283. Editorial Note

On February 20, 1964, the Special Group approved a political action program aimed at bringing about the election of government and parliamentary officials in Somalia favorably disposed to the West and allocated $200,000 for this purpose. (CIA Memorandum for the Special Group, February 19, 1964; Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, S.G. 112, February 20, 1964; Memorandum from H. Bartlett Wells, Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to Llewellyn Thompson, July 22, 1964; ibid., Somali Republic, 1963 Thru) During the 1964–1967 period, subsequent funding for the Somali program was approved periodically by the 303 Committee despite the lack of any demonstrable success in achieving the plan’s objectives. (Memorandum for the Record, August 13, 1964; ibid., 303 C. 9, August 20, 1964; Memorandum from Joseph Palmer to U. Alexis Johnson, July 22, 1966; ibid., Somali Republic, 1963 Thru; Country Summary prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, March 6, 1967; ibid., Africa General, 1967–1968)

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The program was terminated in 1967 following the Somali general election in June. On November 7, 1967, Ambassador to Somalia Raymond L. Thurston sent Assistant Secretary Palmer a memorandum arguing that covert financial assistance alone had little chance of success unless it was part of an overall U.S. policy of economic and political support to the forces the United States was backing, and that responsible political leaders, particularly in a democratic system, ultimately would have to make their decisions based on domestic political realities and not any secret understanding with a foreign government. (Ibid., Somali Republic, April 1967)