San Diegan With Extremist Right-Wing Agenda Runs His Own Private CIA

by on January 24, 2011 · 3 comments

in American Empire, History, San Diego, War and Peace

Former Contras Founder Pushes Right-Wing Agenda While Contracting With American Agencies

Editor: San Diegan and former spook for the CIA, Duane Clarridge, now runs his own private spy agency.  A one-time founder of the Contras – the Nicaraguan right-wing group whose funding got Ronald Reagan in trouble – Clarridge pushes his own extreme views while nursing his intelligence contracts with American foreign policy agencies.

By Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times / Published: January 22, 2011

WASHINGTON — Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.

Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.

Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy,” Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say.

Mr. Clarridge, 78, who was indicted on charges of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal and later pardoned, is described by those who have worked with him as driven by the conviction that Washington is bloated with bureaucrats and lawyers who impede American troops in fighting adversaries and that leaders are overly reliant on mercurial allies.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar doug porter January 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

for even more 0n this story see this link from the Danger Room blog over at Wired Magazine:

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avatar bodysurferbob January 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

hey i guess this guy is the counter-pole to our chalmers johnson, who just passed away. there are so many neat people tucked away in the bedroom neighborhoods and suburbs of our wonderful city. so many neat little monsters like this guy.

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