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November 16, 2016
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April 24, 2000
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September 17, 1972
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\k THE NEW YORK TIDES BOOK REVIEW CPYRGHT Approved For Release mono : ciAlFbizeitogii?R000l000looi 430 The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency. By R. Harris Smith. Illustrated. 458 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press. $10.95. ? ?...2.1m5,,,,,vgarr..,,,,,-....ma.,ammaanaa.ccwmnacirix rams. Ry CO R. URI,/ VS RYAN ? ll't to reach the truth, to separate Net from fiction, the historian might rell need as many trained researchers as there were operators in the, O.S.S. Donovan's diaries were cryptic, de- Ever since the Greeks filled a wooden horse with soldiers and pre- sented it to the Trojans, the world has been fascinated by the deceptive methods of espionage and counter intelligence. The craft of intelligence, by its very nature, is so secret that clandestine activities are cloaked either in the ridiculous and the ab- surd or the sublime and the practical. In this hook, II. Harris Smith, who J worked briefly as a research analyst for the C.I.A. and now lectures in po- litical science at the University of California's Extension Division, seems to have discovered only the first two. Perhaps that's all he was meant to find. It would appear that old 0.S.S, men never dice, their stories simply get better while their secrets remain intact. : The fault is not really Smith's, It .is doubtful that anyone can write the true and authentic "Secret His- tory of America's First Central In- telligence Agency," the wartime Of- fice of Strategic Services. I have some reason to know. Back in the early sixties, as part of a research project, I was granted un- usual access to the papers, files and diaries of the late Maj. Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan, founder of the Wartime Office of Strategic Services ? the country's first real intelli- gence agency and the forerunner of C.I.A. I was astonished at the size of the collection. To catalog Dono- van's voluminous papers required the full-time services of a trained staff for over two years, and even this - fascinating cache did not include the real body of still highly sensitive O.S.S. records. Stepping even briefly , into Donovan's mysterious world was enough to convince me of the awe- some task awaiting the historian who might, one day, write the O.S.S. of- ficial history. Indeed, because of the many secret faces of intelligence it- , Cornelius Ryan is the author of two volumes about World War "The Longest Day" and "The Last Battle." He is currently working on a third volume entitled, "A Bridge Too Far." Approved For Releas signed toTraffie. A. single entry writ- ten in his neat handwriting might read: "Operation Scorpion began to- c ay" and nothing else! To un- eoarth the story of Operation Scorpion might require the assimilation of pa- pers from perhaps 100 Mirciated file Orawers of material. Compounding tie security compartmentalization even further, each operative M those I les had a code name. To understand rhat had occurred demanded months of frustrating reading ? only to find t rat even then one might never learn tic total truth. But Mr. Smith has c early fallen foul of the very first Lw of reportage: Believe nothing oa- k ss it can be corroborated by others ad substantiated by definitive back- ground records. Unfortunately, because the author yeas denied access to official papers, b a was forced, for the most part, to rely on contemporary espionage a id intelligence accounts and, ith the exception of perhaps half- a dozen valuable works, there is trobably no body of World War II erature so distorted and misleading. h arch of it was meant to be so. Taose World War II intelligence a emits who wrote- of their exploits - a 'ter the conflict deliberately falsi- f ed names, dates and places and, of- ten, the very nature of their assign- ents. To act otherwise might gravely Inaveimperiled agents still in the field. Mr. Smith has drawn on much of this literature, repeating in many in- s ,anees old inaccuracies. One of the n ost prominent concerns Allen Dul- les, the late director of C.I.A., who, daring World War II, was undoubted- Irt, Donovan's most brilliant agent. Be- fore the war, Smith writes, Dulles in c mjunction with his legal work at Slullivan fa: Cromwell "met the elite 04' German industry the same men v ho financed and actively supported the NaZi dictatorship. ? He and a fu- t ire O.S.S. aide, Russian emigre Val- e tie Lada-hlocarski, also sat on the board of Directors of the American boanch of the powerful Schroeder !yanking house." The German parent f rm, the author added, "was headed bar a scar-faced Prussian baron who served as a general in the SS, Hitler's e.ite guard." Smith has got the story tally half right. Dulles was a director of the J. henry Schroeder Banking Arita gr tWOje,MPI6. CtOR t ic German Schroeder Bank. Elsewhere he repea ?s tie legend that, in 1941, "unaware that a top secret Naval intelligence team had broken the JaPanese military code, O.S.S. men in Portugal secretly en- tered the Japanese Embassy and stol a copy of the enemy's code book." Discovering the theft, the Japanese, according to Smith, "promptly changed their ciphers. Washington was left without a vital source of information and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were irate?' Again, Smith is only half right. The O.S.S. did. not burgle the Japanese Embassy in Portugal, but in Lisbon they obtained a few pages of a "low level" Japanese ci- pher. This cipher was not the all- important code that the Navy crypto- analysts had cracked. The fact is the United States continued to take advantage of the Japanese codes for the entire war. To augment his research, the au- thor has drawn on the reminiscences . of some 200 O.S.S. veterans ---- of whom there are no more entertaining storytellers alive. How mem of these intelligence agents, without benefit of after-action reports, operational pol- icy directives or, indeed, their own transmitted messages, could accu- rately recall after 25 years what hap- pened on any specific operation? How many would own up that their tales grow in exaggeration and importance with each yearly O.S.S. veterans' din- ner? To them it is usually all good fun. The outsider must learn to take it that way, too. But did, in fact, the highly trained deceptors deliberately deceive? There are indications that the author was left short on detail of various missions, for many of the anecdotes consist of tag lines without a beginning or a middle and the eader is left frustrated, wondering what actually took place: "Every ec- centric schemer," writes Smith, "with a ? harebrained plan for secret opera- tions (from phosphorescent foxes to incendiary bats) would find a sym- pathetic ear in Donovan's office.". continued 000100010018-7 FOIAb31: Approved For Release 2000/05/23 : CIA7RDP75-00001R000100010018-7 MISSING PAGE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT MISSING PAGE(S): (u1jy.s Ma-7 Approved For Release 2000/05/23 : CIA-RDP75-00001R000100010018-7