William Egan Colby (January 4, 1920 – April 27, 1996) spent a career in intelligence for the United States, culminating in holding the post of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from September 1973, to January 1976.During World War II Colby served with the Office of Strategic Services. After the war he joined the newly created Central Intelligence Agency. Before and during the Vietnam War, Colby served as Chief of Station in Saigon, Chief of the CIA's Far East Division, and head of the Civil Operations and Rural Development effort, as well as overseeing the Phoenix Program. After Vietnam, Colby became Director of Central Intelligence and during his tenure, under intense pressure from the US Congress and the media, adopted a policy of relative openness about U.S. intelligence activities to the Senate Church Committee and House Pike Committee. Colby served as DCI under President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford and was replaced by future President George H. W. Bush on January 30, 1976.Following his first year at Columbia, in 1941 Colby volunteered for active duty with the Army and served with the Office of Strategic Services as a Jedburgh or special operator trained to work with resistance forces in occupied Europe to harass German and Axis forces. During World War II, he parachuted behind enemy lines twice and earned the Silver Star as well as commendations from Norway, France, and Great Britain. In his first mission he deployed to France as a Jedburgh commanding Team BRUCE, in mid-August 1944, and operated with the Maquis until he joined up with Allied forces later that fall. In April 1945, he led the NORSO Group into Norway on a sabotage mission to destroy railway lines, in an effort to tie down German forces in Norway from reinforcing the final defense of Germany. After the war, Colby graduated from Columbia Law School and then briefly practiced law in William Joseph Donovan's New York firm. Bored by the practice of law and inspired by his liberal beliefs, he moved to Washington to work for the National Labor Relations Board.William Colby, Director of Central Intelligence, briefs President Ford and his senior advisors on the deteriorating situation in Vietnam, April 28, 1975. (clockwise, left to right) Colby; Robert S. Ingersoll, Deputy Secretary of State; Henry Kissinger; President Ford;James Schlesinger, Defense Secretary; William Clements, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Vice President Rockefeller; and General George S. Brown, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.William Colby, outgoing Director of Central Intelligence, with President Ford and incoming DCI George Bush, 1975.Shortly thereafter, an OSS friend offered him a job at the CIA, and Colby accepted. Colby spent the next twelve years in the field, first in Stockholm, Sweden. There, he helped set up the stay-behind networks of Gladio, a covert paramilitary organization organized by the CIA to make any Soviet occupation more difficult, as he later described in his memoirs.Colby then spent much of the 1950s based in Rome, under cover as a State Department officer, where he led the Agency's covert political operations campaign to support anti-Communist parties in their electoral contests against left wing, Soviet Union-associated parties. The Christian Democrat and allied parties won several key elections in the 1950s, preventing a takeover by the Communist Party. Colby was a vocal advocate within the CIA and the U.S. Government for engaging the non-Communist left wing parties in order to create broader non-Communist coalitions capable of governing fractious Italy; this position first brought him into conflict with James Angleton.Colby returned to Washington in 1971 and became Executive Director of CIA. After long-time DCI Richard Helms was dismissed by President Nixon in 1973, James Schlesinger assumed the helm at the Agency. A strong believer in reform of the CIA and the Intelligence Community more broadly, Schlesinger had written a 1971 Bureau of the Budget report outlining his views on the subject. Colby, who had had a somewhat unorthodox career in the CIA focused on political action and counterinsurgency, agreed with Schlesinger's reformist approach. Schlesinger appointed him head of the clandestine branch in early 1973. When Nixon reshuffled his agency heads and made Schlesinger Secretary of Defense, Colby emerged as a natural candidate for DCI—apparently based on the recommendation that he was a professional who would not make waves.Colby was known as a "media-friendly CIA director." His tenure as DCI, which lasted two and a half tumultuous years, was overshadowed by the Church and Pike congressional investigations into alleged U.S. intelligence malfeasance over the preceding twenty-five years, including 1975, the so-called "Year of Intelligence." Colby cooperated, not out of a desire for a major overhaul, but in the belief that the actual scope of such misdeeds — encapsulated in the so-called "Family Jewels" — was not great enough to justify lasting damage to the CIA's reputation. Colby also believed that the CIA had a moral and legal obligation to cooperate with the Congress and demonstrate that the CIA was accountable to the Constitution. On a more practical level, he also believed that cooperating with Congress was the only way to save the Agency from dissolution during a period of great congressional strength. This openness policy caused a major rift within the CIA ranks, with many old-line officers such as former DCI Richard Helms believing that the CIA should have resisted congressional intrusion.Colby's time as DCI was also eventful on the world stage. Shortly after he assumed leadership, the Yom Kippur War broke out, an event that surprised not only the American intelligence agencies but also the Israelis. This intelligence surprise reportedly affected Colby's credibility with the Nixon Administration. Colby participated in the National Security Council meetings that responded to apparent Soviet intentions to intervene in the War by raising the alert level of U.S. forces to DEFCON 3 and defusing the crisis. In 1975, after many years of involvement, South Vietnam fell to Communist forces in April 1975, a particularly difficult blow for Colby, who had dedicated so much of his life and career to the American effort there. Events in the arms control field, Angola, the Middle East, and elsewhere also demanded attention.Colby also focused on internal reforms within the CIA and the Intelligence Community. He attempted to modernize what he believed to be some out-of-date structures and practices by disbanding the Board of National Estimates and replacing it with the National Intelligence Council.President Ford, advised by Henry Kissinger and others concerned by Colby's controversial openness to Congress and distance from the White House, replaced Colby late in 1975 with George H. W. Bush during the so called "Halloween Massacre" in which Secretary of Defense Schlesinger was also replaced (by Donald Rumsfeld). Colby was offered the position of U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO but turned it down.On Saturday, April 27, 1996, Colby died in an apparent boating accident near his home in Rock Point, Maryland. His body was found underwater on Monday, May 6, 1996. The coroner ruled Colby's death a heart attack. Some, including his son Carl, allege that Colby was murdered or committed suicide, noting that: "Two weeks prior to his death, the elder Colby called Carl to ask absolution for being an absent father in his sister’s difficult life. On the evening of his disappearance Colby had a good meal, a few drinks, and got into his canoe. He carried a picture of daughter Catherine. As Carl comments, he had had enough of this life.
"Colby also focused on internal reforms within the CIA and the Intelligence Community. He attempted to modernize what he believed to be some out-of-date structures and practices by disbanding the Board of National Estimates and replacing it with the National Intelligence Council.President Ford, advised by Henry Kissinger and others concerned by Colby's controversial openness to Congress and distance from the White House, replaced Colby late in 1975 with George H. W. Bush during the so called "Halloween Massacre" in which Secretary of Defense Schlesinger was also replaced (by Donald Rumsfeld). Colby was offered the position of U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO but turned it down."Nixon in his smoking gun tapes said that he had no problem with the CIA and their dirty tricks; and Helms had been adamant that they not divulge their most damning files on "the bay of Pigs thing", etc.. Obviously intelligence heads with literal blood on their hands are not going to release evidence that will expose themselves.
Interesting post...I just watched the film on William Colby on Netflex and found it very informative but it wasn't until the very end that one comment from his son stood out .Colby's son said his "Father was always watching the door and that his Father was the cruelest man of anyone he had ever known in his life "
01.03.2016Dear JFK Murder Solved Forum Members and Readers:12.07.2011 - Joe "Dealey Joe" Hall, an Excellent Long Time Moderator and Member of JFKMS originally Posted this Headline, facts, points of information and theory that the Serious JFK Researcher will really want to diginto, and study even more deeply.Ken Murray, Slav, and Tom Bigg additionally made substantial contributions that are very beneficial.My suggestion to the Serious JFK Researcher would be to read, research, and study this material, and SubjectMatter intensely.THEN READ, RESEARCH, STUDY, COMPARE AND CONTRAST EVERYTHING ABOUT WILLIAM COLBY WITH JAMES VINCENT FORRESTAL, THE FATHER OF MAJESTIC TWELVE WHO WAS ALSO REMOVED UNDER AN EQUALLY QUESTIONABLE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES, FACTS, AND NECESSITY "TO KEEP QUIET, AND KEEP A LID ON THINGS."Then analyze and think through who originally generates the conversations and discussions to remove the Head of Majestic Twelve, and the Retired Head of the C.I.A. ? Who makes the Decision ? Who hands offthe "assignment" ? Who is the "assignment" handed to ?As always I strongly recommend that you read, research, and study material completely on your own first,then formulate your own Opinions and Thoughts.Any additional analyses, interviews, investigations, readings, research, studies, thoughts, or writings on anyaspect of this Subject Matter ?Bear in mind that we are trying to attract and educate a Whole New Generation of JFK Researcher's who maynot be as well versed as you ?Comments ?Respectfully,BB.
Excellent points, Mr. Brychek. I recently watched the Oliver Stone movie "Nixon" (not that good, but some honest material); after reading Roger Stone's book "Nixon's Secrets". How much did Nixon actually know about various CIA conspiracies, JFK and all the others? How much did the big money men need to tell him? Nixon had serious personality issues, inferiority complex, illusions of being persecuted; but also had real capabilities in terms of organizational talents. He was beholden to the mafia, Murchison and the Texas money people like LBJ. Possibly the release of confidential archives in 2017 will shed additional light on who was really calling the shots at the intelligence agencies. "The Communists" were a convenient scapegoat for all the collective anxiety and dark side of the US military industrial machine. They could say that JFK had to go because he was soft on the Commies in Cuba and the Soviet Union; same with Nixon, he had outlived his usefulness with his peace and detente actions toward China. All the treacherous political actions can be justified by patriotism.