Hey! Randy

Secrets of the Secret Team

Posted by heyrandy on October 15, 2008

The Secret Team The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the World, L. Fletcher Prouty, 1997

end notes, bibliography, index, no pagination

Available on line free.

Do you want to overthrow a government?  Do you need to supply Russian made weapons to an “anti-communist guerrilla group?  Do you need a propaganda campaign to vex a foreign regime?  No problem for the Secret Team.  This group are the professionals, and they have lots of experience.  Just give them the word and off they go.  They offer worldwide service.  You never get you hands dirty.  Everyone will know who did the deed, but you can deny it all, with a wink and a smile.

Thus the work of the Secret Team.  Who are these folks?  Prouty, for many years an U.S. Air Force briefing officer, says they are a sub set within the CIA, comprising about 80% of the Agency.  They are the “black operations” people.  They are what the CIA has become in spite of what the language of the law that founded the CIA says.  For the Secret Team the law is no obstacle.  For the Secret Team nothing is an obstacle.

The Central Intelligence Agency was created to coordinate and process the data gathered by the various U.S. agencies.  The CIA was to be a servant of the National Security Council.  The law that created the CIA also allowed the Council to direct the Agency to do an operation in the field “from time to time”.  A lot has changed since the law was passed, but the law itself has not changed.  The CIA’s working interpretation of that law has certainly changed.  It began changing almost as soon as the law was passed.

Over time the CIA has become a force unto itself.  It no longer waits for the National Security Council to occasionally direct it to do some operation; the Agency develops its own plans and brings them to the Council to approve.  The plan is always approved.  This change in initiative has give the Agency great latitude in its activities.  The Council really does not control the Agency.  The Agency manipulates the Council; the Council routinely approves the Agency’s plans.

The Agency became so influential that it succeeded in getting President Kennedy to abolish the National Security Council as an unnecessary hold over from the Eisenhower administration.  This stratagem left the Agency without any oversight.  The Agency took advantage of this mistake and a lot of people paid the price at the Bay of Pigs and in Vietnam.

It is under the general rubric of fighting Communism that the Agency has spread itself into every part of the world.  The Agency does not feel that it needs a direct order to act; a suggestion will do quite well.  After all, you want the commies stopped, don’t you?

How did the Secret Team develop?  The team slowly began to work its way into the other branches of government by giving those branches free employees.  These employees would be loaned to the needy agency but the salaries would be paid by the Agency.  With the usual employee turn over, the CIA person would soon be assumed to be a regular employee of the host department.  The Agency would then work to get its personnel promoted into more powerful positions.  This action would enable the Agency to benefit from the department’s resources and services, often without any cost to the Agency.  No one knows just how many Agency employees are buried inside what parts of the government.

Transplanted employees are not the only asset that the Agency has in other departments of government.  Often it uses the actual employees of the host department.  It is the excitement of being part of something secret, something special, that entices many people to be part of the Secret Team.  Most jobs are mundane and boring.  It is the same thing every day.  There is little change.  This is also true of jobs within government.  When a opportunity comes to join in a black operation, most people cannot resist.  It is all so secret.  “I am not allowed to talk about what I do; because if I told you, I would have to kill you.”  It is an element of mystique, of romance, of elitism.  It is the chance to be James Bond, without the girl.

The Agency also benefits from the sale of surplus government equipment.  The law requires that other government entities be given first access to surplus equipment.  The CIA uses this to get what it needs on the cheap.  It then uses much of this equipment to supply its clients in foreign countries.  Due to the confused nature of the government’s accounting, the Agency is often not billed for the sale. Most of the time the matter is dismissed with an “It’s all the government’s money, anyway” kind of resigned attitude.  However, the Agency says it will pay for anything it buys if it is properly billed.  According to Prouty, it does indeed pay; it’s just not billed very often.

The Team has had many successes in its black operations.  But it has had some real failures.  But it has managed to avoid the blame.  The two most obvious failures are the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Vietnam War.  In both of these debacles the Agency let the Department of Defense take the largest share of the blame.  How?  It is all those loaned employees.  They help do the research for the investigation committees and help write the reports.  They are Team players.

How can the Agency get away with such antics?  Is not the Agency required to keep the elected officials informed about Agency activities?  Yes, and it does.  Prouty points out that in briefings conducted for the overseers, the Agency uses the teaspoon technique.  The overseers get the entire picture, but only a little at a time.  Prouty says it is like seeing a movie one frame a day.  By the time you are through, you do not know what the movie is about, but you have seen the entire film.

A further technique at concealing the truth in the open is the use of surrogates.  Most of the major title holders, the department Secretaries, and the Directors of the most important agencies, are so busy that they must send subordinates to the briefings.  The senior men rarely attend.  By doing this the agency can avoid many hard questions.  In some cases the Agency can actually be briefing one of its loaned employees!  The Agency has worked hard to shield itself.

The ultimate power in the U.S. government is with the President.  Here the Agency is not without influence.  The Agency worked hard to get the right to do a Presidential daily security briefing.  The Agency tailors this briefing to its own ends. The Agency is the only government entity that has the advantage of daily access to the President, so why not use this advantage to help itself?

Prouty wrote to expose the Secret Team.  He felt that it is a serious threat to the America that it is supposed to protect.  He points out that in the case of Vietman the U.S. spent $200 billion and thousands of American live in this futile venture.  The Russians spent only a few billion and no lives.  They clearly won.  Prouty wrote to try to preclude another mistake of this type.

Prouty did live to see the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the communist threat.  He wondered what would be the next threat the Secret Team would claim to protect us from.  He suggested an invasion by space aliens.  This did not happen.  Prouty did not live to see the terrorist attacks of 2001.  Had he lived to see them, he would not have been surprised at the response.  After reading his book, neither am I.

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One Response to “Secrets of the Secret Team”

  1. slacker said

    The thing of greatest importance for this system to work is the maintenance of Plausible Deniability.

    Should a fatally-tasteless or unpopularly-illegal action be exposed, the higher-rungs deny knowledge and pass it on to the lower rungs. Simple.

    In the supposed “Global War on Terrorism” how much money have the “Terrorists” spent? Are they winning?

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