was still using more than twenty-five unaccredited, ~ journalists-freelancers, stringers, and news executives.


As the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed, the CIA has been using small numbers of missionaries and church personnel in operational activities and as intelligence sources. Some of these included American missionaries in Bolivia who passed to the CIA information on dissident groups, a South Vietnamese bishop on the CIA payroll, ClA-financed radio broadcasts to promote literacy and spread anti-Communist propaganda in Colombia, and use of a Jesuit (Roger Vekemans) in Chile as a conduit for millions of dollars in political-action funds.


The CIA has used United States universities as recruiting grounds. One target is foreign students whom the agency wants to turn into spies in their home countries. Another is American students who may be recruited to be secret CIA operatives. A third group is professors, including visitors from abroad and those on the faculty, who may be recruited as permanent agents or persuaded to take on a single assignment. For this purpose the CIA maintains secret contractual relationships with several hundred academics on over a hundred campuses. The principal job of these CIA professors is to identify and help evaluate potential agents. After a potential recruit is spotted, his name is passed on to the CIA, which secretly investigates the individual. If a person is an American, a cover story- such as a credit-agency check-is used to gather the information. If the individual passes the security review the CIA secret recruiters will often be used to introduce the potential recruit to his would-be case officer. Some professors also are used to write CIA propaganda and to carry out specialized undercover missions. A professor or student (or someone posing as one of these) has a perfect excuse to travel around the world, asking all sorts of questions of interest to the CIA. Sometimes a professor thinks he is gathering information for a private business firm or research group when in fact the organization is a CIA front. Additionally the CIA sponsors considerable research on campus, and in most cases the agency's involvement is hidden-even from students and graduate assistants helping in the research. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the CIA funded from 1951 to 1965 the Center for International Studies, and from 1952 to 1967 it paid much of the budget of the National Student Association, whose officers attended international conferences as American representatives and sometimes carried out operational tasks for the CIA. During the early 1960s, the CIA used Michigan State University programs as a cover for agency police training programs in South Vietnam, and it continues to assign covert missions to academics-or people pretending to be academics.


Perhaps the most alarming research sponsored by the CIA in support of its clandestine programs was its extensive program on drug testing and behavior modification.

Early Saturday morning, on November 27, 1953, New York City policemen found the body of Frank Olson on the pavement by the Statler Hilton Hotel; he had hurled himself through the window of his room on the tenth floor. When the police asked the man who had been sharing Olson's room for an explanation of the apparent suicide, his companion mentioned that Olson suffered from ulcers. Twenty-two years later, it was revealed that Olson had committed suicide as a result of a CIA drug-testing program, in which he had unwittingly been administered a dose of LSD in a glass of Cointreau.

In response to growing fears that "hostile" foreign countries were using chemical and biological substances against United States agents, the CIA began to develop a defensive program of drug testing in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which turned into behavior modification experiments on unsuspecting individuals. Various programs expanded to include the stockpiling of lethal and incapacitating drugs, and the study of biological agents to be used against crops and animals. In 1953, the agency discussed a $240,000 purchase of 10 kilograms of LSD-enough for 100 million doses. Whether the purchase actually took place is not yet known. Over a ten-year period additional avenues of research were initiated, including experimentation on the effects of radiation and electric shocks. At one time the CIA flooded the New York subway system with a "harmless simulant" of a disease-carrying gas, as a trial study on the vulnerability of subway riders to sneak attack.

The major drug-testing program, known as MKULTRA, began to test volunteers at the Lexington Rehabilitation Center in Kentucky, a hospital for drug addicts. Willing volunteers were also tested in cooperation with the Bureau of Narcotics. But agency officials, concerned that testing under controlled conditions did not constitute a true test of the drug's effect, began to experiment on unwitting individuals. Agents working on the project would randomly choose a victim at a bar or off the street and, with no prior consent or medical prescreening, would take the individual back to a safe-house and administer the drug. For many of the unsuspecting victims, the result was days or even weeks of hospitalization and mental stress. For Frank Olson, a civilian employee of the army who was assigned to work on the drug-testing program with the CIA at Fort Deitrick, Maryland, it meant the death by suicide described above.

Although the agency made sure that Olson's widow and three young children received financial benefits, no explanation was ever given, and the family endured unknown anguish in its search for a reason for Olson's suicide. In a statement written by the family accompanying the release of CIA documents detailing the history of the twenty-two-year cover-up, the pain of those years was expressed. "We are one family whose history has been fundamentally altered by illegal CIA activity, the family of the only American so far identified as having died as a result of CIA treachery." The family spoke of the shadow of doubt and guilt that hung over the children, and the "inevitable trauma and day-to-day consequences" for Alice Olson, his wife.

The ClA's reaction to Olson's suicide was quite different. After agonizing consideration involving CIA chief Allen Dulles and future agency chief Richard Helms, a punishment appropriate to a clandestine organization was concocted. A letter was prepared and signed by Dulles telling those involved in causing Olson's death that they should not have done what they did. This letter was hand carried to each of those involved and they were permitted to read it but not to keep a copy. To preserve security, copies of the letter were not placed in the personnel files of those involved.

The drug-testing programs continued to expose unknown numbers of people to the risk of death or mental or physical injury for the next ten years, the only changes being a tightening of security precautions. An inspector general's study in 1957 warned that knowledge of the program "would have serious repercussions in political and diplomatic circles." Fear that the program would be leaked led CIA Director Helms to destroy all records of its activities, in 1973, including 152 separate files. Helms himself continued to push for an expanded drug-testing program, even after it had been terminater. Referring to its usefulness, Helms stated, "While I share your uneasiness and distaste for any program which tends to intrude upon an individual's private and legal prerogatives, I believe it is necessary that the Agency maintain a central role in this activity."


In 1967, Ramparts magazine exposed the ClA's use of a network of front and cooperating foundations, which acted as conduits for tens of millions of dollars in covert funds. The Senate committee found that from 1963 to 1966 the CIA funded nearly half of all grants made by all foundations, other than Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie, in the area of international activities. In addition to the National Student Association, recipients of the CIA largesse included the International Commission of Jurists, the National Education Association, the African-American Institute, the American Friends of the Middle East, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and Encounter magazine. The money was generally used to pay for the international activities of supposedly independent groups which could then counter leftist groups. Reacting to the Ramparts revelations, the Johnson administration adopted a policy that no CIA funds should go to any United States educational or private organizations. Not to be deterred however, the CIA kept undercover relationships with individuals connected to such groups, and it continued funding Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty until Congress in 1971 provided alternate funding.


The CIA regards ethnic groups in the United States- from Eastern Europeans to Cuban to Chinese-as fair game for its clandestine operations. While the stated targets of the agency are supposed to be overseas, the CIA is authorized to work clandestinely at home if the information it seeks has to do with foreign places and is gathered from foreigners. The millions of Americans belonging to some ethnic group are potential targets under this standard. In Miami during the mid-1960s, the CIA organized an intelligence service among Cuban exiles, which operated extensively among that city's Cuban community.

While supporters of the CIA have complained that the agency's capabilities have been greatly damaged by the ongoing CIA scandals, the fact remains that even at the scandals' height, the agency continued to have the operational structure in place to pour millions of dollars ~n arms and support into Angola and to fund election support in Italy.

All over the world the CIA maintains the capability to carry out covert operations. As the Senate Select Committee found:

There is no question that the CIA attaches great importance to the maintenance of a worldwide clandestine infrastructure-the so-called "plumbing" in place. During the 1960s the Agency developed a worldwide system of standby covert action-assets," ranging from media personnel to individuals said to influence the behavior of governments.

This clandestine infrastructure has been cut back to some extent in recent years, but the power of the CIA to intervene should not be underestimated. The agency is always reluctant to give up a useful asset, and under procedures in force as late as the summer of 1976 the CIA needed to consult no outsiders, whether in the executive branch or Congress, before recruiting and making payments to key foreigners able to manipulate events in other countries.

To be sure, before those assets could be used in a large-scale operation to overthrow a government or mount a major propaganda campaign, the CIA would have to seek permission of a National Security Council panel, the Operations Advisory Group (a body made up of the assistant to the president for national security affairs, the secretaries of state and defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the director of central intelligence earlier versions of this panel have been called the Special Group, the 54/12 Committee, the 303 Committee, and the 40 Committee). Nevertheless, of the several thousand covert-action projects carried out by the CIA since 1961, the Senate Select Committee found that only fourteen percent were individually considered by this executive branch review group.

Moreover, the Operations Advisory Group has no oversight at all over CIA operations directed toward intelligence gathering or counter-intelligence work. While CIA recruitment of the interior minister in Bolivia or penetration and training of the police in Uruguay can have an explosive effect on United States foreign relations, the agency submits to no high-level review before taking such actions. Reportedly, in recent years as covert action has come under increasing attack, the CIA has designated more and more of its assets-in its internal bookkeeping system-as "FI/CI" (foreign intelligence/counter-intelligence) agents. While these agents may be in key positions where they can have a profound effect on their country's affairs, the CIA is able to claim they are used only for informational purposes. That may be true in the short run, but these intelligence agents remain a crucial part of the ClA's covert-action "plumbing in place."

The president's secret enforcer still operates across the globe. The day-to-day routine meddling continues unabated. Larger programs-with the exception of Angola and Italy-may have been postponed while the agency was under investigation. But if no reforms are made, the CIA will remain at the president's hip, ready to be triggered wherever he aims.

The Lawless State

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