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on November 30, 2008
This is an extremely important book. The proof of it is that even the official copy in the Library of Congress disappeared (!). Moreover, even after his death, the author continues to be the object of a smear campaign (see internet).

His book is not less than a frontal attack on US intelligence and concomitantly on those who control it.
Its portrait of Allen Dulles, a longtime intelligence director, says it all: `I am a lawyer'; in other words, a servant. But of whom?
This book unveils the existence of a secret cabal, a Power Elite (G. William Domhoff), a `deep State' (P.D. Scott) within the US and its government as well as in about 40 host countries.
This Power Elite uses the Secret Team of top intelligence and military commanders as its long arm and protects it. Together they stand above the law and the democratic process. They get things done, whether they have the political authorization or not.
They dispose of a vast undercover political, military, intelligence, business, media and academic infrastructure, in the US as well as worldwide. They don't respect the nation State and are able to create, to influence and to topple governments in the hemisphere controlled by them.

The author gives a remarkable insight into the inner workings, the logistics, the strategies and the tactics of the intelligence agency. Its creation and history show that President H. Truman never intended to create an autonomous operational agency in the clandestine field. L.F. Prouty also gives valuable information about the U2- G. Powers incident (apparently to torpedo the US/USSR peace talks) and the Pentagon papers (an intelligence whitewash).

At the end, the author poses the all important question: `Can any President ever be strong enough really to rule?'

This book is a must read for all those interested in US history and for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

For more information on the Power Elite, I recommend the works of O. Tunander, D. Estulin, Peter Dale Scott, Carroll Quigley, Gary Allen and G. W. Domhoff.
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on July 7, 2006
Colonel Prouty's book on the Secret Team should be required reading for all concerned Americans. Herein, the author, a retired Air Force Colonel and CIA insider, reveals for all to see the machinations of the Secret Team and their impact on US history in the post World War II era. This is terribly important information.

I was particularly impressed with Prouty's depiction of Eisenhower's peace initiative and how it was sabatoged by the Secret Team. Ike was preparing for his peace summit with Kruschev when Gary Powers was sent off on his fool's errand on April 30th, 1960, a date with significant occult emblematics. The capture of Powers by the Soviets effectively scuttled the Eisenhower peace plan, which would have ruined the plans of the Secret Team, for continued Cold War tension, and treasure for the merchants of venom.

The essential truths in this important book are still relevant today. Of course, the ineffectual George Walker Bush is not entirely in charge of American foreign policy in this critical time. He is certainly still being manipulated by the sucessors of the Secret Team depicted in this excellent and well written book. Any serious student of American foreign policy in the post World War II era ought to read this important book.
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on April 30, 2008
As in the case of the brilliant Jules Archer volume, The Plot To Seize The White House, it is terrific to have this masterful study of the inner workings of the early CIA back in print after so many years of unavailability.

Skyhorse Publishing is to be commended in seeing to it that both of these crucial works are again available to the attentive reading public who want to know the truth concerning our dark hidden history that the government has so actively strived to keep buried.

The late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty served as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for covert activities of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In Oliver Stone's highly acclaimed film on the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK, the mysterious character "X" portrayed by Donald Sutherland was in fact Colonel Prouty, who assisted director Stone in the production and scripting of this historical epic. Prouty had relayed the shocking information detailed in the movie to the actual New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Cosner, in a series of communiques.

The Secret Team was first published in 1973 during the Watergate scandal, when many Americans were first learning about the dark side of covert government, an outlaw executive branch headed by a renegade chief of state. Richard Nixon would not be the last of this foul breed.

This was years before Frank Church's Senate Committee's damning revelations of CIA misdeeds and assassination plots against foreign leaders rocked the nation.

In each chapter in his book, Prouty speaks frankly with an insiders knowledge of what he describes as the inner workings of "the Secret Team."

This prudential judgment and keen assessment of the National Security Establishment was gained from years as a behind-the-scenes seasoned professional in military intelligence working intimately with those of the highest rank in policy making and implimentation.

The important story Prouty boldly tells should be read by every reflective American.
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on June 21, 2006
...and yet apparently others have done their best to keep these books out of circulation. Perhaps best known for his book on JFK, this is probably an equally important book and it is information to which people should have access.

[...]

We live in a fascinating time when so many deeply buried secrets are being exposed. Like the late Prouty's friend Mark Phillips says, "Truth lives a wretched life but it outlives a lie every time." We have people like Fletcher Prouty to thank for that.
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on December 4, 2012
While we sit stunned into complete disbelief and silence trying to make sense of, understand, and decode the strongly suspected connections between the most curious political and military events of our times, this author, Colonel, L. Fletcher Prouty, in this book, "The Secret Team," has already decoded everything for us. From the JFK assassination, Watergate, the Iran-Contra Affair, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, repeated bank bust-outs (like BCCI and Silverado), the cocaine connection from Mena Arkansas to Nicaragua, the "crack" cocaine explosion in America's inner cities, the recent housing crash, and the general Wall Street sponsored financial meltdown, and now even from the wildest recesses of our collective imagination (dare I say it, maybe even 911?), Colonel Prouty, the fabled Mr. "X" in the movie "JFK," has the bureaucratic structure of all the answers here.

What Colonel Prouty tells us is that right before our own eyes, we are experiencing a paradigm shift in international relations and world affairs, one that has quietly moved us from the "old order" where the sovereign nation and its armies and national ideologies once sat at the center of world events and predominated, into a new "One World business run corporate, privatized global order," in which "the corporate powers that be" sit on the throne in the clock tower; and where, as a result of their machinations, true national sovereignty has seeped away to the point that we say safely say, it no longer exists.

The good Colonel tells us that the most important events of this century are taking place right before our eyes, as the Cold War era has already given way to a new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their hired guns, their lawyers -- rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. In this new, completely "privatized world order," big business, big lawyers, big bankers, big politicians, big lobbyists, and even bigger money-men, run and rule the entire world from behind a national security screen inaccessible to the average citizen. It is this paradigm shift, and the wall of secrecy that has brought us the "Secret Team" and the series of strange inexplicable events that it has skillfully orchestrated, and that keep recurring from time to time both within the U.S. and throughout the world.

This new bureaucratic entity is called a "Secret Team" for good reasons: because like any team, it does not create its own game plan, its own rules, or its own reality. The team plays for a coach and an owner. It is the coach and the owner that writes the scripts, creates and "calls" the plays. The drama of reality that we see on the international screen is a creation of the "Power elite, as it is executed by the "secret Team." The power of the team comes from its vast intergovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with private industries, the military, mutual funds, and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The beauty of the "Secret team," is that it is not a clandestine super-planning-board, or super-general staff like as is frequently attributed to the Bilderburg Group, or the Trilateral Commission, but is a bewildering collection of ad hoc and semi-permanent action committees and networks that can come into being and then dissolve as specific needs troubles and flash-points dictate. It can create, influence or topple governments around the globe at the behest and on the whim of its coaches, "the Power Elite."

As the Sociologist C. Wright Mills told us nearly a half century ago, the members of the "Power Elite," operate beyond national borders, beyond the reach of the public, and have no national loyalties -- or even return addresses. They operate in the shadows and run the world by remote control and by making us completely dependent upon them and their hidden machinations. Invisibly, they maneuver and jockey to control every aspect of our lives and the infrastructure and markets upon which we depend for our survival: The most important and essential among them being our ability to produce and distribute our own food, water, and energy. As a result of this dependency, and despite mythology to the contrary, Colonel Prouty tells us that we are becoming the most dependent society that has ever lived. And the future viability of an infrastructure that is not controlled and manipulated by this "global power Elite," is diminishing to the point of non-existence.

With climate changes and terrorism already causing serious disruptions in the normal flow of our lives, governments are becoming less and less able to serve as the people's protector of last resort. Already, one of the politicians who ran for President of the United States in its most recent election, Governor Mitt Romney, suggested that FEMA be turned over to a private run firm? And all of the agencies of government that he did not suggest be privatized (or that have not already been privatized), except for the military, he suggested be abolished. As well, we also see the concomitant rise of the Backwaters' of the world, a private firm that has already begun to take over a lion's share of the responsibilities of our volunteer military. Likewise, our prisons, healthcare system and schools are also being privatized, and everything else is being "outsourced" to the lowest bidder on the global labor market. The book however is not just about international politics or international economics, per se, but is also about the primary bureaucratic instrumentality through which the "Power Elite" operates. This instrumentality, as noted above, is called "the Secret Team."

How does Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty know about the "Secret Team:" because he used to be one of its Pentagon operational managers. I believe then that out of prudence, when the man who oversaw management of and liaised with "the Secret team" for nine years as a Pentagon as an Air Force Colonel, (and who incidentally was also sent on a wild goose chase to Antarctica in order to get him out of the country, days before the JFK assassination), tells us that something is wrong in Denmark, I believe it is high time to listen up. In a chilling narrative, Colonel Prouty relates to us how he found out about the assassination of JFK. It was during a stopover in New Zealand on his return from the wild goose chase his superiors had sent him on to get him out of the way. Hours BEFORE the assassination had even occurred, somehow the New Zealand press already had the pre-planned talking points on Lee Harvey Oswald. Somehow they mistakenly deployed them prematurely, reporting well in advance of the assassination itself, that Oswald was JFK's lone assassin? How could such a thing happen unless there was a very high level conspiracy?

The Secret team, according to Prouty consists of a bunch of renegade CIA intelligence operatives that are signed up for life and operate under the full protection and pay of the "Power Elite," itself a cabal of wealthy men with interlocking interests beholden only to their own hunger for power, profit and greed. The "Power Elite" relies upon this covert team of highly trained specialists to get things done without questions being asked and without moral squeamishness.

Operating outside the normal parameters of political authorization, morality, direction, and law, and hiding behind a wall shielded by national security secrecy, very much like the mafia, the "Secret Team" always gets the job done. They are allowed to ply their immoral trade with both impunity and with legal immunity. In short, in the modern era, in the new "One WorldCorporate Order," they have proven again and again that, at worse they are lawless, and at best, they are a law unto themselves. The members of the "Secret Team" have become the new Jack-booted foot soldiers we see trampling over our dying democracy. As we move deeper and deeper into the uncharted realms of the new Corporate run "One World Order," "we the people" have a lot of questions we must ask ourselves if the democracy we once knew is to endure.

The climax of the book appears here in chapter 22 ( entitled "Camelot.") It is a beautifully crafted object lesson for the future of what remains of our democracy. It is a narrative summary of how JFK tried but failed to deal with the emerging paradigm shift in power from the Executive branch of the UGS, to the CIA and the "Secret Team," that is to say, from a system of duly elected Representatives to one dictated by the whims of the "Power Elite" through their "Secret Team." JFK's assassination is just the most dramatic consequence of how our then young President failed to save the USG from usurpation of its power by a cabal of anonymous evil men intent on ruling the world. Colonel Prouty's story ends somewhat as follows.

The Bay of Pigs operation was the seminal event in the clandestine transfer of power from the "normal government" to the CIA's Secret Team." It was done primarily via the thinly transparent interface of the military -- playing a dual role as both military officers reporting to their Commander in Chief, and at the same time as undercover "clandestine operatives" reporting (behind the President's back) to the CIA (and of course through it, to the "Power Elite."). In the book, there is little question where their split loyalties lay.

The key ruse that provided the glue that made this high level "grifter-like scam" (with the U.S. President, as its "mark)" work to perfection, was the words "anti-Communist counterinsurgency." Put to skilful use in hands of trained Specialists, these words had a powerful and purposeful dual meaning. They meant one thing to "clandestine insider members of the "Secret Team," and quite another to "no need to know outsiders" like the American public (and in this case the whole USG, including the Commander in Chief, the President of the U.S. JFK himself). This willful ambiguity in terminology and the duality in the roles of those involved does most of the heavy lifting in the drama played out by the "insiders" and that resulted in the usurpation and the shift of power from the Presidency to the CIA.

The "Bay of Pigs operation"proved to be the defining, the seminal and pivotal case in point. It began as a small clandestine "anti-Communist counterinsurgency" operation run by the CIA (as also was the case with Iran, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Granada, Angola, and Santo Domingo), ostensibly under the oversight of the "USG," but in fact ended up as a huge CIA-run military failure, one minus the requisite oversight from the US President. The devil of how this happened lies in the slimy details that went on behind the scenes and that are skillfully unveiled in this book. They are details that the reader can also get from a careful reading between the lines of "The Pentagon Papers."

As the Bay of Pigs Operation slowly morphed from a small-scale USG run operation "with oversight," into a huge, expensive and poorly run CIA operation without any oversight whatsoever, the rules of the game also changed. They changed from being about U.S. security, to being about the greed, power and profits of the "Power Elite, as those objectives were implemented through the "Secret Team." The key to the "Power Elite" getting what they wanted was always accomplished by stoking the ideological fires up to an international boiling point, so that more and more military hardware could be produced, bought and sold.

Likewise, the roles of the primary players also morphed and changed -- from "clandestine operators" in military uniforms, to "military operators" reporting to their CIA handlers, and thus to the "Power Elite." The executive branch (the ostensible oversight body of the government) was none the wiser, since it was not yet aware that it was "being played" by the CIA and thus did not yet know it was being treated in the same way the public is normally treated: as an "excluded outsider" lacking the required "need to know."

Through this bureaucratic sleigh of hand, the partial control and power the USG normally exercised in its oversight role had been covertly usurped, as the military operators (and even members of the Presidents own staff proved to be "insiders," i.e., members of the "Secret Team," "playing" the President like a bass fiddle as he and his team became the "marks" in an insider's "con game" in which power and control of the USG was at stake.

When JFK finally "wised up," it was too late. By then the train had already left the station, with the CIA firmly in the driver's seat. Since JFK era, U.S. foreign policy has become a clear case of the CIA tail wagging the USG dog. And the best proof of the evil intentions of the "Secret Team" calling the shots within the CIA is that no sooner than the Bay of Pigs literally blew up in a spectacular and embarrassing failure did the CIA then put the wheels back in motion to duplicate, expand and even generalize this failed bureaucratic formulate in Vietnam.

But this time JFK was ready for them and issued NSM-55 and NSM-57, both of which were decision directives designed to put the brakes on the CIA and return the usurped power back to the military where the President was the Commander in Chief. But the CIA was already two steps ahead of JFK. His own staff had been so compromised that he had nowhere to turn? He was penetrated and thus effectively checkmated by an agency of his own government? The more he fought back, the more he lost ground, and the more his back was up against the wall. By the time November, 22, 1963 came around, JFK literally had no bureaucratic friends and nowhere to turn?

I only regret that an earlier edition of this book had been lying around unread in my library for more than a decade. Five Stars.
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on May 11, 2008
I've been a devout student of Fletcher Prouty for fifteen years. Fletcher Prouty is a hero almost beyond measure in clandestine American history. 'The Secret Team' is and always will be one of the most important books of all time. However, this version is actually a slight rewrite from the original Prentice-Hall/ICHS version; and the incidental changes that have been added to this flawless American classic, I'm sorry to say, make it weaker, not stronger. I'm not saying people shouldn't read Fletcher Prouty; just understand that if you want the original book -- the real Coke rather than the new Coke -- you want to avoid this printing, even though it's available, and even though it's cheap. Some classics are better left alone, and this is one of them.
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on January 15, 2014
Having read the first edition of this book, it is very obvious that this particular edition has been edited, and sanitized to the point that it is almost unreadable. If you can find an original edition, read it.
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on January 9, 2009
If you want to know about "Black Ops", who really killed JFK and why, why Vietnam was a trumped up war for profit and why we should have never been there, this is the man to read - L. Fletcher Prouty. He was the USAF colonel who was the liaison between the Pentagon and Black Ops from WW2 on until after JFK was killed. He also got his hands dirty on site in Greece and a few other places so he knows too well what he's talking about. If he talks about black ops, politics, the C.I.A. and anything related-----listen carefully-----this is the "horses' mouth". It's long, even in paperback, and very detailed but that's exactly what you want in a book like this-----the real detailed truth. Highly recommended.
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on December 17, 2014
This book provides a rare glimpse into the secret history and evil machinations of the CIA as it mutated from its original form between 1946 up until the time the book was published in 1973 when it had become a cancerous blight within the government.

It should not be surprising that most people never really understood the so called Vietnam War and they still don't. Even people in the American government like the Secretary Of Defense were completely confused and manipulated by the Agency as it's called.

President Kennedy was somewhat inexperienced when he first entered office. JFK thought he could handle problems in the government in the same way he handled problems during his presidential campaign. He had an informal style at first where he would just ask a friend to take care of it. This caused JFK to disregard important checks and balances which had been set up to hopefully prevent the CIA from crossing the line from being just an intelligence agency into the realm of initiating clandestine military operations.

The National Security Counsel was supposed to give direction to the CIA and then the Operations Coordination Board was supposed to verify that the CIA had done what they were told and only what they were told. But even before JFK got into office the Agency had taken many determined steps to undermine those controls.

JFK's informal style opened the door even wider for the Agency to circumvent whatever controls may have still been effective to put some sort of limits on their 'fun and games'. Having an informal style with them was dangerous because they were experts at getting around all sorts of rules and laws.

The Agency double crossed JFK during the Bay Of Pigs debacle. Publicly JFK took the blame for what happened but according to Fletcher it was the CIA who cancelled the air support that would have destroyed Fidel Castro's planes on the ground. As a result JFK's only options were to accept the blame or admit to the world that things were being done by the American military establishment that he wasn't even aware of. John Kennedy was a fast learner however and he stated that he would break the CIA up into a thousand tiny pieces. JFK was fed up with all of the Agency's fun and games.

Something similar happened with the Gary Powers U2 spy plane that had to land in the Soviet Union. The evil Secret Team sabotaged the U2 to derail President Eisenhower's lifelong dream of holding a worldwide peace summit. Like JFK Ike accepted the blame publicly.

Ike's only other option would have been to admit that the U2 flight was unauthorized and then fire Allan Dulles and the other leaders of the evil Secret Team. But Fletcher says Ike couldn't do this for various reasons even though Nikita Khrushchev probably realized that Eisenhower did not break his word and authorize the U2 mission.

Ike's comments about the Military Industrial Complex which he made during his farewell address turned out to be very prophetic indeed.

These examples provide the picture of an Agency that had become a law unto itself which reinterpreted whatever orders it was given to make those orders conform to their evil schemes. Fletcher provides many details in the book about how the Agency was able to circumvent laws and regulations and manipulate anyone and everyone in the government starting with the president. They did this mainly by abusing their control of secrecy but they used many other methods as well.

Secret Team leader Allan Dulles wrote a book called 'The Craft of Intelligence'. The title of this book sort of indicates the very problem Fletcher Prouty explains in his book. Dulles viewed himself as a sort of artist or craftsman who could distort information and make it appear in any form he wanted. Strangely Fletcher refers to his close personal friendship with Allan Dulles in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book but then spends the rest of the book portraying Dulles as a sort of Joseph Goebbels figure.

Fletcher spends over 300 pages describing the metamorphosis which occurred with the CIA as it veered very far afield from what president Truman had intended when he created the Agency. Then towards the end of the book Fletcher finally reveals his shocking conclusions about what this massive abuse of power lead to.

Fletcher felt that the assassination of president Kennedy was the single most pivotal event in modern American history as far as the changes that the assassination caused.

Sadly as Fletcher points out the Vietnam War never really had any military objective. The theory was that if South Vietnam fell this would cause a domino effect and the dreaded communism monster would start gobbling up the entire world. Then when South Vietnam did fall with no domino effect the Secret Team published a group of documents called the Pentagon Papers. These documents deflected blame away from the CIA and said nobody listened to the CIA when they warned that the Vietnam situation was not winnable.

But it wouldn't matter if anyone listened to the Secret Team anyway because they always lie.

This book presents an American government in chaos during the Vietnam era. It was a government that had been high jacked by the evil Secret Team.

After the Bay Of Pigs incident Fidel Castro apparently got fed up with the CIA and America in general. Castro turned to the Soviet Union instead. This lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was only in the last 10 years or so that people realized just how close the world came to an all out nuclear exchange at that time.

This was a very dangerous game master craftsman Allan Dulles and his other liars were playing. They were like kids starting fires all over the place in a big field and then just sitting back and seeing which of those fires would become an inferno as Vietnam did.

Also in recent years people have implicated Lyndon Johnson as being part of the conspiracy to assassination JFK. So LBJ was on the team also.

I'm not sure if Fletcher ever really spells out what the true motivations of the Secret Team were but he hints at it. Probably the three main reasons that people engage in criminal activity are sex, money, and revenge. Usually when crimes are committed there's a money trail somewhere. And in the case of government military spending that's a very long trail.

This is a serious book which contains many details about an approximately 25 year period that began after World War II. It is not light reading.

On the Trail of the Assassins: One Man's Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

David Ferrie: Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and Key to the JFK Assassination

The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ

Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination

Dr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses Are Linked to Lee Harvey ... Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics

Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up

Watch this documentary series on the internet. The hypocrites have pulled it off the market:

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

The Men Who Killed Kennedy DVD Series - Episode List

1. "The Coup D'Etat" (25 October 1988)
2. "The Forces Of Darkness" (25 October 1988)
3. "The Cover-Up" (20 November 1991)
4. "The Patsy" (21 November 1991)
5. "The Witnesses" (21 November 1991)
6. "The Truth Shall Set You Free" (1995)

The Final Chapter episodes (internet only):

7. "The Smoking Guns" (2003)
8. "The Love Affair" (2003)
9. "The Guilty Men" (2003)
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on April 17, 2010
This book was great in explaining how the CIA has grown into the monster it has become. Instead of being an intelligence gathering agency as designed, the CIA has grown into a manipulative arm of the government. The scary thing that Prouty emphasizes is that they are not regulated nor held accountable, unlike other government agencies. You may think that this is needed today, with the war on terror. However, you will see by reading this book that the war on terror is in fact manufactured, much like the war in Vietnam was made to happen by the CIA.

Please also check out Prouty's book on JFK. I liked that book even more!
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