September 20-23, 2013 — More evidence surfaces on Obama’s first employer’s close links to CIA
Recently declassified CIA documents provide further insight into the close links between President Obama’s first employer, New York-based Business International Corporation BIC), and the Central Intelligence Agency. Obama has consistently downplayed his employment with the firm and he has never acknowledged its CIA ties.
The newly-released documents describe how intelligence gathered by BIC, including that which appeared
Although Obama was reportedly associated with the Marxist Club at Occidental College in Los Angeles between 1979 and 80, he was, more than likely, spying on the organization for the U.S. government. After graduating from Columbia University, Obama joined BIC, a known CIA front, which not only maintained close relations with Marxist and left-wing leaders around the globe — leaders like Fidel Castro and Josip Tito — but also was a prime source of information for the right-wing and CIA-connected Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A November-December 1981 article in Hoover’s academic journal Problems of Communism cites BIC as a major source in supporting the South Korean government of General Chun Doo-hwan, who took over in a coup in December 1979 after President Park Chung-hee was assassinated by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). Other KCIA agents assassinated other members of Park’s personal staff. The coup was believed to have been ordered by the U.S. CIA after Park announced that he was going to run for another term of office.
Today, Obama maintains close relations with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and views her as an important ally to ram through a U.S. leadership role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trading bloc that is to include the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru, and South Korea.
BIC was also heavily involved in the CIA’s use of such international financial organizations as the World Bank to advance Langley’s plans. BIC’s reports on Guatemala were used by the CIA to convince the Reagan administration to pressure the democratically-elected but right-wing Guatemalan President, General Fernando Romeo Lucas García, to improve the economy for U.S. investment.
The April 22, 1981 issue of BIC’s Business Latin America, a publication for which Obama would later write, sounded the economic alarm bells for Langley: “Guatemala’s once-robust economy is reflecting the effects of domestic and regional troubles. Indicators point to depressed growth, rising unemployment and a deteriorating balance-of-payments position.” BIC’s report further stated: “No new investments of any significance have taken place in the past 12 months . . . Income from tourism totaled $130 million in 1979 but fell to half that last year . . . Occupancy in hotels (mostly U.S.-owned) was only at 55 % capacity in 1980, compared with 85% percent in 1979, and so far in 1981 is off about 45%.”
BIC also warned that Guatemala’s investment problems peaked as Texaco and Amoco discovered oil in northeastern Guatemala near Mexico’s Reforma fields in Campeche. BIC warned that there were no prospects for improvement in Guatemala’s investment scene. BIC cited as the major reason for Guatemala’s financial problems “the poor political climate” and “political violence” which “continued at a frightening level.” Of course, what BIC failed to mention was that the political violence was caused by the repression of the Lucas Garcia regime, which was propped up with military and security trainers and hardware from the United States and Israel.
The result of BIC’s warnings resulted in Secretary of State Alexander Haig dispatching the old CIA “fixer,” retired General Vernon Walters, to Guatemala by agreeing to bypass congressional controls on sending military hardware to human rights violators by reclassifying 50 2.5-ton trucks and 100 jeeps to Guatemala as being for “regional security” and needed to boost U.S. vehicle sales abroad.
The Lucas Romero regime could not improve the economy and on March 23, 1982, General Efrain Rios Montt, who would become close to Reagan, overthrew the government in a military coup, one that had Langley’s fingerprints all over it.
For the first time, a SECRET CIA document, titled “Mexico: The Foreign Investment Issue,” dated September 1986, has been discovered that directly references a BIC report, Investing, Licensing, and Training May 1985. The BIC report was written while Obama edited Financing Foreign Operations and write for Business International Money Report. The discovery of the Business International reference in a SECRET CIA report, itself unusual for a reference from outside the agency, is the closest link discovered between the agency and the CIA other than a 1977 New York Times quote from Elliott Haynes, the son of Business International founder Eldridge Haynes, that the company had been used to provide the CIA with non-official cover agents working as journalists abroad.
The author of the BIC report is redacted as is normally the case with the identification of CIA internal and some external sources who are CIA employees. The author in question would have worked at BIC during the same time frame that Barack Obama was working on similar economic and international financial reports.
The CIA also appears to have helped deep six a potential competitor to BIC, International Reporting Information Systems, Inc. (IRIS) of Fairfax, Virginia, a company that maintained offices in Crystal City, Virginia amid a center of the U.S. military-intelligence complex. Funded by mostly European capital, IRIS planned to automate the collection of business intelligence using a Burroughs computer mainframe.
On IRIS’s international advisory committee were such luminaries as former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and former Colombian Finance Minister Rodrigo Botero.
Perhaps ahead of its time but more likely as a result of CIA pressure, IRIS, conveniently headed by former CIA officer Barry Kelly, collapsed. IRIS’s already well-established competitor, BIC, could breathe easier and not have to fear European involvement in the business of private intelligence gathering.
The April 13, 1983 Washington Post reported: “Business International . . . became quite apprehensive at the thought of its own successful formula — worldwide reporting combined with customized services — being adapted and improved with the help of computer technology.”
Left holding the financial bag after IRIS’s collapse were its major investors: the Swedish insurance giant Skandia, Norwegian shipping tycoon Fred Olsen, the Henry Ansbacher Bank of London (sold in 2004 to the Qatar National Bank), the London-based insurance firm Seascope, and the Prince of Liechtenstein.
Business International was bought by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 1986, which was known to be linked to Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI-6.
CIA files also reveal that Obama’s alma mater, Occidental College, was among a handful of academic institutions that responded favorably in 1980 (Obama’s second year at the college) to a CIA inquiry about their willingness to expand their intelligence curricula by offering “whole intelligence courses.” Occidental’s William Brewer, a professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental who previously served in the U.S. Foreign Service in Beirut, Basra, Jeddah, Damascus, Kuwait, Kabul and was ambassador to Mauritius and Sudan. Brewer took up his position at Occidental in 1978, a year before Obama began his studies there and at a time when the CIA decided the college was a valuable recruiting campus.
Occidental was joined in responding favorably to the CIA request for expanded intelligence studies, a project favored by retired CIA official Ray S. Cline, by Harvard, Georgetown, Brown, University of Louisville, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt, the U.S. Air Force Academy, San Francisco State, Ohio University, Hobart and Smith, Canisius College, Rutgers, and Western Washington University.