Thursday, June 28, 2007

Memorable CIA failures revealed

For some inexplicable reason, people outside of the United States still regard the American Central Intelligence Agency with the fear and respect the organization hasn't commanded inside the United States since the end of the Cold War. For the most part, the CIA is a mere shadow of its former more infamous incarnation, and has more famous for interoffice leaks than heroic feats of international espionage. So why were they once so feared? This week, the CIA released its so called "family jewels", a treasure trove of previously classified information detailing the shady operations of the American spy agency.

So is there a dictator angle to any of these reports? You bet your ass there is. The CIA's role in bringing Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to power is pretty old news, but the release of the jewels shows that the CIA had other dictators on their mind as well. The CIA's comically hamfisted attempts to knock off Cuban dictator Fidel Castro are also old hat, but the newly released documents reveal that the CIA tried to outsource getting rid of Castro to the midwestern branch of La Cosa Nostra (aka, "the mafia"). After arranging a relatively modest payment, the CIA provided the mob with a powerful poison to take out Castro. Apparently, the plan was abandoned when the mob's Cuban stringers got cold feet and gave up.

Another interesting revelation is that the CIA had hatched a hopelessly botched assassination plot against then Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos, apparently to stall or possibly derail upcoming talks on the transfer of the Panama Canal from United States to Panamanian sovereignty. Apparently, word had leaked out to the press, forcing the CIA to cancel the plans and issue a denial to reporters. What it may have involved, or how it would have been pulled off is strictly a matter of conjecture.

Want to read more? Of course you do. Indulge yourself by clicking here, but be warned - there's a TON of information to download.

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