Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman, (1884-1972), 33rd US President

Harry S. Truman Quote

“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.”

Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman
~ Harry S. Truman

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

Now that Federal Agents are immune from prosecution...this statement has never been more valid.

Mike, Norwalk

Now that the FBI have permanent offices in foreign countries and the CIA is spying on its own domestics, the immoral and unlawful American Gestapo system is well entrenched and more egregious than ever.

E Archer, NYC

The CIA is a nearly autonomous agency now with its own black market funding, personal crusades, and more cases of corruption than the Nazi SS. They have been implicated in the deaths of the Kennedy's, and numerous other political leaders and government officers. They are infamous drug runners (and one of the primary reasons the drug war continues is to keep those profits rolling in) -- and let's not forget that Bush Sr. is one of them. Nasty black ops -- we would do well to be rid of them.

Anonymous, Danville Va

It basically depends on your knowledge of what is politically necessary. The government knows way more than the common citizen.

J Bazan, Buffalo, MN

Truman did not have a period after the "S" used as his middle initial.

warren, olathe

Go to his library and read the kind of stuff he said. I was not at all impressed. A lot of socialist clap trap.

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RobertSRQ    2/12/08

The CIA - a lot of fascist clap trap - what they have done...

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Give me one example of the CIA acting like the Gestapo. DEA maybe but CIA, I dunno.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Waffler, Smith, Arkansas 9/23/23

How about the recent revelations that the CIA was involved in JFK's assassination?  Oswald was a CIA asset. in the immortal words of Sleepy Joe, "C'mon, man!"

Ken, Allyn, WA

I agree, Waffler. DEA, FBI, ATF, EPA and a whole host of alphabet agencies use Gestapo tactics and are rarely accountable. The CIA operates more like a conspiracy of extortionists.

Anonymous, wendell depot, ma

I am using this quote in next issue of Flyby News. It truly deserves a five star rating, and shows some insight on the President who dropped two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 1947 national security act enabled the loss of principles of the US Constitution based on fear, and this time of weapons of mass destruction, use, development, and proliferation. Note this relevant 1987 Bill Moyers narrated PBS television program called: THE SECRET GOVERNMENT, The Constitution In Crisis "The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when they can't win the support of the Congress or the people, creating that unsupervised power so feared by the framers of our Constitution. Just imagine that William Casey's dream came true. Suppose the enterprise grew into a super-secret, self-financing, self-perpetuating organization. Suppose they decided on their own to assassinate Gorbachev or the leader of white South Africa. Could a President control them and what if he became the enterprise's public enemy Number One? Who would know? Who would say no?" -- Bill Moyers From opening narration for a 1987 PBS TV program: THE SECRET GOVERNMENT ­ The Constitution In Crisis. For link to video and transcript see: http://www.FlybyNews.com

jonathan, wendell depot, ma

here's a snopes report on this quote.. evidently, a firm source to confirm this quote is nonexistent: "So far no hits on the actual quote despite several different searches on a number of databases. This leads me to a number of conclusions. 1. Truman never said it. Truman is, like most American presidents, well documented, and so finding proof of a quote by him should not be difficult. His biographies are numerous, and he was not exactly known for speaking close to the chest. 2. Truman said several things somewhat like it, but not the exact phrase. Truman was plagued by regrets about his decisions as president later in life, to a degree unusual in Presidents. There were many things about the United States he was deeply dismayed by that he felt personally responsible for, and was not afraid to talk about them. 3. Someone put this together from a number of his quotes, though the Gestapo part is most likely not Truman. Nazi comparison are not something I see Truman making casually, and considering how many different ways he can be established to have been discontent with the CIA, I doubt that he would have refrained from describing them as the Gestapo in all his quotes but one, the very one which we so conveniently can not source. That said, though Truman may not have directly called the CIA the American Gestapo, he certainly didn't like what they became, and as their creator, he was in a unique position to judge them."

Alondra, America
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Alondra, America jonathan, wendell depot, ma 8/31/20

snopes??? REALLY??? ha-ha-ha!!!

1) CIA Library: Truman on CIA
Declassified and APPROVED for RELEASE

2) The Washington Post, Dec. 22, 1963

Harry Truman Wrote: LIMIT cia Role to Intelligence

CIA Library

Declassified and Approved for release 2004/12/15

John, Missouri
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John, Missouri jonathan, wendell depot, ma 4/10/23

Are you Jonathan the baker?

Tim, Ft Lauderdale

Harry Truman was one of our top 5 presidents

deanna clark, savannah GA

The main thing I like here, and reading jonathan, above, is that we had a president with a conscience who continued to grow and learn all his life. Good ol' Harry. I love his handing out pens reading, "I stole this pen from harry Truman" I grew up with Truman stories like that.

Rolf Wiegand, Covington, KY

@Jonathan: Great contribution. Rolf, Covington, KY

J Carlton, Calgary

@ Jonathan - I wouldn't rely on snopes to confirm that the sky is blue. It was a Mom and Pop outfit set up by California Liberals and has since been bought by a Soros owned company. Definitely left wing biased.

A, Sattva
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A, Sattva    2/17/13

This is a made up quote. Truman did not say this. Way to do your research Johnathan. Smart.

Anonymous, htown


Anonymous, Los Angeles

CIA is a private corporate owned intelligence service and they don't only work for the US.

Craig, Hayward, CA

"Give me one example of the CIA acting like the Gestapo."

I can give you many, where in countries where we side with an oppressor, the CIA hands them lists of thousands of names of union leaders, student activists, academics, lawyers and others to be abducted by the state for torture, prison and execution.

BTW, while the quote above was largely Truman's sentiments, I don't think it's an accurate quote.

He did, however, write an editorial on December 22, 1963 criticizing what the CIA had become.

Alondra, America

"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo." ~ President Harry S. Truman

CIA Library: Truman on CIA
Declassified and APPROVED for RELEASE

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Alondra, America 9/3/20

While Truman's article did state his concerns over the CIA, the quote above is not in the article.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

What's the difference between what the CIA's values and what Harry Truman values?  In condemnations, it rare to find specifics. Is it because the condemner is the same as the condemned? The mentally ill are mostly unaware of themselves. The mentally healthy have a good grasp of what they are.

Dora-Lynn Greene, Albany

Well after this is all over and his office no longer needed strong arm tactics I would be a little critical too... just saying


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