David W. Conde set the groundwork for Philip Agee’s 1975 whistleblowing account, Inside the Company.
In 1970, David W. Conde, an American journalist working in Japan, who had served with the U.S. Army Psychological Warfare Branch in World War II, published a now-forgotten book in New Delhi, CIA—Core of the Cancer.
Five years before publication of CIA whistleblower Philip Agee’s Inside the Company: A CIA Diary, the book provided a damning indictment of the CIA’s involvement in criminal operations—particularly in Southeast Asia—and manipulation of public opinion through tax-exempt foundations financed by large corporations that corrupted a generation of intellectuals.
Conde wrote that, “while there seems no question that historians will record that the CIA’s greatest defeat was its failure to overcome [Fidel] Castro’s forces at the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the CIA’s greatest victory may well turn out to be not its food poisoning, its ballot-stuffing, its coup d’états, or its mobilization of labor unions or students to serve U.S. interests overseas, but its research grants to U.S. and foreign scholars.”
These scholars played an influential role in helping condition the public in the U.S. and in countries around the world to support U.S. foreign policy interests and Cold War mobilization against the Soviet Union.
Conde noted that, “in Hitler’s Germany and Prince Konoe’s Japan, thought police used torture, and ordered death or [used] the threat of death to convert communists into anti-communists, but America being a rich country, relied upon the power of its money.”
This money had a deeply corrupting effect, tarnishing intellectual and scientific integrity, debasing political life and causing almost all societal institutions to be up for sale.
A Maverick Caught in the Cross-Hairs of an Anti-Red Psychopath
David William Conde was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1906 and moved to California with his first wife and kids in the 1930s. His father served in the 86th machine gun battalion of the Canadian army in World War I. Self-educated, Conde described himself as a “lifelong Democrat” and “original New Dealer” in a 1975 letter to Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA).
During World War II, Conde worked on Allied propaganda within the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) Psychological Warfare Branch under Colonels J. Woodall Greene and Bonner Fellers. He specialized in writing and producing anti-Japanese propaganda radio broadcasts and the development of “surrender” and demoralization leaflets that were dropped on Japanese troops in New Guinea.
Nominated for a Medal of Freedom, Conde described himself as “one of that small group of men who had served with General MacArthur all the way from Brisbane to Japan…as a civilian Japan specialist picked and hired by the State Department.” His propaganda broadcasts stressed the “errors, cruelties and crimes being committed by the Japanese militarists, paying particular attention to the role of the Tokko Keisatsu [elite Japanese police unit monitoring political groups] within Japan.”
Conde insisted that it was his war propaganda work that prepared him to analyze post-war CIA propaganda targeting Japan, writing that, “because of his war work against the thought control police of Japan, it was natural that I should be aware of and know the dangerous-to-liberty role of the CIA when it was born just after World War II.”
At the end of World War II, Conde stayed in Japan as head of the motion-picture division of the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers (SCAP), helping in that capacity to revitalize Japanese filmmaking and theater by encouraging anti-militaristic and democratic themes.
Among the films that Conde supported were Those Who Make Tomorrow (1946), a pro-union story portraying the heroic labor struggle of members of a Japanese film studio, and Akira Kurosawa’s 1946 film No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) inspired by the true life story of Hotsumi Ozaki, a Japanese journalist executed during the war for aiding a Soviet spy ring and trying to undermine Japanese imperialism.
In July 1946, Conde was fired over disagreements about the political messages of some of the section’s films, and because of growing rumors that he was a communist sympathizer.
Subsequently, he covered the International Military Tribunal for the Far East as a reporter for Reuters before he was expelled from Japan by Douglas MacArthur, whom Conde characterized as an “anti-red psychopath” and “dictator.”
Getting in Trouble For Writing the Truth
Some of Conde’s stories had focused on how Japanese crime boss Yoshio Kodama escaped punishment after being arrested as a war criminal for his great crimes during Japan’s invasion of China. Kodama went on to use the Yakuza to smuggle arms and drugs for the CIA in Asia.
For Conde, the selective prosecutions of the tribunal revealed a U.S. deal helping to establish American regional dominance in the post-war world.
Back in California, Conde underwent a divorce after the FBI pressured his wife to accuse him of being a “red.” After moving to Minnesota to work for Sears, Roebuck, where he rose to the position of chief buyer, Conde remarried, but his second wife also divorced him after she too was visited by the FBI-CIA, which started investigating him as a suspected communist in 1947.
In 1964, Conde returned to Japan where he worked as a journalist for several news outlets, including the Far Eastern Economic Review. Throughout his career he published 14 books—many in Japanese—with such titles as: How America Ate Japan, The American Dream Is Ended, and Indonesian Coup d’état.
An unpublished manuscript, A Structured History of the United States, foreshadowed Howard Zinn’s popular A People’s History of the United States (1980) in highlighting class conflict in U.S. history and promoting a radical critique of power relations.
In a 1975 letter to Senator Cranston, Conde said that he was sure the CIA would call his books “Anti-American,” though “I call them the truth.”
CIA Watcher Identifies the Cancer
In CIA—Core of the Cancer, Conde included information he had previously written about in a series of articles for Japanese publications that examined how the United States had reshaped Japanese news media in ways aligned with American interests.
These articles examined how the Asia Foundation, USAID and Rockefeller and Ford Foundations funded programs that chose journalists and scholars who produced works aligned with American narratives of world politics and stifled critiques of Western intervention in Japan during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. They also financed the “Japan lobby,” which pushed for the lowering of tariffs on Japanese goods in the U.S., causing the loss of American manufacturing jobs because of the flood of cheap Japanese imports, while ensuring that Japan became Rockefeller’s top oil customer.
Conde described himself as a “CIA watcher” and wrote numerous articles trying to identify CIA assets in Japan. The CIA was a cancer in his view because of its insidious manipulation of public opinion and suppression of Japan’s left-wing movement, which sought to break the dominance of the business conglomerates (zaibatsu) that were behind Japan’s militarists during World War II and opposed U.S. aggression in Korea and Vietnam.
Despite the massive spy station at Atsugi, the CIA was less influential in Japan than other countries, Conde noted, because General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Power had distrusted them and relied on his lieutenant Charles Willoughby and the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) during the period of U.S. occupation from 1945-1952.
After 1946, most of the CIC’s attention was turned against the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) which opposed the militarists in World War II. Orders were given to the Japanese Metropolitan Police to establish a new secret police section to spy on labor, radicals, intellectuals—anyone that might oppose U.S. policy in Japan, including “dangerous Americans” like himself.
CIA and Big Oil—Tied at the Hip
CIA—Core of the Cancer was very strong in its analysis of political-economy, emphasizing how the CIA did the bidding of large corporations. The oil industry and CIA were essentially one and the same, Conde believed, since it was the Rockefeller Standard Oil dynasty that supported the major foundations that were used as CIA conduits.
According to Conde, the ultimate goal of U.S. foreign policy in Southeast Asia was to “keep Japan the best U.S. oil customer,” and to further the interests of the U.S. oil industry, whose main interest was to “escape taxation in foreign lands and employ cheap labor” while “price-fixing and cartels were there to take care of the consumer.”
Conde referred to Harry S. Truman as a “puppet of Big Oil” and other expansionist interests who set out to build the American empire,” while noting Eisenhower’s appointment of the Dulles brothers, who represented Big Oil, to run his foreign policy, and John F. Kennedy’s appointment of Dean Rusk, the head of the Rockefeller Foundation, as his Secretary of State.
When Indonesian leader Sukarno seemed to be moving to the left, the CIA stage-managed a rebellion in the oil-rich Sumatra province and then launched a coup when he tried to nationalize Indonesia’s oil refineries, which had been the property of the large U.S. oil firms. After the coup and massacre of the communists, the Indonesian oil industry was de-nationalized under General Suharto and the oil properties were all handed back to their American, British and Dutch owners.
In Iran, a CIA-backed coup enabled Gulf Oil, Standard Oil and Socony Mobil to get back 60% of their holdings that had been jeopardized when Mohammad Mossaddegh tried to nationalize Iran’s oil industry.
Conde described how coup mastermind Roosevelt “emerged from his secret headquarters loaded with money and sent his paid agents into all the bazaars, coffee shops and athletic centers, and soon the paid counter-demonstrations [to bring down Mossadegh] began.”
After he retired from the CIA, Kermit Roosevelt was rewarded with an appointment as Vice President of the Gulf Oil Corporation.
Oil was also central to the CIA’s terrorist campaign against Cuba following the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Conde writes that revolutionary leader Fidel Castro became target #1 when he asked U.S. oil firms in Cuba to lower their selling prices or accept cheaper oil for refining, which they refused, forcing Castro to nationalize the oil industry—at which point the CIA began plotting his overthrow and assassination.
Conde was concerned about the absorption of his native country of Canada into the American empire, and capture of Canada’s once independent oil industry by the Rockefeller interests in the interwar period along with the takeover of Canada’s natural resources by U.S. companies.
In an article entitled “Big Oil, Canada, and American Empire” published in 1971, Conde noted that Imperial Oil, International Nickel of Canada and McDonnell Douglas of Canada were all now part of the Rockefeller business empire.
Supporting the policy of nationalization, he pointed attention to the efforts of Prime Minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau’s Minister of Mines, Energy and Resources, J.J. Greene, to have the Canadian government take over various oil companies so that ownership would remain Canadian—a policy he also advocated for in Third World countries that were victims of U.S. economic penetration and CIA subversion.
Intellectual Rape and Incest
In order to transform classic imperialistic policies into moralistic ones, the CIA perfected the art of psychological warfare through a concerted propaganda campaign that enlisted leading intellectuals and journalists.
CIA—Core of the Cancer spotlighted the influence of the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF) in sponsoring magazines like the British Encounter and other anti-communist publications that adopted the U.S. position in the Cold War.
Conde called this “intellectual rape and incest.” Financing came from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, which hid the fact that the CIA was behind it.
The head of the Ford Foundation from 1966 to 1979 was McGeorge Bundy, formerly the top CIA man in the White House. (Bundy served as National Security Adviser, from 1961 to 1966.)
As a result of the CIA’s manipulation, Conde wrote, there were few if any books that were critical of the U.S. role in Asia and a critique of the U.S. occupation of Japan and the period since was “still yet to appear in print.”
During the 1950s and 1960s, whole academic departments were sponsored by the CIA, such as MIT’s Center for International Studies. It was headed by Walt W. Rostow, an anti-communist ideologue who characterized the liberation of colonial areas as “communist aggression.” Conde wrote that, given all the human suffering that resulted from Rostow’s ideas about Vietnam, “Rostow lies someplace above Dr. Joseph Goebbels in history’s annals and is a peer of Heinrich Himmler.”
The President of the American Political Science Association wrote in a letter that the CIA had “penetrated academic and cultural circles through foundations and pseudo-foundations to which they have channeled funds. There are bound to be evil effects from such practices.”
These evil effects included the corruption of educational ethics and institutionalization of support for atrocities in Korea and Vietnam that were justified under the pretext of the Cold War.
In Japan, journalistic integrity was compromised when the CIA subsidized center-left magazines that promoted anti-communist views. The wife of Herbert Burrows, a CIA agent in Japan (1956-1966), was employed by Japan’s leading English-language newspaper, while the Rockefeller Foundation contracted Professor Herbert Passin, chairman of Columbia University’s sociology department from 1973 to 1977, to publish articles raising alarm at the growth of the political left and its connection to Peking. No similar efforts were made to raise alarm about the political right. Japan’s Prime Minister from 1957 to 1960, Nobusuke Kishi, had been a right-wing militarist and war criminal rehabilitated by the U.S.
Frederick Joss, an artist and political satirist who revealed U.S. propaganda operations in Hong Kong, fell under mysterious circumstances from the 25th floor of the Hong Kong Hilton Hotel, the location of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club.
The success of CIA propaganda operations was epitomized by the fact that most readers would have no idea that the book they were reading was sponsored by the CIA.
Examples that Conde gave included: The Truth About the Dominican Republic by Jay Mallin; President Kennedy in Africa by Robert Marshall; From Colonialism to Communism by Hoang Van Chi; The Communist Revolution in Asia by Robert A. Scalapino; and East Asia: Modern Transformation by Edwin O. Reischauer.
A former military intelligence officer, Reischauer was a Harvard professor and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1961 to 1966 who schemed to preserve U.S. military bases and the stationing of nuclear weapons in Okinawa even after Okinawa’s sovereignty reverted back to Japan. In violation of Japan’s sovereignty, he also had two Japanese journalists fired for reporting critically about the U.S. war in Vietnam. 
Robert A. Scalapino was a government consultant who wrote alarmingly about the Japanese Communist Party’s pro-Peking posture.
His book, The Communist Revolution in Asia, included a chapter on Indonesia by Guy J. Pauker of the RAND Corporation, supporting the 1965 coup in Indonesia that resulted in the massacre of between 500,000 and 2 million alleged communists.
Conde by contrast wrote a critical book on the CIA-backed massacres in Indonesia that holds up well today.
Guiding Legions Onto the Path of Anticommunism
Connected to the Congress of Cultural Freedom was the CIA-sponsored Asia Foundation, which offered scholarships for Asian students to study in the U.S. with the hopes of them returning home to assume leadership roles in their countries.
The Asia Foundation also distributed money to Japanese scientists who carried out research in chemical and biological warfare and sponsored youth organizations in countries like Indonesia with the goal of steering the students toward anti-communism.
The founder of the Asia Society significantly was John D. Rockefeller III, the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller I, and brother of David Rockefeller, head of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York from 1959-1973 and Vice President from 1974-1977.
Conde wrote that the Rockefellers represented “the core of American imperialism” who “created the American empire,” and “remain[ed] the most reactionary, suave and corrupting force within the U.S. and throughout the world.”
John D. Rockefeller III characteristically was a hawk on Vietnam who in a 1965 speech at the Japan Society in Chicago warned about the threat of communist militancy to Asian peace and security.
Through his “philanthropic” work, Rockefeller III headed up studies designed to strengthen the capitalist world, and sponsored educational grants that, in Conde’s words, “did more to guide legions of professionals onto the path of polite anticommunism than all the works of Joseph Goebbels.”
Targeting the Young and Smearing the Pacifists
Conde recognized that a lot of the CIA’s energy was directed towards recruiting students and youth leaders to the worldwide anti-communist movement.
He cited a famous 1967 Ramparts magazine exposé of the CIA’s infiltration of the National Student Association (NSA), which received $3.3 million from the CIA between 1953 and 1967, and whose conference rooms were all bugged.
Conde also discussed the CIA’s recruitment of Middle Eastern students through the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME), headquartered in Jordan, which was funded through the J. Frederick Brown and George C. Marshall Foundations, and CIA funding of a Japanese student group that accused the Japanese premier who expressed criticism of U.S. policy in Vietnam of “swallowing North Vietnam’s propaganda.”
In Berlin, Conde noted that students at the Free University of Berlin were hired by the CIA to report on classmates who might have an interest in the Soviet Union or Eastern European countries or otherwise expressed “dangerous thoughts,” while in Saigon, CIA-funded students were paid to shout at a visiting delegation of American peace activists led by Reverend A.J. Muste, “Go home friends of the Vietcong.”
When Nikita Khrushchev visited American cities in September 1959, the CIA paid students to shout him down, Conde wrote. The CIA also sponsored a cartoon in Japan’s leading newspaper denigrating folk singer Joan Baez when she visited Japan because of her opposition to the Vietnam War. The cartoon, introduced in 1966 by Al Capp, was titled “Phoney Joani”—intending to make her out as a greedy and cruel person and fraud.
Corrupting Organized Labor
CIA-financed foundations receiving large contributions from U.S. oil companies poured money into anticommunist political parties, peasant associations and labor unions that worked to purge communists from their ranks and employed hoodlums to beat them up.
The American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), which had been established by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), coordinated these latter efforts. The AIFLD’s board of trustees included representatives from W.R. Grace & Co., the Rockefeller Foundation, Anaconda Copper Co. and Pan-American Airways.
In Italy, AIFLD representatives Irving Brown and Harry Goldberg opposed the socialists as well as the communists and helped to splinter the Italian labor movement.
Goldberg was then sent to Indonesia where he established a “free” splinter trade union movement named Gasbindo, which sought to destroy any radical counterparts, and supported the right-wing CIA-backed coup against Sukarno. In the early 1960s, Goldberg also plotted a coup trying to replace Ngo Dinh Diem’s faltering regime in South Vietnam with a “broad, democratic anticommunist coalition.” 
In India and Japan, Goldberg’s role was filled by Richard Deverell, a conservative Catholic trade unionist who encouraged the unions there to adopt an anti-communist stand.
In 1965, AFL-CIO leaders George Meany and Jay Lovestone came to Japan to inaugurate the conservative Japanese Confederation of Labor. A former Trotskyist and CIA agent, Lovestone said that “we have come here to flatten the communists out.”
Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson wrote that the Meany-Lovestone-AFL-CIO policy “swung its weight behind dictatorships in Latin America and used CIA funds to do so.”
In Brazil, AFL-CIO agents backed by the CIA helped overthrow social democratic President João Goulart in 1964 and then supported a military junta that arrested labor leaders. When it took over, a rightist governor, Carlos Lacenda, said that “the CIA now governed Brazil by proxy.”
The same was true for the Dominican Republic after the 1965 U.S. military invasion, which resulted in the overthrow of Juan Bosch, a social democrat like Goulart who had raised the minimum wage and adopted progressive economic policies that threatened U.S. corporate interests.
The CIA Kingdom of South Vietnam
Conde understood how the CIA had been instrumental to the U.S. war of aggression in Vietnam, writing that, “from [Ngo Dinh] Diem to [Nguyen] Van Thieu, all the Vietnamese strongmen were creatures and agents of the CIA.”
CIA—Core of the Cancer starts out by describing the murder of a Vietnamese double agent by Green Beret commander Robert Rheault as part of the CIA-led Phoenix Program, which Conde described as “computerized murder.”
An American lawyer who defended one of the Green Berets told Conde that the killers had acted upon orders of the CIA and that he had “evidence to prove that the CIA ordered the killing and affected the killing of over 100 agents in South Vietnam in the last year.”
After the Viet Minh’s victory over France at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the CIA sabotaged the prospect for fair elections and Vietnam’s unification under the provisions of the 1954 Geneva Accords and instead tried to prop up the Catholic anti-communist, Ngo Dinh Diem.
Diem had become the U.S.-favored son after meeting Wesley Fishel, a Michigan State University political science professor and suspected CIA officer, in Japan in 1950. The CIA then financed the Vietnam lobby in the U.S. and Canada to secure political support for Diem, whose constitution was written by Americans and Filipinos and whose police were trained by CIA-contracted professors at Michigan State University.
Under the CIA-led anti-communist denunciation campaign, thousands of communists were converted to Diemism and forced to curse North Vietnam’s communist leader Ho Chi Minh and trample on the North Vietnamese flag. Those who did not comply were rounded up and taken to prison camps.
Conde writes that CIA agent Edward Lansdale, who previously helped to prop up a right-wing government in the Philippines, spent nine years in South Vietnam trying to “convert, bribe, brainwash and manipulate the population into supporting Diem’s regime.”
When that did not work, the CIA tried to prop up even more undemocratic rulers who were “creatures of the CIA” and deployed “napalm, chemical spraying of crops” and “computerized murderer” under Phoenix in a futile attempt to “smash the population.”
Conde wrote that as an American, “he was glad that the U.S. was defeated in its interests in Korea and now in Vietnam.” “The cost of these wars” he said, “was inhumanely great, but the profits for [the] oil and aircraft [industries] was even greater.”
In his view, “if the world is looking for the war criminal responsible for the war in Vietnam, it is John F. Kennedy” as “it was he who replaced U.S. advisers with U.S. troops and American reconnaissance planes with B-52 bombers,” and it was “Kennedy’s ‘crush the people’s war theory’ that led to the expansion of the CIA and to the making of the war in Vietnam”.
More Deadly Fun and Games in Laos
Conde detailed how the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations spent half a billion dollars in Laos from 1954 to 1962 trying to establish a rightist regime under General Phoumi Nosavan, who was also a creature of the CIA.
The Agency crudely rigged elections on General Phoumi’s behalf in 1960 that would have been won by the pro-communist Pathet Lao. Standing by Phoumi’s side during the election was Jack Hasey, the CIA chief of station who went on to deploy more dirty tricks in Thailand.
When the U.S.-financed Royal Lao army failed to subdue the Pathet Lao, whose leader Prince Souphanouvong escaped from prison during a violent rainstorm, the CIA created its own clandestine army among the Hmong who provided ground operations while the U.S. Air Force carried out one of the most intensive bombing campaigns in human history.
Korea’s Epic Victory Over the Rockefeller Interests
More presciently than most antiwar activists of the era, Conde saw stark parallels between the horrors of the Indochina and Korean wars, which were both rooted in American neo-colonial attitudes.
Conde was provided secret Senate discussion by Senator J. William Fulbright, which showed that independent thinking Senators had been warned that they “were not allowed to view Korea as one nation or people but must accept the fiction that the military government apparatus called the Republic of Korea [ROK] manufactured by General [John Reed] Hodge [after the artificial division of Korea following World War II] was a nation.”
The Korean War, according to Conde, was not an isolated battle but part of the U.S. power structure’s plan to supersede Great Britain as the world hegemon. The chance of an independent Korea had vanished when Franklin D. Roosevelt—who had signed the Cairo declaration proclaiming Korean independence—died on April 12, 1945.
The sale of oil and fertilizer to China by the Rockefeller interests and desire to keep its economy open to foreign business interests was a paramount consideration in the Roosevelt and Truman administration’s futile backing of Chiang Kai-Shek and the KMT in China’s civil war.
According to Conde, the Korean War resulted from the attempt to establish a military base alongside Taiwan—where Chiang and his forces fled after losing China’s civil war—from which the U.S. could destabilize and “harass” the new Chinese communist state.
The key war architect, John Foster Dulles, not coincidentally had been senior legal counsel for Rockefeller oil. His designs were thwarted by the North Koreans who achieved an “epic victory” that is not recognized as such in standard history texts.
Conde wrote that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) should “build a great victory arch and place where unknown Korean soldiers who died bravely, heroically and unknown defending the Korean homeland from the American invaders would be honored.”
In time it would become the “proudest shrine” of an “entire united Korean people in every home from Pusan to the Yalu river.”
A Mechanized CIA Puppet
In 1961, the Kennedy administration supported a right-wing coup in South Korea led by General Park Chung-hee, whose aim was to “prevent the peaceful unification of North and South Korea.”
Conde characterized Park as a “mechanized puppet of the CIA,” whom he said was able to “exercise tremendous power over his masters in Washington through the threat to fail to repel the mythical invasion from the communists in North Korea.”
The puppet show involving Park was not a comedy, Conde wrote, “but a historical fact of corruption, degradation, and violence.”
Like other CIA proxies, Park was a “sleazy opportunist,” who had volunteered for service in the Japanese occupation army during World War II, and then allegedly took charge of an ROK “White Elephant” battalion whose mission was to kill communist leaders and supporters in North Korea in the “Operation Phoenix” of the Korean War.
Later, Park was credited for engendering an “economic miracle,” which to the extent that it was true, was rooted in shameless war profiteering in Vietnam, where Park sent more than 40,000 ROK mercenary troops.
Extending Its Reign of Terror
Conde wrote about how the CIA’s political manipulation and reign of terror extended to countries like Ghana where it was behind a coup that ousted Pan-African socialist Kwame Nkrumah, later voted Africa’s Man of the Millennium.
In Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the CIA aided in the downfall of the socialist government led by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1960-1965), who promoted the nationalization of industries in the banking, education, industry, media and trade sectors.
The CIA also recruited Eastern European emigrés with fascist leanings, and taught the secret police forces in Third World nations how to “control their people.”
In an attempt to destabilize Communist China, the CIA dropped secret agents into Tibet from Taiwan—where the CIA subsidized at least 26 newspapers and anti-communist periodicals and ran a secret guerrilla warfare training camp. The Agency further sponsored an insurgency led by opium growing ex-Guomindang officers based in Burma (Myanmar) in what contemporaries referred to as “the Asian Bay of Pigs.”
A Ray of Sunshine
Conde ended his book on a note of hope by describing the political awakening on university campuses in the 1960s and protests by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) directed against military-related research on the campuses and tainted political figures.
Conde noted with delight that, when Japan’s Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (1964-1972) was being given an honorary degree in November 1967 at Columbia University, SDS students decided to give Sato a “Master of War” degree instead for maintaining Okinawa as the chief supply base for the U.S. war of aggression on Vietnam.
Conde wrote that the “students of this generation see the CIA and Pentagon as the real enemy.”
A Rare Gem
If Conde were alive today, obviously, he would not be so optimistic. The CIA worked hard to refurbish its image and extinguish the critical and dissenting spirit of the 1960s—which it achieved largely because of the success of its propaganda (about which Conde himself knew all too well).
Since Conde’s writings were rarely published in the U.S., he was unknown to American activists in his time and forgotten about today. He was on the same level, however, as left-wing luminaries like Philip Agee, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn—and especially knowledgeable about Japan, Southeast Asia, corporate foundations and U.S. psychological warfare.
Conde was truly a rare gem: a thoughtful writer and political analyst and gifted researcher with a wealth of personal knowledge and experience who paid a heavy price for his defiance.
But that price is for the benefit of future generations who can come away with a better understanding of the nexus between corporate interests and the “deep state” from reading CIA—Core of the Cancer and other of Conde’s writings, and who can rediscover SDS’s understanding about who the real enemy of progressive movements is.
- The author would like to thank Weiyan Yan, Clare Malek and the staff at the University of British Columbia library special collections department along with David Price.
David W. Conde, CIA—Core of the Cancer (New Delhi: Entente Private Limited, 1970), 10. ↑
David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan J. Cranston, January 26, 1970, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, provided to the author by David Price. Conde discusses his father in David W. Conde, “Big Oil, Canada and American Empire,” 1971, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. Conde worked in retail merchandising throughout much of the 1930s, serving as a merchandise manager for the Schulte United store in Los Angeles and then sales manager for the chocolate firm of Brooklyn, Rockwood & Co. in Oakland. An avid reader of books, he began writing radio scripts following the Japanese invasion of China. ↑
David H. Price, The American Surveillance State: How the U.S. Spies on Dissent (London: Pluto Press, 2022), 202; David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan Cranston, July 24, 1975, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, provided to the author by David Price. To understand the hazards of air combat, Conde went voluntarily on a B-24 bombing flight over Taiwan which continued over China and was fired on. ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 202. ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 202, 203; Eiji Takemae, Inside GHQ: The Allied Occupation of Japan and Its Legacy (New York: Continuum, 2002). ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 203. ↑
David Price suggests that Conde was likely fired for backing Fumio Kamei’s eventually banned film, The Japanese Tragedy, a work described by film historian Kyoko Hirano as a “Japanese documentary critical of capitalism and of the imperial systems which the American military censors found objectionable.” Price, The American Surveillance State, 203. ↑
David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan Cranston, July 24, 1975, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, provided to the author by David Price. In a letter to Senator Alan Cranston in July 1975, Conde described MacArthur’s top assistant, General Charles Willoughby, as a “crazy devil hunter.” When fellow reporters complained about Conde’s treatment, Conde said that MacArthur interfered with an inquiry by Senator Tom Connally (D-TX). Conde had to pay his own return fare back to the U.S. ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 204. ↑
David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan Cranston, July 24, 1975; Price, The American Surveillance State, 205. Conde gave public talks on Asia for the World Affairs Council. ↑
David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan Cranston, July 24, 1975; Price, The American Surveillance State, 205. ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 206. ↑
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (New York: Harper & Row, 1980). ↑
David W. Conde, letter to Senator Alan Cranston, July 24, 1975. ↑
Davide W. Conde, “Big Oil, Canada and American Empire,” 1971; David Conde, “Japan, Rockefeller’s Secret Love?” May 1972, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. Conde notes that when John F. Kennedy became President, he appointed Dean Rusk, former Rockefeller Foundation chairman, as Secretary of State and advanced a tariff reduction scheme with Japan that led to many factory closures and the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs. Pennsylvania Congressman John H. Dent (1958-1979), a Democrat, was particularly vocal in Congress in pointing attention to the shuddering of glass, hosiery, textile and steel factories in Pennsylvania because of the tariff reduction scheme. ↑
Price, The American Surveillance State, 208. ↑
Conde, CIA—Core of the Cancer; David W. Conde, “CIA Activities—Before and After 1970,” in David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia Special Collections. Conde wrote that the CIC was “given the role of making and unmaking governments, and though it didn’t provide money directly to politicians like the CIA did in Italy and France, to buy votes, ‘I do know that much U.S. food was released as a means of feeding the hungry in Japan and also of saving the pro-U.S. Yoshida government (Yoshida Shigeru).” ↑
Under the Truman doctrine, Conde wrote that “Washington took control of Greece from the Greeks, South Korea from the Koreans, Taiwan from the Chinese and South Vietnam from the Vietnamese.” David W. Conde, “Big Oil, Canada and American Empire,” 1971, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia.Conde in this article also detailed the family history of the Dulles’, noting that their uncle, former Secretary of State Robert Lansing, pushed for U.S. intervention in World War I as part of a plot for the U.S. to take over the British empire, putting Britain in bondage to American moneylenders during the war because of loans procured through the J.P. Morgan bank. John Foster was then placed in charge of handling all contraband during the war and restoring Germany’s economy after [under the Dawes Act} so it could become the biggest consumer of industrial oil from Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which John Foster served as legal counsel to. Allen, the future CIA director, was put on the State Department desk devoted to securing Mesopotamian oil which Britain had gotten as booty from Turkey, a German ally in the Great War. ↑
Conde, CIA—Core of the Cancer. ↑
Davide W. Conde, “Big Oil, Canada and American Empire,” 1971, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. Greene was a liberal from Toronto who had received the distinguished flying cross in World War II. As energy minister, Greene prevented the sale to Americans of both the largest oil company under Canadian control and Canada’s largest uranium producer. ↑
The Rockefeller Foundation financed a magazine, Jiyu (“Freedom”), that, characteristically, promoted right-of-center views. ↑
Joss said that up to 85% of the U.S. diplomatic, consular and press personnel in Hong Kong were thought to be CIA. ↑
A hawk on Vietnam, Reischauer was a trustee of the Asia Foundation listed in the 1968 book “Who’s who in the CIA” by Julius Mader. ↑
See Vincent Bevins, The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World (New York: Public Affairs, 2021) which sheds new critical light on the wide scale of the massacres. ↑
A graduate in economics from Princeton University with a specialty in industrial relations, Rockefeller III accompanied secretary of state John Foster Dulles and Douglas MacArthur on a trip to Japan in late 1950 to conclude a peace treaty. He was on the board of directors of Princeton, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and supporter of the Population Council because, according to Conde, he felt there were too many poor and hungry people in the world. Conde said that he expressed himself as stating that “the birthrate of the world must come down, or the death rate must go back up.” David Conde, “Japan, Rockefeller’s Secret Love?” May 1972, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. ↑
David Conde, “Japan, Rockefeller’s Secret Love?” May 1972, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. ↑
The money was as much as 91% of the NSA’ s operating budget in some years. Conde, CIA—Core of the Cancer, Conde, “CIA Activities—Before and After 1970.” For a recent comprehensive study, see Karen Paget, Patriotic Betrayal: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Secret Campaign to Enroll American Students in the Crusade Against Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). ↑
In Africa, the CIA paid students to discover peers who might not support American policy within their homelands. ↑
On Goldberg’s involvement in coup plotting in South Vietnam and ties wit anticommunist South Vietnamese exiles, see Edmund Wehrle, “’No More Pressing Task Than Organization in Southeast Asia:’” The AFL-Cio Approaches in the Vietnam War, 1947-1964,” The Keep, Eastern illinois University, January 2001, https://thekeep.eiu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=history_fac ↑
Deverell ultimately died in a plane crash in India. ↑
Subsequently, the National Broadcasting Company correspondent at the Pentagon said he had learned from “authoritative sources” that the Green Berets had carried out more than 300 political assassinations, in some cases of hig South Vietnam officials. He added that some of those murders were designed to make it appear that they were the work of the Vietcong. Conde, “CIA Activities—Before and After 1970.” ↑
Davide W. Conde, “Big Oil, Canada and American Empire,” 1971, David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia. Conde noted that when Kennedy first entered the White House, he asked Congress to appropriate billions of dollars for defense to end a non-existent missile gap and prepare for the counterinsurgency wars of the 1960s, though really this was his answer to the business slump and economic crisis. ↑
David W. Conde, “The Korean War, the Most Secret War in All History,” David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, Special collections. ↑
“Chung Hee Park, South Korean War-Maker,” David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, Special collections. ↑
On the CIA’s role in Taiwan, see “C.I.A. Watches Asia,” David W. Conde Papers, University of British Columbia, Special Collections. ↑
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Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019), The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and Warmonger. How Clinton’s Malign Foreign Policy Launched the U.S. Trajectory From Bush II to Biden (Clarity Press, 2023).
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