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Miguel Cercone

AMOTs in Mexico City Listening Posts

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Does anyone have any documentation on whether there were any Morales-trained AMOTs manning the Listening Posts in Mexico City, circa September/October 1963? Anything other than the William Sturbitts testimony would be appreciated.

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As I recall, Bill Simpich located documents indicating that AMOTS did training for listening post staff and other positions as well including the surveillance teams, however I don't recall that they had long term assignments actually staffing the listening posts. There are also documents indicating AMOTS were sent to Mexico City tdy on certain assignments.

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Thanks Larry. 

State Secret makes reference to the AMOTs being used in "foreign listening posts" by citing the Sturbitts testimony in Chapter 5, but I can't help but feeling there's got to be a more direct piece of corroborating evidence out there.   A logbook with shift schedules possibly.  Maybe a record of pay stubs.  The Mexico City Station and/or the DFS had to have a list of who was being employed there during this time.  

I'm trying to determine how the forged LHO/Duran calls could have logistically been made.  The voices on those tapes had to come from somewhere.  

Right now, I'm testing the hypothesis that the calls may have originated from the Listening Posts.  There were probably a limited number of females working in the Posts on September 28th from which to choose the part of "Duran."  Some of the male names we already know.  If we can come up with a list, it shouldn't take too long to narrow it all down.

As an aside, having read your entire body of work -- its a pleasure to be communicating with you.  I really found your recent blogposts on the Chicago Visit and the Wheaton Names to be illuminating.  Please keep up the great work. 

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Thanks for the kind words Miguel.  As best I recall the sources goes back to the large CIA historical document on the station and the training of the various outside employees like the listening post and surveillance teams.  There was also reference to a separate JMWAVE station outside the regular MC station at the American Embassy.  Beyond that I recall JMWAVE documents about dispatching its personnel to MC for penetration efforts against the Cuban embassy and even using AMOT sources for potential contact work in MC, especially in the fall of 1963.    My suspicion about the impersonation call is the same as  yours - that is based on the work Bill and I did on the mechanics of the telephone taps. It appears those calls were recorded as coming from the Cuban embassy and if it was indeed closed the only place that outgoing number would be collected would be at the tap point on the telephone junction physically outside the embassy or from the phone line tapped onto it at the listening post.

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The other possibility, as Peter Dale Scott pointed out to me, is that a listening post operator simply lied and pretended that he or she heard this transmission.

My article on WhoWhatWhy last year - easy to google - discusses a new Mexico City document from 1961-1962 where station chief Win Scott fabricated a story that a tape had picked up certain transmissions - Scott's goal was to break relations between Mexico and Cuba - oh yeah, and he didn't reveal to his superiors that he was essentially taking over foreign policy in this area with his lie.

 

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It's a great article Bill.  

I've tried to wrap my head around the idea that someone at the posts could have lied and "pretended" they heard a transmission.  I maybe don't give this argument enough credence because of two things:    

1) The existence of the Mexico City tapes the FBI listened to on Nov. 23/63 that did not have LHO's voice on them.  This suggests to me that there was someone actually there to physically "impersonate" LHO and Duran.  

2) The nature of the transcripts that we do have seem to me to be very choppy and stilted.  They are a bit cryptic in places - needlessly so if you are just forging text.  Its much easier for me to visualize that type of dialogue being spoken spontaneously, as opposed to written. Then again, the Oct. 1 call does sound a touch too scripted.  Its hard for me to envision Obeyedkov stating a phrase like "Kostikov, he is dark?" as an opening line in his conversation.   Sounds too neat - too cloak and dagger.

The more I think about things, the more I get confused.  I keep coming back to the idea that there has to be a list that we can get at revealing who was working on those days at the Listening Posts.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Stephanie Goldberg said:

-raises hand-

Sorry, but what is an AMOT?

https://www.maryferrell.org/php/cryptdb.php?id=AMOT

 

Definition:
Team of some 40 Cubans trained by David Morales to be a new Cuban intelligence service once Castro had been ousted.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Prior to the Bay of Pigs landing the AMOTS were used to perform surveillance and collect information in Miami, targeting potential Castro intelligence agents or collaborators. Following the abortive landing, members of the team were organized into a new Cuban intelligence service, once again conducting surveillance and counter intelligence activities in the United States and in Mexico City.

Reportedly they took all the files they had collected in their initial work and maintained an extensive and continually updated collection on the overall Cuban community within the United States. AMOT may have been an abbreviation for "Anonymous Organization Team".
Edited by Daniel Rice

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