COVERT ACTION

By Region

Europe

During the Cold War

A - C

Agee, Philip, and Louis Wolf, eds. Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1978. New York: Dorset, 1978. [pb]

Pforzheimer says that the "larger segment of the book consists of several hundred alleged CIA (and a few NSA) names with details of their putative careers.... [M]any of the names are wide of the mark with no intelligence connection." More to the point, Chambers labels the work "dubious, a primer in selective editing."

This book was followed by a second volume: Ellen Ray, William Schaap, Karl Van Meter, and Louis Wolf, eds., Dirty Work 2: The CIA in Africa (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1979).

Aldrich, Richard J. "Putting Culture into the Cold War: The Cultural Relations Department (CRD) and British Covert Information Warfare." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 109-133. Also: In The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe 1945-1960, eds. Giles Scott-Smith and Hans Krabbendam, 109-133. London: Frank Cass, 2003.

By 1945, the Foreign Office's Cultural Relations Department (CRD) "was at the cutting edge of Britain's information Cold War, focused upon the twin issues of culture and organized youth and working closely with MI5 and to a lesser extent the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)." The formation of the Soviet-organized World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) led to the "launch of the first covertly-run British front organization, the World Assembly of Youth" (WAY). Also in 1948, Britain "set up a proper covert political warfare section, the Information Research Department" (IRD). The British effort suffered continually from a lack of funding; and "[b]y 1955 the International Secretariat of WAY was becoming a largely an American-funded body."

Aldrich, Richard J. "OSS, CIA and European Unity: The American Committee on United Europe, 1948-1960." Diplomacy and Statecraft 8, no. 1 (Mar. 1997): 184-227.

Aubourg, Valarie. "Organizing Atlanticism: The Bilderberg Group and the Atlantic Institute, 1952-1963." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 92-105.

"The intelligence community was certainly important for the creation of the Bilderberg group, but more in terms of milieux, personal contacts and shared values than political initiative or funding." On the other hand, the Atlantic Institute "had more difficulties attracting official support. But in neither case do we find a systematic organization of a Cold War waged by covert means through these two private institutions."

Barnes, Trevor.

1. "Democratic Deception: American Covert Operations in Post-War Europe." In Deception Operations: Studies in the East-West Context, eds. David A. Charters and Maurice A.J. Tugwell, 297-323. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 1990.

This chapter covers "political deception in Italy between 1948 and 1958, the work of the 'Anti-Cominform,' and the establishment of American broadcasting stations designed to reach audiences beyond the 'Iron Curtain.'" (p. 300)

2. "The Secret Cold War: The C.I.A. and American Foreign Policy in Europe, 1946-1956." Part I, Historical Journal 24, no 2 (Jun. 1981): 399- 415. Part II, Historical Journal 25, no. 3 (Sep. 1982): 649-670.

Petersen calls this a "groundbreaking essay."

Berghahn, Volker R. America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe: Shepard Stone Between Philanthropy, Academy, and Diplomacy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Scott-Smith, I&NS 18.3, finds that the author's work reflects the "wider focus for Cold War history that is now coming more into vogue, with its greater concentration on the cultural dimension and the role of non-governmental organisations." At times, the story gets "rather laborious[] simply because of an excessive use of quotes and too much attention given to the minutae contained in Stone's personal papers." In addition, "[i]t no longer makes sense ... to separate the overt and covert histories" of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Nonetheless, "this is an important work" and "an essential item" in the literature on the cultural Cold War.

Bernstein, Adam. "Melvin J. Lasky, 84; Outspoken Anti-Communist." Washington Post, 27 May 2004, B7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Melvin J. Lasky, 84, died on 19 May 2004 at his home in Berlin. In 1948, Lasky "co-founded Der Monat (The Month), a Berlin-based magazine funded by the Ford Foundation and CIA funds.... With Soviet influence proliferating in Europe, Mr. Lasky, Arthur Koestler and Ignazio Silone, among other leading writers, began the Congress for Cultural Freedom. The group sponsored anti-Communist conferences and magazines.

"In 1958, Mr. Lasky joined Encounter, which had been started five years earlier by his friend Irving Kristol.... In the late 1960s, newspapers reported that the CIA had helped financially sustain Encounter.... A few years later, he told an interviewer that he had no qualms about CIA support. 'Well, who's gonna give the money?' he said. 'The little old lady wearing sneakers from Dubuque, Iowa? Will she give you a million dollars? Well, I mean, pipe dreams! Where will the money come from?'"

Bethell, Nicholas. Betrayed! New York: Random House, 1978. The Great Betrayal: The Untold Story of Kim Philby's Greatest Coup. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1985. Betrayed. New York: Times Books, 1985.

Hood, IJI&C 1.3, finds Betrayed to be "an excellent text on the vast and probably insurmountable difficulties involved in covert armed subversion in peacetime." One of Philby's assignments while in Washington as SIS representative "was to serve as 'commander' of the British/American committee that would coordinate the joint effort" to overthrow the Albanian government.

Browne, Donald R. "R.I.A.S. Berlin: A Case Study of a Cold War Broadcasting Operation." Journal of Broadcasting 10 (Spring 1966): 119-135.

Burke, Michael. Outrageous Good Fortune. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.

Burke served in OSS in World War II and later was part of the CIA's covert operation against Albania in the early 1950s. His OSS adventures were made into a movie, "Cloak and Dagger," with Gary Cooper playing Burke. In later life, Burke was president and chairman of the board of the New York Yankees. O'Toole, Encyclopedia, pp. 84-85.

Carew, Anthony. "The American Labor Movement in Fizzland: The Free Trade Union Committee and the CIA." Labor History 39, no. 1 (1998): 25-42.

Carew, Anthony. "The Politics of Productivity and the Politics of Anti-Communism: American and European Labour in the Cold War." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 73-91.

"It is hard ... to see how, in any direct way, the politics of productivity had much impact in strengthening non-communist unions" in France and Italy. The AFL's Free Trade Union Committee (FTUC) was headed by Jay Lovestone. "What is important about Lovestone's FTUC operation is that it was generously funded from CIA sources, especially in the early 1950s."

Coleman, Peter. The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe. New York: Free Press, 1989. London: Collier Macmillan, 1989.

NameBase identifies Peter Coleman as "a former member of the Australian parliament and editor of the Australian journal 'Quadrant,' one of the literary magazines established in the 1950s by the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom."

For Valcourt, IJI&C 4.1, "the CIA's pronounced ideological bent to the Left during its earliest period, a tendency not altogether eliminated even in contemporary times," has almost been forgotten. This is the "first full description and analysis of the Congress for Cultural Freedom's zesty intellectual and organizational battles." The author's "point that the Congress, despite its CIA funding, did not function as a U.S.-front organization is sustained." Coleman's is a "reasonably balanced analysis."

Watt, I&NS 15.4, p. 162, fn16, does not completely agree, noting that the author's "refusal to look in any detail whatever into the origins of the Congress and at the Soviet cultural offensive in Europe to which it was a reply before 1950, the year of its effective creation, makes it seem a little unbalanced."

Defty, Andrew. "'Close and Continuous Liaison': British Anti-Communist Propaganda and Cooperation with the United States, 1950-51." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 4 (Winter 2002): 100-130.

The author asserts that "the extent of cooperation between Britain and America in the field of anti-Communist propaganda was far greater than has previously been appreciated." The British Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD) produced "discreet propagenda" targeted on the free world; the CIA's "mighty Wurlitzer" focused on the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain countries. Thus, "[i]n many respects British and American approaches to anti-Communist propaganda were complementary."

Deighton, Anne, ed. Rebuilding Postwar Europe: National Decision-Makers and European Institutions. London: Macmillan, 1995.

Hopkins, I&NS 12.3, identifies the aim of this collection as establishing "the nature of the respective contributions of politicians and their civil servants in the main West European countries on the question of closer European co-operation." The volume concludes by considering an "American Intelligence Connection." The discussion "provides some compelling insights on the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), a little studied organization that promoted the cause of European integration with, it appears, the assistance of the CIA" during the years from 1949 to 1960.

De Vries, Tity. "The Absent Dutch: Dutch Intellectuals and the Congress for Cultural Freedom." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 254-266.

"[T]he Dutch were almost completely absent" from the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF). "[T]he main explanation for the Dutch lack of interest in the CCF [is] to be found in Dutch society itself.... [P]ost-war Dutch writers and artists hardly had a deeply-rooted tradition of political engagement." At the same time, "Dutch political intellectuals lacked cultural interest."

Dravis, Michael W. "Storming Fortress Albania: American Covert Operations in Microcosm, 1949-54." Intelligence and National Security 7, no. 4 (Jan. 1992): 425-442.

This article breaks no new ground on the Albanian operation, and the author's strong distaste for covert action leads him astray analytically when he goes beyond the bounds of that effort. Nonetheless, the more focused presentation is a decent brief retelling of the main thrust of the Albanian operation. The author sees the action as of British origin, with the Americans being brought in "for financial and operational reasons." But "bitter wrangling between the British and Americans ... seriously compromised the effectiveness of the program." Of course, the operation was seriously compromised by Kim Philby's presence as the SIS liaison in Washington. In the end, "the Albanian project did not meet either of the criteria by which covert actions are judged successful: policy objectives were not achieved, and American complicity was publicly exposed."

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