Victor L. Marchetti, Jr. (born December 23, 1929) is a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a prominent paleoconservative critic of the United States Intelligence Community and the Israel lobby in the United States.
While serving as an active-duty American soldier, Marchetti was recruited into the intelligence agencies in 1952 during the Cold War to engage in espionage against East Germany. Marchetti joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1955, working as a specialist on the USSR. He was a leading CIA expert on Third World aid, with a focus on USSR military supplies to Cuba after the end of the Kennedy administration.
In 1966 Marchetti was promoted to the office of special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting, and a special assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms. Within three years Marchetti became disillusioned with the policies and practices of the CIA, and resigned in 1969, writing an exposé of the CIA in a book published in 1971 entitled The Rope Dancer.
Later Marchetti published books critical of the CIA with author John D. Marks. The books included, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1973). Before this book was published, the CIA demanded that Marchetti remove 399 passages, but Marchetti resisted and only 168 passages were censored. It is the first book the federal government of the United States ever went to court to censor before its publication. The publisher (Alfred A. Knopf) chose to publish the book with blanks for censored passages and with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored. The publication of this book was one of the events that led to the establishment of the Church Committee by Frank Church.
In 1976 Marchetti published Foreign and Military Intelligence and in 1978 he published an article about the JFK assassination in the far-right newspaper of the Liberty Lobby, The Spotlight. Marchetti, a proponent of the organized crime and the CIA conspiracy theory, claimed that the House Select Committee on Assassinations revealed a CIA memo from 1966 that named E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Gerry Patrick Hemming in the JFK assassination. Marchetti also claimed that Marita Lorenz offered sworn testimony to confirm this.
In 1981, E. Howard Hunt sued the Liberty Lobby and Marchetti for defamation and won $650,000 in damages. Liberty Lobby appealed the case with lawyer, Mark Lane. Marchetti, Liberty Lobby and Lane won the appeal in 1995. Lane wrote a book, Plausible Denial, to describe the unfolding of that historic trial.
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Berlet, Chip. "Populist Party/Liberty Lobby Recruitment of Anti-CIA Critics". Political Research Associates. Archived from the original on 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Marchetti, Victor (1971). The Rope Dancer. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 978-0-448-02460-8.
- Marchetti, Victor; Marks, John D. (1974). The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-48239-2.