Thursday, April 4, 2019

Does God work for the CIA?

Evangelical politics CIA subversion accountability crime corruption business politics books

The arrest and imprisonment in North Korea of US citizen Kenneth Bae raises once again the issue of the use of religion and humanitarianism as covert vehicles for furthering US hegemony.

The controversy surrounding former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s “basketball diplomacy” in North Korea centers around his apparent refusal to “speak on behalf” of Kenneth Bae, a US citizen imprisoned in North Korea for what Pyongyang has referred to as “crimes against the state.” Naturally, the Western media narrative on the Bae case is that he is a devout Christian who simply may have broken North Korean laws regarding religion and religious paraphernalia.

As reported by The Telegraph, Bae and his group were using his tourist agency as a vehicle for proselytizing their Christian beliefs in the stridently atheist country. Participants in Bae’s group admitted to smuggling Bibles into the country, singing Christian songs and, in reference to the biblical story of Jericho, “praying for the walls to come down.” Whether one disagrees with a religious ideology being criminalized, it is an incontrovertible fact that Bae and his groups committed what Pyongyang considers to be a very serious crime.

While the imprisonment of an American in North Korea is already a story, his arrest has aroused suspicions in certain international circles that Bae, like so many before him, was in fact working with the CIA or other US intelligence agency. While it is impossible to say definitively whether Bae was in North Korea operating a legitimate tour business, or was simply using that as a cover for covert espionage, the incident again reminds us of the long-standing, sordid relationship between the US intelligence community and religious/humanitarian groups and institutions.  (more...)

Evangelical politics CIA subversion accountability crime corruption business politics books

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