Diplomat, spy, Wall Street lawyer, philanderer, government overthrow specialist, Nazi collaborator, MKULTRA overlord, presidential assassin. This week on the Corbett Report podcast: meet Allen Dulles, fascist spymaster.
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REPORTER: “Mr. Dulles I know you’ve heard this many times but there are people who say that we, with regard to the CIA, are waging a secret war with an invisible government.
ALLEN DULLES: We are obviously engaged in many facets of what is generally called the Cold War (in) which the Communist policies (were) forced upon us. No use denying that, it’s a fact of life.
But may I say this and I do it with all solemnity, at no time has the CIA engaged in any political activity or any intelligence activity that was not approved at the highest level.”
(Source: CIA Covert Action in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala: Documentary Film (1965) | Time reference: 0m13s)
JAMES CORBETT: “But what is the highest level of power? That might be the operative question.
Well, welcome to the program folks this is James Corbett of corbettreport.com, coming to you on August 30th, 2015, with episode 307 of The Corbett Report podcast – Meet Allen Dulles: Fascist Spymaster and the real question might be who was Allen Dulles? A diplomat, a lawyer, a spymaster, a serial philanderer? Well all of those things I think quite famously but many shadier things besides as we will start to explore in this edition of the podcast.
And yes, if we want to answer that question of who Allen Dulles was I think we have to go beyond just the titles and the roles that he played in the overt political sphere and look more at that higher level of power that he refers too and that he was under as Director of Central Intelligence. And I think we can see at least glimpse into what that higher level of power is, the real head of the secret government as it were, by looking at Dulles himself and his own biography where he perfectly represents the combination of Wall Street lawyer and American intelligence that formed the nucleus of the CIA, at least there in it’s early years. People these days talk about a group like Kroll being the kind of CIA of Wall Street. Well the CIA was the CIA for Wall Street long before then and Dulles represents that perfectly in his biography as we shall see.
But I think one good way of framing this whole idea and understanding who Dulles really was is to look even at the most mainstream of mainstream commentators on Dulles and his legacy in our current day and age. For example Stephen Kinzer, who recently wrote a book about the Dulles brothers and their effect on shaping American foreign policy and really the overt and covert foreign policy of the United States in the 1950’s when they reigned simultaneously as Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence and John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State having a remarkable degree of power that they wielded very much for their own personal benefit and the benefit of their cronies, again as we shall see, but Stephen Kinzer again a very mainstream commentator, a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times and writer of mainstream biographies. He encapsulates this quite well when he says that ‘Allen Dulles was the ambassador of the secret government to the overt government. Which I think is a good way of putting it. I think that is one of the main roles that he played there in the 1950’s as the Director of Central Intelligence.
Then again we don’t want to rely too much on the mainstream commentators for the Allen Dulles biography or the real meaning of the Dulles legacy because…well they tend to say things like this.
PETER GROSE: “The notion of the CIA as a secret government or as a rogue elephant really is not born out by the histories that we can now see as documents are released. The political leadership, first, Harry Trumann and the Trumann administration where it all got started remember, then Eisenhower and his administration, Kennedy etc etc. The political leadership has always called the tune for what the agency (CIA) would do. If sometimes enthusiasts within the agency tried to get away with something, as they did, they were dealt with with relative promptness.
I think Allen Dulles has to be given the credit for establishing that tradition of responsible, relatively competent actions and mechanisms to carry out government policy.”
(Source: Allen Dulles: The Powerful, Moneyed World of International Finance & Politics (2002) | Time reference: 03m56s)
Yes, mainstream commentary indeed. Well I will put a link into the show notes to that video so you can watch the rest of that interview yourself if you so desire. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it but I will say that I will put it as a little homework assignment for you guys out there to find out who that was and more specifically what he did between 1984 and 1993. The man in the clip, what did he do between 1984 and 1993 and how might that have affected or influenced what he says or doesn’t say in that clip and his writing generally. The first Corbett Report member to report back with who that man is and what he did between 1984 and 1993, the first Corbett Report member to leave that answer in the comments for this podcast at corbettreport.com will win a free Corbett Report DVD of their choosing.
Alright let’s move on. Obviously we can’t rely on the mainstream commentators to give us any sort of real insight into the Dulles brothers or Allen Dulles specifically so in order to find out more about Allen Dulles and what he was really up too we will have to roll up our sleeves metaphorically as the case may be and get to work ourselves. We’re going to start by looking at Allen Dulles’ own book, The Craft of Intelligence. Which, yes I have read for you so you don’t have to do it yourselves. It’s not particularly interesting or ground-breaking, it’s more a sort of overview of the craft of spying and the history of spying and what those damn Ruskies are doing and things like that. So it’s not all that insightful from that perspective but there are some little nuggets in here.
Well, why not get the story of the ass from the asses mouth as it were. We’re going to read from the introduction here from this book or the preface actually where Allen Dulles is writing about his early life:
“My interest in world affairs started early, in fact it goes back to my childhood days. I was brought up on the stories of my paternal grandfather’s voyage of 131 days in a sailing vessel from Boston to Madras, India where he was a missionary. He was almost shipwrecked on the way. In my youth I was often in Washington with my maternal grandparents. My grandfather, John W. Foster, had been Secretary of State in 1892 under President Harrison. After serving in the civil war he had become a General and had later been American Minister to Mexico, to Russia and then to Spain. My mother had spent much of her youth in the capitals of the these countries. My father had studied abroad. I grew up in the atmosphere of family debates on what was going on in the world. My earliest recollections are of the Spanish and Boer Wars.
In 1901 at the age of 8, I was an avid listener as my grandfather and his son-in-law, Robert Lansing, who was to become Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, hotly discussed the merits of the British and Boer causes. I wrote out my own views, vigorous and misspelled, which were discovered by my elders and published as a little booklet. It became a best seller in the Washington area. I was for the underdog.
After graduating from college a few months before the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, sharing the general ignorance about the dramatic events that lay ahead, I worked my way around the world. Teaching school in India and then China and traveling widely in the Far East. I returned to the United States in 1915 and year before our entry into the war I became a member of the Diplomatic Service.
During the next 10 years I served in a series of fascinating posts. First in Austria, Hungary where in 1916-1917 I saw the beginnings of the break up of the Habsburg Monarchy, then in Switzerland during the war days I gathered intelligence on what was going on behind the fighting front in Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Balkans. I was in fact an intelligence officer rather than a diplomat.
Assigned to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 for the Versailles Treaty negotiations, I helped draw the frontiers of the new Czechoslovakia, worked on the problems created for the West by the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and helped on the Peace Settlement in Central Europe. When the conference closed I was one of the those who opened our first post-war mission in Berlin in 1920 and after a tour of duty at Constantinople, I served 4 years a Chief of the Near East Division of the State Department.
By that time, 1926, although I had not exhausted my curiosity about the world, I had exhausted my exchequer and turned to the practice of the law with the New York law firm of which my brother was the senior partner. This practice was interrupted for periods of Government service in the late 20’s and early 30’s as legal adviser to our delegation at the League of Nations conferences on arms limitations. In connection with this work I met Hitler, Mussolini, Litvinov and the leaders of Britain and France.”
(Source: The Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World | Time reference: 07m10s)
Well that at least gives us some of the early background of Allen Dulles and let’s see what it is that we can glean from this. First of all he mentions that he was attending the 1919 Paris Peace Treaty/Versailles Treaty negotiations for the American delegation and specifically in his role as he puts it as a intelligence officer not a diplomat. The ‘diplomat’ being really the cover for the works that he was doing first in Austria/Hungary during the war and then in Paris as part of the ‘peace delegation’.
But attentive listeners and I’m sure Corbett Reporteers will already know that of course the 1919 Versailles Treaty negotiations saw a cadre of people giving birth to what was The Royal Institute of International Affairs and what was to become it’s sister organization in the United States, the Council on Forgein Relations and the question is: Was Allen Dulles tied in with that group and did he have relations with the Council of Foreign Relations? Well, you bet your life he did.
We can glean that from a completely different book. This is of course The Shadows of Power by our good friend James Perloff who we’ve interviewed a number of times here on the podcast, including specifically about this book and on page 104 he talks a little bit about Allen Dulles’ brother John Foster Dulles’ connections to the Council on Foreign Relations and also Allen Dulles’ own connections:
“Winding up a Secretary of State was John Foster Dulles. Dulles had been one of Woodrow Wilson’s young proteges at the Paris Peace Conference. A founding member of the CFR, he had contributed articles to Foreign Affairs since it’s first issue. He was an in-law of the Rockefellers and Chairman of the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was also Board Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where his choice for President of that body had been Alger Hiss. A inveterate internationalist, he had been a delegate to the founding U.N. conference, also a member of Trumann’s State Department. He had none of the earmarks one would expect of a Republican.
Nevertheless, before the election, he began to parrot conservative slogan’s just as Eisenhower did. So great was the disparity between Dulles’ words and his personal reality that one of his biographies was entitled ‘The Actor’. For CIA Director Ike selected Allen Dulles, John Foster’s brother. He too had been at the Paris Peace Conference. He joined the CFR in 1926 and later became it’s President.”
(Source: The Shadows of Power by James Perloff – pg 104 | Time reference: 11m24s)
Alright (some) interesting little nuggets there. Thank you James Perloff. So let’s step back a moment, what do we have so far?
Elite political pedigree including a Uncle and a Grandfather both of whom were Secretaries of State and hob-knobbing in his youth via his family connections with people like Woodrow Wilson and Andrew Carnegie? Check.
Rockefeller in-law by way of his brother? Check.
Globalist CFR jet-setting stooge? Check.
Part of the invisible governments secret intelligence apparatus? Check.
Wall Street lawyer? Check.
This is an interesting start but what does this add up too your saying to yourself. So there was another insider crony-connected political elite person within part of the intelligence apparatus half a century ago or more at this point. So what, who cares, what does this have to do with us here today?
STEPHEN KINZER: “All of the oil in Iran, thanks to a corrupt deal that had been reached with a former Monarch, was 100% owned by one company and that company was British and owned mainly by the British government. What it meant was that Britain through the ownership of this one company controlled all of the discovery, all of the refining, all of the production and all of the sales of all the oil in Iran.
In the period after World War II there was a great popular sentiment in Iran, let’s nationalize our oil industry. Let’s take it back from this British company and the parliament passed a law to that effect unanimously and the elected leader, who was charged to carry out this law was Mohammad Mosaddegh. So Mosaddegh became the Prime Minister of Iran who leading the nationalistic campaign to take back control of the Iranian oil industry.
That got the British hugely upset. Through a long series of machinations they brought the Americans into the project and in the summer of 1953 the CIA sent an agent into Iran who in the space of just a few weeks threw the country in chaos and secured the overthrow of the democratically elected leader Mohammad Mosaddegh.”
(Source: Overthrowing Governments 101, CIA Coups | Time reference 13m25s)
MICHAEL CARROLL: “Guatemala, genuine banana republic, is dominated by a giant American company. United Fruit not only controls the fruit industry but also the railroads, the telephone systems and even the delivery of mail. Newly elected President Jacobo Árbenz promises agrarian reform and to break United Fruits’ monopoly. United Fruit appeals to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, at one time the companies legal counsel. He agrees to help and rid Guatemala of a President he considers Communist. His brother CIA Director Allen Dulles, a United Fruits stock-holder and once a member of it’s Board of Directors, is given the go-ahead.
The CIA code-names its plan ‘Operation Success’. The coup will depend on a handful of soldiers, a small air force and the massive use of psychological warfare.”
(Source: Spies “Diplomacy – CIA Style”: Guatemala| Time reference: 14m50s)
NARRATOR: “September 1946. It’s been little more than a year since former Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen began working secretly for the United States. By now, former Nazi scientists and engineers have also been brought to the U.S. and put on the government payroll. It’s a top-secret operation run by the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the code-name ‘Paperclip’.”
(Source: CIA and the nazis documentary | Time reference: 15m52s)
NARRATOR: “In the wake of World War II, the U.S. government is engaged in a large number of secret medical experiments designed to help win the Cold War. Developing techniques for mind-control, to create a so-called ‘Manchurian Candidate’.
(Source: CIA Mind Control | Time reference: 16m20s)
ALAN W. SCHEFLIN: The Director of Central Intelligence in April of 1953, Allen Dulles, gave a talk in which he said the we were in a battle for control of men’s minds, that’s his term, and that we were losing the battle.
NARRATOR: Dulles wastes no time in signing a secret executive order creating ‘Project MK ULTRA’. The goal; to leave no stone unturned in the area of mind and behavior control.”
(Source: America’s Secret War – MKULTRA Mind Control | Time reference: 16m35s)
MICHAEL CARROLL: “Allen Dulles pinpoints Cuba for his most ambitious attempt to eliminating a foreign leader, Fidel Castro. Castro nationalizes American property in Cuba and offers to pay for it with nearly worthless Cuban bonds. The U.S. rejects his offer. Castro refuses to negotiate.
In Guatemala, the CIA trains a Cuban exile-force of 1,500 men. This tiny army, the 2506 Brigade, is expected to invade Cuba, hold the beach head for 72 hours and wait for a popular uprising against Castro. Success will depend on American air-support.
April 17th (1961) the invasion forces reaches it’s destination, the Bay of Pigs. The Cuban people do not rise up against Castro as expected. The Cuban army does not defect. Outnumbered and outgunned Brigade 2506 is doomed.”
(Source: Spies “Diplomacy – CIA Style”: Cuba | Time reference: 17m03s)
Yes I think we can see how this ‘ancient history’ has very real real-world relevance even to this very day as the effects of those operations continue to spill forth across the headlines and just as the 1919 Paris ‘Peace Conference’ literally drew and redrew the lines on the map over which wars are currently raging, so too did the Machiavellian machinations of Allen Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence in the 1950’s, leave scars on the earth which are still being felt and picked at even to this very day.
So, in order to even begin encompassing a career as expansive and infamous as Allen Dulles’ and we will only be able to scratch the surface of it today, let’s turn to an article from 2005 by Cory Panshin entitled ‘Allen Dulles, the Nazis, and the CIA’ where he notes:
“Dulles entered the diplomatic service after college and served as a State Department delegate to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, which brought a formal end to World War I. The Versailles Treaty which came out of this conference included a provision making it illegal to sell arms to Germany. This displeased the powerful DuPont family, and they put pressure on the delegates to allow them to opt out. It was Allen Dulles who finally gave them the assurances they wanted that their transactions with Germany would be “winked at.”
Dulles remained a diplomat through the early 1920’s, spending part of that time in Berlin. However, he left government service in 1926 for the greener pastures of private business, becoming a Wall Street lawyer with the same firm as his older brother, John Foster Dulles.
He would become the lawyer for the Thyssens’ Rotterdam bank and would also represent other German firms, including I.G. Farben.
However, there was a serpent in this businessmen’s Eden, and its name was Adolph Hitler. August Thyssen’s son and successor, Fritz Thyssen, was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and had been funding the Nazi Party since 1923. Other German industrialists would do the same. It is hard to say to what extent the American investors shared Thyssen’s enthusiasm, though it seems likely that most of them were swayed less by ideology than by the prospect that Hitler would be good for business. Either way, the outcome was that many wealthy and powerful Americans wound up supporting a regime that would ultimately become their own nation’s enemy, and investing in the very firms that would provide the core of that regime’s military machine.
Early in 1933, both Dulles brother attended a meeting in Germany where German industrialists agreed to back Hitler’s bid for power in exchange for his pledge to break the German unions. A few months later, John Foster Dulles negotiated a deal with Hitler’s economics minister whereby all German trade with the United States would be coordinated through a syndicate headed by Averell Harriman’s cousin. With the Nazis enforcing a favorable climate for business, the profits for Thyssen and other companies soared, and the Union Banking Corporation increasingly became a Nazi money-laundering machine. In 1934, George Herbert Walker placed Prescott Bush on Union Bank’s board of directors, and Bush and Harriman also began to use the bank as the basis for a complex and deceptive system of holding companies.
The Hamburg-Amerika shipping line, which Harriman and Walker had controlled since 1920, had a particularly high degree of Nazi involvement in its operations. In 1934, a congressional investigation revealed it to have become a front for I.G. Farben’s spying, propaganda, and bribery on behalf of the German government. Rather than advising Walker and Harriman to divest themselves of these tainted assets, Prescott Bush hired Allen Dulles to help conceal them. From 1937 on, the Dulles brothers would serve Bush and Harriman in all their covert dealings with Nazi firms. They also performed similar cloaking services for others, like the Rockefellers.”
(Source: Allen Dulles, the Nazis, and the CIA | Time reference: 19m04s)