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Flawed Patriot (The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey)

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I have just begun this book.

The author is Bayard Stockton, who worked for Harvey many years ago.

The book was published in 2006, and Stockton unfortunately died about the time of its publication.

I will comment on the book when I complete it.


I got this book when it first came out and was very disapointed, as it isn't a real biography that gives any insight into the man from birth to death, but rather is a reaction to what has been previously published about the man.

Most of it seems to be opinions of the man, rather than a description of his life, a story that has yet to be written.


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  • 2 months later...

I finished this book a while back and forgot to post on it.

I do not recommend it for anyone seeking to learn about possible involvement by Bill Harvey in the JFK assassination.

It was quite interesting in several other respects, though, most notably as a history of some of the early years of the agency.

Stockton draws attention to the stark societal contrast that Harvey, as a chain-smoking, alcoholic graduate (both undergrad and law school, I believe) of Indiana University, poses to the Ivy League, up East patricians who apparently dominated the CIA during its formative years.

Harvey wokred hard to cultivate his hard-drinking, gun-slinging Midwestern image and, in the process, developed an intense loyalty among his lower ranks whom he led by example by tirelessly working long hours.

He started out with the FBI, where I gathered that neither he nor Hoover were fond of each other. After 7 years at the FBI, he took an opportunity to go with the CIA.

After working lower level positions, he was awarded with the coveted assignment of chief of the Berlins Operations Base ("BOB") at the time when we dug the Berlin Tunnel to tap into East German/Soviet communications lines.

Upon being recalled to Washington, he was given a supervisory role with working under (indirectly) RFK on devising a plan or plans to assassinate Castro.

It was in this role (as a participant in Operation Mongoose) that he met and befriended (for life) John Roselli.

He lasted 11 months at this position and was "busted down" to the Rome office, where he exhibited his usual disdain for the social obligations (i.e. the formalized type, not the drinking with staff variety) associated with the job.

His career trajectory was like the path of a path of a bottle rocket, with alcohol being the common denominator on both the ascent and the descent.

He was truly an interesting guy, loving his family and hating Communism with apparently the same fervor.

I wish that I had known him.

Having said the above, however, the ONLY thing relating to the JFK assassination that Stockton can posit is that Harvey COULD have had some sort of tangential role in it as a compatriot of Roselli's. No other linkage to the assassination is offered.

I believe that Harvey was in Rome on 11/22/63.

The book does not purport to be a "must have" research tool for those interested in the JFK assassination, although many of us tend to view materials from that perspective.

Edited by Christopher Hall
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