Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Highly Recommend Film & Book

Mary Beth and I went to see this excellent film today that is set against the backdrop of a series of historic Cold War events. 

“Bridge of Spies” tells the true story of James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.

It's interesting that at this very moment I've just begun reading a new book called The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot.  The book chronicles the long sordid history of the Dulles reign as head of the CIA where he repeatedly did everything he could to promote war between the US and the former Soviet Union.

Related to this film Talbot writes:

The president [Eisenhower] had given his CIA director [Dulles] a long leash, but he never felt fully confident in his judgement.  The relationship between the two men would sharply fracture in May 1960 when a high-flying U-2 spy plane operated by the CIA was shot down over the Soviet Union - sabotaging an upcoming summit meeting with Khrushchev and ruining Eisenhower's final chance for a Cold War breakthrough.  Eisenhower was agonizingly aware of the political risks he was taking by authorizing the U-2 spy missions over Soviet territory, calling his on-again, off-again approval for the surveillance flights one of the most "soul-searching questions to come before a president."  But Dulles had repeatedly assured Eisenhower that the high-altitude spy planes were safe from Russian antiaircraft missiles.

On May 1, the president found out his CIA director's assurances were hollow, when a Soviet missile slammed into a U-2 plane flying over Russia's Ural Mountains, resulting in the downing of the aircraft and the capture of CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers.  The flight on the eve of the Paris Summit seemed so badly timed and planned that at least one close observer, Air Force Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, suspected that the CIA had intentionally provoked the incident in order to ruin the peace conference and ensure the continued reign of Dulles dogmatism.  Prouty, a liaison officer between the Pentagon and the CIA who was summoned by Dulles whenever CIA spy flights ran into trouble, later wrote that the U-2 shootdown was "a most unusual event" that grew out of a "tremendous underground struggle [between] the peacemakers led by President Eisenhower" and the Dulles "inner elite."
JFK assassination researchers have long shown that Dulles was intimately involved in the operation to kill the popular president.  When Vice-President Lyndon Johnson took over the government he created the Warren Commission to 'investigate' the killing of JFK. Dulles successfully lobbied the new president to appoint him to the commission.  Dulles had the motive to kill JFK since Kennedy had removed him as director of the CIA following the Bay of Pigs fiasco. That event was also orchestrated by Dulles as an attempt to not only topple the Castro government in Cuba but more importantly to ignite a war between the US and the former Soviet Union.

I highly recommend watching this movie and reading Talbot's book.  Both make significant contributions to a better understanding of that volatile period and to further understanding how the 'deep state' controls the US government to this very day.


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