NAMED INTERNATIONAL Telephone & Telegraph as a ploy to guarantee confusion with the larger and more established American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T), ITT embarked on a career of international misdeeds that culminated in bribing the Richard Nixon administration and conspiring to undermine the government of Chile.

Founded by enigmatic Sosthenes Behn as an international equivalent to AT&T, ITT reputedly funneled information from the United States to Nazi Germany as the price of retaining its businesses in Nazi-occupied territory. Although ITT had been accused of harboring spies behind the Iron Curtain throughout the Cold War, any espionage efforts did not prevent communist and socialist governments from expropriating ITT's regional telephone companies.

The real era of ITT diplomacy began when Harold Geneen became chief executive officer in 1959, shortly ...

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