John Perkins says… “I am a capitalist” and he strongly and firmly believes that capitalism is nothing bad per default.

Well i guess with Capitalism it is like with Islam or the Bible.

You can interpret it this way or that way. You can play it like a mafia-casino with fascistic and psychopathic players that do not care if millions of human lifes and the integrity of the life-supporting-ecosytem and the atmosphere are at stake.

John Perkins story makes perfect sense – since people are not born with “corruption” – it is made – by bribery and threats at the same time. And there are psychopaths – pirates – with the ego and the lack of empathy – ready to kill for fun and profit. Will they ever pay back their debts? Check out this video about the Russian Mafia. To get a sense of how this business is played. It is brutal and ruthless. Murder is every Mafia’s daily bread.

Transcript of the above Video:

“I stood in the front of the Shah of Iran, the President of Indonesia, Ecuador, Panama, Members of the Royal House of Saudi Arabia – and i said something like – in this hand i have millions of dollars – for you and your friends – if you play our game – in this (other) hand – i have a gun – in case you decide not to.

My words were more diplomatic than that – but that was the message.

I was an economic hitman.

We economic hitman have created a new global economy really – a form of capitalism that i call predatory capitalism.

It isn’t working.

We all know this – the oceans are rising – the glaciers are melting.

Less than 5% of us live here in the United States and we consume almost 30% of the world’s resources.

While half the world is on the verge of starvation or actually starving.

That is not a (role)model.

China can’t do it.

India can’t do it – they are trying but they can’t do it.

We have to change – we have to have a – re-evolution.

We must change the System – i get into that in a minute.

But first how did i become an economic hitman?

While i was still in business school – i was intervewed by the NSA – they put me through a serious of extensive psychological test – including on a lie-detector.

It’s a long story – but to make a long story short – i ended up going in the peace corps.

And being send deep into the Amazon rain forest.

Now i am growing up the son of the teacher of a boy’s prep school – for very wealthy boys in rural New Hampshire.

I grew up with loads of snow and cold – and suddenly i find myself living in a hut in the steamy jungle.

Do you think i adjusted easily to that?

After the peace corps – i then took a job as an economist at an internal consulting firm in Boston with close ties to the NSA and the CIA.

I was trained by a woman named Claudine Martin – who’s job it was to train me – to be an economic hitman.

Now claudine had seen my NSA files – she knew i wanted 3 things – that i thought all of my prep-school buddies – the rich kids – had.

1. money

2. power

3. sex

Claudine was really good at ther job – and she promised me the first two – money and power – and she taught me quiet a bit about the third.

And then – she told me what my job would entail.

I would go to countries with resources that our companies covet (want to get) like oil – and arrange huge loans – for those countries from the World Bank – and it’s sister organizations.

But the money would not go actually to those countries – it would go to our corporations Bechtel , Halliburton , Brown & Root – familiar names.

To build big infrastructure projects in those countries – and incidentally make huge profits in the process.

They build power-plants and industrial-parks – things that benefit a few wealthy families in the country – the one’s that own the industries.

But the majority of the people would suffer – they would be left holding a huge debt that they can not possibly repay.

So we go back and say “since you can’t pay your (US-Dollar) debt” – “sell your resources oil or whatever real cheap to our corporations” – “privatize” – “sell your utilities – your schools – your jails – everything like that to our corporations.”

And Claudine also told me that it if the leaders of these (prior independent) countries refuse my offer – people she called Jackals would be right behind me.

I did not not actually carry a gun – but the Jackals did.

My first assignment – was in Indonesia – a country that just ended a terrible civil war with more than a million people killed.

It had a terrifying reputation.

And i have to admit when i first arrived at Jakarta my knees were shaking pretty bad.

My stomach was filled with flattering butterflies – i had no idea – what i was supposed to do.

I just knew that i was expected to produce a report – that would convince the Indonesian government – to build a EXTREMELY expensive electrical system hiring our corporations to do it.

Claudine made it sound simple.

Even kind of James Bondishly romantic.

But now i am struck by reality. And i felt naive. Ill prepared. Vulnerable.

Fortunately for me the winner of the civil war presiden Suharto actually a dictator – wanted the projects that i was offering and he also wanted CIA and Pentagon protection.

So every time i stumbled and i stumbled often – somebody was there to pick me up – a government official would appear – with an incredible report – that would indicate beyond any shadow of a doubt – that electricity is all that this country needs to take off to huge growth.

A Harvard-trained Mathematician showed up with a mathematical formula that proofed if they just build that electrical system (but only with US companies 😉 everything will be fine.

In the end – i produced a report – that forecasts the need of electricity in an unheard of annual rate of 19%.

Indonesia got it’s loan (in US-Dollar from the World Bank).

Our corporations made loads of money.

And i was promoted.

From economist to chief-economist.

It was quiet a lesson.

At that time the Cold War was really really riving up.

And Washington believed that Cuba would spread communism throughout the hemisphere.

“The CIA developed a program called Operation Condor – to support RIGHT WING DICTATORSHIPS in BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CHILE – throughout the continent.”

Omar Torrijos - Head of State of Panama - strongly opposed Operation Condor

Omar Torrijos – Head of State of Panama – strongly opposed CIA Operation Condor (destroying lawfully elected presidents and supporting right-wing-fascist-dictators in South America that are pro Washington)

 Jaime Roldos Aguilera the President of Ecuador – democratically elected – and Omar Torrijos – Head of State of Panama – strongly opposed Operation Condor – i was send down to change their ways.

They would not. They refused.

Roldos was killed when his private plane crashed – that many believed was not an accident. (tape-recorder size bomb was smuggled on board – “good job” CIA)

Torrijos said – if CIA killed my friend Jaime – i probably be next.

In less than 3 months he died. When his private plane crashed under very similar circumstances.

You gonna hear after me after the break from a Marine Crops General who was in Panama at that time – and he agrees with me – these at least Torrijos was probably an assassination.

We don’t really know how caused it.

And i want to say – i am not a conspiracy theorist. (which is not anymore anything bad :-D)

I don’t believe in some over-arching conspiracy that wants to take over the world.

But i do read reports.

I think i am a “conspiracy-factualist”.

I read recently declassified information – the CIA’s own website – where they admit that the US-government was deeply involved in the overthrow or assassination of:

And speaking of Allende of Chile he was replaced by the terribly brutal dictator Pinochet – who was a great defender of Operation Condor – and also oversaw the murder of tens of thousands of it’s people and was praised by Henry Kissinger as a great defender of capitalism.

I believe in national security.

And i don’t believe US security is served – i believe it is jeopardized when our agencies overthrow or assassinate the leaders of other countries because they don’t follow our policies.

I am a capitalist – i think that capitalism has given us incredible technology. Art, Science, Medicine.

I think it holds up the hope for the future – but this new form of capitalism – that i call predatory capitalism – that is the enemy of true capitalism. (analogy: ISIS-Islam vs the rest of Islam which can coexist peacefully with other faiths)

Let me explain.

When i was in business school – i was taught that a good CEO makes a decent rate of return for his company and also that his company is a good citizen.

He pays workers a fair wage – gives them health-insurance and retirement-pensions, pays taxes – imagine that!

And supports local schools and recreational facilities and so on and so forth – in essence makes sure that his company serves the public interest.

That all changed in 1976 when Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics – and stated amongst many other things:

“The only responsibility of business is to maximize profits – regardless of the social and environmental costs”.

It changed everything.

And it has created this global fiasco what i believe we are heading for this disaster with climate change and with all the things we all know is happening.

And we must change that.

And we can change that.


I think the American Revolution actually offers an interesting example: Back in 1773 – most everybody in the United States believed that the British were invincible.

George Washington stepped forward and he remembered during the French and Indian war he had witnessed at the – battle of “Malaga” (citation needed?) hill – the defeat of a huge powerful British army by a hand full of Indians.

“They are not invincible – all we gonna do is hide behind trees”

Change the rules!

Change the rules!

I liked the rules that i learned in business school – that a good CEO makes sure his/her company serves the public interest.

You and I should invest in corporations that instead of essentially destroy the resources which our economy is based – instead they clean up pollution – regenerate destroyed environments – develop new technology for more efficient transportation, communication and just about everything else (decentralized generation! very important! no / not much / transportation / wires needed! :-D).

In essence: Let our corporations to create an economic system – that is itself a renewable resource.

Are you ready to do that?

Yes I think we are all ready.

We can create this renewable resource – so our corporations today really run the world.

They control most of the politics in this country – and just about anywhere else.

But it is important to remember – that they need us.

We work for them – we manage them – many of you own them – you run them – they depend on us to buy their goods and services – to invest in them – to work for them – to support them through our tax-dollars.

(Except those very evil one’s that just step in front of a newly elected president – and threaten him to be killed if not “sign here” for the 100 Million USD shower and a massive US-Dollar loan for his country)

We have the power – You have the power.

Earlier we heard this incredible Music about our passion and our power – let us put our passion to work.

This brings us to YOU!

What is it – you can do – each and everyone of you.

Well i think perhaps the most important thing to start off by saying – we are living at a time in history when the individual – YOU – has more power than ever before.

I travel a great deal around the world – speaking at evens like this and many others – and everywhere i go – whether it is in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Middle East, United States.

“People are waking up – to the fact.

That we are living on a very tiny fragile space station with no SHUTTLES – and it’s heading for disaster and we have to turn it around.”

So in my latest book which is for sale out here – the New Confessions of an Economic Hitman – i have a whole section devoted to what you can do, I just want to mention 3 of them here today:

  1. Shine a Light: search out and spread – shine a light on – the story behind the story.
    1. i think my life as an Econmic Hitman highlights the fact that there is almost always a story behind the story.
    2. and recently revelations such as WikiLeaks and Eduard Snowden and the Panama-Papers and reporting by amazing bloggers – the Pulitzer price winning are shining a light on the fact – that we have corrupt politicians – we have tax-evading billionaires…
  2. change laws: join an organization or start one – that impacts local laws, national laws, global laws – do it please – use local, individual and community power to change politics – to change the governmental system – to change the laws – we the people must do it we can not wait for a president to do it – whoever the next president is – we have to do it and that’s our job in a democracy to do that.
    1. recently the small state of Vermont with less than 0.2% of the population of the US got a law passed that forced corporations to label GMOs. As a result – 5 of the major food companies –
    2. all committed to labeling GMOs here in Michigan – and everywhere else in the US.
    3. I recently heard Huge Grant (CEO, Monsanto) – not the actor – on the radio saying – that is impacting him hugely – Monsanto is going to have to reevaluate it’s attitude towards GMOs – because of what happened in the state of Vermont.
    4. We the people have forced the corporations to end apartheid in South Africa – to clean up polluted rivers – pass laws to make that happen. To open the doors wider to women and minorities. You we have the power the movement to amend now – to get big money out of politics – that is very important.
  3. convince corporations to serve a public interest / Help a corporation that it must serve the public interest
    1. corporations listen to you – I know loads of CEOs of very powerful corporations – they know if they get flooded by E-Mails, Tweets, Faceook or whatever – and they have to respond.
    2. Pick a corporation – send them an E-Mail – don’t make them the enemy say: “I love your product – but i am not going to buy it anymore – until you stop polluting or clean up pollution or pay your workers a fair wage or whatever your issues is”. Send that E-Mail to your corporation and to all your social networking circles and tell them to send it to all their social networking circles.

And in that way – we are going to turn this economic system – that is failing us – one that is exhausted – one that is devastating it’s own resource base – into a renewable resource.

I think you and I live at the most amazing and important time in human history.

We are going through a revolution – through a consciousness revolution – people are waking up across the planet.

We are going to come together and create world that my 8 year old grand-son and every other child look back at us and say: “Thank god for TEDx and Michigan – thank god all those people came together and committed to moving forward – to create an economic system that is a renewable resources – thank you all for being here – i am looking forward to take this journey with you – thank you so very much. thank you”

“you know democracy depends upon transparency – it depends on understand the story behind the story – it demands that you and i look for the story – it demands that we question our leaders and our government policies – that’s the patriotic thing to do.”


Do you already puke? Or want to know more?

Milton Friedman:

He theorized that there existed a “natural” rate of unemployment, and argued that employment above this rate would cause inflation to accelerate.[10]

Friedman promoted an alternative macroeconomic viewpoint known as “monetarism

His ideas concerning monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation influenced government policies, especially during the 1980s. His monetary theory influenced the Federal Reserve’s response to the global financial crisis of 2007–08.[13]

(it seems the 2007-08 suprime financial crisis – actually a banking-crisis – goes all the way back to 1938!!! End of WW2!)


How Brown & Root & Halliburton profited from the Kosovo war

In 1996, Brown & Root was awarded a contract to support U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops as part of the SFOR operation in the Balkan region. This contract was extended to also include KFOR operations in Kosovo starting in 1999. Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo was constructed by the 94th Engineer Construction Battalion together with the private Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers.[22]


KBR was awarded a $100 million contract in 2002 to build a new U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, from the U.S. State Department. KBR has also been awarded 15 Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) task orders worth more than $216 million for work under Operation Enduring Freedom, the military name for operations in Afghanistan. These include establishing base camps at Kandahar and Bagram Air Base and training foreign troops from the Republic of Georgia.[23]


KBR has also been actively involved in the development of works in Cuba. Most notably sections of the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo, completed in 2006. Camp 6, the newest facility built for detainees at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, is designed after a maximum-security penitentiary in the U.S.[24]


KBR employs more American private contractors and holds a larger contract with the U.S. government than does any other firm in Iraq. The company’s roughly 14,000 U.S. employees in Iraq provide logistical support to the U.S. armed forces.[25]

In November 2012, a dozen Oregon National Guard soldiers, who sued KBR for knowingly exposing them to hexavalent chromium, were awarded a total more than $85 million; the soldiers were providing security to civilian workers at the Qarmat Ali water facility in 2003.[26]


Political connections and corruption

Following the end of the first Gulf War, the Pentagon, led by then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, paid Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root Services over $8.5 million to study the use of private military forces with American soldiers in combat zones.[12]

Some controversy arose in February 1999 when KBR was awarded a substantial contract to provide emergency support to US military operations in the Balkans,[27] despite DynCorp having been awarded a contract, known as LOGCAP II, in 1994 to provide emergency support in exactly these sort of circumstances.[28]

RIO, or Restore Iraqi Oil, was awarded to KBR without competition when the United States Department of Defense determined that KBR was “the only contractor that could satisfy the requirement for immediate execution of the plan”.[29]

There is also controversy about the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) report on billing-methods for meals in which the auditors allegedly knew about, but disregarded, the Army requirement that directed KBR to have varying amounts of meals prepared at certain locations without respect to how many people used the service. Although KBR paid for the food, the DCAA did not believe they should be able to charge the DoD for meals prepared but not served.[30]

In June 2008, Charles M. Smith, the senior civilian Defense Department official overseeing the government’s multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the early stages of the war in Iraq said he was forced out of his job in 2004 for refusing to approve $1 billion in questionable charges by KBR. Smith refused to approve the payments because Army auditors determined that KBR lacked credible records to support more than $1 billion in spending. Smith stated, “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify.” He said that following this action he was suddenly dismissed and according to one New York Times source “his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.”[31]

In May 2010, it was reported that KBR was selected for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011 for military support services in Iraq.[32]

Shell companies in Cayman Islands

In March 2008, The Boston Globe reported that KBR had avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq – including about 10,500 Americans – are listed as employees of two companies, Service Employees International Inc., and Overseas Administrative Services, which exist on the island only in computer files in an office. KBR admitted that the companies were set up “in order to allow us to reduce certain tax obligations of the company and its employees”. But KBR does claim the workers as its own with regards to the legal immunity extended to employers working in Iraq.[33]

Bribing Nigerian officials

On February 6, 2009, the Justice Department announced KBR had been charged with paying “tens of millions of dollars” in bribes to Nigerian officials in order to win government contracts, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). A 22-page document filed in a Houston federal court alleged massive bribes in connection with the construction of a natural gas plant on Bonny Island requiring $7.5bn USD. KBR officials had no comment.[34] KBR pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $402m USD in criminal fines, nearly all of which was covered by Halliburton. KBR and Halliburton also paid $177m USD in disgorgement of profits to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) due a civil complaint filed by the SEC relating to the FCPA charges.[35]

Former CEO Albert Jackson Stanley, who ran KBR when it was a subsidiary to Halliburton, was sentenced to 30 months in prison via plea agreement.[36][37]

Waxman allegations

The Army’s actions came under fire from California Congressman Henry Waxman, who, along with Michigan Congressman John Dingell, asked the General Accounting Office to investigate whether the U.S. Agency for International Development and The Pentagon were circumventing government contracting procedures and favoring companies with ties to the Bush administration. They also accused KBR of inflating prices for importing gasoline into Iraq.[38] In June 2003, the Army announced that it would replace KBR’s oil-infrastructure contract with two public-bid contracts worth a maximum total of $1 billion, to be awarded in October. However, the Army announced in October it would expand the contract ceiling to $2 billion and the solicitation period to December. As of October 16, 2003, KBR had performed nearly $1.6 billion worth of work. In the meantime, KBR has subcontracted with two companies to work on the project: Boots & Coots, an oil field emergency response firm that Halliburton works in partnership with (CEO Jerry L. Winchester was a former Halliburton manager) and Wild Well Control. Both firms are based in Texas.[39]

Professional negligence

KBR’s maintenance work in Iraq has been criticized after reports of soldiers electrocuted from faulty wiring.[40] Specifically, KBR has been charged by the Army for improper installation of electrical units in bathrooms throughout U.S. bases. CNN reported that an Army Special Forces soldier, Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth, died by electrocution in his shower stall on January 2, 2008. Army documents showed that KBR inspected the building and found serious electrical problems a full 11 months before his death. KBR noted “several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices”. But KBR’s contract did not cover “fixing potential hazards;” It covered repairing items only after they broke down.[41] Maseth’s family has sued KBR.[42] In January 2009, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command investigator assigned to the case recommended that Maseth’s official cause of death should be changed from “accidental” to “negligent homicide”. KBR supervisors were blamed for failing to ensure electrical and plumbing work were performed by qualified employees, and for failure to inspect the work.[43] In late January 2009, the Defense Contract Management Agency handed down a “Level III Corrective Action Request” to KBR. This is disseminated after a contractor is found being in a state of “serious noncompliance”, and is one step from suspending or terminating a contract.[43] Currently in 2011, KBR is defending the lawsuit by claiming that Iraqi, not American, law should apply in determining a verdict.[44] Despite these issues, KBR was awarded a $35 million contract for major electrical work in 2009.[45]

Employee safety

As of June 9, 2008, 81 American and foreign KBR employees and subcontractors have been killed, and more than 380 have been wounded by hostile action while performing services under the company’s government contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Family members of injured or killed employees have sued the company in relation to the 2004 Iraq KBR convoy ambush.[46]

Sexual assault and abuse allegations

Jamie Leigh Jones testified at a Congressional hearing that she had been gang-raped by as many as seven coworkers in Iraq in 2005 when she was an employee of KBR, and then falsely imprisoned in a shipping container for 24 hours without food or drink.[47][48] KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton at the time. Jones and her lawyers said that 38 women have contacted her reporting similar experiences while working as contractors in Iraq, Kuwait, and other countries. On September 15, 2009, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Jones, in a 2–1 ruling, and found that her alleged injuries were not, in fact, in any way related to her employment and thus, not covered by the contract.[48] On July 8, 2011, a jury in the Southern District of Texas federal court in Houston found against Jones and cleared KBR of any wrongdoing.[49] In August 2011, KBR sued Jones for two million dollars, saying that her lawsuit was “fabricated and frivolous”.[50]

Jamie Leigh Jones’s case led Senator Al Franken to propose an amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which was passed in October 2009, to allow employees of firms with government contracts access to the courts.[51] Jones’s case received an unfavorable verdict and her alleged fabrication caused a subsequent media scandal.[52]

Mary Beth Kineston, an Ohio truck driver, alleged she was sexually harassed and groped by several KBR employees, and was later fired after reporting to the company the threats and harassment endured by female employees.[53]

Jo Frederiksen, another female employee, filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly being “inappropriately touched, stalked, intimidated and verbally harassed” during her time with the firm in 2003. According to Frederiksen, after she complained to the firm she was moved to an even more hostile location while some of her abusers were promoted. The lawsuit claimed “women are second-rate citizens provided for the pleasure of men” at the firm. Frederiksen also alleged a lack of oversight to “rampant illicit criminal behavior” related to prostitution and human trafficking by other KBR employees.[54]

Human trafficking lawsuit

On August 28, 2008, defense contractor KBR, Inc. and a Jordanian subcontractor were accused of human trafficking in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.[55] The suit alleged that 13 Nepali men were recruited by Daoud & Partners to work in hotels and restaurants in Jordan, but upon arrival all 13 men had their passports seized by the contractor and were sent to Iraq to work on the Al Asad Airbase. Twelve of the employees were abducted when their unprotected convoy was attacked by a group calling itself the Army of Ansar al-Sunna, while en route to the base. Shortly thereafter, a video was released of one of the men being beheaded and the other 11 shot. The remaining employee, Buddi Prasad Gurung, claims to have been held against his will for 15 months, during which time he was forced to work at the base.[56] Reuters quoted attorney Matthew Handley as saying, “It doesn’t appear that any of them knew they were going to Iraq.” KBR made no public comment on the lawsuit, but released a statement which stated in part that it, “in no way condones or tolerates unethical or illegal behavior”.[57]

“Burn pits” lawsuits

More than 20 federal lawsuits naming KBR and seeking class-action status were filed in late 2008 and 2009 over the practice of operating “burn pits” at U.S. bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan and thus exposing soldiers to smoke containing dioxin, asbestos, and other harmful substances.

The pits are said to include “every type of waste imaginable”, with items such as “tires, lithium batteries, Styrofoam, paper, wood, rubber, petroleum-oil-lubricating products, metals, hydraulic fluids, munitions boxes, medical waste, biohazard materials (including human corpses), medical supplies (including those used during smallpox inoculations), paints, solvents, asbestos insulation, items containing pesticides, polyvinyl chloride pipes, animal carcasses, dangerous chemicals, and hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles”. A company statement responding to the allegations said that “at the sites where KBR provides burn pit services, the company does so … in accordance with the relevant provisions” of its contracts as well as “operational guidelines approved by the Army”.[58]


Guatemala – “Operation PBSUCCESS” – hardly a success

Document 5 (mirror): “Operation PBSUCCESS: The United States and Guatemala, 1952- 1954”, CIA History Staff document by Nicholas Cullather, 1994. Excerpt.

A narrative history of the CIA’s role in planning, organizing and executing the coup that toppled Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán on June 27, 1954. Cullather, now a diplomatic historian at the University of Indiana, worked on contract for one year with the CIA, where he was given access to thousands of agency records and secret operational files in order to produce this overview. The result is a surprisingly critical study of the agency’s first covert operation in Latin America. Beginning with a review of the political, economic and social forces that led to Arbenz’s presidency in 1951, the document is an intimate account of how cold war concerns convinced President Eisenhower to order the removal of the democratically-elected leader by force. It also provides countless new details of a covert mission plagued by disastrous military planning and failed security measures: according to Cullather, “Operation Success” barely succeeded. The CIA scrambled to convince the White House that it was an unqualified and all but bloodless victory, however. After Arbenz resigned, Eisenhower called the Director of Central Intelligence, Allan W. Dulles, and his senior covert planners into a formal briefing of the operation. Cullather’s account now reveals that the agency lied to the president, telling him that only one of the rebels it had backed was killed. “Incredible,” said the president. And it was. At least four dozen were dead, according to the CIA’s own records. Thus did the Guatemala coup enter agency lore as an “unblemished triumph,” Cullather explains, and become the model for future CIA activities in Latin America.

In Guatemala, of course, “Operation Success” had a deadly aftermath. After a small insurgency developed in the wake of the coup, Guatemala’s military leaders developed and refined, with U.S. assistance, a massive counterinsurgency campaign that left tens of thousands massacred, maimed or missing.

See also