Chapter 3: Behind the Scenes

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Postwar Intelligence

Hanson W. Baldwin, “Intelligence I-V” in The New York Times, July 20, 22-25, 1948. These five articles cover emerging intelligence issues in the post-war period, including friction with other agencies, strengths/weaknesses of the new CIA, personnel, oversight, and reforms.

Tom Braden, “The Birth of the CIA,” American Heritage Feb. 1977. Braden, a career officer, was Allen Dulles’s assistant before heading the CIA International Organizations Division.

Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (New York: Scribner’s, 1992).

Ludwell Lee Montague, General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence: October 1950 to February 1953 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992; Paperback, 2007) Official history by a career officer.

Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of CIA (New York: Basic Books,1983)

Thomas F. Troy, Donovan and the CIA: A history of the Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (Frederick, Md: University Publications of America, 1981). Written by a former CIA career officer.


Henry A. Wallace

John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: The Life of Henry A. Wallace (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000).

Thomas W. Devine, Henry Wallace’s 1948 Presidential Campaign and the Future of Postwar Liberalism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Richard J. Walton, Henry Wallace, Harry Truman and the Cold War (New York: Viking, 1976)



ALL notes correspond to the endnotes in Patriotic Betrayal, supply additional information or evidence, and should be read together.

Note 5: Redacted Espy wartime affiliation: While one cannot speculate what affiliation was redacted in the FBI report, the Reverend Edwin R. H. Espy was active in numerous wartime activities, including serving as Secretary of the War Emergency Council. Toward the end of the war, the YMCA International also received substantial support from the Rockefeller Foundation for post-war activities.

Note 7. Louis Nemzer background: In 1940-1941 Louis Nemzer, a University of Chicago political scientist, worked for Archibald MacLeish in the Library of Congress during the time MacLeish established the COI, the antecedent of OSS (Office of Special Services). Nemzer’s son recalled that his father worked for the Department of Justice during the war. The 1947 State Department Biographic Register (p. 334) indicates that on May 5, 1947 Nemzer joined the new State Department intelligence office, consisting primarily of former OSS staff. He was considered an expert on Soviet propaganda.

The OSS was terminated on October 1, 1945, and its agents divided between the War Department (9,028) in the Strategic Services Unit (SSU), and the State Department (1,362 people) Interim Research and Intelligence Service (IRIS). These units existed independently from intelligence units in the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. Thus, while there appeared to be a gap between the termination of the OSS and the origins of the CIA in 1947, intelligence functions, albeit scattered and fragmented, continued without interruption. The IRIS was succeeded by the Office of Research and Intelligence (ORI). The SSU was renamed the Office of Special Operations (OSO). Thomas Troy (Donovan and the CIA).

William L. Langer, the former OSS Chief of Research and Analysis, “developed a comprehensive biographical index of all former American intelligence personnel for future reference.” The CIA recruited heavily from this talent pool, and it included both military and civilian intelligence officials. See Ranelagh (The Rise and Decline of the CIA) General Bibliography (p. 101).

Note 10. Douglass Cater role: After Cater declined to chair the Interim National Continuations Committee (NCC) in December 1946 (Harvard Crimson, January 7, 1947), he continued to be involved in the creation or announcement of international programs under the sponsorship of the Harvard Student Council sub-committee. He also assisted the drafting of the future NSA constitution. During a March 5, 1947 review of the draft Constitution, he exercised a proxy for Clifton Wharton, a Harvard colleague who had been elected NCC Secretary in Chicago.

Note 12. Information Bulletin: When Cater announced the International Student Information Bulletin, he credited the Chicago delegates with its conception; in a later Crimson article, the writer described the program as “the brain-child” of the Harvard delegation.

Note 22. Salzburg Seminar. There is considerable lore about, Clemens Heller, Cater’s HIACOM colleague, and his single-handed founding of the Salzburg Seminar in the face of opposition from Harvard and State Department officials. See, for example, Timothy W. Ryback, “The Salzburg Global Seminar,” available at But hand-written notes made by Assistant Secretary of State, Howland H. Sargeant, at a March 4, 1947 meeting of the U.S. Committee for Information Abroad, with Heller present, states that that State Department officials decided not to give the seminar formal publicity. (Harry S. Truman Library, Howard Sargeant Files). Heller also obtained instant backing for the seminar in February1947 from an elite group of educators and State Department officials who met at Princeton University; many of the endorsers had worked with the State Department during the war, several had advised the small Division of Cultural Relations, and most familiar with the seminar idea, which had gained currency during the war.

Salzburg Seminar Wartime antecedents: In 1942, the Office of War Information sponsored a seminar program in American Civilization for British soldiers at Princeton University. Margaret Mead, a prominent faculty member at the 1947 Salzburg Seminar on American Civilization, and who conducted its first-year evaluation (available on the internet), also served as faculty for the Princeton course. The chair of the 1942 Princeton course, Willard Thorp, became Assistant Secretary of State in 1946, where he helped craft the Marshall Plan, the program of economic assistance to post-war Europe.

During the war, the Division of Cultural Relations/State Department met frequently to discuss how best to project America’s image abroad. Educational advisors, which included ISS committee members George Shuster and Walter Kotschnig, cautioned against conflating American civilization and values with all of Western civilization but the conflation occurred in practice. The Salzburg Seminar later shortened its name, dropping the phrase, “American Civilization.”

Both the World Student Service Fund (New York) and ISS (Geneva) assisted the1947 Salzburg Seminar: WSSF managed funds. ISS Geneva officially co-sponsored the seminar, and recruited students. The original plan envisioned the participation of East European students but most refused and charged the seminar was being used as a propaganda tool. At a March1, 1948 meeting of WSSF, NSA vice president Robert Smith bemoaned the lack of East European participation. H/NSA (Box 29) March 2, 1948 Smith to Staff.

Financial information on the 1947 Salzburg Seminar: In her evaluation, Mead cited a $23,000 budget but not its sources of funding. Harvard University Archives, Student Council Minutes 3808.679 (Salzburg File), cites support for the first seminar from the Commonwealth Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation, but gives no amounts. A clipping included in the file from the Christian Science Monitor, two years later, on September 24, 1949, characterized the 1947 awards as coming from “a few Harvard alumni.” Grant awards to WSSF are now traceable, in part, thanks to the scholarship of Renata Nowaczewska, author of “American Private Foundations and Reinforcement of Democracy in the Cold War Europe, 1945-1948: Rockefeller Foundation as the Case Study.” She lists the following amounts to WSSF: $13,000 (1948); $15,000 (1949), and $50,000 (1950).

Note 23: WSSF board members: During the war, the overlap with the ISS U.S. Committee included Homer P. Rainey, Chair; Walter M. Kotschnig, Vice-Chair; as well as Clyde Eagleton, Roland Elliott, Edgar Fisher, Reinhold Niebuhr. Post-war, former ISS/SSA member, George Shuster became the new chair.

Note 29: Robin Winks (Cloak and Gown), among others, writes about the Vatican’s relationship between Montini and OSS agent, James Jesus Angleton, who later became head of CIA counterintelligence. (p. 355).

Note 46. Robert Smith credentials. Smith’s status at the Chicago meeting in December 1946 was complicated by the fact Yale University had no student government. Between August and December 1946, Smith and Prague 25 delegate Curtis Farrar, and others tried to establish one. They had the support of the Yale administration but not of the students: a campus referendum failed. Although listed as a Yale delegate, and appointed by a Yale committee, Smith also had credentials from the National Self-Government Committee in New York, which had appointed him a “junior director.” Fortunately for Smith, after the Chicago meeting, the Yale activists tried again and successfully created a student government. Had they failed a second time, Smith could not have been elected as international vice president at Constitutional Convention, since the delegates has chosen to make student governments, and not national organizations, the basis of NSA membership.

Note 52: Training Soviet specialists: Winks describes early clandestine funding of several Russian language training programs to build a cadre of Soviet specialists. (p. 384)

Note 53: Intelligence Reporting from Prague 1947: The American embassy in Prague reported extensively on both the World Youth Festival and the IUS Council meeting; copies went to the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), EUR/X, and OIC European Area Division, among others. Prior to the festival, an April 25, 1947 report and cable from the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Laurence Steinhardt, worried about the influence of a leftwing American delegation and suggested the following to counteract it: “[I]t may be desirable to encourage some of those groups that would provide a serious and balancing influence on the American group as a whole and would also be in a position to report on the activities objectively.” (RG 59 800.4089/4-2547, Steinhardt to Secretary of State)

In June 1947, the State Department worked to bar leftwing students from traveling to Europe on the Marine Jumper or Marine Tiger [the converted WW II troop ships used to carry students and educators to Europe]. Assistant Secretary of State, William Benton, suggested using a HUAC-produced, “Report on American Youth for Democracy,” as a rationale, since it had concluded “this group does not in the main consist of people who believe in the American way.” RG 800.4089/6-647 This NARA record group series 800.4089 contains extensive reporting from the American embassy in Moscow on the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and the World Youth Festival.

In August 1947, Steinhardt refused travel orders to attend the World Youth Festival to two Americans who worked for OMGUS [Office of the Military Government of the United States] in Germany: “As there are other competent American observers present I see no necessity for assistance of additional Americans whose presence could only contribute to exaggerating importance of convention.” RG 59 800.4089/7-1847 Steinhardt report to Secretary of State. Competent observers included Spurgeon Keeny, who later evaluation Jim Smith’s performance in Prague. According to an interview with Keeny, his hotel room became campaign central to a handful of Americans who ran an insurgent campaign against the left-wing students who represented the United States at the festival. (Paget interview with Spurgeon Keeny, December 11, 1998.

An August 14, 1947, a restricted report from the American Embassy (Prague) from First Secretary Charles Woodruff Post contained extensive detail on the International Union of Students Executive Committee meeting held after the festival. He also reported on six Americans who were leaving to attend the National Student Congress in Madison. “While American observers would not appear to be Communists and are under no illusions as to the present character of IUS, they are inclined to feel at present that advantages of affiliation outweigh disadvantages….   Embassy would not be sanguine that western members, however well intentioned, would be either sufficiently aggressive or experienced to present easterners from retaining initiative and effective control.” RG 59 800.4089/8.1447 Yost to Secretary of State.

Author’s note: While some of the early NSA founders felt the U.S. government ignored their activity, the sampling of reports listed above, and others in the endnotes, contradict this view.

Note 61. WSSF salary for Robert Smith: While no salary amount was recorded in the WSSF minutes, the EC (Executive Committee) 47-42 resolution read: “that the employment of Robert Smith as publicity director be approved for a period of a year effective as of October 1st at a salary shown in the proper document of records, and it be understood further that the proper budget adjustments be made to cover Mr. Smith’s salary.” H/NSA Box 299 (WSSF) The intent may have been to give Smith travel funds, since his tuition at Harvard was paid by the G.I. Bill, which restricted external income. Also, NSA had agreed to be a publicity agent for WSSF, which provided a rational for a salary. Nevertheless, Smith kept this WSSF support from his fellow officers. In a contemporary interview, the first NSA President William A. Welsh registered his astonishment. Smith did not resign his position with WSSF until April 13, 1949, at which time he “asked to terminate his service…after a month’s notice and vacation. H/NSA Box 304 (WSSF) This suggests that Smith viewed his employment with WSSF as a matter separate from NSA, since his resignation occurred well after he left NSA office in September 1948.

Notes 63-66. Detail on Smith pressure on the Madison NSA staff to obtain outside funding:

Author’s note: This following correspondence is cited in detail, since the assertion that funds were available for international programs from the beginning of NSA is met with skepticism by some of the founding generation.

  • September 19, 1947, H/NSA (Box 29) Smith asked about a constitutional bar on outside funds. “If so, would that apply to a travel fund for our representatives to foreign conferences?”
  • September 20, 1947, H/NSA (Box 227) Smith informed Welsh that he had hired a secretary, even though “I know you may feel that it is a luxury, but I think it is essential for me here.”
  • October 1, 1947, H/NSA (Box 280) Smith informed an ISS advisor that “some of the people up here are also thinking in terms of an increased seminar program,” and cited Prague as a potential site. This reference is to an expansion of the Salzburg Seminar to other countries, later proposed by Clemens Heller, to William Kitchens at the WSSF. See WSSF, H/NSA (Box 299) for additional detail. October 1, 1947 minutes included a presentation by Heller re seminars in Czechoslovakia (underway with Charles University, with the requirement to speak Russian) and Hungary. Possible U.S. sponsors included MIT and Yale University.
  • October 2, 15-16, and November 10, 1947, H/NSA (Box 29) Smith used the same phrase, “people up here,” or “people up here at Harvard,” to support his contention that funds for NSA’s international program were obtainable.
  • November 10, 1947, Smith also wrote: “Don’t get so depressed, people. The money will start rolling in, and we’ll all be able to look back on those tough days of the past. Bill, please give more thought to my offer on a source of additional funds [emphasis mine]; they might be applied to the expense of the NSA News as a specific project.”
  • November 17, 1947, H/NSA (Box 29) after Welsh informed Smith on November 12 (Box 29) that he wished the question of outside funds to be discussed by the NSA executive committee, Smith informed Welsh he was going ahead with a Canadian/U.S. program. “Since the expense of all this mailing will be rather high, I am going to try to get outside funds from one of the educational foundations to cover it. I hope this will not meet with your disapproval as the possibility of accomplishing something in student exchange with our neighbors is very good.”
  • November 26, 1947 H/NSA (Box 29) Smith wrote Welsh, “Do I understand your silence to mean that it is O.K. to get “outside money” for the U.S.-Canadian student exchange project?
  • December 8, 1947 H/NSA (Box 29) Smith informed Welsh that was going ahead with a $550 plan to produce a Travel and Exchange Booklet; the 10,000 copies would be financed by selling ads in the booklet.
  • On December 28, 1947, the Executive Committee affirmed a policy of no solicitation of outside funds without its approval. Afterwards, NSA treasurer, Mildred Keefer wrote Smith on January 7, 1947 H/NSA (Box 29): “Please get some sort of statement about the donation of funds for the Canada-US fund, as the financial sub-committee agreed that we should have a form and/or keep records of all donations.” …. “Up to this time, you have been the recipient of all unsolicited funds that have come into our coffers, so collect statements of no strings and send them on for our files.”
  • January 13, 1948 Smith again referenced a special fund for the Canadian-U.S. Exchange program. (H/NSA Box 29).
  • March 23, 1948 Smith informed Welsh that it is legitimate for him to take all international office expenses out of the Tri-Nation Tour [a joint venture between the student unions of Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands], since he spent so much time working on it. No amount is given. (H/NSA Box 299)

Smith’s continued ability to obtain funds and by-pass NSA headquarters is further documented in Patriotic Betrayal. See especially, May 7, 1948 (Hoover, Box 29) re Smith’s optimism about funds. On June 2, 1948, NSA Secretary in Madison, Janis Tremper questioned Smith’s decision to invite twenty foreign students to attend the first NSA Congress: She asked, “What’s the deal on the foreign student hospitality and the invitation to the Congress? Hope you realize that it is $20 for room and board that week. Are we to pay this for all of the people who are coming on this project?” H/NSA Box 29; On June 14, 1948, Smith informed Tremper: “Incidentally, there will still be enough of the latter fund remaining, if absolutely necessary, to covert part of the cost of the twenty (yes, it’s up to that number now; 5 French, 5 Dutch, 3 Swiss, 3 Swedish, 2 Czechs, and 1 Greek — if they all come), including the Danish representative who is visiting me, students who’ll be here for the summer.” H/NSA Box 29.

Notes 73-76: UNESCO appointment. Stanley Greenfield, NSA delegate from Johns Hopkins to both the Chicago and Madison meetings, has claimed credit for obtaining the UNESCO appointment. In a 1998 interview, Greenfield said he simply telephoned the State Department in the spring of 1947, and spoke to Lyman Bryson, a well-known educator. Although Greenfield may have spoken to someone at the Department of State, it was unlikely to have been Bryson.   During the war Bryson was a liaison between the State Department and the educational community, but he had returned to CBS public affairs by the spring of 1947. More importantly, prior to the spring of 1947, on the previous August 15, 1946, Assistant Secretary of State William Benton announced that youth groups would be represented on the new U.S. Committee for UNESCO (State Department Bulletin). The date is significant, since the Prague 25 had not yet returned from the World Student Congress, and Benton’s press release predates both the Chicago and Madison meetings. See further detail in the end notes about the role of former ISS committee member, Harry D. Gideonse, in securing the NSA appointment to the U.S. Committee.

The State Department did not announced the UNESCO youth appointments to the general public until February 13, 1948, months after NSA was notified of a seat. The press release emphasized Robert Smith’s primary affiliation as a junior director of the National Self-Government Committee, not as the NSA international affairs vice president. The same press release announced the appointment of Donald Sullivan from the National Social Welfare Assembly, sponsor of the Young Adult Council (later the United States Youth Council). H/NSA Box 295 (UNESCO) copy of New York Times clipping.

While Robert Smith’s relationship with intelligence officials during his service on the UNESCO committee, if any, is undocumented, Donald Sullivan’s was acknowledged in his obituary (Washington Post, September 7, 2007). Sullivan, a World War II veteran, was described as “an intelligence officer after the war and graduated in 1951 from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He was a UNESCO youth representative while in college, worked briefly with the CIA, and, from 1952 to 1954, was in Italy with the United States Information Agency.”

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