In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act… George Orwell


He took on some of the most formidable enemies America ever had – both foreign and domestic – and was put out to pasture for telling the truth. It should be no great shock to find ourselves naked before our enemies if this is how we allow the politicians to treat the warriors.

Flawed patriot : the rise and fall of CIA legend Bill Harvey  Bayard Stockton  Washington, D.C. : Potomac Books, Inc., c 2006  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. x, 357 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 345-348) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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William K. Harvey was the CIA’s most daring and successful field operator during the tense, early days of the Cold War. Extremely intelligent, a dedicated martini drinker, coarse in manner and appearance, both loved and hated, he was larger than life. But just as Harvey reached his zenith, fate and personal flaws caused his swift, dramatic downfall. Bayard Stockton provides a portrait of the man, including accounts from Harvey’s family, friends, and former CIA colleagues who have never spoken publicly before.

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Harvey’s intelligence career began at the FBI, where he hunted Nazi spies. After running afoul of J. Edgar Hoover, Harvey went to the fledgling CIA in 1947. Harvey’s CIA successes included the unmasking of Soviet spy Kim Philby and masterminding the famous Berlin Tunnel that tapped Russian communications. The pinnacle of Harvey’s career came as chief of both ZR/RIFLE, the agency’s political assassination operation, and Task Force W, the group targeted on Cuba. But Harvey was in constant conflict with Bobby Kennedy, who micromanaged operations against Fidel Castro. Harvey profanely insulted the president’s brother during a tense meeting, which led to Harvey’s reassignment to Rome, and he was forced to retire. He became a nonperson.

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However, Harvey resurfaced during Senate hearings in the 1970s. When his supervision of the plots to assassinate Castro was revealed, many labeled Harvey the epitome of CIA excess. Harvey’s continuing friendship with Johnny Rosselli, a Mafia figure who had helped the CIA with Cuban operations, opened further questions as some — most notably Robert Blakey, former chief counsel to the House Subcommittee on Assassinations — attempted to link Rosselli to JFK’s assassination.

 

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