William Francis Buckley

Why did the CIA/Americans abandon him? He was a high ranking agent for fricks sake. If they don’t even attempt to rescue him wouldn’t it make other agents think they too wouldn’t he saved?

Truly horrifying reading how much suffering he endured while Langley twiddled their thumbs

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  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    "On Monday morning, May 7, 1984, the United States embassy in Athens received a video posted in the city… It showed William Buckley undergoing torture… The camera zoomed in and out of Buckley’s nude and damaged body. He held before his genitalia a document marked “MOST SECRET”… Casey later remembered how “… They had done more than ruin his body. His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous”… Buckley showed symptoms of being drugged; his eyes were dull and his lips slack. His gaze was of a person deprived of daylight for some time… Buckley had spent long periods being hooded. Buckley bore chafe marks on his wrists and neck suggesting he had been tethered with a rope or chain. A careful study of every inch of visible skin revealed puncture marks indicating he had been injected at various points.

    The second video arrived 23 days later. This time it was posted to the United States Embassy on Via Veneto in Rome… It revealed Buckley continued to be horrifically treated… Buckley’s voice was slurred and his manner noticeably more egocentric as if not only the world beyond the camera, but his immediate surroundings, held increasingly less interest for him… His hands shook and his legs beat a tattoo on the floor as he mumbled pathetic pleas to be exchanged under a guarantee the United States would remove “all of its influences” from Lebanon and would persuade Israel to do the same…

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      On Friday, October 26, 1984, 224 days since Buckley was kidnapped, a third video arrived at the CIA. The tape was even more harrowing. Buckley was close to a gibbering wretch. His words were often incoherent; he slobbered and drooled and, most unnerving of all, he would suddenly scream in terror, his eyes rolling helplessly and his body shaking. From time to time he held up documents, which had been in his burn-bag, to the camera. Then he delivered a pathetic defence of his captor’s right to self-determination in Lebanon… William Buckley’s kidnapping was into its second year by the spring of 1985. The CIA consensus was that he would be blindfolded and chained at the ankles and wrists and kept in a cell little bigger than a coffin."

      This source suggests one of the reasons more effort wasn’t put into recovering him is just because he was outspoken and didn’t play office politics. As a result he was disliked by a lot of high ranking people.

      https://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/thomas102506.htm

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Nah, the CIA had no idea where he was, no idea how to find out. It wasn't that they didn't rescue him, it was that they fricking couldn't.
        >inb4 buh CIA is omnipotent
        Maybe if you're some third/second worlder seeing Yankee conspiracies in everything, but in reality the agency has always been limited in its capabilities and at a certain point no Intel agency is going to make progress against a disciplined and motivated organization.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          They knew he was in “hotel Beirut”, the infamous underground complex where Hezbollah kept many hostages.

          If there was any reason they didn’t actively go and try to rescue him, it’s because they didn’t think the number of military deaths from sending in the green berets would be worth it.

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    CIA agents are expendable, that's part of the job

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      He was the station officer in Beirut. That’s a pretty important position.

      I’m kind of surprised he didn’t have some kind of cyanide capsule hidden in his tooth or something.

      The source says the Langley psychiatrists were not sure if he would kill himself or not because he had a Catholic upbringing where suicide was a ticket straight to hell, on the other hand he was so mentally and physically broken his beliefs probably didn’t matter much. Plus apparently the CIA actively tells its agents that suicide is permissible if they are caught and they won’t face religious consequences (not sure how an agency can decide this but whatever)

      This would imply he should have had some method of killing himself though. One that didn’t require anything on his person since they stripped him of everything after kidnapping him. So the fake tooth cyanide pill is all I could think of. But I’m not sure if that’s just in the movies. Plus these Hezbollah guys were organised enough I wouldn’t be surprised if they checked his teeth after knocking him out and extracted any potential fake ones

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Why did Israel exchange hundreds of Egyptian soldiers in exchange for 2 Israeli intelligence operatives? Does Israel care more about their people?

      Hell. Israel even handed them over FIRST. They only got their two operatives back two days after.

      Meanwhile the Americans offered basically nothing for this dude.

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Why did the CIA/Americans abandon him?
    They could have only kept one CIA agent with the name William F. Buckley, so they chose the one they found more valuable.

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    So if you end up in that kind of situation (being tortured/held in solitary confinement for long periods of time), what are the best techniques to keep things together mentally, and to not turn into a crazy sperg?

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      You can't. People like that are trained to the best of their and the agency's experienced abilities to withstand many levels of physical and mental torture. You can't just thug that shit out forever.

      It's also why torture has been considered ineffective as a means to get information. People will revert to their base animal instincts and simply do and say what is asked of them to get the pain to stop. There is a razor thin line between coherent and babbling mess, and oftentimes this line is crossed before any reliable information can be obtained.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >It's also why torture has been considered ineffective as a means to get information. People will revert to their base animal instincts and simply do and say what is asked of them to get the pain to stop. There is a razor thin line between coherent and babbling mess, and oftentimes this line is crossed before any reliable information can be obtained.

        This is only true if you keep torturing them beyond the point of them telling you everything they know. Which obviously the torturers wouldn’t know how much said person knows beyond specific circumstances..

        William Francis Buckley wrote 400 pages of whatever he knew and most of it was true as far as we can tell. Plenty of informants and undercover people died as a result.

        But there’s no way for the torturer to be sure they’ve told them everything or if they’re just making stuff up after a certain point like you said.

        If I recall the Japanese tortured an American pilot after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Asked him how many atomic bombs America had. He told them 500 and they made like 10 a week or something.

        Obviously this is nonsense. America didn’t have more than a couple or the ability to make that many that fast. But the pilot knew absolutely nothing about the nuclear program. He just needed to tell them anything to stop them torturing him

        It’s just a story that’s more of a Rumour. But this “confession” from the pilot apparently is what convinced a lot of the higher up Japanese politicians and generals they needed to surrender. After all. They’d already weathered the mass firebombing of countless Japanese cities. If the Americans were going to nuke one city every few months they could still try to withstand this. If they had enough nukes to just wipe out Japan then they had to surrender

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      According to the source they train you to be able to recite movies snd scenes from it so you can have a sense of talking back and forth. And remembering pages from your facorite nooks or th bible. But this is only effective to a certain degree. Six months solitary is not the same as over a year and a half.

      Of course. No technique can stave off mental breakdowns forever. And they were not just confining him to a coffin sized cell in darkness. They were also regularly drugging him with some kind of infectable substance. And at minimum beating him on a regular basis, keeping his neck, hands and feet bound so tight they left marks. A blindfold and gag. Etc

      I suspect they didn’t torture him too much physically because he was 58. And knew that he’d die quickly if they tortured him too much. At that age a heart attack induced by trauma is much easier to cause

      There’s not much info on him. But we even know who one of the torturers of Buckley was.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aziz_al-Abub

      He was a psychiatrist who specialised in torture for Hezbollah and Iran. So he was likely the one drugging him regularly. Both to torture him mentally and try to break down his mental fortitude and persuade him to co-operate. I imagine it was a drug wienertail of uppers and downers depending on the day.

      One of the major theories is that he was airlifted to Tehran not long after the capture and final tape. And kept there for further interrogation until he died.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        *some kind of INJECTABLE substance. We have no way of knowing what since the slurring and erratic way he behaved int he video could be caused by countless compounds

        The fact there’s professional psychiatrist torturers is terrifying to me. I know westerners have Guantanamo bay and such, but I would take a year in that any day over being in the hands of one of these third world dungeons.

        I’ve read conflicting reports on what happened to his body. Which is weird. They delayed officially declaring him dead for a long time after the final rape was sent. CIA chief hoping there was still a possibility he was alive and could be brought back in a deal or prison transfer. Hope of this largely from the previous ones done between Israelis and them. However upon the CIA chief reaching out to British intelligence and Mossad for any hints or details they could find. The consensus was he was 100% dead by now.

        >Buckley's remains were recovered by Major Jens Nielsen (Royal Danish Army) attached to the United Nations Observation Group Beirut[30] on December 27, 1991, after they were dumped on a road near Beirut airport.[31] His body was returned to the United States on December 28, 1991, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia

        However the above source in OP also says they hadn’t recovered his body by the year 2000. And locals still looked for it based on tips because there was a high cash reward from Americans if they could get it back.

        So I don’t even know if his funeral had his body. Or it was just a memorial ceremony without it

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >The fact there’s professional psychiatrist torturers is terrifying to me.
          It's a dirty not-so-secret. From the Nazi and Soviet human experiments to the US base at Guantanamo, there have been medical and clinical professionals willing to put politics over their vows to do no harm. Occasionally they're prosecuted and punished, like the Greek junta doctor who got seven years for assisting in torture, but like most torturers they often enjoy political protection.

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Interesting detail on how these operatives had a “burn bag” for their confidential documents that in no way could fall into enemy hands. Namely names of informants or other agents in the area that would be killed if it leaked

    >They went into the bottom of the briefcase he fetched from the safe in his bedroom. Known as a "burn bag", it was intended at a twist of the key clockwise, the usual way of opening or closing a bag, to incinerate the contents by triggering flames from a ring of gas jets built into the base. after the letters, Buckley placed a number of files marked "Top Secret", "Secret" or "Confidential" in the bag. The sandwiches went on top.

    >Buckley locked the case by turning the key anti-clockwise, then attached the bag to his wrist by a bracelet fixed to a steel chain secured to the bag's handle.

    Based on the tapes later sent. The Hezbollah managed to open it without setting off the burn mechanism. Which means they likely had prior knowledge of how it worked. The whole kidnapping was very well planned out and they knew everything from his route to how to get him through Hezbollah dominated areas quickly, to opening his burn bag without activating it. This reeks of an Iran intelligence backed operation to me

    Hezbollah evidently succeded in not only securing these top secret documents. But breaking Buckley completely. He wrote a 400 page manuscript of absolutely every agent or operation he knew of. He was asking for impossible demands like the end of Israeli and American presence in the Middle East. Obviously it’s hard to know how much of his written pages were accurate.

    But at minimum we do know the burn bag documents were. Because 14 local informants for the CIA in Beirut were killed in quick succession. Clearly they were discovered after the Buckley capture and taken out.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      The most amateur part of the operation seems the attempt to knock him out with a blow to the head. Could have easily killed him and wasted the mission

      >He dead-locked the apartment door behind him and walked across the hall to the elevator. It stopped at a floor below. a man entered. He was young, well dressed and carried a leather briefcase. a few floors further down the elevator paused again. This time a woman tenant whom Buckley knew joined them. He exchanged polite greetings with her. The man did not speak.

      >at the ground floor the woman stepped out, wishing Buckley to "have a nice day", no doubt proud of her grasp of american idiom. The two men rode down to the basement garage where Buckley kept his car. Normally his embassy driver would have been waiting but this morning Buckley had decided to drive himself to his appointments. He had told no one at the embassy of this violation of security; it was an unbreakable rule that no american official nowadays travelled alone in the city.

      >as he walked towards his car, Buckley's first inkling of trouble may well have been the fierce blow from the man's briefcase to the back of his head, powerful enough to leave traces of blood and hair on the hide. The attacker dropped his bag. When it was later recovered, it was found to contain several rocks. From somewhere inside the garage a white Renault drove up. There were two men in the car, the driver and his companion in the rear. He may well have assisted Buckley's assailant to get him and the burn bag into the back of the car. With Buckley half-sprawled on the floor and the other two men squatting on top, the Renault roared out of the garage, its rear door flapping open dangerously.

      >The woman who had exchanged pleasantries with the CIa station chief moments before was standing at a bus stop near the garage exit. She glimpsed what had happened and started to scream for help.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        It was official CIA politics at the time for operatives like Buckley to ALWAYS have a driver to drive him around plus act as his bodyguard. but Buckley ignored this rule often, preferring to drive himself.

        So either Hezbollah just got lucky, but much more likely I think they’d been observing him for weeks or even months. He’d been there to try and establish an informant and local operative network after all. A white American who spoke Arabic poorly doing this would clearly spread fast in the local neighborhood.

        Likewise. The amateur nature of hitting him over the head with a briefcase full of rocks makes me think Hezbollah was behind the initial capture, but Iran and higher powered elements took charge of his torture and interrogation later as they learned how much he knew and how valuable he was.

        You can easily die from a blow like they to the back of the head. A more professional operation would’ve been much less violent to ensure he survived capture.

        Then of course. Once they’d gotten all the info out of him possible. He became useless beyond a possible trade. Which they never seemed interested to make. Either because he died or because they preferred the “humiliation” of having the Americans know they failed. Hence the videos of him naked, holding the “TOP SECRET” files in front of his genitals. And turning him into a gibberish wreck.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          For comparison a similar situation mentioned in the above source . Tucker Gougelmann who was actually Buckley friend before his capture in Vietnam back in the seventies

          >Former State Department employee, Chip Beck, recalled that within the CIa there was also a "mood that Buckley knew too much and that he could blow away a lot of people if he was forced to talk. a lot of agents were watching to see what the agency would do to get him back. There was a feeling that if Casey couldn't rescue Buckley, then no agent was safe."

          >In Langley, some of those agents remembered what had happened to Tucker Gouglemann, one of Buckley's closest friends in the CIa. They had served together in Vietnam. When the Vietcong had swept into Saigon, Gouglemann had stayed behind in the hope of bringing out his Vietnamese wife and their small child. Within days he had been arrested. Within a month he was dead from torture. It was eighteen months before the Vietcong had turned over his body to the american Red Cross.

          >Within the agency, Buckley had never tired of saying that more should have been done to rescue Gouglemann. His claim had won him no friends within the CIa hierarchy.

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Gougelmann was immediately taken into custody and kept in the main prison of the area, Chí Hòa Prison. A French reporter had witnessed his arrest and he was reportedly seen by Vietnamese prisoners in Wing ED, where he was being kept. The Vietnamese government denied that they were holding him, despite being presented with evidence to the contrary. Details of his imprisonment are limited and unconfirmed, and his treatment by the Vietnamese during his captivity is based on examination of the evidence after the fact.

            >He was removed from the prison several times to be taken for interrogation, and government officials believe he was tortured during this time. The Vietnamese government continued to deny that they were holding Gougelmann for the remainder of 1975 and 1976, but in 1977 they released his remains to U.S. authorities. Postmortem examination by U.S. government officials indicated that Gougelmann was tortured during his captivity, as evidenced primarily by a very large number of broken bones which appeared to have been broken and re-broken after healing

            Clearly the Vietcong’s interrogation methods were much more primitive. Just breaking his bones. Letting them heal. Re breaking them. His autopsy suggests he was just… tortured to death. He had nothing to tell them anyway. He was semi retired and only had stayed in Vietnam after the communists overran the south due to not wanting to leave his Vietnamese wife and child

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Gougelmann was immediately taken into custody and kept in the main prison of the area, Chí Hòa Prison. A French reporter had witnessed his arrest and he was reportedly seen by Vietnamese prisoners in Wing ED, where he was being kept. The Vietnamese government denied that they were holding him, despite being presented with evidence to the contrary. Details of his imprisonment are limited and unconfirmed, and his treatment by the Vietnamese during his captivity is based on examination of the evidence after the fact.

            >He was removed from the prison several times to be taken for interrogation, and government officials believe he was tortured during this time. The Vietnamese government continued to deny that they were holding Gougelmann for the remainder of 1975 and 1976, but in 1977 they released his remains to U.S. authorities. Postmortem examination by U.S. government officials indicated that Gougelmann was tortured during his captivity, as evidenced primarily by a very large number of broken bones which appeared to have been broken and re-broken after healing

            Clearly the Vietcong’s interrogation methods were much more primitive. Just breaking his bones. Letting them heal. Re breaking them. His autopsy suggests he was just… tortured to death. He had nothing to tell them anyway. He was semi retired and only had stayed in Vietnam after the communists overran the south due to not wanting to leave his Vietnamese wife and child

            >Free ticket out of Saigon that men would kill for? No thanks. The CIA is a friend of the people, I'll be fine
            what the fricking frick was this moron thinking? American spooks are Uganda tier

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            He was a boomer with a Vietnamese wife and kid he wanted to get out.

            He either didnt understand how much the Vietcong hated them at that point and would imprison and torture him regardless of the fact he wasn’t actually an operative and was effectively retired. Or he was too scared to leave his family there and send for them later. Even though I’m pretty sure they’d have been fine.

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            What a failure. What kind of spy sets up housekeeping in an unstable puppet state and then procrastinates leaving until the communists take him from the door of his house?

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Implying the CIA doesn’t torture people like this

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