The family jewels
During the Ford administration Colby insisted on going public about the CIA's role in illegal activities such as tapping the telephones and opening the mail of Americans; plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro, and using human guinea pigs for mind-control experiments involving LSD. These were released in the so-called 'Family Jewels'.
Testifying before the House Select Committee on Intelligence on November 6, 1975, CIA Director William Colby acknowledged that in the 1964 presidential election a CIA official working in the White House and attached to the National Security Council spied on and procured documents from the Barry Goldwater campaign under orders from President Lyndon Johnson. With the help of another CIA employee, Johnson and the White House received advance texts of Goldwater's speeches and other reports on the campaign.
George H.W. Bush was his successor as CIA director.
- Main article : Mena airport
In the fall of 1983, Chip Tatum, who worked for Oliver North's "Enterprise", delivered to Dan Lasater, Raymond "Buddy" Young, and Gov. Bill Clinton in person, a cooler filled with cocaine and cash at Little Rock Airport. Tatum dutifully reported the details of what transpired by phone to William Colby, who recruited Tatum into Col. North's organization, when he reached his final destination at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky.
At age 76, Colby was writing for Strategic Investment newsletter. This worried many insiders in the intelligence community who felt Colby had already divulged too many of the CIA's secrets in the preceding years. Indeed, he was dismissed by Ford because of his over-cooperation with Congressional investigations into CIA wrongdoing. It was Colby who had revealed to Congress the plans to kill Fidel Castro, the spying on American citizens (in direct violation of the CIA charter) and the conducting of biological tests on unsuspecting citizens. According to the original CNN report, Colby was reported missing by neighbors who "recovered" his canoe, by one story from under the dock at Colby's house, by another report, 1/4 of a mile downstream from Colby's home.
Colby was by all report a methodical, tidy man, yet police found his home unlocked, his computer on, and a partly eaten dinner on the table. The official story is that Colby just put down his fork and decided to drop everything and go canoeing.
The newsletter he was working for, Strategic Investment, was covering Vince Foster's death in detail. Its editors hired three renowned handwriting experts to investigate Foster's "suicide note", which hadn't been found when his briefcase was first searched, but later materialized, torn into pieces, with no fingerprints on any of the pieces. Upon comparing this document with others of Foster's writings, these experts declared the note was a forgery, and a not very good one at that. Strategic Investments recieved a threatening letter from Charles O. Morgan, attorney for the widow of the late Vince Foster. Strategic Investments had written in its March 22, 1995, issue:
Several years ago, investigative reporter Danny Cassalario [sic] spent many months investigating the Inslaw case. He told associates that his probe had revealed an astonishing tale of corruption that he intended to reveal in a story entitled The Octopus. He was days away from completing his story when he was found dead, allegedly a 'suicide.'
Morgan wrote in his March 28, 1995 letter to Strategic Investments ' publisher,
Systematics was not in any way involved in any investigation by Danny Cassalario [sic]".
Danny Casolaro's files and manuscript went missing at the time of Casolaro's death in 1991. Critics question how Charles O. Morgan knew what Casolaro was investigating at the time of Casolaro's death, and was Charles O. Morgan an informant for Casolaro at the time of Casolaro's death, or did Charles O. Morgan examine Casolaro's papers and notes following Casolaro's death, to determine if there were any references to Systematics? Systematics was an Arkansas check processing firm for the Worthen Bank and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster represented Systematics as attorneys. Hillary Clinton was the intellectual property attorney for Systematics while it marketed pirated software worldwide. Federal courts ruled the US Justice Department had "stolen" the pirated software from Inslaw Inc.
On May 6, 1997, Colby's body was found just 20 yards from where his canoe had been recovered, in an area that had been thoroughly searched several times by helicopters and search teams.
Most notable about the body was the absence of a life jacket, which according to his wife, Colby always wore on the water.
As has since been proven, false stories were deliberately planted in the media. Citing a "source close to Mrs. Colby," the Associated Press reported that William Colby told his wife by phone that he was not feeling well, but was going canoeing anyway. Upon her return from Texas, Mrs. Colby reported that William Colby had said he was feeling fine, and made no mention of plans to go canoeing.