Lions Club hosts former FBI agent as program

By PAT BROWN,

L ike a child sometimes I get a little excited about a good program.  This week Lions Club was like that as we had a former FBI Agent as our guest speaker. 

The program was Ed Worthington and was secured by County Administrator Rhuel Dickinson.  Worthington was the bureau chief for Jackson.  He served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorist Center at CIA Headquarters in Langley Virginia.

He and his team were responsible for fingerprinting Saddam Heusen while he was serving as on-site director for the FBI in Iraq.  According to Worthington, this was the first and only time Husein was ever fingerprinted.

Other issues he was able to discuss were the bombings of the U. S. Embassy in Africa in 1998, the bombing of the USS Cole and the attacks during 9-11 on New York as well as Washington DC. 

He was stationed in DC when the attacks started on 9/11 and was about to undergo a procedure in a hospital.  A call came through to one of the nurses in the operating room reporting the planes crashing in the World Trade Center.  He no more than heard the news when he got up from the operating table  found his clothes and told the hospital to reschedule his procedure he had to be back at work. 

He went on to say he spent the next week at the office on a cot while performing threat assesments.  He said that his office had failed in thier mission of protecting the United States.  He said earlier privately that he had briefed the then acting U. S. Attorney General of a threat, but at threat three months prior to the event but they had no specifics as to where or when.  

Worthington was also in charge when the highest ranking soviet official defected.  Colonel Vitaly Yurchenko, a member of the KGB, defected to the United States.  Worthington and a member of the CIA were responsible for watching and holding him.    

Yurchenko planned to defect with his girl friend who was a spy to the United States.  Worthington said Yurchenko was less trustful of the CIA than he was of the FBI.  Things did not work the way Yurchenko wanted so he decided to go back to the Soviet Union. 

Yurchenko claimed the Americans had kidnapped and drugged him.  He was welcomed back to the Soviet Union after he slipped his captors at a George Town restaurant. 

He offered his opinion as to what is going on with the FBI now in Washington.  He said things are going very badly for the agency and the information that is being leaked is not the way the agency does business. 

If you would like more information about the Magee Lions Club or would be interested in becoming a member you may contact me at 601-849-3434 or any club member. 

The club reported that as of this week’s meeting they had assisted 25 people in the community to help improve their sight needs.