Review from ROAPE Volume 7 Number 19
Dirty Work 2: The CIA in Africa (Ray/Schaap/Van Meter/Wolf)
The second volume of this collection will be welcomed by all those concerned about the operations of Western intelligence agencies in Africa. Somewhat misleadingly the title refers only to the American secret service but some of the most interesting chapters are on the activities of the French, British and Portuguese security services. Rene Lemarchand remarks in one of the introductory essays that it is not sufficient to regard the CIA simply as a ‘spook factory’ , rather it should be seen as ‘an institution which in varying degrees and through different instrumentalities has had and continues to have a largely negative effect on the process of development of Third World countries’ . In a collection of mainly short pieces of varying quality, the ‘instrumentalities’ of these operations are spelled out in detail. These include activities involving Afro-American and African scholars, African Trades Unions, the media, the payrolling of politicians (with President Mobutu of Zaïre the most glaring example), and the employment of mercenaries to overthrow independent African governments.