Archive for the ‘AMERICA AND POST-WW II’ Tag


John Chuckman



“The United States has, in short, moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system—a structure of double government—in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy”


That is a pretty accurate assessment of the situation.

I believe the change is owing directly to America’s embracing the role of world empire following the end of WWII.

The very concept of world empire is a dark one when you include all the controls and pressures over others that necessarily come with it, and the role comes associated with a host of dark consequences. The loss of true civilian democratic control of government at home is just one of them. Much the same forces were at work in the Soviet empire.

I don’t know why anyone would think differently, just because good old America is running the empire as opposed to the Soviets or the Germans or the British. Empires simply are not either ethical or wholesome creations. And they all have certain basic requirements to operate.

They are about power and privilege and profit for elites, involve the suppression of rights for large numbers of people, and the rules for running one cannot be found in the American Constitution or in any other ethical and enlightened documents. Lip service is paid, but it truly is only lip service.

If you study the life of someone like Winston Churchill, always held up as a great democratic leader, you will easily discover how this quite ruthless proponent of British Empire was, in fact, anything but.

There is also a basic notion around something such as a world empire that it is just too complicated and too important to “leave it to the amateurs to run,” and in the sense intended by that, all elected American presidents are amateurs.

So, we have almost an industry, a covert one, of people regarded as experts in running empire – from those who study and work to manipulate various political parties and countries to those who study the required overall changing needs and strategies of empire and to those who study and practice how to bend people to your will.

These people, while nominally serving an elected president, regard themselves, and are regarded by others, as too important and expert to ignore.  It takes considerable independence and strength of will even to disagree with them on one consequential matter.

And they are not ignored. It does not matter which party, Democrat or Republican, is elected, the winner will change little or nothing in this regard. Obama and Trump, while having great differences in style and even couth, are indistinguishable in the nitty-gritty of most of foreign policy.

When Truman signed off on the legislation creating CIA, the associated advertising was all about the need for organized expert intelligence to inform presidents in their decisions. All very plausible, but quite deceptive when you consider the essential nature of such institutions.

A true, pure information and consultative agency could have been created, but it was not.

The advertising claims around CIA’s birth do not represent what can possibly happen when you create an immense, well-financed, secret organization and task it with all kinds of dark responsibilities, such as examining whether certain leaders in certain countries are acceptable.

The CIA had a long boom period under Eisenhower, a popular former general who did not want the military to be seen as running everything abroad. The Allen Dulles’ CIA took care of all that in a shadowy world of influence, pay-offs, election manipulations, secret arrangements, coups, and, as required, assassinations.

And the agency grew very headstrong with the way it was permitted to run under Eisenhower. With the growing sense of threat from the Soviet Union, and to a lesser extent from China – a sense of threat constantly stoked up and exaggerated by the CIA itself in its various highly inaccurate national estimates each year. It was all offered, of course, in the good cause of fattening budgets and expanding responsibilities.

No organization better illustrates the old wisdom about institutions being self-perpetuating and seeking growth and aggrandizement than does the CIA. The wisdom is even truer for secretive institutions. And is truer still for institutions lacking any powerful direction from outside.

There were many successful operations – successful from the point of view of CIA – over the Eisenhower years, including coups against disliked democratic governments such as those in Iran and Guatemala. And there were assassinations, as with the Congo’s Lumumba and, it is thought by some, the UN’s Dag Hammarskjöld. Kennedy came to the presidency as intense and costly efforts against Fidel Castro were underway.

Having such a free hand for so long meant certain conflict with a new President such as Kennedy. Kennedy wanted to use the powers of the presidency, not to be used by others. Having a freehand also, of course, contributed to growing CIA arrogance and a sense that only it knew what was best.

The last president, actually the only president, who seriously challenged the Truman-Eisenhower arrangements was John Kennedy, and he left half his head splattered in the streets of Dallas. You don’t have to be someone who loves dabbling with secrets and conspiracies to see the tremendous significance of that assassination.

Both in matters of cooperation with Russia and rapprochement with Cuba, Kennedy strayed much too far from the script.

No president since has done so. Indeed, the example was set by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, of complete submission to the desires of the CIA. He was also a great and loyal servant for the FBI.

On the Kennedy assassination and the likelihood that elements of CIA were involved, readers may enjoy:


Posted October 2, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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