Alex Constantine - March 13, 2006
KPFK Listener Forum
Ian Masters' "Truth Package" - Censored by the CIA
Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:06
Bob Baer, a "former" CIA case officer interviewed by
Ian Masters this morning, admits in the interview
below that his book - offered as a KPFK fund-raising
premium - was heavily censored by the CIA. Yet Masters
calls it a "truth" package. It's CIA from cover to
cover. Some "truth."
The trtipe coming from Pacifica these days is
unbearable to anyone who follows domestic fascism and
covert operations. I've noticed that callers to Ian's
show constantly accuse Masters of being compromised.
We're not all dupee, and some of know exactly what Ian
Masters is about - deceiving the listeners of KPFK
with complete arrogance because the management at KPFK
is more concerned with fund-raising than factual
reporting, and allows this farce to continue.
BUZZFLASH: Let me begin by asking you, just to
establish your background, you wrote a book called See
No Evil, in which you talked about your career with
the CIA. Can you explain a little bit more about what
your background and areas of responsibility were with
ROBERT BAER: I spent 21 years in the CIA as what’s
called a case officer. That means that I went overseas
and served overseas almost all the years I spent with
the CIA, meeting with what we call agents. Those are
foreigners who spy for the CIA. And you write up their
reports and send them back to Washington. So I was a
field officer, in short.
BUZZFLASH: In what area? You did serve in Iraq, if I
recall, in reading your book.
BAER: I served in Iraq for awhile. A couple times I
was there on a temporary basis. I was mostly in the
Middle East – Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Bosnia as well
as a couple of other countries.
BUZZFLASH: So you have extensive experience with the
BUZZFLASH: As a gatherer of what is called "human
BUZZFLASH: Now in reading through the book we’re going
to discuss, Sleeping With the Devil, I noticed there
are many thick black bars through it that I assumed
were censored by the CIA. Is that correct?
BAER: Yes. They get the manuscript in advance of
BUZZFLASH: So the CIA basically vets it and approves
it, minus whatever they feel is necessary to black out
BAER: Yes, they don’t mess with the content. They just
say: Listen, this is our stuff. You can’t publish it.
BUZZFLASH: The book’s full title is Sleeping With the
Devil – How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude,
and you cover several administrations. The claims you
make here seem to apply, for the most part, whether
they’re Democrat or Republican. And you, of course,
focus on Saudi Arabia. What compelled you to write the
BAER: I’d always been fascinated by Saudi Arabia. And
I’d always noticed that on general intelligence
reports that are sent around in the field, and in
Washington, there’s virtually nothing said about Saudi
Arabia. Every Arab that I talked to – and I know a lot
of them – kept on talking about the disputes in the
royal family, huge contracts, the Wahhabi's funding
Lebanese politics. It became clear to me, even though
I wasn’t seeing much in the CIA traffic, or State
Department, or anywhere else, that this was a key
So when I got back to Washington in ’95 – and I stayed
there until I resigned from the CIA – I said, all
right, I don’t know a whole lot about Saudi Arabia.
What about Saudi Arabia? And I got onto the computer
and I took a look around, and there just wasn’t
anything useful. I mean, you, as a journalist, would
have looked at this and said: It’s junk. There’s
nothing here. And especially nothing that goes deep
into the problems in Saudi Arabia.
At the same time, I started running into these
assessments of the oil industry, and just how much
damage you could do to the processing facilities, not
the pipelines, if you were a terrorist and wanted to
bring the Saudis down. And then 9/11 came along, and
the 15 Saudis that caused it.