U.S. Policy / Europe

Agee, Philip and Wolf, Louis, eds. Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe. Secaucus NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1978. 734 pages. (Note: An edition published by Zed Books in London contains only the first 318 pages of essays, and omits pages 343-716 containing biographic entries of CIA officers.)

The companion volumes Dirty Work and Dirty Work 2 represent the sort of quality research and writing that might eventually have brought peacetime covert operations to a halt. Instead, Congress made it illegal -- the research and writing, that is.

Each volume contains over 30 essays, and about 800 biographies of CIA officers. The essays are usually reprinted from the U.S. and European alternative press and deal with CIA covert activity in various parts of the globe. The bios are compiled from laborious cross-checking of State Department Biographic Registers and diplomatic lists. A typical bio includes birth date, higher education, a history of government rankings and foreign postings, and the wife's name. When available, the education information can be useful, as it is sometimes possible to locate a person by calling the alumni office of their alma mater.

Godson, Roy. American Labor and European Politics: The AFL as a Transnational Force. New York: Crane, Russak and Company, 1976. 230 pages.

The American Federation of Labor played a major role in postwar Europe, sometimes with funding from the CIA. Irving Brown, the Free Trade Union Committee representative in Europe since 1945, was one of the AFL's most important organizers; Jay Lovestone was another. This book covers the AFL's European efforts during the late 1940s and early 1950s, with an emphasis on the AFL as a case study of the techniques and strategies of foreign policy making in nongovernmental organizations. Godson downplays the CIA's role, and with as much scholarly detachment as he can muster, stresses the enlightened independence of America's freedom-loving, anti-Communist labor organizers.

Roy Godson has taught at Georgetown University since 1971, specializing in international relations and national security. During the 1980s he directed the Washington office of the National Strategy Information Center, a think tank for right-wing militarists. Godson has also been a consultant to the National Security Council and the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. No mere academic, in 1985 Godson helped Oliver North channel contributions from private donors to the contras by using the Heritage Foundation to launder the funds.

Johnstone, Diana. The Politics of Euromissiles: Europe's Role in America's World. London: Verso, 1984. 218 pages.

Diana Johnstone, born in 1934, received her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and was active in the campus movement against the Vietnam war. She organized the first international contacts between American citizens and Vietnamese representatives. Most of her adult life has been spent in France, Germany, and Italy, and since 1976 she has been the European correspondent for the American weekly In These Times. Her reporting on political affairs and intelligence-related issues is always lucid, and refreshingly free from the spin found in major U.S. media. As of 1990 she was living in Paris.

Events in Europe have evolved considerably since the controversy over the deployment of nuclear missiles there in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Moreover, Johnstone refers to her book as "necessarily speculative," which dates it even further. But even if it has been overtaken by events, it still stands as a tribute to her ability to analyze continental European affairs. Most of the personalities she names remain active in politics, and are still worth noting. As Europe watches the last fifty years of stability slipping away into history, its leaders become more important to all of us.

Woodhouse, C.M. The Rise and Fall of the Greek Colonels. New York: Franklin Watts, 1985. 192 pages.

C.M. Woodhouse, a former British diplomat, Conservative MP, and Oxford fellow, has written several books on modern Greek history. In April 1967, a group of colonels seized power and held on to it until 1974. The Greek junta was known around the world for its suspension of civil liberties, torture of political prisoners, and brutal repression of a student revolt in November 1973. The regime was brought down primarily because the various branches of the military could only manage to conspire against each other when it came time to defend their position in Cyprus against Turkish forces.

Many people believe that the level of CIA intrigue behind the junta was an important factor. This is true with Oriana Fallaci in "A Man" (1980), an overwhelmingly-dramatic biography of junta prisoner Alexander Panagoulis. Woodhouse concedes that the CIA probably had advance knowledge of the coup, but feels that popular opinion in Greece is also trying to scapegoat the CIA for a situation of their own making. With his Establishment credentials, Woodhouse cannot be expected to pursue the question. Regardless of what forces led to the coup, vice-president Spiro Agnew was openly pro-junta during his term, and Nixon, Kissinger, and Dean Rusk weren't much better. The junta, after all, was open to U.S. corporations, Greece was a NATO ally in a strategic region, and the Navy needed to homeport the Sixth Fleet there.

Wyden, Peter. Wall: The Inside Story of Divided Berlin. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. 765 pages.

This book is an unusual combination of investigative reporting and personal history. Although the intensely human aspects directly concern the author himself only in one chapter, the reader nevertheless discerns his sensitivities throughout. Wyden was born in Berlin and left at age 13; since 1970 he has been writing from Ridgefield, Connecticut. His excellent reporting on intelligence issues, which is particularly useful when discussing divided Berlin, was established in 1979 with "Bay of Pigs -- The Untold Story."

The human drama is fully half of this narrative, as the interwoven tales of several characters whose lives have been split by the Wall keep punctuating the Cold War's geopolitical gamesmanship. It's the former that makes this book a good read, and the latter that's worthwhile for NameBase. Wolfgang Vogel, the famous spy-swap lawyer, is profiled at some length, and several CIA officers are interviewed, but most of the latter material involves Kennedy, Khrushchev, their diplomats, East and West German officials, and other Cold War players.

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