“The Ghost”: Bio of a Spymaster at the Bookplate Friday at 6:00 pm


Is there a traitor or Russian spy in the White House?

If that question had been asked in the mid-20th Century, the job of answering it would have fallen to James Jesus Angleton, head of counterintelligence for the CIA and one of the most powerful men in America.

On Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m., Jefferson Morley will discuss his new book, THE GHOST: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, at the Bookplate, 112 S. Cross St., Chestertown.

The copy on the book’s dust jacket tells it well.  “CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton was one of the most powerful unelected officials in the United States government in the mid-twentieth century. …From World War II to the Cold War, Angleton operated beyond the view of the public, Congress, and even the president.  He unwittingly shared intelligence secrets with Soviet spy Kim Philby,  member of the notorious Cambridge spy ring. He launched mass surveillance by opening the mail of hundreds of thousands of Americans.  He abetted a scheme to aid Israel’s own nuclear efforts, disregarding U.S. security. He committed perjury and obstructed the FK assassination investigation. He oversaw a massive spying operation on the antiwar and black nationalist movements, and he initiated an obsessive search for Communist moles that nearly destroyed the Agency.

…from his friendship with the poet Ezra Pound through the gay milieu of mid-century Washington to the … Watergate scandal … the agency’s MKULTRA mind-control experiments.  [Angleton acquired] a mythic stature within the CIA that continues to this day.”

The author, Jefferson Morley, has been a reporter for more than 30 years, including 15 with the Washington Post. He is a specialist in intelligence, military and political matters. He also writes for Salon and The Intercept.

Refreshments will be served. Call 410-778-4167 for more information.

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