Circumventing Democracy

Walter Rauff—the Nazi war criminal who personally developed and administered the notorious gas truck execution program which took the lives of approximately 250,000 people—was still in hiding in the Holy See when the CIA provided his sponsor, Monsignor Bicchierai, with money to buy jeeps and guns for an underground squadron during the 1948 Italian elections. The job of this band was beatings of left-wing candidates and activists, breaking up political meetings, and intimidating voters. Bicchierai’s troops became the forerunners of a number of paramilitary gangs funded by the CIA in Germany, Greece, Turkey and several other countries over the next decade…

The utility of the new covert operations apparatus seemed clear: It permitted the White House to circumvent Congress and the Department of State in the field of foreign affairs…

[ from the book Blowback by Christopher Simpson ]

~ by Jay Taber on March 6, 2007.

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