The world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and U.S. government-run foreign assistance priograms in which President Obama was raised has long been dominated by the CIA. It is against this backdrop that Obama's continuation of Bush-era covert and overt intelligence operations abroad must be seen. Obama's mother, father, and step-father directly benefited from U.S. government assistance programs in countries where the CIA backed despotic regimes, lavishing them with hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance.
USAID and the Soetoros' years of living dangerously in Indonesia
Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, worked on micro-financing projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ford Foundation, both linked to the CIA, that helped prop up dictatorships in Indonesia and Pakistan. After Suharto seized power in 1965, USAID returned to Indonesia, with Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro as one of its chief employees, to help Suharto create the New Order (Orde Baru) that would usher in decades of fascist and kleptocratic rule. Suharto established the Bureau of Logistics (BULOG) that steered USAID-provided rice and other food staples to Suharto's business cronies. Suharto also relied on a group of U.S. economists, including Obama's mother, to re-engineer Indonesia's socialist economy. The group was called the "Berkeley mafia" and it ensured that Indonesia was compliant with dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and large Western commercial banks. It is a family history that Obama refuses to comment on and one that is certainly nothing to be proud of.
While USAID was moving into Indonesia in 1965, USAID contractors flying for the CIA airline, Air America, were dropping off weapons and picking up drugs in Laos and dropping off the contraband in Thailand and South Vietnam.
One of the covert CIA operations that Obama continues is the use of USAID as a front for destabilizing foreign governments.
Obama continues USAID operations with the CIA
One USAID contractor, Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) of Bethesda, Maryland, has been caught red-handed providing assistance to opposition forces in Cuba and Venezuela. DAI contractor Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba last December. Gross claimed to be installing Internet and other communications networks for the Jewish community in Cuba, however, leading members of that community reported they had never heard of Gross. The Cuban leadership has kept Gross in prison, believing him to be a spy. Recently, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson went to Cuba seeking Gross's release.
USAID has long been involved in trying to oust the Castro government in Cuba, funneling money through the Cuban-American National Foundation, the Center for a Free Cuba, and even a German foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, an adjunct of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party.
DAI is heavily involved with USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, which transfers U.S. funds to opposition parties, labor and student movements, and other groups that are pro-American. DAI, under USAID contract, was caught providing U.S. funds to Venezuelan labor unions and media outlets that supported the CIA-led coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002.
In Haiti, USAID, acting at the behest of the CIA, funded political opposition to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted in CIA-backed coups in 1991 and 2004. After Aristide's return to power in 1994, USAID money used to oppose Aristide was funneled through a "Project Democracy." Today, USAID is providing dubious small and micro-financing loans to small businesses in Haiti. The legacy of the micro-loan scheme created, in part, by Obama's mother continues in the earthquake-ravaged nation.
Bolivian President Evo Morales tossed USAID out of his country, charging it with acting with the CIA to destabilize Bolivia and bring about a coup. To this day, USAID is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to groups trying to undermine Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
During his ten-year rule, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, thought to be a CIA asset, reportedly received USAID funds to put down the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru guerrilla movements.
Continuing USAID and CIA covert ops in Pakistan and Indonesia
Currently, private military contractors working for the ex-Blackwater, now Xe Services, have been reported to be posing as USAID employees in Pakistan. Last year, the Pakistani press reported that USAID was bypassing the Pakistan ministries of Education and Information and providing direct educational assistance to Pakistani students. One USAID program in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan resulted in some $45 million disappearing down a virtual black hole.
In the 1980s, when Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Jr. spent time in Pakistan, USAID opened up a major office in Islamabad that distributed "non-lethal aid" to Afghan mujaheddin refugees in Pakistan, particularly in Peshawar. Some of the USAID assistance was also reportedly used to buy weapons for the Afghan mujaheddin but some of the weapons ended up in the hands of Pakistani Muslim radicals intent on ousting Pakistani dictator Muhammad Zia-ul Haq. Other USAID money ended up paying for expensive automobiles for leading Afghan mujaheddin commanders in Pakistan. Zia-uk Haq, his top generals, U.S. ambassador Arnold Raphel, and the head of the U.S. military aid mission in Islamabad General Herbert Wassom were killed in the suspicious crash of their C-130 aircraft in August 1988. A board of inquiry concluded that poisonous gas was released inside the aircraft causing it to crash after take-off in Bahawalpur.
The June 18, 1998, Jakarta Postreported that USAID programs in Indonesia continued to be fronts for CIA activity. Specifically, the paper said two Indonesian NGOs, the Indonesian Environmental Forum and the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation, were charged with accepting money from USAID but should have known that the aid did not come "free of charge" and was linked to the CIA.
USAID: no aid is free of charge
In 2002, USAID in Palestine, where DAI is also active, demanded detailed personal information on all the members of NGOs that received American funding. The Palestinian press reported that the information, including personal political opinions of NGO members, was to be turned over to the CIA and eventually, Mossad, to apply pressure on the NGOs to comply with U.S. and Israeli policies.
For years, USAID operated in Manila from the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency building at the Ramon Magsaysay Center on Roxas Boulevard in the Malate district of the city. In 2000, the offices moved to the Makati district of the city but the building that hosued USAID was always known to locals as the "CIA building." The building, owned by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, in honor of the Philippines President who died in a 1955 plane crash, was built in 1959 with a loan from the Rockefeller family. The Rockefellers also provided grants to the Magsaysay Foundation.
In 2004, USAID was charged by Philippines opposition parties of using CIA agents to "monitor" elections in the country. The deal to permit USAID observers was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The head of the Anakpawis Party, Crispin Beltran, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "So much for independence when foreign intelligence agents can broker an official agreement with the Comelec (election commission) allowing them to interfere in the polls."
The CIA-linked Asia Foundation, which worked closely with the CIA-funded East-West Center at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, where Obama's mother met her second husband, General Suharto's colonel, Lolo Soetoro, was linked closely to USAID covert programs in Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Vietnam, Thailand, Palau, Malaysia, and other Asian-Pacific nations. In Laos and Thailand, USAID officials provided counter-insurgency military training to Laotian and Thai special forces. In 1970, Dan Mitrione, a USAID official who was working for the CIA training Uruguyan special police on torture tactics, was kidnapped and killed by Tupamaro guerrillas.
In 1988, USAID opened a huge compound in a suburb of San Jose, Costa Rica that many Costa Ricans charged was the CIA headquarters for the "parallel state" established by the CIA in Costa Rica to support the contra-led civil war in neighboring Nicaragua. USAID also pumped millions of dollars in loans, some at zero percent, to private banks in Costa Rica to undermine the state banking system.
In 1995, Representative Mel Reynolds (D-IL), who was convicted of having sex with an underage female campaign worker, was also revealed as working for U.S. intelligence in the 1980s, via employment with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and USAID in Africa, particularly in Sudan. Reynolds, an African-American, also spent time in Israel under USIA cover.
Obama has continued USAID's involvement in CIA-directed programs in former Soviet states, including Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. In so doing, USAID complements the destabilization efforts of George Soros and his network of NGOs. Soros was a major financial backer of Obama's presidential campaign. In 1999, Croatian media reported that USAID was working through various NGOs, some connected to Soros, to oust the ailing Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The paper Vjesnikcharged that USAID, as well as the U.S. Information Service (USIS), were used as ''tampons between the American non-governmental agencies and American state bodies." The paper said the USAID program to aid Tudjman's opposition was run by the CIA and coordinated by the U.S. ambassador in Zagreb, William Montgomery.
In a 2008 Russian documentary film, "Technology of Modern Coup," Bermet Akayeva, the daughter of ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, ousted in the 2005 Tulip Revolution, stated, "USAID is very actively financed by the Soros Foundation, by the National Democratic Institute and some kind of training is carried out constantly. However, it is difficult to describe USAID as an NGO given that it is under the U.S. Department of State. They work very actively." Akayeva said there were rumors in Kyrgyzstan that the U.S.-backed coup plotters distributed narcotics to rioters who participated in the coup.
In the north Caucasus, NGOs supported by USAID, have been accused by Russian authorities of having links to Chechen terrorists.
In 2002, Eritrea expelled USAID from the country, accusing it of working with the CIA to overthrow the government and assisting Ethiopia, which had engaged in a border war with Eritrea.
USAID in Africa: involvement in political assassinations and corruption
In 2009, Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was killed in an automobile accident in which the Prime Minister was injured. The truck that struck their automobile was bought with USAID funds and bore a U.S. embassy license plate. USAID denied it had anything to do with the truck. Public Works Minister Theresa Mokone, a friend of Mrs. Tsvangirai, likened the crash to the mysterious auto accident that killed popular and incorruptible Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Sokoine in 1984. Sokoine was the designated successor to President Julius Nyerere, who antagonized the CIA by his close ties with the Soviet Union and China. Sokoine created a number of enemies among the elite class when he ordered the assets of embezzlers and smugglers seized. USAID, at the time of Sokoine's possible assassination, was heavily-involved in Tanzania.
In Zaire, millions of dollars in USAID money was diverted by CIA-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to amass his personal fortune making him one of the world's wealthiest leaders. Other USAID funds for Zaire were diverted to help the Angolan rebel forces of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, in violation of U.S. law prohibiting aid to Angolan rebel groups. The covert aid program to UNITA was started in 1976 by Gerald Ford's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Similarly, during the Reagan administration, USAID money was funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy to the Nicaraguan contras, again in violation of a specific law prohibiting such assistance.
During the late 1970s and 80s, USAID-funded "researchers" established links with African liberation movements, particularly the African National Congress of South Africa and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) of Zimbabwe. Actually, these programs were CIA activities using "leftist" academics to spy on the nationalist movements. The operations were concentrated in Harare, Zimbabwe and Cape Town, South Africa, and cities that had a large expatriate African student community, including London and Melbourne and Perth, Australia.
USAID and the oil industry
In 1998, USAID participated in a closed-door meeting between major oil companies and the CIA, National Security Council, and three State Department officials, Stuart Eisenstat, Thomas Pickering, and Susan Rice (now Obama's ambassador to the UN) . The topic was exploitation of Africa's oil resources and the senior executives of Exxon, Mobil, Chevron (where Condoleezza Rice was a board member), and Texaco were present along with Department of Energy and Petroleum Finance Corporation officials.
In 2000, the CIA and USAID worked jointly through a private military company, Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) to train the Nigerian army in tactics to combat secessionists in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region. The CIA also commissioned the services of a private business intelligence and risk firm, Evidence-Based Research (EBR) of Vienna, Virginia, which appears to be a very similar operation to the CIA front, Business International Corporation, for which Obama worked in 1984, to conduct an assessment of the tribal revolt in the Niger Delta region, referred to by the CIA as a "semi-riot zone." EBR was formed in 1987, a year after Business International was sold to the Economist Intelligence Unit in London.
A formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Assessment, dated June 1983, and titled "Indonesia: Deteriorating Prospects for Energy Diversification," warns of a drop in Indonesia's oil export capacity. The CIA, along with USAID and the World Bank/IMF, had invested heavily in Indonesia, most importantly, to secure the nation's oil supply for the United States and its allies.
After helping Suharto seize power, Soetoro became an official of the Indonesian state-owned oil company, Pertamina, and Mobil Oil. The CIA assessment states: "Huffco and Mobil, two U.S. firms, rapidly developed natural gas exports for the Japanese market in the past decade in partnership with Pertamina." The memo states that this development, as well as coal, hydro, and geothermal, was carried out with strong financial and technical assistance from the World Bank and foreign aid donors like USAID. Huffco is Huffington Oil, founded in 1956 by Texas oil man Roy M. Huffington, the father of former Representative Michael Huffington (R-CA), a former vice chairman of Huffco and the ex-husband of Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. The Huffingtons divorced in 1997 and a year later Michael Huffington announced that he was gay. More noteworthy is the fact that Roy Huffington, who died in 2008, was a seven-year chairman of the Asia Society, linked to the East-West Center in Hawaii, where Obama's father and step-father resided and the CIA.
Case Study on how USAID was used by the CIA for political purposes
A case of how the CIA used USAID to prevent a left-wing political party to winning at the polls is Mauritius. In a formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Memorandum, dated June 1982, and titled "Mauritius: Moderate Government Threatened at Polls," the CIA discusses the use of USAID money to prop up the pro-Western Labor government Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam at the expense of the leftist Militant Mauritian Movement (MMM) of Paul Berenger.
Ramgoolam was forced to adopt economically destructive austerity measures dictated by the IMF that resulted in high unemployment, wage reductions, and currency devaluation. The beneficiary of the economic downturn would have been Berenger and his socialist MMM. But the CIA and USAID intervened to send aid money to Ramgoolam. The CIA memo states: "Labor is attempting to limit the political fallout from the restrictive measures and regain the political initiative by the announcement in mid-May of . . . a large public works program that would employ 8,000 people. The funds for the program are derived from the USAID "Food for Work" agreement."
The importance of Ramgoolam to the CIA was his quiet support for the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia, a British island in the Indian Ocean over which Mauritius officially claimed sovereignty. The Pentagon also intervened in the Mauritian economic situation by agreeing to employ Mauritian workers on Diego Garcia. Ramgoolam also succeeded in getting an agreement for the United Kingdom to compensate 1200 Diego Garcians who were removed from the island to Mauritius in 1971 to make way for the military base.
USAID funds were used by the CIA to prevent the nightmare scenario for the agency. The memo states: "An MMM victory would be a political victory for the Soviets, shifting Mauritius from a pro-Western to an non-aligned or even pro-Soviet position. [sentence redacted]. Based on MMM rhetoric, however, Moscow has reason to believe that an MMM regime would deny the Western powers the limited, though useful, military access they now enjoy on Mauritius. An MMM regime would be a valuable ally in Moscow's campaign for an Indian Ocean zone of peace and against the US military presence on Diego Garcia."
The CIA also believed the MMM to be influenced by Libya, which it accused of stirring up Mauritian Muslim youth. However, MMM leader Berenger was, at the time, the prominent Christian political leader in Mauritius. The CIA memo states "The Libyans have been rumored to be storing weapons in the Seychelles for the MMM, according to the US Embassy in Seychelles."
The CIA memo states that an MMM victory would reduce the Hindu community's influence. Mauritian politics was dominated by Hindus of Indian origin. The CIA also believed that the MMM would invite Cuban medical doctors and teachers to the island nation.
The CIA memo also reveals that South Africa's apartheid regime was assisting Ramgoolam's re-election campaign costs to avert an MMM victory.
President Obama's entire career and family history strongly suggests that the person who now resides in the White House has a crass view of the world's downtrodden peoples. Years of exposure to CIA operatives operating under corporate, USAID, World Bank, micro-financing schemes, NGO, and diplomatic cover has extended the U.S. Intelligence Community's massive control over America's foreign and domestic policies. Frankly, it would be best for the United States if Obama does not run for another term as president. Let the secret control over the United States by groups answerable to no one finally end with the Obama administration.