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Bait Terakhir Ramalan Jayabaya December 3, 2010

Posted by lapsippipm in Read n Learn.
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140.

polahe wong Jawa kaya gabah diinteri
endi sing bener endi sing sejati

para tapa padha ora wani
padha wedi ngajarake piwulang adi
salah-salah anemani pati

141.
banjir bandang ana ngendi-endi
gunung njeblug tan anjarwani, tan angimpeni

gehtinge kepathi-pati marang pandhita kang oleh pati geni
marga wedi kapiyak wadine sapa sira sing sayekti

142.
pancen wolak-waliking jaman
amenangi jaman edan

ora edan ora kumanan
sing waras padha nggagas
wong tani padha ditaleni
wong dora padha ura-ura
beja-bejane sing lali,
isih beja kang eling lan waspadha

143.
ratu ora netepi janji
musna kuwasa lan prabawane

akeh omah ndhuwur kuda
wong padha mangan wong
kayu gligan lan wesi hiya padha doyan
dirasa enak kaya roti bolu
yen wengi padha ora bisa turu

144.
sing edan padha bisa dandan
sing ambangkang padha bisa

nggalang omah gedong magrong-magrong

145.
wong dagang barang sangsaya laris, bandhane ludes
akeh wong mati kaliren gisining panganan
akeh wong nyekel bendha ning uriping sengsara

146.
wong waras lan adil uripe ngenes lan kepencil
sing ora abisa maling digethingi

sing pinter duraka dadi kanca
wong bener sangsaya thenger-thenger
wong salah sangsaya bungah
akeh bandha musna tan karuan larine
akeh pangkat lan drajat padha minggat tan karuan sebabe

147.
bumi sangsaya suwe sangsaya mengkeret
sakilan bumi dipajeki

wong wadon nganggo panganggo lanang
iku pertandhane yen bakal nemoni
wolak-walike zaman

148.
akeh wong janji ora ditepati
akeh wong nglanggar sumpahe dhewe

manungsa padha seneng ngalap,
tan anindakake hukuming Allah
barang jahat diangkat-angkat
barang suci dibenci

149.
akeh wong ngutamakake royal
lali kamanungsane, lali kebecikane

lali sanak lali kadang
akeh bapa lali anak
akeh anak mundhung biyung
sedulur padha cidra
keluarga padha curiga
kanca dadi mungsuh
manungsa lali asale

150.
ukuman ratu ora adil
akeh pangkat jahat jahil

kelakuan padha ganjil
sing apik padha kepencil
akarya apik manungsa isin
luwih utama ngapusi

151.
wanita nglamar pria
isih bayi padha mbayi

sing pria padha ngasorake drajate dhewe

Bait 152 sampai dengan 156 tidak ada (hilang dan rusak)

157.
wong golek pangan pindha gabah den interi
sing kebat kliwat, sing kasep kepleset

sing gedhe rame, gawe sing cilik keceklik
sing anggak ketenggak, sing wedi padha mati
nanging sing ngawur padha makmur
sing ngati-ati padha sambat kepati-pati

158.
cina alang-alang keplantrang dibandhem nggendring
melu Jawa sing padha eling

sing tan eling miling-miling
mlayu-mlayu kaya maling kena tuding
eling mulih padha manjing
akeh wong injir, akeh centhil
sing eman ora keduman
sing keduman ora eman

159.
selet-selete yen mbesuk ngancik tutuping tahun
sinungkalan dewa wolu, ngasta manggalaning ratu

bakal ana dewa ngejawantah
apengawak manungsa
apasurya padha bethara Kresna
awatak Baladewa
agegaman trisula wedha
jinejer wolak-waliking zaman
wong nyilih mbalekake,
wong utang mbayar
utang nyawa bayar nyawa
utang wirang nyaur wirang

160.
sadurunge ana tetenger lintang kemukus lawa
ngalu-ngalu tumanja ana kidul wetan bener

lawase pitung bengi,
parak esuk bener ilange
bethara surya njumedhul
bebarengan sing wis mungkur prihatine manungsa kelantur-lantur
iku tandane putra Bethara Indra wus katon
tumeka ing arcapada ambebantu wong Jawa

161.
dunungane ana sikil redi Lawu sisih wetan
wetane bengawan banyu

andhedukuh pindha Raden Gatotkaca
arupa pagupon dara tundha tiga
kaya manungsa angleledha

162.
akeh wong dicakot lemut mati
akeh wong dicakot semut sirna

akeh swara aneh tanpa rupa
bala prewangan makhluk halus padha baris, pada rebut benere garis
tan kasat mata, tan arupa
sing madhegani putrane Bethara Indra
agegaman trisula wedha
momongane padha dadi nayaka perang
perange tanpa bala
sakti mandraguna tanpa aji-aji

163.
apeparap pangeraning prang
tan pokro anggoning nyandhang

ning iya bisa nyembadani ruwet rentenging wong sakpirang-pirang
sing padha nyembah reca ndhaplang,
cina eling seh seh kalih pinaringan sabda hiya gidrang-gidrang

164.
putra kinasih swargi kang jumeneng ing gunung Lawu
hiya yayi bethara mukti, hiya krisna, hiya herumukti

mumpuni sakabehing laku
nugel tanah Jawa kaping pindho
ngerahake jin setan
kumara prewangan, para lelembut ke bawah perintah saeko proyo
kinen ambantu manungso Jawa padha asesanti trisula weda
landhepe triniji suci
bener, jejeg, jujur
kadherekake Sabdopalon lan Noyogenggong

165.
pendhak Sura nguntapa kumara
kang wus katon nembus dosane

kadhepake ngarsaning sang kuasa
isih timur kaceluk wong tuwa
paringane Gatotkaca sayuta

166.
idune idu geni
sabdane malati

sing mbregendhul mesti mati
ora tuwo, enom padha dene bayi
wong ora ndayani nyuwun apa bae mesthi sembada
garis sabda ora gentalan dina,
beja-bejane sing yakin lan tuhu setya sabdanira
tan karsa sinuyudan wong sak tanah Jawa
nanging inung pilih-pilih sapa

167.
waskita pindha dewa
bisa nyumurupi lahire mbahira, buyutira, canggahira

pindha lahir bareng sadina
ora bisa diapusi marga bisa maca ati
wasis, wegig, waskita,
ngerti sakdurunge winarah
bisa pirsa mbah-mbahira
angawuningani jantraning zaman Jawa
ngerti garise siji-sijining umat
Tan kewran sasuruping zaman

168.
mula den upadinen sinatriya iku
wus tan abapa, tan bibi, lola

awus aputus weda Jawa
mung angandelake trisula
landheping trisula pucuk
gegawe pati utawa utang nyawa
sing tengah sirik gawe kapitunaning liyan
sing pinggir-pinggir tolak colong njupuk winanda

169.
sirik den wenehi
ati malati bisa kesiku

senenge anggodha anjejaluk cara nistha
ngertiyo yen iku coba
aja kaino
ana beja-bejane sing den pundhuti
ateges jantrane kaemong sira sebrayat

170.
ing ngarsa Begawan
dudu pandhita sinebut pandhita

dudu dewa sinebut dewa
kaya dene manungsa
dudu seje daya kajawaake kanti jlentreh
gawang-gawang terang ndrandhang

171.
aja gumun, aja ngungun
hiya iku putrane Bethara Indra

kang pambayun tur isih kuwasa nundhung setan
tumurune tirta brajamusti pisah kaya ngundhuh
hiya siji iki kang bisa paring pituduh
marang jarwane jangka kalaningsun
tan kena den apusi
marga bisa manjing jroning ati
ana manungso kaiden ketemu
uga ana jalma sing durung mangsane
aja sirik aja gela
iku dudu wektunira
nganggo simbol ratu tanpa makutha
mula sing menangi enggala den leluri
aja kongsi zaman kendhata madhepa den marikelu
beja-bejane anak putu

172.
iki dalan kanggo sing eling lan waspada
ing zaman kalabendu Jawa

aja nglarang dalem ngleluri wong apengawak dewa
cures ludhes saka braja jelma kumara
aja-aja kleru pandhita samusana
larinen pandhita asenjata trisula wedha
iku hiya pinaringaning dewa

173.
nglurug tanpa bala
yen menang tan ngasorake liyan

para kawula padha suka-suka
marga adiling pangeran wus teka
ratune nyembah kawula
angagem trisula wedha
para pandhita hiya padha muja
hiya iku momongane kaki Sabdopalon
sing wis adu wirang nanging kondhang
genaha kacetha kanthi njingglang
nora ana wong ngresula kurang
hiya iku tandane kalabendu wis minger
centi wektu jejering kalamukti
andayani indering jagad raya
padha asung bhekti

(sources: http://arisrenungan.blogspot.com/2010/09/bait-terakhir-ramalan-jayabaya.html)

Bencana dan Tanda-tanda Zaman October 31, 2010

Posted by lapsippipm in Read n Learn.
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David Efendi

Salah satu tujuan menulis dan mengumpulkan beberapa ciri dan tanda gejala-gejala alam yang sering melanda negeri ‘zamrud bencana’ atau ‘negeri 1001 bencana’ adalah hasrat ingin berbagi lantaran saya sendiri tidak berkuasa atas tanda-tanda alam yang makin sulit diprediksi dan kecanggihan ilmu pengetahuan dan tekhnologi juga belum mampu memberikan gambaran dan kemungkinan yang pasti tentang tanda-tanda berakhirnya zaman dengan diawali berbagai bencana alam seluruh dunia 10 tahun terakhir ini. Ketika gempa mengguncang Yogyakarta pada 26 Mei 2006 yang lalu, saya sendiri tidak mengerti apa yang menjadi pertanda, dan ratusan ribu orang mungkin sama dengan kemampuan saya yang tidak becus membaca alam.

 

Misi kedua, dalam menulis ini adalah ingin mendapatkan kepastian tentang pertanda-pertanda alam yang akan saya cantumkan di catatan ini, apakah masih berlaku, sudah tidak berlaku sama sekali dan bagaimana ilmu pengetahuan baru apakah sudah menemukan gejala pertanda akan datangnya bencana baik gempa, tsunami, gunung meletus, Banjir, dan sebagainya. Berikut ini adalah sekumpulan pengetahuan yang terserak:

Tanda-tanda akan terjadi Gunung Merapi akan meletus:

  1. Terjadinya gempa lokal biasanya disebut gempa vulkanik. Kalau muncul gempa di daerah gunung berapi, warga pun segera waspada
  2. Binatang yang turun dari gunung. Binatang pertama yang akan turun burung, diikuti monyet, harimau dan landak. Jika landak sudah turun gunung segera meletus
  3. Meningkatnya suhu di sekitar daerah gunung berapi. Semakin dekat cairan itu menunju kawah gunung, suhu di sekitarnya pun akan berubah jadi lebih panas.
  4. Mata air di sekitar gunung akan mongering. Lihat tanda gunung akan meletus poin ketiga.
  5. Tumbuh-tumbuhan atau tanaman di wilayah gunung berapi akan layu dan mati kering.
  6. Hujan abu vulkanik (bisa setelah letusan atau antar letusan)

Tanda-tanda akan terjadi Gempa Bumi:

  1. Di langit ada awan yang berbentuk seperti angin tornado/seperti pohon/seperti batang, bentuknya berdiri, itu adalah awan gempa yang biasanya muncul sebelum gempa terjadi.
  2. Lampu neon tetap menyala redup/remang-remang biarpun tak ada aliran arus listrik.
  3. Air tanah tiba-tiba menjadi surut tidak seperti biasanya.
  4. Hewan-hewan seperti “menghilang”, lari atau bertingkah laku aneh/gelisah. Insting hewan biasanya tajam dan hewan bisa merasakan gelombang elektromagnetis.

Tanda-tanda akan terjadi Tsunami:

  1. Jika terdengar suara abnormal setelah terjadinya gempa. Seperti bunyi helikopter, suara drum band, serta desingan roket.
  2. Sesaat sebelum tsunami datang terjadi angin dengan hawa agak dingin bercampur dengan bau garam laut yang cukup kuat, yang kemungkinan besar akibat tolakan air laut di lepas pantai
  3. Air laut yang surut secara tiba-tiba.
  4. Dari kejauhan tampak gelombang putih dan suara gemuruh yang sangat keras.
  5. Binatang keluar dari tanah (ular), dan sebagian berlari menuju tempat yang lebih tinggi atau menjauh dari arah laut.
  6. Masuknya air ke saluran sungai secara mendadak dari arah laut.
  7. Ada tinkah laku hewan (Gajah, anjing, burung,…)yang tidak biasa pada umumnya. (kita mesti sensitive)

Sebagai catatan menurut ahli bahwa tsunami terjadi jika : Gempa besar dengan kekuatan gempa > 6.3 SR, lokasi pusat gempa di laut, kedalaman dangkal < 40 Km, terjadi deformasi vertikal dasar laut. Tsunami di Indonesia pada umumnya adalah tsunami lokal, dimana waktu antara terjadinya gempa bumi dan datangnya gelombang tsunami antara 20 s/d 30 menit.

Tanda-tanda akan terjadinya banjir bandang:

  1. Curah hujan di bawah normal dengan pola hujan berintensitas tinggi dan durasi singkat serta kemampuan intersepsi tajuk dan infiltrasi tanah terbatas merupakan tanda-tandanya. Kondisi ini sering tidak disadari karena El Nino sering kali dihubungkan dengan kekeringan, akibatnya antisipasi terjadinya banjir tidak dilakukan secara proporsional.
  2. Lainnya?

Hewan-hewan lebih dekat dengan alam daripada kebanyakan manusia. Alam merupakan tempat tinggal para hewan sejak awal mereka ada di bumi. Bahkan bila hewan dijadikan binatang peliharaan dan tinggal di rumah bersama-sama manusia, insting hewan tak berkurang. Mereka masih memiliki koneksi erat dengan alam.

Seperti yang sudah sering kita saksikan dan hadapi, banyak sekali bencana alam terjadi belakangan ini. Bahkan bisa lebih banyak lagi akibat kerusakan-kerusakan yang dibuat sendiri oleh manusia. Banjir, tanah longsor, gempa bumi, tsunami, badai, topan semuanya memakan banyak korban jiwa dan materi. Pengalaman membuktikan bahwa hewan-hewan dapat mendeteksi dini bencana alam dan membuat mereka selamat dari bencana. Kita sebagai manusia dapat memperhatikan hubungan erat antara hewan dengan alam yang nantinyapun akan dapat membantu kita mengurangi resiko dari bencana alam, termasuk kemungkinan menyelamatkan nyawa kita.

Apakah ini pertanda zaman berakhir? bumi sudah tua dan kehidupan sudah saatnya diperbarui dengan cara tuhan? kita belum tahu makanya kita berusaha belajar dan mencari tahu apa kehendak tuhan dan alamnya.

Di atas merupakan usaha penulis mengumpulkan dari berbagai sumber dan penulis tidak tahu pasti apakah pertanda tersebut harus direvisi, jika ya yang mana kira-kira yang sudah tidak menjadi gejala sehingga public mengetahui yang mendekati benar. Jika tidak, maka kita akan kembali mencari ‘tuhan’, atau kembali ke masa lalu dengan menghidupkan kembali kearifan lokal, budaya lokal, dan sebagainya yang ramah dan bersahabat dengan alam sehingga alam pun terkembang untuk kebahagiaan manusia dan bukan bencana.

 

Salam

Oct 2020

Gerakan Iqro’ Melawan Kebodohan October 16, 2010

Posted by lapsippipm in Read n Learn.
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David Efendi, Ketua PIP PP IPM 2006-2008

”Aku membaca maka aku ada,”…(anonym)

“Membaca adalah ekspresi protes terhadap kebodohan”

bagiku tidak mau membaca adalah kekalahan menghadapi takdir(penulis)

Sudah 60 tahun bangsa ini katanya merdeka namun barangkali satu hal yang sangat menggelisaaahkan adalah tidak semua rakyat bisa membaca, menikmati buku apalagi berminat membaca buku. Bukan karena apa-apa atau bodoh akan tetapi sebagain besar anak bangsa ini amsih sibuk memikirkan bagaimana hari ini bisa hidup, dapaur bisa ngepul itu saja. Negara harisnya sadar betul bukannya memalsukan data penduduk miskin atau pelajar miskin.

Tragedy atau bencana alam muda disadari orang akan tetapi tragedy nol baca buku masyarakat adalah bencana yang luar bisaaa yang tak pernah disadari karena dampaknya tidak langsung dan jangka panjang. Pembanguna ekonomi dengan cara memberikan bantuan cuma-cuma, raskin atau BOS sama sekali bukan cara yang efektif menyelesaikan masalah. Menjadikan bangsa ini terpelajar, gemar membaca dan bekerja keras adalah hal yang vital. Pembangunan infrastruktur sekolah dan lembaga pendidikan lainnya harus ditopang dengan penganggaran yang besar oleh negara sebagaimana konstitusi mengatur 20% APBN untuk pendidikan. Ternyata masih jauh pangang dari api sehingga upaya yang lebih serius harus dilakukan negara sebagai wujud tanggung jawab mengurus warganya hari ini, dan seterusnya bukan untuk waktu satu dua bulan saja.

Konon orang bisa mencapai puncak kesuksesan dari sebuah mimpi, konon banyak orang berhasil mencapai keinginan dengan melakukan hal-hal yang kecil, secara terus menerus, konon banyak orang dimuka bumi terinspirasi bahwa batu cadas akan hancur dengan tetesan air secara terus menerus. Hal  ini membuktikan samangat perlawanan bahwa kebodohan bukanlah takdir an sich, bahwa kekalahan adalah bukan akhir, dan memang kegagalan harus diatasi. Beberapa kata di atas mengingatkan betapa penting sebuah motivasi diri perlu dibangun, betapa hebat kekuatan istiqomah dalam sebuah gerakan dan tentu semangat kolektifitas yang terbangun secara kuat akan menghasilkan sesuatu yang jauh lebih hebat. Believe it or not!!mari belajar dari mimpi.

Mimpi itu adalah : terwujudnya sebuah masyarakat yang menjadikan membaca sebagai tradisi yang mulia, menjadikan buku sebagai asset kekayaan, dan menjadikan ilmu pengetahuan sebagai sarana beramal sholeh. Mimpi itu dimulai dari terbangungunya sarana perpustakaan komunitas, pelajar cerdas dan kritis dalam membaca, masyarakat mempunyai apresiasi yang tinggi terhadap ilmu pengetahuan dan dunia bacaan. Tekun menulis dan produktif dalam membuat buku untuk sebuah pengkajian ilmu pengetahuan, berkontribusi atas berbagai inovasi dan science. Mimpi ini kapan akan terwujud. Seheruanys kita semua akan mewujudkan mimpi yang sempurna ini.

Tragedi Nol buku akan dicarikan lawan. IRM sudah punya konsep gerakan iqro yang bagus dan strategis sebagai gerakan yang berbasisikan pelajar. Gerakan iqro ini bertujuan sangat mulia yaitu mewujudkan masyarakatr bertrdisikan ilmu dan gemar membaca. Intinya seperti itu tinggal bagaimana teknis dilapangan. Tentunya harus melawan dengan berbagai macam cara juga melibatkan komponen masyarakat secar menyeluruh. Dari sekolah, masyarakat, pedagang, penerbitan dan yang terpenting adalah poemrintah memberikan bantuan financial sebagai kontribusi untuk mencerdesakan kehidupan bangsa. Belajar dari Jepang, belajar ilmu tidak harus banyak tapi bagaimana meguasai yang sedikit tapi benar-benar ahli. Ni penring sebab satu persoalan kurikulum adalah terlalu m,enindas dan memberatkan peserta didik.

Gerakan iqro juga diharapkan tumbuh dalam suasana alamiah, kerakyatan dan mulai dari kantung-kantung kecil di pelosok desa. Sementara yang di kota harus rela mentransfer perpustakaan sampai ke level bawah. Inilah simbiosis yang mutyualisme antara koota dan desa dengan segala kekuarangan dan kelebihannya. Penerbitan harus mengalokasikan bukunya untuk disalurkan ke desa dan pelosok kampong agar mudaaah dibaca.

Maaf, saya harus mundur sedikit ke belakang. Bahwa catatan ini adalah kegelisahan saya atas potret kesadaran iqro di kalangan pelajar Muhamamdiyah sangat buram, kebudayaan membaca diletakkan begitu rendah dan sangat buruk. Kemana gerakan aka dibawah jika tiada media jika tanpa skill keilmuwan yang bercahaya. Banyak hal yang dijadikan alas an kenapa seidkit sekali bacaan yang dimakan setiap tahunnya. Berapa buku yang dibaca selama setahun?kita?

Dari permenungan saya, ada beberapa hal yang layak dijadikan refleksi bagi gerakan kesadaran iqro di tubuh Ikatan pelajar Muhammadiyah antara lain; Pertama, Kesadaran yang belum terbangun. Kesadaran harus tumbuh dan ikhtiar harus dilakukan. Sebaiknya kita menghargai dunia ide, dan kesadaran seseorang itu sejak dalam alam fikiran. Kesadaran membaca, kesadaran memperjuangkan nilai-nilai keilmuwan harus kuat menancap dalam alam fikiran untuk sebuah perubahan. Kedua, ketidak tersediaan sumber daya yang potensial. Sering kali the right man in the wrong place. Nilai-nilai kompetensi tidak menjadi landasan untuk menempatkan sebuah pengegerak dalam program gerakan Iqro’. Hal ini sangat melemahkan daya ubah program bahkan cenderung melemahkan. Ketiga, perlunya dukungan kongkrit yang multi stake holder. Membangun kekuatan aliansi untuk melawan dominasi budaya western dan akan melumpuhkan sendi-sendi intelektual karena masyarakat sudah dihingapi oleh virus kapitalisme yang anti Kemanusiaan dan moralitas, masyarakat yang sedang didera oleh hantu konsumtivisme yang mematikan pikiran dan logika. Pelajar-pelajar hanya menjadi konsumen, obyek pasar sebuah produk dan lembaga industrialis. Banyak media yang menawarkan iklan, dan menjadikan media sebagai ajang mencari keuntungan…ke depan jurnalisme ideologis memang berat karena yang dihadapai adalah setan kapitalisme dan setan selalu hebat dalam hal tipu menipu dan memperdayai.

Keempat, Perlunya kebaradaan counter media pop. Keberadaan website IRM dan majalah kuntum yang menjai corong utama mungkin belum sepenhnya maksimal. Banyak wilayah yang tidak tahu, aplaagi daerah yang jauh. Hal ini harusnya bisa disiasati dengan memanfaatkan berbaagai forum untuk komuniaksi dan korespondensi. Ketika turba, coba dimaksimalkan, minimal bawa buku, majalah, dan hendaknya mau bersusah-susah untuk menemui basis massa, memberikan motivasi dan aksi nyata, hibah buku juga bisa dilakukan oleh pribadi PP IRM. Tentu akan membanggakan jika kita masing-masing punya perpustakaan komunitas binaan di wilayah atau daerah. Media online sudah menjadi keniscayaan yang wajib, dan inilah satu media penting yang harus dimiliki oleh dunia pergerakan, untuk menjangkau ruang dan waktu. Pola hidup organisasi yang boros bisa dihemat secara signifikan karena penemuan tekhnologi internet atau instanst massaging. Dan kita sedang berada di sebuah dunia yang online…banyak hal yang konvensional yang harusnya sudah kita tinggalkan. Kita bisa melejitkan kemampuan organisasi kita dengan tekhnologi mutakhir.

Ini hanya catatan kegelisahan, semoga anda juga gelisah dan kita semua berusaha menjawab kegelisahan dan berusaha mewujudkan mimpi yang kita punya. Salam.

“Membaca buku adalah membaca diri sendiri, membaca buku adalah membuka hati untuk menemukan jalan-jalan rahasia menuju kebesaran Ilahi, membaca buku yang bermanfaat berarti merayakan kehidupan untuk belajar mensyukuri setiap percik nikmat-NYA”

Andrea Hirata, penulis Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi

Yogyakarta, 14 Mei2008

David Efendi,

Ketua PImpinan Pusat Ikatan Pelajar Muhammadiyah.

Melawan Kapitalisme Global di Papua October 10, 2010

Posted by lapsippipm in Read n Learn.
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David Atlee Phillips,

Clay Shaw

and Freeport Sulphur

by Lisa Pease

If the CIA has taken over one large corporation, . then how many others, perhaps smaller and less likely to be noticed, might it already have taken over? At this moment just how many American corporations are being used at home and abroad to carry out the CIA’s nefarious schemes?”

– Writer and editor Kirkpatrick Sale, referring to the Hughes Corporation, in a presentation for the Conference on the CIA and World Peace held at Yale University on April 5, 1975, published in Uncloaking the CIA, Howard Frazier, ed. (NY: The Free Press, 1978)

During my recent interview of MR. JAMES J. PLAINE of Houston, Texas, MR. PLAINE informed me that he had been contacted by a MR. WHITE of Freeport Sulphur in regards to a possible assassination plan for Fidel Castro.- New Orleans District Attorney (NODA) Memo from Andrew Sciambra to Jim Garrison, dated 10/9/68
A memo in the GUY BANISTER file indicates that there is information which reports that DICK WHITE, a high official of Freeport Sulphur, and CLAY SHAW were flown to Cuba probably taking off from the Harvey Canal area in a Freeport Sulphur plane piloted by DAVE FERRIE. The purpose of this trip was to set up import of Cuba’s nickel ore to a Canadian front corporation which would in turn ship to the Braithwaite nickel plant. The plant was built by the U.S. Government at a cost of about one million dollars. – New Orleans District Attorney (NODA) Memo from Sciambra to Garrison, dated 10/9/68
One man whose name we first thought to be WHITE apparently is WIGHT, Vice President of Freeport Sulphur who reputedly made the flight. Currently an effort is being made to locate WIGHT, who lives in New York. Despite the fact that the original source of this information was JULES RICCO KIMBLE, a man with a record, this lead keeps growing stronger. From the very outset it had been reported that the flight had something to do with the import of nickle following the loss of the original import supply from Cuba. Recent information developed on WIGHT in a separate memo indicated that he is now on the Board of Directors of the Freeport Nickel Company, a subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur. – NODA Clay Shaw Lead File note, no date
Ken Elliot then changed the subject and stated that he has a lot of information that he could give to the D.A. but that unless he was assured that he would not be publicly brought into the investigation or be served, he would not come forward. He stated as an example that SHAW and two other persons either purchased or attempted to purchase a nickel ore plant in Braithwaite, Louisiana, after the company was closed because of broken trade relations with Cuba. At this time DAVID FERRIE flew SHAW and his two partners to Canada in an attempt to receive the ore from Cuba but through Canada. – NODA Memo from Sal Scalia to Garrison, 6/27/67
Cogswell says the Bishop sketch resembles the former president of a Moa Bay subsidiary, Freeport Sulphur of New Orleans. Cogswell doesn’t remember the name of that officer, but says he knew he had very powerful connections and came from Texas. – HSCA Outside Contact Report dated 7/6/78, Gaeton Fonzi’s interview of James J. Cogswell III.
Mr. Phillips stated that he “probably” did have some contacts with someone or some persons associated with the Moa Bay Mining Company, but he did not recall any specific names. He also “must have” had some contact with Freeport Sulphur people. “I was fairly socially active at the time and the name of the company is familiar to me.” – HSCA notes from an HSCA interview with David Atlee Phillips, dated 8/24/78.

The quotes at left [above] should raise some serious eyebrows. Could an American-based multinational corporation such as Freeport Sulphur, now Freeport McMoRan, have been involved, however peripherally, in anti-Castro activities in the sixties? Could Freeport have provided cover to employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, employees such as David Atlee Phillips? Could we have imagined there would be a company connecting both Phillips and Clay Shaw, the man Jim Garrison charged with being part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy?

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the late ’70s pursued this strange lead. It seemed more than mere coincidence that both Clay Shaw’s name and that of Phillips’ purported alias, Maurice Bishop, would show up in conjunction with a little publicized company known then as Freeport Sulphur. Interestingly, in the last few months, Freeport has been making headlines in the Los Angeles Times, Texas Observer, The Progressive and the Austin Chronicle due to allegations of human rights abuses and environmental degradation.

The HSCA suppressed the files surrounding the investigation of David Phillips’s alleged connection to Freeport Sulphur’s Cuban subsidiary, the Moa Bay Mining Company. The document quoted at left, referencing David Phillips and Freeport Sulphur, has been quietly circulating through the research community, although it had been technically unreleased. The secrecy surrounding David Atlee Phillips and every document, interview, tape and reference to him must end. He is a key suspect, having been fingered by several as the Maurice Bishop that Antonio Veciana saw talking to Oswald in Texas. As the reader will see, the connections here are too compelling to go unexplored. The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) must make every effort to secure the remaining pieces of the investigation of the Freeport Sulphur-David Phillips connection, as well as all documents and testimony relating to the identity and role of Maurice Bishop/David Atlee Phillips in the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination.

Bill Davy, in his well-documented monograph Through the Looking Glass: The Mysterious World of Clay Shaw, put forth the first public information on Freeport Sulphur’s peripheral relation to a key figure in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. Here, we flesh out the information surrounding this company, as it hosts a startling set of heavy hitters whose policies crossed swords with those of President John F. Kennedy in significant ways.

Probe is not going to state that Freeport Sulphur was in any way involved in the planning or execution of the Kennedy assassination. But this is a company that connects the CIA, the Rockefellers, Clay Shaw and David Phillips. The company had serious clashes with Castro over an expensive project, and with the Kennedy administration over matters of great monetary significance to Freeport. Allegations of a Canadian connection with New Orleans, and Cuban nickel mining and processing operations fit neatly into Shaw’s reported activities. And this is a company which had at least one director reportedly talking about killing Castro.

Because this is such an important story, and there is so much to it, this article has been broken into two parts, the second of which will be in the next issue of Probe. There is no quick way to tell this story, as the history and players all need backgrounds to put the nature of the implications in the fullest possible context. So we go back to the beginning.

Freeport Sulphur’s Early Years with John Hay Whitney

Freeport Sulphur was born in Texas in 1912. The company later moved the headquarters office to New York. Originally, the principal business was mining sulphur. By 1962, Freeport Sulphur was the nation’s oldest and largest producer of sulphur. In 1962, the fertilizer industry used 40% of the sulphur produced in the world. Other business segments that use sulphur in the production process are chemical, papermaking, pigment, pharmaceutical, mining, oil-refining and fiber manufacturing industries. For most of this period, Freeport was headed by John Hay Whitney.

In 1927, Payne Whitney, one of America’s richest multimillionaires, died, leaving his only son and future Freeport president an estate valued at over $179 million. At the young age of 22, John Hay Whitney became one of the country’s richest men. Nonetheless, “Jock,” as the press later called him, took a job at Lee Higginson and Co. on a salary of $65 a month. There, he made a fateful friendship with another onetime Lee Higginson employee named Langbourne Williams. Langbourne’s father had originally founded Freeport Texas, then lost control of the business. Langbourne enlisted Jock’s boss at Lee Higginson-J. T. Claiborne-to help in a proxy fight for control of Freeport. Claiborne urged the young Jock to join their efforts. Jock did-to the tune of a half a million dollars. By 1930, the Claiborne-Williams-Whitney team had won control of Freeport.

Without Jock Whitney’s influence-and of course, money-the future of Freeport may have been gravely different. The Whitney family fortune was legendary not just for its size, but for the power that the Whitneys wielded with it. Republican Whitney money, for example, founded The New Republic. Carroll Quigley, in Tragedy and Hope, has written:

The best example of this alliance of Wall Street and Left-wing publication was The New Republic, a magazine founded by Willard Straight, using Payne Whitney money. . . . The original purpose for establishing the paper was to provide an outlet for the progressive Left and to guide it quietly in an Anglophile direction. . . . The first editor of The New Republic, the well-known “liberal” Herbert Croly, was aware of the situation. . . Croly’s biography of Straight, published in 1914, makes perfectly clear that Straight was in no sense a liberal or a progressive, but was, indeed, a typical international banker and that The New Republic was simply a medium for advancing certain designs of such international bankers, notably to blunt the isolationism and anti-British sentiments so prevalent among many American progressives, while providing them with a vehicle for expression of their progressive view in literature, art, music, social reform, and even domestic politics. . . . The chief achievement of The New Republic, however, in 1914-1918 and again in 1938-1948, was for interventionism in Europe and support of Great Britain.

Put another way, the Whitney family was accustomed to covert uses of corporate institutions, and especially the media.

The Whitneys had also been powerful within the government. Whitney’s grandfather, for example, had served under President Grover Cleveland as Secretary of the Navy. Jock Whitney himself followed the path of his predecessors, joining with Nelson Rockefeller in 1942 to take charge of American WWII propaganda in Latin America through the Rockefeller-controlled Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA). Due to the confluence of interests and the similarity in substance, at one time, there was talk of merging the Rockefeller-Whitney CIAA operation with the OSS (Office of Strategic Services). Nelson Rockefeller, however, did not wish to relinquish his fiefdom, and the merger never happened. (The history of Nelson Rockefeller’s Latin American operations are well detailed in the book Thy Will Be Done, by Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett.)

Whitney himself had significant ties to the OSS and the CIA. During World War II, Whitney had been temporarily detailed to “Wild Bill” Donovan of the OSS. During this time, he was captured by the Nazis, but escaped in a daring jump from a moving train.

Whitney was second cousin to the famous CIA officer Tracy Barnes, known in the agency as Allen Dulles’s “Golden Boy.” Barnes eventually headed the CIA’s Domestic Operations Division long before it was legal for the CIA to operate domestically. Whitney and Barnes became friends while both were attending the Army Air Corps’ intelligence school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Another lifelong Whitney friend and business associate was William H. Jackson, who briefly served as second in command at the newly formed CIA as Deputy Director under Walter Bedell Smith.

Perhaps it was these associations, or perhaps it was his relationship with the CIA-involved Nelson Rockefeller which persuaded Whitney to collaborate with the Agency on several occasions. For example, the Whitney Trust was financed in part with money from the Granary Fund. The Granary Fund was a CIA conduit.

Another of Whitney’s many companies, the Delaware corporation Kern House Enterprises, housed the CIA front company Forum World Features, a foreign news service used to disperse CIA propaganda around the world. Forum writer Russell Warner stated that Forum World Features was “the principal CIA media effort in the world.” As for Kern Enterprises, in The Cult of Intelligence, by John Marks and Victor Marchetti, chapter five begins with a comment about Delaware corporations.

By “Delaware corporations” Amory was referring to what are more commonly known in the agency as “proprietary corporations” or, simply, “proprietaries.” These are ostensibly private institutions and businesses which are in fact financed and controlled by the CIA. From behind their commercial and sometimes non-profit covers, the agency is able to carry out a multitude of clandestine activities-usually covert-action operations. Many of the firms are legally incorporated in Delaware because of that state’s lenient regulation of corporations, but the CIA has not hesitated to use other states when it found them convenient.

The present incarnation of Freeport Sulphur, Freeport McMoRan, is incorporated in Delaware.

In keeping with the Whitneys’ long-standing British proclivities, Forum World Features was run with the “knowledge and full cooperation of British Intelligence.” Whitney’s friendliness with the British ultimately led to his appointment as Ambassador to Great Britain in 1957. At that time Whitney also controlled, as publisher and later as Editor-in-Chief, the New York Herald Tribune. Whitney worked media deals with Katherine Graham of the Washington Post, and Graham held a 45% share of the New York Herald Tribune’s stock, with an option for 5% more upon Whitney’s death.

John Hay Whitney and Freeport Sulphur

Whitney’s solid Eastern Establishment credentials, as well as his cooperation with the CIA, make his long tenure at Freeport Sulphur-both as Director and eventually Chairman of the company-rather interesting. It was Whitney who pushed for diversification of Freeport Sulphur into other concerns. The first diversification move Whitney put through was the purchase of the Cuban-American Manganese Corporation and its manganese reserves in Cuba. Manganese oxide production there ran from 1932-1946, at which point the reserves had been exhausted by the war effort. In late 1943, Freeport opened its Nicaro Nickel Company subsidiary in Nicaro, Cuba. Through its Cuban-American Nickel Company subsidiary, Freeport also developed another subsidiary: Moa Bay Mining Company.

By the early ’60s, Freeport had divisions and subsidiaries that were diverse and profitable. Freeport Oil Company, a division of Freeport Sulphur, racked up $1,122,000 in 1961, over and above its $772,000 earnings the year before. Freeport International, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur, set out to explore and develop new industrial ventures overseas in Europe, Australia, India and elsewhere. With one other company, Freeport Sulphur shared equally in a 95 per cent share in the National Potash Company, whose earnings in 1961 were triple that of the previous year.

A company with the diverse assets of Freeport Sulphur, with the ability to provide cover to agents worldwide, would naturally be of intense interest to the CIA. Not surprisingly, there have been allegations of CIA involvement with the Moa Bay Mining Company, Freeport’s Cuban nickel mining subsidiary.

Nickel Mining in Cuba, Processing in New Orleans

According to Cuban lawyer Mario Lazo, whose firm represented Freeport Sulphur in Cuba, the Nicaro project was conceived just two months after Pearl Harbor. The strange Cuban nickel-cobalt ore required a special extraction process. Freeport had developed a new chemical process-and Washington approved the financing-to aid the development of nickel (used in the manufacturing of steel) for the war effort. The Nicaro nickel plant cost American taxpayers $100,000,000. At one point, the plant produced nearly 10% of all the nickel in the free world.

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New Orleans became home to a special plant Freeport set up just outside the city to process the nickel-cobalt ore. When the Moa Bay Mining project was conceived, Freeport Nickel, a wholly owned Freeport Sulphur subsidiary, put up $19,000,000 of $119,000,000 to develop the Cuban nickel ore. The rest of the money came from a group of American steel companies and major automobile makers. (Freeport’s pattern of putting in a small portion of total cost is a recurrent one.) $44,000,000 of the original funds went into Louisiana for the development of the New Orleans nickel processing facility at Port Nickel.

Batista, Castro and the Moa Bay Mining Company

In 1957, two things happened that allowed Freeport to develop nickel not just through the government-owned Nicaro nickel plant, but for itself. The first was a break on taxes, won through negotiations with Batista, for the proposed Moa Bay Mining Company. The second was a government contract in 1957 in which the U.S. Government committed itself to buying up to $248,000,000 worth of nickel. Both of these would lead to public criticism of Freeport in the years to come. The tax break led to charges that the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and Langbourne Williams of Freeport Sulphur made a special deal with Batista. (See the box on page 19.) The contract would eventually lead Freeport into a Senate investigation and a confrontation with President Kennedy over the issue of stockpiling.

Phillips, Veciana, Moa Bay Mining Company and Cuba

During the Church committee hearings, Senator Richard Schweiker’s independent investigator Gaeton Fonzi stumbled onto a vital lead in the Kennedy assassination. An anti-Castro Cuban exile leader named Antonio Veciana was bitter about what he felt had been a government setup leading to his recent imprisonment, and he wanted to talk. Fonzi asked him about his activities, and without any prompting from Fonzi, Veciana volunteered the fact that his CIA handler, known to him only as “Maurice Bishop,” had been with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas not long before the assassination of Kennedy. Veciana gave a description of Bishop to a police artist, who drew a sketch. One notable characteristic Veciana mentioned were the dark patches on the skin under the eyes. When Senator Schweiker first saw the picture, he thought it strongly resembled the CIA’s former Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division-one of the highest positions in the Agency-and the head of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO): David Atlee Phillips.

In an HSCA interview of David Phillips, an unnoted committee member wrote-in a document circulated throughout the research community-the following:

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When asked about his relationsip [sic] with Julio Lobo, he became a bit upset and said he thought he had covered that adequately in his deposition. He says as far as he can recall he met Lobo only one time, perhaps it was even in Madrid and not Havana, he doesn’t recall, and he had no substantial dealings with him.

Julio Lobo was a Cuban banker and sugar king who later lived in Spain. He was also Veciana’s employer at the time Veciana first met Bishop. He gave funding to the DRE, set up by a man named Ross Crozier for the CIA as part of the operations against Cuba. Crozier says he did not, however, set up the New Orleans branch and that that was run by Carlos Bringuier. Crozier, referred to as “Cross” by the HSCA, was one of the people who identified David Atlee Phillips as Maurice Bishop. With this established, Phillip’s next recorded comment immediately after being asked about Lobo is significant:

He [Phillips] wanted to know if Veciana’s story about Bishop is still being considered and if any decision about his being Bishop had be [sic] conclusively arrived at. He said he doesn’t like living under the fear and tension of possibly being called before the television cameras and having Veciana suddenly stand up and point his finger at him and say that he is Bishop and that he saw him with Oswald.

Why would Phillips be so worried if there was no chance he was Bishop?

Veciana, in his earliest interviews, spoke of receiving his intelligence training in an office building in which a mining company’s name was displayed and which also housed a branch of the Berlitz School of Languages. Could that mining company have been Nicaro Nickel, or Moa Bay Mining Company? And in one of those curious coincidences that infest the Kennedy assassination, Steve Dorrill, a writer for the British magazine Lobster, noted that in Madrid, a recent director of the Berlitz School of Languages was CIA officer Alberto Cesar Augusto Rodriguez, who was also the man responsible for the photographic surveillance of the Cuban Embassy at the time of the “Oswald” visit there. Recall that the CIA sent the Warren Commission pictures of a man who could never be mistaken for Oswald as evidence that Oswald had been to the Cuban embassy.

Probe recently interviewed a former CIA pilot who knew Veciana from the Miami area and reported that Veciana was a guy whose word among the exile community was “as good as gold.” Fonzi felt that Veciana-by that time well out of prison and eager to get back into anti-Castro action-might lie out of loyalty to his greatest benefactor, “Maurice Bishop.” Veciana gave indications that Phillips was Bishop, but refused to identify him as such. (For yet another identification of David Atlee Phillips as Maurice Bishop, see the sidebar at right.)

Perhaps because of the following account, David Atlee Phillips was questioned by the HSCA about his possible relationship with both Freeport Sulphur and Moa Bay Mining Company. While working for the HSCA, Fonzi interviewed James Cogswell III, in his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Cogswell presented Fonzi with various leads he felt were important to the case, one of which was the following:

Cogswell says the Bishop sketch resembles the former president of a Moa Bay subsidiary, Freeport Sulphur of New Orleans. Cogswell doesn’t remember name of that officer, but says he knew he had very powerful connections and came from Texas.

When Phillips, who came from Texas, was asked about Freeport, the HSCA staffer noted this response:

Mr. Phillips stated that he “probably” did have some contacts with someone or some persons associated with the Moa Bay Mining Company, but he did not recall any specific names. He also “must have” had some contact with Freeport Sulphur people. “I was fairly socially active at the time and the name of the company is familiar to me.”

Note that Phillips did not deny an association, but left it to the investigators to find more. Steve Dorrill reported in the Lobster article mentioned previously that one of the pilots of the Moa Bay Mining Company was Pedro Diaz Lanz, a hotshot pilot who defected from the head of Castro’s air force and subsequently befriended both Frank Sturgis and E. Howard Hunt, both of whom have also been closely associated with David Phillips. Another employee of the Moa Bay Mining Company, Jorge Alfredo Tarafa, listed Freeport Nickel Company, Moa Bay Cuba as his place of employment from 9/21/59 to 4/8/60 on his job resume. Tarafa was identified as a delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Front (FRD) in New Orleans, headed by Sergio Arcacha Smith. The FRD was the group that E. Howard Hunt set up with exiled Cuban leader Tony Varona to sponsor anti-Castro activities.

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Arcacha, Banister, and “Mr. Phillips”

Probe has turned up a long lost transcript of a deposition of a person whose name would be instantly recognized by anyone who has studied the Kennedy assassination. It is our hope to reveal the source of this deposition to the ARRB if and when they come to the West Coast.

In this deposition, we find the following startling information. Picking up where the witness was telling how Sergio Arcacha Smith, one of Garrison’s original suspects in the Kennedy assassination planning, had invited the witness to a meeting in Guy Banister’s office:

Q: Did you go alone to that meeting?

A: As I recall, I did, yes.

Q: Who was there?

A: Mr. Banister, Mr. Arcacha Smith, and Mr. Phillips.

Q: Do you know his first name [meaning Phillips]?

A: No.

Q: Had you seen him before?

A: No.

Q: Was he a Latin?

A: No.

Q: What was his interest in the meeting?

A: He seemed to be running the show.

Q: Telling Banister and Arcacha Smith what to do?

A: His presence was commanding. It wasn’t in an orderly military situation, you know. It was just they seemed to introduce Mr. Phillips.

Q: How old a man was he?

A: I would say he was around 51, 52 [Note: the speaker is young.]

Q: American?

A: American.

Q: Was he identified as to his background?

A: No.

Q: Were hints dropped as to his background?

A: Just that he was from Washington, that’s all.

Q: Did you assume from that he was with the CIA?

A: I didn’t assume anything, I never assume anything. . . .I think someone mentioned something about this conversation isn’t taking place.

The project that Banister and Arcacha and Mr. Phillips were working on, according to the witness, was to be a televised anti-Castro propaganda program, something that would have been in the direct purview of David Phillips as chief of propaganda for Cuban operations at that time.

The Seizing of the Moa Bay Mining Company by Castro

Unfortunately for Freeport’s board (see Board members on page 24), the Moa Bay Mining company was short-lived in Cuba. With $75,000,000 invested in that operation, one can see how vital the special tax exemption leftover from Batista’s reign was to Freeport’s Moa Bay operation. And since the deal was negotiated under Batista’s regime, one can also see how this must have stuck like a craw in the throat of Castro’s revolutionaries as they took control of Cuba in 1959. The Castro government wanted to end the special tax exemption. Freeport wanted to keep it. By March of 1960, Freeport Nickel (parent of Moa Bay Mining, subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur) threatened the Cuban government with an ultimatum: If their special tax status was revoked, the Moa Bay and Nicaro nickel facilities would be shut down.

Freeport knew that Cuba needed the jobs and even partial income that Freeport’s nickel operations provided. Freeport must have thought it could bluff this one through, largely due to the particular quality of the Moa Bay ore. The ore was an unusual combination of cobalt and nickel, elements which needed to be separated through a highly complex chemical process, handled at that time by Freeport’s New Orleans processing plant. Industry observers were quoted as saying the best thing Cuba could do was to negotiate a compromise, because Cuba could not afford to build the kind of plant Freeport owned. Even the instructions for the process were not kept in Cuba.

Deliberations with the new Cuban government fell apart in August of 1960. According to an “unimpeachable source” in the New York Times, the Cuban government felt negotiations should be suspended because of the tense situation between Cuba and the United States. Cuba performed what they characterized as an “intervention,” a temporary measure of stepping in and taking control of the mining facility, rather than outright nationalization. This was reported as Cuba trying to leave the door slightly open for some sort of negotiated settlement. But Freeport considered the takeover a battle cry and wanted to invoke international law to protect its rights to the plant.

Cuba ended up retaining the plant, and the United States ending up attempting to invade Cuba under the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation. One of the planners of the Bay of Pigs, as well as an advocate for assassinating Castro, was Admiral Arleigh Burke. Burke later become a director of Freeport Sulphur.

“Mr. White” of Freeport Sulphur

During New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of Clay Shaw, evidence developed that connected Shaw to Freeport Sulphur. James Plaine of Houston, Texas, told Andrew Sciambra, one of Garrison’s assistants, that a Mr. “White” of Freeport Sulphur had contacted him regarding a possible assassination plan for Fidel Castro. Plaine also said that he distinctly remembered either Shaw or David Ferrie talking about some nickel mines which were located at the tip of Cuba. Corroboration for an association between Shaw, Ferrie and “White” came from a witness whose CIA file has only been seen by the CIA and HSCA: Jules Ricco Kimble. Kimble told Garrison’s office that “White” had flown with Shaw in a plane believed to be piloted by David Ferrie to Cuba regarding a nickel deal. Another source, a former New Orleans newscaster, told Garrison’s team that Shaw and two other persons were attempting to purchase, or had already purchased, an ore processing plant in Braithwaite, Louisiana in the aftermath of the U.S. Government’s decision to break off trade relations with Cuba. He said that Ferrie had flown Shaw and two partners to Canada to attempt to arrange for the import of Cuban ore through Canada, as Canada was continuing its trade with Cuba.

The New York Times of March 8, 1960, confirms that the Freeport Louisiana special ore processing plant was to be shut down:

Freeport Nickel Company, known in Cuba as the Moa Bay Mining Company, confirmed yesterday that it was closing down operations at its $75,000,000 nickel-cobalt mining and concentrating facilities at Moa Bay in Cuba’s Oriente province.

The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur Company, said a recently passed Cuban mining law together with “other Cuban developments” had made it impossible to obtain the funds necessary to continue operations.

Robert C. Hills, president of Freeport Nickel, said the company had invested $44,000,000 in related refining facilities in Louisiana. These facilities also will be made idle, as a result of the Cuban situation, he indicated.

In this light, the most significant Garrison memo is one which says that Freeport Sulphur, Shaw and “White” were together going to buy the Braithwaite plant (built with U.S. government money) to process ore that would be purchased through a Canadian front company, and then shipped back to the Louisiana plant for processing.

Finding Mr. Wight

Garrison finally found the key to “Mr. White,” and wrote it up for the Clay Shaw lead file under the heading “Shaw’s Flight to Canada (or Cuba) with Ferrie:”

One man whose name we first thought to be WHITE apparently is WIGHT, Vice President of Freeport Sulphur who reputedly made the flight. An effort is being made to locate WIGHT, who now lives in New York, by a contact of Mark Lane’s. Despite the fact that the original source of this information was JULES RICCO KIMBLE, a man with a record, this lead keeps growing stronger. From the very outset it had been reported that the flight had something to do with the import of nickel following the loss of the original import supply from Cuba. Recent information developed on WIGHT in a separate memo, indicates that he is now on the Board of Directors of Freeport Nickel Company, a subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur.

Charles A. Wight was Chairman of the Executive Committee and a Director of Freeport Sulphur, according to his Who’s Who in America entry from 1954-1955. Yale educated, he had previously been a Vice President for Bankers Trust Company, first in the London office from 1931-1935, then in the New York headquarters office 1936-1948 (see the sidebar at right for a curious Bankers Trust link to the Bay of Pigs operation.) The 1963 Moody’s guide lists Wight as Vice Chairman under Langbourne Williams. Wight was a key person at Freeport Sulphur. He was still with the company when the HSCA looked into it, in 1977.

It would be hard to imagine that Freeport, under the circumstances, did not work any deals with members of the CIA in an attempt to find a way around its-in the words of its president-“Cuban situation.” One should recall here that John McCone, former CIA director and at the time a board member of ITT, told a Senate committee quite frankly that yes, he had discussed getting rid of Allende in Chile, when ITT’s properties were at risk due to nationalization efforts. Corporate leaders voicing concerns and urging “executive action” against leaders in other countries is neither new nor, unfortunately, particular shocking. Witness the recent report (Washington Post 1/30/96) where members of the CFR were complaining openly about provisions prohibiting actions supportive of coup attempts against foreign leaders and calling for the lifting of existing restrictions on the CIA.

Given the evidence that Freeport’s Wight may have been pursuing a Castro assassination plot, we cannot overlook this item from Peter Wyden’s book Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story. According to the CIA’s own Inspector General report, Johnny Rosselli was one of the CIA’s mobsters involved in Castro assassination plots. According to Wyden, at one of his earliest meetings after having taken on the task of getting rid of Castro, Rosselli told his Cuban contacts that he represented Wall Street financiers who had “nickel interests and properties around in Cuba.” Was Rosselli ever paid by or through Freeport Sulphur or any of its subsidiaries? Or had he just been given the reference as a cover? Had he pulled nickel interests out of a hat? Only more file releases on Rosselli can hope to answer those questions.

In Thy Will Be Done, there is another startling implication of a Freeport/anti-Castro/CIA collaboration:

Castro was targeted for assassination as early as December 11, 1959, by Nelson’s old friend from the CIAA days, J. C. King, now the CIA’s Chief of Clandestine Services in the Western Hemisphere. Even before Castro had forced Fulgencio Batista to flee Havana, King and Adolf Berle had met to ponder the fate of Freeport Sulphur Company’s mining project at Nicaro, in Oriente province. Now the Nicaro deposits and sugar plantations were facing nationalization. It was clear to King that a “far left” government existed in Cuba. “If permitted to stand,” he wrote CIA Director Allen Dulles, it would encourage similar actions against American companies elsewhere in Latin America. One of King’s “recommended actions” was explicit:

“Thorough consideration [should] be given to the elimination of Fidel Castro. None of those close to Fidel, such as his brother Raul or his companion Che Guevara, have the same mesmeric appeal to the masses. Many informed people believe that the disappearance of Fidel would greatly accelerate the fall of the present Government.”

Hidup Rakyat 

Rakyat bersatu tak dapat dikalahkan

Which brings us to a crucial point. Freeport Sulphur is a company Wall Street considers a “Rockefeller” company. There are numerous Rockefeller ties to the board of directors (see the sidebar at right). There is a significant tie that led to the stockpiling investigation. And Adolph Berle and J. C. King, as well as John Hay Whitney, were all very closely tied to Nelson Rockefeller himself. So the revelation that J. C. King and Adolph Berle were conversing about the fate of a Rockefeller-controlled company is significant, credible, and highlights the ties between these players and the CIA, where J. C. King-and in later years David Atlee Phillips-presided as Chiefs of the Western Hemisphere Division. In a strange twist of fate, Rockefeller’s good friend King was the authenticating officer on a cable giving authority to kill Castro’s brother Raul. Interestingly, Whitney’s cousin and friend Tracy Barnes sent the cable rescinding the original order a couple of hours later.

Freeport versus Kennedy:
The Stockpiling Investigation

Already reeling from its losses over Castro’s appropriation of the Moa Bay plant, Freeport found itself under attack from a new quarter: a Senate investigation into stockpiling surpluses, requested by President Kennedy himself.

In 1962, President Kennedy asked Congress to look into the war-emergency stockpiling program, stating it was “a potential source of excessive and unconscionable profits.” He said he was “astonished” to discover that the program had accumulated $7.7 billion worth of stockpiled material, exceeding projected needs by $3.4 billion. Kennedy also pledged full executive cooperation with the investigation, mentioning specifically $103 million in surplus nickel.

The Senate pursued an investigation into stockpiling surpluses. Special attention was paid to three companies in which the Rockefeller brothers had substantial holdings: Hannah Mining, International Nickel, and Freeport Sulphur. A December 18, 1962 headline in the New York Times read “U.S. Was Pushed into Buying Nickel, Senators Are Told.” The article opened with this:

A federal official told Senate stockpile investigators today that the U.S. Government got a bad deal in a 1957 nickel purchase contract with a potential $248,000,000 obligation.

John Croston, a division director in the General Services Administration, testified that he had strongly opposed the contract with the Freeport Sulphur Company.

But, he said, officials in the agency “knew that the contract was in the bag from the beginning.” Pressure for it, he said, came from the Office of Defense Mobilization, then headed by Arthur S. Flemming.

Dr. Arthur S. Flemming was regularly a part of the National Security Council under Eisenhower. Right after Ike’s election, in November of 1952, Dr. Flemming served with Ike’s brother Milton on the three-member President’s Advisory Committee on Government Organization, headed by Nelson Rockefeller. Perhaps it was his friendship with Nelson that caused some to accuse Dr. Flemming of some arm-twisting on Freeport’s behalf. The New York Times (12/19/62), reported:

The subcommittee was told yesterday by officials of several Government agencies that they opposed the contract because they felt the need for nickel was exaggerated.

These officials said, however, that Dr. Arthur S. Flemming, then head of the Office of Defense Mobilization, was determined that the contract be signed.

One witness said Mr. Flemming had indicated that competition aginst the International Nickel Company, the giant in the field, should be encouraged.

But what Flemming apparently didn’t know, or hadn’t shared if he did, was that both Freeport and International Nickel Company (INCO) shared some of the very same investors: the Rockefellers.

Croston said he had opposed the contract with Freeport from the beginning, stating “there was no real shortage of nickel at any time” and that cobalt “was running out of our ears.” Freeport’s earlier 1954 contract with the government caused the U.S. to spend $6,250,000 to help build that special Louisiana nickel-cobalt ore processing plant so necessary to the Cuban mining operations. Another contract obligated the government to buy up to 15,000,000 pounds of nickel at a premium price, as well as 15,000,000 pounds of cobalt.

The committee’s head, Senator Stuart Symington, reported that it was John Whitney who exerted his influence from Freeport’s end to get the government contract for the nickel.

Freeport’s Chairman, Langbourne Williams, defended the contract, claiming the contract had saved the Treasury money, and had not been entered into for the purposes of stockpiling, but rather to increase nickel production capacity. He contended that the government ended up not having to purchase any nickel under the contract because Freeport had been able to sell to other buyers the nickel and cobalt produced at Moa Bay before Castro took it over.

But the controversy flowed over into 1963, and Press Secretary Pierre Salinger stated that the Kennedy administration planned to make stockpiling an issue in the 1964 campaign. As we know, JFK didn’t live long enough to fulfill that promise.

sumber:

http://www.realhistoryarchives.com/collections/hidden/freeport-cuba.htm

FK, Indonesia, CIA & Freeport Sulphur October 10, 2010

Posted by lapsippipm in Read n Learn.
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JFK, Indonesia,

CIA & Freeport Sulphur

by Lisa Pease

What is Past is Prologue.
Inscribed on the National Archives, Washington, D.C.

In Part One of this article (Probe, March-April, 1996) we talked about the early years of Freeport up through the Cuban takeover of their potentially lucrative mine at Moa Bay, as well as their run-in with President Kennedy over the issue of stockpiling. But the biggest conflict that Freeport Sulphur would face was over the country housing the world’s single largest gold reserve and third largest copper reserve: Indonesia. To understand the recent (March, 1996) riots at the Freeport plant, we need to go to the roots of this venture to show how things might have been very different had Kennedy lived to implement his plans for Indonesia.

Indonesia Backstory

Indonesia had been discovered by the Dutch at the end of the 1500s. During the early 1600s they were dominated by the Dutch East Indies Company, a private concern, for nearly 200 years. In 1798, authority over Indonesia was transferred to the Netherlands, which retained dominion over this fifth largest country in the world until 1941, at which time the Japanese moved in during the course of World War II. By 1945 Japan was defeated in Indonesia and Achmed Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta rose to become President and Vice President of the newly independent Indonesia. But within a month of the Sukarno/Hatta proclamation of independence, British army units began landing in Jakarta to help the Dutch restore colonial rule. Four years of fighting ensued. In 1949, the Dutch officially ceded sovereignty back to Indonesia, with the exception of one key area – that of a hotspot which is now known as Irian Jaya or, depending on who you talk to, West Papua.

Authors Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, in their book Thy Will Be Done, explain the situation in what was then called Dutch New Guinea:

To Westerners, New Guinea was like a gifted child pulled in opposite directions by covetous guardians. The Dutch clung to the western half as the sole remnant of their once-vast East Indies empire. Their longtime British allies, acting through Australia, controlled the eastern half. Neighboring Indonesians, on the other hand, thought that all New Guinea was part of their national territory, even if it was still colonized by Europeans.

Dutch New Guinea, or West Irian as the Indonesians called it, was populated by native tribes not far removed from a stone age culture, such as the Danis and the Amungme. When Indonesia fought to claim independence from the Dutch, West Irian became a symbol for both sides that neither wanted to relinquish. It would take the efforts of President Kennedy to eventually pass control of this area to the newly independent Indonesians, removing the last vestiges of Dutch colonialism.

Indonesia experienced various types of government. When Sukarno first rose to power in 1945, foreigners pointed out that Sukarno’s rule appeared “fascistic,” since he held sole control over so much of the government. Bowing to foreign pressure to appear more democratic, Indonesia instituted a parliamentary system of rule and opened the government to a multiparty system. Sukarno related what followed to his biographer (now cable gossip show host) Cindy Adams:

In a nation previously denied political activities, the results were immediate. Over 40 dissimilar parties sprang up. So terrified were we of being labeled “a Japanese-sponsored Fascistic dictatorship” that single individuals forming splinter organizations were tolerated as “mouthpieces of democracy.” Political parties grew like weeds with shallow roots and interests top-heavy with petty selfishness and vote-catching. Internal strife grew. We faced disaster, endless conflicts, hair-raising confusion. Indonesians previously pulling together now pulled apart. They were sectioned into religious and geographical boxes, just what I’d sweated all my life to get them out of.

Sukarno related that nearly every six months, a cabinet fell, and a new government would start up, only to repeat the cycle. On October 17, 1952 things came to a head. Thousands of soldiers from the Indonesian army stormed the gates with signs saying “Dissolve Parliament.” Sukarno faced the troops directly, firmly refusing to dissolve parliament due to military pressure, and the soldiers backed down. The result of this was a factionalized army. There were the “pro-17 October 1952 military” and the “anti-17 October 1952 military.” In 1955, elections were held and parliamentary rule was ended by vote. The Communists, who had done the most for the people suffering the aftereffects of converting from colonial rule to independence, won many victories in 1955 and 1956. In 1955, Sukarno organized the Bandung Conference at which the famous Chinese Communist Chou En Lai was a featured guest. During the 1955 elections, the CIA had given a million dollars to the Masjumi party-an opposition party to both Sukarno’s Nationalist party and the Communist party in Indonesia (called the PKI)-in an attempt to gain political control of the country. But the Masjumi party failed to win the hearts and minds of the people.

In 1957, an assassination attempt was made against Sukarno. Although the actual perpetrators were unknown at the time, both Sukarno and the CIA jumped to use this for propaganda purposes. The CIA was quick to blame the PKI. Sukarno, however, blamed the Dutch, and used this as the excuse to seize all former Dutch holdings, including shipping and flying lines. Sukarno vowed to drive the Dutch out of West Irian. He had already tried settling the long-standing dispute over that territory through the United Nations, but the vote fell shy of the needed two-thirds majority to set up a commission to force the Dutch to sit down with the Indonesians. The assassination attempt provided a much needed excuse for action.

The victories of the Communists, infighting in the army, and the 1957 nationalization of former Dutch holdings, led to a situation of grave concern to American business interests, notably the oil and rubber industries. The CIA eagerly pitched in, helping to foment rebellion between the outer, resource rich, islands, and the central government based in Jakarta, Java.

Rockefeller Interests in Indonesia

Two prominent American-based oil companies doing business in Indonesia at this time were of the Rockefeller-controlled Standard Oil family: Stanvac (jointly held by Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony Mobil-Socony being Standard Oil of New York), and Caltex, (jointly held by Standard Oil of California and Texaco.) In Part I of this article we showed how heavily loaded the Freeport Sulphur board was with Rockefeller family and allies. Recall that Augustus C. Long was a board member of Freeport while serving as Chairman of Texaco for many years. Long becomes more and more interesting as the story develops.

1958: CIA vs. Sukarno

“I think its time we held Sukarno’s feet to the fire,” said Frank Wisner, then Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA, in 1956. By 1958, having failed to buy the government through the election process, the CIA was fomenting a full-fledged operation in Indonesia. Operation Hike, as it was called, involved the arming and training of tens of thousands of Indonesians as well as “mercenaries” to launch attacks in the hope of bringing down Sukarno.

Joseph Burkholder Smith was a former CIA officer involved with the Indonesian operations during this period. In his book, Portrait of a Cold Warrior, he described how the CIA took it upon themselves to make, not just to enact, policy in this area:

before any direct action against Sukarno’s position could be taken, we would have to have the approval of the Special Group-the small group of top National Security Council officials who approved covert action plans. Premature mention of such an idea might get it shot down …

So we began to feed the State Department and Defense departments intelligence … When they had read enough alarming reports, we planned to spring the suggestion we should support the colonels’ plan to reduce Sukarno’s power. This was a method of operation which became the basis of many of the political action adventures of the 1960s and 1970s. In other words, the statement is false that CIA undertook to intervene in the affairs of countries like Chile only after being ordered to do so … In many instances, we made the action programs up ourselves after we had collected enough intelligence to make them appear required by the circumstance. Our activity in Indonesia in 1957-1958 was one such instance.

When the Ambassador to Indonesia wrote Washington of his explicit disagreements with the CIA’s handling of the situation, Allen Dulles had his brother John Foster appoint a different Ambassador to Indonesia, one more accepting of the CIA’s activities.

In addition to the paramilitary activities, the CIA tried psychological warfare tricks to discredit Sukarno, such as passing rumors that he had been seduced by a Soviet stewardess. To that end, Sheffield Edwards, head of the CIA’s Office of Security, enlisted the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department to help with a porno movie project the CIA was making to use against Sukarno, ostensibly showing Sukarno in the act. Others involved in these efforts were Robert Maheu, and Bing Crosby and his brother.

The Agency tried to keep its coup participation covert, but one “mercenary” met misfortune early. Shot down and captured during a bombing run, Allen Lawrence Pope was carrying all kinds of ID on his person to indicate that he was an employee of the CIA. The U.S. Government, right up to President Eisenhower, tried to deny that the CIA was involved at all, but the Pope revelations made a mockery of this. Not cowed by the foment, as Arbenz had been in Guatemala, Sukarno marshalled those forces loyal to him and crushed the CIA-aided rebellion. Prior to the Bay of Pigs, this was the Agency’s single largest failed operation.

1959: Copper Mountain

At this point, Freeport Sulphur entered the Indonesian picture. In July, 1959, Charles Wight, then President of Freeport-and reported to be fomenting anti-Castro plots and flying to Canada and/or Cuba with Clay Shaw (see Part I of this article)-was busy defending his company against House Committee accusations of overcharging the Government for the nickel ore processed at the Government-owned plant in Nicaro, Cuba. The Committee recommended that the Justice Department pursue an investigation. Freeport’s Moa Bay Mining Company had only just opened, and already the future in Cuba looked bleak. In August, 1959, Freeport Director and top engineer Forbes Wilson met with Jan van Gruisen, managing director of the East Borneo Company, a mining concern. Gruisen had just stumbled upon a dusty report first made in 1936 regarding a mountain called the “Ertsberg” (“Copper Mountain”) in Dutch New Guinea, by Jean Jacques Dozy. Hidden away for years in a Netherlands library during Nazi attacks, the report had only recently resurfaced. Dozy reported a mountain heavy with copper ore. If true, this could justify a new Freeport diversification effort into copper. Wilson cabled Freeport’s New York headquarters asking for permission and money to make a joint exploration effort with the East Borneo Company. The contract was signed February 1, 1960.

With the aid of a native guide, Wilson spent the next several months amidst the near-stone age natives as he forged through near impassable places on his way to the Ertsberg. Wilson wrote a book about this journey, called The Conquest of Copper Mountain. When he finally arrived, he was excited at what he found:

an unusually high degree of mineralization … The Ertsberg turned out to be 40% to 50% iron … and 3% copper … Three percent is quite rich for a deposit of copper … The Ertsberg also contains certain amounts of even more rare silver and gold.

He cabled back a message in prearranged code to the soon-to-be President of Freeport, Bob Hills in New York:

… thirteen acres rock above ground additional 14 acres each 100 meter depth sampling progressive color appears dark access egress formidable all hands well advise Sextant regards. </P><P>

“Thirteen acres” meant 13 million tons of ore above ground. “Color appears dark” meant that the grade of ore was good. “Sextant” was code for the East Borneo Company. The expedition was over in July of 1960. Freeport’s board was not eager to go ahead with a new and predictably costly venture on the heels of the expropriation of their mining facilities in Cuba. But the board decided to at least press ahead with the next phase of exploration: a more detailed investigation of the ore samples and commercial potential. Wilson described the results of this effort:

[M]ining consultants confirmed our estimates of 13 million tons of ore above ground and another 14 million below ground for each 100 meters of depth. Other consultants estimated that the cost of a plant to process 5,000 tons of ore a day would be around $60 million and that the cost of producing copper would be 16� a pound after credit for small amounts of gold and silver associated with the copper. At the time, copper was selling in world markets for around 35� a pound. From these data, Freeport’s financial department calculated that the company could recover its investment in three years and then begin earning an attractive profit.

The operation proved technically difficult, involving newly invented helicopters and diamond drills. Complicating the situation was the outbreak of a near-war between the Dutch-who were still occupying West Irian-and Sukarno’s forces which landed there to reclaim the land as their own. Fighting even broke out near the access road to Freeport’s venture. By mid-1961, Freeport’s engineers strongly felt that the project should be pursued. But by that time, John F. Kennedy had taken over the office of President. And he was pursuing a far different course than the previous administration.

Kennedy and Sukarno

“No wonder Sukarno doesn’t like us very much. He has to sit down with people who tried to overthrow him.” – President Kennedy, 1961

Up until Kennedy’s time, the aid predominantly offered to Indonesia from this country came mostly in the form of military support. Kennedy had other ideas. After a positive 1961 meeting with Sukarno in the United States, Kennedy appointed a team of economists to study ways that economic aid could help Indonesia develop in constructive ways. Kennedy understood that Sukarno took aid and arms from the Soviets and the Chinese because he needed the help, not because he was eager to fall under communist rule. American aid would prevent Sukarno from becoming dependent on Communist supplies. And Sukarno had already put down a communist rebellion in 1948. Even the State Department in the United States conceded that Sukarno was more nationalist than Communist.

But the pressing problem during Kennedy’s short term was the issue of West Irian. The Dutch had taken an ever more aggressive stance, and Sukarno was assuming a military posture. America, as allies to both, was caught in the middle. Kennedy asked Ellsworth Bunker to attempt to mediate an agreement between the Dutch and Indonesian governments. “The role of the mediator,” said Kennedy, “is not a happy one; we are prepared to have everybody mad if it makes some progress.”

It did make everybody mad. But it did make progress. Ultimately, the U.S. pressured the Dutch behind the scenes to yield to Indonesia. Bobby Kennedy was enlisted in this effort, visiting both Sukarno in Indonesia and the Dutch at the Hague. Said Roger Hilsman in To Move a Nation:

Sukarno came to recognize in Robert Kennedy the same tough integrity and loyalty that he had seen in his brother, the President, combined with a true understanding of what the new nationalisms were really all about.

So with preliminary overtures having been made to Sukarno and the Hague, Bunker took over the nitty gritty of getting each side to talk to each other. The Dutch, unwilling to concede the last vestige of their once-great empire to their foe, pressed instead for West Irian to become an independent country. But Sukarno knew it was a symbol to his people of final independence from the Dutch. And all knew that the Papuan natives there had no hope of forming any kind of functioning government, having only just recently been pushed from a primitive existence into the modern world. The United Nations voted to cede West Irian fully to Indonesia, with the provision that, by 1969, the people of West Irian would be granted an opportunity to vote whether to remain with or secede from Indonesia. Kennedy seized the moment, issuing National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 179, dated August 16, 1962:

With the peaceful settlement of the West Irian dispute now in prospect, I would like to see us capitalize on the U.S. role in promoting this settlement to move toward a new and better relationship with Indonesia. I gather that with this issue resolved the Indonesians too would like to move in this direction and will be presenting us with numerous requests.

To seize this opportunity, will all agencies concerned please review their programs for Indonesia and assess what further measures might be useful. I have in mind the possibility of expanded civic action, military aid, and economic stabilization and development programs as well as diplomatic initiatives.

Roger Hilsman elaborated on what Kennedy meant by civic action: “rehabilitating canals, draining swampland to create new rice paddies, building bridges and roads, and so on.”

Freeport and West Irian

Kennedy’s aid in brokering Indonesian sovereignty over West Irian could only have come as a blow to Freeport Sulphur’s board. Freeport already had a positive relationship with the Dutch, who had authorized the initial exploratory missions there. During the negotiation period, Freeport approached the U.N., but the U.N. said Freeport would have to discuss their plans with the Indonesian officials. When Freeport went to the Indonesian embassy in Washington, they received no response.

Lamented Forbes Wilson:

Not long after Indonesia obtained control over Western New Guinea in 1963, then-President Sukarno, who had consolidated his executive power, made a series of moves which would have discouraged even the most eager prospective Western investor. He expropriated nearly all foreign investments in Indonesia. He ordered American agencies, including the Agency for International Development, to leave the country. He cultivated close ties with Communist China and with Indonesia’s Communist Party, known as the PKI.

1962 had been a difficult year for Freeport. They were under attack on the stockpiling issue. Freeport was still reeling from having their lucrative facilities expropriated in Cuba. And now they sat, staring at a potential fortune in Indonesia. But with Kennedy giving tacit support to Sukarno, their hopes looked bleak indeed.

Reversal of Fortunes

Kennedy stepped up the aid package to Indonesia, offering $11 million. In addition, he planned a personal visit there in early 1964. While Kennedy was trying to support Sukarno, other forces were countering their efforts. Public dissent in the Senate brewed over continuing to aid Indonesia while the Communist party there remained strong. Kennedy persisted. He approved this particular aid package on November 19, 1963. Three days later, Sukarno lost his best ally in the west. Shortly, he would lose the aid package too.

Sukarno was much shaken by the news of Kennedy’s death. Bobby made the trip the President had originally planned to take, in January, 1964. Cindy Adams asked Sukarno what he thought of Bobby, and got more than she asked for:

Sukarno’s face lit up. “Bob is very warm. He is like his brother. I loved his brother. He understood me. I designed and built a special guest house on the palace grounds for John F. Kennedy, who promised me he’d come here and be the first American President ever to pay a state visit to this country.” He fell silent. “Now he’ll never come.”

Sukarno was perspiring freely. He repeatedly mopped his brow and chest. “Tell me, why did they kill Kennedy?”

Sukarno noted with irony that the very day Kennedy was assassinated, his Chief of Bodyguards was in Washington to study how to protect a president. Looking to the future, he was not optimistic:

I know Johnson … I met him when I was with President Kennedy in Washington. But I wonder if he is as warm as John. I wonder if he will like Sukarno as John Kennedy, my friend, did.

LBJ and Indonesia

As others have noted, foreign policy changed rapidly after Kennedy’s death. Donald Gibson says in his book Battling Wall Street, “In foreign policy the changes came quickly, and they were dramatic.” Gibson outlines five short term changes and several long term changes that went into effect after Kennedy’s death. One of the short term changes was the instant reversal of the Indonesian aid package Kennedy had already approved. Hilsman makes this point as well:

One of the first pieces of paper to come across President Johnson’s desk was the presidential determination … by which the President had to certify that continuing even economic aid [to Indonesia] was essential to the national interest. Since everyone down the line had known that President Kennedy would have signed the determination routinely, we were all surprised when President Johnson refused.

Someone at Freeport was so pleased with Johnson’s behavior that he supported his presidential run in 1964: Augustus C. “Gus” Long.

Long had been Chairman at Texas Company (Texaco) for many years. In 1964, he and a bunch of other conservative, largely Republican business moguls, joined together to support Johnson over Goldwater. The group, calling themselves the National Independent Committee for Johnson, included such people as Thomas Lamont, Edgar Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Robert Lehman of Lehman Brothers, Thomas Cabot of Cabot Corporation of Boston, and many other luminaries of the business world.

Long had two toes in the Indonesian fray-one for Freeport, one for Texaco. In 1961, Caltex-jointly owned by Standard Oil of California (Socal) and Texas Company (Texaco)-was one of the three major oil companies in Indonesia forced to operate under a new contract with Sukarno’s government. Under the new terms, 60% of all profits had to be given to the Indonesian government. So he had two reasons to be concerned by Kennedy’s support of Sukarno’s brand of nationalism, which threatened the interests of both companies in which he had a substantial stake.

In Part I, we mentioned that Long had done “prodigious volunteer work” for Presbyterian Hospital in New York, said by a former employee of their PR firm, the Mullen Company, to be a “hotbed of CIA activity.” Now we add that Long was elected President of Presbyterian Hospital two years running-1961 and 1962. In 1964, Long retired his role as Chairman of Texaco. He would be reinstated as Chairman in 1970. What did he do in the interim?

In March of 1965, Long was elected a director of Chemical Bank-another Rockefeller-controlled company.

In August of 1965, Long was appointed to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, where he would approve and suggest covert activities.

In October of 1965, covert activities sealed Sukarno’s fate.

1965: The Year of Living Dangerously

After Kennedy’s death, Sukarno had grown ever more belligerent towards the West. The British were busy forming a new country out of Indonesia’s former trading partners Malaya and Singapore, called “Malaysia.” Since the area included territory from which the CIA had launched some of its 1958 activities, Sukarno was justifiably concerned by what he felt was an ever tightening noose. On January 1, 1965, Sukarno threatened to pull Indonesia out of the United Nations if Malaysia was admitted. It was and he did, making Indonesia the first nation ever to pull out of the U.N. In response to U.S. pressure on Sukarno to support Malaysia, he cried, “to hell with your aid.” He built up his troops along the borders of Malaysia. Malaysia, fearing invasion, appealed to the U.N. for support.

By February, Sukarno could see the writing on the wall:

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb. 23 (UPI)-President Sukarno declared today that Indonesia could no longer afford freedom of the press. He ordered the banning of anti-Communist newspapers. …

“I have secret information that reveals that the C.I.A. was using the Body for the Promotion of Sukarnoism to kill Sukarnoism and Sukarno,” he said. “That’s why I banned it.” (New York Times, 2/24/65)

The country was in disarray. Anti-American demonstrations were frequent. Indonesia quit the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The press reported that Sukarno was moving closer to the Chinese and Soviets. Sukarno threatened to nationalize remaining U.S. properties, having already taken over, for example, one of the biggest American operations in Indonesia, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. And then, in an unexpected move, Singapore seceded from Malaysia, weakening the newly formed state bordering Indonesia.

With American money interests threatened, all the usual carrots of foreign aid shunted, no leverage via the IMF or World Bank, and Freeport’s Gus Long on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, it was only a matter of time, and not much, at that.

October 1, 1965: Coup or Counter-Coup?

INDONESIA SAYS PLOT TO DEPOSE SUKARNO IS FOILED BY ARMY CHIEF; POWER FIGHT BELIEVED CONTINUING

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia. Oct. 1-An attempt to overthrow President Sukarno was foiled tonight by army units loyal to Gen. Abdul Haris Nasution, the Indonesian radio announced. …

In Washington, a State Department spokesman said Friday the situation in Indonesia was “extremely confused.” Robert J. McCloskey told a news conference the State Department was getting reports from the American Embassy at Jakarta, but “it is not presently possible to attempt any evaluation, explanation, or comment.”

Late yesterday, a mysterious group calling itself the 30th of September Movement seized control of Jakarta.

Colonel Untung, who had announced over the Indonesian radio that he was the leader of the movement, said the group had seized control of the Government to prevent a “counterrevolutionary” coup by the Generals’ Council. (New York Times, 10/2-3/65, International Edition)

In a strange, convoluted move, a group of young military leaders killed a bunch of older, centrist leaders who, they claimed, were going to-with the help of the CIA-stage a coup against Sukarno. But what happened in the aftermath of this turned Indonesia into one of the bloodiest nightmares the world has ever seen. This original counter-coup was branded a coup attempt instead, and painted as brightly Red as possible. Then, in the disguise of outrage that Sukarno’s authority had been imperiled, Nasution joined with General Suharto to overthrow the “rebels.” What started ostensibly to protect Sukarno’s authority ended up stripping him of it wholly. The aftermath is too horrible to describe in a few words. The numbers vary, but the consensus lies in the range of 200,000 to over 500,000 people killed in the wake of this “counter-coup.” Anyone who had ever had an association with the Communist PKI was targeted for elimination. Even Time magazine gave one token accurate description of what was happening:

According to accounts brought out of Indonesia by Western diplomats and independent travelers, Communists, Red sympathizers and their families are being massacred by the thousands. Backlands army units are reported to have executed thousands of Communists after interrogation in remote rural jails. … Armed with wide-bladed knives called parangs, Moslem bands crept at night into the homes of Communists, killing entire families and burying the bodies in shallow graves. … The murder campaign became so brazen in parts of rural East Java that Moslem bands placed the heads of victims on poles and paraded them through villages.

The killings have been on such a scale that the disposal of the corpses has created a serious sanitation problem in East Java and northern Sumatra, where the humid air bears the reek of decaying flesh. Travelers from those areas tell of small rivers and streams that have been literally clogged with bodies; river transportation has at places been impeded.

Latter day thumbnail histories frequently depict the actions like this: “An abortive Communist coup in 1965 led to an anti-Communist takeover by the military, under Gen. Suharto.” (Source: The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia.) But the truth is far more complex. A persuasive indicator for this lies in the following item, cited in a remarkable article by Peter Dale Scott published in the British journal Lobster (Fall, 1990). Scott quotes an author citing a researcher who, having been given access to files of the foreign ministry in Pakistan, ran across a letter from a former ambassador who reported a conversation with a Dutch intelligence officer with NATO, which said, according to the researcher’s notes,

“Indonesia was going to fall into the Western lap like a rotten apple.” Western intelligence agencies, he said, would organize a “premature communist coup … [which would be] foredoomed to fail, providing a legitimate and welcome opportunity to the army to crush the communists and make Soekarno a prisoner of the army’s goodwill.” The ambassador’s report was dated December 1964.

Later in this article, Scott quotes from the book The CIA File:

“All I know,” said one former intelligence officer of the Indonesia events, “is that the Agency rolled in some of its top people and that things broke big and very favorable, as far as we were concerned.”

Ralph McGehee, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, also implicated the agency in an article, still partially censored by the CIA, published in The Nation (April 11, 1981):

To conceal its role in the massacre of those innocent people the C.I.A., in 1968, concocted a false account of what happened (later published by the Agency as a book, Indonesia-1965: The Coup That Backfired). That book is the only study of Indonesia politics ever released to the public on the Agency’s own initiative. At the same time that the Agency wrote the book, it also composed a secret study of what really happened. [one sentence deleted.] The Agency was extremely proud of its successful [one word deleted] and recommended it as a model for future operations [one-half sentence deleted].

Freeport After Sukarno

According to Forbes Wilson, Freeport had all but given up hope of developing its fabulous find in West Irian. But while the rest of the world’s press was still trying to unravel the convoluted information as to who was really in power, Freeport apparently had an inside track. In the essay mentioned earlier, Scott cites a cable (U.S. delegation to the U.N.) which stated that Freeport Sulphur had reached a preliminary “arrangement” with Indonesian officials over the Ertsberg in April of 1965, before there could legitimately have been any hope in sight.

Officially, Freeport had no such plans until after the October 1965 events. But even the official story seemed odd to Wilson. As early as November, a mere month after the October events, longtime Chairman of Freeport, Langbourne Williams, called Director Wilson at home, asking if the time had now come to pursue their project in West Irian. Wilson’s reaction to this call is interesting:

I was so startled I didn’t know what to say.

How did Williams know, so soon, that a new regime was coming to power? Sukarno was still President, and would remain so formally until 1967. Only deep insiders knew from the beginning that Sukarno’s days were numbered, and his power feeble. Wilson explains that Williams got some “encouraging private information” from “two executives of Texaco.” Long’s company had managed to maintain close ties to a high official of the Sukarno regime, Julius Tahija. It was Tahija who brokered a meeting between Freeport and Ibnu Sutowo, Minister of Mines and Petroleum. Fortune magazine had this to say about Sutowo (July 1973):

As president-director of Pertamina [the Government’s state-owned oil company], Lieutenant General Ibnu Sutowo receives a salary of just $250 a month, but lives on a princely scale. He moves around Jakarta in his personal Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. He has built a family compound of several mansions, which are so large that guests at his daughter’s wedding party could follow the whole show only on closed-circuit television.

… The line between Sutowo’s public and private activities will seem hazy to Western eyes. The Ramayan Restaurant in New York [in Rockefeller Center-author’s note], for example, was bankrolled by various U.S. oil-company executives, who put up $500,000 to get into a notoriously risky sort of business. Presumably its backers were motivated at least in part by a desire to be on amiable terms with the general.

But beyond these dubious accolades, a hint of something else, as well was revealed:

Sutowo’s still small oil company played a key part in bankrolling those crucial operations [during the October 1965 events.]

Given the wealth of evidence that the CIA was deeply involved in this operation, it seems equally likely that Sutowo was acting as a conduit for their funds.

After Sukarno’s fall from power, Sutowo constructed a new agreement that allowed oil companies to keep a substantially larger percent of their profits. In an article entitled “Oil and Nationalism Mix Beautifully in Indonesia” (July, 1973), Fortune labeled the post-Sukarno deal “exceptionally favorable to the oil companies.”

In 1967, when Indonesia’s Foreign Investment Law was passed, Freeport’s contract was the first to be signed. With Kennedy, Sukarno, and any viable support for Indonesian nationalism out of the way, Freeport began operations.

In 1969, the vote mandated by the Kennedy brokered U.N. agreement on the question of West Irian independence was due. Under heavy intimidation and the visceral presence of the military, Irian “voted” to remain part of Indonesia. Freeport was in the clear.

The Bechtel Connection

Gus Long was a frequent dinner partner of Steve Bechtel, Sr., owner with CIA Director John McCone, of Bechtel-McCone in Los Angeles in the thirties. McCone and Bechtel, Sr. made a bundle off of World War II, split, and went their not so separate ways. Writes author Laton McCartney in Friends in High Places: The Bechtel Story,

[I]n 1964 and 1965, CIA director John McCone and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia Howard Jones briefed Steve Bechtel Sr. on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Indonesia. Bechtel, Socal, Texaco … had extensive dealings in that part of the world and were concerned because Indonesia’s President Sukarno was nationalizing U.S. business interests there. … In October 1965, in what a number of CIA alumni have since charged was an Agency-backed coup, Sukarno was ousted and replaced by President Suharto, who proved far more receptive to U.S. business interests than his predecessor.

Bechtel was no stranger to the CIA. Bechtel Sr. had been a charter member of the CIA conduit Asia Foundation from its inception as Allen Dulles’ brainchild. Former CIA Director Richard Helms himself joined Bechtel, as an “international consultant” in 1978. Said a former executive, Bechtel was:

loaded with the CIA … The agency didn’t have to ask them to place its agents … Bechtel was delighted to take them on and give them whatever assistance they needed.

Bechtel Sr.’s “oldest and closest friend in the oil industry,” Gus Long, had a problem. Freeport’s project was far more difficult than they had foreseen, and they needed outside help. The mountainous path to the “copper mountain” made extraction nearly impossible. Freeport hired Bechtel to help them construct the appropriate infrastructure to turn their dreams into reality.

Bechtel came with extras. Freeport needed additional financing for their costly Indonesian project. Bechtel Sr. had gotten himself appointed to the advisory committee of the Export-Import (Exim) bank after a long period of cozying up to Exim bank president Henry Kearns. Freeport was not happy with the lack of progress and costs of Bechtel’s operation. Forbes Wilson threatened to drop them from the project. Bechtel Sr. jumped in, saying he would make the project Bechtel’s top priority. He also guaranteed them $20 million in loans from the Exim bank. When the Exim bank’s engineer didn’t think that Freeport’s project seemed commercially viable and wouldn’t approve their loan, Bechtel Sr. called Kearns, and the loan went through over the objections of the bank’s engineer. Three years later, Kearns would resign from the bank when it revealed the bank had made generous loans to several projects in which Kearns was personally invested. Although Senator Proxmire called it “the worst conflict of interest” he had ever seen in seventeen years in the Senate, the Justice Department declined to prosecute. Said Proxmire:

It will appear to millions of American citizens that there is a double standard in the law, one for the ordinary citizen and quite another for those who hold high positions in government and make thousands of dollars in personal profit as a result of official actions.

Bechtel denies allegations from former employees that it spread over $3 million in cash around Indonesia in the early ’70s.

Unhappily Ever After

The tragedy of the Kennedy assassination lies in the legacy left in the wake of his absence. Without his support, Indonesia’s baby steps toward a real, economic independence were shattered. Sukarno, hardly a saint and with plenty of problems, nonetheless was trying to assure that business deals with foreigners left some benefit for the Indonesians. Suharto, in dire contrast, allowed foreigners to rape and pillage Indonesia for private gain, at the price of lives and the precious, irreplaceable resources of the Indonesians. Cindy Adams wrote a book about her experiences with Sukarno, called My Friend the Dictator. If Sukarno was a dictator, what term exists for Suharto?

Freeport’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia is one of the largest copper and gold reserves in the world. But the American based company owns 82% of the venture, while the Indonesian government and a privately held concern in Indonesia split the remaining percent.

How much influence does Freeport carry in Indonesia? Can they really say they have Indonesia’s best interests at heart?

Kissinger and East Timor

In 1975, Freeport’s mine was well into production and highly profitable. Future Freeport Director and lobbyist Henry Kissinger and President and ex-Warren Commission member Gerald Ford flew out of Jakarta having given the Indonesian Government under Suharto what State Department officials later described as “the big wink.” Suharto used the Indonesian military to take over the Portuguese territory of East Timor, followed by a mass slaughter that rivaled the 1965 bloodbath.

Says a former CIA operations officer who was stationed there at the time, C. Philip Liechty:

Suharto was given the green light [by the U.S.] to do what he did. There was discussion in the embassy and in traffic with the State Department about the problems that would be created for us if the public and Congress became aware of the level and type of military assistance that was going to Indonesia at that time. … Without continued heavy U.S. logistical military support the Indonesians might not have been able to pull if off.

In 1980, Freeport merged with McMoRan-an oil exploration and development company headed by James “Jim Bob” Moffett. The two become one, and Moffett (the “Mo” in McMoRan) eventually became President of Freeport McMoRan.

Friends in High Places

In 1995, Freeport McMoRan managed to spin off it’s Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. subsidiary into a separate entity. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) wrote Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold that they planned to cancel their investment insurance based on their poor environmental record at their Irian project, stating Freeport has “posed an unreasonable or major environmental, health, or safety hazard in Irian Jaya.”

Freeport didn’t sit still over this cancellation. Kissinger executed a major lobbying effort (for which he is paid $400,000 a year), meeting with officials at the State Department and working the halls of Capitol Hill. Sources close to the matter, according to Robert Bryce in a recent issue of the Texas Observer, say Freeport hired former CIA director James Woolsey in the fight against OPIC.

Freeport, now headquartered in New Orleans, manages to keep friends in high places. In 1993, the head of the pro-Suharto congressional lobby was the Senator from Louisiana, Bennett Johnson. Representative Robert Livingston, of Louisiana, invested in Freeport Copper and Gold while the House debated and voted on H.R. 322-the Mineral Exploration and Development Act. And when Jeffery Shafer, one of the directors of OPIC, recently was nominated for an appointment to Undersecretary of National Affairs, it was another Louisiana pol, this time Senator John Breaux, who voted to block the appointment until Shafer provided an explanation of OPIC’s cancellation of Freeport’s insurance. Jim Bob Moffett, head of Freeport McMoRan, is listed in Mother Jones‘ online “MoJo Wire Coin-Op Congress” survey of the top 400 people who gave the most money in campaign contributions.

Freeport’s actions abroad are not the only one’s worth tracking. In Louisiana itself, Freeport and three other companies (two of which Freeport later acquired) petitioned for a special exemption to the Clean Water Act in order to legally dump 25 billion pounds of toxic waste into the Mississippi river. Citizens protested, and Freeport’s petition was denied. Freeport then lobbied for the weakening of Clean Water Act restrictions.

The citizens of Austin, Texas, have fought to block a Freeport plan for a real estate development that will foul Barton Springs, a popular outdoor water park there.

According to a recent article in The Nation (July 31/August 7, 1995), Freeport is part of the National Wetlands Coalition, a group which wrote much of the language of a bill designed to eliminate E.P.A. oversight of wetlands areas, freeing them for exploitation. The same coalition has also lobbied to weaken the Endangered Species Act. The Nation revealed that Freeport’s political action committee since 1983 has paid members of congress over $730,000.

Scandal at UT

Freeport’s record caused an uproar at the University of Texas at Austin recently. The university’s geology department, which has done research under contract for Freeport, was recently given $2 million dollars by Jim Bob Moffett for a new building. The school’s Chancellor, William Cunningham, wanted to name the building after his friend and co-worker (Cunningham is also a Freeport Director) Moffett. Many on campus protested this development. Anthropology professor Stephen Feld resigned his position with the university over this issue, saying UT was “no longer a morally acceptable place of employment.” The protests about Cunningham’s conflict of interest-serving UT and Freeport-led to Cunningham’s resignation last December. He resigned a day after Freeport threatened to sue three professors at the University who had been loudest in protest.

Poised on the Brink

While moral victories are lauded in Texas, the real terror continues at Freeport’s plant in Indonesia.

In March of 1996, just as our last issue went to press, riots broke out at the Freeport plant in Irian Jaya (the current name for West Irian). Thousands were marching in the streets around the Freeport plant, where the military had as recently as December held and tortured in Freeport mining containers the people who lived and protested in that region. The protests are deeply rooted in the desire for the independence of the Papuans, the Amungme, and the many native inhabitants of Irian Jaya who were never Dutch, and never really Indonesian.

As we go to print, Indonesian sources report that the military has taken over the numerous Freeport Security stations around the mine. “Military Exercises” are intimidating the people who in March rioted at Freeport, causing the plant to lose two days of work and millions of dollars. Although no curfew has been called, people report a fear of being out at night.

The native Amungme tribes, the Papuans, and others are still hoping to retain independence from what they see as only a new form of colonialism: subservience to Freeport’s interests. According to a New York Times article (4/4/96), Freeport is the largest single investor in Indonesia.

With Kennedy’s support, Indonesia had a chance for real economic independence. The peoples of Irian were promised a real vote for self-government. But when Kennedy was killed, a military dictatorship was installed and paid off so that the interests of businesses like Freeport have been given higher priority than any demands of the natives whose resources are still being pillaged.

Sometimes, what we don’t understand about today’s news is what we don’t know about the Kennedy assassination.