James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of Counterintelligence by Michael Holzman
“The history of the CIA is the secret history of the Cold War. So it wasn’t just himself and the CIA which Helms was protecting when he kept the secrets. It was the stability of a quarter-century of political arrangements, the notion of a Free World, a ‘history’ of American response to ‘aggression’, a stark contrast of American ‘morality’ with Communist ‘expedience’, an illusion of American rectitude unclouded by reality. The true history is not the antithesis of the child’s history; it is not all crime, greed, and imperial reaching. But the true history is a long way from what we tell ourselves on the Fourth of July.” -Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA
“There is a certain way of doing things that appearst to have been institutionalized in the CIA in its first phase: the encouragement of exiles from a target country; the organization of some of those exiles into quasi-military formations; the launching of a “liberation” campaign spearheaded by those formations: Albania, Poland, Hungary, Cuba. It was not a very successful methodology.” -Michael Holzman
Now we can add Afghanistan to the list.
This book was heavy and deep. It definitely revised my opinion that “the Presidents were pretty good guys except for Nixon”. It also gave Cord Meyer motive to shoot Kennedy in my opinion. It also nearly almost convinced me that William Colby was another KGB plant/sleeper/mole (aside from Aldrich Ames). When the first thing you do after Shlesinger was done taking an axe to the CIA is basically destroy the counterintelligence capabilities of the Agency, it sort of becomes just slightly suspicious.
Once again, this book offers insights into different aspects of the same years and is valuable to anyone interested in the CIA. It also delves a little more into the incestuous relationship of the CIA and the FBI during Angleton’s tenure.
I’m going to hold out that the only way to truly and completely change the American government/military is to pit a widespread policy change against all of the entrenched reasons for the stupid shit they continue to do. That and for all these guys to retire. Now unfortunately, they’re stuck with the assholes involved in the War on Terror and whatever stupid crap Obama has gotten suckered into that nobody knows just yet. Maybe he hasn’t but if history is any indication, the Executive branch has dirty fingers everywhere and often with Congressional consent.
p.s. Interesting references to a “Hydra” computer system in use by the CIA