Review: Searching for Everardo–A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala

6 Star Top 10%, Atrocities & Genocide, Biography & Memoirs, Consciousness & Social IQ, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Epic–Genocide, CIA Complicity, & Indigenous Honor

July 27, 2010

Jennifer K. Harbury

This is one of multiple books by this author, and a huge bargain as a used book–I got the used hardcopy. This book is a book-end to Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954.

The author wrote Bridge of Courage: Life Stories of the Guatemalan Companeros & Companeras first, and then a book that Amazon lists but does not offer for sale nor does it appear easily when trying to insert the product link: Seeds of Rage: CIA Torture Practices from Vietnam to El Salvador to Abu Ghraib.

See also her Truth, Torture, and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture. In selecting this title, I see also GUATEMALA: HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER JENNIFER HARBURY LOSES SUPREME COURT CASE AS FORMER OFFICIALS CLAIM RIGHT TO LIE.: An article from: NotiCen: Central American & Caribbean Affairs which is depressing–the “right to lie” just astounds me.

As a former case officer (spy) with the CIA, in the Latin American area from 1979 to 1988, and now on my way out of Guatemala, this book is one that I am going to rate as beyond 5 stars, 6 stars and above, because it is a phenomenal vortex that brings together genocide (called “the patriotic wars” by the white minority “conquistadores” seeking to keep the 80% indigenous in slave status), CIA complicity in genocide and torture, and the deep, deep honor and courage and intelligence of the indigenous people. See 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus for the larger treatment.

Highlights for me:

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Review: International Peace Observations

5 Star, Civil Affairs, Complexity & Resilience, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Force Structure (Military), Information Operations, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Public), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Truth & Reconciliation, United Nations & NGOs, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle

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5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work Cited by Dr. Walter Dorn
July 23, 2010
David Wainhouse

EDIT of 6 Sep 2010 to add comments on books once received.

I bought this book, a real bargain, at the suggestion of Dr. Walter Dorn, the “dean” of the peace intelligence scholars, who cites the book with great favor in his own forthcoming book, KEEPING WATCH: Monitoring and Technology in UN Peace Operations, which I am going through now in galley form.

Now that I am holding it in my hands, here are some comments.

1)  Published in 1966, it is a phenomenal, an utterly superb, historical review of League of Nations, Latin American Union, and UN peace observation missions from 1920 to 1965.  The book concludes with a major section on “Strengthening Peace Observations.”

2)  Right away I decide to donate this book to the George Mason University library without marking it up, nor am I reading it, having seen enough to understand why Professor Dorn recommends it so highly as a historical reference work.

3)  The book clearly needs a sequel, from 1966 to date, over 40 years of new conflicts and new peace missions, and I make mention of this hoping that someone reading this review will be inspired to take on the project with many collaborators.

Other related books I have reviewed:
Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future
Intelligence and the War in Bosnia: 1992-1995 (Perspectives on Intelligence History)
U.S. Commercial Remote Sensing Satellite Industry: An Analysis of Risks
Peacekeeping and Public Information: Caught in the Crossfire (Cass Series on Peacekeeping, 5)
Public Information Campaigns in Peacekeeping : The UN Experience in Haiti

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Review: Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements

4 Star, Insurgency & Revolution
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer Lacking in Some Substantive Respects
July 7, 2010
James DeFronzo
There is no question but that this book would be an excellent undergraduate primer, but it is lacking in a number of substantive respects. The shortfalls first:

1. Needs to add understanding and summary of “secret war” and covert action dimensions underlying each revolution and its counter-revolution. Although there are some references, the reality about the CIA and others that comes out in books such as Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA or None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam is simply not there. In this vein, the author focuses too much on world “permissiveness” for revolution as a factor, and not enough on the grave sorrows inflicted on humanity by US sponsorship of dictatorships (see Ambassador Mark Palmer’s utterly sensational Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025. While the author does address CIA’s role in subverting both Guatemala and Iran (and in Guatemala, of Che Guevara’s being there to witness the illegal over-throw), generally this book lacks a system of systems approach to the raw disconnect between government and people across political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-demographic, and natural-geographic factors.

2. Needs to add understanding and summary of the role of multinational corporations in both sponsoring and suppressing revolutions. From Global Reach: The Power of the Multinational Corporations to War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier to The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back, the role of elite corruption sponsored by the USA or USSR or China or Iran is simply not adequately integrated.

3. Needs to add understanding and summary of the role of criminal networks as substantive players in any and all revolutionary movements, not just whatever poster child the US Government wants to emphasize that day. Criminals, terrorists, revolutionaries, and white collar criminals all share the same smuggling and money-laundering spectrum of networks. See Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy.

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