The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:01 pm

The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World
by L. Fletcher Prouty, Col., U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
© 1973, 1992, 1997 by L. Fletcher Prouty




Table of Contents:

o Author's Note
o Preface
o Preface to the Second Edition
o Preface: "THE SECRET TEAM II" 1997
 Chapter 1: The "Secret Team" -- the Real Power Structure
 Chapter 2: The Nature of Secret Team Activity: A Cuban Case Study
 Chapter 3: An Overview of the CIA
• Section I. Intelligence versus Secret Operations
• Section II. Origins of the Agency and the Seeds of Secret Operations
• Section III. A Simple Coup d'État to a Global Mechanism
 Chapter 4: From the Word of the Law to the Interpretation: President Kennedy Attempts to Put the CIA Under Control
 Chapter 5: "Defense" as a National Military Philosophy, the Natural Prey of the Intelligence Community
 Chapter 6: "It Shall Be the Duty of the Agency: To Advise, to Coordinate to Correlate and Evaluate and Disseminate and to Perform Services of Common Concern . . ."
• Coordination of Intelligence -- the Major Assigned Role of the CIA
• Correlation, Evaluation and Dissemination of Intelligence: Heart of the Profession
• Services of Common Concern: An Attempt at Efficiency
 Chapter 7: From the Pines of Maine to the Birches of Russia: The Nature of Clandestine Operations
 Chapter 8: CIA: "The Cover Story" Intelligence Agency and the Real-Life Clandestine Operator
 Chapter 9: The Coincidence of Crises
 Chapter 10: The Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report in Action
 Chapter 11: The Dulles Era Begins
 Chapter 12: Personnel: The Chameleon Game
 Chapter 13: Communications: The Web of the World
 Chapter 14: Transportation: Anywhere in the World -- Now
 Chapter 15: Logistics by Miracle
 Chapter 16: Cold War: The Pyrrhic Gambit
 Chapter 17: Mission Astray, Soviet Gamesmanship
 Chapter 18: Defense, Containment, and Anti-Communism
 Chapter 19: The New Doctrine: Special Forces and the Penetration of the Mutual Security Program
 Chapter 20: Khrushchev's Challenge: The U-2 Dilemma
 Chapter 21: A Time of Covert Action: U-2 to Kennedy Inaugural
 Chapter 22: Camelot: From the Bay of Pigs to Dallas, Texas
 Chapter 23: Five Presidents: "Nightmares We Inherited"
 I. Definition of Special Operations
 II. Powers and Duties of the CIA
 III. Training Under the Mutual Security Program
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:01 pm


. . . to Len Osanic and all at Bandit Productions for bringing all my work back to life.

. . . to Patrick Fourmy, Dave Ratcliffe and Tom Davis, old friends who have insisted I revise and re-write this old "classic".

. . . to Bill Mullan, Charlie Czapar, Bill Peters, and Dave Fleming, who worked with me in the Pentagon during the fifties, for those fascinating years with "Team B" in Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

. . . to Charles Peters of The Washington Monthly for publishing the first "Secret Team" article, and Derek Shearer for breathing the whole concept into life.

. . . to General Graves B. (the big "E") Erskine and General Victor H. ("Brute") Krulak, both of the U. S. Marine Corps, my immediate "bosses" and good friends, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for close personal relationships that shaped the course of these events.

. . . and to the hundreds of men with whom I shared these experiences and who must remain nameless and silent because that is the "code" of their chosen profession.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:03 pm


After I had given the manuscript of the original draft of this book to my editor at Prentice-Hall, in 1972; and had received the galley proof of the first edition back from him, he called me to suggest that I keep it in a safe place at all times. He told me that his home had been broken into the night before, and he suspected it was an attempt to steal his copy of that galley proof. He said, "They didn't get it. It was under the seat of the Volkswagon."
A few days later a nationwide release by the well-known Washington columnist, Jack Anderson, appeared across the country, "Book Bares CIA's Dirty Tricks". In that column, Anderson reported that the CIA had contacted a well-known bookstore in Washington and asked one of the employees to see if he could get a copy of the galley from me, and agreed to pay him $500, if he did. I agreed to meet him at my home that evening.

I suspected his call, but invited him anyway. In the meantime I set up a tape recorder in the umbrella stand near my front door and arranged for it to turn on when I switched on the overhead light on the front porch. With that arrangement, I recorded the whole visit including his final burst, "They promised me $500.00, if I got that galley proof." I took that tape to Anderson, and it was the basis of his March 6, 1973 column. The underground attack didn't quit there.

After excellent early sales of The Secret Team during which Prentice-Hall printed three editions of the book, and it had received more than 100 favorable reviews, I was invited to meet Ian Ballantine, the founder of Ballantine Books. He told me that he liked the book and would publish 100,000 copies in paperback as soon as he could complete the deal with Prentice-Hall. Soon there were 100,000 paperbacks in bookstores all around the country.

Then one day a business associate in Seattle called to tell me that the bookstore next to his office building had had a window full of books the day before, and none the day of his call. They claimed they had never had the book. I called other associates around the country. I got the same story from all over the country. The paperback had vanished. At the same time I learned that Mr. Ballantine had sold his company. I traveled to New York to visit the new "Ballantine Books" president. He professed to know nothing about me, and my book. That was the end of that surge of publication. For some unknown reason Prentice-Hall was out of my book also. It became an extinct species.

Coincidental to that, I received a letter from a Member of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, who wrote that he had been in England recently visiting in the home of a friend who was a Member of the British Parliament. While there, he discovered The Secret Team on a coffee table and during odd hours had begun to read it.

Upon return to Canberra he sent his clerk to get him a copy of the book. Not finding it in the stores, the clerk had gone to the Customs Office where he learned that 3,500 copies of The Secret Team had arrived, and on that same date had been purchased by a Colonel from the Royal Australian Army. The book was dead everywhere.

The campaign to kill the book was nationwide and world-wide. It was removed from the Library of Congress and from College libraries as letters I received attested all too frequently.

That was twenty years ago. Today I have been asked to rewrite the book and bring it up to date. Those who have the book speak highly of it, and those who do not have it have been asking for it. With that incentive, I have begun from page one to bring it up to date and to provide information that I have learned since my first manuscript.

In the beginning, this book was based upon my unusual experience in the Pentagon during 1955-1964 and the concept of the book itself was the outgrowth of a series of luncheon conversations, 1969-1970, with my friends Bob Myers, Publisher of the New Republic, Charlie Peters, founder of The Washington Monthly, and Ben Schemmer, editor and publisher of the Armed Forces Journal, and Derek Shearer. They were all experienced in the ways and games played in Washington, and they tagged my stories those of a "Secret Team." This idea grew and was polished during many subsequent luncheons.

After my retirement from the Air Force, 1964, I moved from an office in the Joint Chiefs of Staff area of the Pentagon to become Manager of the Branch Bank on the Concourse of that great building. This was an interesting move for many reasons, not the least of which was that it kept me in business and social contact with many of the men I had met and worked with during my nine years of Air Force duties in that building. It kept me up-to-date with the old "fun-and-games" gang.

After graduating from the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin, I transfered to a bank in Washington where in the course of business I met Ben Schemmer. He needed a loan that would enable him to acquire the old Armed Forces Journal. During that business process I met two of Ben's friends Bob Myers and Charlie Peters. We spent many most enjoyable business luncheons together. This is where "The Secret Team" emerged from a pattern of ideas to a manuscript.

As they heard my stories about my work with the CIA, and especially about the role of the military in support of the world-wide, clandestine operations of the CIA, they urged me to write about those fascinating nine years of a 23-year military career. During the Spring of 1970 I put an article together that we agreed to call "The Secret Team", and Charlie Peters published it in the May 1970 issue of The Washington Monthly.

Before I had seen the published article myself, two editors of major publishers in New York called me and asked for appointments. I met with both, and agreed to accept the offer to write a book of the same name, and same concept of The Secret Team from Bram Cavin, Senior Editor with Prentice-Hall.

After all but finishing the manuscript, with my inexperienced typing of some 440 pages, I sat down to a Sunday breakfast on June 13, 1971 and saw the headlines of the New York Times with its publication of the "purloined" Pentagon Papers.[1] One of the first excerpts from those papers was a TOP SECRET document that I had worked on in late 1963. Then I found more of the same. With that, I knew that I could vastly improve what I had been writing by making use of that hoard of classified material that "Daniel Ellsberg had left on the doorstep of the Times," and other papers. Up until that time I had deliberately avoided the use of some of my old records and copies of highly classified documents. The publication of the Pentagon Papers changed all that. They were now in the public domain. I decided to call my editor and tell him what we had with the "Pentagon Papers" and to ask for more time to re-write my manuscript. He agreed without hesitation. From that time on I began my "Doctorate" course in, a) book publishing and, b) book annihilation.

As we see, by some time in 1975 The Secret Team was extinct; but unlike the dinosaur and others, it did not even leave its footprints in the sands of time. There may be some forty to fifty thousand copies on private book shelves. A letter from a professor informed me that his department had ordered more than forty of the books to be kept on the shelves of his university library for assignment purposes. At the start of the new school year his students reported that the books were not on the shelves and the registry cards were not in the master file. The librarians informed them that the book did not exist.

With that letter in mind, I dropped into the Library of Congress to see if The Secret Team was on the shelves where I had seen it earlier. It was not, and it was not even in that library's master file. It is now an official non-book.

I was a writer whose book had been cancelled by a major publisher and a major paperback publisher under the persuasive hand of the CIA. Now, after more than twenty years the flames of censorship still sweep across the land. Despite that, here we go again with a new revised edition of The Secret Team.



1. Any reader of the "Pentagon Papers" should be warned that although they were commissioned on June 17, 1967, by the Secretary of Defense as "the history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II [Sept 2, 1945] to the present" [1968], they are unreliable, inaccurate and marred by serious omissions. They are a contrived history, at best, even though they were written by a selected Task Force under Pentagon leadership.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:04 pm


From President to Ambassador, Cabinet Officer to Commanding General, and from Senator to executive assistant-all these men have their sources of information and guidance. Most of this information and guidance is the result of carefully laid schemes and ploys of pressure groups.In this influential coterie one of the most interesting and effective roles is that played by the behind the scenes, faceless, nameless, ubiquitous briefing officer.

He is the man who sees the President, the Secretary, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff almost daily, and who carries with him the most skillfully detailed information. He is trained by years of experience in the precise way to present that information to assure its effectiveness. He comes away day after day knowing more and more about the man he has been briefing and about what it is that the truly influential pressure groups at the center of power and authority are really trying to tell these key decision makers. In Washington, where such decisions shape and shake the world, the role of the regular briefing officer is critical.

Leaders of government and of the great power centers regularly leak information of all kinds to columnists, television and radio commentators, and to other media masters with the hope that the material will surface and thus influence the President, the Secretary, the Congress, and the public. Those other inside pressure groups with their own briefing officers have direct access to the top men; they do not have to rely upon the media, although they make great use of it. They are safe and assured in the knowledge that they can get to the decision maker directly. They need no middleman other than the briefing officer. Such departments as Defense, State, and the CIA use this technique most effectively.

For nine consecutive, long years during those crucial days from 1955 through January 1, 1964, I was one of those briefing officers. I had the unique assignment of being the "Focal Point" officer for contacts between the CIA and the Department of Defense on matters pertaining to the military support of the Special Operations[1] of that Agency. In that capacity I worked with Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles, several Secretaries of Defense, and Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as many others in key governmental places. My work took me to more than sixty countries and to CIA offices and covert activities all over the world--from such hot spots as Saigon and to such remote places as the South Pole. Yes, there have been secret operations in Antarctica.

It was my job not only to brief these men, but to brief them from the point of view of the CIA so that I might win approval of the projects presented and of the accompanying requests for support from the military in terms of money, manpower, facilities, and materials. I was, during this time, perhaps the best informed "Focal Point" officer among the few who operated in this very special area. The role of the briefing officer is quiet, effective, and most influential; and, in the CIA, specialized in the high art of top level indoctrination.

It cannot be expected that a John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, a Richard Nixon, or a following President will have experienced and learned all the things that may arise to confront him during his busy official life in the White House. It cannot be expected that a Robert McNamara or a Melvin Laird, a Dean Rusk or a William Rogers, etc. comes fully equipped to high office, aware of all matters pertaining to what they will encounter in their relationship with the Congo or Cuba, Vietnam or Pakistan, and China or Russia and the emerging new nations. These men learn about these places and the many things that face them from day to day from an endless and unceasing procession of briefing officers.

Henry Kissinger was a briefing officer. General John Vogt was one of the best. Desmond Fitzgerald, Tracy Barnes, Ed Lansdale, and "Brute" Krulak, in their own specialties, were top-flight briefing officers on subjects that until the publication of the "Pentagon Papers," few people had ever seen in print or had ever even contemplated.

(You can imagine my surprise when I read the June 13, 1971, issue of the Sunday New York Times and saw there among the "Pentagon Papers" a number of basic information papers that had been in my own files in the Joint Chiefs of Staff area of the Pentagon. Most of the papers of that period had been source documents from which I had prepared dozens -- even hundreds -- of briefings, for all kinds of projects, to be given to top Pentagon officers. Not only had many of those papers been in my files, but I had either written many of them myself or had written certain of the source documents used by the men who did.)

The briefing officer, with the staff officer, writes the basic papers. He researches the papers. He has been selected because he has the required knowledge and experience. He has been to the countries and to the places involved. He may know the principals in the case well. He is supposed to be the best man available for that special job. In my own case, I had been on many special assignments dating back to the Cairo and Teheran conferences of late 1943 that first brought together the "Big Four" of the Allied nations of WW II: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Joseph Stalin.

The briefing officer reads all of the messages, regardless of classification. He talks to a number of other highly qualified men. He may even have staff specialists spread out all over the world upon whom he may call at any time for information. Working in support of the "Focal Point" office, which I headed, there were hundreds of experts and agents concealed in military commands throughout the world who were part of a network I had been directed to establish in 1955-1956 as a stipulation of National Security Council directive 5412, March 1954.

In government official writing, the man who really writes the paper--or more properly, the men whose original work and words are put together to become the final paper--are rarely, if ever, the men whose names appear on that paper. A paper attributed to Maxwell Taylor, Robert McNamara or Dean Rusk, of the Kennedy era, would not, in almost all instances, have been written by them; but more than likely would have been assembled from information gathered from the Departments of Defense and State and from CIA sources and put into final language by such a man as General Victor H. Krulak, who was among the best of that breed of official writers.

From l955 through 1963, if some official wanted a briefing on a highly classified subject involving the CIA, I would be one of those called upon to prepare the material and to make the briefing. At the same time, if the CIA wanted support from the Air Force for some covert operation, I was the officer who had been officially designated to provide this special operational support to the CIA.

If I was contacted by the CIA to provide support for an operation which I believed the Secretary of Defense had not been previously informed of, I would see to it that he got the necessary briefing from the CIA or from my office and that any other Chief of Staff who might be involved would get a similar briefing. In this unusual business I found rather frequently that the CIA would be well on its way into some operation that would later require military support before the Secretary and the Chiefs had been informed.

During preparations for one of the most important of these operations, covered in some detail in this book, I recall briefing the chairman of the Joint Chief's of Staff, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, on the subject of the largest clandestine special operation that the CIA had ever mounted up to that time: and then hearing him say to the other Chiefs, "I just can't believe it. I never knew that."

Here was the nation's highest ranking military officer, the man who would be held responsible for the operation should it fail or become compromised, and he had not been told enough about it to know just how it was being handled. Such is the nature of the game as played by the "Secret Team."

I have written for several magazines on this subject, among them the Armed Forces Journal, The New Republic, the Empire Magazine of the Denver Sunday Post, and The Washington Monthly. It was for this latter publication that I wrote "The Secret Team", an article that appeared in the May 1970 issue and that led to the development of this book.

With the publication of the "Pentagon Papers" on June 13,1971, interest in this subject area was heightened and served to underscore my conviction that the scope of that article must be broadened into a book.

Within days of The New York Times publication of those "Pentagon Papers," certain editorial personnel with the BBC-TV program, "Twenty-Four Hours", recalling my "Secret Team" article, invited me to appear on a series on TV with, among others, Daniel Ellsberg. They felt that my experience with the Secret Team would provide material for an excellent companion piece to the newly released "Pentagon Papers," which were to be the primary topic of the discussions. I flew to London and made a number of programs for BBC-TV and Radio. Legal problems and the possible consequences of his departure from the country at that time precluded the simultaneous appearance of Daniel Ellsberg. The programs got wide reception and served to underscore how important the subject of the "Pentagon Papers" is throughout the world.

I have not chosen to reveal and to expose "unreleased" classified documents; but I do believe that those that have been revealed, both in the "Pentagon Papers" and elsewhere, need to be interpreted and fully explained. I am interested in setting forth and explaining what "secrecy" and the "cult of containment" really mean and what they have done to our way of life and to our country. Furthermore, I want to correct any disinformation that may have been given by those who have tried to write on these subjects in other related histories.

I have lived this type of work; I know what happened and how it happened. I have known countless men who participated in one way or another in these unusual events of Twentieth Century history. Many of these men have been and still are members of the Secret Team. It also explains why much of it has been pure propaganda and close to nationwide "brainwashing" of the American public. I intend to interpret and clarify these events by analyzing information already in the public domain. There is plenty.

Few concepts during this half century have been as important, as controversial, as misunderstood, and as misinterpreted as secrecy in Government. No idea during this period has had a greater impact upon Americans and upon the American way of life than that of the containment of Communism. Both are inseparably intertwined and have nurtured each other in a blind Pavlovian way. Understanding their relationship is a matter of fundamental importance.

Much has been written on these subjects and on their vast supporting infrastructure, generally known as the "intelligence community." Some of this historical writing has suffered from a serious lack of inside knowledge and experience. Most of this writing has been done by men who know something about the subject, by men who have researched and learned something about the subject, and in a few cases by men who had some experience with the subject. Rarely is there enough factual experience on the part of the writer. On the other hand, the Government and other special interests have paid writers huge amounts to write about this subject as they want it done, not truthfully. Thus our history is seriously warped and biased by such work.

Many people have been so concerned about what has been happening to our Government that they have dedicated themselves to investigating and exposing its evils. Unfortunately, a number of these writers have been dupes of those cleverer than they or with sinister reasons for concealing knowledge. They have written what they thought was the truth, only to find out (if they ever did find out) that they had been fed a lot of contrived cover stories and just plain hogwash. In this book I have taken extracts from some of this writing and, line by line, have shown how it has been manipulated to give a semblance of truth while at the same time being contrived and false.

Nevertheless, there have been some excellent books in this broad area. But many of these books suffer from various effects of the dread disease of secrecy and from its equally severe corollary illness called "cover" (the CIA's official euphemism for not telling the truth).

The man who has not lived in the secrecy and intelligence environment--really lived in it and fully experienced it--cannot write accurately about it. There is no substitute for the day to day living of a life in which he tells his best friends and acquaintances, his family and his everyday contacts one story while he lives another. The man who must depend upon research and investigation inevitably falls victim to the many pitfalls of the secret world and of the "cover story" world with its lies and counter-lies.

A good example of this is the work of Les Gelb and his Pentagon associates on the official version of the purloined "Pentagon Papers." That very title is the biggest cover story (no pun intended) of them all; so very few of those papers were really of Pentagon origin. The fact that I had many of them in my office of Special Operations in Joint Staff area, and that most of them had been in the files of the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs did not validate the locale of their origin. They were "working copies" and not originals. Notice how few were signed by true military officers.

It is significant to note that the historical record that has been called the "Pentagon Papers" was actually a formal government-funded "study of the history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II to the present" i.e. 1945 to 1968. On June 17, 1967 the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara directed that work. A task force consisting of "six times six professionals" under the direction of Leslie H. Gelb produced "37 studies and 15 collections of documents in 43 volumes" that were presented on January 15, 1969 to the then-Secretary of Defense, Clark M. Clifford by Mr. Gelb with the words from Herman Melville's Moby Dick:

"This is a world of chance, free will, and necessity-all interweavingly working together as one: chance by turn rules either and had the last featuring blow at events."

As you may recall, this treasure trove of TOP SECRET papers was delivered to the New York Times, and other newspapers in mid-June, 1971, by a then-unknown "Hippie" of that period. His name was Daniel Ellsberg. What few people have learned since that time is the fact that both Daniel Ellsberg, who pirated these highly classified papers, and Leslie Gelb the Director of that Task Force, had worked in that same office of International Security Affairs (ISA).

The "misappropriation" of those documents was not the work of some "true patriots" as Noam Chomsky wrote in 1972. Rather it was an inside job. That ISA office had been the home of many of the "big names" of the Vietnam War period, among them Paul H. Nitze, John T. McNaughton, Paul C. Warnke and William Bundy, among others. The fact that I had many of them in my office, that I had worked with them, and that I had written parts of some of them proves that they were not genuine Pentagon papers, because my work at that time was devoted to support of the CIA. The same is true of General Krulak, William Bundy, and to a degree, Maxwell Taylor among others.

To look at this matter in another way, the man who has lived and experienced this unnatural existence becomes even more a victim of its unreality. He becomes enmeshed beyond all control upon the horns of a cruel dilemma. On the one hand, his whole working life has been dedicated to the cause of secrecy and to its protection by means of cover stories (lies). In this pursuit he has given of himself time after time to pledges, briefings, oaths, and deep personal conviction regarding the significance of that work. Even if he would talk and write, his life has been so interwoven into the fabric of the real and the unreal, the actual and the cover story, that he would be least likely to present the absolutely correct data.

On the other hand, as a professional he would have been subjected to such cellurization and compartmentalization each time he became involved in any real "deep" operation that he would not have known the whole story anyhow. This compartalization is very real. I have worked on projects with many CIA men so unaware of the entire operation that they had no realization and awareness of the roles of other CIA men working on the same project.

I would know of this because inevitably somewhere along the line both groups would come to the Department of Defense for hardware support. I actually designed a special office in the Pentagon with but one door off the corridor. Inside, it had a single room with one secretary. However, off her office there was one more door that led to two more offices with a third doorway leading to yet another office, which was concealed by the door from the secretary's room. I had to do this because at times we had CIA groups with us who were now allowed to meet each other, and who most certainly would not have been there had they known that the others were there. (For the record, the office was 4D1000--it may have been changed by now; but it had remained that way for many years.)

Another group of writers, about the world of secrecy, are the "masters"--men like Allen W. Dulles, Lyman Kirkpatrick, Peer de Silva and Chester Cooper. My own choice of the best of these are Peer de Silva and Lyman Kirkpatrick. These are thoroughly professional intelligence officers who have chosen a career of high-level intelligence operations. Their writing is correct and informative--to a degree beyond that which most readers will be able to translate and comprehend at first reading; yet they are properly circumspect and guarded and very cleverly protective of their profession.

There is another category of writer and self-proclaimed authority on the subjects of secrecy, intelligence, and containment. This man is the suave, professional parasite who gains a reputation as a real reporter by disseminating the scraps and "Golden Apples" thrown to him by the great men who use him. This writer seldom knows and rarely cares that many of the scraps from which he draws his material have been planted, that they are controlled leaks, and that he is being used, and glorified as he is being used, by the inside secret intelligence community.

Allen Dulles had a penchant for cultivating a number of such writers with big names and inviting them to his table for a medieval style luncheon in that great room across the hall from his own offices in the old CIA headquarters on the hill overlooking Foggy Bottom. Here, he would discuss openly and all too freely the same subjects that only hours before had been carefully discussed in the secret inner chambers of the operational side of that quiet Agency. In the hands of Allen Dulles, "secrecy" was simply a chameleon device to be used as he saw fit and to be applied to lesser men according to his schemes. It is quite fantastic to find people like Daniel Ellsberg being charged with leaking official secrets simply because the label on the piece of paper said "TOP SECRET," when the substance of many of the words written on those same papers was patently untrue and no more than a cover story. Except for the fact that they were official "lies", these papers had no basis in fact, and therefore no basis to be graded TOP SECRET or any other degree of classification. Allen Dulles would tell similar cover stories to his coterie of writers, and not long thereafter they would appear in print in some of the most prestigious papers and magazines in the country, totally unclassified, and of course, cleverly untrue.

Lastly there is the writer from outside this country who has gained his inside information from sources in another country. These sources are no doubt reliable; they know exactly what has taken place -- as in Guatemala during the Bay of Pigs era -- and they can speak with some freedom. In other cases, the best of these sources have been from behind the Iron Curtain.

In every case, the chance for complete information is very small, and the hope that in time researchers, students, and historians will be able to ferret out truth from untruth, real from unreal, and story from cover story is at best a very slim one. Certainly, history teaches us that one truth will add to and enhance another; but let us not forget that one lie added to another lie will demolish everything. This is the important point.

Consider the past half century. How many major events--really major events--have there been that simply do not ring true? How many times has the entire world been shaken by alarms of major significance, only to find that the events either did not happen at all, or if they did, that they had happened in a manner quite unlike the original story? The war in Vietnam is undoubtedly the best example of this. Why is it that after more than thirty years of clandestine and overt involvement in Indochina, no one had been able to make a logical case for what we had been doing there and to explain adequately why we had become involved; and what our real and valid objectives in that part of the world were?

The mystery behind all of this lies in the area we know as "Clandestine activity", "intelligence operations", "secrecy", and "cover stories", used on a national and international scale. It is the object of this book to bring reality and understanding into this vast unknown area.

Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret'd)



1. Special Operations is a name given in most cases, but not always, to any clandestine, covert, undercover, or secret operations by the government or by someone, U.S. citizen or a foreign national . . . even in special cases a stateless professional, or U.S. or foreign activity or organization. It is usually secret and highly classified. It is to be differentiated from Secret intelligence and in a very parochial sense from Secret or Special Intelligence Operations.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:05 pm


Like it or not, we now live in a new age of "One World." This is the age of global companies, of global communications and transport, of global food supply and finance and...just around the accommodation of political systems. In this sense, there are no home markets, no isolated markets and no markets outside the global network. It is time to face the fact that true national sovereignty no longer exists. We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger moneymen and big politicians. It is the world of "The Secret Team."

In such a world, the Secret Team is a dominant power. It is neither military nor police. It is covert, and the best (or worst) of both. It gets the job done whether it has political authorization and direction, or not. It is independent. It is lawless.

This book is about the real CIA and its allies around the world. It is based upon personal experience generally derived from work in the Pentagon from 1955 to 1964. At retirement, I was Chief of Special Operations (clandestine activities) with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. These duties involved the military support of the clandestine activities of the CIA and were performed under the provisions of National Security Council Directive No. 5412/2.

Since this book was first published in 1973, we have witnessed the unauthorized release of the "Pentagon Papers," "Watergate" and the resignation of President Nixon, the run-away activities of the "Vietnam War", the "Arab Oil Embargo" that led to the greatest financial heist in history, and the blatantly unlawful "Iran-Contra" affair. All of these were brought about and master-minded by a renegade "Secret Team" that operated secretly, without Presidential direction; without National Security Council approval -- so they say; and, generally, without Congressional knowledge. This trend increases. Its scope expands...even today.

I was the first author to point out that the CIA's most important "Cover Story is that of an "Intelligence" agency. Of course the CIA does make use of "intelligence" and "intelligence gathering", but that is largely a front for its primary interest, "Fun and Games." The CIA is the center of a vast mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations...or as Allen Dulles used to call it, "Peacetime Operations". In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level Secret Team, or High Cabal, that usually includes representatives of the CIA and other instrumentalities of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subjects of this book.

It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the "operator," i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The Covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground...including the U.S.A.

Today, early 1990, the most important events of this century are taking place with the ending of the "Cold War" era, and the beginning of the new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their lawyers, rather than the threat of military power. This scenario for change has been brought about by a series of Secret Team operations skillfully orchestrated while the contrived hostilities of the Cold War were at their zenith.

Chief among these, yet quite unnoticed, President Nixon and his Secretary of the Treasury, George Schultz, established a Russian/American organization called the "USA-USSR Trade and Economic Council," in 1972. Its objective was to bring about a union of the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers of this country, among others, such as the hierarchy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. This important relationship, sponsored by David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank and his associates, continued through the Carter years. The bilateral activity increased significantly during the Reagan/Shultz years of the Eighties despite such "Evil Empire" tantrums as the Korean Airlines Boeing 747 Flight 007 "shootdown" in 1983.

It is this "US-TEC" organization, with its counterpart bilateral agreements among other nations and the USSR, that has brought about the massive Communist world changes.

The Cold War has been the most expensive war in history. R. Buckminister Fuller has written in Grunch of Giants:

We can very properly call World War I the million dollar war and World War II the billion dollar war and World War III (Cold War) the trillion dollar war.

The power structure that kept the Cold War at that level of intensity has been driven by the Secret Team and its multinational covert operations, to wit:

This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they are able to operate under the canopy of an ever-present "enemy" called "Communism". And then, to top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations.

--L. Fletcher Prouty
Alexandria, VA 1990
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:09 pm


Like it or not, we now live in the age of "One World". This is the age of global companies, of global communications and transport, of global food supply and finance and ... just around the corner ... global accommodation of political systems. In this sense, there are no home markets, no isolated markets and no markets outside the global network.

It is time to face the fact that true national sovereignty no longer exists. We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger money-men and big politicians. It is the world of "The Secret Team" and its masters. We are now, despite common mythology to the contrary, the most dependent society that has ever lived, and the future of the viability of that infrastructure of that society is unpredictable. It is crumbling.

As one of the greatest historians of all time, Ibn Khaldun, wrote in his unequaled historical work The Muqaddimah of the 14th Century:

God created and fashioned man in a form that can live and subsist only with the help of food ... Through cooperation, the needs of a number of persons, many times greater than their own number, can be satisfied.

As this One World infrastructure emerges it increases the percentage of our total dependence upon remote food production capacity to the mass production capability and transport means of enormous companies operating under the global policy guidance of such organizations as the Chartered Institute of Transport in London, and the international banking community. As individuals, few of us would have any idea where to get a loaf of bread or yard of fabric other than in some supermarket and department store ... and we are all dependent upon some form of efficient transport, electric power, gasoline at the pump, and boundless manufacturing capacity and versatility. Let that system collapse, at any point, and all of us will be helpless. A cooperating, working system is essential to survival; yet over-all it is a system without leadership and guidance.

At the same time the traditional family farm, and even community farms and industries, have all but vanished from the scene. This has created, at least in what we label, the advanced nations, a dearth of farmers and of people who have that basic experience along with that required in the food and home products industries. Furthermore, as this trend is amplified, the transport of farm produce has become increasingly assigned to the trucking industry, which has its over-land limits ... mostly as applied to the tonnage limits of rural bridges, and the economical availability of petroleum.

As a result, something as simple as a trucking industry strike that keeps trucks out of any city for seventy- two hours or more, will lead to starvation and food riots. None of us know where to get food, if it is not in the nearby supermarket; and if we do have a stored supply of food locked in the cellar, we shall simply be the targets of those who do not. Food is the ultimate driving force. Under such predictable conditions, there will be waves of slaughter and eventually cannibalism. Man must eat, and the only way he can obtain adequate food supplies is through cooperation and the means to transport and distribute food and other basic necessities. This essential role is being diminished beyond the borderline. The lack of food supplies has already resulted in a form of covert genocide in many countries. Other essential shortages unavoidably follow.

As Rudyard Kipling has said: "Transport is Civilization." The opposite is equally true, "Without reliable transport we are reduced to the state of barbarism."

These are fundamental statements of fact. In such a world, the Secret Team is the functional element of the dominant power. It is the point of the spear and is neither military nor police. It is covert: and the best (or worst) of both. It gets the job done whether it has political authorization and direction, or not. In this capacity, it acts independently. It is lawless. It operates everywhere with the best of all supporting facilities from special weaponry and advanced communications, with the assurance that its members will never be prosecuted. It is subservient to the Power Elite and protected by them. The Power Elite or High Cabal need not be Royalty in these days. They are their equals or better.

Note with care, it is labeled a "Team". This is because as with any highly professional team it has its managers, its front office and its owners. These are the "Power Elite" to whom it is beholden. They are always anonymous, and their network is ancient and world-wide. Let us draw an example from recent history.

During the Senate Hearings of 1975 on "Alleged Assassination Ploys Involving Foreign Leaders," Senator Charles C. Mathias' thoughts went back to November 22, 1963 and to the coup d'etat brought about by the surgical precision of the death of President John F. Kennedy, when he said:

Let me draw an example from history. When Thomas Becket (Saint Thomas Becket, 1118-1170) was proving to be an annoyance, as Castro; the King said "Who will rid me of this man?" He didn't say to somebody, go out and murder him. He said who will rid me of this man, and let it go at that. (As you will recall, Thomas Becket's threat was not against the King, it was against the way the King wanted to run the government.)

With no explicit orders, and with no more authority than that, four of King Henry's knights, found and killed "this man", Saint Thomas Becket inside of his church. That simple statement ... no more than a wish floating in air ... proved to be all the orders needed.

Then, with that great historical event in mind, Senator Mathias went on to say:

... that is typical of the kind of thing which might be said, which might be taken by the Director of Central Intelligence or by anybody else, as Presidential authorization to go forward ... you felt that some spark had been transmitted ...

To this Senator Jesse Helms added:

Yes, and if he had disappeared from the scene they would not have been unhappy.

There's the point! Because the structure, a "Power Elite", "High Cabal" or similar ultimate ruling organization, exists and the psychological atmosphere has been prepared, nothing more has to be said than that which ignites that "spark" of an assumed "authorization to go forward." Very often, this is the way in which the Secret Team gets its orders ... they are no more than "a wish floating in air."

This book is about a major element of this real power structure of the world and of its impact upon the CIA and its allies around the world. It is based upon much personal experience generally derived from my military service from mid-1941 to 1964: U.S. Army Cavalry, U.S. Army Armored Force, U.S. Army Air Corps and Army Air Force, and finally the U. S. Air Force; and more specifically from my special assignments in the Pentagon from 1955 to 1964. At retirement, I was the first Chief of Special Operations with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of these duties, during those Pentagon years, were structured to provide "the military support of the world-wide clandestine activities of the CIA." They were performed in accordance with the provisions of an Eisenhower era, National Security Council Directive No. 5412/2, March 15, 1954.

Since this book was first published in 1973, we have witnessed the unauthorized release of the Defense Department's official " history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II to 1969" popularly known as the "Pentagon Papers," "Watergate" and the resignation of President Nixon, the run away activities of the "Vietnam War," the "Arab Oil Embargo" that led to the greatest financial heist in history, the blatantly unlawful "Iran Contra" affair, and the run-away banking scandals of the eighties. Many of these were brought about and master minded by renegade "Secret Team" members who operated, without Presidential direction; without National Security Council approval so they say; and, generally, without official Congressional knowledge. This trend increases. Its scope expands ... even today.

I pointed out, years ago in public pronouncements, that the ClA's most important "Cover Story" is that of an "intelligence" agency. Of course the CIA does make use of "intelligence" and its assumed role of "intelligence gathering," but that is largely a front for its primary interest, "Fun and Games" ... as the "Old Boys" or "Jedburgh's" of the WW II period Office of Strategic Services (OSS) called it.

The CIA is the center of a vast, and amorphous mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations ... or as Allen Dulles always called it,"Peacetime Operations." In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level High Cabal, that may include representatives and highly skilled agents of the CIA and other instrumentality's of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this ultimate Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subject of this book.

It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the "operator," i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground ... including the U.S.A.

Today, in the mid-1990's, the most important events of this century are taking place with the ending of the "Cold War" era, and the beginning of the new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their lawyers, rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. This scenario for change has been brought about by a series of Secret Team operations skillfully orchestrated while the contrived hostilities of the Cold War were at their zenith.

Two important events of that period have been little noted. First, on Feb. 7, 1972 Maurice Stans, Nixon's Secretary of Commerce opened a "White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead, A Look at Business in 1990." This three-day meeting of more than fifteen hundred of the country's leading businessmen, scholars, and the like were concluded with this memorable summary statement by Roy L. Ash, president of Litton Industries:

... state capitalism may well be a form for world business in the world ahead; that the western countries are trending toward a more unified and controlled economy, having a greater effect on all business; and the communist nations are moving more and more toward a free market system. The question posed during this conference on which a number of divergent opinions arose, was whether 'East and West' would meet some place toward the middle about 1990.

That was an astounding forecast as we consider events of the seventies and eighties and discover that his forecast, if it ever was a forecast and not a pre-planned arrangement, was right on the nose.

This amazing forecast had its antecedent pronouncements, among which was another "One World" speech by this same Roy Ash during the Proceedings of the American Bankers Association National Automation Conference in New York City, May 8,9,10, 1967.

The affairs of the world are becoming inextricably interlinked ... governments, notably, cannot effectively perform the task of creating and distributing food and other essential products and services ... economic development is the special capability and function of business and industrial organizations ... business organizations are the most efficient converters of the original resources of the world into useable goods and services.

The flash of genius, the new ideas, always comes from the marvelous workings of the individual brain, not from the committee sessions. Organizations are to implement ideas, not to have them.

As a Charter Member of the American Bankers Association's Committee on Automation Planning and Technology I was a panelist at that same convention as we worked to convert the 14,000 banks of this country to automation and the ubiquitous Credit Card. All of these subjects were signs of the times leading toward the demise of the Soviet Union in favor of an evolutionary process toward One World.

In addition to the 1972 White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead a most significant yet quite unnoticed action took place during that same year when President Nixon and his then-Secretary of the Treasury, George Shultz, established a Russian/American organization called the "USA USSR Trade and Economic Council." Its objective was to bring about a union of the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers of this country, among others, such as the hierarchy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. This important relationship, sponsored by David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank and his associates, continues into the "One World" years.

This bilateral activity increased during the Reagan/Shultz years of the Eighties despite such "Evil Empire" staged tantrums as the Korean Airlines Boeing 747 Flight 007 "shootdown" in 1983.

It is this "US-TEC" organization, with its counterpart bilateral agreements among other nations and the USSR, that has brought about the massive changes of the former Communist world. These did not go unnoticed. During a speech delivered in 1991, Giovanni Agnelli, chief executive officer of the Fiat Company and one of the most powerful men in Europe, if not the world, remarked:

The fall of the Soviet Union is one of the very few instances in history in which a world power has been defeated on the battlefield of ideas.

Now, is this what Nixon, Stans, Shultz, Ash, Rockefeller and others had in mind during those important decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties. For one thing, it may be said quiet accurately, that these momentous events marked the end of the Cold War and have all but shredded the canopy of the nuclear umbrella over mankind.

The Cold War was the most expensive war in history. R. Buckminister Fuller wrote in Grunch of Giants:

We can very properly call World War I the million dollar war and World War II the billion dollar war and World War III (Cold War) the trillion dollar war.

The power structure that kept the Cold War at that level of cost and intensity had been spearheaded by the Secret Team and its multinational covert operations, to wit:

This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called "Communism." It will be interesting to see what "enemy" develops in the years ahead. It appears that "UFO's and Aliens" are being primed to fulfill that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations.

--L. Fletcher Prouty
Alexandria, VA 1997
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:16 pm

PART I: The Secret Team

Chapter 1: The "Secret Team" -- The Real Power Structure

The most remarkable development in the management of America's relations with other countries during the quarter-century since the end of World War II has been the assumption of more and more control over military, financial and diplomatic operations at home and abroad by men whose activities are secret, whose budget is secret, whose very identities as often as not are secret -- in short, by a Secret Team whose actions only those implicated in them are in a position to monitor and to understand.

For the purposes of this historical study, the choice of the word "Team" is most significant. It is well known that the members of a team, as in baseball or football, are skilled professionals under the direct control of someone higher up. They do not create their own game plan. They work for their coach and their owner. There is always some group that manages them and "calls the plays". Team members are like lawyers and agents, they work for someone. They generally do not plan their work. They do what their client tells them to do. For example: this is true of agents in the Central Intelligence Agency. It is an "Agency" and not a "Department" and its employees are highly skilled professionals who perform the functions their craft demands of them. Thus, the members of the highest level "Secret Team" work for their masters despite the fact that their own high office may make it appear to others that they, themselves are not only the Team but the Power Elite. This recalls a story related by the Rt. Hon. Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, of Great Britain, during WW II.

Winston Churchill had left the Admiralty to become Prime Minister. Frequently he would come down to the Admiralty basement on his way from #10 Downing Street, to his underground, bomb-proof bedroom. He made it his practice to visit the Officer in Charge for up-to-date Intelligence and then stroll into the Duty Captain's room where there was a small bar from which he sometimes indulged in a night-cap, along with his ever-present cigar.

On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, "Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing -- this is total war." He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, "Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are."

This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a "High Cabal" that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity. For them, the Secret Team and its professionals operate.

We may wish to note that in a book "Gentleman Spy, the Life of Allen Dulles" the author, Peter Grose cites Allen Dulles response to an invitation to the luncheon table from Hoover's Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson. Allen Dulles assured his partners in the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, "Let it be known quietly that I am a lawyer and not a diplomat." He could not have made a more characteristic and truthful statement about himself. He always made it clear that he did not "plan" his work, he was always the "lawyer" who carried out the orders of his client whether the President of the United States, or the President of the local bank.

The Secret Team (ST) being described herein consists of security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data, when it seems appropriate to them, with paramilitary plans and activities, e.g. training and "advising" -- a not exactly impenetrable euphemism for such things as leading into battle and actual combat -- Laotian tribal troops, Tibetan rebel horsemen, or Jordanian elite Palace Guards.

Membership on the Team, granted on a "need-to-know" basis, varies with the nature and location of the problems that come to its attention, and its origins derive from that sometimes elite band of men who served with the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the father of them all, General "Wild Bill" William J. Donovan, and in the old CIA.

The power of the Team derives from its vast intragovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The Secret Team has very close affiliations with elements of power in more than three-score foreign countries and is able when it chooses to topple governments, to create governments, and to influence governments almost anywhere in the world.

Whether or not the Secret Team had anything whatsoever to do with the deaths of Rafael Trujillo, Ngo Dinh Diem, Ngo Dinh Nhu, Dag Hammerskjold, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and others may never be revealed, but what is known is that the power of the Team is enhanced by the "cult of the gun" and by its sometimes brutal and always arbitrary anti-Communist flag waving, even when real Communism had nothing to do with the matter at hand.

The Secret Team does not like criticism, investigation, or history and is always prone to see the world as divided into but two camps -- "Them" and "Us". Sometimes the distinction may be as little as one dot, as in "So. Viets" and "Soviets," the So. Viets being our friends in Indochina, and the Soviets being the enemy of that period. To be a member, you don't question, you don't ask; it's "Get on the Team" or else. One of its most powerful weapons in the most political and powerful capitals of the world is that of exclusion. To be denied the "need to know" status, like being a member of the Team, even though one may have all the necessary clearances, is to be totally blackballed and eliminated from further participation. Politically, if you are cut from the Team and from its insider's knowledge, you are dead. In many ways and by many criteria the Secret Team is the inner sanctum of a new religious order.

At the heart of the Team, of course, are a handful of top executives of the CIA and of the National Security Council (NSC), most notably the chief White House adviser to the President on foreign policy affairs. Around them revolves a sort of inner ring of Presidential officials, civilians, and military men from the Pentagon, and career professionals of the intelligence community. It is often quite difficult to tell exactly who many of these men really are, because some may wear a uniform and the rank of general and really be with the CIA and others may be as inconspicuous as the executive assistant to some Cabinet officer's chief deputy. Out beyond this ring is an extensive and intricate network of government officials with responsibility for, or expertise in, some specific field that touches on national security or foreign affairs: "Think Tank" analysts, businessmen who travel a lot or whose businesses (e.g. import-export or cargo airline operations) are useful, academic experts in this or that technical subject or geographic region, and quite importantly, alumni of the intelligence community -- a service from which there are no unconditional resignations. All true members of the Team remain in the power center whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.

Thus, the Secret Team is not a clandestine super-planning-board or super-general-staff. But even more damaging to the coherent conduct of foreign and military affairs, it is a bewildering collection of semi-permanent or temporarily assembled action committees and networks that respond pretty much ad hoc to specific troubles and to flash-intelligence data inputs from various parts of the world, sometimes in ways that duplicate the activities of regular American missions, sometimes in ways that undermine those activities, and very often in ways that interfere with and muddle them. At no time did the powerful and deft hand of the Secret Team evidence more catalytic influence than in the events of those final ninety days of 1963, which the "Pentagon Papers" were supposed to have exposed.

The New York Times shocked the world on Sunday, June 13, 1971, with the publication of the first elements of the Pentagon Papers.[1] The first document the Times selected to print was a trip report on the situation in Saigon, credited to the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, and dated December 21, 1963. This was the first such report on the situation in Indochina to be submitted to President Lyndon B. Johnson. It came less than thirty days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and less than sixty days after the assassinations of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and his brother and counselor Ngo Dinh Nhu.

Whether from some inner wisdom or real prescience or merely simple random selection, the Times chose to publish first from among the three thousand pages of analysis and four thousand pages of official documents that had come into its hands that report which may stand out in history as one of the key documents affecting national policy in the past quarter-century -- not so much for what it said as for what it signified. This report is a prime example of how the Secret Team, which has gained so much control over the vital foreign and political activities of this government, functions.

Most observers might have expected that the inner group of men who had worked so closely with President Kennedy for three years would have lost heart in those days following his tragic death. On the contrary, they burst forth, as though from strong bonds and fetters and created this entirely new report, thus shaping the future of the Indochina conflict. Their energy and their new sense of direction seemed almost to rise from the flame of Kennedy's tomb in Arlington.

During those hectic months of late summer in 1963 when the Kennedy Administration appeared to be frustrated and disenchanted with the ten-year regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon, it approved the plans for the military coup d'état that would overthrow President Diem and get rid of his brother Nhu. The Kennedy Administration gave its support to a cabal of Vietnamese generals who were determined to remove the Ngos from power. Having gone so far as to withdraw its support of the Diem government and to all but openly support the coup, the Administration became impatient with delays and uncertainties from the generals in Saigon, and by late September dispatched General Maxwell D. Taylor, then Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Secretary of Defense McNamara to Saigon.

Upon their return, following a brief trip, they submitted a report to President Kennedy, which in proper chronology was the one immediately preceding the remarkable one of December 21, 1963. This earlier report said, among other things "There is no solid evidence of the possibility of a successful coup, although assassination of Diem and Nhu is always a possibility." The latter part of this sentence contained the substantive information. A coup d'état, or assassination is never certain from the point of view of the planners; but whenever United States support of the government in power is withdrawn and a possible coup d'état or assassination is not adamantly opposed, it will happen. Only three days after this report, on October 5, 1963, the White House cabled Ambassador Lodge in Saigon: "There should be... urgent covert effort . . . to identify and build contact with possible alternate leadership." Knowledge of a statement such as this one made by the ostensible defenders and supporters of the Diem regime was all those coup planners needed to know. In less than one month Diem was dead, along with his brother.[2]

Thus, what was considered to be a first prerequisite for a more favorable climate in Vietnam was fulfilled. With the Ngo family out of the way, President Kennedy felt that he had the option to bring the war to a close on his own terms or to continue pressure with covert activities such as had been under way for many years. Because the real authors were well aware of his desires, there was another most important statement in the McNamara-Taylor report of October 2, 1963: "It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time...." [the end of 1965] This statement came at a key point in time.

Like the others, it was written by Secret Team insiders who knew the President's mind and how far they could go in setting forth ideas which he would accept and yet be acceptable to their own plans. Reports such as the October 2, 1963, document were not written in Saigon and they were not written by the men whose names appeared on them.

This pivotal report was written in Washington by members of the ST. Although it contained a lot of updated material from Saigon (some of which had been transmitted to Saigon verbatim for the express purpose of having to then re-transmitted back to Washington for inclusion in the report -- with the all-important Saigon dateline), one may be certain that this report contained a skillful mixture of what the President wanted to hear and what its authors in Washington wanted the President to read. Therefore, when it included the blunt and unequivocal statement that "it should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time", the authors, cover and undercover, were in tune with the times. They knew the President was favorably considering means to extricate the United States from Vietnam.

The ST had had its day with Kennedy on the beaches of the Cuban Bay of Pigs. Kennedy had minutely reviewed that debacle, and from that time on he was ever alert for the slightest sign of any undercover operation that might expand and get so out of hand as to involve this country in any more such disasters. The Team had come a long way since that dismal period in April 1961, and had learned well how to use and thrive with Jack Kennedy, in spite of his caution. One way to do this was to be certain to spell things correctly -- meaning hewing close to his line while retaining ST initiative. It is a safe bet to say that this forecast of personnel withdrawal by the end of 1965 was the maneuvering time they wanted and what Kennedy would accept, in their language, so that he too would have time to get re-elected and then carry out his own decisions as he had related them to Senator Mansfield. It appears that Kennedy felt that with the obstacle of the Diem regime out of the way, he would have the opportunity to disengage this nation from the war that he had so far been able to keep from becoming a runaway overt action. Up to the end of 1963, all U.S. Army troops in South Vietnam, with the exception of a small number in the Military Advisory and Assistance Group (MAAG) and a few other such positions, were there under the operational control of the CIA. This was flimsy cover and it was a poor device to maintain that the United States was not overtly involved in military activity in Indochina; but the device did achieve its purpose of keeping the level of the war to a minimum.

Within thirty days of the Taylor-McNamara report, Diem and his brother were dead. The Government of South Vietnam was in the hands of the popular and powerful General Duong Van "Big" Minh. Minh was a strong enough man to have made Vietnamization work. But within another thirty days President Kennedy was dead, and the Government of the United States was in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. "Big" Minh may have been the man Kennedy wanted in Saigon, but he did not last long with the new Johnson Administration. Four days after Kennedy's death, on November 26, 1963, President Johnson issued an order reaffirming United States policy in South Vietnam and at the same time referring to the new Government of General Minh as a "provisional government", presaging and assuring the inevitability of another change in the near future. President Johnson's advisers wanted a "benevolent" military regime in Saigon, and they wanted one which would be more suitable than Minh's. Kennedy would have had Minh rally around him a popular and strongly independent Vietnamese administration. After Kennedy's death, U.S. policy called for leadership in Saigon which would accept continuing United States participation in the internal affairs of that Government.

Less than fifteen days after the death of Kennedy, Secretary of Defense McNamara was on his way back to Saigon to assess the situation under General Minh and to report to the new President of the United States. This time, the McNamara report was, to quote The New York Times, "Laden with gloom". His assessment laid the groundwork for the long haul and included decisions to step up the covert war against North Vietnam in early 1964 and to increase American aid to South Vietnam. Within ninety days the Government of "Big" Minh was eased out of office and replaced by the more tractable General Nguyen Khanh.

There are those who say that because he had approved certain covert operations in Indochina, President Kennedy was planning to expand the war. It is true that accelerating cover operations is like stoking the fire; but we should weigh Kennedy's actions against the fact that the United States had been actively involved in clandestine operations in Indochina since 1945 as well as in other areas of the world for many years, and that these activities did not signify that the administration concerned had embarked upon a course leading to open warfare.

The paramount condition underlying any approval for clandestine operations is absolute control at the top. The ST will come up with operational schemes all the time and will seek approval for as many as it believes it can get away with. The only way to cope with this is for the President to make it clear that there will be no covert operations without proper approval and that he will always be in a position to cancel or disapprove of any and all operations as he sees fit. Truman and Eisenhower knew this and practiced it. Kennedy learned it at the Bay of Pigs. Eisenhower had terminated major operations in Tibet, Laos, and Indonesia without escalating them into open war. Until his death Kennedy had held the line at the limited level of covert activities in Indochina, and American participation there was restricted to an advisory capacity. (Of course, we all recognize that this advisory role was, in many cases, pure combat.)

Clandestine operations that are small and strictly controlled with a fixed and time-limited objective can be terminated at any time, whether they succeed or fail. However, clandestine operations that become large, that are permitted to continue and to be repeated, that become known or compromised -- and yet still continue, as in Laos -- are very dangerous and can lead to open hostilities and even war. Thus, when the ST proposed a vastly escalated covert campaign against North Vietnam in December 1963, they were laying positive plans for the major military action that followed in 1965.[3] Within thirty days after Kennedy's death all of this changed drastically. In his report of December 21, 1963, McNamara stated: "Viet Cong progress had been great during the period since the coup. We also need to have major increases in both military and USOM (United States Operations Mission) staffs."

Later, he added, "Our first need would be immediate U-2 mapping of the whole Laos and Cambodian border, and this we are preparing to do on an urgent basis." And then, "One other step we can take is to expand the existing limited but remarkably effective operations on the Laos side, the so-called Operation HARDNOSE... Plans to expand this will be prepared and presented for your approval in about two weeks." And further, "As to the waterways, the military plans presented in Saigon were unsatisfactory, and a special Naval team is being sent a once from Honolulu to determine what more can be done."

Then he noted: "Plans for covert action into North Vietnam were prepared as we had requested and were an excellent job. . .General Krulak of the JCS is chairing a group that will lay out a program in the next ten days for your consideration." All of these statements were evidence of typical, thorough ST groundwork.

McNamara closed out this report -- which was so vastly different from the earlier October 2 one that he and Maxwell Taylor had submitted to President Kennedy -- by saying: "We should watch the situation very carefully, running scared, and hoping for the best, but preparing for more forceful moves if the situation does not show early signs of improvement."

This was not the report of a group that was planing to wind down the war. It was a report that delineated various avenues of endeavor and that looked well into the future. This was the first such report made to President Johnson, and it was not designed to be reassuring. On the same day that the McNamara report was being handed to President Johnson, a former President was writing a totally different statement for the readership of the general pubic. President Harry S. Truman, observing the turn of events since the death of President Kennedy, and pondering developments since his Administration, wrote for the Washington Post a column also datelined December 21, 1963:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

Truman was disturbed by the events of the past ninety days, those ominous days of October, November, and December 1963. Men all over the world were disturbed by those events. Few men, however could have judged them with more wisdom and experience than Harry S. Truman, for it was he who, in late 1947, had signed unto law the National Security Act. This Act, in addition to establishing the Department of Defense (DOD) with a single Secretary at its head and with three equal and independent services -- the Army, Navy, and Air Force -- also provided for a National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. And during those historic and sometimes tragic sixteen years since the Act had become law, he had witnessed changes that disturbed him, as he saw that the CIA "had been diverted" from the original assignment that he and the legislators who drafted the Act had so carefully planned. Although even in his time he had seen the beginning of the move of the CIA into covert activities, there can be little doubt that the "diversion" to which he made reference was not one that he would have attributed to himself or to any other President. Rather, the fact that the CIA had gone into clandestine operations and had been "injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations", and "has been so much removed from its intended role" was more properly attributable to the growing and secret pressures of some other power source. As he said, the CIA had become "a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue".

There can be no question that the events just prior to this statement heavily influenced his arriving at these disturbing conclusions. It is possible, but quite improbable, that Harry Truman knew about the McNamara report of the same date. But the coincidence between the appearance of Truman's commentary and of McNamara's report is compelling, especially since McNamara's report was the first selected by The New York Times for publication in its expose of the Pentagon Papers.

Now that the McNamara report has been published and has emerged from the depths of security, it can be added that this pivotal report was not written by McNamara; it was not even written in Saigon. This report, like the one dated October 2, was actually written by a group of ST and near-ST members and was drafted by them solely to impress upon the new President their idea of the increasing gravity and frightful responsibility of the war in Indochina. It was not for nothing that the Times noted that this report was "laden with gloom" and that it offered nowhere any easy or quick panacea for early victory in Indochina. It was not untended to do so. In fact, it did just the opposite. It left no room for any course of action other than eventual escalation of the war. This report and the ones that followed close upon it were carefully and skillfully written to instill into the new President an indelible belief that the war in Vietnam was the greatest issue facing the Free World. They hammered home the fanciful belief that if South Vietnam fell before the onslaught of Communism, the whole world would be engulfed.

As was common with reports such as this one, the first time McNamara saw it was during a few days stopover in Honolulu on his return trip from Saigon. It had been put together from many sources and drafts, primarily from the CIA and other secret-operations related areas, by the office of the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (SACSA) in the Joint Staff under the skilled and dedicated direction of Major General Victor H. Krulak. General Krulak was the same man who was designated in the body of the report to chair "a group that will lay out a program of covert action in North Vietnam in the next ten days".

In Pentagonese for highly classified matters, General Krulak's office in the Joint Staff was described as being responsible for serving as the JCS point of contact, in his field of interest, with related activities in the Military Departments, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and other agencies of the government. This was the unclassified way of saying that his office was the point of contact within the DOD for the CIA. His contacts in this select circle in the OSD were such men as Major General Edward G. Lansdale, who was McNamara's special assistant for all matters involving the CIA and special operations; William Bundy, who appears throughout the Pentagon Papers as one of the key men of the ST and was at that time a recent alumni of the CIA, with ten years in that Agency behind him; John T. McNaughton, another member of the ST and a McNamara favorite; Joseph Califano, who moved from OSD to the White House; General Richard G. Stilwell of the White House Special Committee (details to follow), and others.

The preparations for and the writing of such influential reports as this one attributed to McNamara was a work of skill, perseverance, and high art. Whenever it was decided that McNamara would go to Saigon, select members of the ST sent special messages to Saigon on the ultra-secure CIA communications network, laying out a full scenario for his trip. The Secretary of Defense and his party would be shown "combat devastated villages" that had paths and ruts that had been caused by the hard work and repeated rehearsals -- not battles -- that had taken place in them between "natives", "Vietnamese soldiers", and Americans. McNamara would be taken on an itinerary planned in Washington, he would see "close-in combat" designed in Washington, and he would receive field data and statistics prepared for him in Washington. All during his visit he would be in the custody of skilled briefers who knew what he should see, whom he should see, and whom he should not see.

In many cases even the messages relayed from Saigon, ostensibly written by and for McNamara while he was there, had been sent to Saigon from Washington before he had arrived there. When a total communications system such as that available to the ST exists all over the world and is concealed by secrecy, it is not difficult to yield to the urge to "play God" and make everything come out as desired.

While McNamara was on his trip, the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities and his staff, augmented by CIA and others, were working around the clock on the report. There were times when General Krulak himself stayed at his desk for thirty-six hours or more to keep a full staff going while secretaries and typists were shuttled to and from their homes for rest periods to get the massive report done in time.

While all of the writing was under way, cartographers and artists were working on illustrative material for the final report and for the big briefing charts that became a part of McNamara's personal style. The final report, perhaps two inches thick, was printed and bound in a legal-size, black goatskin cover, with the name of the President engraved in gold on it.

The finished report was rushed by helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base, about twenty miles from the Pentagon, and placed aboard a military jet fighter for a nonstop, midair-refueled flight to Honolulu, where it was handed to Mr. McNamara and his staff. He familiarized himself with the report while his jet flew him to Washington, where he disembarked at Andrews Air Force Base, trotted (with the report tucked under his arm) to the waiting Presidential helicopter and was whisked to the White House lawn to be greeted by the President. As soon as he got into the White House, an aide distributed the closely guarded and controlled copies of the report to those who had the need to know, and discussions began.

This recapitulation is worth setting forth in detail because it underscores not only the resourcefulness of the ST but its ability to perform super-miracles in an age when mere miracles are commonplace. The ST always fights for the minds, the time, and the attention of the top-echelon men. It moves fastest and most adroitly when others are off guard. This report of December 21, 1963, was absolutely crucial to the interests of the ST. Twenty-five years of driving, devoted work by ST members through a whole generation of critical events culminated in the Vietnam war. Never before in all the long history of civilization was a country to devote so much of its resources, its men and their lives, its money, and its very prestige in so strange an event as that which is called "The War In Vietnam". It made the coups d'état in Guatemala and Iran, the rebellion in Indonesia, the escape of the Dalai Lama and the underground war in Tibet, the Bay of Pigs, and the wasting war in Laos all pale before its magnitude.

President Johnson, for all his experience and native ability, had not yet been singed by the fire of experience as had Jack Kennedy in Cuba or Eisenhower by the U-2. Johnson was a natural "wheeler dealer", with courage and a flair for getting things done; but he had not yet learned how to say "No" and make it stick, rather, he had the inclination to defer the issue to a later day. This was the ideal formula for the ST, and they struck while the iron was hot.

There is another important factor to weigh in considering the agility and cunning of the ST. In bureaucratic Washington, few things are worth more than prior information. If a subordinate knows now what his boss is going to know tomorrow, he is in the same position that the gambler would like to be in if he knew which horse was going to win in a future race. The ST has set itself up through the use and control of intelligence data, both real and manufactured, to know now what its bosses are going to know later. This applies most significantly in such events as the McNamara report.

As anyone who has perceived the full significance of the routine described earlier will realize, the ST knows what the report of the Secretary of Defense is going to be even before he does, and therefore, before all the rest of official Washington does. This twenty-four to forty-eight hour lead-time of critical and most influential knowledge is a most valuable commodity. Many staffs who have no real responsibilities in the covert activities of this nation break their backs for a glimpse of what the ST is doing, and for this special privilege they pay one way or another.

At other times the Team will extract from a report such as has been described a few paragraphs that will be skillfully leaked to the press and to selected businessmen. Background briefings are held, most frequently in some quiet conference room in the New State Building or perhaps in the big executive dining room Allen Dulles had in the old "E" Street headquarters of the CIA; and there a sub-staff of the ST will pour over the language of a brief item designed especially for "Periscope" in Newsweek, or perhaps for its old favorite, Joe Alsop.

In any event, advance top-level information is a most valuable and saleable commodity. But nowhere is it more valuable than in the White House itself and in the offices of the Secretary of Defense and of the Director of Central Intelligence. McGeorge Bundy, Mike Forrestal, Joe Califano, Maxwell Taylor, and the others always looked good when they could sit down, calm and composed, with the President and with Rusk and McNamara, already knowing what was in the reports these men were pouring over page by page. McNamara would give one of his classic "fully charted" briefings of his trip, utilizing for his purpose the originals of the artwork in his report, and have the President and other Cabinet officers hanging on his every word -- words he had been learning and rehearsing while he sped by jet from Honolulu. At the same time, the ST members were secure in their knowledge that they already knew every word that McNamara was going to say and that they had staff studies and Presidential messages already drafted to send to the Ambassador and the commanders in Indochina.

It may seem strange to readers of the Pentagon Papers to note how often a report from the chairman of the JCS to the Secretary of Defense would be followed the next day by one from the Secretary of Defense to the President -- and then almost on the same day, by a lengthy message to the ambassador in Saigon. What may seem even more strange is that the reply from the ambassador would follow, with all of its detail, within twenty-four hours. This was not a miracle. This was preplanning by the ST. The whole thing was done at the same time, and even the reply from the ambassador had been anticipated by a closely guarded message via CIA channels to a CIA man on the embassy staff in Saigon, giving him the language to use for the ambassadors reply almost as soon as the President's wire arrived. The ST seldom left anything to chance, and since they had the means of the "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", they made it a way of life to use it.

The Pentagon Papers reveal in the total listing of names of the principal writers of those papers a good compilation of key members of the ST at that time. However, it would be very misleading to accept this list as complete and meaningful for anything more than this one area of activity. Furthermore, some of the most influential members of the Team are not even mentioned in those pages. There were and are many men who are not in government who are prime movers of Secret Team activity.

Only one month after McNamara's report, General Maxwell D. Taylor, then Chairman of the JCS, kept the ball rolling with a report to Secretary McNamara, dated January 22, 1964. It is important to keep in mind that Maxwell Taylor was on the same trip to Saigon with McNamara that resulted in the October 2, 1963, report, the one that contained the "home by end of 1965" theme. Now, less than four months later, he was saying: "It would be unrealistic to believe that a complete suppression of the insurgency can take place in one or even two years." And further, "The United States must make plain to the enemy our determination to see the Vietnam campaign through to a favorable conclusion. To do this, we must prepare for whatever level of activity may be required and, being prepared, must then proceed to take actions as necessary to achieve our purposes surely and promptly."

"The JCS believe that our position in Cambodia, our attitude toward Laos, our actions in Thailand and our great effort in South Vietnam do not comprise a compatible and integrated policy for Southeast Asia. U.S. objectives in Southeast Asia cannot be achieved by either economic, political or military measures alone. All three fields must be integrated into a single, broad U.S. program for Southeast Asia."

Later, we shall deal in more detail with this new "military" line, which Taylor was here expounding. But while we are weighing these words, we should note that the U.S. military -- more precisely, that part that was closely affiliated with the CIA (and by 1964, General Taylor must be considered to be among them) -- was underscoring here in the United States as well as overseas the new political-social-economic role of the Army. This subject is only inferentially introduced in Taylor's report; but as we shall see later, it had become a dominant theme in the peacetime-operations Army procedure of this period.

At the same time it should be noted that Taylor, operating most certainly under the provisions set forth by President Kennedy in his National Security Action Memorandum #55 of June, 1961[4], is strongly announcing his support of covert actions against North Vietnam. This would have been quite uncharacteristic and unthinkable in the Army before this time. It became Secret-Team-type doctrine, because the Team knew all too well that covert operations of sufficient size and volume could be exploited.

Like the carbon rods in a nuclear reactor, to raise or lower the level of "radioactivity" or to heat up a latent insurgency situation to the level desired, this has been done in Laos for fifteen or more years. The policies that have been used in Indochina create and generate more combat than they quench. It has been said that the Vietnamese war is one of "re-counter", the idea being that if you hit someone -- even little, starving, terrorized, and homeless natives -- long enough, they will eventually fight back with whatever bits of remaining strength they have. Thus, Taylor's following words take on certain special significance:

It is our [JCS] conviction that if support of the insurgency from outside South Vietnamin terms of operational direction, personnel and material were stopped completely, the character of the war in South Vietnam would be substantially and favorably altered. Because of this conviction, we are wholly in favor of executing the covert actions against North Vietnam which you have recently proposed to the President. [These were the covert actions which the group chaired by General Krulak had developed.] We believe, however, that it would be idle to conclude that these efforts will have a decisive effect on the Communist determination to support the insurgency; and it is our view that we must therefore be prepared fully to undertake a much higher level of activity, not only for its beneficial tactical effect, but to make plain our resolution, both to our friends and to our enemies.

Following this statement, which like others was written by his special staff and by his CIA associates, General Taylor listed ten activities which he said the United States must make ready to conduct in Southeast Asia. One of these was to "... commit U.S. forces as necessary in support of the combat action within South Vietnam." He added, "The past few months have disclosed that considerably higher levels of effort are demanded of us if U.S. objectives are to be attained."

In the inner chambers of the Government, where secret operations are cloaked in sufficient cover-story language to keep even the experts and top echelon leaders in a state of unreality, nothing ever more closely approached the "emperor's new clothes" syndrome than did the ST's work on Johnson, Rusk, McCone, and McNamara.

Townsend Hoopes, who spent years in the Pentagon in this awesome environment, wrote in the Washington Post of August 17, 1971, "The altered alignments in the Communist world were much clearer in 1964 than in 1960, making it, again in theory, easier for Johnson to take a fresh look. But the abrupt and tragic way in which he had come to the White House, the compulsions of the 1964 presidential campaign, and his own lack of a steady compass in foreign affairs (not to mention the powerful and nearly unanimous views of his inherited advisers) effectively ruled out a basic reappraisal of our national interests in Vietnam. Like each predecessor, Johnson decided, as one analyst put it, "that it would be inconvenient for him to lose South Vietnam this year".

There is a fine point to add to Mr. Hoopes' perceptions. Johnson not only did not make "a basic reappraisal of our national interests in Vietnam", but he did not check out the compass to assure himself that the Ship of State was on the same course that it had been sailing before he took the helm of office. He never took the time nor made the effort to check out the ST. He just took it for granted that it was on the same course after Kennedy's death as before. This was his first big oversight.

The point is subtle, and the change was at each turn slight; but the long-range course was being altered dynamically. Each report he received gave the semblance of normalcy, and each report was a reasonable part of the pattern with which he was somewhat familiar. No one would deny that Lyndon Johnson was not an intimate of Jack Kennedy's and that, especially in matters pertaining to Vietnam, he really did not know the Presidents mind. The fact that he had been to Vietnam may actually have been more of a cover story and a handicap for him than a view of reality.

Brainwashing was the business of the ST in South Vietnam. No less than Robert McNamara, Robert Kennedy, Vice-President Johnson, and John McCone were thoroughly indoctrinated on South Vietnam by hardheaded experts who thought nothing of sharpening the scenarios skillfully drawn for consumption by top-level officials. Allen W. Dulles meant it when he called his book The Craft of Intelligence. To him and his inner ring of confidants and paramilitary experts, big-time intelligence was craftily managed. As a result, these carefully drawn reports told the President that things were getting much worse in Southeast Asia and that there was a strong possibility of a Communist take-over of all of South Asia if South Vietnam and Laos and then Cambodia succumbed to the insurgency which, the Team said, was running rampant there.

After the reports and briefings of December 1963 and January 1964, it became evident that Johnson was giving way before the pressures of the CIA and the "military" who were working with the Agency.

It is essential that the term "military" be clarified for use throughout this book. Many military men are regularly assigned to the CIA, in their primary roles as intelligence experts, for their own experience and training and to flesh out areas where the Agency can use them. These are legitimate military assignments, and such men are openly identified with the CIA. There is another group of military men who are fully assigned to the Agency, meaning their pay and allowances are reimbursed to the parent service by the CIA, but they appear to be with regular military units or other normal assignments so that their assignment to the CIA will not be revealed to those unwitting of their real task.

These men are on cover assignments. Some of them are completely detached from the service for the period of their assignment although they will get promotions and other benefits similar to those of their contemporaries. Then there are other military personnel working with the CIA who are really Agency employees but who are permitted to wear the uniform and rank or grade of their Reserve or National Guard status. And lastly, there are other CIA personnel who for special reasons are permitted to assume the uniform or at least the identity of one of the military services, with rank as is necessary, even though they have no real service connection.

There are few of these latter individuals; but they do exist. It is also true that for certain practical purposes nearly all CIA personnel carry the identification of the Department of Defense or some other government agency in order that they will have simple cover for such things as credit cards and banking accounts so they will not have to reveal their employment with the CIA. This category is simply a technical expedient and is not intended in the first instance to be used for clandestine purposes.

This strong military bias of the Agency plays a very important part in the operations of the ST and will be discussed more fully in later chapters. It probably played an impressive role in the winning of President Johnson's mind soon after be took office. He no doubt, as did most others, looked to such men as General Maxwell Taylor, General Victor Krulak, General William Rosson, General Edward Lansdale, General William Peers, General Richard C. Stilwell, General William Dupuy, and many many others as straight-line military officers. Although without question they all were military men, they all also had assignments of various types that made them effective CIA operators. By the very nature of their work, they worked with, for, and in support of the CIA. It was their first allegiance. Those mentioned above form but a brief list of the great number of senior officers in this category.

After these first reports of December 1963 and early 1964, the next round of Secret Team maneuvers was planned as they worked to up-grade the war. It became time for McNamara to bring things up to date with the White House. On March 16, 1964, he made a report to the President, "On Steps to Change the Trend of the War". This report was long and discursive. It even included the line, "Substantial reductions in the numbers of U.S. military training personnel should occur before the end of 1965." Notice how the words were put! This report had the ring of the old "home by the end of 1965" report of October 2, 1963, but with a significant difference. In October, Taylor and McNamara had said to Kennedy that it should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U S. personnel. The key word is "personnel", as opposed to the March 16 "military training personnel".

The Vietnam war has always been a most unusual one from the standpoint of its being a non-typical war. A very large number of U.S. personnel in this war were not military. There were thousands from other government agencies. There were tens of thousands of civilian workers of all kinds. The helicopter maintenance support alone required fantastic numbers of civilian maintenance personnel and contract workers. Kennedy knew this, and when he was told that "U.S. personnel" would be coming home, he knew that meant a comprehensive and meaningful number. However, when McNamara told Johnson that "substantial reductions in. . . military training personnel" would take place, he was talking about a small slice of the pie.

Even if all of the training personnel came home, there would still be a lot of U.S. manpower there. The distinction was meaningful. It was brainwashing and misleading, and intentionally so. Lines such as this were added simply for flavoring. The ST writers would not expect the President to notice the difference. He would hear the words "reductions" and "personnel" only.

Meanwhile, the ST had a safety valve in their report in the event they had to account for this report at a later date, something they always planned for, but seldom, if ever, had to do. After all of the words, recent history of Indochina involvement, and some philosophizing continued in this lengthy McNamara report, the final paragraph held the meat of the proposition:

12. To prepare immediately to be in position on 72 hours notice to initiate the full range of Laotian and Cambodian "Border Control" actions beyond those authorized in Paragraph 11 above and the "Retaliatory Actions" against North Vietnam, and to be in a position on 30 days' notice to initiate the program of "Graduated Overt Military Pressure" against North Vietnam.

This was another big step forward on the way to inevitable escalation. It is one thing for a nation to plan for a clandestine operation with an agent or agents and to arrange for its success, or in the event of failure, to totally deny involvement. All such activities are planned in such a way that the nation taking the action may be able to disclaim plausibly to the entire world that it had anything to do with such an action. But the action above is serious international business, because at the very root of the plan is the intent to violate the sovereignty of another nation. Wars have been started by such events. When a nation feels that it must resort to clandestine activities, it does so with great caution and then only with agents who are specially prepared for such work. In no case, or in the very rarest cases, are members of the diplomatic service and of the uniformed military service ever used for such acts. Honor and honesty in the society of nations demand that the diplomatic corps and the military services be beyond reproach. The paragraph quoted above from McNamara's March 16 report not only proposed more or less routine covert activity against Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam, but it added that the United States should plan for "overt military pressure" against North Vietnam, thus carrying through the momentum of action initiated with his December 21, 1963, report. The die was cast. The Gulf of Tonkin incident occurrect on August 4, 1964, and from that time on to the President's announcement of the massive build-up of forces, there could be no doubting the course laid out for the United States in Indochina.

This course was set by the winds of change as this Government responded to and reacted to various intelligence-data inputs from as far back as 1945. Vietnam was not so much a goal as it was a refuge and backlash of everything that had gone wrong in a quarter-century of clandestine activities. There can be no questioning the fact that Vietnam inherited some of the Korea leftovers; it inherited the Magsaysay team from the Philippines with its belief in another Robin-Hood-like Magsaysay in the person of Ngo Dinh Diem; it fell heir to the Indonesian shambles; it soaked up men and materials from the Tibetan campaign and from Laos in particular, and it inherited men and material, including a large number of specially modified aircraft, from the Bay of Pigs disaster. In its leadership it inherited men who had been in Greece in the late forties or during the Eisenhower era and who felt that they knew Communist insurgency when they saw it. The nation of South Vietnam had not existed as a nation before l954, rather it was another country's piece of real estate. South Vietnam has never really been a nation. It has become the quagmire of things gone wrong during the past twenty-five years.

In the August 7, 1971, issue of The New Republic, the Asian scholar Eugene G. Windchy says, "What steered the nation into Vietnam was a series of tiny but powerful cabals." What he calls a sense of tiny but powerful conspiracies, this book puts all together as the actions of the Secret Team. That most valuable book by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross calls this power source "The Invisible Government", and in the chapter on the various intelligence organizations in the United States they use the term "Secret Elite".

The CIA did not begin as a Secret Team, as a "series of tiny but powerful cabals", as the "invisible government", or as members of the "secret elite". But before long it became a bit of all of these. President Truman was exactly right when he said that the CIA had been diverted from its original assignment. This diversion and the things that have happened as a result of it will be the subject of the remainder of this book.



1. This is a gross and crafty misnomer [Pentagon Papers], since all too few of those papers actually were bona fide military papers. They may have been written under Pentagon headings; they may have been signed by "military" officers or "military department civilians", but for the most part they were not actually military papers. They represent the papers of a small group of civilians, some of whom worked in the Pentagon, and their military [real and cover] counterparts.

2. The Pentagon Papers' account and the subsequent NBC-TV presentation of the assassination of the Ngo brothers are both excellent representations of what happened during those grim days in Washington and Saigon. The only problem is that neither one is a complete and accurate account of what really took place, especially in Washington.

3. McNamara used to make the distinction that the war against North Vietnam was "sophisticated". Whereas the war in the South was "unsophisticated". The feeling was that there was an element of design and control over the war in the North which was not possible in the South. Walt Rostow had his own term for this. He liked to say that the war in the North was a sort of game of tit-for-tat. His idea was that if they hit us, we'd hit back. This type of game is all the more "sophisticated" when we hit clandestinely; they strike back overtly and then we strike back, claming they hit first!

4. See clarification on pages 115 and 401.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:20 pm

Part 1 of 2

Chapter 2: The Nature of Secret Team Activity: A Cuban Case Study

THE CALL WAS FROM MIAMI AND WAS PLACED TO A covert CIA phone drop in Washington. It came from a Cuban underground contact point on the campus of the University of Miami. The control point there had just received a call from an undetermined location in Mexico. The call had been made by the pilot of a Cuban crew that had been lost and had made a forced landing. The crew was safe and the plane was intact... but in Mexico.

An old C-54, a former U.S. Air Force four-engine transport, had taken off the night before from the secret Cuban training base at Retalhuleu in Guatemala. It was flown by a Cuban crew, and their target had been a drop-zone in the Sierra Madre mountains of Cuba. Everything had gone wrong. The dropzone had been cleared and approved by Washington just a few hours before take-off yet, it had been hostile. Either intelligence had been bad or the Cuban ground reception party had been captured. The signals from the ground had been right, luring them in with confidence; but as soon as they began the drop, the whole mountainside had erupted with small arms fire. They had been ambushed, and they had been lucky to get down safely over the waves and back across the Caribbean.

Hours later, somewhere over Central America, in pre-dawn darkness they had circled over a heavy layer of clouds, watching their gas gauges, waiting for the sunrise, and hoping for a break in the clouds so they could let down. Fearful of the mountains and with their radio navigation equipment unreliable, they dared not let down until they had clear contact with the ground. At that point they cared little for all of the precautionary instructions of the Agency mission commander that had been given them during their briefing before they took off all they wanted to do was to find a safe place to land. They knew the plane was stateless; that it was unmarked and had no insignia. It did not even have a legal call sign. In fact, the big transport was very special. Although it looked like any other C-54 or DC-4, a trained observer would have noted those things, and that it had unusual radios, no engine decals, and no manufacturer's labels. It was "clean", a non-attributable air plane. It had been "sanitized" and was the pride of the clandestine operators' art.

It could have been flown anywhere in the world, and if it had been lost on some clandestine mission, the finder -- whether he was Cuban, Congolese, or Russian -- might have assumed that it had been operated by Americans, but he would not have been able to prove it. In other words, the U.S. Government, if required, could have plausibly disclaimed ownership of the plane and that it had had anything to do with the plane, its crew, and its cargo.

This plane had been on many flights along the Iron Curtain borders, on leaflet drops and on electronic intelligence missions. It had been used for para-drop missions in Greece and in Jordan. It had been to the Congo and had delivered "black" cargoes[1] to the Katangese even while other U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft were flying Congolese troops and supplies against the rebels. It had been to Clark Field near Manila, flying Tibetans to and from operational training sites. It had often been to the old World War II B-29 superfortress bomber bases in Saipan where Southeast Asians were being trained in sabotage tactics and paramilitary civic action programs. But on this flight its crew had been Cuban.

A former Cuban airline pilot was at the controls, and one of his old co-pilots was with him. The Navigator had at one time trained with the Cuban Air Force; and the radioman, also a Cuban, had been trained at a U.S. Air Force school under cover as a member of a "Nicaraguan Training Mission". The crewmen were all natives of Cuba, and all were working with the CIA at that secret base that had been cut out of the open country of western Guatemala.

In keeping with clandestine operational procedures, the crew had been frisked before they got on the plane and had been given "sanitized" uniforms for the trip so that they would have no identification with them in the event they fell into enemy hands - in this case a somewhat meaningless precaution, but routine anyhow.

However, in typical old-school pilot fashion the pilot had written certain radio frequency numbers on his wrist with a ball-point pen, and some of those numbers were a code for the telephone number of the contact office in Miami.

Later that morning, after sunrise, they had flown further to the north seeking a clearing in the clouds through which may could descend. As soon as they found one, they let down into a broad valley and found a small, marked airfield. They landed, and skidded across the field into a nearby farm. The first thing they did was to look for a telephone. While they were placing that call, the airport manager and his apprentice came out to see what had happened. After a few moments of eavesdropping, the manager had all the information he needed. The old Mexican drew a gun and the crew was captured "somewhere" in Mexico. They were not heard from again until after their Cuban friends had attacked the beach at the Bay of Pigs, had been imprisoned by Castro, and ransomed by the United States. It was only after all of these events that the Mexicans released the crew and permitted them to return to Florida. However, their phone call had started some frantic work in Miami and in Washington.

The weather map had shown that the heavy cloud cover over Central America gave way to broken clouds further north in Mexico. The CIA called the Pentagon and asked for assistance, and a call was made to the air attaché in Mexico City. He inquired among his Mexican friends about a transport plane but learned nothing at first. Then, several days later, he heard a rumor that a large transport had made a forced landing at a very small southern airfield. He and a CIA man who worked in Mexico City under the cover of a cargo airline made a quick trip to that field. As they approached they saw the telltale marks of the skidding stop which had been made by the DC-4 in the fresh turf. The plane was gone. When they landed, the airport manager met them. He told them enough to confirm that the plane they were looking for had been there, that the Mexican air force had flown it away, and that this Mexican and his apprentice knew all there was to know about the incident.

Some time later, the attach was invited to call upon Mexican air force headquarters. He learned that the Mexicans had looked this plane over carefully and did not want to keep it. However, the Mexicans added that they were sure the Americans would be willing to exchange this special plane for another just like it. Not long after that, the old black-flight DC-4 was returned to its operational base at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The CIA arranged for the Mexican air force to receive a good-as-new DC-4 from the U.S. Air Force, and far to the south an airport manager, his apprentice, and his son (the husband of the telephone operator who had heard the whole story too) all sported brand-new 1961 Ford Thunderbird automobiles from some unknown donor.

This true story is not really important except that it raises certain questions that will shake most Americans. For example: How does one government agency "buy" a U.S. Air Force transport aircraft, convert it to a civilian aircraft, and then give it as tribute to another country in exchange for one which was lost on a clandestine mission? Or, how does a government agency purchase three new 1961 Ford Thunderbird automobiles and deliver them to a remote site in Mexico and give them to some Mexicans? Who makes such decisions? Why Thunderbirds? Why pay tribute to Mexico for the airplane that quite obviously, once it had been identified, belonged to the United States? (Its very strangeness made it easier to identify if desired and harder to identify if disclaimed.) It would have been stateless only if the United States had disclaimed it. When the United States claimed it, why didn't this Government expect the Mexicans to give it back? Who decides such things? And how is all this done in total secrecy?

Then to the next level of questions. Who in the Government believes that once tribute is paid to another country such as Mexico the problem ends there? Does it not occur to these same officials that Mexicans speak to Guatemalans and to Nicaraguans and even to Vietnamese -- and perhaps to Russians and Chinese as well? Who kids whom? Does the gift of a DC-4 close the case and really buy silence, or does it more likely escalate the problem? And then what does all of this behind-the-scenes duplicity do to foreign relations? Doesn't it raise some international eyebrows and make some people wonder who is running the foreign affairs of the United States in the first place? Isn't that exactly what Mr. Krushchev wanted to know when he challenged Eisenhower either to reveal those who had sent the U-2 over Russia without the President's permission and authorization or to accept the blame himself, signifying that United States foreign policy included the authorization of covert operations?

If the Mexicans received tribute for one such mistake, would it be surprising to learn that the Indonesians had demanded even more tribute for a bigger mistake? Or when government leadership shifts back and forth as has happened several times in Laos, doesn't anyone stop to think about the tales that are told by those on both sides to their new "friends"? What are the Indians telling the Russians about us now in 1972 concerning our actions there in 1962? Or what have the Pakistanis been telling the Chinese concerning their participation in the former U-2 operations or in the Tibetan-support activities that had been launched from Pakistan? Doesn't all of this make it seem rather insincere and even hypocritical for some Americans to charge other Americans with security indiscretions when officials in the Government have been telling thousands of foreign people -- officials and peons -- that the United States has been playing the clandestine game to the hilt? How can anyone honestly charge Jack Anderson, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Daniel Ellsberg, or anyone else with serious violations of security when some of these same sacrosanct individuals who point the finger have themselves approved of such things as the payment of tribute for our clandestine indiscretions and misdeeds all over the world?

All of these questionable operations have begun from such small first steps. In the beginning of the Cuban exercise the CIA had made contact with the Ydigoras family in Guatemala for the use of a large tract of farmland for a training site and an airfield. This site was developed to include a full-sized airport, from which heavy transports, bombers, and training planes operated on a very heavy schedule. Although this site was remote, it was certainly not secret. The extent of the activity that took place there was such that it did not take long before there was no secrecy and no possibility for denial that something very special was taking place. The whole world knew that a major clandestine operation was under way and that the United States and Guatemala, at least, were involved. Who paid Guatemala for all of this? And was it paid to individuals or was it all paid to the Guatemalan Government? These questions give clues to some of the characteristics of the CIA and ST operations.

The ST members have become so powerful and ambitious that sometimes they no longer respect the basic fundamentals of their profession. As far back as 1948 the CIA had been given limited authority by the National Security Council (NSC) to carry out only those clandestine operations that the NSC directed. This authority is contained in a series of documents, the first of which was issued in the summer of 1948 and was called NSC 10/ 2. When the NSC granted this authority, it did so with the firm stipulation that any such special operation must be truly clandestine, that it must be performed in such a manner that if the exercise failed or was otherwise discovered, the U.S. Government would be able plausibly to disclaim its role in the operation, and further -- what would seem most obvious, but was added for emphasis -- that it must be truly secret and concealed.

These basic parameters, as established by the NSC, have never been officially retracted, although they have been badly abused by oversight. During the Truman and Eisenhower years "clandestine" meant clandestine, and the ability to disclaim the operation plausibly meant that, too. But as operations became more frequent and increased in size and scope, as they did against Castro in 1960 and 1961, the CIA became forgetful of these strictures upon its methods of operations. From time to time even Presidents have permitted a relaxation of their stringent application. The Pentagon Papers reveal how this doctrine had been disregarded especially with regard to the OPLAN-34, the so-called "covert" raids against Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam.

By 1961, the CIA had succeeded in building such a broad base within the bureaucracy of the U.S. Government that any meaningful reference to the CIA must take into consideration the existence of this vast infrastructure and must not be limited to the legal or "Table of Organization" CIA. Most references to the CIA and to the Secret Team's book are to that part of the CIA that is not under the Deputy Director of Intelligence.[2] He is responsible primarily for intelligence production and not for covert activity. By 1961, the non-intelligence, the clandestine, and the support sectors of the Agency had become so large and so predominant that they far outnumbered the professional band of intelligence specialists assigned to the DD/I both at home and abroad. By 1961, it had become apparent that the CIA played a split- personality role to suit its own purposes. It would speak of CIA reports which said one thing, when it would be doing exactly the opposite with its undercover, covert sections. This, too, becomes readily apparent to the diligent reader of the Pentagon Papers.

Lest the tremendous significance of such a change taking place within the U.S. Government be insufficiently regarded, consider the words of Arnold Toynbee, the eminent British historian and friend of the United States, as set forth in The New York Times of May 7, 1970:

"To most Europeans, I guess, America now looks like the most dangerous country in the world. Since America is unquestionably the most powerful country, the transformation of America's image within the last thirty years is very frightening for Europeans. It is probably still more frightening for the great majority of the human race who are neither Europeans nor North Americans, but are Latin Americans, Asians and Africans. They, I imagine, feel even more insecure than we feel. They feel that, at any moment, America may intervene in their internal affairs with the same appalling consequences as have followed from American intervention in Southeast Asia."

For the world as a whole, the CIA has now become the bogey that Communism has been for America. Wherever there is trouble, violence, suffering, tragedy, the rest of us are now quick to suspect the CIA had a hand in it. Our phobia about the CIA is, no doubt, as fantastically excessive as America's phobia about world Communism; but in this case, too, there is just enough convincing guidance to make the phobia genuine. In fact, the roles of America and Russia have been reversed in the world's eyes. Today America has become the world's nightmare.

When an uncontrolled and perhaps uncontrollable team can flaunt the historic and traditional codes of civilization by disregarding the honor and sovereignty of other countries large and small, by intervening in the internal affairs of other countries for reasons real and contrived, the rest of the world does fear for its own welfare and for the future of this country. When President Eisenhower accepted the responsibility for the U-2 flights over the Soviet Union, no one would have questioned that he did this for correct and honorable reasons. National Aeronautics and Space Administrator (NASA) Keith Glennan had already made a public statement that the U-2 was operating out of Turkey as a NASA high-altitude, flight-research aircraft and had strayed over Russian territory inadvertently in high winds. Then, Nikita Krushchev produced the wreckage of the U-2 deep in Russia near Sverdlovsk, it made a mockery of the NASA cover story; and when he produced the pilot alive and well, it demolished the rest of the plausible disclaimer. The CIA was caught without a plausible cover story, and the President had to choose. He could either discredit Allen Dulles and the CIA for operating that clandestine flight and a long series of flights without his knowledge, or he could, as Eisenhower did, stand up and take the blame himself on the basis that he knew of and had ordered the flights and was in complete control of everything done in the foreign arena by this Government. The latter choice would mean that the President of the United States is Commander in Chief during peacetime clandestine operations as he is in time of war. This is a totally new doctrine born of the vicissitudes of the Cold War.

Many have considered this a very noble stand on the part of President Eisenhower, and it was. However, this public admission by the Chief of State that he had directed clandestine operations within another state is exactly the type of thing that reduces the prestige and credibility of United States in the family of nations to the condition described by Arnold Toynbee. Interference in the internal affairs of one nation by another is an unpardonable violation of international law and custom.

The entire Bay of Pigs build-up and operation went much further in flaunting this international code of ethics. At least the U-2 operation on a worldwide scale had been managed in such a manner that the chances for success were great. That the flights were operated in small units with great secrecy and the stipulation that they be strictly clandestine and plausibly disclaimable in the event of failure was not outwardly flaunted until, perhaps, the Gary Powers flight. But the Cuban program was otherwise.

By the time Cuban operations had been expanded to the point that they had become the beginnings of the bay of Pigs operation, activity of all kinds had been discovered and compromised by the press of the world. There were no more secrets. The participation and support of the United States was known to be taking place in Puerto Rico, Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, in addition to some unscheduled action in Mexico. Yet the ST continued to launch an increasing number of special operations without regard for real secrecy.

There was not only a breakdown in the traditional ethics of international relations but there was also a serious degradation of the usual high standard of technical operational methods within the Government. The flights from Guatemala themselves were not tactically sound nor were they politically effective. Most of these flights not only failed miserably to accomplish what the CIA thought they would do, i.e., put in place underground cadres of guerrillas and provide equipment and communications material for other underground groups in Cuba; but as a result of their amateurism and failures, they played into the hands of Castro. They never did become a rallying point for anti-Castroites. On the contrary, they exposed and compromised them and led to many unnecessary firing-squad deaths. The flight paths, by their crossing and recrossing, pinpointed and exposed ground-reception parties, which were mopped up by Castro's troops; in other cases, aircraft were lured over drop-sites that proved to be ambushes. The whole series of operations exposed the weaknesses of ClA's tactical capacity. The CIA cannot properly direct large operations. It has led many small ones successfully; but has failed miserably in a number of large ones.

An important oversight inherent in such activity was mentioned by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross in their book, The Invisible Government. They reported The Chiefs (U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff) were told that the invasion was not a Pentagon operation and that they could give advice only when called upon. Because of the secrecy involved, they were not allowed to take their staffs into their confidence; this of course, cut down on their overall effectiveness.

This was only a part of the story. The Chiefs were told to keep hands off, yet the Agency was operating down through all services to the tactical level, taking supplies, arranging training, utilizing all forms of transportation. However, few if any military personnel even knew enough of what was really going on to give proper advice had they been asked. This is one of the greatest weaknesses of the ST's classified method of operation.

Because the ST acts in response to intelligence-data inputs, it does not operate in compliance with or in support of a plan or policy. It creates an umbrella or catch-all policy such as "anti-Communism", then declares that all of its operations are anti-Communist, and attempts to justify what it does solely on that basis. To clarify by example:

A Cuban reported to another Cuban who was in touch with a CIA contact man in Miami that be had friends back in Cuba who were willing to blow up a major sugar refinery, but they had no munitions or other equipment necessary to do this. The CIA Cuban reported this to his contact. A meeting was arranged right away in a "safe" house -- for example, in the Latin American Geological Survey offices somewhere on the campus of the University of Miami. The first Cuban showed on a map where his friends were and explained what they planned to do. The CIA contact man proposed that the first thing to do would be to establish contact with them and then to place a clandestine radio with them. To test the zeal and veracity of the informant, it was suggested that this be done by putting him ashore at night near the target. He agreed, on the assurance that he would be picked up the next night. He was taught how to use the clandestine radio and was provided with a special kit of munitions. He was put over the beach and directed to bring one Cuban out with him for further training. All went well to that point. At no time in this almost automatic-response process did anyone in the CIA ask, "Why are we doing this?" The simple Pavlovian animal-instinct to go ahead and do it because it was an anti-Castro move was all the agents needed at this stage of activity.

But this is where it always starts. Of course, the ST members would have right on their side in their almost religious missionary zeal to do good. The first agent would not only have heard that the Cubans planned to blow up the sugar refinery; but they would have flavored this with ideas of the injustice there and with accounts of the brutality of Castro's police. And they would have pledged that the reason they wanted to kill Castro was that they want to bring democracy to their homeland and to all Cuban people.

The "fun and games' must always be founded upon sanctimonious grounds. At the same time lip service is paid to do-gooder causes, there is scarcely ever any practical consideration of whether or not such an action, or those that will follow whether the initial action succeeds or fails, are really in the best interests of the United States.

The exfiltrated Cuban was given rudimentary demolition training at a remote site in Florida and was taught to use signal lights and panels, as well as the radio. Less than a week later, he was back in Cuba at work with his neighbors in the sugar refinery gang.

Although everything seemed to have gone well, these inexperienced though patriotic Cubans had no understanding of the Castro operated, Communist-perfected block system that was in effect in Cuba and that blanketed the entire island. No one in the CIA had warned them about this, if the thought had ever crossed their minds. As soon as the first Cuban had been exfiltrated, his absence was duly noted by the "system". He had not appeared for work at the refinery, but not a word was said there. A teacher at school was tipped off to make a discreet inquiry of the man's child: "Could your father come to school to see your pretty drawings?" "Well no, teacher, you see my father is not feeling well. He's sick." Then a state medical technician stopped by his home and asked to see the father "because it has been reported he is sick". The mother explained that he was not really sick; it was his uncle in Santiago who was sick, and he had gone to see the uncle. So the net was drawn tighter. Even before he had been returned to Cuba, a Castro agent had been infiltrated into the refinery work crew, and by the time the patriot returned, Castro's men were ready. They waited, alert. They listened to all of the plans. Perhaps they joined in encouraging the plans.

Then, on the night of the raid on the refinery everything went wrong. The whole cabal had been rounded up, and in no more time than it took for the radio operator to flash an emergency signal to Miami, it was all over. The reaction to the first information input by that first CIA agent had doomed those men to death, and their families and friends to lives of misery. Castro's control, rather than being weakened, had been strengthened by the brutal elimination of a few more men of blind courage and the example of that same fate for others who might wish to conspire with the Yankees.

In this example, which is a true case, if the attack had been successful, what good would it have done? Do such random bits of vandalism and sabotage actually further the foreign policy goals of the United States? Is this kind of anti-Castroism really pro-American? The very little harm to Castro and his Government, if any, that might possibly have been done, could not conceivably generate enough benefit to the United States ever to compensate for the loss this country suffers when such activities fail, as they so often do. This brings to mind the prophetic words from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam,

"I wonder often what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the stuff they sell."
Nevertheless, the ST takes even such a gross failure as a challenge. They interpret it as some sort of Castroite dare, and they leap into action again to gamble with other men's lives. In Miami and in Washington the failure of this first raid was only the beginning. Word was flashed to CIA that a Castro attack had wiped out an anti-Communist underground cell. Instead of leaving the blown operation at that, the CIA readied the next step. No mention was made of how the initial contact was begun nor of the agent-assisted first attempt, which was the provocation to Castro. Instead, it was made to look as though Castro's attack upon the people was entirely unprovoked except by their anti-Communism.

As the next level of reaction, the CIA suggested an attack over the beach against that sugar refinery in reprisal for Castro's so-called "brutal attack upon the anti-Communist Cubans". It would be added as part of the "line" that one of the reasons for this next attack would be to show "the Cuban people that the United States was right behind them". A briefing along these lines was prepared and delivered to the Special Group of the NSC as much for intragovernmental public relations and flag-waving as for the approval the CIA felt it should get for this covert operation which was expected to be closely supported by Americans. In this manner small clandestine operations escalate, even though there may have been no real foreign policy guideline for such courses of action.

The CIA selected a team of Cubans from one of the major training sites in the United States or Central America and trained and equipped them for the major reprisal raid against the Castro provocation against innocent Cubans. The U.S. Navy was requested to provide offshore assistance limited to action in international waters. The Navy would launch and recover a small, fast boat which would make the actual landing. A date during the dark phase of the moon was picked, the weather checked, and the small boat with the special Cuban team aboard was launched. They were crack demolitions experts, familiar with the Navy SEAL-team method of high-speed operation. They made a successful landing and approached the refinery. The block system was already alerted and had been waiting. Sentry dogs picked up the men as they moved ashore, and the whole team was wiped out. Their rafts were found hidden on the beach, and when the sentry boat returned for the preplanned recovery, the correct light signals, beaten from the team by Castro's experts, lured the fast boat near the beach into an ambush. In the sky above, Castro's planes, alerted to the position off shore, observed the waiting U.S. Navy vessel and confirmed that this action had official U.S. Government support.

Again, things did not stop there. The challenge was greater.

Americans had been involved closely in that activity. The urge to outwit and to whip Castro was strong. The next round of attacks was to be even greater effort, until the ultimate invasion at the Pay of Pigs. This type of scenario happened many times and in varying target areas and with new characters and new supporting casts. Some of them were successful to the extent that the teams participating accomplished their assigned tasks, or said they did, and returned safely. Others were lost, as this first one was. And in every case it may be certain that success or failure resulted in massive punitive action against the local population. It wasn't long before all Cubans prayed that they would not be the "lucky and fortunate anti-Communists" selected by the benevolent Americans for the next anti-Castro strike.

The CIA's greatest strength derives from its ability to activate various parts of the U.S. Government, usually the Defense Department, with minor inputs designed to create reaction. It finds a minor fact, which it interprets and evaluates to be Communist inspired, or inspired by some other favorite enemy (Trujillo or De Gaulle), then it feeds this item into the White House and to Defense, where a response re- action takes place predictably and automatically. To carry this to the next level, the CIA, by utilizing its clandestine facilities, can stir up the action it wants for further use in turn to stir up a re-action response within the U.S. Government structure. Although such actions and re-actions usually begin on a very small scale, they escalate rapidly as in Indonesia, Tibet and Greece. (They went completely out of control in Southeast Asia.)

It is the type of game played by the clandestine operator. He sets up the scene by declaring in many ways and over a long period of time that Communism is the general enemy and that the enemy is about to strike or has begun a subversive insurgency campaign in a third country. Then the clandestine operator prepares the stage by launching a very minor and very secret, provocative attack of a kind that is bound to bring open reprisal. These secret attacks, which may have been made by third parties or by stateless mercenaries whose materials were supplied secretly by the CIA, will undoubtedly create reaction which in turn is observed in the United States. (This technique was developed to a high art in the Philippines during the early Magsaysay build-up to the point where the Huks were actually some of Magsaysay's own troops disguised and set upon the unwary village in the grand manner of a Cecil B. De Mille production.)

The next step is to declare the enemy's act one of "aggression" or "subversive insurgency", and then the next part of the game is activated by the CIA. This part of the operation will be briefed to the NSC Special Group, and it will include, at some point, Americans in support. So it will go, as high and as mighty as the situation and authorities will allow. It is not a new game. It was practiced, albeit amateurishly and uncertainly, in Greece during the late forties, and it was raised to a high state of art under Walt Rostow and McGeorge Bundy against North Vietnam, to set the pattern for the Gulf of Tonkin attacks. In fact, a number of the leading actors in the cast of key characters in the greatest scenario of them all, "The War in Vietnam", received the earliest training in the Greek campaign of the forties. All of the mystery surrounding those actions was unveiled in the Pentagon Papers with the revelation of such things as the covert OPLAN-34.

Operations arising in this manner and from such sources are, unfortunately, frequently the result of the endeavors of the overambitious, the irresponsible, and the ignorant. They are often enmeshed with and enhanced by the concealed drives of the special interest groups like the Marines who wanted a share of Vietnam in 1964, the general-contractor interests who wanted to dig a big hole in the shore and call it "Cam Ranh Bay", the Special Forces Green Berets who wanted to resurrect the doughboy, and many others who simply wanted to sell billions of dollars worth of armaments. Such operations are carried out by those who either do not care about the results or who do not see far enough ahead to understand the consequences of what they are doing.

This is a delicate subject and needs much understanding. Many innocent and totally loyal men become involved in these activities; but the trouble is that they come upon the scene after the first provocations have been made, and they are generally unaware of them. An allowance must be made for the fact that the provocation can come from either side. Neither side is all right or all wrong. But the fact remains that most of the men who become involved in these activities do so after there has already been some clandestine exchange. They are trying to correct what they believe has been a serious abuse. They do not know where the real action began; to put it simply, they don't know whether they came in on the first or the second retaliation strike. Very few would ever be party to striking first in any event. So the first strike takes place in deep secrecy. No one knows this hidden key fact. This is a fundamental game of the ST.

They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, of a worldwide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they are able to operate under the canopy of an ever-present "enemy" called "Communism". And then, to top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations.

When we stop and think what the real struggle is and what we have been doing, we are faced with the stark realization that what has been going on is not anti-Communist, nor is it pro-American. It is more truthfully exactly what those wise and wily chess players in the Kremlin have hoped we would do. They have been the beneficiaries of our own defense-oriented, reaction prompted, intelligence-duped Pavlovian self-destruction. How can anyone justify the fact that the United States has lost fifty-five thousand men in Indochina and that the Russians have lost none and then call that anti-Communist -- or worse yet, pro- American?

How can anyone note that we have poured more than $200 billion into Indochina since 1945 and that the Kremlin may have put up somewhere between $3 and $5 billion as their ante to keep the game going, and then call that tragic ratio anti-Communist and pro-American? How can anyone believe that after more than twenty-five years of clandestine and overt engagement in Indochina that finds ourselves wasted and demoralized and precariously degraded in the eyes of much of the world, including our friends, we have accomplished anything that is really anti-Communist and pro-American? What do words have to mean and what do events have to prove to wake us all up to the fact that pro-American actions are those that strengthen this country and that anti-Communist actions are those that weaken Communism. It certainly bothers the Kremlin not at all to see Americans dying in Asia and to see Asians dying at the hands of the Americans.

There are tens of thousands of loyal, dedicated, and experienced men in the DOD, both military and civilian, who have the type of experience it takes to make an operation effective. In matters of tactics and logistics there are few men in the world who know more about the subject than they do. However, the ST operates behind such a shield of secrecy that they keep facts of what they are doing from these experts as well as from the enemy. As a result, all of these people who could help are left out. The very men who by their experience and ability could make these operations succeed, or who would have the good sense to say that they have no hope of success, are ignored and excluded from participation at the very time when they are needed the most. Once these minor actions are set in motion on the basis that they are anti- Communist, whether they succeed or fail they escalate unless specifically halted by top-echelon authority, and then the whole pattern of events is locked in as anti-Communist whether or not this really is so. Furthermore, these very difficult operations are left in the hands of the inexperienced, the irresponsible, and the ignorant.

Whenever an operation grows to the extent that the Bay of Pigs project did, the President and at least the NSC must insist that the finest men in the country be brought in to assist with the planning, the tactical details, and the essential logistics, and that these men should have the right to veto the project if need be, not just to remain silent, as has happened in the case of men as high as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Such silence even in the face of the CIA[3] is inexcusable, even though the men involved in stating their case might be fired, as happened to one of the military chiefs after the Cuban rocket crisis of 1962.

Everyone understands that a certain amount of secrecy, used properly and applied with an eye to the impact which the normal erosion of time plays on events, is essential. However, when secrecy becomes a means of existence itself, when operations take place that never should have been permitted had they been fully revealed, when operations take place that grow out of all proportion to the action originally proposed and briefed to higher authority, and when all of this is veiled in unnecessary secrecy applied within the U.S. Government and against some of the people whose assigned responsibilities would most qualify them to know what was going on, then this type of secrecy is totally wrong and leads to the ghastly and insidious situation that has been quite honestly and accurately described above by Arnold Toynbee. And lest there be those who wish to brush aside Toynbee as an old meddler, let us recall the wise words of Harry S. Truman when he wrote that the, "CIA is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda."

When one of our own Presidents feels that he must warn that the CIA, which he created, has become a tool of enemy propaganda against the United States, it is time to underscore that things are not as they should be.

The very fact that the CIA would not allow the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take their staffs into their confidence regarding the Cuban invasion is one of the deepest problems such an ad hoc type of operation creates. This is a two-edged problem, however. No chairman of the JCS, especially not the very experienced and able Lyman L. Lemnitzer, should ever have permitted such a thing to have happened. If what Wise and Ross wrote is true -- and we don't question it -- and if it was known to the chairman of the JCS that he could not use his experienced staff as they have stated it, then it certainly must have been the duty of that chairman to make this known to the Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, and to President Kennedy. The law gives him that right and it gives him that duty. The chairman is quite properly in the position to take such matters to the President, and he could at any time have done so. Why didn't he?

It would seem to have been an easy solution; but as with other things in this confusing area, it was not that simple. For one thing, there was so much he did not know about the total plan. If he knew the whole operation and then did not speak to the President, that would be one thing: but if he knew only fragments of the plan and if he had been told by his higher authority, namely the Secretary of Defense and the President that an invasion was not contemplated, then it would be an entirely different matter. It should be recalled that early Cuban action began during the Eisenhower Administration and that these early projects did not involve an invasion. In fact, all of the Eisenhower-era schemes were extremely modest when it came to actions against Cuban soil and property.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:20 pm

Part 2 of 2

Furthermore, President Eisenhower, having been sorely hurt by the U-2 affair and all that it did to his plans for a summit conference and a final peace crusade, had positively directed that overflights and clandestine operations be curtailed. He did not want the next administration to inherit anything in that category from his regime.

However, immediately following the election of John F. Kennedy things began to move; stalled activities began to stir. This all took place very secretly and most certainly without instructions or approval from the President and his Secretary of State Christian Herter and Defense Secretary Thomas Gates. It was not unknown to the Secretary of Defense and to his deputy; but the extent of their knowledge may have been unclear, since they had no reason to believe that such things had been rekindled without Presidential direction. (We shall see later the language of the law involved and the distinction between the terms, "by direction" and "with approval".)

As a result of these unusual events it was not until the middle of January 1961 that the chairman of the JCS heard his first reasonably accurate and complete briefing of what the CIA was contemplating on the shores of Cuba. This was a strange time for such a briefing, because in less than a week the Secretary of Defense would have departed and a new one would have taken office, and in that same week the Eisenhower team would have left and John F. Kennedy would have become President. Therefore, even if the chairman had seen fit to carry this information to the Secretary of Defense and to the President, he could scarcely have expected either of them to have been in a position to have done much about it just at that time.

This business of the exploitation of the right moment by the ST is interesting and has been quite apparent in other situations. We have earlier discussed the crucial ninety-day period just before and after the assassination of President Kennedy. This was another such time.

In the Bay of Pigs project the Secretary of Defense or his deputy was briefed almost daily. Furthermore, the same briefing that was given to them would usually be given to the chairman of the JCS or to his executive officer. However, these briefings were piecemeal, arising from events day by day and not from a plan, and they were often colored and fragmented by cover-story inserts. In retrospect, the view of the Bay of Pigs which a man like General Lemnitzer or Robert McNamara[4] had was something like what would happen if someone showed a long movie to them a few frames at a time each day. As a result of this technique, who can blame a busy Secretary of Defense or Chairman if he is not able to piece all of these things together to find the central theme or plot.

This may sound unreal, but in the helter-skelter of activity in official Washington this is exactly what happens, especially with secret operations.

When an operation begins as a minor action, as did the first steps of the Cuban activity, no one knows what may evolve. At that point, with only tenuous bits of information, it seemed ridiculous to take each item to the President, the Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense for their edification and approval. Yet, because clandestine affairs must be so closely held and because of the limits of the need-to-know restrictions, this is what happened. These busy men received the minor briefings along with the major ones. it became a question of either tell them or tell no one. Thus, as each day's moves occurred, the CIA and the Focal Point Offices agreed either to tell no one or to tell only the top men. This decision did nothing to overcome the fact that these top men were getting the story piecemeal.

Later, there were some relatively major steps, such as planned over-the-beach sorties involving the U.S. Navy in offshore support of CIA and Cuban saboteurs. Only then was the Secretary of Defense told that the CIA was going to put some men into Cuba to blow up a refinery the following night. Such briefings were complete with charts, maps, and pictures from U-2s or other such sources. If the Secretary of Defense questioned any part of the plan with respect to approval, the briefer would say, for example, "This is all part of the 'training and arming authority' for Cuban exiles that was approved by the NSC 5412/2 committee on March 17, 1960." The usual reply at that point from the Secretary would be, "O.K., but be sure Lemnitzer and Burke [Admiral Arleigh Burke, former Chief of Naval Operations] know about it." Then the mission would be ordered into action. By this process, such missions were not so much approved as they were not specifically disapproved.

The ST knew that it could use and depend upon Allen Dulles to gain approval for the big steps along the way by having him get an O.K. for an overall amorphous project, such as "training and arming exile Cubans". Then they could take it from there bit by bit. From that time on, everything they did in conjunction with the Cubans was to be attributed to that initial blanket approval. Their control over all events by means of secrecy kept anyone else from knowing the whole plan. Most of the time they did not really have any plan anyhow. Each event was derived from an earlier one or from a new bit of intelligence data input.

The Air Force, for example, protested the utilization of active-duty personnel on a full-scale basis in Guatemala, but did agree to permit aircraft and crews to fly in and out of Guatemala regularly with supplies and to deliver Cubans there. The Air Force was aware of the uncertain condition of the Ydigoras Government then precariously in power and did not want to have its personnel "sheep-dipped" (a cover category which meant that they would be non-attributable to the Air Force and thence technically stateless in Guatemala).

The Air Force held out for official accreditation of its own men to the U.S. Ambassador in Guatemala before it would permit them to remain at the Cuban/Guatemalan base. It received a signed agreement from the Department of State acknowledging the cover status of its men as "civilians" while on duty in Guatemala. (The State Department does not like to do this, because it automatically includes that department in the clandestine game.) These men then lived at the training base at Retalhuleu and trained Cubans to fly the C-46, C-54 (DC-4), and the combat-ready B-26 medium bomber. There were from eight to sixteen World War II B-26s at Retalhuleu. By Latin American standards this was the equivalent of a major air force.

As the Air Force had suspected, there was an attempt to overthrow Ydigoras. At first the coup group appeared to be victorious. Then the CIA and Air Force men realized that if the rebels took over the government, they and everyone else at Retalhuleu would become hostages of the rebel government and might even end up in Cuban prison camps. They were in a desperate position. Their choice was either to fly back to Florida and leave the Cubans, or to fight. The Air Force pilots were all combat veterans of the Korean War. They chose to fight. They got target information from loyal Guatemalans who flew with them to Guatemala City, where they bombed and strafed the rebel headquarters. Caught completely by surprise, and defenseless against this unexpected force, the rebels surrendered. Troops loyal to Ydigoras, and others who swung back to him in the face of this great show of power, cleaned up the remainder of the opposition, and the rebellion collapsed. Ydigoras was back in power, with Yankee help born of desperation. This was the only victory of the invasion task force.

Here again, the CIA had gotten in over its head. If that force of Americans, Filipinos, and Cubans who were at Retalhuleu, along with all of their equipment, had been captured by the rebels, their ransom -- like that exacted quietly by the Mexicans of the downed DC-4 -- would have been stupendous. As it was, the United States had to pay heavily for the invasion's failure in other ways.

At Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua the CIA had gathered all the clandestine aircraft and considerable quantities of supplies and ammunition to support the invasion. Many of these aircraft were lost to Castro's jets; but vast amounts of equipment and some of the planes remained. With the collapse of the invasion, this material was unused. The U.S. pilots returned to Florida with a few planes. Later, the CIA asked the Army and Air Force mission personnel in Nicaragua to gather up and return all of this equipment. These officers were told by the Nicaraguans very politely and firmly that there was not a thing left at Puerto Cabezas. Since it was all black cargo, it was stateless and it was title-less. The United States never got any of it back. And this was only a fraction of the loss.

All Latin American countries keep a very close eye on the apportionment of U.S. military aircraft, ships, and other material made available to other Latin American states. The formula for the balance of forces is very complex, and this arrangement is a most delicate issue.

Other nations soon observed that Nicaragua had been given a large force-supplement of B-26s and C-46s. The B-26s were specially modified and carried much more firepower per aircraft than those that had been given to other Latin American nations. The other military supplies, guns, rockets, and mountains of ammunition were also noted. The Nicaraguan Government would not reveal how it obtained this unscheduled largesse and the U.S. Government could not. The other governments guessed, and no doubt knew; but they too played the game. They just kept the pressure on.

Needless to say, the U.S. Government had to make similar equipment available to a number of Latin American countries. The cost of all of this, plus the logistics support of this equipment, which goes on year after year, is another of the many high cost-factors that should be added to the total cost of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Again, because of security -- secrecy from Americans, not from the enemy -- these facts have remained undeclared, along with so many others over the years.

Early in 1960, President Eisenhower had authorized the secret training and arming of Cuban exiles in the United States. Thousands of able-bodied Cubans had fled their homeland, and many of them were dedicated to fighting their way back in and throwing Castro out. Eisenhower's approval was very general and nonspecific; it in no way contemplated anything like the invasion. It was understood that any special operation which would involve Cuba, planned at any time, would have to be cleared by the DCI in accordance with existing directives. This meant presenting the operation to Special Group 5412/2.

In what appeared to the DOD as a separate and certainly inconspicuous action, the CIA began to utilize a portion of Ft. Gulick, a de-activated U.S. Army base in Panama. Gradually, a group of Cubans, identified in Panama only as Latin American trainees in a Military Assistance Program (MAP), began to increase in size and activity there. The CIA soon found that this burgeoning camp needed military doctors. In accordance with an agreement between the CIA and the DOD, the Agency asked the Army for three doctors. At that time the Army had a shortage of doctors, so it turned down the request for support from the CIA. Then the Navy was asked; it too turned down the request, on the basis that Navy doctors on an Army post would be conspicuous and would not fit into the cover story. The CIA did not need flight surgeons; so it did not ask the Air Force for doctors.

With these refusals in hand, the CIA made a direct appeal to the office of the Secretary of Defense and won support for its request. This was the very first covert action in the long chain of events that ended in the invasion of the beach at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. At the time of the request for these doctors, no one anywhere in the Government of the United States ever dreamed that the little mound that was being built would ever become that mountainous disaster which finally resulted. It is characteristic to note that the ClA's request was honored and then directed from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. At that top echelon the Office of Special Operations acted as the liaison between the CIA and the DOD. What most people in Defense were totally unaware of was that in the very office that was supposed to serve the military departments and shield them from promiscuous requests, there were concealed and harbored some of the most effective agents the CIA has ever had. Their approval of CIA requests was assured. The amazing fact was that their cover was so good that they could then turn right around and write orders directing the service concerned to comply with the request.

There may have been some mention of the end-use of these doctors for the Cuban training program. But if there was any mention, it would have meant little or nothing to those who had not been briefed.

The Secretary of Defense and the chairman heard many more such requests during the next twelve months, but the complexities of the veil of secrecy woven by the Secret Team around the project was such that no one ever saw the whole plan. The use of the control device of need-to-know classification made this possible. As this control is generally practiced, the CIA accepts that a group of men have "the clearances" after a very thorough review by its own resources and, as requested, those of the FBI.

Always, in the case of CIA work, this clearance begins at the top secret level. Beyond this, men are cleared for individual areas of information. A man may have a top secret clearance and a "North Side"[5] clearance, meaning that he may be given both classifications of information. However, those in control of North Side may decide arbitrarily that certain men may not have some of the information even though they have the necessary clearance. The control team simply states that those men do not have a need to know, and from that time on, unless they are reinstated, they are excluded from all, or part of the project. There are, of course, some sensible and reasonable reasons for such practices; but that is not what is important here. The fact is that this exclusionary process is used as a tool, arbitrarily.

One way to make sure that there is little opposition to a proposed activity is to exclude possible opponents on the basis of lack of need-to-know. Thus, even though men are in high-ranking, policy-making jobs and have the appropriate top secret and other special clearances, they may be kept in the dark about ST plans, and they will never know it -- at least not for a while. Thus Adlai Stevenson, Ambassador to the United Nations at the time of the Bay of Pigs, was not informed about the projected plans until the very last minute, when rumors and news releases appearing in The New York Times were being spread everywhere. Even then, Tracy Barnes, the CIA man sent to brief Stevenson, gave a vague and incomplete picture of the operation.

The CIA could, if pressed, prove that the OSD and the JCS had been briefed almost daily from early 1960 until the very day of the invasion. But in spite of this kind of bit-by-bit briefing, it was not until just before John Kennedy's inauguration in late January l961 that the JCS got any kind of a reasonably thorough briefing. By that time it was much too late. The ST had strong armed the early Eisenhower authorization of the training and arming of Cubans into an invasion of a foreign country, during the "lame duck" period of his administration.

Need-to-know control can also be bent in the other direction in order to secure the support of potential allies and further those allies' careers. Members of the Team who strongly favored the election of John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon played a very special role in the 1960 election campaign. Nixon presided over the NSC and therefore knew in detail the plans that were intended to have been carried out under the earlier Eisenhower authorization. For one thing, he knew that such authorization did not include anything like the invasion of a foreign country. At the same time it was assumed that Senator Kennedy, as an outsider, did not know those highly classified details. However, he did know. In his book, Six Crises, Nixon wrote that Kennedy was told about the invasion by Allen Dulles during the traditional CIA briefing for candidates. But there was more than that to the story, too, it appears.

A former staff member from the OSD recollects that during the summer of 1960 he was sent to the Senate Office Building to pick up and escort to the Pentagon four Cuban exile leaders, among them one of the future commanders of the Bay of Pigs invasion forces, who had been meeting with the then-Senator Kennedy. Those men -- Manuel Artime Buesa, Jose Miro Cordona (first Premier of Cuba under Castro), Manuel Antonio de Varona (former Premier of Cuba before Bastista regime) and the fourth man, who may have been Aureliano Sanchez Arango (former Foreign Minister of Cuba) -- were all supposed to be under special security wraps. They certainly were not expected to be exposed to members of Congress, least of all to a Senator who was close to being nominated as the Democratic flagbearer. However, certain CIA officials had introduced them to Kennedy, thus making sure that he knew as much about the plans they were contemplating as did Nixon. In fact, Kennedy may have learned more than Nixon as the result of this personal meeting -- an opportunity Nixon did not have -- with the Cuban refugee front and with its American secret sponsors.

Throughout this period in 1960, Eisenhower had directed that the Cuban exiles' training and arming be kept at a low level. He felt that he should not bequeath to the incoming administration, whether Republican or Democratic, any such clandestine operations, small as they were under the limited proposal which he had approved. As a result, any plans for expansion of Cuban activities were made to appear by the ST to be the Cubans' alone. The CIA carefully saw to it that the Cubans had the means to travel to and visit such activist headquarters as the American Legion convention and other avowedly anti-Castro strongholds. As the political campaign picked up momentum so did the Cuban exiles' activities, with John Kennedy playing a strong, quiet role on their behalf. His support further endeared him to the CIA, because the anti-Castro project was their biggest special operation at that time since the Tibetan and Laotian projects had began to wane.

When the candidates appeared on television together during the crucial campaign debates, Nixon, abiding by security restrictions which, in his case, he could not disavow even if he had wished to, limited himself in his discussion of the Government's plans for Cuba. This official control did not publicly apply to Kennedy. Since he had been briefed by Allen Dulles, he could have been warned about security violations; but the CIA can be quite liberal with respect to security when it is to that Agency's advantage. As a result, Kennedy could and did openly advocate the overthrow of the Castro Government, and for the strong position he won popular support from a great number of the voters.

Nixon's frustration and anger at Kennedy's calculated tactics were clearly evident on the television screen. As television audiences have learned in the years since those famous debates, when Nixon feels frustration and anger on television he shows it, and when he felt both during the Kennedy debates the audience knew it, and Kennedy made points. Many observers believe that that confrontation over Cuba was one of the peak moments during the debates, when Kennedy scored most heavily -- and of course most observers credit Kennedy's performance during the debates with his narrow margin of victory in the election. Few knew that his carefree television position on Cuba was in reality Nixon's official stand in time security-bound NSC record.

That Kennedy's connection with the Cuban refugees before his election was anything but casual or fortuitous was demonstrated nearly two years later. On December 29, 1962, in the Orange Bowl in Miami, before a national television audience, at a welcome-back celebration for the ransomed prisoners of the Cuban Brigade, before a thundering ovation from the jammed stadium, the President spoke informally with the Brigade and with the tens of thousands of Cubans who came to pack the stadium. At one point during the ceremonies, the President walked among the former prisoners, chatted with them, and then threw his arm over the shoulders of one of them. If those watching in the stadium and on TV thought he had chosen the man at random, they were mistaken. The Cuban he embraced was his old friend who had visited him in his Senate offices during the summer of 1960 and also at his West Palm Beach home. This man was Manuel Artime, a leader of the invasion.

One of the most significant aspects of ST work is its control of operational planning by need-to-know secrecy. And as we stated earlier, such control seriously limits the level of competency that can be brought to a major operation such as the Bay of Pigs. The CIA never really knew what to do about Castro and Cuba. During the latter days of 1958, the CIA assembled a staff of Cuban 'experts' under the leadership of its old Western Hemisphere Division hands such as Colonel J. C. King. But the real inside men, those who had responsible roles in these operations and in their so-called planning, are never discovered. The first somewhat obvious reason usually given is that of course those names would not show up because the Agency very wisely kept them concealed under proper security.

This may be part of the answer, but it is more probable that they never would have been linked with the exercise for two other reasons. First, they were truly faceless and practically meaningless participants in the action; they were in their jobs simply to see that things rolled along. Second, because once such an operation has been briefed to the NSC and the lower, middle level of the Agency's operations and support staffs know that the green light is on, they begin to move in all directions, and from that time on there is very little real leadership. Money becomes obtainable, equipment is made available, travel is abundant, the horn of plenty spills over, and all is hidden in secrecy. Partly by plan but mostly by the simple fact that no one at the top restrains the action of these activists at the lower levels. Everything begins to happen everywhere at the same time. There is a special sort of Murphy's Law about clandestine activities once they have received an initial and very general approval: "If anything can happen, it will." The U.S. Government is simply not constituted to become aware of and to control such faceless and random activities as those that take place under the shield of secrecy once the game has been discovered and perfected by the often amorphous ST. Nothing demonstrates this better than the single bitter underlying reason for the failure of the Bay of Pigs operation.

The Bay of Pigs effort failed for the lack of effective leadership, and for no other reason. It could have worked and it could have succeeded. Everything was there that had to be there. The goals were not so grand that they could not have been achieved: "To maintain an invasion force on Cuban territory for at least 72 hours and then to proclaim the free Government of Cuba there on that bit of territory." After that, it would have been up to the Organization of the American States and the United States to support them. But the Bay of Pigs operation did not have leadership when it was most needed. Allen Dulles, the man at the helm, was not even in Washington. Perhaps he thought the invasion could run by itself. For whatever reason he had in mind, Allen Welsh Dulles was not even in the United States at the time of these crucial landings.

As poorly planned as this over-the-beach operation was, it could have been a success within the original parameters of the effort. Jose Miro Cordona had been told that when the invasion forces had been on Cuban soil for seventy-two hours, had raised the Free Cuba flag on Cuban soil, and had proclaimed themselves to be the new government, he would be delivered to the beachhead. Then, when he appealed for assistance from the Organization of American States, the United States would give his "Government of Free Cuba" the assistance it needed

It was expected that once such a government had been established, albeit on the flimsiest grounds, Cubans would flock to its support, and that once U.S. Government assistance was visible and real -- such as U.S. warships off the coast, U.S. aircraft flying unopposed all over Cuba, and even U.S. Marines at the beachhead -- then the decay of Castro's Cuba would be certain. In essence, this is what the Cubans believed. It may have been what the CIA had in mind as it got caught up in the fervor of the training and arming authorized by President Eisenhower. However, no one could say that Eisenhower, the tough and experienced commanding general of the greatest invasion force of all time, had ever suggested or approved the invasion of Cuba clandestinely with a force of less than two thousand Cuban exiles. Whatever the Cuban project had grown to in the hands of the CIA took place after election day in 1960.

The leadership on the beach was competent enough for the job at hand. The Cubans themselves were good. The tactical leadership back in Nicaragua both for the invasion and for the small air strikes was adequate. The substratum of U.S. military personnel attached to the CIA to bring some order out of the training program was competent, especially the U.S. Marine Corps colonel who worked so hard and effectively to see that the little band of Cubans had some idea of what to do when they hit the beach. The U.S. Air Force officers attached to the CIA who pulled together the small hard-hitting air force of World War II B-26s and C-46s were skilled and combat qualified. But above them leadership was practically nonexistent.

No proper official would have approved of the Bay of Pigs operation unless there was a guarantee that Castro would not have been able to give it any effective air opposition. The few close-in, hard-core officers who knew the real plan would never have given any support to the plan if they did not have assurances that Allen Dulles would be able to guarantee that Castro's few combat-ready aircraft would have been bombed out of existence before the men hit the beach. This was the fundament upon which the operation was established; it was its failure that sealed its doom.

Before the first Cuban exiles' B-26 attacks on Castro's aircraft, U-2 pictures detailed exactly where Fidel's planes were and how many there were. The first wave of B-26s hit those planes and destroyed them, with the exception of the three T-33 jet trainers, two B-26s, and a few old British Sea Furies. In modern air- weapons-system technology the T-33 is a very low-order combat aircraft, and actually it has very little combat capability. However, it is a big jump better than the B-26 bomber in air-to-air combat. Therefore, until these three T-33s had been located and destroyed, there was to be no invasion. The B-26s and the Sea Furies could be handled and ignored. Castro's B-26s were not nearly as effective as the newly modified ones of the Cuban exiles.

It had just happened that the three T-33 jets had been flown to a small airfield outside of the Havana area for the weekend. The chance removal of these planes saved them from the first attack.

The Bay of Pigs instructions called for additional air strikes to get all of Castro's planes if this was not accomplished by the first strikes. This prerequisite was simple and necessary. Damage assessment photos not only showed that the T-33s had escaped, but they showed where they were, lined up on an airfield near Santiago. With this knowledge, a flight of B-26s at Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua was loaded with bombs and fueled for the long flight to the target. These were excellent B-26s, which had been modified by the CIA to have a cluster of eight 50-caliber machine guns firing from the nose. This gun-pack is most lethal and unsurpassed for the type of operation contemplated. The guns could have made mincemeat of Castro's T-33s on the ground. In the air, the T-33s would have chopped them up. Thus the plan was for these planes to leave Puerto Cabezas at an early hour to assure undetected arrival at the target at sunrise and to permit them to sweep in over the airfield with the sun low and at their backs to give them as much groundfire protection as they could get.

As late as one thirty that morning the CIA agent who was in charge of these planes in Nicaragua had not received the expected message from Washington that would authorize their take-off. Later, acting on his own initiative and to keep the excited and ready-to-go Cubans quiet, he permitted them to start their engines on condition that they wait for his signal for take-off. Meanwhile in Washington, heated arguments had arisen over the air strikes. There was so much opposition to the second strike that those who sought the authority to release these planes were unable to gain approval.

On the one hand, General Cabell, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, and Richard Bissell, the Deputy Director of Plans, and the man who was responsible for the entire operation, were second-level officials. They were unable to release the planes on their own authority, and they were opposed by others, some of whom were of Cabinet level. It became a question of who would awaken the President at his Glen Ora retreat in Virginia in an attempt to get his approval. Neither Cabell nor Bissell had the authority to do that, and Allen Dulles was not in Washington. At this crucial time when his agency was faced with its most momentous crisis, a crisis of leadership, Dulles had left Washington to go to Puerto Rico to address the convention of the Young Presidents Organization. He was the man who could have given permission for the planes to go, or who could have gone to the President himself for that authority. On that fateful night the CIA was leaderless. The opposition stood its ground, and the air strike was not ordered to attack the jets at Santiago. This was the key to the failure of the whole operation. Those three jets destroyed no less than ten B-26s, along with some ground equipment, and sank the vital supply ship offshore.

Perhaps if one CIA agent had taken a short bicycle ride, the whole invasion would have been a success. The Cuban pilots in those B-26s on the ground at Puerto Cabezas, with their engines running, were on the point of mutiny. They were going to go without word from Washington, except for one thing. The agent who had the sole authority there to release them had told them that Washington was making a last-minute check of the target photographs and that they had better wait until he got the word. They half believed him. Later, his own faith in the system wavered badly, and he knew that as the moments ticked away the last chance the B-26s would have to get to the target airfield before sunrise would be gone. After that, Castro s jets could be expected to be gone.

Nearby, the agent had a bicycle that he used for his trips back and forth to the operations shack where the circuit to Washington was. During those last few moments he looked at that bicycle, certain that if he just got on it and rode away toward the shack the Cubans would go without waiting for his signal. The temptation was great. He had worked with some of those Cubans for two years; he knew how badly they wanted the operation to succeed. But his own discipline was stronger, and he did not take that ride. Finally, it was too late. The crews shut down the engines and got out of the planes.

Far across the Caribbean the small invasion fleet approached the shore secure in the belief that Castro's planes had been destroyed. They hit the beach shortly after sunrise, and it wasn't long before they came under heavy air attack. They knew then that their time was limited. To add to this tragedy, the same B- 26s that were to have wiped out the jets were ordered over the beach to give the invasion troops some firepower against ground opposition. The B-26s were shot down by those jets which only a few hours earlier they could have destroyed. And in sunny Puerto Rico the DCI entered a convention hall to give a speech to a group of young businessmen. This was the kind of elite group he liked. He was at his best among them, and he enlisted their support on behalf of the Agency, which was "saving the world from communism." Many of those same men have since traveled throughout the world on matters concerning business, wearing around their necks the mark of the Agency -- the shoulder strap of a new camera. These same men eagerly went from country to country as special agents for the CIA. But when the chips were down and those brave Cubans had been landed on the beach by the CIA, Allen Dulles was not there. He was perhaps the one man in Washington, had he been there, who could have sent those bombers out that morning for the purpose of destroying Castro's jets.

The Bay of Pigs operation serves as an excellent example of what is good and what is bad about clandestine operations and about the way they are developed, supported, and managed by the ST. From the first assistance to the first small group of Cubans in Miami, from the first light plane touchdown on a remote road in Cuba to exfiltrate one or two men to the huge operation involving thousands of men and tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment, to the tragic failure on the beach and the imprisonment and eventual payment of ransom tribute to Castro, the Bay of Pigs operation was nothing but a somewhat related series of escalating events which, simply stated, just got out of hand after the election of John F. Kennedy.

Some peripheral incidents that have not been apparent are worth a word. After Castro took over Cuba, he nationalized industry and kicked all Americans out of the country. Those companies that had been doing business in Cuba suffered heavy losses. Among the worst of these losses were those felt by the sugar companies. The stock of some of these firms traded at very low rates, if it could be traded at all. With the Cuban support program moving into high gear after the election of Kennedy, a large number of CIA personnel made heavy purchases of these deflated stocks, and word spread to some of their friends that a flyer in sugar stock might be worth the gamble. So orders to buy sugar stock went out all over the country.

The stockbroker community in Washington is most sophisticated. Over the years they see a lot of inside buying for reasons they have no way of knowing. In an attempt to ferret out some of these deals, they have developed their own expertise in divining what is going on. When the sugar purchases were at their peak, some of these brokers called their sources in the Pentagon on the assumption that if something was going to happen in Cuba the military would know about it. Of course, very few military knew about the invasion, and those who did would not have the temerity to let anyone know, most of all a broker. So the brokers were not getting much help in the usual channels. However, one broker who happened to hit on an idea, called a certain mutual fund group where he had reason to believe that there was some more than routine contact with the secret areas in the government. He was able to learn that they had been buying a little sugar stock. He put two and two together and inadvertently started a small buying spree among his and his company's clients.

Needless to say, the sugar balloon burst on those beaches in Cuba; but there have been many other times when the very special inside scoop the ST is able to control has led to some very good investments. More will be said about this as more is learned about the early days of the Indochina affairs during the past ten years. It does not take anyone long to become an avid ST booster once he has sipped the elixir of certain and easy money derived from an inside tip on a sure thing.



1. In Special Operations, black flights deliver black cargo into denied or unwitting areas. "Black" in this sense is usually synonymous with clandestine. A black cargo would not go through customs, USA or foreign. A black cargo, might be a defector from the communist world being flown to a safe house in the USA or other host country. If the black flight crossed the ocean, it would be known as a "deep water" flight. Clandestine shipments are made by all modes of transportation, including submarines and PT boats.

2. DCI--Director of Central intelligence; DDCI is his Deputy. below these men are three other Deputy Directors:
DD/I--Deputy Director of Intelligence (responsible for the real and overt intelligence activity of the Agency.)
DD/P--Deputy Director of Plans (responsible for the clandestine activity of the Agency. By far the largest and most complex portion of the Agency in the Special Operations part of the business.)
DD/S--Deputy Director of Support (responsible for the logistics support. This is the most effective part of the Agency and makes the others look good.)
(DD/A--Deputy Director of Administration -- no longer a part of the Agency.)
Note: To an Agency man DD/P can be used as an adjective, as in: "I'm going to Europe with some of the DD/S guys on that new DD/P project."
The same applies with Divisions, Directorates, and Sections. The CIA is very loose about these things. For example: You can say something was done by Special Operations without ever having to say that it was a special operations division (there is no special operations division in the Agency).

3. If a military chief of staff did disagree so deeply with a plan briefed to him by the CIA that he decided to discuss his views with others, it is more than likely the CIA would charge him with a security violation or withdraw his clearance, or both. The Agency would attack him on security grounds, not on substantive grounds or on the merits of the case.

4. To add to this confusion, Mr. Thomas Gates was Secretary of Defense and Mr. James Douglas his deputy until January 20, 1961 (Kennedy's inauguration, and then Mr. Robert McNamara and Mr. Roswell Gilpatric followed them. Mr. Douglas told the author on January 19 at 4:30 p.m. that there had been no transition briefing between them.

5. A hypothetical name in this instance. Such code names are given in great numbers to all operations and even to various phases or segments of classified operations.
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Re: The Secret Team: CIA and Its Allies in Control of the Un

Postby admin » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:46 pm

Part 1 of 3

PART II: The CIA: How It Runs

Chapter 3: An Overview of the CIA

SECTION I: Intelligence versus Secret Operations

WHAT OTHER AGENCY OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT has ever had as much blame heaped upon it as the CIA? President Truman wrote that it was being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for Cold War propaganda. Arnold Toynbee wrote: "For the whole world, the CIA has now become the bogey that Communism has been for America." John F. Kennedy said, "Your successes are unheralded, your failures are trumpeted." Tibetans once supported by the CIA had been left to fend for themselves against the Chinese. Hungarians armed and urged to fight on for their freedom were left to fight by themselves. Cubans stranded on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs were left for Castro's jails. Tens of thousands of people who have contributed to Radio Free Europe and to CARE on the assumption that they were private organizations have learned that the CIA was using them for its own devices. And during the summer of 1971, Congress was faced with a ground swell of indignation over the actions of the CIA in the wake of events in Indochina and as a result of revelations contained in the Pentagon papers. The frequently asked questions are: How responsible is the CIA? How is the CIA permitted to operate independent of national policy and of the general standards of conduct expected of the U.S. Government?

In seeking to solve the dilemma of the CIA, it is important from the beginning to understand the intimate language of the Agency and of the intelligence profession. Intelligence professionals become so accustomed to using and living with cover stories, cover language, and code terms that they use them interchangeably with their normal, or dictionary, usage. Thus the outsider has little opportunity to break through this fabric to get to the real thing.

In the beginning, when Roosevelt assigned Donovan to the task of Coordinator of Information, there was a belief that the United States had within its resources reasonably adequate intelligence organizations in the Army, Navy, and Department of State, but that the gross intelligence product was sadly lacking in coordination. As a result, the President felt that he was not getting the best Intelligence. Thus his insistence that the new chief of intelligence should be a coordinator. This view of the role of the Director of Central Intelligence has persisted through the years, and it is still the primary statement of his mission and responsibility as contained in present law.

The other key word is "information". In 1941, President Roosevelt felt that he required coordinated information, and because of certain unacceptable connotations for the profession of Intelligence, the word "Intelligence" was not used at all. It was not too long before that time (1929) that the then Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson, had downgraded Intelligence, actually that special part pertaining to cryptoanalysis, with the statement: "Gentlemen don't read other people's mail."

The profession of Intelligence always is beset by one characteristic problem. It is a staff function. It is the kind of effort that can succeed only insofar as it is accepted and used by the leadership. If the commanding general trusts his Intelligence people and makes use of their product, he will generally have good intelligence. If a business leader uses his Intelligence people as a real adjunct to his operations and provides them with the resources they need, he will have good Intelligence. And if the President of the United States uses intelligence as intelligence, and demands a really professional product, he will get the best intelligence in the world. But leadership is often prone to disparage the intelligence product. At one time, in 1939, Winston Churchill said the following about Intelligence: "It seems to me that Ministers run the most tremendous risks if they allow the information collected by the Intelligence Department and sent them, I am sure, in good time, to be shifted and colored and reduced in consequence and importance, and if they ever get themselves into a mood of attaching weight only to those pieces of information which accord with their earnest and honorable desire that the peace of the world should remain unbroken."[1]

The profession of Intelligence before World War II was not well thought of, and it was not very good. There can be no question that the two go hand in hand. Had there been more real demand for good Intelligence, there would have been more funds and personnel provided for its support, and as a consequence, intelligence services would have been better. But history is full of incidents citing very poor intelligence service, under Hitler, Stalin, and the Western powers.

I was at Fort Knox, Kentucky, at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This attack came as such a surprise and with so little preparation or understanding in the United States Army that although that attack occurred more than four thousand miles away, the Commanding General of the Armored Force headquarters at Fort Knox ordered tanks and heavy guns out in a perimeter defense of Fort Knox and of the U.S. gold reserves that were stored there. No one knew what to expect the Japanese to do next after they had hit Pearl Harbor.

A few years later, during World War II, I was the pilot of a large transport plane being sent on an emergency mission deep into the heartland of Russia from Tehran, Iran. Since this was to be one of the first unescorted U.S. flights deep into the Soviet Union, I was called aside by a military intelligence staff officer and told that the maps he had to give me for the flight were of very little value and would I please keep a careful log of everything I saw as I flew some eighteen hundred miles into Russia in order that mapping information and other data might be improved. Then, as I left this briefing, he more or less apologetically wished me well because I had to find my way into Russia without the aid of reliable maps. Before I left Tehran I managed to obtain the maps that had been used by Wendell Willkie's pilot and had been hand annotated. They were the best available at that time.

It was not surprising, then, that President Roosevelt directed that Colonel Donovan be Coordinator of Information (COI). By 1942, Donovan had made some headway, and the war had become better organized. He had built up the reputation of intelligence activities and he had been successful in refining the problem. At the same time, he had learned that the role of coordinator was unworkable, untenable, and undesirable -- in other words, hopeless. General MacArthur had preempted the intelligence role in the Far East -- that is, those intelligence activities which were not under the control of the Navy -- and the FBI had been given the responsibility for intelligence operations in Latin America. As a result, in 1942 the COI became the Office of Strategic Services, (OSS), and the task of that new organization was broadened to include collecting and analyzing information and planning and operating special services. On that day Donovan no doubt put his intelligence hat on the shelf and concentrated on his first love, special services.

In pursuit of the business of definitions in this most elusive of professions, few terms have been so confused and misused as "special services". These two words simply mean clandestine operations. General Donovan's office was called Strategic Services, and his duties were described as special services. It was all the same clandestine operations. As the intelligence profession has labored through its first quarter-century since World War II, these terms have acquired additional synonyms. Clandestine operations are also known as covert operations, special operations, and peacetime operations or peacetime special operations, and secret operations.

There are two other terms that need clarification here in order that they not be confused with the above. Secret intelligence is the deep penetration of the enemy by secret agents and other devices. It is more specifically clandestine intelligence, as differentiated from the more open and more academic type of intelligence. This leads to intelligence operations, which may or may not be clandestine, but are operations carried out to obtain intelligence, and not operations carried out to achieve a certain objective as a result of the gaining of certain intelligence input data. In the former, the operation is carried out to get intelligence, and in the latter the operation is carried out using intelligence input data.

Then there are secret intelligence operations, which are deeper and more clandestine operations carried out to get deep-secret intelligence data. It can be said that it is the business of secret intelligence operations to get information required in the making of foreign policy that is unavailable through routine and overt intelligence channels.

The fundamental dichotomy that has always divided Intelligence community and which in the long run has given it its bad reputation is that the Intelligence operator just cannot keep his hands and his heart out of operations. This same affliction leaves its mark on the entire community, not just on individual agents. Established for the legitimate business of intelligence, the Agency has become deeply involved in clandestine operations; yet to maintain its status and reputation in the structure of this open government, it must continually give the appearance of being nothing more than an Intelligence Agency while it keeps itself covertly occupied with special operations on an ever expanding scale.

Nowhere has this attempt to be legitimate been more apparent than in the revelations of the publication of the Pentagon Papers. One of the primary objectives of that inner group (who directed the compilation of that fantastic massive reconstruction of the history of the United States' role in Indochina) was, without doubt, to make certain that the role of the CIA always appeared in a most laudable and commendable manner, to be that of an intelligence organization and no more. Thus the product of the intelligence staff has been extracted from the great mass of records available and portrayed most favorably, while at the same time the role of the CIA, special operations, or clandestine organization as a sinister and secret operational activity has been submerged. In retrospect, the CIA, that part which publishes intelligence reports, always appears to have come up with the correct analysis and evaluation.

On the other hand, this review as it appears in The New York Times publication, almost totally conceals or fails to identify the records of the covert activities of the clandestine organizations. When it does present accounts of that action it reveals them under the label of cover organizations either as part of the military establishment or of some other apparatus. Interestingly, the CIA can't help doing both things at the same time, and its leaders are seldom, if ever, concerned with the fact that what they are doing may be at cross purposes. They are duty bound to perform the former and they much prefer to become involved in the latter, secure in the knowledge that their control of security within this country even more than elsewhere is nearly absolute. In fact Allen Dulles and other following DCI's were fully aware of this discrepancy, yet would authorize the publication of intelligence reports saying one thing at the same time they were authorizing clandestine forces to do exactly the opposite.

One aspect of the Pentagon Papers that makes them suspect of not being exactly what they are purported to be, that is, an expose of the role of the Pentagon in the United States' involvement in Vietnam (this is an oversimplified definition of them, but it will serve here) is that they laud the role of the CIA and the overall intelligence community while they disparage the rest of the Government, especially the Pentagon. The following extract is from The New York Times' book of the Pentagon Papers, in an introductory and formative early chapter, page 6:

The Pentagon account discloses that most of these major decisions from 1950 on were made against the advice of the American intelligence community. Intelligence analysts in the CIA warned that the French, Emperor Bao Dai and Premier Diem were weak and unpopular and that the Communists were strong. In early August 1954, for example, just before the NSC decided to commit the U.S. to propping up Premier Diem, a national intelligence estimate warned: "Although it is possible that the French and Vietnamese even with firm support from the U.S. and other powers, may be able to establish a strong regime in South Vietnam, we believe that the chances for this development are poor and moreover, that the situation is more likely to continue to deteriorate progressively over the next year." The NIE continues. Given the generally bleak appraisals of Diem's prospects, they who made U.S. policy could only have done so while assuming a significant measure of risk."

And The New York Times goes on to editorialize: "The Pentagon study does not deal at length with a major question. Why did the policy makers go ahead despite the intelligence estimates prepared by their most senior intelligence officials?"

These brief statements are truly amazing and in some respects may be among the most important lines in the entire New York Times presentation of the Pentagon Papers. They show how deeply the clandestine, operating side of the CIA hid behind its first and best cover, that of being an intelligence agency. How can the Times miss the point so significantly? Either the Times is innocent of the CIA as an intelligence organization versus the CIA as a clandestine organization, a highly antagonistic and competitive relationship, or the Times somehow played into the hands of those skillful apologists who would have us all believe that the Vietnam problem was the responsibility of others and not of the CIA operating as a clandestine operation. Let us consider an example:

A few pages after this statement, the Times version of the Papers tells us that Edward G. Lansdale went to Saigon with a team in August 1954. This date may be one of the correct dates, but the facts are that plans for Lansdale's move to Saigon from Manila, where he had engineered Magsaysay's rise from soldier to President, were laid long before he actually went there with his team. (The author was a frequent visitor to Manila and Saigon from 1952 through 1954 as the commanding officer of a Military Air Transport Service squadron which provided much of the military airlift between those cities in those days, and on more than one flight carried as special passengers members of the Lansdale team, both U.S. and Filipino personnel, to and from Saigon).

These plans, which were made for the development of a United States presence in Vietnam to replace the French after their defeat at Dien Bien Phu and to create a new leader to replace the French puppet, Bao Dai, had been primarily developed by the operational CIA, almost as a natural follow-on of their production of Magsaysay.

Ngo Dinh Diem was a selection and creation of the CIA, as well as others such as Admiral Arthur Radford and Cardinal Spellman, but the primary role in the early creation of the "father of his country" image for Ngo Dinh Diem was played by the CIA -- and Edward G. Lansdale was the man upon whom this responsibility fell. He became such a firm supporter of Diem that when he visited Diem just after Kennedy's election he carried with him a gift "from the U.S. Government", a huge desk set with a brass plate across its base reading, "To Ngo Dinh Diem, The Father of His Country." The presentation of that gift to Diem by Lansdale marked nearly seven years of close personal and official relationship, all under the sponsorship of the CIA.

It was the CIA that created Diem's first elite bodyguard to keep him alive in those early and precarious days. It was the CIA that created the Special Forces of Vietnamese troops, which were under the tight control of Ngo Dinh Nhu, and it was the CIA that created and directed the tens of thousands of paramilitary forces of all kinds in South Vietnam during those difficult years of the Diem regime. Not until the U.S. Marines landed in South Vietnam, in the van of the escalation in 1964, did an element of American troops arrive in Vietnam that were not under the operational control of the CIA.

From 1945 through the crucial years of 1954 and 1955 and on to 1964, almost everything that was done in South Vietnam, including even a strong role in the selection of generals and ambassadors, was the action of the CIA, with the DOD playing a supporting role and the Department of State almost in total eclipse. Thus, when The New York Times asks, "Why did the policy makers go ahead despite the intelligence estimates prepared by their most senior intelligence officials?" it has asked an excellent question, because it must include in the "most senior intelligence officials" the Director of Central Intelligence and others of the Agency. This makes one wonder at what point a man like Allen Dulles stops playing the role of intelligence official and sees himself in the mirror as CIA clandestine commander in chief.

These examples have to make certain aspects of the release and publication of the Pentagon Papers deeply suspect, especially since the man who says he released these vast volumes to the newspapers, Daniel Ellsberg, was ideally suited for this role by virtue of his Vietnam experience with the very same Edward G. Lansdale. No matter what one might wish to believe the intentions of Ellsberg were when he did this, it would be most difficult to accept that he of all people did not know all the facts. And if he did know all of the facts I have described, why did he want to make it appear that it was Pentagon policymakers who went ahead "despite the intelligence estimates prepared by their most senior intelligence officials"? Why has so much care been taken to make it appear that these are papers from the Pentagon that he has dumped on the news media's doorstep? Why has no one made the proper distinction that the majority of these documents were not really Pentagon originated at all, but were originated in, among other places, the CIA (Covert side)? Certainly if his facts, as well as those presented by The New York Times, are right, the CIA (Covert side) was in a much better position to heed its own CIA (Intelligence side) warnings and advice than any other department or agency in Washington.

The answer to these questions becomes obvious. The CIA uses its intelligence role as a cover mechanism for its operational activities. Furthermore it uses its own secret intelligence as an initiator for its own secret operations. This is what pleased General Donovan when President Roosevelt unleashed him with the OSS and it is what has been the driving force behind the hard core operational agents within the intelligence community since that time.

Allen Dulles himself helps us to define General Donovan's new title in 1942 in his own words: "Special Services was the cover designation for Secret Intelligence and Special Operations of all kinds and character." To the old pro the new designation was an important step forward in the evolution of the intelligence profession in the United States. One could almost see him hunching up to his desk to write a few more memoranda to the President about the development of the intelligence services. It was no mistake when Dulles entitled his book The Craft of Intelligence. He was the crafty professional in a fast-growing profession.

During 1943, General Donovan did his best to extend the OSS into all those parts of the world left to him by the Navy, General MacArthur, and J. Edgar Hoover. At one time in 1943 he got a bit overambitious and went to Moscow. There he met with his counterparts in the intelligence profession and was so won over by their good fellowship that he came back to Washington to propose that there be an exchange program between the Russians and the Americans. Donovan proposed that their hand-picked agents be brought to this country to learn all about Intelligence and special operations with Americans, utilizing new techniques and equipment that we had. To those who recall the same General Donovan on countless platforms ranting about the "communist threat" only a few years later, this proposal of his must seem to have been part of a soft-headed era. In any event, others such as J. Edgar Hoover and Admiral Leahy overruled Donovan's gesture of hospitality to the Russians.

The OSS did set up a Guerrilla and Resistance Branch, which operated from Europe to Burma and was patterned after the highly successful British Special Operations Executive (SOE) model. But General Donovan never got over the blows he suffered from MacArthur and Hoover. His wartime disappointment led him on many occasions to recommend that there be a single top intelligence director who would be placed within the immediate Office of the President and that this director be a civilian who would control all other intelligence services, particularly most of the military. By 1944, his views were so firm that he wrote to President Roosevelt:

"I have given consideration to the organization of our intelligence service for the postwar period.
"Once our enemies are defeated the demand will be equally pressing for information that will aid in solving the problems of peace.
"This requires two things:

1. That Intelligence control be returned to the supervision of the President.

2. The establishment of a central authority reporting directly to you."

On careful scrutiny, this is a most unusual memorandum to be written during time of war to the Commander in Chief of the greatest military force ever assembled. First there is the assumption, and perhaps even an implied criticism, that the control of Intelligence was not under the President, or that the President had lost control of that aspect of the military effort world wide. (Later historians may be able to probe the depths of Donovan's feelings about General MacArthur by delving into the meaning of such papers as that memo.) The other veiled criticism was his proposal that the central authority be made to report directly to the President. By this, Donovan hoped that Roosevelt might establish such a central authority, that would be himself, and that he might thereby gain ascendancy over his arch rivals, J. Edgar Hoover, the Navy, and most of all, General Douglas MacArthur.

The germ of these ideas lived throughout the following quarter-century. Even today, there are those who still propose that the DCI be assigned to the immediate Office of the President. The zeal within the "silent arm of the President", as the intelligence service is fondly called by its own, is so strong that they have created a special meaning for the phrase, "the immediate Office of the President". It might generally be considered that the Cabinet is part of this office, but what the Intelligence buffs mean is that the DCI would be above or, to put it more precisely, equal to and separate from the Cabinet. From General Donovan's day down to the present time, it has been the goal of a good segment of the intelligence community to install their Director next to the President. They always claim that the reason for this is so that the President may always have at his elbow the best and most current intelligence available. This, too, is a master cover story. Just like General Donovan and his clan, what they really want is the place at the elbow of the President, unfettered by the Secretaries of State and Defense, in order to have their way with the function of Special Operations. Of course, what follows from this is what would amount to having the ability to make and to control the foreign policy and military policymaking machinery of this country. We shall have more to say about this. It suffices now to point out where and when the seed was planted.

Shortly after the war had ended, President Truman dissolved the OSS. On September 20, 1945, certain functions of the OSS were transferred to the Departments of State and of War. Although the United States did not delay in disbanding her military might as soon as the war had ended, no group was terminated faster than the OSS. Some of the pressure to dissolve this agency came from the FBI, the Department of State, the Armed Forces, the Bureau of the Budget, and from President Truman's own belief that the "fun and games" was over. He felt that there would be no need for clandestine activities during peacetime, and he meant to devote his time to winning a peace of lasting duration for the generation which had fought its way through the worst depression in history and then through the most terrible war in history.

In this rapid divestiture of its clandestine wartime service, only two sections were saved. The Secret Intelligence Branch and the Analysis Branch were tucked away among the labyrinth of the departments of State and War, where a few dedicated veterans labored quietly through a precarious existence to preserve files and other highly classified materials. Had it not been for the professionalism and zeal of this group of responsible men, these files that had been created during the war would have been lost. Had they been lost or destroyed, or most serious of all, had they been compromised, they might have occasioned the deaths of hundreds of agents who had risked their lives for the United States and who lived in constant fear lest they be exposed in their homelands, which had fallen under Soviet control. Fortunately, these records, along with irreplaceable talent, were saved. Thus ended an era of war-time inspired clandestine activity, the contagion of which was sufficient to infect a new generation of intelligence professionals for the next twenty-five years.



1. Sanche de Gramont, The Secret War, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, p. 29.
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