The Secret Government

A 1987 documentary by Bill Moyers, in two parts:

Part I explores the Cold War mentality and the beginnings of the CIA. It also examines the CIA’s role in the toppling of the popular, elected Iranian leader, Mohammed Mossadegh (the Chavecito of his time and place) and his replacement with a brutal dictator-monarch, the Shah. Also looks at the CIA-engineered demise of Jacobo Arbenz, the popular president of Guatemala, because he wasn’t tame enough to certain US corporate interests, namely the United Fruit Company. Democracy was replaced with dictatorship and death–all in the name of corporate profit.

Part II explores the role of death squads in Guatemala, and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion (an attempt to turn Cuba into another Guatemala with a second “Operation Success”, no doubt.) Also shows that JFK was at first for, and later against, dirty trickery. Guess he learned his lesson–which made him a marked man, particularly when he began putting out feelers toward a peace process. Moyers doesn’t explicitly endorse the popular belief that the CIA’s kill-Castro plan became a kill-Kennedy plan, but he does acknowledge that its adherents have a point: the CIA is indeed a dirty-tricks machine, even now.

Moyers makes the point that the Cold War mentality was extremely dangerous–it made seductive an otherwise repulsive national condition, that of the police state. It is especially instructive now, as the US government is once more making noises about “regime change” in Iran, Venezuela and other places, and is pushing for “free trade” agreements that the citizens of the Central American countries don’t want. The grave danger of CIA dirty tricks has not abated, but expanded; the CIA and other national security agencies are looking to drum up support and stifle dissent more broadly than ever before. And they are doing so in the name of–you guessed it–the new Cold War, the War on Terra.

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