Carmel Offie

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Person.png Carmel Offie  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(diplomat, spook)
Carmel Offie.png
BornSeptember 22, 1909
Pennsylvania
DiedJune 18, 1972 (Age 62)
NationalityUS
Interests • Operation Paperclip
• Operation Bloodstone
• Free Trade Union Committee
• National Committee for Free Europe
US spook who helped reorganized Italy and Germany after World War 2.

Carmel Offie was A CIA officer who worked with reorganizing Italy and Germany after World War 2, including assisting in Operation Paperclip and Operation Bloodstone. He resigned from the Agency in 1948.

Early life

Offie was born in Pennsylvania in 1909 to parents from Caserta in southern Italy.[1]

Foreign Service

Offie joined the Foreign Service and in 1934 was posted to Moscow where he was a clerk under ambassador William C. Bullitt. When Bullitt was posted to Paris in 1936, Offie joined him.[2]

Back in Washington in 1943, helped Bullitt act on a grudge against Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles by leaking evidence of the latter's homosexuality. Ironically, Offie was himself homosexual and was arrested on 8 September 1943 at Lafayette Park, a Washington gay hangout. He was charged with "perversion - disorderly conduct" but was saved from prosecution by a note from Secretary of State Cordell Hull claiming he had been on official business, meeting a State Department informant.[3]

In March 1944, Office was posted as an assistant to Robert Murphy who was serving on the Allied Advisory Council in Italy. He moved to Germany in 1945 when Murphy was appointed as an adviser to General Lucius Clay.[4]

In 1947, Offie was caught using the diplomatic bag to move $4000 dollars for a friend, Army colonel Anthony Drexel Biddle. He resigned from the Foreign Service in April 1948.[5]

CIA

In the later 1940s, Charles Bohlen persuaded Frank Wisner to take Office on in the CIA's Office of Policy Coordination (OPC).[6] Despite security concerns around his 1943 arrest, Offie joined in September 1948.[7]

Offie's value both in occupied Europe and in the CIA related in part to his ability to establish friendly relations with the wives of prominent officials.[8] His European connections helped him later in aiding the movement of anticommunists in and out of Eastern Europe.[9] He ran two key programs: Operation Paperclip, which recruited German scientists for work in the United States, and Operation Bloodstone, which targeted the Soviet Union by making intelligence analysts or spies of former Nazis and Nazi collaborators.[10] He "helped to establish the paradigm for harnessing the services of Nazis, fascists, and collaborators, and a variety of emigre groups and desperate volunteers from the DP [displaced persons] camps in America's fight against the specter of world communism."[11] From Germany he recruited former diplomats and military officers to help spy on and support American propaganda efforts against the Soviets, a program codenamed Operation Bloodstone. Like others in the CIA at the time, he ignored the Nazi past of some of them, including such notables as Gustav Hilger, who had links to the creation of the SS Einsatzgruppen massacre squads, and Nicholas Poppe, a Russian linguist and Nazi collaborator who helped plan the extermination of the Jews.[12] His other responsibilities included the oversight of labor and émigré affairs, as well as the National Committee for Free Europe, parent of Radio Free Europe, which began radio broadcasts into Czechoslovakia in 1950 using a transmitter Offie borrowed from the U.S. Army.[13][14]

In the late 1940s, Offie became Wisner's special assistant for labour and émigré affairs. His role included overseeing the National Committee for a Free Europe.[15]

Wisner and Offie planned the the International Day of Resistance to Dictatorship and War on 30 April 1949 as a counter to the Cominform's World Congress of Peace.[16]

U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) agent James H. Paul claimed that Offie made sexual advances to him on 15 October 1949. The CIC subsequently reported this to CIA security chief Col Sheffield Edwards, who requested an official report.[17]

The CIA security staff then leaked details of Offie's 1943 arrest to Senator Joseph McCarthy. At Senate hearings in March and April 1950, McCarthy threatened to name the "convicted homosexual" who was working for the CIA.[18]

Later career

In June 1950, Wisner arranged a less sensitive position for Offie at the Free Trade Union Committee (FTUC), a labor foreign policy group of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union secretly supported with CIA funding.[19] He was greeted warmly by his superior, longtime labor activist Jay Lovestone. His title was Director of International Labor Information Services, but he served principally as liaison between the CIA and the FTUC, exploiting sources at his former employer to help his new colleagues understand and maneuver through the CIA's financing processes, though the relationship between the two organizations remained difficult.[20]

Offie's contract at the FTUC ended in June 1952. He had developed detailed knowledge of the workings of the Mutual Security Administration, successor to the Marshall Plan, which managed purchases from European companies on behalf of the U.S. government. He used that expertise first as a consultant to a Washington law firm, while continuing to consult for the FTUC, and then to establish his own business, Global Enterprises.[21]

In August 1953 Offie visited the Majorca home of Charles W. Thayer, a diplomat forced from the State Department as part of the Lavender Scare.[22]

Offie died on June 18, 1972, when British European Airways Flight 548 crashed soon after take-off from London Heathrow Airport.[23] He is buried in Washington's Rock Creek Cemetery.

Sources

  • Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis, and Soviet Intelligence (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1991)
  • Will Brownell and Richard N. Billings, So Close to Greatness: A Biography of William C. Bullitt (NY: Macmillan Publishing, 1987)
  • Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 (Boston: Little Brown, 2003)
  • Robert D. Dean, Imperial Brotherhood: Gender and the Making of Cold War Foreign Policy (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001)
  • Sigmund Diamond, Compromised Campus: The Collaboration of Universities with the Intelligence Community, 1945-1955 (NY: Oxford University Press, 1992)
  • André Gerolymatos, Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention in the Middle East (Thomas Dunne, 2010)
  • Nigel Hamilton, JFK: Reckless Youth (NY: Random House, 1992)
  • Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992)
  • David K. Johnson, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government (University of Chicago Press, 2004)
  • Ted Morgan, A Covert Life: Jay Lovestone, Communist, Anti-communist, and Spymaster (NY: Random House, 1999)
  • Geoffrey Perret, Jack: A Life Like No Other (NY: Random House, 2002)
  • Thomas Powers, The Man who Kept the Secrets (NY: Knopf, 1979)
  • Mark Riebling, Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11: How the Secret War between the FBI and CIA has Endangered National Security (NY: Touchstone, 1994)
  • Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men, Four who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995)
  • Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (NY: Doubleday, 2007))
  • Benjamin Welles, Sumner Welles: FDR's Global Strategist, A Biography (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1997)
  • Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009)



References

  1. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.210.
  2. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.210.
  3. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, pp.220-211.
  4. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.211.
  5. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.212.
  6. Francis Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Granta, 1999, p.67.
  7. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.212.
  8. Riebling, 33
  9. Mark Riebling, Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11: How the Secret War between the FBI and CIA has Endangered National Security (NY: Touchstone, 1994) page 117
  10. Gerolymatos, 126-7
  11. Gerolymatos, 131
  12. Thomas, 34-5, 356n6, available online here. Thomas writes: [Poppe] had worked for the Ost-Assen Institute in Czechoslovakia during the war, doing research on the "Jewish Problem...in order to perfect the Nazi killing machines", quoting the work of Kevin Ruffner of the CIA History Staff.
  13. Thomas, 61
  14. Weiner, 537
  15. Francis Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Granta, 1999, p.67.
  16. Francis Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Granta, 1999, pp.67-68.
  17. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.212.
  18. Ted Morgan, A Covert Life - Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster, Random House, 1999, p.213.
  19. Wilford, 53, 59, 64, 66
  20. Morgan, 214-25
  21. Morgan, 225-6
  22. Dean, 143
  23. Morgan, 231-2; New York Times: Alvin Shuster, "All 118 Killed in Worst British Air Crash," June 19, 1972, accessed December 5, 2010