The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross

"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 Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:27 am


A History

THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT was born December 7, 1941, in the smoke and rubble of Pearl Harbor. It was still a child when the Cold War began after World War II, an adolescent during the 1950s, and it reached its majority a year after President Kennedy took office.

Whatever else the multitude of inquiries into Pearl Harbor proved, they did show that the United States was badly in need of a centralized intelligence apparatus. There were plenty of warning signs before Pearl Harbor of the coming Japanese attack, but they were not pulled together, analyzed and brought forcefully to the attention of the government.

"The CIA," the Hoover Commission said in 1955, "may well attribute its existence to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and to the postwar investigation into the part Intelligence or lack of Intelligence played in the failure of our military forces to receive adequate and prompt warning of the impending Japanese attack."

The United States shed its isolationist traditions and emerged from World War II as the leader of the West. Regardless of Pearl Harbor, its new global responsibilities and objectives would have, in any event, led to the creation of a global American intelligence network. Added to this, the early emergence of the Soviet Union as an adversary almost before the V-J celebrations had ended made the growth of an Invisible Government in the United States virtually inevitable.

Even in the absence of a clash between Western democracy and international Communism, the conduct of United States foreign policy in the postwar world would have required intelligence information upon which the policy makers could base their decisions.

This was stated in characteristic style by President Truman in 1952. On November 21, shortly after President Eisenhower's election, Truman stole away from the White House to deliver a talk behind closed doors at a CIA training session.

"It was my privilege a few days ago," Truman said, "to brief the general, who is going to take over the office on the twentieth of January, and he was rather appalled at all that the President needs to know in order to reach decisions -- even domestic decisions." The modern presidency, Truman declared, carried power beyond parallel in history, more power than that of Genghis Khan, Caesar, Napoleon or Louis XIV.

No central intelligence organization existed when he became President in 1945, Truman continued. "Whenever it was necessary for the President to have information, he had to send to two or three departments ... and then he would have to have somebody do a little digging to get it.

"The affairs of the presidential office, so far as information was concerned, were in such shape that it was necessary for me, when I took over the office, to read a stack of documents that high [gesturing], and it took me three months to get caught up."

President Roosevelt had been concerned about the same problem. In 1940 he sent William J. Donovan, then a New York attorney, on an informal intelligence-gathering mission to England, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. "Wild Bill" Donovan returned with the information Roosevelt wanted -- and a recommendation that a central intelligence organization be established.

Out of this emerged the Office of Coordinator of Information, with General Donovan as its head. On June 13, 1942, this was split into the Office of Strategic Services, under Donovan, and the Office of War Information. The function of the OSS was to gather intelligence, but it first became famous by dropping parachutists behind enemy lines in France, Norway, Italy, Burma and Thailand, setting a pattern of combining special operations with information-gathering that is still followed by the CIA.

By 1944 Donovan had prepared for Roosevelt a plan to establish a central intelligence agency. It was referred to the Joint Chiefs, and pigeonholed. But after Truman became President (and dug his way out from under the stack of papers he later complained about) he sent for Admiral William D. Leahy and asked him to look into the whole problem.

In the meantime Truman issued an order, on September 20, 1945, disbanding the OSS. Some of the OSS agents went into Army Intelligence. Others were transferred to the State Department. There they formed the nucleus of what became the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, an important branch of the Invisible Government.

Four months after the OSS closed up shop, Truman, on January 22, 1946, issued an executive order setting up a National Intelligence Authority and, under it, a Central Intelligence Group, which became the forerunner of the CIA. The Authority's members were Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal and Admiral Leahy. The Central Intelligence Group was the Authority's operating arm. To head it, Truman selected Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, the deputy chief of Navy Intelligence. Souers had been a businessman in St. Louis before the war; the nation's first Director of Central Intelligence once headed the Piggly Wiggly Stores in Memphis.

Souers was anxious to get back to his business interests, and five months later, in June, Truman named Air Force General Hoyt S. Vandenberg to the post. He served until May 1, 1947, when Truman appointed Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter. An Annapolis graduate who spoke three languages, Hillenkoetter had several years' experience in Navy Intelligence. He had been wounded while aboard the battleship West Virginia at Pearl Harbor. Later he set up an intelligence network for Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in the Pacific.

When the CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947, Hillenkoetter became its first director. The CIA came into being officially on September 18, 1947. The Act is the same as that which established a Department of Defense and unified the armed services. It also created the National Security Council [i] and, under it, the CIA.

The duties of the CIA were set forth in five short paragraphs:

"(1) to advise the National Security Council in matters concerning such intelligence activities of the government departments and agencies as relate to national security;

"(2) to make recommendations to the National Security Council for the coordination of such intelligence activities ...;

"(3) to correlate and evaluate intelligence relating to the national security, and provide for the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence within the government ... Provided that the Agency shall have no police, subpena, law-enforcement powers, or internal-security functions ...;

"(4) to perform, for the benefit of the existing intelligence agencies, such additional services of common concern as the National Security Council determines can be more efficiently accomplished centrally;

"(5) to perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct."

On the face of it, the law appeared simply to give the CIA the task of correlating, evaluating and coordinating the collection of intelligence. How, then, could the CIA mount an invasion of 1,400 men at the Bay of Pigs, complete with its own air force and navy? How could it topple foreign governments, as it has done and was attempting to do at the Bay of Pigs?

The answer lies in the "other functions" which the CIA may perform under the 1947 Act, at the discretion of the National Security Council.

Almost from its inception, the agency has engaged in special operations -- clandestine activities, sometimes on a military scale. In 1948, after the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, James Forrestal, as the first Secretary of Defense, became alarmed at signs that the Communists might win the Italian elections. In an effort to influence the elections to the advantage of the United States, he started a campaign among his wealthy Wall Street colleagues to raise enough money to run a private clandestine operation. But Allen Dulles felt the problem could not be handled effectively in private hands. He urged strongly that the government establish a covert organization to conduct a variety of special operations.

Because there was no specific provision for covert political operations spelled out in the 1947 Act, the National Security Council -- in the wake of the events in Czechoslovakia and Italy -- issued a paper in the summer of 1948 authorizing special operations. There were two important guidelines: that the operations be secret and that they be plausibly deniable by the government.

A decision was reached to create an organization within the CIA to conduct secret political operations. Frank G. Wisner, an ex-OSS man, was brought in from the State Department to head it, with a cover title of his own invention. He became Assistant Director of the Office of Policy Coordination.

Under this innocuous title, the United States was now fully in the business of covert political operations. (A separate Office of Special Operations conducted secret actions aimed solely at gathering intelligence.) This machinery was in the CIA but the agency shared control of it with the State Department and the Pentagon. On January 4, 1951, the CIA merged the two offices and created a new Plans Division, which has had sole control over secret operations of all types since that date.

It is doubtful that many of the lawmakers who voted for the 1947 Act could have envisioned the scale on which the CIA would engage in operational activities all over the world.

President Truman later maintained that he had no idea that this was going to happen. In a syndicated newspaper article, date-lined December 21, 1963, he wrote:

"For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government ...

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak- and-dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue -- and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda." 1

It was under President Truman, however, that the CIA began conducting special operations.

Although the machinery was not established until 1948, one small hint of what was to come was tucked away in a memorandum which Allen Dulles submitted to Congress back in 1947. It said the CIA should "have exclusive jurisdiction to carry out secret intelligence operations." 2

Like the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the "other functions" proviso of the National Security Act has been stretched to encompass activities by the CIA that are not even hinted at in the law. It is not generally realized that the CIA conducts secret political warfare under interpretations of that law. Nor is it widely understood that under the law and subsequent presidential fiat, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency wears two hats. Not only is he the head of the CIA, but more important, as Director of Central Intelligence he is in charge of the entire intelligence community, of which the CIA is only one, albeit the most powerful, branch.

In 1949 the Central Intelligence Agency Act was passed, exempting the CIA from all Federal laws that required the disclosure of the "functions, names, official titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed by the Agency." And it gave the Director of Central Intelligence the staggering and unprecedented power to spend money "without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of government funds." It granted him the unique right to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars in his secret annual budget simply by signing his name. The law allowed "such expenditures to be accounted for solely on the certificate of the director." That and that alone, the law said, "shall be deemed a sufficient voucher." [ii]

Senator Millard E. Tydings, the Maryland Democrat who was chief sponsor of the 1949 Act, explained why he felt it was necessary: "Men in this agency frequently lose their lives. Several have already done so, and under not very pretty circumstances. If we forced the agency to have a record of vouchers, foreign agents could pick up information as to the identity of our agents and what they were doing." 3

By 1950 the broader outlines of the Invisible Government had begun to take shape, with the CIA at its center. In that year the Intelligence Advisory Committee was created as a board of directors of the covert government. Later its name was changed to the present United States Intelligence Board. Although the names of the men (and of some of the agencies) represented on the board have changed, the main components of the secret government have remained fairly constant. Its overall size, of course, has increased vastly.

Code-breaking and cryptology were consolidated in 1952 in the new National Security Agency, established by presidential directive as part of the Defense Department. And, finally, the military intelligence agencies were brought together under the newly created Defense Intelligence Agency in 1961. But these were essentially administrative reorganizations. What has really changed since 1947 is not the general amorphous shape of the Invisible Government, but its size, technology, scope, power and importance- all of which have increased in geometric progression with a minimum of Congressional or public examination or understanding.

During the first three years of the CIA's life Admiral Hillenkoetter remained its director. He was replaced at a critical moment in the Korean War by General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's Chief of Staff during World War II, a former Ambassador to Moscow and the first four-star general in the U.S. Army who was never graduated from West Point or any other military school.

The agency became more aggressive under "Beedle" Smith, who played an important role in the Korean conflict and its intelligence post-mortems. But from the start, the man who placed his personal stamp upon the Invisible Government more than any other was Allen Welsh Dulles.

Dulles was consulted when Congress created the CIA in 1947. The next year Truman named him to head the three-man committee to see how well the new agency was working. [iii]

Dulles submitted the report to Truman after his re-election. In 1950 General Smith summoned Dulles to Washington. He came, expecting, he often said later, to stay six weeks. Instead, he remained eleven years. On August 23, 1951, Dulles was appointed deputy director.

Soon after President Eisenhower was elected, he appointed Smith as Under Secretary of State and on February 10, 1953, named Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence. He took office sixteen days later. Up to that point two admirals and two generals had held the job. Dulles became the first truly civilian director of the CIA.

To the post he brought a brilliant reputation as the wartime OSS chief in Switzerland. Perhaps even more important, his brother was Secretary of State. The emergence of the Invisible Government in the 1950s to a position of unprecedented strength cannot be comprehended unless a word is said about the Dulles brothers and their relationship. Uniquely, they embodied the dualism -- and indeed the moral dilemma -- of United States foreign policy since World War II.

John Foster Dulles and his younger brother were the sons of Allen Macy Dulles, a Presbyterian clergyman in upstate Watertown, New York. Allen Dulles was born there on April 7, 1893.

Some thought they detected traces of a clergyman's zeal in the sternly moralistic public posture of Foster Dulles as he conducted the nation's foreign policy during the Eisenhower years: the United States would contain the advance of international Communism as it sought to subvert the underdeveloped nations; but America would scrupulously avoid any interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The United States would not, in short, adopt the evil tactics of subversion and secret manipulation practiced by the Communist enemy.

In this, Foster Dulles reflected the American ethic; the world as we would like it to be. While he took this public position, his brother was free to deal with nastier realities, to overturn governments and to engage in backstage political maneuvers all over the globe with the CIA's almost unlimited funds. He was, as Allen Dulles once put it, able to "fight fire with fire" 4 in a less than perfect world. Because he was equally dedicated in his own secret sphere, it was under Allen Dulles' stewardship that the CIA enjoyed its greatest expansion, particularly in the field of government- shaking secret operations overseas.

In pursuing this dual foreign policy, these special operations were largely kept secret from the American people. The exception, of course, was when something went wrong, as at the Bay of Pigs.

This is not to say that the same two-sided foreign policy would never have evolved had the director of the CIA and the Secretary of State not been brothers. It very likely would have. But the natural friction between the objectives and methods of the diplomats and the "spooks," between the State Department and the CIA, was to an extent reduced because of the close working relationship of the Dulles brothers. [iv]

There was consequently less of a check and balance.

In a sense, one might say the Dulles brothers were predestined to take over the levers of power in the conduct of U. S. foreign affairs. Their mother's father, John Watson Foster, was Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison [v] in 1892-3. Robert Lansing, an uncle by marriage, was Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Another uncle, John Welsh, was Minister to England under Rutherford B. Hayes. [vi] With such a heritage, it is not surprising that Foster and Allen were weaned on a diet of heady discussions of the affairs of state.

Allen Dulles was educated at Auburn, New York, Paris and Princeton. He taught English for a time in an agricultural school in Allahabad, India; and in China and Japan as well. Then he joined the diplomatic service in 1916, serving in Vienna and, during the war, in Berne, chiefly as an intelligence officer. Three years later the two brothers were together in Paris as staff members of the American delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. Their uncle, Secretary of State Lansing, was a member of the delegation. The following year Allen Dulles married Clover Todd, the daughter of a Columbia University professor. (They had a son, Allen Macy, and two daughters, Clover Todd and Joan.)

In 1926, after service in Berlin, Constantinople and Washington, Allen Dulles left the world of diplomacy to begin a fifteen-year period of law practice with his brother in the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. As an international lawyer, he knew the political and industrial elite of Europe, and of Germany. This became useful during World War II when General Donovan assigned Dulles as chief of the OSS mission in Switzerland. He had diplomatic cover as an assistant to the minister in the American Legation. But he operated as a master spy from a fifteenth-century house in Berne overlooking the Aar River.

He has been credited with two outstanding feats for the OSS -- first, penetrating the German Abwehr, Hitler's intelligence service, and second, negotiating the surrender of German troops in Italy.

After the war it was natural enough that Allen Dulles would soon gravitate away from his law practice into the more exciting world of espionage. While it is impossible to make any definite judgment about the talents of a man who operated, for the most part, out of view, the constant and bitter personal attacks upon him by the Communist bloc provide one significant indication of his effectiveness. He certainly bothered them.

The CIA director projected a deceptively grandfatherly image, with his white hair, rimless glasses, his pipe and his sense of humor. There was no official in Washington more charming. Beneath this outward Mr. Chips demeanor was a man fascinated by the world of intelligence, by secret operations and by espionage and of its ramifications. Although he seemed to fumble a good deal with his pipe and his tobacco, Mr. Dulles perhaps quietly enjoyed the incongruousness of his appearance and his vocation. He was not without a sense of the dramatic.

Dulles was occasionally accused of being too much of a public figure for the head of a secret service. And in 1955 a Hoover Commission task force criticized him for having "taken upon himself too many burdensome duties and responsibilities on the operational side of CIA activities."

"Allen," commented one CIA associate, "couldn't administer himself."

But if the CIA was run in a tweedy, relaxed, pipe-and-slipper manner under Dulles, it was also true that morale was high, and he was well liked within the agency as well as outside of it.

Except for his closest friends, few people knew of the great personal tragedy in Dulles' life. His son, wounded in Korea, suffered brain damage that left him with very little recognition of people or events, and it was finally necessary to place him in an institution in Germany on Lake Constance, just over the Swiss border.

For most of the nine years that Dulles headed the intelligence community, he worked with the same three assistants at the CIA:

Charles Pearre Cabell, a gray-haired but youthful-looking four-star Air Force general and West Point graduate, was his deputy director. A Texan from Dallas (where his brother Earle was the mayor), he was the former head of Air Force Intelligence. He came to the CIA in 1953.

Richard Bissell, the deputy director for plans, who joined the CIA in 1954.

Robert Amory, the brother of the writer Cleveland Amory, and a former Harvard Law School professor. A tall, dark-haired man, he had intelligence and combat experience in World War II. He became the CIA's deputy director for intelligence in 1953.

This was the group which led the CIA during its period of greatest expansion in the 1950s. But even before this, it was evident that the agency was involved in a wide range of activities in many parts of the world.

1948: Bogota

Only six months after the CIA had come into existence, it found itself under fire for what would become a familiar complaint over the years -- alleged failure to predict a major international upheaval. In this case, it was the assassination of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, the popular Liberal Colombian leader, on April 9 on a street in Bogota. The shooting touched off the "Bogotazo," two days of bloody riots that disrupted the Ninth Inter-American Conference and greatly embarrassed Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who headed the American delegation. Marshall blamed the riots on Communist october 20. [vii]

The post-mortem had its strange aspects. In the first place, expecting the CIA to forecast an assassination, is, in most instances, to endow it with supernatural powers. There are limits to what intelligence can predict. In the second place, Admiral Hillenkoetter, hauled before a House Executive Expenditures Subcommittee on April 15, read the text of secret CIA dispatches into the open record for the first and only time in history. This action, which raised hackles at the time, would, if done today, cause pandemonium.

The admiral maintained that although the Communists seized on Gaitan's assassination, the Colombian leader was slain in "a purely private act of revenge" by one Jose Sierra. The CIA chief said Gaitan, as an attorney, had just successfully defended in a murder trial the killer of Sierra's uncle.

Hillenkoetter testified that, furthermore, the CIA had predicted trouble at Bogota as far back as January 2. Then he dropped a bombshell. He charged that a March 23 CIA dispatch from Bogota, warning of Communist agitation, was withheld from Secretary Marshall by Orion J. Libert, a State Department advance man in Bogota, acting with the support of Ambassador Willard L. Beaulac.

The CIA dispatch, dated March 23, said:

Have confirmed information that Communist-inspired agitators will attempt to humiliate the Secretary of State and other members of the United States delegation to the Pan-American conference upon arrival in Bogota by manifestations and possible personal molestation.

Have passed this information on to the Ambassador and other interested embassy personnel with the request that full details on the arrival of delegation be submitted to this office for transmission to local police, who are anxious to give maximum possible protection ...

Advanced delegate O. J. Libert, who has been apprised of above, does not consider it advisable to notify the State Department of this situation, since he feels adequate protection will be given by police and does not want to alarm the delegates unduly. 5

Hillenkoetter then placed a whole sheaf of top-secret dispatches into the record, telling in some detail of Communist plans to disrupt the conference. Possibly Hillenkoetter was egged on by the fact that a few hours before he testified, Truman had told a news conference that he was as surprised as anyone about the riots in Bogota. He had, said Truman, received no advance warning. The government had received information that there might be picketing or demonstrations. But, he added a trifle plaintively, there had been no indication that anyone was going to get shot.

At the State Department, Lincoln White said it was "inconceivable" that the department had suppressed any CIA communications. Besides, he said, Secretary Marshall had known all about the Communist plans and had brushed them aside with what White diplomatically called "salty remarks." That about ended this painful episode. It did not, however, end the recurring question of the adequacy of the CIA's forecasting abilities.

1950: Korea

To an extent, the CIA's role in the Korean War became clouded and fuzzed because it was caught up in the emotional storm touched off when Truman finally decided to fire General Douglas MacArthur. What the CIA had or had not predicted, and its freedom or lack of freedom to operate within MacArthur's command, became a subject of dispute between the imperious general and the angry chief executive. Yet the main outline of the CIA's performance and the precise issues in dispute are not difficult to pinpoint from the record.

Harry Truman was sitting in the library of his home in Independence, Missouri, on Saturday, June 24, 1950, when the telephone rang a bit after 10:00 P.M. It was Secretary of State Dean Acheson, calling to say that the North Koreans had invaded South Korea.

Truman hastened back to the capital the next day. On Monday he summoned to the White House the man he assumed should have had the most advance knowledge about what had happened -- Admiral Hillenkoetter.

It was something like Bogota all over again, although of course much more serious. The intelligence agency again had to defend itself for not precisely predicting a future event. And once again the CIA had become a subject of domestic political controversy.

After the meeting with Truman, Hillenkoetter told reporters at the White House that his agency had predicted the possibility of such an attack for a year. "The capabilities were there for a year, anyway," he said. He then hurried to Capitol Hill to give the same explanation to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Before testifying, he talked to newsmen about the Communist build-up along the 38th parallel.

"The condition existed for a long time," he said. "It has been expected for a year." Had the attack been anticipated over the weekend? "You can't predict the timing," the admiral replied.

Then the CIA chief appeared in secret before the Senate committee. One of the members said afterward that Hillenkoetter had read a series of reports on troop and tank concentrations in North Korea. The CIA reports covered a period of a year. The last one was dated June 20, four days before the attack. "If I had received those reports," said the senator, who asked that his name not be used, "I certainly would have been alerted to the danger." 6

Five years later Truman, in his memoirs, supported in part the position Hillenkoetter had taken. He wrote:

"The intelligence reports from Korea in the spring of 1950 indicated that the North Koreans were steadily continuing their build-up of forces and that they were continuing to send guerrilla groups into South Korea.

"There were continuing incidents along the 38th parallel, where armed units faced each other.

"Throughout the spring the Central Intelligence reports said that the North Koreans might at any time decide to change from isolated raids to a full-scale attack. The North Koreans were capable of such an attack at any time, according to the intelligence, but there was no information to give any clue as to whether an attack was certain or when it was likely to come." 7

As the UN forces regained the initiative in Korea, the next major question faced by the CIA (and MacArthur) was whether Communist China would intervene if UN troops pushed north to the Yalu River. The question became crucial just about the time Truman replaced Hillenkoetter with Walter Bedell Smith.

In his memoirs, Truman, again, has shed some light on this:

"On October 20 [viii] the CIA delivered a memorandum to me which said that they had reports that the Chinese Communists would move in far enough to safeguard the Suiho electric plant and other installations along the Yalu River which provided them with power." 8

Truman's account was backed up by Allen Dulles eight years later: "I can speak with detachment about the 1950 Yalu estimates, for they were made just before I joined the CIA. The conclusions of the estimators were that it was a toss-up, but they leaned to the side that under certain circumstances the Chinese probably would not intervene. In fact, we just did not know what the Chinese Communists would do, and we did not know how far the Soviet Union would press them or agree to support them if they moved." 9

It seems reasonably clear, therefore, that the CIA did not, initially, predict the massive Chinese intervention that occurred.

However, some two weeks later, in November, according to Truman, the CIA did warn that Communist China had 200,000 troops in Manchuria and that their entry into Korea might push the UN forces back. Truman also wrote that MacArthur had launched his ill-fated home-by-Christmas offensive on November 24 despite the CIA summary made available to the general that very day. The summary, Truman went on to say, had warned that the Chinese were strong enough to force the UN armies back into defensive positions.

Truman, who had been gingerly dealing with MacArthur almost as with another chief of state, at last fired the general on April 9, 1951. Testifying at the Senate inquiry into his dismissal, MacArthur cast new confusion over the CIA's role by saying that "in November" the CIA said "there was little chance of any major intervention on the part of the Chinese forces." If the CIA ever made any such optimistic report in November, replied Truman, it was news to him.

Bogota and Korea raised, but did not answer, the fundamental question of how much should be expected of the CIA in its forecasting role. They also set a pattern that has since become familiar -- when trouble came, the overt, political officers of the visible government almost invariably would say they had no advance warning. The CIA in turn would say it had provided adequate warning. The public would be left to take its choice, provided it could weave its way through the maze of self-serving semantics from both sides.


1952: Air-Drops Over Red China

During the Korean War, another war was waged in secret against Communist China. On November 23, 1954, a broadcast from Peking announced the capture and sentencing of two Americans, John Thomas Downey and Richard George Fecteau.

At Yale, John Thomas Downey was liked and respected for his strength, moral and physical. He was a quiet, clean-living, athletic lad, an honor student as well as a varsity football player and the captain of the wrestling team. He spent a good deal of time at home, in nearby New Britain, Connecticut, where his mother taught school. He was the type of young man the CIA was looking for.

Richard George Fecteau, of Lynn, Massachusetts, had less of an academic background. He was three years older than Downey. He once enrolled at Boston University with the idea of becoming a football coach, but he decided there was little future or money in it. Instead, he went to work for the government. So did Downey, who was recruited off the Yale campus in 1951, at age twenty- one. Both men later turned up in Japan. That did not seem unusual; with the Korean War on, thousands of young men were being shipped to the Far East.

On November 9, 1952, Jack Downey and Richard Fecteau were captured by the Communist Chinese. This was not revealed by Peking, however, until the announcement more than two years later. The broadcast on that day said that Downey, "alias Jack Donovan," and Fecteau, were "special agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, a United States espionage organization." They were charged with having helped to organize and train two teams of Chinese agents. The men, Peking said, had been air-dropped into Kirin and Liaoning Provinces for "subversive activities," and both Downey and Fecteau were captured when their plane was downed as they attempted to drop supplies and contact agents inside Communist China. It was also claimed that nine Chinese working for the CIA men were taken prisoner with them.

Downey was sentenced to life. Fecteau got twenty years.

That same day, Peking announced it had sentenced eleven American airmen as "spies," charging that the plane carrying these men was shot down January 12, 1953, over Liaoning Province, while on a mission which had as its purpose the "air-drop of special agents into China and the Soviet Union."

Communist China claimed that, all told, it had killed 106 American and Chinese agents parachuted into China between 1951 and 1954 and had captured 124 others. They also said these agents were trained in "secret codes, invisible writing, secret messages, telephone tapping, forging documents, psychological warfare, guerrilla tactics and demolition."

The State Department immediately branded the charges against Downey, Fecteau and the eleven airmen "trumped up." The Defense Department called the accusations against all thirteen men "utterly false."

The American consul general at Geneva was instructed by the State Department to make the "strongest possible protest" to Peking. [ix] The charges against the "two civilians," Downey and Fecteau, were "a most flagrant violation of justice," the State Department said. "These men, John Thomas Downey and Richard George Fecteau, were civilian personnel employed by the Department of the Army in Japan. They were believed to have been lost in a flight from Korea to Japan in November, 1952.

"How they came into the hands of the Chinese Communists is unknown to the United States ... the continued wrongful detention of these American citizens furnishes further proof of the Chinese Communist regime's disregard for accepted practices of international conduct."

The Pentagon was equally indignant. "Messrs. Downey and Fecteau," the Defense Department declared, "were Department of the Army civilian employees. They were authorized passengers on a routine flight from Seoul to Japan in a plane which was under military contract to the Far East Air Force. A search instituted at the time failed to produce any trace of the plane, and Messrs. Downey and Fecteau were presumed to have been lost. It is now apparent that they were captured ..."

In September, 1957, a group of forty-one young Americans on an unauthorized trip to Red China visited Downey and Fecteau in prison. Afterward they reported that during the interview, Fecteau was asked whether he worked "for the Central Intelligence Agency."

"Yes," Fecteau replied, according to a Reuters account of the report issued by the visiting Americans. The same Reuters dispatch reported that Downey, suntanned and crew-cut, said he had received 680 letters in prison, including some from "lonely hearts." He said he spent a lot of time reading books.

The following month Charles Edmundson, a former USIA official in Korea, who left the government in a dispute over foreign policy, wrote an article for the Nation, in which he indicated that Downey and Fecteau were CIA operatives.

At this writing, both men are still in a Chinese prison. The government has never acknowledged them to be CIA agents. As far as Washington is concerned, they are still officially listed as "civilian personnel employed by the Department of the Army."


1950-1954: Formosa and Western Enterprises, Inc.

During these years the CIA operated on Formosa as Western Enterprises, Inc. This cover was so thin it became a source of some merriment on the island. The experience of one State Department employee who arrived on Formosa in 1953 is typical.

A fellow employee was showing her the sights as they drove in from the airport. Pointing to one building, her guide said: "And that's Western Enterprises."

"What's that?" she asked innocently.

"Oh, you'll find out," her friend replied.

A few days later, at a party with Chinese government officials, she asked one of them: "By the way, what is Western Enterprises?"

"Oh, that," said the Chinese, with a inscrutable oriental smile, "is your CIA."

State Department employees on Formosa did not get along very well with their counterparts in Western Enterprises, Inc. For one thing, the State Department workers felt that the CIA people were being paid far too well and had special privileges.

One of the CIA operatives who turned up on Formosa in 1953 was Campbell "Zup" James, a Yale graduate who affected an English accent, mustache and fancy walking stick. To anyone who asked, he told the outrageously phony story that he was a wealthy Englishman managing a family tea plantation on Formosa. By continuing to maintain this pose, even though almost everyone knew he worked for the CIA, James became a legend throughout Southeast Asia. He turned up later in Laos, still masquerading as a pukka Englishman straight out of the pages of Kipling. He was spotted in Bangkok as recently as the summer of 1963, mustache, cane and Mayfair accent intact. Despite his unlikely cover, some observers said he was an effective agent.

By 1954 the CIA's cover on Formosa was so threadbare that the agency changed its name to "Department of the Navy."

There is reason to believe that at least in the past, the CIA trained, equipped and financed Chinese Nationalist commando raids on the mainland, launched from the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu.

Early in 1963 a spate of interesting stories appeared from Formosa about renewed Nationalist guerrilla raids on the mainland. The Chiang Kai-shek government announced that the frogmen and commando teams were most active in Kwangtung Province, near Formosa. The chief of the Nationalist Intelligence Bureau estimated that 873 guerrilla agents had infiltrated into the mainland between March and December of 1962.

1953: Iran

But guerrilla raids are small actions compared to an operation that changes a government. There is no doubt at all that the CIA organized and directed the 1953 coup that overthrew Premier Mohammed Mossadegh and kept Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on his throne. But few Americans know that the coup that toppled the government of Iran was led by a CIA agent who was the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, also a seventh cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is still known as "Mr. Iran" around the CIA for his spectacular operation in Teheran more than a decade ago. He later left the CIA and joined the Gulf Oil Corporation as "government relations" director in its Washington office. Gulf named him a vice-president in 1960.

One legend that grew up inside the CIA had it that Roosevelt, in the grand Rough Rider tradition, led the revolt against the weeping Mossadegh with a gun at the head of an Iranian tank commander as the column rolled into Teheran.

A CIA man familiar with the Iran story characterized this as "a bit romantic" but said: "Kim did run the operation from a basement in Teheran -- not from our embassy." He added admiringly: "It was a real James Bond operation."

General Fazollah Zahedi, [x] the man the CIA chose to replace Mossadegh, was also a character worthy of spy fiction. A six-foot-two, handsome ladies' man, he fought the Bolsheviks, was captured by the Kurds, and, in 1942, was kidnapped by the British, who suspected him of Nazi intrigues. During World War II the British and the Russians jointly occupied Iran. British agents, after snatching Zahedi, claimed they found the following items in his bedroom: a collection of German automatic weapons, silk underwear, some opium, letters, from German parachutists operating in the hills; and an illustrated register of Teheran's most exquisite prostitutes.

After the war Zahedi rapidly moved back into public life. He was Minister of Interior when Mossadegh became Premier in 1951. Mossadegh nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in April and seized the huge Abadan refinery on the Persian Gulf.

The refinery was shut down; thousands of workers were idled and Iran faced a financial crisis. The British, with the backing of Western governments, boycotted Iran's oil and the local workers were unable to run the refineries at capacity without British technicians.

Mossadegh connived with the Tudeh, Iran's Communist party, and London and Washington feared that the Russians would end up with Iran's vast oil reserves flowing into the Soviet Union, which shares a common border with Iran. Mossadegh, running the crisis from his bed -- he claimed he was a very sick man -- had broken with Zahedi, who balked at tolerating the Tudeh party.

It was against this background that the CIA and Kim Roosevelt moved in to oust Mossadegh and install Zahedi. At the time of the coup Roosevelt, then thirty-seven, was already a veteran intelligence man. He was born in Buenos Aires. His father, the President's second son, was also named Kermit. Kim was graduated from Harvard just before World War II, and he taught history there and later at the California Institute of Technology. He had married while still at Harvard. He left the academic life to serve in the OSS, then joined the CIA after the war as a Middle East specialist. His father had died in Alaska during the war; his uncle, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, died on the beaches of Normandy a year later.

The British and American governments had together decided to mount an operation to overthrow Mossadegh. The CIA's estimate was that it would succeed because the conditions were right; in a showdown the people of Iran would be loyal to the Shah. The task of running the operation went to Kim Roosevelt, then the CIA's top operator in the Middle East.

Roosevelt entered Iran legally. He drove across the border, reached Teheran, and then dropped out of sight. He had to, since he had been in Iran before and his face was known. Shifting his headquarters several times to keep one step ahead of Mossadegh's agents, Roosevelt operated outside of the protection of the American Embassy. He did have the help of about five Americans, including some of the CIA men stationed in the embassy.

In addition, there were seven local agents, including two top Iranian intelligence operatives. These two men communicated with Roosevelt through cutouts -- intermediaries -- and he never saw them during the entire operation.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

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As the plan for revolt was hatched, Brigadier General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who used to appear on radio's "Gang Busters," turned up in Teheran. He had reorganized the Shah's police force there in the 1940s. He was best known for his investigation of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case when he headed the New Jersey State Police in 1932. Schwarzkopf, an old friend of Zahedi's, claimed he was in town "just to see old friends again." But he was part of the operation.

On August 13 the Shah signed a decree dismissing Mossadegh and naming Zahedi as Premier. The uncooperative Mossadegh arrested the unfortunate colonel who brought in his notice of dismissal. Mobs rioted in the streets; the thirty-three-year-old Shah and his queen (at that time the beautiful Soraya) fled to Baghdad by plane from their palace on the Caspian Sea.

For two chaotic days, Roosevelt lost communication with his two chief Iranian agents. Meanwhile, the Shah had made his way to Rome; Allen Dulles flew there to confer with him. Princess Ashraf, the Shah's attractive twin sister, tried to play a part in the international intrigue, but the Shah refused to talk to her.

In Teheran, Communist mobs controlled the streets; they destroyed statues of the Shah to celebrate his departure. Suddenly, the opposition to Mossadegh consolidated. The Army began rounding up demonstrators. Early on August 19 Roosevelt, from his hiding place, gave orders to his Iranian agents to get everyone they could find into the streets.

The agents went into the athletic clubs of Teheran and rounded up a strange assortment of weight- lifters, muscle-men and gymnasts. The odd procession made its way through the bazaars shouting pro-Shah slogans. The crowd grew rapidly in size. By mid-morning it was clear the tide had turned against Mossadegh and nothing could stop it.

Zahedi came out of hiding and took over. The Shah returned from exile. Mossadegh went to jail and the leaders of the Tudeh were executed.

In the aftermath, the British lost their monopoly on Iran's oil. In August, 1958, an international consortium of Western oil companies signed a twenty-five-year pact with Iran for its oil. Under it, the former Anglo-Iranian Oil Company got 40 percent, a group of American companies [xi] got 40 percent, Royal Dutch Shell got 14 percent, and the Compagnie Francaise des Petroles 6 percent. Iran got half of the multimillion-dollar income from the oil fields under the deal, and Anglo-Iranian was assured a compensation payment of $70,000,000.

The United States, of course, has never officially admitted the CIA's role. The closest Dulles came to doing so was in a CBS television show in 1962, after his retirement from the CIA. He was asked whether it was true that "the CIA people spent literally millions of dollars hiring people to riot in the streets and do other things, to get rid of Mossadegh. Is there anything you can say about that?"

"Well," Dulles replied, "I can say that the statement that we spent many dollars doing that is utterly false."

The former CIA chief also hinted at the CIA's Iran role in his book The Craft of Intelligence. " ... support from the outside was given ... to the Shah's supporters," 11 he wrote, without directly saying it came from the CIA.

Although Iran remained pro-West after the 1953 coup, little was done to alleviate the terrible poverty in that ancient land. Somehow, the oil wealth of Iran never trickled down to the people. A total of $1,300,000,000 in United States aid poured in during twelve years since 1951, but much of it appeared to stick to the fingers of the hopelessly corrupt officialdom. In 1957 a report of the House Committee on Government Operations said that American aid to Iran was so badly handled that "it is now impossible -- with any accuracy -- to tell what became of these funds."

A typical Iranian scandal involved a close friend of Princess Ashraf, Ehsan Davaloo, the "Caviar Queen," who earned the sobriquet by paying officials to get a $450,000-a-year caviar monopoly.

With this stark contrast -- caviar and utter poverty side by side -- Iran remained a ripe breeding ground for Communism. With the help of a President's swashbuckling grandson, the Invisible Government had brought about a political coup d'etat. It had bought time. But the United States seemed unable to follow this up with badly needed social and economic reforms.


1955: Mr. X Goes to Cairo

Two years after his operation in Iran, Kim Roosevelt turned up across the Red Sea in a mysterious episode in a new setting.

On September 27, 1955, Egyptian Premier Gamal Abdel Nasser announced to the world that he had concluded an arms deal with the Soviet bloc. Washington had been unwilling to sell weapons to Egypt on Nasser's terms, and the Arab leader turned to the East.

The news threw Washington into a turmoil, although the deal had been predicted beforehand by the CIA. It was one case, however, where John Foster Dulles had not been inclined to take too seriously the reports coming from his brother.

The State Department and the CIA had agreed to send Roosevelt to Cairo for a first-hand look. Roosevelt, by now the assistant director of the CIA for the Middle East, did so, and reported back that the negotiations were about to be completed. Foster Dulles sent him a long telegram reiterating his skepticism. Roosevelt fired back a pointed message advising the Secretary of State to read his morning papers, which would carry Nasser's announcement.

Roosevelt was right. On September 28, the day after Nasser's defiant disclosure, George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, was summoned to the office of Herbert Hoover, Jr., Under Secretary of State. Hoover was Acting Secretary that day because Dulles was in New York. In George Allen's presence, Hoover telephoned the Secretary of State; it was agreed that George Allen should be sent to see Nasser right away.

It was now 2:00 P.M. By five o'clock Allen was leaving New York on a Paris-bound plane. His hasty departure was announced by the State Department only three minutes before he took off from New York. Secretary Dulles, who returned to Washington the same day, termed George Allen's trip "only a more or less routine visit." It was far from that. With him, George Allen carried a letter from Secretary Dulles, warning that the arms deal could hand Egypt over to the Communists. Dulles had signed the quickly drafted letter in New York just before Allen departed. While Allen was winging his way to the land of the Sphinx the United States wire services sent out dispatches speculating that he took with him an "ultimatum" to Nasser.

At this point, the CIA's "Mr. Iran" became the central figure in some shadowy backstage maneuvering in the Egyptian capital. British newspaper accounts of the episode later referred to a "Mr. X", a mysterious American official. In reality, he was Kim Roosevelt.

One version of the affair that became widely accepted was given by Nasser himself in a blood-and- thunder speech at Alexandria on July 26, 1956, the same day he seized the Suez Canal.

"After the arms deal was announced," Nasser told a crowd already worked up by his oratory, "Washington sent a representative to Egypt, Mr. George Allen ...

"An American official contacted me and sought a special interview. He said that ... Allen has a strong note from the U.S. Government which might prejudice Egyptian nationality and prestige. I assure you that this note will have no effect because we shall be able to remove its effect. I advise you to accept this message.

"I asked him: 'What is the insult to Egyptian nationality and prestige about?' He said: 'This is a message from Mr. Dulles and is strongly worded. We are astonished how it was sent. We ask you to have cool nerves. You always had cool nerves. Accept this message with cool nerves ...'

"He said that no practical outcome would emanate from this message and guaranteed this. I told him: 'Look ... if your representative comes to my offices and says something unpleasant, I shall throw him out.' [Applause]

"This happened at the beginning of October. Then he came again and told me that he had told this to Mr. Allen and that Mr. Allen was wondering whether he would be thrown out when he came to convey his message to me, and also whether Mr. Dulles would throw him out if he went back without conveying this message." [Applause]

George Allen did see Nasser, and he was not thrown out. But the disturbing story circulated in Washington that a certain "Mr. X," a high CIA official, had undercut the official foreign policy of the United States by getting in ahead of George Allen and telling Nasser to forget whatever the special envoy told him. [xii]

What had happened, as best it can be pieced together, was this:

When Allen's plane landed in Cairo, he was unaware of the storm kicked up there by reports that he was bringing an ultimatum from the Eisenhower Administration. A mob of Western and Egyptian newsmen were waiting at the airport. Ambassador Henry A. Byroade sprinted aboard the plane to warn George Allen of the situation.

Forearmed, the Assistant Secretary of State was cautiously noncommittal to newsmen who surrounded him when he stepped off the plane. In the crowd, Allen spotted Kim Roosevelt. He nodded to the CIA man, but they kept their distance from each other in public.

Before Allen's arrival, Byroade and Roosevelt had agreed that it would be an intolerable loss of face if the envoy were refused an interview with Nasser. So, in the seclusion of the embassy, Roosevelt, Byroade and Eric H. Johnston, who was there negotiating a water agreement, sat down with Allen and went over the letter from Secretary Dulles. They told Allen it was so patronizing that Nasser would take it as an insult and throw him out of the office. They urged that at the very least, he read the letter instead of handing it to Nasser formally.

As result of this, George Allen sent a cable to Secretary Dulles recommending that he deliver the tough message orally. That way, Nasser would not have a letter to make public afterward. Dulles cabled back, telling Allen to use his best judgment.

Meanwhile Kim Roosevelt, who knew Nasser well, had gone to see him. Roosevelt's defenders insist he did so to ease the way for Allen. They maintain that he joshed Nasser, told him to act like a grown man and not blow up, and asked him to listen politely when George Allen read his letter. Roosevelt did not, they say, ask Nasser to disregard Allen's message, as Nasser indicated later.

At his own meeting with Nasser on October 1, Allen was accompanied by Byroade. Allen told Nasser that the United States recognized Egypt's right to buy arms where it wanted, but pointed out that the United States had refused to sell jets to Israel and was anxious not to escalate the arms race in the Middle East.

"You wouldn't sell me arms," said Nasser. "I had to buy where I could."

Nasser was vague when Allen pressed to find out whether the arms deal was a prelude to something bigger. Finally, Allen pulled out the letter and formally read its text to Nasser. There was no translation, since the Egyptian Premier's English was entirely adequate. However, Allen did not leave the letter with Nasser.

What is clear, at any rate, is that the assistant director of the CIA saw Nasser ahead of the Assistant Secretary of State.

Eisenhower could not have known of this at the time, because he was under an oxygen tent in Denver, having suffered his heart attack there on September 25. On October 4 Secretary Dulles told a news conference that as a result of the talks between Allen and Nasser there had been achieved a "better understanding."

If by this the Secretary of State meant that through the intervention of "Mr. X," the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs had not been thrown out of the office of the Premier of Egypt, he was correct.


1956: Suez

With Soviet arms flowing into Egypt, relations between Nasser and Washington deteriorated rapidly. On July 19, 1956, Secretary of State Dulles pulled the rug out from under the fiery Arab leader. The United States withdrew its offer to help Egypt harness the Nile by constructing a high dam at Aswan (a task which the Russians happily moved in to perform).

Nasser, driven into a rage, seized the Suez Canal a week later. Israel invaded Egypt on October 29 and Britain and France joined in with a Halloween Day attack. The United States condemned the invasion, Moscow threatened to rain missiles on London and Paris, and the assault was called off. All of this happened in the midst of the Hungarian revolt and the windup of the presidential campaign in the United States.

When the sands had settled in the Middle East, Allen Dulles was in a difficult position; the question, once again, was whether the CIA had failed to predict an event -- in this case, the Suez invasion. Foster Dulles undercut the CIA's position by telling a Senate committee: "We had no advance information of any kind." 12

Seven years later Allen Dulles offered an explanation of this. There were many times, said Allen Dulles, when intelligence had guessed correctly, but could not advertise the fact. He added:

"This was true of the Suez invasion of 1956. Here intelligence was well alerted as to both the possibility and later the probability of the actions taken by Israel and then by Britain and France. The public received the impression that there had been an intelligence failure; statements were issued by U.S. officials to the effect that the country had not been given advance warning of the action. Our officials, of course, intended to imply only that the British and French and Israelis had failed to tell us what they were doing. In fact, United States intelligence had kept the government informed without, as usual, advertising its achievement." 13

The difficulty with this explanation is that it is not what Foster Dulles told the Senate.

On February 1, 1957, Secretary Dulles was being questioned by Senator Mansfield before a joint meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. He was asked whether Washington had knowledge of the Israeli attack on Egypt or of the British and French participation. "We had no advance information of any kind," he said. "... The British-French participation also came as a complete surprise to us."

It is true that this testimony, if taken alone, could be interpreted to mean simply that there had been no advance warning to Washington by the invaders. But two weeks earlier, on January 15, testifying before the same Senate committees, Secretary Dulles was more specific under questioning by Senator Henry M. Jackson, of Washington, who asked whether "the people within the executive branch of the government" knew of the impending Israeli attack on Suez.

"No," Dulles replied, "we had no such knowledge."

"At the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman," said Jackson, "I would like to go into that question when we get into executive session. I will not pursue it any further here now ... the reason I am not pursuing further questioning along this line is obvious."

What was obvious, of course, was that Jackson was referring to the CIA. (Later questions and answers about whether the CIA had advance knowledge were so heavily censored in the published transcript of the executive session as to be meaningless.)

The questioning took place against a background of continuing domestic and international controversy over Suez. In England, France and the United States, there had been suggestions that the Eisenhower Administration had known in advance of the invasion plans, and had been hypocritical in its outraged reaction and intervention. Democrats felt the pre-election crisis had helped defeat Adlai Stevenson and re-elect Eisenhower. Jackson's questions seemed designed to explore whether the CIA had known all along that the invasion was coming. If this had been the case, Secretary Dulles could ill afford, for political reasons, to say so.

But Jackson's question and the Secretary of State's answer are on the record. Dulles was clearly saying that "the executive branch of the government" -- which of course includes the CIA -- had "no knowledge" in advance of the Israeli attack which began the Suez invasion.

The truth is always elusive; the truth about a secret agency doubly so. Future historians of the Cold War will have an unenviable task.


1956: Costa Rica

The Invisible Government's activities have not been restricted to chaotic countries, dominated or threatened by Communism. In the mid-1950s CIA agents intruded deeply into the political affairs of Costa Rica, the most stable and democratic republic in Latin America. Knowledgeable Costa Ricans were aware of the CIA's role. The CIA's purpose was to promote the ouster of Jose (Pepe) Figueres, the moderate socialist who became President in a fair and open election in 1953.

In March of 1954, in the course of a Senate speech, Senator Mansfield cited a newspaper report 14 to the effect that "a CIA man was caught red-handed" in the "tapping of the telephone of Jose Figueres ... I do not need to point out the tremendous impact which this sort of activity could have in our foreign policy," he said, in calling for tighter Congressional control over the CIA. His warning had no noticeable effect on the CIA's anti-Figueres activities, however.

Figueres had risen to national prominence as the leader of a guerrilla movement organized to install Otilio Ulate as President in 1948. Ulate had won the election, but a right-wing government (with Communist support) and a packed legislature had refused to recognize him. In April of 1948, however, Figueres forced them to back down and the following year Ulate was installed.

Figueres' success vaulted him into the presidency in 1953. But Ulate organized an opposition movement against his former political ally.

Local CIA agents joined in the efforts to unseat Figueres. Their major grievance was that Figueres had scrupulously recognized the right of asylum in Costa Rica -- for non-Communists and Communists alike. The large influx of questionable characters complicated the agency's job of surveillance and forced it to increase its staff.

The CIA's strategy was twofold: to stir up embarrassing trouble within the Communist Party in Costa Rica, and to attempt to link Figueres [xiii] with the Communists. An effort to produce evidence that Figueres had been in contact with leading Communists during a trip to Mexico was unsuccessful. But CIA agents had better luck with the first part of their strategy -- stirring up trouble for the Communists. They succeeded in planting a letter in a Communist newspaper. The letter, purportedly from a leading Costa Rican Communist, put him on record in opposition to the Party line on the Hungarian revolution.

Unaware that the letter was a CIA plant, the leading officials in the American Embassy held an urgent meeting to ponder its meaning. The political officer then dispatched a long classified report to Washington, alerting top policy makers to the possibility of a startling turn in Latin American Communist politics.

No one bothered to tell the embassy or the State Department that the newspaper article was written by the CIA.


1956: The Khrushchev Speech

The CIA's manufacture of bogus Communist material has not always led to a happy result. But the agency has had one noteworthy success in obtaining a real Communist document.

When Khrushchev delivered his historic secret speech attacking Stalin's crimes at the 20th Communist Party Congress in Moscow in February, 1956, Allen Dulles ordered a vast and intensive hunt for the text. He assumed there had to be one, because Khrushchev had spoken for seven hours.

The word went out inside the CIA: whoever could deliver the document would be amply recognized by Dulles as an intelligence ace. At whatever price, the CIA was determined to obtain the secret speech.

First, analysts determined what individuals and what Communist nations might have been given a copy -- in other words, where to go looking for it. Then agents fanned out all over the Communist world to find it.

One top CIA operator turned up in Belgrade with an intriguing scheme -- he would make a direct pitch to the Yugoslav Government to bootleg him a copy. Tito and Stalin, after all, had split in 1948. With the permission of Ambassador James W. Riddleberger, the CIA man called on a certain high Yugoslav official.

For nearly two hours he argued his case, listing the reasons why Washington deserved a copy of the top-secret document. The sales talk must have been convincing, for at one point the Yugoslav seemed ready to hand over a copy. But then he thought better of it, and backed off.

The CIA did finally get its hands on a text -- but not in Moscow. Money and other considerations changed hands. The man who made the deal to deliver the speech claimed he needed the money, not for himself, but to make arrangements to protect others who might be involved. At least that is what he told the CIA.

With the speech in Dulles' hands, a new problem had to be faced. Dulles did not want to release the 26,000-word text unless he could be sure it was genuine. For several weeks during May, 1956, the CIA had the text in hand, but said nothing.

CIA analysts pored over the text, examining every word, each phrase in an attempt to authenticate it. The experts finally decided that the document contained information that only Khrushchev could have been in a position to know. Together with other clues buried in the text, this convinced the analysts the document was bona fide. Dulles gave his approval, and on June 4 the State Department released the text.

To this day the CIA does not know precisely what document it obtained: whether it was the speech that Khrushchev prepared for delivery at the Congress, or the verbatim speech he did deliver, or possibly a slightly altered version for distribution to certain satellite nations. The CIA does not know which it is because the text-as-delivered was never published by Khrushchev. On the other hand, Moscow has not flatly denied its authenticity. [xiv]

"There is no fatal inevitability of war," Khrushchev said in the speech, in rejecting one of the basic tenets of Lenin. The CIA felt a deserved sense of satisfaction in having run the speech to ground. For it was the first tangible evidence of the historic split between Communist China and the Soviet Union.


1960: The U-2

The U-2 spy plane was developed by Richard Bissell, Trevor Gardner of the Air Force and Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson of Lockheed, after initially being turned down by the Pentagon on June 7, 1954. The Defense Department finally did approve the ultra-secret espionage project in December of that year. The first model was flying by August, 1955. During the four years, starting in 1956, that the spy plane flew over Russia, it brought back invaluable data on Russian "airfields, aircraft, missiles, missile testing and training, special weapons storage, submarine production, atomic production and aircraft deployments." 15 It flew so high (well over 80,000 feet) that the Russians were unable to shoot it down at first.

The summit conference of Eisenhower, Macmillan, De Gaulle and Khrushchev was scheduled to take place on May 16, 1960. As the date approached, the intelligence technicians who ran the U-2 program decided to get one last U-2 flight in under the wire before the conference. They feared the Paris meeting might result in a detente that would ground the spy plane indefinitely. The feeling within the intelligence community was that a successful conference, followed by Eisenhower's planned trip to Moscow, would make flying the U-2 impossible.

Eisenhower approved each general series of U-2 flights. These groupings allowed considerable flexibility for a set number of missions to be flown within a given time span. Eisenhower did not suspend the program as the summit date approached.

On May 1, 1960, Francis Gary Powers, a CIA pilot from the hill country of Virginia, was downed in his U-2 over Sverdlovsk, [xv] in the Urals. Khrushchev announced on May 5 that a plane had been shot down. This set off an incredible period of confusion in the highest councils of the United States Government.

At first, Washington insisted it was a NASA weather plane that had drifted over the border from Turkey when its pilot had oxygen trouble. After waiting two days for this explanation to sink in, Khrushchev triumphantly revealed he had the pilot and the plane. At that, the State Department admitted the spy flight, but said it had not been authorized in Washington. Two days later Eisenhower reversed this position, took responsibility for the U-2 program and issued a statement widely interpreted to mean that the flights over Soviet territory would continue.

That did it. Khrushchev stormed and demanded an apology at Paris. Eisenhower finally announced at the summit table that no more U-2s would be sent over Russia. But the 1960 summit meeting collapsed.

Why had the CIA and the Eisenhower Administration so confidently issued its original "cover story" about a "weather" plane? One important reason was that Powers had been instructed to blow up his plane in the event of trouble over Russia. This, the CIA expected, would destroy evidence.

The U-2 contained a destructor unit with a three-pound charge of cyclonite -- enough to blow it up. U-2 pilots were instructed in the event of trouble to activate a timing device and eject from the plane. It would then explode, so they were told. But Allen Dulles was aware that some of the U-2 pilots were worried about the workings of this intriguing and delicate destructor mechanism. They were not really sure how many seconds they had to get out.

At a Senate hearing 17 after his release by the Russians, Powers testified: "My first reaction was to reach for the destruct switches ... but I thought that I had better see if I can get out of here before using this. I knew that there was a seventy-second time delay between the time of the actuation of the switches and the time that the explosion would occur." [xvi]

Powers testified that he was unable to use the automatic ejection seat because he had been thrown forward in the cockpit. He said he then decided just to climb out. But after he did, he testified, he was unable to reach back into the U-2 "so that I could actuate these destructor switches."

A CIA report issued after Powers had been held for twenty-four days and secretly interrogated by the agency, set forth substantially the same story and stated that "the destruct switches ... take four separate manipulations to set." The CIA report said Powers lived up to his contract and his "obligations as an American" and would get his back pay. 18

At the friendly Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, no one asked Powers whether he had been under a mandatory order to destroy his plane. It was obvious that the CIA did not relish any close scrutiny of the fascinating workings of the destructor mechanism.

Some of the weightier political analyses of the confusion in Washington during the U-2 affair have failed to pay enough attention to the vital business of the destructor unit. The cover stories were based on the assumption that Francis Gary Powers had actuated those destructor switches. He had not.

Only the CIA knows what would have happened had he done so.


1963: Trouble for General Gehlen

Any casual newspaper reader knows that 1963 was a banner year for spy cases, but one of the most significant received the least attention in the United States, considering that it deeply involved the CIA. On July 11, in a Karlsruhe courtroom, Judge Kurt Weber sentenced three former West German intelligence agents to prison terms for spying for the Soviet Union.

Heinz Felfe, forty-five, drew fourteen years. Hans Clemens, sixty-one, got ten years. Erwin Tiebel, sixty, their courier, got off with three years. The trio had confessed to delivering 15,000 photographs of top-secret West German intelligence files and twenty spools of tape recordings to Soviet agents in East Berlin.

All three had been employed by the West German Federal Intelligence Agency (FIA), better known as the "Gehlen organization" for its founder and chief, the mysterious ex-Nazi general, Reinhard Gehlen. The defendants confessed they had systematically betrayed state secrets from 1950 until their arrest in 1961.

Ironically, their work was so pleasing to both sides, that shortly before their arrest Felfe and Clemens received citations for ten years of meritorious service from both of their employers. From General Gehlen they received a plaque bearing an illustration of St. George slaying the dragon. From Alexander N. Shelepin, then Chairman of the Soviet KGB, [xvii] they got a letter of commendation and a cash bonus.

As Judge Weber summed it up succinctly: "For ten years the Soviet intelligence service had two experienced spies sitting right in the center of the enemy's organization."

Since the Gehlen organization was financed and controlled by the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the Felfe-Clemens Tiebel case meant nothing less than that the CIA's most vital European subsidiary had been penetrated at the top, virtually from its inception.

The CIA poured millions into the Gehlen apparatus, but the 1963 case raised grave questions about the effectiveness and worth of the whole operation. It also raised moral and political questions in West Germany, where some newspapers were asking why ex-Nazis were running the Bundesrepublik's intelligence service in the first place.

Gehlen, a member of the German General Staff under Hitler, was placed in charge of wartime intelligence for Foreign Armies East. This meant that he ran Germany's espionage against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He is said to have surrendered his organization and files to the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps when the Nazi empire collapsed in 1945.

With his knowledge of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, it was not long before Gehlen was back in business, this time for the United States. When the CIA was casting about for a network in West Germany, it decided to look into the possibility of using Gehlen's talents. And while they were making up their mind about the ex-general, Henry Pleasants, the CIA station chief in Bonn for many years, moved in and lived with Gehlen for several months.

Pleasants, once the chief music critic of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and a contributor to the music pages of the New York Times, was a highly literate and respected musicologist. His wife Virginia was one of the world's leading harpsichordists. He also probably had the distinction of being the only top U.S. spy to become the center of a literary storm. He had continued to write books after joining the CIA, and in 1955 his Agony of Modern Music (Simon & Schuster, New York) caused considerable controversy for its attacks on all contemporary music except jazz. [xviii]

Gehlen had named his price and his terms, but it took some months before the CIA said yes. After that Gehlen consolidated an intelligence network that operated in utter secrecy -- as far as the West German public was concerned -- from a heavily guarded villa in Pullach, outside of Munich. Officially, the Gehlen network was not part of the Bonn Government.

The mystery general reportedly lived in a two-story lakeside villa at Starnberg, Bavaria (fifteen miles southwest of Munich); a sign on the fence surrounding the house said: Warnung vor dem Hunde (Beware the Dog). No outsider has ever seen Gehlen. No picture of Gehlen has been taken since 1944 -- and that one shows him bemedaled in his Wehrmacht uniform.

The evidence indicates that Gehlen staffed his organization with many former SS and Wehrmacht intelligence officers. During the war Felfe ran the Swiss department of the Reich security service, and Clemens and Tiebel were his assistants.

Felfe, while awaiting possible war crimes prosecution, suddenly was given a clean bill of health by a British Zone court and was hired by the Gehlen organization in 1951. He testified he had been approached by a former SS colonel who asked if he was interested in returning to his "old trade."

That trade was also being plied by Dr. Otto John, head of West Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Dr. John disappeared into East Berlin on July 20, 1954. Since John was the head of West Germany's official counter-intelligence organization, it was as astounding as if J. Edgar Hoover had suddenly turned up in Minsk. Otto John chose the tenth anniversary of the unsuccessful bomb plot against Hitler to do his vanishing act. He had been active in the plot himself and managed to escape afterwards; his brother Hans was executed. On the day of his disappearance he had attended memorial services at the site of the executions.

Washington, stunned by the news, described John as one of the "two or three best-informed persons in West Germany" on intelligence operations. But the tail end of a New York Times dispatch from Berlin gave the most tantalizing reason for John's action:

"Dr. John's organization also was believed to have been in serious competition and difficulties with a more extensive German organization headed by Reinhard Gehlen, a former high-ranking Wehrmacht intelligence officer." 19

On July 20, 1955, again on the anniversary of the bomb plot, West Germany announced that it was taking over the Gehlen organization, henceforth to be known as the Bundesnachrichtendienst, [xix] or Federal Intelligence Agency (FIA).

With John's defection and the official recognition of the FIA by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Gehlen was the unchallenged spymaster of West Germany. [xx] The Gehlen Apparat was now part of the Bonn Government (although it nowhere appears in any official government table of organization). The relationship between the CIA and the FIA remained intimate. That is why the 1963 trial meant, not only trouble for Gehlen, but trouble for the CIA.

During the trial the three defendants admitted that they supplied the Soviet Union with the names of West German agents of the FIA (ninety-five in all ) as well as other secret information that was smuggled out in canned baby food, trick suitcases and on special writing paper. Felfe and Clemens testified they were paid about $40,000 each during the ten-year period.

At the time of his arrest, Felfe was the director of the East Division of the Gehlen agency, in charge of spying in Eastern Europe.

In asking for long prison terms for the trio, the West German prosecutor said it was "without doubt the worst espionage case ever experienced in the Federal Republic." Felfe and Clemens, he said, had done "serious damage to the Federal Republic and to American organizations."

He did not have to spell out the initials CIA to make his meaning clear.


The extraordinary growth of the clandestine activities of the United States in all parts of the world has been pointed up in this brief review of the important operations of the Invisible Government in Germany, as well as in Bogota, Korea, Communist China, Formosa, Iran, Egypt, Costa Rica and the Soviet Union. Other operations, even more fascinating and sometimes disturbing, have been conducted in Burma, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Guatemala.



i. As constituted in 1964 the NSC was composed of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning.

ii. The 1949 Act also allowed the CIA director to bring in 100 aliens a year secretly and outside of normal immigration laws.

iii. The other two members were William H. Jackson, New York investment banker, a wartime intelligence officer and the managing director of J. H. Whitney & Co.; and Mathias F. Correa, a former OSS man and a special assistant to Forrestal. Jackson later became the deputy director of the CIA.

iv. Some evidence of the closeness of Foster and Allen Dulles was provided even after the Secretary of State had died. President Kennedy had been thinking of changing the name of Washington's new jetport from Dulles, so designated in honor of Foster, to Chantilly, which is the name of the Virginia community where it is located. Under this plan the main building would still have been called the "Dulles Terminal." Allen Dulles and his sister, Eleanor Lansing Dulles, a former official in the German section of the State Department, heard about it and raised hob with the President. Kennedy called it Dulles Airport.

v. And later a private adviser to the Empress of China, Tz'u Hsi.

vi. Welsh earned this ministerial plum in an odd way. President Hayes had assured Senator Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania (who had been in Lincoln's Cabinet during the Civil War) that he would appoint anyone Pennsylvania wanted to the London post. Cameron promptly named his father. Hayes, annoyed, appointed Welsh instead.

vii. Fidel Castro, then an unknown Cuban student, participated in the Bogota riots with a group of his friends.

viii. Actually, the Chinese had begun crossing the Yalu four days earlier.

ix. The protest apparently had some effect. On August 2, 1955, Communist China notified the United States at Geneva that the eleven airmen had been released on July 31.

x. He died September 1, 1963, at age sixty-seven.

xi. Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of New Jersey and California, The Texas Company and Socony-Mobil.

xii. The story was sufficiently upsetting to Senator Paul H. Douglas, the Illinois Democrat, so that he quietly investigated it later during a trip to the Middle East.

xiii. While the CIA was plotting to get rid of Figueres during this period, Ambassador Robert F. Woodward was urging President Eisenhower to lend his prestige to the Costa Rican President by inviting him to Washington. Figueres stepped down in 1958 when his candidate lost the Presidential election.

xiv. Although Dulles had hinted previously at the CIA's role, he publicly and unequivocally disclosed the CIA's tour de force in a speech in Washington in June, 1963, and in a television interview two months later. It was a startling statement, because it was one of the few times that the CIA had openly taken credit for an espionage feat. Dulles said: "You remember ... Khrushchev's famous speech in 1956, which we got, the CIA got that speech, and I thought it was one of the main coups of the time I was there ..." 16

xv. By a Russian SA-2 missile, the CIA concluded.

xvi. A few days after his Senate testimony, however, Powers seemed less certain of this. In a radio interview at his home in Pound, Virginia, with James Clarke, then of WGH, Norfolk, he said he thought he had seventy seconds on that particular U-2. It was an uncertainty shared by other U-2 pilots. The fact is the pilots did not know precisely how much time they had before the explosion.

xvii. KGB stands for Komitat Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (Committee for State Security). It is one arm of the Soviet espionage apparatus, the other being the GRU, or Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie, the Soviet Military Intelligence. The KGB is the successor to the Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, MVD and other initials used over the years to designate the often reorganized, purged and renamed Soviet secret police and espionage network.

xviii. As recently as April 15, 1962, while he was still the CIA station chief in Bonn, Pleasants had a byline article in the New York Herald Tribune, filed from Zurich. It told of the state theater's production of Meyerbeer's Le Prophete.

xix. Literally, Federal news service.

xx. John returned to West Berlin on December 13, 1955. He was tried, convicted of treasonable conspiracy and served nineteen months of his four-year sentence.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:28 am

Burma: The Innocent Ambassador

As he prepared to leave Japan in 1952, at the end of a seven-year assignment, William J. Sebald developed misgivings about his new post as Ambassador to Burma.

Sebald's worries centered on a band of 12,000 Nationalist Chinese troops who were squatting on Burmese territory in defiance of the Burmese Government. The Nationalist troops had fled to Burma in 1949 as the Chinese Communists advanced toward victory. The troops made one concerted effort to return by force to Yunnan, their native province in China. But they were easily turned back, and settled down in Burma to a life of banditry and opium-running.

The Burmese Government demanded that they lay down their arms, but the Nationalist troops repulsed the sporadic efforts of the Burmese Army to subdue them. In the more recent fighting they had displayed new equipment and a greater sense of discipline. And they had just acquired a new commander, General Li Mi, an intelligence officer who was spotted commuting between Formosa and Burma by way of a landing strip in Thailand. just across Burma's southeastern border.

To the Burmese Government, burdened by catastrophic World War II destruction and continuous domestic rebellions, the Nationalist troops had long been an intolerable foreign nuisance. Now, revived as a military force, they became a menace to Burmese independence. The troops might easily provide a pretext for an invasion by the Communist Chinese or a coup by the 300,000 Burmese Communists.

Officially, Burma pleaded with the United States to apply pressure on Formosa to withdraw the troops. Unofficially, Burmese officials accused the CIA of supporting the troops as a force that could conduct raids into China or threaten military retaliation if Burma adopted a more conciliatory policy toward Peking.

Ambassador Sebald had spent more than a third of his fifty years as a naval officer and diplomat in the Far East. He knew he would have trouble enough with a touchy new nation of ancient oriental ways without being undermined by another agency of his own government.

On home-leave in Washington, Sebald demanded assurances from his superiors that the CIA was not supporting the Nationalist troops. He was told emphatically that the United States was in no way involved.

From the very first days of his two-year assignment in Rangoon, Sebald regularly warned Washington that the troops threatened Burma's very existence as a parliamentary democracy which was friendly to the West. If United States relations were not to turn completely sour, he insisted, the Nationalists would have to be removed. Each time, the State Department responded that the United States was not involved and that Burma should logically complain to Taipeh.

Dutifully, Sebald passed along these assurances to the Burmese Foreign Office. But he never succeeded in convincing the Burmese of American innocence. The most determined of the skeptics was General Ne Win, who as Chief of Staff of the Army was leading the battle against the guerrillas. Fresh from a meeting with his field commanders, Ne Win confronted Sebald at a diplomatic gathering and angrily demanded action on the Nationalist troops. When Sebald started to launch into his standard disclaimer of United States involvement the general cut him short.

"Mr. Ambassador," he asserted firmly in his best colonial English, "I have it cold. If I were you, I'd just keep quiet."

As Sebald was to learn, and as high United States officials now frankly admit, Ne Win was indeed correct. The CIA was intimately involved with the Nationalist troops, but Sebald's superiors -- men just below John Foster Dulles -- were officially ignorant of the fact. Knowledge of the project was so closely held within the CIA, that it even escaped the notice of Robert Amory, the deputy director for intelligence. He was not normally informed about the covert side of the agency's operations but he usually received some information about major projects on an unofficial basis. Yet on Burma he could honestly protest to his colleagues in other branches of the government that the CIA was innocent.

Though Sebald was never able to secure an official admission from Washington, he discovered through personal investigation on the scene that the CIA's involvement was an open secret in sophisticated circles in Bangkok, Thailand. There, he learned, the CIA planned and directed the operation under the guise of running Sea Supply, a trading company with the cable address "Hatchet."

In Rangoon public resentment at the CIA's role became so pervasive that the most irrelevant incidents -- an isolated shooting, a power failure -- were routinely ascribed to American meddling. Sebald persisted in his denials, but by March, 1953, they had turned so threadbare that Burma threw the issue into the United Nations.

In New Delhi, Chester Bowles, finishing his first tour as Ambassador to India, had also been beset by the rumors. To silence the anti-American rumbling, Bowles, like Sebald, sought assurances from Washington. The response was the same: the United States was not involved in any way. Bowles conveyed this message to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who stated publicly that, on Bowles' word, he had convinced himself that the United States was not supporting the Nationalist guerrillas.

At the UN, Burma produced captured directives from Taipeh to the Chinese guerrillas, but Nationalist China insisted it had "no control over the Yunnan Anti-Communist and National Salvation Army." At the same time, it conceded paradoxically that Taipeh did have "some influence over General Li Mi" and would exercise its "moral influence" to resolve the problem.

With the UN on the verge of an embarrassing inquest and the Nationalist Chinese in a more conciliatory mood, Sebald's pleas finally began to be heard in Washington. He was instructed to offer the services of the United States in mediating the issue between Burma and Taipeh.

In May the United States suggested that Burma, Nationalist China and Thailand join with it in a four-power conference to discuss the problem. After first balking at sitting down with Nationalist China, Burma finally agreed. A four-nation joint military commission convened in Bangkok on May 22. Full accord on an evacuation plan was reached on June 22. The procedure called for the Nationalist guerrillas to cross over into Thailand for removal to Formosa within three or four weeks.

But the guerrillas refused to leave unless ordered to do so by Li Mi. When the commission demanded his presence in Bangkok, the general pleaded illness, then announced he would under no condition order his troops out.

Negotiations and fighting continued inconclusively throughout the summer of 1953, and Burma again brought the issue before the UN in September.

"Without meaning to be ungrateful," said the chief Burma delegate, U Myint Thein, "I venture to state that in dealing with authorities on Formosa, moral pressure is not enough. If something more than that, such as the threat of an ouster from their seat in the United Nations, were conveyed to the authorities on Formosa, or if the United States would go a step further and threaten to suspend aid, I assure you the Kuomintang army would disappear overnight."

Nevertheless, Burma agreed reluctantly to a cease-fire when Nationalist China pledged to disavow the guerrillas and cut off all aid to them after those willing to be evacuated had started out by way of Thailand. The withdrawal, which began on November 5, was disturbing to the Burmese from the start. The Thai police were under the control of General Pao, the Interior Minister, who was involved with the guerrillas' in the opium trade. And he refused to allow Burmese representatives to accompany other members of the joint military commission to the staging areas.

The suspicions of the Burmese were stirred anew when "Wild Bill" Donovan, the wartime boss of the OSS and then Ambassador to Thailand, arrived on the scene, flags waving, to lead out the Nationalist troops.

The evacuation dragged on through the winter of 1953-1954. It was largely bungled, in the view of U.S. officials in Rangoon, mainly because Washington failed to exert enough pressure on Taipeh. About 7,000 persons were flown to Formosa, but a high percentage of them were women, children and crippled noncombatants.

On May 30, 1954, Li Mi announced from Taipeh the dissolution of the Yunnan Anti-Communist and National Salvation Army, but by July fighting had resumed between the guerrillas and the Burmese Army.

Burma returned to the UN but soon realized that the evacuation of the previous winter "represented the limit of what could be accomplished by international action." On October 15 the issue was discussed in the UN for the last time.

Sebald resigned as ambassador on November 1, citing the ill health of his wife, and returned to Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. He was to spend the next three years struggling to open lines of communication between the State Department and the CIA so that the left hand of the United States might know what the right hand was up to in its international dealings.

But the repercussions of the CIA's operation remained to complicate United States relations in Burma. Despite the long and painful negotiations, half of the Nationalist guerrillas, and the best of them, were still deployed in Burma. They joined with other rebel factions and skirmished repeatedly with the Burmese Army. It was not until January of 1961 that they were driven into Thailand and Laos.

They left behind them, however, a new source of embarrassment to the incoming administration of President Kennedy. As the Burmese advanced, they discovered a cache of U.S.-made equipment, and the following month they shot down a U.S. World War II Liberator bomber en route from Formosa with supplies for the guerrillas.

The captured arms included five tons of ammunition packed in crates which bore the handclasp label of the "United States aid program. The discovery sent 10,000 demonstrators into the streets outside the American Embassy in Rangoon. Three persons were killed and sixty seriously injured before troops brought the situation under control. Premier U Nu called a press conference and blamed the United States for the continued support of the guerrillas.

Three U.S. military attaches were quickly dispatched to inspect the captured equipment. They reported that the ammunition crates bore coded markings, which were forwarded to Washington for scrutiny.

"If we can trace these weapons back," said an embassy official, "and show that they were given to Taiwan, the United States will have a strong case against Chiang Kai-shek for violating our aid agreement."

Taipeh refused to accept responsibility. It insisted the weapons had been supplied by the "Free China Relief Association" and flown to the guerrillas in private planes. The United States filed no formal charges against Nationalist China.

Behind the scenes, however, W. Averell Harriman, the new Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, moved quickly and forcefully. He was a bitter opponent of the United States policy in Asia during the Eisenhower years, particularly John Foster Dulles' decision to "unleash Chiang."

Harriman considered the Dulles decision a form of theatrics. Harriman felt that there was no hope of returning Chiang to the mainland but that Dulles was forced, nonetheless, to commit the United States to a policy of rolling back the Bamboo Curtain in order to redeem his pledges to Nationalist China and the domestic right wing. In Harriman's view, Dulles' decision led inevitably to the transfer of responsibility for Southeast Asian affairs from the traditional diplomatists in the State Department to the more militant operatives in the Pentagon and the CIA.

With the full backing of President Kennedy, Harriman set out to reverse the situation without delay. When informed of the new guerrilla incident in Burma, he directed that Taipeh be firmly impressed with the fact that such ventures were no longer to be tolerated by the United States.

The Nationalist Chinese quickly announced on March 5 that they would do their utmost to evacuate the remaining guerrillas.

But Harriman's forceful action had little effect in dispelling Burma's suspicions about United States policy. And conditions took a turn for the worse on March 2, 1962, when General Ne Win seized the government in a bloodless army coup. Ne Win had intervened briefly in 1958 to restore order and assure a fair election (the government was returned to civilian control early in 1960). In 1962, however, the general came to power with a determination to move the nation to the Left and to reduce its traditional ties of friendship with the West.

Burma's economy was rapidly becoming more socialistic: the rice industry, source of 70 percent of the nation's foreign exchange earnings, was nationalized; private banks, domestic and foreign, were turned into "peoples' banks"; and most Western aid projects were rejected. Communist China was invited in with 300 economic experts, an $84,000,000 development loan and technical assistance for twenty-five projects.

Burma, which had been created in the image of the Western democracies in 1948, was, a decade and a half later, turning toward Peking. In 1952, when Ne Win rebuked Sebald for the CIA's role in support of the guerrillas, Burma was struggling to maintain its neutrality despite the ominous closeness of a powerful and aggressive Communist neighbor, Now, with Ne Win in control, Burma found its independence increasingly threatened.

The leftward turn of Burma's policy might have baffled the American people, but it should not have puzzled the American Government.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:29 am

Indonesia: "Soldiers of Fortune"

THE INDONESIAN anti-aircraft fire hit the rebel B-26 and the two-engine bomber plunged toward the sea, its right wing aflame. The pilot, an American named Allen Lawrence Pope, jumped clear and his parachute opened cleanly. But as he drifted down onto a small coral reef, the chute caught a coconut tree and Pope's right leg was broken.

It was May 18, 1958, and the twenty-nine-year-old pilot had just completed a bombing and strafing run on the Ambon Island airstrip in the Moluccas, 1,500 miles from Indonesia's capital at Jakarta. It was a dangerous mission and Pope had carried it off successfully. But when the Indonesians announced his capture, Ambassador Howard P. Jones promptly dismissed him as "a private American citizen involved as a paid soldier of fortune."

The ambassador was echoing the words of the President of the United States. Three weeks before Pope was shot down, Dwight D. Eisenhower had emphatically denied charges that the United States was supporting the rebellion against President Sukarno.

"Our policy," he said, at a press conference on April 30, "is one of careful neutrality and proper deportment all the way through so as not to be taking sides where it is none of our business.

"Now on the other hand, every rebellion that I have ever heard of has its soldiers of fortune. You can start even back to reading your Richard Harding Davis. People were going out looking for a good fight and getting into it, sometimes in the hope of pay, and sometimes just for the heck of the thing. That is probably going to happen every time you have a rebellion."

But Pope was no freebooting soldier of fortune. He was flying for the CIA, which was secretly supporting the rebels who were trying to overthrow Sukarno.

Neither Pope nor the United States was ever to admit any of this -- even after his release from an Indonesian jail in the summer of 1962. But Sukarno and the Indonesian Government were fully aware of what had happened. And that awareness fundamentally influenced their official and private attitude toward the United States. Many high-ranking American officials -- including President Kennedy -- admitted it within the inner circles of the government, but it is not something that they were ever likely to give public voice to.


Allen Pope, a six-foot-one, 195-pound Korean War ace, was the son of a moderately prosperous fruit grower in Perrine, just south of Miami. From boyhood he was active and aggressive, much attracted by the challenge of physical danger. He attended the University of Florida for two years but left to bust broncos in Texas. He volunteered early for the Korean War, flew fifty-five night missions over Communist lines as a first lieutenant in the Air Force, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After the war Pope returned to Texas, got married, had a daughter, and was divorced. He worked for a local airline but found it dull stuff compared with the excitement he had experienced as a combat pilot in the Far East. And so in March of 1954 Pope signed on with Civil Air Transport, an avowedly civilian airline based on Formosa. He spent two months flying through Communist flak to drop supplies to the French at Dienbienphu. CAT grew out of the Flying Tigers and inherited much of its technique and swagger.

Pope found the outfit congenial. After Dienbienphu he renewed his contract, rising in three years to the rank of captain with a salary of $1,000 a month. He met his second wife, Yvonne, a Pan American stewardess, in Hong Kong. They settled down in a small French villa outside Saigon and had two boys.

Big-game hunting in the jungles of South Vietnam was their most daring diversion. Pope was ready for an even more dangerous challenge when the CIA approached him in December, 1957. The proposition was that he would fly a B-26 for the Indonesian rebels, who were seeking to topple Sukarno. A half-dozen planes were to be ferried in and out of the rebel airstrip at Menado in the North Celebes from the U.S. Air Force Base at Clark Field near Manila. In the Philippines the planes would be safe from counterattack by Sukarno's air force.

The idea of returning to combat intrigued Pope, and he signed up. His first mission, a ferrying hop from the Philippines to the North Celebes, took place on April 28, 1958. That was two days before President Eisenhower offered his comments about "soldiers of fortune" and promised "careful neutrality ... We will unquestionably assure [the Indonesian Government] through the State Department," he declared, "that our deportment will continue to be correct."

But Sukarno was not to be easily convinced. A shrewd, fifty-six-year-old politician, he was a revolutionary socialist who led his predominantly Moslem people to independence after 350 years of Dutch rule. Sukarno knew he was deeply distrusted by the conservative, businesslike administration in Washington. A mercurial leader, he was spellbinding on the stump but erratic in the affairs of state. He was also a ladies' man (official Indonesian publications spoke openly of his "partiality for feminine charm" and quoted movie-magazine gossip linking him with such film stars as Gina Lollobrigida and Joan Crawford) and has had four wives.

In particular, Sukarno was aware of Washington's understandable annoyance with his sudden turn toward the Left: he had just expropriated most of the private holdings of the Dutch and had vowed to drive them out of West lrian (New Guinea); he had requested Russian arms; and he had brought the Communists into his new coalition government.

From the start of its independence in 1949 until 1951 Indonesia was a parliamentary democracy. The power of the central government was balanced and diffused by the local powers of Indonesia's six major and 3,000 minor islands stretching in a 3,000-mile arc from the Malayan peninsula. But in February, 1957, on his return from a tour of Russia and the satellites, Sukarno declared parliamentary democracy to be a failure in Indonesia. He said it did not suit a sharply divided nation of close to 100,000,-000 people. Besides, the government could not successfully exclude a Communist Party with over 1,000,000 members.

"I can't and won't ride a three-legged horse," Sukarno declared. His solution was to decree the creation of a "Guided Democracy," It gave him semi-dictatorial powers while granting major concessions to the Communists and the Army.

The Eisenhower Administration feared that Sukarno would fall completely under Communist domination. And that, of course, would be a genuine disaster for the United States. Although its per capita income of $60 was one of the lowest in the world, Indonesia's bountiful supply of rubber, oil and tin made it potentially the third richest nation in the world. And located between the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Asia and Australia, it commanded one of the world's principal lines of communication.

Many of Indonesia's political leaders, particularly those outside of Java, shared Washington's apprehensions about Sukarno's compromises with the Communists. And many in the CIA and the State Department saw merit in supporting these dissident elements. Even if Sukarno were not overthrown, they argued, it might be possible for Sumatra, Indonesia's big oil producer, to secede, thereby protecting private American and Dutch holdings. At the very least, the pressures of rebellion might loosen Sukarno's ties with the Communists and force him to move to the Right. At best, the Army, headed by General Abdul Haris Nasution, an anti-Communist, might come over to the rebels and force wholesale changes to the liking of the United States.

On February 15, 1958, a Revolutionary Council at Padang, Sumatra, proclaimed a new government under the leadership of Dr. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, a forty-seven-year-old Moslem party leader and former governor of the Bank of Indonesia. A multi-party cabinet was established, with representation from Java, Sumatra and Celebes.

Sukarno declared: "There is no cause for alarm or anxiety. Like other countries, Indonesia has its ups and downs."

General Nasution promptly asserted his allegiance by dishonorably discharging six high-ranking officers who had sided with the rebels. A week later Indonesian Air Force planes bombed and strafed two radio broadcasting stations in Padang and another in Bukittinggi, the revolutionary capital forty-five miles inland. The attack, carried out by four old U.S. planes, succeeded in silencing the rebel radios.

In testimony to Congress early in March, John Foster Dulles reiterated the United States pledge of strict neutrality. "We are pursuing what I trust is a correct course from the point of international law," he said. "And we are not intervening in the internal affairs of this country ..."

On March 12 Jakarta announced that it had launched a paratroop invasion of Sumatra, and the next week the rebels formally appealed for American arms. They also asked the United States and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization to recognize the revolutionary government.

On April 1 Dulles declared: "The United States views this trouble in Sumatra as an internal matter. We try to be absolutely correct in our international proceedings and attitude toward it. And I would not want to say anything which might be looked upon as a departure from that high standard."

A week later, commenting on Indonesia's announcement that it was purchasing a hundred planes and other weapons from Communist Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslavakia, State Department spokesman Lincoln White declared: "We regret that Indonesia turned to the Communist bloc to buy arms for possible use in killing Indonesians who openly opposed the growing influence of Communism in Indonesia."

Jakarta responded angrily that it had turned to the Communists only after the United States had refused to allow Indonesia to buy $120,000,000 worth of American weapons. Dulles confirmed the fact the same day but claimed the Indonesians were rebuffed because they apparently intended to use the weapons to oust the Dutch from West Irian.

"Later, when the Sumatra revolt broke out," Dulles added, "it did not seem wise to the United States to be in the position of supplying arms to either side of that revolution ...

"It is still our view that the situation there is primarily an internal one and we intend to conform scrupulously to the principles of international law that apply to such a situation."

During the night of April 11, some 2,000 Indonesian Army troops launched an offensive against the rebels in northwest Sumatra, and at sunrise on April 18 a paratroop and amphibious attack was hurled against Padang. Twelve hours later, after modest resistance, the rebel city fell. Turning his troops inland toward Bukittinggi, Nasution declared he was "in the final stage of crushing the armed rebellious movement."

Throughout that month Jakarta reported a series of rebel air attacks against the central government, but it was not until April 30 that the United States was implicated. Premier Djuanda Kartawidjaja then asserted that he had proof of "overt foreign assistance" to the rebels in the form of planes and automatic weapons.

"As a consequence of the actions taken by the United States and Taiwan adventurers," Djuanda commented, "there has emerged a strong feeling of indignation amongst the armed forces and the people of Indonesia against the United States and Taiwan. And if this is permitted to develop it will only have a disastrous effect in the relationships between Indonesia and the United States."

Sukarno accused the United States of direct intervention and warned Washington "not to play with fire in Indonesia ... let not a lack of understanding by America lead to a third war ...

"We could easily have asked for volunteers from outside," he declared in a slightly veiled allusion to a secret offer of pilots by Peking. "We could wink an eye and they would come. We could have thousands of volunteers, but we will meet the rebels with our own strength."

On May 7, three days after the fall of Bukittinggi, [i] the Indonesian military command charged that the rebels had been supplied weapons and ammunition with the knowledge and direction of the United States. The military command cited an April 3 telegram to the Revolutionary Government from the "American Sales Company" of San Francisco. Robert Hirsch, head of the company, confirmed that he had offered to sell the arms to the rebels but said he had done so without clearing it with the State Department. In any case, he said, the arms were of Italian make and none had been delivered.

The State Department flatly denied the accusation, and the New York Times editorialized indignantly on May 9:

"It is unfortunate that high officials of the Indonesian Government have given further circulation to the false report that the United States Government was sanctioning aid to Indonesia's rebels. The position of the United States Government has been made plain, again and again. Our Secretary of State was emphatic in his declaration that this country would not deviate from a correct neutrality. The President himself, in a news conference, reiterated this position but reminded his auditors, and presumably the Indonesians, that this government has no control over soldiers of fortune ...

"It is always convenient for a self-consciously nationalistic government to cry out against 'outside interference' when anything goes wrong. Jakarta ... may have an unusually sensitive conscience. But its cause is not promoted by charges that are manifestly false ...

"It is no secret that most Americans have little sympathy for President Sukarno's 'guided democracy' and his enthusiasm to have Communist participation in his government ...

"But the United States is not ready ... to step in to help overthrow a constituted government. Those are the hard facts. Jakarta does not help its case, here, by ignoring them."

The following week, one day after the United States officially proposed a cease-fire, Allen Pope was shot down while flying for the rebels and the CIA. However, the Indonesian Government withheld for nine days the fact that an American pilot had been captured. On May 18 it announced only that a rebel B-26 had been shot down.

Nevertheless, with Pope in Indonesian hands things began to move rapidly in Washington. Within five days: (1) the State Department approved the sale to Indonesia for local currency of 37,000 tons of sorely needed rice; (2) the United States lifted an embargo on $1,000,000 in small arms, aircraft parts and radio equipment -- destined for Indonesia but frozen since the start of the rebellion; and (3) Dulles called in the Indonesian ambassador, Dr. Mukarto Notowidigdo, for a twenty-minute meeting.

"I am definitely convinced," said the ambassador with a big smile as he emerged, "that relations are improving."

But the Indonesian Army was not prepared to remain permanently silent about Pope. On May 27 a news conference was called in Jakarta by Lieutenant Colonel Herman Pieters, Commander of the Moluccas and West Irian Military Command at Ambon. He announced that Pope had been shot down on May 18 while flying a bombing mission for the rebels under a $10,000 contract.

Pieters displayed documents and identification papers showing Pope had served in the U.S. Air Force and as a pilot for CAT. He said Philippine pesos, 28,000 Indonesian rupiahs, and U.S. scrip for use at American military installations were also found on the American pilot. Pieters said 300 to 400 Americans, Filipinos and Nationalist Chinese were aiding the rebels, but he did not mention the CIA.

Many Indonesian officials were outraged by Pope's activities, and accused him of bombing the marketplace in Ambon on May 15. A large number of civilians, church bound on Ascension Thursday, were killed in the raid on the predominantly Christian community. But the government did its best to suppress public demonstrations.

Pope was given good medical treatment, and he could be seen sunning himself on the porch of a private, blue bungalow in the mountains of Central Java. Although the Communists were urging a speedy trial, Sukarno also saw advantages in sunning himself -- in the growing warmth of United States policy. Pope's trial was delayed for nineteen months while Sukarno kept him a hostage to continued American friendliness.

Late the next year, however, Sukarno found himself in a quarrel with Peking over his decision to bar Chinese aliens from doing business outside of the main cities of Indonesia. The powerful Indonesian Communist Party was aroused over the issue and Sukarno may have felt the need to placate them.

Pope was brought to trial before a military court on December 28, 1959. He was accused of flying six bombing raids for the rebels and killing twenty-three Indonesians, seventeen of them members of the armed forces. The maximum penalty was death.

During the trial, which dragged on for four months, Pope pleaded not guilty. He admitted to flying only one combat mission, that of May 18, 1958. The other flights, he testified, were of a reconnaissance or non-combat nature. Contrary to the assertion that he had signed a $10,000 contract, Pope insisted he got only $200 a flight.

The court introduced a diary taken from Pope after his capture. It contained detailed entries of various bombing missions. Pope contended it listed the activities of all the rebel pilots, not just his. He replied to the same effect when confronted with a pre-trial confession, noting that he had refused to sign it.

Asked what his "real motive" had been in joining the rebels, Pope replied: "Your honor, I have been fighting the Communists since I was twenty-two years old -- first in Korea and later Dienbienphu ...

"I am not responsible for the death of one Indonesian-armed or unarmed," he asserted in his closing plea. "I have served long enough as a target of the Communist press, which has been demanding the death sentence for me."

On April 29, 1960, the court handed down the death sentence, but it seemed unlikely that the penalty would be imposed. It had not once been invoked since Indonesia gained its independence eleven years before.

Pope appealed the sentence the following November, and when it was upheld by the Appeals Court, he took the case to the Military Supreme Court. Mrs. Pope made a personal appeal to Sukarno on December 28 during the first of two trips to Indonesia, but she was offered no great encouragement despite the prospect of improved relations between Sukarno and President-elect Kennedy.

Sukarno received an invitation to visit Washington a month after Kennedy took office. The Indonesian leader had been feted by President Eisenhower during a state visit to the United States in 1956; and he had more or less forced a second meeting with Eisenhower at the United Nations in the fall of 1960. But on most of his trips to the United States, Sukarno felt snubbed. Kennedy's invitation clearly flattered and pleased him.

The two men sat down together at the White House the week after the Bay of Pigs. The meeting went well enough, but Kennedy was preoccupied with the CIA's latest failure at attempted revolution.

During the visit Kennedy commented to one of his aides: No wonder Sukarno doesn't like us very much. He has to sit down with people who tried to overthrow him.

Still Sukarno seemed favorably disposed toward the new Kennedy Administration. The following February, during a good-will tour of Indonesia, Robert Kennedy asked Sukarno to release Pope. (Secret negotiations were then far advanced for the exchange the next week of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and Soviet spy Rudolph I. Abel. And the White House was favorably impressed with the tight-lipped Mr. Pope as contrasted with Powers, a CIA pilot who talked freely about his employer.)

Sukarno's first reaction to Robert Kennedy's request was to reject it out of hand, but when the Attorney General persisted, he agreed to take it under consideration. Six months later, on July 2, 1962, Pope was freed from prison without prior notice and taken to the American Embassy for interrogation by Ambassador Jones and other officials. Then he was put aboard a Military Air Transport Service plane and flown back to the United States.

Pope was hidden away for seven weeks and the State Department did not reveal his release until August 22. Pope insisted there had been no secret questioning (such as that to which Powers was subjected by the CIA on his return from Russia). The State Department's explanation of the long silence was that Pope had asked that the release be kept secret so he could have a quiet rendezvous with his family.

Back in Miami, Pope settled down to what outwardly seemed to be a happy relationship with his family; but in December, Mrs. Pope filed for divorce, charging him with "extreme cruelty" and "habitual indulgence in a violent and ungovernable temper."

At the divorce hearing on July 2, 1963, Mrs. Pope testified that on his return from Indonesia, her husband insisted upon keeping a loaded .38-caliber pistol by their bedside, despite the potential danger to their two young boys. She also asserted that Pope had sent her only $450 since he had left her seven months before.

Mrs. Pope made no mention in the proceedings of her husband's work for the CIA. A security agent of the government had warned her that it would be detrimental to her case if she talked about her husband's missions. She did not, and Pope did not contest the divorce.

"There's an awful lot of cloak-and-dagger mixed up in this," said her Miami lawyer, Louis M. Jepeway, who otherwise refused to talk about the case. "I can understand it, but I don't have to like it."

Mrs. Pope won the divorce and custody of the children on grounds of cruelty. But she received no financial settlement because Pope was declared outside the jurisdiction of the court.

On December 4, 1962, Pope had put his things in storage -- some personal items, ten stuffed birds, four animal heads, one stuffed animal, antelope antlers and water-buffalo horns. Then he left the country to go to work for Southern Air Transport. The Pentagon described this airline as a civilian operation holding a $3,718,433 Air Force contract to move "mixed cargo and passenger loads on Far East inter-island routes." Its home address was listed as PO Box 48-1260, Miami International Airport. Its overseas address was PO Box 12124, Taipeh, Formosa.

However, when asked what sort of work Southern Air Transport did, the company's Miami attorney explained that it was a small cargo line which simply "flies chickens from the Virgin Islands."

The attorney was Alex E. Carlson, the lawyer for the Double-Chek Corporation that had hired the American pilots who flew at the Bay of Pigs.



1. The rebels then moved their capital to Menado, which fell late in June.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:29 am

Laos: The Pacifist Warriors

Winthrop G. Brown had been Ambassador to Laos for less than three weeks when the right-wing military government, created by the CIA and the Pentagon at a cost of $300,000,000, was overthrown without a shot by a twenty-six-year-old Army captain named Kong Le.

Brown, a tall, thin, gray-haired Yankee, had been transferred from New Delhi on short notice with only a superficial knowledge of the long, tortured and expensive history of the United States experiment in Laos. Yet even a quick look convinced him that the CIA and its Pentagon allies were wrong in their assessment of the captain.

The young paratrooper and his battalion of 300 men had taken over the capital city of Vientiane in a pre-dawn coup on August 9, 1960. They had not been paid in three months and were tired of being the only fighting unit in the quasi-pacifist army of 25,000. Kong Le was personally outraged by the high-living, CIA-backed regime of General Phoumi Nosavan. He decided to strike while Phoumi and his cabinet were out of town inspecting a sandalwood tree that was to be turned into a burial urn for the late king.

The CIA and the American military mission viewed the coup with horror. They considered Kong Le to be Communist-inspired, despite his many battles against the pro-Communist Pathet Lao. But Ambassador Brown, a fifty-three-year-old former Wall Street lawyer who tried to see things with detachment and a fresh eye, was inclined to accept the American-trained paratrooper for what he purported to be: a fine troop commander who lived with his men and shared their rations; a patriot weary of civil war.

"I have fought for many years," Kong Le said. "I have killed many men. I have never seen a foreigner die."

Laos is a pastoral land, blessed with magnificent scenery -- soaring mountains, swift rivers, verdant valleys -- and populated by a strange mixture of isolated tribes alike only in their distaste for physical labor. It is the "Land of the Million Elephants," whose only cash crop is opium, and whose people are 85 percent illiterate.

Almost all Laotians are Buddhists, peace-loving by instinct and precept. In battle, to the dismay of their American advisers, they were accustomed to aiming high in the expectation that the enemy would respond in kind.

In 1960 the principal attraction of Phoumi's royal army to a recruit was the pay -- $130 a year, twice the average national income. Although United States aid had amounted to about $25 a head for the two million Laotians, military pay was about all that filtered down to the average citizen. More than three fourths of the money went to equip a modern, motorized army in a nation all but devoid of paved roads. All of this, as formulated by John Foster Dulles, was meant to convert Laos from a neutral nation, vulnerable to left-wing pressures, into a military bastion against Communism.

When the French withdrew in 1954, after a futile eight-year war with the Vietnamese Communists, a neutralist government had been organized under Prince Souvanna Phouma, a cheerful, pipe-smoking, French-educated engineer. He held power for four years, unsuccessfully struggling to integrate the two Communist Pathet Lao provinces into the central government. Then, in 1958, after Communist election gains and signs of military infiltration by the North Vietnamese, he resigned.

Souvanna was followed by a series of right-wing governments in which General Phoumi emerged as the strong-man. Finally, Phoumi succeeded in easing out Premier Phoui Sananikone, an able man with advanced ideas about grass-roots aid and Village development; he was also firmly non- Communist but he had too many independent notions for the CIA. He was replaced by Tiao Somsanith, a thoroughly pliable politician.

Phoumi then rigged the 1960 elections -- not one Pathet Lao was elected -- and settled in for a long, U.S.-financed tenure. Even Kong Le's coup failed to dim his vision of permanent affluence. He still had his army intact with him at Savannakhet in the south. And he was unshakably convinced that the United States would put him back in power. As tangible support for that conviction, Phoumi could point to the personal contact man the CIA kept by his side.

He was Jack Hazey, an ex-OSS man and former French Legionnaire whose face was half shot away during World War II. Occasionally, Hazey would be challenged for being out of step with public statements of U.S. policy. Clearly implying that he was under higher, secret orders, Hazey would retort: "I don't give a damn what they say."

The conflict between the public and secret definitions of United States policy on Laos was particularly pronounced in the summer of 1960. Shortly after Phoumi and his puppet Premier were ousted, Kong Le called back Souvanna Phouma to form a coalition government. To reduce the chances of discord, Souvanna then asked Phoumi to join the government as Vice-Premier and Minister of Defense.

Ambassador Brown dashed off a cable to Washington urging unqualified support for Souvanna's new government. [i] But the CIA and the State Department decided to hedge: they announced formal recognition of Souvanna but continued substantive support for Phoumi. The decision served to reinforce Phoumi's conviction that the CIA and the American military mission would in the end put him back in power.

Brown persuaded himself that he had the complete backing of the CIA station chief, Gordon L. Jorgensen, and the leaders of the military mission; but Washington's ambivalent policy put the ambassador in an embarrassing predicament. He tried to make the best of it by seeking out Souvanna and asking him if he had any objections to the continued support of Phoumi by the United States. No, the princely Premier replied, provided the equipment was not used against him; he would need Phoumi's army to fend off the Pathet Lao.

Brown then sent emissaries to Phoumi, assuring him that Souvanna was not scheming to deprive him of his U.S. aid and pleading with him at least to return to Vientiane and negotiate. But this man who had been highly regarded by the CIA and the Pentagon for his fighting qualities was afraid of venturing beyond his closely guarded stronghold. He had a broken line in the palm of his hand and a fortuneteller had once warned him that he would die violently. Even under maximum security he wore a bullet-proof vest during all his diplomatic dealings.

Confronted by Phoumi's intransigence, Souvanna began to despair of his ability to carry on. He called in the Western ambassadors in mid-September and warned them that he urgently needed the support of the royal army. "I am at the end of my capacity to lead," he told them.

Souvanna's government was also in dire need of rice and oil, which had been cut off by a blockade imposed by Thailand's military strongman, Prime Minister Sarit Thanarat, a close friend of Phoumi. Washington said it was entreating Sarit to lift the blockade, but the vise continued to tighten around Souvanna.

Early in October, J. Graham Parsons, former Ambassador to Laos and then Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, flew to Vientiane and demanded that Souvanna sever his relations with the Pathet Lao. This amounted to a demand that the neutralist government abandon its neutrality. Souvanna refused.

Then a high-level mission from the Pentagon, including John N. Irwin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs, arrived for secret talks with Phoumi.

Souvanna concluded that the United States was in the process of withdrawing all support from the neutralist government and again throwing its full power behind Phoumi. Early in December he made a final and unsuccessful appeal to Brown for rice and oil. In desperation, Souvanna turned to the Russians, who saw an irresistible opportunity: to achieve political dominance in Laos at a cut rate and, at the same time, to replace the Chinese as the principal Communist influence in Southeast Asia. Without delay the Soviets started an airlift from Hanoi on December 11, 1960. [ii]

Two days earlier Phoumi had ordered his troops northward; and on December 18 the royal army recaptured Vientiane. Souvanna fled to Cambodia and Kong Le retreated to the north, distributing close to 10,000 American rifles to the Pathet Lao along the way.

Phoumi quickly established a government, naming Prince Boun Oum, a middle-aged playboy, as Premier. But despite his recent military success, Phoumi failed to pursue Kong Le. Instead, he settled back into his old ways. He had never been within fifty miles of the front lines and he saw no need to break with this tradition.

The Russians, meantime, were moving in substantial amounts of weapons by air and truck. And the North Vietnamese began to infiltrate crack guerrilla troops in support of the Pathet Lao. Kong Le joined forces with them, and by early 1961 he had captured the strategic Plain of Jars with its key airstrip fifty miles from North Vietnam.

By the time President Kennedy was inaugurated, on January 20, it seemed as if only the introduction of U.S. troops could keep the Pathet Lao from overrunning Vientiane and the Mekong River Valley separating Laos from Thailand. Kennedy was so informed by President Eisenhower and Defense Secretary Thomas S. Gates, Jr., in his first Laos briefing on January 19. Eisenhower apologized for leaving such a "mess."

One of Kennedy's first official acts was to ask his military advisers to draw up a plan for saving Laos. They recommended that an Allied force, including U.S. troops, take over the defense of Vientiane under the sanction of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. The idea was to free Phoumi's army for a full-fledged campaign in the Plain of Jars.

While weighing the advice, Kennedy ordered the Seventh Fleet within striking distance of Laos and promised Phoumi substantial new support if his troops would show some determination to fight.

Early in March, however, a royal army detachment was easily routed from a key position commanding the principal highway in northern Laos. The new administration became skeptical of Phoumi at the outset.

The Allied occupation plan was further undermined when the British, French and other SEATO powers (with the exception of Thailand) balked at providing troops. In addition, the President could not obtain assurances from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that U.S. forces would be able to save Laos without resort to tactical nuclear weapons.

In a nationally televised news conference on March 23 Kennedy warned that the Western powers would "have to consider their response" if the Communist attack continued in Laos. The clear implication was that the United States was prepared to intervene with military force. But, privately, the President told Harriman that he decidedly did not want to be faced with the prospect of using troops, that he wanted a political settlement.

On April 1 the Russians, apparently wary of a direct confrontation with the United States, agreed in principle to a British proposal for a cease-fire. The next month a fourteen-nation conference on Laos was convened in Geneva. And in the only meeting of minds at their talk in Vienna in June, Kennedy and Khrushchev promised to work for a neutral and independent Laos.

By November the outlines of an agreement had been reached at Geneva: Souvanna Phouma was to be recalled to create a neutralist government including the three Laotian factions, the pro-Western royalists, the neutrals and the pro-Communist Pathet Lao.

But once again Phoumi balked. He refused to relinquish the Defense and Interior Ministries, as was decreed at Geneva. If he held out long enough, he reasoned, the CIA and the Pentagon would again come to his rescue.

President Kennedy rebuked him in private messages, but Phoumi steadfastly refused to submit. Had he not been told in 1960 that the United States was determined to have him join Souvanna's coalition? And in the end had not the CIA and the Pentagon supported him in his return to power? And, as in 1960, were not the CIA representatives still with him?

Washington was reluctant to yank out the CIA men abruptly. Precipitate action could only diminish the agency's prestige and usefulness. But Phoumi was proving so intractable that McCone, acting on Harriman's recommendation, ordered Hazey out of the country early in 1962. [iii]

Nevertheless, Phoumi's reliance on the CIA had become so firmly ingrained that he could not be budged, even after the United States cut off its $3,000,000-a-month budgetary assistance to his government in February of 1962.

That spring Phoumi began a large-scale reinforcement of Nam Tha, an outpost deep in Pathet Lao territory, twenty miles from the Chinese border. Ambassador Brown warned him personally that the reinforcement was provocative and that the royal troops were so badly deployed that they would be an easy mark for the Pathet Lao. In May, Brown's admonition proved accurate. The Communists retaliated against the build-up, smashed into Nam Tha and sent Phoumi's troops in wild retreat. Two of his front-line generals commandeered the only two jeeps in the area and fled into Thailand.

The Nam Tha rout finally convinced Phoumi that he could not go it alone; and the Pathet Lao, verging on a complete take-over, halted when President Kennedy ordered 5,000 U .S. troops to take up positions in Thailand near the Laos border on May 15.

The three Laotian factions finally agreed to the coalition government on June 11 and the Geneva Accords were signed on July 23. In October the United States withdrew the 666 military advisers assigned to Phoumi's army.

But Communist North Vietnam failed to comply with the Geneva agreement. It refused to withdraw about 5,000 troops stationed in Laos in support of the Pathet Lao. On March 30, 1963, the Communists launched a new offensive which brought much of the Plain of Jars under their control.

The United States responded predictably: the Seventh Fleet took up position in the South China Sea off Vietnam; some 3,000 troops were sent to Thailand for much-publicized war games; and Harriman flew to Moscow to confer with Khrushchev. The Russian leader reaffirmed his support for a neutral and independent Laos. He also seemed to agree with Harriman that the Pathet Lao was responsible for the renewed fighting. It was clear that Moscow had lost control of the situation in Laos to Peking and Hanoi.

At the same time, United States policy makers were becoming increasingly convinced that Laos was not the right place to take a stand in Southeast Asia. The assessment of the Kennedy Administration was that most of the country, particularly the northern regions, would never be of much use to anyone. Administration officials were fond of debunking the Dulles policy with the quip: "Laos will never be a bastion of anything." The administration felt, nonetheless, that certain areas would have to be retained at all cost: Vientiane and the Mekong Valley. But it opposed the use of U.S. troops on any large scale.

In the event the neutralist government was about to be completely overwhelmed, the official plan, as it was outlined at a briefing of Pentagon officials by Dean Rusk, called for the movement of a modest American force into Vientiane. This would be designed to provoke a diplomatic test of the Geneva Accords. Failing in that, the United States was prepared to strike against North Vietnam as dramatic evidence that the Communist forces in Laos could advance farther only at the risk of a major war.

So it was that by the start of 1964 after a decade of humiliating reverses and the expenditure of close to half a billion dollars, United States policy had come full circle: during the 1950s Souvanna Phouma and his plan for a neutral Laos had been opposed with all the power of the Invisible Government; now the United States was ready to settle for even less than it could have had five years earlier at a fraction of the cost.



i. Later, Brown's only regret was that, restrained by a newcomer's caution, he did not make the recommendation even more strong. A key diplomat agreed: "Now we'd gladly pay $100,000,000 for that government."

ii. Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi M. Pushkin told Harriman at the Laotian talks in Geneva in 1961 that the airlift had been organized and executed on the highest priority of any peacetime operation since the Russian Revolution.

iii. Hazey was then stationed in Bangkok, where he could be called upon quickly in a crisis.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:30 am

Vietnam: The Secret War

WHEN NGO DINH DIEM was deposed and assassinated in an Army coup on November 1, 1963, a bloody, frustrating decade came to a close for the Invisible Government.

For nearly ten years the intelligence and espionage operatives of the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department had been intimately involved with Diem, attempting at every turn to shore him up as a buffer against Communism in Vietnam. But in his last months the Buddhist majority rose against the repressive policies of Diem, a Roman Catholic, and the Invisible Government was forced to reconsider its single-minded support. Now, with Diem dead, those very American agencies which had helped him stay in power for so long were accused by his supporters of having directed his downfall.

At the beginning, the Invisible Government had high hopes for Diem. In 1954, at the age of fifty- three, the pudgy five-foot, five-inch aristocrat returned to Vietnam from a self-imposed exile to become Emperor Bao Dai's Premier. He had served under Bao Dai in the early 1930s, but quit as Minister of the Interior when he discovered the government was a puppet for the French. The Japanese twice offered Diem the premiership during World War II, but he refused.

When the French returned after the war, he resumed his anti-colonial activities. He left the country in 1950, eventually taking up residence at the Maryknoll Seminary in Lakewood, New Jersey (he had studied briefly for the priesthood as a boy). He lobbied against United States aid to the French in Indochina and warned against Ho Chi Minh, the North Vietnamese Communist guerrilla leader.

Shortly after Diem's return to Vietnam, the French Army was routed at Dienbienphu and the Communists seemed on the verge of total victory in Indochina. President Eisenhower, aware of Ho Chi Minh's popularity, [i] was looking for an anti-Communist who might stem the tide.

Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles were impressed by Ramon Magsaysay's successful campaign against the Communist Huk guerrillas in the Philippines. They thought the same tactics might work in Vietnam and requested a briefing by Edward Lansdale, an Air Force colonel who had been a key figure in the CIA-directed operation in support of Magsaysay.

Lansdale was called back from the Philippines to appear before a special panel of intelligence and foreign-policy officials, including Foster Dulles. He emerged from the meeting with a mandate from Dulles to find a popular leader in Vietnam and throw the support of the Invisible Government behind him.

Lansdale arrived in Saigon just after the fall of Dienbienphu and found political and military chaos. He canvassed the various factions in the city and the countryside and concluded that Diem alone had enough backing to salvage the situation. He met with Diem almost daily, working out elaborate plans for bolstering the regime. He operated more or less independently of the American mission assigned to Saigon, although he communicated with Washington through CIA channels (the agency maintained a separate operation with a station chief and a large staff).

Lansdale's free-wheeling activities in Vietnam provoked a mixed reaction. To some, he seemed the best type of American abroad, a man who understood the problems of the people and worked diligently to help them. He was so represented under a pseudonym in the book The Ugly American. To others, he was the naive American who, failing to appreciate the subtleties of a foreign culture, precipitated bloodshed and chaos. Graham Greene patterned the protagonist in The Quiet American after him.

Lansdale thrust himself into the middle of Vietnam's' many intrigues. In the fall of 1954 he got wind of a plan by several high-ranking Vietnamese Army officers to stage a coup against Diem. He alerted Washington, and General J. Lawton Collins, former Army Chief of Staff, was rushed to Saigon as Eisenhower's personal envoy to help Diem put down the uprising.

The coup failed, but Collins became skeptical of the stability of the Diem regime. He favored a proposal to create a coalition government, which would represent all the power elements and factions in the country. The proposal was sponsored by the French, who were maneuvering to salvage their waning influence in the affairs of Indochina.

In the spring of 1955 Diem moved against the Binh Xuyen, a quasi-criminal sect which controlled the Saigon police. He ordered his troops to take over the gambling, opium and prostitution quarter run by the Binh Xuyen. But elements of the French Army which had not yet been evacuated from the country intervened for the avowed purpose of preserving order and preventing bloodshed. Collins sided with the French and a truce was declared.

Lansdale fired off a message to Washington through the CIA channel, taking strong exception to Collins' decision. Lansdale argued that Diem's move against the Binh Xuyen had broad popular support. He also discounted the fears of Collins and U.S. Army Intelligence that Diem's troops would turn against the regime.

Collins returned to Washington for consultation, then flew back to Saigon with the impression that his views would be sustained. But in his absence Lansdale had obtained a reaffirmation of the policy of support for Diem. Furious, Collins accused Lansdale of "mutiny." But the die was cast. Assured of the complete backing of the United States Government, Diem crushed the Binh Xuyen and the other warlike sects.

Then, at Lansdale's urging, Diem agreed to hold a referendum designed to give the regime a popular legitimacy. The ballot presented a choice between Diem and Emperor Bao Dai, who had been discredited as a tool of the French. Diem polled 98 percent of the vote on October 23, 1955, and was declared President of Vietnam. His brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, was established as his official political strategist.

Some measure of stability had now been achieved in South Vietnam. But Diem and Nhu refused to grant political freedom to the opposition parties, despite Lansdale's warning that the country would be plagued by conspiracy if legitimate parties were not permitted to operate openly.

Lansdale made a special trip to Washington in an effort to induce the Dulles brothers to apply pressure on Diem to institute political reforms in South Vietnam. But Lansdale failed. He was told that it had been decided that Diem provided the only practical alternative to a Communist takeover, and that he was to be supported without qualification.

Overruled, Lansdale lost his influence as the unofficial emissary of the Invisible Government in Vietnam. Thereafter, the CIA took his place as the secret link with the Diem regime. A CIA man was ordered to establish liaison with Nhu. It was the start of an intimate relationship which was to last until 1963.

During the next few years the United States committed itself increasingly to the support of the regime. More than a billion dollars in military and economic aid was provided between 1955 and 1960. But it was not until 1961 that the commitment became complete.

In the early years of Diem's role the Communist Viet-Cong conducted only a hit-and-run guerrilla campaign against him. In 1959, however, the Vietcong operations were greatly expanded. Two theories have been advanced in explanation. The official theory of the State Department was that Diem was bringing off a political and economic "miracle" and the Communists could not bear the contrast to their bad showing in North Vietnam.

Diem's critics offered a conflicting theory. They claimed the populace had become so disaffected by Diem's repression that the Communists decided the time was ripe for action. In 1960 a group of young, discontented Army officers felt the same way. They attempted a coup but Diem put them down without serious difficulty. [ii]

In any event, conditions had so disintegrated by 1961 that Diem's government was master of only a third of the territory of South Vietnam. In May of that year President Kennedy sent Vice- President Johnson to Saigon.

On May 13 Johnson and Diem issued a joint communique stating that aid would be provided for Vietnam on an expanded and accelerated basis. The United States agreed to underwrite the cost of an increase in the Vietnamese Army from 150,000 to 170,000 men, and to equip and support the entire 68,000-man Civil Guard (armed police) and the 70,000-man Self-Defense Corps.

But the Vietcong continued to advance, and in October, 1961, Kennedy sent General Maxwell D. Taylor to make "an educated military guess" as to what would be needed to salvage the situation.

Taylor recommended a greatly increased program of military aid. He also saw an imperative need for reform within the Army. He cited the political activities of the top military, failure to delegate enough authority to field commanders, and discrimination against younger officers on political and religious grounds.

Diem balked at Taylor's reforms and implied he might turn elsewhere for aid. However, on December 7 he applied for assistance, and the United States again came to his support.

No limit was placed on the aid either in terms of money or of men. In effect, the United States committed itself to a massive build-up for an undeclared war. At the same time, the administration took great precautions to keep the build-up a secret, perhaps because it violated the letter of the Geneva Accords, [iii] perhaps because of the domestic political danger if Americans were sent into another Asian war.

When the new U.S. Military Assistance Command was created on February 8, 1962, about 4,000 American military men were already serving secretly in Vietnam. However, the Pentagon refused to comment on the troop level and attempted to imply that the 685-man Geneva ceiling was still in effect.

Additional thousands of troops poured into Vietnam, but the Defense Department continued the deception until June. Then Rear Admiral Luther C. (Pickles) Heinz, who was coordinating the operation for Defense Secretary McNamara at the Pentagon, permitted press spokesmen to say that "several thousand" U.S. military men were in Vietnam on "temporary duty."

In January, 1963, McNamara provided the first official figure. In testimony before Congress he confirmed that 11,000 troops were in Vietnam. But the Pentagon quickly reverted to generalities; asked in July to comment on reports from Saigon that the troop level had reached 14,000, it said that was "about the right order of magnitude."

The Pentagon also went to great lengths to obscure the fact that U.S. military men were involved in combat -- leading troops, and flying helicopters and planes. The official view was that the Americans were in Vietnam purely in "an advisory and training capacity." Despite eyewitness reports to the contrary, the Pentagon insisted that American troops were firing only in self-defense.

Military information officers were forced to ludicrous extremes in denying the obvious. When an aircraft carrier sailed up the Saigon River jammed with helicopters, a public information officer was compelled to say: "I don't see any aircraft carrier."

There was a great deal more that was not seen. In 1961 a campaign had been quietly started to put 90 percent of South Vietnam's 15,000,000 people into 11,000 strategic hamlets or fortified villages. The program, patterned after the successful "new villages" of the British anti-guerrilla campaign in Malaya, was designed to protect the peasants against Vietcong terror.

Many claimed credit for introducing the strategic-hamlet idea to Vietnam, including Nhu, who said he launched it with the blessing of the CIA (a former CIA man ran the program for the Agency for International Development). By 1964 more than three fourths of the Vietnamese were listed as being protected by the hamlets. But many of the peasants were forced into the program against their will and many of the forts were easily penetrated by the Communists.

The Communists had also been successful in keeping open a supply route from North Vietnam. Although the Vietcong's best weapons were captured U.S. equipment, they received some additional supplies by infiltration through Communist-held Laos, which borders on both halves of Vietnam.

To cut the supply routes, the CIA decided to train the Montagnards, primitive mountain tribesmen, as scouts and border guards. They were induced to exchange their spears and bows and arrows for modern weapons, including Swedish Schneisers (light machine guns).

Between 1961 and the start of 1963 the cost of the Montagnard program rose from $150,000 to $4,500,000. The CIA achieved considerable success in sealing the border, but in the process perhaps created a Trojan horse: ten percent of the trained Montagnards were judged to be Vietcong sympathizers, and the Vietnamese, who regarded the tribesmen as subhumans, were fearful that the weapons eventually would be used against them.

The Montagnard training was carried out by the Vietnamese Special Forces, an elite corps created by the CIA along the lines of the U.S. Army Special Forces. The CIA organized the Special Forces for the regime well before the 1961 build-up and supported them at the rate of $3,000,000 a year. They were chosen for their toughness and rugged appearance. They were trained in airborne and ranger tactics and were originally designed to be used in raids into Laos and North Vietnam. But inevitably they fell under the control of Nhu, who held the bulk of them in Saigon as storm troopers for the defense of the regime.

By 1963 more than 16,000 American military men were in Vietnam. United States aid had reached $3,000,000,000, and was running at an average of $1,500,000 a day. The government declared itself confident that victory was in sight despite the popular discontent with Diem's rule.

Two Vietnamese Air Force pilots had bombed Diem's palace in February, 1962. But the State Department discounted the significance of the attack: "The question of how much popular support Diem enjoys should be considered in terms of how much popular support his opponents command. Neither of the recent non-Communist attempts [1960 and 1962] to overthrow him appeared to have any significant degree of popular support." 1

Admiral Harry D. Felt, the commander of the U.S. forces in the Pacific, predicted the South Vietnamese would triumph over the Communists by 1966. And only a month before Diem was toppled, President Kennedy and the National Security Council stated that "the United States military task can be completed by the end of 1965." 2

But there were skeptics. In 1963 Senator Mike Mansfield returned from a tour of Vietnam and declared: "What is most disturbing is that Vietnam now appears to be, as it was [in 1955], only at the beginning of a beginning in coping with its grave inner problems. All of the current difficulties existed in 1955 along with hope and energy to meet them ... yet, substantially the same difficulties remain if indeed they have not been compounded." 3 The GIs in the rice paddies summed it up in a slogan: "We can't win, but it's not absolutely essential to pick today to lose."

This slogan reflected the awareness of many Americans in Vietnam that Diem's popular support, always tenuous, was rapidly disintegrating. The discontent broke into the open on May 8, 1963, in Hue, Diem's ancestral home, when the Buddhists staged a demonstration against the regime's ban on the flying of their flag.

Diem's troops opened fire, killing nine marchers. And in an effort to arouse world opinion, Buddhist monks responded by burning themselves to death in the streets in a series of spectacular public protests. Madame Nhu, Diem's sister-in-law, ridiculed the suicides as politically inspired "monk barbecue shows."

Diem was warned privately that the United States would condemn his treatment of the Buddhists unless he redressed their grievances. But to all outward appearances it seemed as if the United States might be supporting the Buddhist repressions. For on August 2 Nhu sent the Special Forces in a raid on the Buddhist pagodas. Hundreds of Buddhists were jailed and scores were killed and wounded in a brutal attack by forces which many Vietnamese knew were supported by CIA money.

Immediately after the raids, Henry Cabot Lodge, the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 1960, arrived in Saigon to be the new ambassador, replacing Frederick E. Nolting, Jr., who had been closely identified with the regime. Lodge quickly made it clear to Diem that the United States wanted his brother and Madame Nhu removed from power. After nearly a decade of support for the regime, the United States was reassessing its position.

Even though the CIA decided to continue its $250,000-a-month subsidy to the Special Forces during September, the funds were cut off in October. And on October 4 the CIA station chief in Saigon, John H. Richardson, was recalled to Washington at Lodge's request.

Richardson, a dapper, bald man with heavy horn-rimmed glasses, had served as the CIA's personal link with Nhu. He was also close to most of the regime's top officials, including those in the secret police. From his small second-floor office in the American Embassy, Richardson directed the agency's multifarious activities in Vietnam. A hard liner, he had little use for Diem's opponents, and was the very symbol of the Invisible Government's commitment to the regime. As long as he remained in Vietnam, it was all but impossible to convince either Diem or his enemies of any change in United States policy.

When Richardson was recalled, many took it as evidence that the CIA had been operating on its own in Vietnam in defiance of orders from Washington. But President Kennedy assured a news conference on October 9 that the "CIA has not carried out independent activities but has operated under close control." The implication was clear that Richardson's recall reflected a shift in policy, not displeasure with insubordination.

The implication was not lost on Nhu. He charged on October 17 that the CIA was plotting with the Buddhists to overthrow the regime. "Day and night," he declared, "these people came and urged the Buddhists to stage a coup. It is incomprehensible to me why the CIA, which had backed a winning program, should reverse itself."

The coup against the regime came on November 1, but it was by the Army, not the Buddhists. Diem and Nhu were assassinated. The United States denied any complicity in the coup or the deaths. But Madame Nhu, who had been in the United States bitterly attacking the Kennedy Administration, indicated her belief that her husband and brother-in-law had been "treacherously killed with either the official or unofficial blessing of the American Government ... No one," she said, "can seriously believe in the disclaimer that the Americans have nothing to do with the present situation in Vietnam."

The United States repeated its denial. But at least one distinguished American remained uneasy. President Eisenhower sought assurances on the assassinations before floating a trial balloon for Ambassador Lodge as the Republican nominee for President in 1964:

"General Eisenhower wanted to be assured on one paramount question," said Felix Belair in the New York Times on December 7, 1963. "He wanted to know of the ambassador whether anyone would ever be able to charge, with any hope of making it stick, that he had had any responsibility, even indirectly, in the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and of his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu.

"Mr. Lodge was emphatic on the point. He said he had feared for the personal safety of the two men if the military coup was successful in that country. He said there was irrefutable proof that he had twice offered them asylum in the United States Embassy and that President Diem had refused the offer for them both."

What was intriguing about this account was the statement that President Eisenhower found it necessary to make an inquiry of this nature. But the former President, after all, had an intimate understanding of the tactics and workings of the Invisible Government.



i. In his book, Mandate for Change, Eisenhower wrote: "I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indo-Chinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly 80 percent of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh."

ii. In April, 1963. at the start of the CIA's reassessment of its links with the regime, Nhu accused the agency of being involved in the 1960 uprising. But the commander of the rebels, Colonel Nguyen Chanh Thi, who fled to Cambodia, said U.S. intelligence men tried to discourage the coup and persuaded the rebels not to kill Diem.

iii. The United States did not formally subscribe to the Geneva Accords, which divided Indochina into Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam after Dienbienphu. But Bedell Smith, the delegate to the negotiations, declared the United States would abide by them. The Accords set a limit of 685 on the number of U.S. military men permitted in Indochina.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:30 am

Guatemala: CIA's Banana Revolt

WELL, BOYS," Ambassador John E. Peurifoy told his assembled staff, "tomorrow at this time we'll have ourselves a pig party."

The scene was the American Embassy on Octava Avenida in Guatemala City, and the unlikely ambassadorial quote was clearly recalled by one of the participants in the meeting. The date was June 18, 1954. The CIA's coup against the Communist-dominated regime of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman had begun. That afternoon, Colonel Carlos Castillo-Armas, a U.S.-trained Guatemalan exile, had crossed the border from Honduras with about 150 men. Now the invasion was on. It had the full advance approval of President Eisenhower.

Peurifoy, a tough but soft-spoken South Carolinian, was overly optimistic. His party to celebrate Arbenz's downfall had to be postponed for two weeks. What the CIA had planned as an overnight coup dragged on for twelve difficult days. Before it had ended, Peurifoy was deeply involved in political cloak-and-dagger maneuvering. And the President of the United States, over the objections of the State Department, found it necessary, clandestinely, to send in three more fighter planes to bailout the CIA's banana revolt.

Unlike the Bay of Pigs, the 1954 Guatemalan operation succeeded. Like Iran the year before, Guatemala was one of the CIA's early triumphs in the field of overthrowing governments. Some of those who participated have begun to say so openly.

On June 10, 1963, in Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower made a little-reported but extraordinary speech. The former President for the first time conceded, for all practical purposes, that the United States had overthrown the government of Guatemala in 1954. "There was one time," he said, "when we had a very desperate situation, or we thought it was at least, in Central America, and we had to get rid of a Communist government which had taken over, and our early efforts were defeated by a bad accident and we had to help, send some help right away." 1

Eisenhower did not mention Guatemala by name, but his meaning was perfectly clear, particularly since he shared the speaker's platform with Allen Dulles, his Director of Central Intelligence.

What the ex-President was referring to was this: Four days after Peurifoy's ebullient prediction to the embassy staff in Guatemala City, Eisenhower was told that disaster had overtaken the CIA's modest air force, which consisted of a few World War II P-47 Thunderbolts. One had been shot up in action, and another had crashed. The Thunderbolts had been bombing Guatemala City to encourage Arbenz to vacate the Presidential Palace.

Allen Dulles wanted the planes replaced immediately. Henry F. Holland, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, was aghast. Providing the CIA with planes for Castillo-Armas was one thing before the invasion had actually started. But doing so now, Holland felt, would expose the United States to the hated charge of intervention in Latin American affairs. News of the President's action might leak out, Holland reasoned.

Allen Dulles, however, felt there could be no stopping now. Many months of careful preparation had gone into the Castillo-Armas invasion. Jerry Fred DeLarm, a World War II American fighter pilot who was flying one of the P-47s for the CIA, had enjoyed astonishing success in his raids on Guatemala so far.

A White House meeting was scheduled in the afternoon to discuss the question of the planes.

"Now different people, including Mr. Dulles and a member of the State Department and so on, came into my office to give their differing views," Eisenhower recalled in his 1963 speech.

"And the man [i] who opposed going any further was very vehement in his representation and he wanted no part. He thought we should stop right there, wash our hands of the thing and let it stand right there. Well, Mr. Dulles was on the other side. And when all of the views were presented, I decided we would go ahead and the orders went out [to send more planes].

"... I said to Mr. Dulles ... before I made this decision I said 'What are the chances that this will succeed?' Well, he said he thought about twenty percent. I told him later, 'If you'd have said ninety percent, I'd have said no, but you seemed to be honest.'

"He told me later, 'Well, you know, I knew that my opponent had lost the argument because he came in your office with three law books under his arm.'"

While campaigning in the 1960 and 1962 elections, Senator Thruston B. Morton, the Kentucky Republican, had spoken just as freely about Eisenhower's role in the Guatemala coup. Morton's remarks in Kentucky did not gain national attention, however, until he repeated them at a party dinner in Baltimore in February, 1963, and on a television program.

Whiting Willauer, Ambassador to Honduras during the Guatemala coup, had openly discussed the CIA's role as far back as 1961. In little-noticed testimony before a Senate Committee 2 Willauer said that after the Guatemala coup, "I received a telegram from Allen Dulles in which he stated in effect that the revolution could not have succeeded but for what I did. I am very proud of that telegram."

Then the questioning went as follows:

Q. Mr. Ambassador, was there something of a team in working to overthrow the Arbenz government in Guatemala, or were you alone in that operation?

A. There was a team.

Q. Jack Peurifoy was down there?

A. Yes, Jack was on the team over in Guatemala; that is the principal man, and we had Bob Hill, Ambassador Robert Hill, in Costa Rica ... and we had Ambassador Tom Whelan in Nicaragua, where a lot of the activities were going. And, of course, there were a number of CIA operatives in the picture.

Q. What was Mr. Dulles' involvement in that area?

A. Mr. Allen Dulles?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, the CIA was helping to equip and train the anti-Communist revolutionary forces.

Q. Would you say you were the man in charge in the field in this general area of all these operations?

A. I certainly was called upon to perform very important duties, particularly to keep the Honduran Government -- which was scared to death about the possibilities of themselves being overthrown -- keep them in line so they would allow this revolutionary activity to continue, based in Honduras.

The former ambassador was amazingly explicit in his testimony about the coup in Guatemala, a land best known to the outside world for coffee, bananas and the quetzal, which is both its national bird and the name of its monetary unit.

About 60 percent of Guatemala's population of 3,800,000 is Indian. The Indians are Mayas, descendants of the highly sophisticated culture that flourished a thousand years before the Spanish conquistadors came and ruled all of Central America from the Guatemalan city of Antigua. The rest of the population is of mixed Spanish and Indian descent. These are the ladinos. The Indians are largely illiterate; they provide a cheap labor force and have little communication with the ladinos.

Guatemala is a truly feudal state. About 2 percent of the population owns more than 70 percent of the land. For decades the most important two words in Guatemala have been la Frutera, the United Fruit Company. The American banana company owned and ran as a fiefdom hundreds of square miles of land in Bananera and Tiquisate. It was also a major stockholder in the country's railroad -- and a ready-made gringo political target.

When Arbenz took office in March, 1951, one of the first demands he faced came from coffee workers, who insisted that their minimum wages be doubled. This might seem unreasonable except for the fact that their pay was forty cents a day. The labor unions also demanded more for United Fruit's banana workers, who were paid $1.36 a day.

A bold student revolt had ousted Dictator Jorge Ubico in 1944. After that, President Juan Jose Arevalo, a socialist who turned violently anti-American, paved the way for Arbenz and the Communists.

Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, a professional Army officer, was the son of a Swiss father who migrated to Guatemala and became a druggist. (It was later rather widely whispered that Arbenz himself took drugs.) As President, Arbenz in 1952 tried to do something about the country's lopsided land ownership. He pushed through a land-reform program, but, predictably, it ended with small farmers, large finca owners and the United Fruit Company up in arms.

With his high-pitched voice and bad temper, Arbenz was no crowd-pleaser. And the students, always a powerful factor in Latin America, ridiculed him. The students had an annual lampooning parade, the Huelga de Dolores (grievance strike) of which Guatemalan officials lived in horror. Not long before Arbenz's fall from power, the students paraded by with a float that showed Uncle Sam poking a Guatemalan Indian lady with a banana; Arbenz and his hypodermic needle lurked behind a Russian bear, prodding the Guatemalan lady from the other direction. It about summed up the political situation.

For the bear was loose in the banana groves, all right. To maintain his power, Arbenz turned more and more to the Communists. Just as there is debate over whether Castro started out a Communist or became one later, there has been some dispute over the political evolution of Arbenz. But there is little dispute that by 1954 the Communists were running Guatemala. They had gained a foothold and a base in the hemisphere.

Arbenz made one fatal mistake, however. He trusted the Guatemalan Army, an essentially peace- loving organization little inclined to unnecessary strife and combat. Unlike Castro, Arbenz did not penetrate the Army politically, and when he needed it most, it turned on him. Late in the game he had placed spies, popularly known as orejas (the Ears), in various Army posts, but it was too late.

He made one other big mistake -- he expropriated 225,000 acres of United Fruit's best Pacific-slope holdings. Later the Arbenz regime charged that the United States had supported the Castillo-Armas invasion to protect la Frutera's $40,000,000 investment in Guatemala.

In the era of the Cold War, keeping Soviet power and influence out of the hemisphere, and particularly out of the Panama Canal area, was far more important to Washington than old-style banana diplomacy. But certainly the seizure of United Fruit's holdings without adequate compensation forced Eisenhower to take action. And it was one more indication of the direction things were taking in Guatemala.

Although a shipment of Czech arms to Guatemala in May, 1954, was later widely cited as the reason for the CIA-organized coup, the fact is that the machinery to topple Arbenz had been set in motion long before that.

Late in 1953 John Emil Peurifoy arrived on the scene. Peurifoy, known as "Smiling Jack" around the embassy in Guatemala (although not to his face), was a small-town boy from Walterboro, South Carolina, who had enjoyed a phenomenal rise in the State Department. This may not have been unrelated to the fact that his father was once an associate of the powerful James F. Byrnes, who was a senator at the time Peurifoy landed his first job with the State Department in 1938.

Peurifoy was proud of the fact that he once ran the Capitol elevator and equally proud of his small- town background. "Why, that town was so small," he was fond of saying, "you could drive right through it and not know you had been theah."

Beneath his courtly Old South exterior, Peurifoy was tough. He had been through hard times in the depression years. He quit West Point, knocked about the country for a while, became assistant manager and cashier of the Childs restaurant chain in New York, ran the elevator in Congress, watered plants at Washington's Botanical gardens and held a variety of other odd jobs before becoming a diplomat.

He never bothered to learn foreign languages, although in Guatemala he would occasionally wave to the crowd, smile and say "Amigo!" Fresh from Greece, where he had helped shore up that country after its war with the Communists, Peurifoy was just the man to have on the scene if there was to be trouble in the land of the quetzal bird.

And there was to be trouble. It was already brewing. Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, who later became Guatemala's President, was in exile in El Salvador early in 1954. In his recent book, Ydigoras wrote:

"A former executive of the United Fruit Company, now retired, Mr. Walter Turnbull, came to see me with two gentlemen whom he introduced as agents of the CIA. They said that I was a popular figure in Guatemala and that they wanted to lend their assistance to overthrow Arbenz. When I asked their conditions for the assistance I found them unacceptable. Among other things, I was to promise to favor the United Fruit Company and the International Railways of Central America; to destroy the railroad workers labor union; ... to establish a strong-arm government, on the style of Ubico. Further, I was to pay back every cent that was invested in the undertaking." 3

By late 1953 Eisenhower had reached his decision: Arbenz must go. To implement this decision, he turned to the CIA and Allen Dulles. A plan was evolved.

Peurifoy's assignment to Guatemala was part of it. Eisenhower's election had left Peurifoy without any political backing. His diplomatic career seemed over. The CIA went to Peurifoy and persuaded him to join the operation as Ambassador to Guatemala. At first, Peurifoy was leery of the idea, but a persuasive CIA official convinced him that the operation offered him his big chance to revitalize his career. Peurifoy said yes; the CIA arranged his ambassadorial appointment. In February, 1954, Eisenhower called in a former high United States diplomat to serve as a secret civilian adviser to the operation. The President had also asked his brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, to join the clandestine operation, but Milton, pleading his wife's serious illness at the time, did not participate.

Henry Holland, as the State Department Latin Chief, was privy to the operation. So were the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So was Senator Thruston B. Morton, then Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.

Although Dulles and his deputy, General Cabell, were in charge of the CIA's participation, the major immediate responsibility for carrying out the Guatemalan operation was placed in the hands of Frank G. Wisner, the Mississippi-born CIA deputy director for plans. (He was Bissell's predecessor.)

Wisner, a dedicated and hard-driving "black" operator, was an old hand in the intelligence business. In World War II he had been the OSS mission chief in Istanbul and Bucharest. He also worked for the OSS in Germany. After the war, commuting from his home in the suburbs to his Manhattan law firm, Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, seemed dull compared to the days of wartime intrigue along the Bosporus. On November 12, 1947, it was announced that Frank Wisner had been named Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

Now, in Guatemala in 1954, what Wisner and the CIA needed was someone to serve as a leader of the coup and a focal point around which anti-Arbenz Guatemalans could rally. The man chosen was Colonel Carlos Castillo-Armas, a dapper, dedicated and ascetic-looking career officer who had tunneled his way out of prison to freedom after leading an unsuccessful revolt against Arbenz in 1950.

Castillo-Armas set up headquarters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and with the CIA's help, began plotting to return to his homeland. A onetime classmate of Arbenz at the Escuela Politecnica, Guatemala's military school, Castillo-Armas had spent two years just after World War II at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The first evidence that the plot was afoot came on January 29, 1954, when Guatemala released intercepted correspondence between Castillo-Armas and Ydigoras.

The Guatemalan charges had a basis in fact, because the two exile leaders had been in touch and had signed a Pacto de Caballeros (gentlemen's agreement) at the border between El Salvador and Honduras. The pact provided that there would be a coup, and then free elections.

Guatemala charged that the plot was centered in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, and enjoyed the support of President Anastasio Somoza and of General Rafael L. Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic. The Arbenz government also surmised that the "government of the North" had endorsed the plan.

It charged that the operation was known by the code name El Diablo (the Devil) and that training of rebels was going forward at El Tamarindo, President Somoza's plantation, at Puerto Cabezas (which became the air base for the Bay of Pigs operation seven years later) and on the island of Momotombito in Lake Managua.

The Guatemalan Government also charged that a "Colonel Carl T. Struder" who "was retired" from the U .S. Army, was training the sabotage teams. It said that arms were coming from H. F. Cordes & Company, in Hamburg, West Germany. State Department officials in Washington said they would not comment because that would "give the story a dignity it doesn't deserve."

But the training of Castillo-Armas' forces was in fact taking place on Momotombito, a volcanic island (actually the top of a volcano) which had earned its sonorous name from the sound the Indians thought it made when it rumbled. And "Tacho" Somoza, Nicaragua's President, was indeed heavily involved in the plans to overthrow Arbenz. In Nicaragua the training was directed by a CIA officer who went under the name of "Colonel Rutherford."

The most powerful military element in the coup was the CIA's air force. The handful of P-47 Thunderbolts and C-47 transports operated out of Managua International Airport. The pilots were Americans. The most dare-devil of these, as events later proved, was Jerry Fred DeLarm, a slim, short, hawk-featured man who liked to lay a .45 down on the table in front of him when talking to a stranger.

DeLarm, a native of San Francisco, was a barnstorming, adventurous flier well known in Central America. He had been flying in the area since he was nine, with his father, a pioneer pilot named Eddie DeLarm. Jerry DeLarm spoke Spanish fluently. When World War II broke out, he was flying in Panama City. During the war he shot down two Japanese Zeros over Saipan. He was discharged as a captain and shortly thereafter set up an airline in Costa Rica.

DeLarm's wife was related to Dr. Rafael Calderon-Guardia, the former President of Costa Rica. In 1948, when Otilio Ulate was elected President of that highly democratic nation, Calderon-Guardia tried to block him from taking office. In the revolt that followed, Jose Figueres battled Calderon- Guardia, and emerged as head of a victorious junta.

DeLarm fought on the losing side, for Calderon-Guardia. He flew a DC-3 rigged up with a machine gun in the co-pilot seat and another poking through the floor of the rear bathroom, for ground strafing.

After Costa Rica, DeLarm moved on to Guatemala. During the election of 1950 he took a job doing sky-writing and aerial broadcasts for Arbenz. He was promised $20,000 by the man he later helped to overthrow, and was understandably disturbed when the money did not come through after Arbenz won. That, DeLarm reflected later, was when he first began to suspect Arbenz was a Communist.

By 1954 DeLarm was flying for Castillo-Armas and the CIA. Until shortly before the invasion, he remained behind in Guatemala City, giving flying lessons and using this and an automobile dealership as cover. He had the code name "Rosebinda."

Meanwhile, events were moving in the public arena as well. John Foster Dulles and Henry Holland led the American delegation to the tenth Inter-American conference at Caracas in March. Dulles pushed for an anti-Communist resolution aimed squarely at Guatemala. Arbenz's foreign minister, Guillermo Toriello, angrily accused Foster Dulles of trying to create a "banana curtain." But the American resolution passed, seventeen to one, with Guatemala in opposition.

In May matters began moving to a climax. The CIA learned that a shipload of Czech arms, delivered through Poland, was on its way to Guatemala. The estimated 2,000 tons of rifles, machine guns and other armaments were aboard the Swedish freighter M/S Alfhem, en route from the Polish port of Stettin on the Baltic Sea.

The Alfhem operated out of Uddevalla, Sweden, and her owner was Angbats, Bohuslanska & Kusten, Inc. But Czech funds paid for a "straw charter" of the Alfhem, through the British firm of E. E. Dean in London. And the ship was taking a route to Guatemala as roundabout as its intricate charter arrangements. It sailed first to Dakar, then to Curacao, then to Honduras and finally to Puerto Barrios, on the east coast of Guatemala, where it docked on May 15.

The CIA had a difficult time tracking the arms ship across the vast Atlantic. At the time, it knew everything about the ship except its name: Alfhem. That made tracking difficult, since the freighter was playing hide-and-seek. Although the CIA had the help of the Navy, the agency lost the ship as it was going south along the African coast. It didn't catch up with the Alfhem until it turned up at dock side in Guatemala.

The State Department revealed the arms shipment on May 17. A week later the United States announced that as a countermeasure, it had begun shipping arms to Nicaragua in giant Globemaster planes. At least fifty tons of small arms and machine guns were flown in to "Tacho" Somoza.

But Eisenhower's efforts to get the Western Allies to join a quarantine on arms shipments to Guatemala met with less than a rousing success. The United States drew a protest from the Dutch when it searched the freighter Wulfbrook at San Juan, Puerto Rico. Britain refused to allow its ships to be searched.

On June 7, with the invasion date approaching rapidly, a strange event took place in Guatemala. It was disclosed that Ferdinand F. Schupp, identified as a "former deputy chief of the United States Air Force Mission" in Guatemala, had fled the country along with Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza Azurdia, the ex-chief of the Guatemalan Air Force.

The United States Embassy announced that Schupp had "resigned" his embassy post in 1952 to go into a "farming project" in southern Guatemala. Later, Schupp turned up in Guatemala City, like Jerry DeLarm, giving flying lessons. It is believed that Mendoza took off in a private plane on a seemingly routine flight and stopped off in a pasture to pick up Schupp. The two landed in El Salvador and asked for "asylum."

The CIA's air operation was drawing closer to readiness. Mendoza and Schupp had escaped to join it. A few days before Castillo-Armas crossed the border, DeLarm also slipped out of Guatemala, aboard a regular Pan American flight.

On June 8 Foster Dulles branded "totally false" Guatemalan charges that the United Fruit Company was at the heart of the dispute between Guatemala and Washington. Dulles said the Communist problem would remain even "if they gave a gold piece for every banana."

A couple of days before the invasion commenced the Secretary of State invited Thruston Morton to a White House meeting. As Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Morton was aware of the CIA operation, since it had been his task to brief a few key senators about its true nature.

"You' d better come along," Secretary Dulles told Morton, "because if this thing blows up and goes wrong, you're going to have to straighten things out for us on the Hill."

Morton went along. The breakfast meeting with Eisenhower took place in the second-floor dining room of the White House. Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers, representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other aides were present, as Morton later recalled it. He said Eisenhower had asked the men around the table: "Are you sure this is going to succeed?" Told that it would, Eisenhower responded: "I'm prepared to take any steps that are necessary to see that it succeeds. For if it succeeds, it's the people of Guatemala throwing off the yoke of Communism. If it fails, the flag of the United States has failed."

It is generally agreed by the participants, however, that at no point in the invasion planning did Eisenhower ever discuss sending in United States armed forces should the CIA operation fail.

On June 18 Castillo-Armas and his small "Army of Liberation" crossed the border into Guatemala from Honduras. He drove in a battered station wagon, leading his men down the road to Esquipulas. Before dawn the P-47s had bombed San Jose, Guatemala's major port on the Pacific coast.

In Guatemala City the government announced the invasion had begun. In Washington the State Department said it had been in touch with Peurifoy. It added blandly: "The department has no evidence ... that this is anything other than a revolt of Guatemalans against the government."

Newsmen from all over the world converged on Guatemala and Honduras -- only to discover that there was no war to cover. Castillo-Armas and his Liberation Army settled down six miles over the border in Esquipulas, the site of the Church of the Black Christ, the country's major religious shrine. The strategy was to wait for the Arbenz regime to collapse. Then the invaders would march triumphantly into Guatemala City.

With the Army of Liberation bogged down just inside the Guatemalan border, "Tacho" Somoza decided to invite Ydigoras to lunch with him at the Presidential Palace in Managua to discuss the situation. "Tacho" introduced Ydigoras to "Colonel Rutherford," and added: "He is just back from Korea."

"Tacho" was standing in front of a map with pins in it showing the disposition of the Castillo-Armas columns. Four of the pins were in the shape of airplanes. The Nicaraguan President was bitterly complaining about how slowly the freedom forces were advancing.

"What kind of a crummy military school did Castillo Armas go to?" Somoza asked.

"The same one I did," Ydigoras replied mildly.

The most active of the planes represented by the pins on "Tacho's" map was that of DeLarm. On the first day of the invasion he dropped propaganda leaflets on Guatemala City, but had orders not to fire or drop any bombs. On subsequent raids on the capital, however, he bombed and strafed several targets, effectively demoralizing the government leaders.

The CIA's planes became known among the Guatemalan populace as Sulfatos -- the Guatemalan word for laxative -- because of the alleged effect their appearance had upon the Arbenz officials.

Then disaster struck the CIA's force of P-47s, when one was shot full of holes and another cracked up. On June 20 the Guatemalan Government charged in the UN that two American fliers had crash-landed in Tapachula, Mexico, after having bombed the Guatemalan city of Coban. [ii]

On the same day the Guatemalan Government was voicing its charge in the UN about American fliers, Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States Ambassador to the world organization, denied categorically that his government was behind the invasion. "The situation does not involve aggression but is a revolt of Guatemalans against Guatemalans," he stated.

It was about this time that Allen Dulles mafe an urgent appeal for more airplanes. This led to the meeting of Eisenhower, Allen Dulles and Henry Holland, whose legalistic objections were overruled.

What Eisenhower did not say in his speech relating to this incident, is that the planes had to be "sold" by the U.S. Air Force to the government of Nicaragua in order to mask United States participation, which was surfacing at the UN. As cover for the transaction, Nicaragua had to put down $150,000 in cash to purchase the planes. After some interesting financial legerdemain, Nicaraguan Ambassador to Washington Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa managed to come up with cover payment, and the new planes were dispatched to Nicaragua. Ultimately, it was CIA money that paid for them. The planes were flown down unarmed, to be armed upon arrival.

At one point during the trouble over the airplanes, General Cabell, the CIA deputy director, learned that one of the P-47s had been shipped to Nicaragua minus a landing-gear wheel. The plane could not operate without it. The U.S. Air Force rushed the part down and the Thunderbolt flew in the invasion.

On June 24, two days after the secret White House meeting, a P-47 swooped over Guatemala City, strafed gasoline stores and knocked out a radio station. It was not, as luck would have it, the Communist station, but a Protestant missionary station operated by Harold Yon Broekhoven, an evangelist from Passaic, New Jersey.

In New York, a spokesman for the United Fruit Company said that banana harvesting was at a standstill because of the war. He said they were keeping in close touch with the company manager in Guatemala City, Mr. Almyr Bump. The spokesman added confidently: "It is classical in these revolutionary movements down there that they confine themselves to national versus national, and Americans who stand on the sidelines and keep out of the way should be in no great danger."

American newsmen were certainly in no great danger. Castillo-Armas, as New York Herald Tribune correspondent Homer Bigart reported, clearly did not want them hanging around Esquipulas. Bigart had to retreat across the frontier to Nueva Ocotepeque, Honduras, which the newsmen referred to more conveniently as "New Octopus."

Defying the Army of Liberation ban, Evelyn Irons, a correspondent for the London Evening Standard, rented a mule and loped down the road to Esquipulas. There, Castillo-Armas stopped her. He would not allow her to proceed to the front, which had by now moved to Chiquimula. Nevertheless, Miss Irons had scooped her competitors, and mule prices in Nueva Ocotepeque soared.

But under the air attack, Arbenz was losing his nerve. The defection of Mendoza, the Air Force chief, was proving to be a key factor, because it demoralized the Guatemalan Air Force. It became so unreliable that Arbenz grounded his own planes.

At the front, Arbenz' reluctant Army commanders sent back messages saying that their forces were being overwhelmed by the invaders. It wasn't true, but it had a psychological effect on Arbenz. The CIA was reading the traffic from the front, and it knew what messages Arbenz was receiving. CIA clandestine radio operators intercepted the military communications and fed back false messages on the same wave length to further confuse the situation.

On June 25 a P-47 raided Guatemala City again. On June 27 Arbenz capitulated, following a long day of maneuvering by Peurifoy. The American ambassador first met at the palace with Foreign Minister Toriello. Then he conferred with Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz, the chief of the Guatemalan armed forces, and a group of ranking colonels. By nightfall Arbenz was on the air broadcasting his resignation. Colonel Diaz became head of the junta that took over. He made an immediate tactical error.

Diaz, whose nickname was Pollo Triste (Sad Chicken), went on the air and announced: "The struggle against the mercenary invaders of Guatemala will not abate. Colonel Arbenz had done what he thought was his duty. I shall carry on."

This would never do. Diaz was operating on the radical assumption that it was his duty to fight when his country was invaded.

Peurifoy instantly recognized that this would be a disaster. If the junta, to which the State Department's ambassador had given at least his tacit blessing, went out to fight the CIA's Army of Liberation, it would be a fine spectacle. What would Henry Holland and Frank Wisner say?

Peurifoy put on a "siren" suit, strapped a .45 to his belt, and began maneuvering to topple Diaz. The CIA, which of course wanted Diaz out, nevertheless felt that Peurifoy was making himself entirely too conspicuous for the good of the operation.

The next day Jerry DeLarm bombed Guatemala City in earnest. He knocked out the radio station (the right one) and then dropped two bombs right in the middle of Fort Matamoros, the major installation of the Guatemalan Army.

That did it. Diaz, President for one day, was ousted at the point of machine guns (according to one account) by Colonel Elfego Monzon. With two other colonels, Monzon took over as head of a new, less bellicose junta, acceptable to Peurifoy.

The war was over.

But the CIA and the State Department were worried that it might break out again at any moment. Peace talks between Monzon and Castillo-Armas were scheduled to take place in El Salvador. Washington gave Peurifoy carte blanche to bring the junta and the CIA's Castillo-Armas together.

"They want me to go over there to El Salvador," Peurifoy confided to an aide, "and knock heads together."

With the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Gennaro Verolino, the American ambassador flew off to El Salvador for the talks. On July 2, with tearful if cautious embraces, Monzon and Castillo-Armas signed a peace pact. It left Monzon top man, but only until the junta voted formally on a chief. The deal was signed in the Hall of Honor in the Presidential Palace. Castillo-Armas then flew back to Chiquimula to convince his followers that it was not a sellout to Monzon.

The next day Castillo-Armas came home to a huge welcome in Guatemala City. He arrived not at the head of his conquering troops, however, but in Peurifoy's embassy plane.

Meanwhile John Foster Dulles addressed the United States on radio and television. He said the struggle in Guatemala exposed the "evil purpose of the Kremlin" to find "nesting places" in the Americas and added: "Led by Colonel Castillo-Armas, patriots arose in Guatemala to challenge the Communist leadership -- and to change it. Thus the situation is being cured by the Guatemalans themselves." 4

If the CIA's coup had routed Communism in Guatemala, democracy is not what followed in its wake. As its first act, the ruling junta canceled the right of illiterates to vote, thereby disenfranchising in one stroke about 70 percent of Guatemala's population -- almost all the Indians.

The junta elected Castillo-Armas as its President on July 8. In August the liberator suspended all constitutional guarantees. The ideological basis of the coup was further undercut when the chief CIA man in Guatemala quit the agency and went into the cement business there. The free election Castillo-Armas had promised when Arbenz fell turned out to be "si" or "no" vote on whether to continue Castillo-Armas as President. Castillo-Armas won.

In rapid succession, the new regime set up a Robespierre-like Committee for Defense Against Communism with sweeping police-state powers. The government took back 800,000 acres of land from the peasants, returned to United Fruit the land Arbenz had seized, and repealed amendments to a 1947 law that had guaranteed rights to workers and labor unions.

Within a week of Castillo-Arrnas' election as head of the junta, the new government announced it had arrested 4,000 persons on suspicion of Communist activity. By August it had passed the Preventive Penal Law Against Communism. This set up the Defense Committee, which met in secret and could declare anyone a Communist with no right of appeal.

Those registered by the committee could be arbitrarily arrested for periods up to six months; they could not own radios or hold public office. Within four months the new government had registered 72,000 persons as Communists or sympathizers. A committee official said it was aiming for 200,000.

Castillo-Armas was generally regarded as an honest, proud and rather simple man who genuinely loved his country. But he had a covey of advisers, and some of them were less dedicated than their chief. After the 1954 coup American gambler types began drifting into Guatemala, and certain of the liberator's lieutenants were cut in. Castillo-Armas could not bring himself to realize that some of his followers were treacherous. A gambling casino was built in which various Army officers shared a heavy financial interest with the Americans.

Castillo-Armas closed down the casino, and shortly afterward, on July 26, 1957, he was assassinated by a member of the palace guard. The crime was first blamed on Communists, then on Castillo-Armas' enemies within the government. It has never been solved.

The following year, Ydigoras was elected President and settled down for a term that was at least never dull. At one point, when rumors of official corruption were rife, he went on television with his ministers. Like a schoolteacher, Ydigoras went down the line, saying, "Now, Mr. Minister, you wouldn't steal from the treasury, would you?" One by one, the ministers said no, they certainly would not.

Another time, a newspaperman accused Ydigoras of being a viejo enclenque, or enfeebled old man. Ydigoras went on television again, repeated the charge and said: "I will show him." Then he proceeded to skip rope and juggle Indian clubs before the amazed Guatemalan audience.

Still, Ydigoras was nobody's fool. When the CIA came to him in 1960 asking for Guatemalan bases for the Bay of Pigs training, he said yes -- although fully aware that he was risking his political neck. In fact, the November, 1960, uprising (which CIA pilots helped to put down) was partly blamed on the issue of the Cuban training bases in Guatemala.

On March 31, 1963, Ydigoras was ousted by Colonel Enrique Peralta in one of the first of a series of military coups in Latin America that threatened to make a mockery of the political reforms at the base of the Alliance for Progress. Colonel Peralta's regime was recognized by Washington in less than three weeks.

If any efforts were made by Washington to save the legally elected Ydigoras government -- which had risked its future to provide bases for the CIA for the Cuban invasion -- they were certainly not effective. There is, in fact, no available evidence that any such efforts were made.

And so, a decade after the CIA's liberation of Guatemala from Communism in 1954, the lot of Guatemalans was about the same. The finca owners prospered. The 2,000,000 Indians, still largely illiterate, toiled on for wages still ridiculously low. (Eighty cents a day is considered generous in many areas of the country.) And another military junta was in the saddle.

As is so often the case, the Invisible Government had moved in, accomplished its task, and moved on. The yoke of Communism had been thrown off but in its place there remained the yoke of poverty and an indifferent oligarchy. The abysmal conditions that led to Arbenz in the first place were as apparent as ever.



i. Henry Holland, the State Department's representative at the meeting.

ii. That same day William A. Beall, a thirty-year-old American flier from Tyler, Texas, showed up in Mexico City saying he had crash-landed his plane in the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala two days before. He had flown to Mexico City from Tapachula. Beall said two other American fliers had crashed off Guatemala a few days earlier, but had been rescued "by the United States Navy."
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:31 am

The Kennedy Shake-Up

THE CIA emerged from the coup in Guatemala with a reputation in the Invisible Government as a clever and efficient operator in Latin American affairs. And despite the agency's subsequent difficulties in other areas of the world, that reputation was essentially untarnished when President Kennedy took office in January of 1961.

When the invasion failed, however, a sharp reaction set in. A few days after the Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy called in Clark M. Clifford, a Washington lawyer and close confidant who later became the chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Kennedy complained that he had been given bad information and bad advice by his intelligence and military advisers. "I was in the Pacific," said the ex-PT boat skipper. "I know something about these things. How could they have put all the ammunition in one ship or two ships?"

Referring to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President told another visitor: "They don't know any more about it than anyone else." He vowed to shake the intelligence community from top to bottom. He was determined that the Bay of Pigs would not happen again. "One more," he stated ruefully, "will sink me."

The President then set out to gain control of the intelligence establishment and to make it genuinely submissive to his ideas and purposes. As a first order of business, he decided to conduct an extensive investigation of the Cuban debacle.

"We intend to profit from this lesson," he told the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 20, the day after the invasion collapsed. "We intend to re-examine and reorient our forces of all kinds -- our tactics and our institutions here in this community. We intend to intensify our efforts for a struggle in many ways more difficult than war."

At his news conference the next day, the President declined to get into details about the Bay of Pigs on the grounds that it would not "aid the interest of the United States." But he denied any desire to "conceal responsibility ... I'm the responsible officer of the government," Kennedy declared, "and that is quite obvious."

But in this moment of extreme political vulnerability, high administration officials began to point out in private post-mortems with reporters that Kennedy had inherited the Bay of Pigs idea from President Eisenhower.

On April 23, Interior Secretary Stewart L. Udall made the mistake of giving public voice to the administration line, and the Republicans, predictably, pounced upon him.

"Here was a plan conceived by one administration," Udall declared. "This from all I can find out began over a year ago and President Eisenhower directed it."

"Cheap and vicious partisanship," retorted Richard M. Nixon.

Kennedy stepped in quickly the next day to prevent all-out political war. He told Pierre Salinger to issue a public statement.

"President Kennedy has stated from the beginning," Salinger declared, "that as President he bears sole responsibility for the events of the past days. He has stated on all occasions, and he restates it now, so it will be understood by all. The President is strongly opposed to anyone within or without the administration attempting to shift the responsibility."

Kennedy's full public acceptance of the blame seemed to be the Republicans' price for laying off the Cuban issue, at least temporarily. In the week after the invasion, the President discussed the operation at length with Eisenhower, Nixon, Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona and Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York. Eisenhower set the Republican line on emerging from an eighty-five-minute conversation with Kennedy at Camp David on April 22.

"I am all in favor," Eisenhower declared, "of the United States supporting the man who has to carry the responsibility for our foreign affairs."

Kennedy used the momentary truce to set in motion a sweeping reorganization of the Invisible Government. Even before the Bay of Pigs, he had planned a major shake-up in the hierarchy of the CIA. He had indicated to several high-ranking officials that he would put Richard Bissell in charge of the agency when Dulles stepped down.

Now, in the shadow of the Cuban fiasco, it was clear that Bissell would have to go and that the shake-up would have to be deferred for a decent interval. Dulles' resignation was not accepted until September 27, 1961. He was succeeded on November 29, 1961 by John McCone. General Cabell retired as the deputy director on January 31, 1962. He was replaced by Army Major General Marshall Sylvester Carter, [i] fifty-two. Bissell resigned as the deputy director for plans on February 17, 1962. He was succeeded by his assistant, Richard M. Helms, forty-eight. Robert Amory, the deputy director for intelligence, was shifted to the Budget Bureau to become the director of its International Division. He was replaced on May 16, 1962 by Ray S. Cline, forty-four.

The top-level shake-up at the CIA was not completed until a full year had passed. But two days after the invasion Kennedy ordered General Maxwell Taylor to head an investigation and to make recommendations for the reform of the intelligence community.

Taylor was a World War II paratroop commander who quit as Army Chief of Staff in 1959 in protest against the refusal of the Eisenhower Administration to adopt his views on conventional warfare. After the Bay of Pigs investigation, he became Kennedy's personal military adviser and, finally, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Joining Taylor in the investigation were Robert Kennedy, Allen Dulles and Arleigh Burke. It was clear that the Attorney General was to become the untitled overseer of the intelligence apparatus in the Kennedy Administration. The appointment of Dulles and Burke, holdovers from the Eisenhower Administration, was designed to gather broad political support for the shake-up and to forestall suggestions that a whitewash operation was afoot.

Kennedy moved to take an even tighter grip on the Invisible Government on May 4 when he revived the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities under a new title, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. The original group had been set up by President Eisenhower on January 13, 1956, on a recommendation by the Hoover Commission. It was headed by James R. Killian, Jr., the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joseph P. Kennedy, the President's father, served on it for the first six months.

The board had disbanded on January 7, 1961, when the entire membership resigned in anticipation of the new administration. But now Kennedy called it back into existence, again under the chairmanship of Killian. [ii]

The President's instructions to the new board were to investigate the entire intelligence community, to recommend detailed changes and to make sure that the changes were carried out. The original board had met just twice a year and had been only marginally informed about intelligence activities. Kennedy ordered the new board to meet six to eight times a year and, between times, to carry out specific assignments for him at home and abroad.

The Killian and Taylor groups had scarcely begun their secret inquiries before the tenuous political truce on the Bay of Pigs began to be breached. On June 11, 1961, William E. Miller, the New York congressman and the chairman of the Republican National Committee, charged that the invasion had failed because Kennedy "rescinded and revoked the Eisenhower plan to have the Cuban freedom fighters protected by American air power."

Miller said his accusation was based on comments by Eisenhower to a group of Republican leaders. But the former President corrected him the very next day. Eisenhower denied that American air power had been approved during his time in office. He had merely stated, the general explained, that an amphibious operation could not succeed without air support of some kind.

This was the first of many confusing exchanges during the following weeks and months on the issue of air cover. Republican and Cuban exile leaders charged repeatedly that the Bay of Pigs invasion failed because President Kennedy withdrew American air cover.

The Kennedy Administration held its tongue for close to two years. But finally, in January of 1963, Robert Kennedy denied the accusation in interviews with the Miami Herald and U.S. News & World Report.

"1 can say unequivocally," he declared, "that President Kennedy never withdrew U.S. air cover. ... There never were any plans made for U.S. air cover, so there was nothing to withdraw ..." 1

And again: "There never was any promise. Not even under Mr. Eisenhower was American air cover in the picture." 2

The air-cover controversy had grown out of a massive confusion over what was included in the original air plan for the Bay of Pigs. As we have seen in earlier chapters, the original plan envisioned no need for the direct intervention of U. S. Navy or Air Force planes. Castro's air force was to have been destroyed on the ground by the CIA's Cuban exile bombers. In that event, the Cuban invaders logically would not have required aerial protection against nonexistent planes. But the President canceled the second strike against Castro's air bases. Accordingly, Castro's planes were in the air to harass the invaders on the beach and to sink the ships carrying their equipment, ammunition, fuel and communications.

The real question in the controversy is whether the invasion could have succeeded if Kennedy had not canceled the second strike. The Taylor group grappled with this question but failed to reach agreement.

Taylor and Robert Kennedy concluded that the invasion plan had been thoroughly faulty and stood no chance of success in any event. "It simply cannot be said," the Attorney General later commented, "that the invasion failed because of any single factor. There were several major mistakes. It was just a bad plan. Victory was never close." 3

Burke, on the other hand, took the position that the invasion very nearly succeeded, and probably would have if the President had not canceled the second air strike. The invasion might have worked without air support of any kind, the admiral argued, if the first air strike had not been scheduled two days in advance of the landing eliminating the element of surprise.

Dulles took a position somewhere in between. He thought success could have been achieved if all had gone according to plan (he had left Washington for San Juan at the time of the invasion with no idea that the plan would be changed). But Dulles felt the CIA and the Joint Chiefs made a mistake in not arranging for alternatives in case the second strike failed or did not come off. He thought there should have been a contingency plan to make sure the invaders got ashore with their equipment.

The Taylor committee presented its views, secretly and orally, to President Kennedy in the summer of 1961. [iii] The committee had worked for about four months, meeting secretly at the Pentagon in an office close to the Joint Chiefs' area. The group interviewed virtually everyone of significance in the Bay of Pigs invasion, including the CIA man who directed the air operations and Mario Zuniga, the Cuban Pilot who told the cover story about defecting from Castro's air force.

The committee reached more than thirty conclusions, including findings that communications were very bad and that there was an overcentralization of the operation in Washington. They also reached a meeting of minds on another crucial point. After the Bay of Pigs, there was considerable pressure within and without the government to limit the CIA to intelligence-gathering alone. It was argued that the agency was inevitably tempted to warp its intelligence estimates to justify its pet projects; and that it would be better to transfer responsibility for all clandestine operations to some other agency, possibly the Pentagon.

This argument was strenuously opposed by Dulles and Cabell. They contended that a separation of intelligence-gathering from operations would result in expensive duplication of personnel and facilities, particularly at overseas posts. They also warned that foreign agents would tend to play off one branch of the spy apparatus against the other, bidding up the price of information and confusing the evidence.

Dulles pleaded that, contrary to popular belief, no intelligence agency in the world is split into separate information-gathering and operational units. When the British set up a Special Operations Executive in World War II, he maintained, they ran into serious difficulties and had to revert to a CIA-type system.

These pleadings proved persuasive to the Taylor committee, which declined to recommend that all clandestine operations be divorced from the CIA's responsibilities. The President agreed and the CIA continued to function essentially in its old ways.

However, the Taylor group did come to the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs operation was too large and too unwieldy to have been conducted by the CIA. In the future, the CIA was to be limited to operations requiring military equipment no larger or more complex than side arms -- weapons which could be carried by individuals. In other words, the CIA was never again to direct operations involving aircraft, tanks or amphibious ships. Operations of that size were to be conducted by the Pentagon.

Put another way, the CIA was henceforth to be restricted to paramilitary operations which would be "plausibly deniable." The Bay of Pigs invasion was not plausibly deniable because it was too large and pervasive to escape the notice of alert officials, newspapermen and private citizens in a free society.

It is clear from all this that the leaders of the government had finally come to the realization that certain types of clandestine operations are incompatible with the democratic system. In a totalitarian society, where the organs of communication are tightly controlled, secret ventures can be mounted on a large scale with minimum risk of disclosure. But this is extremely difficult in an open society in which freedom of speech and the press is constitutionally guaranteed.

As Robert Kennedy emphasized, President Kennedy canceled the second air strike because "U.S. participation in the matter was coming to the surface ... contrary to the pre-invasion plan." 4

It had been expected that Mario Zuniga would get away with the tale of defection he told in Miami on the Saturday before the invasion. But a few influential newspapers and UN delegates began to express skepticism and the President felt compelled to change the military plan in an effort to conceal the fact that the United States was behind the invasion.

Immediately after the invasion failed, the President revealed his concern about the limitations imposed upon the government by the institutions of free speech and a free press. He went before the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961, with a plea for voluntary censorship.

"If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions," Kennedy remarked, "then I can only say that no war has ever posed a greater threat to our security."

But despite his chagrin and his momentary impatience with the workings of a democracy, the President had not lost perspective on the dangers of toying with fundamental freedoms.

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open republic," he declared, "and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it."



i. In the Spring of 1965, President Johnson shifted Carter to be director of the National Security Agency and named Helms his successor at CIA. In June, 1966, Helms moved up again to the top spot of director of CIA.

ii. The new members were Frank Pace, Jr., former Secretary of the Army; Dr. Edwin H. Land, president of the Polaroid Corporation; Dr. William O. Baker, vice-president for research of the Bell Telephone Laboratories; Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle, retired, board chairman of Space Technology Laboratories, Inc.; Dr. William L. Langer, professor of history, Harvard University; Robert D. Murphy, former Under Secretary of State and president of Corning Glass International; Gordon Gray, former head of the Office of Defense Mobilization; and Clark Clifford, who had been a leading adviser to President Truman. Clifford succeeded Killian as chairman on April 23, 1963.

iii. Late in 1962 the administration's findings were drawn up in a White Paper, prepared mainly by Roger Hilsman, then the State Department's director of intelligence and research. At the White House, Bundy and Salinger recommended that it be released to the public in January, 1963. But Robert Kennedy urged that it remain secret, and the White Paper was not released.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:31 am

The Secret Elite

THE MOST controversial of President Kennedy's moves to reorganize the Invisible Government was his appointment of John McCone as Director of Central Intelligence. The strong-willed, stern- looking multimillionaire was not of the stuff to inspire love among the bureaucrats.

"When he smiles," a CIA man cautioned, "look out."

McCone had aroused much fear and antagonism in his rise to the top in the world of business and government. Influential scientists were outraged by what they believed was an effort by McCone to have ten of their brethren fired from the California Institute of Technology in 1956.

The Caltech scientists had come out in support of Adlai Stevenson's proposal for a nuclear test ban during the presidential campaign that year. And McCone, a trustee of the Institute, retorted by accusing the scientists of being "taken in" by Soviet propaganda and of attempting to "create fear in the minds of the uninformed that radioactive fallout from H-bomb tests endangers life."

McCone denied that he had attempted to have the scientists dismissed. 1 But some remained unconvinced and still more were embittered by the blunt language of McCone's denunciation.

Outside the scientific community, many were disturbed by McCone's big wartime profits in the ship-building business. Ralph E. Casey of the General Accounting Office, a watchdog arm of the Congress, testified in 1946 that Mc Cone and his associates in the California Shipbuilding Company made $44,000,000 on an investment of $100,000.

"I daresay ... Casey remarked, "that at no time in the history of American business, whether in wartime or in peacetime, have so few men made so much money with so little risk and all at the expense of the taxpayers, not only of this generation but of generations to come." 2

Again, McCone denied the accusation. He insisted that the investment of California Shipbuilding -- including loans, bank credits and stock, in addition to the cash -- amounted to over $7,000,000. He also disputed Casey's profit figures as inflated. [i] In any event, he testified, the government got back 95 percent of the profits in taxes. 3

Another of McCone's business activities which provoked opposition was his long relationship with the international oil industry. During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on his nomination in January, 1962, McCone told of his former directorship of the Panama Pacific Tankers Company, a large oil-carrying fleet, and of the $1,000,000 in stock he held in Standard Oil of California, which operates extensively in the Middle East, Indonesia and Latin America.

"Every well-informed American knows," commented Senator Joseph Clark, the Pennsylvania Democrat, "that the American oil companies are deep in the politics of the Middle East ... [and] the CIA is deep in the politics of the Middle East." 4

Clark opposed McCone's appointment on the ground that his ownership of the oil stock amounted to "a legal violation and a very unwise holding." McCone offered to dispose of the stock but the committee refused to consider it. From the tenor of the questioning it was clear that the great majority of senators was not at all disturbed by McCone's record. They were, in fact, abundantly impressed.

"I have not had the opportunity of knowing Mr. McCone well, only through reputation," said Senator Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina Democrat, "but in looking over this biography, to me it epitomizes what has made America great."

The biography showed that McCone was born into a prosperous San Francisco family on January 4, 1902. He was graduated magna cum laude from the University of California with an engineering degree in 1922. That year he joined the Llewellyn Iron Works in California and, before moving into the executive suite, served briefly as a riveter, a surveyor, a foreman and a construction manager. When Llewellyn merged into the Consolidated Steel Corporation in 1929, McCone assumed a series of executive positions, including vice-president in charge of sales. In 1933 he became an executive vice-president and director.

McCone left the steel business in 1937 to form a new engineering concern, the Bechtel-McCone- Parsons Corporation of Los Angeles. This firm specialized in the design and construction of petroleum refineries, processing plants and power plants for installation in the United States, South America and the Middle East.

In 1939. when war broke out in Europe, McCone joined the Six Companies Group in the formation of the Seattle-Tacoma Corporation which built merchant ships for the U.S. Maritime Commission and the British Government. During the war McCone and his enterprises were also active in the modification of Air Force bombers for combat.

After the war McCone took over the Joshua Hendy Iron Works at Sunnyvale, California, and broadened his business interests in a dozen major corporations, including the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Standard Oil of California and Trans World Airlines. He entered government service in 1947 as a member of President Truman's Air Policy Commission. In 1948 he became special deputy to James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense. He prepared the first two budgets of the newly unified Defense Department and worked closely with Forrestal in his efforts to create the CIA.

McCone was named Under Secretary of the Air Force in 1950. He returned to private life the next year, but was back in the government in 1958 as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He served in that post until the end of the Eisenhower Administration.

During his government service, McCone gained a reputation as an uncompromising supporter of John Foster Dulles' doctrine of massive retaliation, the Air Force's atomic warfare theories, and the hard-line strategy against the Soviet Union.

A member of the Roman Catholic Church, McCone was designated by Pope Pius XII as a Knight of St. Gregory and awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester. He and Clare Booth Luce served as Eisenhower's official representatives at Pope Pius' funeral in 1958.

These credentials -- particularly McCone's reputation as a hard-nosed executive who could get things done quickly and efficiently -- impressed Robert Kennedy, who had been looking around for a successor to Allen Dulles.

There had been some thought that the Attorney General might take the job himself, but this inevitably would have provoked Republican charges that the Kennedys were creating a dynasty. And it probably would have stirred up new demands for tighter Congressional control of the CIA -- a prospect which the President did not relish.

Serious consideration was given to the possibility of offering the job to Clark Clifford, who had impressed Kennedy mightily when he directed the change-over in the White House staff between administrations. But the handsome and prosperous Washington lawyer was not interested.

The President then turned to Fowler Hamilton, a Wall Street lawyer and close friend of Senator Symington. The White House was on the verge of announcing Hamilton's appointment when Kennedy encountered a series of difficulties in finding a director for the Agency for International Development (AID).

The foreign-aid job had been scheduled to go to George D. Woods, the board chairman of the First Boston Company. But Woods felt compelled to withdraw his name because of renewed talk about First Boston's implication in the Dixon Yates scandal. Kennedy then tried to fill the AID opening with Thomas J. Watson. Jr., the president of the International Business Machines Corporation. But Watson said no and the President named Hamilton as the AID director.

It was then that Kennedy decided upon McCone as Director of Central Intelligence. The decision, announced on September 27, 1961, shocked official Washington. The members of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board were stunned that Kennedy had not asked their advice in advance of the appointment; and there were further grumblings over the Caltech incident and McCone's close ties with the Republican Party. "I think," a board member was heard to comment, "that the President should have got a Kennedy man."

But that, of course, was precisely what the President did not want. After the Bay of Pigs, both Kennedy and the CIA were extremely vulnerable to political attack from the Republicans, particularly from the right wing of the party. With a conservative Republican at the head of the Invisible Government, the President, clearly, thought the political fire would be somewhat diverted.

"You are now living on the bull's eye," Kennedy said as McCone was sworn into office on November 29, 1961, "and I welcome you to that spot."

A week later, on December 6, McCone's wife died unexpectedly of a heart attack. They had been married for twenty-three years and were unusually close. McCone was grief-stricken. Allen Dulles volunteered to take care of the arrangements for flying the body back to the West Coast. On the way to the airport, McCone poured out his anguish.

"I can't go on," he told his predecessor. "I'm going to have to tell the President that I can't take the job."

"You must." Dulles replied firmly. "You owe it to the country."

McCone followed Dulles' advice and set out almost immediately on extensive tours of agency installations in Europe and Asia. His nomination came to a vote in the Senate on January 31, 1962, after a brief, bitter debate, and he was confirmed seventy-one to twelve. [ii] Two weeks earlier, on January 16, the President had outlined the new responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence in a letter to McCone:

It is my wish that you serve as the government's principal foreign intelligence officer and that you undertake as an integral part of your responsibility, the coordination and effective guidance of the total U.S. intelligence effort ...

As head of the Central Intelligence Agency, while you will continue to have overall responsibility for the agency, I shall expect you to delegate to your principal deputy, as you may deem necessary, so much of the direction of the detailed operation of the agency as may be required to permit you to carry out your primary task as director of Central Intelligence.

The President noted "with approval" that McCone had designated his deputy, General Carter, to sit on the United States Intelligence Board (USIB) as the CIA's representative.

"Pat" Carter had risen in the Army as a staff man. A graduate of West Point and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became a close aide to General George C. Marshall in World War II. He gained experience in international affairs as an important military figure at several wartime and postwar conferences, including the World War II summit meeting in Cairo in 1943.

Despite the broadened powers implied in the President's letter, Carter had no illusions about his position in the CIA. Kennedy had wanted to put a civilian in the deputy's job and settled upon Carter only under strong Congressional pressure for the appointment of another military man. When some of Carter's old military friends would arrive at the CIA from the Pentagon for an intelligence briefing, the general left no doubt as to who was the real boss of the agency. "Welcome," he would say, "to McConey Island."

As Director of Central Intelligence. McCone was responsible not only for the CIA but also for all of the other government agencies involved in intelligence work. McCone directed the intelligence community formally through USIB, a committee of intelligence agency representatives, which was called into session each week in a room adjacent to his top-floor office in the CIA's new building in Langley, Virginia. McCone also maintained informal supervisory contact with the principal members of the intelligence community: Army Intelligence, the Office of Naval Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, as well as the CIA.


Army Intelligence

The Army G-2 is the oldest of the nation's intelligence services, with a tradition dating back to World War I. In World War II it carried off several coups: the capture intact of a high-level Nazi planning group in North Africa; the advance seizure of a map of all enemy mines in Sicily; and the capture of the entire Japanese secret-police force on Okinawa. On a bureaucratic level, it did battle with the OSS and the ambitious intelligence men of the Army Air Corps. After the war the G-2 absorbed many of the OSS operatives under a directive by President Truman. But it lost air intelligence when the Air Force was created as a separate service. The Army yielded further ground after the formation of the DIA, but retained four vital functions: ( 1) technical intelligence on the types, quantity and quality of army weapons of foreign powers; ( 2) the attache system, which tries to estimate the size, organization and deployment of foreign armies through the efforts -- mainly overt -- of Army representatives in the major United States embassies; ( 3) the Counter Intelligence Corps, which is charged with detecting and preventing treason, espionage, sabotage, gambling, prostitution and black marketeering; ( 4) the Army Map Service, which is responsible for meeting most of the government's mapping needs.


Office of Naval Intelligence

The ONI is the smallest of the intelligence branches of the three services. Its total complement amounted to 2,600 men in 1961. [iii] and the number has undoubtedly declined as the DIA has absorbed more and more of the service intelligence functions. The Navy maintains no separate counter-intelligence unit such as the Army's CIC. But it makes use of an attache system, and it deploys intelligence men at all of its installations, ashore and afloat. The principal mission of the ONI is to collect information on foreign naval forces. It keeps a special weather eye on the Soviet submarine fleet and compiles elaborate dossiers on the world's major beaches, harbors and ports.


Air Force Intelligence

The A-2 is the most mechanically sophisticated of the service intelligence operations. It employs the latest electronic gear to determine the missile, bomber, satellite and radar potential of the Soviet Union. The Electronics Division, through its Reconnaissance, Equipment and Control Branches, gathers the electronic intelligence (a separate chapter will deal with the startling advances that have been made in this field). Under a Pentagon directive in 1961, the Air Force controls all reconnaissance satellites orbiting the Soviet Union. A Target Division is responsible for sorting out the intelligence intake and maintaining a current list of potential enemy targets. It also compiles and publishes the Bombing Encyclopedia, a compendium of target information. The A-2 conducts a world-wide attache system through its International Liaison Division. It also maintains a Military Capabilities Branch and a Wargame Branch in the Threat Assessments Division of its Directorate of Warning and Threat Assessments.


Atomic Energy Commission

The AEC is responsible for making estimates of the atomic-weapons capabilities of the Soviet Union and other nuclear powers. Since 1948 the United States has maintained round-the-clock monitoring of the atmosphere to detect radioactive particles from atomic tests. Samples are collected by the U-2 and other high-flying aircraft. From an analysis of the samples, the AEC can determine not only the fact that atomic explosions have taken place but also the type and power of the weapons detonated. The AEC also plays an important role in assessing test-ban proposals. It carries out intensive experimentation in ways to shield atomic explosions from detection and ways to pierce the shielding devised by other nations.

Because of the law which set it up and its close relationship to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy in the Congress, the AEC is one of the most independent branches of the Invisible Government. One of Eisenhower's parting admonitions to Kennedy was: "You may be able to run lots of things around here. But one of them you can't run is the AEC."


Federal Bureau of Investigation

As the investigative arm of the Department of Justice, the FBI is responsible, among its other duties, for catching spies. In this phase of its work --as opposed to its conventional criminal investigations -- the FBI is an intelligence agency, and as such, part of the Invisible Government. The assistant to J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director sits on USIB, and the FBI has a liaison man who reports to work at the CIA headquarters in Langley every day.

Actual counter-espionage work is conducted by the FBI's hush-hush division Number 5. This is the Domestic Intelligence Division, headed by William C. Sullivan. It is in charge of espionage, sabotage and subversion cases.

In Miami, New York and Washington, there are FBI agents permanently assigned to counter-espionage. A squad supervisor is assigned to intelligence in each of the FBI's fifty-five field offices in the United States. Agents who normally conduct ordinary criminal investigations are assigned to espionage cases when necessary.

About 20 percent of the 650,000 cases investigated by the FBI in 1963 were espionage -- internal security cases, although the exact figure is classified.

"Over the years," Hoover told a House committee in 1962, "no phase of American activity has been immune to Soviet-bloc intelligence attempts. The Soviets have attempted to obtain every conceivable type of information. The targets have been all-encompassing and have included aerial photographs, maps and charts of our major cities and vital areas, data regarding the organization of our military services and their training programs, technical classified and unclassified information concerning nuclear weapons, planes, ships and submarines. Of prime interest to the Soviets is information concerning U.S. military bases, including missile sites and radar installations.

"They have probed to penetrate our most critical intelligence and counter-intelligence organizations." 5

Although Hoover did not say so, some of these penetration attempts are controlled by "Department Nine" of the KGB. This is the division of the Soviet secret police that keeps dossiers on Russian emigres.

The FBI exposed one "Department Nine" operation in Washington in 1963. It began on April 6 of that year, when a Soviet citizen arrived in the United States with papers identifying him as "Vladimir Gridnev," forty-nine, a temporary employee of the Soviet Embassy.

It was a false name. "Gridnev" was actually brought here by the KGB to try to recruit his brother, a Soviet defector employed by the CIA.

The first move in the game was made at 9:00 P.M. on April 28, when the defector returned from work to his home in an apartment house in a Virginia suburb of the capital. As he reached for his key, a voice behind him whispered his name. He turned to find his brother, Volodya, whom he had not seen for twenty-three years, and who had entered the country as "Gridnev."

They embraced and went inside to a third-floor apartment. A few moments later, there was a knock on the door. A Russian whom Volodya introduced as "Ivan Ivanovich ... his embassy "driver," entered the room. He was actually Gennadiy Sevastyanov, a thirty-three-year-old Russian agent working under diplomatic cover as an attache in the cultural division of the Soviet Embassy.

Two days later Volodya met his brother again at a bus stop in Arlington, Virginia. Sevastyanov joined them. The entire scene was filmed by the FBI with a sixteen-millimeter movie camera. The three men drove to a restaurant, where Volodya tried to persuade his brother to stay at the CIA but to work for the Russians.

Sevastyanov made the same proposal, and promised that later on he could return to his homeland and be well taken care of. On May 2 the three met once more. Sevastyanov gave the CIA man a password and other instructions for clandestine meetings. Volodya was allowed to return to the Soviet Union on May 4 -- since he was regarded by the FBI as a helpless pawn in the Soviet operation. Sevastyanov and Volodya's brother met once more on June 13.

On July 1 the State Department ordered Sevastyanov expelled from the country for trying to recruit a United States Government employee. The CIA man had cooperated with the FBI throughout.

Since 1950 a total of thirty-four Soviet and seventeen Communist-bloc diplomats have been expelled from the United States for a variety of reasons. Like Sevastyanov's activities, many of the espionage efforts of Soviet agents operating as diplomats seem bumbling and almost amateurish. There is a long record of such cases.

By contrast, Soviet "illegals" -- spies operating under deep cover -- are skilled experts and therefore much harder for the FBI to detect. They slip into the country with false documents, pass for ordinary Americans, and enjoy no embassy protection.

The FBI's counter-espionage work is concentrated within the continental United States. Although the bureau operated in the Western Hemisphere and cracked Nazi espionage rings in South America during World War II, espionage and counter-espionage abroad became the province of the CIA and the military intelligence organizations after the war. Contrary to popular belief, however, the FBI does have some agents overseas. They are assigned to American embassies, usually under the cover of "legal attaches."

The FBI had 14,239 employees in 1964 (of whom 6,014 were agents), but its budget of $146,900,000 ranked it as one of the smaller units of the Invisible Government, even though its counter-espionage work is vital to national security.


Bureau of Intelligence and Research

INR, the State Department's intelligence agency, is really misnamed, in the view of one of its former directors, Roger Hilsman.

"To be frank with you," he told a House Appropriations Subcommittee in 1961, "I am uneasy about this word 'intelligence' in the title of the bureau. It is, in a real sense, not really an intelligence agency as you think of the word and it does not collect as such.

"It is analysis-research and analysis is its function as an agency. [But] it has functions relating to the intelligence community. Normally, quick data comes from the other collection agencies, and from the diplomatic reporting which is not part of our bureau, but the embassies overseas."

As Hilsman indicated, INR relies upon the information of others -- the diplomatic service, the CIA, the military attaches and the published documents and maps of foreign nations. INR analyzes this information for the use of the Secretary of State and the other branches of the intelligence community.

Its main function on USIB is to make sure that the final intelligence estimates reflect the political, social and economic facts of life, as seen from the State Department's viewpoint.

The absence of cloak-and-dagger in INR is reflected in the fact that it is the only member of USIB whose intelligence budget is part of the public record. It employs about 350 persons and spends approximately $2,800,000 annually (the figures vary slightly from year to year). It produces over 16,000 pages of social, political, economic and biographic analyses each year. By its own estimate, 40 to 60 percent of the raw data for these analyses come from the diplomatic reports of United States embassies abroad. INR also makes use of the scholarly output of the universities and periodically commissions a study by the academic community. It briefs the Secretary of State every day.

INR, the FBI, the AEC and the intelligence branches of the military services represent the lesser agencies of the Invisible Government. The big ones, in terms of men, money and influence, are the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA.



i. Senator Stuart Symington, the Missouri Democrat, also saw nothing amiss. He observed: "It is still legal in America, if not to make a profit, at least to try to make a profit."

ii. One of the nay votes was cast by Senator I. William Fulbright, the Arkansas Democrat and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Fulbright said he could not vote for McCone because his committee had not been consulted about the appointment nor given an opportunity to question McCone about his views on foreign policy.

Ten days later, at three o'clock in the morning, Fulbright was roused from bed by a phone call from McCone, who wanted to inform him of the exchange of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and Soviet spy Rudolf I. Abel. Annoyed, Fulbright made it clear this was not the type of consultation he had in mind.

iii. All figures on the number of persons involved in intelligence work are highly classified. But the ONI's figure slipped out through the oversight of a Pentagon censor in testimony released in 1961 by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
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Re: The Invisible Government, by David Wise and Thomas B. Ro

Postby admin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:32 am

The National Security Agency

PROBABLY the most secretive branch of the Invisible Government is the National Security Agency. Even more than the CIA, the NSA has sought to conceal the nature of its activities.

The CIA's functions were revealed in general outline by Congress in the National Security Act of 1947. But the NSA's duties were kept secret in the classified presidential directive which established the agency in 1952.

The only official description of its activities is contained in the U.S. Government Organization Manual, which states vaguely: "The National Security Agency performs highly specialized technical and coordinating functions relating to the national security."

Nevertheless, it is no secret that the NSA is the nation's code-making and code-breaking agency. It is impossible, however, to receive official confirmation of that obvious fact. Unlike Allen Dulles and other high-ranking CIA men who have occasionally talked to the press and on television, NSA officials have refused to grant interviews under any circumstances.

As a sub-agency of the Defense Department, the NSA is watched over by the deputy director of defense research and engineering. But the various men who have held this post have been similarly uncommunicative.

During the Eisenhower years, the job of overseeing the NSA was held by military men. The Kennedy and Johnson Administrations turned to civilians with broader scientific expertise. In 1963 the assignment was taken on by Dr. Eugene G. Fubini, a fifty-year-old Italian-born physicist.

Fubini was confirmed by the Senate without difficulty despite a challenge from Senator Thurmond, the South Carolina Democrat. During the Armed Services Committee hearings on June 27, 1963, Thurmond questioned Fubini closely on his political affiliations in Italy prior to his emigration to the United States in 1939.

Fubini admitted that he had been a dues-paying member of the GUF, the Fascist student organization in the universities. But he explained that membership was "almost a compulsory thing" in Mussolini's Italy, and that he finally left his homeland in political protest.

Fubini made it clear, to Thurmond's evident relief, that he had never been associated with Communist or Socialist movements. His biographical data also underscored the fact that he had served ably as a scientific consultant and technical observer with the U.S. Army and Navy in Europe during World War II.

After the war Fubini joined the Airborne Instruments Laboratory of Long Island, New York. He worked on several classified electronic projects and rose to become the vice-president of the company. By the time he joined the Pentagon in 1961 he was thoroughly impressed with the need for tight security. He became convinced that a mass of vital national secrets was being given to the Russians through careless public disclosure.

Fubini and his staff maintained a long list of security violations which appeared in the press and elsewhere. Prominent on the list were public statements by Defense Secretary McNamara and his deputy, Roswell Gilpatric. In their zeal to defend administration policy, notably in McNamara's television extravaganza after the Cuban missile crisis, Fubini felt his bosses were sometimes imprudent about national security.

Fubini's dedication to security was matched by the agency he inherited. The NSA's U-shaped, three-story steel-and-concrete building at Fort Meade, Maryland, is surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence ten feet high. The fences are patrolled night and day, and guards with ready machine guns are posted at the four gatehouses.

The interior, including the longest unobstructed corridor in the world (980 feet long and 560 feet wide), is similarly patrolled. The building is 1,400,000 square feet, smaller than the Pentagon but larger than the CIA's Langley headquarters. It houses high-speed computers and complicated radio and electronic gear. It is said to have more electric wiring than any other building in the world.

Special security conveyor belts carry documents at the rate of a hundred feet a minute and a German-made pneumatic tube system shoots messages at the rate of twenty-five feet a second.

The NSA headquarters was built at a cost of $30,000,000 and was opened in 1957. It contains a complete hospital, with operating rooms and dental offices. It also houses eight snack bars, a cafeteria, an auditorium and a bank. All of the building's windows are sealed and none can be opened.

Comparable precautions have been taken with NSA employees. They are subject to lie-detector tests on application and intensive security indoctrination on acceptance. Periodically, the indoctrination briefing is repeated and employees are required to sign statements that they have reread pertinent secrecy regulations.

Even so, the NSA has had more than its share of trouble with security violations. In 1960 two young mathematicians, William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, defected to Russia. They held a news conference in Moscow, describing in detail the inner workings of the NSA. They were soon discovered to be homosexuals, a fact which led indirectly to the resignation of the NSA's personnel director, and the firing of twenty-six other employees for sexual deviation.

It also led on May 9, 1963 to a vote by the House, 340 to 40, to give the Secretary of Defense the same absolute power over NSA employees as the Director of Central Intelligence had over his employees. Under the legislation, which was introduced by the Un-American Activities Committee, the Secretary of Defense was authorized to fire NSA employees without explanation and without appeal if he decided they were security risks. The bill also required a full field investigation of all persons before they were hired.

The legislation was attacked by several congressmen.

Thomas P. Gill, the Hawaii Democrat, warned that the bill opened the way to "arbitrary and capricious action on the part of government administrators ... There has been much said about danger to the national security. Democracy itself is a dangerous form of government and in its very danger lies its strength. The protection of individual rights by the requirement of due process of law, which has long endured in this nation of ours, is a radical and dangerous idea in most of the world today.

"This dangerous concept is outlawed in the Soviet Union, in Red China, in Castro's Cuba, indeed, in all of the Communist bloc and many of those countries aligned with it. I think we might well ask: How does one destroy his enemy by becoming like him?"

Edwin E. Willis, the Louisiana Democrat and a member of the Un-American Activities Committee, defended the bill on grounds that the NSA "carries out the most delicate type intelligence operations of our government ... The National Security Agency plays so highly specialized a role in the defense and security of the United States that no outsider can actually describe its activities. They are guarded not only from the public but from other government agencies as well. The Civil Service Commission, which audits all government positions, is not allowed to know what NSA employees do."

If the bill was so important for the NSA, Willis was asked, why shouldn't it be applied to all other sensitive agencies?

"As to the other agencies," Willis replied, "we will have to take them one at a time."

Although the Martin and Mitchell case stirred the House to action, it was only one of several sensational security scandals to hit the NSA.

In 1954 Joseph Sydney Petersen was tried and convicted on charges of misusing classified NSA documents. He was accused of taking and copying documents to aid another nation. In the court papers the government said Petersen "copied and made notes from classified documents indicating the United States' success in breaking codes utilized by The Netherlands." The Dutch Embassy in Washington admitted it had exchanged "secret intelligence" with Petersen on the assumption that he had acted with the knowledge of his superiors.

In 1959, during his visit to the United States, Khrushchev bragged that he had obtained top-secret American codes and had intercepted messages from President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Nehru. "You're wasting your money," Khrushchev remarked to Allen Dulles. "You might as well send it direct to us instead of the middleman, because we get most of it anyway. Your agents give us the code books and then we send false information back to you through your code. Then we send cables asking for money and you send it to us."

On July 22, 1963, Izvestia published a letter from Victor Norris Hamilton, a naturalized American of Arab descent who had sought asylum in the Soviet Union. Hamilton said he had worked for a division of the NSA which intercepted and decoded secret instructions from Arab countries to their delegations at the United Nations. Hamilton claimed UN Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge had sent a letter to the division thanking them for the information. The Pentagon admitted Hamilton had been an employee of the NSA and said he had been discharged in 1959 because he was "approaching a paranoid-schizophrenic break." (The NSA has an unusually high rate of mental illness and suicide.)

An even graver security breach at the NSA was also disclosed in July of 1963. Army Sergeant First Class Jack E. Dunlap committed suicide when he realized he had been discovered selling top-secret NSA documents to Soviet officials. Dunlap reportedly received $60,000 during a two-year period for disclosing United States intelligence on Russian weapons advances, the deployment of their missiles and troops, as well as similar information about the NATO countries.

The playboy sergeant, who had a wife and five children, spent the money on several girl friends, two Cadillacs and frequent trips to the race track. A Pentagon official described the case as "thirty to forty times as serious as the Mitchell and Martin defections."

These security violations revealed a mass of information about the NSA. And most of it was indirectly confirmed by the Pentagon in its contradictory statements on the case, and by the House Un-American Activities Committee in issuing a public report stressing the seriousness of the Martin and Mitchell defection. Out of it all a painstaking enemy analyst could have derived the following picture of the National Security Agency:

NSA was divided into four main offices. The Office of Production (PROD) attempted to break the codes and ciphers [i] and read the messages of the Soviet Union, Communist China, other Communist countries, United States Allies and neutral nations.

The Office of Research and Development (R/D) carried out research in cryptanalysis, digital computing and radio propagation. It also developed new communications equipment.

The Office of Communications Security (COMSEC) produced U.S. codes and tried to protect them. And the Office of Security (SEC) investigated NSA personnel, conducted lie-detector tests and passed on the loyalty and integrity of employees.

While the NSA was reading the secret communications of over forty nations, including the most friendly, it shared some of its secrets through a relationship between its United Kingdom Liaison Office (UKLO) and its British counterpart, the GCHQ. The NSA, at least according to Martin and Mitchell, also provided code machines to other nations and then intercepted their messages on the basis of its knowledge of the construction and wiring of the machines.

The NSA gathered its raw information through more than 2,000 intercept stations around the world. They were designed to pick up every electronic emanation and communication in the Communist bloc: countdowns at missile sites, tell-tale sounds of industrial construction, military orders for troop movements, and air defense instructions to radar installations and fighter-plane squadrons.

In addition, the NSA sent its eavesdropping equipment along on flights by the U-2 and other aircraft over the Soviet Union (until 1960) and over Communist China. Separate flights, called ELINT (for electronic intelligence) missions, skirted Communist borders, picking up the location and characteristics of enemy radar stations. Occasionally, the planes would play "foxes and hounds," feinting toward or into Soviet defenses so as to analyze the nature of the response on nearby U.S. radar screens and listening gear.

The NSA also practiced what is known in the trade as "audio surveillance" and in layman's terms as "bugging," or "telephone tapping."

It was clear that the United States had come a long way from that day in 1929 when Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson closed the "black chamber," the State Department's primitive code-breaking section, with the explanation:

"Gentlemen do not read each other's mail."



i. Codes use symbols or letter groups for whole words or thoughts. Ciphers use letters or numbers for other letters or numbers.
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