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Duane R. Clarridge

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Duane R. "Dewey" Clarridge is a former 30+ year employee of the CIA. His late in career postings included chief of the Latin American Division (1981-1984), chief of the European Division, and chief of the Counterterrorism Center. He retired from the CIA in 1987 after being formally reprimanded for his role in the Iran-Contra affair." [1]

The NSA Archive conducted many interviews to aid in the production of CNN's 1999 Series: The Cold War Experience. They have published the transcripts of these interviews on their website. Clarridge was interviewed for Episode 18: Backyard, which first aired Februray 21, 1999.

Clarridge is adamently unapolegetic for his role in Latin American Countries' internal workings during the Reagan administration. His NSA interview started with a rousing affirmation of CIA covert action, and grounded its justification with the United States' historical precedents of active interventionism in the countries affairs of all the Americas when it was perceived t be in the USA's interests, first stated as the Monroe Doctrine, but exanded in the ensuing 150+ years after:

"I think you need to look at what happened to the Monroe Doctrine between let's say 1840 and say 1903. In that period the Monroe Doctrine received different interpretations which led the Americans to take the stance that they could intervene in Latin American countries where the behavior of the particular country either internally to its own people, or externally was unacceptable to the United States. Now this is pretty sporty, and that was known as the Teddy Roosevelt corollary; and you take that plus Monroe saying ‘We aren't gonna have any monarchies in Latin America’ which was part of his declaration which became the Monroe dogma." [2]

He defended his act of mining the harbor of Nicuaragra in 1984 as being both his duty as an Agency employee directed by the USA's President, and a proper act against a Soviet leaning Latin American Country looking to export Communism by acts of war upon their neighbors, aided with Russian arms that had been proxied by Bulgaria:

"by the early fall of 83, we had begun to go after the oil supply. The pipeline that was in the ocean, whether it was Soviet or Mexican ships would fill up, I, we were unsuccessful okay? So we decided to go big time for the economics alright; at some point in January. Reagan and the whole membership of the NSPG was meeting in about the middle of January of 1984, and put a lot of heat on me to get on with this thing. Alright? So they authorized me to increase the number of troops I had. Well thank you very much, but I didn't have any more money...So you know, and besides more troops up in the mountains, because they couldn't go down into the plains, because they had been shot up by the tanks in artillery, didn't help me. So I - was sitting at home one night, frankly having a glass of gin, and I said you know the mines has gotta be the solution. I knew we had 'em, we'd made 'em outta sewer pipe and we had the good fusing system on them and we were ready. And you know they wouldn't really hurt anybody because they just weren't that big a mine, alright? Yeah, with luck; bad luck, we might hurt somebody, but pretty hard you know? So...and I knew their export season was coming up. The Sandinistas desperately needed to get the hard currency for their exports to pay off their bank loans, so this was a time to put the mines into Corinto. They've only got one harbor that counts, and at the same time, make sure we notify Lloyds of London, the mines have gone in, so hopefully they put pressure on the shipping companies of the world to stay outta there. Well it worked" - .[3]

Bio

  • 1953 - Brown University, BA, American Civilization (interdepartmental)
  • 1955 - Columbia, Russian Institute, MS
  • 1955-87 - CIA

Publications

  • Duane R. Clarridge and Digby Diehl, "A Spy For All Seasons : My Life in the CIA", Scribner, 2002, ISBN 0743245369

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links