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unclassified - 19 09 2001 - 15:51 - katatonik

Shadow Circus

One of the longest-running CIA operations, code-named “Shadow Circus”, aimed to support Tibetan resistance against the Chinese government. This involved training of Tibetan fighters in exile, and dropping arms and supplies when there still were fights. The project started in the mid-50s and continued until its abrupt end in 1969.
I think it was the documentary “The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet”, produced by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam (1998, here’s a review), that contained the following remarkable scene.
One of the project leaders met president Lyndon B. Johnson in his office, to plead for continuance of the project at a time when government funding was about to be stopped. The two talk for a while. Suddenly president Johnson walks over to a world map hung on the wall, right above a leather couch. “Where’s this Tibet”, he mutters while browsing the map, with his knees on the couch.
Then he points at Hungary. “Oh, this is it, isn’t it?”
[Quotes from memory, the words might have been different ones. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember whether they had images of this scene at all. But the episode was there, in words and/or images]

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