Although Daniel Ellsberg is an icon of the Left, there is abundant evidence that he was and is a CIA stalwart who was used to topple a president who had outlived his usefulness and to protect an agency on the verge of serious exposure as a criminal enterprise. Indeed, the Pentagon Papers leaks of Ellsberg are simply the opening act of Watergate.
The background for this blog post is 2 online interviews and 1 article by Douglas Valentine who studied extensively Ellsberg, especially his rise to prominence by way of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Ellsberg (b. 1931) was educated at Harvard, joined the Marines, and subsequently found himself stationed in Vietnam where he met key figures in America’s intelligence community. He had an audiographic ability to remember conversations which made him an ideal spy, a talent which ingratiated him to CIA Saigon station chief John Hart because it allowed the agency to better track the opinions of leading intelligentsia in the country.
During 1965-67 he was assigned to the Revolutionary Development Program in South Vietnam, a CIA program which was designed to “pacify” the country especially against the Viet Cong. It is during this time that he came under the influence and direction of men like Edward Lansdale, Lucien Conein, and Frank Scotton, the latter 2 of whom became his close friends. As for Lansdale, to this day Ellsberg reveres him.
Although the operations of the RDP were diverse, they involved a huge element of drug dealing, especially with the Corsican drug dealers, particularly Michel Seguin who enters the story as one of the men from whom Ellsberg took a fiancé in one of his many Lothario escapades.
The CIA was heavily engaged in the drug trade in Vietnam, a leading factor for driving the US into the war. While there are many reasons for the war, communism was not really one of them. That was the branding which made the war acceptable to a majority of Americans for a while. The CIA realized that the drug industry yielded enormous profits, thus it collaborated with the mob and banks to erect a drug empire which involved drug revenues, money laundering, and plenty of murder. The Golden Triangle was the fount of much illicit wealth.
While researching Ellsberg, Valentine was told by Frank Scotton that he authorized Ellsberg to release what became known as the Pentagon Papers. Scotton was a CIA officer who formed assassination squads around Saigon in what was the forerunner of Operation Phoenix, a program led by future CIA Director William Colby, which murdered in cold blood at least 40-60,000 people, most of whom were civilians. It made the My Lai Massacre look like an ice cream social.
But if Scotton and Conein were close friends of Ellsberg, why would they hang him out to dry – though quite mildly – by saying that Ellberg’s actions were not the result of conscience but of intrigue? Valentine then struggles with the epistemological problem of knowing truth among campaigns of whispers, innuendo, and deceit – the ingredients of a perfect CIA stew.
Valentine proceeds to document that not only had the main stream press caught on to the drug dealing of the CIA in 1970, but Congress was beginning to investigate the atrocities of the Phoenix Program, and other CIA war crimes the following year.
In addition, Nixon launched his War on Drugs in 1971 which unleashed a series of attacks on operations near and dear to the CIA’s heart. At this point the left hand was fighting against the right hand, and order had to be brought from chaos.
In order to divert attention from the CIA, Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers which had the dual effect of diverting attention from the CIA to the military, and also undermining Nixon. Many say that Hunt bungled the Watergate break in; we say that he succeeded masterfully.
The Rockefeller cabal used Nixon while he was useful, but threw him away like so much used toilet paper when he stood in the way or caused it troubles. The primary problem was that Vietnam was in large measure about getting control of the drug trade and its great lucre, about which the plutocrats brooked no opposition. In any event, unraveling the drug business would expose the CIA for all of its sordid crimes and subject it to manifold publicity problems.
By reacting to the Pentagon Papers leaks as he did, Nixon exposed himself as an easy target of the war protesters and those defending civil liberties. This was the segue to Watergate which finished off Nixon by the Rockefeller –Bush alliance which worked so effectively to murder Kennedy.
This foray of Nixon into the drug war set back the CIA which then had to spend several years suborning the DEA into supporting its drug operations. But by the 1980s, they were back in full swing with the Mena drug connection, Iran Contra drug running, and BCCI drug money laundering operations.
Valentine reports that Ellsberg protested adamantly that Scotton or Conein were the source of the Pentagon Papers leaks, a protestation which we think is too much. As noted above, Ellsberg idolizes Edward Lansdale, the man who was ground supervisor of Dealey Plaza, and one of the leading planners and executives of the Kennedy assassination. How can a man who idolizes the psychopathic Lansdale be believed about having a conscience which led him to leak the otherwise useless Pentagon Papers?
The CIA got what it wanted out of Vietnam, and by 1970-71 was ready to evacuate Southeast Asia. It was time to move on to bigger projects in world conquest and imperial aggression. The plutocratic paymasters needed to turn its attention to the USSR, which they ruled, and the Middle East oil, for which they lusted.
ReferenceDouglas Valentine, Will the Real Daniel Ellsberg Please Stand Up! Counter Punch, March 8-10, 2003
Copyright 2013 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.