14. Korean-CIA Influence in Washington D.C.

In November, 1976, Americans went to the polls to elect, among others, 435 members of the House Of Representatives. There was at least one piece of information that the voters did not have when they cast their ballots. It now appears that a number of these re-elected, estimated by some to be as high as 10 percent of the House, had been beneficiaries of an influence buying program conducted by the Korean CIA. The program's main objective was to gain U.S. military support for Korea through the "distribution" of gifts and dollars to U.S. congressmen and other officials. It is now known that the program of influence-buying started six years earlier, in 1970, after 20,000 American troops were pulled out of Korea. In 1972, Richard Nixon received a campaign contribution of a half million dollars from Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Tongsun Park, a Korean CIA agent, on the orders of South Korean President Park Chung Hee. The U.S. CIA, which had a bug in the Korean Blue House in Seoul since 1973, was aware of the program. Yet, it was only after the November election that any substantial information concerning the influence buying program became available to the American public. Much like Watergate, which only started to make headlines and the network news after the 1972 election, the Korean CIA influence-buying story qualifies for consideration as one of the "best censored" stories of 1976.