A People’s History of the CIA: The Subversion of
Democracy from Australia to Zaire and the U.S. role in
'Knocking Over' Canada's government, 1963
The article on the U.S. role in 'Knocking Over'
Canada's government, 1963 is particularly good reading. Thanks
to Richard Sanders and Press for Conversion! for this.
In researching the CIA's role in subverting governments around
I found a wealth of material that I believe may be of interest to you.
If you'd like free sample copy of this issue of our magazine, just send me an
with your street addess and I'll be very happy to mail you a copy.
This information is of crucial importance to understanding many
of the world's ongoing conflicts.
To receive a free sample copy of this issue, send me an email with
your street addess and we'll mail you a copy.
Below you'll find:
(1) the Table of Contents of this issue on the CIA,
(2) an article on the U.S. role in 'Knocking Over' Canada's government, 1963
(3) an overview of this issue: "Just Say Know! The CIA's War on
Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!
Table of Contents
PRESS FOR CONVERSION!
"A People's History of the CIA:
The Subversion of Democracy from
Australia to Zaire"
Just Say Know! The CIA's War on Democracy.............................3
1944-1954, Germany/USA: Original Sin - From SS to OSS................4
Growth of the Gehlen Org.......................................5
1945-1973, Germany/Austria/USA: "Operation
1945-1973, Germany/USA: From Dachau to "MKULTRA".....................7
late 1940s-present, International: "Mockingbird," Buying the
1947-1948, Italy: Nazi Loot used to Rig Election.....................9
1947-1970s, Greece: Helping Fascists in a Civil War and Coup........10
late 1940s-1990s, Europe: Building Right Wing Terror Groups.........11
EU Resolution on Operation "Gladio"...........................11
1950-now, Germany,: "Stay Behind" Forces and
1949-1953, Albania: CIA 'Cut its Teeth' with "Operation
1950-1970s, Southeast Asia: Drug Lords and Covert Wars..............13
1953-1963, USA: MKULTRA and LSD.....................................14
1953, Iran: Coup Returns Shah in "Operation TPAJAX".................15
1954, Guatemala: "Operation PBSuccess," Another
1957-1961, Canada: MKULTRA Experiments in Montreal..................17
1958-1991, Iraq: A Classic Case of Divide and Conquer...............18
1958, Indonesia: The Failed Overthrow...............................19
1960s-1970s, Canada: Prisoners used as Guinea Pigs..................20
1960-1997, Congo: Replacing Lumumba with Mobutu.....................21
1962, South Africa: Mandela Imprisoned..............................21
1961-1963, Cuba: Everything from PsyOps to an Invasion..............22
1962-1963, Canada: 'Knocking Over' "Dief the
Dief's "Made in Canada" Policies..............................23
A Plot "Made in the USA"......................................23
Key Quotations on the events of January 1963.................24
CIA Fingerprints: The Americans behind the Plot..............25
1965, Indonesia: Executing a Campaign of Mass Murder................26
1968-1976, Chile: Killing a Democracy...............................27
1975, Angola: Mercenaries, Murder and Corruption....................28
1975, Australia: Overthrowing Whitlam's Labour Party................29
1976, South America: "Operation Condor" Cross-Border
1978-1992, El Salvador: Training the Death Squads...................32
pre1979-1989, Afghanistan: The CIA's Biggest Covert War ............33
1980, Iran/USA: The Reagan/Bush "October
1980s, Nicaragua: Reagan's Contra Terrorists........................35
1980s, U.S./Central America: Contras, Gangs and Crack...............36
1980s, USA: Money Laundering for Contras, Mob and CIA...............37
1983-present, International: NED and "Project
1984-1989, Panama: If NED Fails, Send in the Marines................40
1990s-present, Colombia: The Phoney 'War on Drugs'..................41
1999, Yugoslavia: KLA, CIA, OSCE and NATO Join Hands................42
Mr. Massacre, from El Salvador to Racak.......................43
VANA Update (the National Newsletter of Veterans Against Nuclear Arms)
Nuclear Winter Revisited.............................................44
Peace Policies of the Political Parties..............................46
VANA and DREC Reports................................................51
1962-1963, Canada: 'Knocking Over' "Dief the Chief"
(a) A Plot "Made in the U.S."
By Richard Sanders, editor, Press for Conversion!
In 1962, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Livingston Merchant, and his Second
Secretary Charles Kisselyak, fuelled a plot among the Canadian Air Forces,
Canadian journalists and others to dispose of Prime Minister Diefenbaker.
Kennedy hated Dief largely for his anti-nuclear stance. Merchant and
U.S. embassy officers with espionage backgrounds, met at Kisselyak's home
in Ottawa to feed journalists with spaghetti, beer and
anti-Diefenbaker/pronuclear propaganda. Among the many participants in
these off-the-record briefings was Charles Lynch of Southam News.
Diefenbaker later denounced these reporters as "traitors" and
agents." He lashed out against Lynch on a TV program saying,
given briefings as to how the Canadian government could be attacked on the
subject of nuclear weapons and the failure of the Canadian government to do
that which the U.S. dictated."
Merchant and Kisselyak worked with RCAF Wing Commander Bill Lee
NORAD's number two man, Canadian Air Marshall Roy Slemon. Air Marshall
Hugh Campbell and the chair of Canada's chiefs of staff, Air Marshall Frank
Miller also approved Lee's campaign. Diefenbaker's avidly pronuclear
Defence Minister, Douglas Harkness, also knew of Lee's effort.
As head of RCAF public relations, Lee went to Washington twice a month to
confer with U.S. authorities. "It was a flat-out campaign," he
"We identified key journalists, business and labour, key Tory
and...Liberals.... We wanted people with influence on members of cabinet.
In the end the pressure paid off."
In 1962, new U.S. ambassador, William Butterworth,
"flat-out campaign" by holding discrete meetings at the U.S. embassy
exert influence on Canadian journalists.
Lester Pearson was the President's choice. Kennedy gave the go-ahead to
his friend and America's leading pollster, Lou Harris, to become the
Liberal's secret campaign advisor in the 1962 election. Diefenbaker
survived with a minority government.
The plot to bring down Canada's government came to a head in
1963. On Jan.3, top U.S. Air Force General Lauris Norstad held an Ottawa
press conference. Prompted by questions from Lynch, and other reporters
briefed by U.S. intelligence, Norstad criticized Canada's antinuclear
stance. On Jan. 12, Pearson announced his new policy of supporting U.S.
nuclear weapons in Canada. In protest, Pierre Trudeau called Pearson the
"defrocked priest of peace" and refused to run for the Liberals.
The coup's final blow came when the U.S. State Department
issued a press
release which called Diefenbak-er a liar on nuclear issues (Jan. 30). This
tactic was suggested by Willis Armstrong, head of the State Department's
Canada Desk in Washington. Butterworth added his suggestions and sent
senior embassy advisor, Rufus Smith, to Washington to draft it.
Armstrong chairing, half a dozen officials from State, the White House and
the Pentagon...shaped...the rebuke." The draft was polished by
Secretary of State George McGhee and approved by acting Secretary of State,
George Ball, and national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy.
The Canadian media had a heyday attacking Diefenbaker. Fights
in Cabinet. Diefenbaker recalled Canada's ambassador from the U.S.
Feb. 5, Defence Minister Harkness announced his resignation and Pearson
called for a non-confidence vote. Dief's minority government fell, or
rather, it was 'knocked over.'
Kisselyak was the U.S. embassy's contact to Pearson's election
The Liberals had the strong advantages of a friendly media and Harris'
state-of-the-art, computerized polling tactics. Diefenbaker, facing a
primed hostile media, ran a stridently anti-U.S. campaign. Pearson's
victory was hailed by newspapers across North America. Within days, the
new External Affairs Minister, Paul Martin Sr., was approached by
Butterworth to negotiate the acceptance of U.S. nuclear weapons. The
warheads were deployed in Canada on New Year's Eve and there was partying
Sources: Knowlton Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker, 1990 and Floyd Rudmin
the Sky Falling, or What?," Feb. 20, 1995
(b) Key Quotations on the events of January 1963
President John F. Kennedy said the U.S. would take a stronger leadership
role in NATO "even at the risk of offending sensitive allies."
(AP interview, Jan.2)
On General Norstad's Media conference, Jan. 3
"[Norstad's] purpose was to establish a basis for Pearson's conversion to
U.S. nuclear policy."
"Kennedy sent Norstad to do this hatchet job on us. It was American
imperialism of the highest order."
(Alvin Hamilton, Agriculture minister)
"This was another American turn of the screw to bring down the
(Charles Ritchie, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.)
On Pearson decision to reverse Liberal Policy and accept U.S. nuclear
warheads into Canada (if elected), Jan. 12
"Kennedy achieved his dearest Canadian wish. Pearson progressed... to
embracing the U.S. position on arming with nuclear weapons the Bomarcs and,
no doubt, yielding to U.S. demands for storage of all manner of nuclear
devices in Canada."
"A pure example of Pearson's willingness to accept the leadership of the
U.S. on any vital matter."
Liberal policies were "made in the U.S."
(Tommy Douglas, NDP Leader)
On the U.S. press release, Jan. 30
"It was as deliberate an attempt as ever made to bring down a foreign
(Ed Ritchie, former under secretary of state for external affairs)
"This action by the State Department of the U.S. is unprecedented...it
constitutes an unwarranted intrusion in Canadian affairs... [Canada] will
not be pushed around or accept external domination or interference in
making its decisions." "President Kennedy was going to obliterate
dared to say to him that Canada's policies would be made in Canada by
"An absolute outrage, the most blatant, heavy-handed, intolerable piece
"Like a bombshell"
(a Diefenbaker aide)
(Howard Green, External Affairs Minister)
"The U.S. should know from this Parliament that they are not dealing with
"Kennedy decided the government had to go...[I] wouldn't put it past him
say, 'Get rid of the bastards.'"
(R.Bell, Immigration Minister)
"Very useful. Highly beneficial in advancing U.S. interests by
realism into a government which has made anti-Americanism... practically
its entire stock in trade."
(William Butterworth, U.S. ambassador to Canada)
"For God's sake, it was like tossing a match into dried hay."
(Rufus Smith, senior advisor to Will Butterworth)
Trudeau's summary of the events of January 1963
"Do you think General Norstad... came to Ottawa as a tourist?... Do you
think it was by chance that Pearson... quoted the authority of Norstad?
you think it was inadvertant that on January 30 the state department gave a
statement to journalists reinforcing Pearson's claims and crudely accusing
Diefenbaker of lying? You think it was by chance that this press release
provided the Leader of the Opposition with the arguments he used
abundantly? You believe it was coincidence? Why [should] the U.S.
Canada differently from Guatemala when reason of state requires it and
(Pierre E. Trudeau)
Source: From K.Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker: Fear and Loathing Across the
Undefended Border, 1990.
(c) CIA Fingerprints: The Americans behind the Plot to Oust John
Willis Coburn Armstrong
He was a translator at the U.S. embassy in Moscow (1939-1941);
Minister-Counsellor (ambassador's "right hand man" (1958-1962) and
charge d'affairs in Ottawa (1962). At least six of the U.S. diplomats
he selected for Canada had espionage backgrounds (Lisee, p.31). Armstrong
told Lisee, that he had been an advisor to the CIA (p.175).1 As Director
of the State Department's Office of British Commonwealth and Northern
European Affairs, he attended secret meetings on the Vietnam war with U.S.
and U.K. heads of state and their top intelligence officials (1964).2
1. Floyd Rudmin, U.S. "Ambassador Spies: 1960-1980," Jul.6, 1995.
George W. Ball
He was director of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, London (1944-45);
served in JFK's successful campaign (1960) and became Deputy Secretary of
State under JFK and Johnson.1 Ball was a friend of Mike Pearson.2 He was
stationed in Cuba (1962), Brazil (1964) and Iran (1978).3
1. Obituary by R. Curtiss, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,
July/Aug. 1994 <www.washington-report.
2. Nash, p.241-242.
He was a boyhood classmate of JFK. As a WWII intelligence officer, he
helped plan the invasions of Sicily and France. Bundy's brother Bill
"scaled the ranks of the CIA and held senior posts in the Defense and
departments."1 As Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
JFK and Johnson, M.Bundy forcefully advocated expanding the Vietnam war and
was a principal architect of U.S. foreign policy. He played a major role
in the invasion of Cuba, the Cuban missile crisis, the escalation of the
Vietnam War and the U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic.2
He was posted to Chile (1964)3.
1. Book Review of The Color of Truth, McGeorge and William Bundy by Kai
Bird, Biography Magazine, Sept. 1998
2. Encyclopædia Britannica <www.
William W. Butterworth
During WWII, he was an economic warfare specialist in Spain and Portugal
and was one of two Office of Strategic Services (OSS) contacts with German
chief of military intelligence, Walter Schellenberg.1 The other was future
CIA director, Allen Dulles. After the war, he was posted to China.2
Butter-worth was the U.S. ambassador to Canada (1962-1968). At least six
espionage officers joined his staff in 1962.
Source: Floyd Rudmin, "Questions of U.S. Hostility Towards Canada."
1. A.C.Brown, Body Guard of Lies, Vol.1, 1975, p.507; Who's Who in
America, 1965, p.300.
2. Biographic Register, 1968, p.78.
In 1960, J.F.Kennedy was the "first national candidate to make important
use of polling.1 "As his personal contribution toward the
Diefen-baker, Kennedy "gave his unofficial blessing to Lou Harris - the
shrewd public opinion analyst - to work for the Liberal Party. Using a
pseudonym [Lou Smith] and working in such secrecy that only half a dozen
key people were aware of his activities, Harris...conducted extensive
studies of Canadian voting behaviour. They were key contributions to the
Liberal victory of 1963."2 Harris' "in person" polling
was conducted by
500 women.3 David Moore, author of The Super Pollsters, cites Harris as
"the biggest most flagrant example" of polling manipulation.4
Professors L.Jacobs and R.Shapiro argue that the way Harris used polling
during Nixon's campaign for presidency "violated professional standards
1. Theodore Roszak, The Cult of Information, 1994, p.213.
2. Peter Newman, Renegade in Powers, 1963, p.267.
3. Knowlton Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker, 1990, p.167.
4. Interview by B.Lamb with D.Moore, Booknotes Transcript, May 10, 1992.
5. "Presidential Manipulation of Public Opinion: The Nixon Administration
and the Public Pollsters" (September 1995)
Livingston Tallmadge Merchant
He worked on war production issues for the State Department (1942). As
U.S. exerted efforts to support the Nationalist forces, he was counsellor
at the embassy in China (1948-49).1 He was Deputy Assistant
State, Far Eastern Affairs (1949-51) and State Department's liaison to the
CIA's covert action arm, comprised of former OSS staff (1950). He
initiated counter-insurgency operations in the Philippines (1950);2 was
Assist. Secretary of State for European Affairs (1953-56, 1958-59) and U.S.
ambassador to Canada (1956-58, 1961-62). His First Secretary (1961) was
Louis Wiesner, a former OSS officer. At least eight espionage officers
joined his staff in 1961. He was U.S. Under-Secretary of State for
Political Affairs (1960-61).3
Source: Floyd Rudmin, "Questions of U.S. Hostility Towards Canada."
1. W. Blum, The CIA: A Forgotten History, 1986, pp.15-20.
2. Z. Grant, Facing the Phoenix, 1991, p.89
3. Who's Who in America, 1964.
Merchant attended top secret meetings with J.F.Kennedy and top intelligence
officials to destabilise Cuba.1 He suggested the assassination of Fidel
and Raul Castro and Che (1960).2 He was posted to the Congo (1960).3
2. Thomas Powers, Strategic Intelligence <www.strategicintel.com/dirty1.htm>
He was Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence of General HQ Air Force
(1940)1 and was responsibility for planning the nuclear bombing of Japan.2
He was director of the War Department's Plans and Operations Division
(1947). He helped draft the National Security Act that created the CIA
the National Security Council.3 He became Commander in chief, USAF
(1950); Commander in chief, U.S. European Command (1956-1963).4
3. CIA historian Arthur Darling, The C.I.A.
(d) John Diefenbaker's "Made in Canada" Policies
"Diefenbaker promoted Canadian independence with evangelical zeal... 'We
are a power, not a puppet,' the Chief thundered during the controversy over
the placement of U.S. nuclear warheads in Canada. 'His rampant nationalism
alienated the entire ruling class: Bay Street, Wall Street, his civil
service and politicians from all parties. [George] Grant credited the
Chief with the strongest stance against satellite status ever attempted by
a Canadian. This stance came at a high price.'" (Laurence Martin,
of Allegiance, The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years, 1993.)
Cuban Missile Crisis:
When U.S. spy planes showed missile sites being constructed in Cuba,
Kennedy decided to blockade Russian ships en route to Cuba. Despite
the Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defence and NATO, Kennedy neither
consulted nor informed the Canadian government until [two hours] before his
TV speech on Oct. 22, 1962.
The U.S. asked the Canadian government to move our military to an advanced
state of readiness. Diefen-baker did not comply. Nonetheless,
military moved immediately to advanced readiness without the Prime
Minister's authorization. Canada's chief of naval staff ordered the
Atlantic fleet to sea. Canada's Minister of Defence ordered the
Chiefs of Staff to special preparedness.
General McNaughton's 1941 remark is painfully relevant: "The acid test of
sovereignty is control of the armed forces."1 Howard Green,
anti-nuclear External Affairs minister, pleaded that cab-inet reconsider
"blindly following the U.S. lead, particularly since the President had
kept the commitment to consult Canada over the impending [missile] crisis.
'If we go along with the U.S. now, we'll be their vassal forever.'"2
1. C.P. Stacey, Canada and the Age of Conflict, Vol.2, p.349.
2. Peter Newman, Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years, p.337, p.337.
Source: Robin Mathews, Canadian Foundations web site
The Avro and the Bomarcs:
Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro Arrow fighter plane program (1959) because
the U.S. wouldn't buy any of them. Although then expected to arm
Bomarc missiles with U.S. nuclear warheads, Diefenbaker refused.
Operation Sky Hawk:
Dief cancelled a U.S. nuclear war-related training exercise over Canada
Diefenbaker refused U.S. demands to stop trading with Cuba, and instead
increased Canada's trade (1960).
At a Commonwealth conference (1961), Diefenbaker was the only white leader
to support the African and Asian members against allowing South African
After Diefenbaker's Bill of Rights (1960), the government reduced
immigration restrictions based on racial grounds and began to accept more
Asian and black immigrants.
Dief appointed the first women cabinet minister and senator.
Native people allowed to vote for the first time (1960).
Dief resented JFK's speech to Parliament urging Canada to join the
Organization of American States, because Dief had already refused (1961).
Diefenbaker refused U.S. requests to cut off wheat supplies to China if
they continued supporting Vietnamese independence efforts (1962).
Nuclear Test Ban:
Kennedy pushed for opposition to the treaty, but Canada voted for it
(1962). The U.S. and most NATO countries abstained.
Sources: Knowlton Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker, 1990 and <www.canschool.
Just Say Know! The CIA's War on Democracy
By Richard Sanders, editor, Press for Conversion.
For many, the recent U.S. elections raised serious doubts about the
American system of democracy. However, millions of others around the
long ago abandoned any notion that the U.S. is a bastion of democracy,
either at home or abroad.
The U.S. government has, in fact, been a major opponent for millions of
people around the world who have struggled to create and maintain
democratic systems of governance. Since WWII, the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) has played a pivotal role in this history of subverting
political systems. It has been active in virtually every country of the
world and has conducted thousands of secret operations. As a tool of the
U.S. president, the CIA has been used to manipulate, undermine and
blatantly overthrow countless governments including dozens of functioning
This issue of Press for Conversion! contains only a glimpse into the CIA's
largely overlooked history. It is a shameful history which has plumbed the
depths of depravity, greed, deception, hypocrisy and ultraviolence.
The CIA's history is filled with rigged elections, fraud, bribery,
sabotage and economic warfare. CIA officials have masterminded
psychological warfare, extensive propaganda and the spreading of lies and
misinformation through the media. Hatred has been instilled towards
who threaten corporate power, while public support has been engineered for
countless wars fought to maintain unjust economic systems that benefit
America's ruling business elite.
The CIA has planned, armed and financed many military coups that installed
regimes to allow the pillaging of resources by U.S. business. In time, some
of these dictatorships also become liabilities and must be replaced with
new, more pliable client states.
The CIA emerged from the U.S. Office of Strategic Services which, before
the end of WWII, began close collaborations with the German "intelligence
community" on the unfinished war against communism.
Since then, literally millions of people have been massacred in a U.S.
holocaust that has gone unnoticed and is commonly denied. The first to be
assassinated, in these CIA-fostered campaigns of terror and mass murder,
have usually been progressive politicians, labour leaders, human rights
activists, priests, nuns and other 'subversives.'
There are three compelling reasons why the CIA's horrific history should
be of interest to Canadians.
Canada continues to aid and abet ongoing U.S. wars against democracy, peace
and human rights by allowing U.S. military and intelligence gathering
stations in Canada, and the testing of U.S. weapons systems. And, our
government is increasingly sending troops and equipment to help the U.S. in
its invasions and interventions.
More than half of Canada's arms exports are sold to the U.S. Our
government puts such blind trust in the U.S. that no restrictions are
placed on these exports. Canadian arms producers must obtain government
permits for military sales to every country in the world, except the U.S.
Our government also funds numerous programs to subsidise these lucrative
But Canadian profitmaking doesn't end with arms sales to the U.S. That's
just the beginning. After the CIA uses its dirty tricks to install
investor-friendly puppet regimes in faraway lands, the Canadian government
encourages military exports to those governments. This is, of course,
invaluable help in their struggle to wield power. They, in turn, ensure
that Canadian investors are given access to profitable ventures in mining,
defor-estry and manufacturing. Canadian companies clamour to join the
feeding frenzy that bleeds these countries dry of their wealth and resources.
CIA Fingerprints in Canada
Canadians should also be on the look out for the telltale signs of CIA
activities in Canada. Being right next door, we are certainly not beyond
their grasp. Besides the CIA-backed brainwashing experiments conducted
unwilling Canadian prisoners and psychiatric patients, CIA fingerprints
have also appeared on our political landscape. In 1963, top-ranking U.S.
diplomats in Ottawa, along with officials from the Pentagon, the State
Department - several with close ties to the CIA - were involved in a
successful campaign to oust John Diefenbaker from office. Among other
things, Dief would not allow U.S. nuclear weapons to be deployed in Canada.
U.S. officials colluded with the high-ranking Canadian military
journalists and politicians to install a Liberal government that agreed to
station U.S. nuclear warheads in Canada (see pages 23-25).
It is safe to assume that any relatively progressive government that
somehow manages to get elected in Canada, will likely fall prey to covert
U.S. activities. Afterall, the CIA has created, controlled and disposed
governments all over the world. Why would we think that they'd hesitate
extend their tentacles of power here?
Challenging the Cheerleaders
For too long, the CIA has operated under a cloak of secrecy without even
the knowledge or consent of elected U.S. officials, let alone the U.S.
public or the billions of people around the world who have suffered from
CIA activities. Anything that we can do to shed light on this dark
will be an invaluable gift to future generations.
In this era of a 'free media' eager to cover controversies, the CIA's
history and its countless scandals have largely been ignored. An
of this history is invaluable in understanding the contexts of so many wars
that are now raging. Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before
the CIA's real legacy becomes part of our society's common knowledge.
The next time the U.S. wants Canadian support or participation in a
"humanitarian war," let's hope we have the wherewithal to just say
Knowing the CIA's history will equip us with the knowledge to challenge
anyone who is naïve enough to want Canada to join in as a cheerleader or
fellow warmonger. As the marble inscription in the main lobby at CIA
headquarters reads: "And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set
Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
541 McLeod St., Ottawa Ontario Canada K1R 5R2
Tel.: 613-231-3076 Fax:
Web site: www.ncf.ca/coat
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