Shock resounded through America when it was learned that waterboarding and rendition were among the international crimes being conducted on the pretext of fighting the war on terror.
The 9/11 tragedies had been used in addition to generating the Iraq War to justify virtually any action, no matter how contrary to the U.S. Constitution and international law.
The government run by executive office signing statements engaged in preventive detention, electronic surveillance and dropping into residences when the occupants are out, all without court orders.
There was even the removal of materials to be later used as evidence without legal remedy based on these home invasions, the same province that was supposed to be a citizen's castle.
In addition, there was rummaging through library records of private citizens once again without a court order signed by a magistrate.
Veteran Washington journalist Seymour Hersh, a muckraker in the best tradition of I.F. Stone, sparked a firestorm when he revealed the kind of egregious violations of international law being conducted abroad in the "spirit of 9/11" through waterboarding and rendition.
The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947. The reason stated by President Harry Truman for creating it was to have a separate agency available to engage in intelligence activity. The genie was out of the bottle and an international calamity was unleashed under the guise of protecting U.S. national security.
The pretext used by agency operatives to operate willy-nilly in America's presumed interest was one snippet of language in the National Security Act's defining document that the CIA could "perform such other functions and duties " as the National Security Council may from time to time direct."
With the Cold War against America's adversary the Soviet Union then in its early stages, an operational pretext comparable to 9/11 later was used.
As munitions makers made fortunes and Americans were pumped full of fear of domestic nuclear assault from the Soviets, opportunistic politicians like Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon used the steadily expanding "red scare" to gain popularity by denouncing political opponents in the Democratic Party as traitors.
Operation Gehlen had been concocted at the close of World War Two as Nazis were brought to the United States to work in the areas of intelligence through the CIA and arms development through the Defense Department.
At the same time Justice Robert Jackson of the U.S. Supreme Court was leading a vigilant prosecution against Nazi defendants of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich in the Nuremberg Trials. How ironic it was that while Nazis were standing trial in Nuremberg, and in some cases receiving death sentences, others from within that same regime were welcomed into the U.S. and put to work by the American government.
In 1948 the CIA initiated Operation Gladio. This was the launching pad for an international intelligence apparatus that operated as a police state when called upon. It was created to prevent a left wing government from triumphing in the Italian election that same year and help insure that the leftover brown shirts of Benito Mussolini's Fascists along with Nazi collaborators were retained in power.
The ensuing strategy of propaganda and payoffs performed the desired result of thwarting the Italian left, but a consequence of the protective strategy was the creation of a 15,000 man army trained to overthrow the Italian government should it deviate from what CIA operatives deemed to be the correct path.
Similar secret armies were also created in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and West Germany. Many of the directional hands were from Hitler's old SS forces. They assembled huge arms caches and compiled blacklists while engaging in decidedly non-Cold War activities such as efforts to assassinate France's President Charles de Gaulle.
Such was the inception of the specter of terror unleashed in the world community on the pretext of fighting Communism and preserving democracy.
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