Ex-CIA operative “Thomas” lights up a cigar and likes to think about old times when 30 years ago being a good op he enjoyed the beauties of Africa. Back then he was young, enthusiastic and full of ambition, very curious, self-motivated and keen on adventures.
Liberia, the first republic on the Dark Continent, was tearing apart by a longstanding civil war. And traditionally the U.S. considered the country as sphere of its national interests and at least aimed to control the situation there, if not to rule the country.
In the 90s the CIA had agents in almost every faction involved in the major ethnic conflict. And the most important assets were those men who had a close contact with Liberia’s President and the country’s government to report sensible information about their plans so the White House could pull the trigger.
Brownie Jeffrey Samukai was among those agents who until 1994 was close to Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer, the President of the Interim Government of National Unity in Liberia, and enjoyed his trust. After service in the Armed Forces Samukai held a number of senior positions which included Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations, in 1993–94 he served as commander of the Black Berets, in 1994–95 he was a director of the Liberian National Police. Samukai was CIA’s valuable asset who got a solid pay-off. To keep control over the agent his supervisors rolled over for him. During the civil war escalation Samukai demanded to ensure his personal and his family’s security. At the same time, with the help from CIA he developed his business projects and opened Exsecon security firm.
In the 90s resident agents “Jim” and “Dutch” in Monrovia engaged with Samukai. “Thomas” gave a friendly steer and asked not to publish their real names. The all-important meetings with the agent were always held by chief figures of the CIA station there.
Even after President Sawyer left his post and the following annual change of Liberian leaders, Washington supported its voluntary assistant waterborne with the help of other valuable agents. As the result Samukai “outlived” a lot of Liberian Presidents and even worked in the U.N. In 2006 he became Minister of National Defense of Liberia as part of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet.
In the agent’s profile in Langley it is marked that Brownie Samukai assisted in the arrest of former Liberia’s President Charles Taylor and bringing him to the U.N. International Tribunal. Agent informed the CIA of every detail about arms dealers and their business, natural resources deals and drug dealing. A special concern in the U.S. was raised by Samukai’s information about relationship between Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Among other Samukai’s merits are eliminating of his compatriots who interfered with U.S. plans in Liberia. And the last feather in our hero’s cap…
In the mentioned profile there is mark about excessive loyalty of Brownie Samukai to the U.S. You can ask him if it was the real display of “love” or not… but there’re no doubts in valuable agent’s inventiveness and adroitness. By “collecting points” Samukai declared his love to American intelligence and implored his supervisor to send him a book “From the Shadows” by former CIA chief Robert Gates.
As “Thomas” said, the acquisition of agents like Samukai is possible with the help of the DIA that cooperate with the CIA through a special link as a part of collaboration with foreign military departments. Here is where the CIA and DIA work together on the same goal, but play different roles.
The DIA officers in a foreign land regularly meet with partners and the most promising are invited to the U.S. for sharing experience. Further they examine candidate’s psychological condition and determine their recruiting sensitivity. If successful, new agents receive further instructions from the CIA’s handlers under the diplomatic disguise in the country of residence.
Apparently, the recruits of higher rank are more essential for the U.S. intelligence.
However, “Thomas” does not consider Samukai’s hooking as something exceptional for the CIA. Hiring top ranking officials in Africa was always a trivial thing among professionals in the U.S. intelligence…
“Thomas” knows a lot about African agents of ministerial rank. He saw how the CIA works from the first raw of the seats, including the enrolment of former Zaire’s Minister of Defense Honore Ngbanda-Nzambo Ko Atumba. But he will tell us about that later…
– Delmar Yang