The Instigator
mattresses
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
mmadderom
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

The CIA is a terrorist organization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,590 times Debate No: 1958
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (11)

 

mattresses

Pro

I will open with an essay I have written on the topic:

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed and put into effect the newly passed National Security Act. This act created the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the country's first peacetime intelligence and covert operations agency ever. The CIA came to power during a time of great fear and anxiety: the Soviet Union was quickly becoming a superpower and had seized control of Eastern Europe. The threat of Communism had begun to spread. Strangely enough, many of the CIA's major operations over the years have had little to do with Communism, despite frequent claims by Presidents and their staffs to the contrary. By the 1970s the CIA had worked to overthrow many prominent, democratically elected leaders and had instituted any form of government that would support United States interests. These governments were often brutal dictators such as Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran or military juntas run by death squads. Multiple Presidents claimed these countries were on the verge of falling to Communism. Small acts of socialism—land reform or nationalization of an industry—became the falling dominoes that led to the destruction of many democratic governments and leaders at the hands of the United States.

On November 12, 1963, ten days before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Columbia University. He informed the audience, "the high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of this plight." Despite Kennedy's allegations, it is evident that not even his hands were clean. Just eight months earlier, in February of 1963, the CIA supported and aided a coup d'�tat against Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim in Iraq. Qasim had overthrown the former British-installed monarchy of Iraq and declared it a republic, making wide-sweeping liberal and socialist changes. He helped adopt a constitution declaring all citizens equal regardless of religion, race, or language. In addition, Qasim established relations with the Soviet Union, withdrew from military, arms, and equipment agreements with the United States, seized 98 percent of land owned by the British-controlled Iraq Petroleum Company, and sought to nationalize the oil industry in Iraq. To protect its military and oil assets, the CIA aided the radical Ba'ath party (of which Saddam Hussein was a prominent member) in ousting Qasim from power.

Prime Minister Qasim, like many other leaders overthrown by direct CIA involvement, was acting under a sense of nationalism. He sought to nationalize the oil industry for the benefit of the Iraqi people, not Western superpowers. Unfortunately the Red Scare gave both the President and the CIA nearly unlimited access to power. Iraq was just one of the countries accused of Soviet Union influence over the years: Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Angola, Panama, Chile, Cuba… and the list continues. Many fell to dictators. These dictators often overthrew majority-elected or empowered heads of state that often did not want to directly support the United States, but instead desired independence and free trade. It became the job of the President to justify any operations made public, and thus a new era of American government began: the era of the puppet theatre. Containment of Communism became the main selling point that the average United States citizen would buy, and it soon became the only selling point. In the midst of it all, experimental rock musician Frank Zappa proclaimed that the "[United States] Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex," and his words are truer today than ever before.

In modern society, there is no greater threat to the United States than that of Terrorism. Or is there? With the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the threat of Communism sank into the background of the public mind and a new "threat" began to build. In 1993, terrorists working for the Islamic organization al-Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center. The roots of fear had been planted once more, and on September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda attacked again. The roots had become a full-grown blossom of terror. Today, President George W. Bush utilizes the threat of Terrorism in the same manner that the Presidents before him utilized Communism: as a scare tactic. While the President tells the American people one thing, he orders the CIA to use its unlimited access to funds and classified status to complete whatever task he might assign. Unfortunately, the American people rarely know what the CIA actually does, and have never known how much of their federal tax dollars is spent to conduct these mysterious operations. Since 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency has acted as the hidden arm of the government, answering only to the President, and occasionally not even to him. They have overthrown or assassinated democratic leaders in dozens of nations for the benefit of the American economy, and have instituted brutal dictators who led their nations with policies of violence, torture, and fear. In 1961, former President Harry S. Truman, creator of the CIA, said this: '"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in '47, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo." Since its inception, the CIA has acted as an official, government sanctioned terrorist organization.
mmadderom

Con

Just to interject some common sense here...wouldn't a "terrorist organization" denote a group whose main purpose is to create terror?

Let's define terrorist before we start assigning that label, shall we?

Please do give your full definition of what a terrorist is.
Debate Round No. 1
mattresses

Pro

I was hoping for an actual argument, but I guess I'll have to wait until the next round.

Since everyone on this site is too lazy to use an actual dictionary, I will continue the legacy. To define terrorist, we obviously have to define terrorism. Merriam-Webster online defines terrorism as "the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion." Therefore a terrorist organization would be a group of individuals with the same goal in mind while using that terror. To continue we should define terror. There are several definitions for terror on M-W, the most pertinent being "a state of intense fear," and "violent or destructive acts committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands." Since this second definition seems biased in my favor, I will provide the dictionary.com definition as well: "violence or threats of violence used for intimidation or coercion."

Now that I have defined terrorism, terrorist organization, and terror, I feel that there should be ample reason to define the CIA as a terrorist organization. I used the example of the 1963 coup d'�tat in Iraq in my essay, but I will provide some more examples.

In 1953, the United States' CIA instigated a coup in Iran which removed the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq from power and placed the Shah Reza Pahlavi in dictatorial rule. His brutal reign lasted until the revolution of 1979. All of this was done because Mossadeq nationalized the oil industry and took profit from the British. For aiding, the United States were able to begin refining oil. This was their only motive.

In 1954, President Arbenz seized land from the United Fruit Company, a United States owned merchant, and granted it to peasants, along with some of his own private land and that of some wealthy landowners. The United States, again through the CIA, instigated a coup that removed Arbenz from power and placed Colonel Armas in his place. A long period of violent rule began, all for United States profit.

In 1973, following President Allende's nationalization of many profitable United States' industries, the CIA once again intervened and placed the brutal General Auguste Pinochet in power. Things went from bad to unmentionably worse in an already dysfunctional Chile.

I could continue, but I lost this post once already and don't feel like typing everything over again. The United States has had many foreign investments, despite the founding fathers' extremely negative view on imperialism and colonialism. Since the inception of the CIA, it has been used as the terrorist branch of the United States, providing training to many guerilla forces in native countries, pumping propaganda against nationalist leaders, and most importantly, using the threat of Communism as a justification. The CIA instigated terror in the United States people (definition 1) and used terror (definitions 2 and 3) to remove such leaders from power that would not give the government what it desired in terms of resources, profit, and "free trade."
mmadderom

Con

mmadderom forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
mattresses

Pro

If you're going to debate mmaderom, make your sure you actually have something to say. Now I have to start this debate again to get something worthwhile out of it.
mmadderom

Con

It's mmadDerom, two D's. Sorry but it's my name.

Sorry for the delay, life happens and it happened to me.

You can obviously give any number of examples where the CIA engaged in "terrorist" acts on face value. Does that make it a terrorist organization? Of course not. Does counting cards make one a "cheater"?

Using your definition our military is a "terrorist" organization as well.

The CIA does MUCH more than act as an agent of terror. In fact, the majority of your arguments have NOTHING to do with terror at all. Instead you choose to use this forum as a bully pulpit to complain about U.S. foreign policy.

The CIA is first and foremost an intelligence agency. Have people died in their efforts? Absolutely. Do they use terror to obtain information at times? Perhaps. Is their main focus to sway world opinion by use of terrorist acts? NO WAY.

To compare the CIA to Al Quada or other terror organizations is insane. Welcome to the blame America first club.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
yes. but it is not part of other foreign governments. this makes our government an outside influence in foreign countries as it is not part of THEIR government.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
IT is still representing OUR Government when it works outside of the United Stages.
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
explain how. i'm pretty sure that other countries have governments of their own and that the cia is an outside influence. the cia is not part of the structure of any foreign governments. therefore, non-governmental.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"the cia is certainly non-governmental in foreign counties, now isn't it."

No, it's not.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"im sorry i misspelled your oh-so-holy display name mmadDerom."

Nothing holy about it. It IS my name, though. I'm pretty sure mattresses isn't yours...
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
the cia is certainly non-governmental in foreign counties, now isn't it.
Posted by Acureforthemondays 9 years ago
Acureforthemondays
well bonnieboy if we cant call the CIA a terrorist organization, we'll just call them an organization of meanies.
Posted by bonnieboy 9 years ago
bonnieboy
mmadderom has a point though. if you cant define a terrorist, then you cant go on with the debate. by the way the definition of a terrorist is,-Use should be restricted specifically to references to people and nongovernmental organizations planning and executing acts of violence against civilian or non combatant targets.

that says that a NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION.
the cia is a governmental organization. so haha to mattresses. it is not a terrorist organization yet, but may be destined to become one.
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
thanks doctau.

im sorry i misspelled your oh-so-holy display name mmadDerom.
Posted by Doctau 9 years ago
Doctau
BTW, Mattresses nice essay.
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Vote Placed by paul_tigger 9 years ago
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