In Search of Enemies
As a Marine, Major Stockwell was CIA paramilitary intelligence case officer in the Congo Crisis, Vietnam & the Angolan War of Independence. Beginning a career in '64, he spent six years in Africa, Chief of Base in the Katanga during the Bob Denard invasion in '68, then Chief of Station in Bujumbura, Burundi in '70, before being transferred to oversee Vietnamese Tay Ninh province intelligence operations. He was awarded a CIA Medal of Merit for keeping his post open until Saigon's '75 fall.

In December of 1976, Stockwell resigned from the CIA, opposed to the methods & results of CIA paramilitary operations in the Third World & testified before Congressional committees. Two years later, he wrote the exposé 'In Search of Enemies', about that experience & its implications. He claimed the CIA was counterproductive to national security & that its secret wars afforded no benefit. The CIA made the Angolan MPLA to be an enemy despite the fact the MPLA wanted relations with the USA & hadn't committed aggressive acts.

In 1978, on TV's '60 Minutes', he claimed CIA Director William Colby & National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger had systematically lied to Congress about CIA operations. Stockwell was one of the 1st professionals to leave the CIA to go public. The CIA retaliated by suing him in the 4th District Court in Washington DC. Part of the suit intended to eliminate the possibility of selling the story for the purpose of making a movie & required future publications be submitted for CIA review.

Unable to afford contesting the case, Stockwell filed for bankruptcy in Austin, TX. After the litigation was processed thru bankruptcy, the CIA dropped the suit. His book is useful for researchers & journalists interested in uncovering information about the conduct of US foreign policy in Africa & Asia. For example, the book tells of a CIA officer having Patrice Lumumba's body in his car trunk one night in then Elizabethville, Congo. Stockwell mentions in a footnote that at the time he didn't know the CIA was documented as having repeatedly tried to arrange Lumumba's assassination. His concerns were that, although many CIA colleagues had integrity, the organization harmed national security & its secret wars harmed innocents.

In Search of Enemies Details

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In Search of Enemies Reviews

  • Walter Stevens
    Nov 18, 2016

    Walter Stevens

    FOr some reason I've been thinking about my time spent in the South African army, and realised that I knew very little of how, with the perspective of time, the events that played out in Angola and Namibia are seen. I started reading up on this, and almost all accounts of the CIA invol...

  • Chris Balz
    Apr 14, 2016

    Chris Balz

    An interesting deal was struck on this book, out of a U.S. Congressional hearing: The book was allowed to be sold publicly with the condition that the CIA gets the royalties! Probably more than any other book out there, this one documents how the U.S. has contributed, via lies, deceipt...

  • Themistocles
    Feb 19, 2014


    What a great read.Granted, what Stockwell writes about in '78 has been well-documented ever since and the practices of the CIA are nowadays common knowledge, so shock factor is low.However, the actual details of the Angolan intervention make up for a thrilling book that could easily be...

  • Petter Nordal
    Jan 15, 2014

    Petter Nordal

    If you have the stomach for ugly truth, this book is a worthy read. In 1975, Jonas Savimbi was prepared to negotiate with the MPLA. Kissinger wanted to avoid "a cheap Soviet victory." By having the CIA spend $31 million, the US was able to get the Soviets and Cuba to spend well over $2...

  • Scott
    Sep 10, 2012


    Not as scandalous as I was hoping for. Lacked significant intrigue. If you start this book already believing that the CIA lies to congress, lies to the american people, participates in "unauthorized" wars and foreign military activities then there is nothing to be surprised at in this ...

  • sologdin
    Jun 11, 2011


    companion to stormtrooper author's macro-narrative, this micro-narrative details the CIA in angola. ...

  • Erik Graff
    Oct 9, 2010

    Erik Graff

    I brought a copy of this memoir along with me to California, finishing it on the plane and leaving it as a gift for my hosts. It's the memoir of a former CIA officer which concentrates primarily on the covert war the United States conducted in Angola. The author was so appalled at this...