Allen Welsh Dulles

Allen Welsh Dulles

Ask a question about 'Allen Welsh Dulles'
Start a new discussion about 'Allen Welsh Dulles'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Allen Welsh Dulles was an American diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

, lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

, banker, and public official who became the first civilian and the longest-serving (1953–1961) Director of Central Intelligence
Director of Central Intelligence
The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

 (de facto head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

) and a member of the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

. Between stints of government service, Dulles was a corporate lawyer and partner at Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is an international law firm headquartered in New York. The firm has approximately 800 lawyers in 12 offices, located in financial centers in the United States, Asia, Australia and Europe. Sullivan & Cromwell was founded by Algernon Sydney Sullivan and William Nelson...

. His older brother, John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

, was the Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 during the Eisenhower Administration.

Early life and family

Allen Dulles was born on April 7, 1893, in Watertown, New York, and grew up in a family where public service was valued and world affairs were a common topic of discussion. Dulles was one of five children born to Presbyterian minister Allen Macy Dulles and his wife Edith (Foster). He was five years younger than his brother John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

, Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

's Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 and chairman and senior partner of Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is an international law firm headquartered in New York. The firm has approximately 800 lawyers in 12 offices, located in financial centers in the United States, Asia, Australia and Europe. Sullivan & Cromwell was founded by Algernon Sydney Sullivan and William Nelson...

, and two years older than his sister, diplomat Eleanor Lansing Dulles
Eleanor Lansing Dulles
Eleanor Lansing Dulles was an author, teacher and United States Government employee. She was a member of a diplomatic dynasty which spanned three generations. Her grandfather, John Watson Foster, served as United States Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison...

. His maternal grandfather was John W. Foster
John W. Foster
John Watson Foster was an American military man, journalist and diplomat.Born in Petersburg, Indiana, and raised in Evansville, Indiana, he was first a lawyer and then served as general for the Union in the American Civil War. Following the war he worked as a journalist, editing the Evansville...

, who was Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

. His paternal grandfather, John Welch Dulles, had been a Presbyterian missionary in China. His uncle (by marriage), Robert Lansing
Robert Lansing
Robert Lansing served in the position of Legal Advisor to the State Department at the outbreak of World War I where he vigorously advocated against Britain's policy of blockade and in favor of the principles of freedom of the seas and the rights of neutral nations...

, was also a U.S. Secretary of State. His nephew, Avery Dulles, was a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 priest, and noted theologian who taught at Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university in the United States, with three campuses in and around New York City. It was founded by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St...


Dulles graduated from Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, and entered the diplomatic service in 1916. When Dulles was serving in Switzerland, he was responsible for reviewing and rejecting Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

's application for a visa to the United States. In 1920 he married Clover Todd, daughter of a Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 professor; their only son, Allen Macy Dulles Jr., was wounded and permanently disabled in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 when a mortar fragment penetrated his brain.

In 1921 while at the US Embassy in Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Dulles exposed the infamous Protocols of Zion as a forgery, providing the story to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

of London. The article was reprinted in the New York Times. In 1926 he earned a law degree from George Washington University Law School and took a job at the New York firm where his brother, John Foster Dulles, was a partner. He became a director of the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 in 1927, the first new director since the Council's foundation in 1921. He was the Council's secretary from 1933 to 1944.

Early career and war years

After Dulles graduated from college he became a diplomat, and while posted in various European countries he gathered intelligence information. In the 1920s he served five years as chief of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 division of the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. From time to time during the late twenties and early thirties, he served as legal adviser to the delegation on arms limitation at the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. There he had the opportunity to meet with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, Maxim Litvinov
Maxim Litvinov
Maxim Maximovich Litvinov was a Russian revolutionary and prominent Soviet diplomat.- Early life and first exile :...

, and the leaders of Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...


As the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 began to divide into isolationist and interventionist
Interventionism (politics)
Interventionism is a term for a policy of non-defensive activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy or society...

 factions, Dulles became an outspoken interventionist, running unsuccessfully in 1938 for the Republican nomination in the Sixteenth Congressional District of New York on a platform calling for a strengthening of U.S. defenses. Dulles collaborated with Hamilton Fish Armstrong
Hamilton Fish Armstrong
Hamilton Fish Armstrong was a United States diplomat and editor.-Biography:He attended Princeton University, and started his journalistic activity at the New Republic. During the First World War, he was a military attaché in Serbia...

, the editor of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

magazine, on two books, Can We Be Neutral? (1936), and Can America Stay Neutral? (1939). They concluded that diplomatic, military, and economic isolation, in a traditional sense, were no longer possible in an increasingly interdependent international system. Dulles helped a number of German Jews, such as the banker Paul Kemper, escape to the United States from Nazi Germany.

Dulles was transferred to Bern, Switzerland, where he lived at Herrengasse 23
Herrengasse 23 (Bern)
The von Wattenwyl house on Herrengasse 23 is a historic building in Bern, Switzerland, named after the von Wattenwyl family who owned it for over 200 years....

 for the duration of World War II. Dulles worked on intelligence regarding German plans and activities, and established wide contacts with German émigrés, resistance figures, and anti-Nazi intelligence officers. He was assisted in intelligence-gathering activities by a German emigrant named Gero von Schulze-Gaevernitz
Gero von Schulze-Gaevernitz
Gero von Schulze-Gaevernitz was a German economist. He became a crucial assistant of Allen Welsh Dulles in Europe and was awarded the U.S...

. Dulles also received valuable information from Fritz Kolbe
Fritz Kolbe
Fritz Kolbe was a German diplomat who became America's most important spy against the Nazis in World War II.-Career:Fritz Kolbe was born in Berlin...

, a German diplomat. Kolbe supplied secret documents regarding active German spies and plans regarding the Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944...

 jet fighter. In 1945, Dulles played a central role in negotiations leading to the unconditional capitulation of German troops in Italy.

Although Washington barred Dulles from making firm commitments to the plotters of the 20 July 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler, the conspirators nonetheless gave him reports on developments in Germany, including sketchy but accurate warnings of plans for Hitler’s V-1 and V-2 missiles.

Dulles was involved in Operation Crossword
Operation Crossword
During World War II, Operation Crossword or Operation Sunrise was a series of secret negotiations conducted in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of Nazi Germany and the Western Allies to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy...

, secret negotiations in March 1945 to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy. After the war in Europe, Dulles served for six months as the Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 Berlin station chief, and later as station chief in Bern.

Financial ties with Nazi Germany

Investigative authors John Loftus
John Loftus
John Joseph Loftus is an American author, former US government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer. He is a president of The Intelligence Summit and, although he is not Jewish, a president of the Florida Holocaust Museum. Loftus also serves on the Board of Advisers to Public...

 and Mark Aarons
Mark Aarons
Mark Aarons is an Australian journalist and author. He was a political adviser to NSW Premier Bob Carr.Aarons was born in Newcastle, New South Wales but was brought up in Sydney. He was educated at Fairfield Boys High School and North Sydney Boys High School.He is the son of the late Laurie...

 described Dulles "as one of the worst traitors in American history, an economic version of Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold V was a general during the American Revolutionary War. He began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces...

." They suggest that together with his brother, John Foster Dulles, and St. John Philby
St. John Philby
Harry St John Bridger Philby CIE , also known as Jack Philby or Sheikh Abdullah , his Arabic name, was an Arabist, explorer, writer, and British colonial office intelligence officer...

, Dulles established an international financial network among Nazi corporations, American oil interests, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 for the benefit of the Third Reich. Near the end of World War II, Dulles successfully directed the smuggling of Nazi money back to his Western clients, evading Allied surveillance. Loftus and Aarons believed Dulles, like Philby, was an "archetypical upper-crust" anti-Semite.

Other scholars point out that in 1935 Dulles returned from a business trip to Germany appalled by the Nazi treatment of German Jews, and despite his brother's objections, led a movement within the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell to close their Berlin office. As a result of Dulles' efforts, the Berlin office was closed and the firm ceased to conduct business within Nazi Germany.

CIA career

The Office of Strategic Services was dissolved in October 1945 and its functions transferred to the State and War Departments. The Central Intelligence Agency was created by Congress with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II...

, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

. Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter , born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the third director of the post-World War II U.S. Central Intelligence Group , the third Director of Central Intelligence , and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947...

 was the first Director.

In the 1948 Presidential election
United States presidential election, 1948
The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won, overcoming a three-way...

, Dulles was chief advisor to Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey. The Dulles brothers and James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

 helped form the Office of Policy Coordination
Office of Policy Coordination
The Office of Policy Coordination was a United States covert psychological operations and paramilitary action organization. Created as an independent office in 1948, it was merged with the Central Intelligence Agency in 1951....

. In 1953 Dulles became the first civilian CIA director.

The Agency's covert operations were an important part of the Eisenhower administration's new Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 policy known as the "New Look". Under Dulles's direction, the CIA created MK-Ultra, a top secret mind control
Mind control
Mind control refers to a process in which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator, often to the detriment of the person being manipulated"...

 research project which was managed by Sidney Gottlieb
Sidney Gottlieb
Sidney Gottlieb was an American chemist probably best known for his involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency's mind control program MKULTRA.-Life:...

. Dulles also personally oversaw Operation Mockingbird
Operation Mockingbird
Operation Mockingbird was a secret Central Intelligence Agency campaign to influence foreign media beginning in the 1950s.The activities, extent and even the existence of the CIA project remain in dispute: the operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis' 1979 book, Katharine the Great:...

, a program which influenced foreign and domestic media companies.

At Dulles's request, President Eisenhower demanded that Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

 discontinue issuing subpoena
A subpoena is a writ by a government agency, most often a court, that has authority to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure. There are two common types of subpoena:...

s against the CIA. In March 1950 McCarthy had initiated a series of investigations into potential communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 subversion of the Agency. Although none of the investigations revealed any wrongdoing, the hearings were still potentially damaging, not only to the CIA's reputation but also to the security of sensitive information. Documents made public in 2004 revealed that the CIA had broken into McCarthy's Senate office and intentionally fed disinformation to him in order to discredit him.

In the early 1950s the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 conducted a competition for a new photo reconnaissance aircraft. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's Skunk Works
Skunk works
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs , formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor...

 submitted a design number called the CL-282, which married sailplane-like wings to the body of a supersonic interceptor. This aircraft was rejected by the Air Force, but several of the civilians on the review board took notice, and Edwin Land presented a proposal for the aircraft to Dulles. The aircraft became what is known as the U-2
Lockheed U-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency . It provides day and night, very high-altitude , all-weather intelligence gathering...

 'spy plane', and it was initially operated by CIA pilots. Its introduction into operational service in 1957 greatly enhanced the CIA's ability to monitor Soviet activity through overhead photo surveillance. The aircraft eventually entered service with the Air Force.

Dulles is considered one of the essential creators of the modern United States intelligence system and was an indispensable guide to clandestine operation during the Cold War. He established intelligence networks worldwide to check and counter Soviet and eastern European communist advances as well as international communist movements.

Involvement in coups against governments of Iran and Guatemala

In 1953 Dulles was involved, along with Frank Wisner
Frank Wisner
Frank Gardiner Wisner was head of Office of Strategic Services operations in southeastern Europe at the end of World War II, and the head of the Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1950s....

, in Operation Ajax
Operation Ajax
The 1953 Iranian coup d'état was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States under the name TPAJAX Project...

, the covert operation that led to the removal of Mohammad Mossadeq, prime minister of Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and his replacement with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

, Shah of Iran. Rumors of a Soviet takeover of the country had surfaced due to the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. British diplomat Christopher Woodhouse had pitched the idea of a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 to President Eisenhower to try to regain British control of the oil company. Woodhouse would later say, "Not wishing to be accused of using Americans to pull British chestnuts out of the fire, I decided to emphasize the communist threat" to Iran.

President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán
Colonel Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was a Guatemalan military officer and politician who served as Defense Minister of Guatemala from 1944–1951, and as President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954....

 of Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

 was removed in 1954 in a CIA-led coup carried out under the code name Operation PBSUCCESS. Dulles was on the board of trustees of the United Fruit Company
United Fruit Company
It had a deep and long-lasting impact on the economic and political development of several Latin American countries. Critics often accused it of exploitative neocolonialism and described it as the archetypal example of the influence of a multinational corporation on the internal politics of the...

, who stood to lose farmland to expropriation under proposed land reforms.

Sabotage against Cuba: Operation 40

At the direction of President Eisenhower, Dulles established Operation 40
Operation 40
Operation 40 was a Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored undercover operation in the early 1960s, which was active in the United States and the Caribbean , Central America, and Mexico. It was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in March 1960, after the January 1959 Cuban Revolution, and was...

, comprising 40 officials and agents whose primary area of operations was the Caribbean region, including Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. On March 4, 1960, La Coubre, a ship flying a Belgian flag, exploded in Havana Bay. It was loaded with arms and ammunition destined for the armed forces of the Cuban government of Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

. The explosion killed 75 people and over 200 were injured. Fabian Escalante, an officer of the Department of State Security (G-2), later claimed that this was the first successful act carried out by Operation 40.

Operation 40 not only was involved in sabotage operations but evolved into a team of assassins. One member, Frank Sturgis
Frank Sturgis
Frank Anthony Sturgis , born Frank Angelo Fiorini, was one of the Watergate burglars.-Early Life and Military Service:...

, claimed: "this assassination group (Operation 40) would upon orders, naturally, assassinate either members of the military or the political parties of the foreign country that you were going to infiltrate, and if necessary some of your own members who were suspected of being foreign agents ... We were concentrating strictly in Cuba at that particular time."

Over the next few years Operation 40 worked closely with several anti-Castro Cuban organizations, including Alpha 66
Alpha 66
Alpha 66 are an anti-communist terrorist organization, formed by Cuban exiles in Puerto Rico in 1961, in opposition to Fidel Castro. The founder and first leader, Nazario Sargen, was a former member of the 26th of July Movement organization led by Fidel Castro, suggesting that their politics may...

. CIA officials and freelance agents such as William Harvey
William King Harvey
William King "Bill" Harvey was a Central Intelligence Agency officer, best known for his role in Operation Mongoose. He was known as "America's James Bond."...

, Thomas G. Clines
Thomas G. Clines
Thomas G. Clines was a Central Intelligence Agency covert operations agent who was a prominent figure in the Iran-Contra Affair.-CIA career:As a CIA agent, between 1961–1962, Clines was involved in covert operations in Cuba....

, Porter Goss, Gerry Patrick Hemming
Gerry Patrick Hemming
Gerald Patrick "Gerry" Hemming, Jr. was a former U.S. Marine, mercenary and Central Intelligence Agency operative associated with attacks against on Cuba in the 1960s.-Early background:One of eleven children, Hemming born in Los Angeles, California on March 1, 1937...

, E. Howard Hunt
E. Howard Hunt
Everette Howard Hunt, Jr. was an American intelligence officer and writer. Hunt served for many years as a CIA officer. Hunt, with G...

, David Sánchez Morales
David Sánchez Morales
David Sánchez Morales was a Central Intelligence Agency operative who worked in Cuba.-Biographical highlights:...

, Carl Elmer Jenkins
Carl Elmer Jenkins
Carl Elmer Jenkins is a retired Central Intelligence Agency officer.- Early background :Jenkins was born in Louisiana and joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II, becoming a commissioned officer in 1948....

, Bernard Barker
Bernard Barker
Bernard Leon Barker , known as "Macho" or by his mother's maiden name, "Terry", was a Watergate burglar, and burglar of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office....

, Barry Seal
Barry Seal
Adler Berriman Seal , better known as Barry Seal, was a United States drug smuggler and aircraft pilot who flew covert flights for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Medellín Cartel.-Early life:...

, Frank Sturgis
Frank Sturgis
Frank Anthony Sturgis , born Frank Angelo Fiorini, was one of the Watergate burglars.-Early Life and Military Service:...

, William Robert Plumlee
William Robert Plumlee
William Robert Plumlee in Panama City, Florida is an American pilot who worked for the CIA. He was known as "Tosh" and also as William H. "Buck" Pearson.-Military service:...

 ("Tosh" Plumlee), and William C. Bishop also joined the project.

During the Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 Administration, Dulles faced increasing criticism. The pro-American but unpopular regimes in Iran and Guatemala that Dulles had helped put in place were widely regarded as brutal and corrupt.

Several failed assassination plots utilizing CIA-recruited operatives from the Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 and anti-Castro Cubans directly against Castro undermined the CIA's credibility. The reputation of the agency and its director declined drastically after the Bay of Pigs Invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the US government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was launched in April 1961, less than three months...

 fiasco, and Dulles and his staff (including Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell, Jr.
Richard M. Bissell, Jr.
Richard Mervin Bissell, Jr. was an American Central Intelligence Agency officer responsible for major projects such as the U-2 spy plane and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.-Early years:...

 and Deputy Director Charles Cabell) were forced to resign in September 1961. President Kennedy reportedly said he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds."

Dulles was fired by President John F Kennedy for his role in the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Later life

Dulles published the book The Craft of Intelligence in 1963.

On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Dulles as one of seven commissioners of the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 to investigate the assassination of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

. The appointment was later criticized by some historians, who have noted that Kennedy had fired him, and he was therefore unlikely to be impartial in passing the judgements charged to the Warren Commission.

In 1969 Dulles died of influenza
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae , that affects birds and mammals...

, complicated by pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, at the age of 75. He was buried in Greenmount Cemetery
Greenmount Cemetery
Green Mount Cemetery is a historic cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Established on March 15, 1838, and dedicated on July 13, 1839, it is noted for the large number of historical figures interred in its grounds as well as a large number of prominent Baltimore-area families...

 in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the media

Vyacheslav Salevich depicted Dulles' role in the wartime Operation Crossword in the Soviet TV miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring
Seventeen Moments of Spring
Seventeen Moments of Spring is a 1973 Soviet TV miniseries. It was filmed at Gorky Film Studio, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the book of the same title by the novelist Yulian Semyonov. The series comprises 12 episodes of 70 minutes each...


In the film The Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd (film)
The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, with an extensive supporting cast. Although it is a fictional film loosely based on real events, it is advertised as telling the untold story of the birth of counter-intelligence in the...

, William Hurt
William Hurt
William McGill Hurt is an American stage and film actor. He received his acting training at the Juilliard School, and began acting on stage in the 1970s. Hurt made his film debut as a troubled scientist in the science-fiction feature Altered States , for which he received a Golden Globe nomination...

 portrays the fictional head of the CIA, Phillip Allen, who appears to be based on Dulles.

In the film JFK
JFK (film)
JFK is a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up, through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison .Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay...

, Jim Garrison
Jim Garrison
Earling Carothers "Jim" Garrison — who changed his first name to Jim in the early 1960s — was the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973. A member of the Democratic Party, he is best known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy...

 suspects Dulles of participating in the cover-up surrounding Kennedy's assassination, and attempts to subpoena
A subpoena is a writ by a government agency, most often a court, that has authority to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure. There are two common types of subpoena:...


External links