The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Release of CIA’s “Family Jewels”:
Making the world safe for U.S. imperialism

Jul 2, 2007

At the end of June, the CIA released the “Family Jewels,” over 700 pages of original documents detailing secret assassination plots, attempts to overthrow governments and various other dirty tricks both abroad and in the U.S. from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

The documents are heavily censored and incomplete. And what these documents show was already well known for decades: CIA operations that led to the overthrow of governments in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, South Viet Nam; CIA assassination attempts against world leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo and Fidel Castro of Cuba. But this release of documents altogether gives an idea of the sheer scope of operations carried out by just one agency of the U.S. government.

To take just one example: In less than three years, the Kennedy administration unleashed 163 major CIA operations all over the world. Transcripts of meetings between John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and the heads of the CIA over a typical two week period give an idea of how far-reaching these operations were. On July 30, 1962, the Kennedys instructed the head of the CIA to prepare to overthrow the newly elected president of Brazil. On August 8, the Kennedys instructed the CIA to drop thousands of Chinese nationalist paramilitary forces into mainland China to carry out sabotage and terror operations. On August 9, the Kennedys discussed overthrowing the government of Haiti. On August 10, the Kennedys discussed “liquidating” the top leaders of Cuba, Fidel and Raul Castro. On August 15, they discussed overthrowing the government of Guyana. In another meeting later that day, they discussed sending secret paramilitary forces into the countries of Viet Nam, Laos, and Thailand. They went on to discuss sending secret paramilitary forces into Iran, Pakistan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. During that meeting, the Kennedys, their aides and cabinet officers, who are usually pictured as beacons of “idealism,” joked that their instructions constituted “a marvelous collection or dictionary of crimes.”

Crimes indeed!

To make sure that these and other operations remained hidden from public scrutiny, the Kennedy administration used the CIA and other spy agencies to form a special task force assigned to keep close track of the phone conversations and comings and goings of top reporters in this country.

Of course, the Kennedy administration acted no differently than did any other U.S. administration.

Nor does the CIA operate any differently than do the spy agencies of other governments. But what is different is that since the U.S. super power is so much bigger than any other power in the world, so are the operations of the U.S. spy agencies and the military. And these reports show how the domination of imperialism was imposed throughout the world by U.S. violence, corruption and terror.