Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

I want to go home

Souers discovered to his dismay that the president was going to make him the first director of central intelligence. Admiral Leahy recorded the moment of the investiture in his office diary for January 24, 1946: “At lunch today in the White House, with only members of the Staff present, RAdm Sidney Souers and I were presented with black cloaks, black hats, and wooden daggers” by Truman. The president then knighted Souers as chief of the “Cloak and Dagger Group of Snoopers” and “Director of Centralized Snooping.” This vaudeville act placed the flabbergasted reservist in command of the misbegotten and short-lived organization called the Central Intelligence Group. Souers was now in charge of nearly two thousand intelligence officers and support staff who controlled files and dossiers on some 400,000 individuals. Many of them had no idea what they were doing, or what they were supposed to do. Someone asked Souers after his swearing-in what he wanted to do. “I want to go home,” he said.

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