- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Prentice-Hall; First Edition edition (1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0137981732
- ISBN-13: 978-0137981731
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The secret team: The CIA and its allies in control of the United States and the world First Edition Edition
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About the Author
(1917–2001), a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy years. He was directly in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for the clandestine activities of the CIA. He was also the author of
. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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- Some reviewers have remarked that this is a re-write and lacks the punch of the 1972 original. Fine, but the original is an extremely rare and pricey book indeed. This re-release does stand well on its own... if you take into consideration the next couple warnings...
- This book is long and somewhat repetitious. This is a real problem if the governmental jargon and acronyms are new to you. I could see the value in much of the repetition... but this is very familiar material to me. It won't be for most readers.
- Do your homework ahead of time. If you are weak in post-World War II through Vietnam era history you will be lost in the sauce in no time. Not for the casual reader!
- This could benefit from an update given the way things have progressed since 1972. But Prouty is a man of his time (circa 1955-64) and isn't qualified to write such an update. But a "Secret Team Part 2" would be a nice sequel if the right researcher/insider could be found to author it.
- This is not pop culture conspiracy stuff nor is it particularly left-wing or right-wing. Your biases may cause you to draw the wrong conclusions about Prouty's motives. You need to do a little research into national security policy and how it changed in the "CIA" years to appreciate some of his points.
All that being said, I loved this book but it's definitely not for everyone. It would make a fine addition to any collection of Cold War, CIA, intelligence, conspiracy and/or Indochina War history. Ignore the one-star and two-star reviews by people who obviously never read it or are incapable of understanding it. And if you aren't prepared for the meaty stuff you find between its covers you can always give it a bad review and go back to Info-Wars, Coast-to-Coast Radio, the Truther blog-o-sphere or wherever else you came from. Or better yet, do some honest research and discover there is real treasure between these covers. Recommended.
What Colonel Prouty tells us is that right before our own eyes, we are experiencing a paradigm shift in international relations and world affairs, one that has quietly moved us from the "old order" where the sovereign nation and its armies and national ideologies once sat at the center of world events and predominated, into a new "One World business run corporate, privatized global order," in which "the corporate powers that be" sit on the throne in the clock tower; and where, as a result of their machinations, true national sovereignty has seeped away to the point that we say safely say, it no longer exists.
The good Colonel tells us that the most important events of this century are taking place right before our eyes, as the Cold War era has already given way to a new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their hired guns, their lawyers -- rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. In this new, completely "privatized world order," big business, big lawyers, big bankers, big politicians, big lobbyists, and even bigger money-men, run and rule the entire world from behind a national security screen inaccessible to the average citizen. It is this paradigm shift, and the wall of secrecy that has brought us the "Secret Team" and the series of strange inexplicable events that it has skillfully orchestrated, and that keep recurring from time to time both within the U.S. and throughout the world.
This new bureaucratic entity is called a "Secret Team" for good reasons: because like any team, it does not create its own game plan, its own rules, or its own reality. The team plays for a coach and an owner. It is the coach and the owner that writes the scripts, creates and "calls" the plays. The drama of reality that we see on the international screen is a creation of the "Power elite, as it is executed by the "secret Team." The power of the team comes from its vast intergovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with private industries, the military, mutual funds, and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The beauty of the "Secret team," is that it is not a clandestine super-planning-board, or super-general staff like as is frequently attributed to the Bilderburg Group, or the Trilateral Commission, but is a bewildering collection of ad hoc and semi-permanent action committees and networks that can come into being and then dissolve as specific needs troubles and flash-points dictate. It can create, influence or topple governments around the globe at the behest and on the whim of its coaches, "the Power Elite."
As the Sociologist C. Wright Mills told us nearly a half century ago, the members of the "Power Elite," operate beyond national borders, beyond the reach of the public, and have no national loyalties -- or even return addresses. They operate in the shadows and run the world by remote control and by making us completely dependent upon them and their hidden machinations. Invisibly, they maneuver and jockey to control every aspect of our lives and the infrastructure and markets upon which we depend for our survival: The most important and essential among them being our ability to produce and distribute our own food, water, and energy. As a result of this dependency, and despite mythology to the contrary, Colonel Prouty tells us that we are becoming the most dependent society that has ever lived. And the future viability of an infrastructure that is not controlled and manipulated by this "global power Elite," is diminishing to the point of non-existence.
With climate changes and terrorism already causing serious disruptions in the normal flow of our lives, governments are becoming less and less able to serve as the people's protector of last resort. Already, one of the politicians who ran for President of the United States in its most recent election, Governor Mitt Romney, suggested that FEMA be turned over to a private run firm? And all of the agencies of government that he did not suggest be privatized (or that have not already been privatized), except for the military, he suggested be abolished. As well, we also see the concomitant rise of the Backwaters' of the world, a private firm that has already begun to take over a lion's share of the responsibilities of our volunteer military. Likewise, our prisons, healthcare system and schools are also being privatized, and everything else is being "outsourced" to the lowest bidder on the global labor market. The book however is not just about international politics or international economics, per se, but is also about the primary bureaucratic instrumentality through which the "Power Elite" operates. This instrumentality, as noted above, is called "the Secret Team."
How does Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty know about the "Secret Team:" because he used to be one of its Pentagon operational managers. I believe then that out of prudence, when the man who oversaw management of and liaised with "the Secret team" for nine years as a Pentagon as an Air Force Colonel, (and who incidentally was also sent on a wild goose chase to Antarctica in order to get him out of the country, days before the JFK assassination), tells us that something is wrong in Denmark, I believe it is high time to listen up. In a chilling narrative, Colonel Prouty relates to us how he found out about the assassination of JFK. It was during a stopover in New Zealand on his return from the wild goose chase his superiors had sent him on to get him out of the way. Hours BEFORE the assassination had even occurred, somehow the New Zealand press already had the pre-planned talking points on Lee Harvey Oswald. Somehow they mistakenly deployed them prematurely, reporting well in advance of the assassination itself, that Oswald was JFK's lone assassin? How could such a thing happen unless there was a very high level conspiracy?
The Secret team, according to Prouty consists of a bunch of renegade CIA intelligence operatives that are signed up for life and operate under the full protection and pay of the "Power Elite," itself a cabal of wealthy men with interlocking interests beholden only to their own hunger for power, profit and greed. The "Power Elite" relies upon this covert team of highly trained specialists to get things done without questions being asked and without moral squeamishness.
Operating outside the normal parameters of political authorization, morality, direction, and law, and hiding behind a wall shielded by national security secrecy, very much like the mafia, the "Secret Team" always gets the job done. They are allowed to ply their immoral trade with both impunity and with legal immunity. In short, in the modern era, in the new "One WorldCorporate Order," they have proven again and again that, at worse they are lawless, and at best, they are a law unto themselves. The members of the "Secret Team" have become the new Jack-booted foot soldiers we see trampling over our dying democracy. As we move deeper and deeper into the uncharted realms of the new Corporate run "One World Order," "we the people" have a lot of questions we must ask ourselves if the democracy we once knew is to endure.
The climax of the book appears here in chapter 22 ( entitled "Camelot.") It is a beautifully crafted object lesson for the future of what remains of our democracy. It is a narrative summary of how JFK tried but failed to deal with the emerging paradigm shift in power from the Executive branch of the UGS, to the CIA and the "Secret Team," that is to say, from a system of duly elected Representatives to one dictated by the whims of the "Power Elite" through their "Secret Team." JFK's assassination is just the most dramatic consequence of how our then young President failed to save the USG from usurpation of its power by a cabal of anonymous evil men intent on ruling the world. Colonel Prouty's story ends somewhat as follows.
The Bay of Pigs operation was the seminal event in the clandestine transfer of power from the "normal government" to the CIA's Secret Team." It was done primarily via the thinly transparent interface of the military -- playing a dual role as both military officers reporting to their Commander in Chief, and at the same time as undercover "clandestine operatives" reporting (behind the President's back) to the CIA (and of course through it, to the "Power Elite."). In the book, there is little question where their split loyalties lay.
The key ruse that provided the glue that made this high level "grifter-like scam" (with the U.S. President, as its "mark)" work to perfection, was the words "anti-Communist counterinsurgency." Put to skilful use in hands of trained Specialists, these words had a powerful and purposeful dual meaning. They meant one thing to "clandestine insider members of the "Secret Team," and quite another to "no need to know outsiders" like the American public (and in this case the whole USG, including the Commander in Chief, the President of the U.S. JFK himself). This willful ambiguity in terminology and the duality in the roles of those involved does most of the heavy lifting in the drama played out by the "insiders" and that resulted in the usurpation and the shift of power from the Presidency to the CIA.
The "Bay of Pigs operation"proved to be the defining, the seminal and pivotal case in point. It began as a small clandestine "anti-Communist counterinsurgency" operation run by the CIA (as also was the case with Iran, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Granada, Angola, and Santo Domingo), ostensibly under the oversight of the "USG," but in fact ended up as a huge CIA-run military failure, one minus the requisite oversight from the US President. The devil of how this happened lies in the slimy details that went on behind the scenes and that are skillfully unveiled in this book. They are details that the reader can also get from a careful reading between the lines of "The Pentagon Papers."
As the Bay of Pigs Operation slowly morphed from a small-scale USG run operation "with oversight," into a huge, expensive and poorly run CIA operation without any oversight whatsoever, the rules of the game also changed. They changed from being about U.S. security, to being about the greed, power and profits of the "Power Elite, as those objectives were implemented through the "Secret Team." The key to the "Power Elite" getting what they wanted was always accomplished by stoking the ideological fires up to an international boiling point, so that more and more military hardware could be produced, bought and sold.
Likewise, the roles of the primary players also morphed and changed -- from "clandestine operators" in military uniforms, to "military operators" reporting to their CIA handlers, and thus to the "Power Elite." The executive branch (the ostensible oversight body of the government) was none the wiser, since it was not yet aware that it was "being played" by the CIA and thus did not yet know it was being treated in the same way the public is normally treated: as an "excluded outsider" lacking the required "need to know."
Through this bureaucratic sleigh of hand, the partial control and power the USG normally exercised in its oversight role had been covertly usurped, as the military operators (and even members of the Presidents own staff proved to be "insiders," i.e., members of the "Secret Team," "playing" the President like a bass fiddle as he and his team became the "marks" in an insider's "con game" in which power and control of the USG was at stake.
When JFK finally "wised up," it was too late. By then the train had already left the station, with the CIA firmly in the driver's seat. Since JFK era, U.S. foreign policy has become a clear case of the CIA tail wagging the USG dog. And the best proof of the evil intentions of the "Secret Team" calling the shots within the CIA is that no sooner than the Bay of Pigs literally blew up in a spectacular and embarrassing failure did the CIA then put the wheels back in motion to duplicate, expand and even generalize this failed bureaucratic formulate in Vietnam.
But this time JFK was ready for them and issued NSM-55 and NSM-57, both of which were decision directives designed to put the brakes on the CIA and return the usurped power back to the military where the President was the Commander in Chief. But the CIA was already two steps ahead of JFK. His own staff had been so compromised that he had nowhere to turn? He was penetrated and thus effectively checkmated by an agency of his own government? The more he fought back, the more he lost ground, and the more his back was up against the wall. By the time November, 22, 1963 came around, JFK literally had no bureaucratic friends and nowhere to turn?
I only regret that an earlier edition of this book had been lying around unread in my library for more than a decade. Five Stars.
This work is rather repetitive and a bit ponderous to read. However, the repetition may be necessary to pound in understanding. The subject matter is compelling. It is an important document for anyone trying to understand the background of our current involvements in world affairs. The authors credentials make it the more believable.