Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Goulden: 'The Ghost: The Secret Life Of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton' Is A Sorry Excuse Of An Investigative Book

Veteran journalist and author Joseph Goulden offers a negative review of Jefferson Morley's The Ghost: The Secret Life CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton in the Washington Times.. 

As a holiday gift, permit me to save you 28 bucks and however much time you might waste on the sorriest excuse for an investigative book that has ever crossed this desk.

Jefferson Morley sets out to prove that James J. Angleton (seen in the below photo), the longtime — and controversial — head of counterintelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency — was guilty of a medley of sins, including complicity in the murder of President Kennedy.

His “research” consists chiefly of sweeping up every bit of anti-Angleton dung he could in previous books. The more damning the allegation — and the more ridiculous — the better.

One must blink at some of Mr. Morley’s outlandish claims. An example: that Angleton had a homosexual relationship with Kim Philby (seen in the below photo), the British intelligence officer who also spied for the Soviet Union.

To be sure, the two men knew one another: Angleton was Philby’s liaison for CIA when the latter was assigned to Washington. They had many a chat over a bottle and lunch.

Mr. Morley’s evidence? A comment made by another officer to another author of another book. No substance is visible, just a suspicion. No matter; such is enough for the likes of a “historian” such as Mr. Morley.

To be sure, Philby’s treachery damaged Angleton. He spent his last years searching for “moles” in the CIA, an ill-guided effort that smeared many innocent people. He eventually was fired.

But Mr. Morley has little favorable to say about a career that began in the OSS and had a number of high spots. Brief mention is made of his acquisition of the famed “Stalin speech” in which successor Nikita Khrushchev shook communism to its core.

Why such a book? Mr. Morley is prominent in a claque of deniers who have spent decades trying to prove that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald (seen in the below photo) killed Kennedy.

Their campaign even reaches the White House. Donald Trump’s intimate friend Roger Stone published a book in 2014 blaming Lyndon Johnson for the murder.

But the main target has been — and will be for eternity, it appears — the Central Intelligence Agency.

For the media, CIA is an easy target. Journalists love writing about “CIA murder plots” against foreign leaders, ignoring the fact that orders came from the White House.

Too, a deceased target can do nothing to rebut outlandish lies. For that matter, even living officers have trouble gaining redress from courts that hold them to be “public figures.”

Enter the deniers and their politics. A strong element among the deniers, like Mr. Morley, are on the far-left of the political spectrum. Hence, they are incapable of fingering a leftist for the most outrageous crime in American history.

Thus their need for a scapegoat, and the utility of Angleton. As Mr. Morley writes, carefully casting his accusation in the form of a question, “Was Angleton running Oswald as part of a plot to assassinate President Kennedy? He certainly had the knowledge and ability to do so.”

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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