Dean Clough

March 20, 2024

Portico Darwin: It Was Allen Dulles


3 Minute Read

Here is a warning for any flag-huggers reading this:  Today's post contains criticism of the United States. 

And also a lot of photos. 

With that out of the way, please consider the following from history.

  • The Cold War
  • Psychological and Drug Warfare
  • Richard Nixon
  • Media Manipulation
  • Joseph McCarthy
  • The Military Industrial Complex
  • The Assassinations of Foreign Leaders
  • Vietnam War
  • "Black" Sites
  • The Assassination of JFK

I have just concluded reading an amazing book, which I wish were fiction because it is so frightening.  But it is not, and it tells the story of the one man largely responsible for everything above.  It's true, and this book will be a nominee for a 2024 Darwin Award.  It is David Talbot's The Devil's Chessboard.

While I had heard of Allen Dulles, and his equally patriotically confused brother, the former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, I had zero concept of him being at the enter of some of the worst of America's history.

He was.

First published in 2016, and as I've mentioned before, Devil's Chessboard hit my radar screen when I heard its author interviewed extensively throughout the recent eye-opening Rob Reiner/Soledad O'Brien podcast series, Who Killed JFK?   I am glad and also sad having read it:  It is now hard for me to deny the Deep State was, and still could be, a thing.

Today, I will share some further observations about, at best, the misguided civil servant Allen Dulles. 

At worst?  The reality presented by the author brings to mind the word evil.  

Better Dead Than Red

Despite being our allies and coequals in winning the war against Hitler and Fascism in World War II, Dulles loathed Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union, and everything about Communism.   So much so that he was more than happy to retain high-ranking Nazis on the U.S. payroll as he was architecting The Cold War

The arming for which would make his patrons, the defense industry contractors of WWII, very happy and very (very) rich for many years.

The Manchurian Candidate Was Real

A Mount Rushmore film for me is the original and classic The Manchurian Candidate.  Having seen it dozens of times, until now I thought it was a clever fantasy:  An unidentified country (the Soviets or China) brainwash war captives into being killing machines, and we get to see it all.

But it was real.  It's just that we were the ones doing it.  Go read the Wikipedia entry about MKULTRA.  Or Devil's Chessboard.

Oh, and this:  The guys Dulles had start this program were former Nazis that had designed the barbarism at the concentration camps. 

Tricky Dick
Allen Dulles was at the nexus of the power elite, for decades.  That happened because early on, he and his cohorts would identify useful people, that they would then fund and mentor and put into the right situations. 

They found someone like that to run for Congress in 1946.  Richard Nixon did the bidding of Dulles and his crowd for a very long time. 

William Randolph Hearst Was Nothing
Not really, but kind of, at least in comparison to a bestie of Allen Dulles, Henry Luce.  Henry Luce was American media for the bulk of Dulles's career. 

And what would appear in Luce's Time, Life, Fortune, and even Sports Illustrated magazines was often at the direction of Dulles and the CIA.  Like this, from Life magazine in 1960, that tells its readers:  We're behind!  We need more missiles!   

Fun Fact:  Leaving no stone unturned, Dulles was having an affair with Henry Luce's wife, Clare Boothe Luce, throughout the 1950s. 

Idiots from Wisconsin for $100, Alex

See Tricky Dick, above.  Same thing, although I don't know who was worse.  But at least Joe McCarthy only plagued the country for 5 or 6 years.

Ike Knew and Was Right

That Military Industrial Complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of?  Well, he had a front-row seat as it was built by Allen Dulles.

We Know Best

Dulles favored the use of assassination to take out leaders that either were too cozy with Moscow or wouldn't bend at the knee of the corporations that wanted to loot a given nation.  Iran (that's the Shah, pictured above).  Haiti.  Guatemala.  Chile.  Even France, FFS - there were active plans to kill Charles de Gaulle!  And wow, did they ever try to get Castro.

We're Smarter Than France, Anyhow

At this point, would you be surprised to learn Dulles pushed and pushed and pushed Eisenhower to ramp up our involvement here?  This is when they cooked up the domino theory, as in "If Vietnam goes commie, Thailand is next, and then Cambodia, and then Laos, and then every country on Earth!"  This war was a jackpot if you happened to make fighter planes, bombs, or toxic defoliants.   

There's Nothing Ordinary About Extraordinary

One of the many troubling things about George W. Bush's execution of his War on Terror were the so-called Black Sites.  Or, as the administration euphemistically called them when they were exposed, Extraordinary Rendition Sites.  Places like Poland and Egypt where the CIA and its agents could take people and kick the shit out of them and worse, away from the harsh glare of things like the rule of law.

By now, I don't even have to say it.  Guess who created this despicable genre of interrogation site for America in the aftermath of World War II?  Perhaps you can do your own research on Camp King, outside of Frankfurt in then what was West Germany.  

Dulles Killed JFK

There, I said it. 

Dulles didn't pull the trigger himself, obviously.  But he and his friends DID NOT like John Kennedy, nor his pacifist ways.  The nerve of this young Irish Catholic to consider making peace with Khrushchev!  That would have ruined everything.

This is no conspiracy theory; it was a straight conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy.  I believe the term is coup d'état?

If you find that extreme or naïve or emotional, you've not read The Devil's Chessboard

At Least He's Dead Now
What are the biggest takeaways from this impressively researched and > 600-page book? 

People with too much power and influence can be very dangerous.  And to their own country.

Indeed, the stain left on America by Dulles seems indelible.  Or, more kindly, his monument is around us.


Major thanks to my cousin and family matriarch, Lally Darwin Heinz, Esq.  In addition to some nice words about this blog, she reminded me that yesterday, 19 March, was the day of our grandmother's birth in the year 1898, in London. 

No Elsie Slow, no Lally or Portico Darwin. 

And no London Calling, so go ahead:  Blame my Nana.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


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About Dean Clough