Mind-Body Politic -
“Why?” The grieving family members ask. “Why did the terrorists kill our loved ones?”
The hardnosed colleagues of the four fallen CIA officers comfort the wives and children (and one husband). They shake off their sorrow, huddle together by the graves, and vow vengeance. They bathe themselves in their seething anger like it was the blood of the lamb.
“Why? The American public and its officials ask. Why? The media repeats, adding in shock and awe, “Don’t the terrorists know that you can’t kill CIA officers?”
Why, everyone wonders, did a Jordanian suicide bomber target the CIA, knowing that the wrath of the biggest, baddest, bloodthirstiest Gang on Planet Earth is going to start dropping bombs and slitting throats until its lust for death and suffering is satisfied?
Over the course of its sixty year reign of terror, in which it has overthrown countless governments, started countless wars costing countless lives, and otherwise subverted and sabotaged friends and foes alike, the CIA has lost less than 100 officers.
On a good day, one CIA drone, and one CIA hit team, kills 100 innocent women and children, and nobody bats an eye.
Why would the terrorists suddenly deviate from the norm – the sacred accommodation – and throw the whole game into chaos?
OK, I’ll Tell You Why.
There is a phenomenon called “The Universal Brotherhood of Officers.” It exists in the twilight zone between imagination and in reality, in the fog of war. It is why officers are separated from enlisted men in POW camps and given better treatment. It is why officers of opposing armies have more in common with one another than they have with their own enlisted men.
Officers are trained to think of their subordinate ranks as canon fodder. Their troops are expendable. They know when they send a unit up a hill, some will be killed. That is why they do not fraternize with thee lower ranks. This class distinction exists across the world, and is the basis of the sacred accommodation. No slobs need apply.
It is why the Bush Family flew the Bin Laden Family, and other Saudi Royals, out of the United States in the days after 9-11. If anyone was a case officer to the 9-11 bombers, or had knowledge about the bombers or any follow-up plots, it was these “protected” people.
CIA officers are at the pinnacle of the Universal Brotherhood. They are the Protected Few, blessed with false identities and bodyguards, flying in jet planes, living in villas, eating fancy food and enjoying state of the art technology. CIA officers tell army generals what to do.They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and innocent children equally, with impunity, with indifference.
In Afghanistan they manage the drug trade from their hammocks in the shade.They know the Taliban tax the farmers growing the opium, and they know that Karzai’s warlords convert the opium into heroin and fly it to the Russian mob. They are amused by the antics of earnest DEA agents, who, in their ignorant patriotic bliss, cannot believe such an accommodation exists.
CIA officers are trained to exist in this moral netherworld of protected drug dealers, for the simple reasons that the CIA in every conflict has a paramount need to keep secure communication channels open to the enemy. This is CIA 101. The CIA, as part of its mandate, is authorized to negotiate with the enemy, but it can only do so as long as the channel is secure and deniable.
No proof will ever exist, so the American public can be deceived.
Take Iran Contra, when Reagan vowed never to negotiate with terrorists, then a team to Tehran to sell missiles to thee Iranians and use the money to buy guns for the drug dealing Contras.
There’s stated and unstated policy – and the CIA is always pursuing the unstated, which is why it relies so heavily on its patriotic and witless assets in the mainstream media.
In Afghanistan the accommodation is the environment that allows the CIA to have a secure channel to the Taliban to negotiate on simple matters like prisoner exchanges.
The exchange of British journalist Peter Moore for an Iraqi “insurgent” in CIA custody was an example of how the accommodation works in Iraq. Moore was held by a Shia group allegedly allied to Iran, and his freedom depended entirely on the CIA reaching an accommodation with America’s enemies in the Iraq resistance. The details of such prisoner exchanges are never revealed, but involve secret negotiations by the CIA and the resistance over issues of strategic importance to both sides.
The accommodation is the intellectual environment which provides a space for any eventual reconciliation. There are always preliminary negotiations for a reconciliation or ceasefire, and in every modern conflict that’s the CIA’s job.
And the Afghanis want reconciliation. Apart from the US and CIA, Karzai and his clique at every level have filial relations with the Taliban.
No matter how powerful the CIA is, it can’t overcome that.
Ed Brady, an Army officer detailed to the CIA and assigned to the Phoenix Directorate in Saigon in 1967 and 1968, explains how the accommodation worked in Vietnam.
While Brady and his Vietnamese counterpart Colonel Tan were lunching at a restaurant in Dalat, Tan pointed at a woman eating noodle soup and drinking Vietnamese coffee at the table next to them. He told Brady that she was the Viet Cong province chief’s wife. Brady, of course, wanted to grab her and use her for bait.
Coolly, Colonel Tan said to him: “You don’t understand. You don’t live the way we live. You don’t have any family here. You’re going to go home when this operation is over. You don’t think like you’re going to live here forever. But I have a home and a family and kids that go to school. I have a wife that has to go to market…. And you want me to go kill his wife? You want me to set a trap for him and kill him when he comes in to see his wife? If we do that, what are they going to do to our wives?”
“The VC didn’t run targeted operations against them either,” Brady explains. “There were set rules that you played by. If you went out and conducted a military operation and you chased them down fair and square in the jungle and you had a fight, that was okay. If they ambushed you on the way back from a military operation, that was fair. But to conduct these clandestine police operations and really get at the heart of things, that was kind of immoral to them. That was not cricket. And the Vietnamese were very, very leery of upsetting that.”
Obama’s Dirty War in Afghanistan relies largely on such clandestine CIA operations, in which wives and children are used as bait to trap husbands – or are killed as a way of punishing men in the resistance.
The CIA plays the same role in Afghanistan that the Gestapo played in the cities and the Einsatzgruppen performed in the countryside for the Nazis in World War Two – killing and terrorizing the urban resistance and partisan bands.
Its unstated object is to rip apart working and middle class families and thus the whole fabric of Afghan society, until the Afghan people accept American domination, through its suppletif ruling class.(1)
And this is why the CIA was targeted.
The CIA is utterly predictable. It will invoke the “100-1 Rule” used by the Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen and go on a killing spree until its vengeance is satisfied. At the end of the day, the Afghan people will only hate the Americans more. This makes the CIA happy, on the premise that terror will make the people submit. But in Afghanistan it spells protracted war, and as in Vietnam, eventual defeat.
1) It also has a ‘foreign intelligence” mission of pursuing the Taliban’s supporters in Pakistan, Iran and other neighboring countries.