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Ernest Cuneo and Operation Mockingbird

John Simkin

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I have been doing some research into Ernest Cuneo. Does anyone have any photographs of him?

When he was a young man he supported progressive causes. In 1932 Cuneo became law secretary to Fiorello LaGuardia, a congressman from New York City. The following year he was elected mayor of the city. In 1936 James Farley appointed Cuneo associate general counsel of the Democratic National Committee. It has also been claimed that Cuneo acted as a liaison between Franklin Roosevelt and Walter Winchell.

In July 1942 President Roosevelt established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the leadership of General William Donovan. Roosevelt arranged for Cuneo to become Donovan's liaison officer with MI6, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of State. During this period he became friendly with William Stephenson, Roald Dahl, Noel Coward and Ian Fleming. Later, Fleming admitted that Cuneo provided him with the basic plotlines for Goldfinger (1959) and Thunderball (1961).

Cuneo was also friends with Drew Pearson. He leaked several stories to Pearson including one concerning General George S. Patton. On 3rd August 1943, Patton visited the 15th Evacuation Hospital where he encountered Private Charles H. Kuhl, who had been admitted suffering from shellshock. When Patton asked him why he had been admitted, Kuhl told him "I guess I can't take it." According to one eyewitness Patton "slapped his face with a glove, raised him to his feet by the collar of his shirt and pushed him out of the tent with a kick in the rear." Kuhl was later to claim that he thought Patton, as well as himself, was suffering from combat fatigue.

Two days after the incident he sent a memo to all commanders in the 7th Army: "It has come to my attention that a very small number of soldiers are going to the hospital on the pretext that they are nervously incapable of combat. Such men are cowards and bring discredit on the army and disgrace to their comrades, whom they heartlessly leave to endure the dangers of battle while they, themselves, use the hospital as a means of escape. You will take measures to see that such cases are not sent to the hospital but are dealt with in their units. Those who are not willing to fight will be tried by court-martial for cowardice in the face of the enemy."

On 10th August 1943, Patton visited the 93rd Evacuation Hospital to see if there were any soldiers claiming to be suffering from combat fatigue. He found Private Paul G. Bennett, an artilleryman with the 13th Field Artillery Brigade. When asked what the problem was, Bennett replied, "It's my nerves, I can't stand the shelling anymore." Patton exploded: "Your nerves. Hell, you are just a goddamned coward, you yellow son of a bitch. Shut up that goddamned crying. I won't have these brave men here who have been shot seeing a yellow bastard sitting here crying. You're a disgrace to the Army and you're going back to the front to fight, although that's too good for you. You ought to be lined up against a wall and shot. In fact, I ought to shoot you myself right now, God damn you!" With this Patton pulled his pistol from its holster and waved it in front of Bennett's face. After putting his pistol way he hit the man twice in the head with his fist. The hospital commander, Colonel Donald E. Currier, then intervened and got in between the two men.

Colonel Richard T. Arnest, the man's doctor, sent a report of the incident to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The story was also passed to the four newsmen attached to the Seventh Army. Although Patton had committed a court-martial offence by striking an enlisted man, the reporters agreed not to publish the story. Quentin Reynolds of Collier's Weekly agreed to keep quiet but argued that there were "at least 50,000 American soldiers on Sicily who would shoot Patton if they had the chance."

Eisenhower now had a meeting with the war correspondents who knew about the incident and told them that he hoped they would keep the "matter quiet in the interests of retaining a commander whose leadership he considered vital." Ernest Cuneo, who was fully aware, now decided to pass this story to Drew Pearson and in November 1943, he told the story on his weekly syndicated radio program. Some politicians demanded that George S. Patton should be sacked but General George Marshall and Henry L. Stimson supported Eisenhower in the way he had dealt with the case.

Pearson reveals in his diary (19th April, 1949) that the CIA had ordered a "painstaking investigation of me, Winchell, Cuneo." This seems to be when Cuneo was turned. Soon after this he was given CIA support to gain control of the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA). On 11th April, 1950, Drew Pearson wrote in his diary: "Cuneo thinks that I am nuts to go after McCarthy, claims the tide is in the opposite direction and that the entire country is determined to clean out the Communist. I agree except I think that the Communists have been pretty well cleared out. Now it has got to a point where anyone who was sympathetic to Russia during the war is in danger of being called a Communist."

Gaeton Fonzi, the author of The Last Investigation (1993), argues that Cuneo employed pro-CIA journalists like Virginia Prewett and Priscilla Johnson. Anthony Summers argues in his book, The Kennedy Conspiracy (1980): "For many years, Prewett wrote for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), a syndication organization founded by prewett's friend Ernest Cuneo, a veteran of the CIA's forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services... In 1963 NANA was severely criticized in a Senate Committee Report, for syndicating pro-Chiang Kai-shek propaganda written by a paid American lobbyist". Cuneo sold the North American Newspaper Alliance in 1963.


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Cuneo purchased NANA with a partner, millionaire Ivor Bryce, also an OSS veteran, who said he purchased his share of NANA with profits he obtained from a Texas oil well.

Both Cuneo and Bryce are mentioned as characters in Fleming's novels, Cuneo as a Las Vegas cab driver in Diamonds are Forever and Bryce as the name 007 uses to visit Jamaica in Dr. No.

These facts are also mentioned in an article I wrote with John Judge - Bottlefed by Oswald's NANA, and should be in my unfinished manuscript on James Bond & Ian Fleming - the Men & the Myth - some of which is posted here: Jamesbondauthenticus

Ivor Bryce introduced Fleming to Jamaica during WWII when they visited Bryce's estate there, and Fleming's Jamaican home, which he called Goldeneye, is on the North Shore, and not far from the home of Noel Coward.

Sir William Stephenson (A Man Called INTREPID) also had a Jamaican mansion near Montego Bay called Tryall, which included a hotel and a golf course surrounded by private residences, some of which were owned by JFK assassination subjects, including Jean DiMenil, Paul Raiordsky and John Connally.

I have a number of biographical books on Ian Fleming and will see if any of them contain a photo of Cuneo.


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  • 6 months later...

Photos of Bryce and Cuneo appear at 1:54 - 2:06 in this featurette:

Thank you for that. After my comments yesterday a JFK researcher sent me photographs of Ernest Cuneo and Ivar Bryce. You can see them here:


John, I have better photos of both Bryce and Cuneo and will scan them tonight.

I also have an article "Bottlefed by Oswald's NANA" that I wrote with John Judge years ago that documents the intelligence associations of Bryce, Cuneo, Fleming, et al. and their relationship with NANA and Mockingbird that I am retyping and updating and will try to get out soon.



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Tom Scully


The peril of valuing celebrity over history

By James Carroll Published: Monday, July 30, 2007

.....A minimal acquaintance with history, including dissections of American culture already performed by both Sinclairs, would undermine our national complacency. Upton Sinclair, for example, showed the rapaciousness of capitalism, the vampire-like appetite with which it feeds on the blood of human beings. Even with "reforms" ("The Jungle" led to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration), the profit-worshipping economy to this day eludes controls that would protect majorities of citizens in this country and across the world. Sinclair Lewis, for his part, showed how the simultaneously banalizing methods of capitalist enterprise (false advertising, consumerism, pieties of affluence, amoral bureaucracy) are exactly what that enterprise created to keep from being criticized.....

Joseph Carroll (DIA) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Lieutenant General Joseph Francis Carroll (19 March 1910 – 20 January 1991) ... Mary, and five sons, one of whom is former priest and writer James P. Carroll.




Macmillan Company

YORK:- 1955

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the public by the bucketful only the country was too sick

to do more than sip it, pluck at the counterpane, and turn

its face to the wall. ....


What would Jesus do? Occupy Wall Street.

Donald E. Wilkes, Jr.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#In 2007 the richest 1 percent of the American population owned 34.6 percent of the country's total wealth, and the next 19 percent owned 50.5 percent. Thus, the top 20 percent of Americans owned 85 percent of the country's wealth and the bottom 80 percent of the population owned 15 perctent. However, after the Great Recession which started in 2007, the share of total wealth owned by the top 1 percent of the population grew from 34.6 percent to 37.1 percent, and that owned by the top 20 percent of Americans grew from 85 percent to 87.7 percent. —Wikipedia, “Wealth Inequality in the United States.”....


Fed report says US median family net worth fell nearly 40 percent from 2007 to 2010

By Associated Press, Published: June 11

WASHINGTON — The Great Recession shrank Americans’ wealth so much that in 2010 median family net worth was no more than it had been in 1992 after adjusting for inflation, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

Among families that owned homes, the Fed survey found that their median home equity declined from $95,300 in 2007 to $55,000 in 2010, a drop of 42.3 percent. Home equity is the home’s value minus how much is owed on the mortgage.

.....The Fed survey found that median incomes fell from $49,600 in 2007 to $45,800 in 2010, a drop of 7.7 percent....

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By Anna Louie Sussman

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Poverty rates in 2010 by state (U.S. Census)

More than 22 percent of Mississippians lived in poverty last year, making the state the poorest in the nation. New Mexico trailed closely behind with a 20 percent poverty rate, according to updated U.S. Census figures.

New Hampshire, Maryland and Alaska had fewer than 10 percent of their populations living in poverty.

Overall, 15 percent of Americans were poor last year, the highest rate since 1993. The poverty line is $22,314 pre-tax income for a family of four, not including non-cash benefits such as food stamps. The Census measure also doesn't take into account big differences in cost of living among states, or expenses such as child care.....

Ernest Cuneo spelled it out in his 1955 book, even while he was supporting :

.....the profit-worshipping economy to this day eludes controls that would protect majorities of citizens in this country and across the world. Sinclair Lewis, for his part, showed how the simultaneously banalizing methods of capitalist enterprise (false advertising, consumerism, pieties of affluence, amoral bureaucracy) are exactly what that enterprise created to keep from being criticized....

Capitalism as enforced by the establishment in English speaking countries worldwide is a failed system, judging by the results of its rigid enforcement. It robs the labor of the bottom half to enrich no more than 20 percent, and only the top one quarter of that top quintile can truly be considered wealthy. The bottom quintile is relegated to poverty or near poverty, and the next 30 percent to zero or even negative net worth. Yet, 82 years after the economic collapse of late 1929, it is a system enshrined, accepted, and defended to the death. Since no political mechanism is permitted to dismantle the stranglehold, there is no ability for the majority to vote a government into office to react to the results of the corporatist alliance of capitalists and government authority. When there can be no political solution to the problem of the impact on the standard of living resulting from this systemic failure that benefits so few and weighs down on so many, history tells us that most often relief of acute economic and opportunity inequity is realized only after much bloodshed.

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  • 1 month later...

There is a lot of information on Ernest Cuneo in Thomas E. Mahl's "Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States: 1939-44" (1998). Mahl argues that Cuneo was "liaison between British Security Coordination and several departments of the U.S. government". Cuneo did what he could to cover up his role. He later wrote to Charles Howard Ellis, assistant-director of the British Security Coordination: "I saw Adolf Berle at State Department, Eddie Tamm, J. Edgar Hoover and more often the Attorney General; on various other matters Dave Niles and the White House and Ed Foley at the Treasury, but as far as I know there wasn't a sentence recorded. I reported to Bill Donovan and George Bowden, but never in writing."

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