20 FERDINAND MARCOS
President of the Philippines
Ferdinand Marcos began his career with a bang: At age 21, convicted of gunning down Julio Nalundasan, his father's victorious opponent in the Philippines' first national elections, he went to prison. He was later released by a Supreme Court Justice who, like Marcos and his father, was a Nazi collaborator. Despite Marcos's record as murderer, fake WW II hero, and Nazi agent, he was elected Philippines President in 1965.
Under Marcos, the Philippines' national debt grew from $2 billion to $30 billion (and his wife Imelda's shoe collection grew along with it to over 1,000 pairs), but U.S. corporations in the Philippines prospered, perhaps explaining why the U.S. didn't protest Marcos' imposition of martial law in 1972.
The Carter Administration engineered an $88 million World Bank loan to Marcos, increased military aid to him by 300% and called him a "soft dictator". But a 1976 Amnesty International report identified 88 government torturers and stated that alleged subversives had their heads slammed into walls, their genitals and pubic hair torched, and were beaten with clubs, fists, bottles and rifle butts.
By 1977, the armed forces had quadrupled and over 60,000 Filipinos had been arrested for political reasons, yet in 1981, Vice President George Bush praised Marcos for his "adherence to democratic principal and to the democratic processes". Marcos was overthrown in 1986 by followers of Corazon Aquino, widow of an assassinated opposition leader. Ferdinand and Imelda fled to Hawaii, only to be indicted in 1988 for fraud and tax evasion. Marcos died in 1989.
22 SIR HASSANAL BOLKIAH
The Sultan of Brunei
To illegally fund what they referred to as the "Democratic Resistance" in Nicaragua, Oliver North and former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams solicited funds from several authoritarian regimes, including Taiwan (see card 17), South Korea (see card 19) and the more obscure Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, the world's richest monarch, was indeed generous to the Contras - to the tune of $10 million - but clearly not because of any commitment to democracy in Nicaragua or anywhere else, for Brunei is a monarchial dictatorship, under a State of Emergency since 1962. The Sultan's generosity to the CIA also includes allowing Brunei to be the CIA's ears on the explosive Malaysian-Indonesian border. Not unexpectedly, therefore, his Royal Highness was involved with the infamous Nugan Hand Bank of Australia, a 1960s-70s CIA front for South East Asian drug operations and money laundering. In fact, according to a secret 1978 memo, Nugan Hand submitted a proposal to "provide His Highness the Sultan with a bank structure and depository system which he alone can control should any change of government take place."
The Sultan lives in a new palace that may have cost as much as a billion dollars, while over 90% of his subjects live in abject poverty. Those who protest such inequities don't fare well with the authorities. According to Amnesty International, Brunei's jails hold "at least five prisoners of conscience who have spent 25 years in detention without having been convicted of any crime."
23 GENERAL SITIVENI RABUKA
Commander, Armed Forces of Fiji
On April 30th, 1987, General Vemon P. Walters, the CIA's "typhoid Mary" of coup making, slipped into Fiji. Two weeks later, General Sitiveni Rabuka stormed the Fijian Parliament and arrested the newly elected Prime Minister, Dr. Timoci Bavadra. Bavadra's fledgling Labor Party had just defeated Fiji's pro-U.S. puppet Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamese Mara, and although Bavadra's support for a nuclear-free South Pacific was welcomed by the regional populace, "a nuclear free zone would be unacceptable to the U.S., given our strategic needs," said former U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, William Bodde, Jr., who added, "The U.S. must do everything possible to counter this movement." Indeed, it appears it did just that. Thirty-two days after his electoral victory, Dr. Bavadra was overthrown by the pro-nuclear General Rabuka. "We're kinda delighted," said one Pentagon spokesman after the coup. "All of a sudden our ships couldn't go to Fiji, and now all of a sudden they can."
Once in control, General Rabuka quickly allied himself with some of the most brutal regimes in the world. "Military dictators seem to like other military dictators," says deposed Fijian Prime Minister Bavadra. "It did not take long for our illegal rulers to establish strong ties with Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea." Under General Rabuka's U.S. supported police state, Amnesty International has reported, for the first time in Fijian history, cases of illegal detention and torture. "What we are seeing, " says Fijian political scientist James Anthony, "is the Latinization of the Pacific."
24 GENERAL SUHARTO
President of Indonesia
Indonesia is a totalitarian state and its uncontested ruler for over 20 years, General Suharto, is one of the most brutal dictators in history. After a CIA organized coup brought him to power in 1965, Suharto, who had already collaborated with Dutch colonialists and Japanese occupiers, decided to purge every last "Communist subversive from Indonesian soil". General Nasution, a former close associate of Suharto, called for the extermination of three million Indonesian communist party members.
CIA point man Colonel Sarwo Eddie personally supervised the murderous purge. Paratroopers would arrive in a region with a list of "subversives" and provide it to local vigilante groups. Using machetes and other crude weapons, the vigilantes would hack the alleged subversives to death. Entire populations of towns and villages were herded to central locations and massacred. Children would be asked to identify "communists" who would then be executed on the spot. In addition to the half million people who were killed outright after the coup, another 750,000 were arrested and tortured. Ultimately, one million people died in one of the most savage mass slaughters of modem political history.
Ironically, the New York Times reported in December 1965, two months after the purge began, that "from an American viewpoint" Suharto's new government in Indonesia "represents a positive achievement." Apparently so, for the U.S. continues to this day to train and arm the Indonesian military with the latest high-tech equipment.