On May 16, 2016, the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, Inc., sought records the Central Intelligence Agency has about Rhodesia's Ian Smith, as well as any records pertaining to United States involvement with the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-1979).
On July 27, 2017, the CIA declassified a one-page document which provides a brief biography of the "leading personalities" of Rhodesia. The CIA describes Smith as the "Son of an early settler, a gentleman farmer, RAF [Royal Air Force] pilot and war hero" who "is the personification of qualities held in high esteem by most white Rhodesians." The CIA notes that Smith was "Friendly, straightforward, unexcitable, self-assured [and] firmly wedded to a sense of values he would not think of changing." Smith, the CIA notes, "entered politics in 1948 * * * on the strength of his anti-Communist views[.]"
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