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Al Burt

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In an article published on 6th August 2007, David Talbot, argued that AMCARBON was the cryptonym that the CIA used to identify friendly reporters and editors who covered Cuba. Talbot found a declassified CIA memo dated 9th April, 1964 that showed that the CIA’s covert media campaign in Miami aimed “to work out a relationship with [south Florida] news media which would insure that they did not turn the publicity spotlight on those [CIA] activities in South Florida which might come to their attention...and give [the CIA’s Miami station] an outlet into the press which could be used for surfacing certain select propaganda items.” (CIA Document)

On 8th September, 2005, Larry Hancock speculated on the Education Forum that three journalists working on Miami Herald were CIA assets. He claimed that Hal Hendrix was AMCARBON-1, Al Burt was AMCARBON-2 and Don Bohning was AMCARBON-3. On 6th October 2005, Bohning abmitted on the Education Forum in reply to Larry Hancock: "I have obtained the document about the JMWave relationship with the Miami Herald and references to AMCARBON-2, AMCARBON-3, etc., etc. As you noted, it is very confusing but it seems quite clear to me that AMCARBON-2 was probably Al Burt, my predecessor as Latin America editor at the Miami Herald. I have no idea who might have bee AMCARBON-1 or Identity, 2, etc. even what they refer to. I also have obtained documents that clearly state that I was AMCARBON-3, something I was not previously aware of."

I have started threads on Don Bohning and Hal Hendrix so I thought it might be worth starting one on Al Burt. He was born in 1927. While attending the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications he wrote for the Independent Florida Alligator.

Burt worked for the Atlanta Journal & the Jacksonville Journal before joining Miami Herald. He served as a sports writer, news reporter, editor, editorial writer and columnist. Burt was considered a specialist in Latin America and the Caribbean affairs.

Al Burt died on 29th November, 2008.


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Guest Tom Scully

Don Bohning's October 6, 2005 reply to Larry Hancock is here:


Bohning does not reference his background as AMCARBON-3 in either article critical of John Simkin and his web sites:



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After he died Jim Ross of the The Gainsville Sun published an interesting article on Al Burt. It included the following story:

He reported from Latin America, including the Dominican Republic.

In 1965, during the civil war there, he was nearly killed in a tragic accident.

According to friends and colleagues, Burt and a Herald photographer, Doug Kennedy, were in a taxi in Santo Domingo when they came upon a U.S. Marine checkpoint.

The reasons are unclear, but the Marines felt threatened and fired rifles and machine guns at the taxi, severely injuring both passengers.

"The whole newsroom went into shock. We didn't know if they were going to live," recalled Jo Werne, 68, who was in the Miami newsroom that day working on the Herald's Latin America desk. The paper published a front-page story about the accident.

The Marines immediately realized the mistake and rushed Burt and Kennedy to Washington D.C. for medical care and extensive convalescence.

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Al Burt wrote three books with Bernard Diederich, a journalist who was staff foreign correspondent for the Time-Life News: Papa Doc: The Truth About Haiti Today (1969), Papa Doc: Haiti and Its Dictator (1970) and Somoza and the Legacy of U.S. Involvement in Central America (2007). In 1966 Diederich was appointed chief of TIME Magazine's Mexico City bureau.


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