Monday, 25 June 2007

On Robert Gates and the CIA Legacy

TomDispatch has an interesting 3-part article by Roger Morris on Robert Gates and his involvement in the Carter administration and the CIA in the 80s. It makes for interesting reading and is a good insight in to this coldest of cold warriors. Here's an extract from the third part, which starts off by documenting the ill-conceived assassination attempt of Lebanese cleric Muhammad Husain Fadlallah which killed 81 innocent bystanders and injure over two hundred more. The article goes on to show how:
As documents, testimony, and other revelations would later make clear, the Bir plot was typical of Reagan era covert actions, which would include: Illegal aid to drug-running Contras (at war with the left-leaning Sandinista government of Nicaragua); contraband arms sent to both Iraq and Iran (at war with each other); tens of millions of dollars to the anti-Soviet Catholic Church in Poland, but also to nun- and priest-murdering death squads in El Salvador; and, most fateful of all, hundreds of millions to Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan. In the Reagan administration's secret wars -- from Managua to Tripoli, Beirut to Kabul -- crucial decisions were often taken not in careful deliberation with the secretaries of state and defense, the national security advisor, or other top officials, to say nothing of the requisite Congressional committees, but when the CIA director and the president were alone.

Worth a read. Even if you are familiar with the period in question.


No comments: