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John Simkin

Raphael (Chi Chi) Quintero

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"Do you know if Quintero said anything to benefit history in the material John?" (Myra Bronstein)

No. I am afraid the journalist working with Quintero is a long-term CIA asset.

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Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2006) on Chi Chi Quintero:

On May 16, 1996, Buttimer followed up the telephone call with a letter to Wheaton in which she offered to meet with Wheaton should he find himself in the Washington D.C. area. We have also a copy of another letter from Buttimer to Wheaton in which she refers to a personal meeting with him in July 1996, at which time Wheaton delivered additional reference material to Buttimer. Unfortunately no contact report has been found for this meeting.

There is no further record of any contact by Buttimer or anyone else from the ARRB with Wheaton. In March, 1998 he again faxed the Board and noted that Buttimer seemed to have departed from the Board. He was never contacted again and only received generic Board news releases. The only response to his effort at follow-up is a very general reply from Eileen Sullivan, Press and Public Affairs Officer. In this "form letter" response, she refers to the Board as having received thousands of leads and suggestions and not being able to link any document releases to information provided by a particular individual.

Apart from this generic "thank you," there is no expression of further interest from the Board. And there was no further record of any comment from Gene Wheaton on the subject until Malcolm Blunt located the Wheaton ARRB files and brought them to the attention of this author, who then pursued the matter with the help of William Law. Law contacted and interviewed Wheaton in 2005, where he confirmed what was in the ARRB records.

A good deal of background research has been done on the Wheaton documents and on the names which Wheaton eventually disclosed to the ARRB in the documents submitted to Buttermer. These include the CV which Wheaton eventually identified as that of Carl Elmer Jenkins; a copy of Jenkin's passport circa 1983; and business cards for Carl Jenkins (ECM Corporation - International Security Assistance Specialists, New York, Washington DC, California, PO Box in Falls Church Va., Consultants for Human Development, Falls Church Va., identified as a mail drop and National Air, Liaison Officer). The National Air card has a note on it indicating that Jenkins had connected Wheaton to Raphael "Chi Chi" Quintero, Nestor Sanchez, Nestor Pino, Bill Bode, Rob Owen, and Vaughn Forrest.

Research confirms that beyond a doubt, Carl Jenkins was indeed a senior CIA officer who worked on paramilitary activities in support of the Bay of Pigs project and that by 1963-64 he was indeed directly involved with the AM/WORLD project, with Artime (AM/BIDDY) and Quintero (AM/JAVA-4).

In September, 1963 Jenkins wrote a general memo describing Artime's operational philosophy and concepts. This summarized his views about commando teams, infiltration teams, and guerrilla actions. The memo addresses military operations as Artime conceives them to be organized and conducted under a single organization (AM/WORLD) in which the Cubans can have faith. In a section on Commandos, there is discussion of the use of abductions and assassinations targeted against Cuban G-2 intelligence informants, agents, officers, and foreign Communists to raise the morale of people inside Cuba.'

In December, 1964, Jenkins prepared a summary report of Quintero's visit to Europe for a dialogue with Rolando Cubela in preparation for further meetings with Artime. The goal of this meeting was to develop contacts with a group inside Cuba which was capable of "eliminating Fidel Castro and of seizing and holding Havana, at least for an appreciable time that would be sufficient to justify recognition."'

There seems to be no doubt that Jenkins was indeed involved in a very special project in 1963-64 just as the CV Wheaton provided to the ARRB indicates. It should be noted that these AM/ WORLD activities were completely segmented from JM/WAVE and communications from Jenkins and Hecksher were not run through JM/WAVE. In fact ' the AM/ WORLD group operated its own facility in Miami (cryptonym "LORK")...

There seems some reason to at least speculate that both Quintero (who became second in command to Artime) and Rodriguez (who also joined Artime's offshore autonomous effort in 1963) may have been associated with CIA paramilitary officer Carl Jenkins before the Bay of Pigs. It also seems possible that Rodriguez may have been involved with the assassination project described in the NPIC memo and that the project was overseen by Carl Jenkins-this being the operation described by the NPIC personnel.

It appears that Carl Jenkins' paramilitary activities in support of Cuban operations were exactly as described to Gene Wheaton and exactly as summarized in the Jenkins CV submitted to the ARRB. There is also no doubt that Jenkins was very closely associated with Quintero in this period, as described by Wheaton. There are two books in print that also confirm these descriptions of Jenkins.

In The Death Merchant: The Rise and Fall of Edwin P. Wilson, author Joseph Goulden presents information from the CIA officer whom Quintero went to when he became suspicious of an assassination assignment being promoted to Quintero and other exiles by Ed Wilson. The officer (given the pseudonym "Brad Rockford") talks about entering the CIA on detached duty from the Marines, being career paramilitary, and running CIA paramilitaries out of JM/WAVE. It seems clear that Rockford was in fact Carl Jenkins.

In his book Manhunt: The Incredible Pursuit of a CIA Agent Turned Terrorist, Peter Maas mentions Carl Jenkins by name as the case officer for Quintero prior to the Bay of Pigs. Quintero was part of an advance team sent in before the invasion by Jenkins. After the landing failed, he hid out in Cuba for six weeks before making his way back to Florida. Afterwards Clines would assume a case officer role for Quintero, who would go on make to a number of sabotage and assassination missions into Cuba."

It seems worth pointing out that Jenkins' name has never been mentioned in any of the numerous works on the Bay of Pigs, the Miami station, or the secret war against Castro. Prior to this investigation of Wheaton's ARRB communications, Carl Jenkins had a far lower profile than even David Morales.

Interestingly, Gene Wheaton recommended that William Law read these books in a 2005 interview. Wheaton suggested that they would describe the individuals he had been associating with or had source information on from what has become known as Iran-Contra.

Additionally, it is of interest that Ted Shackley and Tom Clines (who was to succeed Jenkins as Quintero's case officer) would be familiar names from both JM/WAVE and the Wilson affair. It is also of interest that David Morales's long time friend Ruben independently mentioned that Morales had introduced him to Shackley, Clines and Wilson on a trip to Virginia-and later, to Artime...

Carl Jerkins was a senior CIA officer with exactly the background described by Wheaton to the ARRB. Rafael Quintero was a well respected, covert operations activist associated with anti-Castro and anti-Communist activities over several decades. He was taken seriously at the highest levels of the Kennedy administration. Indeed, DDP Richard Helms himself once commented on an Operational Plan drafted by Quintero to Thomas Parrott, Executive Assistant to the Military Representative of the President in June of 1962."

Quintero had presented the plan to Attorney General Robert Kennedy and General Maxwell Taylor. Beyond that, Quintero was one of only a handful of exiles to be brought into both the AM/ WORLD and AM/LASH (Cubela) projects, initiated by Fitzgerald and eventually turned over the Artime autonomous group project. Quintero was well enough respected to be brought into the secret "extra-governmental" Contra effort, and was eventually solicited by Edward Wilson for an assassination project. In both cases Quintero eventually determined that improper activities were going on and informed on them, in the case of Wilson through his old friend Carl Jenkins.

Gene Wheaton claims that he heard discussions of the conspiracy that killed John Kennedy in Dallas during the time when he was in close personal touch with both Jenkins and Quintero. He never raised this issue when he himself attempted to blow the whistle on various aspects of the Contra supply project. He only raised it confidentially to the ARRB-and was quite surprised to find that his correspondence had been released to public view.

However when interviewed in 2005, he continued to stand by his story that he heard from people involved in the "secret war," who knew that Cuban exiles were incited to execute President Kennedy. These individuals had their own agendas. The exile shooters considered themselves above all as patriots. They had been trained to assassinate Fidel Castro, but in the end they turned their guns on John Kennedy.

Rafael Quintero died October 1, 2006, in Baltimore at the age of 66. A New York Times obituary by Tim Weiner notes that his fellow veteran, Felix Rodriquez, attended the memorial service. The obituary describes Quintero's insertion into Cuba prior to the Bay of Pigs and his escape afterwards. It also states that after his escape from Cuba, Quintero continued working on operations against Fidel Castro, including assassination plots and eventually was paid $4,000 a month to support clandestine arms shipments to the Contras in Nicaragua (despite the Congressional ban on direct U.S. support).

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In Don Bohning's article in The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (Volume 16 – Number 2 – Fall 2008) he attempts to argue that Quintero was not involved in CIA sponsored attempts to kill Castro.

As an intelligence gathering unit, Operation 40 became, and remains, a controversial topic within the South Florida Cuban exile community, many of whom it spied upon. The late Rafael Quintero - who Simkin erroneously identifies as a member of his non-existent Operation 40 - is among those who expressed concern because of the vast files of information the group collected on the Cuban community and the potential for blackmail with that information.

"When the Bay of Pigs went kaput, they stayed as a group and Sanjenis became a very, very dangerous and powerful guy in Miami because he had a file on everybody… whose wife was whose lover, how much money etc... Some people tried to use that for blackmail," Quintero said in a April 2003 interview with me. "Actually, nobody knows where those files are. It's a big question mark." Operation 40 was shutdown in the early 1970s as part of the phase-out of active CIA sponsored anti-Castro activity. Quintero, who died in 2006, also asked that he not be identified by name in my book because of Operation 40's controversial nature in South Florida's Cuban community.

Tim Weiner wrote in the New York Times (19th October, 2006) that Quintero told him that he signed up with the CIA in 1960 and that he "worked against Cuba side by side with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in the days when the United States tried to kill Mr. Castro. Years later, Mr. Quintero conspired with Lt. Col. Oliver L. North against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua."

In his book Manhunt: The Incredible Pursuit of a CIA Agent Turned Terrorist, Peter Maas mentions Carl Jenkins as Quintero's case officer prior to the Bay of Pigs. Quintero was part of an advance team sent in before the invasion by Jenkins. Afterwards Tom Clines would assume a case officer role for Quintero, who would go on make to a number of sabotage and assassination missions into Cuba.

Larry Hancock has done considerable research into Quintero's relationship with Carl Jenkins, a senior figure in the CIA. He writes about this in "Someone Would Have Talked".

Research confirms that beyond a doubt, Carl Jenkins was indeed a senior CIA officer who worked on paramilitary activities in support of the Bay of Pigs project and that by 1963-64 he was indeed directly involved with the AM/WORLD project, with Artime (AM/BIDDY) and Quintero (AM/JAVA-4).

In September, 1963 Jenkins wrote a general memo describing Artime's operational philosophy and concepts. This summarized his views about commando teams, infiltration teams, and guerrilla actions. The memo addresses military operations as Artime conceives them to be organized and conducted under a single organization (AM/WORLD) in which the Cubans can have faith. In a section on Commandos, there is discussion of the use of abductions and assassinations targeted against Cuban G-2 intelligence informants, agents, officers, and foreign Communists to raise the morale of people inside Cuba.'

In December, 1964, Jenkins prepared a summary report of Quintero's visit to Europe for a dialogue with Rolando Cubela in preparation for further meetings with Artime. The goal of this meeting was to develop contacts with a group inside Cuba which was capable of "eliminating Fidel Castro and of seizing and holding Havana, at least for an appreciable time that would be sufficient to justify recognition."'

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I also have no idea when it comes to that arm band. It looks like a trident or pitchfork. I have asked several of the guys who were around at the time and they don't know either.

James

As an excuse to bring this great thread back, I think the Trident was the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution's battle flag. It is mentioned on p. 221 of Oswald Talked. Here are some other Cuban patches of the era:

2c552152b3.jpg

From the original photo found on the Spartacus website: The Leaders of Artime's AM/WORLD army:

JFKartime4.jpg

Zach

Edited by Zach Robertson

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For those interested, several of us including David Boylan, Bill Simpich, and myself as well as Bill Kelly and others are conducting ongoing research on the Wheaton lead and I presented on that research and a related paper at the JFK Lancer conference in Dallas last November.  An early version of that research monograph is online and will be updated as our work proceeds.  I have been posting on the new Wheaton research and will continue to on my Worldpress blog:

https://larryhancock.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/the-wheaton-names-continued/

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8 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

For those interested, several of us including David Boylan, Bill Simpich, and myself as well as Bill Kelly and others are conducting ongoing research on the Wheaton lead and I presented on that research and a related paper at the JFK Lancer conference in Dallas last November.  An early version of that research monograph is online and will be updated as our work proceeds.  I have been posting on the new Wheaton research and will continue to on my Worldpress blog:

https://larryhancock.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/the-wheaton-names-continued/

I’m curious - was the Senator in question John Kerry? Actually you may have already answered that in your presentation, which I read. Another question - since Oswald interacted with DRE in New Orleans, and possibly Alpha 66 in Dallas, what do you think his role was? Why did he do that? Was he an FBI informant, as his asking for local FBI SAC after his New Orleans arrest suggests? 

Edited by Paul Brancato

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No it was not Kerry,  as a matter of fact the Senator was not a well known national name....and I don't recall who it was off the top of my head.  Stu Wexler did follow up on that name as well as others that Wheaton mentioned (including the media person Wheaton mentions who was very cooperative but had little new to say as his conversations with Wheaton had been about more current events of the time and only very peripherally about JFK).  Given that Jenkins and Quintero turned down Wheaton's offer to approach the Senator and at that point said they would work to discredit him if he ever went public (which he did not), that was about all there was to it.  Jenkins appears to have felt much more strongly about the matter; Quintero was a very good friend of Wheaton and might have been willing eventually to do something if he had been on his own...as reflected in a reported remark from him that John Simkin posted.

 

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16 minutes ago, Larry Hancock said:

No it was not Kerry,  as a matter of fact the Senator was not a well known national name....and I don't recall who it was off the top of my head.  Stu Wexler did follow up on that name as well as others that Wheaton mentioned (including the media person Wheaton mentions who was very cooperative but had little new to say as his conversations with Wheaton had been about more current events of the time and only very peripherally about JFK).  Given that Jenkins and Quintero turned down Wheaton's offer to approach the Senator and at that point said they would work to discredit him if he ever went public (which he did not), that was about all there was to it.  Jenkins appears to have felt much more strongly about the matter; Quintero was a very good friend of Wheaton and might have been willing eventually to do something if he had been on his own...as reflected in a reported remark from him that John Simkin posted.

 

Larry - you might have noticed I edited that last post, and then asked about the role of Oswald in all these Cuban shenanigans.

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Paul, that's a much broader question than I'm prepared to give a simple opinion on yet.  What I will say is that we are examining a scenario with two separate tracks and largely compartmentalized individuals.  One has to do with how Oswald came into view by the Dallas conspirators, how he was contacted and eventually framed in Dallas....a tangent to that would be how Ruby and some other Dallas locals were brought into minor roles.  That track is separated from the tactical scenario involving highly trained and experienced paramilitary types with a multi-year history of anti-Castro operations and links to WAVE maritime operations both before and after the Bay of Pigs.

That's not a tease, and its not all that different than a lot of what I presented in SWHT,  but taking it to the next level requires connecting dots and providing context and a great deal of obsessive level detail that tends to be pretty consuming.  You know by now that I'm more than a little conservative,  I'll post what I can on my blog as we proceed to tie pieces together but its all very much still a work in progress, even though the remarks by Wheaton appear to have been a critical starting point.  As for that matter are the Ray January remarks from Red Bird...and yes, that was a tease...

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Larry I've been devouring your (and David's) report as presented at lancer and all I can say is wow....thank you. Its been great reading and re-reading.

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Thanks B.R., we are well into Version 5 now , the paper is basically a working reference for us - which is why it has so many links.  David just keeps finding more than I can keep up with - and along the way we are working with Bill Simpich to keep adding crypts to the MFF crypt index. Each crypt we can find which relates to a base, a station, or a person opens up doors for new searches. And along the way we are finding new documents, such as the investigative report on Homer Echeverria which I just blogged on today.  That one took two-three weeks of background work just to get comfortable with what I posted today. 

Back to slogging...

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On 1/18/2019 at 4:52 PM, Larry Hancock said:

Thanks B.R., we are well into Version 5 now , the paper is basically a working reference for us - which is why it has so many links.  David just keeps finding more than I can keep up with - and along the way we are working with Bill Simpich to keep adding crypts to the MFF crypt index. Each crypt we can find which relates to a base, a station, or a person opens up doors for new searches. And along the way we are finding new documents, such as the investigative report on Homer Echeverria which I just blogged on today.  That one took two-three weeks of background work just to get comfortable with what I posted today. 

Back to slogging...

I hear ya lol. I'd also like to point out and as I believe you mentioned in Doug Campbell's wonderful podcast w/Boylan, that you're pleased to have a work that you can just keep updating, fleshing out, etc. This is exactly what Simpich expressed concerning State Secret. You sort of lay out a template, you research, and you then update accordingly. Its just great and I'll devour every revision to the paper in full. I have always, always felt Wheaton has been one of the lesser focus of researchers perhaps because he doesn't mention the "sensational" bits (if you will) powerfully similar to John Martino. Please keep up the great work.

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Thanks B.A. ,  it is indeed "slogging" with constant revisit, and internal challenges among those participating.  The amount of detail constantly being revealed in the records research is fantastic and its really easy to be diverted on to interesting tracks.  The only answer to that is to work against a thesis, then a scenario and let them keep pulling you back from tangents. 

Of course sometimes the tangents themselves can be revealing,  our work on certain of the Wheaton names led us back to LaCombe which in turn led us to Chicago and to Lauchli and Moseley and the overall subject of weapons sales to exile groups..which helps establish some comparisons to what was going on in Dallas in the same period of time.  Right now the biggest challenge is how to put this all together without losing it....seems like I keep adding appendix after appendix.  However at the same time Bill is consistently adding crypts to the MFF crypt base and that includes people, bases, projects...and hopefully soon we will be adding pseudos and aliases.  There is already enough for a historian to write a new and much more revealing book on the Cuba project, including its covert paramilitary assassination efforts which have been largely ignored compared to the Roselli poison pill efforts.

Definitely a challenge for the few gray cells I have left, fortunately the others involved are younger...

 

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