THE SECRET WARS OF THE CIA:
THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
AND THE CIA'S COVERT ACTIONS IN ANGOLA, CENTRAL AMERICA AND VIETNAM
by John Stockwell
a lecture given in October, 1987
John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA official ever to leave
the agency and go public. He ran a CIA intelligence-gathering
post in Vietnam, was the task-force commander of the CIA's secret
war in Angola in 1975 and 1976, and was awarded the Medal of Merit
before he resigned. Stockwell's book In Search of Enemies, published
by W.W. Norton 1978, is an international best-seller.
"I did 13 years in the CIA altogether. I sat on a subcommittee
of the NSC, so I was like a chief of staff, with the GS-18s (like
3-star generals) Henry Kissinger, Bill Colby (the CIA director),
the GS-18s and the CIA, making the important decisions and my
job was to put it all together and make it happen and run it,
an interesting place from which to watch a covert action being
I testified for days before the Congress, giving them chapter
and verse, date and detail, proving specific lies. They were asking
if we had to do with S. Africa, that was fighting in the country.
In fact we were coordinating this operation so closely that our
airplanes, full of arms from the states, would meet their airplanes
in Kinshasa and they would take our arms into Angola to distribute
to our forces for us....
What I found with all of this study is that the subject, the problem,
if you will, for the world, for the U.S. is much, much, much graver,
astronomically graver, than just Angola and Vietnam. I found that
the Senate Church committee has reported, in their study of covert
actions, that the CIA ran several thousand covert actions since
1961, and that the heyday of covert action was before 1961; that
we have run several hundred covert actions a year, and the CIA
has been in business for a total of 37 years.
What we're going to talk about tonight is the United States national
security syndrome. We're going to talk about how and why the U.S.
manipulates the press. We're going to talk about how and why the
U.S. is pouring money into El Salvador, and preparing to invade
Nicaragua; how all of this concerns us so directly. I'm going
to try to explain to you the other side of terrorism; that is,
the other side of what Secretary of State Shultz talks about.
In doing this, we'll talk about the Korean war, the Vietnam war,
and the Central American war.
Everything I'm going to talk to you about is represented, one
way or another, already in the public records. You can dig it
all out for yourselves, without coming to hear me if you so chose.
Books, based on information gotten out of the CIA under the freedom
of information act, testimony before the Congress, hearings before
the Senate Church committee, research by scholars, witness of
people throughout the world who have been to these target areas
that we'll be talking about. I want to emphasize that my own background
is profoundly conservative. We come from South Texas, East Texas....
I was conditioned by my training, my marine corps training, and
my background, to believe in everything they were saying about
the cold war, and I took the job with great enthusiasm (in the
CIA) to join the best and the brightest of the CIA, of our foreign
service, to go out into the world, to join the struggle, to project
American values and save the world for our brand of democracy.
And I believed this. I went out and worked hard....
What I really got out of these 6 years in Africa was a sense ...
that nothing we were doing in fact defended U.S. national security
interests very much. We didn't have many national security interests
in Bujumbura, Burundi, in the heart of Africa. I concluded that
I just couldn't see the point.
We were doing things it seemed because we were there, because
it was our function, we were bribing people, corrupting people,
and not protecting the U.S. in any visible way. I had a chance
to go drinking with this Larry Devlin, a famous CIA case officer
who had overthrown Patrice Lumumba, and had him killed in 1960,
back in the Congo. He was moving into the Africa division Chief.
I talked to him in Addis Ababa at length one night, and he was
giving me an explanation - I was telling him frankly, 'sir, you
know, this stuff doesn't make any sense, we're not saving anybody
from anything, and we are corrupting people, and everybody knows
we're doing it, and that makes the U.S. look bad'.
And he said I was getting too big for my britches. He said, `you're
trying to think like the people in the NSC back in Washington
who have the big picture, who know what's going on in the world,
who have all the secret information, and the experience to digest
it. If they decide we should have someone in Bujumbura, Burundi,
and that person should be you, then you should do your job, and
wait until you have more experience, and you work your way up
to that point, then you will understand national security, and
you can make the big decisions. Now, get to work, and stop, you
know, this philosophizing.'
And I said, `Aye-aye sir, sorry sir, a bit out of line sir'. It's
a very powerful argument, our presidents use it on us. President
Reagan has used it on the American people, saying, `if you knew
what I know about the situation in Central America, you would
understand why it's necessary for us to intervene.'
I went back to Washington, however, and I found that others shared
my concern. A formal study was done in the State Department and
published internally, highly classified, called the Macomber [sp?]
report, concluding that the CIA had no business being in Africa
for anything it was known to be doing, that our presence there
was not justified, there were no national security interests that
the CIA could address any better than the ambassador himself.
We didn't need to have bribery and corruption as a tool for doing
business in Africa at that time.
I went from ... a tour in Washington to Vietnam. And there, my
career, and my life, began to get a little bit more serious. They
assigned me a country. It was during the cease-fire, '73 to '75.
There was no cease-fire. Young men were being slaughtered. I saw
a slaughter. 300 young men that the South Vietnamese army ambushed.
Their bodies brought in and laid out in a lot next to my compound.
I was up-country in Tayninh. They were laid out next door, until
the families could come and claim them and take them away for
I thought about this. I had to work with the sadistic police chief.
When I reported that he liked to carve people with knives in the
CIA safe-house - when I reported this to my bosses, they said,
`(1). The post was too important to close down. (2). They weren't
going to get the man transferred or fired because that would make
problems, political problems, and he was very good at working
with us in the operations he worked on. (3). Therefore if I didn't
have the stomach for the job, that they could transfer me.'
But they hastened to point out, if I did demonstrate a lack of
`moral fiber' to handle working with the sadistic police chief,
that I wouldn't get another good job in the CIA, it would be a
So I kept the job, I closed the safe-house down, I told my staff
that I didn't approve of that kind of activity, and I proceeded
to work with him for the next 2 years, pretending that I had reformed
him, and he didn't do this sort of thing anymore. The parallel
is obvious with El Salvador today, where the CIA, the state department,
works with the death squads.
They don't meet the death squads on the streets where they're
actually chopping up people or laying them down on the street
and running trucks over their heads. The CIA people in San Salvador
meet the police chiefs, and the people who run the death squads,
and they do liaise with them, they meet them beside the swimming
pool of the villas. And it's a sophisticated, civilized kind of
relationship. And they talk about their children, who are going
to school at UCLA or Harvard and other schools, and they don't
talk about the horrors of what's being done. They pretend like
it isn't true.
What I ran into in addition to that was a corruption in the CIA
and the intelligence business that made me question very seriously
what it was all about, including what I was doing ... risking
my life ... what I found was that the CIA, us, the case officers,
were not permitted to report about the corruption in the South
Now, the corruption was so bad, that the S. Vietnamese army was
a skeleton army. Colonels would let the troops go home if they
would come in once a month and sign the pay vouchers so the colonel
could pocket the money. Then he could sell half of the uniforms
and boots and M-16's to the communist forces - that was their
major supply, just as it is in El Salvador today. He could use
half of the trucks to haul produce, half of the helicopters to
And the Army couldn't fight. And we lived with it, and we saw
it, and there was no doubt - everybody talked about it openly.
We could provide all kinds of proof, and they wouldn't let us
report it. Now this was a serious problem because the south was
attacked in the winter of 1975, and it collapsed like a big vase
hit by a sledgehammer. And the U.S. was humiliated, and that was
the dramatic end of our long involvement in Vietnam....
I had been designated as the task-force commander that would run
this secret war [in Angola in 1975 and 1976].... and what I figured
out was that in this job, I would sit on a sub-committee of the
National Security Council, this office that Larry Devlin has told
me about where they had access to all the information about Angola,
about the whole world, and I would finally understand national
security. And I couldn't resist the opportunity to know. I knew
the CIA was not a worthwhile organization, I had learned that
the hard way. But the question was where did the U.S. government
fit into this thing, and I had a chance to see for myself in the
next big secret war....
I wanted to know if wise men were making difficult decisions based
on truly important, threatening information, threatening to our
national security interests. If that had been the case, I still
planned to get out of the CIA, but I would know that the system,
the invisible government, our national security complex, was in
fact justified and worth while. And so I took the job.... Suffice
it to say I wouldn't be standing in front of you tonight if I
had found these wise men making these tough decisions. What I
found, quite frankly, was fat old men sleeping through sub-committee
meetings of the NSC in which we were making decisions that were
killing people in Africa. I mean literally. Senior ambassador
Ed Mulcahy... would go to sleep in nearly every one of these meetings....
You can change the names in my book [about Angola]  and you've
got Nicaragua.... the basic structure, all the way through including
the mining of harbors, we addressed all of these issues. The point
is that the U.S. led the way at every step of the escalation of
the fighting. We said it was the Soviets and the Cubans that were
doing it. It was the U.S. that was escalating the fighting. There
would have been no war if we hadn't gone in first. We put arms
in, they put arms in. We put advisors in, they answered with advisors.
We put in Zairian para-commando battalions, they put in Cuban
army troops. We brought in the S. African army, they brought in
the Cuban army. And
they pushed us away. They blew us away because we were lying,
we were covering ourselves with lies, and they were telling the
truth. And it was not a war that we could fight. We didn't have
interests there that should have been defended that way.
There was never a study run that evaluated the MPLA, FNLA and
UNITA, the three movements in the country, to decide which one
was the better one. The assistant secretary of state for African
affairs, Nathaniel Davis, no bleeding-heart liberal (he was known
by some people in the business as the butcher of Santiago), he
said we should stay out of the conflict and work with whoever
eventually won, and that was obviously the MPLA. Our consul in
Luanda, Tom Killoran, vigorously argued that the MPLA was the
best qualified to run the country and the friendliest to the U.S.
We brushed these people aside, forced Matt Davis to resign, and
proceeded with our war. The MPLA said they wanted to be our friends,
they didn't want to be pushed into the arms of the Soviet Union;
they begged us not to fight them, they wanted to work with us.
We said they wanted a cheap victory, they wanted a walk-over,
they wanted to be un-opposed, that we wouldn't give them a cheap
victory, we would make them earn it, so to speak. And we did.
10,000 Africans died and they won the victory that they were winning
Now, the most significant thing that I got out of all of this,
in addition to the fact that our rationales were basically false,
was that we lied. To just about everybody involved. One third
of my staff in this task force that I put together in Washington,
commanding this global operation, pulling strings all over the
world to focus pressure onto Angola, and military activities into
Angola, one third of my staff was propagandists, who were working,
in every way they could to create this picture of Cubans raping
Angolans, Cubans and Soviets introducing arms into the conflict,
Cubans and Russians trying to take over the world.
Our ambassador to the United Nations, Patrick Moynihan, he read
continuous statements of our position to the Security Council,
the general assembly, and the press conferences, saying the Russians
and Cubans were responsible for the conflict, and that we were
staying out, and that we deplored the militarization of the conflict.
And every statement he made was false. And every statement he
made was originated in the sub-committee of the NSC that I sat
on as we managed this thing. The state department press person
read these position papers daily to the press. We would write
papers for him. Four paragraphs. We would call him on the phone
and say, `call us 10 minutes before you go on, the situation could
change overnight, we'll tell you which paragraph to read. And
all four paragraphs would be false. Nothing to do with the truth.
Designed to play on events, to create this impression of Soviet
and Cuban aggression in Angola. When they were in fact responding
to our initiatives.
And the CIA director was required by law to brief the Congress.
This CIA director Bill Colby - the same one that dumped our people
in Vietnam - he gave 36 briefings of the Congress, the oversight
committees, about what we were doing in Angola. And he lied. At
36 formal briefings. And such lies are perjury, and it's a felony
to lie to the Congress.
He lied about our relationship with South Africa. We were working
closely with the South African army, giving them our arms, coordinating
battles with them, giving them fuel for their tanks and armored
cars. He said we were staying well away from them. They were concerned
about these white mercenaries that were appearing in Angola, a
very sensitive issue, hiring whites to go into a black African
country, to help you impose your will on that black African country
by killing the blacks, a very sensitive issue. The Congress was
concerned we might be involved in that, and he assured them we
had nothing to do with it.
We had in fact formed four little mercenary armies and delivered
them into Angola to do this dirty business for the CIA. And he
lied to them about that. They asked if we were putting arms into
the conflict, and he said no, and we were. They asked if we had
advisors inside the country, and he said `no, we had people going
in to look at the situation and coming back out'. We had 24 people
sleeping inside the country, training in the use of weapons, installing
communications systems, planning battles, and he said, we didn't
have anybody inside the country.
In summary about Angola, without U.S. intervention, 10,000 people
would be alive that were killed in the thing. The outcome might
have been peaceful, or at least much less bloody. The MPLA was
winning when we went in, and they went ahead and won, which was,
according to our consul, the best thing for the country.
At the end of this thing the Cubans were entrenched in Angola,
seen in the eyes of much of the world as being the heroes that
saved these people from the CIA and S. African forces. We had
allied the U.S. literally and in the eyes of the world with the
S. African army, and that's illegal, and it's impolitic. We had
hired white mercenaries and eventually been identified with them.
And that's illegal, and it's impolitic. And our lies had been
visible lies. We were caught out on those lies. And the world
saw the U.S. as liars.
After it was over, you have to ask yourself, was it justified?
What did the MPLA do after they had won? Were they lying when
they said they wanted to be our friends? 3 weeks after we were
shut down... the MPLA had Gulf oil back in Angola, pumping the
Angolan oil from the oilfields, with U.S. gulf technicians protected
by Cuban soldiers, protecting them from CIA mercenaries who were
still mucking around in Northern Angola.
You can't trust a communist, can you? They proceeded to buy five
737 jets from Boeing Aircraft in Seattle. And they brought in
52 U.S. technicians to install the radar systems to land and take-off
those planes. They didn't buy [the Soviet Union's] Aeroflot....
David Rockefeller himself tours S. Africa and comes back and holds
press conferences, in which he says that we have no problem doing
business with the so-called radical states of Southern Africa.
I left the CIA, I decided that the American people needed to know
what we'd done in Angola, what we'd done in Vietnam. I wrote my
book. I was fortunate - I got it out. It was a best-seller. A
lot of people read it. I was able to take my story to the American
people. Got on 60 minutes, and lots and lots of other shows.
I testified to the Congress and then I began my education in earnest,
after having been taught to fight communists all my life. I went
to see what communists were all about. I went to Cuba to see if
they do in fact eat babies for breakfast. And I found they don't.
I went to Budapest, a country that even national geographic admits
is working nicely. I went to Jamaica to talk to Michael Manley
about his theories of social democracy.
I went to Grenada and established a dialogue with Maurice Bishop
and Bernard Cord and Phyllis Cord, to see - these were all educated
people, and experienced people - and they had a theory, they had
something they wanted to do, they had rationales and explanations
- and I went repeatedly to hear them. And then of course I saw
the U.S., the CIA mounting a covert action against them, I saw
us orchestrating our plan to invade the country. 19 days before
he was killed, I was in Grenada talking to Maurice Bishop about
these things, these indicators, the statements in the press by
Ronald Reagan, and he and I were both acknowledging that it was
almost certain that the U.S. would invade Grenada in the near
I read as many books as I could find on the subject - book after
book after book. I've got several hundred books on the shelf over
my desk on the subject of U.S. national security interests. And
by the way, I urge you to read. In television you get capsules
of news that someone else puts together what they want you to
hear about the news. In newspapers you get what the editors select
to put in the newspaper. If you want to know about the world and
understand, to educate yourself, you have to get out and dig,
dig up books and articles for yourself. Read, and find out for
yourselves. As you'll see, the issues are very, very important.
I also was able to meet the players, the people who write, the
people who have done studies, people who are leading different
situations. I went to Nicaragua a total of 7 times. This was a
major covert action. It lasted longer and evolved to be bigger
than what we did in Angola. It gave me a chance, after running
something from Washington, to go to a country that was under attack,
to talk to the leadership, to talk to the people, to look and
see what happens when you give white phosporous or grenades or
bombs or bullets to people, and they go inside a country, to go
and talk to the people, who have been shot, or hit, or blown up....
We're talking about 10 to 20 thousand covert actions [the CIA
has performed since 1961]. What I found was that lots and lots
of people have been killed in these things.... Some of them are
very, very bloody.
The Indonesian covert action of 1965, reported by Ralph McGehee,
who was in that area division, and had documents on his desk,
in his custody about that operation. He said that one of the documents
concluded that this was a model operation that should be copied
elsewhere in the world. Not only did it eliminate the effective
communist party (Indonesian communist party), it also eliminated
the entire segment of the population that tended to support the
communist party - the ethnic Chinese, Indonesian Chinese. And
the CIA's report put the number of dead at 800,000 killed. And
that was one covert action. We're talking about 1 to 3 million
people killed in these things.
Two of these things have led us directly into bloody wars. There
was a covert action against China, destabilizing China, for many,
many years, with a propaganda campaign to work up a mood, a feeling
in this country, of the evils of communist China, and attacking
them, as we're doing in Nicaragua today, with an army that was
being launched against them to parachute in and boat in and destabilize
the country. And this led us directly into the Korean war.
U.S. intelligence officers worked over Vietnam for a total of
25 years, with greater and greater involvement, massive propaganda,
deceiving the American people about what was happening. Panicking
people in Vietnam to create migrations to the south so they could
photograph it and show how people were fleeing communism. And
on and on, until they got us into the Vietnam war, and 2,000,000
people were killed.
There is a mood, a sentiment in Washington, by our leadership
today, for the past 4 years, that a good communist is a dead communist.
If you're killing 1 to 3 million communists, that's great. President
Reagan has gone public and said he would reduce the Soviet Union
to a pile of ashes. The problem, though, is that these people
killed by our national security activities are not communists.
They're not Russians, they're not KGB. In the field we used to
play chess with the KGB officers, and have drinks with them. It
was like professional football players - we would knock heads
on Sunday, maybe in an operation, and then Tuesday you're at a
banquet together drinking toasts and talking.
The people that are dying in these things are people of the third
world. That's the common denominator that you come up with. People
of the third world. People that have the misfortune of being born
in the Metumba mountains of the Congo, in the jungles of Southeast
Asia, and now in the hills of northern Nicaragua. Far more Catholics
than communists, far more Buddhists than communists. Most of them
couldn't give you an intelligent definition of communism, or of
Central America has been a traditional target of U.S. dominion.
If you want to get an easy-read of the history of our involvement
in Central America, read Walter LaFeber's book, Inevitable Revolutions.
 We have dominated the area since 1820. We've had a policy
of dominion, of excluding other countries, other industrial powers
from Europe, from competing with us in the area.
Just to give you an example of how complete this is, and how military
this has been, between 1900 and W.W. II, we had 5,000 marines
in Nicaragua for a total of 28 years. We invaded the Dominican
Republic 4 times. Haiti, we occupied it for 12 years. We put our
troops into Cuba 4 times, Panama 6 times, Guatemala once, plus
a CIA covert action to overthrow the democratic government there
once. Honduras, 7 times. And by the way, we put 12,000 troops
into the Soviet Union during that same period of time.
In the 1930's there was public and international pressure about
our marines in Nicaragua....
The next three leaders of Guatemala [after the CIA installed the
puppet, Colonel Armaz in a coup] died violent deaths, and Amnesty
International tells us that the governments we've supported in
power there since then, have killed 80,000 people. You can read
about that one in the book Bitter Fruit, by Schlesinger and Kinzer.
 Kinzer's a New York Times Journalist... or Jonathan Kwitny,
the Wall Street Journal reporter, his book Endless Enemies 
- all discuss this....
However, the money, the millions and millions of dollars we put
into this program [helping Central America] inevitably went to
the rich, and not to the people of the countries involved. And
while we were doing this, while we were trying, at least saying
we were trying, to correct the problems of Central and Latin America,
the CIA was doing its thing, too. The CIA was in fact forming
the police units that are today the death squads in El Salvador.
With the leaders on the CIA's payroll, trained by the CIA and
the United States.
We had the `public safety program' going throughout Central and
Latin America for 26 years, in which we taught them to break up
subversion by interrogating people. Interrogation, including torture,
the way the CIA taught it. Dan Metrione, the famous exponent of
these things, did 7 years in Brazil and 3 in Uruguay, teaching
interrogation, teaching torture. He was supposed to be the master
of the business, how to apply the right amount of pain, at just
the right times, in order to get the response you want from the
They developed a wire. They gave them crank generators, with `U.S.
AID' written on the side, so the people even knew where these
things came from. They developed a wire that was strong enough
to carry the current and fine enough to fit between the teeth,
so you could put one wire between the teeth and the other one
in or around the genitals and you could crank and submit the individual
to the greatest amount of pain, supposedly, that the human body
Now how do you teach torture? Dan Metrione: `I can teach you about
torture, but sooner or later you'll have to get involved. You'll
have to lay on your hands and try it yourselves.'
.... All they [the guinea pigs, beggars from off the streets]
could do was lie there and scream. And when they would collapse,
they would bring in doctors and shoot them up with vitamin B and
rest them up for the next class. And when they would die, they
would mutilate the bodies and throw them out on the streets, to
terrify the population so they would be afraid of the police and
And this is what the CIA was teaching them to do. And one of the
women who was in this program for 2 years - tortured in Brazil
for 2 years - she testified internationally when she eventually
got out. She said, `The most horrible thing about it was in fact,
that the people doing the torture were not raving psychopaths.'
She couldn't break mental contact with them the way you could
if they were psychopath. They were very ordinary people....
There's a lesson in all of this. And the lesson is that it isn't
only Gestapo maniacs, or KGB maniacs, that do inhuman things to
other people, it's people that do inhuman things to other people.
And we are responsible for doing these things, on a massive basis,
to people of the world today. And we do it in a way that gives
us this plausible denial to our own consciences; we create a CIA,
a secret police, we give them a vast budget, and we let them go
and run these programs in our name, and we pretend like we don't
know it's going on, although the information is there for us to
know; and we pretend like it's ok because we're fighting some
vague communist threat. And we're just as responsible for these
1 to 3 million people we've slaughtered and for all the people
we've tortured and made miserable, as the Gestapo was the people
that they've slaughtered and killed. Genocide is genocide!
Now we're pouring money into El Salvador. A billion dollars or
so. And it's a documented fact that the... 14 families there that
own 60% of the country are taking out between 2 to 5 billion dollars
- it's called de-capitalization - and putting it in banks in Miami
and Switzerland. Mort Halper, in testifying to a committee of
the Congress, he suggested we could simplify the whole thing politically
just by investing our money directly in the Miami banks in their
names and just stay out of El Salvador altogether. And the people
would be better off.
Nicaragua. What's happening in Nicaragua today is covert action.
It's a classic de-stabilization program. In November 16, 1981,
President Reagan allocated 19 million dollars to form an army,
a force of contras, they're called, ex-Somoza national guards,
the monsters who were doing the torture and terror in Nicaragua
that made the Nicaraguan people rise up and throw out the dictator,
and throw out the guard. We went back to create an army of these
people. We are killing, and killing, and terrorizing people. Not
only in Nicaragua but the Congress has leaked to the press - reported
in the New York Times, that there are 50 covert actions going
around the world today, CIA covert actions going on around the
You have to be asking yourself, why are we destabilizing 50 corners
of the troubled world? Why are we about to go to war in Nicaragua,
the Central American war? It is the function, I suggest, of the
CIA, with its 50 de-stabilization programs going around the world
today, to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize the American
people to hate, so we will let the establishment spend any amount
of money on arms....
The Victor Marquetti ruling of the Supreme Court gave the government
the right to prepublication censorship of books. They challenged
360 items in his 360 page book. He fought it in court, and eventually
they deleted some 60 odd items in his book.
The Frank Snep ruling of the Supreme Court gave the government
the right to sue a government employee for damages. If s/he writes
an unauthorized account of the government - which means the people
who are involved in corruption in the government, who see it,
who witness it, like Frank Snep did, like I did - if they try
to go public they can now be punished in civil court. The government
took $90,000 away from Frank Snep, his profits from his book,
and they've seized the
profits from my own book....
[Reagan passed] the Intelligence Identities Protection act, which
makes it a felony to write articles revealing the identities of
secret agents or to write about their activities in a way that
would reveal their identities. Now, what does this mean? In a
debate in Congress - this is very controversial - the supporters
of this bill made it clear.... If agents Smith and Jones came
on this campus, in an MK-ultra-type experiment, and blew your
fiance's head away with LSD, it would now be a felony to publish
an article in your local paper saying, `watch out for these 2
turkeys, they're federal agents and they blew my loved one's head
away with LSD'. It would not be a felony what they had done because
that's national security and none of them were ever punished for
Efforts to muzzle government employees. President Reagan has been
banging away at this one ever since. Proposing that every government
employee, for the rest of his or her life, would have to submit
anything they wrote to 6 committees of the government for censorship,
for the rest of their lives. To keep the scandals from leaking
out... to keep the American people from knowing what the government
is really doing.
Then it starts getting heavy. The `Pre-emptive Strikes' bill.
President Reagan, working through the Secretary of State Shultz...
almost 2 years ago, submitted the bill that would provide them
with the authority to strike at terrorists before terrorists can
do their terrorism. But this bill... provides that they would
be able to do this in this country as well as overseas. It provides
that the secretary of state would put together a list of people
that he considers to be terrorist, or terrorist supporters, or
terrorist sympathizers. And if your name, or your organization,
is put on this list, they could kick down your door and haul you
away, or kill you, without any due process of the law and search
warrants and trial by jury, and all of that, with impunity.
Now, there was a tremendous outcry on the part of jurists. The
New York Times columns and other newspapers saying, `this is no
different from Hitler's "night in fog" program', where
the government had the authority to haul people off at night.
And they did so by the thousands. And President Reagan and Secretary
Shultz have persisted.... Shultz has said, `Yes, we will have
to take action on the basis of information that would never stand
up in a court. And yes, innocent people will have to be killed
in the process. But, we must have this law because of the threat
of international terrorism'.
Think a minute. What is `the threat of international terrorism'?
These things catch a lot of attention. But how many Americans
died in terrorist actions last year? According to Secretary Shultz,
79. Now, obviously that's terrible but we killed 55,000 people
on our highways with drunken driving; we kill 2,500 people in
far nastier, bloodier, mutilating, gang-raping ways in Nicaragua
last year alone ourselves. Obviously 79 peoples' death is not
enough reason to take away the protection of American citizens,
of due process of the law.
But they're pressing for this. The special actions teams that
will do the pre-emptive striking have already been created, and
trained in the defense department.
They're building detention centers. There were 8 kept as mothballs
under the McLaren act after World War II, to detain aliens and
dissidents in the next war, as was done in the next war, as was
done with the Japanese people during World War II. They're building
10 more, and army camps, and the... executive memos about these
things say it's for aliens and dissidents in the next national
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by Loius
Guiffrida, a friend of Ed Meese's.... He's going about the country
lobbying and demanding that he be given authority, in the times
of national emergency, to declare martial law, and establish a
curfew, and gun down people who violate the curfew... in the United
And then there's Ed Meese, as I said. The highest law enforcement
officer in the land, President Reagan's closest friend, going
around telling us that the constitution never did guarantee freedom
of speech and press, and due process of the law, and assembly.
What they are planning for this society, and this is why they're
determined to take us into a war if we'll permit it... is the
Reagan revolution.... So he's getting himself some laws so when
he puts in
the troops in Nicaragua, he can take charge of the American people,
and put people in jail, and kick in their doors, and kill them
if they don't like what he's doing....
The question is, `Are we going to permit our leaders to take away
our freedoms because they have a charming smile and they were
nice movie stars one day, or are we going to stand up and fight,
and insist on our freedoms?' It's up to us - you and I can watch
this history play in the next year and 2 and 3 years.
 Reed Brody.
 Christopher Dickey.
With the Contras.
 Dugger, Ronnie.
On Reagan: The Man and the Presidency.
 Eich, Dieter.
The Contras: Interviews with Anti-Sandinistas.
 Kinzer, Stephan and Stephen Schlesinger.
Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in
 Godswood, Roy (editor).
Covert Actions: 35 Years of Deception.
 Kwitny, Jonathon.
Endless Enemies: America's Worldwide War Against It's Own Best
Congdon and Weed, 1984.
 LaFeber, Walter.
Inevitable Revolutions; The United States in Central America.
 McGehee, Ralph.
Deadly Deceits: My Twenty-Five Years in the CIA.
Sheridan Square, 1983.
 Melman, Seymour.
The Permanent War Complex.
Simon and Shuster, 1974.
 Mills, C. Wright.
The Power Elite.
The Book of Quotes.
 Stockwell, John.
In Search of Enemies.
 Stone, I.F.
Hidden History of the Korean War.
Monthly Review, 1969.
 The Americas Watch.
The Violations of War on Both Sides.
The policy of The Other Americas Radio regarding reproducing
this lecture is that while they would like to see it reproduced
and passed around as much as possible, they also need money to
operate (they are not-for-profit). Thus, please pass a copy of
this transcript on, and if you like the transcript, send a donation
to them (the tape costs 13 dollars, and they have other tapes
as well) at:
The Other Americas Radio
Programs & News on Latin America.
KCSB-FM, Box 85
Santa Barbara, CA 93102