Buckley, William (1928–1985)

William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut during the Lebanese War, was one of the most crucial hostages abducted by Shiite Muslim extremists during the hostage crisis in Lebanon. The arms-for-hostages deal struck between Iran and the Reagan administration was orchestrated largely to secure Buckley's release.

Buckley had been employed by the CIA from 1955 to 1957, and again from 1965 until his kidnapping in 1984. Buckley's role in as station chief in Beirut was significant. Not only was he to rebuild the intelligence network in the area, which had been shattered by the April 1983 embassy bombing, but, since the United States then lacked embassies in both Iraq and Iran, Buckley was to head the entire CIA operations for the northern Persian Gulf area. In an era when simply being an American in the Middle East was reason ...

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