Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Remembering The CIA's Heroes: William F. Buckley
This is part of our series about CIA employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Here we will look at the lives of the men and women who have died while serving their country.
Currently, there are 113 stars carved into the marble of the CIA Memorial Wall. The wall stands as a silent, simple memorial to those employees “who gave their lives in the service of their country.” The CIA has released the names of 80 employees; the names of the remaining 33 officers must remain secret, even in death.
William F. Buckley, a legendary Agency officer, died on June 3, 1985 after enduring 14 months in terrorist custody. Bill was abducted in Beirut, Lebanon, which set off one of the most grueling periods in the CIA’s history. His legacy of bravery and resolve has inspired Agency officers who have followed in his footsteps.
Bill joined the CIA after distinguishing himself during the Korean War as Company Commander with the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. His heroism was on full display when he captured a North Korean machine gun nest, an act of valor that earned him a Silver Star. His military valor also earned him two Purple Hearts, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and a Combat Infantry Badge, among other awards.
Life at CIA:
Elements of Bill’s career at the CIA remain classified, but he was one of the first Agency officers to grasp the growing threat from international terrorism. In the late 1970s, for example, Bill helped develop the Incident Response Team and the Counterterrorism Group, the forerunner to today’s Counterterrorism Center. His assignments took him around the globe, as there was no mission that Bill would turn down.
It came as no surprise to Bill’s colleagues that he volunteered to serve as the CIA Station Chief in Lebanon following the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing, the deadliest attack in CIA history.
Underscoring his bravery, Bill took the assignment acutely aware of Beirut's high threat environment, which had included credible threats against other US officials posted there. Bill immediately brought energy and focus to the primary mission: countering the terrorists that had taken the lives of several CIA colleagues, as well as State Department and Military counterparts.
You can read the rest of the story via the below link: