Theodore Shackley

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Person.png Theodore Shackley   Littlesis Powerbase Sourcewatch SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook, deep politician)
BornJuly 16, 1927
DiedDecember 9, 2002 (Age 75)
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Cause of death
Member ofAssociation of Former Intelligence Officers, JFK/Assassination/Perpetrators, Le Cercle, Operation 40, Systems Services International, US/Deep state
Perpetrator ofArms for Libya
Interest ofDavid Corn
A key member of the US deep state, involved in a huge list of deep events from the JFK assassination, Iran Contra, Arms for Libya and possibly also 9-11

Employment.png Le Cercle/Chairman (USA)

In office
- 2001
Succeeded byRichard McCormack
End date conjecture, but before Jan 2002. Start date unknown. Succeeded by Richard T. McCormack

Employment.png Deputy Director of Covert Operations

In office
May 1976 - September 1979
Pressured to resign by CIA Director, Stansfield Turner.

Employment.png Chief of East Asia division

Dates unknown
Maybe concurrent with being Vietnam Station Chief?

Employment.png Chief of Western Hemisphere division

In office
1972 - 1973
Responsible for the 1973 Chilean coup d'état

Theodore "Ted" G. Shackley was a key US deep politician. In 1962 he became station chief of the CIA's JM/WAVE Miami station (central to both the Bay of Pigs and Operation 40). In response to increased scrutiny of the CIA's activities in the 1970s Shackley helped to offshore a lot of US Deep state activities to more clandestine milieux such as The Safari Club. Shackley was US Chairman of Le Cercle until around 2002.[1]

Official Narrative

Hugo Turner on Porkins Policy Radio

Shackley was a CIA officer deeply involved in many "controversial" CIA operations during the 1960s and 1970s. Commonly known as the "Blond Ghost" due to his dislike of being photographed, he was one of the most decorated CIA officers. His New York Times obituary referred to him as "enigmatic", and admitted he had "mysterious" ways. In 1979, Shackley retired from the CIA and founded Research Associates International Ltd., a Bethesda consulting firm specializing in analyzing risks and protecting executives.[2]

US Deep State

Full article: US Deep State

A mound of unexplained evidence and spooky coincidences suggest that Theodore Shackley was a key player in the formation of The Cabal and its development into the Supranational deep state. For example, the US branch of Le Cercle was registered at his home address.

CIA Career

In 1962 Theodore Shackley became station chief of the crucial JM/Wave station in Miami.[2]

JFK Assassination

Full article: JFK Assassination

Shackley became station chief in Miami in 1962[2], so was heavily involved in the Bay Of Pigs operation. He was a member of the assassination squad Operation 40 so that many researchers (such as Mark Gorton) consider him a key player in executing the JFK Assassination[3]. In a 1994 letter, Bradley E. Ayers claimed that Shackley was one of 9 men from JM/WAVE who had "intimate operational knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the assassination" of John F. Kennedy. The others were Edward Roderick, Grayston Lynch, Gordon Campbell, Felix Rodriguez, Thomas Clines, David Morales, Rip Robertson and Tony Sforza.[4]


In 1966, Shackley was placed in charge of the CIA's secret war in Laos, with Thomas G. Clines as his deputy. Michael Ruppert summarises their enduring relationship by referring to Clines as Ted Shackley's "career-long deputy and sidekick".[5] He admitted meeting Michael Jon Hand at this time.

Lies about the 1970 Chilean ITT Plot

In 1972, syndicated journalist Jack Anderson revealed that two years earlier the CIA and the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation had been involved in a "bizarre plot" to block the election of Salvador Allende. Senior CIA and ITT officials in the United States had discussed causing economic chaos in Chile to encourage a military coup. Soon a Senate subcommittee was investigating, which Shackley was tasked to cover up. Shackley had one of his deputies conspire with an ITT operative in Chile, arranging for him to testify falsely before the subcommittee. This successfully foiled the subcommittee's efforts to uncover the truth, and the CIA's involvement in Chile was only revealed years later.[6]

Chief of Western Hemisphere division

In 1972, he returned to the Washington area to oversee the C.I.A.'s clandestine activities in the Western Hemisphere.[2]

Deputy Director of Covert Operations

In May 1976, Shackley was made Deputy Director of Covert Operations, serving under CIA director George H. W. Bush. He maintained close contact with arms dealer Edwin Wilson.


Shackley was pressured to leave the CIA in 1979 after Stansfield Turner has taken over, and become aware of Shackley close ties to men such as Edwin Wilson, whose Arms To Libya deal was becoming exposed.

Later activities

Shackley's departure from the CIA did not appear to have affected his position in the US Deep State. Instead his departure from the halls of publicly acknowledged power mirrored a general offshoring of deep political organisation to more secretive milieux, which were the precursors of the supranational deep state. Shackley continued to be deeply involved in deep state operations such as the October Surprise and Iran-Contra.

Arms smuggling

Federal prosecutor Lawrence Barcella suspected that Shackley was involved with Edwin Wilson's EATSCO, which was used a front for his smuggling of arms for Libya and which in 1984 later plead guilty to fraudulently billing the Department of Defense.[citation needed]

Le Cercle Chairmanship

The US branch of Le Cercle was registered to Shackley's home address and he was the US chair of Le Cercle before Richard T. McCormack.[7] Shackley is mentioned on the 1983 guest list of the Le Cercle, and also attended in 1987, 1989 (with Richard Perle) and 1990.[8]

The Safari Club

The Safari Club started in 1979, the year Shackley was fired from the CIA.

Kuwaiti oil consulting

George H. W. Bush helped Ted Shackley set up his oil consulting business in Kuwait[When?], which made a lot of money for Shackley and provided a cover for the work he did for Bush.[8]

Lockerbie Bombing Cover-up

Shackley is alleged[By whom?] to have been involved in the Lockerbie bombing:

Following the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the CIA is apparently worried that an investigation of the attack, which may have been conducted or assisted by Iran or one of its surrogates, will uncover dealings between the US and Iran. Journalists Joe and Susan Trento will comment: “To avoid criticism that the United States was doing business with terrorists should the secret negotiations with Iran be exposed, the CIA participated in a bizarre campaign to divert blame for terrorist acts from Iran and Iran’s surrogate, Hezbollah, to Libya. If there was a comprehensive investigation into the Pan Am 103 tragedy, everything might be exposed. The major behind-the-scenes player in all this activity was the former number two man in covert operations at the CIA, Theodore G. Shackley.” [9]


Shackley was a leading figure in the AFIO until his death in 2002.[10]


Van der Rejden suggests that Shackley may have had a significant role in the 9/11 event.[10] Kevin Ryan write that "Shackley was close friends with Frank Carlucci and had a long, close relationship with Richard Armitage, whose State department provided express visas to the alleged hijackers. Additionally, Porter Goss, who led the initial cover-up of the 9/11 crimes, had worked with Shackley in several CIA operations."[11]


Bill Casey was one of the key men in the acquisition of media after WW2. It was one of his proteges (a young German immigrant to the US) who was sent back to Germany after the war to take over Bertelsmann and build it up. Rupert Murdoch was very tight with Shackley, which is how he got launched on his global acquisitions and has now taken over the WSJ. Murdoch was running a failed national newspaper in Australia while Shackley was station chief in Oz. Then suddenly he becomes a US citizen literally overnight and goes on an endless buying spree. Shackley's pockets were infinitely deep. At the time, Murdoch was facing the likely closure of his newspaper The Australian. His ticket out was Shackley. This also explains why Murdoch was allowed to break all the rules in acquisition of media in America.”
Sterling Seagrave (2007)  [12]


Christic Institute lawsuit

In 1986, Shackley was named as one of thirty defendants in a $24 million civil lawsuit filed by attorney Daniel Sheehan's Christic Institute. The suit claimed Shackley was part of a conspiracy responsible for the La Penca bombing, and a number of other covert operations.[13][14]

Similar charges were made in a 1987 letter from the Burmese warlord Khun Sa to the USDOJ. The letter, which was transmitted by James "Bo" Gritz, accused Shackley of organizing smuggling of heroin from the Golden Triangle in the 1960s and 70s.[15]

In 1988, the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed the Christic suit, after finding it to be frivolous and ordered the Institute to pay $955,000 in attorneys fees and $79,500 in court costs.[13][14] The ruling was subsequently upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.[14]


Theodore Shackley's 'Third Option' - Executive Intelligence Review


An event carried out

Arms for LibyaLibya
Around 20 tonnes of C-4 plastic explosive, training in bomb making, together with thousands of rifles, handguns & other weapons sold by a CIA operative to Muammar Gaddaffi's Libya in the late 1970s - early 1980s. Then "the biggest arms-dealing case in U.S. history", still lacking its own page on Wikipedia as of 2020.


A Quote by Theodore Shackley

Alexander Zakharchenko“Keep hitting the insurgents in their base areas with small, elite anti guerilla units. Use booby traps.”The Third Option, page 96, Dell Publishing, 1988


Related Quotations

James Critchfield“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.”Executive Intelligence Review
James Critchfield
24 June 1988
Timothy Landon“The key British power broker with influence in Oman is Timothy Landon. In 1970, the sultan ran a bloodless coup against his father with the help of Landon, a British military and intelligence figure. Known as the "Lawrence of Arabia" of Oman, Landon, who now lives in England, was the sultan's college buddy at Sandhurst. According to British intelligence sources, Shackley has a working relationship with Landon's associates and operatives.”Timothy Landon24 June 1988


Events Participated in

Colloquium on Clandestine Collection30 December 198131 December 1981A spooky colloquium in Washington DC
Colloquium on Counterintelligence24 April 198026 April 1980Spooky 1980 Washington conference
Colloquium on Intelligence and Policy9 November 198410 November 1984A spooky conference in November 1984
Le Cercle/1983 (Bonn)30 June 19833 July 1983Germany
Le Cercle/1984 (Capetown)12 January 198415 January 1984South Africa
4 day meeting of Le Cercle in Capetown exposed after Joel Van der Reijden discovered the attendee list for this conference and published it online in 2011
Symposium on the Role of Special Operations in US Strategy for the 1980s4 March 19835 March 1983Spooky conference attended by the US MICC
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