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Seymour Hersh


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Seymour Hersh is probably America's best investigative journalist. However, he has shown very little interest in the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. Why? Here is David Wrone's review of The Dark Side of Camelot, Capital Times (16th January, 1998):

In an interview given on publication of his alleged expose of John F. Kennedy's private life and public policies, the famed investigative reporter Sy Hersh said he wanted to make "a big score" and retire.

To this end the Pulitzer prize winner has prostituted his nation's history and, at the same time, sustained the intelligence and military forces that bitterly opposed JFK - those who among other infamies sunk us in Vietnam and who tried and failed to initiate nuclear war over Cuba. Hersh does it with a corruption of scholarship perhaps unequalled in recent times.

He uses not a single source note, but employs caption notes that refer to many books and no pages, so a reader cannot easily check his truthfulness. Hersh has corrupted the facts. On major issues he is coy, strongly using suggestive language with a statement of fact where none exists. Sources are often made up to fit his perceived beliefs. In addition he relies on interviews with people bitterly opposed to JFK's policies and usually not identified as such.

Hersh reviews JFK's rise to power and then largely concentrates on the foreign policies of his presidency, alleging that the crude principles of his reckless and corrupt personal life - astutely masked during his lifetime by his power and friends - led the United States into one disaster after the other.

Hersh suffuses the book with putative accounts of JFK's sex scampers but these are a honey trap to snare a reader into accepting Hersh's false presentation of his foreign policy - which is the true intent of the book.

How bad is Hersh's scholarship? Consider the Section of The Dark Side of Camelot in which Hersh states that JFK "endorsed" the CIA assassination of Lumumba of the Congo. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since CIA thugs beat Lumumba to death on January 17 and JFK was sworn in on January 20, Hersh must overcome a serious chronological problem. He does this by baldly asserting Kennedy vigorously supported and emphatically agreed to Eisenhower's policy to kill the African leader.

Hersh carries this subterfuge off by only quoting former CIA men who were ideologically opposed to JFK's policies, by refusing to cite the copious well-known record affirming an opposite interpretation, and by not interviewing the numerous individuals who would have provided a true picture.

Early in January 1961, Kennedy's staff and special Congo study group had alerted the CIA that American reactionary policies in the Congo would change and that a JFK emissary had warned Belgium intelligence services not to "liquidate" Lumumba. By February 2, Kennedy had devised a plan for a new Congo policy that would ultimately include Lumumba. He did not learn of the murder of Lumumba until February 13; a famous photograph depicts him receiving the news, his head bowed in anguish.

Hersh also devotes much attention to "proving" JFK tried to assassination Castro using the CIA and Mafia. In the course of this effort, he asserts that President Kennedy used Judy Exner, a sex partner, to carry cash to the mob bosses to pay for making the hit.

A key document of the Castro murder attempts is a 1962 Department of Justice memorandum by the CIA's inspector general Sheffield Edwards. Hersh uses parts of the document in other contexts, but when he comes to the attempts on Castro's life he carefully omits what it says about them, since the document's contents would destroy his framing of JFK.

The CIA-Mafia attempts on Castro began in August 1960 and ended in November 1960, before JFK took office in 1961. Only six people knew of it, all CIA men, and they only orally. No one else knew - not Ike, not JFK - until many months after the fact when the FBI stumbled onto a bungled CIA phone tap for a mobster and it exposed the affair. A shocked Robert Kennedy ordered a complete explanation.

As it turns out, the CIA had set aside $150,000 for the job, but the Mafia said no and refused to accept any money. Exner could not have carried money, as she told Hersh; there was none to carry and the affair had occurred and was over before he entered office. There were, in fact, no JFK directed or encouraged attempts on Castro's life.

Hersh frequently castigates JFK for using private back channels to negotiate a secret deal with Khrushchev to end the Cuba missile crisis - a deal Hersh suggests Kennedy pursued in order to improve his standing with the American people. The fact is back channels worked and, after the crisis, the executive branch institutionalized it with direct phone lines and other systems, which later presidents have found to be quite useful.

The real reason JFK kept the pact secret was spelled out in Khrushchev's memoirs, Khrushchev Remembers, and in Robert Kennedy's writings on the subject. It had nothing to do with self-promotion. The Kennedys were intensely afraid of an American military coup d'etat and overthrow of the U.S. government accompanied by a launching of a massive nuclear strike against the whole of the communist world. Only through this private method could and did JFK hold the irate military in check.

It can be argued today that nuclear war was avoided by President Kennedy's unparalleled action.

Even in the minor themes of The Dark Side of Camelot, Hersh perverts our history. He states a high-ranking Navy officer told him that, "at the request of Robert Kennedy", the notes containing vital information about JFK's postmortem were not published. By exclusively relying on that prejudiced source, Hersh sustains the generation-old effort of many federal officials to blame the failed inquiry into JFK's death upon his brother's refusal to give them access to key medical records.

But in well-known sources, which were spurned by Hersh, we know RFK by letter gave explicit permission to use all autopsy materials. The same definitive sources also show it was the FBI that, after realizing the materials might hold data incompatible with its invented lone assassin theory, manufactured the libel that Robert Kennedy had denied access.

Significantly, prosecutors did take the critical notes. They were not destroyed and were, in fact, placed in Navy hands. They were released by the Navy for Arlen Specter, Warren Commission counsel, who used them to examine the autopsy doctors. They were supposed to be part of Exhibit 397 of the Warren Commission, but it does not contain them. They are not in any archive or known agency files. On this serious issue--which genuinely is worthy of discussion - Hersh is embarrassingly silent.

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The book's biggest crime was BOREDOM. Page after page of Old Joe Kennedy's alleged mob ties and shady business dealings. The opening chapter is little more than stale, rehashed pillow talk from an aging Kennedy bimbo. SS agents going on the record was Hersh's biggest coup, I suppose. JFK lackey Dave Powers comes across as little more than a presidential pimp, with Ken O'Donnell not far behind. I seem to recall a particularly outrageous story about a party that occurred at Bing Crosby's estate in the California desert. The upshot is that the Prez was lax, and so was his security detail. He coopted them. Yes, some agents were disgusted, but others were all too happy to join the traveling road party.

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Yeah, I was glad to see that Wrone took on Hersh when this review came out. To his credit, Hersh has said recently on Air America that he doesn't always get it right. This was in relation to his recent story that the U.S. has secret teams in Iran now. Many on the left go overboard, I think, in praising Hersh too much for his investigative reporting. He doesn't seem to be the kind of reporter who painstaking pores over thousands of pages of documents like an I.F. Stone would do. My sense, and I may be wrong, is that some of his positioning on some stories is driven by "leakers" and they may or may not be accurate in what they are giving Hersh.

I thought Hersh did a fine job in exposing the criminality of the Kissinger and Nixon gang, but his treatment of JFK lacked a solid grounding in the evidentiary base regarding the assassination and Oswald.

Unfortunately, the media publicity system, not being democratic, but rather corporate, doesn't give prominence to the scholarly treatment of this subject done by the fine historian David Wrone. Instead, the sensationalistic treatment by a Hersh gets more play. We should oppose this.

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Yeah, I was glad to see that Wrone took on Hersh when this review came out. To his credit, Hersh has said recently on Air America that he doesn't always get it right. This was in relation to his recent story that the U.S. has secret teams in Iran now. Many on the left go overboard, I think, in praising Hersh too much for his investigative reporting. He doesn't seem to be the kind of reporter who painstaking pores over thousands of pages of documents like an I.F. Stone would do. My sense, and I may be wrong, is that some of his positioning on some stories is driven by "leakers" and they may or may not be accurate in what they are giving Hersh.

I thought Hersh did a fine job in exposing the criminality of the Kissinger and Nixon gang, but his treatment of JFK lacked a solid grounding in the evidentiary base regarding the assassination and Oswald.

Unfortunately, the media publicity system, not being democratic, but rather corporate, doesn't give prominence to the scholarly treatment of this subject done by the fine historian David Wrone. Instead, the sensationalistic treatment by a Hersh gets more play. We should oppose this.

A very perceptive post. Too many investigative journalists rely on leaks from sources in a position to know the secrets. They seem too grateful for this information and rarely ask about the motivation of the person doing the leaking. The classic example of this concerns journalists who have relied on information supplied by James Angleton.

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Interesting thread.

For me it reinforces an important point about the CIA and the media: the VARIETY of forms that this control may take. No doubt there have been some reporters who simply planted stories verbatim from both the FBI and the CIA.

But I recall reading on this forum of a Miami Herald reporter who was considered a maverick by the agency (name escapes me). Nevertheless it was decided that by feeding information to said Maverick they could nonetheless influence his Cuba reporting in a way that suited CIA objectives. Perhaps his very reputation as a maverick-- and his divergence from the CIA line in other respects-- could lower the defenses of select, and otherwise sceptical audiences.

In other words, when we speak of CIA "control" over the media, we need to be aware that this control is often nuanced and strategic rather than simply verbatim.

The other thought that occurs here comes from Douglass Valentine, and may or may not relate directly to Hersh. He speculates that the Pentagone Papers leaker Daniel Ellsburg may have been part of a bureacratic war between the CIA and the Pentagon over who would take the blame for losing the Vietnam war. Could such rivalries within the bureacracies also be a motive for leaks?

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For me it reinforces an important point about the CIA and the media: the VARIETY of forms that this control may take. No doubt there have been some reporters who simply planted stories verbatim from both the FBI and the CIA.

But I recall reading on this forum of a Miami Herald reporter who was considered a maverick by the agency (name escapes me). Nevertheless it was decided that by feeding information to said Maverick they could nonetheless influence his Cuba reporting in a way that suited CIA objectives. Perhaps his very reputation as a maverick-- and his divergence from the CIA line in other respects-- could lower the defenses of select, and otherwise sceptical audiences.

Was this Hal Hendrix or Don Bohning? Other investigative journalists who need taking a close look at include Jack Anderson, Joe Trento and Dan E. Moldea. Interestingly, Moldea used to work for Anderson.

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  • 3 months later...

Discovered this interesting critique of the way Hersh packaged Operation Phoenix for the gentle readers of the New Yorker. Doug Valentine, the author, makes clear the implications of this packaging in defining the limits of U.S. corporate media coverage of Iraq's U.S. created Death Squads.

From April 28, 2004 Counterpunch (online)

_________________

Curiously, this writer knows of one former CIA contract officer who, before joining the Titan Corporation, worked as a Phoenix Coordinator in Vietnam in 1967. This same individual served in 1974 as a congressional liaison officer for CIA officer Donald Gregg. As Vice-President George H. W. Bush's National Security Advisor, Gregg helped to create the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center under Duane Clarridge in 1986. Gregg had managed the Phoenix Program in III Corps in Vietnam in 1970.

This unstated connection to the Phoenix Program, which was a major factor in the May Lai Massacre, is also significant in understanding what Hersh wants us to infer from his articles on national security issues. Specifically, as Hersh informed us in a December 2003 article in The New Yorker (titled "MOVING TARGETS: Will the counter-insurgency plan in Iraq repeat the mistakes of Vietnam?"), the CIA had formed a new Special Forces group, designated Task Force 121, to neutralize Baathist insurgents, by capture or assassination. According to Hersh, many of the anonymous officials he interviewed for his article feared that the new operation, called "preëmptive manhunting" by one of them, had "the potential to turn into another Phoenix Program."

"Phoenix," Hersh went on to say, without mentioning the CIA, "was the code name for a counter-insurgency program that the U.S. adopted during the Vietnam War, in which Special Forces teams were sent out to capture or assassinate Vietnamese believed to be working with or sympathetic to the Vietcong. In choosing targets, the Americans relied on information supplied by South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs."

What Hersh omits from his description of Phoenix, is that the CIA officers who managed the program relied for their information not on "South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs," but on their own unilateral assassination squads, and a gulag archipelago of secret interrogation centers manned by members of the South Vietnamese secret police and contract CIA officers, like the individual who supplied the blacklist for the village of My Lai. Had Hersh included this most important piece of information, the public's attention would have been directed towards the CIA's interrogation practices, and the location and operations of its existing secret interrogation centers in Iraq. But the scandal at Abu Ghoryab, although then well known to insiders, would not have been a sensational scoop.

The Phoenix Program "got out of control," Hersh reported. "According to official South Vietnamese statistics, Phoenix claimed nearly forty-one thousand victims between 1968 and 1972; the U.S. counted more than twenty thousand in the same time span. Some of those assassinated had nothing to do with the war against America but were targeted because of private grievances. William E. Colby, the C.I.A. officer who took charge of the Phoenix Program in 1968 (he eventually became C.I.A. director), later acknowledged to Congress that "a lot of things were done that should not have been done."

Two things require our attention here. First, why has no one in the press, or Congress, devoted the same degree of attention to the CIA's death squads roaming around Iraq, as they have to the Abu Ghoryab scandal? We know from CNN's David Ensor that " An Iraqi prisoner who died in November while being interrogated by a CIA officer and contract translator arrived at Abu Ghraib (sic) prison with "broken ribs and breathing difficulties" after being arrested by Navy SEALs, U.S. officials said Thursday. Unnamed Pentagon officials were quoted Wednesday saying the man had been delivered to the prison in "good health."

We know from Hersh that Phoenix is policy in Iraq, and that it got out of control in Vietnam. We also know that Navy SEALs are one of CIA's primary unilateral facets of its Phoenix-style Program in Iraq but there's no accounting for the number of Iraqis killed, abducted or tortured through the Program. Why not? Why not reporting in it? Must we wait for some Navy SEL to be brought up on murder charges first?

The other thing that would be helpful to understand, in analyzing Hersh's reporting, is the nature of his relationship with William Colby. It is believed that they formed a rapport in 1974, while Colby was director of the CIA. At the time, Hersh had learned of the existence of documents connecting the CIA to Operation Chaos, which, under CIA Counter-Intelligence chief James Angleton, spied on tens of thousands of US citizens. As the story was about to break, Angleton offered to tell Hersh of other CIA misdeeds if he "would hold off on the (Chaos) story." According to historian John Prados, Hersh immediately warned Colby that Angleton "was off the reservation." What Colby said in response is unknown, but from that moment on, Hersh seemed to have entered into a quid-pro-quo with the upper echelons of the underground agency.

As Reeky used to say to Loocy, "You got a lot of 'splaining to do," Mr. Hersh.

_________________

for full article:

http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine05082004.html

By the way, John, any chance of your trying to get Valentine on the Forum? Ive read his books and found them very worthwhile.

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I seem to recall a particularly outrageous story about a party that occurred at Bing Crosby's estate in the California desert.

Isn't this where the CIA sought to entrap Sukarno in the company of some peroxide hookers?

Good old Bing, more interesting than we ever suspected - he ran an Agency knocking shop, complete with cameras...

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I seem to recall a particularly outrageous story about a party that occurred at Bing Crosby's estate in the California desert.

Isn't this where the CIA sought to entrap Sukarno in the company of some peroxide hookers?

Good old Bing, more interesting than we ever suspected - he ran an Agency knocking shop, complete with cameras...

Actually, the CIA made a porn film to discredit Sukarno and Bing Crosby was involved in the production of it:

In addition to the paramilitary activities, the CIA tried psychological warfare tricks to discredit Sukarno, such as passing rumors that he had been seduced by a Soviet stewardess. To that end, Sheffield Edwards, head of the CIA's Office of Security, enlisted the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department to help with a porno movie project the CIA was making to use against Sukarno, ostensibly showing Sukarno in the act. Others involved in these efforts were Robert Maheu, and Bing Crosby and his brother. [source]
To undermine the regime of Indonesian strongman Achmed Sukarno, a lascivious thug with an insatiable sexual appetite whose political "crime was neutralism," the CIA "spread the rumor that [he] had been seduced by a good-looking blond airline stewardess who worked for the KGB." Needing documentation, Thomas writes, the CIA "commissioned a blue movie to be made of a Sukarno look-alike in the amorous embrace of a porn actress posing as the Russian spy. To play Sukarno, the moviemakers (Bing Crosby and his brother) chose a bald Chicano wearing a latex face mask." Why bald? Because "Sukarno was vain about his own baldness and always wore a skullcap, except, presumably, in bed." (You read it right: Bing Crosby and his brother.) [source]
Discovered this interesting critique of the way Hersh packaged Operation Phoenix for the gentle readers of the New Yorker. Doug Valentine, the author, makes clear the implications of this packaging in defining the limits of U.S. corporate media coverage of Iraq's U.S. created Death Squads.

Also along the lines of the Valentine article is this excerpt from Jim DiEugenio's article The Posthumous Assassination of JFK, which gives an overview of Hersh's career:

Hersh's book promises to be the mega "trash Kennedy" book. And, like any hatchet man, Hersh tries to disguise his mission. In the Vanity Fair article, his fellow workers on the ABC documentary say, "there have been moments when, while recounting private acts of kindness by JFK, Hersh has broken down and wept." (Anson p. 122) This from a man who intimidated witnesses with his phony papers and waved them aloft while damning the Kennedys with them. I believe his tears as much as I do the seance that Ben Bradlee and Jim Angleton attended to speak with the spirit of Mary Meyer (see Part One). At the end, Hersh joins in the con job: "I would have been absolutely devoted to Jack Kennedy if I had worked for him. I would have been knocked out by him. I would have liked him a lot." (Ibid) With what Anson shows of Hersh, I actually believe him on this score. He would have loved his version of Kennedy.

Anson's article begs the next question: who is Hersh? As is common knowledge, the story that made Hersh's career was his series of articles on the massacre of civilians at the village of My Lai in Vietnam. Hersh then wrote two books on this atrocity: My Lai 4 and Cover Up. There have always been questions about both the orders given on that mission and the unsatisfactory investigation after the fact. These questions began to boil in the aftermath of the exposure of the Bill Colby/Ted Shackley directed Phoenix Program: the deliberate assassination of any Vietnamese suspected of being Viet Cong. The death count for that operation has ranged between twenty and forty thousand. These questions were even more intriguing in light of the fact that the man chosen to run the military review of the massacre, General Peers, had a long term relationship with the CIA. In fact, former Special Forces Captain John McCarthy told me that—in terms of closeness to the Agency—Peers was another Ed Lansdale.

By the time Hersh's second book on the subject appeared, the suspicions about the massacre, and that Peers had directed a cover up, were now multiplying. Hersh went out of his way to address these questions in Cover Up. On pages 97-98 the following passage appears:

There was no conspiracy to destroy the village of My Lai 4; what took place there had happened before and would happen again in Quang Ngai province—although with less drastic results. The desire of Lieutenant Colonel Barker to mount another successful, high enemy body-count operation in the area; the desire of Ramsdell to demonstrate the effectiveness of his operations; the belief shared by all the principals that everyone living in Son My was staying there by choice because of Communists...and the basic incompetence of many intelligence personnel in the Army—all these factors combined to enable a group of ambitious men to mount an unnecessary mission against a nonexistent enemy force, and somehow to find the evidence to justify it all.

I won't go into all the things that must be true for Hersh to be correct. I will add that in the definitive book of the subject, The Phoenix Program, My Lai is described as part of the Colby/Shackley operation.

After My Lai, the New York Times assigned Hersh to the Watergate beat. The paper was getting scooped by Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post. For a "crack" reporter, Hersh did not distinguish himself, especially in retrospect. He basically followed in the footsteps of the Post. i.e. the whole complicated mess was a Nixon operation; there was no real CIA involvement; whatever Hunt and McCord did, no matter how weird and questionable, they did for the White House. As late as the December 12, 1992 edition of The New Yorker, Hersh was still hewing to this line in his article entitled "Nixon's Last Cover Up." In spite of this, at times Hersh actually did favors for the White House. As Ron Rosenbaum describes in Travels with Dr. Death, Hersh circulated some dirt on Dan Ellsberg (p. 294).

Anson mentions a famous anecdote about Hersh's reporting on Watergate (p. 107). Hersh got wind of a man involved in the Watergate caper by the name of Frank Sturgis. Sturgis was getting ready to talk during the early stages of the unfolding Watergate drama. Sturgis was working with Andrew St. George, a good, relatively independent journalist. The pair were going to write a book about Sturgis' experience in Watergate, but Hersh threatened to expose them first if they did not cooperate with him. In return, Hersh promised not to name St. George and to run the completed article by them first. St. George kept his side of the deal. Hersh broke his. St. George was named in the piece twenty-three times.

But there is another aspect to this story not mentioned by Anson. When St. George did publish a piece on Watergate in Harper's, it was based on his talks with another Watergate burglar, Eugenio Martinez. It gave strong indications of the CIA's role in Watergate, and that Howard Hunt was a double agent inside the Nixon camp. A few years later, in High Times (April 1977) sans Hersh, Sturgis now spoke. He depicted Watergate as a war not with Sam Ervin and the Post on one side and Nixon on the other; but as the CIA versus Nixon. None of this was in Hersh's piece, which presented the typical White House-funneling-"hush money"-to-the-burglars story which could have been written by Woodward.

Next for Hersh were his exposures in the New York Times of CIA counter intelligence chief James Angleton's domestic operations. Domestic ops were banned by the CIA's original charter, although they had been done ever since that Agency's inception. But at Christmas, 1974, Hersh's stories were splashed all over the Times. Hersh won a Pulitzer for them. One would think this would be a strong indication of Hersh's independence from, even antagonism for the CIA. One would be wrong. As everyone familiar with the Agency's history knows, in 1974 there was a huge turf war going on between Angleton and Colby (formerly of the Vietnam Phoenix program). Angleton lost this struggle, largely through Hersh's stories. But the week before Hersh's stories were printed, on December 16, 1974, Colby addressed the Council of Foreign Relations on this very subject and admitted to the domestic spying (Imperial Brain Trust p. 61). Why? Because their selective exposure could be used to oust Angleton. Many now believe that Hersh's stories were part of Colby's campaign to oust Angleton, sanctioned by the CIA Director himself.

Next up for Hersh was the story of the downing of KAL 700. This was the curious case of the Korean Air Liner shot down over Russian air space after having drifted off course. Many suspected that, as with the My Lai case, there was more here than met the eye. The long length of time that the plane had been off course, as well as its failure to respond to signals, led some to believe that the Russians had no choice but to shoot down the plane. In fact, many articles appeared, for example in The Nation, to support that thesis. The Reagan administration wanted to portray the incident as an example of Soviet barbarity (shades of Basulto's Brothers to the Rescue). They, and specifically Jeanne Kirkpatrick, treated the downing as a great propaganda victory. In his book, The Target Is Destroyed, Hersh ended up siding with the administration.

Which brings us to the nineties. Everyone knows that the broad release of Oliver Stone's JFK in 1992 put the Kennedy assassination back into play. The pre-release attack against the film was unprecedented in movie history. That's because it was more than just a movie. It was a message, with powerful political overtones that dug deeply into the public psyche: a grand political conspiracy had killed the last progressive president. That Vietnam would have never happened if Kennedy had lived. That JFK was working for accommodation with Castro at the time of his death. That the country has not really been the same since.

The preemptive strike was successful in slowing up the film's momentum out of the starting block. But the movie did increase the number of people who believe the case was a conspiracy into the ninety-percent range. The following year, in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the murder, Gerald Posner got the jump on the critics with his specious book on the case. The media hailed him as a truth-teller. The critics were shut out. No nonfiction book in recent memory ever received such a huge publicity campaign—and deserved it less.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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In the Cold War section of the Forum, Owen Parsons posted an excellent link to an article entitled Indonesia 1958: Nixon, the CIA, and the Secret War by L. Fletcher Prouty. An excerpt:

A letter from one of the most beautiful women in the world lies buried in a stack of mail on President Ford's desk. Written in Paris on July 24, 1975, by Dewi Sukarno, the former First Lady of Indonesia and widow of Dr. Achmed Sukarno, the charismatic Father of Indonesia, the letter is an appeal to President Ford for a complete explanation of the CIA-led and supported rebellions that took place in Indonesia in 1958 and 1965:

His Excellency President Gerald Ford

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

As the widow of the late President Sukarno and being the only member of the family living overseas, I address myself to you, being deeply alarmed and disturbed by numerous and persistent reports in the international press. For instance, the CIA is said to have spied on my husband:
manufactured a fake film in order to slander the good name and honor of Sukarno
: prepared an assassination attempt against him and conspired to oust him from power to estrange him from the Indonesian people by accusing him of collaborating with international communism in betrayal of Indonesian independence, which of course was totally absurd.....

Daniel Brandt linked another great article entitled The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967 by Peter Dale Scott.

Both articles are essential reading, in my opinion.

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John Judge and I met Seymour Hersh briefly this summer at a talk he was giving on middle eastern policy. I appreciate some of his analysis on matters, but I feel, as pointed out by others here, he gets much of his information from different factions within the agency.

His analysis of the current media situation is somewhat lacking, he describes modern journalists as careerists, who did not have to make their way up the chain of command. This is of course part of the problem, though he failed to acknowledge the corporate control of the media being the prime factor in its inefective coverage.

Although I don't agree with some of his analysis, some of the information leaked to him is extremely valuable.

John

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Wasn't Robert Maheu the one behind the film to discredit Sukarno?

James

Yes, Robert Maheu was heavily involved in the effort. William Blum pinpoints Maheu as being the driving force behind the effort (here).

No need for Blum. Maheu admits the whole thing in his book. He was hired by the CIA because he knew movie people (through Hughes). I can't remember why he settled on Bing and his brother as producers, but that's the story. If I remember correctly, the film itself was not convincing and was never used (although stills from it were successfully planted in the foreign press).

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