CIA Whistleblower Victor Marchetti Dies (December 23, 1929 – October 19, 2018)

“The real reason for the official secrecy, in most instances, is not to keep the opposition (the CIA’s euphemistic term for the enemy) from knowing what is going on; the enemy usually does know. The basic reason for governmental secrecy is to keep you, the American public, from knowing — for you, too, are considered the opposition, or enemy — so that you cannot interfere. When the public does not know what the government or the CIA is doing, it cannot voice its approval or disapproval of their actions. In fact, they can even lie to your about what they are doing or have done, and you will not know it.”

Victor Marchetti — Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History 

“There exists in our world today a powerful and dangerous secret cult. This cult is patronized and protected by the highest level government officials in the world. Its membership is composed of those in the power centers of government, industry, commerce, finance, and labor. It manipulates individuals in areas of important public influence – including the academic world and the mass media. The Secret Cult is a global fraternity of a political aristocracy whose purpose is to further the political policies of persons or agencies unknown. It acts covertly and illegally.”

Victor Marchetti — The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti.

Victor L. Marchetti, Jr. was a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a prominent critic of the United States Intelligence Community and the Israel lobby in the United States. Marchetti died October 19 2018 at his home in Ashburn, Virginia. He was 88. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Victor Leo Marchetti Jr. was born Dec. 23, 1929, in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. His father was a professional boxer who later worked in the family hardware store and plumbing business.

After high school, Marchetti moved to New York and later Paris, then joined the Army, working in an intelligence unit in Germany. By the time he graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1955, he had been recruited by the CIA.

Marchetti joined the Agency near the end of 1955 and worked as a specialist on the USSR.

He was a leading CIA expert on Third World aid, with a focus on USSR military supplies to Cuba after the end of the Kennedy administration.

In 1966, Marchetti was promoted to the office of special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting, and special assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms. By 1968, he was executive assistant to the CIA’s deputy director, Rufus Taylor.

Among other projects with which he was involved, Marchetti worked on setting up the Pine Gap satellite ground station near Alice Springs in Central Australia.

Marchetti became disillusioned with the policies and practices of the CIA. On September 2, 1969, Marchetti resigned from the CIA.

“Sitting up there I began to see how it’s all pulled together, the interplay with the rest of the executive branch of the government. The agency is the most romantic segment of the intelligence community, but I began to lose faith in it and its purpose, in intelligence in general.”

After leaving the CIA, Marchetti wrote a novel called The Rope-Dancer that accused the Agency of waste and interference in the affairs of other countries.

Marchetti published books critical of the CIA with author John D. Marks, such as The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1973).

“CIA officers are required to sign an agreement that any books or articles they write about espionage, whether fact or fiction, must be cleared by the agency beforehand. When Marchetti and Marks submitted their book to the CIA for review, it came back with demands that 339 passages be removed for compromising national security.

The authors and their publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit. They charged that the CIA was improperly imposing “prior restraint” before publication and therefore violating the First Amendment right of freedom of the press.

“The agency’s attempt to muzzle Marchetti was one of the first maneuvers to put a curtain of secrecy in front of itself,” historian John Prados, the author of several books about the CIA, said Saturday.

Marchetti and his legal team argued that much of the information in the book was already on the public record or was absurdly benign — such as descriptions of wood-paneled offices.” (Washington Post)

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” became a best seller. In 1975, CIA Director William Colby admitted the agency had violated its charter by spying on U.S. citizens – one of whom was Victor Marchetti.

Marchetti & Lockerbie

Marchetti believed that the presence of Major Charles – Chuck – Dennis McKee (December 3, 1948 – December 21, 1988) was an important clue to solve the Lockerbie affair.

McKee was an intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency stationed in Beirut, Lebanon.

“The presence of the team on Flight 103 is a clue that should not be ignored. It’s like the loose thread of a sweater. Pull on it, and the whole thing may unravel. The Mossad knew about it and didn’t give proper warning. The CIA knew about it and screwed up,” Marchetti argued.

During its investigation, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission [SCCRC] uncovered the existence of a “Lockerbie X File”. The relevant part of their 800 pages report reads:

“the presence of Mr McKee on PA103, along with certain others, appears to have been the focus of high level discussions between Senior Police, Security Service and American officials.

It is clear that the American authorities were keen to recover any items that may have belonged to McKee in particular, which could be linked to their duties.

It may well have been the case that certain items were not recorded in the normal manner to protect American interests …”

On May 3 2018, Gerard Sinclair — the chief executive of the SCCRC — announced that the SCCRC will review the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted for the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

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CIA Victor Marchetti talks about Pine Gap

REFERENCES

Disillusioned CIA officer challenged secrecy rules By Matt Schudel –The Washington Post

Pan Am 103 Why Did They Die? by ROY ROWAN — TIME (June 24, 2001)

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CIA Whistleblower Victor Marchetti Dies (December 23, 1929 – October 19, 2018)

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