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American Intelligence

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AIC (1915-1945)Edit

The American International Corporation (AIC) was organized in New York on November 22, 1915.

It was orgaised by J.P. Morgan interests, with major participation by Stillman's National City Bank and the Rockefeller interests.

The general office of AIC was at 120 Broadway.

The company's charter authorized it to engage in any kind of business, except banking and public utilities, in any country in the world. The stated purpose of the corporation was to develop domestic and foreign enterprises, to extend American activities abroad, and to promote the interests of American and foreign bankers, business and engineering.

Office of the Coordinator of Information (1941-1942) Edit

The Office of the Coordinator of Information was an intelligence and propaganda agency of the United States Government, founded on July 11, 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was persuaded to create the office several months before the United States entered the war by prominent New York lawyer William J. Donovan and by American playwright Robert Sherwood, who served as Roosevelt's primary speechwriter on foreign affairs. British officials, including John Godfrey of the British Naval Intelligence Division and William Stephenson, head of British Security Coordination in New York, also encouraged Roosevelt to create the agency

Donovan's primary interests were military intelligence and covert operations. Sherwood handled the dissemination of domestic information and foreign propaganda. He recruited the noted radio producer John Houseman, who because of his Romanian birth at the time was technically an enemy alien, to develop an overseas radio program for broadcast to the Axis powers and the populations of the territories they had conquered, which became known as the Voice of America.

On June 13, 1942, Roosevelt split the functions and created two new agencies: the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Office of War Information, a predecessor of the United States Information Agency.

The COI's headquarters was Room 3603 of Rockefeller Center. The offices had been the location of the operations of Britain's MI6. Allan Dulles was put in charge.

OSS Tranistion (1942-1947)Edit

The Office of Strategic Services was established by a Presidential military order issued by President Roosevelt on June 13, 1942

One of the greatest accomplishments of the OSS during World War II was its penetration of Nazi Germany by OSS operatives. The OSS was responsible for training German and Austrian individuals for missions inside Germany.

The names of all OSS personnel and documents of their OSS service, previously a closely guarded secret, were released by the US National Archives on August 14, 2008. Charles Pinck, president of the OSS Society created by former OSS agents and their relatives, said the nearly 24,000 employees included in the archives far exceeds previous estimates of 13,000.

Major League Baseball player Moe Berg, a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, was recruited by Nelson Rockefeller (the coordinator of the U.S. Office of Inter-American Affairs) and then by the OSS.

Truman Library Oral History, Edward S Mason:

I didn't go down to Washington on a permanent basis until 1941, as I remember it, when I joined the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was divided, really, into three main sections; a research section, a secret intelligence section, and a section of "dirty tricks" or whatever you want to call it. And I was the deputy director of the Research and Analysis Branch, the Director of which was William Langer a Professor of History at Harvard.

MCKINZIE: Did he convince you to join the OSS or did you volunteer for that service?

MASON: No, he convinced me to join the OSS, and by the end of the war the Research and Analysis Branch was quite a sizeable organization with six or seven hundred professional people, and the position I held might well be called the position of chief economist of the OSS. I also represented the OSS on the joint intelligence staff of the Army, Navy, Air Force, State Department, etc. I also represented the OSS on the Strategic Bombing Survey. So, those were my governmental connections before I moved to the State Department in December, 1944, to be deputy to Will Clayton, who was Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.


Elizabeth McIntosh, a OSS agent, was interviewed by Russell Miller for his book, Behind the Lines (2002)

It took about three weeks for the security checks, I guess, before I was told I was in. We were a very strange batch, because each one of us was going to do something different. I remember one was a doctor, he was always shaking his head at the things we had to do. There was a place where they would try to psychoanalyze you to figure out what you were capable of. One of the things they did was put you in a room and tell you someone lived there and we were supposed to figure out from the traces left behind who the person was, what did he do, what did he look like? It was a kind of a fun thing and everybody had a different idea. Another time we were told to go outside to where a group of men were building something or other and make them do it in a different way. I failed that completely, I couldn't persuade them. I was told later I should have picked up the pistol lying in the room where I was briefed and used it to make the men do what I wanted.

We learned how to handle weapons and throw hand grenades out on the golf course at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland. The members were furious because we ruined the greens. I don't remember the training being particularly rigorous. There was a lot of writing stuff and sometimes we had to trail people, so that we would not lose track of them when we were in cars. A lot of speakers would come down and talk to us. Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, came to talk to us about the pattern of life of people of the South Pacific and how we should approach them - a lot of it had to do with the Japanese, Indonesians and Burmese, the people we were going to be dealing with, and the Japanese mentality.

OSS Agents

  • Moe Berg
  • John Hemingway, son of author Ernest Hemingway
  • Quentin and Kermit Roosevelt, sons of President Theodore Roosevelt
  • Miles Copeland, father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for the band The Police
  • Julia Child
  • Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg
  • Saul K. Padover
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
  • Bruce Sundlun
  • John Ford
  • Sterling Hayden, a film and television actor whose work included a role in "The Godfather
  • Thomas Braden, an author whose "Eight Is Enough" book inspired the 1970s television series.
  • Elizabeth McIntosh, "she conducted operations that affected actions in Siam, French Indochina, and Burma."
  • William Casey
  • Allan Dulles
  • Ralph Bunche
  • Walter Mess, "I was told to keep my mouth shut," said Mess
  • Virginia Hall, Jacques Chirac said she "contributed greatly to the liberation of France."
  • Arthur H. Robinson
  • Irving Brown
  • William B. Macomber, Jr.
  • Edward S Mason
  • William Langer
  • William Egan Colby
  • J. Evelle Younger
  • Whitney Hart Shepardson
  • David K. E. Bruce
  • Myron Dubain
  • John Ringling North
  • Mitchell WerBell
  • ?Fred Crisman?
  • Cornelius Vander Starr
  • Duncan Lee
  • Paul Helliwell
  • E. Howard Hunt
  • Mitch Werbell
  • Lucien Conein
  • John Singlaub
  • Ray Cline

CIA (1947-)Edit

National Secuirty Act 1947

Kennedy was killed November 22, 1963, on the 48th anniversay of the founding of AIC.

Pentagon (1941-)Edit

The building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941.

60 years later the World Trade Center complex was destroyed and the Pentagon attacked.

Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (1941-1946)Edit

It was started in August 1940 as OCCCRBAR (Office for Coordination of Commercial and Cultural Relations between the American Republics) with Nelson Rockefeller as its head, appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

By an Executive order of April 10, 1946, the Office was abolished and its remaining functions and responsibilities were transferred to the State Department.

Wild Bill Donovan Edit

Donovan was a graduate of Columbia Law School and became an influential Wall Street lawyer.

From 1922 to 1924, he was US Attorney for the Western District of New York, famous for his energetic enforcement of Prohibition. President Calvin Coolidge named him to the United States Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. He ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1922, and for Governor of New York in 1932.

During the interwar years, Donovan travelled extensively in Europe and met with foreign leaders including Mussolini of Italy. Donovan openly believed during this time that a second major European war was inevitable. His foreign experience and realism earned him the attention and friendship of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The two men were from opposing political parties, but were similar in personality. Because of this, Roosevelt came to highly value Donovan's insights.

On the recommendation of Donovan's friend United States Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Roosevelt gave him a number of increasingly important assignments. In 1940 and 1941, Donovan travelled as an informal emissary to Britain. During these trips, Donovan met with key officials in the British war effort, including Winston Churchill and the directors of Britain's intelligence services. Donovan returned enamored with the possibility of founding an American intelligence service modeled on that of the British.

On July 11, 1941, Donovan was named Coordinator of Information (COI).

America's foreign intelligence organizations at the time were fragmented and isolated from each other. The Army, Navy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Department of State, and other interests each ran their own intelligence operations, the results of which they were reluctant to share with the other departments. Donovan was the nominal director of this unwieldy system.

Donovan began to lay the groundwork for a centralized intelligence program. It was he who organized the COI's New York headquarters in Room 3603 of Rockefeller Center in October, 1941 and asked Allen Dulles to head it; the offices Dulles took over had been the location of the operations of Britain's MI6.

In 1942, the COI became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

Donovan did not have an official role in the newly formed CIA but with his protégé Allen Dulles and others, he was instrumental in its formation.

After the war ended, Donovan reverted to his lifelong role as a lawyer to perform one last duty: he served as special assistant to chief prosecutor Telford Taylor at several trials following the main Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal in Germany.

At the conclusion of these trials, Donovan returned to Wall Street and his highly successful law firm, Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine. He remained always available to postwar Presidents who requested his advice on intelligence matters. In 1949 he became chairman of the newly-founded American Committee on United Europe, which worked to counter the new Communist threat to Europe by promoting European political unity.

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