One Nation Under Blackmail (Volumes 1 and 2)
By Whitney Webb
Published in September 2022
544 Pages - Volume 1, 432 Pages - Volume 2 (976 total)
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
One National Under Blackmail is a remarkably well researched two volume history of the intersections in-between US organized crime and intelligence agencies. Overall, it is a remarkably well researched book. Whitney Webb has the makings of one of the great investigative journalists of our time.
In order to grab the reader’s attention, Webb focuses on the headline grabbing Jeffrey Epstein story in her introduction. However, she quickly sheds her narrow focus on current events to instead cover a more expansive timeline of events, starting with events surrounding J Edgar Hoover’s tenure as director of the FBI and ending with Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest.
Since their very inception, organized crime has had a parasitic relationship with US intelligence agencies. We often hear about the revolving door in-between government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Wall Street - where former hedge fund managers become regulators and vice versa. I did not realize that a similar revolving door existed in between organized crime and the intelligence agencies. Just as Wall Street hedge fund managers being active in regulatory activities means that regulators pass rules that favor pre-existing players; the same phenomenon happens with intelligence agencies and organized crime. As a result, you get strange effects where, for example, in the early 1980s almost all of the most dangerous drugs being sold illegally in the US were sold by intelligence connected assets.
I learned a lot of staggering, mind bending stories.
Did you know that:
-The OSS (precursor to the CIA) drew many of its initial recruits from organized crime?
-After the nationalist Taiwanese government fled mainland China, it funded almost its entire government through the sale of opium? And to support the anti-communist Taiwanese government, the CIA indirectly facilitated heroin sales in the United States?
-FBI director J Edgar Hoover was a transvestite who was caught having gay sex with fellow FBI agents, then blackmailed by the Italian mafia? And thanks to this blackmail, the mafia was protected from the FBI for decades?
-The Watergate hotel was a well known location for high level US politicians to meet prostitutes, and Richard Nixon was likely spying on guests in order to blackmail them?
-In the 1980s, the CIA was caught smuggling large amounts of crack-cocaine into the US, selling it in black neighborhoods, and using it to fund black ops?
-Israel sold bugged databases software to nearly all US military agencies in the 1990s which allowed it to spy on the internal operations of the US government?
-In the late 1990s, a child sex trafficking ring was busted which involved many high-level republicans, and both parties conspired to prevent the story from reaching the media?
-Jeffrey Epstein had significant provable intelligence connections, and was likely helping intelligence agencies blackmail key US politicians and businesspeople?
This is one of those books that, no matter how much you think you know, will fundamentally change the way you see the government.
The research is phenomenal. Webb clearly had to go into minute detail through massive historical archives to piece together the day by day reconstruction of key events. This is not a conspiracy book - she never makes any wild guesses, and never has any outlandish speculation. I did my own research, and was horrified to find out that of Webb’s claims - even the seemingly outlandish ones - can be completely backed up by the evidence.
The single reproach that I have with the book is that the writing style can - at times - be confusing. The large numbers of people, organizations, and events discussed sometimes make it hard to follow. Also, at first, I didn’t realize that each chapter was a separate short story which covered a specific incident or a specific person. As a result, don’t read this expecting a coherent narrative throughout the book.
Finally, a word of warning for parents. Some parts of the book describe extremely graphic scenes of torture, sexual blackmail, and other horrific scenes. Webb is always careful to tone down all descriptions, but it cannot be avoided in certain instances.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a well-researched and non-conspiratorial history about the hidden hand that influences American politics.
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