La tragédie de la CIA, c’est la tragédie de l’américanisme



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La CIA est née le 7 décembre 1941 et elle est morte le 11 septembre 2001. Ainsi Chalmers Johnson, fameux auteur d’une trilogie sur la politique de sécurité nationale des USA (la Blowback Trilogy, avec Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire et The Last Days of the American Republic publié en 2007), résume-t-il le livre du reporter du New York Times Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA, (Doubleday).

Le 25 juillet, sur les sites et, Chalmers Johnson présente le livre de Weiner comme le meilleur ouvrage, du point de vue de la recherche et de la documentation, qui ait été fait sur la CIA jusqu’à ce jour. Il s'agit sans aucun doute de l'ouvrage le plus achevé à ce jour de l'histoire complète de la CIA, — complète, puisque la CIA est morte le 11 septembre 2001. En fait d’“histoire de la CIA”, on devrait plutôt parler, selon Johnson, d’“histoire de l’échec de la CIA” :

«As an idea, if not an actual entity, the Central Intelligence Agency came into being as a result of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. It functionally came to an end, as Weiner makes clear, on September 11, 2001, when operatives of al-Qaeda flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade towers in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Both assaults were successful surprise attacks.

»The Central Intelligence Agency itself was created during the Truman administration in order to prevent future surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor by uncovering planning for them and so forewarning against them. On September 11th, 2001, the CIA was revealed to be a failure precisely because it had been unable to discover the al-Qaeda plot and sound the alarm against a surprise attack that would prove almost as devastating as Pearl Harbor. After 9/11, the Agency, having largely discredited itself, went into a steep decline and finished the job. Weiner concludes: “Under [CIA Director George Tenet's] leadership, the agency produced the worst body of work in its long history: a special national intelligence estimate titled ‘Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction.’” It is axiomatic that, as political leaders lose faith in an intelligence agency and quit listening to it, its functional life is over, even if the people working there continue to report to their offices.»

Ce que montre cette “histoire de l’échec de la CIA”, c’est l’impuissance du système américaniste à réussir une intégration. Il s’agit d’un problème absolument général et substantiel à ce système. Il tient à l’état de la puissance de la bureaucratie de sécurité nationale autant qu’aux conceptions américanistes dans un système caractérisé par l’absence d’une référence régalienne au bien public au profit des groupes d’intérêts et des groupes de pression privés et/ou parcellaires. Il n'existe aucune notion sérieuse de l'existence d'une référence extérieure et supérieure aux intérêts du groupe auquel on appartient. Personne n’a jamais réussi à faire coopérer les multiples sources de renseignement du système US, — incapacité déjà à la base de l’échec à prévoir l’attaque de Pearl Harbor, et aussi évidente pour l’attaque du 11 septembre 2001. La CIA n’a donc pas réussi sa mission d’assurer la centralisation et le traitement du renseignement US. Elle n’a pas plus réussi à réaliser l’intégration de ses différents composants à l’intérieur d’elle-même, notamment entre le monde des analystes et le monde des opérations de renseignement. Il y a une logique inéluctable de l’échec qui est celle du système de l’américanisme confronté au monde extérieur. Ce système est totalement étranger à la notion civilisatrice de synthèse et d'intégration.

«The National Security Act of 1947 created the CIA with emphasis on the word “central” in its title. The Agency was supposed to become the unifying organization that would distill and write up all available intelligence, and offer it to political leaders in a manageable form. The Act gave the CIA five functions, four of them dealing with the collection, coordination, and dissemination of intelligence from open sources as well as espionage. It was the fifth function – lodged in a vaguely worded passage that allowed the CIA to “perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct” – that turned the CIA into the personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president.

»From the very beginning, the Agency failed to do what President Truman expected of it, turning at once to “cloak-and-dagger” projects that were clearly beyond its mandate and only imperfectly integrated into any grand strategy of the U.S. government. Weiner stresses that the true author of the CIA's clandestine functions was George Kennan, the senior State Department authority on the Soviet Union and creator of the idea of “containing” the spread of communism rather than going to war with (“rolling back”) the USSR.


»From its inception the CIA has labored under two contradictory conceptions of what it was supposed to be doing, and no president ever succeeded in correcting or resolving this situation. Espionage and intelligence analysis seek to know the world as it is; covert action seeks to change the world, whether it understands it or not. The best CIA exemplar of the intelligence-collecting function was Richard Helms, director of central intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973 (who died in 2002). The great protagonist of cloak-and-dagger work was Frank Wisner, the CIA's director of operations from 1948 until the late 1950s when he went insane and, in 1965, committed suicide. Wisner never had any patience for espionage.

»Weiner quotes William Colby, a future DCI (1973-1976), on this subject. The separation of the scholars of the research and analysis division from the spies of the clandestine service created two cultures within the intelligence profession, he said, “separate, unequal, and contemptuous of each other.” That critique remained true throughout the CIA's first 60 years.

»By 1964, the CIA's clandestine service was consuming close to two-thirds of its budget and 90% of the director's time. The Agency gathered under one roof Wall Street brokers, Ivy League professors, soldiers of fortune, ad men, newsmen, stunt men, second-story men, and con men. They never learned to work together – the ultimate result being a series of failures in both intelligence and covert operations. In January 1961, on leaving office after two terms, President Eisenhower had already grasped the situation fully. “Nothing has changed since Pearl Harbor,” he told his director of central intelligence, Allen Dulles. “I leave a legacy of ashes to my successor.” Weiner, of course, draws his title from Eisenhower's metaphor. It would only get worse in the years to come.

»The historical record is unequivocal. The United States is ham-handed and brutal in conceiving and executing clandestine operations, and it is simply no good at espionage; its operatives never have enough linguistic and cultural knowledge of target countries to recruit spies effectively. The CIA also appears to be one of the most easily penetrated espionage organizations on the planet. From the beginning, it repeatedly lost its assets to double agents.»

Mis en ligne le 26 juillet 2007 à 05H37