Americans deserve to hear the dirty secrets of the CIA’s war on terror. We’ll all be better off with the truth.
In April 1975, Sen. Frank Church impaneled a special investigative committee to look into shocking accounts of CIA dirty tricks. The Church Committee ultimately published 14 reports over two years revealing a clandestine agency that was a law unto itself — plotting to assassinate heads of state (Castro, Diem, Lumumba, Trujillo), carrying out weird experiments with LSD, and suborning American journalists. As a result, President Gerald Ford issued an executive order banning the assassination of foreign leaders, the House and Senate established standing intelligence committees, and the United States set up the so-called FISA courts, which oversee request for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign agents.
But the war on terror unleashed the CIA once again to carry out dark deeds against America’s enemies — torture, secret detention, and “rendition” to “black sites” across the world. How have Americans reckoned, this time, with the immoral and illegal acts carried out in their name? They have not: the CIA has retained control over the narrative. As the Constitution Project’s Detainee Treatment report describes in great detail, the CIA falsely reported — to the White House as well as to the public — that torture “worked” in wresting crucial information from high-level detainees, and thus needed to be an instrument available to interrogators. Officials like Vice President Dick Cheney repeated ad nauseum that the CIA’s dark arts had saved thousands of lives. Is it any wonder that a plurality of Americans think the United States should torture terrorists?
I wrote last month about the detainee treatment report, but I find it incredibly frustrating — and all too telling — that the findings were overwhelmed by the tidal wave of coverage of the Boston bombing. Because we fear terrorism far more viscerally than we feared communism — certainly by 1975 — we are all too susceptible to the view that America cannot afford to live by its own professed values. But of course that’s what Chileans and Brazilians thought in the 1970s. That’s why Sri Lankans have granted themselves the right to slaughter homegrown terrorists wholesale, and react furiously to any hint of criticism.
People give themselves a pass unless and until they are forced to face the truth, which is why a public airing of history is so important — and so politically fraught. There’s always a compelling reason to avoid facing the ugly truth. In early 2009, Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for an independent commission to investigate allegations of torture. But President Barack Obama’s spokesman said that the proposal would not be “workable.” We know what he meant: you can hardly blame the president for avoiding a colossal fight with Republicans over the past, especially, when he had so many fights he needed to wage over the future.
Obama probably thought that he could put the problem to rest by ending torture as well as the cult of secrecy surrounding CIA practices. He succeeded on the first count, but failed on the latter. In April 2009, he agreed to release the so-called “torture” memos written by President George W. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), as well as photos of prisoner abuse from Iraq and Afghanistan. But then, after a fierce debate inside the White House said to pit Obama’s military commanders against his counselor, Gregory Craig, among others, the administration reversed itself. The president later signed legislation allowing him to withhold the pictures if he determined that the release would harm national security.
Once adopted, the logic of national security carries all before it. The release of the OLC memos, the detainee treatment report notes, was the high-water mark of Obama-era transparency on torture. CIA reports on the death of three prisoners in custody as well as on broad policy towards detainees remain classified; so do the results of inquiries by the armed forces criminal investigation division. The agency’s ability to withhold information probably contributed to the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue indictments on any of the 100 or so cases of CIA mistreatment which it investigated. Defense lawyers in the military trial of the “9/11 defendants” held at Guantanamo have had to work around a “protection order” which classifies entire subject areas — including anything related to the defendants’ arrest or capture, the conditions in which they were held, or the interrogation techniques to which they were subjected. Whatever becomes of the defendants, Americans will learn nothing from the trials.
On matters of secrecy, Obama has been little better than Bush. This has become notorious in the case of the drone program, a centerpiece of Obama’s prosecution of the war on terror. In a recent speech at the Oxford Union, Harold Koh, the former chief counsel of the State Department, said that the administration has failed to be “transparent about legal standards and the decision-making process that it has been applying.”
I asked Koh why the White House has so regularly deferred to the CIA on issues of transparency and accountability. Koh pointed out that the CIA’s concern that exposing past bad acts could serve as a recruiting tool for al Qaeda was hardly trivial. But, he said of the White House: “They don’t have a good balancing mechanism on the value of disclosures. It’s almost like if nobody’s clamoring for it, the pressure can be resisted.” The pressure comes from the outside — from the press, from civil-liberties groups, and activists — but not from the inside. So the CIA carries the day.
And yet it’s not too late to expose, and learn from, the sorry history of the last decade. Last December, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a 6,000-page report on the finding of its secret investigation into the treatment of detainees. The report, which has not been made public, describes the CIA’s detention program in minute detail. Among other things, it puts to rest the canard that torture works. In his confirmation hearings, CIA director John Brennan admitted that the report had led him to question “the information that I was given at the time” that so-called “enhanced techniques” had saved lives.
Brennan has learned this; other Americans may not have the chance. The CIA is likely to both dispute the findings and to try to keep them secret. In a letter to Obama, Sen. Mark Udall complained that Brennan had shown “little to no interest” in working with his staff, and had already missed the deadline for response by more than two months. A congressional aide said that there was no sign that the White House had even examined the report, much less prepared a response.
The good news is that the irrepressible Vice President Joe Biden recently advocated publishing the findings, saying that Americans needed to “excise the demons” through a full disclosure of past abuses. Biden even compared the redemptive value of facing the truth on torture to the effect of the war-crimes tribunals on Germany. Obama probably didn’t authorize the analogy, but he may well have signed off on the position — in which case the comment should be read as a pre-emptive shot across the CIA’s bow.
In the course of questioning Brennan during Senate hearings, Sen. Udall quoted Howard Baker, the widely admired Republican moderate from the bygone age of Republican moderates, to the effect that the Church Committee report may well have weakened the CIA in the short run, but strengthened it in the long run — by reminding the agency of what it should as well as shouldn’t do. Apparently even the CIA agrees, since its website carries an admiring description of the committee’s findings. If and when the Senate Intelligence Committee report is made public, in whole or in part, current and former CIA officials, conservative pundits, and Republican politicians will no doubt join as one to warn that America’s national security has been compromised, its enemies emboldened, its intelligence operatives compromised. That’s what they said in 1975. They were wrong then, and they will be wrong now.
After Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA launched a program of “extraordinary rendition” to handle terrorism suspects. The agency’s problem, as it saw it, was that it wanted to detain and interrogate foreign suspects without bringing them to the United States or charging them with any crimes. Their solution was to secretly move a suspect to another country. Sometimes that meant a secret CIA prison in places such as Thailand or Romania, where the CIA would interrogate him. Sometimes it meant handing him over to a sympathetic government, some of them quite nasty, to conduct its own “interrogation.”
The CIA’s extraordinary rendition program is over, but its scope is still shrouded in some mystery. A just-out report, released by the Open Society Foundation, sheds new light on its shocking scale. According to the report, 54 foreign governments somehow collaborated in the program. Some of those governments are brutal dictatorships, and a few are outright U.S. adversaries.
Their participation took several forms. Some, such as Poland and Lithuania, allowed the CIA to run secret prisons in their countries. Many Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European countries handed over detainees to the CIA, some of whom those countries captured on the agency’s behalf. Other states, particularly in the Middle East, interrogated detainees on the CIA’s behalf, such as Jordan, which accepted several Pakistanis. Several, such as Greece and Spain, allowed flights associated with the CIA program to use their airports.
Here’s what the Open Society report has to say about the staggeringly global participation in the CIA program, including a full list of the countries it names:
The report also shows that as many as 54 foreign governments reportedly participated in these operations in various ways, including by hosting CIA prisons on their territories; detaining, interrogating, torturing, and abusing individuals; assisting in the capture and transport of detainees; permitting the use of domestic airspace and airports for secret flights transporting detainees; providing intelligence leading to the secret detention and extraordinary rendition of individuals; and interrogating individuals who were secretly being held in the custody of other governments. Foreign governments also failed to protect detainees from secret detention and extraordinary rendition on their territories and to conduct effective investigations into agencies and officials who participated in these operations.
The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
I was most curious about the involvement of two governments that are very much adversaries of the United States: those of Iran and Syria. It’s clear that, in both cases, it was an enemy-of-my-enemy calculus. Iran and Syria are both enemies of al-Qaeda and have struggled against Sunni Islamist extremism (Syria’s government is secular, Iran’s is Shia). Here’s the report’s section on Iran:
Iran was involved in the capture and transfer of individuals subjected to CIA secret detention. In March 2002, the Iranian government transferred fifteen individuals to the government of Afghanistan, which in turn transferred ten of these individuals to the U.S. government. At least six of those transferred to U.S. custody were held in secret CIA detention in Afghanistan. These six individuals included Hussein Almerfedi, Tawfik al-Bihani, Wesam Abdulrahman Ahmed al-Deemawi (Wassam al-Ourdoni), Rafiq al-Hami, Walid Shahir al-Qadasi, and Aminullah Baryalai Tukhi.
Iran’s transfer occurred as part of a detainee exchange. Because the hand-over happened soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Iran was aware that the United States would have effective control over any detainees handed over to Afghan authorities. Amin al-Yafia, another individual believed to have been captured in Iran, in 2002, may have been subsequently held in CIA custody. Yafia’s whereabouts are unknown. See the detainee list in Section IV.
There are no known judicial cases or investigations in Iran relating to its participation in CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.
The section on Syria is disturbing. That government’s record of horrific abuses has spilled out into the open since the uprising of 2011 became a civil war, with more Syrians subjected to – and speaking out about – a torture regime that sounds as if it were from another century. According to a 2005 article by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, quoted in the report, Syria was one of the “most common destinations for rendered suspects.” Government forces, according to the report, held some U.S.-provided detainees in a prison known as “The Grave” for its coffin-sized cells and subjected them to “torture involving a chair frame used to stretch the spine (the ‘German chair’) and beatings.”
One of the greatest deceptions the world has witnessed is the Dalai Lama pretending to follow Ghandian non-violence – a pretence that won him the Nobel Peace Prize – when in reality he supports violence.
Part 1 The US embassy and state department notes make this totally clear- See Below
Part 2 Torture and Punishment in the Dalai Lama’s Tibet in pictures- Nothing could be further from the truth than the popular myth of pre-invasion Tibet as a Shangri-la. These photos show horrific and inhumane punishments regularly meted out by the ruling classes right up to the time when the Dalai Lama fled his homeland. Part 3 below The Nazi buddies of the Dalai Lama Part 4 below The Dalai Lama enjoying the high life with Chairman Mao and other Chinese notables Part 5 The Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara
The Dalai Lama Cables: Follow the Money Recently declassified US State Department cables reveal the workings of the Dalai Lama and his inner circle. Throughout the 1950s the Dalai Lama negotiated with the US government for military and financial assistance. In the State Department document ‘United States Policy Concerning the Legal Status of Tibet – 1942 – 1956’, a summary of the US government’s response is given: ‘The United States was prepared to provide light arms, but it was not prepared to pay the expenses of the Dalai Lama and his retinue if they sought asylum abroad, because it assumed that the Dalai Lama had enough treasure to pay his own expenses.’ When the Dalai Lama finally did flee Tibet in early 1959, he sent his brother, Gyalo Thondup, to ask for financial and military assistance. Gyalo Thondup let it be known that: ‘The Dalai Lama did not bring out any treasures from Tibet and consequently was very hard up financially’. The declassified documents show that the Dalai Lama received a personal subsidy from the US government – a covert payment arranged by the CIA – of 180,000 US Dollars per year from 1959 through till at least 1974. To put this in a modern context 180,000 dollars in the 1950s would be worth nearly 1.5 million today, and 180,000 dollars in the seventies would be worth nearly 800,000 today. Considering the US intended not to support the Dalai Lama financially that’s a pretty generous subsidy to have squeezed out of them.
Camp Hale Colorado where the CIA Trained Tibetan guerrillas
The Dalai Lama with Tibetan Guerillas
Old Buddies meet up -John Kenneth Knaus, the CIA station chief who ran these covert actions in the late 1950s and 1960s. Above Photo approx 1995
Dalai Lama inspecting troops 1972
Torture and Punishment in the Dalai Lama’s Tibet in pictures Nothing could be further from the truth than the popular myth of pre-invasion Tibet as a Shangri-la. These photos show horrific and inhumane punishments regularly meted out by the ruling classes right up to the time when the Dalai Lama fled his homeland.
This photograph shows a Tibetan whose eyes were gouged out with the kinds of instruments that were used for this kind of punishment. Anna Louise Strong describes torture implements she saw when visiting Tibet in 1959: “There were handcuffs of many sizes, including small ones for small children; there were instruments for cutting off noses and ears, and other instruments for breaking off the hands. There were instruments for gouging out eyes, including a special stone cap with two holes in it that was pressed down over the head so that the eyes bulged out through the hole, in which position they were gouged out and hot oil poured in into the sockets.”
This photograph shows bKra-shis, a herdsman, whose foot tendons were taken out as punishment. Anna Louise Strong describes the torture instruments she saw in Tibet in 1959: “There were instruments for slicing off knee-caps, after which boiling oil was applied there. other instruments sliced off the heels or hamstrung men, making permanent cripples. there were instruments for sealing the forehead with a red hot brand. there were various kinds of whips for flogging, with wooden paddles, or with ropes or wires. there were special instruments for dis-embowelling.”
Stuart and Roma Gelder met Tsereh Wang Tuei in Tibet in 1962. He told them his story: “Without emotion he told us that he was born a serf of Drepung in the village of Peichang, on the edge of the grasslands where we met him. He became a herdsman, looking after sheep and yaks. when he was twenty years old he stole two sheep belonging to a petty official of the monastery, named Gambo. For this crime he was taken before the monastic magistrate who ordered that both his eyes should be put out. Tsereh Wang Tuei drew his hand across his face as he described how one was gouged with a knife and the other sucked from its socket with a half-hollowed ball. Then adding a little private punishment of his own, Gambo instructed the ‘executioner’ to tie up Tsereh’s left hand with rope and twist and pull it until parts of two fingers came off. To complete the torture, the bleeding hand was wrapped in salted yak hide. When the leather had shrunk it was permitted to be removed. What was left was a useless piece of flesh and crushed bone. we asked Tsereh Wang Tuei, ‘Are you a Buddhist?’ ‘I was,’ he said. ‘But not now?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘When a holy lama told them to blind me I thought there was no good in religion.’”
In her book, Tibetan Interviews, Anna Lousie Strong, recounts: “A herdsman, speaking at the big mass meeting with arms uplifted to show that the hands were long since broken off at the wrist. But the strong face spoke now neither of pain nor of horror but only of judgement as the man said: “This lord took away my wife and I never again saw her. He beat off my hands when I opposed him. He also beat of the hands of my younger brother, who was weaker than I and who died of shock and loss of blood. My sister died of the terror. My old mother is ill ever since.”
Public Torture in Lhasa These Tibetans are terrified as they await punishment. They were frontier guards who – following their standard proceedure – shot and killed some foreigners who were trying to enter into Tibet. Unknown to them a letter from the Tibetan Government was making it way to them instructing them to greet these foreigners and show them the highest respect. Unfortunately for these guards and the three men they killed, the letter arrived too late. As Frank Bessac, one of the surviving foreigners reported: ‘The leader was to have his nose and both ears cut off. The man who fired the first shot was to lose both ears. A third man was to lose one ear, and the others were to get 50 lashes each.’ The Tibetans were saved from mutilation only by one of the Americans they had shot at. Bessac tells us: ‘I felt that this punishment was too severe, so I asked if it could be lightened. My request was granted. The new sentences were: 200 lashes each for the leader and the man who fired the first shot.’ This 1950 photograph shows their public whipping in Lhasa. After their public whipping the leaders were then put in cangues indefinitely, unable to feed themselves they would only be able to eat through the kindness of others.
Public Whipping in Lhasa This 1950 photograph shows their public whipping in Lhasa. The Tibetans were saved from mutilation only by one of the Americans they had shot at. Bessac tells us: ‘I felt that this punishment was too severe, so I asked if it could be lightened. My request was granted. the new sentences were: 200 lashes each for the leader and the man who fired the first shot.’
Public Torture in Lhasa After their public whipping the leaders were then put in cangues indefinitely. Unable to feed themselves, they would only be able to eat through the kindness of others.
A Tibetan in cangue “A murderer at the prison of Muli. Permanent iron clamps hold the boards of the cangue together; he will wear this for five years, should he live so long. His hands cannot reach his face, so he must be fed a ball of barley flour twice a day by a monk.”
While the Dalai Lama enjoyed his 1000 room mansion the Potala Palace, at its foot was the Potala Shol prison were Tibetans would be tortured and even executed. This photograph shows a Tibetan in the cangue. Sometimes they would remain in the cangue for the rest of their lives.
The Prison below the Potala Palace Underneath the Dalai Lama’s luxurious Potala Palace, Tibetans languished in stocks.
Another prison photo under Potala Prison Another photo of Tibetans in stocks in the Potala Shol prison beneath the Potala.
Below The Nazi buddies of the Dalai Lama
The Dalai with Jorge Haider
In 2006 and 2007, the Dalai Lama publicly gave Jorg Haider his blessings with a ceremonial white scarf (Katag). Haider had been the leader of the Far-Right Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), and known for publically airing his appreciation of the policies of Nazi Germany. So much so that when his party was brought in to form a coalition government in Austria the European Union imposed a diplomatic boycott on Austria because of the FPO’s extreme views.
Dalai Lama with Miguel Serranao
Another Nazi friend of the Dalai Lama was Miguel Serrano head of the Nazi Party in Chile and the author of several books that elevate Hitler to a god-like status. Whilst working as the Chilean ambassador to India between 1959 – 1962, Miguel Serrano, although openly a supporter of the Nazis, kept quiet about his view of Hitler as a god on earth… but even after he published books expounding these views in 1978 and claiming their close connection with Tantric Buddhism, the Dalai Lama maintained a close personal friendship, inviting him to private meetings in 1984 and 1992.
The Dalai Lama with Heinrich Harrer
The Dalai Lama maintained a warm relationship with Heinrich Harrer and both tried to play down his Nazi links. Gerald Lehner’s investigated the matter and found: “In his curriculum vitae for the SS, Harrer mentions his SA membership twice. Handwritten. Furthermore he was friends with and brother-in-law to the Gauleiter of Styria, the mass-murderer Siegfried Uiberreither. Both married the daughters of the German polar explorer Alfred Wegener who at the time had taught in Graz. Furthermore during his time at the Indian internment camp, Harrer boasted to have been there when the Graz synagogue was burnt down in the Crystal night. His contacts to the SA troup came about through the ‘Graz Gymnastic Club’ which was spearheading the (at the time) illegal Nazis in Austria. He remained a member of this club until his death.”
Heinrich Harrer with Hitler
Heinrich Harrer was a tutor to the young Dalai Lama in Tibet, and remained close to him through the decades in exile. Vanity Fair described him as the Dalai Lama’s ‘western guru’. Here he is standing next to Hitler. Harrer was a sergeant in the SS, Hitler’s elite soldiers. For more details about Heinrich Harrer’s nazi past, read Gerald Lehner’s book on the subject.
Another Pal Bruno Berger
nother close Nazi friend of the Dalai Lama’s was Bruno Beger, a war criminal convicted for his ‘scientific research’ on jewish prisoners at Auschwitz. Beger was convicted in 1970 for his part in a mass murder at the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp. This was part of the ‘Ahnenerbe’ (‘Ancestry Heritage’) programme run by August Hirt – one of the most repulsive parts of the Nazi’s grim history. Beger insisted to colleagues that they needed Jewish skulls and so 86 of his subjects were murdered. They were 29 women and 57 men who were transported from Auschwitz and gassed in August 1943, in a special chamber about sixty kilometres south-west of Strasburg, in the Vosges mountains, near Hirt’s headquarters. Beger had X-rayed their 86 skulls and determined their blood types, and after their murder, did work on their skeletons.
Bruno Berger during the war crimes tribunal
The Dalai Lama has maintained a close relationship with Bruno Beger despite his conviction as a Nazi war criminal. In exchange for the legitimacy the Dalai Lama’s friendship bestows on the Nazi scientist, Beger has in return offered writings on Tibet that support the Dalai Lama’s position:
This photo shows Reting, the regent of Tibet, with Bruno Beger, a key member of the SS expeditions to Lhasa.
Below The Dalai Lama enjoying the high life with Chairman Mao and other Chinese notables
The Dalai Lama shaking Chairman Mao’s hands on Oct 13, 1954
The Dalai Lama voting at a Communist Party Convention In March 1955, the Dalai Lama attended the first session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing and was elected vice chairman of the NPC standing committee. In April 1956, he was also appointed the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Autonomous Region of Tibet.
The Dalai Lama with Deng Xiaoping in 1954
he Dalai Lama having dinner with Chairman Mao and Zhou Enlai. Stuart and Roma Gelder visiting Tibet in 1962, commented that the Dalai Lama and his public statements (such as ‘Learn from the Soviet Union and Construct Our Socialist Fatherland’ and ‘Strive for a Glorious Leap Forward in Tibet’) had been ‘Mao’s most valuable ally in Tibet’.
Part 5 –
The Dalai Lama and Shoko Asahara Good friend of Dalai Lama and praised by the Dalai Lama after giving over a million dollars to Dalai Lama. Also an admirer of Adolph Hitler. Convicted of mass murder by placing poison Sarin gas in the Tokyo subway. The Dalai Lama lobbied for Shoko Asahara to be recognised as a Buddhist leader in Japan
Partnership with the CIA
The Dalai Lama with the Tibetan Guerrillas
Of all the lies that surround the Dalai Lama, surely the greatest is that he is a champion of non-violence. This aspect of the image that he likes to portray of himself and with which he has mesmerised the media and much of the world is actually just another part of the myth.
The truth of the matter is that from the mid-1950s through to the mid-1970s there was an active and violent Tibetan resistance movement that was funded by the CIA.
The CIA Tibetan Activity consists of political action, propaganda, and paramilitary activity […] The cost of the Tibetan Program for FY 1964 can be summarized in approximate figures as follows:
a. Support of 2100 Tibetan guerrillas based in Nepal–$ 500,000
b. Subsidy to the Dalai Lama–$ 180,000
c. [1 line of source text not declassified] (equipment, transportation, installation, and operator training costs)–$ 225,000
d. Expenses of covert training site in Colorado–$ 400,000
f. Black air transportation of Tibetan trainees from Colorado to India–$ 185,000
g. Miscellaneous (operating expenses of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] equipment and supplies to reconnaissance teams, caching program, air resupply–not overflights, preparation stages for agent network in Tibet, agent salaries, etc.)–$ 125,000
h. Educational program for 20 selected junior Tibetan officers– $ 45,000
Document 337, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964 – 1968, Volume xxx, China
Declassified State Department Document
TWO SORTS OF people were offended by Oliver Stone‘s film JFK. American patriots were outraged at the suggestion by Stone’s main character that Lyndon Johnson was complicit in John F. Kennedy’s murder. The others, deeply involved in North America’s fast-growing spirituality industry, gasped with disbelief when the unnamed U.S. intelligence veteran played by Donald Sutherland, reminiscing about the old days of the CIA, said, “Tibet ’59, we got the Dalai Lama out–we were good, very good.”
Followers of the 14th Dalai Lama, including such Buddhist theologians as Richard Gere and Harrison Ford, have often tried to ignore the long-time links between their exiled leader and the CIA. Doing so credibly, however, becomes harder each year.
When the People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet in 1950, it found Tibet much as it always had been: an unforgiving and feudal society where there were still warlords and even slaves. The Dalai Lama, who visits Vancouver April 18 to 20 (details at http://www.dalailamavancouver.org/), lived as the monarch in his 1,000-room palace in Lhasa without interference from the new occupiers of his country, which had often been invaded in earlier times and just as often had invaded others.
But some of his subjects did rise up, unsuccessfully and with CIA help. Rebelliousness grew until 1959, when the Dalai Lama himself joined in a more general revolt. It failed. He fled across the border into India.
Probably the first public revelation about supposed CIA help in the flight itself came in 1961 with the publication of Tibet Is My Country: The Autobiography of Thubten Jigme Norbu, Brother of the Dalai Lama. But the phrasing in this as-told-to book, translated from Tibetan to English via German, was ambiguous. Many were left to argue whether the springing of the Dalai Lama was actually a CIA covert op or if, as the CIA claimed, its people became aware of the escape only when it was already under way–though by then they long had American operatives at work inside Tibet.
In his 1995 The Very Best Men, Evan Thomas, Newsweek’s expert on the intelligence community, described the Dalai Lama and a CIA operative “racing down the runway of a remote mountain strip, a step ahead of the blazing guns” of the Chinese army. But in Orphans of the Cold War (1999), John Kenneth Knaus, one of the CIA’s point men in Tibet, said CIA help was limited to radio contact (as shown in Martin Scorsese’s 1997 film Kundun). That version was echoed in The Dragon in the Land of Snows by Tsering Shakya (also 1999). Many arguments still turn on this point. What’s become a lot less debatable is what the Dalai Lama and the CIA did next–together.
In the early 1960s, the CIA moved from dropping its own agents into Tibet to training a brigade of 2,000 Tibetan exiles, using secret bases in the Colorado Rockies and elsewhere. The band was supposed to invade occupied Tibet from Nepal. The Dalai Lama admitted as much in his 1990 autobiography Freedom in Exile, which sold one million copies and was the first of his many lucrative bestsellers (two in the past two years alone).
But apparently the guerrilla army never did more than engage in border skirmishing. As early as 1964, in fact, its effectiveness and efficiency were called into question by the CIA, which nevertheless stuck with the plan. Funds to pay this army were funnelled through the Dalai Lama and his organization, which received US$1.7 million a year, later reduced to $1.2 million. (Of this, the Dalai Lama himself was paid $186,000 a year. But no one has ever suggested that he pocketed it. The money was used to operate his exiled government’s offices in Geneva and New York.) The last year in which the stipend was paid out was 1974. By then, of course, U.S. policy had changed to one of embracing China, not antagonizing it.
Much of this information became public in 1997 in the far-right Chicago Tribune, of all places, confirming what Maoists had been charging for decades. In 1998 both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times added further details, using newly declassified agency documents.
Now the debate may be shifting. One former CIA agent named Ralph McGehee, admittedly a professional thorn in the side of his former employer, alleges that the CIA has been a prime funder of the Dalai Lama’s media profile as a symbol of meditative peace and Buddhist mindfulness. But the North American image of a spiritually pure Tibet–the Shangri-la idea that’s been building ever since Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton, who got the idea from photos in National Geographic–can also be viewed in other terms. It can be seen as a continuation of the Orientalism by which the western imagination has colonized and marginalized Asia and the Middle East for generations.
The family of a US intelligence agent that mysteriously died in 1953 has filed a lawsuit that accuses the CIA of committing murder.
The sons of deceased CIA officer Frank Olson allege in a lawsuit this week that their father was killed on the job nearly 60 years ago, despite the Central Intelligence Agency’s lost-standing claim that the death was a suicide.
Frank Olson was found dead outside the New York City Statler Hotel after what was originally described as a jump from the thirteenth floor carried out by his own accord. In 1975, a government report was made public that revealed Olson had been given LSD by his employers as part of a top-secret behavioral engineering project dubbed MKULTRA beforehand, and the drug has since been blamed for his alleged suicide. In the decades since, however, the case has been called into question due to a number of peculiarities, including how closely the alleged cover-up in the years since has come eerily close to the agency’s own policies.
“The circumstances surrounding the death mirrored those detailed in an assassination manual that, upon information and belief, the CIA had drafted that same year,” Scott Gilbert, a lawyer for the Olsons, writes in the complaint filed this week.
CIA spokesperson Preston Golson tells Bloomberg News that he cannot comment on a pending court case specifically, but suggests that the agency stands by their explanation.
“CIA activities related to MK-ULTRA have been thoroughly investigated over the years, and the agency cooperated with each of those investigations,” Golson said. “In addition, tens of thousands of pages related to the program have been declassified and released to the public.”
According to the complaint filed by sons Eric and Nils Olson, though, there is more to the story — just days before Frank Olson’s death, he allegedly informed a colleague that he had ethical concerns regarding the agency’s conduct and had planned to resign. That colleague, Vincent Ruwet, then accompanied the agent along with a CIA scientist to New York City so that Olson could see a doctor. There an allergist prescribed him sedatives and the alleged suicide occurred shortly thereafter.
When Olson was discovered dead, either Ruwet or the CIA scientist responsible for giving him LSD, Robert Lashbrook, made a phone call to an agency higher-up to inform them of the death.
“Well, he’s gone,” one person allegedly told the other in a phone call conversation included in the complaint.
“That’s too bad’,” the other responded.
According to a report this week published by Bloomberg, Eric and Nils Olson believe their father’s closed-casket funeral further covered-up the fact that Frank Olson had been bludgeoned by CIA agents before being tossed from the window. A 1994 investigation later all but confirmed that allegation, the complaint reads.
The New York District Attorney’s Office reclassified the cause of Olson’s death from “suicide” to “unknown” during the late 1990s. Now once again his sons are demanding they be told the truth.
Widening Petraeus Scandal Reveals Human Race Has Been Having Sex For 200,000 Years | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
WASHINGTON—Following the recent revelation that former CIA director David Petraeus conducted a protracted extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, sources confirmed today that the far-reaching scandal has widened to reveal that mankind, otherwise known as the species Homo sapiens, has been engaging in sexual intercourse for the past 200,000 years.
“While the situation appeared at first to be limited to this one sexual relationship between Gen. Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell, we see now that it is far more extensive than we had initially believed,” said an FBI official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation. “Indeed, evidence shows Gen. Petraeus is, in fact, just one of literally billions of human beings who we now believe have on numerous occasions engaged in sexual intercourse over the last several hundred millennia.”
“No matter how far back we go, we just continue to find more and more corroborating proof of people having sex,” the official added. “There’s simply no end in sight.”
Officials were reportedly first alerted to the allegations after the discovery of thousands of documents this week, including e-mails, letters, and photographs, which led them to believe that millions of other people beyond Gen. Petraeus have been having sex since perhaps the middle Paleolithic period, and continue to have sex today in various partnerships and in all 196 countries worldwide.
A further investigation into the matter then revealed not only that people have been frequently engaging in sex throughout modern history, but also that they have been doing so at least since the first precursors to modern humans gained the ability to walk upright, and that sexual intercourse is a natural biological function that may indeed be widespread and prevalent throughout all human eras.
“The scope of this scandal is simply astonishing—there is currently enough evidence to implicate individuals from every part of the world, even dating back before the creation of modern international states,” said one source close to the investigation, adding that the FBI has collected millions of first-person accounts of people who have either had sex themselves or witnessed others performing sexual acts. “There are even thousands of hours of video evidence that cyber-security experts in D.C. and Langley have managed to find on the Internet.”
“The real question is, ‘Who knew about this? And for how long?’” the anonymous source added.
According to reports, a comprehensive global probe jointly conducted by the FBI and CIA also revealed that, in addition to Gen. Petraeus, others alleged to have had sex in the past include Leon Panetta, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Bernanke, George Stephanopoulos, John Lennon, Charlotte Brontë, Jack Nicholson, William Shakespeare, Andre Agassi, Plato, Ulysses S. Grant, Queen Elizabeth II, Ted Avery of Dayton, OH, George Washington, Karen Avery of Dayton, OH, every past and present member of the band Chicago, Sir Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, Andie MacDowell, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Vince Lombardi, and Adolf Hitler.
“A closer look at the evidence indicates that even the earliest primates engaged in acts of sexual intercourse,” said Dr. Jacob Reynolds, a historian at the University of North Carolina. “We have even discovered lewd depictions engraved on stone tablets dating all the way back to 10,000 BC in what is now modern-day Turkey. But it is very possible that this controversy stretches back farther than any of our historical records.”
Reynolds confirmed that in addition to human beings, many well-known animals are also thought to have engaged in sexual activity, including millions of bears, sheep, goats, and even numerous fish and insect species.
Furthermore, sources indicated that sexual activity may extend all the way to the White House.
While the full extent of the investigation is not known at this time, sources said the FBI will likely continue looking into the matter until “everyone and everything involved in this matter is brought to light.”
At press time, officials estimated that roughly 15,000 human beings are having sex at this exact moment.
Paula Broadwell is reportedly crashing on the Petraeus family’s couch until the uproar blows over
WASHINGTON—Following the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus amid recent reports of marital infidelity, current acting director Michael Morell assured Americans Monday that he does not engage in any form of sexual activity whatsoever. “Under no circumstances do I ever take part in sexual acts of any kind, nor do I desire to, nor have I ever deemed this activity necessary in any way,” Morell told reporters at a press conference, explaining that his genitals are “solely for excreting urine and absolutely nothing else.” “I have never had sex in the past, I am not having sex now, and I guarantee I will never have sex in the future, be it for pleasure, procreation, or any other purpose. Indeed, I am a fully asexual being who possesses neither the need nor the inclination for sexual intercourse.” Morell then stared unblinkingly at the assembled press corps for a full five minutes.
In an interview with a Denver TV reporter Friday, President Obama twice refused to answer questions as to whether the Americans under siege in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, were denied requests for help, saying he’s waiting for the results of investigations before making any conclusions about what went wrong.
After being asked about possible denials of requests for aid, and whether it’s fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and won’t be released until after the election, the president said, “the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”
President Obama told KUSA-TV’s Kyle Clarke large that “we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.”
Clark pressed again.
“Were they denied requests for help during the attack?” he asked.
“Well, we are finding out exactly what happened,” the president again said. “I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.”
In response, CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, “We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”