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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 08/24/2010

Self-described CIA assassin dies in gun accident

By Jeff Stein

Roland W. Haas, a senior intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve who claimed in a 2007 memoir that he was a CIA assassin, died over the weekend when he accidentally shot himself, police in Georgia said.

According to an account in the Newnan, Ga., Times-Herald, “Passing motorists saw Haas on the side of the road” on Saturday night “and heard the pop of a gunshot.”

A police patrolman soon discovered Haas, 58, lying face down behind his car and pronounced him dead, the paper said.

Haas had shot himself in the femoral artery in his right leg, the Coweta County police told the paper. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation ruled his death accidental.

“Authorities believe the victim was in medical distress at the time of the shooting,” the paper reported. “He was in diabetic shock, he suffered heart disease and had ‘several other things going on,’ ” police said.

In "Enter the Past Tense: My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin," Haas said he had been recruited by the CIA in 1971, when he was a teenager, to conduct behind-the-lines Cold War assassinations. The account agitated a handful of former CIA officers into protesting his employment as head of intelligence for the U.S. Army Reserve at Ft. McPherson, Ga.

Haas was a fraud, John F. Sullivan, a retired CIA polygrapher, wrote to commanders.

“As one of an increasing number of former intelligence officers who believes that Roland Haas’ book… is a hoax, I find your willingness to tolerate Mr. Haas in his scam very disturbing,” Sullivan wrote.

“I am certain that you are as aware as I am that Mr. Haas’ book is 99 percent fiction, but I know also that for you to acknowledge this would leave your component’s hiring and personnel policies open to criticism. As embarrassing as that might be, it is the right thing to do. At some point, Haas will be exposed, and when that happens, your role in this hoax, however minor, could be addressed.”

A handful of accounts about the Haas controversy, including one by SpyTalk in 2008, have mysteriously vanished from the Internet.

On his Facebook page, Haas described himself as “self-employed” but listed two previous, unenumerated stints with the “Department of Defense.”

"Based on the Herald-Times article, it would appear as if Haas had fallen on hard times," Sullivan said today. "May he rest In peace."

By Jeff Stein  | August 24, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Intelligence, Lawandcourts  
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I guess everybody is going to claim the CIA wasted this moron?

Posted by: john_bruckner | August 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Darwin in action.

Posted by: SSTK34 | August 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The CIA probably ordered him to neutralize himself. :-)

Posted by: Kcrl1 | August 24, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

one less republican "who loves his country"...

Posted by: RonNOVA | August 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Drivers in diabetic shock can injure or kill a lot of people, an armed driver? Wow! Too bad we don't have more details such as whether he drew the weapon, fired it from his holster, or retreived it from the car.

Posted by: eGREGie | August 24, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Stein need to read Stolen Valor and found out how many fake Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces lied about their background.
Why does a reputable journalist like Jeff believed anyone can be a CIA assassin? Haas doesn't speak any foreign language...

Posted by: Rockvillers | August 24, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"...who claimed in a 2007 memoir that he was a CIA assassin, died over the weekend when he accidentally shot himself,..."

Well, that's evidence that he was in the CIA.

Posted by: cintronlourdes | August 24, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The CIA will neither confirm nor deny such an 'employee exists" Call them up and ask.

Posted by: PrissyPatriot | August 24, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Haas was from Bovaria and spoke both English and German.

Posted by: phoenixamaranth | August 24, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

femoral artery, bled out, yeah okaaay. So that's the recipe of the day for silencing a loud squeak who is definitely no candidate for staging a suicide. Most clever, diabolical and yet clever.

Posted by: TGIX | August 25, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

CIA Assassin. Really? Mr. Haas truly lived in a very delusional world. He would have you believe that the CIA's Special Activities Division(SAD) would rather recruit some 19yr old, pot-smoking college Freshman(It's in his book) over an experienced former Special Forces soldier or a Recon Marine or even a Navy seal DEVGRU sailor. Right!
It's shameful that our mass Media crowd feels the need to exploit the "I hate all things CIA" crowd just to sell a few more papers. Oh well, they're in good company. Al-qaida also hates all things CIA

Posted by: Truth88 | August 26, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the "CIA assassin school" didn't cover the part about putting the selector switch on "safe" before holstering the weapon.

Posted by: KM14 | August 26, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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