James Critchfield

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Person.png James Critchfield  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
James H. Critchfield.png
BornJanuary 30, 1917
DiedApril 22, 2003 (Age 86)
Williamsburg, Virginia, US
Cause of death
pancreatic cancer
Member ofLe Cercle
Senior CIA spook who handled Reinhard Gehlen. Then Near East Division Chief from 1959 to 1969 where he arranged a coup in Iraq. Le Cercle

James Hardesty Critchfield was an officer of the US Central Intelligence Agency who rose to become the chief of its Near East and South Asia division. He was also the CIA's national intelligence officer for energy in the 1970s and after he retired in 1974, he became an energy policy consultant in the Middle East, serving such clients as Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Critchfield served as the president of a Honeywell, Inc. subsidiary called Tetra Tech International.[1]

Critchfield joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1948. He was tasked with exploiting the fallen Third Reich's intelligence organizations - Reinhard Gehlen and his Gehlen Organization - to gather information about the Soviet Union. This work, which led to the creation of the post-war West German intelligence apparatus, included the use of Nazi war criminals.[2]

As the CIA's Near East Division Chief from 1959 to 1969, Chritchfield helped arrange[3] the February 1963 coup that overthrew Abd al-Karim Qasim and first brought the Ba'ath Party to power in Iraq. Chritchfield denied that the CIA had "actively support[ed]" the Ba'ath Party, but acknowledged that it was "better informed on the 1963 coup in Baghdad than on any other major event or change of government that took place in the whole region in those years", explaining that "we watched the Ba'ath's long, slow preparation to take control" and "we knew perhaps six months beforehand that it was going to happen."[4]

He vistited Le Cercle.


“Besides the Deuss connection to Oman, Shackley's other link is James Critchfield, the former head of the CIA's Middle­ East desk, and later chief of intelligence for energy. Critchfield is president of Tetra Tech International, a subsidiary of Honeywell, Inc. Tetra Tech has a contract with Oman to develop the economic infrastructure of the Masandam Pen­insula, which is at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.”
EIR (24 June 1988)  [5]

A CIA officer who was president of Tetra Tech International.

Le Cercle

He attended Le Cercle in 1985. The New York Times reported on March 26, 1985, "Ex-intelligence agents are said to have major roles in Oman': "Among the foreign advisers who have played a major role in the Persian Gulf nation of Oman is a former senior Central Intelligence Agency official who heads an American corporation that manages the country's most strategic region. The corporation, Tetra Tech International, has a contract with the Government of Oman to manage the development of the Masandam Peninsula that sits astride the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the area from Iran and through which travels a significant amount of the West's oil. For other Americans, even such official visitors as Congressional staff members, the sensitive Masandam region is off-limits, according to two American officials who recently visited Oman and were not allowed to tour the area. The parent of Tetra Tech International is Tetra Tech, which is based in Pasadena, Calif., and specializes in providing products and services in the areas of water and energy resources. It is a subsidiary of Honeywell Inc., a leading United States military contractor with headquarters in Minneapolis. Tetra Tech International helps manage several key Omani Government agencies in addition to Masandam Province, and the company and its parent work for both commercial and government customers in several other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, as well as in the United States. The president of Tetra Tech International and the man who helped to get its contract in Oman is James H. Critchfield, who, before joining the company in 1975, had an interest in Oman, working for the C.I.A. both as head of the Middle East desk and later as the chief intelligence official for energy, according to former intelligence officials and public documents. Mr. Critchfield is among about 20 American, British and Arab advisers to the country's ruler, Sultan Qabus bin Said, who have helped shape the country's foreign and domestic policies. Like Mr. Critchfield, many of the advisers have intelligence backgrounds. In an interview late last year, Mr. Critchfield acknowledged that he is one of the closest American advisers to Oman's ruler, and he said he no longer had anything to do with the C.I.A. Yet there is a widespread perception in Oman that Mr. Critchfield and others with intelligence backgrounds retain ties to their former employers. As a result, Western and Omani officials said, the role of Westerners in Oman has become a subject of dispute."[6]


Event Participated in

Le Cercle/1985 (Washington)7 January 198510 January 1985US
Washington DC
4 day meeting of Le Cercle in Washington exposed after Joel Van der Reijden discovered the attendee list for this conference and published it online in 2011