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Jefferson Morley: James Angleton and the Birth of the American Deep State

Posted on Feb 3, 2018 by in Podcast |

Washington author and veteran journalist Jefferson Morley discusses his latest book on CIA Director James Angleton who was one of the founders of what is known as the American “Deep State”.

Show Notes

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About Jefferson Morley

Jefferson Morley is a Washington author and veteran journalist whose novelistic non-fiction books explore untold chapters in the history of the American nation. A skilled investigative reporter, Morley combines granular detail with storytelling verve to capture unknown realities of subjects as disparate as the Central Intelligence Agency and America’s legacy of racial violence.

Morley’s newest book, The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, tells the story of a paranoid genius who was perhaps the most powerful unelected official in the U.S. government. At the height of the Cold War, Angleton’s secret influence extended from Moscow to London to Jerusalem to the Vatican, to the White House. If there is a “Deep State” in American life as some contend, Angleton was one of its Founding Fathers.

The Ghost is a companion and sequel to Morley’s first book Our Man in Mexico, a biography of an improbable American spy. Winston Scott was an Alabama math teacher turned FBI agent who joined the CIA at its founding, became close friends with Angleton and became the chief of the agency’s Mexico City station in the 1960s. “Every decade or so a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse of the Central Intelligence Agency,” said historian Thomas Powers of the book.

Morley’s second book, Snow-Storm in August, was described by best-selling author David Mariniss as “History so fresh it feels alive.” A vivid account of a white riot that swept the nation’s capital 25 years before the Civil War, Snow-Storm’s “plunge beneath the surface of history exposes realities more true to daily experience than executive proclamations or speeches in Congress,” said the Washington Post. The Minneapolis Star Tribune called it “elegant and readable.”

Morley is one of the world’s most credible authorities on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is editor of the blog, JFK Facts. He sued the CIA for certain records related to the Kennedy assassination in 2003. Fourteen years later, his lawsuit, Morley v. CIA is still active in federal court.

Morley is married and lives in Washington D.C.

*Podcast intro music is from the song “The Queens Jig” by “Musicke & Mirth” from their album “Music for Two Lyra Viols”: (available on iTunes or Amazon)