Ted Shackley

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Theodore (Ted) Shackley wiki was born in 1927. His mother was a Polish immigrant and he spent much of his childhood living with his grandmother. Shackley was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida and in October, 1945, joined the United States Army. After basic training he was sent to Germany where he was part of the Allied occupation force. As a result of his knowledge of the Polish language he was recruited into the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corp. In 1947 he was sent to study at the University of Maryland.

Shackley returned to Germany in 1951 as a 2nd Lieutenant. As a member of Army Counter Intelligence Corp he was involved in recruiting Polish agents. He was also recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. By 1953 he was working for William Harvey at the CIA Berlin Station.

Shackley, whose nickname was the "Blond Ghost" (because he hated to be photographed) became involved in CIA's Black Operations. This involved a policy that was later to become known as Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power). This including a coup d'état that overthrew the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 after he introduced land reforms and nationalized the United Fruit Company.

In 1962 Shackley was appointed by William Harvey as deputy chief of JM WAVE, the CIA station in Miami. In April, 1962, Shackley was involved in delivering supplies to Johnny Roselli as part of the plan to assassinate Fidel Castro. Later that year he became head of the station that served as operational headquarters for Operation Mongoose. He was also responsible for gathering intelligence and recruiting spies in Cuba. Most of the anti-Castro Cubans that the CIA managed to infiltrate into Cuba were captured and either imprisoned or executed.

In the winter of 1962 Eddie Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Bayo's story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community including William Pawley, Gerry P. Hemming, John Martino, Felipe Vidal Santiago and Frank Sturgis. Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba.

William Pawley contacted Shackley at JM WAVE. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned Rip Robertson, a fellow member of the CIA in Miami, to help with the operation. David Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers.

In June, 1963, a small group, including William Pawley, Eddie Bayo, Rip Robertson, John Martino, and Richard Billings, a journalist working for Life Magazine, secretly arrived in Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumoured that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press. Later that year William Harvey, head of ZR/RIFLE, recruited Shackley and David Morales to the Task Force W project.

In 1966 Shackley was placed in charge of CIA secret war in Laos. Tom Clines was appointed as his deputy. Shackley recruited David Morales to take charge at Pakse, a black operations base focused on political paramilitary action within Laos. Pakse was used to launch military operations against the Ho Chi Minh Trial. In 1968 Shackley became Chief of Station in Vietnam and headed the Phoenix Program.

When Shackley was recalled in February, 1972, he was put in charge of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division. One of his major tasks was to undermine Philip Agee, an ex-CIA officer who was writing a book on the CIA. The book was eventually published as Inside the Company, but did not include the information that would have permanently damaged the reputation of the CIA.

Shackley also played an important role in the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. As his biographer, David Corn points out: "Salvador Allende died during the coup. When the smoke cleared, General Augusto Pinochet, the head of a military junta, was in dictatorial control... Elections were suspended. The press was censored. Allende supporters and opponents of the junta were jailed. Torture centers were established. Executions replaced soccer matches in Santiago's stadiums. Bodies floated down the Mapocho river. Due in part to the hard work of Shackley and dozens of other Agency bureaucrats and operatives, Chile was free of the socialists."

By 1975 he was promoted to Deputy Director of Operations, where he served under George H. W. Bush. He therefore became second-in-command of all CIA covert activity.

Shackley was a close friend of Edwin Wilson, an ex-CIA agent, who became an arms dealer. Wilson was jailed for shipping plastic explosive and detonators to Libya. Stansfield Turner, the head of the CIA, believed Shackley was closely involved in this affair and he was forced to resign. CIA chief, Richard Helms, reportedly said: Ted is what we call in the spook business a quadruple threat - Drugs, Arms, Money and Murder."

After leaving the CIA Shackley formed his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business. He took part in the October Surprise which resulted in the American hostages in Iran being held until Ronald Reagan had defeated Jimmy Carter at the 1980 elections. Soon after Reagan was elected the hostages were released.

During the Ronald Reagan administration, Shackley and some of his former CIA friends, Thomas Clines and Richard Secord, became involved in the Iran-Contra affair. Clines was sent to prison but Shackley managed to escape prosecution.

Ted Shackley died in Bethesda, Maryland, in December 2002. His autobiography, Spymaster: My Life in the CIA, was published in May, 2005. ISBN: 157488915X

Source http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKshackley.htm

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