Missing from “The P Source” (December 2020 issue) is any critical context for the role that modern U.S. intelligence services have played in global affairs.The Princeton graduates mentioned in the piece were surely possessed of, well, intelligence. But we can ill afford to view their professional activities as all proud accomplishments. Particularly noteworthy for me, as someone who has spent decades studying human rights in Latin America, was the glossy mention of John Foster Dulles 1908 and his brother Allen Dulles 1914, who led the CIA. I cannot see their names without recalling their starring role in the CIA-led coup in Guatemala, which had a destabilizing effect on the country that has rippled through decades of a horrific civil war and which has clear echoes today. When I lived in Guatemala, I was easily recognizable as a foreigner by my fair complexion. I will never forget people like the man who crossed the street to tell me that he hated the CIA because it had been responsible for his torture. There are many others like him. They are the people I think about when I see the names of the Dulles brothers.
They and other Princeton graduates certainly merit discussion and historical inquiry, but only with the informed scrutiny they and the U.S. intelligence apparatus so richly deserve.