CIA Funding: Never Constrained by its Congressional Budget

Since it first began to be involved in covert operations, the CIA has always been able to draw on funds that were not specifically authorized by Congress for that purpose. Allen Dulles, while still a lawyer at the influential Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, was able to arrange for this.

In 1946, General Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Dulles “to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947.” (1) Even earlier, Dulles began campaigning successfully to reconstruct Western Europe through what became known as the Marshall Plan. (2) Together with George Kennan and James Forrestal, Dulles also “helped devise a secret codicil [to the Marshall Plan] that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim millions of dollars from the plan.” (3)

Funds diverted from the Marshall Plan were soon used to establish a ‘compatible left’ labor union in Marseilles with Pierre Ferri-Pisani. On behalf of Brown and the CIA, Ferri-Pisani (a drug smuggler connected with Marseilles crime lord Antoine Guerini), hired goons to shellack striking Communist dock workers.” (4)

The CIA also made systematic use in Asia of self-financing drug trafficking forces to increase its covert influence—in Thailand and Burma, then in Laos and Vietnam, and most recently in Afghanistan. (5) With America’s expansion overseas, we have seen more and more covert programs and agencies, all using drug traffickers to different and opposing ends...


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