#184 – Abortive Missions

#184 – Abortive Missions

The CIA’s first attempt to train foreign agents and parachute them into Soviet territory ended in disaster. So did their second attempt. And their third. And so on. But they did it anyway. Then the Korean War happened and Bedell Smith became the fourth CIA director in...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#183 – CIA Hearts Nazis

If there’s one thing the CIA loved in its early days, it was hiring Nazis – like General Reinhard Gehlen who ran their West German spying operation and ended up running West Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND). There something secret here that...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#182 – CIA Front Groups

The CIA wanted to secretly funnel American cash to European politicians, criminals and businesses that would do their bidding. They also wanted to influence public opinion about capitalism, communism, but without appearing to. To accomplish this, they set up an...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#181 – Plausible Deniability

On September 1, 1948, Frank Wisner took charge of the CIA’s covert operations. Known as the OPC – The Office of Policy Co-ordination. Although the CIA was a publicly known entity, the OPC was top secret. One of the first things he did was establish a...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#180 – Ret. U.S. Major Danny Sjursen

Taking a short break from our CIA series this week to talk to retired U.S. Major Danny Sjursen. Danny was a U.S. Army strategist and history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#179 – Covert Psychological Operations

Part 4 of our series on the creation of the CIA. Even the CIA’s original legal counsel warned them that covert missions were illegal – but they did them anyway. On December 14, 1947, they were ordered to execute “covert psychological operations designed to...
#184 – Abortive Missions

#178 – Scare The Hell Out Of Them

Part 3 of our series on the creation of the CIA. In 1947, Truman’s popularity was plunging. The CIA came out of his attempt to scare the hell out of the country. Exit Director Vandenberg and enter Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, Allen Dulles, the National Security...
#177 – Director of Centralized Snooping

#177 – Director of Centralized Snooping

Part 2 of our series on the creation of the CIA. After Truman’s decision to shut down the OSS, Wild Bill Donovan’s deputy, Brigadier General John Magruder, met secretly with John McCloy, the assistant secretary of war, taking advantage of the fact that Henry...
#176 – The CIA (part 1)

#176 – The CIA (part 1)

According to Truman, he never intended for the CIA to be a “Cloak & Dagger Outfit”. It was intended to be a centralized reporting agency, not to act as a spy organization. Today we start a series about how the CIA rose from the ashes of Wild Bill Donovan’s...
#175 – Domestic Happiness

#175 – Domestic Happiness

Tito’s form of Communism quickly became much more liberal than those in the Soviet bloc countries and China. The question is why? The collectivisation of land was put in reverse. The police were reformed and the press was given additional freedoms. Tito turned the...