Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, January 11, 2008

Vietnam, Iraq and Iran: Government Deception Then and Now

There are two recent news items that reveal the American government’s lies and dirty tricks during the 1960s. You might notice a few parallels between our government sleaze in Vietnam and Latin America and the current manufactured hysteria over Iraq and Iran.

This report shows some of the trickery played by both sides during the Vietnam War. For one thing, the famous Gulf of Tonkin “incident” never occurred. This alleged “attack” happened in August 1964. This was Lyndon Johnson’s excuse to escalate American attacks on North Vietnam. This was the attack that changed the Vietnam War from a “minor” conflict involving just a few American troops (with “light at the end of the tunnel”) to a full-blown war bringing thousands of American soldiers home in bodybags. And now we find out that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident never even happened.

This report was released at the request of the Federation of American Scientists for their project on government secrecy. The director of the project, Steven Aftergood, said: “What this study demonstrated is that the available intelligence shows that there was no attack. It's a dramatic reversal of the historical record.”

Philip Agee, a former CIA agent, died this past Wednesday. He left the CIA in 1969 after working mostly in Latin America for twelve years. In 1975 he wrote a book, “Inside the Company: CIA Diary” which revealed the CIA’s dirty tricks in Latin America.

His book also revealed the identities of some of his former CIA colleagues. Agee said he disclosed their identities “to weaken the instrument for carrying out the policy of supporting military dictatorships” in Greece, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. He said those regimes “were supported by the CIA and the human cost was immense: torture, executions, death squads.”

Agee’s book inspired a law — passed in the 1970s — making it illegal to disclose the identity of a CIA operative. Hmmm… that’s illegal? Who knew.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger anna said...

The saying outta be, "With power comes great corruption."

January 11, 2008 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

You'd think that instances like these would've become part of the narrative over the years, our continued support of vile fuckers that we routinely castigate in political speech after political speech all while helping them out.

It's amazing just how un-American America really has been.

It'd be nice if people got as pissed off about these things as they do when gas hits 4 bucks a gallon.

January 11, 2008 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anna: Yup, that pretty well sums it up.

Randal: Who has time to worry about America's corruption and warmongering? Britney's meltdown is much more interesting.

January 11, 2008 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous rockync said...

It was just this kind of skullduggery that spurred us to take to the streets in civil disobedience and protest. It is also why we have a FOI Act even though the government tries to circumvent it every chance they get.

January 11, 2008 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Rockync: Yup, this is exactly why we have the FOI Act. Believe it or not, Bush just signed a law strengthening the FOIA, reversing the trend that started when he took over in 2001. The law was passed by both houses with enough votes to override a veto; I'm sure that's the only reason he signed it. I hope it'll help.

January 11, 2008 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

We've been up to these tricks for years now. Now it seems the Iranian boat incident was also hyped and faked. See the Existential Cowboy's post for some good details.

January 12, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

Here's the link to the Cowboy's post.


January 12, 2008 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mauigirl: That's an interesting blog. Thanks for the link.

When I first saw that headline about the Iranian "attack" I assumed it was trumped up. Right from the getgo it sounded about as credible as "the dog ate my homework" or "your check is in the mail."

January 12, 2008 at 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tom, i hope you don't mind me posting anonymously (i commented in a previous post about how wicked your blog was). Anyway, I think someone needs to write a book entitled, "Lies My American Government Told Me." Anybody read, Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hitman?

January 12, 2008 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: Thanks, yes I remember your previous comment. Wicked is good. I haven't read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" but I've read reviews of the book and an interview with the author. Everything he says makes perfect sense.

There's also an excellent book called "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen. The book sounds really farfetched, but everything in it is documented.

January 13, 2008 at 12:09 AM  

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