Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wet jobs

Before 2006 fades from memory, I'd like to inform some readers -- and remind others -- of a mysterious event from last June.

Wealthy publisher and former diplomat Philip Merrill, 72, of Maryland, committed suicide while sailing his boat in the Chesapeake. The man's resume seems rather spooky:
He also had served on the Department of Defense Policy Board. From 2002 until last summer he was chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Mr. Merrill represented the U.S. in negotiations on the Law of the Sea Conference, the International Telecommunications Union and various disarmament and exchange agreements with the former Soviet Union. He was a former special assistant to the deputy secretary of state, served as the State Department's senior intelligence analyst for South Asia and worked in the White House on national security affairs.
The manner and location of Merrill's death parallel in an uncanny way the still-mysterious 1978 end of CIA man John Paisley. Paisley had been linked to JFK assassination controversies and to a high-level prostitution ring reminiscent of the one we learned about during the Duke Cunningham affair.

In the Ford era, Paisley was the CIA's point man on Team B, a scheme by the then-emergent neocons to distort and exaggerate intelligence on the USSR. (Team B was, in many ways, the origin point for our current miseries.) Paisley defended the Agency's more cautious and realistic assessments and attempted to put the kibosh on Team B's disinformation. His efforts led to rumors that he was a Soviet agent. (Then as now, neocons used smear tactics against anyone who opposed the spread of their fantasies.) Perhaps in response to these rumors, an official "retirement" for Paisley was arranged. Unofficially, he kept working for the CIA until his death. His body, affixed to weights, was found in Maryland's Patuxent River, a gunshot wound to the head.

Other notable spooks have gone "swimming." The list would include Mossad asset Robert Maxwell -- like Merrill, a big-wig publisher -- and former CIA chieftain William Colby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Phoenix Operation, 1969