Mr. Veciana Did You Mean Merton?

INTRODUCTION

I began my work on this approximately three and a half years ago.  Inspired by the works of Gaeton Fonzi and others, I was hot on the trail to determine who Mr. Melton was. Antonio Veciana, founder of one of the most violent anti-Castro groups, Alpha-66 claimed that he was trained by Mr. Melton.

My suspicions led me to suspect that the Mr. Melton discovered by Gaeton Fonzi and his work for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s, was a CIA agent known as Andrew F. Merton.  There have been many theories as to the identity of Mr. Merton. Two names, George DeMorenschildt and David Phillips, were put forward  by author David Kaiser in The Road to Dallas (1).  As I researched, I knew I could disprove the DeMorenschildt theory easily.  David Phillips, I was confident, was not Merton because I had found documents in which Merton was reporting to Phillips and discussing the closing of Base Merida (2) . Additionally, Merton would take temporary duty assignments to Mexico City, a place in which Phillips was permanently stationed (3).  I was feeling confident in my work, however, my confidence in my work hit a wall.

Then, the unthinkable happened. And one of my favorite authors, Dr. John Newman, published his book, Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume 1, causing me to lose my confidence about Andrew F. Merton (4).  In this book Dr. Newman identified Andrew Merton as being David Atlee Phillips. At that point, I stopped writing, and was quite dismayed because of the hours I spent pouring through documents and working on articles about this topic.  I did what any reasonable person would do: I reached out to Dr. Newman.  I sent him documents that I found, and asked him if he was certain about this pseudonym.  Some months later, Dr. Newman responded to me stating that Merton was not David Atlee Phillips and he would be publishing an update to the book correcting this.

As I am publishing this blog, I cannot state how much I respect Dr. Newman for taking the time to talk with a novice researcher, give me the time of day to talk to me and validate some of the work I was doing.  He is an inspiration to me, and I am fortunate to have had my questions answered.


Mr. Melton is Identified as a Trainer for Anti-Castro Cubans

On April 25 and 26 of 1978, Antonio Veciana was questioned under oath in executive session of the HSCA.  Veciana stated that his first contact with one Maurice Bishop took place in Havana in 1960.  At the time he worked in the Banco Financiero and was the president of the professional accountant’s association (5). Veciana informed the committee that once he agreed to work for Bishop he was put into a two-three week training program conducted in the evenings by a Mr. Melton.  The classes were held on a street called, El Vedado, and they took place in a Berlitz School that shared the address of a mining company.  His training consisted of the use of explosives, sabotage, psychological warfare and propaganda (6).


CIA Requested to Search for Melton

As a result of investigator Gaeton Fonzi’s work with Veciana, G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979, wrote to Scott Beckenridge, CIA’s Deputy Inspector General of the CIA,  requesting, “that a search be made for persons closely fitting the enclosed biographical profile, even though those persons may bear no similarity in name to MELTON” (7). The letter is clear in the request that they were concerned not just with the name of Melton, but in the description of the job functions of someone who may fit Melton’s description. Blakey’s letter describes, in great detail, what Veciana described his training to be, and contained great specificity about the location of the training.


“Please Check on Melton and Variations of Name”

At various times during the period 1959-1961, Melton is alleged to have conducted the instruction mentioned above in an office in the El Verdado section of Havana. The building was named “Edificio LaRampa”, which also housed offices for the Moa Bay Mining Company, and, in addition, a Berlitz language school (8).  Blakey’s request was followed upon immediately by Beckenridge.  He writes in the routing sheet very specific instructions in the quest for Melton.  “Please check Melton and variations of name.  If he was instructing in 1959 he must have DOB of 1941 or earlier,” and “Any institutional memory of such a person?” These second part of the request was directed to the Latin Affairs Division of the CIA.

Routing Sheet
(9)NARA Record Number: 180-10141-10150

The search for Mr. Melton came back with no finding of anyone that fit the description of Mr. Melton.  The response was that there was no record of the above individual.  It stated, “You are further advised that this Office has no capability for matching biographical profiles with individuals of record in the Office of Security.” (10). The response zeros in on what the CIA was not capable of doing, which was search biographical profiles.  It does not say that there was a search made for “variations of the name”. The response to this request does not indicate that Beckenridge’s handwritten note, to look for “variations” of the name, had been carried out.  Is this a case where they were searching for a difference in first names?  It is also possible that they only searched for variations with the first name.

There was a very close pseudonym to the name Melton that should have been revealed to the HSCA. A CIA operative working in the Havana at that time, who did work with many Cuban exiles used the pseudonym “Merton” not “Melton”.  The name is in many of documents that have been released since the Assassinations and Records Board began releasing documents in the 90s.

Andrew Merton does fit the profile of the “Melton” that Antonio Veciana identified under oath.  Hopefully, with the work presented here, the reader will come to the conclusion that it is highly likely that Antonio Veciana was trained by Andrew F. Merton.


Who was Andrew F. Merton?

In 1963, Andrew F. Merton was the Chief of Base Merida in Mexico.  He reported to the Winston Scott, the Chief of the Mexico City Station.  We learn the true name of Andrew Merton during the testimony of Frank Sturgis who identified him under oath as being, Jack Stuart. (NOTE Stuart and Stewart are both used in various documents) (11). Sturgis identified him as the Chief of Base Merida in his deposition.

The second place from which Stewart’s name appears is in the Mexico City Chronologies produced by the HSCA.  This document details chronologically the cable traffic in and out of Mexico City.  The document demonstrates that there was a cable written on February 12, 1964 to Jack Stewart, Merida requesting information for Joe Garcia of the FBI who was investigating Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in the months prior to the assassination (12). The actual cable does not appear to be in the released documents.


Merton in Guatemala in 1954

The first place in which we find the name “Merton” is operation PBSUCCESS.  PBSUCCESS was the CIA run operation to overthrow the government of Guatemala.  The operation was considered a huge success as the government toppled in a matter of days.  A man named Merton was on the ground working on behalf of the CIA.  This cable is from CIA Headquaters to operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida.  The cable requested information on the cover for various agents inside of Guatemala, Merton being one of them, to help Washington to determine how to proceed with PBSUCCESS (13). We know Merton, was operating under cover, on the  ground, in the middle of a coup sponsored by the United States.


Merton Reports on Anti-Castro Groups in Miami

From Havana, Merton filed a report detailing all of the major groups of Anti-Castro Cubans in Miami.  His report details the names of many well known anti-Castro revolutionaries – Angel Navarro, Manuel Blanco Navarro, and Rolando Masferrer Rojas.

The nine groups in the report were assessed on their membership, their financial backing, and their potential effectiveness in being able to help mobilize against Castro.  This report is evidence of the work that Merton was involved in.  The historical record demonstrates that he traveled between Havana and Florida, helping exfiltrate assets in the fight against Castro, as well as assess the anti-Castro Cuban groups.  This type of work fits in with the type of CIA agent who would be working with Antonio Veciana (14).


Merton Helps Pedro Diaz Lanz Escape Cuba

In the beginning of July of 1959, Andrew Merton was in the Tampa, Forida, working on helping Marcos Diaz Lanz, the brother of  Pedro Diaz Lanz who was the head of Castro’s Air Force, escape from Cuba.  The CIA was sending experts in disguise to help him (15).

Merton was working to secure a boat for Lanz to escape on.  Merton returned to Cuba on July 21, 1953 (16),  hoping to have the defection take place on July 25th with the boat arriving in Tampa on July 27th (17). The operation was a complete success and as of July 28, 1963 when Marcos Lanz was in Tampa in the custody of the United States Government (18).


Andrew Merton and Bernard Barker 

Inside of Cuba, Merton established a relationship with Bernard Barker in the year before he helped ex-filtrate him to the United States.  That relationship caused Merton’s possible exposure.  In October of 1959, the CIA was notified that Andrew Merton, and others in his working group, had their aliases revealed.  Bernard Barker (AMCLATTER-1) in the presence of an FBI agent had revealed this information.  Barker, who would become one of the Watergate Burglars, was at the home of an FBI source in Miami.  It was in this home that he revealed the information to the source and to the FBI agent in the sources home. Headquarters notified the Havana station that this had occurred and wanted the station to know that Barker was traveling to Havana on October 9 (19). Headquarters instructed the Havana station to use caution when discussing this with Barker because the information was passed to them off the record (20).

In July of 1960, Merton was heavily involved in helping Bernard Barker escape from Cuba.  (21). Merton helped hide Barker in a safehouse inside of Merton’s apartment building inside of Cuba (22).  Merton was directly responsible for building Barker’s alibi, should they get caught in their elaborate plan, to have Barker pretend to be the chauffeur for some diplomats to the airport. Baker would then hide inside of the plane’s bathroom on the flight to Florida (23). It is interesting to learn Barker’s assessment of the man who helped get him out of Cuba. During the investigation of the Watergate Break in, it was learned that on February 1, 1972, Barker made contact with Jack Stewart at the request of E. Howard Hunt.  After meeting with Barker, Stewart contacted Hunt and informed him that he was not interested. Barker describes his interaction with Stewart:

“I cannot say I was not warned in advance about the dangers and the disastrous outcome of our plans. Hunt had ordered me to try to recruit Jack Stuart, a veteran operator and probably the best agent the CIA had in Cuba. At the time, Stuart was living in California, where I contacted him. He was the best field agent I knew, and had been my mentor and superior in Cuba. Stuart was a man in his fifties, of middle height and weight, with a mastery of the Spanish language and culture. He was not a man easy to impress with plans and grandiose ideas. His mind was incisive, his experience difficult to match, but above all he could see through shadows and down dark alleys.”

“Jack came to Miami and listened to me in an attentive and patient manner. When I had finished my pitch, he responded in a sober mood.” “Macho stay away from those cowboys. Hunt is nothing but a cowboy. Then said he would talk to Hunt. After talking to him he came back and said, “Nothing good will come from those plans. You will destroy the President and the Presidency if you continue. Don’t count on me. Let things go before it is too late. Let’s go fishing in California.” (24)


The best agent the CIA had in Cuba

Barker’s comment, that Stewart was, “the best field agent I knew” rings loud and true when examining the clandestine record available in the historical documents.  Merton was involved in many operations in side of Cuba.  The CIA station in Havana sent a cable on November of 1959 indicating that Carlos Tepedino was willing to cooperate with anyone in Havana who was a “friend” of Merton. Tepedino was in Mexico City, and according to the cable, he had been known by Merton for eighteen months as an anti-communist who was against Castro (25).

Also in November 1969, Merton was involved in helping Lt. Manuel Francis Artime of Cuba’s Air Force and Roberto Verona escape Cuba to the United States.  Havana notified Washington of the contact with Merton and the steps Merton was taking to try and help them escape Cuba.  Merton used the same method that he had used with Marcos Diaz Lanz, a boat(26).  The vessel was impounded by the United States upon its arrival on December 16, 1959 (27). The CIA had to step in to declare that the men were stowaways so that the ship would be released.  Castro dodged questions during an interview in 1960 about their defection (28).

In 1961, Merton welcomed E. Howard Hunt to Mexico City.  At that time he had no contacts with the FRD, the Frente Revolucionario Democratico.  With Chief of Station Winston Scott’s permission, Merton was introduced to members of the FRD using the name Jack Warren, by Hunt.  The person who would maintain contact with Merton on behalf of the FRD would be AMSAIL-1, Carlos Fernandez (29).  Merton would then be responsible for the finances of the AMIRON Operation and payments would go through AMSAIL-1 (30).  The AMIRON operation was the cryptonym of the FRD  (31).  

While based in Miami, the FRD operated in other cities within the United States as well. The FRD was found to be operating in New Orleans and Tampa, as well as in Mexico City. The FRD was responsible for helping recruit Bridgade 2506, responsible for the failed Bay of Pigs operation. Eventually, the FRD was absorbed by the (AMBUD) CRC, Cuban Revolutionary Council, a group directly tied to President Kennedy and the White house (32).  By 1960, the FRD was considered the most important of the anti-Castro groups, and their headquarters moved from Miami to Mexico City (33). Merton continued to be involved in the finances of the CRC as of 1962 when the FRD was absorbed by the CRC (34).


Merton in Mexico

We have established that Merton was in charge of Base Merida. Merida reported to the Winston Scott, the Chief of Station in Mexico City. Merida was involved in many aspects of surveillance and the use of camera technology to spy on Cuba (35).  In March of 1964, Merton was looking to expand the capabilities of Merida by constructing a dark room at the base (36).

One vea-dangerous-thingry interesting piece of evidence found in the records is a request from Andrew F. Merton for materials to engage in sabotage.  It is the only document that links Merton to the type of training that Antonio Veciana states that he received from Mr. Melton.  Merton requested materials to sabotage the vehicles of Cuban officials to the point that it would be expensive for them to repair their vehicles.  With the Cubans having limited resources, Merton wanted to create a financial burden on the limited resources of the Cubans operating in the Yucatan peninsula.  As can be seen in the routing sheet, Merton’s superiors found this to be a “dangerous thing!” (37)

Merton was also involved in supporting one of the Mexico City Stations’ most productive operations, Winston Scott’s LITEMPO operation. This operation prevented Cubans from entering Mexico without the permission of the United States State Department.  It allowed for the CIA to control and expedite the requests for Cuban citizens to come into Mexico, and then the United States.(38) Merton and Michael Choaden (David Atlee Phillips) were involved in the choosing of people to be given visas through the LITEMPO operation, and both of their names appear in operational reports submitted by Winston Scott (39).

In November of 1963, Merton was working on an issue involving the government of China. The CIA was anticipating the arrival of a shipment of Communist propaganda to Mexico. Win Scott’s report to headquarters indicated that the shipment was arriving in December. They asked the Mexican government to intercept the materials (40). China was also waging war to gain control of Cuba, and were opposed to the Soviet Union’s hold over Castro on the island (41). While JMWAVE apparently had someone who fit the billing of a Chinese born Cuban, Merton did not feel they would be up to the task. As of November 7, 1963, he was working to seek someone who could be recruited to work for the CIA against the Chinese (42).

Merton eventually became responsible for the photographic monitoring of the Cuban embassy in Mexico City.  The program was named LIONION in 1964 (43).   Merton became part of the LIONION project according to a 1965 document indicating Merton had taken charge of the operation and the development of the films taken of the embassy (44). This project was one of great importance to the agency in the monitoring of the people coming in and out of the Cuban embassy in Mexico City.  The prior program became a point of controversy in the lack of photographic evidence of Lee Harvey Oswald visiting the Cuban embassy in September of 1963.


The Case That Merton is Melton

This article makes the case that Andrew F. Merton, Jack Stuart (Stewart), is the “Mr. Melton” who Antonio Veciana testified trained him.  The article presents the evidence of Merton’s recruitment of anti-Castro Cubans.  It clearly outlines the clandestine nature of his skills, operating with safe houses, boats and airlines to ex-filtrate Cubans in the war against Castro.

There is evidence of him engaging in “dangerous” sabotage and ex-filtration operations. We have evidence of him making payments through Cuban contacts to the FRD and the CRC.  As Bernard Barker said,  he was the “best field agent” the United States had operating inside of Cuba.  In addition to Bernard Barker, Merton worked with [Frank] Sturgis, [Carlos] Tepidino, and [Pedro Diaz] Lanz.  He was involved in determining who got visas to exit Cuba and enter Mexico. This hypothesis is bolstered by the fact that there are no other documents with the name Melton that have yet to be found. In looking at the historical documents that we possess, there does not appear to be another agency asset as involved in these activities as Andrew Merton was. This hypothesis needs to be vetted, tested, and challenged by other researchers.

Matthew Scheufele


Afterward

This research has been a culmination of many hours.  I have written literally four different versions of this over the last two years.  I have spoken by phone with Bill Simpich, someone I admire greatly, running ideas by him in the early work I did on Mexico City in my continuing on again off again affair with David Atlee Phillips.  I truly enjoy reading and learning about the operations of the CIA station in Mexico City thanks to Jefferson Morely.

John Newman has been an inspiration for me as well, and again, I thank him for always taking the time to talk to me when I have a question.  I look forward to his next books.

Finally, thanks to Gaeton Fonzi who chased Maurice Bishop and exposed Mr. Melton.  I wish he were alive because his published work does not reflect if he chased Mr. Melton as well.  I would love to know if he did or did Melton get lost in his hunt for Mr. Bishop.  I wonder what information is in his files about Mr. Melton.

As for the friends I have made in research, the people who encourage me when I am easily swayed to give up, Carmine Savastano, Trish Flemming-Jendro, Zach Jendro, Denis Morissette, Jacob Carter, Charles Cliff, Steve Roe, F.J. James, Rob Clark, Joseph Backes and last but not least, Gayle Nix Jackson, I thank you for your unending support and confidence in me, even when I am not confident in myself. While we all sit on different sides of the fence around conspiracy or not, the one thing we all have in common, is an unending belief in evidence and primary sources, no matter where it brings us.  I am honored to be your friend in research.


References

(1) The Road to Dallas pg. 174 Kaiser, DavidPublisher: Belknap Harvard, 2008ISBN: 978-0-674-02766-4  Page 174

(2) NARA Record Number: 104-10098-10316 DELAY FINAL DECISION FOR SIX MONTHS

(3) NARA Record Number: 104-10246-10023 OPERATIONAL MONTHLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1-31 MARCH 1964

(4) Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume 1 Newman, John ISBN: 1478302410 Copyright 2015 John Newman

(5) NARA Record Number: 180-10147-10240 ANTI-CASTRO ACTIVITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS AND LHO IN NEW ORLEANS, pg 99

(6) NARA Record Number: 180-10147-10240 ANTI-CASTRO ACTIVITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS AND LHO IN NEW ORLEANS pg. 101

(7) NARA Record Number: 104-10406-10260 LETTER:IN CONNECTION WITH ITS INVESTIGATION/REQUEST FOR FILE SEARCH ON “MELTON pg 2.

(8) NARA Record Number: 104-10406-10260 LETTER:IN CONNECTION WITH ITS INVESTIGATION/REQUEST FOR FILE SEARCH ON “MELTON pg 2.

(9) NARA Record Number: 104-10406-10260 LETTER:IN CONNECTION WITH ITS INVESTIGATION/REQUEST FOR FILE SEARCH ON “MELTON pg 2.

(10) NARA Record Number: 1993.08.13.18:02:00:780046 AGENCY HOLDINGS ON FNU MELTON AKA JOE MELTON

(11) NARA Record Number: 178-10002-10372 MEMORANDUM OF DEPOSITION FOR THE RECORD pg 49

(12) NARA Record Number: 104-10013-10004 MEXICO CITY CHRONOLOGY

(13) Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 90. 1/30/54-Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

(14) NARA Record Number: 104-10267-10088FIELD INFORMATION REPORT: COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY GROUPS IN MIAMI

(15) (NARA Record Number: 104-10112-10007 CABLE RE MARCOS DIAZ LANZ EVACUATION)

(16) NARA Record Number: 104-10167-10156 MERTON RETURNED HAVA AFTERNOON 21 JULY)

(17) NARA Record Number: 104-10112-10007 CABLE RE MARCOS DIAZ LANZ EVACUATION)

(18) NARA Record Number: 104-10167-10139 MARCOS DIAZ LANZ

(19) NARA Record Number: 104-10215-10417CABLE RE MEETING DETAILS

(20) NARA Record Number: 104-10215-10416 CABLE RE MEETING

(21) NARA Record Number: 104-10110-10269 FOR EXFILTRATION OF AMCLATTER -1 TO HOMESTEAD AIR BASE FLORIDA

(22) NARA Record Number: 104-10110-10269 PLAN FOR EXFILTRATION OF AMCLATTER -1 TO HOMESTEAD AIR BASE FLORIDA

(23) NARA Record Number: 104-10110-10269 PLAN FOR EXFILTRATION OF AMCLATTER -1 TO HOMESTEAD AIR BASE FLORIDA

(24) A MAN CALLED MACHO by Marcelo Fernandez-Zayas Guaracabuya Organo Oficial de la Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/

(25) NARA Record Number: 104-10183-10085 CABLE RE: WHO FURNISHED STATION WITH DRAFT CONTRACT PF REF

(26) NARA Record Number: 104-10162-10194 CABLE:INTERVIEWED TWO PADRES IN PRIVACY

(27) NARA Record Number: 104-10109-10301 MEMORANDUM:MANUEL FRANCIS ARTIME AND ROBERTO VARONA

(28) The Castro Speech Data Base Speeches Interviews and Articles 1959-1966, January 20, 1960 http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/castro/db/1960/19600120.html

(29) NARA Record Number: 104-10171-10118 MEMO FOR THE RECORD: MEXICO CITY DELEGATION

(30) NARA Record Number: 104-10171-10381 CABLE: NO OBJECTION HERE IF YOU CONCUR

(31) NARA Record Number: 104-10061-10115  LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION

(32) NARA Record Number: 104-10107-10000 FRENTE REVOLUCIONARIO DEMOCRATICO

(33) NARA Record Number: 104-10106-10607 JOHN DANIEL WILKES

(34) NARA Record Number: 104-10229-10375 CABLE: ON 1 MAR BENADUM PASSED 50 THOUSAND PESOS TO AMSAIL-1 FOR MARCH EXPENSES

(35) NARA Record Number: 104-10246-10019 OPERATIONAL REPORT 1-30 SEPTEMBER 1964

(36) NARA Record Number: 104-10246-10023 OPERATIONAL MONTHLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1-31 MARCH 1964

(37) NARA Record Number: 104-10188-10417  DISPATCH-REQUEST FOR SABOTAGE MATERIAL

(38) NARA Record Number: 104-10516-10041 DISPATCH: PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING MEXICAN TRANSIT VISAS FOR CUBANS

(39) NARA Record Number: 104-10098-10218 LITEMPO OPERATIONAL REPORT, OCTOBER 1963

(40) DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL REPORT 1-31 OCTOBER 1963

(41) NARA Record Number: 104-10226-10410 MANIFESTO OF THE UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA, CHINESE SECTOR

(42) NARA Record Number: 104-10100-10360 AWAITING COMMENTS RE WHEREABOUTS OF A SPANISH-SPEAKING CHINESE BORN IN CUBA

(43) Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City (aka “Lopez Report”) Current Section: 6: Glossary of Terms Used in Report

44) NARA Record Number: 104-10188-10019 PBRUMEN/PROCESSING OF LIONION FILMS

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Drexel Gibson and the Berlitz School

“One such American prisoner is Drexel Gibson, an American businessman who was arrested in Cuba on April 19, and since that time has been imprisoned….The latest information I have received is that the Swiss Embassy in Havana, through which discussions with the Cuban Government are taking place, reports that Mr. Gibson is being investigated for “activities against the state.””

HON. PRESCOTT BUSH
OF CONNECTICUT
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Monday, June 26,1961 (1)

Who was Drexel Gibson?

Drexel Gibson
‘What a nightmare!’ Says American in Cuban Jail (3)
Drexel Gibson was the owner of the Berlitz School of Languages in Havana, Cuba.  He had been operating the school for a little over two years.  His wife and son resided with him in Cuba until July of 1960, at which time his wife and son returned to the United States because of an existing medical condition in his son, that required multiple surgeries. (2)  He had returned to Havana to get his affairs in order as he intended to move back to the United States.  All of this changed on April 17, 1961 when the failed Bay of Pigs invasion took place.

 

The Imprisonment of Drexel Gibson

On April 19, 1963 Drexel Gibson arrived to find Cuban G-2 Agents, tearing apart his office.  He was promptly arrested and detained by the government. Many Americans were arrested as a result of the failed invasion. (4) Gibson was subjected to intense interrogation, as he was accused by the Castro government of working as an intelligence agent on behalf of the FBI, not the CIA.  His interrogations lasted for more than one month as they attempted to break him.  They wanted him to identify his “network” of spies and his methods for communicating with the FBI. (5) Gibson explained that he was subjected to psychological torture.  He was not fed, slept on a floor, and over his six interrogation sessions subjected to over one hundred hours of interrogation.  While there he suffered a broken finger that was not treated, resulting in his finger being permanently paralyzed. (6)

Was Drexel Gibson working for the FBI?

Gibson claimed that the entire focus of his interrogation was around the FBI.  After his month of interrogation he was moved to a prison.  There he was interrogated as well.  He was offered deals to cooperate, for example, medicine that he needed to treat an ulcer.  He did not confess.  Gibson had a theory about why the Cuban’s thought he was working for the FBI.

When Gibson returned home to be with his son in March of 1961 during his surgery, Gibson went to meet with the president of the Berlitz schools.  It was in this meeting that Gibson explained that there were some strange goings on at his school.  He was concerned with the growing number of employees that were Castro sympathizers.  It was on his advice that Gibson contacted the FBI and provided them with information on his employees. (7) Gibson believed that somehow, because of this meeting with the FBI, G-2 found out about it, and this was why they were interrogating him.

Cuban Intelligence interest in the Berlitz School Employees

arcazweb
Berlitz School of Languages (9)
Gibson reported to the FBI that there were a growing number of Castro sympathizers associated with his school. Not only did the FBI have an interest, but when he was interrogated by the Cuban Government during his incarceration, they too questioned him extensively about his employees.  (8) Gibson reported on the following employees and their associates to the FBI, Harold Spencer, Martha McCurdy, Iilah Warner, Claudia Beck, Angela Motsis, Rosanna Carfagno, and Christine Olson de Urriutia.  Some of these individuals had ties to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.  Others had ties to Cuban intelligence, or worked for the Castro government. One had a relationship with Fidel Castro himself.  The Berlitz School was quite an interesting place, and Gibson had reason to be concerned.

Harold Spencer – Fair Play for Cuba

The_Times_Sun__Jul_21__1963_
The Times (Hammond, Indiana) July 21, 1963  (10)
In the CIA files on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee is potential verification that Gibson did report his concerns. One American that Gibson reported on was attorney Harold Spencer, who was from Chicago.  Spencer’s American wife was also employed by the Cuban government in the Ministry of Arts.  He was a leader of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Havana, an organization that had some of the Berlitz school employees. (11)

Spencer was described by one American newspaper as the

NARA Record Number: 1993.08.03.17:13:42:400063 INDEX CARDS
INDEX CARDS for CIA file  100-300-011 (13)
leader of over 150 American supporters of Castro in Cuba.  He hosted an English speaking radio show and was described as having a “squeaky” voice.  In the CIA files is file number 100-300-011 which was a file called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC).  It consisted of 987 documents. The bulk of the documents were generated from the FBI and other agencies.  Inside of this file is information about Harold Spencer.  The information about Harold Spencer was placed into the CIA file after the interview with Gibson. This file also contained an FBI report about Lee Harvey Oswald being arrested in New Orleans for his activities involving the FPCC.   (12)

Ilah Werner and Berlitz School employee Martha McCurdy along with Harold Spencer celebrate July 4th in Havana while Drexel Gibson was imprisoned.
Ilah Werner and Berlitz School employee Martha McCurdy along with Harold Spencer celebrate July 4th in Havana while Drexel Gibson was imprisoned. (16)

Martha McCurdy and Illah Warner

The report of the interview with Gibson contained information about multiple Americans and Cubans employed by the Berlitz School.  Gibson reported that Martha McCurdy, one of his teachers since 1958, was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. She was still in Cuba and lived with another American, Illah Warner, also a member of the committee. (14) In a newspaper editorial about Americans who went to Cuba to support Castro, the two ladies were described as “veteran” Castro supporters who worked for the cause in Miami and fled to Cuba in 1959. (15)

 

 

Claudia Beck & Angela Motsis

Another American that Gibson had employed was Claudia Beck.   She was no longer employed by the school, but was currently employed in the Cuban Ministry of Education.   One of his teachers, Angela Motsis, was married to a “Greek who was deported from the US and who now works in the Cuban G-2 as a technician.” Again, it is curious to see that there was such a close tie to the Cuban intelligence world working for his business. (17)

Rosanna Carfagno

Another employee of interest was Rosanna Carfagno, who was from NY.  She was arrested  at the same time as Gibson, but according to Gibson, she was released because friends of Castro had intervened on her behalf.  She most certainly did have important friends, Fidel Castro being one of them.  He met her in 1959 during his “Meet the Press Interview” in April of 1959. They spent time touring New York together and then on her Christmas vacation she went to Cuba, spent time with Castro, and was seen holding hands with him.  (18) Eventually she would move to Cuba and be employed by Drexel Gibson at the Berlitz School.

Christine Olson de Urriutia

Gibson informed the FBI about Christine Olson de Urriutia, who was married to the former president of Cuba under Castro.  Gibson states she was one of the best teachers he ever had, did not think she was active in groups, but was probably for Castro.  One of her close friends was married to Lorna Pinero.  Her husband, Manuel Pinero, worked for the Ministry of the Interior and G-2. Another employee with ties to the Cuban intelligence agency.  (19) Another employee with multiple connections to Castro and the Cuban government.

Was Drexel Gibson allowing the Berlitz School to be used to train anti-Casto rebels?

The document that contains the CIA interview with Gibson would indicate that he was not working with the CIA.  There are only two documents in the archives related to the Berlitz School and Gibson.  One document is an interview conducted by the Domestic Contacts Division of the CIA.  It was conducted after multiple interviews Gibson gave to the press.

Imigration Paperwork
Passenger List, October 31, 1961 (21)
Gibson was released on September 5, 1961.  He arrived back in Miami from Cuba with help from the Swiss government on October 31, 1961, yet there was no interview of him for months.The CIA did not interview him until December 23, 1961.  (20)This lack of interest and the fact that Gibson had been talking to the press prior to any contact by the CIA with him would mean that he was not of interest to the CIA.

 

Records show researcher Gaeton Fonzi never saw the CIA Gibson document.

The only person from the HSCA to review this document was Leslie Wizelman of the HSCA.   She saw the document as part of the review of the CIA files on John Martino. (22) At the time of her review of the document, the only part not redacted was one paragraph. The document had been redacted in 1962 to remove 3rd party information.  (23)

This redaction from 1962, is further proof that the CIA was not interested in the Berlitz School.  They were interested in the prisoner

Drexel Gibson Redacted
Gibson Redacted File viewed by HSCA (24)
with whom Drexel Gibson had been imprisoned with, John Martino. The rest was considered third party information.  According to this report, Gibson was not questioned at all about any sensitive materials, documents, or information that could have been found at the Berlitz School.  If there were training in the use of explosives conducted here, where was the evidence?  If the G-2 had searched his property fully and found something surely Gibson would have been executed as other Americans trying to overthrow Castro had been.

 

Ms. Wizelman would not have seen the information in 1978 about the Berlitz School based on the redactions.  According to the record sheet, this document was never seen by famed researcher Gaeton Fonzi, who was investigating leads in connection to the Berlitz School. The full document was released in 1993.  Gaeton Fonzi never wrote about Drexel Gibson in his book, The Last Investigation.  Nor was Gibson ever questioned by the HSCA in their investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy.

Additionally, the June Cobb file reviewed by HSCA staffer Edwin Lopez, contained information about Castro’s girlfriend and Berlitz Employee, Rosanna Carfagno.  There was nothing in the file that would indicate that Carfagno went on to work at the Berlitz School in Cuba.  If Lopez had made the connection, it would certainly been passed on to Gaeton Fonzi as he conducted his research into the alleged CIA connections with anti-Castro Cubans.

Unanswered Questions

One has to wonder if Gaeton Fonzi did know about Gibson, what information could have been gained in his quest for the truth?   What could have been learned if this lead had been followed? The questions that I am left with are more than when I started and it frustrates me as a researcher.  The answers that I am seeking are not here and they may have passed us by as Drexel Gibson passed away in 1998. (25)   The questions that remain in my mind continue to challenge me.

Would the CIA have used the Berlitz School to train anti-Castro revolutionaries  if there were so many people working there who were pro-Castro?

Why didn’t Cuban intelligence accuse Gibson of working for the CIA?  If they had evidence that Gibson was working for the US government, why was he allowed to leave Cuba, when so many other were not?  Does this alone mean that he was NOT working for the United States Government?

If the government were interested in Drexel Gibson and concerned about the implications of his arrest and imprisonment in relation to CIA covert operations, why did they wait over three months to interview him after his release from Cuban prison?  Is this not a sign that he and the school were not part of any operations against Castro?

Are any of the employees still alive?  Can they be tracked down to provide insight into the work that was happening at the Berlitz School?

When I have finished researching in the past, I have always felt a resolution in my work. In this case, I am feeling empty and unsatisfied.  I am upset, because I have seen the documents by the HSCA requesting information on this topic, and it is obvious to me, that this information never made it into the hands of the investigators charged by Congress to leave no stone unturned.

Matt “The Hitman” Scheufele

(1)  UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Congressional Record PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 87/A CONGRESS FIRST SESSION VOLUME 107—PART 9 JUNE 26, 1961, TO JULY 14, 1961 (PAGES 11167 TO 12620) UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON, 1961)

(2) IBID

(3) ‘What a nightmare!’ Says American in Cuban Jail, The Pittsburgh Gazzette, November 26, 1961,  George Clifford

(4) IBID

(5)JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 9  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(6)  ‘What a nightmare!’ Says American in Cuban Jail, The Pittsburgh Gazzette, November 26, 1961,  George Clifford

(7) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 9  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(8) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 10  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(9) Berlitz School of Languages, Calle 23 No. 171, Vedado. (Today the Ministry of Sugar) http://www.bc.gob.cu/english/financial_institutions.asp

(10) The Times (Hammond, Indiana) July 21, 1963, Page 21

(11) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 11  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(12) [RESTRICTED] (Deposition of Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Goldsborough Egerter)NARA Record Number: 180-10131-10333

(13) INDEX CARDS, NARA Record Number: 1993.08.03.17:13:42:400063

(14) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 10  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(15) Americans Join Castro’s Ranks, Fulton Lewis Jr Lakeland Ledger – Dec 26, 1961, pg 4  

(16) “Americans in Cuba Celebrate July 4”, The Militant, July 10 and 17, 1961.

(17) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 11  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(18) Reel 11, Folder B – CIA/DO/LA FILE ON VIOLA JUNE COBB AS REVIEWED BY ED LOPEZ. pg. 60  NARA Record Number: 1994.03.08.13:30:54:000007

(19) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 11  NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(20) IBID

(21) Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1963 for Drexel Gibson A3995 – Miami, Florida, 1957-1963

(22) JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 5 NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(23)  JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 8 NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(24)  JOHN MARTINO: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA, pg 5 NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.09:15:26:960620

(25) Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.

 

Research Community Help Wanted

“BELIEVE FACT THAT LITENSOR AWARE OF THIS CONTACT (FROM OUR JOINT OPERATION) AND PASSED DATA TO COS IMPORTANT”

Winston Scott, Mexico City Chief of Station, November 23, 1963 (1)

Winston Scott2
Winston Scott (2)

Sometime this past August I began a project that I think will benefit the entire research community.  I hope to complete it before the new year.  In the work that I have done, I came across a document that I felt may open up doors for us getting to the truth in Mexico City.  Others have identified this document in their work, but for me, it was new and fresh and raises many questions.  Sometimes, renewed examination can spur on research being conducted by others in the community.

The document indicates that the President of Mexico (Litensor)Adolfo Lopez Mateos (3) met with Winston Scott, CIA Station Chief, on November 23, 1963.  Scott states in this cable to CIA that he thought the meeting would be about the President of Mexico expressing his condolences.  It turns out, the meeting was to provide the CIA with information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s phone call to the Cuban embassy on September 28, 1963. (4)  The interesting part about this cable is that there was nothing in the  September 28, 1963 phone calls that identified Oswald.   Why did the president bring this phone call to Scott’s attention and not the calls that were made later, in which the caller identified himself as Oswald?  Why did Winston Scott himself close out the cable stating the importance of this information?

Not only was the Mexican government on top of the phone calls, they were also following up on leads, further indicating that they were moving faster than the CIA in following up on the Oswald story in Mexico City.  At 5PM on November 23 the same day Scott met with the president, the CIA had to cancel its surveillance of KGB Agent Valerie Kostikov because they were bumping into Mexican Secret Service Agents already on the job.  It was clear that the Mexican Government was working off of the same tapes of the LIENVOY operations.  In addition, the cable makes special note that the CIA had not told the Mexican authorities about Kostikov and the fact that he had met with Oswald. (5)

This raises a number of questions.  The Lienvoy operation, as detailed by Bill Simpich in his book, State Secret (6), was a joint operation between the United States and Mexico.  It should have been obvious to the President of Mexico that the United States would have had access to the information about the phone call.  Why did he think it important enough to have a face to face meeting with Scott?  Why did they use such an important channel to communicate this information?

There are further questions that come to mind when referring to this information.  We know that recordings were made by the United States and that testimony indicates they were erased prior to the assassination. This is a huge controversy! Were they erased?  Were they not erased?  Did the Mexican government also posses tapes?  Was the Mexican government running their own operations independent of the CIA?  There has to be an explanation for the fact that the President of Mexico delivered this message!

The CIA agents from Mexico City claimed that the tapes were erased, yet there is evidence that FBI Agents heard the tapes and reported it was not Oswald.  This controversy has NEVER been satisfactorily answered for many researchers.  I contend that both are possible to be accurate when taking into consideration that the Mexican government clearly had access to the recordings as well based on this documented cable.  It is possible that the CIA told the truth, they did erase the tapes and that the tapes that the FBI listened to came from the Mexican government. Hoover certainly had his own connections in Mexico City and if the Government of Mexico had tapes, they certainly would not have wanted this information out there.  It would also make sense, that they would not ever have admitted that the Mexican government was working on them with the wiretapping project.

The final piece to this document is the routing slip that I have located for the cable.  It indicates that Winston Scott may have created a memorandum about his contact with the President of Mexico.  If there is a memorandum, I have not been able to locate it.  It most certainly would contain more information about this cable, and add clarity to the conversation about the wiretap.

ROUTING SLIP  MEXI 7028

My hope is that with all of the outstanding researchers in the community, that maybe we can find the memo the Scott wrote about this interaction.  In addition, are there people out there, who know how to access information from the Mexican government?  Do they still possess the tapes or the transcripts?  Did they have other information that we are not aware of that would be beneficial in our search for the truth?  There is evidence that they were moving faster than our own CIA in the investigation of Oswald in Mexico City.  Did they run an investigation of him at the time of Oswald’s visit?  Have we truly explored all of the avenues including those independent of our own government archives?  I am wondering what Adolfo Lopez Mateos had in his own files about what transpired between himself and Win Scott.

I apologize for the questions throughout the blog today, as they have been bottled up inside of me for months.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Matt “Hitman” Scheufele 11/26/2015

(1) NARA Record Number: 104-10422-10149 CABLE: COS HAD URGENT CALL TO SEE LITENSOR 23 NOV
(2) Great Crackdowns in CIA History: LITEMPO and The Tlatelolco Massacre
(3) State Secret Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald by Bill Simpich
(4) NARA Record Number: 104-10422-10149 CABLE: COS HAD URGENT CALL TO SEE LITENSOR 23 NOV
(5)NARA Record Number: 104-10438-10094 CABLE: TEAM REPORTS KOSTIKOV UNDER MEXICAN SURVEILLANCE
(6) State Secret Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald by Bill Simpich
(7)NARA Record Number: 104-10055-10045 CONDOLENCES OVER LOSS OF PRES KENNEDY AND OSWALD CALLS TO SOVIET EMBASSY IN MEXICO 

Altgens – 6 Guess What? It Is Lovelady not Oswald!

Altgens-6

There is no credible evidence that Billy Lovelady was not the man photographed in the famous photograph known as Altgens-6.  This photograph was taken just after the second shot was fired at President Kennedy.  The President’s hands are up around his throat indicating he had been hit.  What many people who claim Lee Harvey Oswald was innocent have clung to over the years, is that it was Lee Harvey Oswald on the steps of the Book Depository in the background . They are grasping at straws and to sustain this theory requires great magic tricks.

Here are the police reports, including the statements, and the affidavits of the people who were indeed present on the steps.  You can read them for yourselves, or you can take my word, that not one single person who was present on the steps, mentions Lee Harvey Oswald being there.  I place these links here to allow the first hand witnesses be heard above the noise of the people who profess falsehoods in their attempts to erase the historical record showing no care or concern for the truth.

Avery Davis (steps)

Ruth Dean (steps)

Buell Wesley Frazier (steps)

Bill Lovelady (steps)

Judy McCully (steps)

Joe Molina (steps)

Madie Bell Reese (steps)

RA Reid (steps)

William H. Shelley (steps)

Finally, I leave you with the FBI report from 1964 when this was first investigated.  Those who continue to cling to this fallacy caused it to be investigated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1977.  The Committee came to the same conclusion that Billy Lovelady was on the steps.

Commission Document 457 – FBI Letter from Director of 09 Mar 1964 with Attachments

Matt “The Hitman”  Scheufele

“Hitman” name given to me by Ralph Cinque) Oswald in the Doorway: The Blog of the Oswald Innocence Campaign, Written by Ralph Cinque

Vindication for JD Tippit

Once again, Ms. Baker is taking historical documents and working them into the “Mythological World of Oswald” as told by Judyth Vary Baker.  Ms. Baker’s hypothesis is that the FBI lied by typing over a report changing the time of Officer JD Tippit’s death from 1:15 to 1:25. (1)

metapth338334_l_DSMA_91-001-1503054-3445_11
Autopsy Report on Officer J. D. Tippit, by Earl F. Rose #2, page 11

The first document that Ms. Baker refers to in her post is the authorization for an autopsy to be completed on Officer JD Tippit.  It is a document completed by the Justice of the Peace, Joe B. Brown Jr. authorizing Dr. Earl F. Rose to complete an autopsy on the slain police officer. (2)

In looking at the document, it should be noted that Ms. Baker correctly identifies the time of death as 1:15 PM on November 22, 1963.  What is absent from Ms. Baker’s use of this document is the comment next to it that says “D O A Methodist Hospital”.  What this does is establish that Tippit arrived at the hospital dead.  This arrival time was at 1:15 PM.  The reality is we do not know what time Tippit died based on this document because he was not alive  when he arrived. The body of the text on this form clearly states that he was dead on arrival at the hospital.  The document was signed by Brown at 3:00 PM giving permission for the autopsy and for the release of the body to the Dudley Funeral Home after its completion.  We know that Dr. Rose began his autopsy at 3:15  minutes after Judge Brown signed the authorization. (3)

Ms. Baker takes this document and compares it to an FBI report completed on November 29, 1963 by FBI Agent Robert C. Lish.  She claims that the FBI typed over the document changing the time from 1:15 to 1:25.  The document that she cites to make this claim is a report filed by Special Agent Robert C. Lish.  on November 29, 1963.  This document indicates that JD Tippit was pronounced dead at 1:25 PM.  SA Lish is reporting on the paperwork on Officer Tippit in possession of the Dudley Funeral Home.  The report shows that Officer Tippet was pronounced dead by Dr. Liguori at 1:25 PM.

Commission Document 5 - FBI Gemberling Report of 30 Nov 1963 re: Oswald Current Section: IV. Shooting of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit, Page 82
Commission Document 5 – FBI Gemberling Report of 30 Nov 1963 re: Oswald
Current Section: IV. Shooting of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit, Page 82

One must ask, why would this document say 3:25?  Did the funeral home make a mistake?  It is based on the funeral home documents that SA NISH created this report so that can explain why it has 3:25 in his document.  Fortunately a very important person, Dr. Ligouri was also interviewed. SA Nish reports that Dr. Ligouri stated that Officer Tippit was “pronounced dead” by him at 3:25.  Why would Dr. Ligouri state to the FBI that he was dead at 3:25?  It is easy to jump to the conclusion that this document was also altered to incriminate Lee Oswald. Or it was typed on the same typewriter that just does not effectively do its job. (4)

So what explains the discrepancy?  Going back to the first document, the 1:15 would demonstrate the time of arrival based on the way autopsy request is written.  It does not indicate is the time he was pronounced dead.  What happens when a person is brought into a hospital?  The doctors in the emergency room very often take measures to revive the person who is laying before them on the table.  They do not pronounce the patient dead and then begin life saving measures.  As a matter of fact, one would imagine that in 1963 there would have been as much a sense of urgency to save a police officer as there was to save President Kennedy. Is there evidence that this took place?

It turns out there is evidence that this did take place.  A Dallas police officer responding to the call of Tippit being shot, intercepted the ambulance on the way to the hospital.  The two officers, (5) RA Davenport and WR Bardin also place the time of death at 1:15.  This actually looks like they had originally put 1:25 and then retyped over it.  Changing it back to 1:15.  The point is however that he was dead upon arrival at 1:15 according to the document signed by Judge Brown.  The interesting part of their report is that they wrote about the doctor taking life saving measures attempting to bring Tippit “back to life”. When examining the radio traffic of the Dallas Police Department, the radio transmission to the patrol cars indicated that at 1:28 PM an announcement was made over the radio waves that it was Officer JD Tippit who had been shot and believe to be pronounced DOA. (6)  All of this fits perfectly with the following timeline:

1:08 Tippit radios in about suspicious person (Police Transmission Time)

1:15 Tippit arrives at the hospital. (Hospital Time)

1:15-1:25 Life saving measures begin. (Hospital Time)

1:25 Dr. Ligouri Prounces Tippit Dead (Hospital Time)

1:28 Announcement of Tippit DOA over the radio. (Police Transmission Time)

Keeping in mind that these times, are not on the synchronized atomic clocks that work with our cell phones.  There is the potential for differences in the timeline but it is a finite twenty minute timeline in length.   The point is yet again, Ms. Baker is taking liberties with historical documents to make a hypothesis that would have involved many moving parts.  The Dallas police reports would have had to have been doctored, since Officer Tippit’s murder would have been under their jurisdiction and this would have to align with the FBI reports, the hospital documents, the funeral home documents and every individual report filed by a police officer.   Judge Brown and Dr. Ligouri would have had to have been complicit in this as well as the police officers who were in the emergency room with Tippit.  To support her hypothesis there would be too many moving parts to sustain it.  The timeline presented here works and makes sense.  Once again, the Baker Oswald Mythology is not sustainable with this evidence that supports a reasonable explanation.

Matthew “The Hitman” Scheufele

(1) Judyth Baker, August 30, 2015 11:27 PM Screen Captures Below

(2) Rose, Earl F. [Autopsy Report on Officer J. D. Tippit, by Earl F. Rose #2], Legal Document, November 22, 1963; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338334/ : accessed September 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas.

(3) Rose, Earl F. [Autopsy Report on Officer J. D. Tippit, by Earl F. Rose #2], Legal Document, November 22, 1963; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338334/ : accessed September 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas.

(4) Commission Document 5 – FBI Gemberling Report of 30 Nov 1963 re: Oswald Current Section: IV. Shooting of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit, Page 81

(5) Dallas (Tex.). Police Dept. [Supplementary Offense Report Concerning Shooting of Officer Tippit #5], Text, 196u; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth338270/ : accessed September 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas.

(6) Dallas (Tex.). Police Dept. [Radio Transcript for November 22, 1963], Letter, November 22, 1963; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth339128/ : accessed September 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Municipal Archives , Dallas, Texas., Page 73

Baker Tippet

Funeral Home Record

Permit for Autopsy 1

Vindication for Mexico City

“When you take a little bit of truth and then you mix it with untruth, or your theory, that’s where you get people to believe…”

Glenn Beck, June 8, 2006

JUDYTH BAKER INCORRECTLY CLAIMS THAT THE CIA DID NOT KNOW THAT OSWALD WAS IN MEXICO CITY ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1963

Lopez Report
REPORT ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD’S TRIP TO                                  MEXICO CITY                           NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10484 Page 65

Judyth Baker claimed on August 5, 2015 many things about Oswald and his trip to Mexico City in her attempt to attack a critic of her book.  Her post is a perfect representation of how to blend fact into a story to created a believed myth.   “NOTE THAT THE CIA LOOKED FOR LEE IN MEXICO CITY BY SEPT, 27 –BEFORE THAT DATE HAD BEEN GIVEN TO THEM.”  (1) Ms. Baker begins to use the Lopez Report to support her claims.  The Lopez Report which does indeed state they were unable to determine how or why headquarters cabled the CIA in Mexico City directing them to investigate the transcripts back to September 27.  This statement in the Lopez report was in reference to a cable sent by Birch O’Neil to Mexico City requesting that they begin their search for information about Oswald starting on September 27.(2)

THE LOPEZ REPORT ACTUALLY LEAVES THE DOOR OPEN TO THE FACT THAT THE CIA MAY HAVE HAD OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

What Baker does not point out is that the report also was open to the possibility that there was human intelligence shared between the FBI and the CIA about the dates.  The report continues by stating that it does not really matter how the information was acquired by the CIA, but that it does mean that CIA headquarters was possibly aware of these visits prior to the assassination.  This article supports their conclusion.  The Lopez report does not indicate that the CIA knew about the visit prior to the actual visits as Baker leads her followers to believe.  Baker, leaving out the fact that the Lopez report was open to other investigative means to determine the September 27, 1963 date is the perfect example of how a little truth being excluded can support the myth. (3) The next page of the Lopez Report addresses this issue further stating that there were cables to headquarters that contained information that linked Oswald’s October 1 phone call to a visit to the phone call from the Cuban Embassy to the Russian Embassy on September 28. (4)  The knowledge of these cables alone could have been the reason Birch O’Neil expanded the search.  This hypothesis does not hold true when looking at the evidence. The answer to how Birch O’Neil knew to expand the search to September 27  will be explained as we consider other sources of information.

THE CIA INVESTIGATED OSWALD’S VISIT TO THE SOVIET EMBASSY RISKING ASSETS TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED INSIDE THE EMBASSY

Col. Oleg Nechiporenko was the KGB Colonel who first interviewed Oswald on September 27, 1963 inside the Soviet Embassy. As Nechiporenko tells the story, Valerie Kostikov passed Oswald onto Nechiporenko after an amusing interaction between Oswald and Kostikov.  Oswald did not think Kostiov was a Russian and had requested to speak with a Soviet. (5) As Nochiporenko conducted his interview with Oswald, he said that he “silently cursed” Kostikov for it because as their conversation continued, he lost interest in Oswald. (6) It is also interesting to note that Nechiporenko says Oswald’s Russian was terrible, “…his pronunciation was bad, and he really mangled the grammar…” (7)

Nechiporenko writes that the CIA attempted to get information about the Oswald visit to their embassy through someone named John.  KGB Pavel Yastikov was the target of a CIA operation prior to the assassination in 1963 by the CIA by LIOVAL-1, John Emil Blankenship, an American professor in Mexico City who taught English at a college. (8) While the connection between LIOVAL-1 was made prior to the assassination in early 1963, LIOVAL-1 was used to gain information about Oswald’s visit to the Soviet Embassy since Yastikov had interviewed Oswald on September 28th with KGB Agent Valerie Kostikov.(9)  LIOVAL-1 referred to in Nechiporenko’s book was given the name  “Pez”  when he took on an operational interest after he asked them questions about Oswald’s trips to the Soviet Embassy. This line of questioning by LIOVAL-1 was reported to CIA Headquarters in June 1964. (10) LIOVAL-1 reported that Yastikov wished to purchase the same type of rifle used by Kennedy’s assassination.  He also reported that Oswald’s erratic behavior inside of the Soviet Embassy, led Yastikov to believe that Oswald did not have the ability to assassinate Kennedy. The CIA decided to attempt to recruit Yastikov through LIOVAL-1, but there were also concerns that LIOVAL-1 had been recruited by the Soviets.(11) This conclusion was based on the assessment of another Soviet Defector who reviewed the voluminous Yastikov Mexico City P-File, the bulk of which came from LIOVAL-1 who went fishing with Yastikov two weekends a month.(12)  Four years of developing a friendship around fishing trips resulted in Yastikov being given an offer by the CIA.(13)

CHIEF OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE JAMES JESUS ANGLETON HAD OTHER SOURCES TO INVESTIGATE WHAT TRANSPIRED INSIDE THE EMBASSY

CALDERON-KINGSMAN
HANDWRITTEN NOTE RE TRANSLATION SENT GALBOND VIA KINGMAN NARA Record Number: 104-10090-10027, Page 2

The CIA had other sources and methods connected to famed mole hunter James Jesus Angleton. LIOVAL-1 was managed by Paul Dillon. (14) Dillon was in charge of many aspects of operations involving the Soviet Union including defector Yuri Nosenko. Based on the recruitment attempt of Yastikov and the defection of Nosenko, there is little doubt that Paul Dillon worked with Angleton. (15)  Angleton (Pseudonym Kingsman) was immediately involved on November 22 in communication with Mexico City. Angleton had transcripts of phone calls made by Luisa Calderone, a Cuban Embassy Employee who was caught on the wiretap joking about the Kennedy Assassination on November 22 saying, “I knew about it before Kennedy.”(16) . The interesting thing about these transcripts to Angleton is that there does not appear to be a record of cable traffic to document it, just a hand written note. (17)  Either Angleton was in Mexico City and it was handed to him or there appears to be a backdoor channel by which information was sent to Angleton directly because there is no evidence that this was sent to Angleton through cable traffic.  If the transcripts were sent out through cable traffic, why did they not send the transcript directly to JC King (Galbond) directly? This note leads one to believe that this was filtered top down according to this from Angleton down to King.   Additionally, the handwritten note specifically states that they were not yet sharing this information with the FBI, indicating that they were protecting their source, HTLINGUAL.

THESE SOURCES MAY HAVE TRIGGERED THE SEPTEMBER 27 CABLE FROM HEADQUARTERS

Two logical hypothesis that can be produced from this information.  One hypothesis is that it was practice to send transcripts to Angleton on Soviet targets, possibly though backdoor channels.  Another hypotheseis is that LIOVAL-1 could very well have provided information prior to the assassination about the visit from one of his fishing trips with Yastikov.  The transcript hypothesis make more sense, as it was clear they were trying to figure out who the man was that visited the Cubans and Soviets on September 27th. A review at HQ by Angleton’s staff would have helped to widen the focus of the investigation.  The Lopez Report is open to this as has been pointed out above.  However, there is a more likely hypothesis that needs to be explored.  While plausible, these two hypothesis lack a sound basis in evidence.  The most plausible hypothesis is that there was another source of information which interestingly enough,  turns out to be Lee Harvey Oswald himself.

BAKER CLAIMS THE CIA WAS FRAMING OSWALD TO LOOK BAD BY MEETING WITH KGB ASSASSINATIONS AGENT VALERIE KOSTIKOV

Baker asserts that the CIA was framing Oswald with a meeting with Kostikov.(18)  As you will see, Oswald himself ties himself to Kostikov, without the help of the CIA.  All of the evidence above and the investigation by  LIOVAL-1 does not point to anyone framing Oswald.  It points to the CIA painstakingly trying to figure out what happened inside of the Soviet Embassy into mid 1964.  This was done even at the risk of compromising the relationship between LIOVAL-1 and Yastikov as written about by Nechiporenko.  The CIA tried desperately to figure out if it was Kostikov.  Is this the behavior of an organization trying to frame Oswald, or is it the behavior by the CIA desperately trying to determine if  the Soviet Union was behind the assassination?

OSWALD’S OWN LETTER DISPROVES BAKER’S CLAIMS HE WAS ON ASSIGNMENT FOR THE CIA

Oswald wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC in early November about his meeting with Kostikov.  He wrote about his dislike for the Cuban Consulate Azcue who went back to Cuba after Oswald’s visit and wrote with praise for the people inside of the Soviet Embassy.   This letter demolishes the Oswald Myth created by Baker.  First, if Oswald was on an aborted mission, and did everything he could in Mexico City to get to Cuba there was no reason to write the Soviet Embassy because the mission was over. (19)  Most important however, is the fact that there is no reason to frame Oswald with anything, he identified meeting with “Kostin” (Kostikov) in his letter.  Baker’s Oswald Mythology continues to fall apart.

THE CIA LETTER OPENING PROGRAM HTLINGUAL WAS RUN BY JAMES ANGLETON

So the question becomes did the CIA know about this letter?  The CIA HTLINGUAL program was a mail opening program that was run out of the office of James Jesus Angleton.  Oswald was on the list for mail opening since his attempt to defect to the Soviet Union. (20) He stayed on the list for nine months. (21) However, they were still intercepting mail going into the Soviet Embassy in DC.  As is indicated in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation, these intercepts would not have been stored in any persons 201 file due to the secrecy of the program.  As of November 26, Angleton himself had reviewed an FBI report and through HTLINGUAL sources informed J. Edgar Hoover that  Oswald had used the name “Alik” and that this may be “significant” in relation to the Alex Hidell  name associated with Oswald. (22) The most logical conclusion is that in addition to providing the FBI with the information about Oswald’s nickname to the FBI, the information gained from HTLINGUAL determined to expand the search for information in Mexico City to September 27, 1963.

 HTLINGUAL INTERCEPTED OSWALD’S NOVEMBER 9 LETTER PRIOR TO THE ASSASSINATION

OSWALD LETTER
FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 15 Page 44

Is there evidence that the HTLINGUAL program intercepted the Oswald letter?  The FBI had decided in 1958 to speak to the post office about starting a letter opening program.  They were informed that they were a little late, that the CIA already had one operating. (23) One can only wonder how Hoover reacted to find that the CIA was conducting a domestic operation on American citizens.  What we do know, is that the FBI was receiving information from this program.  The FBI had a typed copy of Oswald’s letter and had distributed the letter to the FBI Office in Dallas TX. prior to the assassination. (24) James Hosty writes in his book, Assignment Oswald, that it was part of the Oswald file, and that he did not have the ability to question the Oswald’s about it because it would have revealed the mail opening program to the Oswalds. (25) On November 23,  Hosty acquired a hand written rough draft written by Oswald from the Paine residence. (26) In addition to this, the Soviet Ambassador provided the state department with the letter itself on November 30. (27)  The signature on the typed letter demonstrates that Oswald signed the letter himself.  The letter would become part of the Warren Report as CE-315.  Without a doubt, the CIA and FBI must have enjoyed the fact that they no longer had to protect the HTLINGUAL source because of this information from the Soviets.

JAMES ANGLETON POSSESSED ALL OF THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO EXPAND THE SEARCH TO SEPTEMBER 27, 1963

What this does mean is that James Angleton upon reading the letter in his files, knew instantly that Oswald had visited the Cuban Embassy prior to his visit to the Soviet Embassy.  It is entirely logical that Angleton would then expand the known day that the Oswald cable of October 8, 1963 indicated the visit of Saturday, September 28th to Friday, September 27th as the Cuban Consulate was traditionally closed on Saturday.  Birch O’Neil, Angleton’s right hand man, sent the cable that widened the search by a day. (28) A little over five hours after receiving that cable, Mexico City had found the transcripts of phone calls that seemed to indicate that Oswald had been in the Cuban Embassy based on a conversations between Sylvia Duran and KGB Agent Valerie Kostikov indicating that Oswald had been in both embassies on Friday, September 27th. (29)  Like a master spy, Angleton confirmed the information in Oswald’s letter about being in the Cuban Embassy without letting Mexico City know he had intelligence about this.  More importantly to the CIA, why was Oswald in contact with the head of KGB Assassinations in the region?

MEXICO CITY ESTABLISHES OSWALD’S ARRIVAL TIME TWO HOURS LATER

In Mexico City, Clark Anderson of the FBI was furnished information on November 23 that Lee Harvey Oswald had entered Mexico on September 26, 1963 at Laredo.  Clark Anderson was involved in almost all decisions around the investigation being conducted in Mexico City.  But the fact that he knew when Oswald crossed the border would also have been reported to Washington and it is perfectly logical that headquarters limited the search to these dates. (30)  Ambassador Mann sent a telegram to the Secretary of State at 9:00 PM indicating that they had contacted all US Consular Border posts and requested a search.  By the evening shift Mexico City had been informed that Oswald had entered via Laredo on September 26. (31) Win Scott sent a memo indicating that the Laredo Consulate notified the ambassador at 7:00 PM of Oswald’s entry on September 26. (32)   The 7:00 AM notes of the Mexico City Station on what they knew on November 24 indicated that they knew exactly the date Oswald entered into Mexico as well. (33) There was no need to expand LIENVOY before this date.

BAKER INCORRECTLY ASSERTS THAT THE OCTOBER 10 CABLE WAS UNSOLICITED

Baker continues making her point implying that the CIA Headquarters sent unsolicited information about Oswald to Station Chief Win Scott on October 10, 1963.  “FOR WHY WOULD CIA SEND A CABLE TO MEXICO CITY ON OCT. 10, 1963, ABOUT LEE OSWALD UNLESS IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR MEXICO CITY’s CIA STATION CHIEF TO KNOW ABOUT LEE OSWALD?” (34) Ms. Baker is historically accurate to stating that headquarters did send information to Win Scott, Chief of Station, Mexico City.(34)   CIA Headquarters did not send this cable to Mexico City unsolicited as Baker claims! To fully understand how and why this CABLE was sent, one must look at all of the events prior to it being sent.

On September 27, 1963 at 4:05 PM the CIA phone intercept program, LIENVOY intercepted a phone call from Sylvia Duran inside of the Cuban Consulate to the Soviet Embassy.(35) It was this phone call that was finally attributed to Oswald when Mexico City expanded their search to September 27th at the request of Birch O’Neil.  The phone call was translated and on the morning of September 28 it was in the hands of Win Scott.  The conversation was of immediate interest to Win Scott because, although it did not have a name attached to it, Duran stated that she had an American with her who wanted a travel VISA to get to the Soviet Union.  As part of the station protocol, any American or English speaking person that made contact with either the Cuban or the Soviet Embassies were a priority for the station.

WIN SCOTT WANTED THE UNIDENTIFIED AMERICAN IDENTIFIED

Identify
TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATION IN SPANISH NARA Record Number: 104-10151-10067, Page 2

Scott wrote on the top of the transcripts, “Is it possible to identify?”  He wanted to know who the American was.  The transcript demonstrates that on September 28, 1963 Win Scott was curious about who the American was inside of the embassy with Duran on Friday, September 27, 1963. (36) The LIENVOY program and it’s operations are well documented in Bill Simpich’s work, State Secret. This operation was one of the most closely guarded secrets.  Win Scott, received all of the transcripts every day and read them personally and he was aware that there was an American inside of the Cuban Embassy who had visited the Soviet Embassy.  They were not able to take action or link this to Oswald until after the assassination of President Kennedy.

The CIA could not do anything about the phone calls of September 27th phone calls because they were phone calls in which no name was identified.  It was not until October 1, 1963 that a phone call was made in which the caller used the name “Lee Oswald”.

1. ACC LIENVOY 1 OCT 63, AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN SAID HIS NAME LEE OSWALD (PHONETIC), STATED HE AT SOVEMB ON 28 SEPT WHEN SPOKE WITH CONSUL WHOM HE BELIEVED BE VALERIY VLAMIMIIOVI KOSTIKIV. SUBJ ASKED SOV GUARD IVAN OBEYDKOV WHO ANSWERED, IF THERE ANYTING NEW RE TELEGRAM TO WASHINGTON.  OBEYDKOV UPON CHECKING SAID NOTHING RECEIVED YET, BUT REQUEST HAD BEEN SENT. (37)

CIA CABLE MEXI 6453 PROVES THAT MEXICO CITY REQUESTED THE INFORMATION

This cable is famous because it contained the photograph of the “Mystery Man” and the description of an individual who was not Oswald.  The cable had inaccurately linked the man who made the phone call to the man in the photographs. This cable has provided the fuel to the fire that the “Mystery Man” was impersonating Oswald for years. This cable was sent on October 9, 1963 to headquarters.  This cable, MEXI 6453 absolutely proves that Ms. Baker has completely misrepresented the October 10, 1963 Cable in her attempt to prove that the CIA sent Oswald to Mexico City.

6453 Number 1
CABLE: ACC LIENVOY 2 OCT 63, AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN              NARA Record Number: 104-10428-10260, Page 2

The highlighted portion of this is used to demonstrate the tracking numbers used by the CIA in their cables.  The highlighted portion of this cable indicates that the cable was sent from Mexico City (MEXI) and the number assigned to the cable was 6453.  These numbers were specific to cables and were sent in sequential order.  The next cable from Mexico City would be 6454.  Note the date of the cable is October 9, 1963.

The numbers on the cable are very important. It will be used in any and all cables between headquarters about this cable so that it can be referenced. Headquarters responded to this cable with the information about Lee Harvey Oswald. The point is there is absolutely no evidence that headquarters wanted to notify Win Scott about Lee Harvey Oswald’s presence in Mexico City.  The October 10th cable that Baker references does not prove that Oswald was working in an operational capacity because it was a response to information sent from Mexico City.

6453 Highlighted
CLASSIFIED MESSAGE. MEXI 6453 (IN 36017) NARA Record Number: 1993.08.12.17:31:16:400030, Page 2

When examining the October 10, 1963 it clearly identifies that headquarters is responding to Mexico City with information about Oswald.  It is a response, it is not unsolicited as she would have her readers believe.  The highlighted section clearly identifies the reference to cable 6453.  This is the prime example of how an actual historical document can be used to perpetuate a myth.  It is not an accurate portrayal of the historical record that has been so carefully presented by the research of John Newman, Bill Simpich, and Jefferson Morely.  All who have painstakingly written great works that explain the CIA operations in Mexico City.  While there are issues raised by these cables and their content, it is not remotely fair to the historical record to use these primary sources or to imply that the works of Newman and Morely somehow support the claims she makes in reference to these documents.

FACTS VERSES THE BAKER MYTH

The facts in this article clearly demonstrate how a little bit of truth has been worked into the Oswald mythology created by Author Judyth Baker.  Lee Harvey Oswald visited Mexico City.  The CIA in Mexico City was attempting to figure out who he was as of September 28.  On October 9 there was a cable sent from Mexico City that triggered information about Oswald on October 10 from CIA Headquarters.  It was not unsolicited information, as Ms. Baker would have us believe, nor does it prove that he was working in an operational capacity.

Five hours after Birch O’Neil, under the direction of James Jesus Angleton expanded the search for information in a cable to Mexico City asking them to start searching on September 27, 1963 for information about Oswald the September 27th transcripts were linked to Oswald.  It was information that Lee Harvey Oswald himself had unwittingly provided to the CIA and FBI when he wrote the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. on November 9, 1963.  This letter was intercepted by HTLINGUAL, a program run by James Jesus Angleton.  While Ms. Baker is correct that the Lopez report indicated that there was evidence that CIA Headquarters may have had prior knowledge of the trip she fails to mention that the report leaves the door open to leads that came from other sources.  The record shows, that there was no knowledge of this information prior to the HTLINGUAL intercepted letter of November 9.  This ends the myth that the Birch O’Neil cable somehow proves that the CIA knew of Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City prior to the trip.

The investigation conducted by the CIA after the assassination does not support prior knowledge of Oswald’s visit from an operational sense.  Baker has claimed that Oswald was debriefed upon his return.  The work of LIOVAL-1 in the year after the assassination does not support this.  The CIA would have no reason to be investigating what had transpired in the Soviet Embassy if Oswald had been “debriefed”.  It does not support her assertion that they were setting Oswald up with Kostikov to frame him.  There would have been no need for further investigation.  What the record shows is that they risked the LIOVAL-1 operation, which appears to have been a recruitment operation, to learn what had happened inside of the Soviet Embassy.  The record shows, that they were attempting to determine what if any contact had happened with Kostikov.  It does not support the Oswald Mythology as told by Judy Baker.

Ms. Baker continues to blur the historical record leading people down the path of the Oswald Mythology that she has created. Her continued efforts to support this myth, by including historically accurate information, would lend the casual reader to find her knowledgeable and supported by the historical record.  The Oswald Mythology that she wants us to believe has not been accurate about Kerry Thornley, Eric Rogers, Sylvia Duran, and now Oswald’s trip to Mexico City.  Sadly, she is becoming one of the main impediments to us gaining access to the truth.

Included below the sources is her post of August 5, 2015 as a record of her continued attempts to bolster this mythology at the expense of the truth.

Matt “The Hitman” Scheufele

September 4, 2015

A special thanks to Rob Clark and Bill Simpich.  Rob’s podcast introduced me to Nochiporenko’s book.  Bill Simpich continues to speak with me about the Mexico City operations.  Both of you have been tremendous inspirations for my work.

(1) Judyth Baker, August 5, 2015 Facebook

(2) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.06.10:25:36:500410 IMPORTANT YOU REVIEW ALL ((DELETIONS))

(3) NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10484 REPORT ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD’S TRIP TO MEXICO CITY, pg 65

(4) NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10484 REPORT ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD’S TRIP TO MEXICO CITY pg 66

(5)  Passport to Assassination Nechiporenko, Col. Oleg Maximovich, Carol Publishing Group, NY 1993, pg 67

(6) Passport to Assassination Nechiporenko, Col. Oleg Maximovich, Carol Publishing Group, NY 1993, pg. 70

(7) Passport to Assassination Nechiporenko, Col. Oleg Maximovich, Carol Publishing Group, NY 1993, pg. 71

(8) NARA Record Number: 104-10522-10085 MEXICO CITY CHRONOLOGY COVERING PERIOD 27 SEPT 63 – 3 FEB 1968

(9)  NARA Record Number: 104-10431-10081 CABLE: FROM 27 SEPT LIENVOY, TIME LATE AFTERNOON PRIOR 1700 HOURS, UNIDENTIFIED

(10)  NARA Record Number: 104-10522-10092 CABLE: DURING SUBJ’S 11-12 JUNE TRIP WITH SOV CONSUL PAVEL ANTONOVICH YATSKOV

(11) NARA Record Number: 104-10414-10342LIST OF RECORDS AND FILES ON SUSPECT RIS OFFICERS

(12) NARA Record Number: 124-10369-10005 ADMIN FOLDER-L8: HSCA ADMINISTRATIVE FOLDER, LEE HARVEY OSWALD (NEW FILE)

(13)  Passport to Assassination Nechiporenko, Col. Oleg Maximovich, Carol Publishing Group, NY 1993, pg. 260-284

(14)  NARA Record Number: 124-10369-10005 ADMIN FOLDER-L8: HSCA ADMINISTRATIVE FOLDER, LEE HARVEY OSWALD (NEW FILE)

(15) NARA Record Number: 104-10429-10130 MEMO:CONCERNING DISCUSSION OVER WHO WOULD ASK QUESTIONS OF AEFOXTROT/PROPOSED QUESTIONS

(16) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10426 TRANSCRIPTS FROM CUBAN EMBASSY AND CUBANA AIRLINES CONVERSATIONS ON 22 NOV 1963 (ATTACHMENT #1)

(17)  NARA Record Number: 104-10090-10027 HANDWRITTEN NOTE RE TRANSLATION SENT GALBOND VIA KINGMAN

(18)  Judyth Baker, August 5, 2015 Facebook

(19) Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XVI Current Section: CE 15 – Letter from Lee Harvey Oswald to the Russian Embassy, dated November 9, 1963

(21) NARA Record Number: 180-10142-10331

(20) NARA Record Number: 1993.08.17.17:56:56:460059 INFORMAL RESEARCH AID FOR HSCA STAFF MEMBERS

(22) NARA Record Number: 1994.04.13.14:55:11:250005 Reel 44, Folder G – HTLINGUAL ITEMS RELATING TO LEE HARVEY OSWALD

(23) Global Security.org, SR POINTER/HTLINGUAL

(24) FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 15 page 44

(25) Assignment Oswald, Assignment Oswald, Hosty Jr, James P, 1996 Arcade Publishing, pg. 25

(26) NARA Record Number: 1993-05-19-18.02.50.000081 DRAFT OF LETTER TO RUSSIAN EMBASSY

(27) NARA Record Number: 124-10369-10064ADMIN FOLDER-Y9: HSCA ADMINISTRATIVE FOLDER, OSWALD LETTER TO SOVIETS 11/9/63

(28) NARA Record Number: 1994.05.31.12:51:10:96000 Reel 7, Folder H – SILVIA TIRADO DE DURAN [SOFT FILE].

(29) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.06.10:25:36:500410 IMPORTANT YOU REVIEW ALL ((DELETIONS))

(30) NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10094CABLE CONCERNING 27 SEPTEMBER 1963 CALL TO SOV MIL ATT

(31) NARA Record Number: 0-0-0TELEGRAM TO SECSTATE FROM MEXICO CITY RE CONSULAR BORDER POST CHECKS RE ENTRY OF OSWALD TO MEXICO 

(32)  NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10268 INFORMATION FROM U.S. CONSULATE NUEVO LAREDO CONCERNING LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

(33) NARA Record Number: 1993.06.15.16:08:42:43000 INFORMATION ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD AT 0700 ON 24 NOVEMBER 1963

(34) Judyth Baker, August 5, 2015 Facebook

(35) NARA Record Number: 104-10413-10146 CABLE:LEE OSWALD WHO CALLED SOVEMB

(36) NARA Record Number: 104-10151-10067 TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATION IN SPANISH

(37) NARA Record Number: 104-10422-10255CABLE: ACC LIENVOY 1 OCT 63, AMERICAN MALE WHO SPOKE BROKEN RUSSIAN

August 5 Baker 1August 5 Baker 2August 5 Baker 2.5 August 5 Baker 3

Vindication for Sylvia Duran

Recently author Judyth Vary Baker used some historical documents to make some points on Facebook that were not accurately portrayed.  Much like the inaccurate insertion of Kerry Thornley and Eric Rogers into her memoir she has recently taken some events that occurred in Mexico City and has attempted to use them to support her story.  This is part one of a two part response to her claims on her Facebook page.  She takes aim at the CIA and Sylvia Duran in her post.  These assertions do not stand up when examined with all of the evidence you will see in this article.

Judyth Vary Baker, Facebook August 5, 2015 12:40 AM EST.
Judyth Vary Baker, Facebook August 5, 2015 12:40 AM EST.

SYLVIA DURAN’S ARREST IS QUITE LOGICAL

Sylvia Duran was arrested twice by the Mexican authorities.  What Baker makes seems sinister is actually very logical.  Duran was arrested initially because she did not have any kind of diplomatic cover.  Duran was recorded on a tape of  two phone calls from the Cuban Embassy to the Soviet Embassy on September 27,1963.  The phone calls were made on behalf of an unidentified America looking to travel to Cuba.  Duran was a Mexican Citizen and therefore was easily apprehended without causing an international incident (1) She was not arrested to torture her and get her to confess to an affair, she was arrested the first time because of the phone call and the fact that this phone call had been tied to Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to Mexico City.

CIA HEADQUARTERS DID NOT WANT DURAN ARRESTED

The first arrest and the second arrests of Duran were not authorized by CIA headquarters.  At the time of the first arrest, a phone call from Chief of the Western Hemisphere/3 John Whitten (Pseudonym John Scelso) to Win Scott  requested that Duran NOT be arrested, but Scott informed him it was too late. (2)  This is also documented in a cable from CIA Mexico City to headquarters stating, “…SYLVIA DURAN AND HER HUSBAND HAD ALREADY BEEN ARRESTED.”(3) Whitten responded with a cable from headquarters to the Mexico City Station.

1. ARREST OF SILVIA DURAN IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS MATTER WHICH COULD PREJUDICE ODYOKE (UNITED STATES) FREEDOM OF ACTION ON ENTIRE QUESTION OF PBRUMEN (CUBAN) RESPONSIBILITY.  WITH FULL REGARD FOR MEXICAN INTERESTS, REQUEST YOU ENSURE THAT HER ARREST IS KEPT ABSOLUTELY SECRET NO INFORMATION FROM HER IS PUBLISHED OR LEAKED, THAT ALL SUCH INFO IS CABLES TO US, AND THAT FACT OF HER ARREST AND HER STATEMENTS ARE NOT SPREAD TO LEFTIST OR DISLOYAL CIRCLES IN THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT

2. WE ARE TRYING TO GET MORE INFO ON OSWALD FROM ODENVY (FBI) AND WILL ADVISE DIRECTOR THROUGH ODENVY (FBI) MEXI.,., (4)

Deputy Station Chief, Alan White cabled headquarters on November 24, 1963 about the results of the Duran interrogation. Sylvia Duran and her entire family who were having a party were arrested.  Duran blamed a relative for her arrest, so the CIA was not connected by her to her arrest, and the phone taps were still secret. The interrogation revealed that Oswald thought he would be able to travel to Cuba through an arrangement with the Soviets.  That this was not so, and he was rude to the Soviets and that he became abusive in the Cuban Embassy when his efforts to get to Cuba were thwarted. (5)  In addition, a human source within the Cuban Embassy explained that Duran returned to the embassy, satisfied with the way she had conducted herself during the arrest. The source reported that she had returned to work on November 25th. Interestingly the source inside of the embassy states that she “had no fear of confrontation.” (6)

DURAN PHYSICALLY FOUGHT WITH THE POLICE AT THE TIME OF HER ARREST

Duran testified before the HSCA in 1978.  She spoke of her arrest and provided the committee with details about her arrest. Duran did not go quietly stating that when they told her she was being arrested, she refused to go with the police officers wishing to see a judges order.  They then proceeded to put their hands on her, they grabbed her hands and she began to kick them to try and stop them from taking her.  She stated that they covered her mouth and loaded her into a station wagon. (7) This is the only time she refers to being physically handled by the Mexican authorities in her testimony.  Later in the questioning, the physicality of the arrest was again brought up and brought up the man she kicked in the “balls” at the first arrest was quite upset when they arrested her the second time.  She admits she was scared, and they attempted to intimidate her, but she says she answered all of their questions truthfully. (8)

THE ALVARDO STORY CAUSED AMBASSADOR MANN TO WANT DURAN REARRESTED

ALVARDO 1st ReportAfter Sylvia Duran was released from her first interview, a man by the name of Gilberto Alvarado contacted the American Embassy on November 25, 1963 with a story that he witnessed Lee Harvey Oswald receive $6,500 from a red-haired Cuban inside the Cuban Embassy on September 18, 1963.  Alvardo described that Oswald was friendly with a female employee of the embassy. (9)  There is plenty to the Alvarado story that can be written but this is not the focus of this article.  David Atlee Phillips was responsible for initially investigating Alvarado’s story,  and initially found his story to be credible and his the cable to CIA indicated, Alvardo was able to identify members of the Cuban Embassy from photographs and  what their jobs were within the embassy. (10) The investigation of Alvarado began to not ring true and by November 27, 1963 the CIA reported their doubts of his story to the FBI and Washington, DC, with the hypothesis that the story Alvarado was telling was designed by the government of Nicaragua to worsen relations between the US and Cuba. (11)

Alvardo’s story again focused the CIA’s attention on Sylvia Duran.  It was not to establish that she had an affair.  Duran was the ONLY person who was employed in the embassy who did not have diplomatic immunity.  There was a communication from CIA headquarters again stressing that they did not want Sylvia Duran arrested.  This appears to be in direct response to Ambassador Mann wanting to pursue the Cuban Assassination angle to its fullest potential.  (12)  On the same day there was a second communication from CIA headquarters again stressing that they did not want Sylvia Duran arrested but to place her under direct surveillance of the CIA or the Mexican authorities. This direction was in direct response to investigate the Alvarado story further. (13)

DURAN ARRESTED AGAIN AGAINST THE WISHES OF CIA HEADQUARTERS

Despite the directive from headquarters, the Mexican authorities decided to arrest Sylvia Duran.  At 12:15 on November 27, Scott was notified that Mexican authorities had arrested Duran.  (14) This information was passed from CIA headquarters directly to the White House.  (15) Duran however, testified before the HSCA that she was not planning on leaving the country for Cuba. (16)

It is well documented that Ambassador Mann believed that there was a Cuban conspiracy that was being uncovered in Mexico City.  He was frustrated by CIA headquarters, and my suspicion is that the Mexican authorities were directed through informal channels to arrest Sylvia Duran a second time. Ambassador Mann himself cabled CIA headquarters stating that there were two stories circulating from the Mexican Police, that Duran was arrested because she was going to leave for Cuba and a later story that they were trying to prevent her from leaving because she was a witness.  This cable includes a firm statement from the Ambassador that they had not directed the Mexican authorities to arrest Duran.  However, the cable exemplifies the ferocity in Mann’s desire to chase down the Alvarado lead by asking for permission to arrest Cuban consular officers Eusebio Azcue, Alfredo Mirabal, and secretary Luisa Calderon, all of whom were Cuban nationals.  Luisa Calderon was identified as the woman that Avarado claimed was communicating with Oswald.  In addition she was recorded on the wiretap of the embassy joking that she knew about the assassination before Kennedy (17).   It is no wonder that Ambassador Mann believed the Alvarado story and wanted it pursued to the point where he wanted Cuban diplomats arrested. (18)

The rearrest prompted this response from Richard Helms at headquarters:

…TO BE CERTAIN THERE IS NO MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN US, WE WANT TO INSURE THAT NEITHER SLVIA DURAN NOR CUBANS GET IMPRESSION THAT AMERICANS BEHIND HER REARREST.  IN OTHER WORDS WE WANT MEXICAN AUTHORITIES TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHOLE AFFAIR. (19)

THE CIA PROVIDED QUESTIONS TO DURAN’s INTERROGATORS

Duran was held for two days. The results of this investigation indicate no interest in Duran’s potential affair with Oswald, but it does contain questions related specifically to the Alvarado story.  Win Scott added comments to the cable from Helms.  He stated that the Mexican authorities should attempt to get the questions answered and that the CIA was still able to provide questions to the Mexican police, but that Americans should not have any direct contact with her.  (20) And what was the focus of the second interrogation of Duran, according to the report of the transcripts, there is evidence that the details of the Alvarado story was at least part of the focus.  There were questions asked about Calderon and then there are these statement in the report:

11. In answer to special questions, DURAN said that only she and the Consul are in the Consulate.  She said that the first time that Lee Harvey OSWALD was in the Consulate in the morning, to request information about getting to Cuba, she did not observe him very well.  In the afternoon, however, when he had the argument with the Consul, she did observe him closely and is sure that he was not wearing glasses.

12. There is no red-headed negro of that description in the Embassy.  Lately, no new person has arrived at the Embassy. (21)

The special questions were asked of her.  Alvarado’s story continued to fall apart.  It is here that the FBI directs the CIA to turn Alvarado over to the Mexicans.  The FBI wanted them to interrogate Alvarado and for them to conduct the polygraph of him.  Since they had questioned Duran, they wanted Alvarado to be investigated by them as well, to determine if their stories matched at all.  This directive was given to the CIA on November 28 and in the same communication we learn that the Mexicans were preparing to release Duran.  It is clear, the CIA was not at all interested in any alleged affair on the part of Duran, but they were interested in determining if the Alvarado story had any truth to it. (22)  In the end the Alvardo story did not hold water, and Alvarado recanted it.

ALLEGATIONS THAT DURAN WAS WITH OSWALD AT A PARTY 1964

As for the allegations that Duran slept with Oswald, Ms. Baker should heed her own advice in her post.  She quotes from Dr. John Newman and his book Oswald and the CIA.  Unfortunately, Ms. Baker does not read the portion of his work about the Duran/Oswald affair.  Dr. Newman clearly points out through his outstanding research that the rumors of the affair between Oswald and Duran did not reach the CIA until after the Warren Report was published.  This is a critical hole in her statement that Duran was tortured to admit that she was romantically involved with Oswald on behalf of the CIA.

The story which evolved over time made it’s way to Win Scott’s desk, on October 5, 1964. (23) In the original version of the story, Ms. Elena Garra de Paz, cousin of Sylvia Duran’s husband, Ruben, claimed to have attended a party in which Lee Harvey Oswald was present at the Duran’s house.  The information was passed onto the FBI and she was interviewed on November 24, 1963.  There was no mention of Duran having an affair with Oswald in the FBI interview of  Elena. (24)  Win Scott also wrote a memorandum about the interview and it does not include any details of an affair between Duran and Oswald.  At this point both the FBI and Win Scott believe there is not much to report about the allegations because the dates are not in alignment with the established Oswald timeline in Mexico City.

ALLEGATIONS THAT DURAN WAS OSWALD’S MISTRESS 1965

By December 10, 1965, State Department Officer, Charles Thomas speaks with Elena, she add’s a detail to the story, that Sylvia Duran was Lee Harvey Oswald’s lover.  In addition she makes reference to a red-haired Cuban.  This brings back into question the information from Alvarado and his story of a red-headed Cuban who had given Oswald money inside of the Cuban Embassy.  What was Win Scott’s reaction to the information that had crossed his desk?

NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10325 MEMORANDUM: SUBJECT - LEE HARVEY OSWALD AND KENNEDY ASSASSINATION
NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10325
MEMORANDUM: SUBJECT – LEE HARVEY OSWALD AND KENNEDY ASSASSINATION

“What an imagination she has!?!” If the CIA wanted to paint Oswald as the lover of Sylvia Duran, would this be the reaction that anyone would suspect?  This is followed by the question posed to Anne Goodpasture, “Should we send to Hqs?”  Again, if the CIA were indeed trying to perpetuate the lie of an Oswald and Duran affair as Ms. Baker alleges, why would they debate sending this information to headquarters?  Winn Scott clearly did not believe that this had any credibility and again, in another memorandum written by the FBI to the Ambassador that Elena’s allegations were investigated and unsubstantiated. There was no further action necessary. Again Win Scott writes at the top, “Can we send in a report to HQS?” (25)

Finally a cable is sent to headquarters letting the CIA know that her allegations are not substantiated.  In notes at the bottom of the dispatch between Deputy Chief of Station Allan White, and Win Scott, Scott writes, “She is also nuts.”  (26)

Newman concludes that there is credibility to Duran’s assertions that she did not have an affair with Lee Harvey Oswald because she had had an affair with Cuban Ambassador Lechuga and admitted to it.  When Duran was interviewed for Newman’s book Oswald and the CIA, she denied the affair stating, “No, no, no. Of course not.  I had a relation with someone in the embassy, but not with Oswald…he was somebody you couldn’t pay attention to.”  (27)  She had high standards, was clearly drawn to powerful men, something Oswald was not based on his behavior inside the consulate.

OSWALD DURAN AFFAIR REPORTED BY ASSET 1967

Finally, in 1967 at the time of the Garrison investigation, the story began to take life again.  The following dispatch from the Mexico City station to Chief of the Western Hemisphere completely eviscerates Ms. Baker’s statement that Silvia Duran was “tortured to admit that she slept with Lee Harvey Oswald.” A CIA source, LIRING/3 informed his case officer that he had spoken with Duran:

Sylvia Duran informed him that she first met Oswald when he applied for a visa and had gone out with him several times since she liked him from the start.  She admitted that she had sexual relations with him but insisted that she had no idea of his plans.  When the news of the assassination broke she stated that she was immediately taken into custody by the Mexican police and interrogated thoroughly and beaten until she admitted that she had an affair with Oswald. (28)

MEXICAN POLICE NEVER REPORTED AFFAIR IN 1963/CIA NOT CONCERNED WITH THE AFFAIR

While this comment appears to support the “torture” this is in contrast to Duran’s HSCA testimony where she speaks about resisting arrest and fighting the police.  In addition this conflicts with the reports of her return to work after the first arrest.  But what is VERY contradictory to Ms. Baker’s assertion that the CIA wanted to force her to admit the affair, we have this reaction from the Mexico City station to headquarters about this, the first confirmation that can be found in any CIA document is the following statement:

The fact that Silvia Duran had sexual intercourse with Lee Harvey OSWALD on several occasions when the latter was in Mexico City is probably new, but adds little to the OSWALD case.  The Mexican Police did not report the extent of the DURAN-OSWALD relationship to this Station.  (29)

BAKER’S CLAIMS DO NOT HOLD UP AGAINST THE PRIMARY EVIDENCE

One can see how Ms. Baker’s statements on her Facebook page are misleading.

  1. The CIA did not want Sylvia Duran arrested the first time.
  2. The CIA did not want Sylvia Duran arrested the second time.
  3. The CIA provided Mexican authorities with questions for Duran to verify the Alvarado story.
  4. The historical record is clear that the FBI investigated the claims of relations with Oswald and found them unsubstantiated.
  5. The CIA did not care that Duran had relations with Oswald and there is no evidence that they wanted Duran tortured to admit the affair.

It should be noted that in addition to making these claims on Facebook about Duran and the reason for her arrest, she presents a similar statement in her book Me & Lee: How I came to Know, Love, and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald,  Future work will demonstrate that her presentation about Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City, is not what she would like her reader to believe, and is not supported by primary sources.

Baker is absolutely correct about one thing, Oswald was in Mexico City.

Part II will be coming soon.

“The Hitman”

Please note the name Sylvia is spelled Silvia in many of the primary documents.  I have tried to keep it Sylvia throughout but when I have cited documents, I kept the spelling from the primary source.

CITATIONS

(1) Report on Lee Harvey Oswald’s Trip to Mexico City, NARA: 180-10110-10484

(2)Report on Lee Harvey Oswald’s Trip to Mexico City, NARA: 180-10110-10484

(3) COA INFORMED OF ARREST OF SYLVIA DURAN, NARA Record Number: 104-10132-10210

(4)  CABLE – ARREST OF SILVIA DURAN NARA Record Number 104-100-15-10118

(5) CABLE – ARREST OF SILVIA DURAN NARA Record Number: 104-100-15-10118

(6) CABLE RE: REPORT ON CUBAN EMBASSY ATMOSPHERE AND SILVIA DURAN DEMEANOR, NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10159

(7) HSCA Report, Volume III Current Section: Narration by G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel, page 81-82.

(8) HSCA Report, Volume III Current Section: Narration by G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel, page 90

(9) NARA Record Number: 104-10195-10261MEMO: GILBERTO ALVARADO

(10) NARA Record Number: 104-10118-10435 CABLE ON AN INTERVIEW WITH ALVARDO

(11) NARA Record Number: 104-10310-10163MEMORANDUM:LEE HARVEY OSWALD/INTERNAL SECURITY-R

(12) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.17:34:30:250240 CABLE ON INVESTIGATION OF ALVARADO AND DURAN

(13) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.21.17:25:53:530240 CABLE ON SURVEILLANCE OF DURAN AND DISPOSITION OF ALVARADO

(14) NARA Record Number: 1993.08.05.10:27:20:210060COS WAS ADVISED AT 1215 THAT SILVIA DURAN HAS BEEN REARRESTED BECAUSE

(15) NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10394 REARREST OF SILVIA DURAN

(16) HSCA Report, Volume III Current Section: Narration by G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel pg. 88.

(17) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10426TRANSCRIPTS FROM CUBAN EMBASSY AND CUBANA AIRLINES CONVERSATIONS ON 22 NOV 1963 (ATTACHMENT #1)

(18) NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10415 CABLE – THREE PRINCIPAL DEVELOPMENT IN INVESTIGATION RE AMBASSADOR JOAQUIN HERNANDEZ ARMAS, GILBERTO ALVARADO UGARTE, AND LUIS ECHEVERRIA

(19) NARA Record Number: 104-10100-10033 HQS WANTS TO ENSURE THAT NEITHER SILVIA DURAN NOR CUBANS GET IMPRESSION THAT U.S. BEHIND HER REARREST

(20)NARA Record Number: 104-10100-10033 HQS WANTS TO ENSURE THAT NEITHER SILVIA DURAN NOR CUBANS GET IMPRESSION THAT U.S. BEHIND HER REARREST

(21) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10127 MEMORANDUM: SUBJECT – SECOND MEXICAN INTERROGATION OF SILVIA DURAN

(22) NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10179CABLE – LIAISON OFFICER OFFICIAL ADVISES THAT FBI REQUESTS THAT KUBARK TURN ALVARDO OVER TO MEXICAN AUTHORITIES AND THAT KUBARK REQUEST MEXICAN AUTHORITIES TO INTERROGATE ALVARADO IN DETAIL

(23) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10332 MEXICAN COMMUNISTS WHO HAD CONTACT WITH OSWALD, HAS NOT APPEARED IN WARREN COMMISSION WRITE UPS IN PRESS

(24) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10330 THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS SUPPLIED ON NOVEMBER 24, 1964, BY MRS. ELENA GARRO DS PAZ AND HER DAUGHTER, ELENA PAZ GARRO

(25) INTERVIEW WITH MRS. ELENA GARRO DE PAZ AND HER DAUGHTER, ELENA PAZ GARRO, WERE INTERVIEWED BY PERSONNEL OF THIS OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 17 AND 24, 1964, AT WHICH TIME THEY FURNISED INFORMATION SIMILAR TO T

(26) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10320CABLE RE: LEGAL ATTACHE MEXI INTERVIEWED ELENA GARRO DE PAZ AND DAUGHTER ELENA PAZ GARRO NOVEMBER 1964

(27) Oswald and the CIA, Chapter 18: “Mexican Maze”, Jonn Newman, 2008

(28) NARA Record Number: 104-10014-10029 INCOMPLETE DOCUMENT RE FIELD ACTIVITIES AND ATTACHED REPORT OF A MEETING

(29) NARA Record Number: 104-10404-10315DISPATCH: SUBJECT – PBRUMEN/THE LIRING-3 OPERATION

(30) Me & Lee: How I came to Know, Love, and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald, Copyright 2010,  Trine Day LLC.