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Stay-Behind, The Congo, Morocco, COS Charles Cogan . . . and sightings of Lee Harvey Oswald

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“The Lumumba Plot,” the Foreign Affairs editor Stuart A. Reid asks whether the Central Intelligence Agency was involved in the death of one of Africa's most famous post-colonial politicians.  


In the context of Stuart Reid's new book on the murder of Patrice Lumumba, and considering QJ/WIN documents related to that assassination, I checked to determine who the agency station chief in the Congo was at the time of the crisis. Turns out it was Charles Cogan, a name found in the Davis chapter of Coup in Dallas which leads to the subject of a Marc David Schleiffer, described as a leading Marxist activist and journalist in the early 1960s. (caveat: I've not yet read Reid's book so it's possible, although unlikely imo, he delves into some of the following.)

Coincidentally, a researcher based in NOLA who is concentrated on the current Ukraine-Russia war and the trajectory from the Kennedy assassination investigation  — LaCagoule/Malice and Aginter Press — called to discuss Gladio/Stay-Behind and the roots of NATO.  Charles Cogan wanted us to believe stay-behind was much ado about nothing.

‘Stay-Behind’ in France: Much ado about nothing?

Charles Cogan

Pages 937-954 | Published online: 16 Nov 2007


Stay-behind networks in France were set up starting in 1948 and were aimed at responding to the possibility of a Soviet armed attack into Western Europe. Participants were identified, and arms and explosives cached, to be activated in case of hostilities. This activity became folded into a multilateral effort under the Allied Coordination Committee (ACC) of NATO. In France, the network was run as a highly compartmented activity under the French external intelligence service (DGSE). As the Soviet threat receded, the stay-behind activity became more and more dormant, and in 1990 it was quietly disbanded, immediately after the P-2 scandal broke in Italy.


According to his obituary, Cogan was posted in the Congo during the crisis which culminated with the murder of Lumumba. Is it possible he was oblivious to the QJ/WIN programme?  An enthusiastic Francophile, from the Congo Cogan took up his last posting in Africa, Rabat, Morocco.  

(note: Cogan's obituary indicates he advanced to Chief of Near-East South Asia Div. in the Directorate of Operations which brought him to the fore of the Iran hostage crisis. He was friendly with Prince Bandar who was friends with Allen Dulle's liaison with the Gehlen Org, James Critchfield who was former COS Near East. He was then involved in the agency program to arm and finance the Mujahedeen to oust the USSR from Afghanistan. Cogan ended his agency career in Paris 1984-1989.)


As noted in Coup, Rabat station chief Charles Cogan had dismissed out of hand the the sightings in Morocco of Lee Harvey Oswald with Marc David Schleifer — close associate of Richard Gibson of the FPCC — who Hank speculates was likely the third leg of the three amigos barstool seen at the dance party in Mexico City along with Lee Harvey Oswald and Thomas Eli Davis. Contributing to Hank's speculation were the alleged sightings of Oswald with Schleiffer in Morocco. Govt. documents confirm that Gibson had relocated the FPCC from NYC to Tangier. (see excerpt below *) As we know, Tom Davis was bailed out of a Moroccan jail by QJ/WIN in early December 1963. We also know from Pierre Lafitte that on Oct. 1, some six weeks earlier and following the entry of Sept. 27 that confirms Oswald and Davis were to meet at the Hotel Luma in MC (owned and managed by Warren Broglie - close friend of hotelier Winthrop Buckingham who was living in Morocco), he had been directed by Otto Skorzeny to tell Tom D. "come to Madrid'."

 From Coup:  
As revealed, in his pursuit of Thomas Eli Davis, newsman Seth Kantor exposed that the Texas native was released from his Tangier jail cell in early December 1963, through the intervention and assistance from “the mysterious CIA contract assassin known only by his CIA cryptonym QJ/WIN.” Readers of this book can now be assured that a leading figure of the QJ/WIN program was former Nazi SS officer Otto Skorzeny. An official intercession on behalf of Davis with Tangier officials, considered in light of an analysis of Lafitte datebook entries for late October and early November 1963, indicates the seriousness of the role played by Tom Davis. 



In June 1964, alarm bells went off at the CIA after detailed reports came in from Tangier reporting that a subject identified only as “IDEN D” had been seen in Tangier in 1962 and 1963 in the company of Marc David Schleifer and several of his associates. “IDEN D,” according to declassified CIA documents, was Lee Harvey Oswald. Marc David Schleifer was an activist deeply involved in the Fair Play for Cuba (FPCC) organization and is described in CIA documents as “an American Marxist and journalist” who had traveled in support of FPCC and other causes to Cuba, Mexico, France, Algiers, Algeria, and Tangier, Morocco. 

         In February and March 1963, a US State Department memorandum to the CIA and FBI noted that Schleifer was the editor of a new radical Algerian-based magazine, Revolutionary Africa. Earlier in August 1961, and then later in September 1963, Schleifer, according to CIA officials, traveled to both Cuba and Mexico, causing considerable alarm and attention from both the Agency and the FBI for his associations with the then-notorious American black militants and countercultural figures. In 1965, prior to moving to the Middle East where he eventually went to work for NBC News, Schleifer converted to Islam from Judaism, changing his name to Sulayman Abdallah Schleifer. Suffice it to say, as some readers may already be thinking, Schleifer is suspected to have been with Lee Harvey Oswald and Thomas Eli Davis in Mexico City in 1963. . . . 

         Davis, according to the CIA, often used the alias “Oswald.” This claim is supported by the interview notes of George Carter, “that he [Davis] used the name Oswald in his anti-Castro activities in the period 1959–1962 while the real Lee Harvey Oswald was in the USSR. . . . Carter’s lead to Davis came from Jack Ruby’s attorney, Tom Howard.” 

         Lastly, the Rabat report mentions another American, Rev. Carl Ray Jackson, in relationship to Oswald as having allegedly attended a social gathering in Tangier with Schleifer. Additionally, Rev. Jackson’s daughter, described as being a little “flitty,” allegedly had seen Oswald several times in a Tangier “beatnik hangout.” The astute reader, however, might ask why the thirteen-year-old daughter of a minister would feel compelled to make up such a story?

         The CIA Station Chief in Rabat, Charles Cogan, was skeptical about these reports of Oswald sightings, stating somewhat humorously: “[It] would appear that the whole affair is a product of highly vivid imaginations brought to a simmer in a pot of kif, booze, beatnik poetry and stirred by the Tangier sea breeze.”

Edited by Leslie Sharp
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