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Those focused on the official structure of the Cuban Operations Group within the CIA can follow a recent thread titled simply CARL TRETTIN.

This relaunch is reserved for the analysis of Trettin's history with the agency including his active role in COG in New Orleans in 1963, and in particular his assignment as handler of Augustin Guitart. 

Carl Trettin (a.k.a. Carl Teels) and Augustin Guitart

1/28/63: Letter to Carl Teels from 'G': RE: contact with Guitart, recommendation of Guitart as possible recruit. Indicates Guitarts' wife is sister or very close friend of Sara del Toro. Sara and her husband Amador Odio are in prison in Cuba now - both were close to the Castro family in 1959 and 1960. In late 60 or 61 they were accused of conspiring against the government. Amador sentenced to 30 years, Sara to 6 years. They have 9 children, all believed to be in the U.S..." - - - The full contact report on 06/22/63: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=225782#relPageId=47

According to Contact Report on June 22, 1963, Gerald R. Lapsley, as Carl Teels, met with Augustin Guitart in New Orleans on June 12, 1963. Carl Trettin was sent a Provisional Operational Approval for Guitart in July of 1963. 

This string of government documents indicate that CIA officer Carl Trettin, deputy chief counter intel within the Cuban Operations Group and using the alias Carl Teels, signed on as handler of Sylvia Odio's (extended) family relative Augustin Guitart in mid 1963.  On August 5, Teels wrote to Guitart to say he would be in New Orleans on August 12.  @ From Pierre Lafitte we know that William King Harvey and Santo Trafficante and Joseph Silverthorne were due in New Orleans around the same time (August 13), and that George Joannides of DRE is either in New Orleans or being read in on meetings in New Orleans on August 16 and 21, coinciding with the LHO incidents. Was Teels/Trettin read in as well?


Trettin had arrived in DC in early 1963 from his previous post in Munich, Germany to join the Cuban Operations Group. A string of documents suggest he was active in NOLA as early as the spring under several aliases including Teels and Gerald Lapsley, but one particular document places him as being posted in New Orleans in September. His wife's obituary doesn't mention they ever actually established residence in NOLA perhaps because their son was born soon after their arrival in DC; similarly, the question of whether DRE’s Joannides had a residence in the Crescent City has (to my knowledge) yet to be confirmed. 

Significant to this analysis, prior to DC/NOLA Trettin was posted in Munich for a year (1962) having served the previous three years at the Berlin Operations Base (1959-1961) where he would have arrived at the tail end of Bill Harvey's eight year stint at BOB.  

What knowledge and expertise did Trettin bring to the table related to Cuban dynamics in 1963? He had served as logistics specialist for PBSuccess in 1954, but in context of the Albarelli/Sharp/Kent investigation, Trettin's most recent history in Germany should be factored into his arrival on the scene in New Orleans in '63.

In the early '60s, Munich, Germany was also home to Ukrainian leader and ideologue Yaroslav Stetsko's OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists); by October, Stetsko was attempting to relocate his entire HQ to Washington DC. Might Trettin have arrived in front of him to pave the way? We also know Stetsko was leader of the wider organization, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) based in Munich since 1946.  We know Gen. Edwin Walker's attempts to indoctrinate US troops in Germany were supported by his close allies in Munich. We know that Gerhard Frey's pro Nazi newspaper published an early exposé on the connection between the Kennedy assassination and the alleged attempt on Walker's life earlier in the year.* We know from documents found in the private papers of Gen. Charles Willoughby that he was in frequent correspondence with his good friend Stetsko and both were scheduled to attend a European conference of fascist-leaning influencers in October 1963. Both Walker and Willoughby appear in numerous entries in the Lafitte datebook. In spite of it being widely known that Spas Raikin of American Friends of (Stetsko's Munich-based) ABN had met Lee and Marina off the boat in NJ, June 13, 1962, the implications seem to have faded from the investigation. Would Munich Station where Carl Trettin was posted in '62 have received minimal notice of the Oswalds' arrival in the states?


The Odio Matter

Augustin Guitart, by then being 'handled' by Carl [Trettin]Teels, is said to have insisted with Sylvia Odio that he wasn't familiar with the characters she described as having knocked at the door of her Casa Linda condo on Magellan Circle, and that she should not trust them.  Did Guitart inform his CIA officer Trettin about the episode? (Considering Jefferson Morley interviewed Trettin at some point, perhaps this question been answered and I've missed it.)

In spite of the Odio episode being determined by Warren Commission investigators as highly significant, during Sylvia's testimony, Dallas FBI SA Bardwell Odum appeared in the room long enough for her to acknowledge she knew him, yet the commission never called Odum who had interviewed her to discuss his interpretation of Odio's claims. It should be noted that Bard Odum's brother, Arthur had been recalled from his State Department post in Maracaibo, Venezuela post to take on a special, highly classified job on behalf of "the president" in late Sept. 1963. Most are aware of the potential significance of Maracaibo being the site of the recent discovery of a cache of weapons attributed to Castro and his efforts to expand his revolution in the region.

It is this author's contention that the Odio matter  remains unresolved as to date and the identities (and purpose) of the three hombres on her doorstep. 

These questions are relevant to the Lafitte datebook entries that pinpoint Oswald in MC on September 27 meeting with Thomas Eli Davis at the Hotel Luma. @David JosephsThere is an impressive and persuasive body of research including documents collected by David Josephs to challenge the alleged date of the Odio incident and Oswald's presence in MC; as we know, some of those docs challenge the date and identity of Oswald in MC altogether;  as reflected in Lafitte’s own records, Oswald was in MC September 27 meeting Tom Davis at the Hotel Luma supported by Lafitte's September 29 entry which reads, Tom at Embassy Done and his reference to Bowen and Hudson the previous day (September 28).

Without a clear understanding of the exact date of the Odio visit in late September 1963, and by whom, and without getting into Harvey and Lee, is anyone convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald — the guy arrested for the assassination and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby — was one of the three men on Sylvia Odio's doorstep? 


From Education Forum, August 3, 2005, John Simkin.

Gerry Hemming posted:

Pat, John, et al.:

During a series of meetings with Bud [during May 1975], I was introduced to his #1 investigator (The last of "The Untouchables") at a luncheon held at his favorite Chinese restaurant in D.C. -- and wherein he asked for my assistance in the investigation of a scam being orchestrated as a CIA covert Op soliciting funds from wealthy VIPS.

This lead me to the legal defense team of the "Bell Morgage Case".  That same week I reviewed Bud's drafts on a JFK thesis, and when asked as to style recommendations -- I suggested that the better format would be in a series of QUESTIONS which to date remained unanswered.  He agreed wholeheartedly, and thereafter produced his tome in that format.

Bud left us in Dallas while filming "JFK" to travel to OK City in order to interview Loran Hall -- who was then in the County Jail under drug charges (with his son & Son's girlfriend).  Via Larry Howard [West End Marketplace Museum] we had used a jailor to pass the word to Hall that if he would give a deposition [under polygraph -- backed-up by Stress Analysis machine] as to who in the FBI forced his perjured WC testimony RE: the Silvia Odio matter.  Days later we learned of his death from the FLU ??!!.

From Simkin’s Spartacus:

On 25th September, 1963, Odio had a visit from three men who claimed they were from New Orleans. Two of the men, Leopoldo and Angelo, said they were members of the Junta Revolucionaria. The third man, Leon, was introduced as an American sympathizer who was willing to take part in the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she told them that she was unwilling to get involved in any criminal activity, the three men left.

The following day Leopoldo phoned Odio and told her that Leon was a former Marine and that he was an expert marksman. He added that Leon had said “we Cubans, we did not have the guts because we should have assassinated Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs”. It is believed that Bernardo De Torres was Leopoldo and Edwin Collins was Angelo.


*November 23, 1963, one day after Kennedy's death, Gen. Edwin Walker called Munich, Germany, from Shreveport, La. Walker's important story, via transatlantic telephone, was to the Nazi newspaper Deutsche National Zeitung un Soldaten-Zeitung. Walker couldn't wait to tell them in Munich that Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone suspect in the Dallas murders, was the same person who shot through his window in April 1963 . . . There was never one shred of evidence, or a reliable witness, that could make this connection. — CiD


07/23/63: CIA document: PROVISIONAL OPERATIONAL APPROVAL: Memo for Chief, SAS/OS - C. Trettin: SUBJECT: Guitart Campuzano, Agustin. NUMBER: 201-727514. REFERENCE: Your memorandum, dated 18 June 1963. "A Provisional Operational Approval is granted for the use of this Subject as set forth below. A Provisional Operational Approval issued by CI Staff grants the same authority, on a temporary basis, for the use of an individual as the authority granted in an Operational Approval unless otherwise specified by CI/OA. It is based, however, only on preliminary file checks and investigation and is subject to a further final review when all investigation is completed." 


08/05/63: Letter from Carl Teels to Dr. Guitart: "Dear Dr. Guitart, Please excuse my writing in English but I find myself short of time and it is quicker if I write in English. I am returning herewith the papers you forwarded to me and am also enclosing a visa waiver for (REDACTION). Visa waivers are of little value these days because of various restrictions that have arisen in connection with travel to the United States from Cuba via another country. This situation I will discuss with you when I am in New Orleans which I expect will be during the week of 12 August 1963. You mentioned that your son, (REDACTION) might contact me. To date, he has not called so I trust that there has been no need on his part to see me. Since I have received no word from you I suppose Rene has not yet answered your letter. Let us hope that we hear from him soon. I would like to discuss with you the possibility of contacting your friend (REDACTION) of (REDACTION). Perhaps by the time I arrive you will have had some good ideas on how best to carry this out. I'm looking forward to seeing you and will call you as soon as I arrive in order to make an appointment to see you. Best regards, Carl Teels."


A month after Rene Lafitte tells her husband to ignore Bill Dalzell’s antics which appear to have been related to Ed Butler, and just days after Oswald paid a fine for the August 9 demonstration, Pierre makes a note on August 16: 

Antoine’s Room – Martello,

E. Joanides [sic] and Labadie. Quigly [sic]

Interview st. demonstration

Call Holdout


Martello is a reference to New Orleans Police Department officer, Lt. Francis L. Martello (not to be confused with Francis “Monk” Martello). Lt. Martello happened to pass by as the August 9th confrontation between Oswald and Bringuier—described as nothing more than shadowboxing—broke out. According to Martello’s incident report, “[Oswald] seemed to have set them up, so to speak, to create an incident, but when the incident occurred, he remained absolutely peaceful and gentle.”

Although official records do not explain why Tampa based FBI Special Agent Stephen J. Labadie might have been in the French Quarter in New Orleans on August 16, a Lafitte entry of the following month, on September 24, reads “-Oswald D/T (Labadie/Florida),” indicating that SA Labadie was directly engaged in matters of keen interest to Pierre Lafitte and his superiors.

Quigly is a misspelling of the name Quigley, FBI Special Agent John L. Quigley who interviewed Oswald in the New Orleans jail before he paid a $10 fine and was released.

Holdout was a mystery. Perhaps Lafitte was referencing a confidential informer, or perhaps a code-name for a program. There are also reasons to speculate holdout could be a high-level double agent whose identity was so significant to a much larger set of circumstances that were unfolding under Angleton’s control that Lafitte dare not speak or write his name. In the following chapter of this investigation, we consider the possibility that "holdout" was the moniker of someone in the highest echelon of domestic intelligence who, having been persuaded that there was “righteous” justification for an assassination that would impact global politics for decades, came on board with the plot to permanently remove John Kennedy from that stage.

As noted previously, some datebook entries may have been created after the fact—a reflection on prior events, or notes for future reference—so we can’t know with certainty that Lafitte was present at this meeting at Antoine’s, nor is it clear that the meeting was held on the 16th. We do know however that on the 16th, Oswald was less than a fifteen minute walk from Antoine’s, this time standing in front of Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart, passing out leaflets again. 

Lafitte’s datebook remains dormant for the next four days; then on August 21st, the day of the radio debate hosted by Bill Stuckey, he records:

Talk Joanides [sic] Cuba –

he refer to K org. in

Mex – similar setup now.

Discuss with King – Geo

+Charles about Havana

Mx trips. (Holdout) [followed with a check mark]


The cornerstone of the two entries made within a week of one another is George Joannides who maintained addresses in both Miami and, for a period in 1963, New Orleans. Investigative journalist Jefferson Morley, whose groundbreaking lawsuit against the CIA continues to reverberate, pursued George Joannides’ role as agency liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978. Morley revealed that the agency personnel file for Joannides indicates that in 1963 he served as the chief of the Psychological Warfare branch of the Miami station with a staff of twenty-four and a budget of $1.5 million. As such, Joannides was also in charge of handling the anti-Castro student group that Lee Harvey Oswald had tried to infiltrate in New Orleans in August 1963. Known as the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (the Student Revolutionary Directorate), Joannides was responsible for guiding and monitoring the young Cuban exiles. According to the Directorate’s leaders in Miami, funding also supported the DRE chapters in New Orleans and other cities.

Morley shares that at least two leaders recall having had a close but stormy relationship with George Joannides whom they knew only as “Howard.” The records of the Directorate, now in the University of Miami archives, support their memories. The group’s archives show that “Howard” worked closely with the Directorate on a wide variety of issues. In his essay, “What Jane Roman Said,” Morley writes:

While the details of Joannides’ motivations remain concealed, the results of his actions in 1963 are well documented. According to a Kennedy White House memo, the CIA “guided and monitored” the Cuban Student Directorate in mid-1963. Declassified CIA cables show that “Howard” demanded that the group clear their public statements with him. In his job evaluation from the summer of 1963, Joannides was credited having established control over the group. He dispensed funds from the AMSPELL budget, which the Directorate’s leaders in Miami and New Orleans used to publicly identify Oswald as a supporter of the Castro government in August 1963. AMSPELL funds were also used within hours of the [sic] Kennedy’s death to link Oswald to Castro.

The results of his expenditures, it must be said, were consistent with US policy. The former Directorate leaders say their purpose in launching a propaganda blitz against Oswald was to discredit the Castro regime and create public pressure for a US attack on Cuba . . .

Morley also writes that Joannides “kept his hand in all of this secret. Joannides certainly knew of the Directorate’s contacts with Oswald within hours of Kennedy’s death, if not earlier [emphasis added].”

Also according to Morley, “Joannides did not report his knowledge in written documents. Such records might have been turned over to law enforcement and thus exposed the agency’s operations to public view. His actions were consistent with his duty to protect “sources and methods” and with Jane Roman’s observation that SAS was keeping information about Oswald “under their tight control.””

With Lafitte’s August 16 entry, those questions are laid partially to rest. We now know that Joannides met with FBI and New Orleans police on the heels of Oswald’s street demonstration of the 9th. Whether Joannides turned over records during that meeting, or merely gave FBI SA Labadie and SA Quigley, along with NOPD Martello, a verbal update on agency operations is unknown.


Do either of you @David Boylan recognize overlap between Trettin and Joannides?

Four CIA Assets Confront Oswald in a New Orleans Courtroom

They generated media exposure of the accused assassin three months before JFK was killed


NOV 6, 2023


Guitart received provisional operational approval from the CIA in June 1963. He served as a cutout to collect intelligence from the island. In espionage lingo, a cutout is an agent who functions as an intermediary between a spymaster and subagents.

Carl Trettin, a retired CIA officer living in Pennsylvania, told me that he ran Guitart as an agent, under the pseudonym “Carl Teels.” He said he knew at the time that Oswald had tangled with the Cubans, but not that Guitart had attended Oswald’s court hearing.

“I would not touch Oswald with a 10-foot pole,” Trettin told me.

Trettin’s colleagues at CIA headquarters did not share his lack of interest. They read Oswald’s mail for 20 months in 1960-62. They reviewed multiple detailed FBI reports about him and his pro-Castro ways in the weeks preceding Kennedy’s assassination.

The longtime chair of the physics department at Xavier University in New Orleans, Guitart died in 2020.

Edited by Leslie Sharp
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