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James Jesus Angleton


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In May 1951, two senior British officials, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, fled to the Soviet Union. Senior figures in the CIA were investigating Burgess and Maclean at the time and suspected that Kim Philby, a MI6 agent working in Washington, had tipped off his two friends. The CIA director, Walter Bedell Smith, asked James Angleton and William Harvey to write up separate reports detailing what they knew about Philby. Harvey came to the conclusion that Philby was a Soviet spy. However, Angleton claimed that Philby had been "honestly duped" and warned Smith against taking the matter further. Smith took the advice of Angleton and Philby was able to escape. In fact Philby was the leader of the spy ring that had infiltrated the whole of Western intelligence.

Why did Angleton get Philby wrong? The same reason why MI5 and MI6 failed to identify him. Philby was the product of the British public school system. On the surface he held extreme right-wing views (he had been recruited into MI5 while a member of the the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group).

Angleton had also attended a public school in Britain (Malvern College). He also held neo-fascist views (acquired from his father while living in Italy in the 1930s). He also became a close friend of Kim Philby and another right-wing member of MI5, Dick White, when he was sent to London to be trained for the OSS in 1943.

The fact that Angleton failed to identify Philby as a spy had a dramatic impact on his personality. Now he considered everyone in the CIA could be a Soviet spy.

Allen Dulles appointed Angleton as chief of the CIA's counter-intelligence section in 1954. Over the next 20 years he carried out a detailed search for Soviet moles in the CIA.

In December 1961, Anatoli Golitsin, a KGB agent, working in Finland, defected to the CIA. He was immediately flown to the United States and lodged in a safe house called Ashford Farm near Washington. Interviewed by Angleton, Golitsin supplied information about a large number of Soviet agents working in the West.

In these interviews Golitsin argued that as the KGB would be so concerned about his defection, they would attempt to convince the CIA that the information he was giving them would be completely unreliable. He predicted that the KGB would send false defectors with information that contradicted what he was saying.

In June 1962 Yuri Nosenko made contact with the CIA in Geneva. He was deputy chief of the Seventh Department of the KGB. His main responsibility was the recruitment of foreign spies. He like Golitsin, provided evidence that John Vassall was a Soviet agent. However, most of his evidence undermined that given by Golitsin. This included Golitsin's claim that a senior figure in the Admiralty was a spy.

In July 1963, Golitsin traveled to London to be interviewed by Arthur Martin. Soon afterwards a senior MI5 officer leaked information to British newspapers that they were interviewing a KGB defector in London. As soon as this story appeared in the press, Golitsin returned to the United States and refused to give any more information to MI5.

In November, 1963, Richard Helms appointed John Whitten to undertake the CIA's investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Whitten's first report was heavily criticized by Angleton. Soon afterwards, Helms turned the investigation over to Angleton. Over the next few months Angleton worked with William Sullivan of the FBI in providing information to the Warren Commission.

During this period Angleton continued to interview Anatoli Golitsin. He now claimed that Hugh Gaitskell had been murdered in January 1963 to allow Harold Wilson, a KGB agent, to become leader of the Labour Party. Angleton believed Golitsin but few senior members of the CIA agreed with him. They pointed out that Gaitskell had died after Golitsin had left the Soviet Union and would have had to know in advance what was about to take place.

Golitsin also suggested that W. Averell Harriman had been a Soviet spy while he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Angleton was convinced by this story as he knew someone was involved in spying during the negotiations that took place between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, other CIA officers thought the story ridiculous and Harriman was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as ambassador-at-large for Southeast Asian affairs.

In January 1964 Yuri Nosenko contacted the CIA and said he had changed his mind and was now willing to defect to the United States. He claimed that he had been recalled to Moscow to be interrogated. Nosenko feared that the KGB had discovered he was a double-agent and once back in the Soviet Union would be executed. Nosenko also claimed that he had important information about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He insisted that although Lee Harvey Oswald had lived in the Soviet Union he was not a KGB agent.

Nosenko arrived in the United States on 14th February, 1964. However, soon afterwards, Nosenko was undermined by the US National Security Agency who had been monitoring communications between Moscow and Geneva. It discovered that Nosenko had lied about being recalled to the Soviet Union. He was now taken to a CIA detention cell and after extensive interrogation he admitted the story about him being recalled was untrue.

Angleton believed that Anatoli Golitsin was a genuine double-agent but argued that Nosenko was part of a disinformation campaign. However, other CIA officers believed Nosenko and considered Golitsin was a fake.

Some researchers have claimed that Angleton was involved in covering up CIA's involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. H. R. Haldeman, President Nixon's chief of staff, claimed in his book, The Ends of Power: "After Kennedy was killed, the CIA launched a fantastic cover-up. The CIA literally erased any connection between Kennedy's assassination and the CIA... in fact, Counter intelligence Chief James Angleton of the CIA called Bill Sullivan of the FBI and rehearsed the questions and answers they would give to the Warren Commission investigators."

For example, Winston Scott, was CIA station chief in 1963. He retired in 1969 and wrote a memoir about his time in the FBI, OSS and the CIA. He completed the manuscript, It Came To Late, and made plans to discuss the contents of the book with CIA director, Richard Helms, in Washington on 30th April, 1971.

Scott died on 26th April, 1971. No autopsy was performed, and a postmortem suggested he had suffered a heart attack. His son, Michael Scott told Dick Russell that he took away his father's manuscript. Angleton also confiscated three large cartons of files including a tape-recording of the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald. Michael Scott was also told by a CIA source that his father had not died from natural causes.

Michael Scott eventually got his father's manuscript back from the CIA. However, 150 pages were missing. Chapters 13 to 16 were deleted in their entirety. In fact, everything about his life after 1947 had been removed on grounds of national security.

Angleton became convinced that the CIA had been penetrated by a "mole" working for the KGB. He ordered his assistant, Clare Edward Petty, of the ultra-secret Special Investigation Group (SIG), to carry out a study into the possibility that a Soviet spy existed in the higher levels of the CIA. Angleton suggested that David Murphy, a former chief of the Soviet Division, was a spy. Petty eventually produced a 25 page report on Murphy that concluded that he was "probably innocent". Angleton disagreed and insisted he was a Soviet mole.

Petty also investigated Pete Bagley, another former chief of the Soviet Division. His report on Bagley ran to over 250 pages and concluded that he was a "good candidate for the mole". Angleton disagreed and insisted that his friend was a loyal CIA officer.

Petty now became suspicious of Angleton and decided to carry out a private investigation into his past. As he later pointed out: "I reviewed Angleton's entire career, going back through his relationships with Philby, his adherence to all of Golitsyn's wild theories, his false accusations against foreign services and the resulting damage to the liaison relationships, and finally his accusation against innocent Soviet Division officers."

As a result of his investigation, Petty concluded that there was an "80-85 percent probability" that Angleton was a Soviet mole. Petty showed his report to several senior CIA officials including William Colby, William Nelson and David Blee. Colby instructed Bronson Tweedy, another senior CIA officer to review Petty's findings. After several months of study, Tweedy argued that there was no justification whatsoever for assuming Angleton to be a Soviet agent.

In February, 1973, James Schlesinger replaced Richard Helms as Director of the CIA. Angleton immediately went to see Schlesinger and gave him a list of more than 30 people that he considered to be Soviet agents. This list included top politicians, foreign intelligence officials and senior CIA officials. Those named included Harold Wilson, the British prime minister, Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister, Willy Brandt, chairman of the West German Social Democratic Party, Averell Harriman, the former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Lester Pearson, the Canadian prime minister and Henry Kissinger, the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon. Schlesinger listened to Angleton for seven hours. After consulting with other senior figures in the CIA he concluded that he was suffering from paranoia. However, he liked Angleton and decided against forcing him into retirement.

In July 1973, James Schlesinger became President Nixon's Secretary of Defence and William Colby became the new Director of the CIA. Angleton now presented his list of suspected agents to Colby. He reacted by carrying out an investigation into Angleton. He later recalled that he could not find any evidence "that we ever caught a spy under Jim". He added: "That really bothered me... Now I don't care what Jim's political views were as long as he did his job properly, and I'm afraid, in that respect, he was not a good CI chief."

Colby was also concerned about Angleton's mental health. However, he found it difficult to sack him. On 20th December, 1973, Seymour Hersh contacted William Colby and told him that he had evidence that Angleton had organized a massive spying campaign against thousands of American citizens. This action had violated the CIA charter. Hersh informed Colby that he planned to publish the story a few days later. Colby immediately called Angleton to his office and was ordered to resign.

In March, 1976, James Truitt gave an interview to the National Enquirer. Truitt told the newspaper that Mary Pinchot Meyer, who had been murdered on 12th October, 1964, was having an affair with John F. Kennedy. He also claimed that Meyer had told his wife, Ann Truitt, that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Meyer asked Truitt to take possession of a private diary "if anything ever happened to me".

Ann Truitt was living in Tokyo at the time of the murder. She phoned Ben Bradlee at his home and asked him if he had found the diary. Bradlee, who claimed he was unaware of his sister-in-law's affair with Kennedy, knew nothing about the diary. He later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

Angleton admitted that he knew of Mary's relationship with JFK and was searching her home looking for her diary and any letters that would reveal details of the affair. According to Ben Bradlee, it was Mary's sister, Antoinette Bradlee, who found the diary and letters a few days later. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Angleton later admitted that Mary recorded in her diary that she had taken LSD with Kennedy before "they made love".

In 1976 Cleveland Cram, the former Chief of Station in the Western Hemisphere, met George T. Kalaris and Ted Shackley 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."

Cram took the assignment and was given access to all CIA documents on covert operations. The study entitled History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954-1974, took six years to complete. As David Wise points out in his book Molehunt (1992): "When Cram finally finished it in 1981... he had 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."

In 1993 Cleveland Cram completed a study carried out on behalf of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature. This document was declassified in 2003. In the document Cram reveals that several senior CIA officers, including Clare Edward Petty, Angleton's assistant, were convinced that the former Chief of Counterintelligence, was a KGB agent.

My own view is that Angleton was not a Soviet spy. However, he had been cleverly manipulated by the KGB so that he would create havoc in the CIA. He had a similar impact on the British Intelligence Service as he convinced people like Peter Wright that senior figures like Roger Hollis and Graham Mitchell were spies. Wright also convinced others that Harold Wilson and several other leading figures in the Labour Party were working for the Soviets. In 1968 Peter Wright was involved with Cecil King, the publisher of the Daily Mirror and a MI5 agent, in a plot to bring down Wilson's government and replace it with a coalition led by Lord Mountbatten. Had Angleton five years earlier, been involved in removing another dangerous "left-wing" politician in the United States?

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First of all, I would like to thank you for showing the courage to defend James Angleton. It is something that Edward Epstein and Gus Russo are unwilling to do.

Cleve Cram had a reason not to like me or Angleton. I reported in the 1970’s that Angleton conducted operations on his turf in Ottawa (where he was COS). The details of that operation involved Bennett and Nick Shadrin. Cram and his colleague – a former Russian desk officer and later CI official hated all my CIA reported. In both cases these men trie to pass on disinformation and both were caught at it. Cram was also angry because I got a hold of his report on Angleton draft form and published a newspaper version of it. If you had read my books then you should be aware I included Petty’s views.

I am not convinced that Cram’s criticism of you in based on your report on events in Canada. It has to be remembered that the purpose of this report was for the briefing of senior CIA officials. In fact, he only spends a couple of sentences on your book: “Not every book on espionage and counterintelligence published between 1977 and 1992 is reviewed; only those that are historically accurate, at least in general, and were influential are assessed. Excluded are some recent works like Widows, by William R. Corson and Susan and Joseph Trento because they are not reputable by even the generally low standards of most counterintelligence writing.” (page 1). He also mentions you on page 8 when he claims you wrote a series of articles in 1979/1980 where you “launched a number of charges against Angleton, including some erroneous information about certain cases.”

Cram’s real target is not you but Edward Epstein, who he believes participated with Angleton in a massive disinformation campaign.

If you had read my books then you should be aware I included Petty’s views. Petty was a glory hound who took credit for the work of others. His report on Tenant Bagley was discredited not by Petty but by the greatest case officer in CIA history, the late George Kisevalter.

I did not attempt to defend the views of Petty. At first he was also taken in by Angleton’s disinformation campaign. It was only when he was carrying out research into Angleton’s proposed moles in the CIA that he came up with the idea that Angleton was working for the Soviets. As I have already said, I believe that Petty got this wrong. Cram does not give the impression that he believed this theory either.

Your little history review in or note leave out a great deal. I think it is fairly clear your knowledge about Angleton and Schlesinger is less than complete. No CIA head was less respected than Schlesinger among the rank and file , Angleton thought him a fool. He told me that only a fool would try follow Helm’s who clear would still play a leadership role at the CIA as Ambassador to Iran.

I do not agree that James Schlesinger was a fool. Nor did Angleton agree with this assessment. In fact the two men got on very well together. Schlesinger made no attempt to sack Angleton although he accepted that it was incompetent as well as being mentally ill.

Schlesinger was clearly Nixon’s man who posed a serious threat to the CIA. Soon after he was appointed Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.” The result of this investigation was the production of what has become known as the “Family Jewels”. This then became information that Cram was able to use in his investigation.

I am afraid I have repeatedly been over the territory you cite and just can’t come to the same conclusions. Mangold’s book was so discredited – it was a planned attack on Angleton – largely because it used such poor sources as Gerald Post etc., that the publisher pulled the rug out from under it shortly after it was published.

I would be interested in hearing further information about Tom Mangold being discredited (are you also making the same claim against David Wise and David C. Martin). In the UK Mangold is a much respected investigative journalist who has a long record of disclosing corruption in government.

I have read all three books and I agree with Cleveland Cram’s judgement of Mangold, Martin and Wise. In fact one cannot fail to be impressed by the logic of Cram’s assessment of the books he reviews. Cram had been recruited into the CIA from the Harvard’s history department (it followed the publication of his PhD). It shows. Intellectually he is head and shoulders above the rest of the senior figures in the CIA.

It also has to be remembered that Cram was also the same man who spent six years researching the History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954-1974. As David Wise points out in his book Molehunt (1992): "When Cram finally finished it in 1981... he had 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."

Cram was able to use this information when writing Moles and Molehunters. I suspect he knows more about what was really going on in the CIA during this period that anyone else, dead or alive.

As you probably know, Epstein admitted in May 1989 that Angleton was probably involved in a disinformation campaign. I would be interested to know if you also accept that now. Were you used by Angleton to spread false stories that the KGB/Castro were responsible for the assassination of JFK? If you do still believe this theory, what was the motive? Also, how did they managed to persuade the FBI and CIA to cover-up the crime? Why did LBJ not order an immediate invasion of Cuba? In fact, why did LBJ also help to cover-up KGB/Castro involvement in the assassination?

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As far as Angleton is concerned his own self-entrapment with Golitsyn and his rapid paranoia about the Russians might have led him to believe that there was a KGB/Castro plot.

My take on this, for whatever its worth, is that Angleton and Hoover were to an extent soul-mates and looked out for each other. This despite the CIA/FBI fearsome rivalry. I think they both agreed to divert there respective agencies away from the Oswald in Mexico angle in the case and focus on the Soviets, probably realizing that it was a nonstarter deadend and therefore safe. I have some of this in the book. But look at the appropriate section in the Appendix (p.364) under "D." Indicates that Hoover pulled all his Cuban inspectors and investigators off the case because he was afraid of what they might come up with if he probed into the Mexican labyrinth.

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Angleton was right!

James Jesus Angleton's concern that the Soviets had "moles" in high stations in the U.S. intelligence community was probably correct even if he was unsuccessful in locating them. The "reforms" of the Church Committee and the CIA intself following the revlations of the CIA abuses decimated Angleton's counter-intelligence operation with tragic results. Several CIA "assets" lost their lives as a result of the betrayals of Aldrich Ames. a.j. weberman states on his web-site that had the Angleton operation been in operation, Ames would have been discovered before he had wreaked all of his damage.

And consider this example. Willliam Charles Godell was a member of one of the Pentagon's most secret offices, the Advanced Research Projects Agency. President Johnson nominated him to be the director of the National Security Agency. As director, Godell would have had extraordinary access to U.S. intelligence information. But it was discovered that Godell was probably a Soviet mole. The US was unable to indict Godell for espionage because the man to whom he was handing documents was either murdered or commited suicide. To prevent Godell from ever again holding a government job, he was instead indicted and convicted for misspending appropriated government funds.

Tim,

This is my first posted comment here. I was attracted to this forum for the coverage of Nosenko, Bagley, et. al.

Your overall notion I believe is spot on.

There is a majority of those who know the topic of Angleton who speak with such certainty about how "paranoid" J.A. was and, as can be found in such libelous "research" and writings by Tom Mangold in Cold Warrior, how "wrong" he was.

The vast majority of material written about J.A. has been done by those who never interviewed the man, had no notion of the factual information surrounding various highlighted cases that "prove" J.A.'s errors, are slanted by the very same group-think mentality which branded J.A.'s form of understanding as "sick think."

Here is something for anyone who wants to HONESTLY investigate an historical figure such as J.A.:

(From The Literary Spy: The Ultimate Source for Quotations on Espionage & Intelligence, compiled and annotated by Charles E. Lathrop, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2004.)

“The story of James Angleton as chief of Counter-Intelligence cannot be told now; at least not well, and perhaps never . . . . To tell the story the historian would need to have unfettered access to the archives of the British, French, Italian, Israeli, and Russian intelligence services, as well as the American and, quite probably, others. No such historian will ever exist. The scholar lacks access, assets, penetrations, sources, contacts – the entire array of resources by which a professional intelligence officer may, after much time, great expenditure of money, and with the support of his government, obtain an intelligence story. Angleton both tests and proves Sherman Kent’s dictum: while much can be learned that is presumed to be irretrievable, one cannot learn enough to tell in the end precisely how interesting, how significant, how true what one does know may be.”

“Robin W. Winks on the intelligence historian’s dilemma in Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939 – 1961 (1978). Angleton was CIA’s CI chief from 1954 to 1974. Of intelligence history more generally, Winks says, ‘If the truth were known hundreds of books now on the shelves would be reclassified from history to fiction. But the truth is not known.’”

(Page 280)

WW

Edited by William Wallace
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Tim,

This is my first posted comment here. I was attracted to this forum for the coverage of Nosenko, Bagley, et. al.

Your overall notion I believe is spot on.

There is a majority of those who know the topic of Angleton who speak with such certainty about how "paranoid" J.A. was and, as can be found in such libelous "research" and writings by Tom Mangold in Cold Warrior, how "wrong" he was.

The vast majority of material written about J.A. has been done by those who never interviewed the man, had no notion of the factual information surrounding various highlighted cases that "prove" J.A.'s errors, are slanted by the very same group-think mentality which branded J.A.'s form of understanding as "sick think."

The important figure in the debate about writers who spread disinformation about Castro/KGB being involved in the assassination of JFK is Cleveland Cram, the CIA Chief of Station in the Western Hemisphere. He retired in 1975. The following year he met George T. Kalaris at a cocktail party in Washington. Kalaris, who replaced James 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."

Cram took the assignment and was given access to all CIA documents on covert operations. The study entitled History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954-1974, took six years to complete. As David Wise points out in his book Molehunt (1992): "When Cram finally finished it in 1981... he had 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."

Cram continued to do research for the CIA on counterintelligence matters. In 1993 he completed a study carried out on behalf of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature. This document was declassified in 2003.

This document castigates those writers such as Joe Trento, Edward Epstein and Gus Russo who Angleton used to spread disinformation about the CIA. This included stories that the Soviets had a mole within the higher echelons of the CIA and that the KGB/Castro was behind the assassination of JFK. Angleton’s disinformation campaign has been eagerly grasped by right-wingers such as Tim Gratz (I am not describing Trento, Epstein and Russo as right-wingers for it is possible that they really believed Angleton’s stories at the time – although Epstein has attempted to distance himself from Angleton in recent years). Cram points out that David Martin (Wilderness of Mirrors), David Wise (Molehunt) and Tom Mangold (Cold War Warrior) got it right about Angleton. After reading these three books I agree with Cram. However, who am I to disagree with the man who has seen all the relevant CIA classified files.

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Objectivity is Key

Although Winks did not mention it - as it is an obvious essential ingredient in any honest examination - objectivity must be the central standard.

Since "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,'" the starting point appears to have begun with an end point in mind.

John Hart, in his HSCA testimony, is representative of the official tack the CIA was using post-Angleton to describe how "screwed-up" Angleton and his "fundamentalists" were. Hart's testimony is revealed for the kind of history distortion it was by Pete Bagley in his executive session testimony later on in the HSCA hearings:

VII. Testimony of the Deputy Chief, S.B. Division Before the HSCA, November 16, 1978 - Executive Session: Thursday, November 16, 1978 (linked here under "Oswald in the Soviet Union: An Investigation of Yuri Nosenko" http://history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsc...12/contents.htm and linked here in pdf file: http://history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsc...YuriNosenko.pdf

Volumes of pages do not necessarily equate to accuracy or truth. Although the amount and material cited seems quite impressive, it is not the essence of what Winks was talking about nor described.

I have not read what you referenced (in bold below), but I sense something about it which is not unique amongst Angleton's detractors: a reverse kind of McCarthyism whereby anyone who sides with Angleton or subscribes to his beliefs and concerns about Soviet deception and capabilities is somehow "rightwing," in a clearly pejoritive sense. "Rightwing" and "paranoid" are two of the favorite silencers used by Angleton detractors. (Of course, there is also the term "fundamentalist" which is interchangeably used against those (such as Bagley) who knew Angleton the best professionally, knew him the closest personally, and who can not recognize the monster as described by historical "researchers." This ties into the "Jesus" in J.A.'s name, which became a tool of ridicule to denote that the "fundamentalists" who supported him - his "disciples" - were somehow blind, unthinking, followers of the cult of Angleton. Mangold especially uses this method of smear and psychological intimidation throughout Cold Warrior - not a work of objectivity in the least.)

Cram took the assignment and was given access to all CIA documents on covert operations. The study entitled History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954-1974, took six years to complete. As David Wise points out in his book Molehunt (1992): "When Cram finally finished it in 1981... he had 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."

Cram continued to do research for the CIA on counterintelligence matters. In 1993 he completed a study carried out on behalf of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature. This document was declassified in 2003.

This document castigates those writers such as Joe Trento, Edward Epstein and Gus Russo who Angleton used to spread disinformation about the CIA. This included stories that the Soviets had a mole within the higher echelons of the CIA and that the KGB/Castro was behind the assassination of JFK. Angleton’s disinformation campaign has been eagerly grasped by right-wingers such as Tim Gratz (I am not describing Trento, Epstein and Russo as right-wingers for it is possible that they really believed Angleton’s stories at the time – although Epstein has attempted to distance himself from Angleton in recent years). Cram points out that David Martin (Wilderness of Mirrors), David Wise (Molehunt) and Tom Mangold (Cold War Warrior) got it right about Angleton.

Casting aspersions on those who believe Angleton had many things right - no one can have everything right - is not healthful or helpful. "Angleton's disinformation campaign has been eagerly grasped by right-wingers such as Tim Gratz..." This is not the path to finding out the truth of a matter.

The truth is this: none of us here posting commentary and none of the researchers who have done historical accounts of James Angelton, can assert with authority that they know the whole truth about Angleton. However, it would seem to me that those closest to the truth about the man would be those who were closest to him and those writers who actually interviewed him (such as Epstein) and who also considered and weighed information against him.

How many hours of interview with Angleton did Cram conduct?

Zero, I would guess. If so, why? Angleton was still alive then. If Angleton believed an honest recounting was underway at CIA by his replacement, Kalaris, I would think he would welcome the opportunity and make himself available. The fact that J.A. was still alive then, and that Cram's recounting of finding "out what in hell happened. What were these guys doing" did not include interviews of "the accused," indicates to me a strong possibility that the "recounting" very well may have been more of a "revision" instead.

(Note, too, that Mangold waits until Angleton is dead to begin his book which commenced a short while afterward.)

The more an historical account attempts to ascribe motive to a subject figure - without first having some sort of in-depth interview or conversation with that figure - the more likely it is mere conjecture and opinion of the writing/researcher along with all the human bias that humans are capable of.

Although I am not able to discount Cram's research (as I haven't read it), based on its description, I would have to initially question its evidentiary value in weighing what the truth might be about James Angleton.

A ton of one-sidedness is usually nothing more than lopsidedness and serving as counterfeit truth with little weight (if any).

WW

Edited by William Wallace
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Objectivity is Key

p.s.

"...although Epstein has attempted to distance himself from Angleton in recent years."

In December 2004, Epstein wrote a piece on his website that would seem to indicate he has aligned himself with Angelton even more: "Was Angleton Right After All?" http://edjayepstein.blogspot.com/2004_12_0...in_archive.html and

Moreover, his views are clarified further in a similarly titled Wall Street Journal piece: "Was Angleton Right?" http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/Angletonrightr.htm

WW

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This is what Epstein actually says in the article:

In his book, Spy Handler, this ex-KGB recruiter clearly enjoys taunting the CIA. According to him. James Jesus Angleton, the CIA's long-time counterintelligence chief, suffered from"paranoia" because he suspected that the CIA’s Soviet Russia division had been deeply penetrated by a KGB mole. The irony in this accusation is that Cherkashin himself had recruited a mole in the CIA's Soviet Russia Division-- Aldrich Ames-- who had compromised over 100 CIA operations in Russia. To call Angleton paranoid for suspecting such a possibility is the equivalent of a stalker accusing his victim of being paranoid for believing he is being stalked. Cherkashin's memoir demonstrates of course that Angleton was right after all.

Note, Epstein is not saying that Angleton was right about everything. Instead he is saying that Angleton was right about a KGB mole being in the CIA. However, Angleton never identified Aldrich Ames as that KGB agent. In fact, during his career, he failed to catch one Soviet spy, that includes his report in 1951 that Kim Philby was not a spy (William Harvey of course got it right but his views were ignored). That was why Angleton was finally sacked by William Colby. Not for his paranoia, but because of his incompetence.

Angleton never suspected Ames of being a spy. Instead he claimed that David Murphy, a former chief of the Soviet Division, was the KGB mole. He also believed, with more justification, that William Colby was a Soviet agent. Angleton also told James Schlesinger, the new director of the CIA, in 1973, that Harold Wilson, the British prime minister, Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister, Willy Brandt, chairman of the West German Social Democratic Party, Averell Harriman, the former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Lester Pearson, the Canadian prime minister and Henry Kissinger, the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon were Soviet spies. Schlesinger listened to Angleton for seven hours. After consulting with other senior figures in the CIA he concluded that he was suffering from paranoia.

I suspect that Epstein does not believe Angleton was right about these people. Nor does he now believe that JFK was killed by the KGB. In an interview in Vanity Fair magazine in May 1989 Epstein discussed the Golitsyn case. Epstein admitted that Golitsyn shaped Angleton's views and possibly was a xxxx. The interview ended with the remark: "Actually, I don't know whether to believe Angleton at all!"

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I corresponded by email with Epstein once, on some point long forgotten. He replied back with "So you don't think I'm a CIA agent?", or something similar, and I responded back that no I didn't and I didn't even think he was he was a CIA "asset", but that it wouldn't suprise me if Angleton, considering his mind-set, might not have considered him to be such. He replied that it wouldn't altogether surprise him either.

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