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Dear Jeff

I am currently reading Scorpion’s Dance and just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying it! Really interesting and can’t wait to finish. Starting Chapter 14 later tonight. Good stuff!! I need to order The Ghost next. I enjoy your writing and insight. Best, Ed

The CIA agent who wrote lousy spy novels later masterminded the Watergate burglary 

….the CIA concocted an ill-conceived scheme to boost their image: Why not create a James Bond of their own? And thus, the Agency tasked a career spy named Howard Hunt with a confidential mission to ‘become the Ian Fleming of the American clandestine service.’ Off Hunt went on a tax-payer funded writers retreat to Madrid where he churned out three novels following the exploits of ‘Peter Ward’—the commie-hunting CIA operative whose missions took him from Hong Kong to New Delhi. There would be seven books in total. The only problem was that the CIA’s pulpy propaganda campaign failed spectacularly. Twice denied by Hollywood, ‘Peter Ward’ was no match for the smoldering adventures of James Bond, and Howard Hunt was no Ian Fleming.

Source: The CIA agent who wrote fake James Bond novels and later masterminded the Watergate burglary | Daily Mail Online

Tricky Dicks: Watergate and the CIA

A friend writes: “I’m recommending a fantastic chat between Aaron Good and Jefferson Morley, two of the most cogent and relevant analysts of the Cold War’s domestic political legacy. It’s “about” Watergate, but it covers so much more than that. Take the time and have a deeper understanding of the break-in, the burglars,….

Listen here.

CIA tradecraft & JFK’s assassination: the making of a patsy

Rolf-Mowatt-Larssen
Former CIA station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen addresses a conference of JFK researchers in Dallas in November 2019. (Credit: Jefferson Morley)

[ICYMI Part I : A veteran officer analyzes the death of a president / Part II: ‘The very top people.’ / ]

CIA veteran Rolf Mowatt-Larseen proposed a “thought experiment” to the November 2019 JFK conference in Dallas. He reverse-engineered the lone gunman scenario, posing a question both novel and incisive.

 “How can you get away with a really elaborate but very simple plan of deception, to end up in a place where the president is dead and it is blamed on someone else, other than the people who perpetrated it?” he asked. “Not easy.”

CIA tradecraft & JFK’s assassination: ‘The very top people’

Former CIA station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen addresses a conference of JFK researchers in Dallas in November 2019. (Credit: Jefferson Morley)

[ICYMI: Part I: A veteran CIA officer analyzes the death of a president.]

“Why am I doing this?” Rolf Mowatt-Larssen asked the audience at the Coalition Against Political Assassinations’ conference in Dallas. “As a CIA officer it’s a little controversial. What is my goal? My goal is to have an answer [about who killed JFK] for myself and my children.” That may sound overly ingenuous to some, but most people in the room, myself included, had the same agenda.

Mowatt-Larssen was nine years old when he heard the news from Dallas.

You’re invited to the Spy Museum’s event on the CIA and Watergate

Next month, the Spy Museum in Washington DC will host conversation about Scorpions Dance. I’ll be talking with with James Rosen, author of Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate.

An excerpt from my book:

“As told by the Washington Post, and the movie All the President’s Men, Watergate is the tale of a lawless and paranoid president brought to justice by an independent press. The reports of the Senate Watergate Committee and House Judiciary Committee wove narratives of impeachable offenses committed by a president who had abused his powers, both at home …

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