The Early Years

From Creation to 1953

D - J


Books by Arthur B. Darling (articles in Studies in Intelligence are below), Burton Hersh, Ludwell Lee Montague, Evan Thomas, Thomas F. Troy, and Robin W. Winks are presented in separate files under their names.

Darling, Arthur B.

1. "The Birth of Central Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 10, no. 2 (Spring 1966): 1-19.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/author-combine.htm: "Describes the emergence, during 1944-46, of support for a central intelligence organization, reflecting battles for control among the military, State Department, and the FBI and awareness that a congressional probe of the Pearl Harbor intelligence failure would create pressures for an effective organization."

2. "Central Intelligence Under Souers." Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 1 (Winter 1968): 55-74.

3. "DCI Hillenkoetter: Soft Sell and Stick." Studies in Intelligence 13, no. 1 (Winter 1969): 33-56.

4. "Origins of Central Intelligence." Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 3 (Summer 1964): 55-94.

5. "With Vandenberg as DCI." Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 3 (Summer 1968): 79-98.

6. "With Vandenberg as DCI (Part II)." Studies in Intelligence 12, no. 4 (Fall 1968): 73-94.

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "US Intelligence and Chinese Spies in the Civil War." Journal of Intelligence History 13, no. 1 (2014): 62-75.

"The ... Strategic Services Unit (SSU), the X-2 Branch..., Army and Naval Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) and ultimately, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were the key agencies handling secret human sources, witnessing the rapid decay of the KMT regime, the performance of its security apparatus, and the PLA's secret activities.... US intelligence also noted the extensive recruitment of Japanese intelligence networks and operators to serve the Soviets, the KMT regime and the Communist Party of China (CPC)."

Donovan, Robert J. "The CIA." In Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948, 305-312. New York: Norton, 1977. [Petersen]

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."

Dulles, Allen W. "Memorandum Respecting ... Central Intelligence Agency...." 25 Apr. 1947. In U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Armed Services. Hearings on S. 758: National Defense Establishment. 80th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1947, 525-528. [Petersen]

Gardella, Lawrence. Sing a Song to Jenny Next: The Incredible True Account of a Secret U.S. Raid into China. New York: Dutton, 1981.

Petersen: "Account of a purported 1952 covert operation in China, by a disillusioned participant."

Goodman, Michael S. "Sibling Rivalry: The Birth of the Post-War American Atomic Intelligence Community." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 289-301.

Following the failure to anticipate the Soviet test in 1949, "increased emphasis [was] placed on the CIA as the specific body responsible for atomic intelligence, with the AEC acting more as a technical advisor.... Every major subsequent Soviet test was observed." (footnotes omitted)

Harris, William. "March Crisis 1948, Act I." Studies in Intelligence 10, no. 4 (Fall 1966): 1-22. "March Crisis 1948, Act II." Studies in Intelligence 11, no. 2 (Spring 1967): 9-36.

Westerfield: "Intelligence history of a climactic escalation of the early Cold War: simultaneous crises in Germany, Italy, and Czechoslovakia."

Helgerson, John. "Truman and Eisenhower: Launching the Process." Studies in Intelligence 38, no. 5 (1995): 65-77.

DCI Smith provided weekly briefings to President Truman. There was tension between Truman and Eisenhower over the President's invitation to the candidates to meet with him and the Cabinet for briefing on foreign affairs. Eisenhower accepted pre-election briefings from CIA, which began on 30 August 1952; Smith took over the briefing of the President-elect in November. Dulles provided weekly briefings at the NSC meeting, chaired by Eisenhower; at times, a follow-on meeting between the President, Dulles, and a staff aide would be held. Eisenhower authorized intelligence briefings of Stevenson in the 1956 campaign.

Houston, Lawrence R. "The CIA's Legislative Base." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 5, no. 4 (Winter 1991-1992): 411-415.

Few people have been better positioned to write on this subject. Houston served as General Counsel to two of the CIA's immediate predecessor organizations -- Strategic Services Unit (SSU) and Central Intelligence Group (CIG) -- from 1945 to 1947, and then held that post with the CIA from 1947 to 1974. By his account, the drafters began in February 1946 with General Donovan's 1944 functional concept of a peacetime central intelligence establishment.

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri. "The Role of British Intelligence in the Mythologies Underpinning the OSS and Early CIA." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 5-19. And in American-British-Canadian Intelligence Relations 1939-2000, eds David Stafford and Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, 5-19. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2000.

Abstract: "Two mythologies helped to underpin the OSS and early CIA. One was the Miracle Thesis [attributed by the author to Ray Cline], which held that US intelligence was inadequate in the interwar years, but miraculously recovered in World War II with British help. The moral of this tale was that you cannot always rely on miracles, so it is best to have an ever-ready peacetime intelligence capability. The second myth stemmed from the Conspiracy Thesis, according to which the British manipulated American intelligence in furtherance of their own imperial designs. Though contrary to the first myth, this one, too, played into the hands of CIA boosters, as it suggested that a full US intelligence capability was necessary to the defence of American sovereignty."

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri. "Why Was the CIA Established in 1947?" Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 1 (Jan. 1997): 21-40.

The author tackles the debate between those who see the CIA as a child of the Cold War and those who find the Agency's origins rooted in the Pearl Harbor debacle. His conclusion: Yes. The most interesting line of thought pursued here is that in seeking to single out the "major causes of the CIA's establishment, it is necessary to distinguish between the executive and Congress." Jeffreys-Jones argues that President Truman and those around him were focused on the Soviet threat. On the other hand, "Pearl Harbor was the burning issue" for the members of Congress.


Forward to CIA Early Years K-S

Return to At the Beginning Table of Contents