Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CIA Aren't Just Thugs - They're Funny Too

So, I came across this article in the New York Post about the CIA's purchase of a couple of Russian helicopters in the weeks following 9/11, as the USA prepared to invade Afghanistan. What's interesting about this story is just how incompetent and corrupt are all the people who were involved. It is a story reminiscent of some of the other CIA torture stories coming out at the moment - the European supply station chief who gave contracts to his friend's company to soak up all those counter-insurgency dollars (and who is now in jail for doing so - like two of the key men behind this fiasco).
Awash in dollars and itching for a fight with big, bad Afghanistan (with a GDP less than a box store mall in suburban Ohio) these mooks - most of whom had never left Texas, let alone been to Russia (including the translator) - found themselves in a remote Siberian city, surrounded by volcanoes, 30 degree below zero temperatures and suspicious officials ("oh, these military helicopters are just for tourist reasons and fishing. Honest."). They're hotel rooms were cold and bugged. The Army guys along for the ride spent their time drunk. When members of the civilian air crew who flew them there expressed concern about their behaviour, the Army man in charge threatened to shoot their airplane out of the sky (they subsequently slipped out in the middle of the night and flew to Japan to get away). The CIA goes got sick of the Army guys' drunken antics and sent them home and then somebody else outbid the CIA for the helicopters.
They did eventually get the copters but there was a trail of fraud, mayhem and stupidity longer than a Russian novel.
It all just goes to show you that whether they know what they're doing or not, whether they do their job well or poorly, the CIA are always a danger to humanity.
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