From Iran 1953 to Dallas 1963

The CIA has finally admitted that it was behind the military coup that overthrew the government of Iran in 1953. Malcolm Byrne of the nonprofit  National Security Archive at George Washington University tells the story in Foreign Policy.

Byrne’s tale illuminates the covert action mentality that came to dominate the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s. The August 1953 coup in Iran and the June 1954 coup in Guatemala, both organized by undercover CIA officers, convinced the agency’s leaders and the White House that the US government could remove perceived enemies at a low cost and without war.

These “successes” led directly to the debacle of the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, which was organized by many of the architects of the Guatemala operation.

The Bay of Pigs in turn, led indirectly or indirectly, to the intelligence failure that culminated in gunfire on November 22, 1963. That tragedy prompted former President Harry Truman to call for abolition of the CIA’s covert operations directorate.

The story also says a lot about CIA’s overclassification of JFK records today.

Byrne’s coda is apt:

“”The fact that the CIA has now chosen to shift direction, at least this far, is something to be welcomed. One can only hope it leads to similar decisions to open up the historical record on topics that still matter today.”


From the Washington Post: 5 decades later, some JFK assassination files still sealed; researchers demand ‘transparency’.



  1. Thomas says:

    I’ll admit I’m probably crazy but is it possible these admissions lately are leading up to more admissions coming in November specifically about JFK? The timing is weird because at the very least these admissions will lead to further speculation and inquiries about Nov 22.

  2. Marcus Hanson says:

    Fair point,Thomas. More likely,though,is that the agency is engaged in a “limited hangout”.
    “See – we’ve come clean about other old matters. We would do the same about the Kennedy case – but we have not , because there is nothing for us to hide.”

    I believe LHO acted alone,but I believe also that Jefferson Morley is on the right path.

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