30 MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLEVI
Shah of Iran, King of
1953 was a busy year for Allen Dulles. Even as he readied the CIA
for a coup in Guatemala (see card
9), his agents were toppling the liberal left government of Dr. Mohammad
Mossadeq and paving the way for the Shah of Iran. With Dulles'
encouragement, the Shah made the Iranian people an offer they couldn't
refuse - join his party or go to jail. Thousands who refused to yield were
imprisoned or murdered. During regional elections in 1954, the Shah's agents
raided a religious school and hurled hundreds of students to their deaths
from the roof. His regime received 100% of the vote that year, in an
election which registered more votes than there were voters.
subsequent solidification of power led to an iron fisted rule enforced by
fear and torture. His secret police agency, SAVAK, was created in 1957 and
managed by the CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice
and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the
running of agents. SAVAK's torture methods included electric shock,
whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the
rectum, tying weights to testicles, and the extraction of teeth and
Iran under the Shah became a devoted U.S. ally and a base for spy
operations on the border of the Soviet Union. But eventually the Shah was
overthrown in 1978 by an indigenous people's revolution that held sway until
fundamentalist religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from
exile and reasserted his power during the 1979 U.S. hostage
Chancellor of Germany
As German bombs fell on London and Nazi tanks rolled
over U.S. troops, Sosthenes Behn, president and founder of the U.S. based
ITT corporation. met with his German representative to discuss improving
German communication systems. ITT was designing and building Nazi phone and
radio systems as well as supplying crucial parts for German bombs. Our
government knew all about this, for under presidential order, U.S. companies
were licensed to trade with the Nazis. The choice of who would be licensed
was odd, though: while Secretary of State Breckinridge Long gave the Ford
Motor Company permission to make Nazi tanks, he simultaneously blocked aid
to German-Jewish refugees because the U.S. wasn't supposed to be trading
with the enemy.
Other U.S. companies trading with the Third Reich were
General Motors, DuPont, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Davis Oil Co., and the
Chase National Bank. President Roosevelt did not stop them fearing a scandal
might lead to another stock market crash or lower U.S. morale. Besides, the
same companies that traded with Hitler were supplying the U.S., and some
corporate leaders threatened to withdraw their support if Roosevelt exposed
them. Henry Ford was a good friend of Hitler's. His book The Internatonal
Jew had inspired Hitler's Mein Kampf. The Fuehrer kept Ford's
picture in his office, and Ford was one of only four foreigners to receive
Germany's highest civilian award. As for Sosthenes Behn, at the end of the
war, he received the highest civilian award for service to his country - the
United States of America.
President of Spain
General Francisco Bahamonde
Franco was not the most popular leader in Spain during the early 1930s. A
man of humble origins, he had worked his way up the military ladder fighting
colonial wars in Africa. He was hardly charismatic; Hitler once described
meeting him as "Iess pleasurable than having four or five teeth pulled." But
Franco, a staunch conservative, was infuriated when a Republican
alliance of socialists, Marxists, and liberals won Spain's first free
elections in 1936. So the General decided to "restore order" by
Franco's Nationalists were losing the civil war, but military
support from Hitler, Mussolini, and the U. S. corporations that backed
Hitler (see card 32) turned the tide in his favor.
Italy and Germany sent 6,000 trucks to Franco's fascists, but 12,000 were
supplied by Ford, General Motors and Studebaker. The U.S. claimed neutrality
but didn't stop these companies from aiding Franco. The failure of the U.S.
and other democratic nations to assist Spain's democratic government was
ultimately responsible for Franco's victory in 1939, and, sadly, American
volunteers who had fought for the Republic were branded "premature
anti-fascists" and relentlessly persecuted during the U.S. anti-communist
hysteria of the 1950s.
Under Franco, all political parties and labor
unions were banned, books were burned, and dissenters were tortured and
executed. Spain was ostracized by the international community, but the U.S.
considered Franco a Cold War ally and sank millions into the country. After
Franco's death in 1975, Spain became a democratic republic once
DE OLIVEIRA SALAZAR
Prime Minister of Portugal
Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
must have been upset when the Allies won the WW II and he had to take the
autographed picture of his hero, Benito Mussolini, off his desk. Salazar
worshiped Hitler and Mussolini, but after they lost, he joined the Allies
and became a card carrying member of NATO. However, he always kept a piece
of fascism alive in Portugal. His secret police, the PIDE, were much like
the Gestapo; concentration camps were set up for "enemies of the state";
news organizations were merely propaganda machines; and all schools had
their lesson plans carefully monitored by Big Brother. Salazar also kept a
little piece of the dark ages alive in Western Europe. In 1970, 30% of the
population was illiterate, and the infant mortality rate was the second
worst in Europe. The Portuguese economy stagnated. Most of the land was held
by 5% of the population, the vast majority of Portuguese were working in
agriculture, and all union activities were forbidden.
Portugal was the
last stronghold of European colonialism. Salazar refused to give up colonies
in East Timor, Portuguese Guiana, Mozambique, and Angola. He believed "the
"white man" must bring higher civilization to the "black man". The U.S.
openly backed Portugal's colonial claims due to the strategic importance of
military bases such as the one in the Portuguese Azores.
Salazar died in
1968, after 40 years in power. His regime fell in 1974, at which point
Portugal left Angola, but the U.S. continued to back South African efforts
there (see card
35 GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS
Prime Minister of
When President Lyndon Johnson offered a solution to the Greek
Ambassador for the dispute between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus, the
Ambassador protested, saying the solution was unacceptable to the Greek
parliament and constitution. Johnson replied, "Fuck your parliament and your
constitution. We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks. If your
Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitutions,
he, his parliament and his constitution may not last very long." And,
indeed, they did not. Three years later, in 1967, a military coup overthrew
the freely elected government of Andreas Papandreou.
The coup was headed
by CIA employee and ex-Nazi George Papadopoulos. He had been on the CIA
payroll for 15 years when he came to power, and during WW II he was a
captain in the Nazi Security Battalions, whose main purpose was to catch
members of the Greek Resistance. Henry Tasca, American Ambassador to Greece,
called the new regime "the most anti-communist group you'll find anywhere."
Almost anyone who even said the word "communist" was jailed. During
Papadopoulos' first month in power, 8000 so-called "leftists" were
imprisoned and tortured. Greece was expelled from the European Commission on
Human Rights but continued to receive U.S. aid. In return, Greece kept the
world sale for democracy by housing U.S. military bases. Papadopoulos was
ousted in 1973 after failing from grace with the inner clique that helped
him rule. When the entire government fell in 1974, he and his comrades were
tried for human rights abuses.
36 TURGUT OZAL
Prime Minister of
Turgut Ozal was elected prime minister of Turkey in 1983, after
several years of harsh military rule. But while free expression in Turkey
has opened up somewhat in recent days, torture and long prison terms for
political opponents and government critics have remained a way of life. In
1988, according to Amnesty Intemational, "thousands of people were
imprisoned for political reasons ... [and] the use of torture continued to
be widespread and systematic."
Turkey's torturers are ruthless. Says one
victim: "I loosened the blindfold and looked around. The scene was horrific.
People were piled up in the corridor wading their tum to be tortured. Ten
people were being led, blindfolded and naked, up and down the corridor and
were being beaten to force them to sing reactionary marches. Others,
incapable of standing, were tied to hot radiator pipes ... A man was forced
to watch while his children were tortured and vice versa."
the repression that a succession of governments have subjected the country
to, U.S.-Turkish relations remain cordial. In the past, U.S. officials have
even attributed the torture problem to "the violent nature of the Turkish
people." Retired Turkish General Turgut Sunalp explains it a different way.
"There has been, still is and will be torture in Turkey because there is
torture everywhere in the world," he said. But despite its human rights
abuses, Turkey can do no wrong in U.S. eyes, for it is one of the CIA's key
listening posts on the Soviet border. Not surprisingly, in 1987, Turkey was
the third largest recipient of U.S.