Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Why Did the Man Who Started the CIA’s Department of Dirty Tricks Shoot Himself?

Posted by M. C. on May 25, 2022

By Charles Burris

Top tier elite journalist, court historian, and Establishment Studies hagiographer, Evan Thomas, discusses his book, The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA. Thomas had previously authored The Man to See: The Life of Edward Bennett Williams, and co-authored (with Walter Isaacson) The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.

As Peter Dale Scott details in his magnificent American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, the Council on Foreign Relation’s elite bankocracy has its deepest roots in the origins the CIA:

[Frank]Wisner and [Allen] Dulles (the latter even when not in the government) were powerful because of their central position in the New York overworld of law, banking, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the New York Social Register.

This overworld milieu pushed for the creation of the CIA, but while awaiting its creation, Allen Dulles and William Donovan took steps to establish a private alternative. There are various stories describing how Allen Dulles, as a private Wall Street lawyer after World War II, organized, “on his own authority . . . a [private] spy organization clandestinely.” According to Peter Grose, Donovan later purported to have been shocked by Dulles’ plan. But as we shall see, the evidence suggests rather that he proceeded to implement something like it: the World Commerce Corporation, which included among its founders the legendary British intelligence chief William Stephenson and Nelson Rockefeller.

As Richard Helms narrates in his memoirs, in 1946 General Vandenberg, as director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, “to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947.” Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers. In 1948 Truman appointed Dulles chairman of a committee to review the CIA’s performance, and Dulles again appointed two New York lawyers to assist him.

In its first years the CIA, like OSS before it, was dominated internally by the aristocratic elements of the New York overworld. All seven of the known deputy directors of the CIA at the time came from the same New York legal and financial circles, and no less than six of these seven (including both Dulles and Wisner) were listed in the New York Social Register as well. (page 27)

The men Allen Dulles chose as his advisory group were Kingman Douglas, managing partner of Dillion, Read; William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn; Paul Nitze of Dillon, Read; and former DCI Admiral Sidney Soucers, who in 1946 retired to become a St. Louis investment banker.

See the rest here

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