Allen Dulles: Master of Spies

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Regnery, May 1, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 624 pages
Allen Dulles took American spying from the back alleys of Europe to the forefront of American foreign policy as Director of Central Intelligence under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. His life spanned the American century: from his diplomatic service at America's embassy in Vienna during World War I to his running intelligence operations in the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. In Allen Dulles: Master of Spies, bestselling author James Srodes explodes the myths spun by Kennedy defenders over what happened at the Bay of Pigs, using recently declassified documents and exclusive interviews with key Kennedy aides; reveals how Dulles plotted to kill Hitler - and how his espionage campaign against the Fuhrer started before World War II; highlights the Dulles family's role in unmasking Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy; and explores how Dulles, and his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, guided American foreign policy during the crisis points of the Cold War. Fifteen years in the making - and written with the full cooperation of the Dulles family and numerous previously untapped sources - Allen Dulles: Master of Spies is more than a biography, it is the dramatic story of how America became a world power through the life of its premier spy.

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Allen Dulles: master of spies

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Thirty years after Allen Dulles's death, journalist Srodes presents a biography of one of our country's foremost spymasters, a man who set the standard for espionage. Dulles came from an Ivy League ... Read full review

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James Srodes is either a starry-eyed, gullible spy worshipper or a disinformationist worthy of a CIA security clearance. His whitewashed version of Allen Dulles's life and the role of the CIA in 20th century America will, no doubt, comfort those who believe American intelligence worked for the greater good of democracy, but it will be ridiculed and reviled by those who know the real history of CIA atrocities.
Strode glosses over Dulles's diabolical deeds, so let's enumerate them here, lest the lies infect potential readers. Operation Paperclip, the safe evacuation of Nazi war criminals after WWII, was Dulles's brainchild. Monsters like Walter Dornberger, Hubertus Strughold, Reinhard Gehlen, and thousands of others were rescued from the hangman's noose and given jobs, security clearances, and cushy jobs in America's military-industrial-intelligenc complex. Why? So that the CIA could use their unique skills in the Cold War. Some of those skills were brainwashing/drugging/torturing know-how, implemented in Dulles's MK-ULTRA, the search for the Manchurian Candidate. In the process, innocent Americans were tortured and murdered (including the CIA's own Dr. Frank Olson, who threatened to blow the whistle on the whole operation)in an experiment that ultimately was an abysmal failure.
Dulles and the CIA did not stop there. They subverted and sabotaged the free press in America, through coercion of honest media assets and the planting of CIA media assets. Frank Wisner, who ran the program for Dulles in the '50s, once boasted that Operation Mockingbird, as it was called, was like his own "mighty Wurlitzer. I can play any tune I want on it, and America will follow along." The goal was to suppress any exposure of the CIA's black ops, and spread propaganda about left-leaning movements here and abroad. William Colby, head of CIA for a time in the '70s, admitted that "the CIA owns everyone of any significance at all major media outlets."
The assassinations of duly elected leaders and the installation of fascist tyrants in their place is a book unto itself. Space is limited here, so let's just say Dulles sanctioned and implemented too many plots to enumerate.
Given these facts, one has to wonder where Srodes gets his information and what his motives were for writing such a sanitized, Pollyanna-ish version of Dulles's career. Since Dulles, it can be argued, was one of the most powerful figures of the 20th century, authors compelled to write about him have an obligation to dig below the surface and find the truth of his life. Srodes apparently neither needed nor desired to exert the effort.
Tim Fleming

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