Faria: A History of (and Tribute to) the CIA and the Hunting Down and Death of Osama bin Laden

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Published Date: 
Monday, May 9, 2011

The U.S. owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who after ten years of painstaking intelligence work finally led to the location in Pakistan and death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. It is also about time we extend our gratitude to this government agency that for several decades has been at the forefront of untold battles in the defense of this nation's freedom, and yet has remained almost CIAunacknowledged by the nation and unappreciated by its citizens.

Along with the men and women of our military, the CIA has been the protective, security shield of the USA, the guardian of our national security and preserver of our liberty — all the while remaining in the background, in the shadows.

For years, the CIA has been the punching bag of critics in the media, academia, and even Hollywood moguls, who have castigated the agency for some real or very frequently imagined offenses — offenses, which when real had been pursued for our national security. While the CIA did conduct some testing of LSD, the charge that the CIA had tested LSD in the New York subway system was ludicrous. And an even more absurd calumny was the charge that the CIA had created the AIDS virus for warfare and to carry out genocide of African-Americans! This gruesome charge we now know from KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin and other sources, and confirmed by the Russian government, was KGB disinformation conducted to discredit the CIA and as psychological warfare against the U.S.

CIA headquartersThe highly critical and largely hypocritical attitude of the liberal establishment toward the CIA has been developing for years, precisely for carrying out operations or providing services (and sometimes unsavory tasks that had to be performed by some entity or persons in the penumbra of legality) in our national interest. Whereas the legality of some of these operations may be questioned, the intention has always been to protect those freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights, not to mention protecting those very liberties exercised by the armchair pundits themselves while criticizing in safety the action of those frequently in harm’s way!

And if a frequent punching bag has been needed for the media to let off steam or for the Hollywood movie industry to make profits, a more appropriate agency should have been chosen, and I propose, not the CIA, but the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). This sometimes rogue agency has on many occasions run roughshod over the rights of law-abiding American citizens. The BATF has even forcefully entered homes (aka dynamic entries) and launched attacks on the liberties of the American people, as was the case of the atrocious raid in Waco, Texas, and other lesser known but no less reckless raids carried out in the 1990s, not against real enemies of the USA, but against American citizens suspected but not convicted of any crimes!

During the years of the Cold War, it was the CIA that protected the nation overseas, while the FBI provided internal security within the nation. Unlike the work of the CIA, the good service that the FBI has provided to the nation has been widely publicized, even popularized, from its J. Edgar Hooverinception to the present day, particularly under the leadership of legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. (photo, right) The FBI has had favorable publicity in movies and even serialized TV shows. One can even find movies picturing the navy and the military (even if it was the single The Green Berets during the Vietnam War), but one is hard pressed to find movies of the CIA portrayed clearly in a favorable light.

Even the liberal magazine, Time, in its website listing of "the top 10 CIA movies" admits, "Ever notice how movies almost always make the Central Intelligency [sic] the bad guy? Ridley Scott's new Body of Lies is no different." Watch any one of those movies, and you will find double-dealings, cowardice, mistrust, criminal behavior, lust, greed, etc., in the portrayal of the fictitious cloak and dagger characters, the supposed men and women of the CIA. Fiction it is but in the zeitgeist of our time, life imitates art and perception becomes reality. Bad publicity may be lethal, particularly for an agency that requires funding and congressional blessings to properly do its job!

The CIA was founded in 1947 by the National Security Act as the successor civilian agency for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which during World War II was led by attorney turned secret agent William ("Wild Bill") Donovan in the fight against the Nazi juggernaut.(1)

Allen DullesDuring the early years of the Cold War under CIA Director Allen Dulles (photo, left), the agency fought the militant expansionism of communism, in accordance with the dictum of diplomat and influential historian, George F. Kennan's need of “containment,” which was implemented as U.S. policy by President Harry S. Truman. During the 1950s, the CIA scored notable success in Iran and Guatemala, but one will not find them described as victories; never mind we were fighting a cold war with a Russian bear that had terrible claws and nuclear weapons, and was a big bully in the world's neighborhood.(2)

And yes, the failure of the clandestine operations of the CIA in Cuba have been written about extensively, including the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and the iniquity of Operation Mongoose to assassinate Fidel Castro in the years 1961-1963. The fact remains that those operations were ordered by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who in the former, doomed the mission by his insistence on "plausible deniability,"(3) and in the latter, persisted with his brother, the Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, that while the "special task" was feasible, it needed to be carried out with secrecy and with equal political deniability! The culpability for the failure of all clandestine operations in Cuba rested with the then President and Commander-in-Chief, John F. Kennedy.(4,5)

When President Kennedy, who was beginning to enjoy himself with cloak and dagger intrigue, wanted to know if we had an American version of James Bond. The answer was yes, of course, CIA officer William (“Bill”) Harvey. The American 007, though rough and ready but overweight, was devoted to his presidentially assigned missions. He won some battles in Berlin in the midst of the Cold War, but in Cuba, he failed although for no lack of trying.(6)

The left-wing faction of the Democratic Party has never been a friend of the CIA. Ever since the days of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the Democrats blamed the CIA for every malfeasance Stansfield Turnerimagined, downplayed the communist Soviet threat, and did what it could to defang the agency.

In the wake of the Watergate Scandal and the fall of Richard Nixon in 1974, the Democrats led by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho) finally got their chance, and in the Jimmy Carter years largely dismantled the U.S. security and intelligence apparatus. The CIA had been defanged. Richard Helms, CIA Director from 1966-1973, was convicted of "lying to Congress" about covert activities, in reality protecting the CIA and national security secrets. For his part, Helm’s successor, William Colby, CIA Director from 1974-1975, revealed all secrets to the world, and  Carter's CIA Director from 1978-1980, Admiral Stansfield Turner (photo, right), also lent his hand to the dismantling of the CIA intelligence apparatus with horrible consequences.

The Shah of Iran fell from power in 1979, and we lost Iran to the Ayatollah Khomeini. Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviets that same year. Communist regimes were set up in Angola, Ethiopia, Somalia, Haile Selassie IMozambique, etc., so that the Russians, East Germans, and their Cuban surrogates made Africa their playground for communist aggression and militarism. In Ethiopia, the legendary Lion of Judah, Emperor Haile Selassie I (photo, right), was overthrown and unceremoniously strangled by the communist Derg led by Mengistu Haile Mariam.

And in our own backyard in the Western hemisphere, where Cuba was already a Soviet satellite, the U.S. was threatened with communism in Nicaragua, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. Soviet power and prestige were growing everywhere at the expense of American influence and security. Hostages had been taken in Iran, and the U.S. had been greatly humiliated by a failed rescue attempt and multiple other foreign policy failures. President Jimmy Carter noted a malaise in American society!

But with the advent of Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1981 and the ascendancy of William C. Casey (pictured below with Reagan) as Director of the CIA from 1981-1986, the CIA became resurgent.(1) As Reagan himself stated under his administration not one inch of territory was lost to the Soviets. But there were still problems. Not only did the CIA and FBI Reagan and Caseyhave to contend with the explosive "1985 the Year of the Spy," but even after the fall of Russian communism, two acts of supreme betrayal rocked the nation with repercussions for both the CIA and the FBI.

In 1994 after an extensive investigation, Aldrich (Rick) Ames, a chief of CIA Soviet counterintelligence, was found to have spied for the Soviets since 1985, and later for the Russians until his arrest. His betrayal had resulted in the execution of at least ten Russian agents who had been working for the CIA. His arrest, conviction, and treason were a serious blow to the prestige of the CIA.(7-9) It benefited the FBI in its intelligence and capabilities rivalry with its sister agency. As a result of Ames’ betrayal, the FBI gained prestige and power at the expense of the CIA during the years of President Bill Clinton's White House tenure.

But the FBI ascendancy over the CIA was not long lived. The tables turned in 2001, when Robert Hanssen, an FBI counterintelligence officer, was exposed and convicted of spying for the Soviets and the Russians for 22 years, from 1979 to 2001. His treason has been characterized "as possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history."(10,11)

So like a phoenix, the CIA rose from its ashes. Despite the ominous and vast powers of the Soviet KGB, the Sword and the Shield of Soviet communism, the CIA ultimately triumphed over the KGB. The CIA survived. The Soviet extensive, repressive and intelligence apparatus, the KGB, which vastly surpassed the CIA both in funding and manpower resources, won many battles supported by the totalitarian government of the USSR, but lost the war.(12-14) The USSR and its Central and Eastern European, Warsaw Pact allies, began to crack in 1989, and the great Soviet bear itself toppled over and was no more in 1991.Osama Bin Laden

Felicity was short-lived despite the prematurely proclaimed "end of history." The tragedy of September 11, 2001, unfolded and took us by surprise; a new conflict had arisen, brought about by hate and Islamic terrorism, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden (photo, right). In the meantime, quietly the CIA worked assiduously to root out and defeat al-Qaeda terrorists and to bring to justice Osama bin Laden.

At the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, the CIA used harsh interrogation techniques and water boarding to obtain information from terrorist prisoners under arrest. The administration of President George W. Bush justified the practice in the name of national security, but his administration and the CIA were castigated in the media for the practice, which they considered torture. (President Barack Obama allegedly banned the practice in 2009.)

Valerie PlameA great brouhaha broke out in 2003 when Robert Novak, a Washington Post columnist, revealed the identity of Valerie Plame (aka Valerie Wilson; photo, left) as a CIA operative in one of his columns. Suddenly, the liberals in the media and government were uncharacteristically up in arms, allegedly outraged that a CIA operative had been exposed, blaming and blasting officials in the George W. Bush administration for being behind the act of "blowing the cover of a CIA covert officer." Indeed, there had been a government leak, and serious as the exposure may have been, there was no sudden love for the CIA by Washington's liberal establishment.

Mrs. Wilson had not been in danger of life or limb, but Mrs. Wilson's husband, Joseph, was an official in the Democratic Party. The outrage was all about politics. The liberal establishment thought it was expedient to defend Mrs. Wilson to score political points against the Bush administration. There should be no surprise there. A mistake had certainly been made but the way it was promulgated and repeatedly reported showed that the end game was politics.

It took the CIA ten years of painstaking, hard work to locate bin Laden. We now know that theNavy Seals CIA interrogation practices, including water boarding, played major roles in identifying the trusted courier, who in turn led us to bin Laden’s hideout. U.S. Navy Seals Team 6 did the rest in an intrepid raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden, who was later buried at sea.

Today, the CIA functions as the main intelligence collection organization for U.S. intelligence, assisted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and working under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). (The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of 9/11 to protect the U.S. homeland from terrorism, while the ODNI became the top managing agency for the U.S. Intelligence Community in 2004.)

The CIA, nevertheless, remains our shield, the main source of human intelligence and counter-intelligence, as well as general research and analysis of national security information gathered overseas about friendly and hostile nations. I did not dwell on the overt mistakes committed by CIA Memorialthe CIA over the years, for this has been done repeatedly and extensively by the mass electronic media and printed publications, including Time magazine that was cited earlier in a somewhat different context.

As long as we have enemies, we will need the men and women of the CIA. I tip my hat to the unknown heroes of the CIA, not only for the demise of a terrorist mass-murderer, but also for all they have done to preserve the peace and security of this great nation.

Caveat: Any errors contained herein are my own and not those of the Central Intelligence Agency. Neither the CIA nor its website were consulted or participated in the drafting, writing or revising of this article.

Supporting References:

1) Persico, Joseph. Casey. The Lives and Secrets of William J. Casey: From the OSS to the CIA. New York: Viking, 1990.

2) Grose, Peter. Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.

3) http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2011/04/15/faria-the-50th-anniversary-of-the-bay-of-pigs-invasion-in-cuba/

4) Faria, Miguel. Cuba in Revolution---Escape From a Lost Paradise. Macon, Georgia: Hacienda Publishing, Inc., 2002.

5) Lazo, Mario. American Policy Failures in Cuba---Dagger in the Heart! New York: Twin Circle Publishing, Inc., 1968.

6) His story is told as a cliffhanger thriller by Bayard Stockton in Flawed Patriot: The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, Inc., 2006.

7) Earley, Pete. Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1997.

8) Bearden, Milt and Risen, James. The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KBG. New York: Random House, 2003.

9) Wise, David. Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.

10) Wise, David. Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI's Robert Hanssen Betrayed America. New York: Random House Publishers, 2003.

11) Shannon, Elaine and Blackman, Ann. The Spy Next Door: The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Damaging FBI Agent in U.S. History. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown and Company, 2002.

12) This is a must-read introduction for the study of the history of the KGB and its secrets. Andrew, Christopher and Gordievsky, Oleg. KGB: The Inside Story. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990.

13) Andrew, Christopher and Mitrokhin, Vasili. The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archives and the Secret History of the KGB. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1999.

14) Andrew, Christopher and Mitrokhin, Vasili. The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 2005.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is a former Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine; Former member Editorial Board of Surgical Neurology (2004-2010); Recipient of the Americanism Medal from the Nathaniel Macon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 1998; Ex member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee (aka the Initial Review Group (IRG)) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2002-05; Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel (1996-2002); Editor Emeritus, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS); Author, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995), Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997), and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002).

The photographs used to illustrate this article came from a variety of sources and did not appear in the original GOPUSA article.

Copyright ©2011 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Comments on this post

Another Outstanding Article!

Just a couple of additional comments, I'm sure you knew Ms Plame was not even an active CIA agent when all that happened, in fact she had been assigned to a desk job. You hit the nail on the head, it was totally "politics as usual!"

As far back as I can remember, I think more damage was done to the CIA under President Bill Clinton than at any time, because he gutted the budget of the CIA and NSA, which I believe and others do as well, led to the atrocious 9/11 tragedy or at the best case scenario, speeded it up. Another point worthy of mentioning is I've heard that at least two times the CIA had Osama Bin Laden in their sights and Clinton failed to give the go ahead to take him out. Due to my political ideology, I am not a big fan of the Clintons but ever since then I absolutely despise the man! I've heard folks talk about the improvement of the economy under Bill Clinton and how he managed to balance the budget, but what many of those folks don't know is he took and awful lotta money out of Social Security and Medicare in order to do that!

I cannot to save me understand the thought process that waterboarding is torture, but that aside, do these simpletons stop and realize that that's only done in order to try and get sensitive information that could protect the citizens and save lives in this Country? I think not! We have a society today that will stand there in an argument and let someone take the first lick because they have no "guts or backbone" and that may be fine in a little disagreement or tussle, but when you're talking about saving lives in this Country I say bring on the water and whatever else it takes to be able to do that! Those same people don't bat an eye when they see our troops swung on a rope with their heads cut off! If the attitude of these spineless folks doesn't change, especially our politicians with that same attitude, we are doomed in my opinion!

I think it was admirable that the CIA force could keep their heads up and continue to do their jobs when the current administration was threatening to put them and their bosses on trial for some of those past incidents. Who ever heard of putting folks on trial for doing what the elected administration told them to do, protect the citizens of this Country? It appeared for awhile that the new administration was going to put the former President and his Defense Chief on trial for those same incidents. I think it's noteworthy that when the current President has been put in some of these same situations, he seems to have realized, being the Commander in Chief, is not all what he thought it might be! I also note he hasn't made in major changes to the Patriot Act (that he said he was going to do away with). I know he caught some flak for taking out Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, but I really think that was a no brainer since Awlaki had become a terrorist leader and was doing grave damage to our Country and therefore in my opinion had forfeited his citizenship. To that I say "a job well done!" I guess we'll never know if he was met in his "hereafter" by those lovely 72 virgins!

Benghazi: Lying, Cover Up By Obama's Admin

As you and some of your readers know I have been intimately involved in the Benghazi incident from it’s inception and must admit I am shocked and disgusted at how the current administration handled all of this from the start.

I have read many articles, newspapers and web sites to learn as much as I could about it but it’s beginning to look like we’ll never really know the truth because all they have done is change their stories and place blame on each other since it happened.

Now we’re down to who changed Ambassador Rice’s talking points she briefed the press on and even when she was questioned informally by some members of Congress. “Those members of Congress stated they were just as confused and dumbfounded after her briefing than before.” I personally doubt as I said previously we’ll ever get to the truth because the truth would be an impeachable offense and probably in reality only 3-4 people know what really was planned and what really went down on the entire fiasco.

I have put together a talking paper which I’d like to share with your readers along with including some points assimilated from other websites. It's important to note that from the time I initially heard about this I immediately thought about the October surprise I had heard and read about and in all my researching and looking for the facts I had two ideas. 1) My first thought was the plan was to have the Ambassador kidnapped and Obama send in a rescue team, e.g., Seals or what have you, to rescue them a couple weeks before the election, 2) then I ran into more substantial information that made me actually think the following is what really was planned:

According to sources in the State Department and the CIA, and intercepted communications from the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama "staged" the attack in Benghazi in order to create a monumental "October Surprise" that would guarantee him re-election! Yes, you read that right, and no, I'm not making this up.

Obama, we now know, is and has been working with the Muslim Brotherhood secretly to engineer the release of the "Blind Sheik,"Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

In Obama's October Surprise, he intentionally set up the consulate to have no security so that Chris Stevens could be kidnapped, and held for ransom by Al-Qaeda (and the Muslim Brotherhood). Then, several days before the election, the plan was to trade Chris Stevens for the Blind Sheik, making himself look like a hero, and all but guaranteeing re-election.

This was one of the top reasons why Obama was so insistent on the Muslim Brotherhood getting $1.5 Billion in U.S. Aid. They were to have a primary role in getting Obama re-elected. That is why, even though they knew days before the attack that it was going to occur, no effort was made to bolster security. It was intended to be non-existent. The Libyan security forces were intended to quietly slip into the night when the attack began. And they did, just as planned. That is why, even though 2 C-130U gunships, which were built SPECIFICALLY for this kind of attack, and which could have saved the lives of our people there and were a mere 45 minutes away, were never scrambled at any time during the attack. There was to be no resistance whatsoever.

That is why there were not one, but TWO armed drones flying over the consulate during the conflagration...our CIA operatives on the ground were painting targets because they knew air cover was available. That is why, even though requesting support and backup three times, their requests were NOT ignored, but were intentionally, specifically DENIED three times, and they were told to "stand down," which basically means to "surrender." That was part of Obama's plan. They were not to fight back. That would potentially undermine the kidnapping effort and cause unnecessary "complications."

That is why, even though the CIA operatives and ex-Navy Seals were on the ground, providing real-time reports, and even though they were "lighting up" the source of the mortars attacking the compound with lasers, no gunships or support ever came. They weren't supposed to resist. That wasn't "part of the plan."

It also wasn't part of the plan for one of the CIA operatives to intentionally defy Obama's orders, and who rescued the body of Sean Smith and then stood up against orders, and engaged the enemy who was attacking American soil. It was supposed to be "clean," quick, and efficient. Kidnap the Ambassador and get out. Then Save The Day in the "nick of time." They didn't factor in a tiny group of highly trained ex-Navy Seals/CIA operatives...American Patriots and heroes. Even though they eventually lost their lives in the firefight, they managed to employ the full measure of their skills, and took out over 60-80 attackers in the process...which enraged the attackers, who were led to believe that they would encounter no resistance. THAT is why Ambassador Stevens was raped, murdered, and dragged through the streets. In their warped minds, they believed that they had been betrayed by the U.S. yet again. They believed that Obama was their friend. They believed that they were going to get their beloved Blind Sheik back. And yet, here were 60-80 of their own...dead by American hands.

Obama was asked directly in an interview if he denied their request for assistance, he refused to answer, and instead droned on with a canned response promising to "bring those responsible to justice." Former CIA and State Dept. personnel are coming out now with damning evidence that indicts President Obama, and reveals the truth about what is going on. Hillary Clinton, who is now openly laying the blame at the feet of the president, after falling on her sword in a premature show of loyalty for the Administration.

The "video" defense was carefully crafted weeks in advance, to explain the attack. Also, I recently ran onto some other "incriminating" information which I have posted on the Macon viewpoints page at:

You may want to read it too. It is very similar to what I have depicted here and was written by a Marine Corp Chaplain which brought tears to my eyes. Being retired military and knowing that our Commander-in-Chief may be guilty of what's being alleged by many, makes my blood boil. I can't say I've ever been a fan of Obama's, but even if none of this is proven, he's at least guilty of not making a timely decision (on purpose or otherwise) that led to the deaths of 4 brave Americans!

God Bless those 4 brave men and God Bless America!

Very disturbing!

Great informative post, Ben! This is quite upsetting and disturbing! As you concluded in your informative piece, "even if none of this is proven, he's at least guilty of not making a timely decision (on purpose or otherwise) that led to the deaths of 4 brave Americans! God Bless those 4 brave men and God Bless America!"

And I add: If this is proven correct, President Obama should be impeached by the GOP-guided House of Representatives and removed from office by the Democrat-led Senate. This is worse than Richard Nixon (U.S., President, 1969-1973) ever did; more serious than what Bill Clinton (U.S., President, 1993-2001) was impeached for; and certainly much worse than what President Andrew Johnson (U.S., President, 1865-1869) was accused of doing when he was impeached in 1868 and failed to be removed from office by a single Senate vote.*

And thanks Ben, for the service you and all veterans have done for this great country!

*Faria M, The Founding Fathers, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Impeachment. Medical Sentinel. 1999. http://www.haciendapub.com/medicalsentinel/founding-fathers-high-crimes-...

Diary of Dreams performs at the 2016 M’era Luna festival in Hildesheim, Germany. M’era Luna, “one of the biggest dark music events in Germany,” is held each year on the second weekend in August. Close to 25,000 people attend the festival annually to hear gothic, metal and industrial music performed on two large festival-style stages.