Another very good example of a CIA-organized regime change was a coup in 1963 that employed political assassination, mass imprisonment, torture and murder. This was the military coup that first brought Saddam Hussein's beloved Ba'ath Party to power in Iraq. At the time, Richard Helms was Director for Plans at the CIA. That is the top CIA position responsible for covert actions, like organizing coups. Helms served in that capacity until 1966, when he was made Director.
In the quotations collected below, the name of the leader who was assassinated is spelled variously as Qasim, Qassim and Kassem. But, however you spell his name, when he took power in a popularly-backed coup in 1958, he certainly got recognized in Washington. He carried out such anti-American and anti-corporatist policies as starting the process of nationalizing foreign oil companies in Iraq, withdrawing Iraq from the US-initiated right-wing Baghdad Pact (which included another military-run, US-puppet state, i.e., Pakistan) and decriminalizing the Iraqi Communist Party. Despite these actions, and more likely because of them, he was Iraq's most popular leader. He had to go!
In 1959, there was a failed assassination attempt on Qasim. The failed assassin was none other than a young Saddam Hussein. In 1963, a CIA-organized coup did successfully assassinate Qasim and Saddam's Ba'ath Party came to power for the first time. Saddam returned from exile in Egypt and took up the key post as head of Iraq's secret service. The CIA then provided the new pliant, Iraqi regime with the names of thousands of communists, and other leftist activists and organizers. Thousands of these supporters of Qasim and his policies were soon dead in a rampage of mass murder carried out by the CIA's close friends in Iraq.
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