11 March 1996
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Fax 202 456 2461
Mr. John Deutch
Director of CIA
Washington, D.C. 20505
Fax 703 482 6790
Herndon Town Council
P.O. Box 427
Herndon, VA 22070
My name is Ralph McGehee and I am a twenty-five year decorated veteran of
the CIA and a critic. My primary effort in this regard is a computer data
base, CIABASE. The below letter was posted on Internet today - a measure
I reluctantly take in order to defend myself from efforts by local police,
especially the Herndon Police, to apparently implicate me in some crime.
The level of effort directed at me has increased substantially in the last
few weeks -- and I ask that these actions be halted.
I over the last few years have made similar appeals with no action taken
in my defense. I appealed to Mary Pecora, of the U.S. Office of Special
Counsel (File no. MA-95-2196), only to be advised that she believed me but
the CIA was exempt from the Counsel's authority.
In October of last year there was an effort at Fair Oaks Mall to "catch
me" as the exit door alarm sounded just as I entered the exit area.
I veered away fearing to exit, only to be confronted by an angry, apparent
Due to a medical problem, I have in the last couple of weeks availed myself
of the Jacuzzi at the Herndon Community Center. On my second visit a Herndon
policeman came into the locker room and advised me that he would, "catch
me later." Yesterday shortly after I entered the center two apparent
plain clothes police (one forgot to turn off his portable radio that began
broadcasting) entered the area and focused their attentions on me and probably
set a trap. A number of recent incidents in the local K Mart have made me
avoid that establishment.
It is impossible to enter commercial establishments in Fairfax and Loudon
Counties without being the subject immediate interest by the store security
services. In my defense I have begun -- just as I enter an establishment
- to explain to the spotter that I am a critic of the CIA and that it is
slandering me and this is the reason for (whatever) notice that have re
me. For bona fides, I hand them a brochure of CIABASE.
In the past I have addressed letters to both you Mr. President and to you
Mr. Deutch about this situation. I was advised by Lee S. Stickland, Chief
Information, Privacy and Classification Review of the CIA, that his office
would conduct an FOIA search but that I would have to wait my turn. From
others I know that it takes around three years for action on a request.
In any case it is extremely doubtful that the responsible Agency office(s)
would make a written record of its illegal operations.
The actions against me began in the summer of 1993, shortly after a review
of CIABASE appeared in the journals of AFIO and NMIA. It soon thereafter
became obvious that my phone was tapped and that local commercial establishments
had been warned about me. When I made my knowledge of the tap obvious, the
tap was used as much for harassment as monitoring. I have also received
an implicit phone threat and was surveillied on a trip to Maine.
Since I have the written approval of the CIA to distribute my data base
-- it uses only non-classified material -- the actions taken against me
by the CIA are in violation of United States law.
Do you Mr. Deutch wish to be the medium for violations of law? Has not your
Agency disgraced itself enough without adding this crime to its record?
Do you Mr. President allow your executive branch to operate illegally without
taking action? Do you members of the Herndon Town Council, allow your police
force to act as vigilantes and are you willing to accept the consequences
of its actions?
I request that addressees take appropriate action and advise me of the results.
422 Arkansas Avenue
Herndon, VA, 22070
The below is from a posting of 15 July 1995 in response to a number of requests
for specific details of the actions taken against me.
Ralph McGehee 3/16/96
A number of people have contacted me about my postings re harassment and
have asked for specific examples. Below I provide that information. Please
note that I list specific individuals and organizations -- all of which
My name is Ralph W. McGehee and I am a 25 year veteran of the CIA and a
severe critic of the CIA and compiler of the data base - CIABASE. I live
in Herndon, Virginia, a bedroom community for the CIA's Headquarters as
well as the location of several CIA office buildings. Following comprehensive
reviews of my computer data base on the CIA in "The Intelligence,"
a publication of the pro-CIA veterans lobbying group - Association of Former
Intelligence Officers (AFIO); and, the magazine of the National Military
Intelligence Association, "NMIA Newsletter," an organization of
generally retired military intelligence officers, in July 1993, I have been
subjected to an investigation/harassment operation.
Over the last two years I wrote a number of letters to the FBI and the CIA
complaining of harassment. The FBI responded a few weeks ago and said they
were not investigating or harassing me and that I should direct my enquiries
to another government agency.
The first observable event happened in August 1993 just after the two aforementioned
reviews of CIABASE had been published. (This incident was followed in rapid
succession by a series of other harassments). In early August 1993, I entered
the super market at Reston's Lake Anne area, gathered a few things and went
to the check out counter. The two female checkout clerks were not there
but soon arrived. I tried to pay for the food but the clerks kept stalling
until apparently the manager and another male came and stood by the checkout
clerk focusing their attention on me. When finally permitted to pay for
the food and as I started to leave the manager stepped directly in front
of me as if to confront me. I thought this was quite strange but thought
they may have suspected me of being a shoplifter and were checking me out.
About a year later I went back to the supermarket (now closed) and asked
the same cashier why they acted as they did. She denied any such action.
A day or so after that, I was in Staples in Herndon and the store was nearly
void of customers. As I entered Aisle 3 the loudspeaker told an employee
to go to aisle 3. As I went to check out two employees apparently from the
manager's office stood and watched me. The reason for this I could not fathom
except again that they may have suspected me of shoplifting. There have
been two or three similar incidents in this store over the next two years.
The manager and other employees of this store are a checkable resource.
I did confront the manager in about May this year but he denied my accusations.
On about the first week of September, I went to Giant's supermarket in Herndon,
bought a few things and as I tried to check out a Giant employee came up
immediately behind me in the two-person line. By now becoming upset at this
procedure I left the line and went to the next one. As I was driving on
the road in front of Giant's, a car in a parking aisle that was facing front
sped out of the space and came directly towards my truck. I had to swerve
to avoid being hit. Later I saw that Giant employee park his vehicle in
the same spot as the threatening vehicle - it appeared to be the same vehicle.
Again in September on a Sunday, I went in to Super Fresh in Herndon, bought
two items and went to the checkout counter. The manager came immediately
to stand beside the cashier who told him to go away as she could "handle
this." This latter employee I believe still works a Super Fresh.
On the 23th of September 1993, I planned to go with a friend to the afternoon
showing of "Demolition Man," at Worldgate in Herndon. I went to
the ticket window and a male came up and said they were closed, I could
not fathom this as the theater was operating at full capacity. I stood there
and he repeated that they were closed. Finally as I stood there and as the
line behind me began to grow, he deigned to sell me a ticket. I entered
and handed my ticket to a ticket-collector who seemed upset to see me and
asked "what is your name." As the film ended and the viewers exited
we had to walk through a narrow cordon of velvet ropes where a number of
theater employees were standing eyeing those leaving including a large black
man wearing a police or security-type jacket. This type of cordon is the
first time this has ever happened to me in that theater. What is particularly
upsetting about this event is that the employees all seemed to have been
prepared in advance for my appearance. This of course is a very checkable
event. All that needs to be done is to get the work sheets for that day
and interview those on duty at the time.
From mid-October to mid-December 1993, I went bicycling about six times
on the bike trail and parked my truck in the small parking lot across the
street from the Herndon Golf Course. I went biking for approximately two
and a half hours on each occasion. On three of the occasions when I returned,
an occupied Herndon police car was the only other vehicle in the parking
lot. The police car was facing the empty ball field - not the street. On
one other occasion there was an occupied car next to the police car - I
could not determine if this was an unmarked police car.
In Manassas at about this time I went with my wife, Norma, to get some glasses.
The manager - after we went back to pick up the glasses - said nastily "Why
don't you go home." He loudly proclaimed uncomplimentary information
about my wife. We were both quite upset. Manassas is some 15 to 20 miles
from Herndon - apparently word on me was wide-spread or was being disseminated
based on phone taps or house bugs.
In about mid-December 1993, I went to the Book Alcove in Hunters Woods Plaza
in Reston where I have often gone and purchased many used books from their
excellent collection of books on intelligence. I spent a lot of time looking
over their collection on intelligence and more on their art collection.
When I turned around I saw immediately outside the window near where I was
looking over the Art books, a person wearing a "police" or "security"
jacket who was eyeing me. As I left he made sure to enter the door as I
opened it and made a point of addressing me.
On Saturday the 7th of January 1994, I went with a friend to a clothing
store - Nachman's - on its announced last day of operation. A car with an
older black man was sitting across the rear of cars pulled into a convenience
store next to Nachman's. I parked across the street and as I and my friend
crossed in front of the apparently parked car - it leaped forward and struck
me a glancing blow. The car had stopped just before it would have struck
my friend. I did not report it as I was not hurt and I feared that the Herndon
police who also had been harassing me would not be objective. My friend
can attest to this incident. I am not suggesting that this was part of the
harassment - merely a consequence of the distribution of derogatory information
about me in the general geographic area of Herndon/Reston and Tysons Corner.
On 16 January 1994, about 3 p.m., I entered the nearly empty Jamesway Store
at Herndon Junction. I shopped for about 10 minutes when the loud speaker
announced that security should go to section 2 - an employee came hurrying
up behind me, made a comment in my ear, and then went down an adjacent aisle.
As I continued toward the front of the store - the loud speaker announcement
said security should go to Section 5.
In about July 1994, after making telephone arrangements, two members of
the Covert Action Working Group, visited my home. Just prior to their arrival
at about 12 noon, two Herndon police cars pulled up and double-parked on
the narrow street in front of my house. The two cars sat there for 20 minutes
to a half hour and the police in the cars seemed to be looking in through
my picture window. The two members of the group remember seeing the police
cars there - this is a checkable resource.
I later speculated on the arrival of the two police cars just minutes before
the two members were scheduled to arrive. We had discussed meeting arrangements
over the phone - this and a number of other events led me to the conclusion
that my phone was tapped.
About two weeks after the visit by the two Herndon Police cars, another
Herndon police car sat across from my house as I installed a bike rack on
the back of my truck. After finishing, I put the bike on the rack and just
as I opened the door to get in the truck the police car started his motor.
After this obvious warning I wrote letters to the Town Council and police
harassment stopped for some time. I asked the Town Council to advise me
of their determination re the police harassment - they have never responded
- this is an easy-to-check resource.
After the Herndon Police temporarily stopped their harassments, civilians
in a number of vehicles and situations apparently assumed their task. Since
the various Faixfax County police forces work in close coordination with
the CIA and receive training and support from the CIA - I suspect they had
been used by the Agency and when the Herndon police were ordered to stop
by the Town Council - then the CIA's Office of Security stepped up the "investigation."
On several occasions as I biked on the nearby bike trail, I suspected surveillance
- once especially when I approached Partlow's store in Ashburn, a man on
a bike with a radio-phone reported my position as I passed by. On a number
of other occasions persons on the trail whom I was not really looking at
- shouted at me as if to draw attention to the fact that I was their target.
A number of what appeared to be surveillance vehicles also parked in the
golf course parking lot across the street from the small parking lot I use.
I speculated on how I was being harassed at various stores when I had only
announced to my wife where I was going - and was alert for vehicular surveillance
and noticed none. To test my theory that the house was bugged I shouted
out that I was going to Kmart and instead went to Caldors across town. I
shopped unmolested for about a half an hour and left. As I left, a well-dressed
young white male in a discreetly marked yet obvious commercial van, sped
up jumped out and recorded obvious and visible dismay when he saw me. I
repeated this process a number of times with occasionally similar results.
I believe that the harassment developed a process wherein store managers
or personnel when they saw me, called a number - either of the CIA's Office
of Security and/or the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)
and that a person or persons are frequently dispatched to try and arrange
for a harassment action. If that is not possible, then the store personnel
-- who have obviously been provided derogatory information about me, on
occasion take action on their own.
A number of incidents in the local Kmart - all initiated by supposed Kmart
personnel - and my confronting the manager over them forced me to avoid
that store for about a year. A number of unpleasant incidents at the nearby
McDonalds, and 7/11 has forced me to stop going to those stores.
On 2 October 1994, I went to COMP USA on Route 7 near Vienna, Virginia.
As I finished making my purchases the security man at the door walked toward
me militantly and pulled my cart away from me. This special treatment seemed
to apply only to me.
On 23 October 1994, at Computer City in Vienna, Va, as I approached the
cash register, a young female rushed to the register and to the consternation
of the cashier told the cashier to get away, leave. I then moved to a second
cash register - the same woman rushed to that register but the transaction
was completed before she could effectively intervene. Similar later incidents
like this also happened in the same store. About three months ago to blunt
the action I went up to the man standing watching those entering and told
him I was a critic of the CIA and that it had initiated a defamation action
against me and therefore asked that they assign a security person to accompany
me. The manager was advised and he said I would have to exit though their
security system and it was not necessary to send a security guard around
with me. On this occasion I was overcharged about thirty dollars. I noticed
the difference, objected, the security man or manager was summoned and the
price was reduced to its regular price. Store personnel and managers are
an easy-to-check resource.
About six to eight months ago I took my truck in for servicing at the near
by Shell station where I have done business for years. As I went to pick
up the truck one of the two owners/mechanics pointed and yelled at me and
screamed at his employees to park their vehicles (across the exit route
via the 7/11). I normally exit from the station using this exit. They did
this and this was the only time I have ever seen that entrance blocked.
The owner is an easy checkable source.
On 13 November 1994, at Crown Books at Herndon Junction as I was scanning
the book racks - a large man came close and stood facing directly at me.
He stayed the entire time I was there. As I left, a man with a radio-phone
was outside the store looking in. I had a number of other confrontations
at this store - this is an easy to check resource.
When I returned from a Christmas visit to my daughters family out of state
- within hours I received a phone call from a person claiming to be her
friend asking her address - but the caller in monotone recited all the details
of where she lived - the town, how many children she had, where she lived
previously, etc. I tried to talk to the individual but he was not interested
in a conversation. The caller created the strong impression that this was
a threatening phone call.
On 23 April 1995 my wife noticed our shed door lock's hasp was sheared and
the shed opened - nothing appeared to be taken. I did not report this to
the police and I suspect they might have provided assistance to those conducting
the break in. At about the same time a Herndon Police car tail-gated my
wife's car through town.
In about late June 1995 as I and a friend were returning from Walmart in
Loundon County, I turned right on the Herndon Parkway about 50 yards behind
a Herndon Police car. I was driving in the middle lane and the police car
had pulled into the left turn lane - as my vehicle drew along side the police
vehicle, it swerved widely out into my lane forcing me to swerve to avoid
hitting being hit by the police car - my friend can attest to this occurrence.
The June 19, 1995 issue of "The New Yorker," carried an article
that mentions me and may or may not be part of the harassment effort - I
do not suggest that the purpose of the article was to get me, but since
it involved a group I had participated in - it was convenient to discredit
me by calling me paranoid because of my comments re the harassment.
The above is a list of some of the more recordable incidents - representing
perhaps about one half to one third of all that seemed to me to be harassments.
Please note that I list specific incidents, specific stores and specific
individuals - many can be checked - particularly the Herndon Mayor and Town
Council, the Herndon Police, my friend, two members of the Covert Action
Working Group, the reporter who wrote the article in The New Yorker, managers
and employees of the named stores, theater personnel and a number of other
sources and individuals.
What cannot be checked is the numerous sometimes daily "wrong number"
phone calls seemingly by the same individual, the several identical recorded
phone messages to re-schedule a visit by the "septic field" clean-up
truck. What also cannot be checked without official government action are
the past various incidents of vehicle surveillance, surveillance on or around
the bike trail and of course the bugging and wire-tapping operation.
To help me determine the responsible parties I am filing a Freedom of Information
Request and a Privacy request with the CIA. I doubt that I will receive
any admissions of guilt but if I receive redacted documents dated the last
two years I will have some substantiating material.