The CIA's operations today have basically globalized those of the Ku Klux Klan, the "invisible empire" that once spread terror across America's South.
These two entities, separated by more than a century, actually resemble each other closely. The CIA may not burn fiery crosses as the KKK did, but 'The Agency' as the CIA is known, is perpetrating abroad many of the same sort of illegal crimes--- "rendition," (aka kidnapping), torture, and execution---the Klan once inflicted on African-Americans.
But where the KKK was a vigilante brotherhood whose members wore white hoods and robes to conceal themselves as they knew they were committing crimes, CIA officials claim their atrocities are legal and reflect America's "highest values."
Take voting: Where the KKK after the Civil War terrorized Blacks to keep them from the polls, the CIA today has globalized that crime by working clandestinely to influence the outcome of foreign elections through bribery, vote-buying, and dirty tricks.
According to Washington investigative reporter William Blum in his book "Rogue State"(Common Courage Press), the CIA perverted elections in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Laos, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, and The Philippines, among others.
Add to these horrific acts, the CIA's overthrow of the legal governments of Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1973. Fascist dictators were installed on their new thrones beholden to the U.S., not their own people, whom they murdered in the thousands.
Denying the CIA has an atrocious record, Deputy Director David Cohen in a talk April 21, 2016, at New York School of Law, said, "On a daily basis, all around the world, we conduct daring, sometimes dangerous operations. But that does not mean that we operate illegally. Far from it. We are a disciplined espionage agency comprised of officers who operate lawfully. Strong oversight reinforces that discipline and, as I said, makes us better at what we do."
On April 22, 2016, the very next day, Senior Judge Justin Quackenbush of the Eastern District of Washington, Spokane, refused to dismiss a lawsuit against two Washington state psychologists "who designed the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques in the war on terror," the Associated Press reported. That's another KKK-CIA similarity: the promiscuous use of violence.
The ACLU brought the suit against CIA contracting psychologists James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen on behalf of three former CIA prisoners, one of them tortured to death in CIA custody.
In his NYU talk, Cohen said, "we stress that CIA has a responsibility to act at all times in strict adherence to the law and consistent with our Nation's highest values; that every one of us, from the most junior officer to the most senior, is accountable for what we do""
Some of the nation's "highest values" practiced by the CIA on 119 victims, according to the ACLU lawyers, included slamming them into walls, water torture, sleep deprivation, starvation, burying them alive in coffin-like boxes for extended periods, chaining them in painful positions, and freezing them to death.
According to ACLUS's staff attorney Dror Ladin, the judge's refusal to dismiss the case, is "a historic win in the fight to hold the people responsible for torture accountable for their despicable and unlawful actions." (And for which the CIA paid them $81-million.)
By rejecting a motion to dismiss the civil case, Quackenbush gives the plaintiffs--Tanzanian Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Libyan Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Afghani Gul Rahman--a chance "to call their torturers to account in court for the first time," said ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin. Rahman froze to death in CIA custody.
Francis Boyle, distinguished professor of international law at the University of Illinois, in Champaign, is outspoken about the CIA's crimes: "The CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy along the lines of the Nazi's SS and Gestapo combined, both of which were terminated after World War II. For the exact same reasons, we Americans must terminate the CIA today and for good."
Indeed, President Obama, America's first president of color and a man who might be expected to be first to denounce a KKK-style operation, not emulate it, has the ability to do just that. However, he is believed to be a former CIA employee and has told staffers "What the CIA wants, the CIA gets." Result: American taxpayers are financing CIA ops costing them an estimated $15 billions annually. #
(Sherwood Ross is a prize-winning reporter who formerly worked for the Chicago Daily News, The New York Herald-Tribune and several major wire services. He holds a degree in race relations and is a former News Director for a large civil rights organization.)