Oops … the CIA does it again!
By: Abdulateef Al-Mulhm
Since its inception in 1947, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) faced many challenges. In addition to focusing on the then Soviet bloc, it had to confront issues emanating from the US itself mainly from the American media.
A study of media reports about CIA would reveal that the organization had most of the times been criticized for “mishandling” a certain situation or for its “failure” to contain some crisis. The highlights are: CIA’s failure to anticipate the 1968 Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, the fall of Shah of Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 9/11 and the most recent is the Ukraine crisis.
The resultant chaos in the wake of Arab Spring, however, tops the chart. In other words, it is very rare to read anything positive about the CIA in any US paper. So, from where does these sleuths receive positive reports about their achievements to satisfy the US Senate Intelligence Committee or the White House?
Ironically, the CIA receives these positive reports from many developing countries wherein it has become fashionable to blame it even for natural disasters. Apparently, many CIA sleuths love it; as such accusations paint a good picture of their capabilities.
Undoubtedly, the CIA is one of the most modern organizations with world-class technical capabilities and highly trained agents and carries out overt and covert operations. It is no secret, it is its job but the CIA should not be used as a scapegoat in the wake of failure of a system or an accident caused by human error or natural causes. Undeniably, the CIA sometimes intervene in other nation’s policies but most of those countries are inept in handling their own affairs or there are deep divisions among the masses.
A few days ago, the CIA was accused of something unbelievable. This time around the accusation did not come from any journalist but from an influential political figure of Malaysia and the world. He blamed the CIA for the disappearance of Flight MH370. He spoke about CIA’s ability to remotely takeover a commercial flight at 30,000 feet and to make it land at some pre-designated airstrip.
Is such a feat possible? Political analysts and aviation experts may question CIA’s capability to make a passenger jet vanish from the sky without any trace. And what would be the motive.
Some people say that the plane was transporting highly sophisticated equipment to the Chinese and the Americans wanted to get hold of the equipment. But, if the CIA has the ability to remotely hijack a plane without a trace, then I think there is no need for them to steal any Chinese technology. I am not doubting the Malaysian politician’s assessment or trying to underestimate the CIA’s capabilities but it is more important to know that technology has certain limits and we have to always take human factor into account. Humans could resort to anything for several reasons, be it emotional, financial or just suicidal tendencies. Flight MH370 will continue to be a mystery but we don’t have to go wild in our assessments.
The only logical explanation of the disappearance of the jet is that someone from the crew for whatever reason had played around with the internal avionics, continued the flight and simply ditched the plane into the ocean before the passengers or the crew realized the chain of events. The heavy parts of the plane would have sunk to the bottom of the ocean and the debris must have been dispersed in the vast ocean. Maritime search in open waters is the most difficult task for rescue teams. In heavy seas, it is very easy for any oil traces to disappear in a very short time. We all remember that it took decades to discover the Titanic after it sank in 1912 even though the research teams had a fair knowledge of the possible location of the ship’s wreckage.
There are many approaches to this tragic incident but coming up with imaginary assessments is like rubbing salt to the wound. Families of the victims will never recover from the tragic loss and no one can fathom their sorrow. I really doubt that the CIA could benefit from hijacking a plane of a country known for its close relations to the US. As a matter of fact, most of the foreign investments in Malaysia are coming from the US. Finally, it is interesting to know that most, if not all, the search equipment for MH370 are US-made.