Platt’s article appears in “Encyclopedia of American Conservatism”
March 30, 2006 | Leave a Comment
Campbell's Dr. Rorin M. Platt's article on William J. Casey, Ronald Reagan's director of Central Intelligence, appeared in the just published "American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia." Reported to be the first comprehensive and most authoritative reference volume on American Conservatism, the most influential political and intellectual movement in the last half-century, the encyclopedia was more than 15 years in the making and contains thousands of entries on persons, events, organizations and concepts of major importance to postwar American Conservatism. An associate professor of history, Platt specializes in American Intelligence history. His article on Casey describes the Director of Central Intelligence under Reagan as an "Archconservative Catholic Republican and quintessential anticommunist cold warrior." Casey, who was co-architect of the Regan Doctrine, became director of the CIA shortly after Reagan's election in 1980. He inherited an organization demoralized by the congressional investigations and budget and personnel cuts of the 1970s and restored its morale and effectiveness. "He tripled the agency's budget, revived the Clandestine Service and reorganized the Directorate of Intelligence," Platt said. "He strengthened the agency's counterterrorism capability." The worst crisis for Casey was the Iran-Contra affair in 1984-85, when Hezballah, a pro-Iranian Shiite terrorist group, kidnapped and murdered William Buckley, the agency's Beirut station chief. "While Casey fully supported the secret arms-for-hostages deal with Iran and tried to conceal it from Congress, the CIA itself played only a minor role," said Platt. "Casey's support for the Nicaraguan Contras struggle against the communist-backed Sandinista regime included the controversial mining of Nicaraguan harbors, about which he failed to fully inform Congress," Platt said. "It is improbable that Casey knew of the diversion of funds from the arms sales to the Contras, however." Dr. Rorin Platt is a book review editor for "American Diplomacy" and a member of American Diplomacy Publishers Board of Directors. A native of Virginia, he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Platt received a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has also studied at Georgetown University and at the University of Virginia and taught at a number of institutions. A diplomatic historian who specializes in American intelligence history, Platt has authored two books and a number of articles and book reviews, including "Virginia in Foreign Affairs, 1933-1941." His current research project, "Cavaliers in Cloak: Virginians in the Secret War, 1941-1945," is a history of Virginians who served in America's World War II intelligence services. Platt served as a judge for two sessions at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of Historians. The Web site for "American Diplomacy" is based at UNC-Chapel Hill. "Encyclopedia of American Conservatism" is published by ISI books.