Operative Tom Gjelten is back on the beat, reporting on Jose Rodriguez recent head of the CIA's clandestine service. Rodriguez is under investigation for destroying CIA torture tapes ("videotapes of tough interrogations" as Michele Norris genteelly calls them.).
If you've been living in a cave for the past 50 years or so, and don't have a clue about the CIA's disgusting history of training, installing and maintaining murder/torture states in Latin America then just Google "CIA in Latin America" (even the CIA has documents online!) Knowing this bloody, sadistic history of the CIA, one can only marvel at Gjelten's description of Rodriguez:
"...he spent much of his clandestine career in Latin America establishing a reputation as a colorful and aggressive operative."
The rest of the report is mostly a paean to Rodriguez for his role in setting the stage for the 1989 US Invasion of Panama. Gjelten tells us that "One of his more dramatic assignments was in Panama in 1989 when the dictator Manuel Noriega was fighting to hold on to power." Gjelten does mention the uncomfortable fact that "for many years Noriega worked with the CIA" but then implies that he became too nasty for the squeaky clean US foreign policy: "the U.S. government had turned against Noriega and his increasingly oppressive and corrupt regime."
A few other tidbits that Gjelten includes are that "Rodriguez worked in Panama at considerable personal risk, with no diplomatic status or official cover...." and that "Rodriquez was bold in his intelligence work....known for his devotion to the intelligence mission." Come to think of it, one could say the same for Tom Gjelten, too.
(The graphic is a drawing by Fernando Botero, Colombian artist who created the Abu Ghraib paintings.)