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"Deadly Deceits"

 From: Ralph McGehee <>
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: Deadly Deceits
Message-ID: <APC&1'0'4d7655e7'>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 12:56:09 -0800 (PST)

/* Written 12:55 PM  Apr  1, 1997 by rmcgehee in */

  "The CIA is not now nor has ever been a central intel agency. It is the
Covert action arm of the president's foreign policy advisers. In that
Capacity it overthrows or supports foreign gvts while reporting
"Intelligence" justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence,
Even in such critical areas as soviet nuclear weapon capability, to support
Presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action
Responsibility, and the american people are the primary target audience of
Its lies." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 192

    The immediately below portion is from Wade Frazier's website.
Below that are excerpts from Deadly Deceits.

   Deadly Deceits - My 25 Years in the CIA, 231, Ralph McGehee,
Sheridan Square Press, 1983.

        Ralph McGehee's Deadly Deceits has become a textbook
in some college classes.  It is a tale that starts slowly and builds to
an epiphany of realization.  During McGehee's twenty-five year
CIA career he heartily believed in its stated mission of "fighting
communism."  And as McGehee writes, CIA candidates are
psychologically screened before hired, and one of the most
treasured qualities of a CIA candidate is the willingness to follow
orders without questions and to not think too much about it.

        Ralph W. McGehee joined the CIA in 1952 after being a
star football player at Notre Dame (Where Phil Agee studied also.)
during their national championship years.  He was raised on and
believed in the American dream - "the Protestant work ethic, truth,
justice, freedom."  He signed on as a dedicated cold warrior.  He
spent the next ten years stationed at home and abroad: at Langley
(the CIA headquarters in Washington), Taiwan, Japan, the
Phillipines, and then Thailand.  McGehee was dedicated to
stopping the scourge of communism, and enthusiastically did his
part to keep the world free of its taint.

        In the mid 1960s Thailand was right next to the other
Southeast Asian nations of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and
communism was sweeping the land.  McGehee's job was to save
Thai villages from communist insurgency.  He stumbled upon an
innovative way to bust communist cells in the villages, sort of
torching the grass roots.   They found a method of intelligence
gathering (basically intelligent intimidation of villagers) that
identified communists and exposed their network.  The results of
their methodology created a stir in the intelligence circles in 1967,
and accolades and awards came in.  McGehee had the biggest
success of his 15 year career, he had found a way to expose the
communists, and his future in intelligence looked very bright.  Just
then William Colby (future CIA head, and then Far East division
chief) came to visit him, and McGehee briefed him on what he had

        "I explained the procedures of the survey and then outlined
my general conclusions, including my doubts about previous
Agency reporting which said that the Communists did not have the
support of the local people and that they forced people to support
them with threats and terrorism.

        "Such a picture is inaccurate," I told Colby..."We have
found that the Communists concentrate the majority, almost the
entirety, of their time winning the cooperation of the peasants."

        McGehee had exposed the Communist movement as a
grass roots movement that had the support of the peasants,
mainly because the Communist goals were to throw off the
shackles of Imperialism, enforced by the Thai ruling class and
their industrialized-nation sponsors, and live freely.  McGehee had
shown fairly undeniably that Communism in Southeast Asia was a
mass movement that had the support of the people.

        McGehee was extremely puzzled by Colby's response, "We
always seem to be losing."  McGehee was eager to flush out all
those communists with his successful interrogation method, but
soon after Colby's visit McGehee was taken out of the field, his
successful program canceled, and he was put behind a meaningless
desk at Langley.  He didn't know what had happened, and it took him
years to figure it out.  It turned out that he had come up with the
wrong answer in Thailand.  Communism couldn't be damned as an evil
if the people themselves were in favor of it.  If that fact became
known, what we were doing in Vietnam wouldn't look too good: killing
millions of people to keep them from choosing a way of life we didn't
approve of.

        McGehee still fervently believed the propaganda he had
been steeped in, and volunteered to go to Saigon.  His experience
there beat out all of the illusions he had been raised with.  He saw
the naked, insane evil of what the United States was doing, and it
almost ruined him.  Visions of napalmed children and cratered
fields were seared into his brain.  At one point he had thought of
killing himself to protest what the CIA was doing, but in the end he
committed himself to exposing what the CIA was doing.  As he left

        "I was glad to be going home.  But I knew I would never be
the same person again.  All of my ideals of helping people, all my
convictions about the processes of intelligence, all my respect for
my work, all the feelings of joy in my life, all my concepts of honor,
integrity, trust and love, all in fact that made me what I was, had
died in Vietnam.  Through its blindness and its murders, the
Agency had stolen my life and my soul.  Full of anger, hatred, and
fear, I bitterly contemplated a dismal future."

        McGehee had by that time put in almost 20 years with the
CIA. He spent the last several years of his career at Langley
getting educated in the CIA archives.  He retired after he got his
25 years in and accepted a career achievement medal, partly so
his future work couldn't be called the work of a CIA person with a
failed career.  He began his book's conclusion with: "The CIA is not
now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency.  It is the
covert action arm of the President's foreign policy advisers. In that
capacity it overthrows or supports foreign governments while reporting
"intelligence" justifying those activities (McGehee says he has never
once seen a CIA official tell the truth to Congress.  Instead comes a
steady stream of lies.). It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical
areas as Soviet nuclear weapon capability, to support presidential policy.
Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and
the American people are the primary target of its lies.

        "As noted in the Church Committee's final report, the
Agency's task is to develop an international anti-communist
ideology.  The CIA then links every egalitarian (which means "all
men are created equal" - ed.) political movement to the scourge of
international communism.  This then prepares the American
people and many in the world community for the second stage, the
destruction of those movements.  For egalitarianism is the enemy
and it must not be allowed to exist."

        McGehee calls for the abolition of the CIA.  But the big
reason I am citing McGehee's book here is because of what he
had to go through to get his book published.  He didn't want to
lose his pension, go to jail, or leave the country, so he had to
abide by the secrecy agreement he signed when he joined the
CIA.  In the book's appendix he tells the surreal adventures he
went through to get the book published.  The appendix begins:

        "The secrecy agreement that I signed when I joined the CIA
allows the Agency to review prior to publication all writings of
present and former employees to ensure that classified
information relating to national security is not revealed.  This
provision seems logical and necessary to protect legitimate
interests.  However, my experiences in getting this book approved
show that the CIA uses the agreement not so much to protect
national security as to prevent revelations and criticisms of its
immoral, illegal, and ineffective operations.  To that end it uses all
possible maneuvers, legal and illegal.  Had I not been represented
by my attorney, Mark Lynch of the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), and had I not developed a massive catalog of information
already cleared by the Agency's publication review board, this
book could not have been published."

        McGehee then recounts what he went through.  I can't do
justice to what he went through, it has to be read to be believed.
The CIA first tried ambushing him with a room full of lawyers, until
they knew he had already obtained a lawyer with the security
clearance to represent him in those matters.  Then the CIA man
assigned to work with him on the review set the tone early in the
process: "It's too bad you didn't work for the Israeli intelligence
service.  They know how to deal with people like you.  They'd take
you out and shoot you."

        McGehee's original manuscript contained nothing that he
felt was classified information, and he was very careful about it.
The CIA made 397 deletions out of his first text, and that was after
they had retracted hundreds of their more whimsical deletions,
before they knew McGehee had obtained competent counsel.  The
battle took over two years, and the CIA went around and around in
circles.  You have likely never seen such double-talk in your life.
First they would permit certain passages after battling with
McGehee, then they would retract that permission, then back
again, on different grounds each time.  At one point he was
threatened with  prosecution for stealing state secrets if he
couldn't prove every fact in his book was obtained in the public
domain.  The final book is riddled with censorship deletions, like
"[19 words deleted]" in the middle of a sentence.

        McGehee states:

        "John Marks and Victor Marchetti's book The CIA and the
Cult of Intelligence, published in 1974 (9 years before McGehee's
book), was the last approved critical book written about the
Agency by an ex-employee.  In light of my own experiences the
reason is obvious: the secrecy agreement and the way it is abused
by the Agency.  It is virtually impossible to write in an atmosphere
where everything is secret until it is deemed otherwise....It is clear
that the secrecy agreement does not halt the flow of information to
our enemies, for it does not affect the CIA employee who sells
information...What the CIA's secrecy agreement does quite
effectively, however, is to stop critics of the Agency from
explaining to the American public what the CIA is and does.  It is
sad to say, but the truth is that the primary purpose of the secrecy
agreement is to suppress information that the American people
are legitimately entitled to."

        And the McGehee goes on to warn that the Reagan
administration was making even more moves to clamp the lid of
secrecy on the government's activities.  The gutting of Carter's
Freedom of Information Act was one of the big undertakings of the
Reagan/Bush administrations, amply documented in the
independent press.

   Excerpts from Deadly Deceits


  China, circa  71-74   U.S. Rapproachement with China and increased chinese
Anti-Sovietism caused problems for CIA China ops. CIA had long seen China
As a principal adversary. As result of contradiction, China desk simply
Ignored or suppressed intel that painted China in good light. Early 70's
CIA obtained chinese document on long range policy re continents and short
Range policy re individual countries. Report indicated China planned to act
In way parallel to U.S. Goals. Amazingly, document not recommended for
Dissemination. Our operational warriors realized that if they disseminated
The report, it might stimulate some gvt leaders to question CIA's
Insistence that China be on the top of its operational target list.
McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 120-1


  Malaya, circa  55-59  As part of CI op against cpm british gathered intel
By use of locked, steel mailbox placed in problem villages. People dropped
Anonymous tips about commie activity which then analyzed. Mailbox method
Was basis for more thorough CI ops in thailand. McGehee, R.W. (1983).
Deadly Deceits 99

  Thailand. CIA CI ops in thailand used blend of interrogation, intimidation,
And pro-gvt propaganda. Thai offiCIAls would come into villages and speak
Of commie threat. Thai officers would conduct individual interviews with
All villagers, looking for signs of commie influences and asking for info
On neighbors. CIA/thai forces would analyze responses and, based on
Contradictions or suspicious info, conduct second battery of interrogation
Hoping to get confessions from commies. Sometimes, psy-terror employed in
Interviews. One instance, gun held to baby's head in presence of mother. In
Another assassination of a suspect's father was feigned to prompt
Confession. Thai CI op overall successful in stemming commie spread and
Breaking up existing network. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 102-06

  Thailand. Circa  63  CIA tried establish close ties with minority hill
Tribes and lessen their vulnerability to commie subversion. Part of CI
Program included training hill people in medicine and advanced agricultural
Methods and providing them breeding stock. CIA also built landing strips
Which facilitated military ops. Eventually, because of commie infiltration
Near Laotian border, hill villages were shelled and napalmed by thais.
McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 76-80

Covert a

  Southeast asia. Major CIA op was building army of hmong hill tribesmen to
Fight communist pathet Lao. Apparently CIA could not convince Laotians to
Fight so it relied on minority group with many activities co-ordinated by
Thailand's police aerial reconnaissance units. As in Vietnam the CIA
Refused to acknowledge the real nature of the communist pathet Lao. Through
Paru and the hmong it developed an army loyal to the U.S. And dependent on
The CIA. But without a commitment by the Laotians, the CIA's private army
Finally succumbed to the reality of the overwhelmingly superior pathet Lao
Forces. The hmong who cooperated with the CIA are now a dying tribe. The
War destroyed their young men. Remnants of their tribe now live an
Impoverished, uncertain existence in refugee camps in thailand. McGehee,
R.w. (1983). Deadly Deceits 169


  Thailand,  65   CIA officer allegedly had vital agent infiltrator into thai
Comm party who had organized splinter group dedicated to peaceful change.
Case officer given medal of intel for this op. However when his safely
Guarded files (restricted on basis of "need to know" policy) were opened,
New case officer found op largely a bluff, cancelled the op, and dropped
Agent. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 91

  Thailand,  73   CIA sent a forged letter allegedly from cpt to prime
Minister containing insulting offer of cease-fire in exchange for autonomy
Of "liberated" areas.initially, letter had intended effect of inciting pm
To condemn communists. However, journalist traced letter to CIA station in
Sakorn nakorn creating barrage of anti-CIA editorials in press and
Anti-U.S. Demonstrations. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 167-8

Intel f

  Thailand, circa  65  CIA estimated 2,500-4,000 cpt in all of thailand. Ci
Team led by mcgehee estimated by end of extensive intel op that there might
Be that many cpt in sakorn nakorn province alone. Further intel initiates
Indicated that extensive commie infiltration was probably taking place in
30 thai provinces, making offiCIAl estimate highly inaccurate. McGehee who
Devised newer, more accurate estimates and who communicated intel on extent
Of insurgency to colby was moved off thai ops in  67    McGehee was
Punished for communicating intel that contradicted high level U.S. Gvt
Vision of the conflict in southeast asia. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly
Deceits 108-15

  Thailand, circa  65   CIA claimed only 2500-4000 communist insurgents in
Thailand, mostly centered in northern hills. "CIA reporting insisted that
The communists had no popular support and that they had to use terrorist
Tactics to force peasants to cooperate with them." reality was that
Insurgency was much larger and that cpt was very successful in winning
Peasant support. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 100

  Thailand. To avoid reporting repressive U.S. Backed gvts, CIA prevents
Officers from maintaining contact with general population. It sends
Officers, most of whom do not know native language, on two year tours. In
30 years CIA never wrote intel report based on interview with farmer,
Though thailand is 80% farmers. Language qualified officers who develop
Contacts with working classes are branded as having "gone native" and are
Soon dismissed from station. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 165-6

  Vietnam. CIA and U.S. Intel community failed to appreCIAte size and nature
Communist insurgency in Vietnam.  54  French intel estimated communists
Controlled 90% rural Vietnam outside sect domains. Yet until 64 U.S.
Intel only twice recorded guerrilla, militia, or other irregular forces in
Estimates enemy. Even after communists announced existence nlf and
Multi-million person structure, estimates failed include members of
Farmers, women's or youth orgs. Until 64 intel made no reference to
Members of communist party in svn, the key element in the revolution.
"These omissions reveal a lack of understanding of revolutionary
Methods and forces." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 137

  Vietnam. CIA during Vietnam conflict never got one "clear cut high-ranking
Viet cong agent." CIA developed hundreds of "access agents" but many of
Them were dropped for fabrication or lack of content. Colby in "honorable
Men" insists that CIA gathered valuable intel from "brave" Vietnamese with
High ranks in vc. Claim a sham mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 156

  Vietnam. CIA totally ignored four basic data banks about asian communism:
French writings on Vietnamese revolution, state dept reports from China in
40s, works by U.S. Scholars and newspeople with access to chinese
Communist material, and writings on revolution by mao, ho chi minh, lin
Piao, and vo nguyen giap. Agency had 700 people devoted to studying nature
And strength of vc but no one was assigned to read communist writings that
Laid out what CIA wanted to know. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 186

  Vietnam, circa  68   Intel collection on vc activity poorly organized.
Hundreds of one or two sentence intel reports were brought to CIA center in
Svn where they were filed in safe or thrown away. McGehee writes "collation
And analysis never applied." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 142

  Vietnam. Colby in  68  Gave speech which illuminates CIA misunderstanding
Of insurgency in svn. Colby insisted the national liberation front,
Provisional gvt of svn, and liberation committees had made post-tet
Appearances, failed to attract popular support, and comprised "phantom
Political skeleton that the communists would use in any negotiation for a
Peace treaty or a cease fire." far from phantom structure, communists had
Elaborate revolutionary network claiming, by outside estimates,
350,000-500,000 communist party members in addition to the military and
Front groups. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 137-8

  Vietnam. For chart showing nie, snie, and oci figures on vc size  55-64
See mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 136. All figures incredibly

Intel op

  Vietnam. "Projectile" op begun circa  68  To gather intel on nvn spy
Network that had infiltrated high levels thieu gvt. Intel from first year
Very sketchy. Eventually, CIA had evidence far-reaching infiltration and
Convinced U.S. And Vietnamese offiCIAls to "roll-up" the net. 50 persons
Arrested in all, with 41 eventually convicted. Spies included president
Thieu's speCIAl assistant for polit affairs and close personal friends.
This successful op was bad news for policy makers, for it proved svn gvt
Hopelessly penetrated by vc. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 150-6

Intel prod

  CIA fabricated propaganda often comes back to CIA for organization and
Analyses but is not recognized as such. Net result is that CIA and other
U.S. Agencies take CIA lies as truth. Example found re China. CIA broadcast
Reports from taiwan attributed to mainland that talked of thriving
Resistance to cultural revolution. Broadcasts picked up by foreign
Broadcast information service and included in daily booklets of
Transcriptions from mainland. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 181


  Vietnam,  68 mcgehee sent memorandum to Vietnam station chief
That documented extent of thai insurgency and figures of vc strength (from
Books by pike and conley) that contradicted CIA estimates. Memo was passed
Around for week or two and returned with no comment. McGehee, R.W. (1983).
Deadly Deceits 142

  Vietnam,  74   CIA officers sent crucial cables directly to langley
Indicating svn gvt disintegrating. Tom polgar, station chief saigon, sent
Priority cables ordering that reports not be disseminated. McGehee, R.W.
(1983). Deadly Deceits 188


  Based on secrecy agreement agency may review all writings of current and
Prior employees to make sure no classified info is revealed. CIA cited 397
Passages for deletion from original manuscript mcgehee's "deadly Deceits."
Many deletions concerned info already in public domain. Agency made mcgehee
Produce documentation, finally allowing classified info in public domain to
Be put in book. For description legal battle to publish book see mcgehee,
R.w. (1983). Deadly Deceits 196-203

  CIA felt mcgehee's treatment of agent handling too explicit and
Deleted it as classified info from expose. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly
Deceits 35

  CIA secrecy oath reads "i do solemnly swear that I will never divulge,
Publish or reveal either by word, conduct or any other means such
Classified info, intelligence or knowledge, except in the performance of my
OffiCIAl duties and in accordance with the law of U.S., unless specifically
Authorized in writing in each case by the dci." technically, it is unlawful
For officer to discuss most CIA business even with spouse. McGehee, R.W.
(1983). Deadly Deceits 19


  Southeast asia. Major CIA op was building army of hmong hill tribesmen to
Fight communist pathet Lao. Apparently CIA could not convince Laotians to
Fight so it relied on minority group with many activities co-ordinated by
Thailand's police aerial reconnaissance units. "As in Vietnam the CIA
Refused to acknowledge the real nature of the communist pathet Lao. Through
Paru and the hmong it developed an army loyal to U.S. And dependent on the
CIA. But without a commitment by the Laotians, the CIA's private army
Finally succumbed to the reality of the overwhelmingly superior pathet Lao
Forces. The hmong who cooperated with the CIA are now a dying tribe. The
War destroyed their young men. Remnants of their tribe now live an
Impoverished, uncertain existence in refugee camps in thailand." mcgehee,
R.w. (1983). Deadly Deceits 169

  Thailand, circa  63   CIA tried establish close ties with minority hill
Tribes and lessen their vulnerability to commie subversion. Part of CI
Program included training hill people in medicine and advanced agricultural
Methods and providing them breeding stock. CIA also built landing strips
Which facilitated military ops. Eventually, because of commie infiltration
Near Laotian border, hill villages were shelled and napalmed by thais.

  McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 76-80


  Thailand, circa  51-73   CIA created and supported police aerial
Reconnaissance units to undertake clandestine ops in denied areas which
Included support of hmong ops in Laos. "CIA used paru as an extension of
Its own paramilitary officers and to conceal its own role." mcgehee, R.W.
(1983). Deadly Deceits 169

  Thailand. Landsdale misrepresented purpose of 4,500 man CIA-supported thai
"Border patrol police."  61  Memo says bpp is to prevent thailand from
Being a safe haven for for viet minh guerrillas or chinese forces. Viet
Minh had dissolved in late 50's and neither viet minh nor chinese operated
On thai border. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 169-70


  After lengthy and elaborate screening which included lie detector test, CIA
Told candidates at personnel pool that they indeed would be working for CIA
And began month long orientation course. Course featured explanation of CIA
Branches and "melodramatic, frightening movies on communism." anti-commie
Indoctrination culminated in rousing speech by CIA officer stationed europe
Who indicated "the soviets attack our flag and our country. Stalin is
Fighting to destroy all religion, our allies, and our way of life." mcgehee
Reflects "we and the nation would have been better served if the agency had
Made us study the subject (communism) seriously rather than simply trying
To indoctrinate us." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 6-8

  Case officers operating in foreign countries have insular existence.
Because of secrecy demands, officer assoCIAtions narrow to other CIA
Personnel and families. McGehee "wondered how we in the CIA could ever be
Expected to understand what was happening in a foreign country when we
Existed in such a rarefied world, cut off from those we were ostensibly
There to help." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 51-3

  Eventually mcgehee placed on probation for voicing criticism over
Southeast asian ops and conduct of his superiors. Negative comments were
Added to his file and he was condemned to "langley's siberia" doing boring
Research in basement filing room. No one within east asian division wanted
Him. While "in exile" mcgehee composed memo to colby (then exec director
Comptroller of CIA) outlining CIA's inaccurate and biased intel on Vietnam.
New dci schlesinger issued directive ordering officers to report all
Inappropriate or illegal behavior to him. Just prior to directive, CIA sent
McGehee overseas so he could not report this negative info. McGehee, R.W.
(1983). Deadly Deceits 178-9

  In  64    McGehee was told by CIA desk chief of thai ops that if he wanted
Another tour in thailand, he should not be too critical of station's
Reporting. As result of this attitude, officers who wanted to get ahead
Gave most reports favorable ratings. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits

  In early 50's CIA drew many para-military officers from pool of
National football league rejects. Others had prior training in
Military. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 13

  Part of CIA recruitment process for officers is personality/intel test.
Agency bias is towards an "externalized, regulated, adaptive" individual.
"According to this personality portrait, the CIA wants active, charming,
Obedient people who can get things done in soCIAl world but have limited
Perspective and understanding, who see things in black and white and don't
Like to think too much." mcgehee insists that strengths and weaknesses of
Agency begin with selection process. McGehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits

  Until recently, CIA has had strict policy of not using women as case
Officers. "The policy was based on tradition, the perceived inability of
Women to operate in foreign, male-oriented societies, and probably a strong
Dose of pure, unadulterated sexism." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits


  Vietnam, mcgehee writes: "of course, when I arrived in saigon in  68  The
Agency's briefers did not discuss this deplorable history (of brutal CI
Ops). They probably were not aware of it themselves. I certainly wasn't.
All I knew then was that our policy was based on `intelligence' reports of
The numbers of communists in Vietnam that had nothing to do with reality.
Either they were the result of unbelievable incompetence or they were
Deliberate lies created to dupe the american people. At the time I still
Didn't know which." mcgehee, R.W. (1983). Deadly Deceits 141-2

  Vietnam, rural buddhist population was particularly resentful of diem's
Unfair rule and contempt was exacerbated by police ops, aided by CIA, to
Seek out those disloyal to diem. Bernard Fall in "last reflections on war"
Observed: "on may 6, 1959, the diem regime passed law 10/59, which provided
For a system of drumhead courts capable of handing out death sentences for
Even trivial offenses. Thus all south Vietnaese opposition - whether
Communist or not - had to become subversives, and did...`four out of five
Became suspects and liable to be imprisoned if not executed.'" mcgehee,
R.w. (1983). Deadly Deceits 134-5