Aline Countess of Romanones Message Board

Greg R posts on 4/12/2011 11:55:39 PM I must say that when I first discovered the Countess' books I also wondered, "can this all be true?" When I became friends with a former high official in the CIA, the first question I asked when I realized who his former employer had been, "did you ever meet the Countess of Romanones?" It turned out he had in the company of Bill Casey but he refused to answer my second question "is it all true?" I confess that I have not read "The Spy Wore Red." I discovered on tape "The Spy Went Dancing" and "The Spy Wore Silk" both terrific books and both narrated by the Countess herself. My guess is that they are "based on" her experiences as Hollywood would put it. I must say I was quite surprised - I don't know if other posters on this blog remember - when Operation Safe Haven suddenly came back to life about, I think, 10 years ago. There was a scandal that Swiss banks had not repaid funds in the accounts of refugees - mostly Jews - who had either survived WWII or had heirs who did. I did not follow the details closely, but that "sealed" the Countess' stories for me because, as readers of "The Spy Went Dancing" much of that book if about Operation Safe Haven at the end of WWII when the Allies were concerned that wealth would be smuggled out of Germany, possibly for a Fourth Reich. And, I think, those of us who are here, very much enjoy being a "fly on the wall" in the Countess' social life with people that I, at least, would not meet on my own. I do know that the Countess was plugged in with the Kennedy Administration because John Kenneth Galbraith mentions her in his autobiography. "Is it all true?" I can just hear the Countess narrating..."Oh, Aline, is it all true?" "Luis knows whether it is true."
Roseanne H posts on 4/12/2011 10:50:07 PM Mark M, my question as to whether you were using a pseudonym for Robert Huddleston was a reasonable one, since you and he both have the same modus operandi. You are obsessed with discrediting a fascinating woman whose book, THE SPY WORE RED, is still receiving accolades twenty four years after it was first published. We all KNOW that the Countess embellished her writings. She states, in her forward, that her purpose was to entertain, but that the core of her story is true. Your over reactive and almost hostile response to my post of February 26, and the lengths to which you have gone to criticize the Countess, including a scathing review of her book on amazon dot com, show that it is YOU who must GET A GRIP.
Anonymous posts on 4/12/2011 10:06:33 PM MOVE ON MARK M! No one cares what you think! We prefer to look at life and the books that the Countess wrote as we LIKE. Get off here if you can't say something positive. This is NOT a site to pull her down! And YOU are not welcome. BUTT OUT!

MarkM posts on 4/11/2011 6:01:55 PM Roseanne H, get a grip. I am not that Huddleston guy. I have also not made it my “life’s work” to expose Romanones. I am merely an amateur historian of the OSS and early CIA. I believe, as the US Congress believed when it passed the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, that people who fabricate or embellish wartime service to our country should not be let off the hook, as it takes away from the honor due to real heros. You need to ask yourself why it is so important to you to believe Romanones that you must react so histrionically when someone questions the veracity of her memoirs? I am not the first person to question Romanones’ memoirs. The historian Nigel West asserted that they were complete fiction (West, Nigel. Historical Dictionary of Sexpionage. Scarecrow Press. 2009. P. 326") . Questions were raised before 2009, as well. In 1991 Women's Wear Daily reported that it had retrieved her OSS file from the National Archives and found that Romanones had "embroidered her exploits as an American spy". According to the paper, she started out as a code clerk and then moved into a low-level intelligence job that involved reporting on gossip circulating in Spanish high society; there was no mention of her shooting a man or assisting in the exposure of a double agent, as her first book, "The Spy Wore Red," alleges. Women's Wear Daily had also quoted an anonymous former intelligence officer's complaint that Romanones' later memoir gives the misleading impression that she and the Duchess of Windsor alone found a CIA mole when "it took the whole CIA two years and about 200 people to do it." A March 10, 1991 Los Angeles Times article by Irene Lacher also discusses the controversy. As far as Casey’s endorsement goes, first of all, Casey died the very month that Griffith's first book came out, so there is no way he could have supported the veracity of her claims in her subsequent books. Second, what Casey said was: "A FASCINATING AND EXCITING STORY evoking those marvelous days we served in the OSS in Europe. Her narrative reflects sensitively and accurately the clandestine intrigue and strategic maneuvers that marked the struggle between the secret services, as well as the Allied and Axis powers, and the atmosphere and high social life in wartime Spain." So Casey was not saying that he knew for a fact Griffith was accurately portraying her exploits, only in a very general way that she accurately portrayed life in the OSS in Spain. There is no question that she was employed by the OSS in Spain - only whether she embellished what she did during that time, and Casey's endorsement does nothing to lay that question to rest.
Angela posts on 4/6/2011 9:21:22 PM Anita, I'm with you on your interest in Carlos the Jackal. It's astounding that Aline actually knew this man, and from her description of him, was a perfect gentleman to her. Who would ever guess what was lying just beneath the surface. Makes my hair stand on end. I can't even look at a red carnation anymore without thinking of him.
Anita posts on 4/3/2011 7:44:11 PM "Ditto Angela"! Seems to me if Mr. Huddleston has a problem with anything the Countess has written, they HE should take it up, directly with her. I also enjoy the references to Carlos The Jackal in "well mannered Assasin. He was a ruthless destructive guy. Nice to know he is in prison.
Angela posts on 3/22/2011 9:58:11 PM Wow, so many interesting posts since my last visit here. I enjoy reading all of the comments, even the ones I disagree with. Mr. Huddleston, as I have said before, I don't understand why you would think Aline has made a mockery out of Edmundo Lasalle. Reading about him in her books, I feel nothing but the great love and respect she so obviously had for him. If you are detecting disdain,or any other degrading attitude on her part, I believe you are greatly mistaken. None of us will ever know the entire truth, because we simply weren't there to witness it as it was, and neither were a lot of the people responsible for the so called factual classified documents that you say prove these occurrences, or what you are saying didn't happen.
Anita posts on 3/6/2011 1:21:31 PM Over the past few years I have said the same thing as this message board is for the Countess and her books. For those trying to discredit her, please Avanti! Hopefully there will be more new magazine articles in english about her. I look forward to them.
Triall1c posts on 3/4/2011 11:33:07 PM Please everyone, can't we just all get along.
Anita posts on 3/3/2011 10:45:15 PM Unfortunately, I am not in a position to visit the National Archives,as I would like to do. Impossible presently. I AM looking forward to seeing a film develope from the books written by the Countess. It is my wish that this gets done while the Countess is alive and healthy. If a script is written from exerpts of all her books and melled together, with a great story line it will be a winner and testimony to her life!
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