COVERT ACTION

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Tibet

L - Z

Laird, Thomas. Into Tibet: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa. New York: Grove, 2002.

According to Rupert, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2002, the author "tells a gripping tale" of Douglas MacKiernan's operation in Sinkiang and his death at the hands of Tibetan border guards. To Goodman, I&NS 18.4, Laird has reconstructed his story in a "comprehensive and illustrative manner." It is "a very good read." For Haas, AFIO WIN 6-03 (11 Feb. 2003), the author's long-term residence in Nepal provides "a significant qualification for his wide-ranging and startling look into the activities of the agent behind the unnamed First Star on the CIA's Wall of Honor." This "[p]rodigiously researched" work provides "a thoroughly fascinating and informative read."

Hayford, Library Journal, 15 May 2002, says that the author "presents his story as a spy novel, complete with reconstructed dialog, bureaucratic infighting, cinematic pacing, and crackling action. Much of the information is reconstructed from interviews and archival research and is hard to authenticate; still, the overall story of this incredible expedition and its political consequences rings true." However, West, IJI&C 16.4, finds that the author's "tenuous evidence" fails "to show that Mackiernan had anything to do with tracking the Soviet bomb." Laird also suggests, "without much evidence, that the CIA had deployed Mackiernan to sabotage the Soviet uranium mines."

Liu, Melinda. "A Secret War on the Roof of the World: Spooks, Monks and the CIA's Covert Gamble in Tibet." Newsweek, 16 Aug. 1999. [http://newsweek.com]

"How the CIA took the Dalai Lama's disciples under its wing is one of the most exotic episodes in the annals of Western intelligence. The intimate details of Operation STCIRCUS are only just now emerging," but Newsweek has learned that the operations of the Tibetan guerrillas "scored spectacular intelligence coups including ... early hints that China was developing the atomic bomb."

Mann, Jim. "CIA Funded Covert Tibet Exile Campaign in 1960s." The Age (Melbourne), 16 Sep. 1998. [http://www.theage.com.au]

"For much of the 1960s, the CIA provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations against China, including an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama, according to ... US intelligence documents" published last month by the State Department. The money for the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama was part of the CIA's worldwide effort during the early years of the Cold War to undermine communist governments, particularly in the Soviet Union and China."

McCarthy, Roger E. Tears of the Lotus: Accounts of Tibetan Resistance to the Chinese Invasion, 1950-1962. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997.

Tovar, IJI&C 13.2, p. 226, fn. 7, calls this a "very good book on CIA support to the Tibetan resistance.... McCarthy ... was a CIA operations officer who worked on the Tibet project. His book focuses primarily on the operational side as viewed from within the Agency."

McGranahan, Carole. Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

Nathan, FA 89.6 (Nov-Dec. 2010), notes that the author "patiently interviewed elderly survivors of the Tibetan guerilla resistance to Chinese rule.... CIA support for the guerillas is a known story, to which the old soldiers add some colorful details. Less well known are the roles of the Indian, Nepali, and (to a small degree) Taiwanese governments in supporting the small force."

McGranahan, Carole. "Tibet's Cold War: The CIA and the Chushi Gangdrug Resistance, 1956–1974." Journal of Cold War Studies 8, no. 3 (Summer 2006): 102-130. [http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jcws.2006.8.3.102]

From abstract: "Th[is] article recounts the origins of the Tibetan resistance forces, their relationship with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, their eventual laying down of arms in 1974, and their legacy in the present-day exile community.... The war, pitting a voluntary Tibetan guerrilla movement against the Chinese Communist army, had implications well beyond Tibet and China."

Grunfeld, H-Diplo, 27 Jul. 2007 [http://www.h-net.org/~diplo], comments that the author's important contribution is her focus "'on the resistance movement itself and the individuals who constituted it.' [footnote omitted] This she has done -- skillfully -- through extensive interviews and recently published Tibetan language materials." As an anthropologist, McGranahan provides "an important supplement and new dimension to this story."

Roberts, John B., II, and Elizabeth A. Roberts. Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope. New York: AMACOM, 2009.

Publisher's Weekly, Mar. 2009 (via Amazon.com): "[T]his book offers a clear overview of the key issues."

Shakya, Tsering. The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Mufson, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 1999, comments that the author "has employed thorough research, a balanced view and a dispassionate tone in writing a tremendously informative, definitive history of his native land."

Tovar, B. Hugh. "Tibet's Long Years of Struggle." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 13, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 215-226.

This is simultaneously an excellent review of Knaus' Orphans of the Cold War (1999) and a useful essay on the CIA operation with the Tibetan resistance.

Trest, Warren A. Air Commando One: Heinie Aderholt and America's Secret Air Wars. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

Clark comment: Aderholt was an Air Force officer who worked closely with the CIA in support of covert operations in the 1950s and 1960s, including in Tibet and Laos. Searle, Aerospace Power Journal (Winter 2000), says that the author "has written a good book about a great airman. Harry C. Aderholt is one of the legends of Air Force special operations, and Trest tells us why." The author "tries to address the traditional conflict between the 'Big Blue Air Force' and the Air Force special operations community." He "does this mainly through Aderholt's conflict with Gen William W. Momyer [Commander/Tactical Air Command] in Vietnam."

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