Blowback for the Twenty-First Century: Remembering Chalmers Johnson

Source: TomDispatch
by Tom Engelhardt

“Once upon a time, long, long ago (actually, it was early in the year 2000) I was involved in publishing Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire. It had been written by the eminent scholar of Asia, former CIA consultant, and cold warrior Chalmers Johnson. I was his editor at Metropolitan Books. In its introduction, using a word Americans were then (as now) all too uncomfortable with, he bluntly summed up his professional life by labeling himself ‘a spear-carrier for empire.’ And he described the origins of his book’s title this way: ‘Officials of the Central Intelligence Agency first invented [the term blowback] for their own internal use … [It] refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people.'” (06/05/22)