OK, so before anyone asks – why is this guy doing blog entries on Christmas Eve? Well my wife is wrapping presents and working in the kitchen and is more comfortable without y direct involvement. Church services aren’t until 6:30 and it’s still too cold to mess around around outside so here goes. James Angleton is certainly a key element of the CIA’s cold war history and for many years my view of him was pretty tightly focused on his obsession with the KGB and with Soviet penetration of the agency, the “mole hunting” thing. But as we see more documents and get more history we find that Mr. Angleton either involved himself (or wanted to) far beyond the European theatre. We now know he was very much involved in the Cuba project, not at first but after the failure at the Bay of Pigs. One of the organizational hits on that project was its generally weak counterintelligence component and Angleton was called in to address that, filing a major report on Cuban intelligence and counter-intelligence at the end of 1962. In doing so he used information from the new Miami based Cuban counter intelligence group crafted from David Morales AMOTS. JMWAVE and the AMOTS became increasingly involved in affairs across Latin America, in particular in Mexico and in 1963 we find Angleton focused on counter intelligence in Mexico City, in direct competition with CIA station chief Winston Scott. Angleton was a great one for establishing his own people and his own communications networks separately from the station chains of command. He had people he could trust in Mexico City and was making a case that counter intelligence should be largely compartmentalized form the Mexico City station. .Mann certainly wasn’t of that view – it’s clear that Angleton ever got the level of control he wanted in terms of an official directive or assignment but clearly he kept his eye on Mexico City. In the end he ws the one to personally collecting Scott’s papers and materials from his home safe after his death. And Angleton didn’t ignore SE Asia either. While William Colby was station chief in Saigon, Angleton tried to involve himself in counter intelligence in Vietnam. Later, in 1965, after a car bombing attack near the American embassy, Angleton initiated a major effort to set up a totally separate counter intelligence operation in Vietnam. John Prados writes that Angleton sent one of his people to Saigon to set up a “vest pocket” outside the CIA station. Its personnel were to have military cover and report directly to Angleton, totally bypassing the CIA Chief of Station. Army Intelligence strongly objected to having operatives under their cover but acting totally independently; they were especially opposed to Angleton’s desire for an independent communications channel. Eventually the matter came down to a formal meeting at Langley where then Division Chief William Colby put forth his own objections. At that point Angleton found virtually no support within the Agency and his proposal to add a SE Asian stand in his “web” simply faded away. Still, he would need to wait only a short time before his next opportunity – CHAOS was already on the horizon.