Victor Marchetti

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This article is about a CIA employee and author. For the Argentinian footballer, see Víctor Marchetti.

Victor L. Marchetti, Jr. (born December 23, 1929)[1] 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.[2]

Early life[edit]

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.

Central Intelligence Agency[edit]

Marchetti's application for employment in the Central Intelligence Agency was accepted on October 3, 1955.[3] On that day, he signed an oath stating that he would not divulge any classified information that he gleaned while employed at the CIA.[3] Marchetti worked 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.[citation needed]

In 1966, Marchetti was promoted to the office of special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting, and special assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms. Among other projects with which he was involved, Marchetti worked on setting up the Pine Gap satellite ground station near Alice Springs in Central Australia.[4] Within three years, Marchetti became disillusioned with the policies and practices of the CIA. On September 2, 1969, Marchetti resigned from the CIA, signing a second secrecy oath.[3]

Afterwards, Marchetti wrote an exposé of the CIA in a book published in 1971 entitled The Rope Dancer.[5]


Later Marchetti published books critical of the CIA with author John D. Marks. The books included, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1973).[6] Before this book was published, the CIA demanded that Marchetti remove 399 passages, but Marchetti resisted and only 168 passages were censored.[7][non-primary source needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b c Kilpatrick, James (July 4, 1972). "Reflections On A Falstaffian Query On Honor". Ocala Star-Banner. 28. Ocala, Florida. p. 6A. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ Pilger, John, A Secret Country, Vintage Books, London, 1992, ISBN 9780099152316, pp. 185, 197-98, 210, 216, 225, 353, 362.
  5. ^ Marchetti, Victor (1971). The Rope Dancer. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 978-0-448-02460-8. 
  6. ^ Marchetti, Victor; Marks, John D. (1974). The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-48239-2. 
  7. ^ Marchetti, Victor and John D. Marks. 1974. "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence." New York, NY: Dell Publishing Co., Inc.