"To those who say we no longer need a CIA, I say you're nuts. To those who want to dismantle CIA or put it under some other department ... you're nuts, too. And to those who feel the right to know takes precedence over legitimate classification of documents, or over protecting our most precious asset, our people, the same to you. You're nuts, and so's the horse you came in on. These crusading young zealots treated everyone that they encountered as renegades at best, criminals at worst." - George Bush at the 50th anniversary celebration of the CIA, 1997




















"The law: it must be honored; may we honor it." - Daniel Webster, 1847


"No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassinations." - Executive Order 12333 issued by President Reagan, December 4, 1981


 "God and the politicians willing, the United States can declare peace upon the world, and win it." - Ely Culpertson, 1946



AMERICAN HEGEMONY ACROSS THE GLOBE. After World War II, the Soviets consolidated its hegemony over Eastern Europe. At the same time, the United States scrambled to carve out an empire in Central America, the Middle East, and Eastern Asia. In the Western Hemisphere, right wing dictators consolidated their power in "our banana republics," most notably in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.


On the other side of the globe, the United States coined Iran and Saudi Arabia, two authoritarian regimes, as its "twin pillars"in the Middle East. Fifty percent of the oil consumed in the United States flowed out of the Persian Gulf. And in return American military weapons were shipped to them.


Washington supported a revolution that brought the authoritarian regime of General Sukarto to power in Indonesia. The United States hailed Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos as a democrat. Finally, he was brought down by Corazon Aquino and the People Power movement. Beginning with the Eisenhower administration, puppet governments were established in South Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The United States supported the Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo regimes in Taiwan. It was not until the 1980s that Taipei made some concrete steps towards democratization.


At the height of the Cold War, the United States built a chain of military bases stretching from South Korea and Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia to Saudi Arabia, Greece, Turkey Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, and Iceland. In effect, the United States had thousands of overseas military installations which circled the Soviet Union and China.


ITALY - 1947 - This was the first covert operation overseas by the CIA. The agency disseminated disinformation against the communist party in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Italian elections.


ALBANIA - 1949 - The CIA trained Albanian exiles on the island of Malta and in Rome and Athens. The rebels entered Albania in an unsuccessful effort to overthrow President Enver Hoxha.


CHINA - 1950 - A year after Mao's revolution, the CIA trained rebels in Taiwan to infiltrate into China, Manchuria, and Tibet in an attempt to destabilize the region.


THE PHILIPPINES - 1950 - The CIA helped to break the power of the leftist Huks and was successful in helping elect Magasaysay president.


KOREA - 1951-53 - The CIA sent agents into North Korea during the war. Forty-four guerrilla units comprising of 3,000 agents secretly entered North Korea between April and December 1951. However, they apparently were unable to receive information concerning the movement of Chinese troops in North Korea.


IRAN - 1953 - Mossadegh was democratically elected prime minister, and he nationalized the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company. The CIA overthrew Mossadegh and restore the Shah to the throne.


GUATEMALA - 1954 - Arbenz was democratically elected president, and he nationalized the United Fruit Company as well as instituting other reforms for the peasants. The CIA led a coup and Arbenz fled the country. Colonel Armas was named president and American businesses were restored.


CONGO - 1960-64 - Leftist leaning Lumumba was president. The United States terminated aid him. The CIA aided the military in overthrowing Lumumba and placing Mobuto in power. Lumumba who was subsequently killed.


INDONESIA - 1958-65 - After the Dutch departed in 1949, the left leaning Sukarno was democratically elected president. After initiating social reforms, he was overthrown by the CIA in 1949 and Suharto was placed in power. Sukarno was the first democrat who was not aligned in the United States-Soviet power struggle.


EAST TIMOR - 1974 - After the Dutch departed East Timor, Sukarno invaded the island country. The CIA supported Indonesia's invasion, supplying weapons. Approximately 200,000 were killed.


BRAZIL - 1961-64 - After Goulart was popularly elected president, he nationalized the country’s copper mines and instituted social reforms. A CIA coup overthrew Goulart, and the mines were returned to corporate control.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 1962-66 - After the assassination of Trujillo, Juan Bosch was elected president and he began to initiate social reforms. The United States branded Bosch a communist. President Johnson sent in 23,000 American marines, and Bosch was overthrown. Joaquin Belaquer was placed in power.


TURKEY - Early 1960s - Turkey invaded Cyprus. The invasion was supported by the United States, Approximately 2,000 people were killed, and 200,000 were driven out of the country.


VIETNAM - 1940s-75 - The United States provided military aid to French Indo-China and then promised free elections at the Geneva Convention in 1954. Instead, the United States placed Diem, a right wing dictator, in power. In 1964 the Tonkin incident was fabricated by President Johnson, and the first of 550,000 combat troops were sent to Vietnam. By the end of the war in 1975, between three million and four million people had been killed.


BOLIVIA - 1964 and 1984 - After President Paz was elected in 1964, he nationalized several foreign interests which included American mining companies. The CIA orchestrated a coup and placed General Barrientos in power.


In 1980 a nationalist was democratically elected president. A CIA-led coup ousted him, and General

Garcia-Meza was placed in power.


CHILE - 1970-73 - Salvador Allende was popularly elected president. He nationalized American copper mines and ATT Corporation. A CIA-supported coup resulted in the assassination of Allende.

Chile returned to military rule under the repressive rule of General Pinochet.


ZIMBABWE (Rhodesia) - 1970s-80s- After the fall of British colonial rule under Ian Smith, the leftist Robert Mugabe was popularly elected president. The United States ignored United Nations

economic sanctions because of the importance of minerals to American corporations in Zimbabwe.


NAMIBIA - 1960s-90s - The United Nations and the World Court declared South Africa’s occupation of Namibia illegal. South Africa used Namibia as a staging area for attacks into neighboring countries. The United States ignored the resolutions and continued its normal relations with South Africa.


AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN - 1979-89 - In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The United States countered by funding the Mujahaddin rebels in Pakistan.


NICARAGUA - 1981-90 - The Sandinistas overthrew the right wing Somoza regime in 1979. Reagan immediately formed the Contras which were supported and trained by the CIA. The Contras failed to occupy any villages or to win any key encounters. In 1984 free elections were monitored by human rights groups. The Sandinistas were reelected, and 75 percent of the economy remained within the private sector and peasants were provided with health care and a public education for the first time. The United States vetoed the Security Council resolutions which condemned the war. The United States also ignored the World Court's decision which ruled against the mining of harbors. The Bush administration orchestrated the 1990s elections in order to assure the presidency for Violetta Chamorro and the 15 party UNO coalition.


EL SALVADOR - 1980s-90s - The FMLN waged civil war against the repressive government of the 14 Families, the death squads of Roberto D'Aubuisson, and Napoleon Duarte. The right assassinated Archbishop Romero as well as murdering American Roman Catholic nuns, and students at the Jesuit University. In the 1980s, 80,000 were killed. The Reagan-Bush administrations poured in $1.5 million a day to stabilize the military regime.


GUATEMALA - 1980-90s - Peasants carried out a civil war against the military dictatorship. The Reagan administration provided military and economic aid to bolster the country’s dictator. In the 1980s, 70,000 peasants were killed by government forces.

GRENADA - 1983 - The Maurice Bishop government initiated social and economic reforms which benefited the islands poor. President Reagan invaded Grenada just two days after 241 marines were killed in Beirut. He charged that Grenada was building a runway for Soviet bombers and that American medical students lives were endangered. Bishop stated that the airport was being enlarged to allow large tourist planes to land. After American forced defeated the Bishop government, the medical students later said that their lives were never in danger. The United States staged mock elections and completed the runway for tourist planes.


PANAMA - 1989 - Castro was on the CIA payroll for about 10 years. In the early 1980s, he refused to allow Contras to be trained in Panama. President Bush immediately claimed that Noriega conducted fraudulent elections and that he was involved in drug trafficking. American planes bombed homes, killing about 5,000 people in the El Chorillo residential area of Panama City. Noriega was kidnapped and tried" in the United States, while "free elections" were conducted in Panama. Another repressive leader, Endara, was placed in power.


IRAQ AND KUWAIT - 1990-91 - In the 1980s, the United States helped build Saddam Hussein’s war machine -- a scandal known as Iraqgate. Tensions between Iraq and Kuwait was continuing: a border dispute, slant drilling by Kuwait into Iraqi oil fields, ownership over two small islands in the Persian Gulf, and sovereignty over the Shatt al-Arab which empties into the Gulf of Hormuz. After Iraq invaded Kuwait, negotiations between the United States and Hussein failed. President Bush bought the support of several countries in the Arab, and 100,000 people were killed. The United States restored the emir to the throne, and Kuwait continued with its repressive regime.

SOMALIA - 1990s - Warlords controlled most of Somalia. When leading warlord Aidid did not acknowledge the oil rights of four American oil corporations, President Bush sent in American troops for "humanitarian reasons," even though the neighboring countries of Chad and Sudan had worse human rights abuses than did Somalia.




THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER OF 1945 -- ARTICLE 51. When the United Nations was conceived in 1945, Article 51 of the charter permitted "the right of individual or collective self- defense" against "armed attack ... Until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." Article 51 "permits states to respond militarily if they are threatened by a hostile power. It allows for the use of armed force "in self-defense against threats to one's nationals." The United States interpreted "aggression" as "political warfare or subversion" and thus justified numerous attacks.


In the summer of 1945, delegates at the Geneva Convention divided up Indochina after the French had been defeated at Dienbienphu. The new countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos became separate sovereign states. The United States immediately set out to undermine Article 15 and to justify American force in Southeast Asia. The Security Council met secretly and said that even in the case of "local communist subversion or rebellion constituting armed attack," the United States would consider the use of military force, including an attack on China if it was "determined to be the source" of the subversion. Thus, the United States was given the right to violate Article 51.


In 1975 the Security Council ordered Indonesia to withdraw its military forces from East Timor and said that "all states respect the territorial integrity of East Timor as well as the alienable right of the people to self-determination." But President Carter responded by stepping up the shipment of arms to the Jakarta regime.


In 1986 President Reagan launched an air war on several Libyan cities, and they were justified as "self-defense against future attacks" by the Tripoli government. American troops invaded Panama in 1989, and Ambassador Thomas Pickering stated that they were sanctioned under Article 51 since they provided "for the use of armed force to defend a country, to defend our interests and our people." According to Pickering, the United States was entitled to invade Panama to "prevent its territory from being used as a base for drug smuggling into the United States."


In 1993 President Clinton ordered missile attacks on Iraq. Secretary of State Madeline Albright cited Article 51, claiming that the attack was in "self-defense against armed attack," specifically for the alleged plot to assassinate former President Bush.



Peter Grose (Operation Rollback: America's Secret War Behind the Iron Curtain) laid out the story of the covert effort to overthrow communism in Eastern Europe following World War II. Operation Rollback consisted of dozens of infiltration missions into Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe and even into the Soviet Union itself. But none of these missions accomplished the slightest impact on communist rule. George Kennan, best known as the architect of containment, later opposed Rollback. According to Grose, Kennan said that it was "the greatest mistake I ever made. It did not work out at all the way I had conceived it." Grose pointed out that the political costs of the infiltrator missions were too high and the benefits too low to survive repeated failures. After Stalin's death early in 1953, Rollback tapered off. It finally fell to a mere CIA duty officer to deny military support to Hungary's 1956 revolution


In late 1948 the CIA formulated its first clandestine plan that was intended to destabilize a foreign country. Code-named BGFIEND, its target was the government of Albania. The goal of Operation Valuable was to overthrow Albanian communist leader Enver Haxha. CIA operatives worked to set up a resistance movement known as the National Front on the island of Malta as well as in Rome and Athens. Albanian emigres were recruited and trained to infiltrate into Albania to destabilize the regime.


When the first 20 insurgents secretly entered Albania, they were immediately ambushed by the Albanian military and four were killed. The CIA's Special Procedures Group pumped in millions of dollars into Italy's election campaign. Voters were paid to vote for candidates of the Christian Democratic Party. The agency distributed leaflets and pamphlets and also bribed voting officials. As a result the Christian Democrats won 307 of 574 parliamentary seats on April 18. The role of the Communist Party had been significantly reduced.



One year after the conclusion of World War II, both the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and Socialist Party (PSI) won elections and held a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly. The Christian Democrats placed third in the election. However, since the PCI and PSI ran separate candidates, neither won a majority, and a coalition government had to be created. A Christian Democratic premier was chosen, and the two liberal parties had to be content with holding only cabinet posts.


The next elections were scheduled for April 18, 1948. The PSI and PCI combined to form a coalition known as the Popular Democratic Front (FDP) and were able to win municipal elections in various parts of Italy. Since the Christian Democrats received fewer votes than they did two years before, it became apparent that the FDP was on the verge of winning in the national elections.


This situation became intolerant for the United States to accept. President Truman invited the conservative premier, Alcide de Gasperi, to the United States. Subsequently, the United States canceled Italy's $1 billion debt and began a campaign to control the upcoming Italian national elections.


Italian-Americans were encouraged to write letters to their relatives in their homeland and to encourage them to vote for the Christian Democratic Party candidates. The Committee to Aid Democracy in Italy was set up to coordinate the letter-writing campaign in the United States. The State Department suggested that if the communists were to win the elections, American aid to Italy would be severed. The State Department also broadcast messages to the 1.2 million Italian families which had short wave radios. And American radio stations also broadcast anti-leftist messages. American officials in Italy distributed leaflets to lower income families, explaining that the defeat of the Christian Democrats would lead to hard economic times.


The United States stepped up a campaign to weaken the FDP. President Truman accused the Soviet Union of plotting a communist revolution in Italy, and American warships were stationed off the coast. Truman also encouraged the return of the military draft. On the Security Council, the United States pressured France, Britain, and the Soviet Union into voting against the entrance of Italy into the United States. The House Appropriations Committee approved $18.7 million in additional "interim funds" to the conservative Italian regime. The CIA acknowledged pouring in over $1 million into a propaganda campaign in Italy. And Truman transferred 29 merchant ships to the Italian government.



Less than a year before V-E Day, British troops entered Greece after Allies defeated the German Army. A portion of the allied victory was a result of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) which had been founded in the early years of the war by the Greek Communist Party. Two months after German troops evacuated Greece, clashes broke out between ELAS and British troops. In January 1945 an armistice was signed by these two adversaries, while civil war continued in Greece.


In late 1946 leftists stepped up the civil war against British forces. Since Britain was bogged down with their own domestic post-war domestic problems, they looked to the United States to fill their slot in Greece. Soon thereafter, the State Department announced that the United States would provide aid to Greece. In the summer of 1947 the first arms shiploads arrived. The United States slowly built up the Greek war machine with fighters, napalm bombs, small arms, and patrol boats. In addition American officials helped construct air fields, bridges, docks, railways, and communication networks. Despite the American proliferation of the Greek Army, leftists remained underground for the most part for three years. Finally, in October 1949 the leftists announced a cease fire.


In the early 1950s, the United States had direct influence on the various prime ministers who stayed in power for short periods. When the Greek government refused to comply to American demands, the United States pressured the prime minister to abdicate by threatening to sever financial aid to the country.


George Papandreou had been staunchly anti-communist since the days of the civil war in the mid- 1940s. Before he was elected prime minister, he acknowledged that the Greek government was compelled to carry out American demands and that the United States "exercised almost dictatorial control during the early fifties requiring the signature of the chief of the United States Economic Mission appear alongside that of the Greek Minister of Coordination on any important documents."


In February 1964 George Papandreou was elected prime minister. Even though he had close ties with the United States, he refused to accept President Johnson's requests to compromise with Turkey over Cyprus. He even accepted an invitation to visit Moscow, and when he was promised foreign aid, the American ambassador demanded an explanation from him.


The younger Andreas Papandreou posed a threat to the United States. He was a member of his father's cabinet since 1964 and aspired to move upward in the government. Andreas Papandreou learned that KYP routinely bugged ministerial meetings and then turned the records over to the CIA. He was able to dismiss these KYP members and replaced them with reliable officers. Andreas Papandreou leaned to the Soviet Union for support and said that American complicity in Greek politics had prevented democracy from materializing. He also viewed the Greek Army as a threat and called on pro-monarchists and military officers to be purged.


In 1965 John Maury, the CIA station chief in Athens, plotted with King Constantine set up a right wing coalition, thus collapsing the government of George Papandreou. Over the course of the next two years, the cabinets were frequently dissolved, as no one party was able to obtain a majority of votes.


The next elections were scheduled for 1967 but just two days before, George Papadopolous seized power in a military coup in April 1967. Papadopolous was trained in the United States by the OSS and CIA which had established the Greek secret police -- the KYP -- whose officers had been trained by the OSS and CIA in the United States. During World War II, he served as a captain in the Nazis' Security Battalion which hunted down Greek resistance fighters.


Of the five junta officers, four were connected to either the CIA or the American military in Greece. At the time of the coup, Papadopolous had been on the CIA payroll for 15 years. The new military junta decreed martial law which was followed by censorship, arrests, and beatings. In the first month alone, 8,000 civilians were victims of the government's oppressive policies. The following year in 1968, Papadouplous assumed the title of prime minister.


According to testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, the junta contributed financially to Richard Nixon's successful 1968 presidential campaign. Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was of Greek descent, angered many Greeks when he visited in 1971, embraced the junta leaders, and called them the country's best leaders since Pericles ruled ancient Athens.


The European Commission of Human Rights -- consisting of 18 European countries -- found Greece guilty of human rights abuses in 1969. The commission refuted the Greek government's claim that it had used oppressive measures since the country was on the verge of a communist takeover. In the same year, Amnesty International, charged that the United States had pressured the European countries on the council to reject the expulsion of Greece and that the United States supported the military junta.


In November 1973 Papadopolous was forced out of power in a military shake-up. He was replaced by Colonel Demetrios Ioannidis, commander of the military police, who had been trained in torture and subversive techniques by the CIA. He named a new prime minister, A. Androutsopolous, who had been on the CIA payroll following World War II. Eight months later, Ioannidis overthrew Cyprus.


The United States government never admitted its support of the repressive Greek government until November 1999. President Clinton acknowledged American support for the military junta, but he stopped short of apologizing outright for refusing to accept the moral obligation to oppose the dictatorship. Clinton said, "When the junta took over in 1967 here, the United States allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its interests -- I should say its obligation -- to support democracy, which was, after all, the cause for which we fought the Cold War."



In 1947 the United States funneled funds to the French Socialist Party, the chief rival of the Communist Party. Experts from the American Federation of Labor were sent to France to subvert the Communist Party's union dominance and to break the party's strikes. The United States provided funds and weapons to Corsican gangs to burn down Communist Party buildings and to attack and even murder members of the party. Washington used the threat of cutting off food aid to France as a means to put pressure on the Communist Party.



Desmond Fitzgerald and Frank Wisner ran CIA operations in the Far East in the 1950s. He handled covert operations in China and Korea as well as covert actions against communist insurgents in Thailand and the Philippines. The CIA purchased Civil Air Transport (CAT) for $950,000 and based it in Taiwan which soon became the agency's center for clandestine operations in Asia for the following 20 years.


During the 1950s 300 operators were assigned to Taiwan to provide guerrilla training radio broadcasts, air drops, balloon surveillance, and propaganda. In 1951 the OPC sent up air balloons which carried 300 million leaflets which weighed a total of 400 tons. The balloons were released in West Germany and carried pro-Western messages into Eastern bloc countries.


The CIA's front company in Taipei was named Western Enterprises. Over 8,500 guerrillas were trained, and they carried out 18 raids and conducted acts of sabotage in China. CAT planes dropped 75 million anti-communist leaflets.


In the early 1950s, Chinese agents were also trained on Saipan and then parachuted into the Manchurian provinces of Liaoning and Kirin. The goal of "Team Wen" was to infiltrate among the Manchurians and to attempt to encourage them to revolt. A CIA plane attempted to retrieve the first group of Team Wen insurgents, but the aircraft was shot down as it approached the pick-up area. The pilots were killed, and the infiltrators were captured. Of the 212 agents who parachuted into China between 1951 and 1953, none returned. One hundred and one were killed and 111 were captured.


Two years after Mao's revolution, President Truman tried to persuade the Dalai Lama to leave Tibetfor exile, hoping that he could serve the anti-Chinese cause more effectively outisde his native country. The CIA offered to provide him financial support as part of the deal. However, the Dalai Lama decided instead to stay in Tibet in his attempt to work for sovereignty.


While CIA-trained rebels were operating in China, the agency began focusing its attention upon Tibet in 1956. The CIA actively backed the Tibetan cause with arms, military training, money, and air support. In February 1956 the CIA coordinated several attacks in various parts of eastern Tibet. At the same time, The American Society for a Free Asia, funded by the CIA, attempted to gain American support by lobbying against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. In October 1957 the first of numerous two-man teams of CIA-trained Tibetans left from Pakistan and parachuted from unmarked B-17s into the mountains of Tibet. After China annexed the Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo, an uprising failed in 1959, and the Dalai Lama escaped to India when he disguised himself as a bodyguard.


The CIA used Taiwan as a training base for recruits. Then they were sent through India and along the mountainous trails into Tibet. CIA made air drops to provide the rebels with supplies. Although these were covert operations by the CIA, it put the United States squarely in confrontation with Mao's China. The Chinese responded by sending bombers to strike rebel positions, and the People's Liberation Army was dispatched to defend the roads into the mountains of Tibet.


The CIA also used training facilities for Tibetans in Colorado to return to the mountains of their homeland. They were trained in intelligence operations which included photography and sabotage. Approximately 300 Tibetans were trained in Colorado and then flown to Tibet where they parachuted into the country-side.


By 1957 it was estimated that 80,000 Tibetans were fighting with the main partisan group and that another 10,000 people opposed Chinese occupation. Between 1958 and 1961, the CIA dropped 400 tons of supplies to these resistance groups. Their survival rate was extremely low, and the only living member of the first mission, Bapa Legshay, has described the operation as "like throwing meat into the mouth of a tiger. ...We had made up our minds to die. We had been given cyanide capsules so that we wouldn't be caught alive by the Chinese."


In March 1959, the Dalai Lama escaped from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, after an unsuccessful revolt against China. In Orphans of the Cold War, author and former CIA operative John Kenneth Knaus Knaus said: "The Tibetans came up with figures (in 1951) for how much money was needed to sustain him and a government (in exile.) In 1959 his flight into exile wasn't voluntary, but we (the CIA) lived up to that commitment." Knaus maintained that the CIA's subsidies to the Dalai Lama lasted until 1974. The Dalai Lama was disguised as one of his own bodyguards. Accompanied by his senior officials, he rode on horseback towards the border with India.


The CIA's clandestine role in Tibet took a turn in 1960 after Francis Gary Powers' U-2 plane was shot out of the skies over the Soviet Union. The Eisenhower administration issued an order terminating CIA drops to the Tibetan resistance fighters. Over 2,000 guerrillas were stranded in the mountains with nothing to eat.


When the Kennedy administration moved into he White House, the CIA moved its Tibetan intelligence operations to Mustang, a remote region of Nepal. From there the agency ran sabotage teams to hit Chinese military units in Tibet. The CIA-trained fighters became regimented like an army, and their raids into Tibet were stepped up. The most successful raid, on the Xinjiang-Lhasa highway in 1961, resulted in the capture of a significant haul of documents.


In 1993 then-CIA Director R. James Woolsey told Congress that the files on the agency's activities in Tibet and several other of its covert operations of the Cold War would be opened. But the CIA reneged on this promise, claiming it did not have enough resources. In Fall 1998 the Los Angeles Times reported that recently declassified documents showed that the CIA provided an annual subsidy of $180,000 to the Dalai Lama from the late 1950s through the 1960s. Additionally, the agency shelled out about $1.7 million aper year to subsidize the resistance fighters.


But the efforts of the CIA ended in failure, as China maintained its grip on Tibet. By the end of the 1960s, the CIA ended the effort, abandoning the Tibetans. Desmond Fitzgerald, a senior CIA official, told a Tibetan aide, "Please arrange in your next reincarnation to be the prime minister of a country where we can do more to help you." Then CIA support began to diminish in the 1970s. In July 1974 the Dalai Lama persuaded resistance leaders to surrender their weapons to Nepal authorities. That brought an end to the agency's Mustang operations.


Until recently, it was assumed that the CIA pulled out of its operations in Tibet as a result of President Nixon's rapprochement with China. Some believe that Nixon cut t a deal with the Chinese on Tibetan issue. But Knaus said that he found no evidence of such a deal. Knaus wrote that by 1969, "the decision had already been made to abandon Mustang (the headquarters in Nepal for the Tibetan guerrillas) for operational and not geopolitical reasons." Knaus claimed that CIA officials decided that the Tibetan guerrillas were too fragile to continue to wage its secessionist movement, and consequently the CIA terminated its operations in Tibet.


Nevertheless, the CIA misled the Tibetans into thinking they had American support for the establishment of an independent Tibet. Knaus wrote: "The Americans who negotiated (with the Dalai Lama's brother) in 1956 probably did make promises to back Tibetan independence -- promises that were never honored. The negotiators were for the most part operations officers who may well have been swept up in the optimism of their own plans, not legal experts schooled in the differences among independence, autonomy and self-determination." Knaus continued by writing that the CIA was motivated only by idealism.



The leftist Hukbalahap (Huks) liberation army controlled most of the principal island of Luzon and threatened the capital city of Manila. Most rural Filipinos supported them over the corrupt oligarchy that ruled in Manila. In 1950 the CIA sent Colonel Edward Lansdale to serve as the station chief in Manila. He had been an army intelligence officer in the Philippines during World War II, and his expertise lay in his knowledge of Filipino society and culture. Lansdale embraced Ramon Magasaysay, a congressman and outspoken critic of the corrupt government and a former general who had a broad political base. Supported by many segments of society, Magasaysay was elected president.



The Soviet Union has been the greatest mystery to the CIA. The most elementary facts -- factories, roads, bridges, military installations, and airfields -- were unknown to the agency. After World War II, CIA officials relied on Americans, traveling through the Soviet Union, for the location of missile sites. None was ever reported. The CIA tried to piece together captured German aerial photographs from World War II, but construction of new military installations was out of date. Then the CIA established electronic listening posts in Turkey and Iran.


In the late 1940s, the CIA turned to a more aggressive program. The agency sent reconnaissance balloons equipped with cameras over Soviet as well as Chinese air space. They hoped that the balloons would drift into the interior of the countries and capture photographs of military installations and factories. As a decoy, the CIA attempted to disguise them as weather balloons, equipping them with signs in Russian, explaining that they were conducting meteorological research and requesting that the be returned to the United States. The CIA estimated the length of time the balloons would cross Asia. A timer was rigged and when that time period elapsed, a parachute floated the film back to earth. If the CIA failed to retrieve the film, a transmitter continued to signal the location of the film for 25 hours.


The Soviet Union shot down one of the balloons. Others failed to leave Soviet air space, and several balloons landed in Poland. Curtis Peeples wrote in Guardians: Strategic Reconnaissance Satellitesthat a total of 40 balloons returned with 13,813 photographs of the Soviet Union and China. Finally, the Soviet Union displayed several of the balloons at a press conference, and the CIA terminated the program.


In 1953 the CIA tunneled under East Berlin and tapped into Soviet telephone lines in East Germany. The tunnel was 600 yards long, six feet high, and 15 feet underground. The CIA tapped into the Soviet high command in East Berlin to the General Staff and foreign office in Moscow. The agency also listened in to the major communist units in East Germany, Soviet diplomatic installations, and Soviet intelligence headquarters in East Berlin.


The CIA began broadcasting propaganda into the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries in 1948. The American government said that the stations were privately owned, but for the most part, the CIA covertly directed and financed most of them. The agency established high voltage transmitters, so broadcasts could be directed into the Soviet Union around the clock. Radio Liberty and Radio Free Russia were directed into the Soviet Union, while Radio Free Europe and Voice of America aimed their transmitters into Eastern European countries. In 1967 it was disclosed that the CIA was clandestinely funding the programs, so five years later the agency terminated its role and turned over funding to open government financing.


The CIA's most efficient espionage tool was aircraft. Espionage planes which were stationed around the perimeter of the Soviet Union in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, and Norway. From air bases in those countries, clandestine air flights were conducted along the Soviet border to photograph military sites. On some occasions the missions were conducted intentionally to determine how quickly Soviet fighters would scramble and escort the American planes out of their air space as well as to photograph interior military sites. And at times, American planes would unintentionally drift into Soviet air space. Occasionally, the game of "chicken" resulted in anti-aircraft fire being directed at the American planes.


Two American spy planes were shot down in 1950 and 1951 with their crews of ten members perishing. Within the next 20 years, over 1,000 missions were flown by American planes into Soviet air space, resulting in anti-aircraft fire aimed at the warplanes in dozens of cases. North Korean planes shot down an American espionage aircraft over the Sea of Japan in 1969, and all 31 crew members were killed. Each time the Soviets could do no more than to register complaints with the United States and the United Nations. None of these incidents was disclosed by the American government.


In the mid-1950s, President Eisenhower suggested that the Soviets accept an "open skies" proposal whereby each country would be permitted unrestricted aerial photo reconnaissance flights. Since the Soviet Union had not as yet designed a high altitude plane for espionage, the proposal was rejected by Nikita Khrushchev.


Between 1956 and 1960, 20 to 30 flights were carried out before Francis Gary Powers was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in May 1960. Eisenhower quickly responded by saying that the U-2 was a weather plane, but he then was forced to admit that it was an espionage mission. The U-2 incident torpedoed the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit in Paris two weeks later. All hopes at that time for detente vanished, as the United States and the Soviet Union slipped into a chillier cold war. Author L. Fletcher Prouty pointed out in The Secret Team that the CIA intentionally sabotages Powers' U-2 plane, so that American-Soviet relations would remain hostile. The United States continued to deny that it carried out espionage in the Soviet Union and usually responded to Soviet protests by claiming that American planes were always in international air space.


A year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin stated that nine American planes had been shot down in the early 1950s and that 12 Americans had been captured. However, their fate was never reported. On several occasions, American planes crash-landed in the Soviet Union. Former Soviet Army General Dmitri Volkogonov reported to an American congressional committee in 1993 that 730 American crew members had been captured after their planes crashed in Soviet territory.


Despite the termination of U-2 flights over the Soviet Union after the downing of Power's plane, the United States still continued reconnaissance missions. Since 1958 the Air Force and CIA worked jointly in developing spy satellites. Just three months after Powers' plane had been shot down, Discoverer 13 was launched into orbit and its capsule plunged into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii with high resolutions photographs which included the surface of the Soviet Union. Space intelligence had not revolutionized the intelligence business.



Beginning in 1946, the United forced residents of some of the islands, notably Bikini Atoll, were forced to relocate to other uninhabited islands. In 1968 the Johnson administration informed them that their island had been cleaned and was safe to inhabit. After many residents returned, they learned at a later time that they had been subjected to massive doses of radiation and would have to leave again. Finally in 1983, the Interior Department declared that the islanders could return to their homes immediately, provided that they did not consume any home-grown food until the twenty-first century. They never returned.



LEADING UP TO THE 1953 COUP. Since the discovery of oil in the Middle East in the early twentieth century, the British monopolized Iran's oil economy. The British owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (ALOC) was the country's only oil source. The Pahlavi family, headed by the Shah, swept into power in the 1920s and was more than happy to cooperate with the West.


London occupied Iran's oil fields during World War II and prevented them from falling into the hands of Nazi Germany. In the early 1940s the British ousted the Shah's father, a Nazi sympathizer, whom they feared would ally Iran with Germany. London placed his son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, on the "peacock" throne. Approximately the same time, Mohammed Mossadegh became a popular member of Parliament with large support for his nationalistic position on Iranian oil. Yet the British retained control over Iranian oil after World War II by forming the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.


In 1951 Iran's Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry. The next month Mossadegh was elected prime minister by Parliament, and the role of the Shah was reduced. Parliament voted almost unanimously to nationalize (AIOC). Meanwhile, the new prime minister offered the British company 25 percent of its net profits as compensation, as well as guaranteeing continued British jobs in Iran. When the British refused the offer, they erected an economic blockade of Iran, freezing all Iranian assets in the British empire. Subsequently, Iran's economy began to plummet. The British also attempted to intimidate Iran by sending a fleet of warships into the Indian Ocean.


Fearful of the new law to nationalize oil, London began to press the United States to mount a joint operation to remove Mossadegh. With the nationalization of oil as well as having 1,000 miles of a disputed border with the Soviet Union, the CIA was more than eager to help.


CIA DOCUMENTS DETAIL THE COUP. In the 1980s and 1990s CIA directors Robert Gates and James Woolsey promised to declassify records of the agency's early covert actions that included the 1953 coup. But then the agency said in 1997 that relevant documents had been destroyed in the early 1960s. Three years later -- on April 14, 2000 -- the CIA changed its story. An agency spokesman said that the about 1,000 pages of documents related to the coup were kept and that papers destroyed in the early 1960s were duplicates and working files.


Since 1992 CIA directors Robert Gates and James Woolsey pledged to declassify some of the agency's documents, one of which detailed the 1953 coup which overthrew Mossadegh. The CIA's records were believed to have the potential to add depth and clarity to the intelligence operations. In addition, Gates vowed to release the files on the CIA's role in overthrowing the democracy in Guatemala in 1953 and its aborted invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. In June 1997 it was revealed that nearly all the documents had been "conveniently" destroyed in the early 1960s. Former Director Woolsey stated: "I had every reason to believe in 1993 that the full historical record, anything important to the historical understanding, was there and available. I had no notion that anything important had been destroyed." Presumably, Woolsey was delighted that the records of the Mossadegh coup had been destroyed.


Also, in June 1997 a former CIA historian, Nick Cullather, said that the files had been eradicated by "a culture of destruction" at the agency. In addition, Cullather stated that records on other major cold war covert operations had been deliberately destroyed. In addition to the CIA-sponsored Iranian coup, the former agency's historian claimed that secret missions in Indonesia in the 1950s and a CIA coup in Guyana in the early 1960s had been wiped out. Cullather stated that only "a small body" of Iran records, which were not critical of the CIA's role, could be located. Cullather continued by stating that "there's no grand conspiracy in the CIA to destroy documents."


Brian Latell, the CIA official who runs the Center for the Study of Intelligence at the agency, also maintained in June 1997 that most of the covert records on Iran were destroyed or lost in the 1960s. Latell stated that CIA officials told those who were responsible for the Iran records "that their safes were too full and they needed to clean them out." Latell continued, "This was the culture in the early 1960s. No such culture exists any longer and hasn't existed for some time."


In April 2000 more information detailing the 1953 coup was released by James Reisen in the New York Times (April 16, 2000). The classified document obtained by the New York Times in April 2000 showed the first detailed account of a coup that was nearly botched by the CIA. The secret history was written in 1954 and was provided to the New York Times by Dr. Donald N. Wilber, a former CIA official who was one of the leading planners. Wilber's memoirs were heavily censored by the CIA.


THE COUP. Plans for the coup to overthrow democratically- elected Prime Minister Mossadegh originated with the British in 1952. The ISS, the British secret police, initially planned the coup operation that was code-named TP-Ajax. The United States immediately rushed to Britain's side, showing an interest in maintaining the West's control over Iranian oil. In May 1953 the CIA sent Wilber to Cyprus to meet Norman Darbyshire, chief of the Iran branch of British intelligence, to make initial coup plans. However, the CIA ran into several roadblocks. First, Darbyshire said that Iranian oil should be a secondary issue. The CIA document said that the CIA delegation did not trust the British, claiming that they lied about the importance of Iranian oil. Second, the CIA station in Teheran reported that "the Shah would not act decisively against Mossadegh." Third, the CIA and ISS handpicked General Fazollah Zehedi to lead the coup, but then the agency was told that he "appeared lacking in drive, energy and concrete plans."


Despite the hurdles faced by the CIA, the agency still moved ahead with covert plans for the operation despite not yet getting a green light from President Eisenhower. In early June CIA and ISS officials met again, this time in Beirut, and fine-tuned their plans to orchestrate the coup. Then the CIA picked Kermit Roosevelt of the CIA's Near East and Africa division, and a grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, to direct it.


In March 1953 the CIA's Teheran station reported that an Iranian general had approached the American Embassy about supporting an army-led coup. Additionally, it was reported that support for Mossadegh was crumbling and that the influence of the Iranian Communist Party, the Tudeh, was increasing. The Tudeh Party called for democratic elections and urged Mossadegh to form a coalition government which would assure a position for the Shah. They disseminated propaganda throughout the capital city and urged Iranians to call for the return of the Shah and "democracy." With the help of the CIA, the Tudeh Party gained support of the top echelon of the Iranian Amy.


As a result, the CIA stepped up its timetable to overthrow the prime minister. CIA Director Allen Dulles approved $1 million on April 4. The CIA document released in April 2000 said that those funds could be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadegh." It continued: "The aim was to bring to power a government which would reach an equitable oil settlement, enabling Iran to become economically sound and financially solvent, and which would vigorously prosecute the dangerously strong Communist Party. The document also read: "A Shah-General Zahedi combination, supported by CIA local assets and financial backing, would have a good chance of overthrowing Mossadegh particularly if this combination should be able to get the largest mobs in the streets and if a sizable portion of the Teheran garrison refused to carry out Mossadegh's orders."


Even though the CIA knew from the start that the Shah was reluctant to participate in the coup, the agency still continued to lobby him for his support. However, he refused to sign CIA-written royal decrees to change the government. Then the CIA arranged for the Shah's twin sister, Princess Ashraf Pahlevi, and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the father of the Desert Storm commander, to act as intermediaries to try to convince the Shah to support the coup. The British also tried to persuade the Shah to support the CIA and ISS. In late July Asadollah Rashidian of the ISS asked the Shah to record anti-Mossadegh remarks that later would be broadcast at prearranged times on the BBC's Persian-language program. But the Shah refused to make remarks in support of the covert operation.


On July 11 Eisenhower approved the covert operation. At about the same time, CIA and ISS officers visited Princess Ashraf on the French Riviera and persuaded her to return to Iran and tell her brother to follow the plans for the coup. When the unpopular princess returned to Teheran, Mossadegh supporters went to streets to protest against her. And the Shah was furious that she had come back without his approval and refused at first to see her.


In early August the CIA stepped up pressure against Mossadegh by stirring up anti-communist sentiment within the country's Islamic community. The agency's Teheran station worked directly with royalist military officers to recruit Iranian citizens to demonstrate in the capital city of Teheran. They posed as members of the Communist Party to direct havoc against the Mossadegh government. Protesters harassed religious leaders, and in one instance the CIA staged the bombing of one Muslim cleric's home. The CIA planted "grey propaganda" -- anti-Mossadegh articles and cartoons in newspapers. The CIA gave one leading newspaper owner $45,000 to publish propaganda.


On August 1 the Shah met with Schwarzkopf and again refused to sign the CIA-written decrees authorizing the dismissal of Mossadegh and the appointment of Zahedi. The CIA document said that the Shah was so convinced that the palace was bugged that he "led the general into the grand ballroom, pulled a small table to its exact center" and got onto it to talk, insisting that the general do the same. Relentless pressure was placed on the Shah by Roosevelt and Rashidian at subsequent meetings.


When Mossadegh learned of the CIA plot, he moved to consolidate power by calling for a national referendum to dissolve Parliament. On August 4 the prime minister won 99.9 percent of the vote. Because of the prime minister's enormous popularity, the CIA thought that the Shah would immediately sign the decrees to eliminate Mossadegh and to place Zahedi in power. But the Shah still refused to budge. On August 10, the Shah agreed to see Zahedi and a few army officers involved in the plot, but he still refused to sign the decrees. Finally on August 13, he signed the decrees on August 13. Subsequently, word that he would support an army-led coup spread rapidly among the army officers backing Zahedi.


Two days later, the coup was underway. But Mossadegh got word hours earlier when he was informed by an Army officer. He sent his chief of staff, General Taghi Riahi, to the barracks of the Imperial Guard where he was promptly arrested. Former CIA official Risen explained that the coup was so poorly planned by the CIA that agency officials were set to flee the country. Several Iranian officers recruited by the agency acted on their own and took command of a pro-Shah demonstration in Tehran and seized the government.


Pro-Shah soldiers infiltrated Teheran's streets and began arresting other senior officials. Telephone lines between army and government offices were cut, but they inexplicably continued to function, allowing for Mossadegh to communicate with his senior supporters and to rally some of the Army's commanders to his side. When pro-Shah soldiers went to arrest Mossadegh at his home, they instead were captured. The top military officer working with Zahedi fled when he saw tanks and loyal government soldiers at Army headquarters.


The CIA document said that on the next morning, the Tehran radio announced that a coup against the government had failed. Mossadegh moved to strengthen his hold on the Army and key installations. The document stated that CIA officials in Teheran "were flying blind" and that they had "no way of knowing what was happening." Roosevelt left the embassy to meet with Zahedi who was in hiding north of Tehran. They both agreed that the coup had not yet failed and that the public could be persuaded that Zahedi was the "lawful" prime minister. To accomplish this, they would have to get out the news that the Shah had signed the two decrees.


The CIA station in Tehran sent a message to The Associated Press in New York, asserting that "unofficial reports are current to the effect that leaders of the plot are armed with two decrees of the shah, one dismissing Mossadegh and the other appointing General Zahedi to replace him." The CIA and its agents also arranged for the decrees to be mentioned in some Tehran papers. However, several CIA officials already had been arrested or were in hiding in Teheran. That afternoon, agency operatives prepared a statement from Zahedi that they hoped to distribute publicly. But they could not find a printing press that was not being watched by forces loyal to Mossadegh.


On August 16 the CIA suffered another blow when it was learned that the Shah had fled to Baghdad amid fears in the new Eisenhower administration that Iran might move too close to Moscow. Believing that the coup had failed, CIA headquarters cabled Teheran urging Roosevelt to leave immediately. However, Roosevelt refused to follow orders, insisting that there was still "a slight remaining chance of success," if the shah would broadcast an address on the Baghdad radio and if Zahedi took an aggressive stand.


Then the CIA began hearing reports that Iranian soldiers had broken up Tudeh. Additionally, Mossadegh made a fatal error by dissolving Parliament after the coup. On the morning of August 17, the Shah finally announced from Baghdad that he had signed the decrees. Nevertheless, Mossadegh recalled most of his troops who he had stationed around the city, believing that the danger had passed.


That night the CIA arranged for Zahedi and other key Iranian agents and army officers to be smuggled into the embassy compound. They agreed to start a counterattack on August 19, sending a leading cleric from Tehran to the holy city of Qum to call for a holy war against communism. Using travel papers forged by the CIA, key army officers went to outlying army posts to persuade commanders to join the coup.


However, the Shah let down the CIA again when he left Baghdad for Rome. Newspapers supporting Mossadegh reported that the Shah's dynasty had come to an end. The Teheran CIA station cabled Washington for advice as to whether operations against Mossadegh should continue.


At the same time, Teheran newspapers hit the streets with a story of the Shah's decrees. Events were moving too fast for the CIA. An Iranian Army colonel who had been involved in the plot several days earlier suddenly appeared outside Parliament with a tank, while members of the disbanded Imperial Guard seized trucks and drove through the streets. Over 100,000 prople took to the streets in Teheran. The CIA document said, "By 10:15 there were pro-shah truckloads of military personnel at all the main squares." By noon the crowds began to follow a few pro-Shah officers involved in the plot. Within an hour the central telegraph office fell, and telegrams were sent to the provinces urging a pro-Shah uprising. After a brief shootout, police headquarters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs fell as well. Army officers seized the Tehran radio station, and news of the coup's success and the reading of the Shah's decrees were announced.


Zahedi emerged from hiding and an Army officer drove him to the radio station where he spoke to the nation. Mossadegh and other government officials were arrested, and supporters of the coup were placed in command of all units of the Army. Mossadegh was initially imprisoned and then sentenced to three years in prison. He ended up under house arrest at his estate at his estate in the walled village of Ahmadabad west of Teheran. Eventually, he bought the village and grew crops, founded an elementary school, and began a public health project. In March 1967, in his mid-80s and weakened by radium treatments for throat cancer, he died.


In 1958, Roosevelt left the CIA and went to work for Gulf Oil. Roosevelt was able to negotiate for Gulf Oil having access to Iran's oil fields. In 1960 he was named vice-president of Gulf Oil. As a reward for American participation in Iran, Britain gave the United States 60 percent of its holdings in Iran. They were parceled out to Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, Texas Oil, and Socony-Mobil. In addition eight smaller American corporations were given drilling rights in Iran.


Over a period of 25 years, the United States portrayed the Shah as a democratic and humanitarian ally and not as an autocratic and oppressive dictator. The United States sold him billions of dollars of the most sophisticated military weapons and in return purchased billions of dollars of his oil. He was portrayed as a modernizer of a nation and not as an autocratic leader and a plunderer. Until his overthrow in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran had remained one of America's "twin pillars" -- along with Saudi Arabia -- in the Middle East.





Beginning in the mid-1950s, Syria began gravitating to the left after having a series of conservative regimes. The Damascus government was the only Middle Eastern regime which turned down American economic and military aid. By accepting assistance, a country generally agreed to receive American military advisers. According to the American Mutual Security Act, a foreign nation receiving aid was encouraged "to foster private initiative and competition (laissez faire)," something which Syria rejected. According to James Moose, Jr., the American ambassador in Damascus, a pro- communist or leftist-leaning government would also threaten American allies in the area.


Thus, the Syrian regime posed a threat to the United States. National Security Council member Wilbur Eveland was assigned to clandestine operations in the Middle East. Another CIA operative in the region was Archibald Roosevelt, cousin of Kermit Roosevelt who had orchestrated the coup against Mossadegh in Teheran only a few years before. Eveland and Roosevelt met with the Syrian Conservative Party leader and former foreign minister Michail Ilyan in July 1956. They planned to purge pro-communist and leftist sympathizers and to restore a conservative regime to Syria. Ilyan agreed to accept American aid to help topple the opposition leaders.


Three weeks later, the Egyptian nationalist President Gamal Nasser announced that Cairo was nationalizing the Suez Canal. The Eisenhower administration responded by freezing Egyptian assets in the United States, and Britain and France reacted angrily as well. Because of Egypt's close alliance to Syria, the CIA moved up the timetable to October 25 orchestrate a coup in Damascus. The CIA along with Llyan plotted with senior Syrian army officers to seize Damascus and other major cities and that Colonel Kabbani would be placed in power. The CIA kicked in $167,000 for the operation to implement the operation. Once the military regime was established, the CIA promised that the United States immediately would recognize the new government. The next day, the White House approved the coup. But the operation was postponed five days to October 30. Just prior to the military operation in Syrian, the Israeli army attacked Egypt and was moving to seize the Suez Canal. The coup was canceled.


Tensions between the United States and the Syrian government spilled over to 1957. In January, CIA Director Dulles wrote that the Syrian cabinet had "an increasing trend toward a decidedly leftist, pro- Soviet government." In mid-1957 the Defense Department recommended a coup against Syria's leftist leaders.


While plans to overthrow the Syrian government were transpiring, next door in Jordan King Hussein fired Prime Minister Suleiman Nabulsi after it was discovered that a coup against the king was planned by Egypt, Syria, and Palestinians in Jordan. While Hussein was overtly pro-Western, Nablusi followed a neutral course, opposing foreign aid from both the United States or the Soviet Union.


Following the dismissal of Nabulsi, riots broke out in several Jordanian cities, and Hussein blamed pro-communist leaders with orchestrating the violence. On the other side of the globe, Eisenhower sent a fleet of warships -- 18 ships including an aircraft carrier -- into the eastern Mediterranean. The CIA followed by providing secret payments in the millions of dollars each year to Hussein. The king reciprocated by providing the CIA with intelligence reports of the region. After 20 years, the CIA terminated its payments to Hussein.


Soviet aid to Damascus increased in the late 1950s. Moscow provided Syria with both economic aid and military hardware. The Eisenhower administration responded by referring to Syria as a Soviet satellite and a brutal left wing regime. Eisenhower once again dispatched American warships to the region and sent military equipment to Jordan Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. The Soviets claimed that the United States also amassed approximately 50,000 soldiers in Turkey alongside the Syrian border. At the same time, the Soviet Union continued to send more military hardware to Syria as well as to Yemen and Egypt.


The CIA also focused its attention on Egypt, plotting to overthrow Nasser. In January 1957 CIA Director Dulles and Kermit Roosevelt met the heads of state of Saudi Arabia and Iraq and promised them financial support if they would overthrow the Egyptian president. The CIA officials promised Saudi King Saud that the United States would work to weaken Syrian influence in the Middle East. Ghosn Zogby, CIA station chief in Beirut, frequently met with security officials from Britain, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. At one meeting, a British official acknowledged that assassination teams were being trained to murder Nasser. In addition Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had directed CIA officials in the Middle East to assassinate the Egyptian president. In 1957 and 1958 the Egyptian and Syrian governments announced that they had uncovered two assassination plots by the United States, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.


While these crises continued in the Middle East, the Eisenhower administration and media pointed to the Soviet Union as the cause of tension in the Middle East and particularly in Syria and Egypt. The White House accused Moscow of plotting to dominate the region. The administration maintained that the sole reason for American presence in the area was to repel Soviet hegemony.


Despite these accusations, the Soviet Union called for peace talks with the United States, France, and Britain on at least three occasions between February and September 1957. Moscow also renounced the use of military action in the Middle East.


In January 1958, Syrian and Egypt announced the formation of the United Arab League. Two weeks later, Iraq and Jordan formed the Arab Union. But less than a year later, the Arab League fell apart after a coup overthrew the Iraqi king.


Lebanon continued to be America's closest ally in the Middle East. In the 1952 election, the CIA funded conservative candidates, and in 1957 conservative President Camille Chamoun received CIA money to help support candidates running for the Chamber of Deputies. The CIA also assisted in planning the campaigns of conservative politicians. With conservative members of the chamber backing their president, Chamoun was able to amend the constitution so that in 1958 he could seek another six year term.


In the spring of 1958 Lebanon was on the verge of civil war. Lebanese nationalists increasingly opposed Chamoun's pro-American stance as well as his tyrannical regime. While Chamoun was a Christian, the majority of Lebanese were followers of Islam. Demonstrators took to the streets, clashed with police, and vandalized shops in major cities throughout the country.


In July American troops were dispatched to Lebanon to restore order. Hundreds of aircraft and ships participated in the operation. In the first few days, nearly 11,000 Americans occupied Lebanon. Two weeks later, there were another 4,000 American troops, larger than the size of the Lebanese military. In neighboring countries, CIA transmitters broadcasted propaganda messages into Lebanon.


By the end of July, General Chehab was elected by the Chamber of Deputies and replaced Chamoun as president. Peace was restored by the new pro-American repressive regime, and American troops withdrew three months later.





Since the Spanish left Central America in the 1820s, Guatemala remained under autocratic rule. Then in 1951, social democrat Jacobo Arbenz became Guatemala's first popularly elected president. Initially he was given support by both communists and urban non-communists. Arbenz had voted in the United Nations more along United States than along Soviet lines. Arbenz's centerpiece was land reform. 2.2 percent of landowners owned 70 percent of arable land, while the income of the peasants averaged $87 per year. Arbenz planned the distribution of land to 100,000 landless peasants and to make improvements in union rights as well as making social reforms. The 1953-1954 legislature in which Arbenz had a majority consisted of the communists having only four of 51 seats.


By 1945, the Boston-based corporation owned 566,000 acres of land and employed 15,000 people in Guatemala. The largest portion of land was acquired in 1935 under the dictatorship of Jorge Ubico. Its subsidiary was International Railways of Central America which employed 5,000 workers and owned 690 of the country's 719 miles of track. This made International Railways of Central America the second largest employer in Guatemala.


ARBENZ IS DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED. In 1953, Guatemalan voters went to the polls and for the first time legitimately elected a democrat, Jacobo Arbenz. He began plans to initiate social and economic reforms among the country's peasants. One of Arbenz's first steps was to purchase the United Fruit Company and to parcel out small plots of land to the peasants. In February 1953, Arbenz expropriated 40 percent of property owned by United Fruit.


The Eisenhower administration was accustomed to working with right wing Latin American dictators and their oppressive militaries. Arbenz's social reform were totally foreign to them, and they did not know how to deal with this reformist populism which was popularly received in Guatemala. Eisenhower had no proof that Guatemala was a communist country. In 1954, Secretary of State Dulles told the Brazilian ambassador "that it will be impossible to produce evidence clearly tying the Guatemalan government to Moscow." Dulles claimed that Guatemalans were living under a "communism type of terrorism," and President Eisenhower portrayed the new government in Guatemala as a "communist dictatorship." The United States ambassador to Guatemala stated that "we cannot permit a Soviet Republic to be established between Texas and the Panama Canal." Senator Margaret Chase Smith maintained that the "unjustified increases in the price of coffee" were a result of communist control of the country. Arbenz's social reforms were no more extreme or "communist" than those proposed a decade later by John Kennedy when he launched the Alliance for Progress in Latin America.


THE CIA INTERVENES. The United Fruit Company had close ties to the CIA. Walter Bedell, former CIA Director and Under Secretary of State, had been an executive of United Fruit, and later he was named to its board of directors. The United Fruit Company used its Washington connections to influence the Eisenhower administration to initiate clandestine operations against the new and fragile democracy. The president of United Fruit, Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray, hired Washington lobbyist Thomas Corcoran to meet with key Eisenhower assistants and to encourage them to orchestrate a coup. A former United Fruit president, Thomas Dudley, was the brother of Eisenhower's first Assistant Secretary of State for Central America. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had been an executive partner with the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell which also represented United Fruit. Also, CIA Director Allen Dulles had been an attorney with Sullivan and Cromwell and had done litigation for United Fruit in Guatemala in the 1930s. Ann Whitman, Eisenhower's personal secretary, married Ed Whitman who was the principal lobbyist for United Fruit. Assistant Secretary of State John Cabot owned stock in United Fruit, and his brother had been the president of the banana giant.


Bribes were given by the CIA to top military officers, and appeals were made to young men to join the army. The first action taken against Arbenz was by several high military officers. They asked Arbenz to remove all communists from his administration. When he stated that they were no threat, he was asked to step down, but he declined the offer. Then the CIA deposited a large sum of money in a Swiss bank account to attempt to lure him into resigning.


In March 1953, United Fruit donated $64,000 to the CIA which soon began plans for a coup to attempt to topple Arbenz. CIA Director Dulles meticulously oversaw Operation Success, which began as a clandestine to topple the democracy and to assassinate Arbenz. United Fruit executives first went to Miguel Fuentes who had been defeated by Arbenz in the previous elections. But Fuentes did not want to be a part of a coup. Then CIA Director Dulles met with Fuentes, and again he assured the agency that he was not interested. In December 1953, the CIA turned to Colonel Castillo Armas who had fled to Honduras. Armas agreed to issue a decree which stated his intention of overthrowing the Arbenz government.


The CIA was able to enlist about 170 Guatemalan exiles. The agency used propaganda tactics to encourage a revolt within the country. The "Voice of Liberation" broadcasted propaganda, calling Armas "an agent of communism," and encouraging a peasant insurrection. The CIA also printed 200 articles and distributed anti-Armas leaflets throughout the cities. The agency also used planes to drop leaflets, calling for an uprising.


In May 1997, the CIA began to declassify some documents. Some revealed that the CIA had considered assassinating dozens of Guatemalan political leaders as part of its covert action to topple the Arbenz government. Even though it is a small fraction of the total classified CIA documents on Guatemala, 1,400 pages were declassified. The first planning sessions occurred in 1952 when the CIA acknowledged that it considered executing "supposed communists" and "those in high positions of the government" and that their elimination would "bring about its (Guatemala's) collapse." The agency considered assassination "as a substitute for, or in combination with, paramilitary operations." Not only was this discussed a lower levels, but senior agency officials as well as State Department officials were involved. Both CIA and State Department officials acknowledged that 58 political enemies had been targeted.


In June 1997, the CIA declassified 1,400 pages on the Guatemala coup of 1954. Former CIA historian Nick Cullather stated that the agency directly lied to President Dwight Eisenhower when it told him that only one of the agency-backed rebels had died in the Guatemala coup. In fact, at least 43 rebels were killed. The account also concluded that the Guatemalan operation to overthrow the democratically elected Arbenz was marked by poor security, bad planning, and third-rate reporting. The declassified document also described the leaders installed by the CIA as repressive and corrupt. The CIA admitted that the coup destroyed the political center in Guatemala, which "vanished from politics into a terrorized silence," and led to a series of brutal military governments and a "cycle of violence and reprisals" that "claimed the lives of a United States ambassador, two American military attaches, and as many as 10,000 peasants" in the 1960s.


In May 1954, Arbenz turned to Czechoslovakia for military weapons in order to guard against a possible American intervention. Arbenz purchased 2,000 tons of arms which were sent on a Swedish ship Alfhem which evaded several attempts of interception enroute to Guatemala. One CIA official wanted to sink the ship in the Guatemalan port of Puerto Barrios, but that plan was rejected by his superiors. Instead, the CIA approved a plan to dynamite the railroad tracks outside Puerto Barrios, so that the arms shipment would be stalled. But that plan backfired when the rain-soaked detonators failed. CIA operants quickly opened fire on the passing train but failed to stop the shipment of weapons to the Guatemalan military. As it turned out, the weapons were of little use to the Guatemalan military, since they were comprised of cannons which could be used when mounted on railroad cars; anti-tank guns but there were no tanks in the area; and antiquated small arms, most of which were inoperable.


As events moved quickly, the CIA soon feared that the Arbenz government might attempt to procure oil from the British ship Springfyord which was sailing to Costa Rica. An American plane, based in Somoza's Nicaragua, was ordered to sink the Springfyord. All the crew members survived the bombing mission. Then it was ascertained that the Springfyord carried only coffee and cotton. The United States attempted to squelch the incident by compensating the British $1.5 million.


The CIA sent 30 planes to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Panama, and the United States signed security treaties with Honduras and Nicaragua. The CIA also flew planes over Guatemala with Soviet markings. On June 18 CIA planes dropped leaflets which demanded Arbenz's resignation, while CIA radio stations broadcast the same message. The CIA distributed over 100,000 copies of pamphlets entitled "Chronology of Communism in Guatemala," and the agency made three films critical of the Arbenz government. Over 27,000 copies of posters and cartoons critical of Arbenz were distributed in the cities and the countryside. In the spring of 1954 the CIA stepped up covert activities throughout Central America. In Mexico City, The Congress against Soviet Intervention in Latin America was established as a CIA front to attempt to gain American support to overthrow the Arbenz government. In Nicaragua the CIA used Somoza to make a statement that Soviet weapons were being secretly imported and that Nicaragua was on the verge of falling to communism.


The White House gave the CIA the approval to wage an open war against Guatemala. While American planes bombed ports, military sites, airports, schools, and villages, the United States Navy deployed two submarines to the region. The CIA broadcasted disinformation at the American embassy and claimed that rebels had seized villages and that the Arbenz government was in the process of being toppled. However, only a couple of small villages across the Honduran border were captured. As part of the disinformation campaign, the United Fruit Company claimed that the Arbenz government was brutal and repressive and published fabricated pictures of mutilated bodies in mass graves. In addition, the CIA dropped hundreds of dummy parachutes in order to convince Guatemalans that a major American invasion was imminent. The intent was to instill in the Guatemalan people the noticed that the government's military had collapsed and that any resistance movement was futile.


Meanwhile in the United States, the Eisenhower administration disseminated stories that Arbenz had arbitrarily imprisoned thousands of political prisoners. The White House also orchestrated an attempt to block the United Nations Security Council from forming an investigating committee to seek the truth about the Arbenz government. The resolution was defeated by a 5-4 vote. Still unable to destroy Guatemala's fragile democracy, the CIA resorted to dropping several dud bombs in Honduras. Believing that these sorties were flown by Guatemalan planes, Honduras filed complaints with both the United Nations and the Organization of American States.


The coup was close to being a success when senior Guatemalan army officers issued an ultimatum to Arbenz. He had to choose between resigning and the military collaborating with the CIA. One army officer was paid $60,000 by the CIA to surrender his command. At the same time the CIA was broadcasting that the invaders were on the verge of marching into Guatemala City. It was true that Colonel Castillo Armas was nearing the capital city; however, he was advancing with only a handful of soldiers. To prevent failure, the CIA bombed a British oil tanker which, the agency believed, had arrived at a Guatemalan port to pump off fuel for Arbenz's military vehicles. Finally, Guatemala's foreign minister attempted to strike a deal with the State Department, while the CIA continued to bomb economic targets as well as civilians. His pleas went unheard, and American planes still proceeded to bomb a military base and destroy the government radio station.


On June 20, 1954, Armas entered Guatemala City in a station wagon along with about 140 soldiers. In a few trucks. There was no uprising. The United States placed Colonel Castillo Armas in power, and he immediately rescinded the land reform, and the land once owned by the United Fruit was returned. The banana workers' unions and peasant organizations, as well as political parties, were immediately banned. Three-fourths of the population, those making up the lower rungs of society, were prohibited from voting.


THE UNITED STATES INSTALLS ARMAS AS "PRESIDENT." After Armas was installed as "president," American foreign aid mushroomed from $463,000 to $10,708,000 in only 12 months. Armas was invited to the United States where he received a hero's welcome. He received honorary doctorates from Columbia and Fordham universities. He was invited to visit Eisenhower in a Kansas hospital where he was recovering from a heart attack. Then Armas testified before the Subcommittee on Communist Penetration of the Western Hemisphere of the House Select Committee on Communist Aggression. He warned members of Congress that "we have merely won the first battle of the long war. Our most complicated and more serious difficulties are still ahead." He offered the American multinational corporation $525,000, while United Fruit demanded $16 million for its telephone and banana industry and nearly all railroad lines. Of the United Fruit Company's 550,000 acres, nearly 400,000 acres were nationalized, and then parcels were handed over to Guatemalan peasants. The Armas government offered the multinational 25 year bonds at 3 percent guaranteed interest for the exact book value of the assets claimed by the United Fruit Company to the Guatemalan government for tax purposes. United Fruit rejected the offer.


THE GUATEMALAN CIVIL WAR. The CIA actively trained Guatemalan military leaders and provided intelligence reports and funds for the military dictatorships since the civil war erupted in the late 1950s. Numerous human rights organizations have charged the Guatemalan government with murder, torture, and kidnappings throughout the country's civil war. For example, the Recuperation of the Historical Memory Project (REMHI) itself, based on the study of more than 55,000 human rights violations suffered in Guatemala over the 36 year period of civil strife in that country, identified the security forces as responsible for some 79 percent of the abuses investigated.


CIA documents released in 1997 revealed that a CIA officer was in the room where Guatemalan intelligence officers -- responsible for death squad killings -- planned their covert operations in 1965. The reports showed that CIA and other American officials played a key role in the late 1960s in centralizing command structures and communications of agencies that would be involved in death squad killings for years. They contained CIA reports also mentioned the secret executions of Communist Party leaders by Guatemalan government agencies in 1966 that Guatemalan officials publicly denied.


During Carter's administration, military assistance to Guatemala was terminated due to reports of serious human rights violations. Another wave of terrorism against guerrillas began in 1967, as military dictatorships ruled the country. In the early 1980s, the Guatemalan dictatorship stepped up its campaign against leftist guerrillas. Amnesty International charged that the Guatemalan regime carried out a "government campaign of political murder" and that corruption in the upper echelon of the military was wide spread. Amnesty International estimated that 250 to 300 political murders and that numerous kidnappings were occurring each month.


In 1982, Guatemalan troops surrounded the presidential palace and forced the abdication of President Romero Lucas Garcia. A military junta was established under General Efrain Rios Montt who declared that "authentic democracy" was being restored to Guatemala. The next day a military triumvirate suspended the constitution and declared martial law. Declaring that fraud was the reason for the military coup, it was Montt who ruled amidst continuous charges of holding fraudulent elections.


After only one year in office, Reagan reversed American policy and began providing aid to the Guatemalan military government. A year later in 1983, the Reagan administration sent $250,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds to Guatemalans to defend themselves from guerrilla attacks. The military's campaign against suspected leftists intensified throughout the 1980s. In 1985, human rights groups claimed that since 1960, 100,000 Guatemalans had been killed. Estimates were that 1,000 political assassinations per month in 1984 were carried out and that 100,000 orphans and 500,000 displaced people lived within the country. At the same time that these reports were published, the State Department contended that human rights were improving in Guatemala.


In 1987, Jorge Serrano Elias was elected and established what appeared to be a mild form of democracy. However, seven years later, Serrano suspended constitutional rights and dissolved the Guatemalan congress and supreme court. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations continued the American foreign aid continued to flow into Guatemala in the 1980s and 1990s despite human rights groups reporting that human rights violations continued.


According to Piero Gleijeses of Johns Hopkins University, "the Reagan administration wanted to pretend the officers were good people, but it was the Kennedy and Johnson administrations that gave them muscle to create a murderous machine. That's when the Frankenstein was created." In 1990, President Bush cut off American aid to Guatemala following the unexplained 1990 murder of an American innkeeper near an army base. Nevertheless, the CIA continued to pump money to the Guatemalan military behind the back of the State Department. Two senior CIA officers lost their jobs after Congressional intelligence committees found that the CIA station in Guatemala was keeping human rights violations secret from CIA headquarters and Congress. Under the Clinton administration, Anthony Harrington, who led Clinton's Intelligence Oversight Board, stated, "The board asked itself: the Cold War's over -- what are we doing down there?"


Additionally, the declassified materials showed that the CIA station in Guatemala City knew that the Guatemalan army was massacring entire Mayan villages, while Reagan administration officials publicly supported the military regime's human-rights record. Even after the war was won, the documents revealed that Defense Intelligence Agency officials knew that the Guatemalan military was destroying evidence of torture centers and clandestine graveyards in 1994. Nevertheless, the Clinton administration never publicly revealed these events.


Guatemalan Defense Minister Hecto Gramajo Morales was served a court summons in 1991 as he graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where he had studied on a scholarship provided by the American government. The judge stated that "the evidence suggests that Gramajo devised and directed the implementation of an indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians." According to author William Blum (Rogue State), an American court ordered Gramajo to pay $47.5 million in damages in 1995. That included damages to eight Guatemalans and an American citizen for his responsibility in the torture of Sister Dianna Ortiz, an American nun. Additionally, the court mandated that Morales pay for the massacre of family members of thousands of Guatemalans for whose deaths he was responsible. However, Gramajo returned to Guatemala without having paid any of the court judgment.


In April 1998, Bishop Gerardi, coordinator of the Human Rights Office of the Archbishop (ODHA) was murdered. This was only two days after he presided over presentation of ODHA's Historical Memory Project report. In the days immediately following his death, a number of church personnel and human rights defenders, which included several involved in the REMHI project, received death threats. The murder of Bishop Gerardi of Guatemala City heightened fears for the security of human rights defenders. At the Madrid press conference, the Human Rights Office of the Archbishopric (ODHA) charged that there probably was evidence to directly implicate the military in Gerardi's murder. The Guatemalan army denied that military personnel had been involved in the bishop's death, and said that it reserved the right to initiate legal proceedings against anyone making unfounded accusations against military officials.


Archbishop Prispero Penados del Barrio confirmed that all the information, including that about the two probable military officers involved, were made available to the special commission appointed by the government to investigate Gerardi's death. The archbishop also called for the office of the Presidential Chief of Staff to be investigated to see if it was behind the increased monitoring of church officials' telephones and posts which had occurred since the assassination.


In 1995, the CIA's chief of the Latin American Division, Terry Ward, failed to inform Congress about human rights abuses in Guatemala. Five years later he was awarded by the CIA with the agency's the highest honors, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. Ward's award was for "exceptional achievements" during a 30-year covert career despite his dismissal for failing to report on CIA ties to a Guatemalan colonel linked to two murders in the early 1990s. Ward first began his CIA career in Laos in the early 1960s but then shifted to Latin America where he served in Argentina from 1965 to 1968, the Dominican Republic to 1970, Bolivia to 1972, Venezuela from 1973 to 1975, Peru to 1977, and Honduras from 1987 to 1989. He then served as chief of the Latin American Division in the early 1990s and eventually became the station chief in Switzerland in 1995.


The honoring of Ward illustrated the bitter divide between CIA career officials and their critics in Congress and the human rights community over the agency's performance in the Cold War conflicts of Latin America. Paul Redmond was a CIA chief of counterintelligence when Ward covered up CIA abuses in the 1990s. According to the Director Deutch fired Ward for purely political reasons to appease critics and then leaked his name to the media at a time when he was serving under cover overseas. On the other hand, CIA officials claimed that Ward's firing was proof that the agency is neither above the law nor out of control. Milt Bearden, a former CIA station chief in Bonn, said that Ward was a fall guy for the agency.


Jennifer Harbury was an American lawyer who helped magnify the severity of the scandal by waging a hunger strike outside the White House in 1994. She wanted the CIA and other agencies to reveal what they knew about the 1992 death of her husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, a Guatemalan leftist guerrilla. According to the Washington Post (March 10, 2000), Harbury said, "The CIA is living down to its reputation in giving this award. And they weren't acting in good faith (five years ago) when they said they were cleaning up their act. Obviously, they didn't mean what they said."


As a result of the attention that Harbury brought to the case, Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, disclosed in March 1995 that the CIA never shared with Congress allegations that Guatemalan Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, a paid CIA informant, had been involved in the killings of Bamaca and Michael Devine, an American citizen slain in 1990. Torricelli learned of the CIA's reporting failures from Richard Nuccio, a senior State Department official. Deutch later stripped Nuccio of his top secret security clearance. Nuccio claimed that he broke no law or regulation by sharing sensitive intelligence data with a member of Congress.


DOCUMENTS RELEASED. In late 1998, four human rights organizations -- the National Security Archive, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Office on Latin America, and Human Rights Watch -- released previously classified documents about the Guatemalan military against Marxist guerrillas. These documents were the first to reveal that the military systematically killed rebels and their sympathizers. The internal documents, however, are the first to detail the military's role in systematically killing rebels and their alleged sympathizers. Approximately 200,000 people were killed in a country of 12 million.


Guatemalan Army intelligence documents revealed that the military kept detailed records of people which its units had captured or killed in its 36 year long civil war which officially concluded in December 1996. The documents included a military intelligence logbook which recorded individual arrests and contained photographs of 183 people from August 1983 to March 1985. In most cases, the dates they were killed also are noted. Separated into four main parts, the logbooks contained surveillance studies on reportedly subversive organizations; lists of subversive safe houses that had been raided and the contents of each house; and lists of organizations described as "facades for the service of subversion," including the Association of University Students, the Democratic Front Against Repression, and Amnesty International.


The logbook also contained the names of detainees who were numbered one through 183. Next to their names was the location of capture. Then it listed the prisoner's affiliations with suspected subversive groups and any suspicious activities such as travels to Cuba, meetings held in homes; and participation in demonstrations. Then the fate of each detainee was described. A wallet-size picture of each detainee was glued next to the description of each person.


Some of the entrees included:


Prisoner No. 1, Teresa Graciela Samayoa Morales, the book said, "traveled to Cuba."


Prisoner No. 17, Orencio Sosa Calderon "is in charge of taking foreign journalists to film different guerrilla fronts."


Prisoner No. 52, Prudencio de Jesus Carrera Camey, 15, a member of the Guatemalan Workers Party "apparatus responsible for painting cars."


HISTORICAL CLARIFICATION COMMISSION -- 1999 REPORT. The Guatemalan civil war officially ended in 1996. The independent Historical Clarification Commission -- a truth commission established as a part of a United Nations-supervised peace accord that ended the war in 1996 -- published its findings in February 1999. The three-member commission and an international staff of 272 workers made extensive use of recently declassified documents from the State Department.


According to the New York Times (February 26, 1999), the commission concluded that the United States gave money and training to a Guatemalan military that committed "acts of genocide" against the Mayan people during Guatemala's 36 year civil war. The commission's conclusion contradicted the years of official denial about the torture, kidnapping, and execution of thousands of civilians in a war that took 200,000 lives.


The report concluded that American companies and government officials "exercised pressure to maintain the country's archaic and unjust socioeconomic structure" and that the CIA supported illegal counterinsurgency operations here. The commission listed the American training of the officer corps in counterinsurgency techniques as a key factor "which had a significant bearing on human rights violations during the armed confrontation." The commission concluded that the government or allied paramilitary groups were to blame for more than 90 percent of the 42,000 human rights violations, 29,000 of which resulted in deaths or missing persons. That number was higher than that reported in a 1998 study by the Roman Catholic Church which examined human rights abuses.


In addition, the report confirmed that the CIA aided Guatemalan military forces. It revealed that the United States helped train and equip the Guatemalan military in the 1960s and that the CIA maintained close ties to the military in the early 1980s when the army was killing thousands of civilians. the Mayan population paid the highest price, when the military identified them as natural allies of the guerrillas. The report said that the atrocities were "aggressive, racist and extremely cruel nature of violations that resulted in the massive extermination of defenseless Mayan communities."


The commission specifically listed the American training of the officer corps in counter-insurgency techniques at Fort Benning as a key factor "which had a significant bearing on human rights violations during the armed confrontation." The report maintained that massacres, illegal detentions, torture, disappearances, and executions were a direct result of government policy. But it failed to identify individuals responsible for various massacres. The report's estimate of over 200,000 deaths was higher than previous figures, and the number of documented massacres exceeded figures used in previous examinations. As a result of American policy, entire Mayan villages were attacked, burned and inhabitants were slaughtered in an effort to deny the guerrillas protection. The report said that 83 percent of the victims of executions and disappearances were Mayans.


Christian Tomuschat, coordinator of the Historical Clarification Commission, said: "The commission's investigations demonstrate that until the mid-1980s, the United States Government and U.S. private companies exercised pressure to maintain the country's archaic and unjust socio-economic structure. In addition, the United States Government, through its constituent structures, including the Central Intelligence Agency, lent direct and indirect support to some illegal state operations."


The Historical Clarification Commission published "Guatemala, Memory of Silence"in February 1999. It reported: "The massacres that eliminated entire Mayan villages are neither perfidious allegations nor figments of the imagination, but an authentic chapter in Guatemala's history."


Weeks after the commission released its scathing report, President Clinton apologized for the American support of Guatemala's right wing regime. The president said, "For the United States, it is important that I state clearly that support for military forces and intelligence units which engaged in violence and widespread repression was wrong, and the United States must not repeat that mistake." Clinton added that the United States would no longer take part in campaigns of repression."We must and will, instead, continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala."


Clinton also specifically pledged to try to change the rules under which Salvadorans and Guatemalans who entered the United States in the 1980s have to prove that they faced political retribution if they were returned to their home countries. Under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1997, Cubans and Nicaraguans who entered the United States illegally fleeing left-wing governments are granted a presumption of political hardship and given amnesty from deportation.


1999 ELECTIONS. In the summer of 1999, voters in Guatemala rejected a series 47 of constitutional reforms, including proposals to give the nation's majority indigenous people equal rights. The reforms were aimed at improving the country's social, political, and economic problems which lasted during Guatemala's 36-year civil war. It would have officially recognized the legal and cultural rights of Guatemala's indigenous people for the first time since Europeans arrived here in the sixteenth century. While the government has recognized Mayan Indians and other indigenous peoples as citizens, it has not officially recognized their two dozen languages.


Critics said the outcome indicated the widespread distrust of politicians, especially those in Congress. They viewed the reforms as only cosmetic improvements which were hammered out by politicians behind closed doors before they were submitted to the people in the form of a referendum. They contended that the government should have done more to educate the public, particularly indigenous communities about the significance of the proposed reforms. In large cities, the referendum was widely publicized in newspaper articles, pamphlets, billboards, and television commercials. However, virtually nothing was done to encourage the poorer indigenous to go to the polls. Had the reforms passed, the Guatemalan Congress would have been required to consult indigenous groups before passing legislation that might affect them, and Mayans would have been given access to sites they consider sacred. In addition education, health care and judicial services would have been made available in indigenous languages.


The proposals also called for limiting the army's functions and establishing the national police as the only force in charge of domestic security. Also included were measures that would have limited presidential powers; that would have made federal officials unaccountable to Congress; and that would have guaranteed money for the country's judiciary.


RIGHT-WING DEATH SQUADS CONTINUE. On May 5, 2001, an American nun, Sister Barbara Ann Ford, was killed by a group of heavily armed men in Guatemala City. They allegedly attempted to rob her vehicle, which was property of the Diocese of El Quiché. The Mutual Support Group (GAM), a Guatemalan human rights organization representing families of the disappeared, considered her murder "an extra-judicial execution and therefore a crime of political nature." The human rights group claimed: (1) the murder bore similarities to other political attacks and killings; (2) her work focused on victims of the armed conflict; and (3) her murder took place within the context of escalating threats and attacks against human rights workers.


Sister Ford came from the Religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul based in the Bronx, New York. She had been doing health work in Guatemala since 1978 in the departments of Sololá and Quiché. She was noted for the mental health programs which she established for psychological healing of victims of the civil war and for her attentiveness to the indigenous poor. She had worked on the Recovery of Historical Memory report (REMHI), which catalogued human rights violations during the 36-year civil war in Guatemala.




Since the sixteenth century, Indonesians had been subjected to Dutch rule. During World War II, Japan occupied Indonesia, and after their defeat the nationalist Sukarno proclaimed independence. In 1945, Allied soldiers, primarily British troops, landed and occupied Indonesia. Soon they were once again followed by the Dutch, whose role was to suppress any domestic uprisings by the natives. The next year a tentative fragile union was agreed upon, but fighting between Dutch and Indonesian forces continued for three years. Finally in 1949, the Dutch were granted sovereignty by the Netherlands. With some Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members in parliament, from the beginning the United States refused to trade with Indonesia. Despite the fact that Sukarno crushed PKI forces a year before independence was granted, he still was considered a communist and unacceptable to the Truman administration. From the outset, Sukarno pursued a centrist union to attempt to defeat the nationalist party of Sukarno. In 1955, the CIA threw its support -- in the amount of one million dollars -- behind the Masjumi Party, a coalition of Muslim organizations. The coalition was unsuccessful, and even the million dollars disappeared. Sukarno continued on a non-aligned path, refusing aid from both the Soviet Union and the United States. Refusing to be a pawn of the United States, he was branded a communist.


The CIA then changed its strategy and began direct action against the nationalist government. In 1957, hand grenades were thrown at Sukarno. He escaped injury but 10 people were killed and 48 were wounded. Then the CIA disseminated reports that Sukarno traveled frequently with a blonde stewardess. The CIA knew of his womanizing and his fantasy to have sex with Marilyn Monroe. Subsequently they searched for a pornographic film which starred a Sukarno look-alike, someone who was tall and balding. Unable to find one, finally a film entitled "Happy Days" was supplied to them by the police chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. The movie was distributed throughout much of Indonesia since the CIA hoped that Sukarno's reputation would be ruined and that his downfall would be imminent. However, the CIA intentions to discredit Sukarno failed.


In 1958, the CIA took direct military action against the Sukarno government. American pilots ran bombing missions primarily aimed at killing civilians. On May 18, CIA pilot Allen Pope was shot down and held prisoner for four years. When this was discovered, the CIA curtailed its flights after Pope's papers became public. The bombings continued for months, but the CIA was unable to win any significant victories. Tens of thousands were killed in one sortie alone resulted in over 700 casualties. Despite the direct involvement of the United States, Eisenhower stated that "our policy is one of careful neutrality and proper deportment all of the way through so as not to be taking sides where it is none of our business." Unable to make any success in its bombing campaign, the CIA curtailed its actions in the summer, and for seven years Sukarno remained in power.


For over seven years the CIA's goal was to infiltrate the Indonesian military. 1,200 Indonesian military officers, about one-third of their corps, had been trained in the United States. Thus, by 1965, the CIA succeeded in moving through these channels to gain the support of many right wing junior army officers. They killed six generals and seized the capital city of Jakarta. However, the officers were crushed within one day by General Suharto who claimed that the attempted coup had been led by PKI forces with outside communist influence. Suharto now urged Indonesians, particularly conservative Muslims, to kill anyone suspected of being PKI members and communist sympathizers. Suharto succeeded in forcing Sukarno to abdicate, and a military government was set in place. 750,000 Indonesians were arrested and put in concentration camps for up to 15 years. Anti-leftists were encouraged to kill anyone suspected of being sympathizers. Between 500,000 and one million people died at the hands of this repressive United States-backed authoritarian regime.


In 1997 the Indonesian economy plummeted due to the collapse of its currency, and demonstrators took to the streets to protest. Riots and looting broke out across Indonesia in early 1998, and protesters called for the resignation of Suharto. The International Monetary Fund demanded reform of the corrupt regime as a criterion for providing relief. In May Suharto resigned and turned over the presidency to his vice president, B. J. Habibie. During his tenure in power, Suharto amassed an estimated $40 billion, much of which came in the form of bribes, government contracts, and government-protected monopolies.


A month later Habibie allowed the first open national parliamentary elections in over 40 years. The elections were won by the Indonesian Democratic Party, the country's leading reform party led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Sukarno. She received 34 percent of the vote.


After over a year in office, the 700 member People's Consultative Assembly held a secret ballot in October 1999. The assembly refused to endorse Habibie's performance as president by a 355-322 vote. This no-confidence vote cost Habibie reelection, and it immediately boosted the chances of Sukarnoputr, his closest rival, of being chosen the country's leader. However, the assembly chose Abdurrahman Wahid who was able to defeat Sukarnoputri by a 373-313 vote. However, the following day, Sukarnoputri was elected vice-president by the assembly, defeating the leader of a Muslim party, Hamzah Haz, by a vote of 396 to 284.


Even though Wahid was seen by many as a reformer, one of his first measures was to make concessions to the far right. He said that he would retain cabinet members of Suharto's regime would be retained in his administration. He attempted to justify his decision by saying, "To attain the presidency I have to make compromises. But please be assured that although they will be included in the cabinet, I will make it that they should follow our code: to follow the current government's interests in honesty, frankness, and, most important, our economic development."


The Indonesian government formally filed its case against Suharto in August 2000, accusing him of embezzling $571 million. But analysts said that he was highly unlikely to be incarcerated, since he had suffered two strokes and was under house arrest here in the capital for months. Although Suharto never surrounded himself with the trappings of wealth, he and his family controlled an estimated $15 billion in business interests, ranging from tollways to airlines to cigarette and automobile factories.


Wahid apologized for his shortcomings and told lawmakers tough action was needed against separatists to prevent the country's disintegration. As reported in the New York Times (August 8, 2000), Wahid said, "We are in the process of soul-searching to find out what we want for the country and what our country should be." Although it received only a lukewarm response, there was a sense of relief in parliament because no rioting occurred in the streets. The military stationed a 28,000-man security force around parliament and other key sites in Jakarta in anticipation of anti-government demonstrations.


In July 2001, Indonesia's national assembly voted overwhelmingly today to dismiss Wahid. He was immediately replaced by his vice president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia's founding president. The assembly's 591 to 0 decision to remove Wahid -- with nearly 100 pro-Wahid deputies boycotting the vote -- occurred just hours after he sparked a constitutional crisis by declaring a state of emergency and ordering security forces to shut down the assembly before it began proceedings to oust him for alleged incompetence and corruption. Police and military officials refused to carry out Wahid's demand and instead sent reinforcements to protect the parliament complex. (Washington Post, July 24, 2001)


AMERICAN MULTINATIONALS. The profits of American multinational corporations skyrocketed in the 1990s. Freeport McMoran, home-based in New Orleans, operates the world's largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Irian Jaya. Freeport McMoran already has cut away more than 500 feet from Puncuk Jaya Mountain. Workers add water and chemicals to the dirt in order to bring the metals to the surface as they sift through dirt looking for gold and copper. Every day over 100,000 tons of waste rock is dumped into mountain rivers.


The waste materials have poisoned the waters, killed fish and trees, and contaminated the soil so crops cannot be raised. When indigenous Indonesians protested, they were confronted with Indonesian soldiers who frequently beat and tortured them. Freeport McMoran denied the charges that they poisoned the land and that they supported the military in its repression.


Nike has two advantages in Indonesia. First, in 1997 the government set the minimum wage at $2.46 a day, an amount that even Suharto's regime acknowledged as lower than a "living wage." Second, the government has repressed attempts by workers to organize. By law, Indonesia allowed only one official trade union federation. Muchtar Pakpahan, the founder of an independent and unauthorized trade union, was incarcerated until 1997.


In addition American multinational oil corporations continued to reap immense profits with their multi-billion dollar investments in Indonesia -- Texaco, Chevron, and Mobil.




TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF COLONIAL RULE. After the Portuguese left in 1974 steps to independence were undertaken by the now nationalistic nation of East Timor. The next year, Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony of East Timor at the eastern end of its archipelago. East Timor was annexed at the expense of indiscriminately killing 200,000 civilians Its entire population was fewer than 700,000. In addition, there was the systematic destruction of entire villages and the creation of concentration camps where tens of thousands died.


The United States claimed to have initiated a six month moratorium on arms, as American weapons were sent to Indonesia. Later the State Department acknowledged that 90 percent of the weapons supplied to Indonesia were provided by the United States. United Nations ambassador Daniel Moynihan boasted, "The Department of State desired that the United Nations proved utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success." Both the American government and the media remained silent regarding America's participation. The Indonesian government committed near genocide. There had been a widespread destruction of crops by bombers in an attempt to starve out the guerrillas. Yet the American media reported that more than 100,000 islanders - one-sixth of the population - died in the famine and disease. The Carter administration resumed American shipments of arms to Indonesia. In the United States and Canada Indonesia's biggest Western investors, the government and the media remained silent regarding America's participation. The Indonesian government committed near genocide. There was widespread destruction of crops by bombers in an attempt to starve out the guerrillas.


In the late 1980s it appeared as if the Indonesian government was ready to open up East Timor to the outside world. In 1989 Suharto allowed Indonesian and foreigners to visit or to conduct business transactions in East Timor. Later that year, Pope John Paul II visited East Timor, and the following year David Newsom, the American ambassador to Indonesia, toured the East Timorese capital of Dili.


But the Indonesian military continued to maintain a strong grasp on East Timor. In 1991 seven Western journalists, including two Americans, witnessed Indonesian soldiers spraying bullets into a crowd of hundreds of unarmed pro-independence demonstrators at the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili. One journalist actually recorded the massacre on tape. Peace Is Possible, an East Timorese human rights organization, was able to identify 271 victims by name. The next year, the two American journalists testified before Congress.


The movement for independence continued at a slow pace, and frequently Indonesian police continued to resort to violence in curtail demonstrations. In 1996 East Timor national liberation activists José Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee castigated the Suharto regime for its violations of human rights in East Timor.


While Suharto continued to order the use of hardball tactics against the East Timorese, Clinton merely banned the sale of small arms to Indonesia. His administration provided Indonesia with $300 million in economic assistance and sold the rightist regime tens of millions of dollars of military hardware, including 20 F-16 fighters. To the White House, Indonesia's economic importance heavily outweighed its human rights violations.


THE 1999 REFERENDUM FOR EAST TIMOR INDEPENDENCE. In August 1998 Indonesian President B. J. Habibie agreed to a referendum on independence for East Timor after 10 years of an anti-insurgency campaign. However, Habibie's decision did not set well with the country's army which responded by encouraging separatist movements in East Timor. After the referendum was announced, the Indonesian army, under the control of General Wiranta, moved to prevent independence by organizing paramilitary forces to kill, torture, and terrorize. This resistance movement led to the expansion of Indonesia's militias which were part of the TNI/ABRI, the Indonesian armed forces. Additionally, most of the East Timorese, working for the Indonesian regime, opposed independence.


On April 8, 1999 Admiral Dennis Blair, the United States Commander in Chief of the Pacific and leader of all American military forces in the Pacific region, met with Wiranto. Blair's mission was to tell Wiranta to shut down the militia operation. Just two days prior to their meeting, the militias murdered dozens of villagers in the Catholic church in Liquiça, Timor. According to The Nation(September 17, 1999), a cable was drafted by Colonel Joseph Daves, the American military attaché in Jakarta. This cable was seen at Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii. According to the cable, Blair failed to follow instructions and instead offered Wiranta a series of promises of new United States assistance. Blair "told the armed forces chief that he looks forward to the time when (the army would) resume its proper role as a leader in the region. He invited Wiranto to come to Hawaii as his guest in conjunction with the next round of bilateral defense discussions within the next four months. Blair told Wiranto that the United States would train the Indonesian Army in new riot-control training. However, the State Department approved this training for only Indonesian police, but Blair assured Wiranta that the Indonesian Army would also participate in the exercises. When the State Department learned that Blair had made these promises to Wiranta, the department cabled Ambassador Stapleton Roy at the embassy in Jakarta and informed him that Blair's promises were unacceptable.


Blair and Wiranta met for a second time on April 18. According to Lieutenant Colonel Tom Sidwell, Blair's aide, Blair failed to tell Wiranto to shut the militias down. Instead, Blair held firm on his support for the militias, saying, "General Wiranto denies that TNI and the police supported any one group during the incidents (military attacks). General Wiranto will go to East Timor tomorrow to emphasize three things: ... Timorese, especially the two disputing groups, to solve the problem peacefully with dialogue; encourage the militia to disarm; make the situation peaceful and solve the problem." By not telling Wiranta to terminate the violence, Blair actually encouraged the escalation of militia violence. In the weeks to follow, American military assistance to Indonesia continued. This included giving the Indonesian military an Air Force trainer.


On April 8, 1999 Admiral Dennis Blair, the United States Commander in Chief of the Pacific and leader of all American military forces in the Pacific region, met with Wiranto. Blair's mission was to tell Wiranta to shut down the militia operation. Just two days prior to their meeting, the militias murdered dozens of villagers in the Catholic church in Liquiça, Timor. According to The Nation(September 17, 1999), a cable was drafted by Colonel Joseph Daves, the American military attaché in Jakarta. This cable was seen at Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii. According to the cable, Blair failed to follow instructions and instead offered Wiranta a series of promises of new United States assistance. Blair "told the armed forces chief that he looks forward to the time when (the army would) resume its proper role as a leader in the region. He invited Wiranto to come to Hawaii as his guest in conjunction with the next round of bilateral defense discussions within the next four months. Blair told Wiranto that the United States would train the Indonesian Army in new riot-control training. However, the State Department approved this training for only Indonesian police, but Blair assured Wiranta that the Indonesian Army would also participate in the exercises. When the State Department learned that Blair had made these promises to Wiranta, the department cabled Ambassador Stapleton Roy at the embassy in Jakarta and informed him that Blair's promises were unacceptable.


Blair and Wiranta met for a second time on April 18. According to Lieutenant Colonel Tom Sidwell, Blair's aide, Blair failed to tell Wiranto to shut the militias down. Instead, Blair held firm on his support for the militias, saying, "General Wiranto denies that TNI and the police supported any one group during the incidents (military attacks). General Wiranto will go to East Timor tomorrow to emphasize three things: ... Timorese, especially the two disputing groups, to solve the problem peacefully with dialogue; encourage the militia to disarm; make the situation peaceful and solve the problem." By not telling Wiranta to terminate the violence, Blair actually encouraged the escalation of militia violence. In the weeks to follow, American military assistance to Indonesia continued. This included giving the Indonesian military an Air Force trainer.


In April alone, over 100 civilians who were murdered. The Foundation for Legal and Human Rights, located in Dili, published the names of 60 people who, while attempting to evade militia terrorists, were killed seeking refuge in a church in Liquica on April 6. The Peace and Justice Commission reported that from April 9-14, 18 more people were killed in Suai and that 10 were tortured and nine disappeared. Human rights groups estimate that the actual number of deaths in Suai were over 100.


The Australian media reported that thousands of other East Timorese were herded into Indonesian concentration camps. It was estimated that approximately 10,000 civilians were incarcerated in one camp near Liquica, while tens of thousands of others fled the country. An American doctor in Dili said that 50 to 100 East Timorese were dying daily as a result from curable diseases and that the Indonesian government deliberately prevented medical supplies from reaching cities in East Timor.


In May some human rights observers were allowed to enter East Timor. But the United States was slow to respond. The White House came out and castigated the Indonesian Army for supporting the militias, but covertly the United States government backed the military. Headlines in the Inter Press Service in New York read: "Politics - East Timor: U.S. Delays Arrival of U.N. Police Monitors." While the United Nations pushed for human rights monitors, the article said that "Clinton forced to delay U.S. approval until he consults Congress."


Militias attacked the village of Atara in May. At least six people were killed while on the way to attend church services. Human rights groups estimated that the number may have been as high 30. But human rights observers were not allowed into Atara, so the actual number of deaths were unknown.


The Foundation of Human Rights in Dili described an "atmosphere of fear" as the worst since the period between 1975 and 1989. The organization reported: "Every day has been marked with violence, kidnapping, torture, killing, looting, and arson directed towards East Timorese throughout the territory."


The right wing militias ran rampant just prior to the referendum. As Wiranto looked the other way, militiamen attacked and killed hundreds of civilians. On August 30, 1999, 99 percent of eligible voters went to the polls. The United Nations observed the fairness of the election. People from 70 nations participated in the United Nations program to organize the referendum. An overwhelming 78.5 percent of the East Timorese electorate voted for independence.


During the referendum right wing militias carried out a number of intimidating and violent acts. Militias set up roadblocks in a number of East Timorese cities including the capital city of Dili in their bid to intimidate voters and to disrupt the election. In addition militiamen stopped vehicles on rural roads in their attempt to discourage people to vote for independence. Militia members sieged the town of Gleno, just outside Dili, and burned 10 houses, fired shots, and attacked a United Nations helicopter which arrived to pick up the election ballots. They also held a 17 car United Nations convoy, with 150 people, as hostages for several hours. The militiamen demanded that the United Nations staff in the convoy turn over about 50 East Timorese. A United Nations staff member, Joao Lopes Gomes, was stabbed to death on his way home from the polling place. Two Timorese workers were killed. The militias reinstalled blockades on the road between Maliana and Liquica after those makeshift checkpoints had been dismantled in time for the referendum. Militiamen roamed the streets on motorcycles, sometimes displaying their weapons. Some East Timorese leaders, supporting independence, said that they received death threats and were going into hiding. The militias harassed foreign journalists. Sydney Herald Morning reporter Hamish McDonald was chased and shot at by militiamen before he and Washington Post reporter Keith Richburg found shelter at the United Nations headquarters.


POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE. After the election East Timorese political leaders, who vehemently opposed independence, withdrew from the electoral process and challenged the results of the vote because of what they called "irregularities" by United Nations staff members. In an attempt to block the road to independence, former East Timor Governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares called for the western districts of East Timor to be incorporated into Indonesian West Timor.


A spokesman for the faction complained that the United Nations prevented members of his group from observing the balloting, that Timorese working for the United Nations instructed people to vote for independence, and that the ballot boxes could have been stuffed with extra papers. They said that the vote was "meaningless, not legitimate, unjust, and not transparent at all."


The militias, Indonesian soldiers, and police stepped up violence in the days following the referendum, particularly after it was announced that a vast majority of East Timorese had voted for independence. Armed thugs took over parts of the capital city of Dili, killing and terrorizing residents and trapping United Nations workers in their compound. Militiamen hacked to death a man believed to be an independence supporter in front of the United Nations compound in Dili two days after the election. The attack came as part of a violent clash in which hundreds of militiamen fired on independence supporters who fought back by throwing rocks. About 150 independence supporters, journalists, and United Nations officials retreated to the United Nations compound for safety. Five people were killed in the violence. Over 1,000 people fled to safety in the United Nations complex. Over 200 international staffers and 167 East Timorese working for the United Nations and members of their families were flown out of East Timor. As the reign of terror was unleashed, militias cut the compound's water and power supply. They also prevented United Nations staff members from bringing in badly needed food and medical supplies. Thugs threatened to kidnap a East Timorese man as the police looked on. They cased hotels where foreigners from around the city have gathered for safety. At one point two armed men entered the Turismo Hotel, shouted threats, and kicked a Canadian election observer. Militias took control of the Dili airport and physically prevented East Timorese from leaving. Indonesian soldiers were "looting everything in sight." Militia members fired into crowds of refugees at Dili's port and at a school beside the United Nations compound. They set fire to a building adjacent to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese where refugees had taken shelter. The gunmen also massacred residents in Dili's pro-independence neighborhood of Becora. Militia members burned the residence of Roman Catholic Bishop, Carlos Belo, who subsequently fled to Australia.


This organized campaign of terror led to the forced evacuation of approximately 200,000 East Timorese in a country of 800,000 people. Tens of thousands of residents were trucked across the border into West Timor, part of Indonesia. The British newspaper The Independent reported thatthe Indonesian government told officials in West Timor to set up refugee camps several days before the referendum took place. In the weeks following the election, refugees poured across the border today at the rate of 3,000 an hour. The Irish Times reported that the refugees taken to West Timor were forced into camps at Kupang and Atambua. There were reports that militiamen abducted refugees -- primarily men -- in the middle of the night. Reports from these camps spoke of a climate of terror. Only three weeks after the referendum, over 55,000 refugees were housed at Atambua and 22,000 in Kupang. Another 20,000 were trapped on the East Timor side.


Terrorism also spread to other towns. Over 100 people were killed in the town of Same, and 20 others were murdered in the town of Atsabe. More than a week after the election, Indonesian police fired automatic weapons at the United Nations office in the eastern town of Baucau. The Associated Press said 200 United Nations workers and 2,500 East Timorese were trapped inside. Over 100 of the United Nations staff and aid workers were airlifted out of Baucau to Darwin, Australia, but the gunmen prevented any United Nations workers who were East Timorese natives from boarding the flights.


In November the bodies of 25 people, including three Roman Catholic priests, were exhumed from graves in West Timor. This was the worst massacre during the three weeks of repression which followed the election. While no one disputes that pro-Indonesian forces destroyed many cities and towns in East Timor and left hundreds of thousands of citizens homeless, the number of victims found so far is nowhere near the thousands that international organization originally estimated had been killed. The victims allegedly were killed by anti-independence militias and Indonesian troops in East Timor just after the August referendum. The bodies were discovered at Oeuli Beach, two miles from the border with East Timor. According to panel set up by the government in Jakarta to investigate human rights abuses, the victims were believed to have been slaughtered in a September 6 attack on two churches in Suai, a town in East Timor close to the border.


Witnesses to the violence said that dozens of people took refuge in the churches of Ave Maria and Nossa Senhora de Fatima and were shot or hacked to death by militiamen who were supported by Indonesian soldiers and police. Even though only 25 bodies were located, there were estimates that over 100 people were killed.


The International Monetary Fund had provided Jakarta with more than $2 billion of a $12.2-billion loan to Indonesia for 1999. The World Bank approved a $600-million budget support loan, though it has been held up because Indonesia has failed to meet some elements of the loan's conditions. The IMF suspended the payment of $2.2 billion which was the remainder of a $12 billion package for the following 14 months.


THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. The Clinton administration made it clear that it opposed economic or military sanctions against the Jakarta regime, hoping to preserve its relationship with Indonesia. At first Defense Secretary William Cohen said that the United States had no plans to contribute troops to any peace-keeping force for Indonesia. Cohen said that it was up to the Indonesian government and the international community to respond to the violence in East Timor. Cohen said, "The United States is not planning an insertion of any peacekeeping forces." Cohen said that the United States-Indonesian military contacts would not be affected by the East Timorese violence. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said, "We will look at what is the appropriate level of assistance we can give, whether it be logistical or technical support or other. But I can tell you that there's been no decision made on that."


Clinton himself remained silent on the matter until more than a week after the election. Finally, he publicly cited "gross abuses" and announced the suspension of military ties with Indonesia. This decision was primarily symbolic since the United States' military relationship with Indonesia was relatively minor. The White House's suspension of military ties affected only $550,000 allocated for the remainder of 1999. Clinton's also announced the cancellation of a small number of joint military training exercises and educational exchanges. This included training Indonesian military officers in the United States at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii and the military's language school in Monterey. Clinton also announced the termination of commercial sales of American military components to Indonesia amounting to $16 million for all of 1999. Additionally, he hinted at imposing economic and trade sanctions, but that was never carried out.


The United States clearly was more concerned with maintaining the status quo in Indonesia than it was with the human rights abuses in East Timor. The Clinton administration continued to support the Habibie regime with about $75 million in direct assistance in 1999. Additionally, Indonesia received foreign aid from Japan and the European Union.


THE UNITED NATIONS INTERVENES. The United Nations sent a delegation to Indonesia to discuss the possibility of sending a peacekeeping force to restore order in East Timor. But immediately the plan was rejected by the Indonesian government. Two weeks after the election and under intense international pressure, Habibie finally approved peace-keeping forces for East Timor. He said, "I have made the decision to give our approval to a peacekeeping force, together with the Indonesian military, to maintain the security of East Timor." On the other side of the globe, NSC advisor Sandy Berger said the United Nations mission would be an "overwhelmingly Asian force. This will involve U.S. troops."


The Habibie regime opposed the creation of an international mission, claiming that it should be left to Jakarta to conduct any inquiry into alleged human rights abuses. Nevertheless, peace-keeping troops landed in Dili and gained control of the airport and port facilities. Then they conducted a house-to-house search for members of the right wing militias. They have also confiscated hundreds of machetes, knives, and homemade guns. A few days later, the peace-keeping troops arrested a leader of a notorious anti-independence militia. The arrest came as the United Nations Human Rights Commission met in special session in Geneva to discuss sending a fact-finding mission to East Timor. This was the first step toward establishing an international criminal tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the atrocities.


As soon as the foreign peace-keeping troops entered East Timor's major cities, Indonesian soldiers scurried to leave over a period of a few days. Many army units burned their compounds in Dili, before they withdrew on ships to return to Indonesia. They set fire to government buildings and burned the white colonial residence of the governor. Numerous soldiers left with tons of goods which they had looted. Three weeks after the election, the Australian government was the first nation to send in a peace-keeping force, providing 4,500 troops. Australia was followed by Britain, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and France. The United States did supply a small contingency of personnel, but they were in non-combative roles: logistics, communications, and intelligence. By October over 7,500 peace-keeping troops from 20 nations were in East Timor.


In late September, the Indonesian parliament quickly passed a security law, giving more latitude to the military. The legislation allowed Habibie to declare a state of emergency in a province if that were requested by the local governor or legislature. According to a 1959 law, Habibie was not required to consult with political parties. Wiranto defended the new law as being "in line with democracy and human rights. This bill is not for the need of government, the national police, or Indonesian soldiers. It is for the country." Other Indonesian leaders worked to block the transition to independence. Former East Timor Governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares called for the western districts of East Timor to be incorporated into Indonesian West Timor.


In response to the legislation, violent protests erupted in Jakarta and other cities. On the first day, over 5,000 students marched to Parliament and clashed with riot policemen and soldiers who retaliated with plastic bullets and tear gas. Students also hurled fire bombs at riot policemen on a major highway in front of Jakarta's University of Atma Jaya. Pamphlets were distributed throughout Jakarta. They warned: "If this law is approved, then the democracy we have struggled for is dead. The military can take control of the country anytime it wants." Protests also broke out in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, where more than 1,000 people clashed with police.


Eurico Gutteres, leader of the largest and most repressive militia, vowed to continue fighting until at least a part of East Timor is returned to Indonesia. Gutteres operated in Dili until United Nations troops arrived in late September. He claimed that Australians killed dozens of his militia members, an accusation disputed by the United Nations. Gutteres said, "The Australian (United Nations) troops caught militia (sic) and burned them alive. This is what makes us so mad (especially) since U.N. forces are assigned to East Timor to keep the peace and restore order."


In October, the Security Council voted to unanimously to create the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) and to send over 11,000 personnel -- 8,950 peacekeepers, 1,640 international police officers, and 200 military observers to East Timor. The cost was estimated at between $700 million and $1 billion a year. And the United States was billed for 31 percent of the cost, even though Congress demanded a reduction to 25 percent.


On the last day of October, the last 900 Indonesian soldiers left East Timor.


2001 ELECTIONS. In September 2001, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor, also known as Fretilin, secured 55 of the 88 seats in the assembly to capture the majority of seats in the country's first legislature. But the vote count left Fretilin short of the 60 seats it needed to pass its first draft constitution without support from other parties. Additionally, the tally prevented Fretilin from attaining a clear mandate to form the new government. Fretilin was followed by the Democratic Party with 8.72 percent of the vote and seven seats in the legislature. The third place finisher was the Social Democratic Party, with 8.18 percent and six seats. (Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2001)



British Guiana's People's Progressive Party (PPP) swept into power in the 1953 election. Still part of the British empire, Cheddi Jagan was elected president. He immediately began instituting a series of progressive reforms which included strengthening the rights of union workers and tenant farmers and improving the quality of the public school system.


Jagan was a candidate for reelection four years later and campaigned on the platform of continuing British Guiana's liberal reforms. After he was reelected president, the CIA began a movement to undermine his government. The agency infiltrated the African Party, a conservative trade union which supported opposition candidate Forbes Burnham. The CIA also worked through Britain's Public Services International (PSI), an international union, to weaken Jagan's government.


The CIA continued into the 1960s to fund Jagan's opponents. In 1967, the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) acknowledged that the agency covertly funded his union in the early 1960s. It was revealed that an arm of the AFSCME -- the International Affairs Department -- was directly operated by CIA officials. The CIA also used other tactics to bring down the Jagan government. The agency operated through the United States Information Service and the privately funded Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, disseminating propaganda and creating movies which depicted Jagan as pro-Castro and pro-communist.


In 1961, the Kennedy administration refused to provide economic aid to British Guiana, and the White House attempted to pressure Britain into granting independence to its colony. In early 1962, the CIA organized strikes and riots in British Guiana and worked through conservative trade unions and other groups, depicting Jagan as a cruel totalitarian leader. The CIA operated primarily with the Trades Union Council (TUC) and its leader Richard Ishmael who was a product of the United States' Institute for Free Labor Development. The TUC also had close ties with mafia labor leaders in Latin America.


In April 1963, British Guiana's largest strike in history continued for 80 days. Demonstrations turned violent and, according to British reports, Ishmael himself was arrested for carrying out bombing and arson attacks against government buildings. The strikes and violent protests were funded by the CIA which funneled over $1 million through the PSI. Foreign owned oil corporations, including those in the United States, refused to sell petroleum to government in an attempt to force Jagan from power. As a result, Jagan turned to Cuba and Soviet bloc countries for oil, thus providing more propaganda for the CIA to use against his government.


As a result of the economic turmoil and fueled by violent demonstrations, the electorate turned to the Conservative Party. Jagan did not win a majority of seats in the legislature, but he did obtain a plurality -- 24 of the 53. Without a majority, Jagan was pressured to step aside, and Burnham was named to form a new government. But Jagan soon was forced to abdicate when the legislature passed an amendment which prevented him from remaining in power. Nearly two decades later -- in 1992 -- Jagan was once again elected president.