Book Review: The Praetorian Guard

Book Review: The Praetorian GuardWritten by John Stockwell, Director of the CIA's Angola Task Force in the 1970s, this book goes far beyond Nicaragua but ties it into the web of CIA activity. He is the highest-ranking CIA office to quit and expose activities to Congressional investigators.

I first heard about Mr. Stockwell in the 1980s and went to hear him speak. When he walked on stage I felt like I was looking at an ex-Marine. That is, white shirt, black wing-tip shoes and generally looking very ex-military. Well, he is an ex-Marine. He talked a lot about how (with the CIA in Viet Nam) that he started questioning if what was being done was "right". After his Angola assignment he was sure it wasn't and decided to go public. The book is written at the time of Gulf War I. Same name for the President so it is interesting reading on that subject.

This is from the beginning of his section on Nicaragua:

The Nicaragua destabilization is another classic, taken from the Angola blueprint. The first year of the Nicaraguan operation was almost eerily like the one in Angola. There were three competing factions in each: the leaders in the north, Holden Roberto of the FNLA (in Angola) and Adolfo Calero of UNO (in Nicaragua) were rebarbative characters, while the leaders of the southern movements in each country, Johas Savimbi (in Angola) and Eden Pastora (in Nicaragua) were remarkably charismatic. In each country, the CIA purchased SWIFT attack launches for costal operations and put together ragtag air-transport proprietaries. After a coule of years, the Nicaraguan operation began to manifest a substantially different personality. For one thing it became a major artery in drug smuggling, which was not a factor in Angola.
Later in the same section
The point of a destabilization is to put pressure on the targeted government by ripping apart the social and economic fabric of the country. These are only words, "social and economic fabric", but what they mean is making the people suffer as much as you can until the country plunges into chaos, until at some point you can step in and impose your choice of government on that country, ...