Allen Dulles in the shadows of the Cold War

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.”

Source: From the Shadows of the Cold War: the Rise of the CIA

30 thoughts on “Allen Dulles in the shadows of the Cold War”

  1. Where did I read something to the effect of “if FDR had not died the Dulles brothers might/probably would have faced prosecution for war crimes”?
    To me Allen’s most barbarous crime was his withholding of his knowledge about the Jews being gassed in the concentration camps.
    He used his cunning and treachery against his enemies and for those he found useful. But his inaction contributed further to the suffering of innocent victims. This says a lot about his (lack of) morals.

    1. “Where did I read something to the effect of “if FDR had not died the Dulles brothers might/probably would have faced prosecution for war crimes”?”Ronnie Wayne

      Just guessing here but, perhaps that is something noted by William Stephenson (a man called Intrepid), who as I understand it, was keeping Roosevelt up on issues of intrigue in the intelligence services during WWII.

    2. Ronnie Wayne
      January 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      “Where did I read something to the effect of “if FDR had not died the Dulles brothers might/probably would have faced prosecution for war crimes”?”

      I don’t think so Ronnie. Had we lost the war no doubt both brothers would have swung from a rope like many others. I bet Japan would have loved to swing Curtis LeMay.

      But we won that one. So the brothers were pretty safe of any prosecution. Not saying they shouldn have been; just saying that is how it works usually.

      1. Morgenthau wanted to strip Germany of most of her industrial productive capacity in the Ruhr and elsewhere and convert the nation to a mostly agrarian nation. But because FDR was ill and dying and then gone, that didn’t happen. It could have had FDR remained healthy and lived into his fourth term. Elections and leaders have consequences. I really doubt FDR would have done the same thing as Truman in allowing an unbridled CIA with all its cloak and dagger operations, as he was of a different mindset. Truman would later regret this too, as his Washington Post OP/ED quotes his views quite clearly as he looked back. Also you cannot deny that Kennedy did indeed fire Allen Dulles. I have to wonder: What if JFK had been assassinated very early in his term, in the Spring of 1961? Would people be speculating as to whether he would have fired Dulles, or done many of the other things that the military and intelligence didn’t approve of? Food for thought.

    3. @Ronnie Wayne

      To me Allen’s most barbarous crime was his withholding of his knowledge about the Jews being gassed in the concentration camps.

      I have not read David Talbot’s book yet on Allen Dulles, but if Dulles did ignore reports on Nazi atrocities, then that undoubtedly is the worst thing he did. The decision to allow Reinhard Gehlen and other Nazi war criminals to join the CIA, and other US government bodies and agencies, was utterly immoral as well. These people should have been put on trial for their barbaric actions during 1933-1945. Of course Allen Dulles thought nothing of participating in the overthrow of democratically elected governments in various parts of the world either.

  2. Having just started to read Mr. Talbot’s new book, in the first 50 or so pages Dulles turns over his girlfriend to the Czech secret police for likely execution, watches impassively as his baby sister nearly drowns and stonewalls firsthand reports of Nazi death camps. What a guy. Dulles certainly is an inspired choice by LBJ to steer an above-board investigation into the murder of the president that they both disliked intensely.

  3. Has it dawned on many participants of this forum that Allen Dulles and those of his ilk, were so focused (or, would deceptively have us believe) on “defeating” Communism and defending “Democracy,” that these “uber-patriots” helped create a terrorist state (USA) which fomented civil wars, assassinated democratically elected Heads of State, rigged elections, and armed, trained, and supported dictators across the globe, as long as these dictators were not “viewed” as communist, or communist sympathizers? These “corporate servants” ensconced inside our government as heads of CIA and FBI, skewed our foreign and domestic policies towards the military-corporate philosophies. What was deemed permissible to them and their adherents, was anathema when other people (such as JFK) countermanded their plans. I believe this quote was attributed to Dulles sometime after JFK was assassinated: “Kennedy thought he was president.” Then there was Angleton’s directive to “wait out the [Warren] Commission,” rather than cooperate. This insolent, arrogant, and insubordinate attitude and behavior became characteristic, even entrenched, among the heads of our military, CIA, FBI, and some foreign service personnel. Anti-Kennedy sentiments created a hostile atmosphere and environment in which JFK operated. These insubordinate government employees (Dulles, Angleton, Hoover) helped Nazi henchmen escape justice, but condemned the President [Kennedy] who actually sought peaceful means to settle conflicts the CIA usually [clandestinely] inflamed. I ask one and all this question: Which camp, in your opinion, had a better perspective of the larger view of history: Dulles, or JFK?

    1. I think a brief reply here from my perspective, is that Kennedy found himself at th helm of a system created by psychopaths. This is sometimes referred to as “Political Ponerism”.
      Psychopaths recognize one another, and gather together for the sake of numbers in political systems.

      The problem they had with Kennedy was that he was sane, that he was in the top position, and was acting to block these madmen from achieving their ghoulish ends.

      Murder is always a psychopath’s preferred method of dealing with obstacles to their self aggrandizing plans. As is said in a triple entendre: “it’s a no-brainer”

    2. I recall a quote, attributed to Dulles, and also don’t recall the source. The quote was “Kennedy thought he was a god.”
      Of course, the implications are multiple: JFK thought he could wield more power than he actually could, and, as a “god,” thought he was immortal.
      What a curious remark after the assassination, by one selected to perform the official investigation of that assassination.

    3. Well said, and this carries on today. Mitch McConnell said publicly he would oppose Obama’s agenda right at the beginning. “Wait him out”, though he most likely thought he would be a one term president. No removal from office, but obstruction and disparagement from many sides of the entrenched beurocracy.
      I don’t think the president has been in charge for many years, to the detriment of the common people. I wish I could think of a solution to this dilemma.

    4. Actually the quote (delivered to Willie Morris) was:

      “That little Kennedy,” he spat out. “He thought he was a god.”

  4. A fine review of a terrific book, marred only by a positive reference to Noam Chomsky’s worthless “Reclaiming Camelot,” perhaps the single worst book ever written about President Kennedy and his policies.

    1. J.D.
      December 30, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      “A fine review of a terrific book, marred only by a positive reference to Noam Chomsky’s worthless “Reclaiming Camelot,” perhaps the single worst book ever written about President Kennedy and his policies.”

      JD, I’m certainly no fan of Chomsky but in this argument about what NSAM 263 has to say he certainly comes down on the factual side much more that Galbraith who basically lies about it. He also spots Newman as a BS artist.”

      “Rather surprisingly, Galbraith relies heavily on John Newman’s deeply flawed account,”

      1. Bill, I don’t much want to get into the NSAM 263 debate but Chomsky has made so many extreme and absolutely unfounded slurs against JFK that I can’t take a word of his seriously. He’s just outright lied about Kennedy again and again, and has repeatedly characterized him as a “thug” and a “terrorist.” His piece on the Cuban Missile Crisis is so fawning towards the Soviets that it almost reads like state-sponsored propaganda out of Pravda.

        Donald Gibson, in his book about JFK, quotes a long passage of Chomsky that blames JFK for problems in about 15 different countries and then sardonically remarks, “Chomsky apparently decided here to just overwhelm the reader with charges against Kennedy.” I know that Chomsky’s air of objectivity and (deserved) reputation as an important linguist has made him something of a secular saint among much of the left, but I’ve been shocked by how many of his historical claims turn out to be just out and out fabrications.

        1. I would keep Chomsky on a very short leash as you look at some of the things he claims. There also seems to be some hatred of JFK by Chomsky. I’ve never really understood this.

          But when Chomsky claims that JFK “invaded South Vietnam” it begins to be hard to take him serious.

          But as several have posted here, just because a man is wrong about somethings does not mean he is wrong about everything.

          I don’t want to go through the NSAM 263 thing again either but from all I have read Chomsky gives a better account that Galbraith. Actually I’m very disappointed in Galbraith over this.

  5. Dulles, and others, helped develop the ratlines that allowed Nazis to scatter across the middle-east and South America, including Hitler, Barbie, Mengele, Priebke et al post-WWII.

    CIA ensured that Nazis were available to counter the communist threat in taking their experiences and applying such in their on-going crusade to ensure corporate profits….

      1. That’s easy. He first went to South America and most likely made his way to US with help from Allen Dulles. I would guess he’s most likely burried at the Bush ranch in Crawford Texas. W likes to clear the brush from the grave site to keep it looking perkie for co-conspiritors. Sometimes they like to go bird hunting in area and occaisionally shoot the ones who talk to much in the face. Dan Qualye said it best ” a mind is a terrible thing”

      2. “…like bin Lauden, he was given a new id thru the marshal service, and drove a cab in NYC. People told him how remarkably he resembled Hitler…if he only had a mustache!”-DM

        1. Six votes in a row that Hitler escaped death. No one believes that Stalin had Hitler’s body moved to the Soviet Union? I kinda do.

          1. There is an excellent program on the History Channel called Hunting Hitler covering his possible escape.
            In the program they did some DNA tests on the remains that we’re said to be Hitler. Turns out to be a woman in her thirties. FBI documents from that time period indicate he may have escaped to Spain, the Canary Islands, then to Argentina. Additional FBI files have them looking for him up to three years after the end of WW II.

    1. I’m not sure how serious anyone is being on this thread, but I was under the impression that Hitler’s fate was fairly undisputed. Has any compelling evidence emerged to the contrary?

      1. I, for one, was being sarcastic in my comment. There is no evidence that Hitler escaped after World War II, other than by death.

        1. There is actually no evidence that Hitler committed suicide, only the assumption of such.

          No-one witnessed his death or identified his body, nor that of Eva Braun, although there were pictures taken of a doppleganger.

          The portion of skull alleged to be that of Hitler was DNA tested and found to be a female skull, and it bore a bullet hole while Ms. Braun was alleged to have poisoned herself.

  6. On April 10, 1961 at the U.S. State Department in Washington President Kennedy presided over the installation of West German General Adolf Heusinger as head of NATO’s military committee, the highest military post in NATO. General Heusinger was a junior member of the German General Staff during World War II and was known as ‘Hitler’s favorite general’ for his efficiency in preparing and issuing orders implementing Hitler’s plans, such as the Operation Barbarossa attack on Russia. Heusinger was standing two away from Hitler on July 20, 1944 in the briefing room and was wounded in the assassination attempt against Hitler. Heusinger served as head of the NATO military committee from 1961-65.

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