Allen’s ascendency brought furtive characters, such as gun-toting William Harvey and cadaverous James Jesus Angelton, into a powerful global apparatus. Cold War ideology brooked no nationalist aspirations in any country wishing to control domestic politics and natural resources. A post-colonial era was emerging. But democratically elected nationalist leaders such as Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala were conveniently portrayed as communists. In both countries, the CIA orchestrated coups ensuring protection for profitable corporate oil interests and the United Fruit Co. The agency contributed to the killing of Patrice Lumumba, the charismatic Congolese leader who only wanted self-government for his beleaguered people.
Tag Archive for Allen Dulles
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former president Harry Truman in the Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.
“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas,” Truman wrote.
The former president never explicitly linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service, but the timing and venue of his piece was suggestive.
In response to the trailer for the CIA movie, “The Good Shepherd,” Dan asks:
Did the Soviets and Cubans know the date and time of the invasion in advance? If yes, is it also true Allen Dulles knew the mission was compromised and went ahead regardless?
Answer: The Cubans knew the invasion was coming but they did not know the date and time. There was no high-level leak, as the movie implies. And, no, Allen Dulles did not know the Bay of Pigs invasion was going to fail.
In an wide-ranging interview with the German publication, Heise, David Talbot talks about his biography of CIA director Allen Dulles, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” which has just been published in German.
Q. Among the most incredible aspects of the Kennedy assassination is the fact that Dulles and his friends were called to investigate in the Warren Commission (1963), as well as Rockefeller Commission (1975). Was Dulles correct in his assessment, that the American people do not read?
sh – April 5
From the review: “Talbot’s work is not without flaws—which I will detail later. But it is so far ahead of its competitors, and it deals with such a wide variety of important subjects, that I strongly recommend reading it. Most books I review in this field I read once, and then walk outside and throw them in the dumpster. Talbot’s book is Read more
Photon – February 9
As of 4:46 this AM I posted proof that Talbot obviously lied. It is there, if you are willing to look. Read more
Poulgrain questions how history would have unfolded if the US had not trained the Indonesian military to be a pro-Western ‘state within a state’. This action paved the way for the brutal Suharto regime which unleashed the bloody anti-communist purges of 1965-66. Moreover, he asks the intriguing question of what would have happened if Kennedy had dodged the assassin’s bullet and survived to implement his alternative strategy to use massive civic aid to bring the archipelago into the Western camp
Talbot writes, “Like many convicted Nazi criminals in the early Cold War years, a number of the Nuremberg defendants sentenced to prison were later the beneficiaries of politically motivated interventions and early releases; few of the many thousand convicted Nazis were still in prison after 1953. A number of those interventions on behalf of fortunate war criminals could be traced to the quiet stratagems of Allen Dulles.”
Since the reviewers at mainstream news organizations are studiously avoiding David Talbot’s groundbreaking Devil’s Chessboard, CTKA’s Jim DiEugenio takes up the challenge of explaining why the book is so important.:
“Talbot goes much further than these previous authors in his attempt to excavate just how involved Allen Dulles was in some of the unsavory aspects that helped create and maintain the Cold War state. Many of these aspects were ignored or minimized in the previous books. But Talbot does not shy away from detailing Dulles’ role in attempting to undermine some of America’s allies, like France during the revolt of the French generals in 1961. Beyond that, he goes much further than they do in explaining Dulles’ dismissal by President Kennedy (it was not all about the Bay of Pigs).”
John Kirsch – December 1
I did read “Devil’s Chessboard” and came away feeling that the material relating to the JFK assassination was the weakest part Read more
Leslie (Oct. 24),
Your Dallek quote had only one statement from JFK himself: “How could I have been so stupid as to let them proceed?” Not “Dulles betrayed me” — that’s an interpretation, just as it’s an interpretation (opinion) that it was JFK’s “decorum” that led him to praise Dulles highly and refer to him as a friend. IOW, JFK didn’t mean what he said about Dulles, in your view.
Personally I like direct quotes, not interpretations. Arthur Schlesinger’s book on RFK says this:
“Allen Dulles handled himself awfully well, with a great deal of dignity,” Robert Kennedy said of the period after the Bay of Pigs, “and never tried to shift the blame. The President was very fond of him, as I was.”
— Robert Kennedy and His Times, p. 459
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As Talbot explains, “What I was really trying to do was a biography on the American power elite from World War II up to the 60s.” It’s a huge, sprawling book, and an amalgam of all the appalling things Dulles and his cohort definitely did, things the evidence suggests they probably did, and speculation about things they might plausibly have done. More than a biography, it’s a exploration of well-organized pathology.
Talbot and his research associate Karen Croft, to whom he dedicated his book, have found all sorts of nuggets in Allen Dulles’s papers, his appointment calendar, oral histories, and other less-used sources. In addition, Talbot infuses his book with anecdotes from interviews he personally conducted. While I found some points I could nitpick in various episodes, overall this is a worthy addition and a much-needed perspective that elucidates how we came to have two governments: the elected one and the one that doesn’t answer to the elected one.
In case you missed it,. On October 19, David Talbot talked to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now about his new book on Allen Dulles.