Jun 22, 2007

On the CIA, Dirty Laundry, and American Freedoms

CIA Director General Michael Hayden, making us feel better about domestic surveillance

News that the Central Intelligence Agency violated its own charter for 25 years by conducting illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation should come as no surprise to most Americans.

CIA Director Michael Hayden put a positive spin on the dislosures, arguing that the documents "provide a glimpse of a very different time and a very different agency."

Reading the documents, such as the so-called Family Jewels Memorandum of 3 January 1975, provides a chilling glimpse of the inner workings of the CIA. Yet it is important to remember that this material represents only what the CIA felt it had to disclose in response to Seymour Hersh's 1974 story in the New York Times of the CIA's illegal domestic operations.

My suspicion is that Hersh uncovered only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and that the CIA has many, many more skeletons in its Langley closets. Moreover, anyone who believes that the CIA is somehow "reformed" and no longer participating in such activities as the plotting of assassinations or domestic surveillance of innocent Americans is a blithering fool.

I am sure that, in some dusty filing cabinet or perhaps on a few megabytes of hard drive space, my name and picture take up a bit of space in the FBI and CIA files. I say this not because I am special, but because I am not particularly unique: I have attended protests, written critically about the government, and have friends who are political activists.

I remember paticipating in one protest in the late 1980s against the opening of the Detroit municipal incinerator, an environmental timebomb in the middle of a megalopolis. Men in suits with cameras took pictures of protesters and the license plates of vehicles in which they drove to the protest, and what was most interesting (and scary) was the fact that these nameless faces actually smirked when I asked them what they were doing.

Were they FBI? CIA? Michigan State Police? Who knows, but I highly doubt that they were Detroit cops, since I knew a ton of them being the son of a Detroit homicide detective. They were... different, they did not belong, and they were creating a database of images and surveillance for some government entity.

But, heck - that was twenty years ago, right? The world is a different place, we've learned from our mistakes, and gosh - it's okay to trust the government this time.



Oberführer said...

Take your meds, History Kike! Nobody pays any attention to you!!

historymike said...

Glad to see I still annoy the racist thugs on the right.

Perhaps über Dämlack might be a more fitting name for you, although I suspect you are not really an NSM flunkie.

While this lil' ole website draws only 300 uniques or so a day, I am happy that I can contribute to reasoned discourse, as opposed to the racist ignorance your kind preaches.

The part about racist NSM and ANSWP goons that always puzzles me is how delusional they must be to try to rehabilitate the thoroughly discredited fascist ideology of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists.

Some day you clowns will wake up, scratch your thick skulls, and realize that you would be much better off trying to create an American fascist movement that does not worship Hitler.

The communists, for all their mistakes, at least have had enough brains to criticize Stalin.

But hey - why listen to me? I'm just another part of the Joo-media conspiracy to take down the noble white man, right?

(sarcasm alert for the low-IQ Nazi twits)

historymike said...

(mantra to self: just ignore the fools, just ignore the fools, just ignore the fools...)

historymike said...

Welcome to readers from Slate.com, which was kind enough to link to and quote from this post.

Anonymous said...

You should just delete the Nazis whent the show up, Mike.

Stephanie said...


"(mantra to self: just ignore the fools, just ignore the fools, just ignore the fools...)"

It is hard, but console yourself that if they did not feel threatened by your messages they wouldn't bother coming here.

Mad Jack said...

Mike... I didn't know you were Jewish. I mean your name and all - Michael - is a good name right out of the Bible and has nothing to do with the Jews.

Of course, with the size of your honker and all, I guess you might pass.

Many years back I declined to have my High School picture taken and published in the yearbook. I don't remember just why I made that decision, but I did.

Fast forward at light speed to the era of the BBS, when your truly owned and operated one of the premier BBSes in the city of Toledo. When the US Secret Service finally came to town to bust a bunch of software pirates, they put together a compendium of BBSes and their owners, including photos of the owners. Most of these photos came from HS yearbooks. I have it on good authority that my entry had no photo, and that the SS was puzzled mightily over the lack of any photo in my HS yearbook.

Back to the topic at hand, everyone knows that the CIA is not allowed to operate within the borders of the United States. So, there we have it.

Mad Jack said...

Actually, Herr Scheis Kopf, I pay attention to History Mike whenever I can spare the time. He has a lot of good ideas and his posts aren't knee jerk reactions to trivial sound bytes.

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Man with the Muck-rake said...

There are still dolts out there, eh Mike? Quite a sad lot, but the good news is that, like the dinosaurs, their numbers are dwindling.

historymike said...

Anonymous #1:

Nah, unless the Nazis and racist freaks are obscene, I let 'em have their free speech.

Besides, they demonstrate how idiotic their arguments are far better than I could.

historymike said...


Yes, part of it is that they feel threatened, but I also recognize that by posting on blogs like Nikki's Nest and the One People's Project forum racist kooks follow me back here, like three-legged, one-eyed rabid mutts looking for a home in their delerium.

historymike said...

Mad Jack:

The funny part about the Nazis is that they throw around terms like "Jew" and "Kike" as if a person is going to be offended.

It's like me running down the street and screaming: "You... you... YOU EPISCOPALIAN!!" at some passerby.

To 99.99% of the population, being called "Jewish" makes no sense, but to the Nazis it's the ultimate insult.

They live in such a weird world that they have difficulty understanding the rest of humanity, and they create these bizarre, cartoon-like bogeymen to explain their irrational conspiracies of "Da Joos."

historymike said...


Yes, there are a couple of hundred active WNs and Nazis stirring up trouble wherever they can.

The biggest WN website, Stormfront, boasts several thousand members, but my estimation is that at least half of the memes are feds and antiracists doing surveillance, while one-third of the rest are multiple identities of the same racist thugs.

Stephanie said...

"You... you... YOU EPISCOPALIAN!!"

That seems more likely to bring up questions of mental health than freedom vs. hate speech.

But to this...
"Besides, they demonstrate how idiotic their arguments are far better than I could."
...I couldn't agree more.

btw, I can't go to those sites because Mark doesn't like it when I bash my head against Nazi walls. He contends that it's not going to do any good, and they just might act on their derangement. Not worth the risk or the annoyance.

So, I'll just stick to getting a few snipes in over here.

microdot said...

Actually, I think it's a good idea to leave the drive by comments up by maniacs like mr oberfuhrer...damn, I wish I had a keyboard that let me do umlauts with ease......
It's a good reminder that the flames of hate are always burning and just need a good stiff breeze of idiocy to fan them into an inferno.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"(sarcasm alert for the low-IQ Nazi twits)"

Subtle, except to the intended targets, all of 'em.