The CFR, the CIA, and the Banks

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I just want to underscore the excellent points Gary North made today in his LRC article, “How the Council on Foreign Relations Controls Conservative Republicans,” concerning the naiveté of GOP grass-roots conservatives regarding the power and influence of the Council on Foreign Relations. While most of these conservatives were opposed to the Wall Street bank bailouts under Bush and Obama, they haven’t a clue that protection of the CFR oligarchs’ bankocracy has always been paramount. As Peter Dale Scott details in his magnificent American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, it has its deepest roots in the origins the CIA:

Wisner and Dulles (the latter even when not in the government) were powerful because of their central position in the New York overworld of law, banking, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the New York Social Register.

This overworld milieu pushed for the creation of the CIA, but while awaiting its creation, Allen Dulles and William Donovan took steps to establish a private alternative. There are various stories describing how Allen Dulles, as a private Wall Street lawyer after World War II, organized, “on his own authority . . . a [private] spy organization clandestinely.” According to Peter Grose, Donovan later purported to have been shocked by Dulles’ plan. But as we shall see, the evidence suggests rather that he proceeded to implement something like it: the World Commerce Corporation, which included among its founders the legendary British intelligence chief William Stephenson and Nelson Rockefeller.

As Richard Helms narrates in his memoirs, in 1946 General Vandenberg, as director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, “to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947.” Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers. In 1948 Truman appointed Dulles chairman of a committee to review the CIA’s performance, and Dulles again appointed two New York lawyers to assist him.

In its first years the CIA, like OSS before it, was dominated internally by the aristocratic elements of the New York overworld. All seven of the known deputy directors of the CIA at the time came from the same New York legal and financial circles, and no less than six of these seven (including both Dulles and Wisner) were listed in the New York Social Register as well. (page 27)

The men Allen Dulles chose as his advisory group were Kingman Douglas, managing partner of Dillion, Read; William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn; Paul Nitze of Dillon, Read; and former DCI Admiral Sidney Soucers, who in 1946 retired to become a St. Louis investment banker.

Former OSS official (and senior partner of Sullivan and Cromwell) Allen Dulles was president of the Council on Foreign Relations and chief advisor to Thomas Dewey’s 1948 GOP presidential campaign against Harry Truman. This was at the same time he was working on the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report. Here Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty explains the significance of the Report and Dulles’s role in the founding of the CIA. Dulles helped create the OPC (which was later merged into the CIA). Frank Wisner became head of the OPC. Dulles fully expected to become CIA director when Dewey won. Truman beat Dewey in a major electoral upset. Dulles became CIA director in 1953 under Eisenhower.

The outstanding works on the Nugan-Hand bank scandal are Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA; Penny Lernoux, In Banks We Trust: Bankers and Their Close Associates: The CIA, the Mafia, Drug Traders, Dictators, Politicians, and the Vatican; and Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.

11:03 am on September 3, 2012