Protecting the Secrets of the Dark Side

Given that the United States is a national-security state, it stands to reason that most, if not all, of its secrets relate to its dark-side activities, including the planning and carrying out of state-sponsored assassinations of political leaders. Woe to the person who discloses any of these dark-side activities, for he or she will be branded a spy, a traitor, and a hater of America and will be treated accordingly.

Let’s imagine a reasonable hypothetical. Let’s suppose that the CIA plots the assassination of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, on the ground that he is a communist and, therefore, a grave threat to U.S. “national security.” The plan, which is termed Operation Liberty, calls for an ambush involving a team of expert marksmen who intend to shoot Díaz-Canel from high-story buildings as he is riding in a parade in downtown Havana. The plot entails framing a fierce anti-communist, pro-U.S. fanatic for the crime, who will himself be quickly killed after the president’s assassination. All the planning and training has been completed. The date of the assassination is set for January 1, 2024, the anniversary date of the Cuban revolution.

Let’s now assume that a CIA official happens to get wind of Operation Liberty. Troubled by a crisis of conscience, the official decides to secretly warn Díaz-Canel and the Cuban regime of the CIA’s assassination plot. On January 1, Díaz-Canel fails to take the fateful ride. Instead, Cuban officials bust up the assassination plot and arrest all the people who are involved in it. The suspects are put on trial, convicted, and sentenced to serve long jail sentences.

After a fierce investigation, CIA officials discover the identity of the CIA official who disclosed Operation Liberty to the Cubans. It is not difficult to imagine what comes next. The official is charged with violations of the old 1917 Espionage Act and with betraying the CIA by disclosing its national-security state secrets to an official enemy of the United States.

When the official is brought to trial, the prosecutor will condemn him or her as an evil traitor, a spy, a betrayer of American secrets, and an America-hater. The federal judge in the case will not permit the official to explain his or her reasons for what he or she did. Such reasons will be considered to be irrelevant. All that matters will be the fact that the official endangered “national security” by revealing national-security-state dark-side secrets to the enemy. 

The official will be easily convicted. At sentencing, the federal judge will brand the official as a traitorous disgrace to the United States, one who betrayed his oath to preserve the dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment. The judge will then follow the CIA’s recommendation by meting out the highest possible jail sentence to the malefactor. The official will be sent to a maximum-security federal prison. 

While this scenario is entirely hypothetical, there is no doubt whatsoever that this is precisely what would unfold if this were to actually happen. And yet, it provides a perfect demonstration of how the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state has warped and perverted the morals and values of the American people. 

The CIA’s plot to assassinate Díaz-Canel is murder, pure and simple. The fact that it is a governmental entity that is plotting to commit the murder does not remove it from the category of murder. Neither does calling the murder a “state-sponsored assassination.”

What about that CIA official who has moral objections to murder, including murders committed by the national-security establishment? Tough luck. Those moral objections are irrelevant in a national-security state. The only thing that matters is what the national-security establishment thinks. If the CIA determines that someone is a threat to “national security,” that is the end of the story. The CIA is the decider, not the person who has moral qualms against state-sponsored assassinations. The latter must keep his mouth shut and simply let the assassination happen.

Thus, under our form of government, the person who saves the life of a person by disclosing to him a secret CIA plot to assassinate him is considered to be a bad person — a traitor — a betrayer of America’s secrets — a person who hates his or her country. The good people — the patriots — are considered to be those who plot the murder of those people who are deemed to be threats to “national security.”

In other words, in the Bizarro World of a national-security state, state-sponsored murderers are good patriots who we are expected to honor, glorify, and praise. Those who oppose or foil the assassination plots of the national-security state are considered to be evil traitors who we are expected to hate, vilify, and condemn.

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.