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Duane 'Dewey' Clarridge
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Spy
    (April 16, 1932-April 9, 2016)
    Born in Nashua, New Hampshire
    CIA agent
    Headed the Latin American section (1981-87)
    First director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (1986-88)
    Founded the Eclipse Group (2009), a private intelligence agency
    Wrote the memoir ‘A Spy for All Seasons’ (1989)
    One historian of the CIA euphemistically described him as ‘not a stickler for rules and regulations.’
    He blatantly violated international law by ordering the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors (1984).
    He tried to downplay the incident by claiming, ‘They wouldn’t really hurt anybody because they just weren’t that big a mine, alright.’
    He authored a manual for the Nicaraguan Contras explaining how to blackmail, kidnap and assassinate government officials (1984).
    He was indicted on seven counts of perjury and making false statements to Congress in relation to the Iran-Contra affair (1991).
    Before his trial began, he received a pardon from outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
    His Eclipse Group dispatches were described as ‘an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports.’
    He had something of an obsession with trying to obtain beard trimmings from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, hoping they would confirm his suspicions that Karzai was a heroin user.
    CIA Director Robert M. Gates said, ‘If you have a tough, dangerous job critical to national security, Dewey’s your man. He’s talented, one of our best operations officers.’
    Under his leadership, the Counterterrorist Center infiltrated and disrupted Abu Nidal’s terrorist organization.
    He helped free a New York Times reporter kidnapped by the Taliban (2008).
    At least some of his Eclipse Group reports were considered accurate enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan.
    As an advisor to Ben Carson, he helped sink Carson's presidential campaign when he said about the candidate’s grasp of foreign policy, ‘Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East.’
    He said, ‘If you don’t want [the CIA] doing dastardly things overseas, don’t have it. You can have the State Department.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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