Richard Mahoney On Danquah's CIA Connections – Part One
Feature Article by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
A Rejoinder to: Richard Mahoney: On Danquah and Nkrumah – Parts One, Feature Article of Wednesday, 14 December 2011, by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
For those of you who might not be following the politics of this debate, let me give a quick background to it. Dr. J. B. Danquah is considered “the doyen” of Gold Coast politics by the NPP in general, and particularly, by his handful of hard-core followers, mostly his blood relations, who also appear to be clearly and discernibly seeking to take advantage of his over-blown hero-status as a platform to launch their own personal political ambitions. Prominent among that group is Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Danquah's nephew and flag-bearer of the NPP, one such politician who has firmly hinged his overall political campaign strategy as a continuation of the promotion of the ideals and values of what J.B. Danquah represented. His speech announcing his intention to contest the presidency attests to this campaign packaging. More importantly, he even established the Danquah Institute, pushing his own nephew and a grandson of Danquah, Mr. Otchere-Darko, then Managing Editor of the Statesman to man it.
Akufo-Addo was hoping to ride on the back of Danquah's fame to the Presidency. Things seemed to go smoothly for some time, particularly when NPP was in power, and external funders of right-wing think-tanks have never been difficult to obtain. The growing public awareness of the scandal involving human sacrifice and ritual murder in which Danquah was more than a mere defence attorney led the first body-blow to the carefully crafted image of a “gentle Danquah, meek and mild”, instead of the shameless accomplice to a ritual murder and human sacrifice! The Danquah followers have already been having a hard time with this scandal involving the ritual murder of Nana Akyea Mensah, the Odikro of Apedwa in February 1944, which is beginning to be widely known. Thus an additional scandal exposing such a villain as a CIA agent is another body blow to the propaganda materials they have been churning out about Danquah as a selfless patriot and so on, for obvious reasons.
An exposure of Danquah as a CIA agent, is exactly the kind of thing the Akufo-Addo campaign can ill afford at this time. It throws the entire Akufo-Addo campaign, carefully planned over the years completely out of gear. This explains the deep sense of alarm we saw live on TV when the CIA status of Danquah was revealed by Dr. Boamah Omane. It was quickly understood that after having tied his fate to “the doyen of Gold Coast politics”, J. B. Danquah's fall from grace to grass cannot take place without some of the political consequences washing on the fortunes of Akufo-Addo in the context of the current electoral campaign. Suspicions have already been raised by the links between “all die be die” and the US Africa Command, with what Otchere-Darko calls “Washington’s strategy of working with its regional allies in West Africa to develop relationships that will secure its energy security in the long term.” See: “Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.?”, by Otchere-Darko, Gabby Asare, Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009.
Even though Otchere-Darko's performance was a complete flop, he obviously had very little room to manoeuvre with lies. Let's face it, how can they possibly challenge Richard Mahoney when Okoampa himself is saying: “One source which the followers of Mr. Nkrumah, the so-called Nkrumaists, have consistently, persistently and perennially cited to cast both doubt and aspersions on the integrity of Dr. Danquah is Richard D. Mahoney’s quite authoritative treatise on United States’ foreign policy vis-à-vis Africa during the Eisenhower and the Kennedy years, titled JFK: Ordeal in Africa (New York: Oxford UP, 1983). But that the author’s father, William P. Mahoney, was the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana during the Kennedy years, has predictably served to further enhance the credibility and authority of his book in the opinion of these diehard Nkrumaists.”? See: “Richard Mahoney: On Danquah and Nkrumah – Part One" by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame, Feature Article of Wednesday, 14 December 2011. It is clearly a losing battle here. Perhaps this explains why Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe is so keen even to flog the dead horse with irrelevant tales! Perhaps he is being fooled by the Churchillian definition of success as “the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”!
The incontrovertible fact that has remained equally unassailable to all attempts by Akufo-Addo handlers has been the revelation that point clearly to J.B. Danquah's involvement with the US Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA). The sad thing about this revelation is that the Akufo-Addo team appear to be fully aware of the damaging implications not only on Danquah's image, but also on Akufo-Addo's own political career, but appear to be caught off-guard and helpless. Their number one problem is that the facts are true, and they do not seem to have any intelligent response. It was simply disgusting to see Otchere-Darko going into tantrums at the mere mention of this on TV, and remaining conspicuously silent particularly after an article I wrote, “J. B. Danquah Was A CIA Asset!” Feature Article of Saturday, 1 October 2011, by Mensah, Nana Akyea. Otchere-Darko kept silent. I followed it up with “Ochere-Darko Must Render Proper Apologies For 'Stupid' Insults!” Again there was dead silence. I wrote a Part Two and made sure that Otchere-Darko had a copy by e-mail. It was a shrivelled and completely flattened Otchere-Darko who responded:
Re: firstname.lastname@example.org has shared: Ochere-Darko Must Render Proper Apologies For “Stupid” Insults! Part II
Thank you. Most thoughtful!
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafone”
That was all. Your guess is as good as mine as to what explains such an inexplicable climb down. Qanawu, of all people, refused to “talk and die”! He has since been avoiding the topic like a plague! He knows in his own bones that there is no antidote to facts, and the best solution is to avoid the topic entirely. Which is understandable, even though it leaves the Akufo-Addo campaign politically orphaned and stranded in the wilderness of exposure of what they are capable of. Considering the facts, silence is perhaps the best solution to this problem. It is therefore clear that if Okoampa-Ahoofe had consulted Otchere-Darko before writing his article, Otchere-Darko would have told him to “let sleeping dogs lie”. But that is certainly the kind of advice Okoampa would misconstrue as an irritating indication of a lack of confidence in his ability to re-write history in his capacity as an Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City.
The funny thing here is that Okoampa probably thinks he is helping Akufo-Addo! I have often maintained, Okoampa always reminds me of the Roman general who said, I more fear a stupid ally than I fear a clever enemy”. With the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute on the run, it came as no surprise that Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., would naturally step in to save the situation. What we need to make clear is the fact that we know that there is hardly a Danquah follower who did not know that Danquah was a CIA agent, even though they would vehemently deny it in public, just as Danquah himself did in his time. The only hitch this time is that both in terms of content and author, they are finding it impossible to challenge Richard Mahoney's assertions that J. B. Danquah's family received CIA stipends when he was in prison. We are dealing with people who would ask you for the receipts to prove that the CIA was paying any money to Danquah. Thus, it is exceptionally fortuitous that the facts and the evidence came from a completely unexpected source.
It has not been easy since 1958 to lay hands on the hard evidence to categorically link and nail Danquah as a CIA agent, even though it was very clear to the Ghanaian intelligence that he was up to something. As Paul Lee explains in “Documents Expose the first evidence that emerged were anecdotal:
“While charges of U.S. involvement are not new, support for them was lacking until 1978, when anecdotal evidence was provided from an unlikely source - a former CIA case officer, John Stockwell, who reported first-hand testimony in his memoir, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story.
'The inside story came to me,' Stockwell wrote, 'from an egotistical friend, who had been chief of the [CIA] station in Accra [Ghana] at the time.' (Stockwell was stationed one country away in the Ivory Coast.)
Subsequent investigations by The New York Times and Covert Action Information Bulletin identified the station chief as Howard T. Banes, who operated undercover as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy.”
And perhaps that would have been all we would have ever known had Richard Mahoney not published his book. In 2002, John R. Stockwell, a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving in the Agency for thirteen years serving seven tours of duty explains in an interview:
“Howard Banes who was the CIA station chief in Accra engineered the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah. Now, obviously, you can look at it in different ways. A Ghanaian might say I thought we did it. Inside the CIA, though, it was quite clear. Howard Banes had a double promotion and an Intelligence Star for having overthrown Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana.
The magic of it, what made it so exciting for the CIA, was that Howard Banes had had enough imagination and drive to run the operation without ever documenting what he was doing, and to sweep along his bosses in such a way, they knew what he was doing, tacitly they approved, but there wasn't one shred of paper that he generated that would nail the CIA hierarchy as being responsible.”
As Dr. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah, puts it:
“Danquah’s detention under the PDA resulted from his involvements in coup plots in collaboration with the CIA. During the first treason trial of Awhiatey-Amponsah-Apaloo conspiracy of November 1958, after the passage of the PDA, J. B. Danquah was heard assuring a foreign diplomat that Nkrumah’s government would be overthrown in December 1958 (Bing). But the security forces did not act on it. They kept close eyes on him and other enemies of the State in order to gather hard evidence.” See: "Fallacies of J. B. Danquah's Heroic Legacy (V)", Feature Article of Monday, 25 September 2006 Columnist: Botwe-Asamoah, Kwame Dr.
For those of us looking for evidence of “receipts” of CIA payments to Danquah before we can be convinced that J.B. Danquah was indeed a CIA asset, the “receipt” came in the form of a book. As we can see from Okoampa's accounts, Richard Mahoney was no admirer of Kwame Nkrumah, and he was obviously not writing to please Pan-Africanists, when he noted that:
“The matter concerned Dr. J. B. Danquah, Nkrumah's opponent in the Presidential elections of 1960, who had been released from prison a few months after Mahoney's arrival as ambassador. Danquah paid a visit one November day to the embassy to ask Mahoney why the funds his family had been receiving during his imprisonment had been cut off after his release.
This was the first time Mahoney had heard of the arrangement. After Danquah left, he summoned the CIA chief of station to ask why he had not been advised by the agency's association with Danquah. Dissatisfied with the explanation, Mahoney flew to Washington two days later and personally informed Kennedy about the matter.” Read from page 184-185.
As I noted earlier in “J. B. Danquah Was A CIA Asset!”, Feature Article of Saturday, 1 October 2011 Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea:
“The story in the book, “JFK: Ordeal in Africa”, is very clear. According to Richard Mahoney, Danquah’s collaboration with the CIA became clear when he went to the US Embassy, after Nkrumah had pardon Danquah and other detainees on June 2, 1962, to ask “why the funds his family had been receiving during his imprisonment had been cut after his release.” As Dr. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah, correctly recounts, “This caused Mr. Mahoney, the new US Ambassador to Ghana to summon “the CIA chief of station to ask why he had not been advised of the agency’s association with Danquah.” Displeased with the explanation, “Mahoney flew to Washington two days later and personally informed Kennedy about the matter” (Mahoney)." - Feature Article of Monday, 25 September 2006, Columnist: Botwe-Asamoah, Kwame Dr., Fallacies of J. B. Danquah's Heroic Legacy (V)”.
I think there is no easy way to deny a fact that is published by an authoritative source, but Okoampa's pathetic attempts to beat about the bush only helps Ghanaians to focus more on what he wants to divert our attention from. An ugly tactic that did not go down well was the attempt by Otchere-Darko to use insults and “takashi” or “all die be die” in response to these allegations. Since the event happened live on radio and TV programme on Joy FM and Multi TV, most Ghanaians did see, and most would easily recall the disgraceful manner the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute put up in the course of the discussion on the Founder's Day, last September. It was pathetic. Mr. Kweku Baako was talking about the need for a broad political consensus across Ghana's political spectrum.
“That will dilute the whole thing.” Dr. Omane-Boamah would not agree. In supporting his claim, he insisted that it would be wrong to include former “CIA agents like Dr. J. Danquah” as a founder of Ghana. It is precisely at this point that Otchere-Darko's misbehaviour began:
“Would you stop this stupidity?” Gabby asked angrily. “Would you stop this stupidity? Why is he so stupid? You are sitting here and accusing somebody of being a CIA agent, what sort of stupidity is that? What is this stupidity? This is stupidity… you consider a founder of Ghana as a CIA agent, what sort of stupidity is this? ...this is pure stupidity.”
Gabby Otchere Darko was then asked by the host of the show to apologize to listeners and Dr. Omane Boamah for the insulting language but Gabby would only apologize to listeners. He stubbornly refused to apologize to the deputy Minister. He rather chose the option of walking out of the studio than to apologize for the insults. He was subsequently asked to leave the studios for his refusal to apologize to Omane Boamah, since that was the rule. Gabby Otchere Darko accepted the option of not apologizing and walking out to apologize and stay, and walked off the live program stating:
“When you want us to have an intellectual programme like this, you don't bring people like this. I am not going to apologize, I can apologize to the viewers and listeners but not him. He insults J.B. Danquah and you want me to apologize to him? …I am not going to do that. Why should I do that? … If that is what you want I will walk out on your programme, I won't do it!”
I remember the reaction of Ekow Nelson: “Okoampa and Otchere-Darko are getting overly emotional about the wrong side of this issue. they are arguing that JB Danquah did not need any motivation from a foreign government to destabilize and overthrow the elected government of Ghana. He did what the CIA would have liked him to do but took no money for it! He did all of that pro bono! So why is that redeeming for Dr. Danquah?” And here was my own: “The only way out I saw for Gabby in this predicament was to have honestly admitted the fact that the CIA paid stipends to J.B. Danquah's wife whilst in prison, explained why this was so, and to have left the public in peace to go and find out for themselves! He could then have added, as he seems to explain so eloquently with his “friend of America” excuses, that even if Danquah was a CIA agent, he did it for the good of the nation but not for stipends. And he could have allowed the public to judge for themselves who is really stupid!” See: "Ochere-Darko Must Render Proper Apologies For “Stupid” Insults! Part I", by Nana Akyea Mensah, Featured Articles | 7 October 2011.
Even Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe was embarrassed enough to confess that the reaction of the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabriel Asare Ochere-Darko, to the allegations that “Danquah was a CIA agent”, was a "rather startlingly infantile reaction", even though he agrees with him! See: "Omane-Boamah Deserved that Bit of It", Feature Article of Friday, 30 September 2011. So I was completely taken aback, and could not believe my eyes at first, when I saw an article by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., on this topic. But even more shocking than the fool-hardy idea of commenting on what has apparently been declared “a lost battle” and is fast becoming a taboo topic in the Akufo-Addo campaign, is the manner with which he beats about the bush and begs the simple question of whether or not J. B. Danquah was a CIA spy!
What Ghanaians want to know are the facts. Did J.B. Danquah go to the US Ambassador to ask why the CIA had stopped paying stipends to his wife? That is the question! Okoampa should stop beating about the bush and tell us why the CIA was paying these "stipends" in question to his hero's wife when he was in prison! Did J.B. Danquah go to see the then US Ambassador to Ghana, after Nkrumah had pardoned him and other detainees on June 2, 1962, to ask “why the funds his family had been receiving during his imprisonment had been cut after his release”? If you claim you read the book, then you ought to know that this very line is also in the book: “why the funds his family had been receiving during his imprisonment had been cut after his release”?
Grandson, let's talk about that. Let's talk about that, Baby!
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro, is a member of the Social Media Outreach Programme of the Pan-Africanist International - a grammar of Pan-Africanism and its manners of articulation! And is also known to Kwame Okoampa, the notorious assassin of character, as: "Ali Masmadi Sasabonsam Jehu Shoaboni Appiah, who now presumptuously and conveniently goes by the name of Nana Akyea-Mensah, the name of a historic man the likes of whose dignity and ineffable cynosure that SOB would never encounter among the male members of his largely pathologically skirt-chasing and pedophiliac family." See: A Typical Ghanaian Prophet, Feature Article | Thu, 21 Jul 2011, by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.