Isn’t it time to come clean?
By Joseph Parish
America’s CIA started its life in 1947 as a civilian intelligence agency which reported directly to the director of our National Intelligence Agency. Notice I stressed the word “civilian” in my first sentence. Although it was conceived as a civilian agency it is surprising how many operatives are addressed as major or colonel. In addition to providing its expert advice on security matters to higher up officials, it is also heavily engaged in various covert activities as directed by the United States President.
The CIA was established as a result of the enactment of the 1947 National Security Act although the act at the time specifically forbid it to become involved in any sort of police actions either in America or in foreign nations. Within a year of its inception the duties assigned to the agency was considerably expanded to acts of sabotage, demolition and other similar covert measures. Agents were expected to assist in various underground guerrilla resistance movements in support of anti-communist activities around the world.
Since the CIA’s primary function was to collect intelligence data concerning foreign nations it naturally presents a measure of danger to its players. With its covert operations and its paramilitary actions death remains a constant reminder of ones failed missions. The first recorded death resulting from employment with the “company” was a relatively unknown college drop out named Douglas Mackiernan.
During World War II Mackiernan initially worked for the USAF in China as a meteorologist. In 1947 he left the Air Force for a position at the CIA as a covert intelligence officer. For his cover during this assignment Mackiernan was assigned as a Vice-Consul for the State Department in China.
Douglas’s employment as a spy was not revealed by the CIA until 2008. His assignment began during the fall in 1949 where he and five fellow operatives traveled towards the Tibet boarder to spy on the Soviet nuclear operations nearby. During the trip Mackiernan was shot by a Tibetan border guard who afterwards sliced his victims head off. His remains have never been transported home to provide closure to his family but his corpse was buried at the exact spot where he was killed and decapitated.
Unfortunately for Mackiernan’s family the CIA had not yet established any provisions for dealing financially with the families of deceased agents. Douglas’s wife and children were left penniless with no means of income until 1950 when his wife Peggy was awarded a minor sum for a pension.
The CIA has within its Virginia headquarters a wall of stars where in the year 2000 Mackiernan was honored by a secret ceremony to install his name in one of the positions of honor. His service to the government was finally recognized as the authorities at CIA listed his name in their “Book of Honor”. As is the usual case with agencies such as the CIA they honored the killed agent but still to this day will deny his existence as a spy.
An interesting point to be made here is that as of the year 2000 there are at least 69 known agents which have died as a result of their duties to the “company”. You won’t find their names on any open list or in a book at your local library. Why, because 40 of these deaths still remain classified information. I would think that after all this time the CIA could provide these dead hero’s with the respect that they desire. To this end I implore the Central Intelligence Agency to come clean.
Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish