PBSUCCESS was the code name for a CIA-backed coup led against the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz, the President of Guatemala, in 1954. It’s one of the first in a long line of suspected or acknowledged CIA interventions in the governments of foreign countries, and it was indeed a tremendous success from the Agency’s point of view.—the first indication that such a feat could be accomplished relatively smoothly.
Elected in 1950, Arbenz set about instituting reforms aimed at making his country self-sufficient, by giving huge chunks of government land back to citizens. This rubbed the US Government the wrong way, as much of this land was “owned” by the United Fruit Company, a truly evil corporation with which the Eisenhower administration was snugly in bed at the time (CIA director Allen Dulles and his brother John, the Secretary of State, both had strong ties to the company).
The Agency snidely referred to Arbenz policies in internal memoranda as “an intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the ‘Banana Republic.’ ” In other words, non-dependence on the US and its allies was not to be tolerated.
Four hundred and eighty CIA-trained mercenary soldiers, led by exiled Guatemalan military officer Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, forcibly wrested Guatemala from Arbenz’ control. While he and his aides were able to flee the country, CIA documents show that “the option of assassination was still being considered” right up until the day he resigned on June 27, 1954.
This operation was conducted by the Department of Defense in conjunction with the CIA, under Robert Kennedy’s supervision. He told his team at its first briefing that deposing Castro was “the top priority of the US government—all else is secondary—no time, money, effort, or manpower is to be spared.”
Among the dozens of extremely silly methods of assassination proposed: infecting Castro’s scuba gear with tuberculosis; planting exploding seashells at a favorite diving site; slipping him a poisoned fountain pen; and even even poisoning or slipping a bomb into one of his cigars. Castro’s bodyguard asserted that there were hundreds of CIA schemes on Castro’s life—and they all ended in failure, a gigantic waste of time and money. Castro was Cuba’s dictator for forty-nine years, stepping down in 2008 due to failing health, and appointing his younger brother as his replacement.
Production of Pornography.
The CIA produced a porno film starring a Sukarno look-alike, titled “Happy Days”, for distribution in Indonesia. Not that the culture generally frowns upon such things, but as the CIA understood it, “being tricked, deceived, or otherwise outsmarted by one of the creatures God has provided for man’s pleasure cannot be condoned” in Indonesian culture, and “what we were saying was that a woman had gotten the better of Sukarno.” The film went as far as production, and stills were made, but for some reason (perhaps common-sense) it was never deployed.
Bizarrely enough, this idea resurfaced shortly before the Second Gulf War, when the CIA suggested that a fake gay porno featuring Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden be produced in order to discredit these men in the eyes of their followers. This went nowhere—at least one official claiming that nobody would care. “Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target. We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.
The May 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden was the result of an insane amount of intelligence collecting and planning; regardless of his crimes, conducting a US military operation to kill a foreign national on Pakistani soil was bound to have myriad consequences. A courier had been tracked to an Abbottabad compound, where it was pretty damn certain Bin Laden was hiding. But before conducting the raid, they had to be absolutely sure—and one method of collecting this proof was shady in the extreme.
The CIA recruited a respected Pakistani doctor to organize a fake vaccination drive in the town, and in the process collected thousands of blood samples from children in the area children—among them, as it turned out, Bin Laden’s children. Since theirs was a fairly upscale section of town, the campaign began in a poorer area to make it look more authentic, then moved on to the neighborhood housing the Bin Laden compound a month later—without even following up with the required second or third doses in the poor area. The whole thing worked—with consequences.
For one thing, Dr. Shakil Afridi—the doctor involved—has been convicted of treason by the Pakistani government and given a thirty-three-year prison sentence (“Wouldn’t any country detain people for working for a foreign spy service?” one Iranian official helpfully pointed out). For another, the campaign has caused irreparable damage to organizations that carry out legitimate vaccinations. There are deep-seated suspicions in many Middle Eastern regions about those who provide vaccinations, and this gambit to assist in finding Bin Laden has only bolstered those suspicions—particularly in Nigeria, India and of course Pakistan, where efforts to eradicate polio are ongoing.
he CIA set up camps to train the rebels, known as Mujahideen, in the necessary tactics for beating back the Soviets. Advanced weaponry was also part of the deal, including—importantly—Stinger surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles. Soviet airstrikes had driven hundreds of guerrillas out of the cities and into the surrounding hills, and mitigating the effectiveness of those strikes proved to be essential in prolonging the conflict, placing a great strain on Soviet resources.
The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan almost until its collapse in the early 1990s, but the legacy of the Mujahideen lives on. The CIA are finding their own tactics and training turned against them by Mujahideen veterans who have begun their own training programs, producing highly trained and skilled terrorists who now make up the backbone of Al-Qaeda and other radical groups. The US discovered these ramifications the hard way after invading Afghanistan in 2001. The invasion led to a quagmire of an occupation, which—as of this writing—has dragged on for just as long as that of the Soviets.
John McAfee , the notorious computer anti-virus pioneer has been on the run from police in Belize, where he’s wanted for questioning in connection to his neighbor’s murder was arrested when Vice Magazine, actively pursuing his story published his photograph.
He is heading a Company specializing in Anti Virus Soft ware and it is the GPS that tracked him.
VICE editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro and photographer/videographer Robert King have been following John McAfee for the past four days, documenting his life on the run. Rocco and Robert will continue to follow John until the conclusion of his journey and in the coming days will release exclusive preview footage of a forthcoming long-form documentary about his ordeal that will provide answers to many open questions and set the record straight. It will be nothing but absolutely epic, that much we can assure you.
This Magazine seems interesting,depends on how you look at it.
‘McAfee was living a self-exiled life in Belize keeping a harem of prostitutes and apparently experiment with drug manufacturing. Last month, his neighbor was murdered and police named him aperson of interest. McAfee fled, and has since become a traveling media shitshow, keeping the world up to date about his life on the lam on his blog, taunting authorities andblabbing to just about anyone who would listen. Read this New York Times story on McAfee for a good background on the story so far.
But this afternoon, it seemed like his life on the lam had come to a strange end when tits-and-drugs rag Vice accidentally revealed McAfee’s location. In a blog post, Vice Editor-In-Chief Rocco Castoro boasted that he was hanging out with John McAfee to make a documentary about him. Accompanying the post was the photo above of Castoro and McAfee, taken by Vice photographer Robert King. It had been taken with an iPhone and hadn’t been scrubbed of GPS data, which revealed it was taken just three hours earlier in Guatemala, near the border with Belize. You can see the exact GPS coordinates here.