E. Henry Knoche

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Person.png E. Henry Knoche  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
E. Henry Knoche photo.jpg
BornJanuary 14, 1925
Charleston, West Virginia
DiedJuly 9, 2010 (Age 85)
Alma materWashington and Jefferson College
He was "was party to the country's deepest secrets."

Employment.png Acting Director of Central Intelligence

In office
January 20, 1977 - March 9, 1977
Preceded byGeorge H. W. Bush
Succeeded byStansfield Turner

Employment.png Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

In office
July 7, 1976 - August 1, 1977

Enno Henry Knoche (pronounced KNOCK-ee) was a deputy director of the CIA and acting Director of Central Intelligence,[1] where he was "party to the country's deepest secrets," which he kept safe until he died [2]

Early Life

Knoche attended Mt. Lebanon School District, where he played basketball and tennis, winning a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League doubles championship.[3] In 1942, he enrolled in Washington & Jefferson College, playing baseball and the freshman basketball team.

He then enlisted in the United States Navy to serve in World War II in 1943.[3] Later, he attended Bethany College, again playing basketball and leading the team in scoring.[3] He then attended University of Colorado, where he led his basketball team to the 1946 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and played baseball.[3] Following his discharge from the military, he returned to W&J" to complete his degree, graduating in 1947.[3] He then played for 2 years in the professional National Industrial Basketball League, leading his team in scoring both years.[3] He was drafted by the failing Pittsburgh Ironmen in the 1947 BAA Draft.[4]

He studied Russian language at the U.S. Naval School, Chinese at Colorado University 1945-46, Chinese language (Foochow dialect); at the Federal Executive Institute, University of Virginia,1968[5]

He served in the United States Navy as a Navy intelligence officer, in World War II, and the Korean War.[6]

From 22 February 1951 to February 1953 Knoche was employed by the National Security Agency as a Section Chief supervising the efforts of 125 employees, both civilian and military, constituting an operational section. He remained in NSAemploy as a civilian from February to November 1953.


He joined the CIA in 1953 as an analyst; he was fluent in Russian and the Fuzhou dialect.[6] During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he briefed President John F. Kennedy.[6] Even though he lacked the typical CIA resume, as having never served in operational capacity or in the clandestine operations, he was steadily promoted through the agency's ranks.[6]

He was Director of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1972-73 and Director of the Office of Strategic Research at the CIA, 1973-75.

At the outset of 1975, during inquiries into American intelligence activities by the Rockefeller Presidential Commission and Select Senate and House Committees, he was Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence inliaiison with those conducting the inquiries.In the fall of 1975, Knoche was

Joe Biden Anecdote

On July 7, 1976, Knoche became the deputy director of the CIA under George H.W. Bush, responsible for day-to-day operations. Knoche never served in an operational capacity and lacked clandestine experience. When Carter took office in 1977, Bush resigned, and Knoche became acting director.

One of the first things Carter did as president was ask Knoche to brief him on the 10 most sensitive operations the CIA had underway. On January 21, 1977, he met with the president and delivered among other things photo intelligence from Aerospace Data Facility-East.[7]

A few days later, at a meeting with the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, a member asked Knoche, under oath, to repeat everything that he had told the president.

Knoche agreed, but on the conditions that the senators expel their staff members and let the room be swept for wiretaps three times.

Then, against the advice of his lieutenants, Knoche laid out in detail the 10 covert operations.

According to Knoche family lore, a shaken Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a junior committee member, approached Mr. Knoche after the briefing and told him a story.

"When I first became a senator, an old friend told me there would be things I would learn in this job that I wish I never knew," Biden, a first-term Democrat from Delaware, told Knoche. "I never understood what my old friend meant, but now I know."[8]

On January 12, 1977, he was honored as a recipient of the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. Presentation of the award was made in the East Room of the White House by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.[9]

His term as acting director ended when admiral Stansfield Turner was confirmed as director of the CIA on March 9, 1977.[6]

Resignation after sharp policy differences

Knoche retired on August 1, 1977, age 52, reportedly after "sharp policy differences" with admiral Turner.[10]He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.[6] He went into (unspecified) private business.

Lyndon Larouche's analysis of the situation is that this was part of a Rockefeller housecleaning:

President Car­ter and Nelson Rockefeller's intelligence chief, Admiral Stansfield Turner last week launched a clean up of the CIA and top personnel throughout the intelligence com­munity. Coming up is a wave of forced resignations coin­ciding with Turner's call for a Congressional investiga­tion into alleged CIA abuses. The purge is a pronouncement by the Rockefeller forces that they intend to "officially" suppress all fac­tional opposition within the Administration and gov­ernment bureaucracies, including Congress. The CIA agents purged, including Deputy Director of the CIA, E. Henry Knoche, involve personnel from the CIA's Clan­destine Services section and many analysts who opposed the "official" CIA energy report to the nation, a report actually prepared by White House energy czar James Schlesinger. According to one intelligence source, these individuals were explicitly anti-Carter and were opposed to the Carter war push and plans for deindustrialization.[11]

His resignation, at the same time as "purges" and and forced retirements of many other senior CIA staff, places Knoche possibly in the group of ex-CIA people who staged the October Surprise operation that unseated Carter.

He married Angie Papoulas in 1947; they had five sons.[6]

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