William King "Bill" Harvey (September 13, 1915 in Danville, Indiana - June 1976) was a Central Intelligence Agency officer, best known for his role in Operation Mongoose. He was known as "America's James Bond."

Harvey was the son of Sara King Harvey, professor at Indiana State Teachers College in Terre Haute, now Indiana State University. He graduated from Wiley High School in Terre Haute in 1931, eventually enrolling at Indiana University, then graduating from Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington. He married the daughter of a lawyer from Maysville, Kentucky but, after that marriage ended in divorce, joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in December 1940. He resigned from the FBI in July 1947 after breaking an FBI regulation and refusing a resulting re-assignment to Indianapolis. Peter Wright of MI5 writes in his book Spycatcher that Harvey was sacked by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for drunkenness. He joined the CIA shortly thereafter where his FBI knowledge proved to be invaluable. Along with James Angleton, he became one of the foremost operatives in the secret war against the KGB during the Cold War.

Operation Mongoose was a CIA operation run from Miami, Florida, that enlisted the help of the Mafia to plot an assassination attempt against Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution. Harvey was one of the case officers who dealt with John Roselli.[1]

Harvey was also posted to West Berlin as Chief of Base in the 1950s, where he led the operation that built an underground tunnel to the Soviet sector, to spy on their communication channels. This operation was called PBJOINTLY.

Harvey died in 1976 from a heart attack. The previous year he testified before the Church Committee on some of the CIA's past operations.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

  • Bayard Stockton (2006). Flawed Patriot: The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey. Dulles: Potomac Books. 

In fiction[edit | edit source]

  • In Robert Littell's novel The Company, the character Harvey Torritti (portrayed by Alfred Molina in the 2007 miniseries adaptation) bears a number of resemblances to the real-life Bill Harvey. Torriti served at the FBI before joining CIA, after being fired by J. Edgar Hoover for wearing a loosened tie at FBI headquarters. Torriti also serves as the station chief in Berlin in the early 1950s, as a mentor to the major character Jack McAullife. During this part of the novel, Harvey Torritti has an antagonistic relationship with real-life CIA counterintelligence chief, James Angleton over his suspicion that Kim Philby, a wartime friend of Angleton, was a Soviet mole. Further in the novel, Harvey Torritti acts as the cutout between the CIA and Mafia for the latter to assassinate Fidel Castro, on behalf of the former. Exiled to Rome by Robert F. Kennedy, he recruited the gunman who later executed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963. (source H. Hunt)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jack Anderson (1971-01-18). "6 Attempts to Kill Castro Laid to CIA". The Washington Post. 

External links[edit | edit source]

pl:William King Harvey

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