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The Truth About Harvey Point

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Facts about the CIA's activities at Harvey Point, along with other details about the secretive facility, have seeped out slowly over the years. Pieces of the puzzle have surfaced in government documents, investigative news reports and accounts by former CIA officers. Below is a chronological summary of previous disclosures about the base.

1961: The U.S. Navy announces in June that it will establish a secret weapons testing facility at Harvey Point. A spokesman says that some of the training currently conducted at Camp Perry in Virginia will be moved here. (Camp Perry is later identified as the CIA's main officer training school.)

1967: The magazine Ramparts, in the midst of a series of exposés on the CIA's domestic operations, publishes a detailed testimonial by an anonymous former CIA officer. He writes that he decided to quit the agency because of what he was taught at "demolition training headquarters." He does not, however, name the location of the base.

1974: In their groundbreaking intelligence history, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, former CIA officer Victor Marchetti and former State Department officer John Marks note that "demolitions and heavy weapons" are "taught at a secret CIA base in North Carolina."

1975: The President's Commission on CIA Activities within the United States offers the first official disclosure about Harvey Point in its final report. The report reveals only a portion of the CIA's activities, however, saying merely that the agency has used the facility for training domestic and foreign policy forces in bomb detection and disposal.

1976: "Purported CIA Base Classified, Fenced," says the headline of an article in the Burlington Daily Times-News, which reports mounting speculation about the agency's activities at Harvey Point.

1978: Outside magazine reveals that the CIA trained amateur mountain climbers at Harvey Point in the early 1960s. The climbers were ultimately sent into a remote region of India on a failed mission to place a listening station that would monitor Chinese nuclear tests.

Shortly thereafter, The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, a newspaper in Norfolk, Va., publishes the most detailed article to date about the CIA and Harvey Point. Titled "CIA Missions Have Mysterious N.C. Roots," the article reveals that the facility has been instrumental in training U.S. and foreign operatives for some of the agency's most sensitive projects.

1985: The Washington Post reveals that the CIA has trained a force of Lebanese operatives to rescue U.S. hostages and stage paramilitary attacks. The group winds up killing 80 civilians in a failed assassination attempt. Leaders of the group received CIA training in North Carolina, writer Amir Taheri reveals in his 1988 book, Nest of Spies.

1998: The New York Times reports that the CIA recently trained security forces from the Palestinian Authority at Harvey Point.

1999: Jane's Intelligence Review, a respected journal based in London, publishes a detailed report on the CIA's commando units, revealing additional details about the training at Harvey Point.

Nov. 2001: Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reports that CIA paramilitary operatives are leading the way in the war against the Taliban. A follow-up report in the London newspaper the Guardian notes that the operatives trained at Harvey Point.

Jan. 2002: In his book See No Evil, which is vetted by the CIA prior to publication, former CIA officer Bob Baer describes his two weeks at Harvey Point. "By the end of the training, we could have taught an advanced terrorism course," he writes.

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