The CIA Book of Honor — Yahoo News reveals Names of 4 Stars

“The Memorial Wall features 135 stars to honor officers who gave their lives in service to their country. This month, we will celebrate those lives by highlighting their contributions to CIA’s mission.”

CIA Twitter — (September 9, 2020 — 6:00 PM]

“As Tropical Storm Higos [September 2008] blew in from the Pacific, Stephen Stanek, a covert CIA operative, faced a decision. It was time to either cancel the operation he was running or go forward with it. The storm was barreling through the Philippines but was then projected to veer north and miss their area of operation.”

The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back. — Yahoo News (September 19 2020)

“There have been only two kinds of CIA secret operations: the ones that are widely known to have failed—usually because of almost unbelievably crude errors—and the ones that are not yet widely known to have failed.”

Edward Luttwak

The Memorial Wall is a memorial at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It honors CIA employees who died in the line of service. There are 135 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall.

September 21 2020 — In an amazing scoop, Yahoo News has revealed the names of 4 CIA officers who died in a September 2008 mission. The story raises several issues that I would like to point out. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 21 2019) — [UPDATE : 135 STARS?]

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A special page  “CIA Book of Honor” has been created. This will allow you to find easily the references to the stars we have already written about. I will try to keep this page up to date.

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Yahoo News reported a very interesting story this week end. Yahoo News has reported very good stories about the CIA in the past and I have no reason to doubt this new scoop.

However, one piece of information they published is very dubious.

“In 2008, six anonymous stars were added to the wall. Four of them belong to Stephen Stanek, Michael Perich, Jamie McCormick and Daniel Meeks.”

Intel Today would like to make 3 comments.

First comment — As the readers of Intel Today know, I have built a timeline of the CIA Memorial Wall post 9/11.

According to this timeline, it is clearly not true that six anonymous stars were added to the wall in 2008.

My work is certainly not perfect. In this game, you do the best you can with the information available to you. Still, the timeline is almost certainly ‘about’ right.

Assuming that the story is true, these FOUR anonymous stars could NOT have been added in 2008. FULL STOP!

Wesley Morgan is a military affairs reporter who most recently covered the Pentagon for two and a half years at Politico. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C., Iraq, and Afghanistan, contributing stories to The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic and other publications. He is an alumnus of Princeton University. [The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley]

On September 19 2020, Morgan wrote to Intel Today:

“The CIA announced the addition of 2 stars in the May 2007-June 2008 period, 1 in the June 2008-June 2009 period, and 12 in the June 2009-June 2010 period (incl. the 7 killed in the Khost bombing). Guessing the stars for those lost in this 2008 maritime mission came in 2009-10.”

As I replied, I simply do not know. Nevertheless, I can say that these stars could only have been added in 2010, 2013, 2017 or 2018. [NB: The last possibility is interesting because the mistake could be a ‘typo’…]

And by the way… From 2008 to this year, there never was a year when six anonymous stars were added to the wall.

Second comment — Again, assuming that the story is true, it would mean that at least 20 stars added to the wall since 9/11 died in accidents, 16 of them in travel accidents.

CIA historians believe that it was not the purpose of the Memorial Wall to honor people who died in accidents.

Third comment — Finally, and once again assuming that the story is true, this operation reveals once more the utter incompetence of a CIA group leader.

Last year, the CIA was granted a new law that makes it a crime to reveal the identity of any of their officers. This story demonstrates why it is wrong to gag the press.

The American people have the right to know what is wrong with the Central Intelligence Agency. And they have a lot to learn…

TIMELINE : 2001 to 2020

July 1974 — The Memorial Wall is created. 31 stars chiseled into the marble.

1987 —  First Memorial Ceremony is held with Deputy Director Robert M. Gates presiding. The number of stars on the wall has grown to 50.

1997 — 70 stars. 29 of which had names

On June 8 2001, the CIA formally commemorated the 78th star on its Memorial Wall, honoring former Agency officer Tucker Gougelmann, who died in Vietnam in the summer of 1976 after 11 months of torture.

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 78 : Tucker Gougelmann

2002 — CIA Memorial Ceremony May 31 2002 — 1 new star (79)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 79 : Johnny Micheal Spann

2003 (?) —  1 new star (80)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 80 : Helge Philipp Boes

2004 — CIA Memorial Ceremony 2004 — 3 new stars (83)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 81 : Gregg Wenzel

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Stars 82 & 83 : Christopher Glenn Mueller and William “Chief” Carlson

2005 — No ceremony

2006 — No ceremony

2007 — CIA Memorial Ceremony 2007 — 4 new stars (87)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 84 : James McGrath (October 24, 1927 – January 1957)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 85 : Stephen Kasarda (c. 1930 – May 1 1960)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 86 : Gregory R. Wright (June 29 1973 – December 7 2005)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 87 : Rachel A. Dean (April 10 1981 – September 30 2006)

2008 — 2 new stars (89)

2009 — 1 new star  (90)

2010 — CIA Memorial Ceremony June 7 2010 — 12 new stars (102)

Five of the new stars honor those who have died in recent years while engaged in clandestine assignments.

Seven of the 12 new stars honor those killed in December 2009 in eastern Afghanistan.

91 — Harold Brown Jr.

92 — Elizabeth Hanson

RELATED POST: Ten Years Ago — Remembering CIA Elizabeth Hanson ( February 14 1979 – December 30 2009 )

93 — Darren LaBonte

94 — Jennifer Matthews

RELATED POST: Ten Years Ago — Remembering CIA Jennifer Matthews ( December 6 1964 – December 30 2009 )

95 — Dane Clark Paresi

96 — Scott Michael Roberson

97 — Jeremy Wise

98, 99, 100, 101, & 102– Classified

2011 — No Ceremony (?)

2012 — 1 new star (103)

103 — Jeffrey R. Patneau

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 103 : Jeffrey R. Patneau [Yemen — September 29 2008]

2013 —  4 new stars (107 )

104, 105, 106 & 107 — Classified

2014 — May 19 2014— 4 new stars (111) — Memorial Wall’s 40th anniversary

108 — Classified [known to be Glen A. Doherty]

109  — Classified [known to be Tyrone S. Woods]

110  — Classified

111 — Classified [known to be Ranya Abdelsayed]

RELATED POST: CIA Memorial Wall — The Mysterious Star : Ranya Abdelsayed (April 28 1979 – August 28 2013)

2015 — May 18 2015 — 2 new stars (113)

112 — Classified [known to be Nathan Chapman]

113 — Classified

2016 — CIA Memorial Ceremony May 2016 — 4 new stars (117)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 114 : James “Pete” McCarthy

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 115 : Marcell Rene Gough (1965)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 116 : Ksawery “Bill” Wyrozemski (1967)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 117 : Charles Mayer (1968)

2017 — CIA Memorial Ceremony May 2017 — 8 new stars (125)

118 — David W. Bevan (Aug. 13, 1961)

119 — Darrell A. Eubanks (Aug. 13, 1961)

120 — John S. Lewis (Aug. 13, 1961)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Stars 118, 119 & 120 : David W. Bevan, Darrell A. Eubanks, and John S. Lewis

121 — Mark S. Rausenberger (The circumstances of his death remain classified.)

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Star 121 : Mark S. Rausenberger (November 7, 1967 – May 23, 2016)

122, 123, 124 & 125 — Classified

2018 — CIA Memorial Ceremony May 2018 — 4 new stars (129)

126, 127, 128 & 129 — Classified

2019 — CIA Memorial Ceremony May 2019 — 4 new stars (133)

130 — Daniel Dennett

131 — John Creech

132 & 133 — Classified

RELATED POST: The CIA Book of Honor — Stars 130 & 131 : Daniel Dennett and John Creech [Ethiopia — March 20, 1947]

2020 — No ceremony(?) — 2 new stars (135)

Statistics by cause since 9/11

Killed in combat :: 79 – 82 – 83 – 86 = (4)

Training exercise :: 80 = (1)

Travel accidents :: 81 – 87 – 103 – 114 – 115 – 116 – 117 – 118 – 119  – 120  – 130 – 131 = (12)

Other accidents :: 84 (electrocuted) – 85 (electrocuted) = (2)

Classified :: 121 = (1)

These statistics only include the list of stars I have discussed so far.

REFERENCES

The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back. — Yahoo News (September 19 2020)

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The CIA Book of Honor — Yahoo News reveals Names of 4 Stars

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