We now know that he directed such initiatives as Operation Mockingbird. This was a program to tilt the nation's news coverage to CIA-friendly themes by tips, payments, and job pressures on journalists, often at the specific direction of cooperating newspaper publishers, such as Philip Graham, owner of the Washington Post.
Cord Meyer's work included spinning CIA's covert initiatives around the world. Declassified documents and many books have shown that CIA Director Allen Dulles and Counterintellience Director James Jesus Angleton, among others, pulled off a wide array of activities with scant accountability by anyone. These included overthrow of democratically elected leaders perceived by the CIA as too left-wing, bribes, false flag incidents, and assassinations.
Near the end of Angleton's life in 1985, he confided in Joseph Trento, who would publish in 2001, The Secret History of the CIA, based in part on records Angleton and two top colleagues had liberated from the CIA. Citing Trento's thus authoritative account, Janney quotes Angleton as saying with regret about his career, "You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed."
Camelot in Washington
But that was later, and it was a different story in 1961.
Reuniting with John Kennedy, Mary Meyer had a torrid sexual and spiritual affair with him through most of his White House years. He invited her to formal appearances throughout his presidency, as well as to many secret liaisons. At times, she even attended official meetings.
Kennedy once seated her and her sister,Toni Bradlee, at either side of him at a formal dinner. For years, the president flirted with Toni, married to the president's pal, Ben. Janney writes that this was to divert attention away from his romance with Mary, portrayed with president above on Sept. 23, 1963 in photo from Janney's book.
Mary saw in Kennedy a man who increasingly shared her pro-peace viewpoint, as illustrated by his numerous actions to exercise more control over the CIA and Pentagon while opportunities for de-escalation presented themselves with the Soviet Union, Cuba and in curtailing military actions in Vietnam while the nation's commitment was just 25,000 troops.
Her affair with Kennedy was totally unknown to the general public until 1976, when the National Enquirer revealed it. Yet the affair, although Kennedy's most serious by far during the many during his marriage, is just part of the larger story that Janney describes.
Janney grew up during the Cold War era of the 1950s and 1960s. His father, Wistar Janney, was a senior career CIA official. The Janney family was intimately involved with many of Washington's social and political elite, as well as other high-ranking CIA officials.
Janney is a 1970 graduate of Princeton who earned a Ph.D. at Boston University. He extensively footnoted his book, drawing on previous commentaries, court records and confidential interviews. Some involve the papers of previous researchers, one of whom killed himself. Another abandoned a planned book, reputedly out of fear of deadly reprisal.
The U.S. Department of Justice made a huge effort to convict in Mary Meyer's murder a befuddled black day laborer, Raymond Crump, Jr., found drunk in the park.
A jury acquitted him after his church persuaded Dovey Rountree, a skilled African-American lawyer, to represent him for free.
Sensing great injustice, she put her career on the line to commit vast time, her personal finances and her exceptional skill to the defense. Against a top prosecutor, she proved reasonable doubt to the jury that the slightly built Crump could have overpowered the taller victim, who was shot twice during a hands-on struggle.