Past Haunts Obama
Obama's grandparents and the Freedom Studies Center
By Wayne Madsen:
In 1965, the year President Obama's stepfather, Colonel Lolo Soetoro, henchman for General Suharto's CIA-led coup against the Sukarno government in Indonesia, left the University of Hawaii's East-West Center for service for Suharto in helping the CIA with its coup, the CIA and right-wing Time-Life maven Clare Boothe Luce was putting together the "Cold War College" to train young men and women to suppress popular leftist movements in non-aligned Third World nations.
The Cold War College was to be part of Luce's Freedom Studies Center, an anti-Communist operative training center established with the assistance of 63 higher education institutions and other organizations in 1966 to counter what Luce called "various schools run by the Communist Party, the Black Panthers, and other revolutionary groups."
Luce ran the Freedom Studies Center from her Longlea Farm estate in Boston, Virginia. Although the center received no federal funds, its first seminars attracted such speakers as Army chief of staff General William Westmoreland, former CIA director Allen Dulles, and Richard Ichord, chairman of the House Internal Security Committee. The center also counted among its advisory board members Vice President Spiro Agnew, Transportation Secretary John Volpe, Housing and Urban Development Secretary George Romney, Interior Secretary Rogers Morton, as well as Senators Karl Mundt, Harry F. Byrd, Mark Hatfield, Strom Thurmond, Thomas Dodd, and Russell Long, Governors John Dempsey of Connecticut, Warren Knowles of Wisconsin, and Jack Williams of Arizona, and Illinois Representatives Dan Rostenkowski, Roman Pucinski, and Edward Derwinski.
Three Illinois education officials were also members of the Freedom Studies Center board: Ray Page, superintendent of public instruction for the state of Illinois, and Robert Hanrahan, Superintendent, Cook County schools, and Benjamin Willis, retired general superintendent of Chicago schools. CIA archives contain varous documents on the Freedom Studies Center and the proposed "Cold War College."
Had President Lyndon Johnson not named him the head of the Pentagon's counter-insurgency effort in Indochina, the "Cold War College," also to be known as the " United Freedom Academy," would have been run by General Edward Lansdale, who planned to run the "college" as a "psycho-political warfare" center.
Lansdale envisaged sending "freedom teams" of American young men and women Cold War "college" graduates to "change the course of history in favor of freedom." It was just the type of work engaged in by Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, in post-Sukarno Indonesia, and his grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, in laying the groundwork for young Third World nationals to study in Hawaii during the height of the Cold War.
It is also noteworthy that one of the Freedom Center's directors was retired General Lawrence H. Whiting, Vice Chairman of the Board of the American Furniture Mart in Chicago [Whiting was not a real general but had been a "special consultant" to the War department in World War II and appears to have self-adopted the title of "general."]. Another board member for the center is Frank Vignola, President of Vignola Furniture Company. Obama's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, claims to have been a furniture salesman, including for non-existent Pratt Furniture in Honolulu. Obama's mother's application for U.S. passport renewal, filed in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 13, 1968, lists her father's place of employment as the Bank of Hawaii, the same employer as Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who died two days prior to Obama's election in 2008. WMR previously reported that Madelyn Dunham's vice president position for the bank entailed handling the escrow accounts for CIA slush payments to America's favorite dictators in Asia, including Suharto, Park Chung Hee in South Korea, Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan, Lon Nol in Cambodia, and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines.
The Freedom Studies Center was headed by John Fisher, a former FBI agent under J. Edgar Hoover, another center supporter, who became head of security for Sears, Roebuck & Company in Chicago to bust up communist infiltration of Sears' affiliated labor unions. Fisher later worked for the right-wing American Security Council, a corporate entity that fought against communist influence in the United States and abroad.
In a November 18, 1970, appeal for corporate support, Luce states that "the Freedom Studies Center wants to begin to enroll 40 full-time students in a pilot leadership training program. Next year we hope to have 100 students and reach the level of 400 students soon thereafter." Luce added, "as part of this training, students will work on actual projects underway at the American Security Council, the Institute for American Strategy, and the Council on National Security."
Although Luce's college never got off the ground, the CIA increased its recruitment programs at favored colleges, including Obama's two almae mater, Occidental in Los Angeles and Columbia University in New York. Obama's post-Columbia employer, Business International Corporation, a CIA front, increased its own presence within leftist student organizations, including Students for Democratic Society (SDS). In Luce's November 18, 1970, letter, she warned about leftist infiltration of U.S. urban centers: ". . . of Castro's 42 training centers in Cuba for exporting revolution to all the Americas, two are devoted exclusively to training leaders for urban guerrilla warfare in the United States! Just one of these has already trained 902 revolutionaries like S.D.S. leader Mark Rudd, and Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael."
Although the "Cold War College" never materialized, the CIA's Cold War college recruitment programs at the University of Hawaii helped groom CIA agents-of-influence Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack H. Obama, Sr., and Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo. Langley's recruiters at Occidental also nurtured a young and, according to his classmates, a very effeminate, lazy, and pot-smoking Barack Obama, Jr. whose only real friends were a handful of Pakistani students, including his roommate Imad Husain. In 1979, as the Soviets were consolidating their hold on Afghanistan, someone with Obama's family CIA connections, as well as Pakistani connections, was a prime candidate for recruitment. Later, as Black Panthers and El Rukn gang members began to reach out to countries like Libya in the mid-1980s, Barack Obama, Jr. came to the rescue, practically parachuting into south Chicago from BIC's swank offices in Manhattan, to become a "community organizer," or more precisely, a "snitch."
Obama's personal life style did not deter his usefulness to the CIA.
One person who was instrumental in cleaning up Indonesian state files and archives of any information that could be damaging to Obama's family, including Lolo Soetoro, is American Samoa delegate to the House of Representatives Eni Faleomavaega. During the first week of July 2007, while Obama's candidacy for president had, on the surface, as much chance as that of Dennis Kucinich or Chris Dodd, Faleomavaega visited Jakarta as part of a congressional delegation for talks with Indonesian leaders, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Faleomavaega was looking for concessions for the plight of his fellow Pacific islanders, the people of Indonesian-occupied West Papua. However, Faleomavaega also wanted access to Indonesia's files on the Obama and Soetoro families — in what amounted to a "clean-up" operation for his friend Obama. The official reason given was the files were needed for the U.S. National Archives. Yet, in July 2007, it was Hillary Clinton who was considered the "chosen one" for the Democrats. Certainly, no one paid a visit to Zagreb, Croatia looking for documents for the US National Archives in the event Kucinich, of Croatian ancestry, was elected president. However, in July 2007, there appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Obama would become the next President of the United States and that Indonesian files had to be picked clean. For Faleomavaega, he got nothing for his West Papuans or his clean-up operation on behalf of the CIA and, with the Republican take-over of the House, he lost his vote in committee, as well.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written
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.