A former Central Bureau of Investigation, CIA, operative has confirmed the U.S agency has been meddling in the elections and internal political affairs of other countries since its inception in 1947.
"The United States absolutely has carried out such election influence operations historically," said Steven L. Hall, a CIA operative who retired from the U.S. agency in 2015 after 30 years of service, the New York Times reported. "I hope we keep doing it:"
Halls revealed the information while discussing alleged Russian involvementin the 2016 U.S. elections.
"If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all," Hall said, further justifying U.S. meddling.
"We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the CIA was created in 1947," Loch K. Johnson, another intelligence official, told the New York Times.
“We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash," Johnson added.
The New York Times article further stated, "The CIA helped overthrow elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa, and Asia."
A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, an expert on the historical records chronicling both overt and covert election influence operations, said he discovered that the U.S. carried out nearly 81 operations between 1946 and 2000.
"I’m not in any way justifying what the Russians did in 2016," Levin said. "It was completely wrong of Vladimir Putin to intervene in this way. That said, the methods they used in this election were the digital version of methods used both by the United States and Russia for decades: breaking into party headquarters, recruiting secretaries, placing informants in a party, giving information or disinformation to newspapers."
"We had money bags and sent them to select politicians to cover their expenses," former CIA agent F. Mark Wyatt admitted in a 1996 interview.
"I assume they’re doing a lot of the old stuff, because, you know, it never changes,” said William J. Daugherty, who worked for the C.I.A. from 1979 to 1996 and at one time had the job of reviewing covert operations. “The technology may change, but the objectives don’t."