The recent release by the CIA of documents concerning the agency's illegal surveillance of Americans and involvement in the assassinations of Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Salvador Allende of Chile, and Patrice Lumumba of Congo, as well as assassinations plots against Fidel Castro, prove what authors and scholars have already concluded about the agency. Most noteworthy is the involvement of Henry Kissinger in giving the green light to Turkey's invasion of Cyprus.
The links between Kissinger and Turkey formed a long lasting relationship between Kissinger and the Israeli Lobby in the United States, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Turks, particularly the links between AIPAC and the American Turkish Council and individuals like Richard Perle, Marc Grossman, and Douglas Feith. That relationship was exposed with revelations stemming from information divulged as a result of the FBI's firing of Turkish translator Sibel Edmonds and the concentration of the Brewster Jennings & Associates CIA front company on weapons of mass destruction and the Turkish nexus to nuclear materials trafficking from the former Soviet Central Asian states.
When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, Kissinger was only concerned about the continued operation of U.S. intelligence bases in Turkey and three in the Turkish zone of Cyprus: Yerolakkos, Mia Milea, and Karavas. Eventually, these listening stations were evacuated in 1975 by CIA agents and U.S. Marines.
Although Barbara Bush blamed CIA whistleblower Phil Agee for divulging the identity of Athens CIA station chief Richard Welch and blamed him for Welch's assassination by left-wing terrorists in 1975, the confirmation of Kissinger's support for the invasion of Cyprus is what triggered a wave of anti-American terrorist activity in Greece in the mid-1970s and well into the 1980s. It is Kissinger who is ultimately to blame for anti-American violence in Greece, both for his support of the Greek junta and his support for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
We can also now add Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios to the long list of foreign leaders targeted for assassination by the CIA and Kissinger. From the book "The Cyprus Conspiracy" by Brendan O'Malley and Ian Craig, we know that on July 15, 1974, Makarios' presidential palace in Nicosia was hit with artilley fire from tanks while Makarios was greeting a group of young schoolchildren from Cairo. Makarios' presidential guard fought the coup plotters off for several hours until the rebellious troops stormed the building and set fire to it. The CIA saw to it that Cyprus Radio broadcast the news that Makarios was dead. It was a replay of Santiago, Chile and the anti-Allende coup the year before. Both events had Kissinger's sordid fingerprints on them. Although Kissinger denied it (he has denied almost everything that shows him to be an arch war criminal), it was widely known that he believed Makarios to be the "Castro of the Mediterranean."
Eventually, the right-wing junta that replaced Makarios collapsed along with the Greek military junta in Athens. Makarios, who continued to enjoy international recognition as President of Cyprus while in exile in London, returned to Cyprus to resume his presidency. Makarios died suddenly from a heart attack in 1977, just shy of his 64th birthday.
On March 8, 1970, Makarios' helicopter was was hit with bullets in an assassination attempt also linked to the CIA and the Greek Colonels junta in Athens. Kissinger, at the time, served as Nixon's National Security Adviser.
And in a precursor to the neo-con purge that would drive out many experienced military, intelligence, and foreign service officers who opposed the Iraq war, Kissinger ensured that those within the State Department who opposed Turkey's invasion of Cyprus were removed. They included the U.S. ambassador to Greece Henry Tasca, Cyprus Desk chief Tom Boyatt, and Greek desk chief George Churchill.
The newly-released CIA documents also show that Kissinger was furious at CIA director William Colby for divulging past CIA dirty tricks in the wake of Watergate. Kissinger said he was afraid that he could be blackmailed by the revelations about CIA misdeeds, much of which have come to light as a result of the recent CIA disclosures. Gerald Ford fired Colby and replaced him with George H. W. Bush.
Colby died in a suspicious boating accident in the Cheaspeake Bay in 1996. The CIA documents also reveal that former CIA director Richard Helms warned Kissinger that Colby's disclosures were the "tip of the iceberg" and that much more damaging information might follow. Richard Nixon is quoted in the Watergate tapes referring to Watergate CIA burglars E. Howard Hunt and James McCord's demand for money for his silence as threatening to blow open the "Cuba thing."
It is interesting to compare what Nixon said to Helms' statement:
Nixon to Haldeman on June 23, 1972: "Of course, this is a, this is a Hunt, you will-that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves."
Kissinger to President Gerald Ford on Jan. 4, 1975: "Helms said all these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. If they come out, blood will flow."
Nixon's and Helms' comments are now viewed by some historians of CIA operations as referring to the CIA's most probable despicable act: involvement by some of its assets in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The released documents cite links between the CIA and right-wing Cuban exiles involved in plotting the assassination of Castro, Mafia chieftain Johnny Roselli (who was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby as well as to Mafia dons Salvatore "Sam" Giancana and Sabtos Trafficante), and Howard Hughes' top assistant Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent, who acted as a liaison between Langley and the mob.
The recently-released and heavily-redacted CIA documents, called the "Family Jewels," provide a great deal of confirmation of events already widely known to the public but they pale in comparison to the shocking revelations by Colby to the 1970s Frank Church and Otis Pike Committees and the Vice President Nelson Rockefeller Commission, all of which investigated abuses by the U.S. intelligence community.