Guadamour’s blog post
Dec. 8, 2007
Note: The author has worked as a war correspondent in Vietnam and in Central America and Colombia and has seen first hand the long term negative impacts of illegal (both in terms of International and US law) CIA interventions in the affairs of foreign governments.
This is self-evident when one considers the fact that the term blow-back had to be coined to describe the repercussions of CIA operations.
That does not mean that the author does not believe that the CIA does have a legitimate roll. However, he does believe that the roll is valid only as long as it strictly limits itself to collecting information.
The author further believes that the name, The Central Intelligence Agency, is a misnomer. There is nothing “intelligent” about the agency. Calling the information gathered, intelligence, is a corruption of the word.
The CIA has a long history of accepting bad information and believing it, because it conforms to how they view the world. This was true of Vietnam, Guatemala, Iran (in the 1950s), Cuba, Santo Domingo and Iraq. The list goes on and on.
What led the author to thinking about this was election this last Sunday in Venezuela, and Sean Penn mentioning Venezuela in a recent well written and well thought out essay.
In that election Hugo Chavez, the duly elected President of that country, sought to expand his powers via the voting booth.
What Chavez wanted did not pass, though it was defeated by a very narrow margin, and he accepted his defeat with grace, as any truly democratically elected president would.
What disturbed this writer was the fact it was reported that the CIA was actively supporting opposition to Chavez and his purposed changes.
Venezuela is a major exporter of petroleum to the USA. Under Chavez the foreign and mostly US owned oil companies operating in Venezuela have not be nationalized; however, he has demanded and obtained a much larger percentage of the profits for the Venezuelan people.
This has not gone over well with the US, the oil companies and the oligarchy in Venezuela who have lived like royalty off the profits of the country’s natural resources.
The Monroe doctrine is the usual excuse for the USA’s meddling in Latin American affairs.
James Monroe was the fifth President of the US and lived from 1758 to 1831. He was a Virginian, attended William and Mary College, and practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was elected President in 1816 and 1820 and served from 1817to 1825.
With the help of his Secretary of State, John Quincey Adams, he brought the doctrine to public light on December 02, 1823. The irony of the Chavez defeat is that it was 184 years to the day after the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine.
In the address, that would twenty years later become known as the Monroe Doctrine, the President proclaimed that no European power could any longer colonize or interfere with the newly independent nations of the America, and that the US planned to stay neutral in wars between European powers and their colonies. However, if these later types of wars were to occur in the Americas, the US would view such actions as hostile.
In 1904 US President Theodore Roosevelt (without consultation with the rest of the countries in the Americas) asserted that the US had the right to intervene in Latin America.
This is the most significant change in the Monroe Doctrine and changes the doctrine from one of being an ally of Latin America when faced with an external threat to being one of hegemony. This is known as the Roosevelt Corollary.
This was changed 26 years later in what is known as the Clark Memorandum. In 1930, the Clark Memorandum was released, concluding that the Doctrine did not give the United States any right to intervene in Latin American affairs when the region was not threatened by Old World powers, thereby reversing the Roosevelt Corollary.
John F. Kennedy invoked the Monroe Doctrine when Soviet missiles were placed in Cuba in the 1960’s. He said:
“The Monroe Doctrine means what it has meant since President Monroe and John Quincy Adams enunciated it, and that is that we would oppose a foreign power extending its power to the Western Hemisphere, and that is why we oppose what is happening in Cuba today. That is why we have cut off our trade. That is why we worked in the Organization of American States and in other ways to isolate the Communist menace in Cuba. That is why we will continue to give a good deal of our effort and attention to it.”
If one accepts the Monroe Doctrine as a duly stated enunciation of US foreign policy, then President Kennedy’s action were warranted.
However, the USA’s continued embargo of Cuba long after the Soviets have left Cuba and long after the Soviet Union’s existence, flies in the face of the Monroe Doctrine.
According to the Clark memorandum, which is still the applicable interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine, the USA under the auspices of the CIA has no business trying to influence the Venezuelan election one way or another.
Sure. US corporations have not made as much money under the Chavez Presidency of Venezuela as previous, but in no way does that give the US the right to intervene in Venezuelan politics.
It is interesting to note what Chavez is doing with some of his oil windfall.
He has helped set up an international bank for Latin America so that the countries can free themselves from the predatory practices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which are controlled by US and European bankers, and which have continually sucked the natural resources and lifeblood out of Latin America.
Chavez is investing in the education and health care of the Venezuelan people, and he is redistributing land owned, but not used by the oligarchy, to the poor and homeless, in an effort to make the nation more independent in its food supply.
While FEMA languished in a hopeless state after the devastation of Katrina, Chavez offered to send materials to New Orleans free of charge. As might be expected from the current regime in Washington, the offered was refused.
One of the changes that Chavez wanted to make that was strenuously objected to by Washington was that he could be elected continuously until he was rejected by the people of Venezuela.
Why Washington should object to this is highly suspect. After all, this is the way governments are set up in Britain, France, Australia, Canada and a number of other countries.
What will be the “blow back”for the CIA’s meddling in Venezuela? Will Venezuela stop selling oil to the US and only sell it to China, India or any one of a number of countries who are clamoring and desperate for the petroleum?
If the US does not receive some sort of negative blow back from the CIA’s meddling it will be a miracle.
The CIA’s charter does not authorize it to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries. It authorizes it to collect “Intelligence.”
Unfortunately, Congress has effectively abandoned its oversight of the CIA and isn’t fully informed of its various illegal operations.
The CIA has become a de facto foreign policy apparatus of the US. One that operates without transparency and the guidance of Congress. This is to the detriment of US foreign policy, of Congress, of the constitution and of the America public.
The CIA’s actions are totally alien to what the United States of America has historically stood.
The CIA, as it has become in this day and age, needs to be totally restructured. No covert actions should be condoned or allowed. It needs to be turned into an agency that strictly gathers information, and information that is based on fact and not what the CIA wants and projects the information to be.
Only two candidates running for the nomination for President in 2008 are considering this. They are Dennis Kucinich and Dr. Ron Paul.