Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

Lecture Series  

L‑5 The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA

Down­load MP3s: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 (Approx. 130 min­utes)

This lec­ture delin­eates the pro­found con­nec­tions between Wall Street and U.S. intel­li­gence. Specif­i­cal­ly, the talk high­lights the dis­pro­por­tion­ate influ­ence of key Wall Street law firms upon the for­ma­tion and devel­op­ment of both the OSS (Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices), Amer­i­ca’s World War II civil­ian intel­li­gence ser­vice and its suc­ces­sor, the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency. Men such as William Dono­van, Allen Dulles and Frank Wis­ner were both key intel­li­gence offi­cers and pow­er­ful Wall Street lawyers. Along with men like John Fos­ter Dulles (Allen’s broth­er and part­ner in Sul­li­van & Cromwell), Carmel Offie, William Bul­litt, George Ken­nan, Paul Nitze and James For­re­stal, they did much to shape the his­to­ry of the 20th cen­tu­ry.

The dis­cus­sion begins with the Ver­sailles Treaty con­clud­ing the First World War. Key fig­ures in the machi­na­tions of the U.S. del­e­ga­tion to the Ver­sailles nego­ti­a­tions fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the devel­op­ment of U.S. intel­li­gence and nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy for decades to fol­low. They also played a pri­ma­ry role in assist­ing the devel­op­ment of inter­na­tion­al fas­cism, before, dur­ing and after World War II. After Ver­sailles, John Fos­ter Dulles (a key mem­ber of the Amer­i­can del­e­ga­tion), act­ing as Spe­cial Coun­sel to the Dawes Com­mit­tee, helped arrange the loans that re-cap­i­tal­ized Ger­many under the Dawes Plan. Fos­ter’s promi­nent Wall Street law firm, the above-men­tioned Sul­li­van & Cromwell, prof­it­ed hand­some­ly from those loans, as well. Dulles’ broth­er Allen also prac­ticed for Sul­li­van & Cromwell.

The firms cap­i­tal­ized under the Dawes and Young plans were instru­men­tal in pro­mot­ing the rise of Hitler and cre­at­ing his war machine. Mus­soli­ni, Fran­co and Poland’s Pil­sud­s­ki were among the Euro­pean fas­cists who ben­e­fit­ed from the largesse of the Wall Street Elite.

The lec­ture high­lights the role in Amer­i­ca’s World War II intel­li­gence service–the Office of Strate­gic Services–of Allen Dulles and anoth­er promi­nent Wall Street lawyer, Frank Wis­ner. Dulles served as head of the Berne (Switzer­land) office of OSS and lat­er in Berlin after the war. In both posi­tions, Dulles inter­faced close­ly with mem­bers of the Ger­man indus­tri­al and finan­cial elite with whom he had worked while serv­ing with Sul­li­van & Cromwell. Through these con­tacts, Dulles was instru­men­tal in help­ing to pre­serve this Ger­man elite after the war.

One of Dulles’ prin­ci­pal con­tacts was Gero von Gaever­nitz, who played an impor­tant role in intro­duc­ing Ger­man spy­mas­ter Rein­hard Gehlen to the U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tives who proved instru­men­tal in bring­ing the gen­er­al and his orga­ni­za­tion into the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence appa­rat. The lec­ture high­lights the work for both OSS and CIA of Frank Wis­ner, a part­ner with Carter, Led­yard and Mil­burn, anoth­er pow­er­ful Wall Street Law Firm that was the coun­sel for the New York Stock Exchange. (Lat­er, when Wis­ner went to work for the CIA as Deputy Direc­tor of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence, anoth­er Deputy Direc­tor, Hard­ing Jack­son, was also a for­mer part­ner in Carter, Led­yard and Mil­burn.) Both Dulles and Wis­ner worked inti­mate­ly with the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion when the ex-OSS duo “grad­u­at­ed” to posts with the CIA.

The lec­ture delin­eates John Fos­ter Dulles’ role as Sec­re­tary of State under Eisen­how­er, when Allen was Direc­tor of the CIA. George Ken­nan was the author of the “con­tain­ment strat­e­gy,” a key ele­ment of Amer­i­can Cold War pol­i­cy. As a diplo­mat serv­ing in Moscow pri­or to World War II, Ken­nan became an inti­mate of Gus­tav Hilger, a key Third Reich diplo­mat who worked for the US after World War II.

Lec­ture High­lights Include: dis­cus­sion of OSS chief William Dono­van’s role as an anti-Bol­she­vik emis­sary of Amer­i­can indus­tri­al­ist J.P. Mor­gan in the 1920’s; Dono­van’s work as a key Wall Street lawyer pri­or to the war; Paul Nitze and James For­re­stal’s work for Dil­lon, Read (deeply involved in fund­ing the Third Reich); Nitze’s and For­re­stal’s post-war role as anti-com­mu­nist cru­saders; the role of Sir William Stephen­son in devel­op­ing the OSS (Stephen­son was Britain’s pri­ma­ry spy­mas­ter in the Amer­i­c­as dur­ing World War II); Stephen­son’s alliance with key Mor­gan asso­ciate Edward Stet­tinius; the role of Ian Flem­ing (the author of the James Bond nov­els) in aid­ing Stephen­son’s intel­li­gence work in the U.S. (Record­ed at Foothill Col­lege in 11/22/1997.)


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