For years I've worked as a journalist, writing about everything from politics, to sports, entertainment, all the while treating history like a thing of the past. It wasn't until I wrote my first book "Inside The CIA's Secret War In Jamaica," did I realize that being a journalist writing about the present, without knowledge of what has happened in the past, is like watching the fifth Season of a great HBO show, without watching the first four.
I've been interested in the CIA's role in Jamaica since I was a teenager, visiting my father's hometown of Kingston. As a huge Bob Marley fan, I had to make a visit to the Bob Marley museum on at 56 Hope Road. The tour guide would bring me to a rehearsal room full of bullet-holes and tell me that the bullets were from gunmen sent by the CIA to kill Marley. In his book, Marley And Me, Bob Marley's manager, Don Taylor, would claim that he was present at a ghetto court for Marley's shooters, where the would be assassins admitted that they were paid in guns and cocaine to try and kill Marley.
In college, my senior thesis "Eagle, The Bear And The Lion" would be about the Cold War, Jamaica and Bob Marley. When Christopher "Dudus" Coke was extradited to the USA on gun and drugs charges, I would write a story for NewsOne, "How The CIA Created The Jamaican Shower Posse" that detailed the role the CIA played in creating the drug cartel headed by Dudus's father Lester "Jim Brown" Coke.
Given the popularity of the article when I was given the chance to write a book by Over The Edge Books, I chose the CIA in Jamaica as a subject to follow up on my article. Lucky for me, WikiLeaks released thousands of cables from American Embassies, including several from the American Embassy In Jamaica dealing with allegations of CIA interference in Jamaican politics in the election year of 1976. Using dozens of other books on the CIA, Jamaica, Bob Marley and The Shower Posse, I developed enough information to write a book arguing that the CIA had launched a massive effort to destabilize Michael Manley's Democratic Socialist government because of his ties to Castro and opposition to Apartheid and neocolonialism.
When I began writing the book, I had know idea that Marlon James was writing his brilliant novel A Brief History Of Seven Killings, which is based on several of the events and people covered in my book. The renewed attention to the CIA and their role in turning Jamaica into a country damaged by political violence, guns and the drug trade is a very important issue for both Jamaicans and Americans.
Jamaican hero, Marcus Garvey who was a big inspiration to Bob Marley once said "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." Bob Marley's son Ziggy said "You don't know your past, you don't know your future." Irish politician Edmund Burke said "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it."
We must learn from our mistakes and find a way to stop what happened in Jamaica from happening today. The CIA is still quite active in countries like Haiti, Venezuela, Libya and Syria. As Americans we must make sure that the CIA is not creating new gangsters, terrorists and drug dealers to serve American goals and interests. My book Inside The CIA's Secret War In Jamaica is available on Amazon for those who who are interested in the CIA's dark and dangerous past in Jamaica and it's influence on it's present and future.