Mike Floorwalker. In their haste to rendition El-Masri, the CIA had accidentally grabbed the wrong man.

Under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the country was about to nationalize the oil industry, a move that would damage British interests. He avoids Facebook and Twitter like the plague. The CIA even helped them export their stuff and take total control of Sicily while simultaneously rendering key players untouchable by other law enforcement agencies. In December 2003, the CIA pulled off a daring rendition in Macedonia. Digging through a collection of old records, they found what appeared to be a suitable one. It’s now thought that Slahi never had any information to hand over. Among the subjects addressed are CIA covert operations in Africa, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Bosnia, Guatemala, Peru, radio broadcasting, and the war on terror, and official views on these activities as well as the management of U.S. intelligence. 10 Dirty Secret CIA Operations. Not all bungled covert operations are a succession of amusing japes.

What they wanted to do was traffic heroin. They also spelled his name wrong, making the letter as objectively convincing as one scrawled in felt tip in a different language. Using geolocation, the cops pinpointed exactly in which hotels the phones’ owners had stayed. One such excess came direct from President Nguyen Van Thieu. Desperate for information, they then violently tortured him, including one session where he was allegedly sodomized. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more). If it was meant to be a double bluff, it failed spectacularly. They stuck it on the turntable, began the broadcast, and listened in horror as “The Star-Spangled Banner” began to play. By now, we’re all aware that some less than savory tactics have been used at Guantanamo Bay over the years. Aside from sending nearly 60,000 US citizens to their deaths, it resulted in the humiliating fall of Saigon and contributed to the rise of Pol Pot. The uprising was quashed when the very people it was meant to inspire turned the CIA’s men over to the secret police, a process helped along by the agency’s poor decision to put a communist spy in charge of operations.

The agency made three big blunders.

Hezbollah had just crashed the government, and anti-American and Israeli sentiment was running high. Instead, they brutally tortured Slahi—beating him, sexually abusing him, and subjecting him to a mock execution. The CIA-linked accounts used to pay the phone bills had also been used to buy airline tickets. In 2015, despite a European Court of Human Rights ruling, El-Masri still hasn’t received so much as an apology. Sadly, those involved didn’t respond to this humorous mix-up by sitting down to laugh about it over a cup of coffee. Chicago and New York gangsters were also recruited and sent to Sicily with the money and go-ahead to do whatever they wanted. They decided the best way of doing that was by giving them blueprints for a working nuke. While it kept the Communists out, it made heroin into the booming business it remains today. Under the watch of Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA’s Milan branch succeeded in snatching Nasr and transferring him out of the country for torture.

Since this was the CIA’s first coup, the agency wasn’t as organized as they would later become. Tehran wouldn’t know that a deliberate fault drawn into the designs would keep the bomb from ever working. When Italian police used this evidence to mount a raid on Robert Seldon Lady’s home, they found a stack of photos the agency had taken while following Nasr, including (presumably) a selfie of Lady posing with him in a Guantanamo cell.

Such was the case with the 1963 mission to unseat Iraqi dictator Abdel Karim Kassem. Fatally, however, they also succeeded in leaving behind a trail of clues that police investigating Nasr’s disappearance couldn’t fail to uncover. It also allowed him to conduct his first atrocity—a killing spree in which the educated classes of Iraq (supposedly aligned with Kassem) were brutally wiped out. Plenty of their buyers were American GIs. In particular, the CIA were concerned that Italy and Sicily might fall to the Communists, so they did everything in their power to stop them. Although most of the agents simply disappeared, it’s almost certain they were murdered by the militant group, a tragic end to what would otherwise be an amusing story. When police looked into the missing cleric, they discovered that 12 phones registered to fake names had been used in the area where Nasr was last seen, and these phones took calls from CIA headquarters in Virginia. They held onto El-Masri for almost another month. A general who’d deposed the previous pro-Western monarchy before going mad with power, Kassem was hugely unpopular at home. We’ve always loved to discuss some of the shadier dealings of the government and the military—and no organization provides more fodder for these discussions than the American Central Intelligence Agency. Convinced Slahi had some information they wanted, agents tried to extract it by forging a letter from his mother. The immediate aftermath of World War II was a dangerous time in geopolitics. Depending on your political allegiances, the CIA is either a group of unsung heroes doing their best to keep America’s enemies at bay or a bunch of psychopaths slowly destroying the entire world. It wasn’t just the Italian branch they cultivated. He was eventually convicted in absentia for kidnapping by an Italian court. Slahi’s mother couldn’t write. Under communist dictator Enver Hoxha, life in Albania was short, cruel, and violent.

It was a pretty dirty business but one they swore was essential to the security of the United States.

The CIA responded by stepping up its operations in the field, starting with its network of spies in Beirut. With a reckless lack of foresight, the CIA decided to take a chance on the little-known Baathist party of Saddam Hussein. Operation 40; Operation Cannonball; Operation Charly; Operation IA Feature; Operation Lincoln; Operation Matador (1975) Operation MIAS; Operation Midnight Climax; Operation Momentum; Operation Mongoose; Operation PBHistory; Operation Washtub (Nicaragua) The man chosen to head the operation, Kermit Roosevelt, was discreet to the point of madness. But the real giveaway came right after Mosaddeq had been deposed.

Rather than try to wean their allies off the drug or ask them to slow down operations, the CIA supplied them with a lab to make even more and choppers to get it out to their buyers.

One day at a diplomatic lunch, US-funded protestors exchanged gunfire and mortar rounds with police just outside the building. The result: The CIA sold Tehran instructions for a perfectly working bomb. Thanks to their toppling of one Iraqi dictator, the CIA opened themselves to half a century of trouble in the region, trouble we’re still feeling the effects of even now. Unfortunately, the Russian defector got so worried about possible retaliation that he included a letter with the blueprints telling the Iranians all about the flaw. 10 Insane Ways The CIA Bungled Covert Operations. And three: giving the Pizza Hut the code name “Pizza.”. Morris M. Depending on your political allegiances, the CIA is either a group of unsung heroes doing their best to keep America’s enemies at bay or a bunch of psychopaths slowly destroying the entire world. The plan was to send the blueprints over with a Russian defector posing as a broke nuclear scientist desperate for money. Desperate to gain an edge in the conflict, the CIA turned a blind eye to the excesses of the South Vietnamese.

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