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Marina's Interrogation and the Fingerprints of Intelligence


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In a recent Counterpunch article linked to by @James DiEugenio ”Letters From Minsk: Lee Harvey Oswald Comes in for the Cold War” by Matthew Stevenson, one quote about Marina stood out and made me want to do a little more digging.

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Marina’s ability to read, write, and speak English fluently before she left Russia is indisputable.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/05/28/letters-from-minsk-lee-harvey-oswald-comes-in-for-the-cold-war/

This information seems to make Marina’s police interrogation a bit interesting. Despite her reported fluency in English, Marina still apparently required translators during her interrogation by the Dallas police.

A bit of background: Oswald’s closest friend in Texas (according to the Warren Report, the only person who even came close to being described as Oswald's friend) was George de Mohrenschildt, an aristocratic oilman with reported possible ties to German, French, and American intelligence agencies, as well as to George H. W. Bush and even a young Jacqueline Bouvier.

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Apart from his relatives, Oswald had no friends or close associates in Texas when he returned there in June of 1962, and he did not establish any close friendships or associations, although it appears that he came to respect George De Mohrenschildt.

https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-7.html

Sometime in 1961, one of de Mohrenschildt’s CIA contacts, J. Walton Moore, suggested that de Mohrenschildt meet Lee Harvey Oswald.

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I asked him about why he, a socialite in Dallas, sought out Oswald, a defector. His explanation, if believed, put the assassination in a new and unnerving context. He said that although he had never been a paid employee of the CIA, he had "on occasion done favors" for CIA connected officials. In turn, they had helped in his business contacts overseas. By way of example, he pointed to the contract for a survey of the Yugoslavian coast awarded to him in 1957. He assumed his "CIA connections" had arranged it for him and he provided them with reports on the Yugoslav officials in whom they had expressed interest.

In late 1961 - De Mohrenschildt could not pinpoint the date - he said had a lunchtime meeting in downtown Dallas with one of these connections; J. Walter Moore. Moore steered their conversation to the city of Minsk, where, as Moore seemed to know even before he told him, De Mohrenschildt had spent his childhood. Moore worked for the CIA's domestic contact service in Dallas. He told De Mohrenschildt about an ex-American Marine who had worked in an electronics factory in Minsk for the past year, Lee Harvey Oswald, who was returning to the Dallas area. Although no specific requests were made by Moore, De Mohrenschildt gathered that Moore would be appreciative to learn more about Oswald's activities in Minsk.At this time, he was extremely busy trying to arrange for Papa Doc Duvalier, the Haitian dictator, to approve his oil exploration deal in that country. Some help from the U.S. Embassy in Haiti would be greatly appreciated by him, he suggested to Moore. Although he recognized that there was no quid pro quo, he hoped that he might receive the same sort of tacit assistance that he had previously received in Yugoslavia. "I would never have contacted Oswald in a million years, if Moore had not sanctioned it," he explained to me "Too much was at stake."

https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKdemohrenschildt.htm

de Mohrenschildt introduced Lee and Marina to Dallas housewife Ruth Paine. Paine had a sister that worked for the CIA and had a husband and son-in-law who both held high security clearances.

Marina and her child went to live with Paine, Oswald had some of his belongings stored in Paine’s garage including the rifle allegedly used in the assassination of JFK and an expensive small camera not available for commercial sale in the USA and that the Dallas police tried to describe as a light meter instead of a camera. Paine also had cold-called the Texas Schoolbook Depository to help Lee find his job there.

After the assassination, Marina Oswald was interrogated at the Dallas police station. Present to help translate were Ruth Paine and another Russian oilman and far right anti-communist Ilya Mamantov. Mamantov had not been previously acquainted with Marina or Lee and had never before served as an interpreter for American police. But Mamantov knew enough about Oswald to alert the FBI after Oswald was announced to be the main suspect in JFK’s assassination.

Who enlisted Mamantov to serve as Marina’s second interpreter?

That would be Jack Alston Crichton, another right wing anti-Communist oilman with connections to George de Mohrenschildt, George H.W. Bush, Operation 40, Clint Murchison, H.L. Hunt, and Dallas Deputy Police Chief George L. Lumpkin among many others. Crichton was also apparently part of the group of people planning JFK’s motorcade in Dallas.

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...

Mr. JENNER. And have you also done any interpreting or translating for any law enforcement agencies?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Here in the States?
Mr. JENNER. Yes.
Mr. MAMANTOV. Let me think a little--no, I don't remember. I have translated minor papers, you see, like Soviet Union's marriage certificates and birth certificates for our local courts connected with divorces, and I might be of a help to a group of Latvians, people here in town, when they received their citizenship, so much, but this is the first time for the police department.
Mr. JENNER. All right. I'll get to that. Have you ever been called upon by either any agency of the Government of the United States or of the State of Texas or the City of Dallas to do any interpreting or translating?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Yes, I was called by the police force for the City of Dallas around 5 o'clock, November 22.
Mr. JENNER. What year?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Of 1955, on 2 or 3 minutes' notice.
Mr. JENNER. It was 1955 or 1963?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Excuse me, 1963.
Mr. JENNER. I got from what you have said, then, you had no prior notice?
Mr. MAMANTOV. No; sir.
Mr. JENNER. You were called by some official of the city police department?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Yes; I was called by Lt. Lumpkin. I think he's Lieutenant--they call him Chief.
Mr. JENNER. And you repaired then to the Dallas City Police Station?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Excuse me, I was called by somebody else, a couple of minutes ahead of Lumpkin--is it important?
Mr. JENNER. I don't know--you might state what it is.
Mr. MAMANTOV. All right. I was called by Mr. Jack Chrichton, C-h-r-i-c-h-t-o-n (spelling)--I don't know how to spell his name right now, but I guess it is that, but I can find out in a day or two.
Mr. JENNER. And who is he?
Mr. MAMANTOV. He is a petroleum independent operator, and if I'm not mistaken, he is connected with the Army Reserve, Intelligence Service. And, he asked me if I would translate for the police department and then immediately Mr. Lumpkin called me.
Mr. JENNER. All right, that was your first----
Mr. MAMANTOV. This was a period of five minutes, I would say, maximum.
Mr. JENNER. This, then, was your first contact with or connection with this tragedy?
Mr. MAMANTOV. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. And you then came to the Dallas City Police Department, did you?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Right. However, I called FBI about half an hour before the police called me. You see, I was in the dentist's office when I heard Lee Oswald's name, and when this name appeared on the radio, I felt it is my duty to notify the FBI that I know of him and knew fairly well his background here in Dallas.
Mr. JENNER. And you so advised the FBI?
Mr. MAMANTOV. Yes.
...

https://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/mamantov.htm

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...

In August 1953 Crichton joined the Empire Trust Company. He eventually became a vice-president of the organization. According to Stephen Birmingham, the author of Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York (1962) the company had a network of associates that amounted to "something very like a private CIA". The Empire Trust was also a major investor in the defence contractor General Dynamics.

In 1956 Crichton started up his own spy unit, the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment. Crichton served as the unit's commander under Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmeyer, who was in overall command of all Army Reserve units in East Texas. In an interview Crichton claimed that there were "about a hundred men in that unit and about forty or fifty of them were from the Dallas Police Department."

In the 1950s Jack Crichton became involved with several oil men who began negotiating with Fulgencio Batista, the military dictator of Cuba. A key figure in this was George de Mohrenschildt, who at that time worked for a company called Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust Company (CVOVT) that had been established by William Buckley Sr. Crichton later remarked that "I liked George. He was a nice guy." It is argued by Russ Baker that Crichton's Empire Trust Company played a major role in the financing of the Cuban venture.

On 30th November, 1956, The New York Times reported that: "The Cuban Stanolind Oil Company, an affiliate of the Standard Oil Company (Indiana), has signed an agreement with the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust and Trans-Cuba Oil Company for the development of an an additional 3,000,000 acres in Cuba. This is in addition to the original agreement covering 12,000,000 acres." George de Mohrenschildt later told Albert E. Jenner that CVOVT had managed to obtain leases covering nearly half of Cuba in the 1950s. As Russ Baker pointed out in Family of Secrets (2008): "Though now almost completely forgotten, on many days in the mid-1950s, it was one of the four or five most actively traded issues on the American Stock Exchange."

On 1st January, 1959, Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba. The following day Fidel Castro and his revolutionary army marched into Havana. The New York Times reported on 22nd November 1959, that Castro's government had approved a law that would reduce the size of claims for oil exploration and halt large-scale explorations by private companies. These claims were now limited to 20,000 acres. This was a major problem for the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust Company that had signed an agreement with Fulgencio Batista for 15,000,000 acres.

Jack Crichton also had a close association with George H. W. Bush. According to Fabian Escalante (The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-62), in 1959, Crichton and Bush raised funds for the CIA's Operation 40. Originally it was set up to organize sabotage operations against Fidel Castro and his Cuban government. However, it evolved into a team of assassins. One member, Frank Sturgis, claimed: "this assassination group (Operation 40) would upon orders, naturally, assassinate either members of the military or the political parties of the foreign country that you were going to infiltrate, and if necessary some of your own members who were suspected of being foreign agents... We were concentrating strictly in Cuba at that particular time."

The failure to assassinate or overthrow Fidel Castro caused tremendous problems for the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust Company and other foreign oil companies that had already invested more than $30 million looking for oil in Cuba. In December 1960, CVOVT was de-listed from the American Stock Exchange.

Critchton was appointed head of the intelligence component of the Dallas Civil Defence. The conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey wrote in his syndicated column in September 1960: "The Communists, since 1917, have sold Communism to more people than have been told about Christ after 2,000 years." He urged his readers to support the "counter-attack that had been mounted in Dallas."

In 1961 Crichton joined forces with other right-wing figures in Dallas to establish a program called "Know Your Enemy". This was to combat communist influence that "was undermining the American way of life". The following year Crichton opened an underground command post under the patio of the Dallas Health and Science Museum that was intended for "continuity-of-government" operations during a communist attack.

In 1963 Crichton was nominated by the Republican Party for the post of Governor of Texas. He joined forces with George H. W. Bush, who was the nominee for the U.S. Senate. As Crichton later recalled, he and Bush "spoke from the same podiums" that year. However, Crichton was defeated by John Connally and he later wrote a book about his failed attempt to become governor, The Republican-Democrat Political Campaigns: In Texas in 1964.

In November 1963 Crichton was involved in the arrangements of the visit that President John F. Kennedy made to Dallas. His close friend, Deputy Police Chief George L. Lumpkin, and a fellow member of the the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment, drove the pilot car of Kennedy's motorcade. Also in the car was Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmeyer, commander of all Army Reserve units in East Texas. The pilot car stopped briefly in front of the Texas School Book Depository, where Lumpkin spoke to a policeman controlling traffic at the corner of Houston and Elm.
...

https://spartacus-educational.com/MDcrichton.htm

There are so many questions, it's hard for me to even know where to begin, other than coming back to the obvious "Why would someone fluent in English need even one interpreter, much less two interpreters - both of whom just happen to have CIA connections?"

  • Why would the Empire Trust Company need something akin to a "private CIA"?
  • What would a trust company's "Private CIA" be tasked with doing?
  • How can an allegedly private citizen like Crichton even start something like the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment with an active Army Reserve commander and composed of 1/3 to possibly even HALF of the total members being Dallas policepersons?
  • Mamantov apparently had never met Lee nor Marina, so how did he know enough about Lee to rush to tell the FBI about him just after Lee's arrest?
  • How did Crichton know Marina needed an interpreter?
  • Why was Crichton, an allegedly private citizen, part of the group of people planning JFK's Dallas motorcade?
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I think that other international corporations had their own security operations, and probably some still do. It is interesting to ponder what the Empire Trust Company was doing. There are other threads and longer posts about them and about Colonel Jack Crichton. It’s astounding that for all the media reports that mention him in connection with the 488th MID in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s there is no official military record to peruse, so we don’t really have any idea who was in it. I tried to get John Newman to try his hand but haven’t heard anything. Peter Dale Scott is often quoted, but it appears tha5 his info came from a certain researcher who, when I wrote to him, didn’t have much to add about the 488th. So either the record is hidden, or it was a figment of Crichton’s imagination. I ascribe to the former idea, and as such have a keen interest In knowing more, and a great deal of suspicion that it is important. Certainly Crichton is an important figure, and I believe we will hear more in an upcoming book. 

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11 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

Marina’s ability to read, write, and speak English fluently before she left Russia is indisputable.

Elsbeth st;

Mrs. TOBIAS. She said she was Russian.
Mr. JENNER. She said that in Russian?
Mrs. TOBIAS. No; she said that in English, but she said, "My husband said it was bad and my husband told me if I said I was Russian people would be mean to me".
Mr. JENNER. She made it known to you with her limited command of English--she said what you have now related?
Mrs. TOBIAS. Oh--yes; she said it. I understood her real well.

Then we see her in a TV interview, after the assassination, speaking English just fine.

 

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12 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

In a recent Counterpunch article linked to by @James DiEugenio ”Letters From Minsk: Lee Harvey Oswald Comes in for the Cold War” by Matthew Stevenson, one quote about Marina stood out and made me want to do a little more digging.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/05/28/letters-from-minsk-lee-harvey-oswald-comes-in-for-the-cold-war/

This information seems to make Marina’s police interrogation a bit interesting. Despite her reported fluency in English, Marina still apparently required translators during her interrogation by the Dallas police.

A bit of background: Oswald’s closest friend in Texas (according to the Warren Report, the only person who even came close to being described as Oswald's friend) was George de Mohrenschildt, an aristocratic oilman with reported possible ties to German, French, and American intelligence agencies, as well as to George H. W. Bush and even a young Jacqueline Bouvier.

https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-7.html

Sometime in 1961, one of de Mohrenschildt’s CIA contacts, J. Walton Moore, suggested that de Mohrenschildt meet Lee Harvey Oswald.

https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKdemohrenschildt.htm

de Mohrenschildt introduced Lee and Marina to Dallas housewife Ruth Paine. Paine had a sister that worked for the CIA and had a husband and son-in-law who both held high security clearances.

Marina and her child went to live with Paine, Oswald had some of his belongings stored in Paine’s garage including the rifle allegedly used in the assassination of JFK and an expensive small camera not available for commercial sale in the USA and that the Dallas police tried to describe as a light meter instead of a camera. Paine also had cold-called the Texas Schoolbook Depository to help Lee find his job there.

After the assassination, Marina Oswald was interrogated at the Dallas police station. Present to help translate were Ruth Paine and another Russian oilman and far right anti-communist Ilya Mamantov. Mamantov had not been previously acquainted with Marina or Lee and had never before served as an interpreter for American police. But Mamantov knew enough about Oswald to alert the FBI after Oswald was announced to be the main suspect in JFK’s assassination.

Who enlisted Mamantov to serve as Marina’s second interpreter?

That would be Jack Alston Crichton, another right wing anti-Communist oilman with connections to George de Mohrenschildt, George H.W. Bush, Operation 40, Clint Murchison, H.L. Hunt, and Dallas Deputy Police Chief George L. Lumpkin among many others. Crichton was also apparently part of the group of people planning JFK’s motorcade in Dallas.

https://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/mamantov.htm

https://spartacus-educational.com/MDcrichton.htm

There are so many questions, it's hard for me to even know where to begin, other than coming back to the obvious "Why would someone fluent in English need even one interpreter, much less two interpreters - both of whom just happen to have CIA connections?"

  • Why would the Empire Trust Company need something akin to a "private CIA"?
  • What would a trust company's "Private CIA" be tasked with doing?
  • How can an allegedly private citizen like Crichton even start something like the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment with an active Army Reserve commander and composed of 1/3 to possibly even HALF of the total members being Dallas policepersons?
  • Mamantov apparently had never met Lee nor Marina, so how did he know enough about Lee to rush to tell the FBI about him just after Lee's arrest?
  • How did Crichton know Marina needed an interpreter?
  • Why was Crichton, an allegedly private citizen, part of the group of people planning JFK's Dallas motorcade?

Just a footnote from memory, maybe someone else can fill in the details.  I remember reading somewhere about Marina having previously dated another American in I believe Moscow who also defected to the USSR, an employee of RAND ?   She supposedly spoke English well with him.  Seems like the poster thought this might imply she had learned the language at the KGB training facility for learning the techniques of sleeping with the enemy.  Sorry for my hazy memory regarding a name and more detail.

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17 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

I think that other international corporations had their own security operations, and probably some still do. It is interesting to ponder what the Empire Trust Company was doing. There are other threads and longer posts about them and about Colonel Jack Crichton. It’s astounding that for all the media reports that mention him in connection with the 488th MID in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s there is no official military record to peruse, so we don’t really have any idea who was in it. I tried to get John Newman to try his hand but haven’t heard anything. Peter Dale Scott is often quoted, but it appears tha5 his info came from a certain researcher who, when I wrote to him, didn’t have much to add about the 488th. So either the record is hidden, or it was a figment of Crichton’s imagination. I ascribe to the former idea, and as such have a keen interest In knowing more, and a great deal of suspicion that it is important. Certainly Crichton is an important figure, and I believe we will hear more in an upcoming book. 

Thanks very much for the insight, Paul. I'd also like to learn more about the 488th. I hadn't heard of it or of Crichton before. It's not really a fingerprint of intelligence; more like a big muddy footprint. Do you know if there a book that goes into any more detail? It was a quasi-military organization, I gather? I apologize that I've never been good at searching this forum for specific older topics. I always end up reading old threads and getting completely sidetracked.

I assume most big companies have internal security and information gathering organizations, but I'd imagine one could describe Empire Trust's intelligence section as either 1. comparable to other trust companies at the time, or 2. to the CIA itself. The CIA comparison seems to suggest to me that it was significantly larger than your typical trust company security department, much like getting a tractor trailer to do the job of a pickup truck.

The implications are somewhat staggering. Quasi-military intelligence organizations bankrolled by private companies, having active duty military and police persons as leaders and members. It makes me wonder about the police officers that had dual membership. If something happened that would require one course of action by a police officer and a different course of action required of an intelligence operative, which option would those police officers choose? Where would their ultimate loyalties lie?

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Denny - there is no doubt in my mind that when we look at Empire Trust we are seeing the ‘Deep State’ interconnection between major US International Corporations in the energy and military realm mainly, and US Security Operations. 

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18 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Just a footnote from memory, maybe someone else can fill in the details.  I remember reading somewhere about Marina having previously dated another American in I believe Moscow who also defected to the USSR, an employee of RAND ?   She supposedly spoke English well with him.  Seems like the poster thought this might imply she had learned the language at the KGB training facility for learning the techniques of sleeping with the enemy.  Sorry for my hazy memory regarding a name and more detail.

Ron, Yeah you're correct.  The Rand defector was Robert E. Webster who went into the cold just weeks before LHO.  'The Other Oswald' published last year & written by Gary Hill.  An address in Marina's notebook under the name of Lev Prizentsev in Leningrad was that of Webster! 

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Jack Crichton (pronounced Crayton) served during the Second World War in the U.S. Army as Special Agent OSS in Europe, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, Five Battle Stars and numerous other Citations of Merit. He was a retired Colonel in the US Army Reserves. In 1964 he was a Republican candidate for governor in the state of Texas.  After graduating with honors from Texas A&M (BS Petroleum Engineering), in 1937 - earning athletic letters in Tennis, Basketball and Cross-Country Track - Crichton subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from MIT, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After World War II, Crichton joined the DeGolyer & MacNaughton petroleum consulting firm in Dallas, where he became vice president and director.  

In December 1967, he retired from the Army Reserve after serving for 30 years. He received the Legion of Merit for his service, which included organizing the so-called 488th Military Intelligence Detachment reserve unit in 1956. The conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey wrote in his syndicated column in September 1960: "The Communists, since 1917, have sold Communism to more people than have been told about Christ after 2,000 years." He urged his readers to support the "counter-attack that had been mounted in Dallas."  

Jack Crichton passed away in 2007 at age 91. 

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3 hours ago, Gene Kelly said:

Jack Crichton (pronounced Crayton) served during the Second World War in the U.S. Army as Special Agent OSS in Europe, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, Five Battle Stars and numerous other Citations of Merit. He was a retired Colonel in the US Army Reserves. In 1964 he was a Republican candidate for governor in the state of Texas.  After graduating with honors from Texas A&M (BS Petroleum Engineering), in 1937 - earning athletic letters in Tennis, Basketball and Cross-Country Track - Crichton subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from MIT, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. After World War II, Crichton joined the DeGolyer & MacNaughton petroleum consulting firm in Dallas, where he became vice president and director.  

In December 1967, he retired from the Army Reserve after serving for 30 years. He received the Legion of Merit for his service, which included organizing the so-called 488th Military Intelligence Detachment reserve unit in 1956. The conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey wrote in his syndicated column in September 1960: "The Communists, since 1917, have sold Communism to more people than have been told about Christ after 2,000 years." He urged his readers to support the "counter-attack that had been mounted in Dallas."  

Jack Crichton passed away in 2007 at age 91. 

Gene - thanks. Couple of questions. First - Do you know when he became a Colonel? Second, does his Legion of Merit mention the 488th? 

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she was interviewed more than 40 times without the benefit of counsel while under "protective custody" in the motel in the presence of the INS. she was told that if she cooperated she would not be at risk of deportation. there was a NYT article published in 11/64 where she discussed her fears of being deported. she was brought before the Warren Commission 4 times because of problems with her testimony. Philip Shenon in his book and Howard Willens in his book explain how frustrated the WC was with her inconsistent testimony. she was the key witness for the WC. in a trial, she would not have been able to testify under the spousal privilege rule then in effect. 

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IMO Marina Oswald was (is) a low level IC-assett completely out of the loop and not knowing what is going on around her. The Warren Commission  was kneading her like a piece of wax till she fit into the cover ... all her statements and interviews are rather useless ... 

BTW: With a stroke of her pen she could give permission to release LHOs tax records ... 

 

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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Paul

I only know what's been posted previously, or what was contained in Crichton's obituary.  I've never actually seen the citation, traditionally awarded almost exclusively to senior officers in the rank of lieutenant colonel (Army) or commander (Navy) and above.:

In December 1967, he retired from the Army Reserve after serving for 30 years. He received the Legion of Merit for his service, which included organizing the so-called 488th Military Intelligence Detachment reserve unit in 1956. Crichton served during the Second World War in the Army as Special Agent OSS in Europe, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, Five Battle Stars and numerous other Citations of Merit. He was a retired Colonel in the Army Reserves.

He attended Texas A&M University between 1933-1937 with fellow students Harvey Bright and Earle Cabell. In 1953 Crichton joined the Empire Trust Company and eventually became a vice-president of the organization. The company had a network of associates that amounted to "something very like a private CIA". The Empire Trust was also a major investor in the defense contractor General Dynamics. In 1956 Crichton started up his own spy unit, the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment. Crichton served as the unit's commander under Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmeyer.

After World War II, Crichton joined the DeGolyer & MacNaughton petroleum consulting firm in Dallas.  In 1952 Crichton joined a syndicate that included Clint Murchison to influence the Franco government to acquire drilling rights in Spain. In 1953 Crichton joined the Empire Trust Company and eventually became a vice-president. The company had a network of associates that amounted to "something very like a private CIA".  Since Crichton was involved in oil, right-wing Texas politics (and was former OSS), its seems obvious that his "Strategic" Unit was less military and more oil/intelligence related.  On the Politics Forum, the following was posted in September 2015:

In 1956, Crichton started a military intelligence reserve unit originally called the 488th Strategic Detachment, and its purpose was to provide assessments of foreign countries' usage and exploration of petroleum worldwide. They were interested in how the Russians were using petroleum, and the Chinese, and etc. In this role the 488th did not report "through the usual military intelligence channels", which would have been the 112th Military Intelligence Division based in San Antonio - it reported directly to the White House.  Gradually they became less interested in petroleum and more interested in "subversives". They brought on a lot of Dallas police officers (50 to 100, according to Crichton), to be their eyes and ears. The name of the 488th changed from "Strategic" to "Military Intelligence",

Russ Baker wrote the following, in his book "Family of Secrets":

Crichton started and ran a baffling array of companies, which tended to change names frequently; these operated largely below the radar, and fronted for some of North America's biggest names, including the Bronfmans (Seagram's liquor), the Du Ponts, and the Kuhn-Loeb family of financiers.

Other accounts of Crichton's life state that, In 1961 he joined forces with other right-wing figures in Dallas to establish a program called "Know Your Enemy". This was to combat communist influence that "was undermining the American way of life". The following year Crichton opened an underground command post under the patio of the Dallas Health and Science Museum that was intended for "continuity-of-government" operations during a communist attack. 

Gene

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Gene - thanks. The first quote is from his obit? I wish I knew the source for the sept 2015 forum quote because it is quite something to say he reported to the WH. I suspected it was to ACSI. And Russ Baker saying he fronted for the Bronfmans. That would connect him to Colonal Brandstetter a second time, because if we are to believe Brandstetter himself he joined the 488th on the advice of his ACSI handler, and previously he represented Seagrams in Mexico. 

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Paul:

Actually, to be more precise, this is what was in his obit in December 2007 in the Dallas Morning News:

Jack proudly served his country during the Second World War in the U.S. Army as Special Agent OSS in Europe, where he was awarded the Bronze Star, Five Battle Stars and numerous other Citations of Merit. He was a retired Colonel in the US Army Reserves. 

A more detailed biography is found in "Find a Grave" published by the Dallas Morning News, on December 15, 2007, (author: Joe Simnacher) which quotes his daughter: 

He served in the Army as a field artillery officer and special agent assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA. He received the Air Medal and the Bronze Star. In December 1967, he retired from the Army Reserve after serving for 30 years. He received the Legion of Merit for his service, which included organizing the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment reserve unit in 1956.

An earlier EF thread contained this comment:

Researcher Larry Haapanen found that the 488th seems to have had its own direct chain of command linking it to Washington. In an esoteric publication entitled The Military Order of World Wars (1997), he found that Crichton "commanded the 488th MID (Strategic), reporting directly to the Army Chief of Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency. And in 1970 Haapanen was told by Crichton’s commander in the Texas Army Reserve, Lt. Col. Whitmeyer, that Crichton's unit did its summer training at the Pentagon.

Much of the information later quoted on this faux 44th Detachment is derived from a Jack Crichton interview, July 6, 2001, Oral History Collection, Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas. Crichton's Legion of Merit award was reported in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal in December 5, 1967 article about his "retirement".  The 2015 Politics Forum post did not identify the author, but its interesting that it states the more accurate oil/petroleum context of this faux 488th Strategic Detachment (i.e. " ... use and exploration of petroleum worldwide"). Crichton used it as a venue in the late 1950s to conduct “a study of Soviet oil fields;” and in the 1990s Crichton would himself explore the oil and gas reserves in the former Soviet Union. Other websites (e.g. Alchetron) appear to derive their statements from Baker's Family of Secrets ... one contains this detail:

 During World War II, Crichton served in Europe in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was a field artillery officer and special agent. In 1946, Crichton was recruited by Everette DeGolyer, a former conservation director in the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and later a co-founder of Texas Instruments, to operate a group of companies which renamed frequently, presumably to make it more difficult to trace their operations.  In 1956, Crichton became commander of the 488th Military Intelligence Detachment, which operated under Lieutenant Colonel George Whitmeyer, the overall commander of all United States Army Reserve units in East Texas.

It would appear that these various oil companies and associations were standard CIA funding and organizational conduits to gather information on oil as a strategic resource.  If one connects the dots, Crichton's name is associated with and mentioned in a very interesting circle of individuals such as Clint Murchison, George de Morenschildt, George Bush (and Joe Zeppa), Ilya Mamantov, William Westbrook ... even Skorzeny (in Spain).  If that's not enough, Crichton was a charter member (and past president) of the Dallas Petroleum Club along with none other than David Atlee Phillips. In an interesting sidebar, as President of the Dallas A&M Club, Crichton gave four-year scholarships at Texas A&M University to slain officer J.D. Tippit's sons, Curtis and Allen.  And I remind myself that he was former OSS. 

Gene

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