‘The Good Shepherd’: Angleton on screen

Robert DeNiro’s 2006 movie, “The Good Shepherd,” is one of the best films about the early days of the CIA, with Matt Damon playing a character loosely based on James Angleton. Joe Pesci has a brilliant cameo as mobster Meyer Lansky.

My next book, The Ghost. The Secret Life of James Jesus Angleton, will be published next year by St. Martin’s Press.

My most recent book, CIA & JFK tells the story of the CIA operations underway in the weeks and days before President Kennedy as assassinated.


From a 5-Star Amazon review of Jefferson Morley’s CIA and JFK: The Secret Assassination Files,

“Can’t imagine a more meticulous take down of the CIA’s decades-long subterfuge surrounding the assassination.”

Jefferson Morley’s new ebook, CIA and JFK: The Secret Assassination Files, available on Amazon, provides the fullest account of the role of CIA operations officers in the events leading to the death of JFK, with a guide to what will be declassified in October 2017.



4 thoughts on “‘The Good Shepherd’: Angleton on screen”

  1. Wikipedia on BOP invasion:

    Prior warnings of invasion[edit]
    The Cuban security apparatus knew the invasion was coming, via their extensive secret intelligence network, as well as loose talk by members of the brigade, some of which was heard in Miami, and was repeated in US and foreign newspaper reports. Nevertheless, days before the invasion, multiple acts of sabotage were carried out, such as the El Encanto fire, an arson attack in a department store in Havana on 13 April, that killed one shop worker.[38][98] The Cuban government also had been warned by senior KGB agents Osvaldo Sánchez Cabrera and ‘Aragon’, who died violently before and after the invasion, respectively.[99] The general Cuban population was not well informed, except for CIA-funded Radio Swan.[100] As of May 1960, almost all means of public communication were in the government’s hands.[101][102]
    On 29 April 2000, a Washington Post article, “Soviets Knew Date of Cuba Attack”, reported that the CIA had information indicating that the Soviet Union knew the invasion was going to take place, and did not inform Kennedy. On 13 April 1961, Radio Moscow broadcast an English-language newscast, predicting the invasion “in a plot hatched by the CIA” using paid “criminals” within a week. The invasion took place four days later.[103]
    David Ormsby-Gore, British Ambassador to the US, stated that British intelligence analysis, as made available to the CIA, indicated that the Cuban people were predominantly behind Castro, and that there was no likelihood of mass defections or insurrections.[104]

  2. Though I can’t tell you where or by whom off the top of my head at the moment I’ve read the assertion the Cuban’s in particular knew the BOP was coming. Maybe not the exact day, location or potential intensity but a pretty good idea on the timing. How? Castro spies in the U.S. among the invaders? And/OR part of a CIA op planned failure to instigate support for a US invasion? Seems I’ve read support for both possibilities.

  3. I watched this movie over the weekend (hadn’t seen it since it came out in theaters) and I must admit it’s very very good. My question or comment involves the idea of a leak re: bay of pigs. Has Maxwell Taylor been proven correct? Did the Soviets and Cubans know the date and time of the invasion in advance in if yes, is it also true Allen Dulles knew the mission was compromised and went ahead regardless?

    If both are true it causes me to rethink Dulles yet again and wonder why he had Kennedy killed. If he knew the invasion would fail yet went ahead with it and blamed JFK it comes down to JFK having an entirely different world view than Dulles. One that threatened all of Dulles’ notions of a “new world order” and I guess the very idea that we could “make peace” with communists was so reprehensible to Dulles that he declared JFK a national security threat…is it really that simple? …and depressing…

  4. TGS is a decent movie about The CIA, etc. Regrettably, it’s very cerebral and long. It takes a commitment to watch. It probably should’ve had a bit more “action”, which it does really only at the end. And while the movie is revealing, it doesn’t exactly and truly take down The CIA and related people & institutions. It’s really more of a psychological examination of personalities involved in espionage. I actually worked on that flick. I was a somewhat low-level employee, but once, I did tell Mr. DeNiro that he was making a very important movie and he thanked me for saying that.

    Unfortunately, the original 100 million dollar budget was about half of what they needed and they had to beg for another 100 million to finish it. Ultimately, I don’t think it made any where near the 200 million dollars back. Also, since then, no one’s coughed up any substantial sum to Mr. DeNiro for him to direct another movie! Too bad as we could use a boat-load of more movies like this…

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