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James Jesus Angleton
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Spy
    (December 9, 1917-May 12, 1987)
    Born in Boise, Idaho
    Counterintelligence director for the CIA (1954-75)
    He spent years working alongside Kim Philby without realizing Philby was a double agent working for the Soviets.
    When Philby was suspected of being the ‘third man’ who had tipped off Donald MacLean and Guy Burgess of their impending arrests, Angleton went to the CIA director and convinced him that Philby had been ‘honestly duped’ by the two.
    After Philby was exposed and defected to the Soviet Union, he became increasingly paranoid.
    He launched a decades-long hunt for an alleged ‘supermole’ in the CIA that ruined several agents’ careers but never caught any Soviet spies.
    He was convinced that British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, Canadian Prime Ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were Soviet agents.
    He ran an illegal mail-opening campaign targeting anti-war protestors and other dissidents.
    CIA Director William Colby said he could not find any evidence ‘that we ever caught a spy under Jim.’
    Some CIA analysts concluded that if there had been a Soviet mole in the CIA, it was probably Angleton himself.
    At Yale, he edited the literary magazine ‘Furioso,’ publishing works by Ezra Pound, E.E. Cummings and William Carlos Williams.
    While serving in Italy with the OSS during World War II, he recovered art treasures looted by the Nazis.
    He helped Israel establish the Mossad intelligence agency.
    He scored an intelligence coup by obtaining a copy of the secret speech in which Nikita Khruschev denounced Joseph Stalin.
    He exposed Soviet operations in several Western countries.
    He established a good working relation with the FBI, mitigating inter-agency hostility promoted by J. Edgar Hoover.
    A magazine profile claimed, ‘If John Le Carre and Graham Greene had collaborated on a superspy, the result might have been James Jesus Angelton.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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