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Cleveland Cram report on James Jesus Angleton


John Simkin
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In 1976 Cleveland Cram, the former Chief of Station in the Western Hemisphere, met Ted Shackley and George T. Kalaris at a cocktail party in Washington. Kalaris, who had replaced Angleton as Chief of Counterintelligence, asked Cram if he would like to come back to work. Cram was told that the CIA wanted a study done of Angleton's reign from 1954 to 1974. "Find out what in hell happened. What were these guys doing." (1)

Cram took the assignment and was given access to all CIA documents on covert operations. The study took six years to complete. In one section, Cram looks at the reliability of information found in books about the American and British intelligence agencies. Cram praises certain authors for writing accurate accounts of these covert activities. He is especially complimentary about the books written by David C. Martin, the author of Wilderness of Mirrors (1980), Tom Mangold the author of Cold Warrior (1991) and David Wise the author of Molehunt (1992). Cram points out that these authors managed to persuade former CIA officers to tell the truth about their activities. In some cases, they were even given classified documents.

Cram is highly critical of the work of Edward J. Epstein, the author of Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (1978). Cram makes it clear that Epstein, working with James Jesus Angleton, was part of a disinformation campaign. Cram writes: “Edward J. Epstein's Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald provided enormous stimulus to the deception thesis by suggesting that Yuri Nosenko, a Soviet defector, had been sent by the KGB to provide a cover story for Lee Harvey Oswald, who the book alleged was a KGB agent.... Epstein's suggested that Nosenko's defection from the KGB was in reality a mission to provide a cover story for Oswald, which would absolve the Soviet Government of complicity in the assassination of President Kennedy." (2)

Cram is equally dismissive of Epstein's book, Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA (1989): "Like Legend, it is propaganda for Angleton and essentially dishonest. The errors are too many to document here... In summary, this is one of many bad books inspired by Angleton after his dismissal that have little basis in fact. An interview with Epstein in Vanity Fair magazine in May 1989 suggests he too has had second thoughts about Angleton and even about Golitsyn, his pet defector. Epstein admitted that Golitsyn shaped Angleton's views and possibly was a xxxx." (3)

Cleveland Cram investigation lasted six years. According to David Wise "The names of the mole suspects were considered so secret that their files were kept in locked safes in yet another vault directly across from Angleton's office... Cram... produced twelve legal-sized volumes, each three hundred to four hundred pages. Cram's approximately four-thousand-page study has never been declassified. It remains locked in the CIA's vaults." (4) However, a 71 page report, Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature, was declassified in 2003. The CIA have a copy of it on their website:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/U-Oct%20%201993-%20Of%20Moles%20-%20Molehunters%20-%20A%20Review%20of%20Counterintelligence%20Literature-%201977-92%20-v2.pdf

(1) David Wise, Molehunt (1992) page 256

(2) Cleveland Cram, Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature declassified (2003) pages 6-7

(3) Cleveland Cram, Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature declassified (2003) page 59

(4) David Wise, Molehunt (1992) page 257

http://spartacus-educational.com/SSangleton.htm

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