This post is the latest in the “Secret History Series.” They’ll make much more sense if you read some of the earlier ones for context. See the Secret Historyvideo and slides as well as the bibliography for sources and supplemental reading.
The Soviet Union’s detonation of an atomic weapon in 1949 and the start of the Korean War in 1950 fed cold war paranoia in the military and political leadership of the United States. The U.S. intelligence community was determined to find out what was going on inside the Soviet Union. But Soviet secrecy had the country locked down tightly. Desperate for intelligence, the CIA would fly the Lockheed built U-2 spy plane into and over the Soviet Union on 24 missions from 1956-1960 taking photos of its military installations.
But even as the U-2 was beginning its overflights, the U.S. military had concluded that…
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