|John Foster Dulles
Secretary of State
Unless otherwise noted, all of these clips were copied from Wikipedia.
After Eisenhower won the 1952 presidential election, he chose John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Dulles concentrated on building and strengthening Cold War alliances, most prominently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, an anti-Communist defensive alliance between the United States and several nations in and near Southeast Asia. He also helped instigate the 1953 Iranian coup d’état and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état. He favored a strategy of massive retaliation in response to Soviet aggression. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954. Suffering from colon cancer, Dulles resigned from office in 1959 and died later that year.
Dulles strongly opposed communism, believing it was “Godless terrorism”. One of his first major policy shifts towards a more aggressive position against communism occurred in March 1953, when Dulles supported Eisenhower’s decision to direct the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), then headed by his brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow the Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran. This led directly to the coup d’état via Operation Ajax in support of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who became the Shah of Iran.
In the mid-1950s, Eisenhower administration public pronouncements on the issue of neutralism sometimes gave conflicting signals. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the administration’s principal foreign policy spokesman, was consistently critical. In October 1955, speaking before an American Legion convention in Miami, he stubbornly declared that “except under very exceptional circumstances, neutrality today is an immoral and shortsighted conception.”
Allen Welsh Dulles was an American diplomat and lawyer who became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), and its longest-serving director to date. As head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the early Cold War, he oversaw the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état, Operation Ajax(the overthrow of Iran’s elected government), the Lockheed U-2 aircraft program and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dulles was one of the members of the Warren Commission. Between his stints of government service, Dulles was a corporate lawyer and partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. His older brother, John Foster Dulles, was the Secretary of State during the Eisenhower Administration.
In 1954, an American-orchestrated coup d’état put an end to the first democratically elected government that Guatemala had ever experienced. In its place was installed a series of military, authoritarian governments, funded and advised by the United States (US). These governments waged a brutal war of repression against not just the consequent guerrilla opposition, but against the indigenous way of life in Guatemala as a whole. American intervention stifled Guatemala’s economic growth and political independence by allowing a corrupt ruling class to dominate the country whilst in the midst of civil war. The coup witnessed some of the worst human rights abuses of the Cold War period and the deaths of 200,000 civilians and rekindled stark ethnic, economic, social and political divisions in society. Despite successfully containing the spread of Communism in Latin America, America’s policy in Guatemala had numerous devastating effects which this essay aims to explore.
Director of Central Intelligence, Walter Bedell Smith recruited Allen Dulles to oversee the agency’s covert operations as Deputy Director for Plans, a position he held from January 4, 1951. On August 23, 1951, Dulles was promoted to Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, second in the intelligence hierarchy. After the election of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, Walter Bedell Smith shifted to the Department of State and Dulles became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence.
CIA “Benign Cover-up” in JFK’s assassination ‘Warren Report’
CIA Director McCone was “complicit” in a Central Intelligence Agency “benign cover-up” by withholding information from the Warren Commission, according to a report by the CIA Chief Historian David Robarge released to the public in 2014. According to this CIA report, CIA officers had been instructed to give only “passive, reactive, and selective” assistance to the commission, in order to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’ — that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.” The CIA was also covering up evidence that the CIA may have been in communication with Oswald before 1963, according to the CIA findings.
Also withheld were earlier CIA plots, involving CIA links with the Mafia, to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro, which might have been considered to provide a motive to assassinate Kennedy. The report concluded “In the long term, the decision of John McCone and Agency leaders in 1964 not to disclose information about CIA’s anti-Castro schemes might have done more to undermine the credibility of the commission than anything else that happened while it was conducting its investigation.
Venona Project (CIA and FBI decide non-disclosure to POTUS)
For much of its history, knowledge of Venona was restricted even from the highest levels of government. Senior army officers, in consultation with the FBI and CIA, made the decision to restrict knowledge of Venona within the government (even the CIA was not made an active partner until 1952). Army Chief of Staff Omar Bradley, concerned about the White House’s history of leaking sensitive information, decided to deny President Truman direct knowledge of the project.
The president received the substance of the material only through FBI, Justice Department, and CIA reports on counterintelligence and intelligence matters. He was not told the material came from decoded Soviet ciphers. To some degree this secrecy was counter-productive; Truman was distrustful of FBI head J. Edgar Hoover and suspected the reports were exaggerated for political purposes.
Some of the earliest detailed public knowledge that Soviet code messages from World War II had been broken came with the release of Chapman Pincher’s book, Too Secret Too Long, in 1984. Robert Lamphere’s book, The FBI-KGB War, was released in 1986. Lamphere had been the FBI liaison to the code-breaking activity, had considerable knowledge of Venona and the counter-intelligence work that resulted from it. However, the first detailed account of the Venona project, identifying it by name and making clear its long-term implications in post-war espionage, was contained in MI5 assistant director Peter Wright‘s 1987 memoir, Spycatcher.
On December 20, 1948, Laurence Duggan fell to his death from his office at the Institute of International Education, located on the 16th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan. His body was discovered around 7:00 PM that evening. A few days later, the New York Police Department made public the result of its investigation, which concluded: “Mr. Duggan either accidentally fell or jumped.”
During his last four days, he spoke with his father about funding for the IIE, his mother about Christmas, with Dr. Santos at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, about US-Latin American relations, and on December 20 itself with Pierre Bédard, director of the French Institute, about inviting a distinguished French national to lecture in the United States under IIE auspices.
The Agency’s covert operations were an important part of the Eisenhower administration‘s new Cold War national security policy known as the “New Look”.
At Dulles’ request, President Eisenhower demanded that Senator Joseph McCarthy discontinue issuing subpoenas against the CIA. In March 1950, Senator McCarthy had initiated a series of investigations into potential communist subversion of the Agency. Although none of the investigations revealed any wrongdoing, the hearings were potentially damaging, not only to the CIA’s reputation but also to the security of sensitive information. Documents made public in 2004 revealed that the CIA, under Dulles’ orders, had broken into McCarthy’s Senate office and fed disinformation to him in order to discredit him, in order to stop his investigation of communist infiltration of the CIA.
McCarthy dead, at 48 years of age
McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48. His death certificate listed the cause of death as “Hepatitis, acute, cause unknown”; doctors had not previously reported him to be in critical condition.
Senator McCarthy entered Bethesda Naval Hospital April 28, 1957 for a knee injury he sustained while serving as a Marine in World War 2. He died on May 2 with the official cause of death given as “hepatitis, acute, cause unknown” of a “noninfectious type”
‘The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981–1987’, journalist Bob Woodward chronicled the role of the CIA in facilitating the transfer of funds from the Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan Contras spearheaded by Oliver North. According to Woodward, then–Director of the CIA William J. Casey admitted to him in February 1987 that he was aware of the diversion of funds to the contras. The controversial admission occurred while Casey was hospitalized for a stroke, and, according to his wife, was unable to communicate. On May 6, 1987, William Casey died the day after Congress began public hearings on Iran–Contra. Independent Counsel, Lawrence Walsh later wrote: “Independent Counsel obtained no documentary evidence showing Casey knew about or approved the diversion. The only direct testimony linking Casey to early knowledge of the diversion came from [Oliver] North.” Gust Avrakodos, who was responsible for the arms supplies to the Afghans at this time, was aware of the operation as well and strongly opposed it, in particular the diversion of funds allotted to the Afghan operation.
CIA cocaine smuggling
“Once you set up a covert operation to supply arms and money, it’s very difficult to separate it from the kind of people who are involved in other forms of trade, and especially drugs. There is a limited number of planes, pilots and landing strips. By developing a system for supply of the Contras, the US built a road for drug supply into the US.”
-Former CIA agent David MacMichael
David MacMichael is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst. A ten-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he was a counter-insurgency expert in South-East Asia for four years. He also served as an analyst for the National Intelligence Council from 1981-1983. MacMichael graduated with an MA and Ph.D. in History from the University of Oregon.
MacMichael resigned from the CIA in July 1983 because he felt the Agency was misrepresenting intelligence for political reasons. His public resignation from the Agency gave credence and notability to his vocal indictment of the Reagan Administration‘s policy toward Central America.
He was considered the “key witness” in Nicaragua v. United States. The case was heard in 1986 before the International Court of Justice, which ruled that the United States had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their war against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors. MacMichael also testified in front of Congress on this matter.
In 1986, Senator John Kerry and Senator Christopher Dodd proposed a series of hearings at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding charges of Contra involvement in drug trafficking; the hearings were conducted by Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the Republican Chairman of the Committee. The report of the Committee, released on April 13, 1989, found that
According to the report, the U.S. State Department paid over $806,000 to “four companies owned and operated by narcotics traffickers” to carry humanitarian assistance to the Contras.
Regarding CIA knowledge of these facts, the report said: “the CIA’s Chief of the Central American Task Force went on to say: We knew that everybody around Pastora was involved in cocaine … His staff and friends (redacted) they were drug smugglers or involved in drug smuggling.