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Gerry Droller/Frank Bender


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I have for some time been interested in Gerry Droller (also known as Frank Bender). Very little is known about Droller. So far I have discovered that he was born in Germany in about 1905. He must have fled from Nazi Germany as by 1944 he was working with the Marquis in France. This is when he probably made contact with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

After the war Droller was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency and for a while was a desk officer in Switzerland. According to one undercover report that I found on Droller "he was responsible for the reorganization of West Germany and the consequent strengthening of German-American relations". Later he was transferred to Formosa where he helped Chiang Kai-Shek "organize his government and army".

Droller took part in the CIA covert operation to remove Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. Others involved in this project included Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips, David Morales, Jake Esterline, Rip Robertson and William Pawley.

According to this secret undercover report I mentioned earlier, in June 1960, Droller was given the “task of binding together a few of the most eligible anti-Castro groups into an organization that could not only oppose Castro politically, but count on a strong nucleus of trained guerrillas for active opposition and sabotage.”

This secret report was written by a man called Dr. Luis Aguilar Leon. It would appear that Leon was working as a spy within the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. His report was sent to Thomas J. Kelly, Metropolitan Sheriff of Dade County on 9th March, 1961.

Leon was not very impressed with Droller/Bender:

“It is the personal opinion of the writer that the personal intervention of Mr. BENDER in the conflict of the groups in exile has been the cause of major dissension's and it has caused conflicts, delays and obstacles that a serene and impartial performance would have avoided. Far from utilizing his privileged position of donor of material, of economic subsistence to unite and enlarge anti-CASTRO forces, Mr. BENDER almost from the beginning, decided on a policy of preferences through a system of not listening to anyone else except those who for some reason he conceded his preference by a method of supporting some against others or of encouraging those more than these. The result of this erratic and incomprehensible policy in a problem as serious as that of Cuba is well described in the picture of the exiles in the first section of this report.”

Jake Esterline revealed in an interview with Jack Pfeiffer on 10th November, 1975, that Droller upset William Pawley and E. Howard Hunt during the planning for the Bay of Pigs operation. This mainly concerned political issues. Pawley thought it was important to get a right-wing government established in Cuba after the invasion. Droller, on the other hand, wanted people like Manuel Ray to be involved in the new administration (as did JFK). Hunt agreed with Pawley but was Droller’s subordinate and could do nothing about it.

It could be argued that Droller reflected the CIA thinking that encouraged them to initially support Fidel Castro in Cuba. Wisner, Barnes and Bissell held similar views. They believed it was in American interests to establish liberal, reforming governments in Latin America, rather than military dictatorships that were unpopular with the people. They took the view that supporting tyrannical and corrupt dictators was not in the long-term best interests of America.

However, it is possible that there is another explanation for Droller’s behaviour. Is it possible he was a long-time Soviet mole. I say this because of his background. If he fled from Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ended up fighting up with the Marquis in France, he almost certainly held left-wing views. It is possible that his views changed after the war. Obviously, he must have given that impression to the CIA otherwise they would not have recruited him.

Luis Aguilar Leon’s report suggests the possibility that Droller was creating disunity in the anti-Castro exile community on purpose. If Droller was a Soviet mole he would have been providing the Soviets (and presumably Castro) with some very important information.

Droller appears to disappear after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Was he sacked for incompetence? Did he flee to the Soviet Union? Or was he dealt with in some other way?

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John,

According to researcher Anthony Marsh, Bender was also known as Felix Drecher. Apparently Marsh has even claimed that Bender/Drecher was one of the shooters:

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/Marsh/Jfk-conspiracy/LIBEL.REP

Felix Drecher is listed on the Cuban JFK Archives site, but apparently as someone other than Bender aka Droller:

http://cuban-exile.com/doc_051-075/doc0068.html

In a book The Great Heroin Coup, the alias Droller is mentioned, as well as a claim that Bender’s real name was Fritz Swend:

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv....m/msg29601.html

In his book Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (Grove/Atlantic, 1998), Jon Lee Anderson refers to “Garry Drecher (aka Frank Bender)” (p. 467).

Ron

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John,

According to researcher Anthony Marsh, Bender was also known as Felix Drecher. Apparently Marsh has even claimed that Bender/Drecher was one of the shooters:

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/Marsh/Jfk-conspiracy/LIBEL.REP

Felix Drecher is listed on the Cuban JFK Archives site, but apparently as someone other than Bender aka Droller:

http://cuban-exile.com/doc_051-075/doc0068.html

In a book The Great Heroin Coup, the alias Droller is mentioned, as well as a claim that Bender’s real name was Fritz Swend:

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv....m/msg29601.html

In his book Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (Grove/Atlantic, 1998), Jon Lee Anderson refers to “Garry Drecher (aka Frank Bender)” (p. 467).

Ron

Ron,

You mention that Jon Anderson's book on Che Guevara refers to a Garry Drecher. Does it mention what Garry's involvement was? This may be where Drecher/Bender ends up next, which is taking some role in the CIA backed capture and killing of Che Guevarra. Seems as though if true that Bender's role in the CIA didn't cease after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

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You mention that Jon Anderson's book on Che Guevara refers to a Garry Drecher.  Does it mention what Garry's involvement was?

I’ve gone back and looked up Anderson’s references to Drecher (through Amazon.com’s Search Inside the Book). According to his book, Castro agreed to meet with CIA official “Garry Drecher, a German-American émigré who used the alias of Frank Bender,” during Castro’s visit to New York City. They met privately for over three hours on April 21, and after the meeting Drecher told Lopez Fresquet, the Cuban official who had arranged the meeting, that he was convinced that Castro was an anti-Communist, and they had agreed to exchange information about Communist activities in Cuba.

Anderson expresses the opinion that Castro was just saying what his audience wanted to hear. A month later in Havana, Lopez Fresquet was contacted by an American official with a message from “Mr. Bender” for Fidel. Lopez Fresquet gave Castro “the intelligence,” but Castro didn’t answer him and gave him no information to pass on to Bender. Lopez Fresquet was eventually to resign his post and go into exile. (p. 417)

Later, Anderson says that “Garry Drecher (aka Frank Bender), the CIA’s Latin American Communist specialist,” was sent to Miami to recruit Cuban fighters among the exiles for the BOP invasion. (p. 467)

Those are the only references to Drecher in the text. As noted, I found these through the Amazon.com page on the book. I’m unable to check Anderson’s notes on sources without a copy of the book (still in print).

Ron

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  • 4 years later...

This is from that Max Holland Article called A LUCE CONNECTION..." THAT IVE POSETED SOME ABOUT ON THE LIFE MAGAZINE THREAD

It mentions Droller/Bender working with Pawley and some Cubans under Eisenhower. Then they were still meeting during the Kennedy Admin, but not under the umbrella of any of the approved Kennedy Cuba things like Mongoose etc. Does anyone know where this office building was in Miami, and are there any other references to it?

-------------

". Meanwhile, Pawley turned over the ground floor

of his Miami office building to exiled Cuban groups, keeping intact the organi-

zation he and Droller had assembled before the Bay of Pigs. Three times a

week several hundred Cubans met under PawleyÕs auspices. The plan was to

form a government-in-exile that the majority of the

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This is from that Max Holland Article called A LUCE CONNECTION..." THAT IVE POSETED SOME ABOUT ON THE LIFE MAGAZINE THREAD

It mentions Droller/Bender working with Pawley and some Cubans under Eisenhower. Then they were still meeting during the Kennedy Admin, but not under the umbrella of any of the approved Kennedy Cuba things like Mongoose etc. Does anyone know where this office building was in Miami, and are there any other references to it?

-------------

". Meanwhile, Pawley turned over the ground floor

of his Miami office building to exiled Cuban groups, keeping intact the organi-

zation he and Droller had assembled before the Bay of Pigs. Three times a

week several hundred Cubans met under PawleyÕs auspices. The plan was to

form a government-in-exile that the majority of the

Hey! That's pretty neat Nate, pulling this back from 2005.

Now if we can only get Gratz to come back.

Bk

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  • 1 year later...

John and friends,

Here's my chrono on Gerry Droller that goes up to 1966, plus a Watergate tie-in:

Howard Hunt referred to him as “Frank Drecher” in Give Us this Day - see Last Investigation, p. 134.

Also known as Frank Bender

He was WH/4 political action chief, but Hunt had the forward assignment, Droller was stuck in HQ,

1960, John Prados, Safe for Democracy, p. 225

Louise Valentiner heard a lot of details during a 7/19/60 meeting

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=8

Her husband Clark Valentiner got OA to be a field agent in Cuba in 57

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=12

Artime was at the 7/19 meeting http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=4

After Louise Valentiner’s call, Albaugh phoned Bernie Reichhardt to inform him of her call.

Bernie said to tell her to keep quiet about what she heard. She heard Frank Bender say

“I was hired by the United States to do away with Castro”.http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=442533

“Gerard Droller, alias Frank Bender” was interviewed on 26 July 1960 by Reporting Agent and by Joseph Langan, Director of Security, of Project JMARC. Droller has a German accent. John Simkin says he was born in Germany in 1905.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=11

Bender, a political liberal, interviewed Castro (in New York?), convinced that “Castro is not only not a Communist - he is a strong anti-Communist fighter.” P. 30, Deadly Secrets.

Dr. Jose Miro Cardona is AMBUD-1, trying to unite exiles under his banner of PGCC

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=392424

He was first PM of Cuba under Castro, then he left and formed CRC (cryptonym AMBUD)in 3/61

to unite the exiles and he was head of it as well

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/CIA_Cryptonyms

CRC was a shotgun wedding of FRD and MRP performed by insistence of Frank Bender

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=649369

Covert action staff of four - headed by Jerry Droller - famous Mr. Bender of bay of pigs -

Philip Agee, inside the company: cia diary, p. 498

Bender was the CIA director of Bay of Pigs invasion plans, Haynes Johnson says he was ready to defy any Admin. Plans to halt the invasion. HSCA Vol X, p. 15

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=156019

After Frank Bender briefed the provisional government for Cuba on April 13, they were placed under CIA guard. (P. 93, Bender put them under house arrest) Then, on eve of invasion, they were hustled aboard an agency C-46 with taped-over windows and flown to the Opa-Locka airfiedl outside Miami. When the brigade waded ashore at the Bay of Pigs, the provisional government was being held under house arrest in a clapboard house on the airfield’s border. Meanwhile, Tony Varona paced back and forth. Deadly Secrets, pp. 80-81.

Phillips met Bender in 61 around repair of plane with Hunt - Bender and Hunt weren’t getting along too well then

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=526313

In May 62, Somoza is working with CIA on plans with Cuban exiles, and Ydigoas is presenting

JFK with similar plans for Cuban exiles in Guatemala

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=17021&relPageId=3

7/9/62, Shackley to Harvey, re Eduardo and Mr. B. (Frank Bender) meeting AMBUD-1

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643824

7/9/62 AMBUD-1 wants REDACTED as his Prime Minister in new government

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643821

Late 1963 - Droller and Venezuelan arms cache:

Joseph B. Smith, in Portrait of a Cold Warrior (Putnam, 1976), p. 373:

Between the Argentine elections in 1963 and the Chilean election of 1964, my attention was once again focused on Cuba. Gerry Droller had become branch chief of the countries of the "Cono Sur," the southern cone of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile. He came down to Buenos Aires to remind us Cuba was more important than any of them.

"Listen, this guy Des is a genius and he's got the inside track to the Whit House," Gerry explained. "I also think J.C.'s going to retire soon and Des will run the whole division in name as well as in fact. Already we get dozens of old FE hands in the division and more guys from Germany too. WH Division is now all chopstick users and umlaut speakers. And we're all supposed to concentrate on Cuba."

The matter we all concentrated on from December, 1963, until the summer of 1964 was making the discovery of a small arms cache on the coast of Venezuela seem important enough proof of Castro's interventionist intentions that the OAS would declare Cuba an outlaw nation and refuse to allow OAS members to have political or economic relations with her. I initially paid little attention to the news of the discovery of these arms that came from Caracas just after John Kennedy's assassination. I still hadn't gotten over the terrible shock of the President's death when I received a cable saying headquarters wanted maximum press coverage given to the announcement on December 3, 1963, that the OAS had agreed to investigate Venezuelan charges the arms had been secretly delivered by Castro's forces for the use of Venezuelan leftist guerrillas....

....The new chief of covert action operations for WH came down to Buenos Aires just before Christmas to explain how important the Venezuelan arms cache discovery was considered. Dramatically, he related how much the discovery had meant to John Kennedy. "The President had been pressuring us for months before he was killed to come up with some solid proof that Castro was exporting his revolution. He wanted to make his anti-Castro crusade a Latin American cause not just a U.S. mission. He wanted to have some really convincing evidence of Castro's interference in the affairs of Latin countries so that we could get the OAS to take collective action against Castro. This discovery is what he was looking for."

Herb (Ray Herbert, J.C. King's deputy as chief of Western Hemisphere WH division CIA) explained that the news of the discovery had come in from Caracas just the day before President Kennedy left for Texas. He and another officer rushed over to see Bobby Kennedy with the cable. Bobby called the President and he ordered them to come immediately to the Oval Office. "President Kennedy was extremely pleased and excited about the prospects," Herb said. "It was very late in the evening when we left the White House. I think this was the last piece of business he took up before he left Washington. We all like to think we're running this operation for him."

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/04/venezuelan-arms-cache-northwoods.html

Droller was chief of covert action in 1966 - Safe for Democracy, p. 331, John Prados

Frank Bender mentioned by Woodward and Bernstein in 6/19/72 Watergate article:

In Miami, Washington Post Staff Writer Kirk Schartenberg reported that two of the other suspects -- Sturgis and Barker -- are well known among Cuban exiles there. Both are known to have had extensive contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, exile sources reported, and Barker was closely associated with Frank Bender, the CIA operative who recruited many members of Brigade 2506, the Bay of Pigs invasion force. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2002/05/31/AR2005111001228_4.html

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Regarding the possibility that Bender/Droller being a Soviet mole, it was Mario Garcia Kohly who told Florida congressman William Cramer that Droller was a Soviet agent. Droller also used the name William Bender. Droller was also close to Pedro Diaz Lanz and allegedy was the one who controlled the operation where Diaz Lanz was to provide logistical support for Felipe Vidal but when Vidal showed up at the designated location the only ones there were the Cuban navy. This ultimately led to Vidal's capture and execution in Cuba. FWIW.

JK

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  • 1 year later...

This is from that Max Holland Article called A LUCE CONNECTION..." THAT IVE POSETED SOME ABOUT ON THE LIFE MAGAZINE THREAD

It mentions Droller/Bender working with Pawley and some Cubans under Eisenhower. Then they were still meeting during the Kennedy Admin, but not under the umbrella of any of the approved Kennedy Cuba things like Mongoose etc. Does anyone know where this office building was in Miami, and are there any other references to it?

-------------

". Meanwhile, Pawley turned over the ground floor

of his Miami office building to exiled Cuban groups, keeping intact the organi-

zation he and Droller had assembled before the Bay of Pigs. Three times a

week several hundred Cubans met under PawleyÕs auspices. The plan was to

form a government-in-exile that the majority of the

The plan was to form a government-in-exile

The plan was to form a Cuban government in exile in Haiti.

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  • 3 years later...

John and friends,

Here's my chrono on Gerry Droller that goes up to 1966, plus a Watergate tie-in:

Howard Hunt referred to him as “Frank Drecher” in Give Us this Day - see Last Investigation, p. 134.

Also known as Frank Bender

He was WH/4 political action chief, but Hunt had the forward assignment, Droller was stuck in HQ,

1960, John Prados, Safe for Democracy, p. 225

Louise Valentiner heard a lot of details during a 7/19/60 meeting

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=8

Her husband Clark Valentiner got OA to be a field agent in Cuba in 57

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=12

Artime was at the 7/19 meeting http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=4

After Louise Valentiner’s call, Albaugh phoned Bernie Reichhardt to inform him of her call.

Bernie said to tell her to keep quiet about what she heard. She heard Frank Bender say

“I was hired by the United States to do away with Castro”.http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=442533

“Gerard Droller, alias Frank Bender” was interviewed on 26 July 1960 by Reporting Agent and by Joseph Langan, Director of Security, of Project JMARC. Droller has a German accent. John Simkin says he was born in Germany in 1905.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=11

Bender, a political liberal, interviewed Castro (in New York?), convinced that “Castro is not only not a Communist - he is a strong anti-Communist fighter.” P. 30, Deadly Secrets.

Dr. Jose Miro Cardona is AMBUD-1, trying to unite exiles under his banner of PGCC

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=392424

He was first PM of Cuba under Castro, then he left and formed CRC (cryptonym AMBUD)in 3/61

to unite the exiles and he was head of it as well

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/CIA_Cryptonyms

CRC was a shotgun wedding of FRD and MRP performed by insistence of Frank Bender

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=649369

Covert action staff of four - headed by Jerry Droller - famous Mr. Bender of bay of pigs -

Philip Agee, inside the company: cia diary, p. 498

Bender was the CIA director of Bay of Pigs invasion plans, Haynes Johnson says he was ready to defy any Admin. Plans to halt the invasion. HSCA Vol X, p. 15

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=156019

After Frank Bender briefed the provisional government for Cuba on April 13, they were placed under CIA guard. (P. 93, Bender put them under house arrest) Then, on eve of invasion, they were hustled aboard an agency C-46 with taped-over windows and flown to the Opa-Locka airfiedl outside Miami. When the brigade waded ashore at the Bay of Pigs, the provisional government was being held under house arrest in a clapboard house on the airfield’s border. Meanwhile, Tony Varona paced back and forth. Deadly Secrets, pp. 80-81.

Phillips met Bender in 61 around repair of plane with Hunt - Bender and Hunt weren’t getting along too well then

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=526313

In May 62, Somoza is working with CIA on plans with Cuban exiles, and Ydigoas is presenting

JFK with similar plans for Cuban exiles in Guatemala

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=17021&relPageId=3

7/9/62, Shackley to Harvey, re Eduardo and Mr. B. (Frank Bender) meeting AMBUD-1

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643824

7/9/62 AMBUD-1 wants REDACTED as his Prime Minister in new government

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643821

Late 1963 - Droller and Venezuelan arms cache:

Joseph B. Smith, in Portrait of a Cold Warrior (Putnam, 1976), p. 373:

Between the Argentine elections in 1963 and the Chilean election of 1964, my attention was once again focused on Cuba. Gerry Droller had become branch chief of the countries of the "Cono Sur," the southern cone of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile. He came down to Buenos Aires to remind us Cuba was more important than any of them.

"Listen, this guy Des is a genius and he's got the inside track to the Whit House," Gerry explained. "I also think J.C.'s going to retire soon and Des will run the whole division in name as well as in fact. Already we get dozens of old FE hands in the division and more guys from Germany too. WH Division is now all chopstick users and umlaut speakers. And we're all supposed to concentrate on Cuba."

The matter we all concentrated on from December, 1963, until the summer of 1964 was making the discovery of a small arms cache on the coast of Venezuela seem important enough proof of Castro's interventionist intentions that the OAS would declare Cuba an outlaw nation and refuse to allow OAS members to have political or economic relations with her. I initially paid little attention to the news of the discovery of these arms that came from Caracas just after John Kennedy's assassination. I still hadn't gotten over the terrible shock of the President's death when I received a cable saying headquarters wanted maximum press coverage given to the announcement on December 3, 1963, that the OAS had agreed to investigate Venezuelan charges the arms had been secretly delivered by Castro's forces for the use of Venezuelan leftist guerrillas....

....The new chief of covert action operations for WH came down to Buenos Aires just before Christmas to explain how important the Venezuelan arms cache discovery was considered. Dramatically, he related how much the discovery had meant to John Kennedy. "The President had been pressuring us for months before he was killed to come up with some solid proof that Castro was exporting his revolution. He wanted to make his anti-Castro crusade a Latin American cause not just a U.S. mission. He wanted to have some really convincing evidence of Castro's interference in the affairs of Latin countries so that we could get the OAS to take collective action against Castro. This discovery is what he was looking for."

Herb (Ray Herbert, J.C. King's deputy as chief of Western Hemisphere WH division CIA) explained that the news of the discovery had come in from Caracas just the day before President Kennedy left for Texas. He and another officer rushed over to see Bobby Kennedy with the cable. Bobby called the President and he ordered them to come immediately to the Oval Office. "President Kennedy was extremely pleased and excited about the prospects," Herb said. "It was very late in the evening when we left the White House. I think this was the last piece of business he took up before he left Washington. We all like to think we're running this operation for him."

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/04/venezuelan-arms-cache-northwoods.html

Droller was chief of covert action in 1966 - Safe for Democracy, p. 331, John Prados

Frank Bender mentioned by Woodward and Bernstein in 6/19/72 Watergate article:

In Miami, Washington Post Staff Writer Kirk Schartenberg reported that two of the other suspects -- Sturgis and Barker -- are well known among Cuban exiles there. Both are known to have had extensive contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, exile sources reported, and Barker was closely associated with Frank Bender, the CIA operative who recruited many members of Brigade 2506, the Bay of Pigs invasion force. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2002/05/31/AR2005111001228_4.html

[emphasis added by T. Graves]

I recently stumbled upon this August 21, 1959, CIA document which talks about a meeting between J.C. King (Galbond), David Atlee Phillips (Choaden), and someone by the name of "Charron" in J.C. King's office in Washington D.C. It describes the discussion they had regarding the best strategy for Phillips to use if he were to be interrogated by the Cuban authorities about his associations and activities in Cuba. The meeting took place shortly before he (and David Sanchez Morales?) did have to leave Cuba. https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=36237&relPageId=2

Charron's full pseudonym was "Lawrence R. Charron."

I think "Charron" might have been "Frank Bender / Gerry Droller".

A May 13, 1964, CIA document sent from Santiago, Chile, to the CIA Director at Headquarters, says that "Charron" didn't know anything about the issue at hand (something to do with the CIA's boat "Tejana II") because he had already left his position at CIA headquarters and gone to his new CIA post in Santiago, Chile, when the event or incident had occurred. It's interesting to note that one of the people who were privy to this document was James Jesus Angleton ("C/CI") https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=35267&relPageId=2

It's also interesting to note that former CIA officer Joseph B. Smith wrote in his book Portrait of a Cold Warrior that "Gerry Droller" had already become, by 1963 or 1964, branch chief of the countries comprising the CIA's "southern cone" (Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile) .

Could "Lawrence R. Charron" be the mysterious "Frank Bender / Gerry Droller" ( G. Drecher) ?

FWIW, most of the CIA documents that mention "Charron" at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website also mention "Choaden" (David Atlee Phillips), so it looks like those two "went back a ways"...

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Double post.

[...]

John and friends,

Here's my chrono on Gerry Droller that goes up to 1966, plus a Watergate tie-in:

Howard Hunt referred to him as “Frank Drecher” in Give Us this Day - see Last Investigation, p. 134.

Also known as Frank Bender

He was WH/4 political action chief, but Hunt had the forward assignment, Droller was stuck in HQ,

1960, John Prados, Safe for Democracy, p. 225

Louise Valentiner heard a lot of details during a 7/19/60 meeting

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=8

Her husband Clark Valentiner got OA to be a field agent in Cuba in 57

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=12

Artime was at the 7/19 meeting http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=4

After Louise Valentiner’s call, Albaugh phoned Bernie Reichhardt to inform him of her call.

Bernie said to tell her to keep quiet about what she heard. She heard Frank Bender say

“I was hired by the United States to do away with Castro”.http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=442533

“Gerard Droller, alias Frank Bender” was interviewed on 26 July 1960 by Reporting Agent and by Joseph Langan, Director of Security, of Project JMARC. Droller has a German accent. John Simkin says he was born in Germany in 1905.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=31020&relPageId=11

Bender, a political liberal, interviewed Castro (in New York?), convinced that “Castro is not only not a Communist - he is a strong anti-Communist fighter.” P. 30, Deadly Secrets.

Dr. Jose Miro Cardona is AMBUD-1, trying to unite exiles under his banner of PGCC

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=392424

He was first PM of Cuba under Castro, then he left and formed CRC (cryptonym AMBUD)in 3/61

to unite the exiles and he was head of it as well

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/CIA_Cryptonyms

CRC was a shotgun wedding of FRD and MRP performed by insistence of Frank Bender

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=649369

Covert action staff of four - headed by Jerry Droller - famous Mr. Bender of bay of pigs -

Philip Agee, inside the company: cia diary, p. 498

Bender was the CIA director of Bay of Pigs invasion plans, Haynes Johnson says he was ready to defy any Admin. Plans to halt the invasion. HSCA Vol X, p. 15

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=156019

After Frank Bender briefed the provisional government for Cuba on April 13, they were placed under CIA guard. (P. 93, Bender put them under house arrest) Then, on eve of invasion, they were hustled aboard an agency C-46 with taped-over windows and flown to the Opa-Locka airfiedl outside Miami. When the brigade waded ashore at the Bay of Pigs, the provisional government was being held under house arrest in a clapboard house on the airfield’s border. Meanwhile, Tony Varona paced back and forth. Deadly Secrets, pp. 80-81.

Phillips met Bender in 61 around repair of plane with Hunt - Bender and Hunt weren’t getting along too well then

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=526313

In May 62, Somoza is working with CIA on plans with Cuban exiles, and Ydigoas is presenting

JFK with similar plans for Cuban exiles in Guatemala

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=17021&relPageId=3

7/9/62, Shackley to Harvey, re Eduardo and Mr. B. (Frank Bender) meeting AMBUD-1

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643824

7/9/62 AMBUD-1 wants REDACTED as his Prime Minister in new government

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=643821

Late 1963 - Droller and Venezuelan arms cache:

From Joseph B. Smith's Portrait of a Cold Warrior (Putnam, 1976), p. 373:

Between the Argentine elections in 1963 and the Chilean election of 1964, my attention was once again focused on Cuba. Gerry Droller had become branch chief of the countries of the "Cono Sur," the southern cone of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile. He came down to Buenos Aires to remind us Cuba was more important than any of them.

"Listen, this guy Des is a genius and he's got the inside track to the Whit House," Gerry explained. "I also think J.C.'s going to retire soon and Des will run the whole division in name as well as in fact. Already we get dozens of old FE hands in the division and more guys from Germany too. WH Division is now all chopstick users and umlaut speakers. And we're all supposed to concentrate on Cuba."

The matter we all concentrated on from December, 1963, until the summer of 1964 was making the discovery of a small arms cache on the coast of Venezuela seem important enough proof of Castro's interventionist intentions that the OAS would declare Cuba an outlaw nation and refuse to allow OAS members to have political or economic relations with her. I initially paid little attention to the news of the discovery of these arms that came from Caracas just after John Kennedy's assassination. I still hadn't gotten over the terrible shock of the President's death when I received a cable saying headquarters wanted maximum press coverage given to the announcement on December 3, 1963, that the OAS had agreed to investigate Venezuelan charges the arms had been secretly delivered by Castro's forces for the use of Venezuelan leftist guerrillas....

....The new chief of covert action operations for WH came down to Buenos Aires just before Christmas to explain how important the Venezuelan arms cache discovery was considered. Dramatically, he related how much the discovery had meant to John Kennedy. "The President had been pressuring us for months before he was killed to come up with some solid proof that Castro was exporting his revolution. He wanted to make his anti-Castro crusade a Latin American cause not just a U.S. mission. He wanted to have some really convincing evidence of Castro's interference in the affairs of Latin countries so that we could get the OAS to take collective action against Castro. This discovery is what he was looking for."

Herb (Ray Herbert, J.C. King's deputy as chief of Western Hemisphere WH division CIA) explained that the news of the discovery had come in from Caracas just the day before President Kennedy left for Texas. He and another officer rushed over to see Bobby Kennedy with the cable. Bobby called the President and he ordered them to come immediately to the Oval Office. "President Kennedy was extremely pleased and excited about the prospects," Herb said. "It was very late in the evening when we left the White House. I think this was the last piece of business he took up before he left Washington. We all like to think we're running this operation for him."

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/04/venezuelan-arms-cache-northwoods.html

Droller was chief of covert action in 1966 - Safe for Democracy, p. 331, John Prados

Frank Bender mentioned by Woodward and Bernstein in 6/19/72 Watergate article:

In Miami, Washington Post Staff Writer Kirk Schartenberg reported that two of the other suspects -- Sturgis and Barker -- are well known among Cuban exiles there. Both are known to have had extensive contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, exile sources reported, and Barker was closely associated with Frank Bender, the CIA operative who recruited many members of Brigade 2506, the Bay of Pigs invasion force. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2002/05/31/AR2005111001228_4.html

[emphasis added by T. Graves]

Dear Members and Honored Lurkers,

I recently stumbled upon the following August 21, 1959, CIA document which talks about a meeting between J.C. King (Galbond), David Atlee Phillips (Choaden), and someone by the name of "Charron" in J.C. King's office. It describes the discussion they had regarding what would be the best strategy for Phillips to use if he were to be interrogated by the Cuban authorities about his associations and activities in Cuba. The meeting took place shortly before he (and David Sanchez Morales?) did have to leave Cuba. https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=36237&relPageId=2

Charron's full pseudonym was "Lawrence R. Charron."

I think "Charron" might have been "Frank Bender / Gerry Droller".

A May 13, 1964, CIA document sent from Santiago, Chile, to the CIA Director at Headquarters, says that "Charron" didn't know anything about the issue at hand (something to do with the CIA's boat "Tejana II") because he had already left his position at CIA headquarters and gone to his new CIA post in Santiago, Chile, when the event or incident had occurred. It's interesting to note that one of the people who were privy to this document was James Jesus Angleton ("C/CI") https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=35267&relPageId=2

It's also interesting to note that former CIA officer Joseph B. Smith wrote in his book Portrait of a Cold Warrior that "Gerry Droller" had already become, by 1963 or 1964, branch chief of the countries comprising the CIA's "southern cone" (Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile).

Could "Lawrence R. Charron" be the mysterious "Frank Bender / Gerry Droller" ( G. Drecher) ?

FWIW, most of the CIA documents that mention "Charron" at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website also mention "Choaden" (David Atlee Phillips), so it looks like those two "went back a ways"...

--Tommy :sun

Bumped in a probably vain attempt to attract the attention of a "heavyweight" like Larry Hancock, Bill Simpich, or...

Question: Would it have been logical for W.C. King to include Bender / Droller in the August 21,1959, brainstorming session regarding what Phillips should so if he were to be interrogated by the Cuban authorities?

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Tommy,

Hey...I coulda been a contender......

[That was our "lame humor break" for THIS hour...we now return you to your regular programming.]

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Tommy,

Hey...I coulda been a contender......

[That was our "lame humor break" for THIS hour...we now return you to your regular programming.]

Great punchline, Mark.

Kinda took my breath away...

But seriously, Marlon, what do you think of my idea that Bender / Droller was "Charron"? --

Question: Would it have been logical for W.C. King to include Bender / Droller in the August 21,1959, brainstorming session which dealt with what Phillips should do if he were to be interrogated by the Cuban authorities?

And a new question: Could it have been Bender / Droller who, in mid-1960, sicced David Attlee Phillips on Antonio Veciana in Cuba, through Veciana's friend / Bender's contact, Rufo Lopez-Fresquet?

http://www.jfk-online.com/daphscavec.html (see footnotes 122, 144, and 162)

https://books.google.com/books?id=aCw19CUXpqkC&pg=PA396&lpg=PA396&dq=jon+anderson+che+guevara+%22frank+bender%22&source=bl&ots=JT-Mer9_sN&sig=-8mPZnnuzx8stWFtCASGYoSF1KM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2VgKVYP2CsLYggSRrIEw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=jon%20anderson%20che%20guevara%20%22frank%20bender%22&f=false

Thanks,

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Tommy,

Hey...I coulda been a contender......

[That was our "lame humor break" for THIS hour...we now return you to your regular programming.]

Great punchline, Mark.

Kinda took my breath away...

But seriously, Marlon, what do you think of my idea that Bender / Droller was "Charron"? --

Question: Would it have been logical for W.C. King to include Bender / Droller in the August 21,1959, brainstorming session which dealt with what Phillips should do if he were to be interrogated by the Cuban authorities?

And a new question: Could it have been Bender / Droller who, in mid-1960, sicced David Attlee Phillips on Antonio Veciana in Cuba, through Veciana's friend / Bender's contact, Rufo Lopez-Fresquet?

http://www.jfk-online.com/daphscavec.html (see footnotes 122, 144, and 162)

https://books.google.com/books?id=aCw19CUXpqkC&pg=PA396&lpg=PA396&dq=jon+anderson+che+guevara+%22frank+bender%22&source=bl&ots=JT-Mer9_sN&sig=-8mPZnnuzx8stWFtCASGYoSF1KM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2VgKVYP2CsLYggSRrIEw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=jon%20anderson%20che%20guevara%20%22frank%20bender%22&f=false

Thanks,

--Tommy :sun

Bumped for Bill Simpich or a comparable heavyweight.

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