“Why didn’t Nixon burn the tapes in his possession? Because he knew that he didn’t have the only copies. Strong evidence suggests that those recordings were held by CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton.”
He’s called global warming a hoax, suggested that Barack Obama was not an American and linked autism to childhood vaccinations. And soon, President Donald Trump, America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist, will decide the fate of more than 113,000 pages of secret documents about the ultimate conspiracy theory: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
“The Ghostis the compulsively readable, often bizarre true-life story of American spymaster James Jesus Angleton – the CIA’s poetry-loving, orchid-gardening mole-hunter for almost 20 years. Capturing the extent of Angleton’s eccentricity, duplicity and alcohol-fueled paranoia would have challenged the writing skills of a Le Carre or Ludlum, and Jeff Morley has done it with flair. This important book depicts the trail of wreckage left behind by Angleton in a CIA career that involved him in virtually every major spy-versus-spy drama of the Cold War and drew him deeply into the mysteries of the Kennedy assassination and the murder of one of JFK’s mistresses.” —Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act
Robin writes to take issue with my recent post on James Angleton and the resignation of British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1974.
“Greetings from the UK. I co-wrote a book about “The Wilson plots’: Smear: Wilson and the Secret State. Of course we dealt with the Angleton fantasies about Harold Wilson. A number of points needed to be noted. Read more
Some would credit Angleton with good counterintelligence instincts. Others might see a witch hunt or the workings of the so-called “deep state.” In any case, it was vintage Angleton, as Alex Cockburn explains.
James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.
At the Future of Freedom Foundation’s recent conference on “The National Security State and JFK,” I previewed one of the best stories from my forthcoming biography of James Angleton: How Lee Harvey Oswald became enmeshed in the Angleton’s legendary “mole hunt” in which he pursued a KGB spy in the ranks of the CIA.
If Oswald was a “lone nut,” as cliché would later have it, he was that rare isolated sociopath of interest to the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.
On January 22, 1976. retired CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton testified in secret session with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, otherwise known as the Church Committee.
Although this account does not mention James Angleton, the CIA Counterintelligence Chief (1954-74) was the man who expanded and oversaw the opening of the mail of U.S. citizens for nearly 20 years. In 1977, the Justice Department decided not to indict him.
In Literary Agents, Patrick Iber of the New Republic delves into the role of the CIA in the culture Cold War. He doesn’t specifically mention the role of Cord Meyer and James Angleton but they were probably the two CIA officials most responsible for CIA cultural funding between 1954 and 1967,
Iber captures what was most problematic about the CIA’s role, something I will touch on in my forthcoming Angleton biography.