"American Made" - the Tom Cruise movie that changed my life, in a bad way.
I just had one of those vertigo-inducing moments when you realize that just about everyone around you is utterly clueless about the "hidden history" of the US Deep State (DS) and is willing to swallow whatever bilge Hollywood is offering as long as it includes lots of violence and babes. This moment happened when I watched a 2017 Tom Cruise movie called "American Made", about the CIA agent/drug smuggler, Barry Seal.
I knew the movie was going to be "heavily redacted" (i.e., a pack of lies) when in the opening ten minutes they claimed that Seal had been recruited by the CIA in the 1970s, when he was a pilot with TWA; and that they spotted him because he was smuggling Cuban cigars. What a complete lie!
Every DS-watcher knows that the go-to book on Barry Seal is Barry and the Boys, by Daniel Hopsicker
In this book Hopsicker documents, as have many others, that Barry Seal was in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol from the age of 15, where he met the infamous David Fairie and the doomed Lee Harvey Oswald. Seal was flying guns into Cuba, first for Castro, then for the anti-Castro rebels - all before the age of 25, all before 1963 - 15 years before the bullshit the movie is trying to sell you. Also omitted was the fact that Seal was arrested in 1972 for transporting tons of C4 explosive to Mexico for sale to anti-Castro rebels. (Hopsicker claims the sale was to raise hush money for the Watergate defendants, and Seal's arrest was the CIA sabotaging Nixon.)
The smuggling charge (which he, of course, beat) is what caused Seal to be fired from TWA. He didn't quit because he was bored and was made an attractive offer, as the movie suggests. Also unmentioned was the fact that TWA was owned by Howard Hughes, who was joined at the hip to the CIA (remember his Glomar Explorer trying to raise the Russian sub?). TWA pilots regularly did off-the-books work for the CIA. The overall point here is that the "recruited in the late 1970s" setup of the movie is a complete lie.
Well, you might argue that Hollywood movie makers are just clueless, including Doug Liman, the producer of American Made. Except for the fact that Doug's father, Arthur Liman, was lead counsel in the US Senate's Iran-Contra investigation. And, the Harvard-educated Arthur was a mafia groupie and lawyer for the mobbed up Steve Ross who bought out Time-Warner.
This is all covered on Hopsicker's blog: Keeping it in ‘The Family:’ Director’s Mobbed-Up Dad
That, for me, tied the whole purpose of the movie up in a bow. The son of a mobbed up lawyer, who was involved in "investigating" Iran-Contra, makes a movie that creates a largely fictitious story about Iran-Contra that fails to blame the CIA for anything except carelessly hiring Seal. Its the version of Dark Alliance that Gary Webb would have written if he were a CIA asset. Nothing to see here move along.
The movie wants to pretend that the CIA never dealt directly with the Medellin cartel, that Barry Seal made the Medellin contact on his own and became a middleman between the cartel and the CIA, who merely agreed to look the other way. It never traces the flow of drugs beyond Seal. It never mentions Southern Air Transport, Richard Secord, or John Singlaub, who ran the rest of the arms and drugs smuggling logistic train for the Nicaraguan war and the Cocaine Blizzard of the 1980s. Only if you have read Barry and the Boys, or other books that encompass the CIA's role in American politics and foreign policy, will you know about these facts.
The CIA and Drugs
The truth is that the CIA and the mob have been in business together since the CIA's predecessor, the OSS, ran heroin out of China to pay for its operations against Mao there. In the mid 1950s, the CIA stole control of the heroin trade in South Viet Nam from the Corsican Mafia. In the 1960s it took control of the Laotian opium trade, and it used the proceeds of that trade to run the Secret War in Laos - the first completely off-the-books full scale war run by the CIA. It ran those drugs into the US by using Santo Trafficante's organization. (Just FYI, Santos is one of the prime candidates in the plot to kill JFK.) By the time of the 1980s Cocaine business, drug dealing in cahoots with the mob was part of the DNA of the CIA. It funded their operations and made them completely independent from government oversight. They banked their drug profits in dodgy banks like Nguyen-Hand in Australia, and later BCCI, which imploded publicly and messily without ever causing any trouble for the CIA.
At this point, I realize I am deep into the "hidden history" of the Deep State. I would not be surprised if readers are starting to feel like they are in the "utterly clueless" category themselves. I could try to list a bibliography, but TL-DR. The shorthand is that it all goes back to the Bay of Pigs. When Castro went Communist, the CIA partnered with and supported the mad-dog Cubans and the Mafia. Alan Dulles, the founder and first head of the CIA, set up the Bay of Pigs to force JFK to invade Cuba. JFK refused and became a marked man, dead within two years - despite firing Dulles and several other high-ranking covert ops CIA officers.
As one reads more about Deep State activities since the founding of the CIA, the same cast of characters keeps showing up. They are charter members in the CIAs escape from any governmental control by any means necessary.
An entire Cuban cadre now emerged from the Bay of Pigs. The names Howard Hunt, Bernard Barker, Rolando Martinez, Felix Rodriguez and Eugenio Martinez would, in the next quarter century, poop up, often decisively, over and over again in the most dangerous American foreign policy crises. There were Cubans flying missions for the CIA in the Congo and even for the Portuguese in Africa; Cubans were the burglars of Watergate; Cubans played key roles in Nicaragua, in Irangate, in the American move into the Persian Gulf.
- Georgie Anne Geyer, quoted in Barry and the Boys, pp 212-3.
These people were lowly field agents for the CIA. The CIA leadership was, from its creation, part of the Nazi-loving, Wall St. elite that founded the OSS and then the CIA. They rehabilitated the Nazi/Ukranian Gehlen Organization to spy on Russia for the West, not caring that they were dirty. They recruited heavily among the WASP elite. The best friend of Alan Dulles was
Preston Prescott Bush, the father of Poppy Bush. Preston's Prescott's offspring, Poppy Bush, Jeb Bush, and George W. Bush, were completely in bed with the Saudis. (See Russ Baker, House of Bush House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties) During the abortive late 1970s investigations and attempt to houseclean the CIA, the Saudis wound up creating an alternative CIA (the safari club) because President Carter and Admiral Turner had the effrontery to try to control the CIA. Of course, Carter was done in by the hostage crisis. That crisis was exacerbated and prolonged by the scheming William Casey, who became head of the CIA under Reagan. The hostage crisis led directly to the Iran part of the Iran-Contra Scandal. Of course, not a word about Iran is ever mentioned in this movie.
We are already at the point where the internecine connections between our formal, public government and the Deep State become so large and so tangled that it isn't worth trying to trace the details. Instead, we need to look at the big picture.
The end of democracy in the US
The big picture is that the US is not a democracy, and hasn't been since at least when JFK was killed. Not a democracy. Elections are rigged. Your vote doesn't matter, except to preserve the illusion of democracy. The media - the Mighty Wurlitzer, in the phrase of CIA director, Frank Wisner - has been owned by the CIA since the 1950s. The left no longer exists in the US. Generations of it have been serially murdered: first by the 1920s Palmer Raids, next by the 1950s Red Scare, and finally by the hysterical anti-Communism and union-busting of the 1980s Reagan Revolution that began to dismantle government regulation (like the Fairness Doctrine) and progressive taxes.
America today is clearly run by the Deep State, which is composed of elements of the CIA, the mob, the oil business, Wall St., the neocon Israelis, the Saudis, and recently, the Silicon Valley surveillance state. None of these people gives a rats ass about America, about the American people, or about democracy. They are murderous gangsters with the resources of the most powerful governments and financiers on the planet behind them.
I have expressed all these opinions in the past; but now, I viscerally feel the lack of democracy. I feel that the corporate media is nothing but propaganda. Each lie feels like a slap in the face from an arrogant Nazi. But, most of all, I feel almost completely alone - except for the tiny band of people who come to places like c99p.
Watching this complete lie of a movie, and being aware of yet another recent whitewash movie "The Post"[NOTE], I feel that the Deep State has won the propaganda war. The voice of truth, the testimony of eyewitnesses to the murder of American democracy, has been buried or drowned out by the corporate media. Those eyewitnesses who did not die suspiciously in the 1960s are now in their 70s and 80s, and the truth is dying with them. The younger generations are battling for economic survival, and have little time for this "ancient history". Opponents of the Deep State are few today. When they write about what really happened, they are trashed and ridiculed not only by paid hacks, such as Gerald Posner, but by the New York Times and the Washington Post. This triumph of propaganda is at the core of my feelings of impending disaster for the people that live in the country that used to be the First Republic of America.
I feel that we live in a military dictatorship that is pretending (less and less every day) to be a democracy. I feel that our elected officials, of either duopoly party, are nothing more than servants of the super-rich. I feel that our country is a gangster nation that threatens world peace abroad and runs the biggest prison/slave labor system on the planet at home.
We know that it is oligarch opinion, not public opinion, that drives the passage of laws in the US. We watch more and more of the government being privatized (that is, sold on the cheap to insiders and removed from public control). We see ever larger military, intelligence, police, and prison budgets. Along with this, we see top bracket tax cuts, while less and less spent on infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Our foreign policy is run by a former head of the CIA, and that policy is to foment wars and revolutions, and to apply economic sanctions when wars are unfeasible. And nothing changes, no matter whom we vote for. That is the death of democracy.
All these feelings can be summed up into one overarching feeling. I now feel that, for longer than my entire adult life, American politics has been a sham and a farce. Since JFK, our Presidents have either been crooked or clueless. LBJ was in on the JFK assassination via the Warren Commission farce. Nixon fought with the CIA for control over drugs, not to block them. Ford, Carter, and George W. Bush were clueless. Reagan was a senile puppet who had been groomed and spoon fed by General Electric for 20 years. Poppy Bush really ran the show - and then became president himself. Poppy Bush was one of the ringleaders of the whole CIA racket. He was the director of the CIA in 1976. A CIA director becoming president was unprecedented, and the first public indication that the CIA runs America. Bill Clinton was up to his eyeballs in the drug running through Arkansas.
Its the drugs, stupid
Which brings me back to the point that set off my feelings in the first place: this movie continues the media avoidance of how the US has been flooded with drugs ever since the creation of the CIA. We know the CIA and the Mafia work hand in glove. We know that the CIA funds its many operations with untraceable drug money. In short, drug money runs the US. Wall St. launders drug money. The Pentagon protects poppy fields in Afghanistan. Every aspect of our shitty country is corrupted by drugs.
Its sort of fitting that the US's biggest competitor is China - a great civilization that was deliberately ruined by the opium pushed onto it by the Western powers. There must be some schadenfreude for the Chinese to watch the West get destroyed by drugs peddled by its own people.
Drugs exacerbated the pernicious rural-urban divide: Increased money for “traders” meant the ability to buy more land and become even richer, which meant the ability to move to the cities and run your affairs from far away via a local bully, which dissolved the ancient, much-needed bond between landlord and tenant. This may have been the deepest socio-economic effect.
...drugs fueled not just poor governance, but ultimately the anti-government sentiment which is now a hallmark of today’s neoliberal form of capitalism. If the government “sucks”, to use the parlance of our times…then getting rid of it as much as possible is smart, right?
The rise of drug money created the resources for traders and the gentry to bribe officials at all levels, further reducing the central government’s ability to govern properly. And that’s even among those pubic servants who actually tried: For example, when the central government tried in 1884 to fix the tax system it was quickly abandoned. The only reason for such poor policy is corrupt, inept government – corruption techniques clearly permitted the interests of the new local drug-lord bourgeois to win out.
The trade was also so lucrative it provided local “warlords” with resources to provide their own government services, making them appear superior to the central government. Thus “big government” begins to be fairly disparaged as being staffed by lazy, incompetent and / or immoral people – echoing today’s complaints – even though these new local “leaders” made their money off drugs, instead of real work.
The US is pretty far down the road to collapse that played out in China. Its government has been wrecked. Its citizens are increasingly uneducated, unhealthy, and unemployed. Drug dealers are in charge. Society is disintegrating, as people withdraw into opiod drugs, as well as into the electronic opium of video games and social media. Nuclear weapons and the Digital Panopticon protect the cabal running this country from any threat, foreign or domestic. I feel that the whole situation will continue to go downhill until some environmental catastrophe or some critical resource shortage causes either a nuclear war or a societal breakdown/martial law/anarchy.
I really feel that these are the only options in front of us, because the formal political system is completely under the control of the Deep State. IMHO, all that those who are still awake can do is to preserve the truth, try to make others aware of the truth, and to be ready to act when the system break occurs - so that the break doesn't just turn into Disaster Capitalism on steroids.
Have a nice day.
NOTE: While I'm on the subject of movies that whitewash the CIA, let's discuss Watergate. The Watergate story has always smelled fishy, what with Bob Woodward moving straight from the Office of Naval Intelligence to the Washington Post just in time for Watergate. But, it turned downright stinking when Deep Throat turned out to be Mark Felt, the number two guy at the
CIA FBI. Felt had been passed over for J. Edgar Hoover's job - twice. He had an axe to grind. He wanted to make the FBI under the guy who got "his" job, L. Patrick Gray, look bad. Its all discussed by another eyewitness, Pat Buchanan, in a 2012 story The Outing of Deep Throat.