CIA Reveals 'Skeletons in the Closet'

But the documents note that "Dr. Verona's potential was never fully exploited, as the project was canceled shortly after the Bay of Pigs episode," referring to the failed U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Castro in 1961. The pills were then returned to the CIA.

Roselli Tell-All

Roselli came into some legal trouble in the late 1960s and faced deportation after a conviction on charges of illegal entry into the United States and conspiracy. Roselli threatened to go public with the plot, indicating through his attorney that "if someone did not intercede on Roselli's behalf, he would make a complete expose of his activities with the Agency."

But the CIA decided not to intervene, and the documents conclude that Roselli himself or someone on his behalf must have given details of the Castro assassination attempts to reporter Jack Anderson.

As a result, the CIA kept close watch on Anderson and "at various times" his "legmen" Brit Hume, Leslie Whitten and Joseph Spear. The two-month long effort included physical surveillance and observation of Anderson's workplace from a hotel room across the street.

'Project Mockingbird'

Anderson's surveillance was part of a much larger domestic surveillance project undertaken by the CIA, involving actions that are prohibited by the CIA's charter.

For three months in 1963, the CIA conducted "productive" wiretaps on two Washington-based journalists who had published "classified materials of this agency and others."

Dubbed "Project Mockingbird," the effort involved placing listening devices in the offices and homes of columnists Robert Allen and Paul Scott. The wiretaps were conducted with "the coordination" of then Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

The CIA eventually determined that the newsmen were so plugged into the executive and congressional branches of government that they "actually received more classified and official data than they could use, and passed some of the stories to other newsmen for release." It turned out that many "leaks" appearing under other bylines had actually come from Allen's and Scott's sources.

Overzealous Agency?

The documents also reveal an episode of overzealousness with regard to a KGB defector suspected of being a double agent, based on doubts that were later seen as misplaced.

Yuriy Ivanovich Nosenko was detained from August 1965 to October 1967 in "a specially constructed 'jail' in a remote wooded area" because the CIA was "convinced that he was a dispatched agent." Nosenko's confinement was an effort to get him to "confess" after initial "hostile interrogation" failed to confirm the CIA's contention that he was a plant.

As Nosenko's detention dragged on, CIA lawyers became concerned with "the illegality of the Agency's position in handling a defector under these conditions for such a long period of time." Nosenko was subsequently transferred to another unit where for the next year he was detained at a "comfortable safehouse." Finally the CIA determined he was a "bona fide" defector and a later analysis concluded he was "the most valuable and economical defector this Agency has ever had."

Leads long ignored by his interrogators eventually resulted in the arrests and prosecution of unnamed individuals.

Granted an alias and remarried to an American citizen, Nosenko's reaction to his CIA detainment was straightforward: "While I regret my three years of incarceration, I have no bitterness and now understand how it could happen."

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