It’s probably not a good idea to take on an exalted title like that unless you have some real power to wield and as the director of counterintelligence, Angleton was responsible for a lot of the dirty tricks at CIA during his reign. He’s become the subject of dozens of books and movies, most recently The Good Shepherd, although his multiple connections to the JFK hit never seem to surface in the mainstream media.
Angleton got his powerful post after serving as the Vatican’s OSS liaison during WWII, working closely with Allen Dulles to shield important Nazis who were given new jobs working for US interests after the war. According to Angleton, before getting his promotion, he had to promise Dulles never to put him or any of his Wall Street-connected cronies on lie detectors in order to question them about financial relations with Germany during the war. You see, many US corporations employed neutral countries to trade with the enemy, including Standard Oil, a company owned by Dulles’ cousin by marriage David Rockefeller. If you want to get really rich during war, sell to both sides.
Not only did Angleton remain in charge of the important CIA-Vatican connection, he also became the strategic CIA link to Israel and their efficient Mossad, an intelligence agency not hampered by red tape.
The sad reality is that after he got his post, Angleton was swiftly compromised by British double agent Kim Philby, who gleaned many secrets before departing back to England. Philby had spent many nights plying the chain-smoking Angleton with liquor so they could talk shop. The main subject of conversation was the suspected mole inside British intelligence who kept the KGB one step ahead of Angleton, and who might that mole be? Before long, a nest of Soviet spies (the Cambridge 5) was uncovered and a few revealed, although Philby was exonerated and Victor Rothschild never seriously investigated. Philby began working as a journalist covering the Middle East, while secretly reporting to MI6. But in 1961, Anatoliy Golitsyn, a KGB major, defected to the West and established his bona fides by offering up Philby as KGB and part of the Cambridge ring that had been operating since before WWII.
CIA spook William Buckley would write the first major book on how Angleton went crazy after Philby was unmasked. Buckley is Skull & Bones and card carrying member of the oligarchy, just like Angleton, only maybe a little higher on the pecking order. But Golitsyn was a fake defector seeding disinfo. His major thrust was that many highly placed people in Western power were really KGB, just like Philby. Golitsyn even claimed British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a KGB spy. And he also claimed there was another KGB spy was very high up in the US government as well. Obviously, these rabbit holes served mostly to amp up Angleton’s paranoia. He’d spend the next few years hunting for an imaginary highly-placed mole in Washington DC, and at one point accused just about everyone in power. Did Golitsuyn also finger JFK as well as Wilson? I think this seems pretty likely. Strangely, Golitsyn became an Honorary Commander of the British Empire. And what do you think would have happened if Angleton had written a report saying JFK was a Soviet spy? Would that have justified a national security project to remove JFK from power?
But after JFK was assassinated, along came a real Soviet defector name Yuri Nosenko, who arrived in 1964. Since Nosenko did not concur with much of anything Golitsyn had been saying, and, in fact, was more highly situated and knew more than Golitsyn, Nosenko was held prisoner for four years and tortured continuously and fed LSD and other drugs in an attempt to break him down. And the entire time Angleton kept telling everyone Nosenko was a fake whose only mission was to discredit Golitsyn.
In retrospect Angleton seems borderline incompetent since he’d been played by Philby and Golitsyn. One wonders how Angleton kept his job so long, although keep in mind his files were probably more explosive than J. Edgar Hoover’s.
And then, of course, there’s Angleton’s vast connections to the JFK assassination cover-up. It’s no accident Angleton was named CIA liason with the Warren Commission and swiftly replaced John Whitten as official CIA investigator of the incident. Moves like that are made when a fox is needed to watch the hen house.
The dead bodies piled up pretty quick around Angleton, especially his wife’s best friend Mary Meyer and his former friend Win Scott, the Mexico City CIA station chief who launched his own private investigation into JFK’s assassination, something Angleton seemed desperate to shut down before it got started.
Since the assassination was organized through the CIA’s JM/WAVE station and William Harvey played a key role, it’s critical to consider Angleton’s role in shielding Harvey after JFK ordered him fired. Angleton moved Harvey to Rome and then likely brought him back for the operation. Ted Shackley was running JM/WAVE so he had to know what was going on, as did Richard Helms obviously because he went on to become CIA director. In fact, if you want to know who was involved in some aspect of this coup, just consider who assumes great power in later years. Certainly the Bush family could owe a portion of its rise to prominence through a hidden connection to the coup. Shackley went on to run the Phoenix program in Vietnam with William Colby and that became the largest CIA assassination program in history. I talked to one of the key players involved a few years ago, and he told me that he’d gone back to Vietnam after the war only to discover the man in charge of providing many of the names of those who needed to be assassinated turned out to be a double agent. He later became an important figure in the Vietnamese government. If that’s true, then the people getting assassinated by Phoenix were probably just moderate tribal leaders because once you wipe out the true alphas of any tribe, it leaves the door open to put some corrupt stooges in their place.
Maybe if you connect enough of these dots you realize why the burnt-out shell called Communism was propped in place to justify those incredible military expenditures on both sides? And why was it so easy for the CIA to whack their President but so impossible to whack Fidel Castro? Since JFK and RFK started working for world peace in 1963, one wonders if they even understood the nature of the game they were involved in. You can pick either side of the managed dialectic, but peace is never an option when your nation is run by the National Security State.