THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and James

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

Postby admin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:04 am

Chapter 18: Civil War

Signs of dissent against Baba Yeshi were not new. Trouble dated back to 1962, when the Mustang chieftain reduced food stipends issued directly to individual guerrillas. He then turned a blind eye to -- even condoned -- the rustling of yaks and goats on the Tibetan side of the frontier as a ready, and free, source of protein. This rubbed many of the Hale-trained cadre wrong, who claimed that their commander was still charging the CIA for the meat and pocketing the difference. [1]

During 1967, with the guerrillas sulking and spent, their demand for an audit of Baba Yeshi's finances grew more shrill. Leading the call were six idealistic Hale graduates, including Rara, who had commanded the 1961 jeep ambush. All six later trekked to Darjeeling, where they made their demands known to Gyalo's longtime assistant, Lhamo Tsering.

When word of the complaints got back to Mustang, Baba Yeshi was, predictably, less than receptive. With little appreciation for standardized accounting procedures, he had few recorded finances to audit. Even if he did have books to open, his assumed prerogative as a Khampa chieftain left him with a perceived sense of immunity toward questioning by subordinates.

In years past, Baba Yeshi's aloof stance would have carried the day. But following the end of the Dalai Lama's stipend and the curtailing of offensive action from Mustang, Gyalo and Lhamo Tsering feared that an open scandal in Nepal would provide a ready excuse for the CIA to target funding. Scrambling for a face-saving solution that would ease tensions at Mustang, they determined that Baba Yeshi should get a competent, respected, and untainted assistant. The trouble was, there were few Tibetans who fit that bill. Many of the proven warriors from the NVDA generation were past their prime. And although there were plenty of younger candidates, they had yet to amass the seniority and respect to lead effectively.

One exception was Wangdu, the feisty Khampa trained on Saipan in 1957. After fleeing Tibet for India in January 1959, he had turned his back on the resistance. Bitter, he had refused an earlier offer to join Establishment 22; instead, he had closed himself off at Darjeeling and frittered away the years reading and studying English. "I would stop to meet him whenever I went to Darjeeling," recalled Gyalo. "He still talked with disgust about the small amount of U.S. assistance." [2]

Despite such negativity, Wangdu had all the right attributes to serve as Baba Yeshi's understudy. Still physically fit at thirty-eight years old, he evoked memories of his charismatic call to arms in Kham. In a society where tribal lineage counts for much, he could draw on the respect accorded to his uncle, the late Gompo Tashi. He was relatively educated and, though somewhat of a womanizer, had officially remained a monk and had no dependents.

In early 1968, Gyalo called Wangdu down from Darjeeling to his New Delhi house. It took repeated appeals, but the Khampa finally relented. After nearly a decade, he would be rejoining the cause.


Baba Yeshi took the arrival of his uninvited deputy relatively well. "Gyalo sent a message emphasizing that Wangdu was there to help and assist," said Kay-Kay, the senior Tibetan representative at the Special Center, "not to replace." [3] Although no warm welcome was offered, neither was there any animosity.

A division of responsibility between the two came easily. With Baba Yeshi spending much of his time at Kaisang -- usually absorbed in prayer -- Wangdu headed for Tangya. Low-level intelligence was still being collected by the network of radio agents posted to frontier outposts at Dolpo, Limi, Nashang, and Tsum, so Wangdu had the rest of the guerrillas focus on training for the remainder of the year. Some improvements were soon evident. Besides arranging for the delivery of extra uniforms and shoes, Wangdu increased monthly food allowances from 30 to 150 Indian rupees; rustling was no longer permitted. [4]

At the beginning of 1969, Lhamo Tsering decided to inspect the guerrillas himself. His findings were heartening. After working together for a year, Baba Yeshi and Wangdu were apparently getting along and in good spirits. Though Wangdu expressed some reservations in private, the threat of a schism within the ranks appeared slim.

Very quickly, the atmosphere soured. The precipitating factor: To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the insurrection in Lhasa, a series of events was being planned for Dharamsala in March. Baba Yeshi was invited to attend the Dharamsala memorial services after a stop in New Delhi. Wangdu would be taking his annual home leave at the same time, with Lhamo Tsering left in temporary command. [5]

Mustang officers (left to right) Gen Dawa, Gen Gyurme, Rara, unknown, 1968. (Courtesy Lhamo Tsering)

Baba Yeshi smelled a putsch in the making but could hardly turn down the invitation from the highest quarters of the Tibetan government in exile. When he arrived in the Indian capital, his fears were confirmed. He was greeted with the news that he would be receiving a permanent transfer to Dharamsala. Wangdu, his deputy, would be in charge of the Nepal project. This was hardly a slap in the face: Baba Yeshi was fifty-one years old and had spent eight years in the often inhospitable climes of Mustang; the relative luxuries in Dharamsala could be considered a reward for good service. As a further sweetener, he would be assuming the prestigious post of deputy to the security minister in the Dalai Lama's own cabinet.

Baba Yeshi wanted none of it. Resistant to the transfer after almost a month of negotiations in New Delhi, he retired to the quarters of Tashi Choedak, the former Hale interpreter now serving as the deputy Tibetan representative at the Special Center. "I came home to find his rosary and tea cup," said Tashi, "but Baba Yeshi was gone." [6]

A week later, the irate chieftain was spotted in Darjeeling. A few weeks after that, Lhamo Tsering woke to find him at Kaisang. The situation quickly teetered on the edge of confrontation. Baba Yeshi, supported by loyalists among the headquarters staff, demanded his right to properly turn over command to Wangdu before returning to India. As a compromise, Lhamo Tsering gave him two weeks to sort out his affairs.

Lhamo Tsering (center) at Mustang, 1968. (Courtesy Lhamo Tsering)

After the allotted time, the chieftain departed Kaisang with two dozen bodyguards. But instead of going to his promised seat in Dharamsala, he got as far as Pokhara and stopped. In letters smuggled back to Mustang, he implored his men to rally to his side. A civil war was about to begin.


At the same time trouble was brewing in Mustang, Indo-U.S. intelligence cooperation experienced major changes in structure and personalities. In June 1968, David Blee departed as the New Delhi station chief after more than six years in the post. Replacing him the following month was John Waller, the former deputy station chief in India between 1955 and 1957. A consummate blend of scholar and spy, Waller had spent the intervening years pursuing his passion for Tibetan history. In 1967, he had published an authoritative book on Sino-Indian relations, much of it devoted to Tibetan issues. That same year, he had written an article for Foreign Service Journal about U.S. diplomacy and the thirteenth Dalai Lama. He had also completed a draft of a book about exploration in Tibet. [7]

Once in New Delhi, Waller had little time to pursue his glorified research hobby. Within two months after his arrival, he was confronted with a new counterpart organization. Intentionally patterned after the CIA, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was officially unveiled on 2 September. Both the foreign intelligence desk of the Intelligence Bureau (now downgraded to domestic activities) and the paramilitary projects of the director general of security would fall under RAW's control. [8]

Selected as the first RAW director was R. N. Kao. Previously head of the ARC, the debonair Kao had a long history of close cooperation with U.S. officials. Despite this warm past, Kao was faced with Indo-U.S. relations that were again on a downward spiral. In November, Richard Nixon won the U.S. presidential election. Like his predecessor Johnson, Nixon was fixated on bringing the unpopular war in Vietnam to an end. Not only was South Asia far from Nixon's mind, but many Indians recalled his pronounced slant toward Pakistan when he was Eisenhower's vice president.

The location of the sixteen guerrilla companies in Mustang, circa 1968

Mrs. Gandhi was showing a tilt of her own. Backed into a political corner by 1969, she shrewdly began courting the populist left at home and the Soviet Union abroad. This, combined with the perceived hostility from Nixon, led to outward relations between New Delhi and Washington sinking to their lowest depth in over a decade.

Mustang guerrillas practice with a recoilless rifle, circa 1968. (Courtesy Lhamo Tsering)

Behind the scenes, intelligence cooperation toward Tibet remained only a shadow of its former self. Arriving in June 1968 as the new CIA representative at the Special Center was John Bellingham. Much like Bruce Walker had presided over a funeral, Bellingham was there for the same extended wake. He arrived at the center each Friday afternoon, but there was little for him to do aside from delivering the monthly payments for Mustang.

On two occasions during Bellingham's watch, the Special Center looked to break from its freefall. The first concerned a program to infiltrate singleton resident agents into Tibet. This had been proposed back in 1967 as the long-range replacement for the canceled radio teams. There was a significant difference between the two: the teams had gone in black; the resident singletons, by contrast, would merge directly into society.

The two programs required different kinds of people. The teams had been composed of men versed in paramilitary skills and expected to live in concealment under rugged conditions. Singletons required the intelligence and wit to operate as classic spies. Doing so was complicated by the Cultural Revolution; deep paranoia and suspicion had taken root across Tibetan society.

Although finding a suitable singleton candidate would be difficult, one possibility had been identified back in 1967. That year, an uninvited visitor in his early thirties had arrived at Mustang. Amdo Tsering claimed to be a Muslim from the Amdo city of Sining. He had fled his hometown and supposedly escaped to Nepal via an extended trek through Xinjiang and western Tibet.

Incredulous, Baba Yeshi's men sized up the interloper. Because he looked Chinese and spoke some Xinjiang dialects, they began to suspect that he was a plant dangled by Beijing. Gearing up for a rather unpleasant interrogation, they suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of a verbal flogging from the spirited Amdowa. Uncertain what to do, Mustang flashed a message down to the Special Center. Equally uncertain, the center sent back orders for Amdo Tsering to be escorted to New Delhi. There he languished for over a year; not until the spring of 1969 was it decided to use him as the first in the proposed resident singleton program.

Code-named "Red Stone," Amdo Tsering was given extensive training in secret writing techniques. The CIA also forged a set of Chinese travel documents showing that he worked in westernmost Tibet but was going to Xinjiang on holiday. Once in Xinjiang, he was to head for Lop Nur and attempt to collect dirt samples. Lop Nur was the location of China's primary nuclear testing facility, and the dirt would be analyzed to determine levels of radioactivity.

Mustang guerrillas in training, circa 1968.

In September 1969, Red Stone took a train to Siliguri. Escorting him was Tashi Choedak and the senior Indian representative at the Special Center. Heading north through Sikkim, they came to the Tibetan frontier and watched Red Stone gallop across the border. The two Special Center representatives returned to New Delhi to await news of his progress. They did not have to wait long. After just a couple of days, they received word that a nervous Red Stone had attracted attention and been arrested before boarding a bus at Shigatse, the town midway between Tingri and Lhasa. The singleton program subsequently went into remission.

The second project initiated by the Special Center was the activation of special refugee debriefing teams. For years, the radio agents posted along the Nepalese frontier had been collecting low-level intelligence from pilgrims and traders. Building on this theme, in late 1968 the center dispatched a five-man team to Kathmandu to debrief cross-border travelers. The Nepalese capital was a fertile recruiting ground for several reasons. First, Nepal was the only nation still allowed to maintain a trade mission and consulate general in Lhasa. Second, there was a substantial community of ethnic Tibetans who had opted for Nepalese citizenship after 1959, and China had decreed that these Nepalese passport holders were allowed to visit their families or conduct business in Tibet once a year. [9]

In locating sources, the Kathmandu debriefing team had competition from an unlikely source: the Republic of China on Taiwan. Until that time, Taipei had never had much success recruiting a network of Tibetan supporters, mainly because the Kuomintang firmly agreed with the PRC about China's right to rule Lhasa. Efforts to sign up agents from Kalimpong late the previous decade had fallen flat. So, too, had a brief attempt to fund intelligence-gathering forays by Nepal-based Tibetans beginning in 1962. [10]

In 1968, Taipei tried again. This time, it was looking to exploit the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. There were also indications in February that the ROC leadership might be prepared to endorse Lhasa's independence, a shift that would have made its support more palatable to Tibetan patriots. [11]

Late that year, Taipei dispatched a pair of Hiu Muslim recruiters to Kathmandu in its latest bid to seek Tibetan sources. The recruiters, both former residents of Kalimpong, dangled financial incentives and the chance for scholarships on Taiwan. The Special Center's team, meanwhile, sought volunteers through nationalistic appeals. "We only had a little money to cover operational expenses," said team leader Arnold, a former Hale translator and Cornell graduate, "so we looked for good Buddhists who respected the Dalai Lama." [12]

By 1969, Arnold and his men were claiming some success. Despite numerous attempts, they were never able to recruit a Tibetan staff member working at the Nepalese consulate in Lhasa. They were, however, able to network among dozens of Nepalese passport holders returning from their annual leave in Tibet. The team debriefed the travelers in Kathmandu and dispatched frequent reports to the Special Center via the mail or messengers. [13]


Although the information from the Kathmandu team was welcome, John Bellingham's main focus was on managing the denouement of Mustang. Earlier in 1969, the Indians had made it apparent that their contingency plans no longer involved any participation by Tibetan guerrillas in Nepal. The CIA was of a similar mind-set. When it came time for the 303 Committee to review Tibet operations on 30 September, it endorsed a provision to scale back Mustang to a token force.

The Tibetans learned of this pivotal decision indirectly. In early October, Bellingham arrived at the Special Center with the monthly funds for Nepal. As was customary, Kay-Kay and Tashi Choedak came to witness the transfer. Turning to the Indians as he left, the CIA representative offered a comment in passing: "I guess this is one of the last."

Kay-Kay froze. "It was my darkest moment," he later said. No matter how poorly it had fared in the field, the Tibetan leadership had looked on Mustang as the symbolic paramilitary arm of its government in exile. [14]

A Royal Nepal Airlines flight took Kay-Kay and two junior officers from the Special Center to Pokhara, where they mounted horses and went to bring the news directly to the guerrilla leadership. They arrived at Kaisang in driving rains and found Wangdu in his office. After explaining the decision, Kay-Kay paused for comments, but Wangdu offered only a silent gaze.

Reduced funding was only part of Mustang's troubles. After spending the summer and fall stewing at Pokhara, Baba Yeshi had enticed a company of loyalists to move east to Nashang. Tempers were starting to flare between the two factions, leading to the death of two Baba Yeshi followers and five horses. Vowing to expel dissidents, Wangdu placed Baba Yeshi's sympathetic assistant, a hulking Andowa and Hale graduate named Abe, in detention. Abe, in turn, got possession of a razor and committed suicide by slicing open the vein in his neck. Incensed, Baba Yeshi retreated to a house in Kathmandu and began plotting his revenge.


In 1970, Lhamo Tsering returned to New Delhi after his prolonged deployment to Nepal. Waiting for him at the Special Center was John Bellingham, who was anxious to finalize a formal demobilization plan for Mustang. Until that point, the CIA was still funding 2,100 guerrillas at a cost of $500,000 a year. Pressed for time, Lhamo Tsering outlined a schedule whereby the force would be cut by a third over each of the next three calendar years. Without delay, Bellingham approved the scheme. [15]

Part of the demobilization plan involved a rehabilitation program for the guerrillas, to ensure that they would be able to support themselves. Members of the Special Center were immediately deployed to Kathmandu and Pokhara to oversee this program. Their purpose was to ensure that rehabilitation funds would be wisely invested in self-generating enterprises. Although the demobilized guerrillas had few marketable skills, existing Kathmandu-based projects funded by the Dalai Lama and foreign aid groups demonstrated that Tibetan handicraft and carpet factories were profitable ventures.

Drawing on this precedent, the first third of the rehabilitation funds was channeled into two carpet factories in Pokhara. Part of the money was also used to break ground for a thirty-room budget hotel in the same town. With a third of the guerrillas dutifully filing out of the mountains to take up employment at these sites, demobilization appeared to be progressing according to plan.


At Tangya, not everybody was embracing the conversion to civilian life. Wangdu, for one, was game for alternative forms of funding that would allow him to maintain some of his men under arms. In early 1971, he received word that interest was being expressed by an unexpected source -- the Soviet Union.

This was not the first time Moscow had flirted with the Tibetan resistance. In 1966, Soviet intelligence officers had approached Gyalo in New Delhi with a proposal to assume support for Tibetan paramilitary operations. During the course of eight meetings over the next three years, the Soviets spoke fancifully of establishing a joint operation in Tashkent; from there, they promised, Tibetan agents could be parachuted back to their homeland.

Intrigued but noncommittal, Gyalo requested that Moscow, as a sign of good faith, first raise the Tibet issue at the United Nations. Do not make preconditions, the Soviets sniffed, and ultimately ceased contact. [16]

In 1970, Moscow showed renewed interest in Tibet. This followed the Soviets' brief border war with the PRC in 1969, prompting them to re-explore paramilitary options against China in the event of renewed hostilities. Rather than approaching Gyalo -- who in any event had moved to Hong Kong and washed his hands of resistance operations -- this time they looked toward Nepal.

Leading the effort was Colonel Anatoli Logonov, the defense attache at the Soviet embassy in Kathmandu. Named a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944 while an armor commander, Logonov had already been expelled from Canada for espionage activities and reprimanded by the Nepalese government for bribing a military officer. Undaunted, the brash Logonov approached the U.S. defense attache, William Stites, at a diplomatic function. Sauntering up to the American colonel,, he left little doubt about his focus of interest. "What do you have on Tibet?" he asked. Stites was not amused by the bold pitch; nor was he pleased to hear that the colonel had invited his assistant to dinner and asked the same question. [17]

Though he came up short with the American officers, Logonov had better luck with the Tibetans themselves. Cornering a Khampa shopkeeper in Kathmandu, he conveyed word that he sought contact with the Mustang leadership. As news of this reached the Tibetans at the Special Center, Tashi Choedak quietly rushed to Nepal, linked up with Wangdu, and rendezvoused with the Soviet colonel in the Nepalese capital. Matching his direct personality, Logonov's house was functional and unsophisticated. "It had no carpets," said Tashi, "but plenty of Johnny Walker and a refrigerator stocked with boiled cabbage." [18]

Coming to the point, the Soviet colonel asked for information on the size of the Mustang force. Over the course of three subsequent meetings, the Tibetans brought photograph albums (created for accounting purposes during the phased demobilization) that contained a portrait of each guerrilla still under arms. Logonov took copies of the albums and promised to quiz Moscow about assuming financing for the force.

One month later, Logonov returned with an answer. Although funding for Mustang was not feasible at that time, he offered payment for specific items of information, such as the location of PLA border posts and the deployment of aircraft at Tibetan airfields. Accepting this limited offer, the Tibetans prepared a sampling of intelligence for the Soviet officer. In return, Logonov paid the equivalent of $1,800. Convinced that this sum was hardly worth the effort, Wangdu unilaterally terminated further contact.


Ironically, the CIA did not necessarily see Soviet inroads into the subcontinent as a bad thing. "By keeping the Soviets onboard in India," said CIA New Delhi chief David Blee, "they were a counterweight to the Chinese." [19]

Such realpolitik led to previously unthinkable levels of cooperation regarding support to the ARC. With an aging C-46 fleet ("We squeezed as much life from them as possible," said one ARC officer") and no C-130 ELINT platforms forthcoming, the ARC inventory by 1967 was dominated by the Soviet-made Mi-4" chopper and An-12 transport. Whereas this transformation might have had the CIA howling in earlier years, the agency was now perfectly willing to assist the Indians with their new Soviet hardware. In 1968, for example, agency technicians installed oxygen consoles in the unpressurized An-12 cabins for use during SFF parachute training. Because this aircraft had an extremely fast cruising speed -- more than double that of the C-46 -- a CIA airborne adviser was dispatched to India that spring to train an ARC cadre in high-speed exit techniques. Two years later, CIA technicians were back in India to modify an ARC An-12 with ELINT gear. [21]

CIA support for the SFF, meanwhile, was declining fast. One of the last CIA-sanctioned operations took place in 1969, when four SFF commandos were trained in the use of sophisticated "impulse probe" wiretaps. Buried underneath a telephone line, the tap transmitted conversations to a solar- powered relay station established on a border mountaintop in NEFA, which in turn relayed data to a rear base farther south. Although several taps were installed successfully, two SFF members disappeared on a 1970 foray, and further infiltrations were halted. By the following year, the PLA detected the extent of the tampering and started rerouting its lines away from the border. [22]

By early 1971, direct CIA contact with the SFF was almost nonexistent. [23] This came as tension between India and Pakistan was once again on the rise. The reason was the humanitarian disaster unfolding inside East Pakistan, where a heavy-handed campaign to suppress secessionists (who wanted independence from the western half of the bifurcated nation) had led to a deluge of refugees into India.

The situation had New Delhi's full attention not only because of the humanitarian ramifications but also because it presented a chance to cripple its archrival. During previous wars with Pakistan, fighting had focused on the western front. Now the Pakistani government not only had to keep that flank protected but also had to rush reinforcements to the eastern side of the subcontinent. Logistically challenged, the Pakistanis were getting whipsawed in the process.

Compounding Pakistan's woes, the Indian government was quietly supporting scores of resistance fighters from East Pakistan. Playing a major role in this was Major General Uban (he had finally gotten his promised second star), who was now considered one of India's most seasoned unconventional warfare specialists on account of the nine years he had spent with the SFF. Taking temporary leave of his Tibetans, the general was placed in charge of a guerrilla training program for 10,000 East Pakistani -- soon to be called Bangladeshi -- insurgents. [24]

Uban made room at Chakrata for a training site for the Bangladeshis. By that time, the SFF had grown to sixty-four Tibetan companies; most were divided into eight battalions of six companies apiece, with the remainder going into support units. Despite this increase, the force had not seen any serious combat since its inception. Worse, Uban learned that seven companies were being misused for traffic control in Ladakh.

Protesting this abuse of his elite unit, Uban lobbied to incorporate his men into contingencies against East Pakistan. By fall, the Indians were already well on their way to completing plans for a major combined arms campaign -- one of the largest since World War II -- to liberate that territory. Though Uban made a strong case for the SFF's inclusion -- his men could act as guerrillas with plausible deniability, he argued -- such a decision would be controversial. Until that point, there had been an unwritten rule that the SFF would not be used for anything other than its intended purpose against China. There were also Tibetan attitudes to consider. Tibet, noted several members of the force, had no quarrel with Pakistan. Rather, Tibet had benefited from assistance offered by the East Pakistani authorities, recalled ranking political leader Jamba Kalden.

As word flashed to Dharamsala, senior Tibetan officials were in a quandary. If they did not agree with Uban's proposal, they feared that the Indians would see them as ungrateful; with CIA support largely dissipated, they could ill afford to alienate their primary benefactor. Although some in the Dalai Lama's inner circle felt that they should demand a quid pro quo -- participation against East Pakistan in exchange for Indian recognition of their exiled government -- the idea was not pushed. Quietly, Dharamsala offered its approval.

By late October, an ARC An-12 airlift began shuttling nearly 3,000 Tibetans to the Indian border adjacent to East Pakistan's Chittagong Hill tracts. To reinforce their deniable status, the guerrillas were hurriedly given a shipment of Bulgarian-made AK-47 assault rifles.

At the border, they assembled at Demagiri. Normally a quiet frontier back-water, Demagiri by that time was overflowing with refugees. As the Tibetans turned it into a proper military encampment, they made plans to divide into three columns and initiate operations. Their exact mission had been the subject of prior debate. India's military staff had wanted them to perform surgical strikes, such as destroying the key Kaptai Dam. Uban, in contrast, saw them doing something "more worthy," such as joining forces with his Chakrata-trained Bangladeshi insurgents and seizing Chittagong port. This was vetoed by the top brass because neither the SFF nor the Bangladeshis had integral heavy weapons support. After further discussion, it was decided that the SFF would be charged with staging guerrilla raids across the Chittagong Hill tracts, known for their thick jungles, humid weather, and leech-infested marshes. This promised to be a difficult mission for the mountain-faring Tibetans. [25]

SFF members during the Bangladesh campaign, 1971

The hills held another, more deadly, challenge. Based along the tracts was a Pakistani composite brigade, including part of a battalion of elite commandos, the Special Service Group. Not only did this brigade threaten the flank of one of the Indian corps massing to move against Dacca, but it could conceivably open an escape route to nearby Burma.

At the beginning of the second week of November, the SFF began Operation EAGLE. Taking leave of Demagiri, the guerrillas used nineteen canoes to shuttle across the Karnaphuli River and steal into East Pakistan. Coming upon an outpost that night, the Tibetans overran the position while the Pakistanis were eating. Boosted by their swift victory, they made plans to hit the next post the following morning.

Listening over the radio, General Uban was anxious. As he moved into Demagiri to coordinate both the SFF and his Bangladeshi force, he had few qualms about the Bangladeshis -- they were native boys and could live off the land -- but he knew that the Tibetans were untested under battle conditions and careless in open march.

Very quickly, his fears were confirmed. On 14 November, the lead element of Tibetans came running back toward the Indian border. Dhondup Gyatotsang, Uban learned, had been shot dead. The cousin of Mustang commander Wangdu and a Hale graduate, Dhondup had been one of the most senior political leaders in the force. Realizing that he could lose momentum, Uban got on the radio and barked at the Tibetans to resume their advance. "I told them not to come back until the position was taken, " he said. [26]

The strong words had an effect. Reversing course, the SFF split into small teams and curled behind the Pakistanis in classic guerrilla fashion. Using both their Bulgarian assault rifles and native knives, they smashed through the outpost. "After that," remembers Uban, "they were unstoppable." [27]

By the time all-out war was officially declared early the following month, the SFF had been inside East Pakistan for three weeks. Multiple Indian corps blitzed from all directions on 3 December, forcing Pakistani capitulation within two weeks; Bangladesh's independence would soon follow. [28]

At the time of the ceasefire, the Tibetans were within forty kilometers of Chittagong port and had successfully pinned down the Pakistani brigade in the border hills. Taking leave of their normal anonymity, the SFF paraded through Chittagong to ecstatic Bangladeshi masses. A total of twenty- three Indian officers and forty-five Tibetans would be awarded for their gallantry; 580 Tibetans received cash bonuses. Their victory had had a cost, however. Forty-nine Tibetans had paid with their lives for the birth of a nation not their own.
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Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

Postby admin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:05 am

Chapter 19: A Pass Too Far

Fallout from the Bangladeshi operation was swift. The CIA lodged a protest against the RAW over the use of the Tibetans in Operation EAGLE. Director Kao hardly lost any sleep over the matter; with U.S. financial and advisory support to the SFF all but evaporated, the agency's leverage was nil. Bolstering his indifference was the diplomatic furor over deployment of the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal during the brief war. Although Washington claimed that the vessel was there for the potential evacuation of U.S. citizens from Dacca, New Delhi suspected that it had been sent as a show of support for the Pakistanis. Bilateral ties, never good during the Nixon presidency, ebbed even lower.

More serious were the protests against Operation EAGLE from within the Tibetan refugee community. In this instance, it was Dharamsala that was under fire, not the RAW. Facing mounting criticism for having approved the deployment, the Dalai Lama made a secret journey to Chakrata on 3 June 1972. After three days of blessings, most ill feelings had wafted away.

As this was taking place, John Bellingham was approaching the end of his tour at the Special Center. He had just delivered the second installment of rehabilitation funds, which arrived in Nepal without complication. With this money, two Pokhara carpet factories had been established, and construction of a hotel in the same town was progressing according to plan. Another carpet factory was operating in Kathmandu, as was a taxi and trucking company.

By the summer of 1973, with one-third of the funds still to be distributed, the CIA opted not to deploy a new representative to the Special Center. Because Bellingham had moved next door as the CIA's chief of station in Kathmandu, and because he was already intimately familiar with the demobilization program, it was decided to send him the Indian rupees in a diplomatic pouch for direct handover to designated Tibetans in Nepal. Although this violated the agency's previous taboo against involving the Kathmandu station, an exception was deemed suitable in this case, given the humanitarian nature of the project.

The money was well spent. That November, ex-guerrillas formally opened their Pokhara hotel, the Annapurna Guest House. Bellingham and his wife were among its first patrons. [1]



The Dalai Lama and Major General Uban, the inspector general of the SFF, review the SFF at Chakrata, June 1972

Although all the promised funds had been distributed, the CIA was not celebrating. Wangdu had dipped into extra money saved over previous years, defied orders to completely close the project, and retained six companies -- 600 men -- spread across Mustang. Worst of all, not a single weapon had been handed back.

All this was happening as a new set of geopolitical realities was conspiring against the Tibetans. President Nixon, besides having frosty relations with India, was dedicated to normalizing ties with the PRC. In February 1972, he traveled to Beijing and discussed this possibility with Chinese leaders, who were slowly distancing themselves from the self-inflicted wounds of their Cultural Revolution. Although the phaseout of Mustang was not directly linked to this visit -- as many Tibetans have incorrectly speculated -- it is equally true that Washington had little patience for a continued Mustang sideshow, given the massive stakes involved with Sino-U.S. rapprochement.

The royal Nepalese government, too, was getting a dose of realpolitik. In January 1972, King Mahendra suddenly died and was succeeded by his son, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Looking around the subcontinent, Birendra had reason for concern. Pakistan had been dismembered only a month earlier, and the Indians had signed a cooperation treaty with the Soviet Union the previous August.

The Dalai Lama addresses the SFF, June 1972. To his right is Major General Uban.

Although Nepal's security rested in astutely maintaining the nonaligned foreign policy championed by his father, the new monarch believed that it was in his kingdom's interest to offset a stronger India by fostering goodwill with Beijing. In November 1972, he dispatched his prime minister to the Chinese capital; in December 1973, Birendra himself made the trip.

Following these diplomatic developments, Wangdu's residual force at Mustang counted no allies of note by the beginning of 1974. Even the local Nepalese population had turned against them. Almost since the time the guerrillas began operations, the residents of Lo Monthang had been leery of their armed Khampa neighbors. This was compounded by petty jealousy. The swaggering guerrilla bachelors, with their relatively generous food stipends, were seen as prize catches for Mustang girls. Though the men of Lo Monthang were fast to charge the Khampas with rape, their womenfolk proved more than willing to marry the guerrillas. [2]

Between apocryphal tales of rape and an eagerness to demonstrate good intentions toward Beijing, the royal Nepalese government was eager to move forcefully against the long-standing affront to its sovereignty in Mustang. Playing a supporting role in this was deposed chieftain Baba Yeshi. Ever since retreating to Kathmandu in early 1970, he had been in intermittent contact with a small band of loyalists in Nashang. He had also been in touch with the Nepalese authorities and offered them assistance in confronting his rival, Wangdu. Though eager to do so, the Nepalese military, as yet untested in combat, was biding its time until conditions were right.

In the spring of 1974, there arose just such conditions. As he had done in previous years, Lhamo Tsering traveled overland to Pokhara to inspect ongoing rehabilitation projects in that town. Although his trips had not been controversial in the past -- he had kept the Nepalese Home Ministry fully apprised of the guerrilla demobilization -- this time, Kathmandu saw him as a useful pawn. On 19 April, he was arrested at the Annapurna Guest House and taken to the town's police station.

The Annapurna Guest House, Pokhara, built with CIA rehabilitation funds. (Courtesy Kenneth Conboy)

With Lhamo Tsering in detention, the Royal Nepalese Army dispatched a lieutenant colonel to Jomsom to initiate a dialogue with Wangdu. At the time, the Nepalese maintained only a single infantry company at Jomsom; not only was it outnumbered and outgunned by the guerrillas, but the Tibetans held the strategic high ground at Kaisang. But with Lhamo Tsering behind bars, Wangdu was in a conciliatory mood. Venturing down from Kaisang with a coterie of bodyguards, he offered to turn in 100 weapons in exchange for Lhamo Tsering's release. The Nepalese, suddenly emboldened, rejected the offer. With bad feelings all around, Wangdu retreated to his headquarters.

Realizing that they needed more muscle, the Nepalese began mobilizing military reinforcements from around the kingdom. During June, an infantry brigade massed at Pokhara, then began walking north in driving rains to join the company already at Jomsom. Making the same hike was an artillery group consisting of a howitzer, a field gun, and a mortar.

Although the Nepalese were slowly starting to develop critical mass, all their troops were green. The ranking officer at Jomsom, Brigadier Singha, had absolutely no combat experience. "None of us did," added company commander Gyanu Babu Adhikari. [3]

Despite this, the government troops had sufficient confidence to deliver an ultimatum to Wangdu. His guerrillas had until 26 July (later extended by five days) to hand in their weapons; after that, the army vowed to forcibly disarm them. To add emphasis, a team of Baba Yeshi loyalists, working alongside the Nepalese, sent surrender leaflets to Kaisang. "You cannot push the sky with your finger," read one. [4]

Almost until the eleventh hour, the saber rattling had little effect. But upon hearing of the impending confrontation, the Tibetan authorities in Dharamsala intervened. The Dalai Lama recorded a personal plea, and a senior Tibetan minister rushed the tape to Mustang and played it in front of the guerrilla audience.

Hearing their leader implore them to disarm, the warriors broke down. Four of the six companies came out of the mountains and did as instructed. At Kaisang, one Khampa officer shot himself in the head rather than turn over his rifle. Two other guerrillas leaped to their deaths in the swift waters of the Kali Gandaki. [5]

Still at large was Wangdu, backed by a pair of companies commanded by deputies Rara and Gen Gyurme. The surrender deadline had expired, and the Nepalese were contemplating their next move. Still looking to employ carrot over stick, they couriered appeals to Kaisang during early August, promising a festive celebration at Jomsom if Wangdu bowed out gracefully. When that failed, they began moving against the guerrilla headquarters.

Undaunted, the Tibetans at Kaisang unpacked a recoilless rifle. They had never used this weapon inside Tibet during all the preceding years, but they now sent a round impacting into a nearby hillside. Intimidated, the Nepalese scurried back to Jomsom. "The Khampas had better weapons than we did," said Major Gyanu, "and better terrain." [6]

Wangdu, meanwhile, had beckoned Rara and Gen Gyurme for what was to be their final meeting. He would make a dash west toward India with forty followers, he told them. His two deputies were to delay the Nepalese for eight days to allow him sufficient time to escape. [7]

By that time, the Nepalese were gearing up for a second foray against Kaisang. Advancing at night, they surrounded the headquarters at 0300 hours. When they made a final push after sunup, however, they found only a handful of Tibetans present; Wangdu was not among them.

Determined to get serious, the army made plans for a major sweep north across Mustang. The Nepalese had initially intended it as a helicopter operation -- the first in their history. Since early that year, a British squadron leader had been posted to Kathmandu to teach them such airmobile tactics. But with only four available helicopters and three inexperienced aircrews (one of the choppers was flown by a French civilian pilot), they opted instead for a long slog from Jomsom on foot. [8]

Marching along the east bank of the Kali Gandaki, a single Nepalese battalion eventually reached Tangya by the end of August. In an anticlimax, the remaining guerrillas surrendered without a fight. Searching the camp, the government troops found few weapons; the rest had been cached, they presumed. At the same time, the smaller pro-Baba Yeshi faction at Nashang turned in its arms. There were no firefights at that location either. Apart from two Nepalese who succumbed to altitude sickness, nobody died during the operation.

Wangdu, however, was still at large. Correctly assuming that the last two company commanders were coconspirators in his escape, the Nepalese invited Rara and Gen Gyurme to Pokhara to review the status of the rehabilitation projects. After three nights at the Annapurna Guest House, they were taken away in chains to join Lhamo Tsering.

Though they had yet to capture the Mustang leader, the Nepalese authorities had a pretty good idea where he was heading. During the march north from Jomsom, the government battalion had spotted a band of horsemen riding west. Assuming that Wangdu might be destined for India, Kathmandu alerted its 4th Brigade posted along the northwestern border of the kingdom. Because there were only a limited number of passes along the frontier with India, the troops were especially vigilant at those locales.

Their calculations proved correct. During the second week of September, a line of horsemen was seen approaching the 5,394-meter Tinkar Pass separating Nepal and India. Only meters from the Indian border, a Nepalese sergeant took the column under fire. Two were killed and one severely wounded; the rest escaped across the frontier. Uncertain as to the identity of the corpses, the Nepalese flew in Baba Yeshi. He positively identified Wangdu, and the traitorous chieftain had the bodies buried on the spot.

Back in Kathmandu, the conclusion of the Mustang operation was celebrated with pomp. On 16 October, King Birendra handed out sixty-nine awards, including a promotion for the sergeant who had shot Wangdu. [9] Coinciding with this, a tent display was unveiled near the capital's center. In it were Buddhist scriptures and idols captured at Kaisang. Other tables held rifles, rocket launchers, ammunition, and "ultra modern miniature communication equipment powered by solar batteries." [10]

Lured by the spectacle, Tibetan agents Arnold and Rocky, both still in the Nepalese capital to oversee the rehabilitation projects, filed past the display. As a macabre centerpiece, the authorities had arranged Wangdu's pistol, binoculars, watch, and silver amulet given to him by the Dalai Lama. Attitudes in Kathmandu, the two discovered, had turned decidedly hostile. To accompany the tent display, government-owned newspapers were trumpeting claims that the Mustang Khampas had conducted a twenty-six-day spree of raping and looting. "Tibetans were forced to temporarily close their shops," recalls Arnold. "It was very tense for two months." [11]


At Pokhara, the last Mustang guerrillas were directed to temporary resettlement centers while the Nepalese authorities debated their future. Half ultimately left for India; of these, nearly 100 joined the SFF. For the remainder, favoritism was shown toward Baba Yeshi's followers formerly at Nashang; a camp was built for them near Kathmandu, with funds from the United Nations. Those loyal to Wangdu, by contrast, were given barren plots near Pokhara and, due to government intransigence, had no access to United Nations funding. [12]

That was still far better than the prison cells holding Lhamo Tsering, Rara, and Gen Gyurme. Four other unrepentant guerrillas soon joined them, including the wounded member from Wangdu's escape party and a Hale-trained radioman named Sandy. They were taken to Kathmandu for trial, where the authorities were deaf to pleas for leniency. All received life sentences.


At the Special Center in New Delhi, the Tibetan and Indian representatives had been monitoring Mustang's death throes as best they could. Until the final days of July, the radio teams at Kaisang, Tsum, Dolpo, and Limi had been sending back regular updates. Once those fell silent, gloom set in among the operatives at Hauz Khas.

With a whimper, their secret war in Tibet had come to an end.
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Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

Postby admin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:06 am


For many of the CIA officers involved in the Tibet operation, cold war battles in Southeast Asia loomed. Roger McCarthy, the long-serving head of the Tibet Task Force, went on to serve in South Vietnam and then in Laos just as its royalist government fell to communism in 1975. Smitten by Tibet, he visited Lhasa for the first time in 1996. Said McCarthy, "I could see the sandbank where Tom and Lou jumped all those years ago."

Tom Fosmire, the Hale instructor beloved by his Tibetan students, spent many years with the CIA's paramilitary campaign in Laos, which in terms of budget and duration was the largest in the agency's history. He was later in South Vietnam until its fall to communism.

Another Hale trainer, Tony Poe, served brilliantly in the highlands of Laos for nearly a decade. Eventually succumbing to the pressure and isolation, he took to alcohol and was sidelined to training centers in Thailand by embarrassed superiors.

Among the CIA advisers who served in India, Harry Mustakos and T. J. Thompson both had tours in Laos. Thompson would later become a world-renowned parachute designer. In 1981, he returned to Charbatia on a CIA-sanctioned trip to inspect the state of the ARC rigging facility he had helped establish two decades earlier. "Not only was the facility in great shape," he said, "but there were still some of the Tibetan riggers I trained in 1963."

Ken Seifarth, who spent two tours at Chakrata, served several years at a Thai base training guerrillas headed for the war in Laos.

Jim Rhyne, the Air America pilot who qualified ARC aircrews in the Helio and Twin Helio, flew for the CIA in Laos until an 85mm antiaircraft round struck his plane in January 1972 and took off his leg. Unfazed, he was flying in Laos six months later with a prosthetic limb. In 1980, still working for the agency, Rhyne flew into the Iranian desert to take soil samples at the makeshift runway later used during the ill-fated hostage rescue mission. In April 2001, he died when his biplane crashed near his home in North Carolina.

Tucker Gougelmann, the senior paramilitary adviser in India, went directly to Vietnam for a final CIA tour as a key official with Phoenix, the campaign aimed at neutralizing the communist infrastructure. Retiring in Southeast Asia, he ventured to Saigon during its final months to explore business opportunities, then to evacuate his common-law Vietnamese wife and their children as communist tanks closed in during April 1975. Unable to escape, he was arrested; once his captors uncovered his earlier Phoenix involvement, he was killed in detention that June. His remains, bearing the hallmarks of torture, were returned to the United States in September 1977. David Blee, the former station chief in New Delhi, made the arrangements for Gougelmann's interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

Among the Indian veterans of the Tibet project, RAW director R. N. Kao rode Indira Gandhi's skirt to great influence. In the wake of the successful Bangladesh operation, as well as the assistance RAW lent Mrs. Gandhi during her 1969 political struggles against party stalwarts, Kao was elevated to the additional post of cabinet secretary (security). When Gandhi briefly fell from power in 1977, her intelligence supremo was shunted aside, only to return as national security adviser when she regained power three years later. Although the Tibet operation was downgraded during his watch and with his concurrence, Kao would later disingenuously lay blame solely on the United States. "The Tibetans were looking for somebody to hold their finger," he later commented, "and the Americans dropped them like a hot potato."'

Laloo Grewal, the first ARC manager at Charbatia, went on to become vice chief of staff of the Indian air force.

Major General S.S. Uban retired as inspector general of the SFF in January 1973. [2] A deeply religious man, Uban delved into various beliefs. More than anything, he became a devotee of Baba Onkarnath, a popular Bengali mystic whose prophecies, say followers, are invariably accurate. During one sitting with Onkarnath, Uban claims that his guru predicted the Bangladesh war a year in advance. On another occasion, Uban was present when the seer was asked whether Tibet would become free. Yes, said Onkarnath confidently, Tibet would gain its independence. His audience, eager for details, pressed the Bengali for details as to when liberation would take place. To this, the prophet offered no insights.

Among the Tibetan members of the CIA's covert projects, those assigned to the Special Center in Hauz Khas continued working alongside their Indian counterparts after the departure of John Bellingham. In 1975, they attempted to deploy a singleton agent without U.S. participation. Code- named "Yak," he was a native of Yatung near the Sikkimese border. On three occasions over the next year, he was dispatched back to his hometown to collect intelligence from family members. Suspected of embellishing his tales, Yak was dropped from the Special Center's payroll. Apart from this brief flirtation with running a bona fide agent, the center spent most of its time tasking and debriefing Tibetan refugees going on pilgrimages or visiting family members. This continued until late 1992, at which time the Hauz Khas villa was closed after almost three decades and Tibet operations began running out of RAW headquarters.

Tibetan paratroopers during the first SFF freefall course, 1976

Within the SFF, Jamba Kalden retired as its senior political leader in 1977. Much had happened to his force since the Bangladesh operation. Looking to patch over its earlier protests regarding Operation EAGLE, the CIA deployed two airborne advisers to Chakrata in the spring of 1975 to instruct the Tibetans in jumping at high altitudes. Drop zones in Ladakh, some as high as 4,848 meters above sea level, were used for these exercises. Two years later, one of the same advisers, Alex MacPherson, returned to India to test a special high-altitude chute specially designed for SFF missions. [3]

Though exposed to such expanded training, the SFF was seeing less action in the field. In 1974, the unit had been guarding the border near Nepal to stem an influx of Chinese-trained insurgents. Following Kathmandu's suppression of Mustang, however, it was feared that the SFF might stage reprisal forays against the Nepalese. To prevent this, India pulled its Tibetan commandos away from the border.

The following year, a second ruling prohibited the SFF from being posted within ten kilometers of the Tibet frontier. This came after a series of unauthorized incursions and cross-border shootings, including a four-hour fire fight in Ladakh during 1971 that resulted in two SFF fatalities.

By the late 1970s, the future of the SFF was no longer certain. With Indo-Chinese tensions easing somewhat, there was criticism that maintenance of a Tibetan commando force was an unnecessary expense. However, the SFF was soon given a new mission: counterterrorism. Because the Tibetans were foreigners, and therefore did not have a direct stake in Indian communal politics, they were seen as an ideal, objective counterterrorist force. In 1977, RAW director Kao (who wore an additional hat as director general of security) deployed 500 SFF commandos to Sarsawa for possible action against rioters during national elections. After the elections, which went off without major incident, only sixty Tibetans were retained at Sarsawa for counterterrorist duties.

Three years later, when Indira Gandhi (and Kao) returned to power, the SFF's war against terrorism received a major boost. Over 500 trainees were sent to Sarsawa for counterterrorist instruction. Upon graduation, they formed the SFF's new Special Group. Significantly, no Tibetans were incorporated into this new group within the force.

The Special Group would soon see action across India. In June 1984, one of its companies was used during an abortive attack against Sikh extremists holed up in the Golden Temple in the Punjab. The temple was subsequently retaken in a bloody army operation, leading Indira Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards to assassinate the prime minister later that year. [4]

The Tibetan mainstream of the SFF, meanwhile, continued to see action closer to the border. Companies from its eight battalions under the control of the director general of security rotated along the entire frontier. In 1978, three additional Tibetan battalions were raised at Chakrata; under the operational control of the Indian army, these three battalions were posted to Ladakh, Sikkim, and Doomdoomah air base in Assam. Seventeen members of the Ladakh battallion were killed while fighting Pakistani troops on the Siachen Glacier in 1986; as after the Bangladesh operation, there were protests against Dharamsala for taking losses outside of the battle to liberate the Tibetan homeland.

Among the veterans of the Mustang force in Nepal, there were few winners. Baba Yeshi, the original chief, rarely strays from his house in Kathmandu. Though he sought audiences with the Dalai Lama in 1991 and 1994 -- and allegedly received forgiveness for his actions against Wangdu -- the former commander is still seen as a duplicitous traitor by the refugee community at large.

Toward the other members of Mustang, the royal Nepalese government maintained a tense relationship for a decade. Continuing with its smear campaign, Kathmandu in early 1976 released reports that it had uncovered an eighteen-hole golf course and badminton courts at one of the Khampa bases. The following year, the Nepalese accused the former Tibetan warriors of continued looting and hashish smuggling. [5]

Suffering the most from Kathmandu's wrath were the seven prisoners given life sentences. Not until late December 1981, with a birthday and the tenth anniversary of his coronation looming, did the king of Nepal release six from jail; the last, Lhamo Tsering, was set free five months later. All were declared persona non grata and sent to India. This put Rara, the leader of the October 1961 jeep ambush, at a loss. Having lived in Nepal for the past two decades, he preferred that kingdom over India. After stealing back across the border, he was rearrested by Nepalese authorities for violating the conditions of his release; he later died in prison.

Equally harsh treatment was meted out to the Tibetan agents captured by Chinese authorities. In prison for almost two decades -- much of it in solitary confinement -- they were offered unexpected freedom in November 1978 as part of Beijing's slight softening in policy toward Tibet. The years had taken a toll. From Team S, agent Thad was still alive; his teammate Troy had been executed for bad behavior. From Team F, Taylor was released, but his partner, Jerome, had died in detention from a prolonged illness. Team V1's Terrence had his freedom, but teammate Maurice had been executed for provoking fights in jail. Irving, the agent from Team C turned in by the old lady and her son, survived his incarceration. So did Choni Yeshi, the sole survivor of the team parachuted into Amdo, and Bhusang, the only living member of the team dropped at Markham in 1961.

Two others remained in detention. Amdo Tsering, the restive Muslim singleton who was supposed to collect dirt at Lop Nur, stayed behind bars because of an unrepentant attitude. Grant, the lone survivor of Team Y, was sickly and opted to stay in prison voluntarily. Not until 1996 did both finally leave their cells.

Overseas, Geshe Wangyal, the Mongolian who had served as translator for the Tibet project, died in 1983 while still teaching at his New Jersey monastery.

Gyalo Thondup, the key link with the CIA, had stayed away from the resistance since 1969. Not until late 1978, with the Chinese government apparently loosening its constraints on Tibet, did he rejoin the cause and lead a negotiating team to Beijing; results from this trip ultimately proved scant. Gyalo currently shuttles between residences in New Delhi and Hong Kong.

The Dalai Lama has gone from strength to strength, winning the 1989 Nobel Prize for Peace and earning an enormous international audience that includes Hollywood celebrities, rock musicians, New Agers, and scores of other Westerners looking for answers in the East. His Tibet, however, has yet to be set free.
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Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

Postby admin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:07 am

Part 1 of 2


1. Contact

1. Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Prisoners of Shangri-La (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), p. 140; Jeff Long, "Going After Wangdu," Rocky Mountain Magazine, July-August 1981, p. 36; "Pack Animal of Tibetan Valley May Be Horse of a Different Era," Washington Post, 8 January 1996, p. A3.

2. About 90 percent of lowland Chinese have at least a partial epicanthic eye fold, although only about half of all Khampas show this trait. More than 44 percent of all Chinese have a complete eye fold, but this is found among only 8 percent of those from eastern Tibet. Warren W. Smith, Jr., Tibetan Nation, a History of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Tibetan Relations (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996), p. 10.

3. Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modem Tibet, 1913-1951 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), p. 21.

4. Both the Allied and the Axis powers attempted to win Lhasa's favor during World War II. The British and Americans, for instance, sought permission to supply their besieged ally in China via a Tibetan mule route. Germany was interested in Tibet as a potential staging ground for attacks against British India and because the Nazi's ethnic pseudoscience credited Tibet with being the "pure" cradle of the Aryan race. For a good account of the attempted Nazi inroads, see Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, Tournament of Shadows (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1999), pp. 509-528.

5. Goldstein, History of Modern Tibet, p. 619; "Memo to the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs," 12 April 1949, in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974), 9:1067 (hereafter cited as FRUS, with the applicable years and volumes).

6. Even before January 1949, the U.S. embassy in New Delhi had recommended a review of America's Tibet policy. These initial dispatches were so wrought with qualifiers and counterarguments, however, that it was all but impossible to determine what policy shift, if any, was being advocated. Not until July 1949 did the embassies in both India and China advocate a more proactive approach toward Lhasa. See FRUS, 1949, 9:1065; "The Ambassador in China to the Secretary of State," 8 July 1949, ibid., p. 1078; "The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in India," 21 December 1949, ibid., p. 1096.

7. Mei Siyi and Zhu Bian, eds., Zhong Guo Ren Min Jie Fang Jun Da Shi Dian [Encyclopedia of the Chinese People's Liberation Army] , vol. 2 (Beijing: Tian Jin People's Publishing House, 1992), p. 1101. The 20,000 troops targeted against Kham comprised six regiments divided into a northern and a southern task force. The northern task force, which moved south from Amdo to block the retreat of the main Tibetan garrison at Chamdo, was drawn primarily from the 52nd Division of the 18th Army/Southwest Military Command; it was also supported by a Hiu cavalry detachment from the Northwest Military Command. The southern task force, which staged from the city of Chengdu toward Chamdo, was composed of the 53rd Division of the 18th Army and a regiment of the 42nd Division.

8. A double entendre of sorts, Dalai Lama is also Mongolian for "broad ocean," which could be interpreted as a teacher whose knowledge is as expansive as the open seas.

9. Interview with Nicholas Thacher, 28 September 1999; "The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in India," 28 July 1949, in FRUS, 1949, 9:1078.

10. "The Ambassador in India to the Secretary of State," 12 January 1951, in FRUS, 1951, 7:1507.

11. The first contact between U.S. and Tibetan officials at Kalimpong had taken place in mid-May 1951 when Fraser Wilkins, first secretary of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, ventured to that town to deliver a copy of Henderson's unsigned letter.

12. Thacher interview.

13. Ibid.

14. In recognition of his status as an incarnation, Norbu was also known as the twenty fourth Taktser Rinpoche ("incarnation from Taktser"). Taktser is the town in Amdo where Norbu spent his youth; his late uncle, also from that town, was the twenty-third Taktser Rinpoche. U.S. diplomatic cables over the ensuing years variously (and incorrectly) referred to Norbu as "Takster" and "Tak Tser."

15. Although the CIA connection was repeatedly denied over the years, there were public suspicions from the start. On 27 June 1951, Alfred Kohlberg, a prominent U.S. importer of Chinese textiles, sent a letter to CFA president George Greene accusing the organization of being a government front. In his letter, Kohlberg astutely noted that the Committee for a Free Europe, a sister entity created the previous year, was correctly suspected of having CIA links. Letter on file at the Hoover Institution Archives, A. Kohlberg Collection, Box 37, "Committee for a Free Asia" folder (hereafter Kohlberg Collection).

16. During the same month, the Committee for a Free Asia factored in another aspect of America's Tibet policy. On 22 June, Secretary of State Acheson handed the Thai ambassador to the United States a copy of a letter written on CFA stationery. The note, which was addressed to the secretary, claimed that the committee would underwrite the expenses of the Dalai Lama if he were granted asylum in Thailand. The idea of Thai asylum -- and related CFA sponsorship -- was apparently not pursued.

17. "Consul General at Calcutta to the Secretary of State," 26 June 1951, in FRUS, 1951, 7:1718.

18. Kohlberg Collection, "Press Comments."

19. Interview with Robert Linn, 29 September 1999.

20. Ibid.; "Consul General at Calcutta to the Secretary of State," 12 July 1951, in FRUS, 1951, 7:1747.

2. Tightrope

1. "Memorandum of the Substance of a Conversation," 13 February 1952, in FRUS, 1952-1954, 14:8-9.

2. "Memorandum by the Acting Director of the Office of Chinese Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs," 14 May 1952, in ibid., pp. 51-52. This same memorandum noted several reports in the Indian press concerning increased Tibetan hardening against Chinese occupation; these reports were similar to the information relayed by Norbu.

3. Although the CFA's direct sponsorship of Norbu expired, the committee extended financial support to produce "World Buddhist Brotherhood," a thirty-minute documentary about the 1952 Buddhist World Fellowship conference that Norbu attended in Tokyo. See Kohlberg Collection, "Background Information," p. 4.

4. "The Ambassador in India to the Secretary of State," 12 January 1951, in FRUS, 1951, 7:1507.

5. According to one CIA officer who forged contact with the Sikkimese royals, the prince was a closet alcoholic. Interview with Kenneth Millian, 13 November 1999.

6. U.S. government officials had dealt with Sikkim's royals on at least one occasion before the December 1950 treaty with India. In September 1949, the widening civil war in China had forced Washington to abandon its consulate in the far reaches of Xinjiang Province. Cut off from the east, the party was forced to trek south through Tibet toward India. Upon reaching Tibet's frontier in late April 1950, Tibetan border guards (apparently intent on robbing the party) shot dead CIA officer Douglas MacKiernan. As word of the attack was relayed to New Delhi, the U.S. embassy made arrangements to recover the body and receive the survivors, who by June had arrived in Lhasa. Because one of its own had been killed, the CIA was eager to participate in the retrieval. This job went to Frederick Latrash, a junior case officer assigned to the consulate in Calcutta. Dispatched north to Sikkim, he stopped briefly to speak with Sikkimese officials in the capital of Gangtok before proceeding twenty-eight kilometers northeast to meet the Xinjiang stragglers as they crossed the Tibetan border. MacKiernan's body was left where it fell and was never recovered.

7. Interview with Princess Kukula, 4 November 1999. During his stay in Lhasa, OSS officer Dolan befriended Kukula's sister-in-law and fathered her child. See Meyer and Brysac, Tournament of Shadows, p. 544.

8. Thacher interview.

9. Interview with Lawrence Dalley, 2 April 200O.

10. Linn interview.

11. Back in September 1951, Yutok Dzaza, a former official at the Tibetan trade office in Kalimpong, had been brought down to the consulate in Calcutta and shown Ambassador Henderson's last-ditch appeal to the Dalai Lama written on U.S. embassy letterhead. Yutok took notes from the letter and then went to Lhasa, where he met several senior government officials. He also met with one of the Dalai Lama's older brothers, Lobsang Samten. It was the information gathered from these sources that he passed to Princess Kukula.

12. Editorial Note No.35, in FRUS, 1952-1954, 14:73; Kukula interview.

13. "The Consul at Calcutta to the Department of State," 11 September 1952, in FRUS, 1952-1954, 14:96.

14. Millian interview.

15. Interview with John Turner, 5 August 1998.

16. Ibid.

17. China's strategy also involved the cultivation of the pliable Panchen Lama, the second most influential incarnation in Tibet, as a counterweight to the Dalai Lama. Beginning in 1954, Beijing insisted on treating the two as virtual equals.

18. George N. Patterson, Patterson of Tibet (San Diego, Calif.: Promotion Publishing, 1998), p. 303. In contrast to the rational grounding of his literary masterpiece Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle put great credence in the spirit mediums of his time.

19. Turner interview.

20. There were several reasons for Ragpa's lack of success. First, the history of waffling by the Pandatsang clan gave India and the United States good reason for pause. Second, his hint of armed insurrection in Tibet ran counter to the hopes of India's leaders, who in April 1954 had signed a trade treaty with China. Among other things, that treaty granted the PRC control over Tibet's trade office in Kalimpong, which explains the latter's rebuff of Ragpa.

21. Nomads in Amdo had initially resisted PRC rule during the early 1950s, though a lull had settled over the province by 1952. The resumption of fighting in late 1955 was tied to the imposition of Beijing's heavy-handed "democratic reforms." Robert Barnett and Shirin Akiner, eds., Resistance and Reform in Tibet (London: Hurst and Company, 1994), PP.191-192.

22. Ibid., pp. 192-193.

23. The Tu-4 was a near exact Soviet copy of the U.S. B-29 Superfortress that had devastated Japan during World War II. Three of these long-range bombers had been forced to ditch in Siberia during the war, providing Soviet designers with an opportunity to reverse-engineer a communist clone. They were mass-produced as the Tupolev-4, and Stalin presented ten airframes to Mao as a birthday gift in 1953.

24. Chung-kuo chih i [Chinese Air Force in Action, series 3] (Taipei: Yun Hao, 199o), p. 212.

25. John Rowland, A History of Sino-Indian Relations: Hostile Co-existence (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand, 1967), pp. ix, 81. As part of the 1954 trade agreement, India was allowed to maintain trade agents in three Tibetan towns. These agents, in addition to the Indian consul in Lhasa, would have been able to keep New Delhi abreast of rumored events in eastern Tibet.

26. John Kenneth Knaus, Orphans of the Cold War (New York: Public Affairs, 1999), p. 132. In his memoirs, the Dalai Lama does not mention his desire to seek exile during the crown prince's 1956 visit to Lhasa. See Tenzin Gyatso, Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama (New York: Harper Collins, 1990), p. 112.

27. Knaus, Orphans, p. 132.

28. There were other reasons for Nehru to register concern. Over the past two years, there had been several minor PLA violations along the Indo Tibetan border. In addition, on 20 September 1956, China signed a trade agreement with Nepal. Coupled with its military presence in Tibet, this was seen as further Chinese encroachment into the Himalayas at the expense of Indian influence.

3. The Prodigal Son

1. Assigned to the CIA's China Base located within the U.S. naval compound at the Japanese port city of Yokosuka, Hoskins was tasked with poring over interrogation reports of prisoners released from Soviet labor camps after World War II and repatriated to Japan. From these reports, Hoskins identified, recruited, and trained four ethnic Mongolians. When a plan to parachute the four agents back into Mongolia was nixed at the eleventh hour as too risky, they were dropped from the agency's rolls and allowed to resettle in Japan and Taiwan.

2. William Broe, chief of the China Branch between 1955 and 1957, initiated the worldwide program of assigning Far East Division officers to any station where there was a substantial expatriate Chinese community. This followed the example set by the CIA's Soviet-East European Division, which since the late 1940s had been assigning its officers to any country with a sizable expatriate Russian community. Interview with William Broe, 6 June 2000.

3. Interview with John Hoskins, 9 December 1999.

4. Interview with Mary Hawthorne, 18 February 2000.

5. Once the CIA decided to bypass the Sikkimese in late 1956, the royals grew somewhat annoyed. The crown prince, in particular, sniped at Gyalo Thondup and gradually came to oppose the idea of armed resistance against the Chinese. "He felt angry and used," said one of his closest confidants, "and thought the U.S. had only been toying with the Tibetans." Correspondence with Sikkimese source, 22 March 2000.

6. Goldstein, History of Modern Tibet, p. 644.

7. Knaus, Orphans, p. 34r n. 45.

8. The monthly report from the Indian consul in Lhasa clearly notes Gyalo's assurance that he would "scrupulously avoid involvement in politics." Gyalo denies in contemporary interviews that this promise was given. See Knaus, Orphans, p. 344 11. 31.

9. "The Consul at Calcutta to the Department of State," 10 September 1952, in FRUS, 1952-1954, 14:96.

10. Bhashyam Kasturi, Intelligence Services (New Delhi: Lancer Publishers, 1995), p. 31; B. N. Mullik, The Chinese Betrayal: My Years with Nehru (Bombay: Allied Publishers, 1971), P.105.

11. Mullik, Chinese Betrayal, p. 181.

12. Ibid., p. 180. Gyalo later put a wholly different spin on his foreign contacts during this rime. According to several contemporary interviews (including one with the author), he claims to have written letters in August 1952 to President Dwight Eisenhower and Chiang Kai-shek requesting assistance for Tibet. There is no evidence that such a letter was ever received in Washington; in fact, Eisenhower was not elected president until November. Gyalo further claims that the Indians, tipped off by the Americans, sent a senior political officer to Darjeeling in August to insist that Gyalo refrain from his letter-writing campaign. However, when Consul General Soulen met Gyalo the following month, the latter made no mention of the letters or associated Indian complaints. Gyalo also claims that Mullik specifically requested the 1953 Darjeeling meeting to offer his apologies for the letter incident; Mullik makes no mention of any letters and more plausibly describes his Darjeeling travels as part of a tour of the Tibetan expatriate community. See Mary Craig, Kundun (London: Harper Collins, 1997), p. 177; interview with Gyalo Thondup, 2 February 1998. A close Gyalo associate, Lhamo Tsering, gives a slightly different version of events in a 1992 memoir. He claims that Gyalo sent telegrams to Dean Acheson and Chiang in November 1952 asking for assistance, including foreign training for Tibetan guerrillas. See Knaus, Orphans, p. II9. Again, there is no evidence that such a telegram was ever received in Washington. It also stretches credibility to credit Gyalo with proposing foreign guerrilla training in 1952 -- three years before serious armed resistance in Tibet even existed.

13. Gyalo Thondup interview; interview with George Patterson, 30 August 1999; Craig, Kundun, p. 197. In contemporary interviews, Gyalo claims to have formed an umbrella organization of key Tibetan expatriates and sympathizers to spread propaganda leaflets inside Tibet and start an embryonic underground resistance. He contends that profits from his exports to Chinese troops were really part of a clever effort to gain funds for these covert ventures; he further alleges that his whiskey exporters got an extra dig at the Chinese by diluting the alcohol with urine (Knaus, Orphans, p. 123). Little of this can be corroborated, and it is probably an effort to recast cross- border profiting in a positive light. Princess Kukula, whom Gyalo claims was part of his umbrella organization, scoffs at the idea that she belonged to any such network (Kukula interview).

14. Smith, Tibetan Nation, p. 411 n.

15. Millian interview; Turner interview; Hoskins interview.

16. To make the Dalai Lama's visit more palatable to Beijing, Nehru had asked that the Panchen Lama -- Tibet's second most prominent incarnation, who was feverishly being preened by the PRC -- make the trip as well. Although the Chinese insisted that the Panchen Lama be given equal billing with the Dalai Lama during the Buddha Jayanti, Indian, Tibetan, and diplomatic audiences focused their attention squarely on the latter during the entire pilgrimage.

17. Smith, Tibetan Nation, p. 461 n. Gyalo claims that Nehru initially promised comfortable asylum to the Dalai Lama -- "he could live in any of the Maharajahs' palaces" -- if he attended the Buddha Jayanti, then hypocritically retracted the offer (see Craig, Kundun, p. 205). The Dalai Lama has never claimed that Nehru either directly or indirectly suggested that he seek exile during the Buddha Jayanti.

18. Mullik, Chinese Betrayal, p. 160; interview with CIA source, 26 March 2000. The issue of Tibetan independence was not taken up during the talks between Eisenhower and Nehru in Washington.

19. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (hereafter FBIS), Near East edition, 23 January 1957, P.13.

20. As further indication of the low priority afforded to Tibet, the CIA station chief in India, Walter "Jack" Kaufman, received no background briefing on Tibet prior to his assignment to New Delhi in September 1954; nor did his predecessor, Henry "Robbie" Robertson, pass on any information about Tibet during their transition briefing. For the first two years of his tour, Kaufman recalls no involvement in any covert plans for Tibet. Interview with Walter Kaufman, 16 February 2000.

21. Interview with John Reagan, 18 June 1998. Hoskins was not privy to the debates over whether the Dalai Lama should seek exile or return home. "I was never informed of what Washington was thinking, " he said, "so I could not and did not steer Gyalo one way or the other" (Hoskins interview).

22. Interview with Athar, 17 June 2000. Like many Khampas, Athar goes by only one name.

23. Ibid.

24. William M. Leary, Perilous Missions (University: University of Alabama Press, 1984), P.132.

25. Interview with Pat Dailey, 9 August 1998. Dailey was one of three Western Enterprises advisers assigned to give jump training to ROC action teams during this period.

26. According to a June 1952 U.S. intelligence report, the Chinese air force was already dropping supplies to alleged pockets of mainland guerrillas. See "Special National Intelligence Estimate," June 1952, Declassified Documents Reference System (hereafter DDRS), #3015-1986. In fact, these supply drops were being conducted by CAT; the Chinese air force did not start flying covert drop operations until 1954. Interview with Irving "Frank" Holober, 29 July 1999 Holober was a WE adviser assigned to the Amdo Guerrilla project.

27. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995), p. 360 n.

28. "Joint Chief of Staff memorandum, subj.: Future Course of Action in Connection with Situation in Korea," 28 March 1953, DDRS, #165A-1981; Dailey interview.

29. "The Charge in the Republic of China to the Department of State," 18 June 1953, in FRUS, 1952-1954,14:209; "Statement of Policy by the NSC," 6 November 1953, ibid., P.323.

30. "Memorandum of Conversation," 1 August 1956, in FRUS, 1955-1957, 3:415.

31. Thomas, Very Best Men, p. 155. One five-man Nationalist team was parachuted into Kwangtung Province in October 1956; four members were immediately killed, and the fifth commando was sentenced to death. See FBIS, East Asia edition, 1 August 1958, p. AAA3, and 4 September 1958, p. AAA12.

32. During an August 1956 NSC meeting, CIA director Allen Dulles noted that the top
leaders of the PRC had been out of public view for the past seven weeks. See "NSC Memorandum, subj.: Discussion at the 417th Meeting of the NSC," 26 August 1956, DDRS,

33. The agency, for example, had supported a failed anti-Soviet uprising among Ukrainian nationalists between 1949 and 1952. More embarrassing was its assistance to Polish insurgents beginning in 1950, which was revealed in December 1952 to have been turned from the start. During the same period, the CIA fell victim to another Soviet-orchestrated resistance sting in Albania.

34. Interview with Kalsang Gyatotsang, 31 January 1998.

35. Gyalo Thondup interview; Kalsang Gyatotsang interview.

36. Rekha Datta, Why Alliances Endure: The United States-Pakistan Alliance (New Delhi: South Asian Publishers, 1994), p. 58. In mid-1956, Pakistan again factored into U.S. strategic planning when aviation experts testifying at Senate hearings noted that the Soviet Union appeared on the verge of making an intercontinental ballistic missile. Pakistan, the Pentagon subsequently surmised, could be used both as the staging ground for bomber attacks and for surveillance activities.

37. Karachi was Milligan's first South Asia assignment. Earlier, he had won kudos in the Far East Division when he exposed a stream of PRC documents emanating from Hong Kong as part of a paper-mill scam run by fraudulent Chinese agents.

38. Correspondence with Walter Cox, 21 May 2000.

39. Reagan interview; interview with Jentzen Thondup, 18 November 1998.

40. Athar interview.

41. Ibid.

42. The Stateside ARC wing was intended for eventual deployment to England. Plans for a fourth ARC wing never came to fruition. "Department of Defense memorandum, subj.: Presentation for Delivery to the President's Committee on International Information Activities," undated, DDRS, #2479-1999.

43. "Initial Historical Report for 322 Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium (Special), 18 Sep 56 31 Dec 56," prepared by Captain Lewis M. Jolls (on file at Maxwell Air Force Base).

44. Interview with Herbert Dagg, 22 March 1998.

45. Interview with Justin Shires, 21 March 1998.

4. Saipan

1. Athar interview; interview with Harry Mustakos, 28 August 1998.

2. Athar interview; Chris Mullin, "Tibetan Conspiracy," Far Eastern Economic Review, 5 September 1975, p, 32.

3. Interview with Eli Popovich, 21 March 1998.

4. Interview with Jack Shirley, 7 August 1995; interview with Thomas Fosmire, 14 March 1995; interview with David Zogbaum, 9 June 1997.

5. Mustakos interview; Popovich interview.

6. Mustakos interview.

7. Popovich interview.

8. Geshe Wangyal, The Door of Liberation (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995), p. xvi.

9. Geshe Wangyal, The Jewelled Staircase (Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 1986), p. 19.

10. Knaus claims that Geshe Wangyal was dispatched from Tibet to Calcutta in the spring of 1951 by the Dalai Lama's mother for the purpose of contacting the U.S. consulate to seek assistance in having her son flee Tibet (see Knaus, Orphans, p. 87). Several CIA and State Department officials who were in Calcutta at the time have no knowledge of the Mongolian monk, and Norbu insists that Geshe Wangyal played no intermediary role between his family and the U.S. government. Correspondence with Thubten Norbu, 13 November 1998 (via Mary Pattison); Turner interview; Thacher interview; Dalley interview.

11. The Freewood Acres land was donated to the Mongolians by Countess Tolstoy, descendant of both the famed writer and the OSS officer who visited Tibet during World War II. Correspondence with Ted Jacobs, 22 May 2000; interview with David Urubshurow, 2 December 1999.

12. Interview with David Regg, 19 January 2000.

13. Interview with George Zournas, 24 January 2000. Zournas studied under Geshe Wangyal at Columbia.

14. Popovich interview.

15. Mustakos interview.

16. Ibid.

17. There have been contemporary claims among the Tibetan expatriate community that Wangdu rebelled while on Saipan and, as a result, was placed in isolation by the CIA staff. Mustakos denies any such disciplinary problems: "There were only three small buildings in our compound. We could not have isolated anybody if we wanted to; there was simply no room" (Mustakos interview).

18. Athar interview.

19. Ibid.

20. Mustakos interview.

21. Ibid.

22. Interview with Roger McCarthy, 16 May 1997.

23. "Indian surveillance no doubt spotted all this unusual behavior," speculates Hoskins. "They weren't stupid" (Hoskins interview).

24. The "ST" prefix denotes an operation under the Far East Division's China Branch.

25. After a B-17 was downed by a communist MiG-17 in June 1956, further mainland penetrations staged from Taiwan were forbidden during the moonlit phase. But because the PLA radar network and interceptor fleet were concentrated along the coast facing Taiwan -- and Tibet was relatively barren of air defenses -- moonlit infiltrations in the Tibet sector were not considered unduly risky.

26. "Memorandum from Dulles to Brigadier General Andrew J. Goodpaster, subj.: U-2 Overflights of Soviet Bloc," 18 August 196o, DDRS, #0022-2000.

27. Kalsang Gyatotsang interview.

28. In the summer of 1955, a second special air unit had briefly taken shape on Taiwan. Flying at the behest of the USAF, three Chinese crews used converted PB4Y subchasers on electronic- collection flights over the mainland in what was known as Operation FOX TERRIER. After fourteen successful infiltrations through the spring of 1956, FOX TERRIER was terminated, and the electronics missions were assumed by the B-17, of the Special Mission Team.

29. Interview with Gar Thorsrud, 3 December 1999.

30. Interview with Robert Kleyla, 19 June 1998.

31. Interview with James McElroy, 15 September 1997.

32. Each of the team bundles included two sets of radios, backup signal plans, Tibetan boots and attire, ground barley (tsampa, a Tibetan staple) and jerked beef, Tibetan and Indian currency, a pamphlet message of encouragement from the Dalai Lama, waterproof maps, a compass, small cooking pots, binoculars, a shovel, Tibetan knives, shielded flashlights with extra batteries, signal mirrors, a first-aid kit, flares, matches in waterproof containers, writing materials, ponchos, a .303 rifle for each member, and ammunition. In addition, each member jumped with a Sten submachine gun, extra magazines, and some canned rations in a small bag attached by D-rings to the individual. The main radio operator designated for each team carried the primary signal plans for the radio. Roger E. McCarthy, Tears of the Lotus (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1997), p. 241.

33. Interview with Walter Cox, 6 July 2000.

34. The CIA had brought in a generator to provide electricity at Kurmitola, but the cable leading from the generator to the radio shed had frayed and come in contact with the shed's tin roof. When the technician attempted to erect an antenna atop the shed, he grounded himself and absorbed the charge (Cox interview).

35. Thorsrud interview.

36. The Tibetans follow a lunar calendar that generally lags four to six weeks behind the Western solar-based calendar.

37. Athar interview.

38. Ibid.

39. The sons of Lutheran missionaries in Japan, Stuart Buck and his brother Frank spoke Japanese like natives. With an ear for Asian languages, Stuart went on to learn Tibetan, while Frank (who worked for a time at the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Japan) became fluent in Mongolian. Holober interview; Hisao Kimura, Japanese Agent in Tibet (London: Serindia Publications, 1990), p. 213.

40. Holober interview.

41. Interview with Stanislaw Putko, 19 October 1998.

5. Four Rivers, Six Ranges

1. Estimates of Tibet's population vary widely. Goldstein (History of Modern Tibet, p. 611 n) places the figure at a little more than 1 million in 1945. Mullik (Chinese Betrayal, p. 3), the Indian spymaster, put it at 3 million in 1950. An official 1953 census gave an estimated figure of "over" 3 million ethnic Tibetans. The Dalai Lama claimed 6 million countrymen as of 1958 (Tenzin Gyatso, Freedom in Exile, p. 129). The 3-million figure used in this chapter is the mean of these estimates.

2. Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, Four Rivers, Six Ranges (Dharamsala, India: Information and Publicity Office of H. H. The Dalai Lama, 1973), p. 42

3. Ibid., p. 48.

4. Officials in Lhasa had another reason to profess indifference to the revolt in the east: both Kham and Amdo had already been officially detached from Tibet and absorbed as provinces of the PRC.

5. Yet another of the Dalai Lama's older brothers, Lobsang Samten, had briefly served as lord chamberlain in 1955 before being named a member of the PCART security department. Phala succeeded Lobsang as lord chamberlain.

6. Damshung was designed to accommodate 11-28 transports, but after the first 11-28 landed and failed to take off, the runway fell into disuse. It was subsequently converted into a horse racetrack and trade fairground every autumn by nomadic herdsmen. Tibetan exiles later claimed that the chief engineer was the son of rich parents who had been killed in a communist purge; in retaliation, he intentionally sited Damshung on poor soil. Tashi Chutter, Confidential Study on Deployment of Chinese Occupational Force in Tibet (New Delhi,1998), p. 84.

7. Athar interview.

8. Journalist Chris Mullin ("Tibetan Conspiracy," p. 32) claims that the CIA was furious with its radiomen for leaving their Lhasa perch and following Gompo Tashi. Athar says that the agency fully approved of their move (Athar interview).

9. Kalsang Gyatotsang interview.

10. Estimates of the number of guerrillas in attendance vary between 1,500 and 5,000. The larger figure probably includes rebel pockets assumed to be in other parts of Tibet. Knaus, Orphans, p. 350 n. 30.

11. Gompo Tashi, Four Rivers, pp. 72-74.

12. Holober interview.

13. Athar interview.

14. Gyalo Thondup interview; interview with Lhamo Tsering, 7 February 1998.

15. Holober interview.

16. Ibid.

17. By that time, the parent unit of the sanitized C-118 had ceased to exist. In November 1957, the 322nd Squadron had fallen victim to the sharp budget-cutting knives of the second Eisenhower administration. But even though the USAF had elected to dissolve the squadron, the CIA believed that the 322nd's special cell at Kadena filled a vital airlift niche, supplementing the capabilities of its own air proprietaries. To satisfy the CIA's requirements, the former squadron's Detachment 1 was retained intact under the new designation Detachment 2, 313th Air Division. As before, Detachment 2 received assignments from the CIA air operations office in Tokyo. "Historical Report for 322 Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium (Special), period 1 Jul to 8 Dec 57, prepared by Cpt. Lewis M. Jolls" (on file at Maxwell Air Force Base).

18. Interview with Roland Andersen, 10 September 1997.

19. Thorsrud interview; Andersen interview.

20. Interview with James Keck, 12 February 1997.

21. Ibid.

22. During his first attempt to return to Tibet, Tom's party was ambushed by PLA border guards. Taking casualties, the Tibetans recrossed into Sikkim. Tom located Gyalo Thondup and procured a fake Bhutanese identity card and successfully infiltrated via Bhutan.

23. During a September 1958 interview, the Dalai Lama claimed that the troubles in Tibet were being "instigated by a handful of reactionaries." See FBIS, East Asia edition, 17 September 1958, p. AAA4.

24. Gompo Tashi, Four Rivers, p. 89.

25. Knaus, citing Lhamo Tsering, claims that the second supply drop took place on 22 February 1959. Athar, as well as several crew members on the C-118, distinctly recalls that the second drop was conducted in November 1958 (Athar interview; Andersen interview; interview with William Demmons, 5 August 1998; interview with Bill Lively, 3 February 1998; McElroy interview).

26. Four decades later, this "yellow parachute" controversy was still being debated within the Tibetan exile community in India (Athar interview; interview with Donyo Jagotsang, 5 February 1998).

6. Virginia

1. Interview with John Greaney, 8 May 1997.

2. Holober interview. After one trip to Washington, Geshe Wangyal returned to Freewood Acres with badly broken ribs from an apparent mugging. "He said he had fallen against the corner of a desk," remembers one of his students, "but I was shocked one day shortly after, as he was convalescing, to see a sharp butcher's knife under his pillow" (correspondence with Ted Jacobs).

3. Interview with Thomas Fosmire, 22 June 1997.

4. A detailed account of Fosmire's Indonesian experiences can be found in Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, Feet to the Fire (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1999).

5. Thomas, Very Best Men, p. 5O.

6. Ibid., p. 55.

7. In 1955, China Base shifted from Yokosuka to Subic Bay in the Philippines. Ibid., p. 157.

8. Telephone conversation with James Lilley, 10 July 1998.

9. Fosmire interview. Although both Frank Wisner and Des FitzGerald were eager proponents of the Tibetan resistance, the previous Far East Division chief, Al Ulmer, never shared their enthusiasm. "I didn't want it, " says Ulmer of the Tibet program during his watch (correspondence with Al Ulmer, 15 May 2000, via Marguerite Ulmer).

10. David Wise, The Politics of Lying (New York: Random House, 1973), p. 183; Kristin Kenney Williams, "Camp Hale's Top Secret," Vail Trail, 3 July 1998, p. 8.

11. Greaney interview.

12. Lhamo Tsering interview.

13. Fosmire interview.

14. Interview with William Smith, 30 October 1997.

15. Interview with Ray Stark, 1 March 1999; Knaus, Orphans, p. 218.

16. Interview with John Kenneth Knaus, 17 June 1998.

17. Interview with Anthony Poshepny (Poe), 2 October 1997. A full account of Poe's participation in the Indonesian operation can be found in Conboy and Morrison, Feet to the Fire.

18. Fosmire interview.

19. Gompo Tashi, Four Rivers, p. 91.

20. In October 1997, an American journalist -- citing an anonymous source allegedly in the CIA -- claimed that the agency had secretly scripted the oracle's instructions to the Dalai Lama, including a detailed escape route from Lhasa. See John B. Roberts II, "The Dalai Lama's Great Escape," George, October 1997, p. 132. This is false, says Tibet Task Force officer Holober. "The CIA never had any plans for evacuating the Dalai Lama; we did not have that kind of contact" (Holober interview).

21. Thirty-six years later, an article in China Youth Daily, an official government publication, implausibly claimed that PLA troops had had the Dalai Lama's escape party in their
gun sights but allowed him to escape Lhasa because Mao Tse-tung wanted to divide the
Tibetan upper class and see who supported Beijing. See "Mao Let the Dalai Lama Escape,"
International Herald Tribune, 11 July 1995.

22. The CIA agents had an understanding with NVDA headquarters that regular updates would be forwarded to Lhuntse Dzong. Athar interview.

23. Ibid. The Dalai Lama remembers the recoilless rifle being fired but notes that it was "not an impressive performance" (Tenzin Gyatso, Freedom in Exile, p. 140).

24. Athar interview.

25. "Discussion of the 400th Meeting of the NSC," 26 March 1959, DDRS, #2240-1997.

26. Written evidence of this sentiment can be found in a 31 March 1959 CIA memorandum written by the agency's representative on the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB). With an OCB lunch discussion scheduled for the following day, the representative wrote that "it is in U.S. interests to assist in the establishment of a Tibetan Government in Exile, and specifically to do all we can to help the Dalai Lama escape." Established in 1953, the OCB was Eisenhower's preferred instrument for coordinating sensitive foreign operations approved by the president. "CIA Memorandum for Mr. Karl G. Harr, Jr. and Mr. Bromley Smith, subj.: Exploitation of Tibetan Revolt," DDRS, #618-1997.

27. The two-man film team, which had been dispatched by Gyalo Thondup earlier in the year to get movie footage of the NVDA's exploits, had stopped short of the front and instead went to Lhuntse Dzong to record the Dalai Lama's escape.

28. In his autobiography, the Dalai Lama fails to mention that news of approval for his asylum came from the CIA radiomen; instead, he claims that members of his escape party went forward to the border and received the approval.

29. When leaving Lhasa, the Dalai Lama's party had taken a satchel of Tibetan paper currency, which was all but worthless in India. Before crossing the border, Tom and Lou gave the entourage 200,000 Indian rupees they had received in the second weapons drop. The two agents retained 40,000 rupees for their future operations; the other 60,000 rupees had already been used to pay couriers to deliver rolls of film and sketches to Gyalo Thondup and to offset travel costs for prospective agent recruits destined for Kalimpong.

30. Untitled Department of State message dated 2 April 1959, DDRS, #1620-1985.

7. Whale

1. Interview with John Waller, 17 June 1998.

2. Ibid.

3. John Waller, writing under the pen name John Rowland, notes that the PRC was the first country to announce the Dalai Lama's entry into India, a scoop attributed to the efficiency of Beijing's spy network. See Rowland, History of Sino-Indian Relations, p. 112.

4. The paraphrased message from the Dalai Lama eventually reached the desk of President Eisenhower a week later on 30 April. It was subsequently restated in a formal scroll written in Tibetan script, with full seals attached.

5. Interview with Tashi Choedak, 2 February 1998. Choedak was one of the students who received English lessons between late 1956 and the spring of 1959.

6. White House message, "Synopsis of State and Intelligence material reported to the President, March 31, 1959, " DDRS, #2061-1991; Rowland, History of Sino-Indian Relations, p. 113; White House message, "Synopsis of Intelligence material reported to the President, May 2, 1959," DDRS, #2756-1991.

7. Editorial Note (intelligence briefing notes for 1 April 1959), in FRUS, 1958-1960, 19:753.

8. "White House Staff Notes #56," 8 April 1959, DDRS, #1370-1985; Department of State memorandum, "Memorandum for the President from Acting Secretary Douglas Dillon, subj: Message from the Dalai Lama," 30 April 1959, in FRUS, 1958-1960,19:764; "NSC memorandum, subj: Discussion at 404th Meeting of the NSC," 30 April 1959, DDRS, #1640-1997.

9. "Memorandum from Director of Central Intelligence Dulles to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, " 31 March 1959, in PRUS, 1958-1960, 19:554-555; "Memorandum for President Eisenhower's Files," 6 April 1959, ibid., Pp.555-557.

10. "Memorandum Prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency," undated (circa 25 April 1959), in FRUS, 1958-1960, pp. 758-759; Athar interview.

11. FBIS, East Asia edition, 8 May 1959, p. BBBl; Athar interview; Demmons interview; Gompo Tashi, Four Rivers, p. 106.

12. Bureau of H. H. the Dalai Lama, Tibetans in Exile, 1959-1969 (New Delhi: Gutenberg Printing Press, 1969), pp. 1-2; Tashi Choedak interview; Donyo Jagotsang interview; interview with Pema Wangdu, 15 July 1998.

13. Pema Wangdu interview; Donyo Jagotsang interview.

14. Tashi Choedak interview.

15. Editorial Note (memorandum of discussion, 403rd meeting of the NSC, 23 April 1959), in FRUS, 1958-1960,19:755. According to the official PLA history, China's armed forces attacked the "heart of the Tibet uprising" on 21 April, killing more than 2,000 rebels. Siyi and Bian, Zhong, p. 1408.

16. The rebels had initially made the mistake of fighting in large groups, said Dulles at a 30 April NSC briefing, and would probably discover that the essence of guerrilla warfare consists of fighting in small bands. "NSC Memorandum, subj: Discussion at 404th Meeting of the NSC," 30 April 1959, DDRS, #164O-1997.

17. L. Fletcher Prouty, "Colorado to Koko Nor," Sunday Empire (Denver Post magazine), 6 February 1972, p. 12. Beijing recognized the vulnerability of its road network. According to the official P1A history, as of mid-1959, the equivalent of four divisions were used to keep the roads into eastern Tibet secure and open. Siyi and Bian, Zhong, p. 1408.

18. Smith, Tibetan Nation, pp. 422, 489; Lowell Thomas, Jr., The Silent War in Tibet (New York: Doubleday, 1959), p. 128.

19. "Memorandum on the Substance of Discussion at a Department of State-Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting," I May 1959, in FRUS, 1958-1960, 19:561; Prouty, "Colorado to Koko Nor, " p. 12. Prouty, a USAF lieutenant colonel who served as liaison between the USAF and the CIA during part of ST BARNUM, mistakenly claims that the Koko Nor team was composed of Tibetans trained at Camp Hale.

20. "White House message, subj: President Eisenhower's Far Eastern Trip," 6 June 1960, DDRS, #000489-1987.

21. "Discussion of the 338th Meeting of the NSC," 2 October 1957, DDRS, #33750-1991.

22. In a move not supported by the United States, the ROC in April 1958 instructed its Airborne Regiment (a unit separate from the Special Forces) to qualify an additional 10,000 soldiers for airborne duty; Taipei intended this number to eventually triple. "Despatch from the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State," 3 April 1958, in FRUS, 1958-196o, 19:13; "Letter from the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs to the Ambassador to the Republic of China," 29 April 1958, ibid., pp. 19-20.

23. The Anti-Communist National Salvation Army was the name originally attributed to the pro- ROC units that staged from Burma into Yunnan Province during the early 1950s. This was later adopted as an umbrella title for virtually all ROC agents and raiding units infiltrating the mainland during the 1960s.

24. These infiltrations appear to have picked up during the Taiwan Strait crisis in the summer of 1958 and may have been partially used for their diversionary effect.

25. For a sampling of the many reported captures, see FBIS, East Asia edition, 31 July 1958, p. AAA13; 5 September 1958, p. AAA12; 23 September 1958, p. CCC1; 29 September 1958, p. BBB1; 7 October 1958, p. BBB10.

26. Rowland, History of Sino-Indian Relations, p. 162; Smith, Tibetan Nation, p. 428; "Telegram from the Ambassador in the Republic of Korea to the Department of State" 16 September 1957, in FRUS, 1955-1957, 3:604. There are indications that the Soviets may have stoked the Xinjiang uprising.

27. In 1957, China opened the first lead and zinc mines in northern Amdo. One year later, copper mining started in the province, followed by coal in 1959. Exploitation of numerous other resources, such as uranium and borax, did not begin until the early 1960s. Research and Analysis Centre, Tibet, a Land of Snows (Dharamsala: Department of Security of H. H. the Dalai Lama, 1991), pp. 9,12,21.

28. FBIS, Far East edition, 17 October 1958, p. BBB1; 20 October 1958, p. BBBl; interview with Jonathan Lipman, 13 November 1958.

29. Poe interview.

30. FBIS, East Asia edition, 24 March 1959, p. DDD1; 26 March 1959, p. DDD2; 30 March 1959, pp. DDD2-3; 7 May 1959, p. DDD1; 8 May 1959, p. DDD1.

31. Among the ROC recruiters was Tsepah Dolje, a pilot and an ethnic Amdowa who fled to Taiwan in 1950 and joined the ROC's Office for Tibetan and Mongolian Affairs. In 1957, he arrived in Kalimpong to recruit Tibetan agents on behalf of Taipei. Rebuffed the first time around, he returned in late May 1959 and remained in Kalimpong for nearly two months. During that time, he scored the ROC's only recruitment success when he lured six Lithang Khampas and some elderly Amdowas to Taiwan for radio training. After they completed their instruction, however, plans to infiltrate the team were canceled, and all the trainees resettled in the ROC (Athar interview; Kalsang Gyatotsang interview). Taipei unconvincingly claimed that 3,000 Tibetans entered Yunnan Province in May 1959 and joined forces with pro-ROC rebels in that area. See FBIS, East Asia edition, 15 June 1959, p. DDD1.

32. FBIS, East Asia edition, 27 May 1959, p. DDD2.

33. "Discussion at the 400th Meeting of the NSC," 26 March 1959, DDRS, #224O-1997; "Memorandum for President Eisenhower's Files," 6 April 1959, in FRUS, 1958-1960, 19:557.

34. Demmons interview; McElroy interview.

35. Office of the Director, "Memorandum for General Andrew J. Goodpaster, subj.: U-2 Overflights of Soviet Bloc," 18 August 196o, DDRS, #0022-2000.

36. Interview with Truman Barnes, 19 September 1997; interview with Richard Peterson, 8 September 1997.

37. Ibid.

38. Given the similarity of these flight profiles with those of the earlier ST BARNUM drops, several of the C-118 crew members incorrectly assumed that the ST WHALE agents were ethnic Tibetans from ST CIRCUS. In fact, they were two separate programs.

39. Lively interview.

40. McElroy interview; Keck interview; Peterson interview.
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Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

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Part 2 of 2

8. Dumra

1. Tashi Choedak interview. The nearby town of Leadville recorded a minimum average temperature of twenty-six degrees Fahrenheit during the month of May 1959.

2. Stark interview.

3. Fosmire interview; Stark interview.

4. Foe interview; Fosmire interview.

5. Stark interview.

6. Ibid.

7. Tashi Choedak interview; Greaney interview.

8. Interview with Sioux Zilaitis, 31 October 1997; Fosmire interview.

9. Foe interview; Fosmire interview; Greaney interview; Stark interview. Some case officers recall a rocket hitting the electrical lines running into the Climax Molybdenum mine near Leadville. Steve Voynick, a Colorado historian who spent years researching the mining company's records, found no evidence of a rocket incident affecting Climax Molybdenum. Correspondence with Nancy Manly, 8 July 1998.

10. Wise, Politics of Lying, p. 185; Robert Byers, "Atom Unit Making Tests Near Leadville,"
Denver Post, 16 July 1959, p. 1.

11. Interview with Jack Wall, 4 September 1997; Fosmire interview.

12. Poe interview.

13. Greaney interview.

14. Interview with Billie Mills, 20 October 1997.

15. Thorsrud interview.

16. Knaus (Orphans, p. 155) claims that permission to use the C-130 followed from a call
by CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell to USAF Deputy Chief of Staff Cunis LeMay. This is
disputed by CIA air branch officer Gar Thorsrud (Thorsrud interview).

17. Mills interview.

18. Ibid.

19. McElroy interview.

20. Mills interview.

21. Of the four, two were from the Lithang Khampa group that had earlier been diagnosed with tuberculosis, another was a Lithang member deemed academically unfit, and the last was a medical washout from the twenty-man contingent that arrived in May 1959. Lhamo Tsering interview.

22. Ibid.

23. Thorsrud interview; CIA memorandum for General Goodpaster, 18 August 1960.

24. Greaney interview; Fosmire interview.

25. In the summer of 1959, ten of the USAF's fifty Asia-based C-130s were assigned to a classified general-war alert standby mission. Those ten were no longer available for intratheater airlift operations. Robert L. Kerby, "American Military Airlift During the Laotian Civil War, 1958-1963," Aerospace Historian 24, no.1 (March 1977): 4; Fosmire interview; Mills interview.

26. Thorsrud interview; Mills interview.

27. Keck interview.

28. Fosmire interview.

9. Hitting Their Stride

1. Lhamo Tsering interview; Fosmire interview.

2. Correspondence with Roger McCarthy, 17 March 2000.

3. Interview with Donyo Pandatsang, 5 February 1998.

4. Life International, 12 October 1959, p. 18.

5. Lively interview; interview with Ron Sutphin, 3 August 1998; interview with Jack Stiles, 6 September 1997.

6. Interview with Shep Johnson, 30 August 1997.

7. Interview with Ed Beasley, 18 September 1997.

8. Keck interview; Stiles interview.

9. Hudson had removed the survival belt when he went to change into cold-weather gear, a routine for all crew members prior to reaching the frigid skies above Tibet. CIA officers gave Hudson a polygraph test upon his return from the mission before concluding that the coins had indeed been lost and not stolen. Interview with Tom Sailor, 3 September 1997; interview with Doug Price, 25 April 1998.

10. Lhamo Tsering interview; Athar interview; Tashi Choedak interview.

11. Andersen interview; Stiles interview; interview with Neese Hicks, 10 September 1997.

12. Keck interview; Price interview; William M. Leary, "Secret Mission to Tibet," Air and Space, January 1998, p. 70.

13. Interview with Miles Johnson, 7 August 1995, Peterson interview.

14. Hicks interview; Keck interview.

15. Fosmire interview.

16. Greaney interview.

17. To allow more payload per plane, Tom Fosmire had lobbied hard to save the considerable weight of rigging and have the aircraft actually land on Tibetan soil and unload the supplies. He went so far as to send a message to Pembar for the agents to begin looking for a suitable landing strip. Fosmire interview; Tashi Choedak interview.

18. Donyo Pandatsang interview.

19. Ibid.

20. Athar interview. Two of the original Saipan students, Athar and Lhotse (Tom and Lou) were ex filtrated to Camp Hale in November 1959 to serve as interpreters. While in Colorado, Athar reviewed the radio traffic from Nathan and the Amdo team.

21. Hicks interview; Shep Johnson interview.

22. The prohibition against communist-bloc overflights was extended to include missions into China flown by ROC crews in U.S.-supplied aircraft. This resulted in cancellation of a critical resupply flight for an ROC team dropped in Anhui Province during April. Monitoring the hapless agents from Taiwan, CIA case officer Jack Shirley could offer no help as the team radioed frantic pleas before being overrun by communist troops. Interview with Jack Shirley, 25 July 1995.

23. Of the five agents who originally moved from Pembar toward Amdo, all were killed. Of the seven agents in Nathan's augmentation team, six were killed. The one exception was Choni Yeshi, a Lithang Khampa whose family members were servants of Gompo Tashi. He was captured and kept in prison until November 1978. While in detention, he was coerced into making a complete confession, which was used by Chinese propagandists in an attempt to win over the local population. Upon his release, Yeshi did not leave for India but elected to remain near Lhasa, where he worked as a motorcycle mechanic.

10. Markham

1. Des FitzGerald would later earn a reputation for being cavalier with the lives of indigenous agents on some of his Asian operations. Not so, insists Tibet Task Force chief Roger McCarthy. "Des made a comment in my presence to a case officer involved with National Chinese operations involving an airdrop of personnel onto the Chinese mainland in 1958; the comment was to the effect that anyone involved in the operation had better remember that those were not leaflets being dropped, but people and that there had better be as good a plan and preparation as possible ... He was indeed an honorable man, and no cowboy as some have painted him" (correspondence with McCarthy).

2. "Memorandum for the Record, subj.: Discussion with the President on Tibet, 4 February 1960," DDRS, #3577-1999.

3. Correspondence with Bhusang, 6 February 1998. In November 1959, fifteen Tibetans had arrived at Hale just days after the departure of the Pembar contingent. Athar interview.

4. Interview with Don Cesare, 20 July 1998.

5. Ibid.; Fosmire interview.

6. Interview with Willard Poss, 21 May 1999.

7. Ibid.

8. Poe interview; Poss interview.

9. McCarthy interview; Poss interview.

10. Cesare interview.

11. Although Eisenhower was reluctant to restart U.S. overflights, the ROC resumed aerial penetrations of mainland China (agent drops, not U-2 photo missions) within a month after the downing of Francis Gary Powers. See Chung-kuo chih i, p. 209.

12. Cesare interview. The Tibetans were prohibited from watching television because the CIA was afraid they would discover the location of Hale. Unknown to the agency, the students were already in the know. During 1960, some of the Tibetans had secretly watched a news telecast in the instructors' quarters and saw references to Denver. In addition, when one of the interpreters accompanied a sick trainee to the clinic at Fort Carson, he saw a highway sign for Colorado Springs. Interview with Thillay Paljor, 9 October 1998.

13. Poe was irritated with what he claims was a series of security breaches at Hale, including one incident when a Quonset hut burned down (apparently due to an exploding propane heater). Others suggest that Poe was irate because Zilaitis, rather than himself, was selected as Fosmire's deputy and eventual successor. Poe interview; Stark interview; Fosmire interview.

14. Most of the Hale case officers grew deeply attached to the Tibetans, leading to media reports that some even adopted Buddhism and chanted Buddhist mantras to seek solace (for the most recent such claim, see Vail Trail, 3 July 1998). Not true, says Fosmire, a devout Catholic. "The Tibetans held regular religious services at Hale, but there was never a case officer who converted" (Fosmire interview).

15. Greaney interview. On 23 July 1960, Dulles went to the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, to give the candidate a briefing on sensitive matters. The next and last preelection briefing was held on 19 September at Kennedy's Georgetown townhouse. Tibet was not discussed at either.

16. Fosmire interview. Fosmire left the Tibet Task Force shortly thereafter; by March, he was in Laos as one of the first field advisers for the fast-expanding CIA paramilitary program there.

17. "Memorandum for the 303 Committee," 26 January 1968, in FRUS, 1964-1968, 30:741. In 1955, the National Security Council issued two directives (numbered 541211 and 5412/2) establishing a special committee to issue approval for all major CIA covert operations. Taking its name from the directives, the 5412 Committee initially consisted of representatives designated by the president, Department of State, and Pentagon. A representative chosen by the director of the CIA acted as the committee secretary. Decisions reached by the committee were forwarded to the president for final approval. During the Kennedy administration, the 5412 Committee was known as the Special Group. In June 1964, the name was changed again, this time to the 303 Committee.

18. Tibet was not the only place where the CIA was continuing its flawed concept of blind agent drops. In the spring of 1961, its Far East Division was just beginning a series of parachute infiltrations into North Vietnam. The program was to prove an embarrassing failure. For a detailed discussion, see Kenneth Conboy and Dale Andrade, Spies and Commandos: How America Lost the Secret War in North Vietnam (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000).

19. Knaus confuses two agents with similar names: Yeshi Wangyal (Tim) and Choni Yeshi, one of the Peary-trained members who first parachuted near Nam Tso and then again to augment the Amdo team (see Knaus, Orphans, p. 227). The former was the son of the Markham chieftain; the latter was a Lithang native and servant of Gompo Tashi.

20. Tim picked two teammates from among the group that had arrived at Hale in November 1959 and four from among his own group that had ex filtrated to Colorado in 1960. Athar interview.

21. Bhusang, making calculations from a Tibetan calendar, estimated the date of his parachute jump as 15 March, which would have been during a moonless period. Lobsang Jamba, who jumped into Tibet with a different team on 2 April, distinctly remembers Tim's team departing Takhli forty-eight hours earlier on 31 March. Because it is during the full moon, 31 March is the more likely date. Interview with Lobsang Jamba, 10 October 1998.

22. Tashi Choedak interview. When the team passed through Kadena en route to Takhli, it encountered Temba Tileh, one of the two older agents who had parachuted near Nam Tso and exfiltrated via Nepal in 196o. Although the rest of the Nam Tso team had been dropped again to augment the agents near Amdo, Temba and the other older operative had remained behind at the safe house. Because he was still theoretically available for deployment, consideration was given to adding him to Tim's team, but given his age and unfit condition, the idea was quickly dropped. Lobsang Jamba interview:

23. Miles Johnson interview.

24. As the only surviving member of the Markham team, Bhusang is the sole source of information about its fate. Based on a 1998 interview with Bhusang, Knaus gives an account of the Markham mission in his book (see Orphans, pp. 228-232). For the account in this book, the authors relied on a detailed debriefing report for Indian officials dated 26 December 1980, just weeks after Bhusang arrived in Indian exile. The authors corroborated these details with information supplied by Bhusang in another Indian account entitled "Debriefing Report of Tseten Tashi, One of the Ten 'Spies' Released by the Chinese in November 1978," as well as a 6 February 1998 correspondence from Bhusang and extracts of an interview with Bhusang in a 1998 BBC documentary entitled "The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet."

The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet
Between 1957 and 1969 the CIA armed, financed, and helped train Tibetan guerrillas who operated first inside Tibet, and later -- after the Dalai Lama's escape to India in 1959 -- from a base in Mustang, a remote corner of northwestern Nepal. This project, code-named ST Circus, was one of the CIA's longest-running covert operations. The withdrawal of the CIA's support in 1969 was as abrupt as its initial involvement was unexpected.

25. According to an official PLA history, the Chinese armed forces launched six major operations against rebel bases in Tibet during early 1960. Although sweeps continued through March 1962, Beijing declared that the backbone of the rebel movement was broken by July 1960. Siyi and Bian, Zhong, p. 1408.

11. Mustang

1. Bureau of the Dalai Lama, Tibetans in Exile, pp. 129, 171. Use of the Tibetans in this manner caused controversy. Boys as young as twelve were considered fair game for the gangs. In addition, the work, which included building dams and cutting roads along sheer mountainsides, was extremely hazardous. Deaths started to mount, and compensation was often not paid.

2. Hari Bansh Jha, Tibetans in Nepal (Delhi: Book Faith India, 1992), p. 25; Bureau of the Dalai Lama, Tibetans in Exile, p. 136.

3. Michel Peissel, Mustang, a Lost Tibetan Kingdom (Delhi: Book Faith India, 1967), p. 125.

4. Ibid., p. 203.

5. Interview with Gen Gyurme, 5 February 1998; Robert Ragis Smith, "The History of Baba Yeshi's Role in the Tibetan Resistance" (humanistic studies honors thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 1998), p. 26.

6. Mahendra's policy worked. For example, after a 1957 Chinese promise of assistance without strings, the United States saw no alternative but to boost its own aid. And after Mahendra was feted in the Soviet Union in 1958, Eisenhower scrambled to match this with an invitation to visit Washington. Successive delays (some caused by the inability of palace astrologers to come up with an auspicious day) forced postponement of his U.S. tour to April 1960. Once in the United States, Mahendra spent the first seventeen days on official duties, followed by half a month of vacation stops, including a hunting trip in the Rockies. Nagendra Kr. Singh, Foreign Aid, Economic Growth, and Politics in Nepal (New Delhi: Anmol Publications, 1996), p. 14; interview with Ralph Redford, 4 December 1999.

7. Interview with John Cool, 12 January 1999. Even the CIA station at the U.S. embassy in Kathmandu suffered from poor communications. Redford was initially forced to rely on the British embassy to transmit coded cables to Washington, and a Jesuit missionary he had befriended, Father Marshall Moran, helped relay radio messages within the kingdom. Moran was later falsely accused of being a CIA agent. Redford interview; Donald Messerschmidt, Moran of Kathmandu (Bangkok: White Orchid Press, 1997), p. 215.

8. Redford interview.

9. Interview with Baba Yeshi, 11 October 1998.

10. Ibid.

11. Gen Gyurme interview.

12. Lobsang Jamba interview.

13. Ibid.; Gen Gyurme interview.

14. Lobsang Jamba interview.

15. The two radiomen had been trained on Saipan in early 1960 as part of a seven-man group; other members of that training contingent were used as Lhamo Tsering's staff at Darjeeling. Tashi Choedak interview.

16. Interview with Kenneth Cathey, 29 April 1998; Stark interview.

17. S. C. Bhatt, The Triangle of India, Nepal, and China: A Study of Treaty Relations (New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, 1996), p. 147.

18. Baba Yeshi interview.

19. Gen Gyurme interview; Baba Yeshi interview; Knaus, Orphans, p. 242. As the Tibetans made their way to Nepal, New Delhi voluntarily turned a blind eye. Although news of the exodus appeared in Calcutta's Statesman newspaper, the Indian authorities convinced the editors of other leading dailies to spike the story. Cathey interview.

20. Peissel, Mustang, p. 264.

21. Baba Yeshi interview; Gen Gyurme interview.

22. Poss interview.

23. Lobsang Jamba interview.

24. Interview with Bista Temba, 21 October 1998.

25. Gen Gyurme interview; Baba Yeshi interview.

26. Datta, Why Alliances Endure, PP. 57, 78.

27. Critchfield's full title was head of the Near East and South Asia Division. "We handled everything from Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, over to East Pakistan," recalls Critchfield. "There was even an ongoing debate over whether we had jurisdiction over Libya." Interview with James Critchfield, 27 February 2001.

28. Interview with James Critchfield, 9 November 1999; John Kenneth Galbraith, A Life in Our Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981), p. 395. Galbraith claims not to have made the "Rover Boy" comment during the CIA briefing. Correspondence with John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 July 1999.

29. "Memorandum from the Ambassador to India (Galbraith) to Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Ball)," 30 November 1961, in FRUS, 1961-1963,22:170.

30. In November 1960, the Indian government sent a protest to Beijing over airspace violations earlier that year by what New Delhi claimed were Chinese aircraft. Mullik, in fact, already knew that the planes had been flown by CIA pilots, following confidential discussions with agency officials. The Indian authorities at the time warned Ambassador Bunker that if the United States was planning more Tibetan airdrops in the future, it would be wise for the U.S. planes to avoid flying over Indian territory, because it would create a "tremendous furor if one was downed." Bunker correctly interpreted this to mean that the Indian government was not averse to covert aid for the Tibetans but was anxious to avoid turning public opinion against the United States. See "Telegram from the Embassy in India to the Department of State," 26 November 1960, in FRUS, 1958-1960,19:814.

31. Critchfield interview; interview with Duane Clarridge, 12 November 1999. Galbraith himself makes negative light of the fact that the Tibetan operation began under Eisenhower's tenure. See "Memorandum from the Ambassador to India to Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs," 20 November 1961, in FRUS, 1961-1963, 22:171.

32. Even within the Far East Division, support for the Tibet Task Force fluctuated. One who was less than steadfast was China Branch chief John Hart. According to Roger McCarthy, "Hart's support was more a reflection knowing Des [FitzGerald] was fully supportive, as was Dulles and [Deputy Director for Plans] Richard Bissell. Hart was not enthusiastic about paramilitary operations in general [as he] did not believe it was worth angering China and saw it as a no-win situation given political realities in India and China. Hart had served in Korea and was still impressed with Chinese streaming across the border along the Yalu, which he apparently read as Chinese military strength rather than the use of massed troops who were not well trained or led" (correspondence with Roger McCarthy, 12 October 2000).

33. Critchfield interview.

34. Cathey interview.

35. Ibid.

36. Hoskins interview.

37. Greaney interview; Cathey interview. In hindsight, Rositzke says that the Tibet project was "well run and run intelligently" (telephone conversation with Harry Rositzke, 20 June 1998).

38. The three radiomen had been part of a training contingent that arrived at Hale in November 1959. Athar interview.

39. Lobsang Jamba interview.

40. Gen Gyurme interview.

41. Galbraith, A Life in Our Times, p. 396.

42. Bista Temba interview.

43. Gen Gyurme interview.

44. Interview with Tashi Punzo, 14 October 1998. Punzo was one of the three guerrillas at Ross's side during the ambush.

45. One unit ate meat just twice between February and May Day 1961, read one report, and the shortages were starting to affect physical fitness.

46. J. Chester Cheng, "Problems of Chinese Communist Leadership as Seen in the Secret Military Papers," Asia Survey 4, no.6 (June 1964): 862 n.

47. FRUS, 1961-1963,22:170; Department of State News Letter, December 1961, p. 3.

12. Favored Son

1. Interview with Lyle Brown, 4 August 1998.

2. Ibid.

3. Lobsang Jamba interview.

4. Gen Gyurme interview.

5. Colorado Springs Free Press, 8 December 1961, p. 1.

6. Ibid.; Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, 8 December 1961, p. 1.

7. Wise, Politics of Lying, p. 191.

8. Cesare interview; Tashi Choedak interview.

9. James Critchfield, head of the Near East Division, had gone to New York in 1961 for a discreet meeting with Mullik, who was coming to the United States for an Interpol meeting. "We had decided to put our money on him," said Critchfield, "and invested a lot in a major briefing." It was on that occasion that Mullik restated his approval of the Tibet operation. Critchfield interview.

10. Apart from its dwindling role in providing paramilitary assistance, the Tibet Task Force was involved in some peripheral political action during the second half of 1961. For example, the CIA offered quiet support when the Dalai Lama announced plans in the summer of 1961 to begin scripting a new, more representative constitution. The agency also offered some discreet lobbying assistance when the topic of Tibet was again debated in the United Nations, resulting in a December 1961 resolution calling for an end to human rights abuses and supporting Tibetan self- determination.

11. Interview with William Grimsley, 21 April 200O.

12. "National Intelligence Estimate #13-4/1-62 (supplement to NIB 13-4-62), Annex B: Military," 29 June 1962, DDRS, #3010-1998. According to an official PLA history, clearing operations against the Tibet rebels concluded in March 1962. Over the previous three years, the Chinese armed forces claimed to have killed, wounded, or captured more than 93,000 traitors and taken 35,500 weapons, including over 70 cannons, 41 radios, and 25 parachutists. Siyi and Bian, Zhong, p. 1408.

13. During 1961, the companies were known as either Left Units or Right Units, depending on their location east or west of the Kali Gandaki. Beginning in 1962, they were given numerical designations between one and sixteen.

14. Brigadier J. P. Dalvi, Himalayan Blunder (Dehra Dun, India: Natraj Publishers, 1969), p.166.

15. "Department of State Intelligence Report, subj: The Relations of Communist China and India: Problems and Prospects," 31 March 1960, DDRS, #353B-1981, p. 7.

16. "CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate #13/31-62, subj: Short-term Outlook and Implications for the Sino-Indian Conflict, November 9, 1962."

17. Dennis Kux, Estranged Democracies (New Delhi: Sage Publications India, 1994), p. 202.

18. Major General S. S. Uban, Phantoms of Chittagong (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1985), P.74.

19. The Tibetan guerrilla formation, later known as the Special Frontier Force, recognizes 26 October 1962 as its official date of establishment.

20. Gyalo Thondup interview.

21. Ibid.

22. Rowland, History of Sino-Indian Relations, pp. 168, 171.

23. Aviation Week and Space Technology, 19 November 1962, p. 39.

24. "Memorandum for the Record," in FRUS, 1961-1963, 19:396.

25. Editorial Note, in FRUS, 1961-1963, 22:324; "Letter from the Ambassador to India to President Kennedy," 13 November 1962, ibid., 19:381. In his recollection of the Harriman mission, Galbraith claims that he had serious reservations about the presence of Des FitzGerald, whom he described as one of the most irresponsible officers in the CIA. See Galbraith, A Life in Our Times, p. 436.

26. Interview with David Blee, 22 November 1999.

27. Ibid.

28. Hicks interview; interview with Cliff Costa, 3 February 1999; interview with John Condon, 3 February 1999; interview with Bill Lively, 3 February 1999.

29. "Fifteen DCIs' First 100 Days," Studies in Intelligence 38, no.5 (1995): 4; Aviation Week and Space Technology, 26 November 1962, p. 30.

30. "Memorandum of the 303 Committee," 26 January 1968, in FRUS, 1964-1968,30:741; Knaus interview.

13. Chakrata

1. Lieutenant Colonel Gautam Sharma, Indian Army: A Reference Manual (New Delhi: Reliance Publishing House, 2000), PP. 159,166. The 4th Gorkha (Indian spelling of Gurkha) Rifles departed Chakrata in 1959; the 1st Gorkha Rifles departed in 1960.

2. Gita Mehta, Snakes and Ladders (London: Vintage, 1997), p. 9.

3. Biographic information on Biju Patnaik came from M. S. Kohli, 12 February 2001.

4. Mustakos interview. The Pentagon attempted to soft sell the number of advisers involved by saying that it would involve "35 of our people initially and perhaps more later." See "Memorandum from Robert W. Komer of the National Security Staff to President Kennedy," 16 February 1963, in FRUS, 1961-1963,19:494.

5. Interview with Wayne Sanford, 21 November 1998.

6. Ibid.

7. Mustakos interview; interview with Thomas Thompson, 11 September 1997; interview with Charles Seifarth, 5 January 1997.

8. Sanford interview.

9. Mustakos interview.

10. Ibid.

11. Interview with Jamba Kalden, 13 March 1992.

12. Uban, Phantoms, p. 74.

13. Mustakos interview.

14. Thompson interview; Mustakos interview.

15. Uban, Phantoms, p. 79.

16. Interview with S. S. Uban, 5 February 1998; Seifarth interview; Thompson interview.

17. Uban interview; Seifarth interview.

18. Mustakos interview; Thompson interview. Uban recalls that one Tibetan hung himself because he could not parachute due to a malformed ankle (see Uban, Phantoms, p. 74). M. K. Anand, an airborne training officer who worked closely with Establishment 22, insists that there were never any suicides among the Tibetans. Interview with M. K. Anand, 15 February 2001.

19. Uban interview; Mustakos interview.

14. Oak Tree

1. Anand interview.

2. Prior to 1959, Thorsrud belonged to the Far East Division's aviation desk. In early 1959, however, the new deputy director of plans, Richard Bissell, decreed that all aviation- related units -- particularly the U-2 project, which he had earlier managed -- now be collected under a new Developmental Projects Division (DPD). The DPD answered directly to Bissell, enabling him to retain a close watch over the U-2. During the 1961 Bay of Pigs operation, however, the DPD's role was criticized due to its overly independent command structure. On 17 February 1962, Bissell resigned over the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Two days later, the DPD was disbanded. Strategic reconnaissance programs such as the U-2 subsequently went into a separate directorate, while covert air support units were grouped under the Air Branch of a new Special Operations Division (SOD). Both Marrero and Thorsrud now fell under the SOD.

3. Thompson interview. Plans for Intermountain to use the Fulton system in Indonesia are detailed in Conboy and Morrison, Feet to the Fire, pp. 162-165. Intermountain's involvement with a Fulton snatch from an arctic iceberg is recounted in William Leary and Leonard LeSchack, Project Coldfeet (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1996).

4. Thorsrud interview.

5. Aviation Week and Space Technology, 3 June 1963, p. 21.

6. Sanford interview.

7. Thorsrud interview.

8. Anand interview. Mullik, who was aloof even in the best of times, may have felt pressure by mid-1963 to temper his cooperation with the United States. This was partly because Moscow, having weathered the Cuban missile crisis and no longer needing to appease Beijing, was looking to mend fences with New Delhi by again hinting at its willingness to sell jet fighters. For its part, the United States was dragging its feet on cementing a major military aid package for India because the Kennedy administration did not want to completely burn its bridges with Pakistan and because the Indians were talking about arms assistance in unrealistic terms ($1.3 billion over five years was the excessive figure they proposed in May). Kux, Estranged Democracies, p. 213.

9. Interview with Angus Thuermer, 17 February 2000.

10. Once the Oak Tree parachute facilities were complete in early 1964, Establishment 22 no longer made use of Agra. The initial C-46 instructors under Welk included M. D. Johnson and Al Judkins -- both veterans of the C-130 drops in Tibet -- as well as Maurice Clough. They departed India after two months. Connie Siegrist and Tom Sailor provided additional C-46 training at Charbatia in early 1964. Interview with James Rhyne, 29 April 1998; interview with Connie Siegrist, 2 October 1993.

11. Rhyne interview; Thompson interview.

12. Interview with Bruce Walker, 9 June 1998.

13. Interview with Wangchuk Tsering, 13 October 1998.

14. Ibid.

15. Sanford interview. Indian fears about China's ability to resume an attack were probably overstated. The Intelligence Bureau believed that there were still 20,000 Chinese troops poised on the border as of mid-1963. Although the CIA put PLA strength in all of Tibet at 103,800 troops in May, overhead photography indicated only about 1,000 soldiers scattered along the Indo-Tibetan frontier. "National Intelligence Estimate #13-63, subj.: Problems and Prospects in Communist China," 1 May 1963, DDRS, #3012-1998.

16. Walker interview; interview with Cheme Namgyal, 30 January 1998; interview with Temba Wangyal, 30 January 1998.

17. Cheme Namgyal interview.

18. "Memorandum for the Special Group," 9 January 1964, in FRUS, 1964-1968,30:731; Cheme Namgyal interview.

15. The Joelikote Boys

1. Sanford interview.

2. "Memorandum for the Special Group," 9 January 1964, in FRUS, 1964-1968, 30:731; Gen Gyurme interview.

3. With the CIA paying the hospital bill, Gompo Tashi was escorted to London by former Hale translator Rocky. He died in Darjeeling on 27 September 1964.

4. Interview with Pema Doka, 15 October 1998.

5. Gen Gyurme interview.

6. Bista Temba interview. Temba was a court official for the late king.

7. The Mustang leadership would claim that its lack of contact with the PLA was because the guerrillas had scared the Chinese out of their sector. More likely, the PLA saw little reason to devote assets against the placid guerrillas. Aside from unconfirmed reports of PLA reconnaissance patrols near the northern boundary of Mustang, there were never any cross-border attacks against the guerrilla camps. Gen Gyurme interview.

8. Interview with Tendar, 30 October 1998.

9. Patterson later wrote a book about his trip to Tsum. See George N. Patterson, A Fool at Forty (Waco, Tex.: Word Books, 1970). The account in this book generally conforms to the recollections of Tendar.

10. Tendar interview.

11. Gen Gyurme interview.

12. The original villa was at F-20 Haus Khaz; within six months, the center shifted down the street to a slightly larger two-floor house at F-6IA Haus Khaz.

13. Walker interview. Even after the arrival of Knaus, Grimsley still retained responsibility for contact with the Tibetan refugee community in India; he also maintained close ties with Gyalo Thondup and channeled the CIA's stipend to the Dalai Lama's entourage at Dharamsala. Once Knaus began handling Tibet programs from India, the Tibet Task Force in Washington was downgraded to a desk function within the China Branch.

14. Colby's lament about agent operations in another communist country, North Vietnam, is recounted in chapter 9 of Conboy and Andrade, Spies and Commandos.

15. Once all the Tibetans had cleared out of Hale in mid-1964, the camp was declared "excess to U.S. Army needs" and officially closed by the end of that year. In 1966, the U.S. Forest Service assumed administration of the site. See "Hearings Before Sub-Committee of the Committee on Appropriations," House of Representatives, 89th Congress, 16 February 1965.

16. Within the CIA and Intelligence Bureau, Charbatia was code-named Station A, the Special Center was Station B, and Joelikote was Station C.

17. Gillian Wright, Hill Stations of lndia (Lincolnwood, Ill.: Passport Books, 1991), p. 94. Between 1960 and 1962, nearly 2,000 Tibetan refugees had assembled at Walung. Due to the scarcity of grazing land in that area and resultant disputes with Nepalese locals, most crossed into India. Bureau of the Dalai Lama, Tibetans in Exile, p. 158.

18. Lhamo Tsering interview. Team Q was intended as a "border watch communications team" that would primarily collect intelligence from refugees, traders, and herdsmen.

19. As the agent teams were preparing to cross into Tibet, the CIA had only anecdotal information on possible underground resistance. One clue came on 25 July 1964, when the Lhasa News Service announced rewards for turning in pistols, rifles, light machine guns, heavy machine guns, and even artillery pieces. See Ling Nai-min, ed., Tibet 195O-1967 (Hong Kong: Union Research Institute, 1968), p. 528.

20. Team A, growing comfortable in Gangtok, did not budge. Team B in Shimla was equally unwilling to venture toward the border. Team T at Walung eventually crossed the frontier, only to sprint back to camp after three days.

21. Pemako's mystique among Tibetans derives from its frequent yeti sightings and a macabre cult in which travelers are killed by potions concocted by local women in order to gain merit and wealth.

22. Interview with Temba Wangyal, I February 1998. Temba was a member of Team D.

23. Cheme Namgyal interview. Cheme was a member of Team Z.

16. Omens

1. FBIS, East Asia edition, 16 October 1964, p. BBBI.

2. The CIA later admitted that its prediction of the first Chinese nuclear test was in large part a comedy of errors that resulted in an intelligence success. See H. Bradford Westerfield, ed., Inside CIA's Private World (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995), P.244.

3.Interview with Lobsang Tsultrim, 10 October 1998.

4. Three other Tibet offices -- in Kathmandu, London, and Tokyo -- were not supported by CIA funds. The Kathmandu office, established in 1960, primarily handled refugee affairs.

5. In late 1964, the International Commission of Jurists conducted an interview of new refugees and concluded that there was systematic abuse of human rights in Tibet. Based on these findings, Gyalo wanted to push for a United Nations resolution calling for Tibetan independence. This met with resistance from India, which was willing to deplore Chinese violations of civil rights but considered anything more an unnecessary provocation of Beijing. In order to win New Delhi's approval, the resolution language was toned down for the October 1965 draft, which passed the General Assembly in December.

6. Sanford interview.

7. Interview with M. S. Kohli, 11 February 2001. Kohli led the Nanda Devi expedition.

8. Three out of four Helios had been destroyed by accidents before the end of 1964. In the first incident, which took place at the Charbatia polo field in November 1963, a plane slammed hard into the end of the runway in a downdraft, resulting in loss of the airframe but no casualties. In May 1964, a Helio dipped its wing into a river at night; the pilot died in the subsequent crash. In November 1964, an overloaded Helio clipped a fence line on takeoff. Rhyne interview; interview with S. K. Bajaj, 15 June 2000.

9. Interview with Harry Aderholt, 7 July 1992; Air America Captain William Andresevic, who had flown the Helio extensively in Laos, was ordered in the summer of 1964 to fly a Twin Helio to Bolivia for evaluation by the U.S. embassy. He gave the plane mixed reviews, in part because its extra weight placed too much stress on the rear wheel, and in part because it did not offer any additional cargo space over the regular Helio, despite the extra engine. The Indians, however, praised the Twin Helio for its enhanced stability on landing and the security offered by a second engine. Interview with William Andresevic, 21 February 1997; Bajaj interview.

10. Bajaj interview.

11. The Indians accused Pakistan of using U.S.-supplied tanks. A study by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research reported the use of infantry weapons, but not armor. Kux, Estranged Democracies, p. 270 n.

12. Ibid., p. 215.

13. During an end-of-tour briefing for CIA officials in 1963, Galbraith lavished praise on the agency. James Critchfield, the Near East Division chief, was in attendance and reminded Galbraith of his scathing 1961 criticism by rhetorically asking the ambassador, "Does this mean you're recanting the 'Rover Boys' comment?" Later, in March 1967, Galbraith wrote an article for the Washington Post in which he highlighted the CIA's India activities in a positive light. This created such a stir in the Indian parliament that both CIA director Richard Helms and Critchfield contacted Galbraith and implored him to be more discreet. "Telegram from the Embassy in India to the Department of State," 28 March 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, 25:827-828; Critchfield interview.

14. Sanford interview.

IS. Condon interview; Costa interview. Both Condon and Costa flew on the 727 shuttles.

16. The director general of security also oversaw the Special Service Bureau (SSB). A brainchild of Mullik and Patnaik in late 1962, the SSB was an attempt to promote nation building among the tribal populations along India's frontiers with Tibet and Pakistan, in the event they were overrun by enemy forces. Through a combination of civic action and paramilitary training, an SSB border network was constructed with the assistance of British advisers. Mullik claimed that the SSB operated effectively during the 1965 war with Pakistan. See Mullik, Chinese Betrayal, p. 493.

17. In November 1964, Ken Knaus left the Special Center and returned to Washington. After more than half a decade of involvement with the Tibet project, Knaus shifted out of the Far East Division when Des FitzGerald, who would soon be promoted to deputy director of plans, invented for him the new slot of counterinsurgency officer for Latin America.

18. In several cases, teams infiltrating Tibet for a second season had their letter designators doubled. Team D, therefore, became Team DD during 1965. Temba Wangyal interview.

19. Cheme Namgyal interview; Tashi Choedak interview.

20. The case of singleton Ares, who was doubled for almost a decade, is detailed in Conboy and Andrade, Spies and Commandos.

21. Only one of the Establishment 22 guerrillas, who lost an arm in a firefight with the PLA, managed to reach India. Returning to Chakrata, he lobbied to undergo airborne training at Agra. Accommodating the resilient Tibetan, Indian instructors fashioned a special parachute harness that compensated for his missing limb. Anand interview.

22. The fate of Irving and the other agents captured by the Chinese was derived from details in a paper entitled "Debriefing Report of Tsenten Tashi, One of Ten 'Spies' Released by the Chinese in November 1978." An English copy of this report, which was prepared by Indian and Tibetan intelligence officials, was provided to the authors.

23. This was not the first time Beijing had treated infiltrators with surprising leniency. In November 1957, an ROC B-26 was downed on a covert mission over the mainland. Three crew members were captured and held for ten months before being unconditionally released back to Taiwan.

24. A censored 16 September 1965 State Department intelligence report gives details on PLA camps east of Tingri. Although the source of this information is deleted, the Tibetan agents at Tingri are likely suspects. "Department of State Research Memorandum, subj.: Summary of Chinese Communist Activities Related to India-Pakistan," 16 September 1965, DDRS, #1959-1998.

25. To improve the reliability and frequency of radio transmissions from Nepal, the Special Center began to deploy a large number of Hale-trained agents. At the Kaisang headquarters was Team K, consisting of two agents. This team, in turn, controlled five more two-man teams strung out along the Nepalese frontier. At the extreme northwest, in the Limi valley, was Team W; because Limi was populated by ethnic Tibetans who frequently crossed to nearby sacred Mount Kailash, Team W spent its time debriefing these pilgrims. Two other teams went to Dolpo, the region just northwest of Mustang, and two more went to Tsum and Nashang, regions to the southeast.

26. "The Communist Chinese have made their presence felt in steadfastly neutral Nepal. They have built a road north to Tibet that everyone believes is a tank road" (New York Times, 15 September 1968, p. 112).

27. In July 1964, Air Ventures voluntarily flew a single covert mission at the behest of the CIA station chief in Kathmandu, Howard Stone. After a senior Chinese official secretly defected to the Nepalese capital (Beijing mistakenly assumed that he was dead), the CIA looked for ways to smuggle him out to Taiwan. Flying at low level, Air Ventures helicopter pilot Jerome McEntee took the defector to Charbatia without Indian complicity. On the pretext of servicing two ARC C-46 transports, a CIA-operated DC-6 arrived at Oak Tree, took aboard the ex-communist while the plane was taxiing at the end of the runway, and spirited him out of India. Interview with Robert Kay, 24 November 1999; interview with Howard Stone, 18 June 1998; interview with Henri Verbrugghen, 19 May 1999; interview with Jerome McEntee, 19 November 1999. Kay was the Air Ventures station manager; Verbrugghen was aboard the DC-6 flight that flew the defector out of Charbatia.

28. The CIA station in Kathmandu was extremely sensitive to charges of complicity with the guerrillas at Mustang. In September 1964, press statements from the Nepalese government claimed that four "huge" weapons caches had been uncovered in the countryside; it was later acknowledged that the weapons had come from China, apparently for communist sympathizers. The Soviet Union later attempted to link this discovery with Mustang and falsely claimed that CIA station chief Howard Stone had been declared persona non grata over the matter. In fact, the Nepalese government did lodge a protest against Stone, but for a different reason. Using what was then the latest recording technology, the Soviets had spliced together a tape of Stone supposedly making antiroyalist remarks, a copy of which was given to Nepal's foreign minister. U.S. Ambassador Henry Stebbills vigorously defended Stone against the forged tape, and the CIA chief remained in Nepal until his scheduled departure in late 1965. New York Times, 30 September 1964, p. 12; Stone interview; Rustem Galiullin, The CIA in Asia (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1988), p. 79.

29. Verbrugghen interview.

30. Gen Gyurme interview.

31. Verbrugghen interview; interview with Franke Janke, 15 May 1999; interview with John Fogarty, 9 May 1999. Verbrugghen, Janke, and Fogarty were all kickers on the flight.

32. Baba Yeshi interview.

33. Gen Gyurme interview.

34. The Mustang guerrillas may have proved themselves of some value during the third quarter of 1965. During early September, a U.S. intelligence report detailed increased PLA truck and troop movement along the Lhasa-Xilljiang road north of Mustang. This coincided with the Indo-Pakistani conflict in Kashmir. Although the source of this information is censored, it was probably the Mustang guerrillas. "Department of State Research Memorandum, subj.: Summary of Chinese Communist Activities Related to lndia- Pakistan," 16 September 1965, DDRS, #1959-1998.

17. Revolution

1. Kux, Estranged Democracies, p. 250.

2. "Minutes of Meeting of the 303 Committee, 22 April 1966," 26 April 1966, DDRS, #2460-1999.

3. "Text of Cable from Ambassador Bowles," 28 April 1966, DDRS, #3302-1999.

4. Walker interview.

5. Tashi Choedak interview.

6. Gen Gyurme interview.

7. Ibid.; Tendar interview; Baba Yeshi interview; Lobsang Tsultrim interview.

8. "Memorandum for the 303 Committee," 26 January 1968, in FRUS, 1964-1968, 30:740.

9. During a July 1966 trip to Moscow, Mrs. Gandhi offered less than nonaligned remarks about the U.S. role in Vietnam. Although such words pleased her Soviet hosts, President Johnson was livid. Any further thought of linking Vietnam with India's willingness to open a second front in Tibet was quietly dropped.

10. Seifarth lived with his wife at a bungalow at Dehra Dun, a privilege only he enjoyed due to his close rapport with Brigadier Uban. Uban interview; Seifarth interview.

11. On his way back to San Diego, Gougelmann apparently unleashed some of his fury on captured Japanese. His official files include a letter of admonition dated 18 August for his conduct in the treatment of prisoners.

12. New York Times, 13 December 1947, p. 1.

13. Critchfield interview.

14. Interview with Don Stephens, 14 April 2000.

15. Interview with Alan Wolfe, 28 Apri1 2000.

16. Gougelmann's maritime effort is detailed in Conboy and Andrade, Spies and Commandos.

17. Fosmire interview.

18. A sensor had been hurriedly left near the summit of Nanda Devi in October 1965, with the intention of assembling the device properly during the following climbing season. When a second expedition returned to the mountain in May 1966, it discovered that the nuclear generator had been swept away in an avalanche. Fearful that its contents would spill into the sacred Ganges River and poison millions of Hindu worshippers, U.S. and Indian mountaineers began combing Nanda Devi's lower slopes to locate the missing equipment. On 23 July, Gougelmann flew to the Nanda Devi Sanctuary aboard an ARC chopper to inspect this recovery effort.

19. Interview with Henry Booth, 11 April 2000.

20. Uban interview.

21. Sanford interview.

22. Jamba Kalden interview.

23. Although the Tibetans still occasionally made use of the large airborne training base at Oak Tree, Sarsawa's closer proximity to Chakrata made it the favored location for SFF parachute instruction.

24. Hale graduate Conrad, who sampled the special tsampa in 1965, remembers that it had an oily residue but overall good taste. A 1997 letter to the author from Kellogg's Consumer Affairs Department stated that information on the tsampa was considered "proprietary and confidential." Cheme Namgyal interview; correspondence with Diane Backus, Kellogg's Consumer Affairs Department, 1 August 1997.

25. Anand interview.

26. Thuermer interview; Grimsley interview.

27. "Memo for Secretary from Acting Secretary," 21 March 1967, DDRS, #"524-1982.

28. Interview with Woodson Johnson, 27 November 1998.

29. Critchfield interview.

30. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, r974), p. 50.

31. Lobsang Tsultrim interview; FRUS, 1964-1968,30:741.

32. Interview with John Rickard, 15 November 1999.

33. Bajaj interview.

34. Grimsley interview.

18. Civil War

1. Gen Gyurme interview.

2. Gyalo Thondup interview.

3. Interview with Kesang Kunga, 6 February 1998.

4. Gen Gyurme interview.

5. Lhamo Tsering interview.

6. Tashi Choedak interview.

7. A History of Sino-Indian Relations and "American Diplomacy and the God King," Foreign Service Journal (February 1967): 36-37, were both published under the pen name John Rowland. Tibet: A Chronicle of Exploration (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970) was published under Waller's second pen name, John MacGregor.

8. As RAW director, Kao eventually came to wear a second hat as director general of security.

9. Targeting these sources was not new. Duane Clarridge, a CIA officer assigned to Kathmandu in the late 1950s, recruited a Nepalese trader who had good contacts at the Nepalese mission in Lhasa. See Duane R. Clarridge with Digby Diehl, A Spy For All Seasons: My Life in the CIA (New York: Scribner, 1997), p. 67.

10. Peissel, Mustang, p. 34.

11. "Memorandum prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency," 23 February 1968, in FRUS, 1964-1968, 30:660.

12. Wangchuk Tsering interview.

13. Arnold does not discount the possibility that his ROC competitors scored their own successes. "They might have had some of the same sources as us," he noted (ibid.).

14. Kesang Kunga interview.

15. Lhamo Tsering interview; Lobsang Tsultrim interview.

16. Gyalo Thondup interview. Gyalo kept the extent of his contact with Soviet officials a secret from the CIA and Intelligence Bureau until after it ceased. During a December 1968 conversation with State Department officials, he admitted to having private meetings with Soviet officials, who had allegedly shown greater sympathy toward a potential Tibet resolution at the United Nations. "Memorandum of Conversation," 6 December 1968, in FRUS, 1964-1968,30:743.

17. Interview with William Stites, 19 November 1998.

18. Tashi Choedak interview.

19. Blee interview.

20. Bajaj interview.

21. CIA airborne adviser Alexander MacPherson, a Scot by birth and a naturalized U.S. citizen, qualified the first Indian free-fall parachutist from an An-12 in May 1968.

22. Chutter, Confidential Study, p. 19.

23. In the summer of 1968, Tucker Gougelmann finished his tour and was replaced as the senior CIA paramilitary adviser by another former marine, Joseph "Dick" Johnson. In rnid-1970, Johnson completed his posting and was not replaced by a successor.

24. Uban, Phantoms, p. 40.

25. P. P. Talwar, "Scruffy Guerrillas Are Full of Life," Sainik Samachar, 2 August 1987, p. 8.

26. Uban interview.

27. Ibid.

28. During the brief December 1971 war, there were fears in Washington that Beijing would intervene on behalf of Pakistan, which in turn would draw the Soviet Union into a wider South Asian conflict. If this had happened, Nixon would have warned Moscow that the United States would not accept Soviet intervention against China if Beijing took action against India. National security adviser Henry Kissinger claims that Nixon would have backed China in that scenario. If true, this is remarkable, given the CIA's nearly decade-long paramilitary program in India to guard against Chinese attack. "National Security Council Memorandum, " 4 February 1977, DDRS, # 3409-1999; Kux, Estranged Democracies, p. 323 n.

19. A Pass Too Far

1. Later guests included former secretary of defense Robert McNamara.

2. Interview with Gen Wongya, 27 October 1998; Bista Temba interview; Peissel, Mustang, p. 148.

3. Interview with Gyanu Babu Adhikari, 31 October 1998.

4. The Rising Nepal, 26 July 1974, p. 1; Gen Gyurme interview.

5. Tashi Choedak interview; Gyanu Babu Adhikari interview.

6. Gyanu Babu Adhikari interview; Gen Gyurme interview.

7. Gen Gyurme interview.

8. Interview with James Lys, 21 November 1998; Gyanu Babu Adhikari interview.

9. The Rising Nepal, 16 October 1974, p. 1. In January 1975, King Birendra handed out another 200 medals, certificates, and cash awards for the Mustang operation. Far Eastern Economic Review, 7 February 1975, p. 35; Gyanu Babu Adhikari interview.

10. The Rising Nepal, 15 October 1974, p. 1. Not wishing to point the finger at the United States, the Nepalese Home Ministry claimed that the captured gear could be purchased in "some markets."

11. The Rising Nepal, 12 September 1974, p. 1; 13 September 1974, p. 4.

12. Wangchuk Tsering interview.


1. Conversation with R. N. Kao, 14 February 1998.

2. Uban's Son, Brigadier G. S. Uban, would later command the SFF until October 2000.

3. Anand interview; interview with Bruce Lehfeldt, 19 May 1999. One of the experimental chutes, with a twenty-eight-foot canopy made of nonporous cloth, was found unsuitable. A larger conical chute was used during successful high-altitude jumps at Ladakh during May 1977.

4. Lieutenant General K. S. Brar, Operation Blue Star, the True Story (New Delhi: UBS Publishers, 1993), p. 39.

5. Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 February 1976, p. 5; 20 May 1977, p. 33. Kathmandu's angst was somewhat understandable. Arms caches were still being uncovered several years after Kaisang was occupied (in 1976, Kaisang was converted into the Mountain Warfare School of the Royal Nepalese Army). Near Tangya, two boys herding yaks were killed by unexploded ordnance as late as 1991.
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Re: THE CIA'S SECRET WAR IN TIBET, by Kenneth Conboy and Jam

Postby admin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:09 am


Acheson, Dean. 7, 31, 262n, 265n
Aderholt, Harry "Heinie," 127-128, 130,
Air America, 114, 115, 118, 126, 128-129.
131, 140, 159, 164, 191,197, 215,
216, 255
Aircraft types:
An-l2. 230, 242, 243, 293n
B-17, 58, 59, 60, 61,62, 63, 64,65, 71,
74, 75, 107, 269n
B-26, 58, 103, 289n
B-29, 44
Bell 47G, 196
Boeing 707, 172
C.46, 190, 191, 192, 207-208, 219, 227,
141, 242, 286n, 290n
C-47, 57, 60
C-54, 45,74
C-118, 45, 46, 60, 74, 75-76, 78, 86,
87, 97, 98, 103-105, 106, 1l2, 117,
128, 216, 271n, 276n
C-119, 187, 188,190, 208
C-130, 110, 112-114, 115, 116-118, 119,
122, 123, 126, 127, 129-131,
132-133, 140-141, 158, 164, 172,
191, 209, 215, 219, 230, 241,
DC-6, 45, 112, 174, 210, 217-219,
DC-7C, 112
Helio Courier. See U-10
Mi-4, 209, 241
MiG-21, 172, 209
Nord Noratlas, 180
P2V, 58, 103
727 jets, 210
Tupolev-4 (Tu-4), 26, 264n
Twin Helio, 207, 210, 130, 255,
U-2, 57, 104. 115, 120, 133, 134, 137,
155, 159, 205
U-10, 191, 192, 207, 255, 288n
Air Resupply and Communications
Wing, 44, 128, 268n
Air Ventures, 196-197, 207, 215, 290n
Allison, John, 18, 19
Amdo Tsering, 237-238, 259
Anand, M.K., 285n
Andersen, Roland "Andy," 75, 117, 127,
130, 164
Angleton, James, 167
ARC (Indian organization). See Aviation
Research Centre
ARC (U.S. Air Force unit). See Air
Resupply and Communications
Archer, Harry, 135
"Arnold." See Wangchuk Tsering
Athar, 42-43, 44, 53, 54, 62, 63-65, 66,
68-70, 73, 77, 79, 91-93, 97, 255,
270n, 271n, 277n
Aubrey, Bob, 75, 76, 104
Aviation Research Centre, 191-192, 194,
196, 200, 207-208, 209-210, 215,
219, 226, 230, 241-242, 243, 255,
256, 290n
Ayub Khan, 160, 166
Baba Yeshi, 148-153, 154, 158, 160-162,
168, 197-199, 201, 217-218,
221-222, 231-234, 239, 249, 250,
252, 258
Ballew, Monty, 59
Bane, Howard, 157
Barnes, Truman "Barney," 104-105
Bell. Sir Charles, 51, 52
Bellingham, John, 236, 239-240,246,
Bhusang, 140, 143-144, 259, 280n
Bhutan, 20, 21, 29, 71, 145, 176, 194, 202,
220, 271n
"Bill" (translator). See Tamding Tsephel
Bird & Son, 216
Birendra, King Bir Birkram Shav Dev,
247-248, 252, 259, 293n
Bissell, Richard, 155,167, 282n, 285n
Blee, David, 167, 174, 182, 183, 234, 241,
Booth, Henry "Hank," 225, 226
Bowles, Chester, 155, 209, 215, 219
Broe, William, 35, 139, 265n
Brown, Lyle, 164
"Bruce." See Donyo Pandatsang
Buck, Stuart, 64, 270n
Bunker, Ellsworth, 155, 282n
Cathey, Kenneth "Clay," 151-152,
157-158, 162
Cesare, Don, 134, 137, 138, 165-166,
CFA. See Committee for a Free Asia
Chiang Kai-shek, 4, 5, 6, 30, 31, 38,
100-101, 102-103, 265n
Choni Yeshi, 259, 278n, 279n
Chushi Gangdruk, 71, 72, 139
Chu Shi-kuei, General, 30, 31
Civil Air Transport, 37, 38, 44, 57,
74-75, 82, 103, 114
Cline, Ray, 102
Colby, William, 200, 287n
Committee for a Free Asia, 14-15, 20, 30,
229, 262n
Cox, Walter, 42
Critchfield, James, 155, 156, 173-174,
175, 224, 229, 281n, 283n,
Crown Prince of Sikkim, 21, 24, 27-28,
33, 41, 265n
Czekalski, Franciszek, 58, 61, 62
Dagg, Herbert, 45
Dalai Lama, 9
Fifth Dalai Lama, 9
Fourteenth Dalai Lama, 10, 11, 12, 14,
15, 16-17, 18, 23, 24-25, 31, 69,
85, 99, 252
and Buddha Jayanti celebration,
27-28, 30, 33-35, 36-37, 41, 43,
64, 67, 87, 94, 266n
and flight from Tibet, 90-93,
94-97, 119, 168, 176, 205, 213,
272n, 273n
in exile, 98, 123-124, 125, 146,
177, 179, 202, 230, 231, 240, 243,
246, 247, 248, 250, 258, 259,
Thirteenth Dalai Lama, 10, 50, 51
Da!ley, Larry, 21-22, 23
Dalvi, John, 168-169, 170
Damshung airfield, 24, 68,77, 270n
Demmons, William, 75, 117
Dhondup Gyatotsang, 244-245
"Dick" (Saipan graduate). See Tashi
Dittrich, Arthur, 128
Dolan, Brooke, 7, 22, 263n
Donyo Pandatsang, 122, 132
Doole, George, 112
Drobny, Jan, 58
Drumright, Everett, 103
Dulles, Allen, 54, 59, 92, 97, 99,
125, 134, 138, 151, 156, 157,
159, 160, 173, 267n, 274n,
EAGLE (Operation), 244, 246, 257
Eisenhower, Dwight, 34, 92, 96-97, 100,
125, 133, 134, 137, 138, 149-150,
155, 235, 265n, 266n, 273n
Ekvall, Robert, 15-16, 18
Erskine, Graves, 113, 116
Eschbach, Robert, 193
"Establishment 22." See Special Frontier
FitzGerald, Desmond, 83-84, 86, 102,
113, 125, 134, 137, 155, 156, 167,
173-174, 200, 206, 229, 272n,
278n, 284n, 289n
Forrestal, Michael, 194
Fosmire, Thomas, 82, 84, 86-87, 88,
106, 107, 108, 109, 116, 117-118,
131, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 255,
277n, 279n
Galbraith, John Kenneth, 154-156, 158,
159, 163, 166, 173, 182, 183, 209,
281n, 284n, 288n
Gandhi, Indira, 219, 229, 235-236, 256,
258, 291n
Gates, Thomas, 100
Gelung, 43, 98
GEMINI (project), 227
Gen Gyurme, 218, 221, 250-251, 253
Georgetown University, 87, 167, 205
Geshe Wangyal, 48-52, 53, 55, 64, 68,
81-82, 86, 91-92, 110, 131, 259,
268n, 271n
Gilhooley, John, 132, 211, 220
Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang, 39, 40, 64,
66-70, 77-78, 80, 86, 89-90, 97,
119-120, 145, 146-148, 150, 197,
232, 278n, 286n
Gordon, Harry, 135
Gougelmann, Tucker, 223-225,
255-256, 291n, 293n
"Grant," 203, 212
Gray, Gordon, 97
Greaney, John, 85, 87, 92, 126, 135, 157
Grewal, Laloo, 188, 190, 191, 256
Grimsley, William, 167, 200, 227, 230,
Gross, Ernest, 124, 125
Gurkhas, 83, 178, 183, 185-186, 226
Gyalo Thondup, 30-35, 36-37, 39,
40-41, 42, 43, 55, 68, 71, 72, 73,
89, 95-96, 97-98, 115, 123, 129,
151, 156-157, 160, 171-172, 174,
177, 179, 193, 200, 202, 230,
231-232, 240, 259, 265n, 266n,
273n, 292n
visits United States, 31,124-125,137,
166, 194, 206, 287n
Gyanu Babu Adhikari, 250, 251
Harrer, Heinrich, 12, 16, 85
Harriman, Averell, 173, 174, 175, 196
Hart, John, 282n
Hawthorne, Mary, 29
Helms, Richard, 155, 167, 229, 288n
Henderson, Loy, 11-12, 16, 18, 20, 263n
Herter, Christian, 134
Hicks, Neese, 133, 174
Hiu Muslims, 71, 101-105, 150, 238, 261n
Holober, Irving "Frank," 64-65, 73-74,
81-82, 119, 206, 267n, 272n
Hoskins, John, 29, 33, 36, 39, 42, 55, 73,
94-95,156-157, 164n, 266n,
Hudson, Harry, 126, 129, 277n
Indonesia, 9, 64, 82, 84, 88, 179-180,
Intermountain Aviation, 182, 189
Jackson, C. D., 125
Jamba Kalden, 176-177, 184, 243, 257
Jentzen Thondup, 15-16, 30, 42, 43, 45,
53, 86
Johnson, Lyndon, 208, 215, 219, 235,
Johnson, Merrill "Doc," 75,77, 104-105,
114,115, 117, 129-130, 286n
Johnson, Miles, 126, 130, 140, 193
Johnson, Shep, 126, 164, 193
Johnson, Woodson "Woody," 222, 229
Judkins, Al, 129, 130, 286n
Jukkala, Art, 117
Kalinga Air Lines, 179, 180, 189, 192
Kalsang Gyatotsang, 40
Kao, Rameshwar Nath, 191, 235, 246,
256, 258, 292n
Katzenbach, Nicholas, 229
Kaul, B.M., 170-171
"Kay-Kay." See Kesang Kunga
Keck, James, 75, 76, 104-105, 117-118,
127, 129
"Ken." See Bhusang
Kennedy, John F., 137, 138-139, 154-155,
158, 159-160, 163, 166, 167,
172-174, 175, 194, 208, 209,
KesangKunga, 200-201, 202, 204, 232,
Kleyla, Robert, 59
Knaus, John "Ken," 87-88, 109-110, 137,
167, 168, 173, 175, 193, 199-201,
202, 204, 214, 287n, 289n
Kukula, Princess, 22-23, 29, 31, 145,
Kula, Princess, 22
Kuomintang, 4, 5, 7, 30, 37, 39
Laber, Robert, 135-136
Layton, Gilbert, 108-109
Lewis, John, 126
Lhamo Tsering, 73, 86, 87,106, 115, 119,
129, 134, 140, 145, 146-147, 150,
151-153, 162, 172, 197, 231-233,
239-240, 249-250, 251, 252, 259,
Lhotse, 54, 55, 62, 63-64, 65, 66, 68-70,
770 79, 91-93, 97, 255, 277n
Lilley, James, 84
Linn, Robert, 16,22-23
Lively, Bill, 75,76, 104
Lobsang Jamba, 154,158-159,160,164
Lobsang Samten, 87,88, 206, 263n, 270n
Lobsang Tsultrim, 205
Logonov, Anatoli, 240-241
"Lou." See Lhotse
Ma Chen-wu, 101
MacPherson, Alex, 257, 293n
Magerowski, John, 182
Mahendra, King, 145, 147, 247, 281n
Mao Tse.tung, 5, 17, 25, 78, 228
Ma Pu-fang, 4, 102
"Mark" (translator). See Tashi Choedak
Marrero, Robert "Moose," 181, 188-190,
209-210, 285n
McAllister, Edward, 42, 43
McCarthy, Roger, 55, 60, 62, 119-120,
132, 135, 138, 157, 167, 255, 278n,
McCone, John, 173, 175
McElroy, James, 59-60, 103-104, 105,
113-114, 179,182
McNamara, Robert, 165, 173
Menon, Krishna, 166, 170-171, 173, 174,
Millian, Kenneth, 23, 29
Milligan, L. Eugene, 41-42, 267n
Mills, Billie, 113-115, 116
Mizra, Iskandar, 41, 42
Mullik, Bhola Nath, 32-33, 34, 155-156,
166, 172, 173-174, 178-179,
180-181, 186-187, 190, 196, 210,
214-215, 216, 219, 225, 229,
265n, 282n, 283n, 289n
Mustakos, Harry, 53, 54-55, 62, 182,
183, 184, 255, 269n
"Nathan." See Ngawang Phunjung
National Security Agency, 64
National Security Council, 38
National Volunteer Defense Army
(NVDA), 72, 77-78, 89-90,
91-93, 97, 99, 102, 103, 115, 119,
120, 145, 148-150, 176, 231
Nehru, Jawaharlal, 14, 27, 28, 30, 32,
34-35, 41, 93, 96, 145, 166, 170,
172, 173, 180-181, 187, 189, 191,
192, 210, 264n, 266n
Ngawang Phunjung, 86, 118, 119, 129,
133, 278n
Nixon, Richard, 23, 137, 138, 235-236,
246, 247, 293n
Norbu, Thubten, 12, 14-16, 18, 19-20,
30, 34-35, 36, 39, 42, 68, 86,
262n, 263n, 268n
on Saipan, 46,53, 54, 64
Norman,George, 113
NVDA. See National Volunteer Defense
Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), 83,
Office of Strategic Services (OSS), 7, 37,
52, 82, 94, 156, 167, 193
Palden Thondup. See Crown Prince of
Panchen Lama, 263n, 266n
Pandatsang, Ragpa, 6, 25-26, 264n
Pandatsang, Topgyay, 6
Pandatsang, Yangel, 6
Patnaik, Biju, 179-181, 188-189, 209,
Patterson, George, 16, 25-26, 199
PCART. See People's Committee for the
Autonomous Region of Tibet
Peers, Raymond, 37
Pema Choki. See Kula, Princess
Pema Tseudeum. See Kukula, Princess
Pema Wangdu, 106, 135
People's Committee for the Autonomous
Region of Tibet (PCART), 27, 28,
"Pete" (translator). See Pema Wangdu
Peterson, Richard "Paper Legs,"
104-105, 131, 140
Phala, Thupten Woyden, 11, 67-69, 91,
92-93, 270n
Poe, Tony. See Poshepny, Anthony
Popovich, Eli, 52
Poshepny, Anthony "Tony Poe," 88, 98,
102, 103, 106-107, 109, 134, 138,
255, 279n
Poss, Willard "Sam," 135-136, 154
Powers, Francis Gary, 133, 278n
Prouty, Leroy Fletcher, 116-117
Rabi (Indian representative), 200, 201,
202, 204, 211, 221
Rara, 161-162, 231, 250-251, 252, 259
Reagan, John, 35-36, 37, 42, 45, 64
Reams, Robert, 28
Rector, Edward, 191, 209
Redford, Ralph, 47, 151, 281n
"Red Stone. " See Amdo Tsering
Rhyne, James, 191, 255
Rickard, John, 230
"Rocky." See Thinlay Paljor
Rositzke, Harry, 156-158, 167, 282n
"Ross. " See Rara
Rousselot, Robert, 75
Rusk, Dean, 173
"Sally." See Lobsang Jamba
"Sam. " See Tsawang Dorje
Sanford, Wayne, 181-182, 183, 190, 194,
196, 207, 209, 217, 222, 226
Schenck, Ray, 75
Shastri, Lal Bahadur, 219
Shires, Justin, 45
Siefarth, Charles "Ken," 183, 186, 222,
225, 255, 291n
Sikkim, 11, 20-23, 61, 62, 73, 98, 115,
45, 193, 201, 202, 219, 227, 263n
Sims, Eddie, 217-218
Singh, Balbir, 229
Slavin, Joe, 134
Smith, William "Billy the Kid," 87, 88,
106, 134, 138
Smoke jumpers, 56-57, 59-60, 75, 104,
107, 126, 40-141, 164, 182, 193
Soulen, Gary, 23, 31, 265n
Southern Air Transport (SAT), 216-217
Special Center, 199-201, 204, 206, 210,
212, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 230,
232-233, 236-240, 241, 246, 253,
256, 289n
Special Forces (Republic of China),
100-101, 274n
Special Frontier Force, 184-187, 193,
196-197, 201, 210, 212, 219, 222,
Special Frontier Force, continued
225-227, 231, 242-245, 246, 256,
257-258, 284n, 286n, 289n, 291n
Special Group, 139, 175, 192, 194, 215,
Stark, Ray, 87, 106, 107-108, 120-121,
122, 137, 151
ST BARNUM, 55, 56, 59, 74, 78, 103,
116, 129, 131, 274n, 275n
ST CIRCUS, 55, 103, 179
Stephens, Don, 224
Stiles, Jack, 126, 127,129-130
Stites, William, 241
Stone, Howard, 290n
Strickler, Gil, 109, 134
"Stuart," 204, 211
ST WHALE, 103,105, 112, 120, 276n
Subramanian, T.M., 189-190, 196, 207
Surkhang Shape, 11
Sutphin, Ron, 126
Talbot, Phillips, 155
Tamding Tsephel, 106
Tashi (Saipan student), 53, 65, 71
Tashi Choedak, 98, 106, 132, 135, 138,
140, 143, 233, 238, 239, 241, 273n
Taylor, Maxwell, 175
A, 201, 202, 287n
B, 201, 202, 287n
C, 212-213, 259
D, 201, 203, 204, 211, 287n, 289n
DD, 289n
F, 214, 220, 259
K, 289n,
Q, 202, 287n
S, 214, 220, 259
SI, 220
T, 201, 202, 287n
U, 213
V, 201, 204, 211
VI, 211-212, 259
W, 289n
X, 213
Y, 201, 202-203, 212, 213, 259
Z, 201, 204, 211, 287n
Tendar, 198-199
Thacher, Nicholas, 12-14, 22
Thinlay Paljor, 205,252, 286n
Thompson, Thomas "T.J.," 182, 183, 184,
185, 192, 255
Thorsrud, Gar, 56-57, 58-59, 61, 75,
112-113, 116-117, 126, 188-190,
303 Committee, 215, 219, 221, 222,
227-228, 230, 239, 279n
Thuermer, Angus, 227
"Tim." See Yeshi Wangyal
Toler, William, 134
Tolstoy, Ilya, 7, 22
"Tom." See Athar
Tsawang Dorje, 54, 65, 71
Tsering Dolma, 16
Tsing-po Yu, 131-132
Turner, John, 23-24, 25
Uban, Sujan Singh, 171, 174, 175,
177-178, 183-187, 222, 225,
242-245, 247, 248, 256, 285n,
291n, 294n
Ulmer, Al, 272n
Vietnam War, 208, 219-220, 224, 235,
255-256, 291n
Walker, Bruce, 193, 194, 220, 236
Wall, Jack,107
Waller, John, 94-95, 234, 273n
"Walt." See Wangdu Gyatotsang
WangchukTsering, 193, 194, 238-239,
252, 292n
Wangdu Gyatotsang, 39-40, 42, 43, 53,
57, 65, 71, 79-80, 86, 231-232,
240-241, 244, 247, 248, 250-252,
258, 268n
Welk, William, 75,114, 129,130, 164,
191, 286n
Weltman, William, 75,104
Western Enterprises, 37, 38, 55, 58, 119,
White, Thomas, 100
Wisner, Frank, 83, 84, 193, 272n
Wolfe, Alan, 224
Wylie, Terrell, 194
Yeshi Wangyal, 139-144, 279n, 280n
Yutok Dzaza, 22, 23, 263n
Zhou En-Iai, 34-35
Zilaitis, Albert "Zeke," 110-112, 120, 122,
134, 136, 140, 222, 225, 279n
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