By Aleme Eshete
(This article has first been published in 2001 in the U.S based Ethiopian Electronic Distribution Network (EEDN) as part of the discussion between me and Professor Donald Levine (a well-known specialist in Ethiopian studies and author of “Wax and Gold”), and in response to his response regarding my article on:” THE SLAVE TRADE IN FALASHA OF ETHIOPIA”) – see in this series
Greetings again Professor Levine. This chapter deals with the political issues you have raised in your response. Let us circumscribe our subject. I will not be talking as you did in general terms about U: S, or U.S official government politics towards Ethiopia, the State Department etc. Instead, I will talk about the CIA – the invisible unofficial, U.S government that has been misgoverning, mismanaging through its proxies in a large part of the Third World, above all in Latin America, but also, in Asia, and in Africa since the end of the Second World War. We all know the CIA is well present in the Universities in the U.S and Europe, among scholars and students. In general while lecturing on the Third World, Western scholars shy to talk about the CIA. They talk about our under-development, about our poverty. They talk about our famine; they talk about our civil war; about our “tribal wars” particularly in “primitive“ Africa, – as if they were all homemade homegrown problems for which we are entirely responsible, as “free” people. You characterize the Ethiopians, particularly those in the Diaspora as addicted to blaming others for their misfortune. You accuse me of “Indulging in postures, of blaming others…” With our hands tied as proxy colonial subjects, burning what ever we produce in successive proxy wars, destroying scarce infrastructure, robbing the tiny reserve of foreign currency or gold, in short, mismanaging our economies through its brutal proxy regimes, who as Arion wrote in Tobia (Meskerem 17.) are commonly assassins and outright robbers
I. U.S POLICY TOWARDS ETHIOPIA Professor Levine says America has been a friend of Ethiopia since World War II. You might tell that to a less informed public, or to a public silenced by the desire to live and make money – that is, the American dream! Given my professional interest in history and politics, this is a subject which I have at heart, which I feel strongly about and which has tormented me for a long time as a powerless mortal incapable of influencing the course of events and change the sad condition of life of my countrymen. Professor Levine, there is no way to escape the fact, that once again in our history, a fair amount of our woes and tribulations since World War II are the result of the rise of the U.S as the new world power in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa, replacing the former European colonial powers, particularly Great Britain, and our association with the super power hegemony of the United States of America, in rivalry with the Soviet Union in the context of the Cold War, and the struggle against Communism. Basically, it is common knowledge that super powers, have no friends, but strategic interests. Ethiopia has no petrol or diamonds. But it is a Red Sea littoral region, a major international route, and in proximity to Arab and Persian Gulf. Oil, a vital U.S interest.
Nowhere than in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa has the Cold War been so brilliantly demonstrated. . Nineteen forty four (1944) marks the date of massive entry of American petro-dollar in the formerly British domain of Saudi Arabia with the formation of ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company) comprising the giants of American oil business, including SOCAL and Standard Oil, controlling already 42% of Saudi oil resources. In 1945 President Roosevelt and the Saudi king Abd el Aziz ibn Saud sign a treaty by which an American military base has been established at Dhahran. From now on Saudi Arabia will be administered ” as if it were an American business firm.” It is also in this connection that American interest in the Ethiopian region should be considered. The first and earliest American plan regarding the future status of Eritrea proved to be a cold-blooded Cold War calculation arrived at upon consideration of cost and benefit of the strict American strategic interest in the Red Sea – the Kagnew military base near Asmara and the naval base at Massawa – and its maintenance with the least financial cost and least military and political involvement in the region, irrespective of the desires of the Eritreans, or of Emperor Haile Selassie. Indeed, nothing could elucidate the Cold War nature of the idea of “independent Eritrea” – the “Republic of Eritrea” etc. in Washington’s calculation, better than the fantastic proposal of the Americans towards the closing days of the Four Power negotiations in August 1948 dividing Eritrea into three, as revealed by the archives as the British Records Office (Kew Gardens): a. The annexation of Muslim western and northern Eritrea with the Sudan b. The two Christian highlands of Akle Guzai and Serae as well as the Danakil desert and what Spencer called the “crippled port of Assab” will be ceded to Ethiopia c. Hamassein (capital Asmara) and the Red Sea port of Massawa, to have a separate status “to be decided twelve months later” i.e. as the Republic of Eritrea under American tutelage!
This strange and unique proposal of carving out the Red Sea port of Massawa and its hinterland (which Hamassein constituted) to represent the future “Republic of Eritrea” – under American trusteeship – a plan which of course the Soviets could be relied upon to fight to the last – was not responding to any expressed wish of the Eritreans as collected by the Four Power Commission of Enquiry in Eritrea. It did not correspond to the desires of the Emperor of Ethiopia; on the contrary by violating it, the American plan had put the Ethiopian government in great apprehension and distrust with regard to American intentions. The American proposal was, as we said above, a proposal reached at after calculation of the very strict minimum needed to protect their Kagnew base near Asmara and their naval base at the Red Sea coast of Massawa, avoiding any fight with Muslim Sudan by incorporating the Muslim lowland as well as the onerous task of protecting militarily the large Ethiopian empire which the incorporation of the Eritrean highlands including Asmara and Massawa with Ethiopia would entail.
America, however, failed to realize its minimum project, because of Ethiopian government opposition which had always stood for the entire integration of Eritrea, which was, in the first place, carved out by Italy out of Ethiopia between 1885 and January 1890 when the name Eritrea coined for the first time was given to the new Italian colony on the Ethiopian coast of the Red Sea; America’s strategic stand, was also strongly opposed by the Soviets as part of the newly inaugurated Cold War.
Hence focus of U.S interest in the Eritrean Red Sea coast and hinterland, as all the preceding world powers we have known in history, not the Ethiopian “territory” as a whole, in accordance with capitalist colonial moto: “commerce not territory.” It was also in Eritrea that was situated the other U.S major interest – the Qagnew military communications base near Asmara – the most important spying apparatus for monitoring Soviet Communist propaganda, before the invention of space satellites, was situated. The Qagnew base had also, obviously, attracted Moscow’s opposition as the Soviet delegate told the Ethiopians at the U.N discussion for the disposal of the former Italian colonies, including Eritrea. More so, following the subsequent U.S-Ethiopia military defence pact, which was to be the price for ceding the Qagnew base. The Soviet Union that had already started supplying arms to Ethiopia through Czechoslovakia had, in a move to separate the imperial government from the United States, been “repeatedly assuring Aklilu (Habte Wold, the Ethiopian delegate at the U.N discussions, later Prime Minister) that Soviet military assistance could be had for the asking.” As Spencer, the Emperor’s foreign policy advisor, wrote, this was also the factor explaining Ethiopian government hesitation to sign a mutual defence agreement with the United States officially sanctifying the Qagnew military communications base and thus becoming involved in the Cold War by the side of Washington. As Spencer wrote (“Ethiopia at Bay”):
” I had repeatedly insisted, both at the Pentagon and at the Department of State, that by entering into a long-term defence installations agreement, Ethiopia would be certain to incur the hostility of the neighboring Arab states and of the Soviet Union as well. In that case the United States would be adding immensely to Ethiopia’s defence and security problems unless it undertook a firm commitment to defend those installations – its own- against external and internal attack. The Pentagon’s answer was a flat refusal…Events had already shown that political support to Ethiopia on Eritrea was forthcoming only when the United States somewhat belatedly perceived that it had become necessary as a quid pro quo for retention of the installation. Clearly the Pentagon and the Department of State were interested in only one thing – a communications installation in Eritrea – not in any political or military involvement in Ethiopia beyond what was required to assure the continued use of that facility…From the debates at the United Nations Ethiopia already knew how expensive Eritrea was in terms of Islamic opposition. The two military installations and defence assistance agreements with the United States would raise the political and military threats even higher…(However) The united States had scant interest in seeing Ethiopia removed from regional pressures…”
It was in that context that the U.S was obliged up to 1969 to support the Ethiopian claim to Eritrea (albeit in the context of a federation), and defend its Red Sea interests taking Ethiopia on board as an ally and going through the risks and the expenses it had wanted to avoid. From 1969 up to 1991 the U.S will, as we shall see, organize, arm, and feed the secessionists of Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) as well as the thugs in the Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), against Ethiopia, through the last years of the Emperor, and until the overthrow of the Derg in May 1991. Indeed in May 1991, Herman Cohen, U.S Under Secretary of State for African Affairs, representing the United States Government at the London so called “Peace Conference”, will preside over the blessing ceremony of the break up of Eritrea from Ethiopia, while ushering the TPLF to the throne in Addis Ababa. A good friend indeed! (See my articles on 1. CIA organizing, arming and financing of the EPLF and 2. CIA organizing, arming and financing of the TPLF)
In the same way, American support to Ethiopia against the claim of “Greater Somalia” irredentists has been determined not by moral issues of friendship and the rest but by Cold War calculations of not pushing Somalia into the Soviet arms. (Carcangiu, Bianca Maria – Gli Stati Uniti e la Questione dell’Ogaden (1950-1960) (in Africa -Roma- LII, 3, 1997). As of 1977, we know, as the Soviet Union enters Ethiopia, the U.S will quit Addis Ababa to court and arm Somali irredentists of Siad Barre. One could therefore easily understand the bitter disillusion felt by the elderly American, Spencer in his book “Ethiopia at Bay” and in other Ethiopian forums, regarding U.S policy towards Ethiopia. In my treatment of American policy towards Ethiopia, I will not talk about officialdom as Professor Levine does, about the U.S. Congress, the White House, or the State Department.
I ACCUSE THE CIA
At the risk of being politically incorrect and making powerful enemies, at the risk of violating the general silence in academia, in the West, and in Ethiopia, I will speak of the CIA. I will bring the CIA to the Dock for all the crimes it has committed and I will seek justice. Silence, which scholars, including our Ethiopian “intellectuals” and “scholars” have chosen, (Have you ever heard them talking about the CIA? it has become almost my monopoly!): It is taboo! They are silent. When they do not engage in out-right sleaze and defamation of anti-imperialist nationalists, in disinformation and creating confusion. Although it is common knowledge that the U.S as the only super-power in the world, is, as all world powers have done in history, engaged in the construction of a universal empire, Pax Americana, to defend its economic interests, the term imperialism, which means just, that remains a taboo in academia. The CIA is the instrument of Pax Americana! Born at the end of the Second World War (more precisely in 1947), the CIA (the American Central Intelligence Agency), succeeding the “Office of Strategic Services” (OSS), was as old as the Cold War between the capitalist world led by the new world super power, the United States of America, and the Communist world led by the Soviet Union, its allies and satellite countries. Confronting the Soviet KGB, the CIA was the most powerful secret arm used by the United States to fight Soviet Communism until the destruction and break up of the Soviet Union in 1989-90
Disposing of a huge public budget of several milliards plus the donations by private corporations and foundations, running its own cover business, etc. the CIA is, as Frances Stauner Saunders puts it,” ruthlessly interventionist, frighteningly unaccountable instrument of American Cold War Power “, a rogue elephant, crashing through the scrubland of international politics. The CIA was even accused of being involved in illicit activities like drug trafficking, such as the trade in crack cocaine in U.S inner cities in Los Angeles, in order to finance the anti-Communist crusade in Nicaragua. The African American community had indeed accused the CIA of promoting the influx of cocaine into black communities during the 1980’s. Indeed Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam had filed a lawsuit (October 1996) against the U.S government including as plaintiffs, the families of crack addicts “ and those who have been victimized by crime as a result of the crack addicts. “If the CIA has been involved in bringing drugs and guns into the black community I think there’s a need for atonement there”, Farrakhan had told CNN.
The CIA was the organization that masterminded and directed the operation for the overthrow of Premier Mosadegh in Iran in 1953, the ousting of the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954, the assassination attempt against Lumumba in the 1960’s, unimpeded by any sense of accountability, engaged in the context of the Cold War in coups, in the organization of armed liberation fronts, in political assassinations and the formation and running of governments with military dictators and, in any case thugs who committed massacres, tortures and the most blatant human rights violations.. But The CIA being under the President’s supervision, it appears that it had undertaken all the assassinations with Presidential approval, as former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman wrote:
“You have CIA assassination attempts through the fifties and sixities … The CIA has been much bolder in coup plotting, much aggressive in terms of violations of human rights and civil rights throughout Central America (and Africa we may add): But one thing we learned from the Church Committee hearings in this country in the mid 1970’s is that all of these assassination attempts were done with the authorization of the White House, and the Administration had given the signal to the CIA to carry out such an operation So the CIA was not the rogue elephant out of control.”
On paper, the CIA passed a bill in 1976 outlawing the use of political assassination. But whether it has been respected in Latin America and Africa, is another question. In any case the modern version of assassination and massacre is undertaken by proxies and not directly by the CIA
France Stonor Saunders book “Who paid the Piper – The CIA and the Cultural Cold War” dealt with the CIA in Europe and showed how Europe (including Britain, France, Italy, Germany etc) dependent on the U.S Marshall Plan –. Had become a prey to CIA cultural manipulation to the highest degree in literature, theatre, art, music etc. through the Congress of Cultural Freedom and the other similar CIA organisations. She deals mainly with the cultural aspect. But there are numerous books dealing with the political and security aspect clearly showing the role of the CIA in Europe in the context of the U.S-USSR Cold War and the battle against the Communism and the Communist parties. In this sphere as in others the CIA created its own parallel organizations, or infiltrated the national social and political institutions as well as the national security system as in Italy where the left talked of “limited sovereignty.” In Europe, the CIA was also accused of attempted military coups as well as engaging in political assassinations etc. There are prominent Italian politicians who suspect that the CIA may have had a role in the assassination by the Red Brigade of the foremost Italian Statesman Aldo Moro, of the Christian Democratic Party, then in power. Aldo Moro had got into the teeth of the CIA, because of his advocacy of collaboration with the Italian communist party, a stand, which among others, Washington feared might impact on the presence of American military bases in Italy. If the CIA could permit itself to do all that in Western Europe, what could it not do in poor and vulnerable Africa, hardly setting foot on the road to independence from colonialism, or in independent states like Ethiopia still tied to centuries old imperial feudalism and absolute monarchy.
GAMAL ABDEL NASSER OF EGYPT AS A CIA PUPPET OF
MILES AXE COPELAND: THE GAME OF NATIONS:
Richard Copeland who recruited Isayas Afework in 1969 to head the Eritrea guerrilla against the Muslim ELF as well as to lead the secession of Eritrea against Ethiopia was most probably the famous Miles Axe Copeland of the Middle East arena who was an American secret agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that preceded the CIA. M.A. Copeland was indeed one of the organizers and founders of the CIA in 1947 out of the O.S.S. and other intelligence organizations. Following the formation of the CIA as the most powerful secret arm of the Cold War and Western in-fighting in the scramble for petrol, M.A. Copeland, will, as cultural attachés and the like, dedicate his life to intelligence in Middle East oil politics (Damascus-Syria, Beirut-Lebanon, including Egypt and the Red Sea, making and unmaking governments, preparing guerrillas, etc. M.A. Copeland senior is indeed the author of the famous book entitled Game of Nations, published in 1973 where CIA rules of the game are recounted: Above all no moral considerations. Amorality is the centerpiece of the game of power politics. Copeland wrote:
” We spent a lot of time trying to identify what the moral background of a national leader’s actions really was (as opposed to what the nation’s politicians, religious leaders, and newspapers said it was) and we let it go at that. We didn’t label it ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Such thinking was not allowed in the game. We had no Baddies and Goodies in our Game, only a lot of players each of whom was trying to win according to what constituted ‘winning’ by his own lights. These were all the rules we needed ‘you can’t win at anything – war, business, poker, or even love – unless you maintain a game attitude. Not surprisingly, every time I publicly extol the virtues of the “game player attitude” I incur the wrath of some moralist who accuses me of advocating shallowness and heartlessness “
Don’t you see Isayas and Meles in these CIA games? A.M Copeland is also the author of “The Real Spy World” and an autobiography, which are all most recommended readings?
Miles Axe Copeland was the major player not so much in the U.S. Soviet Union cold war but in the infighting between the dying British (and French) world empire and the new American universal empire, characterized mainly by the battle for Middle East oil. Indeed the fall of the pro British puppet king Faruk is attributed to Copeland as the CIA man in Egypt. The fact that Copeland ousted the British puppet King Faruk and brought the Free Officers to power is particularly important because from 1952 to 1970 Gamal Abdel Nasser dominated Arab politics. The activities of the CIA in the region at this time are well documented in Miles Copeland’s books “The Game of Nations” and “The Game Player”. Thus given Gamal Abdel Nasser’s anti-British and pro-American CIA connections in origin, (some called him a CIA puppet), it was CIA’s M.A. Copeland who had become Nasser’s closest advisor, who wrote his speech, and organized Egyptian intelligence service. M.a.Copeland was CIA chief in Egypt during the Suez Crisis (1956) following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal and undercutting Brutish imperialist influence in the region, supported secretly the Americans. :
THE CIA WAR AGAINST ETHIOPIA: THE WAR IN ERITREA
MILES AXE COPELAND: FROM GAMAL ABDEL NASSER TO ISAYAS AFEWOR
Thus Richard Copeland (Miles Copeland) Passes from Egypt to Ethiopia and from Gamal Abdel Nasser to Isayas Afework Selfi Netsanet (the nucleus of the future Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front or EPLF) in 1969 in a project called “Seed planting”. The story is told by Tesfa Mikael Giorgio who had attended the recruitment process of Isayas -Afework by Richard Copeland (Miles Copeland) from beginning to the end. ,
Richard Copeland (Miles Copeland) and his friend Richard Siwelen had come up with a an arms catalogue in order to further sharpen the desire of Selfi Netsanet leaders, and induce them to accept to serve as American war proxies. At this meeting Richard Copeland appeared most interested to know the contradiction between Selfi Netsanet and the ELF. Richard Copeland was not worried by the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia but by the influence Islamic fundamentalist with the ELF and the risk of losing the Red Sea to a rival power. Finally Richard Copeland asked Habte Selassie to bring a letter from the Selfi Netsanet leadership officially requesting for military assistance.
Accordingly a letter signed by Isayas Afework was addressed to the head of Qagnew base Colonel Mamuzer with the following requests. 1.Given that the Christian fighters at Ala are daily massacred and slaughtered by the Muslim ELF which obtains massive political and military aid from Arab as well as, indirectly, socialist countries, 2.Given that the ELF policy reflects above all Arab policy and is targeted mainly against American and Israeli interests 3. Given that the political objective of Selfi Netsanet is fundamentally different aiming towards the establishment of a progresses democratic movement. To that end they requested American military assistance. –
Selfi Nertsanet addressed such letters not only to the United States but also to all Western countries stressing always the fact of Arab and socialist assistance to the Muslim ELF. It was clear that the leaders of Selfi Netsanet saw only their rival the ELF whom they wanted to destroy. They did not however consider the danger of allying with imperialist Western powers who at any time could change their position to if they find other more profitable ways for advancing their interests. After receiving the letter from Ato Isayas the Americans were happy to see that their “seed planting operation “ was advancing successfully. They fixed a budget and started financing the movement. However, as they had to finalize the agreement with Ato Afeworki, an appointment date was fixed. (It is instructive that the letter to the CIA was signed by Isayas Afeworki, and that the CIA specifically ask to talk to Afework and not to the Selfi Netsanet Chairman Abrham Tewolde. In fact Abrham Tewolde would die in what has been described “mysterious circumstances” in reality poisoned by Isayas – prior to the 1st ELF Congress October-November 1971. Isayas will become the top figure –see Tesfa Tsion Medhanie, “Eritrea – Dynamics of a National Question,” p.37)
The Americans wanted to hear a clear commitment on the part of Ato Isayas that they will protect all American bases and citizens in Eritrea from terrorist attacks. Ato Isayas promised that he will do everything to protect American interests, but that he did not yet have the force to defend the American bases in Asmara and Gura. The Americans told him indirectly that as they are worried that following the fall of the weakened government of Haile Selassie’s, there might come a military government, unfriendly to the United States, they were ready to ally themselves even with anti-unity secessionist forces. Indeed they stressed the point that they desired to ally themselves with an anti-socialist force committed to defend the Qagnew base as well as similar other American bases in the Red Sea. And committed to the establishment of a democratic government in Eritrea…
Ato Isayas Afeworki, not having appreciated the American indirect reference regarding their disinterest for Ethiopian unity, stressed that they wanted full independence and that they will not accept a federal solution that may be proposed by the new government after Haile Selassie. In reply Richard Copeland had assured Isayas that as long American interests were safeguarded. they care less about Ethiopian unity. “ If you satisfy our conditions, and you want independence in return you shall have your independence” Isayas was told. Richard Copeland went indeed further to advice Isayas not to accept the federal solution from a new government. Ato Isayas was further assured that if Selfi Netsanet could succeed in bringing the Red Sea coast under its control, they promised to supply unlimited quantity of arms by sea.
Ato Isayas wanted to know if the Americans were talking serious and asked what guarantee do they have that the Americans will offer what they promise. Richard Copeland Laughingly replied: “Politics is gambling. You want independence. We want our Red Sea position secured and strengthened. That is your guarantee and our guarantee.” And with that the meeting had come to an end. They had then gone to the house of Richard Copeland (Miles Copeland) to drink to the success of the new plot. And there were festivities.
It is not clear when exactly CIA political hegemony in Ethiopia and against Ethiopian unity and territorial integrity started. Some say that they were already engaged in recruiting Galla rebels and fomenting and preparing the creation of what would be called the “Republic of Oromiya” already in the 1950’s under one form or another. Then it is permitted to guess that the CIA was not completely uninvolved in the December 1960 coup d’etat of brothers Germame Neway , with a B.A from Wisconsin University (USA) and a Master’s degree in political science from Columbia University (USA), whom an Ethiopian historian (Bahru Zewdie) describes as “radical” and anti-feudal and praises him for the measures he took during the coup. In the same way Western literature, like that of Greenfield, not perhaps unrelated to the CIA, presented Germame as progressivist, socialist and anti-church -; the Patriarch Basileyos will in fact condemn the leaders of the coup as “devil’s agents”. Interestingly Germame was even said to have advocated the complete nationalization of land, a programmed which the – Derg will apply, and which was perhaps at the heart of CIA strategy to destroy the Ethiopian society masquerading as Socialist or communist. It is interesting to note that pro-OLF literature admiringly of Germame see Duch author The Spatial Imagination of Oromia: The Ethiopian State and Oromo Transnational Politics. (Bas van Heur). The author also describes Richard Greenfield as pro-Oromiya . Other leaders of the coup included Germame’s less politicized brother General Menghistu Neway head of the imperial bodyguard which led the coup together with the head of the secret service Lt. Colonel Werqneh Gebeyehu The coup was opposed by the army and the Air Force. Given that the Ethiopian security system was, if not organized by at least closely collaborated with the CIA, the involvement of Security Chief Colonel Gebeyehu could not have been done without the knowledge of the CIA. It will also be interesting to know where Colonel Werqneh Gebeyehu was trained and what his political inclinations and friendship were. The involvement of the American embassy to reconcile the parties in the fighting, and the US ambassador talking to the coup leaders, etc. is also another factor suggesting the same. The Ethiopian coup of December 1960 was very similar to the Egyptian coup of 1952 led by the Free soldiers of General Naghib, as figure head and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser as the real leader whom the CIA will depict as an anti-colonial liberation fighter, unifier of Arabs against British imperialism, progressist end even socialist. From 1960 we pass to 1969 when Western (perhaps CIA) propelled student rebellion at Addis Ababa university, varnishing a Hodge podgy of ideologies socialist, Maoist, Ho Chi Minhist, and Che Guevarist, who had read Franz Fanon’s “peau Noire Masque blanc” anti colonial literature, and brandishing another CIA anti-Ethiopia propaganda with tribalist “ right of self determination of oppressed nations up to secession ” having the Galla at the forefront, vowing to overthrow the regime of Haile Selassie described as feudal and vowing to restructure Ethiopia described as a “feudal empire” liberating the “oppressed nations and nationalities.” In 1969, Western, most probably CIA propelled propaganda supported the student movement and echoed Ethiopia s a feudal empire, forecasting the end of Hail Selassie.
1969 also marked a change of regimes in other parts of the Horn of Africa– and African coast of the Red Sea in which Miles Axe Copeland may also have been directly or indirectly involved. Such military coup d’etats had brought to power in 1969 both General Nimeiri of the Sudan and the police general Siad Barre of Somalia. Both were depicted as progressives and socialist who opened up to the Soviet Union while remaining anti-social, anti-communist dictators who crashed and eliminated physically the local Communist parties just like Gamal Abdel Nasser. We have of course seen in broad daylight how Nimeir was paid millions of dollars for his participation in the Falasha slave trade via the Sudan through the 1970’s and 1980’s until his overthrow and escape to Egypt. (See my article the Falasha slave Trade. In the same way from 1977 onwards Siad Barre who had passed from his friendship with the Soviet Union which armed him until 1977 to that of the USA. Since 1977 the US was given over the port of Berbera to serve as its base, while the Soviet Union had passed to the side of Mengistu which it started to arm.
We may even proceed to 1974 and relate Miles Copeland to the origin of the Derg among the Ethiopian army, air force, police and security. The fact Mengistu Haile Mariam and Legesse Asfaw were handpicked (date? Please help) to be sent for training in America should not be taken as a casual factor. Then we know that people like Colonel Tesfaye Wolde Selassie, General Tesfaye Gebre Kidan, General Merid, Shaleqa Sisay etc. had CIA-Mossad connections. As we have already seen with Nasser, Nimeiri and even Siad Barre, the Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and friendship with the Soviet Union was a ploy encouraged by the CIA team of Miles Copeland and kept under control. That Mengistu renewed Ethio-Israeli secret contacts interrupted by Haile Selassie following an OAU decision following the 1973 Israeli-Palestine war, and started selling the Falasha for arms, is also a significant indicator where his allegiance was. Thus whatever the Mengistu – CIA relationship may have been at origin, in spite of the Marxist and Communist rhetoric, following the end of the Cold War, abandoned by the Soviet leader Gorbaciov, protagonist of “perestroika and glasnost”, we have seen him in the end gliding into the arms of the CIA in order to keep power, inviting the infamous CIA veteran Paul Henze to travel freely in Ethiopia and spy us and map our regions in the service of the TPLF and EPLF as well us to give lectures at the Marxist school of political indoctrination!! Menghustu’s exile to Harare at the end was also organized and financed by the CIA to the end of his life, at least according to the promise the CIA gave to Prime Minister Mugabi of Zimbabwe. His successor, as President of Ethiopia, General Tesfaye Gebre Kidan is also known to be a CIA agent. There you have the entire post war history of Egypt and both sides of the Red Sea and Horn of Africa dominated by Emperor Miles Copeland of the CIA as a province of the universal American empire!!
CIA AND THE AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY: AMERICAN PROXY COLONIALISM AND THE DESTRUCTION OF AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY
1. AFRICAN LABOUR UNIONS Given that that the struggle of the Cold War was between Capitalism and Communism it is natural that priority was given to the battle for the conquest of the working class. The major struggle on the labour front during the Cold War era was going on within the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), which initially covered the whole world. Including the U.S, Western Europe and the Soviet Union. The key issue in the post-World War II was Soviet Union and European Communist party’s opposition to the U.S Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of the dilapidated economy of Western Europe. The American Federation of Labour was the foremost campaigner to rally support for the Marshall Plan against Communist opposition. This will subsequently lead to the break down in 1949 of WFTU into two. While WFTU continued to serve the Soviet and European communist parties, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) supported by the Western capitalist countries led by the United States of America – and in particular by the AFL-CIO, became the Association representing Western capitalism.
Since the breakup of the FSM, in the context of the Cold War, the CIA, financially supported by giant American magnates like the Rockafeller Brothers Fund, Standard, Gulf, Texaco and other Oil giants, Pfizer Corporation, General Motors, General Electric etc., was deeply involved in pressurizing the African countries to leave the WFTU accused as a Soviet agent for the expansion of communism and join the ICFTU. It was, therefore under stringent ICFTU opposition that the Pan-African trade union movement supported by the WFTU had preceded in the context of the de-colonization movement as well as, the fight against South African Apartheid, and racial discrimination in general. The zenith was achieved with the Pan African Trade Union Conference of Casablanca, in May 1961; attended by workers unions of the majority of newly independent African states. British Colonies: The CIA was actively engaged in eroding Britain’s influence in its African colonies. The experimenting of CIA Labour operations in Africa was Kenya where the U.S had the greatest embassy in the region. There the CIA had recruited Tom Mboya General. Secretary of the Kenya Federation of Labour (KFL) established in 1953 as its agent while Kenya was till under British colonialism. During the “Emergency” period when all political parties were banned the KFL will become the protagonist in the struggle for independence. KFL offices were ransacked, and many of its leaders detained. But it survived and Mboya became a hero. As the CIA man, Mboya later became ICFTU representative in the region. And Mboya will be exerting pressure in the entire region, Ethiopia and Somalia in particular, to win them over to the ICFTU, and further away for the pro-Communist WFTU. As the influence of Mboya wanes, with increasing influence of the CIA over President Jomo Kenyata a new institution – called Peace With Freedom (PWF) was established in 1962 to advance American liberalism and capitalism. The PWF will create several African social and cultural institutions to advance the same goal: East African Institute of Social and Cultural Affairs, the East African Publishing House (later named Afro-Press), the Jomo Kenyata Educational Institute etc. As one observer noted: –
“It was an entire prefabricated cultural and intellectual infrastructure reaching from the elite academic setting to the mass media of radio and pamphleteer It aimed in the favored phrase, at “nation building” shaping a social infrastructure, an elite and an ideological base. It was all encompassing…”
In its turn, following British pressure the PWF will close its offices in Kenya in 1968. . Ghana: After the experience in Kenya, trade unionism spread throughout Africa. In 1959, in Brussels, the AFL-CIO won control of ICFTU Executive Board. And late in that year ICFTU had decided to establish a regional office for Africa in Accra (Ghana). Using the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) as a continental base for pursuing its activities in tropical Africa. But there would soon be conflict between the leftist oriented pro-Nkrumah labour movement and CIA’s GTUC. Further the All African Trade Union Federation (AATUF) established in 1958 espoused Nkrumah’s line against GTUC and the AFL-CIO, which will launch an international campaign against the AATUF accusing it of being as manipulated by Communists. Another African country that attracted the CIA was the West African populous nation of Nigeria. In November 1960 the African Regional Organization (AFRO) was established by the ICFTU Regional Conference to counter AATUF
Within the French territories of North Africa, the CIA carried out similar clandestine trade-union support. CIA operatives funded the Moroccan labour Federation (UMT) that subsequently affiliated with the ICFTU and formed a close relationship with AFL-CIO. Moroccan labour involved in independence movement. CIA money for the independence movement was funded through and around the ICFTU. In Algeria CIA attempt to promote independence movement was thwarted by the French counter intelligence.
AFRICAN AMERICAN LABOUR CENTER
With the granting of independence to most former colonies, by the mid 1960’s CIA’s role as supporter of trade unions as political movements for independence began to change. Previously, the CIA acted as a force to clear the path for the penetration of U.S multinational corporations into Africa. However, it was now faced with the immediate tasks of maintaining a stable investment climate for American business –particularly in mining and agriculture – as well as creating conditions for a pliable African work force. (72). To fulfil these function the CIA helped to establish the African American Labour Center (AALC) in 1964. In many ways the AALC was meant to supersede the post-war role of the ICFTU and ensure Washington control of U.S labour activities in Africa. The AALC was the counterpart for Africa to the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFELD) – an earlier CIA front that operates with considerable success in Latin America. :
Following the creation of the AALC in 1964 Dr. Seyoum Gebre Egziabher, head of the Department of Public Administration, who was linked to the training of labour leaders, had immediately recruited the following University graduating students Feseha Tseyon Teke of Eritrea Mesfin Gebre Mikael, of Tigrai Gebre Selassie Gebre Mariam, of Tigrai Tesfa Gebre Mariam, of Wollo
Largely from his own Department of Public Administration, largely believed to be under the command of CIA’s African American Labour Center (AALC), the group had infiltrated into the Ethiopian Confederation of Labour, as labour leaders culminating in heavy conflict later with the Derg and Meison.
Following the victory of the TPLF and EPLF and the fall of the Derg in May 1991 Fesseha Tseyon Teke who had returned to Ethiopia had told a labour leader whom he wanted to bring under the CIA that while the Emperor gave the land the construction of the Labour building near Legehar (Lagare) in Addis Ababa was financed by the CIA. As we shall see later Fesseha Tseyon had poured money among the high clergy assembled for the election of the Patriarch to support the election of Abba Pawlos a long time resident in the United States, with little known sympathy for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and largely suspected of being a CIA agent. The Ethiopian Church is believed to have effectively suffered a lot under his leadership until to day. Mesfin Gebre Mikael is to day a high ILO expert!!
Since 1965 literally hundreds of projects have been undertaken by the AALC in forty-one African countries to develop “labor leadership” on the continent. According to the 1976 figures, the AALC maintained a staff of 134 personnel in Africa and the United States. The bulk of the budget came from he Agency for International Development (ASID which contributed $2,250,000. Activities have been concentrated in several major areas. Leadership training in labour management relations, In 1965 AALC founded the Trade union Institute for Social and Economic Development in Lagos. 5000 Nigerians trained. Since 1968 – the Ghana Labour College, where labour leaders from 25 countries studied, hundreds of African trade unionists sent to U.S for advanced training e, .In Addition AALC established the Regional Economic Research and Documentation Centre in Lome (RERDC) extensive labour information. AALC also collaborated with two Angolan trade unions confederations. Further aid in training. AALC has also support “virtually all African trade unions in the production of their newspapers. In 1972 – established the Pan African Trade Union Information Center in Kinshasa, Zaire. AALC was also particularly active in Uganda, In Uganda: the Trade Union Training College. Established by the AALC was accused of training spies, and was eventually closed by Milton Obote in 1966. In the same way the Cold War struggle to win the hearts and minds of African trade unions was bitterly fought in Nigeria – a key site in any strategic analysis of Africa. AALC support was given to the United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULCN) to counteract the influence of the Communist backed Nigerian Trade union Congress (NTUC). In 1969, Alhaji Adebola, former leader of the ULCN, became strongly opposed to AALC involvement in his union. As he admitted in 1976: “I formed the impression that some of the officials of the foreign trade unions in Nigeria had something to do with the CIA…Since the advent of the African American Labour Centre in Nigeria…treachery and betrayal has found a comfortable asylum in Nigerian trade-union movement.” Adebola would lose his position of leadership in the ULCN. A subsequent Nigerian governmental investigation in 1977 reported that the AALC and the ICFTU “ had a free hand in the running of the affairs of the Congress. U.S money financed ULCN as well as “to bribe other labor leaders” CIA’s AALC has also been involved in Zimbabwe since independence. And the inauguration in 1977 of Zimbabawe Federation of Labour (ZFL) led by Reuben Jamela – financed by CIA and AALC. . Soon opposition to Jamela will develop, accused as “capitalist and imperialist stooge” leading to the eventual split of ZFL
Under the chapter of CIA creation, infiltration and manipulation of African civil society one may also consider the chapter of student associations. The realm was monopolized by CIA affiliated organizations like the National Student Association, Student League (SLID), International Association of Socialist Youth, International Student Conference, World Assembly of Youth, Institute of International Education, African Scholarship Program of American universities; the anticommunist League for Industrial Democracy (LID), the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs etc.
AFRICAN POLITICAL PARTIES were a particular domaine reservé of the CIA. CIA created its own political parties where they did not exist. Wherever leftist opposition parties existed, the CIA created parallel parties to destroy them or infiltrated the existing one so ass to undermine and eventually destroy them. This technique applied to all associations, civil or political. CIA used the same method to promote media associations favorable to American capitalism and liberalism with the object of manipulating the news and mold public opinion by spreading, very often, disinformation. In its psychological warfare, the CIA used both Americans and locals.
We will not waste much time either on CIA techniques used in the pursuit of political power, and its classical methods of infiltrating the military and security apparatus of the African states. Security.
2. THE CULTURAL FRONT:
According to France Stauner Sonders, unchallenged, undetected, whether they like it or not, whether they knew it or not, there were few writers, poets, artists historians, scientists, or critics in post-war Europe whose names were not in some way linked to the CIA…. Defining the Cold War as a “battle for men’s minds” CIA had stockpiled a vast arsenal of cultural weapons: journals, books, conferences, seminars, art exhibitions, concerts, and awards AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AFRICAN CULTURE
(AMSAC) was the CIA arm of cultural manipulation and infiltration in Africa. Just to give an idea of the level of cultural struggle, the CIA had challenged the world famous French Societé africaine de Culture (SAC) which published the journal Prèsence Africaine, featuring men like Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre, Leopold Senghor and Aime Cesaire whose conference of 1955 of Negro Writers and Artists held in Paris in 1955, had indeed given rise to the establishment of AMSAC by the CIA In those days the CIA supported cultural nationalisms and notions of “negritude” as an arm against Marxist internationalism of Frantz Fanon, as well as European colonialism and cultural domination. Amsac had its own magazine, Forum. : “The tide of desalinization rolling over the continent could open the way for a new American empire to break the old imperial monopoly of the European order that controlled Africa” went CIA’s mode of thinking.
CIA AND AFRICAN STUDIES IN THE UNITED STATES:
The American “Africa Research Group” had concluded that “ that it was the CIA which played the crucial role in stimulating interest in African affairs in the United –states…In 1954 it was the CIA that put the African-American Institute (AAI) on a solid financial footing, in close co-operation with the American Metal Climax Corporation, the African mining concern whose Chairman became the AAI’s big angel. As the national central intelligence, the CIA understood that generating information and contacts in Africa was a priority if the U.S was to be assured access to the Continent’s “emerging” political leaders and economic resources
Among the pioneering American universities in African studies were the Boston University, which in 1954 had independently-launched its own African Studies Program? In the same way as the Harvard University, which had incorporated African studies within its Centre for International Affairs The MIT Center of International Studies in which –African studies was incorporated was on the other hand CIA subsidized The Hoover Institution and African Studies which boasts the largest private archives in the United States, the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace – including the Russian Revolution – (founded after World War I by Herbert Hoover as Stanford University’s Hoover War Collection and known as the Ho over War Library from 1922 until 1957 has long enjoyed a costly relationship with the U.S intelligence agencies.
Herbert Hoover told the Stanford trustees in 1959, “The purpose of the Institution must be, by its research and publications, to demonstrate the evils of the doctrine of Karl Marx – whether Communism, Socialism, economic materialism, or atheism – thus to protect the American way of life from such ideologies, their conspiracies, and to reaffirm the validity of the American system.” The Hoover Institution’s African collection began in 1919 when Belgian and German governments donated official documents and reports on their colonies, but extensive acquisition of materials on Africa did not begin until 1956. As that collection expanded, Hoover became more and more Africanized. –Particularly on Southern Africa, (racist and pro-apartheid, and White Rhodesia – white supremacy) and studies on colonialism (five volumes) advocating for the right wing policy options… –
This is the pre-eminent Black University in the United States. A case uncovering a pervasive and sinister CIA recruitment program for Africa aimed at Black professionals. This is the story of Prof. Kemba Maish – who taught clinical and community psychology at Howard. an outspoken feminist and black rights militant was contacted through a black African colleague, by CIA personnel Department for employment. She was out raged: She tells her colleague who gave her name:
“I told him he was a traitor to the African people. I went through the whole thing, about the connection between the FBI and the CIA, about what the FBI had done with the Black Panthers, Fred Hampton, Mark –Clark; and Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, within this country. Then I mentioned how in Africa the CIA had organized a coup against Kwame Nkrumah, and had actually murdered Patrice Lumumba. I went on down the line… I had been assuming they would think I couldn’t be bought, but why should they think that? They’ve obviously bought other people, this was just one more person…I called the Association of Black Psychologists, and I told them the CIA is recruiting black psychologists to go to Africa …They have already used black people from this country to infiltrate liberation movements and progressive groups both in Africa and the Caribbean, basically using one group of African people against another.
“I guess it is most important for African people to understand the implications of all this- what these people have done in the past, who they are, what their connections are. The major corporations are tied up with the police and the intelligence network, as well as the military. People must understand that they are not doing service to us in America. They are doing service to the large corporation and to the American government, and to maintain profits – but in terms of our lives all the FBI and CIA have done for us as a people is to kill us and our leaders, and to destroy our organizations, not only here but around the world. They are doing it through our institutions, through our black organizations- they are recruiting us and we think we are doing service to our people when actually we are helping to destroy our people. It is important that people understand this and begin to work against it, to expose it every time it happens…”
“I should mention that all of this applies to foreign students too. The CIA has a program where they recruit “nationals” – people born in a particular country –to go back to that country as a CIA agent. We should talk about the dangers here. These students need to be alerted, need to understand whose agents they are if they work with the CIA. They will not be working in the interests of their people, but working against them…The CIA has had a long history of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. By putting down just rebellions, of the people, destabilizing government, destroying organizations, planning and financing coups, and murdering leaders, the CIA has attempted to change the course of history in places like the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Cuba, Chile, Iran, the Congo, Ghana, and Angola, just to name a few…The use of black against black …is seeking to make American imperialist policy more digestible simply because it comes in black hands instead of white…We must not become the enemies of our people. We must organize against all CIA activity. We must fight the CIA.”
CIA INFILTRATION IN AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES:
CIA used its agents to particularly infiltrate the liberation movements in southern Africa, (South Africa, the then Rhodesia, the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola. The Zambian University which the CIA attempted to use as Intermediary notes that CIA presence had taken several forms: One was American academics who come to Zambia having created connections with the CIA. Then there was the case of Nkumbi International College: which did African liberation fighters with largely American teaching staff frequent. It was closed after discovery of CIA connections. In the third place CIA had tried to infiltrate Zambian labour using as an intermediary the Africa American Labour Center (AALC). Upon discovery AALC presence was denounced.
It was also in connection with CIA’s attempt to infiltrate the –Southern Africa liberation movements, through the Zambia University that Professor Ali Mazrui of Uganda had been denounced as being CIA affiliated. In February 1974 Ali Mazrui is alleged to have tried to penetrate African Liberation Movements using the African Association of Political Science as cover. He had presented a project financed by the Hoover Institution whose reactionary concern with the affairs of southern Africa is well known. Mazrui’s liberation-struggle project although apparently different a Zambian academic observer noted ” It is my contention that Mazrui’s initiative although much more skilful than previous ones, was in fact the same U.S penetration project, this time with a heavier camouflage.” (Dirty Work – the CIA in Africa”, p. 107) Professor Mazrui was an opponent of President Milton Obote, a militant foe of apartheid; indeed Mazrui welcomed the coup of General Amin publicly. -When he left Africa had accepted a University of Michigan offer (worth some seventy thousand dollars per annum, all told) to join their staff. Luckily the African Association of Political Science saw through the whole ploy and turned it down.”
The Case Against DOD and CIA
Involvement in Funding the Study of Africa Scholars of Africa vs. the Department of Defense and the CIA Since the 1970s, many scholars of Africa have rejected all connections with intelligence and military agencies based on a long-standing commitment to honesty and integrity in their relationships with African institutions and individuals. The hard-won protection of African studies from military and intelligence agencies’ agendas is now threatened by the implementation of the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The NSEP is funding scholars and programs in Africa despite repeated assertions by U.S. Africanists that DoD and CIA involvement in African studies is inimical to the independence of scholarship. All national African studies organizations – African Studies Association (ASA), Association of African Studies Programs (AASP), directors of the Title VI African Studies Centers in 19 universities, and ACAS -have maintained this clear stance (see quotes below).
The CIA, DOD, and Africa
This resistance to linkages with and funding from U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon has been so strong because of the long history of Western interventions, the supporting of repressive rulers, and the ventures against legitimate and elected le address in Africa. For more than 30 years, U.S. military and intelligence agencies have: Provide both direct and covert support to colonial and settler regimes – including the white-minority regime in Southern Rhodesia; the Portuguese colonial regimes in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau; and the apartheid regime in South Africa. ·
Subverted progressive leaders and their governments and national liberation movements – including Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, and Nelson Mandela and the ANC during the apartheid era. ·
Installed and/or supported dictators such as General Mobutu in Zaire, Idi Amin in Uganda, Nimeiry in Sudan, and Siad Barre in Somalia. Fomented civil war and conflicts through direct or indirect covert support for ‘contra’ factions such as UNITA in Angola and Renamo in Mozambique. Moreover, the end of the Cold War has not eliminated the inclination for covert intervention against popularly supported governments and movements. Recent Congressional investigations reveal that the CIA not only has pushed forward highly misleading analyze but has played a direct role in subverting popular movements – for example, in undermining the elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti. Some U.S. scholars of Africa and academic institutions have been linked to military and intelligence agency programs. This has raised broad suspicions in Africa about the bona fides of U.S. African studies and individual scholars. Now, the NSEP is re involving scholars of Africa with the DoD and CIA.
The NSEP Program NSEP funds (1) scholarships for undergraduate students for study abroad, (2) fellowships to U.S. students in graduate programs, and (3) grants to institutions of higher education. Such funding is urgently needed in most U.S. international studies programs. The people of the U.S. certainly need more study and understanding of world areas beyond the borders of Europe and North America, and especially of Africa. However, the NSEP program was compromised at its inception when it was firmly lodged in the military and intelligence agencies. As the NSEP’s brochure notes, “Program policies and direction are provided by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the 13 member National Security Education Board.”
The majority of Board members are representatives of federal agencies, including most notably representatives of the DoD and the Director of Central Intelligence. While an advisory committee of outside experts assists the Board and re-granting agencies re commend student grant recipients, the criteria for selection of students and priorities among world regions, languages, and academic fields is determined by the Secretary of Defense.
The Changing Institutional Complexion of the NSEP: Camouflaging the Linkages ACAS and other scholarly associations opposed NSEP from the outset because its funding and direction come from the DOD and CIA. Congressional hawks who insist that the military and intelligence should benefit directly from NSEP (which is funded from intelligence budgets) and supporters of the NSEP in the higher education community who seek to distance NSEP from the national security establishment have fought over the service requirement of the NSEP. The Service Requirement
The outcome of this political struggle is that the service requirement has been changed to tie the NSEP even more directly to national security agendas. A new provision requires students who receive at least 12 months of funding from the NSEP to work for agencies with national security interests for a period equal to their scholarship or fellowship. In October 1995, the Congress had adopted language drafted by Rep. Bill Young (R-FlA.), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on National Security, requiring that student awardees “serve at least two years with the Department of Defense or the intelligence community.” This threw the NSEP and its supporters into crisis, and NSEP awards were suspended temporarily.
Then, in September 1996, with lobbying from the study abroad community and the Association of American Universities (AAU), Senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.) convinced the Congress to replace this language with the current provision requiring students to work in a sector of the federal government “having national security responsibilities.” (Work in higher education could be substituted only if a government job were not available.) This new provision is much more restrictive than the original service requirement in 1992 that allowed the work to be done either in any federal agency or in a higher education institution.
The President’s annual National Security Strategy report is being used as the basis for interpreting “national security.” Applicants are being informed that acceptable jobs might be in offices and organizations within the Departments of Defense, intelligence agencies, National Security Council, Commerce, Energy, Justice, State, and Treasury, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, certain Congressional committees, and federally funded laboratories and research and development centers such as RAND and the Lincoln Laboratory at MIT. Defining National Security Priorities
While the service requirement has been a lightning rod for criticism of the program, the NSEP Board has been quietly narrowing what countries, languages, and fields of study are critical to U.S. national security and will be targeted for grants. Concerning Africa, emphasis is being given to four countries (Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa) and only one African language – Arabic. The fields of study given primary emphasis are business and economics, engineering and applied sciences, international affairs, political science, history, and policy sciences. With these changes, Thomas Farrell, vice-president of exchange programs at Institution of International Education (IIE) – which administers the NSEP undergraduate scholarships – now describes NS EP as “a niche program” that focuses on a narrower arena of academic fields (Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) 5/30/97). Because of these changes in the service requirement and focus of the NSEP and the resultant confusion, the number of applicants for NSEP scholarships and fellowships dropped by more than two-thirds and the number of awards was cut by more than half from 1 995 to 1997. The NSEP now is aggressively promoting the program. Because of its narrower focus, NSEP plans to market the program more heavily to students interested in working in national security (CHE, 3/14/97). NSEP Funding for Students of Africa
A relatively small number of NSEP’s approximately 1,400 student awards have gone for study of Africa – about nine percent of fellowships and scholarships funded in 1994-97. This is due at least in part to the greater opposition to NSEP from scholars of Africa than from other world areas and the relatively low priority the NSEP is giving to Africa. The NSEP has given 35 graduate fellowships for study in 18 Sub-Saharan African countries and 11 African languages as well as 88 undergraduate scholarships for study in 11 Sub-Saharan African countries and 9 African languages. In many cases, the host African institutions and even the sponsoring U.S. study abroad programs through which undergraduate students have traveled to Africa have not known that the source of students’ funding is the DOD’s NSEP program.
NSEP Direct Institutional Grants
The NSEP has made a total of $6.8 million in grants to 22 higher education institutions in 1994-97. Although the AAU and other associations that support NSEP have cited the importance of “re-granting agencies” to ensure independence of the programs it fun ds, there has been no public outcry against the institutional grants being administered directly by the NSEP Office within DOD (with peer-review mechanisms that are standard for government grants). By far, the largest number of institutional programs focuses on Asia. Two focus on Africa – an internship program to examine the role played by African women (Clark Atlanta University) and study by doctoral students of Arabic and classical Islamic thought offered in Morocco (Washington University, St. Louis). Another grant is to a consortium of 10 medical universities in the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin America to internationalize medical training (University of California – Davis). Why say No to NSEP Funding?
Cooperation among scholars of North America and Africa can be maintained only if scholarly activities and exchanges are public, transparent, and based on academic integrity. This is impossible if academic inquiry about Africa is defined in a major way by “national security” and military goals. NSEP represents an attempt to use intelligence and Pentagon funding to direct undergraduate overseas experience, graduate scholarship, and programs at higher education institutions toward national security purposes and priorities.
Indeed, funding from NSEP imperils academic relations with Africa and the heritage of trust that has developed between African and North American scholars because of shared commitments to broader humane values and the disavowal of military and intelligence funding. Now, with some scholars operating with NSEP funding in Africa, all who are engaged in research in the field may be suspect and find themselves in unpleasant and even dangerous situations. Over 100 scholars have protested NSEP in a statement sponsored by ACAS in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
“Funding from national security agencies threatens the openness of scholarly inquiry and publication, the physical safety of scholars and students overseas, and cooperation between African and U.S. scholars.” (June 2, 1993) ACAS calls on scholars and students of Africa to: · Reject funding from the NSEP program for all scholarship on Africa, · Call on one’s university administrators to reject NSEP student and institutional funding, · Publicize NSEP’s links to military and intelligence agencies, and · Work to secure additional funding from non-military/intelligence agencies for students of African studies, particularly those traditionally excluded from overseas study programs. Organizations Opposing the NSEP
“We … reaffirm our conviction that scholars and programs conducting research in Africa, teaching about Africa, and conducting exchange programs with Africa, should not accept research, fellowship, travel, programmatic, and other funding from military an d intelligence agencies – or their contractual representatives – for work in the United States or abroad.” Association of African Studies Programs (AASP), December 1993 (reaffirmed in April 1997) “We … strongly object to the passing of the National Security Education Act…. The link which the legislation seeks to make between U.S. intelligence/defence and funding for African scholarship will seriously compromises the virtues of honesty and integrity among both American and African scholars and institutions.” Association of University Teachers, University of Zimbabwe, August 1992
“The credibility and integrity of American university-based scholarship in the African studies field depend upon arrangements which ensure the independence of academic research and publication from the military and political interests of the government… The Board … calls upon African scholars to refrain from participation in the Central Intelligence Agency’s program for research and support and to oppose participation in other activities it sponsors.” African Studies Association, April 28, 1990 (reaffirmed in December 1993)
“The American Council of Learned Societies … cannot support … either the present location of the NSEA within the Department of Defense or its present oversight structure.” American Council of Learned Societies, January 1993 Since 1981, the directors of the Title VI African National Resource Centers have agreed not to apply for, accept, or recommend to students any military or intelligence funding from the Defense Intelligence Agency, the NSEP, or other sources. The directors gathered in Washington, D.C. at their meeting in April 1997 reaffirmed this stance. Title VI African Studies Center Directors Policy since 1980s, reaffirmed April 1997 “[The Social Science Research Council’s] board determined, even before the provisions for implementation of the program had been finalized, that they were sufficiently flawed that the council should not even enter into discussions and negotiations about its possible participation in the program.” Stanley J. Heginbotham, former Vice President of SSRC, in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars January-March 1997
“We are gravely concerned … at the presence of the Director of the CIA in the oversight of the program… Linking university based research to U.S. national security agencies will restrict our already narrow research opportunities; it will endanger the physical safety of scholars and our students studying abroad; and it will jeopardize the cooperation and safety of those we study and collaborate with in these regions.” Presidents of the African Studies Association, Latin American Studies Association, and Middle East Studies Association, February 1992
“Past experience, in South Asia as elsewhere, amply demonstrates the perils of connections, however tenuous, between scholars and U.S. national security agencies. Possible consequences range from mistrust and lack of cooperation to physical violence against U.S. scholars and their colleagues abroad….” South Asia Council, April 1992 Prepared and distributed by: Association of Concerned Africa Scholars E-mail: [email protected] Internet home page: http://www.prairienet.org/acas/
CIA & THE AFRICAN CHURCH
We have no detailed researched data regarding CIA infiltration of African Churches and religions. But it is now becoming more and more clear that CIA’s strategy, specially now under GLOBALIZATION, is to transform the peoples of the world, into robots, and cultures and religions to and languages in the image of American corporate capitalism and to serve American imperialist strategy. This is now becoming clearer every day with CIA attempt to transform Islam to serve the objectives of American imperialist targets especially in the oil rich regions.
Apart from indirect references we also do not have documentary evidence to CIA undermining the Orthodox Churches of Egypt and Ethiopia. That is also the general sentiment of Serbs, Russians and Greeks. One striking reference to the Ethiopian Church, where Fesseha Tseyon Teke a local CIA agent active in the 1960’s in the Ethiopian labour union has poured money and pressure among the Ethiopian clergy assembled at the Ethiopian Synod for the election of the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church soon after the rise of the TPLF-EPLF to power in May 1991, in order to have elected as Patriarch a long time U.S resident with doubtful reputation suspected of CIA contacts Abba Pawlos. Indeed the final largely contested outcome was that Abba Pawlos was elected Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Probably the most hated patriarch ever under constant violent verbal and physical attack wherever he went, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church under him has ever since losing its identity disfigured under powerful Protestant and Catholic religious invasion.
According to the Bertrand Russel Tribunal, the principal target of CIA religious infiltration in Latin America was the Latin American anti-imperialist “liberation” and anti capitalist Catholic Church opposed to capitalism and the cult of money (particularly following the Cuban revolution.). The conservative wing of the Catholic Church opposed to the liberation theology was singled out and financed by the CIA American and German Catholic and evangelical Protestant missionaries, as well as American sects, in the 1960’s. Church infiltration was also a major CIA activity in the middle of the 1970’s in order to identify and hit pro-left activists and weakens or destroys the group in its entirety. Denounced by the press for contamination of spiritual life, and manipulating the churches to serve imperialist ends, CIA Director William Colby had been called by Congress to justify such infiltration of Latin American Churches. However in a letter to the Congress President Ford justified such contamination in defence of American interests. (5 November 1975). And thus we reach the stage of the repression – assassination, arrest, torture, deportation and exile of Latin American anti-imperialist nationalist clergy accused of being pro-Communist etc. the burning of Churches becomes more frequent. Religious books and relics destroyed or prohibited. Religious ceremonies prevented or discouraged. The victim churches did not realize that they were victims of a global strategy of the CIA and multinational capitalism (Russell Tribunal, 1976, op. cit.).
As Professor Lemarchand concludes (“The CIA in Africa”: op.cit.) “Trade unions, student associations and church organizations may become so heavily dependent on CIA subsidies and advice as to lose all responsiveness to their respective constituencies. Their organizational goals may become almost exclusively geared towards the collection of secret information, espionage propaganda, and so forth, to the detriment of their normal brokerage functions (of a civil society). Co-ordinate responses to environmental challenges become virtually impossible in these circumstances, if only because of the very nature of the reward system which operates to substitute external goals for internal ones, and individual gratifications for collective ones.”
One political fiction entitled “The Sapiens System” dealing with the CIA Manipulation of African proxy governments, we read (p-202-203) “”The elected presidents of these two poor but peaceful little nations are actually on my payroll, so naturally they do what I tell them to. If the people begin to complain too much about the policies I have given them to enforce, I use the media to explain why they are necessary. If this doesn’t work I simply buy myself a reform leader, set up my obsolete incumbent for some scandalous activity that forces him out of office, one way or another, and replace him with my new presidential mouthpiece …If some snoopy intellectual pokes in too deep and starts to put the picture together there are plenty of things I can do to keep him in line. I can put the heat on him for cheating on his income tax, frame him for giving government secrets to the enemy, or for some kind of bizarre sexual misconduct which the people have already been conditioned to believe …Or I might start sending my private police around to drop in on him now and then – or have him done in.”
Again Professor Lemarchand had written:
“Is the CIA a ‘rogue elephant’ roaming over the African landscape making shambles of the most carefully planned development strategies? (CIA) covert activities … affect the process of institutionalize, that is’ the process by which organizations and procedures acquire value and stability…If we accept the argument, set forth by Samuel Huntington, that the existence of adaptable, complex, autonomous and coherent organizations and procedures is an essential prerequisite of development, the question immediately arises as to whether an environment permeated by CIA agents is in any way congenital to the growth of strong and stable institutions…Not only the adaptability but the autonomy of political institutions is likely to be endangered by the spread of covert operations. The point here is not merely that the autonomy of an institution diminishes in proportion to its degree of dependence on an external agency, even more pertinent is the extent to which CIA activities operate to strengthen the dependence of political institutions or particularistic groups: ethnic, regional, family or clan ” –thus limiting the geographic extension of state structures, along with the socio-psychological disposition to conform with public policies.
The time has come to recognize the CIA for what it is – an institution which in varying degrees has had, and continues to have, a largely negative effect on the process of development in the Third World. And the same, of course, applies to its foreign counterparts, most notably the –French SDECE. If so, it is no longer possible to accept at face value that the main impediments to Third World development are essentially internal”. Reproduced by http://www.ethiopiansemay.blogspot.com/ ([email protected])