A book review by Ronald
The Company by Robert Littell is a well written novel and masterwork of revisionist history that comes across as though the events it describes were dictated by the right-wing element of the CIA. This is probably the case.
Allan Dulles is presented as a tireless patriot and gentleman at odds with his real life NAZI sympathies and reputation as a shameless liar who never hesitated to use the agency to further his personal interests, particularly when it came to mass murders protecting his large and intimate ties to United Fruit. The related overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala is disposed of in a few short sentences, almost as though it were a joke not worth discussing.
The 1956 Hungarian uprising is milked to underscore a faux concern for CIA officers disputing policy and effects nothing. The Bay of Pigs is written about as the CIA getting burned and having learned. But the real upshot is, the identical CIA shit is going on to this day in Syria.
The JFK hit is passed off on Castro, when this theory had long since lost credit (the book is copyrighted in 2002.) Since, we know JFK was murdered by a team that included former CIA Officer E. Howard Hunt (who confessed before he died) and likely included George Herbert Walker Bush.
The Vatican Bank’s involvement with money laundering is passed off as covering a program for the KGB (Russian spy service) and is tied to Russian spy master Starik arranging the murder of Pope John Paul I. This is certainly possible but unlikely with the Vatican antipathy to communism and competition with Russian Orthodoxy. More likely is CIA with its ties to mafia are the beneficiaries of any such hit. It has the aroma of a smear in a case where presently no one can really know. This may come out at some future date.
France Gary Powers failed U2 flight over the Soviet Union is credited to a Soviet shoot down when in fact former Pentagon liaison to the CIA, Colonel L Fletcher Prouty, had made a strong case for the U2 having been sabotaged by elements within the CIA opposed to any Eisenhower-Khrushchev peace initiative.
The author, Robert Littell, seems to believe there is not an Afghan in existence that doesn’t use dope. The purpose in this appears to be painting the anti-Soviet Islamic fighters as degenerates, a sort of ‘what the CIA had to work with in Afghanistan was less than ideal’ argument. He stereotypes Afghans as superstitious stoners. Littell is pretty clearly Islamophobic. A related stereotype is repeatedly pushing a mean spirited view of widespread Russian anti-Semitism. Likely connected to this, the author appears to be in love with MOSSAD.
Littell blames Reagan’s infirm mentality for policies that led to the CIA alliance with fundamentalist Islam in Afghanistan, which in actuality included Osama bin Laden, little different to the USA’s de facto alliance with Al Nusra (Al Qaida) in today’s Syria. But you know what? Reagan never ran operations in the field for the CIA, the CIA draws up the plans they run in the field, and get them signed off by the ‘higher’ authority, usually with deniability built in, to protect the politicians. This is touched on, in relation to Iran-Contra, emphasizing ‘touched’ and nothing more. The rationale is ‘if it’s good for the USA, no crime is too great’ and the author approaches the more recent decades controversies with an attitude of ‘we just won’t talk about the big crimes’ which applies to the overthrow of Salvadore Allende to book’s end.
It is admitted numerous CIA employees applauded the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and then reiterated Sirhan Sirhan was the assassin, which has been for a long time questionable. In fact present day psychologists’ exams of Sirhan suggest a Manchurian candidate type personality taking the fall for the Kennedy hit per the CIA’s known (and swept under cover) project MONARCH.
By now the novel has become crappy because of pace that leaves large gaps in the history of the CIA and associated crimes. There is a disingenuous story of Islamist radicals in Afghanistan kidnapping a CIA officer to blackmail the USA into providing the Islamist stinger missiles when in fact the USA was bending over backwards arming the Islamists in the anti-Soviet era Afghanistan. Later on the Stinger fiaso is passed off solely on Bill Casey manipulating a mentally infirm Reagan as though no one else had a say or influenced this during the period in factual history that saw Al Qaida created as a result of a CIA-Islamist alliance. We know in real life Al Qaida was willing to take the Americans up on training and equipment in pursuit of a common enemy which began in Afghanistan, then Al Qaida turned on the Americans that had supported them is evident in post Soviet Afghanistan, subsequently Iraq and will come true again in Syria.
The KGB is implicated in allowing American Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to pass through to Islamists to hasten the wars end, convincing the Soviet military brass the KGB assessment Afghanistan is an un-winnable war is correct, sooner rather than later. This is an improbable smear of the Russians, implicating their intelligence service in murder of their own soldiers by a novel appearing ghostwritten for the CIA. This seems more of a projection of what are actually American behaviors; a CIA representing corporate colonial interests, in real history routinely implicated in the deaths of American soldiers with policies favoring the likes of Chevron and Exxon-Mobile over any real interests of the American people.
A blatant propaganda move is having the novel’s Islamist character Ibrahim admire Iraq’s Saddam and Syria’s Assad, both leaders of Arab secular states and sworn enemies of Islamists movements. This ploy appears to be attempting propping up the known disinformation Saddam harbored Al Qaida and the novels date  supports the idea. This is followed on with the Soviets having a plan to turn the fundamentalists on the USA, a far fetched smear considering the Islamists already considered the USA to be a total Satan with no extra motivation necessary at all, to go after the USA when any partnership of convenience is past. The book appears to follow a line proposing if you can smear the Russians to make it appear as though the CIA’s fucked-up results are result of someone else’s bad intentions, why pass up a chance? Littell is a real creep.
George Herbert Walker Bush, a prime criminal player in real CIA history throughout the 2nd half of this nearly 1,300 page ode to right wing fascism in the agency, stays out of its pages as though he were hiding. That’s no accident.
The Soviet master spy Starik, who runs his USA operations from Moscow, is smeared as a pedophile, in detail, over several portions of several chapters. One wonders if this is the only means of retribution the CIA can aim at its longtime nemesis. One gets a sense the book’s author has his own fascination with child pornography and related experience. The real irony of this last point is set in the retrospective of a historical hypocrisy; as we know from subsequent factual CIA ties to pedophilia with the banned Discovery Channel documentary ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ exposing one time CIA director George Herbert Walker Bush has long standing ties to pedophilia via the Reagan era and the ‘Boys Town’ child prostitution ring, followed on by Penn State’s pedophile scandal having ties to the George Herbert Walker Bush White House via his “One Thousand Points of Light.” Only ‘The Exiles’ (the news with jokes) has had the balls to write about these sort of hard facts; in real life a determined investigating prosecutor gone missing with his laptop turned up in a river (with hard drive removed.) All of this on top of the CIA project MONARCH torture program. So it is evident in the larger picture we are dealing with, ‘The Company’ is nothing close to an accurate portrayal of CIA in what is billed as a close to real CIA history set in fiction.
The book ends bashing Russia in every sense one could imagine, from physically filthy to rabidly anti-Semitic. A highly placed CIA official goes outside his chain of command to enlist MOSSAD into foiling the coup attempt against Gorbachev because President George Herbert Walker Bush (who shows up in a whitewash at the end) is politically hogtied and reduced to letter writing in matters of dealing with Russian internal affairs of state. What a joke. George Herbert Walker Bush would never pass up participating in a world class crime perpetrated by CIA. The by far more likely (real) story would be, Bush’s CIA encouraging the attempted putsch which indeed did have the ultimate effect of sending Gorbachev packing but saw him replaced by Yeltsen as opposed to the plotters. Why? Because under Yeltsen, Russia could be looted, weakened, and eventually absorbed into the western corporate monopoly of subservient nations, a criminal agenda George Herbert Walker Bush had served his entire career.
In factual historical retrospective, Putin saw exactly what was happening to Russia, stepped in and stopped the nonsense. However one might not like his style and method, Putin has done the Russian people a huge service by clawing Russia back from the oligarchs that indeed did loot Russia after Yeltsen had come to power. If liberal elements suffered as a consequence, is the fault of the west’s rush to take total advantage of a Russia struggling to emerge from the wreckage of the cold war and Putins’ justified distrust of the USA and NATO’s motives.
‘The Company’ is not a work of historical fiction as much as it is a book of lies promoting a carefully crafted, CIA friendly (likely CIA spoon fed) revision of history, a cover-up of its most egregious crimes. But this is what the CIA most excels at, covering up CIA responsibility for chaos resulting from degenerate and incompetent personalities that have been corrupting the agency for decades. When all is said and done, The Company is a well written and compelling novel for those into believing cold war victory had been in every respect glorious, the end justifies any means, Russians are hypocritical, corrupt, anti-Semitic people by nature and the CIA should be beyond reproach in comparison to KGB. In fact CIA is one of the most criminal organizations ever spawned in the annals of history and has done immeasurable damage to America and the world.
Following this composition, I tossed the book into a Berlin street’s litter bin as a symbolic act. This is hereafter a book you can metaphorically find in the garbage.