By Cynthia Chung
“Western Europe has only 20 to 30 more years of democracy left in it; after that it will slide, engineless and rudderless, under the surrounding sea of dictatorship, and whether the dictation comes from a politburo or a junta will not make that much difference.”
– Willy Brandt (German Federal Chancellor, right before he stepped down in 1974)
[This article was originally published June 14th, 2020.] Believe it or not, but the dystopic view that democracy is dead is by no measure a new idea. However, what might disturb you is where this design, in its contemporary form, really germinated from.
The idea that democracy is in a crisis and needs to be replaced with a new form of “governance” did not originate from the outcries of an oppressed people demanding their rights to a decent life. We are not presently seeing an organic, grassroots process in reforming how government, that is, democracy will be “improved” upon. Rather, what we are seeing is a controlled disintegration of the very thing we think we are trying to uphold, and this destruction has been in the works for over 45 years.
It is no coincidence that Samuel P. Huntington is very fond of the Willy Brandt quote “prophesising” the end of democracy (which was used at the beginning of both his books ‘The Crisis of Democracy’ and ‘Disaffected Democracies’), that is after all his purpose in life…to see to it that that prophecy comes true.
In this paper I will go through how the Henry Kissinger crew successfully purged the last significant remnants of decency within the CIA and reshaped the government structure into the Deep State that we see it grotesquely throbbing as today. In this story, we will see how those prominent figureheads who prophesise the “end of democracy” have been the very orchestrators of its destruction.
The First Purge of American Intelligence: The Dismantling of the OSS
On March 4th 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be elected President of the United States, which would become a twelve year presidency, ending only due to his passing away. Roosevelt was an anti-imperialist who actively, and successfully, organised towards abolishing imperialism throughout the world.
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was established by Roosevelt on June 13th 1942, under the direction of William J. Donovan, as a wartime intelligence agency. Its purpose was to collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies.
Contrary to how we think of American foreign intelligence today, the raison d’être of the OSS was to genuinely win the war (WWII) quickly and with the least amount of loss.
However, FDR would pass away on April 12th 1945, and the OSS would be dismantled a mere five months after FDR’s passing and two weeks after the official end of WWII.
On Sept 20th 1945, Truman infamously ordered the shutdown of the OSS, referring to it as a potential Gestapo , however, not with the intention to disband all foreign intelligence capabilities. The OSS would be replaced under the new banner of CIA, on Sept 18th 1947, and more importantly as a contingent to the National Security Council which was created on the same day. Refer to my paper on this.
Many respectable and patriotic intelligence officers of repute, who were loyal to FDR’s vision, were also thrown out of the intelligence community with the disbanding of the OSS.
In August 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, several years before the 1953 date forecast by the CIA. As a response, the Joint Intelligence Committee submitted an estimate of the nature of the nuclear threat from the Soviets. JIC-502 claimed that once the Soviets had 200 atomic bombs, they could launch a surprise attack and defeat the U.S.
These assertions were made without analysis of Soviet capabilities to actually deliver the weapons, let alone produce them at that rate. The estimates did not even attempt to analyze Soviet strategic intentions.
JIC-502, titled “Implications of Soviet Possession of Atomic Weapons” and drafted Jan 20th 1950, turned out not to be an intelligence report at all but rather a sales pitch, claiming that a nuclear-armed Soviet Union had introduced the notion that “a tremendous military advantage would be gained by the power that struck first and succeeded in carrying through an effective surprise attack.”
It was JIC-502 which would be the first to put forward a justification for the preventive first strike concept, supported by a massive military buildup under the pretence of pre-emptive war.
NSC-68 would be drafted the same year, declaring that the U.S. was in the moral equivalent of war with the Soviet Union and called for a massive military buildup to be completed by 1954 dubbed the “year of maximum danger”, the year JIC-502 claimed the Soviets would achieve military superiority and be able to launch war against the U.S. This proposed military buildup would increase the defense budget from $10 billion to $40 billion from 1950-53.
During this same period another security doctrine was drafted, titled “NSC-75: A Report to the NSC by the Executive Secretary on British Military Commitments”. The report concluded that if the British Empire collapsed, and Britain could no longer carry out these deployments, in defending the “free world” against the Soviets, the U.S. would not be able to carry out its current foreign policy, including NSC-68.
It was thus concluded in the report that it would be more cost-effective to aid Britain in saving its Empire!
If you were ever wondering why the CIA was constantly found paired with British Intelligence, starting from its very inception, in a series of coups in countries they had no reason to be in, now you know why.
The U.S. had gone from an explicit mission to end imperialism worldwide under Roosevelt, to actively supporting and upholding British colonies and vassal states under Truman!
This was all done under the pretence of protecting the “free world” from the evil boogeymen Soviets, whom Churchill decided to be labelled such in his Iron Curtain Speech. And thus, the interests of the British Empire were safeguarded by an abiding American stooge, as long as the narrative that all Russians were villains was believed.
Interestingly, the CIA was not on board with the pre-emptive war strategy, as defined by JIC-502. In February 1950 the CIA responded in ORE 91-49, stating:
“It is always possible…that the USSR would initiate a war if it should estimate that a Western attack was impending. [However], It is not yet possible to estimate with any precision the effects of Soviet possession of the Atomic Bomb upon the probability of war. The implications of atomic warfare, either militarily or psychologically, have not yet been fully appraised.”
In other words, the CIA was stating that JIC-502’s frantic lunacy in demanding a military buildup and first strike capability against the Soviets was groundless. That there was no data to support such a claim, and thus such a response would be a reckless and dangerous one.
It became evident to those who wished to push through these permanent war policies that the CIA was going to need “stronger” leadership.
At least, this was the argument made by the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report which called for a strong CIA Director in the wake of the Cold War. Though Walter Bedell Smith, who would become CIA Director from 1950-53, did much to reorganise the CIA away from the pre-emptive war mongering, it was ultimately Allen Dulles who would take the CIA throne.
It should not come as a surprise that Dulles had himself in mind the whole time when he was talking about the stuff that was needed for a “strong” CIA Director… however, he was not referring to a strong mind, but rather a strong stomach.
Dulles would act as Director of the CIA from 1953-61, until he was fired by President Kennedy (along with the Deputy Director and Deputy Director for Plans), all three were caught essentially committing treason during the Bay of Pigs fiasco, refer to my paper on this.
During Dulles’ term as CIA Director, he did nothing less than entrench America’s role in exacting permanent warfare across the world against “communist insurgents”, with the never-ending Indochina wars lasting for over 35 years.
Though Bedell Smith would only be CIA Director for three years, he would succeed, along with Donovan (founder of the OSS) to create the most strategically important departments within the CIA: the Office of National Estimates (ONE). [Note: Smith had his problems, but one thing the reader should be aware of is that Smith had warned Eisenhower not to appoint Dulles as the CIA Director after his leave. Smith viewed Dulles as a renegade that would abuse the power he would be handed. However, by that point Eisenhower had already been drawn in by his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and dismissed Smith’s warning. You can read more on this from my three-part series on “The Fascist Roots of the CIA.”]
Smith sought potential candidates for this new branch from those who had been thrown out of the intelligence community when Truman disbanded the OSS. Many of these “retired” intelligence officers had served in the OSS’ original Research and Analysis Branch; including William Langer and Sherman Kent who both played crucial roles in the running of ONE. Both Langer and Kent were reputable historians.
It was recognised that there was a crisis in competent intelligence gathering and analysis that would in turn be used to shape reckless war mongering policies such as JIC-502, NSC-68 and NSC-75. As Kent would state, there were those in the CIA who were “seeking power through sacrificing the truth.”
The formation of ONE was to be a major pushback on this type of groupthink within the intelligence community.
Kent would comment on the issue of the agency’s security screening (McCarthyism was in full swing at the time) stating:
“When an intelligence staff has been screened through [too finely], its members will be as alike as tiles on a bathroom floor – and about as capable of meaningful and original thought.”
In summary, since the death of FDR there was a somewhat open battle between members of the intelligence community, which could be categorised as FDR loyalists vs Churchill loyalists (1). Although there was an attempt to expunge the most notable intelligence officers who remained anti-imperial, Bedell Smith was successful in bringing these men back in, under the reorganised department ONE, who would in turn be a form of sane leadership within the CIA.
Unfortunately, the NSC did not share these views and there would be a second purge of the last remnants of true American patriots.
The Second Purge of American Intelligence: The Deep State is Born
From the moment Kissinger assumed the post of National Security Advisor to Nixon, he set out to centralize all intelligence estimates, diplomatic initiatives, and covert operations over figuratively and sometimes literal dead bodies of members of the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and Congress.
According to John Ranelagh in his book The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA:
“Very early in the Nixon administration, it became clear that the President wanted Henry Kissinger to run intelligence for him and that the NSC staff in the White House under Kissinger would control the intelligence community. This was the beginning of a shift of power away from the CIA to a new center: the growing NSC staff.”
Kissinger would use the Watergate scandal, where the CIA was caught by Congress directly implicated in treasonous activities, as the impetus needed to form a new CIA, a secret branch away from the scrutiny of Congress.
In 1978, Kissinger would launch the Intelligence Reorganization and Reform Act, which essentially worked to “clean house” of the intelligence community.
In 1982, under the direction of Kissinger, President Reagan would sign NSDD 77 under Cold War duress, which would launch Project Democracy, a sardonic name for a Trojan Horse.
NSDD 77 allowed Project Democracy the reins over “covert action on a broad scale” as well as overt public actions later to be associated with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The directive ordered the CIA to stay out of both the overt and covert part of Project Democracy, thus giving free reign to the Kissingerian “NSC apparatus”.
Almost one year later, the uninformed and naïve Congress passed the NED Act in Oct 1983, and effectively signed off on wrapping duct tape around their heads.
The structure of the NED essentially functions as a private CIA political operations arm of an invisible, secret government beyond accountability and beyond the reach of the law.
Those who still had a degree of humanity as members of the intelligence community, and had survived the Kissinger purge, were simply kept in the dark about the cloak and dagger operations of the secret government branch.
As for the department ONE, they would be disbanded in 1973 (the year Kissinger became Secretary of State) and replaced with a “group of experts” that would later form the National Intelligence Council in 1979. This would be the last purge of sane patriotic leadership within the intelligence community, left to the hyenas and jackals to run from thenceforth.
In a 1991 interview, then NED President David Ignatius arrogantly stated “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA…The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection”.
The Real “Crisis of Democracy”
The Trilateral Commission was founded in the wake of Watergate and oil crisis of 1973. It was formed under the pretense of addressing the “crisis of democracy” and calling for a reshaping of political systems in order to form a more “stable” international order and “cooperative” relations among regions.
Its formation would be organised by Britain’s hand in America, the Council on Foreign Relations, (aka: the offspring of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the leading think tank for the British Crown).
Project Democracy would originate out of a Trilateral Commission meeting on May 31st, 1975 in Kyoto Japan, where the Trilateral Commission’s “Task Force on the Governability of Democracies” findings were delivered. The project was overseen by Trilateral Commission Director Zbigniew Brzezinski and its members James Schlesinger (former CIA Director) and Samuel P. Huntington.
It would mark the beginning of the end, introducing the policy, or more aptly “ideology”, for the need to instigate a “controlled disintegration of society.”
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental body, its members include elected and non-elected officials scattered throughout the world, ironically coming together to discuss how to address the “crisis of democracy” in the most undemocratic process possible. It is an organisation meant to uphold the “interests” of its members, regardless of who the people voted in.
You see, by the 1970s democracy was obviously broken, and someone had to put things back in order, right?
This elite grouping of people decided that this approach would be the best for all democracies and just like that, it was brought into official policy across the western hemisphere.
On Nov 9th, 1978, Trilateral Commission member Paul Volcker (Federal Reserve Chairman from 1979-1987) would affirm at a lecture delivered at Warwick University in England: “A controlled disintegration in the world economy is a legitimate object for the 1980s.” This is also the ideology that has shaped Milton Friedman’s “Shock Therapy”.
By the time of Jimmy Carter’s Administration, the majority of the government was being run by members of the Trilateral Commission. But who runs the Trilateral Commission?
Well, keeping in mind that this whole operation is run as an “open conspiracy”, in May 1981, Henry Kissinger who replaced Brzezinski as the head of the Trilateral Commission gave a speech at Chatham House describing his term as Secretary of State:
“[The British] became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations…In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American Department…It was symptomatic.”
In his speech, Kissinger outlined the conflicting ideologies between Churchill and Roosevelt, and concluded with his support for the British worldview as the more superior of the two.
Looks like the Churchill loyalists have won.
Controlled Disintegration: And We All Fall Down
In 1975 the CFR launched a public study of global policy titled the 1980’s Project. The general theme was “controlled disintegration” of the world economy, and the report did not attempt to hide the famine, social chaos, and death its policy would bring upon most of the world’s population.
The study explained that the world financial and economic system needed a complete overhaul according to which key sectors such as energy, credit allocation and food would be placed under the direction of a single global administration. The objective of this reorganization would be the replacement of nation states.
However, before this could occur, nation states would have to falter, or at least give off the impression of faltering.
The failure of the nation state is not a natural phenomenon but rather is the outcome of a fascist coup; involving a banker’s dictatorship, economic looting and permanent warfare (the Cold War never ended) to hinder national industrial growth.
Among the most effective strategies towards this end has been color revolutions, which just so happens to be the NED’s specialty practice and has included, to name a few, the nations of Yugoslavia, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Burma, Iran, Egypt, Yemen, Ukraine and the ongoing Hong Kong protests.
Wherever this strategy has unfolded, the target state is told by the international community that it has no right to intervene and is told to stand by as its nation is ransacked by locusts and its government ‘reorganised’.
With the final purge of American intelligence and the formation of a secret government, rendering anything resembling a democratic process obsolete, unless someone can restart the engine fast, we will soon be confronted by Willy Brandt’s prophecy of finding ourselves rudderless, under a surrounding sea of dictatorship.
Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page. Originally published by the Strategic Culture Foundation.
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 Speaking to his son during WWII, FDR said: “You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren’t in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of ’em: any number of ’em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!” I was told… six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It’s like the British Foreign Office….”