By Wayne Madsen
August, 2010 — Obama’s mother, father, grandmother, and step-father point to president’s CIA pedigree
WMR previously reported on President Obama’s more than one year employment by a CIA front operation, Business International Corporation, Inc. (BIC) of New York after his graduation from Columbia University in 1983.
However, the State Department’s recent revelation in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that the pre-1965 passport files of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham Soetoro, were destroyed in the 1980s, has re-ignited suspicions that Obama’s mother worked for the CIA under non-official cover (NOC) cover in Indonesia while married to Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, a retired colonel in General Suharto’s CIA-backed ranks. Soetoro and Dunham married in 1965 after meeting at the University of Hawaii. That same year, the CIA-backed Suharto launched an anti-Communist coup that saw leftist President Sukarno eventually ousted from power and up to one million suspected Communists, including many ethnic Chinese Indonesians, massacred by government troops. Obama recently lifted a ban on U.S. military support for the Indonesian Red Beret KOPASSUS special operations forces imposed after the unit committed human rights abuses in East Timor in the late 1990s. The 12-year ban, imposed by the Clinton administration, was maintained by the Bush administration.
In 1967, Dunham moved with six-year old Barack Obama to Jakarta. In 1966, as Suharto consolidated his power, Colonel Soetoro was battling Communist rebels in the country. Dunham moved back to Hawaii in 1972, a year after Obama left Indonesia to attend school in Hawaii, and she divorced Soetoro in 1980. Soetoro was hired by Mobil to be a liaison officer with Suharto’s dictatorship. Soetoro died in 1987 at the age of 52. Ann Dunham died in 1995, also at the age of 52. Obama, Sr. died in an automobile accident in Kenya in 1982 at the age of 46. Obama, Sr. attended the University of Hawaii courtesy of a scholarship arranged by Kenyan nationalist leader Tom Mboya. Obama and Dunham married in 1961, however, Obama, at the time, had a wife back in Kenya. Obama and Dunham officially divorced in 1964, the same year Dunham married Soetoro.
Obama, Sr. met his old friend Mboya, the Kenyan Minister of Economic Planning and Development, shortly before Mboya was gunned down by an assassin in Nairobi in 1969. Kenya’s autocratic president Jomo Kenyatta was viewed as being behind the assassination of Mboya, a would-be rival for the presidency. Mboya was 39 when he was assasinated. Obama, Sr. testified at the trial of Mboya’s accused assassin and shortly thereafter, Obama, Sr. was the target of an attempted hit-and-run assassination attempt.
Files released by the State Department on Dunham’s name-change passport application lists two dates and places of marriage to Soetoro: March 5, 1964, in Maui and March 15, 1965, in Molokai — almost a year’s difference. In her 1968 passport renewal application, Barack Obama’s name is listed as Barack Hussein Obama (Saebarkah). In passport renewal and amendment applications filed from Jakarta, Dunham uses two different names: Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro and Stanley Ann Soetoro.
Dunham again applied for a passport from Jakarta in 1981 while working for the Ford Foundation. Her New York-based boss at the time was Peter Geithner, the father of Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Dunham also worked in rural villages in Java for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which was and remains notorious for conducting CIA operations around the world.
Ann Dunham and President Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., a native of the British colony of Kenya, met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii in 1959. The teaching of Russian in Hawaii, which hosted a number of US military bases and intelligence operations, is significant since a Russian language class during the height of the Cold War would normally attract a majority of U.S. intelligence professionals.
At the time Dunham met Obama, Sr. in Russian-language class at the University of Hawaii, the CIA was engaged in major covert operations in Asia, including attempted assassinations of Asian leaders. In an August 1975 article in Penthouse by former New York Times reporter Tad Szulc reported on two high-level planned CIA assassinations that were turned down by the ‘highest levels’ at the White House in the late 1950s: ‘. . . senior CIA officials proposed the assassination of Indonesian President Sukarno as part of a broader plot to overthrow his left-leaning government. At least one American pilot, employed by the CIA, was captured by Sukarno’s forces during the coup attempt. To kill Sukarno, the CIA, according to intelligence sources, planned to fire a shell from a ceremonial 105-mm cannon in front of the presidential palace while Sukarno spoke from a balcony.’ The CIA finally succeeded in ousting Sukarno in 1965, with the help of Barack Obama’s step father.
Szulc also wrote: “In 1958, a plot was concocted to kill China’s Premier Chou En-lai during a visit to Rangoon, Burma. This was at the beginning of the Soviet-Chinese split, and apparently the CIA reasoned that Chou’s death would aggravate the developing split. The notion was that Chou was a moderate and thus posed an obstacle to a possible Soviet-Chinese confrontation. Furthermore, intelligence sources said, the CIA planned, by the dissemination of ‘disinformation’ through intelligence channels, to lead the Chinese to believe that Chou was killed by the Russian KGB. This murder plot, which was also stopped by Washington, provided for a Burmese CIA agent to place untraceable poison in a rice bowl from which Chou was expected to be eating at a government dinner in his honor. This particular kind of poison, intelligence sources said, would have acted within forty-eight hours and there would be no trace of it if an autopsy were performed. The plan was countermanded at the last moment.”
As WMR previously reported, “At the same time he was attending Occidental [College in Los Angeles, 1979-81], Obama, using the name Barry Soetoro and an Indonesian passport issued under the same name, traveled to Pakistan during the U.S. buildup to assist the Afghan mujaheddin. WMR has learned from informed sources in Kabul that Obama has been extremely friendly, through personal correspondence on White House letterhead, with a private military company that counts among its senior personnel a number of Afghan mujaheddin-Soviet war veterans who fought alongside the late Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Masood.
In 1981, Obama spent time in Jacobabad and Karachi, Pakistan, and appeared to have an older American ‘handler,’ possibly a CIA officer. WMR previously reported that Obama also crossed the border from Pakistan and spent some time in India. At the time of Obama’s stay in Pakistan, the country was being built up as a base for the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgency by President Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and later by President Reagan’s CIA director William Casey. Obama has suspiciously refused to release his transcripts from Occidental or Columbia University and he has remained cagey about his post-Columbia employment with BIC.”
In early 2008, when employees of The Analysis Corporation, a CIA contractor headed up at the time by Obama’s current deputy national security adviser John O. Brennan, a former CIA official, were illegally accessing Obama’s State Department passport files, WMR reported: “An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC. In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as ‘Barry Soetoro,’ traveled to Pakistan in 1981. He was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go ‘partridge hunting’ with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business. The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support.”
WMR also reported: “Dunham Soetoro was in Indonesia when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Barack Obama visited Lahore, Pakistan, where his mother worked as a ‘consultant,’ in 1981. According to a declassified Top Secret CIA document titled ‘Worldwide Reaction to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan,’ dated February 1980, Indonesia became a hotbed of anti-Soviet students demonstrations after Moscow’s invasion of Afghanistan. The report states, ‘Indonesian students have staged several peaceful demonstrations in Jakarta and three other major cities. They have also demanded the recall of the Soviet Ambassador because of remarks he made to a student delegation on 4 January and have called for a severance of Soviet-Indonesian relations.’”
Obama’s mother was in Lahore as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, a perfect NOC job at the time the CIA, under William Casey, was beefing up its covert presence in Pakistan to battle the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, known to Obama as “Toot”, began working for the Bank of Hawaii in 1960, a year after her daughter met Obama, Sr. and in 1970 she became one of the first female bank vice presidents. Madelyn Dunham retired from the bank in 1986. It is suspected that the Bank of Hawaii acted as a financial vehicle for CIA operations in Asia and the South Pacific.
The Bank of Hawaii has, according to published reports, been linked to a number of CIA-connected operations in the Asia-Pacific region, including links to the Indonesian Lippo Group and Mochtar Riady’s contributions to the presidential re-election campaign of Bill Clinton; American International Group (AIG) — bailed out by Obama; the CIA’s Nugan Hand Bank in Australia; another CIA-influenced bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) and an affiliate bank in the Cook Islands, Commercial Bank of Commerce Cook Islands, Ltd. (CBCCI) in Rarotonga — which in the 1980s were funneling money to South Pacific islands to counter Soviet influence in the region; the USAID officer in Suva, Fiji, William Raupe, who was actually a CIA official cover agent; global bullion trader Deak International; European Pacific investments; and a CIA front company in Honolulu called Bishop Baldwin Rewald Dillingham Wong (BBRDW), Ltd., which maintained financial and political links to Asia-Pacific leaders, including Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India, Suharto in Indonesia, the Sultan of Brunei, the chiefs of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service — which acted on behalf of the CIA in South Pacific small island states, and maintained slush fund accounts in the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, Spain, and South America. The CIA cut-out, which took over the assets of the collapsed Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, also used actor Jack Lord, from Hawaii 5-0 fame, on its promotional material as a way to “open doors” and maintained close links with the US Pacific Command based in Hawaii.
In the 1960s, the Bank of Hawaii began opening up branches all over the Pacific: Palau, Guam, Yap, Ponape, and Kosrae. It also bought the Bank of American Samoa and the First National Bank of Arizona and had gained significant, if not fully controlling, financial stakes in the Bank of New Caledonia, Bank Indosuez in Vanuatu, National Bank of the Solomon Islands, Bank of Queensland, Bank of Tonga, and Bank Indosuez Niugini in Papua New Guinea, Bank Paribas Polynesia. The Bank of Hawaii also opened up branches in Suva, Saipan, and Tokyo. By the time Madelyn Dunham retired in 1986, the bank was also deeply connected to John Waihee, the first Native Hawaiian governor of Hawaii, elected in 1986. The CIA’s BBRDW and an affiliate, Canadian Far East Trading Corporation, also maintained close links with Waihee and Governor George Ariyoshi.
When Barack Obama graduated from the private Punahou High School in Hawaii in 1979 and transferred to Occidental College in Los Angeles, Eugene Welch was the CIA’s station chief in Hawaii. Punahou High School was also the alma mater of another US Senator, Hiram Bingham III of Connecticut, who was said to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones, the movie character popularized by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. At the time, the CIA was engaged in a major recruiting campaign, including on college campuses, after Admiral Stansfield Turner, the CIA director, was ordered by President Jimmy Carter to clean up the agency after previous scandals.
The CIA’s Hawaii-based Asia-Pacific financial operation appears to have been the brain child of retired CIA deputy director for intelligence Ray S. Cline, a proponent of the CIA’s paying pro-American strongmen around the world large sums of cash to ensure their loyalty, including Mobutu Seso Seko of Zaire, King Hussein of Jordan, Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan, General Lon Nol of Cambodia, the Shah of Iran, Suharto, and Marcos. Helping to assist these operations was Madelyn Dunham who was in charge of the Bank of Hawaii’s secretive escrow account business. During her grandson’s presidential campaign in 2008, Madelyn Dunham refused all media interview requests. She died in Hawaii two days before her grandson was elected president. With the death of Toot, the early chapters of the life of Barack Obama, Jr, his father, mother, and step-father also went to the grave.
At the time Obama’s mother and father met in Russian language class in Hawaii, the CIA was embarked on an aggressive covert campaign in Asia, one that involved starting a Soviet-Chinese war and aiming to assassinate Sukarno of Indonesia. The CIA was similarly involved in an aggressive covert war with the Soviets in Africa, vying for control of the continent’s newly-independent states. In the world of the CIA there are no coincidences.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs.
Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has taken on Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testifty as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government.
As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.
Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and the National Press Club. He is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.