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Woke: The CIA Seeks Hip Diverse Torturers For Their Murderous Global Campaigns Please

The CIA at work in Chile

In a sickeningly cynical move into what appalled critics have dubbed intersectional imperialism, the CIA has a shiny new media campaign that weaponizes progressive buzzwords in order to coax hip young people of color to join in their regime-changing, death-squad-funding, empire-building adventures around the world. The YouTube campaign, titled Humans of CIA, began in January but was little noticed until the CIA posted an edited version of its March video; soon after the full one exploded online, maybe 'cause its egregious repackaging of the evil done by white men in suits, giddily transformed by the language of an emancipatory social movement into an invitation to murder by a "woke" Latina child of immigrants, reached new levels of awful. Thus meet Mija, a sleek young CIA agent from Ecuador in a raised-fist t-shirt who opposes the patriarchy and can change a diaper with one hand and topple a democratically elected Latin American government with the other. "I am a woman of color," she declares. "I am a cisgender millennial. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional.” Above all, she vows, "I am unapologetically me. I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are. Command your space. Mija, you are worth it.” The notion of the CIA (Capitalism's Invisible Army) co-opting the radical language of a movement opposed to systemic racism, corporate dominion and imperial oppression to cajole young people into enlisting in a dictatorship-loving gang of thugs that has long ravaged Asia, South and Central America and the Middle East in the name of supporting systemic racism, corporate dominion and imperial oppression was met with furious disbelief on all sides, from little Donnie Jr - "China and Russia love this" - to anyone to the left of him: "You can't make this shit up."

Outrage at their disingenuous pandering reflects the very real, very bloody history of a CIA that for seven decades has directly or through proxies engineered right-wing coups, facilitated civilian massacres, trained death squads and destabilized governments deemed a threat to U.S. corporate and political power. Contras in Nicaragua, coups in Iran, savage civil war in El Salvador, populist uprisings in Brazil, Haiti, Bolivia, Argentina and yes Ecuador, murder of liberation theology heroes, expunging Salvador Allende's democratically elected Marxist government in Chile with many thousands tortured, killed or disappeared, massacre of children in Afghanistan, electronic torture at Abu Ghraib and importing crack cocaine into America's black communities - the CIA was there for it. Against that monstrous backdrop, Mija declaring herself "unapologetically me" only summoned more diverse atrocities: Girl spooks water-boarding at black sites! Unapologetic war criminals killing nuns! Training Latin American death squads as self care! Those who "unapologetically think the CIA is an enemy of the people and needs to be abolished" also noted the breathtaking hypocrisy of her order to "command your space" by say, calling in a predator drone from 10,000 miles away to incinerate an Afghan wedding party, or decimating hundreds of thousands who are unapologetically Socialist, progressive, democratically elected, economically nationalized or otherwise opposed to American imperialism. In the new CIA, like the old CIA, in truth, you being you still kills people; now, you just won't apologize for it. In his final searing speech before killing himself rather than submit to Pinochet's fascist coup, Salvador Allende called himself "only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice." He thanked his country's workers, women, farmers, intellectuals, the young "who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle." Go forward, he urged them: "History is ours." Tell it to the CIA.

Soldiers question bus passengers in El Salvador. Photo by Susan Meisalas/Magnum

Pinochet reviews his troops

El Salavador today

Pinochet greets Henry Kissinger, right-wing dictators' best friend


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet, Further columnist

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning print journalist for newspapers and magazines, she lived in the Maine woods for about a dozen years before moving to Portland in 1983. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues.

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