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The wit, wisdom, and pitch-black cynicism of the National War College

In 1988, then-Deputy Director of the CIA Robert Gates gave a talk at the National War College that left enough of an impression that a line or two ended up in the college’s end of the year “Book of Proverbs, Jokes, and Other Comments.” The Agency, never one to let a mention go unarchived, then preserved said book for posterity in CREST. Let’s just say there’s more than a few folks who’d probably prefer that didn’t happen.

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Dead cats, fouled nests, and the book of horrors - inside the CIA’s darkest hour

A pair of declassified memos from January 4, 1975 reveal just how contentious things were in the lead-up to the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, with recent exposés having rocked the American public’s faith in the government, already strained by the still-fresh memories of Watergate, and undermined CIA’s legitimacy.

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J. Edgar Hoover’s gambit to force his enemies into retirement came close to ending his career

When J. Edgar Hoover forced William “Bill” Sullivan, the Bureau’s domestic intelligence chief, into retirement he set into motion a chain reaction which nearly forced him into retirement as well.

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CIA asked if they could drop “the myth of presidential plausible deniability”

A formerly SECRET CIA memo found in the Kissinger archives shows the Agency’s lawyers arguing that they should consider dropping “the myth of presidential plausible deniability.”

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Memo shows Kissinger and Rumsfeld in damage control mode following revelation of CIA domestic activities

In late December 1974, the New York Times published an article reporting a massive set of CIA operations conducted domestically and targeting American citizens. A memo marked CONFIDENTIAL in the Kissinger archives shows that Henry Kissinger and White House Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld were planning a public response to the article’s allegations almost immediately.

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