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David Atlee Phillips


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David Atlee Phillips

David Atlee Phillips (October 31,1922–July 7, 1988) was a Central Intelligence Agency officer for 25years, one of a handful of people to receive the Career Intelligence Medal. He rose to become the CIA's chief of all operations in the Western hemisphere. In 1975 he founded the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), an alumni association comprising intelligence officers from all services.

Background

Phillips was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended William and Mary College and Texas Christian University.[1] Phillips established his ties to the intelligence community during World War II, when as a prisoner of war in Germany he became amember of an escape committee, serving until his own escape.

CIA career

Phillips joined the CIA as a part-time agent in1950 in Chile, where he owned and edited "The South Pacific Mail", an English-language newspaper that circulated throughout South America and several islands in the Pacific. He became a full-time operative in 1954 and rose through the ranks to intelligence officer,chief of station and eventually chief of all operations in the Western hemisphere, serving primarily in Latin America, including Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Some researchers claim Phillips used the alias "Maurice Bishop" (not to be confused with the former prime minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop). He used the pseudonym whilst working with Alpha66, an organization of anti-Castro Cubans. Alpha 66's founder, Antonio Veciana, claimed that during one of his meetings with "Bishop", Lee Harvey Oswald was also in attendance. Some observers noted the fact that Phillips was the officer in charge of the CIA's Mexico City station when Oswald visited the city. In a death bed statement released in 2007, Watergate figure and CIA officer HowardHunt named Phillips as one of the participants in the JFK assassination.[2]

United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigator Gaeton Fonzi believed Phillips was Bishop. In the HSCA's 1979 report, it stated:

"The committee suspected that Veciana waslying when he denied that the retired CIA officer was Bishop. The committee recognized that Veciana had an interest in renewing his anti-Castro operations that might have led him to protect the officer from exposure as Bishop so they could work together again. For his part, the retired officer aroused the committee's suspicion when he told the committee he did not recognize Veciana as the founder of Alpha 66, especially since the officer had once been deeply involved in Agency anti-Castro operations. Further, a former CIA case officer who was assigned from September 1960 to November 1962 to the JM/WAVE station in Miami told the committee that the retired officer had in fact used the alias, Maurice Bishop......

http://www.spartacus...JFKphillips.htm

David Atlee Phillips was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on 31st October, 1922.He was educated at William and Mary College and Texas ChristianUniversity. During the Second World War he served as a nose gunner in the United States Army Air Force.

Phillips joined the Central IntelligenceAgency in 1950. Over the next few years Phillips was involved inclandestine operations in Guatemala against President JacoboArbenz. The plot against Arbenz became part of Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power).

Tracy Barnes was placed in charge of what became known as Operation Success. Phillips was appointed to run the propaganda campaign against Arbenz's government. Accordingto Phillips he initially questioned the right of the CIA tointerfere in Guatemala: In his autobiography Phillips claims he said to Barnes: "But Arbenz became President in a free election. What right do we have to help someone topple his government and throw him out of office?" However, Barnes convinced himthat it was vital important that the Soviets did not establish a"beachhead in Central America".....

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http://jfkcountercou...e-phillips.html

Edited by William Kelly
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Two significant items not mentioned in any of the bios and profiles of David Atlee Phillis are his last book, Secret War Diary: My Adventures in Combat, Espionage Operations and Covert Action (Stone Trail Press, 1988), which should be of interest to JFK Assassination researchers, and Gaeton Fonzi's November, 1980 Washingtonian Magazine article The Historical Imperatives, which was the basis for his book The Last Investigation.

Has ANYBODY read the Secret War Diary? Does ANYBODY have a copy? If so, I'd like to hear from them.

I recently discovered a copy Fonzi's Washingtonian article among my own archives. It's WAY too long (70+ pages) to retype, and my scanner is down, but it's an important article that I'll have scanned and post unless someone can find it on line and save me the trouble. I've already asked Rex Bradford if he was interested in scanning and posting it at MF but he declined.

So let me know if anyone's read or has Phillips' Secret War Diary and if anybody's interested in Fonzi's The Historical Imperatives, which is a very important article because it details for the first time, Fonzi's questioning of Antonio Veciana and his quest for "Maurice Bishop," and includes dozesns of unique photos.

When I talked with Phillips on the phone one evening about a year before he died, he told me that he was perplexed by the article in the Washingtonian, not only by its length, but because other than the abreviated meeting at the Association of Former Intelligence Agency conclave where Fonzi "introduced" him to Veciana, he was never approached or questioned. This was perplexing, he said, because he himself was working for Washingtonian Magazine at the time, writing freelance articles, and operated out of an office right down the hall from where Fonzi was working on his article.

He also sued them for libel, but I don't know what became of that case. He also sued Tony Summers, and I believe, won the case in a London court.

We still haven't seen David Leigh's article that he did on assignment for Ben Bradlee, that was never published. Perhaps John Simkin or somone can convince Leigh to release the article so it can be posted on line if nobody will publish it.

Phillips was also close personal friends of Joe Goulden, the reporter who covered the Kennedy assassination for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Kevin Walsh, the DC investigator who was active at the time of the HSCA.

Phillips reportedly confided a lot to both of them.

Phillips' wives - both of them, also knew a lot and my be alive today.

http://www.amazon.co...88613720&sr=1-1

Secret Wars Diary: My Adventures in Combat, Espionage Operations and Covert Action [Paperback]

David Atlee Phillips (Author) Be the first to review this item

Edited by William Kelly
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I recently discovered a copy Fonzi's Washingtonian article among my own archives. It's WAY too long (70+ pages) to retype, and my scanner is down, but it's an important article that I'll have scanned and post unless someone can find it on line and save me the trouble. I've already asked Rex Bradford if he was interested in scanning and posting it at MF but he declined.

It's already there: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=5480&relPageId=1

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I recently discovered a copy Fonzi's Washingtonian article among my own archives. It's WAY too long (70+ pages) to retype, and my scanner is down, but it's an important article that I'll have scanned and post unless someone can find it on line and save me the trouble. I've already asked Rex Bradford if he was interested in scanning and posting it at MF but he declined.

It's already there: http://www.maryferre...480&relPageId=1

Thanks Michael,

Rex didn't mention that he already had it.

It's an important article that everyone should read.

Now has anyone read Phillips' Secret War Diary?

Thanks,

BK

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Bill,

Did the lawsuit against Summers by Phillips result in Phillips' unpublished novel being read by Summers' attorney in the discovery process? I don't remember the source,but Phillips' wife at the time of the assassination said that his behavior on November 22 was odd because he came home and showed no emotion over the event-not anger or happiness,jut nothing.

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Bill,

Did the lawsuit against Summers by Phillips result in Phillips' unpublished novel being read by Summers' attorney in the discovery process? I don't remember the source,but Phillips' wife at the time of the assassination said that his behavior on November 22 was odd because he came home and showed no emotion over the event-not anger or happiness,jut nothing.

Robin, I don't know. I do know that such libel cases do result in a lot of interesting new evidence and testimony, though I know nothing about the Phillips' vs Summers or Phillips vs Washingtonian.

Phillips Association of Former Intelligence Officers did start a warchest fund to finance the court cases of those who wanted to sue for such libel.

I'd be linterested in learning more about either case if anyone has any info.

BK

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  • 11 months later...

Bill,

Great work, I most certainly appreciate it. A fitting tribute to Dave on his birthday, Halloween. I hope you have found Secret Wars Diary, it would make an excellent addition to your collection. It contains some great nuggets of information. Steve Rosen is an excellent researcher and has found a wealth of information on David Atlee Phillips.

Here are a couple images from Secret Wars Diary:

The first is a collage of Phillips' career including an article from WWII, an article on Atlee the actor in "The Snow Job."

There is a photo of him and DCI William Colby at Phillips' retirement. It is inscribed and reads: "To Dave - with our institutional and my personal appreciation and admiration of a truly distinguished contributor to American Intelligence - Bill Colby"

A photo of Staff Sgt. Phillips and Gen. Omar Bradley, with DCI Bill Casey, and finally, an autographed photo of DCI Helms inscribed to Dave that reads:

"To Dave Phillips, Who stays the course in a most uncommon way. Richard Helms"

The second image is Phillips and his idol Allen Dulles in 1954 after PBSUCCESS.

Secret_Wars_Diary.jpg

Dulles_Phillips_PBSUCCESS1954.jpg

Zach

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Thanks Bill Kelly, for another nice tribute to Dave Phillips. I can't help but think that The Nightwatchman, publicity hound that he became upon retirement, would be happy at your blogging his birthday.

Everyone should check in often at Bill's always great site, JFKCounterCoup, where people can find the latest in cutting-edge historical research and Bill's unrelenting advocacy for Congressional oversight of The JFK Act, and for the release of still suppressed documents.

And Zach, thanks for the kind words. Your efforts here are greatly appreciated.

In JFK assassination Halloween news ...

I just learned that the Misfits were banned in Dallas, Texas, for their 1978 JFK-inspired song "Bullet".

The story: Rocker Glenn Danzig played a concert in California on Halloween 2011. The show included song sets from his former bands, including punk legends the Misfits, whom Danzig fronted from 1977 to 1983.

The Misfits, who hailed from Lodi, New Jersey, took their inspiration from B-grade horror movies and Danzig's fixation with the dark underbelly of American culture, evident in songs like Who Killed Marilyn? (NOTE FOR THE SQUEAMISH - link contains explicit lyrics - with the sing-a-long, "Could it have been the Kennedys? Was it LAPD? It ain't a mystery, baby not to me"), "She" (about Patty Hearst), "Hollywood Babylon" (taken from the seamy gossip tome of the same name), and "Bullet", about the death of JFK (2ND NOTE FOR THE SQUEAMISH - link contains shocking lyrics, with the Dallas-offensive stanza, "Texas is an outrage when your husband is dead/Texas is an outrage when they pick up his head/Texas is the reason that the president's dead.")

As the LA Weekly said in its review of Danzig's October 31, 2011 show, "The story about how Dallas authorities told him he was no longer welcome in their town preceded "Bullet," after which he noted: "As you can see, this ain't no Tom Petty concert." "

According to Lumino Magazine, Danzig told a similar story on October 7, 2011:

"The set featured many Misfits favorites such as “Bullet,” where Danzig revealed they were never allowed back into Dallas because of the content about President Kennedy."

I don't know how long that ban lasted, because I'm pretty sure Danzig and the re-formed Danzig-less Misfits (post-1996) have played shows there.

-- Steve

Sources:

http://www.luminomagazine.com/mw/content/view/3270/4

http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2011/11/glenn_danzig_-_gibson_amphithe.php

Misfits "Bullet" (explicit lyrics): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k86w1-1BFw4

Misfits "Who Killed Marilyn?" (explicit lyrics): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMQtTT2pY3M

*If you enjoyed the songs, essential Misfits albums are Walk Among Us (1982) and Static Age (1978 but released 1997).

Edited by Steve Rosen
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