Allen Dulles

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Allen Welsh Dulles (1893-1969)
OSS Operative (1942-45) | CIA Director (1953-61)

"Son of a Presbyterian minister and grandson of a secretary of state, Allen Dulles was born on April 7, 1893, in Watertown, New York, and grew up in household that valued public service and where world affairs were a common topic of discussion. He graduated from Princeton, and in 1916 entered the diplomatic service. In 1926 he earned a law degree from George Washington University and took a job at the New York firm where his brother, John Foster Dulles, was a partner. During the 1930s Allen Dulles gained much experience in Germany, which made his selection in 1942 as station chief in Berne, Switzerland, for the newly formed Office of Strategic Services a logical one. Dulles supplied his government with much sensitive information about Nazi Germany. In 1945, he played a central role in negotiations leading to the unconditional capitulation of German troops in Italy.

"After the war in Europe, Dulles served for six months as the OSS Berlin station chief. In 1947, Congress created the Central Intelligence Agency. Dulles was closely involved with its development, and in 1951 he was named deputy director. Under President Eisenhower, Dulles became CIA director. As the nation's top spy during the height of the Cold War, Dulles gave equal emphasis to the clandestine collection of information and covert activities. The CIA was instrumental in the overthrow of the governments of Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954). Dulles saw this kind of activity as an essential part of the struggle against communism, even if it did not always comply with the law. The president agreed. The development of the U-2 spy plane after 1955 greatly enhanced the CIA's ability to monitor Soviet activity. The reputation of the agency and its director declined, however, with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. The new president, John F. Kennedy, held Dulles responsible, and accepted his resignation the following September. Dulles always believed the operation could have succeeded had the president authorized sufficient military support.

"Dulles died of influenza, complicated by pneumonia, in Washington, D.C., on January 29, 1969, at age 75."

Source: CNN.

"Career diplomat and intelligence official and later Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency. Allen Dulles, the younger brother of U.S. State Secretary John Foster Dulles (1953-59), was the mastermind of U.S. covert operations during the Cold War in the 1950s. He also played an important role in World War II as OSS envoy in Zurich reporting the efforts of the German conspirators to contact the Allies.

"The Dulles brothers are the product of the American eastern establishment. Allen Dulles receives his Master of Arts degree from Princeton University in 1916 and later joins the diplomatic service to be posted in Vienna and Berne. He also works for the American Commission at the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and later serves in the U.S. embassies of Berlin and Istanbul. He returns to Washington in 1922 as Chief of the State Department's Near East Division and receives his law degree in 1926. Shortly after, he serves as Counsellor of the U.S. delegation to China.

"Allen Dulles's dissatisfaction with salary wages causes him to retire from the diplomatic corps and join the same firm his elder brother already works for - the United Fruit Company. The Dulles brothers later demonstrate their loyalty to the company when it's assets in Guatemala are nationalized in 1954 by socialist leader Guillermo Arbenz. While U.S. state secretary John Dulles paints Arbenz as a Communist sympathizer and Soviet stooge, CIA director Allen Dulles engineers Arbenz's overthrow in one of many successful covert CIA operations throughout the 1950s."

"In the 1930s, Allen Dulles becomes active in Republican politics and in May 1941 urges the U.S. to enter World War II out of 'enlightened selfishness.' Shortly after Japan's December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Dulles is recruited by OSS intelligence chief Colonel William J. Donovan to set up and run an OSS listening post in Berne, Switzlerland. Dulles acquires great expertise on Germany through his law firm during the 1930s. From October 1942 to May 1945, he gathers intelligence information on Nazi Germany and plays an instrumental role in events that lead to the surrender of German forces in Italy."

"Working with Dr. Hans Gaevernitz who corresponds with the secret emissaries of the German conspirators, Dulles becomes intimately connected with their cause. Sympathetic to their desperate attempts to overthrow Hitler and the Nazi regime, Dulles repeatedly calls for an active-positive U.S. response to the German conspirators. He believes this will encourage more senior officers to join the conspiracy and thereby increase it's chance of success and the opportunity to bring the war in Europe to a speedy conclusion. Dulles transmits these views to Donovan who shares his enthusiasm for the conspirators and does his best to impress those views on U.S. policy makers. But as is generally the case, the intelligence service carries little political clout, and Dulles's energetic appeals fall on deaf ears in Washington."

"After World War II, Allen Dulles serves as a government consultant. In 1948, he is appointed to chair a three-man commission responsible for assessing the U.S. Intelligence system. In 1951, he is made Deputy Director of the nascent Central Intelligence Agency which he helps found under General Walter Bedell Smith. Dulles is appointed CIA Director by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. In that capacity, Allen Dulles masterminds and orchestrates a number of remarkable covert intelligence operations such as the overthrow of Iranian nationalist leader Mohammed Mossagdeh (1953), the overthrow of Guatemalan leader Guilermo Arbenz (1954), and secret U-2 reconaissance flights over Russia which reveal that the Soviet nuclear arsenal is far smaller than Kruschev boasted.

"But the Soviet downing of Frances Gary Powers's U-2 spy plane over Russia in 1960 proves a great embarrassment to Dulles and the Eisenhower Administration as it torpedoes the U.S.-Soviet Paris peace summit. Nevertheless, Dulles is reappointed CIA Director by incoming President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy later holds Dulles responsible for the disastrous April 1961 CIA-funded and supported anti-Castro Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. Dulles resigns as CIA Director in November.

"Shortly after Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints Dulles to chair the Warren Commission's investigation into the murder.

"Dulles writes a number of books on foreign affairs and the intelligence service, among these: Germany's Underground (1947), The Craft of Intelligence (1963), The Secret Surrender (1966). He dies in January 1969." Author and date unknown.

"This was important administratively because by that time Frank Wisner, the CIA Deputy Director of Plans, had set up his forward headquarters in Singapore and at the direction of the 5412 Committee of the National Security Council, headed by Richard M. Nixon, Wisner occupied that faraway headquarters himself. (It should be noted that in 1958 Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA, his brother John Foster Dulles was the Secretary of State, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, and Nixon, as Vice President, chaired the clandestine affairs committee, then known as the 'Special Group 5412/2.' In other words nothing was done in Indonesia that was not directed by Nixon. If an action had not been directed by the NSC, then it was done unlawfully by the CIA.)

"In 1958 Allen Dulles would have brought such a major operation to the attention of the Special Group and he would operate with its approval. This was an essential step in national policy because it then empowered the Department of Defense to provide the necessary support requested by the CIA. Much of this fell within the area of my responsibility at Air Force Headquarters, and I was kept informed on a regular basis of approved action and of Nixon's keen interest in this project."

Source: L. Fletcher Prouty, "Indonesia 1958: Nixon, the CIA, and the Secret War," Gallery magazine, August 1976.

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