( Copyright, 2017, Steve Erdmann – All Rights Reserved)
<Edited by Robert D. Mornigstar>
Journalists and Reviewers may quote short pieces for research.
TheDevil’sChessboard: AllenDulles, TheCIA, andtheRiseofAmerica’sSecretGovernment, David Talbot, Harper Collins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10007, 2015, 661 pages.
David Talbot has been known for his biting, penetrating analysis of the political and social scenes. He was the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, as well as senior editor at Mother Jones Magazine and features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. Articles in TheNewYorker, RollingStone, Time, TheGuardian, and books such as TheHiddenHistoryoftheKennedyYears and Brothers, demonstrated his ability to investigate and portray important political situations.
In TheDevil’sChessboard, Talbot traces the earliest momentous seeds of history where Allen Welsh Dulles and John Foster Dulles came on the scene as intelligence protégés. For Allen, his first foot-steps happened on November 9, 1942 in Bern, Switzerland, home of spies and a “financial haven for the Nazi war machine.” Dulles shared with enthusiasm the Nazi conquering of assets from European sources to fund their “behind-the-scene deals” because the Dulles’ brothers Wall Street law firm was in the center of the Nazi “merry-go-round” financial supply lines. The lawyers continued to “represent” German cartels like I.G. Farben and other ‘parts’ of the “war machine.” (p. 19.)
MORE IN STEP
“Dulles was more in step with many Nazi leaders than he was with President Roosevelt,” says Talbot. “Dulles not enjoyed a professional and social familiarity with many members of the Third Reich’s elite that predated the war; he shared many of these men’s postwar goals…Nazi forces…old friends.” (p. 15.)
Dulles was in contact with the highly secretive Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a giant “pillar of the emerging global financial system” and was “effectively controlled by Hitler’s regime.” It was Dulles’s job to protecttheNazilaunderingschemes, protect their assets and their collusion with American corporations, such General Motors and Standard Oil. Dulles believed that a number of powerful figures be “returned to postwar as a strong bulwark against Communism.”
Allen Welsh Dulles
Dulles protected Sullivan and Crowell’s German clients, and Foster did the same in New York. They were able “to hide the U.S assets of major German cartels.” Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg said that both men were “guilty of treason.”
The “Jewish Problem” was, in many ways, a lucrative venture. Later, Richard Nixon found documents revealing how the Dulles brothers had helped launder Nazi funds during the war. Nixon promised to keep these files confidential in exchange for campaign contributions to defeat opponent Jerry Voorhis.
Richard Nixon in Conference
During that period of the war, Nazi SS Heinrich Himmler set about making contacts across Europe to make deals with the United States and England. A 1944 Britton Woods Conference enlisted 730 delegates that “thrashed out” the direction of a newworldorder, the New Dealers.
One such unsavory recruit was Nicolai Maxlaxa who developed a rich connection with Richard Nixon’s “bank account, Dulles’s law firm” and OSS intelligence operative Harold Wisner’s $500-million overseas accounts.
Later, the President Eisenhower-Richard Nixon victory “was the culmination of years of political strategizing dating back to the Roosevelt era.” What sociologist C. Wright Mills called in his 1956 masterpiece,The PowerElite, as the strategiccommandposts of society; big corporations, military establishments, top corporate, government leaders that moved with fluidity “in and out of one’s another’s worlds” with “professional synchronicity—the fraternity of the successful.”
“Democracy, in their minds, was an impediment to the smooth functioning of the corporate state,” says Talbot, “John Foster Dulles had made this clear early in the Wall Street career and he jousted with FDR’s New Deal bureaucracy.” (p. 197.)
After World War II, the “militarization of government” included captains of industry, business executives, Wall Street lawyers, investment bankers—a warrior corporate caste—a “gloomyzeitgeist” with a pinnacle of American power that President Eisenhower filled with wealthy, powerful Players: General Motors, CEO Charles Wilson, Chas Manhattan Chairman and former diplomat John McCloy, as well as the exclusive ranks of the Council on Foreign Relations, CEO’s of General Electric, Coca-Cola, Reynolds Tobacco, and Young & Rubicam, and similar power-brokers.
Speaking of this period in the lives of Dulles and Bedell Smith, Talbot says “The deputy CIA director had no qualms about advocating the assassination of foreign leaders, given presenting a plan to Smith in early 1952 to kill Stalin at a Paris summit meeting.”
“The mechanisms of surveillance and control that Dulles put in motion were more in keeping with an expanding empire,” says Talbot, “than they were with a vibrant democracy.” (pp. 203-204.)
Dulles knew the purpose of complete control and even kept special files on J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Jose McCarthy, telling of Hoover’s intimate relationship with FBI deputy Clyde Tolson, and scandalous file on McCarthy’s sex life. Dulles, says Talbot, began molding the image of the CIA as a “super agency,” operating about congressional senators, “the CIA would grow more powerful and less accountable with each passing year of Dulles’s reign” – “Dulles was ready to ‘take on the world’” (pp. 223, 226.)
The Dulles’s actions included sabotaging a Justice Department antitrust case that was charging price-fixing against the oil cartel. Dulles directed Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran as a “‘stooge’ of the Communists in 1953,” when evidence indicated he wasn’t a Communist, and Dulles and Eisenhower were creating a fiction in order to have Mossadegh assassinated. Talbot says that CIA-hired-thugs worked behind the scenes in the capture and killing of Mossadegh; their “pockets” were literally stuffed with CIA cash—cash which they spread around, even to “cheering crowds.” (pp. 237-238.)
Mohammed Mossadegh on Trial in 1953
In 1954, a year later, Dulles and the CIA engineered the “regime change” in Guatemala.
“Iran’s oil industry was…handed over to the foreign corporations…40 percent of the spoils now going to American oil producers, including Gulf, Texaco, Mobil, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and Standard Oil of California.”
Such administration “conquests” caused an “intoxicating effect” through the Oval Office, the CIA, and the State Department as a “champagne glow.” However, the incoming shah used an iron boot to stamp his presence: primitive torture methods, whippings and beatings, some resulting in “gruesome gapani, hung from hooks.” (p. 240.) It was a PaxAmericana enforced by Eisenhower-Dulles, says Talbot, threatening enemies with nuclear annihilation, coups d’etats and assassination.
Talbot quotes sociologist C. Wright Mills to the fact that our national security leaders, much like the Nazis before them, had a “moral insensibility” where violence had become bureaucratized. “In an official man there is no more human shock,” said Mills.
LEVELS OF OPERATION
The Eisenhower-Dulles foreign policy operated on twin levels of “psychic violence” and “actual violence.” The Secretary of State Dulles threatened to “evaporate entire populations” with “tactical” nuclear strikes, the CIA director “actually eliminated individuals around the world” wherever they deemed to be a threat. Eisenhower gave Allen Dulles “a license to kill that the spymaster utilized as he saw fit.” (p. 248): aneffectivekillingmachine.
“The Dulles brothers assured multinational firms that Washington,” says Talbot, “would stop at nothing to protect their overseas investments.”
World War II hero, Air Force general James H. Dolittle warned that the CIA was “overly zealous,” but Dulles relied on his Wall Street friends like Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of two future presidents “to protect the CIA’s interests.” Eisenhower all too willingly succumbed to Dulles’s ‘strangegenius.’ A Bruce-Lovett report noted the CIA’s “penchant for creating political mayhem around the globe.”
The chilling case of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz and his January, 1971 suspected assassination was all part of a CIA coup program called PBSUCCESS, backed by the influence of the powerful United Fruit Company, blue-blooded Boston families, resulting in the killing of 250,000 people by means of assassinations, death squads and massacres of entire villages.
The CIA had compiled a “list of assassination targets” during the 1954 coup, a secret ‘disposal list’ of at least fifty-eight key Guatemalan leaders. There was a CIA killing manual titled AStudyofAssassination directed towards a CIA LastaNegra of seventy thousand names, a Decree59 to eliminate subversives.
Jose’ Bernabe Linares, notorious chief of the GuardiaJudical, did not hesitate to use electric-shock baths and steel skullcaps, and even journalists were imprisoned and tortured; death squads, massacres, and machine-gunned victims into open trenches.
Dictator Casello Armas’s end came in July, 1957 when he was assassinated by one of his own police guards. The mayhem, says Talbot, “continued on and off for decades, reaching newheightsofferocityduring the Reagan Presidency.” (pp. 256, 263, 264, 265.)
THE GERMAN SPYMASTER
Hitler’s intelligence chief on the eastern front, Reinhard Gehlin, as part of Operation Paper Clip, was moved into comfortable quarters at Fort Hunt in Virginia, bringing former Nazi intelligence operations under its supervision, and the CIA taking over Gehlen’s organization from the U.S Army in 1948. This consumed “some of the most notorious figures of the Nazi regime (such as Dr. ‘Final Solution’ Franz Six) and other SS death squad members.”
Nazi Intelligence Chief Reinhard Gehlen
Under the directorship of James Critchfield, the Gehlen “faction” drew close to their American parent-partners with a gated community, partying together on ski trips in the Bavarian alps, and becoming very entwined. Gehlen utilized his “rat like” cunning to keep the CIA in the dark, though his organization held “former hardcore Nazis.”
Dulles’s kept closeties with Gehlen who said that Dulles “became a close personal friend of mine.” This was evidenced by celebrations, including one at the Chevy Chase Club. Gehlen proposed to reinstate fascism in Germany. OperationGladio was set up with secret CIA funds, attracting assassinations, plotting coups, opening of private mail, and tapping of phones.
Inspired by such fascist momentum, the CIA entered into “brain warfare,” a “ManhattanProjectoftheMind,” to discover methods of controlling the minds of subjects and use them as military weapons. “ꞌBrain perversion,’” says Talbot, was invented and used in hundreds of secret experiments, “part Orwell and part Philip K. Dick.” (p. 296.) Programs existed, such as MK-ULTRA (Operation ARTICHOKE), Camp King detention center, and doctors such as Dr. Sidney Gottlieb; dangerous drug programs ensued, including Benzedrine, Pentothal-Natrium, LSD, and Mescaline—programs which eventually killed intelligence agent Dr. Frank Olson in a manufactured suicide. It was all part of the CIA’s Magic Potion Division of the Technical Services Staff.
“The Security Unit,” says Talbot, “was also in charge of what was delicately called ‘enforcement’…eliminate(ing) any potential threats or embarrassments to the agency” (the death of Dr. James Kronthal was suspected to be another victim).
HUMAN GUINEA PIGS
The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology was a CIA front, with grants up to $300,000 for research, and millions of dollars more to colleagues. Montreal’s McGill University, the Allen Memorial Institute and Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron at the Allen Institute for Psychiatry, were pushing massive drug use, hallucinogens, and ‘de-patterning’ Mind Control where minds were used as “blank slates” (described in a 1963 CIA torture manual detailing Sleep Rooms were electroshock, drug overdoses and lobotomies were explored).
Talbot reaches through a large swatch of history filled with the CIA’s darkest movements and deadliest actions impregnated with evil suspicious and murderous players such as Robert A. Maheu (of Howard Hughes fame), handlers such as Sheffield Edwards, Jim O’Connell, Scott McLeod, intelligence monarch James Jesus Angleton, hitman Bill Harvey, mobster and CIA asset Johnny Rosselli, and other henchmen, leaving a trail of victims such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic attacking and charging against Jesus de Galendez,, and also the murder of Congo’s Patrice Lumumba.
“Dulles and Angleton shared a disdain for Washington bureaucracy and for the governmental oversight that comes with a functioning democratic system,” says Talbot. “Dulles entrusted Angleton with the agency’s most vital and sensitive missions…principal CIA liaisons with key foreign intelligence service…with both parties conveniently overlooking Angleton’s role in the Nazi ratlines after the war.” (pp. 336-337.)
In the ensuing years, the CIA’s plots included assassinations attempts on France’s President Charles de Gaulle in a coup attempt. Pierre de Benouville, a right-wing Resistance leader on Dulles’s OSS payroll and other henchmen, such as anti-de Gaulle terrorist Jacques Soustelle, were participants (this also included events such as the expulsion of the French CIA station chief Alfred Ulmer).
CLEANSING SECURITY MOVES
In July 1962, a dozen OAS snipes opened fire on de Gaulle’s Citron, but de Gaulle’s “skilled and loyal” security team speed the President to safety. Two of the president’s motorcycle bodyguards were killed. De Gaulle countered with a great vengeance and “several security measures” allowing him to safely remain in power. Kennedy likewise made drastic moves to cleanse the CIA by discharging suspected individuals, and also firingAllenDulles.
Victim of the Algerian Independence Struggle
“By 1962, President Kennedy was challenging the bastions of American power on several fronts,
including the corporate elites of the economy.” (p. 443.)
Kennedy, likewise, confronted a virtual army of dissidents that hated him, both in and out of the CIA, noted names and shadowy individuals that worked through political and corporate channels (and also in secret) to defeatanddestroyhim: Richard Nixon, Richard Helms, Frank Wisner, Charles Cabell, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, Howard Hunt, Thomas Karamessiness, Areleigh Burke, Pauline Sierra Martinez, Lyman Lemnitzer and others. Official inquiries of Kennedy’s attackers, such as those by General Maxwell Taylor, and defensive comments by Arthur Schlesinger, only hardened the hatred and conspiracy against Kennedy.
Spy Master James Jesus Angleton
THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION PLOTS
Talbot glides smoothly through the appearance of Lee Harvey Oswald, noting the many inconsistencies and oddities in Oswald’s history that plainly outline his intelligence connection.
More importantly, Talbot demonstrates the intricate and behind-the-scenes movements and manipulations of Allen Dulles, though dethroned officially, who still operated the political scene, even after President Kennedy was assassinated obviously by a band of killers—and that certainly was not Lee Harvey Oswald. Speculation ratcheted as to who were all the key players involved in the conspiracy, and Talbot covers aspects as intimately as he can, including St. John Hunt’s interview with his dying father and major player, Howard Hunt. Talbot summarizes Hunt’s confessions:
“…Harvey and Morales…key operational figures…Harvey…gunmen were likely recruited from the Corsican underworld…harder to trace back to the CIA…than Italian or American Mafia hitmen…Hunt found Harvey and Morales to be disturbing characters, The two men ‘could have been manufactured from the same cloth,’ Hunt wrote in his memoirs…´Morales was rumored to be a cold-blooded killer…to have someone neutralized.’” (pp. 500, 501.)
Covering the intricate moves and positionings in which Oswald was situated (“Oswald was moved here and there with the calculations of a master chess player,” p. 540), and the numerous organizations and persons that Oswald was deliberately assigned (DRE, ALPHA 66, David Atlee Philipps, George de Mohrenschildt, David Ferrie, Clay Shaw and a long line of eerie and shady connections), Talbot laces through post-assassination gimmicks and machinations that Dulles used to cover his tracks, including the invention of the notorious Warren Commission—the power–grasps of the CIA and personnel, and the continuance of the assault on the minds and also control of Americans and citizens of the world.
“…within America’s deep state: Kennedy was a national security threat. For the good of the country, he must be removed…Dulles…to make something of this enormity (actually) happen,” Talbot explains. “He had already assembled a killing machine to operate overseas. Now he proposed to bring it home to Dallas…(all the) establishment colleague (s) had to do was to look the other way—as they did when Dulles took executive action…” (p. 560.)
LEAVING A DEADLY LEGACY
Challenging, and even infiltrating, several congressional investigations into the quizzical aspects of the Kennedy murders of bothJohnandRobertKennedy (and surviving the increasing column of critical and questioning journalism), Dulles had to become inventively ingenious to see that his Fourth Nazi Reich would continue in the bloody brigade that he had instituted.
Advancement of the Military-Industrial-Complex
“(1968) Dulles… (Kept) a close watch on Jim Garrison’s investigation…Ray Rocca…CIA mole Gordon Novel. The Old Man’s social event of the fall season was the Washington Fete’ in honor Reinhard Gehlen, the West German spy Chief (that) Dulles had resurrected from the poison ashes of the Third Reich…September 12, Gehlen’s U.S. sponsors threw a luncheon for him, and that night there was a dinner for Hitler’s old spy chief at the Maryland home of Heinz Herc___Gehlen’s former staff officer on the eastern front, who had become West Germany’s top intelligence liaison in Washington.”
Talbot remonstrates that the Fourth Reich continued past Dulles’s death through the continuance of the National Security State. He lists Richard Helms, James Angleton, Donald Rumsfeld, the Bushes, Dick Cheney, and others who worshiped an “Atheniandemocracybesiegedfrom withinbytheforcesofoligarchyandtyranny.”
The reader will enjoy (or be shocked) reading the little known foibles, idiosyncrasies and many undiscovered facts that they had not been aware of earlier in the lives of our intelligence Power-Players.