By Wayne Madsen
The time period that President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro/Sutoro, worked for various Indonesian and Pakistani operations associated with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was during a time frame when USAID was composed almost entirely of CIA official and non-official cover agents who worked throughout Indonesia and Southeast and South Asia.
Ann Dunham Soetoro and Barack Obama as “flexible cover” agents
Before he was sacked as CIA director in 1976 and replaced by George H. W. Bush, William E. Colby commissioned a study of the agency’s priorities in a five-year plan. The Secret NOFORN plan, titled “Director of Central Intelligence: Perspectives for Intelligence 1976-1981,” described the importance of agencies like USAID in the CIA’s operations. The report states: “Contributions of such agencies as State, Defense, Treasury, USAID, USIA, Agriculture, and Commerce can be enhanced substantially by more effective approaches to information gathering and in the reporting aspects of their activities. We need particularly, gains in the interrelationships between overt and clandestine and technical and human sources. We must establish more direct lines between our human collectors and our technical collectors.”
Classified CIA documents from the late 1970s, while Dunham Soetoro was working for USAID, the CIA-linked Development Alternatives, Inc. and East-West Center of the University of Hawaii, describe in great detail the type of deep agent “flexible cover” under which she worked for the CIA. A Secret paper written by C.D. Edbrook as a basic text for CIA agent training and titled “Principles of Deep Cover,” describes the environment in which Obama’s mother worked in both Indonesia and later, Pakistan.
Edbrook defines “flexible cover” as “a logical reason for interest in diversified local groups” and “mobility.” Dunham Soetoro’s varied employers in Indonesia suggest that her career met the definition of a “flexible agent,” either a non-official cover (NOC) employee of the CIA or a career contract agent. The latter became highly favored in the late 1970s after CIA director Stansfield Turner sacked a number of career clandestine services officers. On career contract agents, Edbrook clearly favored their use in stating: “many of the problems of deep cover are avoided when a service can recruit suitable agents already embarked on legitimate careers.”
From January 1968 to December 1969, Dunham Soetoro worked for the Indonesia-America Friendship Institute in Jakarta, a suspected CIA front. Dunham was also co-founder of the Indonesian Heritage Society at the National Museum in Jakarta. She worked at the Society as a volunteer from 1968 to 1972. In 1969, the CIA Jakarta CIA station chief was Stuart E. Methven whose official cover was embassy political officer. Methven became the CIA station chief in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974 from where he launched the CIA’s covert war against the government of Angola.
From January 1970 to August 1972, Dunham Soetoro was an executive at the Institute of Management Education and Development (IMED) in Jakarta, likely a continuation of her CIA flexible cover employment.
From 1972 to 1975, Dunham Soetoro double-dipped, returning to the University of Hawaii to obtain her Masters of Arts in anthropology from the University of Hawaii, under a grant from the CIA-funded Asia Foundation, while continuing to serve under contract IMED in Jakarta. The CIA’s liaison for various USAID programs in Jakarta was Vicent Michael Shields who operated under official cover as the embassy’s economic and commercial attache.
From 1972 to 1975, Dunham Soetoro taught Indonesian crafts at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, further developing her “flexible cover” credentials. In 1975, the year Indonesia invaded East Timor with the support of the CIA, Dunham Soetoro returned to conduct “anthropological field work” on Java. Dunham Soetoro worked in Jakarta in 1975 and moved to work in Yogyakarta in 1976.
In March 1977, Dunham Soetoro taught a course under Professor Leon Mears at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. The course was designed for the staff of the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS). From June 1977 to September 1978, Dunham Soetoro returned to Yogyakarta and researched small village industries under a grant from the CIA-linked East-West Center.
In May 1978, Dunham Soetoro returned to Jakarta and consulted with the International Labor Organization to develop recommendations on village industries for the Suharto regime’s third five-year plan, REPELITA III. On November 24, 1980, Dunham divorced Lolo Soetoro. From 1977 to 1980, the CIA station chief in Jakarta was Carl Edward Gebhardt. Case officers at the CIA station during this time frame were economics section officer James D. Anders, Jr.; Ronald M. Cinal, whose previous posting was Nairobi, Kenya; and William H. Wright, who worked in 1977 at the consulate in Surabaya — while Dunham Soetoro was working in the Surabaya CIA station city of responsibility Yogyakarta — and who was transferred in 1979 to Jakarta.
Dunham Soetoro’s field work extended throghot Java: a major target in the CIA’s influence extension operations.
From October 1978 to December 1980, under contract to USAID and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), a CIA front company, Dunham consulted on rural industries development in central Java. The CIA’s station chief in Jakarta in June 1980 was Warren E. Frank and the deputy chief of station from July 1979 through 1980 was Harrison McAlpine, who, from 1971 to 1974, was a USAID “public administration adviser” in Vientiane, Laos. Also at the CIA station in Jakarta in 1980 was Robert H. Mills, operating under official cover of embassy First Secretary and who, form 1972 to 1974, was operating at the U.S. Consulate in Surabaya, eastern Java, as a USAID “public safety program” officer.
The identities of the CIA agents assigned to Indonesia in the late 1960s, 70s, and 80s were compiled in various writings by the whistleblowing former CIA agent Philip Agee.
From January 1981 to November 1984, Dunham worked under the cover of the Ford Foundation’s Southeast Regional Office in Jakarta. Dunham’s grants came from the head of the foundation’s grant program in New York, Peter Geithner, the father of Timothy Geithner, the current Treasury Secretary.
Edbrook’s paper on “deep cover” describes Dunham Soetoro’s checkerboard employment record to a tee: “The cover with the best chance of enduring in any area is one that does not feed off the area but contributes needed skills or knowledge or a commodity that is lacking . . . non-commercial cover may be more desirable in some places: in newly independent countries, for instance, teachers or technicians may be more needed and welcome than business representatives and the desire of the new governments to get them elsewhere than from the former colonial power may provide another nation with cover opportunities for its own nationals or for third-national agents.”
In post-coup Indonesia, neither the Dutch, the former colonial rulers, or the Chinese, who were linked to the previous Sukarno government, were held in esteem. Thus, “teachers” like Dunham Soetoro were able to make instant inroads in urban and rural areas alike while keeping her CIA cover intact. Similarly, Obama’s 1981 trip from Indonesia to Pakistan and southern India, reportedly using an Indonesian passport issued to “Barry Soetoro,” describes Edbrook’s “cover opportunities” for “third-national agents.”The pressure the Obama administration applied to newspapers like The New York Times to hold off on publishing details on Raymond Davis, the sometimes CIA contract employee and currently, its acting station chief in Pakistan and jailed by Pakistan for murder, exemplifies Obama’s strong support, even empathy, for CIA covert operations. Similarly, the Obama administration has applied strong pressure on Cuba to release jailed accused CIA spy Alan Gross, who operated in Cuba under Development Alternatives, Inc., the same CIA-USAID front company that employed Obama’s mother in Indonesia.
Obama hired by front company as CIA launched major propaganda offensive through media
In fact, Obama’s own work in New York for CIA front company Business International Corporation (BIC), after graduating from Columbia University, came after President Reagan signed the classified National Security Council Decision Directive 77. NSCDD-77 authorized the CIA and other intelligence agencies to produce mountains of disinformation, biased news, propaganda, and planted news stories in the name of “Project Democracy” and the renewed ideological war against Communism. The plan was the reincarnation of CIA Plans Director Frank Wisner, Sr.’s “Mighty Wurlitzer,” the CIA’s worldwide propaganda and deception operation that relied on, in part, firms like BIC. Wisner was also the originator of the CIA’s program to recruit foreign students attending U.S. universities — students like Barack Obama, Sr. and Lolo Soetoro — to serve as CIA agents after they returned to their home nations. Funding for the students tuition was either made directly by the CIA or through foundations like the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. Perhaps not coincidentally, Wisner’s son, Frank Wisner, Jr., was dispatched as President Obama’s special envoy to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during his waning days in office.
From 1983 to 1984, Obama edited a BIC newsletter titled “Financing Foreign Operations,” a topic that his grandmother, who he called “Toot,” was more than familiar considering her role in back channeling CIA pay-offs through the BankoH. In addition to writing for “Business International Money Report,” Barack Obama specialized in writing about the financial situations in Mexico and Brazil. BIC was allegedly involved in politics in Australia and Fiji in the 1980s, supporting the CIA’s initiatives to discredit politicians seen as anti-American, including Australian Labor Party lobbyist David Combe, former Australian Attorney General and High Court judge Lionel Murphy, and Fijian Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra. It has been reported that eleven CIA agents were present in Suva on May 14, 1987, when Fijian Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka ousted Bavadra’s government in a coup said to have been the mastermind of retired General Vernon Waters, the old CIA hand who served as Reagan’s ambassador to the UN. BIC’s headquarters were located at 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across the street from the UN headquarters. Bavadra accused Walters of helping to engineer the coup in Fiji. “Toot” Dunham had retired from BankoH in 1986, the year before the coup.
In 1984, Obama left his high-paying job at BIC to literally “parachute” into south Chicago to become a “community organizer.” Obama’s mission had little to do with organizing a blighted community — after the CIA’s OPERATION CHAOS, a domestic spying operation against radical groups was shut down after the Watergate scandal, President Reagan and William Casey restored it under a different name and greatly expanded its operations. In Chicago, the surveillance targets for Obama included the feared El Rukn gang, thought to have links to Muammar Qaddafi’s Libyan government, the Black Panthers, and the Nation of Islam.
Madelyn Dunham: on watch at Hawaii bank during major CIA financial operations in Pacific region
In 1970, Dunham Soetoro’s mother, Madelyn Dunham, became one of the first female vice presidents of the Bank of Hawaii in Honolulu. WMR previously reported that Madelyn Dunham handled a number of escrow accounts through which the CIA paid off leaders and politicians in various Asian countries where the “BankoH” maintained branches, including Indonesia. 1970 was the same year that Australian banker Frank Nugan and US Green Beret officer and CIA agent Michael Hand formed Australasian and Pacific Holdings, Ltd., a CIA proprietary firm that shared investors with executives of the CIA’s Air America and USAID.
In 1973, using the profits from Australasian and Pacific Holdings, Nugan and Hand established the Nugan Hand Bank, with branches or offices in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Manila; Taipei; the Cayman Islands; Honolulu; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; Hong Kong; Washington, DC; Cape Town; and Sydney. The Chiang Mai branch laundered profits from drug smuggling while the other branches paid off Pacific region politicians and handled accounts used for weapons smuggling. In January 1980, when Nugan’s body was discovered in his Mercedes on a quiet road in Sydney, the business card of William Colby was found in his pocket. Nugan Hand Bank was established while Colby was CIA director.
Nugan Hand Bank also financed the supply of bombs and other explosive materials, as well as weapons like machine guns, helicopter gunships, and rocket launchers, to terrorists. The terrorist arming operation was carried out largely by a CIA military carve-out known as U.S. Navy Task Force 157, which likely used the CIA’s paramilitary training base at Harvey Point, North Carolina as one of its operational centers. The Nugan Hand-Task Force 157 operations involved secret arms deals with Thailand, Brazil, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iran, Angola, and Libya. The operation was linked to CIA arms smugglers Edwin P. Wilson, Frank Terpil, Nugan Hand’s Saudi branch chief Bernie Houghton, CIA oil specialist Walter McDonald, CIA Canberra station chief John D. Walker, and former CIA White House liaison officer John Paisley. Paisley’s body was found in 1978 in the Chesapeake Bay, weighed down with anchor chain and with a single gunshot wound to the head. Paisley’s death was later ruled a suicide. In 1996, Colby’s body was also found underwater in the Chesapeake Bay. Colby’s death was ruled a drowning after suffering a heart seizure. Most of Nugan Hand’s business records were destroyed in a high-priority and global CIA black bag operation.
As Nugan Hand Bank was collapsing, in 1979, the CIA quickly moved to establish a replacement firm in Honolulu, Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham, and Wong (BBRDW). The name of the firm borrowed the names of prominent Hawaii families, including Bishop, whose name graces the Bishop Museum of Honolulu, where Dunham Soetoro worked from 1972 to 1975 while studying under a grant from the CIA-linked Asia Foundation. Operating as an international investment firm, BBRDW quickly filled the vacuum left by Nugan Hand and it opened offices in all the countries where Nugan Hand maintained branches, including Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta, Singapore, Cayman Islands, and Sydney, with additional locations in Auckland, Stockholm, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, and Santiago. BBRDW also did business with BankoH when Madelyn Dunham was still handling the secretive escrow accounts.
BBRDW collapsed in 1983 but there was another CIA replacement already ramped up: the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which had taken over First American Bank of Washington, DC. First American handled the secret financial operations for some 200 CIA proprietary companies established after William Casey became director of the CIA in 1981. Casey appointed CIA veteran Douglas Mulholland to act as the CIA’s point man at the Treasury Department, with a side liaison function to the Federal Reserve Bank, to ensure that the CIA’s secret financial deals remained that way — secret. Eminent Democratic Party politicians like former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford and Robert Altman were brought in to run First American to provide the First American’s CIA drug money and weapons smuggling laundering operations with cover and legitimacy. When BCCI’s unsavory operations became known in 1988, Senator John Kerry, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suddenly began to waffle on conducting a thorough investigation of BCCI after it was discovered that two top Democrats — Clifford and Altman — as well as the CIA, were using the bank for covert and illegal activities. House Banking Committee chairman Henry Gonzalez (D-TX) suspected that Kerry and House Intelligence Committee chairman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) were covering up for Langley. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is now used as a virtual shadow Secretary of State by Obama. Before BCCI collapsed in 1990, the CIA ensured that key bank documents held by Treasury and the Fed were destroyed in another major bank shredding operation.
BCCI’s international branches were more ubiquitous than those of Nugan Hand and BBRDW combined. BCCI, with its headquarters in Luxembourg, maintained branches in Washington, DC; Grand Cayman; London, Chicago, New York, Abu Dhabi, Karachi, Jeddah, Kuwait, Shenzhen, Geneva, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, Willemstad, Amsterdam, Toronto, Paris, Muscat, Gibraltar, Singapore, Istanbul, Manila, Atlanta, Monte Carlo, Houston, Nassau, Tampa, Boca Raton, Encino, Islamabad, and Dubai.
A nasty CIA habit: overthrowing Australian governments in “quiet coups”
Nugan Hand was used to finance the 1975 overthrow of the Australian Labor Party government of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and an operation conducted jointly with Britain’s MI-6, which received the backing of Queen Elizabeth II who gave the necessary instructions to her Governor General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, a CIA asset. The CIA overthrow of Whitlam may not have been the last time the agency interfered in Australian politics. It is noteworthy that WMR was recently informed by ba reliable source that the June 2010 “midnight overthrow” of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by his deputy, Julia Gillard, was engineered by the CIA and U.S. Republican Party operatives linked to the international political dirty tricks operations run by Karl Rove. Rove has allegedly built up a network of political leaders who do the bidding of the United States, including Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Gillard, especially in regard to the American case against WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
It is significant that the Governor General who appointed Gillard to the post of Prime Minister, Quentin Bryce, was launched into political prominence by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who was installed as prime minister after the overthrow of Whitlam in the 1975 CIA-engineered coup. Bryce has been described by her associates as a “control freak.”
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs. Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has taken on Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testifty as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation. Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Association for Intelligence Officers …
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