Africa, meet COINTELPRO

The cat is now finally out of the bag. U.S. CIA operatives are operating in Libya.

Africa, meet COINTELPRO.

It has long been know that the United States appropriated more than $150 million to finance covert operations to bring about regime change in Iran. But for the last few years this country and Europe‘s major partners–Italy, France, the United Kingdom–had been making nice with Libya. Full diplomatic relations had been restored, embassies opened, full ambassadors exchanged, presidential visits.

For its part Libya renounced its interests in acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and in an internationally supervised process destroyed its capacity to manufacture WMD. Libya also compensated victims of the Lockerbie airline sabotage over Scotland, and stepped back from meddling in Middle East affairs, in favor of greater engagement in Africa.

But Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (there are at least 400 English language spellings of his name based on transliteration from the Arabic, and I just prefer sticking with the Old School 1990s official Libyan spelling, by the way) has remained in power, seeking to become an African transformative figure in the mold of his North African, socialist neighbor and mentor Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, and West African icon, former Ghanaian President Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah.

So here is where the intrigue comes into the picture. Western (i.e. European, read Caucasian) strategists have long feared the rise of a Black Messianic figure who would rise and lead Africa, or African Americans to seek, in plain language: “revenge.” That’s just what any sane White Man would seek against those who robbed his continent of its human population, enslaved them for 400 years, colonized his Motherland, and raped and plundered its natural resources.

In Africa, the CIA engineered the downfall and overthrow of Nkrumah in Ghana, and participated in the downfall and even the very assassination of Patrice Lumumba, former President of the Congo, after the country threw off its Belgian colonial masters.

In this country, the FBI operated a treacherous Counter Intelligence Program (acronym COINTELPRO) in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Its stated objective was to infiltrate, destabilize and destroy Black movements during the Civil Rights era, in order to “prevent the rise of a Black Messiah.” Brother Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were prime candidates for such a designation, and both, clearly paid a painful price.

Does a leopard change its spots? Just because COINTELPRO was exposed, and the U.S. role in the overthrow of Nkrumah and the murder of Lumumba were also exposed and were publicly discredited does not mean that the tactics were abandoned.

The recent revelations that the CIA has been operating in Libya for the last several weeks should come as no surprise. I imagine the CIA participation got ramped up after the so-called Jasmine Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Some high muckety-muck told his staff in some situation room somewhere: “Look at those Egyptians and Tunisians, rising up in their countries on their own free will. What are all the operatives we’ve been paying in Libya all this time doing? They better get busy and start something, or else!” And so, they got busy, dusted off their spy craft bag of tricks, and started fomenting the Libyan uprising, which became an excuse for NATO intervention to allegedly “protect civilians” from Libyan government persecution. Hah!

There apparently wasn’t enough popular support for a massive groundswell of popular, peaceful, anti-government sentiment to get the job done, so they called in all their high-level “assets.” Military officers, diplomats and other civilian government officials began defecting. Of course, some were sincere and likely genuinely fed up with Qaddafi’s leadership and the lack of opportunities for others to ever lead, and even with the government’s policies. But the plot seems too conveniently contrived for me to accept.

Libya had the highest standard of living (measured by Gross Domestic Product GDP) in all of Africa, even higher than South Africa, and a higher literacy rate than Egypt.

So, the answer was obvious. if U.S. policy makers did not want a Black Messiah to rise up in this country, they certainly would not want one in Africa, with oil wealth and a fraternal bond with the other leaders of the wealthiest, still unexploited continent on earth–Africa.

The solution therefore was simple. “Take him out. By any means necessary. Any old excuse would do” to get rid of Qaddafi, and so when the rebellion swept North Africa, the American Cold Warriors said, “It’s now or never.”

And here we are today, headed for a military stalemate, another quagmire, for the first time now, on the African continent.

Africa, meet COINTELPRO.

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