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Larry Hancock

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About Larry Hancock

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  1. 201 File - Help needed

    As Jim says, a 201 is a basic personality file - created for any individual of interest to the CIA. Here is an example: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/BOJADJIEW, IWAN_0007.pdf
  2. Operation Tumbleweed?

    Sorry, really don't know enough to have an opinion on that question. Personally I would doubt that a person in Kostikov's position would be an active Department 13 member, on the other hand he might very well have served as a cut out to deliver assignments or directions. That is much more SOP for diplomatic staff. The real operators would have been acting as distantly from any known Soviet personnel as possible. And getting assassins into Mexico would have been no special problem. All in all it would seem likely to suspect him of handling espionage targeting the U.S. in particular - which would explain why he would have been under active surveillance in any American contact. But assassinations, another story entirely.
  3. Operation Tumbleweed?

    As Newman writes above, Tumbleweed was a German national, recruited overseas in Germany. He came to CIA attention there and later moved to New York where he was handed off to the FBI as a domestic concern. Later he traveled to Mexico and was last reported in Oklahoma. There were indications he might be involved in locating targets for sabotage....a major target would have been the new Atlas ICBM base in southwestern Oklahoma. Reportedly Tumbleweed went back and forth across the border and how his movements were tracked, what surveillance he was under etc would tell us a lot about FBI monitoring of American's in Mexican travel but as far as I know no FBI file has ever emerged about him in those travels.
  4. Most of the rumors and gossip about another Cuban exile effort into Cuba were developing off the Artime project which he had begun recruiting personnel for already. That did not really jell until the end of 1963 and small boat missions were beginning then but it was 1964 before most of the larger assets were in place - that occurred under AMWORLD. Thanks to Gary Murr I was able to write a lot of that story up in Shadow Warfare. The activities of people like Davis, the abortive New Orleans camps etc were all very minor, limited financing and all targeted by the FBI whenever possible...those folks were the "outsiders" I write about in SWHT as compared to Artime and his folks who were receiving money, boats, planes, weapons etc in far greater amounts than they could even use...actually the one thing they lacked was sufficient people, that is why RFK allowed them to begin recruiting at both Army training bases such as Benning and Air Force bases such as Sheppard AFB in Texas. The Cuban arms going through Mexico were of great concern to the CIA and the Mexican govt, Jeff Morley touch on the activities of the MC station in regard to that in his book. Most of it was done very covertly via cargo shipments into Mexico with weapons being transferred for shipment south by rail or truck. One of the main goals of all the wire taps conducted jointly by the CIA and the Mexican government was to monitor people involved in those activities. There was an active Communist party inside Mexico and of course they aided such Cuban activities whenever possible.
  5. Steve, the only weapons dealing involving MC that I am aware of involved Cuban agents using Mexico as a covert transshipment point for sending Cuban weapons into Latin America. That was a very big deal for the CIA and a lot of intel collection resources were allocated towards exposing that and bringing it to Mexican govt attention...a lot of the wire tap work went into that. On the other hand there were two things involving MC that were priority concerns for both the FBI and the CIA at that point in time. One was the AMSANTA project which put FPCC associated people into Cuba as intel sources and they went via MC. For many reasons that stands out as a very possible use of Oswald and it gets discussed way too little. The second was the tasking to shut down American illegal traveling via Mexico to and from Cuba; the FBI thought there were active Communist subversives involved in that traffic and the CIA assisted efforts to contol it using their surveillance assets in MC. American travel of an sort which could end up going to or from Cuba was a major target. I'll point out that we see virtually nothing related to other of those two joint activities in the materials provided in respect to the assassination investigation.
  6. Heaven only knows, first off I've never been happy with the existence of an absolutely concrete timeline of the Odio incident so I don't know that it was not Oswald and given that his travel there most likely was not per the official story that complicates matters more. I've also become open to the thought that Odio may well have had prior contact with Oswald and that the visitor story is only part of the full picture. Clearly Odio was very emotionally affected after the assassination and a five minute doorway encounter may not fully explain that even if she was stressed by an apparently unwanted pregnancy. . At this point I do think that Oswald himself was known to Odio, whether in that brief time at the door or otherwise, and that Odio was contacted by people trying to leverage that for their own purposes. I also belive that Oswald did spend some time in MC although certainly not as represented in the WC report. What I think I've learned is that all this is far more complex than it appeared at first blush and that while we can pick holes in the official story, reverse engineering what actually did happen "on the ground" in Mexico City is still largely speculative.
  7. Tommy, I'll answer those questions later this year with a book scheduled for Fall release - the working title is Creating Chaos; American and Russian political warfare into the 21st Century. It will be as balanced as possible and equally hard on both America and Russia (old and new) . And that's all I'm going to say about that for the next few months...grin.
  8. Sorry Tommy, now that I look more closely at the quotes and excerpts I find that I was agreeing with David...my apologies. As to your last question: "But you DON'T think KGB/GRU had the expertise or the wherewithal (enough penetration agents and moles in the right places) to be able to highjack or piggyback a CIA operation like that? Only if JJA, himself, was a mole?" My answer is that I see no signs of that happening, as with any speculation I can't say its impossible but I also fail to understand the motive - and I don't think JJA was a mole, I think he ultimately became clinically paranoid.
  9. Tommy, it would be the post on this thread immediately above my reply. Do I think the KGB was clever enough to conduct assassinations and try to place the blame on someone else, yes I think so. On the other hand I absolutely know that Harvey was not only clever enough to do that but described exactly that practice in his strategy notes about ZR RIFLE.
  10. Tommy, I pretty much agree with everything in your post. I don't think much of the official story or evidence regarding his trip hangs together other than to contain a larger story that probably is related to the trip - or at least the agencies knowledge of it. We always have to remember that the CIA in particular was and is always dedicated to making sure as few of their overall operations are exposed - including sources and methods. Its way to tempting to think that everything they do is to cover up some type of conspiracy when in reality its just SOP. The same is true for the FBI, even more so in MC where their foreign charter was longer than the CIA's and their operations in Mexico extensive in regard to targeting Americans in Mexico, especially those suspected of being Communists or having Communist connections. They closely monitored American ex-pats - and we have the memos showing how dedicated they were to helping the CIA protect camera and other surveillance activities. As with the tactical aspects of the attack in Dallas, we always try to reverse engineer these things - but with no idea of all that may have been in play. As to your question, no I don't think the Russians were trying to frame Castro, and for that matter we don't really have a detailed record of all the local photo shops the FBI checked after the fact and the fact that some Mexican citizen might not want to have admitted that he took the photos - bringing the DFS down on his head for extreme interrogation as with Duran - is always a possibility .
  11. Possibly some good leads, some of its is familiar but perhaps the most striking thing to me is that there were clearly a number of rather routine administrative documents and a number of people who were aware of a project ZR RIFLE which we once thought was something totally esoteric and perhaps known only to Harvey and Helms...in a way it reinforces the point that even for certain of its highest risk activities, at heart the CIA was still an administrative bureaucracy with records, accounting and standard operating practices. It sort of reminds me of the Roselli Castro assassination project which nobody was supposed to know about until somebody had to authorize money for it and refused to sign blank checks for it...then a number of folks got read in. .
  12. Got it, thanks for your patience, I will share this with Bill and I wonder if we would have any luck searching for that Project Job Number... So I'll stand by my original comments and unanswered questions ....its actually rather surprising that that this was shared given the TS classification. Great find, I will let Bill and Malcolm both know..
  13. David, I see nothing even remotely like that on page 103/104, not even in that same format? And Tommy, certainly I will take your word on that although certainly the FBI should have known anyone in Kostikov's slot at the Cuban embassy was KGB, if not Dept 13. Other than the Ambassador, a couple of assistants and a few clerks, virtually all personnel were KGB . For those reading this who may not familiar with Dept 13 the following CIA documents is really pretty good background. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol19no3/html/v19i3a01p_0001.htm As far as developing an asset who would tell you exactly what Dept a particular embassy officer was actually working in, unless the asset was operationally involved with a specific sort of task I certainly would not have believed him. Given the amount of surveillance on Kostikov in Mexico (not that you made me reboot my memory), the CIA would have had a pretty good idea what his tasking actually was and from what I remember of those reports they had a solid list of his travels, meetings, etc.
  14. Thanks David, I'll take a look, that should really help....Tommy, sorry but if I ever knew that I don't recall...its been a really long time since I refreshed myself on the whole Kostikov affair.
  15. David, I went though that whole thing and didn't find anything similar to what you had excerpted? Lots of familiar but useless stuff; they could not even be bothered to put it in chronological order, no summary, no assessment, just a raw and meaningless data dump and of course totally focused on Castro/Cuba with no hint of exile motives. Maybe you can give me a clue how far through that huge document it is...I suspect I just missed it in scanning the document..