Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Things we knew

The CIA recently acknowledged the existence of Area 51.
But anybody curious about it had already seen photos of the landing strip. No word from the spooks about freezers full of alien corpses and hangers full of UFOs.

Now, the CIA has publicly acknowledged that it helped overthrow the prime minister of Iran back in 1953. Again anybody interested has already read about it, but it's no longer classified by the spy agency.

Once again, I'm indebted to K. Sue Witmer for the reference, because I don't usually read Foreign Policy.

CIA Admits It Was Behind Iran's Coup
Sixty years ago… modern Iranian history took a critical turn when a U.S.- and British-backed coup overthrew the country's prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. The event's reverberations have haunted its orchestrators over the years, contributing to the anti-Americanism that accompanied the Shah's ouster in early 1979, and even influencing the Iranians who seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran later that year.

But it has taken almost six decades for the U.S. intelligence community to acknowledge openly that it was behind the controversial overthrow…

Why the CIA finally chose to own up to its role is as unclear as some of the reasons it has held onto this information for so long. CIA and British operatives have written books and articles on the operation -- notably Kermit Roosevelt, the agency's chief overseer of the coup. Scholars have produced many more books, including several just in the past few years. Moreover, two American presidents (Clinton and Obama) have publicly acknowledged the U.S. role in the coup…

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