Allen W. Dulles
Allen W. Dulles
Typed Letter Signed - 1947
Typed Letter Signed to prominent radio personality Mary Margaret McBride, dated April 22, 1947, on Sullivan & Cromwell letterhead, the Wall Street law firm in which Dulles was a partner. Letter is clipped to 8.5″ x 7″, and is in excellent condition with usual folds.
ALLEN WELSH DULLES (1893-1969) was the first civilian and the longest serving (1953-61) director of central intelligence (de facto head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) and a member of the Warren Commission. Between stints of government service, Dulles was a corporate lawyer and partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. Allen W. Dulles was one of the directors of the J. Henry Schroder bank.
In 1953, Dulles became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence, which had been formed as part of the National Security Act of 1947; earlier directors had been military officers. The Agency’s covert operations were an important part of the Eisenhower administration’s new Cold War national security policy known as the “New Look”. Under Dulles’s direction, the CIA created MK-Ultra, a top secret mind control research project which was managed by Sidney Gottlieb. Dulles also personally oversaw Operation Mockingbird, a program that influenced American media companies as part of the “New Look”.
Dulles went on to be successful with the CIA’s first attempts at removing foreign leaders by covert means. Notably, the elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran was deposed in 1953 (via Operation Ajax), and President Arbenz of Guatemala was removed in 1954. The Guatemalan coup was carried out under the CIA code-name Operation PBSUCCESS. Dulles was on the board of the United Fruit Company. Dulles saw these kind of clandestine activities as an essential part of the struggle against communism.
During the Kennedy Administration, Dulles faced increasing criticism. The failed Bay of Pigs Invasion and several failed assassination plots utilizing CIA-recruited operatives from the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans directly against Fidel Castro undermined the CIA’s credibility, and pro-American but unpopular regimes in Iran and Guatemala that he helped put in place were widely regarded as brutal and corrupt. The reputation of the agency and its director declined after the Bay of Pigs Invasion fiasco; in September 1961 he and his staff were forced to resign. President Kennedy did not trust the CIA, and he reportedly intended to dismantle it after the Bay of Pigs failure. Kennedy said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.”
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