Kamis, 08 Agustus 2013

Soekarno Against CIA

"I think its time we held Sukarno's feet to the fire," said Frank Wisner, then Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA, in 1956. By 1958, having failed to buy the government through the election process, the CIA was fomenting a full-fledged operation in Indonesia. Operation Hike, as it was called, involved the arming and training of tens of thousands of Indonesians as well as "mercenaries" to launch attacks in the hope of bringing down Sukarno.

Joseph Burkholder Smith was a former CIA officer involved with the Indonesian operations during this period. In his book, Portrait of a Cold Warrior, he described how the CIA took it upon themselves to make, not just to enact, policy in this area:

before any direct action against Sukarno's position could be taken, we would have to have the approval of the Special Group-the small group of top National Security Council officials who approved covert action plans. Premature mention of such an idea might get it shot down ...

So we began to feed the State Department and Defense departments intelligence ... When they had read enough alarming reports, we planned to spring the suggestion we should support the colonels' plan to reduce Sukarno's power. This was a method of operation which became the basis of many of the political action adventures of the 1960s and 1970s. In other words, the statement is false that CIA undertook to intervene in the affairs of countries like Chile only after being ordered to do so ... In many instances, we made the action programs up ourselves after we had collected enough intelligence to make them appear required by the circumstance. Our activity in Indonesia in 1957-1958 was one such instance.

When the Ambassador to Indonesia wrote Washington of his explicit disagreements with the CIA's handling of the situation, Allen Dulles had his brother John Foster appoint a different Ambassador to Indonesia, one more accepting of the CIA's activities.

In addition to the paramilitary activities, the CIA tried psychological warfare tricks to discredit Sukarno, such as passing rumors that he had been seduced by a Soviet stewardess. To that end, Sheffield Edwards, head of the CIA's Office of Security, enlisted the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department to help with a porno movie project the CIA was making to use against Sukarno, ostensibly showing Sukarno in the act. Others involved in these efforts were Robert Maheu, and Bing Crosby and his brother.

The Agency tried to keep its coup participation covert, but one "mercenary" met misfortune early. Shot down and captured during a bombing run, Allen Lawrence Pope was carrying all kinds of ID on his person to indicate that he was an employee of the CIA. The U.S. Government, right up to President Eisenhower, tried to deny that the CIA was involved at all, but the Pope revelations made a mockery of this. Not cowed by the foment, as Arbenz had been in Guatemala, Sukarno marshalled those forces loyal to him and crushed the CIA-aided rebellion. Prior to the Bay of Pigs, this was the Agency's single largest failed operation.


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