The Endgame – A Memoir

U.S. Intelligence Recruitment 

Relics of the Weathermen and World War II

“Yes, I was a scientist, 
But my first duty was to the company.”

As we left Argentina, I was still promised that my mother was fine and I would be brought back to her eventually. When we got further away from the only city I had ever called home, I was told we would be visiting a zoo and not to worry, that I would see my mother when we were done seeing the animals. 

I repeated the promise about the zoo to a concerned-looking crew member on a boat in the Panama Canal when he asked if the people I was with were safe for me. Sometimes, I wonder how different my life would have been if I hadn’t just repeated the lie. What if I had continued to speak until the truth became apparent? Would I have ended up growing up in an orphanage in Panama, or would the crew member have taken an unexpected trip to the bottom of the canal with the result only being a few extra minutes of delay watching handshakes in a back room before my trip proceeded? 

More than likely, he simply would have ended up drugged, wide-eyed, and nodding in agreement with whatever new reality he had been presented with. I would see those pool-wide eyes so many times over the years, although most often they were on government records clerks as the recruiter walked with them behind their counters and had them rewrite history. But I digress, a little…

It was around that time that the recruiter first started sharing her wisdom with me. Our relationship would be a strange one. She would come to use me ruthlessly as a tool when she needed one, with absolute disregard for my health or life. But she also had moments in which she treated me like an apprentice and showed me how to exploit people, step by step, before then doing it to me. It was a pathologically insane methodology. I was trapped with her and had no choice other than to play along, but I did learn a lot about how manipulation and exploitation actually work – from both sides of it.

She explained the landscape of what she did quite simply one time. She said there are no rules to follow. We fly above everyone and we move freely. That is why we can get so much done while they do so little to stop us. The people constrain themselves by following laws, cultural limitations, religion, and societal norms. 

They create their own cages and they cannot reach us from within those self-made confines. 

Later, I would argue that flying quite so freely didn’t entirely apply in my case. She had federal protection and full permission to break every law. I didn’t. I probably shouldn’t have argued that. She may have taken it as a request to join her. 

We would spend some time in Cuba (I loved peeking in through the windows of small-scale manufacturing and mechanical shops there, the smell of diesel always reminds me of it), and then went by boat to Florida before arriving in New York City. We did eventually make it to the zoo – the Bronx Zoo in New York, probably because I kept loudly asking in public spaces about the zoo trip I had been promised back in Argentina. 

Now, recognizing the pervasively dark perspective of the cohort I would end up deeply ensnared with, I have to wonder if they were referring to the zoo or more so the inhabitants of the city when they spoke about the animals we would see. 

While in New York City, we spent our time with the recruiter’s sister, crammed into her then-tiny apartment. There, the day-to-day realities of the international trafficking of a child from war became more apparent as the two bickered over my head while dying my hair near-black and working on flattening out a few errant waves to better match the woman’s board-straight and jet-black hair. I would spend the next ten years of my life with my hair over-conditioned, brushed flat while still wet, and kept henna-dyed black to the point that I looked absurdly like a caricature of Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family television show. 

Image Source: Institute for Youth in Policy

“The U.S.’s involvement in the kidnapping of political prisoners and the assassinations of professors, politicians, and other left-wing luminaries is entirely antithetical to the beliefs that supposedly fuel the United States.“

Image Source: Institute for Youth in Policy

That word, antithetical, doesn’t quite hold the standard dictionary definition, especially in the U.S. (although not limited to that country), where the government is a paid liar with the known authority to do so, granted to it by the written rules included in the formation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and then the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the latter agency which has now entrenched itself into every level and aspect of both corporate and government life, with a stranglehold on politics and the molding and remolding of each aspect of mainstream public opinion and discourse, and a large portion of what Americans have been led to believe is outside of the mainstream. 

In the international game, this means the American public (and the public of countries with similar policies and undercurrents of culture) get to play innocent, or even more absurdly – heroes, while individuals and the world suffer the very real consequences of their collective actions. This leads to issues both domestically and internationally. 

Domestically, the populace actually appears to believe the paper-thin lies, which leads them to misstep in attempting to find solutions because most don’t even know the nature of the problem they’re actually dealing with. For example, both major political sides tend to hold the belief that the people streaming over their border all want to be there because it is a crown jewel of a nation, that those people have not been deceived, that they’re better off in America, and that America incentivizing the destruction of their homelands isn’t the actual reason they’re there. 

So, while bickering back and forth over what to do about the people streaming in over their border, they either argue that the people deserve a good life in America or that they are trying to steal the good life from Americans. Neither side deals with the issue of the American military, NGO advertising, and corporate interests causing the majority of problems that lead to people coming over that border in droves in the first place.

I would find myself coming up against that wall of group-learned delusion so many times over the years of my forced stay in the United States. When I reached out for help to say I had been kidnapped, I would be face to face with people who thought “I’d have a better life there,” “that I would appreciate the McDonald’s hamburgers and other riches of the United States,” and that they were “helping me and I was too much of a dumb immigrant to know it.” More importantly, they genuinely believed that their internally ensnared and thus impotent population and commercial culture were so wonderful that my being there in the hands of a dangerous exploiter could replace the value of my mother, my nation, my culture, my language, and my safety. 

They’ve been lying for so long in the U.S. (not that it’s the only government that lies to its own people in a desperate attempt to keep control while robbing them blind) that even parts of the government now believe their own false rhetoric and act upon it, creating more of a mess diplomatically and otherwise. A lie that lasts beyond one generation results in an absolute disaster. People start treating it, and acting upon it, as if it were truth. 

In that cultural and political climate, my arrival in the country wasn’t as smooth as Hollywood might paint activities being blatantly run through U.S. operation channels by their own employees. This is especially true if you still wistfully cling to the concept of authority as competent, organized, and holding their own workers to legal standards. However, despite a lack of convenience in attaining new documents, my temporary documents from Argentina would have raised red flags in the U.S. and reasonably had to be discarded. 

The recruiter walked with me under a tree one day early on and told me what my new name would be. She cajoled me into ceasing to use the old one, promising that I would not forget it. After so many years without it, I did eventually forget it. While Navajas and Claros are likely my surnames, the first names I use are simply the closest I could find to the truth. She told me that my new name, beginning with a C, had the same beginning sound as my old name so it would be easy for me to recognize and respond to when people said it. But it didn’t start with the same sound as my prior name – my name – not in Spanish and not in English. Perhaps it did in a language from the Eastern Bloc where the recruiter had spent many of her earlier years.

And when I would remember my mother? The recruiter would assure me that the woman I remembered had been a foster mother in the state of Connecticut in the winter of 1977 – 1978, in the first eight months of my life. In retrospect, her explanation made no sense. That winter fell within a time period that I could not have remembered – I was too early in infancy to develop memories by that stage. Also, I was walking fair distances in many of the memories that contained my mother. Infants don’t walk.  

It would be decades before I would learn about child development milestones regarding memory formation and before government officials from Connecticut would confirm that I had never been in their foster system. Because of what the recruiter told me when I was growing up, I often just assumed there was something wrong with me for having become so emotionally attached to a foster care provider to the point that the provider felt like my only mother. I internalized my loneliness because I thought I was dumb for feeling it, but I always missed my mother, even when I believed the lies that she had only been a foster mother. Every day of my life, I have missed her. I simply missed her in silence back then. I felt too much embarrassment about my strong unbreakable attachment to someone who supposedly wasn’t my family. 

Even with the full change in identity, there wasn’t some official clandestine CIA office smoothly working on my replacement documents and ironing out all the wrinkles for my stay in the United States. I wasn’t their responsibility and probably fell squarely into the category of “embarrassment” myself, someone to hide away and sweep under the rug. I was a child, not a hired and vetted agent of theirs – we had no documented relationship in which they had to provide me with anything, despite my entering the country by the efforts and force of their employees. The forging of my U.S. identity was bumpier and never official enough to leave the responsibility plainly in their hands, although they would not be without blame. 

That said, maybe there was the tiniest bit of blowback from the department. Either there was something going on internally in the recruiter’s office, or the woman may have gone too far in selecting a child for her own while recruiting for government projects in Argentina. They temporarily suspended her employment. When certain officials and high-ranking officers came by the house to visit, I had to hide in the hall closet beneath a pile of clothing or tucked between coats. 

Her depression stemming from it became evident as I sat quietly in a dark apartment with her. The only light came from a television that was playing clips of speeches from President Carter to her complete disdain. She sneered at that screen. Her heroin addiction also became glaringly apparent at that juncture, although it would take a few years for me to learn what the drug was and how the use of the paraphernalia and her mood swings were related. Those mood swings were hell to deal with as a child – I could do the same behavior on five different occasions and be praised for it four times out of five, and then brutally abused for it the fifth time simply because she was on the wrong side of a high at the time. As far as I know, she still has the addiction. Apparently, working for that part of the government has its advantages. She had a stable connection for obtaining quality black tar heroin the entire time she was in my life. As time went on, I would become a primary source of the cash to fund the habit. 

She still found little things to cheer her up now and then in those first few months of us sharing a space. The recruiter’s favorite thing was sabotage. It brought a light to her eyes and a genuine smile like nothing else could. Over the years I would watch her sabotage everyone – her enemies, her friends, her employers, her targets, her nation, other nations, the rich, the poor – everyone. I will never forget the time she tried to get me to sleep with a watch with an exposed radium dial under my pillow. I didn’t entirely understand what she was about at that point, and I was still so young. I happily went to sleep with it because of the joy I saw in her eyes as she told me how wonderful it would be to get brain cancer. I was still a baby. Sometimes, I allowed myself to be lulled into believing joy was a good thing, especially from someone insisting on having the title of mother. 

Luckily, I had insomnia back then. I never could actually manage to fall asleep with anything under my pillow. My hand would come across it and the feel of the metal kept me awake. I removed the thing the first night. 

When I wasn’t in that dark apartment, she was stashing me away at summer camp at a local military base to get rid of me during the daytime and some nights. I was in the youngest group of children there. In swimming class, they called us polliwogs (the tailed larva of a frog). 

Due to the scars on my lungs, my health, and my small size, I was usually behind everyone else in games and the obstacle course (I struggled with climbing the wall and usually needed help and extra time). I always seemed to have conjunctivitis in those years, a symptom of a series of underlying walking pneumonia infections that I couldn’t seem to kick for long. The flecks in the corners of my eyes could be wiped away and hidden easily enough, but my struggling when attempting to run was obvious in a way even my scarred lungs could not be entirely responsible for. I was a healthy weight, although on the thin side, but would make it less than the length of an ordinary room before needing to stop running. However, I still excelled in learning to float and do the doggy paddle in the shallow polliwog section of the swimming area, and in any sport involving a target. Archery and time using the rifle range were my favorites. 

Although, the easiest and most thrilling activities happened in those rare times when they let us stay up late at night. They handed us markers and told us to “kill the enemy with knives.” In other words, we were supposed to sneak into the cabins of the other campers and silently mark their throats with the markers while they slept. Hey, I was young, it included the thrill of being up past lights-out, we had permission to enter cabins that were generally off-limits, and it was a game I could fully participate in that didn’t involve long runs. Was I supposed to hate it? If you’re going to judge kids for liking war games, create a civilization that doesn’t encourage children to participate in war games.

Other than activities, some of the best moments on base were when the candy truck arrived. Maybe it sold something else. All I really remember was the candy. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best choice considering my health. 

Back at the apartment, alone in the light of a window in the room that held the recruiter’s grand piano, I began to teach myself to read (I also attempted to teach myself to play the piano but with much less success). I went word by word through a book about a world destroyed by nuclear war in which everyone was dead except the whales. In that story, there was a baby whale who continued to have a cold, and conjunctivitis, for months before it cleared. Then the whales went on to live in a world that was now only theirs. It was an unrealistic tale (a world with no krill and plankton means a world with no whales), but my health led me to feel a connection with that baby whale.  

The recruiter’s office eventually reinstated her and reduced her right to international travel, other than to Asia. She was switched over from active foreign work that had included the task of recruiting political prisoners for Department of Defense (DoD) research and other purposes. She would begin working primarily in a more supervisorial role on projects and research, as well as recruitment – domestically. She no longer used her international alias, Alicia. Although, I would frequently hear her still calling in using her old domestic one from the 1960s, “Anna May,” a name even Bill Ayers, the head of the Weather Underground Organization (labeled as a domestic terrorist group by the United States, due to their bombing of government buildings and other activities), still knows and references to her as. 

In case the Weathermen have been written out of your history books, here’s a short intro, complete with the mention of Anna:

Image Source: New York Times

“Mr. Ayers describes the Weathermen descending into a ‘whirlpool of violence.’

‘Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,’ he writes. But then comes a disclaimer: ‘Even though I didn’t actually bomb the Pentagon — we bombed it, in the sense that Weathermen organized it and claimed it.’ He goes on to provide details about the manufacture of the bomb and how a woman he calls Anna placed the bomb in a restroom. No one was killed or injured, though the damage was extensive.

Between 1970 and 1974 the Weathermen took responsibility for 12 bombings…”

Text Source: New York Times

I heard about that bombing during so many dinner parties that I lost count. I will always remember the heads of new guests turning in disbelief as the recruiter said she had placed a bomb in the Pentagon bathroom. There was a long story about another agent putting the bomb in her bag and hiding it beneath the panties that were in there, before they went through security with an embarrassed security guard not looking deeper in her bag than those panties, and then the recruiter panicking and attempting to flush the bomb, as if it were drugs, in the women’s bathroom before going back through security again. 

Her story about her work leading up to the bombing would later be reflected in files known as the Family Jewels when the Central Intelligence Agency finally declassified a few documents in order to do a bit of bragging and highlight some of their favorite agents and former activities:

Image Source: Central Intelligence Agency

“From February 1967 to November 1971…dissident groups in the Washington area considered to be potential threats to Agency personnel and installations.

One of these Agents so successfully penetrated one dissident group that she was turned over to the FBI for handling.”

Text Source: Central Intelligence Agency

It was with the FBI that she would come to know George Edwards, a Yale Drama School-trained COINTELPRO agent who had been assigned to infiltrate the Black Panther Party, a group that had close ties to Bill Ayer’s Weathermen. He didn’t play a main role in my life until later, but he was already sitting with us at some of those dinners and was never among the group that acted surprised by the recruiter’s recollection of bombing what was supposed to be a very secure government building. When he does come up later on, I’ll share with you many New York Times articles in which he was front and center, under the same name and title the public has always known him as – George Edwards, Black Panther. The same George Edwards who leaders of the Black Panther Party correctly called out as a Federal Agent. It turns out that the Yale Daily News and the New York Times had to work overtime in screaming, “He’s not a Fed, really!” to protect that particular jewel. In the process, they would expose his connection to several operations that would include intentional crimes against humanity and that would occur in the years in which I was right there and in the same rooms.   

I can’t blame the random dinner party guests for never believing the recruiter about the bombing. They had grown up in a world in which they had some belief in the sanctity and security of government and government buildings – especially the Pentagon. They assumed that if she had placed a bomb in the Pentagon, then she would have been convicted. I assumed the same, until I looked into it years later. 

The truth is, almost no one was convicted for the bombings. The cases were mostly dismissed on technicalities. In one case, the government even cited that they would have to endanger foreign intelligence secrets in order to convict the members of the group that had taken responsibility for the bombings. In other words, a good portion of the Weather Underground was on the government payroll, and many were CIA. The only convictions I’m aware of were of a scapegoat who got three years in prison, and those involved in the much later 1981 Brinks armored car robbery. 

Image: United States – Bombing of US Pentagon, 1972

Image Source: American Issues Project via Wikipedia

You can blow up government buildings on the government payroll, but you can’t get away with robbing bankers…

Image Source: U.S. Government Printing Office via ProQuest 

“On October 15, 1973, U.S. District Judge Damon J. Keith of Detroit dismissed conspiracy charges against the Detroit 15, including William Ayers, on the Government’s own motion. The motion by U.S. Attorney Ralph B. Guy, Jr., said the Government would not endanger foreign intelligence secrets by disclosing certain information the court had ordered disclosed…

On January 3, 1974, U.S. District Court Judge Julius J. Hoffman in Chicago dismissed a 4-year-old indictment, against 12 members of the Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society, including William Ayres…

Judge Hoffman acted on a Government request which noted that a recent Supreme Court decision barring electronic surveillance without a court order would have hampered prosecution of the case.”

Text Source: U.S. Government Printing Office via ProQuest

For the Black Panthers, things would go a little differently. While the Weathermen got away with detonating bombs in Federal buildings without doing jail time for it, the Black Panthers would be arrested on simply the suspicion of planning explosions. It’s fairly obvious which group had more federal agents in it and which had more civilians to target. If the Weatherman Underground Organization was not a Federal plant from the start, then their people were forcibly recruited into the FBI in lieu of jail time, much the same as I’d seen in Argentina, and the Nazis had seen at the end of World War II. The only difference being that this was entirely domestic – a country slowly consuming its own people, group by group. 

Image Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

“Moore and twenty others (Black Panther Party members) were indicted April 2, 1970, on charges of plotting to set off bombs in five mid-town New York stores, … the Penn Station Railroad and … a Bronx, New York, police station. 

…Set bail for the twenty-one at $100,000 each.”

Text Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

For the recruiter, the name Anna kept the echoes of memories from her time infiltrating and sabotaging grassroots movements in the 1960s and 70s, efforts that had put her in the spotlight to her bosses and made her eligible for the international work in which I would first meet her. According to a couple of people who knew and worked with her back then, those years were an adrenaline and drug-fueled time traipsing through the Americas, Iran, and Vietnam, among other places. It was when everyone back at the office still adored her. Then, she went to Argentina. 

One of the same confidants who spoke to me about the recruiter’s more exciting years in Intelligence also told me that my coming into the picture had ruined the recruiter’s life. Not her sons who were born many years before me, not her failed marriage to a Navy Intelligence officer, and not her heroin addiction. Nope. Apparently, I was the one thing she had let get in her way. I was what caused the government to pull the rug on her international escapades back then. 

As for the problem of warfare and military intelligence tactics being turned on a nation’s own people, it is compounded by what happens after forced recruitment. 

Once recruited, the forced employment starts by giving the enemy worker the protection of secrecy so that the employing nation’s own departments and public won’t know what they’re up to. One of the three primary modern reasons for secrecy is protecting the government from embarrassment. Yes, seriously, Remember this document from earlier?

Image Source: US Army Medical Center of Excellence

“Officials …allowed secrets to be maintained not only because disclosure would endanger national security, but because such disclosure ‘would be prejudicial to the interests or prestige of the Nation.’ 

And… expanded the practice to encompass public relations, especially the threat of ‘embarrassment’ and ‘legal liability.’”

Text Source: US Army Medical Center of Excellence

Needing to lean on your enemy for your own military management and weapons programs is embarrassing, especially when you’re trying to maintain the reputation of a first-rate first-world nation. 

This dangerous strategy combined with a need for internal and domestic face-saving culminates in placing the enemy into your own endgame research labs and military intelligence offices, as well as industrial and academic positions, with full access and influence, and disguised as one of your own. 

The practice is the equivalent of a nation saying, “Hold my beer!” before shooting itself in the foot and then the face.

Next: Stage 2 – Research