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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF Espionage, Intelligence, and Security 1 volume A–E

Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security

K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, editors

Project Editor Stephen Cusack Editorial Erin Bealmear, Joann Cerrito, Jim Craddock, Miranda Ferrara, Kristin Hart, Melissa Hill, Carol Schwartz, Christine Tomassini, Michael J. Tyrkus, Peter Gareffa

Knowledge is power. In a time where news can overwhelm and in fact, too easily mingle with opinion, it is our hope that EEIS will provide readers with greater insight to measure vulnerability and risks, and correspondingly, an increased ability to make informed judgments concerning the potential benefits and costs of espionage, intelligence, and security matters

In composing The Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security (EEIS), our goal was to shape a modern encyclopedia offering immediate value to our intended readers by emphasizing matters of espionage, intelligence, and security most frequently in the news. EEIS is not intended as a classical “spy book,” filled with tales of daring operations. Instead, within a frame-work of historical overviews, EEIS emphasizes the scientific foundations, applications of technology, and organizational structure of modern espionage, intelligence, and security. High school and early undergraduate students can use this book to expand upon their developing awareness of the fundamentals of science, mathematics, and government as they begin the serious study of contemporary issues. EEIS is also intended to serve more advanced readers as a valuable quick reference and as a foundation for advanced study of current events.

LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
 BY TIM WEINERBlank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget
Betrayal: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy
(with David Johnston and Neil A. Lewis)
CIA Mind Control - CIA Secret Experiments
LEGACY of  ASHES is a timely, immensely readable, and highly critical history of the CIA, culminating with the most recent catastrophic failures in Iraq.MARK BOWDEN author  of BLACK HAWK DOWN
CIA MK Ultra Mind Control Search Video One
CIA MK Ultra Mind Control Search Video Two
CIA MK Ultra Mind Control Search Video Three
For the last sixty years, the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, burying its blunders in top secret archives. Its mission was to know the world. When it did not succeed, it set out to change the world. Its failures have handed us, in the words of President Eisenhower, a legacy of ashesNow Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA—and everything is on the record.
 Legacy of Ashes is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten directors of central intelligence. Legacy Of Ashes takes the CIA from its creation after World War II, through its battles in the cold war and the war on terror, to  its near-collapse after 9/11.
The New York Times hailed Tim Weiner's past work on the CIA and American intelligence as impressively reported and immensel  entertaining.
The Wall Street Journal called Weiner's book Betrayal truly extraordinary... the best book ever written on a case of espionage. And now, here is the hidden history of the CIA: why eleven presidents and three generations of CA officers have been unable to understand the world, why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it, and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.
TIM WEINER is a reporter for The New York Times. 
TIM WEINER has written on American intelligence for twenty years, and won the Pulitzer Prize for his work on secret national security programs.
 TIM WEINER has traveled to Afghanistan and other nations to
investigate CIA covert operations firsthand.
 is his third book.www.doubleday.com Jacket  design by Pracher Designs Jacket photograph
by Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis
Printed  in  the  USA.
CIA Declassified Castro and the Cold Cream
CIA Guns Drugs Fraud Golden Triangle No.30

Academic papers from the 1960s reveal how a CIA-funded 'mind control' program came to Australia

By Joey Watson for The History Listen
Posted Thu 5 Aug 2021

In another example, the CIA funded experiments at a psychiatric hospital in Montreal, Canada, directed by the controversial Professor Donald Ewen Cameron.

Professor Cameron's "psychic driving" involved subjecting drugged, sleep-deprived patients to continuously repeated audio messages on a looped tape.

Years later, a senate hearing on MK-Ultra concluded that some of these experiments represented "a fundamental disregard for the value of human life".

CIA History Billions In Cash Resources P2

Two men in an interrogation scene
In the 60s, the CIA wanted to find out if hypnosis could control political figures as portrayed in the film The Manchurian Candidate.(Getty/Hulton Archive)

In the winter of 1960, Martin Orne, remembered as one of the 20th century's greatest psychologists, touched down in Sydney.

The American professor was due to begin a three-month sabbatical at the University of Sydney, attracted by its world-renowned psychology faculty.

Professor Orne was one of the leading researchers into hypnosis, something the Sydney team awaiting his arrival was also interested in. They were all trying to apply a scientific approach to a practice long associated with magic and mystery.

CIA Drug Trafficking And American Politics The Political Economy Of War

Portrait of an older man who gestures with his glasses
Dr Martin Orne was highly regarded by the CIA for his scientific approach to hypnosis.(Supplied: University of Pennsylvania)

"The environment at [the University of] Sydney was electrically alive with intellectual stimulation," says psychologist Dr Peter Sheehan, who was completing his honours in psychology at the faculty during Professor Orne's visit.

"I suddenly found myself surrounded by people who were entrenched in the issues of hypnosis."

But, unbeknownst to the Sydney university staff and students, documents recently retrieved by the ABC confirm that Professor Orne was receiving funding from the secretive intelligence program MK-Ultra, which was in turn funded by the CIA.

Orne was a keen psychologist, well regarded for his scepticism and scientific rigour, but the CIA had questionable motives.  

Sleep, drugs and Operation Midnight Climax

In the early years of the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union were poised for nuclear combat.

"The United States became convinced that we were under imminent threat," says Stephen Kinzer, a former foreign correspondent at the New York Times. 

"[The population] felt that the Soviet Union had the power, almost at a moment's notice, not only to destroy the United States but to destroy the entire possibility of meaningful human life on Earth."

The anxieties of US citizens were not just about their nuclear capacities.

There was a widely held suspicion that the Soviets were developing mind-control capabilities.

Reports had emerged of American soldiers, captured during the Korean war, defecting to the communist side and seemingly renouncing the US.

Three former POW's who refused to return to the US after Korean Armistice.When American POWs defected after the Korean war, many decided the communists must be using mind-control. (Getty: Bettmann)

US intelligence concluded that the communists must be hypnotising the soldiers. Alarmed, they decided that they needed to develop similar capabilities.

This spurred the creation of the MK-Ultra program.

It was, says Mr Kinzer, "a project to find ways for the CIA to seize control of the minds of other people".

Over 100 experimental projects were set up under MK-Ultra. The project titles included phrases like "aspects of magicians' art useful in covert operations" or "sleep research" and "behavioural modification"

Mr Kinzer says that those working on MK-Ultra experiments, often under extreme secrecy, would push ethical boundaries in the name of national security.

For instance, in an operation known as 'Midnight Climax', the CIA employed sex workers in San Francisco, Mill Valley and New York. 

They were instructed to bring their clients to a safe house and dose them with LSD, so researchers could assess the impact of the drug and gauge its suitability for use in military settings.

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YOUTUBECIA's mind control program

CIA Drug Trafficking Allegations Hearing (1998) with Maxine Waters - Gary Webb

In another example, the CIA funded experiments at a psychiatric hospital in Montreal, Canada, directed by the controversial Professor Donald Ewen Cameron.

Professor Cameron's "psychic driving" involved subjecting drugged, sleep-deprived patients to continuously repeated audio messages on a looped tape.

Years later, a senate hearing on MK-Ultra concluded that some of these experiments represented "a fundamental disregard for the value of human life". 

"The research and development program … resulted in massive abridgments of the rights of American citizens, sometimes with tragic consequences," the 1977 report states.

According to the senate committee report, many participants felt the "residual effects" of the experiments decades after the program ceased. At least two died.

The Human Ecology Fund

Arguably the most coveted of the CIA's mind control projects were those investigating the possibilities of hypnosis, with documents showing that it occupied up to eight MK-Ultra sub-projects.

At the time, pop culture led many to believe that hypnosis could be used to create a "Manchurian candidate." The 1962 film of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh, depicts a former soldier brainwashed into becoming an assassin. Some in the CIA believed hypnosis could be weaponised in real life in a similar way.

"Instead of waging war, [the CIA thought] 'we'll just find a way either to hypnotise leaders, or to hypnotise entire populations to control other people's minds from far away'," Mr Kinzer says.

"The prize would be nothing less than global mastery."

Martin Orne, then a young professor at the Harvard Medical School, became a key part of this quest in the late 1950s.

A middle-aged man in a suit stands behind a lectern and addresses a room full of academics.
Dr Peter Sheehan says he learnt a lot from Professor Orne. (Supplied: University of Sydney Archives)
CIA Drug Running Mike Ruppert P2 of 11
CIA Drug Running Mike Ruppert P4 of 11

The Vienna-born American psychologist had worked in magic shows as a teenager and developed a keen interest in hypnosis.

He had continued to research it throughout his career and, according to author John D. Marks, Professor Orne's rigorous scientific approach made him attractive to the CIA.

In the late 1970s, when researching his book The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, which exposed the details of the MK-Ultra program, Mr Marks interviewed Professor Orne, who revealed he was regularly consulted by the CIA. According to Mr Marks, Professor Orne knew about the program and also received funding to support his research on hypnotism.

"He was their man on the outside — their specialist who they would go to for ideas about hypnosis," Mr Marks says.

In 1960, Professor Orne's work took him to the University of Sydney.

The university was an intellectual spark in an at-times culturally conservative Australia. The psychology department was renowned, particularly for its work on hypnosis. 

In the 1950s, there were five significant hypnosis labs in the world — four in North America and the other at Sydney University, under the guidance of professors John Philip Sutcliffe and Gordon Hammer. 

So Professor Orne came to collaborate with some of Sydney's esteemed psychologists. His financial backing for the trip, however, came from a source with shady motives.

CIA Drug Running Mike Ruppert P3 of 11

An article published in a 1965 edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in which Professor Orne and his colleague Professor Frederick J. Evans record the results of one of their key experiments in Australia, has been referenced by the ABC.

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On the first page, the authors acknowledges the contribution of the Human Ecology Fund, a secretive organisation used by the CIA to provide grants to social scientists and medical researchers investigating questions of interest to the MK-Ultra program.

"This study was conducted at the University of Sydney, Australia, during a visit by the senior author [Orne], June-August 1960. It was supported in part … by a grant from the Human Ecology Fund," the paper reads.

Dr Sheehan, who had studied under Professor Orne, says the researchers at the University were unaware that their work was CIA-linked.

"That particular experiment was at the University of Sydney, while I was doing my honours year, and I had never learned that was CIA-funded," he says.

CIA Drug Running Mike Ruppert P6 of 11

Alternative explanations

The aim of Professor Orne's experiments in Sydney was to see if it was possible to get hypnotised people to engage in "anti-social behaviour". If a subject could be made to perform tasks against their own wishes, the CIA could potentially use this power against opposition soldiers.

Historical experiments had recorded hypnotised subjects doing almost anything. They could be made to steal, injure themselves, even attempt murder.

Woman seated with eyes closed and arms extended, apparently under hypnosis
Professor Orne wanted to test historical theories that found that hypnotised subjects would do almost anything. (Supplied: State Library of Victoria )
CIA Drug Running Mike Ruppert P7 of 11

Professor Orne wanted to test this. According to the article, he asked a group of hypnotised subjects, comprised of Sydney University psychology students, to perform a series of seemingly dangerous acts, including picking up a venomous snake and throwing a vat of nitric acid at an experimenter. 

While many of the subjects completed these seemingly dangerous tasks, Professor Orne did not necessarily conclude that hypnosis was responsible. 

Eager to find alternative explanations to why the participants had performed these actions, Professor Orne used a control group of non-hypnotised subjects.

They also completed the tasks, the researchers discovered.

The subjects, Professor Orne concluded, knew at some level that they would be safe, regardless of whether they were hypnotised. They judged correctly that researchers were simulating danger.

In experiments with snakes, for example, the animals had been rendered harmless by the University's zoology department; in other experiments with nitric acid, the acid was simply a convincing "coloured solution". The subjects were not told about this. 

"The tasks are within the broad range of activities which are perceived as legitimized by the nature of the situation," the journal article reads.

"They were requests made by experimenters, viewed by subjects as responsible scientists, in the context of a psychological experiment."

But if the CIA was looking to control the human mind in their Cold War battle against communism, Professor Orne's findings would have proven disappointing.

"No conclusions can be drawn from the present investigation about the potential use of hypnosis to induce antisocial behaviour," Professor Orne wrote in the journal article.

According to Mr Marks, this scepticism was part of the professor's appeal to the CIA.

"Orne was the person they would go to, in terms of hypnosis, to say, do you think this is going to work — and he tended to be a sceptic," he says.

"So, his sceptical and academic way of looking at it would have been useful in turning down half-baked ideas."

This scientific approach is Professor Orne's legacy.

In a career that continued for four decades, Professor Orne helped to established what hypnosis could and couldn't do, and moved it from the realm of magic to an established academic and clinical practice.

"I learnt an awful lot from him," says Dr Sheehan, Professor Orne's student and collaborator.

"There are lots of people out there that would love to think that you or I could do terribly immoral things under hypnosis, but I don't think that's true," he says.

"I think that experiment would have been absolutely pivotal in proving otherwise."

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The toxic legacy of Canada’s CIA brainwashing experiments: ‘They strip you of your soul’

In the 1950s and 60s, a Montreal hospital subjected psychiatric patients to electroshocks, drug-induced sleep and huge doses of LSD. Families are still grappling with the effects

Ashifa Kassam in Toronto @ashifa_k Thu 3 May 2018

Sarah Anne Johnson had always known the broad strokes of her maternal grandmother’s story. In 1956, Velma Orlikow checked herself into a renowned Canadian psychiatric hospital, the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, hoping for help with postpartum depression.

She was in and out of the clinic for three years, but instead of improving, her condition deteriorated – and her personality underwent jarring changes.


More than two decades passed before Johnson and her family had an explanation, and it was much stranger than any of them could imagine: in 1977 it emerged that the CIA had been funding experiments in mind-control brainwashing at the institute as part of a North America-wide project known as MK Ultra.

At the time, the US agency was scrambling to deepen its understanding of brainwashing, after a handful of Americans captured during the Korean war had publicly praised communism and denounced the US.

In 1957, this interest brought the agency north of the border, where a Scottish-born psychiatrist, Ewen Cameron, was trying to discover whether doctors could erase a person’s mind and instill new patterns of behaviour.

Orlikow was one of several hundred patients who became unwitting subjects of these experiments in Montreal in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Portrait of Velma Orlikow
Velma Orlikow. Photograph: William Eakin

“It’s almost impossible to believe,” said her granddaughter, Sarah Anne Johnson. After her grandmother died, the Canadian artist began reading up on the institute, delving into Orlikow’s journals and court documents. “Some of the things he did to his patients are so horrible and unbelievable that it sounds like the stuff of nightmares.”


Patients were subjected to high-voltage electroshock therapy several times a day, forced into drug-induced sleeps that could last months and injected with megadoses of LSD.

After reducing them to a childlike state – at times stripping them of basic skills such as how to dress themselves or tie their shoes – Cameron would attempt to reprogram them by bombarding them with recorded messages for up to 16 hours at a time. First came negative messages about their inadequacies, followed by positive ones, in some cases repeated up to half a million times.

“He couldn’t get his patients to listen to them enough so he put speakers in football helmets and locked them on their heads,” said Johnson. “They were going crazy banging their heads into walls, so he then figured he could put them in a drug induced coma and play the tapes as long as he needed.”


Along with intensive bouts of electroshock therapy, Johnson’s grandmother was given injections of LSD on 14 occasions. “She said that made her feel like her bones were melting. She would say: ‘I don’t want these,’” said Johnson. “And the doctors and nurses would say to her: ‘You’re a bad wife, you’re a bad mother. If you wanted to get better, you would do this for your family. Think about your daughter.’”

Orlikow died when Johnson was 13 years old. Her experience – and the profound imprint it left on her family – has influenced Johnson’s artwork.

“I knew, even at a very young age, that my grandma was not like other grandmas,” said Johnson, 41. “She had a hair trigger for nerves and anger. If someone bumped into her or if we were in a restaurant and someone spilled something on her, she would just explode. She wouldn’t hurt anybody, she would just scream and yell and it would take hours to calm her down.”

A 2016 video installation shows Johnson, wearing a mask made from an old photo of her grandmother, trying to prepare a meal.
A 2016 video installation shows Johnson, wearing a mask made from an old photo of her grandmother, trying to prepare a meal. Photograph: Courtesy of Sarah Anne Johnson

Johnson was close to her grandmother, often spending afternoons at her home while her parents worked. They would sit on the couch and watch TV together, surrounded by piles of books and newspapers.

Years later, Johnson found out that the experiments had wreaked havoc on Orlikow’s brain; it could take her three weeks to read a newspaper, months to write a letter, and years to read a book.


“But she kept trying, she kept trying to be her old self and do the things that she used to love,” said Johnson. “Now I think that she was just sitting in a big pile of her own failures, every day on that couch.”

Similar scenes played out across Canada as former patients of the institute attempted to return to their lives. “It tainted our whole family,” said Alison Steel, whose mother was admitted to the institute in 1957.

Her mother was 33 years old at the time, reeling from the loss of her first child and showing signs of depression. “Back at that time, this Dr Cameron, he was this miracle psychiatrist,” said Steel. “He was supposed to do wonders with people with depression or mental health issues.”


Steel’s mother, Jean, was put into chemically induced sleep, once for 18 days and a second time for 29 days. She was subjected to rounds of electroshocks, injections of experimental drugs and seemingly endless bouts of recorded messages.

“They say it was torture for human beings, human torture,” said Steel, who was four years old when her mother was hospitalised. “What they attempt to do is erase your emotions. They strip you of your soul.”

After three months at the institution, her mother returned home. The treatments had taken a toll on her memory and left her riddled with nervousness and anxiety. “She wasn’t able to talk to me about life and regular stuff. She wasn’t able to joke and laugh,” said Steel.

A 2009 series by Johnson uses a squirrel to represent her grandmother at times, after Orlikow once said the LSD injections made her feel like a squirrel trapped in a cage.
A 2009 series by Johnson uses a squirrel to represent her grandmother at times, after Orlikow once said the LSD injections made her feel like a squirrel trapped in a cage. Photograph: William Eakin

At times her mother would interrupt conversations to utter statements out of the blue, which Steel believes were the recorded messages she had been exposed to. “She would blurt out something like: ‘We must do the right thing,’” said Steel. Cameron, the psychiatrist behind the experiments, died in 1967 of a heart attack while mountain climbing, but recent decades have seen various attempts by former patients and their families to hold the Canadian government and the CIA accountable.


In 1992, the Canadian government, which had provided grants from several agencies to fund Cameron’s research, offered compensation payments of C$100,000 (US$78,000) to 77 former patients of the institute who had been reduced to a childlike state. Hundreds of others – including Steel’s mother – were denied compensation, at times because they were deemed not to have been damaged enough by the experiments.

Steel, who launched a legal challenge against the government in 2015, settled last year with the federal government, receiving a C$100,000 payment in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement.

The settlement was one of a handful made in recent years, said the lawyer Alan Stein, who has represented several former patients and their families. The Canadian government – while not fully aware of the extent of the experiments being carried out at the time – said the payments to former patients were made on compassionate and humanitarian grounds, said Stein. “It never admitted its legal responsibility.”

In 1980, Johnson’s grandmother and eight other former patients took on the CIA, launching a class-action lawsuit over the six years of funding it had provided to Cameron. The legal challenge left her grandmother fighting anxiety and panic attacks, said Johnson. “And then she would summon, as difficult as it was, every bit of energy and courage and step out and face it.”

After originally asking for US$1m each in damages and a public apology, the plaintiffs settled in 1988, with each of them receiving a little over US$80,000.

A 2009 piece by Johnson paints over an image of her grandmother smiling as she balances her two grandchildren in her lap.
A 2009 piece by Johnson paints over an image of her grandmother smiling as she balances her two grandchildren in her lap. Photograph: William Eakin

Art became Johnson’s means of processing her family’s painful history; a 2009 series uses a squirrel to represent her grandmother at times, after Orlikow once said the LSD injections made her feel like a squirrel trapped in a cage. A 2016 video installation shows Johnson, wearing a mask made from an old photo of her grandmother, trying to prepare a meal. “The doctor took her apart and put her back together so it’s an impossible task,” said Johnson.


Velma Orlikow’s experience at the Montreal institute left deep scars, but her fight for justice is a source of deep pride for her granddaughter. It’s that mix that Johnson aimed to capture in a 2009 piece that painted over an image of her grandmother smiling as she balanced her two grandchildren in her lap – turning her grandmother’s hands into vines and tendrils that wrapped tightly around the children.

“Those vines, they’re just fact. They’re not dark. It’s not bad,” she said. “It seems strange to say this but because of the horrific ordeal that my grandma went through and then going after the CIA, I grew up feeling like I’m from a family that stands up for things. And so this is a part of me now, it’s how I see the world.”



The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A 'Poisoner In Chief'

September 9, 2019 Heard on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

"'Poisoner In Chief' Details The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control : NPR"


CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb headed up the agency's secret MK-ULTRA program, which was charged with developing a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies. Courtesy of the CIA

During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. In response, the CIA began its own secret program, called MK-ULTRA, to search for a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies.

MK-ULTRA, which operated from the 1950s until the early '60s, was created and run by a chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. Journalist Stephen Kinzer, who spent several years investigating the program, calls the operation the "most sustained search in history for techniques of mind control."

Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer's research.

"Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people's minds, and he realized it was a two-part process," Kinzer says. "First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn't get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one."

Found In The Archives: Military LSD Testing


Found In The Archives: Military LSD Testing

Kinzer notes that the top-secret nature of Gottlieb's work makes it impossible to measure the human cost of his experiments. "We don't know how many people died, but a number did, and many lives were permanently destroyed," he says.

Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible. After MK-ULTRA shut down, he went on to lead a CIA program that created poisons and high-tech gadgets for spies to use.

Kinzer writes about Gottlieb and MK-ULTRA in his new book, Poisoner in Chief.

Interview highlights

Poisoner in Chief
Poisoner in Chief

Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

by Stephen Kinzer Hardcover, 354 pages

On how the CIA brought LSD to America

As part of the search for drugs that would allow people to control the human mind, CIA scientists became aware of the existence of LSD, and this became an obsession for the early directors of MK-ULTRA. Actually, the MK-ULTRA director, Sidney Gottlieb, can now be seen as the man who brought LSD to America. He was the unwitting godfather of the entire LSD counterculture.

In the early 1950s, he arranged for the CIA to pay $240,000 to buy the world's entire supply of LSD. He brought this to the United States, and he began spreading it around to hospitals, clinics, prisons and other institutions, asking them, through bogus foundations, to carry out research projects and find out what LSD was, how people reacted to it and how it might be able to be used as a tool for mind control.

Now, the people who volunteered for these experiments and began taking LSD, in many cases, found it very pleasurable. They told their friends about it. Who were those people? Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, got his LSD in an experiment sponsored by the CIA by MK-ULTRA, by Sidney Gottlieb. So did Robert Hunter, the lyricist for the Grateful Dead, which went on to become a great purveyor of LSD culture. Allen Ginsberg, the poet who preached the value of the great personal adventure of using LSD, got his first LSD from Sidney Gottlieb. Although, of course, he never knew that name.

So the CIA brought LSD to America unwittingly, and actually it's a tremendous irony that the drug that the CIA hoped would be its key to controlling humanity actually wound up fueling a generational rebellion that was dedicated to destroying everything that the CIA held dear and defended.

On how MK-ULTRA experimented on prisoners, including crime boss Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was. Essentially, could we make a person lose his mind by feeding him LSD every day over such a long period?

Bulger wrote afterward about his experiences, which he described as quite horrific. He thought he was going insane. He wrote, "I was in prison for committing a crime, but they committed a greater crime on me." And towards the end of his life, Bulger came to realize the truth of what had happened to him, and he actually told his friends that he was going to find that doctor in Atlanta who was the head of that experiment program in the penitentiary and go kill him.

On the CIA hiring Nazi doctors and Japanese torturers to learn methods

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps.

Stephen Kinzer, author of 'Poisoner in Chief'

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.

For example, Nazi doctors had conducted extensive experiments with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp, and the CIA was very interested in figuring out whether mescaline could be the key to mind control that was one of their big avenues of investigation. So they hired the Nazi doctors who had been involved in that project to advise them.

Another thing the Nazis provided was information about poison gases like sarin, which is still being used. Nazi doctors came to America to Fort Detrick in Maryland, which was the center of this project, to lecture to CIA officers to tell them how long it took for people to die from sarin.

On the more extreme experiments Gottlieb conducted overseas

Gottlieb and the CIA established secret detention centers throughout Europe and East Asia, particularly in Japan, Germany and the Philippines, which were largely under American control in the period of the early '50s, and therefore Gottlieb didn't have to worry about any legal entanglements in these places. ...

CIA officers in Europe and Asia were capturing enemy agents and others who they felt might be suspected persons or were otherwise what they called "expendable." They would grab these people and throw them into cells and then test all kinds of, not just drug potions, but other techniques, like electroshock, extremes of temperature, sensory isolation — all the meantime bombarding them with questions, trying to see if they could break down resistance and find a way to destroy the human ego. So these were projects designed not only to understand the human mind but to figure out how to destroy it. And that made Gottlieb, although in some ways a very compassionate person, certainly the most prolific torturer of his generation.

On how these experiments were unsupervised

This guy [Sidney Gottlieb] had a license to kill. He was allowed to requisition human subjects across the United States and around the world and subject them to any kind of abuse that he wanted, even up to the level of it being fatal — yet nobody looked over his shoulder.

Stephen Kinzer

[Gottlieb] operated almost completely without supervision. He had sort of a checkoff from his titular boss and from his real boss, Richard Helms, and from the CIA director, Allen Dulles. But none of them really wanted to know what he was doing. This guy had a license to kill. He was allowed to requisition human subjects across the United States and around the world and subject them to any kind of abuse that he wanted, even up to the level of it being fatal — yet nobody looked over his shoulder. He never had to file serious reports to anybody. I think the mentality must have been [that] this project is so important — mind control, if it can be mastered, is the key to global world power.

On how Gottlieb destroyed evidence about his experiments when he left the CIA

The end of Gottlieb's career came in [1973], when his patron, Richard Helms, who was then director of the CIA, was removed by [President Richard] Nixon. Once Helms was gone, it was just a matter of time until Gottlieb would be gone, and most important was that Helms was really the only person at the CIA who had an idea of what Gottlieb had been doing. So as they were both on their way out of the CIA, they agreed that they should destroy all records of MK-ULTRA. Gottlieb actually drove out to the CIA records center and ordered the archives to destroy boxes full of MK-ULTRA records. ... However, it turns out that there were some [records] found in other places; there was a depot for expense account reports that had not been destroyed, and various other pieces of paper remain. So there is enough out there to reconstruct some of what he did, but his effort to wipe away his traces by destroying all those documents in the early '70s was quite successful.


Sam Briger and Thea Chaloner produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Meghan Sullivan adapted it for the Web.

Correction Oct. 27, 2019

In the audio of this interview, as in a previous Web version, Stephen Kinzer incorrectly says the end of Sidney Gottlieb's CIA career came in 1972. It actually ended in 1973.

Previously posted Sept. 9: A previous photo caption incorrectly referred to the CIA's MK-ULTRA program as MS-ULTRA.

CIA - BKA - German Federal Police -KBB -New Fascist Right
Fears Of A Fourth Reich After 2nd World War History



This is a timely, immensely readable, and highly critical history of the CIA, culminating with the most recent catastrophic failures in Iraq." -MARK BOWDEN, author of BLACK HAWK DOWN

For the last sixty years, the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, burying its blunders in top secret archives. Its mission was to know the world. When it did not succeed, it set out to change the world. Its failures have handed us, in the words of President Eisenhower, "a legacy of ashes." Now Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA-and everything is on the record. Legacy of Ashes is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten directors of central intelligence. It takes the CIA from its creation after World War II, through its battles in the cold war and the war on terror, to its near-collapse after 9/11....

LEGACY of  ASHES is a timely, immensely readable, and highly critical history of the CIA, culminating with the most recent catastrophic failures in Iraq.
CIA 50 Years Of Spying History
"Tim Weiner has read widely and dug deeply to produce this marvelous and convincing history of the CIA across six decades.
 That every quote is also on the record is a testament to his skill and also, thankfully, to the transparency that endures in the American political system." —STEVE COLL author of GHOST WARS
"Legacy of Ashes, like all first-rate histories, is not only richly informative but provocative and insightful.
 It is a combustible mix of deeply researched history, solid reporting, and revealing anecdotes. Tim Weinefs history of the CIA
 explains not merely the past but the present, laying out in fine detail the structural and philosophical flaws that have dogged the agency from day one and which continue to leave the country unduly vulnerable." TED GUP, author of NATION OF SECRETS
This is a fascinating, deeply scary book. With prodigious reporting and on-the-record sources, Tim Weiner shows why the CIA has done so poorly in traditional intelligence. It's a riveting tale and also a warning. America must develop the ability and the  will—to  know and face the facts about the world."  -WALTER ISAACSON, author of  EINSTEIN. HIS LIFE  AND UNIVERSE
Now the CIA must be rebuilt if it is to survive.
 That task will take years.
 The challenge of understanding the world as it is has overwhelmed
 three generations oCIA officers. Few among the new generation have mastered the intricacies of foreign lands, much less the political culture of Washington. In turn, almost every president, almost every Congress, and almost every director of central intelligence since the 1960s has proved incapable ograsping the mechanics of the CIA. Most have left the agency in worse shape than they found it. Their failures have handed future generations, in the words of President Eisenhower, "a legacy
 of ashes." We are back where we began sixty years ago, in a state of disarray.
Legacy of Ashes sets out to show how it has come to pass that the United States now lacks the intelligence it will need in the years ahead. It is drawn from the words, the ideas, and the deeds set forth in the files
 "In the Beginning, We Knew Nothing":
 The CIA Under Truman, 1945 to 1953
5.  "RICH BLIND MAN"  39
 A Strange Kind of Genius": The CIA  Under Eisenhower, 1953 to 1961
 – Lost Causes:
The CIA Under Kennedy and Johnson, 1961 to 1968
 – "Get Rid of the Clowns":
The CIA Under Nixon and Ford, 1968 to 1977 28.
 Victory Without Joy:
The CIA Under Carter, Reagan, and George  H. W. Bush, 1977 to 1993
41.  "A CON MAN'S CON MAN" 401
 The Reckoning:
ThCIUnder Clinton and George W. Bush, 1993  to 2007
44. "WE HAD NO FACTS" 439
46. "WE'RE IN TROUBLE" 454
48. "THE DARK SIDE" 477
INDEX  673
Former FBI Agents Testify At GOP Hearing On Weaponizing Of FBI Bureau - Video One
Former FBI Agents Testify At GOP Hearing On Weaponizing Of FBI Bureau - Video Two
Former FBI Agents Testify At GOP Hearing On Weaponizing Of FBI Bureau - Video Three
CIA's Most Secret Place On Earth - The ClA's Covert War In Laos 2015

CIA owns everyone of any significance in the Major Media. ....Former CIA Director William Colby

CIA owns everyone of any significance in the Major Media. ....Former CIA Director

William Colby


The Psychosocial Implications of
Disney Movies
Special Issue Editor
Lauren Dundes
MDPI • Basel • Beijing • Wuhan • Barcelona • Belgrade
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Facebook, Twitter stocked with ex-FBI, CIA officials in key posts 
By Caitlin Doornbos and Jon Levine December 22, 202 New York Post
Aaron Berman,Meta’s top policy manager for “misinformation,” Aaron Berman, is a former CIA senior analytics manager
Aaron Berman, FaceBook/Meta’s top policy manager for “misinformation,” Aaron Berman, is a former CIA senior analytics manager
Aaron Berman-Many former CIA and FBI agents went on to work at Facebook and Twitter after the serving the government
Aaron Berman-Many former CIA and FBI agents went on to work at Facebook and Twitter after the serving the government

WASHINGTON — Dozens of former national security officials have gone to work for Facebook and Twitter after leaving government service, raising concerns about the influence of their onetime agencies over the social media giants.

At Twitter alone, at least eight former FBI agents work at the company’s so-called “trust” and “security” divisions — including its product policy manager Greg Anderson, who previously worked on “psychological operations” at the National Security Council, The Post has learned. Another is Matthew Williams, the company’s co-lead of its Trust and Safety department who spent more that 15 years in intelligence with the agency.

The discovery of the DC-to-Silicon Valley pipeline comes amid an outcry over revelations that the FBI influenced Twitter to suppress The Post’s account over its reporting on Hunter Biden’s overseas business interests in October 2020 and has regularly demanded specific accounts and tweets be banned.

Multiple releases of internal company documents since Dec. 2 show Twitter developed a close working relationship with the intelligence community, which frequently leaned on them to censor political speech.

Still another is Facebook senior strategist for “creator equity and well-being” Corey Ponder, who describes in his LinkedIn profile how he spent more than six years at the CIA — the majority of which was spent as a “senior targeting analyst.”

That job entails identifying and assessing “vulnerabilities and technology trends, uniting technical operations and development activities to collect intelligence against our nation’s threats,” according to a CIA hiring website.

Other former CIA employees include Bryan Weisbard, Meta’s director of privacy strategy and operations; Kris Rose, a member of its governance point-person on its oversight board project from March 2020 to October 2021; and Hagan Barnett, a former CIA contractor who leads “harmful content operations” at Meta, according to LinkedIn.

It’s not just Meta’s policy makers who have intelligence ties; some of their top tech people do as well.

Cameron Harris, Meta’s “workflow risk project manager,” previously spent four years as a CIA analyst. On Thursday, he posted on LinkedIn Thursday that he was “honored” to be featured in articles exposing former intelligence operatives that work for social media entities now.

“If only my high school civics teacher … could see me now!” he wrote.

Mike Torrey spent more than eight years with the CIA as a senior analyst “leading analysis and efforts to counter cyber threats,” before joining Meta in September 2018 as a security engineer investigator.

And in March 2022, Amarpreet Ghuman joined Meta to work in “product integrity” and “elections” after six year as a FBI analyst.

“With this many former intelligence people, it’s like Big Tech are basically just becoming … extensions of the intelligence community,” said Bill Ottman, founder and CEO of the social media platform Minds. “It’s just not appropriate.”

According to Ottman, while a single job candidate’s past government work would not preclude him from hiring the person, the apparent trend of hiring shadowy former government figures troubles him.

“If some former intelligence official came to try to work for us, I would probably just say no, just because why is it even worth the risk?” he said. “Why would I want to worry about some sort of back channel happening?

“Not every former intelligence employee is going to continue a relationship with the CIA after they’ve left, but you just don’t know.”

Having swaths of senior social media employees with ties to federal intelligence agencies risks not only free speech, but also privacy and potentially national security, Ottman argued.

“On Twitter, for instance, all the [direct messages] are open to all of the moderators,” he said. “There’s heads of state that DM on Twitter, politicians DM on Twitter. To have some random social media employee have access to that or potentially the intelligence community have direct access to that is also a huge issue.”

The deaths of three New Yorkers from fentanyl-laced cocaine shows the growing danger in the US drug supply - ABC News


By Joanna Robin in New York
Posted 10th March 2023
A composite image of Amanda Scher, Ross Mtangi and Julia Ghahramani
Amanda Scher (left), Julia Ghahramani and Ross Mtangi all died on a single day in March 2021 in New York. (Facebook/The Julia Ghahramani Foundation)

Facebook Twitter is stacked With ex-FBI and CIA officials In Key Posts

On a single day in March 2021, three New Yorkers ordered cocaine from the same drug delivery service, then died after unknowingly ingesting fatal doses of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid.

Warning: This article contains details readers might find distressing. 

All three had texted the same drug dispatcher, Billy Ortega, who then coordinated couriers to swiftly deliver the cocaine to three separate locations in Manhattan, according to authorities.

Ortega knew it was tainted, prosecutors later said, but he sold it anyway. 

Amanda Scher, a 38-year-old social worker, fatally overdosed in the Greenwich Village apartment she shared with her elderly rescue dog, close to New York University where she had completed her master's degree.

Wall Street trader Ross Mtangi, 40, had farewelled his pregnant girlfriend at their Manhattan penthouse before checking into a nearby hotel room.

He stayed there overnight, then texted her and other family members on the morning of March 17 to say he was OK but needed some space, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr Mtangi was found dead the next day by his sister and her partner, along with translucent black baggies containing what police identified as fentanyl-laced cocaine.

In the East Village, 26-year-old Julia Ghahramani, a talented first-year lawyer who had graduated from Columbia Law School in May 2020, died alone in her apartment after consuming the same bad batch of cocaine.

A young woman in glasses smiles at the camera in front of grapevine leaves
Lawyer Julia Ghahramani fatally overdosed after unknowingly ingesting fentanyl-laced cocaine.(Supplied)

"Julia was amazing. She was brilliant," said her father Sassan Ghahramani, a hedge fund adviser from Greenwich, Connecticut.

He described his eldest daughter as a "warrior for social justice" who wanted to change the world for the better.

"We immediately knew she was poisoned," he said.

The drug fuelling America's deadly overdose crisis

Fentanyl is roughly 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

The pharmaceutical version of the drug is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, particularly after surgery or during end-of-life care.

But illicitly manufactured fentanyl, often made overseas, has increasingly spread through the United States' drug supply in recent years, showing up in counterfeit pills, MDMA, and stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Amid the opioid epidemic, which began in the late 1990s with the over-prescription of painkillers such as OxyContin, overdose deaths in the US have risen fivefold over two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But fentanyl has been blamed for a recent deadly surge in unintentional overdoses across the country, which some have called the "third wave" of the evolving health crisis.

The most recent national data paints a grim picture, with more than 106,000 people dying from overdoses in the US in 2021.

Over half of those deaths involved synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and its chemical analogues.

In New York City, over the same period, 2,668 overdose deaths were recorded by the city's health department.

Of those attributed to cocaine, 85 per cent also involved fentanyl, according to the department.

A pair of gloved hands holding pills and pill containers
Pharmaceutical fentanyl comes in a number of different forms and strengths including skin patches, pills and injections. (Reuters: Jesse Winter)

"Drug dealers don't label their drugs as poison, they just sell them with indifference to the tragedy left in their wake," said Damian Williams, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, when he announced the conviction of Ortega for supplying the cocaine that killed three people in one day.

"This case exemplifies that the national fentanyl epidemic continues to claim lives and inflict havoc on families from all walks of life."

While some people use fentanyl because of its potency, others are unknowingly exposed to the drug due to the adulteration or cross-contamination of other substances.

Sarah Wakeman, the medical director for substance use disorder at Mass General Brigham in Boston, said this is particularly risky for those who don't generally use opioids or use them infrequently.

"You can imagine if someone is selling both cocaine and opioids out of the same area, a small amount of fentanyl [cross-contamination], because of how highly potent it is, ... could be enough to cause an overdose in someone who has no tolerance to opioids," Dr Wakeman said.

Why fentanyl can be deadly 

Fentanyl is a depressant that binds to the body's opioid receptors, found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions.

Too much can slow a person's heart rate and shut down their breathing, which can lead to hypoxia, a condition caused by decreased oxygen to the brain that may result in coma, permanent brain damage or death.

For someone with low opioid tolerance, "even a tiny bit of fentanyl could be enough to cause an overdose or even a fatal overdose," Dr Wakeman said.

In some cases, an amount the size of a small grain of rice can be deadly.

Ms Wakeman advocates a harm-reduction approach to substance use, including the use of test strips that reveal hidden fentanyl.

But while they are effective at detecting the drug, they don't measure its strength or quantity in a sample.

A pair of hands holding a nasal spray box
Narcan nasal spray can save the life of someone overdosing from opioids like fentanyl. (Reuters: Adrees Latif)

If an overdose occurs, naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioids, sold under the brand name Narcan, can be lifesaving.

"For a person, particularly someone who uses cocaine or methamphetamine, who doesn't use opioids, to know that there's any amount of fentanyl in the substance you're about to use really is important," Ms Wakeman said.

"Because that could shape your decision about whether or not to use and certainly [your] thinking about precautions, like having naloxone on hand to reverse an overdose."

The small kit that could save a life 

Across the East River from the famous skyscrapers of Manhattan, on a recent Tuesday night in Greenpoint, a group of New Yorkers gathered in an upstairs room of their local library.

They were there for a free Narcan and overdose-response training session run by Vocal-NY, a state-wide community organisation, and the volunteer-run Brooklyn Harm Reduction Outreach Cooperative.

Trainer Laura Levine asked the group if anyone knew how to recognise an opioid overdose.

She then explained what to look for — signs of drowsiness, slowed or stopped breathing, pale skin and blue lips — and how to administer a single-dose Narcan nasal spray if a person is unresponsive.

Ms Levine, who is Vocal-NY's education coordinator, also laid out the protections of New York State's "Good Samaritan" law, which is designed to allow people to call emergency services for medical support without fear of arrest if they or someone else are experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose.

Naloxone kit
New York City's health department has been distributing naloxone kits containing opioid-reversing nasal spray.(Supplied)

Each attendee left with informational flyers and a zipped blue pouch containing two doses of Narcan, provided by the city's health department.

"The more that we're able to educate drug users and not only drug users but family and friends of drug users … the more lives can be saved," Ms Levine later told the ABC.

"What we're doing is just giving them the education and the information to make a safer decision.

"It's not to scare people."

Ms Levine was also quick to bust what she called "the biggest myths around fentanyl", including that it's possible to overdose from brief skin contact with the drug, as a bizarre spate of US media reports has suggested.


"In order to experience a fentanyl overdose, it needs to be absorbed into your body," she said.

"So either absorbed into the mucous membranes by sniffing or [by] injecting right into the bloodstream."

How New York's night spots can help prevent overdoses

Training sessions like those run by Vocal-NY are becoming commonplace across New York City, where around every four hours someone dies from an overdose, with Black and Latino communities and poorer neighbourhoods worst affected.

Authorities, local organisations and grassroots groups alike are grappling with how to curb the problem and empower residents to protect themselves and others.

Health officials have announced a plan to install 10 "public health vending machines" in the city, stocked with free supplies including naloxone, sterile syringes, safe-sex kits and more.

Naloxone is already available over the counter at pharmacies across the state, and the FDA is expected to soon approve its sale without a prescription nationwide.

But for those without health insurance, the cost can be prohibitive.

A wooden tray with two boxes containing Narcan nasal spay and fentanyl test strips in a bar
Bars across the US are beginning to stock fentanyl test strips and Narcan spray to protect patrons.(Reuters: Nathan Frandino)

New York City's Office of Nightlife has partnered with its Department of Health to equip venues and hospitality workers with overdose-prevention tools through a program called Narcan Behind Every Bar, which includes training for the nightlife community and the distribution of free naloxone kits.

In 2018, Ariel Palitz, a former club owner, was appointed to lead the agency, which acts as a liaison between the mayor's office and the hospitality industry.

She said harm reduction, which includes moving away from a "strictly [law] enforcement approach" to drug use, is at the centre of her work.

"We see [stocking naloxone] now as benign and yet as important as having a CPR kit behind a bar, or a first aid kit," Ms Palitz said.

"It doesn't necessarily mean people are having heart attacks all over New York City bars. But if you are having one, it's nice to know you have a CPR kit."

Ms Palitz said it is important to acknowledge that recreational drug use is often a reality in bars and clubs but nightlife itself is not the issue.

A woman leans against a giant disco ball
Ariel Palitz, from the New York Office of Nightlife, said naloxone should be in every bar. (Instagram: Ariel Palitz)

"It's not a nightlife problem, it's a drug use and contamination problem," she said.

"Nightlife just happens to be a location where people socialise, gather, and happen to use drugs. And therefore it is an opportunity, rather than a liability, to help people learn about how to prevent an overdose.

"And if [one] happens, how to bring somebody back."

The 'fourth wave' of the opioid epidemic

Daniel Ciccarone is a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, who has spent more than two decades as a public health researcher, studying what he calls "drug use in the real world".

Mr Ciccarone explained the triple-wave opioid epidemic can be traced from the rise of opioid pills through the 2000s, which led to some people seeking out heroin in the early 2010s, to heroin increasingly being replaced and adulterated with synthetic opioids from around 2014.

This created a "huge spike in overdose deaths due to fentanyl," he said.

While the epidemic presents differently coast to coast, both prescription opioid and heroin deaths peaked nationally in 2017, whereas the fentanyl crisis continues, exacerbated by the pandemic and racial and economic inequalities.

Mr Ciccarone said stimulant-related deaths have become more common and increasingly entwined with opioids, particularly fentanyl, leading to what he has dubbed the "fourth wave" of the evolving epidemic.


"It's important to understand that co-use can have an accidental form where the end user is not aware of the substance they're using," he said.

But, he added, people who are opioid dependent may also seek out stimulants to boost the effects of other drugs, for example co-using heroin and cocaine.

"The interesting thing post-COVID is that methamphetamine plus fentanyl use is up," he said.

"That is very unusual. And just to see people combining that brings us into a whole new realm, a whole new phase of drug use, at least in the United States."

Mr Ciccarone said as different drugs move into and out of popular use there are often spill-over effects, such as shifts in user demographics or spates of overdoses.

"Once the supply recognises that, 'Oh, cocaine is going up in demand. Oh, methamphetamine is going up in demand. We're going to supply more of it. Why? Because we're capitalists.'

"The illicit drug markets are as capitalistic as any legitimate industry you can think of, maybe even more so."

But while supply-side interventions are often touted as the solution, Mr Ciccarone warned they can also have unintended consequences.

"Supply-side interventions, always run into what we call the balloon effect in drug policy, and that is you squeeze the balloon at one end and it pops out and the other end," Mr Ciccarone said.

"But the even more finesse part of the balloon metaphor is that it pops out in an unknown direction."

Mr Ciccarone said the Biden administration had made "bold leaps in the direction of demand reduction", including by increasing access to Buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder.

The first National Drug Control Strategy under the leadership of a medical doctor, Raol Gupta, promised a "new era of drug policy" led by "compassion" — a stark departure from the harsh rhetoric and draconian laws that stemmed from former president Richard Nixon's "war on drugs".

The strategy includes plans to expand access to prevention and harm-reduction programs and treatment and recovery support services, while pledging to disrupt drug trafficking into the US by targeting criminal organisations.

Joe Biden points into the crowd as he delivers his 2023 State of the Union address in front of the American flag
President Joe Biden pledged to crack down on fentanyl trafficking in response to skyrocketing overdose deaths.(Reuters: Jacquelyn Martin)

But not everyone has welcomed the new approach, particularly members of the Republican Party who have sought to tie the fentanyl crisis to border security, given most of the illicitly manufactured fentanyl in the US is synthesised in China and Mexico.

In a recent poll, Republicans said fentanyl and other opioids represented the biggest threats to Americans' public health, which for Democrats was guns.

During President Joe Biden's recent State of the Union speech, he promised a "major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking", including stronger penalties for traffickers.

The moment was met with outrage from Republican members of Congress, including one who yelled, "It's your fault!" from the floor of the House.


Victim's father calls for action

For those affected personally by the overdose crisis, the seeming lack of action and political point-scoring can feel exhausting.

Mr Ghahramani, who lost his daughter nearly two years ago, said Mr Biden's words at the State of the Union felt like "lip service".

In the past couple of years, Mr Ghahramani said he has "learned more than I ever would have imagined about fentanyl", connecting with other grieving families and various advocates through social media.

A young woman in glasses smiles stands next to her father in the kitchen
Sassan Ghahramani, whose 26-year-old daughter Julia died of an accidental overdose, called for harsher criminal penalties for fentanyl suppliers.(Supplied)

"I stopped because I couldn't take it anymore," he said.

"It was just too hard for me. But I heard so many stories of so many people whose children had died and been poisoned with fentanyl."

Mr Ghahramani described the drug as the "most deadly poison ever to hit our streets".

He also said failures of the "war on drugs" shouldn't prevent law enforcement from acting against drug dealers, such as Ortega, who knowingly put people at risk.

While Mr Ghahramani agreed Narcan could be "a lifesaver", he said it was "not going to solve everything".

"You can't fight with one hand," he said.

"You have to root out the supply. You can't roll over and imagine that it will just go away."

A young woman in glasses smiles as a man and woman proudly kiss her cheeks
Julia Ghahramani with her younger twin siblings at her graduation from Columbia Law School in May 2020.(Supplied)

Ortega was unanimously convicted by a jury on five charges in January following a trial.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in June and faces 25 years to life in prison.

Mr Ghahramani said he believes the onus should not be on victims to mitigate risks, while acknowledging the importance of education.

"When Julia died, there was no awareness," Mr Ghahramani said.

"They were just starting to put fentanyl in cocaine. She would have never in a million years have come close to it if she knew this was possible. People need to be warned."

A teenage girl in a bucket hat smiles at the camera in front of a lake
Julia Ghahramani's father described her as "a warrior for social justice” who dreamed of changing the world for the better.(Supplied)

Could Australia face its own fentanyl crisis?

Australia has so far avoided an opioid epidemic on the same scale as the US and Canada, in part due to laws restricting the direct marketing of pharmaceuticals to consumers.

But overdose deaths are rising, exceeding the road toll each year since 2014 when the country first breached 2000 annual drug-related fatalities, according to the Penington Institute.

Its most recent annual overdose report, based on data from 2020, warns Australia could slide into a US-style fentanyl crisis if common-sense steps aren't taken to prevent that from happening.

"It's still the case that in the US, it's a much worse situation. But the problem is, we often follow the US in terms of drug-use patterns," said John Ryan, Penington Institute's CEO.

"And if we get the same scale of problem that's been happening in the US now for a number of years, we're very unprepared for it."

Mr Ryan said Australia's overdose crisis is "incredibly diverse", but worse per capita in regional and rural parts of the country, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

He said stigma around drug use and dependence means the issue is often hidden from public view.

Overdose deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have increased by 1,275 per cent since 2006, but most involved pharmaceutical fentanyl, which is commonly diverted from healthcare settings.

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is not widespread in Australia, although in August 2022, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced a record bust of around 11 kilograms in Melbourne.

Mr Ryan said it could be a sign that more is on the way.

"Drugs in Australia are often described as readily available and easy to access," Mr Ryan said.

"And so even though [the AFP] did well … it's a real sign, I think, that there are people out there contemplating the opportunity. And the opportunity is obviously big profits."

A plastic bag filled with drugs inside a metal case
The AFP said the 11 kilograms of fentanyl seized in August 2022 was equivalent to about 5.5 million potentially lethal doses.(Supplied: AFP)

While Australia may be downstream from the US in terms of drug-use trends, Mr Ryan said following "the American approach to drugs, which is to try and arrest our way out of these problems," had proven unsuccessful.

The Australian government has announced an investment of $19.6 million over four years to make naloxone available for free nationally without a prescription.

Mr Ryan is also pushing for a national overdose prevention strategy, which would bring together the federal and state governments, law enforcement and health services.

"I think we've got to really improve access to drug treatment, but also access to harm reduction services," he said.

"And that includes, most importantly, [ensuring] better understanding in the community about drug-use issues, and not relying on the police to get us out of what's basically a health problem."

LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA is the record of the first sixty years of the Central Intelligence Agency. It describes how the most powerful country in the history of Western civilization has failed to create a first-rate spy service.
 That failure constitutes a danger to the national security of the United States.
Intelligence is secret action aimed at understanding or changing what goes on abroad. President Dwight D. Eisenhower called it "a distasteful but vital necessity." A nation that wants to project its power beyond its borders needs to see over the horizon, to know
 what is coming, to pre-vent attacks against its people. It must anticipate surprise.
 Without a strong, smart, sharp intelligence service, presidents and generals alike
can become blind and crippled. But throughout its history as a super-power, the United States has not had such a service. History, Edward Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, is "little more than the register of crimes, follies,
 and misfortunes of mankind." The annals of the Central Intelligence Agency are filled with folly and misfortune, along with
 acts of bravery and cunning. They are replete with fleeting successes and long-lasting failures abroad. They are marked by political battles and power struggles at home. The agency's triumphs have saved some blood and treasure. Its mistakes have squandered both.
 They have proved fatal for legions of American soldiers and foreign agents; some three thousand Americans who died in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001; and three thousand more who have died since then in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The one crime of lasting consequence has been the CIA's inability to carry out its  Vietnam War. Like the American press, it discovered that its reporting was rejected if it did not fit the preconceptions of presidents. The CIA was rebuked and scorned by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. None of them understood how the agency worked. They took office "with the expectation that intelligence could solve every problem, or
that it could not do anything right, and then moved to the opposite view," notes a former deputy director of central intelligence, Richard J. Kerr.
 "Then they settled down and vacillated from one extreme to the other. "To survive as an institution in Washington, the
 agency above all had to have the president's ear. But it soon learned that it was dangerous to tell him what he did not want to hear. The CIA's analysts learned to march in lockstep, conforming to conventional wisdom. They misapprehended the intentions and capabilities of our enemies, miscalculated the strength of communism, and misjudged the threat of terrorism. The supreme goal of the CIA during the cold war was to steal Soviet secrets by recruiting spies, but the CIA never possessed a
 single one who had deep insight into the workings of the Kremlin. The number of Soviet spies with important information to
 reveal—all of them volunteers, not recruits—could be counted on the fingers of two hands. And all othem died, captured and executed by Moscow. Almost all had been be-trayed by officers of the CIA's Soviet division who were spying for the other  side,  under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
 Under Reagan, the CIA set off on misconceived third-world missions, selling arms to Iran's Revolutionary Guards to finance a war in Central America, breaking the law and squandering what trust remained reposed in it. More grievously, it missed the fatal weakness of its main enemy. It fell to machines, not men, to understand the other side.
 As the technology of espionage expanded its horizons, the CIA's vision grew more and more myopic. Spy satellites enabled it to count Soviet weapons. They did not deliver the crucial information that communism was crumbling.
 The CIA's foremost experts never saw the enemy until after the cold war was over. The agency had bled the Soviets by pouring billions of dollars of weapons into Afghanistan to help fight the Red Army's occupying forces. That was an epic success.
 But it failed to see that the Islamic warriors it supported would soon take aim at the United States, and when that understanding came, the agency failed to act. That was epochal failure.
The unity of purpose that held the CIA together during the cold war came undone in the 1990s,
 under President Clinton. The agency still had people who strove to understand the world, but their ranks were far too thin. There were still talented officers who dedicated themselves to serving  the United States abroad, but their numbers were far too few. The
FBI had more agents in New York than the CIA had officers abroad. By the end of the century, the agency was no longer a fully functioning and independent intelligence service. It was becoming a second-echelon field office for the Pentagon, weighing tactics for battles that never came, not strategies for the struggle ahead. It was powerless to prevent the second Pearl Harbor. After the attacks on New York and Washington, the agency sent a small skilled cadre of covert operators into Afghanistan and Pakistan to
hunt down the leaders of alQaeda. It then forfeited its role as a reliable source of secret information when it handed the
 White  House false re-ports on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It had de-livered a ton of reportage based on an ounce of intelligence. President George W Bush and his administration in turn misused the agency once proudly run by his father, turning it into a paramilitary police force abroad and a paralyzed bureaucracy at headquarters. Bush casually pronounced a political death sentence upon the CIA in 2004 when he said that the agency was "just guessing" about the course of the war in Iraq. No president had ever publicly dismissed the CIA that way. Its centrality in the American government ended with the dissolution of  the office of director of central intelligence in 2005.
 Now the CIA must be rebuilt if it is to survive.
 That task will take years.
 The challenge of understanding the world as it is has overwhelmed three generations oCIA officers. Few among the new generation have mastered the intricacies of foreign lands, much less the political culture of Washington. In turn, almost every president, almost every Congress, and almost every director of central intelligence since the 1960s has proved incapable ograsping the mechanics of the CIA. Most have left the agency in worse shape than they found it. Their failures have handed future generations, in the words of President Eisenhower, "a legacy of ashes." We are back where we began sixty years ago, in a state of disarray.
Legacy of Ashes sets out to show how it has come to pass that the United States now lacks the intelligence it will need in the years ahead. It is drawn from the words, the ideas, and the deeds set forth in the files  othe American national-security establishment.
They record what our leaders really said, really wanted, and really did when they projected power abroad. This book is based on my reading of more than fifty thousand documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA, the White House, and the State Department; more than two thousand oral histories of American intelligence officers, soldiers, and diplomats; and more than three hundred interviews conducted since 1987 with CIA officers  and veterans, including ten directors of central intelligence. Extensive end notes amplify the text.
This book is on the record—no anonymous sources, no blind quotations, no hearsay. It is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from firsthand reporting and primary documents. It is, by its nature, incomplete: no president, no director of central intelligence, and certainly no outsider can know everything about the agency.
 What I have written here is not the whole truth, but to the best of my ability, it is nothing but the truth.
hope it may serve as a warning. No republic in history has lasted longer than three hundred years, and this nation may not long endure as a great power unless it finds the eyes to see things as they are in the world. That once was the mission of the Central Intelligence Agency.
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This book is on the record—no anonymous sources, no blind quotations, no hearsay. It is the first history of the CIA compiled entirely from firsthand reporting and primary documents. It is, by its nature, incomplete: no president, no director of central intelligence, and certainly no outsider can know everything about the agency.
 What I have written here is not the whole truth, but to the best of my ability, it is nothing but the truth.
hope it may serve as a warning. No republic in history has lasted longer  than three hundred years, and this nation may not long endure as a great power unless it finds the eyes to see things as they are in the world. That once was the mission of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Directors of Central Intelligence 1946-2005
The Directors of Central Intelligence 1946-2005
The spirit of Wild Bill Donovan, the American spymaster of World War II, drove many future
CIA officers who served under him, among them
 William Casey, director of central intelligence from 1981 to 1987.
 Above: Casey speaks at an OSS reunion, Donovan's image above him.
Bottom left:
 President Truman pins a medal on the first director, Rear Admiral Sidney Souers.
 Bottom right: General Hoyt Vandenberg, the second director, testifies before Congress.
General Walter Bedell Smith, director from 1950 to 1953, was the first
 real leader of the CIA.
 Top left:  With Ike on V-E Day;
 top right: with Truman in the White House.
 Below: In an October 1950  photo
 taken at CIA headquarters,  Bedell Smith, left, takes command from the ineffectual Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, in light suit.
 Far right:  A worried Frank Wisner, who ran the CIAs covert operations from 1948 until his mental breakdown in
1958, stares into space.
Top left:
 Allen Dulles at his headquarters office in 1954.
 Top right:
 JFK replaced Dulles with John McCone after the Bay of Pigs.  McCone became close to Attorney General Robert Kennedy (bottom left),
 who played a central role in covert operations. President Johnson rejected McCone and hired the hapless Admiral Red Raborn (bottom right), at the LBJ Ranch in April 1965.
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The Directors of Central Intelligence 1946-2005
The spirit of Wild Bill Donovan, the American spymaster of World War II, drove many future
CIA officers who served under him, among them
 William Casey, director of central intelligence from 1981 to 1987.
 Above: Casey speaks at an OSS reunion, Donovan's image above him.
Bottom left:
 President Truman pins a medal on the first director, Rear Admiral Sidney Souers.
 Bottom right: General Hoyt Vandenberg, the second director, testifies before Congress.
Rockefeller Report On Unlawful CIA Activities Released
General Walter Bedell Smith, director from 1950 to 1953, was the first
 real leader of the CIA.
 Top left:  With Ike on V-E Day;
 top right: with Truman in the White House.
 Below: In an October 1950  photo
 taken at CIA headquarters,  Bedell Smith, left, takes command from the ineffectual Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, in light suit.
 Far right:  A worried Frank Wisner, who ran the CIAs covert operations from 1948 until his mental breakdown in
1958, stares into space.
 Top left: Allen Dulles at his headquarters office in 1954.
 Top right: JFK replaced Dulles with John McCone after the Bay of Pigs.
 McCone became close to Attorney General Robert Kennedy (bottom left),  who played a central role in covert operations. President Johnsonrejected McCone and hired the hapless Admiral Red Raborn (bottom right), at the LBJ Ranch in April 1965.
Richard Helms, director from 1966 to 1973, sought and won respect from President Johnson.
 Above: The week before his appointment as deputy director in 1965, Helms gets to know the president.
 Below: In 1968, a confident Helms briefs LBJ and Secretary of StateDean Rusk at the Tuesday lunch—the best table in Washington.
Top left:  President Nixon presses the flesh at CIA headquarters in March 1969.
 Nixon distrusted the agency and scorned its work.
 Below: Saigon is falling as director Bill Colby, far left, briefs President Ford in April 1975.
 Flanking Ford are Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and, far right, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger.
 Top right: George H. W. Bush and President Gerald R. Ford discussing evacuating Americans from Beirut
 with L. Dean Brown, special envoy to LebanonJune 17, 1976.
Above:  In November 1979, Director Stansfield Turner brings up the rear as President Carter calls his top military and diplomatic advisers to Camp David to assess the plight of the American hostages in Iran.
 Below: In June 1985, President Reagan and his national security team in the White House Situation Room during the hijacking of a TWA flight bound for Beirut, a hostage drama that ended with a secret deal; Bill Casey is at far right.

The end of the cold war created a revolving door at the top of the CIA—five directors in six
years. The constant changes coincided with an exodus of expertise among covert operators and analysts.
 Above, left to right: William Webster; Robert Gates, the last career CIA officer to
lead the agency; and Jim Woolsey.
Bottom left: John Deutch.
Bottom right: George Tenet, with  wheelchair-bound President Clinton, tried desperately to rebuild the CIA for seven
Left: George Tenet at the White House with President Bush and Vice President Cheney asthe war on Iraq begins in March
 Tenet confidently stood by the CIA in saying that Saddam Hussein's arsenal bristled with weapons of mass destruction.
 Below, center: His successor, Porter Goss, with Bush at CIA headquarters in March 2005, proved to be the last director of central intelligence.
Right: As its sixtieth year approached, the CIA ceased to be first among equals in American intelligence.
 In March 2006, General Mike Hayden was sworn in as CIA director at head-quarters. The new boss, Director of National
Intelligence John Negroponte, applauded as  Wild Bill Donovan's statue stood watch.
Above:  In November 1979, Director Stansfield Turner brings up the rear as President Carter calls  his top military and diplomatic advisers to Camp David to assess the plight of theAmerican hostages in Iran.
 Below: In June 1985, President Reagan and his national securityteam in the
 White House Situation Room during the hijacking of a TWA flight bound forBeirut, a hostage drama that ended with a secret deal; Bill Casey is at far right.
The end of the cold war created a revolving door at the top of the CIA—five directors in six
years. The constant changes coincided with an exodus of expertise among covert operators and analysts.
 Above, left to right: William Webster; Robert Gates, the last career CIA officer to lead the agency; and Jim Woolsey.
Bottom left: John Deutch.
Bottom right:  George  Tenet, with a wheelchair-bound President Clinton, tried desperately to rebuild the CIA for seven years.
Left: George Tenet at the White House with President Bush and Vice President Cheney as the war on Iraq begins in March
 Tenet confidently stood by the CIA in saying that Saddam Hussein's arsenal bristled with weapons of mass destruction.
 Below, center: His successor, Porter Goss, with Bush at CIA headquarters in March 2005,
 proved to be the last director of central intelligence.
Right: As its sixtieth year approached, the CIA ceased to be first among equals in American intelligence.
 In March 2006, General Mike Hayden was sworn in as CIA director at head-quarters. The new boss, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, applauded as Wild Bill Donovan's statue stood watch.
Sexpionage - German Spies Broke Hearts In The Cold War
"In the  Beginning, We Knew Nothing"  The CIA Under Truman 1945  to 1953
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Chapter 1
All Harry Truman wanted was a newspaper.
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
Catapulted into the White House by the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, Truman knew nothing about the development of the atomic bomb or the intentions of his Soviet allies. He needed information to use his power.
"When I took over," he wrote in a letter to a friend years later, "the President had no means of coordinating the intelligence from around the world." Roosevelt had created the Office of Strategic Services, under the command of General William J. Donovan, as America's wartime intelligence agency. But Donovan's OSS was never built to last. When the new Central Intelligence Agency arose from its ashes, Truman wanted it to serve him solely as a global news service, delivering daily bulletins. "It was not intended as a 'Cloak & Dagger Outfit'!" he wrote. "It was intended merely as a center for keeping the President informed on what was going on in the world." He insisted that he never wanted the CIA "to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."
His vision was subverted from the start.
"In a global and totalitarian war," General Donovan believed, "intelligence must be global and totalitarian." On November 18, 1944, he had written to President Roosevelt proposing that the United States create a peacetime "Central Intelligence Service." He had started sketching his plan the year before, at the behest of Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who wanted to know how the OSS would become part of the military establishment of the United States. Donovan told the president that he could learn the "capabilities, intentions and activities of foreign nations" while running "subversive operations abroad" against America's enemies. The OSS had never been stronger than thirteen thousand members, smaller than a
single army division. But the service Donovan envisioned would be its own army, a force skillfully combating communism, defending America from attack, and serving up secrets for the White House. He urged the president to "lay the keel of the ship at once," and he aimed to be its captain.
Nicknamed "Wild Bill" after a fast but errant pitcher who managed the New York Yankees from 1915 to 1917, Donovan was a brave old soldier— he had won the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in the trenches of France during World War I—but a poor politician. Very few generals and admirals trusted him. They were appalled by his idea of making a spy service out of a scattershot collection of Wall Street brokers,
Ivy League eggheads, soldiers of fortune, ad men, news men, stunt men, second-story men, and con men.
The OSS had developed a uniquely American cadre of intelligence analysts, but Donovan and his star officer, Allen W. Dulles, were enthralled by espionage and sabotage, skills at which Americans were amateurs.
Donovan depended on British intelligence to school his men in the dark arts. The bravest of the OSS, the ones who inspired legends, were the men who jumped behind enemy lines, running guns, blowing up bridges, plotting against the Nazis with the French and the Balkan resistance movements. In the last year of the war, with his forces spread throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia, Donovan wanted to drop his agents directly into Germany. He did, and they died. Of the twenty-one
two-man teams that went in, only one was ever heard from again. These were the kinds of missions General Donovan dreamed up daily—some daring, some deluded.
"His imagination was unlimited," said his right-hand man, David K. E. Bruce, later the American ambassador to France, Germany, and England. "Ideas were his plaything. Excitement made him snort like a racehorse. Woe to the officer who turned down a project, because, on its face, it seemed ridiculous, or at least unusual. For painful weeks under his command I tested the possibility of using bats taken from concentrations in Western caves to destroy Tokyo"—dropping them into
the sky with incendiary bombs strapped to their backs. That was the spirit of the OSS.
President Roosevelt always had his doubts about Donovan. Early in 1945, he had ordered his chief White House military aide, Colonel Richard Park, Jr., to conduct a secret investigation into the wartime operations of the OSS. As Park began his work, leaks from the White House created headlines in New York, Chicago, and Washington, warning that
Donovan wanted to create an "American Gestapo." When the stories broke, the president urged Donovan to shove his plans under the rug.
On March 6, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally shelved them.
They wanted a new spy service to serve the Pentagon, not the president. What they had in mind was a clearinghouse staffed by colonels and clerks, distilling information gathered by attachés and diplomats and spies, for the benefit of four-star commanders. Thus began a battle for control of American intelligence that went on for three generations.
The OSS had little standing at home, and less inside the Pentagon. The organization was barred from seeing the most important intercepted communications from Japan and Germany. Senior American military officers
thought an independent civilian intelligence service run by Donovan, with direct access to the president, would be "an extremely dangerous thing in a democracy," in the words of Major General Clayton Bissell, the assistant chief of staff for military intelligence.
These were many of the same men who had slept through Pearl Harbor. Well before dawn on December 7, 1941, the American military had broken some of Japan's codes. It knew an attack might be coming, but it never imagined Japan would take so desperate a gamble. The broken code was too secret to share with commanders in the field. Rivalries within the military meant that information was divided, hoarded, and scattered. Because no one possessed all the pieces of the puzzle, no one in a complete blackout of vital military information" in the summer of 1943. One of Park's informants said, "How many American lives in the
Pacific represent the cost of this stupidity on the part of OSS is unknown." Faulty intelligence provided by the OSS after the fall of Rome in June 1944 led thousands of French troops into a Nazi trap on the island of Elba, Park wrote, and "as a result of these errors and miscalculations of the enemy forces by OSS, some 1,100 French troops were killed."
The report personally attacked Donovan. It said the general had lost a briefcase at a cocktail party in Bucharest that was "turned over to the Gestapo by a Rumanian dancer." His hiring and promotion of senior officers rested not on merit but on an old-boy network of connections from Wall Street and the Social Register. He had sent detachments of men to lonely outposts such as Liberia and forgotten about them. He had mistakenly dropped commandos into neutral Sweden. He had sent
guards to protect a captured German ammunition dump in France and then blown them up.
Colonel Park acknowledged that Donovan's men had conducted some successful sabotage missions and rescues of downed American pilots. He said the deskbound research and analysis branch of OSS had done "an outstanding job," and he concluded that the analysts might find a place at the State Department after the war. But the rest of the OSS would
have to go. "The almost hopeless compromise of OSS personnel," he warned, "makes their use as a secret intelligence agency in the postwar world inconceivable."
After V-E Day, Donovan went back to Washington to try to save his spy service. A month of mourning for President Roosevelt was giving way to a mad scramble for power in Washington. In the Oval Office on May 14, Harry Truman listened for less than fifteen minutes as Donovan made his proposal to hold communism in check by undermining the Kremlin. The president summarily dismissed him.
All summer long, Donovan fought back in Congress and in the press.
Finally, on August 25, he told Truman that he had to choose between knowledge and ignorance. The United States "does not now have a coordinated intelligence system," he warned. "The defects and the dangers of this situation have been generally recognized."
Donovan had hoped that he could sweet-talk Truman, a man he had always treated with cavalier disdain, into creating the CIA. But he had misread his own president. Truman had decided that Donovan's plan had the earmarks of a Gestapo. On September 20, 1945, six weeks after he dropped America's atomic bombs on Japan, the president of the United States fired Donovan and ordered the OSS to disband in ten days. America's spy service was abolished.
Chapter 2
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
 In the rubble of Berlin, Allen Dulles, the ranking OSS officer in Germany, had found a splendid and well-staffed mansion for his new headquarters in the summer of 1945. His favorite lieutenant, Richard Helms, began trying to spy on the Soviets. "What you have to remember," Helms said half a century later, "is that in the beginning, we knew nothing. Our knowledge of what the other side was up to, their intentions, their capabilities, was nil, or next to it. If you came up with a telephone book or a map of an airfield, that was pretty hot stuff. We were in the dark about a lot of the world." Helms had been happy to return to Berlin, where he had made his name as a twenty-three-year-old wire service reporter by interviewing Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. He was dumbstruck by the abolition of the OSS. At the outfit's operations center in Berlin, a commandeered sparkling-wine factory, the anger and alcohol flowed freely on the night the order from the president arrived. There would be no central headquarters for American intelligence as Dulles had envisioned. Only a skeleton crew would stay on overseas. Helms simply could not believe the mission could come to an end. He was encouraged a few days later when a message arrived from OSS headquarters in Washington, telling him to hold the fort. 
" The message came from Donovan's deputy, Brigadier General John Magruder, a gentleman soldier who had been in the army since 1910. He adamantly believed that without an intelligence service, America's new supremacy in the world would be left to blind chance, or beholden to the British. On September 26, 1945, six days after President Truman signed away the OSS, General Magruder stalked down the endless corridors of the Pentagon. The moment was opportune: the secretary of war, Henry Stimson, had resigned that week, and Stimson had been dead-set against the idea of a CIA. "Seems to me most inadvisable," he had told Donovan a few months earlier. Now General Magruder seized the opening left by Stimson's departure. He sat down with an old friend of Donovan's, the assistant secretary of war, John McCloy, one of the great movers and shakers of Washington. Together, the two men countermanded the president. Magruder walked out of the Pentagon that day with an order from McCloy that said, "the continuing operations of OSS must be performed in order to preserve them." That piece of paper kept the hope for a Central Intelligence Agency alive. The spies would stay on duty, under a new name, the Strategic Services Unit, the SSU. McCloy then asked his good friend Robert A. Lovett, the assistant secretary for air war and a future secretary of defense, to set up a secret commission to plot the course for American intelligence—and to tell Harry Truman what had to be done. Magruder confidently informed his men that "the holy cause of central intelligence" would prevail. Emboldened by the reprieve, Helms set to work in Berlin. He purged officers who had plunged into Berlin's black market, where everything and everyone was for sale—two dozen cartons of Camels, purchased for $12 at the American military PX, bought a 1939 Mercedes-Benz. He searched for German scientists and spies to ferret out to the West, with the aim of denying their skills to the Soviets and putting them to work for the United States. But these tasks soon took second place to the struggle to see the new enemy. By October, "it was very clear our primary target was going to be what the Russians were up to," remembered Tom Polgar, then a twenty-three-year-old officer at the Berlin base. The Soviets were seizing the railroads and co-opting the political parties of  eastern Germany. At first the best the American spies could do was to try to track the movement of Soviet military transports to Berlin, giving the Pentagon a sense that someone was trying to keep an eye on the Red Army. Furious at Washington's retreat in the face of the Soviet advance, working against the resistance from the ranking American military men in Berlin, Helms and his men began trying to recruit German police and politicians to establish spy networks in the east. By November, "we were seeing the total takeover by the Russians of the East German system," said Peter Sichel, another twenty-three-year-old S SU officer in Berlin. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the forceful secretary of the navy, James V. Forrestal, now began to fear that the Soviets, like the Nazis before them, would move to seize all of Europe—and then push on to the eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, northern China, and Korea. One false move could lead to a confrontation no one could contain. And as the fear of a new war increased, the future leaders of American intelligence split into two rival camps. One believed in the slow and patient gathering of secret intelligence through espionage. The other believed in secret warfare—taking the battle to the enemy through covert action. Espionage seeks to know the world. That was Richard Helms. Covert action seeks to change the world. That would be Frank Wisner. Wisner was the charming son of land-rich Mississippi gentry, a dashing corporate lawyer in a tailored military uniform. In September 1944 he had flown into Bucharest, Romania, as the new OSS station chief. The Red Army and a small American military mission had seized control in the capital, and Wisner's orders were to keep an eye on the Russians. He was in his glory, conspiring with the young King Michael, plotting the rescue of downed Allied airmen, and requisitioning the thirty-room mansion of a Bucharest beer baron. Under its sparkling chandeliers, Russian officers mingled with the Americans, toasting one another with Champagne. Wisner was thrilled—he was one of the first OSS men to bend an elbow with the Russians—and he proudly reported to headquarters that he had made a successful liaison with the Soviet intelligence service. He had been an American spy for less than a year. The Russians had been at the game for more than two centuries. They already had well-placed agents within the OSS and they quickly infiltrated Wisner's inner circle of Romanian allies and agents. By midwinter, they took control of  the capital, herded tens of thousands of Romanians who had German bloodlines into railroad cars, and shipped them eastward to enslavement or death. Wisner watched twenty-seven boxcars filled with human cargo rolling out of Romania. The memory haunted him all his life. He was a deeply shaken man when he arrived at OSS headquarters in Germany, where he and Helms became uneasy allies. They flew to Washington together in December 1945, and as they talked during the eighteen-hour journey, they realized they had no idea whether the United States would have a clandestine service after they landed. 
 In Washington, the battle over the future of American intelligence was growing fierce. The Joint Chiefs of Staff fought for a service firmly under their control. The army and the navy demanded their own. J. Edgar Hoover wanted the FBI to conduct worldwide espionage. The State Department sought dominion. Even the postmaster general weighed in. General Magruder defined the problem: "Clandestine intelligence operations involve a constant breaking of all the rules," he wrote. "To put it baldly, such operations are necessarily extra-legal and sometimes illegal." He argued, convincingly, that the Pentagon and the State Department could not risk running those missions. A new clandestine service would have to take charge. But almost no one was left to fill its ranks. "The intelligence collection effort more or less came to a standstill," said Colonel Bill Quinn, General Magruder's executive officer at the Strategic Services Unit. Five of every six OSS veterans had gone back to their old lives. They saw what was left of American intelligence as "transparently jerry-built and transient," Helms said, "an apparently bastard organization with an unpredictable life expectancy." Their number fell by nearly 10,000 in three months, down to 1,967 by the end of 1945. The London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, and Stockholm stations lost almost all their officers. Fifteen out of twenty-three Asian outposts closed. On the fourth anniversary of Pearl Harbor, convinced that Truman had run American intelligence off the rails, Allen Dulles returned to his desk at Sullivan and Cromwell, the New York law firm where his brother John Foster Dulles was a partner. Frank Wisner followed his lead and went back to his own New York law firm, Carter, Ledyard. The remaining intelligence analysts were dispatched to form a new research bureau at the State Department.
They were treated like displaced persons. "I don't suppose there had ever been or could ever be a sadder or more tormented period of my life," wrote Sherman Kent, later a founding father of CIA's directorate of intelligence. The most talented soon left in despair, back to their universities and newspapers. No replacements appeared. There would be no coherent intelligence reporting in the American government for many years to come. President Truman had relied on his budget director, Harold D. Smith, to oversee the orderly dismantling of the American war machine. But demobilization was turning into disintegration. Smith warned the president on the day he dismembered the OSS that the United States was at risk of returning to the state of innocence that had prevailed before Pearl Harbor. He feared that American intelligence had become "royally bitched up."
At a hastily convened White House meeting on January 9, 1946, Admiral William D. Leahy, Truman's crusty military chief of staff, bluntly told the president that "intelligence had been handled in a disgraceful way." Truman saw he had created a snafu and decided to set it straight. He summoned the deputy director of naval intelligence, Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers. A reservist, Souers was a Democratic Party stalwart from Missouri, a wealthy businessman who made his money in life insurance and Piggly Wiggly shops, the nation's first self-service supermarkets. He had served on a postwar commission studying the future of intelligence created by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, but his sights were set on nothing grander than a swift return to Saint Louis. Souers discovered to his dismay that the president was going to make him the first director of central intelligence. Admiral Leahy recorded the moment of the investiture in his office diary for January 24, 1946: "At lunch today in the White House, with only members of the Staff present, RAdm Sidney Souers and I were presented with black cloaks, black hats, and wooden daggers" by Truman. The president then knighted Souers as chief of the "Cloak and Dagger Group of Snoopers" and "Director of Centralized Snooping." This vaudeville act placed the flabbergasted reservist in command of the misbegotten and short-lived  organization called the Central Intelligence Group. Souers was now in charge of nearly two thousand intelligence officers and support staff who controlled files and dossiers on some 400,000 individuals. Many of them had no idea what they were doing, or what they were supposed to do. Someone asked Souers after his swearing-in what he wanted to do. "I want to go home," he said. Like every director of central intelligence who followed him, he was given great responsibility without equivalent authority.
He had no direction from the White House. The trouble was that no one really knew what the president wanted—least of all the president himself. Truman said he only needed a daily intelligence digest, to keep from having to read a two-foot stack of cables every morning. It seemed to the charter members of the Central Intelligence Group that it was the only aspect of their work he ever considered. Others saw the mission very differently. General Magruder maintained that there was a tacit understanding at the White House that the Central Intelligence Group would operate a clandestine service. If so, not a word of it appeared on paper. The president never spoke of it, so almost no one else in the government recognized the new group's legitimacy. The Pentagon and the State Department refused to talk to Souers and his people.
The army, the navy, and the FBI treated them with the deepest disdain. Souers lasted barely a hundred days as director, though he stayed on to serve the president as an adviser. He left behind only one note of consequence, a top secret memo with the following plea: "There is an urgent need to develop the highest possible quality of intelligence on the USSR in the shortest possible time." The only American insights on the Kremlin in those days came from the newly appointed American ambassador in Moscow, the future director of central intelligence, General Walter Bedell Smith, and his ranking Russia hand, George Kennan. 
 Bedell Smith was a shopkeeper's son from Indiana who rose from buck private to general without the polish of West Point or a college degree. 
As Eisenhower's chief of staff in World War II, he had thought through every battle in North Africa and Europe. His fellow officers respected and feared him; he was Ike's unsmiling hatchet man. He worked himself beyond exhaustion. After receiving blood transfusions for a bleeding ulcer when he collapsed at the end of a late dinner with Eisenhower and Winston Churchill, he argued his way out of a British hospital and back to his commander's tent. He had broken bread with Russian military officers, sitting down for awkward dinners at Allied headquarters in Algiers to plan joint operations against the Nazis. He had personally accepted the Nazi surrender that ended the war in Europe, staring down with contempt at the German command in the battered little red schoolhouse in Rheims, France, that served as the American military's forward headquarters. On V-E Day, May 8, 1945, he had met for a few fleeting minutes in Rheims with Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. Dulles, cursed by gout, hobbling on a crutch, had come to see Eisenhower and win his approval for the creation of an all-powerful American intelligence center in Berlin. Ike had no time for Dulles that morning—a bad omen. Bedell Smith arrived in Moscow in March 1946 to be schooled by George Kennan, the chargé d'affaires at the American embassy. Kennan had spent many years in Russia, many dark hours trying to decipher Joseph Stalin.
The Red Army had seized almost half of Europe in the war, a prize taken at the terrible price of twenty million Russian dead. Its forces had liberated nations from the Nazis, but now the shadow of the Kremlin was falling over more than 100 million people beyond Russia's borders. Kennan foresaw that the Soviets would hold their conquests by brute strength. He had warned the White House to prepare for a showdown. A few days before Bedell Smith landed in Moscow, Kennan unleashed the most famous cable in the history of American diplomacy, the "long telegram," an eight-thousand-word portrait of Soviet paranoia. Kennan's readers—at first a few, in time millions—all seemed to seize on a single line: the Soviets were impervious to the logic of reason but highly sensitive to "the logic of force."
In short order, Kennan would gain fame as the greatest Kremlinologist in the American government. "We had accustomed ourselves, through our wartime experience, to having a great enemy before us," Kennan reflected many years later. "The enemy must always be a center. He must be totally evil." Bedell Smith called Kennan "the best possible tutor a newly arrived chief of mission could have had." 
 On a cold, starry night in April 1946, Bedell Smith rode a limousine flying the American flag into the fortress of the Kremlin. At the gates, Soviet intelligence officers checked his identity. His car passed the ancient Russian cathedrals and the huge broken bell at the foot of a tall tower within the Kremlin's walls. Saluting soldiers in high black leather boots and red-striped breeches ushered him inside. He had come alone. They took him down a long corridor, through tall double doors padded with dark green quilted leather. Finally, in a high-ceilinged conference room, the general met the generalissimo. Bedell Smith had a double-barreled question for Stalin: "What does the Soviet Union want, and how far is Russia going to go?" Stalin stared into the distance, puffing on a cigarette and doodling lopsided hearts and question marks with a red pencil. He denied designs on any other nation. He denounced Winston Churchill's warning, delivered in a speech a few weeks earlier in Missouri, about the iron curtain that had fallen across Europe. Stalin said Russia knew its enemies. "Is it possible that you really believe that the United States and Great Britain are united in an alliance to thwart Russia?" Bedell Smith asked. "Da, " said Stalin. The general repeated: "How far is Russia going to go?" Stalin looked right at him and said: "We're not going to go much further."
How much further? No one knew. What was the mission of American intelligence in the face of the new Soviet threat? No one was sure.
 On June 10, 1946, General Hoyt Vandenberg became the second director of central intelligence. A handsome pilot who had led Eisenhower's tactical air war in Europe, he now ran a fly-by-night outfit based in a cluster of undistinguished masonry buildings at the far end of Foggy Bottom, atop a small bluff overlooking the Potomac. His command post stood at 2430 E Street, the old headquarters of the OSS, surrounded by an abandoned gasworks, a turreted brewery, and a roller-skating rink.
 Vandenberg lacked three essential tools: money, power, and people. The Central Intelligence Group stood outside the law, in the judgment of Lawrence Houston, general counsel for Central Intelligence from 1946 to 1972. The president could not legally create a federal agency out of thin air. Without the consent of Congress, Central Intelligence could not legally spend money. No money meant no power. Vandenberg set out to get the United States back into the intelligence business. He created a new Office of Special Operations to conduct spying and subversion overseas and wrangled $15 million under the table from a handful of congressmen to carry out those missions. He wanted to know everything about the Soviet forces in Eastern and Central Europe—their movements, their capabilities, their intentions— and he ordered Richard Helms to deliver in a hurry. Helms, in charge of espionage in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with 228 overseas personnel on his roster, said he felt like "an apprentice juggler trying to keep an inflated beach ball, an open milk bottle and a loaded machine gun in the air." All over Europe, "a legion of political exiles, former intelligence officers, ex-agents and sundry entrepreneurs were turning themselves into intelligence moguls, brokering the sale of fabricated-to-order information." The more his spies spent buying intelligence, the less valuable it became. "If there are more graphic illustrations of throwing money at a problem that hasn't been thought through, none comes to mind," he wrote. What passed for intelligence on the Soviets and their satellites was a patchwork of frauds produced by talented liars. Helms later determined that at least half the information on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the CIA's files was pure falsehood. His stations in Berlin and Vienna had become factories of fake intelligence. Few of his officers or analysts could sift fact from fiction. It was an ever present problem: more than half a century later, the CIA confronted the same sort of fabrication as it sought to uncover Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. From the first day Vandenberg took office, he was shaken by terrifying reports from overseas. His daily bulletins generated heat but little light. It was impossible to determine whether the warnings were true, but they went up the chain of command regardless. Flash: a drunken Soviet officer boasted that Russia would strike without warning. Flash: the commander of Soviet forces in the Balkans was toasting the coming fall  of Istanbul. 
Flash: Stalin was prepared to invade Turkey, encircle the Black Sea, and take the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Pentagon determined that the best way to blunt a Soviet advance was to cut the Red Army's supply lines in Romania. Senior staff members under the Joint Chiefs started drawing up battle plans. They told Vandenberg to prepare the first covert operation of the cold war. In an attempt to carry out that order, Vandenberg changed the mission of the Central Intelligence Group. On July 17, 1946, he sent two of his aides to see Truman's White House counsel, Clark Clifford. They argued that "the original concept of the Central Intelligence Group should now be altered" to make it an "operating agency." Without any legal authority, it became one. On that same day, Vandenberg personally asked Secretary of War Robert Patterson and Secretary of State James Byrnes to slip him an additional $ 10 million in secret funds to finance the work of "intelligence agents all over the world." They did. Vandenberg's Office of Special Operations set out to create an underground resistance force in Romania. Frank Wisner had left behind a network of agents in Bucharest desperate to work with Americans but deeply infiltrated by Soviet intelligence. Charles W. Hostler, the first station chief in Bucharest for the Office of Special Operations, found himself surrounded by "conspiracy, intrigue, nastiness, double-dealing, dishonesty, occasional murder and assassination" among fascists, communists, monarchists, industrialists, anarchists, moderates, intellectuals, and idealists—"a social and political environment for which young American officers were poorly prepared." Vandenberg ordered Lieutenant Ira C. Hamilton and Major Thomas R. Hall, based at the tiny American military mission in Bucharest, to organize Romania's National Peasant Party into a resistance force. Major Hall, who had been an OSS officer in the Balkans, spoke some Romanian. Lieutenant Hamilton spoke none. His guide was the one important agent Wisner had recruited two years before: Theodore Manacatide, who had been a sergeant on the intelligence staff of the Romanian army and now worked at the American military mission, translator by day and spy by night. Manacatide took Hamilton and Hall to meet the National Peasant Party leaders. The Americans offered the clandestine support of the United States—guns, money, and intelligence. On October 5, working with the new Central Intelligence station in occupied Vienna, the Americans smuggled the former foreign minister of Romania and five other members of the would-be liberation army into Austria, sedating them, stuffing them in mail sacks, and flying them to safe harbor.
 It took Soviet intelligence and the Romanian secret police only a few weeks to sniff out the spies. The Americans and their chief agent ran for their lives as communist security forces crushed the mainstream Romanian resistance. The Peasant Party's leaders were charged with treason and imprisoned. Manacatide, Hamilton, and Hall were convicted in absentia at a public trial after witnesses swore that they had represented themselves as agents of a new American intelligence service. Frank Wisner opened The New York Times on November 20, 1946, and read a short article on page ten reporting that his old agent Manacatide, "formerly employed by the United States Mission," had been sentenced to life imprisonment, "on the grounds that he accompanied a Lieutenant Hamilton of the American Military Mission to a National Peasant congress."
By winter's end, nearly every one of the Romanians who had worked for Wisner during the war was jailed or killed; his personal secretary had committed suicide. A brutal dictatorship took control of Romania, its rise to power hastened by the failure of American covert action. Wisner left his law firm and went to Washington, securing a post at the State Department, where he oversaw the occupied zones of Berlin, Vienna, Tokyo, Seoul, and Trieste. He had greater ambitions. He was convinced that the United States had to learn to fight in a new way, with the same skills and the same secrecy as its enemy.  
Chapter 3
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
   Washington was a small town run by people who believed that they lived in the center of the universe. Their city within the city was Georgetown, a square-mile enclave of cobblestone streets lush with magnolias. In its heart, at 3327 P Street, stood a fine four-story house built in 1820, with an English garden out back and a formal dining room with high windows. Frank and Polly Wisner made it their home. On Sunday evenings in 1947, it became the seat of the emerging American national security establishment. The foreign policy of the United States took shape at the Wisners' table. They started a Georgetown tradition, a Sunday night potluck supper. The main dish was liquor, all hands having sailed out of the Second World War on a tide of alcohol. The Wisners' eldest son, Frank's namesake, who in time rose to the heights of American diplomacy, saw the Sunday night suppers as "extraordinarily important events. They were not just trifling social affairs. They became the very lifeblood of the way the government thought, fought, worked, compared notes, made up its mind, and reached consensus." After dinner, in the British tradition, the ladies retired, the gentlemen remained, and the bold ideas and boozy banter went late into the night. On any given evening the guests might include Wisner's close friend David Bruce, the OSS veteran enroute to becoming the American ambassador in Paris; Chip Bohlen, counsel to the secretary of state and a future ambassador to Moscow; Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett and the future secretary of state Dean Acheson; and the newly eminent Kremlinologist George Kennan. These men believed it was in their power to change the course of human events, and their great debate was how to stop a Soviet takeover of Europe. Stalin was consolidating his control of the Balkans. Leftist guerrillas battled a right-wing monarchy in the mountains of Greece. 
Food riots broke out in Italy and France, where communist politicians called for general strikes. British soldiers and spies were pulling out of their posts all over the world, leaving wide swaths of the map open for the communists. The sun was setting on the British Empire; the exchequer could not sustain it. The United States was going to have to lead the free world alone. Wisner and his guests listened closely to Kennan. They had absorbed his "long telegram" from Moscow and they shared his view of the Soviet threat. So did Navy Secretary James Forrestal, soon to be the first secretary of defense, a Wall Street wonder boy who saw communism as a fanatical faith to be fought with a still-deeper conviction. Forrestal had become Kennan's political patron, installing him in a general's mansion at the National War College and making his work required reading for thousands of military officers. Director of Central Intelligence Vandenberg brainstormed with Kennan about how to spy on Moscow's atomic weapons work. The new secretary of state, George C. Marshall, the chief of the U.S. Army in World War II, determined that the nation needed to reshape its foreign policy, and in the spring he put Kennan in charge of the State Department's new Policy Planning Staff. Kennan was drawing up a battle plan for the newly named cold war. Within the course of six months, the ideas of this obscure diplomat gave rise to three forces that shaped the world: the Truman Doctrine, a political warning to Moscow to halt its subversion of foreign nations; the Marshall Plan, a global bastion for American influence against communism; and the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency. 
 In February 1947, the British ambassador had warned acting secretary of state Dean Acheson that England's military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey would have to cease in six weeks. The Greeks would need something on the order of a billion dollars over the next four years to  fight the threat of communism. 
From Moscow, Walter Bedell Smith sent his assessment that British troops were the only force keeping Greece from falling into the Soviet orbit. At home, the red scare was rising. For the first time since before the Great Depression, the Republicans now controlled both houses of Congress, with men like Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and Congressman Richard Nixon of California gaining power. Truman's popularity was plunging; his approval rating in public opinion polls had fallen 50 points since the end of the war. He had changed his mind about Stalin and the Soviets. He was now convinced that they were an evil abroad in the world. Truman and Acheson summoned Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the Republican chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. (The newspapers that day noted that the senator's nephew Hoyt soon would be relieved as director of central intelligence, after only eight months in power.) Acheson explained that a communist beachhead in Greece would threaten all of Western Europe. The United States was going to have to find a way to save the free world—and Congress was going to have to pay the bill. Senator Vandenberg cleared his throat and turned to Truman. "Mr. President," he said, "the only way you are ever going to get this is to make a speech and scare the hell out of the country." On March 12, 1947, Truman made that speech, warning a joint session of Congress that the world would face disaster unless the United States fought communism abroad. Hundreds of millions of dollars had to be sent to shore up Greece, now "threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men," the president said. Without American aid, "disorder might spread throughout the Middle East," despair would deepen in the nations of Europe, and darkness could descend on the free world. His credo was something new: "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Any attack launched by an American enemy in any nation of the world was an attack on the United States. This was the Truman Doctrine. Congress rose for a standing ovation. Millions of dollars started flowing to Greece—along with warships, soldiers, guns, ammunition, napalm, and spies. Soon Athens became one of the biggest American intelligence posts in the world. Truman's decision to fight communism overseas was the first clear direction that American spies received from the White House. They still lacked a strong commander. General Vandenberg was counting the days until he could take over the new air force, but he delivered secret testimony to a handful of members of Congress in his last days as director of central intelligence, saying that the nation faced foreign threats as never before. "The oceans have shrunk, until today both Europe and Asia border the United States almost as do Canada and Mexico," he said, in a turn of phrase repeated, eerily, by President Bush after 9/11. In World War II, 
Vandenberg said, "we had to rely blindly and trustingly on the superior intelligence system of the British"—but "the United States should never have to go hat in hand, begging any foreign government for the eyes—the foreign intelligence—with which to see." Yet the CIA would always depend on foreign intelligence services for insight into lands and languages it did not understand. Vandenberg ended by saying it would take at least five more years to build a professional cadre of American spies. The warning was repeated word for word half a century later, in 1997, by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet, and Tenet said it again upon resigning in 2004. A great spy service was always five years over the horizon. Vandenberg's successor, the third man to hold the post in fifteen months, was Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, sworn in on May Day 1947. Hilly, as everyone called him, was a miscast man. He exuded insignificance. Like his predecessors, he never wanted to be director of central intelligence—"and probably never should have been," says a CIA history of the era. On June 27, 1947, a congressional committee held secret hearings that led to the formal creation of the CIA at summer's end. It spoke volumes that not Hillenkoetter but Allen Dulles—a lawyer in private practice— was selected to conduct a secret intelligence seminar for a few select members of Congress. Allen Dulles had an "Onward, Christian Soldiers" sense of patriotic duty. He was born into the best family of Watertown, New York, in 1893. His father was the town's Presbyterian pastor; his grandfather and his uncle both had served as secretary of state. The president of his college, Princeton, was Woodrow Wilson, later to be president of the United States. Dulles had been a junior diplomat after World War I and a white-shoe Wall Street lawyer in the Depression. By virtue of his carefully cultivated reputation as an American master spy, built as the OSS chief in Switzerland, he was regarded by the Republican leadership as the director of central intelligence in exile, in the way that his brother John Foster Dulles, the party's principal foreign policy spokesman, was seen as a shadow secretary of state.
 Allen was genial in the extreme, with twinkling eyes, a belly laugh, and an almost impish deviousness. But he was also a duplicitous man, a chronic adulterer, ruthlessly ambitious. He was not above misleading Congress or his colleagues or even his commander in chief. Room 1501 of the Longworth Office Building was sealed off by armed guards; everyone inside was sworn to secrecy. Puffing away on his pipe, a tweedy headmaster instructing unruly schoolboys, Allen Dulles described a CIA that would be "directed by a relatively small but elite corps of men with a passion for anonymity." Its director would require "judicial temperament in high degree," with "long experience and profound knowledge"—a man not unlike Allen Dulles. His top aides, if they were military men, would "divest themselves of their rank as soldiers, sailors or airmen and, as it were, 'take the cloth' of the intelligence service." Americans had "the raw material for building the greatest intelligence service in the world," Dulles said. "The personnel need not be very numerous"—a few hundred good men would do the trick. "The operation of the service must neither be flamboyant nor over-shrouded in the mystery and abracadabra which the amateur detective likes to assume," he reassured the members of Congress. "All that is required for success is hard work, discriminating judgment, and common sense." He never said what he really wanted: to resurrect the wartime covert operations of the OSS. The creation of a new American clandestine service was at hand. President Truman unveiled the new architecture for the cold war by signing the National Security Act of 1947 on July 26. The act created the air force as a separate service, led by General Vandenberg, and a new National Security Council was to be the White House switchboard for presidential decisions. The act also created the office of secretary of defense its first occupant, James Forrestal, was ordered to unify the American military. ("This office," Forrestal wrote a few days later, "will probably be the greatest cemetery for dead cats in history.") And, in six short and sketchy paragraphs, the act gave birth to the Central Intelligence Agency on September 18. The CIA was born with crippling defects. From the outset, it faced  fierce and relentless opponents within the Pentagon and the State Department—the agencies whose reports it was supposed to coordinate. The agency was not their overseer, but their stepchild. Its powers were poorly defined. No formal charter or congressionally appropriated funds would come for nearly two more years. The CIA's headquarters would survive until then on a subsistence fund maintained by a few members of Congress. 
And its secrecy would always conflict with the openness of American democracy. "I had the gravest forebodings about this organization," wrote Dean Acheson, soon to be secretary of state, "and warned the President that as set up neither he, the National Security Council, nor anyone else would be in a position to know what it was doing or to control it." The National Security Act said nothing about secret operations overseas. It instructed the CIA to correlate, evaluate, and disseminate intelligence— and to perform "other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security." Embedded in those eleven words were the powers that General Magruder had preserved in his end run around the president two years before. In time, hundreds of major covert actions—eighty-one of them during Truman's second term—would be driven through this loophole. The conduct of covert action required the direct or implied authority of the National Security Council. The NSC in those days was President Truman, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and the military chiefs. But it was an evanescent body. It seldom convened, and when it did, Truman was rarely at the table. He came to the first meeting on September 26, as did a very wary Roscoe Hillenkoetter. 
The CIA's counsel, Lawrence Houston, had warned the director against the growing calls for covert action. He said the agency had no legal authority to conduct them without the express consent of Congress. Hilly sought to limit the CIA's overseas missions to the gathering of intelligence. He failed. Momentous decisions were being made in secret, often over breakfast on Wednesdays at Secretary of Defense Forrestal's house. On September 27, Kennan sent Forrestal a detailed paper calling for the establishment of a "guerrilla warfare corps." Kennan thought that although the American people might never approve of such methods, "it 26 TIMWEINE R might be essential to our security to fight fire with fire." Forrestal fervently agreed. Together, they set the American clandestine service in motion. 
 Forrestal called Hillenkoetter into the Pentagon to discuss "the present widespread belief that our Intelligence Group is entirely inept." He had good reason. The mismatch between the CIA's capabilities and the missions it was called upon to carry out was staggering. The new commander of the CIA's Office of Special Operations, Colonel Donald "Wrong-Way" Galloway, was a strutting martinet who had reached the apex of his talent as a West Point cavalry officer teaching equestrian etiquette to cadets. His deputy, Stephen Penrose, who had run the Middle East division of the OSS, resigned in frustration. In a bitter memo to Forrestal, Penrose warned that "CIA is losing its professionals, and is not acquiring competent new personnel," at the very time "when, as almost never before, the government needs an effective, expanding, professional intelligence service." Nevertheless, on December 14, 1947, the National Security Council issued its first top secret orders to the CIA. The agency was to execute "covert psychological operations designed to counter Soviet and Soviet inspired activities." With this martial drum roll, the CIA set out to beat the Reds in the Italian elections, set for April 1948. The CIA told the White House that Italy could become a totalitarian police state. If the communists won at the ballot box, they would seize "the most ancient seat of Western Culture. In particular, devout Catholics everywhere would be gravely concerned regarding the safety of the Holy See." The prospect of a godless government surrounding the pope at gunpoint was too awful to contemplate. Kennan thought that a shooting war would be better than letting the communists take power legally—but covert action modeled on communist techniques of subversion was the next best choice. 
The CIA's F. Mark Wyatt, who cut his teeth on this operation, remembered that it began weeks before the National Security Council formally authorized it. Congress, of course, never gave a go-ahead. The mission was illegal from the start. "In CIA, at headquarters, we were absolutely terrified, we were scared to death," Wyatt said, and with good reason. "We were going beyond our charter." Cash, lots of it, would be needed to help defeat the communists. The best guess from the CIA's Rome station chief, James J. Angleton, was $10 million. Angleton, partly reared in Italy, had served there with the OSS and stayed on; he told headquarters that he had penetrated the Italian secret service so deeply that he practically ran it. He would use its members as a bucket brigade to distribute the cash. But where would the money come from? The CIA still had no independent budget and no contingency fund for covert operations. James Forrestal and his good friend Allen Dulles solicited their friends and colleagues from Wall Street and Washington—businesspeople, bankers, and politicians—but it was never enough. Forrestal then went to an old chum, John W. Snyder, the secretary of the treasury and one of Harry Truman's closest allies. He convinced Snyder to tap into the Exchange Stabilization Fund set up in the Depression to shore up the value of the dollar overseas through short-term currency trading, and converted during World War II as a depository for captured Axis loot. The fund held $200 million earmarked for the reconstruction of Europe. It delivered millions into the bank accounts of wealthy American citizens, many of them Italian Americans, who then sent the money to newly formed political fronts created by the CIA. Donors were instructed to place a special code on their income tax forms alongside their "charitable donation." The millions were delivered to Italian politicians and the priests of Catholic Action, a political arm of the Vatican. Suitcases filled with cash changed hands in the four-star Hassler Hotel. "We would have liked to have done this in a more sophisticated manner," Wyatt said. "Passing black bags to affect a political election is not really a terribly attractive thing." But it worked: Italy's Christian Democrats won by a comfortable margin and formed a government that excluded communists. A long romance between the party and the agency began. The CIA's practice of purchasing elections and politicians with bags of cash was repeated in Italy—and in many other nations—for the next twenty-five years. But in the weeks before the election, the communists scored another victory. They seized Czechoslovakia, beginning a brutal series of arrests  and executions that lasted for nearly five years. 
The CIA station chief in Prague, Charles Katek, worked to deliver about thirty Czechs—his agents and their families—over the border to Munich. Chief among them was the head of Czech intelligence. Katek arranged to have him smuggled out of the country, stuffed between the radiator and the grille of a roadster. On March 5, 1948, while the Czech crisis was exploding, a terrifying cable came to the Pentagon from General Lucius D. Clay, chief of American occupation forces in Berlin. The general said he had a gut feeling that a Soviet attack could come at any minute.
The Pentagon leaked the cable and Washington was swamped by fear. Though the CIA's Berlin base sent a report reassuring the president that there was no sign of any impending attack, no one listened. Truman went before a joint session of Congress the next day warning that the Soviet Union and its agents threatened a cataclysm. He demanded and won immediate approval of the great undertaking that became known as the Marshall Plan. The plan offered billions of dollars to the free world to repair the damage done by the war and to create an American economic and political barricade against the Soviets. In nineteen capitals—sixteen in Europe, three in Asia—the United States would help rebuild civilization, with an American blueprint. George Kennan and James Forrestal were among the plan's principal authors. Allen Dulles served as a consultant.
They helped devise a secret codicil that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim uncounted millions of dollars from the plan. The mechanics were surprisingly simple. After Congress approved the Marshall Plan, it appropriated about $13.7 billion over five years. A nation that received aid from the plan had to set aside an equivalent sum in its own currency. Five percent of those funds—$685 million all told— was made available to the CIA through the plan's overseas offices. It was a global money-laundering scheme that stayed secret until well after the cold war ended. Where the plan flourished in Europe and in Asia, so would American spies. "We'd look the other way and give them a little help," said Colonel R. Allen Griffin, who ran the Marshall Plan's Far East division. "Tell them to stick their hand in our pocket." Secret funds were the heart of secret operations. The CIA now had an unfailing source of untraceable cash. In a top secret paper sent to perhaps two dozen people at the State Department, the White House, and the Pentagon on May 4, 1948, Kennan proclaimed "the inauguration of organized political warfare" and called for the creation of a new clandestine service to conduct covert operations worldwide. He stated clearly that the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, and the CIA's covert operations were all interlocking parts of a grand strategy against Stalin. 
The money that the CIA siphoned from the Marshall Plan would finance a network of false fronts—a façade of public committees and councils headed by distinguished citizens. The communists had front organizations all over Europe: publishing houses, newspapers, student groups, labor unions. Now the CIA would set up its own. Those fronts would recruit foreign agents—the émigrés of Eastern Europe, refugees from Russia. These foreigners, under CIA control, would create underground political groups in the free nations of Europe. And the underground would pass the flame to "all-out liberation movements" behind the iron curtain. If the cold war turned hot, the United States would have a fighting force on the front lines. Kennan's ideas caught on quickly. His plans were approved in a secret order from the National Security Council on June 18, 1948. NSC directive 10/2 called for covert operations to attack the Soviets around the world. The strike force Kennan conceived to carry out that secret war received the blandest name imaginable—the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC).
It was a cover, serving to veil the group's work. It was placed inside the CIA, but its chief would report to the secretaries of defense and state, because the director of central intelligence was so weak. The State Department wanted it to carry out "rumor-spreading, bribery, the organization of non-communist fronts," according to a National Security Council report declassified in 2003. Forrestal and the Pentagon wanted "guerrilla movements. . . underground armies. . . sabotage and assassination."
The biggest battleground was Berlin. Frank Wisner worked ceaselessly to shape American policy in the occupied city. He urged his superiors at the  State Department to undertake a stratagem aimed at subverting the Soviets by introducing a new German currency. Moscow was sure to reject the idea, so the postwar power-sharing agreements in Berlin would collapse. A new political dynamic would push the Russians back. On June 23, the Western powers instituted the new currency. In immediate response, the Soviets blockaded Berlin.
 As the United States mounted an airlift to beat the blockade, Kennan spent long hours in the crisis room, the double-locked overseas communications center on the fifth floor of the State Department, agonizing as cables and telexes flashed in from Berlin. The CIA's Berlin base had been trying unsuccessfully for more than a year to obtain intelligence on the Red Army in occupied Germany and Russia, to track Moscow's progress in nuclear weapons, fighter jets, missiles, and biological warfare. Still, its officers had agents among Berlin's police and politicians—and most important, a line into the Soviet intelligence headquarters at Karlshorst in East Berlin. It came from Tom Polgar, the Hungarian refugee who was proving himself one of the CIA's best officers. Polgar had a butler, and his butler had a brother working for a Soviet army officer in Karlshorst. Creature comforts such as salted peanuts flowed from Polgar to Karlshorst. Information flowed back. Polgar had a second agent, a teletypist in the Soviet liaison section at the Berlin police headquarters. Her sister was the mistress of a police lieutenant who was close to the Russians. The lovers met in Polgar's apartment. "That brought me fame and glory," he remembered. Polgar delivered crucial intelligence that reached the White House. "I was completely certain, in the Berlin blockade, that the Soviets would not move," he said. The CIA's reports never wavered from that assessment: neither the Soviet military nor their newly created East German allies were readying for battle. 
The Berlin base did its part to keep the cold war cold in those months. Wisner was ready for a hot war. He argued that the United States should battle its way into Berlin with tanks and artillery. His ideas were rejected, but his fighting spirit was embraced. Kennan had insisted that covert operations could not be run by committee. They needed a top commander with the full backing of the Pentagon and the State Department. "One man must be boss," he wrote. Forrestal, Marshall, and Kennan all agreed that Wisner was the man. He was just shy of forty, deceptively courtly in appearance. He had been a handsome man in his youth, but his hair was starting to thin and his face and torso were starting to swell from his thirst for alcohol. He had less than three years' experience as a wartime spy and crypto-diplomat under his belt. Now he had to create a clandestine service from scratch. Richard Helms observed that Wisner burned with "a zeal and intensity which imposed, unquestionably, an abnormal strain" on him. His passion for covert action would forever alter America's place in the world
Chapter 4
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
  Frank Wisner took charge of American covert action on September 1, 1948. His mission: to roll the Soviets back to Russia's old boundaries and free Europe from communist control. His command post was a crumbling tin-roofed shanty, one of a long row of temporary War Department buildings flanking the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Vermin scuttled down the corridors. His men called the place the Rat Palace. He worked himself into a controlled frenzy, twelve hours or more a day, six days a week, and he demanded the same of his officers. He rarely told the director of central intelligence what he was doing. He alone would decide whether his secret missions conformed to American foreign policy. His organization soon grew bigger than the rest of the agency combined. Covert operations became the agency's dominant force, with the most people, the most money, the most power, and so they remained for more than twenty years. The CIA's stated mission had been to provide the president with secret information essential to the national security of the United States. But Wisner had no patience for espionage, no time for sifting and weighing secrets. Far easier to plot a coup or pay off a politician than to penetrate the Politburo—and for Wisner, far more urgent. Within a month, Wisner had drawn up battle plans for the next five years. He set out to create a multinational media conglomerate for propaganda. He sought to wage economic warfare against the Soviets by  counterfeiting money and manipulating markets. He spent millions trying to tip the political scales in capitals across the world. He wanted to recruit legions of exiles—Russians, Albanians, Ukrainians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Romanians—for armed resistance groups to penetrate the iron curtain. 
Wisner believed there were 700,000 Russians adrift in Germany who could join the cause. 
He wanted to transform one thousand of them into political shock troops. He found seventeen. On Forrestal's orders, Wisner created networks of stay-behind agents— foreigners who would fight the Soviets on the opening days of World War III. The goal was to slow the advance of hundreds of thousands of the Red Army's troops in Western Europe. He wanted arms, ammunition, and explosives stockpiled in secret caches all over Europe and the Middle East, to blow up bridges, depots, and Arab oil fields in the face of a Soviet advance. General Curtis LeMay, the new chief of the Strategic Air Command and the controller of American nuclear weapons, knew that his bombers would run out of fuel after dropping their weapons on Moscow, and on their return flights his pilots and crews would have to bail out somewhere east of the iron curtain. LeMay told Wisner's righthand man Franklin Lindsay to build a ratline inside the Soviet Union— an evacuation route for his men to escape overland. Air force colonels barked commands at their CIA counterparts: steal a Soviet fighter-bomber, preferably with its pilot stuffed in a gunnysack; infiltrate agents with radios onto every airfield between Berlin and the Urals; sabotage every military runway in the Soviet Union at the first warning of war. These were not requests. They were orders. Above all, Wisner needed thousands of American spies. The hunt for talent, then as now, was a constant crisis. He set out on a recruiting drive that ran from the Pentagon to Park Avenue to Yale and Harvard and Princeton, where professors and coaches were paid to spot talent. He hired lawyers, bankers, college kids, old school friends, veterans at loose ends. "They would pull people off the streets, anybody with warm blood who could say yes or no or move arms and legs," said the CIA's Sam Halpern. Wisner aimed to open at least thirty-six stations overseas within six months; he managed forty-seven in three years. Almost every city where he set up shop had two CIA station chiefs—one working on covert action for Wisner, the other working on espionage for CIA's Office of Special Operations. Inevitably they double-crossed one another, stole each other's agents, fought for the upper hand. Wisner poached hundreds of  officers from the Office of Special Operations, offering higher salaries and the promise of greater glories. He commandeered aircraft, arms, ammunition, parachutes, and surplus uniforms from the Pentagon and its bases in the occupied zones of Europe and Asia. He soon controlled a military stockpile worth a quarter of a billion dollars. "Wisner could call on any agency of the Government for personnel and such support as he may require," said James McCargar, one of the first men Wisner hired at the Office of Policy Coordination.
 "The CIA was, of course, a publicly known agency whose operations were secret. OPC's operations were not only secret, the existence of the organization itself was also secret. It was, in fact, for its first years, and this must be emphasized, since few people now seem aware of it, the most secret thing in the U.S. Government after nuclear weapons." And like the first nuclear weapons, whose test blasts were more powerful than their designers anticipated, Wisner's covert action shop grew faster and spread farther than anyone imagined. McCargar had toiled for the State Department in the Soviet Union during World War II, where he learned quickly that "the only methods which would help you get your work done were clandestine." He had single-handedly evacuated Hungarian political leaders from Budapest, delivering them to a safe house in Vienna set up by Al Ulmer, the first CIA station chief in that occupied capital. The two became friends, and when they found themselves in Washington in the summer of 1948, Ulmer invited McCargar to meet his new boss. Wisner took them both to breakfast at the Hay-Adams Hotel, the fanciest in Washington, just across Lafayette Park from the White House. McCargar was hired on the spot as a headquarters man and placed in charge of seven nations— Greece, Turkey, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. When he reported for work in October 1948, "there were only ten of us, including Wisner, a couple of officers, the secretaries, and myself—ten people," McCargar said. "Within a year, we were 450, and a few years after that there were so many thousands."
Wisner sent Al Ulmer to Athens, where he set out to cover ten nations, across the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, and the Black Sea. The new station chief bought a mansion on a hilltop overlooking the city, a walled compound with a sixty-foot-long dining room and top-drawer diplomats for neighbors. "We were in charge," Ulmer said many years later. "We ran things. We were seen as kings." The CIA began channeling clandestine political and financial support to Greece's most ambitious military and intelligence officers, recruiting promising young men who might someday lead the nation. The connections they cultivated could pay great dividends later on. First in Athens and Rome, then across Europe, politicians, generals, spy chiefs, newspaper publishers, union bosses, cultural organizations, and religious associations began looking to the agency for cash and for counsel. "Individuals, groups, and intelligence services quickly came to see that there was a force abroad in the world around which they could rally," said a secret CIA chronicle of Wisner's first years in power. Wisner's station chiefs needed cash. Wisner flew to Paris in mid-November 1948 to talk that problem over with Averell Harriman, the Marshall Plan's director. They met in a gilded suite at the Hotel Talleyrand, once the home of Napoleon's foreign minister. Under the gaze of a marble bust of Benjamin Franklin, Harriman told Wisner to dip as deeply as he needed into the plan's grab bag of dollars. Armed with that authority, Wisner returned to Washington to meet Richard Bissell, the Marshall Plan's chief administrator. "I had met him socially and knew and trusted him," Bissell remembered. "He was very much part of our inner circle of people." Wisner came right to the point. Bissell was baffled at first, but "Wisner took the time to assuage at least some of my concerns by assuring me that Harriman had approved the action. 
When I began to press him about how the money would be used, he explained that I could not be told." Bissell would learn soon enough. A decade later he took Wisner's job. Wisner proposed to break communist influence over the largest trade federations in France and Italy with cash from the plan; Kennan personally authorized these operations. Wisner chose two talented labor leaders to run the first of those operations in late 1948: Jay Lovestone,  a former chairman of the American Communist Party, and Irving Brown, his devoted follower; both men were dedicated anticommunists, transformed by the bitter ideological battles of the 1930s. Lovestone served as executive secretary of the Free Trade Union Committee, a spin-off of the American Federation of Labor; Brown was his chief representative in Europe. 
They delivered small fortunes from the CIA to labor groups backed by Christian Democrats and the Catholic Church. Payoffs in the gritty ports of Marseilles and Naples guaranteed that American arms and military materiel would be off-loaded by friendly longshoremen. The CIA's money and power flowed into the well greased palms of Corsican gangsters who knew how to break a strike with bare knuckles. One of Wisner's more genteel tasks was underwriting an arcane association that became an influential CIA front for twenty years: the Congress for Cultural Freedom. He envisioned "a vast project targeted on the intellectuals—'the battle for Picasso's mind,' if you will," in the elegant phrase of the CIA's Tom Braden, an OSS veteran and Sunday-night supper regular. This was a war of words, fought with little magazines, paperback books, and high-minded conferences. "I think the budget for the Congress for Cultural Freedom one year that I had charge of it was about $800,000, $900,000," Braden said. That included the start-up funds for the high-minded monthly called Encounter, which created a swirl of influence in the 1950s without selling more than forty thousand copies an issue.
That was a kind of missionary work that appealed to the liberal-arts majors newly arrived at the agency. It was a good life, running a little paper or a publishing house in Paris or Rome—the junior year abroad of American intelligence. Wisner, Kennan, and Allen Dulles saw a far better way to harness the political fervor and intellectual energies of Eastern European exiles and channel them back behind the iron curtain—Radio Free Europe. The planning began in late 1948 and early 1949, but it took more than two years to get the radios on the air. Dulles became the founder of a National Committee for a Free Europe, one of many front organizations financed by the CIA in the United States. The Free Europe board included General Eisenhower; Henry Luce, the chairman of Time, Life, and Fortune; and Cecil B. DeMille, the Hollywood producer—all recruited by Dulles and Wisner as a cover for the true management. The radios would become a powerful weapon for political warfare. 
Wisner had high hopes that Allen Dulles would be the next director of central intelligence. So did Dulles. In early 1948, Forrestal had asked Dulles to run a top secret investigation into the structural weaknesses of the CIA. As election day approached, Dulles was putting his final touches on the report that was to serve as his own inaugural address at the agency. He was confident that Truman would be defeated by the Republican Thomas Dewey, and that the new president would elevate him to his rightful place. The report, which remained classified for fifty years, was a detailed and brutal indictment. Count One: the CIA was churning out reams of paper containing few if any facts on the communist threat. Count Two: the agency had no spies among the Soviets and their satellites. Count Three: Roscoe Hillenkoetter was a failure as director. The CIA was not yet "an adequate intelligence service," the report said, and it would take "years of patient work to do the job" of transforming it. What was needed now was a bold new leader—and his identity was no secret. Hillenkoetter noted bitterly that Allen Dulles had all but engraved his name on the director's door. But by the time the report landed in January 1949, Truman had been re-elected, and Dulles was so closely associated with the Republican Party that his appointment was politically inconceivable. Hillenkoetter stayed on, leaving the agency effectively leaderless. 
The National Security Council ordered Hillenkoetter to implement the report, but he never did. Dulles began telling his friends in Washington that unless something drastic was done at the CIA, the president faced disaster abroad. A chorus of voices joined him. Dean Acheson, now secretary of state, heard that the CIA was "melting away in the heat of confusion and resentment." His informant was Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's grandson, FDR's cousin, and the future chief of the CIA's Near East and South Asia division. Forrestal's intelligence aide, John Ohly, warned his boss: "The greatest weakness of CIA stems from the type and quality of its personnel and the methods through which it is recruited." He noted "a complete deterioration of morale among some of the better qualified civilians who would like to make CIA a career and the loss of many able individuals who simply could not stand the situation." Worse yet, "most of the able people left in the Agency have decided that unless changes occur within the next several months, they will definitely leave. 
With this cadre of quality lost, the Agency will sink into a mire from which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to extract it." The CIA would then become "a poor to mediocre intelligence operation virtually in perpetuity." These messages could have been written half a century later. They would accurately describe the agency's woes in the decade after the fall of Soviet communism. The ranks of skilled American spies were thin, the number of talented foreign agents next to none. The capabilities of the CIA were not the only problem. The pressures of the cold war were fracturing the new leaders of the national-security establishment. James Forrestal and George Kennan had been the creators and commanders of the CIA's covert operations. But they proved unable to control the machine they had set in motion. Kennan was becoming a burnt-out case, seeking seclusion in his hideaway at the Library of Congress. Forrestal was beyond the edge. He resigned as secretary of defense on March 28, 1949. During his last day in office, he broke down, moaning that he had not slept in months. Dr. William C. Menninger, the most prominent psychiatrist in the United States, found Forrestal in the midst of a psychotic episode and committed him to a psychiatric ward at Bethesda Naval Hospital. After fifty haunted nights, in the final hours of his life, Forrestal was copying out a Greek poem, "The Chorus from Ajax," and he stopped in the middle of the word nightingale. He wrote "night," and then he fell to his death from his sixteenth-floor window. Nightingale was the code name of a Ukrainian resistance force Forrestal had authorized to carry out a secret war against Stalin. Its leaders included Nazi collaborators who had murdered thousands of people behind the German lines during World War II. Its members were set to parachute behind the iron curtain for the CIA.   
Chapter 5
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
  In World War II, the United States made common cause with communists to fight fascists. In the cold war, the CIA used fascists to combat communists. Patriotic Americans undertook these missions in the name of the United States. "You can't run the railroads," Allen Dulles said, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, "without taking in some Nazi Party members." More than two million people were adrift in American-occupied Germany. Many among them were desperate refugees from the spreading shadow of Soviet rule. Frank Wisner sent his officers directly into the displaced-persons camps to recruit them for a mission he defined as "encouraging resistance movements into the Soviet World and providing contacts with an underground." He made the case that the CIA had to "utilize refugees from the Soviet World in the national interests of the U.S." Over the objections of the director of central intelligence, he wanted to send guns and money to these men. The Soviet exiles were very much in demand "as a reserve for a possible war emergency," the agency recorded, though they were "hopelessly split between groups with opposing aims, philosophies and ethnic composition." Wisner's orders gave rise to the first of the agency's paramilitary missions—the first of many that sent thousands of foreign agents to their deaths. The full story began to reveal itself in a CIA history that first came to light in 2005.
Wisner's ambitions faced a huge hurdle at the start of 1949. The agency lacked the legal authority to carry out covert action against any nation. It had no constitutional charter from Congress and no legally authorized funds for those missions. It still operated outside the laws of the United States. In early February 1949, the director of central intelligence went to have a private chat with Carl Vinson, a Georgia Democrat and the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. Hillenkoetter warned that Congress had to pass formal legislation blessing the CIA and granting it a budget as soon as possible. The agency was up to its neck in operations, and it needed legal cover. After confiding his concerns to a few other members of the House and Senate, Hillenkoetter submitted the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 for their consideration. They met for about half an hour in secret to weigh it. "We will just have to tell the House they will have to accept our judgment and we cannot answer a great many questions that might be asked," Vinson told his colleagues. Dewey Short of Missouri, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, agreed that it would be "supreme folly" to debate the act in public: "The less we say about this bill, the better off all of us will be." The CIA Act was rammed through Congress on May 27, 1949. With its passage, Congress gave the agency the widest conceivable powers. It became fashionable a generation thereafter to condemn America's spies for crimes against the Constitution. But in the twenty-five years between the passage of the CIA Act and the awakening of a watchdog spirit in Congress, the CIA was barred only from behaving like a secret police force inside the United States. The act gave the agency the ability to do almost anything it wanted, as long as Congress provided the money in an annual package. Approval of the secret budget by a small armed services subcommittee was understood by those in the know to constitute a legal authorization for all secret operations. One of the congressmen voting "aye" summed up this tacit understanding many years later, when he was the president of the United States. If it's secret, it's legal, Richard M. Nixon said.
The CIA now had free rein: unvouchered funds—untraceable money buried under falsified items in the Pentagon's budget—meant unlimited license. A key clause of the 1949 act allowed the CIA to let one hundred foreigners a year into the United States in the name of national security, granting them "permanent residence without regard to their inadmissibility under the immigration or any other laws." On the same day that President Truman signed the CIA Act of 1949 into law, Willard G. Wyman, the two-star general now running the agency's Office of Special Operations, told American immigration officials that a Ukrainian named Mikola Lebed was "rendering valuable assistance to this Agency in Europe." Under the newly approved law, the CIA smuggled Lebed into the United States. The agency's own files described the Ukrainian faction led by Lebed as "a terrorist organization." Lebed himself had gone to prison for the murder of the Polish interior minister in 1936, and he escaped when Germany attacked Poland three years later. He saw the Nazis as natural allies. The Germans recruited his men into two battalions, including the one named Nightingale, which fought in the Carpathian Mountains, survived past the end of the war, and remained in the forests of Ukraine to haunt Secretary of Defense Forrestal. Lebed had set himself up as a self-proclaimed foreign minister in Munich and offered his Ukrainian partisans to the CIA for missions against Moscow. The Justice Department determined that he was a war criminal who had slaughtered Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews. But all attempts to deport him ceased after Allen Dulles himself wrote to the federal immigration commissioner, saying Lebed was "of inestimable value to this Agency" and was assisting in "operations of the first importance." The CIA "had few methods of collecting intelligence on the Soviet Union and felt compelled to exploit every opportunity, however slim the possibility of success or unsavory the agent," the secret agency history of the Ukrainian operation notes. "Émigré groups, even those with dubious pasts, were often the only alternative to doing nothing." So "the sometimes brutal war record of many émigré groups became blurred as they became more critical to the CIA." By 1949, the United States was ready to work with almost any son of a bitch against Stalin. Lebed fit that bill. 
So did General Reinhard Gehlen. During World War II, General Gehlen had tried to spy on the Soviets from the eastern front as a leader of the Abwehr, Hitler's military intelligence service. He was an imperious and cagey man who swore he had a network of "good Germans" to spy behind Russian lines for the United States. "From the beginning," Gehlen said, "I was motivated by the following convictions: A showdown between East and West is unavoidable. Every German is under the obligation of contributing his share, so that Germany is in a position to fulfill the missions incumbent on her for the common defense of Western Christian Civilization." The United States needed "the best German men as co-workers .. . if Western Culture is to be safeguarded." The intelligence network he offered to the Americans was a group of "outstanding German nationals who are good Germans but also ideologically on the side of the Western democracies." The army, unable to control the Gehlen organization, despite lavishly financing its operations, repeatedly tried to hand it off to the CIA. Many of Richard Helms's officers were dead-set against it. One recorded his revulsion at working with a network of "SS personnel with known Nazi records." Another warned that "American Intelligence is a rich blind man using the Abwehr as a seeing-eye dog. 
The only trouble is—the leash is much too long." Helms himself expressed a well-founded fear that "there is no question the Russians know this operation is going on." "We did not want to touch it," said Peter Sichel, then chief of German operations at CIA headquarters. "It had nothing to do with morals or ethics, and everything to do with security." But in July 1949, under relentless pressure from the army, the CIA took over the Gehlen group. Housed in a former Nazi headquarters outside Munich, Gehlen welcomed dozens of prominent war criminals into his circle. As Helms and Sichel feared, the East German and Soviet intelligence services penetrated the Gehlen group at the highest levels. The worst of the moles surfaced long after the Gehlen group had transformed itself into the national intelligence service of West Germany. Gehlen's longtime chief of counterintelligence had been working for Moscow all along. 
 Steve Tanner, a young CIA officer based in Munich, said Gehlen had convinced American intelligence officers that he could run missions aimed at the heart of Soviet power. "And, given how hard it was for us," Tanner reflected, "it seemed idiotic not to try it."
Tanner was an army intelligence veteran fresh out of Yale, hired by Richard Helms in 1947, one of the first two hundred CIA officers sworn into service. In Munich, his assignment was to recruit agents to gather intelligence for the United States from behind the iron curtain. Almost every major nationality from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had at least one self-important émigré group seeking help from the CIA in Munich and Frankfurt. Some of the men Tanner vetted as potential spies were Eastern Europeans who had sided with Germany against Russia. They included "people with fascist backgrounds trying to save their careers by becoming useful to the Americans," Tanner said, and he was wary of them. The non-Russians "hated the Russians violently," Tanner said, "and they were automatically on our side." Others who had fled the outlying republics of the Soviet Union exaggerated their power and influence. "These émigré groups, their main goal was to convince the U.S. government of their importance, and their ability to help the U.S. government, so that they would get support in one form or another," he said. Lacking guidelines from Washington, Tanner wrote his own: to receive the CIA's support, the émigré groups had to be founded on native soil, not in a Munich coffeehouse. They had to have contact with antiSoviet groups in their home country. They should not be compromised by close collaboration with the Nazis. In December 1948, after a long and careful assessment, Tanner believed he had found a band of Ukrainians who deserved the CIA's backing. The group called itself the Supreme Council for the Liberation of the Ukraine. Its members in Munich served as political representatives of the fighters back home. The Supreme Council, Tanner reported to headquarters, was morally and politically sound. 
 Tanner spent the spring and summer of 1949 preparing to infiltrate his Ukrainians behind the iron curtain. The men had come out of the Carpathian Mountains as couriers months before, carrying messages from the Ukrainian underground written on thin sheets of paper folded into wads and sewn together. These scraps were seen as signs of a stalwart resistance movement that could provide intelligence on events in Ukraine and warning of a Soviet attack on Western Europe. Hopes were even higher at headquarters. 
The CIA believed that "the existence of this movement could have bearing on the course of an open conflict between the United States and the USSR." Tanner hired a daredevil Hungarian air crew who had hijacked a Hungarian commercial airliner and flown it to Munich a few months earlier. General Wyman, the CIA's special-operations chief, formally approved the mission on July 26. Tanner supervised their training in Morse code and weaponry, planning to drop two of them back into their homeland so that the CIA could communicate with the partisans. But the CIA had no one in Munich with experience in parachuting agents behind enemy lines. Tanner finally found someone. "A Serbo-American colleague who had parachuted into Yugoslavia in World War Two taught my guys how to jump and land. And it was crazy! How can you do a backward somersault on impact with a carbine strapped to your side?" But that was the kind of operation that had made the OSS famous. 
Tanner cautioned against great expectations. "We realized that in the woods of western Ukraine, they weren't liable to know what was on Stalin's mind, the big political issues," he said. "At least they could get documents, they could get pocket litter, clothing, shoes." To create a real network of spies inside the Soviet Union, the CIA would have to provide them with elements of disguise—the daily detritus of Soviet life. Even if the missions never produced much important intelligence, Tanner said, they would have strong symbolic value: "They showed Stalin that we weren't going to sit still. And that was important, because up 'til then we had done zilch as far as operations into his country." On September 5, 1949, Tanner's men took off in a C-47 flown by the Hungarians who had hijacked their way into Munich. Singing a martial strain, they jumped into the darkness of the Carpathian night, landing near the city of Lvov. American intelligence had penetrated the Soviet Union. 
 The CIA history declassified in 2005 offers a terse summary of what happened next: "The Soviets quickly eliminated the agents."
The operation nevertheless set off a huge wave of enthusiasm at CIA headquarters. Wisner began drawing up plans to send more men to recruit networks of dissidents, create American-backed resistance forces, and send the White House early warning of a Soviet military attack. The CIA dispatched dozens of Ukrainian agents by air and by land. Almost every one was captured. Soviet intelligence officers used the prisoners to feed back disinformation—all's well, send more guns, more money, more men. Then they killed them. After five years of "abortive missions," the agency's history states, "CIA discontinued this approach." "In the long run," it concludes, "the Agency's effort to penetrate the Iron Curtain using Ukrainian agents was ill-fated and tragic." Wisner was undaunted. He started new paramilitary adventures all over Europe. In October 1949, four weeks after the first flight into the Ukraine, Wisner teamed up with the British to run rebels into communist Albania, the poorest and most isolated nation in Europe. He saw this barren Balkan outcrop as fertile ground for a resistance army formed from exiled royalists and ragtag loyalists in Rome and Athens. A ship launched from Malta carried nine Albanians on the first commando mission. Three men were killed immediately and the secret police chased down the rest. Wisner had neither the time nor the inclination for introspection. He flew more Albanian recruits to Munich for parachute training, then turned them over to the Athens station, which had its own airport, a fleet of planes, and some tough Polish pilots.
 They jumped into Albania and landed in the arms of the secret police. With each failed mission, the plans became more frantic, the training more slipshod, the Albanians more desperate, their capture more certain. The agents who survived were taken prisoner, their messages back to the Athens station controlled by their captors.
 "What had we done wrong?" wondered the CIA's John Limond Hart, who was handling the Albanians in Rome. It took years before the CIA understood that the Soviets had known every aspect of the operation from the start. The training camps in Germany were infiltrated. The Albanian exile communities in Rome, Athens, and London were shot through with traitors. And James J. Angleton—the headquarters man responsible for the security of secret operations, the CIA's guardian against double agents—had coordinated the operation with his best friend in British intelligence: the Soviet spy Kim Philby, London's liaison with the agency. Philby worked for Moscow out of a secure room in the Pentagon, adjacent to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His friendship with Angleton was sealed with the cold kiss of gin and the warm embrace of whisky. He was an extraordinary drinker, knocking back a fifth a day, and Angleton was on his way to becoming one of the CIA's champion alcoholics, a title held against stiff competition. For more than a year, before and after many a liquid lunch, Angleton gave Philby the precise coordinates for the drop zones for every agent the CIA parachuted into Albania. Though failure followed failure, death upon death, the flights went on for four years. Roughly two hundred of the CIA's foreign agents died. Almost no one in the American government knew. It was a most secret thing. Angleton was promoted to chief of counterintelligence when it was over. He held the job for twenty years. Drunk after lunch, his mind an impenetrable maze, his in-box a black hole, he passed judgment on every operation and every officer that the CIA aimed against the Soviets. He came to believe that a Soviet master plot controlled American perceptions of the world, and that he and he alone understood the depths of the deception. He took the CIA's missions against Moscow down into a dark labyrinth.
  In early 1950, Wisner ordered up a new assault on the iron curtain. The job went to another Yale man in Munich, by the name of Bill Coffin, a new recruit with the special anticommunist fervor of an ardent socialist. LEGAC Y of ASHE S 47 "The ends don't always justify the means," Coffin said of his years in the CIA. "But they are the only thing that can." Coffin came to the CIA through a family connection, recruited by his brother-in-law, Frank Lindsay, Wisner's Eastern Europe operations officer. "I said to them, when I went into CIA, 'I don't want to do spy work, I want to do underground political work,' " he remembered in 2005. "The question was: can Russians operate underground? And that seemed to me quite morally acceptable at the time."
Coffin had spent the last two years of World War II as a U.S. Army liaison with Soviet commanders. He had been part of the heartless postwar process by which Soviet soldiers were forcibly repatriated. He had been left with a great burden of guilt, which influenced his decision to join the CIA. "I had seen that Stalin could occasionally make Hitler look like a Boy Scout," Coffin said.
"I was very anti-Soviet but very pro-Russian." Wisner placed his money on the Solidarists, a Russian group that stood as far to the right as possible in Europe after Hitler. Only the handful of CIA officers who spoke Russian, like Bill Coffin, could work with them. The CIA and the Solidarists first smuggled leaflets into Soviet barracks in East Germany. Then they launched balloons bearing thousands of pamphlets.
 Then they sent four-man parachute missions in unmarked airplanes flying as far east as the outskirts of Moscow. One by one the Solidarist agents floated down to Russia; one by one, they were hunted down, captured, and killed. Once again the CIA delivered its agents to the secret police. "It was a fundamentally bad idea," Coffin said long after he quit the CIA and became known as the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, the chaplain of Yale and one of the most passionate antiwar voices in America during the 1960s. "We were quite naïve about the use of American power." Almost a decade passed before the agency admitted, in its own words, that "assistance to the émigrés for the eventuality of war with or revolution within the USSR was unrealistic." All told, hundreds of the CIA's foreign agents were sent to their deaths in Russia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the Baltic States during the 1950s. 
Their fates were unrecorded; no accounts were kept and no penalty assessed for failure. Their missions were seen as a matter of national survival for the United States. For only hours before Tanner's men took off on their first flight in September 1949, an air force crew flying out of Alaska had detected traces of radioactivity in the atmosphere. 
While the results were being analyzed, on September 20, the CIA confidently declared that the Soviet Union would not produce an atomic weapon for at least another four years. Three days later, Truman told the world that Stalin had the bomb. On September 29, the CIA's chief of scientific intelligence reported that his office was unable to accomplish its mission. It lacked the talent to track Moscow's efforts to build weapons of mass destruction.
 The agency's work on Soviet atomic weapons had been an "almost total failure" at every level, he reported; its spies had no scientific or technical data on the Soviet bomb, and its analysts had resorted to guesstimates. He warned that "catastrophic consequences" faced the United States as a result of this failure. The Pentagon frantically commanded the CIA to place its agents in Moscow in order to steal the Red Army's military plans. "At the time," Richard Helms reflected, "the possibility of recruiting and running any such sources was as improbable as placing resident spies on the planet Mars." Then, without warning, on July 25, 1950, the United States faced a surprise attack that looked like the start of World War III.   
Chapter 6
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
  The Korean War was the first great test for the CIA. It gave the agency its first real leader: General Walter Bedell Smith. President Truman had called on him to save the CIA before the war broke out. But after serving as the American ambassador in Moscow, the general had come home with an ulcer that almost killed him. When the news of the Korean invasion arrived, he was at Walter Reed Army Hospital, where two-thirds of his stomach was removed. Truman implored him, but he begged off for a month to see if he would survive. Then that call became an order, and Bedell Smith became the fourth director of central intelligence in four years. The general's task was to learn the secrets of the Kremlin, and he had a good idea of his chances. "There are only two personalities that I know of who might do it," he told the five senators who confirmed him at an August 24 hearing where he wore a newly acquired fourth star, a prize from the president. "One is God, and the other is Stalin, and I do not know that even God can do it because I do not know whether he is close enough in touch with Uncle Joe to know what he is talking about." As for what awaited him at the CIA, he said: "I expect the worst, and I am sure I won't be disappointed." Immediately upon taking office in October, he discovered that he had inherited an unholy mess. "It's interesting to see all you fellows here," he said as he looked around the table at his first staff meeting. "It'll be even more interesting to see how many of you are here a few months from now." Bedell Smith was fiercely authoritarian, devastatingly sarcastic, and  intolerant of imperfection. Wisner's sprawling operations left him spluttering with rage. "It was the place where all the money was spent," he said, and "all the rest of the Agency was suspicious of it." In his first week in office, he discovered that Wisner reported to the State Department and the Pentagon, not to the director of central intelligence. In a towering fury, he informed the chief of covert operations that his free-booting days were over.
To serve the president, the general tried to salvage the analytical side of the house, which he called "the heart and soul of CIA." He overhauled the agency's procedures for writing intelligence reports, and he ultimately persuaded Sherman Kent, who had fled Washington in the dismal first days of the Central Intelligence Group, to return from Yale to create a system of national estimates, pulling together the best available information from across the government. Kent called the job "an impossible task." After all, he said, "estimating is what you do when you do not know." Days after Bedell Smith took over, Truman was preparing to meet with General Douglas MacArthur on Wake Island in the Pacific. 
The president wanted the CIA's best intelligence on Korea. Above all, he wanted to know whether the communist Chinese would enter the war. MacArthur, driving his troops deep into North Korea, had insisted that China would never attack. The CIA knew almost nothing about what went on in China. In October 1949, by the time Mao Tse-tung drove out the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek and proclaimed the People's Republic, all but a handful of the American spies in China had fled to Hong Kong or Taiwan. Already hobbled by Mao, the CIA was crippled by MacArthur, who hated the agency and did his best to ban its officers from the Far East. Though the CIA worked frantically to keep an eye on China, the chains of foreign agents it had inherited from the OSS were far too weak. So was the agency's research and reporting. Four hundred 
CIA  analysts worked on daily intelligence bulletins for President Truman at the start of the Korean War, but 90 percent of their reporting was rewritten State Department files; most of the rest was weightless commentary. The CIA's allies in the theater of war were the intelligence services of two corrupt and unreliable leaders: South Korea's president, Syngman Rhee, and the Chinese Nationalist chief, Chiang Kai-shek. The strongest first impression of the CIA officers upon arriving in their capitals of Seoul and Taipei was the stench of human feces fertilizing the surrounding fields.
Reliable information was as scarce as electricity and running water. The CIA found itself manipulated by crooked friends, duped by communist foes, and at the mercy of money-hungry exiles fabricating intelligence. Fred Schultheis, the Hong Kong station chief in 1950, spent the next six years sorting through the trash that Chinese refugees sold the agency during the Korean War. The CIA was supporting a free market of paper mills run by con artists. The one true source of intelligence on the Far East from the final days of World War II until the end of 1949 had been the wizards of American signals intelligence. 
They had been able to intercept and decrypt passages from communist cables and communiqués sent between Moscow and the Far East. Then silence fell at the very hour that the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung was consulting with Stalin and Mao on his intent to attack. America's ability to listen in on Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean military plans suddenly vanished. On the eve of the Korean War, a Soviet spy had penetrated the codebreakers' nerve center, Arlington Hall, a converted girls' school a stone's throw from the Pentagon. He was William Wolf Weisband, a linguist who translated broken messages from Russian into English. Weisband, recruited as a spy by Moscow in the 1930s, single-handedly shattered the ability of the United States to read the Soviets' secret dispatches. Bedell Smith recognized that something terrible had happened to American signals intelligence, and he alerted the White House. The result was the creation of the National Security Agency, the signals-intelligence service that grew to dwarf the CIA in its size and power. Half a century later, the National Security Agency called the Weisband case "perhaps the most significant intelligence loss in U.S. history." 
 The president left for Wake Island on October 11, 1950. The CIA assured him that it saw "no convincing indications of an actual Chinese Communist intention to resort to full-scale intervention in Korea . . . barring a Soviet decision for global war." The agency reached that judgment despite two alarms from its three-man Tokyo station. First the station chief, George Aurell, reported that a Chinese Nationalist officer in Manchuria was warning that Mao had amassed 300,000 troops near the Korean border. Headquarters paid little heed. Then Bill Duggan, later chief of station in Taiwan, insisted that the Chicoms soon would cross into North Korea. General MacArthur responded by threatening to have Duggan arrested. The warnings never reached Wake Island. At headquarters, the agency kept advising Truman that China would not enter the war on any significant scale. On October 18, as MacArthur's troops surged north toward the Yalu River and the Chinese border, the CIA reported that "the Soviet Korean venture has ended in failure." On October 20, the CIA said that Chinese forces detected at the Yalu were there to protect hydroelectric power plants. On October 28, it told the White House that those Chinese troops were scattered volunteers. On October 30, after American troops had been attacked, taking heavy casualties, the CIA reaffirmed that a major Chinese intervention was unlikely. 
A few days later, Chinese-speaking CIA officers interrogated several prisoners taken during the encounter and determined that they were Mao's soldiers. 
Yet CIA headquarters asserted one last time that China would not invade in force. Two days later 300,000 Chinese troops struck with an attack so brutal that it nearly pushed the Americans into the sea. Bedell Smith was aghast. He believed that the business of the CIA was to guard the nation against military surprise. But the agency had misread every global crisis of the past year: the Soviet atom bomb, the Korean War, the Chinese invasion. In December 1950, as President Truman declared a national emergency and recalled General Eisenhower to active duty, Bedell Smith stepped up his own war to turn the CIA into a professional intelligence service. He looked first for someone to control Frank Wisner. 
Only one name presented itself.
 On January 4, 1951, Bedell Smith bowed to the inevitable and appointed Allen Dulles as the CIA's deputy director of plans (the title was a cover; the job was chief of covert operations). The two men quickly proved to be a bad match, as the CIA's Tom Polgar saw when he observed them together at headquarters: "Bedell clearly doesn't like Dulles, and it's easy to see why," he recounted. "An Army officer gets an order and he carries it out. A lawyer finds a way to weasel. In CIA, as it developed, an order is a departure point for a discussion." Wisner's operations had multiplied fivefold since the start of the war. Bedell Smith saw that the United States had no strategy for conducting this kind of struggle. He appealed to President Truman and the National Security Council. Was the agency really supposed to support armed revolution in Eastern Europe? In China? In Russia? The Pentagon and the State Department replied: yes, all that, and more. The director wondered how. Wisner was hiring hundreds of college kids every month, running them through a few weeks of commando school, sending them overseas for half a year, rotating them out, and sending more raw recruits to replace them. He was trying to build a worldwide military machine without a semblance of professional training, logistics, or communications. Bedell Smith sat at his desk, nibbling the crackers and warm mush on which he survived after his stomach surgery, and his anger mingled with despair. His second-in-command, the deputy director of central intelligence, Bill Jackson, resigned in frustration, saying that the CIA's operations were an impossible tangle. Bedell Smith had no choice but to promote Dulles to deputy director and Wisner to chief of covert operations. When he saw the first CIA budget the two men proposed, he exploded. It was $587 million, an elevenfold increase from 1948. More than $400 million was for Wisner's covert operations—three times the cost of espionage and analysis combined. This posed "a distinct danger to CIA as an intelligence agency," Bedell Smith fumed. "The operational tail will wag the intelligence dog," he warned. "The top people will be forced to take up all their time in the direction of operations and will necessarily neglect intelligence." 
It was  then that the general began to suspect that Dulles and Wisner were hiding something from him. At his daily meetings with the CIA's deputy directors and staff, recorded in documents declassified after 2002, he constantly cross-examined them about what was going on overseas. But his direct questions received unaccountably vague responses—or none at all. He warned them not "to withhold" or "to whitewash unfortunate incidents or serious errors." He ordered them to create a detailed accounting of their paramilitary missions—code names, descriptions, objectives, costs. They never complied. "In exasperation, he visited upon them more violent manifestations of his wrath than he did upon anybody else," wrote his personal representative on the NSC staff, Ludwell Lee Montague. Bedell Smith was not afraid of much. But he was angry and frightened by the thought that Dulles and Wisner were leading the CIA to "some ill-conceived and disastrous misadventure," Montague wrote. "He feared that some blunder overseas might become public knowledge." "WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE DOING" The classified CIA histories of the Korean War reveal what Bedell Smith feared. They say the agency's paramilitary operations were "not only ineffective but probably morally reprehensible in the number of lives lost." Thousands of recruited Korean and Chinese agents were dropped into North Korea during the war, never to return. "The amount of time and treasure expended was enormously disproportionate to attainments," the agency concluded. Nothing was gained from "the substantial sums spent and the numerous Koreans sacrificed." Hundreds more Chinese agents died after they were launched onto the mainland in misconceived land, air, and sea operations. "Most of these missions weren't sent for intelligence. They were sent to supply nonexistent or fictitious resistance groups," said Peter Sichel, who saw the string of failures play out after he became station chief in Hong Kong. "They were suicide missions. They were suicidal and irresponsible." They continued into the 1960s, legions of agents sent to their deaths chasing shadows. 
 In the early days of the war, Wisner assigned a thousand officers to Korea and three hundred to Taiwan, with orders to penetrate Mao's walled fortress and Kim Il-sung's military dictatorship. These men were thrown into battle with little preparation or training. One among them was Donald Gregg, fresh out of Williams College. His first thought when the war broke out was: "Where the hell is Korea?" After a crash course in paramilitary operations, he was dispatched to a new CIA outpost in the middle of the Pacific. Wisner was building a covert-operations base on the island of Saipan at a cost of $28 million. Saipan, still riddled with the bones of World War II dead, became a training camp for the CIA's paramilitary missions into Korea, China, Tibet, and Vietnam. Gregg took tough Korean farm boys plucked from refugee camps, brave but undisciplined men who spoke no English, and tried to turn them into instant American intelligence agents.
The CIA sent them on crudely conceived missions that produced little save a lengthening roster of lost lives. The memory stayed with Gregg as he rose through the ranks of the Far East Division to become the CIA's station chief in Seoul, then the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, and finally the chief national-security aide to Vice President George H. W. Bush. "We were following in the footsteps of the OSS," Gregg said. "But the people we were going up against had complete control.
We didn't know what we were doing. I asked my superiors what the mission was and they wouldn't tell me. They didn't know what the mission was. It was swashbuckling of the worst kind. We were training Koreans and Chinese and a lot of other strange people, dropping Koreans into North Korea, dropping Chinese into China just north of the Korean border, and we'd drop these people in and we'd never hear from them again." 
"The record in Europe was bad," he said. "The record in Asia was bad. The agency had a terrible record in its early days—a great reputation and a terrible record." 
Bedell Smith repeatedly warned Wisner to watch out for false intelligence fabricated by the enemy. But some of Wisner's officers were fabricators 56 TIMWEINE R themselves—including the station chief and the chief of operations he sent to Korea. In February, March, and April 1951, more than 1,200 North Korean exiles were gathered on Yong-do Island, in Pusan Harbor, under the command of the operations chief, Hans Tofte, an OSS veteran with a greater talent for deceiving his superiors than his enemies. Tofte formed three brigades—White Tiger, Yellow Dragon, and Blue Dragon—with forty-four guerrilla teams. Their missions were threefold: to serve as intelligence-gathering infiltrators, as guerrilla-warfare squads, and as escape-and-evasion crews to rescue downed American pilots and crews. White Tiger went ashore in North Korea at the end of April 1951 with 104 men, reinforced by 36 more agents dropped by parachute. Before leaving Korea four months later, Tofte sent back glowing reports on his accomplishments. 
But by November, most of the White Tiger guerrillas were killed, captured, or missing. Blue Dragon and Yellow Dragon met similar fates. The few infiltration teams that survived were captured and forced on pain of death to deceive their American case officers with phony radio messages. None of the guerrillas made it out alive. Most of the escape-and-evasion teams were lost or slaughtered. In the spring and summer of 1952, Wisner's officers dropped more than 1,500 Korean agents into the North. They sent back a flood of detailed radio reports on North Korean and Chinese communist military movements. They were heralded by the CIA station chief in Seoul, Albert R. Haney, a garrulous and ambitious army colonel who boasted openly that he had thousands of men working for him on guerrilla operations and intelligence missions.
Haney said he personally had overseen the recruitment and training of hundreds of Koreans. Some of his fellow Americans thought Haney was a dangerous fool. William W. Thomas, Jr., a State Department political intelligence officer in Seoul, suspected the station chief had a payroll filled with people who were "controlled by the other side." So did John Limond Hart, who replaced Haney as the Seoul chief of station in September 1952. After a series of stinging experiences with intelligence fabricators in Europe during his first four years at the CIA, and his stint running Albanian exiles out of Rome, Hart was intensely aware of the problems of deception and disinformation, and he decided to take "a hard look at the miraculous achievements claimed by my predecessors." Haney had presided over two hundred CIA officers in Seoul, not one of whom spoke Korean. 
The station depended on recruited Korean agents who supervised the CIA's guerrilla operations and intelligence-gathering missions in the North. After three months of digging, Hart determined that nearly every Korean agent he had inherited had either invented his reports or worked in secret for the communists. Every dispatch the station had sent to CIA headquarters from the front for the past eighteen months was a calculated deception. "One particular report lives in my memory," Hart recounted. "It purported to be a recapitulation of all Chinese and North Korean units along the battle line, citing each unit's strength and numerical designation." American military commanders had hailed it as "one of the outstanding intelligence reports of the war."
Hart determined that it was a complete fabrication. He went on to discover that all of the important Korean agents Haney had recruited—not some, but all—were "con men who had for some time been living happily on generous CIA payments supposedly being sent to 'assets' in North Korea. Almost every report we had received from their notional agents came from our enemies." Long after the Korean War was over, the CIA concluded that Hart was correct: almost all the secret information the agency gathered during the war had been manufactured by the North Korean and Chinese security services.
The fictional intelligence was passed on to the Pentagon and the White House. The agency's paramilitary operations in Korea had been infiltrated and betrayed before they began. Hart told headquarters that the station should cease operations until the ledger was cleared and the damage undone. An intelligence service penetrated by the enemy was worse than no service at all. Instead, Bedell Smith sent an emissary to Seoul to tell Hart that "the CIA, being a new organization whose reputation had not yet been established, simply could not admit to other branches of Government—least of all to the highly competitive U.S. military intelligence services—its inability to collect intelligence on North Korea." The messenger was the deputy director of intelligence, Loftus Becker. After Bedell Smith sent him on an inspection tour of all the CIA's Asian stations in November 1952, Becker came home and turned in his resignation. He had concluded that the situation was hopeless: the CIA's ability to gather intelligence in the Far East was "almost negligible." 
Before resigning, he confronted Frank Wisner: "Blown  operations indicate a lack of success," he told him, "and there have been a number of these lately." Hart's reports and Haney's frauds were buried. The agency had walked into an ambush and represented it as a strategic maneuver. Dulles told members of Congress that "CIA was controlling considerable resistance elements in North Korea," said air force colonel James G. L. Kellis, who had served as Wisner's paramilitary operations director. At the time, Dulles had been warned that " 'CIA's guerrillas' in North Korea were under the control of the enemy"; in truth "CIA had no such assets" and "CIA was being duped," Kellis reported in a whistle-blowing letter he sent to the White House after the war was over. The ability to represent failure as success was becoming a CIA tradition. The agency's unwillingness to learn from its mistakes became a permanent part of its culture. The CIA's covert operators never wrote "lessons-learned" studies. Even today there are few if any rules or procedures for producing them. "We are all aware that our operations in the Far East are far from what we would like," Wisner admitted in a headquarters meeting. "We simply have not had the time to develop the quantity and kind of people we must have if we are to successfully carry out the heavy burdens which have been placed on us." The inability to penetrate North Korea remains the longest-running intelligence failure in the CIA's history.
The agency opened a second front in the Korean War in 1951. The officers on the agency's China operations desk, frantic at Mao's entry into the war, convinced themselves that as many as one million Kuomintang Nationalist guerrillas were waiting inside Red China for the CIA's help. Were these reports fabricated by paper mills in Hong Kong, produced by political conniving in Taiwan, or conjured up by wishful thinking in Washington? Was it wise for the CIA to make war against Mao? There was no time to think that through. "You do not have in government a basic approved strategy for this kind of war," Bedell Smith told Dulles and Wisner. "We haven't even a policy on Chiang Kai-shek." 
 Dulles and Wisner made their own. First they tried to enlist Americans to parachute into communist China. One potential recruit, Paul Kreisberg, was eager to join the CIA until "they tested me on my loyalty and my commitment by asking whether I would be willing to be dropped by parachute into Szechuan. My target would be to organize a group of anti-communist Kuomintang soldiers who remained up in the hills in Szechuan and work with them in a number of operations and then exfiltrate myself, if necessary, out through Burma. They looked at me, and they said, 'Would you be willing to do that?' " Kreisberg thought it over and joined the State Department. Lacking American volunteers, the CIA dropped hundreds of recruited Chinese agents into the mainland, often dropping them blindly, with orders to find their way to a village. When they went missing, they were written off as a cost of covert warfare. The CIA also thought it could undermine Mao with Muslim horsemen, the Hui clans of China's far northwest, commanded by Ma Pu-fang, a tribal leader who had political connections with the Chinese Nationalists. The CIA dropped tons of weapons and ammunition and radios and scores of Chinese agents into western China, then tried to find Americans to follow them.
Among the men they tried to recruit was Michael D. Coe, later one of the twentieth century's greatest archaeologists, the man who broke the code of Mayan hieroglyphics. Coe was a twenty-two-year-old Harvard graduate student in the fall of 1950 when a professor took him out to lunch and asked the question thousands of Ivy Leaguers would hear over the next decade: "How would you like to work for the government in a really interesting capacity?" He went to Washington and received a pseudonym selected at random out of a London telephone directory. He was told he would become a case officer in one of two clandestine operations.
 Either he would be dropped by parachute deep into far western China to support the Muslim fighters, or he would be sent to an island off the China coast to run raids. "Luckily for me," Coe said, "it was the latter option." He became part of Western Enterprises, a CIA front in Taiwan created to subvert Mao's China. He spent eight months on a tiny island called White Dog.
The only intelligence operation of consequence on the island was the discovery that the Nationalist commander's chief of staff was a communist spy. Back in Taipei, in the closing months of the Korean War, he saw that Western Enterprises was no more clandestine than the Chinese whorehouses his colleagues frequented. "They built a whole gated community with its own PX and officers' club," he said. "The esprit that had been there had changed. It was an incredible waste of money." Coe concluded that the CIA "had been sold a bill of goods by the Nationalists—that there was a huge force of resistance inside of China. We were barking up the wrong tree. 
The whole operation was a waste of time." Hedging its bets on the Nationalist Chinese, the CIA decided that there had to be a "Third Force" in China. From April 1951 until the end of 1952, the agency spent roughly $100 million, buying enough arms and ammunition for 200,000 guerrillas, without finding the elusive Third Force. About half the money and guns went to a group of Chinese refugees based on Okinawa, who sold the CIA on the idea that a huge cadre of anticommunist troops on the mainland supported them. It was a scam. Ray Peers, the OSS veteran who ran Western Enterprises, said that if he ever found a real live soldier of the Third Force, he would kill him, stuff him, and ship him to the Smithsonian Institution. The CIA was still searching for the elusive resistance forces when it dropped a four-man Chinese guerrilla team into Manchuria in July 1952. Four months later, the team radioed for help. It was a trap: they had been captured and turned against the CIA by the Chinese. The agency authorized a rescue mission using a newly devised sling designed to scoop up the stranded men. Two young CIA officers on their first operation, Dick Fecteau and Jack Downey, were sent into a shooting gallery.
Their plane went down in a storm of Chinese machine-gun fire. The pilots died. Fecteau did nineteen years in a Chinese prison and Downey, fresh out of Yale, did more than twenty. Beijing later broadcast a scorecard for Manchuria: the CIA had dropped 212 foreign agents in; 101 were killed and 111 captured. The final theater for the CIA in the Korean War lay in Burma. In early 1951, as the Chinese communists chased General MacArthur's troops south, the Pentagon thought the Chinese Nationalists could take some pressure off MacArthur by opening a second front. About 1,500 followers of Li Mi, a Nationalist general, were stranded in northern Burma, near the Chinese border. Li Mi asked for American guns and American gold.
The CIA began flying Chinese Nationalist soldiers into Thailand, training them, equipping them, and dropping them along with pallets of guns and ammunition into northern Burma. Desmond FitzGerald, newly arrived at the agency with glittering legal and social credentials, had fought in Burma during World War II. He took over the Li Mi operation. It quickly became a farce, then a tragedy. When Li Mi's soldiers crossed over into China, Mao's forces shot them to pieces. The CIA's espionage officers discovered that Li Mi's radioman in Bangkok was a Chinese communist agent. But Wisner's men pressed on. Li Mi's soldiers retreated and regrouped. When FitzGerald dropped more guns and ammunition into Burma, Li Mi's men would not fight. They settled into the mountains known as the Golden Triangle, harvested opium poppies, and married the local women. 
Twenty years later, the CIA would have to start another small war in Burma to wipe out the heroin labs that were the basis of Li Mi's global drug empire. "There is no point in bemoaning opportunities lost. . . nor attempting to alibi past failures," Bedell Smith wrote in a letter to General Matthew B. Ridgway, MacArthur's successor as chief of the Far East Command. "I have found, through painful experience, that secret operations are a job for the professional and not for the amateur." A postscript to the CIA's Korean calamities came soon after the armistice of July 1953. The agency saw President Syngman Rhee of South Korea as a hopeless case, and for years it sought ways to replace him. It almost killed him by mistake. One cloudless afternoon in late summer, a yacht sailed slowly past the shoreline of Yong-do, the island encampment where the CIA trained its Korean commandos.
President Rhee was on board having a party with his friends. The officers and guards in charge of the training site had not been informed that President Rhee would be passing by. They opened fire. Miraculously, no one was hurt, but the president was displeased. He called in the American ambassador and informed him that the CIA's paramilitary group had seventy-two hours to leave the country. Soon thereafter the luckless station chief, John Hart, had to start all over again, recruiting, training, and parachuting agents into North Korea from 1953 until 1955. All of them, to the best of his knowledge, were captured and executed. The agency failed on all fronts in Korea. 
It failed in providing warning, in providing analysis, and in its headlong deployment of recruited agents. Thousands of deaths of Americans and their Asian allies were the consequence. A generation later, American military veterans called Korea "the forgotten war." At the agency, it was deliberate amnesia. The waste of $152  million on weapons for phantom guerrillas was adjusted on the balance sheets. The fact that a great deal of Korean War intelligence was false or fabricated was kept secret. The question of what it had cost in lost lives was unasked and unanswered. But the assistant secretary of state for the Far East, Dean Rusk, sniffed out a whiff of decay. He called on John Melby, a skilled State Department China hand, to investigate.
Melby had worked side by side with the first American spies in Asia from the mid-1940s onward and knew the cast of characters. He went out to the region and took a long, hard look. "Our intelligence is so bad that it approaches malfeasance in office," he told Rusk in an eyes-only report that somehow wound up on the desk of the director of central intelligence.
Melby was summoned to CIA headquarters for a classic chewing-out by Bedell Smith, as Deputy Director Allen Dulles sat by in silence. For Dulles, Asia was always a sideshow. He believed that the real war for Western civilization was in Europe. That fight called for "people who are ready and willing to stand up and take the consequences," he told a few of his closest friends and colleagues at a secret conference held at the Princeton Inn in May 1952. "After all, we have had a hundred thousand casualties in Korea," he said, according to a transcript declassified in 2003. "If we have been willing to accept those casualties, I wouldn't worry if there were a few casualties or a few martyrs behind the iron curtain. .. . I don't think you can wait until you have all your troops and are sure you are going to win. You have got to start and go ahead. "You have got to have a few martyrs," Dulles said. "Some people have to get killed."   
   Chapter 7
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
  Allen Dulles asked his colleagues at the Princeton Inn to consider how best to destroy Stalin's ability to control his satellite states. He believed that communism could be undone by covert action. The CIA was ready to roll back Russia to its old borders. "If we are going to move in and take the offensive, Eastern Europe presents the best place to start," he said. "I don't want a bloody battle," he said, "but I would like to see things started." Chip Bohlen spoke up. Soon to be named the American ambassador to Moscow, Bohlen had been in on the game from the start. The seeds of the CIA's political-warfare program were first planted at the Sunday night suppers he had attended five years before. "Are we waging political warfare?" he asked Dulles rhetorically.
"We have been waging it since 1946. A lot has been going on. Whether it has been effective, or done in the best way, is another question. "When you ask, 'Shall we go on the offensive?' I see a vast field of illusion," Bohlen said. While the war in Korea still raged, the Joint Chiefs commanded Frank Wisner and the CIA to conduct "a major covert offensive against the Soviet Union," aimed at "the heartland of the communist control system." Wisner tried. 
The Marshall Plan was being transformed into pacts providing America's allies with weapons, and Wisner saw this as a chance to arm secret stay-behind forces to fight the Soviets in the event of war. He was seeding the ground all over Europe. Throughout the mountains and forests of Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, and Greece, his men were dropping gold ingots into lakes and burying caches of weapons for the coming battle. In the marshes and foothills of Ukraine and the Baltics, his pilots were dropping agents to their deaths. In Germany, more than a thousand of his officers were slipping leaflets into East Berlin, forging postal stamps carrying a portrait of the East German leader Walter Ulbricht with a hangman's noose around his neck, and plotting out paramilitary missions in Poland. None of this provided insight into the nature of the Soviet threat. Operations to sabotage the Soviet empire kept overwhelming plans to spy on it. 
                                                                                                                                                                                             PART TWO 
  A Strange Kind of Genius" The CIA Under Eisenhower 1953 to 1961
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chapter 8
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
  Allen Dulles had been director of central intelligence for one week when, on March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin died. "We have no reliable inside intelligence on thinking inside the Kremlin," the agency lamented a few days later. "Our estimates of Soviet long-range plans and intentions are speculations drawn from inadequate evidence." The new president of the United States was not pleased. "Ever since 1946," Eisenhower fumed, "all the so-called experts have been yapping about what would happen when Stalin dies and what we as a nation should do about it. Well, he's dead. And you can turn the files of our government inside out—in vain—looking for any plans laid. We have no plan. We are not even sure what difference his death makes." Stalin's death intensified American fears about Soviet intentions. The question for the CIA was whether Stalin's successors—whoever they might be—would launch a preemptive war. But the agency's speculations about the Soviets were reflections in a funhouse mirror. Stalin never had a master plan for world domination, nor the means to pursue it. The man who eventually took control of the Soviet Union after his death, Nikita Khrushchev, recalled that Stalin "trembled" and "quivered" at the prospect of a global combat with America. "He was afraid of war," Khrushchev said. "Stalin never did anything to provoke a war with the United States. He knew his weakness."
  One of the fundamental failings of the Soviet state was that every facet of daily life was subordinated to national security. Stalin and his successors were pathological about their frontiers. Napoleon had invaded from Paris, and then Hitler from Berlin. Stalin's only coherent postwar foreign policy had been to turn Eastern Europe into an enormous human shield. While he devoted his energies to murdering his internal enemies, the Soviet people stood in endless lines waiting to buy a sack of potatoes. Americans were about to enjoy eight years of peace and prosperity under Eisenhower. But that peace came at the cost of a skyrocketing arms race, political witch hunts, and a permanent war economy. Eisenhower's challenge was to confront the Soviet Union without starting World War III or subverting American democracy. He feared that the costs of the cold war could cripple the United States; if his generals and admirals had their way, they would consume the treasury. He decided to base his strategy on secret weapons: nuclear bombs and covert action. They were far cheaper than multibillion-dollar fleets of fighter jets and flotillas of aircraft carriers. With enough nuclear firepower, the United States could deter the Soviets from starting a new world war—or win the war if it came. With a global campaign of covert action, the United States could stop the spread of communism—or, as was Eisenhower's publicly proclaimed policy, roll back the Russians. Ike bet the fate of the nation on his nuclear arsenal and his spy service. Questions about their best use arose at almost every meeting of the National Security Council early in his presidency. The NSC, created in 1947 to govern the use of American power abroad, had been rarely convened under Truman. Eisenhower revived it and ran it as a good general runs his staff. Every week, Allen Dulles left the slightly shabby confines of his offices and stepped into his black limousine; drove past the crumbling Temporaries, where Wisner and his covert operators worked; and entered the gates of the White House. He took his seat at the great oval desk in the Cabinet Room, facing his brother Foster, the secretary of state, along with the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and the president. Allen typically opened each meeting with a tour of the world's hot spots. Then the talk turned to the strategies of secret war.
Eisenhower worried endlessly about a nuclear Pearl Harbor, and the CIA could not ease his mind. At the June 5, 1953, meeting of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles told him that the agency could not give him "any prior warning through intelligence channels of a Soviet sneak attack." A few months later, the CIA ventured a guess that the Soviets would be incapable of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile at the United States before 1969. The estimate proved to be off by a dozen years. In August 1953, when the Soviet Union tested its first weapon of mass destruction—not quite a thermonuclear bomb, but near enough—the agency had no clue and gave no warning. Six weeks later, when Allen Dulles briefed the president on the Soviet test, Eisenhower wondered whether he should launch an all-out nuclear strike on Moscow before it was too late. He said it looked "as though the hour of decision were at hand, and that we should presently have to really face the question of whether or not we would have to throw everything at once against the enemy," say the NSC's declassified minutes. "He had raised this terrible question because there was no sense in our now merely shuddering at the enemy's capability," especially when the United States could not know if Moscow had one nuclear weapon or one thousand. "We were engaged in the defense of a way of life, and the great danger was that in defending this way of life we would find ourselves resorting to methods that endangered this way of life. The real problem, as the President saw it, was to devise methods of meeting the Soviet threat and of adopting controls, if necessary, that would not result in our transformation into a garrison state. The whole thing, said the President, was a paradox." When Dulles warned the president that "the Russians could launch an atomic attack on the United States tomorrow," Eisenhower replied that "he didn't think anyone here thought the cost of winning a global war against the Soviet Union was a cost too high to pay." But the price of victory might be the destruction of American democracy. The president noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had told him, "we should do what was necessary even if the result was to change the American way of life. We could lick the whole world .. . if we were willing to adopt the system of Adolph Hitler.
  Eisenhower had thought he could confront the paradox with covert action. But a bitter battle in East Berlin had revealed the CIA's inability to confront communism head-on. On June 16 and 17, 1953, nearly 370,000 East Germans took to the streets. Thousands of students and workers struck violently at their oppressors, burning Soviet and East German Communist Party buildings, trashing police cars, and trying to stop the Soviet tanks that crushed their spirits. The uprising was far larger than the CIA first realized, but the agency could do nothing to save the rebels. Though Frank Wisner weighed the risks of trying to arm the East Berliners, he balked. His liberation armies proved worthless. On June 18, he said that the CIA "should do nothing at this time to incite East Germans to further actions." The uprising was crushed. The next week, Eisenhower ordered the CIA to "train and equip underground organizations capable of launching large-scale raids or sustained warfare" in East Germany and the other Soviet satellites. The order also called upon the CIA to "encourage elimination of key puppet officials" in the captive states. Elimination meant what it said. But the order was an empty gesture. The president was learning the limits of the CIA's abilities. That summer, in the White House Solarium, Eisenhower convened the men he trusted most in the realm of national security— among them Walter Bedell Smith, George Kennan, Foster Dulles, and retired air force lieutenant general James R. Doolittle, the pilot who had led the bombing of Tokyo in 1942—and asked them to redefine American national strategy toward the Soviets. By the end of the Solarium project, the idea of rolling back Russia through covert action was pronounced dead at age five. The president began trying to redirect the agency. The CIA would fight the enemy in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America— and wherever colonial empires crumbled. Under Eisenhower, the agency undertook 170 new major covert actions in 48 nations—political, psychological, and paramilitary warfare missions in countries where American spies knew little of the culture or the language or the history of the people. Eisenhower often made his initial decisions on covert action in private conversations with the Dulles brothers. Typically, Allen spoke to Foster with a proposal for an operation, and Foster spoke to the president over a cocktail in the Oval Office. Foster went back to Allen with the president's approval and an admonition: don't get caught. The brothers  steered the course of covert action in private conversations at their respective headquarters, on the telephone, or on Sundays by the swimming pool with their sister, Eleanor, a State Department officer herself. Foster firmly believed that the United States should do everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America. Allen wholeheartedly agreed. With Eisenhower's blessings, they set out to remake the map of the world 
From his first days in power, Allen Dulles polished the public image of the CIA, cultivating America's most powerful publishers and broadcasters, charming senators and congressmen, courting newspaper columnists. He found dignified publicity far more suitable than discreet silence. Dulles kept in close touch with the men who ran The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the nation's leading weekly magazines. He could pick up the phone and edit a breaking story, make sure an irritating foreign correspondent was yanked from the field, or hire the services of men such as Time's Berlin bureau chief and Newsweek's man in Tokyo. It was second nature for Dulles to plant stories in the press. American newsrooms were dominated by veterans of the government's wartime propaganda branch, the Office of War Information, once part of Wild Bill Donovan's domain.
The men who responded to the CIA's call included Henry Luce and his editors at Time, Look, and Fortune; popular magazines such as Parade, the Saturday Review, and Reader's Digest; and the most powerful executives at CBS News.
Dulles built a public-relations and propaganda machine that came to include more than fifty news organizations, a dozen publishing houses, and personal pledges of support from men such as Axel Springer, West Germany's most powerful press baron. Dulles wanted to be seen as the subtle master of a professional spy service. The press dutifully reflected that image. But the archives of the CIA tell a different story. The minutes of the daily meetings of Dulles and his deputies depict an agency lurching from international crisis to internal calamities—rampant alcoholism, financial malfeasance, mass resignations. What should be  done about a CIA officer who had killed a British colleague and faced trial for manslaughter?
Why had the former station chief in Switzerland committed suicide? What could be done about the lack of talent in the clandestine service? The agency's new inspector general, Lyman Kirkpatrick, became a constant bearer of bad tidings about the caliber of the CIA's personnel, training, and performance. He warned Dulles that hundreds of the skilled military officers that the CIA had hired during the Korean War were quitting, and "it was most evident that a too-high percentage were leaving with an unfriendly attitude toward the CIA." At the end of the war, a group of junior and midlevel CIA officers, appalled at the poor morale at headquarters, demanded and received permission to conduct an internal poll of their peers. They interviewed 115 CIA personnel and wrote a long, detailed report, completed at the end of Dulles's first year as director.
They described "a rapidly deteriorating situation": widespread frustration, confusion, and purposelessness. Bright and patriotic people had been recruited with promises of exciting overseas service—"a completely false impression"—and then stuck in dead-end posts as typists and messengers. Hundreds of officers returned from foreign assignments to wander through headquarters for months, looking for new assignments without success. "The harm accruing to the Agency from inert personnel practices mounts in geometric, not arithmetic progression," they reported. "For every capable officer that the Agency loses through discontent or frustration, there may well be two or three more competent men (sharing the same educational, professional or social background) that the Agency will never have the opportunity to employ. . . . The harm done may be irreparable." The CIA's young officers worked for "too many people in responsible positions who apparently don't know what they're doing."
They watched "a shocking amount of money" going to waste on failed missions overseas. One of Frank Wisner's case officers wrote that the operations he worked on were "largely ineffectual and quite expensive. Some are directed at targets that are hardly logical—let alone legitimate. Thus, to protect jobs and prestige, both here and in the field, Headquarters' mission is to whitewash operational budget and programming justifications with, to say the least, exaggerated statements." They concluded that "the Agency is shot through with mediocrity and less."
These young officers had seen an intelligence service that was lying to itself. They described a CIA in which incompetent people were given great power and capable recruits were stacked like cordwood in the corridors. Allen Dulles suppressed their report. Nothing changed. Forty-three years later, in 1996, a congressional investigation concluded that the CIA "continues to face a major personnel crisis that it has, thus far, not addressed in any coherent way. . . . 
Today the CIA still does not have enough qualified case officers to staff many of its stations around the world." 
Eisenhower wanted to shape the CIA into an efficient instrument of presidential power. He tried to impose a command structure on the agency through Walter Bedell Smith. In the days after Eisenhower's election, the general had expected to be named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was devastated by Eisenhower's decision to make him the undersecretary of state. Bedell Smith did not want to be second-in-command to Foster Dulles, a man he regarded as a pompous blowhard. But Ike wanted him—and needed him—to serve as an honest broker between himself and the Dulles brothers. Bedell Smith vented his anger to Vice President Nixon, his neighbor in Washington. From time to time the general would drop in for a visit, Nixon remembered, and "a couple of drinks would loosen his tongue a bit in an uncharacteristic way. . . . And I remember one night we were sitting having scotch and soda, and Bedell got very emotional, and he said, 1 want to tell you something about Ike. .. . I was just Ike's prat boy. .. . Ike has to have somebody to do the dirty work that he doesn't want to do so that he can look like the good guy.' " Bedell Smith did that work as Ike's overseer of covert action. He served as the crucial link between the White House and the CIA's secret operations. As the driving force of the newly created Operations Coordinating Board, he carried out the secret directives from the president and the National Security Council, and he oversaw the CIA's execution of those orders. His handpicked ambassadors played central roles in carrying out these missions.
  During the nineteen months that Bedell Smith served as the president's proconsul for covert action, the agency carried out the only two victorious coups in its history. The declassified records of those coups show that they succeeded by bribery and coercion and brute force, not secrecy and stealth and cunning. But they created the legend that the CIA was a silver bullet in the arsenal of democracy. They gave the agency the aura that Dulles coveted.
Deeply wary, Walter Bedell Smith dispatched a trusted three-star general, Lucian K. Truscott, an officer with impeccable connections and a distinguished war record, to take over the CIA's operations in Germany and to find out what Wisner's men were doing. General Truscott's orders were to suspend every scheme he deemed dubious. Upon his arrival, he chose Tom Polgar of the CIA's Berlin base as his chief aide. They found several ticking time bombs. Among them was one very dark secret, described in CIA documents of the day as a program of "overseas interrogations."
The agency had set up clandestine prisons to wring confessions out of suspected double agents. One was in Germany, another in Japan. The third, and the biggest, was in the Panama Canal Zone. "Like Guantânamo," Polgar said in 2005. "It was anything goes."
The zone was its own world, seized by the United States at the turn of the century, bulldozed out of the jungles that surrounded the Panama Canal. On a naval base in the zone, the CIA's office of security had refitted a complex of cinder-block prison cells inside a navy brig normally used to house drunk and disorderly sailors.
In those cells, the agency was conducting secret experiments in harsh interrogation, using techniques on the edge of torture, drug-induced mind control, and brainwashing. The project dated back to 1948, when Richard Helms and his officers in Germany realized they were being defrauded by double agents. The effort began as a crash program in 1950, when the Korean War erupted and a sense of emergency seized the CIA. 
Late that summer, as the temperature approached a hundred degrees in Panama, two Russian émigrés who had been delivered to the Canal Zone from Germany were injected with drugs and brutally interrogated. Along with four suspected North Korean double agents subjected to the same treatment at a military base commandeered by the CIA in Japan, they were among the first known human guinea pigs under a program code-named Project Artichoke, a small but significant part of a fifteen-year search by the CIA for ways to control the human mind. Many of the Russians and East Germans whom the agency had recruited as agents and informers in Germany had gone sour. After they had given up what little knowledge they had, they resorted to deception or blackmail to extend their short careers.
More than a few of them were suspected of working in secret for the Soviets. The issue became urgent when CIA officers came to realize that the communist intelligence and security services were far bigger and significantly more sophisticated than the agency. Richard Helms once said that American intelligence officers were trained to believe that they could not count on a foreign agent "unless you own him body and soul."
The need for a way to own a man's soul led to the search for mind-control drugs and secret prisons in which to test them. Dulles, Wisner, and Helms were personally responsible for these endeavors. On May 15, 1952, Dulles and Wisner received a report on Project Artichoke, spelling out the agency's four-year effort to test heroin, amphetamines, sleeping pills, the newly discovered LSD, and other "special techniques in CIA interrogations." Part of the project sought to find an interrogation technique so strong that "the individual under its influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning." 
A few months later, Dulles approved an ambitious new program code-named Ultra. Under its auspices, seven prisoners at a federal penitentiary in Kentucky were kept high on LSD for seventy-seven consecutive days. When the CIA slipped the same drug to an army civilian employee, Frank Olson, he leaped out of the window of a New York hotel. Like the suspected double agents sent to the secret brig in Panama, these men were expendable conscripts in the battle to defeat the Soviets. Senior CIA officers, including Helms, destroyed almost all the records of these programs in fear that they might become public.
The evidence  that remains is fragmentary, but it strongly suggests that use of secret prisons for the forcible drug-induced questioning of suspect agents went on throughout the 1950s. Members of the clandestine service, the agency's security office, and the CIA's scientists and doctors met monthly to discuss the progress of Project Artichoke until 1956. "These discussions included the planning of overseas interrogations," the agency's files show, and the use of "special interrogation" techniques continued for several years thereafter. The drive to penetrate the iron curtain had led the CIA to adopt the tactics of its enemies.
Among the CIA operations that General Truscott killed off was a project to support a group called the Young Germans. Many of its leaders were aging Hitler Youth. The membership rolls had grown to more than twenty thousand in 1952. They enthusiastically took the CIA's weapons, radios, cameras, and money and buried them all over the country. They also began drawing up their own extensive hit list of mainstream democratic West German politicians to be assassinated when the hour was at hand. The Young Germans became so blatant that their existence and their enemies list blew up into a public scandal. "That became cause for a great deal of concern and a major flap when the secrecy was broken," said John McMahon, a future deputy director of central intelligence, then a young CIA officer on Truscott's staff. On the same day that Dulles was speaking at the Princeton Inn, Henry Hecksher was writing a heartfelt plea to CIA headquarters. For years, Hecksher, soon to become chief of the Berlin base, had cultivated a unique agent inside East Germany, Horst Erdmann, who ran an impressive organization called the Free Jurists' Committee. The Free Jurists were an underground group of young lawyers and paralegals challenging the communist regime in East Berlin. They compiled dossiers on the crimes committed by the state. An International Congress of Jurists was set to convene in West Berlin in July 1952, and the Free Jurists could play an important political part on a world stage. 
Wisner wanted to take control of the Free Jurists and turn them into an armed underground. Hecksher protested. These men were sources of intelligence, he argued, and if they were forced into a paramilitary role, they would become cannon fodder. He was overruled. Wisner's officers in Berlin selected one of General Reinhard Gehlen's officers to transform the group into a fighting force made up of three-man cells. But every member of every cell they created knew the identity of every other member of every other cell—a classic lapse in security. After Soviet soldiers kidnapped and tortured one of their leaders on the eve of the international conference, every one of the CIA's Free Jurists was arrested. Toward the end of 1952, in the last months of Smith's tenure as director of central intelligence, more of Wisner's hastily improvised operations began coming apart. The fallout left a lasting impression on a newly anointed CIA officer named Ted Shackley, who started a supercharged career at the agency as a second lieutenant shanghaied from his job training military police in West Virginia.
His first assignment was to make himself familiar with a major Wisner operation to support a Polish liberation army, the Freedom and Independence Movement, known as WIN. Wisner and his men had dropped roughly $5 million worth of gold bars, submachine guns, rifles, ammunition, and two-way radios into Poland. 
They had established trusted contacts with "WIN outside," a handful of émigrés in Germany and London. They believed that "WIN inside" was a powerful force—five hundred soldiers in Poland, twenty thousand armed partisans, and a hundred thousand sympathizers—all prepared to fight the Red Army. It was an illusion. The Polish secret police, backed by the Soviets, had wiped out WIN back in 1947. "WIN inside" was a phantom, a communist trick. In 1950, a clueless courier was sent to alert the Polish émigrés in London. His message was that WIN lived and thrived in Warsaw.
The émigrés contacted Wisner's men, who leaped at the chance to build a resistance group behind enemy lines, and parachuted as many patriots as possible back into Poland. At headquarters, the CIA's leaders thought they had finally beaten the communists at their own game. "Poland represents one of the most promising areas for the development of underground resistance," 
Bedell Smith said at a meeting of his deputies in August 1952. Wisner told him that "WIN is now riding high." The Soviet and Polish intelligence services had spent years setting their traps. "They were well aware of our air operations. When we would drop these agents in," McMahon said, "they would go out and make contact with people we knew would be helpful to us. And the Poles and the KGB were right in back of them and would mop them up. So it was a well thought-out plan, except we were recruiting agents of the Soviet Union. It turned out to be a monumental disaster. People died." Perhaps thirty, maybe more, were lost.
Shackley said he never forgot the sight of his fellow officers realizing that five years of planning and millions of dollars had gone down the drain. The unkindest cut might have been their discovery that the Poles had sent a chunk of the CIA's money to the Communist Party of Italy. "CIA had clearly thought they could operate in Eastern Europe the way the OSS had operated in occupied Western Europe during the war," said the CIA's Henry Loomis, a future chief of the Voice of America. "That was clearly impossible." In Washington, Frank Lindsay, who had run operations in Eastern Europe from headquarters, resigned in anguish.
He told Dulles and Wisner that scientific and technical means of spying on the Soviets would have to replace covert action as the CIA's strategy against communism. Quixotic paramilitary missions to support imaginary resistance movements could not push the Russians out of Europe. In Germany, McMahon had spent months reading all the cable traffic coming in to the station. He came to a stark conclusion. "We had no capability there," he said years later. "Our insight into the Soviet Union was zero."
 The CIA was now a worldwide force with fifteen thousand people, half a billion dollars in secret funds to spend each year, and more than fifty overseas stations. By sheer willpower, Bedell Smith had shaped it into an organization that looked much the way it would for the next fifty years. He had forged the Office of Policy Coordination and the Office of Special Operations into a single clandestine service to serve abroad, created a unified system for analysis at home, and achieved a measure of respect for the CIA at the White House. But he had never made it a professional intelligence service. "We can't get qualified people," he lamented in his last days as director of central intelligence. "They just simply don't exist." And he had never made Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner bend to his authority. A week before the 1952 presidential election, Bedell Smith tried one last time to bring them under control. On October 27, he convened a conference of the CIA's twenty-six most senior officers and proclaimed that "until CIA could build a reserve of well-trained people, it would have to hold its activities to the limited number of operations that it could do well, rather than attempt to cover a broad field with poor performance" from "improperly trained or inferior personnel." 
Galvanized by Truscott's investigations in Germany, the general ordered the convening of a "Murder Board"—a jury that could kill off the worst of the CIA's covert operations. Wisner immediately fought back. He said that shutting down dubious operations would be a long and painful process, and it would take many, many months—well into the next administration—for Bedell Smith's order to be carried out. The general was defeated and the Murder Board defused. Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidency on a national-security platform that called for the free world to liberate the Soviet satellites, a script written by his closest foreign-policy adviser, John Foster Dulles.
Their victory plans called for a new director of central intelligence. Chosen over Bedell Smith's protests, confirmed without opposition in the Senate, and cheered on by the press, Allen Dulles finally won the job he coveted. Richard Helms had known Dulles well for eight years, ever since they traveled together to the little red schoolhouse in France where Bedell Smith had accepted the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich. Helms was forty now, a tightly wired man, not a slicked-back hair out of place nor a stray paper on his desk when the lights went out at night. Dulles was sixty, shuffling in the carpet slippers he wore in private to ease his gout, ever the absentminded professor. Not long after Eisenhower's election, Dulles buzzed Helms into the director's chambers, and the two men sat down for a chat. "A word about the future," Dulles said, filling the air with great clouds of pipe smoke.
 "The Agency's future." 
"You remember the conniving and blood-spilling that went on when we were trying to sort things out in 1946? What would Central Intelligence be responsible for? Would there even be a service?" Dulles wanted Helms to understand that as long as he was the director of central intelligence, there was damned well going to be a service devoted to daring, difficult, dangerous missions. "I want to be absolutely sure you understand how important covert action operations are right now," Dulles said. "The White House and this administration have an intense interest in every aspect of covert action. " Over the next eight years, through his devotion to covert action, his disdain for the details of analysis, and his dangerous practice of deceiving the president of the United States, Allen Dulles did untold damage to the agency he had helped to create.   
Chapter 9
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)                      
     In January 1953, a few days before Eisenhower's inauguration, Walter Bedell Smith called Kim Roosevelt in at CIA headquarters and asked: "When is our goddamn operation going to get underway?" Two months before, in early November 1952, Roosevelt, the CIA's Near East operations chief, had gone to Tehran to clean up a mess for his friends in British intelligence. Iran's prime minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, had caught the British trying to topple him. He had expelled everyone in their embassy, including the spies. Roosevelt had arrived to preserve and pay off a network of Iranian agents who had worked for the British but were happy to accept American largesse. On the way home, he stopped in London to report to his British colleagues. He learned that Prime Minister Winston Churchill wanted the CIA to help overthrow Iran. Iran's oil had propelled Churchill to power and glory forty years before. Now Sir Winston wanted it back. On the eve of World War I, Churchill, as first lord of the British Admiralty, had converted the Royal Navy from coal-burning to oil-burning ships. He championed the British purchase of 51 percent of the new Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which had struck the first of Iran's oil five years before. The British took a lion's share. Not only did Iranian oil fuel Churchill's new armada, but the revenues paid for it. The oil became the lifeblood of the British exchequer. While Britannia ruled the waves, British, Russian, and Turkish troops trampled northern Iran, destroying much of the nation's agriculture and sparking a famine that killed perhaps two million people. Out of this chaos arose a Cossack commander, Reza Khan, who seized power with guile and force. In 1925, he was proclaimed the shah of Iran. 
A nationalist politician named Mohammad Mossadeq was one of the four members of the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, who opposed him. The Majlis soon discovered that the British oil giant, now the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, systematically cheated their government of billions. Hatred of the British and fear of the Soviets ran so high in Iran in the 1930s that the Nazis made deep inroads there—so deep that Churchill and Stalin invaded Iran in August 1941. They exiled Reza Khan and installed his pliant, dewy-eyed twenty-one-year-old son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. While Soviet and British armies occupied Iran, American forces used its airports and roads to transport roughly $ 18 billion worth of military aid to Stalin. The only American of consequence in Iran during World War II was General Norman Schwarzkopf, who organized Iran's Gendarmerie, the rural police (his son and namesake was the commander of the 1991 war on Iraq, Operation Desert Storm). Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin held a war conference in Tehran in December 1943, but the allies left behind a starving nation where oil workers made fifty cents a day and the young shah held power through electoral fraud. After the war, Mossadeq called upon the Majlis to renegotiate the British oil concession. Anglo-Iranian Oil controlled the world's largest known reserves. Its offshore refinery at Abadan was the biggest on earth. While British oil executives and technicians played in private clubs and swimming pools, Iranian oil workers lived in shanties without running water, electricity, or sewers; the injustice bred support for the communist Tudeh Party of Iran, which claimed about 2,500 members at the time. 
The British took twice as much income from the oil as the Iranians. Now Iran demanded a fifty-fifty split. The British refused. They tried to sway opinion by paying off politicians, newspaper editors, and the state radio director, among others. The British intelligence chief in Tehran, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, warned his compatriots that they were courting disaster. It came in April 1951, when the Majlis voted to nationalize Iran's oil production.
A few days later, Mohammad Mossadeq became Iran's prime minister. By the end of June, British warships were off the coast of Iran. In July, the American ambassador, Henry Grady, reported that the British, in an act of "utter folly," were trying to overthrow Mossadeq. In September, the British solidified an international boycott of Iran's oil, an act of economic warfare intended to destroy Mossadeq. Then Churchill returned to power as prime minister. He was seventy-six; Mossadeq was sixtynine. Both were stubborn old men who conducted affairs of state in their pajamas. British commanders drew up plans for seventy thousand troops to seize Iran's oil fields and the Abadan refinery. Mossadeq took his case to the United Nations and the White House, laying on the charm in public while warning Truman in private that a British attack could set off World War III.
Truman told Churchill flatly that the United States would never back such an invasion. Churchill countered that the price for British military support in the Korean War was American political support for his position in Iran. They reached an impasse in the summer of 1952.
The British spy Monty Woodhouse flew to Washington to meet with Walter Bedell Smith and Frank Wisner. On November 26, 1952, they discussed how to "unseat Mossadeq." Their plot began in the twilight of a presidential transition—as Truman's power faded, the coup plans grew. As Wisner said when the plot was in full cry, there were times when "CIA makes policy by default." The stated foreign policy of the United States was to support Mossadeq. But the CIA was setting out to depose him without the imprimatur of the White House. On February 18, 1953, the newly installed chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service arrived in Washington. Sir John Sinclair, a softspoken Scotsman known to the public as "C" and to his friends as "Sinbad," met with Allen Dulles and proposed Kim Roosevelt as field commander for a coup. The British gave their plan the prosaic title of Operation Boot.
Roosevelt had a grander name: Operation Ajax, after the mythical hero of the Trojan War (a strange choice, as legend has it that Ajax went mad, slew a flock of sheep thinking they were warriors, and killed himself in shame after he came to his senses). Roosevelt ran the show with flair. He had been working for two years on political, propaganda, and paramilitary operations to fight off a feared  Soviet invasion in Iran. CIA officers already had enough cash and guns stashed away to support ten thousand tribal warriors for six months. 
He had the authority to attack the Tudeh, the small, influential, outlawed Communist party of Iran. Now he shifted his target, aiming to undermine support for Mossadeq inside Iran's mainstream political and religious parties. Roosevelt started stepping up a campaign of bribery and subversion. The agency's officers and their Iranian agents rented the allegiances of political hacks, holy men, and thugs. They bought the services of street gangs who broke up Tudeh rallies with their bare knuckles and mullahs who denounced Mossadeq from the mosques. The CIA did not have Britain's decades of experience in Iran, nor nearly as many recruited Iranian agents. But it had more money to hand out: at least $1 million a year, a great fortune in one of the world's poorer nations. The CIA took its cues from the influence-buying network controlled by British intelligence.
It was run by the Rashidian brothers, three sons of an Iranian Anglophile who controlled ships, banks, and real estate. The Rashidians had clout with members of the Iranian parliament. They held sway among the leading merchants of the bazaar, the unacknowledged legislators of Tehran. 
They bribed senators, senior military officers, editors and publishers, goon squads, and at least one member of Mossadeq's cabinet. They bought information with cookie tins filled with cash. Their circle even included the shah's chief manservant. It would prove a catalyst in the coup. Allen Dulles walked into the March 4, 1953, National Security Council meeting with seven pages of briefing notes focused on the "consequences of Soviet take over" in Iran. The country faced "a maturing revolutionary set-up," and if it went communist, all the dominoes of the Middle East would fall. Sixty percent of the free world's oil would be in Moscow's hands. This disastrous loss would "seriously deplete our reserves for war," Dulles warned; oil and gasoline would have to be rationed in the United States. The president did not buy a word of it. He thought it might be better to offer Mossadeq a $ 100 million loan, in order to stabilize his government, rather than to overthrow it. Monty Woodhouse tactfully suggested to his American counterparts at the CIA that they might take a different approach in presenting the problem to Eisenhower. They could not maintain that Mossadeq was a communist. But they could argue that the longer he remained in power,  the greater the danger that the Soviets would invade Iran. Kim Roosevelt fine-tuned this pitch for the president's ear: If Mossadeq wobbled to the left, Iran would fall to the Soviets. 
But if he was pushed the right way, the CIA could make sure that the government fell into American control. Mossadeq played straight into this trap. In a miscalculated bluff, he raised the specter of the Soviet threat with the American embassy in Tehran. He expected to be "rescued by the Americans," said John H. Stutesman, an American diplomat who knew Mossadeq well and served as the State Department officer in charge of Iranian affairs in 1953. "Mossadeq felt that if he kicked out the British, and threatened the Americans with Russian hegemony, that we'd rush in. He wasn't that far wrong." On March 18, 1953, Frank Wisner informed Roosevelt and Woodhouse that they had an initial go-ahead from Allen Dulles. On April 4, CIA headquarters sent $ 1 million to the Tehran station. But Eisenhower still had his doubts, as did other key players in the plan to overthrow Iran. 
The president made an eloquent speech a few days later called "The Chance for Peace," in which he declared that "any nation's right to form a government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable," and "any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible." These ideas struck home with the CIA's station chief in Tehran, Roger Goiran, who asked headquarters why the United States would want to ally itself with the traditions of British colonialism in the Middle East. It was a historic mistake, he argued, a longterm disaster for American interests. Allen Dulles recalled him to Washington and dismissed him as station chief.
The U.S. ambassador to Iran, Loy Henderson, who had been in on the plans from the start, strongly opposed the British choice of a dissolute retired major general, Fazlollah Zahedi, as the front man for the coup. Mossadeq had told the ambassador that he knew Zahedi was a British-backed traitor. Despite that, the British nominated and the CIA seconded Zahedi, the only man openly bidding for power who was thought to be pro-American. In late April, he went into hiding after the kidnapping and murder of Iran's national police chief—with good reason, for the suspected killers were his own supporters. He did not resurface for eleven weeks. 
 In May, the plot gained momentum, though it still lacked the president's approval. It was now in its final draft. Zahedi, armed with $75,000 in CIA cash, would form a military secretariat and choose colonels to mount the coup. A group of religious fanatics called the Warriors of Islam—a "terrorist gang," says a CIA history of the coup—would threaten the lives of Mossadeq's political and personal supporters inside and outside the government. They would stage violent attacks on respected religious leaders that would look as if they were the work of the communists. The CIA drew up pamphlets and posters as part of a $150,000 propaganda campaign to control Iran's press and public, proclaiming that "Mossadeq favors the Tudeh Party and the USSR. . . . Mossadeq is an enemy of Islam. . . . Mossadeq is deliberately destroying the morale of the Army. . . . Mossadeq is deliberately leading the country into economic collapse. . . . Mossadeq has been corrupted by power." On D-Day, the coup plotters led by Zahedi's military secretariat would seize the army's general staff headquarters, Radio Tehran, Mossadeq's home, the central bank, police headquarters, and the telephone and telegraph offices.
They would arrest Mossadeq and his cabinet. More money, $11,000 a week, immediately went to buy off enough members of the Majlis to ensure that a majority would proclaim Zahedi as the new prime minister. This last detail had the advantage of giving the coup an appearance of legality. Zahedi, in turn, would pledge fealty to the shah and restore his monarchy to power. Would the weak-willed shah play his role? Ambassador Henderson did not believe he had the backbone to support a coup. But Roosevelt thought it would be hopeless to go ahead without him. On June 15, Roosevelt went to London to show the plan to the boffins of British intelligence. They met in a headquarters conference room with a sign that read, "Curb Your Guests." No objections were raised. 
The Americans, after all, were footing the bill. The British had conceived the coup, but their leaders could not play a commanding role in its execution. On June 23, Foreign Minister Anthony Eden had major abdominal surgery in Boston. That same day, Winston Churchill suffered a severe stroke and almost died; the news was kept so quiet that the CIA heard nothing of it. Over the next two weeks, the agency set up a two-pronged chain of command. One would run Zahedi's military secretariat. The other would control the political warfare and propaganda campaign. Both reported LEGAC Y of ASHE S 87 directly to Frank Wisner. Kim Roosevelt set out to fly to Beirut, drive through Syria and Iraq into Iran, and link up with the Rashidian brothers. The CIA awaited a green light from the president of the United States. It came on July 11. And from that moment on, almost everything went wrong.  
The secrecy of the mission was blown before day one. On July 7, the CIA had monitored a Tudeh Party radio broadcast. The clandestine radio warned Iranians that the American government, along with various "spies and traitors," including General Zahedi, were working "to liquidate the Mossadeq government." Mossadeq had his own military and political intelligence sources, independent of the Tudeh, and he knew what he was up against. Then the CIA discovered that its coup had no troops. General Zahedi had not a single soldier under his control. The agency had no map of the military situation in Tehran, no roster of the Iranian army. Kim Roosevelt turned to Brigadier General Robert A. McClure, the father of U.S. special-operations forces. McClure was Eisenhower's chief intelligence officer during World War II, ran the army's Psychological Warfare Division during the Korean War, and specialized in overseeing joint operations with the CIA. He had worked side by side with Dulles and Wisner, and he trusted neither man. General McClure had gone to Tehran to run the American military assistance advisory group, established in 1950 to provide up-and-coming Iranian officers with military support, training, and advice. As part of the CIA's war of nerves, he cut off American contact with pro-Mossadeq commanders. Roosevelt relied entirely on McClure for a picture of the Iranian military and the political loyalties of its senior officers. President Eisenhower personally insisted that McClure receive a second star after the coup, noting his "very fine relationships with the Shah and other senior people in whom we are interested." The CIA recruited a colonel who had served as the Iranian liaison to McClure's military assistance group to help run the coup. He secretly enlisted about forty fellow officers. Now all that was lacking was the shah. A CIA colonel, Stephen J. Meade, flew to Paris to pick up the shah's strong-willed and unpopular twin sister, Princess Ashraf. 
The CIA's script called for her to return from exile and persuade the shah to back General Zahedi. But Princess Ashraf was nowhere to be found. The British intelligence agent Asadollah Rashidian tracked her down on the French Riviera. It took another ten days to coax her onto a commercial flight to Tehran. The inducements included a large sum of cash and a mink coat from the British intelligence service, along with a promise from Colonel Meade that the United States would bankroll the royal family should the coup fail. After a stormy face-to-face confrontation with her twin, she left Tehran on July 30, wrongly convinced that she had stiffened his spine. The CIA brought in General Norman Schwarzkopf to bolster the shah on August 1. 
The shah, fearing that his palace was bugged, led the general into the grand ballroom, pulled a small table to its center, and whispered that he would not go along with the coup. He had no confidence that the army would back him. Kim Roosevelt spent the next week skulking in and out of the shah's palace, pressuring him mercilessly, warning him that his failure to follow the CIA could lead to a communist Iran or "a second Korea"—in either case, a death sentence for the monarch and his family. Terrified, the shah fled to his royal resort on the Caspian Sea. Roosevelt improvised furiously. He commissioned a royal decree dismissing Mossadeq and appointing General Zahedi as prime minister. He ordered the colonel who commanded the shah's imperial guard to present a signed copy of this legally dubious document to Mossadeq at gun-point and arrest him if he defied it. On August 12, the colonel chased after the shah on the Caspian and returned the next night with signed copies of the decrees. Now Roosevelt's Iranian agents cascaded into the streets of Tehran. Newspapermen and printing presses spewed propaganda: Mossadeq was a communist, Mossadeq was a Jew. The CIA's street thugs, posing as Tudeh Party members, attacked mullahs and defiled a mosque. Mossadeq counterattacked by shutting down the Majlis—under the law, only the Majlis could dismiss him, not the shah—rendering the senators and deputies whose votes had been purchased by the CIA useless.
 Roosevelt forged ahead. He cabled headquarters on August 14 with an urgent request for $5 million more to prop up General Zahedi. The coup was set for that night—and Mossadeq knew it. He mobilized the Tehran garrison of the Iranian army and surrounded his home with tanks and troops. When the shah's imperial guardsman went to arrest the prime minister, loyal officers seized him. Zahedi hid at a CIA safe house, watched over by one of Roosevelt's officers, a rookie named Rocky Stone. The CIA's hastily assembled cadre of Iranian colonels disintegrated. Radio Tehran went on the air at 5:45 a.m. on August 16 announcing that the coup had failed. CIA headquarters had no clue what to do next. Allen Dulles had left Washington a week earlier for an extended European vacation, blithely confident that all was well. He was out of touch. Frank Wisner was out of ideas. Roosevelt, on his own, decided to try to convince the world that it was Mossadeq who had staged the failed coup. 
He needed the shah to sell that story, but the monarch had fled the country. The American ambassador in Iraq, Burton Berry, learned a few hours later that the shah was in Baghdad, begging for help. Roosevelt fed the outlines of a script to Berry, who advised the shah to broadcast a statement saying he had fled in the face of a left-wing uprising. He did as instructed. Then he told his pilot to file a flight plan for the world capital of exiled monarchs: Rome. On the night of August 16, one of Roosevelt's officers handed $50,000 to the station's Iranian agents and told them to produce a crowd posing as communist goons. The next morning, hundreds of paid agitators flooded the streets of Tehran, looting, burning, and smashing the symbols of government. Actual members of the Tudeh Party joined them, but they soon realized "that a covert action was being staged," as the CIA station reported, and "tried to argue demonstrators into going home." 
After a second sleepless night, Roosevelt welcomed Ambassador Loy Henderson, who flew in from Beirut on August 17. On the way to meet him at the airport, members of the American embassy passed a toppled bronze statue of the shah's father, with only the boots left standing. Henderson, Roosevelt, and General McClure held a four-hour war council inside the embassy compound. The result was a new plan to create anarchy. Thanks to McClure, Iranian military officers were dispatched to outlying garrisons to enlist soldiers to support the coup. The CIA's Iranian agents were ordered to hire more street mobs. Religious emissaries were sent to persuade the supreme Shi'ite ayatollah in Iran to declare a holy war. But back at headquarters, Wisner despaired. He read the assessment of the CIA's best analysts that day: "The failure of the military coup in Tehran and the flight of the shah to Baghdad emphasize Prime Minister Mossadeq's continued mastery of the situation and foreshadow more drastic action on his part to eliminate all opposition." Late on the night of August 17, he sent a message to Tehran saying that, in the absence of strong recommendations to the contrary from Roosevelt and Henderson, the coup against Mossadeq should cease. 
A few hours later, sometime after 2 a.m., Wisner placed a frantic telephone call to John Waller, who was running the Iran desk at CIA headquarters. The shah had flown to Rome and checked into the Excelsior Hotel, Wisner reported. And then "a terrible, terrible coincidence occurred," Wisner said. "Can you guess what it is?" Waller could not imagine. "Think of the worst thing you can think of," Wisner said. "He was hit by a cab and killed," Waller replied. "No, no, no, no," Wisner responded. "John, maybe you don't know that Dulles had decided to extend his vacation by going to Rome. Now can you imagine what happened?" Waller shot back: "Dulles hit him with his car and killed him?" Wisner was not amused. "They both showed up at the reception desk at the Excelsior at the very same moment," Wisner said. "And Dulles had to say, 'After you, Your Majesty.' "  
 At dawn on August 19, the agency's hired mobs assembled in Tehran, ready for a riot. Buses and trucks filled with tribesmen from the south, their leaders all paid by the CIA, arrived in the capital. Ambassador Henderson's deputy chief of mission, William Rountree, described what happened next as "an almost spontaneous revolution." "It began with a public demonstration by a health club or exercise LEGAC Y of ASHE S 9\ club—lifting barbells and chains and that sort of thing," he recounted. These were weightlifters and circus strongmen recruited by the CIA for the day. "They began shouting anti-Mossadeq, pro-Shah slogans and proceeded to march through the streets. Many others joined them, and soon there was a substantial demonstration in favor of the Shah and against Mossadeq. Shouts of 'Long live the Shah!' spread throughout the city and the crowd went in the direction of the building housing the Mossadeq cabinet," where they seized ranking members of the government, burned four newspaper offices, and sacked the political headquarters of a pro-Mossadeq party. Two of the men in the crowd were religious leaders. One was the Ayatollah Ahmed Kashani. Alongside him was his fifty-one-yearold devotee, Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, the future leader of Iran. Roosevelt told his Iranian agents to hit the telegraph office, the propaganda ministry, and police and army headquarters. By afternoon, after a skirmish that killed at least three people, the CIA's agents were on the air at Radio Tehran. Roosevelt went to Zahedi's hideout, in the safe house run by the CIA's Rocky Stone, and told him to be ready to proclaim himself prime minister. Zahedi was so frightened that Stone had to button him into his military tunic. 
At least a hundred people died on the streets of Tehran that day. At least two hundred more were killed after the CIA directed the shah's Imperial Guard to attack Mossadeq's heavily defended home. The prime minister escaped but surrendered the next day. He spent the next three years incarcerated and a decade more under house arrest before he died. Roosevelt handed Zahedi $ 1 million in cash, and the new prime minister set out to crush all opposition and jail thousands of political prisoners. "The CIA did remarkably well in creating a situation in which, in the proper circumstances and atmosphere, a change could be effected," remembered Ambassador Rountree, later the assistant secretary of state for the Near East. "Quite clearly the matter did not work out as they had anticipated, or at least hoped, but it did work out in the end." In his hour of glory, Kim Roosevelt flew to London. On August 26, at two in the afternoon, he was received at 10 Downing Street by the prime minister. Winston Churchill was "in bad shape," Roosevelt reported, his speech slurred, his vision occluded, his memory fleeting: "The initials CIA meant nothing to him, but he had a vague idea that Roosevelt must be connected in some way with his old friend Bedell Smith." 
 Roosevelt was hailed as a hero at the White House.
 Faith in the magic of covert action soared. "Romantic gossip about the 'coup' in Iran spread around Washington like wildfire," remembered the CIA's Ray Cline, one of the agency's star analysts. "Allen Dulles basked in the glory of the exploit." But not everyone at headquarters saw the fall of Mossadeq as a triumph. "The trouble with this seemingly brilliant success" was "the extravagant impression of CIA's power that it created," Cline wrote. "It did not prove that CIA could topple governments and place rulers in power; it was a unique case of supplying just the right amount of marginal assistance in the right way at the right time." By renting the allegiances of soldiers and street mobs, the CIA had created a degree of violence sufficient to stage a coup. Money changed hands and those hands changed a regime. The shah returned to the throne and rigged the next parliamentary elections, using the CIA's street gangs as enforcers. He imposed three years of martial law and tightened his control over the country. He called upon the agency and the American military mission in Iran to help him secure his power by creating a new intelligence service, which became known as SAVAK. 
The CIA wanted SAVAK to serve as its eyes and ears against the Soviets. The shah wanted a secret police to protect his power. SAVAK, trained and equipped by the CIA, enforced his rule for more than twenty years. The shah became the centerpiece of American foreign policy in the Islamic world. For years to come, it would be the station chief, not the American ambassador, who spoke to the shah for the United States. 
The CIA wove itself into Iran's political culture, locked in "a passionate embrace with the Shah," said Andrew Killgore, a State Department political officer under the American ambassador from 1972 to 1976—Richard Helms. The coup "was regarded as CIA's greatest single triumph," Killgore said. "It was trumpeted as a great American national victory. We had changed the whole course of a country here." A generation of Iranians grew up knowing that the CIA had installed the shah. In time, the chaos that the agency had created in the streets of Tehran would return to haunt the United States. The illusion that the CIA could overthrow a nation by sleight of hand was alluring. It led the agency into a battle in Central America that went on for the next forty years.  
Chapter 10
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    
   Colonel Al Haney parked his new Cadillac at the edge of a decrepit air base in Opa-Locka, Florida, a few days after Christmas in 1953, stepped out onto the tarmac, and surveyed his new domain: three two-story barracks buildings on the fringes of the Everglades. Colonel Haney had buried the human wreckage he had created as the station chief in South Korea under a top secret shroud. Then he conned his way into a new command. A handsome rogue, thirty-nine years old, newly divorced, wearing a crisp army uniform on a muscular six-foot-two frame, he was Allen Dulles's newly appointed special deputy for Operation Success, the CIA's plot to overthrow the government of Guatemala. Plots for a coup against the president, Jacobo Arbenz, had been kicking around the agency for almost three years. They were revived the instant that Kim Roosevelt returned triumphant from Iran. An elated Allen Dulles asked him to lead the operation in Central America. Roosevelt respectfully declined. He determined after studying the matter that the agency was going in blind. It had no spies in Guatemala and no sense of the will of the army or the people. Was the military loyal to Arbenz? Could that loyalty be broken? The CIA had no idea. Haney had orders to devise a path to power for a cashiered Guatemalan colonel selected by CIA headquarters, Carlos Castillo Armas. But his strategy was no more than an elaborate sketch. It said only that the CIA would train and equip a rebel force and point it toward the presidential palace in Guatemala City. Wisner sent the draft over to the State Department for a 94 TI M WEINE R bolstering from General Walter Bedell Smith, who put a new team of American ambassadors in place for the operation.
Pistol-packing Jack Peurifoy had made his name ridding the State Department of leftists and liberals in 1950. On his first tour abroad, as ambassador to Greece from 1951 to 1953, he worked closely with the CIA to establish covert American channels of power in Athens. Upon arriving at his new post, Peurifoy cabled Washington: "I have come to Guatemala to use the big stick." He met with President Arbenz and reported: "I am definitely convinced that if the President is not a communist, he will certainly do until one comes along." Bedell Smith picked Whiting Willauer, a founder of Civil Air Transport, the Asian airline that Frank Wisner bought in 1949, as ambassador to Honduras. Willauer summoned pilots from CAT headquarters in Taiwan, with instructions to lie low and await orders in Miami and Havana. Ambassador Thomas Whelan went to Nicaragua to work with the dictator Anastasio Somoza, who was helping the CIA build a training base for Castillo Armas's men. On December 9, 1953, Allen Dulles formally approved Operation Success and authorized a $3 million budget. He appointed Al Haney as field commander and named Tracy Barnes as its chief of political warfare. Dulles believed in the romantic notion of the gentleman spy. Tracy Barnes was an exemplar. The well-bred Mr. Barnes had the classic CIA résumé of the 1950s—Groton, Yale, Harvard Law. 
He grew up on the Whitney estate on Long Island with his own private golf course. He was an OSS hero in World War II and won a Silver Star by capturing a German garrison. He had dash and panache and the pride that goes before a fall, and he came to represent the worst of the clandestine service. "Like those who no matter how great their effort seem doomed never to master a foreign language, Barnes proved unable to get the hang of secret operations," Richard Helms reflected. "Even worse, thanks to Allen Dulles' constant praise and pushing, Tracy apparently remained un- aware of his problem." He went on to serve as chief of station in Germany and England, and then on to the Bay of Pigs. Barnes and Castillo Armas flew to Opa-Locka on January 29, 1954, where they started hammering out their plans with Colonel Haney. They awoke the next morning to discover that their scheme had been blown sky-high. Every major newspaper in the Western Hemisphere published President Arbenz's accusations of a "counterrevolutionary plot" sponsored by a "Northern government," led by Castillo Armas, and based in a rebel training camp on Somoza's farm in Nicaragua. The leak had come from secret cables and documents that a CIA officer—Colonel Haney's liaison with Castillo Armas—had left in a Guatemala City hotel room. The hapless officer was summoned to Washington and advised to take a job as a fire watcher somewhere deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. 
The crisis quickly revealed Al Haney as one of the loosest cannons in the CIA's arsenal. He flailed for ways to distract Guatemalans from the accounts of the plot by planting fake news in the local press. "If possible, fabricate big human interest story, like flying saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area," he cabled CIA headquarters. He dreamed up headlines: Arbenz was forcing all Catholic troops to join a new church that worshipped Stalin! A Soviet submarine was on its way to deliver arms for Guatemala! This last idea captured the imagination of Tracy Barnes. Three weeks later he had his CIA staff plant a cache of Soviet weapons on the Nicaraguan coast. They concocted stories about Soviets arming communist assassination squads in Guatemala. But few among the press and the public bought what Barnes was peddling. The CIA's charter demanded that covert action be conducted in ways so subtle that the American hand was unseen. That mattered little to Wisner. "There is not the slightest doubt that if the operation is carried through many Latin Americans will see in it the hand of the U.S.," he told Dulles. But if Operation Success was curtailed "on the grounds that the hand of the U.S. is too clearly shown," Wisner argued, "a serious question is raised as to whether any operation of this kind can appropriately be included as one of the U.S. cold war weapons, no matter how great the provocation or how favorable the auspices." Wisner thought that an operation was clandestine so long as it was unacknowledged by the United States and kept secret from the American people. Wisner summoned Colonel Haney to headquarters for a come-to- Jesus meeting. "There is no operation regarded as being so important as this one and no operation on which the reputation of the Agency is more at stake," he told Haney. "The boss has to be satisfied that we have what it takes," Wisner said, but "Headquarters had never received a clear and concise statement of what the plans are with respect to what takes place on D-day." Colonel Haney's blueprint was a set of interlocking timelines scrawled on a forty-foot roll of butcher paper pinned to the wall at the Opa-Locka barracks. He explained to Wisner that you could understand the operation only by studying the scribbles on the Opa-Locka scrolls. Wisner began "to lose confidence in Haney's judgment and restraint," Richard Bissell remembered. The fiercely cerebral Bissell, another product of Groton and Yale, the man once known as Mr. Marshall Plan, had just come aboard at the CIA.
 He had signed on as "Dulles's apprentice," as he put it, with promises of great responsibilities to come. The director immediately asked him to sort out the increasingly complicated logistics of Operation Success. Bissell and Barnes represented the head and the heart of Allen Dulles's CIA. Though they had no experience in running covert action, and it was a mark of Dulles's faith that they were ordered to find out what Al Haney was up to in Opa-Locka. Bissell said he and Barnes rather enjoyed the hyperkinetic colonel: "Barnes was very much pro-Haney and gung-ho about the operation. I believed Haney was the right man for the job because the person in charge of an operation of this kind had to be an activist and strong leader. Barnes and I both liked Haney and approved of the way he was running things. No doubt Haney's operation left a positive impression on me, because I set up a project office similar to his during the preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion."
The "bold but incompetent" Castillo Armas (to quote Barnes), along with his "extremely small and ill-trained" rebel forces (to quote Bissell), waited for a signal from the Americans to attack, under the watchful eye of Haney's man Rip Robertson, who had run some of the CIA's ill-fated guerrilla operations in Korea. No one knew what would happen when Castillo Armas and his few hundred rebels attacked the five-thousand-man Guatemalan military. The CIA subsidized an anticommunist student movement in Guatemala City, several hundred strong. But they served mainly, in Wisner's words, as a "goon squad," not as a resistance army. So Wisner hedged his bet and opened up a second front on the war against Arbenz. He sent one of the CIA's best officers, Henry Hecksher, the chief of the Berlin base, to Guatemala City with orders to persuade senior military officers to rebel against the government. Hecksher was authorized to spend up to $10,000 a month for bribes, and he soon bought the loyalty of a minister without portfolio in Arbenz's cabinet, Colonel Elf ego Monzon. 
The hope was that more money would drive a wedge into an officer corps already beginning to crack under the twin pressures of an arms embargo imposed by the United States and the threat of an American invasion. But Hecksher soon became convinced that only an actual attack by the United States would embolden the Guatemalan military to overthrow Arbenz. Hecksher wrote to Haney: "The 'crucial spark' has to be generated by heat—United States heat"—in the form of bombing the capital. CIA headquarters then sent Haney a five-page roster of fifty-eight Guatemalans marked for assassination. The targeted killing was approved by Wisner and Barnes. The list encompassed "high government and organizational leaders" suspected of communist leanings and "those few individuals in key government and military positions of tactical importance whose removal for psychological, organizational or other reasons is mandatory for the success of military action."
Castillo Armas and the CIA agreed that the assassinations would take place during or immediately after his triumphant arrival in Guatemala City. They would send a message underscoring the seriousness of the rebels' intent. One of the many myths about Operation Success, planted by Allen Dulles in the American press, was that its eventual triumph lay not in violence but in a brilliant piece of espionage. As Dulles told the story, the trick was turned by an American spy in the Polish city Stettin, on the Baltic Sea—the northern terminus of the iron curtain—posing as a bird watcher. He saw through his binoculars that a freighter called the Alfhem 98 TIMWEINE R was carrying Czech arms to the Arbenz government. He then posted a letter with a microdot message—"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"—addressed to a CIA officer under deep cover in a Paris auto parts store, who relayed the coded signal by shortwave to Washington. 
As Dulles told the story, another CIA officer secretly inspected the hold of the ship while it docked at the Kiel Canal connecting the Baltic to the North Sea. The CIA, therefore, knew from the moment that the Alfhem left Europe that she was bound for Guatemala carrying guns. A wonderful yarn, repeated in many history books, but a bald-faced lie—a cover story that disguised a serious operational mistake. In reality, the CIA missed the boat. Arbenz was desperate to break the American weapons embargo on Guatemala. He thought he could ensure the loyalty of his officer corps by arming them. Henry Hecksher had reported that the Bank of Guatemala had transferred $4.86 million via a Swiss account to a Czech weapons depot.
But the CIA lost the trail. Four weeks of frantic searching ensued before the Alfhem docked successfully at Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Only after the cargo was uncrated did word reach the U.S. Embassy that a shipment of rifles, machine guns, howitzers, and other weapons had come ashore. The arrival of the arms—many of them rusted and useless, some bearing a swastika stamp, indicating their age and origin—created a propaganda windfall for the United States. Grossly overstating the size and military significance of the cargo, Foster Dulles and the State Department announced that Guatemala was now part of a Soviet plot to subvert the Western Hemisphere. The Speaker of the House, John McCormack, called the shipment an atomic bomb planted in America's backyard. Ambassador Peurifoy said the United States was at war. "Nothing short of direct military intervention will succeed," he cabled Wisner on May 21 . 
Three days later, U.S. Navy warships and submarines blockaded Guatemala, in violation of international law. On May 26, a CIA plane buzzed the presidential palace and dropped leaflets over the headquarters of the presidential guard, the most elite of the army's units in Guatemala City. "Struggle against Communist atheism!" they read. "Struggle with Castillo Armas!" It was a deft blow. "I suppose it really doesn't matter what the leaflets say," Tracy Barnes told Al Haney. He was right. What mattered was that the CIA had swooped  down and dropped a weapon on a country that had never been bombed before. "What we wanted to do was to have a terror campaign," said the CIA's E. Howard Hunt, who worked on the political-warfare portfolio for the operation—"to terrify Arbenz particularly, to terrify his troops, much as the German Stuka bombers terrified the population of Holland, Belgium and Poland at the onset of World War Two." For four weeks, starting on May Day 1954, the CIA had been waging psychological warfare in Guatemala through a pirate radio station called the Voice of Liberation, run by a CIA contract officer, an amateur actor and skilled dramatist named David Atlee Phillips. In a tremendous stroke of luck, the Guatemalan state radio station went off the air in mid-May for a scheduled replacement of its antenna.
Phillips snuggled up to its frequency, where listeners looking for the state broadcasts found Radio CIA. Unrest turned to hysteria among the populace as the rebel station sent out shortwave reports of imaginary uprisings and defections and plots to poison wells and conscript children. On June 5, the retired chief of the Guatemalan air force flew to Somoza's farm in Nicaragua, where the broadcasts originated. Phillips's men fueled him with a bottle of whisky and induced him to talk about his reasons for fleeing Guatemala. After the tape was cut and spliced at the CIA's field studio, it sounded like a passionate call for rebellion.   
 When Arbenz heard about the broadcast the next morning, his mind snapped. He became the dictator the CIA had depicted. He grounded his own air force for fear his fliers would defect. Then he raided the home of an anticommunist student leader who worked closely with the CIA and found evidence of the American plot. He suspended civil liberties and began arresting hundreds of people, hitting the CIA's student group the hardest. At least seventy-five of them were tortured, killed, and buried in mass graves. "Panic spreading in government circles," the CIA station in Guatemala cabled on June 8. That was exactly what Haney wanted to hear. He sent 100 TI M WEINE R orders to fan the flames with more falsehoods: "A group of Soviet commissars, officers and political advisers, led by a member of the Moscow Politburo, have landed. .. . In addition to military conscription, the communists will introduce labor conscription. A decree is already being printed. All boys and girls 16 years old will be called for one year of labor duty in special camps, mainly for political indoctrination and to break the influence of family and church on the young people. . . . Arbenz has already left the country. His announcements from the National Palace are actually made by a double, provided by Soviet intelligence." Haney started flying bazookas and machine guns down south on his own initiative, issuing unauthorized orders to arm peasants and to urge them to kill Guatemalan police. "We question strongly . . . that Campesinos be enjoined kill Guardia Civil," Wisner cabled Haney. "This amounts to incitement civil war. . . discrediting movement as terrorist and irresponsible outfit willing sacrifice innocent lives." Colonel Monzon, the CIA's agent in Arbenz's cabinet, demanded bombs and tear gas to kick off the coup. "Vitally important this be done," the CIA station told Haney. Monzon was "told he better move fast. He agreed. . . . Said Arbenz, Commies, and enemies will be executed." The CIA station in Guatemala pleaded again for an attack: "We urgently request that bomb be dropped, show strength be made, that all available planes be sent over, that army and capital be shown that time for decision is here." On June 18, Castillo Armas launched his long-awaited assault, more than four years in the making. A force of 198 rebels attacked Puerto Barrios, on the Atlantic coast. They were defeated by policemen and dockworkers. Another 122 marched toward the Guatemalan army garrison at Zacapa. All but 30 were killed or captured. A third force of 60 rebels set out from El Salvador, only to be arrested by local police. Castillo Armas himself, clad in a leather jacket and driving a battered station wagon, led 100 men from Honduras toward three lightly defended Guatemalan vilages. He camped out a few miles from the border, calling on the CIA for more food, more men, more weapons—but within seventy-two hours, more than half of his forces were killed, captured, or on the verge of defeat. On the afternoon of June 19, Ambassador Peurifoy commandeered the CIA's secure communications line at the American embassy and wrote directly to Allen Dulles: "Bomb repeat Bomb," he pleaded. Haney  weighed in less than two hours later with a blistering message to Wisner:
"Are we going to stand by and see last hope of free people in Guatemala submerged to depths of Communist oppression and atrocity until we send American armed force against enemy?
.. . Is not our intervention now under these circumstances far more palatable than by Marines? This is the same enemy we fought in Korea and may fight tomorrow in Indo-China." Wisner froze. It was one thing to send legions of foreigners to their deaths. It was quite another to send American pilots to blow up a national capital. The morning of June 20, the CIA's Guatemala City station reported that the Arbenz government was "recovering its nerve." The capital was "very still, stores shuttered. People waiting apathetically, consider uprising a farce." The tension at CIA headquarters was almost unbearable. Wisner became fatalistic. He cabled Haney and the CIA station:
"We are ready authorize use of bombs moment we are convinced would substantially increase likelihood of success without disastrous damage interests of United States. . . . We fear bombing of military installations more likely to solidify army against the rebellion than to induce defection and we are convinced attacks against civilian targets, which would shed blood of innocent people, would fit perfectly into Communist propaganda line and tend to alienate all elements of population." 
Bissell told Dulles that "the outcome of the effort to overthrow the regime of President Arbenz of Guatemala remains very much in doubt." At CIA headquarters, "we were all at our wit's end as to how to proceed," Bissell wrote years later. "Grappling with continual operational snafus, we were only too aware how perilously close to failure we were." Dulles had limited Castillo Armas to three F-47 Thunderbolt fighterbombers, in the name of deniability.
Two were out of commission. Now, Bissell recorded in his memoirs, "the Agency's reputation and his own were at stake." Dulles secretly authorized one more air strike on the capital as he prepared to meet with the president. On the morning of June 22, the single plane still flying for the CIA set a small oil tank ablaze on the outskirts of town. The fire was out in twenty minutes. "Public impression is that attacks show incredible weakness, lack of decision, and fainthearted effort," Haney raged. "Castillo Armas efforts widely described as farce. 
Anti-Commie anti-government morale near vanishing point." He cabled Dulles directly, demanding more aircraft immediately. Dulles picked up the phone and called William Pawley—one of the richest businessmen in the United States, the chairman of Democrats for Eisenhower, one of Ike's biggest benefactors in the 1952 elections, and a CIA consultant. 
Pawley could provide a secret air force if anyone could. Then Dulles sent Bissell to see Walter Bedell Smith, whom the CIA had consulted daily on Operation Success, and the general approved the back-channel request for aircraft. But at the last minute the assistant secretary of state for Latin America, Henry Holland, objected violently, demanding that they go to see the president. At 2:15 p.m. on June 22, Dulles, Pawley, and Holland walked into the Oval Office. Eisenhower asked what the rebellion's chances of success were at that moment. Zero, Dulles confessed. And if the CIA had more planes and bombs? Maybe 20 percent, Dulles guessed. The president and Pawley recorded the conversation almost identically in their memoirs—with one exception. Eisenhower erased Pawley from history, and it is clear why: he cut a secret deal with his political benefactor. "Ike turned to me," Pawley wrote, "and he said: 'Bill, go ahead and get the planes.' " Pawley telephoned the Riggs Bank, a block away from the White House. Then he called the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States. He drew $150,000 in cash and drove the ambassador to the Pentagon. 
Pawley handed over the cash to a military officer, who promptly transferred ownership of three Thunderbolts to the government of Nicaragua. The planes arrived, fully armed, in Panama from Puerto Rico that evening. They flew into combat at dawn, unleashing a barrage against the same Guatemalan army forces whose loyalties were the linchpin of the plan to topple Arbenz. CIA pilots strafed troop trains carrying soldiers to the front. They dropped bombs, dynamite, hand grenades, and Molotov cocktails. They blew up a radio station run by American Christian missionaries and sank a British freighter docked on the Pacific coast. On the ground, Castillo Armas failed to gain an inch. Turning back, he radioed the CIA, pleading for more air power. The Voice of Liberation, its signal relayed from a transponder atop the American embassy, broadcast craftily concocted stories that thousands of rebel troops were converging on the capital.
Loudspeakers atop the embassy roof blasted the taperecorded sounds of P-38 fighters soaring into the night. President Arbenz, drinking himself into a stupor, saw through his fog that he was under attack from the United States. On the afternoon on June 25, the CIA bombed the parade grounds of the largest military encampment in Guatemala City. That broke the will of the officer corps. Arbenz summoned his cabinet that night and told them that elements of the army were in revolt. It was true: a handful of officers had secretly decided to side with the CIA and overthrow their president. Ambassador Peurifoy met with the coup plotters on June 27, victory within his grasp. But then Arbenz ceded power to Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz, who formed a junta and vowed to fight Castillo Armas. "We have been double-crossed," 
Peurifoy cabled. Al Haney sent a message to all CIA stations identifying Diaz as a "Commie agent." He ordered a silver-tongued CIA officer, Enno Hobbing, Time's Berlin bureau chief before joining the agency, to have a little talk with Diaz at dawn the next day. Hobbing delivered the message to Diaz: "Colonel, you are not convenient for American foreign policy." The junta vanished instantly, to be replaced in quick succession by four more, each one increasingly pro-American. Ambassador Peurifoy now demanded that the CIA stand down. Wisner cabled all hands on June 30 that it was time for "the surgeons to step back and the nurses to take over the patient." Peurifoy maneuvered for two more months before Castillo Armas assumed the presidency. He received a twenty-one-gun salute and a state dinner at the White House, where the vice president offered the following toast:
"We in the United States have watched the people of Guatemala record an episode in their history deeply significant to all peoples," Richard Nixon said. "Led by the courageous soldier who is our guest this evening, the Guatemalan people revolted against communist rule, which in collapsing bore graphic witness to its own shallowness, falsity, and corruption." 
Guatemala was at the beginning of forty years of military rulers, death squads, and armed repression.   
The leaders of the CIA created a myth about Operation Success, just as they did with the coup in Iran. The company line was that the mission was a masterwork. In truth, "we really didn't think it was much of a success," said Jake Esterline, who became the new station chief in Guatemala at summer's end. The coup had succeeded largely through brute force and blind luck. But the CIA spun another story at a formal White House briefing for the president on July 29, 1954.
The night before, Allen Dulles invited Frank Wisner, Tracy Barnes, Dave Phillips, Al Haney, Henry Hecksher, and Rip Robertson to his house in Georgetown for a dress rehearsal. He listened in growing horror as Haney began a rambling discourse with a long preamble about his heroic exploits in Korea. "I've never heard such crap," said Dulles, and he ordered Phillips to rewrite the speech. In the East Wing of the White House, in a room darkened for a slide show, the CIA sold Eisenhower a dressed-up version of Operation Success. When the lights went on, the president's first question went to the paramilitary man Rip Robertson. "How many men did Castillo Armas lose?"
Ike asked. Only one, Robertson replied. "Incredible," said the president. At least forty-three of Castillo Armas's men had been killed during the invasion, but no one contradicted Robertson. It was a shameless falsehood. This was a turning point in the history of the CIA. The cover stories required for covert action overseas were now part of the agency's political conduct in Washington. Bissell stated it plainly: "Many of us who joined the CIA did not feel bound in the actions we took as staff members to observe all the ethical rules." He and his colleagues were prepared to lie to the president to protect the agency's image. And their lies had lasting consequences.  
Chapter 11
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    
    "Secrecy now beclouds everything about the CIA—its cost, its efficiency, its successes, its failures," Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana said in March 1954. Allen Dulles answered to a very few members of Congress. They protected the CIA from public scrutiny through informal armed services and appropriations subcommittees. He regularly asked his deputies to supply him with "CIA success stories that might be used at the next budget hearing." He had none up his sleeve. On rare occasions, he was prepared to be candid. Two weeks after Mansfield's critique, Dulles faced three senators at a closed-door hearing. His briefing notes said the CIA's rapid expansion of covert operations might have been "risky or even unwise for the long pull of the Cold War." They conceded that "unplanned, urgent, one-shot operations not only usually failed, but also disrupted and even blew our careful preparations for longer-range activities." That kind of secret could be kept safe on Capitol Hill. But one senator posed a grave and gathering threat to the CIA: the red-baiting Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy and his staff had developed an underground of informants who had quit the agency in anger toward the end of the Korean War. In the months after Eisenhower's election, McCarthy's files grew thick with allegations that "the CIA had unwittingly hired a large number of double agents—individuals who, although working for the CIA, were actually Communist agents whose mission was to plant inaccurate data," as his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, recounted. Unlike many of McCarthy's charges, this one was true. 
The agency could not withstand a whit of scrutiny on the issue, and Allen Dulles knew it. If the American people had learned, in the heat of the red scare, that the agency had been duped all over Europe and Asia by the Soviet and Chinese intelligence services, the CIA would be destroyed. When McCarthy privately told Dulles face-to-face "that CIA was neither sacrosanct nor immune from investigation," the director knew its survival was at stake. Foster Dulles had opened his doors to McCarthy's bloodhounds in a public display of sanctimony that devastated the State Department for a decade. But Allen fought them off. He rebuffed the senator's attempt to subpoena the CIA's Bill Bundy, who out of old-school loyalties had contributed $400 to the defense fund of Alger Hiss, the suspected communist spy. Allen refused to let the senator scourge the CIA. His public stance was a principled one, but he also ran a down-and-dirty covert operation on McCarthy. 
The clandestine campaign was outlined in a CIA officer's secret testimony before McCarthy's Senate committee and its twenty-eight-year-old minority counsel, Robert F. Kennedy, which was unsealed in 2003. It was detailed in a CIA history declassified in 2004. After his private confrontation with McCarthy, Dulles organized a team of CIA officers to penetrate the senator's office with a spy or a bug, preferably both. The methodology was just like J. Edgar Hoover's: gather dirt, then spread it. Dulles instructed James Angleton, his counterintelligence czar, to find a way to feed disinformation to McCarthy and his staff as a means of discrediting him. Angleton convinced James McCargar— the officer who had been one of Wisner's first hires—to plant phony reports on a known member of the McCarthy underground at the CIA. McCargar succeeded: the CIA penetrated the Senate. "You've saved the Republic," Allen Dulles told him.
But the threat to the CIA grew as McCarthy's power began fading in 1954. Senator Mansfield and thirty-four of his colleagues were backing a bill to create an oversight committee and order the agency to keep Congress fully and currently informed about its work. (It would not pass LEGAC Y of ASHE S 107 for twenty years.) A congressional task force led by Eisenhower's trusted colleague General Mark Clark was getting ready to investigate the agency. At the end of May 1954, the president of the United States received an extraordinary six-page letter from an air force colonel. It was an impassioned cry by the first whistle-blower from inside the CIA. Eisenhower read it and kept it. 
The author, Jim Kellis, was one of the agency's founding fathers. An OSS veteran who had fought guerrilla warfare in Greece, he had gone to China and served as the first station chief in Shanghai for the Strategic Services Unit. At the CIA's birth, he was among its few experienced China hands. He went back to Greece as an investigator for Wild Bill Donovan, who as a private citizen had been asked to investigate the 1948 murder of a CBS reporter. He determined that the killing came at the hands of America's right-wing allies in Athens, not ordered by the communists, as was commonly believed.
His findings were suppressed. He returned to the CIA, and during the Korean War he was in charge of the CIA's paramilitary operations and resistance forces worldwide. Walter Bedell Smith had sent him on troubleshooting investigations in Asia and Europe. He did not like what he saw. A few months after Allen Dulles took command, Kellis quit in disgust. "The Central Intelligence Agency is in a rotten state,
" Colonel Kellis warned Eisenhower. "Today CIA has hardly any worthwhile operations behind the Iron Curtain. In their briefings they present a rosy picture to outsiders but the awful truth remains under the TOP SECRET label of the Agency." The truth was that "CIA wittingly or unwittingly delivered one million dollars to a Communist security service." (This was the WIN operation in Poland; it is unlikely that Dulles told the president about the ugly details of the operation, which blew up three weeks before Eisenhower's inauguration.) "CIA unwittingly organized an intelligence network for the Communists," Kellis wrote, referring to the debacle created by the Seoul station during the Korean War. Dulles and his deputies, "fearing any aftereffects on their reputation," had lied to Congress about the agency's operations in Korea and China. Kellis had personally investigated the question on a trip to the Far East in 1952.
 He had determined that "CIA was being duped." Dulles had been planting stories in the press, burnishing his image as  "a scholarly affable Christian missionary, the country's outstanding intelligence expert," Kellis wrote. "For some of us who have seen the other side of Allen Dulles, we don't see too many Christian traits. I personally consider him a ruthless, ambitious and utterly incompetent government administrator." Kellis pleaded with the president to take "the drastic action needed to clean up" the CIA. Eisenhower wanted to counter the threats to the clandestine service and clean up its problems in secret. In July 1954, shortly after the conclusion of Operation Success, the president commissioned General Jimmy Doolittle, who had worked on the Solarium project, and his good friend William Pawley, the millionaire who had provided the fighter-bombers for the Guatemala coup, to assess the CIA's capabilities for covert action. Doolittle had ten weeks to report back. He and Pawley met with Dulles and Wisner, traveled to CIA stations in Germany and London, and interviewed senior military and diplomatic officers who worked in liaison with their CIA counterparts. 
They also talked to Bedell Smith, who told them that "Dulles was too emotional to be in this critical spot" and that "his emotionalism was far worse than it appeared on the surface." On October 19, 1954, Doolittle went to see the president at the White House. He reported that the agency had "ballooned out into a vast and sprawling organization manned by a large number of people, some of whom were of doubtful competence." Dulles surrounded himself with people who were unskilled and undisciplined. The sensitive matter of "the family relationship" with Foster Dulles arose. Doolittle thought it would be better for all concerned if the personal connection were not a professional connection: "it leads to protection of one by the other or influence of one by the other." An independent committee of trusted civilians should oversee the CIA for the president.
 The Doolittle report warned that Wisner's clandestine service was "filled with people having little or no training for their jobs." Within its six separate staffs, seven geographic divisions, and more than forty branches, " 'dead wood' exists at virtually all levels." The report recommended a "complete reorganization" of Wisner's empire, which had suffered from its "mushroom expansion" and "tremendous pressures to accept commitments beyond its capacity to perform." It observed that "in covert operations quality is more important than quantity. A small number of competent people can be more useful than a large number of incompetents."
 Dulles was well aware that the clandestine service was out of control. The CIA's officers were running operations behind their commanders' backs. Two days after Doolittle presented his report, the director told Wisner that he was worried that "sensitive and/or delicate operations are carried out at lower levels without being brought to the attention of the appropriate Deputy, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of Central Intelligence." But Dulles handled the Doolittle report the way he usually dealt with bad news, by burying it. He would not let the highest-ranking officers at the CIA see it—not even Wisner. Though the full report remained classified until 2001, its preface was made public a quarter century before. It contained one of the grimmest passages of the cold war:
It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.
  The report said the nation needed "an aggressive covert psychological, political and paramilitary organization more effective, more unique, and, if necessary, more ruthless than that employed by the enemy." For the CIA had never solved "the problem of infiltration by human agents," it said. "Once across borders—by parachute, or any other means—escape from detection is extremely difficult." It concluded: "The information we have obtained by this method of acquisition has been negligible and the cost in effort, dollars and human lives prohibitive." It placed the highest priority on espionage to gain intelligence on the Soviets. It stressed that no price was too high to pay for this knowledge  
    Dulles was desperate to place an American spy inside the iron curtain.
  In 1953, the first CIA officer he had dispatched to Moscow was seduced by his Russian housemaid—she was a KGB colonel—photographed in flagrante delicto, blackmailed, and fired by the agency for his indiscretions. In 1954, a second officer was caught in the act of espionage, arrested, and deported shortly after his arrival. Soon thereafter, Dulles called in one of his special assistants, John Maury, who had traveled in Russia before World War II and spent much of the war at the American embassy in Moscow representing the Office of Naval Intelligence. He asked Maury to join the clandestine service and to train for a mission to Moscow. None of Wisner's officers had ever been to Russia, Dulles said: "They know nothing about the target." "I don't know anything about operations," Maury responded. "I don't think they do either," Dulles replied. Such men could hardly provide the president with the intelligence he wanted most: strategic warning against a nuclear attack. When the National Security Council convened to talk about what to do if that attack came, the president turned to Dulles and said: "Let's not have another Pearl Harbor." That was the task the president assigned to the second secret intelligence commission he created in 1954. Eisenhower told James R. Killian, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to lead a group seeking ways of preventing a Soviet bolt from the blue. He pressed for techniques the Doolittle report strongly recommended: "communications and electronic surveillance" to provide "early warning of impending attack." The CIA redoubled its own efforts to listen in on the enemy. It succeeded, in its own fashion. Up in the attic of the Berlin base headquarters, a washed-up baseball player turned lawyer turned spy named Walter O'Brien had been photographing papers purloined from the East Berlin post office. They described the underground routes of the new telecommunications cables used by Soviet and East German officials. This espionage coup turned into the Berlin Tunnel project. The tunnel was regarded at the time as the CIA's greatest public LEGAC Y of ASHE S m triumph. The idea—and its undoing—came from British intelligence. In 1951, the British had told the CIA that they had been tapping into the Soviets' telecommunications cables through a network of tunnels in the occupied zones of Vienna since shortly after the end of World War II. They suggested doing the same in Berlin. Thanks to the stolen blue-prints, it became a real possibility.
 A secret CIA history of the Berlin tunnel, written in August 1967 and declassified in February 2007, laid out three questions that faced William K. Harvey, a hard-drinking, gun-toting ex-FBI agent who took over as chief of the Berlin base in 1952: Could the agency dig a 1,476-foot tunnel into the Soviet zone of East Berlin and hit a target two inches in diameter—and twenty-seven inches underneath a major highway—without being caught? How could it get rid of the spoils—some three thousand tons of sandy soil—in secret? And what kind of cover story would serve to disguise the construction of an installation for the dig in a squalid district of refugees' shacks at the edge of the American zone? Allen Dulles and his British counterpart, Sir John Sinclair, agreed in December 1953 on terms of reference for a set of conferences on the tunnel operation, which was to be code-named JOINTLY.
The talks led to a plan of action the following summer. A building covering a full city block would rise amid the rubble, with antennae bristling from the roof, and the Soviets would be given to understand that it was a station for intercepting signals intelligence from the atmosphere—the magician's trick of diverting the eye.
 The Americans would dig the tunnel eastward, to a point beneath the cables. The British, relying on their experience in Vienna, would drive a vertical shaft from the end of the tunnel to the cables and then install the taps. A London office that grew to 317 officers would process the spoken conversations recorded by the CIA. In Washington, the agency would set 350 personnel to work transcribing teletype transmissions intercepted in the tunnel. The Army Corps of Engineers did the digging, with technical assistance from the British. The biggest problem, as ever, proved to be translating the words intercepted by the operation: "We were never successful in obtaining as many linguists as we needed," the CIA history noted, for the agency's language capabilities in Russian and even in German were sorely lacking. The tunnel was completed at the end of February 1955, and the British began to set the taps one month later. Information began flowing in May. It came to tens of thousands of hours of conversations and teletypes,  including precious details about Soviet nuclear and conventional forces in Germany and Poland, insights into the Soviet Ministry of Defense in Moscow, and the architecture of Soviet counterintelligence operations in Berlin. It provided pictures of political confusion and indecision among Soviet and East German officialdom, and the names or cover identities of several hundred Soviet intelligence officers. It delivered news—even if it took weeks or months of translation—at a cost of $6.7 million. 
Once it was revealed, as the CIA anticipated it would be one day, the tunnel was seen as a sign that "the U.S., almost universally regarded as a stumbling neophyte in espionage matters, was capable of a coup against the Soviet Union, which has long been the acknowledged master in such matters," the CIA history poignantly reported. The agency had not expected the operation would be blown quite so soon. It lasted less than a year—until the following April, when the tunnel was uncovered. For the Kremlin had known about it from the start, before the first shovel of earth was turned. The plan was uncovered by a Soviet mole in British intelligence, George Blake, who had switched his allegiances while a prisoner of war in North Korea and who had let the Soviets in on the secret back in late 1953. The Soviets valued Blake so highly that Moscow let the tunnel operation run for eleven months before exposing it in a blaze of heavy-handed publicity. 
Years later, even after realizing that the other side had known of the tunnel from the start, the CIA still believed it had dug a gold mine. To this day, the question remains: did Moscow deliberately feed deceptive information into the tunnel? The evidence suggests that the CIA gained two invaluable and untainted kinds of knowledge from the taps. The agency learned a basic blueprint of the Soviet and East German security systems, and it never picked up a glimmer of warning that Moscow intended to go to war. "Those of us who knew a little bit about Russia viewed it as a backward Third World country that wanted to develop along the lines of the West," said the CIA's Tom Polgar, the Berlin base veteran. But that view was rejected at the highest levels in Washington. The White House and the Pentagon presumed that the Kremlin's intentions were identical to theirs: to destroy their enemy on the first day of World War III. 
Their mission was therefore to locate Soviet military capabilities and destroy them first. They had no faith that American spies could do that. But American machines might. The Killian report was the beginning of the triumph of technology  and the eclipse of old-fashioned espionage at the CIA. "We obtain little significant information from classic covert operations inside Russia," the report told Eisenhower. "But we can use the ultimate in science and technology to improve our intelligence take." It urged Eisenhower to build spy planes and space satellites to soar over the Soviet Union and photograph its arsenals. The technology was within America's grasp. It had been for two years. Dulles and Wisner had been too busy with operational matters to pay attention to a July 1952 memo from their colleague Lof tus Becker, then the deputy director for intelligence, on a proposal to develop "a satellite vehicle for reconnaissance"—a television camera launched on a rocket, to survey the Soviet Union from deep space. The key was building the camera. Edwin Land, a Nobel laureate who had invented the Polaroid, was sure that he could do it. In November 1954, with the Berlin Tunnel under way, Land, Killian, and Dulles met with the president and won his approval to build the U-2 spy plane, a powered glider with a camera in its belly that would put American eyes behind the iron curtain. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead, along with a glum prediction. Someday, he said, "one of these machines is going to be caught, and then we'll have a storm." Dulles gave the job of building the plane to Dick Bissell, who knew nothing about aircraft but skillfully created a secret government bureaucracy that shielded the U-2 program from scrutiny and helped speed the plane's creation. "Our Agency," he proudly told a class of CIA trainees a few years later, "is the last refuge of organizational privacy available to the U.S. government." Bissell paced down the CIA's corridors with long strides, a gawky man with great ambitions. He believed that he someday would be the next director of central intelligence, for Dulles told him so. He became increasingly contemptuous of espionage, and disdained Richard Helms and his intelligence officers. The two men became bureaucratic rivals and then bitter enemies. 
They personified the battle between spies and gadgets, which began fifty years ago and continues today. Bissell saw the U-2 as a weapon—an aggressive blow against the Soviet threat. If Moscow "couldn't do a goddamn thing to prevent you" from violating Soviet airspace and spying on Soviet forces, that alone would sap Soviet pride and power. He formed a very small and secret cell of CIA officers to run the program, and he assigned the CIA's James Q. Reber, the assistant director for intelligence coordination, to decide what the plane should photograph inside the Soviet Union. Reber rose to become the longtime chairman of the committee that chose the Soviet targets for the U-2 planes and the spy satellites that succeeded them. But in the end, the Pentagon always set the requirements for reconnaissance: How many bombers did the Soviets have? How many nuclear missiles? How many tanks? Later in life, Reber said that the cold war mentality blocked the very idea of photographing anything else. "We didn't raise the right questions," Reber said. If the CIA had developed a bigger picture of life inside the Soviet Union, it would have learned that the Soviets were putting little money into the resources that truly made a nation strong. They were a weak enemy. If the CIA's leaders had been able to run effective intelligence operations inside the Soviet Union, they might have seen that Russians were unable to produce the necessities of life. The idea that the final battles of the cold war would be economic instead of military was beyond their imagination.
The president's efforts to investigate the capabilities of the CIA led to a leap of technology that revolutionized the gathering of intelligence. But they never got to the root of the problem. Seven years after its creation, there was no oversight or control of the CIA. Its secrets were shared on a need-to-know basis, and Allen Dulles decided who needed to know. No one was left to look into the agency after Walter Bedell Smith quit the government in October 1954. By sheer force of personality, Bedell Smith had tried to rein in Allen Dulles. But when he left, the ability of anyone but Eisenhower to control covert action went with him. In 1955, the president changed the rules by creating the "Special Group"—three designated representatives of the White House, State, and Defense, charged with reviewing the secret operations of the CIA. But they had no ability to approve covert action in advance. If he chose to do so, Dulles might make passing mention of his plans at informal lunches with the Special Group—the new undersecretary of state, the deputy secretary of defense, and the president's national-security assistant. But more often he did not. A five-volume CIA history of Dulles's career as director of central intelligence noted that he believed they had no need to know about covert action. They were in no position to judge him or the agency. He felt that "no policy approval was required" for his decisions. The director, his deputies, and his station chiefs abroad remained free to set their own policies, plot their own operations, and judge the results for themselves, in secret. Dulles advised the White House as he saw fit. "There are some things he doesn't tell the President," his sister confided to a State Department colleague. "It is better that he doesn't know."   
Chapter 12
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    

  One weapon the CIA used with surpassing skill was cold cash.
 The agency excelled at buying the services of foreign politicians. The first place where it picked the future leader of a world power was Japan. Two of the most influential agents the United States ever recruited helped carry out the CIA's mission to control the government. They had been cell mates, charged as war criminals, and imprisoned for three years in Tokyo after the end of World War II under the American occupation. They walked free at the end of 1948, the day before many of their fellow inmates were taken to the prison gallows. With the CIA's help, Nobusuke Kishi became Japan's prime minister and the chief of its ruling party. Yoshio Kodama secured his freedom and his position as the nation's number-one gangster by helping American intelligence.
 Together they shaped the politics of postwar Japan. In the war against fascism, they had represented everything America hated. In the war against communism, they were just what America needed. In the 1930s, Kodama had led a right-wing youth group that attempted to assassinate the prime minister. He was sentenced to prison, but Japan's government put him to use as a procurer of spies and strategic metals for the coming battle. After five years spent running one of the war's biggest black markets in occupied China, Kodama held the rank of rear admiral and possessed a personal fortune worth roughly $175 million. Upon his release from prison, Kodama began to pour part of his fortune into the careers of Japan's most conservative politicians, and he became a key member of a CIA operation that helped bring them to power. He worked with American businessmen, OSS veterans, and ex-diplomats to pull off an audacious covert operation, bankrolled by the CIA, during the Korean War. The American military needed tungsten, a scarce strategic metal used for hardening missiles. Kodama's network smuggled tons of it out of Japanese military caches into the United States. 
The Pentagon paid $10 million for it. The CIA provided $2.8 million in financing to underwrite the operation. The tungsten-smuggling network reaped more than $2 million. But the operation left Kodama in bad odor with the CIA's Toyko station. "He is a professional liar, gangster, charlatan, and outright thief," the station reported on September 10, 1953. "Kodama is completely incapable of intelligence operations, and has no interest in anything but the profits." The relationship was severed, and the CIA turned its attention to the care and feeding of up-and-coming Japanese politicians— including Kishi—who won seats in the Diet, Japan's parliament, in the first elections after the end of the American occupation.   
Kishi became the leader of the rising conservative movement in Japan. Within a year of his election to the Diet, using Kodama's money and his own considerable political skills, he controlled the largest faction among Japan's elected representives. Once in office, he built the ruling party that led the nation for nearly half a century. He had signed the declaration of war against the United States in 1941 and led Japan's munitions ministry during World War II. Even while imprisoned after the war, Kishi had well-placed allies in the United States, among them Joseph Grew, the American ambassador in Tokyo when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Grew was under detention in Tokyo in 1942 when Kishi, as a member of the war cabinet, offered to let him out to play a round of golf. They became friends. Days after Kishi was freed from prison, Grew became the first chairman of the National Committee for a Free Europe, the CIA front created to support Radio Free Europe and other political-warfare programs. Upon his release, Kishi went directly to the residence of the prime 118 TI M WEINE R minister, where his brother, Eisaku Sato, the chief secretary of the cabinet under the occupation, handed him a business suit to replace his prisoner's uniform. "Strange, isn't it?" Kishi said to his brother. "We're all democrats now." Seven years of patient planning transformed Kishi from prisoner to prime minister. 
He took English lessons from Newsweek's Tokyo bureau chief and gained introductions to American politicians from Newsweek's foreign affairs editor, Harry Kern, a close friend to Allen Dulles and later in life a CIA conduit to Japan. Kishi cultivated American embassy officials like rare orchids. 
He moved cautiously at first. He was still a notorious man, routinely followed by the police. In May 1954, he staged a political coming-out at the Kabuki Theater in Tokyo. He invited Bill Hutchinson, an OSS veteran who worked with the CIA in Japan as an information and propaganda officer at the American embassy, to attend the theater with him. He paraded Hutchinson around the ornate foyers of the Kabuki-za at intermission, showing him off to his friends among the Japanese elite. It was a highly unusual gesture at the time, but it was pure political theater, Kishi's way of announcing in public that he was back in the international arena—and in the good graces of the United States. For a year, Kishi met in secret with CIA and State Department officials in Hutchinson's living room. "It was clear that he wanted at least the tacit backing of the United States government," Hutchinson remembered. The talks laid the groundwork for the next forty years of Japan's relations with the United States. Kishi told the Americans that his strategy was to wreck the ruling Liberal Party, rename it, rebuild it, and run it. The new Liberal Democratic Party under his command would be neither liberal nor democratic, but a right-wing club of feudal leaders rising from the ashes of imperial Japan. He would first work behind the scenes while more senior statesmen preceded him as prime minister, and then take charge. He pledged to change the foreign policies of Japan to fit American desires. The United States could keep its military bases in Japan and store nuclear weapons there, a matter of some sensitivity in Japan. All he asked in return was secret political support from America. Foster Dulles met with Kishi in August 1955, and the American secretary of state told him face-to-face that he could expect that support—if Japan's conservatives unified to help the United States fight communism. 
 Everyone understood what that American support would be. Kishi told Sam Berger, the senior political officer at the American embassy, that it would be best for him to deal directly with a younger and lower-ranking man, unknown in Japan, as his primary contact with the United States. The assignment went to the CIA's Clyde McAvoy, a marine veteran who had survived the storming of Okinawa and joined the agency after a stint as a newspaper reporter. Shortly after McAvoy arrived in Japan, Sam Berger introduced him to Kishi, and one of the stronger relationships the CIA ever cultivated with a foreign political leader was born.  
 The most crucial interaction between the CIA and the Liberal Democratic Party was the exchange of information for money. It was used to support the party and to recruit informers within it. The Americans established paid relationships with promising young men who became, a generation later, members of parliament, ministers, and elder statesmen. Together they promoted the LDP and subverted Japan's Socialist Party and labor unions. When it came to bankrolling foreign politicians, the agency had grown more sophisticated than it had been seven years earlier in Italy. Instead of passing suitcases filled with cash in four-star hotels, the CIA used trusted American businessmen as go-betweens to deliver money to benefit its allies. Among these were executives from Lockheed, the aircraft company then building the U-2 and negotiating to sell warplanes to the new Japanese defense forces Kishi aimed to build. In November 1955, Kishi unified Japan's conservatives under the banner of the Liberal Democratic Party. As the party's leader, he allowed the CIA to recruit and run his political followers on a seat-by-seat basis in the Japanese parliament. As he maneuvered his way to the top, he pledged to work with the agency in reshaping a new security treaty between the United States and Japan. As Kishi's case officer, the CIA's Clyde McAvoy was able to report on—and influence—the emerging foreign policy of postwar Japan. In February 1957, on the day Kishi was to be installed as prime minister, a crucial procedural vote on the security treaty was scheduled in the Diet, where the LDP held the biggest block of votes. "He and I pulled off a great coup that day," McAvoy remembered. "The United States and Japan were moving toward this agreement. 
The Japan Communist Party found it especially threatening. On the day of this vote, the communists planned an uprising in the Diet. I found out about this through a left-wing Socialist member of the secretariat who was my agent. Kishi was to meet the Emperor that day. I called for an urgent meeting. He made it—he showed up at the door of our safe house in top hat, striped pants and a cutaway coat—and though I had no approval to do so, I told him of the communists' plans for a riot in the Diet. Now, the custom was for members to take a break and go to the eating and drinking stalls around the Diet at 10:30 or 11 a.m. Kishi told his own party: don't take a break. And after everyone but the LDP peeled off they ran to the Diet and passed the bill." In June 1957, barely eight years after shedding his prison uniform, Kishi traveled to the United States for a triumphal visit. He went to Yankee Stadium and threw out the ceremonial first ball. 
He played a round of golf at an all-white country club with the president of the United States. Vice President Nixon introduced him to the Senate as a great and loyal friend of the American people. Kishi told the new American ambassador to Japan, Douglas MacArthur II, the general's nephew, that the new security treaty would be passed and a rising left-wing tide could be stemmed if America helped him consolidate his power. Kishi wanted a permanent source of financial support from the CIA rather than a series of surreptitious payments. He convinced the American envoy that "if Japan went Communist it was difficult to see how the rest of Asia would not follow suit," Ambassador MacArthur remembered. Foster Dulles agreed. He argued that the United States had to place a big bet on Japan, and that Kishi was the best bet the United States had. President Eisenhower himself decided that Japanese political support for the security treaty and American financial support for Kishi were one and the same. He authorized a continuing series of CIA payoffs to key members of the LDP. Politicians unwitting of the CIA's role were told that the money came from the titans of corporate America. 
The money flowed for at least fifteen years, under four American presidents, and it helped consolidate one-party rule in Japan for the rest of the cold war. Others followed in Kishi's path. Okinori Kaya had been the finance minister in Japan's wartime cabinet. Convicted as a war criminal, he was sentenced to life in prison. Paroled in 1955 and pardoned in 1957, he became one of Kishi's closest advisers and a key member of the LDP's internal security committee. Kaya became a recruited agent of the CIA either immediately before or immediately after he was elected to the Diet in 1958. After his recruitment, he wanted to travel to the United States and meet Allen Dulles in person.
 The CIA, skittish about the appearance of a convicted war criminal meeting with the director of central intelligence, kept the meeting secret for nearly fifty years. But on February 6, 1959, Kaya came to visit Dulles at CIA headquarters and asked the director to enter into a formal agreement to share intelligence with his internal security committee. "Everyone agreed that cooperation between CIA and the Japanese regarding countersubversion was most desirable and that the subject was one of major interest to CIA," say the minutes of their talk. Dulles regarded Kaya as his agent, and six months later he wrote him to say: "I am most interested in learning your views both in international affairs affecting relations between our countries and on the situation within Japan." Kaya's on-and-off relationship with the CIA reached a peak in 1968, when he was the leading political adviser to Prime Minister Eisaku Sato. The biggest domestic political issue in Japan that year was the enormous American military base on Okinawa, a crucial staging ground for the bombing of Vietnam and a storehouse of American nuclear weapons. 
Okinawa was under American control, but regional elections were set for November 10, and opposition politicians threatened to force the United States off the island. Kaya played a key role in the CIA's covert actions aimed to swing the elections for the LDP, which narrowly failed. Okinawa itself returned to Japanese administration in 1972, but the American military remains there to this day. The Japanese came to describe the political system created with the CIA's support as kozo oshoku—"structural corruption." The CIA's payoffs went on into the 1970s. The structural corruption of the political life of Japan continued long thereafter. "We ran Japan during the occupation, and we ran it in a different way in these years after the occupation," said the CIA's Horace Feldman, who served as station chief in Tokyo. "General MacArthur had his ways. We had ours."   
Chapter 13
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    
  Enthralled by covert action, Allen Dulles ceased to focus on his core mission of providing intelligence to the president.
He handled most of the CIA's analysts and much of their work with studied contempt. Dulles would keep them waiting for hours when they came to prep him for the next morning's meeting at the White House. As afternoon turned to evening, he would burst out his door and blow past them, rushing to keep a dinner date. He had fallen into "the habit of assessing briefings by weight," said Dick Lehman, a senior CIA analyst for three decades and latterly the man who prepared the president's daily briefing. "He would heft them and decide, without reading them, whether or not to accept them." An analyst admitted to the inner sanctum in midafternoon to advise Dulles on the crisis of the moment might find the director watching a Washington Senators baseball game on the television in his office. Lounging in a reclining chair, his feet up on an ottoman, Dulles followed the game while the hapless aide faced him from the back of the TV set. As the briefer reached his crucial points, Dulles would analyze the ball game. He became inattentive to the life-and-death questions at hand.   
 Dulles and Wisner together had launched more than two hundred major covert actions overseas over the course of five years, pouring American fortunes into the politics of France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The agency had overthrown nations. It could make or break presidents and prime ministers. But it could not get a handle on the enemy. At the end of 1955, President Eisenhower changed the CIA's marching orders. Recognizing that covert action could not undermine the Kremlin, he revised the rules written at the start of the cold war. The new order, labeled NSC 5412/2 and dated December 28, 1955, remained in effect for fifteen years.
The new goals were to "create and exploit troublesome problems for International Communism," to "counter any threat of a party or individuals directly or indirectly responsive to Communist control," and to "strengthen the orientation toward the United States of the people of the free world"—great ambitions, but more modest and nuanced than what Dulles and Wisner tried to achieve. A few weeks later, the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, created more trouble for international communism than the CIA dreamed possible. In his February 1956 speech to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he denounced Stalin, dead less than three years, as "a supreme egotist and sadist, capable of sacrificing everything and anybody for the sake of his own power and glory." The CIA picked up rumors about the speech in March. My kingdom for a copy, Allen Dulles told his men. Could the agency finally obtain some intelligence from inside the Politburo?
Then as now, the CIA relied heavily on foreign intelligence services, paying for secrets it could not uncover on its own. In April 1956, Israel's spies delivered the text to James Angleton, who became the CIA's one-man liaison with the Jewish state. The channel produced much of the agency's intelligence on the Arab world, but at a cost—a growing American dependence on Israel to explain events in the Middle East. The Israeli perspective colored American perceptions for decades to come. In May, after George Kennan and others judged the text as the genuine article, a great debate arose inside the CIA. Both Wisner and Angleton wanted to keep it secret from the free world, but leak it selectively abroad, to sow discord among the world's communist parties. Angleton thought by tweaking the text with propaganda, "he could have used it to such advantage that he would have discombobulated the Russians and their security services and perhaps used some of these émigré groups that we still at that time hoped to activate, and liberate the Ukraine or something," said Ray Cline, one of Dulles's most trusted intelligence analysts at that time. But above all, they wanted it cut for bait to lure Soviet spies, in order to salvage one of Wisner's longest-running, least effective operations— Red Cap. A worldwide program that began in 1952, taking its name from the railroad porters who helped baggage-laden travelers, Red Cap aimed to induce Soviets to defect from their country and work for the CIA. Ideally, they would serve as "defectors in place"—remaining in their government posts while spying for America. Failing that, they would flee to the West and reveal their knowledge of the Soviet system. But the number of important Soviet sources developed under Red Cap was zero at the time. The Soviet division of the CIA's clandestine service was run by a narrow-minded Harvard man named Dana Durand, who held his position through a combination of accident, default, and alliance with Angleton. The division was dysfunctional, according to an inspector general's report issued in June 1956 and declassified in 2004.
The Soviet division could not produce "an authoritative statement of its missions and functions," much less grasp what was going on inside the Soviet Union. The report contained a list of the CIA's twenty "controlled agents" in Russia in 1956. One was a low-ranking naval engineering officer. Another was the wife of a guided missile research scientist. The others were listed as laborer, telephone repairman, garage manager, veterinarian, high school teacher, locksmith, restaurant worker, and unemployed. None of them could have had any idea what made the Kremlin tick. On the first Saturday morning of June 1956, Dulles called Ray Cline into the director's office. "Wisner says you think we ought to release the secret Khrushchev speech," Dulles said. Cline stated his case: it was a fantastic revelation of "the true feelings of all these guys who had to work under that old bastard Stalin for many years. "For God's sake," he told Dulles, "let's get it out." Dulles held his copy in trembling fingers gnarled with arthritis and gout.
The old man put his carpet slippers up on the desk, leaned back, pushed his glasses up on his head, and said, "By golly, I think I'll make a policy decision!" Cline recalled. He buzzed Wisner on his intercom, "and kind of coyly talked Frank into a position where Frank could not disagree with releasing it, and using the same kind of arguments that I had, that it was a great historical chance to, as I think I told him to say, 'indict the whole Soviet system.' " Dulles then picked up the phone and called his brother. The text was leaked through the State Department and ran three days later in The New York Times. The decision set events in motion that the CIA had never imagined.   
For months thereafter, the secret speech was beamed behind the iron curtain by Radio Free Europe, the CIA's $100 million media machine. More than three thousand émigré broadcasters, writers, and engineers and their American overseers put the radios on the air in eight languages, filling the airwaves up to nineteen hours a day. In theory, they were supposed to play their news and propaganda straight. But Wisner wanted to use words as weapons. His interference created a split signal at Radio Free Europe. The on-air émigrés at the radios had been begging their American bosses to give them a clear message to deliver. Here it was: the speech was recited over the air night and day. The consequences were immediate. The CIA's best analysts had concluded a few months before that no popular uprising was likely in Eastern Europe during the 1950s. On June 28, after the speech was broadcast, Polish workers began to rise up against their communist rulers.
They rioted against a reduction in wages and destroyed the beacons that jammed Radio Free Europe's transmissions. But the CIA could do nothing but feed their rage—not when a Soviet field marshal ran Poland's army and Soviet intelligence officers oversaw the secret police, who killed fifty-three Poles and imprisoned hundreds. The Polish struggle led the National Security Council to search for a crack in the architecture of Soviet control. Vice President Nixon argued that it would serve American interests if the Soviets pounded another upstart satellite state, such as Hungary, into submission, providing a source for global anticommunist propaganda. Picking up that theme, Foster Dulles won presidential approval for new efforts to promote "spontaneous manifestations of discontent" in the captive nations. Allen Dulles promised to pump up a Radio Free Europe program that floated balloons east over the iron curtain, carrying leaflets and "Freedom Medals"—aluminum badges bearing slogans and an imprint of the Liberty Bell. Then Dulles took off on a fifty-seven-day world tour, circling the earth in a zippered flight suit aboard a specially configured four-engine DC-6. He dropped in on the CIA stations in London and Paris, Frankfurt and Vienna, Rome and Athens, Istanbul and Tehran, Dhahran and Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul, Manila and Saigon. The journey was an open secret:
Dulles was received as a head of state, and he reveled in the limelight. The trip was "one of the most highly publicized clandestine tours ever made," said Ray Cline, who accompanied the director. Cloaked yet flamboyant—that was the CIA under Allen Dulles. It was a place where "truly clandestine practices were compromised" while "analysis was clothed in an atmosphere of secrecy that was unnecessary, frequently counterproductive, and in the long run damaging," Cline thought. Watching foreign leaders fawn over Dulles at state dinners, he learned another lesson: "CIA represented great power. It was a little frightening."
 On October 22, 1956, shortly after Dulles returned to Washington, a deeply weary Frank Wisner flicked out the lights in his office, walked down the corridors of decaying linoleum and peeling walls in Temporary Building L, went home to his elegant house in Georgetown, and packed for his own tour of the CIA's biggest stations in Europe. Neither he nor his boss had a clue about the two greatest events going on in the world. War plans were afoot in London and Paris, while a popular revolution was at hand in Hungary. In the course of a crucial fortnight, Dulles would misinterpret or misrepresent every aspect of these crises in his reports to the president. Wisner sailed out over the Atlantic in darkness. After his overnight flight to London, his first order of business was a long-scheduled dinner date with Sir Patrick Dean, a senior British intelligence officer. They were to discuss their plans to topple the Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had come to power three years earlier in a military coup. The issue had been brewing for months. Sir Patrick had been in Washington a few weeks before, and the two had agreed that one way or another, their objectives required Nasser's removal from power.
The CIA had supported Nasser at first, handing him millions, building him a powerful state radio station, and promising him American military and economic aid. Yet the agency was taken by surprise by events in Egypt, despite the fact that CIA officers outnumbered State Department officials by about four to one in the American embassy in Cairo. The biggest surprise was that Nasser did not stay bought: he used part of the $3 million in bribes that the CIA had slipped him to build a minaret in Cairo on an island in front of the Nile Hilton. It was known as el wa 'ef rusfel—Roosevelt's erection. Because Roosevelt and the CIA could not come through on their promises of American military aid, Nasser agreed to sell Egyptian cotton to the Soviet Union in exchange for arms.
Then, in July 1956, Nasser challenged the legacies of colonialism by nationalizing the Suez Canal Company, the corporation created by the British and the French to run the Middle East's man-made maritime trade route. London and Paris roared with outrage. The British proposed to assassinate Nasser and contemplated diverting the Nile River to destroy Egypt's bid for economic self-rule. Eisenhower said it would be "dead wrong" to use lethal force. The CIA favored a long, slow campaign of subversion against Egypt. That was the issue that Wisner had to work out with Sir Patrick Dean. He was first perplexed and then furious when Sir Patrick failed to appear at their long-scheduled meeting. The British spy had another engagement: he was in a villa outside Paris, putting the final touches on a coordinated military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel. They aimed to destroy Nasser's government and take the Suez back by force. First Israel would attack Egypt, and then Britain and France would strike, posing as peacekeepers while seizing the canal.
The CIA knew none of this. Dulles assured Eisenhower that reports of a joint Israeli-UK-French military plan were absurd. He refused to heed the CIA's chief intelligence analyst and the American military attaché in Tel Aviv, both convinced that Israel was about to go to war against Egypt. Nor did he listen to an old friend, Douglas Dillon, the American ambassador in Paris, who called to warn that France was in on the plot. The director instead chose to listen to Jim Angleton and his Israeli contacts. Having won their undying gratitude for coming up with a copy of Khrushchev's secret speech, the Israelis dazzled Dulles and Angleton with disinformation, warning that there would be trouble elsewhere in the Middle East. On October 26, the director conveyed their falsehoods to the president at the National Security Council meeting: The king of Jordan has been assassinated! Egypt would soon attack Iraq! The president pushed those headlines to the side. He declared that "the compelling news continued to be Hungary." A great crowd had gathered at the Parliament in Budapest two days before, led by student demonstrators rising up against the communist government.
The hated state security police confronted a second crowd at the government radio station, where a party functionary was denouncing the protests. Some of the students were armed. A shot rang out from the radio building, the security police opened fire, and the protestors fought the secret police all night. At the Budapest City Park, a third crowd tore a statue of Stalin from its pedestal, dragged it to the front of the National Theater, and smashed it into shards.
Red Army troops and tanks entered Budapest the next morning, and the demonstrators persuaded at least a handful of the young Soviet soldiers to join their cause. Rebels rode toward the Parliament on Soviet tanks flying the Hungarian flag. Russian commanders panicked, and in a terrible moment at Kossuth Square a blinding crossfire erupted. At least a hundred people died. Inside the White House, Allen Dulles tried to tell the president the meaning of the Hungarian uprising. "Khrushchev's days may well be numbered," he said. He was off by seven years. Dulles contacted Wisner in London the next day, October 27.
The chief of covert action wanted to do everything he could to help the uprising. He had been praying for a moment like this for eight years.
The National Security Council had commanded him to keep hope alive in Hungary. "To do less," his orders said, "would be to sacrifice the moral basis for U.S. leadership of free peoples." He had told the White House he would create a nationwide underground for political and paramilitary warfare through the Roman Catholic Church, peasant collectives, recruited agents, and exile groups. He had failed completely. The exiles he sent to cross the border from Austria were arrested.
The men he tried to recruit were liars and thieves. His efforts to create a clandestine reporting network inside Hungary collapsed. He had buried weapons all over Europe, but when the crisis came, no one could find them.
There was no CIA station in Hungary in October 1956. There was no Hungarian operations section in the clandestine service at headquarters, and almost no one who spoke the language.
Wisner had one man in Budapest when the uprising began: Geza Katona, a Hungarian American who spent 95 percent of his time doing his official work as a low-level State Department clerk, mailing letters, buying stamps and stationery, filing papers. When the uprising came, he was the only reliable set of eyes and ears the CIA had in Budapest. During the two-week life of the Hungarian revolution, the agency knew no more than what it read in the newspapers. It had no idea that the uprising would happen, or how it flourished, or that the Soviets would crush it.
Had the White House agreed to send weapons, the agency would have had no clue where to send them. A secret CIA history of the Hungarian uprising said the clandestine service was in a state of "wishful blindness." "At no time," it said, "did we have anything that could or should have been mistaken for an intelligence operation."
On October 28, Wisner flew to Paris and convened a few trusted members of an American delegation attending a NATO conference on the question of Eastern Europe. Its members included Bill Griffith, the senior policy adviser at Radio Free Europe's Munich headquarters. Wisner, exultant at a real revolt against communism in the making, pushed Griffith to pump up the propaganda. His exhortations produced a memo 130 TI M WEINE R from Radio Free Europe's director in New York to the Hungarian staff in Munich: "All restraints have gone off," it read. "No holds barred. Repeat: no holds barred."
Beginning that evening, Radio Free Europe urged the citizens of Hungary to sabotage railroads, tear down telephone lines, arm the partisans, blow up tanks, and fight the Soviets to the death. "This is RFE, the Voice of Free Hungary," the radio announced. "In the case of a tank attack, all the light weapons should open fire at the gun sights." Listeners were advised to throw "a Molotov cocktail... a wine bottle of one liter filled with gasoline .. . on the grated ventilation slit over the engine." The sign-off was "Freedom or Death!" That night, Imre Nagy, a former prime minister who had been expelled from the Communist Party by hardliners, went on the state radio station to denounce the "terrible mistakes and crimes of these past ten years."
He said that Russian troops would leave Budapest, that the old state security forces would be dissolved, and that a "new government, relying on the people's power," would fight for democratic self-rule. In seventy-two hours, Nagy would form a working coalition government, abolish one-party rule, break with Moscow, declare Hungary a neutral country, and turn to the United Nations and the United States for help. But as Nagy took power and sought to dismantle Soviet control over Hungary, Allen Dulles deemed him a failure. He told the president that the Vatican's man in Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty, newly released from house arrest, could and should lead the nation. 
That became the party line on Radio Free Europe: "A reborn Hungary, and the appointed leader sent by God, have met each other in these hours." The CIA's radios falsely accused Nagy of inviting Soviet troops into Budapest. They attacked him as a traitor, a liar, a murderer. He once had been a communist and so he was forever damned. Three new CIA frequencies were on the air at this hour. From Frankfurt, exiled Russian Solidarists said an army of freedom fighters was heading for the Hungarian border. From Vienna, the CIA amplified the low-wattage broadcasts of Hungarian partisans and beamed them back to Budapest. From Athens, the CIA's psychological warriors suggested that the Russians be sent to the gallows. The director was ecstatic when he briefed Eisenhower on the situation in Budapest at the next National Security Council meeting on November 1.
"What had occurred there was a miracle," Dulles told the president. "Because of the power of public opinion, armed force could not be effectively used. Approximately 80 percent of the Hungarian army had defected to the rebels and provided the rebels with arms." But Dulles was dead wrong. The rebels had no guns to speak of. The Hungarian army had not switched sides. It was waiting to see which way the wind from Moscow blew. The Soviets were sending more than 200,000 troops and some 2,500 tanks and armored vehicles into the battle for Hungary. 
On the morning of the Soviet invasion, Radio Free Europe's Hungarian announcer, Zoltan Thury, told his listeners that "the pressure upon the government of the U.S. to send military help to the freedom fighters will become irresistible." As tens of thousands of frantic, furious refugees poured over the border into Austria over the next few weeks, many spoke of this broadcast as "the promise that help would come." None came. Allen Dulles insisted that the CIA's radios had done nothing to encourage the Hungarians. The president believed him. It would be forty years before transcripts of the broadcasts were unearthed. In four brutal days, Soviet troops crushed the partisans of Budapest, killing tens of thousands and hauling thousands more away to die in Siberian prison camps. The Soviet onslaught began on November 4.
That night, Hungary's refugees began besieging the American embassy in Vienna, begging America to do something. They had barbed questions, said the CIA station chief, Peer de Silva: "Why hadn't we helped? Didn't we know the Hungarians had counted on us for assistance?" He had no answers. He was bombarded by commands from headquarters to round up nonexistent legions of Soviet soldiers who were throwing down their weapons and heading for the Austrian border. Dulles told the president about these mass defections. They were a delusion. De Silva could only guess that "headquarters was caught up in the fever of the times."  
  "STRANGE THINGS ARE APT TO DEVELOP" On November 5, Wisner arrived at the CIA station in Frankfurt, commanded by Tracy Barnes, so distraught he could barely speak. As Russian tanks slaughtered teenage boys in Budapest, Wisner spent a sleepless night at the Barnes residence playing with toy trains. He took no joy in Eisenhower's re-election the following day. Nor did the president appreciate awakening to a fresh but false report from Allen Dulles that the Soviets were ready to send 250,000 troops to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal from the British and French. Nor was he happy at the CIA's inability to report on the actual Soviet attack in Hungary. On November 7, Wisner flew to the Vienna station, thirty miles from the Hungarian border. He watched helplessly as the Hungarian partisans sent their final messages to the free world over the wires of the Associated Press:
He fled Vienna and flew to Rome. That night he dined with the American spies of the CIA's Rome station, among them William Colby, the future director of central intelligence. Wisner raged that people were dying as the agency dithered. He wanted "to come to the aid of the freedom fighters," Colby recorded. "This was exactly the end for which the agency's paramilitary capability was designed. And a case can be made that they could have done so without involving the United States in a world war with the Soviet Union." But Wisner could not make a coherent case. "It was clear that he was near a nervous breakdown," Colby recorded. Wisner went on to Athens, where the CIA station chief, John Richardson, saw him "revved up to an extreme velocity and intensity."
He soothed his nerves with cigarettes and alcohol. He drank whisky by the bottle, in a swoon of misery and rage. On December 14, he was back at headquarters, listening to Allen Dulles assess the CIA's chances for urban warfare in Hungary. "We are well-equipped for guerrilla fighting in the woods," Dulles said, but "there is a serious lack of arms for street and close-in fighting and, in particular, anti-tank devices." He wanted Wisner to tell him what were "the best weapons to put into the hands of the Hungarians" and "freedom fighters of other iron curtain countries who might revolt against the Communists."
Wisner gave a grandiose answer.
 "The wounds to the communists in Russia brought about by recent world developments are considerable and some of them are very deep," he said. "The United States and the free world seem to be pretty much out of the woods."
Some of his fellow officers saw a case of battle fatigue.
 Those closest to Wisner saw something worse. On December 20, he lay in a hospital bed, delirious, his underlying disease misdiagnosed by his doctors. That same day, at the White House, President Eisenhower received a formal report of a secret investigation into the clandestine service of the CIA. If it had ever become public, it would have destroyed the agency. Ambassador David K. E. Bruce was the report's principal author, and David Bruce was one of Frank Wisner's very best friends in Washington— close enough to run over to Wisner's house for a shower and a shave one morning when the hot water in his magnificent Georgetown mansion ran out. He was an American aristocrat,
 Wild Bill Donovan's number-two at the OSS in London, Truman's ambassador to France, Walter Bedell Smith's predecessor as undersecretary of state, and a candidate for director of central intelligence in 1950. He knew a great deal about the CIA's operations at home and abroad. Bruce's personal journals show that he met Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner for dozens of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, and discreet chats in Paris and Washington between 1949 and 1956. He recorded his "great admiration and affection" for Dulles, who personally recommended that Bruce serve on the president's new intelligence board of consultants. 
Eisenhower had wanted his own set of eyes on the agency. Back in January 1956, following the secret recommendation of the Doolittle report, he had publicly announced his creation of the president's board. He wrote in his diary that he wanted the consultants to report every six months on the value of the CIA's work. Ambassador Bruce requested and received the president's authorization for a close look at the covert operations of the CIA—the work of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. His personal affection and the professional regard for them added immeasurable weight to his words. His top secret report has never been declassified—and the CIA's own in-house historians have publicly questioned whether it ever existed.
But its key findings appeared in a 1961 record created by the intelligence board and obtained by the author. Some of its passages are reproduced here for the first time. "We are sure that the supporters of the 1948 decision to launch this government on a positive psychological warfare and paramilitary program could not possibly have foreseen the ramifications of the operations which have resulted from it," the report said. "No one, other than those in the CIA immediately concerned with their day to day operation, has any detailed knowledge of what is going on." The planning and the approval of exquisitely sensitive and extremely costly covert operations were "becoming more and more exclusively the business of the CIA—underwritten heavily by unvouchered CIA funds. . . . 
The CIA, busy, monied and privileged, likes its 'King-making' responsibility (the intrigue is fascinating—considerable self-satisfaction, sometimes with applause, derives from successes—no charge is made for 'failures'—and the whole business is very much simpler than collecting covert intelligence on the USSR through the usual CIA methods!)." 
The report continued:
  [T]here is great concern throughout the State Department over the impacts of CIA psychological warfare and paramilitary activities on our foreign relations. The State Department people feel that perhaps the greatest contribution this board could make would be to bring to the attention of the President the significant, almost unilateral influences that CIA psychological warfare and paramilitary activities have on the actual formation of our foreign policies and our relationships with our "friends." . . . CIA support and its maneuvering of local news media, labor groups, political figures and parties and other activities which can have, at any one time, the most significant impacts on the responsibilities of the local Ambassador are sometimes completely unknown to or only hazily recognized by him... . Too often differences of opinion regarding the U.S. attitude toward local figures or organizations develop, especially as between the CIA and the State Department. . . . (At times, the Secretary of State-DCI brother relationship may arbitrarily set "the U.S. position.") . . . Psychological warfare and paramilitary operations (often growing out of the increased mingling in the internal affairs of other nations of bright, highly graded young men who must be doing something all the time to justify their reason for being) today are being conducted on a world-wide basis by a horde of CIA representatives [deleted] many of whom, by the very nature of the personnel situation [deleted] are politically immature. (Out of their "dealings" with shifty, changing characters their applications of "themes" suggested from headquarters or developed by them in the field—sometimes at the suggestion of local opportunists—strange things are apt to, and do, develop.)
  The CIA's covert operations were conducted "on an autonomous and freewheeling basis in highly critical areas involving the conduct of foreign relations," said a follow-up report by the president's intelligence board in January 1957. "In some quarters this leads to situations which are almost unbelievable." For his next four years in office, President Eisenhower tried to change the way the CIA was run. But he said he knew he could not change Allen Dulles. Nor could he think of anyone else to run the agency. It was "one of the most peculiar types of operation any government can have," he said, and "it probably takes a strange kind of genius to run it." Allen had accepted no overseers. A silent nod from Foster had sufficed. There had never been a team quite like the Dulles brothers in American government, but age and exhaustion were wearing them down. Foster was seven years older than Allen, and he was dying.
He knew he had a fatal cancer, and it killed him slowly over the next two years. He fought bravely, flying all over the world, rattling every saber in the American arsenal. But he dwindled, and that created a disturbing disequilibrium in the director of central intelligence. He lost a vital spark as his brother weakened. His ideas and his sense of order became as evanescent as his pipe smoke. As Foster began to fail, Allen led the CIA into new battles across Asia and the Middle East. The cold war in Europe might be a stalemate, he told his chieftains, but the struggle had to go on with a new intensity from the Pacific to the Mediterranean.
    Chapter 14
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    
  "If you go and live with these Arabs," President Eisenhower told Allen Dulles and the assembled members of the National Security Council, "you will find that they simply cannot understand our ideas of freedom and human dignity. They have lived so long under dictatorships of one kind or another, how can we expect them to run successfully a free government?"
The CIA set out to answer that question by trying to convert, coerce, or control governments throughout Asia and the Middle East. It saw itself wrestling with Moscow for the loyalties of millions of people, grappling to gain political and economic sway over the nations that geological accident had given billions of barrels of oil. The new battle line was a great crescent reaching from Indonesia across the Indian Ocean, through the deserts of Iran and Iraq, to the ancient capitals of the Middle East.
The agency saw every Muslim political chief who would not pledge allegiance to the United States as "a target legally authorized by statute for CIA political action," said Archie Roosevelt, the chief of station in Turkey and a cousin to Kim Roosevelt, the CIA's Near East czar. Many of the most powerful men in the Islamic world took the CIA's cash and counsel. The agency swayed them when it could. But few CIA officers spoke the language, knew the customs, or understood the people they sought to support or suborn. The president said he wanted to promote the idea of an Islamic jihad against godless communism.
"We should do everything possible to stress the 'holy war' aspect," he said at a September 1957 White House meeting attended by Frank Wisner, Foster Dulles, assistant secretary of state for the Near East William Rountree, and members of the Joint Chiefs. Foster Dulles proposed "a secret task force," under whose auspices the CIA would deliver American guns, money, and intelligence to King Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, and President Nuri Said of Iraq. "These four mongrels were supposed to be our defense against communism and the extremes of Arab nationalism in the Middle East," said Harrison Symmes, who worked closely with the CIA as Rountree's right-hand man and later served as ambassador in Jordan. The only lasting legacy of the "secret task force" was the fulfillment of Frank Wisner's proposal to put King Hussein of Jordan on the CIA's payroll.
The agency created a Jordanian intelligence service, which lives today as its liaison to much of the Arab world. The king received a secret subsidy for the next twenty years. If arms could not buy loyalty in the Middle East, the almighty dollar was still the CIA's secret weapon. Cash for political warfare and power plays was always welcome. If it could help create an American imperium in Arab and Asian lands, Foster was all for it. "Let's put it this way," said Ambassador Symmes. "John Foster Dulles had taken the view that anything we can do to bring down these neutralists—anti-imperialists, anti-colonialists, extreme nationalist regimes—should be done. "He had given a mandate to Allen Dulles to do this. . . . And, of course, Allen Dulles just unleashed people.
" As a result, "we were caught out in attempted coups, ham-handed operations of all kinds." He and his fellow diplomats tried "to keep track of some of these dirty tricks that were being planned in the Middle East so that if they were just utterly impossible, we'd get them killed before they got any further. And we succeeded in doing that in some cases. But we couldn't get all of them killed."
 One such "dirty trick" went on for a decade: the plot to overthrow the government of Syria. In 1949, the CIA installed a pro-American colonel, Adib Shishakli, as the Syrian leader. He won direct American military assistance along with covert financial aid. The CIA station chief in Damascus, Miles Copeland, called the colonel "a likeable rogue" who "had not, to my certain knowledge, ever bowed down to a graven image. He had, however, committed sacrilege, blasphemy, murder, adultery and theft."
He lasted four years before he was overthrown by Ba'ath Party and communist politicians and military officers. In March 1955, Allen Dulles predicted that the country was "ripe for a military coup d'etat" supported by the agency. In April 1956, the CIA's Kim Roosevelt and his British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) counterpart Sir George Young tried to mobilize right-wing Syrian army officers; the CIA delivered half a million Syrian pounds to the leaders of the plot. But the Suez fiasco poisoned the political climate in the Middle East, pushed Syria closer to the Soviets, and forced the Americans and the British to postpone their plan at the end of October 1956. In the spring and summer of April 1957, they revived it. A document discovered in 2003 among the private papers of Duncan Sandys, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's defense secretary, spells out their effort in detail. Syria had to be "made to appear as the sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments," it said. CIA and SIS would manufacture "national conspiracies and various strong-arm activities" in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan, and blame them on Syria.
They would create paramilitary factions and spark revolts among the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus. The creation of the appearance of instability would destabilize the government; border clashes manufactured by American and British intelligence would serve as a pretext for the proWestern armies of Iraq and Jordan to invade. 
The CIA and SIS envisioned that any new regime they installed would likely "rely first upon repressive measures and arbitrary exercise of power" to survive. Roosevelt identified Abdul Hamid Serraj, the longtime chief of the Syrian intelligence service, as the most powerful man in Damascus. Serraj was to be assassinated, along with the chief of the Syrian general staff and the head of the Communist Party. The CIA sent Rocky Stone, who had cut his teeth in the Iran operation, to serve as the new chief of station in Damascus. Accredited as a diplomat, a second secretary at the American embassy, he used promises of millions of dollars and unlimited political power to befriend officers in the Syrian army. He represented his recruits in reports to headquarters as a crack corps for an American-backed coup. Abdul Hamid Serraj saw through Stone in a matter of weeks. The Syrians set up a sting. "The officers with whom Stone was dealing took his money and then went on television and announced that they had received this money from the 'corrupt and sinister Americans' in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria," said Curtis F. Jones, a State Department officer sent to clean up the mess Stone left behind. Serraj's forces surrounded the American embassy in Damascus, seized Stone, and interrogated him roughly.
 He told them everything he knew. The Syrians identified him publicly as an American spy posing as a diplomat, a veteran of the CIA's coup in Iran, and a conspirator with Syrian army officers and politicians to overthrow the government in exchange for millions of dollars in American aid. The revelation of this "particularly clumsy CIA plot," in the words of the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Charles Yost, had consequences that reverberate today. The Syrian government formally declared Rocky Stone persona non grata. That was the first time that an American diplomat of any stripe—be he a spy working undercover or a bona fide State Department officer—had been expelled from an Arab nation. In turn, the United States expelled the Syrian ambassador to Washington, the first expulsion of any foreign diplomat from Washington since World War I. 
The United States denounced Syria's "fabrications" and "slanders." Stone's Syrian co-conspirators, including the former president, Adib Shishakli, were sentenced to death. A purge of every military officer who had ever been associated with the American embassy followed. A Syrian-Egyptian alliance grew from this political turmoil: the United Arab Republic. It was the locus of anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. As America's reputation plummeted in Damascus, Soviet political and military influence grew. After the botched coup, no Americans could win the trust of the increasingly tyrannical Syrian leadership. 
One trouble with blown operations such as this was that they  "couldn't possibly be 'plausibly denied,' " David Bruce's report to President Eisenhower had warned. The American hand was clear to all. Was there no accounting for "the immediate costs of disappointments (Jordan, Syria, Egypt, et al.)"? asked the report. Who was "calculating the impacts on our international position"? Was the CIA "stirring up the turmoil and raising the doubts about us that exist in many countries of the world today? What of the effects on our present alliances? Where will we be tomorrow?"    
On May 14, 1958, Allen Dulles convened his deputies for their regular morning meeting. He lashed out at Wisner, advising him to do "some soul-searching" about the agency's performance in the Middle East. On top of the botched coup in Syria, anti-American riots had erupted without warning in Beirut and Algiers. Was this all part of a global plot? Dulles and his aides speculated that "the Communists were in fact pulling the strings" in the Mideast and across the world. As the fear of Soviet encroachment escalated, the goal of creating a tier of pro-American nations on the Soviets' southern flank grew more urgent.
The CIA's officers in Iraq had orders to work with political leaders, military commanders, security ministers, and power brokers, offering money and guns in exchange for anticommunist alliances. But on July 14, 1958, when a gang of army officers overthrew the pro-American Iraqi monarchy of Nuri Said, the Baghdad station was sound asleep.
 "We were caught completely by surprise," said Ambassador Robert C. F. Gordon, then an embassy political officer. The new regime, led by General Abdel Karim Qasim, dug into the old government's archives. They held proof that the CIA had been deeply entwined with Iraq's royalist government, paying off the leaders of the old guard. One American working under contract for the CIA, posing as a writer for an agency front, the American Friends of the Middle East, was arrested in his hotel and disappeared without a trace. The officers at the CIA station fled.
Allen Dulles began calling Iraq "the most dangerous place in the world." General Qasim began allowing Soviet political, economic, and cultural delegations into Iraq. "We have no evidence that Qasim is a communist," the CIA advised the White House, but "unless action is taken to curb Communism, or unless the Communists make a major tactical error, Iraq will probably be transformed into a Communistcontrolled state." The agency's leaders acknowledged among themselves that they had no idea what to do about that threat: "The only effective and organized force in Iraq capable of countering Communism is the Army. Our basic intelligence on the present situation of the Army is very weak." 
The CIA, having lost one battle in Syria, and another in Iraq, agonized over what to do to stop the Middle East from turning red. After the Iraq debacle, Kim Roosevelt, the CIA's Near East division chief since 1950, resigned to seek his fortune as a private consultant to American oil companies. He was replaced by James Critchfield, the agency's longtime liaison with General Reinhard Gehlen in Germany. Critchfield quickly became interested in the Ba'ath Party of Iraq after its thugs tried to kill Qasim in a bungled gun battle. His officers ran another failed assassination plot, using a poisoned handkerchief, an idea that was endorsed all the way up the CIA's chain of command. It took five more years, but the agency finally backed a successful coup in Iraq in the name of American influence. "We came to power on a CIA train," said Ali Saleh Sa'adi, the Ba'ath Party interior minister in the 1960s.
 One of the passengers on that train was an up-and-coming assassin named Saddam Hussein.   
 Chapter 15
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)    
  The American view of the world from the Mediterranean to the Pacific was black and white: a firm American hand was needed in every capital from Damascus to Jakarta to keep the dominoes from falling. But in 1958, the CIA's effort to overthrow the government of Indonesia backfired so badly that it fueled the rise of the biggest communist party in the world outside of Russia and China. It would take a real war, in which hundreds of thousands died, to defeat that force. Indonesia had fought for freedom from Dutch colonial rule after World War II and won it at the end of 1949. The United States supported Indonesia's independence under its new leader, President Sukarno. The nation came into the CIA's focus after the Korean War, when the agency realized that Indonesia had perhaps twenty billion barrels of untapped oil, a leader unwilling to align himself with the United States, and a rising communist movement. The agency first raised the alarm over Indonesia in a report delivered to the National Security Council on September 9, 1953. After hearing the CIA's dire account of the situation, Harold Stassen, then director of the Mutual Security Agency, the military and economic aid organization that succeeded the Marshall Plan, told Vice President Nixon and the Dulles brothers that they "might well give thought to measures by this Government that would cause the fall of the new regime in Indonesia, since it was obviously a pretty bad one. If it is being as heavily infiltrated by Communists as CIA seemed to believe, it would be more sensible to try to get rid of it than to prop it up." But when Nixon briefed CIA officers in Washington four months later, after meeting Sukarno during a world tour, he reported that the Indonesian leader had "a tremendous hold on the people; is completely noncommunist; and there is no doubt that he is the main 'card' of the United States." The Dulles brothers strongly doubted Nixon. Sukarno had declared himself a noncombatant in the cold war, and there were no neutrals in their eyes. The CIA seriously considered killing Sukarno in the spring of 1955. "There was planning of such a possibility," Richard Bissell recounted. "The planning progressed as far as the identification of an asset"—an assassin—"whom it was felt might be recruited for this purpose. The plan was never reached, was never perfected to the point where it seemed feasible. The difficulty concerned the possibility of creating a situation in which the potential agent would have access to the target."
 While the agency weighed his assassination, Sukarno convened an international conference of twenty-nine Asian, African, and Arab chiefs of state in Bandung, Indonesia. They proposed a global movement of nations free to chart their own paths, aligned with neither Moscow nor Washington. Nineteen days after the Bandung conference disbanded, the CIA received a new covert-action order from the White House, numbered NSC 5518 and declassified in 2003. It authorized the agency to use "all feasible covert means"—including payoffs to buy Indonesian voters and politicians, political warfare to win friends and subvert potential enemies, and paramilitary force—to keep Indonesia from veering to the left. Under its provisions, the CIA pumped about $ 1 million into the coffers of Sukarno's strongest political opponents, the Masjumi Party, in the 1955 national parliamentary elections, the first ever held in postcolonial Indonesia. That operation fell short: Sukarno's party won, the Masjumi placed second, and the PKI—the Indonesian Communist Party—placed  fourth with 16 percent of the votes. Those results alarmed Washington. 
The CIA continued to finance its chosen political parties and "a number of political figures" in Indonesia, as Bissell recounted in an oral history. In 1956, the red alert was raised again when Sukarno visited Moscow and Beijing as well as Washington.
The White House had listened when Sukarno said he greatly admired the American form of government. It felt betrayed when he did not embrace Western democracy as his model for governing Indonesia, an archipelago stretching more than three thousand miles, encompassing nearly one thousand inhabited islands, with thirteen major ethnic groups among a predominantly Islamic population of more than eighty million people—the world's fifth-largest nation in the 1950s. Sukarno was a spellbinding orator who spoke in public three or four times a week, rallying his people with patriotic rants, trying to unify his nation. 
The few Americans in Indonesia who could understand his public speeches reported that he would quote Thomas Jefferson one day and spout communist theory the next. The CIA never quite grasped Sukarno. But the agency's authority under NSC 5518 was so broad that it could justify almost any action against him. The CIA's new Far East division chief, Al Ulmer, liked that kind of freedom. It was why he loved the agency. "We went all over the world and we did what we wanted," he said forty years later. "God, we had fun." By his own account, Ulmer had lived high and mighty during his long run as station chief in Athens, with a status somewhere between a Hollywood star and a head of state. 
He had helped Allen Dulles enjoy a romantic infatuation with Queen Frederika of Greece and the pleasures of yachting with shipping magnates. The Far East division was his reward. Ulmer said in an interview that he knew next to nothing about Indonesia when he took over the division. But he had the full faith and trust of Allen Dulles. And he remembered vividly a conversation with Frank Wisner at the end of 1956, just before Wisner's breakdown.
He recalled Wisner saying it was time to turn up the heat on Sukarno and hold his feet to the fire. Ulmer's station chief in Jakarta told him that Indonesia was ripe for communist subversion. The chief, Val Goodell, was a rubber-industry magnate with a decidedly colonialist attitude. The essence of his firebreathing cables from Jakarta was conveyed in notes that Allen Dulles carried to his weekly White House meetings in the first four months of  1957: 
Situation critical. . . . Sukarno a secret communist. . . . Send weapons. Rebellious army officers on the island of Sumatra were the key to the nation's future, Goodell told headquarters. "Sumatrans prepared to fight," he cabled, "but are short of arms." In July 1957, local election returns showed that the PKI stood to become the third most powerful political party in Indonesia, up from the fourth spot. "Sukarno insisting on Commie participation" in Indonesia's government, Goodell reported, "because of six million Indonesians who voted for Communist party."
The CIA described this rise as "spectacular gains" giving the communists "enormous prestige."
Would Sukarno now turn toward Moscow and Beijing? No one had the slightest notion. The station chief strongly disagreed with the outgoing American ambassador in Indonesia, Hugh Cumming, who said Sukarno was still open to American influence. From the start, Goodell fought the new ambassador, John M. Allison, who had served as the American envoy in Japan and the assistant secretary of state for the Far East. The two quickly reached an angry impasse. Would the United States use diplomatic influence or deadly force in Indonesia? No one seemed to know what the foreign policy of the United States was on this point. On July 19, 1957, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Charles Pearre Cabell "recommended that the Director again attempt to find out State Department policy on Indonesia," say the minutes of the CIA chiefs' meeting. "The Director agreed to do this." 
The White House and the CIA sent emissaries to Jakarta to assess the situation. 
Allen Dulles dispatched Al Ulmer; President Eisenhower sent F. M. Dearborn, Jr., his special assistant for security operations. Dearborn reluctantly advised Eisenhower that almost all of America's allies in the Far East were shaky. Chiang Kai-shek was leading "a dictatorship" in Taiwan. President Diem was running a "one-man show" in South Vietnam. The leaders of Laos were corrupt. South Korea's Syngman Rhee was deeply unpopular. But the problem in Sukarno's Indonesia was different, the president's man reported: It was "subversion by ballot"—one of the dangers of participatory democracy.
Al Ulmer believed that he had to find the strongest anticommunist forces in Indonesia and support them with guns and money. He and Goodell argued furiously with Ambassador Allison over "a long and fruitless afternoon" on the veranda of the embassy residence in Jakarta
 The CIA men did not accept the fact that almost all the Indonesian army leadership remained professionally loyal to the government, personally anticommunist, and politically pro-American. They believed that CIA support for rebellious army officers could save Indonesia from a communist takeover. With the agency's support, they could create a breakaway Indonesian government on Sumatra, then seize the capital. Ulmer returned to Washington denouncing Sukarno as "beyond redemption" and Allison as "soft on communism." He swayed the Dulles brothers on both counts. 
A few weeks later, at the CIA's recommendation, Ambassador Allison, one of the most experienced Asia hands remaining at the State Department, was removed from his post and reassigned on short notice to Czechoslovakia. "
I had great regard for Foster and Allen Dulles," Allison noted. "But they did not know Asians well and were always inclined to judge them by Western standards." On the question of Indonesia, "they were both activists and insisted on doing something at once." They had been convinced by the station's reporting that the communists were subverting and controlling the Indonesian army—and that the agency could thwart the threat. The CIA had engraved a self-addressed invitation to an insurrection.  
 At the August 1, 1957, meeting of the National Security Council, the CIA's reporting sparked a pent-up explosion. Allen Dulles said Sukarno had "gone beyond the point of no return" and "would henceforth play the communist game." Vice President Nixon picked up the theme and proposed that "the United States should work through the Indonesia military organization to mobilize opposition to communism." Frank Wisner said the CIA could back a rebellion, but he could not guarantee "absolute control" once it started: "explosive results were always possible." The next day, he told his colleagues that "the deterioration of the situation in Indonesia is being viewed with the utmost gravity in the highest circles of the U.S. Government." 
 Foster Dulles threw his full weight behind a coup. He put former ambassador Hugh Cumming, five months out of Indonesia, in charge of a committee led by officers from the CIA and the Pentagon. The group delivered its recommendations on September 13, 1957. It urged the United States to supply covert military and economic aid to army officers seeking power. But it also raised fundamental questions about the consequences of American covert action. Arming the rebellious officers "could increase the likelihood of the dismemberment of Indonesia, a country which was created with U.S. support and assistance," members of the Cumming group noted. "Since the U.S. played a very important role in the creation of an independent Indonesia, doesn't it stand to lose a great deal in Asia and the rest of the world if Indonesia breaks up, particularly if, as seems inevitable, our hand in the breakup eventually becomes known?"
 The question went unanswered. On September 25, President Eisenhower ordered the agency to overthrow Indonesia, according to CIA records obtained by the author. He set out three missions. First: to provide "arms and other military aid" to "anti-Sukarno military commanders" throughout Indonesia. Second: to "strengthen the determination, will, and cohesion" of the rebel army officers on the islands of Sumatra and Sulawesi. Third: to support and "stimulate into action, singly or in unison, non- and anti-Communist elements" among political parties on the main island of Java. Three days later the Indian newsweekly Blitz—a publication controlled by Soviet intelligence—ran a long story with a provocative headline:
The Indonesian press picked up the story and ran with it. The covert action had remained secret for roughly seventy-two hours. Richard Bissell sent U-2 flights out over the archipelago and plotted the delivery of arms and ammunition to the rebels by sea and air. He had never run paramilitary operations or drawn up military plans. He found it fascinating. The operation took three months to plan. Wisner flew to the CIA station in Singapore, just across the Malacca Straits from northern Sumatra, to set up political-warfare operations. Ulmer created military command posts at Clark Air Force Base and the Subie Bay naval station in the Philippines, the two biggest American bases in the region. John Mason, Ulmer's Far East operations chief, assembled a small team of paramilitary officers in the Philippines; many were veterans of the CIA's Korean War operations. 
They made contact with a handful of the Indonesian army rebels on Sumatra and another contingent of commanders seeking power on the island of Sulawesi, northeast of Java. Mason worked with the Pentagon to put together a package of machine guns, carbines, rifles, rocket launchers, mortars, hand grenades, and ammunition sufficient for eight thousand soldiers, and he made plans to supply the rebels on both Sumatra and Sulawesi by sea and by air. The first arms shipment came out of Subie Bay on the USS Thomaston, bound for Sumatra, on January 8, 1958. Mason followed the ship in a submarine, the USS Bluegill. 
The arms arrived the following week in the northern Sumatran port of Padang, about 225 miles south of Singapore. The off-loading took place without a shred of secrecy. It drew an impressive crowd. On February 10, the Indonesian rebels broadcast a stirring challenge to Sukarno from a newly established CIA-financed radio station at Padang. They demanded a new government and the outlawing of communism within five days. Hearing nothing from Sukarno, who was sporting in the geisha bars and bathhouses of Tokyo, they announced the establishment of a revolutionary government whose foreign minister, picked and paid by the CIA, was Colonel Maludin Simbolon, an English speaking Christian. Reading their demands over the radio, they warned foreign powers not to interfere in Indonesia's internal affairs. Meanwhile, the CIA readied new weapons shipments from the Philippines and awaited the first signs of a nationwide popular uprising against Sukarno. 
The CIA's Jakarta station told headquarters to expect a long, slow, languid period of political maneuvering, with "all factions seeking to avoid violence." Eight days later, on February 21 , the Indonesian air force bombed the revolutionaries' radio stations in Central Sumatra into rubble, and the Indonesian navy blockaded rebel positions along the coast. The CIA's Indonesian agents and their American advisers retreated into the jungle. The agency appeared unmindful that some of the most powerful commanders in the Indonesian army had been trained in the United States and referred to themselves as "the sons of Eisenhower." These were the men who were fighting the rebels. The army, led by anticommunists, was at war with the CIA.
Hours after those first bombs fell on Sumatra, the Dulles brothers spoke by telephone. Foster said he was "in favor of doing something but it is difficult to figure out what or why." If the United States became "involved in a civil war" on the other side of the world, he said, how would it justify its case to Congress and the American people? Allen replied that the forces the CIA had assembled were "the best crowd we could get together," and he warned that "there is not too much time to consider all we have to consider." When the National Security Council met that week, Allen Dulles told the president that "the United States faced very difficult problems" in Indonesia. The NSC minutes say "he sketched the latest developments, most of which had been set forth in the newspapers," and then he warned: "If this dissident movement went down the drain, he felt fairly certain that Indonesia would go over to the Communists." Foster Dulles said that "we could not afford to let this happen." The president allowed that "we would have to go in if a Communist takeover really threatened." The CIA's false alarms were the basis for believing in that threat. Allen Dulles told Eisenhower that Sukarno's forces "were not very enthusiastic about an attack on Sumatra." Hours later, reports from Indonesia came pouring in to CIA headquarters saying that those same forces had "bombed and blockaded dissident strongholds in first effort to crush rebellion by all available means" and were "planning airborne and amphibious action against central Sumatra." American warships gathered near Singapore, ten minutes by jet from the coast of Sumatra. 
The US S Ticonderoga, an aircraft carrier with two battalions of marines aboard, dropped anchor along with two destroyers and a heavy cruiser. 
On March 9, as the naval battle group assembled, Foster Dulles made a public statement openly calling for a revolt against "Communist despotism" under Sukarno. General Nasution, Sukarno's army chief, responded by sending two battalions of soldiers on a fleet of eight ships, accompanied by an air force wing. They assembled off the northern coast of Sumatra, a dozen miles from Singapore's harbor. The new U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Howard Jones, cabled the secretary of state that General Nasution was a reliable anticommunist and the rebels had no chance of victory. He might as well have slipped the message into a bottle and tossed it into the sea. General Nasution's chief of operations, Colonel Ahmed Yani, was one of the "sons of Eisenhower"—devotedly pro-American, a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff course at Fort Leavenworth, and a friend to Major George Benson, the American military attaché in Jakarta. The colonel, preparing a major offensive against the rebels in Sumatra, asked Major Benson for maps to aid him in his mission. 
The major, unaware of the CIA's covert operation, gladly supplied them. At Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, the CIA's commanders had called in a twenty-two-man team of aircrews led by Polish pilots who had been flying for the agency since the ill-fated Albanian operation eight years earlier. The first of their flights carried five tons of weapons and ammunition along with bundles of cash for the rebels on Sumatra.
 It was detected by one of General Nasution's patrols instants after it entered Indonesian airspace. Nasution's paratroopers had the pleasure of picking up every one of the crates that the CIA's pilots dropped. To the east, on Sulawesi, the CIA's war went just as well. U.S. Navy fliers took off on a reconnaissance mission pinpointing potential targets on Sulawesi. The American-backed rebels showed their mettle by using .50-caliber machine guns supplied by the agency to shoot up the plane. The American team barely survived a crash landing two hundred miles to the north in the Philippines. 
The CIA's Polish pilots received fresh targets from the reconnaissance flight. Two sets of two-man crews arrived at a Sulawesi airstrip. Their refurbished B-26 aircraft were equipped with six five-hundred-pound bombs and heavy machine guns. One of the planes successfully attacked an Indonesian military airfield. The second crashed on takeoff. Two brave Poles went home to their British wives in body bags; an elaborate cover story disguised their deaths. The CIA's last hope lay with the rebels on Sulawesi and its outlying islands, in the far northeastern reaches of the archipelago. For in the final days of April, Sukarno's soldiers destroyed the rebels on Sumatra. 
The five CIA officers on the island ran for their lives. They headed south in a jeep until they ran out of fuel, then walked through the jungle to the coast, stealing food from little shops in isolated villages to sustain themselves. When they reached the ocean they commandeered a fishing boat and radioed their position to the CIA station in Singapore. A navy submarine, the US S Tang, came to their rescue. The mission on Sumatra had "practically collapsed," Allen Dulles glumly reported to Eisenhower on April 25. "There seemed to be no willingness to fight on the part of the dissident forces on the island," the director told the president. "The dissident leaders had been unable to provide their soldiers with any idea of why they were fighting. It was a very strange war."
Eisenhower wanted to keep this operation deniable. He ordered that no Americans could be involved "in any operations partaking of a military character in Indonesia." Dulles disobeyed him. The CIA's pilots had begun bombing and strafing Indonesia's outer islands on April 19, 1958. These agency air forces were described in a written CIA briefing for the White House and the president of the United States as "dissident planes"—Indonesian planes flown by Indonesians, not American aircraft flown by agency personnel. One of the Americans flying those planes was Al Pope. At age twenty-five, he was a four-year veteran of dangerous secret missions. He was distinguished by bravery and fervor. "I enjoyed killing Communists," he said in 2005. "I liked to kill Communists any way I could get them." He flew his first mission in Indonesia on April 27. 
For the next three weeks, he and his fellow CIA pilots hit military and civilian targets in the villages and harbors of northeastern Indonesia. On May Day, Allen Dulles told Eisenhower that these air strikes had been "almost too effective, since they had resulted in the sinking of a British and of a Panamanian freighter." Hundreds of civilians died, the American embassy reported. 
Four days later Dulles nervously recounted to the National Security Council that the bombings had "stirred great anger" among the Indonesian people, for it was charged that American pilots had been at the controls. The charges were true, but the president of the United States and the secretary of state publicly denied them.
The American embassy and Admiral Felix Stump, commander of American forces in the Pacific, alerted Washington that the CIA's operation was a transparent failure. The president asked the director of central intelligence to explain himself. A team of officers at CIA headquarters scrambled to piece together a chronology of the Indonesia operation.
They noted that although the "complexity" and "sensitivity" of the operation was immense, demanding "careful coordination," it had been improvised "day-to-day." By virtue of its size and scope, "it could not be conducted as a completely covert operation." The failure of secrecy violated the agency's charter and the president's direct orders. Al Pope spent the early hours of Sunday, May 18, over Ambon City in eastern Indonesia, sinking a navy ship, bombing a market, and destroying a church. The official death toll was six civilians and seventeen military officers. 
Then Pope began to pursue a seven-thousand-ton ship transporting more than a thousand Indonesian troops. But his B-26 was in the crosshairs of the ship's anti-aircraft guns. It was also being tailed by an Indonesian air force fighter. Hit from behind and below, Pope's plane burst into flames at six thousand feet. Pope ordered his Indonesian radioman to jump, jettisoned his canopy, hit the ejection seat's release, and bailed out. As he tumbled backward, his leg struck the tail of his plane. His thigh shattered at the hip. His last bomb missed the troopship by about forty feet, sparing hundreds of lives. He fell slowly back to earth, writhing in pain at the end of his parachute. In the zippered pocket of his flight suit, Pope had his personnel records, his after-action flight reports, and a membership card for the officer's club at Clark Field. 
The documents identified him for what he was—an American officer bombing Indonesia on orders from his government. He could have been shot on sight. But he was placed under arrest. "They convicted me of murder and sentenced me to death," he said. "They said I wasn't a prisoner of war and was not entitled to the Geneva Convention." The news that Pope had gone missing in battle reached CIA headquarters that same Sunday evening. The director of central intelligence conferred with his brother. They agreed they had lost this war. On May 19, Allen Dulles sent a flash cable to his officers in Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Singapore: stand down, cut off the money, shut down the arms pipeline, burn the evidence, and retreat. 
 The minutes of that morning's meeting at headquarters reflect his fury over a "glaring mix-up." It was time for the United States to switch sides. As quickly as possible, American foreign policy reversed course. The CIA's reporting instantly reflected the change. The agency told the White House on May 21 that the Indonesian army was suppressing communism and that Sukarno was speaking and acting in ways favorable to the United States. Now it was the CIA's former friends who threatened American interests. "The operation was, of course, a complete failure," Richard Bissell said. For the rest of his days in power, Sukarno rarely failed to mention it. 
He knew the CIA had tried to overthrow his government, and his army knew it, and the political establishment of Indonesia knew it too. The ultimate effect was to strengthen Indonesia's communists, whose influence and power grew for the next seven years. "They said Indonesia was a failure," Al Pope reflected bitterly. "But we knocked the shit out of them. We killed thousands of Communists, even though half of them probably didn't even know what Communism meant." The only contemporary record of Pope's service in Indonesia is one line in a CIA report to the White House, dated May 21 , 1958. It is a lie, and it reads in full: "Dissident B-26 aircraft shot down during attack on Ambon on 18 May."
 Indonesia was Frank Wisner's last operation as chief of the clandestine service. He came back from the Far East in June 1958 at the edge of his sanity, and at summer's end he went mad. The diagnosis was "psychotic mania." The symptoms had been there for years—the desire to change the world by force of will, the soaring speeches, the suicidal missions. Psychiatrists and primitive new psychopharmaceuticals did not help. The treatment was electroshock. For six months, his head was clamped into a vise and shot through with a current sufficient to fire a hundred-watt lightbulb. He came out less brilliant and less bold, and went off to serve as chief of station in London.
 After the Indonesia operation fell apart, Dulles meandered through a series of National Security Council meetings, voicing vague and ominous warnings about the threat from Moscow. The president began wondering out loud if the CIA knew what it was doing. He once asked in astonishment: Allen, are you trying to scare me into starting a war? At headquarters, Dulles asked his most senior officers where exactly he had to go to find intelligence on the Soviet Union. At a deputies' meeting on June 23, 1958, he said he was "at a loss as to what component of the Agency he can turn to when he desires specific information on the USSR." The agency had none to speak of. Its reporting on the Soviets was pure wind. 
The CIA's Abbot Smith, one of its best analysts and later the chief of the agency's Office of National Estimates, looked back on a decade's work at the end of 1958 and wrote: "We had constructed for ourselves a picture of the USSR, and whatever happened had to be made to fit into that picture. Intelligence estimators can hardly commit a more abominable sin." On December 16, Eisenhower received a report from his intelligence board of consultants advising him to overhaul the CIA. Its members feared that the agency was "incapable of making objective appraisals of its own intelligence information as well as of its own operations." Led by former defense secretary Robert Lovett, they pleaded with the president to take covert operations out of Allen Dulles's hands. Dulles, as ever, fended off all efforts to change the CIA. He told the president there was nothing wrong with the agency. Back at headquarters, he told his senior staff that "our problems were getting greater every year." 
He promised the president that Wisner's replacement would fix the missions and organization of the clandestine service. He had just the man for the job. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chapter 16
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669) 
  On January 1, 1959, Richard Bissell became the chief of the clandestine service. That same day, Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba. A secret CIA history unearthed in 2005 described in detail how the agency took on the threat. The agency took a long hard look at Fidel. It did not know what to make of him. "Many serious observers feel his regime will collapse within a matter of months," predicted Jim Noel, the CIA's station chief, whose officers had spent too much time reporting from the Havana Country Club. At headquarters, some argued that Castro deserved the agency's guns and money. Al Cox, chief of the paramilitary division, proposed to "make secret contact with Castro" and offer him arms and ammunition to establish a democratic government. Cox told his superiors that the CIA could ship weapons to Castro on a vessel manned by a Cuban crew. But "the most secure means of help would be giving the money to Castro, who could then purchase his own arms," Cox wrote to his superiors. 
"A combination of arms and money would probably be best." Cox was an alcoholic, and his thinking might have been clouded, but more than a few of his fellow officers felt the way he did. "My staff and I were all Fidelistas" at the time, Robert Reynolds, chief of the CIA's Caribbean operations desk, said many years later. In April and May 1959, when the newly victorious Castro visited the United States, a CIA officer briefed Castro face-to-face in Washington. He described Fidel as "a new spiritual leader of Latin American democratic and anti-dictator forces." 
The president was furious to find that the CIA had misjudged Castro. "Though our intelligence experts backed and filled for a number of months," Eisenhower wrote in his memoirs, "events were gradually driving them to the conclusion that with the coming of Castro, Communism had penetrated this hemisphere." On December 11, 1959, having reached that conclusion, Richard Bissell sent Allen Dulles a memo suggesting that "thorough consideration be given to the elimination of Fidel Castro." Dulles penciled in a crucial correction to the proposal. He struck out elimination, a word tinged with more than a hint of murder. He substituted removal from Cuba—and gave the go-ahead. 
On January 8, 1960, Dulles told Bissell to organize a special task force to overthrow Castro. Bissell personally selected many of the same people who had subverted the government of Guatemala six years before— and had deceived President Eisenhower fâce-to-face about the coup. He chose the feckless Tracy Barnes for political and psychological warfare, the talented Dave Phillips for propaganda, the gung-ho Rip Robertson for paramilitary training, and the relentlessly mediocre E. Howard Hunt to manage the political front groups. Their chief would be Jake Esterline, who had run the Washington "war room" for Operation Success. 
Esterline was station chief in Venezuela when he first laid eyes on Fidel Castro in early 1959. He had watched the young commandante touring Caracas, fresh from his New Year's Day triumph over the dictator Fulgencio Batista, and he had heard the crowds cheering Castro as a conqueror. "I saw—hell, anybody with eyes could see—that a new and powerful force was at work in the hemisphere," Esterline said. "It had to be dealt with." Esterline returned to CIA headquarters in January 1960 to receive his appointment as Cuba task force chief. The group took shape as a secret cell inside the CIA. All the money, all the information, and all the decisions for the Cuban task force came through Bissell. He had little interest in the work of his spies, much less gathering intelligence from inside Cuba. He never stopped to analyze what would happen if the coup against Castro succeeded—or if it failed. "I don't think these kinds of things were ever thought about in any depth," Esterline said. "I think their first reaction was, God, we've got a possible Communist in here; we had better get him out just the way we got Arbenz out" in Guatemala. Bissell almost never talked about Cuba with Richard Helms, his second-in-command at the clandestine service. The two men disliked and distrusted one another intensely. Helms did weigh in on one idea that filtered up from the Cuba task force. It was a propaganda ploy: a Cuban agent, trained by the CIA, would appear on the shores of Istanbul, claiming to be a political prisoner who had just jumped from a Soviet ship. 
He would proclaim that Castro was enslaving thousands of his people and shipping them to Siberia. The plan was known as "The Dripping Cuban." Helms killed it. On March 2, 1960—two weeks before President Eisenhower approved a covert action against Castro—Dulles briefed Vice President Nixon on operations already under way. Reading from a seven-page paper initialed by Bissell, titled "What We Are Doing in Cuba," Dulles specified acts of economic warfare, sabotage, political propaganda and a plan to use "a drug, which if placed in Castro's food, would make him behave in such an irrational manner that a public appearance could well have very damaging results to him." Nixon was all for it. Dulles and Bissell presented their plans to Eisenhower and Nixon at the White House in a four-man meeting at 2:30 p.m. on March 17, 1960. 
They did not propose to invade the island. They told Eisenhower that they could overthrow Castro by sleight of hand. They would create "a responsible, appealing and unified Cuban opposition," led by recruited agents. A clandestine radio station would beam propaganda into Havana to spark an uprising.
CIA officers at the U.S. Army's jungle warfare training camp in Panama would school sixty Cubans to infiltrate the island. The CIA would drop arms and ammunition to them. Fidel would fall six to eight months thereafter, Bissell promised. The timing was excruciatingly sensitive: election day was seven and a half months away. Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Nixon had won by wide margins in the New Hampshire presidential primaries the week before. Eisenhower's staff secretary, General Andrew Goodpaster, took notes on the meeting. "The President says he knows of no better plan. . . . The great problem is leakage and security. . . . Everyone must be prepared to swear that he had not heard of it. .. . Our hand should not show in anything that is done." The agency should have needed no reminder that, under its charter, all covert action required secrecy so secure that no evidence would lead to the president. But Eisenhower wanted to make sure the CIA did its best to keep this one under cover.
The president and Dick Bissell were locked in an increasingly intense struggle over the control of one of the biggest secrets of all—the U-2 spy plane. Eisenhower had not allowed any flights over Soviet terrain since his talks with Khrushchev at Camp David six months earlier. Khrushchev had returned from Washington praising the president's courage in seeking peaceful coexistence; Eisenhower wanted the "spirit of Camp David" to be his legacy. Bissell was fighting as hard as possible to resume the secret missions. The president was torn. He truly wanted the intelligence that the U-2 gleaned. He longed to bury the "missile gap"—the false claims by the CIA, the air force, military contractors, and politicians of both parties that the Soviets had a widening lead in nuclear weaponry. The CIA's formal estimates of Soviet military strength were not based on intelligence, but on politics and guesswork. Since 1957, the CIA had sent Eisenhower terrifying reports that the Soviet buildup of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles was far faster and much greater than the American arsenal. In 1960, the agency projected a mortal threat to the United States; it told the president that the Soviets would have five hundred ICBMs ready to strike by 1961.
The Strategic Air Command used those estimates as the basis for a secret first-strike plan using more than three thousand nuclear warheads to destroy every city and every military outpost from Warsaw to Beijing. But Moscow did not have five hundred nuclear missiles pointed at the United States at the time.
It had four. The president had worried for five and a half years that the U-2 itself might start World War III. If the plane went down over the Soviet Union, it could take the chance for peace with it. The month after the Camp David dialogues with Khrushchev, the president had rejected a newly proposed U-2 mission over the Soviet Union; he told Allen Dulles once again, bluntly, that divining the intentions of the Soviets through espionage was more important to him than discovering details about their military capabilities. Only spies, not gadgets, could tell him about Soviet intent to attack. Without that knowledge, the president said, the U-2 flights were "provocative pin-pricking, and it may give them the idea that we are seriously preparing plans to knock out their installations" with a sneak attack. Eisenhower had a summit meeting with Khrushchev set for May 16, 1960, in Paris.
He feared that his greatest asset—his reputation for honesty—would be squandered if a U-2 went down while the United States was, in his words, "engaged in apparently sincere deliberations" with the Soviets. In theory, only the president had the power to order a U-2 mission. But Bissell ran the program, and he was petulant about filing his flight plans. He tried to evade presidential authority by secretly seeking to outsource flights to the British and to the Chinese Nationalists.
 In his memoirs, he wrote that Allen Dulles had been horrified to learn that the first U-2 flight had passed directly over Moscow and Leningrad. The director had never known; Bissell never saw fit to tell him. He argued for weeks with the White House before Eisenhower finally gave in and agreed to an April 9, 1960, flight over the Soviet Union from Pakistan. It was, on the surface, a success. But the Soviets knew their airspace had been violated once again, and they went on high alert. Bissell fought for one more flight. The president set a deadline of April 25. The date came and went with clouds covering the Communist targets. Bissell pleaded for more time, and Eisenhower gave him six days' reprieve. The following Sunday was to be the final date for a flight before the Paris summit.
 Bissell then tried to circumvent the White House by going to the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to win their backing for yet another flight. In his zeal, he had neglected to plan for disaster. On May Day, as the president had feared, the U-2 was shot down in central Russia. The CIA's pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was captured alive. C. Douglas Dillon was the acting secretary of state that day. "The President told me to work with Allen Dulles," Dillon recounted. "We had to put out some sort of announcement." To the shock of both men, NASA 160 TIMWEINE R announced that a weather plane had been lost in Turkey. 
That was the CIA's cover story. The director of central intelligence either never knew about it or had forgotten all about it. "We couldn't understand how this had happened," Dillon said. "But we had to get ourselves out of it." That proved difficult. Hewing to the cover story, the White House and the State Department deceived the American people for a week about the flight. Their lies grew more and more transparent.
 The last one came on May 7: 
"There was no authorization for such a flight." That broke Eisenhower's spirit. "He couldn't allow Allen Dulles to take all the blame, because it would look like the President didn't know what was going on in the government," Dillon said. Eisenhower walked into the Oval Office on May 9 and said out loud: "I would like to resign." For the first time in the history of the United States, millions of citizens understood that their president could deceive them in the name of national security. The doctrine of plausible deniability was dead. The summit with Khrushchev was wrecked and the brief thaw in the cold war iced over. 
The CIA's spy plane destroyed the idea of détente for almost a decade. Eisenhower had approved the final mission in the hope of putting the lie to the missile gap. But the cover-up of the crash made him out to be a liar. In retirement, Eisenhower said the greatest regret of his presidency was "the lie we told about the U-2. I didn't realize how high a price we were going to pay for that lie." The president knew he would not be able to leave office in a spirit of international peace and reconciliation. He was now intent on policing as many parts of the planet as possible before leaving office. The summer of 1960 became a season of incessant crisis for the CIA. Red arrows signifying hot spots in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia multiplied on the maps that Allen Dulles and his men brought to the White House. The chagrin over the U-2 shootdown gave way to a murderous anger. First Dick Bissell redoubled the CIA's plans for overthrowing Cuba. He set up a new CIA station in Coral Gables, Florida, code-named Wave. He told Vice President Nixon that he would need a force of five hundred trained Cuban exiles—up from sixty men a few weeks before—to lead the fight. But the army's jungle warfare center in Panama could not handle hundreds more raw recruits. 
So Bissell sent Jake Esterline down to Guatemala, where he single-handedly negotiated a secret agreement LEGAC Y u / ASHE S 161 with President Manuel Ydigoras Fuentes, a retired general and a skilled wheeler-dealer. The site he secured became the main training camp for the Bay of Pigs, with its own airport, its own brothel, and its own codes of conduct. The CIA's Cubans found it "entirely unsatisfactory," reported marine colonel Jack Hawkins, Esterline's top paramilitary planner. They lived "in prison-camp conditions," which produced "political complications" that were "very difficult for C.I.A. to handle." Though the camp was isolated, the Guatemalan army was well aware of it, and the presence of a foreign force on its soil very nearly led to a military coup against their president. Then, in mid-August, courtly, charming Dick Bissell put out a Mafia contract against Fidel Castro. He went to Colonel Sheffield Edwards, the CIA's chief of security, and asked the colonel to put him in touch with a gangster who could carry out a hit. This time he briefed Dulles, who gave his approval. An agency historian concluded: "Bissell probably believed that Castro would be dead at the hands of a CIA-sponsored assassin before the Brigade ever hit the beach" at the Bay of Pigs. Bissell's men, knowing nothing of the Mafia plan, worked on a second murder plot. The question was how to put a trained CIA killer within shooting distance of Fidel: "Can we get a Rip Robertson close to him? Can we get a really hairy Cuban—I mean a gutsy Cuban?" said Dick Drain, the Cuba task force's chief of operations. The answer was always no. Miami was crawling with thousands of Cuban exiles ready to join the CIA's increasingly well-known covert operation, but Castro's spies were rife among them, and Fidel learned a fair amount about the CIA's plans.
 An FBI agent named George Davis, after spending a few months listening to loose-lipped Cubans in Miami coffee shops and bars, gave a CIA officer at the Wave station some friendly advice: it would be impossible to overthrow Castro with these chatty Cuban exiles. The only hope was to send in the marines. His CIA colleague relayed the message to headquarters. It was ignored. On August 18, 1960, Dulles and Bissell discussed the Cuba task force in private with President Eisenhower for less than twenty minutes. Bissell asked for another $10.75 million to begin the paramilitary training of the five hundred Cubans in Guatemala. Eisenhower said yes, on one condition: "So long as the Joint Chiefs, Defense, State and CIA think we have a good chance of being successful" in "freeing the Cubans from this incubus." When Bissell tried to raise the idea of creating an American 162 TIMWEINE R military force to lead the Cubans in battle, Dulles twice cut him off, evading debate and dissent. The president—the man who had led the biggest secret invasion in American history—warned the CIA's leaders against "the danger of making false moves" or "starting something before we were ready." 
Later that same day, at a meeting of the National Security Council, the president ordered the director of central intelligence to eliminate the man the CIA saw as the Castro of Africa—Patrice Lumumba, the prime minister of the Congo. Lumumba had been freely elected, and he appealed to the United States for assistance as his nation shook off Belgium's brutal colonial rule and declared its independence in the summer of 1960. American help never came, for the CIA regarded Lumumba as a dope-addled communist dupe. So when Belgian paratroopers flew in to reassert control in the capital, Lumumba accepted Soviet planes, trucks, and "technicians" to bolster his barely functioning government. The week that the Belgian soldiers arrived, Dulles sent Larry Devlin, the station chief in Brussels, to take charge of the CIA post in the capital of the Congo and assess Lumumba as a target for covert action. 
On August 18, after six weeks in the country, Devlin cabled CIA headquarters:
Allen Dulles delivered the gist of this message at the NSC meeting that same day. According to secret Senate testimony delivered years later by the NSC's notetaker, Robert Johnson, President Eisenhower then turned to Dulles and said flatly that Lumumba should be eliminated. After a dead silence of fifteen seconds or so, the meeting went on. Dulles cabled Devlin eight days later:
Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA's clubfooted master chemist, brought an airline carry-on bag containing vials of lethal toxins to the Congo and handed it to the station chief. It held a hypodermic syringe to inject the lethal drops into food, drink, or a tube of toothpaste. It was Devlin's job to deliver death to Lumumba. 
The two men held a nervous conversation in Devlin's apartment on or about the night of September 10. "I asked on whose orders these instructions were issued," Devlin said under oath in secret testimony declassified in 1998. The answer was "the President." Devlin testified that he locked the toxins in his office safe and agonized over what to do. He remembered thinking: I'll be damned if I'm going to leave that lying around. In time, he took the poison vials out to the banks of the Congo River and buried them. He said he was ashamed of the order to kill Lumumba. He knew there were other means at the CIA's disposal. The agency had already selected the Congo's next leader: Joseph Mobutu, "the only man in the Congo able to act with firmness," as Dulles told the president at the NSC meeting on September 21 . The CIA delivered $250,000 to him in early October, followed by shipments of arms and ammunition in November. Mobutu captured Lumumba and, in Devlin's words, delivered him into the hands of a "sworn enemy." The CIA base in Elizabethville, deep in the heart of the Congo, reported that "a Belgian officer of Flemish origin executed Lumumba with a burst of submachine gun fire" two nights before the next president of the United States took office. With the unwavering support of the CIA, Mobutu finally gained full control of the Congo after a five-year power struggle. He was the agency's favorite ally in Africa and the clearinghouse for American covert action throughout the continent during the cold war. He ruled for three decades as one of the world's most brutal and corrupt dictators, stealing billions of dollars in revenues from the nation's enormous deposits of diamonds, minerals, and strategic metals, slaughtering multitudes to preserve his power.
As the 1960 election drew nearer, it was clear to Vice President Nixon that the CIA was far from ready to attack Cuba. At the end of September, Nixon nervously instructed the task force: "Don't do anything now; wait until after the elections." The delay gave Fidel Castro a crucial edge. His spies told him an American-backed invasion might be imminent, and he built up his military and intelligence forces, cracking down hard on the political dissidents whom the CIA hoped would serve as shock troops for the coup. The internal resistance against Castro began to die that summer, though the CIA never paid much heed to what was actually happening on the island. Tracy Barnes privately commissioned a public-opinion poll in Cuba—and it showed that people overwhelmingly supported Castro. Disliking the results, he discarded them. The agency's effort to drop arms to rebels on the island was a fiasco. On September 28, a pallet of machine guns, rifles, and Colt .45s for a hundred fighters floated down to Cuba from a CIA plane flying out of Guatemala. The drop missed its target by seven miles. Castro's forces seized the arms, captured the Cuban CIA agent set to receive them, and shot him. The pilot got lost on his way back and landed in southern Mexico, where the local police seized the plane. In all, thirty such missions were flown; at most three succeeded. By early October, the CIA realized that it knew next to nothing about the anti-Castro forces inside Cuba. "We had no confidence that they weren't penetrated" by Castro's spies, Jake Esterline said. He now was certain that Castro could not be overthrown by subtle subversion. "We had made a major effort at infiltration and resupply, and those efforts had been unsuccessful," Bissell recalled. He decided that "what was needed was a shock action"—a full-scale invasion.
 The CIA had neither presidential approval nor the troops needed to carry out that mission. The five hundred men undergoing training in Guatemala were "a preposterously inadequate number," Bissell told Esterline. Both men realized that only a far larger force could succeed against Castro, who had a sixty-thousand-man army with tanks and artillery, along with an increasingly cruel and efficient internal-security service. Bissell had the Mafia on one phone line, the White House on another. The presidential election was looming. Sometime during the first week of November 1960, the core concept of the Cuban operation cracked under the pressure.
Esterline pronounced the plan unworkable, and Bissell knew he was right. But he told no one. In the months and weeks and days before the invasion, he retreated into deception. "He was lying down and he was lying up," Jake Esterline said—down to the CIA's Cuba task force, up to the president and the new president-elect. John Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in November by fewer than 120,000 votes. Some Republicans thought the election was stolen in the political precincts of Chicago. Others pointed at vote buying in West Virginia. Richard Nixon blamed the CIA. He was convinced, wrongly, that "Georgetown liberals" like Dulles and Bissell had secretly aided Kennedy with inside information on Cuba before a crucial televised presidential debate. President-elect Kennedy immediately announced the re-appointments of J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles.
That decision came from his father, and it was made for political and personal protection. Hoover knew some of the deeper secrets in the Kennedy family—including the president-elect's sexual dalliances during World War n with a suspected Nazi spy—and he had shared that knowledge with Dulles. Kennedy knew all this because his father, a former member of Eisenhower's board of foreign intelligence consultants, had told him on good authority. On November 18, the president-elect met Dulles and Bissell at his father's retreat in Palm Beach, Florida.
 Three days before, Bissell had received a conclusive report from Esterline on the Cuban operation. "Our original concept is now seen to be unachievable in the face of the controls Castro has instituted," Esterline said. "There will not be the internal unrest earlier believed possible, nor will the defenses permit the type of strike first planned. Our second concept (1,500-3,000 man force to secure a beach with airstrip) is now also seen as unachievable, except as a joint Agency/DOD action." In other words, to overthrow Castro, the United States would have to send in the marines. "I sat there in my office at CIA," Esterline recounted, "and I said, 'Goddamn it, 
I hope Bissell has enough guts to tell John Kennedy what the facts are.' " But Bissell never breathed a word. The unachievable plan became a can-do mission. The Palm Beach briefing placed the CIA leaders in "an absolutely untenable position," Bissell told an agency historian. Their notes for the meeting show that they had intended to discuss their past triumphs— particularly Guatemala—and a multitude of covert operations under way in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central and South America, and Asia. But they did not. Before the meeting, President Eisenhower told them to hew to "a narrow agenda"; they interpreted that as a ban on discussing anything that had transpired in the meetings of the National Security Council. As a result, crucial information about the CIA's covert operations was lost in transition from one president to another. Eisenhower had never approved an invasion of Cuba. But Kennedy did not know that. What he knew was what Dulles and Bissell told him. 
 For eight years, Allen Dulles had fended off all efforts by outsiders to change the CIA. He had a reputation to protect—the agency's and his own. Denying everything, admitting nothing, he had hidden the truth to conceal the failures of his covert operations. From at least 1957 onward, he had shunned voices of reason and moderation, ignored the increasingly urgent recommendations of the president's intelligence consultants, brushed aside reports by his own inspector general, treated his underlings with contempt. "He was, by that time, a tired old man," whose professional conduct "could be, and usually was, trying in the extreme," said Dick Lehman, one of the best analysts the agency ever had. "His treatment of us reflected his sense of values. He was wrong, of course, but we had to live with it."
In his last days in office, President Eisenhower came to understand that he did not have a spy service worthy of the name. He came to that conclusion after reading through a thick stack of reports he had commissioned in the hope of changing the CIA. The first, on December 15, 1960, was the work of the Joint Study Group, which he had created after the U-2 shootdown to survey the landscape of American intelligence. It was a terrifying picture of drift and disarray. It said Dulles never had addressed the problem of a surprise attack by the Soviets.
He had never coordinated military intelligence and civilian analysis. He had never created the capability to provide warning  in a crisis. He had spent eight years mounting covert operations instead of mastering American intelligence.
Then, on January 5, 1961, the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities issued its final recommendations. It called for "a total reassessment" of covert action:
"We are unable to conclude that, on balance, all of the covert action programs undertaken by CIA up to this time have been worth the risk of the great expenditure of man-power, money and other resources involved." It warned that "CIA's concentration on political, psychological and related covert action activities have tended to distract substantially from the execution of its primary intelligence-gathering mission."
The board urged the president to consider the "complete separation" of the director of central intelligence from the CIA. It said Dulles was incapable of running the agency while carrying out his duties to coordinate American intelligence—the code making and code breaking of the National Security Agency; the dawning capabilities of spy satellites and space photoreconnaissance; the endless squabbles of the army, the navy, and the air force. "I reminded the President that many times he had addressed himself to this general problem," his national-security aide, Gordon Gray, wrote after reviewing the report with Eisenhower.
I know, Ike replied. I've tried. I cannot change Allen Dulles. "A great deal has been accomplished," Dulles insisted to the president at the final gatherings of Eisenhower's National Security Council. Everything is well in hand, he said. I have fixed the clandestine service. American intelligence has never been more agile and adept. Coordination and cooperation are better than they ever have been. The proposals of the president's intelligence board were preposterous, he said, they were madness, they were illegal. I am responsible under the law for intelligence coordination, he reminded the president. I cannot delegate that responsibility. Without my leadership, he said, American intelligence would be "a body floating in thin air."
At the last, Dwight Eisenhower exploded in anger and frustration. "The structure of our intelligence organization is faulty," he told Dulles. It makes no sense, it has to be reorganized, and we should have done it long ago. Nothing had changed since Pearl Harbor. "I have suffered an eight-year defeat on this," said the president of the United States.
He said he would "leave a legacy of ashes" to his successor.     
Lost Causes The CIA Under Kennedy and Johnson 1961 to 1968    
Chapter 17
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669) 
The legacy was handed down on the morning of January 19, 1961, when the old general and the young senator met alone in the Oval Office. With a sense of foreboding, Eisenhower gave Kennedy a glance at the stratagems of national security: nuclear weapons and covert operations. The two men emerged and met in the Cabinet Room with the old and new secretaries of state, defense, and the treasury. "Senator Kennedy asked the President's judgment as to the United States supporting the guerrilla operations in Cuba, even if this support involves the United States publicly," a note taker recorded that morning. "The President replied Yes as we cannot let the present government there go on. . . .
The President also advised that the situation would be helped if we could handle the Dominican Republic at the same time." Eisenhower's idea that one Caribbean coup could counterbalance another was an equation no one in Washington had worked out. As Kennedy arose the next morning for his swearing-in, the corrupt right-wing leader of the Dominican Republic, Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo, had been in power for thirty years. Support from the U.S. government and the American business community had helped keep him in office. He ruled by force, fraud, and fear; he took pleasure in hanging his enemies from meat hooks. "He had his torture chambers, he had his political assassinations," said Consul General Henry Dearborn, the ranking American diplomat in the Dominican Republic at the start of 1961. "But he kept law and order, cleaned the place up, made it sanitary, built pub lie works and he didn't bother the United States. So that was fine with us." But Trujillo had become intolerable, Dearborn said. "About the time I got there his iniquities had gotten so bad that there was a lot of pressure from various political groups, civil rights groups and others, not only in the U.S., but throughout the hemisphere, that something just had to be done about this man." Dearborn was left in charge of the American embassy in Santo Domingo after the United States severed diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic in August 1960. All but a few of the American diplomats and spies left the island. But Richard Bissell had asked Dearborn to stay on and serve as the acting CIA station chief. The consul general agreed. 
On January 19, 1961, Dearborn was advised that a shipment of small arms was on its way to a group of Dominican conspirators who aimed to kill Trujillo. The Special Group, Allen Dulles presiding, had made the decision one week before. Dearborn requested the agency's approval to arm the Dominicans with three carbine rifles left behind at the embassy by navy personnel. Bissell's covert-action deputy, Tracy Barnes, gave the green light. The CIA then dispatched three .38-caliber pistols to the Dominicans. Bissell authorized a second shipment of four machine guns and 240 rounds of ammunition. The machine guns remained at the American consulate in Santo Domingo after members of the new administration questioned what the world reaction might be if it were known that the United States was delivering murder weapons via diplomatic pouch. Dearborn received a cable, personally approved by President Kennedy, which he read to say: "We don't care if the Dominicans assassinate Trujillo, that is all right. But we don't want anything to pin this on us." Nothing ever did.
When Trujillo's killers shot him two weeks later, the smoking gun might or might not have been the agency's. There were no fingerprints. But the assassination was as close as the CIA had ever come to carrying out a murder at the command of the White House. The attorney general of the United States, Robert F. Kennedy, jotted down some notes after he learned of the assassination. "The great problem now," he wrote, "is that we don't know what to do  
As the CIA catapulted toward the invasion of Cuba, "the thing started to steamroller and get out of control," said Jake Esterline. Bissell was the driving force. He forged on, refusing to acknowledge that the CIA could not topple Castro, blinding himself to the fact that the secrecy of the operation had been blown long ago. On March 11, Bissell went to the White House with four separate plots on paper. None satisfied President Kennedy. He gave the chief of the clandestine service three days to come up with something better. Bissell's brainstorm was his choice of a new landing zone—three broad beaches at the Bay of Pigs.
The site satisfied a new political requirement from the administration: the Cuban invaders had to capture an airstrip upon landing, to establish a political beachhead for a new Cuban government. Bissell assured the president that this operation would succeed. The worst that could happen was that the CIA's rebels would confront Castro's forces on the beaches and march on into the mountains. But the terrain at the Bay of Pigs was an impassible tangle of mangrove roots and mud. No one in Washington knew that. 
The crude survey maps in the CIA's possession suggesting that the swampland would serve as guerrilla country had been drawn in 1895. The following week, the CIA's Mafia contacts took a swipe at killing Castro.
They gave poison pills and thousands of dollars to one of the CIA's most prominent Cubans, Tony Varona. (Described by Esterline as "a scoundrel, a cheat, and a thief," Varona later met President Kennedy at the White House.) Varona managed to hand off the vial of poison to a restaurant worker in Havana, who was to slip it into Castro's ice cream cone. Cuban intelligence officers later found the vial in an icebox, frozen to the coils. By spring, the president still had not approved a plan of attack. He did not understand how the invasion would work.
On Wednesday, April 5, he met again with Dulles and Bissell, but could not make sense of their strategy. On Thursday, April 6, he asked them if their planned bombing of Castro's small air force would eliminate the invaders' element of surprise.
No one had an answer. On Saturday night, April 8, Richard Bissell answered the insistent ring of his home phone. Jake Esterline was calling from Quarters Eye, the CIA's Washington war room, saying he and Colonel Hawkins, his para-military planner, needed to see Bissell alone as soon as possible. Sunday morning, Bissell opened his front door to find Esterline and Hawkins in a state of barely controlled rage. They marched into his living room, sat down, and told him that the invasion of Cuba had to be called off. It was too late to stop now, Bissell told them; the coup against Castro was set to begin in a week.
Esterline and Hawkins threatened to resign. Bissell questioned their loyalty and patriotism. They wavered. "If you don't want a disaster, we absolutely must take out all of Castro's air force," Esterline told Bissell, not for the first time. All three knew that Castro's thirty-six combat aircraft were capable of killing hundreds of the CIA's Cubans as they went ashore. 
Trust me, said Bissell. He promised to persuade President Kennedy to wipe out Castro's air force. "He talked us into continuing," Esterline recalled bitterly. "He said, 1 promise you that there will be no reductions of air raids.' " But at the crucial hour, Bissell cut the American force sent to destroy Castro's aircraft in half, from sixteen to eight bombers. He did it to please the president, who wanted a quiet coup. Bissell deceived him into believing the CIA would deliver one. On Saturday, April 15, eight American B-26 bombers struck three Cuban airfields as the CIA's brigade of 1,511 men headed for the Bay of Pigs.
Five Cuban aircraft were destroyed and perhaps a dozen more damaged. Half of Castro's air force remained. The CIA's cover story was that the attacker was a sole Cuban air force defector who had landed in Florida. That day, Bissell sent Tracy Barnes to New York to peddle the tale to the American ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson. Bissell and Barnes played Stevenson for a fool, as if he were their agent. Like Secretary of State Colin Powell on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Stevenson sold the CIA's story to the world. Unlike Powell, he discovered the next day that he had been had. 
The knowledge that Stevenson was caught lying in public riveted Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who already had good reason to be enraged with the CIA. Only hours before, on the heels of another blown operation, Rusk had to send a formal letter of apology to Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore.
The secret police in Singapore had burst into a CIA safe house, where a cabinet minister on the CIA's payroll was being interrogated. Lee Kwan Yew, a key American ally, said that the station chief offered him a $3.3 million bribe to hush up the matter. At 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 16, Stevenson cabled Rusk from New York to warn of the "gravest risk of another U-2 disaster in such uncoordinated action." At 9:30 p.m. the president's national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy, called Dulles's deputy director, General Charles Pearre Cabell. Bundy said the CIA could not launch air strikes on Cuba unless "they could be conducted from a strip within the beachhead" at the Bay of Pigs. At 10:15 p.m., Cabell and Bissell rushed to the elegant seventh floor offices of the secretary of state. Rusk told them the CIA's planes could go into battle to protect the beachhead, but not to attack Cuban airfields or harbors or radio stations. "He asked if I should like to speak to the President," Cabell wrote. "Mr. Bissell and I were impressed with the extremely delicate situation with Ambassador Stevenson and the United Nations and the risk to the entire political position of the United States"—a situation created by Bissell and Barnes's lies—and so "we saw no point in my speaking personally to the President." Trapped by his own cover stories, Bissell chose not to fight.
 In his memoirs, he attributed his silence to cowardice. When Cabell returned to the CIA's war room to report what had happened, Jake Esterline seriously considered killing him with his own hands. The agency was going to leave its Cubans to die "like sitting ducks on that damn beach," Esterline said. Cabell's cancellation order caught the CIA's pilots in Nicaragua in their cockpits, revving their engines. At 4:30 a.m. on Monday, April 17, Cabell called Rusk at home and pleaded for presidential authority for more air power to protect the CIA's ships, which were loaded to the gunwales with ammunition and military supplies. Rusk called President Kennedy at his Virginia retreat, Glen Ora, and put Cabell on the phone.
The president said he was unaware that there were going to be any air strikes on the morning of D-Day. Request denied. Four hours later, a Sea Fury fighter-bomber swooped down on the Bay of Pigs. The American-trained pilot, Captain Enrique Carreras, was the ace of Fidel Castro's air force. He took aim at the Rio Escondido, a rustbucket freighter out of New Orleans under contract to the CIA. Below him to the southeast, aboard the Blagar, a converted World War II landing craft, a CIA paramilitary officer named Grayston Lynch fired at the Cuban fighter with a defective .50-caliber machine gun. 
Captain Carreras let loose a rocket that hit the forward deck of the Rio Escondido six feet below the railing, striking dozens of fifty-five-gallon drums filled with aviation gasoline. The fire ignited three thousand gallons of aircraft fuel and 145 tons of ammunition in the forward hold. The crew abandoned ship and started swimming for their lives. The freighter exploded in a fireball that sent a mushroom cloud rising half a mile high above the Bay of Pigs.
From sixteen miles away, on a beach newly littered with the brigade's dead and wounded, the CIA commando Rip Robertson thought Castro had dropped an atomic bomb. President Kennedy called on Admiral Arleigh Burke, the commander of the U.S. Navy, to save the CIA from disaster. "Nobody knew what to do nor did the CIA who were running the operation and who were wholly responsible for the operation know what to do or what was happening," the admiral said on April 18. "We have been kept pretty ignorant of this and have just been told partial truths." For two miserable days and nights, Castro's Cubans and the CIA's Cubans killed one another. On the night of April 18, the commander of the rebel brigade, Pepe San Roman, radioed back to Lynch: "Do you people realize how desperate the situation is? Do you back us up or quit? . . . Please don't desert us. Am out of tank and bazooka ammo. Tanks will hit me at dawn.
I will not be evacuated. Will fight to the end if we have to." Morning came and no help arrived. "We are out of ammo and fighting on the beach. Please send help. We cannot hold," San Roman shouted through his radio. His men were massacred standing knee-deep in the water. "Situation for air support beachhead completely out of our hands," the agency's air operations chief told Bissell in a cable at noon. "Have now lost 5 Cuban pilots, 6 co-pilots, 2 American pilots, and one copilot." In all, four American pilots on contract to the CIA from the Alabama National Guard were killed in combat. For years the agency hid the cause of their deaths from their widows and families. "Still have faith," said the air operation chief's cable. "Awaiting your guidance." 
Bissell had none to offer. At about two in the afternoon on April 19, San Roman cursed the CIA, shot his radio, and gave up the fight. In sixty hours, 1,189 members of the Cuban brigade had been captured and 114 killed.
 "For the first time in my thirty-seven years," Grayston Lynch wrote, "I was ashamed of my country." That same day, Robert Kennedy sent a prophetic note to his brother. "The time has come for a showdown, for in a year or two years the situation will be vastly worse," he wrote. "If we don't want Russia to set up missile bases in Cuba, we had better decide now what we are willing to do to stop it."  
President Kennedy told two of his aides that Allen Dulles had reassured him face-to-face in the Oval Office that the Bay of Pigs would be a sure ire success: "Mr. President, I stood right here at Ike's desk and told him I was certain that our Guatemalan operation would succeed, and Mr. President, the prospects for this plan are even better than they were for that one." If so, it was an astonishing lie. Dulles in fact had told Eisenhower that the CIA's chances in Guatemala were one in five at best—and zero without air power. At the hour of the invasion, Allen Dulles was making a speech in Puerto Rico. His public departure from Washington had been part of a deception plan, but now it looked like an admiral abandoning ship. Upon his return, Bobby Kennedy recounted, he looked like living death, his face buried in his trembling hands. On April 22, the president convened the National Security Council, an instrument of government he had disdained. After ordering the distraught Dulles to start "stepping up coverage of Castro activities in the United States"—a task outside the CIA's charter—the president told General Maxwell Taylor, the new White House military adviser, to work with Dulles, Bobby Kennedy, and Admiral Arleigh Burke to perform an autopsy on the Bay of Pigs. 
The Taylor board of inquiry met that same afternoon, with Dulles clutching a copy of NSC 5412/2, the 1955 authorization for the covert operations of the CIA. "I'm first to recognize that I don't think that the CIA should run para- 178 TIMWEINE R military operations," Dulles told the board—a puff of smoke obscuring his decade of unblinking support for such operations. "I think, however, that rather than destroying everything and starting all over, we ought to take what's good in what we have, get rid of those things that are really beyond the competence of the CIA, then pull the thing together and make it more effective. We should look over the 5412 papers and revise them in such a manner that paramilitary operations are handled in some other way. It's not going to be easy to find a place to put them; it's very difficult to keep things secret." The Taylor board's work soon made it clear to the president that he needed a new way of running covert operations. One of the last witnesses before the board was a dying man who spoke with a grave clarity on the deepest problems confronting the CIA.
 The testimony of General Walter Bedell Smith resounds with chilling authority today:  

  QUESTION: How can we in a democracy use all our assets effectively without having to completely reorganize the Government? 

GENERAL SMITH: A democracy cannot wage war. When you go to war, you pass a law giving extraordinary powers to the President. The people of the country assume when the emergency is over, the rights and powers that were temporarily delegated to the Chief Executive will be returned to the states, counties and to the people.

 QUESTION: We often say that we are in a state of war at the present time. 

GENERAL SMITH: Yes, sir, that is correct.

 QUESTION: Are you suggesting that we should approximate the President's wartime powers?

 GENERAL SMITH: No. However, the American people do not feel that they are at war at the present time, and consequently they are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to wage war. When you are at war, cold war if you like, you must have an amoral agency which can operate secretly. .. . I think that so much publicity has been given to CIA that the covert work might have to be put under another roof. 

QUESTION: DO you think we should take the covert operations from CIA

 GENERAL SMITH: It's time we take the bucket of slop and put another cover over it.

  Three months later, Walter Bedell Smith died at age sixty-five. The CIA's inspector general, Lyman Kirkpatrick, ran his own post-mortem on the Bay of Pigs. He concluded that Dulles and Bissell had failed to keep two presidents and two administrations accurately and realistically informed about the operation. If the CIA wanted to stay in business, Kirkpatrick said, it would have to drastically improve its organization and management. Dulles's deputy, General Cabell, warned him that if the report fell into unfriendly hands, it would destroy the agency. Dulles wholeheartedly agreed. He saw to it that the report was buried. Nineteen of the twenty printed copies were recalled and destroyed. 

The one that survived was locked away for almost forty years. In September 1961, Allen Dulles retired as director of central intelligence. Workers were still putting the finishing touches on the grand new CIA headquarters he had fought for years to build in the Virginia woodlands above the west bank of the Potomac River, seven miles from the edge of the capital. He had commissioned an inscription from the Gospel of John to be engraved in its central lobby: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free." A medallion in his image was hung in the same soaring space. "Si monumentum requiris circwnspice, " it reads:

If you seek his monument, look around you. Richard Bissell stayed on another six months. He later confessed in secret testimony that the vaunted expertise of his clandestine service was a façade—it was "not the place where one would expect to look for professional competence." When he left, the president pinned the National Security Medal on his lapel. "Mr. Bissell's high purpose, unbounded energy, and unswerving devotion to duty are benchmarks of the intelligence service," he said. "He leaves an enduring legacy." Part of that legacy was a broken confidence. For the next nineteen years, no president would place his full faith and trust in the Central Intelligence Agency.


 In his wrath after the Bay of Pigs, John Kennedy first wanted to destroy the CIA.

Then he took the agency's clandestine service out of its death spiral by handing the controls to his brother. It was one of the least wise decisions of his presidency. Robert F. Kennedy, thirty-five years old, famously ruthless, fascinated with secrecy, took command of the most sensitive covert operations of the United States. The two men unleashed covert action with an unprecedented intensity. Ike had undertaken 170 major CIA covert operations in eight years. The Kennedys launched 163 major covert operations in less than three.

The president had wanted to make RFK the new director of central intelligence, but his brother thought it best to choose a man who could afford the president political protection after the Bay of Pigs. After casting about for months, they settled on an Eisenhower elder statesman: John McCone. Almost sixty years old, a deeply conservative California Republican, a devout Roman Catholic, and a fiery anticommunist, McCone would very likely have been secretary of defense had Nixon been elected in 1960. He had made a fortune building ships on the West Coast during World War II, then served as a deputy to Defense Secretary James Forrestal, hammering out the first budget of the new Department of Defense in 1948. As undersecretary of the air force during the Korean War, he had helped create the first truly global military power of the postwar world.

 As chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission under Eisenhower, he had overseen the nation's nuclear-weapons factories and held a seat on the National Security Council. McCone's new covert operations chief, Richard Helms, described him as "straight from central casting in Hollywood," with "white hair, ruddy cheeks, brisk gait, impeccable dark suits, rimless glasses, aloof manner, and unmistakable self-confidence." The new director was "not a man that people were going to love," said Red White, his chief administrator, but he quickly became "very close with Bobby Kennedy." McCone first bonded with Bobby as a co-religionist and fellow anticommunist. The attorney general's big white clapboard house, Hickory Hill, was only a few hundred yards from the agency's new headquarters, and Kennedy often stopped by the CIA in the morning on his way to work downtown at the Justice Department, dropping in after McCone's daily 8:00 a.m. staff meeting.

 McCone left a unique and meticulous daily record of his work, his thoughts, and his conversations, many first declassified in 2003 and 2004. His memoranda provide a moment-to-moment account of his years as director. Along with thousands of pages of conversations secretly recorded by President Kennedy inside the White House, many not accurately transcribed until 2003 and 2004, they detail the most dangerous days of the cold war. Before his swearing-in, McCone tried to get the big picture of the agency's operations. He toured Europe with Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell, went on to a Far East station chiefs' meeting at a mountain retreat north of Manila, and immersed himself in paper. But Dulles and Bissell left out some details.

They never saw fit to tell McCone about the CIA's biggest, longest-lasting, and most illegal program in the United States: the opening of first-class mail coming in and out of the country. From 1952 onward, working at the main postal facility at the international airport in New York City, the CIA's security officers opened letters and Jim Angleton's counterintelligence staff sifted the information. Nor did Dulles and Bissell tell McCone about the CIA's assassination plots against Fidel Castro, temporarily suspended after the Bay of Pigs. Almost two years would pass before the director learned of the murder plans; he never found out about the mail openings until the rest of the nation did. After the Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy was persuaded to rebuild the clearinghouses for covert action that he had torn down after his inauguration. The president's foreign intelligence board of advisers was reestablished.

The Special Group (later renamed the 303 Committee) was reconstituted to oversee the clandestine service, and its chairman for the next four years would be the national security adviser: cool, clipped, correct McGeorge Bundy of Groton and Yale, the former dean of the arts and sciences at Harvard University. The members were McCone, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and senior deputies from Defense and State. But until very late in the Kennedy administration it was left to the CIA's covert operators to decide whether to consult with the Special Group. There were more than a few operations that McCone and the Special Group knew little or nothing about. In November 1961, in the greatest secrecy, John and Bobby Kennedy created a new planning cell for covert action, the Special Group (Augmented). 

It was RFK's outfit, and it had one mission: eliminating Castro. 

On the night of November 20, nine days before he took the oath of office as director, McCone answered his home telephone and heard the president summoning him to the White House. Arriving the following afternoon, he found the Kennedys in the company of a gangly fifty-three-year-old brigadier general named Ed Lansdale. His specialty was counterinsurgency, and his trademark was winning third-world hearts and minds with American ingenuity, greenback dollars, and snake oil. He had worked for the CIA and the Pentagon since before the Korean War, serving as Frank Wisner's man in Manila and Saigon, where he helped pro-American leaders take power. 

Lansdale was introduced as the new chief of operations at the Special Group (Augmented). "The President explained that General Lansdale had been engaging in a study of possible action in Cuba, acting under the direction of the Attorney General, and he, the President, desired an immediate plan of action which could be submitted to him within two weeks," McCone recorded in his CIA files. "The Attorney General expressed grave concern over Cuba, the necessity for immediate dynamic action." McCone told them that the CIA and the rest of the Kennedy administration had been in a state of shock ever since the Bay.of Pigs— "and, therefore, were doing very little."

McCone thought nothing short of a shooting war would knock out Castro. And he believed that the CIA was unfit to run a war, secret or not. He told President Kennedy that the agency could not continue to be seen as "a 'cloak and dagger' outfit. . . designed to overthrow governments, assassinate heads of state, involve itself in political affairs of foreign states." He reminded the president that the CIA had one fundamental responsibility under law—"to assemble all intelligence" gathered by the United States, and then analyze it, evaluate it, and report it to the White House. The Kennedys agreed, in a written order drafted by McCone and signed by the president, that he would be "the Government's principal intelligence officer." His job would be "the proper coordination, correlation, and evaluation of intelligence from all sources." McCone also believed he had been hired to shape the foreign policy of the United States for the president. This was not, nor should it have been, the role of the nation's chief intelligence officer. But though his judgment often proved sounder than that of the Harvard men at the highest levels of the government, he quickly discovered that the Kennedys had a number of novel ideas about how he and the CIA were to serve American interests. On the day President Kennedy swore him in, he found out that he and RFK and the unctuous General Lansdale were in charge of Castro. "You are now living on the bull's eye, and I welcome you to that spot," the president told McCone at his swearing-i


The president asked McCone from the outset to find a way to pierce the Berlin Wall. The wall had been erected—first barbed wire, then concrete— in August 1961. It could have been an enormous political and propaganda windfall for the West, hard evidence that the exorbitant lies of communism no longer served to keep millions of East German citizens from fleeing. It could have been a golden opportunity for the CIA. The week that the wall went up, Kennedy sent Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson to Berlin, where he received a top secret briefing from the CIA's base chief, Bill Graver. LBJ gazed upon an impressively detailed chart showing all the CIA's agents in the East. "I saw this briefing map," said Haviland Smith, then a rising star at the Berlin base. "If you listened to what Graver said, we had agents in the Karlsruhe compound"—the Soviet intelligence center—"agents in the Polish military mission, the Czech military mission—we had East Berlin absolutely penetrated up to the goddamn eyeballs. However, if you knew what we had, you knew that the penetration of the Polish military mission was the guy who sold newspapers on the corner. And you knew that this big penetration of the Soviet military compound was a Dachermeister—a master roofer, who fixed roofs." "Berlin was a sham," he said. The agency was lying about its achievements to the next president of the United States. David Murphy, then chief of the CIA's Eastern Europe division, met with President Kennedy at the White House the week after the wall went up. "The Kennedy administration pushed us very hard to persuade us to devise plans for covert paramilitary action and the fomenting of dissidence" in East Germany, he said, but "operations in East Germany were out of the question."

The reason finally emerged in a document declassified in June 2006, a devastating damage assessment drawn up by Dave Murphy himself. On November 6, 1961, the West German chief of counterintelligence, Heinz Felfe, was arrested by his own security police. Felfe had been a hard-core Nazi who had joined the Gehlen organization in 1951, two years after the CIA took charge of it. He had risen rapidly through its ranks and kept rising after it became the official West German intelligence service, the BND, in 1955.

But Felfe had been working for the Soviets all along. He had penetrated the West German service and, through it, the CIA's station and bases. He was able to manipulate and deceive the CIA's officers in Germany until they had no idea whether the information they had gathered from behind the iron curtain was true or false. Felfe could "initiate, direct, or halt any BND operations and later some of CIA's," Murphy noted glumly. He had revealed to the East German intelligence service the essential details of every important CIA mission against Moscow from June 1959 to November 1961. These included roughly seventy major covert operations, the identities of more than a hundred CIA officers, and some fifteen thousand secrets. The agency was all but out of business in Germany and across Eastern Europe. It took a decade to repair the damage.  



 The Berlin Wall—and all else—paled before the Kennedys' desire to avenge the family honor lost at the Bay of Pigs. The overthrow of Castro was "the top priority in the United States Government," Bobby Kennedy told McCone on January 19, 1962. "No time, money, effort, or manpower is to be spared." But the new director warned him that the agency had little real intelligence on which to proceed. "Of the 27 or 28 agents CIA now has in Cuba, only 12 are in communication and these communications are infrequent," he told the attorney general. Seven of the CIA's Cubans had been captured four weeks before, after infiltrating the island. On RFK's orders, Lansdale drew up a to-do list for the CIA: recruit and eploy the Catholic Church and the Cuban underworld against Castro, fracture the regime from within, sabotage the economy, subvert the secret police, destroy the crops with biological or chemical warfare, and change the regime before the next congressional elections in November 1962. "Ed had this aura around him," said Sam Halpern, the new deputy chief of the Cuba desk, an OSS veteran who had known Lansdale for a decade. "Some people believed Ed was a kind of magician. But I'll tell you what he was. He was basically a con man.

A Madison Avenue 'Man in the Grey Flannel Suit' con man. You take a look at his proposed plan for getting rid of Castro and the Castro regime. It's utter nonsense." The plan boiled down to an empty promise: to overthrow Castro without sending in the marines. Halpern said to Richard Helms: "This is a political operation in the city of Washington D.C., and has nothing to do with the security of the United States." He warned that the CIA had no intelligence about Cuba.

 "We don't know what is going on," he told Helms. "We don't know who is doing what to whom. We haven't got any idea of their order of battle in terms of political organization and structure. Who hates whom? Who loves whom? We have nothing." It was the same problem the CIA would face when it confronted Iraq forty years later. Helms agreed. The plan was a pipe dream. The Kennedys did not want to hear that. They wanted swift, silent sabotage to overthrow Castro. "Let's get the hell on with it," the attorney general barked. "The President wants some action, right now." Helms saluted smartly and got the hell on with it. He created a new free-standing task force to report to Ed Lansdale and Robert Kennedy.

He assembled a team from all over the world, creating the CIA's largest peacetime intelligence operation to date, with some six hundred CIA officers in and around Miami, almost five thousand CIA contractors, and the third largest navy in the Caribbean, including submarines, patrol boats, coast guard cutters, seaplanes, and Guantânamo Bay for a base. Some "nutty schemes" against Fidel were proposed by the Pentagon and the White House, Helms said. These included blowing up an American ship in Guantânamo Harbor and faking a terrorist attack against an American airliner to justify a new invasion. 

The operation needed a code name, and Sam Halpern came up with Mongoose. 


Helms chose William K. Harvey, the man who had built the Berlin Tunnel, to lead the Mongoose team. Harvey called the project "Task Force W," after William Walker, the American freebooter who led a private army into Central America and proclaimed himself the emperor of Nicaragua in the 1850s. It was a very odd choice—unless you knew Bill Harvey. Harvey was introduced to the Kennedys as the CIA's James Bond. This seems to have mystified JFK, an avid reader of Ian Fleming's spy romances, for the only thing Bond and Harvey had in common was a taste for martinis. Obese, pop-eyed, always packing a pistol, Harvey drank doubles at lunch and returned to work muttering darkly, cursing the day he met RFK. Bobby Kennedy "wanted fast actions, he wanted fast answers," said McCone's executive assistant, Walt Elder. "Harvey did not have fast actions or fast answers." But he did have a secret weapon. 

The Kennedy White House twice had ordered the CIA to create an assassination squad. Under very close questioning by Senate investigators and a presidential commission in 1975, Richard Bissell said those orders had come from national security adviser McGeorge Bundy and Bundy's aide Walt Rostow, and that the president's men "would not have given such encouragement unless they were confident that it would meet with the president's approval." Bissell had handed down the order to Bill Harvey, who did as he was told. He had returned to headquarters in September 1959 after a long tour as chief of the Berlin base to command Division D of the clandestine service. The division's officers broke into foreign embassies overseas to steal codebooks and ciphers for the eavesdroppers at the National Security Agency. They called themselves the Second-Story Men, and their skills ran from locksmithing to larceny and beyond. The division had contacts with criminals in foreign capitals who could be called on for cat burglaries, the kidnapping of embassy couriers, and assorted felonies in the name of American national security.

In February 1962, Harvey created an "executive action" program, code-named Rifle, and retained the services of a foreign agent, a resident of Luxembourg but a man without a country, who worked on contract for Division D. Harvey intended to use him to kill Fidel Castro. In April 1962, the CIA's records show, Harvey took a second approach. He met the mobster John Rosselli in New York. He picked up a new batch of poison pills, designed to be dropped into Castro's tea or coffee, from Dr. Edward Gunn, the chief of the operations division of the CIA's Office of Medical Services. Then he drove to Miami and delivered them to Rosselli, along with a U-Haul truck filled with weapons. 

On May 7, 1962, the attorney general was briefed in full on the Rifle project by the CIA's general counsel, Lawrence Houston, and the agency's security chief, Sheffield Edwards. RFK was "mad as hell"—not mad about the assassination plot itself, but about the Mafia's role in it. He did nothing to stop the CIA from seeking Castro's death. Richard Helms, who had taken command of the clandestine service three months before, gave Harvey the go-ahead on Rifle. If the White House wanted a silver bullet, he believed it was the agency's job to try to find it. He thought it best not to tell McCone, correctly judging that the director would have the strongest religious, legal, and political objections. I once put the question to Helms personally: Did President Kennedy want Castro dead? "There is nothing on paper, of course," he said evenly. "But there is certainly no question in my mind that he did." Helms thought political assassination in peacetime was a moral aberration. But there were practical considerations as well. "If you become involved in the business of eliminating foreign leaders, and it is considered by governments more frequently than one likes to admit, there is always the question of who comes next," he observed



When John McCone took over as director of central intelligence, "CIA was suffering" and "morale was pretty well shattered," he recounted. "My first problem was to try to rebuild confidence." 

 But CIA headquarters was in an uproar six months into his reign. McCone started firing hundreds of clandestine service officers—aiming first to purge the "accident-prone," the "wife-beaters," and the "alcohol-addicted," noted his deputy director, General Marshall S. Carter. The dismissals, the aftershocks from the Bay of Pigs, and the almost daily beatings from the White House over Cuba were creating "a true uncertainty as to what the future of the Agency may be," McCone's executive director, Lyman Kirkpatrick, told him in a July 26, 1962, memorandum. He suggested that perhaps "something should be done immediately to restore morale in the Agency." Helms determined that the only cure was a return to the basics of espionage. 

With some misgivings, he took his best men out of the paralyzed Soviet and Eastern Europe divisions and turned them on Castro's Cuba. He had a handful of officers under his command in Florida who had learned how to run agents and couriers in and out of communist-controlled zones such as East Berlin. The CIA set up a debriefing center in Opa-Locka to interview thousands of people who had left Cuba on commercial airliners and private boats. The center interrogated some 1,300 Cuban refugees; they provided the agency with political, military, and economic intelligence along with documents and the detritus of everyday life—clothes, coins, cigarettes—to help disguise agents infiltrating the island. 

The Miami station claimed to have forty-five men running information out of Cuba in the summer of 1962. Some arrived in Florida for a ten-day CIA crash course and returned by speedboat under cover of night. The small spy network they built inside Cuba was the sole achievement of the $50 million Mongoose operation. Bobby Kennedy kept calling in vain for commandos to blow up Cuba's power plants, factories, and sugar mills in secret. "Can CIA actually hope to generate such strikes?" Lansdale asked Harvey. "Why is this now called a possibility?" Harvey replied that it would take two more years and another $100 million to create a force capable of overthrowing Castro. The CIA was so busy carrying out covert action that it failed to see a threat to the national survival of the United States gathering in Cuba.  


 Chapter 18


LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)

On Monday, July 30, 1962, John F. Kennedy walked into the Oval Office and switched on the brand-new state-of-the-art taping system he had ordered installed over the weekend. The very first conversation he recorded was a plot to subvert the government of Brazil and oust its president, Joao Goulart.
Kennedy and his ambassador to Brazil, Lincoln Gordon, discussed spending $8 million to swing the next elections and to prepare the ground for a military coup against Goulart—"to push him out, if necessary," Ambassador Gordon told the president. The CIA station in Brazil would "make it clear, discreetly, that we are not necessarily hostile to any kind of military action whatsoever if it's clear that the reason for the military action is—"
*—against the Left," the president said. He would not let Brazil or any other nation in the Western Hemisphere become a second Cuba.
The money started flowing from the CIA into the political life of Brazil. One conduit was the American Institute for Free Labor Development, an arm of the AFL-CIO (British diplomats in the know called it the AFL-CIA). Another was the Institute for Social Research Studies, a newly formed organization of business and civic leaders in Brazil. The recipients were politicians and military officers who opposed President Goulart and who kept in close contact with the new American military attaché in Brazil—Vernon Walters, a future deputy director of central intelligence. The return on these investments would be paid in less than two years.
The White House tapes, transcribed in 2001, recorded a daily drumbeat of covert-action plans taking shape in the Oval Office.
On August 8, McCone met the president at the White House to discuss the wisdom of dropping hundreds of Chinese Nationalist soldiers into Mao's China. The president had approved the paramilitary operation. McCone was dubious. Mao had surface-to-air missiles, and the last U-2 flight that the CIA had sent over the Chinese mainland, McCone told the president, had been spotted and tracked by Chinese communist radars twelve minutes after takeoff from Taiwan. "That's humorous," said Kennedy's national-security aide, Michael Forrestal, the son of the late defense secretary. "We'll give the President another U-2 disaster."
And what would the cover story be this time? the president joked.
Everyone laughed. One month after this meeting, Mao's forces shot down a U-2 over China.

On August 9, Richard Helms went to the White House to discuss the chances for overthrowing Haiti, thirty miles from Cuba. Haiti's dictator, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier, had been stealing American economic aid and using American military support to shore up his corrupt regime. The president had authorized a coup. The CIA had given weapons to dissidents who hoped to topple the government by any means necessary. The question of whether Duvalier would be killed had been weighed. McCone had given the go-ahead.
But the CIA was bogged down. "I might say, Mr. President, that the plotting doesn't seem to be very successful," Helms said. He warned that Duvalier's "goon squads" were "a repressive force of no mean substance," which "makes plotting a dangerous business." The CIA's best recruited agent, a former chief of the Haitian coast guard, lacked the will or the wherewithal to carry out the coup. Helms saw scant hope for success. "Another coup really doesn't do any good if you don't have anybody to work with," the president told Helms.
On August 10, John McCone, Robert Kennedy, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara met in Secretary of State Dean Rusk's ornate conference room on the seventh floor of the State Department. The subject was Cuba. McCone remembered "a suggestion being made to liquidate top people in the Castro regime," including Castro and his brother Raul, the Cuban defense minister, who had just returned from a weapons-buying trip to Moscow. He found the idea abhorrent.

The director saw a greaterdanger ahead. He predicted that the Soviet Union was going to give Castro nuclear weapons—medium-range ballistic missiles capable of strikingthe United States. He had been worrying about that possibility for more than four months. He had no intelligence, nothing to go on save gut instinct.
McCone was the only one who saw the threat clearly. "If I were Khrushchev," he said, "I'd put offensive missiles in Cuba. Then I'd bang my shoe on the desk and say to the United States, 'How do you like looking down the end of a gun barrel for a change? Now, let's talk about Berlin and any other subject that I choose.' " No one seems to have believed him. "The experts unanimously and adamantly agreed that this was beyond the realm of possibility," notes an agency history of McCone's years. "He stood absolutely alone."
There was a growing skepticism about the agency's ability to predict the Soviets' behavior. Its analysts had been consistently wrong for a
decade. "The CIA would come in and paint the most scary picture possible about what the Soviets would do to us—we were going to be second- rate; the Soviets were going to be Number One," said former president Gerald R. Ford, who in 1962 sat on the cloistered House subcommittee that provided the CIA's secret budget. "They had charts on the wall, they had figures, and their conclusion was that in ten years, the United States would be behind the Soviet Union in military capability, in economic growth," Ford said. "It was a scary presentation. The facts are they were 180 degrees wrong. These were the best people we had, the CIA's so-called experts."

On August 15, McCone returned to the White House to discuss how best to overthrow Cheddi Jagan, the prime minister of British Guiana, a wretched colony in the Caribbean mudflats of South America.
Jagan, an American-educated dentist married to a Marxist fromChicago named Janet Rosenberg, was descended from colonial  plantation workers. He was first elected back in 1953. Shortly thereafter, Winston Churchill suspended the colonial constitution, ordered the government dissolved, and threw the Jagans in jail. They were freed after the British restored constitutional government. Jagan was twice re-elected, and he had visited the Oval Office in October 1961.
"I went to see President Kennedy to seek the help of the United States, and to seek his support for our independence from the British,"
Jagan remembered. "He was very charming and jovial. Now, the United States feared that I would give Guyana to the Russians. I said, 'If this is your fear, fear not.' We will not have a Soviet base." John F. Kennedy publicly proclaimed—in a November 1961 interview with Khrushchev's son-in-law, the editor of Izvestia—that "the United States supports the idea that every people shall have the right to make a free choice as to the kind of government they want." Cheddi Jagan might be "a Marxist," he said, "but the United States doesn't object, because that choice was made by an honest election, which he won."
But Kennedy decided to use the CIA to depose him. Not long after Jagan left the White House, the cold war heated up in Georgetown, his capital. Previously unheard-of radio stations went on the air. Civil servants walked out. Riots took the lives of more than a hundred people.
The labor unions revolted after taking advice and money from the American Institute for Free Labor Development, which in turn took cash and counsel from the CIA. Arthur Schlesinger, a special assistant and court historian for the Kennedy White House, asked the president: "Does CIA think that they can carry out a really covert operation—i.e., an operation which, whatever suspicions Jagan might have, will leave no visible trace which he can cite before the world, whether he wins or loses, as evidence of U.S. intervention?"
At the White House on August 15, 1962, the president, McCone, and national security adviser McGeorge Bundy decided it was time to bring matters to a head. The president launched a $2 million campaign that eventually drove Jagan from power. President Kennedy later explained to the British prime minister, Harold Macmillan: "Latin America was the most dangerous area in the world. The effect of having a Communist state in British Guiana . . . would be to create irresistible pressures in the
United States to strike militarily against Cuba."
At the same August 15 meeting that sealed Jagan's fate, McCone handed President Kennedy the CIA's new doctrine on counterinsurgency. Along with it came a second document outlining covert operations under way in eleven nations—Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand; Iran and Pakistan; and Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Venezuela. That document was "highly classified because it tells all about the dirty tricks," McCone told the president. "A marvelous collection or dictionary of your crimes," Bundy said, with a laugh.
On August 21, Robert Kennedy asked McCone if the CIA could stage a phony attack on the American military base at Guantanamo Bay as a pretext for an American invasion of Cuba. McCone demurred. He told John Kennedy in private the next day that an invasion could be a fatal mistake. He warned the president for the first time that he thought the Soviets might be installing medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. If so, an American sneak attack might set off a nuclear war. He advocated raising a public alarm about the likelihood of a Soviet missile base. The president instantly rejected that idea, but he wondered aloud whether the CIAs guerrillas or American troops would be needed to destroy the missile sites—if they existed. At that point, no one but McCone was convinced that they did.
Their conversation continued in the Oval Office, shortly after 6 p.m. on August 22, when they were joined by Maxwell Taylor, the general Kennedy trusted most. The president wanted to go over two other secret operations before discussing Cuba. The first was the developing plan to drop twenty Chinese Nationalist soldiers into mainland China during the coming week. The second was a plan for the CIA to wiretap members of the Washington press corps.
"How are we doing with that set-up on the Baldwin business?" the president asked. Four weeks before, Hanson Baldwin, the national security reporter for The New York Times, had published an article on Soviet efforts to protect intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites with concrete bunkers. Baldwin's highly detailed reporting accurately stated the conclusions of the CIA's most recent national intelligence estimate.
The president told McCone to set up a domestic task force to stop the flow of secrets from the government to the newspapers. The order violated the agency's charter, which specifically prohibits domestic spying.
Long before Nixon created his "plumbers" unit of CIA veterans to stop news leaks, Kennedy used the agency to spy on Americans.
"CIA is completely in agreement with . . . setting up this task force, which would be a continuing investigative group reporting to me," McCone later told the president. The CIA kept watch on Baldwin, four other reporters, and their sources from 1962 to 1965. By ordering the director of central intelligence to conduct a program of domestic surveillance, Kennedy set a precedent that Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and George W. Bush would follow.
At this same White House meeting, the conversation finally returned to Castro. Thirty-eight Soviet ships had docked in Cuba in the past seven weeks, McCone told the president. Their cargo "might contain missile parts. We do not know." But either way the Soviets were working to build up Cuba's military strength. "Now, that would be separate from the question of whether they are building some missile bases, isn't it?" asked the president. "Well, no," said McCone, "I think the two are related. I
think they're doing both."
McCone left Washington the next day for a long honeymoon. A recent widower who had just remarried, he planned to go to Paris and the south of France. "I would be only too happy to have you call for me," he wrote to the president, "and if you do, I would be somewhat relieved of a guilty feeling that seems to possess me."

A U-2 flight passed over Cuba on August 29. Its film was processed overnight. On August 30, a CIA analyst bent over his light table and shouted: I've got a SAM site! It was a surface-to-air missile, an SA-2, the same Soviet weapon that had brought the U-2 down over Russia. That same day, another U-2 was caught straying over Soviet airspace, violating a solemn American vow and prompting a formal protest from Moscow.
The knowledge that Cuba had surface-to-air missiles created "an understandable reluctance or timidity" in the White House about authorizing new flights, McCone said later. JFK ordered General Carter, the acting director of central intelligence during McCone's honeymoon, to deep-six the report on the SAM. "Put it in the box and nail it shut," the president said. He could not afford to let international tensions create a domestic political uproar, not with elections two months away. Then, on September 9, another U-2 was shot down over China. The spy plane and its risks were now regarded, as a CIA report put it, with "universal re-pugnance, or, at the very least, extreme uneasiness" at the State Department and the Pentagon. A furious McGeorge Bundy, spurred by Dean Rusk and acting in the president's name, canceled the next scheduled U-2 flight over Cuba and summoned James Q. Reber, the CIA veteran in charge of the Committee on Overhead Reconnaissance.
"Is there anyone involved in the planning of these missions who wants to start a war?" Bundy asked bluntly.
President Kennedy restricted U-2 flights from passing over Cuban air-space on September 11. Four days later, the first Soviet medium-rangemissiles docked at Mariel Harbor in Cuba. The photo gap—a blind spotat a decisive moment in history—went on for forty-five days.
McCone, keeping watch on CIA headquarters through incessant cables from the French Riviera, commanded the agency to warn the White House of the "danger of a surprise." It did not. The CIA estimated that there were 10,000 Soviet troops in Cuba. There were 43,000. The agency said Cuban troop strength stood at 100,000. The true number was 275,000. The CIA flatly rejected the possibility that the Soviets were building nuclear sites in Cuba.
"The establishment on Cuban soil of Soviet nuclear striking forces which could be used against the US would be incompatible with Soviet policy," the CIA's top experts concluded in a Special National Intelligence Estimate on September 19. In a classic example of mirror imaging, an uncertain CIA stated: "The Soviets themselves are probably still uncertain about their future military program for Cuba." The estimate stood as a high-water mark of misjudgment for forty years, until the CIA assayed
the state of Iraq's arsenal.
McCone alone dissented. On September 20, in the last of his honeymoon cables to headquarters, he urged his agency to think again. The analysts sighed. Then they took another look at a message received at least eight days earlier from a road watcher, a Cuban agent at the lowest rung in the intelligence hierarchy. He had reported that a convoy of seventy-foot Soviet tractor-trailers was moving a mysterious canvas-covered cargo the size of thick telephone poles around the Cuban countryside near the town of San Cristobal. "I never knew his name," the CIA's Sam Halpern said. "This one agent, the only decent result out of Mongoose, this agent told us there's something funny going on. . . . And after ten days of arguing in front of the Committee on Overhead Recon-
naissance, it was finally approved to have an overflight."
On October 4, McCone, back in command, raged against the U-2 ban imposed by the White House. There had been no spy flights over Cuba for nearly five weeks. At a Special Group (Augmented) meeting with Bobby Kennedy, "there arose a considerable discussion (with some heat)" as to who had stopped the flights. It was, of course, the president. Bobby Kennedy acknowledged the need for more intelligence on Cuba, but he said the president first and foremost wanted more sabotage: "He
urged that 'massive activity' be mounted." He demanded that McCone and Lansdale send agents into Cuba to mine the harbors and kidnap Cuban soldiers for interrogation, an order that led to the final Mongoose mission in October, when some fifty spies and saboteurs were sent to Cuba by submarine at the height of the nuclear crisis.
While American intelligence flailed, ninety-nine Soviet nuclear war-heads came into Cuba undetected on October 4. Each one was seventy
times more powerful than the bomb that Harry Truman dropped on Hiroshima. With a single act of stealth, the Soviets had doubled the damage they could do to the United States. On October 5, McCone went to the White House to argue that the safety of the nation depended on more U-2 flights over Cuba. Bundy scoffed, saying he was convinced that there was no threat—and if one existed, the CIA could not find it.

The CIA's discovery of the missiles ten days thereafter has been portrayed as a triumph. Few of the men in power saw it that way at the time.
"The near-total intelligence surprise experienced by the United States with respect to the introduction and deployment of Soviet strategic missiles in Cuba resulted in large part from a malfunction of the analytic process by which intelligence indicators are assessed and reported," the president's foreign intelligence board reported a few months later. The president had been "ill served" by the CIA, which had "failed to get across to key Government officials the most accurate possible picture" of what the Soviets were doing. The board found that "clandestine agent coverage within Cuba was inadequate," and that "full use was not made of aerial photographic surveillance." It concluded: 'The manner in which intelligence indicators were handled in the Cuba situation may well be the most serious flaw in our intelligence system, and one which, if uncorrected, could lead to the gravest consequences."
The flaws went uncorrected; the failure to see the true state of the Iraqi arsenal in 2002 played out in much the same way.
But at last, at McCone's insistence, the photo gap was closed. At first light on October 14, a U-2 aircraft, piloted by Air Force Major Richard D. Heyser of the Strategic Air Command, flew over western Cuba, taking 928 photographs in six minutes. Twenty-four hours later, the CIA's analysts gazed upon images of the biggest communist weapons they had ever seen. All day long on October 15, they compared the U-2 shots to photos taken of the Soviet missiles paraded through the streets of
Moscow every May Day. They checked manuals of technical specifications supplied over the past year by Oleg Penkovsky, a colonel in the Soviet military intelligence service. He had spent four months, starting in
the summer of 1960, trying to approach the CIA. But its officers had been too inexperienced, too wary, and too frightened to close the deal.
He finally made contact with the British, who worked with him in concert with the CIA in London. At great risk, he had smuggled out some five thousand pages of documents, most of them providing insight into military technology and doctrine. He was a volunteer, and the first Soviet spy of consequence the CIA ever had. Exactly one week after the U-2 photos arrived in Washington, Penkovsky was arrested by Soviet intelligence.
By late afternoon on October 15, the CIA's analysts knew they were looking at S S-4 medium-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a one-megaton warhead from western Cuba to Washington. President Kennedy was in New York, campaigning for candidates in the November election, now three weeks away. That night, McGeorge Bundy was at
home, holding a farewell dinner for Chip Bohlen, the newly appointed American ambassador to France. At about 10 p.m. the telephone rang. It was Ray Cline, the CIA's deputy director of intelligence. "Those things we've been worrying about—it looks as though we've really got something," Cline said.
Richard Helms brought the U-2 photos to the attorney general's office at 9:15 a.m. on October 16. "Kennedy got up from his desk and stood for a moment staring out the window," Helms remembered. "He turned to face me. 'Shit,' he said loudly, raising both fists to his chest as if he were about to begin shadow boxing. 'Damn it all to hell and back.' These were
my sentiments exactly."
Bobby Kennedy thought: "We had been deceived by Khrushchev, but we had also fooled ourselves."

Chapter 19
The CIA had fooled itself into thinking that the Soviets would never send nuclear weapons to Cuba. Now that it had seen the missiles, it still could not grasp the Soviet mindset. "I can't understand their viewpoint," President Kennedy lamented on October 16. "It's a goddamn mystery to me. I don't know enough about the Soviet Union."
General Marshall Carter was again the acting director; McCone had flown to Seattle for the funeral of his new stepson, killed in a car crash.
Carter went to the Special Group (Augmented) meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Situation Room, the underground command post at the White House, carrying new proposals for secret attacks on Cuba commissioned by Robert Kennedy. Carter, who privately compared Kennedy's performances at Mongoose meetings to the gnawing of an enraged rat terrier, listened silently as the attorney general approved eight new acts of sabotage, contingent on the president's go-ahead. Carter then met the CIA's
chief photo interpreter, Art Lundahl, and the agency's top missile expert, Sidney Graybeal, upstairs at the White House. The three men brought blown-up U-2 images into the Cabinet Room, where the inner circle of the national-security establishment assembled shortly before noon.
The president flicked on his tape recorder. More than forty years went by before an accurate transcript of the Cuban missile crisis meetings was compiled.

The president stared at the pictures. "How far advanced is this?" he asked. "Sir, we've never seen this kind of an installation before," Lundahl said. "Not even in the Soviet Union?" Kennedy said. "No, sir," Lundahl replied. "It's ready to be fired?" asked the president. "No, sir," said Graybeal. "How long have . . . we can't tell that, can we, how long before they fire?" Kennedy asked. No one knew. Where were the war heads? asked Defense Secretary McNamara. No one knew. Why had
Khrushchev done this? wondered the president. No one knew. But Secretary Rusk had a good guess: "We don't really live under fear of his nuclear weapons to the extent that he has to live under ours," he suggested. "Also, we have nuclear weapons nearby, in Turkey and places like that."
The president was only dimly aware that those missiles were in place.
He had all but forgotten that he had chosen to keep those weapons
pointed at the Soviets.
JFK ordered three strike plans prepared: number one, to destroy the nuclear missile sites with air force or navy jets; number two, to mount a far bigger air strike; number three, to invade and conquer Cuba. "We're certainly going to do number one," he said. "We're going to take out these missiles." The meeting broke up at 1 p.m. after Bobby Kennedy argued for an all-out invasion.
At 2:30 p.m., RFK cracked the lash at the Mongoose team at his enormous office in the Justice Department, demanding new ideas, new missions. Passing on a question posed to him by the president ninety minutes earlier, he asked Helms to tell him how many Cubans would fight for the regime if the United States invaded. No one knew. At 6:30 p.m., the president's men reconvened in the Cabinet Room. Thinking of the Mongoose missions, President Kennedy asked if the MRBMs, the medium-range ballistic missiles, could be destroyed with bullets. Yes, General Carter told him, but these were mobile missiles; they could be moved to new hiding places. The problem of targeting mobile missiles has remained unsolved to this day.
The president now contemplated the question of a nuclear war over Cuba. He began to grasp how little he understood the Soviet leader. "We certainly have been wrong about what he's trying to do," the president said. "Not many of us thought that he was gonna put MRBMs on Cuba."
Nobody save John McCone, Bundy muttered. Why had Khrushchev done it? the president asked. "What is the advantage of that? It's just as if we suddenly began to put a major number of MRBMs in Turkey," he said. "Now that'd be goddamn dangerous, I would think."
A moment of awkward silence fell. "Well, we did it, Mr. President," said Bundy.
The talk then turned to secret warfare. "We have a list of sabotage options, Mr. President," said Bundy. "... I take it you are in favor of sabotage." He was. Ten teams of five Mongoose agents were authorized to infiltrate Cuba by submarine. Their orders were to blow up Soviet ships with underwater mines in Cuban harbors, to attack three surface-to-air missile sites with machine guns and mortars, and perhaps to go after the nuclear missile launchers. The Kennedys were swinging wildly. The CIA
was their blunt instrument.
The president walked out of the meeting, leaving two military options on the table: a sneak attack on Cuba and a full-bore invasion. His part-  ing words were a request to see McCone the next morning before leaving for a campaign trip to Connecticut. General Carter, McNamara, Bundy, and a few others stayed behind.
Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Marshall Carter was sixty-one years old, short, squat, bald, and sharp-tongued. He had been chief of staff of NORAD, the North American Air Defense Command, under
Eisenhower. He knew the nuclear strategies of the United States. Now, with the president out of the room, the CIA man voiced his deepest fear:
"You go in there with a surprise attack," Carter said. "You put out all the missiles. This isn't the end; this is the beginning. " It would be the first day of World War III.

The next day, Wednesday, October 17, John McCone and John Kennedy met at 9:30 a.m. "President seemed inclined to act promptly if at all, without warning," McCone noted in his daily memo for the record. The president then asked McCone to drive to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to brief Dwight D. Eisenhower. McCone arrived at noon carrying U-2 photos of the medium-range ballistic missiles. "Eisenhower seemed to lean toward (but did not specifically recommend) military action which would cut off Havana and therefore take over the heart of the government," McCone noted.
The director drove back to Washington and tried to pull together histhoughts. He was weary; he had been to the West Coast and back in less than forty-eight hours. The six single-spaced pages of notes he produced that afternoon were declassified in 2003. They reflect a search for a way to rid Cuba of the missiles without a nuclear war.
Given his background as a master shipbuilder, McCone understood the military, political, and economic power of ships at sea. The notes he drew up included the idea of imposing "an all-out blockade" on Cuba—
"the interruption of all incoming shipping," backed up with the threat of an attack. In meetings with Bobby Kennedy, McNamara, Rusk, and Bundy that went on until nearly midnight, he elaborated on the blockade strategy. McCone's notes show that the idea received no evident support from the president's top advisers.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, McCone and Art Lundahl went to the White House with new U-2 photos. These showed a new set of bigger missiles, each with a range of 2,200 miles, capable of hitting any
major American city save Seattle. McCone said the missile bases were run by Soviet troops; McNamara pointed out that a surprise air strike on the bases would kill several hundred Soviets. Attacking them was an act of war against Moscow, not Havana. Then Undersecretary of State George Ball voiced what the CIA's Marshall Carter had said two nights
before: "A course of action where we strike without warning is like Pearl Harbor."
The president said, "The question really is what action we take which lessens the chances of a nuclear exchange, which obviously is the final failure. . . . You have the blockade without any declaration of war.
You've got a blockade with a declaration of war. We've got strikes one,
two, and three. We've got invasion."
That day, McCone picked up two votes in favor of his argument for a blockade backed with threats of attack. One was Eisenhower's. The other was RFK's. They both had shifted to McCone's stance. They were still in
the minority, but they turned the tide. The president told himself, sitting alone in the Oval Office at about midnight, speaking directly to the hid-

den microphones, that "opinions had obviously switched from the ad-
vantages of a first strike." The president called McCone at home on Sunday to say, as the director noted with satisfaction, that "he had made up his mind to pursue the course which I had recommended." The president announced that decision to the world in a televised address on Monday night, October 22.

The morning of Tuesday, October 23, began at the White House with a briefing by McCone. Intensely alert to the political damage the director could cause them as the only man in Washington who had accurately forewarned them of the threat, the Kennedys put McCone on spin patrol, briefing members of Congress and columnists. They also wanted him to stiffen the spine of Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, who needed to argue the American case at the United Nations.
From the White House, McCone called Ray Cline, his chief intelligence analyst, and told him to fly to New York with copies of the U-2 photographs. Stevenson's team was "in some difficulty putting together a con-
vincing case to the Security Council," McCone explained. "See, they're in a little bad spot because at the time of the Bay of Pigs, why, Stevenson showed some fake pictures and they later turned out to be fake."
President Kennedy's twelve top national-security men then met to talk about how to manage the blockade, set to begin the next morning.
It was technically an act of war. McCone reported corridor chatter at the United Nations, relayed by Ray Cline, suggesting that the Soviet vessels en route to Cuba might try to run past the American warships.
"Now what do we do tomorrow morning when these eight vessels continue to sail on?" asked President Kennedy. "We're all clear about how"—a beat of silence, a nervous chuckle—"we handle it?"
No one knew. Another brief silence fell.
"Shoot the rudders off 'em, don't you?" McCone replied.
The meeting broke up. Kennedy signed the quarantine proclamation.
He and his brother were then alone for a few minutes in the Cabinet
"Well, it looks like it's gonna be real mean. But on the other hand, there's really no choice," said the president. "If they get mean on this one—Jesus Christ! What are they gonna fuck up next?" His brother said:
"There wasn't any choice. I mean, you woulda had a—you woulda been impeached. " The president agreed: "I woulda been impeached."
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 24, the blockade took effect, the American military went on its highest alert short of nuclear war, and McCone began his daily briefing at the White House. The director of central intelligence at last was serving as his charter commanded, bringing all of American intelligence to the president into a single voice. The Soviet army was not on full alert, but it was increasing its readiness, he reported, and the Soviet navy had submarines in the Atlantic trailing the
fleet headed for Cuba. New photoreconnaissance showed storage buildings for nuclear warheads, but no sign of the warheads themselves. McCone took pains that day to point out to the president that the blockade would not stop the Soviets from readying the missile launching sites.
McNamara began to lay out his plans for intercepting the Soviet ships and submarines. Then McCone interrupted. "Mr. President, I have a note just handed me. . . . All six Soviet ships currently identified in Cuban waters . . . have either stopped or reversed course." Rusk said, "Whaddya mean, 'Cuban waters'?" The president asked, "The ships leaving Cuba or the ones coming in?" McCone got up, said, "I'll find out," and left the room. Rusk muttered: "Makes some difference."
McCone returned with the breaking news that the Soviet ships had been heading for Cuba, more than five hundred miles from the island, but had either stopped or reversed course. This is the moment when Rusk is supposed to have leaned over to Bundy and said: "We are eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked."
The first part of McCone's strategy was working: the quarantine on Soviet shipping would hold. The second part would be much harder. As he kept reminding the president, the missiles were still there, the warheads were hidden somewhere on the island, and the danger was growing.
At the White House on October 26, Adlai Stevenson said it would take weeks, perhaps months of negotiations to get the missiles out of Cuba.
McCone knew there was no time for that. At midday, he took the president aside (Bobby, if present, never spoke) for a private meeting, with only himself and the photo interpreter Art Lundahl, in the Oval Office.
New photoreconnaissance showed that the Soviets had introduced short-range battlefield nuclear weapons. Newly camouflaged missile launchers were almost ready to fire. The missile sites each were manned by up to five hundred military personnel and guarded by three hundred more Soviets.
"I'm getting more concerned all the time," McCone told the president.
"They could start at dark and have missiles pointing at us the next morning. For that reason, I'm growing increasingly concerned about following a political route."
"What other way?" asked the president. "The alternative course is we could do the air strike or an invasion. We are still gonna face the fact that, if we invade, by the time we get to these sites after a very bloody fight, we will have—they will be pointing at us. So it still comes down to a question of whether they're gonna fire the missiles."
"That's correct," McCone said. The president's mind now swerved from diplomacy to war. "I mean, there's no other action that, other than diplomatic, that we can take, which does not immediately get rid of these," Kennedy said. "The other way is, I would think, a combination of an air raid and probably invasion, which means that we would have
to carry out both of those with the prospect that they might be fired."
McCone cautioned against an invasion. "Invading is going to be a
much more serious undertaking than most people realize," he told the
president. The Russians and the Cubans had "a hell of a lot of equip-
ment. . . . Very lethal stuff they've got there. Rocket launchers, self-
propelled gun carriers, half-tracks. . . . They'll give an invading force apretty bad time. It would be no cinch by any manner or means."
That night, a long message from Moscow arrived at the White House.
The cable took more than six hours to transmit and receive, and it was not complete until 9 p.m. It was a personal letter from Nikita Khrushchev decrying "the catastrophe of thermonuclear war" and proposing—so it seemed—a way out. If the Americans would promise not to invade Cuba, the Soviets would pull out the missiles.
On Saturday, October 27, McCone began the 10 a.m. White House meeting with the grim news that the missiles could be fired in as little as six hours. He had barely concluded his briefing when President Kennedy read a bulletin ripped from the Associated Press news ticker, datelined
Moscow: "Premier Khrushchev told President Kennedy yesterday he would withdraw offensive weapons from Cuba if the United States with- drew its rockets from Turkey."

The meeting went into an uproar.
No one bought the idea at first—except the president and McCone.
"Let's not kid ourselves," Kennedy said. "They've got a very good pro- posal." McCone agreed: it was specific, serious, and impossible to ignore. The arguments over how to respond dragged on all day, punctuated by moments of terror. First a U-2 strayed into Soviet airspace off the coast of Alaska, prompting Soviet jets to scramble. Then, at about 6 p.m., McNamara suddenly announced that another U-2 had been shot down over Cuba, killing Air Force Major Rudolf Anderson.
The Joint Chiefs now strongly recommended that a full-scale attack on Cuba should begin in thirty-six hours. Around 6:30 p.m., President Kennedy left the room, and the talk immediately became less formal, more brutal.
"The military plan is basically invasion," McNamara said. "When we attack Cuba, we are going to have to attack with an all-out attack," he said. "This is almost certain to lead to an invasion." Or a nuclear war, Bundy muttered. "The Soviet Union may, and I think probably will, attack the Turkish missiles," McNamara continued. Then the United States would have to attack Soviet ships or bases in the Black Sea.
"And I would say that it is damn dangerous, " said the secretary of defense. "Now, I'm not sure we can avoid anything like that if we attack Cuba. But I think we should make every effort to avoid it. And one way to avoid it is to defuse the Turkish missiles before we attack Cuba," McNamara said.
McCone exploded: "I don't see why you don't make the trade then!"
And the ground shifted.
Other voices shouted out: Make the trade! Make the trade then! His anger rising, McCone went on: "We've talked about this, and we'd say we'd be delighted to trade those missiles in Turkey for the thing in Cuba."
He pressed his point home. "I'd trade these Turkish things out right now. I wouldn't even talk to anybody about it. We sat for a week and there was—everybody was in favor of doing it"—until Khrushchev proposed it.
The president returned to the Cabinet Room at about 7:30 p.m., and suggested everyone take a dinner break. Then, in the Oval Office, he and his brother spoke with McNamara, Rusk, Bundy, and four other trusted aides. McCone was excluded. They discussed his idea, which was what the president wanted. Everyone in the room was sworn to secrecy. Bobby
Kennedy left the White House and met with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin in his office at the Justice Department. He told Dobrynin that the United States accepted the quid pro quo on the missiles, provided it was never made public. The Kennedys could not be seen to be cutting a deal with Khrushchev. The attorney general deliberately falsified his memo of the meeting, deleting a drafted reference to the trade. The swap was kept a deep secret. John McCone said a quarter century later: "President Kennedy and Attorney General Bobby Kennedy insisted that they at no time discussed the missiles [in] Turkey with any representatives of
the Soviets and that there was no such deal ever made."
For many years thereafter, the world believed that only President Kennedy's calm resolve and his brother's steely commitment to a peaceable resolution had saved the nation from a nuclear war. McCone's central role in the Cuban missile crisis was obscured for the rest of the twentieth century.
The Kennedys soon turned against McCone. The director let it be known throughout Washington that he had been the sole sentinel on the Cuban missiles; he testified to the president's foreign intelligence board that he had told the president about his hunch back on August 22.
The gist of the board's report on the "photo gap" appeared in The Washington Post on March 4, 1963. That day, Bobby Kennedy told his brother that the CIA must have leaked the information to wound him.
"Yeah," said the president, "he's a real bastard, that John McCone."

At the height of the missile crisis, McCone had tried to put a leash on Mongoose and focus its considerable energies on gathering intelligence for the Pentagon. He thought he had succeeded. But the CIA's Bill Harvey concluded that the United States was about to invade Cuba and ordered his Mongoose saboteurs to attack.
When Bobby Kennedy, who had pushed the hardest for the Mon- goose missions, found out about that dangerous failure of command, he went into a rage. After a screaming match, Harvey was banished from Washington. Helms sent him to Rome as chief of station—though not before the FBI took note of a drunken farewell meal Harvey had with Johnny Rosselli, the Mafia hit man he had hired to kill Castro. In Rome, the hard-drinking Harvey became unhinged, driving his men as Bobby Kennedy had driven him.
Helms replaced him as the man in charge of Cuba with his Far East chief, Desmond FitzGerald, a Harvard man and a millionaire who lived in a red-brick Georgetown mansion with a butler in the pantry and a Jaguar in the garage. The president liked him; he fit the James Bond image. He had been hired out of his New York law firm by Frank Wisner at the start of the Korean War and instantly made executive officer of the Far East division of the clandestine service. He had helped run the disastrous Li Mi operation in Burma. Then he commanded the CIA's China Mission, which sent foreign agents to their deaths until 1955, when a
headquarters review deemed the mission a waste of time, money, energy, and human life. FitzGerald then rose to deputy chief of the Far East, where he helped to plan and execute the Indonesian operation in 1957 and 1958. As Far East division chief, he presided over the rapid expansion of the CIA's operations in Vietnam, Laos, and Tibet.
Now the Kennedys ordered him to blow up Cuban mines, mills, power plants, and commercial ships, to destroy the enemy in hopes of creating a counterrevolution. The objective, as Bobby Kennedy told FitzGerald in April 1963, was to oust Castro in eighteen months—before the next presidential election. Twenty-five Cuban agents of the CIA died on those futile operations.
Then, in the summer and fall of 1963, FitzGerald led the final mission to kill Fidel Castro.
The CIA planned to use Rolando Cubela, its best-placed agent inside Cuba's government, as the hit man. A high-strung, loose-lipped, violent man who detested Castro, Cubela had held the rank of major in the Cuban army, served as its military attaché in Spain, and traveled widely.
On August 1, 1963, in a conversation with a CIA officer in Helsinki, he
volunteered "to eliminate Fidel, by execution if necessary." On September 5, he met with his CIA case officer, Nestor Sanchez, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he was representing the Cuban government at the international Collegiate Games. On September 7, the CIA duly noted that Castro had chosen a reception at the Brazilian embassy in Havana to deliver a long tirade to a reporter for the Associated Press. Castro said that "United States leaders would be in danger if they helped in any attempt
to do away with Cuban leaders. ... If they are aiding terrorist plots to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe."
Sanchez and Cubela met again in Paris in early October, and the Cuban agent told the CIA officer that he wanted a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight. On October 29, 1963, FitzGerald took a plane to Paris and met Cubela in a CIA safe house.
FitzGerald said that he was a personal emissary sent by Robert Kennedy, which was dangerously close to the truth, and that the CIA would deliver Cubela the weapons of his choosing. The United States, he said, wanted "a real coup" in Cuba.

Chapter 20.


LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)

Alone in the Oval Office on Monday, November 4, 1963, John R Kennedy dictated a memo about a maelstrom he had set in motion half a world away—the assassination of an American ally, President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.
"We must bear a good deal of responsibility for it," JFK said. He stopped for a moment to play with his children as they ran in and out of the room. Then he resumed. "The way he was killed"—and he paused again—"made it particularly abhorrent."
The CIA's Lucien Conein was Kennedy's spy among the mutinous generals who murdered Diem. "I was part and parcel of the whole conspiracy," Conein said in an extraordinary testament years later.
His nickname was Black Luigi, and he had the panache of a Corsican gangster. Conein had joined the OSS, trained with the British, and parachuted behind French lines. In 1945, he flew to Indochina to fight the Japanese; he was in Hanoi with Ho Chi Minh, and for a moment they were allies. He stayed on to become a charter member of the CIA.
In 1954, he was one of the first American intelligence officers in Vietnam. After Ho defeated the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam was partitioned into North and South at an international conference in Geneva, where the United States was represented by Under-secretary of State Walter Bedell Smith.
For the next nine years, the United States backed President Diem as
the man to fight communism in Vietnam. Conein served under the command of Ed Lansdale at the CIA's new Saigon Military Mission. Lansdale had "a very broad charter," said the CIA's Rufus Phillips. "It was literally, 'Ed, do what you can to save South Vietnam.' "
Conein went to North Vietnam on sabotage missions, destroying trains and buses, contaminating fuel and oil, organizing two hundred Vietnamese commandos trained by the CIA, and burying weapons in the cemeteries of Hanoi. He then returned to Saigon to help shore up President Diem, a mystic Catholic in a Buddhist country whom the CIA provided with millions of dollars, a phalanx of bodyguards, and a direct line to Allen Dulles. The agency created South Vietnam's political parties, trained its secret police, made its popular movies, and printed and peddled an astrological magazine predicting that the stars were in Diem's favor. It was building a nation from the ground up.

In 1959, the peasant soldiers of North Vietnam began to carve the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the jungles of Laos; the footpaths were filled with guerrillas and spies heading for South Vietnam.
Laos, a preindustrial lotus land, became "a flashpoint where the U.S. saw its interests being challenged by the communist world," said John Gunther Dean, then a young State Department officer at the American embassy in Vientiane. The CIA set to work buying a new Lao govern- ment and building a guerrilla army to fight the communists and attack the trail. The North Vietnamese reacted by stepping up their attempts to infiltrate the country and train the local communists, the Pathet Lao.
The architect of the American political strategy in Laos was the CIA station chief, Henry Hecksher, a veteran of the Berlin base and the Guatemala coup. Hecksher began to build a network of American control by using junior diplomats as bagmen. "One day, Hecksher asked me whether I could take a suitcase to the Prime Minister," Dean remembered. "The suitcase contained money."
The cash made the leaders of Laos "realize that the real power at the Embassy was not the Ambassador but the CIA station chief," said Dean, later the American ambassador in Thailand, India, and Cambodia, among other nations. "The Ambassador was supposed to support the Lao Government and basically not rock the boat. Henry Hecksher was committed to opposing the neutralist Prime Minister—and perhaps bring about his downfall. That is what happened."
The CIA forced out a freely elected coalition government and installed a new prime minister, Prince Souvanna Phouma. The prime minister's case officer was Campbell James, an heir to a railroad fortune who dressed, acted, and thought like a nineteenth-century British grenadier.
Eight years out of Yale, he saw himself as a viceroy in Laos, and lived accordingly. James made friends and bought influence among the leaders of Laos at a private gambling club he created; its centerpiece was a
roulette wheel borrowed from John Gunther Dean.
The real battle for Laos began after the CIA's Bill Lair, who ran a jungle warfare training school for Thai commandos, discovered a Lao mountain tribesman named Vang Pao, a general in the Royal Lao Army who led the hill tribe that called itself the Hmong. In December 1960, Lair told the Far East division chief Desmond FitzGerald about his new recruit. "Vang Pao had said: 'We can't live with the communists,' " Lair reported. " 'You give us the weapons, and we'll fight the communists.' "
The next morning, at the CIA station, FitzGerald told Lair to write up a proposal. "It was an 18-page cable," Lair remembered. "The answer came back in a very short time. . . . That was the real go-ahead."
In early January 1961, in the final days of the Eisenhower administration, the CIA's pilots delivered their first weapons to the Hmong. Six months later, more than nine thousand hill tribesmen controlled by Vang Pao joined three hundred Thai commandos trained by Lair for combat operations against the communists. The CIA sent guns, money, radios, and airplanes to the Lao military in the capital and the tribal leaders in the mountains. Their most urgent mission was to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Hanoi had now proclaimed a National Liberation Front in the south. That year, four thousand South Vietnamese officials died at the hands of the Vietcong.
A few months after President Kennedy took power, the fates of Laos and South Vietnam were seen as one. Kennedy did not want to send American combat troops to die in those jungles. Instead, he called on the CIA to double its tribal forces in Laos and "make every possible effort to launch guerrilla operations in North Vietnam" with its Asian recruits.
The Americans sent to Laos during the Kennedy years did not know the tribal name of the Hmong. They called them the Meo, an epithet somewhere between "barbarian" and "nigger." One of those young men was Dick Holm. Looking back, he rued "the ignorance and the arrogance of Americans arriving in Southeast Asia. . . . We had only minimal understanding of the history, culture, and politics of the people we wanted to aid. . . . Our strategic interests were superimposed onto a region where our president had decided to 'draw the line' against communism.
And we would do it our way."
At CIA headquarters, "the activists were all for a war in Laos," said Robert Amory, Jr., the deputy director for intelligence. "They thought that was a great place to have a war."

The Americans sent to Vietnam had an equally profound ignorance of the country's history and culture. But the CIA's officers saw themselves as the point men in the global war on communism.
They had the run of Saigon. "They were under covers as varied as film and drama producers and industrial salesmen; they were trainers, weapons experts, merchants," said Ambassador Leonardo Neher, then a State Department officer in Saigon. "They had unbelievable funds. . . .
They were having the time of their lives. They had everything they wanted."
What they lacked was intelligence about the enemy. That was the responsibility of William E. Colby, the station chief in Saigon from 1959 to 1961, soon to be chief of the Far East division of the clandestine service.
Colby, who had fought behind enemy lines as an OSS commando, did as he had done in World War II. He started an operation called Project Tiger to parachute some 250 South Vietnamese agents into North Vietnam. After two years, 217 of them were recorded as killed, missing, or suspected of being double agents. A final report listed the fate of fifty-two teams of agents, each team as large as seventeen commandos:
"Captured soon after landing."
"Hanoi Radio announced capture."
"Team destroyed."
"Team believed under North Vietnam control."
"Captured soon after landing."
"Doubled, played, terminated." That last phrase suggests that the United States discovered that a commando team was secretly working for North Vietnam and then hunted and killed its members. The reason for the failure of the missions eluded the CIA until after the cold war, when one of Colby's cohorts, Captain Do Van Tien, the deputy chief for
Project Tiger, revealed that he had been a spy for Hanoi all along.
"We harvested a lot of lies," said Robert Barbour, the deputy chief of the American embassy's political section. "Some of them we knew were lies. Some of them we didn't."
In October 1961, President Kennedy sent General Maxwell Taylor to assess the situation. "South Vietnam is now undergoing an acute crisis of confidence," Taylor warned in a top secret report to the president. The United States had to "demonstrate by deeds—not merely words—the American commitment seriously to help save Vietnam." He wrote: "To be persuasive this commitment must include the sending to Vietnam of some U.S. military forces." That was a very deep secret.
To win the war, General Taylor continued, the United States needed more spies. In a secret annex to the report, the CIA's deputy station chief in Saigon, David Smith, said that a key battle would be fought within the government of South Vietnam. He said Americans had to infiltrate the Saigon government, influence it, "speed up the processes of decision and action" within it—and, if necessary, change it.
That job went to Lucien Conein.

Conein started working with President Diem's half-mad brother, Ngo
Dinh Nhu, to establish the Strategic Hamlets program, which herded
peasants from their villages into armed camps as a defense against com- munist subversion. Wearing the uniform of a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Conein burrowed deep into the decaying military and political culture of South Vietnam.
"I was able to go to every province, I was able to talk to unit commanders," he said. "Some of these people I had known for many years; some I had known even back in World War Two. Some of them were in powerful positions." His contacts soon became the best the agency had in Vietnam. But there was so much he did not know.
On May 7, 1963, the eve of the 2,527th birthday of the Buddha, Conein flew to Hue, where he found a large military entourage whose presence he did not understand. He was encouraged to leave on the next plane. "I wanted to stay," he remembered. "I wanted to see the celebration of the birthday of Buddha. I wanted to see the boats with the candles lit going down the perfumed river, but it was not to be." The next morning Diem's soldiers attacked and killed members of a Buddhist entourage in Hue.
"Diem had been out of touch with reality," Conein said. Diem's blue-uniformed scouts modeled on the Hitler Youth, his CIA-trained special forces, and his secret police aimed to create a Catholic regime in a Buddhist nation. By oppressing the monks, Diem had made them a powerful political force. Their protests against the government grew for the next five weeks. On June 11, a sixty-six-year-old monk named Quang
Due sat down and set himself ablaze in a Saigon intersection. The pictures of the immolation went around the world. All that was left of him was his heart. Now Diem began raiding the pagodas, killing monks and women and children to sustain his power.
"Nobody liked Diem," Bobby Kennedy said not long thereafter. "But how to get rid of him and get somebody who would continue the war, not split the country in two and, therefore, lose not only the war but the country—that was the great problem."
In late June and early July 1963, President Kennedy began to talk in private about getting rid of Diem. If it were to be done well, it had best be done in secret. The president began the change of regime by nominating a new American ambassador: the imperious Henry Cabot Lodge, a political rival he had twice defeated, once in the race for senator from Massachusetts and once as Richard Nixon's running mate. Lodge was happy to accept the job, once assured he would be provided with a viceroy's powers in Saigon.
On the Fourth of July, Lucien Conein received a message from General Tran Van Don, the acting chief of the joint staff of the army of South Vietnam, a man he had known for eighteen years. Meet me at the Caravelle Hotel, the message said. That night, in the smoky, jam-packed basement nightclub at the hotel, General Don confided that the military was preparing to move against Diem.
"What will be the American reaction if we go all the way?" Don asked Conein.
On August 23, John R Kennedy gave his answer.
He was alone on a rainy Saturday night in Hyannis Port, on crutches for his aching back, grieving for his stillborn son Patrick, buried two weeks before. Shortly after 9 p.m., the president took a call from his national-security aide Michael Forrestal, and without preamble approved an eyes-only cable for the newly arrived Ambassador Lodge, drafted by Roger Hilsman at the State Department. "We must face the possibility that Diem himself cannot be preserved," it told Lodge, and it urged him to "make detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement." The secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence had not been consulted. All three were dubious about a coup against Diem.
"I should not have given my consent to it," the president told himself after the consequences became clear. Yet the order went forward.
Hilsman told Helms that the president had ordered Diem ousted.

Helms handed the assignment to Bill Colby, the new chief of the CIA's Far East division. Colby passed it on to John Richardson, his choice to re-place him as the station chief in Saigon: "In circumstance believe CIA must fully accept directives of policy makers and seek ways to accomplish objectives they seek," he instructed Richardson—though the order
"appears to be throwing away bird in hand before we have adequately identified birds in bush, or songs they may sing."
On August 29, his sixth day in Saigon, Lodge cabled Washington: "We are launched on a course from which there is no turning back: the over-throw of the Diem government." At the White House, Helms listened as the president received that message, approved it, and ordered Lodge to make sure above all that the American role in the coup—Conein's role— would be concealed.
The ambassador resented the agency's exalted status in Saigon. He wrote in his private journal: "CIA has more money; bigger houses than diplomats; bigger salaries; more weapons; more modern equipment." He was jealous of the powers held by John Richardson, and he scoffed at the caution the station chief displayed about Conein's central role in the
coup plotting. Lodge decided he wanted a new station chief.
So he burned Richardson—"exposed him, and gave his name publicly to the newspapers," as Bobby Kennedy said in a classified oral history eight months later—by feeding a coldly calculated leak to a journeyman  reporter passing through Saigon. The story was a hot scoop. Identifying Richardson by name—an unprecedented breach of security—it said he
had "frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington, because the Agency disagreed with it. . . . One high official here, a man who has devoted most of his life in the service of democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure even the White House could control it." The New York Times and The Wash-
ington Post picked up the story. Richardson, his career ruined, left Saigon four days later; after a decent interval, Ambassador Lodge moved into his house.
"We were fortunate when Richardson was recalled," said Conein's old friend, General Don. "Had he been there, he could have put our plan in great jeopardy."

Lucien Conein went to meet General Duong Van Minh, known as "Big Minn," at the Joint General Staff Headquarters in Saigon on October 5.
He reported that the general raised the issue of assassination and the question of American support for a new junta. Dave Smith, the new acting station chief, recommended that "we do not set ourselves irrevocably against the assassination plot"—music to Ambassador Lodge's ears, anathema to McCone's.
McCone commanded Smith to stop "stimulating, or approving, or supporting assassination," and he rushed to the Oval Office. Careful to avoid using words that could link the White House to a murder, he later testified, he chose a sports analogy: Mr. President, if I were the manager of a baseball team, and I had only one pitcher, I'd keep him on the mound
whether he was a good pitcher or not. On October 17, at a meeting of the Special Group, and in a one-on-one with the president four days later, McCone said that ever since Lodge's arrival in August, American foreign policy in Vietnam had been based on "a complete lack of intelligence" on the politics of Saigon. The situation developing around Conein was "exceedingly dangerous," he said, and it threatened "absolute disaster for the United States."
The American ambassador reassured the White House. "I believe that our involvement to date through Conein is still within the realm of plausible denial," he reported. "We should not thwart a coup for two reasons.
First, it seems at least an even bet that the next government would not bungle and stumble as much as the present one has. Secondly, it is extremely unwise in the long range for us to pour cold water on attempts at a coup. . . .

We should remember that this is the only way in which the people in Vietnam can possibly get a change of government."
The White House cabled careful instructions for Conein. Find out the generals' plans, don't encourage them, keep a low profile. Too late: thline between espionage and covert action already had been crossed.
Conein was far too famous to work undercover; "I had a very high pro- file in Vietnam," he said. Everyone who mattered knew exactly who he was and what he represented. They had faith that the CIA's point man spoke for America.
Conein met with General Don on the night of October 24 and learned that the coup was no more than ten days away. They met again on October 28. Don later wrote that Conein "offered us money and weapons, but I turned him down, saying that we still need only courage and conviction."
Conein carefully conveyed the message that the United States opposed assassination. The reaction of the generals, he testified, was: "You don't like it like that? Well, we'll do it our own way anyhow. . . . You don't like it, we won't talk about it anymore." He did not discourage them. If he had, he said, "I would then be cut off and blinded."
Conein reported back to Lodge that the coup was imminent. The ambassador sent the CIA's Rufus Phillips to see Diem. They sat in the palace and talked of war and politics. Then "Diem looked at me quizzically and said, Is there going to be a coup against me?' " Phillips remembered.
"I looked at him and just wanted to cry, and said, 'I am afraid so, Mr. President.' That was all we said about that."

The coup struck on November 1. It was noon in Saigon, midnight in Washington. Summoned at home by an emissary from General Don, Conein changed into his uniform and called Rufus Phillips to watch over his wife and infant children. Then he grabbed a .38-caliber revolver and a satchel with about $70,000 in CIA funds, hopped into his jeep, and rushed through the streets of Saigon to the Joint General Staff headquarters of the army of South Vietnam. The streets were filled with gunfire.

The leaders of the coup had closed the airport, cut the city's telephone lines, stormed central police headquarters, seized the government radio station, and attacked the centers of political power.
Conein filed his first report shortly after 2 p.m. Saigon time. He stayed in contact with the CIA station over his jeep's secure communications link, describing shellings and bombings and troop movements and political maneuvers as they took place. The station relayed his reports to the White House and the State Department through encoded cables. It was as near to real-time intelligence as could be achieved in that day.
"Conein at JGS HQS/ from Gens Big Minh and Don and eyewitness observation," came the first flash cable. "Gens attempting contact Palace by telephone but unable to do so. Their proposition as follows: If the President will resign immediately, they will guarantee his safety and the safe departure of the President and Ngo Dinh Nhu. If the President refuses these terms, the Palace will be attacked within the hour."
Conein sent a second message a little more than an hour later: there would be "no discussion with the President. He will either say yes or no and that is the end of the conversation." General Don and his allies called President Diem shortly before 4 p.m. and asked him to surrender.
They offered him sanctuary and a safe passage from the country. He refused. The president of South Vietnam then called the American ambassador. "What is the attitude of the United States?" Diem asked. Lodge
said he had no idea. "It is 4:30 a.m. in Washington," he replied, "and the U.S. government cannot possibly have a view." Lodge then said, "I havea report that those in charge of the current activity offer you and your
brother safe conduct out of the country. Have you heard this?"
"No," Diem lied. Then he paused, perhaps realizing that Lodge was in on the plot against him. "You have my telephone number," he said, and the conversation came to an end. Three hours later he and his brother fled to a safe house owned by a Chinese merchant who had financed Diem's private spy network in Saigon. The villa was equipped with a phone line hooked to the presidential palace, preserving the illusion that he remained at the seat of power. The battle went on all night; close to
a hundred Vietnamese died as the rebels stormed the presidential palace.
At about 6 a.m., Diem telephoned General Big Minh. The president said he was ready to resign, and the general guaranteed his safety. Diem said he would be waiting at the Saint Francis Xavier church in the Chinese quarter of Saigon. The general sent an armored personnel carrier to fetch Diem and his brother, ordered his personal bodyguard to lead the
convoy, and then raised two fingers on his right hand. It was a signal: kill them both.
General Don ordered his troops to clean up his headquarters, to bring in a large green-felt-covered table, and to prepare for a news conference.
"Get the hell out," the general said to his friend Conein, "we're bringing in the press." Conein went home, only to be summoned by Lodge. "I went to the Embassy and I was informed that I had to find Diem," he said. "I was tired and fed up, and I said, 'Who gave those orders?' They let me know that those orders came from the President of the United States."
At about 10 a.m., Conein drove back to General Staff headquarters and confronted the first general he met. "Big Minh told me they committed suicide. I looked at him and said, where? He said they were in the Catholic Church in Cholon, and they committed suicide," Conein said in his classified testimony to the Senate committee investigating the assassination twelve years later.
"I think I lost my cool at that point," Conein said. He was thinking of mortal sin and his eternal soul.
"I told Big Minh, look, you're a Buddhist, I'm a Catholic.

If they committed suicide at that church and the priest holds Mass tonight, that story won't hold water. I said, where are they?

He said they are at the General Staff headquarters, behind the General Staff headquarters, did I want to see them?

And I said no.

He said, why not?

And I said, well, if by chance one in a million of the people believe you that they committed suicide in church and I see that they have not committed suicide and I know differently, I am in trouble."

Conein returned to the American embassy to report that President Diem was dead. He did not report the whole truth. "Informed by Viet counterparts that suicide committed enroute from city," he cabled. At 2:50 a.m. Washington time came a reply signed in Dean Rusk's name:
"News of Diem, Nhu suicide shocking here . . . important to establish publicly beyond question that deaths actually suicide if this true."
On Saturday, November 2, 1963, at 9:35 a.m., the president convened an off-the-record meeting at the White House with his brother, McCone, Rusk, McNamara, and General Taylor. Before long, Michael Forrestal ran in with a flash from Saigon. General Taylor recounted that the president leaped to his feet and "rushed from the room with a look of shock and dismay on his face which I had never seen before."
At 6:31 p.m., McGeorge Bundy cabled Lodge, with eyes-only copies to McCone, McNamara, and Rusk: "Deaths of Diem and Nhu, whatever their failings, has caused shock here and there is danger that standing and reputation of incoming government may be significantly damaged if conviction spreads of their assassination at direction of one or more senior members of incoming regime. . . . They should not be left under illusion that political assassination is easily accepted here."
Jim Rosenthal was the duty officer at the American embassy in Saigon on that Saturday. Ambassador Lodge sent him down to the front door to receive some important visitors. "I'll never forget the sight," he said.
"This car pulled up to the Embassy, and the cameras were grinding away. Conein hops out of the front seat, opens the back door, and salutes, and these guys come out. As if he was delivering them to the Embassy, which he was. I just went up with them in the elevator, and Lodge greeted them. . . . Here were the guys who had just carried out a coup, killed the chief of state, and then they walk up to the Embassy, as if to say, 'Hey, boss, we did a good job, didn't we?' "

Chapter 21


LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)

On Tuesday, November 19, 1963, Richard Helms carried a Belgian submachine gun concealed in an airline travel bag into the White House.
The weapon was a war trophy; the CIA had seized a three-ton arms cache that Fidel Castro had tried to smuggle into Venezuela. Helms had taken the gun to the Justice Department to show it off to Bobby Kennedy, who thought they should bring it to his brother. They went to the Oval Office, and they talked with the president about how to fight Fidel. The late autumn light was fading as the president arose from his rocking chair and stared out the window at the Rose Garden.
Helms slipped the weapon back into his bag and said: "I'm sure glad the Secret Service didn't catch us bringing this gun in here." The president, lost in thought, turned from the window and shook hands withHelms. "Yes," he said with a grin, "it gives me a feeling of confidence."
The following Friday, McCone and Helms were at headquarters, sharing a lunch of sandwiches in the director's suite. The tall wide windows on the seventh floor looked out over an unbroken field of treetops to the horizon. Then the terrible news broke.
The president had been shot. McCone clapped on his fedora and went to Bobby Kennedy's house, a minute away by car. Helms went down to his office and tried to draft a book message, a cable to be sent to every CIA station in the world. His thoughts at that moment were very close to Lyndon Johnson's.
"What raced through my mind," Johnson remembered, "was that, if they had shot our president. . . who would they shoot next? And what was going on in Washington? And when would the missiles be comin'?
And I thought it was a conspiracy, and I raised that question. And nearly everybody that was with me raised it."
Over the next year, in the name of national security, the agency hid much of what it knew from the new president and the commission he created to investigate the killing. Its own internal investigation of the assassination collapsed in confusion and suspicion, casting shadows of doubt that still linger. This account is based on CIA records and the sworn testimony of CIA officers, all declassified between 1998 and 2004.


"Tragic death of President Kennedy requires all of us to look sharp for any unusual intelligence developments," Helms wrote in his worldwide message to CIA stations on November 22 . At headquarters, Charlotte Bustos spotted one immediately. She managed the Mexico files of the clandestine service, and two minutes after the radio announced that the Dallas police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, she ran through the pastel corridors clutching Oswald's dossier, searching for her boss, John Whitten, the man in charge of the CIA's covert operations in Mexico and Central America. Whitten read quickly through the file. "The effect was electric," he remembered. The file said that at 10:45 a.m. on October 1, 1963, a man identifying himself as Lee Oswald had telephoned the Soviet embassy in Mexico City, asking what was happening with his standing request for a visa to travel to the Soviet Union. With the invaluable help of the Mexican secret police, the Mexico City station had wiretapped the Soviet and Cuban embassies in an operation code-named Envoy. The CIA had Oswald's call. "Mexico had the biggest and most active telephone intercept operations in the whole world," Whitten said. "J. Edgar Hoover used to glow every time that he thought of the Mexico station"; more than a few American soldiers based in the southwestern United States had been caught trying to sell military secrets or defect to the Russians in Mexico City.
The CIA also had photographic surveillance of the Soviet embassy and opened every piece of mail coming in and out of it. But the eavesdropping operations were so big that they inundated the station, drowning it in useless information. It took eight days before the station listened to the October 1 tape, reported Oswald's visit, and asked CIA headquarters: Who is Lee Oswald? The CIA knew he was an American marine who had publicly defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. It had in its files a collection of FBI and State Department reports detailing Oswald's attempts to renounce his American citizenship, his threats to tell the Soviets about secret American military installations in the Pacific, his marriage to a Russian woman, and his repatriation in June 1962. During Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union, "CIA had no sources in a position to report on his activities or what the KGB might be doing with him," Whitten wrote in an internal report. But "it was suspected that Oswald and all other similar defectors were in the hands of the KGB. We were sure that all such defectors would be interrogated by the KGB, surrounded by KGB informants wherever they were resettled in the Soviet Union, and even possibly recruited by the KGB for a mission abroad later on."
Whitten realized that the man who had shot the president could be a communist agent. He picked up the telephone and asked Helms to order an immediate review of all the Envoy tapes and transcripts in Mexico City. The CIA chief of station, Win Scott, quickly called the president of Mexico, whose secret police worked all night with the CIA's eavesdroppers to listen for traces of Oswald's voice. Word of the Oswald file spread as McCone returned to CIA headquarters. Six hours of hectic conferences ensued, the last one convening at 11:30 p.m. When McCone learned that the CIA had known beforehand of Oswald's trip to the Soviet embassy in Mexico City, he was enraged, ripping into his aides, furious at the way the agency was run. The CIA's internal investigation took shape on Saturday morning, November 23. Helms met with the agency's barons, including James Angleton, chief of counterintelligence since 1954. Angleton fully expected to be handed the Oswald case. To his outrage, Helms put John Whitten in charge.
Whitten was a man who knew how to unravel a conspiracy. A skilled LEGAC Y of ASHE S 225 prisoner-of-war interrogator in World War II, he had joined the CIA in 1947. He was the first to employ the polygraph at the agency. In the early 1950s, he used the lie detector in hundreds of investigations of double agents, false defectors, and intelligence fabricators in Germany. He had uncovered some of the biggest hoaxes perpetrated on the agency, including the work of a con artist who sold the Vienna station a fake Soviet communications codebook. Another of the cases he cracked involved an agent Angleton had been running in Italy, a man whom Angleton launched against five different foreign intelligence services. The agent proved to be a fraud and a pathological liar; he had blithely disclosed to all five foreign services that he worked for the CIA, and he had been promptly doubled back to penetrate the agency by all five. This was not the only Angleton operation Whitten had exposed. In each case, Helms told Whitten to go into Angleton's dark and smoky office and confront him. "I used to go in fingering my insurance policy, notifying my next of kin," Whitten said. The confrontations created "bitter feelings, the most bitter feelings" between the two men. From the moment Whitten was assigned the Oswald case, Angleton set out to sabotage him.
By midmorning on November 23, CIA headquarters knew that Oswald had visited both the Cuban and the Soviet embassies repeatedly in late September and October, trying to travel as quickly as possible to Cuba and stay there until his Soviet visa came through. "His having been to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City obviously was a very important part of the initial impressions one had," Helms said. Shortly after noon, McCone rushed back downtown and broke the news of the Cuban connection to President Johnson, interrupting a long talk between LBJ and Dwight Eisenhower, who was warning him about the power that Robert Kennedy wielded over covert operations. At 1:35 p.m., President Johnson called an old friend, a Wall Street power broker named Edwin Weisl, and confided: "This thing on the . . . this assassin . . . may have a lot more complications than you know about... it may lay deeper than you think." That afternoon, the U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Tom Mann, a Texan and a close LBJ confidant, relayed his own suspicion that Castro was behind the assassination. On Sunday morning, November 24, McCone returned to the White House, where the funeral cortege that would take John Kennedy's casket to lie in state at the Capitol was assembling. McCone informed Lyndon Johnson more fully about some of the CIA's operations to overthrow the government of Cuba. 
But Johnson still had no idea that the United States had been trying to kill Castro for the better part of three years. Very few people knew. One was Allen Dulles. Another was Richard Helms. A third was Bobby Kennedy. A fourth was very likely Fidel Castro. That same day, the CIA station in Mexico City determined without question that Oswald had made his pleas for a visa to Soviet intelligence officers on September 28. He had talked face-to-face with a man named Valéry Kostikov, who was thought to be a member of Department 13 of the KGB—the department responsible for assassination. The station sent headquarters a list of all the foreigners it suspected had made contact with Soviet intelligence officers in Mexico City. One of them was Rolando Cubela, the CIA's Cuban agent in the final plot to kill Castro. Only two days before, at the hour of President Kennedy's death, Cubela's CIA case officer, Nestor Sanchez, had given the Cuban a pen rigged as a hypodermic syringe, filled with poison. The report from the Mexico City station raised a harrowing question: was Cubela a double agent for Fidel? The cortege to the Capitol was about to leave the White House when Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered on live television in the Dallas police station. The president ordered the CIA to give him everything it had on Oswald, immediately. Whitten pulled together a summary and gave it to Helms, who handed it over to the president a few hours later. The report itself has been lost or destroyed. Its gist, Whitten said, was that the CIA had no hard evidence that Oswald was an agent of Moscow or Havana— but he might be  
John McCone delivered a formal intelligence briefing to the new president of the United States on Tuesday, November 26. "The President noted with some considerable contempt the fact that certain people in the Department of Justice had suggested to him on Saturday that an independent investigation of the President's assassination should be conducted," McCone wrote in his daily memo for the record. "President Johnson rejected this idea." Seventy-two hours later, against his instincts, Johnson reversed himself. On November 29, the day after Thanksgiving, he cajoled the reluctant chief justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to lead the investigation. He corralled the rest of the members of the Warren Commission in a furious five-hour round of telephone calls. Taking Bobby Kennedy's recommendation, the president rang an astonished and befuddled Allen Dulles at home. "You've considered the effect of my previous work and my previous job?" Dulles asked. LBJ hastily assured him he had, and hung up. Dulles immediately called James Angleton. It was already dark outside, and the president was rushing to assemble the commission before the evening's newspaper deadlines. He ran down the list of the chosen. Discretion was the key, the president said: "We can't just have House and Senate and FBI and other people going around testifyin' that Khrushchev killed Kennedy, or Castro killed him." He impressed upon Representative Gerald R. Ford that he wanted men who knew how the CIA worked. His most important call came just before 9 p.m. Johnson's beloved mentor, the man who most closely watched the CIA in Congress, Senator Richard Russell, was on the line from Winder, Georgia. Though LBJ already had given his name to the wire services as a member of the Warren Commission, Russell tried to turn the president down. "You're goddamned sure gonna serve, I'll tell you that, " the president yelled. "You're gonna lend your name to this thing because you're head of the CIA committee." Johnson repeated that there could be no loose talk about Khrushchev's killing Kennedy. "Well, I don't think he did directly," Senator Russell said, but "I wouldn't be surprised if Castro had something to do with it." The creation of the Warren Commission posed a crushing moral dilemma for Richard Helms. "Helms realized that disclosing the assassination plots would reflect very poorly on the Agency and reflect very poorly on him, and that it might indeed turn out that the Cubans had undertaken this assassination in retaliation for our operations to assassinate Castro. This would have a disastrous effect on him and the Agency," John Whitten testified. Helms knew it all too well. "We were treading very lightly," he said in top secret testimony fifteen years later. "We were very concerned at the time as to what we might come up with. . . . Accusing a foreign government of having been responsible for this act is tearing the veil about as nastily as one can." The question of disclosure of the plots against Castro also created an impossible burden for Bobby Kennedy. He kept his silence. The president had ordered the FBI to investigate the killing of the president, commanded the CIA to cooperate fully, and told them to report their findings to the Warren Commission, which depended on them for the facts in the case. But their malfeasance was profound. By early 1962, the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service all had files on Oswald. In August 1963, in New Orleans, Oswald had a series of confrontations with members of the Cuban Student Directorate, a CIA-financed anti-Castro group, whose members reported to their case officer that they suspected Oswald was trying to infiltrate their ranks. By October 1963, the FBI knew him as a possibly deranged Marxist who supported the Cuban revolution, who was capable of violence, and who had been in recent contact with Soviet intelligence officers. On October 30, the bureau learned he was working at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. In short, an angry defector who admired Castro, whom the CIA had reason to believe might be a recruited communist agent, who was urgently seeking to return to Moscow via Havana, was staking out the route of the president's motorcade in Dallas. The CIA and the FBI never compared notes. The FBI never came close to tracking him down. This was a prelude to their performance in the weeks before September 11, 2001. It was "gross incompetency," J. Edgar Hoover declared in a December 10, 1963, memo that stayed secret until the turn of the century. Cartha DeLoach, the assistant FBI director, urged Hoover not to discipline his agents for dereliction, for fear it would be seen as "a direct admission that we are responsible for negligence which might have resulted in the assassination of the President." Hoover nonetheless punished seventeen of his men.
"We failed in carrying through some of the salient aspects of the Oswald investigation," Hoover wrote in October 1964. "It ought to be a lesson to us all, but I doubt if some even realize it now." The members of the Warren Commission knew none of this. As John  Whitten soon learned, the CIA also concealed much of what it knew to be true from the commission. Whitten had a terrible time sorting out the facts from an avalanche of falsehoods cascading in from the CIA's overseas stations. "Dozens of people were claiming that they had seen Oswald here, there, and everywhere in all kinds of conspiratorial circumstances, from the North Pole to the Congo," he remembered. Thousands of false leads propelled the CIA into a labyrinth.
To sort out the facts of the case, Whitten had to depend on the FBI to share information with him. It took two weeks before he was allowed to read the FBI's preliminary investigative report on Oswald in December 1963. "For the first time," he testified years later, "I learned a myriad of vital facts about Oswald's background which apparently the FBI had known throughout the investigation and had not communicated to me."
The FBI routinely failed to share information with the CIA. But the president had ordered them to cooperate. The one man responsible for the CIA's liaison with the FBI was Jim Angleton, and "Angleton never told me of his talks with the FBI or of FBI information he gained in those meetings," Whitten said. Unable to influence the initial course of the investigation, Angleton had sandbagged Whitten, denounced his work, and doomed his efforts to uncover the facts of the case. Helms and Angleton agreed to tell the Warren Commission and the CIA's own investigators nothing about the plots to kill Castro. That was "a morally reprehensible act," Whitten testified fifteen years later. "Helms withheld the information because it would have cost him his job." The knowledge would have been "an absolutely vital factor in analyzing the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination," Whitten said. Had he known, "our investigation of the Kennedy assassination would have looked much different than it did." Angleton's clandestine conversations with Allen Dulles controlled the flow of information from the CIA. The decisions he and Helms made may have shaped the Warren Commission's conclusions. But Angleton testified that the commission could never have interpreted the significance of the Soviet and the Cuban connections the way that he and his small staff did. "We would have seen it more sharply," he said. "We were more intensely engaged. . . . We had more experience in terms of Department 230 TI M WEINE R 13 and the whole history of 30 years of Soviet sabotage and assassinations. We knew of cases and we knew o
f the modus operandi." He said there was no point in giving away secrets best kept in his hands. His conduct was an obstruction of justice. He had only one defense. Angleton believed that Moscow had dispatched a double agent to cover up its role in the killing of John Kennedy.   
 His suspect was Yuri Nosenko, who had come to the United States as a KGB defector in February 1964, just as Angleton took over the CIA's investigation. Nosenko was a spoiled child of the Soviet elite: his father was the minister of shipbuilding, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, buried in the Kremlin wall after he died. Yuri joined the KGB in 1953, at age twenty-five. In 1958, he worked in the KGB section that focused on American and British travelers in the Soviet Union. He transferred to the American department, spying on the U.S. embassy in 1961 and 1962, and then he became deputy chief of the tourist department. His father's status protected him against his many stumbles, all created by his thirst for vodka, until he traveled to Geneva in June 1962 as the security officer for a Soviet delegation at an eighteen-nation conference on disarmament. He got very drunk on his first night, and he awoke to discover that a prostitute had robbed him of $900 worth of Swiss francs. The KGB's strictures on mishandling funds were severe. Nosenko had identified—or, rather, misidentified—a member of the American diplomatic delegation named David Mark as a CIA officer, and Yuri went looking for him. Mark had arrived in Moscow five years before as the political and economic counselor at the American embassy.
Though he was never a spy, he had done small favors for the CIA, and he was publicly declared persona non grata by the Soviets. It did not hurt his career; he later became an ambassador and the number-two man at the State Department's intelligence branch. At the end of an afternoon meeting on the nuclear test ban treaty, LEGAC Y of ASHE S 231 Mark remembered, Nosenko walked up to him and said, in Russian, "I'd like to talk to you. . . . But I don't want to talk here. I want to have lunch with you." It was an obvious pitch. Mark thought of a restaurant on the outskirts of town and made a date for the next day. "Of course, I told the CIA people about this right away, and they said, 'God, why did you pick that restaurant? That's where all the spies go.' " The American and the Russian broke bread, closely watched by two CIA officers. , Nosenko told Mark about the prostitute and the missing money. "I've got to make it up," Mark recalled him saying. "So I can give you some information that will be very interesting to the CIA, and all I want is my money." Mark warned him: "Now, look, you're going to commit treason."
But the Russian was ready. So they arranged another meeting for the following day in Geneva. Two CIA officers rushed to the Swiss capital to lead the interrogation. One was Tennent Bagley, a Soviet division officer based in Bern, who spoke little Russian. The second was George Kisevalter, the CIA's premier Russian spy handler, who flew in from headquarters. Nosenko arrived drunk for their first meeting. "Very drunk," he said many years later. The CIA taped him at great length, but the tape recorder malfunctioned. The record was patched together by Bagley, based on Kisevalter's memory. Much was lost in translation. Bagley cabled headquarters on June 11, 1962, saying that Nosenko had "completely proven his bona fides," had "provided information of importance," and was completely cooperative. But over the next eighteen months, Angleton convinced Bagley that he had been duped; once Nosenko's staunchest supporter, Bagley became his angriest antagonist. Nosenko had agreed to spy for the CIA in Moscow. He returned to Geneva with the Soviet disarmament delegation and met his CIA handlers at the end of January 1964.
On February 3, the day the Warren Commission heard its first witness, he told the Americans that he wanted to defect immediately. Nosenko said he had handled the KGB's Oswald file, and nothing in it implicated the Soviet Union in the Kennedy assassination. Angleton was certain that he was lying. This judgment had catastrophic consequences.
Nosenko produced a flood of secrets. But Angleton had already determined that he was part of a Soviet master plot. He believed that the KGB long ago had penetrated the CIA at a very high level. What else could  explain the long litany of blown operations in Albania and Ukraine, Poland and Korea, Cuba and Vietnam? Perhaps all of the CIA's operations against the Soviets were known to Moscow. Perhaps they were controlled by Moscow. Perhaps Nosenko had been sent to protect the mole inside the CIA. The one and only defector Angleton ever embraced—Anatoly Golitsin, certified by CIA psychiatrists as clinically paranoid—confirmed and strengthened Angleton's deepest fears. Angleton's highest duty as chief of counterintelligence was to protect the CIA and its agents against its enemies. But a great deal had gone wrong on his watch. In 1959, Major Pyotr Popov, the CIA's first spy of any note inside the Soviet Union, had been arrested and executed by the KGB. George Blake, the British spy for Moscow who blew the Berlin Tunnel before it was dug, had been exposed in the spring of 1961, forcing the CIA to consider that the tunnel had been used for Soviet disinformation. Six months later, Heinz Felfe, Angleton's West German counterpart, was exposed as a Soviet spy after inflicting deep damage on the CIA's operations in Germany and Eastern Europe.
A year after that, the Soviets arrested Colonel Oleg Penkovsky, secret hero of the Cuban missile crisis. They executed him in the spring of 1962. Then there was Kim Philby. In January 1963, Angleton's prime tutor in counterintelligence, his old confidant, his drinking partner, fled to Moscow. 
He was revealed at last as a Soviet spy who had served at the highest levels of British intelligence. Philby had been a suspect for twelve years. Back when he first fell under suspicion, Walter Bedell Smith had demanded reports from everyone having had contact with the man. Bill Harvey stated categorically that Philby was a Soviet agent. Jim Angleton stated categorically that he was not. In the spring of 1964, after years of crushing failures, Angleton sought redemption. He believed that if the CIA could break Nosenko, the master plot might be revealed—and the Kennedy assassination solved. Helms framed the problem in congressional testimony declassified in 1998:   
  MR. HELMS: If the information that Nosenko had provided about Oswald was true, then it led to a certain conclusion about Oswald and his relationship to the Soviet authorities. If it was incorrect, if he was feeding this to the United States government under instructions from the Soviet service, then it would have led one to an entirely different conclusion. .. . If it were established beyond any doubt that he had been lying and, by implication, therefore, Oswald was an agent of the KGB, I would have thought that the implications of that—not for the CIA or for the FBI, but for the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States would have been cataclysmic.
 QUESTION: Can you be more specific?
 MR. HELMS: Yes, I can be specific. In other words, the Soviet government ordered President Kennedy assassinated.  
  Those were the stakes. In April 1964, with the approval of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the CIA threw Nosenko into solitary confinement, first in a CIA safe house, and then at Camp Peary, the CIA's training site outside Williamsburg, Virginia. In the custody of the Soviet division, Nosenko received the treatment his fellow Russians received in the gulag. There were scanty meals of weak tea and gruel, a single bare light burning twenty-four hours a day, no human companionship. "I did not have enough to eat and was hungry all the time, " Nosenko said in a statement declassified in 2001. "I had no contact with anyone to talk. I could not read. I could not smoke. I even could not have fresh air." His testimony was remarkably similar to that of prisoners taken by the CIA after September 2001: "I was taken by guards, blindfolded and handcuffed in a car and delivered to an airport and put on a plane," he said. "I was taken to another location where I was put into a concrete room with bars on the door. In the room there was a single steel bed with a mattress." Nosenko was subjected to psychological intimidation and physical hardship for three more years. An audiotape of a hostile interrogation conducted by Tennent Bagley in the CIA's prison cell was preserved in the agency's files. Nosenko's low basso pleads in Russian: "From my soul. . . from my soul... I beg you to believe me." Bagley's high-pitched voice screams back in English, "That's bullshit! That's bullshit! That's bullshit!" For his work, Bagley was promoted to deputy chief of the Soviet division and awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal by Richard Helms. In the late summer of 1964, the task of telling the Warren Commission about Yuri Nosenko fell to Helms. It was an excruciatingly delicate matter. Days before the commission concluded its work, Helms told the 234 TI M W E I N E R chief justice that the CIA could not accept Moscow's protestations of innocence in the assassination of the president. Earl Warren was not pleased by this last-minute development. The commission's final report never mentioned Nosenko's existence. Helms himself came to fear the consequences of Nosenko's incarceration. "I recognized we couldn't keep him in durance vile, as we had, against the laws of the United States," he said. "Lord knows what would happen if we had a comparable situation today, because the laws haven't been changed, and I don't know what you do with people like Nosenko. We sought guidance from the Justice Department at the time. It was clear that we were holding him in violation of the law, but what were we to do with him? Were we going to release him and then a year later have it said, 'Well, you fellows should have had more sense than to do that. He was the whole key to who killed President Kennedy.' " The CIA sent another team of interrogators to question Nosenko. They determined that he had been telling the truth. He was finally freed five years after his defection, paid $80,000, given a new identity, and placed on the CIA's payroll. But Angleton and his circle never closed the case. Their search for the traitor within the CIA ripped the Soviet division apart. The mole hunt began by pursuing officers with Slavic surnames. It went up the chain of command to the Soviet division chief. It paralyzed the CIA's Russian operations for a decade, into the 1970s. For twenty-five years after Nosenko's defection, the CIA struggled to write the last chapter of his story. In all, it conducted seven major studies of the case. Nosenko was convicted, exonerated, and re-indicted until a last judgment was levied by the CIA's Rich Heuer at the end of the cold war. Heuer had started out as a firm believer in the master plot. But then he weighed the value of what Nosenko had given the United States. The Russian spy had identified, or produced investigative leads on, some 200 foreigners and 238 Americans in whom the KGB had displayed interest. He had fingered some 300 Soviet intelligence agents and overseas contacts, and roughly 2,000 KGB officers. 
He had pinpointed fifty-two hidden microphones that the Soviets had placed in the American embassy in Moscow. He had expanded the CIA's knowledge of how the Soviets sought to blackmail foreign diplomats and journalists. To believe in the master plot, it was necessary to take four things on faith: First, that Moscow would trade all that information to protect one mole. Second, LEGAC Y of ASHE S 235 that all communist defectors were agents of deception. Third, that the immense Soviet intelligence apparatus existed solely to mislead the United States. And last, that an impenetrable communist conspiracy lay behind the Kennedy assassination. For Richard Helms, the case remained an open book. Until the day that the Soviet and Cuban intelligence services turned over their files, he said, it would never be laid to rest. Either the killing of John Kennedy was the work of a deranged drifter with a cheap rifle and a seven-dollar scope, or the truth was more terrible. As Lyndon Johnson said toward the end of his presidency: "Kennedy was trying to get to Castro, but Castro got to him first."  
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
The covert operations of the Kennedys haunted Lyndon Johnson all his life. He said over and over that Dallas was divine retribution for Diem. "We all got together and got a goddamn bunch of thugs and we went in and assassinated him," he lamented. In his first year in office, coup after coup wracked Saigon, a shadowy insurgency started killing Americans in Vietnam, and his fear that the CIA was an instrument of political murder festered and grew. He now understood that Bobby Kennedy wielded great authority over covert operations. He saw him as a sworn rival for the presidency. At an Oval Office meeting with John McCone on December 13, 1963, Johnson asked bluntly if and when Kennedy would leave the government.
McCone said that "the Attorney General intended to stay on as Attorney General, but it was not clear to what extent the President wished him to become involved [with] intelligence work, NSC problems, counterinsurgency matters." The answer soon became clear: Bobby's days as the whip hand of the clandestine service were over. He departed seven months later. On December 28, McCone flew down to the LBJ Ranch in Texas for breakfast and a briefing after a trip to Saigon. "The President immediately brought up his desire to 'change the image of the CIA' from a cloak and dagger role," McCone recorded. The director could not have agreed more. The agency's only legal role was to gather, analyze, and report intelligence, McCone said, not to mount conspiracies to overthrow foreign states. Johnson said "he was tired of a situation that had been built up  that every time my name or CIA's name was mentioned, it was associated with a dirty trick." But Lyndon Johnson lay awake at night, trying to decide whether to go all-out in Vietnam or get out. Without American support, Saigon would fall. He did not want to plunge in with thousands of American troops. He could not be seen to pull out. The only path between war and diplomacy was covert action.
In early 1964, McCone and his new Saigon station chief, Peer de Silva, had nothing but bad news for the president. McCone was "extremely worried about the situation." He thought that the intelligence data "on which we gauged the trend of the war were grossly in error." He warned the White House and the Congress that "the Viet Cong are receiving substantial support from North Vietnam and possibly elsewhere, and this support can be increased. Stopping this by sealing the borders, the extensive waterways, and the long coastline is difficult, if not impossible. The VC appeal to the people of South Vietnam on political grounds has been effective, gained recruits for their armed forces, and neutralized resistance." Project Tiger, the Saigon station's two-year paramilitary program against North Vietnam, had ended in death and betrayal. Now the Pentagon proposed to begin again, in concert with the CIA. Its Operations Plan 34A was a yearlong series of covert raids intended to convince Hanoi to give up its insurgency in South Vietnam and Laos. The centerpiece was another set of airborne operations to drop intelligence and commando teams into North Vietnam, along with maritime assaults along the coast. The raiders would be South Vietnamese special-forces soldiers, supplemented by Nationalist Chinese and South Korean commandos, all of them trained by the CIA. McCone had no confidence that the attacks would change Ho Chi Minh's mind. "The President should be informed that this is not the greatest thing since peanut butter," he advised. Under orders, the agency turned its network of Asian paramilitaries over to the Pentagon's Special Operations Group in Vietnam. Helms warned against "an ominous drift" that was pulling the CIA away from espionage and toward a role as a conventional military support staff. The agency's executive director, Lyman Kirkpatrick, foresaw "the fragmentation and destruction of CIA, with the clandestine service being gobbled up by the Joint Chiefs of Staff." These were prophetic fears. In March 1964, the president sent McCone and McNamara back to Saigon. The director returned to tell the president that the war was not going well. "Mr. McNamara gave a very optimistic view that things were pretty good," McCone said in an oral history for the LBJ presidential library. "I had to take the position that as long as the Ho Chi Minh Trail was open and supplies and convoys of people could come in there without interruption, that we couldn't say things were so good."
That was the beginning of the end of John McCone's career as director of central intelligence. Lyndon Johnson closed the door to the Oval Office. Communication between the CIA and the president was limited to a twice-weekly written report on world events. The president read it at his leisure, if and when he wanted. On April 22, McCone told Bundy that he was "highly dissatisfied over the fact that President Johnson did not get direct intelligence briefings from me as was the custom with President Kennedy and had been the Eisenhower custom." A week later, McCone told LBJ that "I was not seeing very much of him, and this disturbed me." So Johnson and McCone played eight holes of golf together at the Burning Tree country club in May.
But they did not have a substantial conversation until October. The president had been in office for eleven months before he asked McCone how big the CIA was, what it cost, and precisely how it could serve him. The director's advice was rarely heard and rarely heeded. Without the president's ear, he had no power, and without that power, the CIA began to drift into the dangerous middle passage of the 1960s. McCone's split with McNamara over Vietnam revealed a deeper political fissure. Under law, the director of central intelligence was the chairman of the board of all American intelligence agencies. But the Pentagon had fought for two decades to make the director play second fiddle in the discordant band that people were now calling "the intelligence community." For six years, the president's board of intelligence advisers had suggested that the director should run the community and let a chief operating officer try to manage the CIA. Allen Dulles had adamantly resisted the idea and refused to pay attention to anything but covert action. McCone kept saying he wanted to get out of the cloak-and-dagger business. But in 1964, the CIA's clandestine service was consuming close to two-thirds of the agency's budget and 90 percent of McCone's time. He wanted to assert his statutory power over American intelligence. 
He needed authority commensurate with his responsibility. He never received it. The Pentagon undermined him at every turn. Three major branches of American intelligence had grown up over the past decade. All three were under the director's titular leadership. That power existed only on paper. The director was supposed to oversee the National Security Agency, the increasingly gigantic global electronic-eavesdropping arm of American intelligence. The NSA had been created by Truman in 1952 at the urging of Walter Bedell Smith after the crushing surprises of the Korean War. But the secretary of defense was in charge of its money and power. McNamara also controlled the new Defense Intelligence Agency, which he had created after the Bay of Pigs with the intent of coordinating the jumble of information produced by the army, the navy, the air force, and the marines.
Then there was the National Reconnaissance Office, born in 1962 to build spy satellites. In the spring of 1964, air force generals tried to seize control of the billion - dollar-a-year program from the CIA. The power grab fractured the fragile reconnaissance office. "I am just about ready to tell the Secretary of Defense and the President they can take NRO and shove it," McCone thundered. "I think the thing I should do is call up the President and tell him to get a new Director of Central Intelligence. . . . The bureaucrats in the Pentagon are trying to screw things up so that nobody can run the intelligence business." 
McCone tried to resign that summer, but Lyndon Johnson ordered him to remain at his post until at least election day. The war in Vietnam was now on in full, and the appearance of loyalty was utmost  
The war was authorized by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, rammed through Congress after what the president and the Pentagon proclaimed 240 TI M WEINE R was an unprovoked attack by North Vietnam on American ships in international waters on August 4. The National Security Agency, which compiled and controlled the intelligence on the attack, insisted the evidence was ironclad. Robert McNamara swore to it. The navy's official history of the Vietnam War calls it conclusive. It was not an honest mistake. The war in Vietnam began with political lies based on fake intelligence. Had the CIA been working as its charter intended, if McCone had fulfilled his duties under law as he saw them, the false reports might not have survived for more than a few hours. But the full truth did not come out until November 2005, in a highly detailed confession released by the National Security Agency. In July 1964, the Pentagon and the CIA determined that the OPLAN 34A overland attacks begun six months before had been a series of pointless pinpricks, just as McCone had warned. The United States stepped up commando raids at sea, under the leadership of the CIA's Tucker Gougelmann, a battle-scarred marine who many years later became the last American to die in the war in Vietnam. To bolster his forces, Washington increased its surveillance on the North. The navy had started a program of eavesdropping on encoded enemy communications— the technical term is signals intelligence, or SIGINT—under an operation code-named Desoto. Those missions began inside a black box, the size of a cargo container, lashed to the deck of a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam. Inside each one were antennas and monitors operated by at least a dozen officers of the Naval Security Group. They listened in on North Vietnamese military chatter, and the data they collected was decrypted and translated by the National Security Agency. The Joint Chiefs of Staff sent the US S Maddox, under the command of Captain John Herrick, on a Desoto mission with orders to "stimulate and record" North Vietnam's reactions to the commando raids.
The Maddox had orders to stay eight nautical miles off the mainland and four knots off the coastal islands of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. The United States did not recognize the international twelve-mile limit in Vietnam. On the last night of July and the first night of August 1964, the Maddox monitored an OPLAN 34A attack on Hon Me Island, off the central coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. It tracked the North's counter-attack, watching Soviet-made patrol boats armed with torpedoes and machines guns gathering off the island. On the afternoon of August 2, the Maddox detected three of the boats approaching. Captain Herrick sent a flash message to fellow commanders of the Seventh Fleet: he would fire on them if necessary. He requested help from the destroyer Turner Joy and the fighter jets of the carrier Ticonderoga. Shortly after 3 p.m., the Maddox fired three times at the North Vietnamese patrol boats. The shots were never reported or acknowledged by the Pentagon or the White House; they maintained that the communists shot first. The Maddox was still firing when four navy F-8E jets blasted the patrol boats, killing four sailors, heavily damaging two of the ships, and winging the third. Their communist captains fled and hid in coastal inlets, awaiting orders from Haiphong.
The Maddox had sustained one bullet hole from a machine gun. On August 3, President Johnson proclaimed that American patrols would continue in the Gulf of Tonkin, and the State Department announced that it had sent its first-ever diplomatic note to Hanoi, warning of the "grave consequences" of "further unprovoked military action." At that hour, another provocative OPLAN 34A maritime mission was dispatched to sabotage a radar station off the North Vietnamese coast, on the island of Hon Matt. Then, on the stormy night of August 4, the American captains of the destroyers, the commanders of the Seventh Fleet, and their leaders in the Pentagon all received an urgent alert from onshore SIGINT operators: the three North Vietnamese patrol boats encountered off Hon Me Island on August 2 were returning. In Washington, Robert McNamara called the president. At 10 p.m. in the Gulf of Tonkin, 10 a.m. in Washington, the American destroyers sent a flash message that they were under attack. The radar and sonar operators aboard the Maddox and the Turner Joy reported seeing ghostly blotches in the night.
Their captains opened fire. The NSA report declassified in 2005 described how "the two destroyers gyrated wildly in the dark waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, the Turner Joy firing over 300 rounds madly," both ships taking furious evasive maneuvers. "It was this high-speed gyrating by the American warships through the waters that created all the additional sonar reports of more torpedoes." They had been firing at their own shadows. The president immediately ordered an air strike against North Vietnamese naval bases to begin that night. Within an hour, Captain Herrick reported:
Ninety minutes later, those doubts vanished in Washington. The NSA told the secretary of defense and the president of the United States that it had intercepted a North Vietnamese naval communiqué reading:
But after the American air strikes against North Vietnam had begun, the NSA reviewed the day's communications intercepts. There was nothing. Every SIGINT eavesdropper in South Vietnam and the Philippines looked again. Nothing. The NSA reexamined the intercept it had handed to the president, double-checking the translation and the time stamp on the original message. Upon review, the message actually read:
The message had been composed either immediately before or at the moment when the Maddox and the Turner Joy opened fire on August 4. It was not about what had happened that night. It was about the first clash, two nights earlier, on August 2. The NSA buried this salient fact. It told no one. Its analysts and linguists looked a third time, and a fourth time, at the time stamp. Everyone— everyone, even the doubters—decided to stay silent. 
The NSA's leadership put together five separate after-action reports and summaries between August 5 and August 7. Then it composed a formal chronology, the official version of the truth, the last word on what happened out in the Gulf of Tonkin, the history to be preserved for future generations of intelligence analysts and military commanders. In the process, someone at the NSA destroyed the smoking gun—the intercept that McNamara had shown to the president. "McNamara had taken over raw SIGINT and shown the president what they thought was evidence of a second attack," said Ray Cline, then the CIA's deputy director of intelligence. "And it was just what Johnson was looking for." In a rational world, it would have been the CIA's task to take a hard look at the SIGINT from the Gulf of Tonkin and issue an independent interpretation of its meaning. It was no longer a rational world. "It was too late to make any difference," Cline said. "The planes had been launched." As the NSA's November 2005 confession says: "The overwhelming body of reports, if used, would have told the story that no attack had happened. So a conscious effort ensued to demonstrate that the attack occurred .. . an active effort to make the SIGINT fit the claim of what happened during the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin." 
The intelligence, the report concluded, "was deliberately skewed to support the  notion that there had been an attack." American intelligence officers "rationalized the contradictory evidence away." Lyndon Johnson had been ready to bomb North Vietnam for two months. On his orders, in June 1964, Bill Bundy, the assistant secretary of state for the Far East, brother of the national security adviser, and a veteran CIA analyst, had drawn up a war resolution to be sent to Congress when the moment was ripe. The fake intelligence fit perfectly into the preconceived policy. On August 7, Congress authorized the war in Vietnam. The House voted 416-0. The Senate voted 88-2. It was a "Greek tragedy," Cline said, an act of political theater reprised four decades later when false intelligence on the Iraqi arsenal upheld another president's rationale for war. It remained to Lyndon Johnson to sum up what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin, which he did four years after the fact. "Hell," said the president, "those damn stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish."   
Chapter 23 
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
"Vietnam was my nightmare for a good ten years," Richard Helms wrote. As he rose from chief of the clandestine service to become the director of central intelligence, the war was always with him. "Like an incubus, it involved efforts which were never to seem successful, and demands which could never be met but which were repeated, doubled, intensified, and redoubled. "We tried every operational approach in the book, and committed our most experienced field operatives to the effort to get inside the government in Hanoi," Helms recounted. "Within the Agency, our failure to penetrate the North Vietnamese government was the single most frustrating aspect of those years. We could not determine what was going on at the highest levels of Ho's government, nor could we learn how policy was made or who was making it." At the root of this failure of intelligence was "our national ignorance of Vietnamese history, society, and language," he said. We did not choose to know, so we did not know how much we did not know. "The great sadness," Helms said in an oral history recorded for the LBJ Library, "was our ignorance—or innocence, if you like—which led us to mis-assess, not comprehend, and make a lot of wrong decisions." Lyndon Johnson also had a recurring dream about Vietnam. If he ever wavered on the war, if he faltered, if he lost, "there would be Robert Kennedy out in front leading the fight against me, telling everyone that I had betrayed John Kennedy's commitment to South Vietnam. That I was a coward. An unmanly man. A man without a spine. Oh, I could see it coming, all right. Every night when I fell asleep I would see myself tied to the ground in the middle of a long, open space. In the distance I could hear the voices of thousands of people. They were all shouting and running toward me: '
Coward! Traitor! Weakling!' " 
The strength of the Vietcong, the communist guerrillas in the south, continued to grow. A new ambassador, General Maxwell Taylor, late of the Special Group (Counterinsurgency), and Bill Colby, the CIA's Far East division chief, searched for a new strategy against the shadowy terrorists. "Counterinsurgency became an almost ridiculous battle cry," said Robert Amory, who had stepped down after nine years as the CIA's deputy director of intelligence to become the White House budget officer for classified programs. "It meant so many things to so many different people." But Bobby Kennedy knew its meaning, and he boiled it down to its essence. "What we needed," he said, "were people who could shoot guns." On November 16, 1964, an explosive work by Peer de Silva, the CIA's station chief in Saigon, landed on John McCone's desk at headquarters. It was titled "Our Counterinsurgency Experiment and Its Implications." Helms and Colby had read it and approved it. It was a bold idea with one great risk: the potential "to turn 'McNamara's War' into 'McCone's War,' " as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Marshall Carter bluntly warned his boss that day. De Silva had been trying to extend the CIA's power in South Vietnam by creating paramilitary patrols in the provinces to hunt down the Vietcong. Working with the interior minister and the chief of the national police, de Silva bought an estate in the northeast corner of South Vietnam from a crooked labor-union kingpin and began offering a crash course in counterinsurgency for civilians. In the first week of November 1964, as Americans were electing President Johnson to a full term, de Silva had flown up to inspect his fledgling project. His officers had trained three teams of forty Vietnamese recruits who had reported 246 TI M WEINE R killing 167 Vietcong while losing only 6 of their own. Now de Silva wanted to fly five thousand South Vietnamese citizens up to the estate from all over the country for a three-month education in military and political tactics taught by CIA officers and American military advisers. They would return home, in de Silva's words, as "counter-terror teams," and they would kill the Vietcong. John McCone had a lot of faith in Peer de Silva, and he gave his approval. But he felt it was a losing battle. The day after de Silva's memo arrived, McCone walked into the White House and for the second time tendered his resignation to President Johnson. He offered a choice of qualified successors and begged to take his leave. Once again, not for the last time, the president ignored the director of central intelligence. McCone stayed on while the crises confronting him piled up. He believed, as did the presidents he served, in the domino theory. He told the future president, Representative Gerald R. Ford, that "if South Vietnam fell to the communists, Laos and Cambodia would certainly go, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and eventually the Philippines," which would have "a vast effect" on the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. He did not think the CIA was equipped to fight insurgents and terrorists, and he feared that "the VC may be the wave of the future." He was quite certain that the CIA was incapable of combating the Vietcong. De Silva later mourned the agency's "blindness" to the enemy and its strategy. In the villages, "the Vietcong use of terror was purposeful, precise, and frightful to behold," he wrote. The peasants "would feed them, recruit for them, conceal them, and provide them with all the intelligence the Vietcong needed." Then, at the end of 1964, the VC took the war to the capital. "The Vietcong use of terror within the city of Saigon was frequent, sometimes random, and sometimes carefully planned and executed," de Silva wrote. Secretary of Defense McNamara just missed being hit by a roadside bomb planted on the highway to the city from the airport. A car bomb destroyed the bachelor officers' quarters in Saigon on Christmas Eve 1964. Slowly the losses mounted as suicide bombers and sappers struck at will. At 2 a.m. on February 7, 1965, the Vietcong attacked an American base in Pleiku, the central highlands of Vietnam. Eight Americans died. When the firefight was over, the Americans searched the body of one of the Vietcong attackers and found a very precise map of the base in his pack. LEGAC Y of ASHE S 247 We had more weapons, and bigger ones, but they had more spies, and better ones. It was a decisive difference. Four days later, Lyndon Johnson lashed out. Dumb bombs, cluster bombs, and napalm bombs fell on Vietnam. The White House sent an urgent message to Saigon seeking the CIA's best estimate of the situation. George W. Allen, the most experienced Vietnam intelligence analyst at the Saigon station, said the enemy would not be deterred by bombs. It was growing stronger. Its will was unbroken. But Ambassador Maxwell Taylor went over the report line by line, methodically deleting each pessimistic paragraph before sending it on to the president. The CIA's men in Saigon took note that bad news was not welcome. The corruption of intelligence at the hands of political generals, civilian commanders, and the agency itself continued. There would not be a truly influential report from the CIA to the president on the subject of the war for three more years. On March 8, the marines landed in Da Nang in full battle dress. Beautiful girls met them with garlands. In Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh prepared his own reception. On March 30, Peer de Silva was in his second-floor office in the CIA station in Saigon, catercorner to the embassy, talking on the telephone with one of his officers and staring out the window at a man pushing an old gray Peugeot sedan up the street. De Silva looked down at the driver's seat and saw a detonator burning. "My world turned to glue and slow motion as my mind told me this car was a bomb," de Silva remembered. "With the phone still in my hand and without conscious thought, I began falling away from the window and turned as I fell, but I was only halfway to the floor when the car exploded." Flying glass and shards of metal slashed de Silva's eyes and ears and throat. The blast killed at least twenty people in the street and de Silva's twenty-two-year-old secretary. Two CIA officers inside the station were permanently blinded. Sixty other CIA and embassy personnel were injured. George Allen suffered multiple contusions, cuts, and a concussion. De Silva lost the vision in his left eye. Doctors pumped him full of painkillers, swaddled his head in gauze, and told him he might go completely blind if he stayed on in Saigon. The president wondered how to fight an enemy he could not see. "There must be somebody out there that's got enough brains to figure out some way that we can find some special targets to hit on," Johnson demanded as night fell in Saigon. He decided to pour thousands more troops into battle and ratchet up the bombing campaign. He never once consulted the director of central intelligence.
On April 2, 1965, John McCone quit for the last time, effective as soon as Lyndon Johnson selected a successor. He delivered a fateful prediction for the president: "With the passage of each day and each week, we can expect increasing pressure to stop the bombing," he said. "This will come from various elements of the American public, from the press, the United Nations and world opinion. Therefore time will run against us in this operation and I think the North Vietnamese are counting on this."
One of his best analysts, Harold Ford, told him: "We are becoming progressively divorced from reality in Vietnam" and "proceeding with far more courage than wisdom." McCone now understood that. He told McNamara that the nation was about to "drift into a combat situation where victory would be dubious."
His final warning to the President was blunt as it could be: "We will find ourselves mired down in combat in the jungle in a military effort that we cannot win, and from which we will have extreme difficulty extracting ourselves." Lyndon Johnson had stopped listening to John McCone long ago. The director left office knowing he had had no impact whatsoever on the thinking of the president of the United States. Like almost all who followed him, LBJ liked the agency's work only if it fit his thinking. When it did not, it went into the wastebasket.
"Let me tell you about these intelligence guys," he said. "When I was growing up in Texas, we had a cow named Bessie. I'd go out early and milk her. I'd get her in the stanchion, seat myself, and squeeze out a pail of fresh milk. One day I'd worked hard and gotten a full pail of milk, but I wasn't paying attention, and old Bessie swung her shit-smeared tail through that bucket of milk. Now, you know, that's what these intelligence guys do. You work hard and get a good program or policy going, and they swing a shit-smeared tail through it."   
LEGACY of  ASHES - The History of the CIA  by TIM WEINER
There are no secrets that time does not reveal.—Jean Racine, Britannicus (1669)
 The president went looking for "a great man" to serve as the new director of central intelligence—"one that can light the fuse if it's just got to be done to save his country." Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Marshall Carter warned against choosing an outsider. He said it would be "a grave error" to select a military yes-man and "a disaster" to choose a political crony; if the White House thought the CIA had no one from within who was worthy, "they had better close up the place and give it to the Indians." Richard Helms was the near-unanimous choice among the president's national-security team—McCone, McNamara, Rusk, and Bundy. Johnson heeded none of them. On the afternoon of April 6, 1965, he placed a call to a fifty-nine-year-old retired admiral named Red Raborn, a native son of Decatur, Texas. Raborn had political credentials:
he had won LBJ's affection by appearing in a paid television announcement during the 1964 campaign, calling the Republican candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, too dumb to be president. His claim to fame was managing the development of the Polaris nuclear missile for the navy's submarines, an effort that won him friends in Congress.
He was a nice man with a nice job in the aerospace industry and a nice spread in Palm Springs overlooking the eleventh fairway of his favorite golf course. Red Raborn stood at attention at the sound of his commander in chief's voice. "Now, I need you," Lyndon Johnson said, "and need you awful bad awful quick."
They were quite a ways into their conversation before Raborn realized that LBJ wanted him to run the CIA. The president promised that Richard Helms, as the new deputy director, would do the heavy lifting. "You could take you a nap every day after lunch," he said. "We won't overwork you." Appealing to Raborn's patriotism, laying on the down-home charm, Johnson said: "I know what the old warhorse does when he hear the bell ring." The admiral came aboard on April 28, 1965. 
The president put on a big show for his swearing-in at the White House, saying he had searched the nation far and wide and found only one man who could do the job. Tears of gratitude ran down Raborn's face. It was his last happy moment as director of central intelligence. The Dominican Republic exploded that same day. The United States had tried and failed to make the nation the showplace of the Caribbean after the American-supported assassination of the dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961.
Now armed rebels were fighting in the streets of the capital. Johnson decided to send in four hundred U.S. Marines, along with the FBI and reinforcements for the CIA station. It was the first large-scale landing of American forces in Latin America since 1928, and the first armed adventure of its kind in the Caribbean since the Bay of Pigs. At a full-dress White House meeting that night, Raborn reported— without evidence, and without qualification—that the rebels were controlled by Cuba. "In my opinion this is a real struggle mounted by Mr. Castro," Raborn said the next morning in a phone conversation with the president. "There is no question in my mind that this is the start of Castro's expansion." The president asked: "How many Castro terrorists are there?" Raborn replied: "Well, we have positively identified 8 of them. And I sent a list over to the White House about 6 o'clock—it should be in the Situation Room—who they are, what they are doing and what their training has been." The list of the eight "Castro terrorists" appeared in a CIA memorandum, which read: "There is no evidence that the Castro regime is directly involved in the current insurrection." The president hung up the phone and decided to send a thousand more marines to the Dominican Republic. Had there been any warning of the crisis from the CIA? the president asked his national security adviser that morning. "There was nothing," Bundy replied. "Our CIA says this is a completely led .. . Castro operation," the prèsident told his personal lawyer, Abe Fortas, as 2,500 army paratroopers landed in the Dominican Republic on April 30. "They say it is! Their people on the inside tell us! .. . There ain't no doubt about this being Castro now. . . . They are moving other places in the hemisphere. It may be part of a whole Communistic pattern tied in with Vietnam. . . . 
The worst domestic political disaster we could suffer would be for Castro to take over." The president prepared to send 6,500 more American soldiers to Santo Domingo. But McNamara mistrusted what Raborn was telling the president.
"You don't think CIA can document it?" Johnson asked the secretary of defense. "I don't think so, Mr. President," McNamara replied. "You don't know that Castro is trying to do anything. You would have a hard time proving to any group that Castro has done more than train these people, and we have trained a lot of people." That gave the president pause. "Well, now, don't you think that's something that you and Raborn and I ought to talk about?" the president said. "CIA told me that there were two Castro leaders involved. And a little later, they told me eight, and a little later, they told me fifty-eight. ... "
"I just don't believe the story," MacNamara said flatly.
The president nonetheless insisted in a speech to the American people that he would not allow "Communist conspirators" in the Dominican Republic to establish "another Communist government in the Western Hemisphere."
Raborn's reporting on the crisis did for LBJ what the U-2 had done for Eisenhower and the Bay of Pigs for Kennedy. It led directly to the first assertion by the American press that Lyndon Johnson had a "credibility gap." The phrase was first published on May 23, 1965. It stung, and it stuck. The president took no further counsel from his new director of central intelligence. Morale plunged at headquarters under Raborn's unsteady command. "It was tragic," said Ray Cline, the deputy director of intelligence, "the beginning of a long slide downwards." The bitter joke was that Dulles had run a happy ship, McCone a tight ship, and Raborn a sinking ship. "Poor old Raborn," said Red White, his third-in-command as executive director. "He came out there every morning at 6:30 and had breakfast thinking the President would call him someday." Johnson never did. It was painfully clear that Raborn was "not qualified to run the CIA," White said. The hapless admiral was "completely out in left field.
If you talked about foreign countries, he wouldn't know if you were talking about a country in Africa or South America." The new director made a fool of himself while testifying in secret to Congress, Senator Richard Russell warned LBJ: "Raborn has got one failing that's going to get him in trouble. He won't ever admit he don't know. .. . If you ever decide to get rid of him, you just put that fellow Helms in there. He got more sense than any of them." Richard Helms ran the CIA while Raborn fumbled and flailed. He had three major covert-action campaigns to fight that year. Each one had been started by President Eisenhower, then strengthened by President Kennedy, and now was central to LBJ's quest to win the war in Southeast Asia. In Laos, the CIA fought to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In Thailand, it set out to fix the elections. In Indonesia, it provided secret support for leaders who massacred countless communists.
All three nations were dominoes to the presidents who ordered the CIA to keep them in line, fearing that if one fell, Vietnam would fall. On July 2, LBJ called Eisenhower for advice on escalating the war. The American death toll in Vietnam stood at 446. The ninth junta since the assassination of President Diem had just seized power, led by Nguyen Cao Ky, a pilot who had dropped paramilitary agents to their death on CIA missions, and by Nguyen Van Thieu, a general who later assumed the presidency. Ky was vicious, Thieu corrupt. Together they were the public face of democracy in South Vietnam. "You think that we can really beat the Vietcong out there?" the president asked. Victory depended entirely on good intelligence, Eisenhower replied, and "this is the hardest thing."