The Edwin P. Wilson and Frank Terpil Cases


Included here:

1. Frank Terpil

2. Edwin P. Wilson

3. New Evidence in Wilson Case (1999-2000)

4. Wilson's 1983 Conviction Thrown Out (2003)

5. Wilson Sues (2005)


1. Frank Terpil

Lloyd, Richard. Beyond the CIA: The Frank Terpil Story. New York: Seaver, 1983.

Wilcox: "Account of renegade CIA agent who turned on the agency and on his country."

2. Edwin P. Wilson

Edwin P. Wilson died on 10 September 2012. Associated Press, "Edwin Wilson, Former CIA Operative Convicted of Selling Arms to Libya, Dies at 84." 22 Sep. 2012.

Epstein, Edward Jay. "Edwin Wilson: The CIA's Great Gatsby." Parade Magazine, 18 Sep. 1983. [The online version has a note stating that the article was updated in October 2004.] []

Goulden, Joseph C.

1. "The Mercenary Life." Intelligence Quarterly 1, no. 2 (1985): 1-4.

2. "The Rogue of Rogues." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 76-82.

Goulden argues for a law requiring former intelligence officials, civilian or military, to report for five years after leaving the government for whom they are working and the nature of their duties. Writers certainly are expected come up with "solutions" to the problems they raise; nevertheless, Goulden's argument does not have either the force of practicality or necessity on its side.

3. with Alexander W. Raffio Death Merchant: The Rise and Fall of Edwin P. Wilson. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984.

Clark comment: Wilson had a CIA contract job 1955-1971 and a contract with ONI's Task Force 157 1971-1976. The illicit dealings with Libya, for which he was eventually convicted, did not begin until after 1976. Lowenthal reminds us that Death Merchant "is based largely on interviews with former Wilson associates." Pforzheimer calls the book "a well-written, carefully researched account."

Maas, Peter. Manhunt: The Incredible Pursuit of a CIA Agent Turned Terrorist. New York: Random House, 1986. New York: Jove Books, 1987. [pb]

Miller, IJI&C 3.3 says that Maas tells the "story of how prosecuting attorney E. Lawrence Barcella, Jr. tracked down Edwin P. Wilson ... skillfully and well"; this is a "good read at any level."

Quade, Vicki. "Graymail Law Challenged in Two CIA Cases." American Bar Association Journal 68 (Oct. 1982): 1209-1210.

3. New Evidence in Wilson Case

Materials arranged chronologically.

Silverstein, Ken. "Even Spooks Have Rights." The Nation, 4 Oct. 1999, 20-24.

Discusses alleged prosecutorial misconduct -- the use of false testimony -- in the Wilson case.

Loeb, Vernon. "Back Channels: The Intelligence Community -- Never Mind." Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2000, A21. []

"Nearly 17 years after former CIA officer and arms merchant Edwin P. Wilson was convicted of smuggling 20 tons of high explosives to Libya, the Justice Department conceded in a motion filed last week that a critical government affidavit used to convict Wilson was inaccurate."

A follow-up report, Vernon Loeb, "Declassified Memo Bolsters Wilson's Case," Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2000, A13, notes that "[a] newly declassified legal memorandum shows that CIA attorneys had serious reservations about the accuracy of a key agency affidavit used to convict former CIA operative Edwin P. Wilson in 1983 on arms smuggling charges and they repeatedly asked a prosecutor not to use the document."

A later report, Vernon Loeb, "Fallout From a CIA Affidavit," Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2000, A1, discusses the Wilson case in considerable detail and the potential impact of the inaccurate affidavit.

Hoppin, Jason. "DOJ Admits False Data on Ex-Agent." National Law Journal, 12 Jun. 2000, A9.

The author discusses Wilson's claim that an affidavit submitted late in his trial by the CIA Executive Director was false and that top Justice Department officials knew that it false before the case was concluded.

4. Wilson's 1983 Conviction Thrown Out

Materials arranged chronologically.

Priest, Dana. "False Evidence Cited in Overturning Arms Dealer's Case." Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2003, A16. []

A federal judge in Houston has overturned Edwin P. Wilson's 1983 conviction for selling explosives to Libya, "saying the Justice Department 'knowingly used false evidence against him' and suppressed the fact that the CIA had employed him to trade weapons or explosives with Libya in exchange for sophisticated Soviet military equipment." Wilson "will not be freed because he is serving lengthy sentences for two other convictions -- selling firearms to Libya without permission and conspiring from prison to have prosecutors and witnesses against him killed." See also, Douglas Jehl, "Ex-C.I.A. Man Wins Verdict Reversal," New York Times, 30 Oct. 2003.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Fair Trial for a Rogue." 13 Nov. 2003, A30. []

"[R]ecently a federal judge in Texas threw out one of [Edwin Paul] Wilson's convictions.... In the main, the decision by U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes seems a justified response to astonishing prosecutorial misconduct.... But Judge Hughes does not stop there. He seems as well to validate the substance of the former spy's trial defense and even compares him to Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Such victimhood Mr. Wilson's history will not bear."

Associated Press. "Case Against Ex-CIA Agent Is Dismissed." 7 Feb. 2004, A8. []

On 6 February 2004, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes dismissed an indictment against Edwin Wilson, "after prosecutors decided they would not pursue a retrial.... Wilson is jailed at a federal penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., on two other convictions. He will be eligible for release this fall."

Carlson, Peter. "International Man of Mystery: The Ex-CIA Agent and Current Convict Has Many Stories To Tell. Some May Even Be True." Washington Post, 22 Jun. 2004, A1. []

Interview with Edwin Wilson at Allenwood Federal Prison Camp. Wilson "looks surprisingly good for a 76-year-old man who has spent the past 22 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement.... Wilson is scheduled to be released from prison Sept. 14."

5. Wilson Sues

Zagorin, Adam. "A Rogue's Revenge." Time, 19 Dec. 2005, 63.

Edwin Wilson "has filed a lawsuit in a Houston federal court" against the prosecutors who sent him to prison for 22 years. He continues to claim that "his foreign crimes were committed at least implicitly under the direction and authority of the CIA."

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