Friday, August 14, 2009

'The CIA never quite grasped Sukarno. But the agency's authority under NSC 5518 was so broad that it could justify almost any action against him.

The CIA's new Far East division chief, Al Ulmer, liked that kind of freedom. It was why he loved the agency. "We went all over the world and did what we wanted," he said forty years later. "God, we had fun."

By his own account, Ulmer had lived high and mighty during his long run as station chief in Athens, with a status somewhere between a Hollywood star and a head of state. He had helped Allen Dulles enjoy a romantic infatuation with Queen Frederika of Greece and the pleasures of yachting with shipping magnates. The Far East division was his reward.

Ulmer said in an interview that he knew next to nothing about Indonesia when he took over the division. But he had the full faith and trust of Allen Dulles.'

- from Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner

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