The World’s Most Famous Economic Hitman Confesses – They’re Coming for Your Democracy

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

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Allen Dulles, the CIA director under presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, the younger brother of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and the architect of a secretive national security apparatus that functioned as essentially an autonomous branch of government. Talbot offers a portrait of a black-and-white Cold War-era world full of spy games and nuclear brinkmanship, in which everyone is either a good guy or a bad guy. Dulles—who deceived American elected leaders and overthrew foreign ones, who backed ex-Nazis and thwarted left-leaning democrats—falls firmly in the latter camp. 

But what I was really trying to do was a biography on the American power elite from World War II up to the 60s. That was the key period when the national security state was constructed in this country, and where it begins to overshadow American democracy. It’s almost like Game of Thrones to me, where you have the dynastic struggles between these power groups within the American system for control of the country and the world…

Absolutely. The surveillance state that Snowden and others have exposed is very much a legacy of the Dulles past. I think Dulles would have been delighted by how technology and other developments have allowed the American security state to go much further than he went. He had to build a team of cutthroats and assassins on the ground to go around eliminating the people he wanted to eliminate, who he felt were in the way of American interests. He called them communists. We call them terrorists today. And of course the most controversial part of my book, I’m sure, will be the end, where I say there was blowback from that. Because that killing machine in some way was brought back home.

– From the post: How America’s Modern Shadow Government Can Be Traced Back to One Very Evil Man – Allen Dulles

Most readers will be familiar with John Perkins and his best-selling novel Confessions of an Economic Hitman. What you may not know, is he’s currently making the rounds warning us that all the corporatist mercenary tactics employed against third-world nations to financially benefit U.S. conglomerates are now being turned inward on American communities.

He discussed some of this in a recent interview with Yes. Here are a few excerpts:

Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.

If economic pressure and threats didn’t work, Perkins says, the jackals were called to either overthrow or assassinate the noncompliant heads of state. That is, indeed, what happened to Allende, with the backing of the CIA.

Perkins has just reissued his book with major updates. The basic premise of the book remains the same, but the update shows how the economic hit man approach has evolved in the last 12 years. Among other things, U.S. cities are now on the target list. The combination of debt, enforced austerity, underinvestment, privatization, and the undermining of democratically elected governments is now happening here.

Sarah van Gelder: What’s changed in our world since you wrote the first Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?

John Perkins: Things have just gotten so much worse in the last 12 years since the first Confessions was written. Economic hit men and jackals have expanded tremendously, including the United States and Europe.

Back in my day we were pretty much limited to what we called the third world, or economically developing countries, but now it’s everywhere.

van Gelder: So how has this switched from us being the beneficiaries of this hit-man economy, perhaps in the past, to us now being more of the victims of it?

Perkins: It’s been interesting because, in the past, the economic hit man economy was being propagated in order to make America wealthier and presumably to make people here better off, but as this whole process has expanded in the U.S. and Europe, what we’ve seen is a tremendous growth in the very wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

On a global basis we now know that 62 individuals have as many assets as half the world’s population.

van Gelder: Is this the same kind of dynamic about debt that leads to emergency managers who then turn over the reins of the economy to private enterprises? The same thing that you are seeing in third-world countries?

Perkins: Yes, when I was an economic hit man, one of the things that we did, we raised these huge loans for these countries, but the money never actually went to the countries, it went to our own corporations to build infrastructure in those countries. And when the countries could not pay off their debt, we insisted that they privatize their water systems, their sewage systems, their electric systems.

van Gelder: I want to ask you about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other trade deals. Is there any way that we can beat these things back so they don’t continue supercharging the corporate sphere at the expense of local democracies?

Perkins: They’re devastating; they give sovereignty to corporations over governments. It’s ridiculous.

I was just in Central America and what we talk about in the U.S. as being an immigration problem is really a trade agreement problem.

They’re not allowed to impose tariffs under the trade agreements—NAFTA and CAFTA—but the U.S. is allowed to subsidize its farmers. Those governments can’t afford to subsidize their farmers. So our farmers can undercut theirs, and that’s destroyed the economies, and a number of other things, and that’s why we’ve got immigration problems.

van Gelder: Can you talk about the violence that people are fleeing in Central America, and how that links back to the role the U.S. has had there?

Perkins: Three or four years ago the CIA orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected president of Honduras, President Zelaya, because he stood up to Dole and Chiquita and some other big, global, basically U.S.-based corporations.

He wanted to raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level, and he wanted some land reform that would make sure that his own people were able to make money off their own land, rather than having big international corporations do it.

The big corporations couldn’t stand for this. He wasn’t assassinated but he was overthrown in a coup and sent to another country, and replaced by a terribly brutal dictator, and today Honduras is one of the most violent, homicidal countries in the hemisphere.

It’s frightening what we’ve done. And when that happens to a president, it sends a message to every other president throughout the hemisphere, and in fact throughout the world: Don’t mess with us. Don’t mess with the big corporations. Either cooperate and get rich in the process, and have all your friends and family get rich in the process, or go get overthrown or assassinated. It’s a very strong message.

That is how a once proud nation gets transformed into a rancid, oligarch-controlled Banana Republic.

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  • tom

    “…the architect of a secretive national security apparatus that functioned as essentially an autonomous branch of government”.

    I would suggest that a better phrase would be “the supreme organ of government”. The CIA certainly controls the President, and everything else follows. While Congress and the Supreme Court are impotent against it.

    Even in a supposedly democratic nation, no matter how elaborate its constitution, the ability (and willingness) to kill anyone who gets in the way is a trump card.

    • nomadfiles

      Yes! This is what I have been suspecting. Because all the evidence seems to indicate it.
      “the supreme organ of government”

      • Silverado

        Ken O’Keefe in the videos that Carl has posted right here on WB say the same thing. JFK was the last honest President is how he states it and was taken out by the military/industrial complex (and I’m paraphrasing). That first video is almost 2 hours long and is from a recent talk at Berkeley. Oh the other (main) thing he asserts?? People are waking up. If you’re looking to update your…world view I’d suggest watching Mr. O’Keefe. I just love it when my “everything’s a conspiracy attitude” as some in my family describe my…outlook matches someone who’s a lot more eloquent on the subject but just as passionate that I can actually point to. He’s great…

  • Mar 26, 2016 Does The United States Still Exist? An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida

    To answer the question that is the title, we have to know of what the US consists. Is it an ethnic group, a collection of buildings and resources, a land mass with boundaries, or is it the Constitution. Clearly what differentiates the US from other countries is the US Constitution. The Constitution defines us as a people. Without the Constitution we would be a different country. Therefore, to lose the Constitution is to lose the country.

  • diogenes

    Last year in Berkeley the balcony of a recently constructed tenement rotted and fell off, killing a half dozen students. The building was permitted and put up by the contrivance of city hall insiders, using money from a Los Angeles investor parasite convicted of investment fraud. The balconies were stuck on to placate a Building Permit “Design Review” (sic) Committee to make it look less like the cheapo tenement it is. It was constructed by a firm that has repeatedly lost suits for shoddy work; I think this was not their first fatality (not sure). Once constructed it was sold to the the largest corporate owner of rental properties in America (over 150,000 apartments full of rent slaves), based in — guess where! — Wall Street, of course. It pumps on the order of 8 million dollars every year out of Berkeley to these absentee bloodsuckers. Its rotten conditions — described by residents as a “hell hole” — are paid for with exorbitant rents extracted from tenants who raise the by piling in two and three to the room. About 20 such “civic improvements” have been constructed here since 2000 and more, and bigger, are on the way. They are tearing the fabric of Berkeley apart and they are presented to the people of Berkeley by hireling liars who cynically represent them as “affordable housing” and great civic improvements. They are permitted by an obviously and cravenly corrupt City Council and City Manager city government and its building review and permit commissions etc. who are involved in a revolving door operation with “developers” as these predatory wreckers call themselves. The money is entirely absentee and these civic disasters’ primary function is to suck money out of Berkeley — hundreds of millions of dollars yearly — and pump it thousands of miles away into the pockets of criminal scum. And present this as a benefit, a blessing, a contribution to our city and our culture. These same creeps have created a “local” (ho ho whore) “news” website to shill for their operations, as well as fomenting hate campaigns against “the homeless” etc., pimp for upscale businesses, avoid real news, suppress real discussion and replace it with hired lies, and various other public services. So, has the economic hit man come to Berkeley? You betcha.


    everyone should re read what apostle PAUL writes in the bible. he says that it is not so simple as it seems in this world. he says we are fighting not against flesh and blood. we are fighting against Principalities and Evil in high places. the final battle of good and evil. light and darkness. terrorism is not warfare. mental illness seems to be the disease of the Age we have been living in. get the big picture.


    and yes your correct. the pivot point of last hope for a swing back to sensibilities was the JFK assassination .and 911. no point in even debating the issue now as power is absolute and in the hands of those who serve themselves. nothing can be done. nothing will be done. but this world is not the goal and death is not the goal. its a time of choosing as to whom you will serve.