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August 29, 2006

Porn and the CIA (Your tax dollars at work)

By Mickey Z.

The basic idea was to portray the hated Sukarno in a pornographic film: getting frisky with his supposed Soviet spy mistress.


With a defense budget-hold on, let's dispense with the bullshit-with a "war" budget of over $350 billion dollars per year, did you ever wonder if all the legal tender being funneled away from social programs is making anyone except defense contractors feel safe? And just who are the clever folks trusted with the responsibility of deciding how that monumental sum is spent?

One doesn't exactly have to waste hours scouring accurate expenditures to get the feeling that U.S. decision makers fall neatly into the Austin Powers camp of spying. It might be comforting to convince ourselves that the CIA is efficient and necessary, but here's a fine example of American "intelligence" to help snap us out of our denial...and it involves one-time Indonesian president, Sukarno.

In 1948, George Kennan, head of the State Department post-war planning staff, called the resource-rich nation of Indonesia "the most crucial issue of the moment in our struggle with the Kremlin." At that time, Sukarno had been president of the world's largest Muslim nation for three years. "A star among Third World leaders, active in the nonaligned, anti-imperialist movement," author Mark Zepezauer says Sukarno had "long been a thorn in the side of the US. Worse yet, the Communist party (PKI) was part of his governing coalition."

"The PKI, nominally backed by Sukarno, was a legal and formidable organization and was the third largest Communist Party in the world," writes former CIA agent Ralph McGehee. Inevitably, Sukarno garnered the attention of that inventive gang of sleuths at the Central Intelligence Agency and covert U.S. support for his rivals in the Indonesian military hit full stride by 1957. That's just about the time that the CIA hatched a scheme to bring down the popular Indonesian leader-a scheme that would make Inspector Clousseau smile.

The basic idea was to portray the hated Sukarno in a pornographic film: getting frisky with his supposed Soviet spy mistress. (Note to younger readers: Yes, there was actually a time when appearing in a sex video was not considered a good career move.) "Our special Sukarno committee was formed to accomplish ... the production of a film, or at least some still photos, showing Sukarno and his Russian girlfriend engaged in his favorite activity," CIA operative Joseph Burkholder Smith writes in "Portrait of a Cold Warrior."

American taxpayers dollars went a long way in funding the CIA's neat idea (as Ollie North might have called it) of developing a full-face mask of Sukarno and then hiring an American porn actor in Los Angeles to wear it. History did not record who would handle the role of sexy Soviet mistress but it's not hard to imagine her looking something like Natasha in "Rocky and Bullwinkle."

"The resulting movie and some still photographs from it were passed around influential circles in Indonesia," explains Barry Hillenbrand in Time magazine. "But the CIA miscalculated. Rather than express surprise and outrage at their leader's apparent peccadilloes, Indonesians shrugged."

Shortly after that, the CIA went back to what it does best: covert military support and destabilization resulting in a bloody coup to install a dictator more amenable to America's desires.

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at

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