Books of voluminous pages have been written about our intelligence services and no matter how much criticism there is of the inadequacies of those services they continue to grow like Topsy. How many billions of dollars we have spent on those services over the past 50 years is totally and completely unknown!
And the sad fact is that when it comes to global issues they are totally and completely out of touch with the American people and they have their own agenda, which
may or may not be that of the American people. But I am not about to go into that now since this is not a piece on "Intelligence".
But it is a vignette about the very first Director of the CIA; Allen Dulles.
My major at the university of Dijon in France (on my Fulbright scholarship) was Soviet history and my minor was Soviet economics. After I joined Lionel D. Edie & Co., Incorporated in 1952 as an economist I hired a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union (Leon Kilbert) who spoke and read fluent Russian. One of the very first jobs I gave him was to analyze the Soviet 5 year(economic) plan.No one in the private sector had written much about the Soviet economic plans and so we did.
After the report was published (entitled "Soviet Economic Intentions") out of the blue I was told by our receptionist that a man with a trench coat asked to see me. I told her to bring him in and she did. Later on she observed "he looks like CIA to me!" She didn't know how right she was!
He walked into my office, asked me if I was a citizen (yes) and then asked me to raise my right hand. He then read me the oath of secrecy.He had been sent by Allen Dulles and they would like me to provide them information on the Soviet Union and most particularly to write speeches for Allen Dulles on the Soviet economic challenge. I said that I would be happy to do so and agreed to do so on a non-paying basis. He then informed me he would be my contact for all communications from the Chairman but there would be times the Chairman may want to speak to me directly. I agreed to do that.
For the next two years I wrote sections of Allen Dulles's speeches on the Soviet threat.The Chairman wanted me to emphasize more and more that their growth rate was outstripping ours by a material margin and we should be deeply concerned. I refused to do so late in the second year of our relationship and one day pointed out that even if they grew 10 percent a year for the next 100 years their economy would still be smaller than ours!
I never heard from the Chairman or my contact again!
The CIA HAD THE SOVIET ECONOMY 100 PERCENT WRONG!
I WON'T BORE YOU WITH DETAILS BUT THIS ONE IS ENOUGH: JUST PRIOR TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION in 1990 THE CIA CLAIMED THAT THEY PRODUCED 65/70 PERCENT OF U.S. PRODUCTION.
After the collapse, the Soviet economists informed the U.S. that the Soviet produced less than one fifth (20 percent) of the U.S.! We now all know what a basket case it is!
Why did Allen Dulles get rid of me summarily? For the very simple reason that his agenda was to emphasize the threat of the Soviet and not to put it in perspective. Only if the Soviet was a threat would he get more money for his agency and his position would be enhanced!
After he retired he wrote a worthless book on intelligence.
Truth is not necessarily the agenda of any government, ours included!
P.S. The agent, my contact, was murdered about 4 years later "in mysterious circumstances".-RW