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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 7

The Files That Came In From The Cold

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 17:46:45 -0400
Archived: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 17:46:45 -0400
Subject: The Files That Came In From The Cold

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald - Australia


September 7, 2007

The Files That Came In From The Cold

Philippe Mora sifts through once-secret documents looking for
any hint of how the CIA regarded Australia.

Australia appears in various CIA documents like a flying fish
popping up out of the ocean for a split second. Documents chart
the underbelly of the Cold War, the drift into Vietnam and
finally the terrorism of today.

The CIA has unclassified internal documents over time, including
secret and top secret memos and a substantial historical review
program. Although documents go back to post World War II, the
June 2007 release of the CIA "family jewels" received worldwide
attention. Henry Kissinger's January 1975 memo to President
Ford, warning that "blood would flow" if documents were
released, increased the anticipation. The 700 pages outlined CIA
"misdeeds" up to the early 1980s.

Looking through decades of these and other CIA documents, what
is striking is a theme of outbursts of internal self-
flagellation and institutional self-criticism. "The CIA was in a
shambles in 1961," wrote Dr Albert Wheelon, First Deputy
Director for Science and Technology, in a "secret" paper. Other
studies reflect on ethics, integrity and include detailed, smart
reports on everything from breast cancer detection to CIA doubts
about the Vietnam War. Australia appears immediately as an
assumed ally in a nuclear war, and continues that way, with top
secret information revealed to the Australian government not
revealed to the US's own population.

These are some unclassified snapshots, a visceral taste of
primary evidence, involving Australia from this secret world
history, sometimes frustrating in lack of context. It is
reasonable to assume these are the tip of the iceberg:

One early Top Secret report, The Strategic Importance of the Far
East to the US and the USSR, dated 5/4/1949, clinically assumes
a war with the Soviet Union before "31 December 1952", and lists
Australia as an ally in that war. The report was classified for
43 years.

A document marked SECRET September 12, 1956, notes the one-hour
briefing of Adlai Stevenson about foreign affairs including the
"failure of the Menzies" mission regarding the Suez crisis.

In 1959, intriguingly, the White Australia immigration policy
came up in a National Security Council meeting. The CIA
forwarded a detailed five-page report (For Official Use Only) to
the White House on what the policy was. It emphasised it was
designed to exclude Asians from immigrating to Australia,
although "Presumably an American Negro entering Australia would
be classified as of American (US) nationality and of African
race and generally excluded from permanent immigration." In
typical CIA "academic" fashion it traces "restrictive
legislation against colored races" to 1855 with the large scale
importation of Chinese miners in the Australian gold rush of
1855-60. The document was classified for over 40 years.

A Top Secret memo, October 24, 1962, "THE CRISIS USSR/CUBA," is
a summary of the situation right in the middle of the Cuban
missile crisis, with a nuclear war on the brink; "Australian
Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced in parliament his strong
support for the US action against Cuba. Caldwell, the Opposition
leader [Arthur Calwell], stressed the peace theme and the
horrors of war but gave no indication he approved US actions."

In a Top Secret meeting recorded in a CIA Memorandum, November
29, 1963, secretary of state Dean Rusk tells Lyndon Johnson that
"certain foreign countries such as England, Germany, France,
Australia, etc" should be informed in advance of the new Mach 3
SST OXCART spy planes in the event of a leak or crash. In a
subsequent meeting, the head of the CIA meets the president and
this is amusingly, inadvertently recorded as "No One Present".

A 1997 paper issued by the CIA Centre for the Study of
Intelligence titled CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs 1947-90 by
Gerald K. Haines points out "over half of all UFO reports from
the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned
(secret) reconnaissance flights over the US. This led the Air
Force to make misleading and deceptive statements to the public
in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraordinarily
sensitive national security project".

Thus the Australian Government was secretly informed that UFO
sightings were US spy craft, while the US population was kept in
the dark, fuelling UFO conspiracy theories active even today.

The formerly secret study concludes: "Like the JFK assassination
conspiracy theories, the UFO issue will probably not go away
soon, no matter what the Agency does or says. The belief that we
are not alone in the universe is too emotionally appealing and
the distrust of government is too pervasive to make the issue
amenable to traditional scientific studies of rational
explanation and evidence."

Many documents underline the inexorable Cold War drift into
Vietnam. It was to be a long haul. Endless secret studies and
reports over time try and find a way out of Vietnam, strikingly
similar to the debates on Iraq.

By 1966, a secret report outlines security for President
Johnson's visit to South-East Asia. Australia is listed as
basically safe for the president although there is always the
possibility of an assassination attempt by a "psychopath or a

On December 12, 1972, a CIA "Information Intelligence Report"
notes the "sighting of an Australian and an American prisoner
under Viet Cong escort in Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia". The
Australian was a captain captured in his car with Vietnamese
wife and child in Saigon's 6th Precinct. The "possible" names of
the men are blacked out in the released document.

Timor was of ongoing interest to the CIA and made its way to
National Security weekly summaries. One 1976 cable marked
"SECRET: Background on Sydney-Based Organisation For An
Independent East Timor (CIET)", comments: "A number of
Australians who are not Communists but who sincerely want to
provide humanitarian and political support to Fretilin are
associated with the organisation to some degree." It also states
that "Australian officials consider [it] to be a Communist

Documents show the CIA had a covert policy of backing non-
communist left groups in what it called the "Cultural Cold War"
from 1949. Communism spreading in Australia and Indonesia was of
great concern and closely monitored. There are alarmed reports
on the Australian Communist Party and relief that Menzies was
making a crackdown an election issue in the late 1940s. These
kinds of files were classified for 50 years.

After the Cold War, terrorism appears frequently in the files.

An unclassified Directorate of Intelligence report dated
November 3, 2006, titled The Darker Bioweapons Future warns that
"these engineered biological agents could be worse than any
disease known to man".

It notes: "Australian researchers recently inadvertently showed
that the virulence of mousepox virus can be significantly
enhanced by the incorporation of a standard immunoregulator
gene, a technique that could be applied to other naturally
occurring pathogens such as anthrax or smallpox, greatly
increasing their lethality."

Obviously the CIA has had some wild guys shooting up
metaphorical saloons filled with KGB agents in the last century.
They tried to get Fidel Castro to burn his beard off or spike
him with LSD. But the unclassified files also reveal a staunch
intelligentsia in the organisation, who have studied everything
from Ancient UFOs in China to how Stalin bugged Franklin

Perhaps a fortress mentality or zeitgeist of deception has
prevented the CIA publicly exhibiting the huge reservoir of
thinking going on in HQ. You may not agree with some of what
they are thinking but there is a vast amount being studied.

The end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War
triggered a CIA obsession with techniques of mind control,
including unbelievably, farcical and tragic experiments like CIA
employees spiking each other's Cointreau with LSD to see what
would happen. This premature and classified Woodstock started in
1953, but when CIA employee Dr Frank Olson jumped to his death
from a New York Hotel room a short time later, CIA employees
were no longer used as guinea pigs.

This fascination with mind control was an understandable
reaction to World War II: it was part of analysing
totalitarianism. The Nazi version had recently been defeated,
but the new Soviet and Chinese versions were on the rise. If
governments could control minds, this had to be studied.

The CIA lobby contains the inscription: "And the Truth Shall Set
You Free". The problem in deciphering the documents of the world
of spies is that "truth" is written by humans.

Mark Twain wrote: "Truth is more of a stranger than fiction."
Given the fanatical nature of terrorism, one can trust that the
midnight oil is burning in the CIA think tanks right now,
looking for the "truth".

Philippe Mora is a Los Angeles-based writer and film director.

[Thanks to Stuart Miller of http://uforeview.net/ for the lead]

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