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Revolt of the Colonels?

Steve Thomas

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On 2/13/2017 at 0:14 AM, Steve Thomas said:

You asked about General Walker. I was reading the other day about someone approaching him and asking him if he wanted to get involved in the "Cuban cause", and he said no, he didn't want to get bogged down in the small stuff - he wanted to devote himself to defeating communism "everywhere". ( or something along those lines *smile*).

I think he looked at the people involved - Hemming, et.al. and saw the whole venture as pretty Mickey Mouse stuff, and wouldn't touch it. With respect to the Joint Chiefs, no, they were Active Army. The people I was looking at were in the Reserves. A whole different realm. As someone pointed out to me, the Active Army is a full time job. The Reserves are a part-time job with another life in the "civilian" world.



Steve Thomas

I find it hard to imagine any operation that would be too mickey mouse for General Walker.  So often portrayed as someone important in the ultra-right, all I've ever seen in him is buffoonery.  Bobby didn't just have him lock up on psych charges for fun.

Tony Rose

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On 2/18/2017 at 3:07 PM, Steve Thomas said:

The reason I ask, is that I spoke to a retired colonel in the reserves, and he told me that Whitmeyer's identification of "east Texas sector commander", or U.S. Army, Dallas Sub-section Commander didn't mean anything to him. Now, he belonged to the Active Army Reserves, so maybe Whitmeyer and Crichton and Lumpkin were buried somewhere in the Texas National Guard, or the Texas State Guard, I don't know, but I'd like to find out.



Steve Thomas



Steve, it's not that they actually had mysterious titles, it's that the media has always been awful about understanding the military.  Those some reporter's shorthand for what he thought he understood or wanted to pretend that he understood.



Tony Rose

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On 2/19/2017 at 2:45 AM, Paul Brancato said:

Steve - I get your point. What the hell is the 488th? Apparently started by Crichton. It doesn't fit in to the military reserve system. Do you think that because of that it is a disinformation campaign? What strikes me most odd is that we don't know, 54 years later. All the fine researchers have clearly run into an impasse, like the one you have. I keep waiting for DiEugenio or Hancock to weigh in. There is no way I would dismiss the little we do know. It's the tip of some iceberg. 

The more thought i've put to it, the more I think that your military commentator was right:  Crichton was running a social club, much akin to the "intelligence committees" of the 50s in Mississippi and Louisiana.

You don't just start your own unit in the military, regular Army or Reserves.  And I doubt you can start your own unit in the Texas Guard, whatever it was.  This all just smacks of those "sovereign committees" and the like that were intent on watching blacks in the 50s.  AND, connecting them to communists when they could.



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15 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

I don't know specifically why Texas got an intel unit but my impression is that the Texas units were built largely around staff specialties and G2 is one of those.  That would have been staff level work plus field intelligence.  Those are the sorts of staff you want on hand if you do a call up and start building large units from scratch. Finding combat folks is easy when you are rebuilding, but finding intelligence, logistics, artillery, special forces is something else again so you want to have a pool handy.



I've been reading about the Cloverleaf Exercises. The first one was in 1957 and was designated Cloverleaf I. These were Command Post Exercises, rather than field training. It looks like they had a Civil Defense component, as well as just regular command training.


The Bellaire Texan (Bellaire, Tex.), Vol. 8, No. 4, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 22, 1961

Page 9



Citizen-Soldiers Wind Up Two Week Training Session”

Commanded by Major General George P. Munson, Jr. the 75th MAC (Maneuver Area Command) acted as controllers of Cloverleaf V, a giant Command Post Exercise, best described as a “large scale paper war.” “The 75th's mission is solely to plan and control Command Post Exercise such as Cloverleaf V, and it is one of only two such units in the entire Army. The other units is a Fort Bragg, N.C.”


An Introduction to the history of the 49th (Lone Star) Armored Division (1947 -1963)

Brian Schenk



Command Post Exercises (CPX) called "Cloverleaf" became a part of the command staff's training beginning in 1957. Conducted by Headquarters, 4th U. S. Army, the Cloverleaf exercises were based at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas.”


For anyone interested, read the article in the Irving Daily News.


The Irving Daily News Texan from Irving, Texas

May 10, 1966

Page 3


"Exercise Cloverleaf — was field under tight security precautions to train more than 1,000 staff officers and key enlisted men of the National Guard and Army Reserve from a five - state area. The three - day "paper- war" problem, conducted over two weekend periods, provided a realistic command post exercise for both of Texas* National Guard divisions, with the theoretical tactical problems giving commanders and their staffs training in mobile, dispersed operations under conditions of extensive nuclear warfare." 

"It is more of a war of the mind, than of the muscle," the division commander continued. This differs from summer camp training, General Orrick pointed out, where all members of the division are actually engaged in "on the ground" training for their specific job. In Cloverleaf, the emphasis is to sharpen staff coordination and tactical procedures not required during actual training exercises.


Looks like Texas was pretty specialized.


Steve Thomas

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That's pretty much what I would expect Steve, as I said previously there were only a few units around the nation in each staff specialty area - that is one reason they had links up to the same specialty groups at the Pentagon, DIA, Army intel school etc. The same is still true today although we don't hear all that much about it...you will recall there was a specialty counter insurgency exercise across the southern states a couple of  years ago which prompted a lot of concern. One of the reasons we hear less about it is that we have been deploying reserve and guard units so much overseas for so many years now that they get their experience off shore....very different than back in the fifties and sixties. 

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1 hour ago, Larry Hancock said:

you will recall there was a specialty counter insurgency exercise across the southern states a couple of  years ago which prompted a lot of concern. 



Military exercise Jade Helm 15.  I was just reading about that the other day.

Those Texas gentlemen take their states rights very seriously.


Steve Thomas

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On 2/19/2017 at 6:07 PM, Chuck Schwartz said:
  • Paul B., yes , and per PD Scott.."

    Jack Crichton, head of the 488th Army Intelligence Reserve unit of Dallas, was also part of this Mount Weather COG network. This was in his capacity as chief of intelligence for Dallas Civil Defense, which worked out of an underground Emergency Operating Center. As Russ Baker reports, “Because it was intended for ‘continuity of government’ operations during an attack, [the Center] was fully equipped with communications equipment.”(18) In retrospect the Civil Defense Program is remembered derisively, for having advised schoolchildren, in the event of an atomic attack, to hide their heads under their desks.(19)But in 1963 civil defense was one of the urgent responsibilities assigned to the Office of Emergency Planning, which is why Crichton, as much as Secret Service agent Lawson, could be in direct touch with the OEP’s emergency communications network at Mount Weather.

    Jack Crichton is of interest because he, along with DPD Deputy Chief George Lumpkin of the 488th Army Intelligence Reserve unit, was responsible for choosing a Russian interpreter for Marina Oswald from the right-wing Russian community. This man was Ilya Mamantov, who translated for Marina Oswald at her first DPD interview on November 22. What she allegedly said in Russian at this interview was later used to bolster what I have called the “phase one” story, still promoted from some CIA sources, that Russia and/or Cuba were behind the assassination.

    As summarized by the FBI, Mamantov’s account of Marina’s Russian testimony was as follows:

    MARINA OSWALD advised that LEE HARVEY OSWALD owned a rifle which he used in Russia about two years ago. She observed what she presumed to be the same rifle in a blanket in the garage at [Ruth Paine’s residence]…. MARINA OSWALD stated that on November 22, she had been shown a rifle in the Dallas Police Department…. She stated that it was a dark color like the one that she had seen, but she did not recall the sight.(20)

    These specific details – that Marina said she had seen a rifle that was dark and scopeless – were confirmed in an affidavit (signed by Marina and Mamantov, 24 WH 219) that was taken by DPD officer B.L. Senkel (24 WH 249). They were confirmed again by Ruth Paine, who witnessed the Mamantov interview, (3 WH 82). They were confirmed again the next night in an interview of Marina by the Secret Service, translated by Mamantov’s close friend Peter Gregory. But a Secret Service transcript of the interview reveals that the source of these details was Gregory, not Marina:

    (Q) This gun, was it a rifle or a pistol or just what kind of a gun? Can she answer that?

    (A) It was a gun

    Mr. Gregory asked: Can you describe it?

    NOTE: Subject said: I cannot describe it because a rifle to me like all rifles.

    Gregory translation: She said she cannot describe it. It was sort of a dark rifle just like any other common rifle…

    Subject in Russian: It was a hump (or elevation) but I never saw through the scope….

    Gregory translation: She says there was an elevation on the rifle but there was no scope – no telescope.(21)

Chuck - this post, and the long one previously written by you on Crichton, get to the heart of the matter. It was Crichton who began the process of turning Marina Oswald into prime evidence against Lee. Russ Baker did great work on this while researching the Bush family. I did not know until you posted it, that Cichton's 488th reported directly to Army Intelligence. I wonder if you know who was the head of Army Intelligence in 1963, and whether that ndividual had ties to General Lemnitzer. 

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10 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

I've been reading about the Cloverleaf Exercises. The first one was in 1957 and was designated Cloverleaf I. These were Command Post Exercises, rather than field training. It looks like they had a Civil Defense component, as well as just regular command training.

Steve Thomas

I misspoke. Cloverleaf I was in 1954.

It appears the years 1955 and 1956 were skipped and Cloverleaf II was in 1957. Looks like 1958 was skipped too.


The Lawton Constitution from Lawton, Oklahoma

August 8, 1957

Page 18


Exercise Cloverleaf II. a command post problem simulating the defense of West Germany and western Europe against an aggressor from the east, will begin Oct. 19 at Fort Sill with more than 900 officers and 650 enlisted men from throughout the Fourth U.S. Army area participating. A continuation of Exercise Cloverleaf I which was held at Fort Hood in 1954, the two-day problem will stress tactical employment of and defense against atomic, chemical and biological warfare weapons. The locale over which the map exercise is conducted will center around the Rhine corridor and Rhino River in Germany."


Steve Thomas

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Paul B., Ike was not happy with the performance of intelligence units in general and did a reorganization (see article below).  From this article, I believe the main player in intelligence at the time was A. Dulles. But, there was a troika that John Newman calls out in his recent book,  " Countdown to Darkness" .  On page 384 he writes " That disloyal and insubordinate premise allowed Dulles and Bissell at the CIA and the Pentagon chiefs (in particular Chairman Lenmitzer, Chief of Naval Operations Burke, and Air Force Chief of staff Lemay) to misrepresent their true professional views about the operation in order to manipulate presidential policy."

Here is the aforementioned article:

Members of the United States Intelligence Board 1962-63


by David Coleman



The United States Intelligence Board was set up by President Eisenhower in 1957. It’s purpose was to provide a consolidated channel for all intelligence chiefs across the various intelligence bodies in the United States government to provide advice to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).


Its creation came on the recommendation of the Presidential Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (later renamed the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, or PFIAB, by JFK), which was critical of the effectiveness of the Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles, in coordinating the government’s intelligence efforts. A key part of the problem was that the Director of Central Intelligence was also the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; the latter competed with other intelligence agencies for resources and prestige.


The USIB was often referred to during the Cuban Missile Crisis, often as a short-hand way of implying consensus amongst the intelligence community.


Here’s a list of its members as of late-1962 through early-1963.1








John McCone Chairman / Director of Central Intelligence

Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

Roger Hilsman Director of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

Lieutenant General Joseph F. Carroll Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense

Major General Alva R. Fitch Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army

Rear Admiral Vernon L. Lowrance Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence), Department of the Navy

Major General Robert A. Breitweiser Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, United States Air Force

Lieutenant General Gordon A. Blake Director, National Security Agency

Major General Richard Collins Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff

Harry S. Traynor Assistant General Manager, Atomic Energy Commission

Alan H. Belmont Assistant to the Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation


USIB Members in 1965


If you’re looking for the membership of the board in April 1965, the National Security Archive has posted a posed group portrait from April 28, 1965, with the members identified in the caption.



1. Data sourced from: John McCone, “Statement on Cuba by Director of Central Intelligence,” 6 February 1963, in “Cuba: Subjects, Testimony, Director McCone, 2/6/63-2/26/63” folder, Box 316, National Security Files, John F. Kennedy Library.




Filed Under: Articles, Miscellaneous


Tagged With: CIA, intelligence





About David Coleman


Historian. Author of The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis and editor of The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy vols. 4-6. Senior Research Fellow at the National Security Archive.


The United States Intelligence Board, 28 April 1965.


Seated (L-R): Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Carroll, USAF, Defense Intelligence Agency Member; Lt. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, USA, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI), Central Intelligence Agency Member; John A. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Board Chairman; Thomas L. Hughes, State Department Director of Intelligence and Research (INR), Department of State Member; Lt. Gen. Gordon A. Blake, USAF, National Security Agency Member

Standing (L-R): Maj. Gen. Jack E. Thomas, Air Force Observer; Brockway McMillan, Under Secretary of the Air Force (invited by the DCI to discuss with the Board particular matters within his purview); RADM Rufus L. Taylor, Navy Observer; Charles H. Reichardt, acting for Howard C. Brown, Jr., Representative of the Atomic Energy Commission; Alan H. Belmont, Representative of the Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Brig. Gen. Charles J. Denholm, Acting Army ial policy."





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17 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

I did not know until you (Chuck) posted it, that Cichton's 488th reported directly to Army Intelligence. I wonder if you know who was the head of Army Intelligence in 1963, and whether that individual had ties to General Lemnitzer. 



It seems to me that one has two possible avenues to approach: either the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the U.S. Army.


In their book, Brandy, Our Man in Acapulco: The Life and Times of Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter. A Biography by Rodney P. Carlisle and Dominic J. Monetta. University of North Texas Press, 1999.


Carlisle and Monetta wrote:


Meanwhile, he kept in touch with Colonel William Rose at the Pentagon office of the Assistant Chief of Staff-Intelligence.


p. 129. (Sometime after 1958) “In particular, he met Lt. Colonel William B. Rose, chief of the Army Intelligence Reserve Branch of the Office of the Assistance Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACSI) at the Pentagon.”


In his 1991 study of Military Intelligence Detachments, Colonel Thomas R. Cagley wrote that they were under the oversight of either the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) or the Army Intelligence Agency (AIA) but under the operational control of their parent headquarters. The 488th was under the oversight of the DIA See page 14.

Reforming Military Intelligence Reserve Components: 1995 – 2005



At least that was the case in the 1980's. Crichton supposedly formed his “spy unit” in 1956, and I read that the DIA was established in 1961. In his study, Cagley wrote that these MID's were loosely formed in the 1950's and were more formally structured in 1960's.


One questions is, was Crichton reporting the results of his spying efforts to anybody, or was he just compiling his own “Central Index”?


Frank Brandstetter wrote an autobiography called, Brandy: Portrait of an Intelligence Officer, by Chuck Render and Frank M. Brandstetter. Copyright 2007. I haven't read that book, so I don't know what he has to say about who he was reporting to.


From “Our Man in Acapulco”, pp. 127+ “after leaving Jamaica in early 1957, Brandy served as assistant troop commander and provost marshal of the Fourth U.S. Army Area Intelligence School for two weeks in August, 1957.


These intelligence school sessions reviewed procedures and studies in a wide variety of areas for reserve intelligence officers including a review of a Central Index of Investigative and Domestic Subversive files.”


How widely was this “Central Index” shared? Did Crichton contribute to it?


Chuck referred to the Presidential Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities and the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and mentioned two people:


Lieutenant General Joseph F. Carroll Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense

Major General Alva R. Fitch Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army


I don't know if information on foreign intelligence activities would also include a flow of information on domestic subversives.


In his HSCA testimony, Robert Jones said that the flow of information from the 112th INTC would go up the chain of command through his Group Commander to the Security Division of Fourth Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence.

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsca/unpub_testimony/Jones_4-20-78/html/jones_0009a.htm pp. 8-9


which, to me, implies an Army chain of command. Whether Active Army data, or data from the Reserve intelligence efforts, it looks like information got funneled through the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence at the Pentagon.


The real MID's were more strategic rather than tactical in nature. They dealt with things on a global scale, which would fit Crichton's background in oil exploration and oil reserves around the world. Cagley wrote that the MID's were pretty much autonomous and didn't really report much to the Commanding Officers of their parent organizations, because those officers "were not on a need to know basis." I'll have to read up more about the DIA to see just how they fit into things, and why some of the MID's would be reporting to it instead of the Army Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.


Steve Thomas





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Steve - thanks for refocusing attention on Colonel Brandstetter. I'm so struck by his associations, and with reading about his connection with Philippe de Vosjoli. In 1960 Vosjoli was posted to the US as liaison between CIA and SDECE, French Intelligence. He got to know Angleton while posted here. Of course Angleton pointed out to Vosjoli the KGB infiltration of SDECE. In November of 1963 he resigned from his post, and apparently right after the JFK assassination he skedaddled to Mexico to stay with - Colonel Brandstetter, in Acapulco! Of course Brandstetter, US Army Colonel, was a member of Jack Crichton's 488th. What do you make of this? It brings to mind the presence of at least one French assassin in Dallas - Soutre.

Peter Dale Scott, a researcher who has done such incredible work on the details of CIA files, and is credited by Bill Simpich and John Newman as the source for their own research into Mexico City, Phillips, etc, now believes, according to his recent work Dallas - '63, that the Continuity of Government bunker, manned by Crichton and the 488th, served as a private communications network for the Dallas detectives in the presidential motorcade, like Lumpkin, a member of both the 488th and the DPD. He suggests that the first descriptions of LHO at 12:45 came from that connection (Tommy - the false physical description). He also thinks we have paid far too little attention to the 488th and the COG, especially because the COG reappears at all the 'deep state' events since, such as the Iran contra scandal (Oliver North), 1980 October surprise, and even 9/11. 

I think you nailed it Steve. While browsing the old thread on AF 1 that Michael Clark resurrected I found a post of mine that simply said 'those pesky generals'. I was referring mostly to LeMay, but now, with all the retired and reserve US Army connections I'm looking at Lemnitzer. Chuck Shwartz pointed out that the 488th had direct communications with the head of Army Intel. I think it's worth mentioning that although Oswald was linked mostly with Marine Intel, it was the Army connection that was all over Dallas.

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7 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:



Peter Dale Scott,... now believes, according to his recent work Dallas - '63, that the Continuity of Government bunker, manned by Crichton and the 488th, served as a private communications network for the Dallas detectives in the presidential motorcade, 

A fruitful area of research, I think, and others have suggested; would be any and all communications to and from the Dallas Civil Defense Center and/or the police communications center at the Dallas Fair Grounds the day of, and the immediate aftermath of, November 22, 1963.

Dallas Morning News March 19, 1978. This is also from Weisberg's Collection

"Army Apparently Didn't Tell Commission of Oswald's Alias"

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/F Disk/FBI/FBI Records Release 12-7-77 News Accounts/Item 069.pdf


Officer Bill Biggio was directing police intelligence communications at the Fair Grounds office the day of the assassination.

He was working alongside Stringfellow that day.

Col. Roy Pate, in command of the 112th in Dallas said the information in the cable quoting Stringfellow "did not originate in Dallas".

There have been references on several threads about a cable sent on the evening of 11/22 from Fort Sam Houston to Strike Command, McDill AFB in Florida. In the cable, reference was made to information obtained by Detective Don Stringfellow of the Dallas Police Department. I managed to locate a copy of the cable, which you can find here:


This is in the Weisberg collection.


While Stringfellow's information is wrong in several places, it leads me to wonder what else was being communicated, and to whom.

Steve Thomas

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Paul B., Steve T. , Jack Crichton went to college with Earle Cabell, whose brother , Charles Cabell reported directly to A. Dulles. Both A. Dulles and C. Cabell were fired by JFK for the Bay of Pigs Fiasco.  Below is the biographical sketch from Sparticus on Jack Crichton:

Jack Alston Crichton was born on a cotton plantation in Crichton, Louisiana, on 16th October, 1916. After leaving Byrd High School in Shreveport in 1933 he attended the Texas A&M University. Fellow students included Harvey Bright and Earle Cabell. He graduated with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1937.


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Amazingly, in the '90's, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Crichton was involved in opening up the Russian oil industry. Funny to think how we are likely witnessing the end game - Exxon's huge deal with Putin, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the appointment of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State, the enormous efforts to hide links between Trump and Putin, the move to lift sanctions that would allow the Exxon deal to reach fruition.

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On 2/21/2017 at 11:24 AM, Paul Brancato said:

 I wonder if you know who was the head of Army Intelligence in 1963, and whether that individual had ties to General Lemnitzer. 



Read the conclusions on pp 95-97 here: and p. 42 about General Blakefield. In addition to the Compendium, see the references to the "Biographic Data File"



Steve Thomas

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