America Tried to Overthrow the Castro Regime With Rap Music
This story originally appeared on April 24, 2015. For decades, the United States had sought to destabilize and overthrow the Cuban government. But the most recent attempt to antagonize the Castro regime may have been the strangest. The effort involved the United States Agency for International Development and its... Read more
The CIA Battled the Kremlin With Books and Movies
Originally published on May 2, 2015. During the Cold War, Moscow’s Ministry of Culture was a master of censorship. The Kremlin’s cultural bulwark screened non-Russian films, suppressed literature and shaped the lives of Soviet artists. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency also dabbled in the dark arts of cultural influence.... Read more
The CIA and KGB Both Tried to Blackmail This World Leader With Sex Tapes
This story originally appeared on Oct. 30, 2016. In 1945, a man known simply by the name Sukarno became Indonesia’s first president after leading an independence movement against Dutch colonial rule. He entered office with overwhelming popular support and was widely regarded as a national hero. He brought with him... Read more
The CIA’s Counterinsurgency in Vietnam Was Brutal … And Effective
As U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalated after the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, U.S. Army general William Westmoreland knew he would be simultaneously fighting two different types of enemies on the ground — the main battle force of the North Vietnamese Army and... Read more
JFK Had a Secret Nuclear Fallout Bunker in South Florida
In December 1960, the SeaBees – the U.S. Navy’s construction force  —  supposedly began the mundane task of building a munitions depot behind the Coast Guard station on Peanut Island, Florida. Known as “Operation Hotel,” the SeaBees actually built a secret nuclear fallout shelter for president-elect John F. Kennedy, who often... Read more
Underwater Firearms Are a Thing, and Russia Is Really Into Them
This story originally appeared on Feb. 13, 2016. The Soviet Union began developing underwater guns nearly 50 years ago. The idea — to arm commando frogmen and other combat divers for underwater engagements, however rare and unlikely these subsurface firefights might actually be. In the late 1960s, Moscow enlisted... Read more
La brutalidad de la Guerra de Corea le revolvió el estómago a los más  aguerridos soldados estadounidenses
Resulta difícil mantenerse al día respecto a los acontecimientos en el último asalto del cruce de bravuconadas entre Estados Unidos y Corea del Norte. El presidente estdaounidense Donald Trump y el “líder supremo” coreano Kim Jong-un han intercambiado en repetidas ocasiones palabras a través de Twitter y otros medios... Read more
The Tupamaros Were Propaganda-Savvy Urban Guerrillas
In 1963 a new leftist rebel group emerged in Uruguay as the country struggled with economic decline. The rebels called themselves the Tupamaros in honor of Tupac Amaru II, the leader of a failed 18th century revolt against colonial Spanish rule in Uruguay. Their source of inspiration died nearly... Read more
The Korean War’s Brutality Turned the Stomachs of America’s Most Hardened Soldiers
It’s difficult to try to keep up with developments in the latest round of saber rattling between the United States and North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump and Korean “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un have repeatedly traded verbal barbs via Twitter and more formal avenues amid news of naval redeployments,... Read more
The Paraguayan War was the Dumbest and Costliest Conflict the Americas Ever Experienced
The Paraguayan War — sometimes referred to by South Americans as the War of the Triple Alliance or the Great War — pitted the armies of Paraguay against those of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. It was an incredibly lopsided contest. Paraguay had a population of roughly 500,000 people, while... Read more
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