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( The text of the CRIMSON interview with Andreas Papandreou-conducted by M. David Landau and Michael J. Ryan in Amherst on March 12-is appearing in two parts. The second part will be printed in Monday's edition. )
We thought we'd begin with the political background of the coup itself. Was it unexpected, or had political events been logically leading up to it?
I think the latter. I think one could see the train of events leading to it. And as a matter of fact, by December of 1966, we were convinced and I was convinced that we were moving in that direction. The only thing that we had not settled in our mind was whether they would have the guts to carry it out. We thought then that a coup would have been a much harder thing to impose on the country than it turned out to be.
But we didn't have, after all, the information that they had. I'm not sure how much is known to you-I think it was not then known to us either-but now we know, we know quite a few things about this coup now and as time goes on, of course, we'll learn more-but here are some very fascinating things.
We expected the coup to come from the generals, the king's junta. We did not know of the existence of a group within the junta-this is the particular group of Papadopoulos, colonel level, more or less-within the broader IDEA ["The Sacred Alliance of Greek Officers"]. And we were somewhat relaxed concerning the period in question because we had information from this junta-that is to say, there were some people that were informing us-and we knew that they did not have the prospect of any coup in April. They were building up to it, but they did not have a prospect of it.
What happened is that in fact a colonel group struck first. It was really a coup within a coup. You didn't ask the question, I suppose you'll ask it later, it has to do with was there any American involvement in this?
If that's the question, now I can say yes. In fact, it was not an American involvement; it was an American coup. Flatly and unconditionally. What is the basis for my speaking like this? I think the evidence can be summarized in three or four major points, which I think are all telling.
Point number one is, who were the men who made the coup? What are they like? Who are they? First is Papadopoulos. There were five men, by the way, that were the top command. The junta itself is small, the junior junta, probably included no more than 180 officers all told-of junior rank-and five men were in command. Now who are the five men?
PAPADOPOULOS has been a desk man all his life, had been with an organization during the German occupation that was collaborationist with the SS, but this is of mild interest. What is of real interest is that most of the time in the '50s he was in the KYP, which is the CIA in Greek. This is the Greek organization. And this again might mean nothing to you were it not for the fact that the Greek intelligence service is literally a part of the CIA, administratively and fiscally. Now, how do I know this? Well, first of all there is history. We can go back and see why this is so, but there is more than that. I was minister for a few months only to the prime minister in '64. And one of the unfortunate duties of that minister is the supervision of the intelligence services. So I like to tell this story.
I asked the general in command-we appointed a new head of the intelligence services-to stop tapping our telephones. He was our appointee, and he tried very hard but he couldn't do it. And so then he told me something I didn't know, and I don't think most people, statesmen and politicians, knew, that in fact the Greek intelligence services were financed directly and administered directly by the CIA, so that there was just no hope that we could do anything. I brought this to the Cabinet. It was an important issue-and then it was the decision of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that we were yet too young in the government-we had too many headaches, Cyprus, for instance, at the moment-to bring that issue too up in the confrontation, the developing confrontation with the United States. So it was allowed to go on, it was past history, of course, and had been there for a long time. I moved down to a different ministry, however, and so I didn't have this problem. I had others.
Papadopoulos was liaison between the two intelligence services, U.S. and Greek. In fact, he was the one trusted person, the one super-agent, in Greece, of the CIA. And as I like to put it, the first known agent of the CIA to become prime minister in Europe is Papadopoulos.
The number two man was Makarezos, who is now minister of Coordination. On the night of the coup, he was intelligence officer of the intelligence services in Greece, that's the special bureau. And the third man was Roufogalis. Now this man was personnel officer of the Greek intelligence services on the night of the coup. That's the third man. These were three men that were obviously members of the CIA network. The fourth one also is very interesting. He is Brigadier Hadjipetrou. Now Brigadier Hadjipetrou was in charge of the U.S. NATO missile base in Crete, the military officer most trusted by the U.S. military establishment. He's the fourth man. Today this is the man in charge of the Greek intelligence services-the missile man. And he's very intelligent by the way, and a very dangerous man. The fifth man, Pattakos, I say about him that he's an accident, but he had the tanks.
THAT ALONE indicates undoubtedly that the CIA was up to its neck in it. Point number two is the very execution of the plan. It would have been impossible to do this without fancy modern code name plans. And there was such a plan. It's named Prometheus. So Plan Prometheus, what is it? That's a NATO plan. I don't know whether it's in the category of cosmic or not, but it's definitely a NATO plan. It had been, according to recent information, revised-it's an emergency contingency plan-it had been revised in Washington, at the Pentagon, about three months before the coup, updated. And it was on computer tape. This is the first computerized coup I know of. It was programmed, I mean it was put through, the night of the coup. And these tapes definitely were made not in Greece. They were made in America. So you have this, that's number two.
Number three is the presence of the Sixth Fleet that morning south of Crete-a very meaningful thing. The fourth thing is something that you can dig up yourselves for details. Marquis Child has reported long ago on a meeting of the Security Council, or a subcommittee of the Security Council, under W. W. Rostow's chairmanship. And Marquis Child has written this, and then he has confirmed it in private conversation with me much later. They concluded that Papandreou-the Center Union would win the elections in '67. They concluded furthermore at that meeting that this was against the strategic interests of the United States, and they gave the green light for dictatorship. That's February 1967 in Washington, and that's clinching evidence. If Rostow wishes to deny this let him deny it. But he has not. Of course, you know, this is going back to the origins of the coup.
With the passing of time, I myself have the feeling that a most important role must have been played by the Pentagon, both the intelligence and the military proper, that it was not exclusively a CIA operation. And I have a very strong suspicion that the naval arm of the Pentagon, with headquarters more or less in Naples, played a very important role. Admiral Horatio Rivero was the American Admiral in charge of the southeast wing of NATO. He must have played an important role. The other fact which is of some interest-but this fact I don't know directly except through junta sources-a defector from the junta told us this-that Cyrus Vance was the man that sold the coup to the doubters in Washington. "It's our coup" sort of thing, you know, he relaxed people, that this was "our coup." Now this information I have from a source that I can never bring out publicly, but I have this information. And I think that this gives you a feeling at least of the extent to which there was participation in the beginning, in the conception and execution of the coup.
BUT EVER since then, of course, the evidence has piled up overwhelmingly that the Pentagon considers Greece at this point to be just one of its fortresses and a very important fortress. If you were to pursue, to follow the Greek newspapers, youwould see that hardly a week passes by that a significant American general does not visit Greece, to not only consult with the dictators, but also to be photographed with them. And the limit has been reached, I think, last Christmas-New Year's, in fact, in Greece they celebrate New Year's more than they celebrate Christmas. But the children of the American personnel were gathered to sing the Christmas carols to Papadopoulos. They came to his office. There's a picture of the children of the American embassy personnel singing Christmas carols to Papadopoulos. I mean, they've gone the limit, in bad taste among other things.
There is a fantastic source of information, and it's contained in the hearings this last June before the Security Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate. It's actually in print. And it's Fulbright and Symington grilling Administration personnel and other groups. That is spectacular. Of course much of it has been censored out. But what comes out is that the U.S. has seven major military installations in Greece, that in fact the Administration personnel does not deny that the coup was American. Fulbright puts the question: "They say you guys did it; did you or didn't you?" "Sir, I do not know." This kind of thing. "Is there somebody that knows?" "Yes sir, there's somebody that knows." "Who is that man?" "I don't know, sir," "Are you supposed not to tell me?" "That's right, sir." That sort of thing goes on all day.
It's very obvious that Greece has been turned into a major bastion, staging area, in fact, for the American penetration of the Middle East and Africa and so forth. It's very clear. As time goes on, one can see, in fact, even that the colonels are being used by the U.S. for contact in the African continent. There is a mystique in North Africa of military coups, very unfortunate but there is a mystique. And this has been exploited by these characters, by the U. S. military.
THE COLONELS, of course, are merely busboys for the Pentagon, literally busboys. Only Brazil is the proper comparison, or South Korea, something like that. That's the proper comparison. There's nothing nationalistic about this regime, nothing at all. It's a sellout. This particular regime, you see, may be used to develop relationships with colonels in North Africa to make infiltration also on other fronts, in other lands. So, it seems to me, then, that the resumption of military aid-you can talk forever about that.
First of all, it's not fit to talk about resumption, it never ended. Of course, the Nixon administration just plainly lied to Congress. Not only did they break the embargo in August '68, without letting anyone know, but beyond that they used the escape valve of the Surplus Weapons Act, and they gave a hundred million dollars worth of surplus weapons to Greece under that act, over which the Congress has nothing to say.
They've been playing this kind of absolutely cheap game, telling one story and doing something else, in the Orwellian context of this Administration. But now, of course, the aid and the support is open and clear and unlimited.
Just a brief question that has an interesting Harvard sidelight. Do you think that Henry Kissinger has had very much to do with any of this?
Since he's been in office you mean? Undoubtedly he has. I have very little information directly, except one or two instances he has talked about to some journalists and some Greek political men in Washington. He seems to be quite aware of the problem, quite conscious of it, but this is very much in style for Henry Kissinger. I think that those who were concerned over W. W. Rostow probably have no sense of relief that this man is in his place.
I think Kissinger is the apotheosis of the new amoral technocrat who serves the empire with all the forces at his disposal. And he, unfortunately more than Rostow, is in the deadly climate of the scenarios, of the Herman Kahn-type scenarios. If one reads back a little bit, if one looks back at early interviews six years ago, seven years ago, with Kissinger, one is aware of the fact that he must be the author and the architect of the invasions in Southeast Asia and the expansion of the Indochina War. It's part of his faith that you must keep the enemy guessing as to your next move, you must show the enemy you're prepared to take risks, and that you're prepared to escalate. Of course this improves your bargaining position, and you may be able to settle on terms more acceptable to you. So I think the Greek story must be entirely within his purview.
After all, he is also sort of a specialist on matters European. And Kissinger does know the Greek story. He has visited Greece. I must try to remember now, I think it probably is '62 or '63, he was there, and I met him there. He met my father as well. He's very knowledgeable on the Greek story, and I have no doubt that he's very much involved, subject to one limitation-Greece is not too big a problem for him to be spending too many hours of his day on it. But to the extent that any policy has to be decided on, I'm sure that Kissinger is decisive.
When talking about the military establishment of the U.S., one should not imagine that they all wear epaulets. I mean, I think that the civilian security manager, empire manager, is probably as dangerous if not more dangerous than the man with the uniform. So it's the Rostows and the Kahns and the Hudson Institutes and the Kissingers that are very much behind the cynical use of power, as cynical as any of the Nazis ever dreamt of being.
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