Kevin Mulcahy has come out of hiding, resumed his real identity and become a Professional Washington Source. Last summer Mulcahy went public in The New York Times with his story of working in the '70s with two other ex-CIA operatives, Edwin Wilson and Frank Terpil, on a series of deals that seemed borrowed from the pages of a Robert Ludlum novel: secret shipments of explosives from the United States to Libya, the training of Libyan terrorists by Green Berets and other international adventures.
Mulchay received movie and book offers and apparently disappeared. In fact, he's become an unidentified source for dozens of reporters, including several at The Washington Post. CBS television pays him to consult on their news stories about Libya, The New York Times paid his traveling expenses--including a trip to London in October--as part of that newspaper's reporting, and Mulcahy says he's been compensated for his assistance by, among others, columnist Jack Anderson ("Jack did 3,000 pages of Xeroxes for me") and Mulcahy claims--Time, Newsweek, BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Further, 39-year-old Mulcahy says he works to negotiate deals between the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington and the House intelligence committee and Americans who have fled to escape possible criminal prosecution for their dealings with the Libya.
"I've flown 100,000 miles in the last four weeks," Mulcahy said in mid- November. "Moneywise, I'm behind the eight-ball from June on. I could have made a hell of a lot more staying in the remodeling business."
Before he got in the home remodeling business, Mulcahy worked for an export firm owned by Wilson and Terpil. But in 1976 he decided the kind of business in which his bosses were involved was, at best, distasteful. He quit his job, began providing details to various government agencies and, fearing for his life, changed his identity and went underground. Becoming frustrated with the government's inability or unwillingness to halt the Libyan- American connection, he went public.
He still flies under an assumed name ("too easy to get a passenger list and stick a bomb in the cargo"), but Mulcahy's difficulty today seems to be his media balancing act.
"I never give two people the same data on the same subject," he says, though several reporters bitterly disputes that. "I compartmentalize the different countries activity took place in. I talk to the Canadians only about Canadian stuff, talk to the Brits only about British stuff."
Mulcahy acknowledges that government prosecutors are displeased with his continued involvement with prospective witnesses (or defendants). The U.S. attorney's office in Washington says Mulcahy led reporters in London to a safe house sometimes used by Wilson; the house was under observation by British police in the hopes of snaring fugitive Wilson. The U.S. Attorney's office was furious. And prosecutorsaren't thrilled with Mulcahy's busyt media consulting schedule, either.
But Mulcahy says pressure from the press is the only way to keep the case in the public eye. "I've reached the point where I don't care if the cases are prosecuted," says Mulcahy, "as long as the bottom line is that we get legislation so this sort of international conduct by U.S. citizens is more difficult."