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Jefferson Morley: Our Man in Mexico


Michael Hogan
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Jefferson Morley's new book on Winston Scott is now available from the University Press of Kansas (Scroll down to author):

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/newbyauthor.html

The University Press also published Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust and Michael Kurtz' The JFK Assassination Debates.

I've had Morley's book on pre-order from Amazon, but to the best of my knowledge they are not yet shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700615717

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Michael: Just got one at our remaining bookstore, B&N. I had preordered one too, but I cant wait.

So far it looks very promissing. Seems as much about Angleton as about Scott. Right now it is describing them working together in X-2

in London during the war. Hadn't read of them together this early before, at least not in this much detail.

Early Win Scott worked at Bletchley Park. So did William Bundy and Alfred Friendly later of the Washigton Post. Probably lots of Americans did?

(I admit that I wanted to type the words Bletchley Park).

Also I did not remember that Scott worked originally for the FBI before joining the CIA. So did a few others, but what of it?

Anyway the most promissing thing so far is that it seems intent on plotting the relationship between Angleton and Scott for quite a lot long time.

This could lead to some side entrances to any number of different buildings--maybe even some insights into Clare Booth's loose paint chips?!

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Jefferson Morley's new book on Winston Scott is now available from the University Press of Kansas (Scroll down to author):

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/newbyauthor.html

The University Press also published Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust and Michael Kurtz' The JFK Assassination Debates.

I've had Morley's book on pre-order from Amazon, but to the best of my knowledge they are not yet shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700615717

I have invited Jeff to discuss the book on the forum.

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Moreley is good at giving an overall sense at the anger that many within the CIA were feeling towards Kennedy in 1963, as well as an outline of how

this anger could well have been translated into unauthorized actions.

On Angleton:

As for Cuba, hw felt the United States had a debt of honor over the Bay of Pigs debacle that had to be repaid.

"We owed a deep obligation to the men in Maimi." he said. He also felt no obligation to respect all of Kennedy's

policy directives. "It is inconceivable," Angleton told a confressional committee years later. "that a secret

intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government" (p. 164)

More surprising to me was this quote from Sam Halpern who I had thought was a smooth-talking dissembler:

Bundy said (May '63)' We can give an impression of busy-ness in Cuba and we can make life difficult for Castro.'

For Halpern, that prissy word, busyness, encapusulated the defeatism, if not treachery, lurking beneath the surface of

Kennedy's low key Cuba policy. Men who were risking their lives every day so that the White House could hide

its unwillingness to 'pay any price, bear any burdon' to get rid of Cuban communism. Halpern argued that the

deceptiveness of Kennedy's policy virtually justified extraconstitutional correction. 'I'll tell you one thing, he said,

sitting forward in his seat, finger jabbing the air. 'I didn't know that word "busy-ness." It was never mentioned by

Des [Fitzgerald] when he came back from that meeting, and it was a good thing he didn't becasue you might have

had a Seven Days in May at that Point' (p.166, Our Man in Mexico)

There almost nothing of AMWORLD in this book, at least as far as the massive plans desicribed in Ultimate Sacrifice. There is an

AMSPELL with David Atlee Phillips and George Joannides being the pinchers; Win Scott is described as being not in the loop on most

of this, although knowing that what the CIA later said about not being informed about the Oswald Cuban embassy visit was false. There is

much deeper confirmation about the irregularities of Langley's response to Scott's October 9th cable than is described in What Jane Roman

Knew. For example William J. Hood who has this to say about the memo that was sent back to Mexico which failed to include the latest

information about Oswald's encounter with the DRE in NO:

"It comes to me and I sign for King, and it goes to Kamrmessines, which is unusual, but the reason for that is obviously that

...." Hood paused in his reading. "It's unusual tht that would go to Karamessines," he acknowledged. Thus he confimred John

Whitten's testimony that is was not routine for such a request to go to a senior official such as Karamessines. Then he ticked

of the names of Jane Roman and the other officials who had contributed to the cable about the utterly obscure Lee Harvey

Oswald. "Jesus Christ, he whistled, "It goes all over the place. That's a lot of coordination" (p. 192).-

How well did Karamessines know Joannides? Did the latter serve in Greece?

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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Jefferson Morley's new book on Winston Scott is now available from the University Press of Kansas (Scroll down to author):

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/newbyauthor.html

The University Press also published Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust and Michael Kurtz' The JFK Assassination Debates.

I've had Morley's book on pre-order from Amazon, but to the best of my knowledge they are not yet shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700615717

I have invited Jeff to discuss the book on the forum.

Jeff has agreed to answer your questions on his book. Please add your questions on this thread.

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Jefferson Morley's new book on Winston Scott is now available from the University Press of Kansas (Scroll down to author):

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/newbyauthor.html

The University Press also published Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust and Michael Kurtz' The JFK Assassination Debates.

I've had Morley's book on pre-order from Amazon, but to the best of my knowledge they are not yet shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0700615717

Its available now on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Man-Mexico-Winst...y/dp/0700615717

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Moreley is good at giving an overall sense at the anger that many within the CIA were feeling towards Kennedy in 1963, as well as an outline of how

this anger could well have been translated into unauthorized actions.

On Angleton:

As for Cuba, hw felt the United States had a debt of honor over the Bay of Pigs debacle that had to be repaid.

"We owed a deep obligation to the men in Maimi." he said. He also felt no obligation to respect all of Kennedy's

policy directives. "It is inconceivable," Angleton told a confressional committee years later. "that a secret

intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government" (p. 164)

More surprising to me was this quote from Sam Halpern who I had thought was a smooth-talking dissembler:

Bundy said (May '63)' We can give an impression of busy-ness in Cuba and we can make life difficult for Castro.'

For Halpern, that prissy word, busyness, encapusulated the defeatism, if not treachery, lurking beneath the surface of

Kennedy's low key Cuba policy. Men who were risking their lives every day so that the White House could hide

its unwillingness to 'pay any price, bear any burdon' to get rid of Cuban communism. Halpern argued that the

deceptiveness of Kennedy's policy virtually justified extraconstitutional correction. 'I'll tell you one thing, he said,

sitting forward in his seat, finger jabbing the air. 'I didn't know that word "busy-ness." It was never mentioned by

Des [Fitzgerald] when he came back from that meeting, and it was a good thing he didn't becasue you might have

had a Seven Days in May at that Point' (p.166, Our Man in Mexico)

There almost nothing of AMWORLD in this book, at least as far as the massive plans desicribed in Ultimate Sacrifice. There is an

AMSPELL with David Atlee Phillips and George Joannides being the pinchers; Win Scott is described as being not in the loop on most

of this, although knowing that what the CIA later said about not being informed about the Oswald Cuban embassy visit was false. There is

much deeper confirmation about the irregularities of Langley's response to Scott's October 9th cable than is described in What Jane Roman

Knew. For example William J. Hood who has this to say about the memo that was sent back to Mexico which failed to include the latest

information about Oswald's encounter with the DRE in NO:

"It comes to me and I sign for King, and it goes to Kamrmessines, which is unusual, but the reason for that is obviously that

...." Hood paused in his reading. "It's unusual tht that would go to Karamessines," he acknowledged. Thus he confimred John

Whitten's testimony that is was not routine for such a request to go to a senior official such as Karamessines. Then he ticked

of the names of Jane Roman and the other officials who had contributed to the cable about the utterly obscure Lee Harvey

Oswald. "Jesus Christ, he whistled, "It goes all over the place. That's a lot of coordination" (p. 192).-

How well did Karamessines know Joannides? Did the latter serve in Greece?

I found no evidence that AMWORLD was the massive plan depicted in "Ultimate Sacrifice," a book whose thesis I find unpersuasive on many counts.

Karamessines did know Joannides. The latter did serve in Greece from 1958 to 1962 and 1964 to 1967. I assume, but cannot prove that Karamessines was behind Joannides transfer from Athens station to JMWAVE in the spring of 1963, just a few weeks after Karamessines took over as Assistant Deputy Director of Plans.

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Jefferson,

I don't have your book yet but would like to contribute a question. Do you give any credence to the story that Win Scott told White House advance man Marty Underwood in 1967 that Castro security agent Fabian Escalante landed in Mexico City as the lone passenger on a plane from Cuba, and boarded one bound for Dallas, on 11/22/63?

According to the ARRB Final Report, Underwood confirmed this story to the ARRB in an informal interview, though discussion with Scott on this subject was not reflected in Underwood's notes from the meeting, and Underwood was later unable to testify to the ARRB under oath for health reasons. So I suppose it comes down to Underwood's credibility, unless you found something additional in your Scott research.

This is covered in chapter 7 of the report (item 22):

http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/arrb98/part10.htm

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This book is excellent.

In addition to Winston Scott's life, family, and founding role in the CIA, there is much of interest here for JFK researchers.

It discusses David A. Phillips nearly as much as Win Scott. Phillips apparently hid some Mexico City Cuban operations from Win, his nominal boss (and longtime friend), actions which may have prevented even closer scrutiny of Oswald when he visited Mexico City.

It contains incisive analysis regarding the directives and efforts of the CIA brass (as well as Allen Dulles on the Warren Commission and Dave Phillips seemingly on his own at times), designed to deflect questions of Oswald's communist background and quash any meaningful investigation into his Cuban and Russian embassy visits.

Scott knew that the CIA's claim to the Warren Commission that they only discovered Oswald's Cuban embassy visit after the assassination (due to a mere routine interest in him) was patently false.

Still, our man Scott comes off as naive when he fails to grasp the cover-up taking shape around him from his close colleagues at the top, who didn't want various CIA surveillance & political/psychological operations exposed (Scott blamed the lack of investigation on "leftists and liberals") -- or was Scott merely part of the swindle? The book does not say definitively, although his son Michael Scott seems to think so, in his compelling search for his father's life story.

With a strong, crisp narrative, this book brings into sharp focus the ties between Oswald's travels, George Joannides' DRE handling, Phillips Cuban operations, Dick Helms' and Jim Angleton's controlling influence, and Scott's deliberate and steady (if misguided) hand on the wheel of his station ship.

Also included: the fascinating tale of how Scott's influence and friendship with his agents in Mexico's political elite failed him miserably in the 1968 massacre of protesting students in Tlatelolco; the description of Scott's excessive wedding (worth the price of the book); and the sad story of the likely fate of the Oswald embassy photos and tapes.

All in all, a must read.

------

Mr. Morley:

Thank you for the extraordinary book, and your continued research & advocacy efforts. A few questions:

(1) I read somewhere else that Michael Scott had suspicions of foul play in his father's death. Can you please comment on this?

(2) Various reports have David S. Morales traveling and perhaps operating out of Mexico City around the time of Scott's tenure there. Did you find any mention of Morales in your research?

(3) Is it your conclusion that Oswald was part of an authorized CIA operation in Mexico City? How about in New Orleans with the DRE? If yes to either, what type of operation(s)?

(4) Do you know if George Joannides knew Winston Scott? In your investigations, have you been able to further address or prove if Joannides knew Dave Phillips?

(5) What is your expectation or sense of what the CIA will come up with regarding Joannides on the scheduled April 30 hearing?

Best regards,

Steve Rosen

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Mr. Morley:

Thank you for the extraordinary book, and your continued research & advocacy efforts. A few questions:

(1) I read somewhere else that Michael Scott had suspicions of foul play in his father's death. Can you please comment on this?

Thanks for your kind words. Three people suggested that Scott had not died a natural death: Clare Petty, Tom Mann, and Fergie Dempster. The first two did not live in Mexico City at the time of Scott's death. Dempster, a British intelligence officer, did not credit the reports, only say that the had heard them from others. All in all, I didn't see evidence. I don't rule out the possibility. We don't know what the Mexican security services made of Scott's death.

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(2) Various reports have David S. Morales traveling and perhaps operating out of Mexico City around the time of Scott's tenure there. Did you find any mention of Morales in your research?

I found out that Morales was a contact officer in the DRE/AMSPELL project. I saw no evidence that he came to Mexico City during Scott's tenure. Manuel Artime and Howard Hunt did go to Mexico City in summer of 1963. Under oath Hunt lied about these trips.

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(3) Is it your conclusion that Oswald was part of an authorized CIA operation in Mexico City? How about in New Orleans with the DRE? If yes to either, what type of operation(s)?

I would put it like this. Three counterintelligence operations overseen by David Phillips picked up on Oswald as he made his was from New Orleans to Mexico City to Dallas.

* Philip's allies in the DRE ran into Oswald in New Orleans.

* His cameras watched the entrance to the Cuban consulate where Oswald came and went.

* After Kennedy was killed, he vouched for his reliable informant from Nicaragua who had an Oswald story.

Each of these operations was authorized by Philips and his superiors. Obviously, they culminated in disaster whether or not there were two gunmen in Dealey Plaza.

Phillips's performance was an intelligence failure that had to be hid.

There was either a cosmic intelligence failure. ("This guy Oswald walked through our most sensitive and effective surveillance schemes, we lost track of him and he whacked Jack") or a counterintelligence operation. I lean toward the latter. The October 10, 1963 cable is clear evidence that Oswald was getting sustained, coordinated attention at the top of the CIA. The commentary of Jane Roman and Bill Hood, quoted in "Our Man in Mexico," indicates to me that there was a closely held operation around Oswald, though neither of them cared to admit it.

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(4) Do you know if George Joannides knew Winston Scott? In your investigations, have you been able to further address or prove if Joannides knew Dave Phillips?

Joannides didn't know Scott, as far as I know. I'm pretty sure Joannides knew Phillips though we don't yet have a piece of paper that says so.

Think about it. Phillips was running anti-Castro covert operations out of the Embassy in Mexico City. Joannides was brought in, an up and comer from Athens, for his first front-line position, actually managing agents on the "outside." He was the chief of the Psychological Warfare branch in Miami. He had a staff of 24 and a budget of $1.2 million. Phillips visited Miami frequently while pursuing his own psychological warfare operations. Phillips had helped nurture the DRE from the start. Joannides was handling them. Joannides was probably--don't quote me on this--Phillips' field man.

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(5) What is your expectation or sense of what the CIA will come up with regarding Joannides on the scheduled April 30 hearing?

I think we'll get something and hope it is of interest. We may get stonewalled.

We will get an explanation of the missing 17 monthly progress reports on the DRE/AMSPELL program during Joannides handling of the group, whether they exist or whether they have been destroyed.

We will get some sense of the size of the Joannides' operational file.

We might get some declassified documents out of the file. Those could be important or trivial.

We'll learn if there are any Joannides records in the 1,100 JFK records that have been classified until 2017.

I hope for more clarity on the Phillips-Joannides relationship and Joannides' movements in 1963. If Joannides travelled to New Orleans in the summer of 1963, that would be newsworthy.

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