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The Assassinated Press

Hall of Fame CIA Operative, Ted Shackley, Dies:
'Blond Ghost' Bites The Big One

Funereal to the Assassinated Press
DECEMBER 13, 14:13 ET

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) Theodore Shackley, who ran the CIA's Operation Mongoose during the years U.S. officials sought to assassinate Fidel Castro and return Cuba to its former role as America's 'little backyard toilet', has died after a long illness. He was 75.

Shackley died Monday at his home in Bethesda, MD.

Former, and now, also mercifully dead, CIA chief, Richard Helms described Shackley as a quadruple threat at his inauguration into the CIA Hall of Fame in 1979. "Ted," said Helms at the time, "Is what we call in the spook business a quadruple threat---Drugs, Arms, Money and Murder or DAMM! And Ted is a HOT DAMM!!"

After stints in Europe and elsewhere, Ted spent several years in the 60's running Operation Mongoose with Ed Lansdale. His role was to direct sabotage against Cuba and kill its leadership. Ted oversaw bombings, biological and chemical WMD attacks, destruction of crops and other wholesale murder and mayhem visited upon the Cuban people.

Then Ted ran the secret war in Laos for us. There he cultivated the friendship of Golden Triangle drug lord, Vang Pao increasing exponentially what's known around the top floor as 'the black hole budget'.

Ted's remarkable record in illegal pharmaceuticals landed him the top job at Vietnam's Phoenix program where his talent for drug smuggling could be optimally utilized. He also proved to be adept at wholesale slaughter as the Phoenix program claimed tens of thousands of lives of innocent Vietnamese.

Ted was also good with special projects. He helped in the organization of and embezzlement from the Nugen/Hand Bank. From a super-secret location, former Nugen/Hand cochairman, Michael Hand had this to say to the Assassinated Press on hearing of Shackley's death: "I worked under the Blond Ghost cutting throats and threading ears in Phoenix with all the guys. The one's who show up again in Iran contra---Secord, North. You know who I mean. And then I was told to form Nugen/Hand bank for the Agency. We proceeded to run arms and drugs through Australia and rip off American service men who were told to put their money in Nugen/Hand by their superior officers who we had either been bribed or flat-out given a piece of the action. Then somebody blew off Frank Nugen's head and it all just went to shit."

Ted then moved to the top CIA job in Latin America where he, along with Henry Kissinger at NSC/State, oversaw the CIA's role in the murder of Salvador Allende and Rene Schneider. He and Kissinger were known to kibbitz over who could create the most bloodthirsty pronouncements. It's at this time that Kissinger uttered his now famous call to slaughter, "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people." Shackley countered, "Now's the moment to let the rhetorical mask fall. We don't give a fuck whether a government's elected or non-elected. We love 'em or leave 'em dead based on whether they're giving up the booty."

Ted then formed a CIA front company with Edwin Wilson. But when Wilson was caught selling arms to Libya, Shackley let the 'cock crow thrice' and Ed did(is doing) some very hard time.

Then Ted pretended to retire, a classic feint by clandestine operatives, so that he could take part in the October Surprise which resulted in the American hostages in Iran being held until Reagan had won the 1980 elections. Moments after Reagan triumphed the hostages were released predicated on the notion that Reagan and his people were out of control and would take decisive action against Iran.

Which they did. They turned around and sold arms to Iran in what has come to be known as Iran-contra by the half-dozen or so Americans not on heroin and/or Prozac. Money went to the contras. Drugs flowed through Hampstead Air Force Base in Florida and Mena, Arkansas down the road from the third Iran contra President, Bill Clinton. And Ted was there for it all, even later efforts then to tilt toward Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War.

Then, Ted, known as the 'Blond Ghost', decided to get some sun. He spent considerable time in Medellin directing operations with the drug cartel according to a number of Colombian confederates and U.S. pilot Michael Palmer.

When a Richard Helms or a Ted Shackley dies the world is poorer for it, because what role they had in the Kennedy assassination, or the mysterious drowning of Bill Colby---the Phoenix snitch, or the convenient demise of Bill Casey, or the untimely exit of the drunk and unreliable John Tower, or, ad nauseam,--.goes with them. But the beat goes on ala Carnahan and Wellstone and a few postal workers who get caught in the crossfire.

Journalist David Corn wrote a book about Shackley called "Blond Ghost" which was described by a number of reviewers as "balanced" which is reviewspeak for " a worthless collection of lies and half-truths." During the writing Corn became enamored with Shackley and a sort of man/boy love thing seems to drive the text. "From what I hear Corn was not the first lad to fall for Ted's considerable charms," said Ted's long time friend and fellow mahem maker, Thomas Clines.

Once during one of his frequent bouts of self pity, Shackley said, "It's hard for people to understand who have not been there. Its easy for people -- especially people of another generation -- to view what we did with their own perspective. I fought the communists for twenty-eight years. I did a lot of bad things for my country. But I loved my country and did what I thought best."

When told that a rough tally showed that only a very tiny percentage of the thousands of people he killed were communists in any sense of the word, Shackley just shrugged and said, "What I mean by 'communist' is anyone who doesn't give me what I want immediately. This is the way I express my love for my country. By raping, killing and stealing for my betters. Semper Fi! Motherfuckers!"

As for the other 'generations' not understanding, it seems the problem goes deeper than Ted imagined. This reporter asked a young Bethesda neighbor of the "Blond Ghost" if he had ever heard of Ted Shackley, the famous spook. The neighbor kid responded, "Shut the fuck up, dude. I'm doing a couple of lines of this rad coke cut with Ajax. Its called the Blond Ghost." And after I told him Shockley's story, he replied, "Cool. Where can I get the video game?"

Shackley was raised in West Palm Beach, Fla., and attended the University of Maryland where he majored in horticulture and finance.

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