"Our Presidents should not be able to conduct secret
operations which violate our principles, jeopardize our rights,
and have not been subject to the checks and balances which
normally keep policies in line."

                         Morton Halperin
                         Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
                         Defense for International Affairs

     "In its consideration of covert action, the Committee was
struck by the basic tension--if not incompatibility--of covert
operations and the demands of a constitutional system.  Secrecy
is essential to covert operations; secrecy can, however, become a
source of power, a barrier to serious policy debate within the
government, and a means of circumventing the established checks
and procedures of government.  The Committee found that secrecy
and compartmentation contributed to a temptation on the part of
the Executive to resort to covert operations in order to avoid
bureaucratic, congressional, and public debate."

                         The Church Committee

     "The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we too
are honorable men, devoted to her service."
                         Richard Helms, then DCI
                         April, 1971
                                                         Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    1
     Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    1

CHAPTER TWO  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    3
     CIA Proprietaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    3
     Propaganda  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4
     Political Action  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7
     Economic Covert Operations  . . . . . . . . . . . .   10
     Paramilitary Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10

CHAPTER THREE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
     Project NKNAOMI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
     Project MKULTRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15
     LSD Experimentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   17
     Project BLUEBIRD  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18
     Project ARTICHOKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18

CHAPTER FOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   19
     The National Security Act of July 1947  . . . . . .   19
     Radio Free Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   20
     Radio Liberty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   20
     Taiwan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   22
     Operation Mongoose  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24
     Guatemala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   27
     The Bay of Pigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   30
     Laos  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   34
     The Phoenix Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   36
     Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   38

CHAPTER FIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   41
     Plausible Deniability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   41
     CIA Case Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   44
     Congress  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   44

                         CHAPTER ONE


     On January 22, 1946, President Harry S. Truman issued an
executive order setting up a National Intelligence Authority,
and under it, a Central Intelligence Group, which was the
forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Truman
recognized the need for a centralized intelligence apparatus
in peacetime to help ensure that nothing like the Japanese
surprise attack on Pearl Harbor  would ever again happen. 
The organization that was to become the CIA took on a life of
its own and over the past four decades has become the secret
army of the President of the United States.  Presidents from
Truman to Ronald Reagan have used this secret army whenever
they found it impossible to achieve their policy goals
through overt means.
     Over the years, the CIA has evolved from an agency whose
primary assignment was to gather intelligence into a powerful
entity whose help is enlisted to help attain American foreign
policy goals.  Since 1947, the Agency has been involved in
the internal affairs of over fifty countries on six different
continents.  Although an exact number is impossible to
determine, there are over 20,000 employees affiliated with
the organization.  Of these, more than 6,000 serve in the
clandestine services, the arm of the CIA that is responsible
for covert operations.
     The purpose of this work will be to survey the covert
operations that have been undertaken by the CIA in the past
forty years and to assess the effectiveness of a number of
these activities.  We shall begin by examining the various
shapes that covert operations may take.  They are propaganda;
political action; economic activities; and paramilitary
operations.  After surveying the various types of covert
operations, we will look at examples of CIA involvement
around the world.  Since there have been eighty-five or so
such operations since 1948, we will not attempt to look at
every one (See Appendix I).  However, we will examine a
number of covert operations to get an idea of what exactly
the CIA does and continues to do.  We will evaluate both the
particular operations examined in this work and covert
operations in general.  Afterwards, we should be able to
establish a number of criteria that separate good covert
operations from  bad ones.  Finally, we will look towards the
future and try to see what it has in store for the Central
Intelligence Agency.

                         CHAPTER TWO

     According to the CIA's own definition, covert action
means "any clandestine or secret activities designed to
influence foreign governments, events, organizations, or
persons in support of U.S. foreign policy conducted in such
manner that the involvement of the U.S. Government is not
apparent."  Before we explore the various types of covert
operations in which the Agency engages, we should examine one
of the methods that the CIA uses to mask its activities. 
What is being referred to is the establishment of "front"
organizations, better known as proprietaries.
     CIA proprietaries are businesses that are wholly owned
by the Agency which do business, or appear to do business,
under commercial guise.  Proprietaries have been used by the
CIA for espionage as well as covert operations.  Many of the
larger proprietaries are also, and have been in the past,
used for paramilitary purposes.
     The best-known of the CIA proprietaries were Radio Free
Europe and Radio Liberty.  The corporate structures of the
two radio stations served as a prototype for later Agency
proprietaries.  Each functioned under the cover provided by a
board of directors made up of prominent Americans, who in the
case of Radio Free Europe incorporated as the National
Committee for a Free Europe and in the case of Radio Liberty
as the American Committee for Liberation.  However, CIA
officers in the key management positions at the stations made
all of the important decisions regarding the activities of
the station.
     Other CIA proprietaries, organized in the 1960s, were
the CIA airlines--Air America, Air Asia, Civil Air Transport,
Intermountain Aviation, and Southern Air Transport--and
certain holding companies involved with the airlines or the
Bay of Pigs project, such as the Pacific Corporation and
Double-Chek corporation.  In early 1967, it became known that
the CIA had subsidized the nation's largest student
organization, the National Student Association.  This
revelation prompted increased press interest in CIA fronts
and conduits.  Eventually, it became known that the CIA
channeled money directly or indirectly into a multitude of
business, labor, and church groups; universities; charitable
organizations; and educational and cultural groups.

     Propaganda is any action that is "intended to undermine the
beliefs, perceptions, and value systems of the people under the
rule of the adversary government..."  The ultimate aim of
propaganda is to convert the people under the opposition
government into accepting the belief system of the country which
is distributing the propaganda.  Half of the battle is won if the
people of the target country begin to question the belief system
of the government under whose authority they live.  
     Propaganda is among the oldest of techniques employed by
governments in dealing with their foes.  There are many different
propaganda methods that are used by governments to undermine the
political machinery in other countries, some of which are overt. 
One of these is the use of radio broadcasts.  Radio provides a
way to reach the people of the adversary country that cannot be
kept out by building walls.  
     In addition to the overt means of distributing propaganda
that have been mentioned, there are covert means that are
sometimes employed.  Covert action is used and becomes relevant
when a country attempts to control the media of the enemy state. 
This control is accomplished by influencing writers, journalists,
printers, publishers, and so forth through money, exchanges of
favors, or other means.  In the case of radio, covert action
involves the operation of "black radio" which will be discussed
in a moment.
     In their book The Invisible Government, authors David Wise
and Thomas B. Ross make the following observations about the
radio activities of the Central Intelligence Agency:   

United States radio activities have ranged all the
way from overt, openly acknowledged and advertised
programs of the Voice of America to highly secret
CIA transmitters in the Middle East and other areas
of the world.  In between, is a whole spectrum of
black, gray, secret and semi-secret radio
operations.  The CIA's Radio Swan, because it
became operationally involved at the Bay of Pigs,
never enjoyed more than the thinnest of covers. 
But Radio Swan was a relatively small black-radio
operation.  Other radio operations, financed and
controlled in whole or in part by the Invisible
Government   [The CIA and the U.S. Intelligence
Community as a whole], are more skillfully
concealed and much bigger.

     It may now be helpful to examine exactly what is meant
by black and white propaganda.  Black propaganda conceals its
origin while white propaganda is an open, candid charge
against an opponent.  An example of black propaganda would be
the CIA's circulation of a supposedly Soviet anti-Islamic
pamphlet in Egypt in October 1964.  The effort was intended
to hurt the image of the Soviet Union in that country.
     "Black radio", in the specialized language of the
intelligence community, is generally understood to mean the
operation of a radio broadcasting system which, after being
captured by the intelligence network of the adversary nation,
is operated in the name of the original owner to conduct
hostile, but subtle, propaganda against the owner while
pretending that the station is still in the original hands. 
Sometimes "black radio" simply means radio operations
controlled directly or indirectly by any intelligence
apparatus.  "Black radio" operations of this sort have been
conducted by both super-powers on a large scale in every form
since the beginning of the Cold War.  U.S. activities have
ranged from the open Voice of America broadcasting station to
secret CIA transmitters in different parts of the world.
     One more type of propaganda effort which deserves
further mention here is printed propaganda.  Every year, the
CIA engages in publishing slightly misleading newspaper and
magazine articles, books, and even occasionally the memoirs
of Soviet officials or soldiers who have defected.  The
Agency also  wages a silent war through disinformation and
various other counterespionage techniques.  The distribution
through this method sometimes proves to be more difficult
than conducting radio broadcasts.

                      POLITICAL ACTION

     Another type of influence that may be exerted through
covert means is political action.  Such action may be defined
as attempts to change the power structure and policies of
another state through secret contacts and secret funds by
means which are stronger than mere persuasion (propaganda)
and less severe than military action.  Following the Korean
War and the shift in the perception of the Soviet threat as
more political and less military, the CIA concentrated its
operations on political action, particularly in the form of
covert support for electoral candidates and political
     Covert political action may be carried out in the form
of support of a friendly government or against its domestic
opposition, a type of covert action known as subversive.  It
may also manifest itself in the form of support to a group
that is the domestic opposition of an unfriendly government. 
The latter type of covert action is known as benign.
     Another and somewhat darker form of covert political
activity is assassination.  From time to time, a dictator
unfriendly to the United States or its interests will take
control of a country that the U.S. deems to be of vital
significance.  Perhaps the leader has a heavy Marxist bent
like Fidel Castro or a somewhat unpredictable tendency to
cause turmoil in the world like Moammar Gadhafi.  In cases
where such a person has seized power, the U.S. is often
interested in removing the dictator by any means available. 
In cases where the leaders in the United States feel that the
immediate removal of an unfriendly dictator is absolutely
necessary if the U.S. is to enjoy continued security, U.S.
leaders may resort to the unpleasant option of assassination.
     In 1975, in light of questions about the conduct of the
CIA in domestic affairs in the United States, the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator Frank
Church of Idaho, began hearings on the CIA and its
activities.  The Church Committee (as it become known) issued
a report in 1975 entitled "Alleged Assassination Plots
Involving Foreign Leaders" which provided a unique inside
account of how such plans originate.  The CIA was allegedly
involved in assassination plots against Fidel Castro of Cuba,
Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, and Ngo Din Diem of South
Vietnam.  The Agency also allegedly schemed to assassinate
President Sukarno of Indonesia and Francois "Papa Doc"
Duvalier of Haiti.  The Agency had provided arms to
dissidents within Indonesia and Haiti, but witnesses before
the Church Committee swore that those weapons were never
given for the purpose of murdering either man.
     In addition to plotting to assassinate foreign leaders,
the CIA often supplied dissidents within foreign countries
controlled by unfriendly governments with arms and
ammunition.  In Chile, the CIA passed three .45 calibre
machine guns, ten tear-gas grenades, and five-hundred rounds
of ammunition.  For Castro dissidents, the Agency prepared a
cache composed of a rifle with a telescope and silencer and
several bombs which could be concealed in a suitcase. 
Finally, in the Dominican Republic, where the United States
disliked Rafael Trujillo, the CIA prepared to drop twelve
untraceable rifles with scopes.  That drop was never
     In all of the plots in which the Agency was involved, it
made sure that its role was indirect.  Never once did an
American CIA agent actually make any of the assassination
attempts.  According to Loch Johnson in A Season of Inquiry: 

In no case was an American finger actually on the
trigger of these weapons.  And even though the
officials of the United States had clearly
initiated assassination plots against Castro and
Lumumba, it was technically true--as Richard Helms
had claimed--that neither the CIA nor any other
agency of the American government had murdered a
foreign leader.  Through others, however, we had
tried, but had either been too inept...or too late
to succeed. 

                     ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES     

     Economic covert operations are those in which an attempt
is made to affect the economic machinery within a country
with the aim of achieving a desired result.  An example would
be the CIA's involvement in trying to contaminate part of a
cargo of Cuban sugar that was bound for the Soviet Union. 
This type of activity might also come in the form of helping
a country become more economically efficient and hoping that
the success will be noticed by other countries who will then
embrace the democratic ideals and methods through which the
"model" country has become prosperous.


     Perhaps the most tangible type of covert action engaged
in by the CIA is in the form of paramilitary operations. 
This category of covert operations is also potentially the
most politically dangerous.  With the onset of the Cold War
and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, military operations
became both necessary and dangerous at the same time.  In
countries where other forms of persuasion did not seem to be
working, it often seemed necessary to use military forces to
further the foreign policy goals of the United States.  The
perceived threat of Soviet domination of the Third World
served to increase the pressure for military intervention. 
It was thus decided by U.S. leaders that the nation should
have paramilitary capabilities.  The responsibility for
devising and carrying out these operations naturally settled
upon the shoulders of the CIA.
     Though the United States began to work on developing a
paramilitary capability after World War II, with the
exception of an operation in Guatemala in 1954, the scale of
activities was minimal before 1961.  When President John F.
Kennedy took office in 1961, he and his closest advisors were
convinced of the need for the U.S. to develop an
unconventional warfare capability to counter the growing
evidence of communist guerilla activities in Southeast Asia
and Africa.  The aim of "counterinsurgency" (as it became
known) was to prevent communist supported military victories
without causing a major U.S./Soviet confrontation.
Simultaneously, Kennedy directed the CIA to develop and use
its paramilitary capabilities around the world.  Thus, in the
decade of the 1960s, developing a paramilitary capability
became the primary objective of the CIA's clandestine
activities, and by 1967, spending on paramilitary activities
had surpassed both psychological and political action in the
amount of budgetary allocation.
     In the early 1960s, the decolonization of Africa sparked
an increase in the scale of CIA clandestine activities on
that continent.  CIA activities there paralleled the growing
interest within the State Department and the Kennedy
Administration in Third World Countries, which were regarded
as the first line of defense against the Soviets.  The U.S.
Government assumed that the Soviets would attempt to encroach
upon the newly independent states.  Thus the African
continent, which prior to 1960 was included in the CIA's
Middle-Eastern Division became a separate division.  In
addition, between 1959 and 1963, the number of CIA stations
in Africa increased by 55.5%.  Also, the perception of a
growing Soviet presence both politically and through guerilla
activity in Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia, resulted in a 40%
increase in the size of the Western Hemisphere Division
between 1960 and 1965.
     Throughout the 1960s, the CIA was involved in
paramilitary operations in a number of countries.  Its
involvement included efforts in Angola, Vietnam, Laos, and
Cuba.  Many of the CIA's undertakings were either
unsuccessful or without any clear result and some of them
will be discussed later.  Before leaving this category of
covert operations, it is interesting to consider a story
recounted by Fred Branfman, in a book entitled Uncloaking the
CIA by Howard Frazier.

There are many stories I could tell about him, but
I will tell just one.  In the late 1960s a friend
of mine was a pilot for a private CIA airline.  The
agent threw a box on the airplane one day and said
"Take this to Landry in Udorn".  (Pat Landry was
the head of the CIA in Udorn, coordinating the
Burma-Thailand-Laos-North Vietnam theatre).  My
friend started flying the plane and noticed a bad
odor coming from the box.  After some time he could
not stand it anymore and opened up the box.  Inside
was a fresh human head.  This was a joke.  The idea
was to see what Pat Landry would do when someone
put this box on his desk.  You cannot throw a human
head in the wastepaper basket, you cannot throw it
in the garbage can.  CIA paramilitary activities
were and are being carried out by people, like this
agent, who have gone beyond the pale of civilized
behavior.  There are hundreds of these people now
working in the Third World.  This fact is, of
course,   not just a disgrace, but a clear and
present danger.

                        CHAPTER THREE

     In the first two decades following its establishment,
the CIA initiated a number of programs to develop a chemical
and biological warfare capacity.  Project NKNAOMI was begun
to provide the CIA with a covert support base to meet its
clandestine operational requirements.  This was to be
accomplished by stockpiling several incapacitating and lethal
materials for specific use by the Technical Services Division
of the CIA.  Under this plan, the TSD was to maintain in
operational readiness special and unique items for the
dissemination of biological and chemical materials.  The
project also provided for the required surveillance, testing,
upgrading, and evaluation of materials and items in order to
assure the absence of defects and the complete predictability
of results to be expected under operational conditions.   In
1952, the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Army was
asked to assist the CIA in developing, testing, and
maintaining biological agents and delivery systems for the
purposes mentioned above. 
     The SOD helped the CIA develop darts coated with
biological agents and different types of pills.  The two also
devised a special gun which could fire darts enabling an
agent to incapacitate guard dogs, enter the installation the
dogs were guarding, and return the dogs to consciousness upon
departure from the facility.  In addition, the CIA asked the
SOD to study the feasibility of using biological agents
against crops and animals.  Indeed, a CIA memo written in
1967 and uncovered by the Church Committee gives evidence of
at least three methods of covert attack against crops which
had been developed and evaluated under field conditions.
     Project NKNAOMI was discontinued in 1970, and on
November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon renounced the use
of any form of biological weapons that could kill or
incapacitate.  Nixon also ordered the disposal of existing
stockpiles of bacteriological weapons.  On February 14, 1970,
Nixon clarified the extent of his earlier order and indicated
that toxins--chemicals that are not living organisms but
produced by living organisms--were considered bacteriological
weapons subject to his previous directive.  Despite the
presidential order, a CIA scientist acquired around 11 grams
of a deadly shellfish toxin from SOD personnel at Fort
Detrick and stored it in a little-used CIA laboratory where
it remained, undetected, for over five years.
     Another project, MKULTRA, provided for the research and
development of chemical, biological, and radiological
materials which could be employed in clandestine operations
to control human behavior.  According to the Church
Committee, a CIA memo was uncovered which stated the purpose
of the project.  The memo indicated that MKULTRA's purpose

to develop a capability in the covert use of
biological and chemical materials...Aside from the
offensive potential, the development of a
comprehensive capability in this field of covert
chemical and biological warfare gives us a thorough
knowledge of the enemy's theoretical potential,
thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a foe
who might not be as restrained in the use of these
techniques as we are.

Eighty-six universities or institutions were involved to some
extent in the project.
     As early as 1947, the CIA had begun experimentation with
different types of mind-altering chemicals and drugs.  One
Project, CHATTER, involved the testing of "truth drugs" for
interrogation and agent recruitment.  The research included
laboratory experiments on animals and human volunteers
involving scopolamine, mescaline, and Anabasis aphylla in
order to determine their speech-inducing qualities.  The
project, which was expanded substantially during the Korean
War, ended in 1953.
     Another, more controversial, program involved testing
the hallucinogenic drug LSD on human subjects.  LSD testing
by the CIA involved three phases.  In the first phase, the
Agency administered LSD to 1,000 soldiers who volunteered for
the testing.  Agency scientists observed the subjects and
noted their reactions to the drug.  In the second phase of
research, Material Testing Programme EA 1729, 95 volunteers
received LSD to test the potential intelligence-gathering
value of the drug.  The third phase of the testing, Projects
THIRD CHANCE and DERBY HAT, involved the interrogation of
eighteen unwitting non-volunteers in Europe and the Far East
who had received LSD as part of operational field tests.
     A tragic twist in the LSD experimentation occurred on
November 27, 1953.  Dr. Frank Olson, a civilian employee of
the U.S. Army died following participation in a CIA
experiment with LSD.  He unknowingly received 70 micrograms
of LSD which was placed in his drink by Dr. Robert Lashbrook,
a CIA officer, as part of an experiment.  Shortly after the
experiment, Olson exhibited the symptoms of paranoia and
schizophrenia.  Accompanied by Lashbrook, Olson began
visiting Dr. Harold Abrahamsom for psychological assistance. 
Abrahamson's research on LSD had been funded indirectly by
the CIA.  Olson jumped to his death from a ten-story window
in the Statler Hotel while receiving treatment.     
     It was disclosed by Senate Committees investigating the
activities of the CIA in 1977 that the Agency was involved in
testing drugs like LSD on "unwitting subjects in social
situations".  In some situations, heroin addicts were enticed
into participating in order to get a reward--heroin.  Perhaps
most disturbing of all is the fact that the extent of
experimentation on human subjects cannot readily be
determined, since the records of all MKULTRA activities were
destroyed in January 1973 at the instruction of then CIA
director Richard Helms.  
     At least one project undertaken by the CIA in 1950 was
aimed at finding ways to protect the security of agents in
the field.  Project BLUEBIRD attempted to discover means of
conditioning personnel to prevent unauthorized extraction of
information from them by known means.  The project
investigated the possibility of controlling an individual by
employing special interrogation techniques.  BLUEBIRD also
looked into memory enhancement and ways to establish
defensive means against the hostile control of Agency
personnel.  As a result of interrogations conducted overseas
during the project, another goal was established--the
evaluation of the offensive uses of unconventional
interrogation methods, including the use of hypnosis and
various drugs.
     In August 1951, the project was renamed ARTICHOKE. 
Project ARTICHOKE included "in-house experiments on
interrogation techniques, conducted 'under medical and
security controls which would ensure that no damage was done
to the individuals who volunteer for the experiments'". 
Although the CIA maintains that the project ended in 1956,
evidence indicates that the Office of Security and Office of
Medical Services use of "special interrogation" techniques
continued for several years thereafter.

                        CHAPTER FOUR

     The National Security Act of July 1947 established the
CIA as it exists today.  Under the Act, the CIA's mission was
loosely defined, since any efforts to flesh out its duties in
specific terms would have unduly limited the scope of its
activities.  Therefore, under the Act, the CIA was charged to
perform five general tasks.  The first is to advise the
National Security Council on matters relating to national
security.  The second is to make recommendations to the NSC
regarding the coordination of intelligence activities of the
various departments.  The third duty is to correlate and
evaluate intelligence data and provide for its appropriate
dissemination.  Fourth, the CIA is to carry out "service of
common concern".  Finally, the CIA is authorized "to perform
all other functions and duties related to intelligence
affecting the national security as the NSC will from time to
time direct...".
     It is from this final directive that the wide-ranging
power to do everything from plotting political assassinations
and government overthrows to buying off local newspaper
owners and mining harbors has come.  The wording of that
final directive has allowed presidents of the United States
to organize and use secret armies to achieve covertly the
policy aims that they are not able to achieve through overt
means.  It allows presidents both present and future to use
the resources of the nation's top intelligence agency as they
see fit.  
     Now that we have become more educated regarding the
Central Intelligence Agency and some of its numerous
activities, we shall proceed to the main purpose of this
analysis.  This work is intended to give the reader a clear
understanding of the types of covert operations in which the
CIA involves itself.  We will then assess the effectiveness
of various techniques used by the Agency.  Doing so will help
us draw conclusions about the proper scope of CIA activities
and will enable us to address questions about areas of
legitimate involvement by the CIA.  We shall begin by looking
at a number of CIA covert operations since 1947.

     In 1949, the CIA founded the National Committee for a
Free Europe and the Committee for the Liberation of  Peoples
of Russia.  The immediate result of the establishment of
these two committees was the founding of two broadcasting
stations, Radio Free Europe in Munich and Radio Liberation. 
These stations were staffed with emigres who broadcast to
their countrymen in their native languages.  Radio
Liberation, which became Radio Liberty in 1956, was targeted
mainly at the Soviet Union and broadcast in fourteen
different languages.  The main target of Radio Free Europe
was the satellite countries of Eastern Europe.  The primary
advantage of the emigre staffs was that the broadcasters were
able to keep abreast of recent developments in their former
homelands by communicating to recent emigres and direct
contacts inside their native countries.  As a result of the
close contact, broadcasters were able to speak knowledgeably
and intimately to their fellow countrymen.  
     The initial broadcasts by Radio Free Europe and Radio
Liberation were designed to intensify the passive resistance
of the people in the target countries in hopes that such
action would undermine European regimes by weakening the
control of the Communist party.  The broadcasts were also
intended to give the targeted listeners the strength to hold
on to their hope for ultimate freedom.  Later, after Stalin
died and relations between the East and West began to
improve, U.S. leaders began to realize that slow change was
more likely than a dramatic shift in power.  Therefore, the
messages which were broadcast dwelt less on liberation and
more on themes involving political and social change.
     In addition to broadcasting in Europe, the CIA used this
persuasive propaganda technique elsewhere, most notably, in
Cuba.  In 1961, the Agency used a broadcasting station in
conjunction with other arrangements that were made to support
the invasion at the Bay of Pigs.  The CIA used Radio Swan to
mislead the Cuban government, encourage the rebels, and to
make it seem like there was massive support for a rebellion
within Cuba.   


     A good example of the positive type of economic covert
action is the success story of Taiwan.  The Republic of China
is an example of the successful use of economic assistance
(especially in agriculture) to further the interests of the
United States.  In Taiwan, early land reform gave ownership
of the land to those who worked it.  Coupled with
technological guidance on modern farming techniques, the
system provided a praiseworthy model for other developing
countries.  The introduction of miracle seeds and chemical
fertilizers helped to make Taiwan an economic showcase. 
Around 1960, the U.S. came up with the idea of helping the
Chinese Nationalists set up food-growing demonstration
projects in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, where
both their techniques and personnel were suited to the task
of helping primitive agricultural societies.
     The project in Taiwan was not only an economic aid
program helping to build prestige and political contacts for
the Nationalist Chinese, it also provided a demonstration of
what Chinese people working under a free market system were
capable of doing.  The prosperity of the Taiwanese as seen
against the backdrop of the economic shortcomings of Mao's
programs on the mainland was the kind of creative propaganda
campaign that supported U.S. policies and principles.  The
CIA's role was to use its contacts in the other developing
countries to explain the mutual benefits and get the
undertaking going.  The economic assistance program that was
implemented could have been an overt one, but acknowledged
U.S. sponsorship would have caused some governments to shy
away from it.  Furthermore, an overt pushing of the program
by the United States might have embarrassed Taiwan by giving
the impression that it was forced to do the job by the U.S.
     Ray Cline, then a touring case officer for the CIA,
explained the project in "off the record talks with Chiang
Ching-kuo, the savvy son of Chiang Kai-shek, who was perhaps
the most far-sighted political leader in Taiwan."   Cline

Ching-kuo grasped the concept immediately and saw
the benefits, as did other Taiwanese Foreign and
Agricultural policy officials.  The program was
organized by the Chinese with a minimum of American
help and it worked well for about ten years.  In
some regions, it continued to work even longer, and
everyone has profited from the program.

Thus, the success of the program in Taiwan was a testimonial
to the potential for success for well planned economic covert
actions conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency.

                     OPERATION MONGOOSE

     In order to get a better idea of the kind of planning
that went into the assassination schemes devised by the CIA,
we will look at the case of Fidel Castro.  In addition, at
the end of this work appears a number of messages that were
transmitted between the CIA station chief in Leopoldville and
headquarters in Washington regarding the CIA attempts to
assassinate Patrice Lumumba (Appendix II).  Now let us look
at the story behind Operation Mongoose, the CIA plan to
eliminate Fidel Castro.
     When Castro took power in Cuba in 1959, U.S. leadership
made it a top priority to remove him.  According to Ray
Cline, former Deputy-Director of the CIA,

The CIA had advocated the 'elimination of Fidel
Castro' as early as December 1959, and the matter
was discussed at Special Group meetings in January
and March of 1960.  At an NSC meeting on March 10,
1960, terminology was used suggesting that the
assassination of Castro, his brother Raul, and Che
Guevara was at least theoretically considered.

Describing the political climate by the time Kennedy took
office, Cline comments in his book Secrets, Spies, and
Scholars, "There was almost an obsession with Cuba on the
part of policy matters" and it was widely believed in the 
Kennedy Administration "that the assassination of Castro by a
Cuban might have been viewed as not very different in the
benefits that would have accrued from the assassination of
Hitler in 1944."  It should also be noted that after the
failure at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the pride of the United
States was hurt and U.S. leaders wanted more than ever to
dispose of Castro.
     The number of strategies devised by the CIA to carry out
the deed and the diversity of their applications illustrates
the creativity and shrewdness of planners within the agency. 
Johnson points out a number of ingenious plots that were at
least considered by planners within the agency at one time or
another.  This brief excerpt from his book is by no means an
exhaustive list.

The several plots planned at CIA headquarters
included treating a box of Castro's favorite cigars
with a botulinum toxin so potent that it would
cause death immediately upon being placed to the
lips; concocting highly poisonous tablets that
would work quickly when immersed in just about
anything but boiling soup; contaminating a diving
suit with a fungus guaranteed to produce a chronic
skin disease called Madura foot and, through and
intermediary, offering the suit as a gift to
Castro; constructing an exotic seashell that could
be placed in reefs where Castro often went skin-
diving and then exploded at the right moment from a
small submarine nearby; and providing an agent with
a ballpoint pen that contained a hypodermic needle
filled with the deadly poison Black-leaf 40 and had
so fine a point it could pierce the skin of the
victim without his knowledge.

     Perhaps more frightening than any of the above plots was
the revelation that the CIA also attempted to launch a plot
against Castro through its contacts with underworld figures
with connections in Cuba.  The fact that the agency was
willing to resort to such desperate action illustrates the
desire of the men in charge in Washington to eliminate
Castro.  One source told a reporter in 1962 that then
Attorney-General Robert Kennedy had stopped a deal between
the CIA and the Mafia to murder Fidel Castro.
     The CIA asked a mobster named Roselli to go to Florida
on its behalf in 1961 and 1962 to organize assassination
teams of Cuban exiles who would infiltrate their homeland and
assassinate Castro.  Rosselli called upon two other crime
figures, Sam Giancana, a mobster from Chicago, and the Costra
Nostra chieftain for Cuba, Santos Trafficante, to help him. 
Giancana, using the name "Sam Gold" in his dealings with the
CIA, was on the Attorney General's "Ten Most Wanted
Criminals" list.
     Castro was still permitting the Mafia gambling syndicate
to operate in Havana, for tourists only, and Trafficante
traveled back and forth between Havana and Miami in that
connection.  The mobsters were authorized to offer $150,000
to anyone who would kill Castro and were promised any support
the Agency could yield.  Giancana was to locate someone who
was close enough to Castro to be able to drop pills into his
food while Trafficante would serve as courier to Cuba,
helping to make arrangements for the murder on the island. 
Rosselli was to be the main link between all of the
participants in the plot.     
     Fortunately for the CIA, the Attorney General intervened
before the plan was carried out.  Had the plan succeeded and
it then become public knowledge that the CIA and the Mafia
worked together intimately to murder Castro, the startling
revelation might have been too much for the American public
to stomach.  It most likely would have done serious damage to
the credibility of an agency which was already beginning to
rouse public suspicion.


     In 1951, leftist leader Juan Jose Arevalo was succeeded
by his minister of defense, Jacobo Arbenz, who continued to
pursue Arevalo's hard leftist policy both domestically and in
Foreign Affairs.  The United States Government found Arbenz's
policy objectives unacceptable and cut off all military aid
to Guatemala.  President Eisenhower encouraged the CIA to
overthrow the Arbenz government in 1954.
     Arbenz had angered the Eisenhower Administration by
legalizing the Communist party and inviting it to join his
government.  The real trigger for the action in Guatemala,
however, was Arbenz's brazen rejection on September 5, 1953,
of an American protest denouncing Guatemala's    proposed
"expropriation " from the American owned United Fruit Company
of 355,000 acres on the Pacific and 174,000 acres on the
Atlantic side of the country.  The protest said that the
$600,000 in agrarian bonds proposed to be paid for these
acres "bears not the slightest resemblance to a true
evaluation."  In addition, John Foster Dulles, who by that
time realized there would be no roll-back of communism in
Eastern Europe, was determined to block communist regimes
from taking power elsewhere in the world, and especially in
the Western Hemisphere.  As a matter of fact, the Eisenhower
administration had earmarked $20 million for an operation
against Guatemala.
     The U.S. put political and economic pressure on the
Arbenz government at the public level while the CIA
diligently worked behind the scenes.  On the covert level,
the CIA began trying to convince top Guatemalan military
officers to defect while simultaneously launching a campaign
of radio and leaflet propaganda against Arbenz.  The CIA
engineered a brilliant campaign (considered as much a
propaganda success as a paramilitary one) using small-scale
military action along with psychological warfare to cause
quite a disturbance in the Latin American country.
     The main attempt by the CIA was to support a military
plot to overthrow the government that was already in
progress.  Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas had begun plotting a
coup against the Arbenz regime in 1952 with the help of
leaders in Nicaragua and Honduras, and the encouragement of
the United Fruit Company.  The CIA action was aimed mainly at
alienating the Guatemalan Army from Arbenz.  CIA operatives
sought to attain this goal by inciting the Army through radio
broadcasts and other propaganda, and by supplying arms to the
     The operation began on May 1, 1954, a Guatemalan
holiday.  Steadily escalating psychological pressures were
brought to bear on the Arbenz government.  It was no secret
that Castillo Armas was training an army of several hundred
men in Honduras, and the United States officially denounced
the Arbenz regime, leading the Guatemalan dictator to believe
that a large-scale U.S. effort to help overthrow him was
underway.  Since the poorly equipped Guatemalan Army was no
match for a U.S.-backed invasion, Arbenz was alarmed and his
top advisors were divided over how to deal with the
     On June 17, 1954, Colonel Castillo, using about 450
troops,  initiated a paramilitary operation  against Arbenz
which ended on the 18th.  Castillo and his men crossed over
into Guatemala from Honduras to attack the Arbenz government. 
Castillo set-up camp six miles inside Guatemala, and his Air-
Force, a mixed handful of B-26s and P-47 fighters, dropped
leaflets, made strafing runs in outlying districts, and
dropped a few bombs.  The attacks were militarily
insignificant, but they contributed to the wide-spread fear
of all-out raids.
     Meanwhile, the Voice of Liberation, the CIA-run
broadcasting station, was active around the clock, reporting
phantom "battles" and spreading rumors.  Arbenz was bombarded
with conflicting reports.  Without even one serious military
engagement having occurred, Arbenz found himself confused,
excited, undecided, and alone.
     In mid-campaign, Castillo Armas had lost two of his
three P-47s without which he would be incapable of
maintaining a show of force.  The United States negotiated
the "sale" of a number of planes to the Nicaraguan Air-Force. 
Sorties were flown in the planes for Castillo Armas by CIA
     Arbenz was forced to flee, and on June 25, 1954, he
sought asylum in the Mexican Embassy.  Two days later, he
resigned.  A few days later, Castillo Armas, having taken
charge, arrived victorious in Guatemala on the plane of U.S.
Ambassador John Peurifoy.  Peurifoy's wrote the following
jingle which appeared in Time magazine July 28, 1954, which
seemed to sum up nicely the U.S. attitude about the CIA-
sponsored operation in Guatemala:

Sing a song of quetzals, pockets full of peace!
The junta's in the palace, they've taken out a lease.
The Commies are in hiding, just across the street;
To the embassy of Mexico they beat a quick retreat.
And pistol-packing Peurifoy looks mighty optimistic
For the land of Guatemala is no longer Communistic.

                   CUBA:  THE BAY OF PIGS

     As surely as the successful operation in Guatemala was an
example of how to conduct a covert action, the debacle in Cuba
was a primary example of what not to do.  The disaster at the Bay
of Pigs in Cuba seriously altered the perception of the CIA's
ability to plan and conduct covert paramilitary operations. 
Indeed, as Satish Kumar pointed out in his book The CIA in the
Third World:  A Study in Crypto-Diplomacy, "it is certain that
the Cuban operation cast serious doubts as to the efficacy of
large-scale para-military operations as an instrument of covert
action."  Says Harry Rositzke, a former CIA operative, 

Para-military operations are the "noisiest" of all
covert actions.  When they fail, they become public
fiascos, and no official denials are plausible. 
The history of American para-military operations as
an element of America's containment policy is one
of almost uniform failure.

Such was the case with the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation in
     The idea of a Soviet-oriented communist dictatorship a mere
ninety miles from the United States was a grave concern for U.S.
leaders in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Neither President
Eisenhower nor his predecessor John Fitzgerald Kennedy were
pleased to have a neighbor with such undemocratic ideals.  As
early as 1959, the CIA had advocated the elimination of Castro,
and as has already been pointed out, the Agency began an
operation (Operation MONGOOSE) aimed at accomplishing just that. 
     The alternative of initiating guerilla operations against
Castro had been abandoned by the CIA in 1960.  Instead,
Eisenhower set-up a CIA-run program for training hundreds of
highly motivated anti-Castro Cuban refugees in the arts of
guerilla combat, planning to possibly use the force to overthrow
the Castro government.  Vice President Richard Nixon was a strong
supporter of a program to topple the Castro regime, and
Eisenhower, upon the advice of the NSC Subcommittee responsible
for reviewing covert action schemes, approved the paramilitary
training project as a contingency plan, leaving the decision of
whether or not to execute it up to the incoming Kennedy
     President Kennedy decided to go ahead with the plan after
taking office.  Senate Foreign Relations Chairman William
Fulbright, upon learning of plans for the proposed invasion, sent
a memorandum to the White House that said that if American forces
were drawn into the battle in Cuba,

We would have undone the work of thirty years in
trying to live down earlier interventions...To give
this activity even covert support is of a piece
with the hypocrisy and cynicism for which the
United States is constantly denouncing the Soviet
Union in the United Nations and elsewhere.  This
point will not be lost on the rest of the world nor
our own consciences.  And remember always, the
Castro regime is a thorn in the side but not a
dagger in the heart.

The Senator's views were no doubt on Kennedy's mind when he
later declined to commit American troops after the invasion
began to fall apart.
     The CIA trained some 1400 Cuban emigres for action
against Castro.  Some of the Cubans were trained as ground
forces and the remainder as pilots.  It was eventually
decided that the guerilla brigade would make an amphibious
landing in the Bay of Pigs.  Air support for the operation
was to be supplied for the operation by emigre pilots flying
in American B-26s made up to look like Cuban Air Force
planes.  This would help create the illusion that Castro's
own men were rebelling against him.  On April 15, 1961, eight
U.S.-made planes conducted air strikes against three Cuban
air bases with the intention of destroying the Cuban  Air
Force on the ground.  These attempts proved to be
unsuccessful.  The events that followed spelled disaster for
the Cuban guerrillas and the CIA.
     When the invasion force landed at the Bay of Pigs, it
met considerably more resistance than had been expected. 
Despite broadcasts by the CIA run Radio Swan, the Cuban
militia and citizens were not incited to rebel against the
Castro regime as the CIA had estimated.  Instead, the Cuban
forces fought valiantly against the exile force.  The Castro
Air Force, which had not been completely destroyed, began to
inflict severe damages on both the rebel air and ground
forces. For all intents and purposes, the invasion was over
almost as quickly as it had begun, with Castro's forces
easily quashing the rebellion.
     Fatal to the operation were a number of bad breaks. 
U.S. air cover that was to be provided for one hour at the
onset of the invasion never materialized because of a
miscommunication between the rebels and the U.S. Air Force. 
The rebel Air Force sustained such heavy casualties that CIA
pilots  had to fly missions in a futile attempt to salvage
the operation.  As has already been mentioned, the Cuban
people did not react as had been expected, and without
popular support, the invasion had little chance of success. 
Even before the operation was a confirmed failure, the CIA
cover story began to fall apart and later revelations about
U.S. involvement in the fiasco greatly embarrassed the United
     The Castro forces took more than eleven-hundred
prisoners during the fighting.  Most of them were traded on
Christmas eve of 1962 to the United States for $10 million in
cash and $53 million in medicines, baby foods, and other
supplies and equipment exempted from the American embargo on
shipments to Cuba.  Of the approximately 1300 guerrillas that
actually had gone ashore, 114 were killed during the three
fatal days of the operation.
                   LAOS:  THE SECRET ARMY

     The CIA was involved in what has been regarded by many
experts as the most outstanding example of the depth and
magnitude of the clandestine operations of a major power in
the post-war period.  What is being referred to is the CIA's
operations in Laos, known as the "secret army".  The CIA's
"secret war" in Laos went on for over a decade, involving "a
military force of over 100,000 men, and in which were dropped
over two million tons of bombs, as much as had been loosed on
all Europe and the Pacific Theatre in World War II".
     The CIA involvement in Laos began with a presence in the
country in the late 1950s.  Initially, the operation involved
air supply and paramilitary training of the Meo tribesmen to
help them defend their country against the North Vietnamese. 
However, the operation gradually evolved into a full-scale
management of the ground war in Laos by the CIA.
     According to Fred Branfman, what the CIA did in Laos was
very simple.

It created an army of its own, an army paid,
controlled, and directed by American CIA officials
entirely separately from the normal Laotian
government structure...Some troops from every
people in Southeast Asia were bought into Laos as
part of what became known as "the secret army". 
The CIA trained the secret army; directed it in
combat; decided when it would fight; and had it
carry out espionage missions, assassinations of
military and civilian figures, and sabotage.

     As was mentioned earlier, the U.S. dropped over two-
million tons of bombs on Laos.  The majority of those raids
were targeted by CIA officials, not Air Force officials.  The
CIA officials worked at Udorn Air Force base.  They were a
special team of photo reconnaissance people who, because the
CIA had men at Udorn and on the ground, bureaucratically
decided which targets would be bombed.
     In Laos, the CIA put a great deal of emphasis on
psychological warfare.  Americans were told in the early '60s
that the core of our program in Laos would be to win the
"minds and hearts" of the people.  Indeed, a tremendous
attempt was made to do just that through land reform,
education, and economic assistance.  However, by the time
President Nixon took office, winning the "hearts and minds"
of the people had failed and the emphasis was shifted to
controlling their behavior.  The reasoning behind the shift
in emphasis was simple.  Although the United States might not
be able to change the way the people thought, it could
certainly control their political behavior.


     Another country in Asia in which the CIA found itself
heavily involved was Vietnam.  From 1962-1965, the CIA worked
with the South Vietnamese government to organize police
forces and paramilitary units.  After 1965, the CIA became
engaged in a full-scale paramilitary assistance program to
the South Vietnamese Government. The CIA commitment
paralleled the growing U.S. commitment to South Vietnam.
     Perhaps one of the most grisly of all CIA paramilitary
operations in any country was the Phoenix Program, which was
initiated in South Vietnam in 1968.  The program was
originally designed to "neutralize", assassinate, or imprison
members of the civilian infrastructure of the National
Liberation Front (NLF).  Offices were set up from Saigon all
the way down to the district level.  CIA advisors were
present at every level.  The function of the Phoenix offices
was to collate intelligence about the "Vietcong
infrastructure", interrogate civilians picked up at random by
military units carrying out sweeps through villages, and
"neutralize" targeted members of the NLF.  The task of
"neutralizing" NLF members was carried out by CIA-led South
Vietnamese soldiers, organized into Provincial Reconnaissance
     The original concept of the Phoenix Program was quickly
diluted for two major reasons.  One was that the pressure
from the top to fill numerical quotas of persons to be
neutralized was very great.  The second was the difficulties
encountered at the bottom levels in identifying members of
the NLF civilian infrastructure who were often
indistinguishable from the general population.  The end
result of these two problems was an increase in the numbers
of innocent persons rounded up, detained,  imprisoned, and
murdered in an effort to show results.  
     William Colby, the director of the Phoenix Program,
testified before Congress in 1971 that Phoenix was an
American responsibility:  

The Americans had a great deal to do with starting
the program...we had a great deal to do in terms of
developing the ideas, discussing the need,
developing some of the procedures, and so
forth...maybe more than half the initiative came
from us originally.  

     According to Fred Branfman, high-ranking American
officials in South Vietnam bear the sole responsibility for
the practice of setting quotas of civilians to be rounded up
under the program each month.  Branfman continues, "The
United States clearly set quotas in an attempt to force the
GVN (Government of South Vietnam) officials into something
they preferred not to undertake".  As a matter of fact,
Vietnam Information Notes, published by the U.S. State
Department in July 1969 reported that, "The target for 1969
calls for the elimination of 1800 VCI per month" as
fulfillment of the quotas set by those running the Phoenix
     The CIA-backed Phoenix Program assassinated and jailed
large numbers of Vietnamese civilians without evidence of
judicial procedure.  This fact was confirmed by Colby in an
admission to Representative Reid in his July 1971 testimony
before Congress.  According to Colby, the Phoenix Program had
resulted in the deaths of 20,587 persons as of May 1971. 
That number, proportionate to population, would have totaled
over 200,000 Americans deliberately assassinated over a
three-year period had Phoenix been conducted in the United


     A good example of the CIA's use of the type of political
action mentioned above is the Agency's involvement in the
internal political affairs of Chile beginning in 1963 and
reaching a climax in 1973.  In 1964, the United States became
involved in a covert assistance program to Eduardo Frei in
his campaign for the presidency of Chile.  Frei was running
against Salvador Allende, a candidate disliked by U.S.
leaders for his leftist leanings.  The CIA had judged
previously that Frei would come to power regardless, with a
plurality of the vote, and the assistance given by it to Frei
was supposedly to help strengthen the Democratic process in
Chile.  Although Frei won the election, the United States
continued to meddle in the internal affairs of Chile for
another nine years.
     The largest covert operation in Chile from 1963-1973 was
propaganda.  The CIA station in Santiago placed materials in
the Chilean media, maintained a number of assets or agents on
major Chilean newspapers, radio, and television stations, and
manufactured and disseminated "black" propaganda.  Examples
of CIA activities ranged from support of the establishment of
a commercial television service in Chile to the placement of
anti-Soviet propaganda on eight radio news stations and in
five provincial newspapers.  The most significant
contribution in this area of covert activity was the money
provided to El Mercurio, the major Santiago daily newspaper
during the Allende regime.  The CIA spent over $12 million on
the Chilean operation.
     Another category of CIA involvement in Chile was that of
political action.  The most impressive of these actions
undertaken was the massive effort made from 1963 to 1974 to
influence elections.  The CIA spent over $3 million in
election programs alone.  In addition to attempting to
influence elections, the Agency combatted the principle
Communist-dominated labor union in Chile and wrested control
of Chilean university student organizations from the
     As was discussed earlier, the United States never liked
Salvador Allende, and in 1970, the CIA began covert political
operations against the government of Allende under express
orders from President Richard Nixon and his National Security
Assistant, Dr. Henry Kissinger.  Both the CIA and the State
Department were apparently reluctant to become involved in
what appeared to be an infeasible program to keep President
Salvador Allende out of office, even though he had won by
plurality in the September, 1970 election.
     Nevertheless, the President and Mr. Kissinger directed
the CIA, much against its officers' better judgments, to
stage a coup in Chile.  The project never developed into
anything substantial.  However, the CIA provided large sums
of money (around $8 million) to support parliamentary
opposition to Allende and to keep alive an opposition press. 
For all its efforts, the CIA was unsuccessful in defeating
Allende although on September 11, 1973, he was overthrown in
a coup which, though not under U.S. control, may well have
been caused by U.S. anti-Allende pressures.

                        CHAPTER FIVE

     A major requirement of covert operations over the years
has been that in the event something goes wrong, the
president, as head of state in the U.S., should be able to
believably deny any knowledge of the clandestine activity. 
This concept is known as plausible deniability and it has
been a cornerstone in the foundation of presidential
decisions to authorize covert operations.  The misconception
that plausible deniability is a valid method of concealing
U.S. involvement in covert activities has led to a number of
problems over the years.
     The doctrine of plausible deniability led to many of the
widespread abuses of power that occurred in the CIA before
the Intelligence Reform Era in the mid-1970s.  It led the
agency to believe that CIA officers had a green light to
conduct almost any actions they saw fit to reach their goals. 
McGeorge Bundy, a former Special Assistant for National
Security Affairs to President's Kennedy and Johnson, has

While in principle it has always been the
understanding of senior government officials
outside the CIA that no covert operations would be
undertaken without the explicit approval of "higher
authority", there has also been a general
expectation within the Agency that it was proper
business to generate attractive proposals and to
stretch them, in operation, to the furthest limit
of any authorization actually received.

     It is easy to see how this misperception on the part of
the CIA developed.  A president, hoping to pursue his goals,
would communicate his desire for a sensitive operation
indirectly, thereby creating sort of a "blank check".  CIA
officers, intending to carry out the wishes of the president,
would then set about furthering the expressed desires of the
Commander in Chief.  However, instead of informing the
president of the progress of the covert planning, the
officers would be tempted to keep him unaware of it, thereby
enabling him to "plausibly deny" any knowledge of the scheme.
     Darrel Garwood, the author of a comprehensive work on
CIA activities entitled Under Cover writes,

"Plausible deniability" could be regarded as one of
the most wretched theories ever invented.  Its
application...was based on the idea that in an
unholy venture a president could be kept so
isolated from events that when exposure came he
could truthfully emerge as shiningly blameless.  In
practice, whether he deserved it or not, a
president  almost always had to take the blame for
whatever happened.

Also, as the Senate Intelligence Committee pointed out about
plausible deniability, "this concept...has been expanded to
mask decisions of the President and his senior staff
     A recent example of how problems linked to this concept
can occur is the so-called "Iran-Contra Affair" which made
the headlines in late 1986 and earlier this year.  The fiasco
was an embarrassing illustration of the example which was
discussed above.  Although the CIA itself was not directly
implicated in the scandal, Colonel Oliver North and other
members of the government were discovered to have been
carrying out the aims of the President--by channeling funds
from arms sales to Iran to the Contras in Nicaragua--
supposedly without his knowledge.  Whether or not President
Reagan actually knew about the diversion of funds is unclear,
but in any event, top level planners of the operation
believed that the President would be able to plausibly deny
any knowledge of the diversion of funds.  However, because of
the intense scrutiny placed upon the operation by the media
and Congress, President Reagan was unable to convince them
and the country as a whole that he had no knowledge of the
diversion.  As the president and his men learned the hard
way, "inevitably, the truth prevails and policies pursued on
the premise that they could be plausibly denied in the end
damage America's reputation and the faith of her people in
their government".
     One of the major reasons that the CIA has gone astray
over the last forty years is the veritable freedom from any
type of control or restriction that it has enjoyed.  Though
Congress investigated the activities of the Agency in 1975
and subsequently instituted more stringent oversight
procedures, the CIA of today is once again an agency that is
able to do almost as it pleases.  The strictures placed on
the CIA by the Ford and Carter Administrations were relaxed
in 1981 when Ronald Reagan took office.  To understand how
the Agency has become so omnipotent since 1947 will require a
look back to a time when the Agency really did as it pleased.
     To get an idea of the characteristics of the men in the
Agency during its first three decades, we shall look at a
description of CIA case officers.

CIA men abroad were called case officers within the
organization.  As individuals, they were generally
efficient, dedicated, highly motivated and
incorruptible.  The trouble in the CIA was likely
to be that, for anything short of the meanest of
all-out wars, they were too highly motivated.  A
severe beating administered to a reluctant
informant, or the assassination of a would-be left-
wing dictator, could seem trivial to them in the
light of their goal of outscoring the nation's
potential enemies.  And naturally, until one
happened, they could not imagine a nationwide furor
over actions which to them seemed unimportant.

In a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors
in April, 1971, then DCI Richard Helms said, "The nation must
to a degree take it on faith that we too are honorable men,
devoted to her service."
     CIA officials were not the only ones who believed that
the CIA could be trusted to carry out the objectives of the
United States Government.  The Agency had a number of
champions in the Congress of the United States as well. 
Feelings about the sanctity of sensitive information dealt
with by the Agency led to wide support for a laissez faire
policy in Congress regarding the CIA.  For example, Richard
Russell, the Democratic Senator from Georgia, once gave the
following explanation of why he led the fight against a
resolution to provide for closer Congressional surveillance
of the CIA.

Russell noted that the statement had been made on
the floor that the Armed Services subcommittee of
which he was a member had not revealed to the
country what it had learned about CIA operations.

"No, Mr. President," Russell said, "we have not
told the country, and I do not propose to tell the
country in the future, because if there is anything
in the United States which should be held sacred
behind the curtain of classified matter, it is
information regarding the activities of this
agency...It would be better to abolish it out of
hand than it would be to adopt a theory that such
information should be spread and made available to
every member of Congress and to the members of the
staff of any committee.

With such a powerful man and others like him on its side, it
is small wonder that the CIA got away with the things that it
did prior to 1975.
     CIA officers cleverly played upon the fears of Congress
to consolidate the power of the Agency.  Former CIA director
Allen Dulles, speaking before a Congressional committee,
Any investigation, whether by a congressional
committee or any other body, which results in
disclosure of our secret activities and operations
or uncovers our personnel, will help a potential
enemy just as if the enemy had been able to
infiltrate his own agents right into our shop.

Such statements led Senators like John Stennis to comment,
"If you are going to have an intelligence agency, you have to
protect it as such...and shut your eyes some, and take what's

                         Appendix I

The following is a partial list of United States Covert
action abroad to impose or restore favorable political
conditions, 1946-1983.  The list was prepared by Tom Gervasi
of the Center for Military Research and Analysis in 1984, and
it was compiled using information available in the public

1946: GREECE.  Restore monarch after overthrow of Metaxas
     government.  Successful.

1946-1955:  WEST GERMANY.  Average of $6 million annually to
     support former Nazi intelligence network of General
     Reinhard Gehlen.  Successful.

1948-1968:  ITALY.  Average of $30 million annually in 
     payments  to political and labor leaders to supportanti-
     Communist  candidates in Italian elections.  Successful.

1949:  GREECE.  Military assistance to anti-Communist forces 
     in Greek civil war.  Successful.

1949-1953:  UKRAINE.  Organize and support a Ukrainian
     resistance movement. Unsuccessful.

1949-1961:  BURMA.  Support 12,000 Nationalist China troops 
     in Burma under General Li Mi as an incursion force into 
     People's Republic of China.  Unsuccessful.

1950-1952:  POLAND.  Financial and military assistance for
     Polish Freedom and Independence Movement.  Unsuccessful.

1950:  ALBANIA.  Overthrow government of Enver Hoxha. 

1951-1954:  CHINA.  Airdrop guerilla teams into People's
     Republic of China.  Unsuccessful.

1953:  IRAN.  Overthrow Mossadegh government and install
     Zahedi.  Cost:  $10 million.  Successful.

1953:  PHILLIPINES.  Assassination and propaganda campaign to
     overcome Huk resistance and install government of Ramon
     Magsaysay.  Successful.

@Copyright 1984 by the Center for Military Research and

1953:  COSTA RICA.  Overthrow government of Jose Figueres. 

1954:  SOUTH VIETNAM.  Install government of Ngo Dinh Diem. 

1954:  WEST GERMANY.  Arrange abduction and discreditation of
     West German intelligence chief Otto John, and replace
     with Reinhard Gehlen.  Successful.
1954:  GUATEMALA.  Overthrow government of Jacobo Arbenz
     Guzman and replace with Carlos Castillo Armas. 

1955:  CHINA.  Assassinate Zhou Enlai en route to Bandung
     Conference.  Unsuccessful.

1956:  HUNGARY.  Financial and military assistance to
     organize and support a Hungarian resistance movement,
     and broad propaganda campaign to encourage it. 

1956:  CUBA.  Establish anti-Communist police force, Buro de
     Represion Actividades Communistas (BRAC) under Batista  
     regime.  Successful.

1956:  EGYPT.  Overthrow Nasser government.  Unsuccessful.
1956:  SYRIA.  Overthrow Ghazzi government.  Aborted by
     Israeli invasion of Egypt.

1956-1957:  JORDAN.  Average of $750,000 annually in personal
     payments to King Hussein.  According to United States
     government, payments ceased when disclosed in 1976.

1957:  LEBANON.  Financial assistance for the election of
     pro-American candidates to Lebanese Parliament. 

1958:  INDONESIA.  Financial and military assistance,
     including B-26 bombers, for revel forces attempting to
     overthrow Sukarno government.  Unsuccessful.

1958-1961:  TIBET.  Infiltrate Tibetan guerrillas trained in
     United States to fight Chinese Communists. Unsuccessful.

1959:  CAMBODIA.  Assassinate Prince Norodum Shianouk. 

1960:  GUATEMALA.  Military assistance, including the use of
     B-26 bombers for government of Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes
     to defeat rebel forces.  Successful.

1960:  ANGOLA.  Financial and military assistance to rebel
     forces of Holden Roberto.  Inconclusive.

1960:  LAOS.  Military assistance, including 400 United
     States Special Forces troops, to deny the Plain of Jars
     bad Mekong Basin to Pathet Lao.  Inconclusive.

1961-1965:  LAOS.  Average of $300 million annually to
     recruit and maintain L'Armee Clandestine of 35,000 Hmong
     and Meo tribesmen and 17,000 Thai mercenaries in support
     of government of Phoumi Nosavan to resist Pathet Lao. 

1961-1963:  CUBA.  Assassinate Fidel Castro.  Six attempts in
     this period.  Unsuccessful.

1961:  CUBA.  Train and support invasion force of Cuban
     exiles to overthrow Castro government, and assist their
     invasion at the Bay of Pigs.  Cost:  $62 million. 

1961:  ECUADOR.  Overthrow government of Hose Velasco Ibarra. 

1961:  CONGO.  Precipitate conditions leading to
     assassination of Patrice Lumumba.  Successful.

1961:  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.  Precipitate conditions leading to
     assassination of Rafael Trujillo.  Successful.

1961-1966:  CUBA.  Broad sabotage program,  including
     terrorist attacks on coastal targets and bacteriological
     warfare, in effort to weaken Castro government. 

1962:  THAILAND.  Brigade of 5,000 United States Marines to
     resist threat to Thai government from Pathet Lao. 

1962-1964:  BRITISH GUIANA.  Organize labor strikes and riots
     to overthrow government of Cheddi Jagan.  Successful.

1962-1964:  BRAZIL.  Organize campaign of labor strike and
     propaganda to overthrow government of Joao Goulart. 

1963:  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.  Overthrow government of Juan
     Bosch in military coup.  Successful.

1963:  SOUTH VIETNAM.  Precipitate conditions leading to
     assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem.  Successful.

1963:  ECUADOR.  Overthrow government of Carlos Julio
     Arosemena.  Successful.

1963-1984:  EL SALVADOR.  Organize ORDEN and ANSESAL domestic
     intelligence networks under direction of General Jose
     Alberto Medrano and Colonel Nicolas Carranza, and
     provide intelligence support and training in
     surveillance, interrogation and assassination
     techniques.  Successful.

1963-1973:  IRAQ.  Financial and military assistance for
     Freedom Party of Mulla Mustafa al Barzani in effort to
     establish independent Kurdistan.  Unsuccessful.

1964:  CHILE.  $20 million in assistance for Eduardo Frei to
     defeat Salvador Allende in Chilean elections.Successful.

     Provide training in assassination and interrogation
     techniques for police and intelligence personnel. 

1964:  CONGO.  Financial and military assistance, including
     B-26 and T-28 aircraft, and American and exiled Cuban
     pilots, for Joseph Mobutu and Cyril Adoula, and later
     for Moise Tshombe in Katanga, to defeat rebel forces
     loyal to Lumumba.  Successful.

1964-1967:  SOUTH VIETNAM.  Phoenix Program to eliminate Viet
     Cong political infrastructure through more than 20,000
     assassinations.  Infiltrated by Viet Cong and only
     partially successful.

1964-1971:  NORTH VIETNAM.  Sabotage and ambush missions
     under Operations Plan 34A by United States Special
     Forces and Nung tribesmen.  Inconclusive.

1965-1971:  LAOS.  Under Operations Shining Brass and Prairie
     Fire, sabotage and ambush missions by United States
     Special Forces personnel and Nung and Meo tribesmen
     under General Bang Pao.  Inconclusive.

1965:  THAILAND.  Recruit 17,000 mercenaries to support
     Laotian government of Phoumi Nosavan resisting Pathet
     Lao.  Successful.
1965:  PERU.  Provide training in assassination and
     interrogation techniques for Peruvian police and
     intelligence personnel, similar to training given in
     Uruguay, Brazil and Dominican Republic, in effort to
     defeat resistance movement.  Unsuccessful.

1965:  INDONESIA.  Organize campaign of propaganda to
     overthrow Sukarno government, and precipitate conditions
     leading to massacre of more than 500,000 members of
     Indonesian Communist Party, in order to eliminate
     opposition to new Suharto government.  Successful.

1967:  BOLIVIA.  Assist government in capture of Ernesto Che
     Guevara.  Successful.

1967:  GREECE.  Overthrow government of George Papandreou and
     install military government of Colonel George 
     Papadopolous after abdication of King Constantine. 

1967-1971:  CAMBODIA.  Under Projects Daniel Boone and Salem
     House, sabotage and ambush missions by United States
     Special Forces personnel and Meo tribesmen. 

1969-1970:  CAMBODIA.  Bombing campaign to crush Viet Cong
     sanctuaries in Cambodia.  Unsuccessful.

1970:  CAMBODIA.  Overthrow government of Prince Norodom
     Sihanouk.  Successful.

1970-1973:  CHILE.  Campaign of assassinations, propaganda,
     labor strikes and demonstrations to overthrow government
     of Salvador Allende.  Cost:  $8,400,000.  Successful.

1973-1978:  AFGHANISTAN.  Military and financial assistance
     to government of Mohammed Duad to resist rise to power
     of Noor Mohammed Taraki.  Unsuccessful.

1975:  PORTUGAL.  Overthrow government of General Vasco dos
     Santos Goncalves.  Successful.

1975:  ANGOLA.  Military assistance to forces of Holden
     Roberto and Jonas Savimbi to defeat forces of Popular
     Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) during
     Angolan civil war, and prevent MPLA from forming new
     government.  Unsuccessful.

1975:  AUSTRALIA.  Propaganda and political pressure to force
     dissolution of labor government of Gough Whitlam. 
1976:  JAMAICA.  Military coup to overthrow government of
     Michael Manley.  Unsuccessful.

1976-1984:  ANGOLA.  Financial and military assistance to
     forces of Jonas Savimbi to harass and destabilize Neto
     and succeeding governments.  Inconclusive.

1979:  IRAN.  Install military government to replace Shah and
     resist growth of Moslem fundamentalism.  Unsuccessful.

1979-1980:  JAMAICA.  Financial pressure to destabilize
     government of Michael Manley, and campaign propaganda
     and demonstrations to defeat it in elections. 

1979:  AFGHANISTAN.  Military aid to rebel forces of Zia
     Nezri, Zia Khan Nassry, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Sayed Ahmed
     Gailani and conservative mullahs to overthrow government
     of Hafizullah Amin.  Aborted by Soviet intervention and
     installation of new government.

1980-1984:  AFGHANISTAN.  Continuing military aid to same
     rebel groups to harass Soviet occupation forces and
     challenge legitimacy of government of Babrak Karmal.

1979:  SEYCHELLES.  Destabilize government of France Albert
     Rene.  Successful.

1980:  GRENADA.  Mercenary coup to overthrow government of
     Maurice Bishop.  Successful.

1980:  DOMINICA.  Financial support to Freedom Party of
     Eugenia Charles to defeat Oliver Seraphim in Dominican
     elections.  Successful.

1980:  GUYANA.  Assassinate opposition leader Walter Rodney
     to consolidate power of government of Forbes Burnham. 

1980-1984:  NICARAGUA.  Military assistance to Adolfo Colero
     Portocarrero, Alfonso Robelo, Alfonso Callejas, Fernando
     Chamorro Rappacioli, Eden Pastora Gomez, Adrianna
     Guillen, Steadman Fagoth and former Somoza National
     Guard officers, to recruit, train and equip anti-
     Sandinista forces for sabotage and terrorist incursions
     into Nicaragua from sanctuaries in Honduras and Costa
     Rica, in effort to destabilize government of Daniel
     Ortega Saavedra.

1981:  SEYCHELLES.  Military coup to overthrow government of
     France Albert Rene.  Unsuccessful.
1981-1982:  MAURITIUS.  Financial support to Seewoosagar
     Ramgoolam to bring him to power in 1982 elections. 

1981-1984:  LIBYA.  Broad campaign of economic pressure,
     propaganda, military maneuvers in Egypt, Sudan and Gulf
     of Sidra, and organization if Libyan Liberation Front
     exiles to destabilize government of Muammar Qaddafi. 

1982:  CHAD.  Military assistance to Hissen Habre to
     overthrow government of Goukouni Oueddei.  Successful.

1982:  GUATEMALA.  Military coup to overthrow government of
     Angel Anibal Guevara.  Successful.

1982:  BOLIVIA.  Military coup to overthrow government of
     Celso Torrelio.  Successful.

1982:  JORDAN.  Military assistance to equip and train two
     Jordanian brigades as an Arab strike force to implement
     United States policy objectives without Israeli

1982-1983:  SURINAM.  Overthrow government of Colonel Desi
     Bouterse.  Three attempts in this period.  Unsuccessful.

1984:  EL SALVADOR.  $1.4 million in financial support for
     the Presidential election campaign of Jose Napoleon
     Duarte.  Successful.Appendix II
    The Congo 1960:  State Terrorism and Foreign Policy*

A 1975 report of the Church Committee entitled "Alleged
Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders" provides a
rare inside account of how such operations are planned and
carried out--in this case, the CIA's attempt to assassinate
Patrice Lumumba in the Congo in 1960.  Lumumba, a popular
politician considered pro-Soviet by U.S. policymakers, had
briefly served as prime minister after the Congo gained its
independence from Belgium in June of that year.  According to
the Senate report, "It is likely that President
Eisenhower's...strong...concern about Lumumba...was taken by
[CIA director] Allen Dulles as authority to assassinate
Lumumba."  CIA officials ordered a staff scientist (code-
named "Joe") to prepare "toxic biological materials" that
would "produce a disease...indigenous to that area [of
Africa]" and to deliver the poison to the CIA station chief
in Leopoldville, who was to assassinate Lumumba.  But before
the station chief could carry out his orders, Lumumba was
captured by the forces of Joseph Mobutu, the U.S. supported
nationalist leader who is still dictator of the country, and
delivered to his archenemies in Katanga, where he was
murdered.  Following are excerpts from the cables, published
by the committee, that were exchanged by CIA headquarters in
Washington and the officers in the Congo.  

August 18, 1960.  Station chief, Leopoldville, to CIA


August 26.  Headquarters to Leopoldville:


*This excerpt appeared in Harper's Magazine in October 1984.

September 19.  Headquarters to Leopoldville, announcing the
arrival of the poison:


October 7.  Leopoldville to headquarters:


October 15.  Headquarters to Leopoldville:


October 17.  Leopoldville to headquarters:


November 14.  Leopoldville to headquarters:


January 13.  Fearing that Lumumba, who had been imprisoned by
Mobutu's forces in December, would soon be freed by his
supporters and seize power, Leopoldville cables headquarters:


January 17.  Mobutu and his ally Joseph Kasavubu send Lumumba
to his enemies in Katanga province, the forces of local
leader Moise Tshombe.  Two days later, the CIA base chief in
Elizabethville cables headquarters:


A U.N. inquiry later concluded Lumumba was killed by his
enemies on or shortly after his arrival in Katanga.  The
Church Committee investigation found that "the toxic
substances were never used.  But there is, however, no
suggestion of a connection between the assassination plot and
the events which actually led to Lumumba's death".