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Bill Simpich's State Secret


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Having worked with Bill while he was doing the ground breaking document research I think the book is a tremendous contribution, not just the aspects of the spy games in Mexico City that were going on before and during Oswald's arrival but in our overall understanding of the highly complex counter intelligence work performed jointly by Mexico City staff and staff out of JM WAVE. Bill ties the two groups together operationally in a way we had never understood previously, even pointing out that JMWAVE had its own operations in Mexico, distinct from the CIA station. He also developed the operational link between the exile counter intelligence group in Miami and its activities in Mexico City.

I don't think Bill would agree that there were not senior CIA officers involved in setting up what PDS and Newman have called a poison pill situation in Mexico City - one that would superficially connect Oswald to the Soviets/Cubans. I do think he believes it was even more complex than that, since under close examination that poison pill reveals knowledge closely held within the Agency itself. I certainly don't think Bill would exclude William Harvey as contributing to that knowledge or that he feels David Morales was not involved - and Morales operated at a far higher level than you often picture him, even attending Special Group meetings in Washington.

My take on State Secret is that Bill has revealed an environment in Mexico City and among CIA CI that is an order of magnitude more complex than we understood previously. Newman is very likely carrying on that work with his new series of books. Both of them are doing work that was only possible after certain crypts and aliases had been cracked and CI assets within the Cuban diplomatic community identified - as well as new CIA assets. To me what is most interesting about Bill's work is that it establishes a context which suggests that within some 72 hours, the CIA high command was able to realize that some of their own people might have been the "others" working around Lee Oswald in the MC impersonation, the mystery people Hoover discussed in the impersonation when talking to Johnson. In short, they would have had good cause to suspect that American intelligence officers had been involved in some fashion, just as David Phillips finally remarked shortly before his death.

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Yes indeed, thanks Larry...

I believe it is most revealing to learn that it is Anne Goodpasture is at the center of much of this, and to understand the close relationship between she and Win Scott and Dave Phillips/Michael Choaden (Dave would write himself reports in Mexico and send them for only Choaden to receive in DC where he would then travel back, receive the docs and confirm the information within... this is a link to a doc from Oct 2 or 12 1963 asking that CHOADEN bring the "AMMO" if WAVE unable to comply... the ammo requested to be brought from DC (or the WAVE station?) to Mexico is .38 Special Ammo - the same used to kill Tippit... but that's just a coincidence)

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=43903#relPageId=2&tab=page

From my next article related to Mexico City:

One of Anne Goodpasture’s pseudonyms was “Robert B. Riggs”. In an effort to conceal the existence of the tapes which Win Scott eventually plays for WC Investigators* Anne, writing as Riggs claims the tapes of the 28th had already been destroyed by the 1st of October. LIENVOY were the voice recordings from the Soviet Embassy and were kept for a minimum of 2 weeks. Thanks to David Slawson’s comment* we must now assume that Win Scott kept copies of the tapes for himself.

*In a letter dated December 4, 1992 (published in The Investigator), W. David Slawson wrote:

Yes, I listened to the tape of Lee Harvey Oswald s telephone conversations with the Soviet Embassy In Mexico City I did not feel that the voice sounded any different from what I expected his would sound like. – Slawson does not go to Mexico City until the mid-70’s for the HSCA

Bill Simpich provided me with the documentation links showing that Goodpasture, working with LADILLINGER (Soviet Desk officer Barbara Murphy Manell), took what was obviously a photo from 12:22 on Oct 2nd and represented it as Oct 1 to match the call transcript.

What follows from this switch is the Bosch created passenger manifest for the Frontera bus departure at 2pm on Oct 2nd. As I wrote... when this "conclusion" does not work the bus routes are revised and this evidenec along with the testimony that "presidential staffers" picked up all the potentially Oswald related manifests and documents "shortly after the assassination" is buried away in favor of what becomes the Del Norte departure on Oct 2nd at 8:30am... which I go deeply into and show that too was not possible.

Bill has been invaluable in my research and I recommend everyone read every bit of State Secret.

Edited by David Josephs
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Having worked with Bill while he was doing the ground breaking document research I think the book is a tremendous contribution, not just the aspects of the spy games in Mexico City that were going on before and during Oswald's arrival but in our overall understanding of the highly complex counter intelligence work performed jointly by Mexico City staff and staff out of JM WAVE. Bill ties the two groups together operationally in a way we had never understood previously, even pointing out that JMWAVE had its own operations in Mexico, distinct from the CIA station. He also developed the operational link between the exile counter intelligence group in Miami and its activities in Mexico City.

I don't think Bill would agree that there were not senior CIA officers involved in setting up what PDS and Newman have called a poison pill situation in Mexico City - one that would superficially connect Oswald to the Soviets/Cubans. I do think he believes it was even more complex than that, since under close examination that poison pill reveals knowledge closely held within the Agency itself. I certainly don't think Bill would exclude William Harvey as contributing to that knowledge or that he feels David Morales was not involved - and Morales operated at a far higher level than you often picture him, even attending Special Group meetings in Washington.

My take on State Secret is that Bill has revealed an environment in Mexico City and among CIA CI that is an order of magnitude more complex than we understood previously. Newman is very likely carrying on that work with his new series of books. Both of them are doing work that was only possible after certain crypts and aliases had been cracked and CI assets within the Cuban diplomatic community identified - as well as new CIA assets. To me what is most interesting about Bill's work is that it establishes a context which suggests that within some 72 hours, the CIA high command was able to realize that some of their own people might have been the "others" working around Lee Oswald in the MC impersonation, the mystery people Hoover discussed in the impersonation when talking to Johnson. In short, they would have had good cause to suspect that American intelligence officers had been involved in some fashion, just as David Phillips finally remarked shortly before his death.

Thanks, Larry, for this insight into the paradigm shift found in the work of Bill Simpich.

The distinction between the CIA HQ and JMWAVE in Mexico City is telling. David Morales was involved in JMWAVE, and so he would have had access to Mexico City secrets (like which phones were being tapped at which priority for which reasons) and so this makes his crew a prime suspect for the Oswald Impersonation.

But the CIA high-command did not guess that at the time. Thus the Simpich Mole Hunt.

Bill Simpich's innovation begins with newly-released CIA documents -- but Bill was the first to jump on them, and to figure them out -- and so he merits the kudos that come with being first.

I wish Bill himself would comment directly on my specific claim that a CIA Mole Hunt is basic proof that the CIA high-command -- the level that authorizes Mole Hunts -- had no clue about who Impersonated Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City.

To say that there were "no senior CIA officers involved" in the Impersonation is tendecious, since we now must fine-tune what "senior" means. "Senior" evidently isn't high enough to start a Mole Hunt.

It is precisely because the Impersonation of Oswald "reveals knowledge closely held within the Agency itself" that we can say that the Simpich Mole Hunt was justified in the first place.

I don't doubt that David Morales, the CIA's top-level assassin of foreign leaders in Latin America, would be invited to Special Group meetings in Washington DC, yet even THAT is still not high enough to authorize a CIA Mole Hunt.

You say, Larry, that author John Newman is currently building on Bill Simpich's discovery in his new work -- and of course that is exciting. I look forward to reading that.

I agree with you that Bill Simpich "establishes a context which suggests that within some 72 hours, the CIA high command was able to realize that some of their own people might have been the "others" working around Lee Oswald in the MC impersonation."

YET I WANT TO KNOW WHO THOSE "OTHERS" WERE.

Yes -- I do agree that DAP in his bio-fiction, The AMLASH Legacy (1988) alluded -- basically confessed -- that "some" CIA Officers were involved in the JFK murder. Nobody doubts that. Two have confessed since then (Morales and Hunt). Yet the key question is whether a so-called "Senior" CIA officer was high enough in the hierarchy to start a Mole Hunt. I say no.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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On the mole hunt question, it would depend on what level the hunt was focused and how broad it was. A simple example would be whether or not a group or station chief felt that he had someone inside his organization was leaking information. From that perspective, it would be up to that unit to respond. For example the Cuban exile CI group at JMWAVE was involved in multiple hunts for planted informants and we know they found several. Such a hunt would have been authorized by Shackley. During 1963 at least two CIA officers at JMWAVE were placed on a restricted list and investigated as their names were found on documents being used by Castro agents.

Tracy Barnes was also at a level where he could have authorized a mole hunt related to Cuban operations and he had his own CI assets in Miami - and Phillips in Mexico City.

If Scott has suspected a mole in Mexico City he could have ordered it and he had his own CI assets. However as I discuss in NEXUS there was CI competition in MC and Angleton wanted to take over CI totally in both Mexico and Viet Nam. Scott was not pleased with the turf intrusion.

It confuses things a bit but with his new assignment under Barnes, Phillips could actually have been supporting a mole hunt initiated by Barnes, Angleton or Scott. The tie breaker has to do at what level records were altered to support the hunt and in this case that appears to have occurred at headquarters and involved CIA security and HQ CI/Angleton at a minimum. Bill would be in a much better position to give an educated opinion but my guess is that it was a mole hunt authorized by Angleton and possibly Barnes, with Phillips support and with Scott kept totally out of the loop. A mole hunt would be one of the most highly secret and compartmentalized operations in the Agency given that one was in progress, it would have been unknown by anyone outside Angleton's staff and those that had to be in the loop about the document control. It has to be that way.

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We really must also remember that the FBI, DFS, Mexican presidential intel staff, other latin american countries, CIA, Military intel, State Dept and I&NS all had a presence in Mexico City and wanted to know what everyone else knew and/or to learn and convey to others what their spying uncovered.

The Mole Hunt Bill describes does not necessarily mean they were looking for CIA officers at all... but that the CIA was doing the hunting possibly trying to find infultration moles from any one of these entities... at least that's what I got from the reading of State Secret.

"Here’s the center of the intrigue. It looks like someone in Cuba operations was a prime suspect in an investigation of the impersonation of Oswald. It had to be handled carefully, as SAS had several of its officers embedded at the Mexico City station under Scott’s command. Another prime suspect was the Mexico City branch of the FBI. Even the CIA’s Mexico City station itself could also have been the source of the mole.

It is important to note that not only the FBI, but the Navy and the State Department were also included in the investigation. This was because all three of them had responsibilities for Oswald, and hence all three of them had to be examined for signs of penetration by enemy spies."

The FBI's SIS was THE intelligence service in the Western Hemisphere from the early to mid 40's... Assets from those operations would not be squandered by Hoover, imo.

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We really must also remember that the FBI, DFS, Mexican presidential intel staff, other latin american countries, CIA, Military intel, State Dept and I&NS all had a presence in Mexico City and wanted to know what everyone else knew and/or to learn and convey to others what their spying uncovered.

The Mole Hunt Bill describes does not necessarily mean they were looking for CIA officers at all... but that the CIA was doing the hunting possibly trying to find infultration moles from any one of these entities... at least that's what I got from the reading of State Secret...

Yes, David, that's what I get from State Secret (2014) also.

The obvious conclusion is that the CIA high-command didn't know WHO IN THE WORLD was Impersonating Lee Harvey Oswald, and that is why they started the Simpich Mole Hunt in the first place.

This is a paradigm shift in JFK research, as I see it.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

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  • 6 months later...

Paul Brancato wrote that I thought that if "Phillips (was) involved in hijacking Oswald from covert anti-FPCC operations and helping to set him up as the patsy he would have taken more precautions after the assassination, as he left plenty of clues that might have made him a suspect."

He also pointed out that I thought "the most likely suspect to have hijacked Oswald and set him up was [David Sanchez] Morales, claiming that Morales was experienced enough to know that CIA would cover his tracks rather than risk exposing Mexico City covert surveillance and wiretapping of the Cuban and Soviet embassies and their staffs."

Brancato's response was that he "would argue that if anyone knew how to play the system it was Phillips. Wouldn't he likewise have known that he was in no danger of exposure for the same reasons as Morales?"

My response is that no one knew Morales was anywhere near the JFK case until the late 70s. Phillips, by contrast, was in the cross-hairs of the HSCA committee for many obvious reasons. Alvarado, Salvador Diaz Verson, and many other disinformation story-tellers in the immediate aftermath of the assassination were Phillips' assets. Phillips was the Cuba desk chief in Mexico City and the covert action chief on Cuban affairs during the fall of 63. The buck stopped with him.

I am not convinced that Phillips was the victim of blackmail, but that's where the evidence leads me to date. The same is true for Angleton.

The reason I feel this way is because I believe a molehunt took place after Oswald was impersonated. It's been difficult to get people to weigh in pro or con on that part of my hypothesis. If someone comes in with a plausible alternative for the events that I described as the precursor to a molehunt and the molehunt itself, I would feel differently.

Trejo is right - my tentative conclusion is that it was a rogue operation led by Morales and Harvey, or people like them within JMWAVE and/or SAS. Besides the molehunt hypothesis, I don't see strong evidence pointing to people like Angleton and Helms as the architects of 11/22. I see Angleton, like Phillips, very busy on the cover-up side of the assassination. With his colleague Egerter all over the paperwork of Oswald on a steady basis between 1960-63 and again in the Mexico City phase, I just can't understand why a wily man like Angleton would leave a trail like that. Oswald had to be a humiliation for his office.

I don't agree with Trejo that blackmail is a weak argument. I was not arguing the CIA botched the investigation "to save a few jobs of a few CIA people". I am saying that the political future of the CIA was jeopardized by the events of 11/22. If the American people had known how Angleton had been tracking Oswald since 1960, how Mexico City had been highly concerned about Oswald in the last few weeks before 11/22, how Phillips had gone to DC and Miami in the days after Oswald was impersonated, how Johnson and Hoover had discussed the Oswald impersonation on 11/23...there would have been domestic upheaval.

[...]

[emphasis added by T. Graves]

bumped

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Having worked with Bill while he was doing the ground breaking document research I think the book is a tremendous contribution, not just the aspects of the spy games in Mexico City that were going on before and during Oswald's arrival but in our overall understanding of the highly complex counter intelligence work performed jointly by Mexico City staff and staff out of JM WAVE. Bill ties the two groups together operationally in a way we had never understood previously, even pointing out that JMWAVE had its own operations in Mexico, distinct from the CIA station. He also developed the operational link between the exile counter intelligence group in Miami and its activities in Mexico City.

I don't think Bill would agree that there were not senior CIA officers involved in setting up what PDS and Newman have called a poison pill situation in Mexico City - one that would superficially connect Oswald to the Soviets/Cubans. I do think he believes it was even more complex than that, since under close examination that poison pill reveals knowledge closely held within the Agency itself. I certainly don't think Bill would exclude William Harvey as contributing to that knowledge or that he feels David Morales was not involved - and Morales operated at a far higher level than you often picture him, even attending Special Group meetings in Washington.

My take on State Secret is that Bill has revealed an environment in Mexico City and among CIA CI that is an order of magnitude more complex than we understood previously. Newman is very likely carrying on that work with his new series of books. Both of them are doing work that was only possible after certain crypts and aliases had been cracked and CI assets within the Cuban diplomatic community identified - as well as new CIA assets. To me what is most interesting about Bill's work is that it establishes a context which suggests that within some 72 hours, the CIA high command was able to realize that some of their own people might have been the "others" working around Lee Oswald in the MC impersonation, the mystery people Hoover discussed in the impersonation when talking to Johnson. In short, they would have had good cause to suspect that American intelligence officers had been involved in some fashion, just as David Phillips finally remarked shortly before his death.

[emphasis added by T. Graves]

also bumped

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Tommy - thanks for bumping these threads. I still hold the same opinion about Morales as expressed in this thread, which is that if he set up Oswald by hijacking a CIA and /or FBI anti - FPCC operation he did so on orders, and not because he was smart enough to figure out that the CIA would cover his tracks after the assassination. The mole hunt does not in my opinion prove what Simpich claimed - that Angleton and other top brass were caught by surprise and did not know who impersonated Oswald or for what reason. It might instead be seen as evidence that they began their coverup well before Nov 22 by creating a well hidden but ultimately discoverable trail showing that they did not know the identities or purposes of the hijackers, and thus could not have been plotting to kill JFK. I don't pretend to know anything for a fact, but I just don't buy the idea that Morales, perhaps with William Harvey, plotted this on their own, without the promise of protection. Someone ordered it done, and protection was guaranteed.

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Tommy - thanks for bumping these threads. I still hold the same opinion about Morales as expressed in this thread, which is that if he set up Oswald by hijacking a CIA and /or FBI anti - FPCC operation he did so on orders, and not because he was smart enough to figure out that the CIA would cover his tracks after the assassination. The mole hunt does not in my opinion prove what Simpich claimed - that Angleton and other top brass were caught by surprise and did not know who impersonated Oswald or for what reason. It might instead be seen as evidence that they began their coverup well before Nov 22 by creating a well hidden but ultimately discoverable trail showing that they did not know the identities or purposes of the hijackers, and thus could not have been plotting to kill JFK. I don't pretend to know anything for a fact, but I just don't buy the idea that Morales, perhaps with William Harvey, plotted this on their own, without the promise of protection. Someone ordered it done, and protection was guaranteed.

Paul,

What you're saying works for me.

Regardless --

I'm convinced I've spotted Morales while he was monitoring Oswald on August 9, 1963, in New Orleans.

I base my conclusion on the photographic evidence in the Jim Doyle film, as well as what we already know about Morales, i.e. the fact that he had a light-colored index finger (as shown in a photo of Morales in Vietnam, below), the fact that he had a football player and track star's torso, the fact that he had a scar on his left eyebrow (as Garrison told Richard Billings the "Spanish Trace / Shepherd" had), the fact that in 1966 he was photographed wearing a suit and a shiny thin camera strap around his neck. We know that Morales was dark-complected. The word "Spanish" in Billing's phrase "Spanish Trace" signifies dark-complected, Well, guess what -- athletically-built and suit-wearing "Neck Scratcher" was dark-complected as I have shown on another thread. Regarding "Neck Scratcher's" suit? Garrison told Billings that "Spanish Trace / Shepherd" was wearing a coat and tie on August 9, 1963. And regarding the Morales' camera strap? We can see a shiny thin camera strap around "Neck Scratcher's" neck, and gosh, wouldn't you know Garrison told Billings that "Spanish Trace / Shepherd" was seen taking photographs of Oswald two blocks away (at the Maisson Blanc Building) that very same day...

Question: Was "Neck Scratcher" really scratching his neck in the Jim Doyle film? Whatever it was that he was doing, it's good for us because it shows us his light-colored fingers in direct contrast with the dark color of his wrist and the back of his neck. The unusual light color of his index finger helps us to identify him as the otherwise dark-complected David Sanchez Morales.

JFKmoralesD2.jpg

Too see "Neck Scratcher's" white index finger, click here:

https://youtu.be/1y5pN3iOk70?t=235

Question: We know Morales could speak Spanish and English. Could he also speak "terrible, hardly recognizable Russian"?

--Tommy :sun

edited and bumped

PS Bear in mind that the above photo of Morales in Vietnam was taken sometime between 1969 and 1972 or 1973.

Edited by Thomas Graves
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