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Kathmandu, center of U.S. espionage in South Asia

October 20, 2008

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal
October 17, 2008

The new U.S. embassy in Kathmandu occupies the grounds of a former
CIA safe house and operations center in the Nepali capital. The
embassy, in the Maharajgunj district of Kathmandu, is a one-block
long fortress-like structure and the subject of derision among the
Nepali people. The embassy is built along Stalinesque architectural
standards now common with new U.S. embassies around the world: stark,
rectangular structures that convey the notion that the United States
is an impenetrable fortress that is closed to the outside world.

A drive-by of the embassy did not afford the opportunity to take a
photograph of the monolithic building because the embassy frontage is
well protected by Nepali contract security personnel.

WMR has spoken to a number of informed Nepali and foreign sources who
confirmed that espionage has been and is the number one priority of
the American diplomatic mission in Nepal's capital. The current U.S.
ambassador is Nancy Powell, who one Nepali official described as
"weird." Powell has done nothing to convince the Bush administration
to drop its designation of the Maoist Communist Party that now
governs Nepal in a coalition with two other Communist parties, as a
"terrorist organization."

There is widespread belief among the intelligence community that the
Bush administration may try to carry out another massacre like the
one its helped to plan and carry out against the royal family in
2001. This time, former Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) of
Nepal is being disarmed with a plan to integrate it with the Nepali
Army and Police. In the meantime, the PLA have been directed to
containment camps supervised by the United Nations Mission in Nepal
(UNMIN), which is now trying to slow the military integration
process, as well as delaying the process of writing a new
constitution for Nepal. The stalling action by the UN and UNMIN head
Ian Martin, against the backdrop of the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal, may
be a prelude for another coup in Nepal, one designed by the United
States to destabilize a country that sits between China and the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). In the event of a coup,
the disarmed PLA ranks would be sitting ducks for a massacre similar
to the bloody anti-Communist purge in Indonesia in the 1960s, carried
out by the Indonesian government with the support of the CIA.

The new U.S. embassy was built without Nepali contractor assistance.
Instead, the State Department contracted to have construction
personnel brought in from Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Egypt, driving up
labor costs because the foreign workers were housed in some of
Kathmandu's most expensive hotels.

The embassy is built on the grounds of the Brahma Cottage, a center
for the operations of the CIA's and State Department's joint
Surveillance Device Unit. The CIA contracted with Nepali contractors
to carry out surveillance of the palace of the then-Prince Gyenendra
and Nepal Police Headquarters. Gyanendra became King after the June
1, 2001, regicidal coup d'etat against the royal family, which saw
Gyanendra accede to the throne. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
and its coalition partners later deposed Gyanendra and declared a new
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The Brahma Cottage CIA center, which was next door to Gyanendra's
palace, was also used by the CIA to plan the regicide and coup d'etat
with the assistance of former Nepali police officers and the
cooperation of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The old U.S.
embassy was across the street from Brahma Cottage.

In September 2002, this editor wrote, "In the months leading up to
the Nepali coup, the CIA established an office in the Maharajgunj
District of Kathmandu, next door to the residence of Prince
Gyanendra. Witnesses reoprtedly saw streams of Nepali police and
military officials streaming into the offices. Other U.S.
'civilians,' said to be with private military contractor CIA fronts
like MPRI, were also seen arriving at the offices. In the spring, a
U.S. Special Operations Forces team arrived in Kathmandu on a secret
exercise code-named Bailey Nightingale I. The cover for the exercise
was said to be earthquake disaster training. But it now appears it
had another disaster in mind. The military team was composed of U.S.
psychological operations (PSYOPs) personnel adept at coming up with
tales like the one about the Crown Prince murdering his family."

Crown Prince Dipendra was reported to have shot his entire family in
a pique of rage over a his choice of a bride. The BBC report of the
incident exemplified the psyop used to spread the word about the
Crown Prince killing his family: "The King and Queen of Nepal have
been shot dead after the heir to the throne went on the rampage with
a gun before turning it on himself. Eleven people died in the
incident which started when Crown Prince Dipendra allegedly had a
dispute with his mother over his choice of bride. King Birendra,
Queen Aishwarya and Prince Niranjan were among the victims of the
tragedy at the royal palace in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. The other
victims included three of the King's children, his two sisters and
one more member of the family by marriage." The report by the BBC,
which increasingly acts as an echo chamber for British intelligence, was false.

However, a senior Nepali intelligence officer told WMR that Dipendra
did not kill himself but was shot to death by a royal guard. There is
reason to believe that Dipendra was the first person shot in the
royal massacre.

The CIA's involvement in Nepal's covert operations is nothing new.
 From 1956 to 1962, the CIA ran a Tibetan exile Khampa guerrilla army
that launched attacks within Tibet from bases in the small kingdom of
Mustang, a principality in Nepal on the northern border with Tibet.
After India lost its two wars with China in the early 1960s, the CIA
reactivated its Tibetan guerrilla army to open a front against China,
which was militarily supporting North Vietnam and the Vietcong, in
Operation Shadow Circus.

In August 1974, the CIA ordered the liquidation of its last Tibetan
guerrilla army leader Wangdu Gyatotsang and his men after Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger began opening up to China and, in a
Ribbentropian policy, began cutting loose U.S. allies in Southeast
Asia and gave approval to India's swallowing up of the Kingdom of
Sikkim. According to intelligence sources, the CIA received the
approval of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India in using other
Tibetan contractors to eliminate the last Tibetan guerrilla army. The
CIA was more concerned about its secret operations in Mustang
becoming public than in protecting its own guerrilla forces.

In 1987, the CIA's station in Kathmandu oversaw the burglary of the
German Democratic Republic's embassy in Kathmandu. According to a
Nepali intelligence official, among the items taken from the embassy
were code books, encryption machines, and classified documents. The
operation was carried out with the assistance of the First Secretary
of the East German embassy and a Nepali police inspector. Both were
spirited out of Nepal and given political asylum in the United States.

Documentarian Yoichi Shimatsu, in his film "Prayer Flags," points out
that the CIA continued to use Nepal as a base for its covert
operations throughout the 1990s when it used the guise of installing
seismographic and geological monitoring systems to place surveillance
systems and sensors at high elevations in the Himalayas.

The new Maoist-led government of Nepal has told Mustang's powerless
and nominal king, Jigme Parwat Bista, that his small principality was
being abolished, along with the other three small kingdoms of Salyan,
Jajarkot, and Bajhang. However, Bista was not a supporter of the last
king, Gyanendra, according to informed sources in Kathmandu. His
kingdom's past support for the CIA's operations against China has
resulted in "blowback" in his kingdom being abolished by Nepal's
Maoist government.

The CIA's old Nepal proprietary airline, Fishtail Air, founded by a
veteran of Camp Walker in Seoul, South Korea, still flies around Nepal.

Nepal also served as a terror nexus between individuals connected to
the CIA in Kathmandu and the Dawood Ibrahim criminal syndicate that
carried out the March 12, 1993 bombings of the Bombay Stock Exchange,
Bombay hotels, cinemas, and shopping centers that killed over 300
people. The bombings were a reprisal for the destruction of the Babri
Mosque at Ayodhya by Hindu extremists. Over two thousands Muslims,
including women and children, were massacred by rampaging Hindus
after the mosque's destruction. Ibrahim is now believed to be hiding
in Pakistan.

Currently, the U.S. embassy in Kathmandu continues to conduct covert
operations against China, mostly through non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
and Trace Foundation, a Tibetan support group run by Andrea Soros
Colombel, and funded by her father, George Soros. The recent outbreak
of violence in Tibet by pro-independence Tibetans was an attempt at
fomenting yet another "colored themed" revolution by Soros, a
one-time Hungarian Jewish Nazi and not the first Nazi to have an
interest in the Himalayan region where swastika religious symbol is ubiquitous.

The Trace Foundation is working with one of the Buddhist Tantric
sects that has the aim of revealing the Kalachakra prophecy, which
predicts a final global war between the forces of good versus a
future Islamic Mahdi. A Buddha-type figure is foreseen as returning
as a new Messiah. This construct is similar to the neocon "Clash of
Civilizations" that sees a final showdown between the West and Islam.
The Trace Foundation is trying to co-opt the old messianic Buddhist
tradition to unify major world religions to install a global
government, according to a specialist who has followed Soros'
activities in Tibet and Nepal.

Copyright © 2008
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of
the Wayne Madsen Report

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