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James Jesus Angleton: Was He Right? An EJE Original [Kindle Edition]

Edward Jay Epstein
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A new biography of James Jesus Angleton by Edward Jay Epstein that asks the question: was he right after all? Angleton was the legendary head of CIA counterintelligence during most of the Cold War.. In May 1987, in one of his last phone calls, he told Dick Cheney, who was then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, that he needed to tell him in person something of vital importance. Even though Angleton died before the scheduled meeting, taking this secret to the grave with him, his mystery lived on.
John Le Carre could not have invented a character as intriguing as Angleton. He was ridiculed in the media, Congress, and in the CIA itself, when his mole hunt failed to find a spy in the CIA Investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein tells of his rise, fall, and the astounding revelations that emerged in the CIA after his death. Epstein .spent hundreds of hours interviewing him to understand the mind of this unique mind warrior. He met with him in orchid greenhouses in Kensington, Maryland, dining clubs in Washington DC, and his home in Tucson, Arizona to follow the convoluted layers of his universe of deception. Epstein also was one of the few journalist to interview his arch nemesis: Yuri Nosenko. In this extraordinary book, he sets out to answer a single question: Was Angleton right that the CIA had been penetrated?
Along the way we also learn much about the CIA and KGB during the cold war years, including:

+ Why KGB defector Yuri Nosenko was imprisoned by the CIA ...

+ What was Angleton’s role in the CIA assassination plots against Castro ...

+ How the CIA allowed the KGB to disinform two Presidents.

+ What weaknesses KGB spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen exposed in the CIA

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Product Details

  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Publisher: EJE Publications (December 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LPE5SC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Overview of CIA's Weakness to fake defectors October 22, 2011
Verified Purchase
This story is topical because about a year ago the CIA lost nine people to a suicide bomber "triple agent" in Afghanistan. He was recruited by the Jordanian intelligence service and purported to be an Al Qaeda agent who was going to double cross them. It was all a trap and when he had a big meeting with top CIA field agents in Afghanistan he blew himself up. The CIA bosses (not necessarily confined to Langley) refused to heed warnings from at least one skeptical operative that the guy was not trustworthy. So he was not strip searched in advance of the meeting and the bomb went undetected.

During the Cold War the Soviets repeatedly played the CIA for suckers with fake defectors. During most of Angleton's career at the CIA he was head of the Counterintelligence Office that was tasked with checking out potential "sources" and defectors. The Intelligence part of the CIA resented him and his people because recruiting a Soviet-bloc intelligence agent was how you moved up in the ranks. So there was a built-in bias to buy whatever was being offered. The other problem is that the KGB succeeded in recruiting moles (traitors) in practically every major intelligence service in the US: CIA, FBI and NSA. The moles provided a feedback loop to the KGB so they knew how to suck the CIA into a deception. A mole could also (sometimes) misdirect counter-intelligence efforts.

Angleton was forced to retire in 1975 at age 58. He never found the KGB's moles. He died in about 1987, but before then he was extensively interviewed by the author. It's a well told story, albeit a little short. I've read a few books through the years in this area and the "theory of the case" in this book rings true.

One book that backs him up is Programmed to Kill by Lt. Gen.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting view of a brilliant man October 4, 2011
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Early in his career at the CIA, which spanned the Cold War, James Angleton discovered that he had been badly duped by the Russians. For the rest of his career, he tried to understand why and his answer to this question is the skeleton of this book. Successful deception of the other side, Angleton concluded, required two elements: a way to feed false information; and a mole inside the other side's intelligence gathering to provide feedback. It is clear that the Russians understood this much better than the Americans. Eventually Angleton was pushed out -- his colleagues called him "paranoid" for thinking the Russians could easily have moles inside the CIA. But, after his death, it turned out he was right (e.g., Aldrich Ames). This book is the thinking man's guide to the thinking man's spy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY....... January 16, 2013
By R. Lacy
DO NOT BUY this book (ebook).

OK, here is an update, March 14, 2014. Some people have read my review and disagree with it. They like the shorter version and maybe that they can save $1.00. However, personally I would prefer the pay the extra DOLLAR and get another seven and half chapters. If you like the shorter version, just buy the one for $5.99 and only read the first six and a half chapters!

- - - - - - Original Review - - - - - -
I bought it today (01/16/2013) and just finished reading it. Then I bought the book 'Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA' by the same author.

"James Jesus Angleton: Was He Right?" is in fact the first six and a half chapters of the second book, 'Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA', by Edward Epstein!

I would call it a SCAM BUT maybe they decided to do a shorter version so people would at least get the crux of the story. However, IF you buy the FIRST one you are only buying a portion of 'Deception: The Invisible War Between the CIA and the KGB'!

I don't know the REASON this but it IS 'word for word', with a few errors thrown in for good measure. IT is NOT a different book! So I would recommend that you buy the ebook 'Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA' and you will get this story about James Jesus Angleton, plus MORE.

I just started reading 'Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA' so I cannot review it YET, but will within the next 24 hours.

In reviewing the contents of this book I can say, it is a very interesting read, one which seems to be right on. I am a retired police officer (20+ years) and private investigator (also 20+ years).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
James Jesus Angleton was a legend in his own time, and his legend lives on. He started his intelligence career with the storied Office of Strategic Services and later became the CIA's Chief of Counter-Intelligence. In this latter role Angleton passionately believed that his mission was to protect the CIA and other intelligence agencies against the danger of foreign (KGB/Soviet) penetration. He believed that the KGB was working relentlessly to infiltrate the CIA in order to: a) prevent the CIA from gathering meaningful intelligence against the Soviet Union; and b) affect the CIA's perception of the Soviets in a manner that would cause the CIA to misdirect the US president and government. It is notorious that Angleton was himself taken in by British traitor Kim Philby, with whom Angleton shared secrets while Philby was spying for Russia. After this debacle (and perhaps even before) Angleton believed that there were Soviet penetration agents embedded in the CIA ("moles") and he worked to root them out. In doing so, Angleton wrecked careers and made enemies. Too many enemies, as it turned out. Eventually others within CIA turned against Angleton and believed that his "paranoia" was itself nullifying the effectiveness of the agency. Ultimately he was forced out.

This book takes a candid look at the above controversy and comes down solidly on the side of Angleton. Alrich Ames (of the CIA) and Robert Hanssen (of the FBI) were two moles that betrayed America's secrets for decades and allowed the KGB to do precisely what Angleton was worried about: negate the ability of the CIA to spy on Russia, and feed America disinformation. Ames was apparently able to pass the vaunted CIA lie detector "flutter" tests, and the FBI apparently did not "flutter" Hanssen at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
having know James Angleton prior to his termination with the Agency, I can say he was 100% correct in his assertions. Read more
Published 20 days ago by June
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Story Expertly Told
When I was younger and unmarried, I eagerly anticipated the release of new Tom Clancy novels. I would buy them after work and beginning reading them at dinner, often skipping sleep... Read more
Published 1 month ago by George P. Wood
2.0 out of 5 stars Ten pages stretched to a hundred
several anecdotes thrown together missing sentences misspellings, as disorganized and ineffective as the American intelligence agencies he portrays, obviously cobbled from his... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly illuminating
This book casts some crucial light on the Aldrich Aimes and Carl Hannsen stories and why they happened. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jtq
4.0 out of 5 stars Angleton's judgment
He paid attention to details, he was very observant and he would analyse his own feelings. He was right not to trust the "elite" within the Service and this was proven... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andreas Papademetriou
5.0 out of 5 stars Head scratching
Can't agree with Epstein's wild conspiracy theory but couldn't help thinking, "...but maybe?" :) Very entertaining for any Kremlinologist, student of espionage, or fan of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lewis Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I'm giving 5 stars here and I hope the reader knows how to interpret them in context.

Like other Epstein works, this is very raw and editing is more of an afterthought. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Martin C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Right indeed!
Being convinced that moles were everywhere would have only been natural to a man who developed and worked with so many himself over his long career. Read more
Published 15 months ago by William P Search On
5.0 out of 5 stars About time!
For decades Angleton has been maligned and labeled a quack. There is plenty of documentary evidence now that suggests he was right to suspect that many defectors were dangles, an... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Keith
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content; could have been more informative
Wondering why a respected and published writer would allow such a shoddy edited piece to be offered for sale. Content was okay...........
Published 15 months ago by Michael H. Clezie
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