9/11 and the Recapitulation of "Intelligence Failures"

This report is based on a short excerpt from a lecture given by Allen W. Dulles, about two weeks after the JFK assassination in Cambridge, MA and aired by WHDH Public Affairs radio at a Harvard Law School Forum. The subject was: The Role of Intelligence in Policy Making. Here, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (1951-1953) and former Director of Central Intelligence (1953-1961), Allen W. Dulles presents what I think are the movements of a theme we heard in precise recapitulation after 9/11 - namely that intelligence failures led to: the attack on Pearl Harbor, the unforeseen rise of German and Japanese military power of bad intent, and the Cold War against the "Communist menace." Given this historical background, it appears that elements of the 9/11 official story are simply the repetition of a previously and successfully used tactic of claiming intelligence failures after calamitous events and then using that claim as an excuse and as the rational for "intelligence reforms."

Dulles begins by admitting that he will be using "case cover" in his lecture. He asserts that it is not the job of intelligence services to make policy but he adds "I admit that certain types of intelligence work are not tainted by any legality at all."

What follows is a transcription of a portion of this lecture from the audio tape played on show #252b, Black Op Radio [1] related to the discussion of what Dulles claims were intelligence failures and their consequences from the end of the First World War and well into the Cold War.

"Before the war, in the days leading up to WWII, it seems to me there were three or four main failures that we had of intelligence appraisal .... and by 'we' I include of course the Western European powers most immediately involved.

We failed to understand the implications of the Communist menace. I was at the Paris Peace Conference at the time of the Bill Bullitt mission. Bill Bullitt went to Russia... and brought back some proposals... pretty bad proposals I may say from Lenin and Trotsky... but still they were the only proposals that were available at that time. And when he came back to Paris, that Spring of 1919, nobody had the time even to talk with him... uh... and he went down to the Riviera and shook the dust of the Paris Peace Conference off his feet. I think that was a mistake... I think if he had been a little more patient, maybe somebody would have listened to him but they wouldn't listen to him... although the leaders at Versailles had sent him to the Soviet Union.

In the early days, we had too many problems to deal with. We couldn't even bother with the Communist problem, we couldn't take it seriously...and that is a sad point of history. And then of course, except for Churchill and a few others, there was a great error in dealing with Hitler's intentions and his power... and that was one of the causes of the war. And turning to the East, we had not properly appraised the nature and effects of Japan's ambitions. All of these in my opinion were intelligence failures. I don't say they could have all been avoided - they might have been mitigated with proper intelligence appraisals ..uh.. reaching the high authorities. But at that time we had no intelligence agency that had the responsibility of doing that -- we had a military intelligence, we had a naval intelligence... but they did not deal with matters of this character.

In any discussion of intelligence, one has to go back to Pearl Harbor...uh...because that was an outstanding example...of a case where, uh, a case which was not.... a case of a failure to collect intelligence.... the failure there was to use intelligence.

At that time you may recall that we were reading the Japanese codes, not all of them, but a good many of them and we were getting invaluable information as to Japanese policy that we had every reason to believe was accurate.

Now I do not say that anyone could have predicted and pinpointed that on December 7th, Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked... that was one of the alternatives that we should have taken into account. But I think all of the recent sounding on this ..uh.. shows that we should have realized that a very great crisis was right around the corner, maybe only hours away.. and we should have been prepared for a crisis in our relations with Japan of a very serious nature.

The fact that we did not do that and the facts that were disposed in all of these investigations of Pearl Harbor which took place starting right after the event and reaching on for many months... uh.. and the facts that are coming out in books that are being published today, bear out I believe, what I have said. I don't believe at all any of these theories that there was some treachery in this or that we invited Pearl Harbor... that's all bunk. But we did not use intelligence wisely and effectively."

[1] Black Op Radio, show #252b, www.blackopradio.com