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Oh Nooooo Not Julia

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  1. There have been rumors about it. Makes sense to me!

    1. That's awesome! One more reason Julia was so cool.

      1. Yes, I'd heard of this before:


        I believe that was how she met her husband, who also worked with the OSS.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MMRuth

          Yeah, I thought this was fairly common knowledge. Although some other people on that list may be eye-openers.

        2. It was always know that she did intelligence work. It always seemed that there was more to the story than was being told but that it often the case with that line of work.

          To paraphrase a pervious poster what a cool lady!

          And still very much missed.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Withnail42

            Pretty cool considering she didn't train at the CIA. Or did she??

            1. re: markabauman

              Is that a clever pun? <grin> The spy CIA was established after the war, I believe - the OSS was its precursor.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Well, sort of. Of course, she was of the OSS era. On the other hand, I used to enjoy when the CIA (the culinary one) would use in their TV series and books the concept of "Cooking Secrets" and other spylike references in their promotion.

              2. re: markabauman

                Julia in OSS in 1945... CIA (culinary) was established 1946... Coincidence? I think not... sounds like a conspiracy here. We just need to find the missing link. lol

            2. Another reason to love Julia (I admit I don't understand why the thread is titled the way it is).

              11 Replies
                1. re: pollymerase

                  let's retitle: yessssssssss! julia!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Q. What was Julia Child's favorite apple?

                    A. Northern Spy

                    1. re: markabauman

                      i actually know (knew) personally two outstanding wonderfully intelligent and talented women who were in oss, esp. in italy. one, now deceased, was absolutely brilliant (and boy, did i learn stories...) and a current friend. they are superb exemplars of american patriots!

                      the esp. intriguing info was about james angleton, the "mole hunter" and a connection with aldrich ames via mexico.....

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Not to be confused with Diana Kennedy, the mole hunter

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Diana Kennedy - hunting mole the Mexican dish, rather than a mole in a spy organization.

                          2. re: markabauman

                            ok, thanks to mmruth (which is not showing up here), i get the kennedy "mole "reference.

                            yeah, i was talking about the bad "moles" in american intelligence... not the mexican concoction....

                        1. re: markabauman

                          <Q. What was Julia Child's favorite apple?

                          A. Northern Spy>
                          Heheheh... actually I think it was Ida Red.

                          Today would have been her 85th birthday. Happy Birthday, Julia!

                          1. re: ChefJune

                            Actually it would have been her 96th. Assuming I counted correctly.

                        2. re: alkapal

                          Thank you, I didn't under stand the title either. God bless this women for serving our country the way she did.

                    2. could be, but not likely. i think it's mostly an example of an over-hyped story. Julia certainly did work for the OSS, but she always insisted that she was clerical. My guess is that the declassified document lists all "employees" of the OSS and the reporter infers that anyone who worked for the OSS was a spy. Personally, I'd have a hard time picturing Julia, all 6-2 of her and not exactly quiet and shy, working undercover in China (which is where she was stationed).

                      10 Replies
                        1. re: FED

                          The reporter hasn't inferred anything, the story itself says that the document will list who was a spy. And of course she insisted she was clerical, that is exactly what the women were always told to say. An friend of mine just heavily researched it and incorporated that exact point into a book. Did you think they would go around saying, "Oh of course I was a spy" after being sworn to secrecy?

                          1. re: Chowpatty

                            "They studied military plans, created propaganda, infiltrated enemy ranks and stirred resistance among foreign troops."

                            this doesn't sound like it's just spies, does it? at least not in the sense of the word that's most commonly understood.

                            1. re: FED

                              Not sure what you point is. You said before she was a spy because she said she wasn't. Now her work was to intense to be considered a spy?

                          2. re: FED

                            Intelligence gathering in another country is spying, no matter how you slice it. Doesn't matter whether you work in an embassy office that is legally U.S. territory or not. Or as a high profile CIA officer once said to me, "Caroline, there is no country on earth where espionage is legal..." She was a spy.

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              look, if for whatever reason it is important for you to believe that Julia was a spy, by all means go ahead. i don't think there's anyone who knew her who believes that she was anything more than a clerk for an intelligence gathering organization. it was her first real job out of college, for goodness sakes; she'd only worked at a department store before that. and just for the record, China in those days was our ally.

                              1. re: FED

                                If it's so important for you to think she wasn't then please go a head but come up with some better arguments. For the record I'm not bothered if she was or wasn't a spy.

                                China may have been an ally but you still had to keep an eye out (secretly) as to what was going on. Besides Israel was caught spying against the US a while back.

                                And what is a spy supposed to say when you meet them at a cocktail party. "Hi, I'm a spy"? Don't think that's what they do. Valerie Plaine's neighbors had no idea what she did. she even had fake business cards made up. It's all about misinformation.

                                1. re: Withnail42

                                  Yup. I just saw the repeat of the 60 Minutes interview with Valerie Plame, and they pointed out that her detractors made the exact same charge: that she was a glorified secretary. Well, duh. Her real job was covert. They also pointed out that everyone knew -- or could easily find out -- that she worked at the CIA. Again, duh. Lots of people work at the CIA. Some of them are janitors and cafeteria workers and secretaries (glorified or not); some of them aren't. What anyone who works there really does inside is anyone's guess. If she wasn't a spy, then why did Bush say he'd fire whoever leaked her name? Oh wait, he didn't. Nevermind.

                                  Anyway, if Julia was (a) analyzing information not available to the general public, and (b) doing it specifically to provide intelligence and support to the U.S. government, and (c) doing it in a foreign country, then she was a spy. She was, in fact, a lot more a spy than someone who just "picks locks" or "services dead drops" without really understanding the information they're collecting.

                            2. re: FED

                              Here's a link to a Julia biography http://books.google.com/books?id=x3wh...

                              I think "spy" means different things to different people.

                              1. re: FED

                                In the current CIA, there are covert operatives and analysts. There is clerical support staff for each of these broad divisions. This was probably true of the OSS.

                                If you apply the word "spy" to anyone who tries to make meaning out of secret human- or technologically-gathered information about another country, then an analyst earns the label. If you only include folks who service dead drops, recruit double agents, pick locks, and the like, then analysts don't qualify.

                                It seems entirely plausible that Julia served as an analyst in China. She certainly seemed smart enough based on what we saw of her through her writing/cooking/teaching.

                              2. " Oh Nooooo Not Julia
                                Does this make any sense"

                                No. That 1st line doesn't make ANY sense. OP-JiyoHappy, should tell us what's meant by it. I think everyone reading that would think OP feels serving in the OSS during WWII, especially Julia, was a disreputable thing. The opposite of what it actually was.

                                As mentioned already, it's been a matter of public knowledge for a long time that Julia served in the OSS. She was not a spy (as most people think of what a spy is) and this latest information doesn't say she was. This latest news is not that newsworthy (as in "new"). Though details now released- her working on a shark deterrent and squeezing water from fish are new and interesting.

                                Anyway. it's a chance to plug the excellent read (for many reasons)- "My Life In France". It is not an overstatement by any means to say Julia was one of the very remarkable persons of the 20th century.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ilikefood

                                  I think I saw that episode of her show where she was squeezing water from the fish, now what was she making????

                                2. Julia McWilliam' employment w/ the OSS has been well documented, but it always was presented as if she was a lower-level, clerical worker of some sort -- not difficult to believe at that time. It was in her OSS years that she met Paul Child -- and the rest, as they say, is history. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Child.

                                  1. If you are ever in DC, visit the Spy Museum....She is amongst the exhibits...