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    December 12, 2016

    Odysseus asks some recent shades if they trust the CIA

    December 12, 2016 - Fort Russ News -

    Op-ed by Tom Winter
    "Born 1925. Murdered 1961" Bust in Leipzig.

    Statue of Patrice Lumumba in Berlin

    Every patriotic American is either insisting that the CIA must be believed, and that therefore, there must be a redo of the 2016 Presidential Election --  or they are insisting, with Donald Trump, that the CIA is the same outfit that sold us Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

    Being a student of Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as of the classics, I have, via the miracle of telepathy, prevailed upon Odysseus to interview some of the more recent shades for me. (Of course you recall book 11 of the Odyssey!) Remember, the dead have nothing earthly to gain, and no reason to lie…

    Odysseus: Come forward and drink the blood of the slaughtered black sheep. It will give you the power of speech.
    Shade: [sips] Thank you.
    Odysseus: Now tell us your name.
    Shade: I was Mohammad Mossadegh. 
    Odysseus: how did you die?
    Mossadegh: I wanted Iran to enjoy the wealth from our country’s oil, our oil that British Petroleum was just stealing from us.
    Odysseus: Is that a cause of death?
    Mossadegh: I always enjoyed your ready wit, Odysseus. But the answer, in my case is yes. Churchill got Eisenhower on board, and Ike's CIA took me down.
    Odysseus: What do you think of the CIA?

    Mossadegh: Get in their way and they’ll kill you.

    Another shade slips up to the sacrificial blood and sips…
    Odysseus: Well, just who asked you?
    Shade: Who do you think you are, King of Belgium? We didn’t get our freedom as a gift, we fought for it and took it!
    Odysseus: Oho, You must be Patrice Lumumba!
    Lumumba: You got that right. I was The Congo’s first elected president. 
    Odysseus: And then? 
    Lumumba: There was a rebellion sponsored by Belgium and the U.S. I was captured, and eventually shot.
    Odysseus: What do you know about the CIA?
    Lumumba: When Senator Church got here, he told me Allen Dulles ordered me killed.
    Odusseus: Dulles? Who is Allen Dulles?
    Lumumba: Eisenhower’s chief of the CIA.

    Odysseus: There, you waiting politely in line, help yourself to a sip of the sacrificial blood.
    Shade: Thank you so much.
    Odysseus: And Who were you?
    Shade: In life, I was François Aristide.
    Odysseus: I’ve heard of you even here: Haiti’s first democratically elected president.
    [Lumumba, aside: That is a very bad sign already.]
    Odysseus: And then?
    Aristide: The Cannibal Army rebelled; and the US put me on a plane with the words “leave or be killed.” I call it a kidnapping.

    Another Shade interjects: Indignation gives me power of speech, without the blood from that black lamb: Kidnapping! It’s what they did to me! The army burst in at night and hauled me off in a plane -- in my pajamas!
    Aristide: Well I’ll be! Jacobo Arbenz, how the hell are you man?
    Arbenz: Still mad as hell. 
    Aristide: Were you Guatemala’s first democratically elected President?
    Arbenz: No, I was Guatemala's second elected President. 
    Lumumba: Was it mineral resources, like in the Congo, where Katanga rebelled to keep them in foreign hands?
    Arbenz: Close. I gave the lands over to the people who worked them. 
    Odysseus: Oh, I get it. Agrarian Reform. The reason the Senate of Rome murdered each of the Gracchus Brothers.
    Arbenz: Close again. I read about the Gracchi in school, and so maybe I should have known not to cross the United Fruit Company, 
    [Aristide interjects] United Fruit Company -- a nice parallel to the old Roman latifundia. 
    [Arbenz continues] The United Fruit Company went to Washington, told them I was a Communist, and so the US State Department sicced the CIA on me.

    Another Shade (who has sipped from the sacrifice while waiting his turn): Agrarian reform. That’s what did me in. Agrarian reform and the Commercial Equivalent: I limited the cash that multinationals could drain from the country. 
    [Arbenz and Mossadegh speak at the same time]
    Arbenz: Jango old man! It’s you! (Jango -- nickname of Joáo Goulart)
    Mossadegh: That's like me with the oil. I cut down what they could drain from Iran. Take it from me, stand in the way of colonial despoliation, and they put the monsters on you.

    Odysseus: [to both] Did they kill you?
    Goulart: No. Our right-wing CIA-sponsored coup also put me on a plane. Had me assassinated out of country, like Trotsky.

    Arbenz: In my case, no. The plane they put me on landed in Mexico. They let me keep my pajamas.

    Odysseus: Any advice from you gentlemen for Donald Trump?

    Lumumba: Sure. Put John Brennan [current CIA chief] on a plane to Egypt. Waterboard him there until he squeals about the hit order they’ve got on you.

    Mossadegh: Advice for Trump? It’s too late. It’s started. The coup is on.

    Arbenz: Advice for Trump? Always go to bed wearing nice pajamas.
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