Sunday, November 02, 2008

CIA’s Failure of Memory: Daniel Dennett, the Forgotten First Star?

The below found on this [CIA webpage]



Consider two officers who died in strikingly similar circumstances. In 1989, a CIA officer was killed in the line of duty when the twin-engine aircraft he was traveling in crashed into a mountain in a remote part of the Horn of Africa. Forty-two years before, another officer lost his life, also in the line of duty, when his twin-engine aircraft crashed, also into a mountain in a remote area of the Horn of Africa. Both officers came from academia, both loved history and languages, and both were highly regarded even though both were relatively new to the world of intelligence. There are significant differences in the two cases, of course, but regarding commemoration none more important than this: the officer who died in 1989 is represented by a star on the Memorial Wall and is remembered in the annual memorial ceremony, but the officer who died in 1947 has no memorial at CIA and is not remembered by the institution. How could this be? The answer is as simple as the calendar.

Born in 1910, Daniel C. Dennett, Jr., was a college professor and Mideast specialist with a Harvard Ph.D., proficiency in the Arabic language (as well as in German and French), and experience traveling and studying abroad in Arab and African countries; in the early 1930s he had taught at the American University in Beirut. Contemporary scholars of the Mideast considered him unusually insightful, even brilliant. In 1943, both the Office of Strategic Services and the State Department sought his services, but he chose intelligence over diplomacy and entered OSS. In the spring of 1944, Dennett went to Beirut as the OSS chief of the

X-2 (counterintelligence) mission, serving in that position through the war’s end and continuing as the representative in Beirut of the Strategic Services Unit, the successor organization of OSS. In mid-1946, Dennett was made the head of operations in Beirut, and he remained in that position when the SSU organization in Beirut was reorganized under the new Central Intelligence Group, the immediate predecessor of CIA.

X-2 (counterintelligence) mission, serving in that position through the war’s end and continuing as the representative in Beirut of the Strategic Services Unit, the successor organization of OSS. In mid-1946, Dennett was made the head of operations in Beirut, and he remained in that position when the SSU organization in Beirut was reorganized under the new Central Intelligence Group, the immediate predecessor of CIA.

The plane crash that took Dennett’s life occurred on 20 March 1947, six months before CIG swapped its initials for CIA as a result of the Agency’s enabling legislation, the National Security Act of 1947. Because Dennett died before CIA legally came into being, his case was automatically disallowed in early 1974 when CIA’s Honor and Merit Board considered death cases to be represented by the first stars to be carved onto the Memorial Wall. Although he had been an OSS officer, he died well after World War II ended. Daniel Dennett is represented neither on the OSS memorial on one side of the OHB lobby nor on the CIA Memorial Wall on the other—as a CIG officer he almost literally falls in between, and he has fallen therefore from institutional memory.

There is a compelling argument that this highly praised and deeply respected US intelligence officer should be considered CIA’s forgotten first star and should be commemorated on CIA’s Memorial Wall. Most aspects of CIG as an organization—leadership, personnel, facilities, files, directives, practices and procedures—remained unchanged when it became CIA. It could be said that the only thing noticeable that changed was the letterhead—except that CIG letterhead was often used until it ran out. Of all the organizational transitions in CIA’s direct lineage—OSS to SSU, SSU to CIG, CIG to CIA—the last of these was truly seamless. Certainly the Agency’s leadership considered that CIA was simply a continuation of CIG.[30] The most appropriate example of the proposition that a death during the CIG period should be considered a CIA death is the personnel action terminating Dennett’s service due to his death: it was executed by CIA on 3 October 1947, 15 days after CIG became CIA.

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Daniel Dennett's daughter, born in Beirut, Lebanon, Charlotte Dennett is part of "Team Prosecute Bush", Charlotte returned to the States at about age, 6 weeks. From a Radio Broadcast included in [this link], Charlotte speaks about Vincent Bugliosi, her father, her husband, Jerry Colby (now of NWU, National Writer's Union), Kristina Borjesson author of "Into the Buzzsaw", her brother, Daniel Clement Dennett, Calvin Coolidge, and [more].

http://thegetjusticecoalition.blogspot.com/

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you

Sunday, November 02, 2008 5:04:00 PM  

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