Aline Countess of Romanones Message Board

Roseanne H posts on 4/14/2011 11:07:56 AM Mark M, you state that this is only your third post here, yet you attack people on this board with the arrogant, and false, assumption that your intelligence is superior to ours. Your vitriol toward complete strangers puts into question your self esteem, at best, and your psychological well being, at worst. Or, perhaps you are simply a mean-spirited person. In any case, it might interest you to know the following, since you are apparently so misinformed about us posters. You’ve already heard from Anita, who is obviously a brilliant scholar, and some others who, it is quite evident, are extremely bright, and, frankly, not about to be bullied by you. As for me, I DO have a life of my own, thank you very much, which includes having lived and traveled in some fascinating parts of the world, being multilingual, and enjoying a challenging and exciting career. While it is true that I have been communicating with the Countess for many years, I do not consider myself a pen pal, to use your words, nor do I write to her frequently. Although I have never met the Countess personally, I have seen her twice, the details of which I have already posted on this board, and I have met her husband, Luis. She has been kind enough to send me two books, The History of Pascualete, her first novel about her country home, where she has invited me to stay, and El Fin de Una Era, her latest literary work. In one of her personal inscriptions, she calls me QUOTE, my most simpatica fan, END QUOTE. The Countess has also given me her addresses and phone numbers. If I had such a pathetic hero worship, as you state, then I would have called or visited her years ago and written to her incessantly. Now, run along and wreak your troll havoc on another message board.
Angela posts on 4/14/2011 1:01:54 AM Wow! Where have I been the last few days? Missing a lot of juicy drama. Look Mark M, of course you are entitled to your opinion. I very much enjoy reading each and every post, but I must reiterate something. The VERY ESSENCE of espionage means that many things occur that there are and will never be official records of. You seem to think some of us are naive in our devotion to the Countess, but I'm here to tell you, I believe her core stories are very real, and the fact that there aren't records to back them up mean nothing to me. I think that some people are naive to think that all things can be proven in some dusty file cabinet that was left behind by someone who may or may not have had all the facts straight. Who says the Countess didn't kill someone? Just because there isn't some neat official account of the occurrence doesn't say anything. Things get swept under the rug all the time. I can appreciate your skepticism, but you can try to appreciate our love for this incredible woman, who I happen to believe in, with or without proof.
Anonymous posts on 4/13/2011 10:56:50 PM Yes Mark M! I DO have a weak mind and I am proud to admit it. This is what I have chosen to believe and feel for the Countess. And I care nothing about what you think of me or how you judge me. The Countess is my DRUG! And I love her life and her stories! Your pompous attitude of thinking that you are so smart and better than the rest tells me that you are in no way in touch with anything more than black and white. You have not ability to allow the writer to be creative. THANK GOD I do not know you personally!

Anita posts on 4/13/2011 9:55:27 PM First a response to Mark M: I have,for the past 6 years been reading all I can about the OSS during WWII. I have checked out so many books on the subject through the Libraries that I frankly,honestly,cannot remember the content or titles of many of them. Mainly, my objective is to study the OSS and learn as much as possible about their activities, as I was born during WWII, and wanted to learn. I am a voracious reader of espionage NON-FICTION as well as FICTION. ON NNDB on the internet regarding Esponage during WWII, I am begining to read even more books I did not know existed. For example: WIlliam Sevenson's book: A MAN CALLED INTREPID:THE SECRET WAR, is NOT ALL FACTUAL OR TRUE EITHER. One book by NIGEL WEST I am now going to read is his book: A THREAD OF DECIT: ESPIONAGE MYTHS,1985. When I used the Italian word, "AVANTI",which simply means "Move Forward", I was not intentionally trying to discredit anyone, but got tired of all the "battling that was occuring". Incidentally some of the books I have read authored by OSS AGENTS(U.S., and British) are all fascinating, and they speak of their encounters with the enemy and their work.How much is true? How many of them have memories that are clouded as they are aging? Who knows. But, I do hope the Countess publishes one more book in english, before the aging process takes over. All of the books I have read have certainly enlightened me.
MarkM posts on 4/13/2011 12:44:56 PM Anonymous and Anita, it is disturbing that you would try to tell anyone with a viewpoint that disagrees with yours to go away. Can't you handle a little disagreement? Neither of you owns this website or has the right to tell other posters to “avanti” or “butt out” just because you disagree with their viewpoint For the record, this website is all readers, not the Aline Romanones Official Fan page. It is not "for the countess and her books" - it is for all readers, of all opinions, to discuss books. It really shows how desperate you are to cling to your beliefs about Romanones, how weak your faith in them is, that you can’t stand any disagreement and must try to shout down anyone who dares disagree with you. The ultimate sign of a weak mind. Many people, including Julia child, performed meritorious service for the OSS that did not actually involve being a cloak-and-dagger spy, and I have no doubt Romanones did as well, and she is to be commended for that. I enjoyed the countess's first book, and when I thought it was generally factual, I was pretty well impressed. Of course that was when I was in junior high school, and I was easily impressed. I still think it is a pretty entertaining and enjoyably-written potboiler, I am just concerned about the multiple reasons to doubt the historical veracity of the story. Roseanne H, it’s certainly the pot calling the kettle black, you accusing me of being “obsessed” with Romanones in any way. I simply made a connection about Romanones which led me to do some digging which confirmed my suspicions, and I thought I would share that with people, and it has only been a little over two months since I first did that, and this is only my third post here on the subject. You’ve been on this site posting god knows how many posts for god knows how long, about her, blathering on about how you and the Countess are intimate pen pals (even though you’ve never met her). I’m only interested in learning more about the OSS’s activities during the war, and sorting the fact from the fiction. You obviously have some pathetic hero worship thing going on, living vicariously through Romanones’ life, and you should give some serious consideration to getting a life of your own.
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.
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