THE DEVIL'S CHESSBOARD:...THE SECRET GOVERNMENT:

Knowing the truth about the Kennedy Assassination is understanding America today.

Moderators: kenmurray, dankbaar, Bob, Dealey Joe

THE DEVIL'S CHESSBOARD:...THE SECRET GOVERNMENT:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:24 pm

07.27.2017:

Dear JFK Murder Solved Forum Members and Readers:

THE DEVIL'S CHESSBOARD: ALLEN DULLES, THE CIA, AND THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN SECRET GOVERNMENT.

MY OPINION REMAINS STRONGER THAN EVER THAT "We the People..." HAVE A SECRET GOVERNMENT, A SHADOW
GOVERNMENT, INTER-WOVEN WITH THE HIGH CABAL.

DEMOCRACY IS A MYTH, A PLACEBO, DANGLED LIKE AN INTELLECTUAL CARROT IN FRONT OF "We the People...".
AND THE WORLD. (07.27.2017, BB).


DEEP POLITICS:
JULY 26, 2017 | DAVID TALBOT - PART 1 OF 3 PARTS. PARTS 2 AND 3 WERE ADDED BY ME LATER. BB.

THE DEVIL’S CHESSBOARD: ALLEN DULLES, THE CIA, AND THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN SECRET GOVERNMENT

HARRY TRUMAN:

President Harry S. Truman at his desk aboard USS Augusta, September 14, 1945. Photo credit: National Museum of the
U.S. Navy / Flickr

Exactly 70 years ago today, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of
Defense, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff — and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Sixteen years later — just one month after the Kennedy assassination — Truman published a bombshell in The
Washington Post: “I have never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-
and-dagger operations… It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of Government… so removed
from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

When it comes to behind-the-scenes intrigue, no one could out-sinister Allen Dulles, director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961.
Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government — for the benefit of the wealthy.

What he did, and how he did it, has never been more relevant, given the state of the nation in 2017. That’s why we are
excerpting some revelatory chapters from David Talbot’s recent Dulles biography, “The Devil’s Chessboard.”

The focus here is on Dulles’s deeply troubling behavior around the time that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Although Kennedy had fired him in 1961, Dulles basically kept, de facto, running the CIA anyway. And, even more
ominously, after Kennedy was killed in Dallas on Friday, November 22, 1963, Dulles moved into The Farm, a secret CIA
facility in Virginia, where he remained for the weekend — during which time the “suspect,” Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot
to death in a Dallas police station, and a vast machinery was set in motion to create the “lone gunman” myth that has
dominated our history books to the present.

By no coincidence, that same machinery worked to bury evidence that Oswald himself had deep connections into US
intelligence.

Throughout all this, one thing is clear: Dulles was no rogue operative. He was serving the interests of America’s
corporate and war-making elites. And he went all out.

The “former” CIA director was so determined to control the JFK death-story spin, as Talbot chronicles below, that he even
tried to strong-arm former president Truman, when the plain-spoken Missourian dropped hints that an out-of-control CIA
might have been involved in Kennedy’s murder.

— WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker.

First part of a compressed Excerpt of Chapter 20, “For the Good of the Country” from The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen
Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government. HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.

ALLEN DULLES:

Bas-relief of Allen Dulles. Main lobby of Original Headquarters Building. Photo credit: Central Intelligence
Agency / Flickr

FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY:

Over the final months of JFK’s presidency, a clear consensus took shape within America’s deep state: Kennedy was a
national security threat. For the good of the country, he must be removed. And Dulles was the only man with the stature,
connections, and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen.

He had already assembled a killing machine to operate overseas. Now he prepared to bring it home to Dallas. All that
his establishment colleagues had to do was to look the other way — as they always did when Dulles took executive action.

In the case of Doug Dillon — who oversaw Kennedy’s Secret Service apparatus — it simply meant making sure that he
was out of town … If he was later asked to account for himself, Dillon would have a ready explanation. The tragic events
in Dallas had not occurred on his watch; he was airborne over the Pacific at the time.

There is no evidence that reigning corporate figures like David Rockefeller were part of the plot against President Kennedy
or had foreknowledge of the crime. But there is ample evidence of the overwhelming hostility to Kennedy in these corporate
circles — a surging antagonism that certainly emboldened Dulles and other national security enemies of the president. And
if the assassination of President Kennedy was indeed an “establishment crime,” as University of Pittsburgh sociology
professor Donald Gibson has suggested, there is even more reason to see the official investigation as an establishment
cover-up.

DALLAS DA: OSWALD SEEMED “PROGRAMMED”

Oswald was still alive, and that was a problem. He was supposed to be killed as he left the Texas School Book Depository.
That’s what G. Robert Blakey, the former Kennedy Justice Department attorney who served as chief counsel for the House
Select Committee on Assassinations, later concluded about the man authorities rushed to designate the lone assassin. But
Oswald escaped, and after being taken alive by Dallas police in a movie theater, he became a major conundrum for those
trying to pin the crime on him.

“It was almost as if he had been rehearsed or programmed to meet the situation he found himself in.”

To begin with, Oswald did not act like most assassins. Those who decapitated heads of state generally crowed about their
history-making deeds (Sic semper tyrannis!). In contrast, Oswald repeatedly denied his guilt while in custody, emphatically
telling reporters as he was hustled from one room to the next in the Dallas police station, “I don’t know what this is all about
… I’m just a patsy!”

And the accused assassin seemed strangely cool and collected, according to the police detectives who questioned him.
“He was real calm,” recalled one detective. “He was extra calm. He wasn’t a bit excited or nervous or anything.” In fact,
Dallas police chief Jesse Curry and district attorney William Alexander thought Oswald was so composed that he seemed
trained to handle a stressful interrogation. “I was amazed that a person so young would have had the self-control he had,”
Alexander later told Irish investigative journalist Anthony Summers. “It was almost as if he had been rehearsed or
programmed to meet the situation he found himself in.”

Oswald further signaled that he was part of an intelligence operation by trying to make an intriguing phone call shortly
before midnight East Coast time on Saturday, November 23. The police switchboard operator, who was being closely
monitored by two unidentified officials, told Oswald there was no answer, though she actually did not put through the call.
It was not until years later that independent researchers traced the phone number that Oswald tried to call to a former
US Army intelligence officer in Raleigh, North Carolina.

CIA veteran Victor Marchetti, who analyzed the Raleigh call in his book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, surmised
that Oswald was likely following his training guidelines and reaching out to his intelligence handler. “[He] was probably
calling his cut-out. He was calling somebody who could put him in touch with his case officer.”

The Raleigh call probably sealed Oswald’s fate, according to Marchetti. By refusing to play the role of the “patsy” and
instead following his intelligence protocol, Oswald made clear that he was trouble.

What would be the CIA procedure at this point, Marchetti was asked by North Carolina historian Grover Proctor, who has
closely studied this episode near the end of Oswald’s life? “I’d kill him,” Marchetti replied. “Was this his death warrant ?”
Proctor continued. “You betcha,” Marchetti said. “This time, [Oswald] went over the dam, whether he knew it or not….
He was over the dam. At this point it was executive action.”

Oswald was not just alive on the afternoon of November 22, 1963; he was likely innocent. This was another major problem
for the organizers of the assassination. Even close legal observers of the case who continue to believe in Oswald’s guilt —
such as Bob Blakey who, after serving on the House Assassinations Committee, became a law professor at Notre Dame
University — acknowledge that a “credible” case could have been made for Oswald’s innocence based on the evidence.
(The 1979 congressional report found that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy involving Oswald and other unknown
parties.) Other legal experts, like San Francisco attorney and Kennedy researcher Bill Simpich, have gone further, arguing
that the case against Oswald was riddled with such glaring inconsistencies that it would have quickly unraveled in court.

Fortunately for the conspirators, the deeply flawed case against Lee Harvey Oswald never made it to court….Oswald’s
shocking murder — broadcast live into America’s homes — solved one dilemma for Dulles, as he monitored the Dallas
events that weekend from the Farm, his secure CIA facility in Virginia. But it soon became apparent that Oswald’s murder
created another problem — a wave of public suspicion that swept over the nation and beyond…. To many people who
watched the horrifying spectacle on TV, the shooting smacked of a gangland hit aimed at silencing Oswald before he could
talk.

In fact, this is precisely what Attorney General Robert Kennedy concluded after his investigators began digging into Ruby’s
background. Bobby, who had made his political reputation as a Senate investigator of organized crime, pored over Ruby’s
phone records from the days leading up to the Dallas violence.

“The list [of names] was almost a duplicate of the people I called before the Rackets Committee,” RFK later remarked.
The attorney general’s suspicions about the death of his brother immediately fell not just on the Mafia, but on the CIA —
the agency that, as Bobby knew, had been using the mob to do some of its dirtiest work….

TRUMAN: CIA “SINISTER AND MYSTERIOUS”

Meanwhile, down in Independence, Missouri, another retired president, Harry Truman, was fuming about the CIA. On
December 22, 1963, while the country was still reeling from the gunfire in Dallas, Truman published a highly provocative
op-ed article in The Washington Post, charging that the CIA had grown alarmingly out of control since he established it.

His original purpose, wrote Truman, was to create an agency that simply coordinated the various streams of sensitive
information flowing into the White House. “I have never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected
into peacetime cloak and dagger operations,” he continued. But “for some time, I have been disturbed by the way CIA has
been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of Government.”
The CIA had grown “so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious f
oreign intrigue.”

But the increasingly powerful agency did not just menace foreign governments, Truman warned — it now threatened
democracy at home. “There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our
historic position [as a] free and open society,” he concluded ominously, “and I feel that we need to correct it.”

The timing of Truman’s opinion piece was striking. Appearing in the capital’s leading newspaper exactly one month after
the assassination, the article caused shock waves in political circles. There was a disturbing undertone to the straight-
talking midwesterner’s warning about the CIA. Was Truman implying that there was “sinister and mysterious intrigue”
behind Kennedy’s death ? Could that have been what he meant when he suggested that the agency represented a
growing danger to our own democracy ?

DULLES LIES TO DISCREDIT TRUMAN:

Allen Dulles knew the danger of words, the wrong kind of words. As CIA director, he had spent an untold fortune each year
on countering the Soviet propaganda machine and controlling the world’s conversation, including the political and media
dialogue in his own country. Within minutes of the Kennedy assassination, the CIA tried to steer news reporting and
commentary about Dallas, planting stories that suggested — falsely — that Oswald was a Soviet agent or that Castro was
behind JFK’s murder.

Still, Dulles would not accept defeat. Unable to alter reality, he simply altered the record, like any good spy.

In actuality, both Khrushchev — who broke down weeping in the Kremlin when he heard the news — and Castro were
deeply distressed by Kennedy’s death. Both men had been greatly encouraged by Kennedy’s peace initiatives in the final
year of his presidency, and they feared that his assassination meant that military hard-liners would take control in
Washington …

But despite the CIA’s strenuous efforts, press coverage of the Kennedy assassination began spinning out of its control.
Dulles knew that immediate steps must be taken to contain the conversation…. If Harry Truman — the man who created
the CIA — was worried that it had become a Frankenstein, it might be only a matter of time before prominent European
figures, and even some stray voices in America, began to question whether the agency was behind JFK’s murder.

It was Dulles himself who jumped in to put out the Truman fire. Soon after the Post published Truman’s diatribe, Dulles
began a campaign to get the retired president to disavow his opinion piece. The spymaster began by enlisting the help
of Washington power attorney Clark Clifford, the former Truman counselor who chaired President Johnson’s intelligence
advisory board. The CIA “was really HST’s baby or at least his adopted child,” Dulles pointed out in a letter to Clifford.
Perhaps the attorney could talk some sense into the tough old bird and get him to retract his harsh criticisms of the
agency.

Dulles also appealed directly to Truman in a strongly worded letter, telling the former president that he was “deeply
disturbed” by his article. In the eight-page letter that he mailed on January 7, 1964, Dulles tried to implicate Truman
himself. Calling Truman the “father of our modern intelligence system,” Dulles reminded him that it was “you, through
National Security Council action, [who] approved the organization in CIA of a new office to carry out covert operations.”
So, Dulles continued, Truman’s ill-advised rant in the Post amounted to “a repudiation of a policy” that the former president
himself “had the great courage and wisdom to initiate.”

To an extent, Dulles had a point. As the spymaster pointed out, the Truman Doctrine had indeed authorized an aggressive
strategy aimed at thwarting Communist advances in Western Europe, including CIA intervention in the 1948 Italian elections.
But Truman was correct in charging that, under Eisenhower, Dulles had led the CIA much deeper into skulduggery than he
ever envisioned.

Unmoved by Dulles’s letter, Truman stood by his article. Realizing the threat that Truman posed, Dulles continued his
crusade to discredit the Post essay well into the following year. Confident of his powers of persuasion, the spymaster
made a personal trek to Independence, Missouri, in April, arranging to meet face-to-face with Truman at his presidential
library. After exchanging a few minutes of small talk about the old days, Dulles mounted his assault on Truman, employing
his usual mix of sweet talk and arm-twisting. But Truman — even on the brink of turning eighty — was no pushover, and
Dulles’s efforts proved fruitless.

Still, Dulles would not accept defeat. Unable to alter reality, he simply altered the record, like any good spy. On April 21,
1964, upon returning to Washington, Dulles wrote a letter about his half-hour meeting with Truman to CIA general counsel
Lawrence Houston. During their conversation at the Truman Library, Dulles claimed in his letter, the elderly ex-president
seemed “quite astounded” by his own attack on the CIA when the spymaster showed him a copy of the Post article. As he
looked it over, Truman reacted as if he were reading it for the first time, according to Dulles. “He said that [the article] was
all wrong. He then said that he felt it had made a very unfortunate impression.”

The Truman portrayed in Dulles’s letter seemed to be suffering from senility and either could not remember what he had
written or had been taken advantage of by an aide, who perhaps wrote the piece under the former president’s name. In
fact, CIA officials later did try to blame a Truman assistant for writing the provocative opinion piece. Truman “obviously was
highly disturbed at the Washington Post article,” concluded Dulles in his letter, “… and several times said he would see what
he could do about it.”

The Dulles letter to Houston — which was clearly intended for the CIA files, to be retrieved whenever expedient — was an
outrageous piece of disinformation. Truman, who would live for eight more years, was still of sound mind in April 1964. And
he could not have been shocked by the contents of his own article, since he had been expressing the same views about the
CIA — even more strongly — to friends and journalists for some time.

After the Bay of Pigs, Truman had confided in writer Merle Miller that he regretted ever establishing the CIA. “I think it was a
mistake,” he said. “And if I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it…. [Eisenhower] never paid any
attention to it, and it got out of hand…. It’s become a government all of its own and all secret…. That’s a very dangerous
thing in a democratic society.” Likewise, after the Washington Post essay ran, Truman’s original CIA director, Admiral Sidney
Souers — who shared his former boss’s limited concept of the agency — congratulated him for writing the piece. “I am happy
as I can be that my article on the Central Intelligence Agency rang a bell with you because you know why the organization
was set up,” Truman wrote back to Souers.

In a letter that Truman wrote to Look magazine managing editor William Arthur in June 1964 — two months after his meeting
with Dulles — the ex-president again articulated his concerns about the direction taken by the CIA after he left the White
House. “The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President,” wrote
Truman. “It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities.”

Dulles’s relentless effort to manipulate Truman — and failing that, the Truman record — is yet one more example of the
spymaster’s “strange activities.” But Dulles’s greatest success at reconstructing reality was still to come. With the Warren
Report, Dulles would literally rewrite history. The inquest into the death of John F. Kennedy was another astounding sleight
of hand on Dulles’s part. The man who should have been in the witness chair wound up instead in control of the inquiry.

END OF PART 1:

OCTOBER 13, 2015 | DAVID TALBOT

NEW BOOK ON CIA MASTER-PLOTTER DULLES, SNEAK PEEK: PART 2

PRIME SUSPECT IN JFK HIT LEADS INVESTIGATION:

Members of the Warren Commission present their report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to President
Lyndon Johnson. Cabinet Room, White House, Washington DC. L-R: John McCloy, J. Lee Rankin (General Counsel),
Senator Richard Russell, Congressman Gerald Ford, Chief Justice Earl Warren, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Allen
Dulles, Senator John Sherman Cooper, and Congressman Hale Boggs Photo credit: Cecil Stoughton / White House /
Wikimedia

No one can possibly understand the precarious state of American democracy today without scrutinizing the often secret
path the country was taken on by those in power from the 1950s to the present.

Among the elemental figures in forging that path was Allen Dulles.

He was the most powerful, and, it appears — the most sinister — director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given that
outfit’s history, that’s some accomplishment.

Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government to benefit the wealthy.

Studying how this worked is a worthwhile pursuit. That’s why we decided to excerpt a few parts of David Talbot’s new
Dulles biography, The Devil’s Chessboard.

In part one of our excerpts, we looked at indications that Lee Harvey Oswald was no rogue “lone nut” but in fact a man with
strong connections to the American national security apparatus. We also looked at Allen Dulles’s highly suspicious behavior
around the time of the assassination — a time when he was ostensibly in retirement, having been fired two years earlier by
President Kennedy. And we saw how determined Dulles was in advancing the notion that Oswald had been Kennedy’s killer,
and had acted alone.

In the excerpt below, we focus on the Warren Commission, the body “above suspicion” that was supposed to investigate
Kennedy’s death and report its findings to the public. We see the irrepressible Allen Dulles, who should by almost any
standard have been considered a possible suspect for a role in the assassination, instead appointed to the Commission.
And we see how he became the leading figure in guiding the “probe,” along with a network of individuals whose loyalties
were clearly to him and to the American establishment, but certainly not to the truth — or to the late president.

–WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker.

Second part of compressed Excerpt of Chapter 20, “For the Good of the Country” from The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen
Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government. HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.

“ALLEN DULLES HAD A LOT TO HIDE.”

How did Allen Dulles — a man fired by President Kennedy under bitter circumstances — come to oversee the investigation
into his murder?

This crucial historical question has been the subject of misguided speculation for many years. The story apparently began
with Lyndon Johnson, a man not known for his devotion to the truth. It has been repeated over time by various historians,
including Johnson biographer Robert Caro, who one would think would be more skeptical, considering the exhaustive
detail with which he documented LBJ’s habitual deceit in his multivolume work.

In his 1971 memoir, Johnson wrote that he appointed Dulles and John McCloy to the Warren Commission because they
were “the two men Bobby Kennedy asked me to put on it.” With Bobby safely dead by 1971, LBJ clearly felt that he could
get away with this one. But the idea that LBJ would huddle with the man he considered his rival and tormentor, in order to
discuss the politically sensitive composition of the commission, is ludicrous.

The Warren Commission’s inquiry had the ability to shake the new Johnson presidency — and the US government itself —
to their very core. In making his choices for the commission, Johnson later wrote, he sought “men who were known to be
beyond pressure and above suspicion.”

What LBJ really wanted was men who could be trusted to close the case and put the public’s suspicions to rest. The
Warren Commission was not established to find the truth but to “lay the dust” that had been stirred up in Dallas, as
McCloy stated — “dust not only in the United States, but all over the world.”

Equally preposterous is the notion that Bobby Kennedy would nominate Dulles and McCloy — two men who had fallen out
with President Kennedy while serving on his national security team — to investigate his brother’s murder. Like Dulles,
whose former agency Bobby immediately suspected of a role in the assassination, McCloy was a Cold War hard-liner…

McCloy, who had served as chairman of Chase Manhattan before David Rockefeller moved into the bank’s leadership
role, was closely aligned with Rockefeller interests. After leaving the Kennedy administration, McCloy joined a Wall Street
law firm where he represented anti-Kennedy oilmen Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson, with whom he had done
business since his days at Chase Manhattan.

It was the national security establishment, not Bobby Kennedy, that advised the new president to put Dulles and McCloy on
the Warren Commission. And Johnson — finely tuned to the desires of the men who had put him in the Oval Office —
wisely obliged them.

The Dulles camp itself made no bones about the fact that the Old Man aggressively lobbied to get appointed to the
commission. Dick Helms later told historian Michael Kurtz that he “personally persuaded” Johnson to appoint Dulles.
According to Kurtz, Dulles and Helms “wanted to make sure no agency secrets came out during the investigation….
And, of course, if Dulles was on the commission, that would ensure the agency would be safe. Johnson felt the same way
—he didn’t want the investigation to dig up anything strange.”


Dulles tried to establish the framework for the inquiry early on by handing the other commission members copies of a book
titled The Assassins by Robert J. Donovan, a Washington journalist. Donovan’s history of presidential assassins argued that
these dramatic acts of violence were the work of solitary fanatics, not “organized attempts to shift political power from one
group to another.”

William Corson, a former Marine Corps officer and Navy intelligence agent who was close to Dulles, confirmed that the
spymaster pulled strings to get on the Warren Commission. He “lobbied hard for the job,” recalled Corson, who had
commanded young Allen Jr. in the Korean War. After he took his place on the commission, Dulles recruited Corson to
explore the Jack Ruby angle. After spending months pursuing various leads, Corson eventually concluded that he had
been sent on a wild-goose chase. “It is entirely possible I was sent on an assignment which would go nowhere…. Allen
Dulles had a lot to hide.”

Among those urging Johnson to give Dulles the Warren Commission job were establishment allies like Secretary of State
Dean Rusk, former president of the Rockefeller Foundation. These same voices were raised on behalf of McCloy. In fact,
the commission was, from the very beginning, an establishment creation. It was sold to an initially reluctant LBJ by the
most influential voices of the Washington power structure, including Joe Alsop — the CIA’s ever-dependable mouthpiece
— and the editorial czars of The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Johnson wanted the investigation handled by officials in Texas, where he felt more in control, instead of by a “bunch of
carpetbaggers.” But in a phone call to the White House on the morning of November 25, Alsop deftly maneuvered
Johnson into accepting the idea of a presidential commission made up of nationally renowned figures “beyond any
possible suspicion.”

When Johnson clung to his idea of a Texas investigation, the sophisticated Alsop set him straight, as if lecturing a country
simpleton. “My lawyers, though, Joe, tell me that the White House — the president — must not inject himself into local
killings,” LBJ said, almost pleadingly. “I agree with that,” Alsop said as he smoothly cut him off, “but in this case it does
happen to be the killing of the president.”

Dulles immediately accepted Johnson’s request to join the commission when the president phoned him on the evening
of November 29. “I would like to be of any help,” Dulles told Johnson, though he did feel compelled to at least raise the
propriety of appointing a former CIA director who was known to have a troubled relationship with the deceased president:

“And you’ve considered the work of my previous work and my previous job?” Dulles asked inelegantly. “I sure have,” LBJ
replied, “and we want you to do it. That’s that…. You always do what is best for your country. I found that out about you a
long time ago.”

The Warren Commission was named after Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren, the distinguished jurist President
Johnson strong-armed into chairing the JFK inquest. But as attorney Mark Lane — one of the first critics of the lone-
gunman theory — later observed, it should have been called the “Dulles Commission,” considering the spymaster’s
dominant role in the investigation. In fact, Dulles was Johnson’s first choice to chair the commission, but LBJ decided
that he needed Warren at the helm to deflect liberal criticism of the official inquiry…

Dulles tried to establish the framework for the inquiry early on by handing the other commission members copies of a book
titled The Assassins by Robert J. Donovan, a Washington journalist. Donovan’s history of presidential assassins argued that
these dramatic acts of violence were the work of solitary fanatics, not “organized attempts to shift political power from one
group to another.” It was quickly pointed out to Dulles that John Wilkes Booth, who shot Lincoln as part of a broader
Confederate plot to decapitate the federal government, rather famously contradicted Donovan’s theory. But, undeterred,
Dulles continued to push the commission to keep a tight frame on Oswald.

Dulles offered that he would like to get these aspects of the inquiry “into the hands of the CIA as soon as possible to
explain the Russian parts.” Senator Russell, long used to dealing with the intelligence community, reacted skeptically. “I
think you’ve got more faith in them than I have. I think they’ll doctor anything they hand to us.”

Dulles was a whirlwind of activity, especially outside the hearing room, where he deftly maneuvered to keep the
investigation on what he considered the proper track…. There was no detail too small for Dulles to bring to the chief
counsel’s attention. “A great deal of the description of the motorcade and the shooting will be unclear unless we have a
street map and, if possible, a photo taken from the sixth floor window,” Dulles wrote Rankin in a July 1964 memo. “Is this
possible ?” Dulles was particularly eager to explore any leads suggesting Oswald might be a Soviet spy — a soon
discredited idea that Angleton would nonetheless keep promoting for the rest of his life.

PECULIAR BEHAVIOR OF SECURITY AGENCIES:

Despite Dulles’s efforts to keep the commission away from any hints of a domestic conspiracy, from time to time
uncomfortable questions along these lines cropped up. During an executive session convened by the panel on December
16, 1963, Warren raised an especially sensitive matter — the mysterious failure of the country’s security agencies to keep
close watch on someone with Oswald’s background. [Note from WhoWhatWhy editor: For an eerie parallel in Tamerlan
Tsarnaev, the purported mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombing, see this.]

How, for instance, did a defector simply stroll into the US immigration office in New Orleans — as he did the previous
summer — and obtain a passport to return to Russia? “That seems strange to me,” Warren remarked.

Actually, passports were rather easy to obtain, Dulles observed. When the discussion turned to the puzzling ease with
which Oswald got permission to return to the United States with his Russian wife, Dulles offered that he would like to get
these aspects of the inquiry “into the hands of the CIA as soon as possible to explain the Russian parts.”

Senator Russell, long used to dealing with the intelligence community, reacted skeptically. “I think you’ve got more faith in
them than I have. I think they’ll doctor anything they hand to us.”

Russell was edging painfully close to the fundamental problem at the core of the Warren panel’s impossible mission. How
could the board run a credible inquest when it had limited investigative capability of its own and was largely dependent on
the FBI and the other security agencies for its evidence — agencies that were clearly implicated in the failure to protect the
president ?

The Warren Commission was, in fact, so thoroughly infiltrated and guided by the security services that there was no
possibility of the panel pursuing an independent course. Dulles was at the center of this subversion. During the commission’s
ten-month-long investigation, he acted as a double agent, huddling regularly with his former CIA associates to discuss the
panel’s internal operations.

END OF PART 2:

OCTOBER 14, 2015 | DAVID TALBOT

NEW BOOK ON CIA MASTER-PLOTTER DULLES, SNEAK PEEK: PART 3

Dealing with Inconvenient Facts, CIA Style

CIA floor seal Photo credit: CIA.GOV

No one can possibly understand the precarious state of American democracy today without scrutinizing the often secret
path the country was taken on by those in power from the 1950s to the present.

Among the elemental figures in forging that path was Allen Dulles.

He was the most powerful, and, it appears — the most sinister — director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given that
outfit’s history, that’s some accomplishment.

Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government to benefit the wealthy.

Studying how this worked is a worthwhile pursuit. That’s why we decided to excerpt a few parts of David Talbot’s new
Dulles biography, The Devil’s Chessboard.

In part one of our excerpts, we looked at indications that Lee Harvey Oswald was no rogue “lone nut” but in fact a man with
strong connections to the American national security apparatus. We also looked at Allen Dulles’s highly suspicious behavior
around the time of the assassination — a time when he was ostensibly in retirement, having been fired two years earlier by
President Kennedy. And we saw how determined Dulles was in advancing the notion that Oswald had been Kennedy’s
killer, and had acted alone.

In part two, we focused on the Warren Commission, the body “above suspicion” that was supposed to investigate Kennedy’s
death and report its findings to the public. We see the irrepressible Allen Dulles, who should by almost any standard have
been considered a possible suspect for a role in the assassination, instead appointed to the Commission. And we see how
he became the leading figure in guiding the “probe,” along with a network of individuals whose loyalties were clearly to him
and to the American establishment, but certainly not to the truth — or to the late President.

Below, in part three, we are treated to a detailed account of the Warren Commission’s “investigation” as the fraud that it was.
Complete with leaks to influence public opinion, cooperative news organizations and journalists, cover-up artists and the odd
person of conscience, this charade deserves much more attention because it shows the extent to which we are manipulated
— and others forced to go along to get along. There’s one commission staffer with a conscience, but he gets a pretty clear
warning to back off.

— WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker.

Third part of a compressed Excerpt of Chapter 20, “For the Good of the Country” from The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen Dulles,
the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government. HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.

WEAVING TWO SEPARATE WEBS OF DECEIT:

Despite the chronic tensions between the CIA and FBI, Hoover proved a useful partner of the spy agency during the JFK
inquiry. The FBI chief knew that his organization had its own secrets to hide related to the assassination, including its
contacts with Oswald.

Furthermore, taking its cues from the CIA, the bureau had dropped Oswald from its watch list just weeks before the
assassination. An angry Hoover would later mete out punishment for errors such as this, quietly disciplining seventeen of
his agents. But the FBI director was desperate to avoid public censure, and he fully supported the commission’s lone
-gunman story line.

Angleton, who had a good back-channel relationship with the FBI, made sure that the two agencies stayed on the same page
throughout the Warren inquest, meeting regularly with bureau contacts such as William Sullivan and Sam Papich.

Angleton and his team also provided ongoing support and advice to Dulles. On a Saturday afternoon in March 1964, Ray
Rocca — Angleton’s right-hand man ever since their days together in Rome — met with Dulles at his home to mull over a
particularly dicey issue with which the commission was grappling.

David Phillips — a man whose career was nurtured by Helms — had been spotted meeting with Oswald in Dallas. But when
Helms was sworn in, he simply lied. There was no evidence of agency contact with Oswald, he testified.

How could the panel dispel persistent rumors that the CIA was somehow a “sponsor” of Oswald’s actions? The story had
broken in the press the previous month, when Marguerite Oswald declared that her son was a secret agent for the CIA who
was “set up to take the blame” for the Kennedy assassination.

Rankin had obligingly suggested that Dulles be given the job of clearing the CIA by reviewing all of the relevant agency
documents that were provided to the commission. But even Dulles thought this smacked too much of an inside job. Instead,
after conferring with Rocca, Dulles proposed that he simply provide a statement to the commission swearing — as Rocca
put it in his report back to Dick Helms — “that as far as he could remember he had never had any knowledge of Oswald at
any time prior to the date of the assassination.”

But Senator Cooper thought the allegations that Oswald was some kind of government agent were too serious to simply be
dispelled by written statements. During a Warren Commission executive session in April, he proposed that the heads of the
CIA and FBI be put under oath and questioned by the panel. It was a highly awkward suggestion, as Dulles pointed out.

“I might have a little problem on that — having been [CIA] director until November 1961.” There was a simple solution,
however: put his successor, John McCone, on the witness stand. That was fine with Dulles, because — as he knew —
McCone remained an agency outsider, despite his title, and was not privy to its deepest secrets.

When McCone appeared before the Warren Commission, he brought along Helms, his chief of clandestine operations.
As McCone was well aware, Helms was the man who knew where all the bodies were buried, and he deferred to his
number two man more than once during his testimony. Conveniently ignorant of the CIA’s involvement with Oswald,
McCone was able to emphatically deny any agency connection to the accused assassin. “The agency never contacted
him, interviewed him, talked with him, or received or solicited any reports or information from him,” McCone assured the
commission.

ASK HELMS ? “THE MAN WHO KEPT THE SECRETS” ?

It was trickier when Helms was asked the same questions. He knew about the extensive documentary record that
Angleton’s department had amassed on Oswald. He was aware of how the agency had monitored the defector during his
exploits in Dallas, New Orleans, and Mexico City.

David Phillips — a man whose career was nurtured by Helms — had been spotted meeting with Oswald in Dallas. But when
Helms was sworn in, he simply lied. There was no evidence of agency contact with Oswald, he testified. Had the agency
provided the commission with all the information it had on Oswald, Rankin asked him. “We have — all,” Helms replied,
though he knew the files that he had handed over were thoroughly purged.

Helms was “the man who kept the secrets,” in the words of his biographer, Thomas Powers. Commission staff attorney
Howard Willens politely called him “one of the most fluent and self-confident government officials I ever met.” Helms was
the sort of man who could tell lies with consummate ease. It would eventually win him a felony conviction, and he wore it
like a badge of courage. When one was defending the nation, Helms would lecture the senators who pestered him late in
his career, one must be granted a certain latitude.

DISTURBING PHONE CALL FROM A SPOOK:

It was David Slawson, a thirty-two-year-old attorney on leave from a Denver corporate law firm, who was given the
unenviable job of dealing with the CIA as part of the Warren Commission’s conspiracy research team. Rankin had told
Slawson to rule out no one — “not even the CIA.”

If he did discover evidence of agency involvement, the young lawyer nervously joked, he would be found dead of a
premature heart attack. But Rocca, the veteran counterintelligence agent assigned to babysit the commission, made sure
nothing turned up. “I came to like and trust [Rocca],” said the young staff attorney, who found himself dazzled by his first
exposure to a spy world he had only seen in movies. “He was very intelligent and tried in every way to be honest and
helpful.” Slawson was equally gullible when evaluating Dulles, whom he dismissed as old and feeble — precisely the aging
schoolmaster act that the spymaster liked to put over on people.

“I wish sometime you would sit down and write me a line as to why you think Lee Oswald did the dastardly deed,” Dulles
wrote the novelist in March, as if discussing the plot of a whodunit. “All I can tell you is that there is not one iota of
evidence that he had any personal vindictiveness against the man Kennedy.”
Years later, as the Church Committee began to reveal the darker side of the CIA, Slawson came to suspect that Rocca had
not been so “honest” with him after all. In a frank interview with The New York Times in February 1975, Slawson suggested
that the CIA had withheld important information from the Warren Commission, and he endorsed the growing campaign to
reopen the Kennedy investigation.

Slawson was the first Warren Commission attorney to publicly question whether the panel had been misled by the CIA and
FBI (he would later be joined by Rankin himself) — and the news story caused a stir in Washington.

Several days after the article ran, Slawson — who by then was teaching law at the University of Southern California — got
a disturbing phone call from James Angleton. After some initial pleasantries, the spook got around to business. He wanted
Slawson to know that he was friendly with the president of USC, and he wanted to make sure that Slawson was going to
“remain a friend” of the CIA.

MANUFACTURING A MOTIVE FOR OSWALD:

His new job on the commission gave Dulles an opportunity to connect with old friends, such as … British novelist Rebecca
West. In March, Dulles wrote West, beseeching her to draw on her fertile imagination to come up with possible motives for
Oswald’s crime. The commission was so baffled by the question that Warren even suggested leaving that part of the report
blank.

“I wish sometime you would sit down and write me a line as to why you think Lee Oswald did the dastardly deed,” Dulles
wrote the novelist in March, as if discussing the plot of a whodunit. “All I can tell you is that there is not one iota of evidence
that he had any personal vindictiveness against the man Kennedy.”

Meanwhile, the following month, Mary relayed a news report about Mark Lane to Dulles, informing her old lover in high
dudgeon that Lane had apparently told a conference of lawyers in Budapest “that the killers — plural — of JFK were still at
large… even I am amazed that Lane has the temerity to go to Budapest and shoot off his mouth in that fashion. I regard
him as insane — but nevertheless I do hope the FBI has its eye on him.”

Dulles and McCloy, in fact, were very concerned about European public opinion regarding the Kennedy assassination, and
they urged the commission to closely monitor both Lane and Thomas G. Buchanan, a Paris-based American journalist who
had written the first JFK conspiracy book, Who Killed Kennedy? — an advance copy of which was airmailed to Dulles from
the CIA station in London, where it was published….

Earl Warren was obsessed with press coverage of the inquiry and agonized over press leaks, including a May report by
Anthony Lewis in The New York Times — midway through the panel’s work — that the inquiry was set to “unequivocally
reject theories that the assassination was the work of some kind of conspiracy.”

Warren was very upset by the premature news report, which suggested that the commission had rushed to judgment before
hearing all the evidence. The leak was clearly intended to counter the publicity being generated by authors like Lane and
Buchanan.

While the commission frantically attempted to determine the source of such leaks, the answer was sitting in their midst. The
two most active leakers were Ford and Dulles. It was Ford who kept the FBI constantly informed, enabling Hoover to feed
the press with bureau-friendly stories about the inquest. And Dulles used the CIA’s own network of media assets to spin
Warren Commission coverage.

A LIKELY STORY ABOUT ROBERT OSWALD:

The New York Times was a favorite Dulles receptacle. In February, the Times had run another leaked story — also bylined
by Lewis — that clearly led back to Dulles. Lewis reported that Robert Oswald, the accused assassin’s brother, had testified
that he suspected Lee was a Soviet agent. As the commission hunted the source of the leak, a staff attorney suggested that
the Times reporter might have overheard a dinner table conversation that he and Dulles had with Robert Oswald at a
Washington restaurant — a highly unlikely scenario that nonetheless provided Dulles with the fig leaf of a cover story…

BLAME THE VICTIM:

There was a smug coziness to the entire Warren investigation. It was a clubby affair. When Treasury Secretary Dillon finally
appeared before the commission in early September — less than three weeks before its final report was delivered to the
president — he was warmly greeted by Dulles as “Doug.” Dillon was treated to a kid-gloves examination by the commission,
even though there were troubling questions left unanswered about the Secret Service’s behavior in Dallas, where Kennedy’s
protection had mysteriously melted away.

Led by Willens, the commission staff had tried for months before Dillon’s appearance to obtain Secret Service records related
to the assassination. Willens believed that “the Secret Service appeared to be neither alert nor careful in protecting the
president.”

This was a delicate way of characterizing what was a criminally negligent performance by the service entrusted with the
president’s safety. The buildings surrounding Dealey Plaza and its shadowy corners were not swept and secured by the
Secret Service in advance of Kennedy’s motorcade.

There were no agents riding on the flanks of his limousine. And when sniper fire erupted, only one agent — Clint Hill —
performed his duty by sprinting toward the president’s vehicle and leaping onto the rear. It was an outrageous display of
professional incompetence, one that made Robert Kennedy immediately suspect that the presidential guard was involved
in the plot against his brother.

But Dillon stonewalled Willens’s efforts to pry loose Secret Service records, and when the commission staff persisted, the
Treasury secretary huddled with his old friend, Jack McCloy, and then appealed to President Johnson himself. “Dillon was
a very shrewd guy,” Willens marveled late in his life. “I still can’t believe he involved President Johnson in this.”

Instead of being grilled by the commission about why he had withheld records and why his agency was missing in action
in Dallas, Dillon was allowed to make a case for why his budget should be beefed up. If the Secret Service was given more
money, staff, and authority, Senator Cooper helpfully asked, would it be possible to offer the president better protection in
the future? “Yes, I think [we] could,” Dillon replied brightly.

If any blame was assigned in the death of the president during Dillon’s gentle interrogation, it was placed on the victim himself.
Soon after the assassination, Dillon and others began circulating the false story that Kennedy preferred his Secret Service
guards to ride behind him in motorcades, instead of on the side rails of his limousine, and that Kennedy had also requested the
Dallas police motorcycle squadron to hang back — so the crowds in Dallas could enjoy an unobstructed view of the glamorous
first couple. This clever piece of disinformation had the insidious effect of absolving the Secret Service and indicting Kennedy,
implying that his vanity was his downfall…

Related front page panorama photo credit: President Kennedy presenting the National Security Medal to Allen Dulles in 1961
(CIA / Wikimedia), Allen Dulles at desk (CIA.GOV), Mohammad Mosaddegh – former prime minister of Iran (Unknown /
Wikimedia) – Jacobo Árbenz 25th President of Guatemala (Gobierno de Guatemala; Escuela Politécnica de Guatemala /
Wikimedia), Fidel Castro (Library of Congress / Wikimedia), CIA floor seal (CIA GOV)

END OF PART 3:

As always, I strongly recommend that you first read, research, and study material completely
yourself about a Subject Matter, and then formulate your own Opinions and Theories.

Any additional analyses, interviews, investigations, readings, research, studies, thoughts,
or writings on any aspect of this Subject Matter ?

Bear in mind that we are trying to attract and educate a Whole New Generation of JFK
Researchers who may not be as well versed as you.

Comments ?

Respectfully,
BB.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:09 am

THE DEVIL'S CHESSBOARD:...THE SECRET GOVERNMENT:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:33 pm

07.27.2017:

Dear JFK Murder Solved Forum Members and Readers:

"ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS. ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY"
Lord Acton.

"THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC WILL ENDURE UNTIL THE DAY CONGRESS DISCOVERS THAT IT CAN BRIBE THE PUBLIC WITH
THE PUBLIC'S MONEY."
Alexis de Tocqueville.

THERE IS NO PROFIT IN PEACE. AND THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA. DEMOCRACY IS A MYTH, A PLACEBO
CONTINUALLY DANGLED LIKE AN INTELLECTUAL CARROT IN FRONT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. (07.27.2017, BB).


THE BLOG 01/11/2016 07:48 pm ET | Updated Jan 11, 2017
The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government , David Talbot, (New York:
HarperCollins, 2015)

By Joseph A. Palermo

In The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, David Talbot, the
journalist who founded Salon.com in 1995 and wrote a great book on the lives of John and Robert Kennedy, Brothers (2007),
has produced another page-turner that unearths mountains of new evidence about the seamier side of the rise of the United
States’ Cold War national security state.

Talbot has achieved something rare in our scholarly discourse these days on the origins of the Central Intelligence Agency
and the men who were responsible for shaping the Cold War ethos that for decades dominated American foreign policy in
the 20th Century. By presenting the contours of Allen Dulles’s life and his everlasting imprint on the nature of the CIA in a
cogent and highly readable way, Talbot offers us a new and sophisticated analysis of America’s secret Cold War history.

The Devil’s Chessboard is quite simply the best single volume I’ve come across that details the morally bankrupt and
cynical rise of an activist intelligence apparatus in this country that was not only capable of intervening clandestinely in the
internal affairs of other nations but domestically too.

Talbot’s exhaustive research, lively prose, strong moral conviction, and the ability to convey history’s relevance to our
contemporary politics make The Devil’s Chessboard an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the institutional
transformation that took place in this country at a time when rabid anti-communism dominated the thinking of foreign
policy elites.

Some passages of The Devil’s Chessboard have a plaintive tone, a kind of lament about the irreparable harm the
fanaticism of fighting the Cold War against Soviet Russia (and its alleged proxies all over the world) had on shaping a
set of unaccountable secret institutions that have both distorted our politics and undermined the “democratic” principles
for which the U.S. supposedly stands.

Exceedingly rare among baby boomer journalists and public intellectuals, Talbot does not shy away from pointing to the
uncomfortable facts surrounding Allen Dulles’s life’s work. He chronicles Dulles’s secret activities just after World War
Two as a young intelligence agent in Europe helping to establish “ratlines” so Nazis considered useful to the United
States in the new Cold War against the Soviet Union could escape prosecution. Talbot also unpacks Dulles’s foundational
role, first as a deputy director and then climbing to become director, in setting the course for the newly-formed CIA after
President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947.

What followed under Dulles’s leadership were many unaccountable CIA projects that had to remain secret or spun with
propaganda to suit the widely-held Cold War fantasies of the period lest they be shown to be so contrary to America’s self
image they might generate opposition.

Secret CIA activities in the 1950s under Dulles’s watch included horrifying experiments in “de-patterning” and “mind control”
involving LSD and hypnosis (often on unwitting subjects) to try to develop the means to “turn” Soviet agents (MKULTRA).
Subsequently, Dulles led the CIA in its first experiments in “regime change” with the coups in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala
in 1954. It was Dulles’s CIA that played a key role in killing the nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba in the Congo in 1960,
and setting up the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.

At times The Devil’s Chessboard reads like an engaging spy novel proving yet again that fact is stranger than fiction. The
book is full of intrigue and revelations that should make any fair-minded reader cringe at what the CIA has done in our
name over the years.

Talbot’s social analysis of the period includes an excellent summation of the work of the great American sociologist C.
Wright Mills (who died in 1962) whose book, The Power Elite (1956), cuts through the rabid Cold War ideology of the time
to grapple with the darker side of the “American Century.”

Dulles, who was by far the most influential director the CIA ever had, Talbot shows, was for decades at the center of a
secret American foreign policy. The author clearly understands power and he knows the extremes to which America’s
“intelligence community” was willing to go to “save” the country from the communist hordes.

While serving as a young Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operative in Europe, Dulles participated in “Operation
Sunshine” whereby any former Nazi who was either deemed a “gentleman” (meaning wealthy) or had any information or
skills that might be useful to U.S. intelligence in the new Cold War against its former ally, the Soviet Union, could by
whisked to safety far away from those pesky Nuremberg trials.

A German personality who Talbot calls “Allen Dulles’s kind of Nazi” is illustrative of the whole “Operation Sunrise”
endeavor. Karl Wolff, who came from a rich family and passed through the highest echelons of respectable society during
Hitler’s reign, according to Talbot, possessed “the right sort of pedigree” and was “the type of trustworthy fellow” with whom
Dulles “could do business.” “It was Wolff who was put in charge of [Heinrich] Himmler’s important ‘circle of friends,’” Talbot
writes, “a select group of some three dozen German industrialists and bankers who supplied the SS with a stream of slush
money.” (p. 82)

It turns out that Dulles ignored Wolff’s affinity to the Nazi project and helped him escape from being held accountable at
Nuremberg. Demonstrating that Karl Wolff might not be the kind of guy the U.S. should help, Talbot quotes a disturbingly
technocratic note Wolff wrote to the Nazi transportation minister during the war:

“I was especially pleased to receive information that, for that last 14 days, a train has been leaving daily for Treblinka with
5,000 members of the chosen people, and that in this way we are in a position to carry out this population movement at an
accelerated tempo.” (Quoted on p. 84)

Thus begins the history of the United States’ secret government with Allen Dulles present at its creation (and soon at the
helm) showing that in the name of fighting communism the end would always justify the means, even to the point of forging
alliances with those who assisted Hitler’s madness.

COUPS AND RIGGED ELECTIONS:

One disturbing revelation in The Devil’s Chessboard is Dulles’s willingness to use his expertise in spy craft and his
intelligence connections (including hidden sources of money) to influence U.S. domestic politics as early as the 1952
elections. Back in 1948, unbeknownst to the Italian (and American) people, the CIA used laundered cash and secret
intelligence assets in Italy to block electoral gains by communist and socialist candidates. This rigging of the 1948 Italian
elections was seen as an intelligence triumph at the time and emboldened the CIA to intervene in the internal affairs of
other nations. Dulles, as deputy CIA director, couldn’t restrain himself from using similar techniques at home:

“During the 1952 presidential race, Dulles proved his loyalty to the Eisenhower-Nixon campaign by channeling funds to
the Republican ticket through CIA front groups and by leaking embarrassing intelligence reports to the media about the
Truman administration’s handling of the Korean War - flagrant violations of the CIA charter that forbids agency involvement
in domestic politics.” (p. 203)

Moreover, Dulles “had no qualms about advocating the assassination of foreign leaders,” and even presented a plan to
Walter Bedell Smith “in early 1952 to kill Stalin at a Paris summit meeting,” which Smith “firmly rejected.” (p. 203)

After President Eisenhower appointed Dulles Director of Central Intelligence in 1953, “the CIA would grow more powerful
and less accountable with each passing year of Dulles’s reign.” (p. 223) Talbot sheds new light on Dulles’s role in the CIA-
engineered coups in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954. These were watershed events in the history of the CIA since
the Agency had never before engaged in fomenting “regime change” and, according to President Harry Truman, was never
intended to function as an operational arm of U.S. policy in that way.

The CIA threw a lot of laundered money around and bribed Iranian officials (as it had done with the Italian elections in ‘48),
but added new tricks to its repertoire such as extortion, radio jamming, false flag operations, espionage, hit lists, kidnapping,
and arming pro-Shah street gangs to achieve its aims in “Operation Ajax.” The coup d’état in Iran in August 1953 that
toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossedegh and installed Shah Reza Pahlavi (who ruled until
1979) was heralded as a bold and daring U.S. triumph in the Cold War. (Today, given the antagonism between Iran and the
U.S. it can be seen as a sort of “original sin” of failed U.S. policies in the Middle East.)

Talbot contextualizes Dulles’s actions as CIA director showing that he was operating in an atmosphere of intense anti-
communism and xenophobia that permeated the entire American political discourse, especially foreign policy elites. A
confidential report, cited by Talbot, that the retired Air Force general James H. Doolittle sent to President Eisenhower in July
1954 exemplifies the dominant Cold War mindset that Dulles embodied: “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.” (p. 249)

The CIA’s role in the coup in Guatemala in 1954 that overthrew the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz
(who Talbot likens to John F. Kennedy) also reveals the new operational capabilities of the CIA in manipulating the press:
“The agency’s disinformation campaign began immediately after Arbenz’s downfall,” Talbot writes, “with a stream of stories
planted in the press - particularly in Latin America - alleging that he was a pawn of Moscow, that he was guilty of the
wholesale butchery of political foes, that he had raided his impoverished country’s treasury, that he was sexually
captivated by the man who was the leader of the Guatemalan Communist Party. None of it was true.” (p. 253)

Talbot’s retelling of many of the now well-known facts about the CIA’s role in the coups in Iran and Guatemala is cogent
and alarming since many of the CIA’s assets and operatives who participated in “Operation Success” (the coup in
Guatemala) resurfaced later as persons of interest in the Kennedy assassination: E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips,
and David Morales. (p. 261) The CIA had a “disposal list” of fifty-eight key Guatemalan leaders at the time of the coup
marked for assassination and even wrote a manual describing in detail how to go about doing it (which was made public
in 1997). (p. 263)

PATRICE LUMUMBA AND JOHN F. KENNEDY:

Among the many disturbing revelations in The Devil’s Chessboard is the fact that Dulles, after being kept on as CIA Director
by then President-Elect John F. Kennedy, failed to inform the incoming Chief Executive during multiple briefings that the
CIA had already participated in “neutralizing” the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba.

The CIA under Dulles never bothered to tell President Kennedy about Lumumba’s murder (even though Dulles briefed the
new president on January 26, 1961 about the situation in the Congo). President Kennedy had to hear the news second hand
from his United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. (p. 387) Hence, from the start of the Kennedy Administration Dulles
kept secrets from his new boss.

No episode better illustrates Dulles’s separate agenda than his agency’s planning and execution of the Bay of Pigs invasion
of Cuba in April 1961, which ultimately cost him his job after President Kennedy sacked him (and Richard Bissell and General
Charles Cabell).

Talbot’s take on this well-known story about the CIA’s ill-fated attempt to topple Castro is fresh and engaging. He uncovers
convincing evidence that Dulles and his top aides set up the Bay of Pigs to fail in order to force the young president’s hand
in bombing the island and sending in the Marines. Surprising Dulles and other national security holdovers from the
Eisenhower Administration was President Kennedy’s resolve to stand by his earlier warnings to them that there would be
no direct U.S. air strikes and no Marines landing in Cuba. “They were sure I’d give into them,” Kennedy later told Dave
Powers. “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well they had me
figured all wrong.” (Quoted on p. 402)

Indeed, they had “figured” JFK wrong because the President then fired Dulles, Bissell, and Cabell after their botching of
the Bay of Pigs, which they had assured him would unfold in a similar fashion as the successful Guatemalan coup of
1954. But as Talbot points out later in the book, President Kennedy’s purge of the top echelon of the CIA had not gone
far enough. He cites a letter to President Kennedy from W. Averell Harriman (who had been FDR’s Ambassador to
Moscow and a veteran of Washington infighting), which refers to the CIA’s undermining Kennedy’s neutrality policies in
Laos and Vietnam:

General [George] Marshall once told me that, when you change a policy, you must change the men too. [The] CIA has
the same men - on the desk and in the field - who were responsible for the disasters of the past, and naturally they do
things to prove they were right. Every big thing the CIA has tried in the Far East has been catastrophic . . . and the men
responsible for these catastrophes are still there. (Quoted on p. 442)

On the subject of the Kennedy assassination Talbot offers one of the most comprehensive and thoughtful discussions of
any book to date. In fact, if one reads carefully The Devil’s Chessboard along with James Douglass’s superb book, JFK
and the Unspeakable (2008), the reader will come away with a deeper understanding of the “crime of the century” that
synthesizes the most relevant details that fifty years of scholarship and investigation have provided.

Dulles’s role in the official government whitewash of the Kennedy assassination cannot be overstated. He was so
important in directing the aims and outcomes of the Warren Commission’s “investigation” into the killing of John F.
Kennedy that it should be more correctly called the “Dulles Commission.”

Since President Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself murdered in the basement of the Dallas
police building on November 24, 1963, there would be no trial. In its stead the nation was given a non-adversarial
process of a presidential commission that runs counter to the norms of American jurisprudence, and which clearly had
drawn the preordained conclusion that Oswald had “acted alone” before the first witness was ever called.

One of the many questions that Talbot answers in this book is the curious phenomenon of a right-wing Republican, Allen
Dulles, whose professional and personal connections exclusively consisted of wealthy Wall Street bankers and lawyers,
spies and spooks (like James Jesus Angleton), and foreign policy elites tied to the Rockefellers and the white shoe law
firm Sullivan and Cromwell — who President Kennedy fired after he sensed Dulles lied to him and could not be trusted —
would find himself heading the commission charged with “investigating” the murder of a president that Dulles neither liked
nor respected.

There were no Kennedy allies on the Warren Commission. Only Republicans and Southern Democrats. J. Edgar Hoover
controlled the physical evidence in the case and Dulles was in the pivotal spot to guide the inquiries or witnesses away
from any fingerprints of intelligence agencies in concocting Oswald’s “legend” or in the events in Dallas. Serious students
of the Kennedy assassination, regardless of their views of the Warren Commission’s “findings,” must read The Devil’s
Chessboard if for no other reason than to flesh out Allen Dulles’s role in guiding the public’s perception of the crime of the
century.

Talbot cites a little known French publication from 2002 where Charles De Gaulle, who himself faced an assassination
attempt in 1962 that involved a team of snipers, expressed his view of the Kennedy assassination. Referring to Oswald,
De Gaulle said:

The guy ran away, because he probably became suspicious. They wanted to kill him on the spot before he could be
grabbed by the judicial system. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen exactly the way they probably planned it would... But a trial,
you realize, is just terrible. People would have talked. They would have dug up so much! They would have unearthed
everything. Then security forces went looking for [a clean-up man] they totally controlled, and who couldn’t refuse their
offer, and that guy sacrificed himself to kill the fake assassin - supposedly in defense of Kennedy’s memory!

Baloney! Security forces all over the world are the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in
wiping out the false assassin, they declare that the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public
action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to assassinate an innocent man than to let a civil war
break out. Better injustice than disorder. (Quoted on p. 567)

You’ll just have to read The Devil’s Chessboard to learn about the layers of the onionskin Talbot expertly unravels
regarding the killing of John F. Kennedy.

THE LEGACY TODAY:

In an era where it’s given that Wall Street is untouchable, the President can use drones to kill anybody anytime anywhere,
and the country has apparently accepted the “new normal” of warrantless mass surveillance by the NSA, we need to know
about this history.

Saying that the secret agencies that emerged after World War Two to fight the Cold War have put our democracy “at risk”
is now quaint; a hard look at the history Talbot uncovers shows that democracy isn’t “at risk,” it has been undone. He calls
out his contemporaries who cannot bring themselves to contradict the Dulles Commission’s premature closing of the JFK
murder case:

Those resolute voices in American public life that continue to deny the existence of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy
argue that ‘someone would have talked.’ This line of reasoning if often used by journalists who have made no effort
themselves to closely inspect the growing body of evidence and have not undertaken any of their own investigative reporting.
The argument betrays a touchingly naïve media bias - a belief that the American press establishment itself, that great
slumbering watchdog, could be counted on to solve such a monumental crime, one that sprung from the very system of
governance of which corporate media is an essential part. The official version of the Kennedy assassination - despite its
myriad improbabilities, which have only grown more inconceivable with time - remains firmly embedded in the media
consciousness, as unquestioned as the law of gravity.(p. 494)


The good news is that compared to the baby boomer historians, commentators, journalists, and other opinion makers who
are too bought into the status quo to even dream of questioning the Dulles Commission’s bogus methods and conclusions
regarding the JFK assassination, the young people today are far less kowtowed by the threat of being thrust into the “tin foil
hat” conspiracy crowd.

After Watergate, Vietnam, the Church Committee, Iran-Contra, WMD in Iraq, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, the
fact that J. Edgar Hoover (of COINTELPRO fame) controlled the evidence the Warren Commission used for its preconceived
“verdict” of guilty for Oswald, and that Allen Dulles was anywhere near an official investigative body looking into the Kennedy
assassination, takes on new importance and requires a radical reevaluation of the whole sordid case. The Dallas police and
the FBI couldn’t even handle something as routine as documenting the chain of custody for the two (or three?) 6.5 mm hulls
found near the “sniper’s nest” on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. (See Barry Krusch, Impossible: The
Case Against Lee Harvey Oswald, (2012), pp. 228-311)

To young people the Kennedy assassination isn’t a primordial childhood event that shaped their worldview like it is for the
boomers. It’s far more remote, like Lincoln’s assassination, something that happened long ago with little direct relevance
to their lives. Hence, young people today don’t see what the big deal is in contemplating the idea that elements that arose
out of the same corrupt and morally bankrupt secret government that helped Nazis escape prosecution, brought down foreign
democracies, or experimented with mind altering drugs on unwitting subjects, might not see any clear limits to their crusade to
save the world from what they believed was an existential threat by turning their violent capabilities inward.

In today’s parlance we call it “blowback,” and one doesn’t need to wear a tin foil hat to grasp the potential consequences of
allowing unaccountable power to fester. People entering college today were born in the early 1990s and have no direct life e
xperience with the histrionics of the Cold War.

When I was in college President Ronald Reagan was still scaring the hell out of the country with lurid tales of communists
attacking the United States from their safe havens in Cuba, Nicaragua, or even from the rural areas of El Salvador,
Guatemala, and Honduras. The Nicaraguan “contras,” along with the Afghan mujahideen, Reagan called “freedom fighters.”
Reagan’s Defense Department officials, such as T.K. Jones, spoke loosely about surviving an all-out nuclear war with the
Russians. And Reagan authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare a host of new “civil
defense” measures. With respect to elite attitudes toward nuclear war, the 1980s weren’t all that different from the 1950s: “
Duck and Cover!”

What made Reagan’s first term all the more frightening was his administration’s thinking out loud about the “unthinkable”
at a time when the United States was deploying Pershing II nuclear missiles and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to West
Germany, bulking up and modernizing its B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers, and launching new intercontinental ballistic missiles
(ICBMs) systems, such as the M-X “Peace Keeper” missiles, the new D-9 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs),
and a high-tech space-based anti-ballistic missile system (called the Strategic Defense Initiative).

Those days of nuclear brinkmanship and alarmism against the Soviets and the widely disseminated propaganda that farm
workers from El Salvador were going to spread communism into south Texas are as remote to today’s college students as
Prohibition was to the baby boomers.

Thankfully, students today don’t possess the knee-jerk attitude of their parents and grandparents toward looking at the guilt
or innocence of Lee Harvey Oswald. “Millennials” have no problem contextualizing the Kennedy assassination inside the
rabid anti-communism of a by-gone era. They can also Google in a minute more information than I could acquire in a week
when I was an undergraduate concerning the history of the unchecked power of the CIA and the national security state.

Perhaps at some point, maybe when the last baby boomer apologist for the Warren Commission passes from this good earth,
the country will finally be able to get the realistic understanding of the events of November 22, 1963 it deserves. David Talbot’s
The Devil’s Chessboard lights the way forward for those who still cling to the belief that history and truth matter.

As always, I strongly recommend that you first read, research, and study material completely
yourself about a Subject Matter, and then formulate your own Opinions and Theories.

Any additional analyses, interviews, investigations, readings, research, studies, thoughts,
or writings on any aspect of this Subject Matter ?

Bear in mind that we are trying to attract and educate a Whole New Generation of JFK
Researchers who may not be as well versed as you.

Comments ?

Respectfully,
BB.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:09 am


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