Category Archives: CIA

Operation Gladio and the Turkish deep State: arrests made.


For years Turkish civil liberties groups, writers, journalists, left-wing and islamic political activists and others have demanded of various governments that they expose the ‘deep state’ that at times of crises operates in conjunction with elements within the government bureaucracy, the armed forces, the police and the judiciary. At various time in recent history, when ever the Turkish government have been about to introduce progressive legislation, for example by making concessions to the Kurdish minority which would enable their democratic rights, the country has been rocked by a wave of bombings and/or politically motivated violence which have destabilized the government of the day.

Many Leftists, academics and political analysts have come to believe the membership of this ‘Deep State’ originated in the cold war period when the US security services and military organized ‘stay behind’ units of paramilitary organizations within most Nato countries, under a program called Operation Gladio. There purpose was to attack and work against the occupying forces of the USSR if the Red Army ever overran western Europe and Turkey. The blow back from such stay behind groups originally came to light in Italy, where a scandal erupted over Operation Gladio when it was thought it had been used to undermine Italian democracy in the 1970s when the Italian Communist Party looked like it might gain a share of power.*

Many people believe the Turkish ‘Deep State’ is linked to this clandestine phenomenon and functions similarly to Operation Gladio. In fact, many analysts believe such networks of groups in Turkey, which are referred to as the “deep state,” are remnants of the Turkish arm of the actual Gladio.

After it became pretty clear the ‘Deep State’ in Turkey was working against the present AK Party government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he instigated an enquiry into these groups. It came to fruition this week when Erdogan announced the enquiry had resulted in the police arresting dozens of people, including ex senior army officers and lawyers. Only time will tell whether Erdoğan has the determination to flush out the ‘Deep State’ and in the process bring an end the Turkish state being linked to criminal-military gangs.

So far the suspects arrested have not been charged, but most who have knowledge of how the deep state operates agree that the thirty-three people arrested are members of a nationalist group, Ergenekon and are part of a shadowy network that has masterminded many violent attacks in Turkey.

The discovery is not the first of its kind, in the past two years the country’s security forces have unearthed a number of clandestine gangs countrywide. These groups, known to the public by names such as Atabeyler, Sauna and Ümraniye and now Ergenekon, have apparently tried to create chaos in the country at crucial times such as last year’s presidential election. However, despite the fact that all of these organizations were uncovered, with many of their members being publicly named, no significant punishment has yet been imposed on the members of these criminal organizations.

Professor Cengiz Aktar, of İstanbul’s Bahçeşehir University, told Reuters “All democrats in Turkey have been looking forward to this sort of action by the government, Everybody is now hoping something will happen but people remain very suspicious.”
“This is a very important test for the government, they will be judged by this. If these people are guilty and are convicted, it will be very good for Turkish democracy as well as for our efforts to join the European Union.”

Despite İstanbul’s chief prosecutor announcing that earlier bans on reporting about the investigation remained in place, all Turkish newspapers, with the exception of a few ultra-nationalist ones, covered the operation. “Never gone this deep before,” read the newspaper Yeni Şafak’s headline yesterday. “The state takes on the deep state,” Sabah said in one of its headlines. “A deep blow to a deep gang,” said the Star. “Operation against coup supporters,” said Radikal, highlighting the military ties of the group.

The Deep State is also suspected of involvement in a number of violent attacks in recent years, including the killing of an Italian priest in 2006, the assassination a year ago of Armenian political activist and journalist Hrant Dink and the murder of three Christians in the city of Malatya last year.

The suspects were detained in İstanbul and other regions of Turkey in dawn raids on Tuesday, the culmination of an eight-month operation, the police spokesperson said. “The police have been observing the actions of the suspects for over eight months as part of an investigation into a house full of explosives and ammunition found in İstanbul’s Ümraniye district eight months ago.”

Meanwhile, four more people were taken into custody yesterday in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, as part of the same operation. Among the four, at least two are members of the ultra-nationalist Association for the Union of Patriotic Forces (VKGB), whose leaders are already under arrest facing several charges for crimes ranging from theft, felony, blackmail, and extortion. These arrest’s may be relevant as it is thought some of the recent bombings in Turkey which have been laid at the door of the Kurdish PKK may have been the work of the ‘deep state’.

Amongst the the thirty three people taken into custody are Veli Küçük, a retired major general who is also the alleged founder of an illegal intelligence unit in the Gendarmerie, the existence of which is denied by officials; the controversial ultranationalist lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz, who filed countless suits against Turkish writers and intellectuals like Orhan Pamuk; Fikret Karadağ, a retired army colonel; Güler Kömürcü, a columnist for the leading daily newspaper Akşam ; and Sami Hoştan, a key figure in an investigation launched after a notorious car accident in 1996, in which a senior policeman, a convicted hitman who was a fugitive, a member of Parliament and a well-known gangster were all killed whilst traveling in the same car. Ali Yasak, linked to the figures in the Susurluk car crash was also detained in the operation on Tuesday as was Fuat Turgut, the lawyer of a key suspect in the Hrant Dink murder.

The operation also allegedly revealed that the Ergenekon group was preparing for attacks and assassinations directed at political figures. Documents obtained by the police during the raid confirm that in the past two years the group seriously considered assassinating Osman Baydemir, a leading member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) who is currently mayor of the mainly Kurdish southeastern province Diyarbakır.

The information for this blog came from Radikal, Zaman and Hurriyet.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio

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Filed under CIA, Deep-State, Democratic-Society-Party, Operation-Gladio, Turkey, US-Military, USA

Obituary: Philip Agee, international socialist, revolutionary, political activist and former CIA officer.


The death of Philip Agee, international socialist, revolutionary, political activist and former CIA officer in the field saddened me greatly, as Agee has for many years been a great hero of mine not least because he epitomized two of my basic beliefs, that given the opportunity people can change no matter what their education and upbringing and those sons of the middle class who side with the dispossessed are often amongst the finest people who walk the earth.

Agee came from a well off middle class Florida family, whilst at the USA’s most prominent Roman Catholic University Notre Dame, he was head hunted by someone in the faculty who acted as a spotter for the US Central Intelligence agency. [CIA] Thus his future career path was well marked out, approximately two decades in the field and then back to Langley Virginia as a well paid, powerful spook bureaucrat. He turned his back on this world when in his own words he, “fell in love with a woman who thought Che Guevara was the most wonderful man in the world.” It was this mixture of commitment and romance, which often characterizes the best of revolutionaries, which led Agee to break from his class background and set him on the road that led to a lifetime of struggle against exploitation and oppression. Which just goes to show how the direction people take in their lives often depends on chance meetings.

After Philip left the CIA, by writing his book ‘Inside the Company’ he set the benchmark for all spooks who claim to have left the security services and crossed over to the side of the ‘wretched of the earth’. For in his book Agee names in chronological order every CIA agent, imformer and assets of influence he had ever come across in South and Central America, at CIA headquarters in Langley and across the wider world. He was adamant that the best weapon the left had against organizations like the CIA was to have trust in the masses and act openly at all times. He lived up to this by refusing to pass the information he held to intelligence services who were sympathetic to his plight and instead insisted on placing this information within the public domain for all to read.

Ever since Agree broke with the CIA and acted in this manner there have been a number of Western intelligence service employees who have claimed to have done likewise. However the overwhelming majority have refused to act in the same principled manner as Agee and make public the names of their former colleagues and the assets they ran. Which cannot but throw doubt about there legitimacy, for Philip had set the gold standard when it comes to spooks going over the wall.

For this act he paid a considerable price, not since Leon Trotsky was forced by Stalin into exile has an individual been hounded across the planet in the same manner as Philip Agee was. He could have found sanctuary within the Soviet Block but he was determined not to, as he understood clearly that this was the CIAs greatest wish, as it would have allowed it to portray him as a traitor in the pay of the Russians.

Agee eventually came to England in the hope that with a Labour government in power he might find a safe haven. He was mistaken as the Callaghan Labour Government hounded and in the end deported him, although not before his case became a cause-celeb which enabled Agee and his supporters to place the CIA firmly in the dock of public opinion, both in the UK and the USA.

I remember to this day where I was when I first read the news that Philip Agee had been deported, I was on a London tube train traveling back home from a morning on the Grunwick picket line. I found it a bitter pill to swallow, although without knowing it, it was to be the first of many as right wing Labourism was replaced by Thatcherism. Agee after being deported from the UK made a number of attempts to find sanctuary in Western Europe, he eventually married Giselle Roberge which gave him the right to remain in Germany. He spent the last years of his life between Hamburg and Cuba from where he continue to rage against the Great Satan’s foreign policy and never once doubted he had made the correct decision when he broke from the CIA and exposed its evil doings. Philip Agee, a real working class hero.

A full biography of Philip Agee can be found here,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2238063,00.html

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Filed under CIA, international-socialist, Obituary, Organized Rage, political-activist, politics, revolutionary, Security services, US-foreign-policy, USA, war-on-terror

Poverty in UK is as corrosive as that in Dhaka, Mumbai or Hyderabad



I belong to a small internet list that is made up of socialists who are not affiliated to any political party or organization. They are a decent bunch of people most of whom are involved politically working within their local communities, Trade Unions, NGO’s and various campaigns such as Stop the War, supporting immigrants, anti racism etc. Whilst there is not a great deal of traffic on the list, an interesting debate has developed around poverty and whether or not people in the UK are actually suffering poverty, especially in comparison to those who live in the Third world.

A newcomer to the list has over turned the apple-cart somewhat by suggesting that he sees few real signs of what most people regard as poverty in the UK. As even the most hard up families seem to have a TV, mobile phone and video recorder and when he visited the shops after Christmas they were choc-a-bloc with consumers both middle and working class, hunting for bargains in the New Year sales.

This outraged some people, who reminded this chap that the language he used was not that dissimilar to that which appears regularly in the Daily Mail and other right wing newspaper; and the implication of such thinking is to end up accusing the ‘economically’ less well off as being responsible for their own predicament due to their supposed fecklessness etc. That the media and mainstream politicians use the term ‘the poor’ to describe people who have very little or no money is no accident, as the use of this word dates back to Dickensian days if not before and is deliberately designed to belittle this group of workers who live on very low incomes. If you doubt me look up the word ‘poor’ in a dictionary and amongst many others you will find its definition will include unproductive, needy, humble, inadequate, deficient, impecunious, inferior, cowardly and feckless. All of which suggest that the economically poor will always be with us not because there is a major flaw within the capitalist system but due to the fecklessness and inability of these people to fend for themselves.

Others who have joined in the debate have reminded us of how when they visit the local Municipal rubbish tip they see countless individuals dumping perfectly good and usable tables, chairs, fridges, televisions etc, and were these items dumped in the Third World they would quickly be repaired and recycled. I’m not really sure what this has to do with poverty in the UK as this type of waste is a direct consequence of the consumer society we live in and governments mad rush for growth without givingng a thought to the consequences.

Whilst some people undoubtedly dump perfectly useable household goods at the municipal tip, this seems to me to be only one side of the coin, for if one goes into any city or town center these days there is an abundance of charity and second hand goods shops; and for the first time in decades the hated Pawnbroker’s sign has returned to the High Street. Which in itself is an indictment of the greater inequality that exists today and how quickly people can fall into the poverty trap.

I worry about how deepinto the national consciousness the continuos barrage of propaganda we get about the economically poor being feckless and worthless has cut . For if some amongst a good hearted group of lefties are somewhat sympathetic to arguments along the aforementioned lines, one gets a general idea of what the general populations consciousness must be like on this issue.

My own opinion for what it is worth is that there is gross and widespread poverty in the UK and it is increasing by the day. True it is not the same type of poverty that billions of people suffer from in the Third World, but in many ways it is as destructive and has much the same impact, i e stunted, difficult and blighted lives. If anyone really still doubts there is a high level of poverty in the UK, I suggest they hunt out the statistics on the numbers of people who live on a sum of money that is below the average wage; and then work down statistically to the numbers who exist entirely on the minimum wage and below and they will see that these numbers are not inconsiderable.

But in any case, for those of us on the left, poverty has always been about much more than bread on the table, it is also about the lack of opportunity and a fair crack at life’s chances that are inherent where-ever one finds economic poverty no matter what the degree. Thus it is impossible to argue against the fact that poverty exists in the UK and to my mind it is the most exploitative kind.

Some may try and console themselves by the fact that at least poverty is not as absolute in the UK as it is in places like Dhaka, Mumbai or Hyderabad. Myself I feel this in itself should make us doubly outraged, for the economies in some of the nations in which abject poverty holds sway, have been economic basket cases for decades and more, on top of which they have the legacy of Empire, corrupt politicians and undemocratic political structures. Whereas the UK, or so we are led to believe, is a modern democracy and the fourth richest nation on earth, thus to still have great poverty here as we undoubtedly do, is totally unacceptable and unforgivable. Indeed all right thinking people should regard such levels of poverty that exist as a national shame and disgrace. That many do not again highlight how effective the medias non stop blitz about the ‘feckless poor’ have been.

One of the main problems with the human race, especially the English, is we find it extremely difficult to put ourselves in another persons shoes, thus if we are not experiencing poverty ourself we often find it hard to sympathies and understand those who do. Thus we look for human weaknesses to explain their plight, rather that seeing what is before our very eyes. A child born into poverty is no more feckless stupid or lazy than a child of the middle classes or the economically rich. To suggest otherwise is simply to spout the opportunist garbage that is put out daily by the gofers of Capital in the government and media.

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Filed under CIA, exploitation, multi-nationals, neo-liberalism, Organized Rage, third-world, UK, unacceptable face of capitalism, world-poverty

The Bhutto succession dips Democracy in the Gutter.



As I new it would, my piece on Benazir Bhutto has created a choppy sea with friends and comrades reminding me that Miss Bhutto was not all bad and perhaps I should forgive her corruption as they are all at it in Pakistan. One comrade sharply reminded me that I should stick to writing about Ireland and Turkey as I obviously know nothing about Pakistan. He then enforced this fact by reminding me that the political party that Benazir’s father helped create and which she led, the Pakistan Peoples Party was an affiliated to the Second Socialist International. As if that fact alone gives it a clean bill of health and makes it beyond criticism. Thus now that Miss Bhutto has been laid to rest in the ground and we have had sight of her last will and testament, I thought I might in a comradely way confront my critics.

Whilst it is perfectly true that I am no expert on Pakistan nor its politics, I do know a class enemy when I see one; and any criticism I made of Benazir Bhutto was based on that fact alone. Nothing my critics and others have written about her of late has made me change my mind or reassess my opinion. I have never doubted she was a class enemy ever since I first read the statement she made to Tariq Ali, in which she said that she could not afford to be on ‘the wrong side of history’. With this comment alone Benazir not only repulsed me, but she had also forewarned me that she was both ignorant and arrogant; which is a dangerous combination within a politician as it is likely to be a recipe for disaster and so it proved.

If anything events that have taken place since she was murdered have reinforced my belief that politically she was rotten to the core. For what loving mother would have willed the leadership of a major political party to her 19 year old son, and if she was not corrupt why insist that her husband Mr Ten Percent Zardari becomes prince consort to that poor boy whilst also acting as keeper of the party books. For Miss Bhutto could not have been blind to the fact that Mr Zardari was hated and despised both within the PPP and in the nation as a whole. If any one wishes to understand more fully the depth of Miss Bhuttos corruption and links with the US administration, Tariq Ali’s article in the November issue of the London Review of Books might be a good place to start.*

Finally one of the most depressing things about this whole Benazir Bhutto story, apart from the people who have had their lives stolen needlessly in its wake. Is the way the British media have handled this story, for me this was best summed up in the London Guardians headline of today, [31.12.07] ‘My mother said democracy is best revenge–Bhutto son.’ A kid and a crook get anointed, not elected to lead one of Pakistan’s main political party’s and the Guardian with that headline alone dips the word democracy in the gutter.**

*Daughter of the West–Tariq Ali, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n24/ali_01_.html

** http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardian/todays_stories/0,,,00.html

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Filed under benazir-bhutto dynasty, CIA, coruption, Pakistan, SIS failed-state, USA

American Gangster Review


I ignored my own maxim of always checking out the cook before sitting down to eat when I went to the cinema without giving a thought to who directed the film I was about to watch. The film was American Gangster and the director Ridley Scott of Gladiator fame, which had I known would have forewarned me that American Gangster would be lite on facts.

The films two main characters and adversaries, Frank Lucus, [Denzel Washington] a former long time driver, bodyguard and gofer of Harlem underworld kingpin Bumpy Johnson; who after Johnson’s death goes on to become a major importer of Heroin;and Richie Roberts, [Russell Crowe] the New Jersey cop who supposedly brought Lucus down. Lucus is portrayed in the movie as Mr Super-cool, who, we are asked to believe not only comes up with the idea of importing high grade Heroin from the south east Asian golden triangle, but he himself goes into the ‘triangle’ to cut the deal.

As to the Russell Crowe character Ritchie Roberts, he could have been an out-take of the cop Crowe played in LA Confidential, accept his blind violence has been replaced with an equally absurd blind honesty. His honest streak is amplified by Ridley Scott portraying every other cop in the movie, bar Roberts and his team as being corrupt to the core, indeed the only police work these cops ever do in the film is skim and steal the money of the villains they should be out arresting.

I have no idea if this was true of the the police in 1960’s America, but if so, it does not explain how the gallant Detective Ritchie Roberts managed to survive in such a corrupt environment. For example we are asked to believe he hands in almost a million dollars in unmarked bills against the wishes of his partner; and all he suffered was a little scorn and irritation from his supposedly corrupt fellow officers. Frank Serpico had to move to Switzerland after acting in a similar incorruptible way. Yet Ridley Scott asks us to believe that in a police force that is portrayed as corrupt from top to bottom, Detective Richie gets promoted, gains his own squad and ends up an affluent lawyer. [bookmark this fact dear readers]

The most that can be said for this movie is that it is an entertaining way to spend two and a half hours. Which is a crying shame because this is a tale worth telling, and in a more political director and screen writers hands this could have been a brilliant American film. Instead as with the movie The Departed, which was about Whitey Bulger the Boston Irish gangster, which Jack Nicholson’s presence ruined, all we get with American Gangster is a vehicle for star exposure.

The real truth of the heroin that Frank Lucus imported into the USA is a far more murky tale than that of crooked cops and a Harlem drug dealer. For it centers on the CIA and corruption in the US army’s chain of command. In the whole of American Gangster there is only a single, unexplained clip which hints at the bigger picture. This is when Army spooks look on as the Heroin is loaded on to US army planes to be imported into the USA from south east Asia.

It is nonsensical to believe as the movie portrays, that a black heavy from New York, at the hight of the Vietnam war, could fly into Thailand and link up with a serving US army NCO, then travel into the Golden Triangle and negotiate a massive drugs deal, not least because the drugs cartels operating in that region during that period were all in the pay of the CIA. Lucus then on a nod and a wink arranges shipment of the narcotics into the USA courtesy of Uncle Sam.

That Frank Lucus was a narcotics importer and distributor is true, but the movie is asking us to believe that in middle age, this man who had spent his entire life up until Bumpy Johnson death as a gofer. Suddenly emerges a a Capo in his own right with the ability to outwit the Italian Mafia, CIA and US army intel, and survive. The more likely story is that Frank Lucus was approached by the CIA to front the Blue Magic drugs business. After all if we are to believe the movie Patriotism was strong with Frank Lucus. Plus the period in question was a time when many young blacks were turning to radical politics, the Black Panthers and the like. Someone in the Agency may have thought a stoned out black America was preferable to a radicalized black America demanding their democratic rights.

Two subsequent events point to the aforementioned, firstly despite having been intricately involved in one of the most important drug cartels in US history, Lucus was treated extremely leniently by the US criminal justice system. The movie even claims that Ritchie Roberts, the detective who supposedly brought him down, paid Lucus son through college and supported his family whilst he was in jail, which even the most naive person would find pretty preposterous. Although the CIA paying off an old debt would not sound so daft. It is also a fact that hardly any of the scores of serving US army personnel who must have been involved in the importation chain found themselves in court.

Secondly in the 1980s it became common knowledge that the CIA were using South and Central American cocaine cartels to finance illegal operations against the government’s of Nicaragua and Iran. At the time it was said that US army air-bases were used to import cocaine into the USA, which would be off loaded and arms intended for the contras would be reloaded and shipped out. In other words these activities look suspiciously like Frank Lucus operations in the late 1960-early 70’s, coincidence?

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Filed under American gangster, CIA, corruption, drug cartel, golden triangle, Irish politics, movies, neoliberalism, smuggling, USA, US_army