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The secret powers conferred by the National Security Act of 1947 have been used over the years to train, arms, and develop the terrorist enemies, such as al-Qaida, that are now the chief justification for those powers in the public mind. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, CIA programs have shifted power from moderate to Islamist Muslim groups, contributed to vastly increased heroin production in the area, and helped consolidate the ISI as Pakistan's drug-financed intelligence agency a "state within a state" that has promoted both al-Qaida and terrorism in other areas such as Kashmir. The secret powers, by preventing rational discussion, have spawned disastrous policy decisions that even the CIA itself has opposed, notably the decision to supply Stingers to the Afghan rebels. The most conspicuous deep political consequence of these policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan has been the indirect training and arming of cadres who eventually participated in the specific events of 9/11: the culmination of a series of terrorist attacks against the territorial United States for which the CIA itself had already, in 1998, secretly admitted partial responsibility. This responsibility is reflected in the present inability of the U.S. government and media to report honestly on what actually happened in the 9/11 attacks.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

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