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Dr. Angie Dorman's Intelligence Leads to Spy Friendships
posted by: Cindy Omlin | October 08, 2015, 05:13 PM   

betty mcintosh angie dorman closeupDescribed in an IMDb mini-bio as “eclectic by nature,” Dr. Dorman’s history specialty is “20th Century America with an emphasis on women in non-traditional roles.” In 1988, Dr. Dorman and Gellhorn began consultation on several projects related to her unique life. Dorman has also consulted on projects related to photographer Lee Miller, the Office of Strategic Services (precursor of the CIA), Womens Airforce Service Pilots, and Anne Noggle.

One of the great things about earning a Ph.D., according to Dr. Dorman, is the process including the research and archival work. Dorman has interviewed hundreds of people. "By far, my favorite is Betty McIntosh. Becoming friends with her has been one of the real blessings and bonuses of my life.”

She met Ms. McIntosh in 1989 through John Taylor, a renowned archivist at the National Archives in Washington D.C. While helping her maneuver through research materials on Gellhorn and Lee Miller, Taylor said, "You need to meet my friend Betty. She knows everyone." He made a call and soon his friend Betty became Dorman’s friend, too.

In 1941, McIntosh was young journalist in Hawaii after graduating from the University of Washington School of Journalism. She became what Top Secret Writers called “one of the U.S.’s most lethal intelligence assets” after experiencing the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor firsthand.

When the CIA honored Ms. McIntosh on the occasion of her 100th birthday, Dr. Dorman was there to celebrate the life of one of America’s most accomplished spies. CIA Director John Brennan noted, “Her many achievements and storied life are an inspiration to all women and particularly so to those of CIA. It is fitting that Women’s History Month begins each year on March 1, the birthday of Betty McIntosh." Dr. Dorman related, “The best part is that the day from beginning to end was a tribute to Betty and her incredible life. People took time and came from all over the Agency to shake her hand, thank her for her service and wish her well. That the Director was able to take time to be there was just perfect. Idon't think it ever occurred to me that I would ever be having lunch with the Director of the CIA.“

Dr. Dorman shared that after the war, Ms. McIntosh wrote a memoir of her time in the OSS and then later returned to intelligence service with the CIA. In the mid 1990s, McIntosh published Sisterhood of Spies which chronicled many of the women who served in the OSS.

Over the years, Dr. Dorman says she and Ms. McIntosh exchanged letters, calls and visits. McIntosh was also generous in sharing her friends. "One of my dearest friendships that Betty is responsible for was with Barbara Lauwers Podosky." Podosky “launched one of the most successful psychological operations campaigns of World War II, which resulted in the surrender of more than 600 Czechoslovakian soldiers fighting for the Germans” according to an article in the Washington Post. "Any time I had an opportunity I would meet my spy girlfriends in D.C. It was always wonderful to be with either of them, but extra special to be with them both,” says Dr. Dorman.

Ms. McIntosh facilitated Dr. Dorman’s visit to the CIA museum. "It was quite an honor to get to tour the museum with Betty and get her commentary on the OSS section of the museum. And, I was very moved by the exhibits they had on CIA contributions to the Global War on Terror -- Iraq and Afghanistan. My husband served in Afghanistan and a number of my former students also served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was especially personal and moving to me as one of the former students from my school, Jeremiah Schmunk, died in Iraq in 2004. I've seen the museum described in articles as ‘the best museum you'll never see.' I considered my visit a once in a lifetime experience. Little did I know, I would get to visit again in 2015 and see the newly updated exhibits. I didn't think it could get better, but they outdid themselves. It was exceptional.”

Dr. Dorman’s research into the Intelligence field has led her to the conclusion that it is a very important and thankless job. "The old saying is ‘If they are doing their job, we never know it.' Intelligence is one of the most important safeguards of our democracy.”

Dr. Dorman received the 2006 American Star of Teaching Award for Washington state from the U.S. Department of Education. She has also helped numerous low income, immigrant students become Gates Millennium Scholars who receive lucrative scholarships and ongoing support from the Gates Foundation.

We encourage members interested in journalism and history to read and utilize Dr. Dorman’s book Martha Gellhorn: Myth, Motif and Remembrance as well as explore the fascinating lives of women war correspondents and spies during Women’s History Month. Dr. Dorman has provided a number of resources below:

Virginia Women in History – Elizabeth Peet McIntosh
Wikipedia – Elizabeth Peet McIntosh
Betty McIntosh turns 100 years old
The oldest living CIA spy girl reveals her greatest schemes
The amazing story of spy girl Betty McIntosh

Sisterhood of Spies
Barbara Lauwers Podoski Dies; Operative Missives Cut Into Enemy Soldiers' Morale
A Private Tour of the CIA's Incredible Museum - Inside the agency's headquarters is a museum filled with relics from half a century of cloak-and-dagger exploits

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