William Blum

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Person.png William Blum   Amazon C-SPAN History Commons Sourcewatch Website WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(author, historian)
William Blum.jpg
William Blum in 2007
Born6 March 1933
DiedDecember 9, 2018 (Age 85)
Founder/Owner ofThe Killing Hope Website
Member ofAmerican Herald Tribune
InterestsUS/Foreign policy/Since 1945
A prominent critic of US empire

William Blum was an American author, historian, and critic of US/Foreign policy. He studied accounting in college. He held a computer-related position at the US Department of State in the mid-1960s. Initially an "anti-communist" with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he reported that he was disillusioned by the Vietnam War.[1]


He left the US state department in 1967. He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital. In 1969, he wrote and published an exposé of the CIA in which was revealed the names and addresses of more than 200 employees of the Agency. He has worked as freelance journalist in the US, Europe and South America. From 1972 to 1973 Blum worked as a journalist in Chile, where he reported on the Allende government's attempts to distance Chile from US influence. In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex-CIA agent Philip Agee and his associates "on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds".[2] He supports himself with his writing and speaking engagements on college campuses.

In his writing, Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. He has supported Ralph Nader's presidential campaigns.[3] He currently circulates a monthly newsletter by email called "The Anti-Empire Report".

Lockerbie case not closed

In March 2001, two months after the Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and his co-defendant, Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, was acquitted, Blum wrote an article arguing that the case against Megrahi "was thin to the point of transparency" and that the three Scottish judges "well knew the fervent desires of the White House and Downing Street as to the outcome. If both men had been acquitted, the United States and Great Britain would have had to answer for a decade of sanctions and ill-will directed toward Libya." He pointed out that the original Official Narrative had accused the PFLP-GC, a 1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, of making the bomb and somehow placing it aboard the flight in Frankfurt. The PFLP-GC was led by Ahmed Jibril, one of the world’s leading terrorists, and was headquartered in, financed by, and closely supported by, Syria. According to this scenario, the bombing was allegedly done at the behest of Iran as revenge for the US shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655, an Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf on 3 July 1988. Blum adduced the following as evidence supporting that theory:

  1. Israeli intelligence intercepted a communication between Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, Iranian interior minister, and the Iranian embassy in Beirut “indicating that Iran paid for the Lockerbie bombing.”
  2. Even after the Libyans had been indicted, Israeli officials declared that their intelligence analysts remained convinced that the PFLP-GC bore primary responsibility for the bombing.
  3. In 1992, Abu Sharif, a political adviser to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, stated that the PLO had compiled a secret report which concluded that the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 was the work of a “Middle Eastern country” other than Libya.[4]

Osama bin Laden statement

In early 2006, Blum briefly became the subject of widespread media attention when Osama bin Laden allegedly issued a public statement which quoted Blum and recommended that all Americans read Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. As a result of the mention sales of his book skyrocketed. [5] Rogue State shot up from 205,763 to 26 on Amazon.com's index of the most-ordered books. In a May 22, 2006 article entitled, Come Out of the White House With Your Hands Up, Blum wrote, "Since the bin Laden recommendation, 19 January, I have not been offered a single speaking engagement on any campus . . .This despite January-May normally being the most active period for me and other campus speakers."


  • 1986: The CIA: A Forgotten History (Zed Books) ISBN 0-86232-480-7
  • 2000: Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-194-5 - "one of the best beginner’s guides to understanding what really goes on in the world."[6]
  • 2002: West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (Soft Skull Press) ISBN 1-56751-306-9
  • 2003: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, revised edition (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-252-6
  • 2004: Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (Common Courage Press)


Documents by William Blum

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Afghanistan 1979-1992book extract2003Killing Hope
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
1980s Afghan war
Document:Angola 1975 to 1980'sbook extract2003Killing Hope
Document:Bulgaria 1990-Albania 1991book extract2003Killing Hope
Document:Cuba 1959 to 1980'sbook extract2003CIA
Killing Hope
Orlando Bosch
Cubana de Aviación Flight 455
Document:A Cautionary Talearticle3 February 2011NATO
Document:Ecuador 1960 to 1963book extract2003CIA
Killing Hope
Document:Guatemala 1962 to 1980'sbook extract2003CIA
Killing Hope
Document:Haiti 1986-94book extract2003Killing Hope
Document:Italy 1947-1948book extract2003Killing Hope
Document:Some thoughts on "Patriotism"article5 July 2010Patriotism
Document:The Russians are comingarticle9 May 2014Russia
The Great Game
The west's tried and trusted - but lately tired and increasingly absurd - specter of an aggressive, expansionist Russia, demolished in style by the inimitable William Blum
Document:Uruguay 1964 to 1970book extract2003CIA
Killing Hope
Document:Indonesia 1957-58book extract2003CIA
Killing Hope
Document:Iraq 1990-91book extract2003Gulf War
Killing Hope
Document:Killing Hope Introductionbook extract2003Killing Hope
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpowerbook2000US/Efforts to Suppress Democracy since 1945
US/Bombing campaigns since 1945
US Foreign Policy since 1945
A critical examination of United States foreign policy during and following the Cold War
Template:Killing Hopebook extract2003Killing Hope


A Quote by William Blum

US/Foreign policy/Since 1945“If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out... invasions, bombings, overthrowing governments, assassinating political leaders, death squads, torture, biological warfare, drug trafficking, mercenaries, suppressing movements for social change, perverting elections, manipulating labour unions, manufacturing “news”, depleted uranium...”Introduction to www.killinghope.org


A document sourced from William Blum

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Russians are comingarticleRussia
The Great Game
9 May 2014William BlumThe west's tried and trusted - but lately tired and increasingly absurd - specter of an aggressive, expansionist Russia, demolished in style by the inimitable William Blum


External links