THE BOOK OF HONOR -- BY CHANCE
IT WAS June 1951. Little more than a month earlier Hugh Redmond had been dragged off in shackles to a Shanghai prison. John Downey was graduating from Yale and looking forward to a long career with the CIA. Doug Mackiernan's widow, Pegge, was settling in to her new job as vice-consul in Pakistan. The Mackiernan twins, Mike and Mary, not yet two, were spending the summer with Doug Mackiernan's parents in Massachusetts, playing on the long and sloping front lawn.
In Washington, D.C., at 2430 E Street NW -- once OSS and now CIA headquarters -- the specter of a third world war against one or both of the Communist titans, the Soviet Union or China, appeared to be less a matter of if than when. Chinese troops were pouring across the Korean peninsula. Americans under arms numbered nearly 3 million. And the CIA, just four years old, was embarking on one of its most ambitious periods of expansion. It set its eyes upon a whole new generation of Americans, those too young to have served in World War II but who were imbued with the same unvarnished patriotism that moved their parents and older siblings to enlist. The CIA's clandestine service, to the few who even knew of its existence, still carried the cachet of an elite and gentlemanly pursuit.
The Agency had recruiters everywhere -- among professors, administrators, and employers -- each one strategically positioned to flag young people possessing the requisite character and skills. A premium was placed on those with a knowledge of foreign languages or history as well as the sciences, in particular chemistry, engineering, and physics. But in the late spring of 1951, as a new crop of college graduates emerged, the Agency was the indirect beneficiary of yet another factor -- the military's draft. More than a few of those who did not relish the idea of spending a Korean winter in a foxhole thought the CIA an attractive alternative. Not surprisingly, not long after graduation ceremonies ended, the Agency's ranks began to swell.
Among those to sign on in June 1951 was one William Pierce Boteler. Known to his friends as Bill or Botz, he was but twenty-one years old. He had joined to become a covert operative.
Only a few months earlier the girls at Bryn Mawr had thought him a genuine Adonis. He stood just over six feet, had thick black hair, a swarthy complexion, and incandescent eyes of hazel. The coeds melted in his presence, though he was as yet unaware of his effect on them. He was neither vain nor overly self-assured, but possessed a quiet confidence rare in one so young.
He had just graduated from prestigious Haverford College on June 9, 1951. There he had immersed himself in literature, philosophy, history, and French. Often he could be found reading poetry, much of which he had committed to memory. His marks were, like everything else about him, rock solid. Studies had come easily for him -- so easily, it sometimes irked his friends, who had to spend long hours in the library while Boteler went out for a beer or burger.
On the playing field, too, Bill Boteler excelled. There was no bravado, just unwavering determination. He played receiver on the varsity football team and a catcher on the baseball team, of which he was co-captain. His closest friends were his teammates. It was Boteler who formed the nucleus around which other friendships took shape. There was Harold "Hal" Cragin, the catcher, Bud Garrison, quarterback and shortstop, Ed Hibberd, who played backfield, and roommate Peter Steere, a guard. All silently admired Boteler. Among them coursed an abiding affection that promised to endure long after college.
In the classroom Boteler was serious. Around his friends he was playful. The summer before graduation he and his chums Ed Hibberd and Bud Garrison worked as "social directors" at the fashionable Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City, on Michigan Avenue and the Boardwalk. Their job was to dance with the ladies, run the bingo games and volleyball, and walk the beach making sure no one felt left out. One Saturday evening, during an intermission between dances, Boteler and his friends strutted across the hotel stage in drag. 1t was a faux beauty contest judged by the former director of the Miss Atlantic City pageant. Boteler, his cheeks rouged, his lips ruby red with lipstick, won the contest. He was always a formidable competitor, and on this night he had particularly good reason to want to win. The prize was a date with the real Miss Atlantic City.
Boteler neither swore nor allowed himself to lose his composure. He was a proper gentleman, maybe even a little too preppy. His close friends thought he sometimes kept his feelings too bottled up inside. But he was never cold, just reserved. He dated widely but seemed immune to the crushes that afflicted his classmates.
He was close to his father, an insurance salesman in Washington, and was distressed over his mother's spiraling illness -- something he didn't talk about. He worshiped his older brother, Charles. Though seven years his senior, Charles's tenure at Haverford overlapped with Bill's. Like many on college campuses in those immediate postwar years, Charles had interrupted his college education for military service in World War II. Charles would go on to be one of Haverford's finest football players, even declining an invitation from the New York Giants.
As graduation approached, no one had to remind Boteler or his friends of the military draft that awaited them. Bud would enter the army's Counterintelligence Corps, as did Boteler's roommate, Peter Steere. Cragin had already served in the army's Military Police before college.
But Boteler, a child of Washington, D.C., was fascinated with the CIA. The first person he approached with Agency contacts was Frank Campbell, a Haverford alum, thirty years his senior and quite patrician. Campbell encouraged him and vowed to keep an eye on his Agency career. That was how it was done, how the old-boy network worked. It was less an act of recruitment than an anointing. In those early years one could be forgiven for mistaking the CIA for a kind of secret fraternity where new pledges had to be vouched for by those already accepted.
Shortly after signing up, Boteler found himself in the CIA's basic training program, then headed by the legendary Matt Baird, a Princeton man. But it fell to Harry T. Gilbert to mold the young Boteler into a first-rate case officer. Gilbert was a man of eclectic credentials. He served for a time at Los Alamos, was on General Patton's staff, and had taken part in the Normandy invasion. He would remember the fresh-faced Boteler as a standout, a sterling recruit.
Boteler was one of some thirty novitiates in that class. Under Gilbert's tutelage, he would learn to think like a case officer and acquire the essential skills of intelligence-gathering. He would also be instructed in how to keep himself and those who depended on him alive.
It was not long before Boteler got his first overseas assignment: Germany. A few weeks before departing, Boteler contacted his Haverford classmate Hal Cragin, who was then selling insurance in Philadelphia. Over lunch Boteler explained to Cragin that he needed a $5,000 life insurance policy. He never said he was with the CIA, only that his work would take him overseas and that it could involve some risk. Boteler knew he would have to pay higher premiums. There were some awkward moments as he filled out the form under his friend's watchful eye. Boteler could not reveal the nature of his work but neither could he write down anything false that might later nullify his policy on grounds of fraud. Cragin did not ask any more questions than he had to.
In the fall of 1951 Boteler packed his bags and went off to Germany. Precisely what he was doing there remains something of a mystery, though Agency colleagues say he was part of an effort to recruit Eastern European refugees there and dispatch them back behind the Iron Curtain to gather intelligence and engage in activities designed to disrupt and confuse the Communists.
In the spring of 1953 his Haverford classmate and friend Bud Garrison, then an officer with the army's Counterintelligence Corps based in Grafenwohr, Germany, received a call. It was Boteler. He was in town and eager to get together. The two met in Regensburg in Bavaria, not far from the Czech border. They rendezvoused at the front desk of a hotel. What struck Garrison instantly was that Boteler was in uniform. Indeed, Boteler sported the silver bar of a first lieutenant, outranking Garrison, who was then a second lieutenant.
"Hey, you're not in the army!" Garrison blurted out, and feigned jealousy that his friend outranked him. Boteler laughed it off and gave some evasive answer. Within moments the question was forgotten as the two friends caught up on one another's lives. But when the evening was over, Garrison was left with the curious feeling that despite hours spent together, he knew no more about how Boteler had spent the intervening years than before they had met.
A year later Boteler caught up with another college friend, Peter Steere, his former roommate, near Stuttgart, Germany. Steere was also with the army's Counterintelligence Corps. In the course of their evening together Boteler let it be known that he was working for the government. Beyond that he gave nothing away and Steere was too respectful to ask. In those days every fit young male had a military background. The culture and climate of those times suppressed the kind of gnawing curiosity that later would require those in espionage to be constantly on their guard, even with friends.
Yet another Haverford grad stationed in Germany remembers a visit from Boteler. But though this grad was also in the CIA, Boteler told him little of his work there. Such information was "compartmented," meaning on a strict need-to-know basis only.
Boteler returned to Washington in March 1953. Within a month he was readying himself to leave again, this time for Korea. His resume, meanwhile, was becoming increasingly a work of fiction. Between 1952 and 1953, the years he was in Germany, he had listed that he worked as a grade school teacher at the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. A "Statement of Personal History," dated April 1, 1953, lists three credit references, all of them located at 2430 E Street NW, CIA's paltry headquarters building. On April 2 he filled out an application to extend his active-duty service with the United States Air Force, applying to the First Air Force, Mitchell Air Force Base in New York. Yet he never spent a day of his life in the military. It was all part of an elaborate cover to conceal his identity as a covert officer of the CIA. In Germany his cover had been with the army. In Korea he would be an air force officer.
One of those who remember Boteler in Korea is Frank Laubinger. But the man Laubinger came to know in Korea called himself Butler, not Boteler. It was common practice for operatives to assume pseudonyms. The safest course was to take a name with the same initials and one not too dissimilar from their real name. It cut down on slipups and allowed operatives to continue to wear monogrammed shirts and accessories. More important, those under deep cover seemed to respond more spontaneously to names not too unlike their own.
None of this seemed strange to Laubinger. He, too, had a pseudonym in Korea. It was either Larson or Larkin, he can't recall. He'd had more than a few false names. He had joined the CIA in 1952, a year after Boteler. Both Boteler and Laubinger answered to the CIA's deputy director for plans, or simply DDP as it was known internally. "Plans" was as bland a word as the spymasters could come up with. But it was this directorate that oversaw covert operations, ran the worldwide network of case officers engaged in espionage, and directed paramilitary operatives who, in essence, did what the military could not or would not do. The Agency, in this, its first decade, relied mostly on "humint" -- human intelligence -- as opposed to electronic eavesdropping, overhead surveillance, and other techniques that allowed for remote rather than on-site collection.
It was an era in spying that was less dependent on circuitry and science than courage and tradecraft, as the basic skills of espionage are called. Much that was gathered was information and documentation that agents -- foreign nationals -- brought back to their Agency case officers. Some intelligence was the product of "black-bag jobs" in which officers stealthily entered foreign embassies, factories, and offices to photograph materials or plant listening devices. Those raw data were then collated and analyzed in Washington by those working for the deputy director of intelligence, known as the DDI. The Agency was like a giant hive deploying thousands of worker bees to gather pollen and then return to the hive where it would be processed by regional analysts and interpreted. Ultimately the most productive intelligence would end up on the president's desk, there to guide his hand.
But though both Laubinger and Boteler were under the DDP, Laubinger reported to the Technical Services staff; or TS. He traveled extensively, in a support role, helping out officers in the field like Boteler. They could look to Laubinger and others like him for a miniature camera, a bug to be planted in a foreign consulate, and for help with myriad other technical problems that called for creative solutions.
In a James Bond film Laubinger and his colleagues in Technical Services might well be mistaken for the finicky character known as Q. One of the areas Laubinger concentrated on was SW or Secret Writing -- the development of invisible inks and other hard-to-detect means of writing. A staple of espionage, SW presented a constant challenge to stay ahead of the enemy. The Chinese during that very period were swabbing outgoing letters with chemicals that made visible those secret messages written in what were to have been invisible inks. Laubinger and others devoted themselves to developing countermeasures.
During the three years Laubinger was in the Far East, he met with Boteler in Seoul three or four times. It was during those TDYs, or temporary duties, that Laubinger came to know Boteler.
He made a lasting impression on him. He remembered the stress and conflict that sometimes erupted among CIA personnel in Seoul and at the enormous Agency station there. He also remembers Boteler deftly knitting the factions together, being a healing influence. Boteler may have had the demeanor of yet another Ivy Leaguer, but he was not a prima donna. Neither was he self-important, as were some of the Agency's pampered sons.
Laubinger remembers, too, that, like many Agency people in Korea, Boteler dressed in khakis and wore the kerchief that was symbolic of the unit. Because it was a fictitious unit, the kerchiefs posed a bit of a problem. Ultimately it was decided they would be made from a green camouflage parachute material.
During the nearly two years that Boteler was in Korea, the Agency grew feverishly under the spell of Allen Welsh Dulles, its most charismatic director. In February 1953 Dulles had been named Director Central Intelligence. The son of a Presbyterian pastor, he was a Princeton Phi Beta Kappa in philosophy. His was an unambiguous vision. It was the destiny of the United States, and the CIA in particular, to bring the Communists to heel. His moral persuasion and intellectual heft, his influential Washington network -- including his older brother, John Foster Dulles, then secretary of state -- and his OSS experience in the field made him the most formidable of CIA directors. His personal taste for covert action earned him the moniker of "the Great White Case Officer."
His objective was to develop worldwide covert operations aimed at rolling back the Communists, blunting their aggressions, and harassing them at every turn. Spurred on by the Korean War, the election of the staunchly anti-Communist Eisenhower, and increased Soviet activity abroad, Dulles elevated the CIA's role in covert action from what had been merely a collateral servant of foreign policy to one of its principal instruments. In 1952 three-quarters of the Agency's budget went to clandestine collection of information and covert operations. By 1953 the CIA was six times larger than it had been in 1947 when it was founded. That same year, 1953, the Agency, under Operation Ajax, helped engineer the ouster of Iran's premier, Muhammad Mussadegh. A year later, in the aptly named Operation Success, it was instrumental in ridding Guatemala of its leader, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
Three years into Boteler's CIA service, the Agency had shed any residual timidity. The most telling statement of its philosophy comes from a September 30, 1954, report done at the behest of Eisenhower. The author was famed World War II Lieutenant General James Doolittle. What he wrote was, in essence, the mission statement of the CIA for years to come.
"It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing concepts of 'fair-play' must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy."
At the CIA, it was now no-holds-barred. If free elections and open societies could be had in the process of blocking the Communists, all the better. But already it was the unspoken consensus that it was more important to halt the spread of Communism than to promote the democratic values it threatened. If installing or propping up totalitarian regimes was the cost of stopping Soviet expansionism, so be it. If the people of those nations saved from Stalin fared no better under Washington's favor than Moscow's boot, it could be justified.
World War II had taught nothing if not that war involved casualties, and though it was called a Cold War, it was a war nonetheless. Unwittingly the CIA was mirroring its Cold War foe. Behind the high rhetoric was a realpolitik dictating that entire nations must sometimes be viewed as pawns to be sacrificed in a larger endgame strategy. U.S. self-interest was equated with what was best for the world at large. After all, from the view of the Dulles brothers and Eisenhower, Soviet hegemony threatened to extinguish the light of civilization itself.
A second hallmark of the Agency's Cold War demeanor had emerged as early as June 1948 when the National Security Council passed Directive 10/2. It stated that, with regard to covert actions, "if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them." Over the years, deniability would expand in an effort to shield the president from his own actions as well as the nation from its foreign policy and domestic consequences. The White House, overseer of all major covert actions, attempted to institutionally separate itself from responsibility for those operations that had gone awry or that appeared contrary to basic American principles.
"Plausible deniability" enabled the president to distance himself from the darker hand of his own foreign policy, even freeing him to chastise those who carried out covert activities that he himself had set in play. Increasingly the Agency would be forced to fall on its own sword, to suffer not only the ignominy of occasional defeats but the full moral responsibility for that defeat. In failure it was to be cast not as the instrument, but as the author. A kind of political quarantine, it created a public image of the CIA as a renegade organization, full of rogue operatives accountable to no one. This was part of the price begrudgingly accepted by those in the clandestine service.
By the mid-1950s the CIA was no longer a fledgljng organization, but a mature and complex entity expected to gather, collect, and analyze intelligence and to thwart Sino-Soviet expansion with thousands of well-trained covert operatives. With such a broad mandate it could no longer rely solely on recruiting World War II veterans like Mackiernan and Redmond. Instead, it began to develop its own corps of covert case officers and paramilitary operatives from whose ranks future Agency leaders would arise. For this it turned to a former air force colonel, Matt Baird, who as the CIA's director of training was to forge the next generation of clandestine service officers. The army had West Point, the navy had Annapolis. Now the Agency, too, would have its place in which to orient, indoctrinate, and prepare its "junior-officers-in-training," or JOTs as they would come to be called. Later the word "junior" would be viewed as demeaning and the designation was changed to "career trainees," or simply CTs.
For training, the CIA transformed several thousand thickly wooded acres in southeastern Virginia near Williamsburg into the ultimate classroom for Cold War espionage. In earlier incarnations the site had been a Seabee base and even a camp for prisoners of war. Under the CIA it would have many code names, chief among them Isolation. Its name to the outside world was Camp Perry. To Agency recruits it was affectionately known as the Farm. For decades to come, there was hardly a covert operative who did not pass through its rigors and smile at the mere mention of the words "the Farm." Its existence was one of Washington's worst-kept secrets, but what went on there and who was there were matters of strictest secrecy. Even among those undergoing training, identities were sometimes tightly compartmented. Before the callow officers arrived, they would be assigned pseudonyms.
At the Farm, generations of covert officers were instructed in the basic skills of espionage -- known reverently as tradecraft. The courses changed in small ways from year to year, but new recruits could count on a core curriculum. "Picks and Locks" focused on how to open doors, windows, and safes. Such skills would be useful for "black-bag jobs" such as night entries into secured foreign embassies for planting a bug or photographing sensitive documents.
"Flaps and Seals" dealt with, among other skills, how to open mail and packages and then reseal them undetected. Years later it would be revealed that those same skills were practiced not only against foreigners but against American citizens as well. Under Project SRPOINTER, the CIA's Office of Security surreptitiously intercepted, read, and sometimes photographed letters coming from or going to addresses in the Soviet Union.
The Farm also offered a course in "caching," in which recruits learned how to select a forward position, often near a border or behind enemy lines, where arms, munitions, communications gear, even gold, could be buried and later retrieved for future use. JOTs were taught to think long-term, to imagine the terrain in five, ten, even fifteen years, and to select landmarks that would endure and be recognizable -- not transient objects such as trees or buildings, but immutable mountains, ravines, and boulders.
Others learned the rudiments of demolition and sabotage. Those earmarked for more specialized training would go on to even more exotic sites. Some would train at high altitude in the Rockies, others in the jungles of Panama. Most important of all were those courses that instructed case officers in the proper methods of recruiting and overseeing foreign agents.
During the 1950s Camp Perry featured what amounted to exact and elaborate reconstructions of Soviet and Eastern European border crossings. Each junior officer would be told which "border" he or she must attempt to cross. They were given three hours to penetrate undetected. The faux borders were watched by stern-faced sentinels in towers and protected by alarms, barbed wire, and toothy, though muzzled, German shepherds. Any slipup, and all hell would break loose. One savvy JOT with a way with animals prided himself in having "turned" an otherwise ferocious guard dog into a docile companion as he stealthily crossed the border.
Field trips were taken to Richmond, Virginia, forty-five minutes away. Aspiring case officers would be divided into teams of four. The cadets would be told to imagine themselves in Moscow, Budapest, or Prague. The first team would attempt to lose the second team, which was assigned to keep them under surveillance without being noticed. The first team, once it believed it had shaken the shadow team, would execute "a drop," an exchange of materials or messages. The second team would attempt to foil the exchange. It was all fun and games except that each participant knew that within months a slipup in the field could cost them their lives or those of the foreigners reporting to them.
It was that sort of rudimentary training that young Boteler had received.
In the summer of 1955 Boteler finished his tour of duty in Korea and returned to Washington. Actually it felt more like two separate Washingtons, existing side by side. Those not involved in defense or intelligence work were enjoying a halcyon summer with weekends in the Blue Ridge Mountains or on Chesapeake Bay. The economy was sound and houses were filling up with children, part of what was dubbed "the baby boom."
But at the CIA, Pentagon, and White House, war planners grimly prepared for what the rest of the nation preferred to call "the unthinkable." On the sunny Friday morning of June 17, 1955, while many in Washington were planning an early weekend getaway, Boteler's ultimate boss, Allen Dulles, was already well out of town -- sequestered in a conference room buried deep inside a top secret mountain installation code-named Raven Rock.
It was but one of several relocation sites ringing the capital where the U.S. government hoped to ride out the coming nuclear war. An annual government-wide exercise, it was named Operation Alert. Dulles and his boss, Eisenhower, together with the cabinet, met in the bowels of the mountain debating the likely aftermath of a nuclear exchange. Some fifty-three cities were presumed bombed by the Soviets, the Treasury would be required to print more money to jum-start the economy, and 25 million Americans would be homeless. Top secret codes would be buried across the countryside and martial law seemed inevitable.
Boteler straddled both worlds -- that of the impending apocalypse and that of a young man with some easy time on his hands, It was a good summer for him, a chance to reintegrate with an America that had changed while he had been away in Germany and Korea. He shared his father's apartment, and the two of them would go to Washington Senators baseball games and catch up with each other's life. Boteler, now a dashing and well-traveled twenty-five-year-old bachelor, found himself in a city replete with eligible women. He bought himself a little Austin-Healey sports car and zipped through Washington enjoying a lifestyle long denied to him overseas. Each time he passed another Austin-Healey he would honk his horn playfully as if greeting a relative.
But there was also work to be done and preparation for his next assignment. Until then, he had been stationed in countries of obvious importance to the Agency -- Germany and Korea. Both were viewed as bulwarks against Communist aggression. They had been rife with opportunities to send agents back behind enemy lines to gather information and wreak mischief. There were innumerable Agency operatives in both countries, and Boteler had been but one member of that largely invisible corps of spies.
But when Boteler was informed of his next overseas assignment, he was rendered almost speechless. Cyprus, his superior had intoned. Boteler had only the vaguest notion of where it was, much less why the United States should care about the fate of so small and rocky an island in the Mediterranean. Comprised of a mere 3,572 square miles, it was about twice the size of Long Island and located 40 miles from Turkey and 530 miles from the Greek mainland. Worse yet, he was to be the only case officer on the entire island. There wasn't even a formal CIA station there yet. Boteler was to open a base there, bases being subordinate to stations.
But already by late 1955, Cyprus was assuming a strategic significance that dwarfed its diminutive size. The British, America's closest ally, were being pushed out of Egypt by Gamal Abdel Nasser and were now desperate to relocate their army, air, and sea bases. At stake was Britain's capacity to defend its lifeline to Mideast oil. Without it, Great Britain was lost, its industry crippled. Cyprus had been under British rule since the Crown acquired it in 1878 from Turkey, ironically in exchange for its help against the Russians. Expelled from Egypt, the Brits designated Cyprus their new Mediterranean redoubt. They set about to build formidable military bases even as their sources of oil came under increasing threats from Egypt's ultranationalistic Nasser.
But as Britain expanded its presence on the island, the domestic stability of Cyprus began to collapse. The Cypriot population was 80 percent ethnic Greeks and 20 percent Turkish Moslems. The Greek majority hungered to be unified with Greece, a movement known as enosis. A terrorist faction calling itself EOKA, for the National Organization of the Cypriot Fight, launched a campaign of violence against the British to drive them from the island and win unification with Greece. EOKA was headed by a shadowy figure who called himself simply Dighenis, but who was in fact a former Greek colonel, George Grivas. Adding to the volatility on the island, its ethnarch, or spiritual leader, the charismatic Archbishop Makarios, was championing enosis and secretly fomenting social unrest in aid of EOKA.
Meanwhile, a mere forty miles across the sea, the Turks feared that if such a union with Greece should occur, ethnic Turks would be persecuted or slaughtered. The millennia-old enmity between the Greeks and Turks was becoming more edgy with each passing month. In Turkey there were anti-Greek riots. In Greece there were anti-British riots. On Cyprus the number of Brits killed by EOKA was climbing.
The deteriorating situation in Cyprus was of far more than academic interest to the United States. The CIA and National Security Council watched in horror as three bedrock members of the NATO alliance -- Britain, Greece, and Turkey -- drifted further and further apart. Greece made not-so-subtle threats to abandon NATO and seek neutrality. It withdrew from some planned exercises. Turkey, a NATO member that bordered the Soviet Union, drew further away from the United States. If the situation unraveled much more, the alliance itself could crumble and the Soviets, emboldened by their closeness to Nasser and the erupting feud among NATO allies, might seek to expand their grip on the region. They might even make a play for its oil reserves.
The United States also had its own parochial interests in Cyprus. It was there that the CIA had a major communications relay station through which all cable traffic, open and encrypted, passed on its way to and from the Middle East and Washington.
As Boteler's briefings continued, he came to understand that far more was at stake than the little island of Cyprus.
In the months before being posted there, he steeped himself in the history and culture of Cyprus and the surrounding region. But because there was no U.S. military presence on the island, he could not use military cover to conceal his mission. Instead, he would have to adopt a more conventional cover -- that of the diplomat. Like Doug Mackiernan before him, his cover would be vice-consul. And to pass for a diplomat he would need to develop certain skills and familiarize himself with the attendant duties of a vice-consul.
He would also, it was decided, need to learn to dance. Cyprus was, after all, a proper British protectorate and there would be formal parties and balls to attend. They couldn't have this handsome young diplomat arrive with two left feet.
One morning Boteler got into his spiffy little Austin-Healey and drove from the Agency through Washington's downtown to 1011 Connecticut Avenue, the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. He walked down the small flight of steps, entered the studio, and made his way to the reception desk, where he filled out a form, enrolling himself in a series of dance classes -- at CIA expense.
The studio manager then led Boteler to a slender twenty-three-year-old dance instructor named Anne Paffenbarger. Who was this young man? she wondered as she extended her hand to him. He was simply the most beautiful of men, tall and lean and dark. It was all she could do to keep from giving herself away with a sigh. Boteler, too, was instantly taken by his own good fortune. Before him stood a heavenly woman of five feet six, her dress breaking at the knee, her hair short and dirty blond. Boteler thought of the actress Jean Simmons. Within moments his right arm was around her slender waist, his left hand in her right, as they swept across the wide floor of the ballroom, practicing a waltz and counting together: "one-two-three, one-two-three." The hour was over in an instant.
Over the course of the next several weeks Boteler learned the mambo, cha-cha, waltz, and swing, but mostly he returned to be close to Anne. She had graduated a year earlier from Columbia, majoring in Romance languages.
The man who never fell for anyone was now in something of a tail-spin. But neither Boteler nor Paffenbarger would let on to the other that there was anything between them beyond a contract for dance instruction. It was, after all, forbidden for instructors to date students or see them socially. After several weeks, Boteler showed up unexpectedly at one of the studio's evening sessions, an additional opportunity to practice. "I came in just to see you," he told her. That was the first time that Paffenbarger had any indication that Boteler was as drawn to her as she was to him. "Oh," was the only response she could muster. But Paffenbarger was not about to let Boteler slip away.
She quit her job at the dance studio and got a position as a clerk at Garfinkle's Department Store. Nearly every night the two went out on the town. One night he took her to see a film with Gregory Peck, one of his favorite actors. Another evening was spent in a cafe where a roving singer sang "Moonlight in Vermont." Paffenbarger imagined that, together, the two of them looked like moonlight itself. After that, the melody would always bring Bill Boteler to mind.
Boteler's father complained that after his son had spent so much time overseas with the government, he still had hardly any time together with him. Before long Boteler and Paffenbarger spoke of marriage. Boteler suggested that he would have a ring made especially for her. In the meantime he presented her with a pair of earrings, small and delicate silver scrolls with a cultured pearl in the center.
Finally she was introduced to Boteler's father. He asked what she had thought of his son when they first met. Paffenbarger stumbled for words that would not embarrass her. "She fainted!" quipped Bill. Later, on a country outing, Paffenbarger invited Boteler to climb Sugarloaf Mountain. Boteler feigned puzzlement. "I have been to Katmandu and Mount Everest," he said. "There aren't any mountains around here:" Still they drove to the top of Sugarloaf and had a quiet picnic.
They were well suited for each other. By nature, they were both cool and reserved. Both were sober and conservative, not given to emotional gushing. For both, this thing that had happened to them, this spontaneous romance, was as unfamiliar as it was intoxicating. Boteler once whispered to her that she was a female version of himself.
When Paffenbarger first asked what Boteler did for a living, he reverted to his old evasive ways. Finally he confided in her that he was with the CIA. But what startled her even more was his disclosure that for weeks the couple had been under CIA surveillance. The CIA's security section, he said, wanted to know whom he was seeing, how he spent his time, and where he was going. Boteler was ever conscious of being watched. Over time, said Boteler, the surveillance ended.
He would never discuss the specifics of his work, but he let it be known that he was proud of what he had accomplished and that it was thought he would have a bright future.
As the time for his next assignment drew closer, however, Boteler appeared more anxious. He confessed that his next mission had him worried. The night before his departure, Anne and he had dinner with Boteler's father. After dinner Boteler asked her not to see him off at National Airport. It was something he wanted to do alone As he prepared to leave, Paffenbarger rushed at him, threw her arms around him, and lost herself completely. She would remember herself flying at him as if she were a missile, and of him catching her in his arms and trying to calm her down.
The next day Boteler went to the Agency to complete his checkout procedure. In Tempo Building L he bumped into his friend from Korea, Frank Laubinger. The two lunched in the cafeteria. It was a brief get-together, thirty minutes at most, but Laubinger could not shake the ominous feeling -- call it a premonition -- that this would be the last time he would see Bill Boteler. Laubinger was not a superstitious man, far from it. But this would be the most intense feeling he would have in his twenty-eight years with the Agency. In his mind, Boteler's going to Cyprus was tantamount to his friend putting his neck in a noose. He never shared a word of his misgivings with Boteler except to wish him well and to bid him to take care of himself.
On May 7, 1956, Boteler boarded BOAC flight 510 for London. Acting Secretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., had arranged for Boteler to be briefed at each of the capital cities involved in the Cyprus dispute -- London, Athens, and Ankara. Boteler's first two days were spent in London being briefed by the CIA's station chief and by the British. Three days later he began the second leg of his trip and wrote his first letter to Anne. "Sweetheart," the letter began, "Pardon the pencil, but I'm out of ink. At the moment, I'm 22,000 feet over Switzerland -- I think -- on my way from London to Rome, thence to Athens. I'm flying on one of the new Viscounts, which, unfortunately, is not much different from any other plane I've ever been on."
Boteler recounted his two days in London. Between briefings he had walked throughout London, around Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park. On his second night he took in Noel Coward's comedy South Sea Bubble with Vivien Leigh. "I found time to indulge in my favorite sport, barhopping," he jested, "and thus investigated the insides of several representative public houses." The next morning he left for Athens and a second round of briefings.
He remained focused on the situation in Cyprus. "Things are not improving on Cyprus; if anything, getting worse," he wrote Paffenbarger. "The government has refused to suspend the execution of two convicted Greek terrorists, and have announced they will be hung this week. This touched off riots in Athens yesterday, and strikes in Nicosia [Cyprus's capital]. Right or wrong, the British are sticking by their guns, and there certainly isn't likely to be any settlement for some time; the people I talked with in the Foreign Office and Colonial Office are frank to admit that."
"I miss you and am pretty lonely, despite all the new places, people I'm seeing," he wrote. "I'll be glad to get settled into a routine of work again, & to get my mind on other matters as much as possible. I'm still not quite sure how I got into this in the first place, but there's no denying that I'm in it.
"Be good and don't step on anybody's feet. Write whenever you can, and smile. My love, Bill."
In the predawn hours of May 10, the day Boteler wrote his first letter to Paffenbarger, the British hung the two convicted EOKA terrorists, Michael Karaolis and Andreas Demetriou. Both were only twenty-three years old. Their bodies were quickly buried in the corner of the prison grounds, in the hope that behind high walls topped with broken glass, their graves would not become a rallying point for terrorists. It was unhallowed ground where the orthodox priest could not hold service. Just outside the gates, Karaolis's mother sat in a chair waiting for the news.
Retaliation was not long in coming. Twenty-four hours later EOKA's Grivas ordered two policemen shot and buried in secret.
For months the situation in Cyprus had been slipping into chaos. Even as Boteler made his way there, the State Department began to evacuate dependents. Terrorist attacks were now a daily affair. Thus far, attacks had been restricted to assaults on the British, but everyone was now wary. The Brits now had more than 22,000 troops quartered there. British soldiers had taken to covering their cars with wire screens to ward off stones from angry schoolchildren. In the twelve months before Boteler's arrival, British casualties numbered 47 dead and 125 wounded. At least as many Cypriots had fallen.
The terror campaign was stepped up following the March 9 arrest of Archbishop Makarios. He had been placed aboard a British frigate and exiled to the remote Seychelles islands, a British Crown Colony in the Indian Ocean a thousand miles east of Kenya. The new British governor of Cyprus, Field Marshal Sir John Harding, believed that with a firm enough hand he could quash the unrest. He had won a get-tough reputation fighting the Mau Mau in Kenya and now swore to crush EOKA as well.
But NATO threatened to unravel. Greece had withdrawn its ambassador from London. In Athens the street where the British Embassy stood was renamed for the two EOKA terrorists hung in Cyprus. At Athens's request, the United States canceled a planned visit of the Sixth Fleet to the Greek island of Crete. NATO's southern flank was now on the verge of disintegration. The Soviets watched with relish as their foes fell to arguing among each other over a rocky scrap of island.
On May 15 Boteler arrived in Nicosia, Cyprus, having completed briefings in Athens, Istanbul, and Ankara. The next day he wrote his father. "Living here is going to be much more of a problem than in Germany or Korea, but also much more pleasant. I have had to find and rent an apartment, furnish it, hire a maid, and in general, set up housekeeping. Fortunately, the bills will be footed by you know who ... Things are pretty restricted here, although, by and large, you wouldn't be outwardly aware of any difficulty ... The British are very wary, and terrorism continues. Lord knows it should be an interesting tour; however, it's a damn pretty island, and I hope things calm down somewhat, so that I can enjoy it more fully."
His second day in Nicosia he took out a fountain pen and wrote a letter to Anne. "I'm not disappointed in Cyprus," he wrote, "although it's a shame things are the way they are, as movements are severely restricted. The British are really taking it in the neck, and top British officials are guarded by hordes of soldiers." Meanwhile Boteler attended to the mundane duties of a vice-consul, his cover position, furnished his apartment, and tried to orient himself. Back in Washington, Anne had returned to Arthur Murray. In closing his letter, Boteler wrote, "Hope things aren't too grim at A.M. [Arthur Murray]; write whenever you can, & don't forget I miss you. Much love, Bill."
Boteler was fascinated with Cyprus, particularly Nicosia's old city within the walls, where most of the shops were and where, unfortunately, much of the violence was as well. Boteler had asked permission to live inside the old city but was turned down for security reasons. That first week in Nicosia was even more violent than the previous week "The British are taking extreme repressive measures, but they don't seem to be doing much good -- the entire population is solidly against them," Boteler wrote his father.
Day by day, Boteler observed the British crackdowns even as he developed an increasing fondness for the local Cypriots. "Despite the continuing violence, you seldom feel as if there's anything unusual going on," he wrote. "Americans are well thought of, and on friendly terms with the locals; still they have to stay at home at night also." Boteler had not yet met many of the nearly three hundred Americans still on Cyprus. He was now beginning to chafe against the restrictions he faced. He was young, lonely, new to the country, and unable to explore it with the vigor with which he had become accustomed in Germany and Korea.
"No one, of course, has the slightest idea how things are likely to turn out, but it seems fairly certain that the situation isn't going to be settled any time soon," he wrote his father. "All of which makes my job more enjoyable, but my social life more restricted."
Under diplomatic cover he was now representing the U.S. government. He immersed himself in the Greek language and made good headway. He marveled at the British, who showed no such interest in learning the language. It was late spring and he yearned to keep up with what was going on with baseball. He asked his father to pass along "a little inside dope on our heroes" from time to time. "Incidentally, didn't I say Mantle [Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees] would have a great year -- and didn't I also say the Phils would win a pennant? Forget the last."
By the end of May, Boteler was feeling cooped up. "We as Americans aren't at war with anybody and nobody seems to hate us, but we have to go through the same drill as everybody else in most respects," he wrote Anne on May 27, 1956. He felt confined, and instead of his beloved Austin- Healey, he had settled for a Morris Minor, a two-door sedan with what he contemptuously described as a "1/2 cylander [sic] engine." Again he expressed his fascination with the old part of Nicosia, dangerous though it was.
By June 2 Cyprus seemed to be slipping into a war. Wrote Boteler to his father: "Things are indeed progressing unsatisfactorily, at least from a personal point of view. Otherwise, they couldn't really be much worse, or at least so it seems at the moment. My arrival seems to have touched off a chain of events which has generally tended to heighten the tension here, and no doubt to attract more publicity for Cyprus elsewhere. The latest event was the bombing of an American home last night ... generally regarded as accidental, but you never know ... Lord knows where it will all lead." No one was hurt in the bombing, but it was a reminder of everyone's vulnerability.
Boteler marveled at the Brits' ability to tune out the violence. "Through it all," he wrote, "the British cling grimly to their social traditions; the Queen's birthday was celebrated the other night in all due pomp and splendor, in as heavily-guarded a location as you could imagine. The invitations for the affair carried a little note requesting everyone to check their personal weapons at the door."
Four days later, on June 6, 1956, Boteler wrote his brother, Charles, and Charles's wife, Deenie. "I certainly covered a lot of ground in switching from Korea to this place, although I suppose the change would be remarkable in any place after Korea. One thing is certain -- I'm not likely to get bored from inactivity here. So far, as an American, I'm a man nobody hates, which can't be said by anybody else -- except other Americans." Boteler wrote admiringly of the mountains. Each Sunday he would go for a swim in the Mediterranean.
But the security precautions were taking an ever greater toll on him. "All the restrictions imposed by the trouble have made living a little difficult," he wrote. "It's hard to get around at night, which cramps my style no end, and you always have to be careful where you go, and how ... Still, with reasonably prudent behavior, the chances of getting involved in anything are almost non-existent -- about the only way would be by chance."
Three days later, on June 9, he seemed to relax somewhat. In a letter to his father that began "Dear Dad," and was timed to arrive for Father's Day, he wrote, "Most every night EOKA drops a bomb on the front porch of some Englishman's home, making a big noise and not much else." His Greek lessons were going well and he was becoming accustomed to his diplomatic cover. "I diddle around with routine consular tasks, such as issuing visas, dealing with problems of assorted Americans, etc. The rest of my time is spent trying to find out what's going on here in the political field. This job will be a good deal different than the last one I held; it shouldn't prove nearly so demanding of time and nerves, but a great deal more interesting and rewarding."
The week passed. The temperature climbed to 112 degrees. Boteler was now making friends with a number of local Greeks, some of whom took him to the racetrack on Sunday. There he bet every race and lost each one. In his off-hours, when he wasn't playing bridge with the locals, he was reading. He had polished off a number of novels since arriving, among them Fraulein and Islands in the Sun.
On June 11, 1956, he wrote Anne. "Dear Sweetheart," the letter began. He described his efforts to meet as many locals as possible, part of his covert assignment to gather intelligence on the political situation on the island and to find a way to penetrate the terrorist group EOKA. Near the end of his letter he wrote, "I've finished 'Marjorie Morningstar' which I found interesting, although certainly not very weighty. It's about a girl whose true love runs off overseas because she won't go to bed with him. You never quite find out whether the author thinks she was right or wrong. In case you're wondering, that's not why I came to Cyprus, incidentally."
Boteler described the grand celebration for the Queen's birthday. Some fourteen hundred people were in attendance amid the strictest of security, but, lamented Boteler, "no dancing -- after $400 worth of preparation for the big moment, I didn't have a chance to show off at all."
He closed, "Your letters arrive regular as clockwork -- every day, almost, or so it seems. I'll have to set a schedule if I'm going to keep up with you. Be good, darling; I miss you. Love -- Bill."
There followed another letter five days later. It was dated June 16, 1956. Boteler was at the consulate. It was afternoon. He had just finished reading a letter from Anne. "There are signs that the situation is improving here," he wrote. "The British appear to be having much more success in dealing with EOKA, although that's certainly not the answer by itself. I personally don't expect any radical political changes for quite some time, but then I could be wrong." His letter ended simply. "Well, back to work ... Don't worry too much about missing me -- I like it. All my love -- Bill."
The next day, June 17, the British continued their massive manhunt for EOKA's leader, Grivas, who was believed to be in the forests of the Troodos Mountains. For ten days some five thousand crack troops worked to cordon off sixty-five square miles of rugged mountain terrain, closing in on their prey, as if driving a tiger out of the concealment of high grass. But even as the British believed they were closing in, the wily Grivas had already slipped through their clutches and had given orders for a renewed terrorist assault on British positions throughout the island.
The hunters became the hunted. As British troops in the mountains narrowed their search, a forest fire broke out, likely the work of EOKA. The winds changed and many soldiers were within range of exploding petrol tanks. Twenty soldiers died and sixteen were severely burned. At an abandoned campsite all that was found of the elusive Grivas was a dashing photo of the mustachioed leader wearing a beret, a cardigan, a Sam Browne belt, and a .45 automatic slung at his side.
That same evening, June 17, 1956, Boteler worked late. He was tired and needed a break. He had spotted a small cafe, the Little Soho, in the old walled part of the city, that he had been eager to try. By then the U.S. consul, Raymond F. Courtney, had warned American personnel not to visit the old city at night and to avoid popular restaurants. Each member of the consulate had promised to honor the restriction. Courtney considered such outings too risky.
On the way out of the consulate, Boteler bumped into Courtney and told him he was headed for the Little Soho. Courtney raised an eyebrow as if to remind him of the restrictions. He told Boteler that if he felt he had to go because it was in the line of duty -- related to his collecting intelligence -- then he understood. Otherwise, it was simply too dangerous. Boteler nodded and went out into the hot night air.
He reached the Little Soho shortly after 7:30 P.M. It was a small cafe on a narrow lane, barely wide enough for a British jeep, and just a block off Ledra Street, dubbed "Murder Mile" for all who had recently been killed there. The cafe's windows were covered with wire to deter any would-be terrorist from hurling a grenade into the restaurant. Ordinarily the door was locked and opened only when the owner, Mr. Tunk, recognized one of his patrons. But on this night of stifling heat, it was too hot to observe that precaution.
The door was wide open, letting in a welcomed breeze that offset the heat from the kitchen and its ovens, plainly visible through a large plate-glass window. Inside were nine or ten tables. The specialty was Hungarian fare. It was known to be especially hospitable to the British and their Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Sometimes it even served as an impromptu command post when the Brits made security sweeps through the city, raiding Cypriot homes and businesses or searching for caches of weapons and fugitive terrorists.
When Boteler arrived, many of the tables were taken. Boteler took a seat at a small table closest to the door. Just behind him was the owner's parrot, perched on a wooden swing in his cage. Boteler nodded a hello to several groups of men whom he had come to recognize as fellow Americans in the preceding week, though he did not know them by name. Despite the consulate's warnings and the pledges by U.S. personnel not to venture out unnecessarily, most of those in the restaurant were Americans, and all of these, CIA.
It was curious that Boteler, while the only employee of the CIA's Plans Division on Cyprus, was virtually surrounded by covert CIA officers posing as State Department employees. They were there to man one of the CIA's largest radio relay facilities. The age of Morse code was in its final years, and these men, tethered to headsets and keys, spent their days transmitting all the open and encrypted messages that flowed between Washington and its embassies throughout the Mideast, including Baghdad, Kabul, Ankara, Damascus, and Cairo.
Cyprus was the ideal spot for such a facility. It was free of industrial interference and centrally located. On clear days the CIA communicators could even listen in on the conversations of cabdrivers idling at hotels in Cairo and Beirut. Their division of the CIA was known by the cryptonym KU CLUB. It was the communications agency within the Agency.
On this hot night in mid-June, many of them had gathered in disregard of security restrictions that they had signed and initialed only months earlier. They had also been advised to do whatever they could to distinguish themselves from the British, who were targets of the terrorists. One longstanding CIA suggestion was to wear bow ties, something the British never did. But on this night they could not be bothered. They were just out to enjoy a cold beer and a decent meal.
Seated behind Boteler, at a table for two, were Jim Dace and Jim Coleman. Dace was thirty-one and dining on one of his favorite meals, chicken livers and rice. At a larger table in the center of the restaurant, fifteen feet from Boteler, sat Chuck Groff and Donald P. Mulvey. Mulvey was an Agency "commo" man who maintained the radio equipment. He had arrived in Cyprus six days earlier. With them was Jack Bane, who was enjoying a steak and nursing a Tom Collins. He was a CIA engineer who worked on the heating and air-conditioning units at the relay station. At precisely 9:39 P.M. the movie let out up the street and a commotion could be heard as people exited the theater. Just then two boys, neither yet in their teens, appeared at the door of the Little Soho restaurant. Each had something in his hands, an oblong pipelike object that they tossed into the restaurant. Both objects came to rest beneath Boteler's table. The boys ran, disappearing into an alleyway.
Dace remembers the smell of punk like the Fourth of July. It was the fuse burning, the scent of cordite. Coleman, too, smelled it. Their glances met, then Dace turned away for a second, and when he looked back in Coleman's direction, he found Coleman curled up on the floor. Dace threw himself as far from the smell as he could, crouching so low he remembers it was as if he were trying to crawl into his own shoes.
He looked up just long enough to see Boteler rising from his chair, attempting to distance himself from the impending blast. But Boteler's feet became entangled in the legs of the chair.
Groff stood up and flipped the table over for protection. In the brief moment that followed, Bane and Groff dove to the floor. Mulvey remembers hearing the hiss of a fuse.
Then came the first of two deafening blasts.
The room filled with smoke. The lights went out. Shards of glass from both the front window and the rear one by the kitchen flew in all directions. Shrapnel ripped into Boteler's heart, his stomach, and his legs. And still, somehow, he stumbled forward toward the door.
When the bombs exploded, whatever came out of them skidded across the terrazzo floor. Bane, who was lying facedown, felt a hot piece of shrapnel slash at his chest, leaving what would be an oblong scar. It came to a rest in his neck, a quarter inch from his artery. His corduroy pants were tattered and bloodied. In all he suffered five wounds, the deepest one being in his right leg. Dace felt the searing of shrapnel in his buttocks and feet. His shoes and pants were full of blood. He looked down to see his left hand, between the forefinger and thumb, peeled open like a rose.
Dace gathered himself up and staggered to the door, blood squishing in his shoes. There, lying in the doorway, was Boteler, his stomach opened by the blast and his legs mangled. The blood from his left femoral artery rose like a gusher, three feet into the air. A British soldier looked on in horror. "My God," cried the soldier, "he is still alive." But an instant later the blood stopped and Boteler was still. The life had gone out of him. He was twenty-six.
The concrete walls and floor of the restaurant had been pocked by fist-sized holes from the shrapnel, but somehow the parrot that perched directly behind Boteler had survived the blast with only a few ruffled feathers.
Greek Cypriot witnesses to the explosion milled about the scene, showing no apparent concern either for the explosion or for the young man's body lying in the doorway. None of them offered assistance to the wounded, and several were observed to be grinning and chatting away as if at a social gathering.
Boteler's body was taken to the British military hospital. Bane and Dace were taken into surgery. Both recovered. Shortly after the attack, police took into custody three youths. Privately the police admitted they doubted the boys were the perpetrators.
That night, in Washington, Boteler's father, Charles, received a telegram. "Department regrets to inform you of the sudden death your son at Nicosia as result bombing cafe, and extends deepest sympathy. Advise religious preference and disposition effects and remains." Signed "Myron S. Garland, Department of State."
News of Boteler's death spread quickly. Anne Paffenbarger's mother handed her the morning paper. That was how she learned that Boteler had been killed. She ran upstairs to her bedroom and collapsed on her bed, and spent the day crying hysterically. Her father knelt down beside the bed and tried to comfort her, but it was no use. For a long time she would wake up in the depths of the night sobbing uncontrollably.
Boteler's teammates from Haverford learned one by one of Boteler's death from the morning paper or from the news on their car radios. As the first American fatality in the Cyprus conflict, his death was front-page news. But it was reported as the death of a State Department employee, a vice-consul. Never was there the suggestion that he was a covert operative of the CIA. His cover was intact.
Boteler's body was shipped to Washington's Gawler Funeral Home at 1752 Pennsylvania Avenue. His diplomatic passport -- number 7758 -- an essential part of his cover identity, was returned to the State Department.
In Washington the State Department declared Boteler's killing "a blind and senseless" act. In Nicosia Governor Sir John Harding expressed his sorrow to the U.S. consulate and visited the two Americans still convalescing in the hospital. In Athens the Greek minister of foreign affairs, Evanghelos Averoff, expressed that government's "deepest regret" at Boteler's death but also did not miss a chance to exploit it for political advantage. "As all Greeks," he said, "I am deeply saddened by the fact that American blood was shed on the martyred island of Cyprus, which is under British Administration." In London former president Harry Truman was asked by reporters if Boteler's death might affect U.S. views of the Cyprus problem. "I sincerely hope that it will not have any terrible repercussion at home, although it is likely to do that," he said. "I shall be very happy indeed if that situation can be cleared up and settled."
There were also private expressions of sympathy to the Boteler family. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, whose brother, Allen, headed the CIA, wrote Boteler's father the day after the killing. "He died in the line of duty, courageously advancing the high interests of the United States. In the short time he served with the Department of State he earned the friendship and admiration of all his colleagues."
The CIA, even in its official letter of condolence, did not let on that Boteler had still been working for the Agency. Deputy Director Lieutenant General Charles Pearre Cabell wrote Boteler's father: "Since we knew him better and longer than his more recent associates, I can add that his service with us was marked by rapid advancement and assignments of unusual responsibility. He had been promoted twice and a third promotion was in process when he resigned to accept the appointment with the Department of State in Cyprus, an assignment which he knew to be hazardous and challenging. During his employment with this Agency, William was characterized by his superiors as 'an outstanding young officer' with special reference to his initiative, drive, managerial ability, high standards of accomplishment, and acceptance of responsibility. We regarded him as a young man of highest promise, whose death is a serious loss to the public service."
Boteler's funeral was held at 2:30 P.M. on Thursday, June 21. Family, friends, and CIA colleagues gathered at Gawler's Funeral Home, a few blocks from the White House and just five blocks from CIA headquarters. Seven pallbearers carried the casket. Three were teammates and friends from Boteler's days at Haverford -- Hal Cragin, who had sold him his life insurance policy five years earlier, Bud Garrison, and Ed Hibberd. A fourth was Haverford line coach William Doherty. The other three men had been Boteler's childhood friends or under his watch at summer camp.
As organist Marguerite Brice played "Hark -- A Voice Saith All Are Mortal," mourners entered the room and penned their names into a book of remembrance. Among those in attendance were Archibald Macintosh, acting president of Haverford, Assistant Secretary of State George V. Allen, and CIA colleague Frank Laubinger, who had lunched with Boteler a month earlier and had tried to stifle his own ominous premonitions. There, too, was Hugh J. Cunningham, a senior Agency officer who signed the book "representing Mr. Allen W. Dulles," director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Following the funeral, Boteler's body was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery on Pershing Hill, not far from where the general himself is interred.
Six days after his death, at 10:30 Saturday morning, June 23, a memorial service was held in Boteler's honor at the Church of St. Paul in Nicosia. The archdeacon of Cyprus, A. W. Adeney, offered a prayer that began, "Look down, O Lord, upon our island and illuminate it with thy celestial brightness, and from the sons of lights, vanish the deeds of darkness." The U.S. flag flew beside the altar. Rarer still was the vision of a Greek monk and a Turkish religious leader there together, along with the consuls of every nation with representatives on the island. Hardly anyone in attendance had had the chance to meet Bill Boteler. He had been on Cyprus barely one month.
On July 5, 1956, eighteen days after his death, a letter arrived at the U.S. consulate in Nicosia, addressed to U.S. Consul Courtney. The three-paragraph letter was titled "Tragic Mistake." It was from EOKA's leader, Dighenis, the alias for George Grivas, whom the Agency had suspected all along was behind the killing. It confirmed what Courtney and the CIA had already concluded, that Boteler and the other Americans had not been targeted in the attack but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. "No Greek hates the American people, of which we are sure that the great majority with its pure liberal feeling stands on our side in our just fight," wrote Grivas. "We are deeply sorry for the loss of the American diplomat. We advise foreigners who live in Cyprus, for their safety, not to frequent British places of entertainment, as it is not always possible to distinguish them from our English enemy."
Five years later, on January 5, 1961, Secretary of State Christian A. Herter added William Pierce Boteler's name to the department's wall honoring those killed in the line of service, the same wall that featured Doug Mackiernan's name. Boteler's father attended the ceremony that day. He understood that the State Department's recognition was the only way in which Boteler, a covert officer of the CIA, could be publicly honored. Better, he reasoned, to be honored even if in the context of a cover position than not at all.
To this day Jack Bane, now seventy-nine and suffering from Parkinson's disease, carries a remembrance of that terrible evening at the Little Soho cafe -- a piece of shrapnel lodged in his right leg. Following the attack, Jim Dace was called on the carpet by his superior, who threatened to put a black mark on his record for violating security restrictions. "Fine," shot back Dace. "You do that and I'm going to go to the inspector general and bring down your entire staff who went there every day. I paid for my visit to the Little Soho restaurant in blood and tears." Dace's superior relented and did not put anything in the personnel file. But then, neither did he speak to him again for ten years. And Dace never again could bring himself to eat chicken livers and rice, his meal that fateful night.
As for Cyprus, it remains as hotly contested a piece of property as any on earth. Turks and Greeks have drawn a line across the island, and the threat of open warfare is ever present. Nowhere is there a monument or a tablet to remember the handsome young diplomat named William Boteler who gave his life there. There is, however, a main avenue in the capital of Nicosia that is named for the man most responsible for Boteler's death, General Grivas. Today the head of EOKA is remembered by ethnic Greeks not as a terrorist, but as a freedom fighter and a hero.
Anne Paffenbarger returned to teach at Arthur Murray for another five years, then moved to Manhattan and managed a men's shirt store. But she could never bring herself to throw away Bill Boteler's letters. And never again did she speak to anyone of marriage.