The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has either killed or removed from power a large number of leaders around the world since 1945.
The British daily Guardian writes this, under the headline “The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world.”
The article came after North Korea’s ministry of state security on Friday accused the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind “an alleged recent an assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un.”
A CIA spokesman “refused to comment on the allegations,” the newspaper said on its website, adding:
“But although such a claim cannot be dismissed as totally outlandish – given the long list of US involvement in coups and assassinations worldwide – the agency was forced to cut back on such killings after a US Senate investigation in the 1970s exposed the scale of its operations.”
But the CIA “never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings, from aerial bombing of presidents to drone attacks on alleged terrorist leaders.”
Aerial bomb attempts on leaders included Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 1986, Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic in 1999 and Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Guardian writes.
Among the leaders that the CIA repeatedly attempted to murder, but failed, was Cuba’s Fidel Castro. The daily also cited “earlier well-documented episodes” including Congo’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, “judged by the US to be too close to close to Russia.”
“In 1960, the CIA sent a scientist to kill him with a lethal virus, though this became unnecessary when he was removed from office in 1960 by other means. Other leaders targeted for assassination in the 1960s included the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, president Sukarno of Indonesia and president Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam,” writes the Guardian.
“In 1973, the CIA helped organize the overthrow of Chile’s president, Salvador Allende, deemed to be too left wing: he died on the day of the coup,” the Guardian recalled.