At a talk at JFK Library, Evan Thomas describes the birth of American global covert operations. Bryan Bender asks him about his description of the motto of covert operations at the CIA in the early days as:

Money no object

No holds barred

No questions asked.

He claims that the US had to behave this way because ‘we felt we were up against a great enemy – global communism’, which seemed to be massing to take over the world. He states that the reason money was no object, no holds barred and no questions to be  asked was the fact that  we felt we were up against an awesome and frightening foe intent on world domination and who would stop at nothing themselves

There was a moral relativism in that since they would do it we had to do it too. So the President said to CIA covert operations, ‘you can do whatever you want’. 

This is the mirror language of US policy that is shameful for any academic to propagate as objective speech and utter breach of academic integrity.

This is a classic example of media seduction. Policy as such is determined by how we ‘felt’ not by any discernible facts. No evidence is required and evidence to the opposite is excused as it does not affect ‘how we felt’. There becomes a circularity. Thomas refers to the constant message in the media and policymakers had to respond. This obviously is reversible. Media hysteria is itself the product of policymakers rather than the autonomous agent.

This claim that US policymakers were completely overwhelmed by their subjective feelings and oblivious to factual analysis is utterly breathtaking.

There is a shocking similarity with US police brutality: just as US police claim to feel threatened by an unarmed Black man and justified in killing him, US foreign policy claims to feel threatened by foreign countries because they might at some time in the future attack the American homeland (though there is zero evidence of any present intention or of any preparation to do so) and so justifies immediate military ‘retaliation’. Merely using such language is positively engaging in merest propaganda.

This is the mirror language of US policy that is shameful for academics to propagate as objective language and an utter breach of academic integrity and critical evaluation.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4uoWr1h9D4&t=379

updated 29July 21