Monday, October 20, 2014

From Contras to Al Qaeda to Syrian anti-ISIS Forces: My Take on Covert Action, Obama and Savage Wars of Peace

President Obama has weighed the options and concluded America does more harm than good when it sets out to topple regimes. OK. But don’t pretend that’s the CIA’s fault.

PARIS, France—What could be more cynical than a covert operation? Sure, there’s always a lot of talk about fighting for freedom, defeating tyranny. What was it Ronald Reagan called the Contras and the Afghan mujahedin? “They are the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers.”

Actually some of the Contras whom I knew were the moral equivalent of pathological killers. They were so out of control that the CIA, which had armed them and trained them, finally had two of their commanders hunted down and executed. [NOTE: The men in question, known as Krill and Comandante Suicida, are the two standing in the middle in the photo above.]

As I say, covert ops: cynical business.

But recent reporting on the subject has been profoundly and, indeed, dangerously misleading about both the truth and the consequences surrounding such operations. ... READ ON

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