CIA man admits: we  sent ‘dangerous’ Mandela to jail 

This story has long generated official CIA denials that sounded flimsy. With this story from The Times & The Sunday Times in London, those denials are now defunct. The CIA betrayed the leader of South African independence to the apartheid regime in 1962.
But give the CIA man his due. Nelson Mandela was indeed dangerous to the CIA and U.S. foreign policy in 1962. He was leader in the African National Congress (ANC), a model for African independence movement. JFK, as a senator and president, was instinctively supportive of African independence. Much to the annoyance of France, for example, JFK was an early supporter of Algerian independence. Jim DiEugenio lays out JFK thinkinga about Third World nationalism.

The CIA, by contrast, was solidly–wholeheartedly–behind the apartheid regime South Africa  because it supposedly protected Americans from communism. And so the ANC was targeted. Mandela went to jail for three decades. His negotiated victory over the apartheid regime three decades later has been called many things. It was also a deserved defeat for CIA.

The story illuminates the ideology that animated CIA covert operations in the early 1960s. If these men thought Mandela was dangerous, what did they think of President Kennedy?

9 comments

  1. kennedy63 says:

    The errant anti-communist philosophy held by powerful individuals within the US government, unleashed upon the world dangerous targeting, (particularly of nationalist leaders of emerging countries), suppression, oppression, and assassination, by agencies (and individuals associated with those clandestine operations) of Western countries. The sum total of these often concerted actions(with US allies) was to keep the resources and people of targeted nations subjugated to Western colonial domination. Such subversion of foreign nations and their leaders proved impotent against the drive for freedom from tyranny – the same ardent burning which fueled the American revolution. The architects of this American skull-drudgery heaped shame, scorn, and ridicule upon the noble efforts of their predecessors; yet, we can not divorce such criminal tactics from US privileged elites who masqueraded under the guises of the CIA, State & Defense Departments, or traveling businessmen/women – even journalists. Malcolm X stated it correctly, in response to JFK’s assassination: “It is a case of the chickens coming home to roost.” The CIA continues to align itself with, and support of, totalitarian regimes. In 1962 South Africa was one such illegitimate regime. Why is it necessary for America’s propaganda machine to label as Communist any resistance to capitalist tyranny? Mandiba (Mandela) was a South African freedom fighter and revolutionary of the African National Congress (ANC), who accepted assistance from Communists to overthrow a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate South African apartheid (racially repressive) regime. Did not the Colonist accept French and German aid to overthrow the British Empire’s tyrannical yoke? The British called the Colonist’s actions treason and sedition against the Crown. Seems that “power” will always seek to demonize those who oppose the status quo and, when inevitable, participate in active armed struggle for redress of grievances and just demands from tyrannical rule.

  2. GM says:

    It is an interesting story. I think it has been rumoured about for quite some time. It looks like it now has a solid foundation to it. I wonder if the CIA has any files on Mandela.

  3. enemem says:

    The Sunday Times also reported that, during her term as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was asked by friends of Nelson Mandela to look into the story; and that her reply was that “You don’t want to know”.

    Fifty or so years after the event, her judgement was that even this stone should be left unturned. It tends to suggest that a President Clinton will not press for maximum disclosure in 2017.

  4. lysias says:

    How did Rickard know about Mandela’s travel plans? NSA?

  5. Photon says:

    Perhaps the question should be why did JFK have a CIA presence in South Africa? Do you even acknowledge that JFK was actively trying to sell submarines to South Africa and supplant the U.K. And France as its chief weapons supplier? Do you deny that JFK wanted to base anti-submarine assets in South Africa to monitor Soviet submarine activity in the South Atlantic?
    I referenced these topics months ago in a previous Mandela post.Whatever JFK’s personal opinions of apartheid were, he was more than willing to sublimate them to his need for an anti-communist ally in the South Atlantic.
    Or are you claiming that JFK was so incompetent that he was unaware of CIA activity in another country? To believe CTers JFK was completely clueless as to what was going on in the world, particularly the activities of agencies that he INCREASED APPROPRIATIONS FOR. If you dig deep enough in this story it is going to come up with a conclusion you may not like-if it is true at all. Do you honestly think that JFK would not want to capture the major Communist threat to a public ally?

  6. Photon says:

    This is fascinating. There has not been a single comment even attempting to refute what I posted above.
    Is it possible that the arrest of Mandela was facilitated either directly or indirectly by John F. Kennedy?
    The President claimed by DiEugenio and others to be the most anti-colonial President of the 20th Century appears to be responsible for the arrest of the most prominent African anti-colonial leader-if this story is true, which May not actually be the case.
    But if it is the implications are titanic, particularly in regards to Conspiracy viewpoints concerning the assumed beliefs and positions of John F. Kennedy and the perceived motivations for his assassination .

  7. Bill Simpich says:

    Titanic my ass. I love JFK, but I would assume that he went along with the dominant paradigm that Mandela was a terrorist. Little did most people know that Mandela was an agent of love.

    • Photon says:

      Unbelievable! You actually admit that if this story is true JFK was responsible for the arrest of the greatest Freedom Fighter of modern times and for the continuation of South Africa as an apartheid state for 30 years-and it means nothing.
      Then what is the point of DiEugenio’s rants and those of others about JFK being an anti-colonialist hero and therefore a target for right-wing extremists-implying a motive to get rid of him?
      Why would CIA elements want to get rid of somebody who it seems supported or instigated those policies that you and others find so distasteful -are you implying that JFK was above or unaware of what the CIA and other security forces were doing around the world? Are you claiming that he was an “absentee landlord” when it came to those actions instead of being as all other Presidents are-aware but shielded by “plausible denial” of specifics? You and others have this ” lily white knight” perception of JFK when in reality he was a typical Cold Warrior of the era. It seems to me that many CTers are more interested in creating a geopolitical motive to get rid of JFK rather than concentrate on the physical evidence of the case. The biggest example of this is the Vietnam Pullout myth. No matter what he may have said to this person or that, no matter what the interpretation of previous memos may be-the ouster of Diem made further American involvement inevitable and JFK pushed for the coup-against the advice of several top advisers. That is not the action of someone contemplating withdrawal. It is analogous to Colin Powell’s remark to G.W. Bush in regards to the consequencies of the invasion of Iraq-” you own it”
      The coup changed every U.S. perception and plan in regards to the future of South Vietnam-and CTers that claim that JFK was going to pull out simply can’t accept that fact and ignore that it makes every supposition of what JFK planned to do prior to that event irrelevant ( even those based on false interpretation of documents).

    • Avinash says:

      To be frank.Mandela was indeed a terrorist in his early years.He changed later on.

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