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A month before JFK's assassination, Dulles talks about innocent US travellers being falsely accused of Soviet spying

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This article popped up while I was looking at other stuff. It's an unsigned story from the Los Angeles Times, published on October 18th, 1963. Allen Dulles is bothered about Soviet spy exchanges and has decided that week to share his misgivings with the author.

The story covers six short paragraphs, yet Dulles is quoted directly in just one sentence, noting that "..innocent American travelers" might be accused of spying by the Russians. The story goes on to note how Americans in the Soviet Union who have never been involved in espionage might be arrested, and Dulles is bothered by this. Dulles isn't sure what to do about the matter, but presumably just wanted the Los Angeles Times to know about it. The story makes note of the Gary Powers spy exchange, but that took place 18 months earlier, so it must be just one of those things that Dulles thought of the topic when he did.

Since Dulles isn't sure one way or another what can be done about the matter, I'm guessing in practical terms the story just serves one purpose - it pops the phrases AMERICAN TRAVELLER and SOVIET SPYING and INNOCENT into the reader's brain, and hopefully reminds the reader that if they hear of some traveller being accused of being a spy in the Soviet Union, the guy probably really wasn't a spy at all.

Side note - young LA Times publisher Otis Chandler, son of Norman, was at the time of this memo two years away from joining the advisory board of the American Press Institute. In June 1975, Brent Scowcroft recommended Otis Chandler to Henry Kissinger as a possible nominee for the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, alongside other candidates such as Clare Booth Luce and Paul Nitze. So someone up high was presumably happy with Chandler's work.



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