In the summer of 2012, President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing the CIA and other U.S. agencies to support rebels in Syria seeking to oust Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad-a nationalist who had allied with Iran and stood up to U.S. proxy Israel.
Costing more than $1 billion, Operation Timber Sycamore evolved into the largest covert operation since the arming of mujahadin fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
U.S. Special Forces under Timber Sycamore again trained Islamic fundamentalists, this time in Jordan, who again carried out a reign of terror.
A voracious consumer of intelligence, Obama's trademark throughout his presidency was to move war into the shadows, a light-footprint approach designed to expand U.S. power covertly.
General Joseph Votel, head of the special operations command (SOCOM) characterized the Obama era as a "golden age for special operations." Green Berets were deployed to 133 countries-70 percent of the world-in 2014 alone.
In a meeting about Afghanistan, Obama told CIA Director Leon Panetta that the CIA would "get everything it wanted."
The New York Times reported that, "in the 67 years since the CIA was founded, few presidents have had as close a bond with their intelligence chiefs as Mr. Obama forged with Mr. [John] Brennan," an architect of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program and former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia.
Obama's worldview meshed so closely with this "unsentimental intel warrior" and "terrorist hunter" that Obama "found himself finishing Brennan's sentences."
An anonymous Cabinet member explained that "presidents tend to be smitten with the instruments of the intelligence community [but] Obama was more smitten than most-this has been an intelligence presidency in a way we haven't seen maybe since Eisenhower."
The consequences could be seen in Obama's boosting funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which promotes regime change in countries defiant of the New World Order, and his drastic expansion of the use of drones-for both surveillance and targeted killings.
Additionally, the Obama administration a) protected longtime CIA assets from prosecution, like Rwandan mass murderer Paul Kagame; b) waged war by proxy in Yemen through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to which it sold nearly $27 billion worth of arms; c) provided weapons to drug cartels in Mexico under the Operation Fast and the Furious while ramping up the War on Drugs through the Plan Mérida; and d) oversaw establishment of a clandestine arms pipeline from Libya to Syria by Ambassador Chris Stevens as part of Operation Timber Sycamore.
CIA Family Connection-Ann Dunham
Obama's record as president should not have been surprising given his family background.
His mother, Ann Dunham, worked for U.S. government agencies and allied NGOs-the Ford Foundation, Asia Foundation, Development Alternatives Inc., and United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-in Indonesia in the 1960s and 1970s as well as Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Thailand.
Ann had training in the Russian language which, with everything combined, made her a "CIA recruiter's wet dream."
The microfinancing projects that she worked on to help turn traditional craft industries into sustainable businesses were designed to "tether third world masses to the mentality of finance capitalism," as Obama's unauthorized biographer put it.
Dunham's boss at USAID in Indonesia, Dr. Donald Gordon Jr., author of Credit for Small Farmers in Developing Countries for USAID (1976), was identified in Julius Mader's 1968 book, Who Who's in the CIA, as a CIA agent.
Another boss, Peter Geithner, was future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's father.
Ann obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degree in anthropology at the University of Hawaii, writing a thesis which argued that Indonesian villagers were dynamic and could produce greater wealth if they had access to market incentives and capital.
Ann went to Indonesia in the mid 1960s at the time that the CIA supported a military coup led by General Suharto against the left-wing regime of Sukarno.
Over two million suspected members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were rounded up and massacred in its aftermath and thousands more were imprisoned-many for decades.
Much of Ann's anthropological and consulting field work was carried out in East and Central Java, which provided a hotbed of support for the PKI-including among members of the Javanese women's association and labor federation.
The CIA at this time employed anthropologists and development workers as undercover agents to gather information on villagers' political affiliations, in which Ann, according to her thesis adviser, Alice Dewey, had taken an interest.
After her arrival in Indonesia, Dunham taught English at the American Embassy in Jakarta, which also housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia and had significant satellite stations in Surabaya in eastern Java and Medan on Sumatra.
Dunham also worked for the Indonesian-American Friendship Institute in Jakarta, a suspected CIA front. One of her closest colleagues, Adi Sasono, had been the leader of the Muslim students during the overthrow of Sukarno.
While Ann's recruitment as a CIA agent has never been openly acknowledged, she was among the few U.S. government employees with the language skills and access to fulfill this role effectively. Development projects in the region were explicitly designed to pry villagers away from the PKI orbit, and Ann's work would have contributed to this.
In March 1965, Ann married an Indonesian Lieutenant Colonel, Lolo Soetoro, whom she met at the University of Hawaii's East-West Center, a "kinder, gentler version of the School of the Americas," according to one writer, and "cover for a training program in which Southeast Asians were brought to Hawaii and trained to go back to create agent nets," as U.S. Information Service (USIS) Director Frank Scotten described it.
The head of the East-West Center in 1965 was Howard P. Jones, U.S. ambassador to Indonesia from 1958 to 1965.
Jones was present in Jakarta as Suharto and his CIA-backed military officers planned the 1965 overthrow of Sukarno, who was seen, along with the PKI as an ally of China.
Jones later defended the coup in The Washington Post, writing that Suharto was merely responding to a communist coup against Sukarno led by Colonel Untung-which was actually set up by the CIA.
A friend of Ann's told her biographer that the marriage to Lolo was arranged, suggesting that Ann may have acted as a female "honeypot" for the CIA whose job was to recruit assets and help them obtain U.S. citizenship.
Hailing from an aristocratic family which lost out in Sukarno's land reform, Soetoro was recalled to active duty in July 1965 before General Suharto's right-wing coup and worked as an army geographer in Java and Papua New Guinea, where the Indonesian army brutally suppressed popular revolts.
Soetoro went on to become an executive at Mobil Oil and its liaison to Suharto, whose economic policies Dunham praised.
CIA Family Connection-Stanley Armour Dunham
Obama's grandfather Stanley Armour Dunham-who helped raise him-served with the 9th Air Force Division in World War II.
He was pictured in a military uniform with no insignia, which suggests an intelligence unit.
Another photo featured his daughter Ann, with the insignia of an elite school in Lebanon on her shirt in the 1950s, where Stanley may have worked with the CIA or another U.S. government agency.
In the early 1960s, Stanley Dunham was part of a group photo taken with Barack Obama, Sr., on his departure from the University of Hawaii.
Obama Sr. had been part of a State Department/CIA exchange financed in part by the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation that brought future African leaders to the U.S. who were being groomed to serve U.S. interests in the Cold War.
The photo would suggest that Dunham was one of the coordinators of the exchange, indicating work for the State Department or CIA.
According to his official biography, Dunham worked as a furniture salesman for the Standard-Grunbaum Furniture Company, which led to his frequent travel and family moves.
Independent researchers believe, however, that this job was a cover for his work as an intelligence agent, who surveilled radical groups, or military or Air Force production facilities, which is what brought him to Hawaii.
Dunham's favorite bar in Honolulu, to which he brought young Barry, perhaps not coincidentally was owned by William J. Lederer, a known CIA agent who wrote the Cold War classic, The Ugly American.
Barack Obama, Sr.
Obama's purported Kenyan-born father, Barack Obama, Sr., had met his mother in 1960 when he was twenty-three and she eighteen in a Russian-language class at the University of Hawaii.
The leader of the opposition Kenyan African Democratic Union (KADU) condemned the exchange Obama was part of for favoring certain tribes-the majority Kikuyu and minority Luo-over other tribes to support the Kenyan African National Union (KANU).
The latter's leader, Tom Mboya, was a favorite of the CIA and opposed the Pan-Africanist currents on the continent. He was the one who selected Obama Sr. for the scholarship.
Obama Sr. returned the favor by going back to Kenya to work for the Kenyan Finance and Transport Ministries and an oil firm in Kenya before dying in a car crash in 1982. Mboya himself was assassinated in 1969.
Far-fetched as it sounds, Obama Sr. may not have been Obama's real father.
Obama Sr. and Ann never lived together or had a real wedding, and Obama Sr. had no contact with his son, except for a short two-week visit to Hawaii when Obama was ten, which may have been for the purpose of securing Obama a spot in the coveted Punahou Prep School.
The photo of Stanley and Obama Sr. is suspicious because what father in his right mind would be pictured smiling with the man who impregnated his teenaged daughter and then abandoned her?
There is evidence to suggest that Obama's real father was Frank Marshall Davis, an African American journalist, sexually libertine poet, political radical and alleged target of Grandpa Dunham's surveillance.
Obama's friend Keith Kakugawa told an interviewer that Ann had had an affair with Davis because she was angry that the family had to move to Hawaii, away from her high-school friends who were all attending the University of Washington.
Ann became pregnant and, to hide the truth, Dunham paid Obama Sr.-whom he knew through the University of Hawaii exchange-to marry Ann, giving him the opportunity to extend his visa to attend Harvard.
Barack eventually found out the truth, writing in his first memoir, Dreams from My Father, that "the visits to Frank's house always left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable as if I were witnessing some complicated, unspoken transaction between the two men, a transaction I couldn't understand."
Obama paid tribute to his actual father in a 1981 poem published in the Occidental College Literary Journal called "Pop," which attributes to him features that resemble Davis, and references "Pop's poetry, written before his mother died."
Barack Sr. was not a poet and, although Stanley dabbled in poetry, Barry called him "gramps" and his mother committed suicide before his eighth birthday.
One other connection between Obama and the U.S. national security state lies with his grandmother Madelyn-whom Obama called Toot.
Though lacking a college degree, Madelyn rose to the rank of Vice President of the Bank of Hawaii-which suggests she had high level personal connections.
In that job, Madelyn handled escrow accounts used to pay American Cold War clients in Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea and elsewhere-including through CIA proprietaries.
The Bank of Hawaii further had dealings with Nugan Hand Bank of Australia through which the CIA funded the constitutional coup d'état against Australian Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
Covering Up the Truth
Obama and his handlers effectively covered up the truth about Obama's family history.
They marketed Obama as a multi-racial candidate whose sensitivity to divergent cultures around the world would help restore America's international reputation following the Bush years.
In his 2020 memoir, A Promised Land, Obama presents his mother as a 1960s rebel and beatnik who partook in civil rights protests, opposed the Vietnam War, married outside her race twice, and decided to devote her career to setting up micro-lending projects for poor women in Indonesia and later Pakistan whose language and culture she absorbed.
Obama claimed that his mother did not know about the countless atrocities that were committed by the Suharto government, which is implausible given her background and the fact that they were reported on by mainstream newspapers at the time-favorably.
Of further significance, Obama underplayed his stepfather Lolo's army rank in his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope.
Regarding his own story, Obama has promoted falsehoods at every step.
Headed by a close friend of former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Orville Freeman, Jr., the former Governor of Minnesota who was involved with Humphrey in the purge of suspected communists in the Farmer-Labor Party, BIC had functioned as a CIA front.
Its sub-specialty was in recruiting left-wing organizers to use as assets, and in infiltrating foreign labor unions with the goal of promoting disruptions in targeted economies.
An activist with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) described BIC as the guys who wrote the Alliance for Progress (Marshall Plan for Latin America): "They're the left-wing of the ruling class."
Besides underplaying his employment with BIC, Obama in his writings omits the fact that his work as a community organizer was for the Gamaliel Foundation, a satellite of his mother's old employer the Ford Foundation, whose underlying aim was to prevent class solidarity and the revival of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s inter-racial poor people's movement.
Obama's timeline for his life story, meanwhile, is often wrong. In A Promised Land, for example, he claims to have spent three years in New York after transferring from Occidental College to Columbia after his sophomore year; however, it is believed that Obama spent the 1981-1982 school year in Pakistan and only studied at Columbia for one year.
Obama: Defender of the U.S. Empire
Obama's abysmal foreign policy record was telegraphed in his three major books where he promotes a defense of U.S. foreign policy while maligning and advancing stereotypes about the 1960s movements and critics of U.S. foreign policy.
In his first memoir, Dreams from My Father (1995), Obama describes 1960s Black Power icon and anti-imperialist Stokely Carmichael as a "madman" and claims to have witnessed two women selling literature outside a lecture hall where he heard Carmichael speak calling each other names like "Stalinist pig" and "reformist bitch."
Obama editorialized that movement activists who clung to the ideals of the 1960s had become completely "removed from the struggles of those they purported to serve" or "just plain crazy."
In his latest memoir, A Promised Land, Obama pats himself on the back for "questioning his own assumptions," which he writes "inoculated me against the revolutionary formulas embraced by a lot of people on the left at the dawn of the Reagan era."
Obama goes on to recount arguments he allegedly had with friends in college who insisted that "the American hegemon was the root of oppression worldwide."
Obama writes that he knew better, having "lived overseas," and would extol the "idea of America, the promise of America."
According to Obama, the argument "would usually end with some smug bastard dropping a newspaper in front of me, its headline trumpeting the U.S. invasion of Grenada."
At the time of that invasion, Obama was actually working for the CIA front corporation, BIC, whose employees were unlikely to have insisted that the American hegemon was the root of worldwide oppression or to have condemned the U.S. invasion of Grenada-which had been based on false pretexts.
Obama's Ties to the Crowns and Pritzkers
One other thing omitted by Obama is his close connection to the Crown and Pritzker families.
The Crown family-whose net worth stands at over $10 billion dollars-has long owned a significant stake in General Dynamics, manufacturer of Trident missiles, Stryker troop carriers, bunker buster bombs, LAV-25 amphibious armored vehicles, Abrams tanks, sniper rifles, and nuclear-powered submarines and naval destroyers.
During Obama's presidency, General Dynamics bought out 11 firms specializing in satellites, geo-spatial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and amassed contracts from 16 intelligence agencies after investing $10 million in annual lobbying.
The company further embraced "every intelligence driven style of warfare," developing small target and identification systems and equipment that could intercept insurgents' cell phone and lab-top communications and computer software used for cyber and psychological warfare.
The Crown family gave at least $86,636 to Obama campaigns between 1990 and 2012 and raised an additional $3,205,233 between 2007 and 2012 while paying $135,000 for Obama's inauguration in 2009.
Susan Crown, Lester's daughter, sat on the board of Northern Trust, which gave Obama a sweetheart loan for purchase of a $1.65 million Georgian revival mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park complete with a thousand-bottle wine cellar.
James Crown, who was the target of a congressional and criminal probe as chairman of the J.P. Morgan Chase & Company's risk committee, was Obama's fundraising chair in his 2004 campaign for the Senate.
The Crowns' investments in Obama paid off -General Dynamics' revenues shot up to over $30 billion in 2016, a three-fold increase from 2000. The Crowns' net worth doubled in the Obama years, causing the family to rise in the Forbes ranking to the 27th richest family in the United States.
The Pritzker family-which made its fortune through ownership of Hyatt hotels-had long ties to the CIA. They were leading depositors in the Bahamas-based Castle Bank, a CIA outfit founded by one of the CIA's mob liaisons, Paul Helliwell, which specialized in off-shoring money.
The Pritzkers were also war profiteers. In 1953, family patriarchs Jay and Robert Pritzker founded the Marmon Group, an industrial holding company which includes the subsidiary Marmon Aerospace and Defense which manufactures wires and cables for aerospace, military vehicles, combat systems, radar installations and naval shipboards.
As the first Black president, Obama is often placed on a pedestal as a moral beacon and compared to such historic figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
These comparisons are off base, as Obama is an opportunistic and often deceitful politician who has shown a lack of moral integrity throughout his career.
Obama's deep ties to and support of the CIA and offshoot agencies like the NED fueled great foreign policy disasters which ravaged numerous countries.
After he left the presidency, Obama worked through his consigliére John Brennan to help conjure up the "Russia Gate" scandal, which revived Cold War-era demonologies, poisoned U.S.-Russia relations and greatly increased the threat of nuclear war.
Media outlets including those on the Left continue to perpetrate many myths about Obama and to assume a defensive posture in the face of right-wing attacks.
While these attacks may be nefarious, they should not preclude sober and critical analysis about America's forty-fourth president and the dark forces behind his rise to power and reign.
Mark Hosenball, "Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret U.S. support for Syrian rebels," Reuters, August 1, 2012, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-syria-obama-order/exclusive-obama-authorizes-secret-u-s-support-for-syrian-rebels-idUSBRE8701OK20120801
See Mark Taliano, Voices From Syria (Montreal: Global Research, 2017). ↑
The size of SOCOM expanded by almost 25 percent during Obama's presidency, increasing from 55,800 people to 69,700. ↑
Leon Panetta, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace (New York: Penguin Press, 2014), 252. ↑
Peter Baker and Mark Mazetti, "Brennan Draws on Bond with Obama in Backing CIA," The New York Times, December 14, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/15/us/politics/cia-chief-and-president-walk-fine-line-.html ↑
Jeremy Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars: Fronting the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press Inc., 2019), 21. Brennan was head of the Analysis Corporation, a CIA contractor firm during the period before the 2008 election when employees of it rifled through Obama's passport file at the State Department. This may have been a major factor behind Brennan's closeness to Obama and promotion.
Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars, 100, 135, 267. In Libya, the Obama administration supported the overthrow of pan-Africanist Muammar Qaddafi, who resisted the establishment of a giant AFRICOM military base in Libya. Libya's first president after Qaddafi's overthrow, Mohammed Magariaf, was recruited by the CIA in the 1980s into a counter-revolutionary force in Chad. The Obama administration also supported General Khalifa Hiftar, who had coerced people into joining the CIA's anti-Qaddafi Contra army in the 1980s by putting them in hot, windowless, crowded rooms with floors ankle-deep in sewage for long periods of time if they did not agree. ↑
Mondo Frazier, The Secret Life of Barack Hussein Obama (New York: Threshold editions, 2010), 113. ↑
Gordon helped barricade the U.S. embassy during the 1965 Suharto coup. Julius Mader, Who's Who in the CIA (Berlin: Julius Mader, 1968), 139. In the latter book he is listed as Dr. Gordon Donald Jr. He is said to have been a U.S. naval veteran who served as special advisor of the Office of Analysis and Research for the Soviet Bloc in the Department of State and in Djakarta and Lahore, where Dunham followed him. ↑
The section on Ann Dunham is drawn from Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars; Wayne Madsen, The Manufacturing of a President (self-published, 2012); Webster Tarpley, Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography (Joshua Tree, CA: Progressive Press, 2008). For more on Dunham's background, see also Janny Scott, A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother (New York: Penguin Books, 2011). ↑
Wayne Madsen, "The Story of Obama: All in the Company," Wayne Madsen Report, August 18, 2010, https://eslkevin.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/43457/ ↑
After Barack was born, Ann moved to Washington State for a period while Barack Obama Sr. completed his studies at the University of Hawaii before going to Harvard. ↑
Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995); discussed in Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars, ch. 2. ↑
After the bank's collapse, its founder, Frank Nugan, was shot to death near Sydney. Nugan Hand had been used to launder CIA drug money at the end of the Indochina War. ↑
Barack Obama, A Promised Land (New York: Crown Publishers, 2020), 6, 7. Ann's mentor at the University of Hawaii, Alice Dewey, described her as a "garden variety democrat" and not a leftist radical. There is no evidence of her having attended civil rights or anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, which were rare when Ann was a student in the early 1960s. ↑
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Crown, 2006). Obama claimed that the "story of the coup and purge was slow to appear in American newspapers," which was not the case.↑
Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars, 20, 21, 37, 38. Henry Crown, Lester's father, established Material Services Corporation (MSC), which was one of the government's largest World War II contractors but was sued for over $1 million by the Office of Price Administration for price gouging. In 1962, its successor, General Dynamics, in which Crown remained the largest investor, was target of a major influence-peddling investigation by the Senate Government Operations Committee after being awarded a $7 billion Pentagon contract for TFX fighter bombers (later F-111) that was quashed after John F. Kennedy's assassination. In the 1970s, Crown was implicated in a major bribery scandal in the state of Illinois which led to the imprisonment of some state legislators. In the 1980s, the firm was fined over $650,000 for paying bribes to Admiral Hyman Rickover, the Director of Naval Submarine programs, over a 16-year period. ↑
Kuzmarov, Obama's Unending Wars, 20; Bryan Schatz, "The Obama years Have Been Very Good to America's Weapons Makers," Mother Jones, March/April 2016, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/obama-international-arms-weapons-deals/. ↑