While some outlets did briefly describe the Asia Foundation as being an alleged Central Intelligence Agency conduit, the charges were typically vague and largely circumstantial. None of the archived reports specifically tied it to Agency funds until March 21, 1967 when TAF announced it in a limited hangout”, a technique used when the Agency “can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case.”
The Asia Foundation is, on the surface, a private non-profit that contributes to the development of Asia, including donating millions of books. In reality, since it was created by Central Intelligence Agency in 1951, TAF has engaged in a decades long campaign to misrepresent its origins, purpose and funding.
At the same time that Robert Blum was helping shape National Security Council’s policies on covert psychological operations and paramilitary actions, Secretary of Defense Forrestal named Blum to the committee exploring the creation of the Armed Forces Security Agency - the direct predecessor to the NSA.
Even for students of the history of the Intelligence Community (IC), Robert Blum is all but forgotten except as a bureaucrat, a professor, and the head of a philanthropic foundation with ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. In reality, he was a counterintelligence chief who worked for several agencies, built large pieces of the United States’ foreign economic policies, had the Director of Central Intelligence fired, and redesigned a significant portion of the IC, including its mechanisms for covert action and propaganda.
In early 1983, FBI agent Don Levy went to the CIA’s Polygraph Training School to deliver a speech on “Terrorism in the U.S.,” with a large focus on violent unrest in Puerto Rico. A copy of the speech, released through CREST, gives us new insight into the history of FBI’s counterterrorism views and approaches - recognizing the U.S.’ role in fostering terrorism, if not its responsibility.