From the JFK files, a spymaster’s dictum on national security

From the new JFK files comes the long-suppressed testimony of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Among other things, he spoke on the nature of the national security state:

It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the Government has to comply with all of the overt orders of the Government.”

The transcript of Angleton’s closed-door testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities in September 1975, was released for the first time 42 years later, on December 15, 2017.




  1. Bill Banks says:

    Interesting, but not earth shattering as of page 62. I am surprised to find that Sullivan was more “forward” on intelligence gathering than Hoover. Note scrupulous avoidance of dates and proper nouns. Soft questions, soft answers. Anything of real interest would have been in the off the record conversations–might these have been otherwise recorded? Those interested should set a tickler for 10 year intervals.

  2. Kennedy63 says:

    Reading Angletons’ responses was a very sobering course, with sides of permafrost and paranoia. If his worldview was so heavily invested in the darkest soul of the Soviets, he could not fathom JFK attempting to undo the Cold War, inject into the equation a modicum of human empathy for the Soviet people, surrounded by out nuclear ICBM’s, Polaris Subs, and warplane with atomic ordinances. A “wilderness of mirrors” only reflects one’s self-image, which the US National Security apparatus refused to understand the Soviet perspective of being targets for annihilation. In reverse, the Soviets were attempting to do what the Western powers had done – world hegemony under militarism and capitalism. JFK violated the sacred tenets of the Eastern Establishment/Intelligence dogma – global domination, or empire – at any costs to victim nations. JFK’s total foreign policy got him killed – siding with revolutionaries and nationalist – the very people the intelligence agencies sought to repress or eliminate, because they alleged that the Soviets were behind them. They were, only because Western powers were against them at the start.

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