By Wayne Madsen
September 7, 2010
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen has discovered CIA files that document the agency’s connections to institutions and individuals figuring prominently in the lives of Barack Obama and his mother, father, grandmother, and stepfather. The first part of his report highlights the connections between Barack Obama, Sr. and the CIA-sponsored operations in Kenya to counter rising Soviet and Chinese influence among student circles and, beyond, to create conditions obstructing the emergence of independent African leaders.
From 1983–84, Barack Obama worked as Editor at Business International Corporation, a Business International Corporation, a known CIA front company
President Obama’s own work in 1983 for Business International Corporation, a CIA front that conducted seminars with the world’s most powerful leaders and used journalists as agents abroad, dovetails with CIA espionage activities conducted by his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham in 1960s post-coup Indonesia on behalf of a number of CIA front operations, including the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ford Foundation. Dunham met and married Lolo Soetoro, Obama’s stepfather, at the East-West Center in 1965. Soetoro was recalled to Indonesia in 1965 to serve as a senior army officer and assist General Suharto and the CIA in the bloody overthrow of President Sukarno.
Barack Obama, Sr., who met Dunham in 1959 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii, had been part of what was described as an airlift of 280 East African students to the United States to attend various colleges – merely u201Caidedu201D by a grant from the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, according to a September 12, 1960, Reuters report from London. The airlift was a CIA operation to train and indoctrinate future agents of influence in Africa, which was becoming a battleground between the United States and the Soviet Union and China for influence among newly-independent and soon-to-be independent countries on the continent.
The airlift was condemned by the deputy leader of the opposition Kenyan African Democratic Union (KADU) as favoring certain tribes – the majority Kikuyus and minority Luos – over other tribes to favor the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), whose leader was Tom Mboya, the Kenyan nationalist and labor leader who selected Obama, Sr. for a scholarship at the University of Hawaii. Obama, Sr., who was already married with an infant son and pregnant wife in Kenya, married Dunham on Maui on February 2, 1961 and was also the university’s first African student. Dunham was three month’s pregnant with Barack Obama, Jr. at the time of her marriage to Obama, Sr.
The CIA allegedly recruited Tom M’Boya in a heavily funded u201Cselective liberationu201D programme to isolate Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, who the American spy agency labelled as u201Cunsafe.u201D
KADU deputy leader Masinda Muliro, according to Reuters, said KADU would send a delegation to the United States to investigate Kenyan students who received u201Cgiftsu201D from the Americans and u201Censure that further gifts to Kenyan students are administered by people genuinely interested in Kenya’s development.u201D
Mboya received a $100,000 grant for the airlift from the Kennedy Foundation after he turned down the same offer from the U.S. State Department, obviously concerned that direct U.S. assistance would look suspicious to pro-Communist Kenyan politicians who suspected Mboya of having CIA ties. The Airlift Africa project was underwritten by the Kennedy Foundation and the African-American Students Foundation. Obama, Sr. was not on the first airlift but a subsequent one. The airlift, organized by Mboya in 1959, included students from Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland.
Reuters also reported that Muliro charged that Africans were u201Cdisturbed and embitteredu201D by the airlift of the selected students. Muliro u201Cstated that u201Cpreferences were shown to two major tribes [Kikuyu and Luo] and many U.S.-bound students had failed preliminary and common entrance examinations, while some of those left behind held first-class certificates.u201D
Obama, Sr. was a friend of Mboya and a fellow Luo. After Mboya was assassinated in 1969, Obama, Sr. testified at the trial of his alleged assassin. Obama, Sr. claimed he was the target of a hit-and-run assassination attempt after his testimony.
CIA-airlifted to Hawaii, Barack Obama Sr., with leis, stands with Stanley Dunham, President Obama’s grandfather, on his right.
Obama, Sr., who left Hawaii for Harvard in 1962, divorced Dunham in 1964. Obama, Sr. married a fellow Harvard student, Ruth Niedesand, a Jewish-American woman, who moved with him to Kenya and had two sons. They were later divorced. Obama, Sr. worked for the Kenyan Finance and Transport ministries as well as an oil firm. Obama, Sr. died in a 1982 car crash and his funeral was attended by leading Kenyan politicians, including future Foreign Minister Robert Ouko, who was murdered in 1990.
CIA files indicate that Mboya was an important agent-of-influence for the CIA, not only in Kenya but in all of Africa. A formerly secret CIA Current Intelligence Weekly Summary, dated November 19, 1959, states that Mboya served as a check on extremists at the second All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) in Tunis. The report states that u201Cserious friction developed between Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah and Kenyan nationalist Tom Mboya who cooperated effectively last December to check extremists at the AAPC’s first meeting in Accra.u201D The term u201Ccooperated effectivelyu201D appears to indicate that Mboya was cooperating with the CIA, which filed the report from field operatives in Accra and Tunis. While u201Ccooperatingu201D with the CIA in Accra and Tunis, Mboya selected the father of the president of the United States to receive a scholarship and be airlifted to the University of Hawaii where he met and married President Obama’s mother.
An earlier CIA Current Intelligence Weekly Summary, secret, and dated April 3, 1958, states that Mboya u201Cstill appears to be the most promising of the African leaders.u201D Another CIA weekly summary, secret and dated December 18, 1958, calls Mboya the Kenyan nationalist an u201Cable and dynamic young chairmanu201D of the People’s Convention party who was viewed as an opponent of u201Cextremistsu201D like Nkrumah, supported by u201CSino-Soviet representatives.u201D
In a formerly secret CIA report on the All-Africa Peoples Conference in 1961, dated November 1, 1961, Mboya’s conservatism, along with that of Taleb Slim of Tunisia, are contrasted to the leftist policies of Nkrumah and others. Pro-communists who were elected to the AAPC’s steering committee at the March 1961 Cairo conference, attended by Mboya, are identified in the report as Abdoulaye Diallo, AAPC Secretary General, of Senegal; Ahmed Bourmendjel of Algeria; Mario de Andrade of Angola; Ntau Mokhele of Basutoland; Kingue Abel of Cameroun; Antoine Kiwewa of Congo (Leopoldville); Kojo Botsio of Ghana; Ismail Toure of Guinea; T. O. Dosomu Johnson of Liberia; Modibo Diallo of Mali; Mahjoub Ben Seddik of Morocco; Djibo Bakari of Niger; Tunji Otegbeya of Nigeria; Kanyama Chiume of Nyasaland; Ali Abdullahi of Somalia; Tennyson Makiwane of South Africa, and Mohamed Fouad Galal of the United Arab Republic.
The only attendees in Cairo who were given a clean bill of health by the CIA were Mboya, who appears to have been a snitch for the agency, and Joshua Nkomo of Southern Rhodesia, B. Munanka of Tanganyika, Abdel Magid Shaker of Tunisia, and John Kakonge of Uganda.
Nkrumah would eventually be overthrown in a 1966 CIA-backed coup while he was on a state visit to China and North Vietnam. The CIA overthrow of Nkrumah followed by one year the agency’s overthrow of Sukarno, another coup that was connected to President Obama’s family on his mother’s side. There are suspicions that Mboya was assassinated in 1969 by Chinese agents working with anti-Mboya factions in the government of Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta in order to eliminate a pro-U.S. leading political leader in Africa. Upon Mboya’s death, every embassy in Nairobi flew its flag at half-mast except for one, the embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya
Mboya’s influence in the Kenyatta government would continue long after his death and while Obama, Sr. was still alive. In 1975, after the assassination of KANU politician Josiah Kariuki, a socialist who helped start KANU, along with Mboya and Obama, Sr., Kenyatta dismissed three rebellious cabinet ministers who u201Call had personal ties to either Kariuki or Tom Mboya.u201D This information is contained in CIA Staff Notes on the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, formerly Top Secret Umbra, Handle via COMINT Channels, dated June 24, 1975. The intelligence in the report, based on its classification, indicate the information was derived from National Security Agency intercepts in Kenya. No one was ever charged in the assassination of Kariuki.
The intercepts of Mboya’s and Kariuki’s associates are an indication that the NSA and CIA also maintain intercepts on Barack Obama, Sr., who, as a non-U.S. person, would have been lawfully subject at the time to intercepts carried out by NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
In Part I of this WMR special report, we revealed the connections between Barack Obama, Sr. and the CIA-affiliated Airlift Africa project to provide college degrees to and gain influence over a group of 280 eastern and southern African students from soon-to-be independent African nations to counter similar programs established by the Soviet Union and China. Barack Obama Sr. was the first African student to attend the University of Hawaii. Obama Sr. and Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham met in a Russian language class in 1959 and they married in 1961.
The African airlift program was administered by Kenyan nationalist leader Tom Mboya, a fellow Luo tribe mentor and friend of the senior Obama. According to CIA documents described in Part I, Mboya also served the CIA in ensuring that pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese African nationalists were stymied in their attempt to dominate pan-African nationalist political, student, and labor movements.
One of Mboya’s chief opponents was Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who was ousted in a CIA-inspired coup in 1966, one year before Obama Sr.'s son, Barack Obama, Jr. and his mother joined Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian who Obama’s mother met at the University of Hawaii in 1965, when President Obama was four years old.
In 1967, Obama and his mother joined her husband in Jakarta. In 1965, Lolo Soetoro had been called back from Hawaii by General Suharto to serve as an officer in the Indonesian military to help launch a bloody CIA-backed genocide of Indonesian Communists and Indonesian Chinese throughout the expansive country. Suharto consolidated his power in 1966, the same year that Barack Obama, Sr.'s friend, Mboya, had helped to rally pro-U.S. pan-African support for the CIA’s overthrow of Nkrumah in Ghana in 1966.
East-West Center, University of Hawaii, and CIA coup against Sukarno
Ann Dunham met Soetoro at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. The center had long been affiliated with CIA activities in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1965, the year that Dunham met and married Soetoro, the center saw a new chancellor take over. He was Howard P. Jones who served a record seven years, from 1958 to 1965, as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia. Jones was present in Jakarta as Suharto and his CIA-backed military officers planned the 1965 overthrow of Sukarno, who was seen, along with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), as allies of China.
When Jones was chancellor of the East-West Center, he wrote an article for the Washington Post, dated October 10, 1965, in which he defended Suharto’s overthrow of Sukarno. Jones was u201Cinvitedu201D by the Post to comment on the Suharto coup, described as a u201Ccounter-coupu201D against the Communists. Jones charged that Suharto was merely responding to an earlier attempted Communist-led coup against Sukarno launched by Lt. Col. Untung, u201Ca relatively unknown battalion commander in the palace guard.u201D
Jones’s article, which mirrored CIA situation reports from the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, continued by stating that the alleged leftist coup on September 30 u201Ccame within an inch of succeeding through the assassination of six of the top military command. It might well have succeeded had not Defense Minister Nasution and a number of other senior generals also marked for assassination acted fast in a dramatic counter-coup.u201D Of course, what Jones did not inform the Post’s readers was that the Suharto u201Ccounter-coupu201D had been assisted with the strong help of the CIA.
Sukarno never blamed the Communists for the assassination of the army generals nor did the Indonesian Cabinet, where the second- and third-ranking leaders of the PKI were present. The possibility that the assassination of the generals was a CIA/Suharto u201Cfalse flagu201D operation to affix blame on the PKI cannot be ruled out. Two days after Suharto’s coup, a CIA u201Crent-a-mobu201D burned down the PKI headquarters in Jakarta. As they marched past the U.S. Embassy, which was also the site of the CIA station, they yelled out, u201CLong live America!u201D
Untung later said that when he became aware that Suharto and the CIA were planning a coup on October 5, 1965 — Indonesian Armed Forces Day — forces loyal to him and Sukarno moved first. Jones described this as u201Ctypical Communist propaganda.u201D Suharto moved against Sukarno on October 1. Jones iterated that u201Cthere was not an iota of truth . . . in the accusation that the CIA was working against Sukarno.u201D History has proven otherwise. Jones accused the Communists of taking advantage of Sukarno’s failing health to beat out the other candidates to succeed him. The goal, according to Jones, was to have PKI boss D.N. Aidit succeed Sukarno. Sukarno did not die until 1970, while under house arrest.
A CIA paper, formerly classified Secret and undated, states u201CSukarno would like to return to the status quo ante-coup. He has refused to condemn the PKI or the 30th September Movement [of Lt. Col. Untung]; instead, he calls for unity of Indonesia and asks that no vengeance be taken by one group against the other. But, he has not succeeded in forcing the Army to abandon its anti-PKI activities and, on the other hand, he has bowed to their demand by appointing its single candidate General Suharto as head of the Army.u201D Suharto and Barry Obama Soetoro’s step-father Lolo Soetoro would ignore Sukarno’s call for no vengeance, as hundreds of thousands of Indonesians would soon discover.
The mass murder by Suharto of Indonesian Chinese is seen in the CIA paper’s description of the Baperki Party: u201Cthe leftist Baperki Party, with its major strength in rural areas, is largely Chinese-Indonesian in membership.u201D A CIA Intelligence Memorandum, dated October 6, 1966 and formerly classified Secret, shows the extent of the CIA’s monitoring of the anti-Sukarno coup from various CIA agents assigned as liaisons to Suharto’s army units surrounding the Presidential Palace in Bogor and at various diplomatic posts around the country, including the U.S. Consulate in Medan, which was keeping track of leftists in that Sumatran city and, which, in an October 2, 1965, Intelligence Memo, reported to the CIA that the u201CSoviet consul-general in Medan has a plane standing by that could be used for evacuation of Soviet citizens from Sumatra.u201D The October 6 memo also warns against allowing Untung from developing a following in Central Java.
A CIA formerly Secret u201CWeekly Summary Special Reportu201D on Indonesia, dated August 11, 1967, and titled u201CThe New Order in Indonesia,u201D reports that in 1966, Indonesia re-aligned its economy in order to receive International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance. The CIA reports it is happy with the new triumvirate ruling Indonesia in 1967: Suharto, Foreign Minister Adam Malik, and the Sultan of Jogjakarta, who served as minister for economics and finance. The report also rejoices in the outlawing of the PKI, but states it u201Cretains a significant following in East and Central Java,u201D where Ann Dunham Soetoro would largely concentrate her later efforts on behalf of USAID, the World Bank, and the Ford Foundation, all front activities for the CIA to u201Cwin the hearts and mindsu201D of the Javanese farmers and artisans.
A CIA Intelligence Memorandum, formerly Secret and dated July 23, 1966, clearly sees the Muslim Nahdatul Ulama party (NU), the largest party in Indonesia and Muslim, as a natural ally of the United States and the Suharto regime. The report states that helped Suharto put down the Communists in the post-coup time frame, especially where the NU was strongest: East Java, where Obama’s mother would concentrate her activities, and North Sumatra and parts of Borneo. An April 29, 1966, formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Memorandum on the PKI states: u201CMoslem extremists in many instances outdid the army in hunting down and murdering members of the party [PKI] and its front groups.u201D
Dunham dropped out of the University of Hawaii in 1960 while pregnant with Barack Obama. Barack Obama Sr. left Hawaii in 1962 to study at Harvard. Dunham and Obama divorced in 1964. In the fall of 1961, Dunham enrolled at the University of Washington while caring for her infant son. Dunham was re-enrolled at the University of Hawaii from 1963 to 1966. Lolo Soetoro, who Dunham married in March 1965, departed Hawaii for Indonesia on July 20, 1965, some three months prior to the CIA’s coup against Sukarno. Soetoro, who served Suharto as an Army colonel, was clearly called back from the CIA-connected East-West Center to assist in the coup against Sukarno, one that would eventually cost the lives of some one million Indonesian citizens. It is a history that President Obama would like the press to ignore, which it certainly did during the 2008 primary and general election.
In 1967, after arriving in Indonesia with Obama, Jr., Dunham began teaching English at the American embassy in Jakarta, which also housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia and had significant satellite stations in Surabaya in eastern Java and Medan on Sumatra. Jones left as East-West Center chancellor in 1968.
In fact, Obama’s mother was teaching English for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was a major cover for CIA activities in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Laos, South Vietnam, and Thailand. The USAID program was known as Lembaga Pendidikan Pembinaan Manajemen. Obama’s mother, painted as a free spirit and a u201Csixties childu201D by President Obama and people who claimed they knew her in Hawaii and Indonesia, had a curriculum vitae in Indonesia that contradicts the perception that Ann Dunham Soetoro was a u201Chippy.u201D
Dunham Soetoro’s Russian language training at the University of Hawaii may have been useful to the CIA in Indonesia. An August 2, 1966, formerly Secret memorandum from the National Security Council’s Executive Secretary Bromley Smith states that, in addition to Japan, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the Suharto coup was welcomed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies because its created a non-aligned Indonesia that u201Crepresents an Asian counterweight to Communist China.u201D Records indicate that a number of CIA agents posted in Jakarta before and after the 1965 coup were, like Dunham Soetoro, conversant in Russian.
Dunham Soetoro worked for the elitist Ford Foundation, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bank Rakyat (the majority government-owned People’s Bank of Indonesia), and the CIA-linked USAID while she lived in Indonesia and later, Pakistan.
USAID was involved in a number of CIA covert operations in Southeast Asia. The February 9, 1971, Washington Star reported that USAID officials in Laos were aware that rice supplied to the Laotian Army by USAID was being re-sold to North Vietnamese army divisions in the country. The report stated that the U.S. tolerated the USAID rice sales to the North Vietnamese since the Laotian Army units that sold the rice found themselves protected from Communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese attack. USAID and the CIA also used the supply of rice to force Laotian Meo tribesmen to support the United States in the war against the Communists. USAID funds programmed for civilians injured in the war in Laos and public health care were actually diverted for military purposes.
In 1971, the USAID-funded Center for Vietnamese Studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale was accused of being a CIA front. USAID-funded projects through the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA) – comprising the Universities of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan State – were accused of being CIA front projects, including those for u201Cagricultural educationu201D in Indonesia, as well as other u201Cprojectsu201D in Afghanistan, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand, and South Vietnam. The charge was made in 1971, the same year that Ann Dunham was working for USAID in the country.
In a July 10, 1971, New York Times report, USAID and the CIA were accused of u201Closingu201D $1.7 billion appropriated for the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) program in South Vietnam. CORDS was part of the CIA’s Operation Phoenix program, which involved CIA assassination and torture of South Vietnamese village elders and Buddhist clerics. USAID money was also directed to the CIA’s proprietary airline in Southeast Asia, Air America. In Thailand, USAID funds for the Accelerated Rural Development Program in Thailand were actually masking a CIA anti-Communist counter-insurgency operation. USAID funds programmed for public works projects in East Pakistan in 1971 were used for East Pakistan’s military fortifications on its border with India, in the months before the outbreak of war with India, in contravention of U.S. law that prohibited USAID money for military purposes.
In 1972, USAID administrator Dr. John Hannah admitted to Metromedia News that USAID was being used as a cover for CIA covert operations in Laos. Hannah only admitted to Laos as a USAID cover for the CIA. However, it was also reported that USAID was being used by the CIA in Indonesia, Philippines, South Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea. USAID projects in Southeast Asia had to be approved by the Southeast Asian Development Advisory Group (SEADAG), an Asia Society group that was, in fact, answerable to the CIA.
The U.S. Food for Peace program, jointly administered by USAID and the Department of Agriculture, was found in 1972 to be used for military purposes in Cambodia, South Korea, Turkey, South Vietnam, Spain, Taiwan, and Greece. In 1972, USAID funneled aid money only to the southern part of North Yemen, in order to aid North Yemeni forces against the government of South Yemen, then ruled by a socialist government opposed to U.S. hegemony in the region.
One of the entities affiliated with the USAID work in Indonesia was the Asia Foundation, a 1950s creation formed with the help of the CIA to oppose the expansion of communism in Asia. The East-West Center guest house in Hawaii was funded by the Asia Foundation. The guest house is also where Barack Obama Sr. first stayed after his airlift from Kenya to Hawaii, arranged by the one of the CIA’s major agents of influence in Africa, Mboya.
Dunham would also travel to Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Thailand working on micro-financing projects. In 1965, Barack Obama Sr. returned to Kenya from Harvard, with another American wife. The senior Obama linked up with his old friend and the CIA’s u201Cgolden boyu201D Mboya and other fellow Luo politicians. The CIA station chief in Nairobi from 1964 to 1967 was Philip Cherry. In 1975, Cherry was the CIA station chief in Dacca, Bangladesh. Cherry was linked by the then-U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh, Eugene Booster, to the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh’s first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and members of his family.
The hit on u201CSheikh Mujibu201D and his family was reportedly ordered by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Bangladesh was also on the micro- and macro-financing travel itinerary of CIA-linked Ann Dunham.