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Posted by Tony from ? ( on Friday, October 11, 2002 at 1:47PM :

CIA Covert Operations

Historical Beginnings

1947: Formed by Truman, as supported by section 102 of the National Security Act of 1947
principally assigned the missions of:

Coordinate the U.S. intelligence effort.
Correlate and evaluate intelligence (but other intelligence agencies may also do so).
CIA will access to the product of other intelligence agencies (including information from
the FBI)
Eschew police and internal security functions (in other words no domestic operation
CIA reports to the President through the National Security Council and should perform
such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the
National Security Council may from time to time direct.

12/47: NSC Directive 4/A placed the CIA in charge of "psychological operations", most likely
in response to the October formation of the Cominform, a collective propoganda organization
whose members were not only the Eastern Bloc countries but included the Soviet Union,
France, Italy, Bulgariak, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The
addition of France and Italy in this list did not come as a surprise, as it was seen that the Soviet
Union was already infiltrating labor unions, student organizations, women's organizations, and
others in both countries. The CIA had already been directed by the CIA to "prop up" the
democracy in Italy.

12/22/47: DCI Hillinkoetter sent James Angleton to Italy to set up a "special procedure group"
to direct such covert operations as "might be authorized". By 1948, Angleton was receiving
adequate sums to be used to subsidize the center right in Italian politics, and to manipulate
opinion through forgeries and other devices.

1/48: Secratary of State Forrestal urged DCI Hillenkoetter to intensify cover operations in Italy
to support the democratic government. Forrestal was reluctant both becuase of the
repercussions to any public disclosure which could occur, and because he the agency's legal
counsel did not believe they had the authority to conduct covert operations without the advice
and consent of the U.S. Senate.

2/48: NSC declared Italy essential to the U.S. national security, and that the country be
preserved from external attack and from subversion by Soviet dominated communist
movements within Italy.

4/9/48: During meetings to setup the charter for the Organization of American States (OAS), the
Liberal Party opposition leader Jorge Eliecar Gaitan was killed by an assasin. This touched off
riots, all occuring on the same day as the U.S. Washington Post had released the precepts of a
U.S. propoganda program to "counter-inform". The CIA was wrongly taken to task for not
providing intelligence on the riot.

5/48: NSC 10/2 cancelled 4/A and established a new covert operational branch of the CIA. Its
covert operations would have to be of a type which the U.S. Government can plausibly
disclaim any responsibility and could not involve armed conflict by recognized military forces,
but could include propoganda; economic warfare; preventitive direct action, including
sabotage, anti- sabotage, demolition, and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile
states, includingg assistance to underground resistance movements, guerillas and refugee
liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of
the free world.

1949: Central Intelligence Act of 1949, provided the CIA with a seal of office, authorized
training for CIA officers, and specified employment conditions (personnel issues). More
importantly, the act specified how the CIA could use secret funds (one budget item to be doled
out by the DCI as needed without normal accounting review), the right to borrow personnel
from other agencies of government (Military, FBI, NSA, etc.), to ignore immigration laws,
allowing up to one hundred illegal aliens per year (allowing the use of defectors), and gave the
DCI the right to determine what in the CIA is should be kept secret.

Chronological History of Operations


Radio Free Europe setup as a major propoganda tool, broadcasting into Eastern Europe.

GREECE, 1949

Truman authorized major aid to Greek anti-communists as part of a coopertive plan with the
British MI-6.


CIA's first (as far as we know) attempt to topple a government, was against the goverment of
Enver Hoxha of Albania. This was also a plan taken over from the financially strapped British
(MI-6). Funds were given to the British to support their agents in Albania. The operations
failed, primarily it would seem due to Kim Philby, a very famous Soviet Agent in the British
MI-6 contingent in Washington, D.C.


1948-1954: CIA worked with indigenous folk in the Philippines to help defeat the HUK left
wing insurgency movement (funds and support were used rather than actual CIA agents). This
was a clear case of successful counter-insurgency due to a major contribution of Lt. Colonel
Edward G. Lansdale, an Air Force Officer actually volunteered to the the CIA who befriended
Ramon Magsaysay who was eventually elected in 1953. As part of this operation the U.S. built
4000 prefabricated schoolhouses. The key to the victory was the advocacy of local nationalism
and promotion by indigenous personnel rather than advocacy from external sources.

10/10/49: Civil Air Transport began operating exclusively as part of the CIA's worlwide air
transport company, and now the most well known of the CIA "propietaries".

IRAN 1953

8/53: Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mosaddeq was ousted by Mohammed Reza Shah
Pahlavi, who became the Shah of Iran. The "legned" is that five U.S. Army officers on loan to
the CIA financed the coup with US$1 million worth of Iranian cash in Tehran, led by Kermit
(Kim) Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt and cousin to FDR. British Petroleum (in
their wholly owned company Anglo-Iranian Old Company) probably contributed a great deal to
the coup as well.


1954: CIA engineered the downfall of the democratically elected leftward leaning President of
Guatemala Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Unfortunately the man taking over was Colonel Carlos
Castillo Armas who soon became a notorious dictator. The coup was in part due to propoganda
broadcasts from the "Voice of Liberation" radio stations run by the CIA accusing Arbenz of
ineptitude, and having communist sympathies (including faking news of a shipment of arms from
Czechoslovakia). The final lie was news of a massive overland invading force of rebels, which
were in fact air missions by CAT and the CIA. It should be noted that Che Guevara narrowly
escaped capture in the operation, and became a problem thereafter until his murder later in
another CIA operation.


Due to a promise made by the Republican administration to free Eastern Europe, a means for
enciting trouble within the Eastern bloc countries was being searched for. A copy of
Kruschev's secret de-Stalinization speech was broadcast over Radio Free Europe. The
members of the Hungarian Desk at Radio Free Europe further hinted at U.S. aid coming to help
East European countries who rose against the communists. Hungarian dissidents killed 7000
Russians while taking losses of 30,000 themselves before the revolt was crushed by some
200,000 Russian troops and 2,500 Russian tanks.


CIA attempted to topple the leftward leaning government of President Achmed Sukarno. In May
of '58, a B-26 aircraft being operated by C.A.T. was shot down while it was on a bombing and
strafing mission to aid the rebels. The CIA involvement became apparent and ended the


Edward Lansdale could not succeed at overthrowing the existing government in North Vietname
despite his working on it from 1954 to 1958.

CUBA 1959-60s

Major propoganda and support of young dissedents in Cuba. On December 11, 1959, CIA gave
the recommendation to eliminate Castro. Operation Mongoose was approved in by Eisenhower
within a few months, and reaffirmed by Kennedy to Lansdale in November of 1961. Techniques
were discussed from several different methods of poisoning him, to the outrageous ideas of
putting bombs in sea shells by his beachhouse. The last of actual Mongoose operations died
along with Kennedy in November, 1963.


Eisenhower approved the Bay of Pigs as a paramilitary operation using indigenous personnel,
approving $13 million of covert funds.


President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo was targetted for assasination as well.

CONGO (Ziare)

Patrice Lumumba of the Congo was to be assasinated but it appears his own people took the
problem out of the hands of the CIA.


CIA attempts to infiltrate and subvert the Singapore Secret Police, and when discovered, tries
to bribe the Prime Minister to hush it up, requiring a very hasty apology from Secretary of State
Dean Rusk.

BAY OF PIGS, April 1961

A seven ship armarda dropped anchor in the Bay of Pigs, composed of indigenous Cuban
exiles. Very poor intelligence on the landing site, resulted in the landing force seeing that the
area chosen was in fact an amusement park like area. With no air cover, and the unreported
concrete roads crisscrossing the area, the Cuban forces were able to crush the invaders, and the
CIA cover story for the operation soon collapsed. Holding back of Office of Naval Intelligence
that pointed out that Castro was in fact quite popular, and lack of oversight into the
prerequisites for making the operation viable were blamed for the mishap as well.

ALGERIA, 1958-1962

CIA gave funds to Algerian students expelled from French universities to help in the fight for
Algerian independence. French press wrongly accussed the CIA of trying to overthrow De
Gaulle by supporting Maurice Challe and others to depose De Gaulle, and even to assasinate
De Gaulle.


Following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy re- established the Special Group set up by
Eisenhower to oversee covert actions, assigning the same basic crew as Eisenhower had, and
named it the Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities. It was also called the
Special Group (Insurgency) and later the Special Group (Augmented).

LAOS, 1962

CIA, hoping to prevent a takeover by the Pathet Lao and North Vietnames Communist allies,
recruited MEO (local hill tribesman) to fight against the insurgents. These folks were also later
redirected into covert operations in Vietnam. There was also a link with the U.S. Green Berets
who were tasked with the training of the MEO.

CHILE, 1962

CIA subsidizes the activities of the Christian Democratic Party in Chile, by assisting Eduadro
Frei the Christian Democrat candidate to be elected as President of Chile. Methods used were
to target the woman of the country with images of tanks swarming in from outside the country,
using hourly propoganda message via radio and newspapers.


CIA helped overthrow Carlos Julio Arosemena in July 1963 (ironic since he was placed in
power by and earlier CIA covert action).


CIA spread the disinformation that Salvador Allende (the Socialist candidate) was receiving
funds from the Eastern Bloc and/or Cuba) and reinforced earlier propoganda against Allende.
Frei won the election after the CIA spent greater than $3 million dollars on the successful


Use of existing research grants and foundations as well as creating front organizations to
promote studies into counterinsurgency think tanks to deal with unrest in Latin America.


Distinguished Norwegian pacifist Johan Galtung turns down a Project Camelot research grant
and publicizes the whole affair denouncing the whole program.


One week after PROJECT CAMELOT gets so much publicity, US President Johnson proposes
US paramilitary intervention against democratic-liberal forces in Guatemala. CIA is tasked
with finding backup information to support Johnson's proposition that the government in
Guatemala was really a Cuban puppet government. DCI Raborn could not come up with the


April Issue of Ramparts magazine disclosed the story of the CIA paying Michigan State
University #25 million to hire five CIA employees to train South Vietnames students in covert
police methods, and revealing that MIT and other universities had recieved similiar payments.


New York Times, Washington Post, and Ramparts disclose the connection between the CIA
and the National Students' Association (NSA) using students for spying and exploiting private
institutions for channelling secret funds. Students were recruited through blackmail and bribery
in some cases, including draft deferments.


CIA sponsors South Vietnamese agents to identify and then neutralize Viet Cong leaders on the
village level. In 1971, in a Congressional hearing that around 20,000 Viet Cong activists were


In August of 1967, plans were being drawn up for a domestic counterintelligence operation
with the cooperation of the FBI, to inflitrate and identify radical organizations leadership and
determine if there was foreign funding behind these groups. Groups identified as targets were
anti-war, civil rights, and women's groups. The operation compiled files on some 7,200 U.S.
citizens, and yielded the information that there was no evidence that protests were anything
other than spontaneous and indigenous, with no observable contact between the groups leaders
and foreign embassies either in the U.S. or abroad.


In October of 1967, Bolivian forces culminated in the suppresion of a coup led by Che
Guervera, with the final act of the execution of Guervera. In February, the Former Bolivian
Minster of Interior Antonio Arguedas Menietta recounted the CIA arranging for the death of
Guervera. In 1970, this was later confirmed with stolen Bolivian military documents in "La
CIA en Bolivia", by Gegorio Selser.

GREEN BERETS and the MEO, 1969

New York Times, ran an article in October dealing with the use of Green Berets in the training
of the MEO and the "secret war in Laos".


March, 1970: No hard evidence...Prince Norordom Sihanouk was ousted from government, and
in 1973 he wrote a book accusing the CIA of engineering his fall.

In April of 1970, CIA (authorized by Nixon) built a groundforce invasion into Cambodia with
the objective to find and destroy a North Vietnamese headquarters in that country. This despite
a CIA analysis recommending against such a move, and the fact that the evidence for the
headquarters was poor.

CHILE, 1970

Salvador Allende once again ran for office, and the CIA was inneffective in preventing his
election, despite Nixon's forcing the issue of covert action against his election before the 40

Nixon authorized $10 million dollars to overthrow Allende, with the CIA actually spending
about $8 million.


Senator Clifford P. Case offerred legislation to cut off U.S. funds for use in paying for U.S.
paramilitary operations in Cambodia, especially by the CIA, and the law went into effect in
December, 1972.


Requires Congressional Review of Executive Agreements


The "plumbers" assigned by Nixon's White House Chief of Staff John Erlichman broke into the
democratic convention headquarters seeking information of democratic strategies. One of those
assigned to the break was an informer on the CIA payroll, Eugenio R. Martinez. Nixon asked
the CIA's DCI to cover up the operation, and Richard Helms refused and was subsequently
fired after Nixon's reelection.


Deputy Director for Operations William Colby, on May 9, 1973 drafted a directive which
required all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they were aware of, and some
time later drafted a report on all this information.


Prohibits the President from waging war from than sixty days without Congressional approval.


Congress placed an arms embargo on Turkey following its invasion of Cyprus.


House investigators cleared the CIA of any complicity of the plumbers break in to the
Democratic National Convention at the Watergate.


Pulitzer prize winner Seymour Hersh published a story on the domestic surveillance and
infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. CIA confirmed the main points of the
article in 1975.


Ammendment to the Foreign Assitance Act, requiring the President to report and
nonintelligence CIA operations to relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.

ANGOLA, 1975

40 Committee approved CIA mission to Angola folowing the collapse of Portuguese colonial
control, with the aim to ensure a conservative victory in the developing civil war.

Clark Amendment, 1975

1/75, the House passed this amendment (having already been passed in the Senate) to cut off
funds for covert operations in Angola.]


On January 27, The U.S. Senate voted to establish the Select Committee to Study Governmental
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. One of the major documents created by this
committee was the history of the CIA written by Anne Karalekas.


November 11, 1975: British Government, retaining control by soverignty over the
democratically elected Australian government, replaced the highly liberal (some say purely
socialist) Prime Minister E. Gough Whitlam with a conservative Malcom Fraser. This was
believed to be a CIA inspired operation with British aid.


In his book, "Inside the Company", Phillip Agee lists a vertible who's who on active agents in
Latin America, followed by the radical quarterly "Counterspy" listing among other things the
position of Richard S. Welch, CIA Station Chief in Greece as well as his address. Welch.
Welch was assasinated on December 23rd, 1975.


Helped into power in 1953 by the CIA, the Shah of Iran, dieing of cancer and unable to
surmount declining economic conditions and fundamentalist moslem unrest in the country fled to
the U.S on January 16, 1979. CIA failed to predict his downfall and in fact had no information
as to the situation in Iran from August 1978 onward.

EGYPT, 1981

Anwar Sadat assasinated by fundamentalists while reviewing a parade in his own country.
Thus ended a CIA information sharing operation with that country after Sadat threw out the
Soviets in 1972.


11/81, President Reagan endorsed a support plan for supporting businessmen in Nicaragua, as
well as a $19 million dollar budget for covert and paramilitary operations in that country. The
paramilitary aid was in the form of support to the "Contras" who raided Nicaragua from
Honduras and Costa Rica.

Later that year, the U.S. mined main ports of Nicaragua.

Boland Amendment

Cut off funds to support anyone trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.


May of 1983, Congress continued funding for six more months, and arranging for $19 million
for the next fiscal year, but predicated on a majority vote of the Senate Select Committee and
the issuance of a finding from the President.

September 20, 1983, DCI Casey met with the COngressional Committee to go over the
information the requested finding documented. On September 22, the finding was accepted and
the $19 million dollars was appropriated out of the secret funds. DCI Casey was very nervous
that they would not always win new rounds of funding and that the battle for funding for
Nicaraguan operations was getting too tough.


In the spring of 1983, CIA received intelligence that a Libyan arms shipment would be passing
through Brazil on its way to Nicaragua. DCI Casey held off taking any action until their was
some more detail on what was actually in the shipment. When a manifest was copied and sent
in from a human source in Libya, the planes were stopped in Brazil (Casey working through
John Motley with the Brazlian Foreign Minister), and seventy tons of weapons and explosives
were found on board.

CHAD, 1983

President Hissen Habre', continued to accept security and intelligence assistance from the CIA
in efforts to keep the pressure on Libya. (Security Assistance Operation)


CIA continued providing funds to support President Mohammed Zia, insuring that he stayed in
power, as he was a staunch U.S. supporter, and had allowed the CIA to pour paramilitary
support through Pakistan into Afghanistan. (Security Assistance Operation)


President Ferdanand Marcos, received funds from the CIA to help in his fight against
Communist insurgents in the Philippines. (Security Assistance Operation)


CIA provided funds, intelligence, and some forms of personal protection to President Amin
Gemayel, in hopes of preventing his assasination like his brother Bashir, a paid CIA informant
before he was elected President of Lebanon. (Security Assistance Operation)


CIA poured funds into El Salvador, asking President Duarte to continue his battle against leftist
rebels, hoping to prevent a leftist takeover in El Salvador. (Security Assistance Operation)


By October, 1983, DCI Casey and a white house official Lt. Colonel Oliver North, began
making arrangements for the Israelis help in arming the Contras if additional funding dried up.

North began building a list of folks who could be contacted by Contra supporters in the U.S. in
order to get private funds, again in case funding was stopped by Congress.

October 11, 1983: CIA trained speedboat teams using indigenous Latino assets conducted a
pre-dawn raid against the Nicaraguan fuel storage depot at the port of Corinto on the Pacific
side of the country, blowing up their complete oil reserves. Three days later on October 14,
1983, the speedboat raiders struck similiar facilities in Puerto Sandino. Estimates for repairs of
the facilities was better than $100,000 and of course repurchasing the oil was incredible.


In Beirut, Sunday, at 6:22 am on October 23, a large yellow Mercedes truck drove into the
Marine compound. The truck was filled with approximately 12,000 pounds of TNT. The
suicide driver exploded his truck killing 241 American servicemen.


Also on October 23, the U.S. received a written eight point request from the OECS to intervene
in Grenada.

Reagan signed the Directive, and U.S. forces began to secretly move toward the invasion.

On October 25, the U.S. force plus several hundred soliders from other pro western Caribbean
nations invaded Grenada.


CIA backing of Afghan anti-communist rebels began right after the invasion by the Soviets, via
secret Congressional funding, continued through 1984 with a major secret appropriation from

ANGOLA, 1984

The Senate in June, and the House in July, repealed the Clark Amendment restricting use of
funds to overthrow the government in Angola.

IRAN, 1985

In order to win help from moderates in Iran in freeing hostages in Beirut, President Reagan
authorized CIA under the operations officer Oliver North, to help Israel to sell U.S.
manufactured weapons to Iran.

IRAN, 1986

By January of 1986, Reagan authorized the CIA to negotiate for direct sales of weapons to Iran
in return for influence in the return of the Beirut hostages.

-- Tony
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