Allen Welsh Dulles

From Academic Kids

Allen W. Dulles

Allen Welsh Dulles (April 23, 1893January 29, 1969) was the first civilian Director (1953-1961) of the Central Intelligence Agency and a member of the Warren Commission. Dulles was the younger brother of John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower's Secretary of State and main United Fruit Company shareholder.

Dulles was active in the Office of Strategic Services in Berne, Switzerland during World War II. He worked on intelligence regarding German plans and activities. Dulles's career was jump-started by the information provided by Fritz Kolbe, a German diplomat and a foe of the Nazis. Kolbe supplied secret documents regarding active German spies and plans regarding the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

In 1953 Dulles became the first civilian director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which had been formed in 1947 as part of the National Security Act; earlier directors had been military officers. The Agency's covert operations were an important part of the Eisenhower administration's new Cold War national security policy known as the "New Look".

Under Dulles's direction, the CIA established MK-Ultra, a top secret mind control research project.

At Dulles' request, President Eisenhower demanded that Senator McCarthy discontinue issuing subpoenas against the CIA. In March, McCarthy had initiated a series of investigations into potential communist 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 to the security of sensitive information as well. During the time, Dulles was personally overseeing Operation Mockingbird, a program which influenced American media companies.

Dulles went on to be successful with the CIA's first attempts at removing foreign leaders by covert means. Notably, the elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran was deposed in 1953 (via Operation Ajax), and President Arbenz of Guatemala was removed in 1954.

During the Kennedy Administration, Dulles faced increasing criticism. The failed Bay of Pigs Invasion and several failed assassination plots utilizing CIA-recruited operatives from the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans) directly against Fidel Castro undermined the CIA's credibility, and pro-American but unpopular regimes in Iran and Guatemala were widely regarded as brutal and corrupt.

Dulles was fired from the CIA by Kennedy in 1961 over Operation Northwoods. Another cover CIA operation aimed at gaining popular support for a war against Cuba by framing Cuba for stage real or simulated attacks on American citizens.

Dulles published the book The Craft of Intelligence (ISBN 1592282970) in 1963.

On November 29, 1963 President Lyndon Johnson appointed Dulles as one of seven commissioners of the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Despite his knowledge of the several assassination plots by the CIA against Castro, he is not documented to have mentioned these plots to any investigating authorities during the Warren Commission.

In 1969 Dulles died of influenza, complicated by pneumonia, at the age of 75.

Preceded by:
Gen. Walter Bedell Smith
Director of Central Intelligence
Succeeded by:
John McCone

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