Poison pills, mafiosos, casinos, and Cuba—sound like the plot of a mobster flick? Nope. How about the elements of the CIA’s plot to assassinate Fidel Castro that began in 1960? Shady dealings carried out by the U.S. intelligence agency surfaced decades ago through leaks and disclosures made to the Church Committee, but today we get the full 702-page story. With the declassification of the “family jewels”—an internal accounting done in the wake of Watergate to document a quarter century of nefarious activities that were “outside the legislative charter” of the CIA—comes the indisputable proof that CIA leadership oversaw years of murderous schemes, kidnapping, domestic spying, and human experimentation.
Last week, CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden called the release “a glimpse of a very different time and a very different Agency.” But it makes you wonder what the U.S. government will be releasing forty years from now. Probably then the revelations will be less like the Godfather and more like a creepy Orwellian thriller.