Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / cryptonym: CELOTEX-1

Cryptonym: CELOTEX-1

Definition:
Physical surveillance by CIA of Washington Post reporter for four month period in early 70s.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10107-10031: QUESTIONABLE ACTIVITIES

"Project Celotex/1...Physical surveillance of Michael Getler of the Washington Post, October 1971-January 1972, to determine Getler's source of classified information appearing in his columns."

CIA "Family Jewels," June 25, 2007 Release Current Section: 5. Surveillances

CIA "Family Jewels": "At the direction of the DCI, a surveillance was conducted of Michael Getler of the Washington Post...in addition to physical surveillance, an observation post was maintained in the Statler Hilton Hotel where observation could be maintained of the building housing his office..."

John Prados, "The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power, pp. 210-211. https://books.google.com/books?id=199PBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=prados+celotex&source=bl&ots=SZnwT8DRA4&sig=rB8ipHA_RW2I_hf7HcFb8wED0C8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK59i6_6bPAhXHax4KHfmMA1QQ6AEIKjAC#v=onepage&q=prados%20celotex&f=false

Michael Getler's "articles on intelligence bothered the agency, while his pieces on arms control talks with the Soviets irritated the White House, which also prodded Langley. A December 1970 Getler article describing intelligence disputes over the Soviet missile buildup annoyed Defense secretary Melvin Laird, who approached national security advisor Henry Kissinger. Another on CIA patrols into China raised CIA eyebrows in 1971...the Post discovered the intrusion, and the domestic intrusion came back to bite. The newspaper provided Getler a top-flight lawyer. The journalist chose to go easy, met with CIA counsel, and obtained a cease-and-desist agreement under threat of open legal action."

MEMORANDUM - SUBJECT: Project MOCKINGBIRD, CELOTEX I AND CELOTEX II...http://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/operation-mockingbird/

"No surveillance, telephone tap, surreptitious entry, or other action will be taken by Agency personnel in the United States against United States citizens not connected with CIA, under the claimed authority of 'protection of intelligence sources and methods'...With respect to outsiders, the appropriate lawful authorities must be approached for assistance on the matter, e.g., the FBI or local police."

Contributors:
Carmine Savastano • Bill Simpich

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