News | Oct. 15, 2022

The Holohan murder and the legacy of the office of strategic services

By Dr. David Hadley Journal

In 1951, OSS veteran Aldo Icardi was accused by the U.S. Department of Defense of killing his commanding officer, William V. Holohan, while on a mission in Italy in 1944; his motive was allegedly to aid communist partisans there. The incident became a scandal in the United States, where in the context of the Red Scare the importance of Holohan’s death grew far out of proportion to reality. The incident serves as a case study of the damage wrought by the politicization of intelligence; additionally, it illustrates how popular narrative tropes of spy memoirs were enlisted by the different sides to press their version of the case. The reaction of leading American intelligence figures to the scandal is revealing of the kinds of tropes preferred and promoted by advocates of a strong, active intelligence organization. Read the article here.